Thursday Reads: Women’s Righteous Rage

Good Morning!!

Two new books explore the power of women’s rage. One is already available and the other will be released on October 2. The first is Rage Becomes Her, by Soraya Chemaly. The second is Good and Mad, by Rebecca Traister. There couldn’t be a more appropriate time for these books and for women to embrace their righteous rage.

Just a short time ago, we saw Serena Williams viciously attacked for defending herself against an unfair tennis umpire in milder ways then men have been getting away with for decades. And now we have the spectacle of old white Republican men bullying a survivor of sexual abuse because she dared to speak out publicly about the man they desperately want to install on the Supreme Court.

Women are sick and tired of being pushed around–at least millions of us are. We are sick of being treated like property and being told we shouldn’t be able to make choices about our own bodies and our own futures. After hundreds of years of struggle, women are finally “allowed” to hold positions previously forbidden to us–doctors, lawyers, professors, Senators. But we still earn less money than men and we are still expected to accept being sexually harassed on the job, sexually assaulted, and beaten by our husbands and boyfriends. When we dare to speak out about male violence, we are expected to deal with death threats, rape threats and having our personal information posted on the internet.

On Tuesday I wrote about being triggered by the Brett Kavanaugh attempted rape controversy and the ugly reaction by the old white men of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Yesterday, my rage at this situation became so all-consuming that I felt as if I were having an out-of-body experience. Today, I’m a little calmer, but still angry as hell. I know I should try to detach from this controversy, but I can’t. It feels too important.

That’s all I can write for today. I’m going to list some important articles I’ve read yesterday and this morning. I just don’t have the strength to do excerpts, sorry.

Please don’t miss this one by Elizabeth Bruenig at The Washington Post: Twelve years ago, Amber Wyatt reported her rape. Few believed her.  Her hometown turned against her. The authorities failed her.

Isaac Chotiner at Slate: An Interview With the Psychiatrist Who Says White House Officials Called Her With Concerns About Trump.

The New York Times: From the Anonymity of Academia to the Center of a Supreme Court Confirmation.

The Washington Post: ‘These are the stories of our lives’: Prep school alumni hear echoes in assault claim.

Vanity Fair: The Toxic Politics of the GOP’s Plan to Save Brett Kavanaugh.

Sandra Newman at The Washington Post: Want to help prevent rape? Withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination.

HuffPost: Brett Kavanaugh Liked Female Clerks Who Looked A ‘Certain Way,’ Yale Student Was Told.

Thiru Vignarajah at The Washington Post: Kavanaugh’s accuser deserves a fair criminal investigation.

Washington Post Fact Checker: Brett Kavanaugh’s unlikely story about Democrats’ stolen documents.

The Boston Globe: Elizabeth Warren for president? New survey shows Mass. voters don’t love that idea.

Lili Loofbourow at Slate: Men Are More Afraid Than Ever. Why Kavanaugh advocates would rather defend malfeasance than deny it.

HuffPost: Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong.

Business Insider: ‘We’re in the fourth quarter’: James Comey says Mueller may be about to finish his investigation into Trump.

This is an open thread. Have a nice day and embrace your anger!

37 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Women’s Righteous Rage”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    This is all about the overturning of Roe v Wade. The interference of the state to prohibit women for the right to make decisions regarding their own bodies and futures.

    Kavanaugh has already been caught lying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His partisanship has been well documented over the years. His judgement that the presidency is above the law is what got him to this current position. He has been handpicked by Trump to absolve him of any criminal charges that may be brought forth by Mueller. Nowhere is the impartiality of a SC justice on display.

    The GOP has this rigged. Regardless of whether there is ever a Republican in the WH or rules the congress ever again, Kavanaugh’s assured vote on the court will carry out their radical agenda for decades to come.

    Decency has taken leave in this current climate. The last 20 years have shown us time and time again that “party first” is the mantra of this corrupt party. There is nothing that will stop them from achieving whatever they want even if it mean breaking the law or challenging the norms. Trump is their current mascot.

    What we are witnessing and living through is demoralizing. Every day becomes just another nail in the coffin of what we call democracy. A thoroughly amoral man is at the helm. A man with zero scruples and sheer ignorance is leading this nation into the void.

    The GOP is a far greater threat to this country than any outside agency. We are living in peril. We must act swiftly and decisively in November to prevent more damage if we are to survive.

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. Delphyne49 says:

    I had to turn off the news last night because I was about to start screaming at the television and turned on some jazz instead and made a nice dinner for myself.

    I want to read Soraya’s book – here’s a link to a chapter that Dame published.

    I also want to read Rebecca’s book, too, especially since I love the way she writes.

    Thanks for all of the other links, too – i’ve read a couple of them and will get to the others after I hit the “post comment” button.

    Take care, BB…🐰

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Delphyne. I’m getting away for the weekend–I’m staying with my nephews while my brother and sister-in-law celebrate their 20th anniversary and his birthday. I think that will help me put things in perspective.

      • Delphyne49 says:

        Wow, that article on obesity! I was horrified reading how “fat people” are treated by the medical professions and how that behavior is enabled by the insurance companies. The story of the woman keeping her calorie diary and basically starving herself shocked me and, when her physician told her to keep that up, I almost cried at the cruelty of it.

        Enjoy your weekend with your nephews – I know how much you enjoy being with and love them and it’s a much saner, happier and healthier place to be!

        • NW Luna says:

          As a medical professional, I was mentally editing that article left and right. It would take several pages to list what was inaccurate about it, but overall the errors are of omission and emphasis.

          People should not be shamed for any medical condition (and it’s not only weight that gets looked at this way by rude and uncaring clinicians).

          • NW Luna says:

            Did *not* mean that emoji to be so large…..

          • quixote says:

            Yeah. Being ill while female is another take-two-aspirin-and-don’t-call-me-in-the-morning situation.

          • quixote says:

            Read it, skimming parts (it goes on forever) and it’s not bad. Hits the high points: diets don’t work, shaming is gross and worse than useless, there’s an issue with urban design.

            There’s not nearly enough about the latter. There have been studies (I’ll try to dig up some links), showing that for every x number of minutes people walk in the course of a day doing ordinary things — getting groceries, going to work — the population-level obesity drops by y amount.

            It’s interesting that the problems needing a *social* solution, like urban and mass transit planning, are the ones ignored in favor of personal “solutions.”

            That’s probably why the biggest one of all keeps being ignored: the whole class of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors used all over agriculture as livestock weight enhancers, some pesticides, etc. They get into water and they’ve wound up everywhere. And they’re a phenomenon of the last 40 or so years on a wide scale.

            To explain the obesity epidemic (and we do have one if coffin makers are having to upsize coffins because the dearly departed no longer fit) you need some factor that’s changed recently. Human appetites and will power have not. Yes, food is more available for everyone, but it was always available for elites, and yet they weren’t notably obese as a class in the past.

            Three things have changed: the endocrine disruptors everywhere, fast food ads, and car-based towns.

            And the data point which tells you it’s the first factor by a big margin is that lab animals everywhere, on their strictly controlled diets of animal pellets and their lack of susceptibility to ads, are also gaining weight.. (I’ll scare up that ref too.)

            That’s the thing that needs to be shouted every chance we get. Farming is making us sick, at this point. (Antibiotic resistance, too, but that’s another issue. As is subsidizing non-local production.) And being sick costs lots of money. Which, we’re also, interestingly enough, trying to pass down to the least powerful and turn into a “personal responsibility.”

          • quixote says:

            As always, I can’t find the ref I want when I want it. However this from the Endocrine Society is a good summary of where endocrine disruptors are found (everywhere) and their dozens of effects, including altering fat deposition.

            Measuring the health effects of sprawl is no longer available without signing up. This in the NYTimes (which I try not to link these days because they’re trying so hard to be jerks) talks about those results.

          • NW Luna says:

            Endocrine disruptors — yes, these are a serious and insidious problem and have been for decades. As far as diets not working — not exactly true. One needs to adopt eating healthier foods, combine that with moderate exercise (need not be strenuous or time-intensive) and continue this. It is possible to eat healthily on a low income (I did this as a vegetarian & on food stamps) but it’s not the usual Amerkun foods. And … there are so many more changes which need to be made, and as quixote said, urban planning, availability of healthier foods, conducive environment, etc., are all elements which are 95% or more beyond an individual’s control. *sigh*

          • quixote says:

            “diets don’t work” in the sense used in the article. I.e. miracle fixes that make little or no nutritional sense. Of course eating sensibly works, but that’s not what they were talking about. As you say, the main message really needs to be that 95% of this is a structural social problem. Not anything to do with individual responsibility.

    • NW Luna says:

      Thanks for the link to that chapter!

  5. dakinikat says:

    There was a mass shooting in Maryland and the shooter is a woman.

    That’s unusual but these are times that are unusual and ugly. Thanks for sharing BB. I’ve been reading stuff from so many people that realize we are at risk for losing are selves with this abomination of a candidate for SCOTUS that it’s some comfort to know there are many of us!!!

  6. NW Luna says:

    I started reading the WaPo article on Amber Wyatt. I’d seen the article headline on the front webpage for a couple of days but was worried it would be triggering. Yes, it was. I read part of it and then skimmed quickly through the rest — I was crying and horrified. Brave of Wyatt to agree to be interviewed and photographed. Her betrayal — by the other students, the parents, the police — looked the same as similar instances in the 1970s. Nothing changed. I wanted to thunder and wail and tear things apart. Why. Is. There. No. Change? Why are women still abused?

  7. bostonboomer says:

    This Guardian story gives more detail on Kavanaugh’s reputation for wanting clerks who look like models. The husband of the women who said that is now under investigation at Yale for inappropriate behavior with women.

    • bostonboomer says:

    • lililam says:

      That was pretty sickening and very believable. As a woman who came to law school late in life, I was shocked at the emphasis on looks and the number of flashbacks to junior high. What a horrid place.

    • Enheduanna says:

      It’s also interesting to me that he doesn’t seem to care about putting his wife and daughters through this mess. If he had any decency he would have withdrawn himself by now.

      • bostonboomer says:

        He doesn’t have any decency. If he did he wouldn’t have pushed Starr to investigate Vince Foster’s death after it had been ruled a suicide.

      • NW Luna says:

        Wifey is supposed to support him and never entertain any thoughts in her pretty head that hubby would actually be a sadistic prick. Or else she’s abused too. Same with the daughters.

  8. bostonboomer says:

  9. Old Guy says:

    Kavanaugh is exceptional when measured on the jerk scale. Few men are that bad. At least of the people I grew up with and know. He just looks like a bad customer.

    • NW Luna says:

      He’s a Republican of the worst sort, and it sounds like you didn’t grow up with those (fortunately).

      • Old Guy says:

        I grew up in Appalachia in North Georgia among people who are almost all now Republicans. There were a few bad eggs but not many were. as bad as Kavanaugh.

        • NW Luna says:

          Glad to know that most of them were reasonable. Most Republicans then would probably be considered very moderate as Republicans go today.

          • Old Guy says:

            Back then they were all unreasonable democrats. Now they have switched parties and are unreasonable republicans. But they did not sexually assault women in high school and college. With one exception who was a bad character.

            I don’t discuss politics with them. They were then and still are anti-government and pro-Trump.

  10. bostonboomer says:

  11. dakinikat says:

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  13. NW Luna says: