Maybe the Governor and Mark Mickelson need to take the lead on this ‘sexual revolution’ going on in Pierre and own up to their own skeletons in the closet. Mark is fortunate he lives in Sioux Falls and has a buffer from the day to day operations, but Dennis should know these things are going on….
His cheesy dumb farm kid persona won’t cut it on this issue. And while Mickelson is worried about outside money on petition drives he should be more concerned about inside pocket pool going on in our capital city. Address the real issues going on in Pierre for once [Scott Ehrisman, “Maybe the Governor Should Take the Lead with the Sexism Problem in Pierre,” South DaCola 2017.10.22].
For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally. The insult intensified when Obama and Seth Meyers publicly humiliated him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh. Replacing Obama is not enough—Trump has made the negation of Obama’s legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. “Race is an idea, not a fact,” the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written, and essential to the construct of a “white race” is the idea of not being a nigger. Before Barack Obama, niggers could be manufactured out of Sister Souljahs, Willie Hortons, and Dusky Sallys. But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potent—an entire nigger presidency with nigger health care, nigger climate accords, and nigger justice reform, all of which could be targeted for destruction or redemption, thus reifying the idea of being white. Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president [Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The First White President,” The Atlantic, October 2017].
Trump may be an unrepentant sinner, but he is a supporter of this patriarchal worldview, where straight men are in charge, women are quiet and submissive and people who fall outside these old-school heterosexual norms are marginalized. Voting for him was an obvious attempt by white evangelicals to impose this worldview on others, including (and perhaps especially) their own children, who are starting to ask hard questions about a moral order based on hierarchy and rigid gender roles instead of one built on empathy and kindness [Amanda Marcotte, “White Christians Are Now a Minority—But They’re Getting More Isolated and Less Tolerant,” Salon, 2017.09.11].
We can hope that Trump’s brilliant ignition of these vile fires will burn out the fervor of the racists and sexists who propelled him to the White House… or at least ignite the political conscience of the growing majority who find white patriarchy unacceptable and propel a new, decent candidate to the Presidency in 2020.
Senator Deb Peters (R-9/Hartford) raised a couple of questions about HB 1008 (why exempt private schools? why specify “elementary” and “secondary” schools but not “middle” schools?), then said she would vote against HB 1008 because for the kids she talks to, including the boys and girls on her sons’ cross country team, “This isn’t an issue that’s an issue in the high school. Kids don’t see this as a hot topic in their school.” After supportive comments from Senator James Bradford (D-27/Pine Ridge), Senator Omdahl rose for this oppositional exchange with Senator Peters:
OMDAHL: Of what I understand, you have boys? You don’t have any girls? Is that correct?
MICHELS: Senator Peters, do you care to answer the question?
PETERS: It’s pretty evident, but, obviously, yes, I only have boys.
OMDHAL: I guess my point is, I’ve got a nine-year-old granddaughter. She’s an innocent girl. And girls – I’ve talked to teachers about this – girls are conscious of their little bodies. They don’t even like to shower together. So I ask you, please, please support this bill. These young, innocent girls don’t need to be exposed to the male anatomy at that age. Thank you [South Dakota Senate, floor debate, transcribed in Kealey Bultena, “Transgender Bathroom Bill Moves to Governor’s Desk,” SDPB Radio, 2016.02.16].
How did Senator Omdahl violate decency and Senate decorum in this attack?
Senator Omdahl attempts to use an aspect of a fellow Senator’s personal life to discredit that fellow Senator’s testimony.
Senator Omdahl uses this personal attack to dodge the substance of Senator Peters’s statement, that real kids, the kids Senator Peters knows very well, perceive none of the threat to their innocence that Senator Omdahl projects onto them to justify HB 1008.
Senator Omdahl presumes to understand female psychology better than Senator Peters and implies that Senator Peters does not understand the concerns of innocent nine-year-old girls, completely ignoring the fact that Senator Peters has more experience as an innocent nine-year-old girl and a female than Senator Omdahl ever will.
Senator Omdahl promulgates patriarchal sexism, portraying females exclusively as defenseless and males like himself as their brave protectors.
Senator Omdahl’s insulting sexism fit a broader pattern of patronizing rhetoric from HB 1008 backers, who portrayed opponents as emotional (thus, not reliable) and called for respect and civility in the debate (implying that they hold a moral high ground in this discourse and that their opponents are somehow misbehaving in their passionate and far better reasoned and evidenced responses). But Senator Omdahl’s personal attack on Senator Peters epitomized the arrogant insensitivity and male insecurity (you want to dish? we can dish, Dave) motivating HB 1008.
An eager reader shares this report from the Washington Post that shows that guys who can’t win at Halo tend to make more nasty comments toward female players than guys who know their way around their imaginary machine guns. Researchers think this gaming study reflects sexist behavior in other online venues:
In each of these environments, Kasumovic suggests, a recent influx of female participants has disrupted a pre-existing social hierarchy. That’s okay for the guys at the top — but for the guys at the bottom, who stand to lose more status, that’s very threatening. (It’s also in keeping with the evolutionary framework on anti-lady hostility, which suggests sexism is a kind of Neanderthal defense mechanism for low-status, non-dominant men trying to maintain a shaky grip on their particular cave’s supply of women.)
“As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status,” Kasumovic writes, “the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank.”
Expect the wild-eyed defenders of convicted felon Annette Bosworth, who is now making a show of serving her sentence on Pine Ridge, to cite this study as an explanation of why Marty Jackley and I worked so hard to expose Bosworth’s crimes.