Unfit

From the NYTIMES:

To me, the election of Donald Trump felt like a death in the family. I couldn’t sleep. I found it hard to focus at work. I was barely a click away from wailing and rending my garments.

For the past year and a half I’ve been puzzling over this kind of statement. How can people not feel ashamed of themselves when they say this kind of thing? It’s so histrionics, so ridiculous. The next thing I expect her to say is that the election gave her vapors, whatever they are.

It’s especially funny that the very people who condemn Trump in these overblown terms have no problem feeding the stereotype that women are too emotional for serious jobs. I mean, if a woman can’t focus because of some stupid election, she definitely can’t fly an airplane, perform surgery, and arrest criminals. Or be president.

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18 thoughts on “Unfit”

  1. This is a kind of virtue-signaling and expression of solidarity with all of the people, in addition to women, who are oppressed by the Trump administration. In other words, she’s reminding us that she’s not complicit with the administration’s attacks on women and minorities–she’s not being silent. I hate Trump as much as anybody, but if I made statements like hers (assuming she’s speaking literally), people would think I was seriously crazy.

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      1. Is this gender-specific? This is not my turf, but incidental contact tells me that you don’t need to be a woman to write things like these.

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          1. At the risk of sounding sexist, I don’t think I’ve read any “I really despise that @#&!! bastard Trump” articles by men where the writers feel so personally emotionally damaged by the election. The male Trump loathers who write for *Salon.com frequently state in hysterical terms that American democracy and the entire free world are now imminently doomed, but they don’t say that as individuals, they can’t even get out of bed or concentrate on living anymore.

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              1. “Are you sure you want me to start quoting them?”

                Please do. I’m in a mood to be amused, and I have no faith in humanity, anyway.

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  2. To me, the election of Donald Trump felt like a death in the family. I couldn’t sleep. I found it hard to focus at work. I was barely a click away from wailing and rending my garment
    But it’s not. Because if it wasn’t just some dumb hyperbole, you’d have some major problems with your father-in-law (not even your dad) NYT editorial writer. What is this dumb posturing puff piece on father in law? She’s of the class that’s going to be just fine no matter what stupid horror show is in office. Why not write a stupid piece about how you only talk about the weather, tee times and finger sandwiches while riding horsies? It’s just as relevant.

    “I love my father even though he couldn’t bring himself to vote for history’s greatest monster, Hillary Rodham Clinton but wrote in someone else’s name. [An absurd amount of details about his life and hobbies.]” What an assy thing to put in an newspaper.

    It’s especially funny that the very people who condemn Trump in these overblown terms have no problem feeding the stereotype that women are too emotional for serious jobs
    You know, weirdly, this statement doesn’t work on me anymore. I refuse to own it even though people keep dumping it on me since the people who go with “women are too emotional for serious jobs” either are bad at managing their own emotions or expect me to feel their feelings for them or massively project their own emotionality onto me. We have a 70 year old with the emotional style of a toddler in the White House don’t @ me with “women are too emotional for serious jobs.”

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    1. They won’t work on you and me but these stereotypes do exist. The way they work is that one hears all one’s life women exclaim how they were completely incapacitated by emotions resulting from trivial causes. And then this vague, probably never even verbalized feeling forms where one feels an indefinite discomfort around women in responsible roles.

      Nobody can legislate these prejudices away. We all construct or dismantle them every day. This female journalist is working very hard to keep them in place. This means she gets something out of them. The oversensitive, histrionic, scatterbrained persona brings dividends.

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      1. “This female journalist”

        No journalist should/would/could write such emotional blather. But journalism is dead, killed by the neoliberal agenda of deskilling work (except for the highest levels of management).
        A gig at some newspaper or magazine is what young women from well off families now do instead of having a debutante season or a tour of Europe while being chaperoned by an eccentric maiden aunt.
        This…. piece is advertising her devotion to the traditional feminine charms of being ruled by her emotions while she waits around for some guy to put a ring on it.

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  3. Do you read such posts literally? Why? It is like a pseudo literary genre of writing with its own laws and stock phrases aimed to create a particular experience for a reader. Judging from your blog, you are not among the intended audience. 🙂

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    1. Every author who writes in the first person decides what kind of an authorial persona to construct. Women very often choose to create the bumbling, inefficient, histrionic persona. And then these very women decry the evil patriarchy that presents women as bumbling, inefficient, and overemotional.

      Yes, it’s a genre but one is free not to practice it. I don’t.

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  4. Do people ever take these things at face value? As JProf said, it’s all virtue-signaling, and it’s so hyperbolic it’s hard to believe anyone really reacts this way.

    As far as female stereotypes go, I used to feel pretty self-conscious about them, but now I’m just tired, especially because men themselves don’t keep up with their own standards.”Bitches be crazy”, but it’s not bitches who take a gun and go on a killing spree.
    And goddammit,if Trump was female, no woman could dream of becoming president for the next 500 years. Not to mention that if you have been stereotype you are also valued by stricter standards, which means you have less freedom of action, if you don’t want to be condemned.

    That said, I dislike this kind of journalism too; these people remind me of professional mourners, and like them, they need to fall out of fashion.

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  5. After Ohio’s Supreme Court win, voting rights advocates fear more aggressive purges

    After the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s aggressive methods of pruning its voter registration rolls Monday, a triumphant Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted suggested other states look to it as a model.
    That’s exactly what voting rights advocates are afraid of.

    “If you’re a state that wants to get in the business of progressively purging your voters, they have a green light to essentially to copy the Ohio system,” Paul Smith, vice president of Campaign Legal Center, said in a call with reporters Monday.

    He noted that minorities, lower-income, and younger voters — all Democratic-leaning groups — are disproportionately affected by strict voter roll maintenance systems like Ohio’s, which boots people after they don’t vote in a few elections and fail to respond to a mailed notice, even if they would otherwise be eligible to vote.

    “The opinion is going to encourage other states to enact purge practices like Ohio’s that are going to result in voter suppression around the country,” Vanita Gupta, a former Department of Justice official who oversaw voting rights enforcement in the Obama administration, told NBC News Monday. She is now president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

    Ohio is one of seven states with voter purge processes that weigh voter inactivity in voter roll maintenance, and more than a dozen other states have indicated they would like to adopt the same system….

    Many states review change-of-address data through the Post Office to update voter rolls, but Ohio and six other states have voter purge systems that use nonvoting as an indicator of ineligibility in some way. The Buckeye State’s “supplemental process” system — which was at issue before the Supreme Court — is the nation’s most aggressive: Voters who do not cast a ballot for two consecutive years (one federal election, in most cases) are declared inactive and sent a mailer asking them to confirm their voter registration. If they don’t respond or vote in the next four years, they are removed from the voter roll system.

    The plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, Navy veteran Larry Harmon sat out the 2010 midterms, the 2012 presidential election, and the 2014 midterms. Because of it, he was barred from casting a ballot in a local 2015 election. The state says they sent him a notice to confirm his voter registration, but Harmon does not recall receiving it.

    States adopting more aggressive voter purge systems seem likely to earn the Trump administration’s support, too. The Department of Justice reversed its stance on the Ohio system last year, tossing out the Obama administration’s opposition and filing a brief supporting it in the Supreme Court case.

    Last summer, the DOJ also called for detailed voter roll maintenance records from 44 states in a broad and unusual request, spurring speculation that it would push election administrators around the country to aggressively clean up their voter rolls.

    Yes, I’m checking my voter’s registration. I urge anyone who wants to vote do so as well. I wonder what Demotrash is doing along these lines.

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    1. Yes, this ruling is seriously troubling. Republicans love the constitutional right to bear arms, but not the constitutional right to vote. They’re looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. I wish this story had received greater coverage. And it’s also interesting that neither the Republicans or Democrats, I believe, support compulsory voting. I myself don’t have a firm stance on this issue, but when voter participation is so low, I wonder if I/people should change their mind about this.

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