Monday, March 19, 2018

Reversing the trend

Sometimes I have a hard time not jumping on current events when I had plans for writing on existing things, but I am just going to mention Andrew McCabe, because there is a good transition in there for getting back to #metoo.

Obviously the firing is petty and spiteful, and I have a lot of thoughts on that because of other things. Obviously, no matter how many times Trump says there is no evidence of collusion, it is no more honest than anything else he says. Also, because of the connections to Comey, and remembering the role he has played, there are some good lessons in here that the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. Those are all good things to remember, and I don't know if it would even be worth that much going over, except that I have seen some very enthusiastic retweets of a gofundme for McCabe.

It turns out there are dozens:

I think the article is helpful anyway because it explains the ramifications a bit more. If you were thinking that it would be weird for a lack of two days to completely wipe out a pension, for example, you would be right, though there are still ramifications that have an impact.

I'm not against McCabe getting his pension. Some of the offers mentioned of giving him a couple of days work for special assignments seem very appropriate. However, this bandwagon of GoFundMe campaigns to try and make it up for him - without him requesting it, and without knowing what the impact is, but such a hurry to rescue - has an interesting aspect. There is such a hurry to side with the white guy in a suit.

What about all the Parks department people to lose jobs, and EPA people and state department people? What about the families separated by ICE? What about the people losing job protections? I mean, I know it's a long list, and if you start trying to help everyone damaged by Trump that would be a long and discouraging task, but GoFundMe's for a guy who has been working steadily and now has name recognition is not the greatest need.

I am thinking of this in relation to a few other things.

One is the well-documented income and wealth gaps that we have with gender and race. Yes, a lot of people will try to explain it as women making different choices that hold them back, or harmful social environments, but all of the corrections for the data still show white men prevailing, and at some point we should be wondering why that is, and if it might not be a firmly cemented structure in place that favors them, which could include deeply rooted desires to help white men and make things right for them in case something does go wrong for them. If it were Ben Carson, for example, would there be so much concern for his pension? I'm not even saying that people would think he deserved it, but would they feel that need to rush to the rescue?

I also see that there is a new documentary coming out on the Rajneeshees. I don't remember a lot about them, but their leader was definitely the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Why, then, was the song "Shut Up Sheela" - against his personal assistant - instead of "Shut Up Sheela"? I'm not saying she was a good person, but when the song came out a lot of things weren't known yet. She was number two, but not number one. Is it easier to direct anger against a woman?

I can imagine an immediate response of "no", and there is always justification for why you don't like someone or they bother you more, but if you don't examine that you might be subject to baser cultural scripts that you don't even recognize and that are not good for yourself or those around you.

So, two more things, back from when #metoo was just getting going. The Golden Globes needed a host who wouldn't embarrass them by making sexist jokes or harassing any of the presenters and they went with Seth Meyers, who did fine by all accounts, but they never appeared to consider hiring a woman. Around that same time someone (I can't find it now) tweeted that clearly men couldn't be trusted to govern, so the only answer was robots. As opposed to women.

Society is constantly reinforcing messages that do not tend to be about equality and respect. We are not going to change that accidentally and unconsciously. It may very well be upsetting to talk about it, especially to discover your own complicity, but it's the price of improvement. There's just no way around that.

Sometimes there may be things we can do to alleviate that. I may do that by having several posts criticizing various celebrities.

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