Saturday, December 29, 2007

Presidential primaries

So here in WA we caucus. Last time I caucused for Kucinich. But now I find out that not only is he a friend of Larry Flynt, but that he supports his misogynist ways. More on the second point below.

As a feminist who is against the exploitation of woman I can no longer support Kucinich. So I guess I will be backing Hillary. I did vote for her for Senator in NY ages ago. Barack scares me. His voting record tells me nothing, and he has not done anything to distinguish himself in any way that's satisfying to me.

It really saddens me about Kucinich endorsing Hustler (article by Jackson Katz *sigh*). No matter how much I agree with the other things that he stands for I cannot support someone who supports a woman hater and rapist.

From the article:

For those of us who cling to the quaint notion that any progressive politics worthy of the name must be anti-sexist by definition, this is truly deflating news. After all, we're in the 21st century. The days when prominent men in the progressive movement would dare to associate this openly with the likes of misogynists like Larry Flynt were supposed to be relegated to the mists of memory, before the modern multicultural women's movement came along. In fact, one of the catalyzing forces in the rise of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s was women's experience of sexism on the left and in the civil rights, anti-poverty and anti-war movements.


Let's be clear about who Flynt is. He's not some run of the mill good ol' boy with political passions and deep pockets. Please spare us the "First Amendment hero" platitudes. On the contrary, Flynt is a wealthy capitalist who for years has been one of the most notoriously sexist figures in American public life. His signature publication, Hustler magazine, has published some of the most misogynist and racist photo layouts and cartoons in the history of mass-distributed porn magazines. He has been accused of incest by his now-grown daughter. He repeatedly dismisses women with the gumption to challenge his raging sexism as "anti-sex bitches" and much worse.

It is willfully naïve for any self-respecting "progressive" to dismiss Flynt's pornography as harmless "adult" entertainment. How can it be considered harmless to consistently portray women and girls in a sexually demeaning and degrading manner? Flynt hasn't built his porn publishing empire in a vacuum. Our society has some of the highest rates of sexual and domestic violence in the world. The numbers are staggering: one in four women will be raped or sexually assaulted. One study showed that one in five teenage girls has been in a physically or sexually abusive relationship. Most women won't even walk alone after dark. Whenever we discuss the effects of pornography -- and regardless of how one feels about people's right to produce or consume it -- anyone with a minimal sense of social responsibility has to examine the relevant context, including where and how it is produced and its relationship to social reality.


Hustler cartoons are also notoriously saturated with images of racism and sexual cruelty. As the media scholar Gail Dines points out, the cartoons can be even more overtly offensive than the photo layouts because they carry a "humor license" and hence avoid critical scrutiny. One result is that men of color -- especially African-American men -- are routinely presented in the most reductive racist stereotype: as brutish rapists of white women. Women of color are caricatured with animal-like qualities -- or as non-hygienic slobs. One characteristic cartoon depicts a school science fair. A white boy proudly stands in front of his project, next to a big sign that reads: "ant farm." Next to him is a large Black girl, naked from the waist down; under her the caption reads: "crab farm."

*sigh* I REALLY liked Kucinich. I am really disappointed. I, like Jackson Katz and many of my feminist friends, took his very progressive politics to mean that he supported the equality of women.

Silly, silly me. I spent the years previous to my school as a traveling activist in anarchist circles. The, what many people call "manarchists," are misogynist, racist assholes, which is ridiculous because if you are advocating anarchism, as I understand it, you are advocating equality and freedom of all people, regardless of anything like race or gender. Why am I surprised? Dammit. I've been able to escape this heartbreak for the past few years by concentrating solely on my schooling. That and being on disability and having 3 cats makes it *somewhat* difficult to just hop on a train and go wherever I want whenever there's a campaign I want to work on. I don't miss it partially because I was so burned out by fighting the manarchists and the fact that almost all my sexual assaults have been by my 'fellow activists.'



Elaine Vigneault said...

Based on this news I can understand you not wanting to support Kucinich. But I can't see how that suddenly makes Hillary the best option.

lost clown said...

Well considering all the options she has the closest views that I do on the major topics. She's not a perfect fit, but her and Barack are the closest and he just makes me nervous.

After the caucuses I'll probably vote 3rd party again, but during the caucuses I should pick someone as WA makes you register Democrat or Republican. But who knows, the debates will give me a better idea. It's still a ways away.

Rachel said...

Hi, first-time commenter here. I'm also a radical feminist and a mathematician in training.

I just had to comment on this because I relate to the last line SO MUCH. Unfortunately there are one or two such people in my immediate family.

(By the way, my profile isn't visible, but my blog is here.)

Johannah Brown said...

What a huge, huge disappointment.

smg said...

How can someone complaining about a white male dominated capitalist society even entertain the idea of supporting any major party candidates?

by the way, elaine's husband writes good poker books. . .

lost clown said...

Because the people I *do* vote for will never get elected and I don't live with my head up my ass.

rychousmama said...

Did you see the stupid-ass comments people left for that Katz article? How disconnected are these people from reality? Predictably, they went off on their "but it's free speech" pseudo-liberal rants when in the article Katz explicitly says something to the effect of "don't give me the First Amendment argument...let's remember who Larry Flynt is..."
Jesus Mary and Joseph I wish these men would just masturbate themselves to death already.