Gaslighting

Excellent article here for those of us faced with loved ones and friends who appear to be living in an alternate universe (especially if they’re lost in Trumpland): Gaslighting

Nothing much to add to this except that I’m currently wondering if we are all being gaslighted over the huge, really huge outrage regarding Trump’s “hot mike” remarks about sexually assaulting women.

Not that the remarks weren’t awful, but where was the gargantuan outrage when…oh, where do I start?  At the moment Trump went up the down escalator?  He said something about Mexicans being rapists, etc., that day.  Yes, he did.  A lot of his supporters are saying he was misquoted or it was taken out of context, which has become their go-to excuse every time Trump says something that people get upset about (lately there’s a new wrinkle: they just claim he never said any such thing at all even though he did so live on TV — gaslighting at its finest!).  Or else they whine something about “political correctness” oppressing them — and then, when  Trump threatens to sue someone who offended him, and/or his followers threaten violence toward anyone who is offended by Trump, it leaves us in the strange situation that Trump and his minions can say whatever they want, but the rest of us can’t.  It’s the new political correctness, I guess, Trump-style.  Welcome the bold new world, where everything is upside-down.

Back to the subject, darlings, I heard that escalator speech.  That’s what he said:  “Mexicans are rapists…”  In spite of the continued attempts at editing the collective memory of that event, the fact remains that that’s what he said.  No gaslighting allowed.

There was outrage at the remark, but it certainly didn’t stop his campaign.  Since then there has been a new outrage almost every week, sometimes every day.  So what’s different about this one?  Why is this any worse than the other 300 or so outrages?

What I really can’t get through my head is the Republican gasps at his misogynous comments.  They’re upset about something he said about womenReally?

(At this point I really must interject with Mitt Romney’s tone-deaf remark, “these are our wives, our daughters..”  Fine if you’re talking to an audience of all men, or of women like the late Phyllis Shufly or whatever her name was, and all men; stupid if you’re talking on the subject of women to everybody, because everybody includes women, who make up more than half the population.  Dummy, go back and read your binders of women or something.)

The party’s entire platform places women in danger in various ways, and Republican lawmakers across the nation continue to find new and improved ways of raising the danger level.  That’s an established fact.  So if they are going to play the outrage card to the hilt this time, over some misogynous remarks Trump made 10 years ago, (and has attempted to excuse by claiming that he’d heard far worse from Bill Clinton during golf outings), there has to be an underlying reason that has nothing to do with women.

Some have guessed that the Koch brothers are attempting to get Trump out of the way before election day so they can have their boy Pence in the oval office.  Sounds plausible.  Or maybe someone in the GOP finally recognized the very real danger of Trump’s Russian entanglements (the news of which came and went in about a week, without any effect whatsoever) and decided this was a good an excuse as any to try to force him out of the race.

Whatever the cause of the outrage, you can bet it has nothing much to do with Trump’s attitude toward women.  Any claim to the contrary is just gaslighting, and I, for one, am getting damned sick and tired of it.

10/8/16 evening update:
it appears I’m on to something with my Pence guess: writing Pence’s name in

The Republicans are stuck with Trump; there’ll be no forcing him out over a (for the Republicans, fake) woman issue.  All they have left is the futile gesture of writing Pence’s name in.  Of course they would never consider voting for an actual woman as a viable alternative to Trump.  Never.  Which proves my point about Republican outrage over this particular issue.

So now I see the future clearly: he’ll just hang around and in a few days issue some fresh outrage, and all this woman bullshit will be forgotten — not just by him but by the rest of the Republicans.  And if anyone dares bring this up in the future…well, you know, he didn’t say that.

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Out of Help

I guess some news magazine, Time, perhaps, has a shocking cover photo of an otherwise-pretty Afghan woman with her nose chopped off.  Yes, they do that in a lot of countries like that, usually on the slightest suspicion of adultery.  Makes their god happy or something.

Some of our native tribes here in the U.S. used to do that, too.  Apparently their god was very happy about that as well.

Fact is, nowadays we have things like Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle — the American Taliban — who wholeheartedly support this abuse of women and would have it return to the U.S. if only they could.  It’s god’s will, you know.  Women get funny that way; I think it must be related to the Stockholm Syndrome.  I remember a quote from Gone With the Wind that went something like “how women clutch the chains that bind them!”  It’s the absolute truth.  I have no doubt that Afghanistan is full of mothers-in-law who wholly approve of slicing off the noses of their daughters-in-law, and probably their own daughters as well.  I had a relative like that, in fact.  She was an absolute bitch to every younger female related to her, yet demanded that we worship her.  It was her misfortune that she did so in the wrong era (mostly the ’60’s and ’70’s when feminism was at its strongest).  Nobody worshiped her…in fact some of us came just short of spitting on her, and she is now in her grave with her abusive husband with “Wife of” carved over her name.  It was her only accomplishment outside of living nearly 100 years.  (It must be true that heaven didn’t want her and hell was afraid she’d take over.)

Here’s another absolute truth: women have been abused in the name of male religions for eons.   We are not going to stop it by staying in Afghanistan; anyway, everyone should know by now that the REAL reason we are there is not to save the women, but to stake a claim on all those natural resources.  Nobody is gonna be fooled by this claim that we’re there to help the women.  We don’t even like women unless they are misogynous beasts themselves.  Look at Palin and Angle.

And so all I have to say to this article is “bullshit.”  Sorry, we cannot help anyone anymore.  We can’t even help ourselves.

Gee. Women have boobs this season.

Even though I am well beyond the age where I actually care, once in a while I bitch about fashion.

Big fashion news in Europe this week is that a very few “fat” models were allowed on the runways.  By “fat” I mean they probably weighed 2/3rds of a normal woman’s weight (with most of the supposedly excess curve-age on these models likely being caused by the weight of plastic boobs).

Right now the reader is assuming that I’m a 2-ton Tessie with an almost visible chip on my shoulder and a very visible half-eaten box of chocolates in my hand.  No, I am not.  I am not and have never been fat.  Throughout most of my life, in fact, I’ve been somewhat underweight, and not through dieting.  Advancing age is modifying that, but only somewhat.

I was, at a younger age, a clothes horse.  Even the stupidest rag looked good on me because I was so skinny.  It wasn’t so for most of my friends, who are women with normal curves.

But after one passes 40, one wearies of the costume party — which is all fashion has been since the late 1960’s.

Not only have we had a parade of ugly Halloween costumes that only the truly very young could wear, since kids tend to be silly anyway — and silly on the young is interpreted as cute — but the ideal body for these icky clothes has been that of a prepubescent 11-year-old self-starvation case who is over 6 feet tall.

For many years this girl (if she existed) came in one or two colors, and she was actually in her mid to late teens, although there were a few furtive attempts to push the age limit even lower.  Some progress has brought the ethnic, racial, and age factors a tiny bit more in line with reality.  But only a tiny bit.  It’s one step forward, two steps back, just like the song says.  Every advance needs to be fought for, and then fought for again.

The advances in using models of more normal weight have been harder to come by, as has a viable excuse not to use them.  The French designers in particular seem to have a problem with the notion that most women have breasts and hips, and a sort of ultra-conservative politically-correct (after more than 40 years, what else can you call it?) fashion cult has built around pinning fabric on skeletons and sending them scowling down the runway.

The excuses are always the same, and they would be hilarious if they weren’t so potentially dangerous: “clothes don’t look good on curvy women,” “the public doesn’t want to see fat models,” etc.

How about trying this on for size: “we don’t know how to design clothes.”   Or this, “we lack any sort of creativity.”  Or even this: “we don’t like women’s bodies.”

I wager the last three are closer to the truth than anything the designers have actually claimed.

Anyway, this season curvy women are somewhat in style again.  But don’t take it for granted — a solid mesh of conservatism only gives way if plucked at repeatedly with a seam ripper.  This advance could pass away in the length of a runway walk, and take years to become the latest gimmick again.  Meantime the gap between actual women and the clothing being designed for them will continue to widen.

I suggest that clothes were never meant to be art, and that perhaps the acceptance of that fact is the beginning of a solution to the problem.  Modern art operates under the misapprehension that there is something new under the sun.  Clothes are just stuff you put on your body because in most places, you have to or else you’ll get arrested.

There are good-looking clothes and there are clothes that look silly.

Halloween only comes once a year.  So does Mardi Gras.

Most people, women included, are not over 6 feet tall, under the age of 20, and as thin as skeletons.

Curvy women and older women are not temporary trends.  They are reality.

Okay, designer, take it from there.  If you do, you’ll find yourself being as original as anyone in your trade can be.  If you don’t, we’ll be stuck with more of the same, only with an “older curvier woman” trend thrown in once every few years along with a slight, temporary increase in black and Asian models.

Enough, people.  It’s gotten old.