“Ordinary,” said Aunt Lydia, “is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time, it will. It will become ordinary.” (Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale)
In 1984, George Orwell warned us about Big Brother, the three-minute hate, and why we were always at war with Eurasia.
Sinclair Lewis, who wrote It Can’t Happen Here, warned us ,“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 warned us about a bleak future where libraries were outlawed and the firemen burned books.
The Bible warned us about “false prophets”.
And in The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood warned about a brutal theocracy overthrowing the United States government. Atwood’s prophetic novel was marketed as “science-fiction,” but other people saw it as an instruction manual, proving once again that truth is scarier than fiction.
So what happens when the villains of The Handmaid’s Tale get appointed to the Supreme Court?
Bad things happen, that’s what. Every woman saw the iceberg straight ahead a month ago when Justice Alito’s opinion was leaked. It made no difference.
“The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you have been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil.”
TV news host and political commentator Rachel Maddow understands the terrible implications of the Pandora’s Box the Supreme Court wants to open: Once it’s opened, it will be impossible to close it again.
Maddow on leaked SCOTUS opinion: ‘We’re on the precipice of becoming a very different country.’
After nearly 50 years of settled law, the Supreme Court has struck down the historic 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade. During her MSNBC show after the draft was leaked, a stunned Maddow shared her initial thoughts and concerns about the decision being overturned.
“It is shocking both in substance and it is also shocking in terms of what it means about the court, and what it means about the stakes here that someone is willing to do this,” Maddow said.
Roe v. Wade guaranteed constitutional protections of abortion rights. However, the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and obtained by Politico overturned the landmark case as well as the subsequent 1992 decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed a woman’s right to choose.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
With 21 states reportedly planning to ban abortion if Roe is in fact overturned, and 13 with “trigger laws” that go into effect immediately when that happens, women across the country may find they have lost the right to choose how or when they experience pregnancy.
“This draft opinion saying that the Supreme Court is about to clear the way just for that, means that we’re on the precipice of becoming a very different country,” Maddow said. “And our daughters and granddaughters are living in a very different world.”
I wish the loud-mouthed hypocrites who are having a public meltdown over the leak from the Supreme Court would stop pretending that they give a Goddamn about the women and children in America.
We know they don’t, because actions speak louder than words. As awful as the toxic rhetoric of the American Taliban has been, their actions have been much, much worse.
Religious extremism is a disease, and it’s a hate-fueled pandemic that’s spreading across the country. If Jesus came back waving a rainbow flag, they’d crucify him again. It was “pro-life” activists who murdered Dr. George Tiller while he was in church. Do you remember Eric Rudolph?
This is who they are, and this is what they do.
“Better never means better for everyone. It always means worse, for some.” (The Handmaid’s Tale)
In Texas, there is a $10,000 bounty available to anyone who reports a woman suspected of terminating her pregnancy.
At least 11 states — including Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas — have passed laws that would ban abortions if the pregnancies were conceived by rape or incest.
Republican legislators in Louisiana are proposing a bill that would classify abortion as homicide.
In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee signed a bill that increases criminal penalties for anyone distributing abortion medication through the mail.
And how long will it be before these lunatics create a new Fugitive Slave Act that specifically targets pregnant women? Red State America won’t be building walls to keep immigrants out. Walls will be erected to keep women in.
“Prosecutors really have no compunction about throwing people in jail for their reproductive outcomes,” said Farah Diaz-Tello, senior counsel and legal director of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, a group that helps people who face criminal charges related to abortion. “Even though Roe has not been full protection, it is one of the things that sort of stands between people and a much more massive scale of criminalization.”
This is the Brave New World that every woman in the United States will be condemned to live in, once the Supreme Court finally strikes down Roe v. Wade. But they aren’t done yet; outlawing abortion in America is only the beginning.
“There is more than one kind of freedom,” said Aunt Lydia. “Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.”
Sifting through Justice Alito’s verbiage, we find his expressed concern that “the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life and available to be adopted has become virtually nonexistent.”
Maya Angelou warned us: when someone shows you who they are, believe them, and it was absolutely horrifying to see that Alito was unable to perceive women as nothing more than an odd species of livestock.
Justice Alito envisions a utopia where these unruly mobs of uppity women would be prettier if they just smiled more often, went back into the kitchen, and stayed pregnant.
He isn’t the only man who shares this hallucination.
On the May 11 edition of Fox News’ The Big Story, host John Gibson warned his viewers about the growing demographic crisis facing white people in the United States: “By far, the greatest number [of children under five] are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. To put it bluntly, we need more babies.”
J.D. Vance, campaigning for a Senate seat in Ohio, said, “When you go to the polls in this country as a parent, you should have more power, you should have more of an ability to speak your voice in our democratic republic, than people who don’t have kids.” Vance added, “Let’s face the consequences and the reality; if you don’t have as much of an investment in the future of this country, maybe you shouldn’t get nearly the same voice.”
What’s even more depressing is seeing conservative white women joining the chorus and becoming enthusiastic Aunt Lydias who are enabling this madness. On Tucker Carlson’s talk show, Rebeccah Heinrichs of the Hudson Institute said the growing “Fertility Crisis” in America is the Left’s “cultural dogma” that brainwashes young women to “monetize their talents and abilities.”
Heinrichs then advised young women to “Get married and have children, to continue to do good, continue to work, continue work — monetized or not — but to the extent it works for your family. And that’s where you going to find great happiness and you’re going to have a healthier society if you do that.”
Ms. Heinrichs is either deluded or a liar. How in hell are you going to have a “healthier society” for young women when the Christofascists are dismantling the guardrails?
Priscilla Smith, lecturer on law and reproductive justice at Yale Law School can see the bloody handwriting on the wall:
“If the draft becomes the real opinion, all of those issues — contraception, consensual sex and marriage — certainly are all at risk,” said Smith. “They have definitely left the door wide open.”
“There is a whole wing of this group that is opposed to abortion who only support sexual intercourse when it is within the context of marriage and when it is designed to procreate. The use of contraception gets in the way of that.”
Nationally, anti-abortion advocates are “setting the stage not just for a reversal of protections for abortion, but also for protection for the right to fetal life — the fetus being a person with a right to life guaranteed under the constitution,” Smith said.
“That’s where we’re going if things don’t change.”
And if things don’t change, every woman in America will inevitably be backed into a corner where the only choices available will either be having babies for the rest of their lives, going to jail for the “crime” of having a miscarriage, or dying alone in a motel room because of a self-induced abortion.
For women, it will be a never-ending nightmare. For men, it will be a return to the Good Old Days; women are acceptable collateral damage. These men don’t care, and going backwards is who they are and what they do.
The end of safe, legal and accessible abortions is only the beginning. It Can’t Happen Here, until it does. And when it does, it’s too late.
In an essay in The Atlantic, Margaret Atwood recognizes Justice Alito’s endgame:
The Alito opinion purports to be based on America’s Constitution. But it relies on English jurisprudence from the 17th century, a time when a belief in witchcraft caused the death of many innocent people. The Salem witchcraft trials were trials — they had judges and juries — but they accepted “spectral evidence,” in the belief that a witch could send her double, or specter, out into the world to do mischief. Thus, if you were sound asleep in bed, with many witnesses, but someone reported you supposedly doing sinister things to a cow several miles away, you were guilty of witchcraft. You had no way of proving otherwise.
Similarly, it will be very difficult to disprove a false accusation of abortion. The mere fact of a miscarriage, or a claim by a disgruntled former partner, will easily brand you a murderer. Revenge and spite charges will proliferate, as did arraignments for witchcraft 500 years ago.
In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood tried to warn us. It’s not Atwood’s fault that nobody listened.
“You are a transitional generation,” said Aunt Lydia. “It is the hardest for you. We know the sacrifices you are being expected to make. It is hard when men revile you. For the ones who come after you, it will be easier. They will accept their duties with willing hearts.” She did not say: Because they will have no memories, of any other way. She said: Because they won’t want things they can’t have.
Over a month ago, everybody knew what the Supreme Court was going to do. They made it official yesterday.
Welcome to the new Republic of Gilead, everybody. God Bless America.
Good post. Thanks
Fuck the idea we have to take this.
Fuck the actual Fuckers who enabled this.
And power to those who will fight against it.
Yup. All of this.
I suppose you could say that the only ‘good’ thing to come out of this is clarity.
The organised Right has made it clear; horribly, eye-meltingly clear, that they intend to use their usurped power radically, violently and unapologetically, to change the United States of America into another country entirely.
So those are the stakes. What the people they’ve declared non-citizens and chattels of the new White Free State they’re creating choose to do about it will decide whether or not the organised Right succeeds.
I hope you all make the right decision and send those bastards straight to a suitable hell.
Upper middle class white collar workers should have thought better before moving to TX and other red states. Are the tax bennies worth it????
Meanwhile, in upstate NY:
New Breed Leader
And It’s only going to get worse. Because now the christofascists are saying “What can we get our SCOTUS to get rid of next? Oh I know! SOCIAL SECURITY! MEDICARE! let’s end ALL OF IT!”
I can only hope our diversity will turn things around. Companies not having headquarters in red states. It’s dark times. The whole thing is unworkable. My state’s Republican idiots now set for special session to work out how to regulate and control women’s bodies and minds, and actions.
The number of alleged progressives on my FB feed blaming the Democrats has me turning purple with rage. I’m so exhausted. Thank you to @Fair Economist; I totally cut and pasted your timeline of all the times the Democrats actually couldn’t “codify” Roe v Wade onto my own page.
Sinclair Lewis didn’t say that, by the way. He’d have agreed, of course, but he didn’t say it. He said similar things, but no one knows where that actual phrase came from, although there was a minister guy who probably came closest:
The book I read about the Salem Witch Trials, at 400+ pages, included transcripts of each trial. It was shocking to see how much was repeated verbatim in each trial. The girls making the accusations couldn’t be bothered to create different tales and the judge/jury couldn’t be bothered to wonder at the oddity of the uniformity. There is precedent for where this country is heading.
In the future, the Senate will need to carefully and thoroughly study the nominee’s entire record and base their support on that record, not on the nominee’s assurances of judicial impartiality (or much of anything else). Trust these assholes no further than you can throw them. Period.
You laid it all out very cogently, Thin Black Duke.
Posted by a friend.
A white woman’s guide to not being completely insensitive in the wake of Roe being overturned
As you fight for your rights, you must recognize the racism, transphobia, etc. that is also at work. You aren’t free until everyone is free. Also, you might not have voted for Donald Trump, but a lot of white women did and y’all have to reckon with that bull crap.
@New Breed Leader:
As someone commented over at TPM (said comment was turned into a front-page story/column): they’re coming for the New Deal, meaning they’re going to remove all the protections-by/from-the-government that sprang out in the New Deal and after.
And if they can take away other rights by destroying Obergefell, Lawrence, Griswold, Brown, Loving (yeah, fuck you Clarence for “forgetting” that one, you lying/disingenuous piece of shit) et al., so much the better (as far as they’re concerned
@MisterDancer: time to destroy them everywhere – take to the streets, block commerce, sue them in court for damages, tie everything up and boycott companies – if that doesn’t work, arm up…
@SFAW: we don’t have to allow this court in its current form to exist..,
I am the graduate (1981) of a small Midwestern Catholic University where the anti abortion rhetoric was always ratcheted to an 11. It has been my contention since that time that this was never really just about abortion but rather, and more disgustingly, about the ability of women to access contraceptives. I heard, on numerous occasions, verbiage that resembled alito’s statement on the paucity of babies available for adoption. However in the late 70’s the focus of those statements came down to tithing and the necessity of tithing to keep the church afloat. Contraceptive access cuts into that potential tithing power so contraception had to go and would be replaced by nonsense like natural family planning. I had hoped that I would not live to see the removal of Roe nor the first full steps towards Gilead….but here I am. We now live in a country where a concealed weapon has more constitutional rights than a woman.
@raven: Fuck that bullshit.
@raven: We have seen 1 through 5 repeatedly on this blog and not just yesterday. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow.
So I have several previously politically disengaged young people in my life asking for concrete steps of what they can do to become more active due to this ruling. That’s good news. I’m holding a council of war/dinner party for them tomorrow evening to lay out options. I plan to cover a few topics: 1) reduction of risk through highly effective contraception, though that’s not an option for everyone and doesn’t always work, and talking to youth who produce sperm about what the stakes are for being irresponsible about condoms and withdrawal as a combination option 2) engagement in voter registration and outreach to peers on social media, 3) sharing information about abortion pills, how to get them, and the fact that medical staff can’t know they took them 4) getting loud through disruption, with attention to legal/citizenship status, 5) strategic voting and, for those who have means, donations. What else should I cover?
@schrodingers_cat: The truth? There is a scrap or two in there, but most of it is self-righteous bullshit.
@Betty Cracker: I report, you decide.
The people who complain about having to vote in every election are advocating for a revolution and/or general strike. What a joke.
@Betty Cracker: It does wear one down to hear, over and over and over, that as a white woman, it is all our fault and no one else’s, while white men are continually let off the hook. It’s “boys will be boys” taken to the extreme.
White women frequently suck but let’s not kid ourselves who the biggest problem is. It’s white men. Who are happy to call white women Karens like they own the term and tell us it’s our fault Trump was elected because 53% of us voted for him. No one ever discusses how many white men voted for Trump because boys will be boys.
A union organising drive in women dominated industries in red states would pay long term dividends at every level. I’ll bet most working class women in those states don’t vote and don’t know what is going to happen to them with the SCt decision. Organising around wages and equally importantly, rights and conditions at work is a doorway into organising around reproductive rights issues, this time tethered to immediate needs that can’t be ‘imagined’ away. It would also lay the basis for gotv drives based again, on immediate material needs.
The crap about the ‘white working class’ US liberals spout is truly pathetic. From what I can read and divine, the average maga/rethug is a non college educated bourgeois, think real estate agent, used car salesperson or local franchiser of a global company.
There is a real need of deep local organising in key states and I don’t see a couple of electoral cycles fixing that.
@Argiope: keep supplies of plan b, do not use tech to track your cycles… get vpns to protect online searches.. align w groups that help fund abortion for young and vulnerable ppl. And let’s all take a play from the Republican fascist a-holes. Harass sort of peacefully these mother fuckers where ever they r
@raven: Nothing like using this opportunity to settle scores with people — women! — who could be part of your coalition to help overturn this.
Fuck this shit. Why don’t we complain about all the morons and incendiary social media screamers and wokesters this writer knows who could not be bothered to vote? No, because it wouldn’t be helpful? Well, all right.
@Betty Cracker: Is it not the truth that the Democrats have not won the white vote (men and women) since the passage of the Civil Rights act?
White women don’t like that fact being brought up.
Their defensive response is # not all white women.
You can go and count the number of times leaving the country has been mentioned yesterday in the comments.
Lewis never said the fascism quote, although he said similar things, as did his (once) wife, Dorothy Thompson.
Lewis did say, “I love America, but I don’t like it”. At least according to his (not very generous) biographers.
@schrodingers_cat: OK. Supreme Court issues a ridiculous decision.
I know! Let’s scream at white women on a blog. Many of whom we “know,” and are devastated by this. Because “truth.”
Let’s tear women/people who are our allies apart and get them to STFU. At a time when every opponent’s voice should be raised.
Fuck that fucking shit. It’s not helpful.
Fuck this circular firing squad.
Speaking of boycotts, don’t forget the Lysistrata option. You want babies? Hmm.
Is leaving one’s country of origin when political conditions become intolerable a bad thing?
@schrodingers_cat: That has such pain, coming from you, who left your own country. And feels qualified to lecture us, who were raised here and feel such horror and despair about where our country is headed. Despite our hard work and always voting and speaking up. Despite knowing that we are actually in the majority, if you don’t micro-dice and slice us, as you want to do today.
Fuck your santicmonious shit. I mean it. You can be insufferable. I believe you mentioned that your relatives sometimes find you to be so? Well, it’s not limited to them.
Maybe today would be a good day to lay off attacking your putative allies, Ms. Cat? Or that wouldn’t be satisfying enough for you? Oh well.
@germy shoemangler: Thank you.
Hypocrite wrapping herself in an American flag is still a hypocrite.
Sometimes it is better to be kind.
I can’t tell whether DougJ is breaking character or not:
@Elizabelle: I didn’t target you or anyone personally. If it doesn’t apply to you let it fly.
If you don’t accept the truth you can’t change it.
94% black women voted for Hillary
while less than 50% white women voted for Hillary.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@germy shoemangler: Good thread. Thanks. I retweeted
@schrodingers_cat: I remain unsure what I, as a white woman, am supposed to do about other white women who support fascist ideals. With one exception, I’m not related to them. I don’t have any sway over them. What are we, a singular group responsible for each other’s terrible values and behavior? I get that I personally benefit from white privilege on a daily basis, and I’m working to undermine that. Beyond those actions, I am not sure what I can do about assholes who happen to share my race and gender but with whom I have little else in common other than skin privilege and gender presentation. To be clear, I’m not asking you to answer this question—it’s not your job. Overcoming racism is my job more than it is yours, and you weren’t put here or in any other public space to educate me. Educating myself is my job. I am however expressing some frustration with the idea that these white Republican women are somehow my people to come and get. I have no power there that I’m not already exercising. It gets frustrating to hear that somehow I’m supposed to have a magic way to fix them that I do not in fact have, as far as I can tell.
‘@ Thin Black Duke: thank you for writing such a well reasoned blogpost. I am so glad to see you writing here, and I hope we hear more from you. With highlighting! It’s useful as the coffee is brewing.
I am sorry it went off the rails so quickly in the comments.
@Elizabelle: You are not the first one to call me nasty names on this blog. Extra points for calling me an outsider.
David ☘The Establishment☘ Koch
@Nicole: Democrats codified voting rights and the Roberts court overturned them.
Democrats codified campaign finance reform and the Roberts court overturned it.
Dems codified laws regulating guns and this court overturned them.
Following this pattern, if Dems had somehow found 60 votes to codify reproduction rights this court would have overturned them.
Codifying doesn’t save a policy from a right wing activist court.
No one should be scolding anyone.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Yesterday I found myself thinking that conservatives had blundered with their overreach. That we’ll see a blue wave for the midterms and 2024. But he makes a good point about their voter suppression efforts. I don’t know. I’m still hopeful we can prove the pundits wrong, the pundits who predict republican victories everywhere.
Then again I never dreamed TFG would “win” his election in ’16.
@Ksmiami: Thanks for these useful additions! Anyone else, she asked hopefully, trying to re-rail the thread?
@schrodingers_cat: And this blog is filled with women who are devastated and you’re up there lecturing us?
You are clueless sometimes. Artistically talented, and frequently have a lot of interesting comments, but when you do obtuse and clueless, look out world.
This might not be the day, Ms. Cat. Do you think??
@schrodingers_cat: I’ll put it in practical terms: telling a crucial bloc in your voting coalition, a bloc that has just been knee-capped by religious fanatics on the SCOTUS, to sit down and shut up is not smart.
The Thin Black Duke
Let’s see what happens in November. White women have the power to stop this shit. If the voting goes down the way it’s been going, then we’ll know won’t we? Until then, don’t get mad at POC speaking inconvenient truths.
@Betty: I mentioned this yesterday in a FB thread. Haven’t checked back for any responses.
@David ☘The Establishment☘ Koch:
This is the problem in a nutshell. We need to vote in such numbers in coming elections that something can be done to loosen the stranglehold of the Supreme Court on our country’s policies. They have overreached and need to be taken down a few notches.
@schrodingers_cat: I find it pretty shitty when these opinions are offered by men.
But even if they weren’t, they’re still shitty. What’s the goal? Don’t we want to convince people to join our side? Shitting on people in service of our own prejudices helps no one except the bad guys. And yes, that applies even to those that are loosely justified by facts.
@debbie: I agree that scolding is unhelpful and tears down coalitions. I also see a place for a *productive* discussion about how anti-racism work is critical to our success on reproductive rights for all. As a friend once said of these circular firing squads, “I’d be happy to hold your hand if you’d be willing to quit slapping it away.” It’s not white tears to have an honest discussion about the extent to which white women have power or control or even influence over others in their demographic. We are in a space where political identity has become a sharp divider within those demographic groups, profoundly limiting influence. It’s not that I’m unwilling to do all that I can to get white women on board with an antiracist agenda. It’s that my power is much more limited in that regard than the writer of raven’s piece seems to think it is—so that’s why it’s so very counterproductive.
@David ☘The Establishment☘ Koch: Dude, I don’t disagree with you, ergo why “codifying” was in quotes. I was relating the bullshit crap on my FB page from people I know, here in blue blue blue NYC blaming Democrats for yesterday. I doubt they even know what “codify” means, but they saw it somewhere and like parrots are blinding repeating it. And then in November will fail to show up to vote. Ergo why I’m purple today. Not purple politically. Purple with rage.
I’m also pretty pissed at the number of white men I see virtue signalling on my FB. One of them did one of those posts, I replied, a “Democrats are to blame too” white dude showed up, I unleashed a flamethrower and the white guy who put up his virtual signally post promptly took it down because ultimately people fighting on his FB page makes him more uncomfortable than women dying.
This is so spot-on and so agonizing. When I was in high school and college in the 1960s, I remember the abject terror of getting pregnant and how forced childbirth ruined the lives of some friends. (I was too much of a social misfit to have to worry then, and “the pill” came out when I was married.) I began rereading Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here when Dubya was running the first time, and my disquieting fear then has been amplified many times over since. We must remember that this new wave of repression isn’t limited to abortion; as SFAW mentions, they’re coming for all our freedoms. If I weren’t an atheist afraid of being forced into a theocracy, I’d say “God help us all.”
Money did this. Buckley v. Valleo in 1976, and Citizens United a generation later put it on steroids.
Big money drives polarization, drives out actual discussion. Big money behind rightwing media and grooming — yes, grooming — far right jurists to be on the Supreme Court.
Money always thinks it can control the evils it unleashes. History says: no. Look to me for many examples.
@The Thin Black Duke:
A person can state a truth, and then a person can use that truth to beat others over their heads. Which would be more productive and work to strengthen what will be a very necessary coalition?
@Elizabelle: @Betty Cracker:
Thank you both for the sanity injection.
Well, except for the freedom to impose one’s “superior” will on the less powerful/fortunate, and the freedom to own other people.
@The Thin Black Duke:
Just saw you added that last sentence. OK. Today is a good day to stay off the internets. And off your very good thread.
I will leave it to better, more authentic people. Ciao!
If only. Of course, those “freedoms” they’ll arrogate to only themselves.
I can’t believe it. Less that 24 hours after the destruction of a constitutional right, and lecturing and hectoring people commences, based on the political views of a group of people(white women who vote republican), who aren’t even a majority of that cohort (white women).
Why don’t you find the people who don’t/can’t vote, and organise them?
Lecturing and hectoring people you don’t like in these circumstances seems to be less than optimal.
Christ the US liberal left is hopeless.
Hard to tell reading the thread, but is this in LA?
@Elizabelle: I have a real problem with the “don’t cry” nonsense. I can buy it if the tears are a result of being called on your own shit.
But when you’ve genuinely lost something — like a fucking fundamental right — being told not to cry is just a flavor of the same misogynist bullshit that has always been uncomfortable with women’s emotions. Implying that that is “white woman tears” is really just covering up misogyny and trying to drive women out of public spaces.
@Elizabelle: I will also note that you didn’t call anyone an outsider, and that your critic is lying. Not the first time.
Yes, Los Angeles
Incidentally, Margaret Atwood, who wrote The Handmaid’s Tale.
Is a white woman. Canadian though. By accident of birth. Born in Ottawa, Ontario.
So she’s not like us white women from south of her border. She is REAL.
But she is a white woman. Is this really the voice you want to be listening to?
So as one of those people from the thread yesterday who was talking seriously about relocation, I’m still not repentant at doing my utmost as a parent to rescue my child from the coming dystopia. I can fully acknowledge my privilege in having options to do so. But I still have a 5 year old black daughter to raise, and I won’t balk at trying to protect her first. I can still organize, vote and donate while doing so. And cry in private.
Heading to Portugal tonight and hoping to come back with a realistic game plan.
As I noted yesterday, I cannot stand the demand for marginalized people to also do the work of un-marginalizing themselves. WHITE DUDES should be doing this work w/r/t abortion. Ask the men in your life what they’ve done to ensure access to safe, legal, convenient, dignified abortions.
@mali muso: Raising thoughtful, empathetic, enlightened children in safety is also an act of political warfare.
I will note that we rarely cast quality parenting — which has long been socially coded as the domain of women/mothers — as a heroic political act. Once again, disregarding the contributions of women to society.
@debbie: Googled BHCourier (in the thread), and Beverly Hills Courier…so maybe L.A.? I couldn’t tell from the twitter thread though, same as you.
I am not criticizing individuals, clearly most people here are Democrats and voted for Hillary. However as a demographic group white women have voted for Rs otherwise they wouldn’t have a stranglehold on power.
White women are also the key to getting out of this mess. Because though as a group they vote R it is by a far lesser margin than white men. And no one can reach them more effectively than fellow white women.
My 2 cents FWIW.
@JR: I am not a man.
top of the thread:
This is a crisis. And we need all hands on deck, and will for a long-assed time.
You can decide if this is the time to have the fight, the throw-down, that people like Loude, hooks, and so many other Women have been trying to say, for DECADES. Not a lot of front-page posts on this topic here — and yes, that was a concern prior to me accepting Front Pager status.
I mean, this is the stuff I was saying on here about the fact that Roe was already dead letter for too many Women of Color, back when SB8 was passed. It’s hard to discuss, to hear, to understand, and as frustrated as I have been about that — I also try to get it.
But I didn’t say it, yesterday. I don’t think this is the time. But I’m also not the person who controls any of you, here.
This schadenfreude-y resentment porn probably feels incredibly satisfying to spit out at someone you deem to be “privileged” who is suddenly experiencing things that marginalized people have suffered through for years. Great. Have at it. But that’s just emotional junk food. Empty calories of bitterness that do nothing except push potential allies apart. I would not dare to suggest that the bitterness and the genuine pain that underlies it is unearned, but that is wholly separate from suggesting that expelling all of it at people who are in a basic sense not the bad guys is self defeating. From a political perspective this situation absolutely creates an opportunity to reach a much larger percentage of suburban women who were essentially normies. That means welcoming as many of them as possible to the big blue tent and encouraging them to stay. The right wing will try to keep them distracted with the usual moral panic de jour so this is a critical time to nurture alliances. To quote the inimitable Ms. O’Conner “fight the real enemy.”
The Thin Black Duke
As I said, let’s see what happens in November. Turnout has always been the problem, and what I’m trying to figure out is why do women who know what is at stake don’t show up at the polls or either vote for Republicans or Jill Stein. Is this really that controversial a question?
The Thin Black Duke
@schrodingers_cat: Thank you.
Yeah, I know. That was sorta my (probably not obvious) point.
‘@Suzanne: Another excellent point. Are men just irredeemably irresponsible, as pointed out upthread, and therefore never on the hook for anything? We need clear messaging to male allies: without condoms plus withdrawal, in a red state where pregnancy can now cause catastrophic consequences, it’s on y’all, too. Your responsibility to do everything possible to prevent pregnancy for your partner.
I guess I’m sorry I posted it. It was on a very progressive white female friend of mine’s blog and I thought it was interesting.
@Betty Cracker: I am not asking anyone to shut up just for some introspection as to how we got here.
Had they spent more time planning, J6 would have become Day One of the Gilead Era. [OK, that’s a little hyperbolic. But not as much as it would be in a rational America.]
@Argiope: we need to bombard the media w letters expressing outrage as well.
additionally, start boycotting the fake pregnancy centers in blue areas. You’re allowed.
What many white women — including me — will tell you is that it is a mistake to consider this cohort a cohesive cohort at all. It is collapsing the identity of socioeconomic class/educational attainment out of the analysis, and that has proven to be a major identity factor in the last decade. In short, white women who go to college behave and vote and live entirely differently than white women who do not go to college, and there is far less mixing of those groups than one might think. (I will note that I personally know probably 10 or fewer white women who did not go to college, and every one of them votes Democratic and is pro-choice.) So the idea that we can “come get them” is not really accurate. I will note that a lot of white people experience other identity factors as more salient in their lives than race. For fun, look up how college-educated white women vs non-college-educated voted in 2016 and 2020.
Again, I will also note that this issue is really for MEN to clean up.
‘@Elizabelle didn’t call me an outsider in so many words but she implied it. Coming from another country how dare I even question those who were raised here.
Suzanne has called me liar before. When I pointed out the inconsistencies in her argument to her tirade against how foreign born students are taking over her profession by monopolizing admissions to masters’ degrees in architecture colleges.
People can do whatever they want. Leave, stay, vote, don’t vote, fight, don’t fight.
I have had enough Balloon Juice for today. I have errands to run and food to cook
@schrodingers_cat: I believe you when you tell me that. Please believe me when I tell you that polemics such as the one shared at #11 read as “shut up” to lots of folks who are hurting today.
@The Thin Black Duke:
I’d like to believe that I could answer this, being a white woman and all. But unfortunately, I cannot. I honestly don’t know any fellow white women who are aware of the stakes who do that. I am as puzzled and disgusted by those who do as anyone else. They are like aliens to me.
@raven: No need to be sorry, IMO. The author meant to be provocative, and mission accomplished!
In that case it will never happen because the status quo suits them.
@Betty Cracker: Fair enough.
I’ll admit that my first thoughts have been on me and mine. I’m glad my daughter had a hysterectomy to deal with endometriosis; she won’t be forced to bear anyone’s spawn against her will.
My two pregnancies were difficult and painful. I had terrible migraines, which amplified depression that became frightening, post-partum. I feared harming my new infant.
Over and over, I would tell anyone who cared, that I would NEVER demand another person to carry a pregnancy against their will. So, knowing that this will now force some to endure this, and worse, is deeply upsetting to me.
I know there are so many without the resources I had. It is horrifying to imagine the dire circumstances they must endure, and I feel some of the same helplessness that I did with my own pregnancies.
There’s lots of strong feelings about all this. Maybe I need to fuck my feelings, but it is the fuel I have.
The Thin Black Duke Good post, really well stated as always, thanks
@New Breed Leader:
I’m sure you’re right but if they actually do it, once their base ( proof that nominative determinisim is a thing) wonders where all their gubmint money, to which they’re entitled dammit! has gone, they can forget about chalk on sidewalks, they won’t be safe inside NORAD under Cheyenne Mountain.
A lot of posters have used the example of the fall of the Weimar Republic to Nazis in the early 30s.
A more helpful section from Weimars history may be the Kapp Putsch of 1920*. In short a collection of right wing authoritarians seized the centers of govt, announced they were now the govt and took control of Berlin. The military mostly remained neutral ( The German military like so many others was always ready to crush left wing uprisings** but insisted on Simon pure ‘neutrality’ against right wing insurrection). In response there was a general strike which brought the country to a standstill, no gas, power, water etc. The coup collapsed within days without the need for armed resistance.
** eg The Spartacists & Rosa Luxemburg in 1919 or The Bavarian Soviet Republic 1918-19
O. Felix Culpa
I wish I knew how to reach RW white women. I’ve tried facts. Didn’t work. I tried logic. Didn’t work. I tried morality. Didn’t work. I tried Scripture. Didn’t work. I tried appealing to their “better nature.” Didn’t work. During the family separation period, I tried “for the sake of the children.” Didn’t work.
I don’t know what else to do. Any suggestions?
ETA: As you know, I’ve worked diligently on Democratic voter turnout. But if the call is to reach out to RW white women, I fear it is a lost cause, until they personally feel the effect of these changes.
@schrodingers_cat: You’re a liar and you should feel called out. You called me a bigot, deliberately misquoted me, and you did the same to Elizabelle in this thread.
You’re also really shitty in your racial analysis. I remember how you said that black people in Pennsylvania love Conor Lamb. LMAO.
@O. Felix Culpa: Keep the channels open and talk about the things they care about and subtly point out the RWNJs are harming what they care about.
It only works with folks you are close to. Takes a long time. I have tried it with my parents with varying degrees of success.
(RWNJs in this case were the BJP)
@O. Felix Culpa: most of those women are irredeemably stupid, religious, greedy or some combination of all three – (believe me, I know some) – better to spend our efforts registering college age/educated women and more POCs and flush Republicans from every office we can
@raven: wrong IMO.
I really am not complicit. I have known the racism was there for a long long time and it factored into as much as I could think of. I always voted with that in mind etc. it pisses me off to be blamed for stuff I didn’t do and tried to persuade others to help. The fact it is worse for others than me, does not mean they get to blame me for it. Do they think they are really to blame for any crime a minority of the same ethnic type does? Well I am not to blame for the racist blind white woman who did what I knew was wrong. People are their own actions, not their tribe.
Public crying is good. It is strategic right now. It helps motivate especially the young pampered who haven’t yet realized deep thoughts or observation. We need to do a lot of it in the next few years. This is not the time for stoic unemotional styles. I have no ability to do it myself as I am actually a natural stoic, but as an observer I have to say it works better politically to be theatrical.
This is going to sound cold but when women die because of this, it needs to be publicized over and over. Part of my outrage is pre rage. I know this law is murders to come. Make them pay.
I am not moving or leaving. I think that talk is foolish. The US influences the whole world. If we go repressive it’s going to undo a lot of the rest of the world. There is no where that would work. Plus I just can’t. This is my land. These orcs are the ones I am going to drive off.
Women of color can teach us much. This particular opinion I choose to not follow.
O. Felix Culpa
To be honest, I cut off those connections because they started a coordinated cyberbullying campaign against me. “Dialogue” is not possible under those conditions.
I wish there were a way to reach them, but they have proven themselves to be vicious and hateful, even to people they actually know and who were childhood friends. (I’ll add that other liberal high school classmates, including men, have experienced the same thing, to the extent of not going to reunions for fear of gun violence from this crowd.)
There are more fruitful sources of getting voter support, such as young people. That’s where I’ve put my energy.
@schrodingers_cat: people are responsible for their own actions not their tribe.
Not that you are Christian but one of the biggest problems I have with the Bible is the inherited guilt bullshit. I consider that immoral. It certainly not in a modern court system.
@O. Felix Culpa:
Yes, how do we win the hearts and minds of people who have neither hearts nor minds?
There are disaffected progressive young people who are more reachable than the “He can grab MY pussy” t-shirt wearers, suburban religious fanatics and racists
Yes thank you.
I don’t grok the seething hatred on the liberal side for some of the Bernie people. A lot of the Bernie-or-bust people are strategically dumb, but I’ve never met a single Bernie fan who wasn’t strongly pro-choice. Many of them tragically underestimated how precarious Roe was, but they weren’t alone in that.
Fuck. The enemy is the GOP, not our left flank.
@Suzanne: That is your opinion. I countered your statement with facts. You have responded with name-calling ever since.
Fetterman has won the primary pretty easily his name recognition helped him. I hope he wins in November. I was basing my analysis on the endorsements Lamb got from black elected officials in Pennsylvania.
I haven’t seen the breakup of the black votes for the two candidates. So I don’t know the support each of them got from the black electorate of Pennsylvania.
I never said I was infallible.
Voting isn’t a guarantee of anything. Not voting is a guarantee of fascism. Anyone who treats voting as a debatable act is an ally of fascists in my book. 30 minutes* every two years isn’t too much to ask.
* I recognize that a portion of people are suppressed and don’t have it so easy.
Ugh. Where to begin?
The GOP has a whole-assed Conservative moment that drives this stuff. That has allowed them decades of clean hands as their “apolitical” acolytes, like the NRA, ran roughshod over our culture while also helping to weed out the moderates in the Party, from “outside”.
The Democratic Party has activists, and a few lobbyists. Almost all of whom are way overworked, and damn well underpaid.
We — WE THE PEOPLE — have to mobilize. That is, in fact, what the assholes did to get up into this situation. They didn’t wait for the Republican Party to give them what they wanted, thy got funding and backing for a multiple-decade effort to take over the GOP.
Then the GOP did their bidding.
You want the Democratic Party to fight your way? Build the winning coalition to force it. Otherwise the writer (who I also saw on Twitter posting this) is just venting at the Democratic Party out of a sense of powerlessness.
I get it. Yet I can’t pretend like it’s a valid critique.
People are seeing a lot of Blame Dems First comments online. It would help if Bernie issues a statement that put a kibosh on that.
@O. Felix Culpa: It is frustrating and exhausting, I know. That’s why I have only tried it with people I love and don’t want to lose.
O. Felix Culpa
In my experience as a local Democratic volunteer leader, Bernie bros did much to undermine our work, long after 2016. So my ire towards them is based on their ceaseless nasty attacks. That group, at least, is not our friend.
No. She implied very, very strongly that you were a hypocrite for sneering at people who were talking about maybe doing something that you actually did for real.
You then squirrelled that pretty fair assessment by claiming you were the victim of her bigotry.
Not the first time you’ve been called out and responded with dishonest accusations. Maybe you should learn from this and make it the last.
O. Felix Culpa
It’s beyond frustrating and exhausting. It is a waste of energy, IMO. There are other groups that are more persuadable.
It’s different if you have a family connection that you want to maintain, which I totally understand.
@schrodingers_cat: You didn’t counter shit with shit. You selectively misquoted me, called me a bigot, and so I called you a liar. And you did it again to Elizabelle, saying she called you an outsider. She didn’t call you an outsider, she essentially called you a hypocrite. For criticizing others for doing what you did yourself.
Multiple Pennsylvanians pointed out that Conor Lamb comes from super-whitey-ville and that there was an actual Black candidate in that race, which you ignored despite getting schooled, repeatedly. You don’t debate in good faith. You are not honest.
“I never said I was infallible”?! Jesus.
People are seeing a lot of Blame Progressives First comments online.
It would help if Nancy Pelosi issues a statement that put a kibosh on that.
Nancy didn’t foster a destructive culture, and she would never suggest not voting for Dems. The two sides are not the same.
@Baud: Sure, I agree.
But Sanders did put out a strongly worded statement in support of Roe and calling on Dems to scrap the filibuster and pass a law to codify abortion rights…. which sounds exactly right, to me.
That statement doesn’t address the conflict. Lots of Dems have the same stance.
“I met with Dr. Phil McGraw to discuss mental health and different resources we can provide to help treat mental illnesses.”
– Rep. Henry Cuellar
Dr. Phil? He’s a quack who pushes useless brain scans from Dr. Amen and has psychic mediums on his show to solve crimes. Maybe we can consult Dr. Oz next.
Cuellar got some powerful endorsements in his campaign. Has he issued any statements on the abortion ruling yet?
Paging pro-choice candidate Cisneros, candidate Cisneros to the front desk, please.
Irrelevant. I don’t think that’s a basis for refusing to vote for Dems, and anyone who uses it as an excuse is a ally if fascists.
ETA: We can’t afford to be in the fence at times like this.
Kaitlyn Greenidge is an enabler of fascism? She votes. She registers others to vote. She’s just trying to explain how we might try to win more voters, rather than hoping for suburban white women who voted for trump to somehow change their minds next time.
Nancy Pelosi could have endorsed Cisneros, the pro-life candidate. Instead Cuellar got full support, the anti-choice guy.
@Baud: You’re right, but it also means that Bernie is on the right side and I really am going to save my fire for those who aren’t.
She claims to argue with voting maximalists, who are a nonexistent creature. I’ve never heard anyone say stop at voting. The reason we talk about the importance of voting is because the debate never dies. it’s time for the debate to die.
If th rest of piece that you didn’t excerpt says that, then I take it back.
That’s fine. But I’m not going to criticize those who fight back against the naysayers.
@germy shoemangler: how does telling people to vote vote vote equal ignoring gerrymandering and structural barriers.
An actual campaign has to has simplistic quick answers and more detailed plans of action which you share with those interested
it all does start with vote vote vote. Nothing valid happens without that. And yeah, the opposition is still working hard to prevent your voting, including by passing on vote suppression memes like the democrats are worthless, let’s not bother to vote.
We haven’t been able to get a lot done because our majority hasn’t been big enough. That’s a fact. It’s based on some unfair clever gerrymandering so we don’t have the congressional numbers that the population supports. If people want complicated legal and statistical discussions they can find them, it ‘s not a secret, but well most people don’t have the attention span or background to follow it and if we try to respond to every reporter with that, we will lose more.
we do have more of the population with us, but the margin isn’t that huge. There are lots of Republican orcs too. There is not a quick solution.
You can give up. I won’t.
@David ☘The Establishment☘ Koch:
This. I have been trying to explain this, and you summarized it very well. There is so much “this is all the Democrats’ fault for not somehow magically STOPPING this” out there.
In my personal life I’ve seen young people (people who were in college around ten years ago or so) who considered themselves apolitical.* Ever since trump and now this SCOTUS stuff, they follow politics closely. And they’re voting now. This gives me hope.
*I always told them the very true standard line “You may not care about politics but politics cares about you” etc.
How the hell do you jump to that conclusion? I vote in every election and my wife and I have been helping 18 years olds to register. (They’re paying attention now, and that’s good)
Just like women are a majority of voters, young people are now a majority of voters.
Nothing would make me happier to see those majoritied turn into victories and progress.
@germy shoemangler: it should not be lost on any of us how these protesters are being handled in comparison to an insurrectionist mob attempting to overthrow a democratically elected government.
Damned at Random
Over the years, I started sending less of my (limited) charitable funds to abortion rights groups – I think of myself as an environment/energy voter. I check Planned Parenthood’s candidate ratings, but after I check the League of Conservation voters.
Now I have to redirect money from the Rainforest Trust and Rocky Mountain Institute to NARAL and the Brigid Alliance and it pisses me off.
I’ll touch on the issue of black women activists from my personal experience doing outreach albeit for ‘non-partisan’ environmental causes… their steadiness in the face of unrelenting abuse and hardship is at once inspiring and unfathomable. The org I was working for targeted this demographic simply because they were wholy dependable, rock solid.
I’ll never forget one particular phone conversation with a WOC of a certain age who rejected my pitch to go out and vote, saying “I’m done. You just don’t know.” What will stay with me is the despair, the weariness and the anger at betrayal in her voice. It didn’t go on much longer than that but for a brief recitation of causes she had worked on and I knew not to press the issue… I hold it up as a mirror to check my white male self to this day, and not only on shitty days like these that we’ve been dealt lately. Context and perspective are rare things precisely because of some very potent tactics deployed by our enemies, as POC can attest to through hard-lived experience.
@arrieve: I have heard this from my own daughter, and I need the facts of the matter so I can share with her. She is not impressed with most of the Dem leadership, and I hope that I can at least give her the facts so she can decide from there.
How long before the good Justices discover that all of the Amendments after the 8th were wrongly decided? Now that would be some real originalism.
@wenchacha: David’s summary is an excellent place to start. I’ve expanded it and sent it to a few people based on what I’ve been seeing online:
I keep reading that it’s all the Democrats’ fault!
“They knew this opinion was coming two months ago, and they did nothing to stop it!” Like what? There isn’t actually anything that they could have done. Literally nothing.
“Democrats control the House and the Senate.” No, they don’t. (You know this but low-information voters don’t.) The Democrats have 50 seats, but two of those are held by Manchin and Sinema, who undercut much of what the rest of the party supports. Plus the filibuster rules mean that without 60 votes in the Senate, nothing can even be brought up for a vote if Mitch McConnell isn’t so inclined.
“They should just get rid of the filibuster!” Yes, definitely. But Manchin and Sinema both refuse to support that.
“They should have codified Roe.” This is a great idea. Pass a law making abortion legal in all fifty states, instead of relying on varying state interpretations of it as a constitutional right.
EXCEPT — Democrats do not currently have, and have not had the votes to pass this. Not for decades now, if in fact they ever did.
AND (as David pointed out) “CODIFYING” IS NOT A MAGIC BULLET. Democrats codified voting rights and the Roberts court overturned them. (See Shelby County, 2013.)
Democrats codified campaign finance reform and the Roberts court overturned it. (See Citizens United, 2010. Or, just last month, Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate.)
Democrats codified laws regulating guns and this court overturned them. (Many examples, but overturning the New York law happened just this week.)
If Democrats had somehow found 60 votes to codify reproduction rights do you think this court wouldn’t have overturned it? Or that they won’t overturn any new laws in the future?
Codifying doesn’t save a policy from a right wing activist court. If expanding the court does not happen we will be screwed for years to come. People get impatient when you tell them to vote. Or they don’t want to vote for a candidate who isn’t perfect. But it’s the only weapon we have.
@germy shoemangler: I want to believe we are not in Gilead yet. I want to believe the GQP overreached and we can fix this within a decade and the nation can’t be destroyed from within.
@arrieve: Court reform just became a winning issue.
Sister Golden Bear
Thank you Thin Black Duke for another incisive post.
I don’t see that I made it past moderation. Maybe something has changed since BJ went offline and was restored. I’ll hit the “remember” button this time. So, consider this a further test.
We should all get into the habit of making this more gender and ethnically neutral. The guilty people are those who ere eligible to vote who voted for Trump, and more broadly, those who did not vote for Hillary Clinton (and Biden, and the Democrats) in the general election. (And even more broadly, the propagandists who have worked and continue to work to help Republicans get elected.)
A vote is a vote. A vote is not gendered, and it does not have an ethnic background. It is just a number. (The number “1”.) Convert a black female voter from Republican to Democrat and you’ve won a vote similar to the vote won by converting a white male voter from Republican to Democrat. At a broad level at least, e.g. a close statewide election.
That’s tightly written; thank you.
@SFAW: I was only trying reinforce your good point.
@anon: I have right wing family in the Dallas area. They are in an uproar over the Leftists moving into the area. It might take more time than we have but maybe those leftists can make the state a little less red. Here’s hoping!
@Nicole: please tell me how I can get the timeline you reference.
@raven: Are you sure it was was written by someone actually sympathetic to reproduction rights or even by a woman or PoC?
The American left is very easy to distract into infighting. It seems to me it worked extremely well to deflect distract and create disunity and distrust.
The right has been very effective at getting this kind of shit injected into their opposition’s social media. They don’t need to out number the majority. They only need to keep the majority disorganized and discordant.