The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Let's Talk About Sex(ism)



       If you want to shut a man down, call him a sexist.  If you want to shut a woman down, well, good luck with that.


Image result for sexism

  As recent visitors to my blog have been reading, I've embarked upon a series of posts that I've called the President Trump Acclimation Series where I clarify and try to correct some of the issues that have arisen in the minds of some who have questioned why I voted for Trump.

The reason why I'm doing this series is that I'm annoyed with the continuous reciting of the litany of labels that come from the anti-Trump crowd--racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and so on. 

        I plan to continue this series until I stop hearing these labels being cited in my comment section, on other online sites, and on the television "news" shows.  Or until inauguration day--whichever comes first. And that is if I keep feeling like doing the series. I've received some excellent comments on my previous posts in this series. I look forward to more great comments.


Sex sells. Sexism doesn't. 

       The tactic of attacking Trump and his followers with the label of sexism is a typical ruse that certain feminists and others will resort to in order to get the heads shaking and the tongues wagging.  I don't know how many women would actually refer to sexism in everyday conversations, but during the campaign the majority of the sexist labeling came from the media and the political opposition.

        When looked at closely and logically I think it's a phony claim that seems easy to defend until looked at from the larger perspective of society, history, and relationships.   It becomes an even more annoying and irrelevant claim when put alongside another label these folks use--"old white guys" as they so often refer to so many Trump supporters.  I guess it's okay to use a phrase that incorporates ageism, racism, and sexism as long as you are demonizing a bunch of evil people who maybe don't even deserve to live or at least have power.   I guess I kind of resent that phrase because I might fit into that category according to some.  But also it's bad because they are doing the same thing they accuse others of doing.

Misogynist Seems Like...


      Well, "Misogynist" seems like a rather archaic term, but then it does go back to the golden days of ancient Greek culture.   I don't recall ever actually having heard that word used much in my lifetime.  I knew what it meant so maybe it was a vocabulary word in some past class I took in my schooling.   Did many people ever really use that word before Trump came along?

        Maybe "misogynist" is part of a feminist lexicon that I normally am not exposed to.  In any case some marketing mind latched on to that word to attach it to the Trump movement.  If you want to enhance the denigration of other humans then it's best to come up with a variety of terms that the anti crowd can spew off whenever they need to get their redundant point across with greater emphasis.  Misogyny works well and it's kind of fun to say.  However I'm getting sick of hearing it used so broadly (oops!--is "broadly" connotative of sexism?) and wish people would lay off that one.  Overuse lessens the impact of a word of that nature.

Objectification of Women

        Several times I've heard that Donald Trump disrespects women by treating them like objects.  Well, welcome to society!  Where have you been anyway?  This is a silly argument that I don't want to hear.  There are times when we all might feel like we're treated like objects as well as instances when we might actually be trying to attain a certain status of objectification.  

        Think about our celebrity driven society.  Most of us objectify someone whether we believe this or not.   We think in terms of ideals and conquests and other ways of seeing others without actually knowing them in any intimate way.   We watch sexy movies, read sexy books, and dance sexy to sexy music.  

         No one can tell me this society isn't  highly superficial in many ways, but I think that is the story of life in most societies.   We idealize beauty, intellect, talent, and whatever else might appeal to us in our search for perfection.  If this becomes the way of life of a person then that can be problematic, but it is usually a starting point in any kind of relationship.  As the common advice states, first impressions can make a lasting difference in any encounter.  I would argue there is always a level of objectification involved at the start of a relationship. The objectification becomes unhealthy if that relationship develops into something that should be deeper and more lasting.

"Battle of the sexes"


        By no means should any of us condone unwarranted disrespect of others nor abuse of any kind.  Men and women should get along like any people should get along.   However, I don't think that anyone can deny that there is at times a tension between certain people that can at times be related to sexual attraction or desire.   This all can lead to misunderstanding which in turn can have wonderful consequence, but can also lead to distressing and uncomfortable circumstances.  

         There are elements of physical, emotional, and mental battles going on among all of us.  This can all lead to distrust, misunderstanding, fear, and even hatred.  Personally I'd rather not be overwrought by these battles, but still we can get drawn into them.    Life is filled with drama, tragedy, and comedy.    Not only during the Trump campaign did people get overly caught up in every aspect, but also many of them developed an intense feeling of dislike which caused them to use all sorts of wordly weapons to attack.   I think the sexism angle is a weak one, but I can somewhat understand how it came about.

         On Wednesday I'll deal directly with how the sexism attack was aimed at President-elect Trump and give you my arguments as to why I don't think those attacks worked effectively.   If you want to mention Trump's worst offenses that you think makes him sexist or misogynist or whatever, then feel free to do so in the comment section.   Then come back Wednesday to see if my list matches any that you saw in Trump and see if I can persuade you to see things differently.


32 comments:

  1. Good one, Lee! As you know I stay away from labels and actually feel there is a dose of what those labels represent living within each one of us, if we're honest. Thanks for the origins of misogynist. I never use the word. If any label applies, in my case, it would be humanist. I'm not one to jump on any bandwagon or movement within society. Feminism has, no doubt brought good advances into the lives of both men and women, and it has also gone to the extremes too. Time to get real! We all need each other to make this a better world. That said, :), there is a double standard in our culture when it comes to woman's sexual behavior, marital status and number of marriages/divorces. DT isn't the best person to defend in that area.
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/

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    1. MLQ, some labeling does make sense for the sake of convenient referencing, but labeling to connote negativity is something that frequently gets abused. I certainly don't put down the advances made by the feminist movement, except now it's been often taken to the extremes not unlike union representation. I believe the double standards of our society become very confusing and problematic and I do intend to defend Trump in some of these realms as his example has been taken to some absurd levels.

      Lee

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    2. I'm open to what you say, Lee. Agree with you and it's really a pleasure interacting with you. :)

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  2. Don't think I've ever said misogynist in my entire life. Feminists to the absolute extreme I roll my eyes at and walk away. Same with anyone to the extreme, whether that be vegans, religion, etc. There is absolutely no room to rationalize with them. So I'd rather not waste my time.

    And yep, society is all about the sex. Sex sells everything. Pretty pathetic really. Oh, that hot guy or girl will date you because you got this car. The commercial says it, so it must be true. Pfffft. Oh this product is so great because it's the product of such and such. Pfffft. Most of such crap is pot calling kettle black. It's alright here but not alright there.

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    1. Pat, extremism has always been around, but it seems that the extremism has been getting even more extreme. Maybe this perception is a result of social and mainstream media over saturation, but we've been getting hammered by it and my head is starting to hurt from all that hammering.

      If there were more consistency in all of the arguments, but there is so much of an attitude of "I can do it, but you can't" that my brain is starting to rattle from all the head shaking and eye-rolling that I do when I hear people talking about it.

      Lee

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  3. I've seen the word misogynist but I've never used it.
    Sex does sell. Here's a sad fact - you want to know what is the next trend? Look at what the porn industry is doing.
    And this dude doesn't dance period.

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    1. Alex, like I say, "misogynist" is a rather arcane word that has been dredged up because it sounds scientifically insulting when applied to targets someone or some group wants to denigrate. I don't dance either, but some of the dancing I've seen females doing is far more provocative than any of the dancing strippers did in the past. It can be almost embarrassing watching some of today's singers and entertainers dancing in such suggestive manners.

      Lee

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  4. When someone points to the moon it is irrational to look at the finger and not the object it is pointing to. I don't need you to tell me what sexism, misogyny and objectification mean. Thanks for trying to correct my thinking - I'm sure I should be grateful to all efforts to make sense of the senseless but I stand uncorrected by your argument. I thought I'd give you a last chance but your preaching is too much for me. I'm out of here.

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    1. Jan, if my post came across as "preaching" then maybe it's because I composed it on a Sunday :)
      Since you're "out of here" my response might not be needed unless it's of interest to other readers, but I'll just say that I'm not trying to correct anyone's thinking but to clarify my own and set groundwork for my post to come. I'm just opening the topic for conversation with no intent to upset or offend anyone. And if anyone has been offended by anything I've said in my series so far then just wait--the worst is yet to come. Probably be a whole lot more people "out of here" by the time I get through, but it is what it is.

      Thanks for trying to at least get through this post, Jan.

      Lee

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  5. If some of these people actually read the Bible... the accusers ... Well, are guilty of what they're accusing Trump of. I say give the man a chance. Pray for him if your're a Christian. But don't be fooled.

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    1. Shelly, everyone willing to cast first stones without looking at their own lives and the sins they commit. We should pray for our leaders and not merely rail against everything they say or do.

      Lee

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  6. Lee, I don't know why people are so offended and quick to abandon a blogger because he/she differs in opinion from yours or mine for that matter. Trump has said some stupid stuff but haven't we all? Maybe, he actually was a sexist at one time. I don't know this but when I see him today something speaks to my heart about this man and when I look into his eyes I see a person with a good heart. This is my opinion and no one can change that, except for Trump. Regardless if he's a sexist or not, I think he's the man for the job to making America great again. With Trump's victory, I feel America's preservation and safety is secure for 4-years. I'm ready to give this non-politician, plain-spoken, business savvy a shot at running this country. So, far he's ahead of the game with the things he's done before actually assuming his Presidential duties and that's pretty darn amazing to me.

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    1. Cathy, I've never seen anything like we've seen in the past year with unwillingness to tolerate any opposing opinions. Seems like it mostly comes from the liberal side of things which says a lot about their intolerance for opinions that don't match their own. Personally, I think a great many of the so-called "stupid" things Trump has said were actually rather brilliant in opening up conversation and new thinking. He is called a Populist because so many can relate to what he is talking about.

      Lee

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  7. The real issue is a lot of these accusations didn't come out until after Trump was nominated. Or if some were out it wasn't a problem back when he was a big time celebrity. I'm bothered with some of things he has been accused of including sexual assault. But the problem yet again is the timing of these accusations. I have suspicions about some maybe being true. But I'm so mad about the timing. Cosby had accusations long before the big ones recently that tanked his career. He's not running for President or about to become one officially in 2017.

    I'm not American and always had a democratic leaning when watching American politics. But even I have to admit both Clinton and Trump had all sorts of issues dogging them. Trump recently settled a lawsuit. No matter the outcry, that was the professional thing to do. There's also a child rape charge that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. While people can question what is true or false it is never a good thing to have sexual assault accusations made against you. Bill Clinton was impeached for a similar slew of bad luck and for lying about to officials. Also I have heard rumors of questionable business practices which I know little about but hope they are false. What I knew about Trump before he was nominated as Republican Nominee was that he was a successful business. Why didn't a number of these things not come out then and tarnish his reputation early on. Back when he decided to run I thought it was a great idea. While 2016 changed my mind the question is where were most of these accusations before then? I wouldn't have voted for Trump but there's no question that things were either fabricated or kept under the rug for far too long. I voted locally and we also had a change in power. But PNP lost because their leader Portia lost her focus and became very disrespectful to people as well as media on one too many issues. PNP even refused to take part in the big local debates. Not even Trump was that brazen! So Jamaicans like myself voted JLP and that party won. There was the recent smaller elections for positions and JLP again won in a landslide. I was very sick and ended up not going out to vote in that one. But I still made my vote for the big presidential election and created a wave of change. One that I'm proud of.

    So Trump will be the new president of the United States. And I'm sure most who voted for him are proud as well. Question Arlee. Could you tell a bit about the controversy over some people Trump has brought into the white house. I'm hearing some are racist, anti-women, anti-muslim (who on earth used Japan interment camp as a reference for Muslim registry?) and one was even banned from 26 countries. This sounds kind of scary so could you give me some personal insight. Thank you.

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    1. Sheena-kay, prior to Trump's entry into the political race he was just a celebrity business man whom I barely ever gave a thought. Never even saw his TV show. Then he runs and all of these accusations emerge. It's a typical tactic in a political race except in Trump's case the whole strategy was like on steroids. Any lie or distortion was fair and people and the media ran with it. It's one of the crazier things I've seen happen.

      So many of the sexual accusations appear to be false--what has happened to these accusers if what they were saying is so true? And unlike the actual rape charges against Cosby, most of the charges against Trump seemed utterly absurd in comparison. If trying to kiss a woman is assault then I guess I've been guilty as well since sometimes guys don't always read signals correctly and amorous adventures are like a game to begin with. Normally as long as a guy recognizes that a misreading has occurred and moves on then that thing is over--but not in Trump's case if those instances actually happened which I don't think they did. Suspicious timing and suspicious accusers who all seemed to have crawled back into the woodwork.

      A wealthy business owner can expect lawsuits because there are a lot of greedy people who want a slice of pie. Those wealthy folks often have a legal department taking care of these suits. This is what the phony Trump University suit amounts to--I plan to eventually get to that one. The child rape charge was retracted almost immediately when the accuser was proven to be a false opportunist. There is a lot of garbage that gets laid out by the press to discredit candidates that they don't like and sadly little is done to rectify the damage after it has been done.

      AS far as his appointees I personally don't see a problem with them so far. I'm not sure who was supposedly banned from 26 countries--that's one I haven't heard. The interment of Japanese was one of the precedents that were cited regarding the "Muslim ban" and never did I hear any one defending that interment, but conversely when I heard it cited it was condemning it. Megyn Kelly on Fox News made a big deal out of it and blew it out of proportion, but she wasn't listening to her guest closely and she was the one who kept on about that. The people that Trump is appointing for his staff are being resisted by some and praised by others and I trust the latter opinions. Trump is going to get lots of resistance from the usual suspects on the opposing side and I wouldn't give much credence to what they have to say.

      The problem is that we get a lot of curve balls and false information that can lead us down rabbit holes of absurdity and confusion. I expect this in the months to come, but I do hope that things work well so that we'll hear less of it.

      Lee

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  8. This one I agree with you 100% on, Lee.

    One thing that got overlooked-and I am thinking specifically of the incident from roughly a decade ago where Trump was talking to someone while waiting for an escort at some event-Trump was not running for president at the time.

    So yes, what he was saying was more indicative of a high school boys locker room than that of a future president, but the fact is, when the conversation took place, Trump did not know he was being recorded and he was not running for president.

    I wonder how the Clinton camp would feel if tapes of some of her private conversations, say for example, related to Whitewater or the Clinton Foundation, were released.

    I also wonder what it would sound like if we got a tape of Bill Clinton (who Democrats put forth as the smartest president ever) discussing his encounters with gubernatorial/presidential intern staffers with his buddies.

    Larry

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    1. Larry, I'll get into that issue about the taped conversation on my next post. I think of all the celebrities and sports figures who have been charged with far worse things than Trump and yet they are often given a pass, forgiven by the public, or their incidents are just forgotten. Even a presidential candidate as well as an actual president can have some dirt in their past--hey, a lot of them do and have had bad things behind them. Presidents are people and not some sort of unsullied gods.

      I'm amused by some of those accusing Trump of relatively silly things when those people are downright nasty themselves. When you're in the public eye, and especially if you're wealthy and powerful, you're going to be hit with all kinds of weird stuff and a lot of it is not going to be true or blown way out of proportion.

      Lee

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    2. Not sure if you misunderstood me-that was my point-he is being blasted for something that he said that he thought was private and happened when he was not a presidential candidate.

      Bill Clinton was using cigars as sex toys with young women who were not much older than his daughter-while in the White House-and no one gave a damn.

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    3. Larry, I did understand your point and was just trying to elaborate. Trump was a "celebrity" when he was involved in those iffy situations that became his bane on the political trail.

      Bill Clinton was in an awkward situation when he got caught with his pants down, but those Clintons seem to have no shame about anything. And they often aren't held to the same standards that anyone else would face. It's really kind of crazy.

      Lee

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  9. Not much I can add to the list of comments here. I would hasten to estimate, if you want to parse words said in the past in casual settings- as they want to to Trump, but not Bill- I would say prolly 70% of the people of all genders I have met in my life could be called sexist.

    And if women don't wish to be "objects", too bad- listen to Bob Seger's Feel Like A Number. Being an object is life on this earth, children.

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    1. CW, I think most of us are sexist at any given time--especially when we're in the company of the same sex talking about the opposite sex.

      Yes, as I have said above, we can all be objectified by someone. We can even think of ourselves as objects sometimes.

      Lee

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  10. To coin a phrase "What difference, at this point, does it make?" Folks just need to pick up their tissues and go home. Game Over.
    Where were/are all of these complainers when soldiers, cops and citizens died when someone "in charge" was careless or inept? See, THAT'S illegal, appreciating an attractive woman, being a successful businessman and caring about America is not.

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    1. Diedre, I'll buy that assessment before I'd buy some non-existent dream from a leftist huckster.

      Lee

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  11. Good post Lee with some very good points raised.
    Sexism is not a very nice word and bith men and women play an equally special role in this world.
    At present I am fighting AGEISM here in the UK,
    that also causes thoughts for alarm believe me.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I can understand the Ageism charges and their implications as I think I've faced it as well at times. But sometimes it can work to my advantage.

      Lee

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    2. I can't Lee when it is our Helath Service and the treatment we're getting at our age. Especially if one has an on going illness like Epilepsy.
      Yvonne.

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    3. Yvonne, I hear you on that point. The advantages I was talking about are more things like special discounts for being over a certain age or using my age as an excuse to tell people I'm too tired to do something that I really don't want to do.

      Fortunately I have very good health care through my wife's job and they tend to my needs quickly when they must be attended to.

      Lee

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  12. Funny how most people choose not acknowledge that Trump does have women in positions of power within his organizations.

    To be honest, do you think that anyone would've called out Clinton about her perceived sexism?

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    1. GB, very true about the women in the Trump organization. I'll touch upon that in my next post. I think attempts were made to attach the sexism charges to Clinton, but the media never rode that horse for long.

      Lee

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  13. Back when President-elect Trump decided to run, I read "The Art of the Deal." It was written back in the 90s, I think, and Trump wrote about hiring and promoting talented women to responsible positions in his various business/building ventures. He has also added some very capable women to his cabinet. The sexist label is just silly because it's based on some of his goofy rhetoric during the campaign.

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    1. Patricia, and I would maintain that much of that "goofy rhetoric" was actually a misinterpretation of what he was attempting to convey. I've seen so many of the women on TV who work for him now or have done so in the past who have nothing but praise for the man and his treatment of them. We hear so much from the media it really has to be sorted out and then a judgement must be made from that. Let's face it, some people just hate the man and will say anything about him to put him down.

      Lee

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  14. Well this is a topic that people have many strong beliefs about. I do agree that every heterosexual man is screwed because they all look at women....ya can't help it and that is just how it is. Sex and violence has been sold for centuries and it was shown at the very beginning of film. Trump dies hire women, his wife Ivanka has been given the reigns of one of the best hotels in NYC. I do believe Trump is sexist and is a compete ass! We will disagree on this and I can pull stuff off the media and you can do the same. I am looking at the person and his actual talking of women. I don't believe he respects women...actually much st people unless they are as pompous as he is. I know, you disagree...hahahaaa. I know someone personally who has a business, hired many women on the years and some are in a high position but he treats his wife horribly and loves to make every woman cry. Now no one knows this bloke because he is not famous but if you met the person you would think he is successful and not sexist but his actions and his comments say much more. The same goes with Trump...he has said comments that just dumbfound me why any woman would think he views women as equals. I know you disagree with me and I with you but I'm just glad we can agree to disagree.

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Lee