Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thank you, Donald Trump

Until Donald Trump decided to run for president against Hillary Clinton, sexism and misogyny were marginalised and mocked as non-issues trumped up by a few 'man-hating' women who identified as feminists.

It's ironic that feminists have long been accused of 'man-hating', like at least since Wollstonecraft in the 1790s, but their attackers have almost never been charged with 'woman-hating' (misogyny). Indeed the word misogyny was hardly used beyond feminist texts for much of history, despite the reality being dangerously pervasive, unlike so called 'man-hating' of which actual examples are rare to non-existent.

But since Trump has moved beyond business to politics, he has effectively shown a much wider group of people what sexism and misogyny look like in 'real' (if also surreal) life, namely a big steaming pile of orange egotistical woman-hating man shit.

And in the process he has made effective feminists -- people who acknowledge misogyny is a reality and a problem and take steps to expose and eradicate it -- of many who would not otherwise have identified with the feminist cause, especially men.

And I think this Conan interview with comedian Louis C.K. is an example of this Trump effect, bringing out the feminist in a comedian who is on record, not that long ago, for mocking sexism as a non-issue compared with racism.

C.K's endorsement of Hillary and statement about how it's time we had a mother as president because mothers care about and fight for humankind more than fathers ever have done, or, he says, ever will do, is a sign of real progress in gender politics, if he does seem to want to say he is excited to have Hillary as president more because she is a mother than because she is a woman, which is not entirely helpful. She is a woman first and we should not be afraid to say that we need more women in politics because men cannot govern fairly or effectively on their own.

Today is election day in the US, though the day is yet to dawn in that country. But here in NZ it is 9.30am on the morning of Nov 8 and the weather is blowing a gale in anticipation of a momentous battle.

May the best person win and a new era of non-hating humanity dawn for America, and so, with a bit of luck and a bit more time, the world.

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