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Trumpism before Trump: Misogyny remains the thread tying the right-wing coalition together

This week the nation witnessed a particularly shameful episode for Republicans, even by the standards of the right. Right-wing media rallied to respond to the story of a 10-year-old rape victim by denying her existence and calling those who provided medical care liars. The surprising thing about it all wasn’t that conservative media was ruthless, hateful, and mendacious. This is a permanent state of affairs for Republican propagandists. No, it was that the face of these attacks on a child rape victim and her doctor were not the usual doe-eyed Bible huggers who pretended to force fourth graders to give birth to Jesus and “the babies.” It was bad boy daddy Jesse Watters, Bill O’Reilly’s former subordinate, who is now forever vying for Tucker Carlson’s throne as Fox News anchor, almost like a rich boy, a villain in an ’80s movie.

Unfortunately, there was a chorus of donkeys making false, unproven allegations against the doctor who terminated the child’s pregnancy, but it was Watters and his smirking face that really were the star of this clown show.

First, Fox News hosted Ohio’s Republican Attorney General, who incorrectly implied that there was no case on record — even though one was reported in June. When this untruth was exposed, it was Watters who falsely accused the doctor of not reporting the rape (she did, even though the victim’s family had already reported it). Harassment campaign he wants to start against the doctor. The move is clearly in retaliation against her for — and this cannot be said strongly enough — she helped a child rape victim avoid a forced birth.

RELATED: Post-Roe gaslighting: QAnon’s party denies very real rape of 10-year-old

Republican propagandists used to wrap the anti-choice movement in false piety to put a moral veneer on what is actually a desire to punish women – and victims of child rape – with forced childbirth. Holding Bibles while making sob talks about “babies” was helpful in getting the press to portray anti-choicers as well-meaning Christians rather than the sadistic misogynists they are. But that strategy has given way to making shameless creeps like Watters the face of anti-choice ideology.

Unfortunately, there are still many people in both mainstream and liberal media who are quite sexist themselves and don’t want to admit that women or LGBTQ people are important enough to hate.

And as with many things, we can blame Donald Trump.

Despite his half-hearted and unconvincing attempts to feign Christian faith, Trump’s pussy-grabbing manner has mostly been perceived as an icon of secular misogyny. That doesn’t mean the more fundamentalist misogyny has gone anywhere. In fact, this week Republicans on Capitol Hill spat out an unbiased church lady, previously seen with claims that fetuses are used to power DC’s streetlights, as their main character for telling about this 10-year-old rape victim lied. Trump’s entry into the political scene has empowered every whistling scumbag out there who wants to hate women without going to church first.


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As I note the newsletter for standing room only from this FridayDespite the heavy focus on the Proud Boys during the Jan. 6 hearings, the group’s misogynistic origins received no attention from either the House of Representatives or the press. It’s an unfortunate oversight, because to truly understand the growing threat of fascism, it’s important to understand the role misogyny and toxic masculinity play in it. This is especially true when it comes to understanding radicalization, as these far-right groups target men who come online to complain that modern women are not sufficiently subservient to men.

The Proud Boys continue to be a secular version of fundamentalist groups opposed to women’s equality and LGBTQ rights.

Back when most media treated the Proud Boys as a harmless drinking club, I watched hours of footage cataloged by researcher Juliet Jeske from “The Gavin McInnes Show,” where the Proud Boys got their start. In this online program, the shock-jock-style right-wing host frequently expressed poetry about “Western civilization”. It was fairly unsubtle about euphemisms, but much of what drew its male audience was its overt sexism.

RELATED: Fetus-powered streetlights? Republicans are spreading outrageous anti-abortion lies ahead of Roe’s death

McInnes made no apologies for romanticizing “traditional” marriage, in which women are submissive and financially dependent on men. He and his followers reveled in outdated stereotypes that accused feminists of being sad, barren “cat ladies,” which really says more about their pathetic fantasies than women’s lived reality. However, it is critical that McInnes did not present these as religious arguments. Instead, he appealed directly to the deep insecurities in his audience, telling them that they needed no excuse other than to boost their own ego to demand that women be kept in second-class status.

In fact, the Proud Boys continue to be a secular version of fundamentalist groups opposed to women’s equality and LGBTQ rights. As reported by Salon’s Kathryn Joyce, Proud Boys chapters have targeted gay clubs and drag shows across the country for harassment. They have also joined anti-abortion protests, adding another layer of violent menace to the already notoriously violent movement.


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The secularization of misogyny and homophobia as ideologies is an underappreciated phenomenon, especially given how dangerous it is. As the explosive growth of the Proud Boys since the Capitol riot suggests, there are plenty of white men who resent gender equality and racial diversity but aren’t exactly keen on having to get up for church on Sunday mornings to justify themselves. Defeating Trumpism means confronting head-on the rise of misogyny and homophobia, especially their secular influences, and vigorously refuting those views.

Unfortunately, there are still many people in both mainstream and liberal media who are quite sexist themselves and don’t want to admit that women or LGBTQ people are important enough to hate. That makes it difficult to have an honest public conversation about how much Trumpism is fueled not only by racism but also by this adherence to rigid gender roles that benefit straight cis men to the detriment of everyone else.

The fall of Roe v. However, Wade forces a reckoning that many people would rather avoid.

As the grinning Watters shows, the people willing to hit the mat for a forced birth aren’t just the Bible beaters. It’s a larger gathering of everyone who experienced nervous sweats during the #MeToo era and see this as an opportunity to put women in their place. (Or, as in the case of the 10-year-old rape victim, re-traumatize little girls.) The misogynistic Trump coalition doesn’t care, however, because the goal is to restore heterosexual male supremacy, no matter how many lives they must destroy to get there reach.

Read the full article here

https://www.salon.com/2022/07/15/trumpism-before-trump-misogyny-remains-the-thread-tying-the-right-wing-coalition-together/ Trumpism before Trump: Misogyny remains the thread tying the right-wing coalition together

Linh

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