If one follows the behavior of Republican law-makers over the last several years, a pattern soon emerges: most of their policies tend to limit women’s rights, in an overt or clear way. And one cannot but wonder about what prompts this negative behavior. Are they, perhaps, unaware of it or, more pointedly, it reflects their deep-rooted prejudices against women?
Perhaps, Republican men hate women due to long suppressed sexual feelings for the same sex.
As my friend Bad Bonnie used to say, “Show me a homophobe and I’ll show you a homo.” Projection and self-loathing are strong with these Rs (and more than a few Ds).
You don’t have to look any further than the alt-right to see why Republicans hate women? The alt-right, which is one of the main groups forming the political base of the Republican Party, not only hates blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, etc but also has it in for women. The culture of the alt-right is a male-dominated society. And many women also support a male-dominated society which is somewhat hard to understant. The Republican party is all about privilege for white Christians males. The majority of white males always vote for the Republican candidate for president. After all, it is their party.
It’s nothing short of amazing. Half the population are women. One would think that some things are so fundamental that there couldn’t be differences. But the GOP is a magnet for pathologies. They have relied on xenophobic impulses and manufactured enemies to muster the voting numbers their policies of legalizing a nanny state for the wealthy could never bring about.
Recall a decade ago when Alan Grayson was a Democratic House member from Florida and got up on the House floor and described the GOP health plan. It was, said Grayson, essentially “Don’t get sick”. But if you do get sick, then hurry up and just “Die”. I remember some Democrats condemning those remarks…that they were working ‘behind the scenes’ with Republicans and those kind of remarks didn’t help. And of course the GOP were demanding an apology. What wasn’t mentioned were the attack dogs of the GOP making very open and public remarks attacking anyone opposed to their plan. Not only didn’t Grayson apologize but he was spot on with a reply the GOP were long overdue to receive. Societies have memories, and with the IT age, a lot of storage space to it in.
I suspect it’s similar to why Democrats hate the working class. (It’s in their best interest and the reasoning isn’t rational.)
A question like this begs for generalization. To the extent that these are people largely like the Republicans I grew up with, I think that the general runs very roughly like this.
They do not hate women per se, nor minorities per se, nor the poor per se, nor foreigners per se. There are exceptions, but this is the general case.
However, they fail to recognize most or all of the truth of accusations that they favor policies that damage women and minorities and the poor. When this is pointed out, they respond that members of these various demographies should behave in ways that they themselves would not find acceptable–unless, in the general case, they themselves are members of one or another of these demographies.
Their denial is perplexing, but mostly because they judge all this from a standard that most of us would find badly skewed. It runs something like this.
If you find in general that people are venal and foolish–sinners, as per most of Western religion; nasty and brutish as per Thomas Hobbes; or “rational, self-interested consumers,” as per your Econ 101 class–then you are likely to conclude that people need rules and guidance, including coercion, or at least some sort of tracking of merit, by which they are apt to mean money and accounts. A few people say that this should be a matter of Divine intervention, but mostly people believe that this means the establishment of some sort of hierarchy,
Now, generally, they regard this hierarchy as good and those who serve it as good insofar as they truly serve it. They do not (generally) mean that the hierarchy is perfect or perfectly just; they believe that it should be supported as a human attempt at justice even though it is unjust. They are likely to see increased freedom not as involving a lack of coercion, but as coercion by more local rather than more distant or culturally estranged sources.
There are some odd variations in the sort of post-Ayn-Rand American “libertarians,” who seem to imagine a liberty conveyed by ownership and a hierarchy more just by virtue of being determined by dollar purchases. These beliefs are not identical, by any means, but they are similar in that they are still hierarchical.
They are less likely to ask how a decision is made, and more likely to ask who gets to or has to make it. They are less likely to insist that a system be changed, and more likely to insist that it be staffed by appropriate people or “managed well,” whatever that means.
In practice, few of us do take the idea that “all men [sic?] are created equal” to mean that people be treated identically. But people who believe in hierarchy are not altogether egalitarian, be they Republican or no. And justice as they conceive it is closer to the idea that goods, services, accolades, and so forth should be dispensed or at least dispensed first according to the utility of and service to the hierarchy–in its best moments, but also quite often in its worst.
So, they are likely to judge that gay men are men who are not doing what men are “supposed” to do, that women who abort are women who are not doing what women are “supposed” to do, that the minorities who are uppity do not “know their place,” that people who leak information or publish leaked information thereby subvert hierarchy and are therefore “evil” or “traitors,” and so forth. These people do not fulfill the roles and services that are supposed–but some certain people and generally some certain tradition–to be demanded by hierarchy, which is assumed to be roughly coterminous in practice with order and stability.
So, to conclude, they don’t hate women, they hate or resent women who do not behave as they imagine women should behave–and a lot of other people as well.
I suspect that most of us would agree that if women or men do not behave as supposed, it is likely the supposition that is incorrect. But I think that the thought processes here are worth looking at because the Democratic Party has taken on a lot of Republican thought and attitudes in recent decades, so that if you mix the demographics up just a bit, a lot of this ought to be very familiar.
I disagree with your premise and believe that bitter hateful people are in fact devoid of thoughtful reasoning but merely rely on old ideas that have been handed down to them from their puritan forebears. Also I believe that they have very limited experiences and have read and researched very little. Bitter hateful tight-assed people see no reason to change and therefore wallow in their hatefulness.
Fair enough, Mary. I do assume that you are speaking in generalizations. But this is an idea that I have had, or it’s very like one, and it struck me some time back that there is a lot that it does not address:
- “Hateful, bitter, tight-assed people” and “Republicans” are not tightly overlapping categories. Suave or jovial Republicans (and Democrats) often support policies that damage some demographic
- People who are hateful with some are not always so with others. (So we may talk about people who hate women or minorities or old or young people, for instance)
- People who are bitter about certain things educate themselves considerably about others, including matters of culture and state (consider people in think tanks)
- We all rely considerably on ideas from our forebears and our communities. Why do some people with varied outward personalities stick themselves with the bitter extremes of those traditions?
I don’t think that you’re completely incorrect, Mary, but I have reluctantly decided that the complexities of category and the ways that these people with bitter concepts develop or acquire them are worth our attention. After all, if we take these bigotries as a whole and do not cherry-pick one or another that particularly bothers us, they are pretty much universal across the board.
Well, you are correct in that my words are an oversimplification of the subject of which you so eloquently wrote. Of course in all aspects of life there are “variations on the theme” but I am frequently frustrated by people who seem unable to see or hear another broader point of view than their tightly woven idea. And in the end I have tossed them into a bundle all by themselves. And yet I do have association with a few folks who are “god forbid” rethugligcons. But my tolerance is limited and so I limit my exposure because it becomes tiresome.
Perhaps my intolerance of spending time with many thoughtless citizens is due to the fact that I live in rural AZ and seriously miss the cultural outlets which thrive in coastal urban areas. My life is far from perfect and so all of us must compromise. I just wish some of my neighbors were more amenable to interesting conversations.
I can empathize here in the California desert as well. but I am lucky that way in my online life. For what it’s worth, I am glad to have your conversation here, and I hope I can keep my end interesting.
Fair enough, Mary. I am just trying to work all this out myself, honestly.
My wife and I too used to live close to cultural hotspots like Washington DC, and Baltimore and after years of fighting the traffic, the noise, the pollution and the masses of people, we chose to move away, closer to the mountains and some family.
Perfection, is overrated my dear.
Happiness, is what it is all about.
Life is too short not to be.
As a former psychotherapist, I think the root causes of selfish greed for excessive wealth and abusive power – and of hateful, harmful words and actions – are many severe psychopathologies.
In the words and actions of our mis-leaders (especially Republican reactionaries, but also many Demn centrists), I see clear signs of malignant narcissism, anti-social personality disorder (sociopathy/psychopathy), sadism, and other mental illnesses, psychological problems, personality disorders, and behavioral deformities!
We, the common people, urgently and desperately need to demand that all candidates and nominees for power (especially in government, big business, the military, and educational institutions) are psychologically tested by independent experts – to screen out and prevent harmful persons from gaining power over all of us!
but what you’re saying doesn’t account for organized hatred against women –
and it is certainly “organized” in the system of patriarchy controlling most societies worldwide.
"Patriarchy is a political system, just like Colonialism was a political system."
A side issue would be the vile propaganda of the organized pornography industry –
Would be as difficult for women to reply to that as it would have been for Jews to reply
to Hitler’s propaganda against them as: “Rats running in the gutters.” Or for AA’s to
reply to the constant symbolism of the “White’s Only” drinking fountains which made
them the Southern equivalent of “untouchables.” How about the Native American and
the Christian propaganda against them, that they were: “Pagans … only fit to be fed to
The biggest clue is “Christianity” and Vatican’s “Hammer of Witches” …
but even before that we had the Old Testament which was written to cement patriarchy.
Check our the war in the Bible where some are trying to tell truth and some are trying to hide it …
Adam is immediately a male supremacist – and is divorced or abandoned by Lilith, his first wife.
The screeching hatred for Lilith after that produces some of the most vile writings of women by
men – you have to go down about 12 layers to even find evidence of Lilith as anything else but
an evil woman. In truth, Lilith tries to help Eve and offers her friendship. And that’s been it since.
But this is really a story which shows us that the “creators of the story” have two different stories.
The original story was changed as control changed. Thus we see things like “God said, eat only
what grows in the garden.” And then the turn to eating and exploiting animals comes. Sometimes
it seems they couldn’t eliminate the original passage.
Always follow the hatred which leads to the violence . . .
The Vatican’s ability to print and distribute messages of intolerance and hatred throughout the Papal
States for their “enemies” was theirs alone.
And don’t ignore the violence.
The article misses the essential “Christian” identity of most of these men.
Why not ask why “Christianity” hates women?
Or why the Vatican hates women?
Why not ask why Hebrews hated women since the Old Testament was written to cement patriarchy?
WHY do people have blinders on about these religions based in male-supremacy?
And certainly, the Catholic Church moved not only to spread intolerance and hatred for women,
but to actually do violence to them.
See: “The Hammer of Witches” which went to the most extreme violence against women, not only
to burn them at the stake, but to erase their identifies as our scholars in study of nature/plants but
also in medicine. And as mid-wives. As community healers.
This was occurring, coincidentally, as the shortage of males due to their deaths in the Crusades
was leaving their wives inheritances of property and wealth.
Until the 1960’s in the US, women did not regain their right to credit.
Their rights to inheritance and even to their children was removed during the Burning Times.
I think that’s largely true because if we consider the estimate that male/female qualities
and Heterosexuality and Homosexuality are represented in varying degrees in all of us,
we realize that even in the extremes there are still representations of the opposing sex.
Happened to think about this tonight as I thought about Sen. Lindsey Graham.
I haven’t read anything to support this idea, but trust everyone will agree that there are
stereotypical portrayals of homosexuals as friends to women, admirers of them.
An example of this in the Billie Jean King/Emma Stone movie called “Battle of the Sexes.”
There’s a lovely scene at the end after she wins when a friend, a gay male, encourages her
to enjoy her win and offers the hope that “Someday we will be free to love who we love.”
On the other hand, certainly I’ve read that gay males in community in San Francisco weren’t
much into friendship with Lesbians – in fact, sometimes not very nice to them at all.
But, when the AIDS epidemic hit the gay male community there, Lesbians immediately came
to their aid.
So – I’m wondering if, perhaps even about homosexuals there are varied breakdowns of how
much they identify with the opposite sex. Some favoring more a connection to males, some
favoring more a connection to females?
But, nonetheless – whatever – loved the story that the Lesbians turned out to help and support
Notice that while homosexuality was once a taboo subject in US,
that we still see more venom (imo) for gay males than for Lesbians
who are much less often acknowledged to exist.
(My opinion is that since most of our societies are patriarchal, the “insult” of homosexuality
is more terrifying to males if it’s a gay male. A gay male is more of threat to what maleness
is and they don’t want challenges to their idea of an established norm which would destabilize
their foundation of manhood. Like the concept of “Mulatto” which had to be done away with
because it was a threat to any person who wasn’t sufficiently “white.”)
In fact, seems that in AA communities the idea of a female being a
Lesbian is a big blind spot. (See: Philadelphia Story)
Though there is an acknowledgment of gay males though not in a flattering way.
But – there continues to be almost no acknowledgment of bisexuality where
a person’s “chemistry” seems to decide the relationship rather than whether they
are male or female.
"And many women also support a male-dominated society which is somewhat
hard to understand."
This past Saturday when C-span opened its lines to discuss sexual abuse of women
and Kavanaugh’s future –
The first thing I noticed was the astonishing number of Southerners who were calling in.
They seem to have felt the most threatened with any collapse of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
But, oddly enough many of the Southern women were supporting Kavanaugh and then
they would go on to describe their sexual abuse by men.
Presume the Alt-right aren’t carrying the KKK cross? Or am I wrong.