Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mail Call #8: Men would like me to think about Bill Clinton

Catching up with emails in response to my recent article about Trump and rape culture. SO MANY men, all saying the exact same damn thing, like broken, paternalistic mandroids:

Emily not once did you mention Bill Clinton in your article? Something to think about.
I was reading your column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regarding the treatment of woman at the hands of rich and powerful men and I notice something that was conspicuously absent. There wasn’t any mention of former president Bill Clinton.
Didn't see Bill Clintons name even once in your column. It's really sad that liberal journalists can bring themselves to cover an issue from both sides.
...there are a lot of people who can't tell the difference between reporters and opinion columnists, y'all.

These entries go on, and on.

Let me put this simply:
  1. Bill Clinton is not currently running for president. Trump is.
  2. Trump is on tape bragging about committing sexual assault.
  3. Hillary Clinton is not personally responsible for any crimes her husband may have committed.
I will end on this incredibly on-point post made by a friend of a friend, because it should be the most important take away from all of this:

Liberal friends: you know what's not cool? Posting a link to allegations of rape against Trump and then trying to demonize Juanita Broaddrick et al for allegations against Bill Clinton. You're not forensic investigators. You're not gonna blow holes in decades-old rape cases, and you damn well shouldn't be trying.
Conservative friends: you know what's not cool? Defending Trump's harassment and rape and misogyny by pointing out someone else did those things, too. That doesn't make it ok! Two people doing rape just means both people are horrible! Also unfair: making Hillary culpable for all of her husband's sins. She certainly has things to answer for, but she didn't rape anybody. Keep that in mind, please.
Oh, are there inconsistencies in someone's story? Yeah, I bet if you ask me about my rape you'll find inconsistencies in mine; it was years ago and, you know, traumatic. Do these accusers have something to gain? Maybe, but I can tell you as a fact that they probably suffer a lot more than they gain by making up stories like this; look at the way all these women have been dragged through the mud for decades. Rape has a false reporting rate of about 4%, just like most other crimes. While it's possible these stories are made up, it's very very very likely that they are not, especially when so many women have come forward.
Listen up, y'all: WE DON'T GET TO PICK WHICH VICTIMS WE BELIEVE BY WHICH CANDIDATE THEY SUPPORT. If you want justice for rape victims (and you damn well better) then you need to accept that even someone you support might be a horrible person, even if this fact makes your decision making suddenly very morally fraught and messy.
So if you are outraged about Trump or Bill Clinton, that's good! It's good to be outraged about people who molest, demean, assault, and otherwise abuse others. But don't act like your opponent's accusers are all telling the truth while the ones accusing your team are all liars. Every victim deserves justice.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mail Call #7: Trumping Reason (or coherence)

Trump supporters continue to spout confusing word salads at me. I think this person is anti-clean water and voting because of abortion? Or something? You decide:

It is amazing how progressives pick and choose among 'human rights'.  Finding from the right to life a right to feticide.  Finding a right to vote.  Finding a right to my environment's clean water.

Finding, from the right to life, a right to defense of life but not the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Truly Meme Magic.  The Alternative Right is right.  TRUMP 2016

On a more positive note, I've gotten a much higher than normal volume of positive email responses to my column about the Clinton/Trump debate, largely from women, and specifically largely from older women who express how much relief and righteousness they felt at seeing what they've been experiencing their whole lives put into words. I find this incredibly humbling and gratifying, but also infuriating that so many women have had to suffer these indignities in relative silence for so damn long.

No. Fucking. More.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mail Call #6: The Eloquence of Trump Supporters

I don't even know. I'm not even sure which of my columns this was in response to:
Don, Ron, and Mike Trump Hillary, Russ and Little Tommy Nelson! Defend your sick candidate and spin some more lies! Really tired of the Limousine Liberals. the super rich hypocrites on the left! We don't care about how much money Trump has or had, we care about our country getting back to some kind of normal and stopping this social engineering and corruption of our young! Who's the Hillary body double? Unreal how they're trying to snooker the great masses who can't read beyond social media headlines. Signed by One of the Deplorables and wearing it proudly...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mail Call #5: Pro-plagiarism!

Another week, another logically incoherent email response to a column. Today's installment comes in reply to my recent piece on the Republican National Convention garbage fire.
Emil (you were Emil before you became Emily, right) You seem to have a problem with the passage that Melanie Trump used from michelle obama’s speech which was written by others by the way. Would you have preferred her to use the words that she (obama) uttered in another a speech, “ this is the first time in my life I am proud to be an American”. Ya she said that. Quite sure she wrote that herself. Possible help from barry . You could have written, thank god she (Melanie) didn’t use the words “this is the first time in my life I am proud to be an American’ The fact is Melanie Trump is very proud to be an American all of the time. I guess michelle obama is occasionally when it suits her purpose . Hey, keep up the quality freelance writing in Madison. “The peoples republic of Madison”

Enjoy your rigged convention That would be a great topic for next Sunday’s freelance writing

does “freelance writing” mean they won’t pay you for your efforts???
I'd like to note that I find no insult in being "accused" of being transgender (I am not), and if you open your letter with such a random and transphobic remark, you've effectively ceded your ability to actually win the argument. Of course, folks like this don't really care about changing anyone's mind. They just want to continue feeling superior in their own minds, without having to actually reflect on and analyze what they're spouting. Because the rest of this letter is a totally weird mishmash that, I think, is trying to excuse Melania Trump's (or her speech writer's) plagiarism because at least she used the positive parts of Michelle Obama's speech and not a taken-out-of-context and frequently misunderstood bit from another of her speeches from years ago.
Or something. Who knows anymore. 

I also enjoy the bit where this person seems to utterly misunderstand what the term "freelance" means.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mail Call #4: GOBMENT

In response to my article about Sen. Ron Johnson's attempt to let private charter schools take public money without any oversight or accountability - all errors are the email author's:

In your opinion and that of the journal, let’s keep all those failing kids in failing schools to keep the low life education machine well greased with (MY) taxpayer money.  Don’t give , the only real Senator this state has had since well before you liberal communist/socialists where BORN a chance.  Senator Johnson has been trying to help the kids ( YOU) the liberals, have placed into a second class role in the lib society!  Keep them poor and dependent on “GOBMENT” programs for existance. The liberal way to keep them voting for the loosers in the world of politics!  Don’t believe that...look at your dismal record of failure after failure and open your socialist eyes!
Aside from the part where this person completely misses the point I was making, their email is certainly an argument in itself for higher standards and proper funding for education. Clearly, they suffer from its lack.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mail Call #3: Votes for No One I Dislike

I wrote about how Voter ID disenfranchises people. As usual, folks got angry:

You are the most in competent IDIOT liberal of them all!If one does not have the Brains or minimal effort to get a voter ID they DO NOT have the right to Vote!You and the other Liberal,America haters want to vote for them!Trump will Win and America will put you and others like you back in the septic tank you crawled out of!
Trump will put us all back into the septic tank. Now that's comforting. Do folks listen to themselves when they write this shit?

And a two-fer for you today:

You liberals always have something to cry about. What is wrong about having an ID to vote. If voter fraud is unheard of as you claim why worry about it. The reason you guys are so upset is because you are worried. there is something to the lefty cliche "Make sure you vote and vote often". You guys have to gather up people from cemeteries, prisons and people with dementia from nursing homes to cast a vote. The rest are young people who are still wet behind the ears and easy to deceive. This leaves a balance of people who votes are bought . The group that wants more free this and free that. You cater to minorities like Blacks and Latino's and promise them anything as long as they vote for the Democrats. That leaves the rest of us who labor hard and are the ones Liberals to pay all these freebies, and we just want to make sure you don't pull the wool over ours eyes. Conservatives are harder to fool than the liberals Some day the liberal base might wise up but I doubt it, at least as long as you are running the schools and universities, where you shout down any opposing views and spread lie upon lie.
Lots of unfounded and actively disproved dog whistling in this one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mail Call #2: "Your small problem"

This one is just plain difficult to parse, but came in response to one of my articles in support of equal/safe/fair access to bathroom facilities for transgender folks.

I swear, some people's children:

I was only a young boy when I realized I wanted to get the ole snip snip. Not until recent times have I been able to muster enough mental and physical strength to cut through my 14 inch fire hose. After all is said and done I love being a born again woman, but have to say I disagree with your article on transgender bathroom rights. If I'm a boy I should use the boys bathroom and if I'm a girl I should use the girls bathroom. I don't want any degenerates or sickos in my bathroom while I'm trying to peacefully do my business. All in all I think you're plain wrong so please quit your job because it's not that big of a deal and I'm sorry you look like a man but don't take it out on the anti transgender people because your problem can be easily solved.

Please stop lashing out about your small problem and find something else to do, thank you.
Really hitting a lot of the finer points here:
  • Weirdly disjointed commentary on his own gender identity, alleged penis size (natch) 
  • Transphobia! Transmisogyny!
  • Nice little attempted jab about me "looking like a man" (I look like me, no apologies needed)
  • Urging me to "quit my job" (this column writing business is freelance but you'd be amazed how many people seem to think I'm employed full time by MJS) because his opinion differs
  • Belittling of what is a very real, very serious issue for a lot of folks by calling it a "small problem"
Sadly, this email is pretty representative of the super hateful, misguided, fearful, gross commentary I've received every time I write about transgender rights. I've hesitated to post any of it, frankly, because lord knows my trans friends don't need more of this disgusting vitriol in their lives, but I also want to show everyone else exactly the kind of hurtful shit trans people have to deal with all the time. It shouldn't be up to them to shut it down, either - that's the role of us, the allies.

So speak the fuck up whenever and wherever you hear anything remotely like this being spewed. Point out why it's wrong, why it's hurtful, why it matters - how much easier it is just to be decent to one another. Dollars to donuts the email writer above could have used a lot more of said decency in their life, too, to have steered them away from the clearly confused, ignorant, and fearful place they're in now.

Take care of each other.
    The Lost Albatross