No, I did not predict this at all. I am not just talking about Trump’s win. I am talking about the vile response to “The Left” and the placement of blame on “The Left” within Australia.
Yes, “The Left” the two words pronounced by the right-wing with such venom that it gives rise to a vision that “The Left” are fetid stains on society – just parasitic bots wrapped in ribbons of shit.
Last night as I saw this video land in my news feed, I was pretty annoyed to be honest. This epitomises exactly why “The Left” (in this instance, leftist women in general), are plain exhausted and why we are responding emotionally to the result of the US election.
A Rampant Underlying Disease
Throughout the entire campaign, women from “The Left” endured a rampant rise of misogyny, sexism, an entire video demonstrating how men perpetuate the notion that men can just claim our bodies whenever they want, that women are nothing but an uncessary appendage to their sexual parts, how we should be jailed for abortion and the biggest message of all that a woman cannot be trusted to be the President.
Trump played this card because this ingrained distrust that women can be strong leaders is a rampant underlying disease. This is evident not just in America, but in Australia as well.
Women are angry, emotional and distressed at the outcome and rightly so. The championing of Trump’s sexism and misogyny impacts on women at different levels.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape the impact of Trumps words are more painful and bring to the surface the fear of powerlessness and the reality and horror of sexual assault and rape happening again and reinforced as “okay”.
If you are a survivor of domestic violence, Trump’s words make escaping seems so much more harder, as who will believe you? You are just a woman.
If you are a woman of colour, Trump’s words added a quadruple layer to the extra layers of discrimination faced every single day and the terrifying reality of civil liberties ignored at an even deeper level.
If you have to face the agonising decision of abortion, Trump’s words make this not a personal decision, but label you in the lower echelons of society as a jailed criminal.
If you aim to be the boss and not just the secretary one day, or if you aspire to lead a board, a company or the country, your dream changed from a dream of hope and possibilities to a nightmare of climbing the highest mountain on earth and probably dying before you reached the top.
Every time Trump opened his mouth and every time people cheered it on, it chipped away at our agency. Agency we have fought for, that we marched for, that we slept out in the dark and reclaimed the night for. Agency we hold dear because we value and understand that women before us were tortured, abused, force fed, sexually assaulted and died so we have the agency we have today. Agency that is so far from complete agency that we are still fighting for every single day.
Women are NOTHING
Women know there are plenty of people who support women’s rights and are very aware there are plenty that don’t. However, I think we have come to a point where we feel that men who truly hate women, or men and women who do not believe women should have equality and agency, are in the moderate level of minority. I would hope to think as a whole, we respect the efforts of women before us, and we recognise we have come very far; and many men and women have joined this crusade.
To sit and witness millions upon millions of Americans champion Trump’s contempt for women, and endorse him by rewarding him with the Presidency and legitimising that his treatment and contempt for women should be the new norm; sent us through a time warp of pure hell and it was a chilling and terrifying awakening.
This was a terrifying awareness because, regardless of all of our progress and the fights we have endured, there were millions upon millions upon millions of people thumping the table and screaming “WOMEN ARE NOTHING!!!!” “MINORITIES ARE NOTHING!!!” when they cast their vote. Yet you stand there bewildered wondering why we are angry.
Lecturing and Hectoring
On The Project, the panel asked a question to Jamilla Rizvi about the election result and how she was feeling about it. Jamilla detailed how excited she was when she woke up and it was a big moment for women, but now it has all changed.
Steve Price, a right-wing commentator, interrupted Jamilla’s answer, by jumping in before she could speak to a follow-up question about the demographic statistics of voters, of which white women factored in the Trump vote quite highly.
Price jumped in (no, he doesn’t need to lean in) and started putting his point across. His point that this was about ‘Real America.” Jamilla cut him off and asked him to “Cut the Bullshit about ‘Real America’.
Jamilla wanted to stress two points. That ALL America is real America and that ‘Real America’ is not just the parts where Trump supporters exist, but ALL Americans are Real. A very valid point. The other point she made as he was having a go at her for ‘interrupting him’ (after he interrupted her) was the question was directed to her. Jamilla is a strong woman. Strong women make concerted efforts to claim back their rightful place when men try to take it away. Her rightful place was simply to be given the respect to answer a question that was directed at her.
Every woman sitting at home watching, even if they didn’t see this coming, have witnessed and experienced the next blow. The ire, wrath and fury that rises up within a contemptuous man, when he is in a face-off with a strong woman. The desperate and surging need that rises up from within to put the woman back in her place.
Price hit back with the “put her in her place triple whammy.” He hit back with the intent to apply blame and words to evoke self-doubt. The triple blow was that this was a two pronged barb. One aimed at women and the other aimed at “The Left.”
Price replied with this virulent retort:
“This is the reason why Donald Trump won, because people like YOU lecture and hector people.”
When Will Men Take Responsibility?
I predicted that Trump supporters would gloat and I predicted they would ridicule and I predicted they would name call. However, I did not predict the blame that they would put on “The Left.”
There are many on the left calling for ‘calm’ in their response to those who are salivating over the Trump win. Instead of insisting we call it out, now we are being told to respond with kindness and acceptance.
When will the women who fight for equality, ever get to take a rest from absolutely having to defend our position? Will it ever be over?
When will the ‘Anti-women men from the Right’ take responsibility for their own behaviours? If they took responsibility for their own words and behaviours, women would not be forced into a position time and time again to speak out against the abject misrepresentation, stigmatising rhetoric or other degrading nonsense they project.
In 2016, women have now endured hundreds of years of men speaking over the top of women, interrupting them, invalidating their views, telling them that they are wrong and that it is all their fault.
Why does it constantly need to be explained to men like Steve Price, that the actions he displayed (interrupting, correcting, criticising and blaming) are a constant women face on a daily basis. When will they understand that these words and behaviours lessen the value of a woman’s point of view and deligimitimises her true existence?
When comes the point in time that these types of men, clue onto the fact that it is their behaviours that invoke the response from women that they see as hectoring and lecturing.
When will they ever remain silent and listen quietly and patiently, (as we are expected to do) and reflect on their own behaviour?
Will there ever be a point in time where they say “I didn’t realise that my words and behaviours are actually quite damaging to women. I’m Sorry.”
Will there ever be a time when these men carefully consider the opinions of women instead of striking back and deflecting blame back and/or pushing a woman into the corners of self-doubt?
Men like Steve Price occupy a completely different space in society than women do. A space where they have been given the legitimate right to cry foul and throw tantrums if 100% attention is not focused on them at all times. Where their power is reinforced because everything they say is always validated, or it is an underlying expectation of the dyadic exchange.
They are in a self appointed position of privilege and power and they are so fearful of letting that go. In a classic fight or flight response, they fight back.
When will the time come when men will stop letting the fear of losing the position of power and privilege take hold and take flight from their own fears instead of fighting back?
I have found this applies very strongly to men who sit on the right of the spectrum, not just towards women, but towards minorities, but most severely towards “The Left.”
Blaming The Left
Since yesterday, I have had three men approach me about the Trump win. They know I am very pro-Labor and very much against right-wing views. All approached me as Trump supporters in different ways, but the message was the same: to “Put the Lefty-woman back in her place.”
One did it with the ridicule approach. His tactic was to force me to concede how wrong I am and that my views are not the correct views and so many more people disagree with me and not just him. He made accusation after accusation of how wrong the left is. How it is the fault of the left because they chose Hilary.
He then said:
“Everything that has happened today – Is your fault. The Left created it.”
To be frank, I lost my cool. All I saw before me was a man who had endorsed and gave legitimacy to the contempt Trump has for women. I also saw a man who was part of a powerful system who openly and willingly enabled a very dangerous place for women and minorities. On top of my feeling of terror I had been lugging around since the Florida count, I was then dealing with a very deep level of disgust and disbelief towards this man before me.
The upset was the reality of seeing Trump emerge as the winner. The words and sounds of everyone trying to find their position to accept and respect, never question and obey, or to revolt, was like watching one of those old movies with Hitler and Churchill, but it was in colour. All of this gave rise to a day of accumulative negative affect, which simply combusted into a critical negative affect.
I directed every single emotion in a long tirade of beratement towards this man, who emerged as the first man who thought he had the legitimate power to ‘put me back in my place.’
Just like Steve Price and just like the other two men who approached me, this man placed the blame of the divided country, and the acceptance of xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, misogyny, ableism and sectarianism as the path to a better world of “The Left.”
However, the Right need to take flight from their own fears instead of fighting “The Left.”
Born to Rule
Those who sit on the right elevate themselves into a position of legitimate power. Not legitimate by position of actual authority, but legitimate power because they believe they are in the true position of authority over “The Left.”
“The Left” must obey or they will be punished when we do obtain legitimate power of authority.
The Left must bow down and apologise for not following the perfect plans of the right and ruining society. (It’s all Labor’s fault! The Greens are Terrorists!” Echo…Echo..)
The belief of ‘born to rule’ and the reinforcement that “The Left” are the dregs of society and the right are the societal elite; is deeply, deeply ingrained in their psyche and culture, through their ideology of Individualism, the ethical framework they adopt of egoism and their vengeful hateful stigmatising rhetoric against every single group “The Left” stand for.
The Fear that really gave us Trump
Just like men who need to take responsibility for their words and behaviours, when will the time come when the right wing will stop letting the fear of losing their self-appointed position of power and privilege take hold and fight their own fears instead of fighting and blaming “The Left?”
When will they look deep and hard at their own back yard that Individualism and egoism are the antecedents for punitive welfare policies, harsh cuts to public services and welfare, their war on the collective right to bargain for a fair wage and fair conditions and the stigmatising and debasing rhetoric that has shunned and cornered the lower and working middle class?
When will the time come that they reflect on their own behaviours and sincely enact change, just as they are demanding “The Left” should do?
If the Right reflect on how individualism and egoism underpin some of the most destructive outcomes for society, they can actually bring themselves down a level and sincerely listen and work on real solutions.
If the right decide to not reflect, but remain on the trajectory that they must be obeyed and followed, as the world needs their Paternalistic guiding hand; this divide will continue to grow.
Individualism and Egoism drive the Right’s sense of legitimate power. The conundrum for the Right is; if they recognise Individualism and Egoism as the cause of abject poverty and divisiveness, the only solution is a collective and unified approach with the Left, adopting a socialist viewpoint with socialist solutions.
That in turn, would create a fear of losing ‘legitimate’ power. That is the moment where they need to decide flight or fight. Do they run away from Individualism and Egoism or continue to fight “The Left?”
If the Right are truly concerned about the growing swell of people in abject poverty and despair who have risen to elect Donald Trump, then those on the Right need to fight their own fears, and stop fighting “The Left” and make a serious attempt to address inequality.