Ultimately, what might be most frustrating about Beto is that we all know someone like him. He’s the guy in the meeting who hasn’t done any of the work but who repeats a woman’s points and immediately gets a round of applause and a promotion. He’s the guy who pays eloquent lip service to the importance of diversity, but would never go so far as conceding a woman might be better qualified for a job than him. He’s the epitome of mediocre white male confidence. And if there is one thing America does not need at the moment, it’s more mediocre white guys running things.
After Lesko, who seemed to share Beck’s concerns about trans people, described them as men “pretending” to be women, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) interrupted and said, “I think the suggestion that transgender individuals are pretending they are of a different gender is deeply offensive.” Ruth Glenn, president and CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), said Thursday’s testimony was “very critical” to the reauthorization of VAWA and called Beck’s testimony “shocking.” “I will say that I know what she was doing there. That was to offer a different opinion. Unfortunately, her opinion is not based in fact,” Glenn said. “And it was very hurtful to hear what she had to say about a community that is disproportionately experiencing violence, whether it’s sexual violence or domestic violence.”
“I still do not know what I was arrested for, I was only told that I am dangerous,” Jarrar said during a reception in Ramallah on Thursday afternoon. “This is what we have always said when it comes to administrative detention — that it’s arbitrary. That it’s always political. Therefore we demand to put an end to this illegal practice.”
Too many representatives chose to bloviate instead of interrogate — except for one.
this man thought I was a prostitute,” she recalls today, her signature blond bouffant bouncing with her giggles. But 19-year-old Parton, even when lost in the big city, was unflappable. When the man wouldn’t leave her alone she whipped out a little pistol her father had given her in case of emergencies: “If you touch me one more time, you’ve had it!” she shouted. The man disappeared into midtown Manhattan, but the encounter was later immortalised in Parton’s first, and probably most enduring movie, the 1980 feminist classic 9 to 5. It is used in the scene that establishes Parton’s character, when she takes a gun out of her purse, points it at her sexist boss, Mr Hart (Dabney Coleman), and tells him if he doesn’t stop harassing her she will turn him “from a rooster to a hen with one shot”.
Discussions about political correctness often center around free speech, with the implication that free speech applies to some people—those with power and privilege—and not others. It’s incumbent on all of us to shift the conversation, and talk more about how to protect the free speech and voices of marginalized people, whose demands for basic respect too often remain the butt of jokes.
In one case from February, a popular model and photographer named Jess Linnet posted an account of her negative experience with a photographer along with the experiences of a dozen or so others whom she had spoken to. Within less than an hour, Instagram suspended her account without offering any explanation, leaving the photographer’s account untouched. Jess wrote multiple impassioned emails that explained the difficulty of being a female artist on Instagram and eventually Instagram reinstated her profile. Missing, however, were the accusations against the photographer.
A visibly upset Abrams told Omar that it was a “fabulous achievement” that democracy came to El Salvador, but Omar wouldn’t let him dodge the question and he eventually had to admit that he didn’t think a mass killing conducted by American-trained forces was something to be proud of. Next, she turned to Abrams’ role in whitewashing war crimes that were being carried out under the orders of Guatemalan leader Ríos Montt, who was later convicted of ordering genocide within his own country. “Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide if you believed they were serving US interests as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua?” Omar asked. “I’m not going to respond to that question, I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t think this entire line of questioning is meant to be real questions.”
There is a real, and frightening, rise in anti-Semitism in the United States right now, particularly coming from an emboldened white nationalist movement and its political mouthpieces. But it should go without saying that valid criticism of powerful political lobbies like AIPAC—whose leaders have boasted of their political pull—should be fair game. It’s clear, however, that many of Omar’s critics intentionally misread her tweet—which was flip, and assumed a kind of familiarity and casual tone that didn’t serve her point very well—by conflating criticism of AIPAC with anti-Semitism and turning a poorly framed tweet into a bad faith media frenzy. This is also not the first time that Omar has come under fire for her views on Israel and Palestine, despite consistently placing the political struggle against anti-Semitism alongside that of anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination. (“Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are two sides of the same bigoted coin,” she wrote in November as she prepared for her freshman orientation in Washington.)
This year’s most-nominated woman on Sunday’s awards show, marrying her wife illegally and her all-female festival