50 Days

In 50 days the members of the 2022 to 2024 congress will be determined.

As a result of Trump’s efforts with the 2020 census to undercount minority and immigrant communities, Republican states have greatly increased their gerrymandering efforts, and the Trump tainted Supreme Court bench has allowed those efforts to remain in place for this midterm election cycle, even while declaring many of them unconstitutional.

This means the House is likely to flip back to a Republican majority led by Kevin McCarthy as speaker, if the Republicans don’t go completely nuts and give it to someone like Marjorie Taylor Green or Matt Gaetz.

The Senate is a different story.

Democrats currently hold a tie breaking majority, on paper. But that majority is greatly hindered by Senators Manchin and Sinema. Both of whom will remain in place until after the 2024 elections.

This means they actually need to win at least 2 seats to hold a real, effective majority.

Meanwhile, the Republicans only need to gain a single seat to reinstate Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader. I guarantee that one of his first steps as leader will be to eliminate the ability for Democrats to filibuster any bill he wants to pass.

If Republicans, due to that gerrymandering that will likely secure the House for them, also gain a supermajority then they will be able to override any veto Biden attempts

There are also more than 35 gubernatorial seats up for election this cycle, along with an equally staggering number of Lt. Governorship, states’ Attorneys General, and Secretaries of State, and school board seats.  The importance of these offices cannot be overstated with the recent Supreme Court rulings on “States’ Rights” to religious oppression, election gerrymandering, denial of womens’ rights, and limiting/restricting health care access.

Do not let any of the hype about a “Blue Wave,” or “Roevember,” or insurrection backlash creating an enhanced turnout lull you into a sense of overconfident complacency.

Make a plan now.

Make sure you are registered. Make sure you cast and submit your ballot properly, whether in person or absentee. Make sure to help at least one other person do the same.

The Republicans have made it clear that the future of our democracy, all of our rights, all of our health, all of our education, many of our marriages, and quite a few of our lives are actually on the ballot this year.

Act accordingly.

You have 50 days.

Dealing With Sexual Predators — Overcoming Cultural Inertia: Part 6

This is the sixth entry in an ongoing series exposing entrenched patterns in our societal culture that hinder our progress and what we can do to break free of them.   Previous entries are still available.   Part 1.   Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5.

Over the last few days, more and more information detailing a long history of workplace sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein has been surfacing.

People have been quick to jump all over this in order to further partisan political divides.

Even the President and many of his followers weighed in suggesting that any democrats that received money from Weinstein over the years should have to return it.

We have created a long standing and deeply entrenched rape culture based on toxic masculinity.   The pervasiveness of this extends far beyond any one political party or any one socioeconomic class.

This is a culture that routinely punishes school girls for being distractions to male students who are taught “boys will be boys” instead of how to become real men who don’t give in to their base impulses.

This is a culture that assumes a woman who gets raped must have not only deserved it but asked for it, by the way she dressed, the way she acted, the fact that she was drinking in public, or even because she’s actually had consensual sex at some point in her past.

This is a culture that would rather allow a court room to further destroy a young woman for daring to file a police report and press charges against her assailant, than properly sentence a sexual predator for fear that punishment might harm his future potential.  They don’t care at all about the future potential of his victim(s).

This is a culture that would not only force a young rape victim to carry a child she was impregnated with during her rape to term, but then give her rapist joint custody.

This is a culture that will ruin the career of a woman who steps forth with allegations of sexual assault in the workplace.

This is a culture that assumes any woman who achieves any level of business success must have achieved her position of power through sexual influence and “sleeping her way to the top.”

This is a culture that enables rapists while discouraging and punishing the victims for speaking out.

This is a result of a society based upon the key to success being toxic masculinity.

A few years back, Rachel Lu wrote an excellent article on the subject, in which she stated:

 

Feminists are now in love with the term “toxic masculinity,” but interestingly, it doesn’t seem to have originated with them. It was coined in the 90s by men’s advocates (such as the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement) who were looking to contrast a normal, healthy masculinity with more negative manifestations of manliness. As more and more boys grew up without fathers, and as their struggles were continually overlooked by a world anxious to promote the welfare of women, the stereotypical hyper-aggressive and sex-crazed man became more common and more feared.
This is the essence of “toxic masculinity.” It is emotionally stunted and obsessed with sex and violence. Toxic males seek the thrill of danger and shun responsibility and commitment. Since they lust after women but don’t want to marry or love them, their attitude towards the other sex tends to be offensively objectifying, and can easily turn misogynistic if (as often happens) they experience rejection. When a young man is unable to talk to girls, and vents his frustration by killing them instead, toxic ideals of manhood are clearly in play.

 

This has nothing at all to do with political alignment, and attempting to act like it does, allows us to argue about the wrong aspect of the problem and leads us down a path that will never reach valid resolutions.

Modern Americans are raised not understanding the difference between sexual and sensual.  They are raised not understanding personal responsibility when it comes to sex.  They are raised society with a marketing and entertainment culture that glorifies in using sex and sexuality as a tool, while also demonizing those who show interest in it at every turn.

If we want to put an end to sexual predators in our culture, we need to teach our children not be become them.  We need to properly punish those who do, in order to help send the appropriate messages to others.

We need to have the right discussions and give our children the right tools to make intelligent informed decisions as both young and grown adults.

We need to force our media to improve their reporting of such incidents.  As Leah Finnegan explains

:

The media is very bad when it comes to reporting stories of sexual misconduct against women.

 

And we need to understand, that you have no valid moral ground for political arguments judging sexual predators if you voted for, or supported in any way, the installation of the “Grab her by the Pussy” self-confessed sexual predator into the highest governmental office of our nation.