Based on the evidence — the behavior of the free range rednecks — the anti-trans laws aren’t about intimidating trans-women. They’re about intimidating ALL women.
It’s not about bathrooms, it never was. Just like it was never about drinking fountains.
The Republican party has gone sour. Its politics have curdled into a festering misogyny. Misogyny worked well for them in small doses — but now it has become a fundamental part of their social agenda. Stopping the ERA was a useful battle cry for rousing the rabble, but since then they’ve embraced all the allied issues as well: opposing health care for women, criminalizing the right to choose, restricting maternity leave and family care, trying to shut down Planned Parenthood, eliminating school lunches and cutting back on food stamps, dumbing down education, refusing equal pay — look at their social agenda. It’s all about control of other people’s lives. Especially women’s lives.
Their most recent campaigns against LGBT people, especially trans-people, are merely the hood ornament on the battering ram. Underneath — it’s about intimidating women. And men they perceive as weak.
Because the real goal is male dominance.
The methodology is bullying. The bully tries to cover his cowardice by demonstrating how strong he is. He plays to the audience of his enablers. How does he prove he’s strong? He dominates someone. Domination means intimidation. You make them feel weak and powerless. Remember those primary debates — or should I say debacles? All that dick-waving? They were trying to figure out who could be the biggest bully.
There’s a reason why Republicans don’t want their women educated. Women who go to college might read Lysistrata. (Look it up.) The truth about women is terrifying to these men. They can’t see it, they can’t recognize it, they will never admit it, but women are the stronger sex.
To carry a baby takes nine months of increasingly physical and emotional demands on a body. To deliver that baby often requires not only a great deal of pain but also the risk of death. And then there’s the years of nurturing that follow. Women have a much more complex physiology than men and have physical issues of which most men have absolutely no comprehension.
The strength of women is not demonstrated so much by bulging musculature and feats of derring-do as much as it is demonstrated by endurance, patience, and commitment. Those things can be terrifying to a man who hasn’t outgrown his adolescence, who pinballs between impatience and “let’s settle this once and for all.” The true strength of a capable woman can be an alien experience to a man-boy.
Some men get it about women. There are men who recognize the true nature of partnership. But too many men do not. Too many of the men who should be the allies of women — especially too many gay men — are too often silent. The men who should be activists on behalf of their mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives are too often the biggest part of the problem.
I suspect it’s the empathy-thing.
Women tend to demonstrate empathy better than men. It might be that our culture trains boys to be self-centered, to not be empathic, while training girls to be submissive. Or maybe it’s rooted in our DNA. Or maybe it’s that thing that women need to pay attention to what men are doing as a matter of survival. Men don’t need that same awareness. (Read what women have to say about the simple act of walking down a city street.)
Right now, our society is on the cusp of change. The candidacy of Hillary Clinton will be a transformative moment in American politics. We cannot look at this election through the lens of the past — because this election is nothing like any election we’ve had in the past.
But this is why the Republican party opposes Hillary Clinton so virulently. The election of a capable woman will expose their inherent misogyny the same way the election of Barack Obama exposed their inherent racism.
What has been revealed by the assertions of the GOP candidates is the ugly core of the Republican failure. By its desperate appeals to the dark side of the American psyche, the GOP has finally demonstrated that it is unfit to govern.
It is a tragic disaster for the party that once gave us leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The scale of the damage remains to be seen.