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    • Maya Stiles Parsons Spier

      Columnist, Editor-in-Chief
    • September 26, 2016 in Columnists

    Yeah, they do feel empowered and not just racists, either

    Misogyny is explicitly, visibly incentivized and rewarded. You can watch it self-perpetuate in front of your eyes.
    Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)

    I am a computer programmer for my day job and this weekend, we had an implementation — a rollout of new code, fixes and enhancements for our complex and gargantuan system. Yes, I am smarter than I look. Thank mercy.

    Part of the reward for doing all this at gawdawful in the morning on a Saturday is the amazing goodies everybody brings. Food binge!  Semi party atmosphere! Great company (I have wonderful coworkers)!

    So Friday I went shopping. On about four hours of sleep. After an 11 hour work day (not factoring in the business of getting up and dressed and the commute), I was pooped and so, of course, I forgot half and half (and a few other things). Which meant I had to stop and get something because I am a coffee wimp and a creamer snob and must therefore infuse great gouts of dairy products in my Keurig caramel flavored wimp coffee.

    Naturally, the mini-mart/gas station run by locals was closed. I was obliged to go to the truck stop chain. Where they did not have half and half. They had whole milk.Whatever.

    I am a chatty sort. It makes for a natural writer because words in any form really are my thing. So I’m at the register, making my purchases, gabbing as I went.  I had just finished up and was ending with my parting words when a grouchy male voice from behind me snarled, “Will you shut up and finish, lady? I’m waiting here.”

    Excuse me?

    I turn to peruse the miscreant.

    Now, I can’t be sure he’s a Trump supporter. No red hat. No obscene, misogynistic t-shirt blaring out some vile insult to Hillary. But he sure looks like a goodly number of men I’ve seen at Trump rallies. Clearly unwashed, I don’t think he’s homeless, although there are homeless people who hang out there. He doesn’t have that deeply ingrained grime that life on the streets can give a person. His hair is thinning and white, his ravaged skin sports rather more than stubble but without the grace of a beard. His red, bulbous nose suggests age, but also the possibility of a deep affinity for excessive amounts of alcohol.

    “Or  you could learn some manners,” I retort without fear. We’re in a public place. His arms are full. Even if he’s packing, he’d have to drop it all to even reach for the weapon I can’t tell if he’s carrying or not — this red belt in mixed martial arts would have him nailed before he could pull it. Besides, I’m an old bat and I don’t put up with being talked to this way.

    “Lady, I’m cold as shit and want to get out of here. Will you just shut the fuck up?” he growls again.

    “Do you talk to your mother like that?” I shoot back, but I put my wallet in my pack, grab my stuff and go. I’m not scared. I’m expected at work.

    Since Trump began his savage assault on the American political system, trying to storm the gates of government where he believes he can wreak all the criminal, corrupt, lying, indecent, world-destroying havoc he pleases, the monsters have been creeping out from under their rotting logs. Think zombies crawling out from the earth. Grubs, writhing when the light of day hits them. That sort of thing. The incidences of racism have not only exploded, they are absolutely brazen. Trump has empowered them and they are dancing their insane, hate-grinning tarantellas of violence without the shame that has held them back (at least sort of) for decades. Even monsters will shut it down if enough people roar back at them.

    Suddenly they don’t care about the approbation of the rest of us. Donald Trump has not just given permission. He’s encouraged them — directly or by example.

    It’s not just racists, though, or xenophobes. It looks like the misogynists are coming out in full force, too. I’m willing to bet that, before the Trump candidacy, this aging, pot-bellied man of significantly ugly physical presence would have just put up with it quietly. He might have been steaming. He might have even fantasized about doing me some sort of harm like punching me in the head to get me to shut up and get out of there. But he wouldn’t have said what he did to me. He would have known that this was not acceptable behavior in public toward a woman he did not know.

    But now, with Trump’s storied history of vile insults to women (here ya go), his grinning admission that he treats women like shit, his bragging about his glory days — his “personal Vietnam” — of fucking as many women as humanly possible (ew! Who could even…) (here he is, saying it), the way he treats his wives like broodmares valued for their looks, his intensely creepy relationship with his older daughter — and there’s more all the time — he has given permission to every woman hater on Team Trump to do the same.

    Trump is the living embodiment of a woman’s nightmare. He doesn’t just think we aren’t equal. He actively thinks we’re inferior. He thinks we’re intrinsically powerless but also resents any woman who either wants or has power (aside from Ivanka) and will do or say whatever he has to do to keep them in their “proper” place. He doesn’t even insult us as equals — I guarantee any insult he would turn on a man would have little or nothing to do with that man’s gender. He insults us in gender specific ways because it’s a further expression of his intrinsic contempt. On top of this, he has been accused of rape — he has a civil trial coming up for raping a 13 year old girl, threatening her life and her family’s lives (Huffington Post analysis of the case). And with all of that, with all of his criminal corruption which has been documented and proven over and over again, he struts around free, spewing his infectious venom, all without apparent consequence  — and the haters are listening.


    I think that even if Trump does not win, we will be seeing more of this just as we have been seeing more shameless racism, ableism (watch here) and xenophobia. Even if he doesn’t win, the despicables have come creeping out from their noisome refuges where they had been stewing quietly in their noxious juices all this time.

    Good question how we’re going to get them stuffed back in…


    • Do you talk to your mother like that?” I shoot back, I love this retort. The last paragraph especially is so true!

        • Maya Spier Stiles North

        • September 27, 2016 at 10:16 pm
        • Reply

        I think that’s a factor in thinking people’s fear — especially we who have seen the 40s, 50s, 60s and remember when the stuff he brings out in people was perfectly fine. As an adoptee and an officially illegitimate baby, I know my fate would have been pretty bad back in the day and that was a direct reflection of attitudes toward women (Madonna/whore (which makes NO sense sense in their worldview, only bad women have sex but in order to be that most perfect of women, a mother, she has to have sex). I don’t miss those days and I don’t want them back.

      • Sandra McPherson

      • September 26, 2016 at 3:26 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you so much for speaking up! I’m avoid tonight’s debate because I spent years with an abuser & the last thing I want to witness is the Big Orange Abuser getting more opportunity to batter verbally. Why do people give abuse any credence whatever? Why did I? I won’t again! –Sandra McPherson, Prof Emerita, UCDavis

        • Maya Spier Stiles North

        • September 27, 2016 at 10:14 pm
        • Reply

        I have assiduously avoided debates because watching Republicans spew selfish, heartless, defense of the utterly indefensible tends to make me homicidal and that’s bad for the digestion. However, I made an exception this time and trust me, if you can hold on to someone you love at least for a while, watching Hillary handle that man with such skill — and ostentatious patience — is a balm for the soul. <3

      • Lilly Lidine

      • September 26, 2016 at 7:38 pm
      • Reply

      How did you being chatty while getting a cup of coffee turn into this rant?
      Sounds like the guy was really rude. You know like some rude people we watch on FB videos being rude to fast food cashiers. Rude is not racist. Rude is rude. No one deserves to be spoken to like the way he spoke to you.
      I just don’t know how you can judge this man as being a horrible Trump supporter just because he was rude and cold & wanted to get out of there. I’m not taking up for his rudeness. I’m just thinking that this is what is wrong with the world today.
      This guy is rude, he looks old & does not dress well. Does that mean he is a seething Trump supporter just waiting to unleash his nastiness on the world bc he was encouraged to by Trump?
      Maybe he realized he didnt pick up a basket for his items & was aggravated the store was cold, his wife is waiting & grumbling at him for being late. Maybe his dog just died. Maybe you being chatty was making him late for the current BLM protest. But still you did not know anything about this guy & you have him pegged as a sleezy, overbearing Trump supporter, acting on Trump’s commands.
      Yes your reply was snappy and great. I would have said something like that too. To go on and sum up everything about this person you dont know and assume he’s everything you were ranting about is opposite what the BLM supporters are saying, NOT to judge.
      Don’t judge. Quit acting like it’s US and THEM.
      I know several people that could fit the description of that guy who are Hillary and Johnson of Liberal party supporters, who just happen to be grumpy at the end of the day and may have said something like,” Get to the point”.
      Stop with the seething. Stop with the “Trump/ Hillary/Obama/demos/repubs are making people act like…..”
      People are people.
      Tell him he’s rude, tell him his Mama would not be proud of him, tell him you like to chat, so he should get in another check out line. But don’t jump to conclusions on who this man is. You don’t really know.
      All that being said, I have always enjoyed your writings. For some reason I wanted to say something about this. I’m tired of people being rude. I’m tired of people judging.

        • Maya Spier Stiles North

        • September 27, 2016 at 10:28 pm
        • Reply

        Actually, if you slow down and reread, I say quite clearly that I can’t be sure he’s a Trump supporter (“Now, I can’t be sure he’s a Trump supporter. No red hat. No obscene, misogynistic t-shirt blaring out some vile insult to Hillary.”). I also wrote it when it was quite fresh and I was pretty angry at being abused. I spent several lifetimes being abused and have very little patience with it. You want me to hurry up? Say “I’m cold and tired — could you please hurry?” and you’ll get an apologetic smile, a shrug and a “Sure, I’m sorry, have a nice day.” That isn’t what I got. My actual point was that misogynists, like racists and xenophobes, are being empowered, enabled and encouraged by Trump and that the whole horrid crew is coming out of the woodwork. I’m very nearly 61 years old and I recognize misogynists when I see them. For one thing, they feel entitled to speak any way they damn well please to women — any time and anywhere. So please go back and reread and take the point I meant to make. I can only be responsible for how I intended it and to express that the best I can. You might want to read this, too: http://ipinionsyndicate.com/judgment-discernment-judging-can-save-us/. I used to be troubled by being judgmental and there’s certainly plenty of it that’s brutal — I’ve also spent a lifetime being targeted as any woman who weights over 300 lbs will tell you is a constant. Sometimes it’s being judgmental. Sometimes it’s discernment. It really is.

        Glad you like my writing, though. 🙂

    • Trump has made it OK to be an asshole again. We have reached a new low.

        • Maya Spier Stiles North

        • September 27, 2016 at 10:29 pm
        • Reply

        Seems so to me. It’s like handing those nasty little boys who taunted me when I was huge a bucket of rocks and saying “have at it. Fat bitch deserves it.”

    • Your rants are beautiful!

        • Maya Spier Stiles North

        • September 27, 2016 at 10:31 pm
        • Reply

        Thank you! I’m so restrained most of the time (believe it or not — just ask Debra) that unleashing just a little feels pretty satisfying. That unpleasant old windbag basically handed me the key to the city 😉

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