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Light Saturday Reading: Misogyny, Patriarchy & Liz Cheney

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

It's Saturday morning! Did you spend your week longing for an example of what patriarchy looks like in action?

Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. We have an example.

The political drama centered around Rep. Liz Cheney (and what we believe is her principled stance on the impeachment vote) is unfolding in real-time as a perfect encapsulation of the patriarchy in action.

Let's discuss.

First, she's one of only 10 Reps to vote for impeachment. She's the only woman.

Yet, who are we focused on?

Yup, you guessed it. The lone woman. (Like, really, really focused. You can read takes on it here (and if you only read one, this is the one: it's local), here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. And that's just since Thursday. Also, we got tired.)

Philosopher Kate Manne offers a framework for patriarchy and misogyny: "Namely, I argue that we should think of misogyny as serving to uphold patriarchal order."

(If you haven't read her brilliant book Down Girl, now's a good time!)

Women are "allowed" to participate so long as they follow the rules. Men have a different set of rules entirely.

Manne explains that women are not allowed to *be* in the same way as men. "She will be in trouble when she does not give enough, or to the right people, in the right way, or in the right spirit."

So, if Rep. Cheney is being hammered about her vote—clearly she didn't give enough, or to the right people, in the right way, or in the right spirit—how is the post-impeachment vote unfolding for the 9 men? We have questions.

Do they *already* have (unimpressive and ineffective) primary challengers that the (out-of-town) media is frothing at the mouth to talk about?

Two of the nine men have challengers. The rest are waiting to see how redistricting affects them.

Did Matt Gaetz (deliberately not linking to that video, really can't do it, sorry, but happy to show you this:)

...come to anyone's else's congressional district (and treat everyone there like a moron)?

Spoiler alert: No, no he did not.

Did the coastal media parachute in and visit the vape shops, bars, and hardware stories in the other Reps' towns? (Because this is some nonsense. And that reporter is everywhere—tv, radio, print—talking about Cheyenne like the people are some kind of zoo animals. Exotic species she's never seen before. Sure, we think that the comments of some of those folks and their refusal to mask warrants incredulity. But we agree with this take:

(Also: This serves as a good reminder to SUPPORT LOCAL MEDIA, SUBSCRIBE TODAY!)

Again, no. The answer is no.

Did a former President call their dads to thank them for their service? Also no.

"President Bush is planning to call VP Cheney tomorrow for two reasons: to wish him a happy 80th birthday, and to thank him for his daughter's service."

Have they been censured by local or state GOPs? Turns out, basically everyone has.

(That might be a different discussion entirely. Because local GOPs have censured Liz Cheney, Cindy McCain, JoAnn True, Joe McGinley, and countless other hard working, card carrying conservatives recently. Which is a reminder that we should all be involved in local politics. See Lyz Lenz for more on Chucklefuck Herbert Fitzhugh III. Basically, Chucklefuck is who is currently running against Rep. Cheney.)

There are a lot of challenges with misogyny and patriarchy.

As a friend pointed out this week: Its superpower is invisibility.

And, if you've every tried to talk about something that no one else sees, you know there are punishments for that.

Rebecca Solnit, as she so often does, has some thoughts on that. We'll leave you with her words from Cassandra among the Creeps:

I have been thinking of Cassandra as we sail through the choppy waters of the gender wars, because credibility is such a foundational power in those wars & because women are so often accused of being categorically lacking in this department.
We are still in an era of battles over who will be granted the right to speak and the right to be believed, and pressure comes from both directions.
But with the real-life Cassandras among us, we can lift the curse by making up our own minds about who to believe and why.



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