Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Lot To Learn

The lead story in Maine’s Portland Press Herald on Saturday told us that so many women are making knit hats for the Women’s March on Washington, the entire region was running out of pink yarn. The local chapter of the nationwide Pussyhat Project says it’s a dig at Donald Trump’s infamous remarks ten years ago. Remember? Because he was famous, women would let him grab them by their you-know-what. NBC had it on video and used it against him during the campaign. Women want to “reclaim the term” according to organizers. Three thousand Maine women have signed up to march with their hats which have two little ear-like things sticking out on top to resemble cat ears.
Portland Press Herald photograph

It’s not just about pussyhats. Former Maine State Senator and liberal Democrat Cynthia Dill says it’s about gender and race too and explains the march this way:

“The prism through which marchers will march is one of ‘intersectionality,’ a term coined by a law professor that now serves as currency in social justice circles seeking to recognize multifaceted levels of identity and power.”
I’ll admit, I don’t understand that. Probably my ignorance has something to do with being a white guy who hasn’t renounced his privilege — yet. Maybe it’s time I did. As a young man in the seventies and eighties, I was a left-wing Democrat, but then I moved right. Is it time to consider that maybe I went too far? Is it time for to modulate? Move toward the center?
American's deep divisions are on display as preparations for Trump’s inauguration continue. A hundred thousand women are expected to march on January 21st and I can’t understand when they tell me why. Still, I considered going down there Saturday and putting on a pussyhat with the rest of them. I’ve never liked wearing hats but my hair is getting thin and it's cold… Nah — I’ve got too much going on here in Maine.
How would I actually go about denouncing my while male privilege? Bring it up in casual conversation? “Ahh, the Patriots should go all the way to the Super Bowl, don’t you think? Oh! By the way, I’ve denounced my white male privilege.” Would that work? How many times would I have to say it? To how many people?
Huh?

And how about my toxic masculinity? How do I get rid of that? No, wait… one at a time. But I suspect both have been getting in the way of my understanding what the Women’s March is about, so I read the articles again. The Women’s March is about “intersectionality” including intersecting with LGBTQIA+ people, who are an integral part of the march. Notice how that acronym keeps getting longer? I understood the “LGBT” part — that’s been around a while, but what about the “QIA+”? I had to look that up. The Q could mean either “Queer” or “Questioning,” but isn't “Queer” was a pejorative? I had to look that up too. According to the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Advocates And Defenders) Media Reference Guide:

Once considered a pejorative term, queer has been reclaimed by some LGBT people to describe themselves; however, it is not a universally accepted term even within the LGBT community. When Q is seen at the end of LGBT, it typically means queer and, less often, questioning.

Okay, but then there’s the “I,” the “A,” and the plus sign. Thanks to the GLAAD guide, I learned “I” means “Intersex,” the “A” could mean either “Ally” or “Asexual.” The plus sign stands for, well, just in case there’s some new group of unusual sexual people claiming they’re not accepted fully enough, and weren’t assigned their own letter yet. We can, of course, expect the acronym to grow longer as things progress. That’s what Progressivism is all about, right?
I didn't have to learn any of this stuff when I was a lefty forty years ago. You only had to resent rich people, believe in socialism, and hate capitalism to be accepted back then. It’s much more complicated now and people are so sensitive...
And this is just a partial list

Now that I understand what LGBTQIA+ means, I can start learning the new pronouns I’ll have to use when addressing each of the groups. The list is long, including the first person, second person, third person singular and plural, the possessive forms, and so forth. Then I still have to practice pronouncing them. Can you see why I can’t be ready to attend the Women’s March by Saturday? I’d offend whoever I talked to because I don’t know how to address them.
People tell me the bald spot on the back of my head is getting bigger. I can’t see it but I feel the effect on cold, windy days, so I really need one of those pussyhats. Maybe I can meet the busses when they return to Portland. Maybe they have some left over…

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16 Comments:

Blogger Charles Martel said...

Ms. Dill, Esq. is a real Leftist tool who claims to be a civil rights attorney. I don't believe she worked for the ACLU but she is a buddy of Shenna Bellows who was its Maine Director and is now a state senator. The misnamed ACLU was founded by Roger Baldwin who was an avowed communist.

I've previously asked Msssssss. Dill why she and other phony feminists are not vocally standing up for Muslim women's rights. Not surprising, but she did not respond.

1/16/17, 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah well, let 'em protest. It will make them feel better. And frankly, we shouldn't tolerate the president of the United States admitting to and encouraging what is essentially a sexual assault.

That's not to say locker room talk doesn't happen. It does.

That's not to say Bill Clinton wasn't as bad or worse in his treatment of women. He was.

1/16/17, 3:03 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

A few comments:

"NBC had it on video and used it against him during the campaign"

You make it sound like some liberal MSM plot...they "used it against him". They aired it, as they should have. They informed the public with absolute, undeniable evidence as to what a cretin Trump was.


On your picture of Andy from Parks and Rec: You are really identifying with this hilariously ignorant character? Seems to be some irony in you identifying with that show's caricature of an ignoramus in not being able to grasp white male privilege. Thinking you can denounce it just shows how out of touch you are.

"Is it time to consider that maybe I went too far?" Yes, yes, yes, nice insight.


"We can, of course, expect the acronym to grow longer as things progress. That’s what Progressivism is all about, right?"

Yes, Tom, you are right! That IS what progressivism is about, that everybody should be totally accepted no matter their acronym letter, their gender, their religion, their beliefs, so long as they are not harming others in the process. And don't worry yourself over learning pronouns, I can't see you hanging out in that crowd anytime soon. And if you do find yourself in their company here is some advice. If you know the pronoun they prefer, use it. If not, use what you think make sense. They will not be offended if they can see you mean no ill intent. It's simple. Stop worrying.



And honestly, I think you really should get yourself a pussyhat and spend some time with them. Maybe then you might understand how horrifying it is for them to have a president that is so offensive to their very gender as women. It would be very good for you to stop judging people until you march a mile in their hat.















1/16/17, 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how about the picture of the dorky guy in a bowtie that says something to the effect of "I have the privilege of being totally ignorant".

1/16/17, 7:26 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

I think that's a younger Tucker Carlson.

1/17/17, 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I said...dorky guy, And ignorant.

1/17/17, 7:42 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

I see the women's march has just banned pro-life feminists from marching. It's all about killing babies. That's what they're marching about. All this "intersectionality" stuff is a smokescreen.

Even when I was a leftist, I was pro-life. Back then, there were still pro-life Democrats in the party. No more. Now it's a contradiction in terms. It's the party of abortion.

1/17/17, 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom to choose to end a pregnancy is one of the things the march is about. It's part of women's rights, which includes Muslim women's rights (that's intersectionality right there).

1/17/17, 11:09 AM  
OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

Oh geeze Mr. M, there you go... trying to interrupt the intersectionality and mansplain things.
CaptDMO

1/17/17, 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Tom frequently claims to have been a "leftist" in his youth, and now I am beginning to understand. Tom does not really know what a "leftist", "liberal", or "progressive" is. He only has a simplistic view, an image in his head of a liberal caricature which has been painted for him by the right wing. Baby killers. Simple as that. When not having abortions they sneak into nurseries and strangle babies for the fun of it. He thought he would be accepted as a leftist if he just preferred socialism to capitalism, not understanding that it went far deeper, that liberalism is (as Webster's states) "a political philosophical belief in progress, central to it being the ideas of the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil rights." So of course they rejected Tom and sent him on his downward spiral into conservatism,which Webster defines as "commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation." In other words, being so stuck in ones old ways that they refuse to acknowledge anything that will change their "norm", their safe place, such as facts on things like climate change and evolution. Tom can only talk in absolutes, in black and white, dopey statements like t"there are no more anti-abortion democrats". Tell that to those like the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, or members of the house Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). Or to the few anti-abortion, capitalism loving liberals that I personally know.

Wake up and discover the gray areas between black and white.

1/17/17, 9:08 PM  
Blogger Stopp Planned Parenthood of Connecticut said...

. . . Holy Mary, mother of God pray for us sinners, and spread the effective grace of they flame of love(Jesus) over all of humanity, now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-Choice America are "partnering" with the March and their once every five years march is usually about as "ugly" about sex, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically as it gets.
Prolife women have informed opinions on these issues too-especially if the media fail to represent the diversity of women on these issues. My news paper for example has a full page spread on the "Woman's March" and maybe a letter to the editor on the annual prolife march in D.C. in previous years.
Here we go again.

1/17/17, 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Tom, it was foolish for the marchers to disassociate themselves with anti-abortionists. ALL women were insulted and maligned by this juvenile oaf of a man, and ALL women should march together in protest. Maybe then on Sunday they could have another protest with handicapped people, then on Monday a protest of Intelligence Agency workers, On Tuesday a protest of reporters, on Wednesday a protest of Muslims, on Thursday African-Americans, on Friday scientists, on Saturday P.O.W.s, on Sunday people that believe in truth, facts and reality, there could be a protest every day for 4 years with all the groups of people this bullying clown has offended.

1/18/17, 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't even have a clue what the point of the photo of the worker in the manhole apologizing to the women is. Is he apologizing for asking if he can grab their pu$$y. Is he apologizing because he got the job over a more qualified female?

How are you ignorant about white male privilege? Let me count the ways.

You are unaware that you are not pre-judged by some members of the police, as well as by your Governor Lepage.

You are unaware that, as the Washington Post reported in September 2014, white people are more likely to deal drugs than black people, but black people are still more likely to get arrested for committing the same crime.

You are unaware that researchers from the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released the results of a study last year, which revealed that “white sounding” names were 50 percent more likely to get a call back on a job application.

You are unaware that you have a better chance at hailing a cab than a person of color.

You are unaware that New York City’s stop and frisk policy was deemed unconstitutional because it disproportionately targeted black and Hispanic residents.

You are unaware that if arrested, blacks are more likely to remain in prison awaiting trial than whites; in some places, they are 33% more likely to be detained while awaiting trial than whites.

You are unaware that white women make 78¢ for every dollar a white man makes doing the same job.

You are unaware that Blacks and Latinos face housing discrimination an estimated 4 million times each year.

I could go on and on. You really ought to break out of your little white right wing media fueled bubble and see what is reality in the rest of the world.


1/18/17, 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Here is the bright side of today: Now the party of obstructionism and criticism has to shut up and actually try to govern. They are about to find out it is much more difficult to actually accomplish something than it is to just sit back and automatically reject everything that comes from their counterparts. Are they ready to do this? Take Obamacare. For many years they have wanted to get rid of it, so how can they NOT be ready to do something about it? They've had 6 years to plan and come up with a better alternative, so surely they are ready to lay out their ideas...right? As SNL put it, them not being ready now would be like if when Rudy was finally summoned off the bench at Notre Dame, after waiting years for his opportunity, tripped over the water cooler running out to the field, and made a complete fool of himself as they lost the game.

1/20/17, 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it, I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her, and when you’re a star they let you do it. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

The President of the United States

1/21/17, 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world may never have seen as big a liar than Trump. Absolutely amazing! He lies about whether or not it is raining. He lies about crowd size, about TV ratings, all verifiable facts. Oh, but he has...wait for it....."alternative facts"!!! Yeah, Kellyanne Conway for that nugget that will live on in infamy! Yes, Kellyanne, those would be called "lies". How will SNL even be able to make this stuff funnier than it is in real life? Shouldn't the man be busy with important things instead of arguing about his crowd size? This guy will never make it 4 years.

1/23/17, 12:44 PM  

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