U.S., U.K. vie to outdo each other in misogyny

Palace of Westminster. Credit: Colin via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON — Which country hates women more, the U.S. or the U.K.?

In America, a woman will apparently soon be forced to carry a child to term, even if she was raped, even if she was trafficked, even if she can’t care for the kid, doesn’t want it, and having it means ruining her life.

Women in Britain don’t face that prospect — not yet, anyway. Abortion is legal in this country up until fetal viability.

Hooray, right? British women control their own bodies. It’s almost like they’re full citizens and everything. The British have had two female prime ministers and boast a female Head of State, that 96 year-old lady with the hella good jewelry collection.

Yet here in the Mother of Parliaments something smells bad. Putrid-flesh bad. No fewer than 56 M.P.s (members of Parliament) have been referred to a government misconduct watchdog for various forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and general bad behavior mostly toward both female colleagues and female staff.

Boris Johnson. Photo: Office of U.S. National Security Adviser

Three of the accused are ministers in Boris Johnson’s government.

Over the past couple of years, Westminster has been a festival of political sleaze. In 2020, M.P. Charlie Elphicke was convicted of three counts of sexual assault against two women. He chased one of them around his house, trying to jump her bones, chanting, “I’m a naughty Tory.”

Naughty enough to get 24 months in prison.

It’s been downhill from there.

To be fair, members of Parliament don’t attack only women: Conservative Imran Ahmad Khan has recently been convicted of sexually assaulting a 15 year-old boy.

And it’s not just Tories, either: Two of the 56 parliamentarians in hot water are members of the “shadow cabinet,” high-ranking Labour politicians.


Nevertheless, it is mostly women suffering the toxic masculinity of “Pestminster” (as some of the tabloids call it) and it is mostly Conservatives doing the harassing and molesting.

A month ago, another Conservative M.P. called David Warburton was suspended from Parliament over three allegations of sexual harassment, plus stories of cocaine use.

Then there’s the porn. Five years ago, Damian Green, an M.P. and top deputy to Prime Minister Theresa May, was removed from his office when a lot of pornography was found on his government computer.

You’d think that would have been a salutary lesson for other dirty-minded geezers working in the Palace of Westminster, but no. A week ago, two female Conservative M.P.s busted a fellow conservative M.P. caught watching porn on his phone in the House of Commons. Twice.

Neil Parish. Credit: Official photo

Neil Parish, a farmer from southwest England, claimed that, in the first instance, he was actually looking at tractors. Somehow those hot, hot, hot John Deere models morphed into scenes of enthusiastic fornication.

Then in what he called “a moment of madness,” he did it again, bypassing the tractors this time and going straight for the heaving flesh.

His wife insists he’s a “nice man.”

A couple of weeks ago, the Mail on Sunday, a xenophobic, sexist, racist rag that trades in conspiracy theories and gossip, ran a story in which a Tory M.P. claims Labour Party’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner tries to “distract” Prime Minister Boris Johnson by crossing and uncrossing her legs in front of him.

Wearing, the paper said, “a chic dress that showed off her thighs” Rayner “channeled her inner Sharon Stone,” implying that she flashed her, er, lady parts. The unnamed source said that Rayner “can’t compete with Boris’s Oxford Union debating training, but she has other skills which he lacks.” Read more

Why are highly educated Republican politicians so anti-education?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – Screenshot: KXAN News.

College is for pussies.

Ron DeSantis, presidential candidate and part-time governor of Florida, celebrated the decline in the numbers of men entering higher education, citing a Wall Street Journal article that says 60 percent of college students are now women, while in 1970 the number was closer to 40 percent.

“I guess there was a decline in the number of men, the percentage of men going to college or whatever. And they acted like this was a bad thing,” he said. “And, honestly, like, you know, to me, I think that is probably a good sign.”

Oh, hell yeah. Because you know what you get at a university? Ron DeSantis will tell you: “Intellectual repression” and “indoctrination.”

You may not realize this — especially if you’ve ever attended a university — but from the College of Nursing to computer sciences to the dreaded English Department, those America-hating commie professors rejoice in leading the Youth of America astray by making them read books and engage with the experience of people of different ethnicities and backgrounds in the hope of expanding students’ idea of what it means to be human, teaching them to question everything, interrogate sources of information, and discern the difference between facts and the crap mouth-breathing Trumpers post on the Internet.

According to Republicans, universities have always produced legions of Marx-curious, novel-reading, science-embracing, anti-racist and anti-sexist wokesters who hate saying “Merry Christmas.”

And yet, many of these graduates fail to become socialists dedicated to destroying the American Way of Life.

In fact, Ron DeSantis (B.A. Yale, J.D. Harvard), along with U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton (B.A., J.D. Harvard), Ted Cruz (B.A. Princeton, J.D. Harvard), and Josh Hawley (B.A. Stanford, J.D. Yale), plus new Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo (B.S. Wake Forest, M.D, Ph.D. Harvard), and jarhead opportunist J.D. Vance (B.A. Ohio State, J.D. Yale), seem to have escaped this alleged brainwashing.

Nevertheless, Florida’s governor sees universities as dangerous sites of elitist dissent against the divinely revealed truth that America is the greatest country ever, and American history is one long triumph piled on triumph.

An ordinary man, a man without the reinforced skull and intestinal fortitude of a Cotton, a Cruz, or a DeSantis, might lose his way in one of those places. Indeed, he might pick up dangerous ideas.

Better a man become a truck driver or a plumber than incur student loan debt cultivating his mind.

As DeSantis, speaking to the International Boatbuilders Exhibition last week in Tampa, said, “some of these universities are not giving you very much for your money.”

Spend all that borrowed cash learning about, say, evolutionary biology, the Spanish colonial empire, or African sculpture? Get a degree in, say, anthropology? Why, the only jobs you could get would be in medicine, diplomacy, art therapy, teaching, museum curating, environmental management, research, criminal forensics, market analysis, health care, business, communications, or technology!

And if you decide to major in English, well, who does that? Other than Mitt Romney, Martin Scorsese, Toni Morrison, Andrea Mitchell, Conan O’Brien, Sally Ride, Jodie Foster, Hank Paulson, Clarence Thomas, Michael Eisner, and other complete losers?

To be quite fair, the part-time governor had a half-intelligible point lurking inside his habitually maimed syntax. Vocational training is important: “I’m sure this industry needs good folks. You have folks, I mean, driving the trucks. You have people who are electrical.” Read more

Things could be worse — you could live in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis reacts to Gainesville city employee Darris Friend’s suggestion that COVID vaccines change people’s RNA (actually, it doesn’t) during a news conference on Sept. 13. 2021. Source: Screenshot/Florida Channel

Columnist explains how Sunshine State COVID craziness keeps getting deeper

“Human kind,” said the poet, “cannot bear too much reality.”

Many Republicans seem especially resistant, preferring to dwell in a miasma of Deep State conspiracies and Internet nonsense inspiring them to believe that Hillary Clinton drinks babies’ blood, Trump won the 2020 election, and that ingesting over-the-feed-store-counter tablets for deworming horses is a better way to protect themselves against a deadly pandemic than getting a thoroughly tested, highly effective, FDA-approved vaccine.

I guess they’re no longer doing Clorox shots.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is Florida’s chief reality-denier. Last week, he threw a tantrum disguised as a press conference in Gainesville, flanked by Attorney General Ashley Moody and CFO Jimmy Patronis. He ranted against the federal vaccine mandate, threatening to fine cities and counties requiring employees to get the COVID jab $5,000 per infraction.

I mean, how dare the government try to save people’s lives?

Then, a couple of characters who were either disgruntled city employees or escapees from the local psych ward got to air their anti-vaccine foolishness. One woman implied that the vaccine might kill her and she didn’t want her children left motherless: “My body, my choice, my business,” she said. “I will not comply.”

Darris Friend, who said he’d worked for the city of Gainesville for 22 years, asserted, “The vaccine changes your RNA.”

Pro tips: The vaccine does not change your RNA. Nor will it kill you.

Want to know what will kill you? The Delta variant. And the cruel cynicism of Florida’s Republican leadership.

The governor could have politely corrected these poor deluded souls. Instead, he looked at the floor and grimaced.

Ashley Moody, who’d clearly left her brain in her car, applauded.

She’s running for reelection, and can’t win without Florida’s Dim Bulb vote.

But here’s the thing, y’all: Moody, Patronis, DeSantis, the governors of vaccine-recusant states like Texas, Mississippi, and Arizona, plus the entire Trump family, have all been vaccinated. They have not grown an extra head. They will not (sadly) be unable to reproduce.

Nevertheless, these Republicans are happy to gamble that they can keep the base braying and snarling and ready to fight the libs over their “free-dumbs” while not losing too many of their clueless-and-proud voters to the virus — which could turn out to be: 1) A fascinating illustration of Darwinism in action; and 2) An electoral problem for Republicans, whose old, white stalwarts are already dying off.

Florida’s COVID rate is appallingly high. Hospitals are grossly over-stretched and ICU beds hard to come by. Undertakers are working double shifts to keep up.

DeSantis’s response to this epic heath care mess is to fight the school boards that have mandated that students wear masks; fight local elected officials who want their employees vaccinated; and fight the president of the United States, who’s told business owners to either get their workers vaccinated to test the hell out of them.

If DeSantis hears that you have mandated your teenaged children get the vaccine, he may come to your house and fight you, too.

Belligerence is his brand and ignorance is his friend. Read more