Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Can't Spell Rage without AG

I spent much of yesterday in a foul mood, a sort of righteous rage... I woke up to the news of abuse allegations against NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman has portrayed himself as a defender of women, a champion of women's rights, and a key member of the Resistance to Donald Trump. Schneiderman has a record of solid accomplishments- among them ending Brooklyn Hospital's charging for rape kits and going after serial sexual abuser/harasser Harvey Weinstein. He was a progressive crusader... and a shitbag who apparently hit and choked the women he was involved with without their consent, attempted to control what they ate and drank... and then attempted to use his power to coerce them into silence, even threatening them with harm. Sickeningly, he tried to pass off his actions as 'kink':

“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

I am totally vanilla in my amatory proclivities, but I have a sort of academic fascination with paraphilias, no matter how outré, and I have to note that, done properly, kinky sex has to involve stringent ethical standards, consent being paramount. Schneiderman's Fifty Shades of Gray fanfic is unconvincing and insulting. Thankfully, Schneiderman resigned, but the resulting political shitstorm will have repercussions throughout New York State- hell, even the investigation of the allegations against Schneiderman are a cause for division, with Governor Cuomo appointing Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas as special prosecutor because Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance bungled the Harvey Weinstein case so badly. Meanwhile, Barbara Underwood is acting Attorney General, but there is a probability that the election of a replacement will be a goddamn rugby scrum.

The whole scandal is sordid and enraging- the hypocrisy of Schneiderman merely compounds the hideousness of it. In a climate in which Trump Neanderthals are castigated for spousal abuse and Republican 'bros' are condemned for partner abuse, Schneiderman's violence against women is particularly egregious. Women don't need fake allies, such as this Joke Woke Bloke, and I have to opine that Schneiderman's replacement should be a woman... enough with shitbag men.

The Brian Lehrer Show has been devoting a lot of time to this story. If you need to be outraged, give a listen.


Emma said...

I've never really heard of this man, but his story suggests that the real problem with rape, harassment, and sexual coercion isn't the existence of penises, but the degree to which society tolerates unchecked power. No one should ever be so scary and important and consequential that you can't look them in the eye and say, "Get your fucking sweaty hand off my thigh, creepshow." In any context. Ever. And not only does the creepshow get his hand off your thigh, he is removed from the position that led him to believe that the bodies of subordinates were community property in the first place. This is the dirty inversion of our adolescent, American fascination with heroes and Great Men; if your magazine depends entirely on the work of a single Great Writer, then he gets to harass women for years with no consequences, no matter his specific politics; if your Hollywood empire depends upon a Great Producer, then he gets to rape women for decades with no consequences, no matter his specific politics; if your well-oiled AG office depends upon a Great Attorney, then he gets to assault women for years with no consequences, no matter his specific politics. This is why the right-wing echo chamber manufactures so much outrage over what appears to be so little material — they are fighting for the right of men to be Great without any downside, and to do as they please without ever having to ask for permission. It's a problem that transcends opinions on tax law and Medicaid, and strikes at the heart of our deepest, and least-acknowledged, cultural assumptions.

Hillary Clinton Herself didn't protect a subordinate from harassment, relatively recently. "Women" is no guarantee of excellence. "People who are done with this sorry shit forever" is the change I'm waiting for.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Yeah, the cliche is that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, but that's probably bullshit- power is really the ultimate Teflon.