One of the "issues" said to be hot politically is affirmative action. The rhetoric is really something special, as speaker after speaker tells us how we are no longer a racist society. They tell us how wrong it is to give populations in our society (that have been, and are still discriminated against) some legal protection. "It's not fair to them," they howl piously with real tears in their eyes to show their sincerity. "We should treat all people equally."
But notice how the oratory speaks only to race. They think that women are too stupid to realize that affirmative action laws were what got us into universities, graduate studies, sports, industry and business, etc. By only mentioning race when they speak of scrapping these programs, they hope to lull us into a very false sense of security.
Meanwhile, back in the real world where we still have affirmative action laws on the books, a female state trooper, Maureen Wesinger, in Boston "was told to use the public bathrooms and a shower in a dog kennel so her male colleagues will have a comfortable area to work out." This was after the women's locker room disappeared from the building plan and a men's gym took its place. It came only a month after four troopers filed a discrimination complaint because they were automatically assigned to desk duty while pregnant.
California has already rung the death knell for affirmative action, with the result that selection, by some colleges, of racial minority students decreased markedly. We have not yet heard much about how women have been affected, but why should we -- they now have no recourse. We only learned about the black students because Jesse Jackson went there and held a rally. Who is going to ring the clarion call for women?
True, women have increasingly been elevated to higher positions in universities but this does not mean that we can expect it to continue when they take away the penalties that affirmative action formerly levied when a university was out of compliance.
Add to all this the big media push that is again insisting that all of our problems are caused by women who work outside of the home. Nearly every columnist, newscast or sitcom brings up this subject and trots forth woman after woman who confesses that she would really rather stay home with her children and how she is quitting her job to do this. We are under a media blitz intending to incite guilt right now, but where are the voices of women answering, "baloney!"
This kind of propaganda from the media is similar to what was (and still is) trotted out regarding choice. The millions of women who responsibly chose abortion and then went on with their lives are ignored and the few women who thirst for attention are featured, piously holding forth their guilt and tears to lay on the "pay off" alter of the religious extremist. Just ask P.C.J. how generous these payoffs are.
Speaking of Paula, her handlers now have her demanding that President Clinton be required to demonstrate his penis erect. The reason, she claims, is that it will show the proof that she has correctly identified it. This is not producing the effect the conservative extremists hoped for, as more and more people are beginning to see that the whole P.C.J. situation is just a ploy to embarrass the President. Instead of creating outrage, they are hearing our laughter.
The claim that she can make a positive I.D. is specious. Following is a portion of an article by Will Durst, writing in The Progressive:
|!||"Just when you thought it couldn't get weirder,
Paula Jones has petitioned the court to have President Clinton's genitals
examined while aroused. She says the unique characteristic
she can identify is that his penis was bent while erect...
"A condition affecting men ages forty-five to sixty, whose symptoms include a bent erect penis, is called Peyronie's disease, and is caused by scarring or the build-up of plaque in a cavity in the shaft of the penis. So I guess the moral here is: men, don't forget to floss."
What does affirmative action have to do with Peyronie's disease? The answer is -- politics, and the way the conservatives are playing to the shock value interests of the media. Are we women playing it too straight? Is that why we and our concerns are ignored by the media? Is it our lack of spokespeople who can command the media attention? Or is it our own lack of momentum? Are we being overcome by the inertia of our own creation?
Conservative support for Paula was and is a blatant attempt to gain sympathy from women, especially those of us 'Gappers. By charging sexual harassment they hoped women would rush to condemn despite the evidence. To some extent, it has worked. Jones' lawyers have gone after Clinton's past sexual history, but when his lawyers started to check out Paula's, women's groups were said to react with great anger so they stopped.
Anyone who thinks that the massive monitory support given to Jones by the conservatives is because they support women's human rights needs a reality check. For all the gullible, there is always that bridge in Brooklyn...
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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