Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ann Romney Stumps For CHIC Position - ChillGirl-In-Chief!

Hey girls! Ann Romney is A-OK with the war on women!  But, then, she is rich, protected and post-menopausal.
Unlike you people.

And if you listen carefully, you'll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It's how it is, isn't it?

It's how it is, girls, so 
take a chill pill and learn
to appreciate subservience!
Ann Romney's speech at the Republican convention on Tuesday night should forever put to rest any ideas anyone had that this is a woman who just doesn't get it. Mrs. Romney gets it all right. She knows exactly how disrespected and disempowered women still are in our society, but she is fine with that. And she wants other women to be fine with it, too. In fact, her speech last night signalled that she expects all of you moms out there (other women need not be considered, being non-existent) to take a chill pill. Patriarchy is. the way. it. is. and if you don't already like it, just follow Ann's lead. She is stumping for ChillGirl-in-Chief. She knows that most women are treated as barely human, but she is going to show us all how to pin on a pretty smile, remind ourselves of our mom-power (which totally is better than actual power) and - whenever the inevitable disrespect and abuse of cultural misogyny is directed our way - how to lie back and enjoy it. Ooh lå lå!  Ann, is trés CHIC!

There are at least two flavors of ChillGirl - I'm thinking of icily-angry and coolly-collected right now - and both flavors feature misogyny with a spicy little drop of misandry. Both of them are unpleasant and both undermine feminist causes, but the recklessly immature individuals who pop up occasionally to hang out with MRAs and sneer at other women are far less dangerous than the disciplined ranks of the second kind of ChillGirls.

The important thing about 
this ChillGirl is that she can 
feel superior to everyone!
Popping up more often in these roiling times is the icily furious misanthropic ChillGirl - the woman who thinks she's achieved independent success simply through her own hard work and initiative. She refuses to acknowledge that her current (though limited) freedom to pursue her own interests is largely thanks to a century of hard work by feminists who paved the way before her. She sees that gender equality is unlikely to be achieved in her lifetime, so she is uninterested in working toward that goal for future girls who matter not a whit to her. What matters is what she can personally get out of a cruelly discriminatory culture, and she feels perfectly justified in throwing other women under the bus to get it: life is unfair, she reasons, so other women had better get used to it. She gleefully slams feminists who work for positive social change while she, ever so cool and chill, hangs out with and entertains misogynist men with ChillGirl stories about how lame and weak other women are. She dresses how she wants, she speaks how she wants, she does what she wants and she intends to get what she wants. She runs with the misogynist guys, because she is cool like that, unlike those pathetic losers who call themselves feminists.

This kind of ChillGirl is an equal-opportunity hater: she is also contemptuous of men, whom she sees also as her inferiors and she is proud that she is slyly laughing at them as she pretends to laugh with them while they disrespect other members of her gender. The coldly angry ChillGirl hates men for believing that she women are less than they are, but she hates women more for what she sees as their weakness and failure to have overcome the cultural oppression of women to make the world a safer, better place for her. She is furious that she has to put up with sexist bullshit when she is clearly smarter and stronger than both men and women, and she hates both genders equally for their part in making life more difficult for her.

We've seen a number of women like this in recent years - attacking other women, undermining feminism and generally expressing the suppressed rage that growing up female in an oppressive patriarchal culture causes.

It's how it is, isn't it? 
Invisible, dehumanized - a thing
inhabiting the role of "mom"
and it had better be wrapped
 up in a pretty package,  if
it knows what's good for it.
Then, there is the second kind of ChillGirl; conservative, anti-feminist women whose numbers have swelled fantastically with the rise of fundamentalist religiosity in the USA. These are the outwardly calm, coolly-collected, playing-the-patriarchy game ChillGirls. These are the women like CHIC hopeful, Ann Romney.

I am not sure if men really understand this, but I don't think there is a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better. You know what, and that's fine. 

This ChillGirl believes - probably correctly - that gender equality will not be achieved in her lifetime, and she assumes - probably incorrectly - that gender equality will never be achieved. Not in her lifetime, not in her daughters' lifetimes, nor in her granddaughters' lifetimes either. But, you know what? That's fine. Fighting for equal rights is hard and there is no personal payoff likely. Going along to get along is easier. And much more rational. Why fight for a better future that she will never get to enjoy? Why fight to change things for the better for all women, when she can play the game, master the system and quietly enjoy all of the personal comfort and security - and yes, a measure of power, though derived from the men in her life, and only enjoyed at their pleasure (but she thinks she knows how to manipulate them, the sly minx!) - that her good, Christian heart desires?

The calm, cool ChillGirl may or may not have had a brief period of believing that she could pursue hopes and dreams like the boys all around her before she grew up and learned "the truth". She may or may not have briefly resisted the vicious misogyny of our patriarchal culture and tried to pursue those dreams, until the constant, exhausting, emotionally-draining effort of dealing with daily attacks simply wore her down. She may or may not have experienced the soul-killing realization that although she knows she is equal, though she knows she has talents, abilities, even brilliance to offer the world, she will be forever less than men in society and may never be allowed the chance to develop those abilities, especially if she is ugly, poor, or not white.

Whatever her earlier hopes and dreams may have been, the coolly collected ChillGirl is a pragmatist. She has figured out a winning strategy: accept the humiliation of degradation and undeserved inferior status, lie to the men in your life about how much you admire and respect them and only want to defer to them, keep yourself attractive because that is your only stock in trade - and in return, enjoy some measure of comfort and security - as long as you are pleasing to your man. You know that even that paltry benefit for selling yourself short is denied to nearly all poor women and many women of color and even to any white, middle-class woman who will not bow to patriarchy, so read the writing on the wall and get yours - whatever it takes! To be a coolly collected ChillGirl - to have a choice between suffering the indignities and deprivations of a misogynist culture publicly and daily, or suffering the indignities and deprivations privately while outwardly enjoying a comfortable life -  is a luxury reserved for a select minority of women. And, you know what? Ann says that's a good enough choice for women. She's so CHIC!

Listen to Ann, ladies: It's how it is...

... Don't try to change society; that is too exhausting. More important, it just isn't smart. Fighting against misogyny can be dangerous. Challenging the status quo will make men - and women like Ann who benefit from pleasing men - very angry and cause social discord. Do you want to be responsible for causing a gender war? If you do that, don't say you were never warned; any harm that comes your way will be totally your own fault. Demanding to be treated as a respected, adult human being can get you harassed, attacked and even raped and it definitely reduces your chances of finding a rich husband. Amirite, fellas?

Let's face it: patriarchy isn't going anywhere - not while so many are committed to preserving it. But women can use patriarchy, too! You just need to learn to play the game. Forget about your intellectual needs: channel that energy into your children and home! Forget about your emotional needs - how can you be so selfish when there are men and children who need you to look after their needs? Forget about your physical well-being and autonomy: you possess a uterus and you are the property of men until it can no longer be used for its god-given purpose. Every woman is on her own unless she accepts that this is how it is. Got that, gals? Either you join the congregation with outward enthusiasm, or you will be ejected from the congregation and then the devil take you. You can't beat this system, so you may as well join it. And you know what? Ann says it will be fine!

It makes perfect sense to keep the
 "smarter" people in domestic servitude!
Amirite, ladies?
There are compensations for utterly denying your own humanity and that of your daughters and nieces and granddaughters. There will be rewards in heaven. Invisible, intellectually-unverifiable afterlife rewards for invisible, intellectually-erased living women - what perfect symmetry! While men naturally should enjoy rewards both while living and after death, women suffer now to be rewarded later because we are smarter than those goofy men. Amirite ladies? This nonsensical little crumb is thrown out to traditional women everywhere: being "smarter", yet subservient, is obviously way better and far more satisfying than actual status, respect or personal power. Can I get an "Amen", sisters?

Just look! Even the most powerful men out there listening to Ann's speech chuckle tolerantly and cheerfully agree. Everyone agrees that women are the truly smart ones - even our men will let us say so! That is totes not an empty bubble of "feel good" blown to obscure our view of the blackhole of self-denial that all of us ChillGirls must force ourselves down. Sure, any society that truly believed that one gender is "smarter" would rationally have that group well-represented in every avenue of power in the culture, not marginalized, diminished and condemned to a lifetime of domestic servitude, but thinking like that would be just looking for reasons to attack traditional values. Ann coyly points out that women are the smart ones, Republican men tolerantly let her say it as long as they can still control women, and everyone is happy. It's how it is, isn't it? And you know what? That's fine.

Ann has it all figured out: Moms, revel in your subordination! (other women don't exist) Learn to love the uncertainty and insecurity of living a life entirely dependent on whether a man continues to think keeping you around to cook, clean and raise his children is worth his time and pocketbook, because that is what the future of women under Republican rule will be. It's just how it is! Why fight what is biologically, culturally and Biblically mandated?  Sure, humankind could be better than that, but why should we be? This is working - for the wealthy, the protected, the godly and the wise...

The only role for women in a
Republican USA:  Mom
Ann's stump speech was apparently directed only at mothers married to men of means, since nearly everything she said is far outside the experience of poor women, single mothers, women of color or any other women who are not white, Christian, middle-class mothers married to men. The unspoken message was clear though: You people who are not wealthy and protected are clearly not godly or wise so you deserve all the trouble you get. Ann tells it like it is!  They don't come any more CHIC than that!

FYI, Amanda Marcotte summed the speech up nicely:

"Last night the RNC made its appeal to female voters, and Ann Romney's speech really was an exemplar of the form, putting a sorority girl grin on a description of women's lives that, stripped of sentimentality, reads like a laundry list of the daily injustices women face for no other reason than being women...In sum, she offered up a description of what feminists call "systemic sexism," a list of the very injustices feminists have worked, with some success, to eliminate. "

And if you listen carefully, you'll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It's how it is, isn't it?

"So how does Ann Romney get away with this? Because she framed it not as a problem to be fixed, but a trial that women have to endure. She put a positive spin on it, claiming that these extra struggles make us women extra good. Instead of demanding equality, she encouraged her female audience instead to take their payment in martyrdom."  Amanda Marcotte, Ann Romney Acknowledges, Embraces Sexism,

One question, Ann. If the Republicans succeed in gaining control of the country, which Christian sect gets to rule?

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