THREAD: To be clear, the #SamanthaBee story is a distraction (as was the #Roseanne story.) But given that I blog/tweet about feminism, I feel the need to comment. /1
I'll start by saying, I never use the "C-word" (writing it this way feels stupid- but I actually don't even usually say it). I think it's vile and angry and when used by men, always has a menace/threat involved (in the US- I understand in the UK it's used more often.) /2
I wouldn't have used the word. But I actually know a lot of feminists who do- in an attempt to reclaim it and take back some power (see Nasty Woman t shirts) I see Samantha Bee in that vein. I don't agree with it & cringe every time she uses it. /3
But- let's be clear, Bee uses the word. She proudly sold this shirt (though it is suddenly absent from the TBS store-- wonder why). She embraces profanity-- her language is saltier than most male comedians on TV- partly as a way to assert power. /4
Sarah Silverman is another comic who follows a similar model (though I find her humor less interesting-- she has never appealed to me). Michelle Wolf is another comic who fits in this mode. Again, not the way I speak, but the use is NOT misogynistic. /5
Pretending that the use of the word by Bee is the same as when, say, the President uses it-- or for that matter- any man uses it- is asinine. There is a clear difference in power and history. (see a similar debate around the "N-word"- also awkward to write). /6
When a man uses the word- there is an implied threat. I always feel the anger and know how tied male anger at women is to sexual assault. No one fears that Bee will assault Ivanka or that she is making a stochastic call for it. /7
Bee meant it as a harsh & biting insult. And it was. Even as I usually recoil at the word, I can't say I really did here- b/c the rage I felt when I saw Ivanka's tweet was indescribable. The casual cruelty (I don't think it was unintentional) of that tweet was breathtaking. /8
One spits out the "C word" in anger and disgust and that is what Ivanka's tweet raised in me. The US government is ripping children from their parents' arms. Ivanka's glossy (professional?) photo is 1 part "let them eat cake" and 1 part taunt. /9
For me, when I hold my children now, I feel a palpable ache in my heart and soul for those parents and children. Seeing Ivanka's tweet makes me question if she has either. /10
As a mother, I can barely fathom the horror of it. As a human being, I am appalled at the cruelty. As an American I am ashamed. A a Jew, I am terrified. In my mind, I see children ripped from their parents at concentration camps. I know where this leads. /11
Ivanka's tweet reminds me that for the average German, the early years of the Nazi regime felt normal. They were untouched by the erosion of rights & the brutality inflicted on Jews & others. They could ignore it or be secretly pleased. /12
In her tweet, Ivanka, the gilded princess of the authoritarian regime, flaunts her untouchable whiteness to the trumps' alt-right base (her conversion to Judaism is conveniently overlooked by her fans- who can blame them- she didn't seem to take it seriously either.) /13
Bee's rage at Ivanka is MY rage. Bee is angry and appalled by our treatment of immigrants and Ivanka's tweet distills the cruelty and doublespeak of this administration perfectly./14
Now, in some ways, the right is correct. Why should our ire be targeted at the female advisor (and please- Chelsea Clinton- Ivanka is more than the 1st daughter here- she is a fucking advisor to the president) when there are so many men to hold accountable? /15
But that is also Ivanka & the right's fault. You can't pretend to speak for women and mothers and then ignore this brutality. Ivanka's silence on this matter exposes her (again). Her concern, in as much as she ever expresses it, is for wealthy white women. /16
In the end, the shame of Bee's word choice is that it allows the right to hijack the conversation and make it about offensive language, not offensive behavior. If they were half as angry about human rights abuses as they are about a bad word, I'd find this more convincing. /17
Poor Ivanka? Her feelings are hurt? Bee's language is an abomination? Separating parents from children is the abomination. Treating people trying to escape war & starvation as criminals is an abomination. I don't have time to worry about Ivanka's feelings. /18
And let's be clear, Bee is punching up. She's a comedian and she was using the slur to call out the brutality of the regime- of which Ivanka is CLEARLY a part. /19
But... but... Roseanne you say? First of all, I will state flat out that Bee was not making a joke and neither was Barr. They were engaged in political speech. Bee's speech was challenging brutal policy and Barr's was supporting racism. /20
So yes- my response is TOTALLY abt the substance. Private companies are within their rights to cancel shows/stop advertising on programs they find offensive. But it's not OK for the administration to weigh in. THAT is where we get into #FirstAmendment territory /21
When the government says things should not be on the air, it's different b/c the government has the ability to regulate what is on the air. (Cable is a little different, but this admin has threatened to punish businesses that cross it.) /22
Private citizens and businesses are free to support or condemn behavior/speech they find offensive. Shaming individuals/institutions is part of how a society enforces its battles. So the rest of us can absolutely debate this. /23
But if we somehow have this conversation about the WORD that Bee chose and not the conduct she was calling out, it is a disingenuous conversation aimed at obscuring the issue not clarifying it. /24
In 2016, I started letting my kids (age 11 & 14) watch Bee and John Oliver despite the language b/c it was clear that there are some things more offensive than bad language & these comedians could present clearly what was happening. /25
In our immigration policies I see the road map to genocide. Debating etiquette & lamenting the coarsening of our discourse seems trivial when families are being ripped apart and our country is sliding into authoritarianism. /26
As I said, I never use the word. But honest to god, this manufactured controversy makes me want to start. /END
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More from @PinkPolitical

Sep 21, 2018
THREAD: Through all of the revelations around #Kavanaugh, I have been feeling anger, but also (oddly) gratitude that I have never been assaulted. And then, I was reading a friend's post about her assault, and realized, I'd repressed mine.
Let's be clear- this isn't a "recovered" memory. It's just that I didn't even THINK of it. It was just so normalized. For those who are victims of assault thinking, "how did she forget, I can't ever seem to forget," let me explain./2
In my 30's, when I was married with 2 kids, I went out for an 80's night at a local bar. I was meeting a couple of girlfriends there. It was the first time I had been out without my husband or kids in literally YEARS. I arrived at the bar early, and was waiting at the bar./3
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Jul 19, 2018
THREAD: This @NYtimes story nicely captures the absurdity of media coverage of #TrumpRussia. At first glance, it seems like a big deal. "Oh my god," we say, "he knew TWO weeks before the inauguration." Except, it's based on a bullshit premise.
The bullshit premise of news articles like this is that trump has been told about Russian attacks and yet inexplicably keeps pretending he wasn't told or doesn't believe it or doesn't remember it. But OF COURSE he knew. He was part of the conspiracy. /2
If you look at the headline on the main page, you see a pure distillation of this narrative. "Trump let his self interest away his view of Russian meddling." It wasn't "meddling," it was a cyber warfare attack against our country. /3
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Jul 10, 2018
THREAD: We are witnessing the collapse of our Constitutional democracy. Much has been made of the GOP's unwillingness to be a check on Trump. It's a true abdication of their constitutional duty. But Trump's recent interactions w/the Courts bring this to a new disturbing level /1
The decision to pardon Arpaio was a prelude of what was/is to come. Remember that Arpaio was charged w/contempt of court for failing to follow the Court's order that his office cease racial profiling. Trump was signaling that contempt of court was fine for HIS SIDE. /2
With today's #HammondPardon, trump lets right wing militias (& his right wing base) know that they are free to break the law w/out fear of consequence. At the same time, the Trump admin is actively disobeying the Courts on #FamilySeparation. /3
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Jul 8, 2018
THREAD: Another horrifying component of #ICECheckpoints is the fact that the state department is purposely slow rolling Visa applications/extensions. Thus, people who follow immigration law are being turned into law violators b/c gov won't proces requests. /1
Although legally they have a right to stay in the us while their claim is being processed, not all ICE agents know this. Now state department is asking people to pay $ monthly to stay in the country if their requests have not been processed after expiration of the visa./2
This incentivizes state to slow roll the process. If people leave the country b/c they can't pay and dont want to risk deportation while the gov processes their request, their application is forfeited. /3
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Jun 27, 2018
THREAD: Ok- so they have the Senate, House, & Executive and #Kennedy just gave them the Judiciary for the next 30 years. Now what? In 2004 Obama said there was no Red or Blue America. He tried to govern that way. He lost. WE lost.
With #SCOTUS set to eviscerate civil rights, it will be all about the States. One set of restrictive laws for Red America and one set of progressive laws for Blue America. We tried to protect all Americans. They wouldn't let us. So now what?
If they plan to defund everything, let's outdo them. Let's vote to cut federal income taxes. They can cover only military. Divide Social security up by population and give it to the states. Let each state administer it. Same with Medicare & Medicaid.
Read 11 tweets
Jun 27, 2018
THREAD: My somewhat nuanced take on #SCOTUS #Union decision. Obviously- it's bad for unions & thus working ppl. If you like your 5 day works week, 8hr day, min wage,& worker safety- thank a union. Unions are good for the country. That having been said..../1
I get why some ppl had a problem w/paying union dues. Writ large, unions do great things. But there ARE problems at many unions. I worked at a public college as an adjunct for several yrs. Unions dues were deducted from my meager paycheck. At first, I didn't mind. /2
But I eventually grew to resent the hell out of it. You see, the union didn't actually represent MY interests. It represented full time/tenure track faculty. The faculty actively undermined the working conditions of adjuncts. They voted against offering benefits & raises. /3
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