Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Deeply Racialized Psycho Sexual Schizophrenic Anxieties of White Media Types

Wouldn't it be a fascinating psycho-sexual study to peer into those not-so-hidden anxieties that seem to be repressed on the one hand and expressed on the other, but certainly not evenly distributed according to their true source?

As I've stated to friends and family: I don't have a problem supporting and voting for Barack Obama if he wins and it is indeed looking good for him. I also agree that the super delegates should not be used to 'award' the nomination to Clinton if the popular vote has gone for Obama.

However, I do have a big problem with the (mainly white male) broadcast media's disparate treatment and coverage of the campaign as evidenced by the condescending personal attacks and snide, not very disguised remarks about Senator Clinton based on qualities related to her gender, not her record, not her policies, not her skills.

Obama happens to be the beneficiary of unequal treatment which is not in his control. And yeah, of course, that's mainly MSNBC's undisguised favoritism of him and demonization of her, but includes a former Washington Post has-been schlub, Carl Bernstein on CNN.

I have a theory that most of these entitled, privileged, rich, very white guys actually DO have a lot of very deep anxieties about having a Black Male President (even though he's biracial and was raised by his white mom and white grandparents, he identifies himself as African-American, and the world does too, because we're a culture obsessed with racializing and sexualizing and categorizing and labeling 'others' — those who are 'not us').

So Tweety Matthews and Joe 'bully-boy' Scumbag and Smirking Fat-boy Russert and Living on Past Glories Bernstein and Chameleon Shuster and all those guys know vaguely on some level outwardly expressing their fears about Obama's Blackness and about having a Powerful Black Man in charge, installed in the most powerful office in the nation (and world) is obviously bigoted and stupid. (At least they know that it is forbidden to express publicly anyway — except for truly stupid bigots like Bill O'Reilly and Glen Beck who don't have the sense to understand that everyone doesn't think — and I use that word lightly — like they do).

But after the 'Imus affair', those same guys who snickered during all the Imus jokey jokes about people of color and Hillary and women in general, finally found out that: Racism is out. Finally. May it burn in hell never to return. (I can wish and hope, can't I?)

But remember Rutgers: the main public and media outrage (as presented by the media itself) was over the outrageous Imus/McGuirk racism finally going too far, not the sexism.


He strides or stumbles about ... bifurcations ... often mapped onto the suspect divides between desire and anxiety ... between the body and perception ... [alternating between being] privileged or repressed ... the other often erupts through regardless of well-placed lines of defense*


Sexism is still in — alack and alas — as so many of the constant barrage of movies, songs, videos, games, magazines, tv shows continually prove every minute of every day. Sexism, misogyny, sexual objectification, sexual violence toward all things female/feminine are still acceptable and sanctioned, in fact required by our culture .... including through trite political commentary which is irrelevant and pointless, superficial, cruel, mean, petty, unequal, unjust, but highly effective at demonizing Clinton who represents powerful women, women with ambition, women with plans and determination who don't 'match' the social strictures which require women to be quiet, attractive, young, sexually objectified, non-threatening and not empowered. It's still the whore/madonna syndrome with newer, more sinister twists.

These smug, bloviating, sputtering, spitting, cowardly pundits are so unconscious about their own fears and biases and they have no where else to 'put it' (all that double whammy castration anxiety about powerful women and black men — we really are a repressed, sadistic, puritanical nation) — so they act out other culturally and socially acceptable forms of psychological (and political) violence that mirrors the relationship and stranger violence which occurs every day in the sexual assaults, beatings, sexual enslavement, rapes, murders of women, pregnant women, children and girls every day throughout this nation and the world (just watch the most recent trials and news stories about murdered pregnant women, missing daughters, wives and mothers — most of which are also dismissed as just more media obsession with pretty women, which may be part of the story, but the unconsciousness of what is really happening to women and girls in our culture is what I'm more interested in). Women of color are and have also historically been the targets of all the rage of their own cultures in addition to white culture; white women do not have a great history of supporting their struggles nor the struggles of men of color. Women of privilege and power don't always have a very good history of solidarity with or supporting other women for that matter. Patriarchy is unrelenting. Kind of like the Terminator character in the films and the new, apparently soon-to-be-dead TV series which features a couple of strong, powerful, intellectually and physically superior and determined female characters, coincidentally.).

About that Acting Out, as Robin Morgan has pointed out, if you substitute racist or anti-semitic slurs, terms, attitudes and ridicule, it would easily be identified as such and the outrage would be so loud and vociferous that it would not take 10 minutes for action to be taken amongst the outpouring of righteous indignation and public ire.

Meanwhile, just as also happens everywhere that all these atrocities and indignities occur (large and small), women often willingly participate or act as after-the-fact accomplices (Dowd, Mitchell, O'Donnell — Norah, not Rosie — and to an extent Maddow — what a major disappointment) or are silent (almost everyone else).

Even when you think there are some good guys (Olbermann), they eventually capitulate in order to 'fit in' and put 'good ole boy' loyalty — wanting to be 'one of the guys' above any remaining layer thin integrity and with their jello-filled backbones quickly jump right in to the group activities. I've never seen it fail to occur on some level when in the company of their cohorts. Never.

So when Hillary and others point out that you can't always count on 'the guys' (including Bill himself) to stand up for us, there's a reason and it's called history (or reality, take your pick). We have to hope Obama is different‚ and if he's not — it's up to us to hold him accountable for his promises. The work never ends. Voting is not democracy; it is one expression of a life-long process and responsibility to participatory democracy, and to preserving and extending our constitutional rights to freedom, equality, and civil rights (with rights come responsibilities).

Deep? Yeah, sure. But I'll be interested to read some historical analysis of this extremely 'hysterical' time in our nation's schizophrenic history as we get some distance. It saddens me that we're still such an immature (uncivilized) nation when it comes to women in power (so few) and empowering girls, but encourages me that we may make some major inroads on one of our collective historical sins, racism.

the graduate anne bancroft dustin hoffman Katharine ross 40th edition dvd ebay lowest pricesThe drama of it all also kinda reminds me of The Graduate, especially the final scene when the two star-crossed lovers (Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross) end up together on that bus hurtling down the road. It's one thing to see that film in your youth, another to see it after you've grown up and matured for a while.

As I've noted numerous times before, we've never expected any male candidate to be 'perfect' (and they've never let us down in that regard) — including Obama — why do we expect Hillary to be the exception?


When it's all over, who might be able to provide some honest, clear-headed analysis? Whose book about this history-making time in our democracy's history would you want to read?

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