Filibusters and Filly Bustiers

Class

Astronomical spring began today in the northern hemisphere. I’m glad for that, because Danish “traditional” spring began on the first of March and did absolutely nothing. Winter refused to vacate the premises.

As I noted in a post last fall, “It’s not the indifference to astronomical science [by the ‘traditional’ Danish seasons] that bothers me, it’s the fact that Danish weather actually follows those idiotic traditional definitions.”

Well, sometimes it does.

Not this year. So here’s hoping that Astronomical Spring smacks Denmark so hard with its patented Vernal Equinox technology that winter gets knocked clean from here to December.


Senator Elizabeth Warren came out swinging against the Senate filibuster this week.

Her argument against it, delivered in the course of an interview with Axios, not only leaned heavily on her own party’s racist history, but managed to misrepresent the nature of American government.

According to The Hill:

“The filibuster … was designed to give the South the ability to veto any effective civil rights legislation or anti-lynching legislation,” Warren told Axios.

That’s true, and The Hill backs her up on that:

The idea of the filibuster as racist dates back to the pre-Civil War era, when the legislative tactic was used to block the admission of states based on their slavery status, political scientist and University of Miami congressional specialist Gregory Koger told Politifact.

Later on, during the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras, senators used filibusters against civil rights bills, the deployment of federal troops in southern states, and the repayment of income taxes from the Civil War, Kroger added.

But The Hill isn’t being as straight up with history as you might think. I’ve fixed it for them (my fixes in bold):

The idea of the filibuster as racist dates back to the pre-Civil War era, when the legislative tactic was used by Democrats to block the admission of states opposed to slavery, political scientist and University of Miami congressional specialist Gregory Koger should have told Politifact.

Later on, during the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras, Democratic senators used filibusters against civil rights bills, the deployment of federal troops in southern Democratic states, and the repayment of income taxes from the Civil War that Democrats fought to preserve the intsitution of slavery, Kroger ought to have added.

This stuff is important. I have no stats to back me up on this, but I’d bet at least four out of five Danes actually think Republicans were the ones fighting to preserve slavery, and the ones who set up the KKK. That’s why I’ll sometimes sneak stories like this into the blog: not because they have any connection to Denmark, but because they touch on things more Danes ought to know about America.

Back to Democratic Senator Warren: “The filibuster has deep roots in racism, and it should not be permitted to serve that function, or to create a veto for the minority.”

She’s saying the filibuster should not be permitted to serve the function of racism, which is precisely the function her own Democratic party designed it for. Okay, let’s amend the Senate rules to state that the Senate filibuster may not serve the racist function it was designed by Democrats to serve.

She also wants to get rid of it because it creates a veto for the minority.

“In a democracy,” she adds, “it’s majority rules.”

That’s correct. It’s also entirely beside the point: the United States is not a democracy but a republic: precisely because nobody, least of all Senator Warren, would want to live under “majority rule.”

Not that long ago, Donald Trump was in the White House and Republicans had majorities in both houses of Congress and Elizabeth Warren actually participated in filibusters.

Which means she was a Democrat using a Democratic tool that was developed by racist Democrats… and she was using it to enforce her own minority views over those of the majority.

What kind of monster is she?


Berlingske ran an article about the American Grammy awards earlier this week:

“We celebrate the perverse in America:” Controversial Grammy performance splits opinion, Kasper Madsbøll Christensen, Berlingske.dk, 18 March

In one of the least-watched Grammy ceremonies in recent years, the artists who topped the 2020 charts with a song called “Wet Ass Pussy” (the lyrics of which extol the power and glory of a “Wet-Ass Pussy”) put on a raunchy and almost pornographic performance that should have surprised absolutely no one.

What would have been shocking would have been the artists standing under a spotlight, in elegant attire, singing about their remarkably lubricated vaginas (“bring a bucket and mop for this wet-ass pussy”) in an aching and soulful duet, perhaps accompanied by piano.

What could be less surprising than the two of them bumping and grinding in Steam Punk Dominatrix armor, like something out of a nightmare had by someone who’d watched Mad Max and an hour or two of lesbian porn before falling asleep?

Fortunately, Berlingske has found another one of their scholarly experts to help us understand things that many of us no doubt have a hard time understanding how anyone couldn’t understand:

Now the women’s names [Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion] are on everyone’s lips again, and there is actually a good reason why the explicit Grammy performance has set the internet on fire, explains associate professor Lene Bull Christiansen, who researches gender and pop culture at Roskilde University.

Because they turned what might have been, and once was, a celebration of popular American music into an affair so raunchy that Christensen actually warns readers away from doing a web search on the very name of the song (“Be careful if you google it during work hours….”).

“Their performance is almost designed to get the right wing agitated. To that extent, it’s not very surprising that everyone’s talking about it right now. But one might be surprised that the right wing in general still follows the Grammy awards,” says the associate professor, referring to the fact that the entertainment industry in the United States is traditionally perceived as left-wing.

“When it comes to women’s sexuality and female sexual pleasure, it is something that you just by definition distance yourself from on the right wing. And it’s about both gender and race. There are these stereotypes where some perceive black women as more sexually outgoing.”

American conservatives don’t distance themselves from women’s sexuality or female sexual pleasure, but Danish associate professors certainly distance themselves from any real understanding of American conservatives… and yet they apparently feel oddly comfortable talking about them to the Danish media, who are perfectly comfortable passing that ignorance on to their readers.

I can’t figure out what Lene Bull Christiansen means to imply when she observes that there are stereotypes of black women “being more sexually outgoing.” Maybe there are, maybe there aren’t, but I suppose an associate professor of gender and pop culture would know. The more relevant question is: so what? Is she saying Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are trying to fight that stereotype (in which case their failure has been epic), or that they’re trying to play it up? Or that it’s a bogus stereotype perpetuated by “the right wing” that the artists were deliberately overplaying to gin up some controversy?

I think she means to say it’s the latter, since she later says “I’m sure it’s a reaction Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion were expecting. I bet they had a good time sitting around writing their little comebacks in advance.”

(“Little comebacks” is right: the only two cited in the article are: “Ok ….When is this going to be over cause I’m bored and I got things to do? ……..Stream UP anyways” and “Before I go… y’all be acting like people force y’all to look at shit you don’t like.. if you like puppies follow puppy pages , if you like food follow food pages, if you like bad bitches follow me 💁🏽‍♀️ SIMPLE K BYE.” That’s the literary output that Lene Bull Christiansen suspects they wrote in advance.)

The article spends a little time weaving Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion into the storied tradition of transgressive female performers like Madonna and Britney Spears before letting associate professor Lene Bull Christiansen wrap things up:

“In the 1970s, the struggle was to stop having women as sex symbols and to see them instead as whole people. At that time, in fact, the female body was desexualized a little even while liberating women sexually.”

“Although many of the women from that time will probably have a hard time seeing it, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are now building on that fight by insisting that you can be both very sexual and very much anything else at the same time.”

They’re building on the struggle to stop seeing women as sex symbols?

Here are some of the images from the performance included in Berlingske’s article about Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s effort to stop us from viewing women as sex symbols:

Cardi B
Image: Screenshot from Berlingske.dk article
Cardi B
Image: Screenshot from Berlingske.dk article
Cardi B
Image: Screenshot from Berlingske.dk article

A picture will have to say a hell of a lot more than a thousand words before any of those photos finds its way to saying: “Stop viewing women as sex symbols!”

It’s difficult to take Lene Bull Christiansen seriously.

On the one hand, Cardi and Megan were just shrewdly “trolling the cons” to get some publicity: a move so calculated they were writing up their comeback zingers ahead of time. At the same time, they were making an important social statement and striking a blow for women’s right to express themselves sexually (which isn’t a right that seems to be in any particular jeopardy these days).

The associate professor’s conclusion, in her own words, was that these two women were “insisting that you can be both very sexual and very much anything else at the same time.”

But who doubts that? Who’s making the argument that you can’t be very sexual and be something else?

What forces of repression have arrayed themselves against the idea that women can be very sexual and be lawyers, doctors, or actuaries?

The people who found the performance off-putting weren’t objecting to “women’s sexuality,” or to women’s right to pursue whatever floats their particular sexual boats, but to the bestial explicitness of it all.

People have been singing about sex as long as they’ve been singing. And they always will. And a great deal of dance has always been, and will always be, a metaphor for sex. No one’s breaking any new ground here.

They’re just ripping all the poetry out of it.

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