Sorry Dudes, Trump is ruining it for you

I’ve always been political.  News junkie.  First professional job in broadcasting was as a news anchor for a local NPR station.  So, I can get heated. But, never before have I felt so personally traumatized.  Sure, Bush v. Gore was VERY upsetting,

But, Trumps behavior and millions condoning it has me questioning every relationship with men I have ever had.

You see,  like many women I’ve spent  my life accommodating the male persona. I’m a feminist, but I’ve still done it.  Maybe less than others, but in a world where they are often your boss, or the majority of your co workers, it’s hard not too.    From making sure my dad had the seat at the head of the table and a plate of hot food, to nodding politely when some male stranger said something condescending.  Well, he is an old guy, he doesn’t mean to demean. From “Smile honey” to  bosses who made lewd comments about me or other women I worked with.

something I pasted together

something I pasted together

The worst were several males and bosses I worked with in radio in the 90’s.  Pigs.  I worked with some great, respectful men of all ages.  But, hands down the worst were at KGO radio San Francisco.  Constant sexual comments.  I would smile, and then every few weeks go into an empty studio and cry.   I wanted to work in radio.  What was I going to do?  It was top down at that place.  I eventually learned to become like my torturer.   When they would say something gross, I’d shoot back , “Yeah, but you have a small dick.  So, can I have the AP report now?”   It hardened me.    I spoke of one incident to a woman superior.  She made excuses for the guy, “But, he never touched you, right?”  No, he never did. But, I was stuck with him and a guy engineer on a remote broadcast who made everything we spoke of into a way to bring in my body parts.  Once I wasn’t working for the station directly, but for a show taped there, it sheltered me a bit. Like an abuse victim I didn’t stand up to any of these men till I saw it being done to a younger woman who had started working there.  Unable to defend myself I did tell one guy to not talk to her like that anymore.  “I thought it was a compliment?”  He said.  “No, no woman wants two senior men to her at work to hold up a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and say, ‘Yes, it does look like her.”   I couldn’t reprimand the other guy, he was even higher up.

NOT JUST SEXUAL

As I moved onto TV I had all different type of co workers and bosses.  MANY who knew were the line was.  (Consensual sexual relationships between co workers is fine..albeit later Awkward. )  However, this taking care of the man isn’t just about letting some fat, fart think he has a chance with you.  It doesn’t have to take a sexual form to be menacing and manipulative and to keep women from freely expressing themselves and their ideas.   How many times have you been in a meeting with a male boss who mansplains you to boredom?  Who is detailing something middle management figured out months ago?  Who shows you how to do something you already know?  Who assumes you do not have what a certain task will take?   Who silences you so a man can speak? Who wants endless praise for one idea he has come with?    But, most of the time I  humor them.  Laugh, smile, rag on them later when I’m at happy hour with a co worker.  The few times I have protested, I’m alone.  So, I  back down and I needed the paycheck.

Sorry, guys I probably would have kept doing it, but now that I see this heavy, lurching manness writ large with Donald Trump I’m done.  I’m calling it and I’m not going along with it.  Trumps intense meanness to Hillary Clinton in the second debate made my stomach hurt.   I watched it with others and the men in the room were also upset.  “I have to have a drink” one said.  It was so tense.  In order to get along, Hillary rarely fired back. I get why.  It’s NOT a level playing field and she is carrying Bill’s sins on her coat tails. Though I don’t know why when a woman is cheated on and gets angry at the other woman she is an abuser?  Couldn’t a woman calling a woman she is angry with be called “locker room talk?”   No, because entitled men reserve excuses for themselves and the brotherhood.  Pat Robertson and his ilk think it’s fine.

I know there are good guys who don’t even realize their impact on woman sometimes.I  t could be from someone who otherwise I think is a lovely person.  Maybe a super liberal,don’t matter.  They stand too close. their voices are naturally deeper, louder. They think everyone wants to hear what that have to say.  I had a boyfriend years ago who was large.  6’7”, 240lbs.  He acted very contrite and respectful around women.  I was surprised at how gentle this giant was.  I asked him about it and he said, “I know my physical size is very intimidating to women and I don’t want them to be scared of me.” He did not abuse his power.  Sometimes Mark says something that startles me or Vivien.  When we say, “why are you yelling?”  He says, “I wasn’t.  I’m not even mad.”  It’s the timber.  The other day at Bombo he came in during my shift and started telling me IN FRONT OF OTHERS about the correct ice to lemonade ratio.  I just nodded as I thought screaming  “Don’t Mansplain to me”  might be bad for business.  In a private moment I said, I know this is not what you intended, but here is how that felt to me.  He understood.

OUTSIDE OF WORK

The belittling of woman is not confined to the work place.  Oh no.  It can be from dear people who don’t even know they are doing it.  Being who I am I freely express my opinions on all types of topics.  One thing both men, and some woman have said when I do this MAKES ME GO NUTS.   It’s a line that has a few variations… but it undercuts whatever the speaker has just said.  Here it is:

“Daphne, tell us what you really think?”  Followed by chuckles.   It could also be, “Daphne, go on, tell us what you really think?”   Chuckles.  Or “You never have to guess what Daphne thinks about something.”  Continued chuckles.   I have had women do this to me too, usually when we are in the company of men.

Frankly, I don’t know how it’s taken me so long to say, as I recently said to my husband when he did it too!,

When I said “That is so sexist and belittling.”  (he got it)

 

However, I have NEVER heard any gender say that to a man expressing a definite opinion.  EVER.   If you have ever said this ask yourself, why?  Were you uncomfortable with the statement?  Was it controversial?  Because if it was a hot button issue one could say instead,  “I appreciate you feel really strongly about this, I just don’t want to create any friction on a night I thought we were going to do Jager shots out of hose.”   But, if it’s not something like, oh, where does life began, but perhaps a well articulated critique of a popular author, why say it?

 

The saying is the personal is the political.  It certainly is here.   I remember in ’08 thinking, yeah I guess I’ll vote for Hillary, but I’m not getting in a later about it.  Then in a primary debate Obama dismissed her with “You are likable enough, Hillary.”  She smiled and took it.  I was a plane for Texas helping her campaign win the caucus.

Yes, I usually vote Democratic.  But, I’m pining for the days of Romney, McCain, even W.  They would have competed against Hillary Clinton strongly.  They would have made powerful arguments for their conservative vision.  They would have pointed out were they think her policies were flawed or not executed.  Good for them.  They would not have stalked her in a debate using their physique to intimidate her.  They would not have commented on faces and body parts of a female competitor.   I already abhorred Trump for his lack of intellect, his reality show pedigree, his race baiting, his hostility to anyone who doesn’t look like him, his insults to Gold Star families and POW’s. I also do not like how he has advanced the coarsening of our societies dialogue.

I have sometimes placated and tolerated men with a  sense of entitlement, humored them.  But, I’m not doing it anymore.  Thank Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

News of the day on Mid Morning with Cool Mom and Rex

I don’t have to be on “The View” or “The Talk” to get into hot topics.     I do have the cutest sidekick in the biz who has great comic timing.  Rex and I shot this before I had my breakfast.  We had a lot to discuss.    I like to do a bit more old school talk show.  Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, Merv Griffin.  They didn’t just have actors on but occasionally had on people with real thoughts and ideas.

I just wish I had a key light.

There better be WMD’s if you are calling me at 4am

Remember during the ’08 elections, the primaries when Hillary and Obama were going at Hillary had that commerical about who would do best when the phone rang at 3am?  Now, they were thinking about a national security issue.  “Russia has invaded Puerto Rico.”(see spoof here)

Then and now I think Hillary could do a good job in the middle of the night so I was wondering if she could answer my phone when it rings at 4am, as it did last night. It also rang at 4:16am, 4:31am, 4:40am, 4:52. It’s scary to be woken up in the middle of the night. Rather it should be, but I wasn’t rattled, I was just tired and pissed.  See, I knew there wasn’t crisis.

Cousin Floyd” was agitated.  New parents know the sleep deprivation of a newborn. But, grown up people can be more exhausting.  THERE IS NOTHING CUTE ABOUT THEM.  I don’t can’t have another Black Smoke day, but I’m exhausted.  When Rex kept me up with his stomach bug we did spend parts of the day cuddled up on the couch watching cartoons.  Now, I think I need to sleep and or find a support group.

But, most urgently, How do you block a number from calling your phone?  Would Hillary know? Do you?  Because I can’t function like this and my kids can’t either.  Vivien was so upset at being woken up and I don’t blame here.  It’s hard to have compassion at 4am, and 4:16, 4:31, 4:40…

Then the texting started.  That’s easier to turn off.

Election day

Can we hold the election for a bit? I need just a little more time.  Not to make up my mind.  I know how I’m voting from President Obama to reforming three strikes in California. No, I need more time to marinate in the season. Elections have always been a big deal for me, but this year, not so much.

Here is My Obama, actor friend Ronnie Butler

I was pretty non plussed.  It’s been a bit of a challenging year, however there was NO WAY I would vote for Romney. The closing of Campanile has consumed my life for the last couple of months.  In 2004 I went to Florida to campaign for Kerry.  In ’08 I was in Texas for Hillary in the primaries,

In Austin in '08, Hillary is on the stage behind me.

then phone banking in California while pregnant with Rex.  I gave money a plenty.  This year I gave about $85. $35 was to win a dinner with Obama and Clooney (didn’t win) and the $50 was after Bill Clinton’s fantastic speech at the DNC got my panties in a bundle for the big dog.  The Dems email and call me about 20 times a day.  They have my vote, but not my attention.

Until now.  Campanile is closed.  I’m more relaxed.  I’m adjusting to the new normal. It took me a few days to notice how hard a hit Monster Storm Sandy was.  I’m checking back in! I want to watch political shows, as long as I don’t have to see Ann Coulter, I could even do some door to door in a swing state ( if it was one where they paid my way, which was offered for Nevada).  It’s like Obama said at the DNC, all along it was about us.  Or in this case me.  My life didn’t have time for this little presidential election until right now.  So, can we hold off?  I’m sure people in Ohio cannot get enough of those commercials! There are some happy ad sales people thanks to Citizens United.

Tuesday night I should be home by 5:30pm PST  ( after soccer practice) My remote is broken so I’m going to be burning calories, walking up to the TV and manually changing it between various news stations like it’s the late ’80’s.  I have some great olive oil mashed potatoes  my husband cooked, Brussel sprouts and a couple of steaks.  I’m going to pick up some Red, White ( no blue) wine tomorrow. My husband is going to be next me watching with wide eyes. It’s going to be close and for Supreme Court alone I sincerely hopes Obama is reelected.

Vivien at 3 in '08

About to go to school today.

In 2008 Campanile was the site of a blazing Election night dinner with big screens and happy Democrats hugging each other.  That night I thought our family was rich.  Within 5 weeks, life changed dramatically for us. So, am I better off than I was four years ago?  On paper, no, but in reality, yes.  The money I do have really does exist.  In the last few days I’ve spent more time with my husband than I have in a year or more.  It’s like a honeymoon, except instead of Tahiti we move boxes to storage units. Four years ago I didn’t have Rex.  There are minuses to be sure…I do miss hosting my TV show ( and the check) and my dad, global warming looks scarier every day. These are not things I can lay at Obama’s feet.

I love the excitement that an election year brings. Yes, it’s disruptive to some Facebook friends when you don’t agree with their political posts, ( I have to “hide” some people right now) but Vivien is learning a lot.  At school they are doing a mock election with fictional characters.  She is campaigning for TinTin.  “Please mommy, pinky swear that Tintin and Obama win.” I need more time to get this budding politico involved.  At her age I was going door to door for my dad’s campaigns.

I also need a little more time to decide about whether we should slap condoms on the porn stars of LA.  It’s Measure B.  Shouldn’t it be Measure P?

Note: so bummed I was fired up to vote first thing after I dropped the kids at school, but sadly, the moving has worked my back.  Mark was a champ and I need to ice up before I get to the polls.

What binder am I in?

I love running gags.  I love the Memes that develop online.  The best one to come out of the debate this week was all the binder jokes. I’d to work more, so perhaps Mitt Romney could fit me in one of his binders?  The “TV host, comic, vlogger” binder.  We are the bridge to no where of workers.

To be fair to Mitt and his binder beyond the Lily Ledbetter legislation Obama could have done better in his reply to the question of how to address the fact that women make 72 cents to a man’s dollar, as well.  Mary McNamera, TV critic for the LA times, had a pithy response to the back and forth.  Check it out, but this is one of my favorite parts

So we fixed that,” the president said. Et voila, pay equity all around! Instead of discussing how, say, that act might work for real women, he decided to turn a question about equal pay into an opportunity for him to point out his support for legal abortion and insurance coverage of contraceptives.

Because clearly any mention of women must prompt a discussion of abortion and contraception, and legal abortion and covered contraception should, somehow, make up for women not getting paid enough. (Memo to American management: Next time a man asks for a raise, just hand him a box of condoms.)

But, Romney’s boast that he got a “binder full of women” so he could get some new hires with a vagina has prompted the cargo load of jokes and memes.  It sounded at best a bit stiff and out of touch and worst insulting, “you got all the way to the governers office without knowing women of merit? All that business experience you had and you didn’t know some women to bring along?”

Not to mention, great you hired some broads, how does that help American women going forward?

Back to the jokes.. it’s the binder, people.  These are some of my favorites.

This is my fave.. perfect picture of Clinton.  Btw way, check out the twitter @pimpbillclinton  riot.

I was interviewing celebs on the Red Carpet with “The most interesting man in the world” showed up.  He crushed the Desperate Housewives and all others in terms of the crowds response.  He is a nice guy.

 

I have some empty binders if anyone needs them.

Bin Laden is Still Dead

Yes, it’s true, he is still dead. No video has been released. Take that, conspiracy theorists. It was kind of a big story a while back. It even eclipsed the royal wedding. Was there a honeymoon? No one cared. The question was, “was there a picture of dead Bin Laden?”

Visions of his bullet-blasted brain filled the imagination, but President Obama decided no one would see it. Yes, they did take a picture, but no, they would not release it to the public. Not even in that fuzzy sort of way like when they blurred out the picture of Schwarzenegger’s love child, but five seconds on the internet and you could find it unfuzzed (yes, I did, I’m not proud).

I would like to talk the President about this. If only he would stop by my house…

Two Cents Tuesday

I have decided to launch a new series on cool mom: Two Cents Tuesday.  It’s all the things that swirl around in my head as I drive along or make breakfast, but can’t really work up  a full lather about or a blog post.  I’m modeling this on Herb Caen’s legendary column from the SF Chronicle …, sort of Andy Rooney, but I pluck my eyebrows.  Really, Andy, all those years on TV and know one told you that you needed a weed wacker for those eyeballs?

Obama

I don’t really understand why everyone is so mad or disappointed with him.  Everything he has done he pretty much said he would.  I wasn’t happy about beefing up our money and humans to Afghanistan, but he never said he wouldn’t. All those big “Hope” and “you are the change you have been waiting for” stuff, I never took that literally or as a sign of a huge difference between him and any other mainstream Dem.  It was all code words for “get rid of Bush and Cheney and their ilk”. At least that’s what I heard.

Gay marriage

Okay, this  needs some reframing.  One side says, civil rights, the other says it’s a religious commitment that is saved for men and women only.  Listen, here is what marriage is:  a legal contract. Someone can put their own religious or emotional meaning on it, but when marriages break up there is a reason people call lawyers: because it’s a legal contract. ( In case you didn’t get that the first time.)  So, when my friends, male and female, harp about what they have to pay their soon to be ex’s I always say, “well, you did sign a legal, binding agreement.  You married someone in a community property state with no fault divorce, so it doesn’t matter if he/she makes your skin crawl, you have to pay.”

We don’t exclude gays or Mormon’s or Scientoligist or anyone from creating an LLC, or entering into business agreements, making a will so, why would marriage be any different?  Sorry, yes on 8 er’s the train has left the station on this one.  Ultimately, society and the law will allow gay people to marry.

Emails for money

Every day I get no less than 5 pleas for money.  They are always poorly written.  They sound like Balki from “Perfect Strangers”.  Either there is an inheritance waiting for me.  Or they they need to get money out of their country and they need help laundering it.  I prefer the Viagra spam, at least it’s honest…well except for the claim that their penis will grow 3 inches longer.  Who is answering these things?  Because a bunch of Nigerians sit down and write them for some reason.  Better to go call up QVC and unload some cash there.  I’m guessing they prey on people who have little education and little grasp of English themselves.  Isn’t there a way to stop these?

Example below, supposedly from a bank in England:
Infact I thank God very much for all the movement I made, every thing goes normally. As for our agreement with the DILOMAT COURIER SERVICE COMPANY UK they promised that your consignment will leave this Country any monment Next Week,But the Director of the DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE COMPANY said that they need your contacts informations to able them meet up with you immediately they Company Diplomat Agent arrived to your Country.

Since when do bankers thank God?  Sometimes I am tempted to return with red pencil like a teacher and correct all the mistakes.  But, where do I begin?  Besides, I have another email here waiting for my attention, something about horny ladies.

It’s News! Sort of.

On the eve of The State of the Union speech by President Obama, I was trying to watch some political shows per usual.

“Vivien, let me watch the end of ‘Hardball,’ and then I will play dress up dolls with you.” I played dress up dolls while Hardball was on. Compromise.

I’m sure you are like me. You sit at home watching the news or reading it online, and you think,

“No, no you aren’t getting it.”

or “Um, that’s not how I see it.”

So here are a few of these random thoughts in no particular order.  I would love to hear from you about when you challenge the conventional wisdom of a news story. Political, pop culture, whatever.

QUIT CALLING IT A HUG! Florida Governor Charlie Crist did NOT hug Obama. It was nothing like that pathetic shot of McCain Squeezing George W Bush like his momma after she has been out of town for a few days. Crist grabbed Obama’s arm while they shook hands. It wasn’t even the “Straight Man hug,” the embrace while they each loudly pat each other on the back. Crist may be an overly tan moderate who has gotten on the wrong side of some conservatives, but news people stop saying he hugged a guy he didn’t.

MASSACHUSETTS SENT OBAMA A MESSAGE TO SLOW DOWN ON HEALTH CARE.

Yeah, not really. The Bay state sent a message that charisma plus retail politics still rules the day. That race was decided the same way most are: who is more likable? Who would you rather have a beer with? Martha Coakly seemed cold and officious and couldn’t talk about baseball (among other gaffes). Scott Brown is a hunky, likable pro choice Republican. He handled questions very well and the first person he called when he was elected was Vicki Kennedy. That’s a smart politician (weird comments about his daughters came after he was elected, oops). Yeah, the economy still stinks, people get nervous about some big proposals, but I think if I had met Scott Brown years ago I probably would have slept with him.  I’ll vote for that… in my mind.

WILL OBAMA STOP TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE AND START TALKING ABOUT JOBS?

I may scream if I hear some hack pundit say this one more time. Way to allow the health care business–and it is a business– to set the debate. It does have to do with jobs, it does have to do with job creation. If a business is crushed by the cost of insuring their employees, will they hire more people? No. Will they try to hire less employees and only pick up freelance people whom they don’t have to pay benefits too?  It’s already happening. If health care costs eat up the little profit margin a small business has, will they stay in business? The costs are soaring. I’m still perplexed at how cost containment isn’t more front and center for the debate on both sides. I’m not saying the Obama plan can fix these issues. I am a big hair less Dane or Swede in my heart when it comes to health care, I’m for cradle to grave, but fat chance getting that in the US. Bottom line, health care debate is NOT separate from jobs.

OCTOMOM PLEASE KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON

Barf, who wants to see that head case parade her newly bounced back body? Not me. Right, I’m sure you are mother of the year with your 14 kids and your workout routine. Good for you. Go away.

And most importantly,

MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Can we please discuss how our emphasis on being a war machine bleeds education and safety from our kids, robs the middle class of resources, and leaves our mentally ill and poor to wonder the streets and annoy as we walk out of Trader Joe’s? One doesn’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool hippie to see that these huge companies that make the weapons and support staff (Blackwater anyone?) hide behind our patriotism and support our troops sloganeering. It’s called war profiteering, and it’s so ingrained in our country, few see it, and less speak about it. It’s not a mainstream discussion, and this mother thinks it should be.

What are some of your fist pounders or head scratchers?

Just cuz he’s cute…