Monday, June 27, 2011

Here's the Deal About Respect

[Trigger warning for misogyny and assault]

During Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings, one of the topics of discussion was his history of sexually harassing women. This was an issue for a couple of reasons. First, sexually harassing women is wrong. Second, if you're the kind of privileged asshole who thinks it's okay to violate women's autonomy, there's a good chance that you'll be an abusive and generally fucked-up Supreme Court Justice.

We all know how that worked out.

Poorly.

I'm not going to go all Weiner on you, but permit me to be the nth person to assert that it's pretty hard to trust a man in power who abuses women.

Claiming the privilege to abuse people in one's private life (or public life), and using one's political privilege to abuse people are two manifestations of the same fundamental disease. Violence against women is a political issue, then, not only because HOLY SHIT ABUSING WOMEN IS WRONG, but also because government is, or damn well should be, about people working together to make sure everyone's needs are met. It's about respect.

Sadly, I'm not terribly surprised to hear about the latest case of a governmental leader who cares fuck all about justice abusing women.

Today's example is Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser. You may recall that he just won a hotly-contested re-election bid. You may also recall that he sided with a four-to-three conservative majority in ruling that Republican legislators' secretive and outrageous disenfranchisement of many Wisconsinites was a-okay. Bully for bullying!

This [TW] March,
Prosser acknowledged...that he called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "bitch" and threatened to "destroy" her during a closed-door meeting...

"In the context of this, I said, 'You are a total bitch," Prosser said. "I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely . . . warranted". [Emphasis mine.]
Over the weekend, Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley reported that Prosser put her into a headlock during the um, deliberations on the above four-to-three decision.

If the latest allegations are true, Judge Prosser needs to resign.

If you think my political beliefs are the reason I'm calling for Prosser's resignation, you're right. People who hold public office should be in the business of respecting others. If that's not a succinct description of my political philosophy, I don't know what is.

H/t to Shaker BlueRidge