Warren tried to read a letter that the now-deceased King wrote in 1986, accusing Sessions (correctly) of using “the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.” McConnell invoked an arcane rule forbidding senators from insulting one another during debate as a pretext to banish Warren, who then read the letter aloud on Facebook Live, leading to millions more watching her than would have been the case if she had simply read the letter on the Senate floor.
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” McConnell complained during debate, fully embodying the feminist caricature of a fussy man displeased by uppity females, and thereby spawning hundreds of T-shirts and Twitter memes literally overnight. Warren herself took full advantage of the opportunity, hitting social media and cable news hard to highlight what happened.
McConnell’s behavior would have been noteworthy at any time, but the amount of negative attention he’s receiving is compounded by the widespread suspicion within feminist circles that the election of pussy-grabber-in -chief Donald Trump is ushering in a new era of misogyny.
“We’re going be blown backward so far that this irredeemably shitty year may someday look like a lost feminist golden age,” Michelle Goldberg of Slate wrote at the end of 2016. “The massive power of the American state is about to be marshaled to put women in their place.”
McConnell’s tantrum is just the latest incident in a long line of incidents suggesting that conservatives are feeling more empowered to be overt and blunt with their sexism, as Dan Merica of CNN witnessed in December:
The swamps of Trump-loving right-wing media, never a female-friendly place to begin with, have become even more dense with hysterical pronunciations about the evils of female independence.
Televangelist Jim Bakker spent his post-inauguration show ranting about how the Women’s March was “driven by demons” and recommending that politicians “control those demons that were in those women.”
“Isn’t it time to get past the exaltation of unrestrained womanhood that’s degenerating into Christ-hating blood lust?” wrote Linda Harvey, the head of Mission America, in a January column for WorldNetDaily. “If the pro-abortion feminists had their way, our culture would devolve into worship of a goddess who requires child sacrifice.”
Author: Amanda Marcotte