Friday, January 21, 2005

On Freud and trench warfare

In the tired old “where are all the female political bloggers” debate, liberal male writers often discount blogs that focus on parenting and icky female issues (like tampons! And pregnancy!) as so much fluff. Most see politics as a kind of ephemeral, philosophical football game where they can sit back and watch issues like same sex marriage, abortion and the ever growing threat of the religious right get fought out on the bigscreen in neat, clean graphical detail that resembles a general’s war room during WWI. They provide the play-by-play: “Anti-and pro-choice forces clashed again today in the trenches of the 9th District Federal Court. Neither side gained any ground and the standoff continues. Meanwhile, Christian Crusaders have forced Progressive forces into a temporary retreat in many Red States over the issue of Prayer in Schools. In the end, the picture they paint resembles clinical big red and blue arrows sweeping across the country like a high school civics book that outlines the key battles of the Civil War.

What they fail to see is – this war (like all wars) is actually fought over the bodies of real-life women, and families. We’re the ones in the trenches whose personal lives are being directly impacted by all the political punditry. And you can read those stories, and gain a much clearer insight into actual events on the ground of the battlefield by reading what, at first glance appear to be totally non-political blogs. They provide the Kodakolor imagery that makes the impersonal charts and diagrams real.

Take for example the current drama going on over at Finslippy which is normally pigeonholed as one of the “cute, funny parenting” blogs. I’m not really clear on which, if any posts she ended up taking down or editing, but the gist is – over the last week or so she’s posted some absolutely hysterical accounts of her little boy’s discovery of his ‘manly bits’, and voyage of language development that, as all little kids’ do… has taken more than a few unwitting detours through the gutter. Any other sane, normal parent (or any teenager whose parents humiliated them with naked baby bath pictures) can relate to these stories and will find them matters of vast amusement.

Not so the deviant-obsessed wingnuts, who see a picture of a child molester or worse – a homosexual (gasp!) in the making. They’ve apparently launched a hate-mail campaign against Finslippy wherein they turn everything that’s sweet, and natural, and innocent about her stories into everything perverted, and evil, and criminal. I wish I’d taken more Psyche classes, but I’m reasonably sure this is a classic Freudian exhibition of projection – where someone who is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses attribute these impulses to others, instead. You can tell by their obsession with the type of behavior at hand, which is perfectly illustrated in Mike Signorile's recent interview with an Alabama sheriff who is particularly fascinated with homosexuality.... and goes so far as to ask Mike to describe, in graphic detail what sex acts them thar homosexuals engage in.... (via Atrios & the General) They need help is what they need. Serious fucking help.

This is just one battle among thousands that go on every day between the forces of Wingnuttia and the rest of us, down here in the trenches. It’s just one step from posting hateful comments on a blog to reporting her to CSD, all because *they* are projecting their own repressed fantasies onto the rest of us. I guess this is what Shrub had in mind when he talked about the right's "Creation of Our Own Reality".

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