Behold the Whore

Looking at this, I think:  if they could get away with it, the Social Justice Warriors would like nothing better than to shave the heads of Trump voters in the public square.

How far away are we from this in America?

Les poules a bouches, they called them in 1944. Hens with mouths.  Because the problem couldn’t have been the collapse of the French Army in three weeks in 1940, the men whisked away to labor camps as prisoners of war. Or a third of the population being openly Fascist at the beginning of WW II. Or the southern portion of the country being ruled by Vichy.   The women of Paris, left to fend for themselves, made accommodations with the conqueror women have made always. We can’t have that, can we?

Behold the whores.

The Pathé archives are filled with documentation of the shaving of the collaborators horizontale, none I found with the dignity of the woman above, who somehow manages to maintain poise when those around her are losing theirs, enobling herself in the most adverse of circumstance.   Does grace under pressure indicate innocence or a facility with deception? Did she love her paramour, or was she feeding her family?

After her hair grew back, for how long did she bear the burden of being that woman?

We are fast approaching a moment in American civil life when we are either going to be She Who is Sitting in the chair, or the guy wielding the clippers.   We will be told to be one or the other.    We may wish to be publically reticent in certain matters, we may long for the pleasure of a pint unencumbered by public declarations of fealty to one side or the other, but in the end, the culture war will sniff us out. It will scratch at our door. We will be made to care.

We’ll look back with nostalgia on a simpler time when head shaving was an act of personal renewal.

How much dignity we maintain then will be up to us.

7 thoughts on “Behold the Whore”

  1. “Social justice warriors”? I find this whole post inflammatory and insensitive, but also am primarily saddened (truly, as I generally like your blog, though the attempts to be provocative-while-also-the-reasonable-man-about-town can be a bit too on the nose and tone deaf) that you choose to use language that is so divisive. I let your post about the Black population of SF being almost gone and the new folks being “Chewish” go a few weeks back because I didn’t quite get it, but now I’m wondering if maybe I just was hoping it wasn’t what I thought.

    This highly-gendered post-war photo represents important and interesting fairly recent history, but is not necessarily a prologue to anything, and denies the work being done to cross the lines we face right now in our country. There are no other roles available but misunderstood trump loving victim and callous lefty hater? Social justice is a bad thing? Dismissing the work of others with a large brush is easy. Doing so flippantly belies the point those if us inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt might otherwise find.

    1. When I used the term “Social Justice Warriors”, I was referring to people who self-identify as SJW. So, descriptively, rather than pejoratively.

      You’re correct that we should be considering other roles for ourselves than those being assigned by the media or the musings of UpintheValley. Most of us try to do that instinctively, because the American public in the aggregate is rather reasonable. The problem, as I see it, is our media and academic culture is taking away the space for differences at an alarming rate.

      I’ve had too many conversations in recent months where otherwise thoughtful, idiosyncratic folks are reciting talking points to me I just heard on NPR that morning. Like zombies they speak.

      There I go, being flippant again. It’s something I should work on. Thank you for keeping me honest.

      1. I think admin is allowed to make an observation or connections without needing to address every nuance of the situation or bend over backwards to address everyone’s potential feelings on a topic. He lays out a potential future situation based on a historical situation. That’s it. If you disagree, so be it. There’s no need to take offense or give chastisement based on the offense.

        The “Social Justice Warrior” term is highly charged and means many different things to different people. Some efforts done under that banner are good, some are bad. Who wants to judge that?

        The premise of the post says:

        “Looking at this, I think: if they could get away with it, the Social Justice Warriors would like nothing better than to shave the heads of Trump voters in the public square.”

        On the other hand, the Trump voters would like to expose the SJWs for the frauds the Trump voters think they are. What now?

        I think it was an thought-provoking observation, whether I agree or disagree.

    2. When I realized that “MB” used the phrase “highly-gendered” I was literally shaking and couldn’t even.

      Using “highly-gendered” as a description ignores the important work being done to include the low-gendered, which is to say, the micro-dicked, who make up such a critical part of our professorial and political infrastructures.

      Using “Black” instead of “African-American-identified” is racist in the extreme. What’s next? “Brown” to describe people of Meso-Azteco-Chicano-Mexicano-American ancestry? I wonder if the writer was literally wearing a swastika as ze typed zir response.

      Very, very, problematic.

  2. The movie “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” dealt with these topics in a rather direct, humanistic and nuanced manner. Please consider viewing it.

    There was a recent video of an ostensibly “feminist” rally in which the demonstrators chanted “Women hold up half the sky.” Please consider the varied implications after googling the term, including if it is even a good faith reporting of the demonstration on the part of the documentarians and participants.

    This is a complex world and it is necessary to make sense of complex global and national issues at the local level. Senator McCarthy might be viewed as a tragic figure if he hadn’t been so sadistic. One might argue that W.E.B. DuBoise’s gullibility for Potemkin Villages have caused some damage as well.

    It seems the author’s point is that it is alarming that the American citizens that are ideologically motivated (according to the “The Atlantic” the majority are better adjusted) are becoming cruel in their politics, unable to consider that perhaps if they were in the shoes of an opposing partisan, the position of said partisan might appear reasonable while lamenting that what the observable reality is that for all our sophistication, we often behave as crabs in a bucket of oppositional scrums being slowly brought to boil rather than employing our intellects and coming to a well reasoned consensus of actionable solutions to oblique problems.

    1. Personally, the Chinese Cultural Revolution seems like a better analogy of culture in the United States since the groupthink and Machiavellianism that drove us to the Iraq theater dwindled into a lack of collective introspection pending some hopeful pragmatic epiphany.

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