Not a gaffe

Photos like this?

They’re not “gaffes.” They’re “suck it up, buttercup.”

Jill Filipovic comments:

For liberals, the photo seemed like an inadvertent insight into the current Republican psyche: Powerful men plotting to leave vulnerable women up a creek, so ensconced in their misogynistic world they don’t even notice the bad optics (not to mention the irony of the “pro-life” party making it harder for women to afford to have babies). Political analysts treated the photo as a gaffe, the kind of rookie mistake we’re used to seeing from the Trump White House.

Ah no. They’re just restoring the world to the way it’s supposed to be.

This isn’t the first celebratory photo the White House has released of men cutting health care for women. When Mr. Trump signed the global “gag rule,” which pulls United States funding from organizations abroad that so much as mention the word “abortion” (even organizations that don’t provide abortions), he did it flanked by a half-dozen white men in suits. The rule is an order that primarily affects women in developing countries, who will see their access to contraception and even basic services like malaria treatment constrained by funding cuts that politicize global health. That image was similar to one of President George W. Bush surrounded entirely by grinning men as he signed a ban on a rare abortion procedure.

I bet I blogged about that at the time too. I’ve been doing this since 1835.

Filipovic says maybe it’s not a gaffe but a message to their right-wing buddies. Well of course it is; that’s who they are. Not necessarily in the sense that they go out of their way to make sure there are no women in the frame, but in the sense that if you reminded them they were telling women what to do with their bodies without consulting any women at all, they would tell you to stop being so PC.

President Trump ran a campaign of aggrieved masculinity, appealing to men who felt their rightful place in society has been taken from them by a stream of immigrants stealing their jobs, women who don’t need husbands to support them, and members of minority groups who don’t work as hard but still get special treatment.

Also appealing to men who think women are sluts and bitches. That’s a very large constituency.

Mr. Trump oozes male entitlement, from his brash insistence that he’s the best at everything despite knowing very little about anything to his history of crass sexism…

Mr. Trump promised he would make America great again, a slogan that included the implicit pledge to return white men to their place of historic supremacy. And that is precisely what these photos show. The same kind of men who have been in charge of the United States since its founding, so very proud of themselves for trying to ax the rights that make it possible for women to chart their own futures — and to compete with men.

The more women forced to remain pregnant when they don’t want to, the less competition for men.

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