Thursday, January 25, 2018

Judge Sentences Pedophile, Straight Men Go Ballistic: Just. Stop. Now

As Scott Lemieux says, Larry Nassar decided to "go out in a hail of misogyny and denial." Right to the end of his sentencing hearing, he persisted in claiming that, though he was guilty as charged of penetrating the vaginas of girls as young as six years old (activity that continued in some cases over a span of years with the same girl), he was acting "medically" — as a doctor, not someone sexually violating girls.

The judge did not buy his claims. She scorned them. And she sentenced him, using forceful language — but language no more forceful than criminals in any court in the U.S. are likely to encounter on any given day.

My father was a lawyer. We lived in the courthouse town of my county. My brothers and I often went to the courthouse to watch my father try cases — and to watch other cases be tried. It was theater for us in our sleepy little south Arkansas town. Believe me when I tell you: judges can be salty, angry, full of pith and vinegar as they confront and sentence criminals. What Nassar's judge Rosemarie Aquilina said and did in his sentencing is not in the least unusual.

Nonetheless, there's now a huge hullabaloo on the part of men on Twitter and social media — men who seem to think that the women's movement has gone too far, that it's a witch hunt, that women are gaining the upper hand, that straight men are an endangered species. And this verdict and how Judge Aquilina delivered it has gotten under their skin.

Poor Larry Nassar. That b—h of a judge, speaking to him so vindictively! Would she have treated anyone but a straight white man that way? So the spiel goes.

Straight white men need to get over themselves. They have needed to do this for a long time now. God does not pass out the cards straight white men like to imagine they were given at birth, cards that entitle them to dominate others and to get out of jail free on charges that would send others right to jail, do not pass go, do not stop to collect your belongings.

The fact that the moral monstrosity sits in the White House now has everything to do with straight white male panic at the idea of a woman president. That panic has placed the whole world in danger.

When your sense of unmerited entitlement endangers the whole world — and when it's propped up by pseudo-religious claims that you mirror God better than anyone else in the world, because God is a straight male like you — it's time for you to get over yourself and start thinking of others. Like all those girls Larry Nassar sexually penetrated, and what that did to their lives.

Like your own wives, daughters, and mothers and the shitty world you have made them live in, which deserves to be different for them — if you'll stop standing in the doorway and preventing a better future to unfold for them.

Just. Stop. Now.

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