Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: bill clinton

Giving Credit Where and When It’s Due

Newt Gingrich: You are fascinated with sex, and you don’t care about public policy.

Megyn Kelly: Me, really?

Newt Gingrich: That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.

Megyn Kelly: You know what, Mr. Speaker? I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office, and I think the American people would like to know…”


There’s a clip going around of Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich sparring over the sexual harassment accusations levied at Donald Trump. I saw it retweeted on my timeline several times, but I was hesitant to watch it for several reasons. One, I have a hard time watching people defend sexual harassment, and I was sure Gingrich was going to attempt to do that. Two, it’s Fox. I don’t watch Fox if i can possibly help it. Three, I loathe Gingrich for many reasons, some of which I’ll delve into later. In short, I didn’t think I’d be able to watch it with equanimity. What changed my mind? Seeing several people marvel at how Megyn Kelly handled Gingrich. I decided to watch it.

It went about as I expected, at least on Newt Gingrich’s side. He was pompous and patronizing, interrupting Kelly several times. When he couldn’t interrupt her, he simply talked over her. It’s something very common to dudes–talking over women and interrupting them, I mean. Side note: I did a simple study for my Gender and Psychology class in college in which I sat in on four classes. One was a male-dominated class (math). Two were neutral classes (can’t remember what they were), and one was my own Gender and Psychology class. In these classes, I didn’t say anything. I simply observed who interrupted whom and made a tally. The results were startling and depressing. Men interrupted men; men interrupted women; women interrupted women, but women never interrupted men. Even when the teacher was a woman (such as my Gender and Psychology class), they didn’t interrupt their male students. I expected to find that women rarely interrupted men, but never? That was a sobering discovery. Obviously, it’s a really rough sample and a crude study, but I would bet it’s not far off the mark. There have been legitimate studies on this subject, and it’s clear that men interrupt women more than they interrupt men. Women also interrupt women more than they do men. The jury is out as to the reason (including geographical difference in speech patterns, a play for dominance, and establishment of intimacy); indeed, it may be different reasons in different situations.

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A Voice in the Wilderness

all by myyyyself
Party of one.

I’ve never been a joiner, and I don’t particularly care for groups. I find that no matter how liberal the group, there is a core mentality to which you have to adhere in order to be embraced. Otherwise, you’re tolerated at best, coldly snubbed at worst. As anyone who has interacted with me knows, I’m not a follower. I have a hard time with authority for various reasons, but mostly because I’m wary of a concentrated amount of power, no matter how just it might seem. In addition, we are all tribal at heart, whether we want to admit it or not, so the temptation to skew to the group norm is great. It’s not always a conscious thing, which makes it harder to recognize in yourself.

I’ve talked before about being a contrarian in part as a defense against falling into herd mentality. It’s partly because I tend to see things as multifaceted rather than as one thing or the other, which makes arguing on social media an exercise in frustration and futility. What I haven’t talked much about is how lonely it makes me feel a lot of the time. Despite my rather brash persona online and my prolific use of cuss words, I have a rather pathological need to please people. Or rather, not to offend people I care about and/or respect. Even when I disagree, I strive to find a way not to make it obvious that I’m doing so. It goes past trying to find common ground; I simply cannot tell someone I think they’re wrong without feeling overwhelmingly guilty. I’ll point out discrepancies or edge around the issue, but very rarely can I say, “I don’t agree.” I think there’s value in being polite or trying to see the other person’s point of view, but there is a limit. My way of dealing with issues in which I have a firm opinion is to not talk about it. For example, I am about as leftist as you can get on the topic of abortion. I think it should be legal all the time without question. Since I know I have no budge to give on the topic, I don’t discuss it with anti-choicers because there’s no point. I won’t change their mind, and they certainly will not change mine. Yes, I used to write about it ad nauseam, but that was just me preaching to the choir.

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