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Gender/sexual equality rhetoric, conservative reaction to Colbert monologue illustrate change in U.S. political dynamics

April 6, 2017

In response to Trump's proposed State Department cut, Hillary Clinton has been calling for Trump to keep "women's rights" as a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. U.S. foreign policy is more than diplomacy and influence operations. The U.S. State Department's exploitation of feminist rhetoric and wimmin's issues in the Third World is relevant even to lethal Pentagon missions.

Everyone knows that Clinton, who promoted rape and sexual harassment stories against Libya, abused feminism for the purpose of invading and murdering people in Libya. The United States' claim that its interest in "global women's issues" has something to do with supporting peace and stability has been revealed to be a lie in various ways. The notion that rejecting peace and stability, while failing to target the U.S. invaders, has something to do with militant resistance to imperialism was also revealed to be a lie.

Even people supposedly opposed to U.S. imperialism and critical of pseudo-feminism got caught up in supporting the U.S. aggression in Libya that resulted in the murder of a head of state. This was a result of powerful U.$. influence encouraging uniting with the United $tates to overthrow local governments under various pretexts, including "anti-imperialist" and pseudo-feminist ones. The present writer is a Maoist but doesn't mean to favor "Maoists" in particular in saying that. It has to be said even various CIA-influenced fake Maoists, who have publicly opposed Islam in particular on gender questions while themselves evidencing a dubious record on gay rights in their own country, openly welcomed NATO air strikes against Libya as an opportunity for "revolution." Some have also supported U.S. violations of Syrian sovereignty after Syria was accused of abuses against wimmin. These people developed peculiar, specific lines enabling and leading to such despicable reactionary stances. It's not just supposed anarchists. Outrageously, Mao Zedong's name is now appearing in the mainstream media in the context of supporting Western encroachment in Syria and open collaboration with U.S. special operations forces.(1)

Taking a look at such facts is a matter of opposing war. With standards for leftism being so low, how could anyone expect garden-variety liberals to do better? Or white trash isolationists to do much worse?

Gender has played a particular role in hegemonic U.S. influence weakening united fronts against the United States even in the midst of U.S. military attacks, not only discursively but in the sense that a group of U.S. female leaders represented by Clinton have been at the forefront of advocating for U.S. interventions and influence on certain grounds. Of course there are politicians favoring AmeriKKKan workers and claiming to be of relatively humble origins, but an analogous phenomenon of powerful Amerikans of a certain identity/background using internationalist workers' rights rhetoric to support wars may not exist to the same degree at this time. (Born-rich billionaire Trump strongly emphasizes interests of U.$. workers in particular and has said some words against "killing" despite being a militarist, an ISIS hawk, and a proven war criminal. Fake "Marxists," claiming to support the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie in the abstract and supporting U.S. wars supposedly on behalf of the Third World proletariat, have not yet held power formally and prominently in the United States though they exist in significant numbers and are arguably more confusing in some contexts.)

Even media such as the Guardian have for years noticed how Clinton, who was widely expected to become President, has disproved the idea that a female being in power means abandoning feminism or reducing militarism.(2) Amerikan females seeking political power easily support both feminism -- actually pseudo-feminism -- and militarism. They can, for certain reasons, be more hawkish than some of the males. Although, it is true it is somewhat hard to single out Clinton when so-called communists who supposedly don't belong to Clinton's party support selectively bombing Muslims and Arabs but either rely less on a "women's rights" angle or use more radical-sounding, more-confusing pseudo-feminist rhetoric.

Arguably, there isn't yet a gay-rights equivalent to Hillary Clinton, not quite to that extent. In any case, saying gay rights should be a major element of U.S. foreign policy wouldn't gain as much traction with Republicans as female war hawks' statements supporting female rights as a cornerstone of foreign policy. Also, according to bookies, it seems Hillary Clinton has a significantly better chance than openly gay U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, who supported the Syria strike last month, of winning the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

However, in the United Snakes, Democrats and liberals obviously play a leading role in the use of both feminist rhetoric and gay rights rhetoric for militaristic purposes. That is true also in the context of Russia, against which there have been allegations of abuses of females and gays. Democrats and liberals have been using sexual revolution feminist rhetoric and gay rights rhetoric to criticize Russia in front of Amerikans. This has been going on for years. It wasn't confined to the recent presidential campaigning. The dangerous anti-Russia rhetoric was never about just winning one election or defeating a certain candidate.

Many Republicans aren't opposed to using gay rights rhetoric to support wars. This has been true for decades now. Trump, whom some have perceived as being a relatively gay-friendly Republican, is a militarist. And Trump has, for example, claimed to be better than Clinton for "the gays" in Saudi Arabia. Other Republicans claiming to be more tough on "Islamic terrorists" than Democrats are have said similar things. Nonetheless, some of the conservative response to Stephen Colbert's "cock holster" so-called joke(3) is interesting in that it shows how the ongoing struggle against gay youth bullying and suicide could advance together with antimilitarism among some conservatives. That would be in contrast to the gay rights setbacks happening because of the Democratic and Republican use of gay rights rhetoric to advance U.S. militarism in the context of Muslim countries, Russia, and other actually or supposedly socially conservative countries.

On Monday, Stephen Colbert performed a monologue in which Colbert made fun of Kim Jong-un's name and compared the "monster" Korean head of state (not Trump) to Hitler, mocked Trump's hand body language and voice, made a tax-return-related joke about penis sizes and "not into that scene," made a joke about a banana in Trump's ear, and showed a heart & arrow with "Donald + Vlad" on it. Colbert did all of that within a matter of minutes. At the end of the monologue, in any case anyone not playing stupid didn't get it, the comedian said the only thing Trump's mouth was "good for" was being "Vladimir Putin's cock holster." Most have focused on that graphic line in Colbert's monologue, which contained more than one problematic line.

Now there are tweets such as: "#FireColbert conservatives now care about homophobia. 😆 'Putin's cock-holster' isn't homophobic. Pence's support of Conversion therapy is." No doubt opposing conversion therapy is still cutting-edge struggle in some podunk towns and cornfields in Amerika though even the Mormon Church started opposing conversion therapy recently. But the number of U.S. liberals who really care about war & peace, or what might actually be leading to Trump's use of nuclear codes (which Colbert later cited as justification for his verbal attacks), may or may not be far less than the number who really care about gay rights issues when they aren't trying to win an election or have sex with another liberal. It would be one thing if most of these people defending Colbert were strongly against U.S. military strikes, but that isn't the case.

The response of others, ignoring Colbert's repeated reference to Trump's penis, has been to say many heterosexual females also give blow jobs. They may have objected when Koreans called U.S. puppet Park Geun-hye, southern Korea's impeached former president, a prostitute (without referring to Park's vagina), as if males could not be prostitutes, but see nothing wrong with an Amerikan's defaming Koreans, drawing attention to Trump's penis, and using sexual imagery to suggest Trump is gratifying Russia in exchange for power. Regardless, the fact that some conservatives are at least pretending to oppose homophobia, in connection to criticizing Colbert's warmongering monologue, is apparently remarkable.

Many in the so-called Trump resistance seemingly rushed to defend Colbert's questionable "cock holster" insult without being aware of the anti-Korea warmongering content of the monologue or the less-obvious homophobic content. It seems opposing Trump as a particular "fascist" somehow makes both warmongering and homophobia tolerable. Even if they were aware of the content, they ignored it anyway or didn't care. The real verbal transgression for them was conservative so-called hypocrisy encroaching on anti-homophobia rhetoric.

Many have still yet to come to terms with the fact that eight years of Obama presidency destroyed the liberal antiwar movement in the United States and possibly also ruined antiwar leaders' ability to rebuild it in the short term (as ineffective as the movement was during the George W. Bush presidency). Obama devastated the liberal antiwar movement to such an extent that serious consideration must be given to understanding right-wing antimilitarism and how to exploit seemingly atypical conflicts between Amerikans to oppose war, rather than uniting with Democratic warmongers as some supposed anti-fascist opportunity. Right-wing antimilitarism associated with slaveholder U.S. national founders has always been a tendency to some degree but became more prominent during Obama's presidency. Colbert said on Monday that Trump attracts "more skinheads than free Rogaine," and Trump has expanded U.S. involvement in multiple countries, but it is a fact many of Trump's white-trash-racist supporters and former supporters view the use of Russia bashing to oppose Trump unfavorably and still associate it with excessive militarism or warmongering.

The point here is not that Amerikan gays, or hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash, are some generally progressive force. Amerikans are generally reactionary. And, like feminist rhetoric, gay rights rhetoric in the United States -- the world's dominant aggressor -- often has an undesirable effect internationally in terms of supporting U.S. wars and setting back progress in other countries. Also, there needs to be a major increase in international opposition to the United States instead of relying on any anti-war movement in the United States still struggling to develop. Yet, if some conservatives or confused, opportunist or gay white trash respond to Russia allegations against Trump not by denying homosexuality, taking it out on their gay children, calling the accusers gay, or treating homophobia as just an otherwise-acceptable way to disrespect people, but by opposing homophobia, that is a good thing and nobody should be against it.

The less pressure there is for "effete" Trump to prove manhood by bombing Koreans, or more Muslims, the better. Even if a new story or tape similar to "grab 'em by the pussy" were to emerge, it seems unlikely that it would do much now to help Trump in the masculinity department.

Regarding the tastefulness of the "cock holster" joke, obviously it isn't something that would have been thinkable to say on television in Islamic countries, and couldn't have have been said even in some Christian subcultures in the United States. That is true even though Republican Catholic ex-Mormon Marco Rubio started the penis jokes on national TV more than a year ago. Christianity, Islam and Judaism are against idolatry, and have a language against "whoring" for example. Scripture contains imagery of unfaithful females etc. But there is a way in which secular Western culture enables use of pornography and insults like "cocksucker" for political and warmongering purposes. The homophobia works partly because most U.S. liberals, who are also secretly anti-Muslim and secretly antisemitic, are secretly or unconsciously homophobic.

Colbert's monologue may seem like ancient news in this era of very short news cycles, but the underlying issues will remain for a long time. After eight years of Democratic war presidency, it's not always the case that what many liberals, with better-disguised racism and homophobia, are saying is preferable to what some conservatives are saying in the United States. ◊

• “Criticism of Trump as an unaccomplished president is leading to war,” 2017 May.
• “White nationalist Pat Buchanan is more anti-war than U.S. liberals and so-called leftists, because of Obama,” 2017 April.

1. “On the front lines of Syria with the young American radicals fighting ISIS,” 2017 February 14. “Franceschi was vague about his background, but wore a Mao pin, owned a fortune in Bitcoin and spoke seven languages, including Arabic and Kurmanji. With no military experience, he was sent to the front line, where Kurdish defenders were outnumbered perhaps five to one.”
2. “Clinton is proving that a feminist foreign policy is possible – and works,” 2011 January 16.
3. “This Monologue Goes Out To You, Mr. President,” 2017 May 2.

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