It’s a Strange State We Live In

So, the Hawkins County GOP had a drag show.  As a fund-raiser.

I feel, as one of the few feminist bloggers in the state, like I should have some cogient analysis of this, but, frankly, I am not smart enough.

So, let me just repeat that the Hawkins County GOP held a drag show as a fund-raiser and actual politicians went.

I feel like I should try to suss this perplexing thing out for you.  So, let’s just start with the whole “womanless x” part.  There have been, for ages, various “womanless” things.  My familiarity with them is with the “womanless weddings” that were/are held as fundraisers and community moral builders.  I don’t think I have to spell out for you the sorted history of folks dressing up like other folks and acting like those other folks for laughs in this country, but I will mention it in passing.  The roots of this thing in most places goes straight back to the ugliness you’d expect it to spring from.

The other tap-root of it, and the thing I imagine most people in the country are going to think of when they look at those pictures, is, of course, the drag show.

I also don’t think I have to point out to you, but I will, that the folks who perform in drag shows come from groups the GOP frowns upon (and by “frowns upon,” I mean “actively tries to oppress”)–straight, (even mildly) kinky dudes, gay guys, and mtf transexuals.

So, basically, what we have here is the situation in which the GOP doesn’t want “gay” people*to be able to adopt kids, they don’t want schools to even be able to teach children that gay people exist, and their state-wide pastime is protecting men from lying bitches AND, when they get together, they make fun of women and folks who appear to be women, by holding a fund-raiser that lets them laugh at men dressed like women.

And don’t get me wrong.  It is hilarious.  I mean, shoot, I’m still laughing about it.  See, if you’re a Republican Dude who wants to put on a dress and some lipstick or a Republican Dude who wants to look at dudes in dresses, as long as you do it in a space where only other Republicans are present, it’s all in good fun and great.  But, let you be caught putting on a dress and lipstick in your own home or at a local bar you might frequent, and your career is over.  See, you can be a little freaky, but only under the proper circumstances.

But what I find even more hilarious is that there were women there!  Who helped organize it!

I mean, how hard can you bump into feminism from behind before you are in bed with it?  “We realize that dressing like a woman is inherently kind of silly.  That there’s something worth mocking in getting all made up and throwing our tits around like the keys to the city.  That part of what we think of as being a ‘real woman’ is a performance and not actually that real.”  That’s a pretty hard bump up into feminist ideals.

“And yet, we all still do it anyway.”

Ha, ha, ha.  So close and yet so far away.


*I put gay in quotes because not all transexual people are gay, but they’re lumped in with gay people as if they are an obvious subset, when that’s not actually the case (see some of the fights we’ve had here).

In Which I Propose a Toast to Mike Turner

Y’all may recall that Mike Turner showed up here in the comments a while back and I would just like to report that, since then, I have had my eye on him.  This has been exceedingly unpleasant because I wear contacts and he has particularly scratchy jackets, but that’s what I do for you, dear readers.

Ha, ha, ha.  I know it’s impolite to laugh at your own jokes, but I crack myself up sometimes.

Where were we?

Oh, yes, why we’re toasting Mike Turner today: because I have been laughing all morning about the thought of him rolling his eyes at Mumpower and Casada as they complain that the Democrats aren’t just rolling over and playing dead.  I would also like to give a special shout-out to Rep. Henry Fincher, who seems to have pointed out that the Republicans are risking federal money in order to enact their theocracy.  If only he had pointed out, too, that they want to do so on the word of a woman who has made a career out of lying about being raped and a man who doesn’t even know how ultrasounds work*, then I would have jumped for joy.


*Let me just reiterate for the boys in the audience.  Most abortions take place in the first trimester of your pregnancy.  During the first trimester, the most effective form of ultrasound is a vaginal ultrasound, where the technician takes a big rod, lubes it up, shoves it in your vagina, and presses it hard against your vaginal walls so that she can get a good look at what’s going on in your uterus and (depending on why you’re having one) with your ovaries.  On a scale of unpleasant to “Jesus-fucking-god that sucks” it depends on the technician.  I’ve had a couple of vaginal ultrasounds and the one was just unpleasant–men, if you’d imagine if someone thrust their whole hand up to the knuckles in your mouth and ran their fingers across the inside of your cheek for five minutes–and the other one was painful–if you imagine the above scenario, but with the fingers poking occasionally at a sore in your mouth.  I know some women have worse experiences.  Also, usually, when you have one, the screen is positioned in such a way that you cannot NOT see it. The point is that you cannot have one and not know that something is happening.  Requiring the doctors when you’re having an abortion to tell you that you’re having an ultrasound only reveals that you do not know what is involved with it.  It just makes you look like a clueless ass.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, if you do know what’s involved with it and you still want the State to legally require one before an abortion can be done, let me point out that you now want to make it a law that, before a woman can have an abortion, the State requires her to submit to the doctor shoving something that may not be medically necessary into her vagina, whether she wants it or not.

There is a word for folks who force things into women’s vaginas when we don’t want them there, but it escapes me at the moment.

Edited to add: Ah, it looks like Fincher was complaining about the equally stupid “But we own our children!” act in which parents would be given access to their teenage children’s medical records, even though, if they do that, they will not get money from the Feds.  This is a subset of the “women are lying bitches” legislation we’ve been seeing all session, because, see, even your own daughter might be a lying bitch and you, by god, have a right to know if she is!

Frank James Was Not My Neighbor

So, I was doing some research last night and, thanks to Google Books, came across Frank and Jesse James by Ted P. Yeatman.  As you may recall, the big claim to fame of Whites Creek is that Frank James lived out here while he was hiding in Tennessee.

Well, using Yeatman’s book to map out just where it was that Frank and his wife were hiding, while they clearly lived in the area of Whites Creek the creek, they did not live near Whites Creek the quasi-town.

When James first came to the Nashville area, he lived with Ben Drake, who lived somewhere along Hyde’s Ferry “miles from Nashville,” but close enough to the other places that James moved that Yeatman can say “nearby” every time James switches farms.  So, if I had to guess, I’m going to guess that Drake lived near where Ashland City Highway and Drake’s Branch Road [See?!  Drake… Drake’s…] intersect.  Then the James family spent some time at Drake’s sister’s place.  She was the Widow Ledbetter.  I’m not sure where she was but obviously nearby.  Then, after recovering from malaria, James moved his family onto a cabin on the Walton Place.  According to Yeatman, the Waltons lived roughly where King’s Lane and Drake’s Branch Road cross.  And the cabin was down closer to White’s Creek.  Then, he lived for a while at the Felix Smith place, which we know was on a slight rise which overlooked Clarksville Pike and was on Hamilton road.  And then Frank and Jesse both spent some time at Jeff Hyde’s place, which, judging by Google street view is still standing!

I don’t know if this linking will work, but I tried to map it all out for you on Google Maps.

Anyway, the very cool thing is that, when you’re driving down Clarksville Pike, all the lands that Frank James used to farm are still fields (I imagine because they’re the flood plain for Whites Creek) and you can see them just by looking out your car window.  Which, considering that they’re in a fairly populated part of the city, is pretty damn incredible.  If the city were smart, they’d look to snap all that up for greenway and historic reasons.  Think of the tourist potential.  I mean, yes, you’d have to get people’s heads out of their asses about getting out and walking around a predominantly black part of town.  But when they opened Shelby Bottoms did not everyone talk about how “dangerous” that was as a code for saying “A lot of black people live there and use the park”?  Yes they did.  And, miracle of miracles, white people use the park, too, and none of the white people have died from black people cooties.

You could have an awesome greenway right along Whites Creek and bring the tourists who want to see where Frank James lived and worked, even in Bordeaux.  And it would be cool as hell, even if it meant that Frank James didn’t live in my town.