Grappling with Pakistan’s ‘influence operations’: When the patriarchy moves in to silence a female critic

For some 10 years, I have relentlessly exposed Pakistan’s influence operations against American scholars, analysts, journalists and the institutions that employ them and rely upon their ability to raise funds to support the organisations’ overhead costs and salaries. Through this basic economic necessity, most of the think-tanks in Washington, DC and the writers who focus on South Asia have been coopted by Pakistan’s influence operations because these individuals have generally positioned themselves as Pakistan-whisperers to private and public funders.

This renders them dependent on Pakistani visas and access to officials in and out of uniform. The result is chilling: Analysts who know better — or ought to know better — self-censor to retain this access. In the process, they have become witting or unwitting assets to Pakistan. In response to my most recent criticism, two white men who are considerably senior to me, have turned to the popular tactic of appealing to my employer in an effort to silence me. Two senior men appealing to my leadership to discipline my voice or silence me altogether is white maleness in action. It is the patriarchy in action. In doing so, these individuals hope that I will temper my tone.

I will not.

On Monday 14 October, Michael Krepon who “co-founded the Stimson Center in 1989 and served as Stimson’s President and CEO until 2000, and who continues to direct Stimson’s programming” joined hands with Andrew Wilder, a “vice-president of Asia programs” at the United States Institute of Peace to draft a letter to the president of the organisation that employs me. They also contacted several other South Asia analysts in hopes that they would sign this letter. (I have reproduced the original letter below. Because some of the persons whom I know were contacted are not on this first email, I can assume that their first effort did not produce the anticipated yield of signatories and they reached into the lower benches of the field.)

The letter claims that my assertions about the ways in which Pakistani influence operations have shaped the policy debate to Pakistan’s benefit have coarsened the political discourse. What they seek to obfuscate is that these men do not contribute meaningfully to an empirically buttressed political discourse; rather, they contribute to an unrelenting parade of apologies for the most outrageous of Pakistani behaviours. It is they — not me — who have coarsened political discourse by introducing into it Pakistani talking points, preferred historical arguments, and representations for purposes of programmatic expedience and convenience as I explain below.

Given their seniority, in writing to the president of my employer, they are engaging in a form of bullying enjoyed by senior white men to silence agentive female critics, particularly those of us who are junior to the men who seek to muzzle us. This is the Old White Boys Club in its basest form appealing to oldest trick in the book of asking a senior man to discipline an uppity woman in his remit.

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Michael Krepon has a history of sending me misogynist and condescending emails. He has accused me of “losing my way” as if I am a lost sheep and he is the masterly shepherd. When I chastised him for refusing to publicly acknowledge that he was a member of a task-force to re-examine US policies towards Pakistan much-less sign onto its recommendations, he rebuked me for daring to question his reservations about a report that recommended considering the possibility of considering sanctions against Pakistan at some indefinite point in a remote future.

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I was not surprised by the language and tone used in this open letter, provided below, in which they reduced my concerns about the necrotic impact of Pakistani influence operations upon the public discourse surrounding that country as “eruptions” and consistently mischaracterised my descriptions of influence operations and their complicity in the same.

What are influence operations? A primer

While it is not uncommon for US officials to be seconded to other friendly nations for temporary duty assignments, Pakistan is not a friendly State. Its crimes include: Murdering thousands of Americans in and out of uniform as well as our NATO and non-NATO allies and tens of thousands of Afghans in addition to many thousands of Indians. Moreover, Pakistan — with lucrative and fungible American economic support–is fastest growing nuclear power inclusive of the development of battle-field nuclear weapons.

Pakistan uses this arsenal along with its petting zoos of terrorists to stoke the fears that “Pakistan is too dangerous to fail” and thus continues to coerce the United States to acquiesce to IMF bailouts and other forms of assistance. It is this verity that allows Pakistan to be near certain that there will be no FATF blacklisting and thus can view remaining on the “grey list” as a political victory. This is nuclear coercion in its crudest and truest form.

Yet it seems that there is literally no Pakistani crime which the witting objects of Pakistani influence operations won’t defend with three consistently and notable exceptions: Jeff Smith at the Heritage Foundation, whose integrity is beyond reproach and who is oddly not included in their missive; Ambassador (retired) Husain Haqqani of Hudson who has repeatedly outed the Derp State for its murderous hijinks; and the doyen of South Asian studies, Ashley Tellis of Carnegie, who never minces his words when it comes to Pakistan. The other gentlemen who opine and repine on South Asian affairs in DC refrain from criticism, engage in relentless “both side-ery” antics and traffic in false equivalence.

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In this letter, both Krepon and Wilder, insinuate that I am suggesting that they are paid agents or have acquiesced to explicit quid pro quos with Pakistan. In fact I doubt that these are arrangements are so explicit as this courts jail time unless one is a legally registered foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Recent examples of persons who have been so convicted include Ghulab Nabi Fai and Nisar Ahmed Chaudhry.  Explicit quid pro quos are not only risky, they are unnecessary.

As I have written previously, Pakistan gets what it wants from its dupes without paying them a dime directly. Although, in many cases, the Pakistan government does subsidize their writings by paying for their airfares to and from Pakistan and/or by facilitating their travel within Pakistan to places like Waziristan where their travel would otherwise be prohibited. For example, in Pakistan: A Hard Country, Anatol Lieven subtly thanks the Pakistan Army for doing so.

For several years, the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC hosted academics and journalists on paid tours to Pakistan, which included trips to Waziristan to showcase the ostensibly successful efforts of the Pakistan Army. In exchange for such opportunities, analysts write favourable assessments without any credible baseline. For example, Michael Kugelman wrote enthusiastically about his trip to Waziristan which he concedes was arranged by the Pakistan Army in his piece for War on the Rocks, an influence blog for those engaged in political-military concerns in the United States.

I understand the professional requirement for some of these persons to cultivate visas and meetings with high-level Pakistani officials in and out of uniform because they have assured various funders of their ability to do work in Pakistan. Thus, visas and access allow them to launder grants into their organisations to pay for overhead and salaries. This dependence upon such grants and soft monies is precisely why such influence operations are so successful. Only persons who have no need for such hustles are truly free to speak their minds. Of course, one has choice about the projects they take on: They could always choose projects that do not require them to propitiate Pakistan’s equities. Thus this bureaucratic reality is not exculpatory, rather explanatory.

I know this process of cultivation well, because the Pakistanis long tried to cultivate me but failed although I never let them pay for my international airfare and blogged about the various (often humorous) lies they sought to sell me. And I do remember when I worked for the United States Institute of Peace and at the RAND Corporation, I too was compelled to work in Pakistan. When I said things that pleased them, I was easily accommodated. Early in my career, when I made stupid mistakes about Kashmir, the Army Band actually serenaded me at a banquet. It played my then favourite raunchy song: Bilo da Ghar.

But I grew wiser, began engaging more primary source documents and evolved from a research assistant to a researcher and began using my voice commensurate with my growing stature, I recall very well the dread of submitting my visa after being particularly outspoken. When the Pakistanis first began signaling discontent with my positions, they began delaying the processing of my visa. It went from being processed in the same day to six weeks. Finally, they threatened me with violence and never issued me another visa. But in being rendered persona non grata, I have been rendered free to speak my mind. It’s a freedom I cherish. I no longer need to bite my tongue about Pakistan’s crimes. I no longer expect a red carpet in Rawalpindi stained with the blood of citizens, friends and allies.

Pakistan is not the only country that does this: China has done this for decades. Many scholars who built their careers around their China expertise can no longer return because their writings eventually discomfited the regime. Many scholars, reporters and analysts have been ousted from China for writing what needs to be written and saying what needs to be said. Israel, Russia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar are just a few of the countries that seek to discipline those who write about the country by calibrating access to officials or even access to visas, needed to visit the country.

I am right to continue to identify the impacts of Pakistani influence operations and this effort of organisational bullying will only prompt me to redouble my trenchant observations of this phenomenon and its outcomes. I will not sacrifice my integrity for a visa or any number of opportunities to be lied to by Pakistani officials. Nor will I let my colleagues off the hook because they do.

This was originally published in First Post on 25 October 2019.


@ThePrintIndia which published the offending pieces wouldn’t print the follow-up, whith First Post ran, ostensibly because the editor is friends with Krepon. This is how MALE PRIVILEGE works, by the way.So, in a convoluted way, Gupta Sahab HIMSELF is working to suppress one of the few voices in DC that call this bullshit out.

Many apologies to @Ullekh for sending him this piece when I didn’t know it had been published, albeit in a more abbreviated version.

So, in a convoluted way, Shekhar Gupta, editor of The Print, HIMSELF is working to suppress one of the few voices in DC that call this bullshit out.

Many apologies to @Ullekh for sending him this piece when I didn’t know it had been published, albeit in a more abbreviated version. I also apologize to his fact checkers who knew about the piece and were confused. (I’ll publish the full piece on my blog later this week.)

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The writer is author of In Their Own Words: Understanding the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (OUP, 2019) and Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War (OUP, 2019). The views here are her own and do not reflect those of Firstpost, her employer or other organisations with which she affiliates.

My Letter to Mikey Krepon and Andy Wilder

As I wrote a few weeks ago, Mikey Krepon and Andy Wilder — two wizened white men —felt it appropriate to write to the president of my employer because I said, say, and will continue to say, things they don’t like. They hoped said president would muzzle me.

As I have repeatedly said, I find this culture of appealing to employers to silence speech one doesn’t like to be particularly necrotic for democracy generally and freedom of speech in particular. Taken to its extreme, should such crybaby half-wits have their way following a hissy-fit tantrum, the only people who will enjoy freedom speech are those with trust-funds. Ditto for cancel culture. And I feel this way irrespective of what side of the political divide a crybaby finds himself.

A screen shot of the boys’ missive, along with the obfuscated emails of the most of the recipients, is given below. The text of their playground sobstory follows at the bottom of this post.

Their missive, along with the obfuscated emails of the recipients, is given below.

While these hyjinx went on while I was in Afghanistan, I didn’t feel the need to response to those dingleberries hanging off the matted ass of white male privilege.

Today, I finally got around to it. And it felt good to explain to these these exalted gentlemen where to go. ( I should’ve provided a map about how to get there, since dudes like these don’t ask for directions. My bad.)

So here we go. Better buckle up buttercups!

Dear Mikey and Andy (After all, if you can refer to my observations in infantalizing terms such as “outbursts,” I can refer to you with infantalizing aphorisms.)

I am going to respond to this note in the spirit in which you intended: weapons-grade assholery. And to make a point of you and calling you out, I am including your first audience. (And as always, have posted this this exchange to my blog because I like transparency.)

First, I am correct in pointing out the pervasive and noxious impacts of Pakistani influence operations which have had an extremely warping impact upon “discourse” and policy discussions about Pakistan. To be clear, Pakistan is a state that is more an American foe than a friend.  Pakistan is directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of several thousand Americans in and out of uniform and our allies in RS and previously ISAF. It is directly responsible for deaths of hundreds of thousands of Afghans. Needless to say, it has also killed tens of thousands of Indians through its use of terrorist proxies. It has used its nuclear weapons to extract many tens of billions of dollars from the US overtly and more covertly.

Now that we are clear on the facts, I will also note with equal clarity that it is is not my “outbursts” or “volleys” (aka “my willingness to call this out”) that is corrosive; rather, it is the pusillanimity of poltroons like both of you and your willingness to acquiesce to Pakistan’s influence operations that is the problem.

Second, in addition to be stunningly puerile, this effort is also stunningly misogynist. Two old white men opining to another white man to muzzle up his yappy bitch is as old as the hills. 

Third, I will continue to identify this Pakistan influence operations and those who willingly succumb for the perquisites that doing so offers. I will continue to criticize your genuflections to a murderous and rogue regime. There is not much you can do about it. If you believe I have slandered you, sue me. I welcome the opportunity to press my case with an even wider audience. I particularly welcome the testimony of US officials who share my view.

Fourth, neither of you titans our our discipline have ever so rallied in defense of other colleagues who have irked the deep state that you both so dearly propitiate.

Let me identify a few notable examples of your failures to mobilize your deep concern for freedom speech, reputational harm or even the ability to do field work at all in Pakistan or even live their in peace and security.

1. Neither of you gentlemen ever howled in protest when the ISI threatened me with gang rape. Some of you asshats even had the feckless temerity to doubt it occurred. However, Husain Haqqani can attest to its reality. He was the ambassador when it happened. And after receiving the threat I was still going to go to Pakistan. He actually called me–against the ISI’s orders–the night before I left. He probably saved my life. And I will be grateful to him for that.

Speaking of Husain and many others whom the Derp State has targeted . When he was detained and his life threatened, did either of you boors mobilize such a letter in defense of him? No. Gentlemen. You rubes did not.

3. Have you ever mobilized in defense of anyone whose life has been threatened by the deep state you defend repeatedly in your various op eds? Ayesha Siddiqua can no longer live in her own country because the fellows you admire so much put a hit out on her life. Did you fine upstanding citizens of the discipline so mobilize to writer letter. How about Taha Siddiqui? How about the bloggers in 2017? I spent WEEKS of my life helping one of those bloggers get to safety. I appealed to you rapscallions and you and you said nothing and did less.

Andy didn’t even lift a finger to help Mubashar Hassan who was captured and tortured by Bangladeshi intelligence even though he was so captured due to his association with USIP and even though USIP had an obligation to provide duty of care under the even the crudest understanding of “duty of care.” It was Ali Riaz and I who did worked tirelessly to get him released.

3. Did either of you so mobilize in defense of the myriad journalists who are currently “disappeared” in Pakistan because they speak the truth about the deep state you pimp in your grant proposals? What about the Baloch who have been disappeared and killed in broad day light?

The short answer is NO. But when it came to defending a very obvious source of influence, you guys were like the Bionic Duo of Duffusry.

(I also noted the people you included. Asra Nomani is NOT a South Asianist. She IS a deeply Islamophobic tool of the right wing who previously tried to get me fired. I also noticed that you included Feroz Khan, who is another Pakistan influence operation.

Both of you–not me–are disgraces to our discipline and your country who has lost many citizens because of this state you so eagerly defend.

Typos and other infidelities reflect my indifference to you both as colleagues and as ostensibly sentient humans.

Y’all have a great day.


PS Andy:  while I expected such shenanigans from Mikey, I didn’t expect them from you. But I should have. You have happily let USIP become Zal’s chop-shop to sell the Afghans to Pakistan.

Below is the text of their letter.

Dear Colleagues,

Andrew Wilder and I have drafted a letter to Georgetown about Chris Fair’s characterizations of some of us as being tools of Pakistan’s military and intelligence services.
Her latest volleys can be found here:

Freedom of speech is precious; using it to spread poisonous and false attacks is an abuse of freedom of speech.
These abuses are all around us. They stain our political discourse. They ruin lives and reputations.
The internet offers no safeguards. Even so, Andrew and I seek to affirm a code of conduct for responsible standards and conduct within our modest community of researchers and analysts. Mutual respect is key. As is calling out unprofessional conduct.

Our proposed letter to the President of Georgetown is attached and can be found below. If you are willing to lend your name to this letter, please let me know by COB Thursday. We would like to list affiliations for purposes of identification only.

If you wish to discuss this with me, please email or call my cell number, below. We suspect this initiative will cause further eruptions. This is even more reason, in our view, for being on record calling for norms of proper professional conduct. Our silence isn’t helping.


Michael Krepon | Co-founder
The Stimson Center |<> | 434.960.1111
1211 Connecticut Avenue NW | 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20036;>
30 Years of Pragmatic Steps toward Creative Solutions
MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

John J. DeGioia
President, Georgetown University
37th and O Streets, NW
Washington, D.C.  20057

Dear President DeGioia,

We wish to express our deep concern regarding the unprofessional conduct of Dr. C. Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown University.

For many years Dr. Fair has made baseless ad hominem attacks on experts and scholars working on South Asia. She has frequently and publicly insinuated or explicitly claimed that some who do not agree with her perspective are “proxies” or “agents” of the Pakistani state and its intelligence services. These accusations are unfounded and unsubstantiated. They are not only slanderous, they can endanger individuals engaged in their research and analysis.

The signers of this letter belong to a community of analysts working on South Asia. We may disagree with one another on various issues, but we respect each other’s work. We avoid libel and slander. We do not infer that those who disagree with our views have ulterior motives or are in the employ of foreign intelligence services. We accept professional courtesies, standards and practices not only when writing and speaking as representatives of our institutions, but also when writing and speaking in our personal capacities.

We believe in freedom of expression, and Dr. Fair is certainly entitled to her own views and to disagree with the views and analyses of other experts. But as professionals whose work relies on guarantees of free expression, we also believe strongly that with freedom comes responsibility. Character assassination, ad hominem attacks, slander and innuendo to try to undermine the credibility of scholars and experts with whom Dr. Fair disagrees ought to be out of bounds for the faculty of an esteemed academic institution. Such attacks create risks and reputational harm not only to those being targeted without reason but also to Georgetown.We would request that Georgetown take appropriate actions to ensure that the irresponsible and unprofessional behavior of Dr. Fair not endanger or maliciously undermine the work of others.

Signed (Affiliations for identification purposes only),

Cc:  Robert Groves, Provost, Georgetown University

        Joel Hellman, Dean, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Download all attachments as a zip file

America’s Unrelenting War on Women

As a young feminist studying South Asia in 1990 America, it was de rigueur, for American feminists to decry the “barbaric” abuses from which “third world women” needed to be liberated.  Sati, which became resurgent in Rajasthan briefly, along with female feticide and infanticide and dowry deaths were their cause célèbre as were the Taliban’s use of death by stoning to execute Afghan women for various crimes real and imagined.  The enforced hijab in Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as the latter’s ban on female drivers all drove American feminists over the edge as did—and does—female genital mutilation (FGM) practices by some Muslim communities “in Africa.” (Apparently no one can be bothered with specifying a particular country when it comes to Africa.)

This  hot wash in “white saviorism” never sat well with me because American women have never been as liberated as they imagined.  White feminism was always imbued with the class, race and geographical entitlements of its proponents which prevented them from knowing that even in America, many of the practices they decried as the problems of “over there” were in fact practiced within the United States. Few Americans know today that child marriage is practiced in the United States, that is not criminalized by federal law and is permitted in many states. In fact, according to data from 41 states, between 2000 and 2015, more than 200,000 minors were married.

Coming from a blue-color family in rural and peri-rural Indiana, I was annoyed by the “overthereism” of white feminism. For one thing, two of my cousins (by marriage) were child brides. Lean, one of these cousins, was more or less my age and we spent the summers swimming and doing girl stuff. Then in the summer in 1983, Lean was married, with court permission, to a man well into his twenties. She was from a town called “Mongo,” Indiana which was essentially a village where a high school education was an accomplishment she would not achieve. Her sister followed suit several years later. No one in my family seemed terribly aghast by this, except my mother and me.  Throughout Lean’s wedding, I wanted to vomit. My mom kept jabbing me to stop making faces during the ceremony. In any circumstances this would have been statutory rape. But when legitimized by a pastor, child rape becomes matrimony.

Nor did I have the luxury of presuming that boy preference was a curious practice of exotic countries. Afterall, my stepmonster routinely opined that he had no intention of saving money to send me to college so that I could “find a husband.” He furthered that since we were poor and could only afford to educate one of the kids, “it made sense to educate the boy.” My mother fought long and hard to educate me.  My mother saw that I had no other prospects for a happy life than education. Unlike my brother, I was unattractive, overweight and bespectacled. I preferred books to boys and I revolted against the abusive patriarchy that was firmly rooted in our rural Indiana culture and which claimed the happiness and physical safety of every woman I knew who was married. My grandmother was elated when my abusive grandfather died. My mother used to tell how she fantasized about castrating my first stepmonster and she was constantly in tears over the boorish behavior of my second. Mom stayed married for the reason my grandmother did: economic dependency upon lousy men. And my aunt, after whom I am named, stayed married to her violent and alcoholic husband for the same reason. When she finally left him, he murdered her. I had enough evidence in hand that nothing good would come from matrimony.

This worried my mother. There was no precedent for a woman existing in our family without a man taking care of her. And the suffering that went with matrimony was part of that price. But to her credit, my mom fought hard for the only future I demanded—one in which I made my own future independent of any man. But mom never shied from telling me the truth: she never wanted a girl.  Raising girls were precarious and risky. Their success in life was too indeterminate unless they were popular and pretty and I was neither. Boys’ futures, she felt, were more predictable. She was not cruel. She was forthright and pragmatic. Just as I am today. There was no place in that horrible archipelago of rural hellholes from which I escaped to be the woman I wanted to be. And this was not India or “Africa.” It was Indiana. The same state from which our current Vice President hails along with five others.

While the United States has long been a terrible place to be a woman for many women, it’s getting worse not better. In contrast, many countries I study –including Pakistan—is making strides to make lives for women better. But in the not in the United States. American legislators refuse to pass laws that make it illegal to pay women less for the same work. And once again our basic right to decide whether and when to have children is being taken away. 

The right to abortion is one that I hold dear because of personal reasons.  My biological father impregnated my mother under false pretenses and unmarried in 1967.  Abortion was illegal and thus the exclusive privilege of wealthy women who could travel abroad or pay someone to provide a safe, but still illegal, abortion in the United States. Poor women who had illegal abortion risked their lives and many died from sepsis or blood loss. So my mother ran away, by bus, to Arizona where she lived with my aunt Carol—after whom I am named. Had abortion been legal, my mother could have imagined a different life than that inscribed for women with “illegitimate” children.  There may have been a future for her that didn’t rely upon being married to a “meal ticket.” She may have been a more capable provider for her future children. In this statement I am reaffirming the value of my mother’s life rather than undervaluing my own.

While Roe V. Wade,the landmark supreme court case from 1973, conferred upon women the right to choose, proponents of traditional while-male-dominant patriarchy fought tooth and nail to squash this  right as soon as we got it. The ability to plan our fertility has been the cornerstone of our ability to pursue higher education, gainful employment, and marriage by choice rather than compulsion. And it is this access to economic justice that has enabled women to walk out from abusive or unhappy marriages or not marry at all.

While the racism of the contemporary Republican party is much appreciated abroad because it is so gobsmackingly obvious, it is also waging a war on women and our bodies. While the white male Republicans fear ethnographic change and the loss of their race privilege, they also fear women and the erosion of their gender privileges despite the facts that women consistently earn less than men for the same work and that white men still occupy the most lucrative and important positions in the public and private sectors.  The fear that white men will one day be unable to run roughshod over everyone else is the same fear that Trump both stoked and exploited to become the president. While it may seem paradoxical that white women have allied with white men to protect their own race privileges and cruel power that conservative orthodoxy bestows upon women who happily police other women and people of color, this has always been the inherently non-intersectional character of white American feminism.

To eviscerate our hard-fought gains, the Republican party has endeavored to roll back access to affordable birth control as well as pharmaceutical and surgical abortion. It has stacked our courts with misogynistic conservatives in hopes that a court dominated by such rubes will over-turn Roe v. Wade. In the meantime, Republicans hollowed out abortion access by terrorizing physicians who perform the procedure. They waged legal cases throughout the country to endow fetuses with rights at the expense of women’s civil liberties. They made every possible effort to restrict how, when, and where abortion is provided. They have imposed waiting periods and, in some states, they force women to pay for expensive trans-vaginal ultrasounds in hopes that after seeing their snowy fetus, they will change their minds. They have sought impose absurd standards upon the clinics themselves and distance to hospitals and have argued that doctors must have surgical rights at hospitals even if here is no hospital nearby that will afford those rights and even though the procedure is safer than many other procedures. (Many hospitals in the United States are Catholic and they do not permit abortion. Thus this requirement is a back door means of eroding access to surgical abortion.) Indiana has passed a law that requires the products of conception to be buried or incinerated separately from other surgical waste, which is merely intended to increase the cost of an increasingly costly procedure.

Due to the concatenating impacts of these varied efforts, today, there are many states in which surgical abortion, for all intents and purposes, is unavailable. In such states, there are so few abortion providers that women must undertake lengthy and expensive journeys—sometimes to other states—and endure the commonly-imposed three-day waiting period and other burdens such as the trans-vaginal ultrasound. This in addition to several hundreds of dollars to pay for the procedure, which cannot be subsidized with federal monies. All of this requires days of missed work and arranging childcare. Such restrictions disproportionately affect America’s most vulnerable women who tend to be poor and/or persons of color.

Recently, some nine states have passed legislation to further restrict access. Several of these have passed so-called “heartbeat” bills that criminalize abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, after most women even know they are pregnant. In most circumstances, these laws cruelly and deliberately exclude exceptions for rape and incest. The penalty for securing an illegal abortion under these laws actually exceeds the penalty for rape and incest or even actual murder of a human being. The laws themselves reflect an asinine lack of scientific understanding of the chemical process that gives the illusion of a “heartbeat” as there is no fetal heart at six weeks.

Despite prosecuting this relentless war on our body agency in the name of “life,” other Republican policies bely any genuine interest in either increasing the quality or quantity of Americans’ lives. They oppose universal and affordable health care for the same fetuses they fetishize and the mothers who care for them as well as their families. Republicans nearly universally oppose education budgets that would provide for quality education at all levels, which is the most effective way of ensuring equal access to opportunities and outcomes. They reject efforts to expand civil liberties and are actively rolling back those already attained. Whereas the Republican party of the past freed American slaves, the party of today is most known for its racism and bigotry. Most cynically, they smother even the most modest restrictions upon the ability purchase military-grade weapons and munitions, even though on a near-weekly basis America’s children are butchered in school shootings. They support the death penalty without any effort to reconcile this with their “pro-life” positions and they do so despite the well-known fact that the use of the death penalty is driven by racism and that many African American men have been framed for crimes they did not commit resulting in the execution of innocent men. Poor people in general are more likely to get the death penalty because they cannot afford competent legal representation.  

In short: once that fetus becomes a child, it is on its own. Its odds are best if it’s a white, Cis-male. While that demographic comprises only 30 percent of the population, it command the best access to opportunities and outcomes.

More galling yet, some protect the parental rights of rapists when their victim becomes impregnated from their criminal conduct.  In other circumstances, sex offenders are not permitted to be around children. Recently, in Alabama—one of the most backwards states in the Union which has passed the most draconian law essentially outlawing abortion—ordered a woman to permit her rapist visitation of the child that resulted from his assault on her. She will be ordered to spend forty-eight hours in jail for every visitation she declines.

Given Republicans’ discernable lack of interest in life-saving or life-improving policies in any other policy domain, it is fairly clear that their interest in denying women the ability to plan our fertility is abjectly not about life rather about denying us the right to live our lives fully and to our potential with dignity.

In 2015, before the “Trumpocalypse,” the United Nations sent a fact-finding team to investigate the state of American women and were horrified by what they found. The “myth-shattering” mission noted that American women are lagging in rights.  More recently, UN  Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore did not mince her words when she declared the onslaught against abortion rights as “extremist hate” and “torture.”

As other countries in the world, like India, continue to make strides in empowering women, perhaps the disempowered American Woman, reduced to fetal incubators, will become the next posterchild of feminist movements that are steaming ahead elsewhere. I look forward to the day when crowds of “third world” women gather outside of American embassies and consulates demanding that that the US government stop its relentless war on women and children.

A shorter, better edited version of this essay appeared in The Print on June 18, 2019.

Wanted: A Slew Of Good Men To Fight The War on Women

Some weeks ago, I participated in an internationally-acclaimed conference attended by delegates from all over the world. The curator of the conference boasted that forty percent of the delegates were women. (I’m not sure what technicalities prevented full gender parity.) One of the side events was a panel on #MeToo, which I wanted to attend in part because I have been an active contributor to the #MeToo movement in academia and because the panel’s organisation intrigued me.

It was moderated by a western European, white, cis-male, while one of the four panelists was a north African male tasked with expositing the #MeToo experience of African women, despite the presence of numerous African women in attendance who could have spoken for themselves.w

Allyship Requires Action

The dynamic of a white male moderating women’s experience and the male ventriloquation of African women’s voices disquieted me. While some of the observers shared my discomfiture, many more were sadly grateful that the two men were “allies.” However, actual allies do no appropriate, much less moderate our voices.

After hearing me grouse about this panel and its other untoward sequelae which included being ushered out after explaining these problems, numerous men asked how they can be better allies.

I dedicate this column to those men who are genuinely trying to figure out how they can help mitigate the misogyny—big and small—that we endure as the cost of daring to exist.



First and foremost, exhibiting sympathy or empathy does not make you an ally. Allyship requires action. In the context of the afore-noted panel, had the gentlemen chosen to act as allies, they would have explained to the organisers that such roles are best executed by women. I can think of no intellectual defense for a male moderator on such a topic: women’s rage and experience are moderated by men every day. If you must speak on #MeToo, exposit how you’ve learned to fight the sexism rather than repeating your perception of what we endure.

Also Read : #Metoo Is the Single Most Important Political Movement: Shobhaa De

What Male Allies Can Do To Mitigate Misogyny

The public sphere affords numerous opportunities for men to step up. Every day, men observe other men and boys who make our lives difficult. There is the rube who remarks upon our bodies, jokes about how we look or objectifies us, or engages in other demeaning behaviors that reduce our humanity to things that either please or displease the male gaze. They make crude remarks as we walk, run, or ride our bikes past them. They make crude comments to us or proposition us. They grab our bodies on buses, planes or on the street. These events render quotidian activities a gauntlet of predation.

Allies tell their friends and associates that this behavior is repugnant. Allies do not stand by silently as this goes on. Allies teach their sons, nephews, brothers, uncles, fathers and grandfathers that these behaviors are loathsome.



There are myriad things in the workplace that male allies can do irrespective of where they are in the food chain. First, take us seriously. Hire us. Pay us as you pay men for the same job. If there are no women working with you, ask why that is. Whether you are a manager or a co-worker, encourage your peers to take paternity leave. One of the reasons why women’s wages generally decline upon marriage and again upon childbirth is that employers assume we will assume the bulk of domestic production.

In turn, men’s wages typically increase upon marriage and childbirth because these steps indicate maturity without the assumption of increased commitments away from job.

As An Ally, Call Out Harassment & Discrimination On The Job

Don’t cut us off and chide men who speak over us. Listen to us and our ideas. Don’t passively observe as men try to take credit for them. Every working woman has had the experience of putting forward ideas only to be met with silence followed by a male colleague voicing pretty much the same idea and being met with approval. When this happens, state clearly that your female colleague said it first. Don’t let ideas become important or valid only once they have been #HeSplained.

When you see sexual harassment and discrimination on the job, call it out. Don’t force your female colleague to deal with a predator on her own. It’s not that she cannot do so; rather, it is likely to be more effective for a man to hear that his behavior is boorish from another man.

Research supports this claim. In 2014, Drury and Kaiser found that “relative to women who confront sexism, men who act as allies are evaluated more positively, while their confrontations are taken as more serious and legitimate efforts to combat sexism.

How Misogyny Is Compounded

Remember, gender is only one kind of discrimination that women encounter. In the United States, gender operates along with other forms of bias such as racism, homophobia, and religious discrimination. Elsewhere, misogyny may be compounded by similar factors such as caste, ethnic as well as religion-based discrimination. Be attentive to these concerns.

Also, do not assume that female managers will fix problems with harassment and discrimination. It is an unfortunate fact that some women, viewing themselves as competitors for the meager crumbs of patriarchy, will undermine other women. One of the reasons why #MeToo took so long to effectuate is that women have long colluded with men. Men could not have disempowered women for the long durée of human civilization if women had not been complicit in perpetuating the power structures that harm women generally, while affording collaborators specific benefits.

Being an Ally Is Demanding, But Worth It

While some men feel threatened by women’s economic empowerment, our families and even our countries’ economies benefit when women have equal access to opportunities and outcomes. I helped my husband understand this concept by helping him build spreadsheets that calculate the net present value of my accumulated wage discrimination. I also explained to him that by marrying me, he endogenised these accruing economic disadvantages. Had he married another white male, he could retire many years earlier than he can by marrying me or any other woman.

These actions may make you uncomfortable. Being an ally is demanding. It’s so demanding that the US Marine Corps put together a helpful set of guidelines for bystander intervention.

There is also evidence that the humiliation of bigotry is mitigated when bystanders intervene. Such interventions signal that the person experiencing the biased behavior is not being “overly sensitive” or “imagining an offense” when there is none. In intervening, you are both witnessing and attesting to what we experience, while also helping to destabilize the sense of entitlement enjoyed by the perpetrator in the first place.

As women, we cannot eliminate the perduring impacts of patriarchy, rape culture and misogyny on our own. We need men who not only sympathise with our experiences, but who become our battle-buddies in a war we neither started nor wanted to fight in the first place, but which we cannot win without you.

(C. Christine Fair is the author of In Their Own Words: Understanding the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (Hurst/OUP, 2018) and Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War (OUP, 2014). This piece appeared originally in The Quint.

Pakistan’s War on Scholars

Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies are waging a nasty war on U.S.-based scholars whose writings and public statements undermine cherished narratives promulgated by the army that has dominated Pakistan’s governance for most of the state’s existence. These agencies aim to intimidate, discredit, and silence us. Their tools are crude and include: outright threats; slanderous articles in Pakistani papers and other on-line forums; an army of trolls on twitter and other social media who hound us; and embassy officials who attend and report on our speaking events on Pakistan. But we are lucky to be in the United States: Pakistan’s khaki louts disappear, kidnap and/or kill their critics within Pakistan

My own experience with Pakistan’s harassment techniques began in May of 2011 when I received an email threatening me with gang-rape by an entire regiment. I had received a grant from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies to complete research for my book “Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War” and had intended to spend the summer of 2011 in Islamabad and Lahore. As I already had a valid, multiple-entry visa they could not use visa denial as an instrument of coercion to influence my writings before my planned visit. So, they tried to intimidate me with this threat of physical harm.

My own experience with Pakistan’s harassment techniques began in May of 2011 when I received an email threatening me with gang-rape by an entire regiment.

At first, I was incredulous that this email was sent by the “deep state“ and I did not immediately call off my travel. Serendipitously, my flight to Dubai was cancelled. While I rebooked my travel, Pakistan’s then ambassador Husain Haqqani reached out to me to tell me simply “You have to cancel your trip. The crew cuts are after you.” Other embassy officials told me privately that the ISI distributed a circular about me at the Pakistan embassy. One officer asked me “You are in trouble. What did you do?” I was sickened by the situation. Officials from the embassy were, and presumably are, not allowed to meet with me.

When I confronted Brigadier Butt, the then ISI station chief at the Pakistan Embassy and Defense Attaché —it became clear that he was personally angry with me because he had seen or had heard about my book proposal from a small number of persons who had seen it. He said that he felt let down because the army had given me considerable access yet I was writing, what he called, an anti-army book. I explained to him that I was doing my job by being willing to go to Pakistan through various grants—despite the security environment—to hear their side of the story. I also told him that granting interviews to scholars is not tantamount to buying scholars

Since 2011 I have inspired several “planted” stories that have appeared in Pakistani papers and obscure blogs alike. These artless rants would be amusing if they were not dangerous. On one occasion, an article actually gave information about where I was staying in Pakistan which was a clear intent to cause me harm or signal the ability to cause me harm.

On one occasion, an article actually gave information about where I was staying in Pakistan which was a clear intent to cause me harm or signal the ability to cause me harm.

In the fall of 2014, two videos were circulated about me that had the imprimatur of the army’s media-management organization, the ISPR. The videos included (not very danceable) sound tracks which were taken from ISPR-produced entertainment. Since these videos were published on Youtube, which is banned in Pakistan, the obvious audience of these productions was Pakistanis outside the United States. (Both of these videos have since been removed.).

In early February, The Newspublished an article that alleged that I have nefarious links with Baloch insurgents. The Baloch are an ethnic group in Pakistan which resists inclusion into the state and its reliance upon Islam as a tool to blunt Baloch ethnic aspirations. Pakistan’s security forces have waged five waves of brutal military oppression, sometimes with U.S. weapons systems, which has been widely decried by international as well as Pakistani human rights organizations.

Despite these well-documented abuses—which includes disappearances, torture and murder by Pakistan’s security forces—the United States has not levied Leahy Sanctions as required by U.S. law. The ISI has worked tirelessly to keep its actions in Balochistan a dark secret.

If Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence agencies are afraid of a few scholars, how can they confront Pakistan’s real enemies who are the hordes of terrorists it once nurtured but who have turned their guns and suicide vests against their erstwhile patrons?

So why did Pakistan write such an article about me? I have several suspicions. First, I was included on a successful National Science Foundation grant to study the Baloch conflict. Second, as a part of this study, I have reached out to Baloch dissidents to hear their side of the story. Third, I tweet about the tragedy in the state and encourage my government to apply applicable laws and deny security assistance to those units involved in these abuses. Fourth, there will be a publication emerging from this effort. Since I cannot go to Pakistan, what was the intent of the essay? Ultimately, I believe it was coarse attempt at bullying me by targeting my employer and jeopardizing my job security and trying to cast aspersions upon my credibility within U.S. government agencies. According to the article:

It is not clear if Georgetown University was aware of Ms Fair’s plan to meet the leader of Baloch dissidents. It further remains to be seen if US authorities would take notice of Ms Fair’s contacts with such leaders. Her penchant for aggressive attacks on Pakistan that goes beyond inciting violence is not a secret.

Ultimately, this propaganda failed to produce the institutional outrage that Pakistan’s deep state intended.

Another recent attempt to malign me and several of my colleagues was published in the Pakistan Observer in mid-February. This piece was written by a former Pakistan air force group captain and “TV Talk Show Host” named Sultan M Hali. Hali’s musings are widely available on the internet and they invariably defend the ISI and the army while protesting criticisms about Pakistan’s long-standing policy of using Islamist militancy under its nuclear umbrella as tools of foreign policy. He, like countless retired Pakistan service personnel, populate Pakistan’s print, radio and televised media as a part of the deep state’s discourse construction and message managing efforts. In fact, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, has a media management wing dedicated to such efforts.

In this piece, Mr. Hali maligns my fellow colleague, Irfan Nooruddin (whose name he misspells) as a “highly biased scholar of Indian origin.” Professor Nooruddin’s work on electoral politics in India is well-regarded and cannot be characterized as “highly biased.” (It should also be noted that he does not even write on Pakistan.) For Mr. Hali and the Pakistani deep state he defends, Professor Nooruddin’s ethnicity is the basis of this dubious charge: it is rank, racist xenophobia at its worst. What did Professor Nooruddin do to elicit this slander from this amanuensis of the deep state? He had the hubris to host Ambassador Husain Haqqani who discussed his newest project titled “Reimagining Pakistan” at Georgetown under the auspices of the India initiative that Professor Nooruddin heads.

Mr. Hali, who did not attend the event, was riled that the event “featured Pakistan’s most loud critics [sic] n the town including Christine Fair and Hussain Haqqani.” While Mr. Hali did not attend the event, Mr. Bilal Hayee did. In fact, Mr. Hayee is a frequent monitor of such events where he takes note of who attended and what was said by whom. This has a chilling impact upon freedom of speech of students and persons of Pakistani origin and he, and his colleagues at the embassy, know it.

Mr. Hali furthered that Georgetown has established an India initiative with “US $10 million of which large part is known to have come through the Indian Diaspora while part of it has been funded by US administration.” To say that this is a blatant lie is an understatement: the India initiative is extremely modestly funded. Hali opined that “Contrary to the natural objective of fostering closer partnership between US and India, Georgetown,” the event was really an opportunity to malign and defame Pakistan.

Mr. Hali also used this missive as an opportunity to criticize Farahnaz Ispahani who recently wrote a devastating book on the plight of Pakistan’s minorities. Hali, upon trivializing the well-documented abuses that Pakistan’s religious minorities routinely endure, made much of Ms. Ispahani’s book discussion at a well-regarded Indian think-tank called the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). He claimed erroneously that the ORF is funded by Indian intelligence and suggested that Ms. Ispahani, and her husband Ambassador Haqqani, are paid stooges of Indian intelligence. It should be noted that ORF is supported by the Reliance group rather than the Indian government.

Pakistan’s boorish campaign of slander against scholars and journalists whose work discomfits the deep state has even drawn the attention of Pakistani bloggers who have expressed concern about the ham-handed approach adopted by the military and intelligence media handlers. In 2011, even Ejaz Haider, a well-known pro-establishment journalist, questioned this role of the military and intelligence agency after the high profile killing of a journalist named Syed Saleem Shahzad. The chief suspect is Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. In the wake of that tragedy, Haider wrote of ISA media operations:

What is this Media Management Wing of the ISI? What right does this wing have to invite journalists for ‘tea’ or ask anyone to file a story or file a retraction? The inquiry commission should also look into the mandate of this wing and put it out to pasture.

However, there is little chance of Pakistan doing so.

In addition to poorly-written “filed stories” festooned with calumnious fiction, Pakistan’s military and intelligence agency trains a menagerie of bots and trolls who harass persons like me on Twitter and Facebook and to promote and defend the state, including its terrorist assets.

Whereas the Pakistani government incentivizes scholars to watch what they write and say about Pakistan by holding visas and official meetings hostage, I was declared “Persona Non-Grata” long ago and cannot get a visa. Without such leverage, the Pakistani deep state hopes that all of this harassment and haranguing will coerce me into silence. But the ISI should know this: I will write. I will not be silenced by their brutish antics.

If Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence agencies are afraid of a few scholars and their facts and key boards, how can they confront Pakistan’s real enemies who are the hordes of terrorists it once nurtured but who have turned their guns and suicide vests against their erstwhile patrons? With apologies to Monty Python, I will continue to write in their specific direction.

C. Christine Fair
 is an associate professor at Georgetown University and is the author of Fighting to End: The Pakistan Army’s War of War (Oxford University Press, 2014).

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post on February 24, 2017.

Run Bitch Run…For Office

On 27 September, many American women watched Christine Blasey Ford recount her vivid memories of her alleged sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh to the white, male-dominated, Republican-controlled judiciary committee in the US Senate. Later that afternoon, Kavanaugh asserted his innocence, through outbursts of anger, tears of rageful indignity, and vituperative attacks on Democratic members. The circus taught American women of all demographics an important lesson: Our bodies, our lives, and our dignity will not stand in the way of the aspirations of the powerful men who harm us or the men who protect them.

For Indian women, in the midst of their own struggle against sexual harassment by powerful men, the lessons may be important. The outcome was a foregone conclusion. Republican men signaled before, during and after Ford’s testimony, that the truth was irrelevant. Republican Orin Hatch (a senator from Utah) opined that even if the allegations of a foiled rape attempt were true “I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today.” He then asked and answered a rhetorical question: “Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.”

Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader in the Senate, whose anti-democratic efforts to stack the US judiciary with partisan apparatchiks is now legendary, repeatedly said Kavanaugh will be confirmed no matter what.

As the November 2018 mid-term elections near, Republicans wanted to avoid the image of white men attacking a victim of assault. They outsourced their constitutional duty in the hearing by hiring Rachel Mitchell, a female prosecutor specialising in sex crimes from Maricopa County, Arizona to question Ford in effort to poke holes in her story. The optics of a special prosecutor of sexual predators interrogating Ford was jolting. They abandoned using Mitchell to question Kavanaugh and opted instead to make indignant speeches about the horrors besetting Kavanaugh and his family.


The charade taught us that a man’s word will always trump those of a woman no matter how credible we are, and how credible our accounts are. Ford, after all cleared a polygraph exam and called for an FBI investigation. Kavanaugh repeatedly refused to be similarly accommodating, which is odd if he were innocent as he alleged.

Before, during and after her testimony, the chorus of rape-shamers began heaping their opprobrium upon Ford and attributing her coming forward as evidence of a deep, Left-wing conspiracy to undermine the judge. (I wish half of those conspiracies were true because it would suggest a degree of efficacy I’ve never seen in the pusillanimous Democratic Party.) Many questioned her delay in reporting the attack, even though she reported it to her health-care provider in 2012. To other women out there hiding their attacks in shame, this was yet another lesson: You come forward and name your assailant at your own peril. You—not your attacker—will be blamed for myriad, maddening reasons.

But for me, the most rage-making aspect of this spectacle was the constant reassertion of the privilege of elite masculinity. Kavanaugh made frequent references to his tenure at Yale when questioned. (former president Bill Clinton also went to Yale and is notorious for exploiting his positions of power to extract sex from subordinate women.) Kavanaugh referred to the elite circle of preparatory school students in which he socialised. We learned of his excessive, under-age drinking and country-club escapades. We also saw him cry, stammer, engage in fits of rage when questioned. Men can behave in any way they want without consequence, even when seeking to be a justice on the United States Supreme Court. While women must discipline our bodies and our voice, no such requirements are placed upon men.

What became terribly clear was that the Republican Party had thrown its weight behind a man who dissembled repeatedly, refused to answer simple questions, and became combative when questioned. His noxious behaviour rendered him ill-suited to be a reality television judge. Surely the Republicans could have found another judge who would advance their agenda of stacking the court to roll back the rights of women, minorities and LGBTQI while expanding the voice of big business in American politics who is not accused of being a serial sexual assailant? (since Ford came forward, two other women made similar claims about Kavanaugh.)

I suspect that the reason for the intransigence of Republican men defending this indefensible man is simple: What was on trial was not the veracity of Ford’s claims; rather the inherent male privileges that women like Ford and others in the #MeToo movement are fighting to destabilise. And for that these men in power will fight until the end.

For women, the path forward is clear. White men are only 30 percent of the United States and yet they dominate federal and local offices. We need to stop voting for men thinking that they will serve our interests. They will not. Progressive women need to run for office. They are fighting for their privileges they did nothing to earn. We are fighting for our lives. And to paraphrase Midy Aponte, if they won’t give us a seat at the table, then we are going to bring our own chair.

This originally appeared in First Post on 18 October. 


On Informational Terrorism and the War on Women’s Voices

Last week my employer and I were the victims of another Fox News-crowd-sourced mob of informational terrorists who threatened me, my home, my husband, my community, my colleagues and my students. The informational terrorists in question were whipped up into a white male genocidal froth by Pucker Carlson who took exception to one of my rage-filled Tweets about the misogynistic theater of the confirmation of  Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, despite several allegations of sexual assault which the administration chose to not investigate thoroughly.  Pucker, whose own white ethnocratic preferences are well known,  absurdly and slanderously accused me of advocating for white male genocide. My very white male husband, brothers, uncle and nephews were quite surprised to hear this.

The crowd-sourced mobs who are his rank and file cadre did not need to be told what to do: they already knew. The infrastructure that enables such swarms by hordes of rage-filled men, who feel threatened by our very existence and our refusal to be silent about the structural violence perpetrated against women and minorities by white, cis-male supremacy in this country has been in place, as I describe below, since 2014 and the emergence of GamerGate

This latest round of informational terrorism began similarly to the previous. First, a low-level bottom-feeding right-wing media outlet finds something to be outraged over and then assigns a college intern, apparently with no ethical or journalism training, to write a piece that will serve as chum in the bloodied waters for larger right-wing outlets, such as the Daily Failer or Faux News…or worse.  This is how the rightwingnut circuit creates a news cycle that begins with feigned outrage over a liberal exercising her first amendment rights to call out the unending structural and actual violence against women and minorities and ends with a horde of attackers targeting her as well as her her place of employment using email, phone, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and every other social media platform available to the ratfuckers. (Yes. “Ratfuckers” is a bad word. And I don’t care. I also know they really hate being called ratfuckers, which makes me really pleased to use it. So..I will.)


ratfuck (1)

However, I am a hardened target. I literally study terrorism for a living. I’ve met terrorists including failed suicide bombers. I literally wrote the book on Taliban suicide attackers.  I do fieldwork in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan without a security detail.  And I’ve been through this jackass rodeo before with trolls from the far-left (such as those commanded by Glenn Greenwald and his anti-American collaborators on al Jazeera) as well as the far-right and its endogamously-conceived sibling, the alt-right. The wingnuts of both spectra have pretty much learned that I am a hard target.  Like the vagina I possess, I can take a pounding.

So, this time, they took a different approach. Instead of focusing the crowd-sourced mobs at me in hopes that I would break down and throw my keyboard into the recycling bin and head off for a spa-bortion brunch (with endless Mimosas) as a good “baby-hating libtard bitch” would do, they did what terrorists all over the world do: they threatened my community with violence to secure their political objectives of removing me from the classroom. And they succeeded. For now.

Bruce Hoffman of Georgetown University defines terrorism as  “violence—or equally important, the threat of violence—used and directed in pursuit of, or in service of, a political aim.” Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism 

By focusing their efforts on my community–including threatening my students by doxxing my syllabus–my employer was faced with a conundrum: call the informational terrorists’ bluffs and wait it out or risk the possibility that one of these demented asshats would actually do something violent. (My employer is committed to free speech–even speech that offends–and staved off the numerous calls for my ousting.)

Nor could I write off such a possibility.

Long before I debuted on Twitter, on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, a man emailed me repeatedly about a typo in a piece I had recently published. After the first polite email explaining that he had to speak to the editor about this, I ignored his subsequent numerous emails.  And then he called my office late that evening, at about 10 pm. I was there because my research methods class ended late. Because many of my students work during the day,  I am willing to meet with them after class as late as they require so that they can avoid missing work or making another to trip to campus to meet during regular office hours. I assumed the caller was a student who could not get into our building and needed to be let in. That semester had many long Tuesdays.

But no. It was the typo sepoy. I politely but firmly explained reality AGAIN to the fellow and hung up. I was concerned when I left my office. Did he know where it was? Did he see the light on my office? I called my husband to let him know what had happened and to let him know I was leaving the office. I told him to call the police if I wasn’t home in 20 minutes.

The next morning I boarded an early train for New York where I was scheduled to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan at Columbia University. When my panel was over, I noticed numerous phone calls from my employer’s security department. The crazy nutter actually came to my place of employment looking for me. After making an insane danger of himself, security escorted him off the premises. His picture was posted in our building. If he appeared, we were to call security immediately.

This transpired over his vexation with poor, fatherfucking copy editing. Let that marinate.  It is toxic masculine jackassery like this that makes ignoring the hordes of informational terrorist wackadoons perilous. And the wackadoon terrorists know it.

In consultation with my employer’s security professionals, the leadership and I concluded that it was best for my students and colleagues to go on research leave and to publicize this fact to ensure that the violent mobs would mozy onto their next target.

That strategy worked in one sense: they stopped threatening my professional community. But the informational terrorists led by the CON-servative media–most notably the outrage factory at Faux Noise and its allied cesspools of misinformation–learned a valuable lesson: take soft targets like young adults as the hostage rather than the direct object of your ire.

In the wake of the fiasco, there were calls for civility of discourse.  Oddly, these calls for civility come after a decade of efforts to bully, intimidate and silence women through online swarms backed up by the real threats we face in our homes, on the streets, in our offices, gyms, libraries, parking lots and garages and elsewhere. Is it a coincidence that calls for civility seem targeted at silencing women just when we articulate our rage at the fuckery that has engulfed this country?

No. It is not a coincidence. But it is a tired patriarchal command that women discipline our bodies, voice, and even rage to make men feel better. I won’t do that. The stakes are too high. Nothing will change until the rest of America understands our pain and rage and I cannot do this with expected formalities and civilities of language. I cannot do this with the grammar of comfort patriarchy prescribes, by abjuring the tactics it proscribes. I can only do this with the language my rage inscribes upon my tongue. Only then will society even bother hearing the rage much less try to understand it.

Rest assured: no one wants actual civility more than women and minorities in this country.  But when appeals to civility do not include calls to endow us with equality under the law and before the law and to afford us equality in opportunities and outcomes, civility is but an empty promise for us while shielding the standard-bearers of white, cis-male supremacy from the discomfort of hearing about the hazards the rest of us endure.

Civility of discourse is possible only between equals. The CON-servative movement and the angry, white, women-hating men it has empowered (along with their largely white female enablers) denies us this elemental equality.

Without equality, I can only give you servility. That I will not do.

Bitches! Get off the Web

I am too old, too experienced and too cynical to countenance the horseshit anymore.

In the spring of 2004, I had recently arrived in Washington DC after leaving the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA.  I was starting a new job at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). I had recently defended my doctorate at the University of Chicago while working full-time for reasons not of my choosing and was beginning the next phase in my life.  USIP, like many so-called think tanks in DC, encouraged their associates to engage the media. And so, at a very early hour on Sunday, August 8, 2004,  I made my way to C-SPAN’s studio to discuss America’s relations with its pain-in-the-ass ally: Pakistan. It was my first experience with national television. You can see in the video that I was initially awkward. I was not sure where to look. I blinked uncomfortably and often made goofy faces. (It turns out I still make goofy faces on and off camera.) I chose to dress conservatively: a black pantsuit, with a light green sweater and a fun necklace I recently bought on M Street. Looking at the video after many years, I can see that I am wearing makeup. I don’t recall whether this was done in the green room as I do not and have never worn makeup except when forced to as I am allergic to it and find the expense needless. As the show continued, I got the hang of it and began to feel more comfortable and even had fun.


Source: Source. Also, note how much I have aged. This was only 14 years ago. It feels like 34 years ago.

The elation was short-lived. As soon I left the building and had cell coverage, my mobile phone began to ring.  As I’ve long worked at home, I forwarded my office number to my cellular phone. The caller was a man with a California area code, who must have been watching C-SPAN at 4 am, which is totally not normal for Californians. It was a marriage proposal.

In the car ride home, I called my then-boyfriend (now my husband) about the call. We laughed it off as a freak event. When I returned to the office the next day, I received an email from a viewer who complimented my sense of fashion. He liked the green sweater and the contrast created by the necklace.  The following week, a letter arrived addressed to me in thick crayon in lilting handwriting. The letter itself was also written in crayon over many pages of thick-lined paper that we used in the first grade when learning to write. I don’t remember the content of the letter: only that it existed.

I wondered whether my male colleagues received such phone calls, emails, and letters. I asked. They did not. (By the way, they still do not. This nonsense is reserved for women.) Looking back, I learned my first lesson about being a female in the public space: no matter our credentials or level of demonstrable expertise, we are seen as women first. We are objects of the male gaze. We exist at their leisure and pleasure.

I continued to do national and international television news programs and continued to receive the episodic email from strange men. One fellow from Florida also emailed me to say that he would like to marry me. My husband and I Googled him. He was a soccer player for a local league, likely harmless. But we both puzzled over what kind of a jackass would do track down a woman on her employer’s email and send such a missive?

As my c.v. attests, until about 2009, I did not engage in social media or requests for online products with very few exceptions. I preferred to write traditional editorials in conventional newspapers, peer-reviewed journal articles, monographs, and other peer-reviewed products. This was partly due to the nature of my employment. However, after 2009, I reluctantly entered this space writing mostly for Foreign Policy and the then “Af-Pak Channel.” I later expanded to other blog venues to discuss America’s foreign policy dilemmas in South Asia.

Blogs that permitted commentary were festooned with crude sexist commentary variously asserting that I was “anti-Pakistan” because a Pak Army officer fucked me in various places and then dumped me. I was “pro-India” because I suck Indian cock. (These are their words–not mine. I was a “presstitute,” or a Mossad whore. Comments on my You-tube videos were hewed along similar lines. My analyses were frequently reduced to a proposition about my sexuality, that I was attractive when I was younger or hideous as I’ve aged.  (For the record, I have never had any paramour in any foreign armed forces although I have dated several gentlemen in the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Sorry, Coast Guard. I missed you. If I thought I could get by on my looks like Melania or Ivanka, I wouldn’t have bothered getting a Ph.D.) I began saving emails received in specially-designated folders.

Then Came The Deluge of “Male Hate”

According to my personal email account, the first actual instance of “hate mail” (or as I prefer to call it “male hate,” arrived on December 27, 2008. (Unfortunately, I did not have a way to save my archives of such missives from past employers’ email accounts. And after my current employer switched providers, I lost many such emails from 2009 to October 2014.) It came from a person referring (likely) to himself as “Defender” with the email address: apparently was angry that my cookbook,  Cuisines of the Axis of the Evil and Other Irritating Statesincluded Israel. (Oddly, the author did not repine that it also included the United States, for which I actually would have expected to be called a “traitor.”) While the poorly drafted email was mostly incoherent, the final line was not despite its lack of craft and attention to detail:

“Hope you choke I [sic] die on some kimchee. traitor”


I saved’s parsimonious epistle because it was so novel then. I still save such missives which now number in the thousands across different accounts and platforms even though they are no longer curiosities; rather, quotidian and expected expressions of entitled male rage that span continents, races, and religion.

Now I save them as evidence in the event that something happens to me.

In 2011, I received the below email from a Pakistani male in which I was threatened with gang rape by an entire regiment. ( The most pressing question for me was: Infantry or cavalry? Pakistan’s cavalry attacks from behind and they tend to get out of shape pretty quickly. Infantrymen tend to be hotter, more fit, but less cerebral. So the answer to that question inveighs urgently upon both my qualitative an quantitative gang rape experience. )


Then who can forget this charming email? On January 5, 2012, at 11:06 PM EST,  I had just published an opinion piece on Pakistan in Foreign Policy, called “Pakistan’s Slow-Motion Coup.” Within minutes I received this email addressed to my work account, with a time stamp of Thu, 5 Jan 2012 18:41:23 -0800 (PST). While the email was empty, it had the header “Your article on Pakistan inspired me to bake these…”

It contained a file named “tiny-cookie-vaginas.”

Needless to say, the title was erroneous: these were cupcakes. Not cookies. (Apparently, this misogynist does not know his baked goods.)



The image depicted a 7×5 array of clitorises in a combination of fondant, frosting, and sprinkles. Each was ethnically distinct. Some had vaginal discharge. (No. He is not a master baker: he found this online. It turns out genitalia-themed baked goods is a niche thing.) I had an awesome response email:

“Dear Sir: I’m going to a bris. Can you do this in foreskins.”

Then there are the understated emails such as this one: it contains a clever  gun image made by arranging characters in a specialized font and the subject line “loving you.”

Loving You


My soul has callouses. You can say what you want to me. I have the skin of a velociraptor and a heart of coprolite towards trolls.

GamerGate and the Rise of Crowd-Sourced Terrorism

As I was learning the cost of being a woman in the public space,  others were learning it too. Amanda Hess wrote a very thought-provoking essay titled “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet” in January 2014.  She detailed the experiences of numerous other women from a cross-sectional of diverse professional backgrounds and we were all experiencing similar things to varying degrees. (My own online harassment pales to that which she experienced. It was sobering.)

Perhaps the most jarring discussion of what can only be called crowd-sourced informational terrorism manifested in the so-called GamerGate in 2014, which in the words of Molly McKew was an

an internet culture war sparked when a group of women exposed what they saw as inherent misogyny in the production and culture of videogaming and argued for greater inclusivity.

Thus, what began as a legitimate discussion about race and gender soon became overtaken by an organized swarm of male

militant gamers who resented this intrusion into their sandbox and set out to prove they were not misogynistic by relentlessly attacking and harassing the women and anyone who supported them. The women were doxxed and threatened in graphic terms with rape and death, and some fled their homes.

Katherine Cross observers that GamerGate was a “deliberate effort to purge women and people of color from the fledgling world of independent gaming criticism through harassment and accusations of fraudulence.”

While GamerGate and the women and people of color it silenced and drove into submission passed from the public eye, crowd-sourced terrorism perdures because the structures once created stand ready to mobilize such mobs comprised mostly–but not exclusively–of CON-servative males who are outraged that women and people of color want equal rights. These boorish troglodytes harbor the unenlightened view that rights ate like a lousy Papa John’s pizza: more for others means less for them. And they are angry about it.

What is “crowd-sourced terrorism,” you may ask? McKew in her piece identifies many of the nefarious personalities from

the sewers of the modern far-right disinformation metropolis…[who comprise] an operational unit of information terrorists helping to transform the way Americans consume news in the age of Trump—some of the central nodes that give order to the information deluge and around which bot armies and human amplification networks can be organized, wiped out, reconstituted, and armed for attack. Because that is what they do: attack.

As anyone who has experienced this knows, the result of this informational terrorism network is a swift escalation of attacks as swarms of frenzied angry men assail you through every means possible. In my case, the pressgangs of poltroons have lasted anywhere between two weeks and two months. Others experience longer-term harassment as detailed by Cross, Hess, and others.

Following one very serious crowd-sourced mob of crazed racist, Islamophobic misogynists in November 2016, I began microblogging with the aim of providing all details of those persons (mostly men)  who harassed me during and between these campaigns of crowd-sourced informational terrorism.  I do not include those persons those contacted me simply to say that they disagree and are generally reasonable about it.  I also have removed one person (a woman) who expressed contrition and remorse. However, if they are abusive or exude any modicum of creepiness, they end up on #ShitMenSay where I provide all the information I can find about the person. I literally have more hate-filled missives than I have time to post to #ShitMenSay, given my numerous other professional and scholarly commitments. I upload the filth when I have writer’s block or am stranded at the in-laws in a snowstorm. I literally need a minion to upload the bottom-dwellers and their information to this forum.


Absurdly, a right-wing (female) troll-cum-journo-bot sought to cultivate sympathy for what she calls my “victims” of #ShitMenSay.  (I’m not sure if she is best described as an Aunt Lydia or Mrs. Serena Whaterford? It’s a conundrum. I can go either way. In any event, for a mere $100(?)an article, she is willing to hold women down as men assault us online.)  I could only laugh at Mrs. Waterford’s risible column. First, the men she claimed to interview opined that they were harassed and that they were frightened. She provided no evidence for the poor booboos’ trauma, by the way. But if they were harassed (by whom?), perhaps they now understand what it feels like to have random people seek you out and oppugn you using the most heinous language possible. Second, and I shit you not, the men outed on #ShitMenSay lugubriously opined that  #ShitMenSay stifles free speech, which is exactly what these asshats sought to do to my free speech in the first instance. I can only wonder what career trajectory this woman imagines for herself.  No. I actually can’t and I am not going to try.

Patriarchy only succeeds with female enablers like her and there is no short supply of such cheaply-sourced collaborators.

And Back to Civility of Discourse…

download (2)

The fact of the matter is: women and people of color have been denied any modicum of civility of discourse or other forms of dignity or equality in this country from our origins. In contemporary American, our online and offline presence is consistently under attack and under threat simply for having the audacity to exist. And now that we are finding our couRAGE and our voice, we are being told to voice our anger in decorous prose for men’s comfort.

No one wants civility of discourse more than women and minorities. We are literally dying for this much-praised civility.  But it is not ours to give. Without granting us equality, it is not civility you request; rather servility which you command.

In the meantime,  to quote Robin Sokoloff:

I don’t want to give you hope. I want you to wake the fuck up…


When “Aunt Lydia” of Campus Reform Tried to Launch Another Harassment Campaign: This is what she got.

On Sunday morning, after a night of raucous feminist crafting, I get the below note from Abigail Marone ( from Campus Reform, which once again is cleaning out its diaper over one of my tweets.

Good Afternoon Prof. Fair,

I am writing to request a comment for an article I am writing for Campus Reform about your recent tweet:

“Look at thus chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement.

All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”

Would you be willing to elaborate on the tweet? Specifically, do you think students on campus may be uncomfortable because of the references to violence?

My deadline is tomorrow at 6pm. If you would like to provide a comment but need a longer window of time, please let me know.

Abigail Marone 



And here’s what she got.

Dear Aunt Lydia (or perhaps, more appropriately,  Serena Joy Waterford ? Which do you prefer? I prefer Aunt Lydia, so I’ll roll with that. Cool?)

First, I do not respond to inquiries about my private speech on any other email other than my private email. Please take note of that for future harassment because, rest assured, you will continue to harass me because I will not be silenced. I will continue to Tweet things that make you uncomfortable and I will do this by choice. I will select words and phrases that will make you and your fellow-travelers furious.

My choice of words is intended to make you uncomfortable. Because I—and tens of millions of women in this country—are uncomfortable with the ongoing war on our lives, our bodies, our fundamental freedoms, and our access to social and economic justice. Women—whether we are white, women of color, rich or poor—are potential victims of this war. And some of us have been victimized repeatedly. (There’s actually a body of scientific literature on this very fact, although the reasons are debated.)

And you, Aunt Lydia, are a potential victim of this war as well even though you shill for those persons and institutions who sustain it and seek to perpetuate it. Do you think your potential assailant will care that you enable the patriarchal structures that devalue our lives and the work we do and construct legal structures that privilege the attacker? Do you think complicit women and lousy men will be less likely to slut shame you because you are one of their paid-keyboards? No, Aunt Lydia.

In addition to confronting actual violence to our persons from strangers and intimates alike, we are also systematically paid less, less likely to be hired, less likely to be promoted and rewarded for our productivity. If you are pregnant or a mother, the economic hit is larger. Oddly, married men are more productive than their unmarried counterparts.  So, Aunt Lydia, the war on women perdures. I’m a fifty-year-old woman. I am fighting the same fight I fought when I was a young woman, the same fight my mother fought and her mother fought before her. Why don’t you fight for us and with us, instead of against us?

Second, why do you complicit muckrakers continue to link my private speech on social media to anyone’s feelings? After all, is anyone made to follow me on Twitter? No. Most people who follow me are not even American given that my work is on South Asia. Oddly, it is you and your wretched excuse for what passes as journalism that actually gives my Tweets legs they would not otherwise have.

Gymnist Jesus

I have to tell you: it makes me absolutely happy when Faux Noise or Daily Failure (or other similar wastes of electrons) takes my Tweets and delivers them to their “readership.” I cannot hope to do better than that. So thank you for amplifying my message about the CON-servative-led war on women in this country.

Rest assured, I understand your game. This is not my first or last encounter with CON-servative bullying. You will run your “story.” Then Faux Noise will pick it up.  (I suspect but can’t prove that this happens collusively and deliberately. Do you meet your Faux Noise “catcher” over a Virgin Bloody Mary brunch to coordinate your contrived arbitrary “deadlines”?) Maybe the Drudgery Resort or the Daily Failure will do so as well. Bonus! Then the outlets for the deeply racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic, x-phobic bigotry connoisseurs run your mishmash of outrage on their pages. (Maybe Sean Insanity or Laura Ingrate will even feature it for their mobs of CON-servative snowflakes.) All of this is an effort to do several deliberately vicious things, which is ironical if anyone took your purported concern about “violence” and “safety” seriously.

For one thing, you intend to outrage CON-servatives (especially those pissed off men who hate women) and thus motivate them to harass me and send me threatening missives. If you don’t intend to do this, then you’re ludicrously obtuse because this is the inevitable consequence of your “reportage.” Would you like to see some of the violent missives I get as a result this “news” cycle? (It turns out, you can see them on my Tumblr blog: ShitMenSay.) And thus you DO KNOW that your “story” is intended to create violent conditions for me and, yet, you do this deliberately. For another, you’re also trying to threaten my livelihood and thus, by creating various forms of insecurity and violence, you try to silence me. But, Aunt Lydia, unlike your “readership,” I am not a snowflake.

Humorously, CON-servatives propound free speech when it comports with their ideology of fundamental inequality for women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQI, non-Christians, among others who destabilize their fantasy of Ozzie and Harriet.  (CON-servatives can’t get enough free speech it enables the vitriol of inter alia, Nazi marches on American campuses, pedophilia-defending CON-servative trash talkers like Milo, purveyors of all types of hate speech like Ann Poultergeist).

You and I—and all of your readership—must confront the fact that today’s CON-servative party has become a party of white, straight-male, Christian supremacy.  (On foreign and fiscal policy, I am much more of a traditional conservative. But that party is long gone. The CON-servative party is now the party of Trumpism and the fascism and hate it represents and mobilizes.)

And, Aunt Lydia,  you won’t shut me up because I won’t be silent. There is no amount of intimidating “journalist horseplay” that you and your CON-spirators can deploy to silence me.  In short, y’ all keep picking the wrong target.

Third, turning to the tweet in question,

“Look at thus chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement.

All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”

I am most certainly going to elaborate, Aunt Lydia. There is a war going on against women and you, and your despicable herd of so-called journalists seeking to protect male privilege and shame women for our victimization or our rage, are complicit in this war. And unlike the victims of this war, you chose to be a partisan.

Let me tell you a few things about me, Aunt Lydia. My abuse began when I was in nursery school and ended when I was thirteen. I was abused by my uncle. My family knew but did nothing. He abused his son and his daughter too. His son murdered himself. My cousin is schizophrenic and homeless. I am the “survivor.” The consequence of my family’s selective ignorance is that he murdered my aunt (after whom I am named) when I was in college. Like many women who went through what Dr. Ford went through, I recognized several things during Thursday’s shitshow.

First, I recognized Dr. Ford’s memory and the kinds of things her brain encoded. I remember where I was abused for the first time: on the couch in our basement where my aunt and uncle lived. I know that it happened around the time my infant brother died because my mother was depressed and dysfunctional and slept all day, but I couldn’t give you a year or a month without working backwards from Johnny’s death certificate. (Dr. Ford could have done the same if she knew when Mr. Judge worked at Safeway.) I know where I lived—on Weiser Park in Ft. Wayne Indiana but I couldn’t describe our neighborhood. I couldn’t tell you the weather outside, but I can tell you what the basement felt like.

Second, I remember the feeling of guilt and shame and responsibility even though I was in nursery school. There is one person to blame for these crimes: the perpetrator.

Third, I recognized the rage of Kavanaugh when confronted with his crime. (By the way, his temperament makes him ill-suited to judge catfood much less serve on any bench in this country.) And I recognized the frightened rage of those who protected him. After all, they are coming under fire for protecting him. They are defending their equities in doing so. They are no different from that father who knows his brother is assaulting his daughter but does nothing because action produces outcomes that are too complicated to navigate or negotiate. And ultimately it’s easier to blame the female than it is to blame the male in American society where men are entitled to be unable to control themselves while women and girls are held responsible for inciting men’s lack of control.

You don’t like my violent words even though they pose no threat to anyone. I did not call for violence. I merely articulated what my spirituality says about these vile souls. Surely, as a fine upstanding Christian, you condemn the goddless heathens like me to an afterlife of hell? You can micturate in your yoga pants at my WORDS, but I am angry at the VIOLENCE done to women and children in this country and the preponderant complicity of ONE political party. (PS: I condemn Bill Clinton and supported his impeachment. I wish the GOP had the same standards today! Ellison should be prosecuted, and Frankel should have stepped down. I am not a hypocrite. I don’t support predators because they support my politics. Too bad most CON-servatives are not this ethical.)

My question for YOU is why are you CON-servatives so afraid of women’s rage and anger? You KNOW there is a war on women going on AND the Republican party and evangelical and other so-called religious CON-servatives are partners in waging it. I’m going to give you some facts, Aunt Lydia. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):

  1. Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
  2. 1 in 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
  3. Between 2009 and 2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.
  4. A majority of child victims are 12-17. Among survivors who under the age of 18: 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under age 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are age 12-17.
  5. And, less spoken about but equally important, ~ 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

Women are also the victims of partner violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

  1. On average, ~20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in this country, totally some 10 million women and men.
  2. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime in one form or another. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  3. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%. (Yet this country can’t get enough guns.)
  4. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  5. Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.

You should familiarize yourself with the other statistics.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and organization eviscerated by the current regime), “Homicide is one of the leading causes of death for women aged ≤44 years.”

Since your “publication,” purportedly addresses “campus reform” and “safety,” are you concerned about the environment of sexual violence and predation that female students, staff and faculty encounter on our campuses? If not, you should be. Here are some more facts for you, again according to RAINN. Sexual violence on campus is a pervasive fact of life.

  1. 2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).
  2. Among graduate and professional students, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
  3. Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
  4. 2% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.

Turning to my own experience at the University of Chicago, I was subjected to an attempted assault, an individual who tried to make me fellate him and stalking.  (There is something about a bold woman that really pisses men off. Maybe you should write about that?)


In short, Aunt Lydia, your priorities are screwed up. You need to ask yourself why you are using your voice, your keyboard and your words to defend a system that is designed to allow men to harm us. Why, Aunt Lydia, are you deliberately engaging in a campaign to smear me–a private woman–who is rightfully and righteously angry at the war on our lives, bodies and livelihoods? Why are you deliberately whipping up a mob of toxic men who will write about 150 emails to me..some of whom will threaten me, specifically, with specific kinds of violence? Is this why you went to journalism school ? (Assuming you went to journalism school.)  Is this really your professional aspiration? What is the next step in your aspirational ladder? Daily Failer? Faux Noise? Seriously.  Why do you want to be a complicit cog in this machinery that mows us down and protects the perpetrators? Think about it.  Think about using your voice for good..not integrity-free, muckraking.

Have a fabulous Sunday.

As always, this will be a blog post by the time you get it.



N.B.: This post was edited for typos etc. after I sent Aunt Lydia the first draft.

Post-script: When I went to see what garbage this hack puked up on her Twitter feed, I found that this CON-servative snowflake had actually blocked me. I don’t think I’ve even had an exchange with this Aunt Lydia. Abigail

On the Politics of Language and Women’s Rage and Why My Profanity is Sacred

it’s a war goin on that you thinkin that you safe from
But you like me in the scope of they gun.Mystic

“I can’t fight you with your affectless, sanitized, polished language and codes! Change begins with the choice of words that stir, disturb, destabilise and denaturalise our ways of seeing the world even if it doesn’t end there.” Krishnappa Venkatashamy

The Fuckening

This week, Fox News, in connivance with a conservative tabloid that harasses faculty, whipped up another non-news cycle over my plain-spoken truth-speaking. The ostensible “journalist” from the Fux News Website began his account;

An anti-Trump professor at Georgetown University went on a profanity-laced Twitter rant against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of committing a sexual assault as a teen.

Dr. Carol Christine Fair is an associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown, according to the school’s website.

Of course, this is not my first rodeo with the way in which the right wingnut circus synthesizes a news cycle. The procedure goes like this: a low-level conservative rag (in this case Campus Reformfiles a story about a liberal professor calling out the fuckery of the contemporary conservative shitshow in America. Fox News, The Daily Failer, The Drudge Report or whatever toxic, mendacious and buffoonish “media outlet” then “picks up” this podunk story from said rinky-dink stinkweed.  I suspect–but cannot prove–that this is done collusively. It hardly matters because it happens as predictably as clockwork. Once the “mainstream” conservative hacks run the sham, it is subsequently carried into the darker, lunatic fringe platforms that deliberately stoke further outrage and encourages violence against the object of this cabal. My address has been published in white supremacist, Neo-Nazi chatrooms and website. Mobs have been specifically directed to threaten and intimidate me.  I’ve had “wanted posters” distributed on cars and tacked to trees and telephone poles in my neighborhood, along with signs attacking racial and religious minorities. But I’m a hard cunt to intimidate.



Fox Noise, and their deformed symbiotic twins such as the Daily Caller, deliberately emplace dog whistles in their screeds–more like “call to the wolves”–to ensure that their vexed “readership” is mobilized into a frenzied mob who then send the target any number of vile and often violent missies through email, social media, and even phone calls.  In picking me: they pick the wrong target. I’ve been threatened with gang rape by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.  I work in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. I have skin as thick as a T-Rex and I give NO FUCKS about their feelings. I cannot be intimidated. If I lose my job, I’ll do something else. (Obviously, these cry bully assholes have never studied game theory. Well, guess what snowflake bitches: I have.)

Make no mistake. This is a deliberate attempt by these conservative dishrags to scare, intimidate, and ultimately shut up those of us who see through conservative lies, ruses, and efforts to disenfranchise women, people of color, LGBTQI, non-Christians and anyone else who destabilizes their infantile Leave It To Beaver fantasy. They are deliberately trying to make our homes and workplaces unsafe physically, mentally and economically.

Without fail, after the most recent post, I received about 200 messages through various means, all but a handful from angry men. Remember that my crime is that I dared to accuse the Vichy GOP of being a misogynist, rape-friendly, pederast-acceptant, Nazi-appeasing, White Supremacist, X-phobic bigoted, climate science-denying death cult. So naturally, these missives were…well…clear evidence of the conservative males’ misogyny, rapist-defending, Republican pederasty-justifying, racism, Muslim-hating, fact-resistant villainy. (If you don’t believe me and want to see examples of the noxious communications I received in this recent cycle of conservative mens’ temper tantrums, you can view my micro-blog where I post the vast majority of the harassment sent my way: ShitMenSay.)

I spent much of the day slaying trolls and legally doxing those idiots who called me various spellings of “cum sack” and its ilk or giving me precise instructions in how I might murder myself or how I may be gang-raped in a racist fantasy of attackers who are black or Muslim. (The most likely gang- rapists, by the way, are white males. It’s statistics…also known as hocus pocus to these mouthbreathers.) It amuses me when these clowns and their defenders cry foul when they are legally doxed on ShitMenSay, reflecting the belief that they are entitled to subject a woman to hate speech without consequence.

I felt empowered by turning my keyboard against these shitbirds. (There’s an emerging science that explains why this agentive response to harassers is denervating by the way.)

However, later that evening, a lovely and well-intended colleague asked me to demur from using naughty words in expressing my rage over this administration’s unending assault upon our lives. He implored me as a supportive colleague and friend to “Try replacing the f-bombs with arguments and I bet your effect will change from incitement of emotions to almost infinite potential for change in behavior and policy.” 


I Will Not Discipline My Anger for Your Comfort

I know he meant well. He’s a lovely person. And I mean him no ill-will…but I wanted to tell him that I’m a survivor of sexual assault, that I’ve endured the pangs of not being believed, of seeing my abuser every holiday and having to suck it up. I’ve been where Dr. Ford is today. I have lived her nightmare for years and I know too many other women who have and do as well.

Oddly, I could not bring myself to explain to him that his email was a deep betrayal, partly out of shame but partly out the deeper, darker fear that it would not matter. Even with this knowledge, I feared he would still offer the same pallid advice. After all, he assumes I am like him. But I am not.

He evaluates the efficacy of language by the outcomes it can catalyze. I evaluate the efficacy of my language by a different metric: does it make you feel uncomfortable for that is its intent. I know with absolute certitude that no amount of gussied up prose will make America less acceptant and tolerant of white, male rapists. (It lynches black males even if they are not rapists.) No amount of argumentation informed by my University of Chicago Ph.D. will make the ratfuckers in Congress pass laws that guarantee equal rights, equal pay, equal protection or demure from taking away what unequal rights I do have. 

My cynicism is learned from experience: my quest for justice has gone unrequited for decades.  My abuser, my uncle, ultimately went to jail for murdering my aunt after whom I am named. He assaulted me from the time I was a toddler until I was thirteen. He did not spend a second in prison for breaking me. Nor was he punished for sexually assaulting his own children: one of whom murdered himself while the other is a homeless schizophrenic beyond help whose brain produces fantasies that are only marginally less horrific than her realities.

Childhood trauma was compounded by my experiences at the University of Chicago, where I learned that it is impossible to get accountability for sexual harassment even when the harasser admits he did it. These lessons were again reinforced repeatedly when I entered the workforce. Because words are over-rated in their efficacy,  I gave up on elocuting our way out of this unending gendered apocalypse long ago.

I have spent decades and thousands of dollars trying to fix myself.  I am grateful that I have been able to access health care. But my brain developed under the constant production of stress hormones as a consequence of which my brain will never be clinically normal.  I suffer from PTSD and always will. I will take medications for the rest of my life to manage both my brain chemistry and the gastrointestinal distress that we now understand to be associated with childhood abuse. (So when the Faux Noise mobs send me emails such as “Go back on your meds bitch,” I can assure them that I never go off my meds.)

When women summon the courage to identify our assailants, the Chorus of Men and their female collaborators howl that we asked for it. We deserved it. They ask: What were you wearing? Why were you there at that time of night? Were you drinking?  Why were you drinking? Why didn’t you put up a fight?  Why didn’t you scream? Alternatively,  they query: why did you fight?  You only made it worse. Why didn’t you lay back and enjoy it? What were you doing there if you didn’t want to be raped, grabbed, mauled or have the fingers of strange men pull back your panties and violate you? Boys will be boys. This is horseplay. All boys do this. (If you’re rich and white, these excuses somehow work.)

[As bad as we have it, it’s even harder for men to come out and discuss their abuse.]

How much must we endure?  Rape culture. Pay differentials. We are less likely to be hired, promoted or compensated because of our god-damned tits and snatches. These conservative jackasses want to treat our cunts like a public good, yet we pay tens of thousands of dollars to maintain and sustain our civilization-giving pussies and civilization-nurturing wombs and civilization-feeding breasts.

Yet these motherfuckers have the temerity to deny us health care coverage.  They have the audacity to force us to carry children. They claim they are pro-life yet they don’t care about the children outside of our wombs or the health of the mothers whose bodies nourish those fetuses then care for the children they become. They don’t care about the ceaseless gun-violence that strikes down those children we birth and raise and love. This fetus fetishism is but the rhetorical ruse they use to reduce us to a public womb and strip away our access to reproductive and economic justice. We endure quotidian misogyny big and small.

And you want me to circumlocute my furor in floridity?

Fuck that.

I will not discipline my voice, my words, or my body. I will refuse to conform to your rules which are designed to constrain me like a corset for your convenience and comfort. I will not respond to this war on women decorously. It’s an absurd request and I won’t entertain it. I will fight this war asymmetrically. I will use the vernacular it demands.  Why does your comfort take precedence over my basic rights to live in peace, dignity, agency, and equality?

I will not shrink away into a corner. I will not make myself small. I will not slink along the sidewalk with my head lowered in shame or fear. I will stand straight, look you in the eye and fearlessly tell you to go fuck yourself. I did not start this war. But I am a soldier in it.  I have no choice. I was never given the choice.


I know my senior colleague meant well. But he does not and cannot understand my ferocity and why it is unreasonable to ask me to express it in cultivated vocabulary or the language of philosophers or political science. Artful turns of phrase are a luxury my wrath does not and cannot enjoy, and will not entertain. My power is my voice. My resistance is my refusal to speak as expected. I will use words that make you uncomfortable because you motherfuckers should be uncomfortable. You want a respite from my profane words? I want a respite from the war on women, our lives, our bodies, our rights, our dignity, and agency.

You’ll get your goddamned respite when I get mine and not a femtosecond sooner.


When Campus Reform Tried to Bully Me: The “Reporter” got This Response

When  Zachary Thomas Petrizzo, Senior Washington DC Correspondent, Campus Reform, sent me this email, this is the response he got.

Post Script: Given his commitment to integrity in reporting, he apparently published his “story” before getting my response.  I’m sure he was on a life-or-death timeline given that THIS story is so important to his readership. Dog forbid he actually wait for the response of the subject he wishes to malign!  Also, he seems to think that all I do is read my email in anticipation that a conservative troll may ask me noxious questions. Sorry Zach! I’m a busy lady! I couldn’t get to your silly queries on your schedule. Actually. Not Sorry. Upside: with chops like this, you’ll be writing for the Daily Failer any day now!

Dear Mr. Petrizzo:

Are you, in the service of your “concern trolling tabloid,” emailing all private citizens about their full exercise of their First Amendment freedoms to combat the wave of misogynist, bigotry, mendacity and indifference to rule-of-law on display by the occupant of the White House and the complicit members of the Vichy GOP who are more wedded to the interests of their hate-mongering party than their country?

Are you concern trolling conservative tweeters who make non-conservatives uncomfortable?  For example, you could consider emailing those tweeters who defend the recent policy of stealing children from asylum seekers (and then losing them) with the intention of deterring people from seeking asylum. There is evidence that the current hateful (mal)administration intended this separation of children from their families was intended to be permanent.

Surely, since conservatives are “pro-children” and “pro-family,” this must have outraged conservatives such as yourself and your readers, particularly since we know that this policy will inflict irreparable harm upon these children who have been traumatized by this heinous policy.

Did you concern troll those who retweeted or otherwise applauded Attorney General Sessions who, while speaking in my hometown of Ft. Wayne IN, defended this repugnant policy using –wait for it–Romans 13 from the Bible that many conservatives think should be the basis of US law?   Did you concern troll aficionados of conservative muckraker and all around terrible person, Laura Ingraham, who called these horrific and expensive (but very profitable for the organizations running them) detention centers for stolen children a “summer camp“?

Or have you singled me out for some particular reason? Please do explain your motive.

Image result for anne taintor same circus

Just kidding. I know your intentions and that of your tabloid. You seek to intimidate me into silence. You seek to equate my moral rejection of the x-phobic, racist, misogynist, science-rejecting, white supremacy-embracing, autocracy defending offenses of the conservative movement with the actual x-phobia, racism, misogyny, science-rejection, white supremacy-embrace and autocracy embrace of the contemporary conservative movement.

Image result for false equivalence

In other words, Mr. Petrizzo, my rejection of bigotry is not the moral equivalent of the bigotry of today’s conservatives.

FWIW: I have been harassed by Pakistani intelligence, American Nazis, and the hordes of vulgarians who goose-step and harass agentive women like myself to the kazoo tunes of Fox News and its equivalent print “media.” I have skin as thick as a velociraptor. I will not be intimidated by you, your minions or fellow purveyors of your agenda. In short, I will not be the cooperative target you want me to be. 


But, I will address your questions forthrightly and robustly. Note that this will be a blog post by the time you receive this response. This post will enable your more empirically-inclined “readership” to see my arguments in full rather than those items which you will likely curate perhaps for reasons of brevity or less benign reasons.

Rushing to Judgement: Me or Senator Grassley?

You asked with all ostensible sincerity whether my tweets about “Judge Kavanaugh” are premature? Your question is amusing (and offensive) because you don’t have enough self-awareness to understand its implicit bias.

Your question implies that Judge Kavanaugh, who has a long history of seeking to deprive women of the right the choose, is innocent of attempted sexual assault. Also implied in your question is the assertion that Professor Christine Blasey Ford is guilty of lying.

You probably cannot understand why a woman like myself is beyond exhausted by the tendency of men to presume that (especially white) men are innocent of these crimes while women are guilty of making them up. Out of morbid curiosity, did you concern troll anyone who rushes to assert that people of color murdered by the police are guilty–even when they were innocent and unarmed and eventual exculpatory evidence proved this? Have you ever concern trolled anyone who called a Muslim shooter a terrorist before we have full information? In contrast, white, conservative mass-murderers who kill with a political agenda are also described as mentally-ill, non-terrorists even though they fit the FBI definition of a terrorist. (I forgot! The FBI is the enemy of the people! A cancer even!)

You also seem ignorant of or indifferent to Type 1 versus Type II errors.  If one assumes that Kavanaugh is innocent when he is not, we confirm a rapist to the highest court of this land with a lifetime appointment. If one assumes he is guilty and he is innocent, he still has a job. Of course. if you’re a conservative, white man who believes in white (elite) male privilege, having a preference for a Type II error will practically give you an aneurysm. (If you feel symptoms coming on, run–don’t walk–to the hospital. I hope your employer provides your insurance or you have some watered-down, more expensive version of Obamacare dubbed risibly “TrumpCare.”) Do note that a preference for a Type II error is actually “conservative.”

Of course, it is not actually me who is rushing to judgment in any way that matters. After all, I am a private citizen. But the Republicans in charge of this process are rushing to judgment. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley disingenuously opined “It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this Committee, and the American people to delay this hearing any further.” This is truly olid.

After all, Mitch McConnel–in the most undemocratic display of partisan chicanery and abuse of power–denied Merrick Garland a hearing and, as you surely know, also shut down numerous lawful Obama appointments. Why were those “delays” not a grotesque disservice to the American people? You and I know the answer: the “conservative party” has an agenda that relies upon stuffing the supreme court with well-spoken and bespoken troglodytes who wish to vitiate the civil rights of women, people of color, LGBTQI among other groups. And, let me be clear: that agenda offends me.

Moreover, Mr. Grassley seems to think it’s completely okay to dictate the time and manner in which a victim testifies in close proximity to her perpetrator. Have you ever been sexually assaulted? If you were (and I have been), you’d understand the problems with this. To use a term of art: it’s “revictimizing.”

Moreover, Professor Ford has requested an investigation by the FBI (that agency that the occupant of the White House maligns on a quotidian basis). She has also requested other witnesses to testify. These are reasonable requests which strengthen her credibility. (An FBI investigation did occur in the Anita Hill fiasco, which I am old enough to remember and to be sickened by.) No woman stands up publicly and identifies a high profile attacker without full consequences of the conservative rage this will induce. We’ve witnessed this before with the conservatives’ favorite child molester: Ray Moore. His accusers were subject to all sorts of threats and harassment.  In short, I believe her. And should I be proven correct, I will be the first to hoist myself upon my own petard or that of any other.


The only party that is germane to this issue that is rushing literally to judgment is the Republicans who have demonstrated repeatedly to have no regard for women, our lives or our issues.

What is the harm in delaying this vote such that more evidence can be sought? After all, Mr. Kavanugh will have a lifetime appointment during which time he can deprive women, LGBTQI, people of color and anyone else all of the rights he can!  You and I again know the answer to my obviously rhetoric question: the Grab our Pussy Party wants to stuff the court with their woman-hating, x-phobic, business-loving political judges before the mid-term elections.

Even if we had incontrovertible evidence that the assault took place, many of your conservatives would not even care. Notably, Orin Hatch (one of your fine conservative stalwarts) even said that it wouldn’t matter “If that was true, I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today…That’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.

Let that sink in: even if he did sexually assault Dr. Ford, Mr. Hatch still thinks he is a “good man…by any measure.” Do you know how insulting this is to women? Let me tell you in a picture because pictures best explain my rage:


You have some hubris emailing a woman about this.

Then who can forget this photo from the current woman-hating government? This has nothing to do directly with your question, but it’s a good reminder of the villainous rubes running and ruining our country.


You know what you’ll never see? A room full of man-hating female (cis or trans) legislators sitting around a table discussing coverage for your Viagra, your Cialis, your prostate preventative care, your prostate cancer, your gynecomastia (moobs if you will) if it becomes cancerous, etc.

So I think your absurd question is best posed to Senators Grassley and Hatch: why are they literally rushing to judgment unless they truly do not give a rat’s turd about this potential crime. And it’s clear from Senator Hatch’s comments that he does not give a said piece of rat fecal matter about the guilt or innocence of a potential rapist becaue even if he is a rapist, he’s still a “good man.”

Conservative Snowflakes and Their Feelings?

You also asked me if “these tweets could make conservatives feel uncomfortable?”

It’s a curious question because it implies that the comfort of conservatives enjoys a privileged over my own comfort and that of liberals. After all, who is making anyone read my tweets. Were you strapped down and forced to read them? That mere fact that I tweeted things that offended you compelled you to write? Have I ever even bothered refuting any of the nonsense your tabloid publishes or similar tabloids? Not really. Why? I understand that freedom of speech works for us all. I also am a grownup and I understand that I have no right not to be offended. I also understand that arguing with data-resistant conservatives is akin to micturating in the ocean and then expecting the water level to rise.

Gymnist Jesus.png

So let me ask you: Why are conservatives more entitled to feeling comfortable than I am or those who think as I do? What gives conservatives a special access to a comfort zone? Weren’t conservatives the ones who were hollering about and mocking liberals and their purported demands–voiced in screechy tones with tears in their eyes–for “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces,” their stammering for “political correctness”?  After all, the below picture summarizes one of the conservative positions on this very subject. I guess that the sentiment was “fuck MY feelings,” not YOUR feelings, right? Guess what: I’m not a snowflake. I’m not politically correct. And I am not shutting up.


Perhaps you’ll say that my language is naughty and it’s my language that melts the conservative snowflakes?

My response to this grouse? Bollocks.

I learned from 60 Minutes that the current occupant of the White House raw-dogged a porn star, sent a goon to shut her up with actual hush-money. (He also lied about raw-dogging her and then paying hush money to said porn he lies about everything else. But he eventually conceded to all and conservatives were like “cool. Jesus loves the sinner!”) Need I remind you that he raw-dogged said porn star while his wife (a visa, violating immigrant who facilitated chain migration) was nursing her anchor-baby Baron. (You’ll recognize that vocabulary from your current conservative party. I thought it was best to use the vernacular of your constituents for maximal clarity.)

But does a serial womanizing, multiple wife-having, porn-star-payoff making immoral wretch like the current occupant upset conservatives and their “family values”? Oh hell no. Many believe that god put this obscene disgrace of a human in the white house for the sole purpose of advancing their hitty agenda.  (Yes. I do believe that misogyny, racism, white supremacy, x-phobic bigotry and associated pathologies are the sine qua non of a shitty agenda.) We know god has an off-color sense of humor, don’t we? This is in addition to literally hearing this man boast of grabbing women’s genitalia and other acts of sexual assault and mocking women for being fat (that’s crazy, because he’s morbidly obese), ridicule women’s menstrual cycles. I can go on about this individual’s repugnant language. And then I’d have to get to all of the racist and other offensive verbiages and conduct espoused by him and other GOP candidates across the country at different levels of government. If you have a problem with my language…you should have a problem with the current GOP party’s language and–more importantly–its actions.


Quite frankly I hope conservatives do feel uncomfortable by my tweets. Because I intend to highlight and call attention to the full range of their hypocrisy and to dilate upon the policies that they embrace which are antithetical to the values of this country –all of which make me feel comfortable in my country. Let me enumerate the reasons for my discomfort with so-called “conservatives.”

  1. The conservatives, whose feelings are purportedly so fragile, oppose fundamental equality of opportunity and outcome among persons who differ by, inter alia, gender, caste, creed, race, ethnicity, or who they love. The current conservative party opposes regulation that saves lives.
    1. For example, who foresaw Trump trying to facilitate an asbestos comeback? Your conservatives apparently believe that Americans have an unfettered right to drink poisoned water, eat dangerous food, and breath air laden with pollutants and carcinogens which have been tied to specific illnesses and adverse health outcomes. They are undoing any sensible regulation and legislation intended to retard climate change which not only threatens Americans but most–if not all–species on the plant.
    2. These snowflake conservatives want to deprive all Americans the right to marry the people of their choices.
    3. They engage in an effort to deny every person their right to vote, especially if they are people of color.
    4. They seek to deprive women access to birth control or other means of choosing when we have children. Control of our fecundity is central to our access to economic justice. (But oddly they do not holler about Viagra. If god intended those men to have erections, they would not need Viagra, right! And jeez. If life is truly sacred, sperm are very much alive for the short lives they enjoy. Every instance of ejaculation not into a vagina with a ready egg is a sperm genocide. See this helpful post of the life and lifetime of a sperm: Where is the conservative outrage over the sperm genocide? And what will happen to those conservative politicians when their knocked-up mistresses can’t be forced to have abortions?!
    5. Despite being “pro-life,” the fetus fetishists have no interest in providing women health care or ensuring comprehensive health care for all children. Essentially, for conservatives, once you’re no longer a fetus, you’re on your own. This belies the fact that fetus fetishists are not truly concerned about children; rather, controlling women. I may also point out that conservatives don’t seem concerned about the death penalty, warmongering or other things that take lives away from people.
    6. In December 2017, Paul Ryan actually said that American women should be cranking out more babies. Well if the current conservative party wants us to crank out more offspring, they should consider paying us. In fact, forced labor is actual slavery.
      1. In the service of reproducing humanity, literally, women are subjected to a vagina tax. Our costs of maintaining what conservatives believe is a “public good,” run into the tens of thousands of dollars over our lifetimes, excluding the opportunity costs of investing those expenditures more productively.
      2. This is in addition to the well-known “woman” tax in the labor market. White women fare best. Women of color fare the worst. And once you get married and pregnant, the penalties in the labor market are even direr. Conversely, when men get married their productivity and wages increases. Why? Because women subsidize their productivity. (Let me know if you need some sources. Again, these studies are done by economists who do that math sorcery.)
    7. The current Republican Party is not conservative. In fact, it is radical. It has not pursued fiscal conservatism during my adult lifetime. Rather, it has pursued expansive tax cuts which disproportionately benefit business and wealthy persons. This is not “conservatism.” At the same time, it has deepened our deficits. The Republican Party, which risibly calls itself a party of compassion seeks to consistently undermine any modicum of a social welfare net. So while it is perfectly happy making private jets a tax write off, it vilifies the poor who require various forms of public assistance. I’m pretty sure Jesus would be disgusted this.
    8. Not only is the current Republican party a party of, for and by the wealthy, but it is also a party that openly espouses white supremacy. Not only is this apparent but the things they say, scientists have also found this to be largely the case.  Political Scientist, Dana Mutz, found that Trump voters were motivated by “Both growing domestic racial diversity and globalization contributed to a sense that white Americans are under siege by these engines of change.” According to another study by Brian F. Schaffner ,

      “The 2016 campaign witnessed a dramatic polarization in the vote choices of whites based on (their level of) education…Very little of this gap can be explained by the economic difficulties faced by less-educated whites. Rather, most of the divide appears to be associated with sexism, and denialism of racism.”Very little of this gap can be explained by the economic difficulties faced by less-educated whites. Rather, most of the divide appears to be associated with sexism, and denialism of racism.”

    9. The current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania cannot bring himself to denounce white extremist groups that propound this noxious ideology. The current occupant of said address has a long history: of mocking women, boasting about assaulting women, has a long line of women claiming they were assaulted by him, vilifying minorities, jeering at the disabled, disparaging our FBI and intelligence agencies, denigrating those elements of the free press which holds him to account for lying on matters big and small on a daily basis, subverting a special counsel investigation into criminal conduct by him and his party, calling for a hostile country to hack into the email servers of his political foe, approbating dictators who murder and abuse their opposition.
    10. The current “conservative party,” rejects climate science. In fact, it has done so since the late 1970s when scientists understood the link between anthropogenic activities and climate change. This is not conservative. This a radical death cult that opposes any policies of sensible earth stewardship. The conservative party says it cares about life. If that were true, it should care about the deadly consequences of anthropogenic climate change which is real. (Of course, this same group of persons rejects evolution. For the record, I can’t even entertain that view. It is as sensible as a belief in sorcery.)
    11. We are not a democracy today and are becoming less democratic. The current Senate majority is elected by a minority of Americans. Unlike other parliamentary democracies in which the federating units have equal representation in the upper house but are essentially powerless, our Senate has the most significant powers with respect to cabinet appointments and stacking the judiciary. As this country undergoes demographic shifts towards the coastal and urban areas, which are also the most economically productive, this misrepresentation of the Senate will become extreme. By 2040, academic experts who engage in this voodoo science called math predict that “30 percent of the population of the country will control 68 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate. Or, more starkly, half the population of the country will control 84 percent of those seats.” The fairness of elections to the House of Representatives and state assemblies is undermined by, inter alia, gerrymandering, racist efforts to deter persons of color from voting as well as assertive patterns in where people choose to live. The party that benefits from this is the Republican party which has an agenda which is deeply discomforting to me.
    12. I can go on. But I have work to do.

The noxious politics of conservatives seek to deprive me of my rights and others who do not share their sky tyrant beliefs make me uncomfortable. In short, if I make conservatives feel uncomfortable, they should feel welcome in the club.


CC Fair