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Sunday, May 28, 2017

In Memoriam: Phil Robinson


In March of 1966, a man named Phil Robinson was killed by a sniper in Vietnam. Phil was from Wisconsin, wanted to be a school teacher, and was one of my dad's best friends. My parents told me stories about Phil. How when he and my dad were in San Diego, they had to personally deliver sensitive documents and joked that if someone tried to stop them, they would throw their sidearms because the sights were so awful, shooting would be pointless. How my mom spent all day making a chocolate mousse for dessert, and Phil took a bite, looked up at her with a grin, and said "Is this Dream Whip?" How Phil was one of the first people to learn my mom was pregnant with me.

And one month before I was born, Phil was dead. Killed in a jungle that might as well have been a million miles from Wisconsin.

Phil Robinson's name is on the Vietnam Memorial, etched in granite, one name among tens of thousands. You can see your reflection in that wall, as you stand with your shaking hand on a loved one's name. I know because my dad's hand trembled as he laid it on the letters that spelled the name of his friend. His friend who made my mom laugh, his friend who shared a part of himself with my parents, his friend who seemed to understand some of the absurdity of military life, his friend who wanted to be a teacher.

My family has fought for this country since the American Revolution. We have ancestors buried in cemeteries who gave their lives in order for this country to be founded, who gave their lives for the Union. Memorial Day is always a reminder of this for me.

Watching Donald Trump preen about as he speaks to the men and women serving in the Armed Forces, and remembering all the awful things he's said about them, it's hard to focus on the somber nature of this Memorial Day. I find myself getting angry when I hear him tell members of the military he has their backs, he supports them, he cares about them. It is next to impossible to believe those words, when I think back to how he has spoken about the military, and the men and women who serve.

For example, during an interview with Howard Stern in 1998, Donald Trump compared avoiding STDs to Vietnam, and said he deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor:

"Well, I don't know, you know there's lots of different ways of doing it. It's a very complicated subject. They say that more people were killed by women in this act than killed in Vietnam, OK," Trump said.

"Yes, that is true," replied Stern.

"You know, you get criticized for that statement, but that statement is very easily true," added Trump.

Stern responded, "I even went as far to say that you're braver than any Vietnam vet because you're out there screwing a lot of women."

"Getting the Congressional Medal of Honor, in actuality," said Trump.

He went on:

"I'm having a good time, but Howard, you know the one negative: It's very, very dangerous out there," said Trump.

"Yes it is, it's your Vietnam," added Stern.

"It's Vietnam," added Trump. "It is very dangerous. So I'm very, very careful."

During the campaign, Trump said this about POWs while answering a question about John McCain:

“He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

A veteran came up on stage during a Trump rally, and gave Trump his Purple Heart. Trump responded by saying "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart, this was much easier."

Last month, Donald Trump presented a Purple Heart to Army Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos. As he was pinning the medal on Barrientos, whose leg had to be amputated after he survived an attack in Afghanistan, Trump said "Congratulations...tremendous."

This is the Commander in Chief. A man who insults POWs, who compares sleeping with a lot of women and avoiding STDs to Vietnam, who congratulates an amputee on their Purple Heart, and who always wanted a Purple Heart, but managed to avoid the Vietnam war because his foot hurt.

So this weekend, as retailers use Memorial Day to sell cars and mattresses, as social media pages post how-to videos on new alcoholic beverages to make your "holiday" more "fun," and as our cowardly, spiteful, spineless president continues to dishonestly crow about how much he loves and supports our troops, remember what Memorial Day is really about. This long weekend is for the men and women who have died in service to our country. This long weekend is for visiting cemeteries, for laying flowers at memorials, for comforting families who have an empty chair at the table.

This is Memorial Day.











Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Clickbait: The Dumbing Down of Liberals

This photo popped up in my Facebook feed earlier today. It's a photo of Trump at the Western Wall, photoshopped into a collage with Obama, Bush, and Clinton, and shared by a page called Fight For Equality. Fight For Equality captioned the meme:

The White House puts out misleading news that Trump is the first to..... Until one of our friends digs up these images. You're being tricked with wordplay America . #theythinkyourestupid

This has been shared almost 14,000 times. And it's completely, 100% false. Here are some of the comments people have posted under the meme:

Larry Thatch He's the first sitting asshole potus to visit the West Wall. The other Presidents of the United States were at least respectful of the office they were elected to, unlike this man/baby who knows zero truth and even less human emotion. He is a pathetic human being and not worthy of any trust. In short he is the scum of the earth weighting it down from moving forward for the inhabitants.

Caitlin Rodocker Unfortunately, what many people do not understand about these photos is that Donald Trump, unlike the other presidents pictured, is actually trying to contact the contractors who built this wall.

Angela Burks Idk why news channels posted that to begin with. But just out of curiosity were those other presidents sitting presidents at the time? Idk and I can't tell. Every news channel ran the same story. Can't trust any of them anyway. Lol.

Holly Funger Dubin When I heard them say that on fox yesterday, I was like "Wait, whaaaat? That's not true!" Surprise, surprise!

Nik Sweeney I did find that statement impossible to believe. Didn't stop the morons on my national TV news bulletin repeating the spin verbatim. The WH might as well have released a statement saying, "Trump built this wall himself, from his own presidential sweat, because he's awesome. Fuck yeah."

Jan Allen-Valego Just more absolute BS from the egotistical twitter-in-chief.

This comment is my personal favorite:

Mardi Honaker Berry WHY do they want to spread the hatred and spread the lies?? Fox knows, I guess, their followers will not check and believe all the fake news they spread!


To be fair, there are quite a few people posting links to other news sources that prove Trump is the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall. This link, and this one, and one more. Has Fight For Equality removed the post, apologized for sharing fake news, apologized for using click bait? Nope.

Speaking of clickbait, Vox recently published an article about liberals falling for fake news about Russia, and called out one of the worst left-wing blogs in the country, Palmer Report. From the piece:

The Palmer Report, and its creator, little-known journalist Bill Palmer, is kind of a popularizer of the Russiasphere. It reports the same kind of extreme, thinly sourced stuff — for instance, a story titled “CIA now says there’s more than one tape of Donald Trump with Russian prostitutes” — often, though not always, sourced to Mensch and company. This seems to personally irk Mensch, who has occasionally suggested the Palmer Report is ripping her off.

Yet nonetheless, Palmer appears to have built up a real audience. According to Quantcast, a site that measures web traffic, the Palmer Report got around 400,000 visitors last month — more than GQ magazine’s website. The Russian prostitute story was shared more than 41,000 times on Facebook, according to a counter on Palmer’s site; another story alleging that Chaffetz was paid off by Trump and Russia got about 29,000.

This stuff is real, and there’s a huge appetite for it.


To complicate things further, bad satire is also rampant on the internet. Some of it is marked as satire, while some is not, but other than maybe five websites, all of it is awful. And the awful satire sites use clickbait, because people who consume clickbait rarely, if ever, read the article.

Which is the whole point of clickbait. You see a headline or social media post, you are immediately enraged and/or terrified, and you click share. Did you read the article? Did you research the article? Did you use Google to verify the social media post? If you "read" clickbait on a daily basis, can you feel your brain slowly dying?

Liberals like to ride around on our high horses, mocking right wingers for believing fake news. Well, guess what? Liberals believe fake news, too, and clickbait creators are making serious money off this disturbing trend.

Stephen Colbert once said "And reality has a well-known liberal bias." He was speaking at The White House Correspondents Dinner, and he was joking, but thanks to clickbait sites like Palmer Report, and false memes like the one posted by Fight For Equality, there's very little reality or truth around anymore.

So if you're a liberal riding through Facebook on a horse named Truth, and you devour Addicting Info, Palmer Report, or anything from Louise Mensch, watch out; it's a long way to the ground.





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Image from Pinterest

Today is Mother's Day. A day when everyone from Kay Jewelers to Costco tells us we have to spend oodles of money to show Mom how very much we love her. Florists are arranging bouquets, restaurants are setting up for brunches and dinners, and children are burning toast and shoving a dandelion into a Dixie cup. But what if your mother doesn't deserve a Mother's Day?

What if your mom routinely beat you as a child? What if she abandoned you? What if she was, or still is, an alcoholic who drinks? What if, for years, your mom treated you as an inconvenience, insulting you, mocking you, slowly destroying your self esteem? What if, unlike my mother, your mother is still alive, and every goddamn year, you're expected to put on a happy face, buy flowers and a card, and pretend your awful, nightmarish childhood never happened?

Well, you're not expected to do any such thing. If your mother hit you, or left you, or lied to you, or manipulated you, or is a narcissistic sociopath, you don't have to honor her on Mother's Day. I understand this goes against everything we've been taught. I understand that, just because she gave birth to you, you feel as if you don't have a choice today; you think you just have to suck it up. No, you don't.

For many adults, Mother's Day is just another day of walking on eggshells. That family brunch may start off light and fluffy, but by the time Mom's had her fifth Bloody Mary, all bets are off. Suddenly, you're the problem. You are regaled-for the umpteenth time-with tales of how she gave up her dancing/singing/art/education/ to take care of you, and all you ever did was disappoint her. Yes, she was "strict," but you didn't give her any choice. Oh, lots of moms have affairs, at least your parents are still together. She doesn't have a drinking problem. Yes, she lied to you about this and that, but it was to protect you.

Does any of this ring a bell? Several bells? Is there a chorus of bells echoing through your head? Then why in the world are you planning on spending today with someone that toxic? Is it worth your mental and emotional health to try and shove down all the pain, all the trauma? To look into the face of the woman who was supposed to be a safe place, who was supposed to love you unconditionally, and know she was, in fact, the least safe place in the world?

If you come from this, as I did, you don't have to celebrate Mother's Day with your mother. Are you a mom? Hang out with your kids, your spouse or partner, go outside, pick flowers, eat the burned toast and coo lovingly over the dandelion. Make today about being the opposite of your own mother. Rejoice in the fact that your kids will never feel unsafe in your presence. Revel in your unconditional love for your children. Look in the mirror, smile, and tell yourself it's alright to just say no.

Mother's Day is about honoring women who care for their children, who love and protect them. It's not about honoring every woman who's pushed a baby out of their womb. Some women are amazing moms, who treat their children like the gifts they are. And some women simply aren't. Some women are selfish and cruel, and demand love and adoration from children they beat or terrorized or abused.

To the moms who chose to be better than their own mothers, to the moms who look at the faces of their children with something akin to awe, to the moms who love and cherish and protect, Happy Mother's Day. I hope your day is filled with sunshine and giggles and good food and absolutely zero stress.

To the adult children of the other kind of mother, please believe me when I tell you: You do not have to spend the day with your mother. You're allowed to stand up for yourself, to be safe and happy. You're allowed to have a day, or many days, away from the person who hurt you, who hit you, who left you, who lied to you, who used you.

You really are.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why I'm not watching Netflix's "13 Reasons Why"

Image from Netflix

TW: Brief description of a suicide attempt.

I'm not watching Netflix's series "13 Reasons Why." The series is very popular, and Netflix recently announced a second season of the controversial series complete with new trigger warnings. "13 Reasons Why" centers around a teenage girl who kills herself, and leaves behind thirteen tapes addressing why she chose suicide. Mental health professionals have cautioned parents about the possible perils of allowing kids to watch "13 Reasons Why," and school districts, including here in Minnesota, have issued warnings to families.

The first time I tried to kill myself was on my 16th birthday. I had spent the day with friends, took a city bus home, walked into my parents' bathroom, grabbed two large bottles of my mother's prescription medication (Naprosyn and Darvon), went up to my bathroom, and took them. When you take that many pills, the effects hit fast and hard, and by the time I realized I probably didn't want to die, I could barely move. Somehow, I managed to call for my dad, and he ran upstairs.

If you're wondering how I got to such a dark place at such a young age, let me share what happened when my dad carried my barely conscious body downstairs. He told my mother what I'd done, and her first response as she watched my father struggle to carry me through the house to the car, was "What am I supposed to take tomorrow?"

Imagine that for just a moment. You're a mom, and your only child has ingested enough medication to die. Your only child, on her birthday, is being carried out of the house by her father. You look down at this young person, a person you are supposed to love and protect, and think only about yourself.

That was my childhood.

The idea of sitting down to watch a show that centers around a teenage girl who kills herself makes me very uncomfortable. As a survivor of suicide, I have to be very careful. There are books I avoid, movies I can't watch, simply because I don't ever want to even come close to feeling the way I did when I decided to end my life.

If you have no history of suicide, or suicidal ideation, and neither do your kids, "13 Reasons Why" will most likely not trigger any harmful thought or behaviors. But no matter what, children and young adults who watch this program should do so with parents. And parents? If your kid asks you questions about suicide, answer them. Talking about suicide is not going to plant suicidal ideation in an otherwise mentally healthy young mind.

I'm not watching "13 Reasons Why" because, after decades of therapy, after finally learning coping skills, and after coming to grips with who I am and what I can handle, I know how I would feel. I know what my mind might do to me. I know where my monsters live.

There are resources available for parents, and young people, on how to talk about suicide, what you can do if someone you love is suicidal, and even how to watch and discuss "13 Reasons Why." Please visit any (or all) of the links below to learn how to talk about teen suicide, and what you can do for someone in crisis.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

Kid's Health

The Trevor Project (LGBTQ youth)

NIMH

And a very informative CBS interview with Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention can be found here.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Turn Trump Tweets into Charitable Donations with Donald Donates

Image from Donald Donates on Twitter

What if there was a way to turn Donald Trump's tweets into something good? Something that helps survivors of sexual violence, the LGBTQ community, men and women fighting for the rights of the disenfranchised? A way to use Trump's disdain for people of color, immigrants, and women to help the very groups he's trying to harm?

Three millennials, Adam Gibbs, David Hyatt and Justin Munn, realized they could do just that. Using the one thing Donald Trump loves more than anything-Twitter-these young men created Donald Donates. Donald Donates is a brilliant and simple way to help your favorite charities while at the same time, resisting the divisive and harmful Trump administration.

Donald Donates has been featured in Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Adam, Dave and Justin are  standing up to Donald Trump while helping charities and organizations fighting back against Trump's disastrous policies. I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Gibbs recently, and learned more about Donald Donates.

1) What inspired the three of you to create Donald Donates?

We created Donald Donates because we were looking for a way to stand up to Donald Trump's divisive rhetoric and destructive policies. We were deeply troubled by the lies being disseminated by the Trump campaign and Transition, and unfortunately, nothing changed once he moved into the White House. Donald Trump and his advisors continue to push "alternate facts" and advocate for policies that would be a disaster for millions of Americans. Given all of this, we knew we had to take action in a meaningful way. 

The idea for Donald Donates came about when Dave, a software developer, created an application to automatically respond to every tweet from @realDonaldTrump. After sharing the idea with me, we began talking about ways to turn it into something more action oriented. We landed on the idea of collecting small donations for organizations either under threat by this Administration or actively pushing back on Trump's disastrous agenda. We called up our friend Justin, a frontend developer and designer, and we all immediately began working on turning the idea for Donald Donates into a reality. 

2) How does Donald Donates work?

With every tweet from @realDonaldTrump, Donald Donates members make a small contribution to the recipient(s) of their choice. Members set how much they’d like to donate per tweet and which recipient(s) they’d like to receive these contributions. They can also set a monthly maximum, just in case Trump goes on one of his infamous tweetstorms. 

We track contributions from each tweet and on the last day of each month, payments are processed and funds are sent to recipients. 

3) Can people choose an amount to donate, or is there a set minimum?

Donald Donates members have total control over how much they would like to donate. All contributions occur in increments as small as 1¢. 

For example, with each tweet from @realDonaldTrump, I am currently giving 2¢ to the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, 1¢ to the Anti-Defamation League, 1¢ to CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), 1¢ to the NRDC, 1¢ to the Sierra Club, 2¢ to Planned Parenthood and 2¢ to Flippable. This adds up to 10¢ per tweet, or about $3.50 each week given his average of 5 tweets each day. 

4) Can people change the charities they choose? For example, one month, donate to the ACLU, the next month, to Planned Parenthood?

Yes. Members can support as many of our recipient organizations as they would like and change their donation preferences at any time. 

5) How much money (roughly, if you don't have exact numbers) have you raised so far in total?

This is a bit of a moving target, as we raise more and more with each tweet. His most recent tweet around 11pm ET last night (5/2), has raised $111.38. 

6) Did you expect to receive so much media attention, and how has being featured by The Daily Beast and Newsweek affected the number of people signing up to Donald Donates?

We were honored to have outlets like Newsweek and The Daily Beast share our story. This coverage has certainly helped drive people to the site and helped us grow at an exciting pace. 

We're also thrilled to be partnering with so many great Resistance organizations, including Indivisible, Flippable, Sister District and Town Hall Project, who have all helped us get the word out about Donald Donates. These groups are doing amazing work, and we're honored to be supporting them through Donald Donates. 

Think about it: In less than 5 minutes, you can set up an account, pick your charities, choose an amount to donate, and you're making the world a better place. Frankly, I can't think of an easier way to join the resistance.

As an added incentive, the very idea of Donald Donates is guaranteed to anger Donald Trump, which will most likely result in a 3 AM Twitter tantrum, which in turn, will generate more donations to charity. Talk about a win-win!

Please visit Donald Donates for more information. Let's take Trump's Twitter rage and use it to help the people he can't stand.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Dear GOP: Thank you for making rape a preexisting condition


Today's the day conservative politicians vote on the American Health Care Act, or as it's being called in my house, bullshit. Why is it called bullshit in my house? Because this horrible, evil, uncaring bill makes rape a preexisting condition.

As a rape survivor thrice over, I have some issues. Chronic anxiety, mild-to-moderate PTSD, and chronic depression are the big three, which means sometimes, I head back into therapy for a few sessions, just to recharge my coping skills. Given that many conservatives don't even understand what rape is, or think rape victims are to blame for being assaulted, it makes sense that men and women who survive rape are seen as less than deserving of care.

Let's say you are a rape survivor, and you live in a red state. The American Health Care Act passes, and your governor decides he (or she) doesn't want to spend a dime on people with preexisting conditions. Your governor would receive a waiver from the Trump administration, granting them permission to charge you a much higher premium for your preexisting condition. Now, Trump's people claim this will only affect those who have a lapse in coverage-63 days (well, that's specific, isn't it?)-but given how madly in love Trump is with state's rights, it seems that would be a hard metric to monitor.

ABC News explains:

——States can get waivers exempting insurers from providing consumers with required coverage of specified health services, including hospital and outpatient care, pregnancy and mental health treatment.

——States can get waivers from Obama's prohibition against insurers charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing health problems, but only if the person has had a gap in insurance coverage. States could get those waivers if they have mechanisms like high-risk pools that are supposed to help cover people with serious, expensive-to-treat diseases. Critics say these pools are often under-funded and ineffective.

Read the first one again. States can apply for, and receive, waivers that allow insurance companies to stop providing care for pregnancy and mental health treatment. Who gets pregnant again? Right, women. And who might need access to immediate mental health care? RAPE VICTIMS. All of this is made possible by the McArthur-Meadows Amendment, which, according to New York Magazine, will "... allow states to discriminate based on medical history, reportedly without mitigating the subsequent high cost of health care for millions of Americans. In addition to rape, postpartum depression, Cesarean sections, and surviving domestic violence are all considered preexisting conditions. Companies can also deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms."

Rape is awful. Those of us who survive it are never the same. In the first few weeks following a rape, you don't sleep, you often cannot even think about eating, much less keep anything down. You don't want to leave your house, and sometimes, you can't be alone. You may not be able to go to work. You might have physical trauma-bruising, cuts, scrapes, internal injuries. YOU NEED CARE. You need rape crisis counselors and therapists, you need trained specialists who know exactly what you're going through and how to get you to the other side.

In the months, and even years, after a rape, the need for immediate care can diminish, but rape survivors still need help. We might need medication to help with insomnia or anxiety, we might deal with aggressive suicidal ideation and need hospitalization. Again, we are never the same.

The last time I was raped, I was in my early twenties. That's thirty years ago, and I still wake up terrified in the middle of the night. I still see it in my nightmares: his hand around my neck, his breath, the sound of my shorts ripping, the feeling of complete helplessness as a stranger slammed me against my own car and raped me. As I write this, my heart rate is increasing, I am holding back tears, and I am struggling to finish. Thirty years. I still have all this after thirty years.

But the GOP doesn't care. The GOP wants survivors of sexual violence to suffer, to struggle, to break, to bleed. Donald Trump and his merry band of sociopaths want to rape us over and over again. Oh, too harsh? Fine. I'll close with comments conservatives have made about rape, then you tell me I'm wrong. Actually, don't, because I'm not. Not about this. Not about how the GOP feels about survivors of rape.

Clayton Williams: "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it."

Todd Akin: "If it's legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that thing down."

Rick Santorum: "Rape victims should make the best of a bad situation."

Richard Mourdock: "Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen."

Lawrence Lockman: "If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapists' pursuit of sexual freedom doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death."

Donald Trump: "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything ... grab them by the pussy."





Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Of Course Misogyny Played a Part in the 2016 Election

Image from Politico

Tuesday, President Hillary Clinton...oh wait, that's only in my heart...Hillary Clinton spoke with Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event. During the talk, Hillary took responsibility for her campaign, and pointed out Nate Silver was probably right: If the election had taken place on October 27, she would have "almost certainly" been the president-elect.

But the election was held 10 days after James Comey's letter and Russia's WikiLeaks dump. And here we are, with Donald Trump and his alt-right administration, his dictator admiration society, and his complete and utter lack of knowledge of anything related to governing.

Ms. Amanpour asked Hillary Clinton if misogyny played a role in the election. Hillary responded with laughter, because OF COURSE IT DID. It still does. There are men and women who proudly write and say the most offensive, sexist, misogynistic things about Hillary Clinton, call her names, reference her voice, her laugh, her hair, and her appearance. Last year, a "progressive" blogger/internet grifter posted a tl;dr diatribe on social media in which he made references to Hillary Clinton's "tits" and menstruation.

CNN's Facebook page is often the first place truly awful people go to share their FUBAR world view with others, and Tuesday was no exception. Underneath an article about Hillary's speech at the Women for Women International event, there were comments like:

Emerson Williams Whitney Forck its feminist like you that make me want to hack. She is not a strong women, she lost the race more times than can be counted. Go take your man-hateing principles and stick them where the sun don't shine.

And:

Richard Ray It's good to see she sobered up and took a bath

Oh, and:

Pete Fischer Sandra Warren why should men have to pay for your abortions

Next, Fox Spews, where we find erudite commentary like:

David Pecanty But her cult followers still enjoy sucking on those crusty corn infested sour stinking (whew)......hairy cracked machete blade turned under nailed (but polished) toes.

Women can be misogynists, too:

Anna Aragunde Deardorff Roberto Rellanes You mean 3 million ILLEGALS and Dead that voted for Hilldebeast!

Roger seems like a real treasure:

Roger Anglin This Pig needs to change her depends and fk off.

In 2007, The Seattle Times ran an article about the misogyny used to attack Hillary Clinton. From the article:

It’s a discussion we are going to have if Hillary Clinton is nominated,” said Jamieson, who originally went searching the Web for racist invective aimed at Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, only to find the raw sexism being directed at Clinton far more common and virulent.

“I’ve been waiting,” Jamieson said. “When is somebody going to make this stuff visible enough to have that conversation?”

She thought the moment had arrived in mid-November when, at a campaign meeting in South Carolina, a woman of patrician bearing asked Arizona Sen. John McCain, "How do we beat the bitch?"

A surprised McCain laughed along with the rest of the small crowd.

"That's an excellent question," McCain said after regaining his stride. He proceeded to explain why he could beat Clinton.

A video of that encounter, titled "How Do We Beat The Bitch" was viewed nearly one million times on You Tube.

Victoria Brownworth, a writer who identifies as a Socialist, wrote a piece for Curve Magazine last year entitled "Misogyny Rules the 2016 Election." Ms. Brownworth joined the Communist Party in college, "lured by a charismatic professor." She was a budding feminist, however, and found that the "sexism within the far left stunned me, even as a teenager."

Ms. Brownworth writes:

Was I lured by Bernie Sanders the way I had been lured by my professor in college? To paraphrase another American politician, You betcha! But then, as was the case with my college foray into Communism, came the sexism. So. Much. Sexism.

And while she acknowledges the misogyny of the Trump campaign, Ms. Brownworth's article is focused on the sexism and misogyny that came from the left. Specifically, from Bernie Sanders and the Bernie Bros. She tells us of the moment when Bernie Sanders' supporters lashed out at Barbara Boxer in Nevada:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), listed as one of the top five most liberal senators in Congress and a member of Congress since 1983, was called a "fascist bitch" by Sanders supporters who booed when she took the stage. She reminded the crowd they were all Democrats and that booing her was like booing Sanders.

Nevada Chairwoman Roberta Lange received thousands of emails and phone calls, her private phone numbers were published on social media, and threats were made to her family, including her children. From the article:

On May 18, NPR politics reporter Tamara Keith included some of the messages in her report on the convention chaos. Most had to be bleeped for language. But one chilling message calmly called for Lange’s public execution. "People like you should be hung in a public execution to show this world that we won't stand for this sort of corruption."

Ms. Brownworth points out that when the New York Times ran an article on Donald Trump's sexism and misogyny, no one was surprised. The number of interviewees was a bit shocking, but for the most part, everyone said "Meh, yeah, that's Trump." She goes on:

But Sanders? Sanders isn’t Trump. Sanders is supposed to be the lefty good guy. The one with the feminist ally credentials. And yet instead he’s the only one of all the candidates who ran for president–more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans all but three of whom have withdrawn–with no women in the top ten positions in his campaign. (Clinton has 6, Trump has 3.) Instead, Sanders is the only candidate to call Hillary Clinton "unqualified," when she is the best qualified candidate in decades. Instead, Sanders is the candidate who, on the eve of the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and less than a month after 14 people were shot, three of them killed, at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, called Planned Parenthood "part of the Establishment." 

It's obvious misogyny played a huge role in the 2016 presidential election. The sad truth is that hate came from the left as much as it came from the right.

Victoria Brownworth's article is brilliant, and you can read it here.