The Shock Doctrine 5: Recurring Dreams

by matttbastard

(Previous posts here, here, here and here; Sarah’s posts here.)

Chapter 4: Cleaning the Slate: Terror Does its Work

In her post outlining Chapter 4 of The Shock Doctrine, Sarah highlighted the rush to conformity and, especially, normative gender roles in post-counterrevolutionary Chile, noting that “Men could be arrested for having long hair, while women were arrested for wearing pants.” Rather than providing a detailed outline of what Klein covers in this chapter (because, really, you all are supposed to be reading along, right?) I’m instead going to take a brief look at The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi, another recent text that explores the other 9/11.  Faludi looks at how the US, in a state of shock following the fall of the towers and the attack on the Pentagon, tried to embrace a false retro-patriarchal-paradigm of men-as-saviour/protector and women as helpless waifs in need of rescue.

In an interview with TIME Magazine, Faludi explores how women in the US were repressed in the dream-like aftermath of the assault:

You had a 40% drop of women guests on the important Sunday morning talk shows. You had dramatic declines on all the Op-Ed pages of all the important newspapers, and even women who would seem like obvious guests for the Sunday morning talk shows, like Diane Feinstein or Barbara Boxer who are both chairpersons of subcommittees on terrorism, there was this feeling that this was the time for men and women should take a back seat. There was one place where there were plenty of women’s faces on TV, and that was the 9/11 widows, as long as they played the role of helpless homemaker victims. In the absence of female victims in the planes or rescued from the events of 9/11, the TV shows trotted out 9/11 widows as the substitute victims. Then, the Larry Kings and Bill O’Reillys acted like daddy saviors towards them…There was this need to assert the protective authority role of men, particularly after a trauma in which every aspect of the male protective system failed. Our government ignored warnings that we were about to come under attack. Our 9/11 dispatch system did not warn people properly. Our military did not protect our skies.

The trauma perpetuated by Pinochet and his backers greatly differs from the 9/11 assault in many ways, especially in that the overthrow of Allende was, by and large, an internal matter rather than an external breach of security (CIA complicity in Santiago notwithstanding).  Still, it’s still interesting to note in both instances how gender roles were impacted by the shock of political instability and insecurity. Embracing ‘tradition’ following drastic upheaval was almost a means of centering, reunifying a fractured nation–even if the return to ‘old’ values are largely a fictional construct.

As Sarah notes, “we see [Friedmanite markets] again and again coupled with militarism and cultural conservatism, coming in on a wave of torture, death, terror, and strictly enforced gender roles.”

Indeed, who could forget Bush’s infamous ham-fisted attempt to sooth a shattered nation’s fragile collective psyche:

On September 20, in his first lengthy national address after the attacks, Bush told the citizens of the United States what they personally could do: “Live your lives and hug your children,” he said. Be patient with FBI investigations and travel delays, and “your continued participation and confidence in the American economy” would be greatly appreciated.

Apparently the terror dream is one that recurs.

Sunday–Chapter 5: “Entirely Unrelated” How an Ideology Was Cleansed of Its Crimes

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Kyle Payne: Douchebasket

by mattttbastard

Re: the unwelcome return of Kyle Payne, pseudofeminist sex predator (y’all remember Kyle Payne, right?  Mr. Sensitive Male Sex Predator? Yes, that Kyle Payne), what Ren said:

You need to stop talking about sexism, violence against women, and rape, because you, Kyle, are a sexual predator. You need to stop linking to any sort of feminist or rape survivor blog, because you are part of the very reason such things are even needed. You should still be in jail, and the fact that you gloss over all this and still write as if you are a good little feminist man with credibility and actual concern is a fucking affront not even I can leave unchallenged. I may not be a big fan of radical anti porn feminism, but you are a fucking slap in the face to everything they stand for and you do not deserve to be in such company or even associated in the most tangent of ways with those women. And I promise you this…anyone who ever Googles your name- well, I will make it my personal mission to see that they know what you have done and what you really are. The first amendment allows me to do exactly that. All the self aggrandizing bullshit in the world will never change your actions: actions that you and you alone are responsible for, and the fact that you pretend like none of it ever happened, show no real remorse or responsibility, and go on with your life and writing like you give a crap about women, rape and feminism is nauseating. Do you get it, Kyle? You are a sex offender, you have no place in rape crisis situations, feminism, or around women at all.

Also, what he said:

(Now, now–don’t get any funny ideas, Kyle.)

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