Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Uppity women...

This morning, Bill told me about a woman facing criminal charges for sending classified information to an online news source.  The 25 year old woman, name of Reality Leigh Winner (oh my God, really?), allegedly leaked intelligence to a media outlet.  Ms. Winner, apparently not living up to the promise of her last name, was working as an intelligence contractor in Augusta, Georgia.  She evidently decided to violate a federal law that prohibits the improper release of classified government information.  She is now in deep doo doo with the feds.

The information Ms. Winner leaked had to do with Russian attempts to hack the 2016 presidential elections.  I asked Bill why the Russians were apparently so interested in our elections and if it would be okay if we did the same to them (and we probably have).  Bill said, "Because they didn't want Hillary Clinton to win.  She's an 'uppity woman' who was very much in favor of levying heavier sanctions on Russia."

I do get a kick out of the word, "uppity".  It's kind of a southernism.  It is defined thusly:

I often hear this word used by people who think someone is acting higher than their station in life.  In less enlightened times, I might expect to hear a man describe an especially assertive woman as "uppity".  Or maybe a white person might use it to describe a rebellious black person whom they felt was "putting on airs".  Some parents might describe an intractable child as "uppity", although I think it's used more often toward people whose fate somehow permanently consigns them to being perceived as of a "lower status", for whatever reason.   

I think there are still a lot of people out there who believe certain other people have no right to speak their minds.  If a woman does it, a certain segment of the population might admire her.  Another large segment will think she needs to sit down, shut up, and color, simply because she's a woman. If a poor person speaks out against being mistreated while applying for welfare benefits, certain employed people will express disbelief that they had the nerve to complain.  Some people don't think non-whites have the right to complain about anything, especially if they also happen to be illegal immigrants.  

For the record, I don't necessarily think Reality Leigh Winner is "uppity".  I don't know enough about her to determine that.  I only mention her because her story was what got Bill to mention Hillary Clinton, whom many people seem to think is uppity.  If I'm honest, I will admit that I have never been a fan of Mrs. Clinton's.  I admire her for all she's been able to accomplish in her life.  I think she's amazingly driven and her dogged determination to win is very impressive.  However, I agree with many of those who see her flaws as a leader.  While I would certainly prefer her to Donald Trump, I wouldn't have wanted to see her as president.  And that, really, has nothing to do with the fact that she's female.  However, I think some people feel she's "cheeky" for her determination to win the presidency.  They think she should shut up and go away.  Some people feel that way simply because Mrs. Clinton is a woman.

This topic comes up in the wake of a very small shitstorm that I wrote about yesterday.  A former Facebook friend took issue when I wrote about my dislike of "dishonest memes".  He happened to be the catalyst of that post, although I was not writing specifically about him, per se.  That post was about anyone who shares memes or essays wrongly attributed to people.  I have written about that phenomenon before; the person who inspired the first post is a female friend who, fortunately, wasn't upset or threatened by my decision to express myself.  We're still friends today.    

I have noticed that in the wake of that post, many people from the Deep South are now stalking my blog.  They repeatedly hit the post about Dishonest Memes and the one I wrote yesterday.  I'm intrigued by their interest in those two specific posts, which are really not that earth shattering.  It appears the posts are being shared among friends and family and these folks are looking for some kind of action on them.   

This about sums it up.

The funny thing is, the person who inspired my post about dishonest memes had originally expressed admiration for George Carlin's policy of not "pulling any punches".  Many people loved Carlin for telling it like it is and expressing himself.  Of course, a lot of people did not like Carlin.  My dad was one such person.  He found Carlin disrespectful and vulgar, especially when Carlin would denigrate the government, the Republican party, or the military.  He would get very offended by Carlin's use of profanity.  Perhaps he thought George Carlin was "uppity", too.  What right did Carlin have to criticize the government?  How dare he express his ideas in such vulgar and outspoken terms?  

My dad had the same disdain for me whenever he thought I was getting too big for my britches and needed to be taken down a peg.  He would tell me that nobody cared about my opinions and that I had no right to say things that he deemed offensive or rude.  In short, I needed to be reminded of my station as a lowly female, and not a very attractive one at that... How dare I express myself?  In his opinion, I needed to keep my mouth shut and my legs crossed.

I'm baffled as to why it's okay and even admirable for George Carlin to "pull no punches", but it's not okay for me to do it on a little read blog?  Is it because I'm not famous?  Is it because I don't have a penis?  Is it because my comments are somehow "out of line" or wrong?    

My dad, who died in July 2014, put on a uniform every day for over twenty years, in part, to preserve my right to express myself.  However, he didn't appreciate it when I said things he didn't like.  He didn't want to hear someone like George Carlin or Hillary Clinton be outspoken.  I think my dad loved the idea of "free speech and expression", especially to certain privileged segments of the population, but he didn't necessarily love the practice of it...  unless it was something he wanted to hear.  I don't think that's necessarily an uncommon position, by the way.  I often get angry comments from people who don't like some of the things I write.  I, too, get annoyed when someone says something I don't like.  I fully admit to being a hypocrite.  It's just another one of those things I have to work on in my life.

One of the reasons I love most of George Carlin's comedy is that he often made a lot of sense.  He enjoyed pointing out double standards and hypocrisy and got a huge kick out of pissing off people who take themselves and others a little too seriously.  I think we all do that from time to time-- myself included.  

You folks who are stalking my blog should know that I appreciate the attention and the hits, but there's really not much to see here.  I only expressed my opinion, which I feel very fortunate to be able to do, since I live in a free society.    

I don't know if I come across as "uppity" to everyone... I know a lot of people, especially military and certain southern folks, think I do.  My own father thought I did.  But anyway, I really am just an "overeducated housewife" and I don't have much more going on other than writing my blog, making music, doing housework, reading books and looking after my dogs.  

So I will keep on writing... though not on this subject.  I'm done writing about "dishonest memes" for now, so it may be time for you to move on to your next channel on the Internet.  Or stalk me if you must.  I profit from the attention.

Here's a little Carlin for those who need a reminder...

Incidentally, the above routine is one where I think Carlin missed the mark a little bit, since he seems to imply that rape is only about sex.  Rape is not just about sex; it's about power and abuse.  But I do agree that you can joke about anything.  And we will always need "uppity people" who aren't afraid to speak their minds, no matter who it offends.  


  1. Well said.

    And for the record, I don't think you're "uppity." You're just an honest person who calls 'em as you see 'em.

    1. I don't think I'm uppity, either. I'm actually pretty cool. ;)

  2. As I'm one of those from the deep south you've seen reading more lately I just want to clarify that I've followed for awhile. We have a friend in common (Jessica B) and she shared your blog some time ago. Periodically I read your posts and here lately I've read a lot because I agree with you on a lot of topics.
    Just wanted you to know that some of us Southerners are here with good intentions. :)

    1. Don't worry. I happen to be a proud Southerner myself. ;)

    2. And thank you very much for reading. It's nice to know there are people who like my posts.


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