Kingston After Dark: World without women

Pop-up mural from Whitney Luedtke at last weekend’s O-Positive fest.

It is pathetic that more people on social media were talking about the Khabib Nurmagomedov-versus-Conor McGregor UFC match last weekend than the impending doom of America. A trust-fund brat, tax scheming and criminal president backed by a treasury-raiding GOP and Putin have decided to flood the courts with troglodyte throwback judges who want to destroy the autonomy of women and make a mockery out of modernity. America was never a perfect union, rather a promise, and one very lopsided in favor of some over others.

It’s not startling that people would be more supportive of toxic machismo and ego conflict than fights that actually matter. After all, we’re in such a hair-pulling timeline lacking any logic, where Evangelicals support a liar-in-chief who cheats on his pregnant wife (without even using a condom) and who says that if global warming is going to kill us all, we should just accelerate the process and not bother with emissions regulation. These moron Republicans really believe no regulations are the answer to everything, but it’s only ever the answer to their greedy prayers. Economic reality and market crashes be damned, let’s just repeat the cycle again and again until it all breaks and then blame the apocalypse on homosexuals and “triggered libtards” — peoplewho actually care about empathy and human rights — right? Trickle-down economics was always a lie and except now they don’t even try to pretend anymore. Mitch McConnell, the bug-eyed turtle demon who no one picked for kickball but who has a deep love of bullies and jocks like Trump and Kavanaugh, laughs at us all as we fail to general strike en masse even as there is zero reason a single Trump-era court appointee from low to high courts should count until after Mueller concludes the probe.


Even after an incredibly inspiring O+ Festival I am nonetheless feeling pretty discouraged getting back to reality. Yet there is scant time for that because the hour grows late. We need to be tough right now, while remembering to nurture the candle flame of our sensitivity even as we step into our battle armor. On the plus side, Kanye West quit social media again this week after enough “radical activists” and average folks who don’t think babies should be in cages finally told him he was sexist, brainwashed by MAGA and that he should read a book. I hope they also go after Kim Kardashian next for enabling him and for selling pro-anorexia lollipops, as well as using Trump as a photo op to help Kanye’s crappy recent half-baked rambling albums still not come close to selling as much as Taylor Swift’s Reputation. Karma is real. It is fitting that Swift played her last show of the record-breaking and historical North American leg of the Reputation tour the night before Ye again fled social media in disgrace back to his bubble of machismo and denial, fresh after putting XXXtentacion and 6ix9ine on his new album brazenly during one of the most sexist weeks in American history (which is saying something).

Swift is the talented woman who Kim and Kanye lied about in poorly edited Snapchat videos, who never really agreed to be called a “bitch” in Kanye’s song “Famous,” who had her body used as a naked prop as a wax replica in a Kanye video where he put her in bed with Bill Cosby and Trump and said he thought she basically owed him sex for “making” her career. This, even though she had already outsold him many times over well before he jumped onstage at a fan-voted award when she was 19 and he was a grown man in his 30s. This is the woman who chose to deplatform, rather than massively signal boost, Nazis (who love good or bad press) and made the whole Rep tour about boosting LGBTQ — from Todrick Hall to Hayley Kyoko — while playing to diverse crowds and lifting other women like Camila Cabello every night. Thank God America has someone powerful enough like that in music — a woman who has managed to carve out her own space and establish a micro-nation of Swifties inside this disgustingly sexist time. I can’t wait for her to play the AMAs soon and perform new song “I Did Something Bad” where she sings of Kanye and multiple bad-faith exes: “If a man talks shit then I owe him nothing.”

There is a perverse urge in this country to impart Stockholm Syndrome on all of our strongest women and make them accept the worst as normal, accept being degraded in song after song and in so many situations in daily life. Ever notice how millions of men on rock history have songs about bad ex-girlfriends but if Swift does it she is considered a slut? Maybe men are just thin-skinned about taking criticism back. She seems happy in a relationship now and there is nothing wrong with dating people until you find the right match. That is much better than the old-fashioned optics of a happy home where many people hide black eyes and souls blackened with misery.

I am devoting a lot of column space to this topic this week because it affects all of us. The sacred feminine is what is going to heal the world. Not that all industrialization and imperialism is gendered as male, but Gaia is considered a nurturing mother for a reason. There are so many women in this community, whether cis or trans, who have made my life better and who are consistently inspiring, strong, optimistic, passionate and focused on finding ways to heal society even through the darkest times. Sadly, and in defiance and/or disregard of the sacred masculine, a lot of dudes make excuses for anything, never try to improve or be objective and are exceptionally defensive if their male privilege is even slightly questioned. May I add that making abortion illegal does not stop abortion, it rather makes it less safe?

In Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time saga (soon to be adapted for an Amazon series), the male side of magic is corrupted by evil and covered like an oil slick from being accessed without driving men insane until a hero can lift the curse. Sounds like toxic and controlling gender roles to me.

If you care about this city and your fellow citizens, please — march, sing, do all the things that really make us great. Educate the fallen if you can but also realize many bad-faith actors are out there nowadays who want to do harm and wear people down. I feel wrong to promote a single event this week other than to please ask that you empower the women in your life, online or on line at the grocery store. Young or old. Support female artists this week even more. Check your local calendars and activist circles. Even taking time to sit with a friend just to check in and have a loving conversation. Without that as a starting point, we don’t have life, let alone a nightlife.

There is one comment

  1. LT

    Don’t forget — a credibly accused predator lives among us in the Hudson Valley. See “Bad Moon Rising” series in this very publication for more details. Keep your eyes open, ladies.

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