VIDEO: "Joni grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so she'll know how to cut pork!" -- At least according to the popular TV political advertisement of U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa Republican). This ad was recently recalled during a recap of the top news stories of the year by the "NBC Meet the Press" television show. In my opinion, Ernst's mixture of sex, gender and power politics is so rich that analyzing it would make a good Ph.D. thesis. Clearly, Ernst was trying to convey with this ad that she had the balls to fight the men in Washington, D.C. for the power required to protect Iowa's political interests in Congress. The title of her video is an oblique reference to a movie where a man was forced to squeal like a pig when he was being anally raped -- a deep fear of many men because it represents being subjugated like a woman. (See Joni Ernst, "Squeal," Youtube.com uploaded Mar. 24, 2014 and her political campaign site JoniForIowa.com)
I was raised in Minnesota and therefore I was infused with the ethic of the corn-fed Iowa farmer at the Minnesota State Fair each year where rural 4-H farm kids would proudly show off prize winning hogs they had raised. It is clear to me from listening to Joni Ernst that she was infused with similar imagery, but had rejected the 1950's values of gender and power that would have insisted she grow up to be the dutiful farm wife and not a U.S. Senator who is expected to fight like a man to defend the State of Iowa during negotiations in any Washington, D.C. power struggles.
It is ironic that a conservative woman Republican would be elected from Iowa just a few decades after liberal Democrats led the equal rights movement for women in the 20th Century when the vast majority of Republicans and perhaps a majority of Democrats believed that a "women's place is in the home, barefoot, pregnant and raising the children." The "women's liberation movement," as it was called, and post-Stonewall "gay liberation" movement, were both considered to be so radical by most Republicans and even perhaps a majority of Democrats that they were vigorously opposed. Looking back, perhaps they were right it was radical given the radical social changes that have occurred during the last Century that are now considered good and normal, such as women in the workplace and same-sex marriages in the majority of states.
On a different but related note, I will be soon talking to the Oregon State University Professor Susan Shaw (also see Personal Website of Susan Shaw) concerning her research ideas and I hope to post about it in the future. In preparation for the meeting, I was able to download and read the Curriculum Vitae of Susan Shaw and was interested to find out she had written a paper in 199 on "S.C.U.M. Manifesto" that is in the book by Carl Singleton, "The Sixties in America," Salem Press, March 1999. It is related to the murder of the famous artist Andy Warhol who I was in love with back in the 1960's. (See SCUM Manifesto From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and SCUM Manifesto (Google Books) 2004 edition searchable)
See previous posts
- Wojnarowicz, Warhol, Smithsonian censorship and the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers zipper art (12/18/10)
- Gender bender Betty Crocker in OSU Class of 1936 (9/1/14) - I applaud the recent news of Oregon State University Professor Susan Shaw receiving a National Science Foundation grant for research on how to increase the percentage of OSU women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Another note to myself for a future blog post -- the newspaper article by Alex Paul, "'What's important is that we continue to tell stories,'" gazettetimes.com posted Jan. 7, 2015 profiles the retirement of a local reporter Graham Kislingbury who received his degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in Eugene where he had worked on the student newspaper int he 1970's when the managing editor was Randy Shilts who went on to become a famous San Francisco Chronicle reporter during the AIDS criss of the 1980's. Shilts also wrote the books wrote "And The Band Played On" about the AIDS epidemic, "The Mayor of Castro Street" about Harvey Milk and "Conduct Unbecoming" about gays in the military.