Monday, February 17, 2014

As good as it gets: patriarchy and Mitt

Taking the sympathetic documentary Mitt at face value, it shows a patriarchal culture at its very best. The women in these men's lives are loved and respected, and their counsel taken as seriously as the men's, but they're not the deciders. I also thought it was interesting that the wives of the sons made it into the inner circle, as did some male outside staff, but no female outsiders. That's the one point I'll make that I haven't seen in other reviews. I don't know enough about Obama's campaign to know if a similar documentary would've looked different, but I hope so.

Beyond this, I'm not sure what to make of this portrait of a nice, self-aware, and unassuming man who lied and lied and lied and who, if he had been successful, would have semi-wittingly killed thousands through his actions on Obamacare and climate. It would be interesting to know more about the documentarian Whitely who filtered what we see, and why Romney's fellow Republican candidates in 2008 despised him so much.

Worth watching though!

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here:

It's not a patriarchy, though.

Bill Gates' mom has far more influence in politics and in corporate boardrooms than 95% of men.

Ownership of society is predicated in approximately this order:

1) Wealth
2) Sex
3) Race

and #2 and #3 are fighting over a very distant second place.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

My understanding is that the guy who made the film is a family friend of the Romney's. That might explain things.

Anonymous said...

"See Democrats, I truly am a good boy."

signed Brian "Chump" Schmidt

1

Anonymous said...

anon n

A summary of some of those lies is here: http://tinyurl.com/klrdka5

More complete compilation here: http://tinyurl.com/ku9vxug

Carbon footprint summarized here: http://tinyurl.com/qjla59z

Lies and lies and lies everywhere.

dhogaza said...

Anon 101a:

The film is about a particular person and organization, not society at large. Mitt's a devout mormon, and mormon culture is definitely patriarchical. Brian's description of the role of women in his world show him to be more modern-thinking than many mormons.

Anonymous 1, off the meds again, I see …

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here:
dhogaza: many "modern" monotheistic religions are male-centric. Mormonism is no different.

But many mormons are MINOs because of the obvious self-serving nature of these revelations. Many mormons leave the official faith (see Mr Deity) because of it.

But a woman in the Mormon faith will have better access than an atheist will in Utah (for example).

And a woman who accedes visibly to the power structure will do better than one within that structure who rails against it visibly. Often by others of the same sex (quite often by the mothers, for much the same reason why circumcision is pushed by the fathers: they're proving how they believe by how much they're willing to stress out in the ritual, and this will be rewarded).

Brian Dodge said...

Why does everybody call it Obamacare instead of Romneycare 2.0

Anonymous said...

Same reason we do not refer to the US Constitution as Constitution 51.

1

dhogaza said...

"dhogaza: many "modern" monotheistic religions are male-centric. Mormonism is no different."

Which of those religions does Mitt practice, therefore making them relevant to the documentary being discussed?

dhogaza said...

"Same reason we do not refer to the US Constitution as Constitution 51."

Articles of Confederation 2.0 would've been reasonable, however …

You do realize what the phrase "a more perfect union" refers to, right?

Oh, wait, this is Anon 1 … not likely …


Anonymous said...

Seems Dhogaza still does not get it. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

"You do realize what the phrase "a more perfect union" refers to, right?" But it seems you do not. Perhaps Obama can put forth some more edicts and re-write laws on the fly...

1

EliRabett said...

Goody, that means we can give Louisiana back to the French, and that emancipation proclamation thingee.....

Brian said...

Anon-101a: I tend to agree. OJ Simpson is a good example - he is black but he was rich, and the latter ended up more important than the former.

Still, race and sex matter. While the film is about Mitt, his culture is a subset of the larger culture. Thirty years ago I might not have noticed anything unusual about the gender roles in the film.

David B. Benson said...

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/filmmaker-greg-whiteley-gets-personal-romneys-mitt/
Note spelling of last name. He also has a column for Filmmaker magazine.

Anonymous said...

Eli once again compare apples to carrots. I am telling you Eli you need to remove the word "not" from your little bio, at least your students think so.

1

Bernard J. said...

I am telling Unit that you need to remove your fist from your wife's bloody face - at least, your wife thinks so.

Anonymous said...

Brian, it's called Obamacare because that term whistles up the base support against it, whilst Romneycare (actually more right than Romneycare was because Obama was still deluded into thinking that if he comes up with a compromise position at the beginning, it'll be allowed to pass, the moron thinks that just because he's a successful black man, that racism is mostly gone...) won't manage it.

Indeed, wasn't there a study that showed that if the name was Obamacare, acceptance of the points was MUCH lower than when it was labelled "medical aid" or something?

If Obama wants to pop out a compromise, he should have the "best for us" option in hand and tell the politiicans that if the compromise version isn't accepted by the opposition that the compromise version is off the table entirely.

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here (and it was me just above):
Brian: "Still, race and sex matter. "

Yeah, sorry to be entirely blunt here, but what about points 2 and 3 did you not get? Words too long? Numbers too big?

Wealth is #1, but within-group, there's no wealth differential. And a lack of mobility ensures that you don't get to change perspective. Add in gated communities and homeowner associations assuring that there is no mixing of groups, almost NOBODY will see people of a notably different wealth.

Part of why "I'm not rich, I only have a summer home in the USA, whilst the Jones' family have one in France!" is because of that lack of mix.

It's far less possible to change sex (or race) but society doesn't WANT to notice either any problems with wealth disparity, nor acknowledge the lack of opportunity to change your status within wealth bands.

So even though changing wealth is far more plausibly entertained in abstract, those far less capable of change are asserted for "reasons" why you're unable to move socially.

The glass ceiling exists for almost every man, and doesn't exist for some select women.

As long as the role of wealth can be elided, nobody will see anything can be done. Those able to get in won't see a problem, because they CAN get in, and in their circle, there aren't many women who want to do it, therefore it's "merely supply and demand".

Since they are the ones able to affect change, no change will happen. And at the same time, they will feel that it's "mostly fixed now". Because all evidence THEY have indicates so.

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here:

"Which of those religions does Mitt practice,"

And if Mitt stopped being a Mormon, would he stop being an arrogant prick, and think women are as worthy of success and opportunity as men?

No.

Are all followers of Mormonism patriarchy-practicing? No.

The *faith* and dogma of Mormonism is patriachy. It will self-select for those who ascribe to that world view. But the followers will span a range that includes those who think it a load of toss.

Brian said...

Anon-101a - the numbers were too high for me. Remember I'm a lawyer.

And relax - it's a comment thread, not a battlefield.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Eli, Romney is a hopeless liar, but your dear leader is a beacon of truth. Simply amazing.

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here:

But your point was pointless, Brian. It would have made no more sense than if I'd posted, re that response of yours:

"Yeah, but wealth is an important factor. As is sex and race!"

Unless wanting to see my words for their own sake, how the hell are you to infer what I'm doing when telling you that?

dhogaza said...

"And if Mitt stopped being a Mormon, would he stop being an arrogant prick, and think women are as worthy of success and opportunity as men?

No."

If he hadn't been raised a mormon, it is certainly possible that he'd think that women are as worthy of success and opportunity as men.

It probably wouldn't impact his being an arrogant prick, though.


"Are all followers of Mormonism patriarchy-practicing? No."

The vast majority are, though, and as i said earlier, Mitt's willingness to include women in the decision-making process (though not as "deciders") makes him more in touch with modern society than many mormons are.

In particular those in Utah. And even more particularly, those in Utah outside of SLC.

And, yes, I've spent quite a bit of time in mormon country, have worked with, around, etc mormons. I find many things to admire about mormon culture, in particular the vestigal communal aspects that still survive. I find other aspects to be out of step with my own cultural background.

That is all.

Indeed, IMO one of Mitt's major problems was that he is no George … (though Romneycare did give one hope, until he renounced it nationally in order to increase his chances of securing the nomination).


"The *faith* and dogma of Mormonism is patriachy. It will self-select for those who ascribe to that world view. But the followers will span a range that includes those who think it a load of toss."

Think bell cure, dude. Those who adhere to a religion will be more likely to adhere to the doctrines they are taught by their leadership, and the mormon church is about as hierarchical as the catholic church, in that pronouncements from the top are expected to be followed.

Yes, there are jack mormons who drink and smoke, too, but they're outliers and, to put it mildly, aren't looked up to as being stellar members of the mormon faith …

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here:
"And, yes, I've spent quite a bit of time in mormon country, have worked with, around, etc mormons"

So therefore your insistence that all mormons automatically ascribe to male ascendancy must be a shibboleth you created and placed upon them.

Or you don't, therefore you aren't disagreeing with me, but are posting disagreement anyway.

Anonymous said...

I believe Barry Bickmore is also a Mormon but is a sensible scientist. No reason to drag religion in to explain Romney. It's not THE defining issue.

Louise

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Anon101A,

Would being wealthy have helped Trayvon Martin?

Would it help a woman being pursued by a rapist?

Patriarchy is complex.

dhogaza said...

"So therefore your insistence that all mormons automatically ascribe to male ascendancy must be a shibboleth you created and placed upon them."

Never said that, liar.

Officially, however, that is the doctrine of the church, and mormons are supposed to follow church doctrine. Not all do. Romney's behavior is consistent with the doctrine of the church, and he is very public about his being a devout mormon.

Nothing wrong with his devout beliefs at all, though I don't share them.

The shibboleth *you* appear to be forcing on mormons is that you appear to believe most of them aren't devout followers of the doctrines of their faith.

That seems rather presumptive and, frankly, insulting, to me.

I mentioned "George" (his father, and an equally devout mormon) because by modern Republican standards, George Romney was a flaming liberal (one could argue that this is true even by modern centrist Dem standards). George was someone I could at least imagine myself voting for.

Mitt - no.

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here:

"Would being wealthy have helped Trayvon Martin?"

Yes.

"Would it help a woman being pursued by a rapist?"

Yes.

"Patriarchy is complex."

Patriarchy isn't why either of the two cases you brought up happens.

Anonymous said...

Anon n+1

Billionaires are buying the elections: http://tinyurl.com/oxgmhk9

Steyer will contribute $50 million himself and is seeking to raise the rest from other wealthy donors, the report said.

It comes after Steyer has already spent $50 million on elections over the last couple of years.