Profanity Versus the Truly Profane

Written by Chris Daly. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on January 11, 2010 with 48 Comments


Supervisor Chris Daly
Photo by Luke Thomas

By Chris Daly, special to FogCityJournal.com

January 11, 2010

For 2010, I vow to use the word “fuck” in each of my remaining Board of Supervisors meetings.

A funny little status update on Facebook – 15 seconds to compose and share with my group of on-line friends. A minute more to link to the context, the Bay Guardian’s Worst of 2009 column, where I was tsk-tsked for my use of the word at a December Board meeting.

But the update struck a chord in my Facebook community. By days end it received more “Likes” and comments than any other post I’ve made. By the end of the week, this post had generated me more than 100 new Facebook friend requests.

Within my circle of friends, mostly activists and progressives, there is a genuine frustration with the state of politics and the status quo. For those of us who were so energized and worked hard in 2008 to elect the change we could believe in, it was difficult last year to stomach the mortgaging of our future to Wall Street and subsequent healthcare sellout to the likes of Joe Lieberman. Or put more eloquently by one of my more soft-spoken, but well-respected constituents…

“Once again you have expressed how many of us feel. Fucked.

One year ago, despite confirmation worldwide that the plutocrats who own our nations had done their worst, I felt that some good things would happen in 2009. Coming into 2010, I felt depressed and helpless.  With great efforts and lots of time some of us might accomplish a few good deeds, but they feel like minor concessions granted by the powerful to distract us. We are unable to change the system nor, it seems, improve it. Greed, meanness and cronyism have become permanently ingrained.”

Meanwhile, at the local level, we’ve been bogged down by budget cuts and have had most of our progressive initiatives blocked. In the last few years, with local dollars short, we’ve heard endless hours of public testimony on the worst of budget cuts – meals for homebound seniors, services for people living with AIDS/HIV, shelter for homeless people, mental health services for victims of violent crimes.  Some of the cuts we’ve been able to stop, but many have gone through. Meanwhile, when we’ve tried to slow recession-related evictions or grant due process to immigrant youth, the Mayor has wielded his veto pen or simply refused to enact the laws we pass.

“It’s impossible to get anything done in our city. The age-old combination self-interest, cowardice and obscurantism. Our state magnifies the problems. Our country is awash in it. Isn’t it refreshing to learn that instead of all those laments we can spare the air by uttering just one word? Chris has done it again.”

None of this explains, of course, why a little Facebook status update caught wildfire in the mainstream press. In 2010, is the work “fuck” really so provocative that it’s national news when someone says they’re going to say it? Certainly not. I think George Carlin took care of that in the 70’s.

The interest in this story from the media is its offbeat sensationalism – a politician vowing to use profanity in the public forum. That’s not something you hear everyday. No policy is being defeated. No program is getting cut. No one is getting hurt. But that wasn’t the case with my Facebook update the previous day…

We’re getting our asses handed to us at the Air District by industry, developers, and politicians. Sorry clean air.

At Wednesday’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District meeting, new guidelines to begin to deal with environmental injustice by cleaning up the region’s most polluted communities were set to be adopted. Environmentalists and families who lost loved ones to cancer testified en masse to support the new guidelines. The opponents were some of the most powerful special interests including oil companies. Even though the District’s mission is to clean the air, the votes on the Board weren’t there for the new guidelines. By definition, we were considering a life and death issue (the guidelines deal with number of allowable deaths.) The communities in question, where people are 4 times more likely to die of cancer, are disproportionately low-income and communities of color. That’s right, environmental racism was in full effect in that Boardroom, but there was hardly a peep from the press. (The only report appeared in the Contra Costa Times.) I guess I should have called it “fucking environmental racism!”

While the bias is typically more veiled, the decisions in City Hall haven’t been any better. In the time I’ve been around, we have given some of the world’s largest corporations hundreds of millions of dollars. We rewarded our highest-paid employees with lavish raises, while laying off lower-paid, front line workers who tend to be women of color. We took away tens of millions of dollars that was supposed to be for affordable housing. We ran homeless people out of drop-in centers. We turned over the last significant swath of undeveloped land to a rogue developer and received a bunch of campaign cash. We doubled MUNI fares and cut service.

As far as I know, we did all of this without using any bad words. The establishment is adept at delivering the truly profane without using any profanity. Representing entrenched power is downtown’s political leader, Gavin Newsom. He has taken the lead on delivering the truly profane at City Hall. That’s probably why he was so offended that I would use the word “fuck” at the Board of Supervisors, saying, “What other City would put up with this for so long? This is just one in a serious of acts and actions that doesn’t just appear to be petulant, it is petulant.”

Now, keep in mind, that is the same Gavin Newsom that fucked his appointments secretary. She was his best friend’s wife at the time, so it’s fair to say that he fucked his best friend too. That’s probably why it’s so difficult to believe the man’s righteous indignation.

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy for those of us who are challenging the status quo. Justice does not flow effortlessly like a river. We need to use each and every tool at our disposal. It can mean stepping on toes and ruffling feathers. It sometimes means saying things that people don’t like. But I can say for sure, after 9 years in City Hall, little words are not what is truly profane.

“You have made the city more affordable for many people who have suffered the most.  You exposed corruption and taught me about the hypocrisy of journalism.  Now you have captured in one very descriptive word what I had been using many tedious sentences to express–fuck.”

I vow to challenge the status quo, to fight for justice using every tool at my disposal, in each of my remaining Board of Supervisors meetings. I will ruffle feathers and step on toes. And I will certainly say things that some people don’t like.

Chris Daly

Chris Daly

Chris Daly is the Political Director for SEIU Local 1021, a union of over 50,000 public sector and non-profit workers. He served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2001-2011 and owns and operates The Buck, a bar and grill on Market Street.

More Posts - Website

48 Comments

Comments for Profanity Versus the Truly Profane are now closed.

  1. Thank you, marc, for your well presented and substantive post above. I’m glad to see that we are reaching a level of intelligent and mature dialog. We continue to disagree on some things, but we also have areas of agreement.

    Some responses follow.

    You say:

    “I recently learned that Mary Daly, who was a lesbian separatist, managed to alienate transgender people because she referred to them as Frankensteins.”

    Mary Daly was wrong about transgender people and also a number of other issues.

    However, her strength was to show that the mentality and energy that created God the Father permeated many non-religious areas, including politics.

    You say:

    “Mary Daly’s formulation of ecofeminism greatly influenced my political development even though she had no place for males like me in her politics …”

    You seem to have overlooked passages in her work such as the following:

    “The becoming of women implies universal human becoming. It has everything to do with the search for ultimate meaning and reality, which some would call God.”

    “This is beginning to encourage and in fact demand a comparably liberating process in men.”

    You say:

    “Daly was so invested into the gender duality upon which her conception of patriarchal oppression was rooted that any ambiguity threatened that framework…”

    You appear to have missed the following:

    “The becoming of androgynous human persons implies a radical change in the fabric of human consciousness and in styles of human behavior.”

    You say:

    “The difference here is that in all societies, there are homosexuals who have sex in ways that do not promote the greater social norms. But not all patriarchal societies have the same gender dualisms as we’ve grown accustomed to in puritanical America.”

    I haven’t seen Mary Daly deny any of this.

    You say:

    “My position is that patriarchy is the magnetizing feature in sexuality, and that both gender and sex are peers to patriarchal oppression, intersecting to some extents but largely independent of each other, more so defined by their common relationship to patriarchy.

    Mary Daly would pretty much agree with this formulation.

    You say:

    “lesbians and gay men are not oppressed for violating gender norms, no, we are oppressed for how we LOVE and how we FUCK.”

    We are oppressed for all of the above.

    You say:

    “the powerful actors in progressive politics are the nonprofits, because they have the money and they have been granted the access to power ostensibly on our behalf. Yet there is no accountability whatsoever for these nonprofits.”

    We agree on this point.

    You say:

    “Once upon a time, up until 2005 or so, progressives had found their groove, and were legislating productively.”

    The new progressive board that came into power in 2001 raised everyone’s hopes, including mine. But they’re just another bunch of cheesy politicians now.

    You say:

    “Whatever it is, progressives are not adapting, and as the good ecofeminists in Mary Daly’s spirit, we all know that unless we adapt to adverse conditions in the various environments we inhabit, we die.”

    We agree on this point.

    You say:

    “We are at a moment of political transition, of economic and political crisis.”

    Agreed. What is needed now is what Mary Daly called “existential courage”:

    “This becoming who we really are requires existential courage to confront the experience of nothingness.”

    “This confrontation with the anxiety of nonbeing is revelatory, making possible the relativization of structures that are seen as human products, and therefore not absolute and ultimate. It drives consciousness beyond fixation upon ‘things as they are.’ Courage to be is the key to the revelatory power of the feminist revolution.”

  2. I agree with Arthur that we need balance to the male energy on the Board of Supervisors. But I recently learned that Mary Daly, who was a lesbian separatist, managed to alienate transgender people because she referred to them as Frankensteins.

    To many trans folks the hurt that this position meant to them is understandably significant. But to my mind, as abhorrent as remarks like that are, human beings are always conflicted and bring to the table both good and bad aspects of their being.

    So Mary Daly’s formulation of ecofeminism greatly influenced my political development even though she had no place for males like me in her politics, and even though she did not evolve past her time to adjust her position to transgendered folks to new norms.

    My read is that Daly was so invested into the gender duality upon which her conception of patriarchal oppression was rooted that any ambiguity threatened that framework and her life’s work, and instead of incorporating new developments into her theoretical framework, she just boxed it up and closed it in to protect it and her investment in it.

    It also seems that Daly’s death exposed to me a fault line in queer theory, between the feminist oriented theories of homophobia and the newer gender theory. Feminist theory departs from the position that patriarchy, like racism, is a defining oppressive narrative of our time. As such, whatever patriarchy touches is magnetized to further patriarchal control.

    Under feminist theory lesbians and gays are oppressed because patriarchy commands nuclear heterosexual families and imposes sexual restrictions to achieve this. Lesbians and gays are oppressed under this model because our sexuality is not geared towards reproduction of patriarchy, rather towards desire.

    Gender theory approaches it differently, although it does depart from a similar point, that patriarchy does indeed magnetize oppression, only gender theory asserts that there are certain defined gender roles, that may or may not have a sexual component, the violation of which results in sanction.

    The difference here is that in all societies, there are homosexuals who have sex in ways that do not promote the greater social norms. But not all patriarchal societies have the same gender dualisms as we’ve grown accustomed to in puritanical America.

    Getting back to Daly, I’d long been curious as to why there was a rupture between gender and feminist conceptions of homophobia. One possible reason for this has to do with her ecofeminism, connection to nature, and how so much of transgender folks living their lives as they see fit is dependent upon artificiality, on nurture.

    Going back to the Pleistocene to the cusp of humans moving from hunter gatherers to sedentary agriculture (the Eden myth), where humans shifted from being “part of nature” to expressing patriarchal control over nature, one could imagine that there were homosexuals whose sexual practice did nothing to stabilize the emerging settlements, but probably few if any transgender folks, given the lack of economic surplus with which to craft gender’s social signifiers.

    My position is that patriarchy is the magnetizing feature in sexuality, and that both gender and sex are peers to patriarchal oppression, intersecting to some extents but largely independent of each other, more so defined by their common relationship to patriarchy.

    Who knows if this is true, but to bring this back full circle, lesbians and gay men are not oppressed for violating gender norms, no, we are oppressed for how we LOVE and how we FUCK.

    At some point, democracy gets turned into a big “game,” and that “game” gets rigged against us. What is the proper response then? To sit by and keep a chair warm as the votes always come out 7-4, and the majority of San Franciscans as represented by district elections lose to the slim majority of San Franciscans as represented by a winner take all Mayor?

    We can all do the math, and our resources are better spent more strategically.

    But the exhaustion of the greater progressive project is partially a function of its success. Again, the powerful actors in progressive politics are the nonprofits, because they have the money and they have been granted the access to power ostensibly on our behalf. Yet there is no accountability whatsoever for these nonprofits.

    All too often, the nonprofit mafiosi capos are heterosexual white college educated men, predominantly of the post-war boomer ethos, the most entitled generation to ever walk the planet, who are living under circumstances diametrically opposed to those who their nonprofits ostensibly assist. And given that they are self-made saints who have sacrificed great things to help the least amongst us, when their funding is threatened, they act as if they are a junkie at 16th and MIssion who is combing through the cracks in the sidewalk for another rock of taxpayer smack to stick up their veins.

    Thus, you see powerful entitled white guys beating up not only on “the conservatives,” who look a whole lot like the nonorpfit capos, on communities of color, on poor folks and on voting progressives and liberals in order to preserve their franchise. Of course, this single mindedness sucks the oxygen out of the room for translating progressive electoral sentiment into public policy. And it serves power well in that once the designated stakeholders have been funded, the funding is conditioned upon attacking former allies to ensure that nothing changes.

    Once upon a time, up until 2005 or so, progressives had found their groove, and were legislating productively. Whether Gonzalez left the Board because of this, or whether his absence exacerbated the trend, whether the disappearance of Willie Brown from the scene eliminated a useful boogie man, whether Newsom’s play to D8 with same sex marriage kept progressives from every winning D8 (at least until Prop 8), critical mass for the progressive project began to evaporate, a trend which is not abated.

    Part of this is that power has evolved and progressives have not responded to that evolution by evolving in kind. Part of that is a product of progressive success in neutralizing nonprofits by providing stable funding during the previous economy. Whatever it is, progressives are not adapting, and as the good ecofeminists in Mary Daly’s spirit, we all know that unless we adapt to adverse conditions in the various environments we inhabit, we die.

    Progressives adapted in 2000, but power has adapted to match us. The ball is in our court, and the problems we face are existential more so than the product of frustrated white males in power.

    Barack Obama is learning the lesson that Matt Gonzalez has yet to grasp, that when you raise people’s political expectations with promises of progressive policies and don’t deliver on your promises, either by switching sides or dropping out, that folks are turned off to politics, turned off to future receptiveness of a progressive message.

    Of course, oppression is easily magnetized, it is always easy to get power to coalesce behind its preservation, always easy to get males to express misogyny to keep women down, always easy to get hets to beat on on queers at the ballot box, always easy to get white folks riled up about people of color.

    Resistance and liberation, on the other hand, do not come as easily magnetizable vectors. There are no manuals, no guideposts, we as participatory citizens in a democracy are rolling our own out of whole cloth. And that is the greatest threat to the consensus corporate liberalism that is selling out what was good about the US on the altar of economic and political sharia.

    We are at a moment of political transition, of economic and political crisis. Either we rise to the occasion and figure out how to check unaccountable power and the damage it is doing to our communities, or we will end up with some sort of Chinese model of authoritarian capitalism. And that would be most certainly FUCKED.

  3. Thank you, Greg Kamin, for your willingness to continue this worthwhile and interesting dialog on feminism.

    You say:

    “I could throw in a few choice words about the purveyors of your favored ideologies. But this is an article about Chris Daly, not Mary Daly.”

    This is a tale of two Dalys. However, you and Chris Daly see but one. That’s the problem.

    You say:

    “So I’ll just say that there’s nothing profound about hatred masquerading as philosophy, and leave it at that.”

    I agree. I hope you will also agree with the following statements by Mary Daly about creative anger:

    “The burst of anger and creativity made possible in the presence of one’s sisters is an experience of becoming whole, of overcoming the division with the self that makes nothingness block the dynamism of being.”

    “Since women are dealing with demonic power relationships, that is with structured evil, rage is required as a positive creative force, making possible a breakthrough, encountering the blockages of inauthentic structures.”

    You say:

    “you keep lambasting progressives for not having enough women on the board (and lambaste me for saying that I care about issues rather than superficial gender quotas). But then when I call your own lack of support for women…”

    Our local progressive sect has pushed out both women and women’s concerns from its horizons. The few women whom it has supported have been weak on women’s issues.

    You say:

    “and your pretending to be a woman yourself -WTF is that all about anyway?”

    Why on earth would a man use a woman’s handle to challenge a patriarchal sect to come to terms with the sisterhood of men?

    Well, think about it a bit.

    You say:

    “Who appointed you the arbiter of what is and is not a women’s issue, and who is or is not sufficiently pure on those issues?”

    I’m just expressing my own views on a topic, feminism, that concerns us all, both men and women.

    However, if you prefer, I suggest you skip over all my words in this thread and just read the words of Mary Daly.

    You’ll get the point.

  4. The issue is not men’s or women’s issues. It’s about gender. OK, so some dysfunctional, crackerjack sociologist has become a millionaire telling us all about how and why the concerns of women AND MEN need to be considered in respect of most issues. But this does not address the above. I am an expert on women. Believe it or not, my mother is one, and so strangely enough is my sister. BUT I refuse to have any woman sit in on our annual poker session down in Reno (except the ones who bring us the drinks) .
    Love live peoplehood, no to discrimination (except when I say so), and roll on roll off.

    AJ

  5. Is Chris Daly still in town?

  6. Arthur, I could throw in a few choice words about the purveyors of your favored ideologies. But this is an article about Chris Daly, not Mary Daly. So I’ll just say that there’s nothing profound about hatred masquerading as philosophy, and leave it at that.

    Beyond that, your response makes no sense at all. On the one hand, you keep lambasting progressives for not having enough women on the board (and lambast me for saying that I care about issues rather than superficial gender quotas). But then when I call your own lack of support for women (and your pretending to be a woman yourself -WTF is that all about anyway?), you backpedal and say that feminism isn’t just a women’s issue. You can’t have it both ways.

    Who appointed you the arbiter of what is and is not a women’s issue, and who is or is not sufficiently pure on those issues?

  7. Thank you, Greg, for your thoughtful post above. You touch on some important issues that deserve a greater public airing but are rarely discussed. Good for you for raising them! Below are some responses.

    You say:

    “A man (Arthur) masquerading as a woman (Ruth) having the audacity to tell us who’s good on women’s issues and who’s not!”

    Feminism is not just a woman’s issue. Feminism affects everyone. That’s what our local progressive sect still doesn’t get.

    On this point, you may want to reflect on the following statement by feminist philosopher Mary Daly:

    “In self liberation women are performing the most effective action possible toward universal human liberation, making available to men the fullness of human being that is lost in sexual hierarchy.”

    You say:

    “Hey Arthur, where what side were you on when Eileen Hansen was running against Bevan Dufty?”

    Eileen Hansen turned her back on the concerns of women in her district about public safety and sanitation. Bevan Dufty, on the other hand, respected these concerns.

    The problem with our local progressive sect is that the women whom it supports as candidates commonly show no interest in women’s concerns, or are just plain goofy.

    Witness the campaign of Alix Rosenthal against Bevan Dufty. She said her goal was to make SF more “freaky” – at a time when women were getting more worried about public safety caused by the misbehavior of men.

    You say:

    “Personally, I could care less what they have in their pants. I care about issues.”

    Here you show typical male blindness about women’s issues.

    Guess what? – The personal is the political, the sexual is the political, gender is political.

    Feminist consciousness brings all of these connections into the light and draws out the far-reaching implications.

    As Mary Daly said:

    “The becoming of women in sisterhood is the countercultural phenomenon par excellence which can indicate the future course of human spiritual evolution.”

    You say:

    “But when you start yanking my chain and telling me that it’s about something that you clearly, demonstrably (based on your history), could really care less about, that’s (to use a Daly-ism) F***ed up.”

    Umm, there’s a book you may want to read:

    “Critique of Patriarchal Reason: A New View of Reason, Gender and Meaning.”

    Bottom line:

    The brotherhood of men is no longer enough. The sisterhood of women has shown us that we also need something else: the sisterhood of men.

    Our local progressive sect, and Chris Daly above all, has no understanding at all of what the above statement means.

  8. This is really funny! A man (Arthur) masquerading as a woman (Ruth) having the audacity to tell us who’s good on women’s issues and who’s not!

    Hey Arthur, where what side were you on when Eileen Hansen was running against Bevan Dufty? Lynne Newhouse Segal vs Gavin Newsom? Christine Linnenbach vs. Sean Elsbernd? Carole Migden vs. Mark Leno? Jaynry Mak vs whoever that guy the mayor supported was? Um, yeah. Thought so.

    Personally, I could care less what they have in their pants. I care about issues. Rent control, immigrant rights, poverty, health care, sick leave, environmental justice, open government… these are all women’s issues and they’re all men’s issues.

    It’s fine if you disagree on these and other issues. Healthy debate is good. But when you start yanking my chain and telling me that it’s about something that you clearly, demonstrably (based on your history), could really care less about, that’s (to use a Daly-ism) F***ed up. Especially when you do it disingenuously under an assumed name that leads people to believe that you are something you are not.

    But to Chris… this illustrates my original point. The Right knows they can’t win on the issues. The people of San Francisco are completely in agreement on just about all the issues progressives stand for. So they’ll obfuscate, and try to rework the system to their advantage, based on PC issues and scapegoats that hide their true motivations. If you make yourself enough of a lightning rod, they’ll succeed. Don’t give them that opportunity!

  9. The deterioration of SF progressivism into a patriarchal sect during the last ten years is a source of sadness to all who remember better days.

    I remember a time when SF progressivism was not a sect, but a popular movement. It was open to new ideas, filled with the brightest and most creative people in politics, and alive with a feminist spirit.

    But it became co-opted by cheesy politicians and their operatives, who made it into a meal ticket for furthering their careers. Women were made to feel increasingly unwelcome and pushed out of leadership roles. Anti-intellectual and anti-cultural attitudes grew and hardened.

    Today it is led by the Six Guys Club at the supes. Their ayatollah is a bullying, foul-mouthed straight white male real-estate speculator, living in a suburban enclave, and pretending to be the voice of the inner-city oppressed.

    We need to create a post-progressive reform movement to replace this rotted-out sect. It will not begin in the supes’ chambers but in our neighborhoods, which is where progressivism, when it was a creative popular movement, first arose.

  10. Supervisor Daly, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see you remaining true to character: a foul-mouthed trust fund brat who came to SF and now that you’ve turned everything you touched into shit, you will take your children and move to the distant suburbs where you will live in a house that daddy bought for you. Let’s just say that I am “standing up to your status quo”, buddy. And while I’m at it, my New Year’s resolution is that whenever I hear your name, I will say “that fucktard??!!” Happy 2010 and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

  11. The man who EFFIN hated the system so much, he was compelled to join it 🙂

    AJ

  12. In a post above, Greg Kamin says:

    “When Debra Walker and Janet Reilly are on there [the board of supes] as well, they’ll lose the argument that the system is bad for women and progressives are a boys club’ as well.”

    Better late than never, huh!

    However, the boys club has dominated the board for nine years now, ever since the takeover by the progressive sect in 2001.

    The progressive takeover started with ten men and only one woman on the board. The woman was not part of the progressive sect. Previous boards, however, saw a majority of women members.

    Since the progressive takeover in 2001, the number of women has risen to three. None is part of the ruling progressive sect.

    You point to the possible election of Debra Walker or Janet Reilly, to bolster progressive ranks. However, there is no guarantee that Debra Walker will defeat Theresa Sparks, and no guarantee that Janet Reilly will be a progressive.

    Sparks is enormously popular. Reilly is the totally bourgeois wife of a multi-millionaire political consultant and real-estate speculator.

    The board’s controlling progressive block of six votes has always consisted entirely of men. The most vocal is Chris Daly. He is the living embodiment of both the bullying progressive male and abusive phallocentric language. He is as much of a feminist as a hyena is a lion.

    The progressives’ shut-out of women has harmed two issues that are of particular concern to women – crime and sanitation.

    Most violent crimes are committed by men. Most sanitation problems in public places are caused by men.

    The proper committee to initiate programs dealing with crime and sanitation is the Public Safety Committee. It has never done so effectively. Also, this committee has never had a woman as its chair.

    The committee’s big priority in recent months has been to shield young illegal immigrants, who are suspected of felonies, from federal authorities. Most of the people who fall into this category are males.

    The record of the board’s progressives in dealing with women and women’s issues is a disgrace.

    This disgrace will never lift as long Daly-type energy prevails at the board.

    The time has come for sisterhood power in SF.

  13. Great piece.

    And I’m noting that Chris Daly, an enthusiastic Obama delegate, posted this. Though Obama’s not mentioned, this is sort of a relief to read:

    “Coming into 2010, I felt depressed and helpless. With great efforts and lots of time some of us might accomplish a few good deeds, but they feel like minor concessions granted by the powerful to distract us. We are unable to change the system nor, it seems, improve it. Greed, meanness and cronyism have become permanently ingrained.”

    Someone recently asked me to help draft the national Green Party platform, thinking that my interest in Africa might help with foreign policy. At first I thought, “what’m I gonna have to say about either of those?” National platform? Foreign policy? Don’t have any faith in either idea; just don’t think that way. But then I talked to a few other people about, for one, proposing that Greens stop wasting time and resources fielding presidential candidates they can’t elect, stop lobbying the White House and Congress to stop the war, and focus on local action, local economies, local war resistance, local sustainability.

    Having this perspective, I’ve long been depressed by San Francisco local government’s deep commitment to the war and corporate power.

  14. Chris,
    You’ve done an amazing job, and frankly the whole city owes you a debt of gratitude. And you’re 100% right in pointing out the hypocrisy of people getting their panties tied up in knots about the F-bomb while ignoring the truly profane, how people are being F-ed over by corporations and developers.

    And with all that said, PLEASE don’t do this! The right wing will have a field day with this. And even if you don’t care what they do to you anymore, please understand it’s not about you.

    They’ll use you as scapegoat. They’ll use you to attack district elections. They’ll use you for an attack on IRV. In a worst case scenario, I could see an abuse of the recall system in order to subvert the democratic process and stick some Newsom-appointed a-hole in your seat ahead of the 2010 election. If you make yourself enough of a lightning rod, it could happen.

    They’ll say it’s about civility. They’ll say it’s about representation of women. It’s all disingenuous BS, and the major players on both sides know it. But that’ll be the excuse, and if you give them enough ammunition they’ll pull it off. The whole “IRV and district elections disenfranchises minorities argument” has now been all but eliminated, now that there are whites, Latinos, Asians, and African Americans all represented on the board. When Debra Walker and Janet Reilly are on there as well, they’ll lose the argument that the system is bad for women and progressives are a “boys club” as well. Then maybe they’ll be all out of excuses.

    Until then, Chris, please don’t F*** it up for others who are trying to build on the legitimately good work you have done over these years.

  15. I agree with this comment made above by Rob Anderson:

    “The leftist women in SF share the same political assumptions as the guys in the Boys Club.”

    The situation reminds me of the Left in the 50s and 60s, before feminism made its mark. In those days, women served as applause-givers to male leaders. These strutted about with bullying behavior and phallocentric language. The situation today in SF has regressed back to that primitive, pre-feminist state.

    By coincidence, another person named Daly has been in the news of late, Mary Daly, the feminist philosopher who recently died. Many of the men who now run SF progressivism have never heard of her. They have no understanding of sisterhood.

    In memory of Mary Daly, and as an alternative to the testosterone energy and phallocentric language of Chris Daly, I have attached below some quotes from Mary Daly’s famous 1973 book “Beyond God the Father” —

    “The word ‘sisterhood’ no longer means a subordinate mini-brotherhood, but an authentic bonding of women on a wide scale for our own liberation.”

    “It is self-defeating for women to allow ourselves to be submerged in one male-dominated cause as opposed to another.”

    “Androgynous integrity and transformation will require that women cease to play the role of ‘complement’ and struggle to stand alone as free human beings.”

    “The raising up of women’s new image and pride means giving prime energy to our own cause.”

    “Women are starting to know now the defects of language because it is not ours.”

    “It is time for men to learn at least to listen and to hear.”

    “The Most Unholy Trinity of Rape, Genocide, and War is a logical expression of phallocentric power.”

    “Marxism does not fully confront patriarchy itself.”

    “For the person who has learned to see sexism, nothing can ever be the same again.”

    “Women attempting to express new consciousness do live in conflict with the mechanisms of social control, which include ridicule, insults, instant psychoanalysis expressed in such comments as ‘penis-envy,’ ‘man-hater,’ or ‘unfeminine.'”

    “It was not women who brought slaves to America.”

    “Rape is a way of life.”

    “Women and men inhabit different worlds.”

    “Virginia Woolf, who died of being both brilliant and female, wrote that women are condemned by society to function as mirrors, reflecting men at twice their actual size.”

    “Sisterhood means revolution.”

  16. The leftist women in SF share the same political assumptions as the guys in the Boys Club.

  17. Even my MAC DICTIONARY APP defines FUCK as “To Ruin or Destroy Something.” I didn’t even have to go to Urban Dictionary for that EFFIN’ DEF.

    Thank you EFFIN’ Newsom for being part of the EFFIN’ problem.”

    PLUS, I have always (since 2002) said — EFFIN’ repeatedly — that Supervisor Chris Daly gets EFFIN’ pissed off at all the CORRECT(*) EFFIN’ THINGS!

    (*Not using the word “RIGHT” in this post)

    Thank you, Chris Daly, for understanding what it truly means to be EFFED AND EFFIN’ PISSED OFF ABOUT IT — AND SAYIN’ EFFIN’ SO!

  18. I’m happy to see that Chris Daly no longer yells “Fuck You, Bitch!” at people, but “Fuck You!” instead.

    Did he make this change out of respect for the recent death of feminist philosopher Mary Daly?

    By the way, whatever happened to all the feminists among SF progressives?

    And how did it happen that SF progressives are now led by an all-male group, the Five Guys Club at the supes?

    And how did it happen that the most vocal of SF progressives is now the biggest patriarchal bully in local politics?

    And how did it happen that the guiding principle of SF progressives became the Peskin Principle? – “Payback is a bitch.” First delivered, by the way, to a woman sitting in a wheelchair.

    And how long will women on the Left put up with this shit?

1 2 3