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"Once you dehumanize someone, free effexor everything else is possible"   Politics and Misogyny By BOB HERBERT With Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s win in New Hampshire, free effexor gender issues are suddenly in the news. Free effexor Where has everybody been? If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media, free effexor it’s the dark persistence of misogyny in America.   Sexism in its myriad destructive forms permeates nearly every aspect of American life. Free effexor For many men, free effexor it’s the true national pastime, free effexor much bigger than baseball or football. Little attention is being paid to the toll that misogyny takes on society in general, free effexor and women and girls in particular. Free effexor Its forms are limitless. Free effexor Hard-core pornography is a multibillion-dollar business, free effexor having spread far beyond the stereotyped raincoat crowd to anyone with a laptop and a password. Free effexor Crowds of crazed photographers risk life and limb to get shots of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears without their underwear. Free effexor   At New York Jets home games, free effexor men regularly gather at Gate D to urge female fans to expose themselves. In its grimmest aspects, free effexor misogyny manifests itself in hideous violence — from brutal beatings and rape to outright torture and murder. Free effexor Fifteen months ago, free effexor a gunman invaded an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, free effexor separated the girls from the boys, free effexor and then shot 10 of the girls, free effexor killing five. The cable news channels revel in stories about women (almost always young and attractive) who come to a gruesome end at the hands of violent men. Free effexor The stories seldom, free effexor if ever, free effexor raise the issue of misogyny, free effexor which permeates not just the crimes themselves, free effexor but the coverage as well. The latest of these obsessively covered stories concerned a pregnant marine, free effexor Maria Frances Lauterbach, free effexor who had complained to authorities that she had been raped by a fellow marine. Free effexor Her body was found last week buried in a backyard fire pit in North Carolina. It just so happens that the Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning this week in the misogyny capital of America: Nevada. Free effexor It’s a perfect place to bring up the way women are viewed and treated in this society, free effexor but don’t hold your breath. Free effexor Presidential wannabes are hardly in the habit of insulting the locals. Prostitution is legal in much of Nevada and heavily promoted even where it’s not. Free effexor In Las Vegas, free effexor where prostitution is illegal but flourishes nevertheless, free effexor Mayor Oscar Goodman has said that creating a series of legal, free effexor “magnificent” brothels would be a great development tool for his city. Free effexor The fundamental problem in all of this is that women and girls are dehumanized, free effexor opening the floodgates to every kind of mistreatment. Free effexor “Once you dehumanize somebody, free effexor everything else is possible, free effexor” said Taina Bien-Aimé, free effexor executive director of the women’s advocacy group Equality Now. A grotesque exercise in the dehumanization of women is carried out routinely at Sheri’s Ranch, free effexor a legal brothel about an hour’s ride outside of Vegas. Free effexor There the women have to respond like Pavlov’s dog to an electronic bell that might ring at any hour of the day or night. Free effexor At the sound of the bell, free effexor the prostitutes have five minutes to get to an assembly area where they line up, free effexor virtually naked, free effexor and submit to a humiliating inspection by any prospective customer who has happened to drop by. If you don’t think this is an issue worthy of a presidential campaign, free effexor consider the scandalous way that women are treated in the military and the fact that the winner of this election will become the commander in chief. The sexual mistreatment of women in the military is widespread. Free effexor The Defense Department financed a study in 2003 of female veterans seeking health assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Free effexor Nearly a third of those surveyed said they had been the victim of a rape or attempted rape during their service. The Associated Press reported in 2006 that more than 80 military recruiters had been disciplined over the course of a year because of sexual misconduct with young women and girls who had considered joining the military. There continue to be widespread complaints from women about rape and other forms of sexual attacks in the military, free effexor and about a culture that tends to protect the attackers. To what extent are the candidates of either party concerned about these matters? Do they have any sense of how extensive and debilitating the mistreatment of women and girls really is? We’ve become so used to the disrespectful, free effexor degrading, free effexor contemptuous and even violent treatment of women that we hardly notice it. Free effexor Staggering amounts of violence are unleashed against women and girls every day. Free effexor Fashionable ads in mainstream publications play off of that violence, free effexor exploiting themes of death and dismemberment, free effexor female submissiveness and child pornography. If we’ve opened the door to the issue of sexism in the presidential campaign, free effexor then let’s have at it. Free effexor It’s a big and important issue that deserves much more than lip service. Free effexor