I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, September 10, 2010

He-Man Woman Haters Club

What "real man" doesn't love seeing some dumb broad get put in her place?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie does it again. I almost felt sorry (almost) for Marie Corfield, an elementary school  teacher who stood up at a question-and-answer session with the governor and demanded to know how his reforms would help teachers since his budget cuts had resulted in so many lay-offs among the selfless pedagogues that populate New Jersey’s public schools. “We have some of the best schools in the country,” quoth la Corfield, “and you have done nothing but lambaste us.”
Pardon us while we dab away the tears.
When the Governor began to respond, Ms. Corfield rolled her eyes and acted like one of her pupils taunting a classmate. That was when Gov. Christie delivered one of his classic put-downs. “If you want to put on a show then just sit down. But if you want to have a respectful discussion then let me answer your question.”.... 
[emphasis mine]
Yes, thank God we have macho hunks like Chris "Go Get Me a Sandwich, Honey" Christie to put bimbos like this in their place. You almost feel sorry for these dopey dames, but they've gotta understand that when the men are talking business, their job is to shut up and get everyone another cold one.

I mean, why do these women keep challenging him publicly? Who do they think they are? Don't they understand that teaching isn't a "real" job - that's why so many women are in education - duh. And that's why studs like Christie feel free to bash them in a way he reserves only for teachers.

So STFU, baby, and "...just sit down." Be thankful you've got a job and that we pay you anything at all.

(Honestly, I can't keep this up...)

I know some of you out there are thinking I'm reading way too much into this - I'm not. One reason this guy has gone after teachers is that he knows a part of his extreme base has never cottoned to the idea of women being treated like equals in the workplace. It's dog-whistle politics and it's disgusting. It's also very clever - anyone like me who calls him on it will instantly get branded as a "real sexist," just as those who call Glenn Beck on his code words get branded as "the real racists."

See, if I call him on attacking women publicly, he'll say that they never should have gotten in his face in the first place if they can't take the heat. Again, he won't acknowledge that he is in a power position: he controls the forum, the mic, and the media. Which is why he never, ever debates his opponents in a neutral setting, and why he only goes on friendly media outlets like Imus (another great friend of women) or Scarborough. Like all bullies, he is, at heart, a coward. He can only do battle with teachers who have no media experience but - in the end - way more courage than he does.

And so "teacher" becomes a proxy for "woman." There are many women in teaching today because it's a very good career to have if you're smart and you want to be the primary caregiver in your family. When the kids go to school, you'll work their hours, so you can still get dinner on the table and watch them over the summer. I would think that "pro-family" conservatives would be praising women for choosing teaching as a career - but that would require them to really be "pro-family," which most are not.

OK, now that that's out of my system: let's address the mendacity of his acolyte, Roger Kimball, author of this little piece of Y-chromosome puffery:
Christie didn’t “lambaste” teachers, he said, he lambasted the teachers’ union, especially its leaders. 
I've already called Christie out on this numerous times. My personal favorites: "greed and excess" in schools; teachers saying "Pay me first"; and, of course, teachers as drug dealers. The idea he loves teachers and hates the union is absolute garbage.
Why were so many teachers laid off in New Jersey?  Because when the Governor called upon teachers to take  one-year pay freeze and contribute 1.5% — one-and a half percent! — of their salaries to the cost of their health care (full-family medical, dental, and vision coverage, by the way), the union leaders said “No way. Not a penny.” 
First of all, we DID give the 1.5%. The union wasn't happy - who would be? - but there were no strikes, and no call for job actions. The NJEA and all teachers know times are tough, and while it really pisses people off to see millionaires get a tax cut while the rest of us take a pay cut, we pretty much understood what was going on and took it in stride.

Second: find me one teacher in NJ who ever had "full-family medical, dental, and vision." EVERYBODY has restrictions on doctor choice, copays, fees for prescriptions, and limits on reimbursements. I don't know of any school district that offers full dental - my school's dental is really, really expensive and doesn't cover much (ask my kid's orthodontist). Vision is a joke - the state plan is an eye examine once a year. And all benefits are part of compensation negotiations and affect salary.

Teacher benefits are good, not great, and they are not any better than what most college-educated professionals receive working in major corporations; professionals who make, on average, more than teachers even accounting for summers off.
Result: nearly a billion-dollar shortfall in the budget, which necessitated scads of lay offs. (Had Gov. Christie’s proposal been accepted, the state would have saved more than $700,000,000.)  “So who’s really to blame?” he asked: the Governor or the intransigent teachers unions?
I've been writing about this for months: Schundler's numbers on this were cooked from the beginning. The freeze numbers were based on teacher raises applied to ALL school employees - bus drivers, custodians, etc. They never took into account the loss of income tax revenue from the freeze, either. The money included the 1.5% that got passed into law anyway.

Don't take my word for it: the Office of Legislative Services analyzed the numbers and found that a freeze wouldn't have covered 1/4 of the reduction in school aid.

So, in addition to taking glee in Christie's personal bullying of teachers, Kimball is an uniformed dope. He gives men a bad name.

Funny thing is, he bears a sartorial resemblance to one of the founders of the He-Man Woman Haters Club...
And Christie does remind me of Spanky...


Anonymous said...

His disrespect for women is (and has been) in the open. Thanks for pointing this out; it's time for NJ women to get back in his face!

Anonymous said...

This has been clear for months. Other reasons that make this point clear:

1. Suggesting something like, "take the bat out" against a 76 year old woman. Anyone with an ounce of respect for an older woman, especially one who has worked for legislation AGAINST domestic violence, would have known better. One can only assume he has no clue or empathy for battered women, because if he did, he wouldn't have even considered saying it.

2. He backed off the police and firemen after their rally in Trenton. Notice how that whole thing just disappeared from the media?

Thank you so much for bringing this into the light.

Anyone who this this man is an effective leader is crazy. His style is not refreshing, it's disrespectful, and his antics should be called out for the lawyers tricks they really are.

While he creates havoc with ignorant "reforms", real issues that could be worked in are going ignored. He's wasting the taxpayers time and money with his rhetoric and garbage. I hope more people come out and talk about these kinds of things.

Anonymous said...

In truth I don't believe this has anything to do with women. The fact is, Chris Christie treats every opponent this way. If he can't shout them down or have them carted off, he says he'll take his ball and go home.

Chris Christie may indeed have something against women, but his real issue is that Chris Christie gets angry when someone has the temerity to disagree with him. When someone disagrees with him using methods of rudeness that match his own, he gets particularly virulent.