, November 30, 2017

It was a prank when Navy pilots — for whatever reason — traced a giant penis and testicles in the sky recently in Okanogan County, Washington, but an apt one for this moment: Patriarchy is flying high these days. Around the globe, strongman rulers flaunt their macho qualities and sexual prowess while they limit women’s rights

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin bares his chest for pinup calendars, restricts abortion rights and depicts the home as the best place for women. Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose personality cult emphasizes his athleticism as a former semi-professional soccer player, has called women who work outside the home “half persons,” and equated the use of birth control with treason.

Even Silvio Berlusconi, who boasted of his high libido and publicly and daily demeaned women while serving as Italian Prime Minister, brought up his proficiency at foreplay (and the sex advice he gave to Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi) while announcing a potential political comeback — at 81, with his 31-year-old fiancée by his side.

President Donald Trump’s own authoritarian inclinations come through clearly in his disposition toward women, starting with the notion that consent is for the weak, which has a parallel in politics. Real men don’t sit around and debate things, or compromise: They follow their instincts and take action.

Read the entire essay at CNN