“The Silent Rage of a Thousand Romneys”

West's unspoken dream? First Class woman on lifeboat while others perish?

West’s unspoken dream? First Class women on lifeboats while others perish?

The phrase of the day comes from an article posted last night by Lindy West, and it is: “the silent rage of 1,000 Romneys.”  The joie de bitterness in West’s post is admirable, as is her talent for writing in the contemporary mode.  Since reading West’s piece, I wonder whether the amount of silent rage ought forevermore to be measured in something called Romneys, in the way Roentgens are the units for a particular kind of gamma rays.  Or, the way “Southpark” turned the Couric into a worldwide measurement standard.

While it’s always pleasant to witness the privileged complain about their privileges, it is hard to swallow the lengths this article goes to underscore what it claims is the real problem, viz., the mistreatment of women. Rather than focusing on the ever-increasing gentrification of airline travel, to the point that some airlines recently reduced leg room in coach to give those in Business and First Class more room to re-enact Busby Berkeley musical numbers, West’s article presupposes a legitimacy to non-egalitarian travel (did people learn nothing from Cameron’s Titanic?), as if there is no issue with the operation of blatant class biases at the airport and elsewhere.  I am not disputing the colorful examples West cites to support her point about First Class males elbowing First Class women out of the way in the scramble to arrive first for the pre-flight martinis, but it seems that the focus on gender utterly ignores the larger picture. Why isn’t West writing that almost everyone else from the metaphorical cheap seats ought to feel “the silent rage of 1,000 Romneys” about a democracy that demonstrates frequently that it does not believe in equality?

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