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Steve Bannon Is Terrified of the “Anti-Patriarchy Movement,” As He F***ing Should Be

I haven’t read Josh Green’s book Devil’s Bargain, about the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, mostly because reading such a book sounds like my own personal hell. I did, however, learn a lot from watching Samantha Bee describe part of the book in an episode of Full Frontal. It explained how Bannon worked his way up from Gamer Gate opportunist to White House Nazi, and how together, Bannon and Trump created a voting base of internet trolls. As a woman on the internet writing about both politics and geek culture, the connection resonated and Green’s breakdown of how Bannon gave us Trump was both terrifying and informative.

The paperback edition is now on its way, and while I normally fight to ignore the existence of Steve Bannon, Green has included a new preface with some incredible quotes.

It’s not as if we didn’t know this before, but Steve Bannon is TERRIFIED of women. He talked to Bloomberg News about what he calls the “anti-patriarchy movement,” which, in terms of political movements, he sees as comparable to the Tea Party, “only bigger.”

According to Bannon, “It’s not Me Too. It’s not just sexual harassment. It’s an anti-patriarchy movement. Time’s up on 10,000 years of recorded history. This is coming. This is real.”

To which women everywhere reply, “YES WE KNOW, STEVE, THAT’S THE POINT. THANKS FOR VALIDATING OUR WORK.”

I don’t want to give Bannon too much credit here, and it feels really icky to agree with him on anything, but he’s right about a couple of things here. He didn’t conflate the patriarchy with men in general, as so many often do. (Although he did say “women are gonna take charge of society,” which sounds great TBH, but most of us are just asking for a seat at the table at this point.) He also sees that sexual harassment and assault are in the spotlight, but they are symptoms of a patriarchal society that dehumanizes and devalues women, and that what we’re really coming for is the root of those systems, not just the symptoms. Steve Bannon gets the distinctions here, and his inside knowledge of and total dependence on patriarchal structures is what’s making him so scared now.

Of course, this is Steve Bannon we’re talking about, so it’s only ever a matter of seconds before he dials whatever he’s saying up to a jillion. For instance, here’s what he had to say about the Golden Globes, which he reportedly watched with Josh Green.

“It’s a Cromwell moment!” Bannon is quoted as nearly shouting, referring to the 17th century political leader often characterized as a fanatical dictator. “It’s even more powerful than populism. It’s deeper. It’s primal. It’s elemental. The long black dresses and all that—this is the Puritans! It’s anti-patriarchy.”

Embed from Getty Images

Uh oh, Steve Bannon, look out. The anti-patriarchal Puritans are laughing at your mixed metaphors.

Bannon also didn’t think it was a good look for Dwayne Johnson to show admiration and emotion during Oprah’s Golden Globes speech. He specifically said, “He’s ruined his career. If you rolled out a guillotine, they’d chop off every set of balls in the room.”

First of all, Bannon can go fuck his own patriarchal gender norms and emotion-shaming. Remember when you said “time’s up” on that, Steve?

Second, in what world does showing an appreciation of Oprah Winfrey damage your career prospects in Hollywood. I think The Rock is going to be just fine. The same can’t be said for Bannon’s former golden boy Donald Trump, who Bannon sees as the arch-villain of this new movement. He said, “they couldn’t juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He is the patriarch.” And once again, it pains me to say it … Steve Bannon isn’t wrong. Even the self-serving white women who put Trump into office are experiencing, in Bannon’s words, a “total free fall” of approval in regards to the President.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to back to trying to forget this man exists.

(via Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, image: vnews.tv / Shutterstock.com)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.