Archive for the 'Women' Category

Akin Shmakin.

Aug 22, 2012 in Abortion, Women

Ryan is even more extreme on abortion than Akin.

The thing is, like on any number of issues, Republicans try their hardest to avoid saying what they really think. Akin said it out loud, causing all manner of distancing efforts from Romney/Ryan/Reince etc., but when it comes down to how they intend to affect the lives of women, they’re identical, and so being chummy with dudes who think any woman who got pregnant couldn’t have been raped is no biggie. It just doesn’t even come on the radar.

-hw

Pro-venereal disease and cancer Republicans.

Jun 20, 2012 in Crazy Tea Party People, Women

Tea Party favorite Governor Nikki Haley mouths some stupid platitudes about the government in order to veto a bill that would implement vaccination of young girls against the Herpes Papilloma Virus, which is spread by sexual transmission and can cause cervical cancer and infertility.

To Republicans, the fact that it spreads by sexual transmission is a feature, not a bug, because they like that it can help scare people away from sex. But do they say that out loud? No, we get, “taxpayer,” “mandate,” blah blah blah.

While one would be hard pressed to imagine blacks passing Jim Crow laws, most Republican women have no qualms about waging the War on Women if it scores them political points with their base. Nikki Haley is happy to play the part of vaccine nut so little slut girls can get cancer in their coochies. Haley says, “Now that I have a 14-year-old daughter, it is something that is very close to my heart in terms of what I’m going to do as a parent and what I want for my child.” She, of course, will make sure her own daughter is vaccinated in preparation for any potential prep school wangs that wander near her way, as harsh lessons are for other people’s (read: poor people’s) children.

-hw

Real women have curves.

Mar 12, 2012 in We'll post whatever we goddamned want to, Where's the outrage?!?!, Women, WTF?

Meghan McCain makes a good point about the expectation that women in the media be attractive and slim. I don’t know about you, but every time I’ve ever seen Meghan McCain, girl looks good as hell.

I saw a Fox News reporter (local) the other day, and I couldn’t believe how skinny she was. She was, in an auditorium, possibly the skinniest female in the room over the age of 18. It’s an important reminder that what passes for normal on television looks like a gaunt bag of bones in person.

Back in my single days, I dated every kind of woman on the planet. Six foot models, short chubbsters, girls with ninety-five pounds of hair and makeup and ten pounds of body, athletic-types, and so on. What I realized was that I didn’t want a prize chihuahua for a woman. I liked muscle on women, and I liked softness. To me, that kind of hard/soft has a nice yin yang quality that completes the definition of female. Feminine female. This is what Renaissance painters understood. I am fortunate to be married to a very beautiful woman in that regard.

So stick-and-bones Laura Ingraham dissing Meghan McCain was quite ironic to me. But it also resonates. Ingraham, who sounds like the meanest sorority girl on campus every minute that she speaks, doesn’t represent anywhere near the majority of women. Meghan McCain could walk into 95% of the bars of America and be one of the hottest gals in the room.

The bulk of people aren’t very attractive. It’s a wonder so many people do get married and have sex with each other, because frankly most people are pretty damn unsightly naked. Most people are happy to have a particular feature that is nice, even if they can’t point to anything other than their eyes or hair. The grassroots is fugly, folks.

And so are most men who get paid to air their thoughts in the media. Unless you think a three-way between Chris Matthews, Bill Maher, and Neil Cavuto would be teh hawtness.

Yet the secret of it all is that most of us do learn to transcend external beauty. Even the beautiful must wither before time and accept humility or be crushed (or chopped up on a plastic surgeon’s table until they look like freaks). The normal, human experience of love is between two somewhat oddly-shaped people who look at each other and see the complete person in all their glory. And they don’t ignore what feels good when it comes to appraising what looks good. People who like to tout “heartland values” ought to recognize that in the heartland, Meghan McCain is practically Marilyn Monroe.

Unfortunately, while we treat male commentators and other important figures in generous fashion, waving through all manner of disgusting lumpy bodies and hairpieces (only extremes- turtle-faces like Mitch McConnell or gigantic lard-masses like Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, or Chris Christie- really get razzed much), we apply a stringent standard to women in the public eye. It’s bad enough that it matters at all, but the window is so narrow only anorexics can get through. It’s frankly quite deranged.

So perk up, Meghan. You’ve correctly identified the transgressors, and it’s certainly not you.

p.s. All this applies to Michele Obama as well, who is the sexiest damn First Lady since Jackie Kennedy, if not all time. Holy smokes, how anybody criticizes her for having a feminine ass when she’s so crazy fit just blows my mind.

-hw

It’s about results.

Mar 08, 2012 in Politics, Women

What happens when birth control isn’t subsidized.

While ditto heads have tried clinging to examples of left-ish people calling women “twat” it’s important to remember that the left fights for and protects women’s rights. I’ve a long history of hurling virtually every word in the book at women I’ve disliked (and men, with pretty much 95% of the terms interchangeable). Yet I’ve never wavered in support for their equality, their right to control their reproductive process, and offering aid/assistance that will improve their welfare. I strive to look at the issues that affect women most through their perspective, and I have little but disgust and contempt for the men who wish to call the shots for them without that fundental respect. When Limbaugh launched that three day campaign of slurs towards Sandra Fluke, he revealed the pathology behind the oppression. That is the key to understanding this controversy.

-hw

Fundamentals.

Mar 05, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives, Culture, Women

This post by John Cole is about as good a breakdown of the multiple levels of wrong at play in the Sandra Fluke scandal as I could hope to come up with, so read it first. The factual errors in Rush’s attack are as egregious as the moral ones.

If nothing else, Limbaugh will learn not to call a Georgetown law student a slut. Poor minority women, don’t be looking for any reprieves soon.

-hw

‘Don’t punish us for having this guy lead the party for twenty years.’

Mar 02, 2012 in Politics, Women

Boehner on Limbaugh:

“The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate,” Boehner spokesperson Michael Steel told CNN, “as is trying to raise money off the situation.”

They’re just as bad, you know. The GOP’s top dog calls women on birth control sluts, and Democrats shouldn’t inform voters of the differences between them and the GOP in campaign mailings.

I guess it pays decent money to shovel horseshit that smoothly.

-hw

Hey, Liz Trotta, go fuck yourself, you dirty bitch!

Feb 13, 2012 in Women

Yeah, not my most enlightened moment, but at least I’m not laughing and brushing off women being raped in the military.

“What did they expect?” Well, if being raped is to be expected when signing up for the military, perhaps our government should be a little more up front about this, since Ms. Liz Trotta regards this eventuality as inevitable. And is it just for women? Do rapists in the military deserve immunity, perhaps? So many questions for Liz Trotta, the Herman Cain of women.

-hw

Women’s health versus the patriarchy.

Feb 08, 2012 in Health Care, Women

I know which one I choose.

Let’s just keep things really clear, here: Catholics are generally pro-contraception. A clique of drag queens, perverts and pedophile-enablers who’ve never touched a woman sitting over in Italy has decreed that contraception is a sin. Dutiful priests and deacons in the U.S. follow the routine in sermons and have decided that to include contraceptive services in a health care plan is to give in to Satan.

All scientific research points towards responsible sex education and contraception as the best method of limiting unwanted pregnancies, teen mothers, and single-parent households. The public is overwhelmingly, staggeringly in favor of contraception, period. There’s a point where it’s simply a fundamental component of health care, and thus becomes an elementary component of any health care institution.

The question becomes then, how much are we going to let a tiny minority’s religious law designate the standards of basic health care? I confess that I do sympathize with their desire to maintain full control of their private organization, to have a liberty in how they choose to practice medicine. But what if a hospital concluded that its religious beliefs dictated heart patients must use a certain medication proven to increase risk of heart attacks?

So I go back to the original question and ask why this fight exists. And I’m left with the same answer: An out-of-touch patriarchy pimping a dogma that states some imperceptible “natural” law of God that says only man and woman must have sex, and it must be exactly as God designed our bodies to behave, with every sex act concluded to orgasm and deposit of semen within the vaginal cavity.

To me, that’s Lord Xenu territory. I choose women’s health and smart family planning in the hands of the family, not the corrupt and morally bankrupt Vatican. And guess what? Most Catholics agree. So I call it fair.

-hw

UPDATE: Just to be clear, yes, I expect the Obama administration will concede soon.

UPDATE II: You know, I was wondering if there wasn’t a way to get everybody what they wanted…churches want to not offer contraceptives, everybody else wants contraceptives available…so there simply needs to be another actor who provides that contraception coverage, and it seems the Obama administration has figured out a third way. This compromise sounds, on the surface, like a slightly wiser path that takes ammunition out of the religious right’s contraceptive-denying war.

The finest things you can do with money.

Feb 02, 2012 in Health Care, Women

I tip my hat to Mayor Bloomberg:

Billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged Thursday to give a piece of his own fortune to Planned Parenthood. The sizable donation– in which Bloomberg will give $1 for every new dollar Planned Parenthood raises up to $250,000– is in response to the controversy surrounding the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to cease giving grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings.

“Politics have no place in health care,” Bloomberg said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way.”

The Komen Foundation had been giving Planned Parenthood about $700,000 a year. In one 24-hour timespan since Komen announced that they were cutting funding, Planned Parenthood received $400,000 in donations. A Texas couple donated another $250,000. Bloomberg’s pledge raises the total to $900,000.

Amazing. The heat is coming down on the Komen charity. This is about saving lives, and a charity that places ideology above that is a fraud.

-hw

Shiny objects.

Nov 07, 2011 in Christian Right, Women

Hey, deadbeat dads, you too can get an award for upholding family values, even if you owe six figures in child support! Just hate teh gay and women.

-hw

The War on Women, among other things.

Feb 22, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Women

Of course, the Tea Party was simply the most diehard rightwingers, the cultural base, going apeshit and spouting pure babble about socialism, going after the things Republicans have been talking about wanting for years yet providing no real solutions to real problems. Well, guess what? They didn’t change on the social conservatism. Given the chance to reorganize our taxes and spending, the Republicans are punting on it no differently than Obama. Instead, they’re going after the little pet peeves in the budget they’ve hated for years for entirely different reasons, things that don’t amount to more than a few drops in the budget bucket. Going into discretionary spending and taking revenge on all their bugaboos, e.g. those who don’t perpetuate the Republican agenda like NPR. One Republican even introduced a bill that cut funding for Obama’s teleprompters (once again, teleprompter talk = stone cold crazy Rovian anti-truth bullshit reversal of plain truth that Obama can manhandle a roomful of Republicans in unscripted debate). And, of course, in Madison, WI they’re using the budget excuse to simply bust the unions even when the unions have made all monetary concessions.

Well, another not-so-secret surprise is their rapidly unveiled War on Women, seeking to turn back the clocks on women’s rights in multiple domains in a perfectly telic array of swiftness and boldness. So not only are they playing culture war games in the budget by cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, but they’re defining rape down, telling women to stay at home instead of working, and trying to ban abortions even when the mother’s life is at stake. Gosh, obvious much?

So it’s on. It was really easy for Republicans to bitch and moan for two years, having no responsibility but to say no and block everything that could be blocked, and then evading responsibility for the blocking. But as soon as they got back into power they turned into the biggest pile of incompetent and useless dicks, reminding us that when they were in power it was a daily process of ruining the country by working against working people, women, and minorities at every step. It just boggles the mind what ammo they will have handed the Democrats by 2012. The thought in the public mind of trusting a Republican Congress and president again will seem indefensible. Obama just has to promise to keep the brakes on the Republicans while pushing a solid middle-class based agenda to win a second term.

But really, our country has to stop acting surprised when they elect Republicans and get this kind of shenanigans. How many times can we fall for the same bait-and-switch? Republican Leader Rush Limbaugh has been on the air for twenty years and is generally detested by the public, yet he was railing against “feminazis” back in 1990. It’s always been the agenda. They called themselves the Tea Party and bought themselves another chance, so what’s it going to be next time? What new moniker can the same old people with the same old ideas apply to beguile the public next time?

-hw

Priorities.

Apr 30, 2009 in Women

Nicholas Kristof spots a latent disparity:

“The criminal justice system is still ill equipped to deal with rape and not that good at moving rape cases forward,” notes Sarah Tofte, who just wrote a devastating report for Human Rights Watch about the rape-kit backlog. The report found that in Los Angeles County, there were at last count 12,669 rape kits sitting in police storage facilities. More than 450 of these kits had sat around for more than 10 years, and in many cases, the statute of limitations had expired.

There are no good national figures, and one measure of the indifference is that no one even bothers to count the number of rape kits sitting around untested.

Why don’t police departments treat rape kits with urgency? One reason is probably expense — each kit can cost up to $1,500 to test — but there also seems to be a broad distaste for rape cases as murky, ambiguous and difficult to prosecute, particularly when they involve (as they often do) alcohol or acquaintance rape.

“They talk about the victims’ credibility in a way that they don’t talk about the credibility of victims of other crimes,” Ms. Tofte said.

There are real consequences:

Solomon Moore, a colleague of mine at The Times, last year wrote about a 43-year-old legal secretary who was raped repeatedly in her home in Los Angeles as her son slept in another room. The attacker forced the woman to clean herself in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

Tim Marcia, the detective on the case, thought this meant that the perpetrator was a habitual offender who would strike again. Mr. Marcia rushed the rape kit to the crime lab but was told to expect a delay of more than one year.

So Mr. Marcia personally drove the kit 350 miles to deliver it to the state lab in Sacramento. Even there, the backlog resulted in a four-month delay — but then it produced a “cold hit,” a match in a database of the DNA of previous offenders.

Yet in the months while the rape kit sat on a shelf, the suspect had allegedly struck twice more. Police said he broke into the homes of a pregnant woman and a 17-year-old girl, sexually assaulting each of them.

A conclusion:

Some Americans used to argue that it was impossible to rape an unwilling woman. Few people say that today, or say publicly that a woman “asked for it” if she wore a short skirt. But the refusal to test rape kits seems a throwback to the same antediluvian skepticism about rape as a traumatic crime.

There are lots of cold cases out there, but most get the service of being properly investigated at least once before being shelved. It’s about priorities.

-jb

Let the sanity begin.

Jun 03, 2008 in Women

Peggy Drexler:

As Kate Zernike pointed out recently in the New York Times, there are more women in the pipeline than the last-chancers fear: in the Senate, in the House, in governors offices. Three years ago, who knew the name Obama? One of them might, in fact, find their way onto the ticket. I hope so.

I really do believe that America is ready – more than ready after eight years in hell – to elect a woman. But we can’t simply pick the one who happens to be available, especially when she is so divisive and brings along a time bomb of a husband. Instead of moving us forward, it could set us back decades.

Our women president is out there. And I believe we’ll find her sooner than we think.

Let’s wait and get it right.

The whole thing is worth reading, a vital antidote to the toxic madness that has been Hillary’s last stand. Will it end tonight?

-jb

Time to start throwing tomatoes at this vaudevillian shite.

May 24, 2008 in Clintonitis, Disappointing Dems, Election crap, Women

We sure would like to move on with the election to Obama smacking McCain around, but somebody keeps insisting it isn’t over yet…though we’ll be blamed and attacked for listening to her, the question must eventually be answered: When is Hillary Clinton responsible for her own actions?

Right now, instead of floating demands in the press and comparing herself to abolitionists and suffragists, she could be telling her supporters that she lost fair and square; that while there was a lot of sexism in the campaign, there was racism as well, and that sexism does not explain why a candidate with literally every institutional advantage over her opponent lost the nomination. She could be reaching out to the voters who supported her in places where Obama has had trouble, and urging them to vote for him. She could, in a word, be doing the right thing: trying to earn that respect she seems to want.

Instead, she’s throwing tantrums, making demands that she has no right to make, and threatening civil war.

I can’t imagine a better demonstration of why she should not be President or Vice President. Nor can I imagine a better demonstration of why some of us who are committed feminists are not happy with her as our standard-bearer. She lost. It happens. If she were an adult or a professional, she would deal with it. Apparently, she is neither.

Feminists should document and take note where Hillary Clinton was subjected to sexism, but this woman is not a victim. She lost on the merits and plenty of women know it too. To be judged on one’s merits rather than one’s sex…what more could one ask for? Hillary’s work for female equality has been done, and if she doesn’t exit quickly and reasonably and unite behind Obama, she risks doing more harm than good for the cause.

-jb

It couldn’t happen here….

May 20, 2008 in War Crimes, We'll post whatever we goddamned want to, Women

Every now and again I crawl under a rock, and then bore every one to tears with a Sermon on the Mount.
Here I go again….

One of my guilty pleasures in life is listening to Amy Goodman every morning on Pacifica. I need my daily dose
of realism.

Out of that, I have heard some horrific stories of torture:
One is of the youngest boy in Guantanamo, who was sent there when he was 15.
Omar Khadr
The sole survivor of a bombing raid in a village, and the soldiers had to justify murdering everyone in the village.
He being the only survivor and eye witness, they had to say that he threw a grenade at them and shot
first.

Another being in the many prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, the eye witness accounts of young boys,
minors who are raped by the US soldiers, while in custody.

Then we wonder why there are so many young suicide bombers. Has to be the modern-day witchcraft, Islam.

Fine, those people aren’t humans anyways, those are just Arab dogs, or Muslim fanatics.

But now there are reports of Americans. Civilian contractors, nurses, doctors, Blackwater employees, and such,
who have been getting drugged by their coworkers/army personnel, and the like, and waking up to find
they have been raped and brutalized.

Story here…

As Morrissey said,

“…it’s so easy to hate….it takes guts to be gentle and kind…”

(I Know It’s Over, The Smiths)

It’s just as easy for me to dehumanize the perpertrators of these crimes against humanity.
It’s easy to hate the politicians and lawmakers, who even when hard evidence and testimony is brought in front of them
of these deplorable acts, take no actions against the perpetrators.

Now we get to the reason I’m posting all this.

I happened to catch my wife watching a disturbing movie the other day.
We didn’t know what we were in for, having watched Juno, we wanted to see another movie starring
Ellen Page. An American Crime
It’s a movie about a crime that happened in 1950’s Indiana. The good ‘ole heartland of the USA.
Where a young girl was locked in a basement, and beaten/tortured/starved to death. For over 3 gruelling months
she was systematically and increasingly, brutally tortured by the woman who was in charge of her, and by her children and
several children of the neighborhood. The movie is disturbing because the family was any normal blue-collared
American family of the 50’s, church going, school going. The children were all pre-pubescent, except for the oldest daughter.
The crimes were committed mostly by the woman caring for the girl, and by her young daughters. Except, for one young son,
and the daughter’s boyfriend. The neighborhood was your regular 1950’s American neighborhood.
They heard and saw strange things, but no one did a thing.

The movie and book, condemn the family and the surrounding society for this “crime against humanity”.

Both my wife and I, being parents of a young daughter, were extremely disturbed by this.
But I immediately told her, this is what our Armed Forces are doing to young Iraqi and Afghani children
on a massive scale and daily basis.

The soldiers and contractors who are being accused of horrible acts of torture, are no different than the
babysitter and her children. Coming from hard-working blue collar families, maybe even having families of their own.
Good honest, church going people. Their colleagues who don’t report them, even though they witness the horrors, are no different
than those Indiana neighbors of the 1950’s.

It’s easy to react and recoil, after watching this movie of a young American Girl being
tortured by a regular American family.
There are hundreds and thousands of Sandy Larkins lying in mass graves (after being brutally tortured) in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those who are still being similarly torture in Guantanamo, without a Jack Ketcham to write a novel about them….

-aa

Holy smokes, human trafficking in Iowa?

May 15, 2008 in Iowa, Local, Women

In our age of information and communication, so many can remain trapped and unable to cry out for help.

-jb

Race and gender issues in the ’08 election.

Apr 22, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap, Racism, Women

These are some unlucky times.

It’s unlucky that after 232 years of white male presidents, a political party is forced to choose between a woman or a black man for their first presidential mold-breaking nominee. In a just world we would have had many female presidents and presidents of all races by now. This is not a just world, and our nation has been afflicted with irrational prejudices since before its inception that we have long struggled to shed. Could an atheist Asian-American woman run the country? Of course, to new heights even. Could she get elected? The odds are currently impossible.

Our current female candidate has gotten to her position largely on the coattails of her husband and shamelessly crass triangulating plastic politics. Our current black candidate rose to the top through powerful virtues few presidents have been lucky enough to possess, and has faced an onslaught of racially tinged attacks from every direction (amazingly, much of it from the campaign of the female candidate). It is progress that they are here, but as prevalent are the signs that we haven’t quite gotten “there” yet.

I feel that given the choice between a female candidate and a black male candidate, one must turn the question to their merits and leave the identity politics behind. Either one would be a historic president breaking a centuries-old pattern of injustice, paving the way for future candidates. Either one benefits the other’s cause, because our nation will now recognize that things need not remain the way they were. If we can elect a female president, then we can also elect a non-white one, and vice versa.

Sadly, this idea has not caught on. Some have simply gravitated to the candidate most like them, understandably since that’s what people do. However, some have chosen to take sides and argue that gender trumps race or vice versa. This conflict was avoidable, yet we did not swerve away. (more…)

Is voting for Hillary the only choice for a feminist?

Feb 09, 2008 in Election crap, Politics, Women

Nah, they’re pro-choice.

I haven’t abandoned my commitment to the women’s movement — and anyone who knows me understands I never will. My endorsement of Barack Obama is actually a celebration of that commitment, and an honest reflection of what I have been fighting for for over 40 years.

The women’s movement is about free choice, self-determination and challenging a status quo that fails a lot of Americans, not just women. And it is not about going along. It’s about transcending, about having the freedom to follow one’s heart, about creating and pursuing new opportunities, and about the American dream being for all Americans.

Chris’ gotcha-type question to me (“Kate Michelman, how does it feel to have abandoned the cause of your life?”) and the semi-criticism implicit in it — that as a woman I have some biological obligation to unreservedly support whatever woman is running — are exactly the sentiments I faced when I first started working for a woman’s right to choose. If women who vote for men are traitors, then are men who vote for women also traitors? What about African-Americans who vote for whites? Or whites who vote for African-Americans?

Laying this guilt trip, this hypocrisy, on women — saying that those women who don’t vote for other women are turncoats — is tantamount to saying that women who exercise independent thought haven’t the right to do that either. Could there be a more anti-feminist contention?

There could. But the point is made. Here as well, from reader Jldemeyer:

[youtube OVuMYKs8iJs]

-jb