Posts in category Politics
The Jezebel Effect: Why the Slut Shaming of Famous Queens Still Matters
Sexism in Politics
Take the Pledge
Chimamanda on Feminism
A Facebook friend posted the original version, so I decided to fix it.
Getting “Emotional” Over the Paycheck Fairness Act
"Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) ripped apart the stereotype that women are 'too emotional' on Wednesday, moments after Senate Republicans blocked a procedural motion to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act. ...
"Mikulski sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would cut into the gender pay gap by holding employers more accountable for wage discrimination against women. An effort to begin debate on the measure failed 53-44, with all Republicans and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) voting against the cloture motion. All Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted in favor of advancing the bill.
"Mikulski's comments were not just directed toward her Republican colleagues, but were also a thinly-veiled shot at former CIA director Michael Hayden. On Sunday, Hayden suggested that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was 'too emotional' to have produced a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's use of torture post-Sept. 11."
Here's an old school response to sexism that unfortunately is still relevant today.
"A lost D.H. Lawrence essay in which the famed author issued a major takedown to a misogynistic contemporary has been found in a library in New Zealand."
Lawrence was the author of classic novels such as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Women in Love. Regarding the newly-discovered essay:
"Lawrence wrote the piece some time in late 1923 or early 1924 in response to an essay published in Adelphi, a literary magazine ... That essay, which ran under the byline 'JHR,' was a viciously misogynistic treatise called 'The Ugliness of Women.' Its author argued that 'in every woman born there is a seed of terrible, unmentionable evil: evil such as man — a simple creature for all his passions and lusts — could never dream of in the most horrible of nightmares, could never conceive in imagination. ... No doubt, the evil growth is derived from Eve, who certainly did or thought something wicked beyond words.'"
Here's an excerpt of Lawrence's enlightened response:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a renowned Nigerian novelist. She gave a powerful presentation at TEDxEuston entitled "We Should All Be Feminists". This is an excerpt from her speech:
Watch the full presentation here:
A Woman’s Declaration of Independence
It’s time to declare independence, to separate ourselves from the bad habits, the stifling expectations, and the negative messages that no longer serve us (assuming they ever did).
It’s time to declare independence from media messages that tell us we’re ugly if we don’t look like the “flawless” images of celebrities on the screen and in the magazines. It’s time to stop buying into the manipulation and stop wasting time trying to chase an illusion that doesn’t even exist.
It’s time to declare independence from the belief that having the perfect body will make us worthy of love and respect. We’re already worthy of love and respect in the bodies we have now — no amount of weight loss or plastic surgery will increase our value.
It’s time to declare independence from dieting, from deprivation, from seeing food as the enemy. The American weight loss industry makes nearly $60 billion a year trying to convince us that we’re not good enough — if diets worked, would these companies be this profitable? It’s time to stop contributing to their false sense of hope.
It’s time to declare independence from body loathing, from looking at our bodies with disgust instead of love. It’s time to appreciate all of the amazing things they do for us — the jiggly arms that give great hugs, the flabby thighs that carry us through the park, the droopy breasts that fed a child, the wounded heart that still knows how to love, the exhausted brain that still manages to tell our lungs to breathe.
It’s time to declare independence from the oppressive labels of virgin or whore, straight or gay, feminine or masculine, and all the shades in between. Our number of sex partners do not define us. Our sexuality does not define us. Our gender identity does not define us. These traits can’t possibly define what kind of person we are or what’s in our hearts or our minds. Any attempt by others to claim otherwise is an attempt to control us, to police our behavior, and to shame us so that they don’t have to examine their own ignorance and fear.
It’s time to declare independence from the belief that women can bring sexual assault upon ourselves based on how provocatively we’re dressed, how flirty we act, or how drunk we get. The only ones responsible for rapists' behavior are rapists themselves. We have the right not to be blamed when others hurt us, and we have the right to feel safe in the world.
It’s time to declare independence from legislators who think the female body should be controlled by wealthy, middle-aged, white, Christian, conservative men. Our bodies belong to us — it’s time to declare our freedom to make our own decisions about them. Because if we cannot, then we are truly not equal citizens and this country is not as free it claims to be.
It’s time to declare independence from spending so much time, energy, and money trying to fit into someone else’s idea of who they think we should be. It’s time to put ourselves first, to focus on our own desires and do what we think is right. It’s time to trust our own instincts and make ourselves proud.
It’s time to declare independence from shame, from the belief that we’re not good enough, not beautiful enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not clever enough, not sexy enough, not pure enough, not feminine enough, not worthy enough. It’s time to declare that we are already enough — that we are perfectly imperfect exactly as we are.
It’s time to declare our independence from any force that tries to hold us down — including those forces that limit us from within.
Ryan Gosling discusses the controversy from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) regarding a scene in the movie Blue Valentine in which his character performed oral sex on Michelle Williams' character. Due to this scene, the MPAA tried to give it an NC-17 rating instead of an R -- a rating which would spell death in theaters. The MPAA eventually backed down after pressure from the Weinstein Company (they purchased the indie film after it received buzz at the Sundance Film Festival). The quote below was part of an interview which inspired the popular "Feminist Ryan Gosling" "Hey girl" memes and resulting book.
Watch the interview here.
A Gay Vietnam Vet
Grave of Leonard Matlovich (1943-1988) -- Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, & recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. From Wikipedia:
"Matlovich was the first gay service member to purposely out himself to the military to fight their ban on gays and perhaps the best-known gay man in America in the 1970s next to Harvey Milk. ... His tombstone, meant to be a memorial to all gay veterans, does not bear his name. It reads, 'When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.'"
Not All I Am
... nor will I allow others to treat me as if this is all I am:
- - a uterus
- - a collection of body parts
- - a vagina
- - a piece of ass
- - a pair of tits
- - a victim
- - public property
- - a virgin
- - a whore
- - a "before" photo
- - a body to legislate
- - a sexual object
Appearance Comments Can Hurt Her Success
Calling professional women "good looking" can be damaging to their careers. This survey conducted by the Name It Change It campaign by the Women's Media Center shows why:
"In the survey, Jane Smith and Dan Jones are pitted against each other in a race for Congress. Both have similar backgrounds, and after reading their bios the survey respondents prefer Jane slightly, 49-48.
"Then they read a second story. In one version of the story, there's no physical description of either candidate, and Jane's lead stays pretty much the same. In a second version, there's a neutral description of Jane's appearance. Suddenly she's 5 points behind Dan. In a third version, there's a positive description of her appearance. Now she's 13 points behind Dan. A fourth version that contains a negative description has about the same effect.
"In other words, any description hurts Jane. And any non-neutral description, even a positive one, just kills her. This is why even a complimentary comment ... is both inappropriate and damaging in a professional setting. It primes people to think of a woman's appearance, and that's apparently enough to keep them from thinking about her actual qualifications. You will be unsurprised to learn that this effect is strongest among men."
Read more at Mother Jones.
How Many Kids Will You Adopt?
There are 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, 115,000-130,000 of whom are eligible to be adopted. With all the "pro-life" rhetoric we hear, where's the moral outrage about their lives? Many of these children aren't the "popular" kinds to adopt (i.e., healthy, white infants), but instead are older kids, or racial minorities, or they have disabilities or were victims of abuse.
Instead of protesting a woman's right to make decisions about her own body & her own life, instead of protesting outside of abortion clinics & treating women's personal healthcare decisions as if they're fair game for public scrutiny ... why don't those who claim to be "pro-life" direct all this energy onto making sure children who are already born get loving families? Why don't they adopt or foster children themselves (especially the harder-to-place kids)? Why don't they advocate for gay adoption? Why don't they stop supporting abstinence-only sex education (which has been proven to be highly ineffective) & minimize the number of unwanted children in the first place? Why don't they protest against legislation that cuts funding for food & services for poor children?
Because if you ignore all of the above & merely want to outlaw abortion, you're really not "pro-life" -- you're just pro-birth.Sources:
She’s Ugly! (Because He’s a Moron)
This quote originally appeared in an article on Jezebel regarding criticisms of Hillary Clinton's appearance.
My Strength Is not for Hurting
This poster is from the new anti-rape campaign: "My strength is not for hurting." MyStrength is a project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. This awesome campaign puts responsibility for rape prevention where it belongs -- on the potential rapist. Learn more here: http://www.mystrength.org/
People have been watching too many action movies. It's like they have some sort of hero fantasy that they're gonna be prepared at any time to dive down in slow-motion with guns blazing and be able to take down a psycho who's been preparing for months and is armed with an assault rifle and bullet-proof vest. Why the fuck do average citizens need military-style assault weapons? What are you preparing for? A huge influx of stampeding deer while you're hunting? The zombie apocalypse? Jesus Christ - these innocent victims aren't even buried yet, and everyone's screaming about having their precious weapons taken away. America, fuck yeah. :/
This is an ad by Bushmaster, maker of the .223 caliber semiautomatic rifle that was used to kill 27 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last Friday. Bushmaster thinks buying an assault rifle will give you back your "man card".
A Reasonable Person Might Draw a Lesson
(Note: The attacker in China used a knife.)
Another Day, Another Mass Shooting
"America now has 300 million firearms, a barrage of NRA-backed gun laws—and record casualties from mass killers. ... In 1995 there were an estimated 200 million guns in private hands. Today, there are around 300 million—about a 50 percent jump. ... There is no evidence indicating that arming Americans further will help prevent mass shootings or reduce the carnage ... To the contrary, there appears to be a relationship between the proliferation of firearms and a rise in mass shootings ... Armed civilians attempting to intervene are actually more likely to increase the bloodshed ..."
Heroines of Sandy Hook
Victoria Soto (right) was a 27-year-old teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. She hid her 1st grade students in cabinets and closets after hearing gunfire. When the shooter came to her classroom, she told him that her students were in the gym. He then killed her. This brave teacher sacrificed her own life to save the lives of her kids. Her courage and selflessness deserve to be remembered.
Kaitlin Roig, 29, (below) was another heroic teacher at Sandy Hook who saved her students by barricading them in a small bathroom and comforting them until help arrived. Fortunately, she and her students survived the attack.
So sad about the tragedy in Connecticut. There are many social & psychological factors that may have led up to this horrific event -- proliferation of guns, a culture that glamorizes violence, mental illness, & people who are just evil bastards. But simply speaking -- it's heartbreaking. Here's a little something to consider today.
PETA - People who believe in the ethical treatment of animals & the unethical treatment of women ...