Thursday, January 31, 2008

Julie Newmar: Alive and Kickin'

Via Copyranter:

Desperate? Maybe. Awesome? I think so.

Julie Newmar bought an ad on the back cover of this week's AdWeek.
The new 70 indeed. The copy reads:"Untouched and unretired movie star, ex-Catwoman a quintessential quality advocate.

If this is what she wants to be doing, someone better hire her fast. Any company would be lucky to have her.

This is the point where I step back and look over at my other shoulder. The little devil is asking me if I would feel the same way if Newmar wasn't 74. Would I feel okay about a woman begging for a job this way? The photo is pretty weird. She's on some sort of desk, but there's a picture of herself there.

Nah . She can do whatever the fuck she wants. In a world where everyone tries to hide from death and aging, I love that "ex-Catwoman" is ready to flaunt her beautiful 74-year old self.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't Resist Laughing at Those Scabby Ankles! It's Feminism!

Ugh. This Guardian article literally had me grinding my teeth.

Though, admittedly, there were some paragraphs I couldn't make sense of (I suppose it's that British wit I keep hearing about), I think I got the gist. Julie Burchill wants you to feel free to obsess over Jennifer's cellulite or Braxtey's dry skin. Glamour rags who feature the latest celeb-gone-wrong are ... promoting feminism!

"How so?" you might ask. I'll let Burchill tell you:

"Ooh, a hundred years of feminism gone down the drain!" a certain sort of killjoy Jeremiah is wont to whinge when they see a civilian chick sniggering over a Heat snapshot of some starlet's un-fake-tanned ankles. To which I would reply no, it's you that's a disgrace to our living, mutating feminism, with your apparent feeling that to be a "proper" woman one must never bitch, smirk or get a cheap laugh out of someone wealthier's imperfections. So a woman should be pure in thought, word and sense of humour, eh? A veritable Angel of the Hearth, indeed! How very Victorian - and how very boring.

I warned you about the Britishisms.

What Burchill has completely wrong (and I'm sorry if it's England moved to another planet where it's different) is the argument. Who the hell is talking about "proper" women? I hate these sad excuses for journalism (celebalism? sounds like the disease it is) because they make normal people like feel like shit. Maybe people are laughing on th outside, but on the inside, they're thinking, "damn, I wish I had that kind of body." If a size 2 movie star is getting criticized for her supposedly flabby stomach or her natural face, what kind of message does that send people like me? No, forget me, I'm old enough not to give a crap. What kind of message does that send to a self-conscious adolescent?

Not to mention the fact that Burchill's article only talks about women. The green light of crapmags only seems to hit famous women. Does Burchill not have a problem with that? Are famous men too real for her already?

Sorry to rant, but this is just ridiculous. Sure, if these were simply pictures shot with a goal of showing us real people in honest moments, Burchill's argument would stand. But I'm supposed to laugh at these women. I'm supposed to feel glad that I'm not them. Women are being criticized for being real.

And that's not okay.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NOW That's a Level-Headed Response

At least the national chapter of NOW has it right. Here's the sane response to Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama (as opposed to NOW-NY's insane response).

NOW's Response to Sen. Kennedy's Endorsement

Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy

January 28, 2008

The National Organization for Women has enormous respect and admiration for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D- Mass.). For decades Sen. Kennedy has been a friend of NOW, and a leader and fighter for women's civil and reproductive rights, and his record shows that.

Though the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee has proudly endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, we respect Sen. Kennedy's endorsement. We continue to encourage women everywhere to express their opinions and exercise their right to vote.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hillary Clit-on

Get it? If you take out the 'n' her name is like clit but with an 'on' at the end. It's funny, cause it's true.

That's about the caliber of the Hall of Sexism out there on Cafe Press. There are some seriously unfunny sexists out there.

Broadsheet did some research. Unfortunately, I don't think they had to look very hard. Click on the link to find every horribly sexist thing you could think of to say about Hillary Clinton.

But no, it's okay, because it's about a woman. And it's on a t-shirt. Isn't free speech great sometimes? It's a great way to see how fucked up this "cunt-ry" is.

NOW it's Time to Take a Breath

I know. No organization can be perfect, but come on!

Today, NOW came out with a press release shaming Senator Ted Kennedy for endorsing Barack Obama. I'm not kidding. Here's the headline:

Senator Ted Kennedy Betrays Women by Not Standing for Hillary Clinton for President;
Ultimate Betrayal Felt by Women Everywhere
And here's a taste of the release:
Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal...

...Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills.

And this is a good thing? This is making me angry at women. Why do we care about Kennedy again? Oh, right, because he's an important endorsement. What's a little compromised principle for a couple votes? The shit continues to rain down:
And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one)

That's right. He owes us for being doormats.

Jesus Christ! In no way is this okay. And hey, where's the equal opportunity? Don't you feel "betrayed" by Caroline Kennedy? Where's the hate?

This is a symptom of the problem I blogged about earlier. 2nd-wave feminists are not helping the cause with this shit. NO ONE should be forced to vote for someone "because they should."

Feministing says it best: "NOW-NY does not speak for me. And it does not speak for all feminists."

Argh! So much anger on my way to bed!

Attention Ladies: Keep Proof of Your Academic Past On Hand at All Times

This HuffPo article really pissed me off just now:

"OC" alum Mischa Barton went to Sundance to promote "Assassination of a High School President" and to try to shift focus from her recent DUI arrest. She talked to Fox News and insisted that she was really an academic girl. (emphasis mine)

Sure, drunk driving is idiotic, but why the hell does this woman have to insistshe was an academic girl? Is there some evidence to the contrary? Is it because she's beautiful? Or because of a DUI? Apparently, she was even responsible about going to the press about said DUI. Sounds like a bright woman to me.

The tone of this blurb is ridiculously insulting. Why the hell would Barton lie about her academic past? I mean, we all know men like stupid bitches anyway, right?

Ms. is Making Me Reconsider

I've always had a little chip on my shoulder about Ms. Magazine. I'm not thrilled about Gloria Steinem, and it was all a little too mainstream for me.

But maybe I've been wrong. Looking at the website, the magazine truly seems to be working to educate people on global issues that affect women. Maybe I should give it a shot.

What brought the magazine to my attention this time? Israel.

The American Jewish Congress tried to buy space in the magazine for the ad pictured here. It shows three Israeli women, one of which is profiled in the issue in question. Though I'm not sure why the magazine originally agreed to publish the ad, it's clear why they rejected it in the end.

According to the magazine's press release on the subject,

"Ms. policy is to accept only mission-driven advertisements from primarily non-profit, non-partisan organizations that promote women’s equality, social justice, sustainable environment, and non-violence."

In Ms. magazine’s judgment, the ad submitted by AJCongress for consideration was inconsistent with this policy. Not only could the ad be seen as favoring certain political parties within Israel over other parties, but also with its slogan “This is Israel,” the ad implied that women in Israel hold equal positions of power with men. Israel, like every other country, has far to go to reach equality for women. As the Israel Women’s Network notes: “Women have consistently received symbolic representation in Israeli politics, at least sufficient enough to generate the myth of an open and egalitarian system.”

The AJCongress press release compared its ad with the cover story Ms. ran when Congressmember Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House. However, when Ms. featured Speaker Pelosi on its cover with the words “This is What a Speaker Looks Like,” we did not claim that “This is what the USA looks like.” Far from it, since women comprise only 17% of the Congress, ranking 65th in the world in women’s representation, and continue to face discrimination in every aspect of American society.

If this is truly the reason the magazine rejected the ad, good for them. They make a great point.

If they're wary of appearing to favor Israel over Palestine, I think that's okay too.

Anyway, I think maybe I'll give the magazine a shot.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Slate: How Chris Matthews Would Talk to Men if he Was an Equal-Opportunity Offender

Sorry about all the quoting, but here's another great article from Slate:

According to the Web site Media Matters, MSNBC host Chris Matthews has a history of drooling over female guests. For example, on Jan. 4, Matthews told Elizabeth Edwards, "You've got a great face, Elizabeth. I love your smile. ... I'm sorry. I don't want to patronize you. You're great." To Laura Ingraham, Sept. 12: "I get in trouble for this, but you're great looking, obviously. You're one of the gods' gifts to men in this country." To CNBC's Erin Burnett, Aug. 10: "[Y]ou're beautiful. … [Y]ou're a knockout."

Matthews also recently apologized to Hillary Clinton for saying that the "reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." It's ridiculous for Matthews to have to apologize to the women he's interviewed. What he needs to do is treat the guys equally.

*****

To Rudy Giuliani: I love the smile. Guys, can we get a tighter shot of his face? Close in on the eyes. Oh, yeah. You're beautiful. You're a dreamboat. You're America's Mayor. I bet Judi took one look at those high beams, and, bam, you were in the sack. Am I right? Look at him! That's a 9-1-1 smile! Dial 9-1-1, somebody! I'm having a heart attack.

Battle of the Bods

I'm just going to quote this Slate article (picture is from the article as well):

The embarrassment one feels at participating in the spectacle of The Moment of Truth is nothing compared with the feelings evoked by Battle of the Bods (Fox Reality, Sundays at 1 a.m. ET), an approximate hybrid of Hot or Not? and a marketing focus group. On the first episode, five Los Angelenas were trotted before the camera and a two-way mirror. On the other side of the mirror sat three men, identified merely as "surfers," who discussed the sexual desirability of each of the women and then, having reached consensus, ranked them from one to five. There were separate evaluations of the prettiness of their faces, the niceness of their gams, and the hubba-hubba-osity of "the full rack." The women stood to earn money, collectively, by anticipating how the rankings would shake out. I'm not sure what was in it for the dudes and therefore must presume that they share some obscure paraphilia and receive unnatural gratification from being seen to look like jerks.

It should be clear that Battle of the Bods is innovatively vile. Further, it is virally vile. To watch it is to play along and to start sizing up the women like a frat boy during orientation week. Worse, it is boringly vile. About half of the program finds the female contestants yapping about whose knees are better than whose. Ultimately, upon being ranked fifth by the boys, the most obnoxious of the girls teared up and stomped backstage. Her comrades went to comfort her and cheer her up, with one mentioning the $300 they'd each won. "Three hundred dollars?" came the retort. "That's not a Louis Vuitton purse. That's not even half of a Louis Vuitton purse!" Poor dear. Doesn't she know there's a sale on at Coach?

Oh, Fox Reality, don't you have anything better to do with your time? Oh wait...I guess not.

It's bad enough these women are being scrutinized, but they have to bet on who will win? That's some creative sexism: women are not only parading around half-naked, they're arguing over their bodies. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that they're snobby bitches either. Yep. That's some good reality tv. Whoever came up with this is an evil genius.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Great Colbert Interview with Deborah Dickerson

Little Beauties!

Via Feminist Law Professors:

Little Beauties: Ultimate Kiddie Queen Showdown is a one-hour documentary special that will take a light-hearted look into the wonderful world of children’s beauty pageants through the eyes of four, precocious six-year old girls. This documentary reveals the humor and love behind an American tradition; the always colorful characters on the pageant circuit; and the “sparkle” it takes to win a crown.

Aren't they adorable? See how the pounds of make-up create a doll-like essence? See the love the stage mother showers on her girl when she wins (ONLY when she wins)? See how they're learning to be little princesses (ONLY little princesses)? See how disgusting this is?

I have to go throw up.

"Cuntry" is "funny"

Broadsheet's all over this one.

Apparently, it's okay to call Hillary Clinton a cunt if you say it in a t-shirt. And a word puzzle is an added bonus:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Short Bus

Mexico City announced today that they are rolling out women-only buses. There are (of course) pink signs in the windshield to ward off men.

Verbal and physical abuse is a daily occurrence for women in the city, and most residents seem very happy about the whole thing.

I'm glad women won't have to worry as much as they used to. No one should dread going outside because they fear they'll be groped or hooted at. (Do those assholes think we like that?) But is segregation really the way to go? Women are being forced to separate themselves because the men refuse to behave like people.

Yes, it fixes the problem right now, but I don't see this being a temporary thing. In addition to protection around the city (REAL protection), they should educate men, put laws in place, hell, advertise how horrible it is to terrorize women.

Hey, Hollaback, get your message out there for us!

I know all this is easy for me to say. I don't have to live there. And I'm happy Mexico City found a temporary solution that will help keep women safe. But I hope it's just temporary. History says it's not.

Oh, C.U.N.T


I resisted posting about this initially, because I didn't want to give them any undue press, but I'm just a little blogger with no readers, and more powerful people have already put it out there.

The PAC in question is Citizens United Not Timid, or C.U.N.T.

The object of the PAC is to "educate the public about what Hillary Clinton really is."[my emphasis] Republican Roger Stone is responsible.

How, exactly, are they educating us? By selling t-shirts, of course, with the slogan emblazoned right across the breast underneath a vagina-ish graphic. The image to the left is from the website. Girl in a tight t-shirt with no face. Nice.

Pure misogyny, pure disgustingness.

Some think it's a trick to create backlash so people will vote for Hillary Clinton, who will then be defeated by whatever Republican wins the nomination. I think it's a bunch of dicks being horrible people.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Creepy?

Via Gossip Boulevard:

This is either the story of very level-headed adults making good decisions or it's really really creepy.

Jamie Lynn Spears, the "oh my god, she's pregnant?" of the year, is handing her baby over to her mom. You know, the one with two daughters in the middle of crises?

No, no, I don't blame the mother, but I will blame her if she's forcing Jamie Lynn Spears to do something she doesn't want to do.

It starts to get creepy towards the end:

“She wants Jamie Lynn to continue her show business career after the baby is born and Jamie Lynn also realizes she wants to enjoy her teenage years without the responsibilities of caring for a baby. Lynne is convinced that having a baby on her hip will not help Jamie Lynn’s future in the business and she’s expecting her daughter to pick up where she left off as soon as the baby is born.”

Sure, she'll just pick back up as the star of a kids' tv show. No weird issues there. And, I know this is the year of skirting around "schmaschmortion," but wouldn't that have been better for everyone in this case?

Okay, whatever, no abortion. Let's have some more creep:
"Jamie Lynn’s managers also agree and have advised Lynne (Spears, the mom) that the best thing to do is have Jamie photographed with the baby as soon as it is born, sell the pictures and then take over raising her own grandchild.

Well yeah, the managers have to make money somehow after all that "vacation" time Spears is getting...
“Lynne is completely on board with the plan. “She always wanted Britney to raise her babies in Louisiana. She couldn’t have that but now she’s going to raise Jamie Lynn’s baby at her home in Kentwood. Jamie Lynn will be back at work and trying to remind people of her talent and not that she is an unwed teenage mother.”

Two points there: first, I hear the rumblings of a completely overbearing mother. Second, "remind people of her talent"? Yikes. And, I'm afraid to say, this isn't going to be an easy one to shake.

On the plus side, she's a celebrity, so she's not being shunned by the community in Kentwood:
Kentwood local Pam Wright said: “How many 16 year-old girls get pregnant every week? It doesn’t mean that she’s a bad person. I don’t think this will end her career, life will go on.”

Tim Russert's "Irony"

From Media Matters:

In the January 19 edition of MSNBC's Tim Russert Show, Russert asked New York Times columnist Gail Collins:

RUSSERT: Is it ironic that this self-avowed feminist went to New Hampshire, showed some emotion, and that seemed to be a real help to her with women voters?

Translation:

The minute someone who calls themselves a feminist does something "unfeminist" (in the words of Patty Noonan on Meet the Press) and it gets her votes. Does that mean feminists don't have any voting power?

----

The assumption that showing emotion is "unfeminist" is required for this situation to be considered irony. Let me just say for the billionth time: feminism is the belief that women should have the same rights and privileges men do. Showing emotion mixes with that just fine.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blogging for Choice

Happy Birthday, Roe v. Wade!

On the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let's look at where we are.

People continue to try to strip away abortion rights by getting around Roe v. Wade. The decision was based on a Right to Privacy, a right that isn't constitutional, but is based on the 14th amendment, which guarantees a right to due process.

The court recognized a state's interest in the protection of fetuses (or, as I like to call them, fetusi).

In other words, Roe v. Wade is an unsteady basis for our right to choose.

If pro-life activists get their way, they would pass amendments stating that a fetus is a person. This would effectively counteract Roe v. Wade.

Men are now arguing that they should have a say when it comes to abortion. These pro-lifers are creative, I'll give them that.

Certain presidential candidates *cough* (Fuckabee) are towing the new pro-life line that doctors are to blame. We should protect our poor, stupid women from getting abortions. They don't know what they're doing.

If said candidates get elected, we'll have to speak through our votes. If you believe a woman should have power over her own life, is responsible to herself before the state, is of sound mind to make her own decisions, please, vote pro-choice.

To me, voting pro-choice means not only voting against all the efforts to strip away our rights, it means voting for candidates who will provide more access to sex education (to keep abortion rates low), voting for access to contraceptives, voting against all the little seemingly innocuous, bills that give the government, state, husband, father, sister, brother, mother, cousin the right to decide what's best for you.

Come November, a lot of people will be out there voting pro-life. Let's show them we're not going backwards.

Wait, maybe I should make it "cool" for the "young people."

Hey, dudes! Do you want to have ask your dad for an abortion even if he's the one who raped you? Do you want to be forced to have a baby when you're twelve? Do you want to pay a lot of money to have a coat hangar shoved into your vagina? That's right! No fuckin' way!

Get out there and Vote for your Vag!

I don't think that worked. Eh, it was worth a try.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Female Circumcision

Every so often, a new article comes out about female circumcision. Yesterday, it was the New York Times' turn.

The NYT takes us to Indonesia. And I mean they take us there, to the annual free circumcision fest. There's a slideshow and everything. (The pictures are from the slideshow. I weeded out the heartwrenching ones - a little too manipulative for my taste.)I'm horrified at the practice, and even more so because they don't care if they cut the clitoris. But we circumcise men. Is there that big a difference?

Well, yes, because rather than the original idea of circumcised penises, cutting doesn't mark you as "chosen" or "worthy." According to Lukman Hakim, the foundation that gives the free female circumcisions, the reasons are three-fold:

“One, it will stabilize her libido,” he said through an interpreter. “Two, it will make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband. And three, it will balance her psychology.”
Still, as far as I know, circumcised men feel less pleasure during intercourse than those who are uncircumcised.

The problem with cutting is that it stems from religious law that sees women as unstable temptresses. We're trying to get rid of a symptom of the problem, when we should be looking at the problem itself.

Some people feel it's right to call this torture, just like they call burkas oppression, but to dismiss someone's entire upbringing through your own paradigm is never excusable. Mothers who bring their baby girls to get cut are just doing what society expects of them.

It's like I always say, a lot of problems can be fixed with education. Let's help to educate these women, not by giving them a tirade on what's right for their children, but by showing them other options and creating those options for them.

Another parallel I can draw with out society is a topic I've been posting a lot about lately: plastic surgery. Some women are actually getting vaginal plastic surgery. Sure, the women aren't babies when they do this, but I wonder how many of them do it because "it will make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband."

I just don't think we should be so quick to paste our ideals on top of other countries. We have to look at the cause of the problem. Fixing the symptom will get us nowhere. Look at Iraq.

Is the UN actually helping?

There's a serious of articles that may prove the UN's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women might be working in Saudi women's favor.

(US participation in the CEDAW is not yet ratified, natch)

On January 18th, the committee called Saudi Arabia, a participant in CEDAW, out, pointing out that women have basically no rights in the country.

The committee sited these examples of oppression(via AFP):

Without the presence of this tutor (guardian), a woman cannot study, access health services, marry, travel abroad, have a business or even access an ambulance in an emergency," said one of the experts, according to minutes from the meeting.

"What is the legal basis in Saudi society that justifies this guardian system?" asked the same expert. "Is it necessary to maintain this system in the 21st century?"

Members of the committee asked the Saudi delegation why Saudi women do not have the right to drive.

In addition, they raised the case that made headlines around the world of a woman -- since exonerated by King Abdullah -- who had been convicted to six months in prison and 200 lashings after being gang-raped.

Saudi Arabia's response:
The Riyadh delegation reminded the committee that the country signed the convention with amendments made for Islamic law.

The kingdom is governed by Wahabism, a strict interpretation of Islam that -- in the name of Sharia law -- imposes complete separation of the sexes. As such, it is illegal for a woman to be in the company of a man who is not in her immediate family.

In its report, Riyadh also wrote that "Islam, as a realistic religion, admits that total equality between man and woman is contrary to reality, as various scientific studies on their psychological differences have shown".

On the subject of polygamy, the Saudi representatives replied that in the kingdom, men are permitted by law to have up to four wives.

Sometimes the sexual appetite of a man is not satisfied by his wife and he must take another wife to satisfy this, otherwise he would be obliged to satisfy it an illegal manner, outside of marriage, explained the delegation.

Yikes.

But something may have gotten through to Saudi Arabia. The Telegraph reports today that women will soon be allowed to drive, and four hours ago, the AP reported that Saudi women can now stay in hotels alone.

(I guess it makes sense not to let women stay in hotels by themselves. I mean, they're much better off sleeping on the streets.)

Are these just small concessions to keep women from revolting? To keep the UN off their backs? To keep the world out of their business? Or are things really changing. I find the latter pretty hard to believe.

Now Oprah's a Traitor

The Times Online reports that Oprah is in some hot water with some of her female fans.

On her website, and interesting little discussion thread popped up: OPRAH IS A TRAITOR!!!!!!!!!. Yes, the topic title has NINE exclamation points.

Why is she a traitor? Because she's backing a political candidate she supports instead of a woman. "Choosing her race over her gender."

She's been absent at the last bunch of rallies, but she's also trying to negotiate her new network, OWN with Discovery.

If she is stepping back because of the backlash, I understand why. Her fans are important to her success. But Oprah, if you're reading this, get back in there and support the person you believe will make the best president. And I know you read this, O.
The whole celebrity endorsement issue is another story. Oprah is pretty influential and her support of Obama did something. If she stays out of the limelight on his campaign trail, it could hurt him.

Bottom line, this is ridiculous.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Big UK Breasts

An Australian report details a British study that shows British women breaking their backs everywhere.

According to the article, the study shows average bra size has grown from a 34B to a 36C in less than ten years.

In less than ten years the average bra size has grown from a 34B to 36C.

Marks & Spencer say a quarter of all its bras sold are a D cup or above - a figure which has doubled in three years.

And, in response to customer demand, its range, which used to end with a G cup, now goes up to a J. Lingerie company Bravissimo has even introduced three different K cup bras.

K???? Jesus Christ!Several reasons are given in the article, obesity, estrogen taken during menopause, and fake estrogen, which we get through necessities like lipstick (and tampons and spermicide, but those fall more into the realm of real necessities), and alcohol.

It's not all bad news though, another possibility the article mentions is that women are exercising more. Bigger pectorals=bigger boobs.

But the increase could lead to a greater risk of breast cancer. That good news went by pretty quickly, huh?

I'm not sure how big a deal this is. I mean, what the hell are we supposed to do about it? Just another scare tactic to keep women in their place. "Quick! Make your breasts smaller, or we'll all get breast cancer! Go! Now!"

At least most guys will be happy.

Susanne Pleshette


is dead at 70 from lung cancer (I think from lung cancer, she started chemotherapy in '06).

The articles I read don't really describe her as a person, but, overwhelmingly, as "throaty." The linked article talks about her husbands and Bob Newhart. Damn, I guess that's what happens when you hit the peak of your career in the '70s.

I hope she was cool. I guess she avoided the age of celeb hype. What? We don't know anything about her personal life except that she was married three times? I'm not sure what to do with myself. I wish that happened now. I might be a better person if I knew a little less about Britney Spears.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Roe"bration


Tuesday, January 22nd is the anniversary of the historic (if flawed) court case Roe v. Wade. And it's time for some celebration! We should party now while we still have some rights left.

Feministing has a great list of stuff going on to commemorate the occasion. Check it out.

They left out an event my cousin is going to (in Seattle). NARAL Pro-Choice is hosting Chocolate for Choice, a chocolate crawl benefit. Though it's playing into stereotypes a bit, fuck it, chocolate is as good an enticement as any to get people to contribute money for choice.

I'm going to try to get to Politics Uncorked on the 29th and the Feministing party on the 31st (both in NY). Anyone want to join me?

Well, she did it...

Hillary took the wheel for Nevada.

And Romney. Ugh. This is an interesting/scary race.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chris Matthews Apologizes



Favorite quote: "She did a 'wow' of a job..."

Okay, so he belabors the heart bit a little. (Gag) But he makes a good point. He does this shit on purpose. He's politically incorrect because it gets him numbers. When viewers complained, he apologized. That's the way punditry works. Sad, I know.

Feministing has a great list of all the shit Matthews has gotten away with. I guess these weren't affecting his numbers.

* In an interview with John and Elizabeth Edwards: "Behind every great man is a woman trying to kill him... What's this with equal marriages? Why do people try to marry their equals? What happened to the Stepford Wives, the good ol' days? [Audience boos.] Oh, how PC! How PC!"

* He's called Hillary Clinton "witchy," "she devil" and compared her to a "strip-teaser." He has referred to men who support her as "castratos in the eunuch chorus." He has suggested Clinton is not "a convincing mom" and said "modern women" like Clinton are unacceptable to "Midwest guys." He has called her "Madame Defarge" and "Nurse Ratched."

* He has described one of Clinton's speeches as a "barn-burner speech, which is harder to give for a woman; it can grate on some men when they listen to it -- fingernails on a blackboard."

* To Sen. Chris Dodd: “Do you find it difficult to debate a woman?”

* To CNBC's Erin Burnett: "You're beautiful," "you're a knockout," and "It's all right getting bad news from you."

* On one show, he repeatedly asked his guests if they find Ann Coulter attractive. And when they, smartly, wouldn't answer, Matthews said, "You guys are all afraid to answer. No, I find her—I wouldn‘t put her—well, she doesn‘t pass the Chris Matthews test."

* And to top it all off, the Hillary Clinton cheek-pinching incident.

Oh Good. Sean Paul will save her.

Just what Britney Spears needs. Some guy she's never heard of to "smack" and "spank" her.

Added bonus: the paparazzi fucking laughs. What's that about?

I love how everyone wants other celebs to give "advice" to Spears. That's what I would want if I went through a nervous breakdown: strangers telling me what to do.

I Love this Woman

Via Feministe:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tiny Tees


The Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have gone way too far.

They're spreading tiny t-shirts throughout New York laundromats. Random people are getting hit by the weight police via tiny tees in their laundry. Just a simple reminder to lose weight after the holidays.

Clever? Maybe. Offensive? Definitely. I've already got clothes like that in my laundry. I don't need strangers going through my laundry to send me a not so subtle message.

Dear, Use Me While Having in Sex

Dancing condoms and ninjas. This gets really good around five minutes in.



I'm glad stuff like this exists in India. Sure, it goes on a little long, but it's mesmerizing. Imagine those condom guys walking down the street.

Condoms for everyone!

Kanye West Blames Himself

Celeb rag Hollyscoop reports Kanye West blames himself for his mom's death after plastic surgery. He got famous, his mom quit her good job to manage his career, wanted plastic surgery, and he picked up the tab. She died a couple hours after the surgery from a "pre-existing coronary artery disease."

I don't think he should blame himself. Our society is in love with/addicted to plastic surgery. His mom didn't have to buckle under pressure to change her face, and he didn't have to foot the bill, but society is culpable too. Society says it's okay to put yourself at risk in order to fit its opinion of beauty. But it's NOT OKAY!!!

Maybe she would have died from this disease eventually. But I guess we'll never know. All because of this stupid scourge we've all decided to accept. No, not only accept. EXPECT.

Diane Keaton's Fucking Personality

She's awesome. I love her. Though it's a little weird that she thinks Diane Sawyer's lips would get her married. C'mon, lady! You don't need good lips or marriage! You're an awesome woman.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

target: vagina

People are talking about this:
No one knows if Target intentionally placed the model's vagina right in the bull's eye, but, as most people are saying, it's hard to believe no one noticed.

It's hanging in Times Square.

Get Off My Back!

After all the hoopla about Gloria Steinem's NYT Op-Ed, I got to thinking.

Well, actually, it happened before that. I read her piece and couldn't deny this nagging feeling that Steinem was trying desperately to be relevant again. That's right, I said it.

I am grateful for everything the feminist movement did for women in America. Their minds had to be completely focused on getting women ahead in this country. They had to create opportunities that weren't there in the 60s. And, yes, we're still working to create those opportunities and more today. We're still fighting against sexism and misogyny. Women are stereotyped every day in movies, ads, and politics. But the fight is different now.

Hillary Clinton is just bringing it to the forefront.

The baby boomer generation can't understand why my generation doesn't want to vote for Clinton. The fact that she's a woman (I'm generalizing here) is enough for them. But it's not enough for us. They gave us what we needed to have a voice in politics, society, and culture. Of course, 1st-wave feminism had a lot to do with it too, but they're mostly dead. I wonder what they would think? I think they'd vote for Obama.

If 2nd-wave feminists are still stuck in the 2nd-wave, they're not exactly irrelevant. They're just not exactly in tune with my generation. And yes, that's fine. But stop trying to make us into you. I just wish they'd catch up and get into third-gear. Wouldn't it feel nice to vote for someone you want for president without worrying about their race or gender? Wouldn't it feel nice to accept women who get married, dress up, put make-up on, cook, craft? (Again, generalizing, but the judging kept a lot of smart women out of the movement.)
Now, we can vote for someone who will make the world better for women AND for the poor AND for international relations. We have the luxury of not having to pigeonhole our beliefs. I can hope for equality in every corner of the world and not worry that my all-inclusive nature is counterintuitive to the fight for my gender. So I guess I should say thanks to the 2nd wave. Thanks for giving me the chance to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in. Just stop telling me what I should think is right. Stop guilting me into making a choice I'm not comfortable with.

In other words, get off my back. Please? And let's work together to make sure we elect a Democrat this year.

Mixed Feelings

Slate V has a clever video out today about Hillary Clinton:


The comparison works well in some ways, mostly in the middle. But it's a little forced and a little offensive. I mean, they're comparing Clinton to a little brat fictional character who, come to think of it, might have been based on Clinton herself. Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hey! Women Can be Sexist Too!

And it's not about the election either! Nope, WSJ article is just random sexism.

The article is about women and tools. (insert funny pic of Chris Matthews or Billy Bush here) Hardware stores are marketing towards women and their nifty notion that they can fix things too! Guess what the color du jour is.
The clever "Ms. Hymowitz" calls this trend "the pinking of home improvement," "the pink hammer brigade," and "the pink hammer revolution."

Newsflash: women have been fixing things for a long time. But advertisers and marketing departments have only just caught on. And everything's going pink-ass frilly. Of course! All women want a pink screwdriver!

According to Hymowitz, if that is her real name, single and divorced women are becoming more self-sufficient out of necessity. Or possibly because they've been called a nag too many times by their "loving" husbands. But watch out, Hym-ey isn't buying any of this "empowerment" shit:

"The only thing to give pause in the pinkhammer revolution is the occasional whiff of ideology that emanates from its leaders. Hang around the movement's Web sites and before long you'll hear rhetoric that implies that learning to install a dimmer switch is not simply a practical means of increasing domestic pleasure; it's a Radical Statement for Women's Progress. "It's more about Empowerment with a capital E," reads the toolgirls.com manifesto. Most of the rhetoric is more Oprahesque heavy breathing than Steinem-style fuming, but it still may not be the most suitable tone to take around people preparing to take up potentially lethal tools. "My true desire is to inspire women to become more self-reliant and confident in their abilities," Barbara K! writes on her Web site. "We all have 'it' within ourselves to do things we never imagined we could."

Well, maybe. But the truth is that while women may want a lovely home, most of them would also like a good man to share it with. You can be sure that, unlike their female counterparts, few single men are spending their weekends restoring the crown molding in their living rooms. Men's domesticity has always been a group affair; they fixed the faucets and built the shelves not for themselves but for their wives and children. Women ought to know that selfreliance isn't everything."

Translation: It's okay to bone up on your handy-woman skills, but make sure you don't do it for yourself. Do it for your future husbands. Imagine how much they'll want to marry you when they see you with that pink hammer! Yeah!

Ugh. I'm gonna be sick.

Wow. Is this Really who we Are?


A friend emailed me yesterday's Democracy Now. I'd heard rumblings about the Gloria Steinem/Melissa Harris-Lacewell head-to-head, but I didn't listen until I got the email from him.

It made me sad. I've never been a huge Steinem fan, but I always thought she had some merit. Maybe second-wave feminists become irrelevant if they stay back there in the second-wave. But Steinem isn't even in the past, she's in some bizarro world. Black women always had a hard time relating to the feminist movement. True, they were discriminated against in civil rights groups, but at least they felt like the group was speaking for them. This is a problem that I hope is getting better.

I think she came off sounding like an idiot. It reminded me of that white woman on Black.White. She's just so wishy washy. Her opinions mean nothing because they change so fast. Harris-Lacewell reminded me of the black woman on the show. She was quick to say how offended she was, rather than just argue her point. Harris-Lacewell, at least, sounded like she had convictions. Steinem sounded worthless and irrelevant. Just my opinion.

Shudder, Shudder

Via Feministe.

An Australian website is promoting brazilian waxes for young girls. How do I know? Well, the website is girl.com, they're pushing Nancy Drew video games, and Baby Gap is advertising on the site. Oh, and the poll results for "Best way to meet guys" (not to be confused with another poll question: "Best place to meet guys")? 41% said Chat Rooms.

Feministe quotes an article, which quotes something I couldn't find on the site:

“Nobody really likes hair in their private regions and it has a childlike appeal.”
Shudder!

If they took that down or it never existed or I just suck at looking, I don't know. But gross.

What I found on the website was actually interesting. I found a good, brief history of Brazilian waxes, and a description of how it works. They joke about the "sadistic" nature of the wax, and suggest a gradual waxing process.

The fact remains that a ten-year old does not need to get waxed. And I can't believe any girl or woman would want to do it.

Presidents Cry...

This is a great list of crying, welling, teary presidents. Here are the good parts:

Hillary Clinton's voice breaks in New Hampshire and we get endless "analysis" of Hillary's mental stability and questions about whether she's "tough enough" to be president. Mitt Romney's have welled up twice in one week, and it didn't lead anyone to question his emotional stability or his fitness for command.

George Washington "was obliged to wipe his eyes several times," according to the account of one Dr. Cogswell, at his heady arrival in New York for his swearing-in as the first President. And Teddy White wrote that "the elegant and controlled" John F. Kennedy had "tears in his eyes" the night he was elected in 1960. [NYT, 1993]

Sitting president William Howard Taft burst into tears on the campaign trail in 1912, exclaiming to a reporter, "Roosevelt was my closest friend."

Bill Clinton shed tears in 1993 at the swearing in of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Former president George H. W. Bush wept openly in 2006.
Can't say that I'm shocked, just nice to have a list. References are through the link. The picture is from the article at Majikthise.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Love the Funny Ladies

Searching on YouTube, found Shayna Ferm. Her CD should be coming out soon. Check it!



Call to Action: Misguided?

I hate Chris Matthews as much as the next person with any intelligence does. But this call to action from Media Matters is a little much.

They want you to tell MSNBC you're sick of him.

Okay, I'm sick of him. But I'm also sick of every other jackass sexist pig out there (cough: Howard Stern, and most people in the White House). He's got the freedom to speak and it's his schtick to be a fucking asshole.

I don't know, but I usually don't like to ask people to shut other people up just because I don't like what they're saying. I wouldn't want anyone to censor me. I'm free to blog all I want about what a deusch he is.

That being said, MSNBC, maybe you should just have a polite conversation with your asshole "pundit." Break it to him gently: women are actually people too! They actually have brains! Even Hillary Clinton!

A New Gateway Drug

The New York Times reports today about "medical spas" at the mall.Disclosure: I hate plastic surgery. I suppose that's no surprise. I do see some merit, you know, like when someone has something on their face or body that prevents them from getting by in the world. But there's no excuse for "cosmetic surgery" (read: unnecessary surgery). Why should anyone feel compelled to put themselves at risk because they want bigger boobs or less wrinkles? I really can't understand it.

The newest trick these "doctors" are using is a spa-like setting, some of which are in malls. You know, so you can get some clothes, shoes, and a tummy tuck. People are drawn to the clean, cool setting and young women handing out brochures outside of the "stores." At least they're not pretending to be doctors anymore (actually, some places are using nurse practitioners instead of doctors). Instead of "medspas" for unnecessary surgery, we should have them for real surgery. Not just for famous people. We should make people feel good before going in for brain surgery. Sorry - end of tangent.

People interviewed in the article attributed the current surge of customers to aging baby-boomers and shows like Nip/Tuck and Extreme Makeover. Nip/Tuck I could care less about. You'd have to be stupid to make life-changing decisions based on a fictional television show. It's equally stupid to base your life on an edited reality show. But it's a little more excusable, I guess. I mean, from what I understand, you do watch ugly people become pretty. But why do we all want to look the same? That's so boring.

Soon, I think, we'll be hearing about a new addiction. Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous will be joined by Plastics Anon. Once they've started, people can't stop pulling, tucking, ripping, shredding their bodies. One particular "victim" even calls microdermabrasion her "gateway drug." And it's all because we can't be satisfied with who we are. Blame it on society or media all you want. When it comes down to it, plastic surgery is a choice. To borrow an oldie but goodie: be smart, don't start.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Subway will help your self esteem

I saw this commercial a week ago, and couldn't find it on YouTube.

Thanks, Feministe, for finding it.

Newsflash: Subway can make you fat too! But maybe it's the kind of fat that doesn't need therapy. Do you think that's what they're trying to say? Yeah, I don't think so. Oh, and do I have to mention it was a woman talking to a man?

The real subway pissed me off today too. No service at my stop? I don't care if it's safe or not...get the subway back!

Okay, I'll stop complaining about my personal issues. Back to the commercial.

I love that Subway is trying to be the health-conscious fast food place. And, of course, it's not enough to just be healthy (which, granted, some of their stuff is), they have to guilt you into going there. Well...yeah. Makes sense, right? Pay a little more for a meatball sub at Subway and you won't have to lose your self esteem because of all that weight you're going to gain. It's a magic meatball sub. I think I forgot to mention that.

Subway - either make your food holes completely healthy (and maybe clean them up a little) or shut the hell up and mind your own self esteem.

Man, I miss Evos.

Friday, January 11, 2008

This Washington Post cartoon is SOOOO Funny!

Ha ha ha ha ha! This is hilarious and not at all sexist.

I'm being sarcastic, in case it doesn't read.

You stole my wife!

Women can be stolen legally in Mississippi.

And the Supreme Court couldn't be bothered. Of course the good news is, it's a unisex law that permits

a cuckolded spouse to seek damages for "loss of society, companionship, love and affection," as well as "the loss of sexual relations."

No, wait. NOT GOOD NEWS. People should NOT be able to sue for this kind of thing. Stating the obvious, or so I thought.

Where's the Fanfare?

This AlterNet article does a good job of saying something I've seen a little bit of: Why doesn't anyone care that a woman won the primary?

Here are the facts (from the article):

It turns out Hillary may have the more "historic" win -- if race and gender "firsts" are the yardstick. Technically, Shirley Chisholm takes both "firsts" with a New Jersey primary win in 1972. And Jesse Jackson won five primaries and caucuses in 1984 -- including Virginia, Louisiana and D.C.

On closer inspection, according to Allan Lichtman, professor of history at American University, Chisholm actually won a "nonbinding preference, where no delegates were awarded" against ex-Gov. Terry Sanford. Humphrey, McGovern and Muskie did not compete. As Lichtman put it, "This is the first time in American history a woman won a major contested presidential primary." At the very least, the first time in 36 years a woman had won a primary.
We all know why no one cares. She's not someone you particularly want to be happy for. I know that's a big statement, but that's how I feel. She makes it hard, because she's SUCH a politician. Her speech after her win was wonderful. I'd love to believe that she had "found her voice." But it's gonna take some more convincing for me.

I gotta admit though, a small part of me was extremely excited that this barrier has been broken.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Let's not move backwards

This BBC News story reports that abortion clinics in Spain are on strike. Doctors are trying to change a law allowing abortions only to women for whom the pregnancy poses a risk to their mental health. More restrictions are placed on rape victims and women with malformed fetuses(!)

Dr Roland Ledea, who runs a private abortion clinic in Madrid, told that BBC that "we are now in 2008 and the law was made in 1985 - society has changed a lot".

"I think abortion should be free, depending on the woman that is pregnant, nothing else."

Those Roman Catholics, they do things right. Best of luck to the strikers.

Women and "Children" First

Though this Globe and Mail story carries the offensive title, "Will women or children pick the next president?" there's actually some good stuff there.

Basically, it's another piece about why young women aren't voting for Hillary Clinton. It starts off towing that same, bullshit:

Melissa Haussman cannot wrap her mind around why young women would vote for Barack Obama.

"It disappoints me greatly," said the professor of political science at Carleton University, an American who drove to New Hampshire last week to work on Hillary Clinton's campaign. "Your grandmothers chained themselves to the White House fence so that you could vote."

That's right - guilt us into voting for Hillary, that's great. But, even though the article gets a little condescending, the author, Siri Agrell, makes a good point.
The results of a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press give the impression that Mr. Obama was tailor-made to woo the youth demographic.

Describing "generation next" - 18- to 25-year-olds who came of age with personal computers, the Internet and the shadow of Sept. 11, 2001 - the Pew Center found that nearly one in five has no religious affiliation, and that the majority are pro-immigration, in favour of same-sex marriage, colour-blind, pro-choice and against the Iraq war.

THIS is why we're not for Clinton. She's for the Iraq War and, more superficially, she doesn't speak to the younger generation. We have the luxury to vote for someone because we WANT THEM AS OUR PRESIDENT. So why shouldn't we use the rights women fought so hard to give us? We want someone who will stand up for women, but it doesn't have to be a woman. I think it's wrong to guilt us into voting for someone because of their gender. Voting for Clinton because she's a woman is as bad as voting for McCain because he's a white man.