Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rape-ity Rape! Ha ha!

Via Feministing
Like Jessica at Feministing, I'm tired of this shit. I'm tired of everything. It's why I haven't been posting. The Hillary/Obama stuff, the Virginia Senate is taking away funding for Planned Parenthood, doctors are refusing to perform paps on unmarried women, I'm just tired.

What is fucking wrong with this world? I'll get my ire up soon, but right now, I'm a little resigned. Meanwhile, go complain about the t-shirt here.

Let me just state the obvious: rape is NOT funny.

How is This Legal?

Via Feministing.

Playboy ad hits women where it hurts:


Porn is great, but only when it involves consenting adults. When it humiliates unsuspecting women, there's a definite problem. Plus, it gives porn a bad name. This should be taken down. I don't think there's a debate.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clinton Carnage

Does anyone else think the Clinton’s have adopted a “look over here!” method of campaigning?

Yes, some of it can just be chalked up to dirty campaigning, but just before the last debate, the Clinton camp pulled the whole plagiarism thing.

And now, they’ve come out with this picture of Obama.

As the article I linked to says, Obama wore the clothes after he was presented with them by people from his father’s hometown. Sure, that hometown is Kenya, and the “people” were tribal elders, so the fuck what?

How many times have politicians wore things presented to them for diplomatic and friendly reasons? Plus, yes, this is a part of his heritage.

It’s ridiculous that Clinton (I’m assuming it’s Clinton despite her camp’s denial) is using this to spread the fear that Obama’s a muslim. Playing on the American people’s ignorance and fear is not the way to get me to vote for someone.

But on to my point: does anyone think Clinton’s using this shit to derail the debates? She definitely used the pagiarism in the last one, and I’m sure this picture shit will come up in tonight’s debate.

Why, oh why, can’t debates be about issues. Yes, people vote on character, but personality comes through as they talk about policy. And THAT is Clinton’s problem. That’s why she needs dirty campaigning to win her presidency.

She’s not the first, (anyone remember McCain’s black baby?) and she’s certainly not the last, but damn if this doesn’t just give me more reason to root for Obama.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Emma Thompson Stands Up for the Right To Eat

Gotta quote this Feministing post:

I love this. Hayley Atwell is starring in Woody Allen's new movie, Cassandra's Dream, but Miramax Films asked her to loose weight.

Says Atwell: "I went round to Emma's one night and she was getting very angry that I wasn't eating all the food she was giving me. I told her why and she hit the roof." The no-nonsense Thompson was so outraged that she called the producers the next day and threatened to resign from the film if they forced Atwell to lose weight. Faced with Thompson - a two-times Oscar winner - on the warpath, Miramax Films swiftly relented.
Proof that ultimatums CAN do some good.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not So Fast, Clinton

Jessica at Feministing is right. This is the funniest thing I've read all day.

In an article from The Concord Monitor, Dick (wad) Marple pops a blood vessel over the fact that the 19th amendment does not explicitly say women can be president. That's why his article is called: "Legally, a woman can't be elected president"

It's fucking hilarious. Here's a taste:

Today's feminists believe the election process is an evolutionary process, legalized by common practice and that someday a woman will be president. They are convinced that since women have run for the office, the male-gendered presidential office has been neutered .

Not so. They will be challenged, and a Supreme Court ruling on the language will be necessary. At the very least a constitutional amendment to change the language will be required.
Better be scared, Clinton. Oh, and Obama, you better start looking at the 15th amendment. I don't see anything in there about black people holding office.

Oh well! Guess we'll have to have a Republican! Oops!

Feminteresting, Indeed

Adam brought a new movement for gender-based taxation to my attention.

Gender-based taxation: women are taxed less than men.

From a paper by Alberto Alesio et. al, via The Atlantic:

Gender Based Taxation (GBT) satisīŦes Ramsey’s optimal criterion by taxing less the more elastic labor supply of (married) women.
So married women are taxed less than men. A convoluted way to make sure women get equal pay for equal work. A convoluted way to pay housewives for their work. Is there no better way?

Well, The F Word posted a Daily Mail article that reports researchers have found that housewife work is worth 30,000 pounds a year.

I feel like I've seen this before, in countless economic surveys. It doesn't make a difference. I think both ideas would eventually fail. Married people already get a break on their taxes (I think). We need to figure out a better way to get women the money they deserve. And a paycheck for housewives, like Jess McCabe at The F Word says, would invite scrutiny and criticism from the public and the government. Will all housewives have to teach their children abstinence? Do they get extra if they homeschool? Do they get days off? Who is their boss? The kids? The husband? The government. Yikes. Sounds horrible.

Neither of these proposals fixes the inequality ingrained in our economy, the sexism we've come to expect in our work system. They are band-aids that will quickly fall off.

I wish there was a simple answer, but there's not. Both of these proposals scare me, because the implications extend far beyond their original intentions. I understand that these people are trying to make the world fair, but they can't. Not this way, at least.

Missouri: the place to be if you're a fetus

This week, Missouri has given me not one, but two reasons to pull my hair. And that sucks, cause I really don't have that much of it.

Via Bush v. Choice, Missouri lawmakers want to reclassify EC as "abortion-inducing medication."

Legislation presented to a House panel last week would classify emergency contraception as an abortion-inducing medication, contrary to the definition used by the Food and Drug Administration.

The bill also would protect pharmacies from lawsuits and from punishment by state regulators for refusing to sell or fill a prescription for any drug defined as triggering an abortion.

First of all, it's just a lie. Plan B does not induce an abortion. RU-486 induces an abortion. You start taking Plan B "the morning after" intercourse.

Oh right, because the minute a guy's sperm enters some woman's body, there's a baby there.

And number 2: Via Feministing:

Missouri lawmakers are considering giving tax deductions to "parents" of stillborns for a year.
During a hearing on Monday, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said he wanted to honor families' losses.

"This bill recognizes that the person was a child of this state, a child of a family of this state," he said.

Dempsey noted that the Legislature passed a measure in 2004 that allowed parents of stillborn children to receive a birth certificate. The state tax deduction, he said, is the next logical step.
So will all parents get tax breaks for their dead children, regardless of age? Or is it only non-people who get deductions? I'm sorry these people had to experience this, but come on!

What the HELL is wrong with Missouri?

Help! She's Cutting Her Hair!

The China Post reports today that short hairstyles are signaling the end of Japan's booming economy.

Apparently, Japanese cosmetics company Kao Corp has a survey that shows women tend to wear their hair long when the economy is doing well, and to cut it short when it's getting bad.

Okay, so either:

1) Japanese women are so connected to the economy that they feel the heat when things are getting bad and respond to it literally by cutting their hair

2) Long hair encourages a booming economy, short hair makes people not want to spend/invest

3) This is a ridiculous survey that has no bearing on reality; hairstyle has nothing to do with the economy

I vote for number three.

They do have some evidence:

Until the early 1990s, when Japan's economic bubble burst, 60 percent of women in their twenties kept their hair long, the Nikkei said, citing the survey.

During the 1990s economic slump, short hair -- defined as above the collarbone -- became the dominant hairstyle for Japanese women. But since 2002, long hair has regained some popularity -- just as the economy started to expand, the Nikkei said.

So the fuck what? Why does this prove anything?

And if I'm wrong, and it does prove something. What the hell does it prove?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oh, All Right. She Deserves it.

Every feminist in the world is swooning over Ellen Page.

In an interview with The Washington Post, the actress said these now immortal and worshipped words:

"I call myself a feminist when people ask me if I am, and of course I am 'cause it's about equality, so I hope everyone is. You know you're working in a patriarchal society when the word feminist has a weird connotation."Hippie" has a weird connotation. "Liberal" has a weird connotation."
"'Cause it's about equality."

Simple words from an interesting woman. Got to love it.

No One's in the Kitchen with Robert

Oh, jesus. Vanessa Richmond posted an article on AlterNet today that made me never want to cook again.

I'm lying. Cooking makes me never want to cook again. But not according to Richmond. She writes that feminists don't cook because they think it's demeaning and oppressive. If they have time to cook, they should use that time to "enjoy life" some more.

So men are taking the reigns. Richmond says it's because cooking is "sweet" when men do it. They get praise. Women are expected to cook, and thus feel pressure.

How does Richmond get to this point? Quotes from her friends, her own interpretation of their tones, and a general sense.

Yes, my man cooks for me. But he J cooks because he's good at it, and he enjoys it. I reap the benefits, and I make sure to thank him very much. If I were cooking, he'd do the same.

Anytime I've tried to cook, I've found it annoying, tedious, and time consuming. I have not found, as Richmond states, that "anyone who's ever cooked will tell you the act of preparing food makes you more powerful and sexy." Oh, is that a fact? Tell my stained jeans and sticky cheeks. Tell my husband that when I've burned or somehow fucked up the meal.

I think the base of Richmond's argument (that women are cooking less because they don't think they "should," because it's too oppressive) is ridiculous. Her survey is unscientific and based completely on feeling. I find it offensive to be accused of thinking that much about cooking (or not cooking in this case). Frozen meals and hot dogs are fine for me. And it's NOT because I'm a feminist. It's because I'm a horrible cook.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Which Came First: the Tabloids' Double Standard or Our Own?

An article in The Huffington Post pointed me to this New York Times article about celebrity coverage and the double-standard in celeb coverage.

It's a really good article, and it illustrates the difference between coverage of female celebrities and male celebrities.

We all know the Heath Ledger, Owen Wilson, Robert Downey, Jr., etc. coverage doesn't even compare to the Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, etc. coverage.

But the article touched on something important, through quotes from tabloid editors and celebrities.

1) women read USA Today and People more than men
2) women tend to feel sympathetic toward male celebrities
3) there's a schadenfreude that comes with female celebs-gone-wrong
which equals more time spent on the failures of female celebrities.

In this case, society has failed. Women are encouraged to go off the rails, men are encouraged to get on with their lives, triumph over addiction, crime, etc.

The other side of the equation:

1) women read USA Today and People more than men
2) there is more coverage of female celebrities than male celebrities in those magazines
3) readers of the magazine come to expect stories of female celebs in the dumpster
4) they start to like these stories
5) they buy more magazines when female celebrities are covered.

In this case, the tabloids are active participants in a double-standard that has hurt gender equality in this country. But in a way, the blame still falls on society.

Either way, it sucks.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we call female celebrities and politicians by their first names. The only exception I can think of is Amy Winehouse, who is usually referred to by her full name. Not sure how to explain that one. Maybe because there are too many famous Amys out there.

But with men, it's always either their full name or their last name. I think this is a symptom of the same problem: the public generally respects men more than women. Long ago, someone decided that a first name is a sign of familiarity. The full name or last name is a sign of respect.

"Hillary" isn't respected as much as "Obama." Sure, Hillary Clinton's campaign adopted this tendency in an attempt to make Clinton seem more friendly, but the media has co-opted it as a way of reminding everyone of her female-ness, her weakness. And why shouldn't they? The campaign opened the door, and it's what society's used to. They should've thought twice.

I don't think Hillary has the best personality, which is why she's attacking Obama for his "cult of" it, but unfortunately, every election is won, at least a little bit, on personality. It's not like anyone voted for Bush because of his policy. No, they voted for him because they thought he was one of them - someone he could drink a beer with.

I went off on a tangent - sorry. Anyway, there is clearly a double-standard, which I can't lay out better than the NYT article did. The worrisome part is that society is responsible for it. But I don't want to hear how we're responsible. I want to know how to change it.

I, for one, like hearing about powerful women doing good things. I don't want to talk shit about people, I want to hear about successful women making the world a better place. I know this is only entertainment, but, as you can see, it's seeping into politics. Any famous woman has to try twice as hard to maintain her privacy, and succeed twice as much as a male celeb. And it's unacceptable.

Hey! She Has Boobs! How Many "Cute" Euphemisms Can We Use?

Via Gawker.

The Sun crossed the line yesterday, ruminating over Scarlett Johansson's breast-coming out party at a screening of The Other Boleyn Girl in Germany.

Gawker had it's own take about the breast-plosion, namely, that Johansson is trying to show the differences between herself and co-star Natalie Portman.

The Sun, on the other hand, was too distracted to give any sort of take.

The article is titled "Scarlett Shows Off Johanssons," and that's only the beginning. At the end of the article, there is an italicized "quip": "I'm surprised she didn't win the award for Bust Actress..."

And then there's the slideshow of pictures (both of which are included in this post), which, in my opinion don't really show much. The dress is tasteful. But anyway, get ready for more wit:

Scarlett fever ... actress busts out
All four one ... Scarlett, Natalie and the Johanssons

Wow, wonder how long that took them.

I don't think Johansson had an ulterior motive in wearing this dress. She's got big boobs, so the fuck what? She can wear stuff to show it, or not. Why is this a big deal?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao..."

USA Today has this gem.

The state department released minutes from a 1973 meeting between Henry Kissinger and Chairman Mao. Mao offered up 10 million Chinese women...but he was just kidding.

But really, it would've been a great plot. As Mao said, "By [sending Chinese women to the US] we can let them flood your country with disaster and therefore impair your interests. In our country we have too many women, and they have a way of doing things. They give birth to children and our children are too many."

HAHA! The meeting sounds like it was a blast. Women were accused of destruction, faulted for having children, and spoken of as commodities. HAHAHAHA! What a pair of cards Kissinger and Mao were!

More from the transcript:

Mao: The trade between our two countries at present is very pitiful. It is gradually increasing. You know China is a very poor country. We don’t have much. What we have in excess is women. (Laughter)
Kissinger: There are no quotas for those or tariffs.
Chairman Mao: So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands. (Laughter)
Prime Minister Chou: Of course, on a voluntary basis.
Mao: Let them go to your place. They will create disasters. That way you can lessen our burdens. (Laughter)
And Mao wasn't the only bastard in the room:
Mao: Girls. (Prime Minister Chou laughs.) Today I have been uttering some nonsense for which I will have to beg the pardon of the women of China.
Kissinger: It sounded very attractive to the Americans present. (Chairman Mao and the girls laugh.)
Oh but wait...
Mao: You know, the Chinese have a scheme to harm the United States, that is, to send ten million women to the United States and impair its interests by increasing its population.
Kissinger: The chairman has fixed the idea so much in my mind that I’ll certainly use it at my next press conference. (Laughter)
Ah. It's so funny that such powerful people are sexist! It's good Mao can joke about a "problem" that led to loads of baby girls' murders.

I'm not surprised, but it's scary to see it in writing.

The New York Times Gives EcoMoms The "Housewife" Treatment

I realized, as I clicked the link to read the New York Times article "For ‘EcoMoms,’ Saving Earth Begins at Home," that I would be dangerously close to the line.

You know, that line. The one we feminists are accused of all too often, but that sometimes actually applies.

"You're just reading it through a lens."

Right. Yes, sometimes feminists go too far, placing their own values on something without thinking of context.

But this article, about women who start conserving at home (you know, so we don't have to fight pollution overseas), is not a case of over-analysis. It's purely sexist.

Let's start at the beginning, where "housewives" are thrown back to the '50's:

The women gathered in the airy living room, wine poured and pleasantries exchanged. In no time, the conversation turned lively — not about the literary merits of Geraldine Brooks or Cormac McCarthy but the pitfalls of antibacterial hand sanitizers and how to retool the laundry using only cold water and biodegradable detergent during non-prime-time energy hours (after 7 p.m.).

Move over, Tupperware. The EcoMom party has arrived...Here, the small talk is about the volatile compounds emitted by dry-erase markers at school.

Oh, isn't Patricia Leigh Brown whimsicle, assuming women gather strictly to talk about books and tupperware. Gasp! Can you believe these ladies are talking about something important? I'm shocked! (Brown gets NO credit for the mention of Cormac McCarthy, because his book was recently selected for Oprah's Book Club.)

The tone continues throughout the article:
Perhaps not since the days of “dishpan hands” has the household been so all-consuming.
More unnecessary assumption that women have nothing interesting to say, think about nothing but their house-life.

Re: the EcoMom movement:
Part “Hints from Heloise” and part political self-help group
What the hell is a political "self-help group"? Can't it just be a political group? Do women need self-help for politics now?

Also rampant in the article is the assumption that all these women have no other job. I'm fine if someone chooses not to work, but it's just not the case with the EcoMom Alliance (which is NOT linked to in the article). Robin Wright Penn is a member (who, I think is still an actress), and the group was started by a social entrepreneur who co-produced an event for the United Nations World Environment Day.

But the article's not all bad, there is a little of the idea that women are powerful in the changes they can make at home:
Women have been instrumental in the environmental movement from the start, including their involvement in campaigns a century ago to save the Palisades along the Hudson River and sequoias in California and, more recently, Lois Gibbs’s fight against toxic waste at Love Canal.

In public opinion surveys, women express significantly higher levels of environmental concern than men, said Riley Dunlap, a professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University.

And the EcoMom alliance itself pushes the history of women's meetings. Of course, it doesn't refer explicitly to Tupperware:
Much as kitchen table conversations have inspired women throughout history, the EcoMom Alliance is a call to action asking moms to help protect our planet and create a more peaceful, just world.
(from the website)
I'd say the tone is a little more about power, a little less about women gabbing about the best way to iron shirts. The tagline on the website: "Because one of nature's strongest forces is a network of mothers."Despite the brief mention of power, the NYT article ends on a sour note, noting the "domestic strife" eco-housewife-ism can cause and (natch) the cat-fighting within the movement:
And ecomotherhood is not always sisterly.

At the EcoMom party recently, some guests took the hostess, Liz Held, to task for her wall-to-wall carpeting (potential off-gassing), her painted walls (unhealthful volatile organic compounds) and the freshly cut flowers that she had set out for the occasion (not organic). Their problems with the S.U.V. in the driveway were self-explanatory.

The organization is about power, it's about concern for the environment. This article cut it down to coffee talk and internal strife.

NOT good, in my book.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Maximeter

It's no surprise that I hate Maxim.

And it's not surprise that they had a "5 chicks I shouldn't want to fuck but would anyway" slideshow.

But I read it, so I must condemn it.

These are the "5 Women We´re Not Supposed to Want (But Do)"

"Are these women hot by traditional standards? No. Would we still do dirty things to them? Hell, yes!"

1) Meg White
2) Pink (not hot by traditional standards? what?)
3) Lisa Lampanelli
4) Juliette Lewis
5) Tina Fey

There you are, ladies. Be grateful that Maxim thinks you're worthy. They're bucking trends to do it (gasp)! We should give them lots of credit for forgiving these ladies for their lack of "traditional" hottness.

And I gotta quote the copy under Meg White's picture:

We´ve always wanted to bag a drummer, and for us it came down to a coin flip between Meg and the one-armed guy from Def Leppard. She´s 12 pounds of sugar in two 5-pound bags, and has both arms. If she humps like she drums…
Classy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V-Day...Literally!

Via The Raw Story.

In honor of Valentine's Day, The Today Show let Jane Fonda say "cunt."

Okay, not really. But the censors missed it on the East Coast feed. Oh! The horror! We're all going to die!

Raw Story has some nice quotes from conservablogs:
Newsbusters.org:

Besides her left wing activism, famous North Vietnamese propagandist Jane Fonda spouts foul language on morning network television, when some children almost certainly saw it.

Michelle Malkin:
The woman has no class. You already knew that. But here’s more confirmation. Another reason not to let your children watch TV in the morning.

Here's the earth-shattering clip:

Hmmm..."the secrets to making your love last." Nice segue.

Anyway, thanks for the Valentine's gift. Love hearing women's genitalia on television. And no, I don't care about these so-called "children."

1. If they're watching The Today Show, they're losers.
2. If this word ruins their lives, they need new ones.

It's a word. It doesn't mean anything.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shiny, Happy Texans

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Texas ban on sex toys, saying it violates the right to privacy under the 14th amendment.

How did this get this far? The ban is clearly unconstitutional. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Update: Shuster Suspended, Not Expelled

TPM reports that Shuster is on suspension, but he'll be back.

Good.

THIS is what's wrong with Clinton's campaign


Unfortunately, I think this cheesy, unrefined, untalented performance represents Clinton's campaign perfectly. I'm not talking about the issues here. But come on, how the hell does cheese like this compare to this?

Sure, it's manipulative. But it's hot. Like Obama. I think these videos are a great representation of the differences between these two. Again, this is playing into the idea (which is, I think, obviously true) that a lot of people vote based on the feeling of a candidate, the vibe.

I can't resist putting this one up.

A perfect representation of funny Americans. I love this.

Well, That Sounds Good

Via the AP:

Amsterdam, famed for its red light prostitution district, on Wednesday gave escort services six weeks to apply for official city licenses.

The order is part of a campaign to combat money laundering, human trafficking and abuse in the sex industry, which was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000.

If that's really why they're doing it, this sounds good. Hopefully, it's not just a way to control the sex trade. I mean, it won't affect individual prostitutes, only the escort services. I think it's good. Tell me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sexism is Hilarious! (Cracked Edition)

Cracked.com has a real winner today. The article is called "If Valentine's Day Cards Were Honest."

Women always say they want a relationship built on honesty. This Valentine's Day, give her a card that will prove she doesn't really mean it. (emphasis mine)
That's right, be careful what you wish for ladies. You might get a card like this and realize your boyfriend is a complete asshole. Better avoid that bullet as long as you can! And...drumroll please...the FUNNIEST VALENTINE'S CARDS EVER!!!






Hey, at least this next card has some equality.
I have no idea what this means.


What the fuck? Some people have issues.
I'm only dating you for sex! HAHA!!
Note that this was just the hall of fame. There are more at Cracked. The post has 868 diggs. I hate us.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Super Delegates Have Crappy Lives

Via ABC News:

Jason Rae is 21-years old. He's a junior in college. And he's a super delegate.

Yeah, that means he gets to vote for whoever the hell he wants, but it also means he has strangers calling him. Sure, their last names are Kerry and Clinton, but they're still strangers. And they're calling to influence his vote.

I would hate every second of the conversations described in this article. Someone calls me who's clearly trying to manipulate me, I hang up.

But there's another angle to this story. It starts with the fact that Rae had breakfast will Chelsea Clinton this morning. It's not clear if Bill Clinton set up the meeting, but he did call Rae on January 25th. THIS is what Shuster was referring to. He was saying Bill and Hillary Clinton are using Chelsea. Sure, Shuster chose an apparently inflammatory phrase, but it's a valid opinion. I don't happen to agree. I think she's doing it because she wants to (okay, maybe they're pushing her a little bit).

But again, it's a valid opinion. I feel like Shuster's suspension is misplaced anger at Chris Matthews. He's the one who should get the boot if anyone should.

Hillary Overcome

Via Feministing:Fuckin'

Saturday, February 09, 2008

NOW Freaks Out Again

I know NOW isn't the only organization going crazy over David Shuster's 'pimp' comment, but NOW's press release is the first one I've read.

NBC News President Steve Capus announced this afternoon that MSNBC's David Shuster would be suspended from appearing on all NBC broadcasts because of his "irresponsible and inappropriate" remarks -- I would call them disgusting and sexist -- suggesting it was "unseemly" that 27-year-old Chelsea Clinton is campaigning for her mother, and then characterizing it as "being pimped out."

After Shuster's damaging remarks on-air, the National Organization for Women and others called on Capus to take action. After all, NBC has had a track record of employing sexist on-air personalities and for taking its time to deal with their behavior.
The article then mentions Don Imus (natch) and Chris Matthews.

I wouldn't even think of characterizing Shuster's comments as sexist. Here's what actually happened:



Oh yeah, he took a real stand there. He was talking about the fact that she's out there, clearly campaigning for her mother, but she is untouchable by the press. There's a double-standard there. Sure, it's not a great metaphor, but he was clearly grasping for the right words.

Comparing this dude to Chris Matthews and Don Imus is ridiculous. But I do think, like some of Imus' and Matthews' comments, it slipped out because Shuster was trying to fill time. 24-hour news sucks.

The Huffington Post Becomes Cosmo

Ugh. I knew there'd be plenty of fodder for this blog for the upcoming commercialized, forced, "romantic" Valentine's Day, but I didn't expect it to come from The Huffington Post.

Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent (it took two people to come up with this shit?) posted a cutesy, euphemism-filled column today titled: "How To Celebrate Valentine's Day Like A Hot Chick." Yeah, I know.

Yes, the title is a play on Jodi Lipper's book "How to Eat Like a Hot Chick" and it's ostensibly an empowering notion that we all have an "inner" hot chick, but that totally doesn't fly for me. What does it mean to have an inner hot chick? Is there a woman with great hair an a kickin' bod trapped inside my body? Is she the one that needs all that junk food? I think I need an exorcism.

Anyway, back to the article. I guess I should make clear that I am a V-day hater. I don't like to feel manipulated by the greeting card industry, and I don't like forced romanticism.

This article isn't about that, which, you know, is fine, if you're into expectations and obligation. Lipper and Vincent want to answer the question no one's asking: "Isn't it ironic that the same day that is supposed to inspire love, romance and bliss often ends up filled with arguments, disappointments and loneliness?" (No, it's not ironic it's exactly what the holiday is set up for.)

The article has two sections, one for couples, one for singles. Each has three different options for the supposedly big day. Each one assumes women expect to be pampered, surprised, adored...sorry, I have to throw up.

There are condescending suggestions:

If you have a Valentine and want all the frills..., then we know a way for you to get exactly what your little heart desires. Ready? Plan it yourself! Many women have super high expectations about what they want on V-day, but they don't communicate these wishes to their man and get all pissy when they don't get what they want. Well, here's the scoop, Hot Chicks - he can't read your mind. Sometimes we have to take the lead when we want something done the way we want it.

Suggestions of bribery:
...Steak and a BJ Day. This is a holiday on any day of the year when you take your man out for a giant steak, buy him beers and/or whiskey, and then... well... you get it. Not only is this a great way to make your man feel loved and give him a special treat that he deserves, but it's also a genius way to ensure that your Valentine's Day is a good one. Trust us, if he knows this holiday is coming, he will use all of his resources to make sure that your holiday is just as enjoyable as his is going to be.

Impulse purchases:
Buy yourself those earrings you've been eyeing online or get in your car and drive to a nearby city and spend the day exploring. Go for it - spoil yourself the way you deserve to be spoiled and you won't feel lonely at all.

Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that, if you happen to place a lot of importance on a made up day, maybe you should stop. Maybe you should take a cue from history. Valentines were martyrs. Don't let yourself be one.

To be fair, the article's last suggestion:
Valentine's Day is about passion, so take this opportunity to indulge in the things you are passionate about, whatever they may be. You don't need a guy to feel like the fabulous, sexy creature that you are - you just need the things that you love.

This would be great, if the rest of the article didn't contradict it. Huffington Post, I'm disappointed.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Woohoo! Spain is Awesome

I know some disagreed with Spain's decision to ban crazy-thin models from run-ways, but size 8 mannequins was a definite step in the right direction.

And now, they're really talking my language. The AP reports today that Spain is making clothes for...wait for it...non-stick women.

No, not a "cute" new marketing campaign for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, it's a new set of guidelines from Spain's Health Ministry. Over 10,000 women took part in a 5-month study to standardize clothes sizing. There will be three measurements: bust, waist, and hips. Wow. It's taken them this long to figure out women are as different from each other as men are? I don't know why I'm surprised.

I only wish we could get the three size thing down over here. I've got some birthin' hips growing on me now.

FoxNews Makes it "Classy"

Romney's suspended, Rove is on FoxNews, and I'm feeling better! Anyway, on with the post.

In a creepy attempt to wrap things up in a tidy bow, Oliver North (through FoxNews) has written this gem.

"Women, Children and Mentally Disabled are New 'Martyrs' For Al Qaeda
North gives us a history lesson about where the phrase "women and children first" came from to illustrate how tragic Al Qaeda's recent use of mentally challenged women was.

The best part:
The natural instinct of civilized human beings is to protect those who are more vulnerable in the face of danger. Civilized cultures have placed women on a pedestal, not because they are less capable, but because we honor them and hold them in a special place in our society.

The article notes this was not the first time, and that children have been taken advantage of in this way as well.

It then gives an example of women who were used as front-line soldiers. North ends the article with a sigh and a tear: "In radical Islam, the slogan “women and children first” has taken on a whole new meaning."

But the article doesn't talk about all the women who are volunteering for al Qaeda because they're angry, because everyone around them is dying, because extremism makes sense to them. These women aren't being used because they're "vulnerable," they're as angry as the male suicide bombers. Don't get me wrong: there's nothing good about any of this (North's article included).

At the base of this article is the assumption that women are (again) vulnerable, special. At the base of this article, women are not equal to the men around them. And while that is true under Sharia law, it's ostensibly no longer true here.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Clinton Wins

I'm just guessing. This is a crazy night, but I'm sick and tired, both literally and figuratively.

I'll get back into the game, even if I am right about tonight's winner. But for now, it's time to go to bed.

Here's hoping I'm wrong.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Femininity Will Win the Election?

There was an interesting but, I think, misguided article yesterday on PopPolitics about campaign theme songs and their greater meaning.

The general thesis of Bernie Heidkamp's article is that presidential hopefuls should take a cue from Clinton and Obama and run on a platform of femininity. (He cites Obama's association with Oprah as an example of his feminine side and Clinton's woman-themed campaign songs as hers.)

Heidkamp notes:

For awhile I felt that Hillary was going to lengths (and the media was complying) not to make gender a part of the campaign. Learning the Pat Schroeder lesson, she rarely showed emotion. Going further back, moreover, she had long been positioning herself in the Senate (until her infamous vote endorsing the Iraq War became unpopular) as a defense hawk. No one was going to accuse her of being "soft."

So for her to make the music of Parton and Gloria Estefan a central part of her campaign rallies -- and to choose a song from Big Head Todd that focuses on how a woman is changing the world -- is an intriguing choice.

Part of it can be explained, though, by her fairly recent realization that her perceived weakness is her greatest strength...

It can also be explained, though, in the realization that Americans -- or at least Democrats -- are sick of the rugged individualist, hyper-masculine narrative that Rove-Bush has sold us the past eight years. Feminine is in.

Don't believe me? Just try to picture Barack hunting for votes in camouflage. His authenticity and sensitivity (or at least his construction of an authentic and sensitive image) wouldn't allow it. He's the Oprah candidate.

He goes on to warn Republicans to get with the feminine program.

Oh, how I wish this was true (aside from that horrible perceived weakness=feminine part). But come on. Is he serious? Sure, lots of people find a feminine side comforting. But when it comes down to the election, people are going to go for the POW over the sentimental man or woman every time. I mean, seriously, how could a woman or a womanish-man protect us from the billions of terrorists out there plotting to kill us? Newsflash: everyone is still afraid. And the majority of Americans do not believe a woman (or anyone resembling a woman) could protect us.

I know. It's sad. But it's true, god dammit.

Michelle Obama Backtracks

From Talk Left:

The site seems to think that if Bill Clinton had said this, everyone would be up in arms. I'm not so sure. Would anyone really be surprised if he said that?

According to Politico, there was a little more backpedaling in the interview. Directly after the above clip:

ROBERTS: That's not a given?

MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, everyone in this party is going to work hard for whoever the nominee is. I think that we're all working for the same thing. and, you know, I think our goal is to make sure that the person in the White House is going to take this country in a different direction. I happen to believe that Barack is the only person who can really do that.

I feel the same way, but you'd think she'd have been better prepared to answer this. I've thought about it, and, like Ann Coulter, if Hillary Clinton won the nomination, I'd vote for her over McCain (or, even more resolutely, Romney). Like Michelle Obama, though, I'd much rather vote for her husband.

I do think this was a bit of a gaffe, but nothing incredibly shocking.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

More Powerful Women Fighting Back

Women are so helpless. Via the AP:

Women Teach Suspects a Very Hard Lesson

10 hours ago

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (AP) — It looks like a couple of suburban St. Louis purse snatchers picked the wrong women to attack. The victims fought back — with a snow shovel.

Police in Maryland Heights released details of the Sunday incident outside a Schnucks grocery store. The women were unloading groceries when the thieves tried to steal two purses from their cart.

One of the women grabbed a shovel from the suspects' pickup and smacked one of the men upside the head. The other woman jumped into the cab and attacked the other suspect, then grabbed the keys so he couldn't drive away.

Police tracked the men to a hotel. The man struck with the shovel required staples to close the gash in his head.

Both are jailed and charged with robbery.

Information from: KMOV-TV, http://www.kmov.com

Right on, ladies.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Little Feminist

"The Guy's Guide to Cooking For Girls"

Via Techcrunch:

Culinary Seductions is a new site that bribes men to cook for women. How? It'll get them into bed.

The ridiculously sexist site never calls women "girls." In fact, they ask girls to upload pictures of themselves.

(From the site) We're looking for photos and videos of sexy girls admiring their favorite foods! Send us photos of yourself or your date. We'll post the ones that make us the hungriest!
The picture in this post is their "Bite of the Month."

I know I'm lucky. My husband cooks dinner for me a lot. All I can do is hot dogs and frozen dinners. I know a lot of men don't cook, but is this really necessary? Maybe it works as a gimmick (a big MAYBE), but the site is just an excuse to gawk at beautiful women.

Here are some more gems:
Tease Her Taste Buds

You'll be sure to find the perfect dish for any doll.
Click the menu tab and you'll find a Meat Loving Madam (who is, apparently, breasts)

The deeper you go, the worse it gets. Ugh.

Truly Disgusting

The biggest attack since the surge killedat least 98 people and wounded over 200 today.

Two women were sent in to busy Baghdad markets and exploded.

Notice I say "were sent." That's because they were MENTALLY DISABLED women. The bombs were detonated by remote control.

Before it was reported that the women were mentally challenged, I was complaining about the fact that all the headlines said "female suicide bombers." They never say "male suicide bombers." I know, I know, it's much less common for women to kill themselves this way, but still, it feels wrong.

But this is an entirely different story. I hate delineating good and evil, but jesus...this is pure, untainted evil.