Saturday, May 31, 2008

How about we just don't talk about it?  

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Anti-choicers are putting pressure on George Bush to change Title X so that doctors can not even discuss abortion as an option with pregnant patients.

A gag rule? Fantastic.

In a letter to Bush, one group, the Family Research Council, wrote that "Title X funds continue to be used by abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood to promote abortion."

I really wish that this ignorant stereotype that pro-choicers "promote" abortion would be abolished, because I am so sick of hearing it. I doubt that there is one doctor or Planned Parenthood employee who actively tells women, "You should get an abortion." That may be promoting abortion... but they don't do that. Instead, they say, "You can get an abortion." That, my friends, is promoting choice.

I just wish that these morons would leave the law out of my fucking uterus.


Out lesbian might become next chancellor at university  

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I thought I'd stick with the "making history" theme that I've seemed to have adopted for today's posts, and talk about what's going on over at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cornell University Provost Biddy Martin was recommended Wednesday to be the next chancellor at UW-Madison. Martin is an out and proud lesbian, who teaches Women's Studies and German Studies, and has also written a book: "Femininity Played Straight: The Significance of Being Lesbian."

If Martin is actually elected as chancellor, UW-Madison will become the largest university to have an openly gay leader. There are only a handful of other openly gay university leaders, but they are all at small schools. UW-Madison has about 40,000 students.

Hot damn.

Women progress in Scotland  

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History has been made in Scotland!

On Thursday, for the first time ever, the bench in the Court of Session in Edinburgh consisted entirely of female judges. Three female judges have never sat on a bench together before, and thus the case drew a lot of attention from people who welcomed this historic moment. However, many realize that though this is a huge step, there is still major progress to be made. From a news article about the event:
Last night, legal bodies said the presence of Ladies Paton, Smith and Dorrian on the appeal court bench should not obscure the fact that Scotland's legal establishment is monopolised by men.

Scotland has 34 judges, with one place vacant. Of that number, only four are women, Lady Clark having joined Ladies Paton, Smith and Dorrian in 2006. The first appointment of a female judge, Lady Cosgrove, only came in 1996.

All in good time, I suppose.
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lack of ambition holding women back?  

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A new report is claiming that the lack of women in political positions is not due to a gender bias, but to a "lack of ambition" within females... that we are, in fact, creating our own glass ceiling.

Yeah, I know. My jaw dropped when I read that too.

"Somewhat surprisingly," write political scientists Jennifer Lawless of Brown University and Richard Fox of Loyola Marymount, women's underrepresentation "is not because of discrimination against women candidates. In fact, women perform as well as men when they do run for office. In terms of fundraising and vote totals, the consensus among researchers is the complete absence of overt gender bias."

Okay, I need to make a couple points here. First of all, the "absence of overt gender bias" is bullshit. There may be some sort of "lack of ambition" in women to pursue political careers, but you cannot attribute the predominantly male political world to solely that. An "overt gender bias" does exist. Let's ponder for a moment the numerous people who decided to attend Hillary Clinton's events just to yell out "make me a sandwich" while she was talking. Let's talk about the plethora of people that fail to take her seriously, or the news stations that decide to talk not about what she stands for, but about what she wears or how "shrill" her voice is.

With all that sexist bullshit that women have to deal with in the political world, no wonder there's a lack of ambition... which brings me to my second point. Let's look at the cause of this lack of ambition. Why are women less likely to pursue a political career than men? Maybe because of the aforementioned poor treatment that they may receive, or the fact that many men are conditioned from the womb to be successful suit-wearing politicians, while many women are given plastic irons and cooking sets from Toys R' Us at the age of five.

What this "study" failed to examine is the causality of this "lack of ambition." Saying things like "women are less likely than men to be willing to endure the rigors of a political campaign" implies that women don't have the guts or the motivation to run for office. And yes, maybe some don't, but claiming that this is the sole reason for the lack of women in political positions downplays a very real gender bias and tries to make a complicated situation into a simple one. No ambition? No job.

Not quite.

The only part of the study that even touches on causality is described in an article in The Washington Post:

The women in the survey were far less likely to be married or have children than the men were, and those who did had their hands full: 60 percent of the women, compared with 4 percent of the men, said they were responsible for the majority of child care.

There's another reason. I'm not trying to say that all women are being kept down by misogynistic asshole politicians who are ruining our country, but for God's sake, let's look at the bigger picture here.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No justice for stalking victims  

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Stalk·ing - the act or crime of willfully and repeatedly following or harassing another person in circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear injury or death.

Too many people don't realize the seriousness of stalking. Even if a stalker is not physically harming their victim, they can cause immense amounts of emotional harm and fear. Also, a stalking situation can often escalate to a violent crime... and why wait until that happens?

I was recently contacted by a woman who is working with Attorney Dawn V. Martin, a former Howard University Professor fighting for justice. Dawn was harassed repeatedly by a serial stalker, a homeless man named Leonard Harrison, who has been roaming universities since the 1980s, looking for his "perfect wife." Dawn went to a court, where a three-judge panel denied her justice. She then tried to get the entire court to review the panel decision, but her request was denied. She wants to take her case to the Supreme Court, with groups backing her. If any groups are willing to do so, please contact her at dvmartinlaw@yahoo.com.

The district court ruled that Harrison's stalking was not sexual harassment, because he did not touch or grope her, which is preposterous. By those same guidelines, a pervert on a train who stares at me and jerks off under his coat is not engaging in sexual harassment. Right.

Additionally, Dawn asked Howard University to implement security procedures that would stop the stalker. Their response? Deciding to "not renew" Dawn's contract, thus firing her from her position.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Why are women being punished when it is clearly the harasser who is at fault here? If Dawn does take this all the way to the Supreme Court, she could really make history and could possibly win an important victory for victims everywhere.

Visit Dawn's site to read more about her case, and if you want to offer her support, send her an e-mail. I know she would appreciate all the help she can get.
Friday, May 23, 2008

Buffet of the Week: long weekend edition  

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Woo, it's been a long day. I'll be visiting family all weekend, so updates will resume on Tuesday. To tide you over, here's your buffet of the week:

  • Ellen challenges McCain on gay marriage! Probably the best video I've seen all week. McCain gets his ass handed to him.

  • Hillary addresses sexism in an interview with The Washington Post, calling it "deeply offensive to millions of women."

  • In Colombia, women continue to fight for reproductive rights. A 13-year-old rape victim being refused an abortion? They have a long way to go...

  • This is very upsetting: some Zimbabwean women are so desperate that they have begun to sell sex in order to buy food. Some perform sexual acts for as little as 50 U.S. cents.

  • Huuuuge gap in pay between male and female lacrosse coaches. On average, men made $85,000 more in 2006.

  • In Tanzania, girls can disappear and no one will raise an eyebrow. Human trafficking is all too common, where a girl can sell for $20.

  • The US Senate passed a supplemental war spending bill on Thursday, which included a provision to restore government subsidies for birth control pills sold at university and low-income health centers.

  • The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has brought a lawsuit against the Air Force that questions the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

  • Women seek to ban men's ski jumping from the Olympics because the sport excludes women from participating.

Anything I missed?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The argument over the "boys' crisis" wages on...  

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I posted the other day about the American Association of University Women publishing a report that debunks the "boys' crisis" in education.

Today on Yahoo, I came across an article that argues against that report by claiming that there is, in fact, a boys' problem.

There was also opposing article that offers a counterpoint to the first article's argument.

I understand that boys may be falling behind in the sense that more females are earning degrees, but why is this viewed as a problem? If men are still earning more in the working world, and are still obtaining higher-ranking jobs than women because of the glass ceiling, then where is the issue?! Maybe women earning more degrees and graduating at a higher rate is the leg up they need to finally equalize the working world. Additionally, the first article writes that "women are earning 62% of associate's degrees, 57% of bachelor's and 59% of master's." I don't see a gap that is large enough to cause concern. So women are earning 7% more bachelor's degrees... so what? Are we ever going to experience a time when they are completely equal? No way. But again, let's look at the bigger picture here. I don't see any sort of "boys' crisis" in a world in which women are earning 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes. It just doesn't make sense.

Why don't we focus on the more important issues, that being the enormous discrepancies between the races and the classes? I posted awhile back about affirmative action, and I included some appalling statistics regarding the immense gap between white college students and black and Hispanic college students. Now there's a crisis.

Wow...  

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oral sex reserved for the sexually active kids  

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A new study shows that the majority of teenagers who want to remain virgins are not turning to oral sex as a means to preserve their virginity. The study involved 2,200 teenagers, which I'm presuming were all heterosexual, or perhaps included homosexual men, because the study separates "oral sex" from "intercourse," thus excluding lesbians. It revealed that those who labeled themselves as "virgins" were much less likely to report that they had tried oral sex, than those who labeled themselves as "non-virgins."

Of course, conservatives are using this as a platform to advocate for abstinence-only education, claiming that intercourse leads to other sexual activities... like oral sex. To me, this study has presented positive results. It shows that teenagers are finally starting to acknowledge the fact that oral sex is sex. Due to lack of proper sex education, there have been too many teenagers who believed that oral sex is not actual sex, and thus did not see the need to use a condom. Many teenagers are not taught that oral sex can put them at risk for STDs. The fact that only sexually active teenagers are engaging in oral sex is a good thing because then perhaps these teenagers will have a better idea of what they're doing, and therefore will use condoms! I really don't understand why people like Valerie Huber, director of the National Abstinence Education Association, claims that this study "presents significant risk for future sexual experimentation and so underscores the need for redoubled emphasis on abstinence education for teens."

Isn't it better for sexually experienced teens to engage in the "sexual experimentation" than those who haven't a clue what they're doing?

A waste of primary  

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The Daily Show's Samantha Bee and Larry Wilmore hilariously mock those that believe that all black men should automatically vote for Obama, and all women for Clinton. The Daily Show has always had a flair for using hyperboles to expose irrational ideologies.


Take Action Tuesday: pass the Healthy Teens Act!  

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For this week's Take Action Tuesday, I am going to urge you all to send an e-mail to Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and urge him to help pass the Healthy Teens Act, which will create a grant program for schools and communities to provide comprehensive sex education for young people in New York State. It is so important that this passes so that teens in New York will receive medically-accurate information and won't be forced to seek out information from less reliable sources.

Click here to send a letter to Bruno.

Boys' crisis?  

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A few months ago, author Lionel Tiger spoke at my college. He had written the book "The Decline of Males" that claimed that since women have started advancing in society, men have been experiencing hardships as they ascend in society.

Right.

Needless to say, most people attended his lecture to argue against his ideas, me being one of them. Well, new reports put forth by The American Association of University Women attempt to disprove this theory. They claim that “girls’ gains have not come at boys’ expense,” and that when it comes to education, the largest disparities exist between different races and classes, not between genders.

In examining a range of standardized test scores, the report finds some intriguing nuggets about the interplay of family income, race, ethnicity and academic performance. For example, it finds that while boys generally outperform girls on both the math and verbal parts of the SAT, the male advantage on the verbal test is consistent only among low-income students, and that among black students, there was no consistent advantage by sex from 1994 to 2004.

The report points out that a greater proportion of men and women than ever before are graduating from high school and earning college degrees. But, it says, “perhaps the most compelling evidence against the existence of a boys’ crisis is that men continue to outearn women in the workplace.”

Amen. I don't understand how people like Lionel Tiger can make the case that there is a "boys' crisis" when women are still earning only 77 cents for every dollar that men make. Doesn't sound like a crisis to me.

The rewards of abstinence  

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Sex Ed in the Bible Belt? Makes you cringe, doesn't it? Check out this interesting article from AlterNet about one woman's experience with sex education that was designed more to scare students than to inform them. And what reward did she receive for vowing to stay abstinent until marriage? A free chicken sandwich.

What?

Bottom line: some "sex education" classes are really fucked up. I can't imagine what these poor children grew up to be - young adults who are terrified of sex and must resort to the internet to receive answers to their ignored questions.

What are your experiences with sex education? Did you witness condoms being put on bananas or were you bribed by fried food to abstain from sex?
Monday, May 19, 2008

Acid attacks: new form of violence against women  

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20-year-old Sanaa covers her face because she is ashamed of how she looks. After being forced to marry a man 28 years her senior, she was the victim of an acid attack, indirectly caused by her husband. See the rest of the story in this video from the Women News Network:





Acid attacks against females is a prominent form of violence and it needs to be stopped. Visit the Acid Survivors Foundation to learn more about acid attacks and find out ways you can help.

The wage gap is alive and well  

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Upsetting statistic of the day: in 2007, female college graduates made on average $2.92 less than male college graduates. Anytime an ignorant fool tries to tell you that "women and men are equal," throw that fact at them. There is no way that women and men can ever be remotely equal if there is such a significant wage gap. As long as men are earning more, women will have to depend on them, and that's not good.

I posted a little while ago about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It stalled in the Senate because of a Republican filibuster, but Democrats have vowed to bring the measure up again. You can e-mail your Democrat senators and urge them to do so.
Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Ex-List" shows us the importance of marriage  

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Come the fuck on, CBS. The only new show in the fall lineup that stars a woman is a show about one who has been told by a psychic that she only has one year to get married or (GASP) she'll never find Mr. Right! Thus she spends the series frantically searching for her future husband.

Great. Thanks.


Some Clinton and Obama news  

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NARAL Pro-Choice America has officially endorsed Barack Obama. Many are happy with the decision, while others are angry because they feel that Hillary has equally fought for reproductive rights and thus deserved the endorsement just as much, if not more. I completely understand where they're coming from, but I don't agree with those who feel that Hillary deserves the endorsement more because she is a woman. In fact, I think NARAL shows a lot of courage in not choosing to endorse the female candidate - they must have known that this would cause a backlash. Thoughts?

Also, check out this article in the Washington Post exploring the image of the belittled woman. Libby Copeland exposes the fact that many people are using the phrase "poor Hillary" when describing the fact that she's behind in the race. "Poor Hillary" is quite the condescending phrase, and frankly, I see it as unfitting. I see Hillary as a very strong woman... not as someone to be pitied.

Protest a success  

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For those of you who were wondering, the student protest against anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly seemed to have gone wonderfully. When Schlafly was presented with her honorary doctorate, the majority of the crowd stood up and put their backs to her to show their disapproval. I'm beyond pleased that the students were so upset by Schlafly's ideals that they banded together to make a statement. More power to them.

Click here to read an article and see a video of the event.
Friday, May 16, 2008

California Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage  

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MAJOR VICTORY: California's Supreme Court has ruled the ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional!

This is huge. California is arguably the most influential high state court in America. Hopefully now, other states will follow California and Massachusetts's examples.

But of course, people who want to keep gays and lesbians as second-class citizens are taking steps to oppose the decision. They have already gotten enough signatures to put an initiative on the November ballot that would overrule the decision.

Get involved to fight against opponents of equality. We need to hold onto this historic decision. Visit the ACLU's GLBT project: Get Busy Get Equal.

In the words of the ACLU GLBT director Matt Cole: "how sweet it is."
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Students protest Schlafly  

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Just an update on the recent incident involving Washington University giving Phyllis Schlafly, avid opponent of feminism and the equal rights amendment, an honorary doctorate.

Many students are outraged by this, and rightfully so. Schlafly has done and said some outrageous things regarding where she feels a woman's place in society "should" be. I can't imagine what Washington University was thinking when they chose to honor this woman.

Students have made a website, organized protests, and are planning to silently protest Schlafly's ceremony by standing up and putting their backs to her. Schlafly's response to this uproar? Well, she claims that "students today have too much time on their hands," and she has also stated in interviews that she thinks these protests shows how "mischievous" the feminist movement is. She also doesn't think it is justified for students to disagree with her based on her opposition of the ERA in the 70s, because "they weren't alive back then." Right. Because only those who were alive in the 70s will be affected by the ERA. She also accused Women's Studies classes of fueling these protests.

Washington University's response? Well, they defend their position by saying that with such a diverse student body that holds varying viewpoints, it would be impossible to honor someone that everyone would agree with.

They just don't seem to get the difference between students disagreeing with someone, and students feeling degraded by someone. Schlafly preaches making women into second-class citizens. How can they honor someone who has spent her life trying to keep women in the kitchen?



Adopting moms not "real" moms  

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This story makes me wonder if TV executives actually think before they act.

Recently, Teleflora, NBC, and several other companies ran an America's Favorite Mom special in honor of Mother's Day. The contestants were grouped into different categories - single moms, working moms, military moms. One of the categories was titled "non-moms" and consisted of grandmothers, stepmoms, and adoptive mothers. "Non-moms"? Wow, happy Mother's Day. I think we can all agree that these women are just as much mothers as those who have blood-related children.

After backlash, Teleflora immediately changed the title to "Adopting Moms." Their response:

"After closer examination, we can see how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children — moms who are indeed real moms to their children in every sense of the word. In fact, many of us at Teleflora are ‘adopting’ parents ourselves, including our president and owner."

I just wonder how they could possibly have let that slip by. Very insensitive move, if you ask me.

Full article here.

Obama t-shirt sparks protests  

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In Georgia, people are protesting the selling of a t-shirt that they have deemed racist.





I'm curious to find out what some of you think of this. Racist? Harmless?

You don't know Dick  

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Jon Stewart's hilarious commentary on the Today Show entering the unknown realm of Dick Cheney's home.


Senator Schumer's response to my e-mail about affordable birth control  

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Dear Ms. Rubinson:

Thank you for your letter supporting the Prevention Through Affordable Access Act. I agree that it is very important for women to have access to affordable contraceptives and I am working hard to see that this bill is enacted into law.

I believe that this legislation is necessary because the Bush Administration has issued new regulations that reduce access to affordable contraceptives. Soon after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule in 2007 that would exclude non-profits, safety net providers and college health centers from receiving contraceptives at a nominal cost, I wrote to the Administrator of CMS expressing my grave concerns that the rule would have a devastating impact on the facilities and the women that they serve. I urged this Administrator to revise this rule to follow the intent of Congress and include safety net providers, but CMS did not do so. Because CMS refused to fix this problem through their rule-making process, I joined my colleagues in introducing the Prevention through Affordable Access Act, S. 2347, which is legislation that would restore safety-net and university clinics’ ability to access low-cost contraceptives. This bill is currently pending in the Senate Finance Committee, of which I am a member, and I am committed to finding a way to pass this legislation as quickly as possible.

Thank you for contacting me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can ever be of assistance to you on this or any other matter.



Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
Monday, May 12, 2008

I vote we don't reward the anti-feminists  

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Guess who's receiving an honorary doctorate from Washington University!

Phyllis Schlafly.

Avid opponent of feminism. Actively fought against the Equal Rights Amendment. Advocated banning women from "male" occupations like construction and firefighting. Believes a husband owns his wife's vagina and thus married women cannot be raped by their husbands. Called sex education "in-home sales parties for abortions."

Basically, all-around crazy.

I wonder how in the world a university can honor a woman who wants to put an end to everything that has allowed women to receive educations in the first place!

The campus is supposedly in an uproar. For those of us who aren't in St. Louis, we can make our voices heard here.

Full article about Schlafly and anti-feminism in the Chicago Tribune.

Oh, Fox News...  

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Slightly older video, but worth seeing nonetheless.






(Special thanks to Nikki!)
Sunday, May 11, 2008

New programs for imprisoned mothers  

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This is wonderful. New nursery programs in prisons are allowing imprisoned mothers more time to bond with their newborn babies. An article on Yahoo says that New York, Washington, Ohio, California, Nebraska, and soon West Virginia are all states that are a part of the growing trend of launching prison nurseries. The Indiana Women's Prison now allows new mothers to keep their babies with them up until eighteen months.

Studies show that children benefit from having extended contact with their mothers. Children who are separated from their imprisoned parents are more likely to have emotional problems, do poorly in school, and/or have trouble with the law.

In the end, it's better for both the child, and the mother.

Happy Mother's Day, by the way :) If you can, give big hugs to your mother, grandmother, aunt, etc.
Saturday, May 10, 2008

Jenna Bush wedding souvenirs  

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Ick.
Friday, May 9, 2008

Gutfeld goes after GLAAD  

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I've said it before and I'll say it a million more times: I HATE FOX NEWS' GREG GUTFELD!

He is a fucking ignorant fool. Watch him attack the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for contacting him regarding his ill-informed and malicious coverage of Thomas Beatie, the transgendered man who is pregnant. Gutfeld insists that Beatie is a woman, and goes even farther in this video by perpetuating even more ridiculous and outlandish statements regarding GLAAD, claiming they are "humorless creeps" and they believe that only gay & lesbian people matter.

FUCK YOU, GREG GUTFELD.





Send angry e-mails to redeye@foxnews.com. I already sent one.

Happy Mother's Day... from a man who wants to take all rights away from women  

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Uh oh. McCain's playing the motherly love card in his new advertisement.





Can I just say that the McCain family must have some sort of genes within them that allow them to age well? I've seen many jaw drops when I tell people that John McCain is 72, and I could NOT believe that the woman in this commercial is 96.

Lesbian couple punished for sit-in  

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A Denver jury recently found a lesbian couple guilty of trespassing due to a brief sit-in they held in response to Denver refusing to issue them a marriage license. Sheila Schroeder and Kate Burns strongly believed that Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage violates their right to equal protection, and thus engaged in a peaceful protest. They were both ordered to pay fines and perform 28 hours of community service.

Wow, what kind of a fucked up country are we living in when these women are punished for fighting against one of the greatest injustices of our time? It so unbelievably frustrating. I just wish that people would hurry up and realize that there is only so long that they can ignore and shun same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage will be legalized. Stop fighting it.

But major props to these wonderful women for doing this. After all, it did take many sit-ins, boycotts, and protests to achieve progress during the civil rights movement.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nasty political ads  

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The Daily Show did a segment about political attack ads, and it got me thinking about some of the worst political ads I have ever seen. These four are definitely at the top of my list. Whether it's through (not so) subtle homophobia, racial profiling, or invoking unnecessary fear into the American public, these ads are all doing something horribly, horribly wrong.








Aaaand the worst of all:

Anti-choicers want to make women into criminals  

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The lovely ladies over at Feministing already posted about this, but I wanted to echo it because I feel it's really important. There's a great pro-choice campaign called "How Much Time Should She Do?" It basically questions anti-choicers and their desires to make abortion illegal, exposing the dangerous repercussions that would have. This campaign is more crucial than ever because we have a very anti-choice presidential candidate (fuck you, McCain). Visit the campaign's website here and learn about ways to get involved.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Zainab Salbi helps thousands of women  

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I may have mentioned before that I'm currently sponsoring a woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo through the wonderful organization Women for Women International. If you have the means, I highly recommend donating or sponsoring a woman in a war-devastated country. In these countries, the toughest tasks of rebuilding life fall on the shoulders of the women. Additionally, they must worry about becoming victims of violence or rape. They need help.

Time magazine wrote an article about the founder of Women for Women, Zainab Salbi. She's an amazing lady. She was born in Iraq and forced to move to the U.S. for marriage when she was 20. Her husband was abusive, and thus she courageously left him to start a life alone in a foreign country.

In 1993, Salbi read about women in Bosnia's so-called rape camps--brutal military brothels--and was appalled by the slow response of the international community. "In wars, trust is lost," she says. "Betrayal leads to silence. Rape victims do not talk. Women disappear just when their families and their societies need them most--because you can't rebuild a strong economy without strong women." Raising funds through a church in the Washington area, Salbi founded Women for Women International later that year. The group has now served 153,000 women in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Sudan.

Inspiring, isn't it? :)
Monday, May 5, 2008

Mildred Loving: amazing woman  

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I have to pay homage to the wonderful Mildred Loving, who unfortunately passed away today at the age of 68. For those of you who don't know, Loving was a pioneer advocate for interracial marriage. In 1967, she challenged Virginia's ban on interracial marriage with the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia. The Court ruled to abolish all laws that banned interracial marriage. It was an amazing achievement and I want us to all remember it.
Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Democratic Primary in 7 Minutes  

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One of my professors showed this to our class and I thought it was amazing, so enjoy!


We want our female leads back!  

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Where are all the women in Hollywood? Perhaps filling supporting roles to all the male actors who are starring in all the movies. Manohla Dargis wrote an article today in The New York Times, examining the "post-female American cinema." She mentions that word on the street was that after The Invasion (with Nicole Kidman) and The Brave One (with Jodie Foster) proved to be unpopular, the president of production for Warner Brothers vowed to no longer make movies with female leads.

As if movies with male leads have never tanked. Fred Claus, anyone?

This summer especially, female-oriented movies are scarce. Dargis asks: where are all the bad ass and beautiful women that we love to see grace our screen?

Among the pleasures of the movies are the new worlds they open up, but there are pleasures in the familiar too, like seeing other women bigger, badder and more beautiful than life. And whether it’s Sigourney Weaver in 'Alien,' Rosario Dawson in 'Death Proof' or Meryl Streep in whatever, I am there. The black filmmaker Tyler Perry has built his success partly on the truth that when audiences look up at the screen what they want to see are faces much like their own. In 2008, when a white woman and a black man are running for president and attracting unprecedented numbers of voters partly because they are giving a face to the wildly under-represented, you might think that Hollywood would get a clue.

I agree. Because seriously, you cannot honestly tell me that you didn't thoroughly enjoy watching the ladies of Death Proof beat the shit out of Kurt Russell. Bring it back, please.



Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sexual harassment in schools  

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There's short blog entry on the New York Times website about the increasing problem of sexual harassment in schools. Whether it's being a victim of crude language, kids being teased for their sexual orientation, or boys grabbing at girls' breasts in the hallway, it's a major issue that can lead to poor academic performance and emotional scarring. Recent studies show that more than a third of middle and high school students may be victims of sexual harassment.

The problem is that principals and teachers just aren't doing enough to stop it. Too often, sexual harassment is dismissed as "normal" teenage behavior, or is labelled as "bullying," when it's so different from "bullying." From the blog entry:

Overall, 35 percent of kids reported they had been victims of some form of sexual harassment. Boys and girls reported equal levels of harassment, but girls and sexual minorities were far more upset by it, suffering from lower self-esteem, poorer mental and physical health, and more trauma symptoms.

When I was in sixth grade, I was constantly harassed by a few pathetic and worthless boys. They felt the need to harass me because I had developed breasts sooner than most of the other girls. My self-esteem plummeted, and I started wearing baggy sweatshirts to school all the time... no matter how hot it was outside. They made disgusting comments about my body all year and it damaged me severely. Now, eight years later, I'm proud of my body, but I'm still scarred by their harassment.

I doubt they even knew what "sexual harassment" meant. I think schools need to implement educational programs about sexual harassment from elementary school to high school. They need to cover all grounds - boys calling other boys "faggots" in gym class, GLBT teens being teased for their sexuality, girls being the object of crude comments or gropes, etc etc. More needs to be done to stop it.
Friday, May 2, 2008

Buffet of the Week  

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Here's some interesting current events from all around the world.


  • The Times printed an article about Fox News attempting to be more balanced by conducting interviews with both Clinton and Obama. We'll see how long their "balance" lasts. Click here to see an interview on Fox News with Obama, and here to see one with Clinton.

  • Every minute, somewhere in the world a woman dies during pregnancy or in childbirth.

  • TV personality Sam Newman went on a sexist rant recently, claiming that women serve "very little purpose" in AFL boardrooms and that women have done nothing for football. Umm... maybe because no one will let us.

  • Several women have come out and accused Bloomberg L.P., a company founded by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, of discrimination against pregnant employees.

  • AlterNet posted a video, showing a voter asking McCain if he really called his wife a cunt. Watch McCain get all flustered. It's fun. (For those of you who don't know, a few reporters came out and said they overheard McCain call his wife the C-word to her face a couple years ago).

  • Pro-choicers and anti-choicers are grappling with one another in Tennessee.

  • A new study shows that not all doctors are talking to their patients about breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. The results of the study show that doctors are more likely to tell educated white women about breast reconstruction, and less likely to tell less educated Hispanic women.

  • Interesting article over at AlterNet that explores bisexuality.


If I missed anything significant, please comment!

Obama not "manly" enough... Hillary too "manly"?  

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I found this interesting video on Fox News about the factor of masculinity in the Democratic race.




I'm not sure about their accusations that Clinton is attempting to make Obama look "less manly." Personally, I disagreed with her "3AM and the phone is ringing" ad because I found it to be taking advantage of the fear in the American people, but I genuinely think that the message she was trying to portay in that ad is that she's the best person for the job... not that Obama isn't "manly" enough.

I'd also like to point out that Bob Beckel's supporting evidence for Obama's "lack" of masculinity is the fact that Obama isn't a good bowler. Right. Only REAL men are good at bowling.

On the other hand, they did make a good point in saying that Clinton took a shot and drank some beers with voters to show that she is "one of the guys." I do think that's what she was trying to do. The fact is that she's a woman in a man's world, and thus she has to put on a "tough" and "tomboyish" image to survive. I mean, look at what happened when she shed ONE tear on national television - she got attacked. If she has any fighting chance, she does have to put on a tough exterior. It's sad, but it's reality... and she very well knows that.
Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Voodoo man" forces sex on underage girls  

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This is horrifying.

The gist: Hector Aviles, a 51-year-old man who claims to practice Voodoo, admitted to forcing underage girls to have sex with him by telling them that terrible things would happen to them and their families if they didn't. He manipulated three girls, aged 14 and 16, into thinking that he could help them with problems if they engaged in a "sexual ritual" with him, but he could curse them if they backed out. Aviles plead guilty to second and third degree rape and could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Ugh.

I do... now give me healthcare!  

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A new study shows that 7% of Americans say they or someone in their household decided to get married solely to receive healthcare benefits from their spouse.

To me, this means two things:

1. Our health care system is atrocious.

2. Marriage has really lost all meaning to me when two men or two women who love each other can't get married, but a man and a woman who have no love for one another and want to marry solely for healthcare benefits, are legally allowed.

Yep, this country's in great shape.