Thursday, July 31, 2008

New angle of attack  

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This new anti-Obama ad released by the McCain campaign implies that Obama is nothing more than a celebrity with no substance. The real kicker: the ad compares Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.





REALLY?! I have a couple problems with this. First of all, WHY are we even talking about teen idols in political advertisements? The two are not relevant, and should not be compared if either candidate wants to be taken seriously. Second of all, let's look at what these "celebrities" are famous for. Britney Spears is known for her train wreck of a lifestyle - inexplicably shaving her head, becoming a huge party girl, driving with her baby on her lap, flashing her crotch to the paparazzi, etc. Paris Hilton is known for being a girl who never had to work a day in her life, wears revealing clothing, and made a sex tape.

I'm sorry... where is the connection to Barack Obama? How is this advertisement legitimate? To me, it's not.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

End "discrimination" by keeping universities predominantly white!  

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Anti-affirmative action measures are on the November ballots for Arizona, Colorado, and Nebraska. These measures are very deceptively called "civil rights initiatives," but would in fact ban affirmative action in these states.

Many people have been outraged by their choice of title, because they borrowed language from a very well-known movement that aimed to equalize whites and all minorities. Though opponents of affirmative action might see such programs as "discrimination," most people would not associate the words "civil rights" with ending affirmative action. There was an uproar recently when several people came out and said they accidentally signed a petition to get an anti-affirmative action measure on the ballot when the petitioner simply asked them, "Would you like to sign this petition to help end discrimination?" I don't think this deceptive language was a mistake, but rather a tasteless ploy to gain more supporters in a dishonest way. Even their websites are misleading because they are plastered with false images of "everything's okay!" by showing black and white children playing together. Sorry, but I'm not buying it... I highly doubt this is what Martin Luther King Jr. had in mind.




So now these measures are on the ballots, when perhaps people who signed to support it did not even realize what they were supporting. Avid supporters of anti-affirmative action measures include African-American "equal rights" advocate Ward Connelly, and John McCain recently announced that he supports ending affirmative action as well.

Ugh. God forbid we try to correct all the racism and oppression that litters United States history by finally giving minorities a fair chance to succeed in education and business.

AffirmativeAction.org
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jon Stewart on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy  

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Heh heh.

AIDS crisis in the South  

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Half of all AIDS deaths are occurring in the South, even though this region is only made up of 17 states and holds only 36% of the country's population. It's a disgustingly large number, and it's only rising, while the amount of AIDS cases continues to fall in the North.

There's a few things that this crisis can be attributed to. I'm a huge advocate of comprehensible sex education, and the South just doesn't have it. Too many states are still relying on out-dated textbooks and preaching abstinence to avoid STDs and pregnancies among young people, but those methods just don't work.

Another cause for rising AIDS cases is that the South is not receiving adequate funding. Only 19% of donations made to fighting HIV/AIDS is given to the South. Ironic, considering the fact that the South needs it the most.

Also, many people in the South have not accepted the fact that kids are having sex younger and younger. Parents refuse to believe that their children could be sexually active, and therefore do not get them tested, and do not talk to them about safe sex.

It's an ongoing cycle. For Take Action Tuesday, please try to visit UNAIDS.org to learn more about the AIDS epidemic, and possibly make any donation you can afford. You can also write to your Representatives and urge them to think about the growing AIDS crisis, particularly in the South, and the inadequate funding and education that has caused it.





Full article here
.

Men have body issues too  

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I think articles that delve into the complicated realm of male body image are really interesting, like this one on MSN.com. The tone of it is a tad defensive, as if all women are claiming that their body issues are the only ones in existence, but the content is important. Some of the author's main points are:

  • Men have more body angst than people realize... but men often feel like they can't talk about it, because they'll automatically be ridiculed, since these are supposed to be "girl's issues" (yeah right, a recent survey showed that only 18% of men are happy with their bodies).
  • Men will often joke about their bodies to cover up how they're feeling (very true... I've heard many many overweight men joke about their weight, but I have only met a couple of girls who will do the same).
  • Men are worried about their bodies because they feel like they are competing for women, and against women.

Read the whole article to see the rest of the points. The article seems to only focus on heterosexual men, but I think insight into body issues that gay men deal with would be really interesting. It seems like the gay male culture seems to put a big emphasis on being fit. I'm not sure why that is... but most gay clubs are filled with muscular men who are dancing shirtless. I have a very good gay friend who suffers from major body issues because he longs to look like these shirtless men. Just something I think should be explored more.
Friday, July 25, 2008

Take that, math class  

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Whoever made the decision to have the 1992 talking Barbie doll utter that terrible phrase, "Math class is tough!" can suck it, because new stats are showing that girls are kicking butt when it comes to math.

A recent study that involved examining test scores since 2002 found no significant differences in the math scores amongst boys and girls. And women are now earning 48% of undergraduate college degrees in math.

So, while math may not be my forte, other females are proving that our brains are not "wired differently." We just needed some time to realize our full potential.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Get out of the military... no wait, come back!  

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The good news: Lawmakers are re-examining the ludicrous "don't ask, don't tell" policy for the first time since it was established in 1993.

The bad news: They are only doing this examining because people are arguing that keeping qualified people out of the military due to sexual orientation is hurting the U.S. military's capabilities.

Oh no, we couldn't possibly repeal "don't ask, don't tell" because it makes gay and lesbian soldiers into second-class citizens and provides an opportunity for unconstitutional discrimination and segregation. The fact that we're treating gays like worthless pieces of shit who don't deserve the same rights as heterosexuals? Not a good enough reason.

But we'll be damned if keeping them gays out of the military hurts our abilities to blow shit up!

Ludicrous.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Save the fatty!  

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I just got wind of this PS3 game "Fat Princess." Let's just take a look at the first paragraph of the game description:

"Frantic and fun, Fat Princess pits two hordes of players against each other in comic medieval battle royale. Your goal is to rescue your beloved princess from the enemy dungeon. There's a catch though: your adversary has been stuffing her with food to fatten her up and it's going to take most of your army working together to carry her back across the battlefield."




One word comes to mind: WHY? WHY does the princess have to be fat? WHY does the game have to make fun of overweight girls? It honestly sounds like it could be a fun enough game without objectifying fat people. I've always been annoyed at the fact that every female character in every video game looks like she has stepped out of a 13 year-old boy's pornographic fantasy (I doubt Lara Croft's clothes could get any skimpier). And suddenly a video game emerges with a female character who actually isn't 95 pounds with double D sized breasts, and the entire game exists to make fun of her. Go figure.

I'm just sick of feeling like the entire video game industry exists for boys. I like video games too! Where are my video games? The girl-friendly video games are so far and few that I get discouraged in my quest for a fucking cool video game that doesn't make me cringe. My current boss, before she started the marketing agency she runs now, used to work on designing video games. She realized that every video game is either filled with crude humor and the objectification of women, or is marketed as "girl-friendly" and turns out to be a completely lame game because all the cool shit is marketed to the boys.

It really irritates me, and so I stick mainly to Guitar Hero and Singstar.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feel like a pre-teen again!  

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*Shudder*

Something about this just really creeps me out. I think I'd be highly offended if my partner bought this for me.
Sunday, July 20, 2008

Witty bumper sticker time  

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On a lighter note, since the last post was a real downer, check out the f-ing awesome bumper sticker I just got for my car:



I considered getting a more serious sticker like, "Keep your laws off my body" that would probably get my car egged by some angry anti-choicers, but I decided to go the humor route and get a witty sticker that anti-choicers probably won't understand anyway.

Women hit hardest by hunger in Africa  

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There is a food crisis in Africa. Food prices have nearly doubled, leaving many poor families with next-to-nothing to eat. Though everyone suffers under these conditions, women endure the worst of it all. This article on MSNBC explains how women are the ones to grow the food, get the water, shop at the markets, and cook the meals. When it comes time to eat, men and children eat first, and women eat last and least.

Women are the skinniest, and the hungriest. And it is the women that the children go to when they are starving and in need of food. Many women are turning to prostitution to be able to afford food, and many families are pulling children (especially girls) out of school because they cannot afford it any longer.

Many women work jobs for little pay, such as sweeping streets for a monthly pay of under $10. Men usually work outside of the house, doing odd jobs, although work is scarce. The men don't help with shopping, cooking, or child care because they believe it is the "woman's job."

Times are really hard. It's easy for us to feel guilty living in a country where we can afford food, where we can go out at any moment and get a nice juicy burger to fill our stomachs with... but that guilt doesn't help the people in Africa eat. Here's some websites you can go to if you want to help. Some of them are those websites where all you have to do is click, and a small portion of food is instantly donated. It couldn't hurt just to click once:



I highly recommend The Hunger Site because they have an entire online store filled with beautiful and affordable things that, if purchased, will donate food to hungry people abroad. I just bought this great bracelet for only $14.95, and my purchase donated 25 cups of food:


Friday, July 18, 2008

Planned Parenthood targets McCain  

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Planned Parenthood will start airing this 30-second TV spot that shows John McCain's painful silence when asked about birth control. This ad is part of PP's "Know McCain" campaign that aims to educate women about McCain's negative stance on reproductive rights.


Congresswomen oppose Bush's new abortion policies  

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I know the news in the last entry probably angered many of you to the point of wanting to castrate Mr. President Bush, but just know that the women in our government are not taking this lying down. Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are all voicing concerns about limiting a woman's access to reproductive choices. Pelosi released a statement saying:

"If the administration goes through with this draft proposal, it will launch a dangerous assault on women's health. The majority of Americans oppose this out-of-touch position that redefines contraception as abortion and represents a sustained pattern of the Bush administration to reject medical and sound science in favor of a misguided ideology that has no place in our government."

That makes me feel infinitely better.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bush tries to infringe on reproductive rights  

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Although some might think that Bush is nothing more than a lame duck president at this point, he's still doing major damage in his remaining 188 days. The Bush administration just released a proposal that would deny federal funding to medical providers who will not hire doctors or nurses that object to abortion. According to The New York Times, hospitals, clinics, researchers, and medical schools would be required to sign "written certifications" to uphold this rule in order to receive funds from the Department of Health and Human Services. The proposal also significantly broadens the definition of "abortion" to falsely include forms of birth control, like the pill, emergency contraception, and IUDs.

According to the Bush administration, abortion is "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

A bold fucking move considering the fact that scientifically and medically, birth control and an actual abortion are not even close to being the same. These remaining 188 days cannot go fast enough.

It's time for some campaignin'!  

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I lol'ed.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NYC transit rejects anti-groping campaign  

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NYC transit has refused to put this anti-groping campaign into action. Although 10% of women report being touched, grabbed, or rubbed up against on the subway, some people were afraid that it would actually increase harassment.

(Just like handing out condoms will make teenagers have sex).

I think the slogan needs some work; it needs to be harsher and snappier. Maybe something like, "Warning: wandering hands may lead to your castration. Keep them to yourself." But regardless, the ad should be put into action and then the groping rate should be carefully monitored to see if it increases or decreases. Because what if the ads turn out to work in reducing subway harassment? Withholding them on sheer fear isn't helping the situation in any way. Something needs to be done because 10% is a disgustingly high number.

Take Action Tuesday: Billophobia  

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"Everybody's got to relax on all this gay stuff" - Bill O'Reilly.

If anything, Bill O'Reilly proves that we just can't "relax on all this gay stuff" because ignorant homophobia is alive and well. For Take Action Tuesday, I suggest watching the video below to get good and angry, and then visiting Media Matters to learn more about O'Reilly and Fox News' intolerant views. Then feel free to use the information on the website to contact Fox News and let them know why the shit they say is not okay.





Seriously, Bill O'Reilly, why are you such a moron?
Monday, July 14, 2008

Shockingly accurate political cartoon  

8 comments

What does everyone think about the cover of the new issue of The New Yorker? If you can't tell, it's a cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama depicted as terrorists. People are in an uproar over it, but The New Yorker maintains that this is just a satire. Editor David Remnick's response was:

"Our cover ... combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are. The burning flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on the wall - all of them echo one attack or another. Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to the absurd. And that's the spirit of this cover."

I understand that this is a satire, and it's pretty accurate considering how many ignorant people have decided to not vote for Obama solely because they think he is a Muslim and because his name sounds like "Osama." On the other hand, I also understand why people are offended.

Still though, I don't find this image to be nearly as offensive as all the bullshit that Fox News and other right-wing commentators have slung at the candidate and his wife during this entire election. Maybe a shocking image like this is what we needed to help stop the incessant slander.

Here comes the (anorexic) bride  

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This is a sad article. It's about the extreme pressure women feel to be thin on their wedding days, to the point where many crash diet, exercise beyond their limits, or even develop eating disorders. They all are concerned with looking good in pictures and when walking down the aisle while being stared at by all the guests. One survey of 1,000 brides found that 1 in 5 would postpone their wedding if they didn't meet a weight goal, and another study found that 70% of women want to lose weight before their wedding ceremony.

I understand wanting to look good for such a big event, and I don't have a problem with healthy dieting to do so... but starving themselves? To me, a wedding is about celebrating finding your soulmate, not about developing anorexia to fit into a size 2 wedding gown. This reminds me of that terrible show on the Women's Entertainment channel: "Bulging Brides." Even the title makes me cringe. It's a reality show about women who buy wedding dresses that are too small for them, and then spend their remaining time before the wedding dieting and exercising to try and fit into it.

Please, ladies, stick to healthy methods of getting in shape. If your partner is worth anything, s/he won't give a crap what size dress you're wearing.
Sunday, July 13, 2008

Anti-abortion measures in three states  

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Anti-abortion measures are littering the November ballots in California, Colorado, and South Dakota. Shit like this really scares me because I feel like we're progressing back about 40 years. The measures are:

California: an amendment that will require parental consent and a 48-hour waiting period for minor to obtain an abortion. Also, a measure to ban abortion once the fetus reaches 24 weeks, thereby labeling anyone who has an abortion or performs one after 24 weeks a "murderer."

Colorado: an initiative to label a fertilized egg as a person with full constitutional rights.

South Dakota: an initiative to ban abortion completely, except in cases when the mother's life is in danger, or has been a victim of rape or incest.

Bad news. 48-hour waiting period and parental consent laws usually don't cut down on the number of abortions, but rather cause women to delay their abortions. As we all know, the longer a woman waits, the more the fetus develops and the greater risk the abortion poses to her health. Deeming a fertilized egg a "person" will cause these so-called rights to completely trump all rights of the woman who must carry the child for nine months and endure the hardships that come along with childbirth. And I don't think I have to remind you that banning abortion will not cut down on abortions, but instead will cause women to either travel out of state to obtain abortions or turn to unsafe and illegal methods out of desperation.

I volunteer at a Planned Parenthood near my house as a clinic escort. Basically I have to stand outside and watch the protesters to make sure that they don't break any laws. They are nasty people who yell obscenities at the patients entering the clinic, calling them murderers, or targeting them if they are visibly black or latina with sayings such as, "You know they kill black/Spanish babies in there." They tell men who enter the clinic that, "Real men don't kill babies." They carry signs with pictures of dead babies on them, when in actuality, the fetus that is being aborted is much, much smaller. But if they represented the fetuses accurately I guess the women they harass wouldn't be as upset. They stand and stare at us and tell us we have no morals. And they are all old white men.

It really kills me.
Friday, July 11, 2008

McCain is stumped over birth control issue  

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So... he voted against having insurance companies cover birth control, but he "doesn't know enough about it" to answer a simple question? Good one.

Let's see just how bad we can make pregnant teenagers feel...  

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While searching through our "bad ads" pile at my internship (part of what we do is identify bad ads and rip them apart), I came across one for the Candie's Foundation, an organization that tries to help reduce teen pregnancies. I'm all for reducing teen pregnancies so that young women can enjoy being young and children can grow up in the environments they deserve, but the Candie's advertisements are some of the most condescending pieces of shit I have ever seen. They're judgmental towards young girls who get pregnant, and they basically make pregnant teens feel like stupid worthless sluts. And they always have a celebrity endorsement. Examples:



It says: "You were probably picturing a hot ride that could take you and your friends anywhere; but you got pregnant and now you're stuck pushing a stroller around while your friends are kickin' it without you."



It says: "Get pregnant and you won't be moving out of your parents house anytime soon."


MY GOD, are they serious? It seems like their mission is more to make pregnant teenagers feel like crap. Oh, and take a look at the t-shirt that they're selling:




I guess the Candie's Foundation really only sees non-pregnant abstinent teenagers as being worthy human beings. Anyone else can suck it.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fear Gardasil! Fear it!  

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You gotta love news articles that exist solely to scare the shit out of Americans. Exhibit A: the recent article on CNN about the possible "adverse effects" of the Gardasil HPV vaccination.

The article opens with: "A vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer is coming under fresh scrutiny amid thousands of complaints linking it to a range of health problems."

The "thousands of complaints" might be eye-catching, but then the article clarifies that these complaints range from "nausea to paralysis - even death." Meaning the majority of these adverse effects are mere nausea or other mild symptoms, which if you ask me, is worth undergoing for the sake of preventing HPV, which causes roughly 70% of cervical cancer cases and 90% of genital warts cases. As far as the deaths go... ten deaths were reported as being "caused" by Gardasil, but the CDC (that's the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) concluded that none of the ten deaths were linked to the vaccine.

One girl reported developing pancreatitis after getting vaccinated, but Merck & Co. (the company that distributes Gardasil) assures that this has not been defined as a cause of the shot, and the girl getting sick could just be a coincidence.

Now, I'm not usually one to cry "conspiracy," but I'm curious as to where this bad publicity for Gardasil is coming from. Is it a coincidence that all these medical concerns are arising when conservative organizations are already opposing Gardasil because it might "cause" young girls to run right out and have unprotected sex? Who knows.

When I first heard about Gardasil, I was skeptical, but once I found out how easily HPV is spread, I was so grateful that someone developed a shot to prevent it. I wish HPV awareness was more prominent, instead of flimsy articles that try to scare parents out of protecting their daughters.

PP endorses Obama  

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Planned Parenthood has officially endorsed Barack Obama. From their press release:

"The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States. He is a passionate advocate for women's rights, and has a long and consistent record of standing up for women's health care. As president, he will improve access to quality health care for women, support and protect a woman's right to choose, support comprehensive sex education to keep our young people healthy and safe, and invest in prevention programs, including family planning services and breast cancer screenings."

Obama responded with a thank you and promised, "As president I'll make sure women have access to affordable health care, including affordable reproductive services."

That's comforting. Lord knows our other presidential candidate won't take care of it.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Anti-gay marriage initiatives galore  

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Anti-gay marriage activists are having a field day. Initiatives are being put on ballots in Arizona, California, and Florida to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

In Arizona, a gay marriage referendum was approved by the minimum amount of 16 senators to be put on the ballot for November... and anti-gay marriage advocates are not happy. In California, the California Marriage Protection Act will be on the ballot to overturn the court's decision to abolish the gay marriage ban. In Florida, the Marriage Protection Amendment will be on the ballot.

Wonderful.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Buffet of the Week  

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Come tomorrow I'm leaving for a four day much-needed vacation to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I most likely won't have internet access, so updates will resume on Tuesday. But here's a Buffet of the Week to tide my lovely readers over:

  • The number of abortions in Wisconsin has dropped, 2007 statistics show. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin attributed this decrease to the availability of contraceptives.

  • A Massachusetts state senator, James Marzilli, has been accused of sexually harassing four women. Oy.

  • Ugh ugh ugh. A construction company in Portland dropped a project to build a Planned Parenthood this week because of pressures from anti-choice activists. Sigh.

  • Great news: 22 states (plus the District of Columbia) have refused millions of dollars worth of funding to be used towards abstinence-only education. Good move.

  • A young women talked to the press about the devastation she faced when someone created a fake Facebook profile that said she was a prostitute. Gotta love when people think it's okay to call women nasty and degrading names.

  • Gavin Newsom, San Francisco mayor and gay marriage supporter, is considering replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger as "the governator" of California.

  • Women activists in Zimbabwe enter their sixth week in detention, putting them on par with the country's longest-serving political prisoners.

  • An Islamic organization in India ruled that the conversion of women to match the faith of the men they marry should be completely illegal.


That's all I got for now, but please feel free to comment if I missed anything. See ya'll next week!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Flashers show political support  

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BoobsForBarack.com


Empowering? Offensive? Give me your input because I could go either way. I know it's just for fun, but... isn't there a more credible way us women can show our support for Barack? I really have no idea what boobs have to do with politics, and the website doesn't give me a clear explanation.

For the record, that picture is one of the cleaner ones. Most of the pictures are of women bearing it all, so make sure you view it on your laptop at home, rather than at the office.

Sigh. I just don't know.