Newsweek has an article up about the abundance of "pro-ana" groups that have been popping up on Facebook. If you don't know, "pro-ana" or "pro-mia" basically implies a group of people who promote eating disorders, often offering each other diet tips, exchanging pictures, and finding "thinsperation" from one another. Of course, the members in these groups are predominantly female, since it's mostly women who suffer from these disorders.
Some users will make a separate private profile specifically to join these groups, while others will join with their regular public profile, usually in hopes of getting attention from their friends who can see what groups they are a part of. Luckily, the Facebook team is working to delete as many of these groups as they possibly can, because Facebook rules state that a group cannot promote harm to oneself or to others.
As a result, many "pro-ana/mia" groups are trying to fly under the radar by removing the "pro-ana" from the title, or making the group private. I did some searching, and was able to find a few of them. They're incredibly upsetting - I don't look at these people with disgust, but rather with plain sadness. They're so desperate to look like the women on magazine covers that they will do almost anything - even participate in an "ana boot camp" that involves not eating anything for thirty days straight and posting your results. This is probably the worst group I found. Please don't look at it if it will trigger you in some way.
On the upside, there seems to be far more "anti-ana" groups than pro. But the pro sites need to be eliminated completely. Who knows if these girls were actually considering getting help... until they stumbled on a "pro-ana" site and were drawn to the sense of community, and the encouragement that they offer.
If you find any of these groups on Facebook, report them immediately.
Join me in a resounding "DUH!"
From Yahoo! News:
The ruling means that Martin Gill, 47, and his male partner can adopt two brothers, ages 4 and 8, whom he has cared for assince December 2004.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, who represent Gill, said the case was the first in the nation in which numerous experts in child psychology, social work and other fields testified that there is no science to justify a gay adoption ban."It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent," the judge wrote. "A child in need of love, safety and stability does not first consider the sexual orientation of his parent. The exclusion causes some children to be deprived of a permanent placement with a family that is best suited to their needs."
Congratulations to all same-sex couples in Florida. Now, it's time to work on Arkansas, Utah, and Mississippi.
For years, the dating service eHarmony.com has been discriminating against those who seek companionship with someone of the same gender. When signing up for the service, there is no option for "men seeking men" or "women seeking women." Chemistry.com even put out a commercial exposing it:
And thankfully... someone has finally brought a lawsuit against them for it. The person claimed that eHarmony violated his rights, to which eHarmony responded that the company's main goal is to promote marriage and "we don't really want to participate in something that's illegal."
The courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff, and eHarmony is now launching a separate website, Compatible Partners, that will be specifically for same-sex dating. Why they can't just offer more fucking options on their existing website is beyond me. But I suppose it's better than nothing.
Obama joked, "You're 12 years old!"
To which Biden laughed and responded, "Maybe in dog years!"
This year, the top golden award went to Mount Isa Mayor John Malony who so tastefully offered words of wisdom to suggest that unattractive women should be confined to a remote town to give Australian men a better pick of the litter. His exact words were:
"With five blokes to every girl, may I suggest that beauty-disadvantaged women should proceed to Mount Isa."
Cute. He also continued to shove his foot further into his mouth by claiming that "the protesters are blaming me for their looks."
Among the other award-winners was Channel Nine news for firing a female reporter when she was on maternity leave. Oh, and news chief John Westacott decided to throw in this little pearl of wisdom: "Sheilas do health and consumer stories. You want your blokes, your main guns, doing the real news stories."
More details at MSNBC.
The video they released included Ayman al-Zawahri, a leader of the terrorist group, using hateful speech to take shots at Obama's race. Al-Zawahri called him "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X and used the term "abeed al-beit," which, in the English subtitles they supplied, translates to "house Negro." This is a reference to speeches of Malcolm X, of which footage was included in the Al-Qaida video, where he explains that in the days of slavery, slaves who worked in the house were more docile and obedient of their masters. The term implies an African-American who does not stand up to whites.
Scary stuff. They loathe our country, and I'm terrified to think about what they're planning next. But we need to keep our composure. Becoming terrified is exactly what they want. They want us to lash out. They want us to suspend our civil liberties. We can't.
But according to these people, the gays have big plans to invade every town in the United States, destroying religion, changing the holy definition of marriage, and eating your babies. Watch out.
It should be noted that this video was prompted by the anger of residents in a small town who were worried that their town was becoming "the San Francisco of Arkansas." It should also be noted that these people seem to have no good reason for their anger, aside from simply not wanting to live next door to gay/lesbian people. Pure hatred.
Has anyone seen the completely stupid and utterly sexist commercial for One a Day Teen Advantage vitamins? It starts out by informing us that teen boys and teen girls come from "two different planets." Then, we learn that there's a boy's formula and a girl's formula, of course cleverly identified by blue and pink boxes. The vitamins are designed to cater to the specific "health concerns" of teen boys and girls, meaning One a Day Teen Advantage for Him supports his "healthy muscle function," and One a Day Teen Advantage for Her helps her "healthy skin."
Because all teen girls care about is looking good, while all teen boys want to be body-builders. Thanks for looking out for us, One a Day.
Recently, more than 100 retired generals and admirals called for the repeal of the outdated policy. The officers wrote:
"As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion and sexuality."
On top of pressure from veterans, Obama has said that as president, he plans to work with military leaders to build a consensus to remove the policy. Between 1994 and 2007, 2,340 people were discharged for violating "don't ask, don't tell." I can't even believe that this policy has been supported for so long. It just seems like common sense to me that we can't tell people who are putting their lives on the line for our country that they're not allowed to say two simple words, "I'm gay," while serving. It's preposterous. Commence celebrations when this ugly discrimination is over.
There's three Tini Puppinis, each with their own (not) unique personality. Just take a look at the description for Tisha:
Tisha is a girly-girl and a true romantic at heart. She has refined taste and a gourmet palate. This Parisian pup loves shopping for high-end designer fashions and knows just where to find them. Her favorite way to spend the day is having long chats with her Puppini pals at the country club.
As a feminist and a dog-lover, this truly breaks my heart. There's even a games section of the website that allows you to put makeup and "bling" on the Puppinis. Shudder.
Where are the toys that teach girls to grow up to be intelligent, strong, independent women? Because really all I'm seeing is the toys that teach them to grow up to be superficial, materialistic, and "girly."
Teaching kids about sex is tough enough. But when this bearded, deep-voiced transgendered Oregon man popped out a bundle of joy earlier this year, our jobs as fathers became even more complicated: "Sit down, son. I need to talk to you about the birds, the bees…and the trannies." Oof.
Seriously? Seriously? This just shows how narrow-minded our society is when someone is so quick to compare a father who is simply transgendered to fathers who cheat, lie, and beat their children. Unbelievable. Keep up the good work, MSN.
I think we just need to take a minute to acknowledge the fact that even though the U.S. has endless amounts of flaws, we are incredibly lucky to live here, and not in, say, Malaysia.
It was the Muslim Malaysia's National Fatwa Council that recently issued a ruling that women cannot wear pants, because it is "un-Islamic" and by wearing pants, girls risk becoming sexually active "tomboys."
They also frown on oral sex and gay sex, claiming it is against nature. Offenders can be jailed for up to 20 years. In addition, the Council is considering banning Muslims from practicing yoga.
Small protests broke out to oppose the no-trousers ruling, but Malaysia's police have been quick to break them up, calling them a "security threat."
Inequalities in other countries is a really tricky situation. This is an issue of culture - Muslims have a certain culture and it really isn't something that we can impose on. It's just frustrating to see this going on in other countries and not be able to do anything about it.
The unity in the crowd was amazing. And there were so many different types of people there. Old, young, Black, White, Hispanic, gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, heterosexual. Looking at that crowd, I could really see that you just can't generalize an entire group of people. And you certainly can't ignore them. I think that's the major thing that these nation-wide protests proved: you just can't ignore thousands of people. GLBT people are tax-paying citizens who deserve rights and respect. I really think that more and more people will begin to realize that. These rallies were a wonderful start.
And thankfully, we got press coverage. Here's some pictures I took:
This was really an amazing experience. Did anyone else participate?
- Promised to rescind the Global Gag Rule, which forbids family planning and reproductive health centers abroad that receive U.S. funds from even mentioning abortion to their patients.
- Committed himself to restoring UNFPA funding, which works in impoverished countries to promote family planning and improve women's health. Bush has withheld necessary funds from this operation, believing that the funds will be used to support abortion policies abroad.
- Decided to examine the Abstinence-Only Requirement In PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). Despite the fact that abstinence-only education has been proven to not work, Bush ordered that 33% of HIV prevention funds go to teaching abstinence-only programs in other countries.
Ah, the perks of having a pro-choice president.
Today, in New York City, thousands of copies of this fake New York Times paper were handed out, convincing people that the War in Iraq was over and the troops were coming home immediately. The paper was dated July 2009, and is filled with dozens of other news stories that would let every Liberal die happy - including "Court Indicts Bush on High Treason Charge" and "USA Patriot Act Repealed." It's a "Liberal utopia," as the (real) New York Times puts it. The prank group that issued it, The Yes Men, even created an entire fake NY Times website to go along with the special issue. This is one of the most elaborate pranks I've ever seen.
While I do think this was an interesting political statement, I'm going to give this prank a giant thumbs down. Convincing hopeful people who might possibly have loved ones in Iraq that the war they all loathe is finally over? Not cool. Really not cool. There's even a video that shows a couple reactions of ecstatic Americans:
It's just really... sad. I mean, I'm sure not everyone fell for it, but can you imagine how happy the people who did fall for it must have been? Frankly, I'm not sure how The Yes Men and their supporters were able to do this with a clear conscience.
Chewy gooey... fetuses? Forgive me when I say that my mouth isn't exactly watering. Be sure to check out this extremely awkward commercial as well, featuring a Fetal Bites theme song.
I don't even know.
Download Prop 8 Protest Flyer (.Doc Format)
"Those bloggers in their parents' basement just talkin' garbage."
Thank you, Sarah. Appreciate it.
Recently, one of my friends suggested that this backlash against the passing of Prop 8 could be the beginnings of a new wave of feminism, and now I think she may be right. This Saturday (November 15th) there will be nationwide protests against Prop 8 - every single state has at least one protest location, and some have several. The times will be:
West Coast: 10:30 AM
Mountain Time Zone: 11:30 AM
Central Time Zone: 12:30 PM
East Coast: 1:30 PM
Visit JoinTheImpact.com to find your protest location. Please take part if you can! Bring friends! Imagine being part of a national movement. It's a wonderful thing, and I'm so happy that the passing of a harmful and discriminatory proposition is something that we are certainly not going to let go.
The day of the third debate, Palin refused to go onstage with New Hampshire GOP Sen. John Sununu and Jeb Bradley, a New Hampshire congressman running for the Senate, because they were pro-choice and because Bradley opposed drilling in Alaska. The McCain campaign ordered her onstage at the next campaign stop, but she refused to acknowledge the two Republican candidates standing behind her.
Wow. I know that the election is over, so there's very little damage that Sarah Palin can still do, but I think it's important to examine this shocking information that's surfacing about her so we can learn from this extremely poor choice of a running mate. We can't blindly accept a candidate because s/he is attractive and charming. We need to question everything. As much of an Obama/Biden supporter I am, I still considered the negative stories surrounding them to ensure that I was voting for the best possible candidate. But I'm hoping that people who blindly supported McCain/Palin realize that they made a huge mistake, because all of this new information that's being to made public really speaks to the poor character of Sarah Palin, as well as to the poor judgment of John McCain for hastily picking her.
Among the 21,490 public school students who last year took the exam, the single gateway to eight high schools, 6 percent of blacks and 7 percent of Hispanics were offered admission, compared with 35 percent of Asians and 31 percent of white students. The disparities were the worst at Stuyvesant, where 2 percent of blacks, 3 percent of Hispanics, 24 percent of whites and 72 percent of Asians were accepted.
My guess is that this is more of a class issue than a race issue. Many Black and Hispanic children come from low-income families and can't really afford tutors and books. Additionally, a lot of their parents have a job, sometimes two, and can't always be around to supervise and make sure their children are studying hard. I think it's the same reason as to why Ivy League universities are predominantly White.
Also, a lot of these kids lack the motivation. They see their parents working two jobs, struggling to make ends meet, and they think, "I'm going to end up like that." Sometimes it works the opposite, where kids will see the hard lives their parents lead and will vow to make a better life for themselves, but that isn't always the case. It's a class issue. Upper-middle class White and Asian children have the privileges that support their acceptance into these elite schools; Hispanic and Black children generally don't. It's a vicious cycle.
Around 1,000 people gathered together on the streets of Los Angeles and West Hollywood, and before the night was through, the crowd swelled to more than 4,000. They blocked traffic, held signs, carried candles, chanted, and banged on doors. Police used force against some who participated in rally, but as far as I know, no one was seriously hurt. Mostly, the rally was peaceful, which is amazing to me. It takes a lot of strength and willpower to remain "peaceful" after your fellow citizens have robbed you of your rights.
Californian same-sex couples and their friends must be fucking pissed. I know I am. Take a look at the photo that accompanies the first article I linked above. How in the world are those people so happy? Is it because they still have an entire group of people to oppress? Because thousands of couples who love each other aren't able to celebrate that love like heterosexual couples are? Because GLBT people and their allies all over the country are devastated? Yeah. Lots to celebrate.
All I can is: thank you so much to the brave people in California who participated in this protest.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" - Mahatma Gandhi.
Seriously, Fox News? America just made history last night by electing Barack Obama as our next president... and your biggest story is Michelle Obama's dress?
Also... notice how negative the Obama stories are. "As Obama Enjoys a Win... a World of Trouble Awaits" "Obama's Promises a Burden?" All of their post-election stories have been like that. And I think they're one of the only news stations still talking about Sarah Palin. Just let it go, Fox, your team didn't win.
When I woke up today and stepped outside, I thought "Today marks the first day of the rest of America's life." Not that everything will suddenly be perfect, because that just isn't realistic, but with our country in shambles, I really think the Democrats are the only ones who can clean it all up. And now we control the presidency, the House, and the Senate. Things will get better.
Starting at around 7PM, we turned on the news, switching back-and-forth between CNN and MSNBC. I had my closest friends in my room, huddled around the TV and eagerly awaiting news anchors to call another state. When Obama's electoral votes hit 200, we all had a good feeling - and at around 11PM, when the polls closed in several more states, news stations began to announce that Barack Obama was the winner.
My friends and I jumped to our feet and started cheering. We all spilled out into the hallway (I live in a corridor-style dorm building) and began yelling and screaming, "Obama won!" Other people began entering the hallway, and a large group of people came stampeding down the hallway, yelling "Who has a TV?!" My roommate and I offered up our room, and all 15 or 20 of us huddled around the TV, watching CNN in shock.
Within minutes, hoots and hollers started coming from the hallway. For some reason, we all knew what our next move was. Although there was no formal celebratory event planned on my campus, every student somehow knew to gather in front of our Student Union Building. When we got there, there were 20 or 30 students... and within minutes, there were close to 300. 300 cheering, screaming, hugging, crying, celebrating people. People brought signs, costumes, lit torches, drums, cameras. Everyone huddled together, hugging strangers and reuniting with old friends. People danced, crowdsurfed, and chanted phrases like "Yes We Can!" I don't know how long the celebrations went on for, but when I left close to 1AM, they were still in full swing. I took tons of videos - I'll try to post them tomorrow. I'm going to try to hang onto them in hopes of showing them to my kids someday when they come to me and ask, "Where were you when Barack Obama was elected president?"
Still though, it's a bittersweet victory. The better candidate won, but so many other people lost - namely the Queer community.
In Arizona: the ban on same-sex marriage passed.
In Arkansas: the ban on same-sex couples adopting children passed.
In California: proposition 8, to ban same-sex marriage, passed.
In Florida: the ban on same-sex marriage passed.
I'm extremely disappointed. I was especially praying for Prop 8 to fail - could you imagine being told that you could finally get married, only to have that right snatched away a couple months later? It was a terrible defeat for same-sex couples in California, as well as same-sex couples everywhere. Prop 8, as well as the other propositions that trumped gay rights, were blows to face. These propositions are ways to tell GLBT people that they just aren't good enough to have rights. Heterosexual couples can marry and adopt, but you can't marry and adopt. You can sit here, but you can't sit here. You can drink from this water fountain, but you can't drink from this water fountain.
The good news? All anti-choice measures failed.
In California: proposition 4, to require parental consent to obtain abortions, failed.
In Colorado: the amendment to define a "person" from the moment of conception, failed.
In South Dakota: a total ban on abortion failed.
And even though we've made history by electing our first Black president, ironically the propositions to end affirmative action in Colorado and Nebraska passed. Just goes to show that we've taken important steps in eliminating racism and achieving equality, but we have an extremely long way to go.
Where were you when Barack Obama was elected president?
Some things to do today (aside from voting):
- Check out this hour-by-hour guide to election night.
- Keep an eye on the electoral vote count throughout the night on CNN.
- Make sure to also pay attention to the important ballot measures that are being voted on, like gay marriage, abortion limits, and affirmative action.
- Read about Amanda Jones, who is the daughter of a former slave. At 109 years-old, she has lived long enough to vote for the first African-American presidential candidate.
- Go to Barack Obama's website, get a list of names and numbers, and make some phone calls to remind people to vote.
- Play Battleground States on AddictingGames.com and YOU decide who wins this election!
- Check out Newsweek's best political ads of 2008.
- Get your ass to a Starbucks for a free coffee, a Ben & Jerry's for a free ice cream, or Babeland for a free silver bullet vibrator (coffee and ice cream and orgasms! Oh my!)
- Send an election day e-card.
- Check out the hour-long election night special at 10PM featuring Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Oh yeah.
- Watch Obama cast his vote in Chicago:
- Watch Joe Biden cast his vote (with his adorable 91 year-old mother):
Yesterday I did some phonebanking for Obama. We were calling people in Nevada, since it's a swing state, to urge them to vote for Obama. It's a really fun and exciting experience, so if anyone has the time, I'd recommend doing it. There's still time to phonebank both today and tomorrow - believe me, there are plenty of people who are still unsure of whether or not they're going to vote, so we need to give them a little push. You can go to My.BarackObama.com, create an account, and then you can find Obama events near you and RSVP to them online. Tons of volunteers will be busy today and tomorrow calling battleground states, so I'm sure they'd love any help they can get.
What's also really cool is that the Obama website lets you phonebank from home. Just select a state, and you'll get a list of voters with their contact information, as well as a script to read from. Good luck!
Parents, school board members, and teachers alike are furious, claiming that these pledge cards were not "appropriate" for kindergarteners. Because we'll be damned if we teach our children to be respectful of all kinds of people. I wonder if "I promise to never use racial slurs" pledge cards would draw an equal amount of negative backlash. Doubt it.
And, not surprisingly, Fox News has once again succeeded in presenting a biased and one-sided presentation of a news story. Check out the article posted on their website, so intelligently titled "School Claims Up on 'Gay' Pledge Cards Given to Kindergarteners." I challenge you to find one person Fox News quoted in that article who actually agreed with the pledge cards. I know they exist. Instead, the article was filled with people who said things like this:
"[There is] tremendous peer pressure put on children to accept a pro-homosexual philosophy and attitude."
Really? Cause I have yet to see some of this pressure. Instead, I could easily argue that there is far more peer pressure put on children to reject homosexuality and make GLBT people into outcasts.
But no one talks about that.
"How many times did you hear 'I don't recall' from them during the trial?" asked defense attorney Leonard Levine. "I stopped counting at 300. These women lied. They lied, they exaggerated and nobody cared -- but you should care."
I love when lawyers accompany their closing statements with a healthy dose of misogyny. Prosecutor Frances Young called him out on it:
"What we heard was four male lawyers defending their male client and what we heard was a lot of misogyny," Young said. "These girls did nothing wrong. None of these girls invited what happened to them."
"This is a very sick man," Young told the jury. "He was an abuser of women who picked a profession where he would be surrounded by teenage girls."
Really though, nine girls all lying about being raped by the same man? I'm not buying it.
Stoned to death. For reporting a rape.
The treatment of women is not perfect in the U.S., but in other countries, it's appalling.
What You Can Do:
- Learn more about human rights in Somalia on Amnesty International's website.
- Sign an online petition to end stoning at Stop Stoning Forever.
- Read the list of things you can do at the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women.
- Visit Save Somali Women and Children.
- Sponsor a sister in another country devastated by violence at Women for Women International.