Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dick Masterson: someone I wouldn't mind punching  

Through the magic of StumbleUpon, I found this gem of a video of Dick (ha) Masterson, the very epitome of a chauvinistic ignoramus, on Dr. Phil. You may need to pick your jaw up off the floor after this one. Part of me thinks that he's adopted most of this views purely for shock value and fame because it's just so outrageous and unfathomable that someone can be this painfully stupid.

Fuck you, Dick. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. Don't even bother going to his website - you'll inevitable vomit all over your computer screen.

Recently, I saw his book in a Barnes & Noble and was highly repulsed. Unfortunately, I didn't have my "THIS INSULTS WOMEN" stickers at the time, or else I would've slapped a couple of them on his stupid fucking cover. Next time I'm in a bookstore, it's on.
Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama to rescind Bush's anti-choice rule  

I love having a pro-choice president. Every day feels like Christmas.

Word on the street is that Obama wants to rescind the horrible anti-choice parting gift Bush left us with in his final days. His poorly-drafted and hasty legislation was designed to protect doctors and nurses who refuse to perform abortions or mention abortion as an option to patients on moral grounds by taking away a clinic's right to fire them. The really scary part is that this law is so broad and vague that it could be used to also protect pharmacists who refuse to sell birth control pills. Then of course, I'm inclined to ask my favorite question: will Scientologist pharmacists then be allowed to refuse to sell antidepressants?

I know we have the right to exercise our own religion, but American citizens also have a right to access proper medical care. If your job requires you to compromise your morals, find another one.

Offensive Boost Mobile commercial  

I hate this commercial. God forbid we don't shave our pits... clearly it will result in this:

No newsletter this week  

Sorry everyone - I have opening night of The Vagina Monologues tonight, so my time is consumed by rehearsing my two monologues, and of course painting my nails red. Promise to send one out next week!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

$29 million left in 2009 budget for abstinence-only programs  

I am highly disappointed in Obama and the rest of the Democrats in Washington who know that comprehensive sex education is the only effective way to reduce teen pregnancy and STD rates. Despite countless amounts of evidence that proves that abstinence-only education is an enormous failure, the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill shows that $94 million was left in for these ineffective programs. The Senate Finance Committee recommended that $28 million be cut from ab-only education, but only $14 million was cut instead.

How much money do we have to waste on these horribly inaccurate and ineffective bullshit programs?

You can send a letter to Obama here, asking him to stop funding ridiculous educational tactics and instead support comprehensive sex education that works.
Monday, February 23, 2009

Vagina love  

From the very wonderful Vulva Love Lovely shop, I got my very own plush uterus. I adore it, so I thought I'd share pictures. Here's Rosie, the cranky uterus:

But when you give her chocolate, she turns into happy uterus!

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week  


It's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. My school is having several events this week to raise awareness and funds, and I'm hoping many other schools and communities are doing the same. I just viewed a really powerful documentary called "Thin," about women trying to recover from eating disorders at a clinic in Florida. Here's a promo for it:

I would recommend it, but it can be triggering. Tonight, I'm going to see another documentary called "Do I Look Fat?" about the body pressures within the gay male community, which I'm very excited about. Also, for my Psychology of Women class, I created an art piece with the theme of body image and eating disorders which was displayed at a fair earlier. I contrasted images I cut out of beauty magazines with photos I took of real women:

I'm urging everyone to do something for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Even if it's just renting one of these documentaries and watching it on your own. We should always have a heightened awareness of body image pressures, but it's good that there's a week dedicated to pushing us to think about it more than ever.
Saturday, February 21, 2009

A comment on TMZ's photo of a bruised Rihanna  

I apologize profusely for putting a link in this week's newsletter to the leaked photo of Rihanna's battered face. I had no idea that TMZ acquired it through deceptive and dishonest ways, and I'm furious at TMZ for stealing that photo from the LAPD and publishing it for their own benefit. It saddens me that as a famous woman, Rihanna cannot count on getting even the tiniest bit of privacy, and now she has the entire country feeding off of her personal tragedy and gushing sympathy. Being the victim of violence is hard enough without some stupid fucking celebrity gossip website posting stolen pictures and harassing her on the street for a comment. When someone becomes a celebrity, they expect the public to know about their relationships, about when they slip and fall in public, about how much they spend on clothing... but I doubt Rihanna ever predicted she would be in this situation.

Even before I knew TMZ stole the photo, I shouldn't have linked it, and I'm very sorry.
Friday, February 20, 2009

(More) rape implications in fashion ads  

While flipping through Allure magazine to find pictures of models to cut out for an art display I'm making for Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I found this horrible page. It's meant to display clothes, but all I see is what appears to be a drugged or knocked out woman with her shirt unbuttoned, while a looming man zips up his pants behind her. It looks like it was taken moments after a rape took place. Why would they position their models this way? It blows my mind how little the fashion industry cares about the potential effects of their advertisements. Just as long as we buy the clothes, right?

Video games that teach girls to conform to gender roles  

The types of video games that are marketed to girls make me cringe. Don't they understand that girls like to play normal games? We like Super Smash Brothers, Tony Hawk's Underground, and Guitar Hero. Why is there such an attempt to make "girl" games that center around playing dress-up and taking care of babies? Seriously. Look at the Imagine line of games for Nintendo DS. You won't believe it.

It's so sad that they think this is all girls aspire to.

Scenes from Rush Limbaugh: murderer/rapist edition  

As much as I disagree with the politics of Republicans, I would never even dream of comparing them to murderers and rapists. But Rush Limbaugh has no shame. No dignity. No censor. No intelligence. Listen to this clip from his recent show (transcript below):

RL: This is... it's about power, it's about control. These people genuinely look out over this country from their lofty perches. They don't like what they see. Otherwise...

Caller: So they can go somewhere else! Like, I don't understand, why do they have to stay here? Like, leave us alone!

RL: At this point, at this point Gretchen, I don't care about the why. They're not going to leave. They're trying to control it. At this point, the only thing is they must be stopped!

Caller: I agree...

RL: Within the confines of our Constitution, and the political arena of ideas, they must be stopped. I don't care why they see this country the way they see it. I don't care why a murderer does it. I don't care why a rapist does it. I don't care why this Muslim guy offed his wife's head. The NOW gang is out there saying 'oh, that's not domestic violence, that's just, uh, that's just...' what do they call it? 'Culturally honor killing. Or this woman was going to divorce him, that's against the law. That's his diversity.' I don't care, I don't care why anymore. If I figure it out, I'll be glad to tell you because it's interesting to know, but it doesn't matter in terms of defeating them.

Let's just put this whole murderer/rapist thing to the side for a second. Can we stop using the words "elitist" and "Democrat" interchangeably? Why is it that Republicans are so quick to think that because we as Democrats see things wrong with this country it means that we're attempting to get up on our high horses? Why are "a desire for change" and "elitism" synonymous terms?! And that caller. That horribly ignorant caller. "Leave us alone"?! "Why do they have to stay here"?! Are you absolutely kidding me? This is our country too! Perhaps we as Democrats, contrary to popular stereotypes perpetuated by people like Mr. Limbaugh, give a crap about this country and where its headed. Maybe it can be seen as noble that despite all the things wrong we see with America, we continue to stay here, in hopes of bringing more good to the government and to its people. Maybe we cringe at the thought of it falling into the hands of Republicans. Why is that elitist? Why is it not elitist for Rush to sit there in his studio, smoking his cigars, donning his expensive suit, telling us that we're wrong? Statistically, Republicans are the rich ones with the enormous houses. Democrats are the working class. Who's elitist now? Not that I plan to use that term as loosely as Rush does, but it just seems ironic to me that he slaps the "uppity" label on Democrats. He needs to get his shit straight.

Mississippi to test sex education programs  

Wow, you know that abstinence-only education is really bad when even Mississippi is considering changing it. This seems like an ongoing trend with states that have so blindly clung to abstinence-only education for several years: people start to realize that teen pregnancy and STD rates are soaring, and realize, "HEY, maybe we should teach them how to put a condom on!"

A report from the Center for Disease Control shows that Mississippi has one of the sharpest increases in teen pregnancy rates and rising rates of STDs. As a result, comprehensive sex education programs are being tested in two districts. Unfortunately, it requires parental consent to participate, so undoubtedly many students will be missing out. But at least law-makers are slowly starting to admit that saying "just wait until marriage and everything will be fine" isn't all that effective.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sexuality and gender studies in danger  

The National Sexuality Resource Center is attempting to stop the ridiculous attempts of legislators to cut funding for courses on queer issues, women's studies, and sexuality. Their excuse is budget cuts, but it's no coincidence that that these specific courses are getting the axe. It's so upsetting. In my view, the things I learned in my women's studies classes are far more applicable to real life than anything I've learned in any math or science class.

To help save sexuality and gender studies, sign the online petition put together by the NSRC.

Japanese show parodies Obama in blackface  

Some incredibly bizarre Japanese show decided to parody Barack and Michelle Obama. I was utterly confused while watching this, as they do incredibly strange things, but I was also a little horrified because... seriously? Blackface? We're still doing that racist crap?

North Dakota attempts to define fetus as a person  

Yep. Slammed my fist incredibly hard on my desk when I read this one. The House in North Dakota has approved a measure that will give a tiny cell growing inside a woman more rights than the woman herself. Let me repeat that. The thing growing inside me now has a "life" that takes precedent over mine. Once more with feeling:

Now, if the measure passes in the (anti-choice) Senate, a fetus will have full rights in North Dakota, essentially banning abortion in the state. Do Supreme Court rulings hold no validity? What about the landmark case Planned Parenthood of Southern Pennsylvania vs. Casey? The Supreme Court ruled that state restrictions on abortion cannot place an "undue burden" on women, meaning that if a proposed restriction puts a significant obstacle in the way of obtaining an abortion, it is not allowed. Since that ruling, over 200 restrictions have been placed on abortion rights. Parental consent laws, waiting periods, mandatory sonograms - how are any of these not placing an undue burden on women seeking reproductive services? How is defining a fetus as a person not enough of a burden? Does that case mean nothing at all?

It infuriates me.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fox News calls out PETA's latest display of sexism  

Fox News covered PETA's horrendously sexist and objectifying Valentine's Day stunt, in which they had lingerie-clad models make out on a blow-up mattress in Texas. Half-naked women making out... and vegetarianism. Ah, I see the connection now. According to PETA, they're attempting to promote that vegetarians have healthier sex lives... by feeding into our culture's obsession with objectifying women and downplaying the seriousness of lesbian relationships by indulging the girl-on-girl fantasies that many Americans hold. Good job, PETA.

Fox News isn't too keen on their display as well, but seemingly for the wrong reasons. I'm very irritated by the news anchor's insistance that "no one wants to see this" because it's "offensive" and parents "don't want their children to see it." My guess is that if it were a woman and a man making out, she wouldn't be acting as if PETA re-created a porno on the sidewalks of El Paso. It's because of our culture objectifying women, especially lesbian women, that so many people hold this notion that two women making out is inappropriate and too sexual for children to see.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Obama steering clear of sexism during press conference  

In his first prime-time press conference as president, Obama was nearly perfectly gender balanced. He called on a total of 6 female reporters and 7 male reporters. The first and the last questions were asked by women. One of the women called on was Helen Thomas, a legendary reporter who has asked questions of 10 U.S. presidents, and who, unfortunately, was the target of sexist attacks by Bill O'Reilly. Obama was also the first president to call on a blogger (Sam Stein of the Huffington Post). Here's part 1 of the press conference:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Celebrating a feminist Valentine's Day  

I'm not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. I find it to be a "holiday" made up by the greeting card industry as a ploy to sell heteronormative "I love you" cards to sappy couples who believe that it's necessary to have one special day to share love with each other, when in reality, that should be done every day.

That being said, I don't fault you if you celebrate it, because even I planned a fancy dinner with my sweetie for V-Day.

But. Let's do more today than stuff our faces with chocolate (although, mmm, that does sound good) and don our red/pink apparel. I'm on board with all feminists who want to take back Valentine's Day, and transform it into V-Day. I suppose it was Eve Ensler who came up with the idea as a way to raise awareness about violence against women, while promoting the Vagina Monologues. I'm fine with that. I think that having V-Day as a day to celebrate our vaginas, while being conscious of those women who are treated as if their bodies don't belong to them, is a wonderful idea.

Today, I encourage self-exploration. Seriously. If you're a woman, and you haven't squatted down over a mirror to examine what's down there, take time today to do so. Read up on how to perform one, and do a self-exam as a way to better familiarize yourself with your body - you can also use it as a way to ensure that everything's healthy down there.

Additionally, visit the official V-Day website. Find performances of the Vagina Monologues near you, get involved if there's still time, or simply attend a performance and offer support and loose change to help stop violence against women. This year, Eve Ensler has chosen to spotlight women in the Congo. I can't think of a better cause.

Also, February 14th has become National Condom Awareness Day. As a day of "love," safe sex is certainly important.

Here's something fun from Planned Parenthood: send Obama a valentine.

There's plenty of ways to have a feminist V-Day. If you have a sweetie, there's nothing wrong with giving her/him a little extra love today. Just make time for yourself. Be kind to your vagina or your partner's vagina, put on comfy pajamas, watch a feminist movie, and take a few minutes to do something to fight violence against women, even if it's just reading a little bit about the Congo and better educating yourself. If we have to celebrate Valentine's Day, let's at least use it for something other than buying overpriced stuffed bears and eating those horribly disgusting sweet hearts.
Friday, February 13, 2009

TV station agrees to not air anti-GLBT propaganda  

Take a few minutes, and watch some of this outrageous propaganda entitled "Speechless: Silencing Christians." You will not believe your eyes. It is one full hour of homophobic Christians insisting that the "radical gay agenda" is impeding on their rights, that GLBT activists are forcing them to give up their religious beliefs, that the spreading of the "gay agenda" and the legalization of same-sex marriage will cause the nation to "decline." One full hour of hatred and ignorance.

A Michigan TV station was planning to air this trash. Luckily, the Human Rights Campaign stepped forward, asking the station to replace the hateful and untruthful documentary with a constructive debate on GLBT issues. Within an hour, the station announced it was pulling the program. Wonderful.

Take a minute to thank the TV station for avoiding becoming part of this notion that GLBT people can be pushed out of the picture. Give me a break. They accuse us of spreading propaganda and lies - just watch the documentary and laugh at the part where they insist that hate crime laws will "do away" with their freedom of speech.
Thursday, February 12, 2009

CA Supreme Court to hear arguments over Prop 8  

On March 5th, California's Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Prop 8. The fight is not over yet. From Equality California:

On January 15, 2009, 43 friend-of-the-court briefs urging the Court to invalidate Prop 8 were filed, arguing that Proposition 8 drastically alters the equal protection guarantee in California’s Constitution and that the rights of a minority cannot be eliminated by a simple majority vote.

Be sure to take a minute to sign Equality California's online petition to support overturning Prop 8. Also, if you live in California, you can attend one or two rallies being held by the organization.

Health Care for Women Resolution reintroduced  

The Health Care for Women Resolution, which would help ensure that the needs of women would be met in national heath care reform, was reintroduced in Congress yesterday by co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues Representative Jan Schakowsky and Senator Debbie Stabenow.

In a press release, Senator Stabenow stated, "women must have affordable health care that they can rely on through their life transitions, including starting a family, working part-time or full-time, divorce, or caring for a sick or elderly parent."

There was also a Columbia University report released, entitled "Women's Health and Health Care Reform," which calls for the linkage of family planning and prenatal care to women’s medical care.

Heath care is an extremely important feminist issue.

Female journalists attacked after reporting on genital mutilation  

After reporting on female genital mutilation, four female journalists were attacked by an all-women pro-FGM group in Sierra Leone. The attackers, members from Bondo society, which uses circumcision to initiate new members, abducted the women, stripped them, and forced them to march through the city of Kenema. The women were freed by police and human rights organizations.

"Pro-FGM" women sounds like just as much of an oxymoron as "feminists for life." Genital cutting is a cultural issue, and so it makes sense that as an American who has never faced it, I can't even begin to understand why women would support it. Why support something that defiles and dehumanizes the body and soul? How can they so easily accept a practice that mutilates the most delicate part of a woman's body, leaving her partially empty for the rest of her life?

I just can't understand it. And this story proves that this issue is a delicate one. Female genital mutilation is not likely to go away soon.

Men laid off as more women become 'breadwinners'  

This video from MSNBC talks about how the jobs being hit hardest by the economy are held predominantly by men, leaving many women as the sole breadwinners for their families. Of course, the sad part is that women are still only paid about 80 cents for every dollar that men make, so the wage gap is now hurting even more struggling families. Additionally, though many women are working full-time to make ends meet, many of them are still performing the same amount of housework as before. Men are failing to step up and help around the house, so the women are shouldering work inside the home, and outside.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PETA: still as deplorable as ever  


Those are PETA activists. Dressed up as KKK members. Protesting the pure-breeding of dogs. I am infuriated.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

School sued for denying establishment of gay/straight club  

Two high school students, with the help of the ACLU, are suing their school over its refusal to allow them establish a Gay/Straight Alliance-type club. The school is, not surprisingly, in Florida. The superintendent claimed, "a club highlighting sexual orientations will not be permitted as it would violate school board policy." School board policy doesn't allow teaching respect and celebrating diversity? If that's true, then this is a policy that needs to be changed.

In a perfect world, the Supreme Court would rule that a school prohibiting the establishment of a club that strives to create a more accepting educational environment is unconstitutional, thereby forcing every school in the country to allow students to establish gay-friendly clubs. Just within my friends alone, I have heard several stories of schools not allowing these clubs to be made, or giving an extremely hard time to any students who attempt to organize one. It's infuriating, and I wish more students would make a big deal out of it, like these two students are, because it is a big deal.

As the pounds disappear, so do the clothes  

Just when I thought the bikinis that models are forced to wear couldn't get any skimpier, this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit models are wearing literally nothing... except paint. Their swimsuits are painted on. Seriously, what's next? Why not just put a happy face sticker on each nipple, instruct her to cover her vagina with her hand, and call it a day? Clearly all concerns of tastefulness and sophistication are lost.

And don't even get me started on how utterly skinny all these women are. I believe all body types should be celebrated, including thin women, but celebrating all body types involves including curvy women in the media, which is just not happening. The Sports Illustrated models have not one curve. It pains me that young girls grow up believing they are only beautiful if they emulate the size zero figure.
Sunday, February 8, 2009

New York shouldn't hold its breath on same-sex marriage  

I wholeheartedly thought that my left-leaning home state might be the next to legalize same-sex marriage, but Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith said a same-sex marriage bill in New York is not likely in 2009. We have plenty of people on our side - Mr. Smith, our feminist governor David Paterson, and other Democrats are staunch supporters of gay rights - but the Senate seems to stand in the way. At a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign, Malcolm Smith told the crowd:

"Although we do not have the number of votes at this time needed to pass the marriage equality gender bill this legislative session, we are committed to pursuing its passage. And the question is not if; the question is when. So our work still needs to happen for it to happen this year. But I'm going to need your help, and I'm going to need your prayers."

It's indeed a shame that we can't expect a gay marriage bill this year, but I think we can expect it in just a few short years. It's nice to know that we have a handful of Democrats working to pass it.
Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pittsburgh may expand sex education programs  

Thankfully, more schools seem to be realizing the obvious fact that abstinence-only education doesn't work. In Pittsburgh, the school board will vote on whether or not to change their current abstinence-only sex education to include discussion of contraception and "alternative lifestyles" (GLBT people, I'm assuming?) Proponents are hoping that comprehensive sex ed will help lower the high birth rate of Pittsburgh teens, which make up 14% of all births in the city.

Abstinence will still be stressed as the only reliable method of remaining free of STIs and unplanned pregnancies, but contraception will be discussed for those students who may not wait until marriage. Supporters of the change are citing multiple studies that show that comprehensive sex ed leads to more teenagers delaying sex.

It really seems like a no-brainer to me.

Justice Ginsberg hospitalized for cancer  

Uh oh. Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg has been hospitalized for pancreatic cancer, a particularly deadly form of cancer, and underwent surgery on Thursday. Several years ago, Ginsberg successfully beat colon cancer, but statistics show that less than 5% of patients with pancreatic cancer survive five years. However, they did catch it early, so let's keep our fingers crossed that she will be a fighter.

Justice Ginsberg is 75, and has been a justice since 1993. She is currently the only woman on the Supreme Court, and the second woman to ever be appointed to the Court, the first being Sandra Day O'Connor. I sincerely hope that she will survive this horrible disease. If not, it will be truly upsetting, but at least we can take comfort in the fact that Barack Obama will be the one to appoint her replacement.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Terrorist recruiter used rape as a recruiting tool  

This is horribly disturbing, so don't read on if you're sensitive about these issues.

Lately, every major news website has been littered with stories about the woman who recruited dozens of female suicide bombers - of course, it's necessary to mention they're female, whereas if they were male, the headline would simply say "suicide bombers." She is now under the custody of Iraqi police, and has been revealing her plot to recruit so many women.

Get this. According to her, she would target certain women, get a man to rape them, and then have them sent to her for "comfort" and "advice." Of course, they would be in a very vulnerable state, and therefore more susceptible to brainwashing and more easily persuaded to kill themselves. She told the women who came to her that becoming a suicide bomber was the only way to escape shame and reclaim their honor. It's horrifying. Using rape as a way to break women's souls, coaxing them into a place of "comfort," and convincing them to strap bombs to themselves.

Becoming a suicide bomber is not an excusable act, but the recruiters are the ones to go after. The suicide bombers don't necessarily believe in the "cause" they're told they're fighting for - many of them simply are brainwashed, or in some cases, don't know any better (as seen when it was revealed that people with disorders like Down's Syndrome were being "recruited").


HBO documentary sheds light on homophobes  

In my Psychology of Women class, we watched a really interesting documentary entitled, "Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She." It discussed transgendered people, children who like to dress up in clothes of the opposite sex, babies born intersexed, trans people in India and Thailand, and many more similar topics. I thought one part was particularly interesting, in which they discussed an experiment that was conducted to test what degree, if any, of sexual arousal homophobes feel when viewing gay porn. The results are very interesting:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lesbian utopia tries to appeal to a new generation  


In northeast Alabama, hidden amongst the Bible Belt and unbeknown to the neighbors, is a "lesbian paradise." These woman-only communities began in the 1970s, when feminists longed for a utopia where they could live comfortably amongst friends, without the pressure of a male presence.

Since then, many of those communities have been shut down or attacked, but some still exist. Alapine, the community that is spotlighted by the New York Times, is one of the largest. The community allows elderly lesbian women, all of them former feminist activists of the Second Wave, to live in peace and nature in the final years of their lives. Many of the women have been drawn to such a community as a result of experiencing discrimination and hated:

The women agreed to be interviewed on the condition that the exact location of their homes not be revealed because they fear harassment from outsiders. Many in the network of womyn’s lands have avoided publicity, living a sheltered existence for decades, advertising available homes and properties through word of mouth or in small newsletters and lesbian magazines.

But the women at Alapine were willing to be interviewed because of their concern that their female-centered community would disappear if they did not reach out to younger women.

Winnie Adams, 66, who describes herself as a “radical feminist separatist lesbian,” sold her house in Florida in 1999 to move to Alapine. Earlier in her life, she had been married and had two daughters (neither of whom would be permitted to live with her now because they are not lesbians). She worked as a management information systems consultant for government agencies, she said, but when she came out as a lesbian was driven from her job by stress and discrimination.

Ms. Adams’s partner, Barbara Moore, 63, was in the Army in the 1960s, when what she described as a “witch hunt” for gay men and lesbians in the military forced her out.

Only lesbians are allowed in the community; no bisexuals, heterosexual allies, or transgendered women, and men are only allowed to visit. Even when one woman's 6-month old grandson visited, a letter had to be sent out to all residents, warning, "There is a man on the land."

I completely understand the appeal of such a place. It is much easier to live amongst people who share their ideals, and it must be an enormous relief to, for once, not have to worry about being victims of hatred, discrimination, or violence. These women clearly worked hard for decades to push the feminist agenda, and it's completely understandable that they want to spend the last years of their lives settled down in a comfortable and peaceful community.

On the other hand, this separatist attitude worries me - and the Times article even mentioned that modern feminists are less inclined to agree with separatism. I don't see much of a problem with women spending their final years in a matriarchal community - I just hope that this doesn't trickle down to younger feminists, until, in the most extreme case, the world turns into isolated communities of different demographics, and integration is a thing of the past. Of course, I don't think these women aspire to such a world, but that's why separatism can be dangerous. To be isolated in a community with your peers, never to worry about discrimination or hatred, is extremely tempting. Integration and diversity are what require work. But it's what we need to aspire to - not separatism. Our goal is to spread feminist ideas, not confine them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Long Island GLBT center vadalized  

I received some really sad news via e-mail today. I was born and raised on Long Island, so I became very familiar with the work of the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) organization. They lead the extremely popular Gay Pride Parade on Long Island every year, they send peer educators to schools to teach about GLBT people, and they have a center that welcomes all GLBT people and their allies when they feel as if they have nowhere else to go.

Between late Saturday and early Monday, the LIGALY center was vandalized. The front door was completely shattered, and the LIGALY van had its windows smashed in and its tires slashed. Police have been alerted, and this is being treated as a hate crime.

Estimated damage to the front door is over $1,000, and damage to the van is estimated at over $4,000. They need every cent they can get to repair their center and get their van back on the road, which transports youth to the Center and educators to schools. If you can, please make a donation.

Eventually, the glass will be cleaned up and the windows will be replaced. It is the emotional damage that will take a little bit longer to fix. This was an attack on the entire GLBT community, and it deeply saddens me to see how much hatred exists in this world. It saddens me that instead of embracing diversity and respecting alternative lifestyles, people will turn to physical violence as an attempts to intimidate entire communities. This was a terrorist act. The only thing to do is to let it encourage us to unite against violence motivated by hatred.

The sexist commercials of the Super Bowl  

Since the Giants didn't make the Super Bowl this year, I was watching it more for the commercials than to see who won, although it was an exciting game. Many of the commercials were creative, hilarious, and brilliantly done, but there were quite a few that made every feminist in the room let out a loud groan.

(Because humiliating a woman in public is totally fine, as long as a man gets pleasure out of it. And of course, all women just happen to walk around sporting sexy lingerie under their clothes).

(Because that's not creepy or pathetic at all...)

(Because I'm sure that after viewing this commercial, 50 million men said, "Wow, I wish I could do that.")

Yeah. They were pretty bad. Though I think that, if accepted, the PETA ad would have been the worse. Just in case you need a little pick-me-up after viewing those horribly sexist commercials, take a minute to watch the wonderful Pepsi commercial that gave me chills:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Buffet of the Week  

  • A kindergarten boy was recently reprimanded by his school for wearing his hair in long braids. Um, the boy was Native American, and wanted to wear his hair according to his heritage and beliefs. Needless to say, the court ruled in his favor.

  • Sarah Palin. Book deal. It hurts.

  • AlterNet has an interesting and disturbing article about Evangelical women supporting patriarchy.

  • Rush Limbaugh, in his infinite wisdom, made a comment about how he hopes Obama fails. Even fellow Republicans thought he was out of line.

  • Iceland elected the world's first openly gay Prime Minister!

  • The RNC chair candidate is still refusing to apologize for infamously sending around the "Barack the Magic Negro" song.

  • Anti-choice advocates in Wyoming are attempting to push a law that would extend the definition of homicide victims to also include "unborn children."

  • Jeanne Flavin of AlterNet wrote an article on "fetal rights," which put the life of the fetus above the life of the woman.

  • Most of you probably heard about the female college student who tried to sell her virginity online. Here's her side of the story.

  • Washington is moving towards giving domestic partners several more benefits.

  • A bill in South Carolina will, if passed, require a 24-hour waiting period in order to obtain an abortion. Let's hope it gets struck down.

  • A study found that many girls are feeling more confident after the 2008 election.