Thursday, October 29, 2009

I love Le Tigre  

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I can't believe I've never gotten into Le Tigre before. Sure, I've heard of them, but I never appreciated their awesome-ness. While searching for music to play on my feminist radio show (listen online tonight at 8:30PM EST), I thought, "Hmm. You know, I bet I would like Le Tigre."

Scratch that, I love Le Tigre.

One of the founding members of Le Tigre is Kathleen Hanna, who used to be in Bikini Kill, one of the pioneer bands of the Riot Grrrl movement in the 90s, the famous underground feminist punk movement that is argued to have kicked off the third wave of feminism.

Le Tigre, with its dance-punk style and political lyrics and activist members, is one bad ass feminist band. Unfortunately, their best songs contain tons of cursing, so I can't play my favorites on my radio show. But here are some lyrics of theirs, from the song "FYR" off their album Feminist Sweepstakes:

Ten short years of progressive change,
Fifty fucking years of calling us names.
Can we trade title nine for an end to hate crime?
RU-486 if we suck your fucking dick?
One step forward, five steps back.
One cool record in the year of rock-rap.
Yeah, we got all the power getting stabbed in the shower.
And we got equal rights on ladies night.
Feminists, we're calling you.
Please report to the front desk.
Let's name this phenomenon.
It's too dumb to bring us down.
F.Y.R. Fifty years of ridicule.
F.Y.R take another picture.
Mrs. Doubtfire on mother's day.
On-the-job stalker for equal pay.
Toss us a few new AIDS drugs as national healthcare bites the dust.
While you were on vacation black people didn't get reparations.
You know these days no one's exploited.
Sorry dude can't hear you with my head in the toilet.

And this is "Deceptacon," definitely one of their most danceable songs.



Love them. Now.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Onlookers did nothing while teenager was raped  

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This is horrifying.

In California, a 15-year-old girl was beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance for two hours on Friday night.

According to police, there were as many as a dozen people watching this happen... and instead of calling the police, they laughed, took pictures, and joined in.

Honestly, what kind of sick person do you have to be to watch something like this happen and not do a damn thing about it?

Thankfully, police were finally called after a female student overhead people talking about the rape. Police found the teenage girl semi-conscious near a picnic table, and now the survivor is in the hospital with injuries, though none are life-threatening. Two suspects were taken into custody, but as many as five other men are said to have attacked her.

What an utter nightmare. In combating rape and sexual assault, we tend to forget to educate people not only against sexually assaulting other people and against walking alone at night, but also to educate anyone who might witness a crime like this to call 911 immediately.

This is no excuse for witnessing something like this and doing nothing but laugh and snap photos. I sincerely hope the police not only prosecute the rapist assholes, but also the people who did nothing.

Colbert smokes same-sex marriage opponents  

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Once again, Stephen Colbert exposes the pure stupidity that forms the foundation for the anti-gay marriage movement. Love it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Buffet of the Week  

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  • Check out The New York Times' "Women at Arms" series, which "explores how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have profoundly redefined the role of women in the military."

  • In the Philippines, where abortion is illegal and 70% of the population cannot afford birth control, reproductive rights advocates are pushing for legislation that would require the government to provide free or low-cost reproductive services. However, these efforts are meeting harsh resistance.

  • California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Wednesday restoring the $16.3 million in funds for domestic violence shelters that he originally cut from the state's budget in July.

  • In Saudi Arabia, a female journalist has been sentenced to 60 lashes for being involved with a TV show that discussed sex.

  • The US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight held a hearing Wednesday to examine the violence perpetuated against women in foreign countries. Our goal is achieve re-introduction of the International Violence Against Women Act.

  • Personhood Nevada filed a ballot initiative in the state to pass a law that would define a fetus as a human being. If passed, this law would threaten abortion rights, as well as IUDs, emergency contraception, in vitro fertilization clinics, and stem cell research.

  • An article on MSNBC.com warns that certain menopause remedies that are becoming popular, such as hormone therapies, may contain dangerous side-effects.

  • With the Barbie doll losing popularity, Mattel is giving her a makeover in hopes to revive the historic toy. It's pretty horrific... let the short short dresses and copious amounts of makeup speak for themselves.

  • Michelle Obama has been active recently in Breast Cancer awareness.
Friday, October 23, 2009

The Business of Being Born  

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I watched a GREAT documentary with some of my feminist friends last night: "The Business of Being Born." It's a film about how in the U.S., women are often pressured to partake in the typical hospital birth, rather than explore their other options, such as a home birth. Hospitals are a business, and the scary part is that doctors will try to rush births in order to clear more beds and keep women moving in and out, even if it means giving them harmful medication.

There are some really beautiful home birth scenes in this movie. The interesting part is that the women who give birth at home or in water hardly scream, and the baby that comes out hardly cries. The environment carries so much less stress than hospitals do. I highly recommend seeing this movie... you will develop such a deep appreciation for the birthing process.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hate crimes bill passes Senate  

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A bill aimed at fighting hate crimes against LGBTQ people, entitled the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Act, named after two young men who lost their lives to hate crimes eleven years ago, has passed the Senate! All that's left is for Obama to sign, which we can surely count on him to do.

It's great to hear that this passed, especially after the recent hate crime against Jack Price, which I wrote about.

Visit the Human Rights Campaign's action center to send the families of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. a thank you note.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fox 'News' loves to distort facts  

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Why I love Huffington Post: they do things like compile a list of "The Ten Most Egregious Fox News Distortions."

Aww, only ten?

Among those on the list: taking Obama's and Biden's quotes out of context, calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist, giving seemingly endless coverage to the tea party protests and hardly any to the March for Equality, and the "terrorist fist jab" shared by Barack and Michelle Obama (seriously... is this news?)

I can't imagine why anyone would see Fox News as a credible news source.
Monday, October 19, 2009

Women are the majority of the U.S. workforce  

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For the first time in history - and herstory - women have become the majority of paid U.S. workers. The recently released Shriver Report: A Women's Nation Changes Everything determined that women are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in 63.3% of American families. During the second wave of feminism - in 1967 - women made up only one-third of all workers.

It is amazing that we've come so far. I truly think that economic independence and access to the workforce is crucial to achieving equality for women. But we need to keep in mind that discrimination still persists, and women, especially women of color, are often denied top positions and fair pay.

In light of such a historic/herstoric event, Ms. magazine has put together an article, called "Paycheck Feminism," outlining five things we need to achieve next.
Saturday, October 17, 2009

National Women's History Museum Act  

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Currently, some wonderful folks over at the Women's History Museum are working hard to get a bill passed to establish a museum of women's history (ahem... herstory) near the National Mall in Washington D.C. The act has just been passed in the House, and now it's time to get it passed in the Senate!

Be sure to contact your senators and urge them to pass this bill, so that we can "recognize women's successes, build on their accomplishments and empower future generations."

Size four model fired for being 'too fat'  

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As if we needed another reason to hate Ralph Lauren, it has now come out that the model they were caught photoshopping to look emaciated and distorted has been fired. Why did they fire her? Because at 5'10 and 120 pounds, she was too fat.


TOO FAT?! She's a size FOUR!

I hate the fashion industry. Hate it.
Friday, October 16, 2009

LA judge denies interracial couple a marriage license  

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I just have a question: WHAT YEAR IS THIS?

Because clearly it must be 1960. Surely it isn't 2009 because I thought we left this bullshit in the past.

The racist judge, Keith Bardwell, said he denied the interracial couple a marriage license out of concern for the children:

There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage. I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it.

And of course, like many prejudiced bigoted jerks who know they're about to be crucified by the public for their hateful views, Bardwell tried to pull the old "I'm not racist, I totes have black friends!" card.

I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.

Omigosh... you let black people use your bathroom?! How kind! What a saint you are, Judge Bardwell! And look at you, refusing marriage licenses to protect children. How noble. Nevermind that you're making assumptions based on outdated views and treating interracial couples like they're sub-human.

Un-fucking-acceptable.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jon Stewart calls out lack of coverage for gay rights march  

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Once again, my lover, Jon Stewart, calls mainstream media out on their bullshit. In this episode: Fox News gives more coverage to an empty sidewalk than the Equality March.

Gay man in Queens brutally beaten  

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A horrifying video has been released showing surveillance footage of a 49 year-old gay man, Jack Price, being brutally beaten by two men who yelled anti-gay slurs. Price was attacked in Queens, right after he left a deli near his home. This news coverage shows clips of the surveillance video but I want to stress a MAJOR WARNING before you watch this; it is very disturbing.

 
Price suffered a broken jaw, fractured ribs, a lacerated spleen, and the collapse of both of his lungs. Police have two suspects in custody.

In light of this event, why not contact your representatives and urge them to support hate crime legislation? Also, the Human Rights Campaign is attempting to raise $200,000 to pass gay rights bills, including hate crime laws. And if you can, consider donating to the Matthew Shepard Foundation in honor of Jack Price.

And let's hope and pray for Jack's speedy recovery.
Monday, October 12, 2009

Reconsider Columbus Day  

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This video seems to be making its rounds in the blogosphere on what has been deemed as "Columbus Day," a day to honor a man who deserves no honoring.



It is time to reconsider Columbus Day.

Teachers who are struggling with how to address Columbus Day in the classroom can order a guide from RethinkingSchools.com. Or, if you're simply a concerned citizen who is sick of being forced to celebrate a man who committed heinous crimes, you can sign this online petition calling for a holiday to honor Native Americans instead of Columbus. You can also sign the petition calling for the abandonment of plans to build a Columbus monument in Puerto Rico.
Sunday, October 11, 2009

National Coming Out Day '09  

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Happy Coming Out Day!


I wish I could be in D.C. for the National Equality March. Anyone who went: tell me your experiences! The Huffington Post also covered the march and has some great photos from it.

It's important to remember that Coming Out Day is a day not only for LGBTQ people, but for straight allies as well. "Coming out" does not necessarily mean admitting you are queer, although it's wonderful if you found the strength in you to come out in that way today, but also coming out against homophobia.

The Human Rights Campaign has great guides for anyone struggling with coming out. Or, if you're a straight ally who wants to help support your LGBTQ friends, you can check out GLAAD's ally resources.

Obama's speech on gay rights  

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Thoughts?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ralph Lauren apologizes for ultra-thin model  

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(Left: the photoshopped image. Right: the real model)

Well, Ralph Lauren has finally apologized after getting caught photoshopping one of their models to look like she belongs on the cover of a pamphlet on anorexia. A spokesperson said:

For over 42 years, we have built a brand based on quality and integrity.

After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman's body.

We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.

My beef with Ralph Lauren remains: why did you photoshop an already extremely thin model to be even thinner in the first place??

They owned up to poor photoshopping, but not to contributing to the poor body image of young girls everywhere who aspire to a misleading image of "beauty."

We're not cool, Ralph Lauren.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize  

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Thoughts?

Cupcakes for Life!  

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Found this via Feministing, and it's just too great to not share. In case you were wondering how to make anti-choice cupcakes, "Cupcakes for Life" has got your back.

There's even a National Pro-Life Cupcake Day, which incidentally, is today! Hoooooray!

My favorite part is the saying at the top of the website, which looks like some horrendous pro-life joke: "What is worse than being in third grade and not having anyone celebrate your birthday? Not being allowed to be born!"

Granted, those cupcakes do look delicious.
Thursday, October 8, 2009

iPhone app lets you look up skirts  

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Want to be a disgusting perverted peeping tom? There's an app for that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New 'That's Gay'  

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I love Bryan Safi... but no homo.

Worst anti-gay marriage ads ever  

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The Huffington Post put together a list of the worst anti-gay marriage ads ever made. And wow, are they brilliant. My favorites are the ones that try to convince us that the gays are out to destroy children:





Hahahahaha. You have to laugh.

Obama's giving a big gay speech  

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The evening before the National Equality March, Obama will be delivering a major speech on gay rights at the Human Rights Campaign's 13th annual dinner.

I can't wait to see this speech. Will definitely post video of it here as soon as it becomes available. What do you hope Obama addresses in his gay rights speech?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ralph Lauren photoshops model to look emaciated  

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If there's a ever a reason to girlcott Ralph Lauren, it's THIS:


The company's advertisers photoshopped this model to the brink of death, making her look emaciated and sick.

The website BoingBoing.net criticized the image, and instead of addressing the well-deserved criticism, Ralph Lauren threatened the website with a lawsuit for reproducing a copyrighted ad... even though, as the website's writers then pointed out, they were using it for completely legit reasons: news reporting and criticism.

And their criticism was highly justified. My thoughts are that Ralph Lauren reps are just upset that they were called out on their shit.

Send complaints here.

'Secret Girlfriend': Comedy Central's new sexist show  

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Did that make you want to puke? Then you're going to love this:



We all know that Comedy Central is no stranger to disgustingly sexist shows, but "Secret Girlfriend," a new show about single guys in their 20s who act like they're 14, might just take the cake. This appalling sad excuse for a show portrays its main characters picking out women at bars and parties like they're picking out meat at a deli counter. They go through the women faster than pairs of underwear, because they all dumb bitches so who cares how they feel? I just want to get laid, bro!

Shows like this are the reason why people think women are just objects to be ogled, holes to be penetrated, and brainless sorority girls to be made fun of. It makes me wonder how any self-respecting woman can be in a show like this. Maybe they've never been told that they have the ability to be more in life than tits on a TV screen.

It sickens me that this piece of shit is on the same network as the brilliance of "The Daily Show." It also sickens me that I would be surprised if this show didn't turn out to be hugely popular, especially among teenage boys who have to learn how to treat women as objects somewhere. It's so sad that they're not only going to learn that a woman's ass is more important than her brain, but also that a "real man" behaves in this revolting frat boy-esque manner. Gag.
Monday, October 5, 2009

Have a feminist Halloween  

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Before I forget, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY OCTOBER... because it is, by far, the best month of the year. Leaves are falling, apples and pumpkins are ripe, and the greatest holiday ever is rapidly approaching.

My zombie prom queen costume is all set.

Of course I need to express my main beef with Halloween, which I've expressed before - the fact that most of the costumes offered make me want to puke. You really see the sexism shining through when a woman has to struggle to find a costume that will cover more than half her body. Men get to be doctors, women get to be sexy nurses. Men get to be police officers, women get to be slutty convicts. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Some of my favorite cringe-worthy costumes this year? Take a gander.


(This costume is called "Pocahottie"... I kid you not). Oh, and look at their plus-sized version of that costume; the model looks like a size 8 at the most.


("Anita Valium"... because nothing is sexier than a psychiatric disorder).


(A sexy NUN? Are they serious?)


(Yes... it does say "trophy rack" across her breasts).


(This is a costume for teenagers).


(So is this... it's called "Army Brat").

IT HURTS. To ease the pain, tell me about your feminist Halloween costumes or ideas! And if you e-mail me a photo of your feminist costume, I'll definitely post it here. We need to do something to counter all these pornographic outfits. It's time for a feminist Halloween.
Saturday, October 3, 2009

The pro-choicer's losing battle  

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We're losing support for abortion rights.

A new poll has produced dismal results. Whereas the majority of the population used to support abortion rights, now only 47 percent of Americans feel abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a drop from 54 percent a year ago.

45 percent say it should be illegal in all or most cases, up from 41 percent a year ago.

While conducting my major research paper on the pro-life movement (download the paper here if you're interested in reading it or watch the video I made summing up my findings), I realized how cunning and manipulative these activists are. By convincing more and more people each day that they are immoral baby-killers who are no better than Ted Bundy if they support a woman's right to choose, they are gaining this support.

But it is partly our fault as well. The pro-choice movement needs a change. We're stuck on addressing the political aspect of abortion, and never discussing the morality of it. By doing this, we leave out a huge chunk of the population that believes that a woman should choose what to do with her pregnancy, but still feels uncomfortable at the thought of ending a "life." Naomi Wolf, feminist author, wrote in her 1995 article "Our Bodies, Our Souls: Rethinking Pro-Choice Rhetoric,"

The movement's abandonment of what Americans have always, and rightly demanded of their movements - an ethical core - and its reliance instead on a political rhetoric in which the fetus means nothing are proving fatal.

A very bold and controversial observation she makes, but there is a lot of truth to it. It's time for an image change, or we're fucked.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Radio show tonight  

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Just a reminder, folks, that you can listen to my lovely feminist campus radio show tonight at 8:30PM EST on WFNP.org (just click "Tune in Live!" on the right-hand side). I would love to have some of my readers listening, and feel more than free to call in as well!