Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feminists making moves  

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Oh, and since it's Bad Ass Feminist Day (just because I say so), enjoy this blog post at Ms. about Sady Doyle's quest to get Michael Moore to fucking apologize already for calling the rape allegations against Julian Assange "all a bunch of hooey." Sady started the hash tag #MooreandMe on Twitter, where feminists are all a-gatherin' to tell Michael Moore just what we think of him (and of course there are some haters on the hash tag as well, but just ignore them). Four days into her anti-Moore campaign, Sady blogged:

No matter what they do to me, no matter how long Michael Moore ignores me, I am still going to be here outside the tower. At this point, if you want to fucking stop me from demanding that apology, you will have to get a gun and literally shoot me down. And if I survive that, I’m Tweeting from the hospital.

She's bold, to say the least. Check out #MooreandMe, it really is great fun.

And here's another bad ass feminist to round out your day: Nicola Briggs. Because if you haven't seen the video of her PWN'ing the pervert who sexually harassed her on the subway, stop what you're doing and watch it now.



Oh fucking yes.

The Girl Effect  

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Ack! I've fallen off the face of the blogosphere!

I'm still here. Bear with me.

And in the mean time, watch this video. It's a couple months old, but I just saw it and found it incredibly heart-breaking and, at the same time, uplifting. It's from the NoVo Foundation.

Monday, November 8, 2010

#ihadanabortion  

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I hope some of you have been participating in the lovely Twitter hash tag #ihadanabortion, started by @IAmDrTiller. The tweeter behind @IAmDrTiller, Steph Herold, wrote:

When I started the #ihadanabortion hashtag, I was afraid no one would talk. You all exceeded my wildest expectations. LOVE!

It's phenomenal to see so many women sharing their experiences and breaking the silence around what should not be a taboo subject. It reminds me of when I helped organize an Abortion Speak-Out with my Feminist Collective when I was in college. Although face-to-face sharing is ideal, I love seeing modern technology used to connect women from around the world who might not get the opportunity to connect with one another otherwise.

You can read about #ihadanabortion on many sites, including Change.org, Chicago Sun-Times, and others. Wow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Yorkers on Women's History  

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I helped make this nifty little video for Women's eNews, where development intern Angela and I got to meander around downtown Manhattan and ask strangers about women's history. It yielded some interesting results. Enjoy! (I'm on the right...)



If you're around the NYC area, definitely try to make it to the launch of Opening the Way on October 23rd. Not just saying this because I work for Women's eNews... but I really was in awe at the abundance of women's history packed into this tiny area. I guarantee anyone who takes time to read this blog will enjoy it :)
Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day 2010  

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Just wanted to say...

Happy Coming Out Day!


I'm glad we have a positive connotation attached to today to counter the ever-awful Columbus Day.

It's important to understand that today is not just a day to encourage being "out and proud," but also a day when folks across the country can "come out" in support of queer-identified, transgender, and gender nonconforming peoples. I've seen plenty of my friends dedicate their Facebook statuses and Tweets to today, which is a good way to show your support. But if you do want to use today to come out or stand up and show your pride, go for it. I'm queer-identified, and proud of it!

The Human Rights Campaign also has some good resources on what you can do today. And if you are planning on coming out today, there are some guides on the HRC site to help you. Enjoy the day, all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Radio show dude endorses candidate for her "tight little butt"  

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Bill Cooksey, of WRKO-AM, wins Douchebag of the Week... or maybe even the year... for the disgusting language he used to "endorse" Republican state treasurer candidate Karyn E. Polito. These remarks were said by him on-air:

I think she’s hot. She’s tiny, she’s short. She’s got a banging little body on her. Facial wise, I give her about a seven. Body wise, I give her about an eight-and-a-half. Tight little butt. I endorse Karyn Polito.

For the record, Cooksey is a grown man, not an 18 year-old frat boy, contrary to what his language might demonstrate.

Be sure to cite this incident any time an ignorant person claims woman have complete access to political office. Because yes, we may be able to run for office, but what is the point if no one will take us seriously?

Objectification of women is a rampant problem. Yesterday, I was walking along W 71st Street, when three gentlemen behind me proceeded to talk loudly about my ass. Even a "fuck off" from me couldn't get them to shut up and stop leering at me in a way that made me want to take a shower. You know how it makes me feel when I get reduced to a piece of meat? It makes me feel like less of a person... like I'm not worth the same as them because I don't deserve to be known for my personality or my thoughts or my feelings. Even though I know they're wrong, an incident like what happened to me yesterday can break my spirit. Because sometimes, I worry that there will never be a day when a woman can walk down a sidewalk or run for office without some waste of life, piece of shit moron commenting on her ass.

"I Love My Boo" campaign shows men of color being affectionate  

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Wow. Check out the "I Love My Boo" campaign, hitting subways now, produced by Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) (hat tip to Feministing for the info). According to GMHC:

I Love My Boo is an important campaign because it features real young men of color loving each other passionately. It contextualizes gay relationships showing what is possible through love and respect. The models are not your average chiseled bodied gay men who tend to be featured in campaigns. Rather than sexualizing gay relationships, this campaign models caring, and highlights the importance of us taking care of each other. Featured throughout New York City, I Love My Boo directly challenges homophobia and encourages all who come across it to think critically rethink our notion of love.

How often are male-identified same-gender couples portrayed in this manner? Even I was shocked to see these images because I'm not entirely used to them. There needs to be so much more of an emphasis on same-gender couples of color, and I really respect this campaign for not only covering that area, but also having the guts to show couples being affectionate. I see an immeasurable amount of ads that show straight couples nuzzling, so no one should have a problem with this, unless they can openly admit that they agree with relegating queer-identified people to a second-class status.

This month, the "I Love My Boo" ads will be hitting 1000 subway cars and 150 subway platforms in NYC. I can't wait to see one. I know that it won't be long before I see several of them vandalized... but I still can't help but get all fuzzy and warm inside when I think about the progress we're making when we can display an ad all throughout NYC that features two men of color kissing. Wow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I am voting Republican because...  

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This is pretty amazing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Buffet of the Week: "I wuv you" edition  

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Here's me making up for the lack of updates with LOTS of links to lovely feminist news, and with a picture of cute animals XD



A legislation has been introduced to END funding for abstinence-only education. Cue the Hallelujah chorus. In a press release, Congresswoman Lee stated: "The issues of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among our young people have reached a critical level. The best and most responsible way to protect them is through comprehensive sex education." Amen, sistah.

Interesting: "How 19th Century Prostitutes Were Among the Freest, Wealthiest, Most Educated Women of Their Time."

From Jezebel: "In what is perhaps a strange homage to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cosmopolitan has come up with '50 Great Things To Do With Your Breasts,' and guess what? Most of them revolve around dudes." Would you expect anything less from Cosmo?

A new poll shows that Latino voters are reluctant to embrace the GOP, despite the GOP's efforts to lure them in.

Lance Bass and my gay husband, Neil Patrick Harris, are speaking out against bullying of queer-identified youth, prompted by the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi. Lance even admits that he used to bully LGBTQ youth himself. But Queerty points out that we also need to hear from celebrities who "built their image on being bullies," e.g. 50 Cent, whose recent anti-gay pro-suicide Tweet got him in some deep shit.

Quite possibly the best submission to PostSecret I've ever seen.

Two (male) senators are halting the construction of the National Women's History Museum: "Their reasoning for blocking the National Women's History Museum, which would showcase the original, signed 19th amendment along tens of thousands of other artifacts central to women's history in the U.S., is that taxpayers might be asked to subsidize the museum in the future and that the museum would focus on abortion rights without 'without featuring any of the many contributions of the pro-life movement in America.'" GAH!

Dolce & Gabanna photoshopped Madonna within inches of her life in her newest spread for them.

A new series from Women's eNews, "Poverty - Tales from the Recession's Front Lines," explores the burdens placed on women during the recession. Also available in Spanish.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More commercials I can't stand: "all inclusive" resort is actually pretty exclusive  

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What's missing from nearly every commercial for Sandals, Jamaica? Oh right, anyone who isn't white, heterosexual, coupled, or thin.



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quote of the day  

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"Look dad, I made a modest studio apartment for my Malibu Stacey doll! This is the kitchen, this is where she prints her weekly feminist newsletter..."
-Lisa Simpson

You gotta love her.
Monday, August 30, 2010

John McEnroe: tennis "asks too much" of women  

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Pro tennis player John McEnroe wants to look out for us ladies by ensuring that we don't hurt our dainty little arms picking up those big heavy tennis rackets. Better let the menfolk do it for us. In an interview, he said (among many other things):

"You're asking too much of the women. They shouldn't be playing as many events as men."

and

"They should be required to be in less events, there should be less events for the women. It seems it takes an actual meltdown on the court or women quitting the game altogether before they realize there's a need to change the schedule."

Thanks for looking out for us, John, but seeing as how you don't have a woman's body, I think it's a little tough for you to decide what we are and are not capable of.
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Women's Equality Day  

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Don't have too much time to blog, but I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a

HAPPY WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY!

For those of you who don't know, August 26th was picked by U.S. Congress as Women's Equality Day because it was the day the 19th amendment was passed, giving women (though women of color were widely left out) the right to vote. Today marks 90 years.

If you're a reader of this blog, most likely you know the seemingly endless list of reasons as to why feminism is still necessary... the simple reason being, "WE STILL AIN'T EQUAL!" And let me try to make up for a fraction of the exclusion faced by most women by the mainstream feminist movement of the first and second "waves" by saying that equality is not fully achieved until it is achieved for ALL women: women of color, women with disabilities, immigrant women (including undocumented), LBTQ women, etc etc etc.

I realize many modern feminists have issues with the suffrage movement because women of color were largely left out, but instead of dismissing this day altogether, let's shape and reclaim Women's Equality Day to be a day of positivity in which we honor the sacrifices our foremothers* made, while looking ahead to the future and thinking about what we can improve.

What's everyone doing to celebrate Equality Day? I'll be here.

*My computer is telling me this word is misspelled, but "forefathers" is correct. Nice.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Genderless future?  

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This week, Newsweek asked: Are We Facing a Genderless Future?

Although no one is keeping statistics, researchers who study gender say a small but growing number of people (including some who have had sex-change operations) consider themselves “gender neutral” or “gender variant.” Their stories vary widely. Some find that even after surgery, they simply can’t ignore previous years of experience living as another gender. Others may feel that their gender identity is fluid. Still others are experimenting with where they feel most comfortable on what they see as a continuum of gender.

I'm all for more mainstream and respected media outlets covering this issue because I think right now, far too many people view those who step outside of gender boxes as a small group of freaks whom, if we ignore, will eventually go away. But Newsweek is absolutely right: as more and more people realize that "there is no way that six billion people can be categorized into two groups," the group of people who define gender on their own terms is growing.

But I've said before: I personally don't aim for a genderless future -- instead, I hope for a society that embraces the right of each person to define their own gender. Seriously, can't we get rid of those tired and constricting "male" and "female" check-boxes on every form we have to fill out and replace it with a blank line instead?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Best @SarahPalin Tweets  

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Some of my favorite responses on Twitter to Sarah Palin's 100% ridiculous anti-feminist tweet.

Shakespalin: What's in a name? That which she calls a cackle By any other name would smell as rad

deliriumbubbles: "Cackle" is not a fucking unit of measurement. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cackle

feminismxianity: We cackle because we are so rad

thatmags: Remember: It took a #cackleofrads to make women's #suffrage a reality 90 years ago.

KeithOlbermann: The cluelessness of @SarahPalinUSA is astounding, panoramic. W/out feminists she'd have virtually none of the freedoms she abuses daily.

Andy Borowitz: Dear Sarah #Palin: "Gaggle" means a group of geese. "Cackle" means what we're doing at you.

Jessiebeal: What the hell is a cackle? A coven + a gaggle?

Tweet of the Day  

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Who hijacked term:"feminist"?A cackle of rads who want 2 crucify other women w/whom they disagree on a singular issue; it's ironic (& passé)
-Sarah Palin

Well Sarah, you certainly don't speak for my cackle. Fun is at #cackleofrads and #jointhecackle on Twitter.
Monday, August 16, 2010

Your daily dose of scary shit  

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A New Pill Can Make a Baby Less Likely to Be Gay -- Will It Be Used to Change Sexual Orientation in the Womb?

I worry about this because not only can this magical pill reduce the likelihood of a gay offspring, but it can also ensure that little boys are masculine and little girls are feminine. Sounds far too Brave New World to me...
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tomorrow's Degrassi episode will feature transgender character  

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If you're a huge Degrassi fan like I am, be sure to catch tomorrow night's episode, which will be part one of two (part two airs Thursday night) of the first Degrassi episode to feature a transgender character.

Given that Degrassi has covered nearly every controversial issue under the sun, including abortion, drugs, sex, gay/lesbian issues, and even murder, I'm surprised it took them ten seasons to put a transgender character on the show.

Still, I'm stoked to see the episodes and I sincerely hope they're done tastefully. Here's an interview with the actress, Jordan Todosey, who plays Adam on Degrassi, a new character who is FTM (female-to-male) and deals with the backlash when his fellow students find out.

TRIGGER WARNING.

Monday, August 9, 2010

London anti-domestic violence campaign  

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I saw this on Feministing, and thought it was pretty interesting. This domestic violence awareness campaign from London puts a specific emphasis on the responsibility of those who might hear or witness this type of violence to call 911 (or 999 in England) for someone who might not be able to.

They also use an interactive video to convey this message -- depending on if you "choose" (by clicking) to call the police or not, you will get a different ending to the video.

Trigger warning.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Buffet of the Week  

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Found many-a interesting things while perusing the web on my Sunday afternoon, so here's a nice little round-up for y'all.

  • If you need your daily dose of disgust, you can read about the opposition to building mosques near Ground Zero.

  • For those of you who haven't heard, an appeal has already been filed against the Prop 8 ruling. No one's particularly surprised.

  • From The New Gay: Queers You Should Know: Fred Karger, Our First Gay President?

  • In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (which ended yesterday), Kimberly Seals Allers wrote a piece for Women's eNews about the low breastfeeding rates amongst black mothers.

  • I found this absolutely horrific but thought it served as a good reminder of the lengths people will go to in order to protect their precious gender roles. A man allegedly beat his girlfriend's 17-month-old son to death because he wasn't acting "manly" enough.

  • From AlterNet: In States Where "Gun Ed" Is Prevalent, Comprehensive Sex Ed Is Nowhere to Be Found.

  • Another one from AlterNet: The GOP Fights to Make African-Americans Sicker and Poorer.

  • Scenes from an anti-choice abortion-kills-black-babies protest.

  • Ironically, Lucky magazine airbrushed Jessica Simpson to make her look thinner in her photo for an article about how much she loves her body.

  • Jane Lynch. Hosting SNL in October. 'Nuff said.

  • Thank goodness for Rachel Maddow and her ability to take on offensive media powerhouses, e.g. Bill O'Reilly.
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Changing unemployment rates  

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Sociological Images posted this, and I thought it was worth putting here. It's a 30-second animation showing the changing unemployment rates from 2007-2010. Scary stuff.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Horrific scenes from inside a crisis pregnancy center  

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I'm watching "12th & Delaware" right now (if you're not sure what it is, see below post) and one particular part got me so angry that I had to sign onto Blogger and start writing a rant-filled post in here to keep myself from throwing things. I was fine for most of the film because all the lower-than-low deceitful and manipulative tactics used by the anti-choice crisis pregnancy center in Florida wasn't anything I haven't seen before: make the young pregnant woman get an ultrasound, make her hold a tiny plastic fetus, refer to her "baby" as "he" and "him," call her and her boyfriend "mommy and daddy," etc.

BUT THIS.

In one scene, a 24 year-old pregnant woman went into the CPC, and she was what the staff calls "abortion-minded," which means she is certain she wants to have an abortion and probably wandered into an anti-choice center by mistake, which the CPC staff admitted in the film they hope happens. The staff member, who is most shown in the documentary, sat down with the woman, already a mother of 2, and started talking to her about her boyfriend.

Young Woman: He's not the best boyfriend... he is verbally abusive.
CPC Staff member: He's verbally abusive?
Young Woman: Yeah.
CPC Staff: For all you know, the baby changes him.


I'm still shaking. How dare you suggest a woman stay with an abusive partner in order to selfishly impose your own agenda. That was one of the most appalling tactics I have ever seen an anti-choice advocate use. They claim to be "pro-life," yet they tell a young impressionable woman to go back to her abusive partner because a baby might magically make things better. It just makes me sick.
Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't miss "12th & Delaware" premiere tonight  

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Thanks to Feministing for the reminder that tonight is the premiere of the documentary 12th & Delaware on HBO. This film highlights the intersection in Florida known as "ground zero" for the abortion rights battle because on this corner lives both a reproductive health clinic and an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center, right across the street from one another.



As mad as this documentary will inevitably make me, I'm excited to watch it. I sincerely hope the numerous ways in which CPCs are detrimental to women is apparent in the film because more people need to know the truth: these fake clinics are staffed with liars and harassers who don't trust women to make their own decisions about their own bodies. And sadly, CPCs greatly outnumber abortion-providing clinics in the U.S.
Sunday, August 1, 2010

WBW 2010  

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August 1st-7th is:

World Breastfeeding Week


World Breastfeeding Week's purpose is to raise awareness about the numerous benefits of breastfeeding and to encourage society to stop viewing it as some sort of pornographic act that belongs in the home. New mothers have every right to breastfeed when and where they feel it necessary, but unfortunately we still have to fight for that right.

Learn more about what you can do in honor of World Breastfeeding Week at the official website.
Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lynn Harris & Dr. Elizabeth Miller on reproductive coercion  

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Anna sent me this video from GRITtv about reproductive coercion. Scary stuff...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bored of your suitcase? Decorate it to look like you kidnapped a woman  

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Posted on Jezebel, a charming suitcase sticker that allows you to look like you're carrying a bound and gagged woman... and for only $15!


"Disgusting" doesn't even begin to describe it. Send hate mail to info@thecheeky.com.

Mexican women jailed for abortions  

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This makes me sick.

In the Mexican state of Guanajuato, which holds the strictest abortion policy and the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country, and also refuses to teach comprehensive sex education, six women have been sentenced to 25 to 30 years prison time for the crime of violating Guanajuato's abortion laws. From womensrights.change.org:

Ms. Magazine reports that the six women were tried and sentence for homicide under laws criminalizing abortion. Activists working with the women reports that all six defendants were poor and had little education. Two were impregnated by rape, and all were abandoned by the sperm-providers. One had a spontaneous abortion, a.k.a. a miscarriage.

To have a woman charged with homicide and thrown in jail for making a decision about her own body is appalling to me... it sounds like something out of some horrifying dystopian novel. Too bad it's reality.

Quick note about updates  

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Eek! Lack of new posts! Fret not, I have not now nor will ever forget about my beloved feminist blog or its wonderfully loyal readers. I've been slacking a bit because as a marketing intern at Women's eNews, I spend my day social networking so I'm a bit blogged/Facebooked/Tweeted out by the time I get home. But I will make a conscious effort to update more. Posts might be shorter than usual, but research has told me that all of you prefer shorter more frequent posts to longer less frequent posts.

So keep your eyes peeled for more updates, and don't forget about me!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kotex's new ad campaign tries to change society's perceptions of menstruation  

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I just saw a commercial on TV for Kotex's line of menstruation products, called "U." I have to admit: normally, I tune out during commercial breaks, but this completely got my attention because it expressed basically every single qualm I have with your average tampon/pad ads:



I did some YouTube'ing, and not only do their commercials address how obnoxious tampon ads are, but they also address how uncomfortable people, particularly men, get when women talk about their periods:



And this one, again addressing the ridiculousness of most tampon/pad ads, made me laugh:



I also noticed that one of their ads posted on YouTube was tagged with "feminism." All of this was a bold move on Kotex's part, and although I don't use disposable pads/tampons (not since I bought my LunaPads), I'm intrigued.

Visit their YouTube channel or their website to learn more. Their website even has a pledge you can sign that starts out with:

Yeah, I have a period. And a vagina, not a va-jay-jay. It's what makes me a woman. But society and the media aren't being straight with me. It's like there's a code of secrecy and it makes me feel uncomfortable when talking about these topics.

Is this too good to be true?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sexism: everywhere, even in birthday cards  

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Straight from Sociological Images, I didn't know whether to be appalled or just laugh at this utterly ridiculous birthday card from Dublin:




Oh, how cute.

Mel Gibson caught verbally abusing his girlfriend  

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Wow, just when I thought Mel Gibson's existence couldn't get anymore appalling, the internet gets ahold of his latest disgustingly misogynist and racist rant. It was recorded by his girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. "Horrific," "offensive," and "repulsive" are all understatements.

Here's a part of it, from AlterNet, where Gibson yells at Grigorieva for looking like a "Vegas whore." SERIOUS TRIGGER WARNING.

You go out in public and it's a fucking embarrassment to me. You look like a fucking bitch in heat. And if you get raped by a pack of niggers it will be your fault. Alright? Because you provoked it. You are provocatively dressed all the time with your fake boobs that you feel you have to show off. I don't like it. I don't want that woman. I don't want you. I don't trust you. I don't love you.

Even though this is absolutely detestable language, I'm posting this here because this is an unfortunately common sentiment today: dress like a "whore," and you're asking for it. Not too long ago, I was out at a bar with some friends, dressed in my usual jeans, boots, and a tank top with a cardigan over it. Some charming gentleman tried to hit on me, I took him I was married to get him off my back, to which he responded, "If you were my wife and you went out looking like that, I would smack you around." Nice.

The Sexist actually recently posted a really nice PSA from Scotland that dealt with this issue.



Seriously, this shouldn't be such a hard concept to grasp. Women NEVER "ask for it," and even if a woman does go out in public wearing a short dress or whatever and ends up getting raped, the fault ultimately lies with the rapist. To say otherwise is preposterous.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thoughts on Fourth of July  

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someecards.com - We should celebrate this great nation of immigrants as soon as I see your proof of citizenship


My Fellow Americans,

I'm always torn on the Fourth of July, between feeling grateful that I live where I live, and not in a country where FGM and stoning and acid attacks are the norm, and feeling utterly ashamed by the horrific past the good ol' U.S.A. has of exploiting, slaughtering, an enslaving its people.

I suppose it's OK to feel both ways on this day. It is also OK to eat 5 burgers and wash them down with a beer each, which I plan to do.

But amidst the brouhaha of fireworks and BBQ, I encourage everyone to do a little internet exploration and learn something new about our past. No doubt it will be a depressing delve into history, but it's important to know about the injustices the U.S. has inflicted upon its citizens... because unfortunately those injustices are being repeated today. A good place to start is with Frederick Douglass' "Fourth of July" speech, delivered in 1852 to a crowd of white men, including the president. In his speech, Douglass asked why he was invited to speak, when clearly the country they were celebrating still saw him as less than human.

Fellow citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY. I shall see, this day, and its popular characteristics, from the slave's point of view. Standing, there, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July!

Sums up my sentiments quite well. Other things to do today: read the "Declaration of Sentiments," put together in 1848 at the herstoric Seneca Falls Convention. Also learn about the women that played key roles in the American Revolution, conveniently left out of history textbooks.

Also, take a look at some reflective pieces written by contemplative Americans who are using today to ask some important questions. "Has the American Dream Become Our Nightmare?" on AlterNet is a good place to start.

But let's not get too down today. After all the depressing stuff, find a reason to smile, whether it's what I said earlier about being grateful that we live here considering some of the alternatives, knowing that amidst all the injustices in this country, we can truly make a difference, or this Michael Ian Black/Michael Showalter 4th of July video:



Enjoy today, and eat many hot dogs (or soy dogs).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'Stop Deceptive Advertising' Act aims to crack down on crisis pregnancy centers  

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Today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Stop Deceptive Advertising in Women's Services Act (SDAWS), which would crack down on crisis pregnancy centers, or fake clinics that claim to offer women all their options, but fail to provide abortion services or referrals of any kind. From their press release:

"Although I may disagree with their views, many crisis pregnancy centers are forthright and respectful. Unfortunately, some take a more underhanded approach to lure in women seeking abortions by using tactics that should be illegal," Representative Maloney said. "An unintended pregnancy is an especially difficult time to encounter deception, and deceptive practices should be outlawed. Women shouldn’t have to face the added stress of deciphering whether or not the clinic they choose offers legitimate medical services."

Senator Menendez said, "This legislation would simply help ensure truth in advertising related to reproductive health services. Women's reproductive health choices are very personal decisions, and they should never be influenced by deception or pressure."

Essentially, the Act directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish rules declaring it illegal for an establishment to advertise as a provider of abortion services if they do not provide such services. I wonder if it would crack down on other deceptive tactics CPCs use, such as deliberately placing themselves across the street from a real family planning clinic, so that women might accidentally wander into an anti-choice establishment instead. Probably not.

Read the full text of the act here (PDF).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New technological trend in dating violence  

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A new weapon that is becomingly increasingly popular amongst abusive partners: text messages. The Washington Post had a chilling update in their Breaking News blog recently, highlighting this issue. They have stories to back it up, including one about a 22 year-old who was texted and called 758 times by her boyfriend.

Text messaging is allowing abusers to keep constant tabs on their partners, and because young people are handed cell phones from the minute they emerge from the womb, it can take awhile for them to notice something wrong in receiving excessive text messages from a significant other.

This is why new trends in dating violence need to be immediately woven into the anti-dating violence already implemented in schools. And for the schools that don't have any such programs, why the hell not?!?

And I don't need to remind anyone that this is yet another reason why we still need feminism: to teach young girls that their purpose extends beyond getting the attention of dudes. People wonder why women and girls stay with abusive partners - maybe this wouldn't be the case if we were taught that we can survive without a husband.
Friday, June 25, 2010

Fetuses definitely don't feel pain before 24 weeks, says U.K. docs  

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Interesting piece of news! A new report released by United Kingdom's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that there is no evidence to show that fetuses feel pain in the womb before 24 weeks, according to Women's eNews. 24 weeks is a few weeks short of the third trimester.

Apparently, the nerve connections in the cortex, which is the area in the brain that processes responses to pain, does not form properly before 24 weeks. But the report also points out that even in cases of abortions after 24 weeks, a fetus is naturally sedated and unconscious in the womb before the procedure.
Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day shout-out  

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To my wonderful dad, and all the other wonderful dads out there. Fatherhood is undeniably a feminist issue because it's up to us to promote positive parenting that transcends gender stereotypes. To demonstrate, I'm re-posting this adorable and heart-warming ad from Fatherhood.gov.



And one more!



We can only hope for more people to be lucky enough to have feminist daddies :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Random tip of the day  

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If you're not already following Feminist Hulk on Twitter, DO IT NOW. Some sample Tweets:

TRICK TO SMASHING GENDER BINARY: MAKE SURE IT NOT SIMPLY BREAK INTO TWO NORMATIVE PIECES. HULK CREATE GENDERQUEER DEBRIS!

HULK SMASH MASCULINIST DEMANDS TO DENY EMOTION. LOGIC AND FEELING NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. HULK CRADLE TENDER, SENSITIVE HULK WITHIN.

HULK HAVE LOVE FOR SMASH, / HATE FOR PATRIARCHY, AND / PENCHANT FOR HAIKU.


So much awesome feminist humor in this one Twitter page, and almost 16,000 followers!

More reasons as to why same-sex marriage opponents are wrong  

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In light of the sheer stupidity demonstrated within the comments during the Prop 8 trial, Jason Kuznicki wrote an interesting opinion piece, analyzing the arguments of same-sex marriage opponents:

For the opposition, possibly the strongest is the claim that children need a mother and a father, and that marriage is the institution that ties heterosexual sex to childbirth and parenting.

Clearly, that's one thing that marriage does, but it can't be the only purpose of the institution. If it were, we wouldn't let 80-year-olds get married, and if you've had a hysterectomy, then forget it. To complicate matters, gays and lesbians also raise children, and an institution that ties them to their kids, and that empowers them to raise their children responsibly, seems like a reasonable addition to the law.

He later concludes:

All of this brings up a strange inconsistency to the opponents of same-sex marriage. Their ends -- every child gets a mom and a dad -- are strangely mismatched to their means -- prohibit same-sex marriage. It's sort of like banning bad moustaches to stop pornography. Perhaps there's some vague association, but that's about it.

Same-sex marriage isn't nearly the root of the problem, and we all know it. If it's really so important that every child gets a mom and a dad, then there is an obvious policy solution: prohibit divorce after childbirth. Of course, divorced parents are numerous and politically powerful, and it's always easier to scapegoat a minority.

Why, oh why, can't the same-sex-marriage-will-ruin-society crazies understand such simple and undeniable logic?

Monday, June 14, 2010

'Stonewall Uprising'  

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I really, really want to see this. Stonewall Uprising is a new documentary about the infamous Stonewall riots in 1969 and how queer people were treated (or mistreated) during the time period. Here's part of the synopsis from the official website:

Told by Stonewall patrons, reporters and the cop who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; public service announcements warned youngsters against predatory homosexuals; and police entrapment was rampant. At the height of this oppression, the cops raid Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. The rest is history.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sarah Palin: start your own damn movement, and leave ours alone  

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Your "UGH" moment of the week: Sarah Palin on the cover of Newsweek in all her angelic, feminist, conservative glory.


I said it before, I'll say it again: I refuse to accept Sarah Palin as the face of feminism.

Calling Sarah Palin a feminist is like calling Perez Hilton a queer rights activist. You can't claim to advocate for queer rights when you make blog posts with titles such as "WHEN TRANNIES ATTACK!" just like you can't claim to want the best for women when you oppose their right to reproductive control and are perfectly comfortable with reducing lesbians to second-class status.

How dare she publicly adopt the "feminist" label and distort to some warped, twisted anti-equality anti-woman bullshit, all while acting like she's some kind of savior for women.

I'm all for building inclusive social movements, but I'm not about to roll out the welcome mat for those who are blatantly detrimental to our goals.
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Want oral sex? Buy her pretty things!  

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Oh my goodness, now I want to go down on you!

Came across a charming article from The Frisky called 19 Ways to Get Her to Go Down. According to this list, dudes can get blowies from their chicks by doing things such as: buying her jewelry, taking her to the opera, sending her flowers, or giving her an engagement ring.

How about: ask us and we'll "go down" if we effin' feel like it? Why all the bass-ackwards ulterior motive bullshit and not, oh I don't know, communicating with your partner? Major fail on the part of The Frisky and on the (female) author for perpetuating stereotypes that men are conniving assholes, and women are shallow gold-diggers.

PETA: still offensive  

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PETA has never ceased to disappoint us when it comes to sexist, racist, and overly-sexualized ad campaigns. I'm 100% for animal rights, but I'm also 100% for advertisements that don't offend large amounts of people. Here's their newest display of a lack of morality:


Wow PETA, between the "eating meat" comment, the limp hotdog, and the cleavage-y lady, you really know how to shit all over feminism. Keep up the good work! :)

As one commenter on Jezebel said: "PETA is to animal rights activists as Glenn Beck is to Christians."

O'Reilly compares gay people to Al-Quaeda  

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Bill O'Reilly has had some pretty douchey moments, but this might just be one of the douchiest things he's ever said in his entire douchebag history.

Remember the French McDonald's ad I posted about the other day, the one featuring the gay teenager with the phrase "come as you are"?

Last night, during O'Reilly's segment, first he and Fox News anchor Jane Skinner implied that the commercial will only make gay men hungry for McDonald's (what?) Then, O'Reilly went on to say: "Do they have an Al-Quaeda ad? You know... 'Come as you are.'"

Here's some advice, Bill: gently wrap hand around ankle, then in one swift motion, remove foot from mouth.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Assumptions that all skin comes in white  

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The ever-amazing Sociological Images posted recently about the undeniable fact that in the fashion world, "nude," "skin," and "natural" equals Caucasian, and I went hunting for some examples. I found three of them in all of five minutes.

This model is wearing a "natural"-colored bra (the name "natural" might be the one that bothers me the most).


Victoria's Secret made my case for me by putting a woman of color in a nude bra that clearly is so far from her skin color.


In this one, the color meant for black women is called "mocha," while the color meant for white women is simply "nude."


Lesson learned: white people are the default, and people of color are the other.

When will the fashion industry learn that there is no one color that can be associated with "skin"?

Queer character in McDonald's ad  

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Saw this French McDonald's ad posted on Feministing, and I actually kind of love it.

Dr. Tiller honored on the Senate floor  

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave a statement on the Senate floor last week, honoring former Dr. George Tiller. The one-year anniversary of his murder was just this past Monday. Here is the statement:

A community in Kansas still shakes one year after the brazen murder of one of its own. This weekend will mark the first anniversary of Dr. George Tiller’s death. He was gunned down in front of his Wichita church the day before last Memorial Day.

Dr. Tiller was killed at point-blank range, at his place of worship, in the middle of a Sunday morning, while his wife sang in the church choir just yards away.

He was murdered by an unrepentant assassin who took a life in the name of protecting life. It was an indefensible crime and an incomprehensible excuse.

Just as despicable as Dr. Tiller’s death was the fact that his murder wasn’t an isolated incident. It wasn’t even the first time someone tried to kill him. His clinic was bombed in 1985. He was shot twice in 1993. And over the next 16 years, seven clinic workers would be killed before Dr. Tiller would become the eighth. More than 6,000 other acts of violence have been launched at clinics and their workers – bombings, arsons, assaults and other attacks.

The last doctor killed before Dr. Tiller was a husband and father from Buffalo named Barnett Slepian. He was an OB/GYN who also helped poor women access safe, legal abortions. Because of that, he was murdered in his home. I didn’t know Dr. Selpian, but I knew his niece. She came from Reno, Nevada, and she once worked in my office.

The tragedy of Dr. Tiller’s death, and of Dr. Slepian’s death – and of every atrocity like it – is independent of the issue of abortion. It’s not about the legality of abortion or funding of abortion. These are emotional debates, and ones on which people of good faith can disagree.

What so shook that Kansas town was rather an act of terrorism. What reverberated out to our borders and coasts from the center of our country was the violation of our founding principle: that we are a nation of laws, not of men.

Everyone in America has the right to disagree with its laws. Everyone has the right to dispute and protest its laws. But no American has the right to disobey them.

Not all of us would choose Dr. Tiller’s profession. Not all of us would seek his services or agree with his philosophy. But it is the responsibility of every American to respect another’s right to practice his profession legally.

Those who believe in the sanctity of life cannot be selective. We must value every life – not just those with which we agree.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Screw Marriage" Tuesday  

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I've stated before that I'm not the biggest fan of the institution of marriage. To sum it up: I don't need a piece of paper from the government to validate who I'm allowed to love, and I don't feel comfortable being a part of a patriarchal and exclusive institution that I feel wrongfully dominates our society. That being said, I don't judge anyone who chooses to get married, feminists included.

Anywho!

For those who dig the idea of challenging holy matrimony, check out Liz Langley of AlterNet's Eight Reasons Marriage Doesn't Matter. I applaud anyone who's gutsy enough to take on the ginormous institution of marriage.

Reproductive coercion  

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I'm encouraging everyone to head over to AlterNet to check out a recent article, "My Boyfriend Stole My Birth Control": When Men Force Women to Get Pregnant Against Their Will.

Scary new evidence is showing that a significant number of women experience their partners trying to steal away their bodily control through "reproductive coercion," or the act of forcing a pregnancy onto someone.

In the largest study of this phenomenon to date, “Pregnancy Coercion, Intimate Partner Violence and Unintended Pregnancy,” published in the January issue of the journal Contraception, lead researcher Elizabeth Miller and others surveyed nearly 1,300 16- to 29-year-old women who’d sought a variety of services at five different Northern California reproductive health clinics. Among those who had experienced intercourse, i.e., who could be at risk of unintended pregnancy, not only did 53 percent of respondents say they’d experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner, but one in five said they had experienced pregnancy coercion; 15 percent said they experienced birth control sabotage, including hiding or flushing birth control pills down the toilet, intentional breaking of condoms and removing contraceptive rings or patches. These figures were consistent from clinic to clinic.

Currently, this phenomenon is little-known, and the prevailing stereotype is still "the woman—call her the femme fertile—who conspires to get pregnant, perhaps by 'forgetting' to take her birth control pills, as a way to 'trap a man' and force marriage—or at least keep him in her life." But people need to know that there is another scarily common situation out there: the boyfriend or husband who, disgusted by a woman's ability to have reproductive control, goes to heinous measures to force pregnancies, abortions, or miscarriages onto his partner.

This is some seriously fucked-up stuff. Spread the word, feminists. Please.

Friday, May 28, 2010

UK's first ad for abortion services  

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The first advertisement for abortion services to run in the United Kingdom hit the air earlier this week, and will run about 25 times throughout the next month. Specifically, it advertises Marie Stopes International, which is one of the world's leading family planning organizations.

The ad doesn't mention abortion services - it just refers viewers to MSI. Wow, 2010 and we're just seeing the first family planning services ad now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Genderfuck Thursday  

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After finding out about the wonderful Genderfork.com (via Feministing) I had an urge to post an ode to gender-bending, because I just love it so damn much. First of all, if you haven't been to Genderfork, visit it ASAP! It is a lovely blog with user-submitted photos...


...and quotes from those who find beauty and pleasure in androgyny and ambiguity:

"Some days I wish I could set my gender on Facebook to 'It's complicated.'"

"People think they're being invasive when they ask me questions some might consider 'personal'— questions about my body, my gender, the way I look, think, etc. They don't seem to understand I love being able to tell people there's a different way of existing out there. Not everything is black and white, just 'this' or 'that.' There's a 'Thiat' and a 'Thast' and every combination you can possibly dream up."

"I bound and buttoned up for church; I wore a fancy dress that showed off my hairy armpits for dinner. This Easter is one big pastel-colored drag show."

I want to cry at the sheer beauty of people being able to express who they are, despite being a part of an entire society that tells them to conform. Some days I wonder if I would present myself in a more androgynous manner if I had questioned gender more while growing up, or if I wasn't so intimidated by society's reactions. Still, last year when I attended a drag ball, I had a blast trying a different gender on for size:



Genderfucking just... rules.

I've thought a lot about gender, and I know that some may argue that the world we should strive to live in is a genderless one... but my thoughts are that instead of abolishing gender altogether, let's have more gender! People take pride and pleasure in gender expression and identity, and I think the world might be a bit boring if we take that away. Let's have thousands of genders, millions, billions! Imagine a world where instead of checking "man" or "woman" on any mundane form or online profile, you're given a blank line on which to write whatever you want. My body tingles just thinking about it.

So I raise my glass to genderqueer, genderfuck, genderbend, unisex, androgynous, ambiguous, fluid, transgender, butch, and everything else.

I want to conclude with some worthwhile videos, first one of spoken word artist Kit Yan performing an amazing piece on the fluidity of gender:



And, because someone on Genderfork.com mentioned it, the music video for "I Want to Break Free," by one of my favorite gender-bending bands, Queen. Think of it in terms of breaking free from binary gender roles :D

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sexual Harassment cards  

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My college graduation is rapidly approaching, and it's final project/exam time. For my wonderful Masculinities class, we're required to do a "liberating action," that is, some kind of activism that draws on what we've learned throughout the class. I've chosen to make small cards that can be carried around and given out to street harassers - whether they cat-call, make inappropriate comments, unwelcome sexual advances, or any unwarranted physical contact. I explain my reasoning for doing this in my accompanying paper:

Every time I have to walk down any street alone, I find myself preparing to be harassed. It’s sickening that I should have to prepare myself for such a thing, but the truth is that I cannot remember the last time I walked down Main Street by myself or with girlfriends, and was not at least honked at by a car full of men. When I go to the bars, I see men standing to the side of the dance floor, watching the women dancing, picking out which one is the hottest or the sluttiest, and then making their moves, which always consists of latching onto her backside without so much as a “hello.” The worst part is that I can’t even really hate them for what they do, because I know that it isn’t entirely their fault; they were just taught in a variety of ways by a variety of people that to be a “man” is to treat women as objects to be ogled. The sad truth is that, “Men learn that to effectively perform masculinity and to protect a masculine identity, they must, in many instances, ignore a woman’s pain and obscure her viewpoint” (Quinn 397). To the harassers, the cat-callers, and the gropers, there are no feelings or souls attached to our bodies, and we could not be their mothers, sisters, girlfriends, or friends because we are not really people, and that is what allows them to continue to do what they do.

It’s time to start reminding these men that, contrary to what they have been forced to believe, what they do does affect us. A honk or a “hey sexy” might seem harmless, but I know that every time I get that attention on the street, it hurts me. It hurts even more when I can’t respond to this inexcusable behavior because it just gets too exhausting to say something to every jerk on the street. Therefore, for my liberating action, I want to make it easier for me and every other woman to call harassers out on their behavior, and for the harassers to realize that their actions affect us.

I'm sure some people might argue that this isn't the best way to handle harassment, and I think it is important to discuss what the best way to respond to being harassed is, but these are for the women who feel that this method is the best for them.

You can download the cards I made as a Word document here.

Please note that the cards are intended to be printed double-sided so that one side has English text, and the other side has the same text in Spanish. Feel free to make any adjustments you see necessary and to post these to your own blog/site (I just ask that you link back to here). And I would love to hear your experiences with carrying these around and distributing them - whether through comments on this post, or through e-mail.

Good luck, and stay safe.

Sarah Palin's anti-feminism  

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So, Sarah Palin recently spoke at the Susan B. Anthony List breakfast - for those of you who don't know, Susan B. Anthony List is "a political action committee helping pro-life women gain election to Congress." I watched some of the video of her speech but I couldn't get too far into it because my body wouldn't stop cringing whenever Sarah Palin mentioned the "new conservative feminist movement."



...Wait, what?

Isn't that an oxymoron? I respect people's individual political opinions, and I'm certainly not one to render feminism an exclusive movement, but I will until the day I die assert that a person cannot claim to want the best for women when they do not trust women to make the right choices for their own bodies.

I have met people who admit that they would never get an abortion themselves, nor are they particularly 100% comfortable with the idea of abortion, but they understand the importance of this right remaining intact because they know it is what is best for the emotional and physical well-being of women. To me, that is a true feminist: someone who, despite any personal hang-ups they might have about a particular issue, will always support the position that protects our needs and rights.

Sarah Palin is not that type of feminist. She isn't a feminist.

Here's what Taylor Marsh, of HuffingtonPost.com, had to say:

You simply can't be a feminist if you don't support a woman's individual rights. Announcing a "new conservative feminist movement" without acknowledging the individual freedoms of women won't cut it. This feministic facade that actually takes aim at women's rights should be seen for what it is.

Anything less than supporting women's full individual rights simply renders you a pretender, a fake, a feminist fraud.

I sincerely hope this "conservative feminist movement" doesn't gain momentum. I might have to *headdesk* repeatedly.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hump Day post: feminist dating edition  

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As someone who's gotten more than her fair share of blank stares and outright laughter when I tell people I meet in bars that I'm a feminist, I more than understand the plight of finding a partner who doesn't cringe at the mention of the "F" word.

If you have some experience in this area, take a few minutes to read two posts in the Ms. Magazine blog by Alexandra Tweten on her mission to find a feminist date-worthy dude via CraigsList. Here is her original post, and here is a second post she wrote yesterday, giving an update on the situation.

How does everyone else deal with trying to find romantic partners who support/hold feminist values? It ain't easy.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Abortion rates rise amongst poor women  

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A new report from Guttmacher Institute shows that the proportion of abortion patients who are poor has increased by almost 60%, from 27% in 2000 to 42% in 2008. According to the report, impoverished women are more likely to seek abortions because financial constraints deter them from wanting to have children. Additionally, financial constraints also make it more difficult to access contraceptives. Sharon L. Camp, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, commented:

Gaps in unintended pregnancy and abortion between poor and more affluent women have been increasing since the mid-1990s, so—sadly—none of this comes as a surprise. Reproductive health disparities, and health disparities more generally, are endemic in this country and stem from broader, persistent economic and social inequities. We need to bridge these reproductive health gaps by ensuring that all women, regardless of their economic circumstances, have meaningful access to the full spectrum of information and services—both contraceptive services to reduce levels of unintended pregnancy and abortion services.

Read the full report here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The time has come!  

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Obama has made his choice for Justice Stevens' nominated replacement on the Supreme Court: Elena Kagan.


And I ate my words when I predicted that Obama might not nominate a woman, out of apprehension for the crap he's going to get.

So who is Elena Kagan? She is a young 50 years-old, and has impressive credentials, though some say she lacks experience. Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known yet on her stance on feminist issues. Apparently, when she was a White House adviser in 1997, she urged then-President Bill Clinton to support a ban on late-term abortions. My prediction is that she holds a somewhat moderate stance on abortion, but given the chance would uphold Roe v. Wade. Reproductive rights organizations are optimistic, and anti-choicers hate her, so that's a good sign! Heh heh.

I also read that as dean of Harvard Law School, she mandated that military recruiters should be banned from campus because she disagreed with the discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" policy. An awesome move on her part, but undoubtedly a part of her past that will come back to haunt her when Republicans try to shoot her down.

Still, it's likely she will win confirmation, since Democrats have a control of 59 votes in the Senate.
Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thoughts on Mother's Day  

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Although I'm sure many of us have our issues with the overly-commercialized "Hallmark" holiday that is Mother's Day, I can't imagine many of us have issues with honoring the women in our life who have made us who we are. That's how I see Mother's Day. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a mother like Lorelai Gilmore, but I sincerely hope that we are all lucky enough to have strong women role models in our lives.

Living with my mom hasn't always been the easiest task. I have nothing but happy memories of her as a kid - from her ability to always act as if I had given her diamonds for her birthday when really all I gave her was a bunch of pictures I scribbled, to her tendency to always stand up for me when I felt the wrath of my dad's temper (not to say that I don't love my dad - I love him very much, but the man can sure yell). But by nine years-old, she had been diagnosed with a nightmarish disease that over the years, has attacked her body and mind. At 57 years-old, though she needs constant care and is essentially wheelchair-bound, she is still kickin', defying all odds. There is a 50% chance I have inherited the disease from her, and while I don't know yet if I have it or not because I'm not at the point where I'm ready to take the test, I'm sure I inherited her never-give-up, don't-take-shit attitude. Go mom.

We have had our fair share of fights, as the disease attacked her ability to think rationally which made it increasingly difficult to be around her, but I have nothing but love for my mom. And not only was I blessed with an awesome mother, but also an older sister who looks out for me, defends me when people give me crap for being a feminist, and in a few weeks, will be sharing a house with me. I see how my mom's older sister treats her with nothing but the utmost care and love, and I know that if either my sister or me were affected by the disease (Heaven forbid) it would be no different. Because that's what women do, or should do, for each other.

So go give the women in your life big hugs, and tell 'em why they rock. Also, feel free to comment with your stories. Now, enough with the mushy stuff. I feel I have to post the hilarious video I always think of whenever Mother's Day is mentioned.