Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why I love Lucy  

One of my favorite shows in the entire world is I Love Lucy. I own four seasons of it on DVD and I can easily watch every episode over and over again. Even though the humor is almost 60 years old, it still makes me laugh harder than most modern sitcoms do. But aside from the witty dialogue, I love I Love Lucy because I think it sent a positive message to women of its time. In a decade when many women felt obliged to stay in the home, when too many housewives felt trapped and depressed, and the glass ceiling was stronger than ever, I Love Lucy proved that women can do more than just cleaning and childcare.

In several episodes, Lucy tries to get into show business, and Ricky is always adamantly against it. Sometimes he tells her she has no talent, or she can't handle the show biz lifestyle, but ultimately, he doesn't want her in show business because he wants her to be nothing more than a wife and a mother. Despite this, Lucy never settles for Ricky's expectations of her. In one episode, they have this exchange:

Lucy: For once, I'm not going to do what you told me!
Ricky: For once? You never do what I told you!
Lucy: So why don't you QUIT tolding me?!

Lucy proved that many women were not happy being confined into a perfect Stepford Wives-like lifestyle that husbands desired. She was never satisfied with housework and childcare. And she was hysterical in everything she did, shattering the old stereotype that women "aren't funny." She was outrageous in every episode, doing things that no other woman dared to do, from shoving chocolates down her shirt, to cross-dressing.

In real life, Lucille Ball herself was a role model for many women, especially when she became the first woman in television to be the head of a production company (Desilu Productions). She was also the first woman to appear pregnant on television when she was actually pregnant.

Still though, the sexist attitudes of the 1950s shines through in many episodes of I Love Lucy. The perfect example of this is the episode called "Equal Rights." In it, Ricky gets sick and tired of Lucy making all the decisions:

Ricky: We're going to run this house like we do in Cuba; where the man is the master and the woman does what she's told.
Lucy: I don't know how you treat your women in Cuba but this is the United States and I have my rights!
Ricky: I am the first one to agree that women should have all the rights they want. As long as they stay in their place.

Lucy and Ethel then demand that they receive equal rights, with Lucy saying: "From now on, everything is equal. We want to be treated exactly as if we were men." Of course, Ricky and Fred can't honor this request. Instead, they decide to act like big jerks, doing things such as throwing Lucy and Ethel's coats on the ground instead of helping them put them on, and almost knocking their wives over while trying to get out the door because Ricky and Fred insist on going first. When they go out to dinner, Ricky and Fred immediately sit in the chairs the waiter pulls out for their wives, and when Lucy says, "I dropped my purse dear, can you see it there?" Ricky responds "Yeah, it's right there by my foot" and does nothing. The scene climaxes when Ricky and Fred begin to shave their faces at the table.

To Ricky and Fred, "equal rights" doesn't mean shit. Luckily, at the end of the episode, Lucy and Ethel get sweet, sweet revenge on the boys, who finally agree to give them equal rights.

And that's why I love Lucy. She challenged gender norms, shattered stereotypes, achieved many "firsts" for women, and always got even when the husbands were being ignorant jerks. Lucille Ball has always, and will always, be my idol.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shoot at the vaginal opening  

This makes me nauseous. It's a video game called "Cunt" where your objective is to use what looks like a small penis to "shoot at the vaginal opening" which will cause "cunt damage." What's even better is that giant bugs periodically come out of the vagina to attack you. It's really a classy game.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain chooses running mate  

Sarah Palin, conservative Republican governor of Alaska.

Did not see that one coming. Nobody seems to know too much about her, since she's really only been governor for less than two years. So far, I know that she is avidly anti-choice, and belongs to Feminists for Life (UGH!) As governor, however, she vetoed a legislation that would have barred Alaska from granting benefits to partners of gay state employees. So, in essence, she doesn't seem to be a neo-con, but she holds plenty of conservative views. She also supports drilling for oil in her own state.

This could either be a good thing or a bad thing. I think some McCain supporters will be highly upset because no one saw this coming, and Sarah Palin lacks a lot of experience. However, having a woman as a running mate could help McCain gain some female supporters, including former Clinton supporters. Thoughts?
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Actually, my mom is pro-choice...  


I can't stand that slogan that anti-choicers try to use against us. The old "aren't you happy your mom didn't abort you?" argument. I want to grab every person who holds up this sign in front of a Planned Parenthood and shout in their face, telling them that I'm glad that I exist, but I am more than happy to risk being born if it means that every woman can have a choice. If my mother chose not to have me, then so be it. I'm not so selfish as to say that I would rather abortion be illegal than to never have been born.

Luckily, pro-choicers find great ways to fight back. In my Practicum in Women's Studies class, there is a total of one boy, who must be either majoring or minoring in Women's Studies since that's a prerequisite for the course. He told us that one night around 4AM, he climbed up onto a billboard nearby that loudly stated, "SMILE! Your mom chose life" and, by himself, changed the billboard to say, "SMILE! Your mom has a choice." I thought that was one of the coolest things I've ever heard anyone do. I feel as though that slogan is much more appropriate.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let's see how many lies one group can tell...  


Has anyone heard of Clintons 4 McCain? They're basically a group of people who once supported Hillary Clinton, but now support John McCain... because they hate Obama that much. Based on this premise alone, I wouldn't have an enormous problem with a group like this, because I understand that certain moderates switched from Clinton to McCain. But the "information" on their website paints these people to be one of the most ignorant, deceptive, and appalling political organizations I've seen.

First of all, I hate that all anti-Obama websites must refer to him as "Barack Hussein Obama"... like his middle name is a reason to hate him. Because CLEARLY since it is the same name as Saddam Hussein's, Barack Obama is going to turn out to be a Socialist whose plan is to murder hundreds of Americans. Brilliant deduction.

Also, a large part of the website dedicates itself to "proving" that Obama is a Muslim. Let's put aside the fact that the "evidence" presented by anti-Obama advocates is often very flimsy, and focus on the aspect of: who cares if he went to a Muslim school? Are all Muslims terrorists? For the love of God, I thought we had more sense than that. Maybe we should just return to our ways during WWII and put all the Muslims in internment camps.

And here's the kicker: the Clintons 4 McCain actually try to "prove" that Barack Obama is a sociopath and has anti-social personality disorder.

His ability to mesmerize crowds with speech is akin to Charles Manson and Adolph Hitler, two men who used "group think" to carry out their schemes. He has a David Koresh-like effect on his flock, and a Jim Jones-like devotion from the Obamaphiles.

Are you kidding me? Comparing him to Charles Manson and Adolph Hitler because he's inspirational? You know, Martin Luther King also mesmerized crowds and had loyal followers... was he a cult leader or a crazed dictator? I don't understand their logic.

They go on to break down the disorder by symptom and giving instances where Obama showed these symptoms. Each piece of "evidence" is as flimsy as the next.

Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead; In 2004 he said he wouldn't run for President due to his inexperience. Seemingly on impulse, he changed his mind? He didn't plan far enough ahead to "fix" the Rev. Wright problem before it became known, didn't plan ahead in the "softening" of his wife to avoid her horrendous public statements, didn't plan ahead on the flag pin wearing or the hand over the heart for the honor of our flag... and without a script or teleprompter to read from, stammers and fumbles for words.

Right. Now I'm convinced. I would say that based on this logic, anyone could be a sociopath. We all better watch out. Thank you, Clintons 4 McCain, for warning the world of the terrorist, cult leader, devout Muslim, and sociopath, Barack Obama.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our rights: NOT best left to rich old men  


John McCain wants to make women into criminals and force them to obtain abortions in dangerous and life-threatening ways by overturning the crucial Roe v. Wade. It would be a seriously scary country to live in if one day all of our reproductive rights are suddenly taken away and we no longer have control over our bodies. We need to help prevent the election of McCain any way we can. If at all possible, I urge you to visit and make a donation to allow a commercial exposing McCain's obscene views on choice to play in your area right before the Republican National Convention. It's worth it, I promise.

Take Action Tuesday: necessary health care  

Let's be honest. We all know that the health care in the United States sucks. So for Take Action Tuesday, please take a couple minutes out of your busy and exciting day to support the Health Equity and Accountability Act to ensure that everyone has health care, regardless of race, class, or background. NOW sent me an e-mail, saying:

The health and well being of people living in our nation, including low income families, racial minorities, legal immigrant children, and the rural poor in our country cannot and must not be ignored! We MUST act now to help correct the inequities in health care that millions of people face every day. Many minorities have higher rates of infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV infection/AIDS, cancer, and lower rates of immunizations and cancer screening. Legal immigrant children are being denied health care and millions of families in poor and rural communities have little or no health care at all. Our health care system needs fixing so that it can address these inequities and these needs.

We have a pretty dire situation. Click here to learn more and contact your representatives.
Monday, August 25, 2008

Does anyone else really hate this Twix ad?  


It just makes me sigh and roll my eyes because it's a stupid commercial that stereotypically paints the man as the bumbling idiot who wants nothing more than sex, and the woman as the prude who won't shut up. Very perceptive, Twix.

New McCain ad compares Obama to Moses  


Oh you've got to be kidding me.

(Notice how he didn't compare Obama to Jesus... because that would upset McCain's supporters far too much. But Moses is okay).
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama chooses running mate!  

...And it's Joe Biden.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bush doing major damage in his final days  

This is really scary. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has officially released proposals for new regulations that will take away critical funding from clinics that refuse to hire employees who morally oppose abortion and/or birth control. With the passing of this legislation, clinics can be staffed with people who do not give pregnant or sexually active women all of their available options. Crucial information will be withheld from women who deserve to know the whole truth. Moreover, the rule will give additional funding to so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" that often give false and misleading information to pregnant women. The Bush administration is trying to silence health care providers on the subject of reproductive options, thereby leaving women confused and helpless.

We have 30 days to stop this. We need to do everything we can, because it is completely plausible that this might pass and become a national law. You can either go to to send an e-mail to your members of Congress, or you can make a small emergency donation to Planned Parenthood to help their action center fight this legislation effectively. After giving a donation, you will have the chance to send an e-mail to Secretary Leavitt of Health and Human Services.

Please, do something.
Thursday, August 21, 2008

The sexism in Halloween costumes  

I absolutely love Halloween because I think it's the best holiday there is. But with all the good comes a whole lot of bad, because Halloween is also the most sexist holiday there is. Putting aside the fact that Halloween costumes marketed to females are getting skimpier by the minute, let's take a look at the pure sexism that exists in the types of costumes offered to each gender. While perusing, one of the biggest costume sites out there, I decided to compare and contrast the "occupation" category of costumes for each gender, starting with the kid's costumes.

In the Girls' section, there are 16 "occupation" costumes. In the Boys' Section... there are 73. Seventy-three! Now, the types of occupational costumes in the Girls' section?

'Lil' Nurse,' a zoo keeper, 'Lil' Patty Cake Baker,' a nurse with hot pink scrubs, and a female boxer in an all-pink outfit.

How about the selection of Boys' occupational costumes? Astronaut, police officer, military officer, airline pilot, fire chief, 'Lil' Doctor' (NOTICE how the girls get 'Lil' Nurse' and the boys get 'Lil' Doctor'), S.W.A.T. team, train engineer, sailor, and car racer.

And so we have more evidence to support the argument that the main "gender differences" are not innate, but socially constructed from the very beginning. Girls don't become nurses and bakers because it's in their genes, but because it is thrust in their faces from birth that girls are nurses, and boys are astronauts, doctors, and police officers. Don't get me wrong... a nurse is a very honorable career, but where is the variety? Where is the encouragement that girls can be pilots and sailors too?

But of course... it doesn't stop there. You see, after the gender norms are established, they must then be reinforced. I ventured into the Adults' "occupation" section. The number of such costumes offered for women? 13. And for the men? 38.

Adult Female section: French maid, sexy bellhop, sexy police officer, "pretty stewardess" (actual title of the costume), and Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.

Adult Male section: Astronaut, captain, judge, police officer, fire fighter, airline pilot, surgeon, baseball player, and soldier.

Infuriating? Oh yes. Unfair? Absolutely. Likely to change anytime soon? Don't bet on it. We as a society love our gender norms and fear change, as if a little boy wearing a pink nurse's costume will ultimately end the world. In the end, it's the ignorance that prospers. But when I have children, I swear on my life that I will let them wear any damn Halloween costume they want.

Limbaugh at it again!  

His crime this time? Playing into this whole "Obama is a sissy" stereotype that drives me crazy. From his broadcast on August 20th:

Obama's patriotism is not being attacked in an ad. McCain's just out there saying he's putting his own personal political ambition ahead of the country's. It's -- you know, it's just -- it's just we can't hit the girl. I don't care how far feminism's saying, you can't hit the girl, and you can't -- you can't criticize the little black man-child. You just can't do it, 'cause it's just not right. It's not fair. He's such a victim.

Oh, Rush, you are just a never-ending fountain of ignorance.

(Via Media Matters)

McCain's mansions  

Check out this video from about John McCain's hypocrisy in telling the American people he's "one of us" and "sympathizes" with citizens who are losing their homes... yet he owns a total of 10 luxurious homes. One of us? Hardly.

When questioned about how many homes he owns, McCain's response was: "I think - I'll have my staff get to you... It's condominiums where - I'll have them get to you."

And once again, Johnny Mac never ceases to amaze me with his hypocrisy and ignorance.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spray-on condoms?  

Regular, ultra-thin, Magnum, Magnum XL, XXL, Snug fit... so many different sizes of condoms. Now, I happen to not have a penis, but if I did, I imagine condom shopping would be pretty frustrating. Luckily, German sexual health educator Jan Vinzenz Krause is in the process of developing the spray-on condom. Sort of like liquid latex in a can, this condom would literally be sprayed on the penis for a completely perfect-fitting condom. And voila! Size really doesn't matter.

However, so far this is only a prototype. Krause has run into a few problems, the main one being that the latex is taking too long to dry. So, it might be awhile before we see this product on the shelves. In the mean time, Krause is preparing to launch a line of condoms that offers many different sizes for different men. And because many men might not be too keen on the idea of purchasing smaller-sized condoms at a drugstore, he prepares to sell them online. Great idea!

Now, if only someone could tackle the problem of women being discouraged from buying condoms in stores. Lord knows the "Trojan Elexa" didn't work very well.

Elderly women punished with labor in China  

This is just preposterous. Two elderly women in China have been sentenced to perform labor as punishment for attempting to protest what they felt was inadequate compensation for the demolition of their homes in Beijing. The women, Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, wanted to protest in an area designated as a "protest area" by the government itself. However, it seems as if the government did not actually intend to let anyone protest in these "protest areas," as it has denied around 77 applications from people wishing to organize demonstrations. Because the two elderly women were persistent, they have been sentenced to "re-education through labor," known as laojiao, which is often given to political and religious dissenters, and those who commit minor crimes. The two women will most likely be forced to perform agricultural or factory work, although one of them is nearly blind. Here I thought they respected the elderly in China.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lawyer sues over Women's Studies classes  

Hold onto your hats, I'm about to get really really really angry.

Mr. Roy Den Hollander, a Manhattan lawyer and self-proclaimed anti-feminist, is suing Columbia for offering Women's Studies courses. His claim? Women's Studies courses are "a bastion of bigotry against men" and the program at Columbia "demonizes men and exalts women in order to justify discrimination against men based on collective guilt."

Clearly this man has never sat through a Women's Studies class in his lifetime.

This same lawyer has also sued nightclubs for offering "Ladies' Night" in which women get discounted drinks, and has sued the federal government over a law that protects women from violence. His website boasts, "Now is the time for all good men to fight for their rights before they have no rights left. Contact Roy to help battle the infringement of Men's Rights by the feminists and their allies."

Seriously... who the HELL does this man think he is? I've taken many Women's Studies classes because it's my major, and I can honestly say that none of my classes preached any kind of hatred or discrimination towards men. In fact, men are encouraged to take these classes to better understand women and the overall concept of gender. If men were NOT permitted to take these classes, that would indeed be blatant discrimination, but that is just not the case at any school to my knowledge.

If his argument is that there should be a Men's Studies program, well my answer to that is: IT IS CALLED AMERICAN HISTORY. There would not be a need for a Women's Studies program if other courses were not guilty of focusing predominantly on men in the past. Women's Studies has developed out of necessity - to help spread knowledge and respect for a group that has been oppressed. These courses also exist to inform young American students about the terrifying and appalling things that are being done to women abroad. I'm not saying that men are not without their hardships, but it is the women who are getting their clitorises cut off in Saudi Arabia, the women who cannot leave their houses without veils in Iran, and mainly women who are being brutally raped by enemy intruders in the Republic of Congo. Women's Studies classes are essential to keep young people up-to-date on these important issues.

Would this anti-feminist lawyer oppose Black Studies, calling it discrimination against white people? Because at my school, there is no "White Studies" major, but there is a Black Studies major. Why? For the same reason - oppression and ignorance has led to a need for such classes. The same thing can be said about Queer Studies classes. And about Jewish Studies classes.

It is what it is. Sexism still exists, racism still exists, homophobia still exists, and antisemitism still exists. And why is there so much hatred towards these groups? Because people do not understand them, and they are afraid of the unknown. College courses are a way to spread understanding and abolish these prominent divisions that exist in our society. Clearly Mr. Den Hollander does not understand this concept, and is so quick to claim that men are being deprived of their rights by feminists. He is throwing the blame in our faces, when ironically, becoming a feminist has helped me develop a newfound respect and understanding for men. It was in one of my GENDER/WOMEN'S STUDIES classes that we did a unit on the extreme pressure men feel to act masculine, and I saw a perspective I had never seen before.

But it is just too bad that Mr. Roy hates me because I am a feminist. Just too bad.

Take Action Tuesday: protecting our reproductive rights  

I've written about this issue before, but it's so important we take as much action as we can. The Bush administration is pushing to pass appalling regulations on reproductive rights. If passed, this policy will:

  1. Redefine abortion to include common forms of contraception, even though birth control does not by any means cause the same internal process that abortions do. From an e-mail I got from NOW: "This expanded definition of abortion will discourage doctors and health care clinics from providing birth control products to women who need them, out of fear of losing critical federal funds."

  2. Force family planning clinics to hire and keep employees who are morally against birth control or abortion.

  3. Increase federal funding to fake clinics, or "crisis pregnancy centers" that provide no proper family planning or abortion services, and often give false information to women.

Please take a few minutes to contact Secretary Mike Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Either send him an e-mail or leave a comment on his blog and let him know that birth control and abortion are not the same, and that these regulations will greatly reduce a woman's access to services for reproductive health.

Elizabeth Edwards was just ASKING for her husband to cheat on her!  

Rush Limbaugh, my favorite person in the entire world (did ya catch the sarcasm?!) is once again spreading his wonderful messages of positivity! On his radio show a few days ago, he offered his "theories" on why John Edwards decided to cheat on his wife. Limbaugh's ground-breaking theory? That Elizabeth Edwards stupidly offered more words than blowjobs.

"OK, we're back. Ladies and gentleman, my theory that I just explained to you about why -- you know, what could have John Edwards' motivations been to have the affair with Rielle Hunter, given his wife is smarter than he is and probably nagging him a lot about doing this, and he found somebody that did something with her mouth other than talk. I think I can back this up from her."

Limbaugh, in all his infinite glory, also managed to insult female Olympic athletes during the same radio broadcast:

"...You know, I'm in a little quicksand already today talking about how the chicks are giving us boring pictures of the female athletes from the Olympics. Because I know -- you -- the diversity crowd's going to be upset. They're going to -- "Ooh, do you mean the Olympics are just so you guys can ogle wom--" Yes, because we do not care to watch 'em compete!"

Well, shit! Rush Limbaugh once again proves that he has nothing but intelligent input to offer on his radio show. Later in the broadcast, he stated, "You get mad at me for bringing the truth to you, but it is what it is." No, Limbaugh... you bring us ignorance. And Lord knows we don't need more of that in this world.

But, just to put a smile on your face, here's MSNBC's Keith Olbermann's wonderful response to Limbaugh's sexist and misguided comments:

Heh. Heh. Heh.
Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama and McCain grapple on abortion rights  


It's always fun to watch Barack Obama and John McCain go head-to-head on important issues because the contrast between their beliefs is enormous, and it just re-affirms my faith in Obama, and my extreme dislike for McCain. This weekend, the two presented their differing beliefs on abortion at Orange County church. Unless you have chosen to reside under a rock for the past year, you'll know that Obama is openly pro-choice, and McCain is openly "pro-life." McCain recently created an uproar amongst conservative Republicans when he said that he would not rule out Tom Ridge as a running mate, simply because Ridge supports abortion rights. Conservatives had a hissy fit, which, to be honest, I completely understand, because if Obama had said the same thing about an anti-choice candidate, I would have been very upset. Whomever gets to run the country next does have the power to shape abortion rights. It's a scary thought, but right now, Roe vs. Wade is teetering on the line between remaining legal... and getting overturned. A woman's right to choose what she does with her body is in grave danger, and we can only hope and pray that our next president is one who will protect our rights.

Here's a video that features short clips of each candidate's response to questions about abortion, along with some comments about same-sex marriage, and responses to the question, "Why do you want to be president?"

McCain on choice: "I have a 25 year pro-life record - in the Congress, in the Senate. And as president of the United States, I will be a pro-life president, and this presidency will have pro-life policies."

Obama on choice: "I am pro-choice. I believe in Roe vs. Wade. And I come to that conclusion not because I am pro-abortion, but because ultimately I don't think women make these decisions casually."
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dead is the new sexy  

The ladies of Feministing posted quite the disturbing pictures of the new advertisements for the country-western inspired clothing line, Wrangler. Their new tagline is "We Are Animals" and their ads feature extremely tasteful images of violence against women. Women lying motionless on the ground, or standing alone on a dark highway... all placed, of course, in a disturbing The Hills Have Eyes-esque setting. I can't even begin to fathom what in the hell the marketing team for Wrangler was thinking when they decided to put together these disgusting, appalling, nauseating advertisements. Words escape me.

Really classy, Wrangler. Nothing makes me want to buy your clothes more than pictures of women lying face down in a lake. Oh, and thanks for making the women shirtless... we really don't associate sexuality with violence enough.

And really... the picture of the woman standing in the middle of the road, looking as if she's about to get hit by a car or abducted by a predator is just lovely.

They also have this extremely disturbing commercial, which looks like a preview for the newest horror movie entitled Let's Get Women Half-Naked and Murder Them in the Middle of the Woods.

A hearty FUCK YOU to the Wrangler marketing team.
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Transgender contestant on America's Next Top Model  

Wow! The next season of America's Next Top Model is set to feature a transgender woman as a contestant. She is 22 year-old Isis, a former receptionist who defines herself as "a woman born physically male."

I think it's wonderful that people who are trans are being put into the public eye, because it's a good way to get transphobic people used to the idea that trans men and women are not going away and deserve every ounce of respect as other people do. I'm really hoping ANTM will present Isis in a positive way. I was so excited to hear about this, but I have to remain a little skeptical because ANTM has lost points with me in the past. For example, I thought it was great that they featured plus-sized models on the show... but then they would always position the models and airbrush the photographs in such a way that they looked like a size 2. But the show has had lesbian and bisexual contestants before, whom were always treated with respect. We'll see. Hopefully this will be a step forward for the transgender community.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rape victims denied compensation  

Just came across this appalling article about several rape victims getting less compensation because they were consuming alcohol during the time they were attacked. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has denied 14 rape victims in the past year a significant portion of their deserved monetary compensation because they believed that the alcohol was a "contributing factor in the incident."

Ludicrous. It is never the fault of the victim in a rape and sexual assault situation, and thus no rape victim should be denied full compensation. Every woman deserves the right to drink alcohol without having to worry about being dragged into a bedroom by a pervert. And even if alcohol was involved in the situation, who's to say that it "contributed" to it? What if the victim had her drink spiked? It only takes one roofied drink to knock someone on their ass, so in that situation the alcohol doesn't even matter.

Sometimes people are irresponsible with drinking - I won't deny that. But many rape cases are completely unavoidable; a woman might take all the necessary precautions, such as drinking in moderation and keeping friends close the entire night, but a rapist will find a way to get her into a bedroom. Let's steer clear of victim-blaming, shall we?
Monday, August 11, 2008

Kanye West denounces homophobia!  


Honestly, this made me really happy. Because Kanye West is an influential person, and I think it's bad ass that he's using his popularity to spread a good message. There is a large amount of homophobia amongst African-Americans, more specifically in the rap and hip-hop community, and we need people like Kanye speaking out against it. During his sold-out show at Madison Square Garden, he took a moment to say this to the crowd:

"Open your minds. Be accepting of different people and let people be who they are. You know how many people came to me calling me gay cause I wear my jeans the fresh way? Or because I said hey, dude, how you gonna say 'fag' right in front of a gay dude's face and act like that's OK? That shit is disrespectful. Coming from Chicago, where if you saw somebody that was gay you were supposed to stay ten feet away. It should be time to break out of the intuitions that I was sayin', the stereotypes, or the fear, the backlash that I would get if you don't believe in what I believe in, acceptin' people for who they are…they're very talented and if they do something special in the world and they're discriminated. I've flown across the world y'all, and I've come back here to tell you—open your minds and live a happier life…"

Major kudos to Kanye West and anyone else who uses their popularity to stop injustice.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Race an issue in identifying criminals  


There's a piece on Yahoo! News that is worth taking a few minutes to read. It's about the ongoing problem with witnesses or victims of crimes wrongly identifying a suspect of a different race. From the article:

In the midst of being raped, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino told herself to pay attention to details that would allow her to identify her attacker. Then she identified a man from photographs, picked him out of a lineup and told jurors she was certain he was the rapist.

That man, Ronald Cotton, received a life sentence and spent more than 10 years in prison before DNA testing cleared him of the crime.

Now victim and the innocent man she helped convict are writing a book together.

Thompson-Cannino, who is white, had mistakenly picked out one black man; another was guilty of the crime.

Read the rest of the article here.

Sexual ambiguity hampers AIDS fight  

Check out this video on the New York Times website that investigates the discrimination in Mexico when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS. GLBT people are treated as if their lives are not as important and worth saving as heterosexual AIDS victims. It's incredibly sad... and infuriating.
Thursday, August 7, 2008

Warning: Bill O'Reilly wants to teach things to your kids  


Birth control does NOT equal abortion  

I just got this e-mail from Planned Parenthood about the appalling new policies on abortion and birth control that the Bush administration is trying to implement. I urge you all to take a moment to click the link below to fill out a form and send your opinion to the White House.

Dear Amy,

We've heard the rumors for weeks, but newly surfaced documents have confirmed the unthinkable — the Bush administration is considering a politically motivated new rule that deliberately confuses contraception with abortion, allowing providers to cherry pick the information they give women and cut off access to some of the most commonly used forms of birth control. It's a desperate Hail Mary pass from politicians who have lost all credibility on women's health issues.

In less than 48 hours, Planned Parenthood supporters sent more than 25,000 messages to President Bush voicing their opposition. Thank you! And if you haven't done so already, please take a moment now to give the White House a piece of your mind. There is no room for political agendas in the exam room when a woman is with her health care provider, and we won't stop until every woman in America has equal access to the full truth about her health care options.

Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Buffet of the Week  

Waaaaay too many interesting and important things happening around the world to make individual posts for them all, so here's your Buffet of the Week!

  • Time magazine provided some insight into why women live longer than men. Among the reasons: women tend to develop cardiovascular diseases later in life, more men smoke cigarettes, and women deal with stress in a healthy way more often than men do.

  • Many gay couples that are getting married in California are using their weddings to enforce a political agenda. Because gay marriage in California is threatened by Proposition 8, which would define marriage as only between a man and a woman, same-sex couples feel that a political wedding is a good way to defend their rights.

  • There's an interesting article on AlterNet about how trans women can be unfairly excluded from certain feminist circles. In 1991, a woman was expelled from Michigan Womyn's Music Festival because they suspected that she was transgendered.

  • Oh boy. Check out Paris Hilton's harsh response video to McCain's ad that compared her to Obama.

  • A man was recently arrested after he brutally raped a 14 year-old girl. Police found his MySpace page, which listed "rape" under his interests. Disgusting.

  • An employee for "Girls Gone Wild" (a company I loathe with everything inside of me) was recently charged with sexual assaulting a woman on a tour bus.

  • Japanese women are the longest living females in the world, with a life expectancy of 86 years.

  • In Zimbabwe, there is a widespread ignorance when it comes to domestic violence laws. Victims don't know their rights, and police officers are not equipped with the necessarily skills to handle domestic violence cases.

  • More and more gay couples are now heading to Massachusetts for marriage ceremonies, due to the fact that Governor Paterson ordered that New York recognize gay marriages that were performed in other states.

As always, please comment if I missed anything. Enjoy!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vintage Sexism!  


A woman's choice: probably best left to rich old white men  

Someone from my Anti-John McCain facebook group brought an amazing website to my attention: Looking at the title, you might think it's a pro-McCain website, but it's completely the opposite. It spoofs pro-McCain sites and offers glorious insights into his many flaws and sexist beliefs. Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I love when McCain messes up  

Well, this is hilarious. Remember the terrible McCain ad I posted a few days ago that compared Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton? Apparently, Paris Hilton's mom is royally pissed off that McCain shit all over young Paris in said advertisement. Oh, and get this... awhile back, the Hiltons donated $4,600 to the McCain campaign.


Way to go, John McCain. His response to the uproar over his advertisement? "We think it's got a lot of humor in it, we're having fun and enjoying it."

Well shit, that makes everything better. Good save, Johnny Mac.
Saturday, August 2, 2008

Adventures at Planned Parenthood  

Today was yet another Saturday afternoon spent volunteering at Planned Parenthood as a clinic escort and watching old men walk around with giant obnoxious signs while reciting numerous Hail Marys. Some interesting events occurred however, including:

  • One anti-choice protester stood across the street and decided to point at me for a full five minutes. This guy is always here on Saturdays, so I'm used to being pointed at by him. He motioned for me to come over to him, but since I wasn't the least bit inclined to do that, I ignored him. This made him angry, and he started shouting: "Come over here sweetheart!" in a really creepy old man voice that made me think of a kidnapper trying to lure me into the back of his truck with candy. I ignored him again, and he continued to shout angrily at me, though the noise of the traffic drowned him out. But I think he called me an "animal."

  • Another protester came over to me at one point and asked how I felt about euthanasia. I had no desire to discuss my views on assisted suicides with this man, so I didn't answer. He tried to give me a book he had about the subject, but I politely declined.

  • Later, the same man came back to me and asked if I had ever had an abortion. I said, "That's none of your business." He then offered me some literature, which I ended up taking just to get him to go away. After he left, I looked at it and saw that it was a pro-life newsletter. Great. But now I know every single protest they have scheduled for the next couple months, so I can make a plan to drive past a couple of them, blare my horn, and yell "MY BODY MY CHOICE!"

  • A young man drove by, leaned out the window, and yelled "YOU FUCKIN' IDIOTS!" at the protesters. It was tasteless behavior, but I laughed anyway.

  • A couple walked by, looked at the protesters, and the guy said to me, "This should be illegal." I agreed, and he said, "They're all too old to have babies anyway." I laughed, and the girl said, "It's not like they're going to cut us a check for the cost of having a baby." This was a good insight, as earlier in the day, one of the protesters yelled at a girl, "Don't kill your child. Keep it. We can help you." I'm not sure how much they can help with the cost of maternity clothes, additional food, formula, diapers, baby clothes, toys... not to mention the cost of having to take time off from work. Oh, and there's also the emotional stress and physical exhaustion. Will these old men be there to hold my hair back when I have morning sickness, or give the baby milk when it cries at 4AM? I'm thinking no. So don't tell me you're going to "help" me.

All in all, an inevitably tiresome day. But it was all worth it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm on TV! (sort of...)  

Awhile back, I was asked to participate in a short documentary being made by a professor on my campus about the youth vote. It was put on current tv, and I think it came out very nicely and is a good insight on what college students are thinking about the current election, including the candidates, the issues, and the racism and sexism that we've seen so far. Check it out below (I'm the third one shown...)