Category Archives: Feminism

Easiest $$$ Evah!

From Salon:

Three women in Virginia have started a consulting firm to help the Republican Party appeal to women voters, which seems like it will be a real challenge since the Republican Party is terrible on the issues that many women care about.

Actually, it’s not a “challenge” since the Pubs have no intention of addressing the problems of real women (as opposed to mechanical dolls like Sarah and La Coulter) and have made it clear they’re not going to let anybody make them. Which means that three very smart women have just found a way to collect a boodle from the RW gravy train without doing, well, anything, really. I mean –

When you have the chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee laughing on Fox News about how women should have to shoulder the financial burden of maternity coverage alone because a man “has never delivered a baby,” you know the problem isn’t about messaging.

When you have a state attorney general wondering aloud why God hasn’t punished the United States for guaranteeing women their constitutional right to abortion care, you know the problem isn’t about messaging.

This is going to be a great gig. OK, so they’ll have to spend a certain amount of quality time pretending to listen to Pub morons like Cucinelli and “Women Get Diseases in Ditches” Gingrich so they can tell them what they want to hear but that’s a minor sacrifice when you consider the size of the check these bozos will gratefully hand over to hear women who aren’t hookers tell them they’re right and if they just say it differently women will flock to join The Team.

It’s brilliant. What could be an easier score than charging megabucks for telling men so stupid, so immature, so hopelessly ignorant that fairy tales are true?

The Crackpot Consensus

One of the most challenging aspects of adjusting to the NAO’s is the fact that so many of them are, well, stupid. Todd Akin’s absurd belief that women have some sort of magical control over their bodies if only they’d decide to use it is just the tip of a very large, annoying, and dangerous iceberg. The Times’ Timothy Egan gives a chapter and verse or two that barely scratch the surface but make the point quite clearly: many of the most powerful people in the country, all of them major puppets of the oligarchs, have demonstrated again and again that they have great faith but zero actual knowledge. Continue reading

The Definition of “Non-Governable Democracy”

Just think about this for a minute, in re the previous post:

In its first vote on health care overhaul, the Senate Thursday narrowly approved an amendment to safeguard coverage of mammograms and preventive screening tests for women under a revamped system.The 61-39 vote on an amendment by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, would allow the Health and Human Services secretary to require insurers to cover preventive health screenings free of charge.

Under special provisions agreed to prior to the tally, 60 votes were needed to pass the amendment. The margin underscored the fragility of the coalition Democrats are counting on to move forward on President Barack Obama’s signature issue.

Fragility?

Question #1:

Why do we need 60 votes – a filibuster-proof majority – in order to approve something as non-controversial and obviously necessary as mammograms and cancer screening tests?

Question #2:

Why did something as obvious, necessary, and minor barely squeak through this cloth-headed Congress?

Question #3:

How “fragile” is the Democrat “coalition” (between Democrats and Blue Dogs, presumably) when it takes that much effort to pass an amendment this bland?

Question #4:

How “fragile” is our democracy when it takes that much effort to pass an amendment this bland?

Just curious.

Tess in the Modern World

At the end of the 19th century when Thomas Hardy was writing novels (Tess of the D’Urbervilles was published in 1891), the Industrial Revolution was already beginning to change milleniums of settled routine, impacting society and culture in ways no one had predicted. Most people were, as usual, slow to catch on but the artists of the turn into the 20th century were struck by the changes as if by a bolt of unwelcome lightning.

In the 18th century, the Age of Reason had already demoted Christianity and other primitive religions to the status of crackpot cults and deified the Mind. Now, with the Industrial Revolution disconnecting humanity from the ancient rhythms of rural life, there came a fervent response to the emotionless rationalists, a worship of “the natural” as opposed to the man-made. Led by Rousseau’s rather silly elevation of the “savage” into a primordial, essential human value, the Naturalists praised the artlessness and honesty of Nature untampered by human hands or social conventions. In its purity, they said, it is a reflection of God Himself and cannot be improved upon.

In retrospect they, too, were silly and terribly naive but they had hold of a genuine and important truth nevertheless – that, contrary to the teachings of Christianity as they’d been dogmatically defined for centuries, the human body was neither sinful nor “dirty” and shouldn’t be suppressed and strenuously restricted but rather loosed from its ludicrous theocratic bonds to be the joyous nexus of life that God had always meant it to be.

Naturally (pun intended) this included sex.

Continue reading

Cardinal Demands Catholics Stop Supporting Amnesty International

The National Catholic Register reports that the president of the apparently ironically named Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, is telling Catholics they should withdraw all support from Amnesty International. Three guesses why and you won’t need the last two.

Abortion has driven a wedge between the Catholic Church and an organization that began as an ally.

Amnesty International (AI) was founded in 1961 by Peter Benenson, a British convert to Catholicism. But today, as a result of Amnesty International’s recent decision to promote abortion rights, Church leaders say that Catholics should withdraw all financial support from the London-based human-rights organization.

“I believe that, if in fact Amnesty International persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organizations must withdraw their support, because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, AI has betrayed its mission,” Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said in an e-mail interview.

(emphasis added)

Sadly, a man I used to greatly respect for his dedication to justice for all has caved in to his church’s primeval stance.

The abortion policy has already cost Amnesty International the support of one long-time Catholic backer: Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan.

Said Father Berrigan, “One cannot support an organization financially or even individually that is contravening something very serious in our ethic.”

This was a man who fought for the right of Catholic Americans to divorce, who supported Bill Baird when he was illegally passing out condoms in public, and who supported Roe v Wade because he had seen the results of too many back-alley abortions. After being beaten about the head and shoulders with the blunt instrument of ultra-conservative Catholicism for 40 years, he has apparently had enough. Perhaps Benedict threatened to ex-communicate him if he didn’t publicly renounce AI, I don’t know.

Continue reading

Bush Nominates Yet Another Racist to the Federal Bench (updated)

People for the American Way are reporting that Bush has just nominated yet another racist, sexist, anti-labor judge to a seat on the Federal bench, this time for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Leslie SouthwickPresident Bush has nominated Leslie Southwick to fill a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Bush previously tried to fill the seat with Charles Pickering and then Michael Wallace, both of whom faced significant opposition due to their disturbing legal records, especially on civil rights.

“Regrettably, Southwick also has a troubling record and appears to be cut from the same cloth as the others,” said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way. “First Pickering, then Wallace, and now Southwick – Bush has completely struck out on the Fifth Circuit.”

Continue reading

Women’s Equality Day

I don’t have time to post anything today, so go read this at Fact-esque. It’s a potent reminder of the price that was paid for equality by those who came before us.

The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 helpless women wrongly convicted of “obstructing sidewalk traffic.”They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the “Night of Terror” on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote.

Two Hookers Discuss the GOP

The GOP convention, it seems, is a bonanza for sex workers.

“Bo, there’s so many strippers and hookers in town to play ‘hide the WMD’ with these conservatives, it would make Larry Flynt proud. They flew in from London, Seattle, L.A., all over, just for this, because demand is so high.””Wow! Wait wait wait, I’m confused. Aren’t the Republicans supposed to be the ‘moral,’ sex-hating, anti-women, Bible-quoting ones? I don’t get it.”

“Worst-kept secret in all of politics, Bo. It’s a fact: Demand for sex workers is at an all-time high when the GOP convention’s in town. Hell, there was even a New York Daily News article about it a while back. These Repubs are such a desperately horny, repressed bunch, they just can’t get enough of paying for ‘amoral’ sex. So ironic. If Middle America only knew how this group is so fulla perverts and horndogs, they’d have a fit.”

A Letter to Fathers From A Father

My 6 1/2-year-old daughter is the most precious person in my life. This Father’s Day it will be four years since my daughter’s mother left me. I came home one day and they were gone. They were hiding in a battered women’s shelter. I had made my girlfriend’s life miserable. There was nothing she could do right. I’d yell and call her degrading names. I also got physical with her. I was a jerk.

I’d like to say that my daughter has not witnessed any of my controlling and abusive behavior toward her mom but I’m sure she has. Kids are smart. They are aware of what’s going on even if you don’t think they are.

A permanent protection order prevents me from communicating with her mother. My daughter sees that mom and dad can’t talk with each other. It’s confusing to her. She asks, “Why can’t you and mommy live together?” I’ve told her it’s because I was not very nice to her mother. She gets defensive and says, “Yes, you were.” I say, “No, mommy and I are in agreement. I was mean to your mother. She has good reason to stay away.”

My ex-partner is an excellent mother. Because of my violence, I can’t share with her the concerns and joys I experience about our little girl. We don’t go to our daughter’s events together. We talk through an intermediary. She is terrified of me and rightly so. I have created this mess and I have to respect her wish to have no contact with me. Why should she? I have hurt and terrified her.


I get involved with my daughter. I even play Barbie with her. Some people think it is goofy, but I love it. My favorite times are playing with her, coloring, using Play-Doh. It makes me feel like a kid again. I feel like we are connecting on the same level. It’s wonderful. It’s hard to explain.I have been in a Men’s Domestic Violence Batterers Group for two years. I just grew up figuring that the beliefs I had about being entitled to control and abuse women was the way it was supposed to be. Maybe this article will help others.

Now, as I try to change my attitudes and beliefs, it’s a frustrating situation to see my friends acting like jerks to women. I tell them that I go to a domestic violence class and give examples of myself but I’m not too successful. No one has yet said, “Yeah, I do that too.” What I am really proud of is that I can now be a better example for my daughter on how a dad and husband ought to act. I can be a better role model for guys. I don’t want my little girl to grow up and marry some asshole.

Jeff

O, California, What Have You Done To Us? (I)

O, California, What Have You Done To Us? (I)

According to today’s NY Times:

Aware that he must work with Democrats, Mr. Schwarzenegger also conspicuously reached across the aisle to some of them, including Senator Dianne Feinstein….

So the question is: When he reached across to her, did he squeeze anything?