Friday, December 24, 2010

Spanky Would Have Called It the "She-Male Palin-Hating Club"

Some pastor from Florida named Doug Giles made a video stating why it is feminists don't like Sarah Palin. It's not because she wants government to be about as big as the distance between one's ovaries and vaginal opening. And it's not because she is as dumb as a pair of dookie stained granny panties. It's because we're all a bunch of "she-males" who are jealous of her looks. In case you haven't heard that before, I've posted the video. Additionally, I will henceforth be referring to Pastor Giles as Spanky, because he is a childish little rascal. Seriously, Spanky. I'd like to welcome you to the year 2010. Feminists have been hearing this bullshit since before Sarah Palin's father shot her out of his nutsack.

And because I like correcting people so much, I'd like to let Spanky know that Sarah Palin did consider having an abortion when she was pregnant with Trig. Luckily, she lives in a country where she had the choice to have all 5 of her children, instead of being forced into motherhood by a so-called small government. Spanky chooses to believe the lie, or else she wouldn't be his proper definition of a woman. And that would make his ass hurt.

And lastly but not leastly, this video is filled with disgusting transphobic hate speech. Simple proof that trans people are always seen as a simple scapegoat for assholes. If Spanky was truly confident in his beliefs, he wouldn't be threatened by metrosexuals or Chaz Bono or trans women or anybody else who doesn't fit the strict gender binary that he worships every day. It's old fucking news, and I believe, as a wise young woman once said, has been around since way before Sarah Palin's father shot her out of his nutsack. I have a feeling this man sleeps with one eye open and both hands holding his dick for dear life. It's pitiful.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sarah Palin Tells Some Knock Knock Jokes

I made a video of Sarah Palin telling knock knock jokes on Larry King Live using Xtranormal. I would have embedded it, but the code doesn't work, so just follow the link. It's my holiday gift to you. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Tell Those Rape Victims, Blag Hag

Blag Hag had the following to say about women complainants of rape in a blog post titled This Needed to be Said About Rape Allegations

This is just one of the many reasons why I think it's so important to get more women to be skeptical thinkers. Questioning does not make us a "tool of the patriarchy" - questioning is empowering.

You tell 'em, Blag Hag. Those dirty rape victims are so needy, aren't they? Needy of our attention. Needy of our trust. Needy of justice. Fuck them, preferably without their consent. I agree with her on one thing. Questioning the veracity of a rape victim's claim is empowering, sort of like jumping a Kindergartner on the playground and stealing her prescription shoes during your lunch break.

Victims of sexual assault are already at the mercy of bystanders, family, police, the justice system, and society at large if they ever want to get their lives back. The people who they need to confide in are in a position of privilege. Without their trust, rape victims are victimized again and again, until they give up on fighting and join the patriarchy lock-step or commit suicide. So it's really big of Blag Hag and other rape apologists to be skeptical, isn't it? It's so much easier to do nothing than to show a shred of humanity and at least pretend to give a shit. This isn't being skeptical about global warming or the existence of God. We're talking about women and children all over the world who are already vulnerable, because they are in a position in society in which they are not to be believed.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Favorite Thing That I Missed

I missed blogging about the midterm elections, which means I missed so much: Sharon Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Marco Rubio, Carl Paladino, and the other right-wing nutjobs who ran for election in 2010. But my favorite part of the midterms was this ad from SarahPAC, Sarah Palin's political action committee that supports ultra conservative candidates (read: right-wing nutjobs). It's not so much a commercial for Sarah Palin's buddies as it is a look inside what Sarah Palin sees when she's tripping on X. While watching it, see if you can count to two Mississippis before another image pops onto the screen. It's a fun game.

Feminist to the Rescue is Back!

A few weeks ago, the awesome feminist woman with whom I shared a blog a few years ago, started a new blog, Feminist to the Rescue! It's very exciting indeed, and I encourage everybody to check out the commentary, funny, and feminist superhero art. Yay!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Has It Been Three and a Half Months Already?

Finally, my apprenticeship teaching experience is over and I can finally blog again. Hooray! It was a serious doozy. The kids were cute, but they drove me crazy (as kids tend to do), and several of the teachers with whom I interacted were truly unpleasant. At times, they were downright hateful.

One of the teachers, who was actually an effective teacher and classroom manager, was a classhole, a word I just made up which means "classist asshole." Every time she came into the classroom for a team meeting or for lunch, she would ask who sat in a seat. If the child lived in the trailer park, she'd go, "Ew" and move to the seat of a student she deemed acceptable. On another occasion, she came into the classroom (thankfully while the children were out of the room in one of their special classes) and made fun of the size of the head of one of my students. Less than a week before that, I ripped a third grader a new one for making fun of the same girl because of her looks. I can't even tell you what that third grader looks like, because he was hanging his head in shame the entire time I scolded him. Needless to say, I don't think he'll be making fun of any kids any time soon, at least not in the hallway next to the faculty bathroom. I just think it's amazing how a grown woman with children who is an experienced teacher could be so cruel. I wish I were in a position where I could tell her the same thing I told that third grader.

The worst part of both of these people making fun of this girl is that I'm pretty sure this girl is developmentally delayed. I wouldn't expect a third grader to know some of the physical and emotional signs of an uncategorized developmental delay, but a teacher should. This poor girl reminded me a lot of the mothers at my job whose children were taken away from them, because they will never be developmentally capable of taking care of kids. They are women who are mentally around the age of 10 and were either taken advantage of by jerky men or had kids with guys who were just as developmentally delayed or mentally ill. I have a strong feeling that her delays will become more apparent as she gets older. Of course, teachers shouldn't make fun of kids anyway, whether it's in front of the kid or behind the kid's back. But to talk like that about a kid who is most likely developmentally delayed, that's just plain wrong. I suppose she could be called an ablebitch, a word I just made up which means "ableist bitch." I usually object to that word, but not this time.

Anywho, now that I'm done with student teaching, I should be updating much more frequently. There were a couple of things that I missed that I would like to post about over the next couple days or so. I'm happy to get back into blogging after this long hiatus. Whoo-hoo!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hi-larious Hiatus

Okay, so I haven't posted anything in a couple of weeks. That's a while. I've been really busy with student teaching, so I'm going to go on a hiatus until the winter, when student teaching is over. For now, you can catch me on Twitter, which takes a lot less time to post stuff. Plus, I can do it from my iPod Touch. So you'll still get your funny feminist nuggets every day. I'll be back before you know it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Linda McMahon's BFF Believes Linda McMahon Would Be a BSF

BSF. That's Best Senator Forever! Totes cute, right?

Come on. I bet my best friends would tell me I'd make a great Senator. I think they might have. But I'm not gonna take them up on it. Sorry! I'm all for women running for public office, of course. But I think women politicians need to make sure that they're really taken seriously. You can't even put your best friend down as a reference on an application to work at Taco Bell. So why would you do it in a campaign ad? It reads too much as a human interest story and not enough as a serious attempt to garner my support. Well, not my support, since I don't live in Connecticut. I'm not quite sure why I even see any of Linda McMahon's ads, to be honest with you.

Not only am I not from Connecticut, I'm not a Republican. Not by a long shot. These sorts of fluffy political ads don't make me like a candidate. I want to know where somebody stands on important issues that affect me and the people I care about. Maybe conservatives prefer a woman politician who doesn't cross the line of proper feminine gender expectations.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Take Action Monday

Today is Labor Day. If you are lucky, you either had the day off or got paid extra for working. If you're like most people, you don't belong to a union and have no right to! Today, remember the people who are either out of work due to the bad economy or do very hard work so that we can have the things we want and need.

Help farm workers who are victims of worker's rights violations.

Urge your Senators to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Tell Congress to strengthen your privacy rights online.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

WTF: Uncle Flow.

Here's something stupid that I kept forgetting to talk about. It's a machine that men can wear around their tummies that simulates some of the physical symptoms of menstruation. There's fake blood and everything! Robin Marty at Care2 explains the usefulness of this product:

Would bleeding and cramping make a man a little more sympathetic to some of the everyday struggles of women? Couldn't hurt, right? So what would one do with a Menstruation Machine if it were actually released on the market? Maybe strap one on the male students in high school health class? Or make the pledges wear it as a stunt to get into college fraternities? The possibilities really are endless. I can't wait until they create a machine that will replicate childbirth for men. Maybe then we could actually get some maternity leave laws passed.

Um, no. It really shouldn't take actually experiencing menstruation or childbirth to understand that it's painful and a giant inconvenience. Case in point. When I was a little girl, there was this very annoying boy who would keep flirting with me. His name was Nick, and he was this short pudgy kid with curly brown hair. He bothered me, so I kicked him in the balls. A lot. Sometimes I wonder what ever happened to that poor boy and his balls.

But, how could I possibly have known that getting kicked in the balls would hurt, since I don't have balls and therefore was never kicked there and never felt the pain of being kicked there? Maybe it's because getting kicked anywhere hurts. Likewise, if something is called "menstrual cramps," one could bet, no matter what their sex or gender, that they would hurt. You know, because cramps are painful. And everyone has bled from their nose or from a cut, and everybody knows that it's not an enjoyable experience.

So when men downplay the pain in the ass that is menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth, they're not doing it because they're just simply ignorant of these feelings. They're doing it because they're privileged little assholes. Period.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Thought About "Ground Zero" Mosque

I haven't updated in a while. And when I go a while without updating you should be worried, because that means I've been thinking a lot. For the past week or so, I've been thinking about the community center and Mosque being built in lower Manhattan. I've tweeted about it a lot, and if you follow my tweets, you know that I support their right to build the community center and Mosque there. I haven't even thought about "should they build there," because it doesn't make any difference to me. I think the most important thing is for the United States to uphold the Constitution and everyone's rights to freedom of religion and freedom to own property.

But a lot of people don't see it that way. Most people do support the right of the Mosque to be built, but most people don't think it should be built there. People have called the abandoned Burlington Coat Factory that was bought by Imam Rauf to build this community center "hallowed ground." I love a bargain as much as the next person, but "hallowed ground?" This building is two blocks away from Ground Zero, it's been abandoned for 8 years, and it's about time that area of the city be rebuilt to foster a feeling of community and at least try to bring it back to the bustling neighborhood it was before September 11, 2001. People like Newt Gingrich and other opposers of the Mosque are comparing Muslims to Nazis. Muslims all over the country who wish to build Mosques and Muslim prayer centers are being denied permits, as local governments are wiping their assess with the Constitution in order to please some racist jerks. And all of these thoughts naturally lead me to wonder this:

Did Glenn Beck face this much red tape from the government when he was planning his demonstration at the site of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech this Saturday? Oh yeah. None. None at all. In fact, this was something he's been talking about for a year.

Think about it. Protesters of the Mosque in lower Manhattan are saying that because the 9/11 hijackers were Muslim, Muslims building on private property there would be in poor taste and would be a slap in the face to everyone who lost loved ones on September 11. Let's apply this logic be applied to Glenn Beck's demonstration. After all, a White person murdered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Therefore, White people shouldn't be allowed to demonstrate on the site where he gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. It's sacred ground for African Americans who fought and died for equal rights. If you think I'm going too far with this, please read on.

One of the other major objections to a Muslim community and prayer center being built two blocks from Ground Zero is that this 13-story building is a symbol of Muslim's desire to convert everybody and change their most cherished beliefs and values. Fancy this quote.

This is going to be an image for the history books. If you come, I believe this may -- maybe in 100 years from now or 200 years from now -- I believe this will be remembered as a moment America turned the corner.

This is going to be an iconic event . . . This is a moment quite honestly, that I think we will reclaim the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. It's an abomination . . . We will take that movement because we were the people that did it in the first place.

Gee, who said that? Imam Rauf? No. It was Glenn Beck. It looks like Glenn Beck is the one who is trying to change history and our value system. Projection much?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Take Action Monday

End breast ironing in Cameroon.

Protect Social Security.

Tell President Obama to increase humanitarian aid to displaced Iraqis.

Urge Sarah Palin to STFU.

Support Net Neutrality.

Speak out against Republican obstructionism.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Palins to Teachers: "Oooh."

Former Governor Sarah "Winky Magee" Palin visited her home state of Alaska for some reason and brought a camera crew. Then, she saw a sign that said "WORST GOVERNOR EVER" and rushed over to talk to the person who made it. You know, because when Sarah Palin sees a sign that says "WORST GOVERNOR EVER," she automatically thinks, "That's me!" This is what went down:

Woman: You swore on your precious Bible that you would uphold the interests of this state. And then, when cash was waved in front of your face, you quit.

Sarah: [shocked] Oh, you wanted me to be your governor! I'm honored. Thank you.

Woman: I wanted you to honor your responsibilities. That is what I wanted. And to be part of the political process instead of becoming a celebrity so that you could -- and if that is the best you could do, then good for you, if that's the best you could do.

Sarah: That's why I'm out there, fighting for America, to have a Constitution protected so that we could have free speech.

Woman: Where are you fighting for that?

Sarah: Oh my goodness! To elect candidates who understand the Constitution, to protect our military interests so that we can keep fighting for our Constitution and freedoms --

Woman: By using your celebrity status. Certainly not by political --

One of Sarah's daughters -- Sprocket?: How is she a celebrity?

Sarah: I'm honored that she sees me as a celebrity!

Woman: You're certainly not representing the state of Alaska any longer, even though --

Palin's daughter -- Ozmodiar, I think: She's representing United States! *jazz hands*

Woman: Yes, I know. You belong to America now, and that's just fine.

Sarah: What do you do here?

Woman: I'm a teacher.

Sarah and Dingleberry Jones: Oooh. [exchange disappointed looks]

Yes, Sarah. Do you know what a teacher is? You should probably bring a Kindergarten teacher with you. She can improve your penmanship for the next time you want to read something off of your hand!

Ms. Palin's fee-fees got all hurt when news outlets played the video and concluded that she did indeed show contempt for this woman's career, albeit subtly. She certainly seemed much more thrilled when the woman identified herself as the wife of a commercial fisherman. Why not get so excited about her being a teacher, if you consider working in a school such an honorable profession that many of your family members hold? Where was she when John Boehner called the $20 billion jobs bill for teachers and police officers a "bailout for teachers unions?" Blogging in her PJs? Ms. Palin is all talk and no action and won't even come to the defense of her family when some jerk undermines their work. Shame, shame, shame.

So brava to Alaskan teacher lady, for speaking your mind, being proud, and being able to make a cogent argument. Can't say the same for Sarah Palin and her daughter, Boomerang Gypsy or something.

Monday, August 2, 2010

10 Things Anti-Choice Protesters Can Do to Help a Child Live a Happy Life

I just finished watching (and re-watching some of) the HBO documentary 12th and Delaware. It's about an intersection in Florida where there is an abortion clinic and a crisis pregnancy center (CPC). Unfortunately, most of the documentary follows CPC workers and anti-choice protesters. I guess that's where all the juiciness is. But I saw the anti-choice protesters in a different way. Don't get me wrong. I did not see past their ignorance and downright hatred for women. It was abundant. But what got me the angriest was that they were wasting some of their redeeming qualities, like tenacity, dedication, and passion, on harassing and hurting women. They spend their days, and make their living, harassing, lying to, and insulting the intelligence of women and teen girls. The "counselor" of the CPC and an anti-choice protester in the film admitted that their tactics may be harmful and/or illegal (e.g., stalking doctors and locking pregnant women in a room for 6 hours to convince them not to have an abortion), but it was worth it, because they thought they were helping.

Imagine if they engaged in activities that helped children, instead of denigrating women?

So I had the idea to do some convincing myself. I don't know if I will convince anybody to change their routine, but I'll just get it out there. I would like anybody who spends their days protesting outside of abortion clinics and other women's health centers to take one hour, just ONE HOUR, out of their protesting schedule to help real sentient children live fulfilling lives. Here are some ideas.

1. Spend an hour reading to one or more children at the local library or hospital. In an hour, you can read a couple of really good picture books, and it's a great excuse to talk in funny character voices.

2. Join an organization like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and spend an hour with a child playing an awesome board game like Chutes and Ladders. There's no chute for the girl who had an abortion, but I'm sure pro-lifers can still appreciate the lessons learned.

3. Volunteer at the library or an after-school program, and spend an hour helping children with their homework.

4. Get together with neighborhood parents and organize a carpool to transport children to and from school. It helps kids and the environment!

5. Spend an hour at the local recreation center and teach music, dancing, art, baking, or first aid to children.

6. I highly doubt that most anti-choicers would do this, but I'll give it a shot. Spend an hour a day being a crisis intervention counselor for The Trevor Project, a hotline for suicidal LGBTQ youth. Help save the life of a transgender, genderqueer, gay, bisexual, or questioning kid in need.

7. Spend a half hour standing outside of the grocery store and collect money for UNICEF, the March of Dimes, or Abandoned Babies and Children. Spend the other half hour buying groceries to donate to the local food bank, since millions of kids go hungry every day in the United States.

8. Spend an hour at a group home for foster children, teen moms, runaways, or juvenile offenders and talk or play with them.

9. Volunteer at the local park and motivate children to exercise and eat healthy.

10. Spend an extra hour a day enjoying the company of your own children, grandchildren, and the other adorable little kids in your lives. They might be jealous that you're giving so much attention to other women's embryos.

This isn't about changing the views of anti-choicers. I'm not even telling them to stop protesting outside of clinics (although I wish they would, since they're doing more harm than good [that was a rhyme]). All I'm saying is that the above 10 things (and many others) are at least as rewarding as protesting outside of a clinic, and way more effective at helping children live happy lives. So take an hour each day and help children in need who can at least smile in appreciation. Some might even say thank you!

P.S. Although I say "volunteer" throughout the post, you can get a paying job to do some of those things. But you'd have to do it for more than an hour, of course.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Day at Glenn Beck Elementary

By now, you have probably heard that Glenn Beck has started his own online university. Its motto is Faith, Hope, and Charity. Incidentally, a Sunday school teacher of mine from back in the day had a daughter with that very name. Isn't that nutty? Speaking of nutty, Glenn Beck has created an online university! It's not a real university where students earn credits, because college educations are for Communists and are at least the second most dangerous thing in America. Instead, it's just videos of three guys telling paid customers, called Insider Extremists, what hope, faith and charity are. Yes, three classes each on hope, faith, and charity. It should surprise no one that Glenn Beck thinks he has something to teach people who are old enough to use a credit card, because he's an egomaniac. In the interest of learning how to crawl before learning to walk, I think he should have created an elementary school first, because I don't think he's ready for higher learning. I wonder what a day at Glenn Beck Elementary would be like . . . .

In Language Arts, children would learn about such anti-Communist literary heroes as The Little Red Hen. You know her, right? She's the one who asked for help baking bread, and no one helped her. At the end of the story, she asks if anyone wants to help her eat the bread, and they all say "I do!" Then, she tells them all to go fuck themselves. The lesson is, they didn't help her make the bread, so they don't get to eat any of it. It's an important value to teach 6-year-olds to stop freeloading off of their parents and learn to use the stove themselves.

Then, it's time for Math. At Glenn Beck Elementary, being able to use numbers in one's daily life is very important. Students will be able to calculate how many illegal immigrants live in their neighborhoods, how many White babies they'll need to have to forestall brown folks becoming the majority, and how many webs of conspiracy theories one can make with a single box of chalk.

Only because this fascist state demands it, all of the students have to take Health. In an attempt to stick it to The Man, Glenn Beck Elementary school teachers tell kids the truth about nutrition. For example, the secret about candy is that it's really good for you. Dentists just say that sugar candy rots your teeth, because they want to keep all the candy for themselves. And people who exercise are the ones to blame for our nation's sky-rocketing healthcare costs, what with all their sport-related injuries. Oh, wait. That was Rush. Either way, no recess at Glenn Beck Elementary!

After Health comes Science, where students learn to separate fact from fiction. Evolution? Just a theory! Gravity? Just a theory! Climate change? Fascism! Thunder? Angels bowling!

The day is almost over, and now it's time for History. At Glenn Beck Elementary, students will learn about all of the great Americans that helped shape this country. There was civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. He was kind of like Glenn Beck. And radical political thinker Thomas Paine. He was kind of like Glenn Beck too (Really? Whatever you say.). And one of our greatest founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. That guy was a lot like Glenn Beck. And Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere. Just like Glenn Beck.

But really. Any old school teaches history. What makes Glenn Beck Elementary so great is that the kids in that school learn Future. In Future class, students will learn how Glenn Beck will reclaim the civil rights movement for White folks. Glenn Beck Elementary students will also be challenged to imagine what America will look like this Christmas, and next Christmas. And your children will surely get an A+ in Future, because name one damn thing that Glenn Beck has said that hasn't happened!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Take Action Today

I missed my blog's 2nd birthday, which I believe was on the 9th. Am I entering the terrible twos?

Tell President Obama to reinstate abortion coverage in high risk pools.

Urge your Senators to pass a clean energy bill.

Support the DREAM Act.

Tell your Representative to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anti-Feminist Dating Service: Mel Gibson

Guess who's back on the market? Mel Gibson! Yeah! Mel Gibson the movie star! And, I assume, future Just For Men spokesman! And I just can't believe that anybody would let this guy get away, because he really knows how to make a gal feel special. Here's Mel pitching woo to his lady, who just doesn't seem to appreciate his colorful imagination.

You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault.

Poetry. The only thing that would make this hotter is if instead of just wishing rape on a potential mate, he'd quit beating around the bush and threaten to rape her himself.

I am going to come and burn the house down, but you will blow me first.

That's the spot. And now that's he's under investigation for domestic violence, I'm sure his phone will be very busy. So if you're a lady lawyer, Mel could be verbally assaulting you in no time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Praising Gogol Bordello's Decision to Boycott Arizona

Earlier this week, the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello announced on their Facebook page that they would not be playing any concerts in Arizona because of their racist immigration law, S.B. 1070. I am one of the over 600 people who "liked" their status, but the comments left on their Facebook page were a mixture of praise and whining (you probably need a Facebook account to see the comments, but I assure you the following comments are accurate. I'm not going to post names). Some people felt they were being "screwed over."

You guys aren't helping. All you're doing is stiffing the local promoters and the fans, which in turn just hurts us(not to mention our screwed local economy) instead of helping the cause. Screwing us over won't overturn a law we had no say in. That's not fair.

Here's a white guy in Arizona claiming he didn't have a vote! See, because that's what a representative government is. The citizens vote for representatives and the governor and urge them to vote and sign legislation to your liking. And if you didn't do that, then sucks to be an Arizonan, huh? But you know what's really unfair? Getting locked in a detention center because you have brown skin.

Here's someone with some sense:

If you live in AZ and it makes you sad, then make some noise and get SB1070 OVERTURNED so people aren't afraid to travel to your state.

Precisely, because if there ever was a band so conspicuous in style of music and attire, it's Gogol Bordello.

Every single one of these folks would be stopped and asked for their papers because of their strange clothes and shoes (6:06), not to mention accents. But one comment got me particularly perturbed:

I though[t] Gogol would be behind this. Seeing as how you and your family did everything legally and took the time and effort to do so. if i was an immigrant i would be very angry at illegal immigration. it would feel like a slap in my face, "oh you did it legally like responsible people? well screw you i am more important than you and i don't have the time to wait to do the paperwork."

The last part I get, the part about people not having the time to do the paperwork before they get out of their home country. And one of those people is Eugene Hutz, lead singer of the band (he's the one in the front of the photo with the fire bucket), and his family. They left Ukraine after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Talk about not having time to wait to do the paperwork, when you're running away from a mushroom cloud. They spent in refugee camps in three different countries before finally settling in Vermont. Eugene and his family are among the lucky immigrants who survived a nuclear explosion and refugee life.

Many immigrants don't have those resources. They escape war, systemic rape, genocide, and more to come to the United States and other stable nations for a better life. Many of these immigrants are denied asylum and are desperate to come to the country under any means necessary. So I'm pretty sure Eugene Hutz is empathetic to the plights of immigrants who are trying to escape turmoil in pursuit of happiness. If only that were guaranteed in some long-standing American document.

Because I love Gogol Bordello's music and the fact that they are boycotting Arizona until they overturn this ridiculously racist law, I'm going to update my above playlist with some of my favorite songs of theirs. Unfortunately, doesn't have much from Trans-Continental Hustle. Enjoy anyway!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Vietnamese Acupuncturist Discovers Male Hymen!

An acupuncturist in Vietnam claims that red spots on a man's ear means he's a virgin. She used her amazing discovery to free three convicted rapists, including one who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for being involved in a gang rape of a 20-year-old. Isn't that crazy? A guy getting a 16-year prison sentence for rape? Sixteen months, if he were in America.

Stranger still, she threatened to light herself on fire if the rapists' cases weren't reopened. If I were the president of Vietnam, I'd have sent her some lighter fluid and matches and wished her a happy Independence Day. But the real president of Vietnam reopened the men's cases, and the men were subsequently freed.

I'm wondering why one acupuncturist has more power than the rule of law, or the women who were raped by these "virgins."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Take Action Monday on Tuesday

Last Monday, I played New York City tour guide to a family from Arizona. All I have to say is, Bill Maher was right.

Support clean energy legislation.

Tell BP to provide respirators to clean-up workers.

Tell BP to stop burning endangered sea turtles alive.

Help to repeal the ban on privately-funded abortion in the military.

Tell Congress to make ending violence against women a priority.

Protect whales from hunting.

Support full funding for public media.

Keep important reproductive decisions between patients and doctors, not legislators.

Pledge to be an advocate for immigrants.

Support healthcare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Random Thought About Natural Gas Exploration

I haven't updated in a while, but I have been thinking. In light of the BP oil disaster, I've been thinking about natural gas. Even though most people still support off-shore drilling, I think President Obama and the United States Congress is going to be advocating for more natural gas exploration. One of the benefits of natural gas is that it is plentiful in North America, amounting to over a trillion cubic feet in the United States alone (I can't even wrap my head around that number). Natural gas is cleaner than coal and oil.

(The rest of the information from this post comes from an episode of Dan Rather Reports called Fracking Gas)

However, there are problems with natural gas. It's a non-renewable fossil fuel, like oil and coal. Americans still need to demand cutting our dependence on fossil fuels, in favor of clean and renewable energy sources, even if there are a thousand years of natural gas available for our consumption (although it's probably more like a hundred years).

Natural gas also requires mining, either onshore or offshore, which destroys habitats. The process of extracting natural gas from the earth, called fracking, requires drilling thousands of feet into the land. The technique also uses a slurry of chemicals to break free the natural gas from underground shale rock. Some people who live near these fracking sites believe that their well water became contaminated. Here is one woman's testimony from the episode of Dan Rather Reports:

When I became so ill, the bone pain was very extreme in my legs and-- and then, as-- in my tailbone. And as the weeks went by, it-- it started to-- like it was crawling up my-- my spine. And eventually, you know, it went throughout the whole body. And things have progressed from there of-- of becoming more ill. The s-- the seizures that have come on, the-- the-- the migraines, the continual feeling is as if you have the flu, and . . .

This was after the natural gas company paid thousands of dollars to install a water filtration system in the woman's home, because their tap water was black. Other families who live near fracking sites have had similar health problems and cannot consume local well water because of its odor and color. More research needs to be done to determine if these problems were caused by natural gas fracking or something else before the United States government decides to tap into more of the country's natural gas reserves.

My last problem with natural gas, while not an inherent problem, I think needs to be improved before the United States approves more natural gas exploration: Split-Estate Law. The best way I can explain Split-Estate is to think of it as a compromise between the Homestead Act and Eminent Domain. In 1916, the Homestead Act gave acres upon acres of farmland to regular people, but the federal government still owned the mineral rights below the land. Eminent Domain is the federal government's right and responsibility to relocate people for a fair price, if doing so benefits the general public (e.g., creating public transportation). Split-Estate allows for the energy company and the owner of the surface land to negotiate a fair price to drill for oil, coal, or natural gas. So I guess there's not going to be any Beverly Hillbillies situation happening if the United States expands natural gas drilling. I fear that Split-Estate laws continues near energy monopolies, instead of creating local, small, independently-owned natural gas companies. I think Split-Estate laws should either be eliminated, giving below-surface land ownership to the surface landowners, or they should be changed to ensure that surface landowners are paid a ton of money for the natural gas extracted from the land.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shorter Kevin Hogan: Every Woman is Secretly Telling You that They Want to Fuck You, Even if It's Just a Little

via Feministing

I don't really expect anything more from a blog post brought to you by an Axe body spray product, but come on. Some site called talked to a body language expert named Kevin Hogan to help really inept men figure out what women are telling them, without all the work and frustration that goes into listening to them talk. According to Hogan, a woman can't stand or sit without inviting sexual advances from strange men.

"She's non-consciously drawing attention to her neck, which is a bit of an invitation," says Hogan. "That, combined with her very off-balance posture, could be interpreted that she likes you and trusts you."

Or maybe she's checking her pulse as she's listening to you go on and on about the sophisticated system you created to rank the Kardashian sisters (Really? Tits to Ass Ratio? You don't say!). But let's not take her word for it. Nick Hogan is here to relieve you of the burden of wondering why you stand like that. Such thoughts used to consume me. Please, tell me more.

"She is prepared to be obedient," he says. "Her hands are keeping her posture straight and completely open and her neck is completely exposed. That's as open an invitation as she can give you."

You know, without her actually telling you with words. But if you thought she'd fuck you now, wait until you see her sit like this . . .

This laid-back stance signifies that this woman is "aggressively flirting with you," our expert tells us. "She shows you her body, but blocks it with her right arm offering you a small hurdle to get past to get the prize."

I was sitting very much like this on a rock ledge not long ago, eating a frozen yogurt parfait and watching a bluegrass band performing outside of the fair trade tea salon and market. That's why all those hippies followed me home! Oh, wait. That didn't happen.

But this is my favorite. Lest you think that all hope is lost when you make her recoil in horror, consider this.

Either you just said something offensive or your breath is bad. This is obvious because the woman has leaned away from you in addition to crossing her arms. Luckily, "Her feet are still pointed toward you, forgiving your boorish behavior," says Hogan.

Gee, what could he be saying here? "Do you like 3Oh!3? They're my favorite band!" "Yeah, I pretty much watch everything on G4, except Ninja Warrior. That show blows." "You like how I smell? It's Axe shower gel. I can write more poems like that if you want."

For all the confidence and advice that men's websites and blogs are supposed to give guys, they're really just making things more complicated (and making a lot of guys infinitely creepier and more likely to think nonconsensual sex is just fine). If you're looking for a friend or a girlfriend, just start talking to them. See where the conversation goes. It'll only take a few minutes of actual conversation for you to figure out if this person is someone you want to spend more than a few minutes with. Instead of looking at where her hand is or how much of her weight is distributed to her right side or in which direction her left big toe is pointing, LISTEN TO WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Take Action Monday

I was going to post these petitions earlier, but I saw El Secreto de sus Ojos (The Secret in their Eyes), the Argentinean film that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film a few months back. There were a surprising number of senior citizens there. The movie is amazing, and knowing that a bunch of old people ditched their stupid families to go see it made it even sweeter.

Support Secretary Salazar's plan for increasing renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

Preserve the International Affairs Budget.

Tell FOX to fire racist contributor John Stossel.

Support Alan Grayson's (D-FL) The War is Making You Poor Act.

Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Reject the Texas Textbook Massacre.

Strip BP of all federal contracts.

Who to Honor Today

Today is Memorial Day, a day that since the Civil War, has been observed to honor the soldiers who died during war time. Soldiers haven't died fighting to preserve America's young democracy in a long time, probably not since the Civil War, oddly enough. Since then, Americans have fought in other people's wars to protect other people, and we tell ourselves that they're fighting for us, because that protects our psyche. Whether you agree with the reasons for going to war or not, these soldiers are still dead. It is important for Americans to honor the memories of the tens of thousands of soldiers who have died protecting people we care deeply about, even if it's just each other.

Today is also the one year anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, one of the only late-term abortion providers in the country, by anti-choice terrorist and convicted murderer Scott Roeder. Women from across the country with pregnancies that threatened their lives and health and that of their fetuses received care from Dr. Tiller and the other personnel at his clinic in Kansas. He helped them relieve some of the suffering in a very difficult and sad part of their lives. Please honor him on this day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Funny & Fucked Up

The Funny

After Bill O'Reilly tells Columbia University professor Dr. Marc Lamont Hill that he looks like a cocaine dealer, Dr. Hill responds: "You look like a cocaine user."

A couple of feminist blogs have talked about a new right-wing website called America Speaking Out. Conservatives post their ideas to improve America, and visitors to the site vote for the ideas. It appears that several funny liberals have taken the site over and posted some jokes.

The Fucked Up

A radio station in Columbus, Ohio had a contest in which the "winner" gets a trip to Phoenix, Arizona to "chase aliens." You can encourage them to apologize here.

An elementary school teacher in Norfolk, Virginia gave four-inch plastic fetus dolls to their students, along with anti-choice messages.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No, Walter, You Did Women a Favor

It's pretty clear that to fill in for Rush Limbaugh, you have to be more utterly insane and just plain stupider than he is. That way, all of us liberal cry babies can be thankful when he comes back to just sprinkle discriminatory language throughout his broadcasts instead of slabbing it on pretty thickly like this fool. I'm honestly surprised when people say such ridiculousness. I don't care to research this guy's credentials, but people who host radio shows tend to be formally educated with college degrees and life experience. And then I remember that right-wing nut jobs on the radio aren't stupid. They just know that their audience is stupid and play on that. Right wing nut jobs on the radio don't care about delivering news, insight, or analysis. Their purpose in life is to make idiots feel smart (and vote). In the above clip, Walter E. Williams compares systemic discrimination to seeking a potential spouse.

Back in 1960, when I was choosing a marriage partner, I systematically discriminated against White women. I didn't give Asian women an equal chance to marry me. I didn't give women with criminal records or women that did not bathe regularly. I did not give them an equal opportunity to marry me. Now you might be saying, "That type of discrimination doesn't hurt anybody." Well, if you said that, I would be insulted, because when I chose to marry my wife, I harmed other women. I reduced their opportunity set. So I did harm other people.

If your point of view only works with an analogy that proves you're an arrogant asshole, then you have no point. You see, Mr. Williams getting off the market in 1960 didn't harm anyone (except maybe his wife). It didn't reduce other women's pool of possible husbands. With Mr. Williams out of the way, straight women were more likely to find a husband that, you know, didn't believe in controlling them and making their kids work instead of go to school. Seriously, he said all that nonsense in the same show.

Now do us another solid and stop talking.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Take Action Monday

Tell Massey shareholders to fire CEO Don Blankenship.

Speak out against outsourcing.

Stop subsidies for dirty energy.

Make climate legislation a top priority.

Keep suspected terrorists from buying firearms.

Tell Facebook that you want to keep your personal information private.

Ban new offshore drilling.

Urge Congress to fix Medicare.

Monday, May 10, 2010

So Not Funny, Family Guy!

I never watch Family Guy, because I think it's stupid and unfunny. When I found out that Quagmire's dad was going to come out as transgender, I figured I'd boycott the episode. But I decided that I'd rather watch it and become offended. As a cis woman who will never have to endure the harassment, assault, murder, and everything in between that trans women suffer every day, it was the least I could do.

So after a handful of gay jokes, Quagmire's dad comes out as "a woman trapped in a man's body" and decides to have a sex change operation. When Quagmire goes to Peter and Lois for comfort, they can't seem to tell the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. After some banter, Lois concludes that they should all agree that Quagmire's dad is "odd." While at the hospital with Quagmire, Peter calls Quagmire's dad "it" and a "he/she." After Quagmire's dad, now Ida, reveals the results of the operation, Peter gives her the thumbs-up. Trans women don't need cis men's approval to make sure that they're sufficiently womanly, even in a cartoon. Later, Ida is invited to dinner at the Griffin's where transmisogynist jokes and comments are hurled both at Ida and daughter Meg. After the dinner, Ida and Quagmire get into an argument, so Ida goes to a bar for some drinks. She meets the Griffins' dog, Brian, and they end up having sex. You know, because trans women are into beastiality. Brian tells the Griffins that he's met a wonderful woman, and everyone thinks it's hilarious when they find out Brian's love interest is Ida. Stewie is the last person Brian tells about his wonderful new lady friend, and Stewie tells Brian about Quagmire's dad. They have a good laugh about it, calling her an "it" several times, questioning the validity of trans women's relationships, and defining her private parts as "a train wreck." When Brian finds out that he had sex with Ida, Quagmire's father, he vomits for like 30 seconds.

This list of transmisogynist "jokes" is by no means exhaustive. That was just from memory. There were probably a lot more hateful jokes in there. But don't take my word for it! Watch the whole episode!

Pretty much every transmisogyinst stereotype was incorporated in this episode. Except for Ida becoming a prostitute. How did Seth MacFarlane miss that one? Now, many people will tell me, "It's Family Guy! What do you expect?" "They offend everyone eventually!" "It's called being edgy! Get a sense of humor!" If Family Guy was that edgy, they would have made a pro-trans episode. Hell, they didn't even use the words "trans," "transgender," or "trans woman" in the entire episode. Instead, they rolled out all the anti-trans woman stereotypes and put them in one episode. These jokes are offensive and contribute to the death of trans women. When someone calls a trans woman a "he/she" or an "it" or question the legitimacy of her body parts and romantic relationships, they are dehumanizing trans women, and that is tantamount to advocating for their demise.

Yeah, so not funny, Family Guy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Take Action Monday on Tuesday

End racial profiling in Arizona.

Make trucking companies for new clean-air trucks. They're currently making their workers pay for them.

Tell the National Auto Dealers Association that you want cleaner cars.

Take all weapons inscribed with Bible verses out of combat zones.

Support immigration reform that does good by the mentally ill and disabled.

Close the gun show loophole.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Know Rape Apology When I Read It. Rape Apologists Don't

My absence has been long, but I know somebody has lurked here in the meantime (more on that later). Unfortunately, my grand return isn't going to be one of those funny posts that I usually do. The frequency of my funny entries is entirely subjective, but I assure you, this is one of the posts that better fits my recently created subheading.

Nobody asked, but one of my biggest pet peeves is rape apology. If that's not liberal elite enough for you, perhaps you'd rather drop the term "rape apologia" at a party. For those who don't know, rape apology is speech that takes the side of the perpetrator in spite of the victim in rape cases. In essence, the rape apologist is apologizing, or explaining away, the especially heinous crime of rape (seriously, who doesn't watch Law & Order: SVU?). It is damaging to all women, not just victims of rape, but survivors who are subjected to this vitriol can really be hurt by this.

It all started with this post at Her Authority, a blog I highly recommend, written by ProChoiceGal. Actually, it started with this post at some other blog that I don't really care about. On Twitter, the author of the blog that I don't really care about tweeted a link about the 11-year-old pregnant Mexican girl who was raped, allegedly by her stepfather. The title of the article was 11-Year-Old 'Rape' Victim Wants to Keep Baby (stay classy, FOX News). Even novice feminists see the problem with putting the word rape in quotation marks; it totally delegitimizes what happened to this girl. ProChoiceGirl replied, asking what's up with the quotes around the word rape. The author of the blog that I don't really care about doesn't see the problem and took it upon herself to write an entire post lambasting ProChoiceGal about the fact that she did not report her rapist to the police. Here's only the second most offensive part of the post:

@ProChoiceGal wrote an entire blog post on “Anti-Choicers and Rape Apologists[my side note: please read it!]. But I think she overlooked the real rape apologist, herself. She is so engulfed in her role as the victim; she totally ignores the bastard that raped her. Is he in jail? If not, why the hell not?

Calling a rape survivor a rape apologist for not reporting the rape? This person considers herself to be pro-life, by the way, and proves that women can be just as sexist as men. I agree with ProChoiceGal when she says that this is how anti-choicers react to pro-choicers who call out bullshit. They get scared and refuse to think about how their words are perceived by others. Speaking of which, I called that rape apologist a Grade-A 100% piece of dog shit. I thought long and hard in crafting that insult, and I'm pretty proud of it. After ProcChoiceGal explained why she didn't report the rape, the rape apologist said this, and it really set me off:

How many other young women has this guy raped because he wasn’t put in jail? For generations, perverts have been allowed to attack their victims, and NOTHING is done to them. They get away with it, and do it again, and again. This is what has to change.

I don't have to explain why this logic is problematic and pure rape apology, right?*But that's exactly what the author of that gem wanted me to do, in 140 characters or less, at that! So, the rape apologist came to my neglected blog to check out my Twitter feed in order to talk about me.

@Justsnapd8 #uncovertheculprit UN @funnyfeminist aka FEMily posted the comment Apology expected! #prochoice #prolife

Since when do I belong to the UN? I don't have my own country, yet.

@Justsnapd8 @FunnyFeminist Why would you call someone you don't know, an asshole, and a piece of dog shit? Did I do something to u? #prolife #prochoice

Not just to me, to all of womankind. I didn't say why, because I think metacognition is important. Doing her thinking for her just rewards laziness. I told her to read the comment she left for ProChoiceGal over and over until it clicked in her mind that she was indeed engaging in rape apology. She came back to me five minutes later, totally not getting it. I told her to spend more than five minutes thinking about it. I checked my feed every few minutes to see what she had to say, and was impressed that nearly an entire half hour passed without a response. After all that waiting, she said:

@Justsnapd8 @FunnyFeminist I refuse to let a person w/ little or no real life experience, attempt to belittle me this way. Goodbye Emily

I think it's funny that she believes 25 years, 7 months, and 7 days isn't enough life experience to engage in a serious conversation, but she'll fight to the death for the pretend rights of zygotes, who are -9.5 months old, no matter how much it belittles the human rights of women. Maybe her affinity with zygotes is due to the fact that they never talk back, unlike those bitchy educated Latinas.

I told that poor woman that her hostility toward metacognition will ultimately be her downfall. And I didn't say that just to sound highfalutin. I did it because I'm genuinely concerned about people who refuse to think about their thinking. That's exactly how rape apologia, and other types of hate speech, spread unchecked. So when you're called out on your bullshit, just check it. It's really eye-opening and makes you a better person.

*In case I do have to explain it, this kind of logic is rape apologia, because it makes the victim, rather than the rapist, responsible for other women's suffering. It is thinly veiled in the common sexist belief that women are the morally superior sex, and is therefore responsible for the well-being of every person in the entire world, a burden that nobody else is expected to carry. This belief, possibly in a contradictory way, has been used to argue against suffrage, abortion rights, education equity, and basically every other civil rights fight that women have been engaging in since the beginning of time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mothers Get a Day. "Abortion Recovery" Gets a Month

For the second year in a row, Minnesota's Republican governor Tim Pawlenty declared April "Abortion Recovery Month." You know, because we feeble-minded ladies need a month to recover from having an abortion. Hey, does that mean women can take that month off of work if they say they had an abortion? Because that would almost be worth being belittled by this ridiculous proclamation. Probably not, though, since Minnesota doesn't even have paid maternity leave.

I'm a bit peeved by this declaration, perhaps for different reasons than you think. Unless you checked out the title of this post. Declaring "Abortion Recovery Month" not only exaggerates the mental and physical affects of having an abortion to the point of totally silencing the women who made the decision to have an abortion with a clear conscious and without regret, it belittles the job of moms. This is very much like the anti-choice movement and the Republican Party in general, as neither group does anything to make it easier and more enjoyable to be a mom (or a kid, for that matter). In fact, they work pretty damn hard to make the lives of women and children suckier.

I just think that moms are at least as nice people as women who have regretted their abortions. So why should the latter get a whole month, while the former only get a day? I guess it's because conservatives don't like mothers and children as much as they like micromanaging what goes in and comes out of every woman's vagina.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Take Action Monday

Make Sarah Palin's dream come true -- tell media conglomerate Discovery Communications to pull her special. Democracy will thank you.

Corn's for eatin', not for burnin'. Say no to more ethanol subsidies.

Help Katrina survivors rebuild.

Tell the EPA to take toxic chemicals off the market.

Thank Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for his commitment to upholding the Constitution.

Juiz Baize, Constance McMillen, and every LGBTQ student deserve equal access to education. Support the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

Demand that Congress sign the Protecting America's Workers Act.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Last Person in the World Who Should Be Telling You When It's OK to Get Preggers, Tells You When It's OK to Get Preggers (& Doesn't Get It Right)

That might have just been the longest title in AFF history! Anywho, Bristol Palin, who is a spokeswoman for a keep-your-legs-closed organization called the Candie's Foundation has a new public service announcement for all you slutty little girls out there: Don't fuck, unless you're rich like moi.

What if I didn't come from a famous family? What if I didn't have all their support? What if I didn't have all these opportunities?

Um, you'll be alone with your bundle of joy, wearing a white t-shirt and boyfriend jeans, standing in front of a couch in your tiny studio apartment?

Omigod, I was totally right!

The problem with this ad is that it is totally classist. Bristol Palin is essentially saying that it's okay that she was sexually active, got pregnant, and became a parent because she comes from a rich and famous family with lots of connections. But because you don't have these things, you should do what the Candie's Foundation says and keep your legs closed. I'm actually surprised that this organization even has Bristol Palin as a spokesperson. Nothing says "be skeptical of the media's portrayal of teen pregnancy and parenting" like getting $100,000 for posing on magazine covers and $300,000 for selling your baby pictures to the tabloids.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Take Action Monday

I didn't post any petitions last week, because I don't like having two TAM posts in a row. It's a reminder of how badly I'm neglecting my blogging duties.

Urge textbook manufacturers to reject the Texas Textbook Massacre.

Save endangered Mexican Gray Wolves.

End the occupation of Iraq.

Tell President Obama and AG Holder to stop defending warrant-less wiretapping.

Demand that Bank of America CEO publish his tax returns.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Take Action Monday on Tuesday

So healthcare reform finally passed. I wouldn't call it a good or a bad bill. If I assigned a student an essay on how to reform the healthcare system and they gave me the major reforms in this bill, I would give them an Incomplete or Needs Improvement. We are not done, but we do not need to start over. We need to add more protections. We need to make sure that Medicaid and Medicare recipients aren't denied care because doctors don't get reimbursed enough. We need to make sure that people aren't denied treatment because it's experimental. The Representatives should be thanked for passing this legislation, but we must demand that they fight for more reform.

Say no to Jewish settlements in Palestine.

Urge Republican leadership to condemn the bigotry in their supporters.

Tell the Democratic Party to stop supporting anti-choice Democrats' campaigns.

Support the Fair Elections Now Act.

End the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Thought About Fashion

I don't blog too much about fashion, but I talk about it a lot. I love clothes, particularly how they bring out the best in each of our beautiful bodies. But when the feminists on the mainstream feminist blogs talk about fashion, it's always in a negative light. It's often a deep and academic analysis of why women wear what they wear, and, unsurprisingly, it's often a screed rife with cissexist and heterosexist assumptions. You know how it is, the whole bit about how we're all really femme because we're taught that this is the only way we can be attractive to men. And then there's a lot of self-congratulation when women proudly proclaim that this is all why they only shop in the men's section. Or it's a rant about the failures of the fashion industry, which are well-deserved, but it gets old when it's the only fashion entries on a feminist blog. Yes, models are unhealthily thin. We know. Thanks for sharing that with us for the third time this week.

There's a reason I put a slew of links to sites that sell fair trade and eco-friendly clothing: What we wear makes a statement about ourselves, and there are fashionable clothes that reflect our values. For all the feminist talk about how we should be judged by our brains and not our looks, we often forget that our choice in clothes comes as much from our brains as our poetry or our paintings or our math homework. I recently told my two best buds that I prefer compliments about my clothes and shoes than about my face, because I put a lot of thought into putting together the outfits that I put on my body. I was born with the face.

And for all of the talk about how we should love our bodies and how everyone is beautiful, I think the hostility toward fashion by the feminist community comes from an inaccurate body image. I think a lot of feminists talk about how they used to have a poor body image and now see themselves as beautiful no matter what their body looks like. But they don't say if that body image is accurate. Sure, a cis woman can shop in the men's section and believe that she's making some grand stand against gendered clothing. But I also think this is an outright denial of the shape of their bodies. And because I believe having an accurate body image and knowing the landscape of your body inside and out is imperative to having a positive body image, I'm not sure a lot of women who claim to have a positive body image really do. They may love their bodies, but they don't know them. And they don't know the bodies of other women. They don't see women's bodies, in the way some people don't see race, to protect themselves from feeling like they've objectified someone. But maybe if they'd know the uniqueness of their body and of other women's bodies, they'd see fashion as an individual statement that projects to the world all the things we love about ourselves, inside and out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kotex & Breaking the Cycle

Kotex has a pretty hilarious campaign geared toward young women that tries to break stereotypes about periods that are prevalent throughout conventional ads for menstrual products. The site, U by Kotex, could be better. But the part I really like is a declaration that young women can sign to love their bodies and talk honestly about their periods without embarrassment. One of their commercials shows a woman talking about her period and kind of making fun of all of the menstrual product commercials that are out there.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Take Action Monday

It's International Women's Day! Take the time this day to recognize the wonderful women around the world who work hard and still get shit on.

Urge your Senators to co-sponsor the GROWTH Act.

Encourage Congress to support the International Violence Against Women Act.

Tell Congress to pass real health reform now.

Close concentration camps in North Korea.

Tell the Washington Post to stop promoting torture on their editorial page.

Keep the Toyota plant in Fremont California open.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sarah Palin Tries to be Funny, Fails.

The ever evolving Sarah Palin chased the limelight to the set of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to add "crappy stand-up comic" to her resume. But some jokes are a little hard for Sarah Palin to understand, like this one I asked her during an interview before the 2008 election (just play along, people):

Me: Knock, knock.
Sarah Palin: Who's there?
Me: Vice President.
Sarah Palin: Vice President who? Seriously, what's a Vice President?

Then she tried to get me back for making her look like a fool. It totally backfired.

Sarah Palin: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's there?
Sarah Palin: Newspaper.
Me: Which one?
Sarah Palin: . . . Shit!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Castle Doctrine vs. Body Temple

Late last year, I learned about Castle Doctrine laws on an episode of Dan Rather Reports. Coming from the saying "A man's home is his castle," Castle Doctrine laws give people the right to use deadly force against trespassers. Needless to say, these laws are quite controversial. Even the former president of the National Rifle Association, Marion Hammer, who started the Castle Doctrine effort in the state of Florida, believes that the law might go too far in some cases. According to the NRA, there are 24 states with Castle Doctrine Laws (as of February 2010). Many of the states with these laws are conservative states that really love their guns, and it seems to be seen as more of a gun rights issue than a property, privacy, or human rights issue (I believe it's a bit of all of these).

I'm with Marion Hammer on the Castle Doctrine laws, in that using deadly force should be legal when protecting one's life and body, but not to protect one's property. There are gray areas in such situations, like when someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night; you don't know if someone is there to hurt you or steal your stuff, and no one wants to take any chances there. But the Castle Doctrine laws got me thinking about abortion laws, which I will call Body Temple laws, from the saying "My body is a temple." Like I said before, a lot of the states that have Castle Doctrine laws are red states, and I was curious to find out about their abortion legislation. So I headed over to NARAL's site to check it out.

Texas: Gets an F from NARAL for requiring biased counseling and parental consent laws. Their Castle Doctrine law doesn't specifically mention property, but deadly force can be used against a trespasser without the owner's life being threatened.

Alabama: Also gets an F from NARAL for the same reasons Texas does. Alabama also has an unconstitutional ban on abortion that cannot be enforced. Their Castle Doctrine law has been changed to scrap a "duty to retreat" measure, meaning the person doesn't have to try to get away before using deadly force. It is assumed that the person's life and body are in danger if someone intrudes their home, workplace, vehicle, or anywhere else they have a right to be.

Florida: Gets a D from NARAL for having an unconstitutional ban on abortion, biased pre-abortion counseling, and parental consent laws. Furthermore, a Florida legislator was "led by the Lord" to file a bill that would make abortion a felony punishable by a life sentence in prison. Florida's Castle Doctrine law is quite strong. Victims of intrusion on one's property are given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to using deadly force against trespassers, meaning the law assumes that every intruder on a person's property is there to cause bodily harm or death. There is no duty to retreat, and the person who uses deadly force against an intruder cannot be prosecuted.

Idaho: Another F from NARAL for having the same restrictions on abortion as Alabama. Additionally, Idaho prohibits private health insurance companies from covering abortion. I think they should get an F- for that one. Their Castle Doctrine law allows the use of deadly force to defend one's body and life.

Nebraska: Also gets an F from NARAL for parental consent laws, health insurance restrictions, and refusal to provide reproductive health services. Their Castle Doctrine law is being held up in committee, but if passed, it would allow the use of firearms and deadly force against intruders to protect oneself and others.

South Dakota: Not surprisingly at all, South Dakota gets an F from NARAL for having probably every anti-abortion measure on the books. South Dakota also tried twice, unsuccessfully, to ban abortion in almost all cases. State Senator Bill Napoli went so far as to redefine rape to take into consideration the woman's sexual history, religion, and in which body part she was penetrated. The same Mike Rounds who signed the eventually overturned abortion bans signed into law Castle Doctrine legislation that permits people to use deadly force against someone to protect their property from theft and injury. Property injury? Didn't think there was such a thing.

I think you get the point I'm making here. I'm not about to go through all 24 states Castle Doctrine and Body Temple laws here, but you certainly can check them all out. You might even want to perform a statistical analysis to see the correlation. But it seems pretty clear to me that there are a lot of states that allow you to kill someone for trespassing on your property or when you believe your bodily integrity, life, or even the prettiness of your property is at stake. In some states, people are trusted that they were truly in danger when they kill an intruder. They are given immunity and don't have to prove that they were in danger. In essence, they can get away with murder as long as they say the trespasser was trying to hurt them, as long as there's no compelling evidence disputing that claim. They don't even have to run away, or try everything they can to avoid getting hurt, before using deadly force. They are given the benefit of the doubt, because these laws place petty thieves on the same level as cold-blooded murderers.

So why does a woman have to go through a counseling session or "think about it" for 24 hours before having an abortion? Why are there so many restrictions on a woman using -- and I'll use some inflated anti-choice rhetoric here to make my point -- deadly force against an embryo or fetus who is using her body without her permission? If a young woman in South Dakota can kill a trespasser who's on her property to spray paint "Murdering whore" on her car, why does that same young woman have to get permission from her parents or receive biased counseling or wait 24 hours before having an abortion, to get rid of an embryo that's using her body against her will? Why aren't these women given that same benefit of the doubt, that they seriously considered all other options before making the final decision to have an abortion? Seems like property has more rights in some parts of the country than women, and it's extremely disturbing.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Take Action Monday on Tuesday

I have a post idea in the works, so I should be less lazy about updating this thing this week.

Tell Senators Kyl and Bunning to extend unemployment benefits.

Support antitrust laws for health insurance companies.

Urge the EPA to protect farmers and their children from pesticides.

Yes, it's a short one today.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Take Action Monday

President Obama's healthcare proposal doesn't have a public option! Tell Congress that you support the public health insurance option, even if it'll only take 51 Democratic Senators to pass it.

Support the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

Urge President Obama to prevent Shell from drilling for oil offshore.

Prosecute Dick Cheney for supporting torture.

Help veterans re-enter the job market.

Stop the destruction of our natural forests.

Speak out against racial profiling.

Tell Sarah Palin to get her facts straight.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Some CPAC Funny

CPAC, the Conservative Political Action -- [looks at hand] Convention -- strike that -- Conference, is taking place this week in Washington, D.C. I think it's a week. I normally wouldn't care about these things, but there are a couple of funny videos from the event. First is some guy who decries the presence of a conservative gay organization at the convention. A conservative gay organization? Outside of the Catholic church? You're kidding me! He rationalizes his outrage by saying that civil rights are rooted in natural rights and natural rights are rooted in nature and nature is Wee-Wees + Foo-Foos = Baby. During his rant, something pretty amazing happens

He gets booed! Maybe it's because the crowd respects conservatives of the gay variety. Maybe it's because the absence of tie around his neck automatically makes him Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's BFF. But then this guy launches probably the best insult in history:

The lesbians at Smith protest better than you do!

That's probably because lesbians have always had plenty to protest about, even in super-duper gay Northampton (Hey, Diana & Tori!). Conservatives discovered protesting when Glenn Beck told them to discover it.

Next, Rachel Maddow attended CPAC, mostly to laugh at people. I really have nothing to add here. It's just plain funny.

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