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.