Monday, January 31, 2011

So Not Funny, Saturday Night Live!

I could stop with just that title and follow with a randomly selected clip, since Saturday Night Live hasn't been funny in about 15 years. But not only is this skit not funny, it's downright offensive. It's a mock commercial for hormone replacement therapy aimed at M to F transgender people. It shows several of the male cast members in varying stages of transition. The punch line is basically, "Get it? Trans women! Ha-ha!" I guess cissexist knuckle draggers find this hilarious, but mocking the experience of trans women is not a joke. Looks like NBC might have new ownership, but it has the same tired transphobic stereotypes that pretty much every other comedy has.

GLAAD has a petition that you can sign, demanding that NBC apologize for this disgusting sketch and remove it from future airings.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog for Choice: Am I Concerned About Choice in 2011?

Despite my home state electing a governor who didn't quite campaign on defunding Planned Parenthood (although, I knew that just from looking at his campaign website for 3 seconds), but did exactly that like on Day One, I think we New Jerseyans can fist-pump our way out of this. Having a pro-choice legislature really helps, and they are currently working their damnedest to override Chris Christie's veto of funding women's healthcare. I think New Jersey realizes that defunding Planned Parenthood doesn't do anything but drastically reduce the capacity with which healthcare professionals can serve jobless, impoverished, and working poor women. That's because only 3 Planned Parenthoods out of 29 in New Jersey actually provide abortion services in their facilities (which didn't stop conservative websites from proclaiming "Chris Christie closes abortion clinics!" Really, just Google "Chris Christie defunding Planned Parenthood"). The rest provide preventative care. Defunding them defunds thousands of women's only access to affordable treatment. Pro-life indeed.

To answer the question posed by NARAL Pro-Choice America on this 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, yes, I am concerned about choice in 2011, because attacking reproductive freedom goes FAR beyond controlling women's reproductive capacities. It also controls where poor women get their primary healthcare. It is unfathomable that a so-called pro-life governor (one with "Christ" in both his first and last name, at that!), legislature, or constituency would sacrifice the basic healthcare of thousands of women to not even prevent a single abortion. Then again, misogyny tends to cloud judgment, so it's not all that unbelievable.

Another extremely deadly consequence of restricting abortion access is evidenced in the recent indictment of "Doctor" Gosnell, who performed countless illegal late-term abortions on mostly poor immigrant women in a filthy clinic. And when I say "illegal," I mean pretty much every thing that took place in his facility was illegal. Consider this.

1. Mr. Gosnell isn't an OB/GYN, so he should not have been performing any abortions at all.

3. Mr. Gosnell induced birth of live infants and split their spinal cords with scissors, which is no more an abortion than if someone did that to me.

4. Like I said before, his clinic was unsanitary, with cat urine, body parts, and dirty medical tools scattered all over the place.

Basically, Mr. Gosnell performs back alley abortions, the kind that caused the deaths and serious injuries of countless women in pre-Roe days. And as you saw in my last post, people can't set aside their woman-hate for a second to consider that maybe women dying isn't a good thing. In fact, some were downright gleeful. The deaths of the woman and infants that Mr. Gosnell have been charged with (and any others we don't know about) make me wonder if this would have been allowed in a society that a) respected poor women, b) respected immigrants, and c) respected pregnant women, and trusted the decisions of such women to the point where the only restriction to a woman's access to a late-term abortion was her own judgment. Instead, we live in a society that restricts abortion based on socioeconomic status and gestation of the fetus, even if the woman's health is at risk or if the fetus is dead inside of her. Certainly, the women's health was at risk the second they entered Mr. Gosnell's clinic. Perhaps if they had somewhere else to go, they would have. There's a reason pro-choicers want abortion to be safe and legal. Again, I'm concerned about choice in 2011, since if anti-choicers have their way, we'll have over a million women seeking abortions from greedy predators like Gosnell.

WTF: Anti-Choice Deraliers

I usually read the comments on abortion blog posts in safe places, like those that mostly pro-choicers frequent, to spare myself from the idiotic anti-woman rhetoric espoused by anti-choicers. But there are just some really strange reactions to really no-brainer situations, such as the recent indictment of an illegal late-term abortion provider in Pennsylvania. The reports about the incident are horrific (I'll talk more about it tomorrow in my Blog for Choice post). In short, the "doctor" performed illegal late-term abortions on mostly poor immigrant women. He is charged with 7 murders of babies that he delivered alive and then severed their spinal cords with scissors, and one murder of a woman who overdosed on painkillers while waiting to have an abortion. I read some of the comments left in this Care2 post about it, and they just blew my mind.

The people that went to the clinic for late term abortions agreeing to have this done should be charged with murder. If you are six, seven or eight months along and change your mind about having a baby, you need to stick it out and give the baby up for adoption. Killing it to avoid the inconvenience of carrying it for another month or two should not be an option. The women that died doing this deserved it.

Pro-life, indeed! Isn't it great when a poor pregnant immigrant woman who is probably uneducated and doesn't speak English gets painkillers shoved down her throat to the point where she dies? That'll show that whore! I'm sure glad that my mother didn't abort me, or else I'd never be able to pass judgment on women so desperate to end their pregnancies that they'd get a back alley abortion. It's the best part of living.

Late term abortion is murder. Period. I am very liberal but i have absolutely NO pity for a woman who would allow her infant to be slaughtered. Infanticide should never ever ever be legal and i think the women who died getting an abortion at 8 months deserved what they got. There is ALWAYS another option. And even if they felt there wasn't, what's to stop them having an abortion at 8 wks or 12 wks before their child IS A VIABLE INFANT WHO HAS MORE OF A RIGHT TO LIVE than its mother.

Did you know that? Did you know that viable fetuses have more of a right to live than the pregnant women they're inside of? I didn't know that, but someone on the Internet screamed it at me in ALL CAPS, so it must be true. Yes, the only thing this person is "very liberal" with is their use of misogynistic rhetoric.

To save the mother's life a late term abortion I can understand, I don't understand waiting up to the very end to decide on abortion if the women is not at risk. One would imagine this guy could make more money being a baby broker for parents wanting to adopt a black market baby, and split the cost with the birth mother.

What? What??? Seriously, this lady has to be fucking shitting me. Who reacts to a story about women and infants dying from an unlicensed abortion provider performing illegal abortions, that aren't even performed by licensed providers, with such nonsense? What this person is basically saying, without realizing it because she's too busy demonizing pregnant poor women of color, is that these babies could have been even more money in the bank for a sex trafficker or slave trader, and everyone would be better off that way. Financially speaking. And she would understand that better than poor women seeking later-term abortions in a country where they're illegal. Seriously. What the fuck. Selling babies to pedophiles -- good. Late-term abortions -- very, very bad, according to this lady.

I shouldn't say that only anti-choicers totally derailed that conversation. The vast majority of the comments I saw didn't mention the "doctor" that was indicted and used the comments section as a forum to debate whether or not abortion is a moral choice, the personhood of fetuses, and the reasonableness of late-term abortion. Of course, the proper reaction would have been to hope for justice for the women and babies who were allegedly murdered by this guy, no matter what your stance on abortion. But anti-choicers simply cannot get past their deeply held hatred of women to even respond appropriately to these murders. Their first instinct when they see an article about women dying from an illegal abortion is to blame the women first.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Anonymous Misogynist Strikes Again!

With each passing day, it becomes funnier and funnier when somebody tries to post a comment on the old blog, since no one has updated it in more than two years. This guy, who, in all fairness, identified himself as Ralph and did not remain anonymous, really wants to let me know that it just pains him to be a sexist douche, but he just can't help it.

Well I love my girlfriend and I WANT to treat women as equals, but nature built us different.

Translation: It's not MY fault that I'm a sexist douche. I'm just built that way. Blame MOTHER nature. SHE made me this way.

Women are good at somethings, and men at some things. End of the day a man is just built stronger and better at engineering/math/innovation, women better at history and literature and innovation always pays more.

And stereotypes about abilities based in gender have nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with what the jobs that require those abilities pay. Nothing at all. It's just a coincidence that men are believed to be better at innovation in math and engineering and those careers pay more than innovation in fields that women dominate. Big coincidence.

So you could say, women are getting as much as they are capable off. Their limitations created these issues in the first place.

Is this guy deliberately misspelling things to prove his point that men such at expressing language? And did he just blame his sexism on mother nature while blaming women for "their limitations" that are supposedly gifts from mother nature? Yes, and yes.

They're better at emotions than men though.

What does this mean? Seriously, what does it mean to be "better at emotions?" Emotions are things that everyone has, and they are automatic responses. It's not something someone is good or bad at, or is that the point he's making.

I'm an engineer myself, the few women engineers there are in my workplace, are really not upto the mark. Sometimes even when they work 4 times as hard as a male, their output quality is much lower.

Four times? And this is quantifiable how? And this guy, being the Grand Hucken Muckus of All Engineers, can make such judgments. Because he's a big smart man. Asshole.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Michelle Malkin Warns of Retaliation by Bow and Arrow Wielding Liberals

This morning in Tucson, Arizona, Democratic United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head from point blank range at an outdoor town hall type of event in her district. Early reports stated that she was murdered, but thankfully, she is recovering from emergency surgery. However, Federal Judge John Roll, a 9-year-old girl, and 4 other people were shot to death (click here for news results). Representative Giffords was one of 20 Congresspeople targeted with crosshairs on this infamous map from SarahPAC, Sarah Palin's political action committee, in response to their votes to support healthcare reform.

A day or two after Ms. Palin posted that image on her Facebook page, Rep. Giffords' office was vandalized. She talked about the crosshairs placed on her district in light of the vandalism:

We really need to realize, the rhetoric and firing people up, and even things, for example, we're on Sarah Palin's 'targeted list.' But the thing is, the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action.

It's really a sad day for Tucson, Arizona, and the United States. In attempt to make us all laugh in light of this tragedy, right wing media darling Michelle Malkin tried to point the finger at liberals for being equally violent, or at least violent-minded. Her first example: Comments made by a regular person who blogs on Daily Kos. She posted a screen shot of a post entitled My CongressWOMAN Voted Against Nancy Pelosi! And is Now DEAD to Me!, which is a rant against the Congresswoman by someone who raised money and donated to her campaign and was disappointed by her decision not to vote for Pelosi for Minority Leader. That user has since deleted the post and stated the following:

i now am FULL of guilt after writing this diary.

I kind of feel bad that this person feels guilty about what they said, especially when this person isn't and never was an elected official, prevalent voice in any national political movement, or potential presidential candidate. But even they can own up to something unsavory that they said about a Congresswoman. Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas used the term "bulls eye" in the following quote in a post he authored over 2 years ago about FISA (and as we know, nobody vandalized Rep. Giffords' office -- or anyone else's -- within 48 hours -- or 30 months -- of that vote):

Not all of these people will get or even deserve primaries, but this vote certainly puts a bulls eye on their district. If we can field enough serious challengers, and if we repeat the Donna Edwards and Joe Lieberman stories a few more times, well then, our elected officials might have no choice but to be more responsive. Because if we show them that their AT&T lobbyist buddies can't save their jobs, they'll pay more attention to those who can.

Any reasonable individual reading this quote wouldn't seriously believe that Mr. Moulitsas is suggesting that Rep. Giffords, or the other 100+ Democrats on that list, be targeted for violence. He's talking about voting lukewarm Democrats out of office, and specifically states that he doesn't support saving their JOBS, whereas the crosshairs picture makes no mention of voting people out, and depicts blood red crosshairs to symbolize Representatives whose political careers are over (you might say "dead").

Lastly, Ms. Malkin compares the crosshairs image to one used by the Democratic Leadership Council in 2004.

And, with my powerful ability to remember the past 6 years, not a single conservative elected government official from any of those states was a target of violence by radicals, liberal or otherwise. Furthermore, nobody was mentioned by name in that map, unlike in Sarah Palin's crosshairs map. However, Michelle Malkin believes that those targets somehow advocated or still advocate violence against conservative office holders in America, even though Barack Obama won 7 out of 9 of those states in 2008 (without a single progressive shooting a single congressperson! We're either really great terrorists, or the threat doesn't exist).

I find such comparisons to be disingenuous and hilariously absurd. The target used in the DLC map is one that people shoot arrows at. Crosshairs aren't targets. Crosshairs are used to get a kill shot on a specific target. What does Malkin think? Bow and arrow toting progressives are going to shoot conservatives? We're going to advocate a constitutional amendment to our right to bear bows and arrows? Are we going to petition governments to open carry our bows and arrows at political events? Are we going to support measures that allow us to carry a concealed bow and arrow without a permit (Good luck with that, liberals! Bows and arrows are bulky!)? Why does she think the Native Americans lost? Because bows and arrows are no match for guns!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shorter Allstate: We'll Pay for Your Negligence

Particularly if some woman dares to look good while running past your car.

BTW, this is my 350th post!

Age-Appropriate Sex Ed: A Comparison

Remember this advertisement during the presidential campaign in 2008? John McCain attacked Barack Obama's stance on age-appropriate sex education for all children, including Kindergartners.

Basically, Barack Obama supports age-appropriate sex-ed. In Kindergarten, that's teaching young children "good touch/bad touch" and ways that kids can protect themselves from pedophiles, like not talking to strangers, not going into a car of anyone they don't know, and telling a trusted adult if they've been touched inappropriately. It turned out that the bill wasn't even passed during Obama's time in the Illinois State Senate, and he wasn't even a co-sponsor, so it blew over and Barack Obama won the election.

Let's fast forward to 2011. Kind of a lot has changed in less than 3 years, but there haven't been such radical changes taking place from where conservatives have kittens over someone somewhere suggesting that 5-year-olds know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching to where talking to those same kids about abortion is a-OK. But apparently it has, in this second wind of hippie free love, I guess.

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) admitted that he talks to children of all grade levels, including Kindergartners, about abortion. He said:

I often go into a high school auditorium or meet with people at even the K-through-12 level in their entirety, and I will tell them: “You will be asked to answer one of the most profound moral questions of our age and that is where do you stand on the abortion issue. And you need to only ask and answer two questions. The first question is do you believe that human life is sacred in all of its forms. Is the person sitting to your left and to your right and everyone in this room, is their life sacred?” And they’ll nod their heads.

Yes, which would mean they're pro-choice. Anti-choicers certainly don't see the life of the pregnant woman as sacred, since they see her death in childbirth or suicide as no great loss to humanity. Needless to say, that's not age-appropriate. It's also a stupid argument to make, and it's why I hate it when men and self-righteous teens are asked about this very profound moral question. Men in particular can have a really nice philosophical debate about abortion, because they don't experience abortion in the slightest, and they never will. Men might like to think that they experience it in the same way that women do, but that's because they're really stupid assholes who believe their superior man-brains and powerful imaginations can make them feel that way. The point is, the only person who can answer that question honestly is the woman experiencing the pregnancy and making the decision herself. It's really easy to say "I believe all life is sacred," or even, "Abortion is a morally acceptable decision all the time," and all of that philosophy flies out the window once she sees a plus sign on the pregnancy test. Oops. So to even pose that question to students who are too young to experience pregnancy or make a moral judgment is totally age-inappropriate and a bit brain-washy.