I've noticed that pundits on cable news networks are referring to Democratice presidential candidate and Senator of New York Hillary Rodham Clinton as simply "Hillary." "Do you think Hillary will run?" "Do you think Hillary has a chance of winning the nomination?" Blah, blah, blah. Doesn't she have a last name? Do they have to call her by her first name because everyone would get confused if we called her Clinton? Are people going to hear about "Clinton" running for president in 2008 and think, "I didn't know the Constitution has been changed so that Bill Clinton could be elected to a third term! I must have been too busy digging up dirt on TomKat to pay attention!"? What other candidates are being regularly referred to by only their first names? I'm going to have to start counting.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
So I was watching this ABC News Special Thing called "What Would You Do?" or something. Sadly, Mark Summers was not present nor was there any sliming, but it was still pretty interesting.
They did a segment on what a person would do if they saw a person abusing their significant other in the park. They did it with men and women, and, gasp, no ne really cared when it was a woman abusing a man. Well, duh, why would they in our patriarchal society? Women don't have the power to abuse in our society, so no one took it seriously. It just shows how patriarchy hurts men, too.
However, I had a major problem with the segment right from the very beginning. The segway into it was a showing of clips from various movies, making the point of "Violence against men is shown often in movies and laughed off" or something, as if violence against women isn't used as small story-movers. One was a woman slapping a man, the other was a shot of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" wenches (I guess because they slap Jack Sparrow all the time, but they didn't show them slapping him). But there was another that really caught my eye. I'm not sure what movie it was from, I think it may have been "Shakespeare in Love" but I haven't seen that movie so I'm not sure. Anyway, the clip was of a man kissing a woman, and her shoving him off her her.
So, I'm like "Wtf? How is that violence against men for a woman to shove him off of her if he's kissing her?". Can anyone explain that to me? Or has anyone possibly seen Shakespeare in Love, if that's what this clip is from, and tell me if there's some context that I'm missing? Since when is "Hey, get the hell off me I don't want you to kiss me" domestic violence or abuse?
Posted by Megan at 2:16 PM
Saturday, December 16, 2006
"Probably because she is single, her parents are no longer living, she's an only child. You need a very supportive family and supportive friends to have this job."
So it has nothing to do with that proverbial Post-It she neglected in January 2001, which went something like "Attn: National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Re: Terrorist Attack by Osama bin Laden."
Here's the segment on last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann of his interview with Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News. It shows just how much Laura Bush knows about marriage . . . .
Margaret Carlson: "It may be what's inside Mrs. Bush, that to be single would be a terrible thing. She married 3 months after meeting George Bush and obviously wanted to be married." [emphasis mine]
And what makes a supportive family . . . .
Margaret Carlson: "Condi Rice is the daughter that Bush doesn't have. The twins don't go to Camp David and barely come home for holidays."
And how big of a hypocrite she is.
Margaret Carlson: "I think maybe Laura Bush is an only child."
Keith Olbermann: "Yup. I think you're right."
Posted by FEMily! at 5:54 PM
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Okay, so I hate my fourth period class. It's Mystery, Myth, and Horror, and while I love the teacher and some of the curriculum is marginally interesting, I hate my classmates. My boyfriend is in there, an old friend of mine, and a friend of a friend who is actually a very nice guy is in that class. All the rest are basically asinine globs of teengoo. What does this have to do with dependency, you ask? Well, by itself, not much, however, it's merely an intro to another personal situation in which I tried to feminist.
All of the globs of teengoo hate the teacher of this class. I think she's the bee's knees, personally, but then again, I an carry on a conversation with an adult that doesn't involve "You don't understaaaaand meeee!!1", so perhaps I'm just not able to see things from their warped perspective. Anyway, we had a substitute today, so everyone was cheering and thanking God. I sighed and settled in for an hour and a half of stupid.
So anyway, the substitute was no push over. She was a pretty feisty old lady. I imagine that if I knew her outside of school, she'd be a pretty good poster child for "outrageous older woman". In any case, she was simply trying to do her job and everyone was giving her a hard time.
Anyway, I was trying to combat as much dumb as possible with wit and dissent, however, things still steadily went downhill.
First of all, there were two head dumbasses in the class. Dumbass 1 felt the need to sexually harass a female classmate as she walked into the class late. Dumbass 1 is really who we'll be dealing with most in this little story. Dumbass 2 just felt the need to scream obscenities across the room and announce genitalia at random intervals.
I told Dumbass 1 to please stop sexually harrassing the poor girl, as she seemed a little confused as to what was going on. I was not taken seriously and the lewd comments continued, of course.
Finally, toward the end of the class when I got my stuff done I was talking to the aforementioned nice guy and his friend who is also pretty okay. We were prettymuch minding our own business, actually discussing how patriarchy affects definitions of words and how such definitions can create oppression of both men AND women (we looked up "rape" and it singled out females as the only possible victims, it was an interesting discussion). Anyway, Dumbass 1 then felt the need to throw paper balls at us. I happened to feel a wad of paper hit me square in the ass and so I turned around got up, and walked toward Dumbass 1. He ran away yelling that I "looked like Satan" because I was obviously not happy that somehow a body part of mine became a target for him. I told him that if he did it again, there would be consequences. Lo and behold, a feel a paper ball hit my ass again. So anyway, I got up again, he once again screamed for help, and I walked up to the substitute and asked her to write him a referral to the office which she gladly did.
What does this story of asshattery and sexual harassment have to do with dependency?
It sparked a conversation between my boyfriend and I. As I mentioned before, he is in that class. He didn't say anything throughout the entire ordeal, so I asked him why he didn't later.
He said that he knew I didn't need it, that I could hold my own. He said that he didn't want to step on my argument and independence toes. I appreciate that, but that brings me to the crux of this post: Needing versus wanting.
It's a common anti-feminist tactic to draw on men's fears of not feeling "needed" and the awfulhorriblezomgness that those fears cause in men and boys. It seems as though to an anti-feminist, if a woman isn't in dire need of being rescued at all times, men and boys have massive mental breakdowns in record numbers. The sanity of male humans depends solely upon female humans being dependent upon them for, well, everything, it seems.
However, I think this is ridiculous. Not only does it create the idea that women's "power" lies in driving men insane simply for wanting to be treated like real people, and thus no women would really want to be treated like people while being moral in the process, it also creates the idea that being needed is somehow better than being wanted.
This is interesting, to me, because in Patriarchy land, women are not needed, simply wanted for the pleasures of the men that own them. Sure, they "need" them to be broodmares, however, that need is not as pressing as, say, the need to eat or be able to defend yourself against attacks, etc.
So to me, it seems like said anti-feminists are once again saying that sub-human "not being needed" status that drives men insane is okay for women. Women don't need to be needed, they can be "wanted" like all other second-rate things.
I just think that it's amazing how many layers of sexism anti-feminist arguments really do build up and love up on. It's disgusting.
Anyway, you wrap up, I promptly told my boyfriend that he was right. I didn't and don't need him to take over and handle situations like that for me. However, I would WANT him to stand up for me at least a little, like back-up. He had no problem with that. He likes being wanted rather than wishing I needed him. The awesomeness of that in a society that tells him he's less of a man if he's not NEEDED by a lesser woman is astounding.
Posted by Megan at 11:04 PM
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Hear that, ladies? All that time you thought you actually didn't want to be pregnant and that that was a problem, well, now Mister Asshat has corrected you.
As we all know, today is Free Emergency Contraception Day at Planned Parenthood. This is a great thing for women today. Thanks, Planned Parenthood.
However, whenever something good for women happens, some prick has to go and try to ruin it.
Some dude was on the news because he was protesting free emergency contraception day. In his little interview thing, he had the audacity to say, and I quote "so-called problem pregnancy". What the fuck is that supposed to mean? That pregnancy could never possibly be a problem for a woman? Seriously, this is one dude that I think should be on the list for the watermelon up the ass.
I seriously don't know what would possess someone to do something like that (well, except I do, but you know), especially if they claim to be "pro-life". Just more proof that being pro-life is less about "saving babies" and more about controlling women.
Posted by Megan at 7:14 PM
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
This Wednesday (December 6), the House will vote on the misleading "Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act," which would make doctors give women seeking abortions after the 20th week of gestation literature suggesting that they be given expensive fetal anesthesia. According to NOW, "[T]he text of this brochure tells each woman that her 'unborn child' will experience pain while 'being killed in an abortion' The doctor would then be required to offer the woman anesthesia or another "pain reducing drug" to be administered directly to the fetus." Sounds like anti-choice scare tactics to me. Being that there's no brain function in human fetuses until the 27th week, it's impossible to feel any pain before then. Isn't it great when right wingers pen medical laws instead of doctors (No, I don't consider Bill Frist a doctor). It looks like they copied and pasted this law from the National Right to Life's official website.
"Partial-birth abortion is an abortion in which the abortion practitioner delivers an unborn child's body until only the head remains inside the womb, punctures the back of the child's skull with a sharp instrument, and sucks the child's brains out before completing the delivery of the dead infant, and as further defined in 18 U.S.C. 1531.
"Child's brains?" I guess we all lose our extra brains until we are left with only one sometime after we're born. The best is how they define "unborn child."
"UNBORN CHILD- The term `unborn child' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development."
So according to the US Government, anyone who is reading this (and everyone who isn't) is an unborn child.
Posted by FEMily! at 1:49 PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Posted by FEMily! at 7:47 PM
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Put away your dictionaries, for I have made up this word. Dudeslop, my friends, is my new term. I may or may not use it often, for one cannot tell the future. However, in contemplating my night it was the only description that came to mind.
I'm sure you all know what Hooters is. You may not be familiar with Ker's Winghouse, however. They are basically synonymous. They sell chicken wings, fries, and women's bodies for a living.
Tonight I swallowed up my principles and stepped into one, and all for a Mahi Mahi sandwich for my mother to get indigestion from.
First of all, you have to love the billboards that tower high above the city's roads. Four or five girls in low-cut tank-tops and tiny black shorts gathered around a huge plate of chicken wings with the slogan "Need We Say More?". No, you needn't say more. We get that you sell the opportunity to ogle women while getting plastered and filled to the brim with macho foods. Got that covered.
Now, I may line in Florida, but it's been cold lately. It was about 57 degrees tonight. Not freezing, but not summer either. What do you thik the uniform was? Why, tank tops and tiny shorts, of course! We wouldn't want to sacrifice the ass-crack ogling experience of our patriarchal patrons so that unsightly icicles don't hang off the rumps of our products. They have fifteen minute breaks (if that, I'm being generous here) and hairdryers for that type of miscellaneous bullshit. Besides, they were nice enough to let them cover their legs with some stockings. I'm sure it was a big help when I was walking around saying "Brr" in my jacket and scarf.
And if having freezing women in hardly any clothes wait on you isn't enough to satisfy your dudely cravings for chicken and female human flesh, there's always a nice bikini-ridden calendar to take home! Complete with (probably the nice unsafe) silicone gazongas to wish you could ever take a gander at in real life.
Next were the lovely clothing items for sale. My favorite had to be the one that was warning men not to consume too much alcohol lest a "2 looks like a 10". I wouldn't want any of the hunks that get blasted at Winghouse to be seen with such an unsightly number as the second in the series. Surely every patriarch is at least entitled to an "8" or "9".
So, we all agree that this is pretty objectifying, no?
Sure, they're being ogled, but that's what they chose to do for a living, right? No harm, no foul, why can't they be ogled? That's what they're there for! They chose to do it. If they don't like it, they needn't be there! The dudes have no responsibility not to ogle, and the company has no responsibility not to sell women for a living! They offerred themselves up as a commodity, no?
You're absolutely right if this is what you're thinking. They offerred themselves up to be ogled. However, I want you to think back to some of the jobs you had. Let's say you were a bagger at your local grocery store. You did your job, bagging and occassionally getting carts, when one day it gets to closing time. The janitor was sick that day, so your manager tells you to go clean the toilets. Hey, you signed up for the job, right? You chose to take the position! You knew you'd be at your manager's beck and call. It sucks, but it's your job and you chose it.
The difference is: You are not being OBJECTIFIED in the process. You're simply doing a job, you're not being turned into a COMMODITY to be SOLD.
So please, don't give me that "Men have a right to ogle because those women chose blah blah blah". They may have chosen to work there, but that doesn't give men or companies the right to objectify them. The end. I shall never step into such dudely slop ever again as long as I live.
P.S.- Dude-ly Slop-(n) Phrase used to describe the goo of patriarchy that slips into the cracks of normal every day things such as restaurants, bars, concerts, grocery stores, etc. etc. etc. Basically, icky white rich hetero male privilege nastiness that we feminists often find ourselves being the Waste Management folks of. It has nothing to do with men, though may be confused with basic inherent male behavior. It does, however, have everything to do with patriarchal entitlement.
And their food sucked, too. My salad tasted like pickles.
Posted by Megan at 12:25 AM
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
My favorite Crisis Pregnancy Center chain Care-Net has changed their Morning-After Pill information. I, and hopefully many others, contacted them last summer to tell them that EC, a pill that prevents pregnancy, cannot terminate a pregnancy and that they should remove EC information from their webpage discussing abortion services. I suppose that since Plan B has been granted OTC status, Care-Net has to change their stance, and they came up with a new worry to brainwash vulnerable women with:
"[Y]ou may not even need [Plan B]. You can only get pregnant on certain days of the month – around the time that you ovulate. Typically, there are only about three to five days a month in which a woman can get pregnant. Unfortunately, most women looking for the morning-after pill are panicked because they think (or perceive) the clock is ticking, and as a result they don’t take the time to evaluate their situation. If you weren’t fertile when you had sex because you were nowhere near ovulation, it is senseless to take the drug. It will only subject you to the possible side effects of nausea and vomiting and put a bunch of unnecessary hormones in your body.
Women who are considering Plan B® do not always know where they are in their cycle or if they are fertile, so they rush and spend money on a drug that they don’t need and that may harm their bodies."
But we won't tell you when ovulation happens, or what it might feel like, or the fact that some women can't feel it at all, or that not every woman's cycle is 28 days! The funniest part about all of this is that while telling everyone how ineffective condoms and other forms of contraception are, they basically just gave the more naive of their readers permission to have unprotected sex nearly every time and not worry about pregnancy. So any couple who has unprotected sex outside of any given 3-5 day time span and then gets pregnant can blame it on Care-Net. I guess that means more business for them. And wackos talk about Planned Parenthood turning a profit from abortion!
What horrible side effects, nausea and vomiting! Not to mention the tiredness, menstrual cycle changes, and breast tenderness that Care-Net cites as other potential side effects of Plan B. Hey, Care-Net, what are the symptoms of pregnancy? Missed period, nausea, breast tenderness, tiredness . . . . Care-Net wants every woman to remain pregnant so badly, and since the side effects of Plan B mimic the signs of early pregnancy (and that's the point), they shouldn't be using the same reasoning to discourage use of Emergency Contraception and encourage women to go to term.
Oh, the irony. It must be Thanksgiving.
Posted by FEMily! at 9:05 PM
Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs (hey, we can use one of those) Hussn Banu Ghazanfar talked a bit about sexism in "post"-Taliban Afghanistan and what needs to be done about it. In a country where only 15% of women are literate, Ghanzanfar is putting a special emphasis on educating women and girls. There are schools for girls and women teachers in Afghanistan, but they are often under the threat of terrorists who have picked up where the Taliban left off. Ghanzanfar also stressed the importance in anti-violence legislation, stating, "The elimination of violence against women does not work if we just conduct seminars and workshops. If we create specific laws to protect women from violence, women will have more confidence." The article ends with an inspiring quote from Ghanzanfar, "It's not important which position I have, but it's more important that I'm working for women - the most needy women of the world."
Posted by FEMily! at 6:12 PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Last week, George W. Bush appointed Eric Keroack as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, giving him the power to allocate money for family planning and gynocological services. Keroack, however, doesn't support contraception and went as far as to call it "demaning" to women. Only Dubya would choose someone against family planning to control family planning funding! Here's some more dirt on Keroack:
- Keroack promotes abstinence-only education and recommends that contraceptives should only be mentioned to emphasize their failure rates. (Feminist Majority Foundation)
- According to Keroack's presentations, promiscuous women will not be able to form long-lasting relationships because they've used up all of their "bonding" hormone on casual sex. Additionally, Keroack wrote in a 2003 PowerPoint presentation that "PRE-MARITAL SEX is really MODERN GERM WARFARE." (Feminist Majority Foundation)
- Keroack has researched the effects of showing a pregnant woman ultrasound images in order to convince her not to have an abortion. (Feminist Majority Foundation)
- He is a medical director of A Woman's Concern. Part of A Woman's Concern's "faith" statement is to "help women escape the temptation and violence of abortion." Their website also states that "A Woman's Concern is persuaded that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness." (National Organization for Women)
UPDATE: This article states that Keroack has prescribed birth control in his private practice and that he is not currently a certified OB/GYN. But he still has his license in hypocrisy, which makes him more than qualified to be part of the Bush Administration.
Posted by FEMily! at 3:27 PM
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Check out this banner for some sort of ad on YouTube:
Aren't you shocked by that image? I mean, where else will you ever see a creepy looking dude grabbing and molesting a naked woman? What? On television, you say? In movies?
Surely not. I am truly shocked by this image. I've never seen something like this in the good ol' patriarchy before, so I'm glad it can be eroticized by these folks.
I mean, hell, I've never seen violence against women being applauded and considered normal behavior before, and it certainly was never on FOX News. Never ever.
*shock and awe*
Posted by Megan at 12:57 AM
Friday, November 17, 2006
Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against common types of HPV, a virus that often causes cervical cancer. I saw the commercial for it a couple of times, once on MTV and just now on the-N (yes, I was flipping back and forth from Deal or No Deal to South of Nowhere. Don't judge me!). Anyway, I'm glad that the vaccine is being marketed to a younger female audience, since it is approved for girls and women ages 9 to 26. There are some people out there who believe that the HPV vaccine will make girls have unprotected sex, forgetting that Gardasil offers protection against the most common sexually transmitted disease. Thank goodness television networks are putting the health of women before conservative politics.
Posted by FEMily! at 9:02 PM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
HBO will be premiering a documentary about eating disorders called THIN tonight at 9pm EST. Photographer Lauren Greenfield went to The Renfrew Center, an eating disorder treatment center in Florida, to learn more. The THIN homepage has a lot of interesting deleted scenes from the documentary, including an art therapy session. They also have resources for people dealing with eating disorders and a guide on how to recognize eating disorders.
Posted by FEMily! at 1:35 PM
Monday, November 13, 2006
I know, this is nothing new. But this message I got from the "Brody Ruckus is a Misogynist and his girlfriend should break up with him" group was interesting:
Subject: Ruckus Music Scam
Message: This group is being deleted because the whole Brody Ruckus thing was a scam by Ruckus music to exploit people's misogyny to make money. Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruckus_Netw
ork. And please never give any of your business to Ruckus Music.Thank you for being a part, for supporting women, and for helping fight misogyny and patriarchy.
I made a post about this a couple of months ago. Thankfully, the Brody Ruckus group has been deleted. I wish I could say that Ruckus Music's cheap sexist stunt would cost them enough subscribers to bankrupt them, but I'm sure those hundreds of thousands of jerks who joined the group to begin with will be the first to hand over fistfuls of cash to them.
Posted by FEMily! at 10:13 PM
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
. . .in order to forget about a complete lack of female recognition at the CMAs. (Explanation: There's a big hoop-la about her reaction to Carrie Underwood winning Best Female Vocalist, but she was joking. See the video here).
Now, I know it's no big surprise that country music is not exactly on the cutting edge of progressive attitudes or anything. Still, you'd think they could do better
than the little show they put on this past Monday night.
I'm not an avid country fan or anything, but my sister listens to it and I'll occasionally turn on a country station once in a while. It's not nails on a chalkboard to me like it is to some people. However, I'm finding it harder and harder to find any value in it, especially when, apparently, last year, if I was on a lookout for a good album by a female artist, I would be shit out of luck.
Here were the nominees for "Album of the Year":
(Award goes to artist and producer)
Brooks & Dunn
I think you can all tell me what's wrong with that picture.
It gets better, though! Not only would I be hard pressed to find a good album by penis-lackers, I also wouldn't be able to be entertained by any of them!
Nominees for "Entertainer of the Year" are as follows:
Brooks and Dunn
Not only that, but to top it all off, Carrie Underwood was the ONLY woman to touch an award. There were still plenty of womenz lookin' pretty and sittin' 'round, though, so don't ya'll worry yer pretty lil' heads.
Not a surprise, I know, but it still irked me enough to prompt a post about it.
Posted by Megan at 5:05 PM
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I got this e-mail from the Feminist Majority Foundation the other day, and it had some information about voting that I never knew.
- If you are in line at the official closing of the polls, you are legally entitled to vote, and the polling location must allow you to vote.
- If your registration is in question or you've forgotten to bring a picture ID, you have the right to request and complete a provisional ballot, which will be verified and counted in the event of a close election.
- If you make a mistake on your ballot before it's submitted, you have the right to receive a replacement ballot.
Imagine if Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House? Then someone will just have to assassinate Bush and Cheney has to drop dead (he's almost there). It's probably the best shot at having a woman president.
Remember to check out NARAL Pro-Choice America's Pro-Choice Voting Guide before heading out to the polls!
Posted by FEMily! at 11:53 PM
VH1 is advertising their Big in '06 Awards show with this commercial featuring a fetus with some attitude. Tomorrow, The National Right to Life will use this ad as evidence that fetuses are indeed as developed as any ghetto fabulous, foul-mouthed, 30-year-old man.
Posted by FEMily! at 6:17 PM
Friday, November 03, 2006
The other day I saw this television commercial for Hudson City Savings Bank. A little girl is talking about how both men and women can be doctors or nurses. After her rather long and roundabout explanation, the words "Life is complicated" (or something like that) appear on the screen. How many people are lying awake at night trying to put their minds around the fact that women can be doctors and men can be nurses? Honestly, if a 5-year-old can figure it out, it can't be that confusing.
Posted by FEMily! at 6:52 PM
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Remember Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, that landmark Supreme Court decision ruling that separate is in fact not equal? Apparently, our government is regressing and doesn't believe this should apply to the education of boys and girls. The Bush Administration, starting November 24, will be easing restrictions on sex-segregated public schools.
Feministing cited another blog which commented on a sex discrimination lawsuit against the Livingston Parish School Board in Louisiana, which will be providing only sex-segregated classes for the 2006-2007 academic year at Southside Junior High School. The principal of the school, Alan Joe Murphy, presented his denfense of sex-segregated classes. He claimed the implementation of these sexist classes would be "based on quantifiable differences between male and female adolescents supported by scientific research." He said that students would be relieved from "unnecessary stressors" in the classroom (i.e., I can only assume, an attractive other-sexed person in the class. Oh no!). Here are some of the different things Murphy said would be taught in these "specialized" classes:
"[G]irls would receive character education and be subject to high expectations both academically and socially. Girls would be taught math through 'hands-on' approaches. Field trips, physical movement, and multisensory strategies would be incorporated into the girls' classes. Girls would act as mentors to elementary school girls.
"On the other hand, boys' teachers would teach and discuss 'heroic' behavior and ideas 'that show adolescents what it means to 'truly be a man.' Boys' classes would include consistently applied discipline systems and offer tension release strategies. Boys' classes would also feature more group work assignments." (pages 10-11)
I'll play teacher for a moment and recap what you've just learned: 1) Boys don't need good character and shouldn't be expected to excel academically and socially. 2) Boys would not benefit from hands-on approaches to math and other subjects, even though every kid is looking for a more interesting alternative to learning than memorization and drilling. 3) Boys do not like field trips. Even though most ADHD cases are boys, boys would generally choose to sit at a desk all day in a small classroom that lacks stimulation over moving about outside or exploring an interesting exhibit at a museum. 4) Boys could never be a positive role model to a younger boy (someone better alert Big Brothers/Big Sisters). Sex-segregation should also apply to mentoring. 5) Being a mentor to a younger student isn't heroic. 6) Strictly defining gender and then teaching it in school is perfectly fine. Boys can learn what it's like to "be a man," even though putting quotes around that phrase proves that that's up to individual interpretation. 7) Because girls never misbehave, they don't need to be disciplined for anti-social behavior exhibited at school. 8) Girls don't get stressed out either, so they shouldn't learn tension-release exercises like counting to 10 before reacting and muscle relaxation. But wait? Didn't Principal Murphy claim that sex-segregation would relieve students of "unnecessary stressors?" *confused* 9) Because it's common knowledge that girls aren't sociable, group exercises are completely unnecessary in the girls' classes.
Mr. Murphy doesn't want to insert his self-proclaimed moral authority in every social institution. He assured us that "students could interact with members of the other sex at home, at church, and in school clubs and extracurricular activities. " (page 10) What if a family lives in the zoning area of Soutside Junior High but would much rather send their child to a school with co-ed classes? "[N]o such transfers would be permitted by . . . Livingston Parish School Board." (page 11) In fact, the School Board didn't even consult parents before segregating the classes.
I urge all of you to read pages 12 to 13 of the ACLU report, the section called Leonard Sax's Theory of Gender Difference. Dr. Sax is defined as a medical doctor, even though he only has a Ph.d in psychology (meaning he cannot prescribe medicine or perform surgery), and he doesn't perform scientific research, even though a huge research project is required to earn a Ph.d, regular scientific research is required to maintain any teaching position in college and university, and the degree's curriculum puts a special emphasis on scientific research. The claims he makes in his book Why Gender Matters are hilarious, fun reading for when the cable goes out.
I don't know exactly what to do about this problem, but I have one idea. State governments can refuse federal funding for educational progrmas like abstinence-only sex education. New Jersey became the fourth state to reject federal funds for abstinence-only sex ed, joining California, Maine, and Pennsylvania. Perhaps it will help if we contact our governors and urge them not to grant sex-segregation to public school boards that request it and reject any extra funding the federal government might offer to sexist public schools.
Posted by FEMily! at 3:22 PM
According to a U.N. Population Fund report from 2005, 70% of married women between ages 15 and 49 in India are victims of violence and rape. Fortunately, India passed a law criminalizing domestic violence, defining it aptly to include verbal, physical, and emotional abuse as well as economic mistreatment. Ranjana Kumari of the Center for Social Research in New Dehli said, "It's a victory for the women's movement in this country which has been fighting for years for laws that protect the basic rights of women." However, for the law to be fully effective, Kumari explains that the government must fund "shelter and protection to a woman against further abuse if she files a complaint."
Posted by FEMily! at 12:50 PM
Monday, October 23, 2006
I am allergic to stupid.
So, anyway, as of right now I'm in desperate need of a Zyrtec or somethin', because I had to deal with a HELLA lot of stupid today. The story goes like this:
It's after lunch and me and my boyfriend are walk into fourth period. We both sit down and this guy who sits next to my boyfriend, we'll call him "Jimmy", starts talking to us. Then he says something about how something SO FUNNY happened to him over the weekend. Then he proceeded to tell us about it.
The OMG HILARIOUS story was that a "dumb bitch" (to quote "Jimmy") that he had broken up with on Wednesday and "fucked" on Friday had given him a blowjob in his car just feet away from the porch that her dad was sitting on. Are you laughing yet?
Immediately I went into feminazi mode.
Basically, I glared at him and called him an asshole. How dare he talk about that girl like that. Then, he tried to justify it by saying "Well she's dumb! No, seriously, if you met this girl you would not like her!". I really was just dumbfounded at this point. How can anyone really be so lacking in responsibility? Anyway, I told him that that didn't matter and that it was wrong to take advantage of her like that. The response I got to that was "What? I didn't take advantage of her! She wanted to do it! It's not like I raped her!". I don't understand how this guy doesn't understand that receiving oral sex from a girl who probably thinks there's going to be some commitment afterward ISN'T taking advantage of her. I also didn't mention rape at all. Hell, seems to me like someone might have a guilty conscience.
My favorite bewildered and desperate response was "What was I supposed to do, say no?". YES. YES you were supposed to say no. You have a responsibility not to take advantage of girls just because you can. Your penis wouldn't have shriveled up if female saliva didn't cover it for one night. HELL yes you were supposed to say no.
I just don't understand how this guy really didn't consider the word "No" to be an option. Not only is it taking advantage of a girl, but it's also feeding into the stereotype that guys become brainless and moral-less once sex comes into the picture. This is a falsehood. Men have the capability to keep their heads (The one on top) once women, their bodies, and sex come into the picture, and they also have a responsibility to do so. "Jimmy" missed every mark in this effort, and it's a damn shame that he really just didn't and continues not to get it. And still, what's more of a shame is he is not alone in this endeavor.
Posted by Megan at 4:16 PM
Perhaps this is just me being generally grumpy after having a rough weekend, but this article pissed me off.
So, because men ASK women to reveal their bodies to them, women can't wear what they want into jails anymore? You couldn't possibly correct the male behavior, right? It's just so much easier to restrict the slutiform of the second class citizens! Once again women are the sexual gatekeepers and patriarchal order has been restored.
I'm so happy for them.
Posted by Megan at 12:17 AM
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I was reading an article about Amy Lee of Evanescence this morning. I don't know why I was reading it, I don't particularly like Evanescence, but I guess I was just bored. It was semi-interesting (for instance, I didn't know she was only 21 when "Fallen" came out), until I got to this paragraph:
It takes only a few minutes in Lee's presence to see what drew them: Her porcelain skin and shimmering, pale blue eyes are set off by a mane of black hair, and she seems to embody both confident strength and a delicate femininity.
I hate the juxtaposition of those qualities. They're not opposing characteristics by any means, and proposing that they're hard to balance is so incredibly sexist and wrong, it's hard to imagine that no one sees this. Apparently, author Melissa Rayworth doesn't. Why is it that femininity apparently means not being confident or strong, or that if you are those things, you seem to have a hard time being feminine? Hell, no wonder feminist are seen as hairy, masculine, carpetmunchers. Strength and confidence are not thing that one must juggle with femininity, as they are as inherently female as they are inherently male. I have to ask, if strength and confidence is not a feminine trait, what is? Weakness and insecurity? What a lovely way to portray women! Thanks again, Patriarchy!
Posted by Megan at 6:55 PM
Saturday, October 14, 2006
My Human Development textbook has a chapter about the cognitive development in middle adulthood. The author discusses a study testing the abilities of young and old servers in a restaurant, which shows that while younger servers had better memory, older servers were able to sever more customers, even during the busy hours. The self-proclaimed feminist author of my book said that "[o]ne owner learned this the hard way,
'A pretty girl is an asset to any business, but we tried them and they fell apart on us . . . . They could not keep up the pace of our fast and furious lunch hours . . . . Our clients want good service; if they want sex-appeal they can go elsewhere.'"
Yes, because one's competence has all to do with physical attractiveness!
Posted by FEMily! at 6:50 PM
Guess what, everyone? The United Nations has declared violence against women a violation of human rights! Wasn't stripping away the rights of women always a human rights violation, as women are human? Yes, but now, according to The Captain Fucking Obvious!!! Gazette, the UN recognizes it as such. Here's the full report.
Posted by FEMily! at 6:29 PM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
And in the meantime, a little amusement:
Posted by Megan at 5:16 PM
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The first one is easy: They're highway robbery and for NOTHING. They're $250 if you get the most expensive ones (basic most expensive ones, by the way), and about $220 if you get the basic "less expensive" ones. Then, they tell you that if you lose it, they'll replace it for like $80. Yeah, I think that just about tips everyone off to the fact that the ring only costs about $80 to make in the first place. Let's get out the chorus of "Rip-offf!!" please.
However, that's the least of my worries. What I found out about them today bothers me much more.
One of my friends is going to buy a class ring, so she had the brochure at lunch. She was lookin' through it trying to decide which ring style and what designs she wanted on her ring. I was looking over her shoulder because I was bored and some of the designs were kind of neat. She turned to the page with the samples of all of the designs that you can put on the side, and we looked them over. They had little names in the examples, just like in the image above. The names in my friend's brochure were "Bryan" and "Robin". Here's where things get ugly.
They have different sections for the designs. There's one for "Pride", such as Christian symbols and the flags of different countries that customers might have roots in, etc. There's also one for "Activities". As you all probably already knew, Bryan gets the good portion of the ring examples. However, sometimes Robin shows up. Bryan takes up nearly every space in this section, "President", "Calf Roping", "Academics", "Debate", etc. Here is the list of what Robin gets: "Dance", "Ballet", and "Secretary". That's all. That's it.
There are other categories as well. I also liked Robin's list of Careers: "Cosmetology", "Interior Design", "Child Care", and "Nursing" (As opposed to "Medical Services", which went to Bryan). Once again, that's all.
I find it amazing that in the few places that they could manage to place a female name, it had to be in what most would consider "frivolous" professions. If it wasn't frivolous or highly competitive (e.g. "Dancing" and "Ballet"), however, it was being a secretary, a nurse, or a child care professional. The first two are simply second-in-command positions which most often require subordination to men. Hell, even the examples themselves had poor Robin being subordinate to Bryan, as he's probably going off to be in Medical Services as a doctor! And if it wasn't pure subordination, it's a stereotypical "woman's job" as a child care professional, because that's the only thing us womenz think about is babies and nursin' people. We don't have ambitions outside of that.
So there it is. Two good reasons why Balfour sucks. Not only are will they rob you at gunpoint, but they'll fore gender stereotypes and women's subordination down your throat in the process.
Posted by Megan at 5:25 PM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
I am loud and often obnoxious. I'm bawdy, crude, and sometimes (most of the time) downright mean. Still, I feel that most of what I say needs to be said. I may be the churlish, strident, frigid feminazi of everyone's strawfeminist dreams, but my image is not something I'm worried about when I truly feel like a feminist issue has arisen. At that point, I care much less about being liked and much more about being heard. I would think that would be how anyone would act, right? Isn't that the normal protocol?
So anyway, this still comes back to Bob once again. Not to him specifically, no, because his actions have had such a ripple effect on me and my group of friends that posts that mention him are rarely about him anymore. This one happens to be about ,that's right, you guessed it:
Being called over-dramatic for being vehemently against anti-feminist and anti-woman values and wanting said opposition to be heard loud and clear! Yaaaaaay!
As I've already said before, I've been the "Crazy-ass bitch of society" for my dislike of Bob, who really is just a great funny guy. It goes deeper though. That's not all I am.
Either way, I've been having a bit of a rough time lately trying to balance feministing with compatibility with the world and people around me. I've been trying to figure out what battles to pick and which ones to leave alone, I guess you could say, and why I choose the battles I choose. In doing this, I've come across a roadblock or two and it's been a rough time. So, now that you have my mood backstory, and of course you already know Bob's awful backstory.
Everyone knows I hate this kid. I've stated publicly that if he died in a fire it would be absolutely no skin off my nose.
So anyway, the story this time goes like this:
The tables in the lunch area at my high school are made to be really long lines by pushing several of them together. Bob usually sits one and a half to two tables away from me and mine. That's fine. He can sit there. I tolerate his existence as long as he doesn't do much to make it extremely known. I do not want him any closer to me than he already is.
So, Friday comes along. My one ally in this whole debacle, "Pam", is absent and I miss her terribly. I go to sit at my lunch table, and lo and behold, who is sitting there? BOB! I look around, look at my boyfriend, he looks back at me, and just sits down. The "What the hell?" look is fixed firmly on my face, but I'm not quite sure how to react. I certainly can't just ignore the presence of someone that I hate with the fire of a thousand suns sitting right in front of me like we're old friends.
Now, I don't seek him out to bother him. I don't do horrible things to him, even though I could. I could go to where he works and tell the girl exactly what he did to her because I know what her name is and where they both work, but I haven't and don't intend to. I could beat his ass afterschool if I truly wanted to. I don't want to and don't intend to plan any sort of beating. Mostly, all I want is for him to stay away from me. That's all. That's not so unreasonable is it?
So why is it that when I tell my boyfriend and my guy friends that I can't stand him and want him to go away, they look at me like I'm over-dramatic, intolerant, and unreasonable? I should just "look the other way"? IT DOESN'T HELP, THANKS. I know he's there, and I still hate him. He did not have to sit where he was sitting. He had other places that he could easily go. He has to know how much I hate him, yet he still sat right there.
I didn't say anything out of respect for my boyfriend, who seems to be uncomfortable with confrontations. However, I surely missed my friend "Pam", because she would have said something and then the burden of responsibility for my boyfriend's discomfort (which I don't understand anyway and which will be addressed shortly) would have been elsewhere. Still, I bit my tongue clean off and dealt.
The problem I have is that I feel entirely unsupported in my hatred and my desire for Bob to stay the hell away from me. The only person who really has my back in this endeavor is "Pam", which I appreciate greatly. However, it's still the same barrier. We're still only two strident bitches with our panties in a knot because of something that "doesn't concern us". I just wish that I could get some support from my boyfriend, first and foremost, and if not him than perhaps from some of my other male friends. It's not required for me to still hate him, but it would just be nice if I could see some chipping away at the good ol' boys club.
Am I being unreasonable? Is it me, or am I not getting the amount of support that I should be getting, especially from people who should be giving much more than they are? I bet that if I asked any one of those guys if they would hate him as bad as I hate Bob if he did what he did to their sister/girlfriend/niece/etc., they wouldn't laugh it off and call me unreasonable.
I guess you have to be of the hymen-having gender to really get it.
Posted by Megan at 4:36 PM
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I was asked this question on a forum I visit. Since I haven't posted anything in a while, I figured I'd post my reply here, just in case anyone is searching for any reasons as to why they should be pro-choice instead of anti-choice.
I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I think women are human people capable of being treated like people who can make their own moral decisions rather than children who must be monitored and told what to do "for their own good". I don't think women should have to be forced to donate their bodily resources when no man is ever forced to. I don't think rape victims should be treated worse than their rapists just because they happen to have a uterus. I don't think women should be punished for enjoying or having sex, and yes, that goes for non-procreational sex. I'm not worried about the human race becoming endangered or extinct nor am I worried about poor infertile people not having any spawn, and I'm certainly not willing to subject women to uterine slavery to make sure they can have the white/male/healthy baby they're so desperately searching for while they "ZOMG would love to have any baby!1". I don't think it's fair to compare a woman and a fetus. They're not on the same level. A woman is a sentient human being. She is not potential. She is physically independent. I do not believe in magical invisible sex contracts that make women responsible for carrying any and every pregnancy by virtue of having a uterus and the need to have sex. Because yes, it is a biological drive, even for us women. I've read the stories of death-bed confessions and clandestine abortions not only from this country in the pre-Roe era, but also from other countries where abortion is still illegal. I see no reason why we should subject women to that for other people's fantasies of fetal personhood. I am a feminist and I care about women. I know that they are individuals with individual beliefs, situations, goals, bodies, and wants. I realize that being anti-choice in any situation creates a harmful hierarchy among women and especially between women and their doctors. There is no way to successfully implement exceptions, and I'm not willing to gamble with women's lives to protect the egos and misogynistic, out-dated traditions of patriarchy and those who would seek to uphold it whether consciously or not. Women have a right to make their own reproductive choices. If they want to be childfree, they should not have to be celibate until menopause. It's ridiculous to expect and it's misogynistic to implement. If they want to have 12 children, they should be able to choose to do so. The fact of the matter is, women should be treated like the people they are, and that requires trusting them enough to be able to make their own decisions.
So there you have it folks. Take your pick of the reasons. There certainly are many.
Posted by Megan at 10:59 PM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The Amber & Jen Project was started by NARAL Pro-Choice America to get people to the polls to make Congress pro-choice again. We need 6 victories in the Senate and 15 victories in the House to make this happen. Amber & Jen gives us tips on how to spread the word with their new video!
In case you were wondering, the song playing in the background as Amber posts the flier in that record store is "Till It Happens to You" by Corinne Bailey Rae. *thumbs up*
Posted by FEMily! at 9:28 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
I read this interesting article about women politicians in New Jersey and how they haven't exactly been successful. Women in politics makes many people from all 50 states recoil in horror, but this article raised some interesting points.
"Women lead three New Jersey universities - Princeton, Montclair State and the College of New Jersey. The Garden State also ranks 11th in the number of women-owned businesses.
"Three of the seven justices on New Jersey's Supreme Court are women, including the chief justice, Deborah Poritz. Women account for a quarter of all judges in the state's courts - 106 of 440.
"New Jersey ranks sixth in the percentage of women with college degrees, placing it close to Colorado, Massachusetts and Maryland.
"In contrast, New Jersey drops to 31st in the nation in electing women to state and federal offices, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Utah and Texas rank higher; Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee lower. South Carolina is at the bottom."
New Jersey and other states are filled with intelligent women who are competent leaders. What is it with some people that they don't trust women to run the government? And what is it with very few women running for office? I don't get it. Let's discuss it together!
Posted by FEMily! at 8:28 PM
Monday, September 18, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
So I've got this ongoing story on this blog. If you're a reader of this blog (how few there are!), then you might remember a guy I mentioned a long time ago named "Bob". Well, this is still ongoing drama, so I shall now give the latest installment, because let me tell you, the saga gets better and so much more misogynistic.
Bob and I happen to have the same lunch. I don't talk to him and try at every moment not to ackonwledge his existence, because if I did acknowledge his existence, Jeebus knows it wouldn't have to be for long, if you know what I mean.
So, this little story doesn't involve Bob directly, thank goodness, however, it still involves something that feminists face every day.
Allow me to first tell the story:
I am sitting at lunch with a few of my friends. My friend that we called "Pam" in the first couple of posts about Bob was there, and as you all know she hates Bob just as much as I do. So, we're sitting there laughing it up with my boyfriend, another girlfriend of ours, and two other guys that I don't know quite as well but they're acquaintances of mine. So, somehow the conversation turns to Bob and how much Pam and I hate him. The question of "OMG Why?" comes up of course, so we explain. Now the good part starts. After our explanation, we are told that Bob is "still a really cool kid" and we really shouldn't hate him. I mean, after all, it's cool to sexually humiliate chicks, right? Or, if a guy does that, well, it's doesn't really matter, does it? Not only is Bob a cool guy, however, but he's also funny! He is so hilarious that these two boys just couldn't imagine why I didn't like Bob.
So I called them on that shit. I told them that, sorry, but sexually humiliating women was definitely NOT funny nor was it cool, and anyone who could do something like that is not someone who deserves any human interaction, let alone any sort of praise. It's like saying that a rapist is still a really cool guy. If I had been in the mood to Godwin, I probably would have asked them if they thought Hitler was still a pretty cool guy (You know, vegetarian, neat mustache, etc.) even though he murdered 6 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc.
So, once that was established, it came down to the age-old "I don't believe you" defense. Suddenly, the story that these two guys had swallowed moments before was no longer plausible. I was a lying crazy bitch who hated this poor innocent funny-man for no good reason. Damn me to Hell.
So, there are two issues here that I want to discuss. I would hope that everyone could pinpoint them, but if not, here they are: First, it was just fine and dandy that this guy had sexually humiliated his girlfriend (he was still part of the good ol' boys club) and once again there is no male opposition to outright misogyny. Second, when all else fails, invoke the ideology of inherent female dishonesty. OF COURSE the womenz are just embellishing/don't know what they're talking about/outright making up stories.
I was quite bewildered by this. I've spoken about this at length with my other friends who are guys. I had a huge blow-up with my boyfriend about it because of his own passive attitude toward this guy, despite the fact that he was the one that was in a position to actually make a dent in Bob's idiocy. I talked to a frequent commenter and reader of this blog who happens to be my friend, and he has nothing but disdain for this kid. He believed me. My boyfriend was there! (As mentioned before, he was also at the lunch table today, so that was certainly brought up in major pwnage of the two guys that were in disbelief that Bob could have possible been the douchebag he was). Pam believed me when I told her about it. All of the girls I told believed me. It was only the two guys that were shocked, shocked to find out that perhaps their buddy wasn't as wonderful and funny as they thought he was (although they still maintain that the hilarity continues, apparently misogyny only makes the humor grow stronger).
So, once again, I present to you "Feminists as the Crazy-assed Bitches of Society". We're lying when we say sexism exists. Just thought I'd let you know.
P.S.-This post is probably entirely incoherent. I've been laid out with a virus for the past two days. Cut me some slack.
Posted by Megan at 9:08 PM
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
A young man called Brody Ruckus created a group on Facebook called "If this group reaches 100,000 my girlfriend will have a threesome. In the group's description, Brody claims that he has been asking his girlfriend to have a threesome with him several times, and she has always refused. The couple supposedly made a bet that if his group becomes the largest group on Facebook, they will have a threesome. I joined this group instead.
I can't wait for this group to become the largest on Facebook and for his girlfriend to surprise him with another dude as the third person.
Posted by FEMily! at 1:52 PM
Thursday, September 07, 2006
NARAL Pro-Choice America must think I live in New Jersey's 5th District, because they just sent me this video of Representative Scott Garrett (R-NJ) expressing his anti-choice views and urged me to donate to Paul Aronshon's campaign. Check out the (I assume) lady with the "I Regret My Abortion" sign. I regret not taking Lactaid before eating pizza. Overturn Dairy v. Wade!
UPDATE 9/21/06: As if this isn't bad enough, Stephen Colbert just profiled New Jersey's 5th on the segment called "Better Know a District" on The Colbert Report. Guess who didn't agree to the interview? Scott Garrett. What a robot.
Posted by FEMily! at 6:24 PM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Here's a heart-warming story of blind nationalism and religious fanatacism *barfs*
Currently, Pakastani law requires testimony from four witnesses to prove a rape case. How often are there four witnesses to a rape (four people raping the same woman doesn't count)? Women who can't prove they were raped are considered guilty of adultery, which is punishable by death. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's party introduced a bill to change this law by doing away with the 4-witness requirement. Members of Pakistan's National Assembly threaten to walk out if the law is changed. "We will render every sacrifice for the protection of the Shariah (traditional Islamic) laws," Islamic coalition leader Maulana Fazalur Rahman said Tuesday.
"Pakistan rape reform fails after Musharraf caves in"
Posted by FEMily! at 9:47 PM
Monday, September 04, 2006
Okay, so this isn't actually news, but it just pisses me off to no end when people blame rape on the victim for stupid crap like what she was wearing. Megan and I often troll around the-n.com message boards. Sorting out misogynists is our raison d'être, and we're kind of notorious for being those feminists who wouldn't be so uptight if we just experienced the beauty of forced pregnancy between 16 seconds of fucking through a hole in the sheet and that walk in the park that is childbirth. Here's what some girl said after another girl informed her that rape isn't a choice:
"Well sorry to break it to you, but most rape victims draw attention to themsel[ve]s by the clothes they [wear], I've seen the news reports, 13 year old girls dressing, and acting like they're 18, I'm not saying all rape victims are the same, but most of them draw attention to themsel[ve]s."
After Megan and I both figuratively karate-chopped her head off, I reported the post, and it's been taken down. Feminists to the Rescue indeed!
And thanks to Drew for sending me the cartoon a million years ago.
Posted by FEMily! at 1:32 AM
Monday, August 28, 2006
For those who are not tennis buffs like I am, Billie Jean King is awesome. She has been an advocate for recognition and respect for women's tennis for her entire career, and has also been an activist against sexism and for women's rights off the court. Her greatest claim to fame is whipping Bobby Riggs' ass after he made a number of sexist comments and claimed that he could beat most of the top women even though he was a 55-year-old man.
She now has a tennis center named after her. A ceremony was held tonight, with tennis greats like Venus Williams, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and Jimmy Connors. It was pretty neat. I'm very glad that she has gotten this recognition, as she has contributed greatly to women's tennis and tennis in general. I hope this will lead to even more recognition for women in the sport, and in sports in general. As we all know, Wimbledon has still yet to pay men and women equally.
Posted by Megan at 10:31 PM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
The FDA finally approved OTC-status of Emergency Contraception, also known as Plan B and the archaic "morning-after pill." As we all know, the sluts only come out at night. Unfortunately, over-the-counter Emergency Contraception is only available to women 18 and over, even though the greater medical community accepts that this drug can be taken by any female of reproductive age. Girls 17 and under will need a doctor's note to take advantage of Plan B.
Although this seems like a victory, it is a very minor one. With doctors still denying patients prescriptions for Emergency Contraception and other prescription birth control methods and pharmacists refusing to fill the prescriptions, there are still huge barriers that need to be broken for complete and fair access to reproductive services. Several acts have been introduced to increase access to and coverage of birth control, prevent unintended pregnancies, protect abortion rights, and support healthy families. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) recently sent me a list of all of the legislation he supports regarding reproductive rights.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Responsibility, and Opportunity Act: "This bill would increase funding for comprehensive and medically-accurate sex education programs and develop classroom and after-school initiatives to help young people build positive life skills."
Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraception Coverage Act: This act "would prohibit health plans from restricting" prescription birth control.
Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act: This "would guarantee a patient's prescription is filled without delay or harassment. This bill strikes a careful balance by allowing a pharmacist to refuse to dispense contraception, but requires the pharmacy to ensure that there is someone present who will fill the prescription."
Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emeregencies Act: This act would "require hosptials that receive federal funds to provide information on and access to emergency contraception for victims of rape."
Freedom of Choice Act: "This bill would forbid government interference in a woman's right to make dceisions about family planning and her reproductive health."
MOTHERS Act: This act would "ensure that new moms and their families are educated about postpartum depression and that mothers are screened for symptoms and receive necessary services.
Contact your Congresspeople and tell them that you support these acts and reproductive freedom. Science before politics!
Posted by FEMily! at 1:34 PM
The original source for this article no longer exists, so I posted it at my other, quieter blog Womb of Doom. I know it hurts, but I suggest you read the whole thing.
The author of this diatribe, Michael Noer, makes many outrageous claims:
Men who marry women with careers "run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage."
"[P]rofessional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it."
"[W]omen--even those with a "feminist" outlook--are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner."
"[T]he more successful she is the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you."
"[M]arrying these women is asking for trouble. If they quit their jobs and stay home with the kids, they will be unhappy ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003). They will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Social Forces, 2006). You will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2001). You will be more likely to fall ill ( American Journal of Sociology). Even your house will be dirtier ( Institute for Social Research)."
"The other reason a career can hurt a marriage will be obvious to anyone who has seen their mate run off with a co-worker: When your spouse works outside the home, chances increase they'll meet someone they like more than you."
"Additionally, individuals who earn more than $30,000 a year are more likely to cheat. And if the cheating leads to divorce, you're really in trouble. Divorce has been positively correlated with higher rates of alcoholism, clinical depression and suicide. Other studies have associated divorce with increased rates of cancer, stroke, and sexually-transmitted disease."
"So why not just stay single? . . . . "[A] good marriage is associated with a higher income, a longer, healthier life and better-adjusted kids."
I was waiting for him to conclude with a statement of men's oppression by these wicked career women. I mean, if he marries a career woman, he totally suffers from various illnesses, incompetent offspring, and a dirty house. Yet if he doesn't get married, he'll contract herpes and commit suicide by mixing anti-depressants and alcohol. Poor men! However, this article provides a solution for these oppressed men: Marry June Cleaver. Done and done!
To the astute feminist reader, this article further proves women's oppression. Women who want to have fulfilling, well-paying jobs sacrifice their happiness because they have to juggle being a woman, being a wife, and being a mother. Oh, did I just repeat myself? Women have to take on both traditional masculine and feminine roles to ensure the well-being of themselves, their children, and their seemingly incompetent yet somehow socially superior husband. The possible solution of allocating domestic duties equally between husband and wife in order to alleviate the stress that comes with being a full-time participant in both the private and public spheres never occurred to Michael Noer or the other penises that control this country, probably because he's too busy worrying about how oppressed he is. On the other hand, women who choose to stay home, or are told to by their paranoid husbands who read Forbes, play the invisible mom role, and are both taken for granted and openly told that their work means nothing because they don't get paid day after day after day.
But hey, at least she'll live to be 100 in her happy, healthy, traditional marriage.
Posted by FEMily! at 12:28 AM
Monday, August 21, 2006
A minister of a Baptist church fired a female Sunday school teacher, Mary Lambert, in Watertown, NY after realizing that the Bible should be taken literally as a guide on how to oppress women. Rev. Timothy LaBouf sites 1 Timothy 2:12, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." Even worse, this man is a member of the Watertown's "non-partisan" City Council. He says this one sexist belief won't interfere with his decisions made as a councilman, since he believes that women can do any job she wants, as long as it's outside the Church. I don't buy it.
You can contact LaBouf by callling (315) 788-7363 or by e-mailing him at TLaBouf@watertown-ny.gov
Posted by FEMily! at 2:38 PM
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Ghost-like apparitions who have no wrinkles and smell like laundry detergent, er, women. Patriarchy's wet dream!
I watch a lot of TV. If I'm being honest, I watch too much TV. But in my television watching, I often notice certain paradigms portrayed in advertising. I know, I know, we've already had posts on advertising and how big of a shaft it gives to women and gender equality. And good posts at that. :)
But certain commercials bother me, and this is my place to rant about them. So, rant I will.
Commercial That Bothers Me #1: Suave.
This commercial bothers me for two main reasons. It buys into the less woman-friendly patriarchal gender roles and it further demeans the women within said gender roles, whether they're there by choice or not.
Now for the description:
An invisible person is doing a variety of things. They are pushing a grocery cart, feeding a baby, carrying laundry upstairs, pulling a child away from a television screen, picking out a man's socks, and cooking dinner. Then you see that the invisible person is the, I guess, ghost of a woman who would be doing those things, but she has somehow escaped long enough to wash her hair with Suave products and become beautiful again.
Honestly, I don't even think this commercial NEEDS feminist analysis to seem really bad. But, I've been dying to do it because I "argh" at the screen every time it comes on.
I'm just wondering, why is it that said man in this commercial cannot pick out his own socks? Is it too hard to open a drawer and pick them up? Does the ghost woman put them on his feet, too? Once again, why is it that women have to make up for "male weakness" by being domestic slaves? Why is the ghost woman the only one to feed the baby? Why is she the only one doing laundry?
And now to my last question: What makes women who do these things not beautiful? Why do they have to spend their money on beauty products to be "beautiful"? I don't see anyone telling the man who's socks she picked out that he's not beautiful because he works for a living.
Commercial That Bothers Me #2: Tide
This commercial bothers me for one reason, but it's a big bother.
Description: A woman is shown feeding her baby, with a voiceover of "smelling like a mom" or some variant. Then, after she uses Tide on her clothing, she is shown in a romantic scene with a man and the voiceover changes to "smelling like a woman".
This bothers me. I'm wondering why a woman can't "smell like a mom" and "smell like a woman" at the same time. It's a classic example of the trap set for women by patriarchy. If you don't procreate on cue, you're just a floozy slutbag. If you do, you're no longer sexually desirable and you stink, apparently. Again, this is turning women into simple roles rather than people who have numerous facets to their personality, not to mention people who can display all of those facets at the same time. Motherhood isn't shameful, and it isn't the antithesis to womanhood. I see no reason why it should have to be hidden from men like it's "unsexy".
Commercials That Bother Me #3: Wrinkle Cream
There isn't one specific commercial for this rant. It's all of them. I don't care how they're displayed, constructed, introduced, any of it. I don't care about that.
I'm worried about the concept of wrinkle cream more so than the commercials themselves, although the commercials are misleading and dishonest, considering they seem to make anti-wrinkle attitudes out to be the ideas of women as opposed to the ideas of the men they're sleeping with or the culture around them. Every time I see a wrinkle commercial I ask my mom a question and I'm sure she's tired of hearing it.
Why the hell don't MEN have to make sure they never have wrinkles? Women make less on the dollar, and they have to spend much more on grooming and making sure they never age, which is another impossible feat. Women always have to be given impossible feats to accomplish, and it boggles my mind.
And now my huge rant is over. It probably didn't make much sense, but in all actuality, neither do any of these commercials or concepts. That's all I have to say about THAT before my head explodes.
Posted by Megan at 10:55 PM
The Alan Guttmacher Institute recently conducted a study* estimating the number of abortions, unplanned pregnancies, and unplanned births that can be prevented if there was equal access to contraception provided by Medicaid. As of now, Medicaid can cover prenatal and limited postpartum care for poor families that are otherwise uneligible for Medicaid benefits, which are families who earn less than 133% of the poverty level. Some states have expanded their benefits to include family planning services to families who make up to 200% of the federal poverty threshold with favorable results, since pregnancy-related care is much more expensive than pregnancy-reducing measures (surprise!). The study also estimates how much federal money can be saved if Medicaid benefits expanded to include the same population's access to contraception. According to the results, the following could happen three years after the implimentation of the program:
- "secure women’s access to contraception and allow some women who were using less effective contraceptive methods to switch to more effective methods;
- "prevent between 375,000–720,000 unplanned pregnancies, 180,000–345,000 unplanned births and 150,000–290,000 abortions;
- "generate significant cost savings ranging from $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion for federal and state governments."
*Yes, the article is 84 pages long. The Executive Summary is an overview of everything, and the first four chapters go more in depth. Everything else is tables and junk.
Posted by FEMily! at 9:35 PM
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
A study designed and conducted by Lake Research Partners for NARAL Pro-Choice America surveyed 1,000 registered voters age 18 and over on their views of the politicization of abortion and other reproductive services. Here's a summary of the results:
77% agree overal and 56% strongly agree that "government and politicians should stay out of a woman's personal and private decison of whether or not to have an abortion."
64% of voters would favor a pro-choice candidate who believes that the government and politicians "should not interfere in a decision best made by a woman, her family, her doctor, and her God." 65% would favor a pro-life candidate with the same stance.
8 in 10 voters are tired of the politicization of abortion.
65% are unfavorable towards candidates who support the refusal of emergency contraception by pharmacists. 61% are unfavorable towards candidates who do not support emergency contraception being given to rape and incest victims in hospitals. 61% don't favor candidates who don't support public funding for birth control and family planning services.
65% disapprove of Louisiana's and South Dakota's extremely restrictive abortion laws.
6 out of 10 voters disapprove of the fact that "Congress has voted 145 times in the past 10 years to restrict reproductive health services, including abortion, birth control, and other forms of contraception."
For full results, method of obtaining results, and some of the questions that were asked to the participants, check this out.
Posted by FEMily! at 2:32 PM
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
A new study has just come out. It states that, surprise surprise, less than 4 years into marriage, less than half of 30-year-old women wanted regular sex. Now, the bovious reason for this, for anyone who is normal and NOT stupid, would be "Oh, women are probably tired because they work harder than men, on average". Well, knowing that this is the logical, most correct response, let's take a dive into Wingnutland!
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach knows the secret to making married couples have more sex: Give breasts back to their rightful owners, men. He says that women who breastfeed their children make their breasts into something useful, and that turns men off. The minute a baby touches a woman's boob, it's no longer appealing as a sex object, and thus, men no longer find their wives appealing.
This is a wonderful example of male entitlement, not to mention the very strong existence of mixed messages being sent to women. From one angle, they're bad mommies if they don't breastfeed, and from another, they're bad sex-slaves if they do. So now Boteach has created a world where women must choose between their children and their spouses. It's ridiculous, it's misogyny, and it's completely incorrect. There is absolutely no truth to the notion that women's breasts are no longer appealing if they breastfeed with them. Not only that, but that shouldn't matter anyway! Men do not have breasts. They cannot get them through marriage. Sorry, Rabbi.
Amanda at Pandagon and Shakespeare's Sister have more on this topic. I just couldn't help but touch on it myself it made me so sick to my stomach.
Posted by Megan at 9:16 PM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Shirin Ebadi is the founder of Iran's Center for the Defense of Human Rights. This program is in danger of being ended by the Iranian government, claiming the organization is illegal because it supposedly does not have the proper permit. According to the Feminist Majority Foundation, it is not against the law for social organizations in Iran to operate without a permit. Even so, the CDHR has requested a permit several times but received no response from the Iranian government.
To support Dr. Ebadi's noble humanitarian work, contact the United Nations and the Iranian government to let the CDHR continue to exist. For more information, you can check out Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Nobel Women's Initiative.
Posted by FEMily! at 8:33 PM
Monday, August 14, 2006
Moving in with your boyfriend is like . . . .
- test-driving marriage.
- totally awesome!
- flushing your life down the toilet?
Well, that's what Pro-Knowledge.org, a part of the rampant crisis pregnancy center provider Care-Net, wants you to think. This website provides abstinence-only propaganda in place of truthful information about sex, sexuality, contraception, and STDs. Their campaign is directed at teenage girls, because everybody knows no amount of sex-ed can possibly benefit guys, even if it is false. Or maybe they just think girls are naive enough to believe it.
The possibility that this garbage is taught to our middle and high school students and the certainty that abstinence-only education causes more harm than good makes me very anxious about the future of our society. I should be thankful that this sort of thing doesn't literally scare the pants off me; that might be mistaken as an open invitation to my vagina.
To support accurate information about sex being taught in American public schools, urge your Representatives to pass the Responsible Education About Life (REAL Act). I'm proud to say that one of my state's Senators, Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), is a co-sponser of this act. Protect our youth from unintended pregnancy, STDs, and right-wing politics!
Posted by FEMily! at 4:40 PM
Sunday, August 13, 2006
How nice it is that Megan warned you all, although I was looking forward to barging in. I guess I'll introduce myself. I'm Emily posting as FEMily! I'm 21, and I'll be starting graduate school in the fall, which means I'll be a student by night and hopefull a feminazi all day!
I was going to write about these Hummer commercials that I've been seeing lately in my other blog, but they made a slight change to one of them. Despite the change, I can still bitch about it. Huzzah! In case you're confused about which Hummer commercials I'm talking about, here's a description.
One commercial stars a mother playing with her young son at the park. A heart-warming scene indeed! Then she realizes that motherhood in public is unbecoming, so she races to the nearest GM dealer, trades in her mini van that just screams "Mom Mobile," and buys a shiny new Hummer. The commercial ends with Hummer me to "get my girl on." I guess that means buy something that'll expel more carcinogens into the air my hypothetical children breathe.
The other feautures a young man buying a supply of vegetables and tofu at the grocer's check-out counter. He looks behind him to see another man buying more manly groceries of red meat and beer. Of course, the vegetarian feels his masculinity has been threatened. I'm sure in the micro cosm of "Patriarchy at the Grocery Store" such a manly man would be gossipping to all of his friends about "that vegetarian with a penis" in between tearing through a bloody steak and chugging a Bud Light. Naturally, our bean curd-loving protaganist trades in his small, fuel-efficient auto for a Hummer behind the slogan "Reclaim your manhood." This last bit was eventually changed to "Restore the balance," probably after they donated a large sum to The National Right to Life.
Even with the change of the commercial aimed towards men who like tofu, both commercials are still sexist for the simple fact that they exist. For the first commercial, a conflicting message that is sent to every female in this country is reinforced: While motherhood is something to be desired by every woman and girl, it is also a life path that is suppressive; a woman can't be a mom and the person she was before she was a mom (unless she buys a Hummer, that is). As for the second commercial, taking out the word "manhood" does not fix anything if they replace it with a phrase that is equally patriarchal and the overall themes of the commercial remain. The belief that men who don't eat meat are somehow lesser men is still a motivating factor in buying a Hummer. Driving the Hummer "restores the balance" by doing a "manly" activity to cancel out eating his chick food. I mean, if he can't get cancer on his lean protein and high antioxidant diet, he might as well get it from breathing in smog!
Don't take my word for it, buddies. You can see the commercials on their official website!
Posted by FEMily! at 11:05 PM
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Lunch is quite the time for drama. You see it all the time in those cheesy teen soap operas. Today was no exception in Feminazi By Night land, and I had to become the Feminazi by Night during school hours! It's like Clark Kent turning into Superman right in the middle of the newsroom! It's crazy talk!
It's also not important. What's important is the issue that made me go into Feminazi mode.
I believe very strongly that the strongest indicatorsw of patriarchy can be seen in the way society acts toward the abortion issue and the rape issue, especially when the two are meshed. However, I'm going to take on one of the two in this post. Your good old fashioned victim blaming! Yaaaaay!
You've all heard it before. "She was wearing a short skirt", "She was drunk", "She was hanging all over him".
So, I had a lovely screaming match with a fellow student today. That was the inspiration for my post title, as it was the last thing I screamed at said student. Once again, names are being changed to protect the not-so-innocent (speaking of which, *puke* I saw Bob today). Today's unsuspecting victim (or maybe not? After all, the argument is "personal responsibility" isn't it?) will be called George.
And George, if you're reading this, I urge you to comment. That way I can't scream over you like you said I did today when I pwned you. :)
Anyway, to get down to it, George brought out the age old many times disproved dehumanizing misogynistic argument of "personal responsibility" for women to stop rape. What George doesn't know, however, is that rape is a male problem. Men rape, so men need to stop. For a better example that someone like George can understand, burglars steal, so they need to stop. Anyone that they steal from is a victim. It doesn't matter if they had their door wide open. The burglar STILL has no right to steal from them.
It is not the victim's job to stop the crime from happening, because such a feat is impossible. A person walking home from the bus stop does not have any responsiblity to stop someone from mugging them. By the same token, a woman does not have to wear a burka to stop men from raping her. That is not a society in which women are free, and a society in which women are not free is a sexist society indeed. Anyone who can't see that needs to get their head out of their (I hope cleanly shaven in case of ass-rape) sphincter. Women have a right to feel safe just like any human person, just like any citizen. Men feel safe in this society. There is no reason why women should have to cater to male whim or incorrect myths about why rape occurs for them to feel safe, too.
Posted by Megan at 8:38 PM
Saturday, August 05, 2006
First and foremost: For my next birthday, minions!
That brilliant shirt comes from BuyOlympia.com, one of the many stores, boutiques, and organizations funding and sponsoring Pro-Choice/Pro-Fashion, a great event that proves that a woman's right to choice about her body shouldn't (and hopefully won't) ever go out of style.
See Feministing's post about it. They have a complete list of sponsors. Check 'em out. There's some awesomeness there.
Posted by Megan at 12:14 AM