Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm a Lazy Blogger Too

I find conversations about sexism to be very funny sometimes. As usual, this story comes from message boards. Someone was talking about someone who was making some sexist rant in the middle of Times Square, saying that women shouldn't be in politics or fight in wars, etc. Of course, all of the comments I read were along the lines of "That's so sexist!" That's not so surprising. The comments that were surprising came from pro-lifers, because they were outraged about how sexist his comments were. One of the craziest pro-lifers on the boards had this to say:

"We're not all good for just baby producing, we are humans with rights to [sic]."

Gee, I remember saying this to this very pro-lifer many times while defending abortion rights. I think it's amazing how pro-lifers can defend a woman's right to participate in politics but completely deny women the fundamental rights to their bodies, which is the most sexist notion of all. What rights does one have if their body is someone else's property? Pro-lifers make it like sexism is negative comments about men or women, when pro-lifers contribute to institutionalized sexism more than all the crazy people in Times Square put together.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Great News!

It seems we might have hope for getting a real doctor to run Title X, the nation's family planning program!

Read it and weep, fundies:

Anti-birth control advocate Eric Keroack will no longer oversee Title X, the nation’s family planning program! The day he took office, Planned Parenthood launched a massive grassroots campaign against Keroack, rallying a nationwide groundswell of opposition to his appointment.

PPFA President Cecile Richards issued the following statement on the resignation:

“It’s a good day for women’s health. Keroack was unqualified to run the nation’s family planning program. The Bush administration must replace Keroack with a legitimate, mainstream public health expert who supports family planning and access to birth control. More than 17 million women in our country need access to affordable birth control. The nation’s family planning program should be run by a champion for women’s health and safety.”

On Compromise. . .

So many times in a pro-choicer's life, they will be told by pro-lifers that they need to compromise. While the first question that comes up, of course, is "WTF do you think The Prevention Act is?", there's something else that always comes to mind for me as well.

When pro-lifers say "compromise", what they really mean is "give in". There's really no way for pro-choicers to compromise with pro-lifers unless pro-lifers finally buy a clue and realize that prevention is the only way to preserve fetal life and women's rights, and thus is the only compromise that's viable (well, to any pro-lifers who aren't only interested in punishing women for unauthorized sex, how few there are). However, prevention is a pro-choice goal, so that would just mean that compromising would mean that pro-lifers would become pro-choice.

So when pro-lifers say compromise, always know that, like many other things, that's not really what they mean.

I was recently told that I needed to compromise by a quasi-choicer. I was told that I only care about the women, and that I need to consider the fetus.

I don't think I understand this mentality. I consider the fetus. I consider it medical waste if the woman doesn't want it inside her, because what's inside her is hers. Her uterus is hers no matter what's residing in it. If this is true, then the only thing that I'm being asked to compromise is the human rights of women.

That's a compromise that I'm unwilling to make. I'm not sorry for that, either.

Oh, speaking of compromise and double-binds, here's a great post by Amanda over at Pandagon about the ERA and how conservatives may react to it.

It's spring break and I'm being a lazy blogger. Cut me some slack.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

America's Next Top Model Takes "Photo Shoot" Way Too Literally

Last night's episode of America's Next Top Model featured a crime scene-inspired photo shoot. Apparently, one of the show's producers is Ameila Badelia, and when she heard that there was going to be a photo shoot, she thought it would be a good idea to take photos of the models sporting bullet wounds. For someone like Tyra Banks (you know, someone whose head is bloated with the delusion that her career actually helps women), I think it's absolutely disgusting that she let this happen. Violence is not sexy. Bloody and bruised women are not fashionable. Not even when they're in lingerie.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Also, Just As An Update. . .

I think I might have to re-think my previous benefit of the doubt that I bestowed upon Mr. David Zinczenko, our resident "relationship expert" at Yahoo. He has written yet another article about men and their wants and needs from women. While some of it isn't as bad as it could be, the last part, well, ruins it.

A Woman with a Good Taste in Ties

Okay, so we don't really care about the ties per se. But what we care about is a woman's ability to give us a little-and this is a key word-gentle guidance. I know Freudian followers will say that it's a man's need to be mothered, but it's more than that. Every relationship is a give and take, and guys will definitely take women who can warn us when our new soul patch looks stupid, who can guide us to the perfect suit and shirt combo for an upcoming job interview, who can help them make decisions without being harsh or judgmental. Guys like to project that they know what they're doing and that they don't need any help. Women who can help steer us, without aggressively grabbing the wheel, are the most treasured copilots.

So men want the help of women, but don't want to actually admit that women should be able to help and express their opinions about them. Women don't get any power in this situation, but men still get the perks.


Male priviliege? One. Women? Zero.


Hero and Zero of the Week

If I'm ever at a bar, I hope the bartenders there are as awesome as the women in this story.

They, dearies, are heroes.

The bastards who discriminated against a woman because she became pregnant, however, are definitely zeros.

Just to let ya'll know what's up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Are Women Too Aggressive? Only When They "Nag"

So I log onto Yahoo! and see this news story front and center.

Okay, so the first thing that made me twitch was this little section:

One trend that men have been grappling with: Figuring out their roles in relationships as women have become increasingly financially independent, increasingly sexually liberated, and increasingly determined not to let their biological clocks dictate their relationship status. Before you hurl e-tomatoes in my direction, hear me out: All those things can be good,
(Emphasis mine)

Can? Can be good? In what instances are they not good? In the instance of being a dude who doesn't want women to be liberated? Well yeah, I guess it might suck then, but for the people it's happening for, well, it's ALWAYS good, kthx.

Still, I don't think this article is all bad. It relies on age-old stereotypes from time to time, such as "Women want to label me and trap me into relationships!". Still, the author of this article claims that the generalizations about men and their perceptions of female aggression comes from speaking with dozens of men about the topic, so perhaps they're not his views but theirs. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, I guess.

However, I had another problem with the author's findings:

Case in point: in the survey for Men, Love & Sex, the number-one thing that men said bothered them about their partners was how much they nagged. When a woman applies a lot of pressure on a guy-whether it's to fix his bad habits or convince him to have babies-it simply feels suffocating.
So when women are aggressive in the bedroom, which gives a guy more pleasure, it's okay with them. However, if they're aggressive in characteristics that they might like to see changed, then they're The Nag. I mean, geeze, don't you just feel the pressure on the backs of the poor men when women ask them to stop biting their nails while they're spending most of their time vacuuming them up?

Sorry dudes, but saying "Hey, I'd like for you to stop leaving the toilet seat up" or "You know, it'd be nice if you washed the dishes once in a while" or even, "Hey, why the hell do I always have to get up in the middle of the night to change little Johnny's diaper?" isn't women being too aggressive just because you don't like it.

Facts About International Family Planning

Fact: More than 500,000 women in poor countries die pregnancy-related deaths.

Fact: In 2006, the United States gave $435.5 million to these countries to provide reproductive healthcare.

Fact: $7 billion could have saved the lives of those 500,000 poor women. That's about how much our government spends on the war in Iraq in one month. Instead of using that $7 billion to save 500,000 poor women around the world in 2006, it was used to kill 150,000 Iraqi civilians.

Fact: President Bush wants to cut international family planning funding by 25% by 2008.

Fact: You can do something about it. Click here and urge your Congresspeople to say no to this reckless proposition and put that money where it belongs.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blog Against Sexism Day 2007

Blog Against Sexism Day
Today is a big day! First of all, happy Blog Against Sexism Day, and happy International Women's Day!

To start off my post for Blog Against Sexism Day, I'd like to link to a great article from NOW. I think the stories told in this article are three glaring examples of how sexism still exists in this country. Whenever I hear someone tell me that sexism doesn't exist in this country anymore, that women are seen as equals now, or, my personal favorite, that men are the oppressed ones now, I think of stories like this and I'm just amazed at how deeply a human head can be stuck in the sand.

First you have Exhibit A, which is a legalization of rape in Maryland based on archaic misogynistic laws which state that a man is the real victim of rape because they depend so much on keeping a woman's hymen intact. Here is the law as quoted from the NOW article:

"The concept … rooted in ancient laws and adopted by the English common-law, views the initial 'de-flowering' of a woman as the real harm or insult which must be redressed by compensating, in legal contemplation, the injured party—the father or the husband. This initial violation of the victim also provided the basis for the criminal proceeding against the offender. But, to be sure, it was the act of penetration that was the essence of the crime of rape; after this initial infringement upon the responsible male's interest in a woman's sexual and reproductive functions, any further injury was considered to be less consequential. The damage was done."
Lovely, isn't it? Doesn't it make you feel great to live in such an enlightened country when it comes to women's rights? Make sure to note that this occurred in a state that generally has a good record as far as women's rights. If this kind of stuff can happen in a place like Maryland, we still have plenty of work to do.

What's worse is that some people agree with this ruling. As soon as it happened, I made a post about it on a teen forum I visit (The thread is no longer up, or I would link to it, although the comments that were made at Broadsheet after it happened are enough to tickle anyone's upchuck reflex). While it was good to see so much dissent, it was incredibly scary to see that some people agreed with the fact that a woman should not be able to withdraw consent after penetration has occurred. I don't understand how this can be based on anything BUT sexism. It's not protection of men's rights, as if the situation were something different, say, a man consenting to having a woman feeding him grapes. If he said, yeah, you can feed me some grapes, and she fed him and he said stop and she continued to shove them down his throat, well, that would be called assault (if not attempted murder) despite the fact that he consented in the first place. However, when it comes to women it's suddenly a great ruling because now women can't "drag" men to court anymore over false rape charges! Oh happy day! I'm so glad men are finally getting the right to have sex with non-consenting women!

Exhibit B is par for the immigration rights course, it seems. This case is just lined with anti-choice sexism. This is basically how the story goes:

Maybe Massachusetts state attorneys were taking their cues from Maryland's Court of Special Appeals judges when they whipped out an obscure 1840 law to charge a teenage Dominican immigrant with "procuring an illegal miscarriage."

Amber Abreu was unable to afford a legal abortion, so she did something common in her home country — she took Cytotec, an anti-ulcer medicine, to induce a miscarriage. The drug induced labor, and she delivered a 20 oz. fetus that was not viable, even after four days of extraordinary medical intervention. She was immediately sent to a maximum-security prison, and it took her family several days to raise bail money from the community. Now she may face murder charges as well, for doing something herself that an English-speaking 18-year-old with money could have obtained safely and legally.

Do we need any more proof that anti-choicers don't give two shits about women, especially poor, non-white women? But I'm sure there was no sexism involved in this ruling. I mean, what did the government do, use a uniquely female situation to throw a teenager in a maximum security prison? Surely not, and even if they did, it wouldn't be sexist! Right? Right?

Exhibit C, to me, is the most despicable of them all.

A woman we only know as Lucy from Orange County, California, is another example of the archaic attitudes that threaten women even today. Lucy was stalked and sexually assaulted by a police officer, and then was further victimized by that police officer's unabashedly sexist lawyer..

. . .

After Lucy reported what happened and the case went to court, the officer's attorneys argued that she "got what she wanted. She's an overtly sexual person." A jury of 11 men and one woman found the officer not guilty.
I think I'll have to refer to Femily's earlier post for my true, raw feelings on this case. Thanks for that one, Femily.

However, I'm thinking that perhaps the jury (you know, that panel of her almost all-male peers?) ruled the way they did because they couldn't find a male that was responsible for Lucy's hymen.

I am so tired of people thinking that strippers ask for violation just because of the line of work they're in. If someone punches a boxer on a night he's not in the ring, is it not assault? If someone punches him on a night that he IS in the ring, does it not get prosecuted? Hell, even that isn't a good analogy, really, because it's not okay to rape strippers and sex workers while they're on the job, either.

Once again, this is in California, another state that is generally woman-friendly. As the article points out, if this is allowed to go down in states that harbor less misogyny, I shudder to think of what would be allowed to occur in more conservative states.

Like I said before, this article is a prime example of why Blog Against Sexism Day still exists, and why it still needs to exist. I don't care what any richwhiteheterohonkyboy says. Sexism still exists. It's alive and well whenever a representative of the law is allowed to ejaculate on and rape a woman with impunity. It rears it's hideous head whenever a scared pregnant teenager is put in a maximum security prison for exercising her right to bodily autonomy in the only way she could manage*, and it's obvious that it still needs to be stabbed to death when a U.S. state makes rape legal. That is why I'm blogging against sexism tonight. It's why I'm a feminist, and it's why I run this blog. It's also why I hope that people are reading this and saying, "You know what, this shit ain't right", and joining the effort to combat the forces in the American war against women. This is what these stories can tell you. Uncle Sam DOESN'T want YOU to join the army of those who would fight for women's freedoms, but that shouldn't stop you.

This, this, this, and this are all real, and they can all happen. They all occur in this country. Large or small, every battle needs to be fought, and hopefully won. Our president is chipping away at women's reproductive freedoms and is downright chopping up the budget for the department that focuses on women's health. Our law enforcement is not only raping women, they are also throwing rape victims in jail. Objectifying women and holding them to a different standard is still a favorite pastime of nasty internet dudes and domestic violence is still running rampant.

Knowing all of this, you can't tell me sexism is dead, and I'm going to fight it until it is.


*I'm not endorsing home abortions, however, I do sympathize with the desperate women who try them when they have no other options either legally or financially.

Friday, March 02, 2007

My City Makes It's Name in the World, Too Bad the Name it Took is "Bible-beating Bully Heaven".

A little while ago, Largo City Manager Steve Stanton announced that he would be seeking a sex-change operation. He is a woman and wants his body to match his gender. He wants to be Susan Stanton, no, scratch that, he is Susan Stanton and simply wants his anatomy to reflect that.

However, some Bible-beating bullies who live in Largo want to tie Jesus up (and gag him to make sure He doesn't contradict) and beat poor Susan over the head with Him. Susan is facing firing because of the members of this homobigot conglomeration.

Check this out:

Until last week, he had served 14 years as the city manager, generally to good reviews.
That is, until he wanted to be who he really is. Now, suddenly, Steve was a wonderful employee, but Susan is "deceitful" and lacks integrity. Perhaps the Christianity-defiling hooligans at Indian Rocks Baptist aren't just showing how they feel about transgendered people, but women as well. But hey, I wouldn't wantto take awat their right to take away the rights and jobs of others because they feel squirmy when people don't fit into gender roles that generate stuff like "Men and boys fishing retreats", which, yes, Indian Rocks has.

I am disgusted that the city of Largo would allow this injustice to occur. Send a letter to the Largo City Commission and let them know that bigotry and bullying from "Christians" who spend more money on a Jesus theme park than what Jesus actually said won't be tolerated.