Friday, March 28, 2008

Flirting Kills?

I just heard about the murder of Larry King, the out 8th-grader who wasn't afraid to be himself, from a commercial that I saw on MTV. Then, I found this article about it. Here's how it opened:

Larry King was a gay eighth-grader who used to come to school in makeup, high heels and earrings. And when the other boys made fun of him, he would boldly tease them right back by flirting with them.

That may have been what got him killed.

Really? Some bold flirting is what got him killed? Because I thought he got shot twice in the head by a homophobe. Maybe it's the lack of tolerance and downright hate of gay people that got him killed. But I could be wrong.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This is What a Feminist Looks Like

The Feminist Majority Foundation has this informational video about who and what feminists are. It features both celebrities and regular people (Megan and I are noticeably absent!).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Morning Quickie: Take Action

Hold Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao accountable for her general lack of care about worker's rights.

Congress is trying to cut payments to Medicare doctors. Tell them not to.

Support the Fair Elections Now Act for public financing of congressional elections.

Demand equal rights for the spouses of gay and lesbian federal employees.

Blog for EC on March 25.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kick-Ass Old Lady of the Day

Bernie Garcia, an 83-year-old woman in Santa Fe, New Mexico, fought off three guys who were trying to steal her purse. The three men planned to rob an old woman at a gas station, but they probably didn't plan on getting beat up with the pump.

Reporter: You weren't going to let him get it.
Garcia: No, hell no.

Man, that lady needs to be on television all the time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro Resigns After Racist Remark

Yes, and I'm calling them racist because they were racist. Here is the comment she made (and stood by) that caused her to resign:

If Obama were a White man, he would not be in this position. And if he were a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught in the concept.

He's lucky to be what? Black? Being a Black guy is better than being any color woman? Because White privilege doesn't exist? Because the only discrimination that can affect a person is sexism? Because it's OK to call Obama a Muslim and that terrorists will dance in the streets if he's elected, but it's much, much worse to call Hillary Clinton a monster?

It's pretty upsetting when the feminists of the second wave continue to be racist, but we as third wave feminists have to still kiss their asses. That seems to be the sentiment of way too many people who comment at Feministing. It's either that, or it's just more "sexism is worse than racism" or "But Obama does benefit from being Black!" I thought feminists were better than that.

Word, Colbert

Instead of reading this article from The Atlantic that tells women to settle for any man who'll have them (unless you want to know what it's like to have your head packed in ice while a rabid raccoon chomps at your ankles without actually, you know, doing that), watch the above clip from last night's Colbert and laugh.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Good Ol' Fashioned Clinton and Obama Hate

Can people be a little bit more creative with the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bashing? Above is a segment of Real Time with Bill Maher about Hillary Clinton's response to her biggest crisis as she describes in her book (about 5 minutes in):

Bill Maher: Now I don't want to bash Hillary too much, but I just want to add this because we went back and looked at her book. She wrote a book called "Living History," which is her biog- sounds like my sixth grade social studies book, by the way. "Living History," I think was the book I had to study. But we wanted to find out, because she raised this topic of crisis -- what was her biggest crisis? And in her own words she said, "My biggest crisis was Monica Lewinsky," and here's the audio version. This is what she said was her reaction at the moment of her biggest crisis.

Hillary Clinton's audiobook: I could hardly breathe. Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him.

Before Bill Maher could even get another sexist word in, Joe Scarborough of all people came to the defense. Seriously, though, this isn't an uncommon "Gotcha!" moment in the media. Maher's talking about the Republican Scarborough sticking up for Hillary, Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes (who always accuses Jon Stewart of stealing her jokes, even though her show airs and The Daily Show is taped at the same time) tried making the same point yesterday: If this is how Hillary Clinton reacts to her biggest crisis, she's obviously not fit to be president. Give me a break. That's how Clinton reacted to that crisis. More importantly, she reacted appropriately to that crisis. George W. Bush reacted to his biggest crisis (and I don't mean the tap going dry at the local tavern) by continuing to read My Pet Goat. Who's unfit to run the country now?

Now on to the Obama hate. Via the Huffington Post, Republican representative Steve King (IA) believes the following will happen if Obama becomes the next president:

The radical Islamists, the al-Qaida ... would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror . . . His middle name does matter," King said. "It matters because they read a meaning into that.

"Hillary Clinton's weak. Barack HUSSEIN! Obama is a Muslim!" Please. It's getting old. Really old.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Women's Only Gym on Harvard Campus

To accommodate Harvard's devout Muslim women, the university has decided to have women-only hours at one of the campus's gyms. The hours have been set up so that Muslim women can work out without having to worry about men looking at them. One student columnist suggests that men-only hours be provided at the same time as the women-only hours in a different gym. That way, everybody has equal gym time and the Muslim women can still practice their faith freely. Problem solved, right? Well, not so much. A Harvard spokesperson said the general response has been "You're in America. Assimilate or get out." I know, because it's not like religious freedom is in the Constitution or anything.

Michael Smerconish has a problem with the hours too. He says that majority rules, and since only 6 Muslim women have complained, there's no point in inconveniencing other people out of their gym time. But what would be the general response from those male students who have to go to another gym on campus at that time? "Why should I have to walk to a different side of campus just to appease these Muslim women? Poo!" So which is more important? Preserving religious freedom or preserving some guy's usual walking distance between point A and the gym?

Help Save the USF Women's Studies Department!

So I've been M.I.A. from Feminists to the Rescue for a while. I've been a little busy with putting on the Vagina Monologues and counter-protesting the Genocide Awareness Project and now, trying to save my major's department from being the victim of state budget cuts.

Apparently, the state of Florida has cut the funding for education very severely, and this has had a huge impact on the University of South Florida. Due to these budget cuts, some university bigwigs decided that the Women's Studies Department here at USF no longer deserved to be an autonomous entity, despite the fact that it is the second oldest women's studies department in the nation, having just celebrated it's 35th birthday. They also propose cutting out the Africana Studies department as well, or possibly merging the two disciplines to create what those who oppose the idea lovingly call "The Office of Marginalized Studies" .

Apparently, the provost is going to be making the final decision as far as the budget and the fate of the Women's and Africana Studies departments are concerned. His website is here. The information regarding the budget as well as his contact information is all there.

It would be great to get some e-mails sent to the provost in support of Women's Studies and Africana Studies. We have a petition circling around, but it's a printed document. If we get an online version, I will post it here for others to sign. We are trying to get as many signatures and as much support as possible, of course. Gloria Steinem was actually the first to sign our petition, and Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards also added their names to the list. So please, send an e-mail of support for the USF Women's Studies Department.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Abstinence-Only . . . Dental Hygiene?

Some abstinence nut was on Dr. Phil on Monday to discuss why abstinence-only education is better than, you know, telling teens the truth. He uses this bizarre toothbrush analogy to emphasize his point:

"Nobody would stick one of these in their mouth. The reason they wouldn’t stick them in their mouth is because they don’t know where they’ve been, what they’ve been doing, or who they’ve been doing it with,” he says. He adds an untainted brush to his illustration. “I have a virgin toothbrush right here. Can you get back in your box and start over? Absolutely. Can you get your dignity back, your reputation back, your innocence back, your self-esteem back? Absolutely. A person can start over.”

So I guess we should change our sexual partners every six months?

Bush Vetos Torture Bill

President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks.

Let's just get this straight right out of the gate: Waterboarding is torture. It is not a "harsh interrogation practice", it is torture.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Bush often warns against ignoring the advice of U.S. commanders on the ground in Iraq. Yet the president has rejected the Army Field Manual, which recognizes that harsh interrogation tactics elicit unreliable information, said Reid, D-Nev.

So we're going to torture people in order to obtain information that may or may not be reliable, yet Bush still wants to make statements like this:

"This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe," the president said.
Sorry, sir, but I don't believe that demolishing our moral authority in the world is going to do much to keep Americans safe. It certainly wouldn't keep any captured troops of ours safe when we can't denounce any torture practices that those who have captured them might use to obtain information due to our own use of such tactics. If we authorize the use of torture tactics in order to obtain information, how do we have the moral authority to make sure other countries do the same? And if we don't have that authority, how can we make sure that our troops won't be tortured as well? In that sense, I don't see how we can claim that we're keeping Americans safe, unless we don't count our troops as Americans that need protection, which wouldn't surprise me.

But the administration has refused to rule definitively on whether it is torture. Bush has said many times that his administration does not torture.

The White House says waterboarding remains among the interrogation methods potentially available to the CIA.

"Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said.

So apparently Bush won't torture you unless he feels like he needs to. Awesome. I feel so much better now. Here's the link to the full article.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Doggie Racism

Did you know that black dogs are less likely to get adopted from shelters than dogs of other colors? I know, looking at that picture of my beautiful Black Lab, Diesel, who is black from nose to tail, you'd think everyone would want a big black dog. The weird thing is, I wasn't very surprised to learn that. I've noticed that people are kind of frightened of Diesel when I walk him. I don't know. I guess there's just something about a big black dog that scares people. Wait until my dog hears about this! He'll be outraged.

Was this post just an excuse to talk about my dog? Yes. Yes, it was.

Mike Huckabee Ends His Campaign

From The Boiling Point!

Boo! We're going to have to wait at least another 4 years for this to happen! Oh, Mike Huckabee. We hardly knew ye.

Actually, I think we knew too much of ye.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Celebrity Feminist of the Day: Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon promotes Avon's new empowerment bracelet on The Today Show. Up to $1 million of the proceeds from the bracelets will go to the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Why stop at a million? I don't know, but it's better than nothin'.