Saturday, December 27, 2008

Seriously news media???

I have had it with the coverage of the "Santa killer"/"Christmas nightmare" story.

They keep running these stupid, misleading headlines and it's making me crazy! From a description like that you may think a mall Santa went nuts and starting firing on shoppers or something. It's a cheap attention grabber but it's not the real story.

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo should not be remembered as the "Santa killer" --- he should be remembered as another statistic of domestic violence.

Ironically I haven't read that phrase in any articles but I HAVE seen "marital troubles" -- as if marital troubles is in ANY WAY adequate to describe, disguising yourself to gain entry to a home full of people, including your ex wife and her friends and relatives-- shooting everyone you can and setting fire to the home.

How in the sam HELL does that equate with marital problems? Marital problems are a dying sex life or too many bills. Not an ex who stalks, terrorizes and murders you and your family.

FUCKING NEWS MEDIA.

A story like this should have "domestic violence" in the TITLE. It should be noted that women are most vulnerable when they leave their abuser. And make no mistake, this man was an abuser. I'd bet my life on it. You don't pull stunts like this without having serious issues with control, entitlement, and violence.

If you hate your ex wife, you talk shit to your friends and hire a good lawyer, you don't gun down her family -- unless you are a violent, horrible person.

Some might say, 'Perhaps he was suffering from a serious mental illness and snapped.'

Far less likely.

This man planned carefully. He had $17,000 on him and an airline ticket to Canada. And the Santa suit was not only a sick, sadistic choice... it was also a tactical one. Apparently the house he invaded used to have neighbor show up dressed as Santa. So Mr. Pardo new the suit would gain him entry. He had the gun, the bullets and the gasoline ready to go. This was not a man who snapped, this was an execution. Retribution for a woman who had left him... who had gotten away... who had escaped his control. He was going to punish her.

This is merely the hundredth or so case (this year) of a woman being murdered by her intimate partner. Domestic violence against women is an epidemic. But we don't care. Even when the horror of it smacks us in the face, we ignore it. We want to sensationalize the freak-show, carnival nature. We want to talk about SANTA committing a holiday massacre.

And we want to forget that women in this country, while less likely to be violently murdered than men, are FAR MORE LIKELY to be murdered by those they call husband, lover, boyfriend.

And THAT is way more messed up than a man in a Santa suit wielding a weapon.

/end rant

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Giggle

Do I know why?

No....

It just makes me giggle.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A movie review and more

Hello!!!

...

(hears an echo)

...

Okay!! Okay! I'm sorry. I got engaged and disappeared. I didn't even blog on the presidential election-- the freakin' presidential election!

But right around the time Melissa McEwan took a step back from blogging at Shakesville, I realized I too needed a break.

Feminism is a passion of mine but let's face it, it's not a relaxing hobby. After the election, I cut back on reading blogs (although I couldn't stay away entirely) and I stopped commenting. I read frivolous books, planned my wedding and visited family.

Everyone needs to carve out time to be happy. I can start crying over a letter from OxFam!! There's a lot of suffering in this world and while I don't advocate ignoring it -- (we should always keep up with our teaspoons) it's also important to keep a healthy balance. You can't do any good if you're miserable.

So I took a break. But I'm ready to dip my toes back in again... so I figure... let's start with some fluff.

How about a review of a movie?

STOP NOW If you don't want spoilers---



So Will Smith is Hancock, the unhappy superhero who spends most of his day drunk, laying on park benches. He flies in to "save the day" but in the process wreaks havoc (think millions of dollars in destroyed property). Citizens of LA are unamused and boo him on sight. Nancy Grace even calls for his incarceration!

In steps the public relations man, Ray, played by Jason Bateman... Hancock saves him from a train and Ray repays him by offering to revamp his image. It's decided that the city needs to "miss Hancock." So they let Hancock go to prison to make amends.

While in prison, Hancock gets in a fight with two large cons (who apparently are the dumbest people ever -- who picks a fight with an immortal superhero?) and it ends with --- brace yourself --- Hancock putting one man's head up the other man's ass. Really..... Yes you see it... I guess it was supposed to be a funny but I was disgusted. Is there not some other sophomoric violent stunt he could have pulled without evoking imagery of unconsenting anal penetration????

Ray's wife, Mary (played by Charlize Theron) dislikes Hancock more than your average person and the audience is meant to deduce there is history there.

You learn that Hancock is drunk and miserable for a reason. He woke up 80 years ago (he's immortal and doesn't age) in a hospital in Miami with no memory whatsoever and no one to claim him. He's been lonely and grasping for his past and memories all these years.

SO-- major spoiler time...

We come to find (through some very lame and hole-filled storytelling) that Mary is actually an immortal hero as well and since the dawn of time she and Hancock were lovers/partners/some variation thereof. But they were star crossed and doomed to grow weaker and vulnerable when they were together. When Hancock lost his memory all those years ago, she fled hoping to save him and herself once and for all.

So Hancock became a drunken superhero and she became... a housewife.

Nothing against housewives, but this woman can do anything. She is actually STRONGER than Hancock. She is indestructible, she can fly and she can apparently control the weather and start tornadoes. I guess we're meant to believe that after all this time she wanted to lay low. But the motivation for hiding her gift is unclear -- other than to regulate her character to helpless woman role (yes Hancock has to SAVE HER at some point). During one scene she actually hands her husband a jar to open- when he does she sighs, "Oh honey you're so strong."

And later when she is giving Hancock the 'motivation speech,' she says something like, "You were built to save humanity, to be the God's insurance policy here on Earth!"

There's no trace of irony that she too is clearly built special-- endowed with God-like powers. But no, it's only Hancock with the magnificent, heroic destiny. When he flies off to leave her (as he must for their own good), the story jumps months into the future to show that Hancock has literally flown to the moon and back and yet Mary is still walking next to her husband and son, eating ice cream like any other domestic Plain Jane.

Fine. They can't be together. It destroys their powers. But you're telling me they couldn't fight crime and do battle in separate hemispheres? And the stupidest part, Mary's husband is Hancock's PR man. He was the biggest advocate of, "Your powers give you a special role to play-- use them well." Yet, he doesn't care when his wife hides her ability and stays home to cook meatballs when the world needs saving???

Charlize Theron is an amazing actress and it's a waste to give her this cardboard role. Basically she was a plot device -- only there to connect the two male leads and occasionally wear cleavage-baring, dominatrix/superhero get-up.

And it's a bummer because as far as superhero stories go, it had originality and potential but it fell so, so flat.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guest blogger time!

From Adrienne

Sometimes, I'm not sure what to think about the society that I live in.

My state, Nebraska, has recently come into nationwide focus because of a law that came into effect in September-- The Safe Haven Law. This law states that people can bring their child and leave them at a hospital or with an on duty firefighter and not be prosecuted by law.

Nebraska is, obviously, a very conservative state. Currently, we have what is legally referred to as an 'unenforceable' abortion ban. Every Saturday I drive by a HUGE protest in front of the Planned Parenthood in my town. My sister and I used to entertain ourselves by flipping them off while we drove by, and once I escorted a terrified woman (who was not even there for an abortion or to ask about one) across the picket line so that she could get an exam done. When we passed the safe haven law, I was so proud of the state. I thought, finally, someone wants to provide an answer for women who want an abortion and cannot obtain one.

What is controversial about the law is that there is no age limit. While lawmakers have stated that it is intended for infants, to prevent babies being born in dumpsters, they left no age limit on the law so that any parent could leave their child here.

If you've been following the stories on the news, you can see what a predicament my state is now in. Over thirty children have been left here since the law came into effect in September, some from out of state. One father dropped off nine children (after his wife died and he was laid off from his job).

As an early childhood professional, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about children being abandoned by their parents. As a citizen, even as a liberal, I have to admit that it is upsetting that parents are using the safe haven act, even more so that so many have utilized the law-- and even MORE so that parents from out of the state have used the law.

However, the law was created for a reason. The law was created so that parents could leave their children rather than harming them-- and now we are upset because the law is doing exactly what it was intended for.

Yesterday I was reading an article about a woman who became the guardian to a 16 month old when his homeless mother literally put the child in her arms and then walked away. Now he is five, and suffering from an emotional disorder so severe that his guardians literally fear for their lives. She has sought help through the proper channels, got therapy, put him on medication, and, finally, looked for full-time care with an institution. But the wait list for a quality institution was 6 months at the least. So, she bought plane tickets and brought him to Nebraska, where she dropped him off at a hospital. In the article, she says that she just wanted him to get help, and this was the only way she could think of to get him help right NOW. "If it works out," She says, "I'd like to have him back."

THAT is the real travesty. The fact that it takes more than six months for a CHILD to receive necessary mental health care is morally reprehensible in this society. THAT is what we should be focusing on, NOT on repealing a law that has brought into light so many of the holes in our social services system.

It breaks my heart that children are being abandoned. I work for a child care center that exists through a grant that provides day care and living expenses for single moms. The majority of the children I interact with every day are children who were born to teenage mothers. Every single day I see parents whose lives would have been SO much easier had they had an abortion or found some way to abandon their child-- and yet they keep them, they struggle, and they make it through. Sometimes with public assistance, sometimes without. So when the public in my ridiculously conservative state says that people should understand the choice inherent behind creating a child, and the responsibility that comes with having one, I get it. I absolutely GET it. These women chose a hard road for themselves AND for their children, and I admire every single one of them for it. The goal of social services is to keep families together, and as functional as possible (if any of you grew up in a functional family, let me know).

I was so proud of my state for passing this law. Passing this law, to me, meant that Nebraska was tired of being heartbroken every time they read about a baby left in a dumpster, or a child locked in a closet, or starved to death. To me, it meant that while we are, as a whole, an anti-abortion state, we were willing to provide a choice to women that does not include a dark alley/rusty hanger, or forced motherhood.

I was so proud of the state for saying that we would be the brave light shining in the darkness for these children-- NOT for the parents-- who have so few choices, so little help, and-- obviously-- no one they can count on.

But now the public cries out that these children are not our responsibility-- that it isn't fair for us to shoulder the cost of these children. Some parents have said they abandon their children because of severe behavioral issues, and others, I'm sure, just because they didn't want to have their kids anymore. That was bound to happen. In any case-- I thank God that these children are no longer in their parent/guardians hands, even if just for a brief reprieve to get the help that they need in order to make their families functional. I pray for the lawmakers who face the decision to repeal a law that we-- obviously-- so desperately need. What would have become of these thirty-odd children without the safe haven law? Would we rather open the World Herald and read that 34 children had been starved, neglected, abused, since September?


Luke 9:48: "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me, because the one who is least among all of you is the one who is greatest."


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hmm, just a thought



If Jesus can take care of his church, why do you need to write your religion into the state constitution to control the lives of others-- to stop people from acquiring equality and legal rights? This law would not force any church to marry anyone. And for the record, plenty of churches out there already perform ceremonies for same sex couples.

This law simply grants gay and lesbian people the same legal rights their heterosexual counterparts share.

Is that so hard to understand?

And just WHAT about that is comparable to Nazi Germany I'd like to know??

Thursday, October 30, 2008

File this news under 'HOLY CRAP'

As if my blogging hasn't gotten lax enough lately.... What with working 60 hours weeks, I've been light on A) Original posting or B) any posts at all

Well that's all about to get seriously compounded because on Tuesday, Sexy Boyfriend popped the question.


......


I know.

After 4 and a half years together, we're going to go all official style.

I'm thrilled but already letting my hyper German planning gene go into overdrive. A few things need to happen pretty quickly. Both of us have large extended families, so guest lists are being compiled and all sorts of questions need to be answered-- what type of ceremony are we comfortable with? We were both raised Christian (him Catholic, me Lutheran) and we both feel connected with a Christian theology although we are not practicing.

There's just a lot of things to think about. And a few surprises! In the past, I've found some wedding traditions horribly sexist but then I found myself on the phone with my dad and suddenly asking, "Will you give me away?" --- The minute I said it, I almost laughed out loud. That was a classic tradition that I never had any intention of participating in. But the minute I said it, I knew I meant it.

I want my father to play that role. He and I love each other but we have a challenging emotional bond that I trace back to --- I grew up, grew boobs and he became uncomfortable talking to me.

That's a moment I think we'd both like to share together. I value his guidance and support and I want him to be there to help me that day. I would gladly have my mom walk with us except I have a feeling she may be wanting a quiet pew to herself and some Kleenex.

Either way, there's all these thoughts rolling around --- how do I create a day with Tyler (sexy boyfriend needs a name now I think) that will reflect where we are at with our faith, each other, our principles and my feminism -- cause you know that's gonna factor in at some point! :)

All in all these are happy questions to be ponder but I'm just saying... I may be distracted for a bit.

If any other feminists out there have cool wedding ideas to share or you've seen something, heard of something-- please I'm all ears!

CALLING ALL FEMINISTS-- Please send your "How I managed a wedding" story!

And just in case you care.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Palin depicted hanging from a noose-- but it's a "joke"

Sick and wrong.

Someone hung up a mannequin dressed as Sarah Palin with a noose around the neck.

And then defended it by basically saying: Well I wouldn't hang an effigy of Obama cause our nation has a horrible history of lynching black people.

And apparently no history of violence against women?

I am just done with sexism in this campaign season.

TRIGGER WARNING


Read also -- Random Babble's take
and Melissa's too

Meme-tastic

Thanks Ouyangdan for sending me a meme! I actually found thinking up answers really challenging- But I just hope I did it right....

Rules of the meme-- you must:


1. Link to the person who tagged you

2. Post the rules on your blog

3. Write six random things about yourself

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them

5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

6. Let the instigator know when your entry is up

ONWARD...

1. I am unaware of what a meme is and have never participated in one before. :)

2. Some of my musical taste embarrasses even me. But despite myself, I will jam out to bad pop music (Toxic by Britney Spears, I'm looking at you). Some of the movies I love are also cheese-tastic but they make me happy (Father of the Bride, Steve Martin version)

3. A couple of years ago I had a SEVEN POUND cyst removed from my body. Now I am constantly paranoid that my body is growing more giant things. I wish I could get annual cat scans but don't think my insurance will cover it.

4. When I was younger I thought all my stuffed animals had feelings and felt guilty if I slept with one and not the others. I would try and cram them all in bed with me, and on at least occasion I slept on the floor to accommodate them.

5. Crying... I do it frequently. When I'm happy, sad or laughing. A lot of embarrassing things make me cry -- even kid friendly animated movies (the end of Iron Giant is a killer). The other day I got a letter urging me to send money to end the treatment of calves who will become veal. Between the photos of the baby cow in a tiny crate and reading the description, I was crying all over the place. When I was much younger, I wanted to be a liberal, feminist, pastor person. But the idea of me delivering sermons at weddings or funerals would just be out of the question.

6. I have some seriously irrational phobias. The first being I always need the toilet seat cover down. I trace this back to when my college roommate was using my hairbrush and let it fly out of her hand into the toilet. Even though we threw it away, it totally grossed me out. So now toilet seat cover is always down. Also I have this weird disgust at seeing wet paper.

Ok, now 8 places in the US that I would pick to live

1. New York City-- but only if I had the money to live the lifestyle there. A nice apartment in Manhattan and money to still eat, go to museums, see Broadway shows, pay for electricity... all that fun stuff.

2. Hershey Pennsylvania -- You're very close to landmark cities - Boston, Philly and there are cobblestone streets with Hershey Kiss shaped lights! How freaking cute would that be?

3. Portland, Oregon -- Been there twice and love the feel of it. Granola and crunchy with lots of heart.

4. Canon Beach, Oregon -- an hour from Portland, wouldn't you love having this out your back window?



5. Chicago, IL -- When I was younger my aunt lived in Racine and I'd visit her and we'd take trips to Chicago. I really liked it and it still feels Midwest-ish

6. Cedarburg, Wisconsin--- In the Midwest and historic in an almost-too-cute way. I visited it this past summer when I was helping a friend go wedding dress shopping. It was small but less than an hour from Milwaukee so you could still enjoy big city perks like shows and concerts - below is a pic I took of their town's mural.



7. Rapid City, SD- I grew up there and I LOVE the Black Hills. It may be scary republican territory (think Bill Napoli) but it is GORGEOUS.

8.I am running out of places! In high school we took a church trip to San Jose, Cali and I really liked it there. I don't think that would suck. Sorry, lame way to end but I ran out of stuff :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I tag Sarah, Christy, Dakota Women (any of their bloggers can do it!), Mahlena-Rae Johnson (of Steve the Penguin fame), --- many others who I WOULD tag have already been tagged so I'll leave it at 4 and hope the Meme-Gods don't strike me dead.

Gabrielle Union inspires me



I did not know that actress Gabrielle Union was a survivor of rape. Here in her interview with Oprah, she is so well-spoken-- she talks about trusting your instincts and not going to a second location. She also advocates for better teatment for victims, no matter what part of town they are from. As a survivor from a more affluent community, Union recognized that the excellent care she received from police and rape counselors was not the norm.

I've never seen Union in a starring role in her movies. But seeing how poised and honest and brave she is in this interview, I'm willing to bet she could and should be in some bigger, harder-hitting roles.

She seems like a truly thoughtful person and I admire her so much for sharing her story.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Spotlight

Check out UneFemmePlusCourageuse's blog post Vigilante Flair Patrol all about how facebook applications like bumper stickers or flair (buttons you can add to your personal webpage) serve up some horrible rape-promoting garbage.

I have been doing screenshots from time to time of insulting pieces I've seen, these are just a few...



Une provides more, and a great blog post to boot. Go visit.

Unfair

The body of 7 year old Julian King has supposedly been found. He was the nephew of Jennifer Hudson. That means that in a span of days, Hudson lost her mother, brother and nephew.

I have read about and wrote about countless horrible acts of violence but this case just breaks my heart. When I try to imagine something like that happening to me- losing the most cherished people in my life, including someone so young ... I literally can no longer think. It's as if my mind has to stop myself from even IMAGINING that kind of pain.

My prayers to Jennifer and her family. May God grant them solace and peace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Post Secret is so great


If you don't go check it out, you should. It's updated every Sunday

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarah Palin's wardrobe firestorm

I defer to wisdom from CNN's Campbell Brown



...and the wisdom of the great Melissa McEwan.

It's no secret that you should "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." Well, Palin is dressing to look Presidential, so it's understandable that she wants to look sharp. Not only that, as a woman in the public eye, she HAS to look sharp.

Throughout this campaign season, the press has made it abundantly clear that it won't be cutting female politicians any slack. Article after article was written about Hillary's pantsuits, the 'is-it-there-or-not' cleavage and the choice of wardrobe colors (did that blue really flatter her?). And forget the clothes, was Clinton even HOT enough to be President? Believe it or not, it was a concern some pundits had.... Rush Limbaugh (professional asshole) wrote an entire article about Hillary, "Does Our Looks-Obsessed Culture Want to Stare at an Aging Woman?"

So needless to say, there's pressure to look flawless. Palin's already been subject to scrutiny for outdated hair or for simply appearing as she is!

However, as McEwan and Brown both point out, we can acknowledge the sexist double standard but still point out the hypocrisy that Ms. Small Town, "Real" America, Hockey Mom, Average Joe-loving Sarah Palin shops at stores (and with expense accounts) that in NO WAY reflect the average American experience.

Yes, woman are held to unfair standards but Palin dropped a LOT of cash ($150,000 over the course of 2 months) on clothes from top designers while Michelle Obama rocked a White House Black Market dress for less than $200.

And if they were just two women living their life, that information would be none of my concern.

However, Palin's campaign crux is that she sees America the way YOU do ('you' being, middle class, small town folk) and her actions continually speak otherwise.

Besides, if I were a donor to McCain's campaign (hahahah, perish the thought) I'd be just a lil' pissy that she couldn't have shopped a few sale racks.

Update: Just found a great post from Echidne on this issue.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

He gets hero worship, she gets laundry

Today on feministing, Jessica Valenti blogs that PlaySkool is still pushing their Rose Petal Cottage on American girls.

The pink, pastel wonder comes complete with a washer/dryer, oven, baby cradle and stuffed chair. Now there's nothing wrong with children wanting to play house or play with domestic toys. I had a tea set when I was little and I adored princess clothes and baby dolls. But sometimes my "baby" and I would be mother and daughter taking a safari through the backyard. Sometimes I'd be wearing a tiara while climbing trees and splashing in mud puddles.

I don't understand why we haven't advanced beyond this notion that kids today play a certain way based on what's between their legs.

The Rose Petal Cottage is a classic example -- it's just one female stereotype after another. A line from the sing-songie advertisement goes, "I love when my clothes get so clean, taking care of my home is a dream dream dream."

Now Playskool has put out the Sweet Lily Castle -- for $200 your daughter can be a princess complete with frog to kiss (cause every princess needs a prince). Just once I want the princess outfit to come with a throne and palm pilot to plan all your diplomatic meetings and charity events!



Again, I see nothing wrong with selling stuff like this. But when you step back (like way back) to look at the big picture. It starts to get frustrating.

Last night, I was watching TV and a ridiculous commercial came on. Sexy boyfriend and I were laughing hysterically at it, but I immediately noticed the language



It's not just that only boys are featured in the video, from the voice over, it's clear this is a boys-only toy.

"He’s steering the action"
"Everything your little hero needs" -- hero apparently meaning MALE
"His imagination is racing"

Keep in mind this is also a PlaySkool toy, the same folks that make Rose Petal Cottage and Sweet Lily Castle.

When toys mature, it's the same problem. Take a look at this image (I lifted it from Feministing who got it from Elle phd




Via Elle:

And while the "boy's" kit promises to boost your brain... the "girl's" kit promise to relax you and let you experiment with different fragrances. The boy's box is also covered with words like "go wild" and "erupt" and "blow your mind,"while the only thing that promises to be exciting about the girl's is the foaming and frothing of bubbles.


When you stop at feministing, check out even MORE examples of sexist packaging for young girls/boys products. And it starts at Playskool and just continues... actually, it probably starts the minute the doctor says, "It's a girl."

As soon as the "Helmet Heroes" commercial was done (and we were finished giggling at the dad "behind bars") I said to Sexy Boyfriend, "Why can't HER imagination be racing?"

He sort of snorted at me, "You WOULD notice that."

Yeah I would. And I'm kinda pissed that he doesn't. I get really sick of people brushing it off as 'no big deal' when we just went through an election that had some of the worst open displays of sexism and misogyny our country has seen in YEARS. Don't tell me that all these antiquated ideas about sex and gender and the so-called limitations thereof (what girls can't do etc) doesn't have REAL ramifications.

Luckily, I saw this video on CNN today about two high school girls who play football on their school team. Yes, they wear heels and like to shop but they are assets to the team and even wish they could tackle. That representation is much more truthful. Girls can still be girls (whatever that means) even while playing football in the mud, experimenting with chemistry and running for President!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Proof that we're winning



A lot of people are pissed that McCain came right out and admitted that picking Palin was a "cold, calculated political move to counter the liberal feminist agenda."

I see this as proof that we're winning, folks.

Next time someone asks, "Isn't feminism dead?" We have pretty strong proof that no-- on the contrary, we're whipping politicians into a frenzy.

Apparently our cause is so threatening that McCain felt the need to pick an unqualified, untested person just because she could "counter our movement."

And lo and behold she is simply energizing our base and Obama is poised to wipe them both off the map.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Missed the debate?

Watch it here



Thoughts?

I like Melissa's take on it

2 very silly thoughts from me.

#1 I wish Obama hadn't laughed so much. I realize McCain was spouting some serious crap but it can look very arrogant and rude to see the split screen and one man speaking seriously and the other one--- apparently -- laughing at him.

Also

Why does McCain have to whistle like that groundhog from Winnie the Pooh when he talks? ANNOYING.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Y94, missing the funny again

When I hear/see/read something that I find unacceptable, I speak up about it. You should too.

You don't have to be rude, or full out boycott *(unless you're that pissed, in which case, hey go for it)* -- but mediums like newspaper, radio and TV are all about serving the consumer. They want you to read, watch, listen to THEIR stuff. And if they are doing something to turn people off, they want to know!

I communicated with local Top 40 radio station, Y94 once before about something that didn't sit right with me -- was it effective - meh, who knows. But I said my piece and they know that one listener took offense.

Recently, I got an updated comment to that entry saying:

I came across your blog because I was upset at something I heard on y94. Not sure if they created it, but they played it.

It was like a fake PSA, where this man was talking about hating this girl at work because she had "let herself go" and she now had a "muffin top." It ended with "This message paid for by the 'I want something nice to look at when I come into work Committee'"

I was so hurt and outraged. Who's this guy to say what's attractive? and to say that women are only at work to give him and other men "something nice to look at."

I emailed the studio... I'm not sure what else to do...

thanks for listening :)

I have not heard this ad but it sounds like a bucket of stupid. I want to commend the listener for voicing his/her concern to the station. Too often I think people feel like they have to just take hurtful or abusive images/messages because, "What can we do?"

You can speak up!! You might be mocked for having 'no sense of humor' but no one can accuse you of lacking courage.

And remember, sometimes if enough people speak up about something offensive, the good side wins!

PS: Thanks to the visitor who commented on my blog and who did a courageous thing by contacting the studio. I hope you got a pleasant response!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PROVE you were raped - NEVER smile again

Post feminist society my ass.

You know-- I keep thinking they can't come up with more victim-blaming garbage... then they do! And I always think, why throw more in the mix when you can just pull out classics like, "She got drunk, it was her own fault" defense. Or the oldie but goodie, "You can't rape a slut/whore." You could go for the lesser known but usually as effective, "It's not rape, it's just people being naturally sexual or experimenting" or the fan favorite, "She wanted it (it was really consensual). Or you can always keep it real simple and say 'Women lie' -- that one almost always works.

Sometimes you don't need to even go through the work of thinking up excuses. Because there's a strong chance that our society doesn't care when they A) SEE RAPE HAPPENING or B) Actually CATCH a rapist.

With all that to back you up, why re-invent the wheel? I have no idea... perhaps just to make me crazy? For example: See this headline:



You read that right. In England a defense barrister (attorney) argued that a victim had exaggerated how upset she was after her rape. The evidence-- smiling photos of her on facebook.

...Barrister tried to persuade a judge to be lenient by showing pictures posted on the social networking site of the woman laughing and smiling at a fancy dress party in the years since the rape.

Colin McCarraher, defending, told Reading Crown Court last week: 'What we have is a person who has post traumatic stress but is quite capable of going out and having a good time at a fancy dress party.'

Mr McCarraher told the court that although he did not know when the images had been taken, they did not tally entirely with someone struggling to rebuild their life.


So if you really want justice, you better devote your entire life to misery and despair until that SOB is caught. If you crack a smile, attend a party, go to work, start a new relationship, have sex again -- it's proof that you are a liar or that you deserved it.

Apparently it didn't bother the defense that the victim had attempted suicide since her attack. Or that suggesting that because a victim of ANYTHING smiles it in someway negates the horrible thing that was done to her.

You know, someday Mr. McCarraher is going to suffer a tragedy. A family member will pass on, someone he loves will be victimized by something... I just want someone to come up to him later, catch him grinning or laughing and point a finger in his face and say "HA! I guess you're a big faker aren't you."

Just for a LIL' taste of his own medicine.

The good news here? For once the judge didn't buy the BS. The rapist, Anthony Francis was sentenced to five-and-a-half years.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palin = "terrorist" = extremist

Them's fighting words I know, but hear me out.

For the past few days I've watched Sarah Palin speak at rally after rally asking "Who is Barack Obama?" And I just want to shout at the top of my lungs, "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?"

She goes around insinuating that Barack is a bad guy because he "pals around with terrorists." Meaning he once worked in the same organization as Bill Ayers who attacked the U.S when Obama was 8 yrs old. So guilt by association = terrorist, eh Sarah? Well watch this video and -- using her logic -- PLEASE tell me, what type of person is Sarah Palin?



Today I read on CNN that in Pennsylvania, Palin spent 10 minutes of her 30 minute speech attacking Obama's position on abortion saying,

"In times like these with wars and financial crisis, I know that it may be easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to life, and it seems that our opponent kind of hopes you will forget that," Palin told a crowd in Johnstown. "He hopes that you won't notice how radical, absolutely radical his idea is on this, and his record is, until it's too late."

I'm glad the gloves are off, Sarah. And I hope Obama takes this opportunity to talk abortion rights, a topic he hasn't really hasn't been that strong on (in my opinion).

The majority of Americans are pro-choice. It's Palin's ideals that are radical and extreme. You remember those ideals right? She's the one that thinks you should be forced to carry a pregnangy to term, even if you were raped.... even if a family member raped you... Charming.

Yeah, not even Cindy McCain agrees with that view.

So I submit here that all evidence points to Palin being the anti-American, extremist canidate.

That's all I'm saying.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Perino = person I want to hit most right now

I know, I know... violence is not the answer. But I also know I'm not the only person she's pissed off lately.

But this makes my blood boil.

From Oct 7th (FOUR DAYS AGO)



Could she be a bigger brat here folks? Is it possible? First of all her attitude is so cavalier it's disgusting.

When asked if our economy is in a recession she says:

You know I don’t think that we know. Obviously, this next quarter is probably not going to be a very good one. And we know that. But we know that the last quarter we had about a 2-percent* growth, which is not too bad. But obviously, right now we are in a very difficult situation.

When asked what has changed since February when Bush assured us "We're NOT in a recession" vs. now "maybe we're in a recession," Perino snarkily bites:

Just look at what’s happened. That’s what’s changed, is what’s happened in the market.

The reporter says:

"No, no, I’m not being flippant — I mean, I know things have changed. But he was emphatic, saying we’re not in a recession and we’re not going into one. And just last week you were standing at the podium — you and Tony stood at the podium, saying –"

MS. PERINO: I wasn’t here last week.

REPORTER: Well, the week before. Okay, let’s –

MS. PERINO: I don’t know — look, April, I don’t know if there’s — if we are in a recession right now. And in fact, there’s no one who could actually tell you if we precisely are in a recession right now.

REPORTER: All I’m just saying –

MS. PERINO: Last February, when the President was asked that question — again, if you look at the classical definition of a recession, we were not in it. That doesn’t mean that the President doesn’t understand that people are hurting, or that people are concerned about their savings accounts, or people are concerned about their retirement accounts. But it doesn’t mean that we are necessarily in a recession. And I think we should be careful about throwing around words like that until there’s actually some evidence.

Evidence like Steve Forbes saying we're in a serious recession?

Or taxpayers having to pony up 700 billion (apparently so AIG wouldn't have to cancel their spa retreat)

Or the Dow plummeting thousands of points and bouncing around like a drunk on a trampoline?

As one commenter so aptly put it:

If you are standing in a boat, and there is water around your waist, you do not have to ask anyone, “Are we sinking?”

The fact that all this goes on and the White House press secretary is STILL trying to claim "We dunno" when asked if this is a recession... it makes me see bright spots everywhere.

No Colored People-- err-- Obama supporters allowed

No, the McCain campaign isn't putting out ugly energy... not at all

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not that desperate!



So, in the middle of this huge economic tumble I am reminded of my own credit crisis. The one that started with college and then continued when I took an Americorps internship for 9 months and made about $400/month.

So I was sitting around thinking how much I hated my credit card balance and how much I wanted to start making money so I could travel and have stability and just.... be less worried.

So it occurs to me that with holiday season coming up (fast!) I could probably secure a temp job. I figured with my schedule, it'd either be waitress work or retail. The idea of serving food again nearly had me breaking out in hives. I also hated the idea of going back to retail and giving up any shot at a real holiday. Seriously, forget your turkey hangover, your ass will be in that store at 5 am day after Thanksgiving!

Naturally I was stoked to hear women in my office talking about a better job. A phone survey position that would run from now until election day. I was fuzzy on the details but was told it was something about "getting people out to vote."

Cool.

I got a call back from the company and the woman and I are yammering on when she says, "Now would you have a problem calling people and encouraging them enthusiastically to get out and vote republican this year?"

Pause.

Needless to say the rest of the conversation was a short one.

I could use the money. But I could use my soul more...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Anthology on motherhood and domestic violence seeks submissions

*This isn't my project but I thought it sounded wonderful....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Call for submission of personal accounts from mothers who have survived domestic violence.

The upcoming anthology, Motherhood and Domestic Violence (working title), will explore the complexities of mothering in a violent home through stories, essays, and poems written by survivors.

Besides the cruelties inflicted upon themselves, mothers suffer the violence again as they witness the effects on their children.

They endure the torment of being unable to create a safe and loving home for their children and at the same time experience verbal and psychological abuse as their abusive partner convinces them they are a bad mother.

As many women say, “You can’t do your job as a mom if you are living in domestic violence. All your energy is taken up with mothering him or just getting through the day.”

Possible Topics:

The stories received from survivors will in large part dictate the structure of our book. We will focus on the survivor’s experience being a mother while living in violence, rather than on the impact of domestic violence on children. We are interested in thoughts, feelings, and recollections of events – whatever the survivor is willing to share about her experience.

Possible topics might include:

-- Your reactions to your children witnessing your abuse.
-- Losing or giving up custody of your children.
-- Making decisions about the abusive relationship based on what you thought was best for your children.
-- What do you wish you had done differently?
-- What do you think you did well?

Things to consider:

Writing can be wonderfully therapeutic and a lot of distressing feelings can come up in the process. We recommend that the writers be out of their domestic violence relationship and have successfully moved through the trauma stage. They should have a strong support system.

Guidelines:

• Good writing skills are helpful, but not necessary – we will work closely with contributors to polish their writings. Or, if writing your story seems too daunting, send us a tape. Mostly we are looking for the heart and wisdom of our story-tellers.
• We prefer submissions to be typed and double-spaced, but if you don’t type, please print clearly.
• Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address.

Remember to notify us at once if you move, change your phone number or email. (If you wish to remain anonymous, let us know and we won’t include your name in the book.)

Send your submission by either mail or email.

Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so we can return submissions we are unable to use. Submissions without this cannot be returned.

Each contributor chosen for the anthology will receive a copy of the book when it is published.

It may take time for you to write your story. We’d like to know you are considering making a submission, however, send us a letter by March 1, 2009 with your contact information so we can offer our assistance.

Final drafts of stories, essays or poems must be postmarked on or before November 1, 2009. The final selection process will begin then.

Address your submissions to:
Mary Zelinka
PO Box 3047
Albany, Oregon
97321-0700

or email to motherhooddv@yahoo.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Go ACLU! Sue Sue!



This story makes my eyeballs burn. I'd bet serious money that this "research" they are using is seriously flawed. It's a myth I have no patience for-- this idea that boys and girls have different brains are therefor learning styles. So girls should sit quietly at desks (non-competitive atmosphere) and boys should run and play in the sunshine (cause sitting in a desk is too hard for them).

It's school-sanctioned sexism and it's bogus. Of course if you interview a young girl or boy they'll think the opposite sex is 'yucky' and want to have their own space. But when you teach children that they are different because of what's between their legs, you set a dangerous precedent.

Girls may be more socialized to sit still and be quiet. Boys may be socialized to be more aggressive. This does NOT prove that our brains are all wired by gender. There are thousands of hardcore female athletes that will tell you this.

My best friend's sister is 14 and has been a competitive athlete since she could walk. I bet she'd rather be outside running and learning too but because she's a girl, she'd be sitting at her desk. Don't tell me girls aren't competitive or aggressive ... she could kick my ass and I'm 24.

More importantly, we need to expect more from our boys. Fifty years ago schools had all students in desks, facing the teacher, listening quietly to lectures. Go even further back when education was something strictly for young men, do you think professors had them outside running relays? NO. They sat quietly in a desk.

Now, I'm not knocking these educational methods that are outside the box. I think it would be great if they took the whole class outside and had them run and play in the sunshine while learning. But acting like we have to do this because they're boys and they can't sit still is insulting!

What are you setting these children up for? In adult society, they may have to:

A) Sit at a desk and work (not always but in a great many jobs)

and

B) Work with women as equals. Women have PROVEN themselves qualified to work alongside men in every field - whether quiet desk work or physical work like construction.

If we teach children differently, we put them all at a disadvantage and set them up (especially the girls) for sexism.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spotlight on the "republican tub of shit"

I love this guy*



* from now on links will be in this blue color, I have been alerted that readers who follow me on RSS do not like the yellow links. I appreciate the feedback!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rape on the rise in ND

Ohhhhhhhh sometimes the irony is just too much. Just days after ND attorney general Wayne Stenehjem decided that a victim of gang rape deserved no justice, I see a story in today's paper talking about how aggravated assault and rape are up in North Dakota.

Gee, really?

Violent crime in my state went up 12.1 percent in 2007.

FBI stats showed that rapes in North Dakota were up 7.3 percent last year.

AG Stenehjem said this could be due to more people reporting the crime.

“New science is helpful in the area of DNA,” he said. “Victims used to think, ‘It’s just my word against my assailant’s.’”

Yes, you priggish asshole. Victims would worry about "my word against his" after seeing how you treated Nancy Peterson, a high profile victim of gang rape.

You had a complaining witness, photos showing physical evidence of violent assault (which were picked up WEEKS later, when your constituents FELT like finally doing their job)... But when it came to seeking justice for Nancy, you gave her the big middle finger.

Why?

Because she's not a pristine victim. She went into a bar looking for sex. She admitted it. She was married. She drank a lot. She went home with someone she knew.

So, it's her fault that three other men decided to take advantage of her, grab her hair, slam her body into the sink, falsely imprison her and force her to perform sex acts.

Stenehjem might as well have stamped "it's her own fault" on the case file. Instead he agreed with county attorney general, Stuart Larson saying it would be too hard to prove rape in this case.

Never mind the documented police incompetence -- leaving a crime scene unvisited for days, not interviewing attackers for near a week, forgetting to pick up evidence at the hospital, not to mention their fabulous interview skills (when dealing with a rape victim Lesson #1 is NEVER ask "why didn't you fight back?")

No, no... Stenehjem just decided to give all those involved a nice big pat on the back for a job well done. You prosecute what you can win and to hell with the future victims, right?

DNA wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference in Nancy's case. It was never a question if sexual contact occurred but rather if it was consensual.

Even though she went to the ER the next day. Even though she said "I was raped." Even though she had bruises, lacerations, and a swollen lip. Even so -- she wasn't pristine. She was unworthy of the EFFORT to do a serious investigation. She was not worth doing their job.

More irony -- the article also states that aggravated assault is up 15 percent from the last year... nearly nearly triple what it was in 1999.

Stenehjem attributes this to alcohol and thinks we should begin giving repeat drunk drivers a twice-daily breathalizer test (if they fail, they go to jail.)

But when it comes to rape rising 7.3 %, Stenehjem offers no solutions. He doesn't want programs or education regarding violence prevention and sexual assault. Nope, he just shrugs and attributes all this to "more ladyfolks coming forward to report."

Yes, I'm sure with your glowing record of competence and empathy, that must be it.

More complaining victims and DNA evidence is fucking meaningless unless we have trained officials who understand the politics of sexual assault, who will at least attempt to put their suspicion about "slutty" woman aside and do their job. Victims need to know that they aren't speaking up for nothing... that someone will listen and investigate and may even show rapists that there are consequences to their actions.

Later in the article, AG Stenehjem said, “North Dakota will maintain its status as one of the safest states in the country.”

And you will maintain your status as an out-of-touch douchebag...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sexism against Palin


This is getting frackin' ridiculous! That poor anchor!


Also -- I was wondering when some version of this story would come along -- Todd Palin: 'first dude' or 'shadow governor?'

Ah yes-- how can it be that a woman in power isn't really puppeted by her husband?

But after reading the story, some red flags are going up:

- Palin copied her husband, Todd on hundreds of state e-mails
- Todd supposeldy "has spoken to numerous government employees" regarding trooper Mike Wooten and Walt Monegan
- Republican state Senate President, Lyda Green said she has a meeting with Gov Palin and was "particularly surprised that Todd was there. I had never seen a spouse stay in the room through the meeting."

So, what do we think? Questions about Todd's involvement... sexist or sound?

Janitor uses hidden camera to spy on women showering.

And miraculously this is NOT considered a sex crime.

The women's basketball team at Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn) found the video camera in their shower room and thought it was a joke. Then they hit “play” and saw images of a school custodian, Steven Sopko setting up the camera.

“My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. My body ached with the thought he had seen us,” one of the players said Thursday at a sentencing hearing for Steven Sopko.

The former janitor pleaded guilty to seven counts of interfering with privacy. He admitted that he secretly placed a camera and at least seven women were captured on video nude.

The player who discovered the camera told Judge Galen Vaa that before the incident, she considered Concordia her home.

Afterward, she said she was no longer as trusting of the faces around her.

“Now, I think twice before going down to the locker room,” said the woman. The Forum chose not to print the names of the women because of the nature of the crime.

Sopke plead guilty to gross misdemeanors and was sentenced to ONLY 350 days in jail, (plus some probation and fines and fees of $1,000). He will NOT have to register as as sex offender.

This creeps me the hell out because when I've applied for jobs, I've been asked about felony convictions, not misdemeanors... does this mean this guy could move out of state and apply to be a janitor again?

Prosecutor Brian Melton suggested that "lawmakers might consider making interfering with privacy a crime that would require offenders to register as sex offenders."

Um. YES PLEASE?

In North Dakota, a similar offense, surreptitious intrusion, can require offender registration.

At Sopko's sentencing, his attorney, Gregory Joseph described him...

...as a good father who worked 80 hours a week to provide for his four children. He is expecting a fifth child soon.

Joseph said Sopko was a community volunteer before the incident and continues to be, having recently completed 800 hours with Habitat for Humanity.

“This is not a monster,” Joseph said. “This is a person who made a very bad decision.”

I don't think building homes for Habitat for Humanity and being able to father children should let this guy off the hook. He may not be a "monster" but what he did was monstrous. He shattered these women's concept of privacy and trust. They all know he saw them. Not only that, a judge had to see it, police had to see it...

One of the players said she cannot go into a locker room or a fitting room without feeling anxiety.

Another woman said her heart stopped when she saw the camera.

“It almost felt as though we had been raped,” she said. “It was unbelievably invasive.”

Let's hope Minnesota gets their laws with the times. This was most definitely a sex crime, and Mr. Sopko deserves to live the rest of his life with that label hanging over his head.

ND victim of gang rape denied justice AGAIN

Back story here

'Nancy Peterson' (an alias) has been fighting a system that ignored and blamed her for being the victim of violent gang rape.

She was improperly questioned by police... photographic evidence of the brutal crime was ignored and not even picked up for review until the state attorney general's office stepped in... The men weren't questioned for a week and the scene of the crime wasn't examined for days.

Despite all this, the North Dakota attorney general’s office has upheld the original decision to not press charges.

“I conclude that your decision not to prosecute falls within the broad discretion afforded state’s attorneys …” reads a letter from Chief Deputy Attorney General Thomas Trenbeath, who reviewed the file along with an assistant attorney general.
The County State’s Attorney Stuart Larson had originally said it was a 'lack of physical evidence, the burden of proving the sex was not consensual and contradictions between the alleged victim’s statements and those of the reported suspects were the main reasons for not filing charges.'

If you need further explanation of why this is crap, please see this.

Nancy's husband complained about the decision not to prosecute and Larson sent the file to the attorney general’s office. Larson also sent a letter asking, “Did I abuse the prosecutorial discretion of a State’s Attorney by reaching my decision not to prosecute the alleged crime?”

When word came back that the decision was upheld, Larson (*cough* smugly *cough*) told press he expected this.

Sadly, Nancy wasn't expecting much in the way of justice either. She told the newspaper, “It’s pretty much my word against theirs.”

The husband said if they were to bring a civil suit against the men allegedly involved, they would have to find a pro bono attorney. He added that if there was a settlement, they would probably donate it to an organization that works to prevent rape and counsel victims.

“We’re not after money here; we’re after justice,” he said.

On the surface, the husband took the news of the decision the hardest.

“I don’t even know what to say. I can’t believe it,” he said. “I don’t get it. Pretty much they’re saying my wife asked for this.”

The couple in their 30s has continually expressed frustration with how the investigation has been handled. They say the apartment should have been searched earlier to better preserve any evidence and the reported suspects should have been interviewed sooner.

The couple has filed written complaints with Mayville’s police commission, hoping local law enforcement will be somehow reprimanded. They said they’re yet to hear from the commission.

The couple, who has four children, moved out of Mayville after the alleged assault. The woman said she is still seeing a counselor and that her family is getting settled in a new home.

When Nancy was asked for a statement from a local newspaper, she texted a heartbreaking response.

I don’t blame ppl 4 not believing me its a tough story 2 swallow. I don’t lie & I hate liars I would never accuse 3 … guys with their whole lives ahead of them of something this serious if it wasn’t true. I did a stupid thing that night 4 going home with someone but I only went home with 1 guy & made it very clear I only wanted 2 b with 1 person because this issue came up a few times. I didn’t ask 2 b raped. … I wake up in cold sweats & have nightmares because of this. This has destroyed me & caused my family 2 uproot their lives & leave a town we liked. … I just want 2 move on with my life.

Spotlight

Teh Portly Dyke often writes at Shakesville, but I too often forget that she has her own awesome blog. Thanks to Random Babble's Thursday blogwhoring piece, I found this, about how our generation owes a lot to the radicals who came before it -- those fighting for feminism and gay rights ... all civil rights. It's wonderfully personal and powerful:

During my first year of High School (1970), mini-skirts were still popular (well, mini-skirts or long hippy dresses -- depended on which social group you belonged to). But in any case -- dresses were not optional for school wear.

Not only did girls have to wear dresses to school, regardless of Kansas blizzards and sub-zero temperatures (Broce spoke recently in a comment thread about an experience I remember well -- wearing pants under my skirt to the bus-stop where we stood in the freezing cold until the bus came, and then having to take them off before I could board the drafty, unheated school-bus), but in my freshman year, the principal decided it was time to crack down on all us slutty girls who were wearing our skirts too short.

This crack-down resulted in a new morning routine at the school entry -- as the boys skimmed past us (the principal giving them only a cursory glance to make sure that their hair wasn't "on the collar"), all the girls in my school lined up on the stairs, the queue inching upward slowly, as, one by one, we knelt in front of His Majesty Assholyness at the top of the stairs, to assure that our hems touched the floor. (Of course, we would roll our skirt-tops up later, but only if Mr. Badass was not prowling the halls.)

At the time, I didn't really understand what I was feeling -- I didn't know that the crumbling, compressed sense of tinyness that I experienced at the beginning of every school-day that year was. . . . . humiliation. Humiliation that I had somehow earned -- because I was female.

I also did not understand that this ritual was meant to enforce that humiliation -- to burn upon my consciousness the fact that I would be obedient and compliant and kneel and face the crotch of my overlord every day as if it were the most usual thing in the world -- because it was a most reasonable request, after all -- because it was done for my own safety, so that my slutty short skirt didn't get me into "trouble".

My intellect didn't understand all of the nasty nooks and crannies of this ritual, but my psyche sensed it.


READ IT ALL HERE

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shameless stealing-- Hollywood Feminist of the day

I am stealing this concept from a WONDERFUL blog that I love, love, LOURVEEEE, Women in Hollywood (go now! RIGHT NOW!) -- it's called "Hollywood Feminist of the Day" and today I award it to Megan Fox.



From her interview with GQ:

...At that time, (Megan) Fox was filming the third season of ABC’s Hope & Faith, a family-friendly sitcom......she was fed up with playing the coquettish yet chaste teen. The show was repressing her, she says, tamping down her sexuality:

“Sex is something that everyone does, so why can’t I talk about it?”

Sexual double standards make Fox angry, and when conversation turns to tabloid-flamed scandals surrounding other teen stars who’ve been photographed in various stages of nudity and semi nudity, she goes off:

“With any of the Miley Cyrus shit, or any of that Vanessa Hudgens shit—I would never issue an apology for my life and for who I am. It’s like, Oh, I’m sorry I took a naked, private picture that someone is an asshole and sold for money. I’m sorry if someone else is a dick. No. You shouldn’t have to apologize. Someone betrayed Vanessa, but no one’s angry at that person. She had to apologize. I hate Disney for making her do that. Fuck Disney.”

Can I get that on the record?

“Yeah. Fuck Disney.”

There goes your career.

“Yeah, that was probably a bad move—they own everything. But it’s not right. They take these little girls, and they put them through entertainment school and teach them to sing and dance, and make them wear belly shirts, but they won’t allow them to be their own people. It makes me sick.”

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best thing I've seen in weeks



I want to be best friends with Poehler and Fey!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Selling sexism to kids

It's no secret that wrestling shows are hugely popular with men. Not just adults, but plenty of young boys watch these shows and idolize their wrestlers. It's also no secret that wrestling's "plotlines" often revolve around racism, homophobia ands staggering displays of sexism.

For a great example of this, see the documentary "Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battering." Now, other than that documentary (made in 2002), I watch zero professional "wrestling" on TV but-- from the looks of this... things haven't changed much.

Who better to talk politics than a roided-out, greased-up wrestler who talks about himself in the third person?



In this clip "Santino" laughs at the idea of a woman being chosen as John McCain's running mate. As if we weren't thisclose, to having a woman President in Hillary Clinton!

He claims McCain will "regret this decision" because of all the scandals coming out about Sarah Palin (good point.) But then he says, " Santino feels like he's watching an episode of desperate housewives." (sexist asshole non-point)

He also has this gem (which we've never heard before)...

Santino does not feel a woman should have a finger on the nuclear button -- what happens when Aunt Flo arrives and she doesn't get enough chocolate? Will this woman throw a tantrum? Santino knows best, ok?.... Women do not belong in the White House, except to clean the tub maybe! So please, Sarah Palin, do the world a favor... grab a dustbuster and just accpet your role okay?

Oh and that wouldn't be complete without the photoshopped photo of Palin in the Oval Office in a skanky maid's uniform.

Note to self: No offspring of mine will watch wrestling. EVER

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Headlines and headaches

Biden's in hot water for saying people who advocate for special needs kids should support stem cell research. McCain camp says Biden "sunk to a new low" because Palin's son has Down syndrome and she opposes stem cell research

Obama delivers a speech where he says McCain camp is not about change: "You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." McCain camp says Obama is attacking Paling and playing "gender card" -- even though when McCain talked about Clinton's health care plan he said, "I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it's still a pig." --- Mellisa McEwan of Shakesville explains why Obama is not being sexist here and why McCain is the real pig for twisting feminism into a "funhouse mirror."

Study shows majority of black teenage girls from urban cities are uniformed of how the morning after pill works or how you get it.

In case you missed this... last month, the American Psychological Association said that women who have a single abortion do not have a higher risk of mental health problems (like depression) than women who have their babies.

Read this blog entry about men invading women's online spaces ....
then check out the reaction her post got.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
YOU ARE NEEDED!! Help the Planned Parenthood Action Fund!

This week they are lobbying for our rights, showing candidates that Americans demand access to safe and affordable birth control.

Because of a technical error made by Congress back in 2005, the cost of birth control in many health centers rose by almost 900 percent.

College students and low-income women have been most affected by this cost hike, and right now the House and the Senate have introduced legislation that would restore affordable birth control at college health clinics and safety-net providers.

This legislation will not cost the taxpayers a single dime.

Show your support for this important legislation!

CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:

BECOME ONE OF THE ONE MILLION STRONG TODAY: By joining you will lend your voice and power to Planned Parenthood's campaigns on Capital Hill and across the nation.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Update on ND gang rape victim

File this whole mess under "expected but still upsetting."

I blogged before about a woman ("Nancy") in Mayville, (ND) who came forward saying a group of men gang raped her. The police interviewed her with asinine questions like, "Why didn't you fight back?" and then waited days to visit the apartment where a potential crime occurred. They also waited nearly a week before questioning the four men -- more than enough time for them to get a story together don't you think?

Let me ask you this... if someone came in the police station saying "I was mugged and beaten and I know the person who did it." Would officials wait days before investigating the scene of the crime? Would they wait nearly a week to speak with the accused?

The ONLY explanation for that behavior (other than police incompetence at epic levels) is that the police never believed a crime took place in the first place. This was never a priority. Never taken seriously. The victim was written off before any of this started.

Because of the lack of judgment displayed by investigators, Nancy's case was damaged and county State’s Attorney, Stuart Larson decided he will not press charges against the four men.

Can you guess why?

If you said, “inadequate evidence," give yourself a cookie.

Larson said, “You have four statements that contradict one statement.”

I guess that means that one woman says she was raped, and four men say they didn't rape her. Okay -- I guess the numbers are too overwhelming... case closed. *snark*

Larson also blamed the victim for showering and brushing her teeth-- losing physical evidence.

“I cried and took a shower and brushed my teeth. I felt so gross, used and violated,” the woman wrote in her statement for police.

Even so, Nancy's rape kit showed signs of forced, non-consensual sex including "lacerations, bruising and bleeding.”

Still, Larson said, "Even if physical evidence had been obtained, there still would be the burden of proving the sex was not consensual. Making such an argument, in this case, is a challenge since the alleged victim went into the situation seeking consensual sex."

Yeah. She sought consensual sex with ONE person. Then when another man jumped on top of her, she said, "STOP, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS"-- then it became non-consensual. I don't understand why that's so hard for Larson to comprehend. Perhaps he needs a class in semantics before he continues to represent victims?

Larson also said the case was damaged because Nancy sent her husband a text message as she was leaving the apartment, “I’m on my way home. I’m fine.”

Which could mean, "Hey, I'm alive, don't worry."

After all, one of the attackers called her husband during the attack to taunt him.

That night, Craig, who was in South Dakota where he was working with a harvesting crew, got a call from someone he thinks was one of the four men. The caller told him his wife was having sex with several men.Craig initially thought it was a prank.“I didn’t know what to believe at first,” he said. “Then, I started to think … ‘What the heck’s going on here?’ because that ain’t something my wife would do.”

Larson was also quoted as saying that the investigation unearthed “all kinds of doubt.”

Doubt that you could perform your job like a competent human being perhaps?

Mr. Larson did such a bang up job that the ND state attorney general is stepping in. This could mean nothing, the attorney general's office could still verify that Larson made the right call or ... they could actually just MAKE THE RIGHT CALL and prosecute.

Regardless of the outcome, it's clear that Larson and officers involved need a reprimand. A victim of a violent crime was interviewed and asked victim-blaming questions. Potential rapists were given days to clean up a crime scene and nearly a week to solidify their story. AND --- biggest shocker of all--- Larson LIED when he said he reviewed all the evidence.

He said he reviewed the results of a sexual assault exam, the police statements from Nancy and the men and reports from the Mayville Police, sheriff’s department and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

He forgot to mention he didn't get the DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS taken of Nancy's injuries -- bruising, bleeding & lacerations including a swollen lip. Copies of those photos weren't picked up from the evidence room of the Fargo Police Department until all of the evidence went to the state attorney general. If it weren't for Nancy's husband asking for justice, these photos would still be sitting there.

Even with this new discovery, Larson claims he made the right call. Apparently there's STILL a lack of evidence, despite ... you know... EVIDENCE. Not to mention a complaining victim.

I could have a shred of sympathy for this man if he admitted failure. Failure of epic proportions to do his job in a way that served the victim and the safety of our community. But he doesn't apologize. He continues to say that it's the victim's fault-- why? For not being perfect enough. If she had gone into the bar in a nun outfit, rather than looking for sex (as adult woman are legally allowed to do). If she had fought back like wonder woman (instead of 'letting it happen to her.") If she hadn't showered off the shame of her brutal attack (and just went and followed the rules like a robot). If she just had a better character... he could do his job and bring these men before a jury. But it's toooo harrdddddddd.

When the Grand Forks Herald called the Mayville Police to ask why the digital photographs we never picked up, their call was not returned.
Yeah. I bet it wasn't

If you would like to write a letter on behalf of "Nancy Peterson" (an alias) and the potential future rape victims of North Dakota....


click to enlarge


Stuart A. Larson
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 847
Hillsboro, ND 58045-0847
stlarson@nd.gov






PS: Any comments on this story that blame the victim will not be published. Find yourself a rapists-r-us chatroom and get the hell off my blog.

Monday, September 08, 2008

MTV Video Music Awards 2008

Some quick thoughts:

This whole opening montage creeped me out...


This "humor" didn't jive with me when I saw Superbad the first time! It's not that funny to trick a woman into unwanted sexual contact. I get that he's Jonah Hill and he's weird and awkward (and in no way in the same sphere as Britney Spears when it comes to attractiveness) but this just didn't get the yucks for me.

Also, Britney's been playing the role of sex object/fantasy figure since she was a young girl. When she "failed" to live up to that role by getting married, having kids, "gaining weight," public opinon violently turned on her. Then she had a huge mental breakdown. So yeah, where's the funny in demanding she play the willing, happy sex object again?

Sorry. Just my opinion...

Also, Jordin Sparks... the woman needs a lesson in PR. I know that's she anti-choice so it follows logically that she ascribes to other morality that puts women at a disadvantage-- for example that "chastity movement" which traditionally puts pressure on young women to equate total human value with the presence of a hymen.

During the show, host Russell Brand made off-color jokes about the Jonas Brothers having purity rings. When Sparks took the stage later she took the opportunity to rebut, not by saying that "there's nothing wrong with waiting to have sex or placing a high value on sex"... no she took a much less friendly approach.

"I just wanna say, it's not bad to wear a promise ring because not every guy and girl wants to be a slut, OK?"
Way to call half of the kids your age sluts ... and suggesting that anyone NOT following your line of morality deserves the cruel, anti-female slur of "slut."



Not impressed with her. She's not America's Idol -- she's Phyllis Schlafly's.

The VMA's (which I only watched part of, by the way) seemed normal otherwise -- convoluted staging with stilted acceptance speeches mixed in... but everything else aside, PINK made the night worth it.


(I love me some Pink)

Also I finally realized... hmmm, this Parmore band is kinda sweet and it's led by a rocker chick... something to check out!