Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If only you fat asses weren't around...

I saw this headline and I KNEW I wouldn't be happy.

If only there weren't fatties. The economy would be perfect, airplanes wouldn't be failing and instead of hurricanes it would rain rose petals.

I *heart* Shelby Knox

Ever since this.

But now as you see from the Daily Show clip, she's still fighting the good fight.

Godstick vs. Shame Cave, does it get any funnier?

Also, I love Samantha Bee (the very pregnant woman at the end)

**UPDATE: I should have clarified--- Shelby Knox is the woman in the Daily Show clip speaking about the "dirty toothbrush" -- she is also the subject of the documentary (first vid). See Knox's entire testimony here

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

For Adrienne

After my post where I detailed the large project at work that had me going mad, Adrienne asked 'So what DOES a golf swing say about a business style?'

According to the big-corporate, male-dominated viewpoint that wrote the outline... this:

X. Golf Course Insight

A. Golf cuts more directly to the psyche than other games or situations.
B. It’s astonishing how so simple a game can reveal so much.
C. The gimme putt

1. Some people refuse all gimmes; Translation – It’s hard to do a favor for people like this.
2. Some don’t wait and assume it’s a gimme; Translation – Big ego, They won’t ask you for a
favor either; they expect it.
3. Some half try – if it goes in, fine; if it doesn’t, they weren’t really trying and count it as a gimme. Translation – these people are hard to pin down, have a capacity for self deception, and tend to exaggerate.

Well now, don't you feel smarter?


I'm so sick of O'Reilly's obsession with Miley Cyrus and this latest photo scandal.

Everything about that clip makes me nauseous. First off, he interrupts the two female guests at every opportunity and then with the asinine comments, "I thought her father, Billy Ray been pretty good in keeping THE GIRL out of scandal." O'Reilly then goes on to say he can't imagine why Cyrus was shooting with Vanity Fair since that isn't her audience. According to Bill, Vanity Fair is for "older liberals looking for whatever they're looking for..." **Cause liberals never have kids who OBSESS over Hannah Montana?**

Most importantly, O'Reilly wants us to know he's just looking out for Miley. After all, he says, "Middle America doesn't want their 15 year olds looking like sex symbols." And "Being a good girl is good business."

Sure thing, Bill. After all, the TV shows that score biggest with Miley's age group are squeaky clean. Take for example, Gossip Girl.

And good, God-fearing folks never want sex in their teenagers...

What the hell is wrong with Bill O'Reilly and his OBSESSION over Miley Cyrus' good girl vs. bad girl image? Of course Miley's gonna do a shoot with Vanity Fair. Any female star who's made it has done so by taking racy photos at some point or another, from Kierra Knightly to Nicole Kidman, it happens.

That's not to say we shouldn't stop a moment and discuss the serious issue we have with sexualizing young girls in this country.

However, what is the deal with O'Reilly and other fundie-ilk playing holier than thou over Miley's risque pics and barely blinking when young women in this country are forced into "marriage" and raped. These victims are Miley's age AND YOUNGER!! Why is that not a blip on the radar? Why doesn't Bill worry about that? Could it be because it falls under religion and male dominance and control and Bill likey the patriarchy?

And really, does O'Reilly have ANY CLOUT AT ALL speaking about, 'being good sells' when he was embroiled in his own sexual harassment scandal while he was trying to peddle his O'Reilly Factor for Kids book? Need reminding?

Personally I'm thinking everyone from Daddy Ray Cyrus to Vanity Fair needs their head examined but I'm so OVER the religious right's shock and dismay at this photo 'scandal' -- Miley is doing what most girls her age are doing, experimenting with being sexually attractive. She's doing what ALL women in Hollywood do and that is sell herself sexually. In a culture where female relevance is determined by sex appeal, and relevance determines your Hollywood career, I don't think Hannah Montana will be suffering in the long run.

I feel for the Jamie Lynn's, the Miley's, the Britney's and the Simpson girls who are all supposed to talk about their virginity while pouting their lips and sticking out their chest on the covers of magazines. And who are supposed to hide in shame like good girls when their 'true slutty nature' comes out-- e.g. with embarassing online pics, or a teenage pregnancy.

As usual, Stephen Colbert has the best take.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I have missed you

I subverted the patriarchy today!

I have never been happier to see a Friday. I have a list of stuff I want to blog about -- and it's a mile long, no joke.

But I just have to share why I have been MIA. For those of you who don't know, I work for a giant international corporation-- does that impress you? It shouldn't. I work at the front desk as the receptionist-- ooh the power. This means I frequently get super lame 'projects' on behalf of the big-wigs who just don't have the time in their busy, busy days to type their own memos etc.

This Monday (also, my birthday) I was saddled me with one of the lamest projects I've had to date: A giant 3-ring binder with at least 100 pages of typed text. My job... was to RETYPE IT ALL into a word document. So -- that sucked hardcore. I typed for 8 hours straight every day this week and I'm not even halfway done.

(Hence me not going anywhere near a keyboard on my free time).

If you can't imagine it being any worse.. jut wait. There were entire sections on, "What a partner's golf swing says about his business style." *head desk* It gets even better. All the references to secretaries-- female pronouns and all the mangers and sales people-- you guessed it-- male pronouns. Naturally I had to do SOMETHING.

So I switched all these references so now the women are out golfing and making business deals and the men are working the front desk -- it's my mini-revolution.

What have you done this week to subvert the patriarchy?

Marcotte and Seal speak out

Read it here

Amanda Marcotte has done the right thing. I'm ashamed that I doubted she would.

This whole ordeal has been painful for all involved. I hope Amanda knows that just because this happened doesn't mean I value her voice any less.

More on the Marcotte book

Just read here

and Holly's take is brilliant.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My letter to Marcotte and Women of Color

The feminist community comes under fire enough from trolls and outside sexism, but nothing hurts worse than coming under fire in your own community.

That's why my heart aches for Amanda Marcotte. She's made her name in the feminist community, and now she's under some serious heat. But the more I read why, the more I see that she is the one who can get herself out of this situation and (mind boggle) she is choosing to ignore it... at the cost of many people's feelings. At the cost of the community at large.

For those of you who don't know about this situation. I'm giving a SUPER DUPER CONDENSED VERSION of the events as I understand them:

Amanda Marcotte, blogger at Pandagon and Alternet, wrote a piece where she heavily borrowed ideas already espoused by noted feminist bloggers of color. Marcotte did not reference any of these women or their work. And when the outcry began, she became defensive and sarcastic. As a result, a prominent member of the feminist community, and a women of color, effectively resigned from feminism and removed her blog.

It has gotten much, much worse because Marcotte has a book coming out and other feminist blogs are plugging it. Now they are coming under fire for supporting Marcotte and (by proxy) her inflammatory reaction to women of color's concern.


I get that many WOC are angry over this .... I clearly see it in comment after comment at Feministe and other threads. And I have to say, I think the anger is justified. The more I familiarize myself with the situation and other WOC issues with the community, the more I see that feminism has not been perfect (as I so wish it was) -- its like the day you wake up and realize your parents don't know everything and they're not perfect...and it breaks my heart.

My message to Amanda Marcotte
Please, if you're reading this, I had been a fan of your writing for a long time. People are asking for you to be open-minded and examine your privilege and some of the choices you’ve made. This community is too important to ignore any of its voices! These women are too important. I can understand feeling attacked because a lot of people have hurtful things to say (rather than critical, helpful things), but I think a great majority of us watching from the sidelines want to see this resolved and know that, as Jill said, “good people can be idiots sometimes.” Please help fix this. You have power in this situation to do real good.

But here's when I got mad. Someone at Feministe had this to say:

When it comes down to it, you white chicks, ya’ll really aren’t to be trusted.

Not only that, several comments following AGREED with that statement, saying it "said it all."

Really? THAT said it all? If we didn't have untrustworthy white women, feminism would be hunky dory?

I get “wanting” to say something like that when you feel marginalized or silenced. When I feel anger at the patriarchy, I’ve been tempted to type the same sentiment about men. But that’s not dialogue, that’s spewing bile into the world. And frankly, it’s prejudiced.* The fact that I’m a white woman does not mean I would stomp on the back of ANYONE to get anywhere. That’s akin to claiming that all men are sexist assholes not to be trusted.

Feminism is for everyone – men and women of all races.

The fact that BIG mistakes have been made is a problem. I see that we have a LOT of work to do here. I am showing solidarity with WOC on this. When I read that SEAL press (who published Marcotte's latest book) brushed off well known WOC bloggers saying, "A black feminist can’t sell" (seriously?), well quite frankly I could be sick.

Here's my message to WOC bloggers who've been hurt by this:
Plenty of us white, privileged bloggers are TRYING. I know I am. I want to understand better where WOC are coming from. I want to familiarize myself with any specific challenges you face so I know how to be an ally, not an idiot. I want to support you. I don't want to tear you down. I realize that I've been a white woman in the Midwest who (to be honest) has been surrounded by white people her whole life. I realize I have a lot to learn.

But I don’t want to silence any feminist. EVER. Please do not throw up your hands on all white women because some white people aren’t playing fair.

* Originally I called that 'racist' but I see now (thanks to the awesomeness of Daisy) that that word does not apply!

*Update. If you want a good staring point to understand this perhaps check the wikipedia article and its subsequent links.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Mind boggle

Via Shakesville

Yep, must keep shouting "There's no Misogyny!" over and over while at the same time characterizing a woman as a "hissing bitch" who gets into "cat fights" and is bringing a "gynocracy" to the White House with her "gender sword." Ooooh, also make a joke that insinuates that women are only part of a "vagina dialogue."

Yes, there's absolutely no misogyny at all. Women really do "have all the rights and privileges."

Who does this guy think he's kidding?

Friday Giggle

Today I stumbled upon the site, I Heart Guts.

There you can purchase t-shirts, buttons, stickers and gym bags with cute, cartoon organs. You can also buy plush organs. Like the "Womb service" uterus (which, naturally I just ordered).

The ad copy says:

This soft pink uterus is ready for action! When it's that time of the month, you may not like your uterus much, but hey, you wouldn't be here without one, so give props to this special reproductive organ. Besides, if you think cramps are bad, you should try childbirth. This extra-soft 8" x 7" plush comes with an informative tag that describes the magic that is the uterus.

HELL YES! Show the reproductive system some love.

I think it would be great idea for pediatric doctors or parents to order the whole range of these toys- what a fun (and less scary) educational tool for children. I also think these make great gift ideas. For example, I purchased the "When urine love" kidney for my aunt who is losing a kidney to cancer.

My fave came when I placed my order...

Thank You!
Your order was a grand success. Let's party.

The guts are working on your order! Processing and shipping usually take 5-10 business days, depending on the mood of the USPS. We do our best to send the freshest guts possible, though we don't ice 'em, that costs extra.

Run by the site today and check them out. They even sell a kick-ass uterus t-shirt.

Coming up: My review of the Obama/Clinton rally -- really I will write about it- I just fell behind :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

You too can be a bionic wife!

Give up your notions of equality and have better marriages!

I saw this on You Tube and thought it must be some sort of joke. Still not sure, but there's a creepy website along with it...

The website is brought to you by Bob Grant aka "The Relationship Doctor" because he has "the prescription for finding love, keeping passion alive, and reigniting relationships that have lost their spark." -- (hold on, I just puked)

"Dr." Grant gives us stellar advice like this:

Many marital problems persist because wives do NOT have the right concept of how to become a better wife. Being a better wife entails much more than being accommodating to your husband when it comes to sex ... more than looking pretty ... more than cooking good meals, keeping a house in order and laundering his clothes.

*Emphasis mine*

"Dr." Grant gives us helpful anecdotes of success stories, like this one:

A client (whom I will call Diana to protect her privacy) came to consult with me last year. She had been married to her husband, Brad, for 5 years -- and she had become frustrated that her marriage was “stuck.”

Diana had a very successful job in the corporate world. Because of her effective communications skills in her professional life, she used the same professional and polite way of speaking to her husband, thinking it would be effective. In addition, Diana had been raised to believe that both spouses in a marriage are completely equal.

The result? A boring marriage that lacked any spark of passion
-- except when they fought. (Tobes here: Yeah, don't you hate how BORING equality is?)

I asked Diana to consider the idea that what her husband really desired was not a wife who's his equal, but his complement. She took my advice and began to speak to him in a way that made him want to listen to her. She also stopped competing with him -- but instead treated him in ways that captivated his heart.

Several months ago, Diana mentioned to Brad that she was tired of working, and that she wanted to stay home and take care of the children and him. Because the strategies I taught her had enabled her to weave herself into her husband's heart and make him emotionally dependent on her (see page 81), poor Brad never stood a chance. He was powerless to deny Diana what she desired. He didn't quite know how he would find a better-paying job to replace their dual income -- and he didn't even know if he could -- but he couldn't bear the thought of disappointing Diana.

Diana had learned how to seduce him with her words, discovered a brand new way of looking at him and responding to his advances (see page 39) that now, Brad was virtually a slave to her wishes. He wanted to please her at all costs.

When I first read this, I nearly choked. This is the oldest marriage advice out there!

"If you don't compete or nag and don't expect equality, your husband will be a saint. And if your husband isn't a saint, it's because you're not the right kind of wife. Make your husband think he has all the power (do that by conveniently giving up a lot of your own) and then he'll be powerless -- because you know men are just helpless around women."

The website honestly just gets worse. But if you order now, you too can learn "The No. 1 mistake wives make during lovemaking that rob their husbands of libido, and make them feel inadequate, or even impotent – and the delicious gift of arousal you can give him during sex that will make him more attentive to you even outside the bedroom."

Well sign me up.

Except no... don't.... this is all so creepy and gross.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to mesmerize my husband and turn him into my slave. Especially if the way to go about doing that is to become a "bionic" robot wife.

Example #1,982,290,498 of why embracing feminism and creating equal relationships benefits us all.

PS: Anyone else get the major creepers when the video used a pic of the (now-infamous) Tom Cruise hopping for joy on Oprah' couch... ummm, don't know about the rest of you but I want a marriage that is NOTHING like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.... talk about Bionic Wife!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The exclusive Feminist Club?

I'll be the judge of your "feminist"-ness, damn it!

So in my last post I admitted my disgust at the idea of Heidi Montag as this generation's feminist hero... One of my favorite gals, Adrienne gave me a "finger wag" in the comment sections. And maybe I needed it. She is very right when she asks, who's to say what makes you feminist or not?

So that got me thinking and if I'm being 100% honest I do believe there are some issues that DO kick you out of the feminist club.

#1 Being anti-choice
A real feminist recognizes that women have the right to bodily autonomy and forced childbirth is inhumane.

#2 Being negative toward women who go to work
Not all women want to stay home raising kids 24/7 and an even greater number can't afford to do it.

#3 Judging women who stay home
Feminism is about choices. If you want to be the one raising your children, that's a perfectly reasonable and respectable choice. Hell, if you greet your husband in an apron, that's your choice-- as long as you're doing it for YOU.

#4 Being racist
You can't claim to be progressive and at the same time buy into horrible racist stereotypes. In the Montag post, a commenter said, "I am a feminist and voting for McCain. I believe winning the war against fascist, androcentric Islam is more important than educating children on rubbers."-- First off, anytime you scoff at preventing unplanned pregnancy or stopping the spread of disease, I tend to distrust your intelligence. When you describe an entire religion as "fascist" and "androcentric" I'm thinking you're not progressive at all. Nice try, anonymous.

#5 Being homophobic
Anyone who claims they don't get into gay rights because they find it "icky," well, they might as well surrender their feminist card right now. For me, feminism is a fight to end intolerance. Ending oppression of the GLBT community should be important to a feminist.

#6 Believing that there are some rights inherent only to men
Any time I hear someone make claims that men should lead the household or "man's work" vs. "women's work," I want to scream. Women shouldn't need to "know their place." Every place is a woman's place so STEP OFF!

Part II: Here is a list of issues that in my opinion, shouldn't make or break a feminist.

Following Beauty culture
Whether you wear make-up or not, shave your legs or not, wear a bra or not-- either way -- to me it doesn't matter. Even when it comes to plastic surgery (which I find very sad that so many women feel the need to alter their bodies with painful surgery) -- it still doesn't mean you forfeit your feminist card.

Relationship issues
If you want to get married or not, if you want to take your husband's name after marriage... these are your choices as feminists and as long as your aren't marrying an abusive asshole who believes that a husband has the right to spank you you should be fine!

If you're atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian it shouldn't matter. I think its pretty obvious that any dogma can be bent to marginalize women but spirituality and faith can also be used by feminists to support their cause and give them strength. It shouldn't matter what beliefs you do or do not ascribe to.

Pornography has long been a touchy subject for feminists and I don't like to touch the topic with a ten foot pole. Here's my super-duper condensed opinion: Some women enjoy porn, some women find it offensive and those decisions are pretty personal. I would hope we can all agree that any pornography featuring violence against women or any porn that sexualizes children is pretty damn offensive. When it comes to your regular old, Jenna Jameson stuff.... I think the door is open to discussion. It's no secret that the sex industry is home to a lot of women who've suffered sexual abuse in the past... but I like to think there are outlets for sexual expression that are healthy and fun for adults to enjoy.

Well those are my examples for now. I'd like to know some of your "deal breakers" when it comes to being a feminist. Or what you think shouldn't matter... Please leave comments.

Coming Soon: My review of Obama/Clinton rally in North Dakota!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Heidi Montag is NOT a feminist hero

Heidi Montag: Reality "star"... republican... and feminist hero???

Feministing reported last week that Ginia Bellafante (of the NY Times) wrote a piece on the MTV reality show the Hills, in which she referred to Heidi Montag as a "feminist hero."

Defying our expectations, Heidi has emerged as a kind of feminist hero this season, climbing her way to a bigger position at the event-planning company where she orchestrates Nascar parties, and refusing to acquiesce to the demands of her fiancĂ©, Spencer, that she get herself home on time. Her career-mindedness sets their relationship off course. Heidi identifies the problem with no name: a boyfriend who sits around an apartment decorated to look like an ’80s video arcade while trying to deny Heidi a real wedding with the glory of registering. Her groundswell of self-assertion begins when he insists on eloping, prompting Heidi to declare, “This isn’t, like, Spencer’s relationship and you decide what we do.”

Can we say gross?

Of all the amazing women out there doing amazing things, the NY times highlights Montag as some sort of return to classical feminism? Its a god damn conspiracy is what is it!

But then again Bellafante was the writer who famously asked (on the cover of TIME magazine, no less) "Is Feminism Dead"

Feminism is dying only if you consider Heidi Montag to be the face of the movement...

Montag has recently come out as supporting John McCain for the White House. (Yes, I linked to Perez Hilton)

No self-respecting feminist should vote McCain-- not with that record on women's rights. This is the guy who said:

Q: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush's policy, which is just abstinence?"

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president's policy."

Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "You've stumped me."

Got that ladies? This guy can't get behind sending condoms to Africa to stop the spread of HIV. He's just STUMPED.
I mean, I always knew Montag had bad taste in men but really....... she has no excuse here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Obama e-mail debunked

An e-mail forward claiming that Obama has more "substantial" legislative experience than Hilary Clinton is making the rounds.

It has also been debunked by Newsweek. It's an interesting read and a handy little reminder for anyone who claims "Hillary is only where she is because of her husband. " That's all the shit she got done in her 6 year term in the Senate--- you know, after her husband was done being leader of the free world...