Politics

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Dear Ann Romney

Dear Ann Romney,


Hello! Recently you have been out in the public telling folks that you understand the struggles of women. Women in America that are not you.That you love the mother that has no choice but to work. Your quote does not seem any better in context. And yet, in your national tour, you still do not understand me.


You and me, we have some things in common. We are both women in America. We both suffer the indignities of living in a culture that is still short of valuing either of us as equals. We are both mothers in a culture that does not value the work of raising our young.

 

Koman Ditches Planned Parenthood, Abandons Poor Women

 

Note: Koman has apologized and taken back their recent threat. But the fight is not over, and I have a follow up piece brewing. Until then, enjoy!

For those of you that do not know me, I think Planned Parenthood is awesome. But a lot of people out there do not share that opinion. They think that since a tiny portion of what Planned Parenthood does is related to helping women that need legal abortions, that PP should be burned to the ground and the fire victims left unmourned. I think those assholes should go to whatever hell they believe in, and let the rest of us live our lives as we see fit.

Recently, these wicked forces have been pressuring the Susan G. Koman for the Cure FoundationNPR breaks some of it down here. The Washington Post has some news here. Now, many have valid issues with the Koman Foundation, and  we are not going to debate those here and now. But overall, what they are doing is a Good Thing (TM). Until now. Now they are leaving poor and rural and black and brown women to fend for themselves else they face the PR Monster of the Forced Birth advocates. (No, I will not call them "pro life" because they only care about control of the uterus, not promoting life.)

arvan's picture

Call for Submissions: New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law

Call for Submissions: New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law, 2 Volumes
Edited by Lynn Comella, PhD and Shira Tarrant, PhD
Deadline: July 30, 2012

Co-editors Lynn Comella (University of Las Vegas, Nevada) and Shira Tarrant (California State University, Long Beach) are seeking submissions for a two-volume edited collection under contract with Praeger.

Description: New Views on Pornography is a two-volume collection of the most current scholarship on pornography. This edited series presents empirical research on a range of contemporary issues regarding pornography’s politics, psychology, cultural and legal debates, providing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary overview of the field of porn studies in one convenient location for students, researchers, and professors across related fields. Our goal as editors is to showcase new and innovative research that examines the culture and politics of pornography in a global context, including but not limited to, questions of production, audiences, market niches, technological innovations, political debates and controversies, obscenity, free speech, public policy and the law. The editors seek well-researched facts and data in order to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of issues on the subject.

Dear Weiner

Dear Representative Weiner:

Hello. I am sorry for the rough time you are going through right now. I imagine you are in a personal hell at the moment (unless you and your spouse have an arrangement – even then life outside of the home must be deucedly uncomfortable).

I want to make one thing clear up front: I do not care about your penis, or your peccadilloes. I have both (although the penis sits bag in a closet when not in use). I am with Lawrence O’Donnell on this one – what you do in your own life is the business of you and the people in your life.
Christina Engela's picture

Come To The Dark Side - We Have Cookies Too

Christians - you just can't seem to win with them. If you're gay, you're evil. If you're not religious, you're evil. If you're an atheist, you're a "willing pawn of the devil". If you believe in another god or gods, or even call their god by another name, you're evil. If you are tolerant of other faiths, or of homosexuals - then you're "misled", "backsliding" or yep, evil.

If you're gay and a Christian (horror of horrors), they want to cut up your membership card and deny that you are part of their club (or ever were), and when you abandon their faith or even go so far as to change religions and want nothing more to do with them, they still persecute you because you have somehow "proved them right" - and then they see you as an even bigger "threat" to their paranoiac little "worldview".

Many Christians automatically assume everyone else is a Christian too, or if they aren't, should be - which is why I often receive these annoying spam chain letters filled with snarky comments about Muslims or other faiths - or about us dirty rotten trannies and queers who just don't seem to get the message. God has got our number and will be coming round to punish us for our "sinful lifestyle choice" - oh yes, and presumably to pat them on the head for a job well done. And quite often, these people do not realize the harm they do to their own image and their own cause - take for example the following:

The world is always ending, the sky is always falling, and there are always "signs of the end times". I am seriously looking forward to the 22nd May 2011 - because I am going to taunt every fundamentalist half-wit who sent me a chain letter about the end of the world being nigh on the 21st with: "Hey guess what, the world didn't end yesterday - don't we feel stooopiiid?" LMAO. Just like the other twenty-odd dates I've heard of in the past few years. What happened? Was it postponed? Cancelled due to poor attendance? Why didn't I get the memo? LOL. Now, ahem - before someone runs off to report me for being a "Christophobe" (that one was specially for "Dr" Peter Hammond of the FF and CAN conglomerate whose wonderful book exposed our cunning plan to take over the world), let me move on to my point.
Christina Engela's picture

SA - Not So Liberal After All


Not interested in politics? Not interested in how the government spends its time - and your money? Really? Think we live in a nice, quiet, safe country where all is right with the world? The government is benevolent and doing its best to deliver all the things it claims to? Think it lives up to our Constitution? Think it cares about all the people who live in South Africa? Think there is no reason to be concerned with anything to do with politics?

Who is still naive enough to think we aren't already living in a police state? Come on, don't be shy - put your hands up.

Think about it for a moment. No, really.

The South African Police "Service" have resumed the use of a military rank system - and their "General" has told them for all intents and purposes to shoot first and ask questions later - and to shoot to kill. People accused of crimes, innocent or not, spend years in prison awaiting trial. The recent spate of police brutality and excessive force and unjustifiable violence has resulted in comparisons between the current Police "Service" and the old Apartheid-era Police "Force" - and these comparisons have been made not just by the average citizen - but also by those formerly oppressed by the old Police Force. Looking at it closely, one can understand perfectly why.

Two weeks back, a local activist in Ficksburg was brutally assaulted and then shot dead by a group of policemen in riot gear - this despite the fact that the man was not even resisting them. The fact that this transpired openly in front of press cameras and journalists, speaks of a shameful devaluation of human life and threatens to redefine the term "transparency". Last week, an unarmed civilian was shot dead by a policeman in the street outside a police station while in her private vehicle, apparently after colliding with a parked police vehicle. It is as though the average police officer these days doesn't care a damn what they do and who sees it and knows about it - because the "boss" said it is "okay" and they are after all, "only doing their job". Also last week, it was reported that a policeman at a crime scene refused to call an ambulance for a wounded victim despite repeated pleas to do so because "she was going to die anyway". And yes, the victim did die - but who made this policeman an expert in the medical field? The fact that she did die doesn't prove him right - if anything, it makes him complicit. So first we had "shoot to kill" - now we have cops who think they are qualified to decide whether shooting victims will die or not. We now have police officers who seem to think they are the law and they are above it.
Bekhsoos's picture

Dirty Mouth: The Politics of Sex Talk in Public Spaces

I am a dirty mouth who needs to be silenced.

This is what constitutes my parents’ most profound struggle when, before our family Sundays, they remind me every time to “watch it”, keep my mouth shut, and smile. It also must be what my college teachers think of me in the back of their heads when they shake it in reprobation, calling me twisted and other equally dismissive verdicts that always start with: “You need help”. Even among my lesbian friends, I’m always “too much”. Putting aside the fact that I might be too intense, I am a dirty mouth not because I curse a lot or lose myself in interminable gossip sessions – far from that. I am a dirty mouth because I am vocal about sex.

So how do people talk about sex? In medical terms, of course, where sex becomes a necessitous act leading to reproduction for the perpetuation of the species, therefore a post-marital worry. When not explicit, it is hidden and normalized under masks of broader manifests of sexuality, such as inappropriate compliments in the work place and pick-up lines in the streets, otherwise known as “toltish”. However, when the “dirty” side of sex is tackled – that type of sex which only belongs to sheer, “immoral pleasure”, sex talkers find innovative ways to express themselves in complex, poetic terms. The use of extensive metaphors in order to avoid a direct statement suddenly becomes a piece of cake: We did “it”. She wanted to “eat me” but I said no. She still made me “happy” with her “tools”.

Kaberi Gayen's picture

Feminist Responses towards Fundamentalisms and Neo-liberal Economy

This is the final installment of a six-part series, orignally posted at e-Bangladesh.  

Last Episode

Discussion and Conclusion

Asian feminists’ problems are somehow different from that of western societies. The nature of their problem may be understood from an advertisement that Othman (2006) mentioned in the context of Malaysia. An advertisement (in Malay) on all local TV stations in 2003 portrayed a veiled beautiful Muslim Malay woman who in order to ‘please her husband’ groomed her hair with the shampoo being advertised. The advertisement never showed her unveiled head, only a frame of her husband supposedly admiring her beautiful recently shampooed hair! What could be a better metaphor than this advertisement to portray the combined attack of corporate capital and religious fundamentalism in one female body!

Throughout literature, the rise of religious fundamentalisms has been portrayed as the reaction to the failure of capitalist democracy. Mernissi (1989) argues that the spread of fundamentalism in the last two decades has stemmed from the political and social failures of the secular, authoritarian states of the post-colonial period, states that operate within the rules of the International Monetary Fund and the interests of the imperialist powers.  Again, feminism has been seen as the response to fundamentalism. Taking either side, i.e., fundamentalist side or corporate capital side, may prove to be fatal.

We need to consider that religious fundamentalisms are in rise in this region with help from rightist political parties in power who support unconditional foreign investment in most of the countries and women lack not only human capital but social capital too. Also their access to political power is limited though many countries of this region are headed by women with almost no impact on women’s life. This cast further insight that women’s participation in democratic process is important but more important is to understand what political agenda they are advocating for. A note of caution here is, almost all the renowned women leaders of this region are in politics by inheritance, either of their father’s or husband’s. They just carry out the patriarchal agenda set by the concerned political parties and do not want to loose their vote taking any pro-women action that might hostile the religious fundamentalism unless they have pressures from  foreign donor agencies.

Kaberi Gayen's picture

Encagement of beauty and rise of two feminisms

This is the fifth installment of a six-part series, orignally posted at e-BangladeshThe next episode will be posted tomorrow.

Episode - Five

While on one hand this free market economy is prescribing national governments for cutting the provision of education, housing, healthcare and childcare that lessen the economic burden on women and assist their economic independence, on the other hand they are maximising their capital by exploiting women in entertainment and beauty industries.

Women’s Body Esteem is a big business worldwide. Billions of dollars are spent on the “weight loss industry” yearly. That industry is solely dependent on women’s self-hatred. Women are reduced to size, told to be less, told to shed big chunks of themselves for acceptance. Likewise, the “beauty industry” has convinced millions of women that chemical crap on their faces, and plucked eyebrows that are drawn back on, is “beauty.”

The modelling industry, as Ann Simonton (www.mediawatch.com), a former cover model for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Cosmo, Covergirl, etc., observed is promoting an unattainable standard of beauty for women.  In a quest for thinness, women starve themselves, vomit, have their stomach stapled, their jaws wired shut and fat sucked out. Not only are women told that they are too fat, but they are also told that everything else about their bodies needs improvement. Media images teach women that they need to inject collagen into their lips because they are too thin. They are told to inject botox into their faces to freeze nerve endings and iron out wrinkles. Their teeth are not white enough, nor are their skin, their eyes are not blue enough, their hair is not shiny or straight enough, nothing they do is ever enough. This trend is ever increasing.  Just for an example, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 8.5 million U.S. cosmetic procedures were performed in 2001, increased by 48 percent since 2000. Growth is not confined to America, with cosmetic procedures in Asia estimated to be growing 20 percent a year. The German annual growth rate is 15 percent, according to the European Society of Plastic Surgeons, and in Britain there was a 30 percent rise just over 2000.

To sustain and increase this trend, an ideological warfare is always employed against women through mass media, not only in advertisements but also in drama, soap opera, film, magazine and of course in pornography to manufacture their consent. Virtually any mainstream magazine or television commercial shows women’s bodies being used not only to sell products like cosmetics and clothing, but also to sell products that bear no connection to women’s bodies, like cars, food and electronics. The images of women that are used to sell, well, virtually anything, are sexualized, commodified and objectified.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Her beliefs hurt women

Christine O'Donnell: Believes Creationism should be taught in schools and given equal time to Evolution. Believes a woman does not have the right to choose and should submit to her husband. That's right, she's advocation for a 1950's social model which oppressed women greatly.

CNN debate with opponent Chris Coons - Transcript:

BLITZER: Let's give you a chance to respond to some of the things she said because in a television appearance back in 1998 on Bill Maher's show you said evolution is a myth. Do you believe evolution is a myth?

O'DONNELL: I believe that the local -- I was talking about what a local school taught and that should be taught -- that should be decided on the local community. But please let me respond to what he just said.

BLITZER: We'll let you respond but answer the question. Do you believe evolution is a myth?

O'DONNELL: Local schools should make that decision. I made that remark based on --

BLITZER: What do you believe?

O'DONNELL: What I believe is irrelevant.

BLITZER: Why is it irrelevant?

O'DONNELL: Because what I would support ...

BLITZER: Voters want to know.

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