Sunday, December 31, 2006
We'll use sexist language if we want to, and if you don't like it, you are stupid
Retired Col. W. Patrick Lang thinks that it is indeed a male trait. He rejected a comment made by Kathy of What Do I Know?, who pointed out the sexism in a commenter's statement that Saddam "died a man." Ever the military type, Lang not only rejected the comment, but informed Kathy that "I discipline people on my site, not you." Yes. Sir!
Lang also informed Kathy that "If you do not have the wit to understand that that line means that he died a resolute human being, then you have problems too profound for me to
Here's the thing: It's okay to say that someone "died a man" or "died like a man," meaning, he was mature about it, if--and it's a very big "if"--you would also say that a female who died the same way "died a woman." The problem is, no one does say that, therefore making the original comment sexist. (If it turns out that the original commenter is a feminist who would indeed have said "died a woman," then I apologize, but I think I am on safe ground here.) People do not use "like a man" to mean "like a strong, true adult who happens to be male;" rather, they use it to mean "like a strong, true adult of either gender, only probably not a woman."
And as for you, Colonel, when did a "resolute human being" mean a male? I already know the answer: "It's just an expression." Right. Like "He has balls." Or "She has balls." Or "Our Father who art in heaven." Or "the lady policeman." Or "Joan Smith is the new chairman of the committee." There is nothing more important than language, and when language presumes that the primary referent of almost everything is male, that's called sexism.
Yes (I feel safe speaking for Kathy here), we understand what the commenter meant. He meant resolute. Brushing us aside by implying we don't get the literal meaning of something is not going to work. Resolute. Determined, intrepid, steadfast. Got it. But that is the problem--we understand that the word "resolute" is being used to imply "manly." And that is sexist.
For all of you do not have the wit to understand and recognize sexist language, your problem is indeed profound.
2,999 down, and counting
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Florida candidate denied right to inspect voting machine software
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Cowards, hypocrites and puppets
Former Sen. Edwards believes in "equality" for the LBGT community, but "struggles" with the concept of gay marriage, and therefore opposes it.
Sen. Obama believes in "equality" for the LGBT community, but opposes gay marriage for "religious reasons."
I have said this many, many times, but I'll say it one more: ALL marriage in the U.S. are civil unions. If you go into a church and get a member of the clergy to perform a marriage ceremony for you, and you do not have a government certificate for the marriage--no matter how many thousands of beads have been sewn onto your dress and no matter how many Bibles you carry--you are NOT married.
There is no such thing as civil union v. marriage. But no one will step forward and debunk the myth that there is a difference between them. You are either married--meaning you have a legal civil union--or you are not. If your church is bigoted enough to not want to perform a religious ceremony for a gay couple that has a civil union, that is your church's own moral downfall. But your own civil union is no more legal or important than that couple's is. It is all marriage in the United States.
People who "oppose gay marriage," therefore, should oppose civil unions for gay couples, because they are the same thing.
North Carolina woman charged with "castration"
Castration involves the removal, not the injury of, the testes. No testes were removed. The article about the incident does not say whether the woman was also charged with sexual assault, which she should have been. But it does give one pause: Is "sexual assault" too "feminine" a crime to record against a man? Might he then have been humiliated the rest of his life? Or, on the other hand, if there was a sexual assault charge, then why add a charge of castration, which didn't even take place?
If the tables had been turned, and the man had grabbed the woman's genitals and seriously injured her, he, too, would have been charged with assault causing serious bodily injury, and (in some circles, depending on whether he was running for governor of a western state) with sexual assault. But there is no way in hell he would ever have been charged with "malicious castration." (Let's face it--until 1977, Blue Cross/Blue Shield paid to have American women's genitals mutilated.)
Though what the North Carolina woman did was despicable, I hope she has an attorney who fights this especially sexist charge.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Whom Americans admire pretty much says it all
So bigots like Bush and and Powell and Benedict (and Obama) are admired, as are two members of the BFFE, one of whom is a liar, an idiot and an outright war criminal. Carter and Clinton are hardly two of my favorite people (though Carter was, once upon a time), but I can understand their getting votes for various reasons. Gates, too. And, of course, Mandela. The Graham vote is something I have never understood, but so be it.
The most admired woman this year was Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, with 13% of the vote (the same number she had in 2005 and 2004). The runner-up was the ethically confused animal abuse promoter Oprah Winfrey. The others were: Condoleeza Rice, Laura Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Angelina Jolie, Nancy Pelosi, Madeleine Albright, Barbara Bush, and Maya Angelou.
One assumes Jolie is on the list because of her work with children in crisis, and not for her social life. Jolie is a member of the LGBT community, however (could it be that the average poll respondent didn't know that?), so her inclusion on the list is more than interesting.
Are Americans so shallow, though, that any woman who has had a leadership role is automatically admired?
If I were compiling a list of my most admired people, I cannot imagine including most of these people. My list, I fear, would not be very popular.
Only 10 more to go
Update on good animal news
Friday cat blogging--how to open a Christmas present
Thursday, December 28, 2006
A bit of good animal news
- The NBA has decided to follow the example of the NCAA and the WNBA--no more leather basketballs, thanks to PETA.
- Disney Magic Cruise Line has added vegan items it its menu.
- Aveda has switched from using pony hair to using synthetic materials for its makeup brushes, also thanks to PETA.
- Architectural Digest is refusing to publish photos of walls covered with big game hunting "prizes."
- Jane is refusing to feature fur items on its pages.
These are comparatively small victories, but their accomplishment shows a change in consciousness, however small. We are a very long way from getting rid of factory farms, slaughterhouses, lab animals, and slaps on the wrist (or no punishment at all, which is the usual consequence) for animal cruelty. But we are a tiny bit further along than we were.
Every time a bell rings, a Communist gets a foothold
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
John Edwards kicks off his campaign with a statement that infuriates me
"That’s why I’m in New Orleans," he said, "...to show what’s possible when we as Americans, instead of staying home and complaining about somebody else not doing what they’re supposed to, we actually take responsibility and we take action."
Well, thank you, but I happen to believe that whoever is not doing what s/he is supposed to be doing should be complained to, loudly and repeatedly, and should be forced to do it. That would be the federal government, whose inept and criminally negligent Army Corps of Engineers caused New Orleans to flood during Hurricane Katrina, and whose Department of Homeland Security did next to nothing when the flood occurrecd. It's great that volunteers are shoveling dirt, but all of the shoveling and rebuilding should be done by the organization--in this case, the federal government--that caused the disaster to occur. That's taking responsibility.
A new low in art crime
The acclaimed artist went to a warehouse where some of his sculptures and painting were stored, only to discover that scavengers had dismantled the sculptures so they could sell the bronze for scrap. The thieves will get a few hundred dollars, whereas potential buyers would have paid thousands of dollars per sculpture.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The invasion of East Timor--the forgotten incident
The Times and the Post can be forgiven, however. They, like all major news media, also omitted or glossed over all the horrors committed by former president Reagan.
The news media discovers the crime of rape
The post covers all of the other relevant issues: that straight men are afraid to report rape because there is something so "gay" about it; that gay men, like women, are afraid to report rape because they will be blamed for it, and that we don't talk about the rape of men in prisons because "they somehow deserve it even more than women or gay men."
Of course, we are talking about CNN, the poorest excuse for a "news" organization imaginable.
Monday, December 25, 2006
The indoor holiday garden
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The indoor holiday garden
Friday, December 22, 2006
McCain goes looking in slime pool for more questionable staff members
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Friday cat blogging--Christmas edition
Thursday, December 21, 2006
You say "kinara," I say rhinestone-studded dinner jackets and candelabra
CALLER: I don't think that any religious symbol other than the Nativity should be put up during Christmas because Christmas is a federal holiday. Hanukkah is not, and winter solstice isn't. If they want them that way, pass the law and then you can put them up.
O'REILLY: Yeah. But then when you get into the exclusionary, you get into, "Yeah, it's a federal holiday, but we're only gonna honor the secular meaning of the holiday. We're not gonna honor the religion." And then you get the little baby Jesus. I can see where you're coming from. But I don't think--look, the spirit of the season is goodwill toward men, correct, [caller]?
O'REILLY: All right. So goodwill toward men means you're generous. And then if you're generous, you put up all the symbols. There is only--there's really only one symbol, and that's the menorah. There's no Kwanzaa symbol. Maybe--is there a 50 Cent that we have to put up or something? Is there a Kwanzaa symbol? What is that? It's a candelabra like Liberace had? All right. We'll put that up, too. I don't mind.
Considering that O'Reilly can't tell the difference between a bath sponge and an Israeli snack, he didn't do too bad with that question.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Wall Street Journal OpEd dishes up a huge helping of sexism
Greg Hansen gets smacked
Wreaths on vehicles
Florida Congresswoman calls for assassinations all over the place
In calling for the elimination of oppressors, Ros-Lehtinen is requesting the assassination of the heads of state of several major countries and many smaller ones. At least she is fair-minded, and not just going after Communists. But what of the Americans--many of them Ros-Lehtinen's constituents--who want our own government to become even more oppressive than it is? The people who say the First Amendment "goes too far." The people who say that women cannot choose their own medications. The people who say that protesters should go to jail. The people who say that gay citizens cannot have the same rights as other citizens. The people who believe the government can spy on Americans as much as possible. The people who say that an American citizens can be imprisoned without charge and without benefit of an attorney. The people who support rigged elections.
Oops...sounds like the Florida Congresswoman wants to "get rid of" Bush.
There is no such thing as "humane" meat-eating
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The Muslims are coming!--Rep. Goode freaks out
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Chris Matthews wants to know
No, you overpaid, empty-headed, sexist waste of oxygen--she just plays one on TV. What would Matthews have her do? Chelsea is too old to have her mother give up her career to stay home and be a Brownie leader. Senator and President Clinton are probably past the point of having more children. What would it take for Matthews to find Clinton "acceptable" and "convincing" as a mother?
And you know how tired we get of his asking whether Giuliani and McCain and Edwards and Obama are "convincing" as dads.
Send good wishes to Speaker Pelosi
New York City jailed protesters in violation of the Constitution
The plaintiffs also sought to show that in the two previous years, the city had an unwritten policy of locking up protesters, but the jury determined that such proof was not present in the plaintiffs' case.
The Giuliani years were filled with violations of citizens' civil rights. Something like 26 or 27 civil rights cases were filed against the mayor personally. He lost all of them.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Quote of the week
Everyone needs a little irony for Christmas
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Lesbians in Oklahoma attacked
In the event that the perpetrators are caught, they cannot be tried under any federal statute because the federal hate crimes legislation does not include gays and lesbians. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to include gays and lesbians, but the Senate dropped the bill in May.
Gilligan and Pruett furious with Dobson over his distortion of their work
Focus on the Family's Dobson wrote:
According to educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, mothers tend to stress sympathy, grace and care to their children, while fathers accent justice, fairness and duty. Moms give a child a sense of hopefulness; dads provide a sense of right and wrong and its consequences. Other researchers have determined that boys are not born with an understanding of "maleness." They have to learn it, ideally from their fathers.
Says Gilligan: "My work in no way suggests same-gender families are harmful to children or can't raise these children to be as healthy and well adjusted as those brought up in traditional households." She says a lot more than that, too, including that she was "mortified" when she read what Dobson had written.
Yale's Dr. Kyle Pruett was just as angry over what Dobson wrote about his findings:
On page 134 of the book you cite in your piece, I wrote, 'What we do know is that there is no reason for concern about the development or psychological competence of children living with gay fathers. It is love that binds relationships, not sex.'"
What is really disturbing is what has been left unsaid: That Time Magazine would provide a guest columnist slot for a man who advocates the hitting of children, and the re-hitting of them if they cry more than the "genuine" two minutes they are allotted. A man who has bragged about beating his dog in order to assert his "authority." A man who believes that homosexuality can be "prevented" and "cured," that gay men are prone to be pedophiles, that women should submit to the "authority" of their husbands, and that Spongebob Squarepants may be part of the "gay agenda."
When prostitutes are murdered...
Episcopal rift becomes wider
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The indoor holiday garden
Update on St. Bernard dog shooting--much more horrible than we thought
There was a lot of outrage over these shootings, which seemed mindless and cruel, but we have only just learned how cruel they were. Most of us assumed that a group of ignorant, inhumane law enforcement officers decided it was easier to shoot dogs than round them up for the animal rescue groups. But that isn't what happened at all. Now that a lawsuit has been filed against the deputies, the truth has finally come out: The nearly twenty deputies did not go in and mow down the dogs. They shot them in ways that would cause them to suffer great pain and slowly bleed to death. The dogs were shot in the mouth, the hindquarters and the feet. In other words, the St. Bernard post-Katrina dog shooting was an act of malicious sadism.
Threatening the dogs' guardians with arrest if they tried to bring them along on the rescue vehicles, law enforcement officers assured people their dogs would be safe. Then they tortured them. Had their been no suit filed, what really happened would have covered up forever, depsite the sheriff of St. Bernard Parish suddenly reassuring everyone he didn't want to be part of a cover-up.
Holiday consumer marketing--sexism at its finest
But that isn't even the issue. The issue is that during the holidays, very rigid gender stereotypes--always present in our culture--are drawn out to ridiculous extremes. The jewelry store ads probably bother me the most: The assumption is that no woman ever bought a piece of jewelry for a man; rather, jewelry is something that must be given by a man to a woman. And that only by buying a woman jewelry will she "know" that you love her.
I am also sickened by ads that tell women to stop buying men clothes and buy them tools. The last time I checked, the men in my life still liked nice shirts, pants, jackets, and yes--ties. It goes without saying you have to know a man's (or a woman's) taste in clothing before you buy him something to wear, but wouldn't the women being appealed to in these ads have that kind of knowledge?
Of course, there is an unspoken, but always-present, message in these types of ads--that clothes are "feminine" and tools are "masculine." Men have to wear clothes, yes, but they are not supposed to think about clothes or enjoy clothes. That is for the gay men and the metrosexuals (god, how I loathe that word). But real men (even the ones who say their wives dress them), in real life, do talk about clothes, and they enjoy being complimented on their clothes. They may not be as interested in clothes as many women are, but the interest they do have is not "feminine."
Of course, the reverse is true, too, but it is so under the radar, no one even thinks about it: A lot of women would like to have new tools and electronic gadgets, but apart from the notebook computer and the ubiquitous ipod, they are probably out of luck.
A Flakey and delicious meal
I made strawberry daiquiris, using freshly harvested Louisiana strawberries, picked in an early harvest. To go with them, I made a white bean spread, which I served with crackers. That got us through the sit-and-chat part of the evening. For dinner, I served a warm endive salad flavored with fig-infused white balsamic vinegar, Kathy's lemon and rosemary flatbread (with rosemary from my garden), Kathy's Swiss chard with white beans over penne, and finally, Kathy's strawberry parfait, again, using Louisiana strawberries. I served a 2003 Callifornia syrah, and music was provided by Elvis Costello, Talking Heads and the B-52s.
All three What Do I Know? menu items were superb. The flatbread was piquant and herbal at the same time, and the pasta dish was absolutely delicious. I have served Swiss chard with pasta before, but I like Kathy's recipe better than my own. The parfait was a big hit--just the right consistency. Fortunately, there is leftover pasta, so we have a good meal planned for this evening. And my second loaf of flatbread will work for my dinner party next Saturday night.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Friday cat blogging--Meet Tarzan!
From the moment Tarazn re-appeared and moved into a pen next to Ziggy's, Ziggy became significantly calmer. The two were allowed to have playtime together, and they got along famously. When we went to Montreal, we were up in the air about the whole situation, so we boarded the kittens, along with Roxie and Velma. During their boarding period, Ziggy and Tarzan played together constantly and became best friends.
What could we do? We had to keep both of them. I wasn't really ready for that, and Roxie and Velma are adjusting, but with queen-like reluctance. I hope that some day, they can all become friends. At least, this way, Ziggy has a kitten to occupy him; otherwise, he would be in even more trouble for using Roxie's tail as a toy.
Tarzan loves to play, and is very affectionate, though still a bit afraid. He will probably do better socially once he stops sneaking up on the big tortie cat and saying "Me Tarzan--you Velma!"
Thursday, December 14, 2006
If these are compliments, I'd hate to hear the insults
But hey--there's no need for a feminist movement in the U.S., right?
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Farewell, Lindsay--we'll miss you like crazy
The three-time Grand Slam winner and holder of an Olympic gold medal has won 51 singles titles and 36 doubles titles in her very illustrious career, was ranked number one in the world for a total of 98 weeks, and gave lessons on sportswomanship just by showing up. Davenport has won so many awards, I couldn't begin to list them here. And it is just like her to find a way to get out of doing a farewell tour or even playing in a farewell tournament. Instead, she is just quietly going away, which is how Lindsay Davenport does things.
For her die-hard fans, this personal good news is a bit hard to take. Davenport's Slam wins came several years ago, when she wasn't playing as well as she has played for the last few years, even after suffering a severe injury that took her out for months. But she has sustained many more injuries, and has also had some of the worst luck of any top player. 2004 should have been her year (in terms of Slams--it was her year, otherwise), but things happened. 2005 should have been her year, but more things happened.
The freak foot injury in the 2004 U.S. Open semifinal, after she had won the entire U.S. Open series and was a shoo-in to take the title, was the first really bad piece of luck. The heat exhaustion in the 2005 Australian Open final, after she had played both singles and doubles to the bitter end to support her cancer-recovering friend Corina Morariu, was the next. Then came her heart-breaking loss to Venus Williams in the thriller 2005 Wimbledon final, in which Davenport held a match point.
After that, it was one injury after another, and the worst one wasn't physical--it was Sony Ericsson WTA Tour executive director Larry Scott's decision to deny her a couple of crucial wild cards when the rules permitted him to give them to her. She has talked about taking legal action against Scott, but I don't know if that is relevant now.
Davenport's huge serve, powerful, pinpoint returns, and remarkably clean groundstrokes made her a standout on every court but clay, and she wasn't half bad on that surface. She was an articulate spokeswoman for women in sports, and a fair-minded, good-humored opponent. And other than posing for a "Got milk?" ad, Davenport showed good judgment and wisdom in practically everything she did in her career. We all assumed 2006 would be her last year, and some of us still hoped there would be one more Slam win. Now she is gone from the courts, just like that, and it is going to take a long time for many of us to accept her absence. I, for one, am very sad to see her go.
Some speech is more inappropriate than other speech
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Eating tofu is SO gay
Rutz subscribes to the theory that a large amount of soy can cause breast cancer, and I'm guessing he believes that industrial estrogens can also cause both breast and ovarian cancer. These theories have not been proven, but many scientists continue to be highly suspicious of industrial estrogens, and with good reason.
But there's more to consider...using Rutz's own reasoning, it follows that lesbians who consume soy products would become heterosexual, since they, too, would be more "feminized" (which, to Rutz, obviously means "straight"). And God only knows what it does to heterosexual women. Do they start looking and acting like drag versions of Marilyn Monroe?
And finally, if drinking soy milk can make men gay, what becomes of the "lifestyle choice" theory that is so beloved by conservatives, and especially conservative clergy? Is it possible to become gay from eating tofu burgers but not from being born that way?
Monday, December 11, 2006
I'm a few days late for this
Why should Cheney have all the fun?
Another one bites the dust
"House ethics committee"--oxymoron supreme
Sexual abuse can include rape, sexual touching; production, viewing and distribution of child pornography, involvement in child prostitution, inappropriate conversations or sexual name-calling, sexual harrassment in school or some comparable situation--such as the Congressional page program. But members of Congress, we learn, do not have to be held to any kind of reporting standard at all.
We know that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, page board chairman Rep. John Shimkus, and Congressman Thomas Reynolds and his former chief of staff Kirk Fordham all covered up for former Congressman Mark Foley's sexual predation of male Congressional pages. Shimkus's behavior was especially shameful. He failed to say anything to the Democrats on the page board because, he has admitted, he was afraid one of them would "use" the information.
Now, the House ethics committe has concluded that Hastert, Shimkus, Reynolds, Fordham, and who knows how many others did not violate House rules. This is what the report says:
"...the requirement that House members and staff act at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House does not mean that every error in judgment or failure to exercise greater oversight or diligence” is a violation.
All that is lacking here is an appearance by the Red Queen. "Divide a loaf by a knife" indeed. The stunning accumulation of acts of neglect, cover-up, evasion, and endangerment does not count. All that counts is each individual "slip." There is a word for this reasoning, and the word is "amorality." You know how desperate the Republicans were when they intentionally gave up a chance to do some gay-bashing in order to preserve their ranks. To hell with the adolescents. Protecting minors from sexual abuse is apparently not a "family value," but we already knew that.
Also to be considered--and indeed, it has been mentioned by quite a few Republican apologists, including Bill Maher--is our culture's belief that adolescents do not need to be protected; rather, adults need to be protected from them. If Foley had sexually stalked female pages, plenty of people would have rushed to blame the "seductive" girls (Monica Lewinsky obviously does not count). And just imagine, if a Congresswoman had sexually stalked male pages: Wink, nudge--we sure wish we had been abused like that! Because adolescents are generally blamed for their perpetrators' actions, it probably seemed a safe bet to the so-called ethics committee to let the guilty go free. Especially since we all know that boys can "take care of themselves," and any boy who was caught up in Foley's campaign obviously "wanted" to be.
Then there are those who suggest we do away with the page program. Apparently, it is so difficult for members of Congress to control themselves when it comes to pages, that the only way to keep these adolescents safe is to not have a page program in the first place.
"...we are the aroma of Jesus Christ"
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group, has asked the Defense Department to investigate whether some Army and Air Force officers violated department regulations by appearing in uniform in a video to promote the Christian Embassy, an evangelical group.MoJo Blog)
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Richard Doll turns out to have been Monsanto's own
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Friday, December 08, 2006
The not-so-divine Miss M
I am so tired of being despised for my gender
A whole lot of men hate women. Period. Some men think they don't hate women, but they do. Thankfully, some men actually do not hate women, and they are the ones who need to step forward, with women and girls, and stop the chronic abuse and humiliation of females.
Every time a woman or girl is raped or sexually assaulted, every time a female over 18 is called a "girl," every time a woman or girl who has sex is called a "slut," every time an assertive woman is called a "bitch," every time a hip hop song describes the assault and humiliation of women, every time a woman has to listen to unwanted remarks about her body, every time a qualified professional woman learns her salary is less than that of a man who is not as qualified, every time news personalities talk about a female politician's clothes instead of her policies, every time a pharmacist violates his own code of ethics and refuses to dispense medicine to a woman, every time the Bush administration or the people of California place a sex criminal into a high government position, every time Mike Tyson is praised and honored, every time men view photos or films of women and girls being humiliated and subjugated for "pleasure," every time women who turn men down are called lesbians or feminists, every time a woman with some power is called "shrill," every time a woman walks down the street and receives unwanted sexual invitations, every time someone talks about the "woman cop" or the "lady lawyer," every time an ad tells women they should be ashamed of not looking "young," every time a woman scientist or professor learns that vital professional networks have purposefully excluded her, every time a magazine talks about how women have to "balance" home and career, every time a woman's ideas are rejected and the same ideas uttered by a man are praised, every time a parent "warns" her daughter about birth control but not her son, every time a man assumes it is his job to propose marriage...every time these and dozens of other misogynist events occur, it wounds me. It wounds all women and girls. It wounds the culture.
In other cultures, it is even worse. Girls are murdered at birth because they are girls, they are mutilated, sold as sex slaves, sexually assaulted on public transportation as a matter of course, executed for committing adultery (and sometimes for being raped), and forced into marriages to HIV-positive men.
If you are a woman or a girl, speak up. If you are a man or boy who believes women and girls are human, speak up. If you are a parent, you will have to fight what is being taught, both overtly and covertly, by the schools and churches in your community. If you do not fight for your daughters now, they will never learn to fight for themselves.
An' the train done gone
Cheney's partner, Heather Poe, has zero rights under the new Virginia "no gay marriage or benefits or rights ever" law. Will Mary and Heather move to California or Vermont? Will the baby be on show at the next Republican convention? Will Mary suddenly realize the meaning of "internalized homophobia"? Does anyone care?
Please read this editorial and send it to ten people
Friday cat blogging--Introducing Ziggy Stardust!
Ziggy's sister, also one of the trapped ferals (and, like Ziggy, not really feral at all) is now living happily on a farm in Georgia, where she has new friends.
Because he was trapped in a TNR program, Ziggy had the tip of one ear cut off for "neutered feral" identification. His goals include getting an earring for the lopped ear and taking Roxie for a ride in a sports car.
(To be continued...)
Foster cat update
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Give yourself the gift of art and beauty
Arakawa is so flexible, that during her Olympic free skate, she held her left leg straight up during a spiral, then let go of it, and the foot remained up. Her Ina Bauer is probably the greatest that has ever been performed. Cool Beauty has retired from competition, but long may she skate.
There is no short program and free skate combination at the Ice Wars, nor are there technical requirements. The skaters do what amounts to two free skates, making them as technically difficult as they wish. Here is Arakawa's first brilliant skate, and here is her second. Enjoy.
If you can't beat 'em, hire 'em
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
A very good documentary
The saddest part, for me, was hearing one of the women describe how her partner was beaten to death in his sleep with baseball bats when his "friends" discovered the history of his girlfriend's sexual identity. Another woman said that what threatens men is "the feminine." I believe she is absolutely correct. If one man could have a woman lurking inside him, perhaps all men could, and what could be worse than finding out even some small part of you is a woman?
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Congratulations to Amelie Mauresmo
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Who's classless now?
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Whereby Dr. Neave "proves" that women are programmed to be dependent on men
At the risk of sounding extraordinarily sexist, I'm convinced that women, even in the happiest of relationships, are programmed to worry their men are going to abandon them.
That is probably true. In fact, we've all been programmed to believe we cannot be alone for 24 hours. What this "expert" forgets to mention, though, is that men must be programmed to do the same thing because--in my experience--they are much more invested in such worrying. I do not say this casually, but as a career-long observer and listener. Most women have a tight network of emotional support, and most men do not. That is why I think man men marry again so soon after divorce; they are dependent on their spouses or partners as the only strong emotional support in their lives.
Actually, the article blunders (in an intro not written by Neave) in its very first line: "We live in an age in which women have earned complete independence." Oh? That would mean that women are paid the same as men for doing the same job, that women are given the same opportunities for hiring and promotion, that women are free to pursue their careers without fearing sexual harrassment and gender discrimination, that women are not expected to shoulder most, if not all, of the burden of child care.
One of the points Neave makes is that very young women are more interested in marrying doctors and such than they are in assessing the attractiveness of potential mates. And I do believe there is programming involved in this pitiful phenomenon, as well as the one the author describes about women who resent that their husbands do not make as much money as they do. It is social programming, which results in lack of consciousness and internalized sexism. Of course young women think they are supposed to earn less money than their husbands--they still think they are supposed to sit by the phone and wait for men to ask them out, too.
The question is: Can females be "deprogrammed?" I am beginning to doubt that they can. The powers of sexism are so strong that--despite the Second Wave campaign to raise the consciousness of both women and men--we are, in many ways, back where we were in the 60s. And since women are still not given equal pay and equal opportunity and they are still bearing children, of course they are worried about their financial security. But worrying about being abandoned? That's men's work.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Soldiers say PTSD diagnosis gets them shunned and purged from the Army
One of their commanders explains that he does not believe that most of the soldiers diagnosed with PTSD have the disorder; instead, he believes they are just afraid to return to combat. He also explains that dealing with mentally ill soldiers gets in the way of his performing his urgent duties.
The things that the soldiers describe seeing are horrific. When people see (and do) horrific things, they are likely to develop post-traumatic stress, especially if they have had previous, unresolved trauma issues. Those issues could include anything from childhood abuse to a serious motor vehicle accident. War is ugly, violent, inhumane, cruel, and sadistic. Those who participate in it are very likely to get PTSD, become suicidally depressed, and numb their feelings with alcohol and drugs. It is the ones who do not have symptoms who alarm me.
And to add insult to injury, one of the main interviewees in the NPR story explained that he went to Iraq in order to "avenge the September 11 attacks."
Dumbing down figure skating
So I am disappointed that the Marshalls U.S. Figure Skating Challenge, which takes place next Sunday, is "scored" by the spectators. I know it's supposed to be "fun," but having people who do not truly understand the technical (and in some cases, the artistic) aspect of skating decide who wins a competition rubs me the wrong way. It's like when CNN has a poll asking people to determine complicated global or judicial decisions. Or like when the U.S. has an election.
Army Spec. Swift chooses Court Martial over signing agreement
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Ellison decides not to swear on the Bible--the world as we know it collapses
Well, Dennis, you head-spinning fascist, I'm America, and I say Congressman Ellison should use his own holy book--or no holy book--to take his oath. And here's something else for you to think about:
Perhaps it would be refreshing for those taking the oath to step aside if they plan to commit mail fraud, illegally manipulate Congressional districts, use public money to buy their private possessions, participate in bribery schemes, evade taxes, commit fraud, drive while intoxicated, take illegal campaign contributions, cover up scandals, beat their wives, accept illegal gifts, and molest pages. Swearing on the Bible didn't seem to do much for a lot of these people.
The autumn garden
Limbaugh and Scarborough insult women--what else is new?
Sexist remarks--both the blatant kind and the kind that just come natural to "liberal" people like Maher and Matthews--do not surprise me, but I remember a time, not that many decades ago, when making them would have gotten you into a lot of trouble. Sure, the feminist blogosphere was quick to call Olbermann on his double-standard nastiness, but it wasn't news. Liberal women, as a group, seem to adore Maher.
What if Scarborough or Matthews or any of them had said demeaning things about African Americans? There would have been an uproar. Sure, a lot of people would have winked and nudged and said "political correctness is the problem," but at least the problem woud have been recognized and publicized. But making insulting and unkind remarks about women and girls is acceptable. The California gubernatorial election showed us, in fact, that even assaulting women and girls is acceptable.
One of the myths of contemporary America is that since women like Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Condoleezza Rice have powerful positions in government, women have "made it." The reality is, our sexist culture now has bigger targets.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Pat Cash--still sexist, still offensive, still clueless
Cash also said "When I hear about it I just want to tell them to 'shut the hell up!' I think the women are overpaid. To be honest, I think they're all overpaid."
He went on to mock Venus Williams, who has become the spokeswoman for women's rights in tennis, Williams was outspoken this year in her call for equal pay at Wimbledon. The argument generally made against equal pay for women is that men play the best three out of five sets and women play the best two out of three--therefore, men work harder.
There are a couple of things wrong with this argument. First, if women are playing two out of three because they do not have the physical endurance of men, then two out of three for them is the same as three out of five for men. But if women have the endurance to play three out of five, then someone, like the Wimbledon tournament, needs to allow them to. The top women players have repeatedly asked to play three out of five at Wimbledon (the used to play three out of five at the Year-End Championships) and the tournament organizers have turned down their request.
You can't have it both ways: Either two out three for women is the same physical job as three out of five for men, in which case, women should get equal pay. Or if women are stronger than that, they should be granted their request to play three out of five, and get equal pay.
An argument is also made that since tennis is entertainment as well as a sport, the amount of work the WTA players do to promote the sport entitles them to get top pay. There is something to be said for that, but it seems clear to me that the real argument can be won by using logic rather than sexism, which--in the tennis world, and especially at Wimbledon--is called "tradition."
People like Pat Cash are incapable of understanding the flaws in the no-equal-pay "argument" because of their contempt for women.
Today is World AIDS Day
Former members of Congress, convicted of crimes, collect pensions
(Continue reading at MoJo Blog)