Archive for August, 2010

August 31st, 2010

Dueling Appetites

axl roseSeveral people (including the authors themselves) have praised Betsy Reed’s “Who’s to Blame for Sarah Palin?” as a smart response to “A Palin of Our Own,” the brilliant manifesto calling for a new, progressive, feminist, female leadership by Rebecca Traister and Anna Holmes in the New York Times on Sunday. Reed is troubled by, and defensive about, Holmes and Traister’s assertion that, by not supporting women, progressives effectively left the territory for conservatives, in the form of Sarah Palin, to claim. Reed is insistent that it is not the fault of the left that there are so few women leaders amongst us. Conceding that the Democrats have not made a commitment to recruit and promote women, she writes:

But it’s not as if more assiduous Democratic efforts to recruit and support female candidates would have satisfied the same “appetite for female leadership” that Palin does, thereby pre-empting her astonishing ascension. What Palin satisfies, rather, is an appetite for right-wing female leadership.

Right. But the point is–who is the person (or persons) who is going to satisfy our appetite for left-wing female leadership?

Reed then goes back to her apologist stance, stating that “Democrats can legitimately claim to have a much better record than Republicans in promoting and electing women.” Oh well then everything is fine then! As long as the Dems are doing better than the Republicans, women will never be deprived of their rights in order to get things like health reform passed. Phew.

Other things that are not sexism that are keeping progressives from having more women in the elected ranks: people might write mean books about them, like the one out about Nancy Pelosi. Also, the media. Playing the blame game, Reed seems determined to fail at what Traister and Holmes are asking of us, asking us to imagine and to commit to:

“Imagine a Democrat willing to brag about breaking the glass ceiling
at the explosive beginning, not the safe end, of her campaign. A
liberal politician taking to Twitter to argue that big broods and a
“culture of life” are completely compatible with reproductive freedom.
A female candidate on the left who speaks as angrily and forcefully
about her rivals’ shortcomings as Sarah Barracuda does about the
Pelosis and Obamas of the world. A smart, unrelenting female, who,
unlike Ms. Palin, wants to tear down, not reinforce, traditional ways
of looking at women. But that will require a party that is eager to
discover, groom, promote and then cheer on such a progressive Palin. “

It requires more than a party to do that, of course. It requires things of us. It requires us to look around at state and local races and look for women and progressives we want to support. It requires us to continue to support reproductive rights and wage equality, so that women aren’t penalized at the get go just for their gender. Female politicians–and all women–who want to have kids need good child care and maternity leave and all that so they don’t start their careers at 45 and thus never gain seniority. There needs to be some attention paid to the barriers specific to women of color. There needs to be more respect for single women so that an unmarried female candidate doesn’t have to deal with intrusive speculation about her sexuality.There needs to be better accommodation throughout the process for people with disabilities.

The bad decisions that Democrats are making right now, like health care reform. like not pushing to repeal the Hyde Amendment, hurt women in multiple ways. They impact us directly by restricting our access to proper medical care, they send the message that our political process has no place for women’s voices, and they add additional burdens to women who might be considering running for office, who will have to not only fight the opposition party but also campaign against the policies of her own party.

Reed wants to talk about who’s to blame for Sarah Palin. But I think the question is, who’s going to be her nemesis? Let’s start by making our appetite known.

August 28th, 2010

Important

The left’s failure to nurture and celebrate female politicians has had a significant effect on its policies. In recent years, Democratic majorities and progressive legislation seem to have been built on steady trade-offs of reproductive rights, culminating this year when the first female speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was forced to push through health care reform with a compromise on abortion financing.

Imagine a Democrat willing to brag about breaking the glass ceiling at the explosive beginning, not the safe end, of her campaign. A liberal politician taking to Twitter to argue that big broods and a “culture of life” are completely compatible with reproductive freedom. A female candidate on the left who speaks as angrily and forcefully about her rivals’ shortcomings as Sarah Barracuda does about the Pelosis and Obamas of the world. A smart, unrelenting female, who, unlike Ms. Palin, wants to tear down, not reinforce, traditional ways of looking at women. But that will require a party that is eager to discover, groom, promote and then cheer on such a progressive Palin.

If Sarah Palin and her acolytes successfully redefine what it means to be a groundbreaking political woman, it will be because progressives let it happen — and in doing so, ensured that when it comes to making history, there will be no one but Mama Grizzlies to do the job.

Read it all, be more than a witness, etc.

Emily’s List

August 27th, 2010

Pop Quiz!

A Vivienne Westwood shoe that is a black pump with ruffles at the back and the front is a penis

Is Vivienne Westwood’s 1995 Penis Shoe:

A. A brilliant take on CFMP (Come Fuck Me Pumps).

B. An ironic wink at various dick myths, e.g. that you can tell the size of a man’s penis by his shoe size and/or that black men have bigger dicks.

C. Holding up a warped mirror to those who say that men design high heels to disempower women because these are shoes designed by a woman that give other women power/penises.

D. The ultimate cover image for a chick-lit book hoping to cross over to Franzenland.

E. Commentary on the fact that on March 16, 1995, Mississippi officially abolished slavery by ratifying the 13th amendment.

F. This guy’s take:

No other item of attire has such a positive phallic identity as the high heel. Women endure masochistic foot distress and deformation, knowing the sexual effects high heels and pointed shoes convey. The phallicism of the heel itself makes it appear as though the woman has taken possession of the male’s genital powers by standing on it. In fact a significant number of women and girls are known to use the high thin heels and pointed toes of their shoes to masturbate.

G. A branding opportunity for Westwood’s other penis objets, such as necklaces and keyrings

                         a necklace with a silver penis charm. there is a gemstone hanging from the tip of the penis

H. What I secretly hope Taylor Swift might wear dressed up as a scary penis witch for Halloween.

Tags:
August 27th, 2010

Goddamnit, Alaska.

Goddamnit, Alaska.
August 27th, 2010

"Well I was raised to be kind to all people, so I will just say there is someone’s child."

“Well I was raised to be kind to all people, so I will just say there is someone’s child.”

- Best polite putdown ever, from Womanist Musings. I will totally be using it.
August 27th, 2010

TEAM FRANCES BEAN.

I don’t like to write about Nirvana but for this I’ll make an exception. (Thanks LMC)

August 25th, 2010

"The Cultural Conversation Is Just a Fancy Term for a Tumblr Reblog"

“The Cultural Conversation Is Just a Fancy Term for a Tumblr Reblog”

- Doree wins today.
August 25th, 2010

This photo is full of secret messages. 1967 – Vanessa Redgrave…



This photo is full of secret messages.

1967 - Vanessa Redgrave (Festival de Cannes!)

Via theswingingsixties and pjmix

August 25th, 2010

"every time the faith chick calls buffy “B,” i want to chew my own eyeballs out and spit…"

“every time the faith chick calls buffy “B,” i want to chew my own eyeballs out and spit them in urine soaked kitty litter.”

-

RadicalHotOff.

 
August 23rd, 2010

Support the Fight Against Homophobia in Davis County, Utah

photo of james bennion

I met James Bennion in a roundabout way. My sister sent me a copy of this article about him and his fight to start a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) at his junior high school in Bountiful, Utah. He cited my book on teen activism as an inspiration, which is so great to hear, that it is still having an impact. As the article notes, and I talk about this in the book, people are coming out at earlier and earlier ages, which makes them incredibly vulnerable to harassment and abuse.

86 percent of LGBT students in a 2007 national survey complained of being harassed at school and 60 percent said they felt unsafe there. The same survey found that 32 percent of LGBT students had missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe, compared to only 4 percent of students generally.

A Gay/Straight Alliance can go a long way to helping students get support and love they can’t get anywhere else.

Tomorrow James and his allies are making a push to creat Gay/Straight Alliances at high schools across Davis County. He asked me to share this message and help them get the word out, so I’m appealing to the Tumblr community and everyone else out there to repost and let this kids know we support them.

ok, so tomorrow we are going to try to start gsas though out Davis county. i am not completely sure how many schools are involved but i know that for sure we are going to fight the good fight and we will not stop until we get them at the schools and until our schools are safer for lgbtq youth. we will not stop until teachers, students and facility do not ignore us or bully us into submission.

we will speak when are right are taken no we will do more than that we will scream. we will scream until they can not ignore us anymore because we are fighting against fear bigotry blindness and predujcie. is our opponent strong yes, is he mighty yes. we are mightier we are stronger and we are by far more noble we are by far more brave. we will not let them be our oppresses anymore. we will resist. no lgbtq teenager will ever have to fear about weither they are safe going to school. they will not have to be alone.

for all you doubt us i say bring it on, bring on your money your hate and your take off your mask of protecting the family and know we are the family we are the burning fire that is love and you can not put us out. they will try to separate us from each other but we will not be disbanded because we have very guidance from the utah pride center and teacher who are dedicated to this cause and to there students and who will not stand by while they sink into loneliness and fear. we will hold hands we will be one voice and above all we will be one LIFE!!

Please call and voice your support for Gay/Straight Alliances!

The Davis County School District,. 801-402-5261

The District Superintendent’s Office: 801-402-5258

The Community Relations Dept: 801-402-5260.