Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brooke Hogan Colluder Of The Week

image As part of my goal to fight sexism one of things that I am dedicated to doing is fighting the colluders.  Just like every social institution, patriarchy is dependent upon women to function.  When women participate in our denigration it limits our ability to succeed. 

In a clip that can be seen at Jezebel, Ms. Hogan states the following.

"I am not actually into voting. I think that it is kind of crazy that a woman is running because I think that women (sic) a lot of emotions, menopause and PMS and stuff. Like I'm so moody all the time, I know I wouldn't be able to run a country because I'd be crying one day and yelling at people the next day."

This mental idiot even has her own show.  Spewing this kind of nonsense and rhetoric publicly gives credence to the claims of the hateful misogynists  that certain characteristics are inherently female, and others inherently male.  By reifying this nonsense Ms. Hogan is participating in her own marginalization, and as such has earned Womanist Musings first Colluder Of The Week Award.   We are no more subject to our biology than men and further, even if we were to give credence to these ridiculous claims, it is problematic in that traits assigned to masculine identities are privileged over those assigned to female. In a world that is actively engaged in destruction and war, why is it that nurturing and love is considered a negative?  Perhaps if we were tackle the problems that plague our little blue planet from the position that everyone is equal and worthy of respect, there would be a lot less pain and suffering.


The Passive Pussy

(warning the following image is not suitable for people under 18, Adult content do not open at work, or around children)

The following is an image from a video that can be found at Fleshbot.  No I wasn't on a porn search when I found it, I was following a link from Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Smart Like MeEven if I was actively seeking porn it would still be cool, so don't even think of judging.  I wanted to post the video but  ran into technical difficulties, so follow the link and watch it. 

passivp What caught my attention was not the gratuitous fucking, but the manner of fucking (yes this is going to be a dirty, dirty post) From the still pic I have posted for those that are to timid to follow the link, it is clear that the male is shall we say "engaged", and the woman is staring blandly at what I can only assume is a television. Talk about an exciting lay.  Throughout the brief video it is clear that he is just giving his 100%, while she passively lays there and "allows" him to fuck her.

I have cursed a lot already but you were warned.  Here is my problem with this video..and no I'm not upset because it is porn, I am upset because it is a perfect example of how we understand sex.  When we think of heterosexual sex it is always something that the man does to the woman.  The male is almost always the active body, and the female the passive body.  Women say I want you to fuck me, or fuck me harder (if the sex is any good at least) and men say I am going to fuck you, or I am going to put my cock inside you. Common phrases that I am sure that we can all agree upon.  Even when the homophobes joke, they create the so-called "feminine" or docile body, as the one on the receiving end of the penis...think pitcher/catcher analogy (btw I am using the example but still deplore it)

Even our pet names for genitalia  are associated with gender specific qualities...Let's do a little experiment. Say the word pussy and now say cock. Immediately pussy conjures up images of softness whereas cock leads the mind to something hard and unyielding.  Since the language that we use to talk about something is a direct indicator of how we understand it, constructing the woman as sexually passive is extremely problematic.  The sexually passive female is a reflection of the ways in which women are socially constructed.  Good women submit, good girls don't really enjoy sex.

Much time is dedicated to slut shaming.  Though we claim to live in a sexually liberated society, in actuality we spend much time disciplining sex, and limiting sexual expression.  A woman who enjoys sex and participates in it liberally with various partners is quickly labelled a whore, or a slut. When you enjoy sex or being sexual, suddenly you have internalized the male gaze and this is partially  because of which body constitutes the active body.

Even something as innocuous as masturbation has become the preserve of males. Men can not only talk about self gratification without any fear of stigmatization, it is expected that they actively participate in it. The same freedom to explore the body is not granted to women. Not only is a pussy passive, it is inherently dirty.  Touching your own is to participate in a cultural taboo that is  recognized as a shameful act. Unfortunately many women adhere to masturbation as the preserve of males and  needlessly deny themselves pleasure. Is it any wonder that so many women have difficulty climaxing? If you don't know what feels good, how can you direct your partner in the best way to please you sexually.  Having a good understanding of your body is the first step towards achieving sexual fulfillment.

Ultimately the passive pussy is limiting to women. We need to begin to rethink the ways in which we understand passive and active as it relates to sexuality. Who says that the woman does not envelop the man, taking her pleasure as she sees fit? We are not only entitled to our orgasms, we have a right to demand them, and act specifically in pursuit of them.  Until we can stop feeling shame about our bodies and appreciate sex for the pleasurable experience that it is capable of being, we will forever sleep in the "wet spot" frustrated and stymied by our own attempts to deny one of the most basic drives of humanity.  Stop waiting for him to fuck you, fuck him instead!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Link Love Friday

image Well it's Friday, time to get ready to relax, and throw off the stress of the week.  I am going to share with you some of the great links that I found this week.  Please take the time to check them out, and if you wrote something spectacular yourself that I missed, don't be afraid to drop your link in the comment section.

The N Word Please Use It Anyway You Can

Truth is, as a people, we Black folk have got nothing on white folks, who gave us such pejoratives as (avert your eyes) prick, cunt, bitch, kike, wop, dago, gooks, jungle bunny, sand niggers (appropriate for use in sunny Baghdad), jiggaboo (my all-time favourite), porch monkey, wetback and the like. The best race and gender related comeback we have? Whitey, cracker (and crackah or cracka) and hoe (which should be disqualified as a riff on an existing favourite).

The E-Visible Woman

So that’s why I wear a bra. Patriarchy and the shame it instills in women about their own bodies. Shame about breast shape is a lot harder for me to get over than shame over body hair. Maybe because I can cover my legs and my armpits and my vulva (and in Scottish weather - I nearly always do!) and no one knows how hairy I am - but my breasts are always right there, plain as the eye can see.

The Dilemma Of Virginity Restoration

"French Muslim women are increasingly defying the restrictions and repression men try to enforce, and leading full, modern lives — including sexually," says Dounia Bouzar, whose recent book Allah, My Boss, and Me explores Islam in the French workplace. "The one time they feel obliged to make a concession to outdated attitudes is with the marital requirement of virginity — a purely macho tradition that has no basis in Islam, and is certainly nothing courts should be respecting. This surgery is unfortunate, though it is a way for women who have insisted on living their own lives to avoid punishment under a backward custom."

Michelle Obama And The Politics Of Hair

America expects the wife of Barack Obama, the man who wants to be president, to project an image of sophistication and near perfection. That image includes having hair that doesn’t make waves.

It's A Crisis

Unfortunately, because many African-American female rape victims do not want to perpetuate racial stereotypes about the black male rapist (created and used by white mobs to justify the lynching of economically and politically mobile black men) and the black male criminal (now used to maintain racial disparities in the criminal justice system), they often do not press charges against their assailants because they fear further criminalizing African-American men.

I Can't Deal With Her: Black and White Women In The Movement

I grew up in the South where white women were “Ms. Anne” the pillar and post of a segregated society and black women were expected to bend to their power and every command in the kitchen and all areas of society. When black women refused to accommodate this white female supremacist structure, white women acted as ruthless as white men in pushing us in our places. This is the only kind of white woman I knew before I joined the southern Freedom Movement in the 60s.

Mutilation

As a feminist I have always been concerned with the way society constructs the bodies of women. The body is made to conform to ideas about what the proper female form should be. This construction in no way matches what nature intended for the female form, it is a rigid  unrealistic body image. This false construct is extremely detrimental to the lives of women, and can result in anorexia, bulimia, cutting, female genital mutilation, breast enhancement surgery, liposuction, face lifts, breast augmentation, vaginal reconstruction (where  the vaginal lips are trimmed or tucked) butt implants, etc and etc.
Some will be surprised to see on the aforementioned list "conventional" plastic surgeries offered in the west. Most people residing the west are quick to point to female genital mutilation as being harmful and detrimental to women while ignoring the ways in which western medicine has devised similar methods to alter the female form to conform to the idealized male gaze. It is this gaze that constructs and makes malleable the bodies of women. Some women would argue that we should support the right of women to make the choice to alter their bodies as they see fit. In fact, this is the argument used by pro-choice feminists to support abortion. This argument however is extremely problematic when applied to altering the body through surgical means. It is not a matter of autonomy when the action is not performed to please the individual. In this case, 'woman' is not only the eternal other to man, she is the other to herself, as the image that is sought is in total of opposition of the intent of nature.

Lets face facts, the only reason women seek to have their vaginas tightened is to please their male partners. While most if not all women can achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation, a significantly smaller percentage are able to achieve orgasm through penetration. How many women spend time looking at their vaginas? They seek to reconstruct it on the "lucky" chance that a man will choose to perform cunnilingus and not like what they see. Men are visually stimulated and for them the sight of the female breast is pleasurable.  Even with the risk involved with silicone implants; surgical complications, back pain and scaring, women still run to the doctor to make male eyes bulge.

Women already earn 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. When they spend their few disposable dollars on these "enhancement" surgeries not only are they participating in essentializing the body, they are further impoverishing themselves. Everyday plastic surgeons and pharmaceutical companies are quick to tell us what is wrong with us, and how they can fix it. If you don't perform your gender, or torture your body in the attempt to conform there is something inherently wrong with you. Don't worry though they have  "magic happy pills" to fix you until you can make the right decision to have the surgery to "fix" what nature let go wrong. It is time that we start to use common sense. Stop making decisions that are influenced by others. Love yourself as you are. No matter how you change your body you will ultimately be the same person, and besides which do you really want a man that only chose you because of your new breasts? Do you really want a lover that demands a designer vagina? Stop being a DUPE and get real with yourself and your body!


Black In America: The Black Man

image I sat down last night to watch CNN's special Black in America: The Black Man. I will admit I went into it with little hope after sitting through the first half of the documentary on women.  Unfortunately it suffered from some of the same fatal flaws that the women's did.

Okay CNN where are the gay and trans men?  Why the hell aren't they worthy of 5 mins of representation, in your documentary that attempts to teach us all about the experiences of black men?  I understand that part of your goal is to push heterosexuality, however heterosexuality is only understood as good because homosexual is constructed as bad.  It seems in its quest to push heteronormativity, certain groups of people  due to their sexuality or gender fluid identity somehow become non black, and non relevant.  I am sick of this shit.   When we refuse to acknowledge gay men, and trans men we leave them open to attack, and some have paid for homophobia and transphobia with their very lives.  This is a black issue, just as much as men in prison, or men dealing with a high unemployment rate.

I went to Anderson 360's blog and posted the following question. "Hello Anderson….Here is my question, why is it that gay men and trans men were not represented in a documentary that claims to be  all about black men in America? Does their sexuality somehow negate their blackness? In a world that is both trans phobic, and homophobic not representing them is the same as saying that these bodies don’t matter." An hour later it is still in moderation.  It seems that unless you are praising Obama, or telling them how wonderful they are for creating this series in the first place your thoughts are unwelcome. 

Anderson's general response was ( I am not arrogant enough to assume he was speaking to me)  "no one documentary can ever cover all we would like it to, but I think Soledad did a terrific job. a monumental task and she really pulled it off."

 Translation, your black ass should just be happy that we spent four hours focused on your issues. Now shut up, and tell us how much you love us.

Throughout the documentary there was a huge push for black men to be "real men" and settle down and marry the mothers of their children. What if we don't want to marry?  Oh wait, of course we do, they told us that we wanted that on Wednesday.  The solution is for black men to marry, establish a patriarchal household and live the black fairy tale.  It seems that the true testament to manhood is reproducing, and oppressing women. I have a solution, how about these  men work, and pay their damn child support...How about they decide the way forward is to partner with black women as equals, and not potential oppressors, wife beaters, or rapists.  Of course not all black men fit this stereotype but black women cannot afford to assume that just because a man is black, that he is not capable of inflicting pain and violence.

One of the issues that they really focused on was black over representation in the prison population, and the effect that it has on their chances of getting employment.  I thought that was a particularly good segment but it should have been married with the fact that black men are also over represented in the military. image It is no accident that they appear in both of these groups.  Black men are cannon fodder, to fight wars in which they have no personal stake to enrich transnational corporations. Remember, diversity is supposed to be a good thing.  On a day when Barack Obama spoke to the world about the future, black men are dying on foreign soil.  There is a connection between racism, poverty and blacks as tools of war.  I have sworn as a mother that no matter the conflict, no son of mine will ever die in a war to enrich a white man that is intent on oppressing him. 

The other message that was pushed in this documentary is that success is defined by possessions..yes worship the God of capitalism.  This is problematic as it is in the pursuit of material gain that black men engage in drug dealing in the first place.  It is through prioritizing commodities over their fellow men, that black men addict whole families to illicit drugs.  Yet even this could end if legitimate economic opportunities existed, and drug addiction was treated as an illness instead of a crime.  To be clear, imprisoning whole generations of men with this "war on drugs" is really  a form of neo-slavery. Consider that in prison camps these men labour daily for ridiculously low sums of money.  To talk about the prison system one should also consider who benefits from it.  There are towns that are dependent on prisons to support their local economy.  Black men in prison benefits our white racist patriarchal society, and that should have been said very clearly. Whites have a history of enslaving the black man for profit, and nothing has changed since our ancestors first stepped foot on this continent.  Of course the aforementioned is not the angle that CNN chose to take...Oh no, they found an apologist  by the name of Joseph C. Phillips to parrot the personal responsibility mantra...Where was his buddy Bill Cosby to back him in his fallacies?  Of course the black Afrostocracy is going to push the meritocracy angle, they don't want to admit their complicity in benefiting from the poverty of others....I know, I know, how can we possibly expect them to explain an obvious division in a two hour time frame, what if they weren't able to cover rap and hip hop because of it?

I did learn something really substantial watching this series....drumroll please...blacks don't have disabilities. Nope we are all incredibly, magically, able bodied.  I guess that is the reason so many of us are represented by  athletes. There are  no blind, deaf, or mentally disabled amongst us, and even if there were, what possible special challenges could they have?  Whatever  they daily negotiate is certainly not legitimate enough for CNN to look past the impoverished ghettoized man / affluent bourgeoisie dichotomy.  If you don't fit specifically within these limited categories once again you are not black enough to count.

While I feel that this segment did a much better job at showing a wider range of the black experience (no surprise it was about men) there were several critical connections that they failed to make.  When you are going to discuss "isms" it is important to understand that they are interlocking and as such, cannot be examined individually.  In the four hours that I dedicated to watching this, I certainly did not learn anything new, but then this show was not created for the black community.  Try again CNN maybe next time you might get it right.

 


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Who Controls Your Fertility

A lesbian couple in Canaberra, Sydney went to see Dr. Robert Armellin for IVF.  They specifically requested the implantation of one fertilized egg, and the doctor took it upon himself to implant two eggs.  The end result is that now the two women are raising twin girls.  In an attempt to mediate some of the financial burden, and emotional strain that raising two children instead of one would cause they filed suit against their doctor.  The couple sought $389,000 which included the cost of private education for one of the girls.  Today  The ACT Supreme Court ruled in favour of Dr Armellin, and ordered the couple pay his legal costs.

I take issue with the courts decision.  The women in question specifically told the doctor that they only wished to be implanted with one egg and by not honouring their request he committed a grievous act against them.  Not only should he be financially responsible for the cost of raising this child until she reaches the age of maturity, he should be brought before a board of medical review.

Since the medical establishment has taken on fertility and reproduction through the vilification of the midwife, they have acted with callous disregard to womens interests and desires.  If a woman cannot rightly assure that her wishes in regard to reproduction will be honoured, how can we claim any degree of autonomy? Dr Armellin is the de facto "parent" of  one these of these girls, as she would not be alive had he chosen to respect the wishes of his patient.  A Doctor should not be able to unilaterally decide an issue that will bind a woman legally for 18 years, and emotionally for a lifetime.

This case further supports the idea that we as women do not have a right to control our own fertility.  There is a direct relation between this incident and the reduced access to birth control, and abortion.  When women have children their ability to function in the public sphere is greatly reduced and this effects the degree to which they come under "patriarchal control".  What is at stake is more than fertility rights, what is at stake is personal autonomy and agency.  If we cannot be freed from the responsibility of our wombs we will forever live under the rule of thumb.


Black In America: The Invisible Women

image I sat down to watch the much anticipated series Black in America: Black Women And The Family on CNN last tonight.  The first part of the documentary was specifically dedicated to children, and the obstacles that they face growing up in poverty, and getting a good education.  The very first family that was highlighted was that of a male single father.  Though it is wonderful to see a black male so heavily invested in his children, a show that is dedicated to the struggles of women should have presented a black mother first.  This of course was only  one  example of the way in which a show dedicated to women, was in fact aimed at reinforcing a certain idea of what constitutes a black woman. It is assumed throughout the entirety of the documentary that not only can black men speak on behalf of women, it is right and proper for them to do so.

If someone were to watch this show with little  knowledge of black women in the US, they would assume that they are all CIS, and that they are all heterosexual. It seems that these are the two main identifiers of black females. Throughout the two hour documentary not one mention was made of black lesbians or transgender women.  It seems that sexuality or gender identity in some way conflicts with identifying as a black female.  By  making these groups invisible it further highlights how marginalized they are by mainstream America. If a documentary is dedicated to black women, it should include ALL black women.  I suspect that much of this omission had to do with its continual linking to the black church, which we know has not historically been in support of people that refuse to identify as heterosexual, or that refuse to live the gender binary. There wasn't even a referral to a single black female minister, even though we all know that they exist.  The reverend T.J Jakes cannot speak on behalf of black female clergy, and their theological experiences, and theories.

When the issue of the single black female (or rather the disappearing eligible black bachelor) was introduced, the perfect opportunity existed to discuss bisexuality or lesbianism, but these omissions speak to the fact that there is a sense of denial in the back community about the concrete identities of these two groups.  The message that this documentary sends is that a deep dick is the cure to all that ails you, and if you cannot find it within the black community for the sake of self preservation you should seek it in any community.

It was further troubling that the documentary was insistent in promoting marriage as the answer to the poverty that black women face.  Marriage is no guarantee that the relationship will survive, and offers only the potential of stability.  Progressive programs like socialized day care, or education subsidies as concrete solutions was not even proffered as a legitimate counter to the "traditional heterosexual lifestyle."  This push to return to the patriarchal family only encourages black women to give up their autonomy and agency.  Every single marriage that was presented on the show was positive and life affirming, however I must ask where are the women that have been battered by their spouses?  Did they just click their ruby slippers and disappear into a kind of invisible Neverland?  These women exist, and daily their lives are made miserable by their abusive husbands.  What about the women that have experienced marital rape, don't they count as black women?  What about the women dealing with husbands that are addicted to illicit substances?  There are many more models that I could provide to question whether or not marriage is a good solution to the problems that plague black women, but my question is why CNN did not see fit to include this in a show supposedly dedicated to black women?

Whole groups of women were erased in this documentary.  As I sit here I wonder about the women in the prison system and how race effects their experiences. What about women working in the sex trade industry as either prostitutes, strippers, or porn actresses, how has race effected their life experiences?  When we think of the black woman we are meant to either think of the noble, self-sacrificing single mother, or the rich affluent over achiever who spends her nights embracing a vibrator lamenting on her lack of access to good dick. Had CNN bothered to look outside of the cultural images that exist about black women they could have created a documentary that was far more inclusive, and spoke to the various identities that make up black females in the US.  Once again we are misrepresented and constructed as something that we are not. 

Tomorrows instalment is called the The Black Man, somehow I suspect that this particular segment will be far more inclusive.  When it comes to race, society has always focused on the black male, and relegated the black female to his invisible helper. Black women are always told about the ways in which they must conform to black male headship to uplift the race.  Though the black male is specifically othered by race he still exists with privilege, and I am quite sure that the patriarchy will not be discussed in any significant way.

If we are going to discuss race it cannot and should not be done without the other isms that function together to limit social mobility.  A true conversation begins when we discuss things like age, disability, and sexuality.  The more intersections that enter any debate, the greater the chance to end up with an accurate portrayal of the black experience.  Though CNN had lofty aims it failed to present any real illumination on what it is like to black in America.


Snickers Get Some Nuts

 Hat Tip: HatrrietsDaughter

This is not the first homophobic commercial created by snickers.  They seem intent to push the idea that if you identify as GLBT somehow you are less than. This new commercial endorses violence against homosexuals, and this is very dangerous in a society that believes that their lives are without value.  How many GLBT people have to pay with their lives before we decide that homophobia is wrong?

In a post I wrote for Feminocracy, I discuss the ways in which gender essentialism is harmful.  This commercial further proves the point that  traits that we assign based in gender have a tendency to other large groups of people.  Sexuality has nothing to do with gender identification, and when we relate the two, we further support a gender binary as an acceptable way to understand and order our world . A gay male is just as masculine as a hetero male.  The problem is that we have assigned specific behaviour patterns to masculinity without acknowledging that what we  view as masculine has morphed over the centuries, thus what we have normalized today is simply the result of the continual social disciplining of gender performativity.

image image

Notice  that the male garments are just as adorned as the female clothing, yet these men would not have been considered effeminate in the least.  Men wore wigs, powders and elaborate fabrics.  It is only recently that we have decided that such a visible display is ostentatious. If we can see from this example the fluidity of the masculine identity, it is then possible to understand that the rigid displays of masculinity today were not always considered "normal".  All of the clothing hold basically the same elements in terms of visibility and beautification. The similarity in clothing is an indicator that though one is specifically male and the other specifically female there is in a sense gender shifting, that was not only considered appropriate, but desirable.

I could now continue on with a list of gay males throughout the century for whom homosexuality did not conflict with their masculine roles, but instead I would like to focus on ancient Greece"Homosexuality," Plato wrote, "is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love-all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce." The highest form of love was between a man and a boy.  A relationship with a woman was for the creation of political alliances, and reproduction.  The issue for the ancient Greeks was not homosexuality, but rather the power differentials in a relationship between a younger man and an older man.  Men often wrote elaborate love letters to their male paramours as well as actively engaged in competition for their attentions. The idea that homosexuality is deviant or the result of sin has specifically to do with the rise of Christianity and the medical establishment.  These two social institutions worked together to create the homosexual identity as a spoiled identity.

When we look at commercials like this what we must not loose site of is its underlying goals of not only creating homosexuality as deviant, but to discipline the body into performing heterosexuality. By placing Mr.T (the hetero male) in a position to be the one initiating violence it assigns power, and social validity based strictly in sexual preference.  This is  extremely important to note as patriarchy has a vested interested in maintaining power differentials throughout society.  If we apply a race/gender lens to this particular commercial, we can see that the male in question is being punished not only for being homosexual, but for being white and homosexual.  White males as we know constitute the most privileged class globally, and when one male chooses to deviate from the social construction that created this power vacuum, they are threatened physically in an effort to maintain social order.  It is no accident that a black male is the one doing the discipline.  Black males are constructed as hyper masculine through their constant association with violence, and furthermore having the power to discipline a white male in this way is meant to add an extra layer of humiliation the victim.

An entire paper could be written dedicated the problematic images of masculinity that this commercials presents.  When we engage with social institutions like the media, it is necessary for us to critically engage so that we do not end up internalizing images and ideas that are necessarily limiting.  I could have done a rant about how much I hate this ad, or entreat you to boycott snickers, but instead I am choosing to ask you to think critically.  What purpose does this commercial serve, and what messages is it trying to support?  Our social institutions are examples of discourse that is hegemonic in our society, is this truly the  world we wish to inhabit?

 


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

John Kerry and Tar Baby

Via: Black Political Thought

Okay folks, what the hell was John Kerry thinking using the term tar baby?  It is just as racialized, and just as negative as the word nigger.  It has no place in our discourse and his usage of this term has been ignored.  I don't care what his intent was, when those words fell from his lips without any thought, what he did was reduce black people to descriptors of negativity.

Many people believe that as long as they avoid the word nigger they are not using hateful racist language towards blacks and that is simply not the case.  Due to the ingenuity of humanity we actually have a myriad of words that confer the message that some people are less than simply based on the colour of their skin.  What we need to do is be hypervigilant in our choice of language to ensure that our everyday conversations do not reinforce the idea that it is acceptable to other for the sake of convenience.  A white man using the term tar baby is racist period.  Kerry is an educated man, and as such I am not convinced that he suffers from an inability to use metaphors that are not based in race.  There are no free passes, and Kerry in this case is guilty of using racist terminology.

What I find particularly telling is that when Jesse Jackson said nigger it created a virtual media storm, yet when a white man uses the term tar baby which is equally as damaging to blacks there is silence and zero criticism.  Why are we to assume that his intent was not to harm, and Jesses was  malignant internalized hatred, or that it was overtly hypocritical in nature. This is a perfect example of white privilege working to discipline bodies of colour while at the same time assigning themselves a false ally status. Words come with a specific history and meaning, and this must be recognized if we are to  decolonize language. As long as terminology like tar baby can be used without criticism, blacks will continue to occupy the bottom of the racial hierarchy pyramid.


Good Bye Estelle

Just three days before her 85th Birthday Estelle Getty passed away.  Thanks for the laughter and the love. Most importantly thank you for being a friend and showing the world that women of all ages have much to offer the world.

Food, The Resource We Take For Granted

Today I went grocery shopping with my family.  Just an everyday ordinary event that middle class western women do daily. I walked through the aisles filling my cart, not thinking much about this cost of the items.  My goal was to pack my cart with as many healthy items that I could trick the boys, Mayhem and Destruction into eating.  Other than a brief negotiation in cereal aisle regarding which cereals would make the final cut, it was a pretty uneventful trip.  Though we try to disturb gender as much as possible in our household, I must admit that when it comes to feeding my family the responsibility largely falls to me.  As a woman and a mother it is something that I have fallen into without much thought, or planning.

My situation is not unique.  As part of our nurturing and  caregiving roles women world wide take on this responsibility.  Where we differ is in terms of privilege. When I walk into a grocery store, it is almost like a food wonderland.  The choices are endless, and I am only limited by the range of my wallet.  Even if I were a poor western woman I would still be greeted with more choices than the women that live in Burkina Faso.  For these women the struggle to feed their children has meant that many of them are suffering from malnutrition as they go without so that their children may have more.  Burkina Faso ranks 176th out of 177 on the U.N. Human Development Index. According to CIDA ( The Canadian International Development Agency) 46.4 percent of the population lives under the poverty line.

"It's a cultural thing," Hervé Kone, director of a human rights group in Burkina Faso, said. "When  kids are hungry, they go to their mother, not their father. And when there is less food, women are the first to eat less."

A study by Catholic Relief Services revealed "many people in Burkina Faso spend 75 percent or more of their income on food, and pregnant women and young mothers sacrifice medical care while some are turning to prostitution to pay for food."  The cost of six pounds of cornmeal has risen from 75 cents to $1.50. A kilogram -- 2.2 pounds -- of rice cost 60 cents last year and costs a little more than $1 now. Other basics such as salt and cooking oil have also doubled in priced.  With an average fertility rate of 6.6 children per woman, resources are stretched to the point where families are hard pressed to provide the most basic necessities

I cannot imagine a life where daily I had to worry about whether or not I could feed my children.  As a western woman I have tried to ingrain a respect for the importance of  food to my children, but I know that nothing teaches that lesson like hunger.  We carelessly throw around the word starving to describe hunger, but few western residents know what it really means to live on a bowl of watery cornmeal for a day.  Even for the most economically deprived amongst us a nutritionally balanced meal is accessible at a soup kitchen.  Though we are living in an unacknowledged recession, western citizens daily live with privileges that third world citizens can only dream of. 

Despite the severity of the food crises globally, it is a story that receives very little attention from our media,  instead we are inundated with stories about Brittany Spears, or the overblown political drama that has become the American election.  We have become blind to the suffering of others as we continue to use them as neo-colonies to provide for our greedy commercialized lifestyle. There is a pervasive feeling of entitlement despite the fact that we are humans, occupying the same small blue planet. 

I am just a woman with a small blog, of little significance really.  On my own  the small changes that I have made are not enough to undue the inequality that plagues our planet, however I will not allow that fact to stop me from discussing the issues that really matter in this life.  Each person that reads this blog has the opportunity to make small changes and pass information on to others.  Together we cumulatively can help to bring order to disorder.  There is a cost for the relative luxury that we live in, and the people that reside in Burkina Faso are paying it. 

Stop wasting food, don't put more on your plate that you can eat.  Write your representatives and encourage the end of unfair trade agreements that are impoverishing the third world.  Purchase food locally as much as possible and look for fair trade items to buy.  Remember that just because something is used does not mean that it has outlived its usefulness.  Small political acts daily make a difference, and it shows that not only do you care about the women of Burkina Faso you care about the environment that you are leaving your children with. It is time to reorder our sense of priorities.  What matters are the necessities in life, food, clothing and shelter...everything else is just what we have been taught to value.  As the givers of life women must take a stand.  We cannot and should not stand idly by while the fruit of our wombs withers and dies. 


What You Did Was Racist

Via: Jump Off The Bridge

I think that this video makes an excellent point.  The language that we use to call out racism can be just as important as  the racist act or symbol itself.  If the purpose of the conversation is to let someone know that their deeds, or language was racist, calling them a racist may actually be counter productive to your goal.  If we take the time to focus on the specifics of the action, or language then this forces them to deal with the issue at hand.

When he pointed out  that when celebrities are called out for racist behaviour their first point of defense is to provide character witnesses who are  quick to claim that the individual in question is not a racist, it struck a resounding bell with me.  Suddenly whether or not the person in question is a racist becomes the focus of the conversation, rather than the behaviour or language that was problematic in the first place.

As a committed anti-racist, language is very important to me, and I believe that this video can point the way on how to engage effectively as an anti-racist.  The point of calling someone out is getting them to acknowledge that their speech or behaviour was problematic, and if we immediately put them on the defensive, the tone of the conversation will be corrupted, and despite our best intentions nothing will be gained from the engagement.  It is important that when we engage with others that we do so critically while making sure that the conversation remains on point.  Racism ends one productive conversation at a time.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Abortion - Women Will Find A Way

As I have repeatedly stated making abortions illegal will not stop women from trying to have abortions. Making it difficult for women to have access to safe abortions will lead to medical complications and in some cases deathIn India women are turning to online pharmacies to get the drugs Mifepristone or RU 486 and misoprostol .  These are not drugs that should be taken without the supervision of a doctor as they have very serious side effects.  In cases where a woman has conditions such as underlying heart disease, respiratory disorders, liver and kidney disorders, hypertension, these drugs should not be used.  According to Asha Sharma, head of gynaecology department at Rockland Hospital“Several youngster like college girls and professional also come to me, of which at least 30 per cent are those who fail to get proper results from the do it yourself medicines,”

A study conducted by British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology review said women living in over 70 countries, especially where abortion is restricted are using the internet to buy DIY medication for abortions. Unsafe abortions are responsible for even deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare statistics  approximately 9,000 women die every year in India due to unsafe abortions.

The ability to have a safe medically supervised abortion is a matter of life and death for women globally.  Despite whatever moral reservations an individual may have towards abortion if they truly respect life they need to recognize that there are many instances in which abortion is a life saving procedure.  Is it better that both mother and foetus die?  If you truly respect life, you must respect the life that is already inhabiting this planet with you.

9,000 is a large number of women to die and that is only the result of one country. How many women die globally each year because they were denied access to abortion? How many women  end up with serious medical conditions because they do not have access to safe abortions?  If you value life at some point you have to recognize the grave yard of female bodies that is being created because some feel that they the right to force their morality on others. When I think of abortion I don't think about the foetuses, I think of graveyards filled with women who died from botched illegal abortions. I think of the contributions that they could have added to this world, the potential lost forever.


Real Rape Doesn't Happen In Greensboro

The police department of Greensboro is reporting an increase in crime statistics. Channel 14 reports Police Chief Tim Bellamy,  as citing that residential burglaries increased 12.5 percent and rape investigations increased 92.6 percent.  That is an alarming increase in the number of sexual assaults.  Does this mean that more assaults are happening, or that more women are coming forward to report these incidents?  In the police report  rapes increased from 27 in the first six months of 2007 to 52 so far this year.

Captain Janice Rogers, head of the Criminal Investigations Division, said the increase does not necessarily mean women in Greensboro are in more danger of being sexually assaulted.
“A majority of our sexual assault cases have known assailants,” she said. “A lot of times, a reported sexual assault involves a spouse, a boyfriend and girlfriend, or two people who know each other. So even though the numbers are higher, we have not seen an increase in rapes committed by an unknown assailant. Women are more likely to be the victim of rape at the hands of someone they know than by a stranger. Nonetheless, we encourage women to practice common sense safety measures to help protect themselves from becoming victims.”

Perhaps Ms.Rogers could focus on the criminal rapists rather than encouraging women to protect themselves. Can you think of a single woman who wakes up in the morning and enthusiastically says yeppers, today is the day I am going to allow myself to get raped.  Yeah common sense safety measures in a society that believes that womens bodies are for the sexual gratification of men.  Let's just transfer the blame to the rape victim for putting herself into a position to get raped in the first place.  Double shame on you acquaintance rape victims.  You should have known better.  We should all have been born with some internal indicator that allows us to spot a rapist from miles away...hmmm to bad humans don't come with spidey senses. Perhaps women should just stay indoors at all times shunning the world until we learn how to protect ourselves from rape. 

What a supportive and sensitive police department.  Is it really any wonder that so many rapes go unreported if this is the attitude we receive.   Women already experience a sense of shame when we are assaulted, and the last thing we need is to be told that we are in any way responsible for what happened to  us.  Rogers statements seem to be representative of the attitude of the Greensboro police force.   Besides failing to protect themselves from rape, police chief Bellamy infers that the rise in reported rapes can be attributed to prostitutes.

“We're also finding that we have, as we call the 'ladies of the night,' the prostitutes out here, sometimes may not get paid for the services that they render and they will file a report for rape also."

...oooh you mean "bad girls" think that they have the right to report their rapes?  It isn't just something that virginal catholic school girls have the right to claim?  Imagine that.  If one is a prostitute surely it should be understood that you cannot be raped.  Surely it must be understood that your profession does not entitle you to the same respect, and safety as "regular citizens".  Dirty little disease spreading whores, forcing the police to waste valuable man time and resources investigating their rapes. 

It seems the only rape that counts in Greeensboro is stranger rape of a virgin.  If you fall into any other category you are somehow to blame for becoming a victim.  Why is there no outrage directed at the rapist?  Why is it always blame the victim? We have a right to be able to live a life free of violence and sexual assault. No matter what a woman is wearing, or what she does for a living it is not an invitation to assault.   Until the justice system can fully embrace this, women will continue to under report the crimes committed against us.  If rape victims know that they are instantly going to be judged and deemed complicit in their own attacks how can they come forward and charge their attackers, it would be like being raped all over again.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Savage Stands By Autism Commentary

image

Michael Savage, the incendiary radio host who last week characterized nearly every child with autism as “a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out,” said in a telephone interview on Monday that he stood by his remarks and had no intention of apologizing to those advocates and parents who have called for his firing over the matter.

“My main point remains true,” Mr. Savage, whose radio audience ranks in size behind only those of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, said in the interview. “It is an overdiagnosed medical condition. In my readings, there is no definitive medical diagnosis for autism.”

On the July 16 instalment of his program, which is broadcast every weekday, Mr. Savage suggested that “99 percent of the cases” of autism were a result of lax parenting. He told his audience: “They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life.’ ” Among the other admonitions he felt children with autism should be hearing, he said, were: “ ‘Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’ ”

Asked Monday if he actually believed that 99 out of every 100 cases of autism were misdiagnosed, Mr. Savage conceded that figure was “a little high.” He added, “It was hyperbole.”

But he said he was proud to have prodded discussion on the subject, and planned to give over his entire show on Monday — broadcast live from Northern California from 3 to 6 p.m., Pacific time — to parents and other callers who wished to disagree with him and to educate him. 

Read the rest of the story here.

Imagine being proud of being an ass.  Stupid is as stupid does I suppose but must we continue to be subjected to such idiocy on the air waves.  His contract ends next February and I firmly believe that is far too long to allow him to continue to spread such disinformation.   The man doesn't even have the decency to apologize after being informed of how incendiary his commentary was, instead he tried to draw even more listeners to his show.  In whatever way that you are able please find the time to let him, the station and the advertisers know that we as a public are fed up and are unwilling to tolerate one more moment of this.


Abuse Or Oral Sex?

image 68 year old Luella McAdoo was left to care for a 34 year old handicapped man in his mothers absence.  Instead of fulfilling her role as a caregiver she decided to fulfill her sexual needs by allegedly coercing him into performing oral sex on her.

Upon catching her in the act of allegedly abusing her son,  Ms. Davis asked her to leave her home, and then reported the crime to the police. She contends that he doesn't have the ability to make a decision about sex on his own.  McAdoo is currently charged with lewd or lascivious battery on an elderly or severely disabled person and is being held at the Orient Road Jail on $7,500 bond, according to jail records.

My initial response to reading this story was outrage.  I mentally heaped all kinds of abuse on her, in complete belief that she was a sex parasite worthy of the worst kind of feelings that I reserve for sexual predators.  I firmly believe that anyone that violates another sexually deserves a special place in hell. As I began to type what I thought would be a vitriolic rant dedicated to decrying this woman a thought occurred to me...How do we know that he did not consent? His mother says he does not have the requisite mental capacity to consent but this does not mean that he is not a sexual being.  Often times people that are mentally disabled are constructed as asexual because it makes us uncomfortable to think of them as sexual beings.  Even though he  may well have the mind of a child it is in the body of a sexually mature adult. He went through puberty the same way as everyone else, and therefore would be subject to the same sexual desires.  So the question is, does this incident constitute a sexual violation?  Does his mother have the right to say that he cannot participate in a sexual relationship? What are your thoughts?


Democratic Convention Means Hide And Seek With Homeless

On August 25-28 Denver will host the democratic national convention.  According to the Rocky Mountain News:

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless plans to get 500 movie tickets as well as passes to the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and other cultural facilities for the people it helps.

Bus tickets will be provided for events beyond walking distance, said John Parvensky, the non-profit's president.

Many day shelters will have expanded hours during the convention, and big screen TVs are being donated to some shelters so patrons can watch convention goings-on without being caught up in the mayhem.

"We're trying to let folks know what activities are planned, and what other places they'll be able to go without being harassed," Parvensky said.

So when the elites come to town the homeless have to go.   Pavensky asserts that, "A person who typically sits under a tree in a park that is now occupied by 1,000 protesters won't have the peace and quiet they're desiring. Particularly those with mental illness can't cope with crowds. Our concern going forward is that the city doesn't control everything - the Secret Service plays a role," he said. "We don't know what will happen if protests get out of control and people get caught up in something they didn't intend to."

Okay perhaps I am being cynical but it seems that all  of these "special treats" are just a way to hide the homeless from public view.  Where is the concern for their welfare on a daily basis?  Hiding them away from the media does not reduce the problem of homelessness, and treating them like criminals for being in spaces that we have claimed as public, is morally reprehensible.  The homeless constitute  an invisible class in our society. Daily we shuffle past them with averted eyes as though recognizing our shared humanity risks the possibility of sharing their fate.  The citizens of working/middle class residents of Denver have far more in common with the homeless than they do with the interloping politicians that will be visiting for a few days.  Whenever we bow to the concerns of the ruling elite we are participating in false class consciousness. It is due to the endless greed of the rich bourgeoisie that homelessness continues to exist, and to hide it from their view because they uncomfortable with the results of their avarice, is to collude with our economic slavery.


Got Privilege...Now What?

The discussion on The View has led to a lot of conversation in the blogosphere regarding who has the right to say Nigger.    There seems to be some consensus among anti-racist whites that nigger should not be used, yet due to issues of privilege and power they are resistant to enter into conversations on this issue.  As a committed anti-racist I take issue with this abdication on the part of white people.  It is good that you own your privilege and your power, but not acting because of it is actually a negation of ownership. Creating spaces that are specifically black, is not necessarily a sign of respect, rather I submit to you that this is nothing but a performance of equality without  responsibility.

To speak plainly…It is not appropriate to say that because my body is encoded with a certain social meaning I cannot, or should not operate within a specific sphere. Depending upon the context, if you truly believe that something is racist, it would behove you to speak against it regardless of the audience. It is not sufficient to only decry racism in safe places. It is easy to speak to a white supremacist, or tackle FOX news for their blatant racism because it costs you nothing. Being a committed anti-racist entails having the courage of your convictions and speaking out about issues of race at every opportunity.  This does not have to be an accusatory conversation or even come from a place wherein it is presented as a silencing tactic or an order. If one is capable of acknowledging that the body is not free of discursive elements the conversation can and should be had.

I don’t believe in waiting for permission to speak, as this reinforces a sense of hierarchy to a conversation. If we understand that white bodies are raced then it is acceptable for them to enter a racial conversation. To say that race is the preserve solely of bodies of colour re-enforces the racism that we are working against. It is the same thing as saying reverse racism.  Whites need to engage on this issue simply because the word nigger is damaging.  To call the debate a black issue and declare it unfit for whites to enter means that once again we are creating separate spheres.  Progressive conversations cannot evolve when we are divided not only in purpose but from one another. 

Nigger was fostered on blacks to reduce our humanity and by willingly taking on this mantle some blacks are saying that they agree with this label. If we need to take ownership for something it should be the positive aspects of black history, and or culture not a hate label that reduces our humanity.

If one is truly an anti-racist or espouses anti-racism it should not be possible to support in language or deed a label that reinforces inequality. We cannot speak about equality while using the language of our oppressor for it is in the words of Audre Lorde to use the masters tools. As blacks we have a vested interest in racial equality due to the systemic nature of racism, and the way in which it impacts our lives, and therefor for us to continue to collude through language and behaviour with those that benefit from our marginalization is a form of racial suicide. Is it really any wonder that when black children were presented with dolls they overwhelming chose the white doll as beautiful. Self love begins with relinquishing the ugliness that society has chosen to construct around the body.  We all  have a role to play in this important issue if we hope to achieve the post-racial society we claim to be living in.


To CNN Only Black Men Matter

image Saturday night I sat down to watch a special on CNN regarding the black community.  I was very excited as the panel was slated to be all African Americans who were to be discussing issues that plague our community.  What quickly became apparent as I watched was that the state of the black male was the primary concern.  It seems black people is a euphemism for black male.  When the hell do black women get to count for something?

In discussing this with L today, (a dear friend) he felt that it was irrelevant that the panel was unbalanced, and that I was taking the whole gender thing to far.  Apparently, "gender is not an issue in everything." The reason I am sharing this commentary with you dear readers, is that I feel it is very reflective of attitudes within the community when it comes to dealing with racism and poverty.  Black women count only when the talk turns to sacrifice.  The black male cannot speak on behalf of the black female because even though we share the same race it effects us differently.  Yes the black male is constructed as a violent criminal rapist, but it is our bodies that are violated.  Until both men and women are equally engaged in the effort to "uplift" the race it will be a failed project.

Throughout almost the entirety of the special there were more black male panelists than female, in fact the ratio was only ever equal for a very short segment. The panel was divided 50/50 on the discussion regarding AIDS which lasted 20 minutes.  Though AIDS is a serious issue, to call it a black womans problem denies the fact that AIDS does not recognize race, class, gender, or sexuality. It is an equal opportunity killer and I resent it being referred to as the "black woman's disease".  AIDS presented this way is just another stigmatizer used to debase the black female.

At the beginning of the show a lot of time was dedicated to pushing marriage and family values.  It seems that they were trying to raise a co-relation between the "break down" of the black family and the problems that are now facing the community.  A return to the patriarchal family may bring with it certain relief for black men, but for women a return to the traditional family means more obligation and servitude. 

Constantly the panelist kept saying that though a woman can raise a child alone that she shouldn't have to.  I tend to agree with this statement, however participation in the life of a child should not mandate the continual access to a mothers body, or the benefit of her labour for a lifetime.  Black men need to stand up and care for their children but this does not mean that both parents need to cohabitate to make this happen.  Becoming pregnant by a certain man bonds you for a lifetime as parents, not as lovers and partners.

The series is due to continue on Wednesday with Black Women and The Family.   I would also like to point out that Thursdays episode is called the Black Man.  Notice that the black male has an entire segment dedicated to him whereas women are conflated with family.  While motherhood and child rearing are important events in a womans life they do not make up the totality of our existence, further not all women become mothers.  While this specials aim is raise concern about racism, and the ways in which it impacts our lives, ignoring the different ways in which gender intersects with racism means that the black male will be privileged while once again the black woman is 'othered' through silencing. 


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Disneys First Black Princess...The Princess and The Frog: An American Fairy Tale

imageSince Walt Disney released Snow White, young WOC have been waiting for our turn to play the princess role. I was very excited when I learned via Ebony Intuition that we were finally going to be represented, but had I thought about Disney's history when it comes to POC, my enthusiasm might not have been so joyful. 

It seems that when they first thought of creating a black princess they decided that the most appropriate job for her was as a maid for a white woman. Yes you read that right. Not only was she to be a maid, they named her Maddy; is that a little to close to mammy for anyone else?  Why halt the social construction there though..they gave her a voodoo fairy godmother, and a white male as a love interest.  If this is their idea of a black princess, thanks but no thanks.

Whoever came up with the original story board for "our princess" needs a class in African American studies.  That's exactly what children need to see, a black woman slaving away for a white woman, while  she is lusting after a white man.  How much more slave revival can they get? The only stereotype they missed is the angry black woman, but I am sure that if they could have found a way to squeeze that in they would have.  Can we really expect better from a company whose first feature length film was Snow White, or that created and popularized the following images?

image image

 image image

image 

It seems Disney has a history of displaying racial social constructions in their movies, so why should the first "black princess" be immune?

Racism is just a part of Disney  productions and so it took criticism from outsiders for Maddy to be reconstructed.  According to  Arifa Akbar of The Independent, "the heroine has been recast as Tiana, a 19-year-old in a country that has never had a monarchy. She is now slated to live "happily ever after" with a handsome fellow who is not black – with leaks suggesting that he will be of Middle Eastern heritage and called Naveen."

African, and African American history is so rich in folklore there was never a need to resort to this kind of patented racism in the first place.  There are plenty of women that they could have chosen to model this character after that would have inspired young girls to re-envision black womanhood.  We don't need yet another image telling us that we are unequal and less than.  It might be fun for Disney to play up the licentious whore, and mammy paradigm but for those of us that must live with this stereotype it greatly effects our cultural self esteem and our life path. I will go and see this "historic movie", but I will go with the understanding that though the character will be black, she will probably not represent anything that I have come to understand about the beauty, strength and love of black womanhood.


Michael Savage On Autism and Disability

On his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket. ... I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' "

 

I came across this story at Sami's Happy Place.

Michael Savage made several erroneous leaps. His first assertion is that minorities "suffered" from a higher rate of asthma to increase welfare benefits.  Of course it is a scam and not a legitimate illness.  The fact that minority neighbourhoods are often highly polluted areas has no connection at all.  We should forget that across North America the neighbourhoods with the closest proximity to industrial factories, and garbage dumps, are poor and largely filled with visible minorities and the invisible underclass.  Yeah, whatever link there might be is largely accidental.  Don't listen to the scientists and doctors, breathing polluted air and drinking water that hasn't been properly treated actually increases the quality of life.

Our less than bright sage then moves on to link autism with a lack of a father figure.  Autism is a very serious illness.  As I said in an earlier post on this issue I am not very versed in what causes Autism, or how it effects the daily life of one who has been diagnosed with this illness.  I do know enough to understand that though it manifests behaviourally, it is not an issue of someone acting out for the sake of acting out. It is not an issue of discipline, and the parents of autistic children are very much invested in taking care of their children.  Both of my children were born without any illnesses or diseases, and I find the task completely overwhelming some days. I cannot imagine what the parent of an autistic child must go through, between trying to care for their child, and dealing with the social ignorance that abounds about this illness.  So on behalf of all autistic children and their families I would like to offer you a heartfelt, FUCK YOU.

Now honestly that should be more than enough idiocy for one person on any given day, but some people simply cannot resist the urge to prove that they are oxygen thieves.  "Don't act like a girl, don't cry...Stop with the sensitivity training you're turning your son into a girl. You're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men." Okay gender essentialist young boys could do a lot worse than learning to show their emotions and empathize with others.  Female is not a pejorative, and case you are forgetting a lowly woman brought you into this world.  I could go on a rant and list the accomplishments of women, but when dealing with  a sexist patriarchal automaton, I must acknowledge that it might just all be beyond his capability to understand.  I will say this though, the more he speaks, the more I believe that he is a good advocate for contraception education.  Look ladies, this is what skipping a pill just might lead to. (insert broken rubber joke)

Men like Michael Savage are nothing more than noise pollution. They fill the air with their ridiculous diatribes, based in ignorance and unacknowledged privilege.  He is beyond offensive and yet as we all know, he will continue to be given a platform to spew this offensive swill.  How many times do these on air personalities get to offend the sensibilities of decent people?  They get a small slap on the wrist, and are allowed to keep going because they make money for their broadcasters. Whether it is Dog the Bounty Hunter, Imus or Michael Savage the message needs to sent that this kind of hate is simply not acceptable.  To continually give them a platform to pontificate from makes these companies just as complicit as the personalities in question. This kind of garbage is not funny and to allow people to be dehumanized for the sake of profit is disgusting.