Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jay Mohr on Michelle Obama: Dude Looks Like A Lady

I’d like to talk about Kevin Garnett this guy is the Michelle Obama of the Celtics. He doesn’t really do anything but damn he looks good doesn’t he? Michelle Obama that is a big dude. When Barack plays pick up games at the White House, you know he picks Michelle as at least his forward, maybe his (inaudible) depending on who is on campus that day. 

That has to be like being married to Elton Brand.  She is a big, big dude.  I like when she put her arm around the Queen of England and just put her in a headlock and told her I’ve been waiting 200 years just to put my arms around you lady.  I love that.  I love how she shaved off all her eyebrows and then drew them back way too high into an arch and then straight back down so she always looks super surprised.  She kind of, Michelle Obama kind of looks like the count on sesame street.  That great one ah ah ah, one black president ah, ah, ah.  What a year.

Is everyone amused?  Once again Michelle's femininity is challenged in the name of comedy.  What can be more hilarious than over privileged white men displaying their racism, sexism and transphobia for the world to see.

The black woman has historically been constructed as the ultimate “unwoman” to justify the exploitation that we have been subjected.  These same white men who find it acceptable to label us as overly masculine, have no problem repeatedly violating our bodies sexually.  I wonder if Mohr was channelling a slave owning ancestor when he made his remarks.

Time after time, we have seen these attacks aimed at Michelle and yet there is very little commentary that defends her.  Even the much reviled Sarah Palin received the benefit of feminist activism when they marched to her defence against sexist attacks. Unless they (read: white women) are appropriating her by making comparisons to Jackie O,  feminism has remained largely silent about the sexism and racism that she has had to endure. Your silence convicts you and makes you just as guilty as men like Mohr, who consider demeaning women to be just good ole boy fun.

How many times must it be said that racism and sexism are fruit of the same poisonous tree?  When such commentary is made without correction it affirms the social power of white men to label and demean at will.  Today their commentary may be aimed at a prominent black woman but  tomorrow it will be aimed at a white woman.

When sexism is aimed at white women, WOC are expected to join the picket lines in the name of gender solidarity and protest yet we are rarely to never accorded the same respect unless it suits some form of ulterior motive.

A commenter on Feministing asked me why I am so hard on white women and the answer is really very simple.  By ignoring racism in their activism, white women prove that they are not committed to intersectionality and that their true goal is not equality for all women but reaffirming their so-called innate right to exploit in the same manner as white men.  Gender as the only site of oppression ignores the issues that many women face and reaffirms the hierarchy that has become normalized by out racist, patriarchal, cissexist, homophobic, ableist state.  There can be no advancement without dismantling privilege. 

H/T Transgriot



So You Think You Can Dance: Homophobia In Ballroom Dancing

image Well pigs are flying because I have to agree with Perez Hilton.  On May 21st the new season of So You Think You Can Dance premiered.   Over time  I have come to expect sexism to come floating out of Lythgoe’s mouth.  While he may critique the dancers for their failure, he never seems to miss an opportunity to be offensive.   Two men; one gay and the other straight auditioned for the show.  I was so excited to see the disturbance of traditional gender roles.  

Though ballroom dancing is about artistic expression it is hard to escape the ways in which patriarchal values are routinely brought into to play to reflect not only herteronormativity but male headship.   The women are often in sexy attire perched upon torture devices (read: high heels) .  The men lead the women around the dance floor and are encouraged to present an aggressive and or dominant form of masculinity.   What’s not to love about heterosexism and patriarchy put to music? 

The audition of Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel  was a delight to watch.  As the men moved across the floor taking turns leading, it was the perfect demonstration of the ways in which art can be used to disturb our social construction of gender and sexuality.  Good art pushes boundaries it does not simply repeat that which can be observed everyday in dominant social spheres.  It speaks to us on the most basic levels and causes us to question that which we take for granted. 

Lythgoe could not for one moment see the beauty and the challenge that these men were offering and instead resorted to homophobia.

“I think you probably alienate a lot of our audience.  I mean, we’ve always had the guys dance together on the show, but I’ve -- they’ve never really done it in each other’s arms before.”  Shortly thereafter, he added, “Do you know what? I’d like to see you both dancing with a girl. You never know you might enjoy that.”

Of course he wants to see them dancing with girls; that is what is “natural” right?  Mary who cannot think for herself echoed his sentiments. The poor little dear was confused. “"Who led the dance, she asked?"  The flip flopping of the lead was to much and she could not tell who was playing the “male and female” roll.   Heaven forbid we just do away with the idea that we need to stick to a gender binary in every single situation.

Lythgoe knew exactly what he was doing was homophobic and wrong.  He followed up his horrendous commentary on twitter:

“The same sex ballroom guys did remind me of 'Blades of Glory.' However, I'm not a fan of 'Brokeback' Ballroom.”

image He’s not a fan of Brokeback Ballroom, well I’m not a fan of loud mouth windbags expressing their homophobia as though it is perfectly acceptable to display such bigotry. What these men did took courage in a world that everyday reifies heterosexualtiy and a male/female dichotomy as the norm.  They deserved applause and not ridicule.   It was no surprise that even once paired with women that they found themselves quickly ushered off the stage. 

In support of Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel  please contact Fox entertainment and demand an apology.   These men certainly deserved better than what they received.

Erica Keane
Vice President, Media Relations
Fox Broadcasting Company
(212) 301-3613                     
erica.keane@foxtv.com
Michelle Hooper        
Senior Vice President of Entertainment Publicity
Fox Broadcasting Company
(310) 369-1000                     
michelle.hooper@fox.com
Lindsay Luttrell
So You Think You can Dance
(323) 575-6100

H/T TransGriot on the contact info




Drop It Like It’s Hot

Hello everyone, thanks for another wonderful week of conversation.  image There will be a pause on our Blogtalkradio show due to the long weekend.  Consider this a small break while you enjoy the first beer drinking weekend of the summer.  Monica and I will return next week, when we will be discussing poverty with Project Share.    We will be discussing how the current depression has effected those already living on the margins as well as those who now rely on soup kitchens and food banks that used to be able to survive without any aid.

Once again I apologize for the late carnival.  I have not forgotten, it will be up soon.  Below you will find a list to some great posts that I came across this week.  Please check them out and when you are done, don’t forget to drop it like it’s hot and leave your link behind in the comment section.

Fail to distinguish African immigration from slavery descent.

Withdrawal a Viable Method of Contraception?

Iman: Michelle Obama “Not A Great Beauty”

It’s a racist slur, it’s a racist slur, it’s a racist slur

Is Slavery Why Black Women Aren’t Breastfeeding?

Whipping Girl FAQ on cissexual , cisgender, and cis privilege

 A Note In My Litany

 Creating and Arab and Middle Eastern Racial Category

A Quick Note on Misogynistic Body Standards

 What is Butch?

Are women really jonesing for Angelina?

Buppies Blipsters and other Black Unicorns

Names Do Matter

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Friday, May 22, 2009

MRA, Feministing, and Racism

I’ll bet the above is a bit of a shocking title.  Here’s the background knowledge that you need to be aware of.  May 19th was Malcolm X’s birthday.   He is a man that I have a great deal of respect for.  I had intended to write a post regarding his work with the women of the Nation of Islam, however time got the better of me and I simply posted his eulogy which was written by Ossie Davis.  That day I roamed around the blogosphere and noted that he was not mentioned on either Feministing, Feministe, or Shakesville.   In my opinion this is not a small oversight.

The next day Samhita put up a post a feministing wishing Malcolm a happy belated birthday and as I read it, I became angry.  My issue is not that the post was poorly written but that it fell once again to Samhita to cover an issue that is important to POC and that the post was a day late.  The following is the initial comment I left on the thread.

As much as I love the work you do Samhita, I must say that I am angry that this post is a day late. I also wonder why it fell to you to acknowledge the importance of Malcolm X and not one of your fellow (read: white) bloggers? I roamed around the blogosphere yesterday looking for references to Malcolm and not surprisingly there was little to no mention of him except on black blogs...gee imagine that. Malcolm X is ignored by many because he makes them uncomfortable much the same way as people who profess to love MLK cannot seem to quote him past 1963 gee I wonder why that is (yes huge snark). This kind of purposeful erasure or a day late and a dollar short recognition is exactly why WOC get pissed and feel unwelcome in feminist spaces.

This was the beginning of a very hostile thread in which once again Feminsiting readers decided to play racist bingo because they could not handle being called out on their privileges.  The expected responses, angry. irrational, racist, etc., were delivered almost on cue.  If you can stand to wade through the muck the comment thread is a great lesson in how not to be any ally to POC.

I had no intention of writing about this incident until I read a link from antimisandry.com sent to me by Samhita.   Normally, I find the lunacy of the MRA’s quite hilarious because of the twists and turns they make to try and attempt to make their illogical rantings appear to be reasoned and well thought out discourse.  This time I have to say that I actually found their commentary illuminating.  ( I know, I know, don’t worry I will explain)

Bitchy Black Feminist feels White Feminists don't coddle her enough

But this post was not good enough for uber bitch "Renee". She runs a shit website called "Womanist Musings" (she refuses to call herself a Feminist because she thinks they don't kiss the ass of "people of color" enough) where she complains endlessly about how everything is racist.

Oh no she didn't! Notice that the comment got +14. It seems a lot of bitchy white Feminist readers are sick of the Renee's bitching. Later, another white bitch states:

black white or brindle they are all bitchy - it comes from their personal sense of pique when they deem their dereistic entitlements are not realised upon which they dump their malice on the nearest target usually men

Renee is a racist.It's not just a one way street lady.

anyway, back to Renee. She is an extremely angry, and possibly mentally ill, mega bitch BUT I can understand her anger. She knows and understands what oppression really is but the arrogant, liberal white bitches on Feministing cannot stand seeing a black woman playing the victim card against them. In their opinion, the victim card is the exclusive property of (white) women and the only people who may be accused of racism are their political rivals.
p.s.: one person on Feministing who really is a racist is Samhita. She hates white people and unlike blacks, her ethnic group lacks any legitimate gripes against whitey.

It is a clear a public disagreement between women who advocate the end of patriarchal domination is amusing to these trolls, however I think it is important to look deeper than their entertainment.   As I read over the vitriol that they aimed at me one thing became very clear, they have much in common with many of the over privileged pearl clutchers in the feminsiting thread. (no I will not apologize for using that term so don’t ask) You will note that they use the exact same trigger words that many of the feministing commenters did, in fact they could share a bingo card.

Angry, mentally ill, victim card, racist

These are the words routinely thrown at WOC when we dare to challenge white privilege. Isn’t it interesting that the so-called liberal and social justice minded feminists at feministing have so much in common with the MRA?  The only difference between the MRA and feminsting commenters is that they don’t pretend to be allies or care about the equality of others.  

When women of color refuse to take on the label of feminist many suggest it is because we either don’t agree that gender is a site of oppression or that we have privileged race over gender.   The problem is that as people of color race is very much a part of who we are and were we to ignore the impact of race we would be  denying an essential part of our identity.  Feminism has more than a perception problem, it has an issue both historical racism and current day unacknowledged racism.

As an individual, I do not expect perfection.  I have made my fair share of all to  public mistakes, however at least I have had the decency to apologize when I have been in the wrong.  How many times are prominent feminist sites going to continue to  either erase us or marginalize our issues without at least having the ovaries to admit what they are doing?  How many times are they going to allow their comment threads to turn into all out race based attacks without intervening?  If WOC matter, why aren’t your comment threads safe places for us to engage? 

If I am angry, it is because I am human.  To be the continual victim of racism would enrage anyone and yet our legitimate anger is seen as  negative.  Let me tell all you Missy. Anne Pearl Clutchers out there this, you may hate Sapphire but she is a product of your ignorance, your desire to privilege, and your power. She will not go gently into that good night until WOC have our due. 

 


Fat-Shaming During Bikini Season

I have a new post up at Global Comment

The diet and exercise industries earn billions of dollars annually. Many of its advertisements attempt to project the ultimate goal as health. However, the high numbers of women featured in their marketing suggests all of this is more about disciplining women’s bodies than anything. Monica Lewinsky, Valerie Bertinelli, Kristie Alley, Lynn Redgrave, and Sarah Ferguson have all been spokespeople for either Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. In comparison, men working as spokespeople for these industries are a rarer sight.

With the weather beginning to change in the northern hemisphere, the bikini is once again being dangled in front of women as a reason to invest in these weight loss programs. Due to the very revealing nature of the bikini, it is suggested that one’s body conform to a reduced weight. Since what is constructed as the ideal figure for the average woman is far from realistic, many women end up binge-dieting in an attempt to conform to this beauty standard.

When one is successful in achieving weight loss as in the case of Sarah Ferguson and Valarie Bertenelli, we understand this to be a laudable achievement worthy of highest praise. Just as we reward some, we are quick to shame others that gain back the weight. Oprah and Alley have both recently come forward expressing shame for not being able to maintain a reduced body weight. In the case of Alley, she has used her desire to wear a bikini again to spur her renewed commitment to getting back on the treadmill.

Each season, a  trophy is dangled in front of women as incentive to use weight loss products. From the bikini to the New Years Eve dress, no one can ever be slim enough. There are no pitches to men regarding an outfit or a season that they need to be in the appropriate physical shape to wear or participate in. Women are expected to put their lives on hold and avoid certain clothing or events if they are unable to “control” their weight. To be a fat woman is to be understood as undesirable and unfeminine.

Finish Reading Here

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Can White Women Do?

A while ago I was sent an e-mail asking what I felt that white women could do to be good allies.  I have decided to answer that question with this post.  If someone wants to be a good ally the very first thing that you need to do is learn.  That’s image right folks, get your 101 on.  Frederick Douglas once said, “A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.” There is nothing more infuriating than getting into a discussion with someone, only to find that they don’t know the most basic facts and yet have the nerve to profess the correctness of their position.  It is further aggravating to be deemed the mystical negro and be forced to play the roll of teacher repeatedly.

All of my life I have been forced to learn about whiteness.  If I wanted to learn Black history, Indigenous history, Asian history, I had to seek it out for myself.  My father had an excellent library and it was there I would find The Outsiders, The autobiography of Malcolm X, Uncle Toms Cabin, Roots: The saga of an American Family and various other treasures that would teach me about why it was so difficult to of be color in this world.  It was there that I first learned the names Toni Morrison, James Baldwin,  Maya Angelou, Booker T Washington. W.E B DuBois, Gwedolyn Brooks,  Frederick Douglas, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes,  and Zora Neal Hurston. I have spent most of my life trying to understand why it is that Blackness equals inferior and Whiteness equals good.

image I recall reading The Bluest Eye and realizing that a little Breedlove existed in me.  When I was about five years old, I had a fascination  with blue eyes; I was still too young  to realize that I had already internalized Whiteness as the ultimate good. When I read that Negro blood is sure powerful — because just one drop of black blood makes a colored man. One drop — you are a Negro! ... Black is powerful.’ – Lanston Hughes; I learned that perhaps it was fear that inspired the derision.  There is great fear that Whiteness will be consumed by our majesty and grace and that spurs much virulent anger. 

When I was child I was never the “special girl” in school; demeaned and reduced, I learned to hide my vinegar tears and seek solace in books.  I am and continue to be an avid reader though the answer to how a human heart can hold such anger and bias towards another, continues to evade me.

 image Throughout my life I have made friends with various White women and it was these interchanges that finally taught me not to trust.  Even as we shared our struggles as women, race would ultimately serve as a divider. White privilege continues to be the stumbling block upon which so many stumble.  It matters not whether I speak eloquently or from a place of mottled rage, the result is the same.  It is far easier to oppress than to grant another respect and personal freedom.  Time and time again, I have been forced to choose between maintaining a friendship or honouring my hard won sense of dignity.

Familiarity is routinely assumed to grant the right to use oppressive and or  demeaning language because what is a joke between friends?  Though I would speak of its hurtfulness, it was my sensitivity that was ultimately deemed the problem.  Toni Morrison stated in her Nobel Lecture, “Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge,” and the truth of this is understood only by those who know intimately what it is to exist as the eternal “other”.

I have been called a angry, irrational, and overly sensitive.  I know all to well what it is to be excluded from spheres only to see White women bond and affirm their shared sisterhood.  I have been told to watch my tone and silenced repeatedly while listening to White voices soar over mountaintops. 

image If you want to be an ally to WOC, I would suggest taking the time to learn what has not been taught to you in schools.  Learn Black history and the names of our sheroes and heroes; learn  their accomplishments and why they are important to us. When you choose to spend time around Black women and claim to be a friend, don’t betray that friendship by falling back on your privilege when race inevitably becomes an issue.

Take  the time to listen to what we are saying and though you can never completely understand, try and put yourselves in our place and understand the anguish and the pain.   Stop looking to us to  provide you with the answers.  Racism is perpetrated against us by whiteness and therefore some of the solutions need to come from you. 

image Being an ally means standing up when it is difficult.  Call out others when they are being racist so that they learn that such commentary is unacceptable.  It is enough to state that you don’t agree with our position without reducing our arguments to  the rantings of a deranged, angry, over sensitive shrew.  Don’t ask us to temper our words for your discomfort. There is no need to qualify your statements with “I don’t agree with everything you say but”…. No one agrees 100% with anyone and such commentary only devalues any point we have to make and is an expression of privilege.  Finally, if you know damn well that you are not informed about the issues at hand, that would be your cue to STFU&L.


American Idol: Adam Lambert Was Robbed

image

Okay,you knew I could not let today pass without commenting on the travesty that occurred last night.  From the minute I heard Lamberts rock screech I was sold.  After the disasters that have graced the idol stage (yes Sonjiyah), I was about ready to give up on the show altogether.  Adam made idol relevant again and made me believe that it offered opportunities to an undiscovered diamond in the rough.

From the minute those photos of him kissing another man were revealed the fundies went into over drive to smear him.  So large was their bigotry that they refused to acknowledge his great talent and showmanship.  Who can forget the awesome job he did singing mad world or the fact that every time his voice went into the high register he channelled Freddie Mercury.  When he was singing last night with Queen the only thing I desperately wanted was for Kris to shut the hell up.

Kris Allen came to symbolize their great hetero hope.  In voting for him they hoped to make the world safe for children, rainbows (oops sorry gay symbol cannot use that) and bunny rabbits.  Idol certainly did not help matters by framing it as a battle between the “boy next door and the leather glam rock boy”.  If I hear the term guyliner one more time I swear to God I’ll scream.  When are people going to get it through their thick heads that gay and bi men are the people next door? They participate equally in our society and deserve to be treated with respect.

I feel terrible for Adam because he was robbed of something that he so clearly deserved because of rampant homophobia. I feel sorry for Kris Allen because deep down he has to know that his victory was false.   He won because America is still harbouring ridiculous fear of teh gays and not because of his talent.

I know that Adam will get the opportunity to release an album because every idol runner up has.  He will probably sit down one day with Hudson and laugh about the ways in which America got it wrong because it is certain that we have not seen the last of him.   The fundies may have won round one of this battle but they will not be able to stop a talent like Adam from achieving the fame and acclaim that he clearly deserves.


Nude Photos of Rihanna and Prejean Which One Is The Slut?

image image

The above photos were taken for very different reasons but what they represent is a decision by two women to reveal their bodies.  Prejean posed for photos in an attempt to model for Victoria Secret and the alleged photo of Rihanna was meant to capture a private moment between two lovers.  

When the photos of the now famous homophobic beauty queen were released, cries of hypocrisy and violation of contract were quick to surface.  Those running the Miss America pageant were blind to their own hypocrisy.  While it seemed evident to most socially conscious peoples that the real issue was who had the right to decide when her body was revealed, for officials it came down to morality.  It seems paying for breast augmentation surgery to enhance their investment in her was also not problematic.

Rihanna is the recent victim of a  domestic violence  incident allegedly perpetrated by her former boyfriend Chris Brown.  This incident has not  been adjudicated, however it has been tried in the court of public opinion with many engaging in victim blaming.   Even Rick Sanchez suggested that perhaps Brown deserved a break because of his tender age. 

Since the moment  the above photos were released, both of these women have been slut shamed.  What separates them is that Prejean has been given a reprieve by Donald Trump who dutifully pronounced her a good girl deserving of a second chance.  It seems that male approval is all that is necessary to gain acceptance after breaking the “purity rules” assigned to women.

Rihanna has no such white knight in tarnished armour to rehabilitate her image. Just like Vanessa Williams, images of her nude body are being consumed without her consent and have been massed produced in every medium imaginable.   Though Chris Brown has denied releasing these photos, their appearance is quite serendipitous for him. In a society that bases the value of women on their sexual purity, these photos confirm in the mind of many that Rihanna is not an angel.

Two nude women; both slut shamed, however one has been reclaimed to do the good work of spreading her special hateful brand of morality with the world.  Of the two, clearly Rihanna should be the more sympathetic victim, after all it was her body that was beaten and assaulted, however the color of her skin works to ensure that she is considered tainted goods. 

Rihanna’s body has come to symbolize many of the negative stereotypes associated with black womanhood.  When she was first assaulted by Chris Brown she was understood as the ever angry sapphire and with the release of the nude photos she became the much defiled Jezebel.   There are few rushing to her defence because these constructions uphold not only the black white binary but the crushing dominance that patriarchy has established over women.  Even the so-called defenders of women (read: white feminists) have been astonishingly quiet on this issue. 

White female purity to some degree uplifts them and establishes a hierarchy in which the white woman is able to oppress based on racial privilege.  White women are well aware that to defend black women against race and gender based attacks means stepping down from their pedestals and admitting that we are equal.  Though we have both been subjected to the cruel attentions of patriarchy, since the introduction of Black womanhood to the western hemisphere, White womanhood is no longer defiled to the same degree.  The ultimate in disgust and exploitation is reserved solely for WOC. 

When Black women are beaten, raped, or otherwise exploited we are not understood as victims because our bodies are understood to exist for the purposes of exploitation.  The world stands upon our shoulders and turns a blind eye to our cries of pain. 

Prejean will move forward with her mission of spreading homophobia and bigotry across the country, whereas despite the terribly beating that Rihianna survived she will continue to be slut shamed and understood as “other”.  These photos are the stories of two women and what they reveal is that race privilege will always function to protect the body that it deems most valuable. 



Jesse Ventura Speaks With The Fox NeoCons

Ever since I saw him on the view I have to say that Jesse has really changed my opinion of him.  The man has no problem speaking his mind and not allowing himself to bullied or silenced by those that are intent upon filling the airwaves with lies. Below you will find two videos of two different of his appearances Faux Fox news.  I will try and get transcripts up for them later but until then enjoy. It is not often so much truth is heard coming from a Fox broadcast. 

 

Below he frustrated Brian so much he ran away…gee poor twisted non thinking neo con had to take his widdle ball and go home.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

75 Year Old Gets “Designer Vagina”

Vaginoplasty is one of the quickest growing areas of plastic surgery.  This is but the latest version of getting an extra stitch for the husband.   As womanist/feminists we often rail against female genital mutilation because we recognize the risk, harm, and trauma that occurs, however we routinely ignore the mutilation that occurs in western hospitals because it is being performed by a licensed physician.

image The images presented in magazines often show unrealistic body types, leaving women with an idealized understanding of what a female body looks like.  Sagging breasts and cellulite are routinely cited as ugly and yet we know that they are a natural part of aging.  Hello people, the same gravity that keeps you from floating off into space means that your breasts are not going to pass the pencil test past the age of 25 and that is if you are lucky.

The beauty standard is not only openly misogynistic it is ageist.  A 75 year old women recently underwent vaginal rejuvenation surgery in Russia in the hopes of “snagging a boyfriend”. 

Dr Anna Uzunova said: "Usually such requests are from much younger women.
"But she wanted to have an active sex life despite her age so we agreed to do the operation and help her."
After the operation, Nina delighting said: "I feel like a young woman again."

As much as I affirm a woman’s right to her bodily integrity, when the decision is based in male desires, this refutes the whole understanding of “woman” as an independent agent.  In most cases the desire is to make the vagina more appealing for a man, rather than to fix a medical issue such as incontinence and Nina’s statements affirm the validity of this.

The beauty standard exists to keep women on a quixotic quest that can never be realized.   Even women that are held up as ideals find that their images are regularly photo shopped for magazines.  This tells us that our true value lies not in our intelligence or wit but our physical bodies and since we know that beauty is a declining commodity, this leaves women with a feeling of increased powerlessness as they age. 

image We are taught to fight the ravages of age as aggressively as if we are treating cancer rather than viewing it as part of life’s natural course.  When was the last time you saw some mendacious ad regarding face cream aimed at a man?  A man’s “laugh lines” are sexy because they supposedly age like a fine wine, whereas women become haggard and used up.

From childhood a little girl learns that what matters is that she is beautiful and obedient.  She is taught to sacrifice whatever is necessary to ensure that much as possible she adheres to the beauty standards that society has created and if this means starving herself or submitting to mutilation then that is the cost of being female in a patriarchal world.  Nina didn’t get this surgery to feel better about herself but because she thought that this was the best way to “get a man”.

image There is no concept that sex should also be about female pleasure thus eliminating the prospect of reciprocity in sexual activity.  These kinds of surgeries also reaffirm heterosexuality as the norm because the vagina is presumed to exist solely for the penetration of the penis.  Sex should not reducible to plug penis into vagina. 

The case of Nina M has caught the attention of the press because of her age but what we really should be concerned about is the length women are expected to go to be understood as feminine and attractive.  Undergoing sedation and having ones genitals mutilated is far too high a price to conform to some constructed ideal.  These changes are painful and permanent.  It is time that we understand that the vagina is the site of female pleasure and not male conquest.  Our bodies belong to us; they are not for the consumption of men to be discarded when a newer or prettier model hits the showroom floor.



Dead air guide to yard sales and thrift store clothes shopping

This is a guest post by Daisy of  Daisy’s Dead Air. 

As times continue to be economically difficult for many, I believe that it has become increasingly important that we began to change our patterns of consumption.  Not only will this save money, it is an earth loving policy that is environmentally responsible.

image At left, Miracle Hill Ministries thrift store in west Greenville, SC. On the dressing room walls, they have Bible verses from Romans, so you can be spiritually edified while you shop.

I found two lovely summer dresses here on Saturday, as well as a hand-painted candle-holder and like-new flannel Carhartt shirt. Total spent: $6.

There were several young women (from the shelter, I assume) folding clothes and cleaning glassware in the front of the store, while singing old Baptist hymns in high, soft, sweet soprano harmonies. An unexpected bonus and pleasure.
~*~
This guide focuses on clothing, since it's something everyone needs, and it's my particular area of expertise. This is a recession, and this advice might help a few folks out there who don't know where to start.
This guide was decades in the making! ;)
...
:: Flea markets
Flea markets are often an ongoing enterprise, and participants are just like store-owners: they need profits to pay for the space. For this reason, I avoid flea markets for clothes shopping, since the quality tends to be poor and the prices too high for what is offered. However, flea markets as a social event are a lot of fun, and one can always find some delightful, odd or strange thing for very cheap, that you can't find anywhere else. But if you are out for a bargain in a hurry (i.e. child needs school clothes; you just got a new job), this isn't something you can count on.

:: Thrift stores
The very best bet if you need something RIGHT NOW. The best, most high-profile, second-hand stores (Goodwill and Salvation Army) have already sorted everything for you by gender, size and type of garment (jeans, skirts, etc.) Other thrift stores do not employ any labor to do this, and you might actually get clothing by the pound or for something like a quarter-a-piece. Mission stores such as Society of St Vincent de Paul or Miracle Hill routinely offer stuff at 50 cents a pop. The problem with some of these stores is that you will have to dig, and nothing is pre-sorted. It can be very time-consuming, but if you know what you want, you can dive in and find it.

:: Church/Organizational/Fund-raising rummage sales

Church and/or other organizational yard/garage/rummage sales (i.e. Cancer Society, Humane Society, etc) are by far, some of the very BEST places to find used clothing, as well as a variety of other goods. The problem is that they are sporadic and seasonal, and you have to hunt them down anew every year. (A group may only have ONE yard sale, and then never have another one--or perhaps only every five years or something.) Local newspapers are the primary places to find these great sales, which tend to be concentrated in the spring and summer (due to the "spring cleaning" ritual). So, keep in mind that you are buying for the whole year, a situation which can bring its own set of problems (size changes, unforeseen need for certain types of clothing, lack of storage space, etc). But I heartily advise "stocking up" if at all possible.

This clothing has usually been accumulated over many years, by lots of people, and there will likely be an abundance of sizes and styles to choose from. However, if you're picky, look at the organization or church conducting the rummage sale. If you want pricey designer clothes, go to the rich Episcopalians or the annual Rolling-in-Dough Country Club rummage sale... but if you want funkier clothes, you might want to check Local College Animal Rights organization, or equivalent. The type of group it is, the neighbourhood it is in, the class of people in the group, all of these factors are a way to gauge what the donated items will probably be, as well as their cost. This also involves some knowledge of where you live, and the general demographics of the area. Consider carefully your ideal taste in clothing, and who else might have it, then look for the sale that those people are having.

This stuff is usually priced to move quickly, often by volunteers who have no clue of the value of, for instance, designer labels or handmade items. (Sometimes, you can also find beautiful quilts and afghans that have been stored in attics for generations.) If clothing is cheap, get creative and branch out. It won't hurt to grab something for 50 cents. I can't tell you how many times I have purchased some strange or quirky old dress, blouse or skirt, and didn't wear it until (seriously) 10 years later, when it was suddenly funky, antique and back in fashion. If you like it and it costs virtually nothing, grab it, and screw fashion, which changes on a dime anyway.

The issue here is storage space, which for some of us is at a premium.

:: Yard sales

Community yard sales ("multi-family") are very good, and can be almost as good as churches or large organizations. But one-family yard sales are often a bust, since there will usually only be a few sizes in the family. All the men's clothes will be one or two sizes, and all the women's clothes will be one or two sizes. Ditto, the general type, colors and styles of the clothing. (Since mom tends to buy for the whole family, you will notice a profusion of mom's favourite colors in everyone's clothes. And her favourites may not be yours.) However, children's clothing may span many sizes, since children grow quickly. If there is more than one child, and/or an accumulation over many years, you could be in luck.

I once attended a yard sale put on by a children's dance studio, and struck pay dirt. My kid wore that stuff for eons; I bought garbage-bags full.

:: Estate sales
These are sales conducted in homes in which someone has recently died. I love them because I am preternaturally nosy and I love snooping through an old, unoccupied house, just because.

Most of the stuff in the house will be tagged, and the prices tend to run higher-than-usual because the people managing the sale get a cut of net-profits. The clothing will likely be very old, and if you are lucky, you can score some old Doris Day coat from the 50s or 60s (I have two!) or something similar you have always wanted. Keep in mind that certain fabrics fall apart like dried newspaper after a certain period of time (depending on how they have been stored), so don't forget to check those seams! For funkiness, estate sales can be especially wonderful.

If you aren't into vintage clothing, estate sales can be a bust for the reasons stated above. The deceased individual was probably only ONE size and favoured only a few general styles of clothing. If you aren't that size and don't like those styles... well, that's that. However, if they were very wealthy and/or stored a lifetime of clothing, you may find several sizes and several eras represented, and unexpected treasures await! Old bridal/evening gowns, collections of coats and jackets, bizarre and wonderful costume jewellery, and other fascinating cast-offs that are notably absent at other second-hand sales, will be at an estate sale.

Check the neighbourhood, take a good look at the house before entering. If they are obviously rich, everything will either be very high-priced, or very cheap. There tends to be no in-between. Most common: the furniture and collectibles have high price tags, but the clothes will be in an untouched heap, 3-5 bucks a piece or something like that. Sometimes, they will charge you by the grocery bag, say, $3 a bag. (If so, it is worth it to have a look at the blankets, quilts, pillows and other fabric items hanging around, especially in a wealthy home.) The gowns and such will usually be set aside and tagged separately, but not always. Be sure to look at everything.

Old estate sales also specialize in novelty items like old scarves, handkerchiefs, gloves, hats, belts, and the various forgotten accessories of a lifetime. Things never worn and put aside (particularly if affluent) are everywhere, and you could unknowingly walk into a gold mine. Always be prepared!

:: General guidelines

::Know what you want and know what you need. (Two different things, as the Rolling Stones reminded us.) If you need jeans, learn to train your eye on the clothes heap and see only denim... likewise, wool sweaters, silk blouses or whatever it is. Examine the sizes of your sleeves and such, in your own closet, before you leave your house. I am able to pull out an appropriate size from a clothes heap, even with only a partial view of a sleeve, collar, or pants leg. (Yes, it's a gift!) Likewise, I can easily differentiate silk from glossy rayon impersonations. If there is something you particularly LIKE (silk, wool, floral patterns, tartan, tie-dye, frilly dresses, leather, old scarves), train your eye to pick it out of a huge pile. Make a game of it, like a treasure hunt, since that's really what it is.

::There is a good reason people do not want used underwear, bras and shoes, aside from the general "yuck" factor. They tend to be IMPRINTED with the butt, boobs or sole of the original wearer, in a way other, looser garments are not. Don't bother with any of these items, unless they are obviously new, and sometimes they are. Slips can be worn, but not usually bras. And sometimes, tight shirts or jeans will obviously have been owned by someone with a very different chest/butt size than you have, and have already been "molded" to the previous owner. Hold the garment up and look for any telltale stretching or wear-patterns.

::Sizes on used clothing tags often mean NOTHING, unfortunately, because the clothing has already been washed and possibly shrunk...maybe severely. In fact, that is one of the main reasons people get rid of stuff, so it is a given. Learn to eyeball stuff--again, start with clothes you already own. Most folks get it all wrong at first; we inevitably over/underestimate the shape and sizes of our butts, thighs, shoulders. All pride must be put on the back burner (and if you are shopping in thrift stores, you are already ahead of the game on THAT score!)... All of us can get prissy about sizes: "I won't wear a 16!" --even if it has clearly shrunk to a 9. If it looks good, the hell with the size. I once found a fantastic designer dress, which the label informed me was... MATERNITY. A MATERNITY DRESS. But it had shrunk so much, no one would ever know this. But I didn't want to be teased about it (or start pregnancy rumours!) if someone should see it, so what did I do? I cut out the label that said MATERNITY. Yes, this will work on a 16, too. Your little secret!

:: Trying on

Ideally, you should be wearing a loose-fitting t-shirt or even a tank top, so that you can slide clothing on over it and do an informal trying-on session...yes, right there in the front lawn of the yard sale if you have to. It's your money, don't be ashamed--you'd do it in a fancy store, right? Do it there, too. (Remember: They tried it on before THEY bought it.)

Some thrift stores offer fitting rooms, but of course, yard/garage/church sales never do. Be prepared for where you are going and dress accordingly.

:: Inspect

It is not uncommon to locate (at long last!) the coat or pants you always wanted, only to find: missing buttons; dilapidated zippers; torn hems; seams ready to fall apart; nasty stains. Can you repair it? WILL you repair it? Buttons are easy, but zippers are something else again. Cost/benefit analysis: is it worth taking it to someone who knows how to fix it, if you can't? If it is stained: will the stain come out? Try to figure out what the stain IS, and you might be able to salvage it. Ask yourself if it's worth it to take the chance... a $10 jacket, no. A 50 cent blouse, yes.

Also, some stains, located in certain anatomical areas, are simply unacceptable (to me, maybe not to you). Ask yourself, if the stain doesn't come out, can it be hidden? Remember, coffee, grass and blood (most common stains) often will NOT come out.

I once found the most beautiful handmade aqua sweater with a small yellow stain. I gambled that it was mustard, and then I wondered: why would someone get rid of such a lovely garment, when mustard stains can usually come out? Do not second-guess the rich in this way; they are spoiled. They regularly throw things out rather than fuss with them. (The stain came out in the first washing; it became one of my favourite things to wear for years.)

Another reason people get rid of clothes is because the tag proclaims "dry clean only"--which is usually nonsense. (However, you do take the risk that it will shrink if you defy the order!) Lots of fabric-softener before hanging it up to dry (avoid dryers) will usually do the trick... I do not believe in ironing, a time-tested method of enslaving women.

::Preparation

In the south, yard sales are usually early Saturday mornings, when volunteers and kids can help out, avoiding the heat of the day. The early bird gets the worm, and all like that; if I can get up early on a Saturday, so can you! The great stuff might be gone by the time you get there, so make it a priority to be one of the first customers. In the north and west, sales tend to start at a more decent hour, and can last all day long. But the early-bird advice still holds.

People like me are staking out the sales, and if you want to beat us to the bargains, get there first!

Go to the ATM and get cash. These operations do not usually take credit or checks. Yard sales run by churches and individuals will invariably be cash only. Get a map (or Google maps) and carefully plan your route. A good idea is to concentrate on a different neighbourhood every week during spring, or just target the neighbourhood you have chosen. Buy a newspaper or find the classifieds for your local newspaper online. Free weekly "thrift" newspapers will often carry a lot MORE ads, since the advertising rates are much cheaper. (Estate sales will sometimes be in a separate advertising section, so be sure to check there, too.)

Train your eye to see the signs shouting YARD SALE! GARAGE SALE! I have a radar for these signs, and I always notice them... but I have observed that some people just don't see them. It's an ingrained habit, and you need to train yourself, as you would for red and green traffic lights.
~*~
As you can probably tell by now, this is a hobby of mine. I do it for the overall fun and satisfaction of the treasure-hunt, as well as for economic reasons. I often wear things I could never afford to buy new.

And on a political level, I also believe that one of the most horrific manifestations of modern capitalism is RAMPANT WASTE, and recycling clothing is as crucial as recycling everything else.


Joe The Plumber: Men Kissing Throws Me Off

Joe: It’s just not a lifestyle I want around me personally. For the obvious reason it seems just a little strange and unusual to me.  I obviously don’t want my son seeing two men kissing each other.  It throws me off.  It’s just not a big deal.  Let me rephrase that. It’s just not something I want around my family.

Hate me for what I believe in but you gotta at least respect that I’m not sitting there just trying to earn a buck off my fifteen minutes.  You know, do I want to make some money – absolutely but I’ll do it the right way. 

Voiceover: Even with the books struggles Joe thinks he probably has about a year left of the spotlight

Joe: I think its great but I can see it from the other side where people are like man, just friggin go away.

Joe is worried about his son seeing an act of love while the world worries for the child that is being brought up by a troglodyte homophobe.  This is exactly how prejudices and bigotry is perpetuated, teaching it to children.  It is the equivalent of  child abuse to teach a child to hate and take advantage of their undeserved privileges.  

As he sits there making his less than wise professions regarding  the so-called “gay lifestyle,” he fails to acknowledge that his beloved son may grow himself to become a bisexual or gay man.  Imagine having to tell a father that you know to be so homophobic the truth about your sexual orientation.  Just like every other homophobic man, heterosexuality is the default position and therefore Joe can not conceive of the fact that he is possibly setting the stage for future turmoil in the life of the child he claims to love so much.  As a parent I was disgusted as I listened to the bile pour from his mouth.

The one thing that I have noticed since I started blogging about gay rights is that these fundies routinely bring children into their bigotry.   One campaign on Prop 8 had them singing words that they could not possibly understand as promoting hatred.  The National Organization for Marriage recently used children in ad citing their supposed inability to understand gay and lesbian families.   Save the children, save the children, save the children, is the continual refrain.  It is like being on a merry-go-round that won’t stop.

If we did not raise children in a society that privileges heterosexuality, there would be no confusion.  They don’t understand bisexuals, gays and lesbians as the same as everyone because we teach it to them, not because there is anything unnatural about being bisexual, lesbian or gay.

If the fundies are so worried about the confusion of children, the simple answer is to speak to them openly and honestly.  The first time your child looks at algebra they will be confused but do we do not get upset or demand that the schools stop teaching it because a child does not immediately understand.   Children are not born all knowing and we teach them right from wrong, therefore if we explain from the very beginning in simple terms that love is love and that all bodies are valuable, they will understand that being bisexual, lesbian, or gay, is just as normal as being heterosexual.

I really do hope as Joe said in his interview that his fifteen minutes of fame of will be over soon because he is not using it constructively for the greater good. In a perfect world he and Carrie Preejan would skip on down the yellow brick road to oblivion until they learn about decency and tolerance.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jesse Ventura: Torture Is Wrong

I don’t write political posts very often, however I thought the commentary from Jesse “the Body Ventura” was honest and forthright.  Elizabeth once again looked like a fool which made me love this particular clip all the more.  As she sneeringly asks if he wants to be put in a full nelson, he passionately speaks truth to power in a way that few politicians ever do. Below you will find a small snippet of what he had to say, however the full video really should be seen.

Torture is torture and if you are going to be a country that follows the rule of law which we are, torture is illegal.  If waterboarding is okay then why don’t we let our police do it to suspects so that we can learn what they know?  If waterboarding is okay why didn’t we waterboard McVeigh and Nichoals the Oklahoma city bombers to find out if there were more involved?  We only seem to waterboard Muslims.  Have we waterboarded anyone else?  Name me someone else we’ve waterboarded?  …The point is nothing is going to happen because they’re all involved.  The Dems and Repubs are both involved and that why president Obama’sbacking off from it and they’re not going to do it now.  It’s a good thing I’m not president.  I’m an independent because I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people who ordered it and they would all go to jail. ..Look how outraged we were when waterboarding was done to our vets.  Where do you think we learned it from?  We created the Hanoi Hilton in Guantanamo, that’s our Hanoi Hilton.  People have died there. People are tortured there, I’m ashamed of my country.  ..We should be above them. Torture is wrong.  Enhanced interrogation is Dick Cheney changing a word. Dick Cheney comes up with a word to cover his ass.  I’ve said it before you give me a waterboard one hour and Dick Cheney and I’ll have him confessing to the Sharon Tate murders. One hour.

I found it to be particularly telling when he pointed out that the only people the government has ever tortured are Muslims.  Clearly there is an element of racism and Islamophobia behind the decision to take on such a dehumanizing course of action.   He was particularly on point when he states that despite the supposed positive results that the Bush regime claimed to have drawn from torture it is not used domestically..The fact that torture is acceptable for foreign bodies indicates that this is only because they are already understood as “other”.  These shameful incidents reveal what is possible when we allow privilege to manifest itself in our decision making process. 


Happy Birthday Malcolm X

image Happy Birthday Malcolm

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

Eulogy for Malcolm X

The following eulogy was delivered by Ossie Davis at the funeral of Malcolm X on 27 February 1965 at the Faith Temple Church Of God.

Here—at this final hour, in this quiet place—Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes—extinguished now, and gone from us forever. For Harlem is where he worked and where he struggled and fought—his home of homes, where his heart was, and where his people are—and it is, therefore, most fitting that we meet once again—in Harlem—to share these last moments with him.

For Harlem has ever been gracious to those who have loved her, have fought for her and have defended her honor even to the death. It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us—unconquered still.

I say the word again, as he would want me to: Afro-American—Afro-American Malcolm, who was a master, was most meticulous in his use of words. Nobody knew better than he the power words have over minds of men.

Malcolm had stopped being a Negro years ago. It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American, and he wanted—so desperately—that we, that all his people, would become Afro-Americans, too.

There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times.

Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain—and we will smile. Many will say turn away—away from this man; for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man—and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate—a fanatic, a racist—who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them:

Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did, you would know him. And if you knew him, you would know why we must honor him: Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood!

This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves. Last year, from Africa, he wrote these words to a friend: My journey, he says, is almost ended, and I have a much broader scope than when I started out, which I believe will add new life and dimension to our struggle for freedom and honor and dignity in the States.

I am writing these things so that you will know for a fact the tremendous sympathy and support we have among the African States for our human rights struggle. The main thing is that we keep a united front wherein our most valuable time and energy will not be wasted fighting each other.

However we may have differed with him—or with each other about him and his value as a man—let his going from us serve only to bring us together, now.

Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man—but a seed—which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us.

And we will know him then for what he was and is—a prince—our own black shining prince!—who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.

Why Masturbate When You Can Have A Fling?

Well girls don’t reach for the vibrator.  Don’t extend that index finger towards your clitoris, reach for a low calorie chocolate treat.  Should you slip and have an unladylike urge you can conquer that and enrich a company at the same time by unwrapping a fling bar.  Gotta love it when capitalism and patriarchy join hands to control and demean women.

imageJust look at those long chocolaty fingers…to indulge in them you won’t even have to risk your girly figure.   We’ll just forget that masturbation burns calories along with giving you the satisfaction of getting it just the way you want it, instead of having to tap someone on the shoulder and instruct them to move to the left.  Yep, ladies when you feel primal, reach for a fling because your body is reserved for the pleasure of men.

Don’t you love the bright pink wrapper as well?  This ensures that we all recognize that this is a “woman’s indulgence”.  Men have no need to worry about their weight and can eat Mars, or Oh Henrys at will.   Mars is a filling afternoon snack but our chocolate bar is “naughty.”  We do after all have a lot of estrogen coursing through our bodies making us more susceptible to chocolate than men. It’s biological girls, we simply cannot control ourselves.

image How long are companies going to continue with this sexist line of marketing?  We have seen an onslaught of pink in everything from computers to classic board games.   With the fact that men are experiencing a higher rate of unemployment than women, companies have realized that the best way to remain profitable is to market their products at women, however they have predictably fallen back on a patriarchal standard because they still cannot accept the concept that we are autonomous people that are not subject to our biology.

For as long as this current economic crises lasts we are in a unique position to demand that women be taken seriously and therefore as consumers we have a responsibility to let companies know that this kind of gendered marketing is not only demeaning but harmful.  Their bottom line is profit and if we make them aware that our dollars will only go to women friendly firms, their approach will have to change.  As individuals we may not have a lot of power, however as a group we are powerful.  Enough with the project pink, I grew out of that nonsense when I was five.



‘Operation Panty’ makes delivery to immigrant women

By Dianne Mathiowetz
Gadsden, Ala.

Published May 17, 2009 9:37 PM

image On May 9, three members of the Georgia Detention Watch made a second solidarity trip to the Etowah Detention Center in Gadsden, Ala., to deliver hundreds of pairs of cotton underwear to women immigrant detainees.

Originally planned as a Mothers’ Day delegation with access to the unit of the jail where around 150 women are held for unspecified periods of time pending deportation, the musical program, extended visiting time and communal dinner were all cancelled because of H1N1 (swine flu) precautions advised by the Center for Disease Control.

Nevertheless, immigrant rights activists were not deterred from bringing personal hygiene items as a gesture of support and expression of opposition to the indignities and injustice of the detainees’ incarceration.

“Operation Panty” initiator, America Gruner, said, “We were shocked to learn that the women held at Etowah were wearing orange-mesh men’s boxers that are not only uncomfortable, but totally unsuitable to preserving their sanitary needs during their monthly periods. Through donations of many people, we were able to bring hundreds of pairs of cotton underwear today.”

The briefs had handwritten notes attached, expressing Mother's Day greetings for the reunification of immigrant families. Georgia Detention Watch made its first solidarity visit for International Women’s Day this past March.

Gruner continued, “Although we are very disappointed not to be able to personally honor the mothers held at Etowah, so cruelly separated from their children, we will hopefully be able to reschedule another visit soon.” For more information, go to www.gadetentionwatch.org

The writer was a member of the three-person delegation.


Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

National Organization For Marriage Goes After Same Gender Marriage Again: House Bill 436

Grandma, my teacher says if grandpa was a girl, it's okay, you can still be married.

If we change the definition of marriage...

God created Adam and Eve? That's so old-fashioned.

...our kids will be taught a new way of thinking.

He should have created Ann and Eve.

If my dad married a man, who would be my mom?

I'm confused.

Marriage is between a man and woman. Call Governor Lynch today and ask him to
protect marriage, by not supporting House bill 436.

Well it seems as though the homophobic bigots from the National Organization For Marriage (yes the gathering storm cloud people) cannot stop pushing teh gays hurt the kids message.  They are absolutely right when they point out that the kids will be taught a new way of thinking but what they neglect to mention is that it is a good thing. 

It is ridiculous to suggest that a class of people should  be denied rights because some parents are to embarrassed or ignorant to talk to their children about gender fluidity or sexuality…If your kid is confused it is because you didn’t take the time to sit down and be open and honest with them further more there would be no need for confusion of they weren’t steeped in a heterosexist society to begin with. Geesh where the hell do these people come from to begin with? When Focus on the Family disassociates itself from you, clearly you are working at a brand new level of batshit crazy.

H/T The Bilerico Project.


Monday, May 18, 2009

John & Kate Plus 8, Plus a Scandal

I have a new post up at Global Comment, they are already burning me in effigy

image The Gosselins are the stars of the highest rated show on TLC - “John & Kate Plus 8.” America is simply fascinated with how a family of eight manages everyday activities that we take for granted. From potty training, to ear piercing, each adventure with the Gosselins reminds us that no matter how hectic our personal lives are, Jon and Kate endure e a level of insanity that is into the stratosphere. Since our introduction to them on a one-hour special entitled “Surviving Sextuplets and Twins,” they have become our new age Ozzie and Harriet; a televised guide to pure Americana.

When rumours recently surfaced that Jon might be having an affair with 23 year old Deanna Hummel after he was filmed leaving a bar with her, Americas favourite family suddenly appeared to be in trouble. Jon released the following statement after the incident, “These allegations are false and just plain hurtful I did not cheat on Kate. I need to be more careful and aware of who I am associating with and where I am spending my time,” said Gosselin. Instead of showing pity for the victimized party – Kate Gosselin, the public immediately began to attack her.

Kate’s no nonsense, brash style has publicly been declared the reason that Jon was unfaithful. It isn’t enough that she is kept busy all day raising eight kids, shopping, cooking and cleaning; the fact that she is not submissive to Jon’s every whim and has ideas about what the family should and should not do is deemed unacceptable. How dare the nations “brood mare” actually have a mind of her own?

Jon’s alleged infidelity took place while Kate was promoting her new book, Eight Little Faces: A Mom’s Journey, and many speculate had she been home raising the kids instead of leaving Jon to his own devices, no suspicion would have been cast on Jon in the first place.

Many commentators site concern for Cara, Mady, Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Leah, Joel, and Collin. What kind of mother makes a profit from her children to begin with? Allowing invasive cameras into a family home has proven to be a disaster for many families and therefore Kate’s desire to replace the income that she lost from being a nurse when she had to stay home and care for her children is secondary.

Finish reading here