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Compare and Contrast: A little consistency

Bayeaux Tapestry: Cleric slaps Aelfgyva. It’s just tradition.

So, I read this the other day at Eschaton:

Obama Administration: Defense of Marriage Act is Unconstitutional

             BRIEF FOR THE UNITED STATES ON THE MERITS

Marriage is, of course, a vitally important institution, and one supported by the federal government through benefits and other programs that rely on marital status. An interest in preserving marriage as limited to heterosexual persons, however, does not justify Section 3. Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law under equal protection principles.

Then, I remembered that it was only about two weeks ago that the White House did THIS:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday proposed yet another compromise to address strenuous objections from religious organizations about a policy requiring health insurance plans to provide free contraceptives, but the change did not end the political furor or legal fight over the issue.

The proposal could expand the number of groups that do not need to pay directly for birth control coverage, encompassing not only churches and other religious organizations, but also some religiously affiliated hospitals, universities and social service agencies. Health insurance companies would pay for the coverage.

The latest proposed change is the third in the last 15 months, all announced on Fridays, as President Obama has struggled to balance women’s rights, health care and religious liberty. Legal experts said the fight could end up in the Supreme Court.

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said the proposal would guarantee free coverage of birth control “while respecting religious concerns.”

Now, I am delighted that the LGBT community’s argument that traditional marriage is just “traditional” is getting the recognition it deserves.  That tradition is usually based on religious principles that many of us don’t subscribe to and in actuality, those religious principles undermine marriage and family integrity.

But I can’t for the life of me figure out why women are so damn powerless with the Obama administration and why the argument “Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law under equal protection principles” gets no traction with the White House when applied to over half the Americans in this country .  Tradition is destiny for women in Obama’s America.

Where is NOW now that their Feminist in Chief is traditionalizing the religious role of women in American society?  And why are people like Culture of Truth mum on that subject?

Just askin’.

Pick a side, Digby

One more time, with feeling:

and

Back when the 2008 primary season started to heat up, DailyKos purged its Hillary Clinton supporters.  Oh, yes it did, you doubting Thomasinas.  You can’t believe that a “news site” like DailyKos would be involved in hurrying them off the site as quickly as it possibly could to make way for the Obama ads but it did.  And it wasn’t nice about it.  I was one of the first victims.  That’s why I’m here at this blog.  And to be honest, I never regretted it.  But as we were picked off, one by one, Hillary’s supporters got less of a voice in the left blogosphere.  Pretty soon, a Democratic party loyalist got the distinct impression that the entire party was converting to Barack Obama with all of the fervor of a religious reformation.  The jihad quickly spread to other blogs and the comment threads filled up with Obama zealots who were enthusiastic about killing the infidels.  Some of those Hillary supporters fled to this blog and a few others.  We weren’t welcome anywhere else.  And mind you, we’re only talking about February of 2008.  It happened quickly and thoroughly, almost as if someone had given marching orders for sites to be flooded with anti-Hillary rhetoric.

Digby held out for awhile but even she succumbed.  In the book, the Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert, Digby confesses that she was “chickenshit”, intimidated by her commenters and somewhat dependent on ad revenue.  Ok, fine.  We get it.  It took her by surprise four years ago.

But what is her excuse now for being a Doormat Democrat and not holding the party accountable for its rampant misogyny and sexism?  Believe me, I hate to be doing this, pointing out the party’s ugly history, but it isn’t doing enough to combat the crazy assholes on the right.  It is the Democratic party’s feet we need to hold to the fire, not the Republicans.  The Republicans wouldn’t have been able to get this far if the gates weren’t already down to let the barbarian horde in.  Where have the Democrats been for the past decade?

And what is Digby’s role in this?  I’ve got a problem with her co-writer, thereisnospoon.  Back in the Great Purge of DailyKos 2008, right in the middle of the Rec List Hostage Crisis, blogger Alegre, who was a well respected Hillary blogger on DailyKos, got fed up with the pressure to convert and decided to stage a “writer’s strike”.  It was symbolic, of course, but its purpose was to call attention to the way that Hillary voices were being marginalized and persecuted on the largest and most influential group blog.  Markos made fun of her.  (nice going, Markos.  How very impartial)

Alegre’s strike post got a lot of comments.  Let me just highlight one:

Don’t let the door hit you (39+ / 0-)
on the ass on your way out.

I have not been posting much or commenting much in the past months, but I have been reading almost everything.

You are propagating baseless, self-serving, inaccurate, and whiny meme’s on a regular basis.

You smear and deride with the worst of the lot, and you expect people to overlook your own behavior?

Spare us the drama.

Buh-bye.

The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

by RedDan on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:26:55 PM PDT

straight from the HRC blast faxes (4+ / 0-)
really sad, actually.

Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio’s progressive radio site!

by thereisnospoon on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:39:18 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Oh, look!  It’s thereisnospoon, suggesting that Alegre was getting her marching orders from Hillary’s campaign.  We were very fortunate here on The Confluence to be invited to Clinton’s press briefings and got email updates but these were strictly informational.  No one ever asked us to do anything.  I kind of liked the low pressure tactics.  I never felt indoctrinated by Hillary’s campaign and I doubt that Alegre did either.  In fact, when it comes to the writer’s strike on DailyKos, Alegre got that idea from me.

This morning, Atrios pondered why it is that women are told that their issues are a distraction.  It’s always the wimmen.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because, it doesn’t really serve the purposes of the Democratic party or the Obama administration to rehash old history now, does it?  The last thing they want is an uncomfortable spotlight directed their way so that all the ugliness of four years ago is revealed in all of its glory. “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”  They would much prefer that the Republicans take the blame for all of the wretched mess that happened to women.

But Digby has to take a stand.  What is the role that thereisnospoon plays on her site? The Democrats are never going to do right by us if no one holds them accountable and forces them to act instead of sitting back and letting them bask in undeserved glory.  If you support the Democratic party, no matter what it does or *doesn’t* do, it will not do anything for you.  And the attack on women is so severe that to do nothing and say nothing on your behalf is a crime against your own sex.  That goes for NARAL, NOW, the Feminist Majority, Emily’s List and any other women’s advocacy group that has lost its brass ovaries in the past several decades. They are taking your contributions and giving them to Democratic organizations.  What are they demanding in return?  Why don’t we ask them? If they do not have the courage to stand up for women now, and hold the only party who pretends to care accountable for its actions, then we will continue down this spiral of fewer and fewer rights and less and less respect.

Make the Democrats answerable for all of the less than progressive candidates they are supporting this year.  Make them explain why they are supporting an independent male in Maine rather than a liberal woman.  Force Obama to vigorously defend you.

Women’s groups are not keeping up.  When Occupy is taking to the street, demanding economic equality and non-believers are organizing and demanding recognition as a influential voting bloc at the Reason Rally this coming weekend, women’s groups are timidly hiding behind the Democratic party, hoping it will protect them. They’re still trying to work with the system that screwed them over four years ago. Fuck that shit.  Organize a rally in DC, women.  Get your act together.  No one loves you more than you love yourself.  Let’s stick up for ourselves and make the Democrats court us as aggressively as they court the pro-illegal abortionist lobby.

Make a choice, Digby.  Get rid of your party mole or watch women’s rights get whittled away by the Democrats themselves as they pretend to protect them while doing nothing.  Now is the time, when they are telling us to shut up and sit down, to stand up and raise Hell.

Do I expect Digby to actually do this?  No, I expect that she’ll read this post and that she and her discussion group will laugh about it.  Her conscience will feel a twinge but she won’t act on it because she doesn’t want to alienate herself from the group.  Right, Digby?  And they care about women HOW, exactly?

And for those of you ladies who naively think that DailyKos is some innocuous Democratic news site, pay attention: DailyKos is a site that uses thought reform tactics to promote authoritarian Democratic party propaganda.  Whether it started off with this intention is debatable but there is very little doubt in my mind, after having seen it in action in the 2008 election season, that it was exploited by the political campaign operatives and that Markos put his thumb heavily on the scales for the Edwards campaign and then Obama’s campaign.  Alternative voices were purged.  Here are some posts I wrote a few months ago to warn people about the dangers of thought reform in the political blogosphere.

You’ve been Love Bombed

Phobias

Categories

Ok, I think we’re on to something here

Finally, those of you doubting Thomasina’s who are caught completely off guard about what is happening this year and can’t possibly believe that Hillary was done in by her own party, go back to the origins of this blog and read from the beginning.  We followed it very closely.  It is not a pretty story.  You will be disgusted.

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit

I’ve got a theory that the last thing Republicans want is for the Democrats to start advocating for women.  It suits them just fine that there are so many libertarian and conservative Blue Dog Democrats running for office.  It works in the Republicans’ favor that so many new Democratic candidates are center right.  The minute that the Democratic party starts to get energized and stops sitting on women, the non-religious and labor, the Republicans will be in trouble.  As long as the Democrats take no stand, the Republicans win.

Think about it.

Hellooo? Paycheck Fairness Bill? Anyone??

For some peculiar reason, the news that there will be a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Bill today has somehow slipped right under the radar.  How could that be??  Where is NOW?  This issue gets second billing on their front page.

Did anyone really buy that crap the Democrats were floating about Lilly Ledbetter?  I’m not saying it’s not an important bill but it’s sort of like the People’s Front of Judea fighting for a man’s right to have babies even though he ” ‘asn’t got a ‘oomb’ “.  Come to think of it, if men wanted to have babies, that bill would probably get passed first.

C’mon people.  Who’s really going to go to HR and ask to see the salaries of everyone in the department?  It’s like branding your forehead with a giant “L”.  HR is there to serve management, not troublemaking upstarts.  And it’s only after you have the information that you know whether there’s a suit worth pursuing.

In any case, the bill is supposed to fall 60 votes short in the Senate.  Are you frickin’ kidding me??  There are a bunch of lame ducks in the Senate.  If they can’t take a stand for women and do something right now, when can we ever expect such a thing?  And this would be a great boost to the economy that wouldn’t cost the government a cent.  Yeah, actually pay women what they’re worth so they can go and buy stuff.  What we really need for the economy to improve is for wages to increase and we’re half the fricking country.  It’s a no-brainer guys.  Even Republican women will love you for it.  You don’t get better political cover than this.

So, what gives?  Why is the concept of Paycheck Fairness, getting paid the same wages for the same work, regardless of your gender, meeting so much resistance in the 21st century?   If there was only one regulation worth passing on business this session, this bill would be it.

And we hear- nothing.

“A Tragic Setback For Womens’ Rights”

Via Vastleft at Correntewire

That’s what NOW president Terry O’Neill calls the bill that the House passed last night.  Here’s more from her press release this morning:

The health care reform bill passed by Congress today offers a number of good solutions to our nation’s critical health care problems, but it also fails in many important respects. After a full year of controversy and compromise, the result is a highly flawed, diminished piece of legislation that continues reliance on a failing, profit-driven private insurance system and rewards those who have been abusive of their customers. With more than 45,000 unnecessary deaths annually and hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies each year due to medical bills, this bill is only a timid first step toward meaningful reform.

Fact: The bill contains a sweeping anti-abortion provision. Contrary to the talking points circulated by congressional leaders, the bill passed today ultimately achieves the same outcome as the infamous Stupak-Pitts Amendment, namely the likely elimination of all private as well as public insurance coverage for abortion. It imposes a bizarre requirement on insurance plan enrollees who buy coverage through the health insurance exchanges to write two monthly checks (one for an abortion care rider and one for all other health care). Even employers will have to write two separate checks for each of their employees requesting the abortion rider.

This burdensome, elaborate system must be eliminated. It is there because the Catholic bishops and extremist abortion rights opponents know that it will result in greatly restricting access to abortion care, currently one of the most common medical procedures for women.

….

Fact: The bill permits age-rating, the practice of imposing higher premiums on older people. This practice has a disproportionate impact on women, whose incomes and savings are lower due to a lifetime of systematic wage discrimination.

Fact: The bill also permits gender-rating, the practice of charging women higher premiums simply because they are women. Some are under the mistaken impression that gender-rating has been prohibited, but that is only true in the individual and small-group markets. Larger group plans (more than 100 employees) sold through the exchanges will be permitted to discriminate against women — having an especially harmful impact in workplaces where women predominate.

We know why those gender- and age-rating provisions are in the bill: because insurers insisted on them, as they will generate billions of dollars in profits for the companies. Such discriminatory rating must be completely eliminated.

Read the whole thing.

The propaganda catapulters have been out in force in the past couple of days, trying to shape consensus reality so that it will appear that a.) anyone who praises the bill will look intelligent, modern and sexy and b.) anyone who opposes it, especially women, will be told that they’re being selfish, self-centered, hard-hearted bitches because they would rather let 32 million uninsured people die than give up their access to a cheap and easy abortion that they should be able to pay for themselves.

But even people such as myself who were in favor of health care reform and wanted to fix, not kill the bill, will find that the impact that this bill will have on women goes beyond abortion.  It appears that it will mean higher rates for women and those higher rates may make an employer think twice about hiring and firing and promotions, as if women don’t have enough to worry about.  Our salaries are lower than mens’ but we will be forking out more  to pay for our health.  As cost sharing goes, this is a raw deal for women.  It makes us a liability and drag on our employers’ bottom line and makes our lives harder.

And by the way, you propaganda artists, we happen to be among those 32 million uninsured.

Last night, Jane Hamsher put up a poll on FDL asking who was most to blame for selling out our  abortion rights in the health care bill.  The multiple choice answers included a number of culprits and probably all of them were responsible from Nancy Pelosi caving to Bart Stupak to Planned Parenthood staying silent to Barack Obama himself.  But she left out the people who were really responsible and whose decisions two years ago were the genesis of the erosion of their rights today.  That would be women such as Jane Hamsher herself who did not forcefully advocate for fairness in the primaries and who rejected a sure thing womens’ advocate in Clinton for a cipher in a mens suit.  Barack Obama had a history of voting present on abortion legislation in Illinois.  He met with evangelicals throughout the election season.  The Democratic candidates who ran the same year scrubbed their support of reproductive rights from their websites.  The effect was to give the illusion to swing voters and religious voters that Barack Obama and the new Democrats were open to negotiation where womens’ reproductive rights were concerned.

I caught Jane on several occasions going head to head with conservative bloggers on C-Span and other programs, warning viewers that Republicans were going to take away their rights to abortion and that only Obama and the Democrats would protect them.  And a lot of women, young women of child bearing age, listened to Jane and Jessica and Ariana and others like them, rejected Hillary Clinton in the primaries due to her Iraq War Resolution vote and heaped scorn and derision on Sarah Palin because of her anti-choice stance and supposed stupidity.  But they utterly failed to look carefully at what Barack Obama was doing or had done.  They refused to look at the evidence and draw conclusions about what the evidence meant. The final insult was Ms. Magazine itself proclaiming that Barack Obama was some sort of superhero feminist on its cover after a year of the most brutal and obscene misogynism we have ever witnessed in a national campaign.

Jane is responsible for that.  We, the newly unaffiliated liberal Democrats, were not distracted and fooled.  We knew Obama by watching him.  We believed our lyin’ eyes.  And once again, we were proven right.  It makes us villains to Jane.  Instead of asking for our help, she gives us her scorn and disrespect.  Jane calls us “A certain type of woman”.  What kind of woman is that, Jane?  The kind that isn’t duped by appeals to their emotions and terrorized to vote against their best interests?  This is what happens when malicious forces act to divide us.  Women, like the rest of the impotent left, can only watch in dismay as we are now relegated to the same socio-economic status we had 40 years ago.

I don’t know if this country can be healed.  From what I know, women have very little status in truly fascist regimes.  That word, fascism, is not one to throw around lightly or it will lose its meaning.  Maybe a fascist political system that isn’t one we necessarily planned but towards which we drift, propelled by the evolving nature of our media, finance system and millenialist religious views.  But last night’s vote looks like it brought the real impact of that word a little closer to our everyday reality.  We are now locked into a law that gives our money to private entities, we are told that our individual and gender grievances must be subordinate to the glory of the bill and the status of more than half of the citizens of the country has been diminished.

I wanted health care reform.  Just not this one.

Hell’s Grannies takeover NOW

Canvassing for votes
Canvassing for votes

The NOW convention in Indianapolis must have been off the hook.  You can find one version of events in the comments at Reclusive Leftist.  For another take on the events check out “Planes, Trains & Attack-Dog Feminism” at FemNation:

For example, all of those who thought the “dream team” of Latifa Lyles, etc., would win the NOW presidency and vice-presidencies…because we needed a youthful, fresh face for the aging, tired women’s movement…were wrong. Six votes – that’s all it took for Latifa, a woman of color in her early thirties, to lose to Terry O’Neill, a mid-50s white woman. (Race does matter – a lot – in the women’s movement.) Terry and her team may succeed in turning NOW around – I hope so – but I’m worried. There’s nothing fresh there. Policy ideas are stale and positions are delivered in a rote, scripted fashion. The veterans on the ticket – Terry and the Illinois NOW v-p – do not inspire me in terms of vision or practical skills or ability to deliver. The “new” faces on the ticket – two women in their late 20s, early 30s – have a lot to learn. A lot.

[...]

A few people have asked me to write more about the NOW elections. Both teams – Latifa Lyles and Terry O’Neill – had strengths and weaknesses. But it’s not about ideals or visions or even skills – it’s about who can turn out the most voters. Total numbers of voters – 404 (really). Late Saturday, people were coming in from California to vote for Terry – she was supported by a woman named Shelly Mandell of Los Angeles, who supported McCain-Palin publicly after Hillary lost the nomination. Shelly says she didn’t support McCain-Palin as a NOW person – but the press thought otherwise.

[...]

Really! The people who won were nasty. I wish I had been in the plenary when the vaunted Patricia Ireland (Terry’s treasurer) lashed out at Kim Gandy, questioning her budget figures – while supporters of the Terry team lined the back of the room, shouting at Kim to “tell the truth” – in reference to the budget situation. (I was working on credentialling so wasn’t in the plenary.) Financially, NOW is in bad shape. So we have reason to be worried. But is this feminism? Perhaps this is a new version – attack-dog feminism. How does that distinguish us from every other political group? It doesn’t.

The anger and bitterness of this crew – desperate to hang on to power, refusing to believe anyone else could run the organization – was shocking. (You’ve got to remember – these folks have a lot of history together – they’re like Chicago politicos – byzantine alliances – cross them at your peril.) There were people I like and respect on Terry’s side – people who felt she had the brains and experience to turn the membership decline around and that Latifa was just not ready for prime time. But they didn’t sway many voters (although granted, Terry was only in the race about 3-4 weeks!) – all they did was win by 6 votes. And what the hell were they doing in the past eight years to stop the hemorrhaging of members and money – or – as one Terry supporter said – the “death throes” that NOW is in? Come to think of it – what was the person who said “death throes” doing during the past eight years?

[...]

That wasn’t all – there also was the sideshow of the Hillary Clinton supporters who remain permanently (apparently) pissed off about her loss. The so-called “PUMAS” – Party Unity My Ass. Clinton seems to have gotten over it – why haven’t they. Some of these ladies are angry at NOW for not being supportive of Sarah Palin; apparently, the fact that she’s a woman is sufficient qualification. A few blame Kim Gandy for EVERYTHING they don’t like. I’d dismiss them as idiots except they are contributing to the anger within the women’s movement and the splintering of the women’s movement and they are very good at getting publicity.

Wow, where do I start?

First of all, Latifa Lyles was the establishment candidate endorsed by the outgoing Kim Gandy.  Secondly I’m increasingly disturbed by the emphasis on the “young black Latifa Lyles” vs. the “old white Terry O’Neill” meme I keep hearing from those who are unhappy with the outcome of the election.  It’s like someone is recycling Obama’s strategy from last year.  Where is the evidence that O’Neill supporters were motivated by race?

As for the allegation that “people were coming in from California to vote for Terry” here’s what Violet Socks had to say:

To attend the conference, you have to have been a NOW member for at least three months. And to vote in the conference, you have to be not only a member (naturally), but also a delegate from your chapter. There are a limited number of delegate slots, and the delegates are chosen by the chapter presidents. And once you get to the conference, you have to be credentialed, a byzantine process involving picture IDs, membership records, sign-offs, etc.

It is not possible for some alien group of infiltrators to just show up and take over the conference.

Last time I checked there were NOW chapters here in California so why shouldn’t they get to participate at the national convention? According to Violet, the Los Angeles delegation wasn’t allowed to vote anyway.

I’m gonna stop now. There is so much more “FAIL” to discuss but if I go any further I’ll want some hard liquor and it’s not even lunch time yet here in Big Smoggy.


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Terry O’Neill Elected NOW President

Terry O'Neill

Terry O'Neill

From the National Organization for Women website:

This weekend members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) cast their votes for a new team of leaders to direct the largest grassroots feminist organization in the country over the next four years. NOW delegates elected Terry O’Neill, who served as the group’s membership vice president from 2001 to 2005, to succeed President Kim Gandy.

[...]

“NOW is the organization that fights for the rights of all women no matter the circumstances of their birth, their race or sexual orientation, no matter if they live in poverty or are trying to escape violence,” said NOW President-Elect Terry O’Neill. “My experience with domestic violence, as an abused wife left me humiliated and embarrassed. I only began to talk about this publically five years ago as I realized that to keep quiet was to continue the abuse. I want to empower women and telling my story does just that. Women are fed up with persistent inequality and are ready for change. I am honored and eager to lead NOW in making that change.”

O’Neill cut her political teeth working to defeat David Duke’s gubernatorial campaign in Louisiana. She went on to serve NOW at the local, state and national levels. As an attorney, she served a clerkship at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago before practicing law in New Orleans. She taught at the University of California Davis Law School and Tulane Law School. Currently, she is chief of staff to a Montgomery County (Md.) councilmember whose successes include a transgender equality law and Maryland’s first Family Justice Center for survivors of domestic violence. O’Neill’s national positions also include executive director of the National Council of Women’s Organizations.

The other members of O’Neill’s team are Bonnie Grabenhofer of IL, taking on the position of executive vice president; Erin Matson of MN, serving as action vice president; and Allendra Letsome of MD, incoming membership vice president.

Dr. Violet Socks reacts:

We won! We won! We won!

For an explanation of why Violet is elated:

NOW used to be an honorable and effective organization, and it can be again. I know some of you are too fed up to care anymore, but here’s the thing: NOW is still the biggest feminist group in the country. More to the point, it’s still the number one go-to joint when the media wants to know whether something or somebody (hint hint) is doing right by the women of America. So it would be really good to have someone other than Kim Gandy or her cohorts on the horn.

Which brings me to the subject of this post. Kim Gandy’s tenure as president of NOW is up, and the election for her replacement is in June. Kim’s hand-picked successor is Latifa Lyles, NOW’s current Vice President for Membership. I’ve got nothing against Latifa personally, though I do note that membership has dropped during her tenure as the membership director, which is possibly not an encouraging sign. But the main problem with Latifa is that she’s the choice of Kim Gandy and Ellie Smeal (they’re a team, you unnerstan). She’s their candidate. With Latifa we will get more of the same, only samer.

Score one for the good guys gals.

_____________________________________________________

UPDATE:

Violet reports that O’Neill’s winning margin was 8 votes.


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Late Night Open Thread: Hollywood and Male Social Dominance

(Note: Yes, I know it’s the Anniversary of THAT DAY, but we should see the glass as half full. Without this day, PUMA would never have been born!)

Kim Gandy, Caroline Kennedy, Naomi, and other stupid Obama Girls… this one is for you!

Several months ago, I did a post on my old blog about Hollywood and it’s effect on “Male Social Dominance,” as SOD often calls it. I am reposting it here, because I think it is worth discussing.

Some things I have to say about Hollywood:

1. Hollywood is, simply put, misogynistic.
Women that make it in Hollywood must have a certain body type. Impossibly tall. Thinner than is healthy or realistic, with ginormous jugs and a baby doll face. It is an odd, twisted version of a woman. Not only is it unattractive, it’s not womanly. Sure, some women are born with this body type and they work it. But women, like men, come in all shapes and sizes. And a lot of men I talk to tell me they like girls with “meat on their bones.” This translates to: “I like a woman who looks human, and actually like a woman.” I’m not sure, because I don’t happen to be a man, but I’d say a lot of men would take a curvy, gorgeous woman over some Supermodel.
See, that is what the patriarchy does. Women are told to not look like women, because women are not equal and/or less than human. That is why there are all these poor teenage girls committing suicide after gaining a pound. That is why there is anorexia and eating disorders. That is why you have all these female celebrities, such as Brit Spears, ruining their lives.

2. Celebrities. Look, I pay for these people to entertain me. It’s nice when they promote good causes. As far as I’m concerned, they are obligated too. They earn millions for pretending and/or taking pictures when there are millions of people working their asses off to take care of their families. As far as I’m concerned, I pay for celebrities to entertain me, because that is what they are for. Entertainment. Therefore, I do not give two shits about their political views, personal lives, opinions, ect. I do not pay them for that.

3. Female actors. I love many of them, because they are all so talented. But it seems to me like female actors are forced into roles that are much more restraining, because of the nature of Hollywood (even back in the 1950’s, Elizabeth Taylor could only play breathy helpless little girls.) Women actors must have those aforementioned supermodel bodies, else they are constantly ridiculed. (Case in point: Rosie O’Donnell. I like her. Always have.) Women actors seem to become irrelevant as they get older, or they are put in those roles that are restricting. But then you have these male actors, like Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, and they have the most spectacular movie roles. Can you imagine a woman actor playing the type of roles that those two often play at their ages, and still being considered all wise and interesting? I think not. Pixie often has some silly reason or other for why she HATES some female actor or celebrity, but I’ve noticed she never has those feelings for male ones. Then again, Pixie often shouts to me, “I’m NOT some feminist like you!” (No offense, Pix. I am only using you as an example.)

4. There are really no female directors in Hollywood and there is a reason for that. Hollywood just seems to get worse and worse every year with some of it’s movies. I don’t mean that the movies are bad. I mean the sexualization of young girls. High School girls, really. I don’t get this. Producers probably like to think they have a snowball’s chance in hell with High School girls without getting their MasterCards stolen. I’m going to use Seth Rogen as an example. He is a deeply untalented, unattractive man. Yet, he produces and directs films, and they always involve some fat, hairy nasty loser (usually played by himself) managing to snag some gorgeous girl. As if that is actually possible in real life. I want to see some unattractive, loser girl directing and producing movies about her managing to snag some super hot rich guy. But that will never happen. And don’t try to mention Molly Ringwald movies from the eighties and She’s All That. because the girls in those movies were simply poor or unpopular, and they usually got some fantastic make over that made them Maxim material within three days.

5. Porn. It suffers the same consequences, for reasons aforementioned in number four. And men wonder why they are never sexually satisfied. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against porn, but that is an industry that really needs to be feminized. I think Porn would be a lot more successful financially if it didn’t just attract men with inferiority complexes. Women, believe it or not, also have sexual desires beyond the corny sex scenes in Harlequin Novels. If the porn industry understood this and maybe tried to gear it’s movies towards gratifying women, it would likely enjoy a boom in prosperity. How’s that for an economic stimulus package?

So, the truth is, I love movies and celebrities as much as Mental Vertigo, but I choose not to obsess over it as much as she does. I just end up getting disappointed and mulling over all these things. Particularly when there are hardly any dead troubled women actresses for me to truly emulate with the honesty and sincerity with which Mental Vertigo emulates hers.

Open, Late Night Thread on this topic!

Hypocrite Watch: NOW’s Kim Gandy Opines about Misogyny

Kim Gandy

Kim Gandy

Of course it has nothing to do with Obama, Favreau, or the shocking media misogyny that went on during the 2008 election season, but still…it’s something. MTV asked the President of NOW, Kim Gandy to explain why so many people–even women–are blaming pop singer Rihanna for getting beaten up by her boyfriend, R&B star Chris Brown.

The New York Daily News reports that Rihanna told police that the recent incident was not the first time Brown had physically abused her. Some background:

…the shocking fight that landed Rihanna in the hospital ignited when Brown got a suggestive text message from another young woman following a pre-Grammy party Saturday night.

“He got a booty call. He got a text. Rihanna saw it and she got upset. They started to argue. She got out of the car. He wanted her to get back in, so he grabbed her,” the well-placed music industry source said.

“She pulled away. That’s when she’s told people he hit her,” the source said.

Rihanna, 20, had “visible injuries” when cops arrived, and she’s been cooperating with the investigation while freezing out Brown, the source said.

When Rihanna gave him the cold shoulder, Brown’s friends passed along signs of remorse, saying the 19-year-old R&B sensation “feels very bad.”

Brown, meanwhile, is due for another interview with investigators building a case against her boyfriend. He was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats Sunday night and released on $50,000 bail.

According to TMZ’s review of the police report, Rihanna took the keys out of the ignition of the couple’s rented Lamborghini and enraged Brown when she “faked a call” to someone during the fight, saying something like “he’s dropping me off,” and “make sure the cops are there.”

That’s when Brown spat out, “I’m going to kill you,” TMZ reports, citing the police report.

Continue reading

Kim Gandy is no Mary Anderson

(Cross-posted from Heidi Li’s Potpourri – if you enjoy the historical part of this post you might also enjoy this one from Potpourri)

I have been given to understand that a) Kim Gandy, currently President of N.O.W. (National Organization for Women) wants to become head of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor and that b) today, February 8, 2009, a number of bloggers will be discussing whether appointing her to the job is a good idea. That Ms. Gandy wants the job is a total rumor to me; if she does, I can’t say that the choice thrills me.

The choice of Gandy does not thrill me because she holds great power at N.O.W. (from the N.O.W. site: “Gandy also is president of the NOW Foundation, chair of NOW’s Political Action Committees, and serves as the principal spokesperson for all three entities”; and I think she used that power to have N.O.W. sell women down the river when N.O.W. broke with its usual practice and made a general election presidential endorsement, picking Barack Obama, somebody who used and tolerated sexism and misogyny to gain the Democratic Party’s nomination. I use the expression “sold women down the river” with all its metaphorical baggage: the image of humans being treated like chattel sold down to the Delta to be auctioned off. I think N.O.W. had very little evidence of Barack Obama’s commitment to women’s empowerment, little evidence of even his commitment to women’s reproductive rights (the usual excuse used by mainstream women’s groups to go out of their way to support his candidacy). And still, under the leadership of Gandy, N.O.W. went out of its way to auction off women’s votes, encouraging them to turn out and make sure this man, who never once denounced the nutcrackers and the media comments and the misogynistic rappers singing him into office, became President of the United States of America.

On the other side of the ledger, Kim Gandy has clearly spent the better part of her life working on issues important to women; she’s probably quite knowledgeable about working conditions for women and in a position to hire high quality staff. So Gandy is not a bad person and she’s not anti-woman. But she made a Faustian bargain at high profile moment. The dynamics of the general election were such that women’s votes really mattered. And lots of women were and still are furious at the Democratic Party for depriving Hillary Rodham Clinton of an equal opportunity to win the nomination at the Denver Convention by abiding by the Party’s own rules and traditions. Under these circumstances, N.O.W. should have remained agnostic. As an organization that does not usually trade in presidential endorsements, refraining from making one would not have made news. Going out of its way to endorse Obama is what made news, and Gandy made that decision. In a year when every poll showed any generic Democrat beating John McCain and almost every poll consistently predicted Obama beating McCain, there really was no reason – even for those who believed that McCain would be a worse president for women than Obama – for women’s organizations to line up behind Obama. The only reason to do so would be fear of reprisal if they did not; or if their leaders hoped for a seat within the administration after the election. N.O.W. and, if rumor is correct, Ms. Gandy acted for the latter reasons.

I believe that once a person shows a capacity for major betrayal – in public or private life – that person cannot be safely relied upon to act in a reasonably trustworthy way again. So I was not surprised that it turned out that Bill Richardson had apparently not been totally forthcoming with the Obama administration about the corruption charges against him back in New Mexico. If Richardson would deceive the Clintons to further his aims, why would he not do the same to Obama?

If Kim Gandy was willing to sell out women who expected really very little of her – just that she stick with usual practice and show organizational restraint in an election that was wracking many women with distress – I can easily predict that she will sell out women who expect harder things of her, such as real fighting for women’s interests in an economy that is bad for everybody but worst for women.

That said, making a deal with the devil does not make Kim Gandy the devil. Of course neither does it make her another Mary Anderson, the first director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor.

Mary Anderson (served 1920 – 1944)

Ander2

The first “up from the ranks” labor woman to head an executive department of the Federal Government, Mary Anderson directed the Women’s Bureau for nearly 25 years, leading efforts to win better wages, hours and working condition for women. She served for five presidents and, during her tenure, saw the ranks of women workers more than double.

- Women’s Bureau, Director’s Gallery

“As the world evolves, so too does the growing role of women who are proving their infinite capabilities in today’s complex workplace, and exhibiting a new usefulness now and for the future.”

Mary Anderson Signaturefrom the Labor Hall of Fame citation inducting Mary Anderson

Also from that citation:

From a domestic worker to factory employee to trade union leader, Swedish-born Mary Anderson was a tireless champion of women in the workplace. Director of the Women’s Bureau for a quarter century, she was the most influential of all women in Federal service. Her leadership in fact-finding and standards-setting established her as the Nation’s foremost authority in the struggle for women’s rights and the improvement of their lives and working conditions.

At the start of the 20th century the Women’s Bureau was lead by a woman whose commitment to women’s equal opportunity in the workplace transcended party politics, Why should we expect anything less from the Director appointed at the start of the 21st century?

(Excerpted at 51 Percent)

Obama and the SOS selection: What is he up to?

It should come as no surprise that I don’t trust Obama.  Not. One. Bit.

I don’t like the corrupt, “slash and burn” way he ran his campagin.  I don’t like the deal he made with the DNC (yes, Howard, we think you’re a liar).  I don’t like the way he rode his way to the nomination and presidency by using racism as a weapon and misogyny to ridicule and diminish his female rivals.  I don’t like his speaking style, his High Broderism or the fact that he is already a failed president in my book for failing to anticipate the financial mess and proatively doing something about it instead of prancing around Europe as the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers (H/T myiq2xu).  While Hillary was trying her best to actually *do* something about the bailout bill, Obama just couldn’t be bothered with suspending his campaign to take care of that important business.  He just expected that Congress would “get it done”.  Thank you Pre-failed President Elect Obama.

So, it should come as no surprise that I do not trust what is going on with the persistent rumors that Hillary Clinton is being considered for Secretary of State.  Actually, its more of a rumor, considering I just got a “push” email from Archad Hasan of DFA, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Obama must be pretty anxious about the upcoming Senate session if he is trying this hard to get Hillary out of there.  Either that or he has a woman problem.  Or both.  I’m going with both, since his campaign repeatledly belittled her foreign policy experience while she was First Lady, women’s accomplishments ebing inconsequential at best and a mere sideshow to a man’s at worst.  Let’s imagine what would happen if Hillary was allowed to make this decision without all of the pressure that the media is about to rain down on her to “guilt” her into taking this position:

  1. She has to work for Obama.  He would be her boss. Well, that right there is in the minus category.  I don’t care what stupid Lincoln narrative his campaign is pushing, suggesting Obama is doing the same as Honest Abe by hiring his rivals for his cabinet.  Obama is NOT anything like Lincoln, who from what I have read was an extremely principled man.
  2. If Obama asks her to do something stupid or counterproductive, she has three choices: do it and look as powerless as Condi Rice, not do it and get fired or resign.
  3. If she takes SOS, she is no longer a Senator and her chances of ever being elected to anything again approach the limit of minus infinity.  (The BFF is amazed I remember calculus given that I can’t do simple addition in my head)
  4. The issues that she was planning to champion in the Senate are officially DOA.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

I think we have a winner in item 4.  If she is no longer in the Senate making noise and legislation, he has no competition for the limelight. If she is SOS, the minute she steps out of line, her ass is glass and he tosses her out.  The media is just waiting for her to screw up so they can stick her with the knives they are already sharpening in gleeful anticipation.

Women aren’t that stupid, Barack.  You think you can knock out two birds with one stone but even if I had no power in the Senate, I wouldn’t take SOS for anything if I were Hillary Clinton.  I’m betting she turned you down flat.  Otherwise, why would your personal army of droogs in the DFA start circulating this stupid email?

DFA Member -

The media has been filled with pundits and talking heads guessing who Barack will pick for his cabinet. I keep hearing one thing and then another about every position you can think of and that got me to thinking…

Why not make a game of it?

So, take a few minutes and tell us who you want our next President to pick for Secretary of State, Attorney General, Defense Secretary, or to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR CHOICES

You can pick who you think Obama will actually choose too. And, if you get all four of them right, you just might win a free “You Have the Power” T-shirt from DFA.

Who doesn’t want to win something free?

So, stop by the website this weekend and make your choices. If you submit your vote, we’ll send you an update once Obama makes his choices.

-Arshad

Arshad Hasan, Executive Director
Democracy for America

And here are the all-to-predictable results of the SOS question, where Hillary’s name is always at the top of the selection list:

Current Top Choices:

Will pick results:
Hillary Clinton
Bill Richardson
John Kerry
Tom Daschle
Richard Holbrooke
Chuck Hagel
Richard Lugar
Sam Nunn
Hilary Clinton
Anthony Zinni
Should pick results:
Hillary Clinton
Bill Richardson
John Kerry
Richard Holbrooke
Tom Daschle
Chuck Hagel
Richard Lugar
Sam Nunn
Anthony Zinni
Dennis Kucinich

Do people really fall for this crap? Well, given the current election results, yes. But it looks like NOW is finally coming out of its Kool-Aid induced stupor, probably because Amy Siskind of The New Agenda is actually in charge of a good portion of the women’s movement. From the Politico’s Will Men Dominate the Obama Administration? (as if the answer isn’t already obvious), NOW’s Kim Gandy says, “I agree with those who are concerned that it would have been nice to see more women”.

Well, there’s your problem right there, Kim. Women with real power do not settle for “nice”. Nice is what we want when we go shopping for clothes or boyfriends. But let this be a lesson to you. Next time a man running against a woman asks for your support, hold his feet to the fire before you give it to him. You know, “Don’t hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself”? Or better yet, give it to the woman because she will be more likely to be responsive to the concerns of women. Jeez! I mean, it seems so obvious it’s amazing that Gandy couldn’t see it, what with all the misogyny in the way. Thank God for Amy or I’d completely lose it with the idiots from NOW and NARAL. But I digress.

It’s time we pushed back against this SOS thing. I could be wrong but I don’t think there’s anything in it for Clinton, not that she wouldn’t bring her usual standard of excellence, intelligence and dedication to the job. Besides, she’s given enough to the failed presidency of Barack Obama. Let someone else step up to the plate and be the perpetual scapegoat. Hillary’s got health care and equal pay to worry about.

Let Obama do the work for a change.

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