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If Iceland can accept a gay woman as head of state, why does that seem so unimaginable for the United States?

(Cross-posted at Founder’s Blog, 51 Percent and Heidi Li’s Potpourri.)

Time for another thought experiment (admittedly, one not far removed from recent and present realities). Imagine if the United States were facing an unprecedented financial-social crisis, the makings of which had been brewing for years and the solutions to which were far from obvious. Suppose the mood of the country favored genuine unity. Genuine unity, of the sort that Churchill asked of the British people as they faced years of grueling warfare against Nazi Germany; deep social cooperation to solve deep  problems, not just starry-eyed rhetoric penned by a twenty-seven year old.

Suppose that the U.S. had a well-respected political leader available, one with a history of successfully addressing problems of social welfare, the sort of problems that the economic crisis will generate and exacerbate and which will have to be addressed if the the social – and therefore, economic- fabric of the country are to be restitched.

To this point in our thought experiment it might seeem quite obvious that the U.S. would turn to this leader. But now, include these variables: this leader is 66 years old and looks and acts consistent with that age; this leader is a woman; this leader is openly gay and has listed her domestic partner on official websites since such websites have been in place; this leader is a highly ambitious politician, somebody who sought to develop and cultivate her own political following, although also has shown the ability and willingness to work with and across political dividing lines.



Try to figure out which variable would most weigh against this person as the choice to lead the United States in time of such crisis.

Apparently, none of them are preventing Iceland from coalescing around Johanna Sigardardottir as the Iceland’s choice for its next Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe: The almost equal gender balance of AMs in the Welsh assembly has transformed how politics in Wales is conducted, according to a new report.

Superbowl Sunday: Here we go, Steelers!!!

Set your cat channels for 6:20PM EST for kickoff tonight for the Superbowl.  We’re going to live blog this momentous occasion.  We need one for the thumb- on the other hand.  Bwahhahahahhahhhhh!

Our tailgate party tonight will consist of some Pittsburgh favorites.  Hot sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions and pierogies with sour cream and onions.  Plus plenty of Iron City beer.  Ok, hold the Iron City.  We’re going with some Weyerbachers Old Heathen.  It’s going to be good!

We now return you to your regular politics, already in progress.

Musings on American Culture, and How to Change it for the Better

Women Are Still Wearing These

Women Are Still Wearing These

This week, I have been thinking about American culture, and shaking my head in disgust. For example, I noticed that Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger is starring in a new movie. When I saw the publicity shots for the film, my jaw dropped, as it was obvious Ms. Zellweger, at the ripe old age of 39, has had a great deal of cosmetic surgery done on her face. As a result, she now bears a startling resemblance to Nicole Kidman and has all the expressiveness of a Madame Tussaud’s mannequin. But darn it, she doesn’t have wrinkles anymore, so I suppose it’s all for the best! And then there’s another Oscar-winning actress, Gabrielle Anwar, who currently stars in USA’s hit television show, “Burn Notice.” She used to look like this, but now looks like this. Ms. Anwar is certainly anorexic, yet is portrayed as a sexy, irresistible bombshell on the show. No normal woman could ever achieve a look like hers without literally starving herself to death.

Why are actresses refusing to age, and to eat, in order to keep their jobs?

A more pointed question is this: In a world where the feminine principle dominates, do we really think that these women would torture themselves in order to morph into some bizarre, impossible ideal of feminine beauty?

The New Agenda editor Dr. Violet Socks has defined the patriarchy as a vast ocean in which we are all fish, and states that every feminist learns to taste the water at a different time in his or her life. I would like to tweak this metaphor a little, and argue that if we are all fish, we rot from the head first.

In other words, the culture that defines women by their perceived sexuality, youth and fertility is an outgrowth of government. If we change the government, we will change the culture. Continue reading

Been There…but Ya Can’t Get There From Here.


The conversation over the last week or so has been interesting to say the least.  Encouraging enough that we are discussing how women can overcome the obstacles that keep us at bay in our culture; but discouraging when you realize we are our own worst enemies.  First wave, second wave, third wave, fourteenth wave of feminism…does it matter?  Does it? We have been ‘waving’ for quite some time now…and we are still waiting for equality.

What is it that we need to do?  Find consensus on the term “feminism?”  In my opinion, that is just what they (the patriarchy) would love for us to do – fight amongst ourselves over semantics – from now until they’re tired of running things.  We need to ask ourselves WHAT DO WE WANT?  If the answer is equality of opportunity, access, and treatment in society – why does it matter what feminism means?  I mean REALLY…isn’t that just a red herring?  Women represent the majority of voters in the country, and the statistics indicate this trend will not be waning anytime soon.  Our equality of opportunity, access, and treatment in society BEGINS with the political process.  There are currently a majority of men holding positions in both Houses of Congress.  Forgetting political parties and ideologies, how would our issues of equality of opportunity, access, and treatment fare if the gender ratios were reversed?

This is how we must begin to overcome, and as Sojourner Truth said, just take what is ours.  We need to stop trying to label or de-label each other based on some unsolved mystery we call the definition of feminism.  We may have to concede some of our ideologically pure stances to gain this majority – those battles we can have when we attain the majority.  Right now, those ideologies are holding us back.  A few months back I wrote a post asking “Where is our common consciousness?”  I find myself still wondering that after much debate has passed through this online community.  Forget political parties – both have screwed us over, run us over, and tossed us overboard.

We need to define our goal, not a word.  Once we define our goal…(could it be equality of access, opportunity, and treatment?) then we move forward.  51% and beyond.

OK…take your turns, I can take it.