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Monday: Feminism’s Lack of Leadership

Alegre gives us a heads up this morning about the Fem2.0 conference going on in Washington DC this week.  Feminism’s lack of leadership is on her mind this year:

We met for coffee this morning and spent 3 hours talking about the lack of leadership from the folks in the women’s rights movement.  The fact that none of them have taken the White House to task for that stunt of theirs last week regarding the Medicaid funded reproductive health services…   Silence is one thing, but when a group ignores this sell-out by entirely re-writing the story of what went down it’s quite another.

Kim Gandy from NOW will be there.  Ooohh, to be a fly on that wall.  Go get’em, Alegre!  Someone needs to ask these women what they got for their endorsement of Obama when a woman was running who would have met all of their needs.  And if the answer was they were afraid she couldn’t win, then they need to have their feminism credentials stripped.

Lest we need more proof that Obama has no intention of listening to women, a new “special interest group” that comprises 51% of the population, check out this little bit from Jodi Jacobsen of RH Reality Check (H/T Lambert):

Apparently, bi-partisanship and the new politics means never having to have your own House Majority Leader’s back and that the White House spends more time making “common ground” with Republicans than figuring out what they stand for with their own party.

The White House signals they are ready to take the contraceptive piece out.  Because it is all about bipartisanship, right? This will get them the votes to do “more important things,” right?

Phone calls placed to the White House Press Office Monday night are not returned.

OK, to recap: Barack Obama is not a liberal or a Democrat.  Barack Obama is a political opportunist.  His principles operate on a sliding scale and he signaled *during the primaries* that everything was on the table with his post-partisan shtick.  His campaign made a big deal about abortion rights but the people actually running the party, ie Obama’s people, made sure that most downticket Democratic candidates scrubbed any mention of reproductive rights and abortion from their web sites.  And if you weren’t on his Blackberry contact list before the election, there is absolutely no reason to expect him to want to hear from you now.

This should have been pretty clear to the feminist leaders out there.  There was no excuse for everyone caving to Obama without extracting one concession- publicly and loudly so that the whole country could hear it.  Without that, you got nuthin’.

As far as I’m concerned, feminists HAVE no leaders.  We have a few promising ones emerging, like Amy Siskind of The New Agenda and Heidi Li Feldman of 51%.  And we have some very talented writers like our own madamab, Reclusive Leftist’s Violet Socks** and action powerhouse Darragh Murphy of PUMAPac.  We’re out here and we are keeping things together.  Had I known about this conference, I might have gone down there myself to give the a leaders piece of my mind and a dope slap or two. Leaders LEAD.  They don’t ask for someone to pass the Kool-ade.

Snap out of it, women.  Four years is a long time.

** Whoo-hoo!  Violet has a hair singeing rant from yesterday that shouldn’t be missed.

Here’s what I’d like to do to the *leaders* who sold us out:

142 Responses

  1. The poor Riflleman. He and his son Mark were the good guys.

  2. You bet I had known about this conference I would have gone there too. I have a big mouth and I can assure you I would have run it !!!!

    The fact this conference is completely under the radar is telling volume on the state of Feminism.

  3. RD: regarding the video – that’s what so-called liberal/feminists leaders did to us because we don’t support the Obaminator.

    And yep, we are out in the wilderness fending for ourselves.

  4. Haarrrruuuummmph! If Obama is what a feminist looks like then I am NOT a feminist…I am a woman. I’m for women’s rights.

    Thank is a perfect way of saying it, SOD!!!

  5. Thanks for this RD – I would have gone with you to DC if I’d known. My sister-in-law supported O just because she was afraid the Repubs would do away with abortion rights! uh, huh.

    ERA Today!!!

  6. My word! “Branded”. That one as in the back of the vault for true, RD.


    Look at what’s part of the Feminist Conference:

    Cross-posted from e.politics.
    Quick: off the top of your head, name the most prominent voices in the progressive political blogoshere. Kos? A guy. Atrios? A guy. Josh Marshall? Glenn Greenwald? Jerome Armstrong? Ditto. The only top-level female bloggers in the general progressive political space who come to mind right away are Jane Hamsher and Digby ­ […]

    Jane Hamsher & Digby are two Obama apologists that sold women down the river for kewl blogger boiz points.

  8. Wish you had gone to the meeting, RD. You are very effective in this forum, however. On with the PUMA wave of feminism.

  9. There’s the same problem with the Puma movement.

    We need leaders for both movements, which overlap,
    but are not exactly the same.
    You, RD, many posters on this blog, Murphy, others
    on these blogs, would make great leaders.
    Though we now have an Internet movement, we
    need something more substantial, which is we need to
    schedule our own meetings and conferences. Local,
    ongoing meetings would be a good place to start. I see that
    Murphy’s group is doing something in Massachusetts.
    How about something in Hudson Valley? Anyone from
    Hudson Valley area out there?

  10. SOD: Exactly.

    We are on own own – and we certainly have a much better grasp as to how to get there.

    I love what you said the other day about how fractioning labels are intentional to keep us fighting with each instead of working together.

    Very true.

  11. For those of you who are interested, there is a live stream of the conference but the video and especially the audio are of pretty poor quality. What’s really stupid is they don’t seem to have a podium to rest their notes while they’re speaking. So there are several people on the stage at the same time with microphones and notes dangling in their hands.

  12. Aw, Jaysus, they’re going to give a history of the women’s movement. Like we all need a frickin’ history lesson.

  13. It all becomes clear as to why, when I wrote NARAL several times, years ago, that I NEVER got a reply. Never. They were totally uninterested in how I suggested that the way the “marketed” abortion rights as “choice” as if you were buying a pair of shoes played vs. being “pro-life.” They played into the media and politicians hands for years (along with all the other women’s groups) by accepting this sort of PR without getting to the serious issues, regularly.

    Now we’re left with nobody really with a big profile to really get serious as their “dreamboat” screws them to the wall…(and all women pay the price in health needs AND respect).

    And it’s not just about birth control…

    As an older women on Medicare…do know how HARD it is, at least in my area, to find a gyno who will perform well-visit annual exams (breast exam, intenernal, pap?) Where do I go when my family mediciine doc, a wonderful woman, retires in a couple of years???

    Let’s see what happens when Obama gets his mitts on Medicare. Think it will improve? Yeah? Like he improved Medicaid by tossing the birth control provisions in the stimulus package????

  14. I think it’s pretty odd this conference was so under the radar that a number of posters here had no idea it was happening. Usually something like that is well advertised in advance and it sounds disorganized……

  15. paper doll: I think it was well known to women who belong to one of the biggy orgs.

  16. “we’re on our own”….on more question. If abortion rights goes down the tubes even more….when does NOW start organizing JANE again?? Once upon a time, there were the roots of an underground.

    PS…I’ve save and printed the “how-to” notes on how women can help a women if she needs the help and can’t get to a “safe state”….

    Yoko Ono said it best: ‘Woman is the nigger of the world.”

    Discuss that, Barack!

  17. moderation hell ….

  18. What did the groundhog do??? It’s my birthday and I want to know!!

    I’ve got a story in the works about India…we need what they have HERE!!!!!!

  19. riverdaughter, on February 2nd, 2009 at 9:44 am

    ah….thank you. It seems the biggy orgs have become about policing opinion rather than holding officials feet to the fire…. and that might be said of advocate groups generally

  20. I’d say by the lack of publicity that the big playas didn’t want any riff-raff harshing their mellow.

    And Dr. Violet Socks does write one righteous rant, doesn’t she?

  21. One of the essential things we need for an effective
    movement is a way to influence people (women especially,
    but men, too). For that we need a really good P.R. plan,
    and really effective strategy and techniques. We can’t go
    our there half-c*cked, or we can turn people against us,
    and do more harm than good.

    There are ideas we want to get across, things we
    want to accomplish. In order to do this we need people to
    join us, not see us as a crazy fringe group, which is how
    we’ve been marginalized, and rendered powerless.

    We need to reach all women, not just elite, educated,
    “feminist” women. In order to do this we need to have the
    right message, and an effective way to communicate the

    Last night, instead of Superbowl, I watched the two
    women’s movie channels. In addition to seeing how bad
    the writing was, I noticed how much brainwashing there is
    of women.

    We need to move this away from an elite,
    educated and reach working class and other women who
    would never support a “feminist” movement, because of
    how the media depicts us.

    In my business I meet a large number of women,
    mostly working class, all ethnic and religious groups,
    many “conservative”. The one way I know I can bond with
    them is by joking about men, or about our roles as women.
    Such as “if you want the job done get a woman to
    do it”, or joking about male shortcomings. Most don’t dislike
    men, it’s done with affection often. Sometimes not, when
    they’ve been victims of violence.

    But the point is, these women know the score, know
    they work hard, run their households or their companies,
    are often underpaid and unrewarded. Many of them
    crossed party lines to vote for Hillary.
    They should be part of the movement. And men, too, many
    of whom voted for Hillary, because they saw the truth of how
    their lives would be affected.
    With this coalition we can make big changes, but we
    need a plan and the right strategy.

  22. Gandy and NOW lost their feminist creds a long time ago, along with the dems. Shame on me for not noticing it many, many years ago. What excuse does NOW and the dems have for the failure of the ERA? If it were a top priorty to either one, ERA would already be ratified. No Fricken excuse for this.

  23. This is the reason I think all the theoretical arguments about “feminism” and who is a feminist are pointless. If groups like NOW, NARAL, etc are “feminists,” then we need to be something else. Or we can just be women–people who are more than half of the population! We are not a minority group. Women care about more issues than reproductive rights. I don’t know what the answer is but “feminism” as currently understood is not it.

  24. Insight: Happy Birthday! Today is Brook’s birthday as well. I have to go get her a cake. She LOVES chocolate.

    Did you know that this day is an ancient Celtic holiday called Imbolc?

  25. Imbolc is the midpoint between winter and spring. It is the feast of purification.

  26. paper doll

    Evidently the conference wasn’t important enough to splay on the front of MS. magazine. It’s pretty darn telling where the current priorities lie.

    My area is fortunate. We have a gyn in the area that does free breast and cervical screenings(The New River Current actually had an ad for ti the other day). The first year we were here I was able to keep up with my pap thanks to Pulaski Hospital. We do fail regarding choice though. I’d probably have to travel to a different state if I needed or wanted to exercise my right to choose.

  27. There’s something peculiar about this “conference” that’s going on. Two of the sponsors, Blogher and NOW, have absolutely no information about the conference on their websites. Additionally, NOW’s “action items” seems to be nothing more than a cheering section for Obama. Instead of asking members to push for the Paycheck Fairness Act, they’re suggesting that members send a congratulatory note thanking Obama for signing Lily Ledbetter. They are truly in an alternate universe.

  28. Don’t all these agenda specific organizations all work the same? You get a group of people who found an organization for all the right reasons. They do lots of good until they become largesse, powerful and financially secure.

    Then it is all about propagating the organization, getting your’s and ingratiating yourself with power. At some point the whole process becomes corrupted as the leadership loses focus on what is just and true and what their mission is supposed to be.

    I guess what we need is to be able to recognize when an organization has outlived its usefulness and for us to go in a different direction. After all, the real power in any organization is the people who strive, behind the scenes, to promote the ideas and agendas. As long as we stick together and never compromise our ideas and principles and propagate them through the pipeline then eventually things will change.

  29. OT, but maybe not….Obama and the Dems have exactly 2 years to get shit done . For two years they will not need GOP votes to pass stuff. After 2010, the GOP could come back in the number enough to stop ledgislation ( it often seems even one GOP on the floor is enough to check Dems )

    Now is not the time for the ” bi-partisanship” the GOP always spit on and the ” courting ” GOP votes you’ll never get . Now is the time to get items though .

    But since Barry is there exactly to forestall any thing going to the average person, he will fiddle around for two years, doing exactly that and wasting this time. He will then “get serious” after 2010 when the GOP may come back enough to check any bills and can say oh well….we were stopped by those nasty GOP

    There are two years and the clock has started. No excuses.

  30. It gets even weirder. So, the first speaker gave a presentation on women through history and then starts taking questions. Some guy, you can’t seen him but you can hear him, starts going off on a tangent about a site called StumbleSafely with all kinds of nifty information on new apps for bar hopping in DC, tracking down fugitives, a public wiki, etc, etc. WTF? It sounded like an ad or something. The speaker was still at the podium looking completely out of the loop. Then the conference went off air.

  31. I admit to not having a Ph.D or being a member of the creative elite class that seems to be determining our future from another vantage point.

    But maybe we are arguing “feminism” without a clear understanding of what it actually defines as opposed to “misogyny” which most of us here would agree is more than likely the underlying issue.

    I am willing to agree that the “patriarchy” holds most of the blame in defining women but I refuse to give a pass to those women who actively participate because somewhere along the line they are being portrayed as “victims”. Since when did someone hold a gun to the heads of those women who eagerly took part in Joe Francis’s videos, “Girls Gone Wild”, while he made a profit off the sales? I doubt those sales were marketed to a female audience.

    When a woman is approached and asked to shed her clothes to market perfume, or is handed a script that portrays women in a juvenile and objectifying manner, must we always blame the “patriarchy” and allow the participant a pass? Women must take a stand on their own and call a halt to these actions otherwise we will be forever be running in circles attempting to define the word feminism.

    As we have discovered, much to our own chagrin, that there are women out there more than willing to participate in misogyny while we merely sit here and argue over feminist values.

    However, I find myself more and more in the minority by suggesting that women step to the plate and place more value on themselves as opposed to raising the flag once again against male dominance. You give that value away when you agree with the message they create.

    We know what patriarchy involves. We need to send that message to those women who continue to feed into it.

  32. SOD

    What were they afraid of? (I’m more inclined to go with gregory p’s perception)

    It sounds as if it is more of a PR campaign then an actual conference anyway.

  33. It’s not just Hillary Clinton that women’s rights groups ignored. They also didn’t give a second thought to McKinney/Clemente – both progressive liberal women. Some of McKinney’s ideas might be out there, but there’s no doubt that on women’s issues she’s far to the left. Not a single women’s rights group endorsed this two-women ticket from a well-known 3rd party.

  34. SM77 — do we reaaaalllyy want to associate with that pack of losers? Unfortunately, although I don’t necessarily want to (eeeuuw) we will have to if we are going to get it done so it sticks.

    I’m very active in a number of local, regional and national women’s groups but did not hear about this – I think RD is right they wanted to keep it under the radar so as to get the right people in the room and to make sure that the wimmenz issues aren’t important.

    Speaktruth – You’ve covered exactly what I’ve been thinking for some time now. I had suggested a meeting here in NJ of PUMAs a while ago – I’ve got a small home but depending on how many there are of us in NJ we can meet here.

    We do need a very quiet undercurrent PR campaign, the drumbeat kind of thing that will bring people to where we want them – not unlike what the MSM did to the American public for O. Once we get the foundation laid we then become more vocal.

    ERA Today! 👿

  35. I don’t think that is exactly correct SOD. I don’t think feminism has crashed at all. Rather, I think that the vast majority of Americans agree with most if not all principles behind feminism. Unfortuntely, most people are preoccupied with their own ups and downs that they don’t pay as much attention to the real issues that we face every day.

    Think about how much has changed in our society the last 50 years and we have a long, long way to go. The vast majority of these changes didn’t happen because of organizations. They happened because the ideas of every day people have changed.

    I know that 2008 was a tremendous setback in regards to sexism but I also think that this setback is also an opportunity of sorts. As a people we need to keep on marginalizing bad ideas. It might be easier with strong point men but it is definitely not necessary.

  36. Pat Johnson,

    With all due respect, I daresay a strong woman is going to care whether or not another woman or man for that matter gives her permission or a pass on anything.

    As far as I’m concerned patriarchy is about allowing men to determine my outlook on life, not some picture in a magazine with or without context to explain why the model chose to model for it.

  37. Didn’t mean to use the word men in there. Just a figure of speech. A strong point person would help a hell of a lot. The problem with mobilizing around 1 person is that when their failings become apparent then the whole movement becomes threatened. The ideas are what is important not the people.

  38. We need to focus on the point that Hill consistently made: Women’s issues are human issues. What affects women affects society – our kids are impacted, our families fall apart, jobs are impacted which then impact the bottom line in those corporations that are heavily dependent on women. Or in many cases companies who hire large numbers of women (i.e. the insurance industry) pay very low wages and therefore impact the family’s quality of life – it’s a big circle and we (women) get caught in it all the time because we are the hub (not all but in most cases) the kids, the family, the community all revolves around women being healthy, getting things done and often supporting extended family members.

    ERA Today!

  39. Really? So then what you are saying is that the media itself does not carry the message?

    I find it difficult to believe that most “feminist mothers” would be thrilled to point out that their “strong, liberal daughter” has just been named “Playmate of the Month” in some male oriented magazine. Or a father for that matter.

    But then this is just me.

  40. Pat> I don’t think you’re in a minority on that.

  41. “Someone needs to ask these women what they got for their endorsement of Obama when a woman was running who would have met all of their needs. And if the answer was they were afraid she couldn’t win, then they need to have their feminism credentials stripped.”


    Good point and don’t forget Egalia and some of the NOW people that bailed and the NARAL ones too. One day I had me a good Ole cry after thinking of all the years, money, time and family time I gave up for the Democratic Party and they wouldn’t let a woman run. It broke my heart to see Pelosi, Dean and even Donna Brazile (who said something that made no sense to us and still doesn’t…unless she is a deity), throwing voting rights out the window to put him (MAN) first. Hillary was the best qualified candidate, that just happened to be a woman, but the Democratic Elite had decided who it was putting forward, us voters were just getting in the way and the media/press went all out to help too.

    I will never forget Stephanie Tubbs Jones, giving a smile, when she knew we ‘wimin folk’ had been sold out, but didn’t want us to give up. I don’t think the likes of Oprah understood women like Stephanie Tubbs Jones nor all that she gave to this country and to woman’s rights.

    Today I just mail back the envelopes and write ‘Obama will take care of it’ on them…they don’t need me, they have their ‘Superman Obama FeMANist’!

  42. Pat J, you’re not alone in your thinking. I agree that women need to take responsibility for actions that perpetuate notions of women solely as sex objects. Realistically, sex has always been one of a woman’s most powerful weapons in obtaining what she wants from a man. I would say the second most powerful weapon is flattery. Between the two, women come off as willing to be submissive. I don’t know how we change that.

  43. It doesn’t matter why some woman posed in Maxim. The point is she did and she needs to own it. Those women who show their breasts in “Girls Gone Wild” do it because they’re drunk and because their female friends are doing it too. Then they sign release forms. There are “Guys Gone Wild” videos too where drunk frat boys flash the camera. One of them, as I recall, was a NYC firefighter and he lost his job as a result of it. Who can he blame?

  44. If my daughter chose to model for Playboy I would respect that as her decision. It wouldn’t be the sum total of who she is and I certainly wouldn’t see it as anti liberal.

    Do I think the media has a bias against women? Sure. Then again, our society has a bias against woman. (78 cents per every dollar)We could argue which came first the chicken or the egg but it would likely be counterproductive.

  45. You’re right SOD – they absolutely fear any of us showing up who would actually speak to the issues

  46. So applauding your daughter for making a decision that plays further into the hands of the male dominating culture, which encourages men to see women as mere sexual objects, is okay with you?

    Obviously we have a disconnect here. I would certainly not encourage or support my daughter or my granddaughters to feed the male ego and fulfill mastubatory fantasies nor would I encourage them to do so.

    Propping up the patriarchy is to be avoided at all costs.

  47. DYB

    She does own it. We all own our decisions and choices. That being said she doesn’t owe anyone any explanations and I reject the idea that posing nude is anti liberal or anti feminist. You don’t have to agree with her value system or respect it. That being said, respect is a two way street. When you choose to tell another person their choices are “wrong”, don’t be surprised when they respond in kind to yours.

  48. Which of us is allowing men to shape what we choose? The person who won’t pose because then a man might see her as a mere sexual object or the woman who does pose simply because she excepts her sexuality as a part of herself?

    As I stated yesterday, do we get rid of bathing suits and skirts next because men find skin distracting? Where do you draw the line? It isn’t about what we wear or don’t wear.

  49. Pat, I agree with you. I posted a comment on Violet’s site that I’m sad to think that the path to a political career is posing in one’s undies. It’s bad enough that it’s already the accepted path to a film career. I don’t want my daughters living in that world.

    There needs to be opportunity and mentoring — women (& enlightened men) mentoring women. Paterson picking Gillibrand is a great example of that, imo.

  50. I must be missing something here. Other than freedom of expression, what values are expressed by either a man or a woman posing nude for a magazine?

  51. So feeding the family pet scraps from the table, which only makes the pet fatter and less healthy, is okay because we all love the family pet and hate to disappoint?

    Who’s at fault? The pet who knows no better or those feeding it knowing what is at risk?

    May no be the best analogy after all, but the best I can come up with.

  52. CWaltz> I don’t disagree with you. Nobody should be judging her. But she shouldn’t be surprised when somebody does – there are billions of people on the planet. And playing victim and blaming someone else won’t fly. We all must pay for our choices and decisions – and that’s as it should be. Without accountability we’d have…anarchy, not utopia.

  53. What better way to sell a hamburg than a model draped over a car wearing nothing but a thong and a bucket of suds. Somebody please explain the correlation.

    There is none. Just a way to attract the male populace to a product that features a female willing to be featured in this manner. Male ego. Nothing more.

    The hamburger is secondary.

  54. For the record,

    I have faith in my daughter’s ability to portray the fact that she is more than a mere body. Being attractive doesn’t preclude being intelligent or kind hearted. I have attempted to cultivate that in all my children, male and female alike.

  55. Yes, she does own it, and if she chooses to feed the negative aspects of our femaleness that is her decision but it doesn’t make it the best for all concerned. Decisions of negative consequence are made all the time i.e. stealing, lying, hurting others, etc. those decisions are also “owned” by the perpetrators but I believe the majority of people would agree they are not in the best interest of society.
    What we are talking about here is not “feminism” or “liberalism” per se (most seem to agree neither word is true to its original intent today) but rather what decisions actually have negative impacts on women and on society in general. What good does promiscuity bring to society?

  56. Joanelle: You said it much better than I. Exactly.

  57. votermom,

    Are you certain she got her job because she posed in her undies? Should posing in her undies preclude her from particular fields?

  58. PJ – No one is saying that women have no agency. But their actions have context. We can all scream all we want “Don’t take your clothes off!”, and this may raise awareness in our culture. However, it will do NOTHING to advance the causes of equal representation and the ERA. And friends, that’s what we should be focusing on.

    It’s as Hillary said with civil rights. We needed MLK Jr., but ultimately we needed LBJ to sign the Civil Rights Act. In other words, we need both a popular movement AND governmental action. The popular movement will give support to our elected representatives, like Kirsten Gillibrand, who advanced the ERA again in March of 2007. But without the governmental action, nothing substantive will change.

    And to keep focusing, over and over again, on individuals who enable the patriarchy, is to lose sight of the bigger picture. If the patriarchy didn’t exist, then these women would not enable it.


  59. I think society is having difficulty with the etymology of “feminist”. As I said on the View From Under the Bus. There can be many kinds of feminists. It is my belief that once we realize this, we can find common ground and leaders.

    Ponder the following:

    Liberal Feminism
    Liberal feminism sees all people as equal, therefore there should be equality for all. They see sexism as dysfunctional because it deprives society of one-half of it’s creative work force. Oppression exists because of our socialization process.

    Conservative Feminism
    Conservative feminism criticizes the feminism which “adopts a male model of careerism and public achievement as female goals, thereby denying women’s need for intimacy, family, and children.” They fear that “equality means death to the family.” They oft en reject the popular feminist epigram, “the personal is political.”

    Radical Feminism
    Radical Feminism sees the oppression of women as fundamental and the most basic form of oppression. All other forms of oppression stem from male dominance. The purpose of this oppression is to obtain psychological ego satisfaction, and strength and self-esteem.

    Socialist Feminism
    Socialist Feminism links women’s oppression to the class structure. Sexism is a way of rewarding the working class male; it gives them control over women. Women’s work is less valued because it does not produce exchangeable goods.

  60. Hmmm, in looking at here credentials it seems there are in all probability many other women with more experience that were passed over. So, what do you think? 😯

  61. Joanelle

    Assuming I buy your definition of promiscuity how many sexual partners am I allowed to have before I get kicked out and told I am not a real feminist or I am hurting the cause of feminism?

    For the record, she posed in underwear. I have no idea whether this woman is promiscuous, exploring her sexuality or otherwise.

  62. CWaltz, no, I don’t know that that is why she got the job. But is she the leading edge of a trend? That’s what I don’t like. I don’t like the idea that posing in undies is the way to get a high-profile job. Because then the pressure will be on for girls to pose in their undies because that’s the way to get a break.
    It’s already how Hollywood operates.

  63. Afrocity – I like your definition.

    Feminist: A woman who refuses to be treated like shit, and/or a man who refuses to treat women like shit.

    Are we really all still obsessing about Favreau’s girlfriend who posed in her underwear? If we blame her for her actions and say she is a bad person, then what? Do we really think this is “accountability?”

    This woman did not break the law. Either she feels ashamed of herself or she doesn’t. Nothing we do will change that.

  64. madamab

    I’m here to work with the group where I can. I’ll be quiet if it easier on the thread. I have pretty strong opinions and am not a shrinking violet when it comes to voicing them. I’d apologize but then I’d be apologizing for my nature. 🙂

  65. Thank you, RD, for the mention – really an honor. I teach today and am prepping now, so cannot take time to review this thread, which I will do later today. But we did some interesting “web analytics” on 51 Percent’s hits, readership etc yesterday, which I thought you all might find of interest: In just 1 month’s operation we’ve gotten over 7000 hits from over 432 referring sites (this with no major online marketing push). We have hits from all over the world, with many from Europe and Great Britain. We have a lot of .gov hits (interesting…).

    A quick word about labels (e.g. feminism, liberalism) – none of them are perfect – and no great social justice movement for a group of people has ever had a perfect one. Take for example, the NAACP – many people now object to either dropping or retaining the referenced to “col0red people”. Or even the phrase “civil rights movement” – after all that movement did not cover civil rights for all those disadvantaged compared to those more privileged.

    I think of myself as a justice worker for women. But I am happy to be called a feminist, a liberal, a humanist. We can’t afford the luxury of debating labels too much – we need to be raising money, organizing, etc.

    Ok, MUST go now. Greetings and good wishes to all.

  66. (Oh, and RD, congrats on the Steelers victory.)

  67. If we’re talking about Ali Campoverdi, it’s not that she got the job by posing in her undies. I’ve always thought that as long as women are in control of the content and money they make from doing stuff like that, then fine. To each her own.
    The *problem* comes in when she’s sitting at a conference table in the White House and no one takes her seriously, which would happen whether she was an underwear poser or not. I have known very talented, brilliant women who can’t get themselves heard in the workplace. If she fills a managerial position, someone is ALWAYS whispering behind her back that she got it to fill a quota. It’s massively unfair.
    So, Ali’s bustier only made it harder for her to get any productive work done. Sexism costs- all of us. We are now paying for an underwear model to be a deputy assistant something or other and whatever she proposes is going to get passed through the filter of 1.) is she a woman and therefore easily dismissed and 2.) what *other* pictures of Ali are out there?

  68. CWaltz – I was not addressing you personally. 🙂

    I’m just wondering what the point is of worrying whether this woman is a bad girl or a good girl. In a larger sense, does it really matter?

  69. Women only have ONE right under our current Constitution — THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

    Want more?…ERA is the path.

    51% and beyond.


    SOD: I’ve shared this language with the person helping with Downloads Central for 51 Percent. More explanation later – probably at 51 Percent itself. I’ll keep you posted.

  70. Pat J:
    When a woman is approached and asked to shed her clothes to market perfume, or is handed a script that portrays women in a juvenile and objectifying manner, must we always blame the “patriarchy” and allow the participant a pass? Women must take a stand on their own and call a halt to these actions otherwise we will be forever be running in circles attempting to define the word feminism.

    Yes, Pat J — still blame the patriarchy because this “new feminism” in which women are told to “own their sexuality” by dressing up as some male fantasy sex doll IS the Patriarchy wrapped in a big pink bow.

  71. Cwaltz,

    You can have up to 100 sexual parters and stay in the Feminists Joy Luck Club if you are liberal,

    If you are conservative then you can have only 51% of that number. If you sleep with 1 of the same sex and you are conservative then you are out of the feminists club.

    This is really getting us nowhere.

  72. RD – I’ve never posed in my underwear and yet, I was just yelled at by my boss in a meeting last week because a man who is “above” me in the hierarchy did not do his job. My boss publicly called me out and made me look bad because I’m a woman.

    The patriarchy exists no matter what.

  73. I hate to see this argument coming up again, but I will say what I have been saying all along. I don’t care who poses in the nude or in “underwear,” which that wasn’t. The point isn’t and never was anything about the woman being discussed.

    The point was that Barack Obama and his handpicked speechwriter, Jon Favreau are sexist, misogynistic pigs who most likely judge women on their bodies.

    I have no idea if that is why the woman got her job and I don’t care. I think she probably got the job because the person she works for is form the same state she is and she had some kind of connections.

    To be brutally honest, I don’t care if I never hear about this woman again (Or Obama or Favreau). If she had never been born or disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, it wouldn’t affect my life one bit.

    However, Barack Obama and Jon Favreau do have an effect on my life–a very negative one. That is where our focus should be.

    Leaving all that aside, I am with Pat that women need to stand up and fight rather than seeing themselves as victims or allowing others to treat them as victims. And I’m so sick of this topic that I’ve been reading more other blogs more lately and I miss this one.

  74. madamab — I really don’t think people are “blaming” Campoverdi (but I do think a lot of people think blaming is going on). It is one thing to discuss the effects of the pornofication of women that has become so wide-spread & acceptable in our society and it is another to actually “blame” the women who are, most likely, participating in this pornofication through ignorance, desperation, etc.

  75. My feminism is in no way defined by Barack Obama. afrocity and Heidi Li say it well. I don’t care who does and does not define themselves as feminists, let’s get on with SOD’s call for 51 % and the ERA.

    (OK, I admit I had a problem w/Barack’s telling MS. editors “I’m a femininst.” Chalk it up to blank slate, I’m so universal I’m meaningless. Or one size really doesn’t fit all Obamanisms.)

  76. madamab

    It doesn’t to me. I don’t know her personally. I figure if she was hired because she posed in her undies that the poor thing is going to undergo her own personal hell trying to get the men to take her seriously.She’ll either fail miserably or succeed. Being a pretty face (and or body)will only get you so far

    Which state do we apply pressure to first?

  77. Let’s have a “Victim Island” search and rescue party.

    I get first dibs on AA’s

  78. Heidi Li,

    Forgive me please if this is a dumb question. Do women have any rights under the Civil Rights laws? Or is something only considered a right if it is written into the Constitution?

  79. MadamaB – thanks for bringing us back to the main focus of the issue – as I said earlier – Hill’s point, over and over again was that Women’s issues are human issues –
    So it will take some time but basically what we need is to raise awareness then, someone in DC (perhaps Gillibrand and ??? and that will take some serious work) to draft and sponsor the ERA again – more work. Then all PUMAs+ check the way it’s written – see what they left out and finally when it’s what we need – follow it up with letter/emails to their Reps and Sens telling them we need them to pass the ERA now! And send them again, and again and again. Simple but not easy.

    In the past we gave up too quickly – I know, I know, I was there too – we lobbied every buttonhole we could grab and the campaign was loud and some thought far too long but in the end it didn’t happen and we stopped. If we really want it we have to keep going.

    ERA Today!

  80. Oh, and someone needs to tell NOW & NARAL & these other feminists whose sole focus seems to be making sure that Roe v. Wade isn’t overturned that ANY AND ALL laws treating an abortion differently from any other medical procedure is sex discrimination.

    Of course, since women as a class have no 14th amendment guarantee of equal protection of the law sex discrimination against women is NOT unconstitutional.

  81. Well-said, angie. And I agree with BB. I’m extremely “over” the underwear model obsession.

    Now, on the topic of feminist leadership…since RD was so kind as to name me, I want you to know that the New York Area PUMAs are on the prowl. TPT/NY, Ladyboomer NYC and I are, we hope, taking a next step with the PUMA movement: Local organizations under a national umbrella.

    We are reaching out to various organizations to see what the benefits of being a local activist arm of those organizations would be. I will share our decision in the next week or so.

  82. The root of our discontent, IMHO, is seeing a group of supposed feminists awarding Obama the seal of approval by naming him as the “face of feminism” on the cover of a national magazine.

    One cannot allow that image and the message it sends to become an active part in our brains. If that is the symbol of feminism, then the wallop it packs tells us how far down the cultural scale we have slid in order to make that happen.

    Personally, I think this is the “itch” we are trying to scratch without fully recognizing it. The “they’s” of this world have redefined us once again.

  83. “Silence is one thing, but when a group ignores this sell-out by entirely re-writing the story of what went down it’s quite another.”
    I can’t think of a more damning statement on the status of national organizations that allegedly advocate for the interests of women.

  84. bb — women do have rights under Title X (the Civil rights laws) but those are different from rights guaranteed under the Constitution. I came up with that saying to “prove a point.” Maybe it is more accurate to say: the only acknowledge right women have under the Constitution is the Right to Vote. But I think that is parsing. The only place the word “woman” appears in the Constitution is the 19th Amendment. 🙂

  85. Let’s have a “Victim Island” search and rescue party.
    I get first dibs on AA’s


  86. Riverdaughter said : OK, to recap: Barack Obama is not a liberal or a Democrat. Barack Obama is a political opportunist.

    Thank you RD. Let me add that he is not a feminist or Republican IMHO, and dare I add AA to the list. Obama is an ideologue and will say what ever the hell he needs to get want he wants.

    Look the election really starts in 2 years, the campaigning will start. If we want this bozo out on his face we need some swift action. Enough with the labels. We need action.

    See Obama for what he is; a man who treats women like shit.

    Now what can we do to get rid of the a$$hole?

  87. I almost choked on my coffee thanks to afrocity! Funny stuff! lolol!!

  88. Actually, the word in the 19th Amendment is “sex.”

  89. angienc: I disagree with you on sexual fantasies for men and women. I see nothing wrong with men oogling women or vice versa. It’s just that there is a time and place for everything. When I am making a presentation, I want the people in the room to be looking at my work, not my tits. Men do not seem to have any mental boundaries in that respect. To them, you are one big tit until you get a Nobel prize. But don’t rob the world of sexual imagery. It would be a cold, sterile place to live and I have no intention of joining a convent.

  90. It’s about countering the messages of the patriarchy wherever they arise…in the workplace, in the political process, in the home, in the bedroom, in the media.

    Perfectly stated. And in the words of Nancy Reagan: “just say No!”.

  91. PJ – I believe you have hit the nail on the head once again.

    The famous feminists of yore are desperately trying to dismiss us and pretend we don’t exist. But never once did they address the fact that our objections to the misogyny of the 2008 campaign were feminist in nature. To do so, they would have to admit that they are sellouts who have no relevance to the future of feminism in America. And then, how would they make their money?

    No one is more of a disappointment to me than those who claimed to represent us, but then tossed us under the bus the second Barack Obama called them “sweetie.” NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, etc. – they no longer speak for me.

  92. “To them, you are one big tit until you get a Nobel prize.”

    Hillary doesn’t have a Nobel but she’s pretty darn accomplished, and to Favreau she’s still one big tit. I’m afraid a Nobel won’t change his mind.

  93. madamab: I’d love to join your underground cell but schlepping up to NYC is a real headache for me because I am held hostage by the lousy trains and subways. Is there any possiblity that you guys could come to NJ once in awhile? I have spare rooms.

  94. I could have a Nobel Prize, and men would still be staring at my boobs in the workplace.

    That’s just the way men are. Until I’ve reached the crone stage, I will be an object of sexual desire to men. I’m okay with it.

    What I’m not okay with is the fact that I’m fair game because I don’t have Constitutional protection. I can make a fuss to HR, and I have; but in reality, all that does is piss off the boss and make things worse. HR won’t do anything when your boss treats you like shit, because it’s not illegal.

    That’s why I’m focusing my efforts on the ERA and equal representation.

  95. RD — I’m not trying to rob the world of sexual imagery — but I do think there is a difference between sexual imagery & p0rn. You admit that “Men do not seem to have any mental boundaries in that respect.” That right there is the problem: the p0rn images reinforce the idea that all women are nothing more than sexual playthings for a man, not just the specific woman in the picture. Thus, you get Massive Wrong A–holes like Evan Handler telling Dem. women to hand out bj’s to Republican men so that next time they vote they vote “Democrat” and think he is being oh so witty. A message has to be sent that men need to stop looking at us this way & the only way to do that is to say: pornofication of women is wrong.

    Also, even if a women gets the Nobel prize she’ll still just be one big tit to most men. 🙂

  96. Not all of us are Erica Jong. Most of us do not resemble Heidi Klum. Some of us have lost our waistlines and the wrinkles are being covered by spackle. Many of us are beginning to take on the appearance of a Golda Meir.

    Personally, I believe that when these forces of nature, ageism, begin to be put on display, the less of a factor we become to those feminists currently in the lead. Most of us will not look as terrific as a Gloria Steinem at 70 and we are put out to pasture.

    So sexism and ageism often go hand in hand. For those of us who have “been there, done that”, and those still blossoming in the “grace of youth”, the dissonance is striking.

    As one generation seems to replace that of another, the defining terms apparently belong to those who appear more viable and less to those who appear less vital.

  97. But don’t rob the world of sexual imagery. It would be a cold, sterile place to live and I have no intention of joining a convent.

    Very true RD-but why have women’s studies feminists all of a sudden come leaping over here to try to deny myiq of his sexuality?

    This question has been irking me for a few days. It’s like the thought police were here.

  98. RD – you have mail.

  99. Laurie, the thought police — right on. How many of them voted for BO, I wonder?

  100. Pat, I am actually quite serious.

    What are we going to do to get the a$$hole out of office in 2012?

    Now that HRC is SOS (that acronym can be interpreted in many ways). Will she run against him? Most likely NO. Will BO go unopposed? Are there any women in the DNC that you would support?

    As far as we Republicans, I went to a meeting this weekend and many of the GOP women are going to back a Sarah Palin/Michael Steele Ticket. We listed our obstacles which are Mitt Romney (icky) and Mike Huckabee (He really is a nice guy but scary) and Jindal (scarier).

    I would be willing to look at a DNC candidate if she were a moderate.

  101. I am in moderation. Please get me out.

  102. votermom-it really is giving me a headache.

  103. Pat Johnson,

    I can totally agree with you on ageism. The pressure on women in particular to stay young concerns me. It’s funny because there is some divsion on this too because there were groups that were up in arms about the fact that Palin wasn’t airbrushed. Personally, we do far too much airbrushing in my opinion. Then again I have to call myself out as being hypocritical, I’m still coming to terms with the gray in my hair.

  104. CWaltz – My hair has been going gray since I was 20. I actually cut it short and stopped dying it for about a year and a half. Since I was still doing auditions at the time, though, I decided to go back to dying it.

    Sigh. Appearing young(er) really is so important here..

  105. ““Men do not seem to have any mental boundaries in that respect.” That right there is the problem: the p0rn images reinforce the idea that all women are nothing more than sexual playthings for a man, not just the specific woman in the picture”
    Isn’t that an over generalization? I have never logged on to a P0rn site and I am sure that there is another male, somewhere, that can make the same claim.

  106. SHV — yeah, the two of you! You don’t have to log on to a p0rn site to see them though, just open up any magazine. I’m far from a prude but I know p0rn when I see it & it is not the same as sexual imagery imo

  107. There are women look at porn too. Not saying that I am one of them.

    May I please come out of moderation?

  108. That’s like blaming the candy for making you fat. The problem is that men are not taught to respect females in the public sphere. We don’t hold them accountable for their bad behavior. If we don’t want the bad behavior, we have to make it socially unacceptable to misbehave.
    Last year, Obama tore the skin off of the bandaid the older women’s movement had in place. Now, we’ve got to do it all over again and make sure it sticks this time.

  109. It was 30 before I got my first grays. I’ve also got furrow and laugh lines. My mom was right, all the time she was telling me that my face was going to freeze that way. It only took twenty years to culminate.

    The funny thing is I wouldn’t trade all my experiences and confidence that I now have(and why shouldn’t I be confident I navigated first house, first job, first kid, etc,etc) as a result of living 40 years for perkier breasts. Our society doesn’t send that message though.

  110. The internet is incredibly full of p0rn-I realized that when I checked my son’s browser history one day when he was 16.
    Also since somehow those sites got hold of my email adress, I was bombarded with sexual spam for a year.

    All the fratboyz have grown up with this -and it could be instrumental to their sexism/misogyny.

  111. I agree the feminists have turned into an elitist private club. They so want to be liberal Democrat players that they will accept anything. Well they got a one night stand from team Obama and if he ever knew there name he’s forgotten it. We should be glad that he exposed their weaknesses to everyone and inspired new leaders to step up. I am really impressed with the new feminist writers you mention. Now they need to reach out to young women with content of interest. So far feminism has only offered young women lesbian sexuality (not that there is anything wrong with it it simply has no appeal to 90% of the female population) and a bunch of esoteric political theory.

  112. Let me make this clear: the p0rnification of women is NOT solely in p0rno magazines.

    It’s my opinion & I’m not going to argue about women who look at p0rn or the ONE GUY IN THE WORLD who has never seen p0rn. There are little girls being sold in China into sexual slavery — as long as we justify women participating in imagery where they are nothing more than a sexual plaything for men we will reinforce the idea that we are exactly that. We can’t condone one thing here and condemn the other thing there. It is all part of the same vicious cycle.

  113. RD: “We don’t hold them accountable for their bad behavior.”

    A 51% solution would make them realize that if they don’t get their eyes off a woman’s chest, there might be some bills passed that they don’t like!

  114. And no it isn’t the same thing as blaming the candy for making you fat if you are told by the entire world that you should eat the candy.

  115. RD

    Amen, if I can treat men as more than eye candy, then they ought to be able to reciprocate. It’s called being professional.

  116. Thanks for releasing me from Spammy. I love you moderation goddess.

  117. New thread

  118. If there’s one thing I have learned by personal experience and by observing people around me, it’s that a person’s life actually starts from about 35 on.

    — Ayn Rand

  119. new post up!!!

  120. Great one RD.

    Well, RD & Co.

    I just found a couple of articles that will…

    The first one is for MIQ2xu! This is an example of the “patriarchy” — how it thinks, acts, speaks:


    This second one is for all of us “actual” feminists — the women who wrote this? You’ll remember her, no doubt.


    I strongly agree with RD and also Violet — what they have said.

    My mother used to use the phrase “barefoot, pregnant and under the table” as a way to express to me how the patriarchy wanted women.

    Well sure. We can see that hasn’t changed much — by that article for Miq2xu.

    This is where truthful tales of working with the DV population or even my friend’s true stories are going to come in VERY HANDY!

    Because I have them from across the whole spectrum — all colors, and all socioeconomic brackets!

    Sure, we all wished for Prince Charming. But how many were there?

    My best friend’s first marriage in the mid-eighties led to a nightmare.

    I’ll be writing about it.


    It is high time men learned that they are not all alike.

    You see, they are all on their own — aren’t they?

    And, usually, they have little idea of how their brethren are behaving behind closed doors…unless they hear a few horror stories.

    Most certainly we did not expect the level of misogyny we just saw out of one from our own gen. Or his cohorts.

    I expect it won’t be long until some old girlfriend or other emerges with a few tales…

    Of her own.

    Pandering to Republicans can only get a person so far.

    But being a Republican in drag?


    One thing about Democrats — we know who we are.

    ps: Happy Birthday Brook!

    You see, it’s for the Brooks of this world that all of this matters, right now. Because, most likely, life for Brook will be like our lives were. I hope she finds the partner of her dreams, myself.

    I really do.

    Knowing RD, she has started her off on the right track!

    Feminism for us was about the empowerment of women to use birth control so that they weren’t “stopped” in their tracks once an errant sperm hit home.

    My old best friend’s daughter had twins at 16. I said — “this is going to derail her.”

    It has.

    What chance does she have for college now?

    What chance at a decent job or a career of her own?

    And, since he is now only about 19 — what happens if the whole marriage falls apart because of economic pressure or boredom once saddled with so much responsibility?

    Women can tell you what happens in a case like that, can’t we?

    So, when we talk about issues of “the patriarchy” as a whole — do not take it personally — men of this list. We mean a “system” that is in place — and has been in place for eons.

    Feminism started out to help poorer women gain some control over their lives. My great grandmother was a Suffragette at the turn of the century. What a long haul it has been in the last 100 years only to see it all crumple because of a panderer who is getting more transparent as the minutes roll by.

    You know who we will hold responsible though?


    She’s our gen too. Isn’t she?

  121. I agree, angie. Perhaps instead of candy, think of credit cards. If you run up huge debts on your credit card for more pairs of jeans, flat screen tvs, dinners at chain restaurants, was it the credit card company who was responsible for you overspending because they “should have known better” than to give you a credit card in the first place?

  122. angie: Perfectly stated!

  123. I still support Sarah Palin. I like her priorities thus far. Head Start and extended medical coverage as well as a program that addresses obesity seem to be sensible program initiatives. It’s still early though.

  124. Do we have any particular states that we are planning to target for the ERA?

    Additionally, does anybody think we have a shot getting the equal pay portion that was discarded in Lily Ledbetter reintroduced?

  125. Ok, as a guy, I think I’ll go hide in a corner before y’all get the man-hate on me as in anyone with a “Y” chromosome is in mortal danger.

    Vent all you want, but just remember, some of us ARE on side.

    /snark on

    You may now continue man-bashing. I’m going to see what’s on Lifetime.

    /snark off

  126. afrocity: I have no idea where I will be in 2012 with regard to an election. I am still struggling with 2008 fatigue.

    But I will make it my business to really know who and what I am supporting. I will no be bullied into just voting for someone based on gender, race, or party affiliation. That makes no sense. We saw too much of that during this trying season to sustain it once again.

    I would like first and foremost a person who represents competence, integrity, and who is willing to stray from their party’s “group think” if necessary. I want someone willing to stand up and be counted not just mouth platitudes to appease voters. I want someone with a record I can peruse and make a determination based on past efforts. I want someone who puts the country and its citizenry first and foremost as a reason why they should have my vote.

    I don’t much care if this person is white, black, green. I don’t much care if they believe or not in a god. I don’t care if this is a man or a woman. I am not interested in party labels. I want someone I can logically trust to do their very best and not seek a coronation at the end.

    So far, to be quite honest, I do not see that person on the horizon as of today. Things can change between now and then but this is what my vote will be based on. Whoever it is will have to earn it and convince me that they can do the job.

  127. If we could have gotten the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Act passed it might have meant that having that child wouldn’t mean being derailed. Having a child shouldn’t mean you have to give up your dreams and it it definitely shouldn’t mean that you give up your shot at economic security through getting an education.

  128. well said Pat!!

  129. ps! I was amazed by the books bostonboomer listed — the titles on a thread awhile back.

    this book by Carol Gilligan really explores the diference between male/female logic and so forth. Men emerge as “loners” starting on the playground. Girls, no. They tend to do things as a ‘tribe” —

    the roots of this are ancient? — probably having to do with survival of the pack?

    this book talks about all of that — so you can have the idea of an overarching “patriarchy” and yet?– in reality it is a bunch of “lone men” —-

    here is that ref:

  130. Torchwood,

    I apologize if I generalized(and I did). I realize there are men out there that aren’t the enemy and do see women as more than the sum of their body parts.

    I don’t hate men(I’m married to one), I hate it when a man or men treat me as if they have domain over me(I should be subservient, I don’t belong in the workspace because________fill in the blank with because I am smaller, or because I have children, etc etc). That said, I shouldn’t have generalized.

  131. Torchwood: We don’t hate men. We hate the group think that translates into the subjugation of women.

  132. There seems to be a lot of time wasted talking about a woman with poor judgement. The picture in that magazine will come back to hurt her when she has teenage children. By date the moron she chose she will be treated poorly. That is her choice and she has to live with it.
    In the meantime can we get to some really good female role models to promote and find a way to work together to get things like ERA passed and better health care.
    Work with both male and female politicians that care about rights for all and will work to make sure the best interests of women are addressed.
    Do not waste time on the small stuff.
    Just my opinion.



  133. “Barack Obama is a political opportunist. ”

    That says it all…

  134. Regarding the above Playboy discussion. Remember that Playboy only allows women one half of their sexuality, the half where men assess women and approve of their behavior and apperance. The half of female sexuality where average women sit on their average sweat panted bums and check out hot men is absolutely taboo in Playboy. So for that reason I do think very low of women who go the nudie geisha Playboy route but I don’t own them anything anyway. And while that is considered a route to “stardom” for “actresses”, who really goes to the movies those women star in? I don’t. If I don’t feel an actress has integrity I don’t want to go see her work. Consequently I don’t go to very many movies. Mostly movies are depictions of life after its run through the heads of about 6 males, the writer, director, costumer, casting, photographer etc and I don’t recognize what comes out after so much male distortion. It isn’t a matter of principle I simply am not going to pay money to be bored when real life is so exciting.

  135. So far as good female role models go don’t look to the “entertainment industry” unless the character is animated. The women who go into that industry expect to be able to use sex to get ahead and intelligent women with interesting lives do not go into the industry. But there is certainly room for an alternative industry to open up. No way though could you run the women who populate the media industry through the new companies productions or you would just end up with the SOS which women don’t buy now. Nothing makes me change the channel faster than some bimbo running through her list of man pleasing mannerisms, clothing choices and behaviors. I rarely watch TV and when I do I keep the clicker in my hand and I can spot this crap behavior in a fraction of a second and have the TV off in the next second. Frankly with “Women’s content” channels like “Oxygen” I can’t figure what is most offensive the tit and ass ads or the shows.

  136. insightanalytical, on February 2nd, 2009 at 9:41 am Said:
    They were totally uninterested in how I suggested that the way the “marketed” abortion rights as “choice” as if you were buying a pair of shoes played vs. being “pro-life.” They played into the media and politicians hands for years (along with all the other women’s groups) by accepting this sort of PR without getting to the serious issues, regularly.

    I couldn’t agree more. “Pro Choice” doesn’t resonate.

    “Pro Privacy” might be more effective and it’s more honest, as well.

  137. Pat J, I make the assumption that any women is bound to be as good as the males running and since we have NO equality for women in this country, I will for now, vote gender.

  138. So now there’s a mushroom recall noted on CNN..mushrooms, peanut butter, spinach, spring onions, etc. etc. etc.
    While Obama is dancing with his feminist friends do you think he could stop for 2 seconds to restaff the FDA so we don’t all die from food poisoning? Bush cut staffing down to 25% of its pre-Bush level.

    SOD, what does Obama care when he now has his own organic farmer on WH grounds?

  139. My other comment was lost somewhere —

    It’s deeply troubling that this feminist conference is so under the radar, but then again all my NOW, NARAL, Emily’s List, and PP stuff now goes directly into my trash!

    I can’t for the life of me understand what they are doing? They expect feminist blogs to be the bad girl while the good girls court favor with Pres 0? Are they expecting other bills with huge payoffs and real teeth to them? Was that the trade off? But if they can’t get the Pres to make a public declaration on his intentions in re women’s rights, how can they hope to hold his feet to the fire? Or, is this more to save face for the Congressional Dems?

    I’m just not getting this. Just like I don’t get why when the DNC finally held a meeting about sexism during the election, they had NO women on them and the rep from Emily’s List said that he didn’t understand that women really wanted to have a female POTUS. Frickin Emily’s List whose org is supposedly dedicated to getting WOMEN elected claimed that they had no idea women cared to get the top enchilada and were happy to sacrifice that symbolic act for a man getting it. That’s when they went into the dumper; the others did before when they gave Obama their endorsement before the Dem Party convention.

    BB, when I was a legis coordinator for the local chapter of NOW years ago, one of my top concerns was the lack of local issues having any resonance with members — all they seemed to care about were the national ones (read: Roe being eradicated). What was your PR idea for changing the term? I agree “choice” just doesn’t seem to be as powerful as “pro life”. And then the prolifers got Congress and the media to start using the “partial birth abortion” as the designation, which was extremely hard to counter.

    have to say … not feeling to empowered today … seems more and more like women’s rights are becoming a joke … hell, Obama is more concerned about assuaging the concerns of radical Muslims and conservative Republicans

  140. Pat Johnson said:
    “When a woman is approached and asked to shed her clothes to market perfume, or is handed a script that portrays women in a juvenile and objectifying manner, must we always blame the “patriarchy” and allow the participant a pass? Women must take a stand on their own and call a halt to these actions otherwise we will be forever be running in circles attempting to define the word feminism.
    As we have discovered, much to our own chagrin, that there are women out there more than willing to participate in misogyny while we merely sit here and argue over feminist values.
    However, I find myself more and more in the minority by suggesting that women step to the plate and place more value on themselves as opposed to raising the flag once again against male dominance. You give that value away when you agree with the message they create.
    We know what patriarchy involves. We need to send that message to those women who continue to feed into it.”

    Pat, I agree with you. The problem right now is girls are consistently being sold the idea that to be empowered is to control their sexuality, a la as long as it is on my terms than I’m not being victimized. It’s not just getting attention, but controlling that attention. But they misunderstand that this attitude is partly a youth thing, believing the lie that those stodgy old women just don’t like sex or are jealous of the younger women, or just don’t understand how empowered they really are. I remember having a tiny bit of this feeling when I was in my early 20’s, we can be sexually empowered and be a feminist. But these girls seem to think that empowerment is being a really good pole dancer at the bar. Even the teenage girls are now trying to take the sexual empowerment theme and are wearing tiny minidresses with bad ass boots.

    A bit OT, but I was really glad to see that the networks did not show clips of the Lingerie Bowl this year, and apparently it was not on the public airwaves at all because of the potential nudity. I’m sure you all know that the LB is a misogynist play on the SuperBowl wherein girls play hardcore football on a real field while wearing lingerie and cleats. These girls not only degrade themselves for money but seriously risk injury and must sign non-litigation contracts to be involved.

  141. Madamab said:

    “Either she feels ashamed of herself or she doesn’t. Nothing we do will change that.”

    exactly. I feel the only thing we can do is teach our young girls what repercussions these types of actions may have and how it feeds into the misogyny. Then trust them to make their own decisions.

    Personally I feel that Naomi Wolf would get interviews because of her attractability as a feminist leader, but now I think it’s because she flips her hair around and talks valley girl.

  142. “I’m so universal I’m meaningless.”

    oh, PurpleFinn, this one is really harsh. When universality should really be about empowerment, BO has taken it into the opposite direction. Great point made!

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