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Archive for July, 2008

Short Takes

Just how misogynist a society are we? Well, pretty damned misogynist — barbarically misogynist, that’s all (and in fact, tonight I’m looking for a word that goes beyond barbaric). Racist and xenophobic too, of course. Here’s an unbelievable story encompassing all that and more:

Pregnant Woman Shackled During Labor for Driving Without License in Nashville, with several links involving the story thanks to Tennesse Gurrilla Women.

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Lest we forget: How far we’ve come, how far we haven’t. Seneca Falls 160 years later (my how time flies when you’re having fun, eh?)

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Here’s an interesting prediction by Stan Goff (June 6) that now that Hillary is out of the race the real gender war can begin. And Susan Faludi, writing in the NYT, echoes and expands on that theme:

Hillary Clinton may be out of the race, but a Barack Obama versus John McCain match-up still has the makings of an epic American gender showdown.

The reason is a gender ethic that has guided American politics since the age of Andrew Jackson. The sentiment was succinctly expressed in a massive marble statue that stood on the steps of the United States Capitol from 1853 to 1958. Named “The Rescue,” but more commonly known as “Daniel Boone Protects His Family,” the monument featured a gigantic white pioneer in a buckskin coat holding a nearly naked Indian in a death’s grip, while off to the side a frail white woman crouched over her infant.

The question asked by this American Sphinx to all who dared enter the halls of leadership was, “Are you man enough?” This year, Senator Obama has notably refused to give the traditional answer.

Stay tuned. This could get interesting.

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Wow. Going through some old notes and links and stuff (and I do mean old — c. 2000):

United Nations Press Release:
PEACE INEXTRICABLY LINKED WITH EQUALITY BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN SAYS SECURITY COUNCIL, IN INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY STATEMENT

Okay, So that’s it. Now we know. Forget the anti-war movement, it’s obviously doomed to failurein our hyper-misogynist culture. Instead, we must reinvigorate the women’s movement. I’m game. Let’s get to work, sisters!

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NOTE: I kept this as a draft (then forgot it) because I needed to doublecheck that this “special” did air on MSBNC, and it did,  though not until 11 pm Eastern. Needless to say I didn’t watch it.

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It’s a story more horrifying, more sick and degraded than I can handle, personally, which is why I’ve said nothing about the Josef Fritzl case in Great Britain. It takes something out of me just to do a google search to come up with a link. It’s not a story I’ve willingly — or would willingly — follow, and I sit here typing this with a mild but actual case of physical nausea. This is the man who imprisoned his daughter in a dungeon for 24 years, repeatedly raped and tortured her and she bore him x-number of children. Sorry, if you want the exact number you’ll have to go find it yourself.

The sickest of the sick.

Can there be anything worse? It beggars the imagination to think of that as a possibility. And yet… (more…)

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If you read last night’s post on the subject, I hope you had a chance to sample some of the Comments to the PUMA blog because they reveal either some folks so politically naive they’re dangerous, or some folks who are seriously not on our side to start with, or some folks who are simply deranged. Or some combination thereof, I suppose.

Some of these folks clearly indicate plans to actively harm the party. Call me crazy, but my values definitely include “sense of fair play” among them so I think undermining a whole party out of spitefulness (that is, just because your candidate lost) doesn’t work for me at all. It’s worse than childish, it’s self-destructive. This isn’t some high school sports rivalry, this is life and death (just ask the families of over 4000 dead U.S. troops, not to mention the tens of thousands maimed and psychologically damaged for life, or the millions of Iraqis harmed — and all that’s just for starters!). I hope someone at DNC and/or the Obama campaign is monitoring these groups in a thorough and systematic way.
BTW, Darragh Murphy insists she’s always been a Democrat, (more…)

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The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves. — Lenin

PUMA (“Party Unity My Ass”) is purportedly a group of Hillary supporters who won’t give up. They want — well, I don’t know what they want. I’m not convinced they’re on our side at all. Here’s something terribly important that the whole WORLD needs to know. I don’t know about (some of) the women who consider themselves “members,” but the FOUNDER of PUMA is a McCain supporter:

I believe that the Republicans are cheerful rat-fuckers and therefore would not hesitate to set up a secretive operation of people running around claiming to be Clinton voters who are voting for McCain to keep the legend of the PUMAs alive. If you can convince people that there are PUMAs, then you accomplish two giant goals for the McCain campaign:

1) Creating the illusion that McCain is moderate enough to attract the votes of feminist Clinton supporters and
2) Reinforcing the narrative about how feminists are just hysterical bitches with no common sense who subsist on outrage, can’t act in their own self-interest because of their feminine-addled brains, and can safely be ignored.

Said founder is Darragh Murphy, whose single political contribution was in 2000 to the McCain campaign for $500. (more…)

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I get a little annoyed with people who don’t know what they’re talking about but don’t have a clue that’s even a possibility, so proceed with abandon to mischaracterize something, thereby spreading ignorance around.

Here’s Marcia Pappas, apparently of New York NOW, and egalia of Tennessee Guerilla Women agreeing with her: (more…)

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1. Okay, Heather Wilson is bad, but not that bad.

One poor fool holds Congresswoman Wilson responsible for her husband’s alleged sexual assault of a teenage boy:

Anyone married to that beast would be capable of very evil sex deeds.

Sheesh. Is that sexism gratuitous enough for ya? It’s clear the guy doesn’t even mean it, yet simply has to say it anyway. Can’t stop himself. Ugly. Unnecessary. And yet it’s allowed to stand without being removed.

2. News stories on two of the North Carolina women murdered: Holly Wimunc and Nancy Cooper.

I’ve been thinking some more about the threat to our military women posed by our military MEN. More to come on that.

3. How to be a feminist activist without having to work too hard or risk jail at feministgal. Good piece. One of my first “lessons” about political activism was that merely voting is a form of activism.

4. Feministing does a very good job of revealing the bankrupt logic of PETA’s use of women’s naked bodies to capture public attention. (Is THAT gratuitous enough for ya?)

5. Everyone agrees: Purity Balls are creepy to the max.

Well, perhaps not the male half of those participating. But who knows?

There’s a very good reason for the overwhelming negative reaction by the rest of us. I think most psychologists would refer to the practice as incestuous on some level. Emotionally incestuous, perhaps. There’s something quite unnatural, I think, (not to mention highly inappropriate) about a father being overly interested in his daughter’s sex life.

Sure, he has a right to be concerned about her — but not quite to this extent and not in this way. Not to the extent he spends much time thinking or imaging or talking about it or having grown-up style formal dances around the subject. Not to the extent he makes her promise her sexual fidelity to HIM. No, no, no, not right at all!

To be honest, I think this practice is almost worse than being chattel. At least chattel has no overt sexual context.

We’ll talk more about sex and young women in the days to come too. I’ve got a lot to say on the subject.

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Our women GIs are being raped by their male comrades-in-arms. The graphic accompanying this article shows that 9 out of 10 women marines experienced unwwanted sexual touching. NINE OUT OF TEN!! That’s an obscenity beyond words, but you’ll find very little outrage on DU. Responses ranged from

Nothing new here (ho hum):

Hasn’t this been known for years?

to Nothing new here and whadya expect? This is war and rape is part of war, and women are expendable, whether ours, theirs, official or unofficial and even forced, no matter. Boys will be boys, especially when they’re horny: (more…)

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