Taylor Marsh … feminist?

Well, I was trying to stay away for a little bit until Taylor Marsh authored a post on Huffington … and, well, I just couldn’t.

I was able to stay away from the blog – and frankly from Twitter – for a while since my physical disgust at the behavior from people of all stripes … and it’s only been escalating.

But, since Ms. Marsh’s post merely annoyed and insulted rather than made me physically retreat, I thought I’d come back and give my thoughts.

My annoyance began with the title “There is No Women’s Movement” and within the first paragraph was this:  ” … where were these women’s groups during the health care fight, when they got beat by a minority in Congress led by one man?”  The answer – right where we wanted to be since ‘one man’ didn’t even come close to doing anything that the sentence is insinuating.  Ilya Somin poses a great question/theory:   ” … most voters are rationally ignorant about the details of policy and are unlikely to have either the time or the expertise needed to study the order in detail and determine whether it is likely to have any effect. Thus, pro-life Democratic voters might well accept Stupak’s, Obama’s, and the media’s claims that this order represents a significant change.”

It’s more than a few people’s assertion that the Executive Order really does nothing but say what one of my Tweeps tweeted essentially came down to:  “Next Stupak will ask the President to issue an Executive Order that the flag must be red, white and blue (my apologies I’ve forgotten who it was).

As if that weren’t enough, she continues:  ” … so called progressives and “pro-choice caucus” in Congress rendered silent by the few.”

What was that?

Pardon me?

What progressives were silent in the face of Stupak silliness?

Marsh goes on to make several good points regarding the choice debate … but, then:  “Mr. Stupak would not have gained so much ground against the freedoms of women if Speaker Pelosi hadn’t sanctioned it, encouraged it and back [sic]  it.”    Really? Because, even according to Politico it was a perfect strategy to push the bill forward to a vote to reform health insurance without changing a thing about current abortion legislation.  Politico reported in 2009:  “In the end, Pelosi’s strategy paid off in a big win for her and President Barack Obama. After Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-Mich.) amendment banning abortion funding was approved with 64 Democratic votes, Pelosi was able to push through the health care reform package on a virtually straight-line party vote, 220-215.”

Speaker Pelosi used a strategy to not change a single legality regarding reproductive rights … and she won.  Now, if one wishes to take issue with progress on choice legislation, that’s a different matter, and may take longer than repealing DADT.

And then there’s this:

  • ” … women in politics either too old or too lazy to recall the dangers of not having 100% control over your own body.”
  • ” … menopausal matrons simply not up to the task.”
  • ” … young women yawn in ignorance of what’s being dismantled.”
  • ” … whoever has given them (Planned Parenthood) money should ask for it back.”
  • ” … Don’t give them (NARAL/NOW) another dime when they come calling.”
  • ” … there is no women’s movement anymore.”

Frankly, with inequality in every aspect of daily life, and many folks in a daily fight for those with less … I’m pretty sure after all the insults she hurled at people who really believe in working TOWARD a common goal on the liberal side, she won’t mind if I say that I really don’t need an aging white lady’s version of  ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,’ after legislation has been signed into law that will improve the lives of so many who go without every day.  I do believe that ultimate progress can’t happen in less than two years … but, I guess I’m ‘yawn(ing) in ignorance.”

Billie’s Quickies … Urban birds rap? And, cows have regional dialects?

When will we all stop acting as if if politicians won’t ever politick?  Now that that’s out of the way …

  • A great laugh … I wonder if we could all do this?  What a great prank – disturbing yet HIlarious!  H/T Neatorama

Billie’s Quickies … Physics, Feminism, and Imprisonment

Sometimes my quickies link to oldish news, but just such as the first quickie, the sentiment stands the test of time, or the thing is just too neat not to repeat.

  • I totally agree with this sentiment, and am sad I have posted it so late – “If I were Robert Gibbs, I would open EVERY SINGLE press briefing, from here on out, with a five minute daily athletic/gender report, detailing what activities Obama took part in and what the male-female make-up was. And then I would deliver, daily, right there in the press briefing, a stack of signed affidavits from Hillary, Janet Napolitano, Kathleen Sebelius, and every other major female in the White House, stating that they were asked if they wanted to work out with Obama and Reggie Love this morning but they declined.”
  • “Greatest Physics Class Ever?
  • Sound familiar? “A startling petition arrived at the New York City Bar Association in October 2008, signed by 100 men, all locked up without criminal charges in the middle of Manhattan. “ Deplorable.  Mr. President, please release those held by the Federal Government without charge.  New York, get it together.
  • I can really never understand why people heckle comedians.
  • OH.MY.GOD. The internets could run out of addresses because users can’t figure out how to write http://www.somedumbasswebsite.us or http://www.youvegot2bkidding.ca.  Pfft.
  • Yes please!  “What do you think is missing in hip-hop today?  KRS ONE: “I am not just saying this because you [a woman] are asking the question, this is my real answer: More women. More women. Not just emcees or b-girls, but women taking control of hip-hop. Let me be culturally-specific- hip-hop’s women should teach hip-hop’s men how to speak to them. Because when we learn how to speak to you, we can learn how to speak to the whole business world. It’s not just about respecting you…it is…but it’s deeper than just respecting another human being. Everytime you degrade a person, you degrade yourself, because you are standing next to that person. You can’t diss a person, and not diss yourself…I should say ’she’s a queen.’ And what does that make me? A king. So now at the end of the day, what’s missing in hip-hop? Knowledge of self, that should only come from women.”
  • A round up of books that all look worth reading.
  • Word! “… it is not empowering for a group of college-age men to tell women what is or is not attractive. It is not helpful for men to point at women and say ‘This one is healthy, that one is not’ … the worst thing I could do is to point to this study and say to all thin women, naturally underweight women, dangerously underweight women, or women with eating disorders, ‘Now, I am the ideal and you are not.’ This is not progress.”
  • Well said, well asked, thank you VERY much.“ … why do reporters keep reaching to assign significance to these races, even as they acknowledge it may not be there? Any answer to that question is itself speculative, but here’s one idea: it just makes politics more fun. Much as sports fans create extra meaning for games by seeing every choke or victory in moral terms, political journalists make elections more meaningful by threading them into a broader narrative.”
  • I could NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER! “In other words, Coburn is—at least on this point—full of it.”

Oh, Mika

Mika, Mika, Mika.

You couldn’t just leave last week’s Huffington Post column be, could you?

The first post, while semi-controversial I suppose, was actually thoughtful, and probably mostly well received … and, then you really did it.  You had to push it, and in so doing managed to insult feminists – yourself included.  I hate to break it to you, but you are pretty much a feminist.  I only say ‘pretty much’ because you do your DAMNEDEST to try and convince yourself that you are not.

You may very well be correct, that women steadfastly pursuing perfection in their career path should not forget to have kids … really, that’s just biology.  And, not every woman can afford to freeze her eggs … so, in that case you are correct – we shouldn’t forget.  If we want them, that is.  I thought you were pretty clear in conveying that message, and I don’t think there were as many women disagreeing with you as you think.  It may have been that they were disagreeing with you for a few more reasons than you may be willing to admit.

Reason #1 – You are an intelligent woman who – to the absolute frustration of feminists everywhere – continue to allow yourself to be Joe’s doormat.  Scarborough is also an intelligent person, but you do not agree with him A LOT … and, rather than speak your mind, you hide your face in embarrassment and don’t call him out on ONE IOTA OF ANYTHING EVER. That’s irritating, Mika.  We feel badly when you let him do this, and lose respect for you each time you do.

Reason #2 – See what great advice this is Mika? “… you have to be fearless and force yourself to get outside of your comfort zone.” How wonderful, and true.  Great advice from a successful woman, I’d say.  Or how about this wonderful thing? “Don’t make your journey through life harder by placing rules on yourself like, ‘I can’t get married till I get promoted to your dream job.'” See, that’s pretty okay advice, and very soundly feminist … why should women place rules on themselves?  Answer – they shouldn’t.  They can have it all, and they oftentimes do.  This is why it’s so uncomfortable for us to watch you squirm and whisper your opinion rather than shout it!

Reason #3 Today’s near retraction of all of the encouraging words you give to women who wish to have it all … Mika, it’s very disappointing.  First: “… since diapers, bras and babies have been seen as symbols of oppression from the Old World run by the likes of Don Draper … “ Oh, Mika.  That’s not what feminism is all about … this makes me sad.  I recently worked on a story myself that was about a seminar especially designed for women.  The first thing the women – strangely – felt the need to do was disqualify it as ‘feminist.’  “We aren’t about man-hating or male-bashing,” they said.   As if this sums up the feminist experience any more than your assertion that it’s all about babies and bras.  Well, these ladies were about the same age as you, so maybe I can only assume that you aren’t old enough to have been faced with a woman’s experience of having only recently been given the right to vote, nor young enough to have little girls dressed up as nymphettes or Lolita’s thrust in your face in advertising through your teen years … maybe, but that might be ageist of me to assume.

Oh Mika, you couldn’t stop there.  No, you continued:  “For those who still want to take off their bras and burn them, so be it. But I’d rather find one to wear that is pretty. And when it comes off, its not because it’s being thrown into the fireplace.” Of course, Mika, because no feminist would be caught dead wearing pretty shoes or a bustier?  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Mika, don’t let Joe or the rest of the team rub off on you – Joe may think that all feminists are butch, but you know that’s not true.

On behalf of all feminists, we wish the following Mika would come back:

 

I have a small beef with “former staffer”

bllieddoseI have a beef with Robert Kolker of New York Magazine’s source “former staffer,” and it sure as sh** has nothing to do with David Letterman.

There’s a paragraph quote that has been eating at me, and it really is one of the worst ways to insult a woman … by beginning with a compliment.

Here is the offending bit – of an otherwise interesting article about a work environment, like any other, that has a boss, like any other, who happens to be a little bit domineering, like any other:

“Lasko, like Markoe before her, had a great mind.  Dave, it seemed, had a type: women who impressed him intellectually, who somehow had his number. They were not necessarily the obvious choices. “You can look at these women and see how they look,” says one former staffer. “You see he’s going for personality as well, but I think he’s also going for easy targets. He’s not setting himself up for rejection. He’s not going to ask the head of the cheerleading team to prom. He’s going to ask the head of the band or something.”

Essentially, what “former staffer” says is that David Letterman prefers the company of intelligent women, perhaps those women who didn’t let him get away with what may be typical Letterman crap.  Mmmmkay … well …  that’s refreshing, right?  But then “former staffer” decided to continue talking and actually reveal what sort of person he or she is rather than the sort of person David Letterman is … said staffer recalls how these women weren’t the obvious sort that ANYONE would choose, much less David Letterman.

But, “former staffer” doesn’t stop there … oh no … this person goes on to say that while Letterman is attracted to intellect and personality he only is attracted to them because, due to their vivacious personality and superior intellect, they are … wait for it ——-AN EASY TARGET.   WTF?!  Since when in the world does being an intelligent woman (who isn’t a ‘supermodel’) make one an ‘easy target?’

Oh, and there’s more…that somehow there’s no way a “cheerleader” type could POSSIBLY be attracted to Letterman or seduced by Letterman, which again is insulting – both to the “intellectual” women and the “cheerleader” women.

Face it, David Letterman is a smart, funny, successful man who MANY women would find attractive – young and old, intellectual and shallow … get over it!  Alternatively, there are PLENTY of women who find Letterman repulsive, rude, and unfunny….get over that, too!

Well, whomever “former staffer” is the WORST sort of sexist (whether “former staffer” be male or female).  This is right out of a chauvinist playbook of assuming all feminists don’t shave their legs and hate men, and just as bad as assuming that all lesbians are butch and all cheerleaders are stupid and shallow … what the hell decade are we living in again?

Really, if  “former staffer’s” notion of what women are supposed to be and what men are supposed to be attracted to was around while I was working for the Late Show … well, it isn’t David Letterman who I would feel uncomfortable around.

On that note  – I really really really don’t care about David Letterman’s – or his staff’s –  sex lives.  However, the blackmail attempt, and subsequent storm … FASCINATING.

Billie’s Quickies … In other news “Ms. Steinem, why aren’t you brainwashing well enough?”

bllieddoseHey guys, it’s been a while since we heard about the man from Kentucky found hanging with “Fed” written on his chest. Updates are important to me – and probably to everyone else – and since I hadn’t seen one in a while … here ya go:  “Mr. Trosper agrees that the case is “perplexing” in that police haven’t been able to rule out any of the three possibilities: suicide, accidental death or homicide … But it’s clear that law enforcement hasn’t yet endorsed the notion of Appalachian bogeymen threatening government workers. In fact, the appearance of antigovernment bias in the death could be a smokescreen to cover up what really happened, says Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox.”

  • Tragic: “Every year, at least a dozen children die in overheated cars in the U.S. because parents forgot they were there.  Don’t assume, says the Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten, that it couldn’t happen to you.”
  • Jabberwocky spellchecked … HAHA!  “All missy were the brogues, And the mime rats outrage.”
  • Quit calling me ya “dingledangler!”  And, other flapper phrases you can’t live without.
  • TRUE DAT! “Reporting the facts is important. But so too is not reporting—or at least not focusing, day after day—on the lies.”
  • This truly IS a “WTF moment on oldtime TV” and it couldn’t be summed up better than this:  “Ms. Steinem, why aren’t you brainwashing well enough? First you put a red sock in with my white button-up shirts, then you fail to hand-dry the dishes well enough so there are streaks, and now you aren’t keeping our brains squeaky clean! Unacceptable!”

Finally …

Billie’s Quickies … “How very”

bllieddoseI agree with and respect Glenn Greenwald (@glenngreenwald) an awful lot.  He’s an uber smarty pants who – even when I do find something with which to disagree (and I do, even in the article where the quote below came from) – I can still see where he’s coming from and respect him for educating me on something I most surely either simply did not know about or hadn’t thought about in a particular way.  Whether others like him or not, I have to hunker down to read his commentary because it sure ain’t a quick or thoughtless sound bite, and he always gives me something to chew on.  Glenn Greenwald is great for nuggets like this:

“If the Democratic Party is to become a meaningful alternative, free from corporate control, that will happen not because party leaders such as Obama cause it to happen.  Instead, it will only occur from efforts on the part of Democrats to cease support for, and begin working to eject, those elements which keep the Party beholden to the same interests as the ones who own and control the so-called ‘other party.’  Systematic, credible primary challenges — to impose a price for the Party on this behavior (by forcing them to divert resources to fending off primary challenges) and to make incumbents more accountable to their constituents — is the best, perhaps the only, means for accomplishing that, if it can be accomplished at all.”

  • Earlier this year, a small-town business owner decided he would try to stimulate the local economy by handing out $16,000 in cash to his 24 employees.  But,  they had to donate part of it to charity and spend the rest at local businesses.  HuffPo followed up by finding similar stories in April.  Really is a neat idea.  Bootstraps people! And, here’s an interesting “progression of the recession” thingie.
  • Speaking of the economy.  There’s also health insurance reform.  On that topic, here’s some advice on translating your medical bills, spotting errors, and fighting mistakes.
  • Although I don’t necessarily agree with the title or a few remarks in this excellent commentary of the state of feminism today, I totally understand the sentiment … and the noteworthy and ongoing conversation in the comments between it’s author and his complimenters and critics.  A testament to how to begin a conversation – and not abandon it.
  • Because you can’t have Melrose Place come back without it … HEATHERS trivia! Yay.

Finally …