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Archive for the ‘news/politics’ Category

This is going to be a rant.

This is a video of New Hampshire State Representative Nancy Elliott, expressing support for HB1590, a bill to make gay marriage illegal (again) in her state. Her main point is that gay marriage involves anal sex, which she then describes as “taking the penis penis of one man and putting it  into the rectum of another and wiggling it around in excrement.” She says “And you have to think…would I allow that to be done to me?”

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Last week, a study by scientists at King’s College London concluded that the g-spot doesn’t exist. Oh darn. Of course, if you look at the study, you might notice that first of all, the study was conducted by giving  “participants a survey asking whether they believed that they had a “‘so called G-spot’.” That’s about as scientific as asking people if they believe in evolution and when some people say “no” publishing a study that declares that there is no such thing as evolution.

But more amazing is the fact that fifty-six percent of the respondents said “yes.” However, “because stimulation of the G-spot is supposed to induce orgasm” the scientists concluded that the women were “confused.” Let me correct my analogy of the previous paragraph. That’s like asking a bunch of biologists if evolution is true and when they say “yes” publishing a study that claims their answer proves they’re confused.

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My Privilege

This post is going to break two rules of this blog.  One, we try to comment, as much as possible, on current stories.  The story I’m discussing is a couple of months old.  Two, we usually try to focus on issues of gender.  I’m going to start with an issue of gender and use it to make a larger point that’s been weighing on me for a while.  So I hope you’ll indulge me.

A number of articles about the supposedly exorbitant number of aids to Michelle Obama, epitomized by this piece on WorldNet Daily, made the rounds in August.  Of course we can add this to the list of criticisms the First Family has received since Barack Obama took office nearly ten months ago.  While I think articles like this reveal underlying sexism and racism, I think there’s something deeper going on here, and I’d like to explore it. (more…)

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Apparently, women aren’t very happy. “Each year since 1972, the United States General Social Survey has asked men and women: ‘How happy are you, on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being very happy, and 1 being not too happy?'” And since 1972, women’s happiness has dropped steadily. And this isn’t just the finding of one study; six separate studies have come to the same result, across decades, ages, and countries. According to the Huffington Post article “Wherever researchers have been able to collect reliable data on happiness, the finding is always the same: greater educational, political, and employment opportunities have corresponded to decreases in life happiness for women, as compared to men.”

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A few months ago, I posted a status update to my Facebook page decrying the media’s insistence on portraying Michelle Obama as “mom-in-chief.”  I said that she was a lawyer who had graduated from a prestigious university, and now she was being “reduced” to a mother.  Several of my friends, parents of their own, objected, arguing that parenting is a legitimate job and should not be denigrated.  I agree: I don’t think it’s fair to trivialize the very real difficulties women in traditional, so-called nuclear families face when it is assumed that they are responsible for complete maintenance of the household and child-rearing.  These difficulties are compounded when both parents work, since women are still expected to shoulder the majority of  the child-care burden.  But the shift in the media’s framing of Michelle Obama is still telling, I think.  It suggests that no matter how much a woman accomplishes professionally, our culture will jump at any chance to get her back into the home, taking care of the kids. (more…)

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A friend and regular commenter sent me a link to this article, which reveals the little known fact that in 8 states and the District of Columbia, being abused by your spouse is a pre-existing condition and can get you denied health care. “In 1995, the Boston Globe found that Nationwide, Allstate, State Farm, Aetna, Metropolitan Life, The Equitable Companies, First Colony Life, The Prudential and the Principal Financial Group had all either canceled or denied coverage to women who’d been beaten.”

I’ve put off blogging about this because I don’t quite know how to respond, other than to type “WTF” over and over.  But I finally have two short points.

First, anyone who thinks universal health care isn’t a feminist issue is an idiot. Women are still far more responsible for taking care of sick family members (children, parents, whomever) than men and women are more likely to be misdiagnosed and mistreated because the models are all male (did you know that men and women usually have different symptoms when experiencing a heart attack?)

Second, apparently in 2006 the Democrats tried to end this with a bill in the Health Education Labor & Pensions Committee. Is anyone surprised that all 10 of the “no” votes were Republican? Once again, the “family values” party proves that by “family” they mean “white, upper middle class, rich, nuclear, straight, abled and Christian…aka, just like us.”

I don’t know which is more appalling: that most Republican politicians consistently prove that they have no regard for any “family” that didn’t walk out of a Sears catalog or that there are still people who believe they are the party of decency and ethics. WTF!

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Maine, which legalized gay marriage some months ago, has a state-wide ballot initiate so voters can consider the question. And here’s the ad the right wing anti-marriage side has put out.

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