Thursday, February 28, 2008

What have I been reading?

It's time again for a collection of posts and stories I have been reading, and think you should too.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich revealed that he is initiating an investigation into the insider trading that took place leading up to 9/11, particularly in regards to put options placed on American Airlines and United Airlines stock.

Hugo Schwyzer talks about abortion, remorse and grief
In this world view, shaped both by sexism and popular Christian teaching, remorse and regret are prerequisites for forgiveness and understanding. A young woman who has had an abortion will have no trouble finding sympathy in even the most conservative circles if she says the right words.
And as I wrote on Tuesday, there are plenty of people who grieve an abortion but do not regret having had one. Grief says: “that hurt me”; Regret says: “that was wrong of me to do.” Grief is an acknowledgement that an experience was painful and difficult, perhaps leaving an enduring wound — grief is a statement about feelings. Regret is a moral statement in which a past action is judged to have been the wrong one. These two emotions sometimes go together, but frequently not.

Afrospear states the obvious: Clinton claims that Obama doesn’t have the experience to lead. That he doesn’t have the political capital and resume that she has. This may be true and it is preferable to have a leader of a nation with experience, political capital and a proven resume. But at this stage of the political process, this contest is like an interview for a job. It is no mystery that those who are better prepared and organized due to superior planning, will “interview well” and more often than not get the job.

Robert Smithson's amazing Spiral Jetty is at possible risk from oil drilling in the Great Salt Lake

Here's me standing on it.

Attacks against the homeless are on the rise

And, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Googling concepts is awesome. :D

Did I miss that horrible LA Times article? No. But I've been arguing with people about it for about a week now, so I'm going to have to let Feministe's fabulous posts speak for me this time. I just don't have the energy to rehash it again.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Election Times

Am I the only one who sees the way Hillary Clinton is acting right now and thinking she's being a very, very, sore loser?

I'm seriously losing oodles of respect for her daily.

And fuck you, Tina Fey, for suggesting that because I vote for Barack Obama I am a bad feminist, just following Oprah's orders.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Man Coulter"

For the record, I detest Ann Coulter.

But if I hear one more "liberal" call her "Man Coulter" or talk about "her Adam's apple" or "man hands" or any other such thing, I might just whip their ass.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees…

The long and short of it: Lynching has never, is not now and never will be anything but the act of a mob murdering a human being. Lynching is not a joke.

read shark-fu's fabulous post | and digg story

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bill O'Reilly is a douche

Just in case you didn't already know.

Parisians are awesome

"Our intention is to disturb the visitor," Ms. Lagrave notes in an exhibition pamphlet. "While people might expect to find images of physical contact and beauty, we show how difficult it is to love today."

Ms. Farge suggests a reason: "In the 18th century, a man and woman lived together for a maximum of three or four years because of wars, epidemics, death during childbirth and so on. Life was a succession of funerals and remarriages. In fact, until today, couples have never had to live together for a long time."

The Changing Story, the Unquiet Glory of Love

The exhibit in northeast Paris attempts to respond playfully to the serious questions tweenagers ask about sexuality and romantic feeling. Inspired by a guide to sex by the popular cartoonist Zep and writer Helene Bruller, the exhibit also encourages children and their parents or teachers to shed all modesty and embarrassment about touchy topics and start talking.

"The kids were talking about this stuff at school and Clemence didn't understand," said her mother, Danielle Dubreuil, who prefers bringing her curious daughter to the exhibit rather than discussing such topics with her alone.

"We talk about some things," the 42-year-old mother said, hesitantly, "but penetration -- that I had trouble with."

Paris exhibit a children's guide to sex

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I was just as silent

I have held some guilt for some time.

"Silence is not consent."

We all know this, yes?

But I didn't always.

I have taken silence as consent.

The guy was very up front with how shy he was with girls, with how difficult it was to make moves, how difficult to be up front, how insecure he was.

I was very up front with how I was none of these things with boys, open, and comfortable with making moves. We talked, flirted, exchanged suggestions and innuendo.

I met him eventually and in my flush of youthful self confidence, in the assurance of "guys always want sex" I made my move. The next day, he was confident/comfortable enough to make one.

But I didn't ask before I made that move. I didn't ask to see if we were still on the same page. I didn't ask why his heart was racing. I knew. I thought I knew. I hope I knew.

Even if I was correct though...that doesn't make it right.

I didn't know then. All the guys in my life made me believe I was a great gift to guys, being as open and comfortable as I was. That I had much to teach the inexperienced.

But that doesn't make it right.

It could have been rape.

Gods I hope not.

Even if it was from my view, I doubt the guy would ever think of it that way.

But that doesn't make it right.

This social brainwashing. It has to end. These gender stereotypes. They have to end. People should not be taught to be silent.

Because I was just as silent as he.

Election Videos

Whoever it is.

Yes, we can. Si se puede.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Know Your Rights!

via Christina

Baby Stepping Away From Racism

Right along with the Patricia Hill Collins writing, I have to post an abridged version of this piece from Paradox Dragon. Please, please, please go read the full post, it really is magnificent.

Baby-stepping away from racism: A guide for white people

Goal #1: Recognize and acknowledge your white privilege.

Baby-step: Gain an understanding of privilege in a way that's more comfortable for you.

Goal #2: Learn to live with your white privilege once you've acknowledged it.

Baby-step: Shut up.

Goal #3: Educate yourself about race and racism.

Baby-step: Learn the terminology. Love the terminology. Live the terminology.

Goal #4: Speak out. Act out.

Baby-step: Act in a supporting role.
Once you've mastered the basics, make it a goal to help educate other beginners, other white folks who are struggling with the same issues you have (at least mostly) overcome. Be there to lend your voice in support when a POC is dogpiled for pointing out racism. When you hear someone making the same arguments you once made (POC should use a less hostile tone when pointing out racism, POC are reverse-racist against white people, a person can't be racist unless they intend to be racist) be there to correct them, to explain, to make the counter-arguments so that POC are not so exhausted by the daily grind of such repetitive expressions of privilege.

This is not to say that you can never be the first one to call out racism, but stick to arguing the things that you can argue confidently and without bullshitting.

Feminism 101: Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination

via Mind the Gap

A fabulous post regarding the paradigm shift inherent at analyzing through the lens of feminists of color.

Although most individuals have little difficulty identifying their own victimization within some major system of oppression–whether it be by race, social class, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or gender–they typically fail to see how their thoughts and actions uphold someone else’s subordination … In essence, each group identifies the oppression with which it feels most comfortable as being fundamental and classifies all others as being of lesser importance. Oppression is filled with such contradictions because these approaches fail to recognize that a matrix of domination contains few pure victims or oppressors. Each individual derives varying amounts of penalty and privilege from the multiple systems of oppression which frame everyone’s lives.

Each group speaks from its own standpoint and shares its own partial, situated knowledge. But because each group perceives its own truth as partial, its knowledge is unfinished. Each group becomes better able to consider other groups’ standpoints without relinquishing the uniqueness of its own standpoint or suppressing other groups’ partial perspectives.

Essential reading as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some anti-porn hypocrisy

Renegade Evolution has a fabulous vlog post up today that you all should see. Pro-porn, anti-porn, sex positive, this is interesting stuff.

"I have a problem with people who are against exploiting women in pornography, turning around and exploiting women in pornographic pictures for their own ends with no consideration for how the women feel about it. I mean they're constantly asking you to empathize with the women in the porn...except they're refusing to empathize with how the women might feel about having their images used in order to discredit an industry they are a part of."

That is such a good point. I have to totally agree with you Ren!

Feminist Carnival #53 Is Up!

At Uncool

Check it out! My "Radical Feminism" post made the cut. And Lina always does a good job with these! :)

Women's Shelter Gets Creative

Via Figleaf

One of the confidential Seattle-area women's shelters, the Catherine Booth House is moving to a larger location so they won't have to turn away so many battered spouses and children.

It's not particularly good news that a shelter has to expand, but they're doing something I hadn't heard of to help coordinate donations: they've setup a "bridal" registry with a major retailer. If you're interested in helping out the shelter, which seems to operate under the Salvation Army umbrella in case that matters, you can do so here.

It's actually a pretty cool use of web services since it lets them specify exactly what they're looking for instead of trusting to luck (where "luck" with donations for a lot of relief agencies, means clothes, blankets, and food in cans.)

I think that's a pretty innovative idea. There's also things with many different price ranges (as on any good registry!) so I'm sure many of us can help. Once I find out how much money I'm spending to get my car to shift gears again (!) I plan to buy something too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The writer's strike is over!

Bite Me ACOG

Washington, DC -- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reiterates its long-standing opposition to home births.
Childbirth decisions should not be dictated or influenced by what's fashionable, trendy, or the latest cause célèbre.
It should be emphasized that studies comparing the safety and outcome of births in hospitals with those occurring in other settings in the US are limited and have not been scientifically rigorous.
Choosing to deliver a baby at home, however, is to place the process of giving birth over the goal of having a healthy baby.

So basically, you stupid women are deciding how to give birth based on what's trendy! And even though we haven't studied this with any real scientific rigor, we feel completely justified in saying so. You'd rather have a trendy birth than a healthy baby! How dare you!

Fuck you ACOG. Fuck you.

You wonder why more and more women are turning away from you and towards a system of thinking that at least believes we base our decisions on more than what's TRENDY. Don't be bitter about it, just wise up.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Radical Feminism

As you, dear readers, may or may not have noticed, I have changed my About Me info.

I had many labels in my old one. And while labels are good short hand, they are also sometimes insufficient. I have come to a place where I thought it would be more interesting and a better introduction to me to simply put up the things I believe. I'm sure that I will be adding and editing this for a while.

Despite this, I still wanted to continue my planned series on explaining why I ascribe to myself the labels that I do. I started with why I am sex positive and out of that I had many interesting conversations, sometimes around whether that meant I could be a feminist at all (!) but more often, and more interestingly, if I could be a radical feminist.

I do consider myself a radical feminist.

I do as such because from what I have learned so far, I think the radical branch of feminism is correct in it's base theory. That society has to be destroyed as it is currently, and rebuilt from the ground up. This intersects with why I also consider myself a socialist feminist, because money and it's influence cannot be separated from our society as it currently stands.

Do I also hold some liberal views? Do I put individualism first? Yes. However liberals hold that we can work from within the system, and hold individuals accountable basically for where they end up. I don't hold with that. Individualism is important, and working within the system is important, but if we don't have sisters on the outside working to tear the house down as well as on the inside, it will never work.

This is the essence of strength in diversity as it applies to feminism. We need people doing work in all facets of society, and without, to achieve our goals. And make no mistake, by and large, we all have the same goals. The labels, "liberal" "radical" "socialist" these identify what we believe to be the best means to achieving those ends. Most likely we identify with one over the others because our life experience tells us it is the most pertinent.

It's been an interesting journey for me to realize that what I ascribed to myself as a pretty simple label is in fact for many a very loaded term. And yet it is still an important label to me as it displays my base belief system. Abridged from the Carnival of Radical Feminists;
We define radical feminism as follows:

* We believe that women are oppressed worldwide by patriarchy;
* We seek to abolish patriarchy;
* We understand patriarchy to be a system of structures and institutions created by men in order to sustain and recreate male power and female subordination. The structures of patriarchy include, but are not limited to, the law, medicine, religion and the traditional family;
* Women’s oppression is rooted in both the structures of our society and in capitalism and white supremacy. Patriarchy includes not only male rule but also heterosexual imperialism and sexism (Charlotte Bunch);
* In order to abolish patriarchy, we must challenge its root components and causes which we locate in oppression of females by males;
* We believe that the uprooting of sexism simultaneously inaugurates the uprooting of racism, class hatred, homophobia, lesbophobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism, competition, hierarchy, ecological disaster, and economic exploitation of all kinds

Now, Heart goes on to list quite a few other things, which is where her (and most radfem's) definition and mine diverge a bit. But this is my base, and it is a base unique to radical feminism, therefore I am rooted in radical feminism.

Is that all I am? No.

I refuse to be bound in by anyone's imposed definitions. I am who I am. I will not let society define me. Nor will I let other radical feminists define me.

But this is the foundation my feminism is based on. This is the Earth my roots are anchored in. And it is a label that is therefore important and meaningful to me.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Trouble on the home front

I don't know how many of you heard about this, I saw Nezua has covered it, but it breaks down to this:

Probably 94,000 people in the Los Angeles area will not have their vote count.

What? Huh? How in the world...?

Check it out.

Pisses me right the fuck off and up here in the Sacramento area we had our own trouble with Decline to State voters. All the people in my area were rerouted to different precincts because we didn't have one of our own. Why on earth that happened when I live in a bloody well populated area? I have no idea. And the closest poll workers didn't either. They were helpful, but very, very confused as to why we were there. I actually had to pull out the info that was mailed to me to show them that yes, in fact their spot was indeed the closest to my house.

Women Sentenced to Death by Stoning

Iranian 1 Million Signatures Campaign
Zohreh Kabiri-niat and her sister Azar, are facing execution by stoning, for “adultery”, a charge which they deny. They were arrested on 4 February 2007 after claims that they had had “illicit relations”. They were initially sentenced, along with a third sister, to flogging, with this sentence reportedly being carried out.

However, a fresh charge of “committing adultery while being married” was then brought against Zohreh and Azar, where they were both found guilty and their sentence of death by stoning was then approved by the Supreme Court.

A moratorium on execution by stoning was ordered by the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, in December 2002. Despite this, sentences of death by stoning in Iran are still being passed and, on occasion, carried out.

Iran’s Penal Code prescribes execution by stoning. It even dictates that the stones are large enough to cause pain, but not so large as to kill the victim immediately. Article 102 of the Penal Code states that men should be buried up to their waists and women up to their breasts for the purpose of execution by stoning. Article 104 states, with reference to the penalty for adultery, that the stones used should “not be large enough to kill the person by one or two strikes; nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones”.

Please take steps to help stop this execution and to call on the country’s authorities to immediately abolish this grotesque punishment, which is specifically designed to increase the suffering of its victims.

Please click on this link and take action.


Kim Manning-Cooper
Amnesty International UK
Campaign Manager - Death Penalty

Myth Debunking and Funny Feminist of the Day

Just in case anyone out there runs into someone telling them that women batter their partners as much as men. Call big fat bullshit on them via Feminism 101.

And the Funny Feminist of the Day award (I have these? Apparently!) goes to Jessica at Feministing for this lol gem. In response to the assertion that if you get to 30 and aren't worried about finding a man "either you’re in denial or you’re lying" Jessica says;
"Really? Because this is how worried my face looks."

Giving Females Oral Sex

I'm catching up on some reading and I just have to share this with any who want to know how to properly perform cunnilingus.

Slyvanus and Mina put together a fabulous post.

A few blog revamps

I've got some stuff that's been on my mind. Changing the "About Me" portion around, as well as adding perhaps another song to my sidebar. I also had a couple ideas for posts, however, I should have written them down because they sorta flew away.

Perhaps I will take a moment to tell you all about my (open) relationship with my husband. More later.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

So today's Super Tuesday...

And I'm rather excited to see how things go.

So far, so interesting, it's definitely a real competition folks. I'm happy for both candidates that they are inspiring people to get out there and throw their lot in with them. That's an accomplishment in our rather disillusioned culture.

That said, I threw my lot in with Obama. He suckered me in with the Kennedy thing. Young, charismatic, inspiring, different. Every time I heard the criticisms of him, JFK kept coming to my mind. "Too young" "too inexperienced." These are all things that were leveled at Kennedy in his own race.

And that turned out for the best I think.

So, Obama gets my vote. It is a hopeful vote, an inspired vote. I can only hope that this formula will work again.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy Imbolc!

Brighid of the Mantles encompass us
Lady of the Lambs protect us
Keeper of the Hearth kindle us
Beneath your mantle gather us
And Restore us to memory.
-- traditional Gaelic Blessing