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Archive for the ‘feminism’ Category

I was all jazzed up to recycle my annual anti-pink ribbon, shop for the cure lollapalooza because, darlings, it’s that time of year again and we can all use this timely reminder to Think Before You Pink ~ when I stumbled over this fine article by Kate Harding on Hollywood rape apologists.

Like I needed one more reason to hate Pedro Almodovar.

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Love for Lilly

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, thereby correcting a Roberts Supreme Court miscarriage of justice, as well as last year’s GOP Senate filibuster that prevented earlier passage of the Act.

Following the bill signing, Ms. Ledbetter was the guest of honor at a White House luncheon hosted by the First Lady.  The warmth and shared respect between these two women is obvious from the video, and Ms. Ledbetter’s remarks underscore her unshakable resolve to fight a battle that many of us could not imagine sustaining over the course of ten years’ time.

Not to diminish her accomplishment in any way, it is worth noting that most of us are never able to prove wage discrimination as clearly as it was revealed to Ms. Ledbetter.  I’ve quit jobs because I’ve suspected pay inequity, been the victim of sexual harassment and/or been expected to perform tasks that my male peers would never be asked or expected to perform.  I’m willing to bet that every single working woman I know has had similar experiences, and yet, I don’t personally know anyone who has filed a formal EEOC complaint.

In looking back over my long work career, it’s notable that there have been only two jobs where I felt I was treated fairly and equally as an employee.  The first was a union position.  The second was as part of an all-female staff in a small retail establishment.

Still think wage discrimination based on sex is a thing of the past?   This study by the Economic Policy Institute released in May, 2008, shows that even among recent college graduates entering the job market, an hourly pay gap of $2.92 exists between men and women.

So, thank you, Ms. Ledbetter, for your persistence, your courage and the personal economic sacrifice you have made to bring all of us closer to equality.  Lilly, we owe you big time.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that means it’s “Think Before You Pink” time.

Whether by misguided, but heartfelt desire to do good, or by deliberate and misleading attempts to increase the corporate bottom line, all sorts of businesses, charities and ad hoc groups of people will be pushing pink merchandise or otherwise raising funds under the umbrella of breast cancer awareness.

If you want to be sure your purchase or outright charitable contribution goes where it will do the most good, do your homework.  Not all that’s pink is rosy.

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Blue Monday

as in the erudite, smart and capable Michelle Obama who showed up in my part of the world this afternoon

and, yeah, she moves fast.

She spoke for half an hour, barely consulting her notes and getting the biggest crowd response when she talked about women’s reproductive rights and the unequal burden of the Iraq War on military families.

Hard not to make a comparison with Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin, both of whom remain tightly leashed to Daddy McCain.    Just sayin’ . . .

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Don’t you hate mixed messages?

“Thanks, but no thanks (wink, wink) to your bridge money, Congress, but be a dear and leave your $400 million on the nightstand.”

“Pork barrel spending?  Earmarks?  Why, no, I can’t remember when I last saw the likes of them.  Oh, wait.  Are you talking about those gifts of ‘progress’ that I, like, totally earned thanks to the hard work of the pimp I sent to Washington?”

Bite me.

Here’s the thing.  I know everyone has their own hot button issue that leads them to outrage and eventual involvement in a political campaign.  For a lot of us that issue is reproductive rights – abortion – access to contraception – sex education programs – Roe v. Wade – issues of choice when it comes to every aspect of women’s health.

I understand how it’s satisfying to make a donation to Planned Parenthood in the name of Sarah Palin, and have PP send her a thank you.  It’s a diabolical knife twist.  It’s a “gotcha” moment, and for those of us fighting for rights that we believe are basic human rights, “gotcha” moments are few and far between.

But.

A donation to Planned Parenthood at this critical moment in time is not aiding the Obama campaign.

If you are in a position to donate money, please consider where your funds will do the most good.  If you support Planned Parenthood (and I do not, so there is my bias for the record) and believe with all your heart that sending a message to Sarah Palin is worth every penny of your hard-earned money, I hope you will also dig deep and find a few additional dollars to send directly to the Obama campaign.

If you think I’m wrong, let me know.  If you think Planned Parenthood is wrong, tell them.  I do.  Every time they call or send a request for money.

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yummy. sexy. bare naked garden porn.

That this blog is not a news blog should not be news to anyone. Hell, I’ve only been posting once a week or less, and I gotta tell y’all that you’re going to be seeing more of less very shortly. Greatest Husband has planned a gi-normous tour through Scandinavia for the two of us that begins in just a few short days.

It’s far from breaking news, but before I go, I’d like to write a few words concerning this, this and that. (I know, following links is such a pain. The three-word summary for each would go something like this: Viagra-McCain-birthcontrol, asswipe-Viagra-birthcontrol, and Bush-DHHS-asswipes)

I keep having this imaginary conversation in my head, in which I am a pharmacist being asked to dispense Viagra to a man at the counter.

ThreadingWater: “Sir, I’d like to ask you a question. Are you married?”

Man: “No. My wife died four years ago. Is this relevant information?”

TW: “Well, for me it is. I’m sorry. I can’t fill your prescription.”

Man: “Why not? Are you out of the drug?”

TW: “No. We have VIAGRA (loud enough so every one in the waiting area can hear) I just don’t believe in dispensing drugs so that unmarried men can have sex. I believe sex should take place after marriage and only for the purpose of creating babies. You, my friend, look a bit long in the tooth for procreational sex. In fact, my records here indicate that you’re 72 years old.”

Man: “But, that’s discriminatory. My doctor has prescribed this drug for a medical reason.”

TW: “I simply don’t believe any man has the right to a hard-on every time he wants one. That’s a life-style choice, not a medical reason. And, thanks to the Bush administration and the rule changes they made at the Department of Health & Human Services, my employer would lose all of their federal funding if they tried to fire me because of my personal beliefs. You’re out of luck, sir, or, should I say ‘you won’t be getting lucky tonight?'”

Man: “Can you at least direct me to a pharmacy that WILL fill my prescription?”

TW: “Nope. That would be another violation of my personal beliefs. Have a nice day.”

Don’t worry boys.  Your inalienable right to a hard-on is still secured by the patriarchy.  Just another little dream, like imagining an Equal Rights Amendment might someday be added to the U.S. Constitution so that, you know, we would all be treated equally.

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Today’s S.A.T.*

*Sex Aptitude Test

Eliot Spitzer may be so yesterday’s news, but the resulting spin-off in random conversations, news stories and commentaries has become so bone-headed that I fear a brain “reboot” is in order. Shall we proceed?

Question One

Which of these situations is NOT like the others?

  1. An exchange of money for a sexual act
  2. An extra-marital affair
  3. Selling females into bondage through human trafficking rings

Apparently, this is a trick question for a lot of people. Each situation involves “sex,” and for some of you out there, the juxtaposition of “female” + “bondage” in the third example will throw your brain waves right off the cliff. Try to stay with me.

The answer is #2.

If you know the real name of the person you are having a consensual, sexual relationship with and no exchange of money for sex or access to a human body has taken place, there is no comparison with prostitution(#1) or slavery(#3).

Question Two

Which of the following phrases is an example of anthropomorphism?

  1. The male Canada Goose mates for life and remains faithful to its wife.
  2. Male macaques groom females in exchange for sex, adjusting their grooming behavior in a distinctly economic fashion, paying a higher or lower price depending on the availability and quality of the merchandise and competition from other buyers.
  3. The mother penguin worries that her baby will stray into dangerous waters and be eaten by a seal.

The answer? All of the above.

“Husband” and “wife” are terms used to describe civil and religious unions – neither of which exist in the animal kingdom.

The mating behavior of macaques – viewed through the human lens of market economies (“quality of merchandise” and “competition from other buyers”) is an attempt to naturalize the act of prostitution. It is no less anthropomorphic than ascribing human emotions like anxiety and worry to a penguin mother.

Brain reboot complete. You are now free to roam the wasteland of current news and commentary with your critical facilities intact.

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