Popculture Smörgåsbord

So there are some posts that I’ve been meaning to write but I’ve been rushing to tie up loose ends regarding my submission to Hunger Games and Philosophy (edited by George Dunn and Nick Michaud) and now my thoughts on these bits and pieces are getting untimely so consider this particular post my way of saying got any thoughts on this nonsense:

1. Recently, yesterday in fact, I was reading Feministe and I became aware of a  30-year-old McCain staffer’s marriage to a girl who was 17 when they met. There are some semantics in this situation – she was of age when they married and they are very wealthy, blah, blah, blah… So the conversations about statutory rape and what not have gotten pretty overlooked, but what is the deal with women wanting to get married at 17? Ouch, say. Also, there is something so weird about how republicans can twist culture’s moral rules – think Bristol Palin pregnancy – and it’s okay but when liberals do this crap the world goes haywire.   Scarier is Doug Hutchison’s (51) nuptials to a sixteen year old.

2. I need to mention www.xojane.com. I’m not sure how many of your remember Sassy Magazine but as a teenager it was my bible and it’s existence started a life long love affair (from afar) between myself and Jane Pratt – who if you don’t know was also the editor of Jane Magazine for most of its lifetime, and I would argue that her retirement from the magazine caused its demise. That said, like other feminists, I am not feeling Pratt’s newest endeavor 100%. Perhaps I return to my not so third wave feminist outlook – but the website is  way more junk than edgy smart – a little more serious please! I want headings like politics and news – not just sex and beauty. What up, Jane?

3. It’s worth noting Anushay Hossain of ANUSHAY’S POINT. I first discovered her on Broadminded. She is Molly and Christine’s Feminist Broad, and her blog is always interesting and worth reading. Subscribe. Hey, while I’m at it subscribe to Feminist Cupcake, that blog is the bomb-diggity – you should subscribe to that blog too. In particular Anushay has written an informative ditty about Saudi Women’s Protest against the ban on women driving in their country.

4. Speaking of Broadminded – Yesterday morning I caught the last bit of a conversation concerning bullying and cyber bullying among teens. Unfortunately, I am not sure of their guest’s name but he said something about how our television shows and movies present adults making fun of people or embarrassing pranks as so funny and humorous – which in turn got me thinking about the movie Bridesmaids. I meant to review this film for you guys – but I’ve been busy, like I said.  There was feminist potential here but I think it sank. (More later). With regards to adult bullying, sort of, so many movies, including bridesmaids present other people’s embarrassment as something we should laugh at. Admittedly, there are moments when someone trips or slides on a piece of lettuce (circa 1996, June and Ho – Rye, NY) and you can’t help but laugh. But still – is food poisoning that causes you to poop your pants funny?  I say no. Maybe I’m too empathetic – but watching other people’s embarrassment – embarrasses me.

5.  Finally, I wanted to turn y’all on to Micheal Kimmel, who is a spectacular example of a male feminist. I am presenting at the NWSA conference this year and he’s speaking and I absolutely can’t wait. I also teach his article “Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity” in my classrooms. Recently, on his Ms. Blog, that considers the whole Wiener incident, “Ah-nuld, DSK, Weiner–And Us.” A worthwhile read.

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Just say no to McCain

I can’t imagine that there are a whole lot of feminists out there who are considering a vote for McCain, but if so take a look at his position on choice….

Naral Pro-choice advises:
Sen. John McCain served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986 and in the U.S. Senate from 1987 to present. During his four years in the House, then-Rep. McCain cast 11 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues. Ten of these votes were anti-choice. In the Senate, through 2006, Sen. McCain cast 117 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues, 113 of which were anti-choice.

In addition to his solidly anti-choice record, Sen. McCain has never cosponsored or supported legislation that would prevent unintended pregnancy or reduce the need for abortion.

Voting Record:
Sen. McCain has an anti-choice record. He received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice.

2007: 0 percent
2006: 0 percent
2005: 0 percent
2004: 0 percent
2003: 0 percent
2002: 0 percent
2001: Because only one choice-related vote was taken in 2001 – to confirm John Ashcroft as United States Attorney General – no numerical score was given for the year. Sen. McCain voted anti-choice.
Click here for all of Sen. McCain’s scores from 1987-2006.

Public Statements about Choice:
A selection of Sen. McCain’s public statements on this issue is below.

“If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement.”

[Statement by Sen. McCain read by Sen. Sam Brownback at the March for Life in Washington, DC, January 22, 2008. http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=26539 (accessed January 30, 2008.]

Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign website states that he “believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.”
[John McCain for President 2008 campaign website, On the Issues: Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life (accessed February 4, 2008). http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/95b18512-d5b6-456e-90a2-12028d71df58.htm]

“I’m proud that we have Justice Alito and Roberts on the United States Supreme Court. I’m very proud to have played a very small role in making that happen.”

[Transcript, Republican Presidential Candidates Participate in a Debate, May 3, 2007.]

On the Federal Abortion Ban, Sen. McCain said, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children. It also clearly speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures. As we move forward, it is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life.”

[Press release, April 18, 2007 (accessed February 4, 2008). http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/News/PressReleases/f96d220f-b10d-48fe-aee9-d69c0d2802c3.htm]

Sen. McCain said that he has supported “the rights of the unborn” for 24 years “without changing, without wavering.”

[Michael Finnegan, Republicans Enter the Ring in Iowa; At a Key Party Dinner, Frontrunners for the Presidential Nomination Take a Beating From Lesser-Known Rivals, L.A. Times, April 15, 2007.]

“I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.”

[Ann Althouse, Rudy & Mitt Hem & Haw on Abortion, N.Y. Times, February 24, 2007.]

Discussing his pro-life voting record, McCain said, “I have many, many votes and it’s been consistent. And I’ve got a consistent zero from NARAL throughout all those years… [M]y record is clear. And I think the important thing is you look at people’s voting record because sometimes rhetoric can be a little… misleading… As you know I don’t support Roe v. Wade. I thought it was a bad decision, and I think that the decision should be made in the states.”

[Transcript, The Full McCain: An Interview, National Review, March 5, 2007. http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=MTMxOWRkYjgyNDhjOTU5ZTY2OWU2ZTg2ZmUxMzQ1NjQ=]