Vagina, Vagina, Vagina!!! And Vagina Some More!

Last bit tonight, I promise. But as I imagine many of you know women’s rights are under attack and tonight the issue at hand is that the Republicans in the Michigan state legislature feel that  saying the word vagina is inappropriate – and in light of this they have banned two female state representatives. If I lived in Michigan I would be marching in front of the capitol building with some seriously fun vaginal picket signs. Alas – Michigan you are so far. Instead I will  mention this craziness to all I see and sport a Vagina pin – Thank you Zazzle.

For your reading pleasure  Jezebel  has published  response to this lunacy entitled, 25 Republican-Approved Ways to Say ‘Vagina’ Without Offending Political Pussies,” which I imagine will make you both cringe and giggle – but either way I think you should read it because while I am still I’m gonna say vagina and all the other terms that describe my body – such as vulva, clitoris, fallopian tubes, period and whatever else you can think of whenever I see fit – in the classroom, legislature, hallway, bedroom and/or supermarket – I will henceforth endearingly refer to my vagina as the lovely and illustrious Ms. Kant from now on.

Tell me Ladies – how will you respond to this throwback into the dark ages?

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.

Anne E. Dunwoody

Today this woman, Anne E Dunwoody, who I have to admit I know little about broke the “glass ceiling” and became the first female 4 star general. It’s feminist news. And it’s important and valuable.

This year the we’ve thrown around the term “glass ceiling” like never before. And I’ve been thinking, that the more we talk about these things, the louder we clamour, the more conscious we seem to become. Do you think women everywhere want to see other women break through and succeed? Do you think that all the noise that this historical election will grow louder still – until women no longer need to clamour? Maybe all this rising above the “glass ceiling,” will help us be heard. (That is if these women and others are sympathetic to the needs of women) I am hopeful today.

The glass ceiling is something we’ve been chasing after for a long time and I am hopeful that suddenly like a herd of horses were careening at the glass, hammers in hand.

Ah Sarah…

I try to avoid spending my days shivering in fear of Sarah Palin…She’s some kinda scary. Today I received this photo from a friend and I thought I’d do my part to share it with the world.

Funny because its TRUE!

What do you do if the first woman vice president of the United States doesn’t stand up for anything that women believe in?  Its really creepy.

Why is his wife standing there??

An awesome article from Women’s e-news about Eliot Spitzer’s wife:  

Scandal Doesn’t flatter Spitzer’s wife

By Sandra Kobrin
WeNews commentator

Sandra Kobrin

(WOMENSENEWS)– As news of the “Eliot Mess” started to break on Monday, I looked at my husband and smiled.

“You know our deal,” I reminded him. “If anything like this happens to you don’t expect me to stand beside you and suffer public humiliation. You do something stupid like this, you’re on your own.”

Then we continued to watch Spitzer’s press conference.

 “It looks like she’s reading his statement,” my husband said, as he studied Silda Wall Spitzer’s controlled response. He said her eyes were focused on her husband’s script.

“Probably so,” I answered. “I’m sure she was the last to know and is doing her best to know what’s going on this time.”

I, like everyone else, was stunned by the idea of New YorkState’s Wall Street-busting crusading governor Elliot Spitzer apparently destroying his career by breaking the law and patronizing prostitutes.

Many of us in the news business, or the political business or the business business spent the day waiting for news of his resignation, pouring over the details of Spitzer’s D.C. assignation and replaying what may have been the world’s briefest press conference.

But as we talked among ourselves my friends and fellow journalists were saying it’s not just a question of what’s wrong with him. We’ were also asking “What’s up with her? What is she doing standing there by his side at the press conference?”

Aol Pops the Question

“Governor’s Wife Stands by Her Man” was one of AOL‘s rotating home page headlines Tuesday. “Would You Do the Same Thing?”

Our answer: an unequivocal no. We all agree we’re suddenly tired of seeing the silent woman standing by.

In every case, of course, it’s the particular wife’s personal business how she sorts the matter out. But why should she appear at the face-to-face with the cameras’ glare? That seems to send the message that good wives are expected to put up with far too much.

As my colleagues, my family and I pored over the coverage Tuesday, one thing that popped out here was that “client 9”–the new moniker for the man once known as the Sheriff of Wall Street–was sometimes considered “difficult,” for the prostitutes at the Emperor’s Club, a high-end brothel where Spitzer had an account.

In the smoking tape made of the phone call between the prostitute and her “booker” after the encounter the booker said “client number 9” sometimes asked for things that weren’t always that “safe.”

The mind reels. In Victorian novels when asterisks are put in the place of curse words the reader spends much more time wondering what the real words might have been–and probably coming up with worse–than if they’d been spelled out. Thoughts of all kinds of kinky sex went through my mind.

But another colleague offered a possibility at once more obvious and more serious: condoms. Perhaps, she said, it meant that Spitzer refused to use a condom.

If so, then he’s put his wife in danger as well as the high-priced sex workers he apparently regularly patronizes. All of them should be seeking medical attention and testing, if they haven’t already.

Mixed Feelings Get Sorted Out

A friend told me that her feelings about women who stand by their men are somewhat mixed. While she admires loyalty and being a friend in need, she doesn’t like the idea that dishonest men are worth putting up with.

But when the question of condoms and safe sex came up she says she suddenly got the point. In this case the wife should have been given a doctor’s excuse to miss the photo session.

Why is it that our society is repulsed with lying and dishonesty in a public capacity but accepts lying and dishonesty in a marriage?

There are editorials flying and talking heads screaming for Spitzer’s resignation, but there’s no one screaming, “Hey Silda, walk away from that lying dirt bag who put your health at risk and your reputation in the toilet! Take the money and run. You’ll do fine on your own.”

Silda Wall Spitzer is a Harvard-educated lawyer and the founder and chair of the board of New York-based Children for Children, a nonprofit organization that fosters community involvement and social responsibility in young people. She has three daughters ranging in age from 14 to 18.

Well listen up Silda. You are entitled to your own decisions but you and your daughters don’t have to stay.

Don’t Follow Hillary

In any event, please don’t let Hillary Clinton be your role model, even if your husband has endorsed her candidacy.

Yesterday, the presidential contender told reporters she was sending her best wishes and thoughts to the governor and to his family. Oh boy. I understand she didn’t want to lose a possible super delegate but, puh-lease.

Clinton is used to public humiliation; she was a doormat when it came to her philandering husband and his infidelities since he was Arkansas governor.

In Carl Bernstein‘s recent book on Clinton, “A Woman in Charge,” he writes that she really was the last to know the truth during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and livid when she found out.

In a 1992 interview, Clinton said she stayed with her husband because she loved and respected him. OK, but let’s see if Silda Spitzer is also contemplating a run for office.

Even Dina Matos McGreevey, the still-in-a custody-battle wife of former New JerseyGov. James McGreevey, has piped up. The author of “Silent Partner” bore up through the press conferences when McGreevey’s admitted a gay affair with a state employee and stood by him until he resigned three months later.

She says Silda is right to stand by her husband as she is protecting her daughters and shouldn’t be criticized.

Bull. The best way to protect a daughter is to be a role model and despise lying and dishonesty and divest from it in public as well as private life.

Federal prosecutors rarely charge clients in prostitution cases, generally seen as state crimes.

But the 1910 Mann Act makes it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution, and the woman Spitzer met up with traveled from New York to Washington.

Someone on the Web site of the Feminist Law Professors says this might be raised in the context of legal quid pro quo for the so-called DC Madam, whose sex workers consorted with Republican Senator David Vitter last year. He is not on trial but her trial begins April 7.

“As the DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, is prosecuted in federal court for running a prostitution ring, it will be interesting to see how things develop with Governor Spitzer,” writes a contributor on the Feminist Law Professors site. “One of the DC Madam’s big gripes is that, though the government has the names and identities of plenty of her customers and *ahem* female contractors, only she–Deborah Jeane Palfrey–is being prosecuted.”

In a press statement Tuesday, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International said the recent revelations about Spitzer demonstrate that men who sexually exploit women come from all walks of life.

“Sexual exploitation has no place in a society that values equality for girls and women,” the statement read.

That’s the kind of thing a good wife, mother and presidential candidate should be saying around now too. –Sandra Kobrin is a Los Angeles writer and columnist.

I am particularly interested in the comments about Hillary and Dina Matos McGreevey. Why does a politician’s wife stand with him when he has committed an egregious affront, which particularly effects her life? What does that imply about our society? Why do the PR people think that her presence is a good idea?

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=]

Youth for Hillary….sing along!

So there is a lot of chatter about no youth following for Hillary but these videos argue otherwise:

This one doesn’t please the feminist in me, which arguable you could say about the previous one but it’s still worth checking out:

He’s Passionate:

THIS ONE IS THE WINNER. I Love it!

Don’t be coerced by the press to jump on the Obama bandwagon. PEOPLE ARE JUST AS PASSIONATE ABOUT HILLARY!!!!! An election is not a popularity contest. We are not looking for the coolest or the “sexiest” candidate. (Although if you ask me Hillary is that too.) We are looking to elect the best leader. It takes a life time in politics to make a leader. Don’t be fooled. VOTE HILLARY!

Hillary and the debate…

Sorry, I’ve been so incommunicato lately.  Busy with life…  Feeling a little down about Hill’s campaign. Like I said earlier, I will support a democrat all the way but I really believe that Hillary is the best choice and I don’t perceive her as cold or frigid. I think she’s delightful…

 Watch the moment:

I’m a die-hard. I love Hillary!!

Hillary’s Super Tuesday

Why is it that I hear about Obama and McCain all day long. I practically know when these guys take a pee, but no matter what I just don’t feel this way about Hillary….

It’s easy to blame it on her femininity but it may be that the press just doesn’t like her. who knows, but I say MORE HILLARY!!!

As far as I’m concerened Hillary continued to dominate the field this week. To be truthful, I don’t know about all of you but I am excited to enter a DNC with no definate canidate… Perhaps then we will all watch…

So here she is folks:

Kim Gandy speaks for Clinton

SO I HATE TO PASS ALONG MESSAGES SECOND HAND, ESPECIALLY WHEN I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN A WHILE….BUT THIS IS WORTH IT.

Message from NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy:

In a few hours, at 4:15 am to be exact, I’m headed out in the cold to yet another airport, this time to Chattanooga and then Knoxville, Tennessee to rally and speak for Hillary Clinton.

I’d go anywhere, any time, to shout from the rooftops that Hillary Clinton is the right choice for women, for our families, for our communities and for our future.

Here is why I care so much:

Hillary Clinton is a national leader of the highest order, with the strength and determination and experience to deliver real change to our country. She has been a leader on women’s rights and civil rights for over 30 years.

It is of special importance to me that Hillary is an unparalleled champion for women’s reproductive rights, justice and health. In fact, I’ve just signed a letter from many leaders: Martha Burk, Gloria Feldt, Cecelia Fire Thunder, Lulu Flores, Ellen Malcolm, Irene Natividad, Ellie Smeal, Gloria Steinem, and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones on why Hillary is the best choice for those of us who care so deeply about these issues.

Hillary has been through fire and emerged stronger with each challenge. She can take anything the Republicans can dish out, and give it back double. The Democrats need her, the country needs her, and she needs your vote on Tuesday.

Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to win in November, and to set our country right. She beat the Republicans in two landslide elections, despite predictions that she couldn’t win in upstate and rural New York. And it will take someone with her economic and national security strengths to beat John McCain. We know she can deliver on Day One — from getting our troops out of Iraq, to fixing the shattered economy and the mortgage crisis, to winning health care that covers every single person in this country.

Please vote on Tuesday for Hillary Clinton, and if you haven’t done it already, please email your friends and contacts in the Super Tuesday states and tell them that:

from her earliest days advising battered women, helping abused children, and providing free legal services to the poor,
to her time in the White House advocating for universal healthcare, championing the S-CHIP (State Child Health Insurance) program, and helping to pass the Violence Against Women Act,
to her service as a U.S. Senator, standing strong for reproductive rights and writing legislation to expand contraceptive access, helping win approval of emergency contraception, sponsoring equal pay legislation, and speaking out on the floor against the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, specifically saying that they would damage Roe v. Wade if confirmed. She was right, and I know we can count on her to nominate pro-women, pro-choice judges to the courts at every level.
She’s always stood up for us, and now it’s time for us to stand up for her with our vote and say “I’m Ready for Hillary.”

I’m ready.

P.S. Robin Morgan’s terrific new essay “Goodbye To All That (#2)” calls out the stereotypes, double standards and toxic viciousness against Hillary Clinton – Our President, Ourselves – and she concludes: “Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman-but because I am.”