Category Archives: women’s rights

Today’s IOKIYAR

Nope, no War On Women here:

PelosiSABO

Honestly, after all of the ginned-up fauxtrage the right has spewed over comparatively tame comments made by the likes of Melissa Harris-Perry, David Letterman, and even President Obama himself (“OMG! He said Trayvon Martin could’ve been his son! WELL I NEVER!”), the above should result in non-stop Fox News outrage, right? Calls for apologies and boycotts?

But of course it won’t, because IOKIYAR, and feminazis, and socialism, etc. etc.

Oh, and meet “the artist” here.

(h/t, Ana Marie Cox)

8 Comments

Filed under conservative bloggers, feminism, sexism, women's rights

Fuck You, Internet

Today marks the internet’s 25th birthday. And here is today’s internet-delivered contribution to the national discourse:

1976911_726137387416528_1256528469_n

Spreading ignorance and hate for 25 years. Thanks for nothing, internet!

Honestly I sometimes wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off without it. This is the kind of ignorant BS your crazy uncle used to spew at the dinner table and everyone would sorta roll their eyes and pretend they weren’t related. Now it’s a meme seen by millions, perpetuating the kind of BS stereotypes people like Paul Ryan use as their basis for their economic policy.

Cripes. I’ve got to unfriend me some folks.

(By the way, that same photo was used on a “humor” site under the headline, “What a Country Girl Looks Like.”)

22 Comments

Filed under internet, poverty, sexism, taxes, women's rights

It’s The Message Not The Messenger, Stupid

As long as Republicans continue to push for policies that are demeaning, shaming and utterly lacking in compassion, I don’t think efforts like this are likely to be successful. The problem is not that you don’t have enough women candidates. The problem is that even your women politicians show little understanding or interest in issues of economic inequality and income disparity affecting so many women.

When someone like Marsha Blackburn can say with a straight face that women don’t want pay equity laws like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, they “just want to be recognized,” Republicans are seen as out of touch (and rightfully so).

From The Tennessean link:

“I feel like (Democrats) do more for people that are not making good money,” Loretta Lindsey, a retired housekeeper, said in a recent interview on the square in Murfreesboro.

“I feel like there’s more caring on the Democratic side.”

That’s your problem, Republicans. I don’t know how much more obvious it can be.

Also? Stuff like this isn’t helping:

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3 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, equal pay, feminism, Republican Party, Tennessee, women's rights

Women Are Not Right OR Left

So, yesterday the old white dudes who make up the Republican Party emerged from some smoke-filled room with their cool new idea to show how much they {heart} us ladies. Is it endorsing gender pay equity? Workplace childcare? Or giving up the stupid fight over the birth control mandate?

No! Don’t be silly.

It’s a hashtag, ladies! C’mon, isn’t that what you always wanted? And it’s so awesome, it goes like this:

#WomenAreRight

I saw that on Twitter yesterday and really had to struggle to figure out what the fuck it means.

#WomenAreRight … which is why we keep telling them to sit down and shut up?

#WomenAreRight …. which is why we didn’t appoint a single one of them to chair a committee in the 113th Congress?

#WomenAreRight…. except when they’re wrong, which is every time they come to a difficult decision a Republican man doesn’t agree with?

Anyway, the GOP started sending out cutesy little hashtag bromides about how much they love us ladies, for example:

….which prompted the Democrats to respond:

… and it all went downhill from there.

Predictably, Tennessee’s own Marsha Blackburn is involved in this “Women are right” effort, which appears to be a female candidate recruitment thing. And let’s remember how well that worked last time. We got a bunch of Tea Party wacko losers like Sarah Palin, Julia Hurley (of the carving-her-name-on-her-desk/dog surfing fame) and Christian singer CeCe Heil. Marsha Blackburn was last in the news for making the ludicrous claim on Meet The Press that women don’t want fair pay, we just want recognition for a job well done! So, y’know, this will go swimmingly, I predict.

Look, Republicans. Here’s the deal. It’s not the gender or race of your mouthpieces which is the problem. It’s your policies.

Women are not right or left. Women are people, with jobs and families and responsibilities. We are not electoral marbles for you to horde to keep your political future alive. We want our needs addressed by our representatives in Congress. You know, the same way you address the needs of ExxonMobil and Koch Industries and Raytheon?

Address our needs. Don’t just give us a new face to recite the same BS talking points. Just something to think about.

5 Comments

Filed under feminism, Republican Party, women's rights

Idiots

[UPDATE]: Word in some corners is that the “some idiot” in question is named Erick Erickson.

———————————————-

Some GOP idiot started this Twitter hashtag today, to universal derision:

Sit Down

This, of course, referencing the heroic fillibuster of Texas state senator Wendy Davis. They just don’t get it, do they?

Republicans still think if they find female mouthpieces to spout their crap, they’ll endear themselves to women voters. And they have no idea how insulting that is.

Wendy Davis galvanized more women voters than any S.E. Cupp repeating Frank Luntz-written talking points ever will.

11 Comments

Filed under feminism, reproductive rights, Republican Party, women's rights

First Draft Tuesday

North Dakota’s Anti-Woman Dystopian Horror Show.

2 Comments

Filed under abortion, feminism, women's rights

The Latest Crazy Wingnut Theory About Lady Parts

Jesus, but what is it with wingnuts and their crackpot scientific theories totally bizarre-o world ideas about how women’s bodies work? I just saw this item (h/t to Wonkette) and I want to scream.

Without further ado:

Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.

“Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother,” Pedulla said. “They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.”

Studies show that women using contraceptives consider pregnancy more unwanted than wanted, he said.

Ummm … DUH!!! That’s the point of being on contraception, you idiot!!!

“Studies show”? Really, you needed a study for that? And this is how you conclude that motherhood is “a natural part of women’s identities?” Seriously? You can just stuff that crap where the sun don’t shine, genius.

This brilliance all came from one Dr. Dominic Pedulla, who requested legislation in Oklahoma banning the Obamacare contraception mandate. The damn thing probably isn’t even legal but he found a like-minded nimrod named Senator Clark Jolley to write one up. This being Oklahoma, of course, it passed the committee and will go to the full state Senate.

Pedulla is supposedly a cardiologist but I looked him up and he actually works at one of those varicose vein centers where rich ladies go to get their legs restored to youthful beauty. He also started something called the Edith Stein Foundation, because he apparently cares about women’s dignity, but actually he just really really really hates birth control. From the Edith Stein Foundation website:

In 1968, an Italian scholar predicted that if contraception were to become a cultural norm, four things would result: a general lowering of moral standards, an increase in promiscuousness and infidelity, a rise in the disrespect men have for women, and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments. Strikingly, in the more than forty years since that portentous prognosis, all four of these have been realized. Social science not only shows it, but is showing the connection between a contraceptive culture and the social maladies of our day.

What’s more, medical research has shown and is continuing to show the far reaching ill effects of all methods of contraception. Not many people have heard about the 1968 predictions, and the growing body of evidence against contraceptives. For the dignity and health of women, this has got to stop. This is where the Edith Stein Foundation comes in to educate, advocate, research, connect, and heal.

So in short, contraception is evil. We get it. He doesn’t mention who this “Italian scholar” is, but I’d bet anything he’s talking about Pope Paul VI, who issued an encyclical against birth control in 1968.

I love the Edith Stein Foundation’s “Mission Statement”:

To advocate the dignity of women through fostering a non-contraceptive culture.

Sure, ’cause nothing says “dignity” like some man telling me what’s good for me.

Fuck you, “Dr.” Pedulla. I don’t need you to tell me what my identity is. I’ve got a pretty good handle on that with no help from you. What absolute gall you have to try to wrap your antiquated, oppressive views about women in some kind of feminist package. We aren’t that stupid.

18 Comments

Filed under birth control, feminism, women's rights

Guess Who Went To The Doctor Today

Last week I went to the dentist. Today I went to my ob/gyn for my annual.

These days, any trip to the doctor is an infuriating, exasperating traipse through our screwed up healthcare system. And I’m a really healthy person, with really good insurance. Still, red tape and insurance bullshit manages to piss me off every damn time.

I had already decided I was going to ask my doctor about the mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound bills currently making their way through the legislature, in particular, the deafening silence from the medical community and ob/gyn’s in general on this and other issues affecting women’s healthcare. But dang, before I could even get to that we got in a debate about socialized medicine.

It started when she told me she wouldn’t perform the ol’ “blood in the stool” test, aka the FOBT, which I’ve had done routinely for 30 something years. This was because, she said, “BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee no longer covers it.” Lovely. I repeat: not because I didn’t need it, but because insurance wouldn’t cover it. And that, she said, was because over the past few years insurance has routinely been paying for fewer and fewer things.

This test is an easy, cheap way to detect colorectal cancer. But hey, I’m over 50 now, it’s not like colon cancer is a concern for us olds, right?

Don’t answer that.

It doesn’t matter because she said I need to think about getting a colonoscopy at some point, since I’m an olds, and of course it’s a better diagnostic test. Now, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee only pays for one every 10 years if the first one comes back clean. So let’s hope I don’t develop anything in the decade in between tests because apparently I’d have no fucking way of knowing about it.

Okie dokie, let’s hope what I don’t know won’t kill me! Thank you, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee! May you all get colorectal cancer and die an excruciating, miserable death.

Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about bureaucrats coming between me and my doctor. I’m dying to hear.

So then we both commiserated about how awful insurance was. I asked her which insurance company was the best in terms of coverage, since she dealt with so many. She said none of them, they’re all bad. Okay, I said, fine, then why don’t we ditch them all and go to socialized medicine?

“Oh, no! That’s worse,” she said. In England, she said, whether you have a hangnail or cancer, you’re put into the system at the same place. In other words, serious health issues aren’t given any more priority than minor ones. She heard this from a patient who lived in London for two years. Her patient, however, was considered a “guest of the country” and was put to the top of the list, she explained. (I’m a little unclear how the patient would know, plus if that were true, wouldn’t there be astronomical cancer fatality rates there? Which doesn’t seem to be happening.)

“That’s certainly not what my Canadian friends have told me,” I said. “I don’t know about England, but they told me in Canada if something’s seriously wrong, you’re priority. It’s true you might have to wait longer for routine stuff, but heck, I made this appointment a year ago!” It’s true, I had.

“Oh no,” my doctor responded, wagging her finger at me. “I know someone who lives in Vancouver and when she needed something done she went to Seattle.”

Clearly we weren’t getting anywhere, trading our stories about “people we knew.” What I did say was, what do we do? This can’t be the best there is. What we’re doing now isn’t working, too many people are uninsured, and the poor are suffering the most.

“Oh, the poor have TennCare,” she said.

And so it went. Clearly my doctor didn’t know the first thing about people who weren’t her patients. She worked at a nice office in the heart of Nashville’s central healthcare campus, not the Vine Hill or Downtown clinics. Her clients weren’t the uninsured or marginalized. Nor did she know anything about what was happening in the state legislature. I asked her if she was aware that there were bills in the legislature requiring women to get an ultrasound before receiving an abortion.

“Really?!” She seemed genuinely surprised. Jesus, lady! I wanted to scream. You’re a gynecologist! This is your field! Don’t you pay attention to what legislators are doing affecting your own business?

I asked if there was any medical reason why this procedure would be necessary. “They need to do it,” she said, “to determine the age of the fetus.”

“But what if a woman is positive that it’s within the first trimester?”

“They still need to do it, to make sure.”

“To make sure?”

“To make sure she’s telling the truth.”

Wow. So we have this law to mandate a diagnostic procedure because women are liars. Got that, ladies? The government thinks you’re all liars, just like with all of that “legitimate rape” stuff, and so they need to check up on you with a diagnostic tool whose sole function is to make sure you’re telling the truth.

Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about your belief in “small government.” I’m dying to hear.

Keep in mind, I was just told I wouldn’t get a routine colon cancer diagnostic because my insurance won’t pay for it.

Like an idiot, I asked my doctor if she performed abortions. She told me no.

“Does anyone here perform them?”

“No.”

“So where does someone go if they need one? Someone with insurance, who can afford it, where do you refer them?”

“Planned Parenthood, I guess,” my doctor answered. “Or Atlanta.”

Keep in mind, Nashville is a healthcare city. Healthcare is one of the largest industries here. We have several major hospitals here. The Nashville Chamber of Commerce proudly touts how healthcare contributes $30 billion to the local economy and creates over 210,000 jobs. But that’s all bullshit. None of that matters if you’re a woman who needs an abortion. For that, you go to Atlanta.

I asked why, although I already knew the answer. But I wanted to hear her say it. And she did. It’s just too controversial, she said. “It’s the religious people, they don’t want it,” she said. Insurance won’t pay for it. Hospitals don’t want to have anything to do with it. And finally she said, “doctors have been killed.”

I’m sure “the religious people” will be thrilled to learn they have successfully intimidated doctors in Nashville into not performing abortions. What’s sad is that Nashville is touted as being a progressive city, a patch of blue surrounded by a sea of red. But we’re still a city where women are second-class citizens because our healthcare needs aren’t treated equally.

It’s not just abortion. My doctor told me that as of January 2009, she can’t perform tubal ligations at Baptist Hospital. Baptist is one of the major hospitals here in Nashville and in 2002 Baptist merged with St. Thomas, another major player, so both are now under the Ascension Health umbrella, which is a Catholic non-profit. I had read that because religious hospitals all receive federal funds, they had to offer some kind of “secular floor,” where stuff the Catholics find religiously offensive can be done.

“It was a room, not a floor,” my doctor told me. “A separate room.” And the nurse technician that would assist her had to clock out, clock in again for the hour of surgery, and clock back out again, so she could be paid out of separate, non-religious funds. But as of January 2009, that room is no longer there. Someone who is not a Catholic will nonetheless have their medical choices made by the Catholic church.

Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about your belief in “religious freedom.” I’m dying to hear.

This is all just so crazy to me. I didn’t intend to write a novel, but we just covered so much ground. What I wanted to know is why the medical profession hasn’t spoken up as the state house and senate legislate their profession. I mean, good lord, every time something happens in Washington we have a flurry of industry associations and phony astroturf groups telling us why it’s a bad idea. Where’s the TN Medical Assn.? Besides offering “doctor of the day” volunteers and lobbying for tort reform, I mean. It seems they haven’t spoken up because the just don’t know or don’t care.

I asked my doctor why people in her profession didn’t speak out. And she said it’s because nothing was ever going to change. That was just it, it’s too big, too hard, too controversial. It’s not going to change. I was so outraged. I just refuse to believe nothing will ever change. I said, what if people said that back in the days of Jim Crow? We’d still have black hospitals and white hospitals. Yes, she said. You’re right. And that was that.

It was the most disheartening conversation I’ve ever had. Apparently the doctors just can’t be bothered. I mean, I don’t know what else to say and I’m way beyond needing to wrap this up. But I guess I had somehow thought that doctors cared about their patients’ healthcare. Silly me.

27 Comments

Filed under abortion, birth control, Blue Cross, health insurance, healthcare, Nashville, women's rights

Birth Of A Meme

Congratulations, America! On January 10 the dying institution known as the liberal media coughed out a bouncing baby meme for your enjoyment! Let us welcome this 15-pound whopper! It is adorable!

Apparently, according to the mainstream press, President Obama has “got a diversity problem.” This seems to be due to the fact that he’s nominating a man for Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton. I mean, I’m trying to think of the reaction if he nominated a woman to lead the Department of Defense, anyone want to hazard a guess? Women still can’t serve in combat, and we’ve got Republicans who think a woman on the front lines would “impair missions” because of lady parts and upper body strength and all. I think a female Defense Secretary would be a non-starter, but then, what do I know.

The “diversity problem” meme seems to have started at the New York Times, which ran a photo in which only Valerie Jarrett’s leg is visible. Hey, if you hide the one woman in the room behind a white guy then yes, you may have a point! Fail.

Anyway, the story has been picked up far and wide now. I’ve seen “Obama’s diversity problem” mentioned on CNN and MSNBC today, and the right-wing media is all over it, too. It’s the perfect talking point for conservatives, who are trying desperately to mask the Republican Party’s own unbearable all-white-male problem. And if there’s one thing conservatives love to do when faced with their own misdeeds and failings is point their fingers at the left and say, “see! You did it too!”

By the way, how many non-white, non-male House committee chairs did John Boehner appoint for the new Congress? That would be zero. How much tsk-tsking did the New York Times, CNN and MSNBC do on the all-white, all-male committee chairs? That also would be zero — or at least, if there was any, I missed it.

Also, these scolds have failed to mention that Obama’s first choice for Secretary of State was an African American woman. Woops. As Joan Walsh pointed out:

It’s rich when the very forces that made sure we didn’t have an African-American woman secretary of state complain that our first black president’s Cabinet lacks diversity. But that’s what they’re doing.

Y’all know that Obama is half white, right? I guess it’s his white half making the cabinet appointments in his second term.

/sarcasm

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this meme came straight from the Frank Luntz School of Republican Talking Points, fully vetted and tested by an array of (all white, all-Republican) focus groups. It’s just shocking when the so-called “liberal media” repeats this crap, but if there’s one thing we know about the “liberal media,” it’s that they are desperate to not appear “in the tank” for Obama. The media is and always has been totally fascinated with all things Republican, as the make-up of any Sunday morning panel shows. Back when Bush The Lesser was president we were told, it’s because Democrats aren’t in power. Now we’re told it’s because we’re not in the opposition. Can’t win for losing.

So, yes. Well played, Republicans.

9 Comments

Filed under Media, President Barack Obama, racism, women's rights

Today’s Anti-Abortion WTF Moment

I ask you, who does this?

original

Unbelievable. I don’t think there’s enough irony in the world for this marketing ploy to make sense. Either this dry cleaners’ is cluelessly unaware of the historic, documented impact of anti-abortion laws, or else they are aware of it and are just being cruel. According to the story, Cincinnati’s Springdale Dry Cleaners has been getting negative publicity (and losing customers) over this since 2010. So I’ll take cruel.

Assholes.

4 Comments

Filed under abortion, women's rights