Tag Archives: Feminism

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.

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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

Blind Fox News Squirrel Finds Nut.

12 Comments

Filed under feminism, FOX NEWS, Media

Don’t Know Much About Biology

I can’t imagine why Republicans have a woman problem with idiots like Erick Erickson spouting insane shit like this:

“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complimentary role.”

Actually, no. Not even close, idiot.

Erickson, who shared these pearls of wisdom in an all-male panel discussion about working women on Loud Obbs, is showing his remarkable ignorance of science, evolution, and the natural world — not to mention history and anthropology. He’s pathetically trying to shoe-horn his right-wing ideology exactly where it doesn’t belong, and he’s making an ass of himself. May I suggest another place to put that ideology? Some place dark, moist, and not all that pleasant-smelling?

The one thing any observer of the natural world knows is that the animal kingdom is marked by its diversity. Boy Biologist Erick’s first mistake was to open his yap and say “typically” in regards to the natural world. Because nothing is typical in nature. No such thing, Boy Biologist. But Erick seems to think because male homo sapiens are physically larger than females, every species is that way. His second mistake was to equate size with dominance — something else not borne out in the natural world. Sometimes, but not always. Especially not when dealing with species such as humans, with our ginormous brains and all.

Let’s start at the bottom of the food chain for an example. That would be the male spider, frequent post-coital meal of the larger, more dominant female spider. Or let’s look at fish. Did you know that all clownfish are born male? And the most dominant male clownfish becomes female? True story. It appears a male clownfish’s highest aspiration is to be female. Suckit, Boy Biologist.

The animal kingdom is filled with examples of female-dominant sexual dimorphism. And in many animal species, it’s not just size which matters: it’s social order and behavior, too. Look at hyenas, where females have all the power — and it’s inherited, regardless of other hyenas’ age or size. Even in primates, female dominance is prevalent.

But silly me. Boy Biologist Erickson and his friends at Loud Obbs don’t care about science. They are anti-science, we all know it. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t keep opening their yaps and letting all the stupid fall out.

Here’s some science for you guys. This one comes from the Southern Beale archive:

You know, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have my reproductive organs flying around loose in the breeze where any predator, fungus or hunting accident could come along and snip it all off, making me evolutionarily irrelevant. That’s a hard burden to bear, a not-so-subtle reminder of how biologically dispensable you guys really are. There are always more males out there willing to spread their seed; it’s the female of the species who carries the burden of the species’ survival. We’re the ones who not only bear the young but care for them as well.

This isn’t me talking feminist claptrap, this is basic evolutionary biology: the bird that’s going to get snapped up at the feeder is the bright red highly visible male cardinal, not the drab brown female blessed with a natural protective camouflage. She’s more important in the grand scheme, which is why she’s been given this protection. God I know that chaps y’all’s ass big time.

It’s the battle of the sexes, played out over thousands of years. Men are bigger and stronger and take down a mammoth but for all your bravado it’s we women who keep the species going. And you’re just dying to control that, too.

Sorry, fellas. I love you, I really do. But when it comes to science and stuff? You’re sorta disposable. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to retire to Amazonia, I’m just pointing out what we science-y types learned in evolutionary biology 101.

So yes, Republicans, do tell me how the war on women is all in our pretty heads and how you’re not anti-science. I’m all ears.

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Filed under conservatives, Erick Erickson, evolution, feminism

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

Dear Katherine Fenton: Please Pay Attention

Just to prove that I was 100% correct in this post, it appears that Katherine Fenton, the teacher who asked the question about gender pay equity which resulted in Romney’s “binders full of women” response, is still undecided!

Yes, it’s true. She told Andrea Mitchell she “wanted to know their future plans,” not what they’ve done in the past. I guess she hasn’t heard that old bromide that “past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.” But fair enough.

So I’m going to explain it to her very simply and carefully. Here we go.

Dear Ms. Fenton:

Mitt Romney’s solution to the gender pay gap is an executive Joy Book. President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law and made sure women don’t have to pay more for an insurance policy that covers their contraceptive needs. Because you shouldn’t have to pay more for your insurance policy just because you’re a woman.

It seems the choice is very simple. It also seems that one person answered your question Tuesday night and one person did not. So please pay attention because this shit is important.

Love,

Southern Beale

P.S. If, on the other hand, you’re justing holding out for a reality TV show and trying to milk your 15 minutes of fame for all it’s worth, never mind.

[UPDATE]:

The meme that wouldn’t die. This is just so hilarious, I had to share.

15 Comments

Filed under 2012 presidential election, feminism

Hands Off My Clam

I’d be a bad Nashvillian if I didn’t link to this:

(h/t, Juanita Jean)

3 Comments

Filed under abortion, birth control, feminism

Our Stupid Discourse, Cat Fight Edition

Oh sure, we all laughed when a week and a half ago Politico declared Ann Romney Mitt’s “secret weapon” and “the Romney Democrats fear most.” That was immediately followed by her astonishing “unzip Mitt” remarks, causing much hilarity in the blogosphere.

But the media establishment’s prophecy was fulfilled yesterday, wasn’t it? The attempt to turn Ann Romney into some kind of relatable Everywoman reached its fruition with the ginned-up Hilary Rosen flap; suddenly Rosen’s clumsy comment was manipulated into an attack on stay at home moms and the rabid right pounced.

Democrats are trying to unring this bell, but it ain’t happening. We’ll be hearing about this all weekend because the Republicans got their first win in the message wars in months, and they won’t be dropping it. Not when every poll shows Romney tanking with women voters. Finally, Republicans had an opportunity to steer the conversation away from the War On Women which, despite 135 actual laws passed in 2011 affecting women’s reproductive lives, the GOP could only lamely call “fake.” Now it’s been twisted into a “war on families” and “war on moms” (there’s now a #WarOnMoms hashtag on Twitter), dovetailing neatly with the GOPs framing of Democrats as anti-family, ready with the forceps to yank the fetus from every pregnant, white Christian woman they see.

This thing played out in predictable fashion: the right wing is reacting to something that was never said, just what they were told was said by those with an interest in stretching the truth. The media has thus far failed to distinguish between what was actually said and what the Republican Party wants them to think was said, because, Look! Shiny-sparkly horse-racey thingie over there! Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before.

The left is a little shocked at how readily the national punditry co-opted the Republican messaging here, but they shouldn’t be. The Republicans always have the Wingnut Wurlitzer ready to exploit the smallest slight. It just goes to show, the right-wing still rules the discourse. What Rosen actually said is that Mitt Romney is using his wife to inform him on women’s issues, when her life is no more typical of the average American woman’s than is his. That was completely distorted and manipulated into a non-existent attack on stay at home moms, something she never said. And we’re off to the races.

As fauxtroversies go, this one is playing out in all the predictable ways. Rosen apologized in less than 24 hours, President Obama and Joe Biden have both thrown Rosen under the bus, and the Wingnut Wurlitzer is continuing to push the story because, let’s face it, it’s the first lucky break the Romney campaign has had.

But it’s been fun to watch the right wingers milk this for all its worth, in sometimes astonishing ways. The Catholic League’s Twitter feed has been a predictable source of amusement. First we have the gay-bashing of lesbian mom Hilary Rosen:

Wait, what? We thought you guys loved adoption! After getting smacked for that one, the following Tweet struck me as odd:

Um … Simone de Beauvoir? The French intellectual who died nearly 30 years ago? This is relevant here how? Pretty sure most Americans think Simone de Beauvoir is either a brand of perfume or a former judge on American Idol.

Watching all of this play out yesterday I wondered how long before the Romney camp exploited this fauxtroversy for donations. The answer is, not long at all:

Wow, you just couldn’t have planned it any better than that. Personally, I don’t think this Everyman/Everywoman schtick is going to stick. I’m already seeing big push-back, because there was an underlying truth to Rosen’s comment that no Frank Luntz-approved messaging can disguise: the economic reality is that millions of women don’t have the choice to stay at home and raise their kids the way Ann Romney did.

Or, as Erin Gloria Ryan so succinctly put it:

I’ll celebrate the choice of the wife of a millionaire to stay at home and raise the kids like I’ll celebrate the winner of a yacht race or a polo match.

Ain’t that the truth.

11 Comments

Filed under 2012 presidential election, feminism