Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
His music has stood the test of time for me much in the way Prince's music has. It's still relevant and FUN!!! I was entertained by him. I was, like so many others my age, drawn to his sparkle, his crotch-grabbing, hotter than hot dance moves. He was a one gloved, military jacket and skinny pants sporting, kicking it in his penny loafers pop singer. He was the curly-headed everything!!!And, his songs were the greatest of their time, maybe of anytime in the history of pop music. He was the King of Pop. He gets center-stage today because I am very moved by the suddenness of how he died, and I feel a lot of compassion for his children, his family, his friends, and for him.
In 1982 I was a 12 year-old kid in the middle of rural Wisconsin with some birthday money and a record player and Thriller is what I bought. What I played over and over and over again, much to my father's chagrin. I danced his dances, and I moonwalked (badly)all over the basement. Other music has had a great impact on me for sure, but this was my first album, and boy was it a doosey. The energy, the music, the poppiness of it. Wow.
Michael Jackson was to Generation X, what the Beatles were for our parents. He transformed us.
He was also human, and in the public's view he did a lot of weird stuff, stuff we don't understand, stuff that may have harmed others....children. We don't know the reality of his life. I'm not suggesting guilt or innocence, but I do know he brought a certain kind of joy to my life and broke down racial barriers for entertainers to come. That is what I appreciate about Michael Jackson, and how I will remember him.
Feministing.com has some pretty smart takes on the impact Michael has had on our society, and, in turn what that society has done to him.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Governor Mark Sanford's Affair|
UPDATE: Farah Fawcett has passed away.
The Supreme Court has done something right. The Arizona teen who was strip-searched in her school for allegedly having ibuprofen has been vindicated partially. Notably, Justice Clarence Thomas (our favorite) was the only judge who dissented when 8 other SCOTUS justices deemed this action illegal, saying (and I am paraphrasing) the school had the right [to strip search] and that she wouldn't be the first person to hide drugs (!) in her underwear.
In a dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas found the search legal and said the court previously had given school officials "considerable leeway" under the Fourth Amendment in school settings.
Officials had searched the girl's backpack and found nothing, Thomas said. "It was eminently reasonable to conclude the backpack was empty because Redding was secreting the pills in a place she thought no one would look," Thomas said.
Clarence Thomas! How is this OK??? At all.There were no ibuprofen found on her person, or in her underwear. She was 13 years old at the time. 13!!! The court also ruled the school couldn't be sued for this gross violation. With my hero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justices John Paul Stevens dissenting from the portion of the ruling saying that Wilson could not be held financially liable.
From Huffington Post: Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the portion of the ruling saying that Wilson could not be held financially liable. "Wilson's treatment of Redding was abusive and it was not reasonable for him to believe that the law permitted it," Ginsburg said.
The case is Safford Unified School District v. April Redding, 08-479.
Well, like Governor Sanford, I have also been a little bit absent. But only from this blog and not from my spouse. I am confidant when asked of my whereabouts that my mate would know where I was. Well, mostly. He did call me to talk about a record during my doctor's appointment this morning. But, in his defense it's one he has been looking for for a long time. Night of the Living Dead on vinyl. Hello. This is important.
Where have I been? I've been doing summer-type things with my husband-o and my kidd-o for the last week and a half and haven't really sat down to blog about anything including the illustrious Governor from South Carolina, the Iranian revolution, Obama's Health Care Plan, DOMA, DADT, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, GAY PRIDE, or anything else. I have been eating, working, vacationing, reading, writing, and tending to my sick dog. (He has lymes, and ear infection, and a slammed-in-the-door-tail--OUCHIE!!!)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
(AP photo of Iranian protesters)
I hope I don't come across as an ignorant tool, but I don't really know much about Iran, but I would like to.
It makes you pause when hundreds of thousands of people turn out to protest an election of a hard-line holocaust denier like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and then people start getting shot and suddenly Western news reporters are banned from reporting on the unrest.
Something, indeed, is going on here. That link is all in Arabic, but I think HuffPo has it translated. From what they say though, it's mostly pictures and not any new news.
Fivethirtyeight breaks down the numbers, here.
As I stated above I am not nearly informed enough on gender and Iran, Iranian/Persian culture, politics, and Middle Eastern culture in general, etc. I have decided to take on a mini project of learning more about Iran, specifically. I have a few links about some books that I've read, and some that I would like to read. If you can recommend any reading, videos, blogs, etc., by all means do:
Persepolis, first a book, now a movie, by Marjane Satrapi- a graphic novel memoir of her childhood before and after the 1979 revolution. It's brilliant! There is a part 2 which I haven't read yet, but the first book was engaging written and illustrated.
According to Wikipedia the real Persopolis was the ceremonial city of the Persian Empire during
the Achaemenid dynasty.
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I know this book has been taught in a lot of classes and read in a lot of book clubs, but it's really fantastic, if you haven't read it, go out and get it soon. It's worth a re-read too!
An interesting article on distinguishing Islam from Muslims from Middle East Online.
Friday, June 12, 2009
It's true, this week's Friday Feminist Super Heroes are real people who are great at doing what you do to expose us to important issues around gender and sexuality and more! You write about gender in ways that make us think; you make us laugh, you make us cry, you post videos, you post images, you reveal the personal, the funny, the tragic, and the insane. You have differing opinions; you like to provoke, to pontificate, and you admit it when you've effed up (well, some of you do). You are my friends, and people I don't even know, and you deserve some B-52s and some cupcakes for all of your awesomeness! Look to the blogroll for the Friday Feminist Super Hero Nearest You!
UPDATE: I had to remove the video because Real Player was causing problems!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
There's been a whole lot of seriousness on this blog this week. What with all the murders, mayhem & foolishness going on. I think it's time to listen to a little Public Image Ltd (PIL)! "Anger IS an energy," after all. (thanks to my sweetie for reminding me to lighten up! and for remembering this video)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
CNN reports the security officer "Stephen Tyrone Johns, a six-year veteran of the museum's security staff, later "died heroically in the line of duty," said Sara Bloomfield, museum directors"
The number of attacks by right-wing extremists is growing. These extremists seem to be emboldened by the horrific actions of the insane perpetrators like von Brunn and Scott Roeder and are taking their deranged fantasies to the next level.
We need to stand in solidarity not only with those who have been attacked and their families but with each other as well. We are stronger and braver than these motherfuckers.
We need to come together and demand better police protection for clinics, and enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. We need to demand answers from our representatives when law enforcement fails to protect and demand that we, as a nation, recognize that murdering doctors in their church qualifies as a terroristic activity.
Murdering guards while they are doing their job guarding a sacred and vital place is also a terroristic activity. My heart goes out to the family of Stephen Tyrone Johns and I hope this madness stops now.
I am not 100% comfortable in delving into all the details of my life on my blog, but I would feel fundamentally dishonest and remiss while writing and blogging about expanding the Feminist dialogue and growing the message and not sharing a few fundamentals as to why I am here in the first place.
I don't feel obliged to reveal all that is personal, but I think it's important discuss how the heteronormative patrirachical paradigm doesn't fit for us. I think it's real important. I have had my teeth kicked in a few times (metaphorically) when the personal and the political have converged in my life, but I am going to keep trying to find the balance because I believe in walking the walk and talking the talk.
I have two children. One daughter. One son. My daughter doesn't live with me full-time. Gasp! Shock! Horror! What? Who is this devil woman and what has she done to get her kid taken away? Gack! Non-custodial mothers aren't really welcomed with open arms into this society. We get instant judgement and very personal questions about our rights where our children are concerned. We are conditioned in our society to expect that all mothers live with their children and that if they don't, it must be for some horrible reason caused by the mother who is ultimately Not Good Enough. These women must not have the "mothering gene." They must have done something bad to not live with their children.
During the last election I was writing about why it was important to have adequate and accessible healthcare. I wrote about my daughter who has severe medical issues. I worried that I was sharing too much information, but I also trusted my 3 readers with this information because I had something to say about the personal being political. Now, I have something to say again about her. About me. About us. I love my daughter like a knife in the heart, it is both beautiful and terrible and without the emotional support of my wonderful husband, and our beautiful son, she and I might still be lost. I owe them both a lifetime of gratitude for loving me and loving her. Even though she only comes to us on the weekend. And those weekends are filled with managing her care.
My daughter has cerbral palsy and is quadrapalegic. She can't talk, walk, go to the bathroom, write her name, or say "Mama." And, that is the very tip top of the ice berg. I am just going to say that when I divorced my ex-husband 12 years ago (geez!) my daughter was living with me full time and going to see her dad on the the weekends. But, she had so many health concerns and then both my parents who were my main support got sick in the same year. Really sick. With MS, and heart failure, and they couldn't help me anymore. Just like that. I had no one. Her home caregivers would quit without notice. I missed a lot of work due to doctor appointments, hospitalizations, and no child care, and I was always on warnings at my job because even though my employer knew of my daughter's severe medical condition, I didn't qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act because I hadn't worked there for a whole year, and they were not about to concede that to me.
I felt like I was going crazy. I was emotionally and physically exhausted all the time. She had sleeping and eating problems. As in she threw up everything she ate and she wouldn't sleep. At all. She was five years-old, and I was rocking her for hours on end through the night. Every night. When she went to her dad's on the the weekend I would wake up all night thinking I heard her crying. I was feeling more than fragile. I was feeling hopeless as though our future would be only doctor appointments and sleeplessness. Forget trying to heal from the pain of divorce and hospitalized parents and keeping a job that was always in danger.
My ex-husband had more support from his family, including his new wife. My daughter went to live with him. She got a grant from his county for her wheelchair and walker. And, then she was registered for school in his town. I wanted to leave the Midwest. Her dad and I split custody. I left for Arizona to find us a new place to live and left her with her father so I could find my way back to being her mother and get a little bit of sleep. I came back after two agonizing months of guilt, shame, doubt, and missing her, and she was doing better and was going to school, and had more help based on her residency so she stayed with him. He had two more girls, and I got married and had the Kid, and 13 years later we're in a routine that seems to work for all of us.
Being a mother who doesn't live with her kid is beyond "NOT" easy. In hospitals nurses and doctors often talk to her stepmother first, her teachers don't remember that I share joint custody, and I have to explain to strangers often, without telling too much, why she doesn't live with me.
Katy Read writes in Brain, Child on "Mothering from Afar,"
“You can’t believe the discrimination and bias that people have toward you,” says Voichescu, who now carries around laminated copies of her custody papers wherever she goes. “It’s like you are an alien.”
Noncustodial mothers like Voichescu might feel like cultural oddities, but they are actually far from alone. There are about 2.2 million noncustodial mothers in the United States, according to the most recent U.S. Census records. The reasons women live apart from their children are many, of course, including a move, a job, family preference, a prison sentence, or a court order. Some noncustodial mothers live near their children; some live in different cities or states or countries (the last group includes women who come to the United States from other countries to work as nannies or maids in order to support children they’ve had to leave back home).
Some women retain the right to share physical custody of their children, even if they choose to live elsewhere and not exercise it. Some share legal custody—that is, they retain the right to make decisions on behalf of their children, even if they don’t live together. And some have neither.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
The Supreme dimissed a case against the Military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy."
From CNN: During the presidential campaign last year, President Obama said he supported throwing out the federal law [of Don't ask Don't Tell]but has taken no specific action on the controversy.
The Justice Department said in a high court filing the law was "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion."
The Obama administration had asked the high court not to take the case, and White House officials had said they would not object to homosexuals being kicked out of the armed services.
Gays and lesbians can only get married in 6 states (tenuously, because who knows when the public will be asked to vote against the constitution again). And, we continue to breed a culture of lies by saying you can't be honest about yourself and serve your country at the same time. What a bunch of hypocritical bullshit.
In other news:
Hook-ups are on the rise. Oh Noes. People are having sex out there! WTF NPR??
Cue: Marvin Gaye!
Domestic Violence is also on the rise in St. Paul and elsewhere in this economic downturn.
IF YOU NEED HELP IN MINNESOTA OR ANYWHERE ELSE
Call Lewis House in Eagan, MN (651-452-7288) or Hastings (651-437-1291). Phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Community Action Council's phone lines also are open 24 hours a day: 952-985-5300.
Or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
If it's a medical emergency, dial 911.
TO HELP OTHERS
Donate to the Community Action Council by visiting communityactioncouncil.org or calling 952-985-5300.
To volunteer at Lewis House, visit the council's Web site or call 952-985-4020.The Domestic Violence Resource Center out of Oregon has some sobering and horrifying statistics on Domestic Violence.
On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men.
(Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)
WTF, people!!?? Don't hurt each other. Get help!!!!
Euna Lee and Laura Ling, US Journalists, were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea. The Huffington post writes: "North Korean guards arrested Ling and Lee near the China-North Korean border on March 17. The two were reporting about the trafficking of North Korean women at the time of their arrest, and it's unclear if they strayed into the North or were grabbed by aggressive border guards who crossed into China. A cameraman and their local guide escaped."
Kim Yong-hyun, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University, said the 12-year sentence _ the maximum allowed under North Korean law _ may have been a reaction to recent "hard-line" threats by the U.S., including possible sanctions and putting North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.
But he predicted the journalists' eventual release following diplomatic negotiations.
"The sentence doesn't mean much because the issue will be resolved diplomatically in the end," Kim said.OKAY. I like that there might be an optimistic outcome and that you have to get the legal process has to get out of the way first. But, it's easy to say the sentence doesn't mean much, UNLESS YOU HAVE JUST BEEN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS HARD LABOR IN A HOSTILE COUNTRY WITH NO DIPLOMATIC TIES TO ANYWHERE!
WTF?! Dude. Those women are probably terrified. And, you're saying it doesn't mean much!!!
The NY Times has a few more details on this case.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Apply to the following and more:
I will survive this abortion
I will survive losing my job
I will survive my divorce
I will survive my employer not giving me equal pay for equal work
I will survive my state voting to exclude my right to marry who I choose
I will survive this discrimination of my gender/race/sexual orientation/able-bodiedness
I will survive the unaffordable costs of childcare/healthcare/mortgage/rent/food
I will survive the stigma of mental illness
I will survive the religious right and their agenda to control my body/mind/life
Friday, June 5, 2009
Which leads me to Survival of the Feminist's Friday Feminist Super Hero
The criteria is: 1) Feminist 2) Super 3) I like them 4) Friday.
I am really grooving on the news around Sonia Sotomayor's nomination by President Obama lately. The NY Times has a couple of articles on her today. Conservative white guys are all in tither about her statements of valuing her gender and heritage and saying something like "a wise Latino woman would make a better decision than a white man would." She has been explaining the relevance of that statement all week as the talking heads of Conservative TV and Radio have been jumping all over it and calling her a "reverse racist." And, does the White House back her up? Not totally. They say those were an "unfortunate choice of words." WTF, Barack?
That got me to thinking about who the inaugural FFSH should be. During lunch with my bosses yesterday, we were talking about Sotomayor and how Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently the lone woman on the bench of SCOTUS and Bader Ginsbnurg has an ENORMOUS contribution to fighting gender discrimination and reading her dissent out loud to the court.
The Friday Feminist Super Hero is: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg!!! YAY!!!
From the NY TIMES:
And again from the NY TIMES:
Justice Ginsburg has generally been a quiet presence on the court, both in her demeanor during arguments and in her opinions. But in 2007, as the Court moved to the right following the replacement of Justice O'Connor by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., she wrote a series of stinging dissents, and took the unusual step of reading two of them from the bench.
In one case, in which the court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act seven years after having struck down a similar state law, she noted that the court was now "differently composed than it was when we last considered a restrictive abortion regulation." In a discrimination case involving a woman who had been paid less than her male peers, she summoned Congress to overturn what she called the majority's "parsimonious reading" of the federal law against discrimination in the workplace.
And, that is why, my friends Justice Ginsburg is the inaugural FFSH!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Survival of the Feminist blog is really important to me but I had too much going on at once to pay appropriate attention to it. Y'all don't want to hear all my excuses about being overwhelmed by kids, work, school, projects, dog, fiction reading, writing, Facebook, and watching Clean House, etc., etc. So, let's get down to brass tacks and pretend like the first few posts were really previews of the brilliance to come and this is the launch of a new era of Feminist writing! Yay! Also, I am really a humorist at heart, and I like feminism and humor together, but some things just aren't funny. Like misogyny. Like murdering doctors and trying to deprive women of their right to health care. Racism, sexism, discrimination, and idiocy in the name of religion are not funny to me either. Although I may at times have something funny to say about them. So, say goodbye to Mme Piggy, and hello to Survival of the Feminist!
(Cue Gloria Gaynor)
Topics of interest that SoF is thinking of and reading about this week:
Abortion & Reproductive Health:
How the murder of Dr. George Tiller impacts black women. There is so much to say about this horrific crime! It breaks my heart!
Slate has a great article up about financial assistance for women who need health care! Please donate!
I am donating to Medical Students for Choice!
Discover magazine writes on Abortion and the Architecture of Reality
Death and Change:
Blues Genius Koko Taylor has passed away.
20 years ago today this happened:
Changes and Challenges & the Law:
Supreme Court Justice Nominee Sonia Sotomayor
June Third became National Fist Bump Day!
Silence is the Enemy: Bloggers against Rape and Sexual Violence
Feminist Law Professors
New Hampshire Loves the Gays!
Humor, Art, Pop Culture, Blogs:
Guerrilla Girls are just awesome
Little Junkies writes about cool chicks on TV
fbomb blogs for teens and feminism. The fbomb is the bomb!
Well, I could keep going, but we want to save some for tomorrow. Welcome back, me.