Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This is not a new sentiment. In fact, Ush stated that Castro was immortal long ago, right around 2003. Hell, he may still be immortal. However, today, there was the first sign of cracks in the armor. While my father and I discussed his reign, he was likely deciding to end it. Ding Dong, the Castro is gone. Bushido may be sad, but there is still no word on the reaction of the Cuban people.
Of course, he's not really out of power. Fidel will merely run the system while his
good brother Raul becomes the face of leadership for the nation. When Castro dies (or is frozen so that he may see the outcome of his revolution 1,000 years down the line), the American policy will likely stay the same.
-In other foreign policy news, Pakistan is on the brink of Democratically deposing Musharaff. The Las Vegas line on when the tanks roll is one week, a standard length of time for most Asian and Middle Eastern Revolts. On the other hand, the newly US recognized independent state of Kosovo is already on fire.
Why bother with coverage of world events? Nothing's going on today except for the primaries.
-Speaking of which, my pop and I got tickets to see Barrack Bahama Mama Obama Banana Rama Lama Ding Dong tonight at the Toyota Center. Obama has been focusing on the major Texas markets and inundating the airwaves and TV waves with commercials. The slogan is the same, over and over again: Change, Change, Change. I'm beginning to think he knows very little about policy. Then again, I don't really care if he does or not. What he does know about is how to please a crowd and run a political operation. Obama set up a Houston Volunteer Headquarters in my Testmaster's office, and they had about twenty phone lines and Wifi set up within a day. His speech tonight is in a place that holds 17,000 people.
The Clinton campaign is making campaign stops through small Hispanic towns in West Texas. She started in El Paso, a small media market that plays mostly to New Mexico and sparsely populated West Texas Villages. It's not even in the same time zone as the rest of the state.
Bill Clinton is giving a speech in a room at the Houston Hyatt tonight. The Hyatt can hold no more than 2,000 people. I'm aware he's not on the same level as Hillary at this point in history, but the size diffeence and capability is indicative of which campaign has its head on straight.
In 2004, John Kerry came to town and gave a speech in a room that could hold no more than 500 people. Thousands were turned away. Did his team plan ahead and ensure there could be space in the parking lot? No. Secret Service complications aside, talk about a cluster fuck. Clearly, John Kerry had no need for Texas, but there' hardly a reason to piss all over us. Besides, I'm sure he gave up some campaign contributions with such a stunt.
It's surprising to say, but the Clinton operation is old hat and no longer are its positions of attack valid in American politics. Obama has neutralized their methods of opposition. The Clinton White House and election team has always been spectacular when it comes to tactics and lacking when it comes to strategy. The problem is that when Teflon meets a wall with no cracks, it has difficulty slipping through. Obama for America is the hardest damn wall I've ever seen.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Is evil or unbelievably the most accurate word? Because that's obviously not a typo where granite meant to say "words".
Thank God Boomer is such a fantastic history scholar, because grammar sure as hell ain't his or her strong suit. I like many other who like ice cream. I, like many others, don't want a root canal. Do you understand the differences in those two sentences Boomer?
I bet I can't find something that makes this self-righteous screed look silly.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
While the politicians and pundits banter on (and that includes the Gil Meche crew), an interesting piece of information was released earlier today by the Associated Press. In spite of the previously released information of all private discussions between Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the foreign diplomats of their time, including the times that Nixon told Kissinger he didn't care about repression and the time that Nixon called the newspapers slut, and the time he badmouthed the Jews (in addition to all the other fun facts provided by this article).
Now we get to see the lighter side of beloved Communist Mao Zedong. In a society that can not trade currency, a new commodity rises to the top and becomes the most valuable.
"You know, China is a very poor country," Mao said, according to a document released by the State Department's historian office.
"We don't have much. What we have in excess is women. So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands."
A few minutes later, Mao circled back to the offer. "Do you want our Chinese women?" he asked. "We can give you 10 million."
After Kissinger noted Mao was "improving his offer," the chairman said, "We have too many women. ... They give birth to children and our children are too many.""It is such a novel proposition," Kissinger replied in his discussion with Mao in Beijing. "We will have to study it."
Mao, in spite of his ideology, understood supply and demand. The Chinese had plenty of women to offer and America held what might be referred to as an "ass vacuum". America in the 1970s can be likened to every sex, drugs and rock and roll reference ever introduced to us. This is how Americans remember time periods. They highlight the images they wish to remember and exploit them for cash and publicity. This image, in this case, is the one in which America believed it did not have enough T 'n A. Mao thought he could play to that idea, and Kissinger told him it wasn't a bad thought.
What Mao said was offensive... but it's almost a shock it didn't work. Bill Clinton risked his whole political career to get his dong badonked, and the guy that had immediately preceded Nixon in the White House was nailing every good looking face the grazed the beltway.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Now, Glenn doesn't get much play around here, probably because it would require me to listen to his radio show or watch his TV show without putting my fist or foot through either appliance. I've seen complaints about him around the internet, and I still rank the time he asked Keith Ellison if he was a terrorist as one of the worst television moments in the history of the medium. So you can only imagine his intellectually rigorous take on the economy.
Show me an economist who thinks that giving tax rebate checks to our poorest citizens is the best idea and I'll show you two economists who say that business tax cuts provide the most bang for the buck. Show me a statistic that proves stimulus packages keep an economy out of recession and I'll show you two that prove they do nothing but stimulate the deficit.
This is something that happens in the land we call "science" Glenn. People float theories and have disagreements. Do you have any examples of these economists or are you going to just move on to folksy aphorisms?
It reminds me of that old saying, "statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics"
That reminds me of an old saying, "Every right wing pundit pretends to be stupid because they think their listeners are."
because, when it comes to the economy, almost everyone is a liar.
Does this mean you're lying too Glenn Beck? Please God, don't let it be true!!!
Following this is a long story about FEMA and debit cards and Glenn finally gets to his idea to save the economy. Instead of spending a gazillion dollars to cut and print rebate checks that might not even get spent, give all taxpayers a debit card so they'll be forced to buy needless consumer goods. Hey look, it's interesting, and if the stimulus is going to basically be us dumping money out the window, maybe we should not also spend money to physically make checks. So, what's wrong with the article?
Just so we're clear, I actually hate this idea.
Sigh. I'm going to walk way for a second and see if that line disappears from the article.
Just so we're clear, I actually hate this idea.
Is that where we're at right now? Pundits have to be debating themselves because people are ignoring them? Does Glenn Beck have some kind of self-esteem issue that he has to immediately discount an idea that he brought up? What the hell has been gained or added to the debate if after putting forth an idea, you add the qualifier that you hate it? It's like telling someone about this really awesome ice cream flavor you're coming up with that's gonna have chocolate and a caramel ribbon and brownie pieces and maybe some peanut butter and a goofy name like "Chocolatepalooza" or "Ultra Super Duper Taste-o Supreme-o" and then you stop your excited patron and say, "But actually, to tell you the truth, it'll probably taste really bad."
So if everyone who talks about the economy is a liar, and you hate your own idea, what the fuck was the point of this article?
I believe the government should stay out of the way and let the markets correct themselves...But let's face it: the stimulus ship has sailed and I hate this idea a lot less than the one that was just jammed through Congress.
Instead of sticking to your guns and waiting for your invisible hand to rescue everyone, you're just capitulating and taking a side for the sake of taking a side? Get a backbone you putz, and stop wasting everyone's time. If total fucking assholes were meant to have access to national audiences, we'd have fat drug addicts and meathead knuckle draggers setting the talk radio agenda. And we know that's just not true.
It seems indeed my esteemed colleague and well respected theorist of both pot psychology (and no, that was not meant to say "pop") and apparently, feminist theory, has broken the discussion into enough pieces that we have a real focus. The first is Robin Morgan's assertions and tactics as a whole, the second is the focus of Hillary Clinton and the third is a discussion of racism vs. gender bias and their effects in America. There are several other tangents to be addressed afterwards, but first things first.
As for Robin Morgan, I still hate her. This sentiment, and the expression of it, rub against every one of the positive people theories abounding today. Hell, I'm almost finished with Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People and I know for a fact that flying off the handle at Morgan convinces roughly zero people to counter her assertions. Since this blog isn't meant to influence and I'm already talking to friends, though, I could care less. Honesty is the best policy, and the sympathy that arises in Pulp (and probably in our Token Feminist as well, although it is unstated in her post) for Morgan is one of respect for a once proud and now dying breed. I could see that angle if Morgan had been reduced to a shell of her former self, a mere shadow of the image that she once had as a secular crusader in a world where women's movements were even more required in order to slam patriarchy in its deserving gut. The problem is that Morgan is not a sadly fading Samurai; She's closer to an uncompromising hellbent, strap a bomb to the chest, blow up Barrack Obama and rationality on the way out the door, unadaptable dinosaur with a chip on her shoulder. In other words, she helps enforce Anti-Feminist Stereotypes the world over by spewing a liquid chemical combination of shit and fire in the direction of her enemy with little regard for nearby bystanders. Between Obama girl, every person who watches South Park, and more or less, everyone with a penis, Morgan leaves herself little in the way of friendship. She has narrowed that category to women that think she's not crazy, a group that is small and getting smaller.
So I do take issue with Robin Morgan's thoughtless, idiotic, enraged, poorly constructed, pathetic and self defeating attempt to defend an evil politician to whom she would like to make the face of a movement that should be something much greater. In fact, take that as an extra piece of icing and evidence of the case that modern feminism is reducing itself to a joke. If I don't "understand what it's like to be a woman" because I don't "understand why Morgan wants to defend" Hillary Clinton, than perhaps the contemporary Feminist Movement is a jumbled approach that's misunderstood because it's damn near impossible to understand. However, more on this later.
As for Hillary, there are several different types of people that hate her. For purposes of keeping this shorter than a book, we'll break them into two categories: Those that hate her because she is a woman, and everyone else. Oh sure, the second category lumps people like me unfairly into a group of (some) Republicans that (maybe) are not chauvinist. Even so, it will keep this a lot cleaner than it could be. There are plenty of reasons to hate Hillary Clinton aside from Misogyny.
This was actually central to a discussion held earlier today with my good (and only) Canadian friend Felicia. Felicia claims that a distaste for Clinton based on any trait aside from indisputable fact is so utterly subjective that we can never get to the bottom of it. Furthermore, she says that this position, due to it's impossibility of being analyzed and the subjectivity involved, opens the door to any person that feels this way actually being a sexist pig. I have two responses to such ideas. The first is an overarching argument that reducing everything in this world to subjective ideas scraps truth, definitions and debate. That could be countered by claiming true hatred of a politician should come from catching said politician in a trap of clear, objective lies. However, there is nothing wrong with reading body language, using intuition, finding sources of discomfort, and calling out politicians for what they cause as much as we do for what they stand for. Hillary causes shit, stands for shit, and deserves shit. None of that has a damn thing to do with her place as a woman.
I also still think her "Black Bastard" example is poor, though I think a better equivalent to "How do we beat the bitch?" might be "How do we beat the cock?" As such a minute piece of this larger equation, I'll actually drop that part out. The point is that Morgan would have lied, cheated, or stolen her way to the point of her argument, and in fact did just that.
So Morgan sucks. And Clinton sucks. But is gender bias worse than racism in the US? Probably so. Though interestingly enough, pay levels for Black women are now rising above White women. Analyze and interpret that how you would like.
For a direct relationship between this idea, the modern feminist movement as a whole and race relations, read this piece from Root.com, and remember Sister Souljah. That article is seriously one of the most spectacular I have seen written on the campaign.
So what is left is a Modern Feminist Movement that is an utter and complete failure, and what there is to do about that. First, we must approach why it has failed so far. Let us list:
1) Calling a Dog a Cat
Hillary Clinton is not a positive image for women everywhere. It's great to look ambitious and strong and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, the trash talk that comes with doing so is clearly sexist. But on to solutions later. Making Hillary the face of the movement is taking a centrist manipulator and claiming she's a left wing feminist hell bent on improving women's rights. All she wants to help is herself. So first and foremost, do not attach to bad leaders. Defending a strong woman because she's a strong woman is no better than defending a strong man because he's a strong man. Margaret Thatcher was horrid, but it would be hard to call her weak.
2) Taking on the Wrong Issues
Again, let's talk about the Augusta Golf Club. Ok, so it made headlines. It also caused two active-minded male college students that I know of groan in agony. I remember discussing with aforementioned Ush (who shall, if this continues, never escape his association with puke-covered bath mats) how the National Organization of Women was speedily decreasing its political power and relevance. So it's all good and fine to claim that they needed to make headlines, but there's a big issue with doing so. In Hollywood Public Relations, All publicity is good Publicity. In Politics, that's not the case. Ask John Kerry if the "flip-flop" publicity was good or bad for his 2004 effort. Ask how the meth and little boy publicity treated Ted Haggard. Ask Cynthia McKinney how she fared when she slammed the Jews. Granted, these people were wrong and NOW was probably right, but there are some battles out there that are not worth fighting and some that encourage negative public sentiment. The modern feminist movement tends to take on said battles. And THAT is stupid.
There's a counter to such a claim present on this board. Referenced here is the power of almighty feminist groups in their successful attempt to push the Clinton Administration into pulling it's recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate source of governmental power. Also referenced is the fight against Bush's Supreme Court Nominations. I have several direct responses to that. First and foremost, one of those fights (the first) was inconsequential because 1) It led to no true action b) Everyone in the country of Afghanistan with any true power is a hate mongering sunuvabitch. The Northern Alliance has been literally castrating people for decades, and the country, even after invasion, is divided into war-lord controlled territories. I suppose that's not really the fault of Women's Lib Groups, as they (clearly) don't control the nature of hierarchy, but there is yet another point to make... BILL CLINTON HASN'T BEEN IN OFFICE IN EIGHT YEARS! How does lobbying him to do ANYTHING increase the modern relevance of Feminism?
As for the second fight, I hate to point out that this was a failure. I would actually argue that there were plenty of liberal groups involved in the fight itself and I would not saddle modern feminism with that loss. I will say that there has been little progress since the March for Women's Lives, and there has been little progress in any liberal causes in recent years because they have the same problems that women's groups have had: Poorly chosen issues, poor Public Relations and attaching their cart to the stupidest horse in town. You need no more support than ANSWR's sponsorship of every major war rally. You could also just, you know, look at the radical activist kids of every major American college campus.
To claim that Modern Feminism is a success is to unabashedly drink Kool-Aid, and that Kool-Aid is not going to stop female genital mutilation, nor will it gain women respect in a Western culture that is opposed to even the basest level of acceptance. So don't set the movement back: FIX IT!
So how should that be done?
1) Pick Better Leaders
You want to pick a beloved face, a powerful queen who is beloved by almost all. Get yourself an Oprah. Find women from the Virginia Military Institute and put them in the papers to discuss how the institution has fared since its landmark court case. Talk to the National Council of Jewish Women to find a rights group that has actually been effective in forwarding feminist causes (it's not all they do, but they sure have accomplished a lot more than NOW has in the last decade).
2) Pick Better Causes
I don't have to tell any Feminists about truly important causes, but I will help with a few. Anyone notice how much press mistreatment of women in Iraq has received? Major news magazines and papers have been picking up the story the world over. Start charitable movements to help them, and let the press carry it out of control. That way, you manipulate the media monster in one of the few ways it can be used for good instead of evil. Hell, when we picketed the Supreme Court Freshman year while the Mrch of Life was happening, there was almost a riot. Who wound up on the cover of the Washington Post, the 10,000 pro-lifers or the 15 people we brought to the hill that day? That's right, it was us! Call it a win! That might have been in 2003, but it's a solid model. Pick the right battles, and fucking win them. When the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade comes around, picket the shit out of the Supreme Court, and make sure to be louder than the opposing force.
3) Break the Stereotypes
I know there has been plenty of talk about the hard-soft double standard, but there is a way to beat it. The women in Congress today have done it and they are probably the best to advise on how to do so. It is admittedly tricky, but the English language does no dictate that the terms "Strong" and "Caring" are mutually exclusive, so there is a message capable of breaking out of the pigeon-holing claim that women are either ice queens or softies (or in the bar scenes of America, bitches or sluts).
Hopefully, this was productive in some way. I think it was or I wouldn't have written it. I leave our readers (all ten of us... which is double what it once was) with one parting note (and shot, I guess, to be honest). Our Token Feminist wished that I was educated on the writings of Bell Hooks, but she did not have the time to do so. Well, contrary to popular belief, I read feminist literature. I read Bouvier because of the claim that I did not understand her. Bouvier would be appalled at today's women movements. I read Kinsey because of the claim that I would not understand the famous sex-gender study, and I think Kinsey is full of shit. Now I have read Bell Hooks, and I will let the good people of the Meche-ocracy decide if she is relevant to today's Feminist movement. I present "Penis Passion", an article by Hooks written for Shambhala Magazine in 2000. I'll step out of the way, and let Hooks take the lead in making the case for (against) herself.
"When women and men can celebrate the beauty and power of the phallus in ways that do not uphold male domination, our erotic lives are enhanced."
Working on a poem inspired by the joys of having sex in the world’s smallest study seated on an old-fashioned straight back chair painted red where I spend much of my time writing, I seek for words to describe the sensation of sitting in the lap of sweet lust moving my body back and forth against the deliciously hot moist penis of my off-and-on-again lover A. Among the penises I have looked upon and touched in this world, his gives me the greatest sense of delight. Yet finding words to describe the pleasure I feel, words that do not perpetuate conventional sexist thinking about the penis, are hard to come by.
Females finding and expressing delight in the male body was for such a long time utterly taboo. Before the contemporary feminist movement and sexual liberation, women did not say much in print about our feelings about the penis. No wonder, then, that when we finally gave ourselves permission to say whatever we wanted to say about the male body, about male sexuality, we were either silent or merely echoed narratives that were already in place.
In the late sixties and early seventies, heterosexual women active in the feminist movement often talked boldly and boastfully about the penis, using the same language of conquest sexist men used when talking about sexual pursuits. In those days in feminist consciousness-raising groups, we not only talked about how women had to become more comfortable with words like pussy and cunt. So that men could not terrify or shame us by wielding these words as weapons, we also had to be able to talk about cock and dick with the same ease. Sexual liberation had already told us that if we wanted to please a man we had to become comfortable with blow jobs, with going down, with the dick in our throat so far down it hurt. Surrendering our sexual agency, we had to swallow the pain and pretend it was really pleasure. Feminist interventions on the issue of sexuality, along with sophisticated birth control, changed that; it said to women who wanted to be with men that we had a right to define the place of pleasure for us and the will to claim our sexual rights. It let us know we did not have to consent to force or pretend to like pain. It let us know that the penis was not a one-eyed trouser snake in the garden of sexual bliss, threatening to turn our bodies into a place where pain defines, penetrates and punishes. We did not need to see it as the enemy. Like many young women who came of age in that intense ecstatic moment when sexual liberation and the feminist movement converged, I let go all the fear of the penis that had haunted my girlhood. These fears were rooted not in envy of the penis and the male body, but in rage that it had to be feared. In those days the message about the male body that females received loud and clear was that whether wanted or unwanted, penis penetration could change a girl’s life forever. She would never be the same; she would never be good again. I can remember the sheer bliss that sound birth control offered us. For it meant we did not have to fear the penis. We could embrace our curiosity about it, our wonder and our passion.
As a small girl I thought of the penis as a magic wand. It was magical because it could move and change its shape; seeds could come from it that would come to life in a woman’s body. I had only seen the penis of a boy baby, it was not envy I felt but wonder. I feared for him and his magical wand, so exposed, so easy to wound and hurt. And as so many girls have testified, I was relieved that my girl genitals were not out there, exposed, visible.
That sense of girlhood fascination and appreciation of the penis changed when warnings about sexual danger and the threat that the male body would destroy female innocence became the norm. In those days there was no discussion of female passion. In my sexual imagery the wand became a weapon, something males used to bring us down, to destroy us.
No wonder females rejoiced when birth control and feminist insistence on female sexual agency made it possible for us to think about the penis in a new way. We could see it as an instrument of power and/or delight. We could go down between male legs, abandon ourselves to mystery, and rise up satisfied and pleased with the knowledge that we could give and receive sexual delight. We could express our annoyance at expressions like blow jobs, which implied that anytime we sucked dick it was service work we did to pleasure men. The pretense was over. Females who enjoyed sucking dick could express that joy, could name it as an act of power which required males to trust in the sexual integrity of the female, to trust that at his most vulnerable moment she would give pleasure and not pain.
A generation later, females living in the new culture of freedom that feminism and sexual liberation produced would from the start approach the penis without fear. Writing about coming to sexual power in her teens in Promiscuities, Naomi Wolf recalls how quickly she and her girlhood friends moved from thinking dick-sucking was silly to passionate interest: Within a year, we were obsessed. Not so much with what penises ... but rather with what they were, the improbability of them, the beautiful weirdness, the way they oddly rose of their own volition and oddly defied gravity, their unfathomable responsiveness. But female talk about fascination with the penis often stops at girlhood and teen reminiscences. Not because it ceased to marvel but because the marvelous aspects of the penis lose their charm when linked with strategies of male domination.
Even though contemporary feminists worked hard in the seventies to come up with new ways of talking about female sexual agency in relation to the penis, new words did not come into general usage. Individual women gave the penis of male partners witty cute names, but overall, there was not a widely accepted re-visioning of how we all might see and experience the penis.
Then and now, women talk about how the words used to describe female genitalia are much more varied and compelling than those used to describe male genitals. Reading lots of erotica, both gay and straight, I was dismayed to find that overall, the penis is still primarily represented as a weapon, as an instrument of indelicate and painful penetration. Talked about in terms of force, whether in descriptions of pleasurable consensual sex or forced sex and bondage, no one seems to have much to say about the penis that challenges and changes sexist representation. To identify the penis always and only with force, with being a tool of power, a weapon first and foremost, is to participate in the worship and perpetuation of patriarchy. It is a celebration of male domination.
No wonder then, that as feminism has progressed many anti-sexist women feel there is no way to engage the penis that does not reinforce male domination. While many feminists as a political act have chosen lesbianism or celibacy as a way to resist sexist sexual subordination and have no interest in the penis, those of us who enjoy penis passion often find ourselves silenced by the assumption that mere naming of our pleasure is traitorous and supports the tyranny of patriarchy. This is simply faulty logic. Submitting to silencing makes us complicit. Naming how we sexually engage male bodies, and most particularly the penis, in ways that affirm gender equality and further feminist liberation of males and females is the essential act of sexual freedom.
When women and men can celebrate the beauty and power of the phallus in ways that do not uphold male domination, our erotic lives are enhanced. In an essay published in the anthology Transforming a Rape Culture, I wrote how I had to change my sexist thinking about the penis, letting go my erotic fetishization of the hard penetrating dick, to embrace an eroticization of the penis that was more wholistic. My penis passion was enhanced when I stopped thinking of it solely in relation to performance, to penetration. I enjoyed learning how to be sexually aroused by the sight of a non-erect penis.
Continuing in the tradition of the first contemporary feminists, who were also advocates of sexual freedom, I believe we still need to see more visual images of the penis in everyday life. In a contest of mutual sexual pleasure rooted in equality of desire, there is room for a politics of sexuality that is varied, that can include hard dicks, rough sex, and penetration as gesture of power and submission, because these acts are not intended to reinforce male domination. But without this progressive sexual context we end up always creating a world where the penis is synonymous with negativity and threat.
The presence of life threatening sexually transmitted diseases has been used by sexual conservatives to reinforce anti-penis sentiments. Many women have returned to a fear of the penis that is practically Victorian. Despite the sexual revolution and the prevalence of feminist thinking, it has not taken long for sexist social mores to triumph over the new ways of thinking about sexuality introduced by the feminist movement and gay rights. The vision of the phallus as always and only an instrument of force is conservative and lacking. But it still reigns supreme. I feel dismay when I read lesbian erotica where all the symbolic phalluses used in sexual play are described using sexist vernacular, reinforcing the sense of the phallus, whether real or symbolic, as a weapon. Clearly, we must continue the work to create a liberatory sexual frontier, places where the penis is precious and can be cherished.
Changing how we talk about the penis is a powerful intervention that can challenge patriarchal thinking. Many sexist men fear that their bodies lose meaning if we value penises for the sacredness of their being rather than their capacity to perform. After a romantic meal with a man who captivated my sexual interest, as we sat in my living room listening to music, I asked him to show me his penis. He responded in alarm. We were fully dressed. We were not engaged in sexual foreplay, but the mood was erotic. He appeared alarmed at the thought of his penis being looked at apart from a context of performance and wanted to know why I wanted to see it. I responded that I wanted to see it to see if I liked it. He asked: Will you know if you like it by looking at it? I responded: I will know that I like looking at it.
I shared this story with friends, and again and again males and females responded as though I had threatened his masculinity. I believe that the sense of threat arose simply because I was asserting the primacy of the female gaze, a female sexual agency not informed by sexist conditioning which separated pleasure in the male body from penis performance.
Returning to a blissful sense of the sacredness of the body, of sexual pleasure, we acknowledge the penis as a positive symbol of life. Whether erect or still, the penis can always be a marvel, a wonder, a magic wand. Or it can be likened to a caterpillar, as Emily Dickinson tenderly declares: How soft a Caterpillar steps, /I find one on my Hand/ From such a velvet world it come.
Monday, February 11, 2008
However, Liz, I don't think it's fair for you to assume I would fly in to a rage over it, nor make the assumption that I'm not a feminist. What gets me all frothy about people like The Walrus, The Gentleman Prick, Lazy Bill Kristol and Andrea Peyser is that they have large national outlets with which to spew their drivel. Robin Wright wrote something that appeared on the internet, and since the internet is a strange wasteland of half baked ideas and Ron Paul Youtube videos, it didn't make me as angry as I usually get. Or maybe it's that Robin Wright is a woman and because women aren't equal I can't even get my hackles raised by her drivel.
Morgan attempts an assault upon thinking individuals by presenting the case that Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton alone is under attack in her run for President. Never you mind that CNN actually had the gall to ask Barack Obama to refute that horrifying claims that he's some kind of secret Muslim sleeper candidate who turns his back during the Pledge of Allegiance live during one of their debates, Carl Bernstein said Hillary had fat ankles? Call him out for being the wrinkled old prune he is. Upset that South Park went too far with Hillary? Get on a picket line with Bill Donohue you reactionary fuck, I'll be on the couch watching Trey Stone and Matt Parker be the only TV show brave (or stupid) enough to show an image of Muhammad on the air.
What especially galls me (not that she would care) is Morgan's assertions about Obama Girl and women who support Obama. I'll tackle these one at a time, with a reprint of the quotes.
Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide . . .
Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous “Obama Girl” flaunting her bikini-clad ass online—then confessing Oh yeah it wasn’t her idea after all, some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said “made me feel like a dork.”It's a stunning charge, for an internet video anyway. Could Obama Girl really not be a model looking to get publicity and instead be the victim of some kind of penis filled conspiracy? Just who had the
The song was performed by Leah Kauffman, a 21-year-old undergraduate at Temple University in Philadelphia, who wrote the lyrics with a friend, 32-year-old advertising executive Ben Relles, and the music with her producer, Rick Friedrich.
A woman and a man working together on a song? Gazzle bozzle! Hurfle nop! My monocle has fallen out of my eye and shattered into a million fucking pieces. There is glass all over my floor! But surely the Obama Girl was somehow cockslapped into appearing in the video in a bikini? From the same story:
An actress/model named Amber Lee Ettinger then lip-synched the song for the video, shot by filmmakers found on Craigslist two hours before Relles and Ettinger hit New York City one Friday in May to shoot the video on a DV camera.
A model? On Craigslist??? My fancy tophat has fallen off as well now, and it too has shattered into a million fucking pieces. I think next time I consult my haberdasher, I won't let him sell me a hat made out of glass. Eh, live and learn. Still, maybe Robin Morgan is right and the bikini was foisted upon poor Amber. Thinking this might be the case, I Googled "Obama Girl 'made me feel like a dork'". The only think that came up was your article Robin. In fact, the only time Amber Lee Ettinger makes reference to feeling like a dork is on this MSNBC interview when she jokes about dancing around like a dork.
So Robin Morgan is either lying or just twisting Amber's words for her own stupid ends. If it were the case that Amber Lee Ettinger was an intelligent and politically active woman who was shanghaied into an exploitative situation, that would be foul. However, that just isn't the case, and Morgan presenting it in that fashion doesn't do her any favors.
The Obama Girl attack may have stood out as the worst argument in the article if Morgan didn't immediately follow it up with this little slur:
Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten thestatus quo), who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her. Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands—if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”
You know who voted for Obama? My mother. My mother voted for Obama, and I hardly consider her a slave or a sulking, feminism deserting traitor. Liz voted for Obama too and she's one of the strongest most outspoken women I know. My friends Amanda and Laurin voted for Barack too. Just where does Robin Morgan get off throwing that kind of charge around anyway? I don't care who you were in the 70s, accusing women who voted for Barack Obama of not being feminists, trying to make their boyfriends happy by being submissive or even of being slaves gets you called one word around here, in all caps no less: ASSHOLE.
While you were saying goodbye Robin, why didn't you say goodbye to dishonest, manipulative tactics?
So what was Robin Morgan right about? She's absolutely correct that sexism is still prevalent and accepted today, much more so than racism. Mark Ames his a hilarious, cutting section in a column in The Exile discussing the Hillary hatred phenomenon:
Poor Hillary... just can't break out of her character role as America's Misogyny Magnet: she's the bitchy-neighbor in the bad sitcom who always gets the live studio audience to crow "oooo": the minute the camera focuses on her, you feel a kind of unmediated hate that's completely beyond your control, a strain of perfectly preserved, primal misogyny locked up deep inside of just about every voting-age male's psyche (if you claim you haven't felt it, you're either a monstrous liar or else you're wearing a leather head harness with an inflatable mouth gag as you're reading this). Sure she's as bland as Barak, perhaps even marginally blander, but at the animal level, she triggers a neurochemical jet that sets off the very first hate you felt for a powerful and threatening woman (like, say, I dunno, your 4th grade teacher Mrs. McManus? or the dean Ms. Mead, the wrinkled-mouth Episcopalian baboon who kicked you out of school and told you you'd never amount to anything?-yep, that kind of hate, funny I should still remember it). For years now American men and the women who suck up to them have been trying to attach some sort of moral or political significance to their Hillary hatred, but safely out here in Eurasia, I can tell the simple plain truth about it: it's a misogyny that we can't control. We hate her because she's the embodiment of every woman we've ever hated since the time we opened our eyes.Why is it OK to hate Hillary for her womanhood and not Brack Obama for his blackness? My theory would be that race has been the defining, out front American trauma. It popped up in the Constitutional Convention when we declared Africans brought here were 3/5ths human, it helped drive tensions between two sections of the country until we started killing each other. Even after all those lives were lost, half of the country held fast onto the idea that they wouldn't eat with, school with or live with blacks. Today still, I've had friends who expressed concern with blacks moving into the neighborhood. Compared to all this, the struggle of American women for equality (a noble struggle, I might add), has been relegated to the backburner while we try to figure out our race issue.
The hate mongers will always be getting on someone and they are impossible to police at all angles. So many many people (myself included) focus on their crimes in one area while unwittingly letting them get away with another. I don't like it, but I can't go through my day outraged at everything. I've already got four professional sports teams that drive me nuts, vapid pop culture to condemn and a political scene that I never quite feel good about. If I can't identify the difference between between jokey and being sexist all the time, I apologize. But I'll be damned if anyone tells me I'm not even trying.
Part of me also feels bad for Robin Morgan. She's a dying breed, a throwback to an era when the patriarchy was anywhere and everywhere and women really did have serious leaps to make before the were anywhere near equal, whether in the normal culture or the counter-culture. Radical feminism, much like the Black Panthers or The Weathermen just isn't chic anymore. So while I think "Goodbye To All That Number 2" is silly and misses the mark, I also hear in it the defiant, angry roar of a soon to be extinct species. You laugh, but one day when the seas are rising or the Earth is freezing or (if we somehow make it that long) the sun is getting ready to implode, you'll hear the same roar from the remnants of mankind. Better to go out fighting than meekly wait around for the last shovel blow to the skull.
This argument comes down to me and Tex being unconvinced that this is all about misogyny, while Robin Morgan insists that that's all there ever is. I couldn't name a female Congress member I'm crazy about, but I also can't say I'm too thrilled with any of the male leadership in Congress. Don't forget Liz, that both Tex and myself were out there with you in front of the Supreme Court surrounded by pro-life crazies. I don't need a clit or a fantastic set of tits to know that questions about Hilary's age or allegations that a woman on the rag would send us all to nuclear Armageddon are vile and obvious sexism. I'm probably a shitty feminist, but it fits in with my being a crappy student, an impatient driver and a fantastic kisser.
On a personal level, the vomit covered bathmat was Ush's responsibility and Ush's responbility only, and let's not forget that the only reason I wasn't in those arguments with you and Dan is because I was usually too high to make heads or tails of it. But I did my part to raise your blood pressure, such as the classic "whores v. prostitutes" battle of aught five or six. You'll notice there aren't nearly as many tampon ads during Adult Swim anymore, so I think I win that battle. As for the Betty Crocker pan, Leann wanted one, so I thought it was fair to ask if you did as well.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
(A terrifying bloodless machine bent on destroying humanity. On his right, a Cylon)
I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but after his weak Super Tuesday showing and generally incomprehensible campaign, Mitt Romney has finally gone to that great campaign graveyard in the bowels of Hell. There, his advisers and volunteers can hang out with Fred Thompson and Rudy Guiliani's advisers and volunteers and they can talk about all the great times they had, the many awful mistakes they made along the way and the temperature of the pitchforks being rammed into their ear canals, nostrils and other assorted orifices.
As for Greasebot himself, he's vowing to be back in 2012, which means either he has no hope of a Republican becoming president this election or he has a tremendous amount of disloyalty to his party. While I can't say I expected Mitt to win the nod, I was hoping against hope he would stay in it until the end, oblivious to the damage he was doing to his party. But, to his credit, Greasebot was smarter than that. I guess the old saying is true: "Unless your name is Bush, you don't make a billion dollars being a total fucking asshole." I believe that was first attributed to Aristotle.
Still, even in his death throes, Greasebot turned in some real gems. Later in the week I'll parse his final words on the campaign trail, delivered at the Conservative Political Action Committee. For now, let's just take a moment to remember Greasebot's great hair, creepy happy family, stiff delivery and his pandering, dishonest, violence inducing, dishonest, hilarious campaign. Honor it. Cherish it. Because it won't be around ever again. Until 2011.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I look back fondly on the time I spent in Apartment 614, the hair-covered stovetop, the bathtub that changed color once wiped, and yes, even the plastic bag housing a 4 month old vomit soaked bathroom rug. Those were the good old days. I remember well those futile debates on feminism that would come to an abrupt end when our dear blogger and fellow roommate, the Pulp Man himself, would interject with some absurd comment. Good thing too, or else I could have failed to graduate trying in vain to teach a Texan man the validity of bell hook's theories. What's a girl to do? I often found myself answering for the labial-inclined people of the world. No, I don't know why Adult Swim shows so many tampon commercials. No, I don't want a Betty Crocker Bake'n Fill cake pan. But enough about the past.
Tex claims that modern feminism is a joke and has done little in recent times but complain about a golf course in Georgia that doesn't allow women to play through as members. As someone who studied feminist and gender theory, volunteered and worked for feminist organizations, and is a feminist, I'm gonna have to take issue with that. It was feminist organizations that first brought the horrors of the Taliban to light and successfully lobbied the Clinton administration to not recognize its grasp on power in Afghanistan as legitimate. It was feminist organizations that vehemently spoke out against Bush's Supreme Court nominations, and I'm betting there are more than a few liberal groups out there right now wishing they had put up more of a fight. I know feminists were leading that call to arms because I was one of poor saps outside the Supreme Court holding a pro-choice sign while anti-choice crazies paraded around with empty strollers and asked me why I hate babies. I'll admit it was kinda fun but I tip my hat to the women (and men) who do it day after day.
The feminist movement is still very much active but the media reports what it wants to. What makes a better headline, "Feminist organization collects old text books for underfunded women's law school in Nigeria" or "Women boycott PGA tour over sexist Augusta policy?" Come on now, my friend. You aren't exactly scouring the depths of the internet to find out what the feminist movement has been up to lately. Most people learn from what's spoon fed to us by the TV, less get it from newspapers and reputable online sources, and even fewer still follow the insider deals and day to day operations of political interest groups. It's a simple matter of time and interest.
I'm not going to defend all the stupid topics NOW has decided to take issue with because many are just that, stupid. I agree that the feminist movement should focus less on the bullshit in this country and tackle the often devastating conditions of women abroad. FGM (female genital mutilation, for those not with the lingo), the use of rape and sexual violence in areas of conflict, the needs of refugees and IDPs which are primarily women and children, the lack of maternal health care, and the right to control ones sexual and reproductive life are really fucking important issues that deserve more attention than they're getting. Message to the modern feminist movement: Stop looking petty and undeserving of respect. You've worked too hard for that and there's too much shit lurking in this world for women for you to get distracted now.
I could go on forever but not today. Now on to the Hillary-Obama debacle.
As a woman, a feminist, a registered Democrat, and a resident of New York, I voted on Super Tuesday. And I voted for Obama. I like Obama. I'll admit that I'm buying into the image he's created but I also think he can win. That being said, if he doesn't get the nomination, I'll vote for Hillary Clinton in November. I'd probably vote for anyone on the Democratic ticket so that probably isn't saying much.
Lately there have been a whole lot of articles like Robin Morgan's. I'm not sure how I feel about them but unlike Tex and Pulp, I don't fly into a rage whenever I read them. That probably has something to do with the fact that I have tits and a vagina.
I don't particularly like Hillary because I see her as a big-time insider who thinks she deserves the presidency. No one deserves the presidency. She or he may want it badly or think she or he would make a really really good president, but that doesn't equal deserving. I also don't like the idea of putting Bill back in the White House. I watched his speech in South Caroline and it scared the shit out of me. Hillary's voting record in Congress hasn't been as iron-fisted as she claims and the tough Republican hate-machine she claims to have defeated amounts to Rick Lazio, an ailing Giuliani, and the editors of the New York Post. I'll give credit where credit is due, she did a hell of a job going town to town in upstate NY winning over voters but this is New York we are talking about. Were we really going to let a Republican represent us in the Senate? No fucking way. She's got a lot of pros but she's got a lot of cons that are not related to her gender. That's why I voted for Obama. I would love to see a woman president but I'm not so desperate that I'll blindly vote for any candidate with ovaries.
The reason the Morgan style articles don't piss me off is that they ultimately have a point. I may dislike Hillary because of her record and history of unsavory political/corporate behavior, but many people out there have different reasons that aren't so informed. The pastime of Hillary-hating became popular when she appeared to overstep her bounds as First Lady. You might have a legitimate claim that she had no place working on policy given that she wasn't elected or appointed but that's not what stirred up animosity. You can deny it all you want, but ambitious women get punished. The "who wears the pants" jokes don't come from nowhere. That joke implies that there are proper roles for men and proper roles for women. Challenging those roles is deserving of ridicule. I don't want to get bogged down in feminist theory right now but all you have to do is look at positions of power in this country to see that sexism is still very much a problem. Women make up at least half of the population yet we only hold 13 seats in the Senate and 61 in the House. And I'm suppose to be proud of that record number! Fuck, we only got the right to vote in 1920.
It's tough out there for ambitious women. We push too hard, we're bitches. We hold back and we're too weak. We're dressed like old matrons or we look like prostitutes. We wear the badge of "ice queen" if we hide our emotions, but oh the hell storm that rains down if we break that front. PMS, irrational, emotional, unfit for leadership. We can't fucking win. You're free to dislike Hillary but you're completely oblivious to what it's like for women if you don't understand why Robin Morgan wants to defend her. It's really fucking hard to take that kind of public tug-o-war and keep your composure.
Morgan is absolutely correct in her assertion that sexism finds greater tolerance in today's society than racism. The question to John McCain is actually a good example. It's not so much the use of the word "bitch" but the tolerance of the question as legitimate. McCain and everyone else in the room would have winced if it had been "How do we beat the black bastard?" There's no fucking way he would have answered, "Excellent question!"Racism isn't cool and it's not funny. But for some reason sexism is still socially acceptable. Also, Morgan isn't making "black" a negative, she's using it to describe the bastard. At the time of the original quote, John Edwards was still in the race so the speaker would have had to differentiate between the available democratic candidates. The very use of "black" as an adjective makes people uncomfortable, but that's a lesson for another day.
I've got plenty more thoughts on this but I've also got things to do away from this computer. Ultimately, the more vicious your attacks on Hillary's defenders, the more legitimacy you give to what they're saying. It's not crazy for women to want to support a strong woman candidate and it's not crazy for them to point out that sexism makes it hard for women to run for office.
...oh yea, Happy Belated Birthday! I look forward to more point-counterpoint to come.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
The Rangers lost to the worst team in hockey. When I say that, I'm not using hyperbole. The Los Angeles Kings are literally on the bottom of the standings when it comes to points. They're young, inexperienced and should have been easy pickings for a Rangers team that needs every win it can get if the playoffs are going to be a reality. So of course they got out shot about about 106-1 in the first ten minutes of the game and proceeded to give up pivotal goals thanks to absolutely boneheaded and lazy plays in their own zone. How does a team that hangs up 41 shots on their opponents get outplayed? If there's any team that can find a way, it's your 2007-08 New York Rangers. Two goals. Two! The Devils played the Kings earlier in the week and they hung up six goals. The Devils haven't scored six goals since Britney Spears' name alone caused wet dreams. Guh.
At least I have the politics of hope and change to calm me down, right? Right? Hey, where's everyone going? Oh, to split the Democrats almost clean down the middle? Just in time for John McCain to start running away with the Republican nomination, the Democratic Party can't seem to figure out whether they want to run the somewhat raw but unquestionably charismatic candidate or the experienced but unquestionably old guard candidate. Is Hillary Clinton as bad as some of my fellow contributors think? I'm struggling with that question, because while I'll never forgive her for her craven stances on the war and civil liberties when we needed a real leader, I know she isn't John McCain, or God forbid, Mike Huckabee or Greasebot. I also know Barack Obama isn't the progressive hero I wish he was.
Still, the Democratic establishment hasn't brought us anything worth a damn in years, so why should we all of a sudden trust them on Hillary? Now, my reading of the results of Super Tuesday is the Democratic Party is having one of those retarded battles they always have for the soul of the party. This one appears to be between the coastal, establishment elites (New York, Massachusetts, California) battling against the jes' folks, the kind of Democrats that asshole "Mudcat" Suanders likes (Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas). I could be wrong, I haven't read the exit polling data, mostly because I hate to read anything I don't get to later make fun of. Furthermore, in a conversation with my father about polling data he had been paying attention to, apparently Democrats are legitimately happy voting with either candidate, as opposed to the Anybody But Bush mantra of 2004.
Still, just because it's not ugly now doesn't mean it can't get ugly soon, and there are indications it's going to. Why, praytell, has Hillary Clinton accepted Fox News' offer of a debate platform, considering how shrill and vile of a channel it is? Is this shameless pandering, repaying campaign contributor Rupert Murdoch, or a legitimate attempt to reach out to Fox News viewers? I don't know and I don't pretend to. All I know is that the Democrats were right to be flipping the bird to the channel that pushed ugly accusations about both candidates in order to throw some red meat to their insane base. Hillary puts Obama in an awkward position here, and considering the shit that Roger Ailes just said about him, Barack has every right to tell Fox News to go screw.
There's also the very real possibility of a deadlocked delegate count going in to the convention, which means a backroom deal, a situation that favors Hillary greatly. Us young people have been told we matter all election. Will we take our votes and go home if a bunch of lousy party aparatchicks give the nod to Hillary? That's yet to be seen.
In conclusion, Tuesday sucks and should be stricken from the calendar. In its place should be Robot Party Week.
Besides, I actually have something semi important to say, a rare occurrence in this day and age when it makes more sense to blow-hard or speak of the next trivial TV changes than to address something real. For further proof, flip on the news and play a drinking game. Everytime they mention Obama's spending advantage over Hillary Clinton, swig some Tussin. You'll be tripping until the general election.
What returns me to the board today is (quote Samuel L. Jackson's character Jules in Pulp Fiction) "what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity." That is to say, there has been nothing added to the political debate in a few hundred years.
Are you a Libertarian? Adam Smith isn't exactly new. A Communist? Marx has been dead longer than Rutherford B Hayes. Socialist? The Union fell, homey. A mushy middle of the road moderate Democrat or Republican? I don't think I really have to address how old hat that is at this point.
And finally, Feminism. Ah, Feminism. I used to argue about the idiocy of many Feminist ideological views back in DC with one of my roommates. She and I would argue over the merits of the words of Simone de Bouvier, the gender biases involved in a term such as "cunt" or "pussy", and the overall approach of most modern branches of Feminism. Aside from the issue of Rosanna (the pink robot in the original Transformers movie that totally sucks and embodies all negative qualities associated with females) we constantly disagreed.
Modern Feminism is a joke and it has no one to blame for that but itself. Note how NOW's most well known issue of the last decade was their protest of Augusta Golf Club's policy against allowing women to play. While women are being mutilated in Africa, the biggest women's rights group in America wants to play golf. Very effective.
So maybe there's another group out there willing to stand up and fill the void? Perhaps the Women's Media Center would like to take charge? Let's allow Robin Morgan the right to say a few words... And has been done in the past by my esteemed Colleague the Pulpinator, allow me to intersperse hers with a few of my own. I hesitated to even post her words because they are so downright irrational that they don't deserve press. However, her essay PERFECTLY embodies the redundant rehash of asinine and old hat political ideas that have screwed this country more times than an ovulating Anna Nicole Smith.
Goodbye To All That (#2) by Robin Morgan
February 2, 2008
“Goodbye To All That” was my (in)famous 1970 essay breaking free from a politics of accommodation especially affecting women (for an online version, see http://blog.fair-use.org/category/chicago/).
During my decades in civil-rights, anti-war, and contemporary women’s movements, I’ve avoided writing another specific “Goodbye . . .” But not since the suffrage struggle have two communities—joint conscience-keepers of this country—been so set in competition, as the contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) and Barack Obama (BO) unfurls. So.
Goodbye to the double standard . . .
—Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden who’s emotional, and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.Ok, so we'll stick to just one attack. Shillary is a wooden, manipulative bitch who hasn't cried once in her political career until she reached the point that she might lose the Presidency. Then she turns on the water works. Anyone see Grindhouse? When Kurt Russell starts crying when the women are chasing him around? He's a mean sunuvabitch, a killer with no remorse until he fears for his own life, at which point he suddenly scraps the sociopathology and tears up. Welcome to the political version of a Tarantino movie.
—She’s “ambitious” but he shows “fire in the belly.” (Ever had labor pains?)
As if there's no difference between Obama and Shillary except for gender. Who's sexist now?
—When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our national dishonor.
Ok, so that was a sexist thing to say. And perhaps the media played up a double standard by refusing to cover it. Then again, isn't the real problem that the media beats us over the head by covering what one idiot says while every other idiot makes comments about it? Is this really a good reason to hold a political opinion?
—Young political Kennedys—Kathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr.—all endorsed Hillary. Senator Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed, pundits would snort “See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the forward-looking generation backs him.” (Personally, I’m unimpressed with Caroline’s longing for the Return of the Fathers. Unlike the rest of the world, Americans have short memories. Me, I still recall Marilyn Monroe’s suicide, and a dead girl named Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick.)
The opinion of the Kennedys does and has always mattered too much in American politics. Even addressing the split in the Kennedys is a freaking joke. The fact is and remains that Hillary IS the establishment choice. She always was! She holds more of the Super delegates in this contest. In case you don't know about Super Delegates, they are voters in the convention who can make their own independent choice about who should be nominated. In other words, they are Federalists, wholly un-Democratic in nature, and a throwback to the era when the citizens were not allowed to vote. They are also resembling of the Chinese political system, in which Aristocrats are allowed to choose whoever to run the country. In China, this leads to a revolving door of the same old leaders. In America, it does the same. So Robin, we all appreciate your absurd induction based on the small example of the Kennedy family, but the big picture suggests that your candidate is the status quo.
Pre-emption: I don't even want to hear bullshit about Shillary was consistently the choice of the poor. You don't get bonus points because you have manipulated the uneducated or because John Edwards dropped from the race.
Goodbye to the toxic viciousness . . .
Or rather, "Hello"?
Carl Bernstein's disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.” Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid” (check the capital letters). John McCain answering “How do we beat the bitch?" with “Excellent question!” Would he have dared reply similarly to “How do we beat the black bastard?” For shame.
Funny how the word "bitch" is a negative feminine word... And Shillary is a WOMAN! What the hell is sexist about using a bad word for a female to describe a bad female?!?! Meanwhile, the word "Asshole" is neutral, but only refers to men! Who cares?
Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs. If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged—and they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.
So because Hillary hasn't been laid in a decade, we have a double standard. Ok. Great. I think Morgan's idea that she can live in a world without men is legitimate. Now she's out to kill humor too, though? Ever heard that the world needs laughter?
Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!” Shame.
Goodbye to Comedy Central’s “Southpark” featuring a storyline in which terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s vagina. I refuse to wrench my brain down into the gutter far enough to find a race-based comparison. For shame.
Again, the humor thing. Goodbye to humor.
Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny. This is not “Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman-hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison. Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?
I don't know... maybe it left when people like you started spitting bile in our face, you stupid bitch. Of wait, you don't like being called a bitch because it's sexist. How about, you stupid asshole?
Goodbye to the news-coverage target-practice . . .
The women’s movement and Media Matters wrung an apology from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for relentless misogynistic comments (www.womensmediacenter.com). But what about NBC’s Tim Russert’s continual sexist asides and his all-white-male panels pontificating on race and gender? Or CNN’s Tony Harris chuckling at “the chromosome thing” while interviewing a woman from The White House Project? And that’s not even mentioning Fox News.
Ok, I'm not out to defend the media. Watching Robin Morgan fight with Fox News is like watching the Paris Hilton and Michael Savage fight to the death. Enjoy!
Goodbye to pretending the black community is entirely male and all women are white . . .
Surprise! Women exist in all opinions, pigmentations, ethnicities, abilities, sexual preferences, and ages—not only African American and European American but Latina and Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Arab American and—hey, every group, because a group wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t given birth to it. A few non-racist countries may exist—but sexism is everywhere. No matter how many ways a woman breaks free from other discriminations, she remains a female human being in a world still so patriarchal that it’s the “norm.”
Ironic isn't it? She just labeled all nationalities as Sexist! Does that sound distinctly prejudiced to anyone else?
So why should all women not be as justly proud of our womanhood and the centuries, even millennia, of struggle that got us this far, as black Americans, women and men, are justly proud of their struggles?
Goodbye to a campaign where he has to pass as white (which whites—especially wealthy ones—adore), while she has to pass as male (which both men and women demanded of her, and then found unforgivable). If she were black or he were female we wouldn’t be having such problems, and I for one would be in heaven. But at present such a candidate wouldn’t stand a chance—even if she shared Condi Rice’s Bush-defending politics.
I thought we weren't racists anymore? What happened to the preceding paragraph? Anyway, this statement is historically inaccurate. Carol Moseley Braun didn't lose for being a Black female. She lost because she sucked and was a bad candidate with past corruption charges. Even so, not one person said anything about her race or her gender. Besides, Shirley Chisholm Jackson won second in New York THIRTY YEARS AGO!
I was celebrating the pivotal power at last focused on African American women deciding on which of two candidates to bestow their vote—until a number of Hillary-supporting black feminists told me they’re being called “race traitors.”
A number? You know, one is a "number." I suppose the pro-noun "they" does imply a plural. Still, this is the same list of individual cases pushed forward time and again throughout this so-called manifesto. This trend is so fucking obvious.
So goodbye to conversations about this nation’s deepest scar—slavery—which fail to acknowledge that labor- and sexual-slavery exist today in the U.S. and elsewhere on this planet, and the majority of those enslaved are women.
Not to change the subject or anything, right?
Women have endured sex/race/ethnic/religious hatred, rape and battery, invasion of spirit and flesh, forced pregnancy; being the majority of the poor, the illiterate, the disabled, of refugees, caregivers, the HIV/AIDS afflicted, the powerless. We have survived invisibility, ridicule, religious fundamentalisms, polygamy, teargas, forced feedings, jails, asylums, sati, purdah, female genital mutilation, witch burnings, stonings, and attempted gynocides. We have tried reason, persuasion, reassurances, and being extra-qualified, only to learn it never was about qualifications after all. We know that at this historical moment women experience the world differently from men—though not all the same as one another—and can govern differently, from Elizabeth Tudor to Michele Bachelet and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
So let's blame the Obama campaign for every anti-female motion in the history of mankind. Never mind that Queen Elzabeth I was the face of 1500s witch trials and that Reginald Scott, a man, was the first person to write anything vehemently AGAINST them. Never mind that this campaign is in AMERICA in 2008, not EVERYWHERE in EVERY MOMENT OF AMERICAN HISTORY. Barrack Obama obviously mutilated female genitalia and burned witches as Senator of Illinois. Oh, and Shillary? Yeah, her main issue on this campaign is obviously to end stonings, gynocide and polygamy. I mean, she mentioned that as a reason to go into Afghanistan, right? Oh wait... she didn't... maybe because SHILLARY HASN'T SUPPORTED A DAMN WORD YOU SAY PUBLICLY SINCE SHE WAS IN COLLEGE!
We remember when Shirley Chisholm and Patricia Schroeder ran for this high office and barely got past the gate—they showed too much passion, raised too little cash, were joke fodder. Goodbye to all that. (And goodbye to some feminists so famished for a female president they were even willing to abandon women’s rights in backing Elizabeth Dole.)
Now Elizabeth Dole was backed by Feminists. Ok. Let's revise some more history. Please. Tell us of how the Spartans won World War II.
Goodbye, goodbye to . . .
—blaming anything Bill Clinton does on Hillary (even including his womanizing like the Kennedy guys—though unlike them, he got reported on). Let’s get real. If he hadn’t campaigned strongly for her everyone would cluck over what that meant. Enough of Bill and Teddy Kennedy locking their alpha male horns while Hillary pays for it.
How's this for a double standard? There are Feminists galore out there that credit any good Shillary with any and all good that Bill accomplished. Furthermore, Shillary is usually attacked in this capacity by right wing talking heads, who are ever so unsurprisingly sexist and outside the mainstream to begin with, and who tend not to separate the Clintons but instead lump them.
—an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.
Gee, I wonder what drove people away from politics? Could it have been shit like the hate speech provided in this letter?
—the notion that it’s fun to elect a handsome, cocky president who feels he can learn on the job, goodbye to George W. Bush and the destruction brought by his inexperience, ignorance, and arrogance.
He lost the popular vote and stole the election. And trust me, that notion is unfortunately still very much alive. Let me add...
-Hello, to the notion that it's fun to elect a smart but coercive woman who thinks that her bullshit policies have nothing to do with the effectiveness of her presidency because she wants the job so badly that she's willing to step over her mother to get into the White House.
Goodbye to the accusation that HRC acts “entitled” when she’s worked intensely at everything she’s done—including being a nose-to-the-grindstone, first-rate senator from my state.
Good luck to saying goodbye to that one. This wretched Senator did absolutely nothing when Iraq was bombed. She did absolutely nothing to stop the PATRIOT Act. She did absolutely nothing to stop most of the atrocities committed by the Bush Administration. She stood by the wayside and let others, such as the late Senator Paul Wellstone, take their chances while she stayed out of the fray because she was too gutless to say a word and because it might have hurt her career. How's that for reinforcing the stereotype prompted by the word "pussy"?
Goodbye to her being exploited as a Rorschach test by women who reduce her to a blank screen on which they project their own fears, failures, fantasies.
Goodbye to the phrase “polarizing figure” to describe someone who embodies the transitions women have made in the last century and are poised to make in this one. It was the women’s movement that quipped, “We are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” She heard us, and she has.
No... she's polarizing. She's even polarizing to Democrats. It's called a "fact." Half the country won't vote for her. They have said so. So there.
Goodbye to some women letting history pass by while wringing their hands, because Hillary isn’t as “likeable” as they’ve been warned they must be, or because she didn’t leave him, couldn’t “control” him, kept her family together and raised a smart, sane daughter. (Think of the blame if Chelsea had ever acted in the alcoholic, neurotic manner of the Bush twins!) Goodbye to some women pouting because she didn’t bake cookies or she did, sniping because she learned the rules and then bent or broke them. Grow the hell up. She is not running for Ms.-perfect-pure-queen-icon of the feminist movement. She’s running to be president of the United States.
And she would be an awful, awful President.
Goodbye to the shocking American ignorance of our own and other countries’ history. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir rose through party ranks and war, positioning themselves as proto-male leaders. Almost all other female heads of government so far have been related to men of power—granddaughters, daughters, sisters, wives, widows: Gandhi, Bandaranike, Bhutto, Aquino, Chamorro, Wazed, Macapagal-Arroyo, Johnson Sirleaf, Bachelet, Kirchner, and more. Even in our “land of opportunity,” it’s mostly the first pathway “in” permitted to women: Representatives Doris Matsui and Mary Bono and Sala Burton; Senator Jean Carnahan . . . far too many to list here.
And so has SHE! IF you think Shillary Shittin would be an ass sniff from the Presidency if she were not married to Bill, you're fucking nuts!
Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide . . .
Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous “Obama Girl” flaunting her bikini-clad ass online—then confessing Oh yeah it wasn’t her idea after all, some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said “made me feel like a dork.”
Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten thestatus quo), who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her. Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands—if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”
Hello to endless political posturing not limited to but including taking the words or Harriet Tubman and ripping them so far out of context that Martin Luther King becomes the main proponent of Bill Clinton's policies and the replacement for Regis Philbin. Holy hell, have you ever seen such incredibly illogical and fallacious utilization of emotional appeal? This speech is everything that has ever been wrong with politicians in the history of the modern world!
I’d rather say a joyful Hello to all the glorious young women who do identifywith Hillary, and all the brave, smart men—of all ethnicities and any age—who get that it’s in their self-interest, too. She’s better qualified. (D’uh.) She’s a high-profile candidate with an enormous grasp of foreign- and domestic-policy nuance, dedication to detail, ability to absorb staggering insult and personal pain while retaining dignity, resolve, even humor, and keep on keeping on. (Also, yes, dammit, let’s hear it for her connections and funding and party-building background, too. Obama was awfully glad about those when she raised dough and campaigned for him to get to the Senate in the first place.)
I see. So this is clearly less about the sexism directed at Hillary clinton and more about your hatred and anger for Barrack Obama. Allow me to point out that Robin Morgan has now done more political posturing than anyone in this campaign this side of Mitt Romney. Hillary's grasp on issues is has less to do with their mechanics and more to do with their effectiveness in terms of votes. So instead of being "establishment", you just decided to call her "experienced." No, you bitch. Bill Clinton was "experienced." His wife is knee deep in the politicization of America. She's also knee deep in Bullshit.
I’d rather look forward to what a good president he might make in eight years, when his vision and spirit are seasoned by practical know-how—and he’ll be all of 54. Meanwhile, goodbye to turning him into a shining knight when actually he’s an astute, smooth pol with speechwriters who’ve worked with the Kennedys’ own speechwriter-courtier Ted Sorenson. If it’s only about ringing rhetoric, let speechwriters run. But isn’t it about getting the policies we want enacted?
Oh for crying out loud! Now we're slamming politicians for being self interested? And doing so hypocritically by excluding Shillary from the discussion? Where the fuck can I get the drugs this woman is taking?
And goodbye to the ageism . . .
Unless you're slamming John McCain, right?
How dare anyone unilaterally decide when to turn the page on history, papering over real inequities and suffering constituencies in the promise of a feel-good campaign? How dare anyone claim to unify while dividing, or think that to rouse U.S. youth from torpor it’s useful to triage the single largest demographic in this country’s history: the boomer generation—the majority of which is female?
Ok, that's great. Yes, let's unify the boomers. That ought to bring about great change in America. The fairweather citizens, the standard yokels with two car garages. Yes, that is what we want. Unify the suburbanites because they are clearly representative of all, since they are the majority. This country is not run on majority rule because... well, because there were some assholes in the origination of the country, but that's besides the point. If this country WERE run by majority, we would have every Shillary supporter running around bashing people over the head with the power of a pluralistic stick. Frankly, the rest of this country is tired of taking orders from Baby Boomers, Middle America, the Beltway, and every other old Hat constituency. Unification is about representation across the board, not representation of the BIGGEST group. Oh, and by the way, the hatred and bitterness in this piece for Barrack Obama is about as racist as you claim the country is sexist.
Old woman are the one group that doesn’t grow more conservative with age—and we are the generation of radicals who said “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Goodbye to going gently into any goodnight any man prescribes for us. We are the women who changed the reality of the United States. And though we never went away, brace yourselves: we’re back!
I thought you never left? Besides, what the hell is so inherently wonderful about remaining liberal with age? I can understand there are positives to it, but you can't just write that without accenting them.
We are the women who brought this country equal credit, better pay, affirmative action, the concept of a family-focused workplace; the women who established rape-crisis centers and battery shelters, marital-rape and date-rape laws; the women who defended lesbian custody rights, who fought for prison reform, founded the peace and environmental movements; who insisted that medical research include female anatomy; who inspired men to become more nurturing parents; who created women’s studies and Title IX so we all could cheer the WNBA stars and Mia Hamm. We are the women who reclaimed sexuality from violent pornography, who put childcare on the national agenda, who transformed demographics, artistic expression, language itself. We are the women who forged a worldwide movement. We are the proud successors of women who, though it took more than 50 years, won us the vote.
Who's taking credit for shit without giving other people their due now? How about if I credit men with the creation of the NBA? That would be pretty fucking discriminatory, would it not?
We are the women who now comprise the majority of U.S. voters.
So you get to take credit for the numbers represented by all those women you just slammed for turning their backs in your candidate?
Hillary said she found her own voice in New Hampshire. There’s not a woman alive who, if she’s honest, doesn’t recognize what she means. Then HRC got drowned out by campaign experts, Bill, and media’s obsession with everything Bill.
1) If she wants to divorce Bill, she should. It's not your decision to make. I can't believe, after all you just said, that this needs to be explained to you.
2) If every woman on Earth honestly understands what a statement as abstract as "found my voice" means, then why aren't they all running to the polls to vote for her? I'll tell you why. Because what you just said makes about as much sense as the phrase "Love and Freedom are great." It has zero substance. Dig a whole, and crawl in.
So listen to her voice:
“For too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words.
“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls. It is a violation of human rights when woman and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small. It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war. It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide along women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes. It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.
“Women’s rights are human rights. Among those rights are the right to speak freely—and the right to be heard.”
That was Hillary Rodham Clinton defying the U.S. State Department and the Chinese Government at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (look here for the full, stunning speech).
Was that before or after she backed her husband's decision to offer the Chinese most favored trade status?
Whoops, I walked into your trap there. I shouldn't be blaming Shillary for shit that Bill said. Especially when she has done so much to slam the door on China's horrific, fascist, pseudo-Communist policies over her time as Senator. Oh wait, she hasn't said jack shit. Has Shillary even passed a single negative resolution regarding China, much less authored original legislation that puts a halt on their corruption? Yeah, I didn't think so.
And this voice, age 21, in “Commencement Remarks of Hillary D. Rodham, President of Wellesley College Government Association, Class of 1969.”
“We are, all of us, exploring a world none of us understands. . . . searching for a more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating mode of living. . . . [for the] integrity, the courage to be whole, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. . . . Fear is always with us, but we just don't have time for it.”
This was right around the time she was backing Nelson Rockefeller, right?
She ended with the commitment “to practice, with all the skill of our being: the art of making possible.”
And for decades, she’s been learning how.
"How" is important, but so is "What." It's not really so wonderful that she learned how to become President but refuses to stand up for anyone.
So goodbye to Hillary’s second-guessing herself. The real question is deeper than her re-finding her voice. Can we women find ours? Can we do this for ourselves?
And hopefully, goodbye to her political career.
“Our President, Ourselves!”
Time is short and the contest tightening. We need to rise in furious energy—as we did when Anita Hill was so vilely treated in the U.S. Senate, as we did when Rosie Jiminez was butchered by an illegal abortion, as we did and do for women globally who are condemned for trying to break through. We need to win, this time. Goodbye to supporting HRC tepidly, with ambivalent caveats and apologetic smiles. Time to volunteer, make phone calls, send emails, donate money, argue, rally, march, shout, vote.
What's this "we" shit, pale face? Plenty of women don't agree with you, and you're not winning any men either. Besides, you already kicked every one but the female baby boomers out the door.
Me? I support Hillary Rodham because she’s the best qualified of all candidates running in both parties. I support her because her progressive politics are as strong as her proven ability to withstand what will be a massive right-wing assault in the general election.
How is this proven exactly? When was Shillary ever in a general election before? Winning in New York does not count, by the way. Especially against the likes of Rick Lazio.
I support her because she knows how to get us out of Iraq.
Yeah... By reversing the same path she took to get help get us in...
I support her because she’s refreshingly thoughtful, and I’m bloodied from eight years of a jolly “uniter” with ejaculatory politics.
HA! Ejaculatory Politics? You don't think there's gender in that statement?
I needn’t agree with her on every point. I agree with the 97 percent of her positions that are identical with Obama’s—and the few where hers are both more practical and to the left of his (like health care). I support her because she’s already smashed the first-lady stereotype and made history as a fine senator, because I believe she will continue to make history not only as the first US woman president, but as a great US president.
As for the “woman thing”?
Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.
And my vote has nothing to do with Gender. FUCK-YOU!
And so it continues.