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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Apparently This Happened.

posted by on October 30 at 12:01 AM

Or will happen. Or something.


(As my friend Meagan said, "BTW Hasselbeck is supposed to be Reagan--NOT Christian Bale from Newsies.")

I am starting to resent how much of my attention The View demands these days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The World Needs Another Feminist Blog

posted by on October 28 at 11:00 AM

Elizabeth Spiers, the O.G. (Original Gawker), is going to start an online feminist magazine that will probably have a bit of a Gawkerish spin to it. This is, of course, an original idea.

The most worrisome thing about all this? Spiers describes her vision as "Maxim for women." Let me be the first to say: GROSS!

Speaking of feminism: there's apparently a little online kerfluffle about this poster:



posted by on October 28 at 9:50 AM

I can't stop watching the music video for Beyoncé's new tune "Single Ladies":

I've watched it about 50 times and could watch it 50 more times. Some of the hidden power of Beyonce's video is revealed when compared to Grace Jone's recently released video for the tune "Corporate Cannibal," a video and song that best expresses the kind of evil at the root of the current collapse of global capitalism.

Friday, October 24, 2008

At Least They Have Experience

posted by on October 24 at 9:10 AM

From our friends at Fox News:

Palin Look-A-Like Strippers Vie For Title

Winner Gets To Go To Washington For Inauguration

LAS VEGAS -- There has been no shortage of Sarah Palin imitators since the Alaskan governor became Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential candidate.
But Thursday night brought a new twist for Palin look-a-likes.
Tina Fey is enjoying new-found celebrity status playing Palin on Saturday Night Live. What’s good for Fey is also good for dancers at Club Paradise Gentlemen’s Club.
It was uncanny how some glasses and a little bit of makeup transformed some Las Vegas dancers into Palin look-a-likes....

This is fitting. Palin's role in the election was wrought and is propelled by sexism (see the piece in this week's New Yorker about how she got on the national radar because a bunch of conservative magazine gentlemen visited Alaska on a cruise ship and thought she was hot). She wears red patent fuck-me spike heels. Dudes love her. Does her failure as a tactic—as a distraction, as human Viagra for the GOP—signal the failure of sexism or its success? The latter: She's set smart AND sexy women back immeasurably by being a goddamned cartoon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh, Lord.

posted by on October 23 at 1:54 PM

What is it my mother always used to say? "A man is not a plan"? Still, according to a new report, single women are hit hardest by economic downturns:

According to analysis of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for individuals 25 to 61 years old, female-headed households have twice the likelihood – 13.5% - of seeing a 50% greater drop in their income than male-headed households’ probability – 6.6% - of such a drop. The probability of a major income drop for female-headed households has risen in the last two recessions.

Female-headed households are at a distinct disadvantage in recessions because they have fewer savings to draw upon. In an analysis by Harvard Professor Mariko Chang of the net worth of all unmarried women, he found that their median net worth was $12,900 – less than half the $26,850 for unmarried men. He found that the wage gap is the primary cause of this inequality of wealth – accounting for 39% of the disparity for never-married households and 18% of the disparity for divorced households.

More than half of all poor adult women - 54 percent - are single with no dependent children. Twenty-six percent of poor adult women are single women with dependent children

For more on the wage gap, see the Center for American Progress's October 2008 report, The Straight Facts on Women in Poverty.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What The Hell Is Wrong With You, South Dakota?

posted by on October 22 at 4:16 PM

I'm biding my time until the mayor's debate with Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman at the Cafe on the Ave., where, from the looks of it, the kids aren't feeling the recession much--I'm eating a bagel with butter ($2) while the studious folks around me all seem to be able to afford full $10 meals. Is college no longer a time of privation anymore?

Anyway, amid all the Obamamania and panic over Prop. 8, it's easy to overlook another important election going on in South Dakota: A vote on whether to completely ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the woman. Even if McCain--the guy who put mocking air quotes around the "health" of a woman, to indicate he thought health exceptions to abortion bans allow frivolous abortions--loses, reproductive rights everywhere are still threatened by measures like South Dakota's. The proposal, if enacted, would force women to bring pregnancies to term even in cases where the fetus will be stillborn; put doctors at risk of criminal charges because of extremely vague language defining a woman's health; and would force doctors to file a report stating that their patient was raped, including the name and address of the rapist, to criminal authorities before they could use the rape exception. The argument for this, cited by Feministe, is that "if it is truly a case of rape or incest, we’re doing a disservice to society if we don’t do that,” according to one of the ban's proponents. It also requires the doctor performing an abortion in rape and incest cases to take DNA samples from the woman and the fetus, to prove that the pregnancy was really the result of rape or incest (and, anti-choice proponents claim, to help prosecute rape and incest cases.) The supposed argument for this latter requirement is that rapists use abortion to cover up their crimes. Prove paternity, and you've stopped the rape or incest.

Cara at Feministe effectively eviscerates both arguments. The first:

Firstly, shifting the burden of reporting from the victim to the doctor would only change who the victim must report the crime to. She would still have to provide all of the relevant information needed to file a police report. It’s the same exact process. Also, if police are actually going to try to catch the perpetrator based on this report, as Ridder emphasizes, they are certainly going to want to talk to the victim at some point anyway, meaning that any potentially traumatizing line of questioning isn’t going to be avoided. It further bears noting that the trauma many rape victims experience from reporting isn’t necessarily due to treatment by police, but treatment by their family, friends and community. [...]

Additionally, if this new fabulous method of rape reporting is so much less traumatizing to women, why aren’t these really concerned activists working to give this right to report to a doctor instead of police to all rape victims? Should a victim have to be impregnated by her rapist to access the supposedly least traumatizing form of reporting? I’d think not. So, could the issue be that these people don’t actually care at all about rape victims, but are really concerned with how to most effectively restrict their access to health care?

As for the last quoted sentence from the immensely compassionate Dr. Ridder, what exactly is he insinuating with the words “if this is truly a case of rape or incest”? Because if and truly imply that a victim might be lying. Certainly, that’s not doing any favors to his claim that reporting a rape to a doctor is far less traumatizing than reporting directly to police. Then he moves onto how not reporting a rape is doing a disservice to society.

The fact is that victims don’t owe us anything. I’d like to see more victims report rape, but first we’re going to have to create a society where those victims can reliably find compassion and a fair, non-rape apologist judicial system. The answer is not to force women to report. Women who choose not to report do so for their own reasons, usually very logical ones, and they are not doing a disservice to society with that choice. How about we start looking at the rapist who is doing a disservice to society by raping people, rather than pointing fingers at the victims who they’ve made too fearful to report?

And the second:

As for the anti-choice arguments, there is an inherent logical fallacy here. If rapists in cases of ongoing abuse, like incest, are using abortion to cover up their crimes, doesn’t that mean that the rapists are therefore forcing their victims into having abortions? If this is the case, then surely under this law, rapists would just stop forcing their victims to get abortions, and would instead force the victims to hide the pregnancies or blame them on someone else, make them to carry to term, give birth, and then surrender the baby for adoption. You know, just like in pre-Roe days. It would only make sense for rapists to stop using abortion to cover up their rapes when they only way to obtain an abortion is for a rape to be reported, so they’d find alternatives to ensure that the reporting still doesn’t happen. Simple stuff. [...]

Clearly, those supporting the ban don’t care about those slutty women who got pregnant from consensual sex and whether or not they hurt/maim/kill themselves with illegal and unsafe abortions — but surely they care about making sure that harm doesn’t befall rape victims, right? That’s what they want the public to believe, and this is why no one ought to buy it.

Over two excellent posts, Jen, one of the many wonderful women I met while in SD, talks about her own rapes and what the SD law could have meant for her under different circumstances, and why forcing her to report would have been so cruel. In a world where rape survivors are routinely mocked and laughed at simply for telling their own stories — and I should know — it’s downright sadistic to force women to tell their stories simply so that they don’t have to give birth to their rapist’s child.

Daily Kos recently added the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which is fighting the ban, to its Orange to Blue fundraising list--an indication, perhaps, of how important this fight is not just for women in South Dakota but for women (and those who love them, or fuck them, or just don't want them to be forced to have kids) everywhere. You can also donate directly here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Boyfriend Doesn't Like Me to Write About Our Sex Life...

posted by on October 8 at 9:50 AM

...and I'm sure Slog readers don't want to hear about it either, and I'm not going to go into specifics or anything here, and I'm certainly not going tell you people where I was last night when I should've been at home watching the debate. But in response to this post at Feministing about me supposedly advising all women everywhere "to have sex when they don't feel like it," I'd like to say this: I advised Wanna Want More to do exactly what me and my boyfriend have been doing for fourteen years. While we're pretty evenly matched libido-wise, there are times—when I'm wrapping up a book, when he's beat from schlepping our kid and the neighbors' kids around town—when one of us just isn't up for it.

And at those times, Feministing, a cheerful and indulgent milking goes a long way toward keeping a your partner content. But for the record: the advice I gave WWM applies to same-sex relationships and to straight relationships with a low-libido male and a frustrated female. Please make a note of it.

Woman Wheels

posted by on October 8 at 9:29 AM

Those who know of the theory of affordance will read this article with great interest:

Iran has announced plans for a new car designed specially for women.

Its features will include automatic transmission, parking and navigation aids and a jack for changing tyres without getting grease on your chador.

Iran's biggest car producer, Iran Khodro, says it will come in a range of feminine colours and interior designs.

Other features are proposed to make it easier for women when they are doing the family shopping or taking their children to school.

A car that affords the woman? No, this is not what the Iranian engineers have in mind. Their car is not about woman as such but a faulty knowledge of woman that's reinforced by a cracked perception of them as simple ("its features will include automatic transmission, parking and navigation aid") and inherently vain ( "a jack for changing tyres without getting grease on your chador"). Our initial interest is disappointed.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tits In the Times

posted by on October 6 at 2:05 PM

The Seattle Times, treating mud wrestling "lingerie football" like the extremely legitimate sport it is:

Dressed in skimpy boy shorts and see-through mesh tops, about 50 women tried out Friday for the area's newest football team — the Seattle Mist.

The league format will be an eight-game season, with the East and West champions meeting for the famed Bowl during the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami.

Twelve women will be named to the initial squad tonight. The remaining members will be named later. They'll be thrown into Football 101, given a massive book of terms to learn the game, then hit training camp in June.

"Yeah, it's sexy, but that just draws the viewers," said founder Mitchell Mortaza, 34, of West Hollywood. "You've got to keep them, and the fan base has to respect it. Because of that, you're going to see girls that are beautiful, but athletic, and take it seriously."

I wonder if these were the kind of viewers Mr. Mortaza's "girls" were hoping to draw?


Lingerie football: Titillating lecherous, elderly construction workers since 2005!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Naomi Wolf on Weekday Right Now

posted by on October 3 at 9:16 AM

She who compares Sarah Palin to Evita is on KUOW with Steve Scher.

Naomi Wolf compared the Bush administration's actions to those of notorious dictators like Hitler in her book "The End of America." Her new book, "Give Me Liberty," is a handbook for ordinary citizens. She hopes it will help stop erosions of democracy in this country. Recently in the Huffington Post, Wolf argued that Sarah Palin is an Evita–like puppet; a Trojan Horse smuggling the same failed policies of Bush and Rove into the White House. Does she think we are too late to save democracy in this country?

Steve's saying the names of would-be dictatorships in a weird, tentative, highly liberal voice. This could get good.

Plus, Cliff Mass joins us with a weekend weather forecast.

I like your name, Mr. Mass.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Liveblogging & Feminist Critiquing the VP Debate: Erica C. Barnett, Bethany Jean Clement, Jen Graves, Lindy West, and Eli Sanders

posted by on October 2 at 5:00 PM

You know the drill. Send us your comments through the liveblogging widget and we'll post them if they're worthy.

Previewing Tonight's VP Debate: Part 1

posted by on October 2 at 1:51 PM

As Megan noted in her post previewing the liveslogging of tonight's debate , I'm concerned about sexist attacks on Palin because I think that once you start making sexist (or racist, or ageist) attacks, you lose your moral authority to make legitimate ones. I defend Palin not because I agree with her politics or policies, but because gender-based attacks are always illegitimate--not just when they're made against women I like.

What constitutes a misogynistic attack? Here are a few examples, many of them from Supposedly Progressive Doodz like Bill Maher.

Calling a candidate for office a “bimbo.”

Calling her a “MILF,” or a “VPILF,” or any of the many variations thereon.

Implying that she'd be a bad VP because she "failed to become Miss Alaska."

Referring to the 44-year-old Alaska governor as a "girl."

Joking that McCain has chosen a "trollop" as his running mate. (I know there's a double-reverse-backflip irony intended here, but it doesn't work).

Implying that the her hairstyle has anything to do with how smart she is.

Saying things like "McCain doesn't pick his women for their brains"--then calling Palin an "airhead."

Saying that Palin (double sexism alert!) may not "win over the die-hard armpit-hair feminists" who supported Hillary Clinton, but that average Joes like her because she "embraces femininity with open legs," whatever that means.

I could go on. But I won't --the point is that sexist attacks don't constitute arguments. And you can't get mad at sexism when it's aimed at Democrats and embrace it when it's aimed at Republicans. Feminism doesn't work that way.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Australia Keeps it Classy

posted by on September 18 at 12:47 PM

The Saint in Melbourne--that would be the same bar made notorious back in June, when it employed a shirtless, bar-dancing midget to pour shots of Jagermeister into patrons' mouths--has a new promotion called "No Undie Sunday." Female patrons who take off their underwear and put them on a clothesline above the bar get $50 Australian in free drinks. That's five or six drinks after a patron is sufficiently uninhibited to take off her panties. (Women too modest to drop their drawers can flash their bra or panties at bar staff for a free glass of champagne.) Catherine Price at Broadsheet speculates that "if we are choosing our offensive promotions based on what elements of a woman's sexuality rhyme with weekdays," women who patronize the Saint can look forward to "Give Head Wed.!" "Fuck a Guy Fri.!" and "Shave Your Pubes Tues.!"

Bonus points for class: According to Agence France-Presse, the bar is promoting the event with a photo of Britney Spears flashing her shaved business to the paparazzi.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"What's Up, Bitches?"

posted by on September 10 at 3:45 PM

I'm proud to say that the film section scored a major coup this week: a guest review written by none other than legendary leading lady Diane Keaton.

Keaton shares her feisty, irrepressible lady-thoughts on The Women, a dramedy (opening this Friday) in which she does not star. And let's just say she's less than enthused:

What's up, bitches? Diane Keaton here. I just got back from seeing The Women and, um, I couldn't help but notice something: I AM NOT IN THIS MOVIE. Where the fuck am I? I am the queen bee of this shit... Hey, Hollywood. Write this down. Next time you make a two-hour vaginal suppository that hasn't met a feminine cliché it didn't dip in chocolate and shove down America's gullet (smoking, shopping, cheating, faked orgasms, diets, supermodels, bubble baths, hunger, water breaking, Botox), maybe you should do your job and fucking call Diane Keaton. Bitches.

You go, Keaton! It's truly an honor.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Enclosure (in a Letter to the Editor) of the Day

posted by on September 5 at 12:35 AM

Uh, has this already been all over the web? I haven't seen it, a Google image search isn't giving me any matches to it, and the letter-to-the-editor writer (the email they sent is in a thread that mentions and, though I can't find it on either site) hasn't gotten back to me. It's gotta be fake, right?


Did anyone else just put on Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile"?

Monday, August 25, 2008

“Yogurt-eaters come from every race, but just one socio-economic class: the class that wears grey hoodies.”

posted by on August 25 at 11:19 AM

I don't care how old Target: Women's meme is—it isn't polite to discuss a lady's age.

Just watch the yogurt installment again for the very first time:

More Target: Women here.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Matthew R.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

What to Expect When You're Aborting

posted by on August 22 at 3:25 PM

This woman--a 23-year-old who writes, "I'm 23. I'm knocked up. And I don't want to keep it. You can fuck yourself, Judd Apatow"—has started a blog to document the process of getting an abortion. It's smart, funny, and surprisingly informative.

I’m trying to get some advice and info that isn’t off a bulletin board style fact sheet. When I google “abortion blog” —because we all know blogs are a great repository for facts and rationality— i get these terrifying pro-life, abortion regret websites. One is called ” silent rain”. UGHHHHH.


Read it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rossi: Women's Reproductive Health Just Like Cereal, Socket Wrenches

posted by on August 18 at 11:42 AM

In an open letter seeking votes from Ron Paul supporters (!!), Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi compared letting pharmacists refuse to dispense emergency contraception (and actually, by extension, any drug including regular old contraception) to letting hardware store and grocery owners decide what kind of goods to stock.

"Just as government shouldn't tell grocery store owners that they have to sell certain types of groceries, or hardware store owners that they have to sell certain types of tools, it shouldn't tell pharmacists which drugs to sell," Rossi wrote.

You know why that's a shitty analogy? Because no one's health--no one's right to choose not to get pregnant and have an abortion (which wouldn't be necessary if they got Plan B) or raise a unwanted child (gee, now that's a pro-life stance)--depends on their ability to buy a certain fucking brand of eggs. If you were ever looking for evidence that the forced-pregnancy brigades don't give a shit about women's health or lives, look no further than Dino Rossi.

Friday, August 15, 2008

San Diego Comic-Con: Full of Misogynists?

posted by on August 15 at 3:00 PM

Anybody ever tell you you look like She-Ra? Haw! Haw! Hey, come on back to my castle. I'm a real Beast-Man in the sack!

Kevin Church's blog has news of what he considers to be pervasive sexism in the comic book convention-going community:

Overheard at San Diego Comic-Con while I was having lunch on the balcony of the Convention Center on Sunday July 27: a bunch of guys looking at the digital photos on the camera of another, while he narrated: “These were the Ghostbusters girls. That one, I grabbed her ass, ’cause I wanted to see what her reaction was.” This was only one example of several instance of harassment, stalking or assault that I saw at San Diego this time.

1. One of my friends was working at a con booth selling books. She was stalked by a man who came to her booth several times, pestering her to get together for a date that night. One of her co-workers chased him off the final time.

2. On Friday, just before the show closed, this same woman was closing up her tables when a group of four men came to her booth, started taking photographs of her, telling her she was the “prettiest girl at the con.” They they entered the booth, started hugging and kissing her and taking photographs of themselves doing so. She was confused and scared, but they left quickly after doing that.

I'm not exactly shocked at this news, but I think it's an important conversation to have, especially since this year's news coverage of SDCC seems to be all about how it's the pop-culture event of the year. The fanboys might have to stop acting like douches when the whole world's paying attention.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

posted by on August 12 at 12:14 PM

Doris Probst has become the first woman to win the annual hog calling contest at the Illinois State Fair in the US.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Queen Victoria's Secret

posted by on July 30 at 12:13 PM

Her underwear? Expensive and crotchless.

A pair of Queen Victoria's bloomers, with a 50-inch waist, were snapped up for $9,000 by a Canadian buyer at a central England auction Wednesday. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said Queen Victoria's underpants belonged to "a very big lady of quite small stature with a very wide girth." She was said to be 5 feet tall.

The handmade knickers—which date back to the 1890s—bear the monogram "VR" for Victoria Regina. They are open-crotch style, with separate legs joined by a drawstring at the waist....

Five feet tall with a A 50-inch waist? That's spherical, right? Reading on...

[Victoria's] reign is noted for both imperial expansion and the decreasing political power of the monarch.

You don't say.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Like To Think These Make Boys' Hands Bounce Right Off

posted by on July 29 at 10:05 AM

Apropos of Dave's post, I give you...

Abstinence thongs!


In case you can't read the text on the crotch, it says: "Earn your right to wear white. Abstain."

Here's the text from the designer: "Panty-minimalists love our casual thong that covers sweet spots without covering your assets; putting an end to panty-lines. This under-goodie is "outta sight" in low-rise pants. Toss these message panties onstage at your favorite rock star or share a surprise message with someone special ... later."

The best part: It also doubles as a hymen!

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's the Economy, Stupid

posted by on July 21 at 5:03 PM

From The New York Times:

After moving into virtually every occupation, women are being afflicted on a large scale by the same troubles as men: downturns, layoffs, outsourcing, stagnant wages or the discouraging prospect of an outright pay cut. And they are responding as men have, by dropping out or disappearing for awhile.

When we saw women starting to drop out in the early part of this decade, we thought it was the motherhood movement, women staying home to raise their kids,” Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, which did the Congressional study, said in an interview. “We did not think it was the economy, but when we looked into it, we realized that it was.”


The Joint Economic Committee study cites the growing statistical evidence that women are leaving the work force “on par with men,” and the potentially disastrous consequences for families.

“Women bring home about one-third of family income,” said Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York and vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. “And only those families with a working wife have seen real improvement in their living standards.”

The proportion of women holding jobs in their prime working years, 25 to 54, peaked at 74.9 percent in early 2000 as the technology investment bubble was about to burst. Eight years later, in June, it was 72.7 percent, a seemingly small decline, but those 2.2 percentage points erase more than 12 years of gains for women. Four million more in their prime years would be employed today if the old pattern had prevailed through the expansion now ending.

The pattern is roughly similar among the well-educated and the less educated, among the married and never married, among mothers with teenage children and those with children under 6, and among white women and black.

The women, in sum, are for the first time withdrawing from work with the same uniformity as men in their prime working years. Ninety-six percent of the men held jobs in 1953, their peak year. That is down to 86.4 percent today. But while men are rarely thought of as dropping out to run the household, that is often the assumption when women pull out.

“A woman gets laid off and she stays home for six months with her kids,” Ms. Boushey said. “She doesn’t admit that she is staying home because she could not get another acceptable job.”

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Murray and Clinton Respond to Bush's "Contraception as Abortion" Bill

posted by on July 17 at 1:07 PM

Senators Patty Murray and Hillary Clinton wrote the following joint letter today to Michael Leavitt, head of Bush's Health and Human Services Department, which just proposed new regulations that would deny federal aid to groups that refuse to hire people, including nurses, who object to abortion or birth control. The proposal's insanely broad definition of "abortion" includes many common types of birth control.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

It has come to our attention that the Department of Health and Human Services may be preparing draft regulations that would create new obstacles for women seeking contraceptive services.

One of the most troubling aspects of the proposed rules is the overly-broad definition of “abortion.” This definition would allow health-care corporations or individuals to classify many common forms of contraception – including the birth control pill, emergency contraception and IUDs – “abortions” and therefore to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it.

As a consequence, these draft regulations could disrupt state laws securing women's access to birth control. They could jeopardize federal programs like Medicaid and Title X that provide family-planning services to millions of women. They could even undermine state laws that ensure survivors of sexual assault and rape receive emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms.

We strongly urge you to reconsider these regulations before they are released. We are extremely concerned by this proposal’s potential to affect millions of women’s reproductive health.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Senator Patty Murray

Clinton and Murray have been tireless advocates for women's rights, including reproductive rights, most recently fighting to make emergency contraception (Plan B) available over the counter. Senator Barack Obama has not issued a response to the Bush Administration's proposal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bush Administration Says Contraception=Abortion

posted by on July 16 at 1:13 PM

The Bush administration wants to require all health programs, including women's clinics, that receive federal funding to certify that they won't refuse to hire nurses and other employees who object to abortion or birth control.

In other words, if Planned Parenthood wants to keep its federal funding, it has to agree to hire people who object to its core mission of family planning.

Even worse: The proposal, citing a 2001 Zogby poll (!!), defines "abortion" as any drug, procedure or action that "results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation." Because hormonal contraception (emergency and otherwise) can, in theory, prevent implantation of a fertilized egg (as, by the way, can menstruation), the proposal effectively defines birth control as abortion.

How much more can this man fuck up in his remaining 187 days in office?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Brad Bought Me a Bourbon

posted by on July 11 at 2:00 PM

Brad, as you may have heard, has been at the Stranger for 14 years, ending today. I've been here something more like 14 months. So I don't have as many Brad memories as some of my colleagues, and thanks to the pot, a lot of the Brad memories I do have are hazy at best. But there is one time I can semi-coherently recall hanging out with Brad outside of work.

Grand Archives were playing the Triple Door. I was going because that sort of thing is kind of my beat here (and because, hey, Grand Archives). Brad was going because he knows all those dudes form back in Jesuit school or whatever. So we combined forces to seek out somewhere to drink downtown before the show. After being rebuffed at a few overcrowded yuppie bars, we ended up down at the Alibi Room, drinking bourbon at the bar. We talked about the ladies. We talked about life. We were about go watch Grand Archives. You know, real guy stuff. And it was sweet. I get the feeling that, if I had come around a little earlier, or if Brad was sticking around a little longer, he might've imparted a lot of dudely wisdom upon me. Or at least more bourbon.

Now it's gonna be all ladies and fags around here. Thanks, Brad.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

They Forgot About the "Thinking" Part

posted by on July 8 at 7:00 PM

In case you hadn't heard, there's a bit of a blow-up over two editors at the Gawker-owned feminist web site, Moe Tcakik and Tracie Egan, who appeared, representing Jezebel, an event called "Thinking and Drinking" last week. The host of the show, Lizz Winstead, says she asked them to do the onstage interview because "their work on Jezebel has made them role models for young women everywhere." She wanted to talk to them about Hillary and sexism, women's magazines and whether they "feel any obligation to write about responsibility and safety when they write graphically about their sex lives." But things quickly went off the rails, as you'll see when you watch the video.


On safe-sex choices:

Moe: Withdrawal has always worked for me.

Tracie: One hundred percent.

On rape:

Tracie: People are always saying it's not safe to go home with strange men, blah, blah blah, like Mr. Goodbar whatever.

Moe: What's gonna happen??

Lizz: You could get raped.

Moe: That's happening too, but you live through that, you know?

Lizz: Sometimes you don't.

Moe: That's true, if they have weapons.

Tracie: I'm not going to bring someone home and be like, not tonight.

Lizz... But that's just not how rape works! If you bring a guy home and you want to fuck him and he's like guess what, I'm a psycho, and when I look in your face I want to kill you...

Tracie: I live in Williamsburg, there aren't very, um, assertive men there.

Moe: The thing about the rapists of our generation, is that they're not very assertive men, but they all use drugs, they all have some sort of drug they use on you, so it's good to feel, and I don't know if this has happened to me or if I just drink too much but there are times when... It's really hard to prosecute them (rapists), so you should try to avoid them at all costs. But you know, I don't know, it's a very strange line.

Tracie: I moved to New York when I was 18 and you think you would encounter more rapists in this big city , but, I don't know, I haven't. I always, I don't know if I attract, like, dudes that want to be dominated or something?

Moe: I attract rapists.

Tracie: I once paid someone to rape me once.

Lizz: Well, first of all, you cannot pay someone to rape you. You are a willing accomplice. You have said, rape me now, it's not rape. ..

Tracie: I think even though I'm a feminist I just have this issue where I naturally dominate everybody and so I had this like fantasy where I like wanted to be dominated so I paid someone--well, I didn't pay someone, I had a magazine pay for it—

Lizz: That is two steps removed from rape.

On date rape:

Moe: I've totally been like victimized, and I think that I kind of must broadcast something. But the point is that, like, I think you were saying what do you regret in terms of sexual experiences and I guess I regret like being date raped.

But, you know, it seems like in terms of kind of bad sexual experiences that you've had the worst ones always seem to be in countries where sex is not accepted. I mean, that is the good thing about New York, it's like, I've never has any problems with anyone here

I guess third guy, I ever had sex with, date raped me, and I got very mad at him, but I wasn't gonna fucking like turn him in to the police and fucking go through shit.

Lizz: Why not, you see that's the problem, why not, I am just curious?

Moe: Because it was a load of trouble and I had better things to do, like drinking more.

On how to not get yourself raped:

Tracie: I have to honestly say that like, I know that it happens to girls who are smart, who know what they're doing, and blah blah blah, but like, I've never ever been in that situation and I've had lots and lots and lots of sex with a lot of people in my life. Maybe it's about education or something.

Lizz: Maybe you're lucky.

Tracie: I think it has to do with the fact that I am like, smart. Don't hiss! When I see myself in a situation that's not cool--I get wasted and stuff but like when I see myself in a situation I'm out. I've never hung around with frat guys. I took self-defense classes.

Moe: Yeah but it's like that Holocaust poem, you know...

Tracie: I'm just saying I've never been in that situation.

Moe: I always felt very like, safe around this guy even after he date raped me.

Lizz: You're digging yourself a huge hole, darlin'. You were not safe with him, he raped you!

Moe: All I'm saying is that he didn't seem like a guy who was like a date rapist.

Lizz: You can't identify where latent rage and anger and all that is. It doesn't have a look, it doesn't have a style, it doesn't have any of that.

Moe: But it's also, like, ridiculous to be like, you can never know, you have to be on guard at all times, it's like, the war on terror.

On being role models:

Tracie: Anybody that would emulate someone else is not with it completely.

Lizz: Hello? We have a, like, 75 bazillion dollar television budget that is based on emulation! What are you talking about? Your whole blog is based on people emulating you. Regardless of whether you think they should! That's like when football players say I am not a role model. You're a de facto role model.

Tracie: That's like undermining their intelligence to make their own decisions.

Now, it's not like I've never said dumb shit when I'm drunk. But you know what? I've also never gone onstage, wasted, representing the Stranger, and made a complete ass of myself in front of a bunch of people who paid to see me speak. If I was their employer--hell, if I was their friend— I'd be sad as hell to watch these two smart, funny ladies make themselves look and sound like complete fucking assholes. If you're gonna be a public person, you've got to take responsibility for your public actions. And tossing up a whiny post about how bad your hangover is ain't gonna cut it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Blood Brother

posted by on July 3 at 4:50 PM

A text message from my friend Hester:

Just passed a nerdy dude wearing a shirt that said "I'm a Keeper." Is that something other than a gross device for catching my period?

Thanks for the offer, guy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

For Sale At "Anti-Abortion, Pro-Date-Rape" T-Shirts

posted by on July 2 at 12:13 PM

And it can be yours for a mere $15.00:


The seller is a company called, which also stocks a large number of political T-shirts, band shirts, and "humorous" shirts like this one:


Amazon's seller policy prohibits the sale of items that are "illegal, inappropriate or offensive," which "includes any good or service that violates local, state, or federal laws or regulations or that would be generally offensive to others."

I think the "anti-abortion, pro-date-rape" T-shirt almost certainly qualifies--and so do the many customers who reviewed it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Dina Martina Rides a Bike!"

posted by on July 1 at 2:45 PM

So raves Slog tipper Nicholas, who writes:

A friend captured Dina Martina riding a bike in P-Town! How funny would it be to see her on a bicycle?!

Find out the answer here. (And God bless you, Nicholas.)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Reach Out and Touch Someone

posted by on June 30 at 1:28 PM

Really—touch her breasts, roll her back and forth in her bed, throw the silk sheets off her body. All with your cell new phone and our special Stalker Rate Package.

Via JoeMyGod.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Apropos of My Morning News Two Days Ago

posted by on June 26 at 4:19 PM

One of the stories I mentioned was about how Blue Shield is raising premiums for female members--even though the insurer doesn't cover pregnancy and maternity care.

Perhaps this is partly because women are more likely to seek preventive care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But this should make them better insurance risks. After all, they're proactively working to stay healthy.

And isn't that exactly what insurers encourage people to do?

"It doesn't make any sense," said Alice Wolfson of United Policyholders, a San Francisco-based advocacy group. "The insurers aren't assessing risk. They're assessing how much healthcare is used, even when it's preventive treatment."

Anyway, some commenters seemed to think that penalizing women for living longer and taking better care of themselves was basically the same thing as charging men more for car insurance because they're bigger accident risks. I didn't address it further at the time, but to my pleasant surprise, one of the ladies at Jezebel did just today. Turns out charging women more doesn't just make no sense--it makes no sense in a whole shit-ton of different ways. For example, insurers are charging women more based not on HOW they use it, but WHETHER they use it--a decision that actually costs them more in the long run.

So, if you're a young single woman on birth control who goes to the doctor when you have a mild case of bronchitis instead of going to the emergency room if it becomes pleurisy (a real disease! my friend had it last year) or pneumonia, then you're supposed to be in better shape price-wise because you're being cost-efficient. But if insurance companies are pricing insurance based on if you use it — as has happened in other insurance fields, such as homeowner's insurance — then any usage, even if it's efficient in the long-term, will ratchet up your costs over time and discourage you from utilizing the very insurance you're paying for. Gotta love a market failure!

The writer also posits that this ain't a problem that's going away any time soon. More and more insurance plans are being marketed specifically to men, "if for no other reason then than 29 percent of women are dependent on someone else's insurance and only 13 percent of men are." In fact,

fully half of men are primary insurance holders, while only slight more than a third of women are — meaning even if they're less than half the population, they're the population for whom insurance plans will most likely be designed and to whom those plans will most likely be marketed. And then they'll just charge us extra for all that stuff that guys aren't using, and because they can.

So even if you're not technically using it, just having that uterus will cost you extra.

So ladies—in addition to the cost of birth control ($260 a year if you've got a $20 copay like I do), the fact that insurance companies won't let you get more than one pill pack at a time (don't want the ladies getting all hopped up on progestin!), and the fact that routine preventive care like lab tests at the gynecologist is frequently subject to a large deductible even though it saves the insurance companies money—add this one to your list of Reasons the "Health Care" Industry is Fucking Evil.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Gender Stereotypes" Does Not Mean What Maureen Dowd Thinks It Means

posted by on June 25 at 1:20 PM

I'm a little late getting to this (no time to Slog these past two deadline days), but did folks read the Public Editor column in last Sunday's New York Times? The column poses the question that's suddenly trendy now that Hillary Clinton is safely out of the way: Did sexism color media coverage of the Clinton campaign? Specifically, did it color the NYT's coverage? The answer, Public Editor Clark Hoyt concludes, was mostly no -- except for one notable exception: Editorial columnist Maureen Dowd, whose columns

were so loaded with language painting [Clinton] as a 50-foot woman with a suffocating embrace, a conniving film noir dame and a victim dependent on her husband that they could easily have been listed in that Times article on sexism, right along with the comments of Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle, Tucker Carlson or, for that matter, [William] Kristol, who made the Hall of Shame for a comment on Fox News, not for his Times work.

What I love is how he lets Dowd hang herself--and how effectively she does so.

I’ve been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years,” Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images [uh, not true] about men over seven presidential campaigns. She often refers to Barack Obama as “Obambi” and has said he has a “feminine” management style. But the relentless nature of her gender-laden assault on Clinton — in 28 of 44 columns since Jan. 1 — left many readers with the strong feeling that an impermissible line had been crossed, even though, as Dowd noted, she is a columnist who is paid not to be objective.

So, by feminizing male politicians so she can call them fags (or "chick," or "weak sister," or "Breck girl", or "effete," or "Scarlett O'Hara," or "so feminized ... he's practically lactating," or a "debutante") Dowd is actually twisting gender stereotypes! Same thing for when she calls female politicians icy, manly, ball-busting bitches. Ridiculing men by calling girls isn't sexism--it's editorial license. Good to know.

Albanian Women Now Must Live as Women

posted by on June 25 at 8:56 AM

Every word of this story is fascinating.

Especially check out the slide show.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Re: 2008 It’s 10 O’clock. Do President Bush and John McCain Know Where Condoleezza Rice Is?

posted by on June 20 at 4:17 PM

Apropos of Josh's post yesterday about the "pg. 856,000 NYT story" on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's meeting with Hezbollah... Bush's own secretary of state, in her capacity as the chair of the UN Security Council, gave a moving speech yesterday just before the council officially classified rape as a "tactic of war."

According to the BBC, the resolution

described sexual violence as "a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group".

The document said that the violence "can significantly exacerbate situations of armed conflict and may impede the restoration of international peace and security".

AFP has more from Rice's speech.

"Rape is a crime that can never be condoned. Yet women and girls in conflict situations around the world have been subjected to widespread and deliberate acts of sexual violence," she said.

"Today's resolution establishes a mechanism for bringing those atrocities to light," the US chief diplomat said.

She stressed the resolution directs the UN secretary general to prepare an action plan for collecting data on the use of sexual violence in armed conflict and then reporting that information to the council.

Rice cited the example of Myanmar where she said "soldiers have regularly raped women and girls even as young as eight years old.

"What is tragic also in that country is that instead of being allowed to take the office as the elected leader of Burma's government, (opposition leader) Aung San Suu Kyi is marking her (63rd) birthday this very day under house arrest," the US chief diplomat said.

"We cannot forget as we examine this issue other women activists who struggle for freedom under violent environments," she added.

Rice also referred to widespread acts of sexual violence in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan.

The US diplomat highlighted acts of sexual violence perpetrated by UN peacekeepers in several countries around the world.

"As an international community we have a special responsibility to punish perpetrators of sexual violence who are representatives of international organizations," she noted.

Amazing as it is that this (like Rice's meeting with officially designated terrorist group Hezbollah) is coming from the Bush administration, I won't really be impressed until they start taking seriously the fact that one in three women in the US armed forces has been a victim of sexual assault.

The Day in Horror

posted by on June 20 at 2:03 PM

Last summer, US Army Specialist Kamisha Block was killed in Iraq in an incident the Army categorized as "friendly fire." Except that, as Jezebel points out, the man who shot her, Brandon Norris was an obsessive, jealous ex (the relationship was reportedly not serious) who had been physically abusing Block without punishment for months. Despite the fact that witnesses reported Norris's assaults on Block to military officials, the only action the Army took was to move him slightly farther from her barracks--to new housing a five-minute walk away. That wasn't enough to keep him from walking into her room, asking her roommate to leave, and then shooting her five times in the head and chest before turning the gun on himself. No one has been punished for failing to do anything to protect Block from her known, well-documented abuser, nor for lying to cover up the fact that Block was murdered.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hagee Still Says Nutty Shit

posted by on June 17 at 5:50 PM

John McCain's erstwhile spiritual advisor John Hagee--the preacher who blamed gays for Katrina, said Hitler was doing God's work, , and openly bashed Catholics from the pulpit--had some interesting insights into God's "ideal woman"--and what the "secular humanists" want her to turn into.

Partial transcript:

God paints the portrait of the ideal woman and he takes time to mention that she is a mother. If the secular humanist of the 21st century took his brush to paint the portrait of the thoroughly modern Millie, it would be with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth, smoke twirling out of her nostrils, language that would make a sailor blush – even Rosie O’Donnell. Her breath would smell like a brewery, a condom in one hand and the feminist manual in the other, listing the local abortion clinics to snuff out the life that was within her body. Her allegiance is always to her career. Her children are latchkey children who come home and who live alone until mother and daddy finally arrive after dark.

Women can render service in many secular fields, but God says her highest and best field—in God’s opinion!—is that of being a mother. [... ] When mothers instill into their children honesty, responsibility, integrity, truth, industry, and a sense of honor, America’s future is secure. But when mothers abandon those principles, America is finished it’s over.

Neat! I can't reveal any of the super-secret details about the Feminist Manual, but suffice it to say it's right there on my bookshelf next to the Loose Girl's Guide to Your Best Abortion Ever! and Lesbian Sodomy for Dummies.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Re: Media Sexism, Ctd.

posted by on June 13 at 10:45 AM

So the news media doesn't think the news media is sexist. What else is new? (Next week: Fox News declares Fox News fair and balanced!) Meanwhile, here's the photo the New York Times used in its story acquitting the media, including the New York Times, of focusing on cackles and cleavage.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

This Is Unexpected

posted by on June 7 at 10:12 AM

I just read Eli's post about Hillary's concession speech this morning. I knew it was coming, and I've never felt like a Hillary loyalist.

And yet, I've got a lump in my throat. A lump. When is the next woman coming up? What have we lost here?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wombs to Let

posted by on June 4 at 9:53 AM

A state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in California—and forcibly divorce thousands of gay and lesbian couples that will have married between June 17 and November—isn't the only problematic constitutional amendment being placed before voters this fall. Colorado voters are being asked to approve a constitutional amendment that will make a fertilized egg—not an implanted egg, just a fertilized egg—a "person" under the law. From the Denver Post:

A proposed amendment to the Colorado state constitution that would define a human egg as a "person" from the moment of fertilization would go far beyond its intended purpose of outlawing practically all abortions.

Philosophers may debate when human life begins, but scientists are unanimous on the subject of when pregnancy begins: it's when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus. But the proposed Amendment 48 specifies that the egg be considered a "person" in the eyes of the law even before it is implanted in the uterus. That means, effectively, that those forms of birth control that prevent such implantation would be classified as homicide under the proposal.

Even without the use of drugs, many eggs just naturally fail to implant in the uterus. Likewise, many eggs are implanted only to result in a miscarriage in the early days or weeks of pregnancy — often before the woman is even aware she is pregnant. Should a woman who suffers a miscarriage be charged with negligent homicide because she failed to protect a fertilized egg she may not have even known she carried? Should a man who fertilized an egg be entitled to file a civil lawsuit against a woman who miscarries, charging her with the wrongful death of his week-old fertilized egg?

Hm. If a fertilized egg—even one that hasn't gotten around to implanting itself yet (negligence!)—is a person, with all the legal rights and, presumably, responsibilities of personhood, perhaps our response to the latest effort by the religious right to seize control of women's reproductive organs should be this: A fertilized egg is a person? Great, then women who don't want their uteruses inhabited by these microscopic fertilized egg persons should be able to have them evicted. If eviction isn't possible—because these microscopic fertilized egg persons would presumably perish in the process (just like some fully grown evictees, but whatever)—then women should be able to at the very least charge these egg persons rent.

So let the state of Colorado declare fertilized eggs to be persons—but let's be fair, folks. A woman's a person too, with certain legal rights. And just like I couldn't squat in some woman's apartment rent-free, a microscopic fertilized egg person shouldn't be allowed to squat in a woman's uterus for free either. So it seems to me that any woman whose uterus is being occupied by an egg person should, at the very least, qualify for federal Section 8 Housing Subsidies.