Washington State senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) has been taking heat for sponsoring a bill that would remove gender-specific language in state law. Critics say it's a waste of time. So in a newsletter today, she responds, pointing out that these right-wing blowhards would probably think her legislation was an excellent use of time if the tables were turned:
A bill of mine that passed out of the Senate unanimously this week, SB 5077, has drawn an unusual amount of attention in recent weeks. Talk radio personalities and others have asked why I would sponsor legislation to replace outdated gender-specific terms in state statutes with gender-neutral language when our state faces larger, more urgent challenges such as creating jobs and balancing the budget as we recover from recession.
Their argument is that I shouldn’t divert time or money from those urgent needs, and I agree; in fact, if my bill actually did that, I would not have introduced it at all. But the bill does nothing of the sort. The bill is drafted during the legislative interim and costs nothing, nor does it interfere with other tasks such as the major issues we tackles during the legislative session. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle and across the state agreed with me, voting unanimously to pass the bill out of the Senate this week.
Apart from that, some people have questioned the value of replacing traditional terms like “fisherman” with “fisher” or “gripman” with “grip operator.” But if society’s gender history were reversed, I wonder how many men today would feel comfortable being called a “firewoman,” “policewoman” or “fisherwoman.” Even if this is not a monumental issue to some, it is nevertheless observes basic principles of accuracy and respect that I think the vast majority of Washingtonians would agree on.
This legislation is nothing new. In 1983, legislation was passed to require that the Legislature use gender-neutral language in any bills it passes. SB 5077, which I sponsored at the request of the code reviser’s office, simply extends that practice to statutes written prior to 1983.
An early submission for the next installment of Loose Lips:
In his introduction to the lastest installment of the Night & Day film noir series at Central Cinema, host Brandon Ryan made repeated and somewhat lascivious reference to the "slutty femme fatales" we'd soon be seeing onscreen. Unfortunately, neither of the films Ryan was discussing—The Sweet Smell of Success and Fargo—contain slutty femme fatale characters, making him look thick-headed at best and casually misogynistic at worst. (Do your homework, kid, or the Night & Day series will become known for great movies preceded by unfun blather.)
Finally! Two guys—Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner, both of 'em conservative radio hosts—explain feminism.
The gist of their discussion, as reported by the invaluable RightWingWatch:
There are “two forms of feminism,” Buehner argued. There are “cute” feminists like Sarah Palin who will find jobs in the “marketplace” and “get themselves a husband” but will “never submit to the husband, in fact they will use their power probably to make their husband submit to them.” Then, there are the “ugly” feminists whose “lack of attractiveness has not given them access to power that they wanted in the marketplace.” These “attractively challenged” feminists will only find careers in academia and in government agencies, for instance, “you can run the EPA.”
What all these feminists have in common, Swanson argues, is that “all of them want to be free from the family” and together with “the homosexuals” are “destroying society.” Buehner speculates that in the future, feminism will be remembered as “a time in which women lost the love of their children” and “decided to become selfish, narcissistic, family-destroying whores.”
When Superman is Clark Kent, sitting among his peers, does he say that "women are born weaker than men"? When Spider-Man is Peter Parker, does he look over at Mary Jane and announce to the folks around the table that "we gotta get outta here soon because I want to have sex and she needs to go to bed soon"? When Batman is Bruce Wayne, does he sit around with folks he's just met and boast about all the millionaires he knows? What I'm trying to ask here: Do superheroes historically practice misogyny and self-aggrandizement when the mask comes off? Also, if one intervenes in "crime" during the day and utters belittling, ignorant garbage after hours, does one really deserve the respect of one's peers?
Heroes don't wear masks and pepper-spray the shit out of citizens. Heroes are accountable and identifiable. Heroes use their words. They educate, inspire, organize, and revolutionize. They represent the oppressed, expose corruption, and create formulas for peace. Don't expect me to prostrate myself before your enormous ego....
If you want more celebrity bullshit posts, post 'em. And please note that the two Seahawks posts were by regular actual employees of The Stranger, and one of them was so disdainful as to actually constitute a Golden Globes post.
Remember all those dire warnings that the hyper-macho military culture could never adjust to "Don't ask, Don't tell" repeal and relentless hate crimes against gays would jam everything up? Yeah. Maybe not so much. Now a military unit in Afghanistan has released this technicolor nightmare that will run in an endless loop in poor Tony Perkins' mind forever. It is apparently authentic. If this brings you a smile, joining Netroots for the Troops effort is a great way to return a smile.
That video would've kicked off an anti-gay witch hunt during the ban on gays in the military. But the nuts aren't obsessing about gays in the military anymore—because the post-DADT-repeal data is in and the haters were wrong. Now they're obsessing about gays in the dorms. (And, yeah, what young people in dorms want is... to hang out with folks from the Ruth Institute. Sounds like a party.)
....but that's mostly because people rarely send us obituaries to run. But then someone did, and here it is.
Name of Deceased: Rony Wiesel Age : 51 Date of Death : 05/04/2012 Last Residence : Seattle Washington Place of Birth : Toronto, Canada Work History : Art Director and Writer/Editor at various papers Education : Reed College - English Lit Synagogue Affiliation : Seattle Kollel Hobbies / Interests : Writer, Editor, Property Management and Real Estate
I believe it was Brendan who recently brought up the idea on Slog that a good obituary makes you wish you'd met the deceased. This is a good obituary.
The wonderfully articulate son of lesbian moms (and new author) chats with David Letterman about bullying and homophobia, and it's kind of amazing: Wahls is so naturally empathetic towards those who might disagree with him/his family, it gives Letterman a chance to come out swinging.
Also, I don't want to be one of those people who, like, survives life in a gulag and then remains forever and inordinately amazed by life outside the gulag—"Sandwich wrap? We didn't have that in the gulag!!!"—but as someone who grew up gay in Texas in the 1980s, I'd like to say that I never thought I'd live to see the day when the accomplished son of lesbian moms discusses homophobia on television with David Letterman. Good work, human progress.
A few hours ago on Broadway, a man in a Kangol cap, a track suit, and sunglasses was whistling across the street to a friend. He tucked his bottom lip beneath his incisors, one of which was gold, and emitted an uncommonly loud and elaborate whistle. The whistle had a high, smooth, oscillating pitch. It sounded like a sine wave or an unusually cheerful mourning dove.
"That's a hell of a whistle you've got there," I said as I passed.
"Thank you sir!" he boomed. "I swallowed a bird!" Then he gave me one of those wink/cheek-clicks that is often accompanied by that pointing gesture where you make like your finger is a gun and your thumb is the hammer.
But he didn't make that pointing gesture. Just the wink/cheek-click.
Toby Crittenden, Program Director of the Washington Bus, is one of a lucky few hundred non-Boeing employees picked to stand in an underground hangar at the Boeing factory while President Obama rubs exfoliated elbows with workers and shouts about jobs (spoiler alert: they're important!).
I asked Toby to text me breathless updates about his trip because I am incredibly nosy and he is incredibly obliging. Here's what he's noted so far:
"Presidential politics brings everybody out. This isn't your run-of-the-mill political hack crowd. Many different faces here. We're busing past giant airplane engines basking in the great outdoors... now we're in a giant tunnel under the Boeing plant. It looks like the set of a scifi movie—like Battlestar Galactica, minus the threat of human eradication, and soundtracked by serious smooth jazz jams. The energy in this tunnel is as tense as your average unarmed jawa in a tatooed bar (again, minus the threat of human eradication)."
For all you non Battlestar Galactica fans, here's what that looks like (BYOSmoothJazz):
"I suppose the only thing left to do is propagate the human species."
Toby says the president has alighted from a Boeing plane and is preparing to address the crowd:
My brother just called to tell me he's been awarded a Navy SEAL contract. I was less than thrilled when he first brought up the idea of becoming a SEAL a year ago, and reading up on their training and deployment did nothing to soothe my liberal, big-sister hand wringing (why the fuck couldn't he grow up to be a teen dad like his friends???). But after watching him work for the last year—running marathons in hiking boots, swimming miles with a brick in his mouth, morphing into one giant ab, etc.—I'm really proud of him for getting his goddamn contract. He's earned it. (Goddammit.)
And what better way to celebrate that fact than by paying a hairy man $5 to write Congrats! on his stomach and dance his fucking ass off? (Hat tip to TVDinner for the idea!)
It's the same stupid Obama/Hitler sign that smug racist* scumbags have been standing next to for years. These fucking idiots are like catnip to me. Having no self-control, I asked whether Obama had exterminated six million innocent people—update: a commenter to this post points out the number's more like 12 million, and Wikipedia says "as many as 17 million"—and the one on the left said, "Uh, you've never heard of Anwar al-Aulaqi?"
The guy on the left went on: "He was an American! He hadn't done anything! OBAMA KILLED HIM FOR HIS THOUGHTS!"
I said, "No, I think he killed him because he was an al Qaeda operative."
The one on the left said, "He hadn't done anything!"
I said, "Except advise the Christmas Day bomber to wait until he was over Detroit to detonate his underwear, so he could kill as many innocent Americans as possible."
"For his thoughts!" the one on the left went on, not listening. "YOU COULD BE NEXT!"
Considering I have no plans to join al Qaeda, I'm not that worried. The light changed and I crossed the street and bought a smoothie.
* It's just my personal opinion that vilifying Obama by making shit up and conflating him with one of history's most accomplished evil-doers is racist. But like I said, that's just my opinion. Let's poll it!
Based on That Stupid Sign, Are These Scumbags Racist?
by Jen Graves
on Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM
Courtesy the artist
Patte Loper made this painting, called Film Still Circa 1977. An exhibition of her new works is happening Thursday during Pioneer Square Art Walk, at Platform Gallery. None of her works will weigh 30, 50, or 340 tons.
It's happening now—maybe you'll see the juggernaut out there on the road this week, snaking from Riverside, California, to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
A custom vehicle three freeway lanes wide has been commissioned by LACMA in conjunction with a company that normally transports nuclear generators and missiles ("extreme objects"). But this extreme object is a 340-ton boulder that's part of a new sculpture by Michael Heizer, the cowboy/land artist whose earliest urban installation was here in Seattle.
That piece, made in 1976, also included big rocks: three granite slabs 30 to 50 tons each (give or take 20 tons, you know), carted by train and barge from the Cascades to Myrtle Edwards Park, where they sit to this day.
Utility lines, street lights, and stop lights are being dismantled—then remounted immediately—to make room. Permits have been required from every municipality and county along the way, as well as the state of California.
It just goes to show: Museums and wealthy donors don't love challenges, unless those challenges are logistical.
And then they love them so much it's pornographic.
Almost like they're, you know, compensating for something?