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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Worth Remembering

posted by on June 3 at 3:54 PM

For those of us who grew up in the decades after Roe v. Wade, the right to a safe, legal abortion is as easy to take for granted as our right to buy condoms or get treated for STDs. But for decades, the only recourse for pregnant women and girls was to carry the baby to term--often a ruinous decision, for obvious reasons--or to seek (or give oneself) an illegal abortion.

In today's NYT, Dr. Waldo Fielding--a gynecologist from the time before Roe v. Wade gave women the right to choose--writes about his experience caring for women who had illegal abortions. It's worth remembering, 35 years after Roe v. Wade, what those days were like.

The familiar symbol of illegal abortion is the infamous “coat hanger” — which may be the symbol, but is in no way a myth. In my years in New York, several women arrived with a hanger still in place. Whoever put it in — perhaps the patient herself — found it trapped in the cervix and could not remove it.

[...] However, not simply coat hangers were used.

Almost any implement you can imagine had been and was used to start an abortion — darning needles, crochet hooks, cut-glass salt shakers, soda bottles, sometimes intact, sometimes with the top broken off.

[...]The worst case I saw, and one I hope no one else will ever have to face, was that of a nurse who was admitted with what looked like a partly delivered umbilical cord. Yet as soon as we examined her, we realized that what we thought was the cord was in fact part of her intestine, which had been hooked and torn by whatever implement had been used in the abortion. It took six hours of surgery to remove the infected uterus and ovaries and repair the part of the bowel that was still functional.

It is important to remember that Roe v. Wade did not mean that abortions could be performed. They have always been done, dating from ancient Greek days.

What Roe said was that ending a pregnancy could be carried out by medical personnel
, in a medically accepted setting, thus conferring on women, finally, the full rights of first-class citizens — and freeing their doctors to treat them as such.

This is what things were like for women in the days before Roe v. Wade assured a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion. It's those halcyon days to which John "Immediately Overturn Roe v. Wade" McCain would like to see us return.

Monday, June 2, 2008

YSL Sendoff

posted by on June 2 at 2:22 PM

Yves Saint Laurent

Northwest Film Forum just happened to be playing a pair of films about Yves Saint Laurent the weekend he died.

If you'd still like to pay tribute to the inventor of the pantsuit, you still have time.


NWFF is playing the biographical documentary Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times again this Friday at 7:15 and 9:15 pm, and Yves Saint Laurent: 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris, a doc about the designer's old-school, labor-intensive atelier in the year before it closed, on Friday at 7 and 9 pm.

As Long As You Keep 'Em On

posted by on June 2 at 11:03 AM

Kmart--last seen selling classy "light-hearted" shirts promoting domestic violence—is now marketing abstinence-only pants . Think "True Love Waits"? Now you can emblazon it across your (virginal) ass:


According to the accompanying copy, "Whether she is lounging around the house, going to practice, or doing her chores. ... These athletic pants boldly proclaim just where she stands by pointing out that 'True Love Waits' in a large screen print on the front and back of these pants."

Not available in boys' sizes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Express Yourself With this League of Women Voters-Endorsed Outpatient Procedure!

posted by on May 20 at 5:15 PM

From Slog tipper Angie comes the bizarre story of an event at EMP called "Freedom of Expression Through Film," billed as "dinner and a presentation featuring a keynote speech by an actress of note." The event, sponsored by the respected League of Women Voters, seemed like a standard appetizers-booze-and-mingle affair. That is, until the main event, which turned out to be a promotion for Botox--the pharmaceutical injection best known for turning the once beautiful Nicole Kidman into an expressionless, bat-faced freak. (See Fig. 1, below)

And the "actress of note"? None other than Virginia Madsen, last seen expressing herself freely (well, except in the eyebrow region) alongside Matthew Broderick in the Alzheimer's caper "Diminished Capacity." According to tipper Angie, both Madsen and her mother spoke fondly about the wonders of Botox; afterward, "an increasingly thinning crowd" listened to a pitch by the League of Women Voters about its "Vote411" web site, billed by the League as "a 'one-stop-shop' for election information including a national polling place locator, general and state-specific information on voter registration, absentee ballot rules, early voting provisions and ID requirements." Then they got a bunch of Botox schwag, including a rhinestone-encrusted Botox T-shirt.

Here's the pitch, from the collagen-enhanced mouth of Madsen herself:

Today’s women have so many ways to express themselves. As an actress, I have the opportunity to convey my views through the projects I choose and the characters I play. But like many of you, I’m also a daughter, a mother and a professional. One thing we all have in common is that we have more choices available to us today than ever before – choices that the generations before us didn't have.

Today, we dictate our career paths, how we raise our children and our role in the political arena. We’ve also changed our overall approach to managing our health, which today includes everything from eating right and exercising to new approaches to beauty and “aging gracefully.”

As you know, I have been very open about my treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic (Botulinum Toxin Type A) to the astonishment of many in the industry. For me, the decision to share my experience and beauty insights was one I made for myself and not something I felt I should have to defend or hide. I approached it as I do all things in my life – I informed and educated myself, and made the right decision for me.

This is why I have chosen to support the Freedom of Expression through Film campaign in partnership with the League of Women Voters and Allergan, Inc. – the makers of BOTOX® Cosmetic. The campaign encourages women to express themselves openly and honestly – something I do in both my personal and professional life – and underscores the importance of making educated, informed choices about life and beauty.

So, basically, if you're a liberated, modern woman, you should feel free to go right ahead and express yourself by using Botox. It's basically the same thing as running for office! And elective cosmetic procedures? Why, those are right up there with volunteering and balancing work and family.

It's unclear why, exactly, a venerable institution like the League of Women voters would participate in a campaign like this. To say that encouraging women to purchase an expensive cosmetic procedure promotes "women's expression" is like saying that high heels promote women's mobility. You want to lose the ability to make a range of facial expressions, be my guest--but don't sell it to women as a transformative experience along the lines of, say, taking part in a political movement or choosing to work outside the home. That's just condescending. And bizarre.

(Fig. 1)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Re: Purity Balls Are So 2002

posted by on May 19 at 1:05 PM

The five creepiest things in Sunday's Times article on "purity balls," in no particular order:

1) The idea that girls are "waiting for" their fathers in the context of an event that tells girls to wait to have sex. “'Fathers, our daughters are waiting for us,' Mr. Wilson, 49, told the men. 'They are desperately waiting for us in a culture that lures them into the murky waters of exploitation. They need to be rescued by you, their dad.'''

2) 23275485.jpg

3) "Each father and his daughter walked under the arch and knelt before the cross. Synthesized hymns played. The fathers sometimes held their daughters and whispered a short prayer, and then the girls each placed a white rose, representing purity, at the foot of the cross. Mr. Lee and Rachel walked away holding hands." Yep, A WHITE ROSE. Because little girls' virginity is a delicate flower--and only their daddies can keep the eeevil boys from plucking (heh) all the petals away.

4) 23275631.jpg

5) The conclusion: "The fathers took their flushed and sometimes sleepy girls toward the exit. But one father took his two young daughters for a walk around the hotel’s dark, glassy lake." Nah, nothing creepy about taking two "flushed, sleepy" young girls for a creepy walk around the creepy, glassy lake. Nothing creepy about that at all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Extra Special: Aged 12 Years"

posted by on May 13 at 1:03 PM

The blacker the labial the sweeter the juice?

Johnnie Worker Black Labial courtesy of China. Photo courtesy of "Yotam from Israel."

On The Head Scarf

posted by on May 13 at 10:59 AM


What is it we see when a Westerner wears a head scarf? A fashion critic at The Calgary Herald offers this answer:

It evokes the fashions of the faraway cultures we see on the nightly news: the brilliantly coloured sarongs worn by graceful African women; the head scarves Muslim women drape over their hair for modesty's sake; the shawls female foreign correspondents wrap themselves in to respect their conservative subjects. It is exotic, easy, adventurous and casual, perfect with jeans or techno-chic layers.
The head scarf is at once modern and traditional; motherly and sexy; modest and adventurous. If this is the case, we must next explain why is it the case? Why does a scarf on the head of a Westerner evoke conflicting or opposing codes?

Monday, May 12, 2008

That's My Hometown

posted by on May 12 at 1:53 PM

Sugar Land, Texas, making me proud:

Skimpy prom dress lands teen in cuffs

HOUSTON—Marche Taylor’s prom night experience wasn’t what you would call “the norm.”

That’s because instead of a night of dancing and hanging out with friends, the Madison High School senior ended up in a confrontation with school officials and escorted out in handcuffs. Officials said her dress was inappropriate for the prom.


If things in Sugar Land are anything like they were in my day, school officials ought to be spending more time, oh, worrying about drunk driving, heavy drug use, and the suicide rate than checking prom dresses to make sure they don't reveal TEH BOOBIES.

And seriously, these days? What prom dress ISN'T revealing these days? (And how many of those skimpy dresses were allowed inside the Marriott before Taylor was hauled off to jail?) Check a few of these dresses out">out if you don't believe that times have changed.

Worth noting: The high school Taylor goes to is 58 percent black; Sugar Land, in contrast, has a black population of just five percent.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Huffington To Speak in Seattle

posted by on May 9 at 12:05 PM

Arianna Huffington fans, get out your calendars: The onetime Republican turned online media mogul will speak at this year's (11th annual) Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington luncheon at the Bell Harbor conference center downtown. The event's on May 20 at noon; tickets and more information available here.

Shorter Nicole Brodeur

posted by on May 9 at 10:57 AM

You can have it all!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Women in Politics: Same as It Ever Was

posted by on May 8 at 3:23 PM

Violet Socks at Reclusive Leftist--probably the most ardent Clinton supporter on the Internet after Robin Morgan--has a post up today explaining why she won't vote for Obama even if he's the nominee. And while I don't agree with her conclusions--as I wrote this week, I think it's time for Democrats to unite around a nominee and get to work building the case against McCain--her reasons for sticking it out with Clinton struck a chord.

Imagine this scenario:

The shoe is on the other foot, and Obama, not Hillary, is the punching bag of the media — a media that is blatantly and unapologetically racist. And I do mean blatant. Jokes every night on the cable news shows about Obama’s hair and his fondness for fried chicken. Pundits laughing about what a problem uppity Negroes are.

Across the country, racists openly ridicule Obama and his candidacy. In mainstream stores there are gag gifts playing on racist themes: maybe a (water)Melon Baller with Obama’s head on the handle, maybe a Barack Obama Shoeshine Set — you get the picture. 501c groups invoke the most grotesque racist slurs with their advertising; T-shirts say “Quit Running for President and Shine My Shoes!” Anybody who protests is branded a fool and a spoilsport.

Online, Hillary’s supporters constantly refer to Obama and his supporters as n—–s and c— -s and all the other epithets I refuse to type out. Blogger Boyz blog about those stupid lazy Negroes who are still wallowing in memories of the Civil Rights era, too dumb to get with the program and vote for Hillary.

And the lies: Obama is constantly lied about, belittled, demeaned. His record is distorted, his character impugned. Every day the pundits and the Blogger Boyz urge him to drop out of the race, to remember his place, to give up his seat to the white woman. All in the interest of “party unity.”

And nary a word of reproach from Hillary herself. No denunciation at all of the relentless racism. In fact, she actually cracks a few racist remarks herself, albeit subtle ones. She jokes and nods with the media about “letting” Obama run as long as he wants to. And when she makes speeches about American values, she talks a lot about women’s rights but never mentions civil rights. She’s strikingly silent on the subject. Even when she delivers a major address on the importance of rooting out bigotry, she neglects to mention racism at all.

And the Democratic Party goes along with all this, pushing Hillary as the nominee, ignoring the anger of African-American voters, smugly assuming that they’ll “come back to the fold” by November. After all, say the pundits and the Blogger Boyz, where else are they going to go? The Republicans are even worse.

I've said it before--but because some Slog readers seem to still think I believe any attack on Clinton is a sexist attack, I'll say it again: The misogyny from the media, from supposedly liberal blogger doodz , commenters on this blog, and just about everywhere during this campaign has been despicable. This kind of shit ought to be behind us: Hillary Clinton is a bitch. A big ol' bitchy bitch. And a cunt. A "big fucking whore." Fortunately, you can "call a woman anything." She's "Nurse Ratched." She'll castrate you if she gets a chance. She would like that. She's a "She-Devil." She's a madam, and her daughter's a whore. She's frigid, and she can't give head. She's a "She-Devil." A lesbian. A nag. When things get tough, she cries like a big dumb GIRL. In fact, she's just that -- a "little girl." In FACT, she wants to "cry her way to the White House." To be, ahem, "Crybaby-in-Chief." That proves that she's not tough enough. But she's also not feminine enough. She's "screechy." She's an "aging, resentful female." She's "Sister Frigidaire." She really ought to quit running for President and stick to housework. She basically spent her entire times as First Lady going to tea parties. She's a monster whojust won't die. In fact, she really should just die. You can buy a urinal target with her face on it to express what you really think of her. OMG she's got claws! She's crazy. In fact, she's a lunatic. She's petty and vindictive and entitled. She's a washed-up old hag. She's "everybody's first wifestanding outside probate court." She's a "scolding mother." She's shrill... shrill... shrill. She can't take it when people are mean to her. She's a "hellish housewife." She's Tanya Harding. She CAN'T be President, what with the mood swings and the menses.Any woman who votes for her is voting with her vagina, not her brain. Women only like Hillary because she's a fellow Vagina-American. And because they vote with their feelings. Frankly, anyone who still thinks we need "feminine role models" should get over it and move on, already. Oh, and men who supporters are castratos in the eunuch chorus. You shouldn't make her President because she wants it too much. She's totally just banking on support from ugly old feminists. And she looooves to "play the victim." She cackles! And cackles. And cackles. It's like she's a witch or something! She's definitely"witchy." And now you can buy her cackle as your ring tone. Her voice, too, is "grating"--like "fingernails on a blackboard" to "some men." She's hiding behind her gender. She isn't a "convincing mom" because she's too strident. She never did anything on her own. Her husband keeps her on a leash. She hates men. Her campaign is a "catfight." She makes people want to kill themselves, is like a "domineering mother," and is cold. And OMG she has boobies! All of which are reasons to hate her. (And boy, could I go on.)

Oh, and if you even mention any of this, you're either silly or a bad person.

So yeah, while I'm ready to get on the Obama welcome wagon, I'm also angry. And I'm not ready to "get over" the blatant, ugly misogyny that so many Democrats--Democrats!--have displayed throughout this campaign, thank you very fucking much. (Of course, Republican shitbags did plenty of dishing, too, but the sexist statements by Democrats and otherwise liberal columnists have been the most disappointing). You can't be intellectually honest if you give lip service to "equality" in one breath and guffaw at how "caustic" and "shrill" Clinton is in the next.

I'm fiercely disappointed in many of my fellow Americans. I've long hoped that the daughters of the generation that follows mine would grow up thinking that even they could be President someday. If I ever have a daughter someday, I'll tell her that, just as my parents did. But after seeing what happened to Hillary, I doubt they'll have reason to believe it.

Now That Clinton vs. Obama Has Been Decided...

posted by on May 8 at 12:28 PM


we can turn our attention to the celebrity deathmatch being waged between former View host Star Jones and View creator and star Barbara Walters.

Round One: While appearing on Tuesday's Oprah Winfrey Show to promote her new, adultery-admitting memoir, Barbara Walters reveals that Star Jones required her View co-hosts to play dumb about her obvious-to-anyone-with-eyes gastric-bypass surgery. "We had to lie on the set everyday because she said it was portion control and Pilates," Barbara told Oprah. "Well, we knew it wasn't portion control and Pilates."

Round Two: The day after the Oprah broadcast, Star blasts Babs to US magazine: "It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters, in the sunset of her life, is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair and speaking negatively against me all for the sake of selling a book. It speaks to her true character.”

Round Three: Contacted by US for a statement, a rep for Barbara Walters said, "I will not dignify this with a comment. Barbara's written words say it all."

As for choosing a winner and a loser: Star's zinger about Barbara's impending death was indeed impressive, but still, it came from the yap of Star Jones, so—WINNER: Barbara Walters! (And who knew she was a checkerboard chick?)

(Image from

Monday, May 5, 2008

Federal Court: Pharmacists Can Refuse to Dispense Emergency Contraception

posted by on May 5 at 5:20 PM

Remind me again: Why do "pro-lifers" say they're against abortion when everything they do seems geared at forcing more women to become pregnant?

(Side note 1: Although Gregoire has at times been less than vocal on the Plan B issue, her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, supports allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense prescriptions they disapprove of.)

(Side note 2: "Pro-life" nutsos have announced a national day of action against birth control, cleverly titled "Protest the Pill Day: The Pill Kills Babies." Yes, by all means, let's oppose birth control, ban medically accurate sex education, eliminate access to emergency contraception, ban abortion, and then shame girls and damn them to hell when they get pregnant anyway. That'll show 'em. Sluts.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No, You Can't Grab My Tits

posted by on April 24 at 12:15 PM

A lot has been written about the "Open-Source Boob Project"--wherein female participants at a software/sci-fi convention were invited to wear either a green button (signifying "hey, mouth-breathing sci-fi nerd who has never been within 40 feet of a real woman--feel free to grab my tits") or a red one (signifying "sorry, boys, I have autonomy over my body and am not going to give it up by letting random dudes grope me")--so instead of responding myself, here's a brief roundup of blog posts about it.

From Feministing:

So apparently at a software convention called ConFusion, a bunch of guys were standing around and talking about how awesome the world would be if they could just reach out and grab any woman's boobs. And a woman near them piped up that they could touch her breasts, and they all proceeded to grope her. Then, according to a post by some dude who calls himself the Ferrett, pictured above [and here], they asked other women:
It was exciting, of course. I won't deny it was sexual. But it was a miraculous sexuality that didn't feel dirty, but clean.

Emboldened, we started asking other people. And lo, in the rarified atmosphere of the con, few were offended and many agreed. And they also felt that strange charge. We went around the con, asking those who we thought might be amenable - you didn't just ask anyone, but rather the ones who'd dressed to impress - and generally, people responded. They understood how this worked instinctively, and it worked.

Did you catch that? "The ones who'd dressed to impress"? Almost as if they were "asking for it"? That because they were wearing a tight shirt, their breasts were practically public property, anyway?

By the end of the evening, women were coming up to us. "My breasts," they asked shyly, having heard about the project. "Are they... are they good enough to be touched?" And lo, we showed them how beautiful their bodies were without turning it into something tawdry."

Because what could be more intoxicating than the approval of a room full of tech dudes?

We talked about this. It was an Open-Source Project, making breasts available to select folks. (Like any good project, you need access control, because there are loutish men and women who just Don't Get It.) And we wanted a signal to let people know that they were okay with being asked politely, so we turned it into a project: The Open-Source Boob Project.

For those of you not technologically inclined, "open-source" software means the code is available for anyone to use. All-access. Everyone has a right to it. Just like women's bodies! (Get it? They're so clever!)

Oh, but it doesn't stop there...

Apparently Ferrett and friends were so blown away by their ability to demand access to women's bodies that they decided to make buttons to distribute at an upcoming software and science fiction convention:

At Penguicon, we had buttons to give away. There were two small buttons, one for each camp: A green button that said, "YES, you may" and a red button that said "NO, you may not." And anyone who had those buttons on, whether you knew them or not, was someone you could approach and ask: "Excuse me, but may I touch your breasts?"

And if you weren't a total lout - the women retained their right to say no, of course - they would push their chests out, and you would be allowed into the sanctity of it. That exchange of happiness where one person are told with gropes and touches that they are desirable and the other is someone who's allowed to desire.

Understandably, this puke-worthy "project" was instantly denounced by many, many others in the open-source software and science fiction community. The Ferrett issued a sputtering "clarification" that was just as bad as the original post. (It included the defense that because women were among the gropers, it couldn't be that sexist, right? Nevermind the fact that only women were the gropees.)

From Jezebel:

When people first started imploring us to weigh in on the Open Source Boob Project we had this scary image of a website featuring a picture of a pair of fake tits that registered computer programmers could modify and reshape and manipulate with nanotechnology or whatever else until the resultant pair of tits reflected the internet's consensus of the ideal pair of boobs. (The consensus would, of course, change and grow over time, reflecting an anthropological study in the ever-changing depiction of breasts in the media, anime and videogames; that's how the project would get academic funding.) Anyway: why did I give the geeks so much credit? The Open Source Boob Project was actually just a consensual gropeathon that went down at PenguiCon, which is, naturally, a science fiction convention, though its genesis happened at ConFusion, another science fiction convention, when one geek, probably inspired by a booth babe, said to another geek:
I wish this was the kind of world where say, 'Wow, I'd like to touch your breasts,' and people would understand that it's not a way of reducing you to a set of nipples and ignoring the rest of you, but rather a way of saying that I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful.

At which point — another "friend" spoke up. (Who is this friend? And will the blogosphere hear from her? One can only hope.

We were standing in the hallway of ConFusion, about nine of us, and we all nodded. Then another friend spoke up.

"You can touch my boobs," she said to all of us in the hallway. "It's no big deal."

Now, you have to understand the way she said that, because it's the key to the whole project. The spirit of everything was formed within those nine words - and if she'd said them shyly, as though having her breasts touched by people was something to be endured or afraid of, the Open-Source Boob Project would have died aborning. But she didn't. Her words were loud and clearly audible to anyone who walked by, an offer made to friends and acquaintances alike. [...]

We all reached out in the hallway, hands and fingers extended, to get a handful. And lo, we touched her breasts - taking turns to put our hands on the creamy tops exposed through the sheer top she wore, cupping our palms to touch the clothed swell underneath, exploring thoroughly but briefly lest we cross the line from 'touching" to "unwanted heavy petting." They were awesome breasts, worthy of being touched.

At which point the whole crew decided that an awesome tradition had been born, and next time, they would just print up buttons saying "Yes, you may!" or alternately "No, you may not."

From Misia, on LiveJournal

Like other Open Source projects, the Open Source Swift Kick to the Balls Project (OSSKBP) relies on a wide pool of volunteers working together for the common good.

The Project has very simple parameters and it basically works like this:

Men who are open to being given a swift kick in the balls need do nothing. Women will simply assume that any man not clearly indicating his position vis-a-vis being kicked in the balls with an approved OSSKBP badge or pin is open to being kicked in the balls, as any progressive, free-thinking, feminist man ought to be, by any woman who wishes to do so.

However, we also recognize and affirm that not all men will be so willing to serve. Therefore the OSSKBP provides two other options.

1. Men who would like to be asked for permission before a woman administers one or more swift kicks to their balls shall wear the offical OSSKBP "Ask First Pin" at all times. This is a black lapel pin with a lavender question mark on it.

Because of the serious and comprehensive respect with which women's desires vis-a-vis having their bodies touched by others are uniformly greeted in our culture, women will sometimes abide by any given Ask First Pin wearer's stated preference about getting a kick in the balls at the time that he is asked. At other times, however, women may make their own decisions as to whether or not to give him a quick kick in the nuts regardless of the male's expressed preference. Fair's fair.

2. Men who do not wish to be kicked in the balls at all must wear a large visible official "No Kicks, Thanks" badge at all times, including when swimming, showering, and sleeping. They may also wish to avoid areas where large numbers of women are present, particularly at night. Some men may also wish to invest in assertiveness training, sympathetic female bodyguards, body armor, or sessions with a personal self-defense trainer to increase their ability to resist undesired kicks. As these methods have long been considered completely adequate for women who wish to avoid sexual predation we feel that they are all that is necessary here.

From Machineplay (via Hoyden About Town):

I'm tired of the assertion that this is opt-in, because it's NOT. Not fundamentally. Everyone is participating because everyone there has a body. I can't opt out of my boobs. I can't opt out of people making a value judgment about me when they see I'm not wearing a button, even if I never knew about it when I got there. Having your breasts touched is optional -- WHAT A NOVEL IDEA. Being ranked as 'unwilling to play along' is not optional. I wear a red button every day, basically, and not only am I not PROUD of it, I'm really fucking tired of having to put it on and living in a world full of the colour-blind. [...]

Why would you even need to make a button for "Don't ask me if you can grab my breasts."? It shows a silent acknowledgment that the default is not the woman having the right not to be addressed as simply a bearer of a pair of tits. If you want to go around wearing a button that says, "Ask me if you can grab my breasts!" that's one thing. But to even dream up a RED LETTER for 'non-participating' women is completely ludicrous.

From coffeeandink:

Women spend THEIR ENTIRE LIVES IN SEXUALIZED SPACES. All of us. Ugly, pretty, fat, thin. Women are by default assumed to be sexual objects for the enjoyment of the men we encounter, and our pleasure has nothing to do with it. All spaces. Streets, houses, bedrooms. Either we are pretty/dressed provocatively/flirt, in which case we're asking for it, or we are plain/dressed in concealing clothes/don't flirt, in which case we're repressed prudes unable to enjoy sex because of damaged psyches.

What you're suggesting, repeatedly, is taking a public space whose boundaries are often and already transgressed to sexualize us when we want to be whole persons including but not limited to bodies and saying that these already-permeable boundaries are too solid. What you're suggesting is that instead of the default being "No, you may not touch my body", you want to turn cons -- large public spaces -- into spaces where women have to repeatedly and loudly say no in order to be heard. And you keep insisting on equating "No, you may not touch me" and "No, you may not act like my body exists for the sole purpose of your enjoyment or edification" with "You are bad and wrong for having sexual desires." You're not bad and wrong for having sexual desires. You're bad and wrong for arguing that your sexual desires are the most important criteria under consideration.

And from Punkassblog:

Obviously, the solution to our sexually repressed, sexually confused culture where women are objectified and reduced to a collection of body parts is to instigate a con-wide gropefest. Being geeks, the guys in charge of this project decided that the gropefest needed to be perfected and streamlined, so by Penguicon, they had two sets of buttons that could be issued to women, advertising the availability status of their ta-tas.

I can only assume from reading the post that an empowered, post-patriarchal utopia ensued.

Oh, it didn’t? I wonder why. Springheel_jack has an excellent smackdown:

The ferrett wonders why a man’s asking, out of the blue, if he can feel up a woman’s boobs shouldn’t be understood as “a way of saying that I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful.” But this is simply to ask why he shouldn’t be able to continue to treat women as they have always been treated. Body first, sexual delectation to men first, as object first, “mind” - i.e. as a human subject - very firmly second. It’s simply to intensify the condition of patriarchal gender relations that already existed - or, to put it more simply, it’s a frustrated man’s fantasy of putting women back in their place.

And here we have the usual libertarian solution to everything - in the name of a false individuality, itself the product of an illegitimate reification and universalization of the social conditions of propertied white men - we have a retreat into the worst of the dark days of gender relations before feminism, offered as a so-called “advance” into a “more honest” and “freer” world. This is pernicious masculine ideology at its most pure and most insufferable. In the name of “empowering” women, we have…more of the same poison that women have been trying to free themselves of for all this time.

Look, I have a nice set of boobs. Really nice, according to some. Ever since I got them, I’ve been fending off assholes who think they have the right to grab them, whether I want it or not. I don’t need a button to advertise whether my boobs are touchable or not—if they are, gentlemen, you’ll know about it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Kids' Book on Plastic Surgery

posted by on April 16 at 1:13 PM

Newsweek reports on a new book, called "My Beautiful Mommy," that reassures kids whose moms are about to have tummy tucks, nose jobs, and breast implants that their mommy will soon be "prettier" than ever before.

The book, aimed at kids age four to seven, features a girl whose mother gets a post-pregnancy tummy tuck, breast implants, and a nose job. (What the nose job has to do with the pregnancy is anybody's guess; the mom assures her daughter that her new nose "won't look different, dear--just prettier!")


Before her surgery the mom explains that she is getting a smaller tummy: "You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better." Mom comes home looking like a slightly bruised Barbie doll with demure bandages on her nose and around her waist.

The text doesn't mention the breast augmentation, but the illustrations intentionally show Mom's breasts to be fuller and higher. "I tried to skirt that issue in the text itself," says Salzhauer. "The tummy lends itself to an easy explanation to the children: extra skin and can't fit into your clothes. The breasts might be a stretch for a six-year-old."

Don't worry, dear--Mommy's ugly now, but she can be fixed. And someday, you can too!

This is How They Do It In Germany

posted by on April 16 at 10:15 AM

And you thought this was scandalous:


Ladies and gentlemen, the Chancellor of Germany:


(And lest you think the Germans are THAT much less prude than us uptight Americans, fear not: The media is flipping out at the discovery that a female politician has boobies there, too.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

I Guess This is How Bush Celebrates Sexual Assault Awareness Month

posted by on April 11 at 3:51 PM

Bush is proposing major cuts to programs that are funded through the Victims of Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. Bush's 2009 budget slashes $120 million from the VAWA-funded domestic violence services and $2 million from the VOCA fund, which pays for counseling and other support for victims of crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault and molestation.

Bush proposed cutting VAWA-funded programs in 2006 and 2007, too.

Via Bitch Ph.D.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Joey Arias at The Triple Door

posted by on April 10 at 5:54 PM

Joey Arias channelling Billie Holiday in Strange Fruit in the warm and cozy theater of The Triple Door last night was nothing short of amazing. Klaus Nomi played between sets and The Swedish Housewife opened the night with stories of a Seattle past, when Joey had green hair, and The Vogue was still on First Avenue...



The show ended with two encores, and Joey sticking her tongue in the mouth of the house photographer. All I can say is wow.

Photos and video by Ari Spool.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sexy, Sexy... Six-Year-Olds?

posted by on March 25 at 3:04 PM


Oh, God help us: There's a new online video game aimed at seven-to-16-year-old girls called "Miss Bimbo." The goal: To win "bimbo points" by getting skinny, slutty, and popular, with the ultimate aim of becoming the "hottest, coolest, most famous bimbo ever!" Step one: Get a cool but not-too-taxing job or find a "sugar daddy" to keep you in "bimbo bucks," which you can use to buy sexy clothes, lingerie, breast implants, or diet pills to keep you at your "target weight"--"waif thin." Players are told to "stop at nothing," even "meds or plastic surgery," to win the game. Along the way, they encounter challenges—like level 7 ("After you broke up with your boyfriend you went on an eating binge! Now it’s time to diet"), level 9 ("Have a nip and tuck operation for a brand new face"), and level 11 ("Bigger is better! Have a breast operation.") The game's creator (a dude) told the Times of London that the game is "tongue in cheek" (because nine-year-olds really get that whole irony thing) and that it teaches girls "morally sound" principles about "the real world." And lest you think this is just an obscure, silly lark by a to get feminists all riled up, consider this: As of this post, Miss Bimbo had more than 225,000 registered players.

Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, the Tacoma News Tribune reports that parents are finding it hard to find non-"sexy" clothing for their little girls. That means velour pants advertising girls' six-year-old asses as "Juicy"; low-rise jeans for girls too young to have hips to hold them up; shirts in little-girl sizes with slogans like "Knockin' Boots"; and platform heels more appropriate for strippers than elementary students. "“The pants rise on little girl pants are too low to be practical,” one mom is quoted as saying. “Kids run, jump and hang on monkey bars. With these fashions, their bottom is hanging out at recess.”

Hey, Mom? If you're reading this, just be grateful that when I was a preteen, the worst thing you had to worry about was me wanting to wear all black all the time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


posted by on March 6 at 5:26 PM

The PI is rolling out another blog--its 45,827th--and the paper couldn't be prouder...

Introducing... MOMSeattle

Check out our new community site by and for local moms, featuring blogs, forums and photo galleries of your kids and their amazing artwork.

Because, you know, only women have children.

UPDATE: ECB says, "No, no, it's just that only moms care about their children."

Sex, Housework, and Gender Parity

posted by on March 6 at 4:27 PM

So this new study came out that concluded that even though American men still aren't "pulling their weight" around the house, they're still doing better than they were ... in the 1960s. (Well, duh.) Only the thing is, most of the stories about this study focused not on the numbers themselves (basically, both men and women are working more, and women still work twice as many hours around the house as men) but their implications for men's sex lives. It's all about the dudes, you know?


For example:

Housework Gets You Laid (The Huffington Post)

The average dad has gradually been getting better about picking himself up off the sofa and pitching in, according to a new report in which a psychologist suggests the payoff for doing more chores could be more sex.

Doing dull chores could improve sex life, US experts say (AFP)

The reward for menfolk who help out around the house could be more sex.

"We sociologists generally don't go there, but therapists say there's a direct correlation" between men doing more housework and the frequency of sex, said Coltrane.

Men Doing More Housework, May Get More Sex (UPI)

U.S. men's contribution to housework has increased about 15 percent in the last 40 years, but the men may get more sex, research suggests.

Men Doing Chores Around Home Has Its Rewards (McClatchy Newspapers)

Fathers are taking on bigger shares of chores and child care, recent surveys show, and marriage experts say that it’s probably good for their love lives.

Best foreplay is husband who cleans house (NY Daily News)

Husbands who pitch in around the house get more sex than those who won't help clean up, researchers say in a study that could turn lazy guys into Ty-D-Bol Men.

Because sex is currency, only men are interested in "getting" sex, the ladies won't give it up for free, blah blah blah.

Almost equally annoying: The study's authors write that people seeking gender parity since the 1960s have harbored "unrealistic hopes for instant transformation" and started with "the naive assumption that the massive gender rearrangements that began in the late 1960s would, unlike any other major social transformation in history, have instantaneous results." Um, guys? Last time I checked, the late '60s were 40 years ago. That's not exactly yesterday.

(Interestingly, the P-I was the only paper I could find that actually dug into the numbers--and eschewed the predictable sex-for-chores angle--reporting that men are now doing a grand total of 16 hours of work around the house, including six hours of childcare, compared to 30 hours for women. So they went from doing just over a third as much as women to half as much. And women still do most of the "invisible" household work, including scheduling appointments, buying the gifts their children take to birthday parties, and arranging holiday gatherings.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How to Do It

posted by on March 5 at 2:29 PM

Moe at Jezebel points to an actually satirical (and actually funny) op/ed the Washington Post ran way back in 1994, titled "Sex and I.Q. -- An Apologia," by Gene Weingarten.

It begins:

This thesis will reluctantly examine the painful though inescapable scientific fact that women are stupider than men.

The author wishes to emphasize at the outset that not all women are stupider than all men; indeed, some women are very smart, such as Marie Curie and Katharine Graham.

However, the unassailable evidence from all available aggregate data -- as measured physiologically, taxonomically and through the application of empirical testing procedures involving highly scientific terminology such as "standard deviation" -- is that women, in comparison to men, are imbeciles.

This conclusion should not be used to discriminate in any way against women, nor to make any assumptions whatsoever about the cognitive abilities of individual women, many of whom have made valuable contributions to society, such as Sandra Day O'Connor and Katharine Graham.

Before summarizing his findings, the author also wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to Charles Murray and the late Richard J. Herrnstein, authors of the controversial, gigantically scientific new book arguing, with grave misgivings, that black people are genetically inferior to white people in intelligence. Drs. Murray and Herrnstein make this courageous assertion at the very real risk of being labeled dangerous, evil racists and making many millions of dollars.

And ends:

Next week: Why Presbyterians are idiots.

Charlotte Allen Proves Her Point, Kind Of

posted by on March 5 at 1:47 PM

Charlotte Allen--the anti-feminist writer who penned a piece for the Washington Post titled "We Scream, We Swoon, How Dumb Can We Get?" arguing that women are "dim"--did a live chat with WaPo readers earlier this afternoon. Although most of the questions were on point, not insulting--e.g., "If men are better drivers, why do insurance companies charge them more?"--Allen's answers were disappointingly dodgy (and, as if to prove her point, kind of dumb). Asked why women's self-indulgent pastimes (Grey's Anatomy, "Eat, Love, Pray") are evidence that they're stupid while men's equally mindless pastimes (James Bond, porn) demonstrate nothing, she responded, "I agree that many men do many dumb things, and many men have dumb tastes." She also continued to defend her relentlessly unfunny op/ed as "humor," asking defensively, "Why can't a woman make fun of women?" And she revealed that: She doesn't know when women get the vote; she reveres the "macho men" fighting in Iraq; and she doesn't believe it's possible that women who fainted at Obama rallies could been suffering heat exhaustion.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Re: Just Kidding

posted by on March 3 at 11:32 AM

If I was the Washington Post's editorial page editor, I'd just quietly repudiate Charlotte Allen's idiotic op/ed (which argued, in part, that women are "stupid" and should learn to "not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim"). Something simple, like, "Although the Washington Post's policy is to present a range of opinions, we recognize the difference between a legitimate opinion and a categorical insult targeted at an entire class of people. We would never have run such an op/ed had it been directed at a certain race or religious group. We regret the error in judgment.")

Instead, they're calling it a joke.


For context, here's Allen in 2001, writing about Laura Doyle's controversial book "The Surrendered Wife":

For example, Doyle advises: "Let your husband handle the finances." I've been doing that for years, as I can't add or subtract. The last time I even tried to balance my checkbook was in 1989. Let him take the wheel of the car, Doyle admonishes, and "don't correct him by telling him where to turn." Fine by me--I hate to drive, and I'd rather look at the scenery than keep track of a bunch of damn street signs. Doyle says you should say, "I need the help of a big strong man," when you want him to lift something large and heavy that you don't feel like lifting. Got a problem with that, Betty Friedan? I don't. "Make yourself available at least once a week" for marital sex, even if you don't feel like it. What? Only once a week?

Here she is in 2002, writing about an aspiring female firefighter who challenged the NYFD's physical fitness test:

We want our firefighters to be able to carry victims out of harm's way in their arms if need be, and our soldiers to be able to go hand to hand against a murderous enemy.

Sorry, Brenda Berkman (and we appreciate your efforts on September 11), but sometimes, perhaps most of the time, those are jobs that only a guy can do, and if we lower our standards because some women may feel bad about not living up to them, it is going to cost lives. It took an act of monstrous criminality to show us this, but we now know that the crisis of masculinity is over and some of the worst excesses of affirmative action may be over. We've come to appreciate that there's nothing like a guy.

And here she is in 2005, responding to Harvard president Lawrence Summers' assertion that men predominate in science because of innate differences between the sexes :

Even if you're not up on the scientific research – a paper Mr. Summers cited demonstrating that, while women overall are just as smart as men, significantly fewer women than men occupy the very highest intelligence brackets that produce scientific genius – common sense tells you that Mr. Summers has got to be right. ...

Asserting that men and women are innately identical is, in strictly scientific terms, like asserting (as the Nazis did) that Jews are an inferior race or (as the Marxists did) that the history of the world can be explained as a process of class struggle.

Let's remember, also, that this is the woman who wrote an editorial titled "Why Are Airline Flight Attendants So Awful--and So Ugly?"; made fun of "radical leftist" college courses like critical race theory and "nonviolent responses to terrorism"; and suggested that women who don't want to become "bag ladies" should shut up and get married. What a kidder!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Shorter Washington Post: Bitches Ain't Shit

posted by on March 2 at 3:52 PM

This piece of shit actually ran in a major American newspaper:

"Women 'Falling for Obama,' " the story's headline read. Elsewhere around the country, women were falling for the presidential candidate literally. Connecticut radio talk show host Jim Vicevich has counted five separate instances in which women fainted at Obama rallies since last September. And I thought such fainting was supposed to be a relic of the sexist past, when patriarchs forced their wives and daughters to lace themselves into corsets that cut off their oxygen.

I can't help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women -- I should say, "we women," of course -- aren't the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women "are only children of a larger growth," wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?

I'm not the only woman who's dumbfounded (as it were) by our sex, or rather, as we prefer to put it, by other members of our sex besides us. It's a frequent topic of lunch, phone and water-cooler conversations; even some feminists can't believe that there's this thing called "The Oprah Winfrey Show" or that Celine Dion actually sells CDs. A female friend of mine plans to write a horror novel titled "Office of Women," in which nothing ever gets done and everyone spends the day talking about Botox. ...

What is it about us women? Why do we always fall for the hysterical, the superficial and the gooily sentimental? Take a look at the New York Times bestseller list. At the top of the paperback nonfiction chart and pitched to an exclusively female readership is Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love." Here's the book's autobiographical plot: Gilbert gets bored with her perfectly okay husband, so she has an affair behind his back. Then, when that doesn't pan out, she goes to Italy and gains 23 pounds forking pasta so she has to buy a whole new wardrobe, goes to India to meditate (that's the snooze part), and finally, at an Indonesian beach, finds fulfillment by -- get this -- picking up a Latin lover!

Because men are too busy doing productive, smart, important things to waste their time withanything silly or superficial.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Victimized Twice

posted by on February 22 at 1:19 PM

Coming forward with rape charges is hard enough--after the initial call to police, it usually involves a trip to the hospital, where the victim undergoes an extensive examination. The exam is generally done with forensic medical exam kit, more commonly known as a "rape kit," which includes bags for clothing, test tubes for blood, swabs for fluid, a comb for pubic hair, and tests for pregnancy, HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Today, US News and World Report (via) gives another reason rape victims might avoid stepping forward: In many cases, hospitals charge victims for their rape kits, which can cost well over $1,000. In North Carolina, for example,

"the vast majority of the 3,000 or so emergency room patients examined for sexual assaults each year shoulder some of the cost of a rape kit test." A state victims compensation fund intended to help cover the bills is woefully underfunded and had capped payouts for the $1,600 test at $1,000. Since Locke's story ran, "The cap has been lifted," says North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety spokesperson Patty McQuillan, though she noted that the legislature would still have to provide the additional funds.


Plan B Debate

posted by on February 22 at 12:25 PM

This is worth checking out: Next Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at UW Medical Center, there's going to be a panel discussion about the contention that pharmacists should have the right to refuse to dispense medication they don't approve of. Last year, the state Board of Pharmacy adopted rules requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions for all medications, including Plan B.

What'll make the discussion interesting is the presence of panelist Donna Dockter—a former member of the Board of Pharmacy who pushed the "conscience clause"—and owner of Sand Point Clinic Pharmacy.

Dockter, whose pharmacy has never refused to dispense Plan B, is a liberal—I profiled her in a feature story I did on the debate in 2006. But her cantankerous arguments on behalf of dissident pharmacists challenge liberal conventional wisdom on the issue.

It was Dockter's strong will on the issue—in private negotiations with the governor and women's health care advocates in the fall of '06—that ratcheted back the health care advocates' demands for sweeping regulations to force all pharmacists to comply with the pharmacy board's rules.

Certainly, the state's guidelines—now being challenged in court—guarantee that women can get supposedly controversial medication like Plan B—but the guidelines weren't as stringent as the advocates originally wanted.

For example, a pharmacist who hates you for requesting Plan B can pass you off to a coworker.

Highly recommended.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gimmicky-Assed Opera

posted by on February 18 at 9:53 AM

I was listening the the Metropolitan Opera broadcast in the car this weekend, wondering What could they possibly be talking about? What is going on? I'll tell you what's going on: Opera directors with pommel horses up their asses trying to "make" "opera" "interesting." Even if Karita Mattila—the much-lauded, much-favored diva among opera queens (not this one, henny)—had actually hit the intended pitch of high C, those splits would still have embodied the very essence of modern opera production—vulgar, farcical, wasteful, and meaningless.

Interviewer and Actual Reigning Soprano Renée Fleming (literally) does not stoop to that level:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

McCain V. Choice

posted by on February 12 at 3:22 PM

Two rundowns, one targeted, one more detailed, about John McCain's atrocious record on choice. The first comes from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which released this video yesterday highlighting some of McCain's statements opposing Roe v. Wade:

The second is more comprehensive (and damning). A few highlights:

He scores a zero from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood, thanks to votes against comprehensive sex education, against over-the-counter access to Plan B, against abortion access for women in the military, and against freeing up money for international family planning efforts... among many other anti-choice statements and votes.

He vocally supported the Supreme Court's ruling upholding a ban on so-called "partial-birth" abortions, calling it "a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary."

He opposed legislation making it a crime to forcibly prevent someone from entering a clinic that provides reproductive health care services.

He voted to uphold the "global gag rule," which bars federal assistance to NGOs that so much as provide abortion counseling or lobby to make abortion safer, even when they use completely separate money to do so. The gag rule has drastically increased the number of maternal deaths, deaths from botched abortions, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, worldwide.

Read the whole litany here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Get Those Shackles Back On, STAT!

posted by on February 11 at 6:20 PM

Girls are drinking more and doing more drugs! And, OMG, at the SAME time, the academic and work worlds have opened up to give girls some of the same opportunities boys have always had! How does that rule go again--if two things are correlated, one must cause the other? Bingo! Blame feminism!

A generation of parents and educators have pushed to ensure that girls have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, with notable results. In 2007, for example, it was girls who dominated the national math and science competition sponsored by Siemens. But a growing number of reports show that the message of equality might have a downside.

Teenage girls now equal or outpace teenage boys in alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking, national surveys show. The number of girls entering the juvenile-justice system has risen steadily over the past few years. A 2006 study that examined accident rates among young drivers noted that although boys get into more car accidents, girls are slowly beginning to close the gap.

"When you take off the shackles, you release all kind of energy — negative and positive," said James Garbarino, the Maude C. Clarke chair in humanistic psychology at Loyola University in Chicago. "By letting girls loose to experience America more fully, it's not surprising that they would absorb some of its toxic environment." [...]

In the same breath, the young women talked about feeling "empowered" because they can choose from myriad colleges and careers, and about how that "freedom" extends to partying at clubs, drinking and smoking. Experts worry that those feelings, coupled with a teen's natural sense of invincibility, can be a potent and dangerous combination.

They said it in the same breath, so it must be related. And teenage girls were totally unaware of drugs and alcohol before equal opportunity made the scales of innocence fall from their eyes. And blah Britney blah "The Hills" blah "music" (ha!) blah blah blah. Tell me, is there ANY trend among young women that can't be blamed on all that ewwwyuckygross "empowerment"?

Objet du Désir

posted by on February 11 at 11:32 AM

What I have said about Italian women...
..also goes for French women:

The idea that older women are desirable goes right to the top. Before Nicolas Sarkozy hooked up with his new bride, 40-year-old Carla Bruni, a French magazine suggested some matches for the newly divorced president, including 50-ish TV presenters, writers and an extremely buff sailing champion. After all, Sarkozy, 53, had just been dumped by his then 49-year-old wife Cecilia, who had famously obsessed him and who had had no trouble finding other suitors.

...This post-menopausal sexiness is palpable here. In the lingerie section of an upscale department store, I recently watched a gray-haired man earnestly inspecting the black lace bra and panties that his similarly aged companion had just picked out. "That's just what's needed," he clucked, handing his credit card to the clerk.

...In the French version, women weren't expected to forgo high heels and chivalry in exchange for equality. So it's not surprising here when successful women retain their charms. In the United States, the two can seem mutually exclusive. The right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh felt free to question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy in December by sneering, "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?"

...When the French writer Elisabeth Weissman interviewed dozens of older Frenchmen for the book "Un Âge Nommé Désir" ("An Age Named Desire"), she found that "they see in maturity a form of eroticism." French Playboy's photo spread on the 43-year-old Juliette Binoche in November carried text that gushed, "The more time passes, the more her inner beauty glows." Wisdom -- combined with regular exfoliation -- is sexy here.

It's mostly a matter of mode, a matter of articulation, a matter of being the right or best way toward death. What America needs is a new mode, a new articulation, a post-Christian body and erotics.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Teen, Overall Birth Rates Up; Abortions Down

posted by on January 17 at 4:17 PM


Here's some rather disturbing news! While abortions are down in the US to their lowest level since 1974, it might be because women and teenage girls just don't have access to abortion anymore--according to Newsweek, 87 percent of US counties don't have a single abortion clinic--and are carrying more unwanted pregnancies to term; in 2006, more babies were born in the US than in the previous 45 years. Experts attribute the rise to "a decline in contraceptive use, a drop in access to abortion, poor education and poverty." Awesome! Meanwhile, the teen birth rate, which had been declining started to go back up again in 2006. Finally, the "family values" warriors have something to celebrate.

Image credit Milwaukee, WI United Way.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sexist? Or Just Clueless?

posted by on January 8 at 2:51 PM

This ad for was on the Seattle Times's web site today. Given my well-documented tendency to see every little thing through a gender lens, I'm putting it out to Slog readers: Is this ad (full text: "Rearrange her face!") just tacky and insipid? Or outright offensive?


Friday, January 4, 2008

Hillary Faces Gender Hurdle

posted by on January 4 at 12:24 PM

Josh has his pro-Hillary spin; here's my anti-Hillary spin. Not to say that I don't like Hillary -- she's currently my second favorite (more on why I'm not an Obama fan later today)--but the numbers indicate she faces one serious obstacle: Men don't like her. What's worse, women's support isn't strong enough to make up the difference. In last night's Iowa caucuses, Obama narrowly bested Clinton among women (Clinton 30 percent; Obama 35 percent). But men voted overwhelmingly for Obama--35 percent supported him, compared to Clinton's 23 percent. (Second-place Edwards took 24 percent of the male vote). Those numbers are bad news for Clinton, who needs stronger support from the ladies to make up for her poor showing among men.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

UNICEF's Photo of the Year

posted by on December 27 at 1:15 PM

Depicts an 11-year-old Afghan girl seated next to her 40-year-old fiance:


The girls' parents told reporters they had arranged the engagement because "we needed the money." Asked her feelings about the engagement, the girl said, "Nothing. I do not know this man. What am I supposed to feel?" Half of all Afghan girls are married before they reach 18.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Up With Skirts, Down With Pants

posted by on November 27 at 11:36 AM

Susie Bright, pro-porn feminist and Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society member, has a new blog devoted to the domestic arts called Little Susie Homewrecker. In this entry, she takes the controversial stance that women look better in skirts than pants. In the comments: a couple more stories from women who remember when (not all that long ago, really) they were not allowed to wear pants to school. And this: "skirts! skirts! skirts! That's where joy lives, for so many reasons."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Misogynistic Thanksgiving!

posted by on November 21 at 1:37 PM

Because what says "thanks" like turning your turkey into a headless woman before cutting it up?


Via Shakes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sexist Jokes No Laughing Matter

posted by on November 12 at 3:12 PM

So, for everyone who said I should "lighten up" about the disembodied-tits-as-prey and women-as-toilets products that seem to be increasingly common these days (confidential to commenter tsm: Find me ONE example of a man-as-urinal besides the one Dan posted; I couldn't), I give you:

Jokes about female drivers and dumb blondes may be told in good fun, but they can promote discrimination against women, researchers say.

Via Shakesville.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Disembodied Boobies for Everyone!

posted by on November 8 at 5:44 PM

Melissa over at Shakesville has put together an awesome collection of disembodied-boob-shaped novelties-- "remnants," Liss writes sarcastically, "of that glorious lost culture in which disembodied breasts ran free and men still peed standing up. They're hard to find these days, of course. But the regrettable loss of novelty boob kitsch was inevitable with sexism's end." (Annoyingly, Photobucket removed many of the images because they were "offensive"--which is weird, you know, since they're supposed to be innocuous and hilarious.)

Awesome stuff like this:


and this:


and my favorite, the singing, wall-mounted "Jingle Jugs":


Plus! A bonus link to all the women-as-toilets products that are out there:


Have fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Laura Bush Dons Hijab

posted by on October 25 at 1:50 PM

Hey, remember when Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Syria and donned a hijab, the traditional head covering worn by women in Islamic countries?

Who could forget comments from right-wingers like this:

It pains the left too, I’m sure, to see the most powerful woman in America having to yield, however slightly, to a misogynistic culture’s expectations.

Or this:

Feminist in America, subservient in Syria.

Or this:

“This picture disgusts me. What message is Nancy Pelosi trying to send?

Or this, this, this, and this.

So I'm sure the right will have a lot to say about Laura Bush's decision to wear a hijab--again--during a visit to Saudi Arabia this week.


[Crickets chirping]