sights & sounds

June 10, 2010

I really want some of what Cathy Young is smoking.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:16 am
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..if she seriously thinks the following is a remotely accurate description of Sarah Palin’s politics:

“Yet the audience for a different kind of feminism — one that seeks individualistic and market-oriented solutions, rather than big-government-driven ones1, and focuses on women’s empowerment rather than oppression — is clearly there. The women who embrace it are likely to transform both feminism and conservatism. The feminist movement ignores them at its peril.”

The above is a particularly smarmy excerpt from a piece of shit that Young wrote for the Boston Globe on Sarah Palin’s new brand of Totally Revolutionary right-wing ‘feminism’. Major problems with the article are as follows.: (more…)

June 1, 2010

reclaiming the streets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 12:56 am
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From the NY Times; emphases mine:

Starchild is one of a handful of working men and women fighting a proposed city law that would make it illegal to sit or lie on public sidewalks in San Francisco for most of the day. Backed by the city’s Police Department and Mayor Gavin Newsom, the “sit-lie” law is being hailed by supporters as a weapon to combat aggressive behavior by the city’s myriad sidewalk dwellers.

But advocates of the homeless and some sex workers see it as a direct attack on the city’s weakest, as well as on the city’s own image as a tolerant refuge for live and let live.

Advocates for men and women of the night like Starchild say the proposed law has the potential to make their difficult lives — what with the fear of arrest, disease and occasionally dangerous clients — even more arduous.

Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for Mr. Newsom, a Democrat who is running for lieutenant governor, said the law was not meant to target any specific group, but to protect residents from harassment in neighborhoods like the Haight-Ashbury, the hippie-friendly enclave where groups of youths still congregate to drink, panhandle and smoke marijuana.

“It’s about unacceptable behavior,” Mr. Winnicker said, “and giving police another tool to deal with it.”

Leaving aside the utter absurdity of denying someone’s right to occupy a public space they’re forced to maintain with their own tax dollars1, the fact that cops are focusing on petty ‘infractions’ like loitering speaks volumes about their priorities – it’s completely disingenuous for supporters to pretend that this law has anything to do with public safety. (more…)

May 18, 2010

Nun excommunicated for saving patient’s life.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 9:11 pm
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Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

From AZCentral:

A Catholic nun and longtime administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix was reassigned in the wake of a decision to allow a pregnancy to be ended in order to save the life of a critically ill patient.

The decision also drew a sharp rebuke from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, who indicated the woman was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action. (more…)

April 29, 2010

education and pro-choice views

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 7:49 pm
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From a Gallup poll:

Educational achievement is much more important than gender in determining support for broadly legal abortion, with college-educated adults — and especially college-educated women — the most supportive. This has been the case since the 1970s.

Gallup’s abortion polling since the mid-1970s finds few remarkable distinctions between men’s and women’s views on the legality of abortion.

Overall, women are a bit more likely than men to hold one of the more absolute views on abortion: that it should be either legal under any circumstances or illegal in all circumstances. However, majorities of both genders take the middle “legal only under certain circumstances” position.

Within various age and partisan categories, men and women are mostly similar in their views. Only with respect to education, specifically those with a college education, is there a sizable gender gap. College-educated women are significantly more likely than college-educated men to believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances.

April 22, 2010

Generational tensions & internet action.

From Jezebel; emphases mine.:

“The biggest thing that had changed since [Baumgardner & Richards authored Manifesta] was in fact the explosion of Internet media and communication, which had made accessing feminist-oriented material and discussions available to anyone with Internet access. What did they make of that? (Not incidentally, how did I end up at Ms. at sixteen? The Internet. I cold-emailed them and every magazine’s email address I could find.)

They were not particularly enthusiastic about it, all this Internet and social media stuff. Jennifer said she worried it was a weak substitute for real-life activism. Amy pointed out that it was often yet another form of unpaid work for women, and that many foundations and organizations were launching blogs because they thought they were supposed to, without really knowing what they were for. Debbie didn’t really want to talk about her magazine vis a vis the Internet, but she did offer that Facebook was a girly form — “Like passing notes in class,” she ad-libbed.”

I don’t share Baumgardner’s concerns that online discussions lull people into quiet contentment with internet chit-chat without inspiring any action in realspace. Unlike, say, TV or radio, where information is filtered down to passive, lone viewers, the internet is a more ‘bottom-up’ medium that spurs and thrives upon interaction1 – people don’t just passively sit and watch/listen/read. They post videos, they leave comments, they troll, they lol, and (most importantly) they form communities. However, there are a couple of closely-related problems that repeatedly crop up with any online community. (more…)

April 15, 2010

The Rape Axe ‘solution’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 8:18 pm
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From GlobalPost.:

“Rape-aXe is a flexible polyurethane condom-like tube that fits into the woman’s body. Rows of jagged plastic hooks line the inside of the tube — bent backward like teeth in a shark’s mouth — and lodge in a perpetrator’s penis upon entry. The perpetrator can withdraw from the woman, but the Rape-aXe remains clamped on. Trying to pull it off will cause discomfort.

Though the device causes great distress, it does not draw blood, Ehlers says, which is crucial in areas where HIV/AIDS rates are high. A man must seek medical attention to have the Rape-aXe removed. Until then, he cannot urinate, essentially tagging him until he gets to a hospital, she explains. Ehlers says she consulted an engineer, gynecologist and psychologist on the design.”

Though the intentions are good, there are a number of enormous problems with this device. (more…)

strange bedfellows

Some recent upsetting news from Alas, a blog.:

“Sometimes people try to tell me that no one has a problem with S&M; that all stigma against S&M is in our heads and that if we BDSMers would just get over our victim complex, we’d discover that society has no real problem with us. I’ve got tons of counterexamples, but today I’m only going to talk about one: my friend maymay, a sex-positive activist and kinkster who has now been painted as a child molester, starting with an attack from the Salvation Army (specifically, two women named Margaret Brooks and Donna M. Hughes).” (more…)

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