Tag Archives: GOP

The New Old Hatred of Women

Oklahoma Senator protests "personhood" bill

To paraphrase a male friend — “Mandatory transvaginal ultrasound, restrictions on contraception, being forced to bring your rapist’s child to term and simply accept it as “a broken gift from God”, demonizing Planned Parenthood, Rush Limbaugh calling woman who want contraception to be covered by health care “SLUTS”, WOW … these Republicans are a bunch of weird and repressive (repressed?) characters who would undoubtedly have been more at home in the 15th Century telling people how to pray and when and whom they could screw …

I find it extremely difficult to believe that all my conservative girlfriends are okay with this kind of idiocy. I get that we can be on opposite sides on a lot of issues, but in this case I can’t see it at all. Why aren’t they up in arms? And the contradictions are almost too twisted to believe.  The old white men don’t want the government in our lives, yet they want to mandate that women can be denied medicine prescribed by a doctor because your boss doesn’t want to you have it.  Don’t like death panels?  They bring us rape panels. Forcing doctors to do unnecessary and intrusive procedures (we won’t even discuss the extra costs) and in some states to read from scripts written by non-medical bureaucrats. And who is getting between women and their doctors?  The Grand Old Party itself, mostly a bunch of old white farts.  This has gone too far!  What will it take to stop them? 

THE NEW AMAZONS. 13 October 2011. Inna Shevchenko, 21, is one of the leaders of Femen. The feminist Ukrainian protest group organizes topless protests against sex tourists, sexism and social problems. Photo by Guillaume Herbaut.

These women in Ukraine have the right idea!

This photo, recognized on Friday with a World Press Photo award, is bound to grab attention, as breasts often do, and the Ukranian feminist group, FEMEN, clearly plays to that reaction.

The Stance: Shevchenko’s pose, with the raised fist, speaks of her mission to teach women to be more assertive. The figure of the ‘Amazonian’ is a central reference FEMEN utilizes. If the identification is to the “other,” suggesting the marginalization these women feel, it also points to ‘Amazonians,’ in the cultural imagination, as a matriarchal tribe made up of fearsome and fearless women.

The Headdress and Tattoo: The headdress is another a reference to the Amazonians, as well as political protest as public theater. This actual garland and brightly coloured ribbons also suggest femininity, something which the group is keen to display in contrast to some feminist groups in the past. As for the garland tattoo, it shows how Shevchenko’s cause is so essential it is physically mapped to her, her body as both cause and message. The strategy overall involves the reversal of signs: if femininity is seen to equal weakness and vulnerability, Shevchenko and FEMEN demand that it equal strength. What could be the crown of a beauty queen is willed to equal the headdress of a tribal warrior.

The Location: Shevchenko is depicted in open grassland on the edge of what seems to be a cluster of Soviet-style apartment blocks. This speaks of marginalization as well as the groups Ukrainian and urban environment. The grassy field upon which Shevchenko stands is another clever double symbol representing both marginalization and pastoral freedom. It reveals a dream of an Eden, a renewed innocence directed at and by the female body in contrast to the body’s exploitation by mainstream culture.

What this portrait also tells us is that, exposed or hidden, women’s bodies are a hot topic. (I mean, see all the worry over the fact that the woman in the World Press winning photo is wearing a burkha).Veiled or on display, the female body is defined by sexuality in a way that male bodies are not. (It is worth pointing out that if a man walked down the street topless he would not get arrested, and neither would he attract much extra attention at a protest). With this simultaneously innocent and knowing revelation of the female torso, I think Shevchenko is also asking us to realize how “exposed” or “hidden” are false distinction — that it is the human form and, as such, represents identity, physicality and power.

FEMEN considers it a risk worth taking to draw attention to the problems women face in their society. This picture as a photographic object must undergo the same difficult process of interpretation – is it a kind of pornography or a protest item that raises the awareness of FEMEN’s cause? It is highly reliant on context. But in a world where the female body is so often appropriated by others, especially by visual media, it’s also FEMEN’s statement and demand to use their bodies as visual tools to further the cause of equality. Full article here

American Women Unite! We can take back our power, too! Lysistrata, Amazon Women, good old Frontier Women. We do not have to take this crap!!!


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Liberals slander Palin. Oh, really?

301x4802In response to my last post about how scary the idea of a Palin presidency would be, I received the following responses:

Leave it to a liberal to be illiberal, defamation, slander and ill will are the stock in trade of the modern American liberal. And they wonder why we don’t love them.
It’s astonishing that you hear of “rumors” in the media, and you immediately ordain them to be true. Perhaps an indication of your bias toward the Governor? If you honestly believe that the sitting Governor of the state of Alaska, in the year 2008, did not know that Africa was a continent, well, I think that says more about you than her.

The character assassination of Sarah Palin, which you obviously buy into, is an absolute disgrace, of which all Americans should be embarrassed. It’s also a real indication of the power she possesses.

Still defending her when even Fox News has begun to turn on her. Of course, what pj doesn’t understand is that libel and slander have actual meanings. Slander is defined as making false statements about a person that may damage their reputation. Libel is printing those false allegations. Character assassination is maliciously using false information to damage a person’s reputation. All of these assume that the “liberals” have used less that rigorously checked facts as a basis to go after Palin. And who are these liberals? People like me blogging? The mythic “liberal media?”

What is astounding to me is that in the face of ethics violations for which she was found guilty by her very own legislature [which she was fine with until she was picked to VP], her abysmal performances in the debate and her few hand-picked interviews, the many Conservative Republicans who came out early in the campaign to say that she was not prepared to be in the position, major conservative publications endorsing Obama citing the Palin nomination as a large reason for their doing so, and not one case that I have heard of so far suing for libel, that anyone could be surprised to find that her own aids kept secret about her appalling lack of intellectual depth or knowledge of the workings of government is amazing to me.

And that I think that “the sitting Governor of the state of Alaska, in the year 2008, did not know that Africa was a continent” says that I have watched this woman and the pattern of her behavior and lack of knowledge on so many fronts, and this fits into my view of her. She has not denied this. She has only attacked the people who said it for saying it and said it was a problem of context. The list of things she did not know in just the few times she was allowed to speak to the media is too long to go into, so believing that she thought Africa was a country is not really a stretch.

And pj, when you talk about slander and, tiltom, character assassination, you really need look no further than Palin and what she and her running partner had to say about our president-elect. At least McCain had the grace to concede in a statesmanlike manner. [One more thing Palin was unaware of was that VPs don’t make concession speeches.] As for disliking her, yes, I do. She was mean, she lied, she stirred the hatred on the right, and she is unapologetic about it.

As for ill will on the left, during this election our candidates spoke with great eloquence and passion about bringing the country together. Your candidates spewed hatred and division. Obama and Biden spoke of their respect for McCain. They did not attack Palin’s character. In fact, when Obama was asked about Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter, he defended her saying, “My mother was 18 when she had me.” He could have easily said that his mother was 18 years old and in college and married his father and many other things that would have made Bristol seem wrong, but he took the high road. The right on the other hand attacked his character and his wife over and over. And even when things they were saying were refuted in every media outlet, they continued to repeat the lies. There is the continued lie all over the net about his not being a US citizen.

And unfortunately, the lies continue. Rather than trying to make peace and work with the new president, the right wing media is already getting ready to throw everything they can at the new administration so things will not work.

This from Reagan’s son:

Michael Reagan

P.S. Already, the new radical regime in Washington, D.C. is planning their first legislative attacks on America:

Huge increases in payroll and income taxes;
Redistributionist “share the wealth” policies;
Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act;
Forcing faith-based groups to hire gays;
Repeal all state regulations on abortion through FOCA;
Require taxpayer funding of abortion through Medicaid;
Block all efforts to “Drill Here, Drill Now” in America;
Impose universal health care through job-killing employer mandates;
Appoint activists liberal Supreme Court judges;
Kill conservative talk radio by re-instituting the “Fairness Doctrine”;
Require comprehensive sex education from the earliest grades in public schools;
Enforce bilingual education in the public schools;
Allow convicted felons to vote;
Take secret ballot voting away from workers deciding on whether to unionize…
The list goes on and on and on…

And it’s up to YOU AND I to stop them! Don’t let the door slam shut on this opportunity to make a difference…

It is all about fear and hate. And where is the “Country First” here?

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