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Archive for January, 2008

Another instance of celebrating boys over girls

January 23, 2008 Leave a comment

The border town of Blaine, Washington has been found to have a clinic called “Koala Labs” that attracts Indo-Canadians (and I’m sure many other people as well) to see what the sex of their baby is at 3 months into the pregnancy, so a couple will know earlier if they will be getting an abortion or not.

Liberal MP Ujjah Dosanjh drew attention to the clinic this week, after an Indo-Canadian man, Lakhvinder Kahlon, of North Delta, B.C., was charged with killing his two-year-old daughter. Mr. Dosanjh denounced the cultural tradition of celebrating boys over girls, and said South Asian families from Vancouver go to clinics in Blaine in order to find out a fetus’s gender early enough in a pregnancy to permit an abortion.

Very sad. When is this going to end?

Um, not to sound “man-hating,” but…

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Alternet has a sweet piece called “If Men Could Get Pregnant, Abortion Would be a Sacrament.

It’s not really about men too much, but just a little history of abortion and those rights. Check it out!

Applauding anti-abortion activists? Ugh.

January 22, 2008 3 comments

That’s what’s happening in Washington! Bush is thanking these people for their continuous work and “calling for continued vigilance.” Are we glad that Bush isn’t going to be the President of the United States of America much longer? Yes infinity.

“We’re heartened by the news that the number of abortions is declining, but the most recent data reports that more than one in five pregnancies end in abortion. America is better than this, so we will continue to work for a culture of life,” Bush said.

So, Bush, are you saying that everyone who gets an abortion is not suited for America and essentially a “bad” person? I cannot express my frustration into words.

I really think I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there is no need for anti-abortion activists. Firstly, anti-abortion activists are not set out to improve the quality of life for everyone. Secondly, they do not have to get abortions. Everyone can respect that. But they need to respect the decisions of other women who do choose to have an abortion, which is probably for a variety of reasons. Do people not understand that? Are they that ignorant?

Video on why we love Roe vs. Wade!

January 22, 2008 1 comment

This is an awesome video on why so many people (women and men alike!) loooove Roe vs. Wade and support choice.

My personal stance

January 22, 2008 1 comment

Why is a woman’s choice so important to me? Because it acknowledges that she’s a human being.

When she is able to make reproductive choices, it acknowledges that she can and is able to make decisions on her own accord. She’s no one’s puppet. She’s in control of her own life, doing what she feels or knows is best. When that choice is taken away from her, it’s sending a message that women are not capable to make these decisions; that the middle-aged men in suits are better at knowing a woman’s body than a woman knowing her own.

When the choice is taken away, it shows that women really are second-class citizens, because a fetus is all of a sudden more important than her grown, developed human citizenry. Her life should be more important.

Some of you may agree with me strongly, and some of your might strongly agree with me. Leave your own thoughts behind about why (or why not) a woman’s choice is so important to you.

Happy Blog for Choice day!

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Today all the blogs around the web (ok, not ALL, but you get it!) are talking about why they support a woman’s choice in her reproduction rights. Personally, I will be telling you why I feel this way, and I will be doing news stories that are pertaining to this.

It’s all about reproductive rights today! Stay tuned!

On politics and misogyny

January 21, 2008 3 comments

Now this is a New York Times column that I can heart and appreciate. Bob Herbert has written a great column about politics and misogyny. It was written before the Nevada Primary, so he talks about the “misogyny capital of America” a fair amount. And of course, Clinton won. Ironic? Who knows! Anyway, he has some really good points about misogyny in general. He points out that all of a sudden, when Clinton wins a primary, gender is all the talk in the media…but he’s pretty much asking, “Why haven’t we been talking about this all along? Misogyny is everywhere.”

Its forms are limitless. Hard-core pornography is a multibillion-dollar business, having spread far beyond the stereotyped raincoat crowd to anyone with a laptop and a password. Crowds of crazed photographers risk life and limb to get shots of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears without their underwear. At New York Jets home games, men regularly gather at Gate D to urge female fans to expose themselves.

He says that misogyny is a true pastime for most men. I would have to agree with that. Since it’s not something that is talk about, it’s easy for people to think that men aren’t really being misogynists when their looking and getting off to porn.

Unfortunately, some of these things have become so “normal” in our society that we simply dismiss all of this. And relating this all to politics, he wonders how the candidates feel about this.

To what extent are the candidates of either party concerned about these matters? Do they have any sense of how extensive and debilitating the mistreatment of women and girls really is?

I’m not sure. I doubt the men in the campaign understand, just because they have not personally experienced it. Nonetheless, Bob Herbert obviously understands, and he’s no woman. But many times, women don’t even understand their own mistreatment because this is the misogyny that they’ve grown up with and don’t think anything of it. So I would argue that Hillary would understand more so, because she’s going through it all right now. However, are these presidential candidates going to change things for women and girls and try to help end the misogyny towards them? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Categories: misogyny, politics Tags: ,

Mass female genital mutilation events held in Indonesia

January 19, 2008 7 comments

Female circumcisers

I was just going to heap this into “Lots of news”, but when I read it, I knew I actually had to do a piece about it. The New York Times has an article about female “circumcisers” who cut off a piece of a girls genitalia, in Indonesia. It is female genital mutilation, but it just looks more sanitary and humane because it’s sponsored by the Assalaam Foundation.

The procedure takes several minutes. There is little blood involved. Afterward, the girl’s genital area is swabbed with the antiseptic Betadine. She is then helped back into her underwear and returned to a waiting area, where she’s given a small, celebratory gift — some fruit or a donated piece of clothing — and offered a cup of milk for refreshment.

Oh yay! A refreshment! That’s really going to make everything so much better. It’s like they think it’s so much better because the “area” is swabbed with some antiseptic and the girls are given a gift. Yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

But the best part is, is that people actually think there are benefits to this. Benefits to cutting some girly genitalia off.

“One, it will stabilize her libido,” he said through an interpreter. “Two, it will make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband. And three, it will balance her psychology.”

First, bull shit. Alright, my libido is perfectly fine, and I have all my genitalia. Then again, I guess these people want to take away her libido, so that the man’s sexual pleasure is the main focal point. And you know, that’s totally OK, because women are just baby makers! And yet again, something else that has to do with men. She’ll be more beautiful in the eyes of her husband? Seriously, that is the most messed up thinking one could ever have. I know I’m being potentially offensive here, but FGM is very offensive to me. The second “benefit” just reinforces that men are more important than women and always will be. And the third “benefit,” I don’t really get. Balance her psychology? Yeah, I don’t think so. It may definitely make her have psychological problems, but it’s not going to balance anything.

There are absolutely no health, sexual or psychological benefits for FGM. It is a disgusting practice, and unfortunately the mothers who bring their daughters to this “mass circumcising event” believe that this is the right thing to do and that it will actually improve their daughter in some way, or are just going along with the social expectations of it all.

This article is definitely a must-read and it has several pictures from the event (none are graphic), which do show how horrifying it can be for a young girl.

Lots of news!

January 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Feminist phobias are totally misguided!

More and more Chinese women are getting cosmetic surgery to try and achieve the Western look. You are beautiful the way you are!

There is a rise of violence against women in India.

Half of Ethiopian women are victims of domestic violence. They have legal equality, but gender structures continue to dominate…

A former cop raped a 42-year-old women in his squad car four years ago, and he’s now going to be spending 25 years in prison.

The UN is not letting Saudi Arabia get away with their extreme gender inequality.

Categories: lots of news Tags:

Stats to know about abortion in the United States!

January 17, 2008 Leave a comment

So, our culture is permeated with the thoughts about teenage girls getting pregnant and being the only people that get abortions. Wrong! Some new stats (although some of you might have already known this) show…

Half of the roughly 1.2 million U.S. women who have abortions each year are 25 or older. Only about 17 per cent are teens. About 60 per cent have given birth to least one child prior to getting an abortion.

That’s pretty significant. Women who are having abortions are doing it in a reasonable manner and they’ve thought about it. Are we really going to condemn a woman over 25 for making her own decisions about her body? Is she too immature to make this decision? That’s a big, fat NO. But our society doesn’t think about these women. They only think about the misinformed (about sex ed, that is) teenagers who are getting pregnant and contemplating abortion. Which is something that I also think is very, very reasonable. I personally know of a 13 year old who has a child right now. She got pregnant when she was 12, by a 19 year old…and she’s now a single mother forever. Should she really have had that child? No. But it’d done now. Anyway, that was a total tangent…

Some other interesting stats say a lot about the socio-economic structure of our society as well. These prove to
me that abortion is not the problem, other underlying factors are. (Even though I already knew that)

But year after year the statistics reveal that black women and economically struggling women — who have above-average rates of unintended pregnancies — are far more likely than others to have abortions. About 13 per cent of American women are black, yet new figures from the Centers for Disease Control show they account for 35 per cent of the abortions.

Instead of the United States government trying to ban abortion, they should be dealing with the economy, poverty and other social inequalities in society. Saying abortion is the worst thing under the sun is just a band-aid for a bullet wound.

Love this “Letter to the Editor”

January 15, 2008 2 comments

Found this in the Toronto Star about all the shitty, sexist media coverage that’s been going on with Clinton.

I’ve been appalled by the outright sexism that is apparently perfectly acceptable in U.S. media coverage of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

I’m a public schoolteacher. To me, the disinclination of young women to support Clinton has much to do with the messages they are now subject to in our culture: attract and please males at almost any price; denigrate yourself and other females; and don’t be a feminist – there’s nothing more unattractive.

I could vote for either Clinton or Barack Obama at this point, but I’m deeply disturbed by the process. There’s much talk about building up women in other countries while we punish their successes at home.

I especially like what she says about building women up in other countries and calling their inequality unjust, while our society tears down women who are successful and ambitious. It’s so true and ironic. Where do we actually stand? Is there only so much equality that our society wants for our women? Does our society think that it’s good enough that we don’t get stoned to death and doesn’t want us to have actual equality? Thoughts?

The war against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo

January 14, 2008 Leave a comment

This absolutely breaks my heart and disgusts me so much at the same time. We know that a civil war is going on in Congo, but something we rarely hear about is the fact that women are continually and systematically raped during these kinds of conflicts. We know it’s something that happens, but we don’t like to think about and don’t bother to think about it because we feel like we can’t do anything about it. Maybe there are a few more reasons that you can come up with! But nonetheless, it’s important to know that this is going on. I’m not going to quote a lot of the gory details here, because it’s graphic, but please read the article. It’s a must.

Anneka Van Woudenberg, who is the senior Congo researcher at Human Rights Watch, explains the raping that is occurring in Congo.

I think what’s different in Congo is the scale and the systematic nature of it, indeed, as well, the brutality. This is not rape because soldiers have got bored and have nothing to do. It is a way to ensure that communities accept the power and authority of that particular armed group. This is about showing terror. This is about using it as a weapon of war.

I honestly don’t have too many words about this. It is disgusting and disheartening to know that thousands of women are becoming victims of “femicide” because of this war. But even further really, these women are having genocide committed against them. Many people simply think that killing is the only definition of genocide and just think of Hitler, but according to the UN Convention on Genocide, one of the definitions is “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.” This is clearly happening, and it’s clearly intentional.

When will this genocide end? And why is it being ignored?

Misogynist of the day: Chris Matthews

January 14, 2008 1 comment

I first heard about the uproar against Chris Matthews a few days ago on Feministing, and how Media Matters is asking us to email MSNBC to tell them how much we hate the misogyny coming out of Chris Matthews mouth. I sent an email away a few days ago because of it. Now, OpEdNews has a piece on Chris Matthews and how much he sucks.

This piece even goes further back before the presidential campaign, showing us that Matthews has never supported Hillary Clinton in any way.

Matthews has repeatedly utilized his show on MSNBC to resort to a one-man machination crusade against Hillary Clinton. For years, Matthews has used loosely implied sexist epithets, such as referring to Senator Clinton as “Madame Defarge” and “Nurse Ratched,” to defame and disparage her.

But the article makes a great point that this is not just a problem with Hillary Clinton. It is a problem with Nancy Pelosi and the entire population of strong, independent women who are not at home cooking and cleaning.

Should he be fired? I think so.

NBC fired Don Imus for a singular, similar remark and now it’s time to expunge Chris Matthews from MSNBC for his biased, protracted rage against woman, Hillary Clinton and his machismo sexism. It’s time to end the misogyny of Chris Matthews and other such purveyors of a hostile “white men only” bourgeoisie embargo on women in our government and in places of power.

So, if you’re getting fed up/enraged about the sexism that is appearing on MSNBC thanks to Chris Matthews, please click the Media Matters link above and email MSNBC directly, telling them how you feel about Chris Matthews and his misogyny.

Things have been crazy!

January 14, 2008 Leave a comment

I just want to apologize for not updating as much as usual lately. Last week the first week back at university, and my schedule is absolutely insane this semester. I hope that I’ll still be able to keep up as much as I can, starting today!

Categories: general

Because women only have legs…

January 11, 2008 1 comment

This is a new ad from Marc Jacobs Spring ’08 line. Posh Spice. Legs only.

Legs only

Categories: ads, media, ridiculous Tags: , ,

The ridiculousness of anti-feminist women

January 10, 2008 3 comments

Jessica Valenti, of Feministing.com has a wonderful little piece at The Nation, and now also on Alternet. She talks about the latest in anti-feminist women and how they are doing way more harm to young women, and women in general, than feminism ever has. She specifically talks about Wendy Wright, and oh boy…

In a recent Fox News Special Report, Wright said that proponents of comprehensive sex education are encouraging young people to have sex because “they benefit when kids end up having sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancies and then they lead them into having abortions…You have to look at the financial motives behind those who are promoting comprehensive sex ed.”

Yeah, that’s totally right. Sex educators are making millions off of giving kids proper sex education! Ugh. I’m sorry, but I find that such an idiotic thing to say. Another example:

Wright has also made the argument that the increase of women in prison is all feminism’s fault, for teaching women that “they don’t need to be dependent on a husband and they shouldn’t have to depend on their family” which could lead them to “where they’re forced to fend for themselves.”

Oh wow. That’s gold. Complete gold. The rest of the article states more things that conservative women have said and some of it is quite amusing, but quite sad at the same time. I myself cannot understand how any woman can make herself purposely inferior and not believe in equality. Everyone does have a right to their own political ideology, but I just have to ask myself…where are these women getting their ideas from? Hmm…probably their husbands now, their fathers before they got married…so, men. The patriarchy. This is what it does to some women!

Greek women protest by going in men-only sanctuary

January 10, 2008 Leave a comment

About six Greek women have protested the rule of the “all-male” monastic sanctuary in northern Greece. This is a 1000-year-old rule, and entering this sanctuary was a “purely symbolic act.”

Parliament member Litsa Amanatidou Paschalidou was among the women who entered the sanctuary. She called it a “purely symbolic act,” which was meant to send a message to the church to “pursue policies which serve the public and not its financial interest.” The protesters, who say the monks are making illegal claims on their property, broke away from a rally of more than 400 people and evaded a police cordon, entering Athos grounds.

So, this is a land problem, not a problem with the only-male sanctuary, but it’s pretty clear that if they violated a rule that has been around for 1000 years, then they would make some impact, as women. It’s impressive to see that women are taking the charge on this land and property issue. Hey, maybe women just have more of a sense at what’s going on is bullshit, considering they can’t enter the sanctuary…because they have a vagina, which makes them soooo inferior.

Uh, I freaking love these women!

January 7, 2008 1 comment

A group of women in India have started their own political party. Rock on. That’s so sweet! Suman Krishan Kant is the president of this 100 member (almost) all-women political party, who is also the widow of the former vice president, Krishan Kumar Kant.

“It is for the first time in the history of India that a national political party has been formed by women,” she says. “In fact it is the only party of women in the world. We need to ensure that the issues of priority concern to half of its population remain in the forefront of the pressing issues on India’s national agenda.”

Presently, women only hold 8 percent of seats in parliament, and the party wants that to change to 50 percent, which would be an amazing thing to see, but it’s also an amazing task to take on at the same time. It is true that some women do hold top seats in parliament, but that is few and far between, as gender inequality is still rampant in India, even though women have legal equality.

In November, the World Economic Forum’s latest gender gap index put India among the world’s 10 most gender-biased economies, with women’s participation in the paid work force at 36 percent.

Wow. These women are completely extraordinary and inspirational. And they make the point of “not hating men, and wanting and needing their support,” which is really great, because it’s about equality, and working together to create a better world; not squashing the other gender. It is just so encouraging to see something like this happen in India, and like Kant said, it really is the only (almost) all-women’s political party. Just, so cool. I love these women.

Female ski jumpers in 2010?

January 7, 2008 2 comments

The Vancouver Olympics in 2010 may see the first instance of female ski jumpers. There is a lot of pressure towards the International Olympic Committee to allow this to happen, but the IOC says that the sport falls short of basic standards; however, there is a similar men’s competition.

Canadian politicians, among others, are really pushing for this to happen, simply because they see no reason why it shouldn’t, because equality is an important issue in British Columbia and Canada as a whole.

Harry Bains, a New Democratic member of the B.C. legislature, says leaving women out of the competition in Vancouver and Whistler goes against Canadian values, which he noted are committed to providing equality for all.

I definitely agree. I didn’t even realize that there was no competition for women in ski jumping. There is absolutely no reason why there shouldn’t be. Why would ski jumping only be a man’s things? Yeah, it doesn’t make sense. It’s good to see that people are pushing for this, because the world of sport is definitely not equal between men and women. Let’s hope for the best!

Lucy Liu feels bad for men

January 7, 2008 1 comment

Hm. Lucy Liu has pulled a “women are so confusing, making men more confused” kinda thing. This is what she said:

I think men are in some ways a little bit confused but I don’t mean that in a bad way. There was a time when they were expected to open the door for a woman and pay for dinner and do all of those things. Now they don’t really know what to do.

Well, firstly, it’s courteous for anyone to open doors for anyone else. Gender doesn’t matter. But car doors…ugh. I’m personally not that patient, and since I’m a capable human being, I can get myself out of a car. But really, can’t men, and everyone else understand that we simply want to be treated as an equal? No, you don’t have to banish all “romantic” gestures or whatever you want, but just don’t look down on us and treat us in an inferior way.

Not too difficult.

Categories: equality, men, women Tags: , , ,