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Posts Tagged ‘inequality’

Surgeon General nominee too FAT?

July 22, 2009 2 comments

Holy crap. Thank you Feministing for bringing up this story. Michael Karolchyk went on Fox News (of course) and said that Dr. Regina Benjamin, the nominee for Surgeon General is too fat to have that job. He actually says that she is obese. Disgusting and ridiculous. This is obviously fat discrimination, which we see all the time, but don’t really have a lot of discussion about. It’s even worse, of course, when it has to do with females, which is what we’re seeing here.

Here’s the video:

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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.

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 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.

Did anyone think otherwise?

January 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Women, yet again, get the shitty end of the stick. New figures estimate that it takes women 16 years to pay off their educational debt, while it only takes men 11 years. I wonder why.

Women take longer to pay off bills because of the pay gap – estimated to be up to 20% – and because they are more likely to take time out to look after children.

But…I think it has more to do with the pay gap. Of course becoming a stay-at-home-mother might have a little to do with it, but these women, in the UK at least, get paid maternity leave.

Kat Stark, the women’s officer for the National Union of Students, retaliated about the notion that women are taking longer to pay their debt because they are taking time off to have children, by saying,

Women are taking longer than men to pay off their student loans because they are paid less, not because they are taking time off to have children. Within three years of graduating, over 40% of men are earning over £25,000, compared to just over a quarter of women. The pay gap is not a new problem – the government knew when it introduced the tuition fees system that female graduates would end up saddled with debt to a worse extent than their male counterparts. In the run-up to the 2009 review of higher education funding, the government should consider whether they wish to perpetuate this injustice.

Of course, others said that employers give equal pay, based on education and skills. But it’s no secret that the pay gap is still very much a part of our society. Either way, this is just one more thing to add to the “Crappy Situations for Women” list.

Gender inequality increases in the United States

November 14, 2007 Leave a comment

According to the 2007 Gender Gap Report, the U.S. has dropped 8 places in the report, from 23th to 31st.

Sweden, Norway and Finland came in the first 3 spots. Neighbouring Canada got 18th place, while Mexico came in at 93.