Friday, November 28, 2008

New work at RachelSetzer.com
















Check it out, won't you?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vagina Solidarity (Well, Unless You Shave Down There)

In a previous post, I vowed to link back to Natalia's post of titles for Batshit Radfem blogs. Well, that list has been updated, and can be read here. Look for it later, and look for those titles in my titles for blogs responding to the batshit radfems (not all radfems are batshit, of course, Twisty seems pretty cool).

In addition, Belledame at Fetch Me My Axe, has put together a similar list for MRA blogs. Hi-larious. In the future, I will be linking to this post and using a title when I write about stupid sexist m3nz (not all men are stupid and sexist).

I once again extend my non-creepily-patriarchal love to my fellow humorous feminists.

What I'm thankful for

This post by Ann over at Feministing reminded me of something for which I am very thankful.

Food stamps.

From my sophomore until my senior year in college I used food stamps to feed myself, and often times my friends. Cornish is a private art school with no dorms and no meal plan, so I had to use whatever money I earned from my two jobs to pay for rent and bills (including the credit card bills I racked up freshman year before I had two jobs and was on food stamps). Unlike a lot of people (although, not unlike a lot of other people) my parents didn't have the resources to help me out with food money, except maybe $30-$50 every couple of months, so I was basically on my own.

I was told that I was being irresponsible. I was told that I was wasting other people's tax dollars. I was told to drop out of college and get a real job instead of being a mooch on the state. All of those things that have been pressed by the right wing of this country, especially Republicans. Those things were dredged up and pushed in my face.

Nevermind that I was actually being responsible with the giant sum of $150 I got each month (these days, the Schmoogie and I spent roughly $700-$800 a month on food), and helping whomever I could. My friends needed dinner? I would invite them over for pizza or salad -- once in a while we even did fondue. I spent my food stamp money on vegetables and fruit; organic meats, skim milk and yogurt. Yeah, once in a while I'd get something bad for me like Dorritos or something, but I don't really like that stuff anyway.

Nevermind that I pay taxes too. That my parents pay taxes. That the amount we pay between the three of us probably outweighs the giant sum of $150 I got each month to feed myself.

Nevermind that if I had dropped out of college and gotten a real job I would have been thrust immediately back into poverty and needing to use food stamps because I wouldn't have the degree necessary to get much better than a minimum wage job and would be unable to repay my student loans, as well as paying rent and bills.

Nevermind that the whole "Welfare Queen" thing was completely false; that most people on welfare are white women, and in most states you can't even get welfare unless you have at least one kid. Nevermind that food stamps aren't even considered welfare in the first place!

When I was on food stamps, $150 was a huge sum of money. I could feed myself for three weeks on that money. Now, I can't seem to make $150 last one week, let alone three -- thanks Student Loan Debt!

When I was on food stamps, I didn't have to worry about where my next meal was coming from (I don't now either, of course, I have a real job now). When I was on food stamps, I felt so lucky, and I liked to share my food with my friends who also had two (or more) part time jobs and went to school full time. We didn't have a lot between us, but there was always that opportunity to share, and it helped me to form life-long friendships, and show that even though our food budgets were determined by the electric bill, we could still have a marvelous feast -- remember the spaghetti?

People who have food take it for granted. People who have money to buy food take it for granted. Forget that there are too many people in this country who are homeless. Forget that there are too many children in this country, this country, who are hungry -- 50% more in 2007 than in 2006. Just keep pedaling your ideas that people who get food stamps are mooching off of the state -- that that paltry $150 a month is irresponsible spending on the part of the state in the first place.

I'm thankful to the State of Washington, to the people in the Student Affairs office at Cornish, for helping me find the resources to feed myself. As someone who has always had issues with food, that was a really big deal. I am now far enough removed from it to know how lucky I was to have it.

I'm also thankful for beer (which you can't buy with food stamps). Yay beer. Yay 2.6 day work week.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More silliness

This week's horoscope: Pisces

"Your desiccated remains will be found on a desert island along with an empty water bottle, three emergency ration packages, and the exact right CD for the occasion."
I laughed. Care of the Onion.

And now for something completely different

Schmoogie: My food got tossed :( Damn it.
Me: 7.7 TRILLION dollars spent in the last year on bailouts.
Schmoogie: Ok that's worse
Me: So at least you didn't lose 7 trillion hot dogs.
Schmoogie: No, thank Jebus
Me: But if Paulson had his way, he'd have all the hot dogs.
Schmoogie: Hank hordes hot dogs?
Me: In lighter news, Ann Coulter smashed her face up and her jaw is wired shut.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Threats of violence from commenter Tim

Back in August a disgusting piece of racist trash was assaulted in NYC for making, selling, and wearing t-shirts, that among other things said "Obama is my slave". In a blog about that, I said,
"In my non-legal opinion (as I have not yet studied law in a full academic setting, nor passed a bar exam in any state) making or wearing a t-shirt that says "WHO SHOT OBAMA?" is an equally violence inciting action, and this asshole should be, at the very least, kicked in the balls several more times."
Commenter Tim took issue with this call for violence, however tongue in cheek it may be. Saying, (several times),
"I am absolutely horrified at your suggestion that a man simply wearing a T-shirt with a message on which you don't agree with should deserve a kick in the testicles. Speaking from experience, I claim that no woman can ever experience the level of pain an accurate placed kick to the testicles can produce, and for you to suggest that the wearer of the T-shirt (in your words) "should be, at the very least, kicked in the balls several more times" abhors me.
I was once kneed in the balls by a woman for wearing a message on a top after an argument followed from her disagreeing with what I had printed on it. She was with two other women and there was no sympathy from any of them while I was in absolute agony and unable to stand up. A result of feminism perhaps ?
Women should NEVER attack or make suggestions like you have about attacking testicles. This type of behaviour must stop.
I'll probably be censored with you being a feminist but at least I'll get my message across to you !"
Well, not only did I publish his comment (twice, though it was submitted three times), I'm writing a blog about it.

In my response, I mentioned two things, and only one of them was addressed: the one that made it look like he was making a reasonable argument and I was making a fallacious one. This was followed by a nice, tidy little threat:
"You women should watch your step regarding your views on men getting kneed/kicked in the balls as some men may get angry over this, and overall we're bigger and stronger than you. Men don't have testicles to be hit in them !"
Some might say that I shouldn't get upset about this threat, that I started it by saying that Doron Braunshtein, aka Apollo Braun, should be kicked several more times for being a racist piece of trash. However, I did say in my response to Tim's original comment that I should not be making calls to violence because violence only begets more of the same; this was before Tim's threat.

I've been threatened with physical violence for my views before. I've endured physical and emotional violence in the past, and I'm not about to sit back and be threatened, but Tim is certainly courageous enough to make those threats from the comfort of his mom's basement (and judging from the British spelling of "behavior" in his first comment, I'm guessing he's at least 8 time zones removed from me).

Making threats on the internet does not make you a big strong man. You're not standing up for anyone's rights because you threatened a woman, or women in general, with physical violence, especially when doing so from thousands of miles away. And yes, the feminist who kicked you in the balls was wrong, but I do have to say there are some circumstances where people get the things the deserve -- I realize the latter portion of that statement goes against the ethos that violence is always wrong, but it seems to me that this boy has an axe to grind against feminists, and he did go back all the way through my blog looking for something on which he could call me out.

Fine, out I have been called and I will say once again, that I should not have advocated future violence against Doron Braunshtein, aka Apollo Braun. I will say again that the person who assaulted Tim was wrong. But, make no mistake, Tim is also wrong because even after I made the statements above, he saw fit to threaten me.

While my first instinct is to tell Tim to bring it the fuck on, I will not do so because I don't want to advocate future violence, nor give the so-called Men's Rights movement (the anti-feminist assholes who take whatever they can find and use it against feminists) more fodder. I will merely point out that I was threatened publically, and any escallation in threats will be reported to police. And my dad.

Correction

A friend of mine who prefers anonymity on the interwebs recently sent me this message:
You might want to correct your note about Harvey Milk. He was not in US Congress: he was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (He did run for state congress, but didn't win.)
I apologize for the mistake and will make greater effort in the future to get my facts straight. Many thanks to my friend for giving me the opportunity to issue this correction.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cheney, Gonzales, indicted in Texas.



It's real.

Holy shitballs.

Edit: couple more links, via Randi.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Prop 8 Protest, Seattle, 15 Nov 2008

Here are almost all of the pictures I took on Saturday. As a blogger-member of the press *gling*, I took well over 200 images. 117 of them were good enough to share. Below, interspersed with my notes, you'll find some of my favorite images.


I got to Volunteer Park around 11:30, after sharing a bus ride with at least a dozen other people bound for the demonstration, and I headed for the outdoor stage. On my way, I passed this protester. I think this is one of my favorite images -- don't hate on America. Simple. The thing that the pro-8 people forget is that Gay Americans are just as American as Straight Americans.
I took several other pictures on my way up to the stage, many of people with clever signs, some kids running around, and between my arrival and the beginnings of the speeches, I took several pictures of couples who just want their unions to be as valued as those of straight couples.

There were a lot of kids. It was great to see too. And, in light of Seattles homogeny (as in milk), it was good to see the amount of diversity at the event. Old, young, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, straight, gay, and trans (and a Mormon missionary -- whom I point out because he was the only person advertising his religion on his sleeve... literally). All kinds of people showed up to rally around a single message: homosexuals are people too.
The festivities themselves were relatively brief, but featured a number of Seattle and Washington politicians who are out and pressing for the recognition of, not only their own marriages, but those of others.

Organizer Kyler Powell told us about growing up in the LDS church, and how when he asked about love, his dad said "Love is a promise two people make when they would move mountains for each other.
State Senator Ed Murray and his partner Michael spoke briefly. Senator Murray quoted Gandhi, "First they ignored us, then they laughed at us; then the fought us; then we won."

He was followed by State Senator Joe McDermott, who said, "we may be here out of frustration, but we can use that energy" to make the changes we seek.


Next up was the very enthusiastic King County Executive, Ron Simms -- so enthusiastic, in fact, that it was hard to get a good picture of him. He recalled, back in the day when people would try to used the Bible to justify their racism, and how his teachers would laugh at him and tell him to go home; when he told his parents his father would smile and tell him it was time for another march. "Talk about immorality?!" Simms began, "Talk about hunger - talk about war, that's immoral! But do not tell me that when two people love each other - that is right!"
PFLAG representatives Ben Vogt and his partner Jeff Albertson also spoke, rejecting the idea that their partnership, their citizenship was somehow less. Jeff quoted Dr. King, "When any society tells me that I cannot marry, that society has cut off a segment of my freedom." Hells yes, Dr. King.



"I am Charlene Strong, and I'm here to recruit you," said the next speaker, invoking the memory of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay member of the US Congress (who was assassinated 30 years ago). "Equality is not multiple choice," she said, still feeling the pain from being told that she could not see her wife as she lay dying several years ago. Heartbreak still wells up in me, to think that anyone would be denied the opportunity to comfort a dying loved one, all based on some arbitrary rule that says one couple's union is recognized by the state, but another union is not. How did we come to this? This hierarchy of relationships? It's bad enough that so many relationships have a power structure built into them, but to have a power structure amoung two different, unrelated relationships? That's just stupid.






Seattle Mayor, Greg Nickels agreed, declaring 15 November 2008 Marriage Equality Day.
After that declaration, the flags were unfurled (American and Gay Pride) and the march to Westlake Center began. I would estimate that about 4,000 people showed up. 4,000 people, marching 2.5 miles, with signs and chants, and various other forms of jubiliation.

Despite the fact that I climbed the 100 or so stairs to the top of the water tower (and back
down) and was very,
very sore by the end of the day, I had so much fun. Civil Rights are very important to me, and it was very rewarding to stand up with my fellow citizens and say "NO, we're not going to allow the rights of Americans to be taken away like that". And while a protest, no matter how enormous it was (4,000 times 50 states... 80,000 people -- that's an Obama rally!) is not going to repeal Prop 8, or magically give gay Americans their rights, but the more of us that stand up in more places and more often, the sooner we'll be taking further steps toward true equality. The struggle to help gay Americans have their full rights didn't end on Saturday. The struggle for freedom for everyone in this country isn't even close to being over, but that we are still striving rather than having resigned ourselves to accepting this shit because "that's how it's always been".
We all know that "that's how it's always been" isn't good enough. It's simply not. The people I marched with on Saturday are all very important people. They vote, they pay taxes, they love, they get angry and throw things, they get sick, and just because it's always been that because of their sexual orientations or gender identities they've been thought of as less-than, does not mean that it can, should, or will continue that way. If this country is going to remain the greatest, we have to start measuring our greatness by the way we treat our citizens, not the sizes of our guns.
And start acting like Americans.

I still love Dan Savage

Samita at Feministing isn't the first (nor, obviously, the last) in the feminist blogosphere to talk about the foot-in-mouth incident wherein Dan Savage (EIC of my hometown's only newspaper) makes some possibly-racist remarks. I say "possibly" racist because if he had said it better, there wouldn't be quite the uproar. Had he said "homophobia in the African American community is a huge problem" that, as he later points out, hurts gay people of color more than white gays, we'd still be cool.

Dan Savage is a lot of things, but he's not a racist. He admits that his statement
"I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there—and they’re out there, and I think they’re scum—are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color."
sounds racist, because it does. However, we can't always take what someone says while brooding over information such as "Seventy percent of African American voters approved Prop 8, according to exit polls, compared to 53% of Latino voters, 49% of white voters, 49% of Asian voters" which ignores the fact that this breakdown of racial minorities represents a minority of the population -- also that people in those communities as well as white communities were mislead with ads that said Barack Obama approved Prop 8, which he didn't and doesn't because he's a frakking Constitutional Scholar (amoung other reasons, of course).

However, had Dan said that sexism in the African American community is a huge problem, no one would be calling him a racist for pointing this out -- as we know, sexism is a huge problem in all communities, including white and non-white communities. Had he said that sexism and homophobia in less-integrated immigrant communities are huge problems and he's not going to pretend that racist white fags (said with love) are a bigger problem than homophobic Mexican immigrants, we wouldn't have a problem.

The issue here is that yes, homophobia in all communities is a huge problem and affects members of those communities stronger than the homophobia of other racial groups. The other issue is, of course, that we cannot scapegoat racial minorities in this. The divide is more age-related than race-related, anyway.

Also, one last thing. Seattle is overwhelmingly white, so if Dan Savage doesn't do his climb-down fast enough, that's probably why. But he's a good guy, a good EIC, and an advocate for the rights of others -- he's really pissed off about the passage of Prop 8, and I know that when I feel as assaulted as he and gay people across the country must feel, I tend to say things in less-than-diplomatic terms.

Art of the Possible is Gender Neutral, bitches!

I find this website amusing. You type in your blog address and it guesses which gender the author is. My result:
We guess http://RachelSetzer.com/blog.html is written by a woman (50%), however it's quite gender neutral.
You know, certain of my relatives don't read my blog because it's too feminist and obviously feminist things are of no interest to anything but women. Sorry bitches, the internet says my blog isn't too feminist. And the internet is smarter than you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fuck You Too -- An Open Response

(See Natalia's list.)

An Open Letter from Me, Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, to Pro-Porn, Pro-Prostitution, Misogynist, Male-Centered, Anti-Feminist Persons

This open letter will be very short.

I won’t be silenced. I will continue to vocally and outspokenly oppose pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking, the enslavement of women, male dominance, white male heterosupremacy, and all brutality towards women throughout the world. There is nothing you can do, in the end, to silence me, to discredit me, or ultimately, to stop me.

Guaranteed. It’s been tried before, a number of times. And, here I still am.

Just sayin’.

Heart

Dear Heart,
Fuck you too. While I could write a dissertation on how awful the language is in this open letter, I won't because that's beside the point. Don't confuse people who are for the rights of sex-workers with those who are against the rights of women in general. Your logical fallacy here (oh no! phalus!), stating that those who support rights are the same as those who oppose rights, is stupid and I could do no more as a pro-porn feminist to discredit you than you have done with your phalacious logic (see, I can make up words too).

I oppose and deplore violence, and since prostitution and sex have been around longer than falacious logic, and will always occur whether your tiny little brain likes it or not, we need to accept that sex workers are humans, and that the female sex workers are women and deserve the same respect as any other woman doing any other job -- however, you come off as not really know what that's like since you seem to have the privilege to deny the humanity of others.

And you know what, "here I still am" doesn't mean you're right. I mean, for god's sake, Sarah Palin is still in the media. And she's pretty fucking wrong. The longer and more outspokenly you speak, the more you discredit yourself. Keep it up. Ren isn't the only one who needs the entertainment.

Just sayin'.

Rachel


p.s. BINGO!

Link for later use

A semi-comprehensive list of proposed titles for only the most hardcore of radfem blogs. I love you, Natalia, and not in a creepy patriarchal way.

Presidential Quote of the Day

"I can't go to my old barber shop anymore, I have to have my barber go to an undisclosed location to cut my hair." - President Elect Barack Hussein Obama
It's kinda sad... but understandable. I'm pretty sure that Bush did that too. Cheney had a barber in an undisclosed location too... in a man-sized safe, but that's another issue all together.

It's Monday and I'm feeling kinda silly. I've got a bunch of stuff to share from the Prop 8 Protest on Saturday, but I haven't uploaded pics from my camera yet. For now, check out this video of Wanda Sykes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State?

It's not a sure thing yet, but there was a meeting between Barack and Hill in Chicago this week.

On this, I'd like to hear from those who supported Clinton in the primaries. I think she would make a spectacular Secretary of State -- now she wouldn't be the first female Secretary of State, but she would be the first competent one. (Condoleeza Rice's specialty is Russia, and she kinda sputtered around like a mo-ron during the Georgia/Russia business this summer.)

Now, a lot of people are going to question this pick since Hillary made so many attacks on Barack during the primaries, but we have to remember that Barack Obama doesn't want to fill his cabinet with Yes-People (certainly Chris Squire would make a fine Secretary of Energy, but he's not going to get it) and people who all agree with him. That's not Barack's style. He's going to surround himself with people he trusts and respects first, and agrees with second. Competence and integrity is more important than having the exact same opinion as the President in a Barack Obama Administration. Refreshing, frankly.

With Clinton in State, we have essentially the Holy Trinity of Diplomats leading our country: Obama, Biden, and Clinton. That is a signal to the rest of the world that the United States is completely effing serious about diplomacy.

So, to those of you who supported Clinton in the primaries, do you think that the highest cabinet office is enough for Hillary? Should she stay in the Senate and get things through there? What do you think?

Miller, Dennis (funny) 1988-2001; see also Whore, media (2001-2008)

Inconsequential, unfunny media whore Dennis Miller is at it again, shrilly analyzing liberal women and their hatred of Sarah Palin on the Bill O'Reilly program because he's no longer funny enough to have his own show on the teevee. Since 9-11 Dennis Miller's career has deflated faster than the Pikachu Moonbounce after the principal of Crestwood Elementary School realized that Pikachu actually is female.



I don't want to get off on a rant here, but why the hell is this guy still allowed to speak in public? And what they hell does he know about the sex lives of women, liberal or otherwise? The last time Dennis Miller got laid was in 1998 when playing Princess Lea to the media's Jabba the Hut was still kinda sexy (that was also before the hair plugs). At least he did better on Monday Night Football than Rush Limbaugh, but isn't it a bit of a clue when the people who want to book your appearances on Fox News are also wearing Mongolian Earplugs when talking to you?

Honestly, when was the last time Dennis Miller told a funny joke? After the death of his long-running HBO series, Miller has had at least three failed shows on Fox, not to mention his failure on MNF, and the above example of Epic Fail on the O'Reilly Factor. For God's sake, Bill O'Reilly is funnier than Dennis Miller! Even the Steve Miller Band has had more successful media appearances than doucheburger (2 for $3.33!) Dennis Miller.

And what's all this shit about "liberal women hate Sarah Palin because she has a good sex-life" nonsense? Has Sarah traded BRAD! TODD! for DENNIS! I don't think so. First of all, "DENNIS" has too many syllables to make it a good name to yell whenever things go wrong -- secondly, Palin has enough children with brain damage to have the energy to put up with Miller and his "payattentiontome! payattentiontome!" attitude. Furthermore, as the only person on the planet who actually likes the sound of their own voice more than does Sarah Palin, Miller and Palin wouldn't be able to be in a two-story elevator together much less an informative tryst. Dennis Miller has all the First-Dude potential as Spongebob Squarepants. Look, I grew up watching Dennis Miller Live, but since he's stopped snorting coke like that one psychotic Roomba in the display box at the now-defunct Sharper Image Store, he's about as funny as, well Dennis Miller without the coke. Hon, it was funny in the 80s, but you've carried this trend so long that it's not only died, it's gone through rigor mortis, decomposed (leaving you covered in the stench of your long-dead career), been picked clean by vultures, and the bones are now being housed in the Museum of Weird in Austin, Texas.

Dennis Miller needs to sit back, appreciate the riches he has amassed from his 20-year media-whore-ity and shut the fuck up. It's not like he's had a new opinion since 1988, and he certainly hasn't been able to arrange that opinion into a cogent thought or insightful joke since 2002 -- and what the hell was with that monkey? So it's time, Dennis. You're so far passed done even the people that got all of those obscure references in your rants from the 90s don't even understand your cultural relevance anymore. Kay Chachi?

Then again, that's not just my opinion, and I dare you to prove me wrong.

But thanks for the rant format.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am Spartacus!

Seriously?

Joe the Plumber has, for some reason, employed Toshi the 11-year-old web-designer, and made a website complete with scrolling and blinking yellow text (seizure friendly! and how you can tell it was designed by an 11-year-old) as well as sections called "Joe the Forum", "Joe the Blogger", and "Shop Joe". You can get "Joe the Freedom Membership" for $19.95, and even pre-order "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream", his up-coming book published by Joe the Plumber Publishing Inc. LLC MSDS SRC 501(c)3 ETC. It may even be out in hardcover. Oooooh.

Come on? Hasn't Joe the Plumber had enough time in the spotlight? Hasn't all of this Name the Profession garbage jumped Jaws the Shark? Why is this guy allowed to continue to call himself a plumber when he doesn't even have a plumbing lisence? And why, god, why is Rachel the Liberal Leftist Blogger continuing to pay attention?!

Wow, Fernando the Publicist and Herschel the Lawyer are doing well by this guy. But, unfortunately, with all this money he's raking in, Madison the IRS Agent is going to want all that back taxes he owes. (And got it. Yay.)

I can't take this guy anymore.

Analogy of the Day

From Sanchez in Montibello CA, as heard on the Randi Rhodes Show:

Hank Paulson's new round of solutions is like putting band-aids on King Kong as he's scaling the Empire State Building about to fall to his death.

Brilliant. Thank you Sanchez. Patron Reposada shots are on me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Equal rights now! Equal rights tomorrow! Equal rights forever!" or We need an ERA

In the 50s and 60s, the Civil Rights movement galvanized around the Black community. In the late 60s and 70s, women got into the movement in a more serious way, and in the late 70s and 80s (especially after the AIDS epidemic began) gay people got into the movement in a more serious way. But ever since then, there's been a debate about whether gay rights is a civil rights issue.

It is. Period. I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but being gay isn't any more of a choice than being straight. I never chose to be heterosexual anymore than my sister chose to be homosexual. Ergo, this argument that "gay rights isn't civil rights, cause being gay is a choice" is bullshit. Gay rights is civil rights.

Homosexuals are a subset of our population, and hating someone for being gay is bigotry. I'm sorry to have to break that to you, but it is. Hating someone for being a woman is bigotry in the form of sexism. Hating someone for being Jewish (a choice, oddly enough) is bigotry in the form of antisemitism. Hating someone for being Hispanic is bigotry in the form of racism. Hating someone for being from Iran is bigotry in the form of xenophobia. Hating someone for being gay is bigotry in the form of homophobia and/or heterosexism. I think that, in the 21st century, we can all agree that bigotry is not a desirable characteristic in our society or government.

But bigotry isn't just hate. A lot of the time, bigotry is a lot more subtle. It's voting for measures that prevent gay people from having rights -- or in the case of Prop 8, voting to take away rights that a subset of the population had been granted by a court interpretation of the state Constitution. Gay people had the right to marry in California for about 3 months. Now they don't. Californians voted to take away rights that gay people already had.

What's next? Who's next? If this isn't a civil rights issue, I don't know what is. If you change the words from "same-sex marriage" to "miscegenation" (people of different races marrying-- like a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya), it's pretty easy to see that as a civil rights issue.

Loving v. Virginia,
in 1967 established that it was unconstitutional to make laws prohibiting two adults of different races from marrying, because those laws violate the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The majority decision states:
"Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."
Emphasis mine. If we take out the language "of another race", we have, essential a supreme court decision that states that it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to prohibit two consenting adults from marrying one another. Which is exactly what the California Supreme Court did in May, stating:
"that the California legislative and initiative measures limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violate the state constitutional rights of same-sex couples and may not be used to preclude same-sex couples from marrying."
Prop 8, an "amendment" disguised as a revision disguised as an amendment -- except, revising the California State Constitution would require removal of the Equal Protection Clause from the the document and such a move would require a super-majority of the California State Legislature followed by a super-majority from California voters. An "amendment", ergo, not revising the California State Constitution and only requiring a simple majority to pass. As it stands now, the California State Constitution provides equal protection under the law to all citizens, except the ones we don't like -- which happen to be the gay ones at the moment. Opponents of Prop 8 in California are confident that on these grounds (and several others, I'm sure) the California Supreme Court will strike down Prop 8 and gay people in California will once again be full citizens.

However, that will not be the end of the battle for equal rights in California or anywhere. While Massachusetts and Connecticut have extended marriage rights to all pairs of consenting adults, there are too many places in the United States that have refused to extend the "basic civil rights of man" (humans, including gay ones, oddly enough), the right of a person whether or not to marry the person of their choosing, at a time of their choosing. What do we do?

EQUAL. RIGHTS. AMENDMENT.

We can push patch-legislation through congress, the Leadbetter Act, Equal Pay Act, VAWA, Affirmative Action. We can boycott companies that promote or practice discrimination based on gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, class, race, religion, disability, etc. We can call for the revokation of tax-exempt statuses of religious organizations that fund political campaigns like Yes on 8, but these are all only half-measures toward what we as Americans really, truly, want and need.

EQUAL. RIGHTS. AMENDMENT.

Our country tried to get the ERA passed in the 70s but too many people were caught up with "Me first!" and the misinformation peddled by such vermin as Phylis Schafley, and the ERA failed. They said, "we can't pass an ERA".

Yes we can.

We've already rallied around one cause and succeeded. We MUST, as minorities of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender-identity, class, disability, religion, etc rally together and take on those who posses white, straight, male, middle/upper class privilege and tell them: YOU had a chance to marry, to go to school, to work, to live the way you wanted to and WE ALL deserve those same rights. This isn't about marginalizing those with privilege, or even eliminating privilege. As Americans we are all equally privileged, but as was so in Animal Farm, some animals are more equal than others.

Gay people, Trans people, women, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Pagans, pantheists, atheists, liberals, conservatives -- we are all Americans. All Americans deserve all the rights and opportunities that are granted by law and civil society. That includes the right to marry, work, live, be healthy, and happy but with an ability to change your own circumstances if you so choose.

To do this, we don't have to take all the money from the rich, old, white guys and give it to the poor, young, black guys -- to do this, we need to pass an Equal Rights Amendment that truly, truly, provides "equal protection under the law" to all citizens regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual-identity, religion, class, disability (physical or mental), or any of the other things that keeps us "separate but equal".

Separate but equal doesn't work. It's not enough because separate is NOT equal and it never has been. These Americans aren't "those people" they are AMERICAN CITIZENS and they deserve to be treated as such. And at the very least, the VERY LEAST we need to have equality for all be true on paper. Because right now, it's not. And that's disgraceful, disgusting, and un-American.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

You'd expect it, wouldn't you?

Nypraxxor
have a more delusional day
Nypraxxor
isn't for everyone. You should consult your doctor before beginning an hourly
regemen of reality enhancing Nypraxxor.


Consult your
neon-pink Godzilla monster if you experience any of the following:

nausea, vomiting, explosive diarrhea, severe constipation, SARS,
acne, barking, increased urination, blurred vision, clumsiness, sterility,
muscle fatigue, a sense of increased importance, spontaneous hysterical
pregnancy, heart palpitations, gout, depression, sugar cravings, excess
creativity, migraine headaches, erections lasting longer than fourteen hours,
yellowed skin, increased musical talent, decreased appetite, chronic narcolepsy,
repetitiveness, inability to spell, repetitiveness, or death.


Nyproxxor may cause typhoid, malaria, leprosy, and severe
eruptions of most common STIs. Anyone with a pulse should not take
Nyproxxor.


Nyproxxor, have a more delusional
tomorrow.


The boyfriend and I were watching the teevee and some cruise ship commercial came on and for some reason he thought said cruise ship commercial was a pharmaceutical commercial... there's really no surprise there. Drug companies want us to think that by ingesting their newest drug our lives can be made better.

Depression drugs that make our bodies not hurt... erection drugs that make penises hard for up to 36 hours... asthma medication that can "increase the possibility of [an] asthma-related death".

And let us not forget the "pink Christina Aguilera monsters" from the Ritalin episode of South Park...

Thank you, Mr. Olbermann.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Addendum

I really hope this asshole lambastes me as un-feminist for posting a picture of myself in my bra. And I also really hope she gets into the tattoo thing too. I'm in the mood for a fight.

And at least I'd be in good company if she did.

Friday (tattooed) Feminist Fuck You: Ms. Liz Jones

Oh yes, to be sure, "good girls don't get ink" is an old old OLD line. Those who further wanted to shame those of us who get tattoos came up with the term "tramp stamp" for those tattoos that skinny, slutty women overwhelmingly get on their lower backs.

I've even had my dragon called a "tramp stamp" because people who have never seen me in person (or are unable to understand what "high waisted" means) seem to think that that dragon in the middle of my back is in fact on my lower back.

Frankly, it's offensive.

But, as a loud, foul-mouthed, unabashedly sexual, heavily drinking, porn-loving liberal feminist, I'm pretty used to being told I'm not a "good girl". Pretty sure that most tattooed women are used to that kind of shit -- except, tattoos are becoming increasingly common, much to the shagrin of Ms. Liz Jones of the notoriously anti-woman Daily Mail. (Via.)
"They are a mark of temporary insanity, instantly turning the classiest, chicest woman into trailer trash. Not for nothing are they known as 'tramp stamps'."
Yes. A woman's physical appearance determines entirely their level of classiness. That's why there are no fat chicks at fancy parties for classy people. That's why people with tattoos don't have classy weddings. That's why blondes have more fun.

"Classy" and "chic" are traditionally words that apply to appearance because in the bad old days, before people decided it was okay to be themselves, you could tell the working-class from the upper-crust based on their clothing. Since the surge in middle class, however, it's become increasingly difficult to tell the working-class from the upper-crust, and "classy" has become a personality trait. A person's class, at least this side of the pond (the Daily Mail is based in the UK), is now determined based on how they treat others, whether they are heartless bitches who judge other women as "trailer trash" for having tattoos or not.

And about that "temporary insanity" bit? Sure, there are a lot of dumb people who decided on a whim to go get someone's name tattooed on their butt (which, based on the tenor of her piece, I'm reasonably certain that Ms. Liz Jones did once upon a time and now has a "faint, purplish shadow" where the name once resided). There are a lot of dumb people who get a lot of dumb tattoos. Of course, there are also a lot of really classy people, like my colleague Thea Wolfe, who have beautiful tattoos that were thought out and well executed. Make no mistake, not ever tattoo on every tattooed body has a story, but many of them do.

As a classless broad who swears and drinks beer, I can tell you that each of my tattoos does have a story and a meaning. I can tell you that I designed each of them, and taking a cue from Axel Rose of all people, waited at least a year after designing it before applying the image to my body. This is the way I get ink -- deliberately, with much thoughtfulness. Not everyone does it that way, but the ink on a person's body generally means something to them.
"What I hate most about all these celebrity tattoos is not just that they have spawned a rash of copycats the length and breadth of the nation, it is that tattoo wearers think that by writing on themselves, a la Angelina Jolie, they are somehow 'alternative', 'deep' and 'profound', that they have meaning in their lives."
First of all Ms. Liz Jones, your hate is only hurting you. Get over it you bitter cunt. (I'm sorry, I know that's a terribly thing to say, but I had to. Read the piece and you'll understand why.) Secondly, it's not only people with tattoos that like to pretended that they're "alternative", "deep", and "profound", and have "meaning in their lives" -- for example, religious zealots like to pretended that they are deep and profound and that GOD gives their lives meaning. They're just as poser-riffic as their tattooed brothers and sisters, except that they, like you, are all hoity-toity about it rather than just being dumb. Finally, maybe you shouldn't have gotten Mr. Wrong's name removed from your ass so that you might be able to convince yourself that your life has meaning.

I don't know whether it's fortunate or unfortunate, but those who are actually profound and deep, do tend to have tattoos, so it's no far stretch for those with tattoos to be able to convince the majority that all people with tattoos are deep and profound. That's not because the tattooed are delusional about their own deepness and profundity, (although many of them are), it's because the great majority of people in England and the US are remarkably easy to fool. Example, it's taken George W. Bush 7.5 years of his disastrous presidency to get his approval ratings down to 26%.
"Rather than being the mark of the outsider (or the ultimate insider, that of someone doing time in prison), tattoos show that you are desperate to belong."
I remember calling people "desperate to belong" in high school. I was a rebel, they were all sheep, copying me. It turns out, I was just as awkward as everyone else, determined to make a name for myself, just like everyone else. Turns out I wasn't much of a rebel then, and I've actually been offended at being called one now.

Rebellion is so passe -- just like being a judgmental bitch who thinks that tattooed people are more subject to group-think than any other large group of people. Man, un-inked people are all the same!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

See? I can still blog about politics even when things went my way

David Harsanyi of the Denver Post doesn't get it.

"My children continually are lectured by well-meaning adults about the mystifying power culled from our differences, the strength we derive from our disparate upbringing, and the power of diversity.

So why, one wonders, does this belief not extend to our politics and ideology? Why do we strive to shed individuality and become herds of devotees and shills?"

He's questioning President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama's call to unity in America. President-Elect Obama has famously said:

"We are not red states and blue states, we are the UNITED States of America."

A call to unity. Harsanyi defines "unity" as

"Unity: n. the state of being one; oneness -- especially when your chosen political party happens to win an election."

K. No. Dave, sweetie, you don't get it. This isn't George Bush's America anymore. President-Elect Obama isn't going to come out and say "either you're with us or you're against us", but rather has also famously said:

"We may disagree, but let us not be disagreeable."

President-Elect Obama, and the America who has brought him to this high office, knows that we aren't always going to agree. But, unlike the Republican party of the last 30 years, just because you don't agree with the President, doesn't mean that he will question your American-ness, your willingness to be united in this new century, your moral values, or anything else that was questioned when you didn't agree with the majority in George Bush's America.

"Winning elections is one thing; governing is quite another. It is impossible to deny that Obama ran one of the sharpest, most diligent and exhilarating campaigns in modern American history or, for that matter, that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has won a resounding mandate to run the country.

That only means we need a robust and principled opposition."

President-Elect Obama would completely agree with you, Dave. I agree with you. If we all flop lop-sidedly and brain-dead onto the Democratic Party's platform, we may get a lot of shit done, but I think we can all agree that when there are no checks and balances on power (kinda the way there were in George Bush's America) the country gets fucked up. But you, Dave, are stuck in George Bush's America, where opposition and differing opinions are bad.

They're not. As long as those opinions are based on reason and not emotion or parroted talking points and we can have a rational discussion on a given subject -- or agree to disagree if we can't have that ration discussion -- we're all cool.

My final photography project, the one for my BFA Show, was based on this idea. Not that we should make fun of George W. Bush, but that we should try to put ourselves in his shoes. And while it was difficult to get some variance of ideas about what George W. Bush would say in the area where I was, the entire point behind the project was unity. We don't have to agree. We don't even have to like each other, but we're all Americans, so as Americans we all have the same right to be heard. That's the point. That's what President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama (I love saying that) is talking about when he speaks of unity.

Dave, I am pretty sure that I fundamentally disagree with you on a lot of things. I'm pretty sure that if we met, you wouldn't like me, but you know what? As long as you treated me respectfully, (which I'm sure you would because you're probably a classy person -- I think we should just start the unity thing by assuming that everyone is classy and fundamentally good; except Dick Cheney), I would do the same for you. As long as we weren't drinking while having a political discussion, I think we would be able to talk civilly, as Americans, and not allow our differences to divide us and turn us against each other; we'd at least be able to agree to disagree.

The thing about politics over the last 30 years is that politicians have done nothing but try to divide us. 70% of Americans believe in a woman's right to have an abortion in at least some circumstances. An even greater percentage than that thinks that health care is a right, rather than a privilege. An even greater percentage than that believes that they are always right. But, over the past 30 years, politicians and their strategists being more concerned with winning elections than actually doing right by the people, have turned the right and left against each other with buzz words like "pro-abortion", "anti-choice", "socialism", "Marxism", "un-America", and turned well-duh issues like women's sovereignty over their own bodies, and access to health care for everyone into wedge issues.

When President-Elect Obama talks about unity, he's not telling you "I'm right 100% of the time and if you disagree with me, you're wrong and un-American." That was George Bush's America. Barack Obama has even said he's not always right, and he knows that not everyone is going to agree with decisions he makes. But he's also said that it is completely unacceptable for any American to question the patriotism and American-ness of any other American for any reason, especially policy disagreements.

Unity in Barack Obama's America isn't about agreeing on everything 100% of the time. It's about agreeing that we all have the right to be heard. Even the opposition. So form your strong and principled opposition, Dave (and Republicans -- emphasis on the principled, no more of this Tom Delay/Ted Stevens/Michelle Bachman shit, okay?), and we will see you on the floor of the House and Senate. We won't agree on everything all the time, but there are some things that we can agree on, and we should start with those things and then have intelligent conversations free of invective on the things that we don't agree on.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

HOORAY!!!

Dino Rossi has conceded the election !!!!!!!!!!!111111111oneoneoneoneoenepipipipie...

No recount!!! No protracted court battle!!! NO DINO ROSSI TAKING AWAY MY DAMN BIRTH CONTROL!!! GO WASHINGTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was the other race I was concerned about. Holy fuck, things actually went the way they were supposed to this year!! It's a miracle!!! No it's not, it's justice. Justice was served because people got out there and did the work to make it so.

Where were you?

I still have to celebrate though.

Last night, around, what was it, 7p Pacific time, Ohio went to Obama. Shortly thereafter, Chuck Todd, the God of Electoral Maps on MSNBC came on and basically said, "California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Hawaii, will be going for Obama, which puts him over 270" -- not what he said, but what he meant. I decided to wait until the polls closed here on the Left Coast before I popped the champagne.

8:01 Pacific time, on the 4th of November 2008, it was over. 21 months worth of blood, sweat, tears, and small campaign contributions later, it was finally over. Obama had won. It wasn't even official yet and I was already weeping. About twenty minutes later MSNBC interrupted coverage of people all over the country weeping and cheering, for Senator McCain to graciously and gracefully give his concession speech. That was the John McCain who should have been in this race, and who knows, maybe the Republicans ran it the way that they did -- ran the last 8 years the way they did -- in order for last night to happen the way it did.

The the Obama victory speech. I was heating up some more soup when he came on, so I pretty much dropped everything except my flag -- which I display proudly in the dining room -- and stood in the middle of the living room weeping. As he spoke, it wasn't hard to allow the flurry of emotions within me to boil over as I wept. I wish I had had my camera handy... the scene was amazing and I'll never forget clutching the flag to my heart, feeling the steady, solid beat of my heart as well as that of the nation as President Elect Obama gave his speech.

I was overwhelmed. Relieved. Thankful. And now, looking at the image of Dr. King which I keep at my desk, I realize that Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the first African American president -- elected to the office based on the content of his character and policies -- on the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I hope that I will be able to make it to DC for the inauguration, but I will always remember where I was the night that he won. The night that we won.

Pat yourself on the back, but...

We all deserve a nice pat on the back for the work we did to elect Barack Obama. Big grins -- we helped save the world yesterday, and we all deserve the pride we feel.

But... as Shark-Fu said on Feministing this morning, equality for all isn't exactly raining down upon America.

Prop 8, banning gay marriage in California, passed. Prop 102 in Arizona, banning gay marriage, also passed. Amendment 2 in Florida, banning not only marriage but civil unions (which happens to affect straight people, Florida, way to go), also passed. Arkansans banned gay couples from adopting or even being foster parents (despite the fact that there are 37,000 children in the foster care system in Arkansas and only about 1,000 foster families). Nebraska banned affirmative action. Via Cara.

So while we worked very hard across America, not only for Barack Obama, but in my state for Christine Gregoire (the race hasn't been called yet, but we'll see how it goes -- I say she wins because Washingtonians know how bad it is in other states and how not-bad it is here); in North Carolina for Kay Hagen who unseated Liddy Dole; in South Dakota to once again defeat abortion-banning legislation; in California to defeat Prop 4, the parental consent law.

We did work hard and we did do a lot of good last night. But the work isn't over. So, while the Obamas pick out their puppy, we can rest and relax for a few minutes, but don't forget that once Obama is innaugurated, once congress is sworn in we have a lot of work still to do.

We still have men and women dying or being seriously injurred on the ground in Iraq.

Osama bin Laden is still at large.

Inequality still reigns in too many parts of the country -- racial, economic, gender, sexual-orientation. Now is the time to address these issues.

Our economy is still a mess and the Freidman Zombies aren't going anywhere.

But, for now, sit back and have a beer. Take our victories in stride and use those to continue to fight for justice. We've proven that we can organize a party of cats, so let's keep the structures in place and make sure that next time we defeat the bans on gay marriage -- or even, gasp, legalize marriage for all pairs of consenting adults. Next time, let's make sure that the peddlers of putrid prejudice lose every battle. Next time, let's make sure that we protect sex workers. Next time, we have to work even harder to make sure to keep the mandate we've established.

There's still a lot to be done, and while I may be protected as someone lucky enough to have brains and privilege, I'll be doing everything I can to help everyone else have the opportunities I do as a straight, mostly white, middle class woman.

There I go, getting all Jeffersonian again... if I had had more time, I would have written less.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This says it all...

TheStranger is the local free paper in Seattle. This was their banner headline tonight. You can find more coverage of the election and its aftermath here.

President Elect Obama...

Yes. We did.

Here we go...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Breaking: Obama's gran has died

AmericaBlog has more.

My deepest sympathies to the Obama family.

Vote for Hope, Vote for Barack Obama

I've been wanting to say something important and lasting about this election, occurring tomorrow. 36 hours from now, we'll know who will be the next President.

Ladies and gentlemen of Generations X and Why, this is our time. For the last 30 years the Baby Boomer generation has been running the government, and while some has been good, for the most part the politics and economics of greed fostered by the self-centeredness of the "Me" generation has gotten us where we are. As children, we sat by and could only witness as unions were busted, jobs outsourced, others like us went without healthcare because their single-parents could barely afford to put a roof over their heads. Poverty has increased over the last 30 years and the American Dream has been either stolen or obscured from the views of too many Americans who work just as hard as their rich, or white, or male, or otherwise entitled fellow citizens.

We all want to take care of ourselves. We all want to work hard and succeed -- those characteristics are not limited to people born into privilege. We all deserve to be justly rewarded for our hard work with living wages, affordable healthcare, and the knowledge that we're not sending our tax dollars to bail out banks and other huge industries that didn't have the foresight to listen to Warren Buffet.

We all deserve this. We all deserve change that's going to benefit everyone.

Our planet deserves the kind of leadership that will not only take Global Climate Change seriously, but will also work with leaders of other nations to combat terrorism with food, shelter, and education rather than bombs which only create more terrorists than they kill.

We deserve leaders who take US serious. After 8 years of watching in horror as the Bush Crime FamilyTM has done whatever it wanted, whenever, and without considering the consequences to you, me, Joe the Plumber, or Myles the Soldier or any of our families. We, Americans, have not mattered at all (so long as we shopped and kept our mouths shut about the war) during the past 8 years and it shows.

Barack Obama knows, and you should too, that the work doesn't end tomorrow after all the votes are counted -- the vote BEGINS tomorrow after the votes are counted. Just because we have Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress and a Democratic President does NOT mean that we get to sit back and be satisfied with our work. There's too much left to do. We have to hold their feet to the fire (after they win, of course, we do need to keep focussed on that first) and make sure they do the things they promised to.

But first, you gotta vote. If you've already voted, go to BarackObama.com and find a volunteer opportunity in your area. Make calls, drive people to the polls, go door-to-door reminding people to vote. There's so much at stake here, "we cannot afford to slow down or sit back; we cannot let up for one day or one minute or one second" Barack tells us. He's right.

What's most important is that he's not doing this for himself. He's doing it for all of us. We are all doing this for each other. We have to work together to make sure that we can become a leader in this world once again. That people will continue to have reason to look to the United States for Hope.

We're almost there. Just power forward... "We have to work like our future depends on it this week," Barack says. Because it does.

Yes we can, America. Yes we can.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Boobs for Obama


I know, I know, this is so un-feminist of me... but I've got to use all of my talents to help elect Barack. So, if you weren't already voting for him, may the sight of my cleavage inspire you.