Posts Tagged feminism

The Mechanisms of Gender Inequality in Health Care

Do you suffer from erectile dysfunction? Do you have a hard time getting hard and good? Do you need a penis pump, also known as a “vacuum erection device” because you cannot go the pill route? (something which can also, quite conveniently, serve as a masturbatory aide. *wink*). Do you maybe need a penile implant because pharmaceuticals and penis pumps cannot get you hard and good? Are you done with having kids or simply do not wish to go down that route and need a vasectomy?

Well, worry no more as all of these procedures are covered by health-insurance, no questions asked- in case you missed that in all the cacophony surrounding  the things that health insurance should not cover (or does not cover) for women, such as birth-control and abortions. Some of them, such as the penis pump, are even covered by your handy Medicare.

If, as a man, you did not know that these items, devices and procedures are covered by most private insurances (and Medicare) then, quite frankly, I don’t blame you. After all, what reason would you have to question a society that so perfectly suits your needs?

Where your mere sex does not render you a ‘liability”, a “pre-existing condition” as far as insurance and access to medical care is concerned?

A society where you get to make your own health care decisions (within the confines of privately-run health-care schemes) for yourself without entities such as employers, a dusty clergy and legislators constantly feeling like they are entitled to step in and make those decisions for you, thus taking away autonomy over your own body and, crucially, the freedom of choice with regard to what you want to do with that body.

You don’t have to worry about someone questioning or taking away your choices, treating you like some object for which and over which others can make decisions as opposed to treating you like an autonomous, rights-bearing human being deserving of full equality.

As a man, your autonomy, agency, and the ability to consent—as your  own best decision-maker, your own best advocate, and your own best protector – are respected and never questioned.  You are born into a world in which your humanity, agency, dignity and autonomy are not in question – both philosophically and legally.

You don’t navigate a world in which everyone believes that policing your body and reproduction is an acceptable recreation. You don’t have to navigate the institutional misogyny that underlies the anti-choice movement where everything about it serves the interests of those who want to limit choice, and those who want to marginalize women.

While religious employers are choking to death at the idea of having to “pay” for a female employee’s birth control pills or, flying spaghetti monsters forbid, abortion, arguing that doing so would somehow compromise their delicate morals and religious convictions, they have no problem shelling out money to make sure you get to have an erection and a penis pump and penile implants and so on so you can fuck a woman, get her pregnant and make her have all the babies she may or may not want. That is irrelevant.

Even the government, even Medicare, is more than willing to pay for penis pumps and no one ever questions why tax-payers have to pay thousands of dollars to make sure a man can have an erection.

Your employer, the government, the clergy, some suit sitting at a mahogany desk in Washington do not have a problem tasking insurance companies to pay for a vasectomy that results in all these babies they all love so much to not be born.

Of course not. Those things are not an issue. They have not been an issue in major court proceedings, at state legislatures, with employers, insurance companies or even in the media and the public. In fact, it is a non-issue. As women’s reproductive choices are being eroded one by one, step by step, the national debate centers about the same few garbage notions about the alleged “rights” of fetuses, morality and god.  Be it Republicans or Democrats, ultimately it is about making women bargain away autonomy over their bodies to whoever feels entitled to them – in some sort of a insincere, deceitful “both sides have a point” false equivalency argument. As if people with uteri somehow owed the world control over some significant function of their body

No one talks about the duplicity inherent in the national debate we have on women’s agency where one group is systematically robbed of personal autonomy because another believes that they can make, and are entitled to make, better decisions for you than you can for yourself.

As a man, you get to make decisions about your sexual and reproductive health for yourself without anyone questioning their necessity, cost, or even morality.

Your personhood is not subject to inescapable, incessant and insistent debate. You are not made to feel that you are nothing if you don’t use your body to have children, where you are merely seen as a uterus with some vague female parts attached in service to its reproductive capacity.

 Women, on the other hand, have to stand by and let everyone decide on those things for them, everyone but the woman herself.

It is terrible to have to navigate a world in which you, as a woman, are made to feel that you deserve less respect,  less dignity, less autonomy, less opportunity, less agency, less voice, less ownership of self and ultimately less of your humanity.

A world in which you have to negotiate away the concept of absolute autonomy over your body to accommodate, please or else appease some privileged class/entity – be it a man or a church or whatever other institutions out there that believe they are entitled to make decisions about your own life and your body, for you.

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Today in “But Why Do You Hate God?”

Birth Control and Religious Freedom

tumblr_lhr0b36CaU1qhb2nco1_r1_500Banning insurance coverage of abortion is an anti-choice strategy to restrict access to abortion without having to actually navigate the political and legal difficulties of banning the procedure outright, thus violating Roe v. Wade.

This is how the war on agency and bodily autonomy works.

Over the past few years, abortion opponents have been working around the clock to make it too difficult for doctors to provide abortion care by enacting dozens of complicated state-level restrictions that dictate how these services may be performed. Once state legislatures pass tighter restrictions, anti-choice activists can start filing complaints alleging clinics are breaking the new law and endangering their patients. Sometimes they’ll conduct undercover “stings” — posing as a minor trying to get an abortion without telling her parents, or pretending to be a woman forced to have an abortion against her will — in an attempt to catch the clinic staff making a wrong move.

Ultimately, they’re hoping to trigger the state’s agencies to step in and conduct surprise inspections, which, in turn, are expensive and time-consuming for clinic staff who have to spend a substantial amount of their time and efforts refuting these false claims.

This week, Georgia will be the 25th state to forbid abortion coverage on the insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In fact, the debate on birth control and thus President Barack Obama’s health care law  – in a case that pits the religious rights of employers against the rights of women to the birth control of their choice and thus bodily autonomy and agency – is going to the Supreme Court as well this week.

On Tuesday, the court will be hearing arguments in a religion-based challenge from family-owned companies that object to covering certain contraceptives in their health plans as part of the law’s preventive care requirement.

Under the ACA, health plans must offer a range of services at no extra charge, including all forms of birth control for women that have been approved by federal regulators.

Some of the nearly 50 businesses that have sued over covering contraceptives object to paying for all forms of birth control. But the companies involved in the high court case are willing to cover most methods of contraception, as long as they can exclude drugs or devices that the government says may work after an egg has been fertilized.

The largest company among them, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., and the Green family that owns it, say their “religious beliefs prohibit them from providing health coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices that end human life after conception.”

The other company is Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. of East Earl, Pa., owned by a Mennonite family and employing 950 people in making wood cabinets.

A victory for the companies would prevent women who work for them from making decisions about birth control based on what’s best for their health. If they win, then employers would be able to invoke religious objections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act to opt out of other laws, including those governing immunizations, minimum wages and Social Security taxes.

Interesting to note is that a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 85 percent of large American employers already had offered such coverage before the ACA required it, raising the suspicion that this may be yet another political stunt by those who oppose Obamacare to attack the legislation from this angle and gut its provisions as much as they can.

The Greens say they have no desire to make health care decisions for their employees, other than, of course, when it comes to sticking their noses into said employee’s vagina and uterus to tell her what she may and may not do with her own body.

One key issue before the justices is whether profit-making corporations may assert religious beliefs under the 1993 religious freedom law or the First Amendment provision guaranteeing Americans the right to believe and worship as they choose. The court could skirt that issue by finding that the individuals who own the businesses have the right to object.

Accommodating the Religious, Once More

I am no legal expert but if the government, through laws and legislation, were to actually grant business owners the right, the legal right, to deny services  – or in this case a particular health-care coverage – to people and/or employees whom a religious business owner does not like and objects to if he or she felt that providing those services would violate his or her religious rights, then that would, in fact, constitute the government “respecting an establishment of religion”, which is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

Legalized Discrimination

If discrimination remains illegal, except for on religious grounds, then that would open up a Pandora’s box unleashing the intolerance and bigotry of religious people onto peoples’ lives in unimaginable ways with real harmful consequences.


What the Greens and other plaintiffs in this law-suit are doing is demanding a deeply misogynistic piece of legislation to be enacted by the government whereby employers can, indirectly yet remotely,  regulate and control a woman’s personal choices as pertaining to her body. It is one of the grossest transgressions of agency and bodily autonomy and would set this nation back a century or more.

The legal precedent that would be set if these religious nut jobs win would not only result in the government having made a law respecting an establishment of religion, but in some terrifying Twilight Zone scenario this would basically just give companies free reign to do with their employees whatever they damn well please as long as it is done under the “right to religion” provision.

After all, what is to prevent the Greens from also not hiring gays and lesbians in any of their stores because it violates their religious beliefs? Or Muslims? Or Atheists? Or unwed mothers?

What if they feel that they also do not want to cover the medical needs for their gay and lesbian or transgender employees, provided they hire them in the first place?

The next thing we know an employer who is a Jehovah’s Witness, for example, will object to having to pay for blood transfusion for their employees and their dependents. Individuals who develop certain types of problems such as leukemia or other things could end up with bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or die because they can no longer pay for transfusions. Hospitals and other institutions charge a fortune for each transfusion in blood costs and administrative costs.

Such a piece of legislation would essentially grant an employer the right to make health-care decisions for their employees, including taking away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions especially as pertaining to her reproductive choices.

I want to point out that no one ever questions paying for maladies and situations which only affect men such as for erectile dysfunction drugs, prostate treatments and penis pumps. But women are always placed in a special category (almost as if being a woman was a pre-existing condition) to be either charged higher premiums or routinely have services they need questioned, scrutinized and right out denied.

Lack of access to abortion is directly linked with income whereby women who attempt to get abortions but are denied have been found to be three times as likely to fall into poverty than those whose efforts were not blocked.

Pro-Birth Not The Same As Pro-Life

A few weeks ago I talked about the common misconception that people who claim to be pro-life are, in fact, merely pro-birth because wanting a child to be born but then not giving a damn what happens to it once it is out of the womb is unequivocally not pro-life but, it is, in fact, hostile to life.

If the Greens really are “pro-life” and care about doing the right thing as dictated by their faith, then maybe they should start with emulating their number one Messiah, Jesus, by being generous and fair to their employees, which includes more than just doing the bare minimum in terms of pay and benefits to stay competitive.

If you care about life, as you proclaim, then maybe you should consider paying your living, breathing and grown employees livable wages, plus health-care benefits, vacation time, sick time, disability pay and a host of other things that make life livable and bearable for people, not to mention that are the decent thing to do.

Why is it that religious people who oppose abortion and claim to be so much pro-life are only so for some accumulation of cells in the gestation period but somehow lose all that care when it comes to the actual person carrying such an accumulation of cells in the gestation period.

Will you, dear Green family, make sure that those women you just forced to birth out babies they do not want to have, also get paid maternity leave? Will you make sure there is a work-life balance for them so they can both do their job and be there to raise their kids? Will you increase the mother’s pay on a regular basis to make sure it keeps up with inflation and increased cost-of-living so she can take care of this kid and properly provide for it?

Because being a Christian is more than just merely being against abortion.

I really do not see any of the companies who proclaim to be objecting to paying for birth control pills and abortions acting particularly Christ-like in many other ways. Their morals just seem to begin and end in a woman’s vagina.

Finally, I find it hard to believe that anyone seriously believes that paying insurance premiums somehow violates their religious beliefs. It is not like the employer would be billed directly for certain procedures, they merely pay the premium. The insurance company pays for the procedures because that is what insurances are for.

If an insurance company were to not pay for the birth control (or abortion), then said employee would be using her wages to buy such birth control, thus Hobby Lobby would still be subsidizing an abortion as employers cannot tell their employees what to do with their wages.

Not that at the end of the day an employer should be given a say in what medical procedures employees may utilize to begin with (this, by the way, is another reason why putting the providing of health care into the hands of employers is such a terrible idea. Between the insurance company that is in it for the money and employers who are doing everything to gut an employees pays and benefits, also for money, the employee gets the shit end of the stick. Access to health care is a human right, because the right to life is a human right, that should not be placed in the hands of entities that merely have a profit motive in mind).

Separate But Equal

Denying certain people a number of rights that others are granted is discriminatory (reminiscent of Segregation and Jim Crow laws), not to mention deeply un-American.

The double standard here is phenomenally discriminatory. If women are denied the ability to make integral choices in their health care for issues which just affect them, then health-insurance plans should have to deny choices and coverage for men for issues which just affect them as well, such as payment for erectile problems and prostate problems. But they don’t.

Far worse, the “right to discriminate” legislation would, undoubtedly, give religious people the “right” to go after everyone and anyone they do not like. This would not just become a law solely addressing birth control. Once you set it into motion, corporations will step in and try to pull all sorts of things under the “right to religion” clause.

This would be legislated hate and discrimination on grounds of religious freedom. It cannot get more intrusive than that.

Why Do You Hate God?

Of course, I do not hate God. Technically speaking, you cannot hate something that doesn’t exist. What I am contemptuous about, however, is the extent to which religious people, and theists in general, use this tiresome accusation and rhetorical as a silencing meme when talking to atheists or critics of religion/god/theism.

Religion is harmful. I have mentioned that before and you know I will never stop repeating it.

Religion is harmful and the above example, which is one among many, makes that point quite clear.

Last week I talked about a bakery in Oregon that refused to bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple stating that baking the cake allegedly violated their religious beliefs and that because it did so, they were subsequently entitled to deny services to such a couple and that doing so was totally ok and not discriminatory at all since it happened under the auspices of “religious freedom.”

Oh I am sorry, your honor, but see, I don’t hate them, God hates them.”


Religious people have put everyone on the defense, playing the victims whose rights are being allegedly neglected and stomped on. As the privileged, dominant entity they really believe that they are entitled to their privilege and dominance and that demands for equality infringe upon their rights to subjugate, discriminate, oppress and harm others. And they think they have that right, that entitlement, because it is in the name of god and religion.

So why do I hate your god, so to speak? Because your fucking god is meddling in my life everyday resulting in my rights as a woman and human being to be regularly pissed on to accommodate your god and faith.

Personally I couldn’t give a rat’s ass if you wanted to believe in hobbits, unicorns, flying pigs, Big Foot, Jesus, Mohammed, or easter bunnies as your personal savior. Have at it. Whatever makes you go through the day.

But the moment you infringe upon my human and civil rights and bodily autonomy because your belief in your savior says so, that is where the buck stops, as they say. That is where I will step in and criticize you and your religion and your messiah and the bigotry, intolerance, ignorance and harm they cause ad nauseum. Teaspoon by teaspoon.

I am tired of religious people meddling in and thinking that somehow their right to religion was a special one and thus superseded other peoples’s human and civil rights.

Freedom From Religion

What all this birth control debacle and employers suing to not cover birth control etc. show is that what Americans really need is a “Freedom From Religion” law to protect people from becoming the victims of religious people and their skewed, backwards and harmful beliefs. It is long past time to tax the damn church that is no longer a religious institution but a political one as witnessed here and with PropH8 in California, NOM, The Family Research Council and Bryan Fisher and all their Missionaries of Hate.

Religion a personal matter that needs to be respected, my ass. Religion is harmful because it continuously interjects itself into other peoples’ lives in really detrimental ways. Criticism of religion, therefore, is not something angry atheists who have nothing better to do, engage in but, more than anything, a public service to protect those directly harmed by someone’s religious beliefs and practices.

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The Perils of Religion: Burqas

In Islamic countries women are not allowed to show skin – or hair –  this is the case even if they want to go swim, or especially if they want to go swim in, say, a pool, lake or ocean. I mean, sure, women are allowed to set foot into the water, Islamic laws and their henchmen are generous and enlightened like thatbut they have to fully cover up so that, god forbid – literally – other people, especially lecherous men, cannot make out their female shape because that would be terrible too.

Of course, the question that arises for skeptical fools such as myself is why even bother making women the way they are if you don’t want men to look at them? Why not make them all in the shape of a potato-sac without any defining features? Or why have two sexes at all? Or why have sex at all? Why not just make people one shapeless thing? It works for amoebas and a host of protozoans. Why give humans a libido and sexual desire if it is a bad, filthy thing?

Oh yes I forgot, this god, in all his wisdom, likes to make you one way and then set the rules at the exact opposite so he can punish you when you transgress them (or for his amusement – whatever he feels like that day I guess).  Where do I sign up to worship such an excellent decision maker? Oh yes, in this case, the Koran.

It would appear that not only are women in such cultures treated like trash, in this picture they literally look like it too. But that is not funny because under those tools of oppression sit real women, human beings, who are treated as less than a dog, because the dog can go into the water without having to cover up and be escorted by a herd of male overseers.

It would appear that not only are women in such cultures treated like trash, in this picture they literally look like it too. But that is not funny because under those tools of oppression sit real women, human beings, who are treated as less than a dog, because the dog can go into the water without having to cover up and be escorted by a herd of male overseers who view and treat women like they were their jailers and owners as opposed to their partners. God’s love truly is grand.

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“I Am Not Oppressed”

This is what Laila Alawa, Muslim American activist, blogger and supposed feminist has to say in response to Amina Tyler’s  images of her bare breasts in defiance to the religious patriarchy oppressing her in her native Tunisia and the support she received from the feminist organization FEMEN this past month (FEMEN is often billed as a “radical” feminist organization, even though they have not engaged in any kind of activity that would terrorize or hurt people. Demanding equality, fighting for it boldly and exposing flesh are hardly radical, unless you have an issue with the female body). Anyway, Alawa says:

I am a proud Muslim-American woman, and I am tired. I am tired of being told that I am oppressed. That I have no voice. That I need to be liberated.

I am tired, and I am speaking out for the rights of my and other fellow Muslim sisters to be able to dress and be how they wish to be.”

She continues alleging that FEMEN was doing nothing but engaging in shameless Islamophobia with “sex appeal” and that she feels “offended and disgusted” by the outpouring of support for not only Amina but oppressed and subjugated women in all Muslim countries.

Well, it’s a good thing to know that after all the death and rape threats Amina has received this far, Alawa is disgusted by her bare breasts essentially.

In her article, Alawa goes on stating that FEMEN’s protests “display a blatant expression of orientalism and colonialism in their belief that there is only one way to be free: through the utter disrobing of all garments covering the body.” She assures us that men in the Islamic faith are sweet [and] supportive” and that rape and sexual violence are practically unheard of in her home country of Syria.

She, further,  insists that Muslim men do not hold women “back from speaking out” and goes on to reduce FEMEN’s and Amina’s activities to just the actions of a bunch of “condescending protesters, all skinny, white and fitting squarely into the acceptable media paradigm of ‘true beauty‘” trying to tell her what to do.  She concludes by stating that “[Her] choice to cover is [her] own.”

Indeed. The operative word here being choice.

Memo to Ms. Alawa: Yes, you do have a choice and are not oppressed because you are a Muslim-American practicing lite-Islam.

If you were a Muslim-Saudi, or a Muslim Iranian, or a Muslim-[insert oppressive Islamic state here] you’d be singing a different tune.

Or would you? It seems as if Laila Alawa, including all the critics of FEMEN and Amina, completely missed the point, namely that this is about choice.

As Inna Shevchenko, the leader of FEMEN stated “you can put as many scarves as you want if you are free tomorrow to take it off and to put it back the next day.”

On Choice

By definition, choice is “an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.”

Since when do Muslim women have an option to not wear the hijab?

Fact is that women in Islamic countries do not have a choice with respect to the hijab (and much less anything else for that matter). If they do not wear it, they get in trouble. It’s the law of the land. It is not optional.

If you have no choice but to wear the hijab then how can you, with good conscience, insist that you have a choice?

And more to the point, if you do not even grasp the concept of choice how can you proclaim to the world that you have one?

The difference between Alawa and Muslim women actually living in Muslim countries is that Alawa has a choice and they do not.  For her to speak out of a position of privilege – and having a choice is a huge privilege – and think she is speaking for all Muslim women or even a fraction thereof or that she represents the typical pro hijab standpoint is deeply problematic.

See that’s the thing with unexamined privilege: it assures you that things are good for everyone, when they really are just good for you. Alawa has relative privilege compared to other members of her community.  As her HP profile write up states, she is “a graduate of Wellesley College where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in education studies and currently works as a research associate at Princeton University. During her time at Wellesley, she conducted and presented on a breakthrough social psychology study examining the gendered stereotypical perceptions of science careers.”

She is planning to pursue a graduate degree, is a fundraising chair and social media advisor, as well as the head of the alumni committee for the Muzslim Public Affairs Council Young Leaders. She also has a blog and you tube channel.

This does not sound like an oppressed woman to me.

It is also interesting to note that with all her (false) comparison of FEMEN to imperialist tools of the West, she is currently living in such a country and enjoying the freedoms that were fought for so hard.

Furthermore, Alawa sounds like a woman who has the choice to  do whatever she likes, such as get a higher education, hold leadership positions,  be an activist for controversial issues and even have her own you tube channel where she can show her face expressing her opinions, support as well as criticism for various political and social and cultural causes. I do wonder if she would be able to lead the same kind of life, and pursue the same kind of endeavors, if she were living in her native Syria.

No one, no one, can tell me that women in Muslim countries have a choice to not wear the hijab (for the sake of discussion we’ll disregard for a moment here that even her choice to want to wear the hijab is a result of her having been manipulated and conditioned into the patriarchy since day one).

FEMEN = Respects Choice. Islam = Does NOT Respect Choice

The difference between FEMEN/Amina and the regimes of Muslim countries is that FEMEN does not take away a woman’s choice to wear hijab or be nude, nor does it force anyone to do either.

The position of muslim countries, on the other hand, forbids women to be bare and makes them wear hijab.

There is a world of difference.

FEMEN’s position expands freedom; the Islamic regime/patriarchy limits it or takes it away completely.

The FEMEN position treats women as autonomous, rights-bearing human beings deserving of full equality; the Islamic regime/patriarchy treats women’s bodies as state property and women as second-class human beings, not just citizens.

FEMEN expands freedoms and autonomy, the regimes and governments if Islamic countries limit and take them away.

One of the hallmarks of oppression is the lack of choice. When you do not have choice – regarding many things in your life but especially as pertaining to your own body –  then you do not have a voice. When you do not have a voice, you are not free.

Oppression occurs when established laws, customs, and practices systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in social identity groups, such as being a woman. Oppressive consequences can be institutional in the form of laws, customs, or practices – such as wearing hijab and else having no say and autonomy over one’s own body and life.

Do women have a choice not to wear hijab in Saudi Arabia? In Iran? In Syria? In Lebanon? No. Then they are not not oppressed.

Choice is a fundamental aspect of freedom. If you don’t have a choice then you are not free and if you are not free you are in shackles.

For Alawa or any Muslim woman to state that, despite all of the above –  which we all know to be true in all Muslim countries –  she is, in fact, not oppressed is mind blowingly ignorant and a testament to the extent of her manipulation and conditioning by said oppressors.

Alawa can cloak herself in chains or paint as far as I am concerned, but it has to be her choice. When I see women like Alawa and other Muslim women insist that they do not feel oppressed given that, unlike their fellow Muslim sisters in Islamic countries, they can choose to not wear the hijab, it really makes me wonder if they ever actually understood the point Amina was making, which is not just the showing of bear tits like this was porn, but to state that she should be able to do with her body whatever she wants, be it to expose herself or cover up every inch with cloth.  

Disgusted by FEMEN?

It is also very sad and somewhat unsettling to see Alawa be insulted, infuriated, and disgusted by FEMEN and naked, female body parts when Amina has been the one receiving death and rape threats from the so-called gentle muslim men Alawa insists populate all Islamic countries; where holy men like Tunisian imam Adel Almi, chair of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (a commission solely put in place to control women, not men)  proclaimed that Tyler “deserves to be whipped or stoned to death”.  

If I was an Islamic leader relieving myself on women’s rights on a daily basis and issuing death threats against Amina and I saw the outpouring of support for my cause essentially by Muslim women around the world, including Alawa, I sure as hell would not feel inclined to change my position and make women be anything else but subjugated, third class human beings deserving of only the things the patriarchy I perpetuate permits them to have.

Instead of standing in solidarity with FEMEN and Amina, recognizing the symbolism and meaning of their protests, these women are just shooting themselves in the foot by taking the side of their oppressors.

What is More Offensive: Breasts or Stoning?

So I ask you Laila Alawa and esteemed readers, what in the rational world is more offensive, a young lady baring her breasts or a man that calls for her to be stoned to death?

Is it more offensive to be born gay or to be killed for being gay?  Is it more offensive to be raped or having to marry your rapist?  Is it more offensive to write a few lines rejecting the faith imposed on you by your parents and culture or is it more offensive for 100,000 people to march calling for your death?

Is it more offensive to drive a car or be whipped for driving a car?  Is it more offensive to uncover your hair or to be imprisoned for it?  Is it more offensive to talk to a man in public who isn’t related to you or to receive 100 lashes and imprisonment if you do? Is it more offensive for a 14 year old to have a couple of boyfriends or being executed for it? Is it more offensive to make a film or to be killed for making it?

I have no beef with Alawa and Muslim women or anyone who chooses to wear hijab. I do, however, have a problem with someone claiming that they, in fact, have a choice, when clearly they don’t. I also have a problem with people who cannot condemn all of the above atrocities without reservation or hesitation. If you chose to be insulted on behalf of all Muslims, Laila, then you must also defend all punishments and policies in its name.

Alawa’s ignorance and sheer head-in-the-sand approach with respect to her and that of other Muslim women’s predicament  only underscores the need for people like Amina Tyler and FEMEN.  It is unsettling to see someone  visibly carry with herself the symbols and tools of oppression; someone who witnesses her Muslim sisters be subjugated every day to  the tyranny of the religious patriarchy and yet still have the audacity to say that she and her Muslim sisters are not oppressed. 

The manipulation, brainwashing and gas-lighting these women undergo is immense. And it is the ultimate tool of control, namely to really believe that you are not oppressed and that despite all evidence to the contrary the system is working for you and in your favor. 

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Quote of the Day

She's every woman

She’s every woman

Beyoncé pisses me off. She is such an out of touch, overprivileged and pretentious puke who rarely seems to be taking the time to examine her privilege, such as when she said this:

 “When I gave birth, that was the first time I truly let go and surrendered. And it taught me how amazing that feels… Giving birth made me realize the power of being a woman. I have so much more substance in my life. And expressing that excitement and that sensuality and the connection I have with my husband—I’m a lot more comfortable with that now. I actually feel like my child introduced me to myself.”

-Beyoncé, GQ

Yes, because that is totally what womanhood and being a woman and empowered is all about: giving birth. In fact, that is our entire raison d’etre as women…to give birth because otherwise we are nothing but unhappy, sloppy, weak, man hating, disgusting, bitter wrecks who don’t know themselves and are lost in a sea of meaninglessness just killing the time in between giving births.

I am so glad B is totally not validating the view of every misogynist, Right wing, Republican nut job who has worked long and hard to reduce a woman’s entire being and diminish her rights accordingly, based on her birth giving abilities and willingness, even going so far as to place the existence of a bunch of cells in the gestation period above the life and choices, autonomy, humanity, dignity and wishes of a woman.

Thanks Beyoncé, you privileged Oreo, for proving once again that women are, more or less, uteri attached to a female body with the added bonus of a fuck hole;  thank you for making being a woman and empowered all about reproductive capacity – especially adding salt to the wound of those who are reproductively challenged or experience some other health issue that makes giving birth hard or impossible and who are made to feel incomplete because of notions you perpetrate; not to mention those who simply may not want to be mothers because they do not define their happiness and sense of fulfillment and worth as a human being by whether they had a child or not. 

Thanks for not only making them all feel like worthless, incomplete human beings and women, but for also essentially validating the views of all who reduce a woman’s personhood and humanity to her reproductive capacity. 

Given such enlightened sentiments, I am totally surprised at the onslaught of legislative attacks on reproductive rights with law makers believing that they have every right to control and dictate and legislate a woman’s reproductive choices by, in fact, taking away those very choices they allege women have, forcing them to do something with their body they do not want to do, and thus without their consent –  much like a rapist who uses physical force to force a woman to do something she does not want and thus without her consent – even going so far as to declare a child resulting from an actual, literal, act of rape divine providence; legislators who assert that a woman’s personhood is debatable and that she has little rights if she doesn’t use her body to give birth.

I am not the word police here or trying to blow things out of proportion. I just really would like to point out how deeply entrenched patriarchy – and all of its adverse consequences for some – is in our society and that such sentiments say a lot about how these issues, especially women, are viewed and are viewing themselves. I know Beyoncé is deeply religious so that might definitely have something to do with her attitude of wholeness connected with motherhood.  Religion, after all, was born out of patriarchy, male dominance and misogyny.

This is also not a judgment on women who are parents and who made that choice. This is about a culture that works hard on many levels –  subtle or obvious, direct or indirect – to take away the choice from women who do not want to follow the traditional path; a culture that devalues and judges women, seeing them as less than or lacking in some way and thus being incomplete if they exercise their autonomy and choice, to not be a parent; a culture where women have to constantly justify and explain their private, reproductive,  family and lifestyle choices to strangers and law makers who look at them with astonishment and even a sense of pity for not being or not wanting to be a mommy; this is about women being socialized, encouraged, cajoled, and coerced into childbearing from the moment of birth.

So, Beyoncé, get back to never, never land with glitter and diamond encrusted pacifiers for the daughter whom you are going to teach all about the virtues of human and woman hood, namely giving birth. 

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Today in Misogyny: Women Are to Blame for the Sandy Hook Shooting

I should make a blog entry for each entity the NRA and advocates of unregulated gun ownership come up with as being to blame for the Sandy Hook shooting that cost 20 children and seven adults, most of whom teachers and educators, their lives. Seriously. I guess you’ve gotta give right wing nut jobs some credit, because every time one of them sets the bar preposterously low by posting some paranoid, racist, sexist screed, another one comes by and manages to set it even lower.

Today this person is Charlotte Allen from the conservative outlet the National Review Online who believes that women and womanhood in general are to blame for the shooting and the resulting carnage.

Self loathing troll Charlotte Allen

Self loathing troll Charlotte Allen

We had a good variety with the NRA and their scapegoating of all sorts of people and entities for the Sandy Hook shooting, from liberals, video games, Hollywood, everyone’s favorite fall guy Obama, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, to the mentally ill and the absence of guns. Every single one of those entities was responsbile for the shooting, except for guns of course.

In her piece in the conservative “news” outlet National Review, Allen was basically stating that Lanza could have been stopped if more men who had played high school football and even “some of the huskier 12-year-old boys” had been present instead of pesky women whose mere existence apparently attracts criminals who can sense the “helpless passivity” pathetic women exhume, according to Allen.

Yes, you read right, she believes that even 12 year old boys, had they been taught a little bit more about the virtues of great male aggression, could have been useful in stopping Lanza. She went on complaining that “there was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. […]  There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. […]

As if that heaping pile of excrement coming out of her head was not enough, she went on to say that

“a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.” 

A day later she put down more mind excrement on paper defending her position. She didn’t even have the backbone,  as it is expected with unembarrassed hypocrites like her, to stand by what she had said the day before, namely that she basically blames the feminized staff, an thus the victims, at the school for the outcome. Instead, she said that she blames “our culture that denies, dismisses, and denigrates the masculine traits—including size, strength, male aggression and a male facility for strategic thinking–that until recently have been viewed as essential for building a society and protecting its weaker members.”

What truly depressed Charlotte Allen was not that twenty families will be burying their children this Christmas but that “a visit to Sandy Hook’s staff website is a depressing experience, the sea of women’s names” and that “another depressing page on the Sandy Hook website is the “Safe Schools Climate” page. It’s a page of links to “anti-bullying” resources”

Anti bullying resources? What a dirty trick. Who needs anti bullying resources when you can teach children how to be bullies?

Dear Charlotte Allen…

I cannot believe the heap of unfounded, ignorant, misogynist, vile garbage that came out of your sorry-excuse-for-a-human-being mouth. And even though you shamelessly deny it, everyone knows – including yourself – that you were essentially blaming the victims. You don’t even have the backbone to at least stand by your own garbage, callous convictions. Pathetic, but expected.

I also can’t even begin to express how utterly offensive, bigoted and truly ignorant your statements were. Translation of your mind vomit:  You didn’t fight back against a person with a gun pointed to you,  you’re own fault if you get killed.

That is called blaming the victim, which is the same tactic used in rape culture where the victim is being accused of having somehow provoked an assault on her becasue of how she behaved or dressed, as if behaving or dressing a certain way was invitation for being raped, abused and beaten.

And then the dismissive way you spoke of the principle whom you believe merely “seemed to have performed bravely.” What do you mean with she “seemed” to have performed bravely?  The woman is dead trying to protect her students.  In fact, these women you spit on and dismiss  educators, administrators, staffers–put their lives on the line and in some cases died, to protect their students. They were courageous on a level that I can’t even imagine. How did you manage to turn something like that into a hideous, ugly thing and blame the victims? 

You also seem to be forgetting that it was male aggression in the form of Adam Lanza that got us into this. Yes, you are right, there was not one man on the campus, well except for one: the shooter.

In fact, none of the perpetrators of mass shootings have been female, they all have been male. So much for male aggression being good for society.

To hold women and woman hood, and thus oneself,  in such contempt by excreting such massive vileness is truly below even a worthless human being such as yourself.

The alternative to the allegedly overly female school you describe is a school built like a bunker, with black-uniformed, rifle-carrying male officers guarding the entrance and patrolling the hallways.  This kind of thinking is basically just one more step toward an American police state. And wingnuts, such as yourself, are 100% behind it.

You hide your callous and contemptible views behind politeness and decorum but don’t for one second believe that such a tactic impresses anyone but the ignorant tools you call your audience and who share your paranoia and bigotry.

People like you will keep their Second Amendment fixation right up until the Second Amendment is the only part of the Constitution that hasn’t been destroyed or hollowed-out.

The only difference between George Orwell’s 1984 and the American Gilead people like you are building is instead of a stern atheist Big Brother always looking out at everyone from countless billboards and posters, we’ll have Uncle Ronald (Reagan) littering the landscape, with his genial smile hiding the same evil intentions, trying – and failing miserably – to lend a civilized veneer to a sinister reality.

In conclusion, I must say that it does take an incredible amount of willful blindness to talk about how male aggression is needed to stop such shooters without seeing the role male aggression played in creating said shooters. If the idea is the protection of women and children, and men’s aggression is just a force of nature in your world, only women and children should be allowed to owns guns then.

With your two posts, Ms. Allen, you have just sunk below the deepest layer of prehistoric frog shit at the bottom of a New Jersey scum swamp. Congratulations and Merry Christmas.

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Ann and Mitt Romney are Overprivileged Pukes Who Have Never Done a Hard Day’s Work in Their Lives….

…no matter how much they like to convince most of the sheep in this country of the contrary.

I hate it when the media misrepresent facts either through omission or by inserting their own interpretation into something someone said in order to score a controversial headline and equally controversial outpouring as a result.

Rosen (L) and Ann Romney (R)

Wednesday night,  Hilary Rosen, criticized Ann Romney accusing her of failing to understand the economic concerns of women.

Repeat after me: for failing to understand the economic concerns of women.

During a discussion on CNN’s “AC360”  she said: “What you have is Mitt Romney running around saying ‘well you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about is economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life […] She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we and why we worry about their future.”

This resulted in a shitsotrm on the Romney camp and it prompted Ann Romney to join Twitter raising a stink over Rosen’s remark, completely twisting and turning it around and making it what it never was by stating that she “made a choice to stay home and raise five boys”. She went on to say “Believe me, it was hard work.” All this resulted in a flurry of clarifications and counter-statements and whatnot, culminating in an appearance on Fox News this morning where Ann Romney basically said that people should vote for her fucking husband.

This afternoon Rosen was finally forced to apologize for something she essentially never said or implied.

While everyone was at it, former first lady Barbara Bush also decided to chime in on the debate, commenting on how women who stay at home are “wonderful” just as women who choose to work are “wonderful”. She went on to say that while she is not critical of Hilary she is “sorry she took a knock at those of us who chose and who were able to  –  and that’s very important able -to stay home.”

But that is the whole point!!

I am totally flabbergasted.

First of all, what Rosen was saying was not in any shape a commentary on the “in home vs career moms”  debate or the value of household work vs the value of a career. The point Rosen was trying to make is that Ann Romney would not know what being concerned about economics means to a woman because she has never been one of them. She was born into a wealthy family that fully supported her and after hopping around from one college to another having a good time traveling to France and waiting for Romney, she finally got married at the age of twenty and stayed at home to take care of him and the kids. She never had to go looking for a job, writing a resume, getting up at 7 in the morning to get to work, pay for expensive daycare while sacrificing other things. In short, she has never been a wage earner who knows what those challenges women face are.

When you are someone who, before she even had kids, never did a hard day’s work in her life in terms of being a wage earner and understanding the challenges women face in that regard and when you – after you had kids – got to stay at home and take care of the kids because of a rich husband whose obscene wealth  insulated you from the economic challenges that stay-at-home moms or women in general face, then you are failing to understand the economic concerns of women. Period.

And that is the point Rosen was making. A very valid point for which she should never have apologized and I find it newsworthy and quite outrageous that Ann Romney and everyone thinks she is en par with any other woman who stayed at home.

In fact, Mitt Romney himself has never done a hard day’s work in his life. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he made money as a corporate raider bankrupting companies. Right now he is making more in a day than most make in a year. He operates and thinks on different orders of magnitude. He probably does have $ 10,000 in his pocket and I seriously doubt he even knows what a dollar bill looks like or feels like in your hands.

The Romneys are out of touch with the realities and challenges that plague most Americans and are very real to them, as evidenced by the myriad of insensitive, outlandish comments made by Romney these past few months, such as how much he loves football because a lot of his friends own football teams, his impromptu 10,000 dollar bet with Santorum and by saying things like (and I am paraphrasing) “oh yeah I do make money from speaking engagements but it [374,000 according to his tax records] is not much.”

So sorry Ann, but staying in your Ivory Tower ordering the nannies and staff to feed and clothe the kids and clean up the house because you married rich and have nothing better to do is not what being a stay-at-home mom is about, not does it constitute hard work or make you part of the crowd that understands the economic challenges women face.

Hillary Rosen was right on and it is a shame she had to apologize to please phony, overprivileged pukes like you and your husband who are completely out of touch with the realities of most Americans, heck most human beings on Planet Earth, and who are just about the worst things that could happen to this country.

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