Political Flavors


#NotBuyingIt 2016 – Misogynist Trolls Tell Me Kissing Is Bad

Posted in Editorials on February 8th, 2016
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So I had a very successful tweet last night:

The #NotBuyingIt hashtag was started in 2012 by the Representation Project as a way to call out sexist commercials during the Superbowl. It’s since continued, growing every year. And I believe this year we have reached a threshold, because to my dismay the #NotBuying hashtag was overrun with trolls to the point where it was mostly sexist bullying and trolling rather than media criticism. I am STILL getting angry responses to the above tweet over 15 hours later. How long will people be butt hurt? Start an over/under betting pool in the comments.

I’ve been on the internet long enough to expect trolls. What I am surprised about (and maybe I shouldn’t be) is that so many people will watch this ad and think “Yes! *That’s* responsible fatherhood.” And not “I feel sorry for that girl.”

The “over protective father being played for comedy meme” is pervasive in our culture as this ad shows. And it’s incredibly sexist, perpetuating ideas of women as property and alienating teenage girls them from a healthy relationship with their own fathers and boys their own age.

What gets me is they hypocrisy of at least some of my detractors. It seems like I got two flavors – general MRA and Christian Patriarchy. The MRAs are giant hypocrites on this one. Men who sling around “incel” and “kissless virgin” as fates worse than death are excited by a commercial where a Dad constantly prevents his daughter from kissing her suitor. This seems counter productive. Unless they really do think that kissing is bad. If that’s the case, then a change of rhetoric is needed. Stop pretending a lack of intimate contact is a bad thing. Isn’t it a badge of honor that you didn’t sully some young woman with your filthy mouth?

As for the Christian Patriarchy types, I suppose that it’s exciting to see a famous comedian and a major corporation expressing their worldview on such a big platform. But they dropped the ball when they started annoying people on Twitter. No one has ever changed religions because some stranger disagreed with their tweet. Maybe take out your own ad next time. It’s what the Scientologists did.

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode Six – Alison Turkos and Abortion Funds

Posted in Podcast Episodes on February 4th, 2016
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Episode six – Alison Turkos and Abortion Funds

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

Discussed in this episode:

We respond to a comment we got about plastic surgery from episode two.

Cruz camp mocks Rubio’s ‘high-heeled booties’

We interview Alison Turkos (former) chair of the New York Abortion Access Fund. We talk about abortion funds, bowl-a-thon and reproductive justice.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode Five – Sexbots

Posted in Podcast Episodes on January 21st, 2016
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Episode five – Sexbots

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Discussed in this episode:

We address some comments we got from our discussion of women changing their names when they get married from episode 3.

Support Enough Said Detroit.

Will women be replaced by sexbots? Lots of men think so. We weigh in.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Image credit: OpenClipArt.org

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode Four: Adam Lee, Objectivist Gender Roles and Paul Ryan

Posted in Podcast Episodes on January 7th, 2016
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Episode four – Adam Lee, Objectivist Gender Roles and Paul Ryan

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Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

Tech Note: This is our first episode where we did an interview over Skype the sound quality isn’t great but it improves as we go along. Also, please excuse Karen’s cat related technical difficulties!

Discussed in this episode:
Cologne elects stabbed candidate Henriette Reker mayor

Cologne Mayor’s ‘Arm’s Length’ Sex Assault Advice Stirs Outcry

Should you go braless for breast cancer?

Massachusetts Police Force Will Use Pink Handcuffs for ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’

Adam Lee’s Atlas Shrugged Archive at Daylight Atheism

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

My Favorites of 2015 That You Might Have Missed

Posted in Editorials on December 31st, 2015
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Here’s some of my favorite things that you might have missed from 2015!

Television

Of course, I love Jessica Jones. But a close second is the BBC miniseries adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Bertie Carvel, Eddie Marsan, Charlotte Riley, Marc Warren, Ariyon Bakare and the rest of the cast deliver wonderful performances. Given that this is my favorite novel, I had very high expectations and I am entirely pleased and delighted.

Books

I agree with all of the critics who selected Between the World and Me for their top pic. If you haven’t read it, go read it right now.

My honorable mentions are:
You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day Funny, charming, and heartfelt. I was blown away and inspired by how vulnerable Day made herself on the page.

Rad American Women A – Z by Kate Schatz This book is amazing and I want to buy a copy for every child I know.

We Believe The Children by Richard Beck If you understand the McMartin trial, you understand contemporary America. Beck explains the convergence of politics, sexuality, feminism, history and psychology that allowed innocent people to lose their freedom. What compounds the tragedy is that in a few of these cases children were being abused, just not by their day care providers who went to prison or the satanic cults of our fevered imaginations.

I’m Not A Terrorist But I’ve Played One on TV by Maz Jobrani The funniest book I have read this year. Read this if you need a laugh.

Favorite Play
Allegiance. If you get to go see this, please do. It’s an important story about America and a moving, beautiful, brilliant play.

Favorite Tweet of 2015

Favorite Novelty Twitter Account
Emo Kylo Ren

Favorite Guilty Pleasure of 2015
Following the Dean Skelos and Adam Skelos trial. I listened to the phone calls so many times. If schadenfreude is a sin, I am going to hell in a handbasket.

Runner up – Victor Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe. Expect camp silliness. Fun if you don’t take it seriously.

Favorite Tumblr of 2015
Nihilisa Frank

Best New Podcast
Feminist Coffee Hour, obvs. (We will be back on January 7!)

Favorite Comeback
MST3k is coming back! With Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt!

Favorite Videos of 2015

Lobbyist Claims Monsanto’s Roundup Is Safe To Drink, Freaks Out When Offered A Glass

Why Every Prank Eventually Goes Wrong

Marshall Islands Poet to the U.N. Climate Summit: “Tell Them We Are Nothing Without Our Islands”

Link Roundup – Stuff You Should Read if you missed it the first time

Northwest Tribe Says Proposed Coal Terminal Would Be ‘Like Putting A Freeway Inside The Reservation’


Our responsibility to help rescue Puerto Rico: New York City was in a similar spot in the 1970s

You hate politics? Try it some time

Women candidates need to step up to the plate

We Should Have a Better Condom by Now. Here’s Why We Don’t.

Problems Too Disgusting to Solve

Body Ritual Among the Swimsuit Models in the Horny Hell of SwimCity

How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being A Deadbeat Dad Into A Moneymaking Movement

My Favorite Political Flavors Posts
Seven Seasons Of Questions About Odo
Building A New Way – Black Lives Matter at UU General Assembly
The Signal To Noise Ratio Of Blood Flow To One’s Genitals

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading!

The Four Reasons Leia Never Got Around To Training As A Jedi

Posted in Editorials on December 21st, 2015
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This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and tangentially some of the EU novels.

Karen send me a link to this post by Rachel Paige at Hello Giggles, “77 Questions about The Force Awakens.” I had a fun time thinking about these but one of them jumped out at me.

37. Why didn’t Leia train in the Force, just like Luke?

There’s three reasons for this which can be explained by or inferred from the Expanded Universe novels and one I thought of just recently. Maybe in future movies we will get a canonical explanation, but this is what I’ve got so far:

4. Leia is just too damn busy. In the novels, Leia is a politician and a bureaucrat with an active career running the Republic. In TFA she’s a General (When I saw the words “General Leia Organa” in the opening crawl, I almost died of happiness) but that would still be an incredibly demanding career. She’s also a wife and a mother. Training to be a Jedi is just one more thing on her to do list for her to feel guilty about not getting around to.

3. It brings up bad memories. It takes Leia years to come to terms with the fact that Darth Vader is her biological father. Her career as a leader (whether in politics or the military) is what her adopted family groomed her for and what she is good at. Becoming a Jedi would feel a lot like choosing Vader over her loving parents who were not Sith Lords.

2. That’s Luke’s thing. This is conjecture, but Leia is a bit of a “type A” personality. She’s a perfectionist and what’s the point in taking on Jedi Training when Luke is already the best there is?

1. This is the saddest one and something that struck me in a moment of fridge horror. Jedi are immortal. Whey they die, their bodies merge with The Force and they become “Force ghosts” forever. That’s an awfully long time to live without Han Solo.

The Signal To Noise Ratio Of Blood Flow To One’s Genitals

Posted in Editorials on December 3rd, 2015
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There’s an idea floating around our cultural conversation that has too long gone unquestioned. This is one of those fallacies that is so much a part of our rhetoric that we hardly even recognize we are perpetuating it. It’s the idea that sexual arousal is inherently meaningful aside from one’s personal subjective experience or actual participation in sex with a partner. And this is not only wrong, but it can be very harmful.

If anything, we don’t have enough compassion, education or care around human sexuality. And I wish we lived in a world where we took care of ourselves and each other in that way. As we do not, I think that our ignorance is part of what lets this fallacy flourish.

Here’s what I mean. I see this on the Red Pill, but it’s in other places too. It’s the idea that a person getting sexually excited means anything else than their particular brain was stimulated and is now sending the signal “hey there goes a good person to mate with.” So when someone says they wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders) because they aren’t hot and don’t want to look at someone old on TV – they are falling victim to this fallacy – that the amount of blood flowing to their junk can tell them anything meaningful about who should be president. (Insert Martin O’Daddy/Marco Rubio-oh-oh-OH joke here.)

Recently on the Red Pill, a guy dismissed Philippa Rice, best selling illustrator and author as:

a low value woman’s musing about being the queen of a loser

I wanted to respond that she’s probably laughing all the way to the bank, but I didn’t. Because according to this guy, her creative or financial success mean nothing if she can’t give him a boner. She has no other value as a human being.

It goes the other way too, an attractive person is seen as being capable regardless of their qualifications. Tons of dudes said they’d vote for Sarah Palin for this reason, as if being attractive means she would be a good leader. Note to those dudes: voting for a person is not an effective way to get that person to sleep with you.

It’s not just manosphere misogynists that do this either. I was giggling over Rachel Bloom’s “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” when I sent it to my podcast co-host Karen. She said, “I don’t want to police her sexual choices or her celebration of her sexual choices but wanting to fuck somebody is not a compliment. It doesn’t compliment them for their accomplishments.” And as much as I still like that song, she’s right. Maybe we should lay off the “That person is such an awesome writer/artist/scientist that I want to have sex with them” proclamations. They add nothing to the conversation aside from an acceptable way to say “Hey everyone my genitals are pleasantly engorged right now!”

And this can get really gross really quickly. I’m disturbed by David Tennant fans trying to change the meaning of Jessica Jones from a revenge fantasy to one about unrequited love. If any given person wants to fuck Kilgrave, brilliant, enjoy your mind control fantasy. But that does not mean that the other characters in the show should feel the same way! Any given fan’s personal pants feelings about David Tennant do not and should not have any impact on the plot of the show. Those feelings of lust don’t make Kilgrave not a rapist – which is why I will judge you if you ship Kilgrave and Jessica.

It’s hard to know how big of a leap there is from defending fictional rapists because the actor who plays them is hot to defending actual rapists because you think the accused person is hot. And it happens all the time. “James Deen [/other famous actor/athlete] can’t be guilty because I personally would have wanted it, ergo she must have wanted it.” As I said, really disgusting, really fast.

In an ideal world, everyone would be healthy and fulfilled in their sexuality. But we need to stop giving that delightful rush of hormones an intrinsic meaning other than “Ooh. I think I’d like some sex now.” It’s meaningful in discerning one’s own sexual desires but says nothing about anyone or anything else.

If you like this post, you might also like:
The Projection of Hate – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Rolling Stone and Right Wing Sex Panic
Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode Three – “Women on the $10″

Posted in Podcast Episodes on November 12th, 2015
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Episode three – Women on the $10

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

Discussed in this episode:

Why are some feminists so defensive when they change their names upon getting married?

The Selfie Sorority Girls are not as shallow as you think.

Our friend Rachel Tobias as a woman on the $10.

Who would you like to see on the $10?

Bonus snark from The Toast: How to Change His Entire Name After You’re Married

Tech note: We used new mics for this episode! Tell us audiophiles, do we need pop shields?

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

In Which We Fight Ignorance About Microaggressions

Posted in Podcast Episodes on November 10th, 2015
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Are you on the edge of your seat waiting for episode three of Feminist Coffee Hour? (Coming very soon, on Thursday!) Listen to Karen and Elizabeth on “In Which We Reveal Our Ignorance” where we discuss microaggressions with Stephen, Sam and Mike.

American Politics Is Eating Itself

Posted in Editorials on November 9th, 2015
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Last week, Deport Racism PAC offered a $5,000 prize to anyone who would interrupt Saturday Night Live and call Donald Trump a racist. And so the show got out in front of it. Sonia Saraiya wrote in a review of Donald Trump hosting SNL:

This was most on display in the opening monologue, when a man heckled Trump, yelling “You’re a racist!” It was a plant—Larry David, who had been in the cold open, reprising his role as Bernie Sanders—but the punchline, if there was one, went nowhere. Trump was unflappable, because he knew the heckle was coming, and David’s “character” immediately admitted he’d taken cash to yell at Trump. In a few moments of adroit comic shuffling, the show introduced racism, let Trump defuse it, and then revealed it as insincere. That’s a set of actions with profound commentary for what it means to allege racism in this media climate; naturally, then, no performers of color were on stage. To include them would have meant underscoring how messed-up the bit was, and “Saturday Night Live” was not interested in critical thinking last night.

Rumors are circulating that Deport Racism PAC is linked to the Hillary Clinton campaign, but as the Daily Dot explains, all we really know is that the PAC was founded by a Clinton supporter.

But the PAC’s link to Clinton is irrelevant when you consider Saraiya’s critique. Larry David legitimized Donald Trump. His “joke” was that we all know Trump isn’t really a racist. C’mon you guys it’s just internet crazies and angry Latin@s saying that.

And in response, Deport Racism PAC has said that they’re giving the money to Larry David.

Irony is dead.

In declaring Larry David the “winner” they either don’t get the “joke,” are pretending not to, or don’t care. I’m leaning towards the latter. Which should make it very hard for anyone to take them seriously as a legitimate anti-racist organization in the future. So in this weekend’s showdown between a xenophobic megalomaniac and a nominally anti-racist PAC, the winner was Lorne Michaels. He played this whole thing expertly, as he should, having been in television for so long.

But in not using satire to speak truth to power, Michaels and David reveal that the game is rigged. Trump looks good, SNL has some of the best ratings in years and Deport Racism PAC insists that they also won somehow. What’s left is a meaningless discourse that’s more about getting attention than making a coherent point or changing anything. “Both sides” are feeding off of one another like a snake eating it’s tail (an example of the tagline for my podcast about the “political ouroboros.”) And the end result is that Trump improved his reputation. After all, that liberal Larry David didn’t think he was a racist!

I truly believe that the totality of American politics is a lot more than Donald Trump. But from conversations with friends and family who aren’t glued to Twitter, cable news and alternative media the way I am most people aren’t thinking about what Paul Ryan will do as Speaker, the climate conference in Paris or the TPP. When most Americans hear “politics” they think “Donald Trump.”