Archive | January 2011 RSS feed for this section

Redefining Rape Is Needless (and Shitty)

1 Feb

If you’re reading this post, you probably already know about H.R. 3. You know, the nasty House of Representatives’ bill that ends taxpayer funds for abortion for ever and always, amen, while sneaking in a redefinition of rape.

The  bill sucks for plenty of reasons that don’t need to be hashed out here.  (Although I must say that it’s very anti-business in that it pressures  insurance companies to stop offering abortion coverage, among other things. Oh wait. Pro-business Republicans are sponsoring it? Well now I’m just confused…. )

But I digress. The bills’ redefinition of rape is truly horrifying: It ignores the realities of silence and confusion that accompany so many rapes, especially those on our college campuses, and it displays the disgusting insensitivity of many of our representatives when it comes  to women and the issues we face.

Time magazine has an outstanding blog that explains just how disgusting this redefinition is, because there is absolutely no need for it.

Regardless, the bill got me wondering: How does a woman go about getting Medicaid funding for an abortion if she’s been raped (one of the three situations–along with a pregnancy that threatens the life of the mother or one caused by incest–for which the Hyde Amendment allows federal money to cover abortion services)? Is it just a matter of walking into an abortion clinic, declaring you’ve been raped, and getting a check from Medicaid four weeks later to cover the cost of the abortion?

Not exactly. Eligibility rules under the Hyde exceptions differ by state, but many states are like Tennessee, which requires a doctor to certify that “there is credible evidence to believe that the pregnancy is the result of rape” and to attach “documentation from a law enforcement agency indicating the patient has made a credible report as the victim of incest or rape” before Medicaid will consider issuing payment for an abortion procedure. As for the idea that there are all sorts of women filing false reports of rape, rape is consistently the most under-reported of all violent crimes. People aren’t lining up to claim sexual assaults that did happen, much less those that didn’t.

So if this redefinition won’t save our government billions of dollars (and really, that seems to be the only justification Congress can find for anything these days), then what is it all about? Why is Congress needlessly redefining something that most of these old white  guys don’t understand?

And most importantly, what can we do to stop them?

Reading the many intelligent blog posts is a running start to ending this hijack. But we’ve got to do more than move our eyes back and forth across the screen.

So. May I suggest three easy ways to take action:

1. Call your representative. If s/he is supporting the bill, chew their ear out. (Here are some guidelines…)

2. Threaten to write a letter to the editor. Then write a letter to the editor. Do something that will get through to these blind dogs.

3. Spread the word. Tell your grandma, your aunts, your sorority sisters, your best friends, your friend(s) with benefits —  we owe it to the survivors of rape to stop this shitty bill from going any further.

This post is brought to you by Rachel.

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Scrubbing Bubbles Says: All women are cleaning ladies

21 Jan

I love to clean. And I know you do too. We are busy cleaning biddies.

What’s that? You don’t like to clean? You little liar! Almost every lady is a cleaning lady, according to USA Today.

The paper recently published a survey showing that ladies love to clean, no matter if they are barely legal or members of AARP. Oh, and this is courtesy of Scrubbing Bubbles, not USA Today. You know, Scrubbing Bubbles as in the cleaning products.

Again, please remember this is completely objective. And not at all sexist. At all.

Happy cleaning. With Scrubbing Bubbles.

This post is brought to you by Rachel. Hat tip to Kelsey.

The Texts of a Creeper

19 Jan

Whether it takes you back to fond memories of idiotic texts from that special someone who can’t take the hint (even after you’ve stopped giving one), or it simply reminds you of, ahem, yourself, the tumblr Creepers Who Text has many high-larious gems, including:

Male Creeper 3:59 AM: Why won’t you answer my calls? Are you cheating on me?

Me 4:07 AM: Um, we don’t date. We have never even kissed. I’ve only met you twice.

 

Or:

Female Creeper 12:49am: What do I have to do for you to answer my call, knock at your door??!?!?

Me 12:51am: This is Jeff, Coreys new boyfriend.

 

And, my personal favorite:

Male Creeper 11:13AM: *number* has tried to contact you (auto missed call text)

Me 11:13AM: Who is this?

Male Creeper 11:14AM: *number* contacted you 4 times (auto missed call text)

Me: (no response)

Male Creeper 11:15AM: Peter (ex boyfriend)

Me: (no response)

Male Creeper 11:18AM: You know me

Me: (no response)

Male Creeper 11:19AM: Fook

Me: (no response)

Male Creeper 11:20AM: Your the last person I wanted to call

 

Happy Reading!

This post is brought to you by Rachel.

A stronger label

19 Jan

I’m Kelsey.

I’m another roommate of the critically acclaimed Rachel and Tara. And I’ll be honest. Before I moved into our group house, I didn’t know that people like the Mislabeled writers still actually existed. At least not under the age of 50.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – I think women should have the same rights as men and all that stuff, but really? You’re a feminist? Come on, that’s so 1960’s. Last time I checked I could vote, own property, and earn more than my boyfriend.  So excuse my ignorance.

But after having spent a considerable amount of time talking with my three fiery, feisty, and feminist roommates, I have to admit that I agree with most, if not all, of the beliefs and causes that fall under the category of the “f word.”

So why is it that I still can never see myself embracing, personally claiming, the feminist title?

The truth is, you all are mislabeled. Feminism carries a stigma, and I think it’s time for a brand refresh. Third-wave, schmird-wave; I’m talking something completely new and different here. Let’s start by getting that pesky “fem” prefix out of there; we’re alienating those critical, and I mean critical, male allies!

Next, focus in on the real goal: equality of both genders. No one superior, no one inferior, just different human beings living and working together. And what do you get? Gendequalism! Now, try that one on for size! Kind of a mouth full I’ll admit, but it’s really only four letters longer than feminism, and I have a feeling this is really going to catch on.

So spread the word! You make the buttons, and I’ll make the t-shirts – in men’s and women’s sizes for once.

This post is brought to you by Kelsey. Follow her on Twitter — @kelcoh.

Growing up with feminsm

18 Jan

I don’t think there was ever a point when I didn’t know about feminism, or in my case, something like it.

My family is one of politics, and my childhood is a testament to that. My mother could plainly be construed as a feminist. At times my mother was irrationally against world, but then at other times she was just a woman not acknowledged. While she argued with countless people on the unfair treatment of her as an employee in reference to a male co-worker, I was watching from the floor playing with my dolls (an eclectic collection because my mother didn’t like Barbie). In the fifth grade I was never picked first for dodge ball, an event  my mother attributed to boys’ parents being horribly sexist, even though everyone in class knew I was a bit of daydreamer and always the first one out.

I was a girly girl who didn’t see the sexism or inequality, while my mother dealt with it directly every day. I was always taught that equality could never be expected of society; instead I was to work harder and trust that I was just as good, if not better. See, for my mother there wasn’t feminism, just a severe lack of respect for women and their roles in society. She was one of the many that were not heard and not respected.

It was different for her then, and while I don’t think it’s necessarily better, the growing support of feminism is encouraging. You can’t pretend it doesn’t exist anymore. What strikes me the most about feminism is its persistence and dedication to an ideal that this is a free country and we should all have choices.

Today’s feminist ideas are everywhere. It seems to be an age where we are all quite aware of the issues facing women in the workplace and at home. The blogs on feminism are everywhere, all discussing the women’s freedom of choice and getting the word out that feminism is real and strong. There are still women all over struggling to break free from classic molds created in the 40’s by irrational minds, but they’re trying to break free and they are getting the support to do so.

This post is brought to you by Kendra.

Feminist Feud, Listserv-style

14 Jan

One of my favorite things about living in a group house is the listserv we share, and the subsequent debates with which we entertain ourselves. Recently, one of my roommates emailed a link to Naomi Wolf’s ridiculous remarks on the Assange situation, despite the existence of a separate feminist listserv for the ladies of the house.

One of the guys said something sharp about having our own listserv for these kinds of things. To his credit, he apologized, as you can see below. But I think his apology, while full of good intentions, just goes to show how mislabeled and misunderstood feminism remains. So I wanted to share this conversation with you all.

(You’ll have to click to read the screen shot.)

 

This post is brought to you in a somewhat anonymous fashion by Tara.

Feminism, She Wrote

10 Jan


I watch Murder, She Wrote.  Yes, the 1980’s television series starring Angela Lansbury as a former school teacher from Maine-turned-best selling novelist and murder mystery-solving heroine. And NO, I’m not 60 years old.  I just like it. And they have about 12 seasons on Netflix Watch Instantly, so there’s that.

While lounging in my bed post-hangover on Saturday afternoon watching my requisite episode of MSW, I noticed this:

That’s right, J. B. Fletcher is spreading the feminist love. And I love it. This particular episode is from 1989 (yours truly was just a wee one), aired just days before George H. W. Bush took the presidency.

What struck me most about this episode, aside from the obvious assertion that women should be able to have careers and support their families in modern times, was the use of entertainment television as a tool for social education and commentary. I noticed that a previous episode made several negative assertions about smoking cigarettes. This reminded me of a story on NPR I heard a couple weeks ago about daytime television writer Agnes Nixon, known for her work on One Life to Live, Guiding Light, and All My Children. Nixon used her words to introduce millions of viewers to important issues from cervical cancer and the importance of PAP smears to interracial relationships and homosexuality.

So, high-five for female writers and stars for bringing up important social issues to reach millions of grandmothers and stay-at-home dads watching their “stories” all across America, at a time when these issues were social taboos.  Lansbury’s character on MSW could go for a serious fem/sociological unpacking herself, but I’ll leave that for another post.

This post is brought to you by Tara.

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