July 26, 2012

“Yes, I’m a feminist. Why aren’t you?” Mamamia


Marissa Mayer is not a feminist.

Marissa is the CEO of Fortune 500 company Yahoo. She is one of the world’s most successful businesswomen and when she announced last week that she is about to start a family, she got everyone’s attention. Here is a woman who really does seem to ‘have it all’ and yet on the topic of feminism, she told AOL:

“I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that I certainly believe in equal rights, I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so in a lot of different dimensions, but I don’t, I think have, sort of, the militant drive and the sort of, the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that.”

This is a woman who has benefited enormously from the women who went before her. A woman whose achievements are noteworthy in and of themselves but at the same time, a woman whose achievements would never have been possible without the feminist movement.

Yet Marissa Mayer takes that feminist name tag, casually chucks it into the garbage and wipes her hands of it. And she is not alone in doing so.

More and more, women are distancing themselves from the term ‘feminist’.

Surveys consistently reveal that as few as 30 per cent of women in Australia, Canada, the US and the UK consider themselves ‘feminists’. And the number of self-identifying feminists only decreases when you survey younger women.

“Yes, I’m a feminist. Why aren’t you?” Mamamia.

June 2, 2012

Cause and Effect: How the Media You Consume Can Change Your Life on Vimeo

Cause and Effect: How the Media You Consume Can Change Your Life on Vimeo on Vimeo

via Cause and Effect: How the Media You Consume Can Change Your Life on Vimeo.

May 13, 2012

Ms. Blaspheming Bitch – The 10 Commandments of Logical Fallacies:

The 10 Commandments of Logical Fallacies:

  1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument. Ad hominem
  2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. Straw man fallacy
  3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. Hasty generalization
  4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. Begging the question
  5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. Post Hoc/False cause
  6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. False dichotomy
  7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. Ad ignorantum
  8. Thou shall not lay the burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. Burden of proof reversal
  9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that” when it has no logical connection. Non sequitur
  10. Thou shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore it must be true. Bandwagon fallacy

via Ms. Blaspheming Bitch – The 10 Commandments of Logical Fallacies:.

May 3, 2012

Hero – Irena Sendler (1910 – 2008)

When Hitler and his Nazis built the Warsaw Ghetto and herded 500,000 Polish Jews behind its walls to await liquidation, many Polish gentiles turned their backs or applauded. Not Irena Sendler. An unfamiliar name to most people, but this remarkable woman defied the Nazis and saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. As a health worker, she sneaked the children out between 1942 and 1943 to safe hiding places and found non-Jewish families to adopt them.

via http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/irenasendler.html

April 21, 2012

Our Common Good, Republican ‘War on Women’ Backfires by Mark Weisbrot with commentary by Sarah Lee

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s now infamous dismissal, that “Women don’t care about contraception. They care about jobs and their families …” was significant.  Of course they care about jobs and their families, as well as their rights as women. But her party has had nothing to offer on the jobs and families front for the past four decades, or on other economic issues.  They have chosen a whole set of policies to make the rich richer and the majority of American women and men poorer:  from union-busting to tax cuts to de-industrialization, and anti-stimulus policies during our worst recession since the Great Depression.  And now they promise more of the same, with spending cuts for the poor and unemployed, and tax cuts for the rich.

It is for these reasons that Republican strategy for four decades has been focused on creating a false populist appeal to white swing voters – who are mostly working class — based on appeals to racism, religious extremism, anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-gay attitudes and other “cultural” issues. The current “war on women” is just another one of the ugly locations to which this strategy has taken them, as they build their bridge to the 17th century.

In the last few years this strategy has broken down, mostly because the Great Recession and weak recovery have focused voters’ attention on the economy. But this latest fight shows that Republicans are losing their “culture wars” even on their own terms.

Some have complained that Democrats are “politicizing” gender issues, but this is what democracy looks like: if one party carries out an assault on the majority of voters – in this case women – their political opposition is going to make an electoral issue out of it.  As they should.”

From: Republican ‘War on Women’ Backfires by Mark Weisbrot

What Republicans and some pundits miss, is that women did not need the Democratic Party to tell them there was a war being waged on their reproductive rights.  It has been women and their families who have depended on the healthcare provided by Planned Parenthood for years and who see that access under attack.

It was women who saw friends die from illegal abortions and who fought for abortion rights and who want that safety for their granddaughters who raised the alarm about states infringing on that right and noted that Republican legislators decided the had the right to dictate what a woman does with her own body.  Like many others of my generation, I was calling my friends and my daughter and granddaughter warning of the need to push back every time any state moved to claim a fetus had more rights to personhood and a woman’s body than the woman herself.

Like most middle and lower class adult women, I’ve worked all my life.  I’ve felt pay inequality and never forgot the lawsuits we had to file to gain access to many areas of employment from factories to law firms.  I’ve had to support my family both while married and as a single mom.  Women recognized these attacks on our progress all on our own.

We recognize that attacks on Medicare and Social Security are not simply attacks on faceless elders.  They are attacks on families, elders who want to remain independent and families who might face providing a home for an elderly parent and may have to make up the difference between what was promised and what is delivered.  We know how hard that can be on younger struggling families and we know it could sink a struggling single working mom.

Women understand that attacks on unions are attacks on communities and families having the opportunity to improve lives.  We understand that most of us are part of a class that has always had to struggle for the inch, much less the mile.

So even if the right and the pundits get the Democratic Party to cower on fighting this particular war, women won’t.  Even us grandmothers well passed the time of that need.  We may not want our daughters and granddaughters  to have an abortion, but we sure held don’t want them being harmed or even to die because a medically safe one from a trained medical professional is not available.

Women understand how tightly woven is the cloth that weaves our reproductive rights, the social safety nets and our economic prosperity together.  We understand the connectiveness of the world and the issues we face in our daily lives.  We know that attacks on unions and safety nets like attacks on our reproductive rights are directly connected to our personal and family economies.  And we know when we are being attacked without any man or party telling us.

Republicans and the right may win a skirmish or two, but in the end, we will win the war.

The Democratic Party had best stand with us as we will not abandon the fight.  We fight for ourselves and our futures, but also for our families, communities, the nation and the world our great, great grandchildren will inhabit.

via Our Common Good, Republican ‘War on Women’ Backfires by Sarah Lee

April 20, 2012

Link to Petition to Oppose Motion 312

Please signCanada’s stance on a woman’s choice & rights as a human being do not need to be re-evaluated. Please sign this petition and let Steven Harper’s government know to leave well enough alone.

Link to Petition to Oppose Motion 312

April 19, 2012

Originally posted on Skeptical Cubefarm:

Up here in the frozen north, the laws are pretty clear when it comes to the autonomy of women. A woman has absolute control over her body – including her uterus – and the government has little, if anything to say about it. In fact, what laws there were to govern abortion rights in Canada were effectively struck down in 1988 in the famous Morgentaler et al. v. Her Majesty The Queen, which declared in Section 7, Paragraph 4 of the decision that,

“State interference with bodily integrity and serious state-imposed psychological stress, at least in the criminal law context, constitutes a breach of security of the person… Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a foetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus an infringement of security of the person.

This decision pretty much…

View original 1,350 more words

April 18, 2012

Well said…

tumblr_m2o7o0gyH21rsf520o1_500.jpg JPEG Image, 500 × 320 pixels.

April 15, 2012

What girls are made of


82190761919011324_ojrZuefm_f.jpg JPEG Image, 416×600 pixels.

April 9, 2012

- You won’t see Hillary Clinton in the same light…

You won’t see Hillary Clinton in the same light ever again. Read Meryl Streep’s introduction of Hillary Clinton during the recent 2012 Women in the World conference:

Two years ago when Tina Brown and Diane von Furstenberg first envisioned this conference, they asked me to do a play, a reading, called – the name of the play was called Seven. It was taken from transcripts, real testimony from real women activists around the world. I was the Irish one, and I had no idea that the real women would be sitting in the audience while we portrayed them. So I was doing a pretty ghastly Belfast accent. I was just – I was imitating my friend Liam Neeson, really, and I sounded like a fellow. (Laughter). It was really bad.

So I was so mortified when Tina, at the end of the play, invited the real women to come up on stage and I found myself standing next to the great Inez McCormack. (Applause.) And I felt slight next to her, because I’m an actress and she is the real deal. She has put her life on the line. Six of those seven women were with us in the theater that night. The seventh, Mukhtaran Bibi, couldn’t come because she couldn’t get out of Pakistan. You probably remember who she is. She’s the young woman who went to court because she was gang-raped by men in her village as punishment for a perceived slight to their honor by her little brother. All but one of the 14 men accused were acquitted, but Mukhtaran won the small settlement. She won $8,200, which she then used to start schools in her village. More money poured in from international donations when the men were set free. And as a result of her trial, the then president of Pakistan, General Musharraf, went on TV and said, “If you want to be a millionaire, just get yourself raped.”

But that night in the theater two years ago, the other six brave women came up on the stage. Anabella De Leon of Guatemala pointed to Hillary Clinton, who was sitting right in the front row, and said, “I met her and my life changed.” And all weekend long, women from all over the world said the same thing:

“I’m alive because she came to my village, put her arm around me, and had a photograph taken together.”

“I’m alive because she went on our local TV and talked about my work, and now they’re afraid to kill me.”

“I’m alive because she came to my country and she talked to our leaders, because I heard her speak, because I read about her.”

“I’m here today because of that, because of those stores.”

I didn’t know about this. I never knew any of it. And I think everybody should know. This hidden history Hillary has, the story of her parallel agenda, the shadow diplomacy unheralded, uncelebrated — careful, constant work on behalf of women and girls that she has always conducted alongside everything else a First Lady, a Senator, and now Secretary of State is obliged to do.

And it deserves to be amplified. This willingness to take it, to lead a revolution – and revelation, beginning in Beijing in 1995, when she first raised her voice to say the words you’ve heard many times throughout this conference: “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.”

When Hillary Clinton stood up in Beijing to speak that truth, her hosts were not the only ones who didn’t necessarily want to hear it. Some of her husband’s advisors also were nervous about the speech, fearful of upsetting relations with China. But she faced down the opposition at home and abroad, and her words continue to hearten women around the world and have reverberated down the decades.

She’s just been busy working, doing it, making those words “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” into something every leader in every country now knows is a linchpin of American policy. It’s just so much more than a rhetorical triumph. We’re talking about what happened in the real world, the institutional change that was a result of that stand she took.

Now we know that the higher the education and the involvement of women in a culture and economy, the more secure the nation. It’s a metric we use throughout our foreign policy, and in fact, it’s at the core of our development policy. It is a big, important shift in thinking. Horrifying practices like female genital cutting were not at the top of the agenda because they were part of the culture and we didn’t want to be accused of imposing our own cultural values.

But what Hillary Clinton has said over and over again is, “A crime is a crime, and criminal behavior cannot be tolerated.” Everywhere she goes, she meets with the head of state and she meets with the women leaders of grassroots organizations in each country. This goes automatically on her schedule. As you’ve seen, when she went to Burma – our first government trip there in 40 years. She met with its dictator and then she met with Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman he kept under detention for 15 years, the leader of Burma’s pro-democracy movement.

This isn’t just symbolism. It’s how you change the world. These are the words of Dr. Gao Yaojie of China: “I will never forget our first meeting. She said I reminded her of her mother. And she noticed my small bound feet. I didn’t need to explain too much, and she understood completely. I could tell how much she wanted to understand what I, an 80-something year old lady, went through in China – the Cultural Revolution, uncovering the largest tainted blood scandal in China, house arrest, forced family separation. I talked about it like nothing and I joked about it, but she understood me as a person, a mother, a doctor. She knew what I really went through.”

When Vera Stremkovskaya, a lawyer and human rights activist from Belarus met Hillary Clinton a few years ago, they took a photograph together. And she said to one of the Secretary’s colleagues, “I want that picture.” And the colleague said, “I will get you that picture as soon as possible.” And Stremkovskaya said, “I need that picture.” And the colleague said, “I promise you.” And Stremkovskaya said, “You don’t understand. That picture will be my bullet-proof vest.”

Never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up. That is what Hillary Clinton embodies.

via - You won’t see Hillary Clinton in the same light….


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