October 28, 2013
I Wonder What They Expected?
I remember reading about these guys last month.
"MOSCOW – The environmentalist group Greenpeace says two of its activists have been arrested after climbing onto an oil platform in Russia's Arctic waters. It claims warning shots were fired across the organization's ship."
I know (but don't agree) that ignoring US borders is generally consequence-free, however, the vast majority of the world's countries look down their collective noses at such actions....especially if all you're there for in the first place is to pick a fight.
A couple weeks later, as I read a follow-up article
"The environmentalists were detained last month as Greenpeace's boat, the Arctic Sunrise, sailed towards the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Pechora Sea. Two activists attempted to board the rig, and Russian border guards intervened, descending on to the boat from helicopters. They later forcefully towed the Arctic Sunrise back to Murmansk."
I commented to MH that I didn't think they were going to enjoy the Russian prison system. To which he added, "I don't think they'll enjoy the accomodations either with winter coming."
"Geneva (AFP) - Three of the Greenpeace activists held in Russia following a protest against Arctic drilling have given an insight into their detention conditions in comments published Sunday, with one complaining he was kept in isolation in a cold cell.
'The solitude is weighing on me and I am miserable,' Swiss activist Marco Weber, 28, said in a letter published by the SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche weeklies."
It's closing in on early winter now, (when isn't it in northern Russian?) shirley the heat's been cranked on for at least a month...
"Weber said he had to remain huddled up in his winter jacket to try to keep warm in the unheated cell, and his feet were cold."
The food, naturally, completely meets your specific dietary wants and desires, though, right?
"Bryan complained about the food -- lunch was a soup and fish stew that 'tastes like an ashtray full of seawater' -- and admitted his disappointment when the 'chicken' he had looked forward to turned out to be inedible pigeon."
Yeah,...no. So, all in all, you're sitting in a tiny cell, eating crappy food, there's no heat and you get one hour to exercise a day.....hmmmm, sounds to me like you're...
wait for it...
What did you expect?
February 19, 2013
Say It Isn't So!
If another male politician makes an insensitive and insulting remark about rape, will it result in a media feeding frenzy? We're guessing.... not:
Democratic Colorado state Rep. Joe Salazar apologized Monday for suggesting some women are so unjustifiably afraid of being raped that they are liable to start shooting wildly.
Salazar, arguing in favor of disarming college students, said Friday on the Colorado House floor that women fearing rape may suddenly and haphazardly ”pop a round at somebody.”
“It’s why we have call boxes; it’s why we have safe zones; it’s why we have the whistles — because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop a round at somebody,” Salazar said.
Aye chihuahua, hombres. It's a good thing we don't have a woman in the White House. We shudder to think what might happen if she got her hands on the nuclear football during "that time of the month", IYKWIMAITYD.
December 11, 2012
The Swedish Are At It, Again....
Those wacky Swedes and their obsession with gender equality. First there was the gender-free kindergarten classroom:
At the school, boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, waving plastic utensils and pretending to cook. One boy hides inside the toy stove, his head popping out through a hole.
Director: Lotta Rajalin says the staff try to help the children discover new ideas when they play Lego bricks and other building blocks are intentionally placed next to the kitchen, to make sure the children draw no mental barriers between cooking and construction.
At the inimitable Mr. On would say, "Huh???" We can't begin to tell you knuckle draggers how sad it makes us to think that the only thing preventing Humynity from doing their woodworking (or sandblasting!)next to that gently boiling pot of chicken soup is a lack of imagination stemming from centuries of oppressive gender stereotyping (that could easily have been eliminated by a well intended government program). Happily, we can now look forward to a brave new world where a more enlightened and tolerant generation will think nothing of whipping up crepes suzettes in the midst of construction sites!
Because at the end of the day, it's all about tolerance. Except for those atavistic, heteronormative types. They shall not be spoken of, lest anyone get the absurd idea that human reproduction once required the active cooperation of both sexes. Parthenogenesis, here we come!
Meanwhile, nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no 'Snow White,' 'Cinderella' or other fairy tales.
Unexpectedly, all this glorious equality hasn't always led to equal outcomes:
A greater proportion of women than men complete their upper secondary education. Women comprise roughly 60 percent of all students in under-graduate university studies and almost two-thirds of all degrees are awarded to women. Significantly more women than men participate in adult education. The gender distribution among students in postgraduate studies and doctoral degrees is today equal.
Clearly, the problem is pronouns. Personal pronouns, to be precise. And toy catalogs. And peeing while standing up. And, well... men and their penis-having ways:
Is it discriminatory and degrading for toy catalogs to show girls playing with tea sets and boys with Nerf guns? A Swedish regulatory group says yes. The Reklamombudsmannen (RO) has reprimanded Top-Toy, a licensee of Toys"R"Us and one of the largest toy companies in Northern Europe, for its "outdated" advertisements and has pressured it to mend its "narrow-minded" ways. After receiving "training and guidance" from RO equity experts, Top-Toy introduced gender neutrality in its 2012 Christmas catalogue. The catalog shows little boys playing with a Barbie Dream House and girls with guns and gory action figures. As its marketing director explains, "For several years, we have found that the gender debate has grown so strong in the Swedish market that we have had to adjust."
Swedes can be remarkably thorough in their pursuit of gender parity. A few years ago, a feminist political party proposed a law requiring men to sit while urinating—less messy and more equal. In 2004, the leader of the Sweden's Left Party Feminist Council, Gudrun Schyman,proposed a "man tax"—a special tariff to be levied on men to pay for all the violence and mayhem wrought by their sex. In April 2012, following the celebration of International Women's Day, the Swedes formally introduced the genderless pronoun "hen" to be used in place of he and she (han and hon).
Freeing humanity of repressive social pressure is hard work! But how else will we ever be free to interact with each other in State-approved ways? And don't even get us started about freeing the Multiverse from all those racist code words and imagery:
... how far a culture should go to challenge honorable traditions that coincidentally run afoul of modern sensitivities. In Sweden, for example, modern sensibilities are chipping away at the traditional Santa Lucia celebration, which has seen children, since forever, parade around dressed up as stars, gnomes, Santa Lucia, or gingerbread men. The politically correct brigade is now worried about those gingerbread men. You and I think of them as tasty, spicy cookies that all sensible people love; the PC crowd knows that they have a darker symbolism (pun intended):
Schoolchildren in Sweden have been banned from dressing up as gingerbread men for a Christmas parade because their teachers fear the costumes could be considered racist.
[H]eartbroken 10-year-old Mio Simiv was told he could not wear his gingerbread man costume to the celebration because it might be seen as ‘offensive’.
Angry mum Jenny Simic told local media: ‘I thought he had to have got it wrong so I called the school and they said people might find a brown gingerbread character offensive.
Mrs. Simic also went on to make a larger point, which is that the other costumes, when taken out of context, can be forced into equally ugly interpretations. You see, those gnome costumes really don’t stand up to close scrutiny ….
‘I said, well then my son won’t participate. He won’t support some Ku Klux Klan procession – because that’s what the little Lucias look like when they all come in with white hoods and white dresses.’
Just looking at that last photo makes the princess feel ashamed of her bad, heternormative self. And so should you...
Feel ashamed of yourselves, that is.
UPDATE: Dear Lord. It's contagious:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Some well-known male chefs are getting behind a New Jersey girl's call for Hasbro to make a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven.
Chefs including Manuel Trevino of TV's "Top Chef" and Michael Lomonaco of Porterhouse New York are featured in a YouTube video applauding McKenna Pope's online petition, which had reached about 40,000 signatures as of Tuesday on the website Change.org.
The 13-year-old 8th-grader from Garfield, N.J., started the petition when she went to buy an Easy-Bake Oven for her 4-year-old-brother, Gavyn Boscio, but discovered it comes only in purple and pink. She wants Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro to feature boys on the box of the toy and to make it in gender-neutral colors.
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay said last week he agreed that Hasbro should make an oven in other colors to appeal to boys, and in the nearly 3-minute-long video posted online Tuesday by Flay's publicist, several chefs from around the country joined in on the call.
A spokesman for Hasbro did not comment.
That is a wise man....
September 18, 2012
You patriarchal hegemonists have much to atone for.
August 08, 2012
Apparently, We Womynfolk Have Good Reason to Fear Mitt Romney....
If the Blog Princess has learned one thing from the latest spate of political ads to hit the airwaves, it's that we should be deeply afraid of Mitt Romney. Because he has scary, woman hating testicles. And he hates our freedoms.
Every time we turn our TV on, we're confronted with the furrowed brows and anxious natterings of The Sistahood:
"I’ve never felt this way before but it’s a scary time to be a woman," she says. "Mitt Romney is just so out of touch."
The announcer says, "Mitt Romney opposes requiring insurance coverage for contraception. And Romney supports overturning Roe vs. Wade. Romney backed a bill that outlaws all abortion, even in case of rape and incest."
We haven't seen such blatant fear mongering since the 2008 election, when those racist Rethugs just wouldn't let poor Barack talk about the content of his character rather than the color of his skin. Lord knows, the poor man tried to protect gullible voters from the Scary, Divisive Politics of Fear:
I don't know. Could you work the words "fear", "afraid", "scary", and "black" in there just a few more times, Barry? Because I'm "afraid" voters might miss the point.
You know, that you're... like, totally ... black. And the bad, scary Republicans want us to be afraid of you. Because you're so ... black. Even though you're half white. Which we're not supposed to talk about, because that would be focusing on race and you were so hoping we could get beyond that, I know. Damned Republicans. If only they'd quit bringing up the fact.
That you're black. And we should fear you.
Odd tactic, for a man liberals keep saying is so likable and non-threatening he may well be our first woman president. The looming menace must express itself in a disarmingly feminine, non-threatening way.
Which is why the Republicans have to keep reminding everyone of your essential Blackitude and scariliciousness. It's subtle, man. Under the radar, sub rosa, float like a butterfly sting like a bee .... BAM!!! That's what makes you dangerous. You're a dangerous black man, with an Ivy League education. You use words like numchuks.
It was bad enough when Mitt Romney only wanted to turn the clock back to the Stone Age when women were routinely impregnated against their will and forced to procreate for Teh Patriarchy. Yes, that was bad enough, but not as terrifying as the latest troubling revelation about this Deeply Scary Candidate.
With his mind....
Update: The Agony! The Irony!!!
Update – in what must be the pinnacle of irony and cognitive dissonance, an Obama fundraiser and large bundler, Jonathon Lavine, was the head of Bain at the time of the evil layoffs and closing in question. Obama does not shy away from taking
donations from Evil, Job-killing Capitalist Pig-Dogsfilthy Bain campaign dollars, but earning money from Bain makes you a vulture or vampire.
I tell ya, it's like deja vu, all over again!
When President Obama’s aides said they weren’t familiar with former Missouri steelworker Joe Soptic’s life story, all they had to do was check their own campaign archives.
Soptic, laid off from Bain Capital-owned GST Steel, stars in a Priorities USA Action spot this week in which he tells of how his wife died without health insurance after he lost his job. Soptic also appeared, wearing what appears to be an identical shirt, in a May television ad for the Obama campaign.
...he also told the story about his wife losing her insurance because of
heartless Obama campaign Bundler Jonathan Levine Mitt Romney during an Obama campaign conference call:
quotationlie via Obama campaign spokesman Jen Psaki: “[W]e don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family.”
There are professional comics who aren't this funny.
June 14, 2012
Will you Patriarchal Hegemonists never tire of oppresssing Womynkynd?
Spanx is a line of undergarments that offers solutions for women of all sizes and shapes. You can target bulging stomachs, jiggling upper arms, aging breasts and any other body part that may need some enhancement. No longer an item of fantasy play or a secret amongst plus-sized women, Spanx products have become prized accessories flaunted by the Kardashians, Oprah and suburban moms.
Spanx's selling point is that it helps smart, successful women of all ages to build their confidence by, well, looking good. But playing with fire might be a more adequate metaphor when we consider that less than half a century ago, women denounced Spanx-like garments as symbols of oppressive beauty standards.
When women got rid of girdles and garter belts en masse in the 1960s, they didn't only reject restricting undergarments. (And restrict they did; it's hard to ride a bike, perform surgery or even breathe, as Adele learned, when your midsection is squeezed tight).
They also rejected a society in which women were underemployed, underpaid and underappreciated. Throwing away girdles and curlers seemed like the dawn of a new era. Women got jobs, demanded equal pay and learned to be as tough as their male peers.
Why were we not informed that the secret to ridding the multiverse of thousand-year-old oppressive gender stereotypes was as simple as peeling off a few layers of uncomfortable U-trau? We'd have gotten nekkid ages ago!
Clearly this is just another example of pushy, domineering men exerting their irresistable mind control rays on their fully equal and independent lesser halves. How *do* y'all get us to co-sign your nefarious schemes for disempowering and discouraging us from competing in a man's world:
Fifty years later, the girdle-like Spanx is back thanks to Sara Blakely, a brilliant woman who built a multimillion empire. Blakely used $5,000 to start a brand that defines its category, shapewear. She owns 100% of a company that turns a handsome profit. She is the youngest female self-made billionaire in the world. She would be a darling of the women's movement if her innovation wasn't antithetical to everything else it stood for.
... as we regretfully rubbed the last vestiges of Tuscan sun from our toes, we ruefully reflected that the Patriarchy had us coming and going. Even getting dressed in the morning was rife with sexual traps. Should we succumb to men's inner fantasies and dress like Marilyn Monroe? Or toe the corporate line and end up looking like Helen Thomas? It was all so unfair - no matter what we did, we ran the risk of unwittingly doing what THEY wanted while MEN had the glorious freedom to run about all day in silk cravats and pinstripe suits! They didn't have a care in the world!
Why were women always the victims?
June 05, 2012
Pay No Attention to that Annoying Man with the Calculator!
“Women still earn just 70 cents for every dollar a man earns. It's worse for African American women and Latinas.”
— President Obama, Remarks on Equal Pay for Equal Work, June 4, 2011 (The White House later corrected the president’s statement to 77 cents.)
“Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn, with women of color at an even greater disadvantage with 64 cents on the dollar for African American women and 56 cents for Hispanic women.”
— White House Statement of Administration Policy on Paycheck Fairness Act, June 4
The WaPo calls Obama for using misleading statistics and apples to oranges comparisons to hide the fact that the playing field is a lot more level than is good for grievance politics:
The 77 cent figure comes from a Census Bureau report, which is based on annual wages. The BLS numbers draw on data that are based on weekly wages. Annual wages is a broader measure — it can include bonuses, retirement pensions, investment income and the like — but it also means that school teachers, who may not work over the summer, would end up with a lower annual wage.
In other words, since women in general work fewer hours than men in a year, the statistics may be less reliable for examining the key focus of the legislation — wage discrimination. Weekly wages is more of an apples-to-apples comparison, but as mentioned, it does not include as many income categories.
The gap is even smaller when you look at hourly wages — it is 86 cents vs. 100 (see Table 9) — but then not every wage earner is paid on an hourly basis, so that statistic excludes salaried workers. But, under this metric for people with a college degree, there is virtually no pay gap at all.
This brings us to our larger point: Broad comparisons are inherently problematic. As the BLS points out: “Users should note that the comparisons of earnings in this report are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that may be significant in explaining earnings differences.”
Indeed, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis surveyed economic literature and concluded that “research suggests that the actual gender wage gap (when female workers are compared with male workers who have similar characteristics) is much lower than the raw wage gap.” They cited one survey, prepared for the Labor Department, which concluded that when such differences are accounted for, much of the hourly wage gap dwindled, to about 5 cents on the dollar.
Not only did the White House pick the statistic that makes the wage gap look the worst, but then officials further tweaked the numbers to make the situation for African Americans and Hispanics look even more dire.
The BLS, for instance, says the pay gap is relatively small for black and Hispanic women (94 cents and 91 cents, respectively) but the numbers used by the White House compare their wages against the wages of white men. Black and Hispanic men generally earn less than white men, so the White House comparison makes the pay gap even larger, even though the factors for that gap between minority women and white men may have little to do with gender.
Another day, another victim. Will we womenfolk ever see economic justice?
April 30, 2012
Why Was I Not Informed Of This???
The number one sign you need to work on your form:
Women may not need a guy, a vibrator, or any other direct sexual stimulation to have an orgasm, finds a new study on exercise-induced orgasms and sexual pleasure.
The findings add qualitative and quantitative data to a field that has been largely unstudied, according to researcher Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University. For instance, Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues first reported the phenomenon in 1953, saying that about 5 percent of women they had interviewed mentioned orgasm linked to physical exercise. However, they couldn't know the actual prevalence because most of these women volunteered the information without being directly asked.
Since then, reports of so-called "coregasms," named because of their seeming link to exercises for core abdominal muscles, have circulated in the media for years, according to the researchers.
Though we have always thought of exercise as being mildly pleasurable, clearly we are doing something wrong.
April 24, 2012
Regrettable Girly-Themed Lego Sets
Over the weekend, the Editorial Staff learned to our horror that the Patriarchy has discovered a new way to crush the souls of young girls - girly themed Lego sets:
According to the LEGO Group, their new line was designed based on four years of research into the ways in which boys and girls play.
...and you thought it was only conservatives who ignore Science when it doesn't fit the narrative! But wait, there's more gender injustice!
Bradley Wieners, executive editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, investigated why LEGO was trying to attract more girls at all. On the surface, he discovered they were responding directly to parents like Peggy Orenstein, author of "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and poster-mom for equal-opportunity play. He quoted Orenstein saying, "The last time I was in a Lego store, there was this little pink ghetto over in one corner. And I thought, really? This is the best you can do?" The goal was to give little girls another option when they reach the "princess phase," at around four-years-old, the time when boys their age enter their "LEGO-phase." Because, as BusinessWeek reported, "Unlike tiaras and pink chiffon, Lego play develops spatial, mathematical, and fine motor skills, and lets kids build almost anything they can imagine, often leading to hours of quiet, independent play."
But, Wieners foresaw backlash to LEGO Friends. "They're definitely running a risk here of reinforcing some stereotypes, even as they try to break down the ones about girls building," he told NPR's Morning Edition.
And, within a few weeks of Wiener's article running and the new LEGOs being announced, a 1981 LEGO ad surfaced -- a photo of an adorable little redheaded girl (pictured below). She is wearing overalls and sneakers. She is holding an elaborate LEGO creation. The ad copy: "What it is is beautiful." Parents and childless adults alike connected with the image, clicked their Like buttons and sent it flying around Facebook. For places like Princess Free Zone and moms like Sarah Maida, the ad was a perfect foil to LEGO's newer, glossier, "sexier" girl-focused ads.
"It would be easy to assume that this is just about LEGO, but [it] is part of a much larger marketing environment that puts the interests of girls and boys into ... limiting boxes," said Cole, one of the women behind the new petition agains LEGO Friends. Indeed, other classic brands including Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony -- and even Troll dolls -- have been transformed. The characters are much more slender, many look like they've gotten hair extensions, the Trolls carry purses. Sociological Images found nine examples which can be seen below.
This got us thinking: what kind of girly-themed Lego sets would meet the approval of gender warriors on both sides of the Battle of the Sexes? A few suggestions:
1. Lego Friends "Bunny Ranch" Set: In a daring twist on the ever-popular Susie's Lemonade ads, an anatomically correct female Lego character with ginormous fake boobs and hair extensions casts off outdated gender stereotypes (and her inhibitions!) by opening a wildly successful brothel staffed by robot prostitutes.
2. Nancy Hopkins Science Lab: Intrepid female scientist seeks to prove women are just as objective and unemotional as men by threatening to faint at the first whiff of an offensive null hypothesis!
3. Hypergamy Heaven: Shameless, gold digging cougars chase tiny alpha males with supersized wallets - compete to see who can snag the biggest sugar daddy!
4. Glass Ceiling Set - confused Mommy longs to stay home and watch soap operas and breastfeed her 5 children until their 18th birthdays, but is chained to her desk by scheming feminists who won't let her make her own decisions. The horror!
Oh go on... you know you want to.
April 12, 2012
Apparently, The Obama White House is a Just Another Pink Ghetto
Just the other day the Editorial Staff were shocked (shocked, we tell you!) to learn that our first postracial White-African President has assembled a shockingly undiverse campaign staff chock full of disturbingly white faces. An ironically titled post on the Obama-Biden Tumblr site captions a then vs. now retrospective of his hometown re-election staff:
Chicago HQ, 2011 versus 2012: What a difference a year makes.
Suggested campaign slogan: Obama-Biden in 2012: Overwhelmingly white then, even more overwhelmingly white now!
We barely had time to get over our shock and disappointment when a new outrage reared its ugly head! Despite an executive order vowing to lead the way on diversity, creating a national council on women and girls, and choosing a women's pay equity bill as the first law signed in his new administration, it appears that Obama's lofty words aren't quite matched by his hiring practices:
Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show.
According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).
We took a quick look at the cited report, and the top earning positions appear to be disproportionately held by men.
Of the top 41 positions with salaries of $150,000 or more, about 36% are held by women. Seven Of the top twenty jobs earning the highest salary of $172,200 are held by women.
Thanks to our progressive brethren in Christ, we all know that under a fair and unbiased system, the top ranking positions would look just like America: a little over half female. Are we seriously expected to believe the President of the United States can't find enough qualified women to make up a fully diverse, representative staff that lives up to his professed principles on gender justice?
Say it isn't so!