Sunday, June 03, 2007

Gender discrimination at work: A-OK!

I'm a little tardy in writing about the Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear.

The court ruled that employees must make their discrimination complaints within 180 days “after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.” In other words, the discrimination occurs at the time a woman is given a salary that is significantly lower than her male counterparts. If she doesn't catch on to the pay disparity within 180 days, she's screwed. Which is why Ledbetter's attorneys had argued that she was discriminated against every time she was handed a paycheck for less money than her male equivalent on the job -- not simply when her salary was determined. According to the Times:

Ms. Ledbetter’s salary was initially the same as that of her male colleagues. But over time, as she received smaller raises, a substantial disparity grew. By the time she brought suit in 1998, her salary fell short by as much as 40 percent; she was making $3,727 a month, while the lowest-paid man was making $4,286.

So 180 days isn't much time to figure out a pay disparity exists. How many people -- especially, for example, women in nontraditional professions -- talk openly with their coworkers about how much they're earning?

This is likely to have a chilling effect on employment discrimination suits. As Scott says,

  • Republicans don't have to modify or repeal civil rights legislation, and the Court's needn't strike it down; the courts and/or the executive branch can just gut the legislation by making it difficult to enforce in ways that don't attract public attention.
This decision is an even greater incentive to get behind the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would require employers to make employee salaries public so women will know sooner if they're getting paid less for equal (or more) work.

UPDATE: In comments, Jill Zimon points out that Congressional Dems have responded to the ruling by pledging to pass a law that eliminates the time restriction.

(P.S. For your reading pleasure, Ginsburg's dissent.)

Trouble for Mexico City?

Here's some potentially bad news. Mexico's Supreme Court is going to hear a challenge to the the landmark law that legalized abortion in Mexico City.

Supreme Court Justice Sergio Salvador Aguirre said arguments that abortions violate the constitutional right to life were strong enough to warrant a full review that could lead to the law being thrown out. The court did not announce a date for opening deliberations.

The heated debate over abortion pits Mexico City's leftist government against conservative President Felipe Calderón and the influential Roman Catholic Church. The legal challenges were filed by two federal agencies, the Attorney General's Office and National Human Rights Commission.

The good news? The case won't stop doctors from providing care to women in the meantime.Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, of the Democratic Revolution Party, said, "Our position is fixed. The health department will go on working."

Bad-ass woman of the week: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Check out this NY Times piece on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how she's using her current Supreme Court term to speak up. Literally.

In both the recent federal abortion ban case and this week's discrimination ruling, Justice Ginsburg read dissents from the bench:

But the words were clearly her own, and they were both passionate and pointed. In the abortion case, in which the court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act seven years after having struck down a similar state law, she noted that the court was now “differently composed than it was when we last considered a restrictive abortion regulation.” In the latest case, she summoned Congress to overturn what she called the majority’s “parsimonious reading” of the federal law against discrimination in the workplace.

...The oral dissent has not been, until now, Justice Ginsburg’s style. She has gone years without delivering one, and never before in her 15 years on the court has she delivered two in one term. In her past dissents, both oral and written, she has been reluctant to breach the court’s collegial norms. “What she is saying is that this is not law, it’s politics,” Pamela S. Karlan, a Stanford law professor, said of Justice Ginsburg’s comment linking the outcome in the abortion case to the fact of the court’s changed membership. “She is accusing the other side of making political claims, not legal claims.”

Gee, I wonder why.

A friend of Ginsburg's, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, says "shehas always been regarded as sort of a white-glove person, and she’s achieved a lot that way...Now she is seeing that basic issues she’s fought so hard for are in jeopardy, and she is less bound by what have been the conventions of the court.” Thank goodness. Now let's just hope people will listen.

O'Reilly defends "White, Christian, male power structure"

And McFlipper just smiles and nods. Lovely.

Democratic Party has the transcript.

United Nations Human Rights chief speaks out against sexual violence

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour says that she is appalled by the level of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi.

Read the full post at UN Dispatch.

Women protest DA's decision in California gang rape case

The wonderful women at California NOW protested yesterday in front D.A.'s office in San Jose, speaking out against the office's recent decision not to bring charges in a case where three women witnessed a young woman being gang raped.

Click this link to go to the video:


Milwaukee: a guy there robbed a bank, then hung around to harass one of the female tellers. Shockingly, she said no.

Women are leading the fight for indigenous people's rights.

Celebrating the Pill's 40th birthday.

How dudes with websites turn a high-school athlete into an unwilling internet sex object. I feel absolutely terrible for this girl: "She felt violated. It was like becoming the victim of a crime, Stokke said. Her body had been stolen and turned into a public commodity, critiqued in fan forums devoted to everything from hip-hop to Hollywood."

A fight is brewing over how much HIV/AIDS funding will be dedicated to pushing abstinence at the expense of real preventive measures.

How Monica Goodling tried to get off the hook by referring to herself as a "a fairly quiet girl, who tries to do the right thing," and other thoughts on the chick-factor.

California now allows conjugal visits for gay inmates.

UN Dispatch talks to a unit commander in Liberia's all-woman peacekeeping force.

How religion affects teen sexual behavior.

A chat with Seattle's queer feminist electro duo, Team Gina.

Further evidence of the huge toll the war has taken on Iraqi women.

The L.A. County Department of Health reports that women of color have higher rates of chronic disease than white women in the area.

Gay-rights activists are detained by police in Russia, after the cops refused to protect them from a rioting crowd.

A new report on the "celluloid ceiling" found U.S. female directors made only 7% of the 250 highest-grossing films in 2005.

Illegal abortions are putting poor women in Brazil at risk.

"Life within the woman" now trumps life of the actual woman.

The first Carnival for Radical Action.

Exposing the millionaires who helped push Bush to fund abstinence-only education at such exorbitant levels.

Stern College, the women's college at Yeshiva University, won't provide birth control, condoms, or emergency contraception.

How to "use your breast power responsibly." Gross, right? Even worse, it's ABC News, not Cosmo.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius rejected a bill that would have opened abortion-related medical records to the public.

Sexual assault of female foreign corrspondents is all too common.

Louisiana House passes a bill banning D&X (or so-called "partial-birth") abortions.

In another blow to the abstinence-only-until-marriage crowd, the American Journal of Sociology publishes a new study showing sex is NOT harmful to older teens' mental health.

Erica Jong urges female fiction writers to not let their work be branded as "chick lit."

On the politics of "ghetto" and mainstreaming stereotypes.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announces plans to subsidize contraception.

Frances Kissling dares the church to excomminucate her.

Michelle Obama discusses mommy-tracking.

The New England Journal of Medicine weighs in on Gonzales v. Carhart. And the antis are getting ready to start harassing doctors who they suspect are continuing to perform D&X abortions.

Britain offers men up to six months of paid paternity leave, but new figures show that very, very few men have taken advantage of the policy.

Sexist hotel "sex kits"?

Horrors! Feminism has masculinized women, and now poor guys don't know how to assert their manliness.

Tennessee rejected a bill that would have required ultrasounds for any woman requesting the abortion pill, RU-486. The legislation was redundant -- all doctors already must perform an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy before administering RU-486.

Teen girls' reported satisfaction with their own bodies decreased after only 10 minutes of watching music videos.

Why diversity training isn't enough.

Future abortion providers face a long road.

A New York City Council report says there are few barriers to EC access in the city.

Montana pharmacy refuses to dispense birth control

Well this is just typical. A pharmacy in Montana, Snyder Drug, has come under new ownership and now has a new policy of denying women birth control. Allyson Hagen, the director of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, reports...

The new owners have ties to the anti-choice community and now own two pharmacies in Great Falls. My organization is in the process of working with local activists in Great Falls to do more research into their policy and what they are telling consumers about birth control, what other drugs they dispense (Viagra anyone?), see what other pharmacies in Great Falls are refusing to fill birth control or EC prescriptions, and come up with an action plan.

NARAL Pro-Choice Montana believes pharmacies have an ethical obligation to honor valid, legal prescriptions and avoid jeopardizing their patients' health. In Montana's rural communities, there may only be one pharmacy in town. What if that one pharmacy was refusing to fill birth control prescriptions? Since when does a pharmacist have the right to decide whether or not to fill your prescription and interfere in the doctor-patient relationship?

Read Hagen's full post at Left in the West.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Malalai Joya Ousted By Afgan Parliment

Above is a video of an interview with 29-year-old Malalai Joya, whom I have blogged about here, who has just been ousted by the Afghanistan parliament for enraging former mujahadeen fighters – now in President Hamid Karzai’s U.S.-backed government and many of whom are warlords — by comparing them, in a recently-televised interview (not the interview in the clip above) with a stable full of animals, saying “This is a word that fits — a cattle house is full of animals, like a cow giving milk, a donkey carrying something, a dog that’s loyal,” Joya said.

I included the video clip above for several reasons, among them that Joya describes in the interview the way an 11-year-old girl was recently kidnapped by warlords, raped, and then exchanged for a dog. Where women’s and girls lives mean nothing at all, it is no crime, in their minds, for men with money or power to kidnap, rape, and exchange a little girl for a dog, but it IS a crime to compare the men who do such things with dogs or other animals. In fact, to compare such men with dogs and animals is, in my view, to insult the dogs and animals.

A parliament rule known as Article 70 forbids lawmakers from criticizing one another, a rule Joya says was created because of her outspoken challenges to the warlords, who she says in the interview clip above are, with U.S. backing, holding all of Afghanistan hostage. Joya has had to travel with a cadre of bodyguards and has had her life repeatedly threatened. Please watch this video. Women are committing suicide in huge numbers in Afghanistan, their lives are worth nothing, and the U.S. says nothing, does nothing, and is, in fact, responsible.

Hell with gasoline drawers. Every last mother fucking one of you.

Second Carnival of Radical Feminists

The 2nd Carnival of Radical Feminists is fast approaching! Get Your Articles to Ann Bartow by June 3!

Submissions to the Second Carnival of Radical Feminists should be written or discovered and sent forthwith to Ann Bartow prior to June 3!

The new Carnival, by the by, got a nice mention in the latest Utne Reader Web Watch in an article about racism in the blogosphere entitled Bigotry and the Blogs.

Check it out!

Post To Note

Great post and comments thread at Pandagon.

She is speaking about Dean Barrett, where he says: "Because we don’t know where life begins, the only logical thing to do is to err on the side of caution — the side of life. In other words, because an abortion might take an innocent life, it should be avoided. It should also be illegal in most cases."

Read his article here: You don’t actually need god to think women shouldn’t have rights. All you need to do is ignore that women exist altogether.

Female sharks capable of virgin birth

I love me some non-sperm births.

Female sharks can fertilize their own eggs and give birth without sperm from males, according to a new study of the asexual reproduction of a hammerhead in a U.S. zoo.

Analysis of the baby shark's DNA found no trace of any chromosomal contribution from a male partner. Shark experts said this was the first confirmed case in a shark of parthenogenesis, which is derived from Greek and means "virgin birth."

"The findings were really surprising because as far as anyone knew, all sharks reproduced only sexually by a male and female mating, requiring the embryo to get DNA from both parents for full development, just like in mammals," said marine biologist Paulo Prodahl of Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, a co-author of the report.

Female shark's have a well-documented ability to store sperm for a lengthy period of time. The lack of any paternal DNA in the baby shark ruled out this possibility.

Yea for them sharks gettin it on...with themselves.

Ex-lawmaker charged with raping teen girls

Another slime who denied wrong-doing then changes mind when truth revealed.

A former state House member was arrested Friday on charges of rape and other sexual offenses against two teen girls.

The combined charges against him in both counties include eight counts of second-degree rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of sexual contact with a child younger than 16, two counts of witness tampering and one count of stalking. Some of the rape charges carry penalties of up to 50 years in prison.

The accusers were aged 15 to 19 over the years the crimes allegedly occurred. One girl was allegedly molested when she was a legislative page.

The girls told law officers that Klaudt touched their genitals during what he called exams for a purported scheme to have them donate their eggs to make money, Long said.

"He was convincing these girls they were candidates for donation of their eggs, that this would be a significant financial advantage to them and it was necessary for him to perform these acts on the girls to determine if they would be viable candidates for the procedure," Long told The Associated Press.

A written affidavit filed in court by Long said Klaudt initially denied performing "tests" on the girls, but he changed his story after investigators confronted him with copies of e-mails he sent to one of the girls.

Klaudt then said "maybe I did some things I shouldn't have," the attorney general wrote.

Klaudt's arrest is the second time in a year that the South Dakota Legislature has been rocked by allegations of improper sexual conduct.

Wow, what a way to abuse your power. Daddy Dobson is waiting for your genuine confession.

African models wrestle with size schism

Skinny African girls may get to strut on Western catwalks, but the fat ones have to stay at home. This is the message being delivered to the 500 or so Ghanaians who have registered with the country’s only international modeling agency, Exopa.

“A lot of them want to go. But not everyone has the chance to go because of the size the Europeans want them to be,” said Exopa’s Ghanaian director Sima Ibrahim.

As models on Western catwalks get thinner and thinner, their hungry look has sparked noisy debate about the pressure this places on girls and women to achieve perfection.

In Africa, rolls of flesh are usually seen as a sign of wealth and status, not of ill health.
Few aspire to a skinny look, as those who look starved and ill too often are that way through misfortune, not choice.

Few Africans want to see a superskinny model, said Sylvia Owori, who runs Uganda’s Ziper models.
“I think most Ugandans would be disgusted. They’d think she’d just come out of the village and she was malnourished,” said Owori.

14-Year-Old Girl Wins Geography Bee

Home-schooled 14-year-old Caitlin Snaring from Redmond, Wash., won a $25,000 college scholarship Wednesday at the 19th annual National Geographic Bee.

Caitlin is only the second girl to win in the bee's history.

"I don't know why more girls aren't interested in geography," she told reporters after winning the championship round.

"I wanted a girl winner this year."

Girls Rock.

Child Rapist's Sentence to Test Supreme Court

Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a man may be executed for raping an 8-year-old girl, and lawyers say his case may become the test for whether the nation's highest court upholds the death penalty for someone who rapes a child.

Both sides say the sentence for Patrick Kennedy, 42, could expand a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held the death penalty for rape violated the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The high court said then that its ruling applied only to adult victims.

Louisiana law allows the death penalty for the aggravated rape of someone less than 12 years old. "He's the only person in the United States on death row for non-homicide rape," Picou said.

Kennedy was convicted in 2003 of raping a relative as she sorted Girl Scout cookies in the garage of her home in suburban New Orleans. He bragged to one man that the girl "became a lady today," deputies said.

The governors of South Carolina and Oklahoma signed laws last year allowing the death penalty for people who repeatedly rape children.

A bill that would allow the death penalty for a second offense of child rape is awaiting the governor's decision in Texas. Georgia law allows death as a penalty for rape. Dieter said Florida and Montana also have such laws, but authorities have said the penalty would be invoked only for rape of a child

Banned for life: Gay men still can’t donate blood

Gay men remain banned for life from donating blood, the government said Wednesday, leaving in place — for now — a 1983 prohibition meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.

The Food and Drug Administration reiterated its long-standing policy on its Web site Wednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groups criticized the policy as “medically and scientifically unwarranted.”

Yea, cause only gays have HIV. When, in reality, everyone is at risk of HIV. The homophobia of the FDA is obvious, as this policy is equivelant to the idea that AIDS is a gay disease. And you woyuld think that a scientific institution would know ebtter. But hey, they are puppets to the Master, ya know.

The FDA said HIV tests currently in use are highly accurate, but still cannot detect the virus 100 percent of the time.

So then we should all be banned then, that logic???

Critics of the exclusionary policy said it bars potential healthy donors, despite the increasing need for donated blood, and discriminates against gays. The FDA recognized the policy defers many healthy donors but rejected the suggestion it’s discriminatory.

California DA won't prosecute rape case; says eye witnesses and DNA are "insufficient evidence"

Nice to know that if you get gang raped and there are fucking eyewitnesses, your case won't get prosecuted.

What's the penalty for the alleged gangrape of a drunk, 17-year-old girl at a party with 10 of your buddies? Bupkus, said the Santa Clara, California District Attorney's office yesterday.

The alleged rape occurred March 3 at a wild, off-campus party hosted by a member of the DeAnza College men's baseball team in San Jose, California. Three partygoers, members of the school's women's soccer team, said they saw a young girl on a mattress on the floor, clothes around her ankles and vomit on her face, with one man on top of her and approximately 10 more looking on in a dark bedroom. Feeling "something wasn't right," the girls pushed their way into the room (actually, they kicked the door down) and rushed the victim the the hospital.

20-year old April Grolle, one of the women who intervened, said "One of the guys who was in the room said 'This is her fault. She got drunk and she did this to herself.'"

Assistant District Attorney David Tomkins said, "We looked at every shred of evidence in this case, and we used every procedural avenue available to us to examine the facts. We discussed it and decided there was insufficient evidence of any crimes being investigated."

Lovely. So no charges will be brought against the men, NOT EVEN STATUTORY RAPE, who were members of the De Anza College baseball team. The only punishment? Eight baseball players were suspended, and three games were cancelled.

Because yea, when a woman gets drunk, she is consenting to sex. And heck it appears even gang rape. All the responsibility is on her for HER actions, not the rapists. She was drunk...blah, blah. Then its quite easy to say that women shouldn't get drunk (because they are held to different standards than men) NOT that men shouldn't take advantage of drunk women and rape them when they are unconscious.

The women are outraged and are speaking out about it. One even poignantly states the lack of charges "makes us think that no girl is ever going to want to come forward and say they were violated as this girl was, because they're going to think it doesn't even matter...But it does."
And that is why they are my hero of the week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

U.m. is really super proud of its daily comic, Umbert the Unborn, in which a talking cartoon fetus tells us why we should all be pro-life. And I suppose they have every right to take pride in their little creation. Umbert is pretty exceptional. For an isolated embryo floating in amniotic fluid, he is extremely agile, highly lingual, and incredibly communicative. And he looks very mature for his age. Why, if it wasn't for his poorly drawn umbilical cord (which seems to be attached to nothing, least of all a woman), you would never even guess him to be unborn.

Wow. This cartoon is, like, totally effective. If I ever become a victim of an unwanted pregnancy and find myself tempted to exercise my right to terminate it, I will be forced to imagine that the zygote that has implanted in my uterus is actually a pudgy intellectual cartoon toddler who can sing and dance and talk on a little uterine cell phone to his unborn friends who reside in other wombs. (I'm not even joking. He really does this. And naturally, the female fetus has a bow on her head.) What a relief to know the truth. Thanks, pro-lifers!

Leslie Unruh wants your rights...and your babies

Watch Mary Alice Carr of NARAL Pro-Choice New York take on lunatic Leslee Unruh on the recently approved contraceptive Lybrel.

Scariest part: "I want more babies! More babies! We love babies!"

Yea, that's why you bribed teenage girls with money to keep their pregnancies.

Raped? Well maybe you were just glad for the attention!

Well this is just wonderful.

A teenage girl who claims she was gang raped by three 13-year-old schoolboys was overweight and would have been “glad of the attention”, a barrister told a jury.

The 16-year-old and her friend told a court the boys mugged them for their phones then raped them repeatedly in a park while filming the ordeal on a mobile.

But lawyer Sheilagh Davies, acting for one of the defendants, said the girls consented to sex “maybe to gain attention, maybe to gain affection”.

Davies also told the jury that the girl had “slimmed down a lot” since the rape and that she "may well have been glad of the attention.”

Please excuse me while I swallow my stomach.

Oklahoma bans abortion in state hospitals

Here's one for the "ugh" files:

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry allowed an anti-abortion bill to become law on Wednesday by taking no action on the legislation.

The passage of the measure makes Oklahoma the only state this year to pass legislation that would prohibit certain abortions in state-funded medical facilities, according to a research institute.

Read more about the measure here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

2008 Presidential Candidate Choice Statements

I'm sure y'all want to know where all of the candidates stand on choice, so NARAL Pro-Choice America has done the work for you. They asked candidates from both parties to express – in 200 words or less – their beliefs about a woman's right to choose.

Check out the candidate's statements here, along with their voting record, and a selection of public statements on the issue of choice.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Kelly Clarkson On Sexism In The Biz

Apparently Clarkson has spoken out about her experiences with sexist music executives and their blatant disapproval of her writing her own music because she's a young woman:

"Everybody doesn't like me writing all the time, no matter how many No. 1's you write. It's clearly like yelling at a brick wall....It's because I'm a woman — because I'm a young woman. I literally heard someone say it [during a conference call]. They didn't know I was on the phone. Like, really? We're living in what century? I hung up. I was like, I can't even address that. 'Cause that was the most ignorant thing I've ever heard."

In the meantime, she just won a Song of the Year award for, yes, a song she wrote herself. Take that.

More vet inmates are sex offenders

Surprise, surprise. A study released yesterday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that more veteran inmates are sex offenders than non-vets:

Veterans are half as likely to be incarcerated as those without service experience in the first place, researchers found, but 23 percent of the veterans in prison were sex offenders, compared with 9 percent of nonveteran inmates.

The numbers mirror a trend seen in military prisons, where populations have declined but sexual assault remains the most common crime.

And this conclusion surprises people? For real???


Internationally, girls are more likely than boys to be malnourished, suffer poverty, face violence and be refused an education.

There are 25 shelters nationwide that serve homeless queer youth.

A new novel is about two sisters who separately deal with domestic violence.

Leonard Nimoy: Size-positivity crusader.

Are Katie Couric's ratings low because she's a woman? (Answer: No.)

Japanese women are getting curvier, and clothing makers are changing their sizes to accommodate them.

There's a new musical about Grace O'Malley the "Pirate Queen."

Is a male version of the IUD -- reversible, nonhormonal, long-term contraception -- in the works?

Chlamydia: Not good. Let's hope that vaccine comes through.

A new study shows confident, assertive women are more likely to be harassed.

A group of conservative Chilean parliamentarians are seeking to roll back the country's progressive emergency contraceptive policy.

A high-school girl who was sent to the principal's office for saying "That's so gay" sued the school district, saying it was a violation of her First Amendment rights. The judge recently sided with the district.

Introducing the Butch Cookbook.

New right-wing "holiday": Abstinence Day?

Now that control of Congress is back in pro-choice hands, we have the first chance in more than six years to turn the tide on deceptive "abstinence-only" programs.

Since President Bush took office, Congress has spent a whopping 778 million of your tax dollars on ineffective abstinence-only programs!

While Congress has been on a spending spree, studies show that many abstinence-only programs include medically inaccurate and misleading information. Even worse, independent research shows that students in these classes are not more likely to abstain from sex or delay when they become sexually active.

Tell your members of Congress today that Americans oppose ineffective, ideologically-driven abstinence-only programs.

NARAL is working closely with key members of Congress to turn the tide on abstinence-only funding, but right-wing groups won't let this happen without a fight.

Groups like the Family Research Council are holding "Abstinence Day" on Capitol Hill tomorrow, where they will try to overwhelm lawmakers with one-on-one lobby visits and flood phone lines with calls from anti-choice activists.

Instead of recklessly spending your tax dollars on programs that don't work, Congress should focus on commonsense solutions to prevent teen pregnancy. Several bills would do just that, including these two measures:

  • The Responsible Education About Life Act would establish the first-ever federal sex-education program for young people; and
    The Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Responsibility, and Opportunity Act would help schools set up programs that encourage teens to delay sexual activity and help parents communicate with their children about sex.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Keroack On Crack

The former head of the federal agency overseeing family planning programs misled the public about his qualifications and background, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

Although as an appointee Dr. Eric Keroack quickly became mired in controversy over his opposition to birth control, abortion and comprehensive sex education, newly obtained documents show that from the start Dr. Keroack was far from qualified to head the federal women’s health program.

We ALL knew he was incompetent. But no one had the nads to ensure that anything was ever done about it. All of King George's robots were in just long enough to cause damage before their cowardly resignations.

Though he has no formal research credentials, Dr. Keroack has lectured widely from a PowerPoint presentation that uses Loony Tunes characters to illustrate his theory that premarital sex damages the female brain, making non-abstinent women incapable of forming emotional bonds.

Keroack’s highly unorthodox medical views had originally cast doubt on his qualifications to serve as the nation’s birth control czar. His appointment did not require confirmation from Congress.

No shit. And what do you mean "originally"? It didn't "cast doubt", it was perfectly clear. He was one of Bu$hies sex-fanatic puppets permanently bent over.

Random News BlowJoe

Great post at Feministe by guest blogger Flea. Truly wonderful insight into the vast difference between the reactions men and women get regarding abortion.

The Pope doesn't like abortion.

A group of women - Moms Rising - is making the personal political (again).

Some people don't like comprehensive sex ed, even when AIDS is an issue.

There are health benefits to educating girls.

Looking to increase the number of sperm donors in Britain, comedian Danny Robins went on tour persuading men to give it up.

The phrase has spawned a lawsuit.

When some asshat spraypainted the word "fag" on out lesbian Erin Davies' Volkswagen Bug, she kept on driving it. She's even going cross country in the car this summer to "confront homophobia." For all you straight guys who worry that your Miatas are too gay, you could be driving a VW Bug covered in rainbow stripes and hate slurs.

Carter To Bush: You Suck Major Asshole

Former President Carter says President Bush 's administration is "the worst in history" in international relations, taking aim at the White House's policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy. The criticism from Carter also took aim at Bush's environmental policies and the administration's "quite disturbing" faith-based initiative funding.


"When you call somebody the worst president, that's volatile. Those are fighting words." says Douglas Brinkley, a Tulane University presidential historian and Carter biographer.

But she was drinking

Dig free rape porn? The Joplin Globe endeavors to give satisfaction. The Missouri paper, whose motto is apparently “It’s your girl. We deliver it,” titillated readers on May 10 (and for all I know it may do this all the time) with a graphic and truly gnarly description of a sexual assault. The Globe stringer was reporting on a court proceeding, but he might as well have been writing a rape fantasy scene for one of those ‘gritty’ dude-crime novels that always end up on the NY Times Bestseller List.

Although the perp in the case, who is accused of molesting and photographing an unconscious woman, was bound over for trial, Globe reporter Jeff Lehr was determined (a) to omit no lurid detail, and (b) to intimate that the 23-year-old victim had it coming to her. Lehr trots out the same tired old subtext: a chick who has a few drinks in public “of her own free will” should then expect to be “taken advantage of” while passed out drunk. If you’re a woman, drinking of your own ‘free will’ = “I consent to whatever abuse strikes your dudely fancy.” Of course the “but she was drinking” gambit is just a bit of shaming to rationalize male use of women. It works, not because it is logical, but because it is consistent with cultural narrative; a priori consent to male abuse, as we have seen, is implicit in the cultural construct “woman.”

Which is why our victim should also expect to have the graphic, humiliating details of her assault printed in the local paper.

Because rape is so hilarious, Globe reader Rick Tiberio was pleased as punch at the opportunity to read this crap. He sent in a grateful letter to the editor, confessing that he had to have a cigarette after reading it. Hilarious old Rick Tiberio should check out the online version; it comes with a handy ad for a casino depicting women as cleavage delivery devices. Nice.

Canadians buying 6-week gender determination test

A British company that sells a "Pink or Blue" home test that tells the gender of a fetus six weeks into pregnancy says it has been sending a couple of test kits a week to Canada. DNA Worldwide said it is getting dozens of inquiries from Canadians looking for the test of a blood of a pregnant woman. A U.S. company also sells the test online. "It's a little finger-prick that she puts into her finger and then we take a little blood sample, analyze it in our labs to find out if there's male DNA in her bloodstream," said David Nicholson, director of DNA Worldwide. Results come back within four to six days, and the company claims the test accurately shows the gender of the fetus 95 to 98 per cent of the time, if instructions are followed properly. The company began selling the tests online in April.

Get this in the hands of countries that are already having issues with sex-selective abortions, and you have just found a way around the legal system trying to fight it. Too many of these countries already devalue girls, hence the need to abort the fetus when sex is found to be female. Now, a little prick at home and off to the doctor you go. There will be no evidence that anyone "knew" the sex unless police just begin to raid random women's homes for these tests conveniently in the trash basket.

I'm not in favor of this in any way. The technology itself is not the issue, it is the potential for serious abuse. And until the severe inequality that exists between male and female feti ceases, which I doubt ever will, then technology like this is dangerous for all the wrong reasons.

(Click title for external link. Note: This article uses "gender", when the appropriate term should be sex.)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wolfowitz Resigns

So Wolfowitz has finally resigned from the World Bank, effective June 30, reportedly as the first president to ever leave the World Bank "under a cloud of scandal."

You won't be surprised to hear that loyal Bushies think Paul "Comb-Licker" Wolfowitz has been ousted not because of ethics violations but rather as payback for the Iraq War. The Wall Street Journal claims the charges against Wolfowitz are "bogus.

"But some 13,000 World Bank staffers are happy to see the comb-licking man go. According to the World Bank Group Staff Association: "[Wolfowitz] has demeaned the Bank, insulted the staff, diminished its clients, and dragged this institution through the mud."

In keeping with the flat-earth Heritage Foundation's advice to Bushie, the list of possible replacements are qualified to fill the position because they are loyal Bushies.

So, of course, Bill Frist, failed Senate Majority Leader, is on the list, as is Bush poodle Tony Blair.

But since it is an American tradition that World Bank presidents can only be Americans, Tony Blair will undoubtedly be crossed off the list. Despite a plethora of neocon scandals, indictments, and corruption, Bush continues to have no shortage of incompetent American poodles to choose from. many is that? I've lost count. King George is losing one incompetent, corrupt, crony after another. This is almost becoming comical, if it weren't so fucking scary that this man can get away with just about anything and has yet to be held accountable for anything.

Kudos To Forbes

For actually talking about a study which finds that boys and girls are pretty much the same in how their brains develop.

I was beginning to think that no such study would ever be published.

Iraqi Women Are NOT Free

Check out Katha Politt's latest, 'Democracy' Is Hell, that takes on the laughable idea that women are now "free" in Iraq.

And read "The Talibanization of Iraq," by Bay Fang. Cause remember, Laura Bush assured us we were bringing freedom to the women of Iraq! Right.
  • Furthermore, extremists in both Sunni and Shiite areas have taken over pockets of the country and imposed their own Taliban-like laws on the population, requiring women to wear full-length veils, segregating the sexes in public and forbidding such activities as singing and dancing. Hair salons are bombed, and many have gone under-ground. Women college students are stopped and harassed on campuses, so going to school is a risk. “I don’t have one woman friend who has not been harassed, or worse, on the street,” says Mohammed. Women who work for OWFI (Organisation for Women's Freedom in Iraq) are routinely threatened with beatings or rape if they aren’t completely veiled. Islamist “misery gangs” regularly patrol the streets in many areas, beating and harassing women who are not “properly” dressed or behaved.
And haven't we heard this before: Garance Franke-Ruta has a piece at TAPPED refuting Christina Hoff-Summers’ claim that American feminists, like, totally ignore women in Islamic countries.

Oh, I so love this claim. Just Google “Mavis Leno” or “Ms. Foundation” and “Afghanistan,” hm? Both were working for Afghan women years and years before any of the wingnuts discovered the value of using Afghan women to shame American feminists by pretending they had discovered Afghan women first.

I remember reading about the Ms. Foundation’s work in Afghanistan against the Taliban when I was in school, over 10 years ago! What is this shit??? Mavis Leno was working with Afghan women LONG before it became "trendy" to care. Give me something new, asshats.

Take Me Away Calgon...

A hotel in Indiana is in the process of constructing a women-only floor.

Hotel spokeswoman Andrea Groom says half of the business travelers today are women.

She says some women don't feel safe in a strange city or don't like being approached by men in lounges.

The women-only rooms will have amenities not found in other rooms, such as chenille throw blankets and special bath products.

So I don't know if this women-only thing is for safety concerns or for girlie soaps, but either way I'm not a big fan. As I've written before about things like women-only train cars (created to try to curb sexual harassment) the idea of separating women out instead of trying to improve the world we're already in doesn't seem like much of a solution.

Link here:

And hello...putting the responsibility on women not to get harassed rather than on the men to stop harassing is really problematic.

Supreme Extreme of the Week

Senator Sam Brownback actually argued on Wednesday that, "We talk about abortion, but abortion is a procedure. This is a life that we’re talking about. And it’s a terrible situation where there’s a rape that’s involved or incest. But it nonetheless remains that this is a child that we’re talking about doing this to, of ending the life of this child."

So again...fetal righst trump my rights to not be an incubator for your ideology? My rights to not be FORCED into carrying a rapists child to term is nothing because of your fetish with feti?

I don't understand how this passes for a political position, as opposed to the fundamentalist lunatic fringe psycho-babble that it actually is.

And he apparently believes he has a uterus as well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Leader Of Compassion And Hope Dies

Yolanda Denise King, daughter and eldest child of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has died, said Steve Klein, a spokesman for the King Center.

King died late Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 51.

Born on Nov. 17, 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., King was just an infant when her home was bombed during the turbulent civil rights era. She was a young girl during his famous stay in the Birmingham, Ala., jail. She was 12 years old when Martin Luther King Jr. died.

"She lived with a lot of the trauma of our struggle," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, an aide of Martin Luther King Jr. "The movement was in her DNA."

King -- an actor, speaker and producer -- was the founder and head of Higher Ground Productions, billed as a "gateway for inner peace, unity and global transformation." On her company's Web site, King described her mission as encouraging personal growth and positive social change.

How bout that? Positive social change. It's nice to hear those words, especially when her passing is completely overpowered by the late hate-monger Jerry Falwell.

King was also an author and advocate for peace and nonviolence, and held memberships in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference--which her father co-founded in 1957--and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Her death comes more than a year after the death of her mother, Coretta Scott King.

Yolanda King was the most visible and outspoken among the Kings' four children during activities honoring this year's Martin Luther King Day in January, the first since Coretta Scott King's death.

At her father's former Atlanta church, Ebenezer Baptist, she performed a series of one-actor skits on King Day this year that told stories including a girl's first ride on a desegregated bus and a college student's recollection of the 1963 desegregation of Birmingham, Ala.

She also urged the audience at Ebenezer to be a force for peace and love, and to use the King holiday each year in January to ask tough questions about their own beliefs on prejudice.

Open, honest dialogue. The only way for positive change to emerge. Her father knew that. Her mother knew that. Yolanda will be missed. A direct line of peace fighters is now one less. We must all stand and rise to the occassion and humbly fill her shoes.

Planned Parenthood may love Giuliani, But I do NOT

I got this disheartening email from Planned Parenthood this morning, lauding Rudy Giuliani's position on abortion:

In response to comments by Republican primary candidates during tonight's debate, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards issued the following statement:

"Giuliani's pro-choice position proves that you don't have to check your convictions at the presidential primary door. It's increasingly clear that the days of the anti-choice stranglehold on the Republican Party are numbered.

"While other Republican candidates pander to and fight over the extreme right wing within their party, Rudy Giuliani is leading the pack and he recognizes that standing up for women's health is a winning position. Freedom of choice and personal responsibility are bedrock values of the Republican Party. Now is the time for mainstream Republicans to raise their voices in support of this important issue.

Right. Clearly Giuliani is staking his campaign on his deep, unwavering commitment to women's health... He repeats that he's personally opposed to abortion, that he would support further restrictions, he supported the SCTOUS ruling, stated that he would appoint an anti-choice Supreme Court justice, and that overturning Roe would "be OK."

Apparently $900 in donations buys a lifetime endorsement from Planned Parenthood, no matter how weak your position on choice.

Corporate Bullies Attack Ms., the Nation, Mother Jones

The future of independent magazines like Ms., Mother Jones, The Nation, etc. is at risk with a massive new postage hike!

The U.S. Postal Service has accepted a Time Warner proposal that would significantly increase postage rates for smaller magazines, while reducing costs for the nation's largest publishers like Hearst and, you guessed it, Time Warner.

Ms. is working with Free Press, a national non-partisan organization working to reform media, and the Media Consortium, including Mother Jones, The Nation, American Prospect, The Progressive, In These Times, and other independent media to send a massive number of letters protesting this unfair postage hike.

Please take a minute now to cosign a letter demanding that the rules are changed.

Time Warner's plan was chosen - with almost no public awareness - instead of another proposal that would have imposed a more equitable increase for all magazine publishers. If and when it is implemented as scheduled in July, the Time Warner plan could force many smaller publications out of business.

This proposal unfairly hurts smaller, cutting-edge publications like Ms., at a time when we need independent media more than ever. You can count on Ms. magazine, not "big corporate media," for the real story on the issues affecting women in the U.S. and worldwide.

Don't let Time Warner and the corporate media win - demand that Congress step in to stop the unfair postage hike and save independent media!

Is it the end for abstinence-only education?

Dare I hope?

Democrats plan to let a federal abstinence-education program die quietly next month, demonstrating that pursuit of their legislative agenda can sometimes be passive.

The authorization for Title V abstinence-education grants expires at the end of June, and those on both sides of the sex-education debate agree that the $50 million-a-year mandatory-spending program — which draws an additional $37.5 million match from the states — stands little chance of winning an extension from a Democratic-controlled Congress.

We will have to wait and see as it is not a done deal. But this has been a long time coming and now us heathens have control. Let the good times roll...

Why are servicewomen being denied birth control?

Approximately 350,000 women currently serve in the U.S. military, making up almost 15 percent of all active-duty personnel. But federal law does little to protect their reproductive rights: not only are they banned from accessing abortion care at military medical facilities, but some cannot even obtain emergency contraception, which can prevent unintended pregnancy if taken soon after sex, at their base pharmacy.

Our government should provide the highest standard of care to women who have volunteered to serve our country, plain and simple. In 2002 health officials at the Defense Department agreed, and approved Plan B® to be stocked at military medical facilities. However, weeks later, President Bush's political appointees overruled the decision without discussion or explanation.

This week, Congress has an opportunity to improve health care for women in the military with a bill sponsored by lawmakers in both parties and on both sides of the choice issue. The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act simply adds Plan B® to the list of medications that must be stocked at every military health-care facility.

Please take action today to defend the rights of those who defend us. Urge your lawmaker to support the Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act to ensure that emergency contraception is available to women on every military base.

Censorship from CBS

It took CBS two weeks to fire Don Imus for calling a college women's basketball team "nappy headed hos," but it only took them two days to fire respected retired Major General John Batiste for speaking out against the president on the war.

Batiste, a Republican, commanded troops in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. He left the Army so that he could speak out against the president's reckless policy in Iraq, and CBS hired him as a part-time consultant to comment about it. Last week, he appeared in a TV ad speaking out against the president on Iraq. Just two days later, CBS fired him.

It's censorship, pure and simple.

CBS says they fired Major General Batiste because he engaged in advocacy—but they're holding him to a different standard than their other consultants.

For example, former White House communications director Nicolle Wallace is a consultant to CBS and consistently uses her position to push White House talking points. It was even reported that she was advising the McCain campaign, yet CBS did nothing when she appeared as a consultant on their network to promote his candidacy.

Plus, the Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon also appeared on CBS as a consultant while advocating in favor of President Bush's escalation plan.

CBS is sending a message that you can't be a consultant to their network if you're critical of President Bush and the Iraq war. That's political censorship and CBS needs to hear groundswell of outrage from concerned viewers right away.

Major General John Batiste is not the first general to speak out against the president on Iraq. Recently a number of generals and military leaders have spoken out against President Bush's failed policy—including Reagan's former NSA director, General William Odom, Vietnam veteran Major General Mel Montano and another former general from Iraq—retired Major General Paul Eaton.

These generals must be heard, not censored for speaking the truth.

Sign the petition demanding that CBS re-hire Major General Batiste.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Breaking News: Gonazales Blames McNulty

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday he relied heavily on his deputy to oversee the firings of U.S. attorneys, appearing to distance himself from his departing second-in-command.

Gonzales' comments came the day after Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said he would step down by the end of summer, a decision that people familiar with his plans said was hastened by the controversy over last year's firings of eight prosecutors.

"At the end of the day, the recommendations reflected the views of the deputy attorney general. He signed off on the names," Gonzales told reporters after a speech about Justice Department steps to curb rising violent crime.

"The one person I would care about would be the views of the deputy attorney general, because the deputy attorney general is the direct supervisor of the United States attorneys," Gonzales said.

Mind you, Gonzales sang praises about McNulty yesterday after his resignation. Now, he's giving him the shaft.
Dirty. You're a dirty coward.

G-Shot: The latest in designer genitalia

I saw this on Nip/Tuck last season, but apparently some women are shelling out $1,850 every four months for a shot of collagen to the G-spot. This is what you get when you cross labiaplasty with the myth of the vaginal-only orgasm. Scary.

From the G-Shot official website:
  • The G-Shot® is a painless office procedure performed in your doctor’s office under local anesthesia. The actual injection usually takes less than 8 seconds and the total office visit time is usually less than 30 minutes. A specially designed speculum is used to assist in the deliver a specified amount of human engineered collagen directly into the G-Spot after local anesthesia. The G-Shot® augments (enlarges) the G-Spot. This results in a G-Spot about the size of a quarter in width, and one fourth of an inch in height (meaning the projection into the vagina). Note that results do vary.

There's a very long list of potential side effects. Doesn't it seem safer (and more economical) to invest in a few high-quality sex toys? Or maybe go out and find a partner that actually wants to find ways to pleasure you? Because after reading the testimonials, it becomes very apparent that this "enhancement" is just as much about making sex better -- and easier -- for your (male) partner: “My man is so excited about my G-Shot he can’t wait until I get home from work” and "After the G-Shot® it is simple to direct your partner to your amplified pleasure center.” The quotes seem to imply that women were stressed out and feeling like they were failing their partners by not having an orgasm fast enough. (“My G-Spot is always present and ready for action at a moments notice.”)

And this quote from the article is sadly revealing: "The main thing is it gives me a boost of self esteem," Sherrill said. Self esteem? As in, she's finally able to orgasm vaginally, just like she always thought she should? Just like a real woman should, huh?

I wonder how many of the women who sign up for this have a positive outlook on their bodies and their sexuality, a box full of sex toys at home, and a partner who's genuienly interested in making sure they have pleasurable sex? My guess is not very many.

House Dems speak out on Pope's comments

Here's a little something interesting.

A group of House Democrats yesterday publicly repudiated the Pope’s recent suggestion that politicians who support abortion rights should be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

Eighteen House Democrats, led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), are responding to Pope Benedict XVI’s statement that indicated he would support Mexican bishops if they were to excommunicate Mexican legislators who voted last month to legalize abortion in Mexico City.

The statement reads: "We are concerned with the Pope’s recent statement warning Catholic elected officials that they risk excommunication and would not receive communion for their pro-choice views...Advancing respect for life and for the dignity of every human being is, as our church has taught us, our own life’s mission.”

Thompson Revises Apology on Gay Comment

Behind door #3?

Nooo, not a microwave! It's your very own bag of shit!

Tommy Thompson cited a dead hearing aid and an urgent need to use the bathroom in explaining on Saturday why he said at a GOP presidential debate that an employer should be allowed to fire a gay worker.

Thompson said he thought he was being asked if there were enough laws already to address discrimination in the workplace. The question at the debate was, "If a private employer finds homosexuality immoral, should he be allowed to fire a gay worker?"

Thompson replied: "I think that is left up to the individual business. I really sincerely believe that that is an issue that business people have got to make their own determination as to whether or not they should be."

This is not Thompson's first apology or explanation for the remark. The day after the debate, Thompson said he was sorry and that he had misinterpreted the question because he didn't hear it properly.

But on Saturday, Thompson elaborated by saying he has lost hearing in one ear and that his hearing aid battery for the other ear had gone dead. "I didn't hear the question. All I was thinking about was getting off the stage," Thompson said. "I said it, I'm sorry, and it won't happen again but it's not my record. ... There's nothing discriminatory about me at all."

That faux pas, as well as one in April when he told a Jewish group that earning money is "part of the Jewish tradition," have been a distraction for Thompson's campaign.

A distraction? More like an indication.

Furor over fired attorneys hastened Paul McNulty's decision to leave

Nutha incompetent robo-crony down.

Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said Monday he will resign, the highest-ranking Bush administration casualty in the furor over the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Anyone surprised? Exactly how many Bu$hies have resigned since his tenure? I've seriously lost count.

McNulty testified in February that at least one of the fired prosecutors was ordered to make way for a protégé of Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political adviser. Gonzales, who has resisted lawmakers’ calls to resign, maintains the firings were proper and rooted in the prosecutors’ lackluster performances.

He obviously knows information that he should be handing over. But resigning relieves him of any responsibility of doing the right thing. Pretty much the mantra of the Bu$h MISadministration.

Hate Dealer Fallwell Has Fallen

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority and used it to mold the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University. He was 73.

President Bush issued a statement after Falwell's death, saying, "Jerry lived a life of faith and called upon men and women of all backgrounds to believe in God and serve their communities. One of his lasting contributions was the establishment of the Liberty University, where he taught young people to remain true to their convictions, and rely upon God's word throughout each stage of their lives.
“Today, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Macel and the rest of the Falwell family."

For so long Jerry Falwell has preached that homosexuality is a sin, the message being that we can be kind to gay people, but they will inevitably burn for eternity for this choice in lifestyle.

Where is God in this so-called "faith" that Bu$h speaks of? Discriminating and hating is not a family value and it is certainly NOT a value of faith.

Oh, and Liberty University is notorious for their strict moral code prohibiting homosexuals from attending the university. Yes, he taught young people alright...that only certain people are the children of God and that he is the one who decides who is and isn't.

“Jerry has been a tower of strength on many of the moral issues which have confronted our nation,” fellow evangelist Pat Robertson said Tuesday.

Aahh, Pat Robertson. THE Pat Robertson, known for foaming: "“Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

Wanting equality equates to all this??? Ok then.

A few of Fallwell's wonderfully self-proclaimed morals:

  • He stood against the Equal Rights Amendment, pornography, abortion, homosexuality, gambling and rock music.

  • In 1999, he told an evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably already alive.

  • He warned parents that Tinky Winky, a purple, purse-toting character on television’s “Teletubbies” show, was a gay role model and morally damaging to children.

  • Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, Falwell blames gays, abortionists, the ACLU, and other groups for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

  • He sold a video that accused then-President Clinton of crimes and calling him an "ungodly liar."

Like President Bu$h is? Or Gingrich? Haggard? Tobias? Gonzales? Cheney? Or the entire administration?

Falwell was re-energized after family values proved important in the 2004 presidential election. He formed the Faith and Values Coalition as the “21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority,” to seek anti-abortion judges, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and more conservative elected officials.

During a campaign speech urging a return to social moderation, McCain referred to Falwell (and others) as "agents of intolerance." Yet, he bent over and took it in the ass for votes when McFlipper spoke at Liberty Univeristy in 06.

What will his legacy of hate, inequality and intolerance leave behind? Perhaps just that. At least it does to me. I extend my condolences to his family. While I never wish harm or death to my so-called adversaries, I must admit that I am deeply disturbed by his passing because when one falls another rises and replaces. And while Jerry Falwell represented everything I loathe and disagree with, he himself was not what I hated. His policies, his hate, his ideology is what I fought against. As with King George, it is not the man that I is what he represents.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fewer U.S. women getting mammograms

After rising steadily for decades, the proportion of U.S. women getting mammograms to screen for breast cancer has dropped for the first time, federal researchers are reporting today.

The overall rate at which women are undergoing regular mammograms fell 4 percent between 2000 and 2005, marking the first significant decline since use of the breast X-rays started expanding rapidly in 1987, the study by the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Breast cancer strikes more than 200,000 women each year and kills more than 40,000. But the odds of surviving have been rising, in part because more women are being diagnosed by mammograms at the earliest, most treatable stages.

The reasons remain unclear, but researchers speculated that it could be due to factors such as increasingly long waiting times to get appointments, waning fears about breast cancer, the drop in hormone use after menopause, and the ongoing debate over the benefits and risks of the exams.

Or how about we get real. Lack of health coverage, HMO's demanding certain women don't qualify, the lack of trust in certain minority groups for the medical profession and just plain lack of education, even about something as simple as self examinations.

Asian Slurs End Shock Jocks' Show on CBS

Nice. People being held accountable for their actions.

One month after CBS Radio fired radio host Don Imus, it has permanently pulled the plug on a pair of suspended New York shock jocks for a prank phone call rife with offensive Asian stereotypes.

"The Dog House with JV and Elvis," hosted by Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay, "will no longer be broadcast," CBS Radio spokeswoman Karen Mateo said Saturday.

The cancellation of the show on WFNY-FM, nearly three weeks after the hosts were suspended, was another indication of the increased scrutiny on radio hosts and the heightened management sensitivity to complaints in the wake of the Imus firing.

Vandergrift and Lay broadcast a call to a Chinese restaurant in which the caller, in an exaggerated accent, placed an order for "shrimp flied lice," claimed he was a student of kung fu, and compared menu items to employees' body parts.

Yet, still no accountability for the rape jokes of Condi Rice. So racist jokes are unacceptable, but sexist jokes are not? And by sexist I mean laughing about beating and raping a woman. Cause that's just some funny shit.

Yet Japan Nixes Breastfeeding Proposal

One step forward, two steps back.

While Britian may allow women to feed their babies in public (I hate that word, allow; why do I need your permission, motherfucker???)

On the other hand, a Japanese proposal to urge mothers to breast-feed their babies and sing lullabies to children was scrapped after critics warned it was too intrusive, a news report said.

The proposal, which would also have recommended parents limit their children's television viewing and promote age-appropriate morals, was to have been announced Friday by an education reform panel named by the government.

But experts and some government officials said the measure was "beyond intrusive," and interfered in people's private lives, Kyodo News agency said Thursday.

I agree to some extent, mainly the morals issue. Who's morals, the government's or the parents? So because some of the proposal is "beyond intrusive" that means the entire idea is scrapped? Why not just eliminate the part where you CAN'T FORCE MORALS ONTO PEOPLE???

Britian's Boob Fest


Ministers in the UK may give all women the legal right to breastfeed in public as well as give breastfeeding breaks at work. Sweet.

The discussion has been brought up due to a memo signed by nearly 200 politicians, “The Breastfeeding Manifesto,” (awesome title) which brings up the health issues -- for mother and child -- that arise from women not being allowed to breastfeed during work as well as uses examples of breastfeeding women being forced to leave public spaces.

I've blogged about this before. If women's breasts hadn't been completely sexualized and not lost its actual reason for existence, breastfeeding babies would not been viewed as wierd or disturbing. Here in the US, people get crazy about seeing a woman feed her child. They think its gross. They sue stores. They force women into dirty bathroom stalls. Why? Why is it gross to view a natural course of nature? Why is it gross to see a woman's breast?

Because dem are dirty boobies, bad boobies. It is the inability to separate the over-sexualized society of porn-filled images with the natural, beautiful occurrence of feeding a child.

NJ To Force HIV Testing?

New Jersey Senate President Richard Codey introduced legislation on Thursday for New Jersey to be the first state to require both pregnant women and newborns to be tested for HIV.

The bill would make all pregnant women get tested twice; once early in their pregnancy and a second time in the third trimester. Newborns would be tested as well.

While I’m all for offering pregnant women an HIV test (which is the current law in NJ), I’m also for women making their own medical decisions about their pregnancy; an actual mandate interferes with that right, as well as opens the doors to even more policies that could invade those rights further. I don’t like it. And I never will.

Soon they'll be testing for proper vitamin use. And whether pregnant women die their hair.

This also poses unintended consequences, such as potentially scaring off women in seeking medical treatment for fear of being forced to test. And what if they are positive? Then what?

Elect To Protect

Judging by the first two debates and Sunday talk shows alone, choice is emerging as an especially big issue in the 2008 presidential elections.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is the first pro-choice organization to provide statements from presidential candidates on where they stand on women’s freedom and privacy.

Click here to view them.

Support the Safe Motherhood Platform

Motherhood should be a time of great joy and new beginnings, but in the poorest parts of the world, motherhood can be deadly.

One woman dies about every minute from pregnancy related complications. This leaves more than 1 million children motherless and vulnerable.

Statistics like these are especially devastating because almost all maternal deaths today are preventable and most complications can be avoided or treated effectively with modern care.

Motherhood can and should be made safe! Join us in supporting the Safe Motherhood Platform: a trio of legislative initiatives that can help save up to 142,000 mothers and up to 1.4 million infants world wide. Millions of women could build a better future for themselves and their families.

This legislation will increase funding for international family planning and maternal health programs carried out by the United States Agency for International Development.

I believe, and I'm sure you do too, that it's unacceptable for mothers to die from simple pregnancy-related complications. There is no excuse for the lack of hygienic medical instruments, lack of access to modern contraception, or the absence of trained and knowledgeable birth attendants.

Congress is debating this legislation right now. Take action >>

Ratify the CEDAW

Celebrate Mother's Day by contacting your senators and urging them to support ratification of the Women's Rights Treaty. Officially named the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), this Treaty has been used by women around the world to reduce violence and discrimination.

The U.S. stands alone among industrialized nations in its failure to ratify CEDAW. How can the U.S. maintain that it is a leader in women's rights when it refuses to join the 185 nations who have ratified CEDAW? Do we want our government to stand up for international women's rights or to stand with Sudan , Somalia and Iran , which have also failed to ratify CEDAW?

The Feminist Majority, in coalition with 200 leading organizations across the U.S. , is asking us to contact our senators during the week of May 14 on behalf of women and mothers around the world. Urge your senators to support ratification of the Women's Rights Treaty.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

More Papal Propaganda

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Pope Benedict XVI castigated popular culture for promoting sexual immorality Friday as he canonized Brazil’s first native-born saint before hundreds of thousands of faithful and a sea of flags in the world’s largest Roman Catholic nation.

Holding up Friar Antonio de Sant’Anna Galvao as a model of rectitude and humility “in an age so full of hedonism,” Benedict said the world needs clear souls and pure minds, adding: “It is necessary to oppose those elements of the media that ridicule the sanctity of marriage and virginity before marriage.”

Hhmm, this judgement of morality from a man who was a Nazi youth? I think not.

Benedict didn’t elaborate, but his message for Brazilian Catholics reflected his uneasiness with the impact of popular culture on young people.

Get with the times, old man. How can one expect to "connect" with their followers if they have ansolutely NO idea what they are talking about?

Earlier this year, Benedict declared that “any trend to produce programs and products — including animated films and video games — which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray anti-social behavior or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion.”

So is genocide, you hypocritical holier-than-thou fucktard.


The ACLU has a Mother's Day action to push for ratification of CEDAW -- the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Caryl Rivers explains how the media perpetuate women's fear of being a bad mother.

It's still taboo to say you have no interest in ever becoming a mother.

Can GPS devices be used to stop abusers?

Yes, the marriage-industrial complex really has gotten this out of control.

Most women who seek abortions in China aren't being forced to comply with the "one child" policy, they're young and single.

Giuliani, who said overturning Roe would "be OK" in the May 3 debate, is now supposedly a pro-choice candidate. I never know with this guy. He's given money to Planned Parenthood, but supported the SCTOUS ruling. I just don't like him. Just fucking say it already.

Papa Ratzi, on his papal visit to Brazil, endorses the excommunication of Catholics who endorse pro-choice policies -- with language so strong that the Vatican toned down the transcript of his speech.

Why the former head of Catholics for a Free Choice, Frances Kissling, hearts Roe. And why she stayed silent on the issue of "partial-birth" abortion -- until now.

Dahlia Lithwick on why women shouldn't apologize -- or feel stupid -- for taking internet harassment seriously.

Feminist Souad Sbai calls for more rights for muslim women who immigrate to Europe.

Why aren't pro-choice Democrats pushing to repeal the Hyde Amendment? For real.

Reviewing the latest model kidnapping-torture flick.

The American Psychological Association evaluates "post-abortion syndrome."

Some states move to increase regulation of crisis-pregnancy centers.

Randall Tobias, who pushed abstinence programs abroad and was revealed to enjoy "massages" from DC sexworkers, is not the first public abstinence advocate to violate the strict moral code he touted.

The situation for women in Iraq grows ever worse.

The divorce rate is at its lowest since 1970. Probably because people are getting married later, or choosing just to live together instead.

The Texas legislature officially overrules the governor's HPV vaccination mandate. And New
Hampshire has avoided controversy by not making the vaccine required for school entry, but instead making it free. And the strategy seems to be working.

Plus, there have been conflicting messages in recent reporting about the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine.

Kansas nixes abstinence-only sex ed. And Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick calls for an end to abstinence-only education in his state.

A poll commissioned by a national abstinence organization shows that parents would rather see sex ed that emphasizes abstinence but also teaches about contraception. Which is... comprehensive sex ed. The no-sex-until-hetero-marriage crowd is erroneously touting this as public support for abstinence-only programs.

Meanwhile, a Florida school -- which contracts with a crisis-pregnancy center to provide its sex ed -- brings in an abstinence-only speaker, then releases a flier calling it an "abstinence rally." Parents are pissed.

The high cost of America's hyper-masculine culture.

Plan B has been over-the-counter (kinda) for nearly a year, but has access really expanded?ACOG reports access varies greatly from state to state.

Rebecca Traister writes a mash note to Jane Fonda.

A new Iranian film is about women who dress up as boys in order to be allowed in to watch a soccer match.

Parents of Down syndrome children are reaching out to other parents who find out (via a prenatal test) that they are pregnant with a Down syndrome child. Dana responds here, and Salon's Peter Birkenhead weighs in with a moving post about he and his wife's decision to abort.