Friday, December 28, 2007

They’re writing songs of love, but not for me. There's a funny little moment in this Vanity Fair article about Michelle Obama where a Democratic activist tries to bash Hillary Clinton by Taking It Personally:

"I trust Michelle to tell you how it is, good or bad," says one longtime Democratic activist at an Obama event in New Hampshire. "But I don't trust Hillary to tell me the truth, and I don't want to deal with all the history of Bill's infidelity. Why didn't she kick his ass out? I know many women who would be voting for her if she had kicked him out." She scowls, and then confides that her own unfaithful husband left her with two children and another on the way. "I don't need Hillary's baggage," she says. "I've got enough of my own."

Are you really going to elect the next president based on the dynamics of his or her married life? I mean, that rules out Giuliani, Clinton, McCain, Thompson, and Biden right there. That's not too bad if you're a Democrat because you can still vote for Obama, Edwards or Richardson, but if you're a Republican you get to chose between Romney, Paul or (dear Lord) Huckabee. There's got to be a better criteria for presidential competency than marital harmony. Not to say that infidelity is excusable, but I'm not going to label FDR as a bad president just because he couldn't keep it in his pants.

Maybe sobbing over a copy of Heartburn would make her feel better? Those rescipes probably make for good comfort food.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The number one must have is that we are safe. I can't believe how messed up this is, but I am actually creating my first (and hopefully last) Rape Round-up. Apparently the gods of female exploitation have been working overtime for the Holidays as I have read three high-profile news items on egregious incidents of sexual assault today alone. Awesome, men of the world. Way to go.

  • First, I'm happy to give you another reason to hate Halliburton, the Iraq occupation, and the U.S. government in general. A young Texan woman went over to Iraq to work for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, only to be drugged, gang raped, severely beaten, then locked for 24 hours in a shipping container so that she would be unable to seek medical care or contact the authorities. She managed to wrangle a cell phone away from one of the men guarding the container and called her father in Texas, who contacted his local Congressman, who contacted the State Department, and finally she was freed. Conveniently, the rape kit performed by Army medical personnel has disappeared. Over two years after the attack, the Justice Department has still not pressed charges in the case because all government contractors working in the Green Zone--and paid by your tax dollars, don't forget--are effectively beyond the reach of U.S. Law. If this doesn't make you furious, you have no soul.

  • Next up, we have the billionaire playboy who enjoys travel, casual wear, and massages performed by underage girls. Basically, Jeffrey Epstein paid hundreds of underage girls from the "wrong side of the tracks" in West Palm Beach to massage him naked while he molested them with sex toys or simply had sex with them. Neither Epstein nor the U.S. attorney can figure out how these actions are criminal.

  • Least you think that this sort of disgusting behavior and willful ignorance is an American problem, our Aussie friends don't seem to get it either. In the case of a 10 year-old Aboriginal girl who was gang raped, none of the nine rapists were given a single day of jail time because the judge found that the girl "probably agreed" to have sex. Apparently the judge--a female judge, no less--has never heard of statutory rape because, the last time I checked, 10 year-olds are not capable of making informed decisions when it comes to sexual intercourse. Not to mention that the victim is developmentally disabled, having been born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Jesus.

Who else needs a drink?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Let's rock with the tough girls. Bill Moyers Journal had an amazing segment tonight about the effect of new media on politics. Lots of amazing conversation about the rampant misogyny and damaging effects of Hillary Clinton-bashing. Definitely worth watching.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Love you like a sister always. Here we have a story by a female misogynist. Apparently, after being raped in college in front of a group of frat boys, this woman's sorority "sisters" betrayed her trust and kicked her out of the house. Unfortunately, the author has used this as an excuse to refrain from cultivating female friendships. "Generally I feel a kind of skittish distrust and discomfort when dealing with most women, particularly women in packs," she writes. She sees her sorority's deplorable behavior as part of a larger pattern of women's deceitful nature:

We women swim in shark-infested waters of our own design. Often we don’t have a clue where we stand with one another — socially, as mothers, as colleagues — because we’re at once allies and foes.... How do we help our girls navigate the duplicitous female maze? How do we ensure that they behave authentically, respect humanity over fleeting alliances, and squash the nasty tribal instincts that can inflict lifelong distress?

This article made me seethe because she so easily accepts the stereotype of women as inherently scheming and back-stabbing. Her experience will be seen as genuine; especially because she is highly educated, her opinion has more weight than the countless feminists who have fought this harmful stereotype for decades. Even though she was raped in a structure of female exploitation for men's pleasure, the fact that the frat brothers objected because she was unconscious and later apologized to her somehow frees them from any culpability. To her, men are angels and women demons because of a small pack of terrible human beings.

As a product of a woman's college--an environment which certainly cultivates aggression and competition--I have managed not to be the victim of this acrimonious femininity. Yes, I encountered some painfully spiteful people who effectively voted me off the island, but, unlike the author, I did not let one or two bad experiences label half the population as inherently treacherous.

Did her sorority sisters act reprehensibly? Yes, absolutely, without question. Has she let her early trauma deprive her of meaningful relationships with other women? Yes, absolutely, without question. Does she expect us to believe that she is the lone angel fish in a shark-infested sea? It's certainly possible. Either way, her article furthers the view of woman-as-untrustworthy and does nothing to ensure that either sex "respect humanity."