"We're thinking about you, London," said Tom and the puppy.
"We're thinking about you, London," said Tom and the puppy.
Shaker GoldFishy sent this to me. Trying to find the original source, I discovered it's actually an old image—apparently something Glamour ran in 2008. But I'd never seen it before, and I figured I might not be alone in never having gazed upon this extraordinary work of pantsuit art!
True Fact: One of the times I was able to see Hillary Clinton speak during the 2008 primaries, she was wearing one of the most beautiful pink blazers I've ever seen.
[Content Note: Sexual assault.]
So far this month: An Air Force sexual assault prevention chief was charged with a sexual assault; an Air Force brochure on sexual assault was found to engage in victim-blaming and advise potential victims to submit to attackers; the Air Force's top commander blamed "the hookup mentality" for the US military's pervasive rape problem; Fort Hood's sexual assault prevention chief was relieved of his duties pending an investigation for "abusive sexual contact, pandering, assault and maltreatment of subordinates"; and the head of Fort Campbell's sexual assault response program was arrested after violating an order of protection.
And now this:
A sergeant first class on the staff of the United States Military Academy at West Point faces charges for allegedly videotaping female cadets without their consent, sometimes when they were in the shower, according to Army officials.So, just to recap, the person responsible for the health and welfare of a company of cadets at an institution that is 15% female is alleged to have been secretly filming female cadets in the shower.
...The suspect, Sgt. First Class Michael McClendon, faces charges under four articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for indecent acts, dereliction in the performance of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, and actions prejudicial to good order and discipline. Sergeant McClendon, who had been assigned to the school since 2009, was transferred to Fort Drum, N.Y., after charges were filed on May 14, Army officials said.
During his tenure at West Point, Sergeant McClendon served as a "tactical noncommissioned officer," described in academy personnel documents as a staff adviser "responsible for the health, welfare and discipline" of a company of 125 cadets. The person in the position is expected to "assist each cadet in balancing and integrating the requirements of physical, military, academic and moral-ethical programs."
For the record, sexual assault is not conducive to one's health nor one's welfare.
That statement probably seems laughably self-evident, but apparently there is still some question about its veracity in the US military.
[H/T to Jordan.]
[Content Note: Misogyny; FGC; domestic violence; rape culture.]
"In the last two-and-a-half years, we have seen remarkable and hopeful development in world history. Just think about it: More than 50 million men, women and children have been liberated from two of the most brutal tyrannies on earth—50 million people are free. All these people are now learning the blessings of freedom."—Then-President George Bush, at a White House Celebration of International Women's Day, March 12, 2004, referring to the "success" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Women's lives worse than ever."—The actual headline of a February 2008 article in The Independent about the state of women's (and girls') lives in Afghanistan, six years after our war to "liberate" them.
FMF News, today: Afghan Women Arrested for 'Moral Crimes' Increases 50%.
A new report by the Human Rights Watch shows that in the past 18 months the number of women in Afghanistan incarcerated for 'moral crimes' has increased from 400 to 600, a 50% growth."The rights of women and all human beings can be assured only within the framework of freedom and democracy. If people aren't free, it is likely that women will be suppressed. Human rights are defined by a constitution; they're defended by an impartial rule of law; they're secured in a pluralistic society. The advance of women's rights and the advance of liberty are ultimately inseparable."—Then-President George Bush, from the same 2004 International Women's Day speech.
Many of the women imprisoned for moral crimes were arrested running away from forced or abusive marriages and families, even though there is no law against leaving. Others are imprisoned for rape, as it is considered "forced adultery." Many of the women imprisoned were also forced to have "virginity tests," an invasive and medically inaccurate exam. Of the female prison population in Afghanistan, 95% of girls and 50% of women are in jail for moral crimes.
Let us never, ever, forget that George W. Bush sold his bullshit wars partly on the premise that he was going to be making women's lives better. He used the women of Afghanistan and Iraq as political props to justify war, and then abandoned them after destroying their countries. Their lives are not better.
One of many lies he told, one of many false promises that too many USians believed.
... is that so much of it isn't about the questions that matter most to patients. Chandler Marris takes on the latest example, a study that found a correlation between low BMI and ednometriosis. It's funded research into reproductive health--yay! But, as she points out, it does little to fill in the most pressing gaps in our knowledge about endometriosis:
There are no effective diagnostics, except surgical visualization. By definition, this occurs years after the disease has progressed sufficiently to see it and long after the damage of the disease has been done. Many women suffer 5-10 years before a diagnosis is made.
There are no effective treatments and so we keep recycling old medications, hoping beyond hope that somehow, magically, this oral contraceptive or that anti-depressant or perhaps a gonadatropin agonist will work and quell the growing implants. They don’t.
No one knows what causes endometriosis. Is it genetic? Environmental? A combination of both? Is it hormonal and if so which hormones, which receptors and by what mechanism does the tissue grow?
Why does endometriol tissue grow outside the uterine cavity? The most common explanation thus far, retrograde menstruation, has neither supporting data, nor diagnostic or therapeutic utility. One would imagine that after 90 years of being the most prominent theory in the field, the one taught in medical schools, that there would be some data validating its utility and accuracy. But alas, there is not.
Speaking as an endo patient, I share Chandler Marris' frustration that these questions don't seem to get priority when it comes to funding. It's not that I don't appreciate all kinds of research into women's health, and it's not that I'm not grateful to those who work on endometriosis-related research. I know it's difficult to get funding at all, and (speaking as an academic) I'm familiar with the phenomenon where "safe," small projects are more likely to get funding than the ones that have less predictable outcomes, or the potential to become more expensive.
But, hey, funding agencies: isn't it time to put a premium on diagnostic and therapeutic questions? Because I very much identify with her final sentence: "If ever there was a disease that needed brash innovation, endometriosis is it."
In other words: she and I both expect more.[Note: Not all of those with endometriosis, or affected by these research priorities, are women.]
[Content Note: Descriptions of violence; death; religious extremism.]
I mentioned this in comments of today's In The News, but, as additional details have emerged, I thought it needed its own post: Today in London, a man presumed to be a British soldier was attacked in the street by two men who killed him with some combination of knives, meat cleavers, and/or machetes. The men then waited for police to arrive, then, according to witnesses, made for police with brandished weapons, and were shot. Both men have been "taken to separate London hospitals, where they are receiving treatment for their injuries."
ITV has video of the scene [please proceed with caution, as it may be triggering], which shows one of the assailants, his hands covered and blood and holding a knife and a meat cleaver, giving a statement to the camera before police arrived. His full statement: "We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye a tooth for tooth. We apologise that women had to see this today but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don't care about you."
The Guardian is providing updates as information becomes available here. Please be warned there is an image of one of the assailants with bloody hands and weaponry currently at the top of the page.
I am so sad and angry for the victim's family, friends, and colleagues. I am sad and angry for the community in which this happened. I am sad for the people who cared about the assailants but do not share their violent urges. I am sad for the police who, it appears, were obliged to shoot them. I am worried for the Muslim community in Britain, who will no doubt be targeted for retribution irrespective of their feelings about his heinous act of violence. I am sad and angry and frustrated that this happened, for so many reasons.
I don't even know what else to say.
[Content Note: Rape culture.]
We apologize for the tweets that came from a guest of our organization. They were inappropriate and do not reflect the LA Kings.— LA Kings (@LAKings) May 22, 2013
This was the tweet issued by the National Hockey League's LA Kings after they turned their Twitter feed over to a shock jock who immediately made a rape joke, and then sicced LA Kings followers on critics.
Jess has a Storify of how the entire thing went down last night, as well as a compilation of thoughtful responses, here.
One of the things Jess notes in the Storify is that the LA Kings were warned in advance of letting this asshole take over their Twitter feed that precisely this very thing would happen. He is a known quantity, and anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention knew how this would go. And yet the LA Kings nonetheless chose to ignore those warnings and let him be "a guest of [their] organization."
So it's some kind of colossal cheek to issue an "apology" that seeks to distance themselves from him with a pathetic "the tweets...do not reflect the LA Kings." Whooooooooops yes they do. You chose him, you handed over your social media property to him, and you let him have at it under your brand in direct contravention of warnings that he was a terrible and alienating choice.
You own it. You don't get to say now that his rape jokes don't reflect you. They reflect you plenty.
This blogaround brought to you by fizzy drinks.
The latest entry in the Naming & Identity series: Britni.
Jon: Wellness at the Workplace—The Safeway Debacle [Content Note: The post at this link includes discussion of fat bias and behavioral policing and shaming in the guise of healthfulness.]
ILR: Why Do Men Keep Putting Me in the Girlfriend-Zone? [Content Note: This is a satirical send-up of the NiceGuyTM Friend Zone complaint.]
Seth: Deported Parents Who Return Found Dead in Desert or Locked up in Prison [Content Note: The post at this link includes discussion of racism, xenophobia, abuse, injury/death.]
Maya: New Favorite Tumblr: Flip the News
Fannie: Salon Piece on Ego and Revenge in Wikipedia Editing
Dani: Social Justice Theory Has Totally Destroyed Star Trek for Me [Content Note: The post at this link includes discussion of colonialist narratives/language.]
Renee: Special K, The Fat Shaming Cereal [Content Note: The post at this link includes discussion of fat bias, bullying, body policing.]
CeCe: Fatkinis! [Take that, Special K!]
Remember the 17 abandoned puppies found near where I live? All of them have found homes! Yay! (And, no, we are not one of them!)
Leave your links and recommendations in comments...
As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.
[Content note: Gun violence, terrorism, homophobia, natural disaster]
Choosy mothers choose gifs:
An FBI agent has shot and killed a man who may have had ties to the Boston Marathon bombings. WTF.
Thanks to a slashed budget, the National Weather Service is looking to cut forecasters, obviously. Good timing!
Also: This guy is just super smart.
A statue of Frederick Douglass will be unveiled in U.S. Capitol on Juneteenth. Cool!
Oh, dear god, help us all! The Overton Window Part 2 is here. And before you ask: No, not in a million years.
As an Illinois House vote on marriage equality approaches, former President Bill Clinton is speaking out in support of it. That's nice.
I may go just to come in last place.
A Fox News television reporter has been named a possible co-conspirator in a criminal investigation of a news leak. See also.
[Content Note: Homophobia.]
"On Thursday, 1,400 Scouting volunteers from all across the country will meet in Dallas to vote on a proposal that could end the [Boy Scouts'] ban on gay youth. However, gay adult leaders and employees, like me, would remain banned from Scouting. ...The proposed resolution to allow openly gay youth is a good first step, but it cannot stop there. If the resolution to repeal the ban on gay Scouts is approved, dedicated gay adult volunteers and employees, like me, will still be kept in the closet, and I will have no choice but to resign. For too many years, I eschewed relationships, felt uncomfortable around co-workers and was forced to remain cloaked in secrecy. I cannot continue to live in the shadows. It is not healthy, nor is it ethical."—An anonymous gay employee of the Boy Scouts of America, who has "dedicated more than two decades of [his] life to the Boy Scouts of America—first as a Scout and now for over five years as an employee" and spends "14-hour days and 80-hour workweeks promoting the Scouting program and providing the best possible services to build and retain membership." But fears losing his job every day if his employer finds out he is gay.
Read his entire essay here.
[Commenting Guidelines: Please note that victim-blaming will not be tolerated in this thread. Criticism of the Boy Scouts' homophobic policies is on-topic. Criticism of an individual person who has tried to change an organization he loves to be more inclusive and has regretfully and painfully come to the decision that it is no longer safe or ethical for him to be a part of this organization is not.]
Thank goodness for Wolf Blitzer and CNN. In the midst of a terrible natural disaster in Oklahoma,what I really want to know is: are survivors sufficiently grateful to a (presumably Christian) Deity?
Oh. Wait. I think we have a problem:
There was a moment of levity in Oklahoma Tuesday when CNN host Wolf Blitzer, concluding an interview with a woman named Rebecca and her 19-month-old son Anders who survived the devastating tornado, asked her if she thanked the Lord for a decision that saved her life.
“I’m actually an atheist,” she replied, laughing.
She added she wouldn’t blame other people for thanking the Lord, though.
[Content Note: Hostility to choice; misogyny.]
A craft store, an automotive parts manufacturer, a contractor, a woodworker, and a light manufacturer walk into
a bar an appeals court to challenge the birth control mandate because they claim it violates their religious freedom:
Obamacare's birth control mandate will go before four different appeals courts over the next three weeks as private businesses that object to the policy on religious liberty grounds bring a barrage of lawsuits that opponents hope to get before the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as this fall.Never mind the religious beliefs of their employees, which might be different from their employers'. Too bad for you if you don't happen to work for an employer who shares precisely the same religious convictions as you do!
On Wednesday, two for-profit companies will ask the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike the requirement that they provide employees with insurance coverage that includes birth control and other drugs that they say can cause abortion. Three other companies will present oral arguments in different appeals courts by early June.
The companies — a craft store, an automotive parts manufacturer, a contractor, a woodworker and a light manufacturer — say in their separate lawsuits that their religious freedoms are being violated by the Obama administration's requirement, which stems from the health law, that they cover contraception in their employee insurance plans.
The business owners say that they have strongly held religious beliefs against the use of contraceptives and that the fines they would incur for not providing them could amount to millions of dollars. They argue that they should be exempt on moral grounds like certain church-affiliated groups even if they are for-profit businesses rather than nonprofit religious groups.
"What the mandate is requiring our clients to do is to arrange for, pay for and provide coverage that runs contrary to their religious beliefs," said Edward White, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice.
Women are not the only people in need of hormonal contraception, but the vast majority of people in need of hormonal contraception are women. These employers are effectively asking for the legal right to discriminate against female employees because it is their opinion that contraception is not a central part of many women's basic healthcare, whether we are using it to control our reproduction or to treat one of many disorders for which hormonal contraceptives are a commonly prescribed drug.
And, as per usual, they're trying to justify their urge to police women's bodies and reproduction with an invented religious imperative and bullshit science. Birth control doesn't cause abortions. In fact, nothing causes more abortions than pregnancy: As many as 50% of pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions, many before a person with a uterus even realizes zie is pregnant. Which doesn't include unwanted pregnancies that are terminated. Anyone who's genuinely worried about abortions, spontaneous or chosen, should be thrilled to be paying for birth control!
But of course that's not the point. The point is petulant grievance about having to pay for women's healthcare, and dressing up the usual spite in a religious cloak. Maybe a vestment.
[Content Note: Homophobia.]
This is infuriating:
A far-reaching bill to remake the nation's immigration system is headed to the full Senate... The legislation is one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities - yet it also gives the Republican Party a chance to recast itself as more appealing to minorities.Basically, the Democrats have decided have passing an immigration bill, even if it's inherently discriminatory, is more important to their electoral fortunes than holding firm and refusing to pass non-inclusive immigration reform. They are kicking the can down the road, hoping it will get done some other way:
...The legislation would create new routes for people to come legally to the U.S. to work at all skill levels, tighten border security and workplace enforcement, and offer a chance at citizenship to the 11 million people here illegally.
...It was [Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.]'s 11th-hour decision to hold back on an amendment to extend immigration rights to same-sex married couples that cleared the way for the bill's approval.
...Leahy had been under pressure from gay groups to offer the amendment, which would allow gay married Americans to sponsor their foreign-born spouses for green cards like straight married Americans can. But Republican supporters of the bill warned that including such a measure would cost their support. As the committee neared the end of its work, officials said Leahy had been informed that both the White House and Senate Democrats hoped he would not risk the destruction of months of painstaking work by putting the issue to a vote.
"I don't want to be the senator who asks people to choose between the love of their life and the love of their country," Leahy said, adding that he wanted to hear from others on the committee.
In response, he heard a chorus of pleas from the bill's supporters not to force a vote that they warned would lead to the collapse of Republican support and the bill's demise.
"I don't want to blow this bill apart," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the first to speak up.
"I believe in my heart of hearts that what you're doing is the right and just thing," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. "But I believe this is the wrong moment, that this is the wrong bill."
Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Al Franken, D-Minn., added their voices, and Leahy announced that, "with a heavy heart," he would withdraw his amendment.
Gay rights groups voiced outrage, and the issue is certain to re-emerge when the full Senate debates the legislation. But it is doubtful that sponsors can command the 60 votes that will be needed to make it part of the legislation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein cited [Republican Senator Lindsay Graham calling the provision for same-sex couples "a bridge too far" to retain his support], then, saying of Leahy's amendment, "I think this sounds like the fairest approach, but here's the problem … we know this is going to blow the agreement apart. I don't want to blow this bill apart."And why is it an either-or choice? Because of Republicans and their flat-out refusal to pass the bill out of committee with Leahy's amendment attached. So they hold immigration reform hostage in service to their bigotry, and the Democrats cave, because the White House has told them to get this shit done, since immigration reform is meant to be a centerpiece of President Obama's second-term agenda.
She cited the fact that the Supreme Court could strike down the Defense of Marriage Act provision that prevents same-sex couples from having equal immigration rights in coming months. She also noted the a bill she is sponsoring to repeal DOMA is holding in the Senate, concluding, "I would just implore to hold up on this amendment at this time."
...Sen. Al Franken, likewise, joined in the decision not to support the amendment, saying, "This is the definition of a Hobson's choice. … It's wrong to discriminate against people, but I do not want the LGBT people who would be hurt by this bill not passing, this whole bill not passing, to be hurt by this falling apart."
Meanwhile, note that Republicans stand to gain everything from this bill passing: They get to crow about their generous bipartisanship; brag about their Big Tent being friendly to immigrants/Latin@s; and reassure their garbage bigot base that they stopped a crucial expansion of gay rights. Yay for them.
There is still time to make this right. Every Democrat in the Senate should get in front of every TV camera zie can find and yell about how the Republican Party is holding inclusive immigration reform hostage because they are homophobic shitheads. They need to be shamed. Do the Democrats have the will and wherewithal to do that?
Contact your Senators, irrespective of their party affiliations, and tell them you want comprehensive immigration reform that includes equal rights for bi-national couples.
What decision that you regretted, or about which you had mixed feelings at the time, turned out to be a great decision after all?
"We're thinking about you, Oklahoma," said Tom and the puppy.
"Some of the accusations, I mean you wouldn't believe some of this stuff. It's just—I mean, you've got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff."—An anonymous senior Republican aide, on the party being "overly consumed with chasing down or addressing inaccurate or unfounded accusations emerging from the inquiry" into the Benghazi attack. This anonymous aide is reportedly one of an increasing number of "senior GOP aides [who] are worried that the partisan overtones are diverting Congress from identifying and addressing the real lessons learned from the attack."
Or, you know, anything that actually matters.