What She Said!

The next time some guy asks you where all the female bloggers are,
tell him What She Said!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

c u l t u r e k i t c h e n: Progressive Bloggers against Roberts? Feminist Bloggers against Bloggers? or Progressive Feminist bloggers for Choice?

HEADS UP, SISTERS! Progressive Feminist bloggers for Choice?:

Everybody with a link on the right please click on that link and join the conversation. The time to act is NOW!

My Comments:
"I agree with those four items, but it doesn't go far enough, and it leaves those of us in red states with no hope at all.

Here's the situation: The Dem's may or may not win with us, but they absolutely cannot win without us. That's the key to the situation and it would be foolish of us to let them continue to take advantage of us.

Solidarity is our only choice - we need to boycott Kos, demand that our rights be protected unequivocally, and remind everyone that rights not enumerated in the Constitution are specifically reserved to the people. If the Right to privacy isn't listed or limited therein, it is reserved to us. I haven't heard anyone mention this yet.

Why are we letting this sexist creep benefit from our time, attention and work? Why are we acting like we don't count - we're the majority!


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

From Women of Color Concerned About John Roberts

An Open Letter to Women of Color

Women of color listen up: we need to be concerned about what’s happening to the Supreme Court. President Bush has nominated John Roberts, yet another white male conservative, to sit on the highest court in the land. If confirmed, John Roberts will cast critical votes in cases that involve our fundamental rights, our freedom, and our lives.

Before President Bush named John Roberts, the public discussion focused on the ethnic and gender identity of a potential Supreme Court nominee. Everyone was talking about whether the nominee would be a white woman or a Latino male, both of which should be on the Court. But did anyone ever seriously mention a woman of color for the job? Controversial ideologue Janice Rogers Brown was floated by extreme conservatives, but she was never a real contender given that her nomination to the Court of Appeals set off a national fight over the filibuster and almost shut-down the U.S. Senate. Will women of color have to wait until a representative of each ethnic group and a substantial number of white women are nominated and confirmed before securing our rightful place on the bench?

Now that President Bush has named his nominee, the fact that he brings no diversity whatsoever to the Court has been subsumed by his status as a brilliant and merit-worthy candidate. By implying that John Roberts was the only “qualified” person for the job, however, the message rings clear in our ears: there were no women or people of color with the credentials worthy of sitting on the Supreme Court, according to this Administration.

One obvious explanation for the lack of diverse candidates is that the search was narrowed to people of color who reflect the conservative values promoted by the Bush Administration. In the end, however, we would rather have someone who promises to uphold our fundamental rights than see ourselves reflected on the highest court. Unfortunately, with John Roberts, we get neither.

John Roberts‚ record on women’s fundamental rights is particularly disturbing. He has held several high-ranking positions in the federal government, including Deputy Solicitor General and Special Assistant to the Attorney General, but in those positions, he failed miserably to protect - let alone advance -women’s reproductive rights and access to health care services. For example, John Roberts co-authored a Supreme Court brief in Rust v. Sullivan that opened with the argument that “Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” The brief went on to support the “gag rule,” which prohibits doctors and clinic counselors who receive Title X funding from providing women with the full range of information and options regarding their reproductive health.

Equally disturbing, John Roberts co-authored a “friend of the court” brief in Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic in support of Operation Rescue, a notorious anti-choice group. In the amicus brief and during oral argument before the Court, he argued that Operation Rescue’s “military-style tactics” used to block women from accessing reproductive-health clinics did not amount to discrimination against women and that a federal remedy under a particular civil rights statute should not be available.

The Bush Administration and Roberts‚ supporters would love for us to believe that the Rust and Bray cases are just a bunch of legal gobbledygook with no real life consequences for us. But for women of color, those cases - as well as cases John Roberts may soon be deciding - have consequences that disproportionately affect women of color.

And the stakes go well beyond women’s rights and reproductive freedom. Voting rights, civil rights, affirmative action, and religious freedom are among the disputes the Supreme Court has resolved in recent years by razor thin margins and that have important consequences for communities of color. The emerging record shows that John Roberts was often on the wrong side of these issues too.

For instance, in memos written to the Attorney General in the early 1980s, he helped develop, support, and argue the Reagan Administration’s position to severely restrict the circumstances under which minority voters could bring a claim under the Voting Rights Act. He likewise criticized the Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas law permitting school districts to deny enrollment to children of undocumented immigrants. And, he defended legislation that would have stripped the Supreme Court of its ability to hear cases related to busing and school prayer.

So, where are our voices and our brothers’ voices? Why are African American, Latino, and Asian Pacific American communities silent around this nomination and the Supreme Court? The stakes are highest for us, yet we have failed to inspire and effectively mobilize ourselves and our communities. The Supreme Court will shape the legal landscape and our lives for generations to come. We must get involved. We must be heard. We must be accountable.

Women of Color Concerned About John Roberts
Women of Color Concerned About John Roberts includes progressive women of color activists from Washington DC and New York

It won’t do Native American women not living under tribal jurisdiction much good, either. She doesn’t mention that Roberts only has 2 years experience as a judge. Are you telling me that there isn’t one woman of color on the bench with more experience than that? Anybody got a name we can send to Congress?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

AlterNet: The Women's Room?


Transition House, New England's first battered women's shelter, has always been known for its cutting edge work helping women and children escape abusive homes.

Recently, however, the Boston-based 30-year-old organization has set a precedent that makes some feminist activists uncomfortable. The board has not only hired a man as the interim executive director, but they are doing a gender-neutral search for a permanent hire set to conclude August 30th.

About Women, a collective of psychologists and social workers who were instrumental in creating shelters (including Transition House itself) in the 1970s, see this as step in the wrong direction. They wrote the board of Transition House a letter last October protesting what they called a "flagrant violation" of the organization's founding principles to establish a space where "women could feel safe from male intrusion and could openly unburden themselves of the experiences of male violence they had undergone without fear of censure, criticism or inhibition by male presence."

This is just wrong. When you're dealing with women and children who have been terrorized by the man in their lives, sending them into a place run by a man defeats the idea of a safe house. This is a situation that needs to be a woman-only space to minimize trauma and let them heal. This is not an issue of fairness, it's an issue of oppression, of psychological need, and physical safety.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Reuel Marc Gehrect of the Weekly Standard says what they're all really thinking.


"On Meet the Press, August 21, Reuel Marc Gehrect of the Weekly Standard said this:In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy."

The "social rights" of 53% of the population "are not critical to the evolution of a democracy."?! Does the phrase "taxation without representation" mean anything to this guy? How about "I AM NOT AN ANIMAL"? Actually, we're all animals, men more so than women it seems because they're TOO DAMNED DUMB to know that I am a person. I think, I breathe, I have my own ideas, my own opinions and I am not the property of a man or a government. A government of the people, by the people and for the people means WOMEN TOO!

Are we going to offer political asylum to women in Iraq since we've sent them back into slavery after decades of freedom? What a stunning, stunning failure, GEORGE! Way to fuck up what's left of a sovereign nation you blew all to hell for no good reason.

No wonder you're cutting aid to countries that won't agree to keep you unaccountable to the International Criminal Court. I see a war crimes tribunal in your future pal, and it can't happen soon enough.

Friday, August 19, 2005


New York Times:

"Though data show that girls and women are far more vulnerable to infection than men, we have yet to summon the courage and the political will to empower and protect them.

In Nigeria, and across sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, epidemics are already feminized. For example, nearly 58 percent of Nigerians with H.I.V. are female. What's more, in virtually every region of the world, infections among girls and women are rising sharply.

For example, a major partner, the United States government, enthusiastically promotes abstinence until marriage as the main way for young people to avoid H.I.V. infection. Abstinence is one critical prevention strategy, but it cannot be the only one. Focusing on abstinence assumes young people can choose whether to have sex. For adolescent girls in Nigeria and in many other countries, this is an inaccurate assumption. Many girls fall prey to sexual violence and coercion. Many others are married off very young, as young as 13 or 14, long before they are psychologically or physically ready. Abstinence is not an option for these girls, nor is getting their partners to use condoms. It is unacceptable for a woman or girl to ask her partner to use one in our part of the world. In Nigeria, only 23 percent of the men and 8 percent of women use condoms regularly, and, as elsewhere, almost none of them use condoms with a spouse or primary partner."
[emphasis mine]


Focusing on abstinence assumes young people can choose whether to have sex

Focusing on abstinence assumes young people can choose whether to have sex

Focusing on abstinence assumes young people can choose whether to have sex

If you're molested, prostituted, sold, married-off at a young age or raped by a UN "Peace Keeper", abstinence is not an option. Condoms may not be either, but at least put the information out there.

Sex should be one of life's great joys. It wouldn't be fatal if Saint Ronnie had done his job when he had the chance, and George is making it worse. How many people have to die for this Administration's superstition and bigotry?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Why Women's Rights ARE Human Rights


" I want to stand for the rights of all people, not just women, but certainly I believe in rights for women everywhere. "

I bumped this up from comments, not to pick on anyone, but because as a feminist, I hear this line from Progressive men all the time. I understand that you want rights to apply to everyone - so do I. What men don't seem to get is that the state of women is the state of the species.

Women are 53% of the population. The primary care of children falls almost universally on the Mother. Most of the people who live in poverty are women, and therefore so do their children. 80% of the people hurt in a war are women and their children. This is not an exaggeration, not an accident and it is not inconsequential. Women do not start wars.

We don't represent a majority vote in the decision-making body of any major power on the planet. We have least access to power, and control least of the money, in spite of doing most of the grueling, repetitive and filthy work in the world for little or no pay. If there's shit or vomit to be cleaned, food to be raised or prepared, a child, an invalid or an elder to be cared for, 99% of the time, it is a woman that does it.

This image we have of Big Daddy going to work and bring home the bacon is bullshit in most of the world. Men in Africa lose weight when the crops need tending because they won't prepare food for themselves while the women are tending the fields 16 hours a day. That rice you had with your Chinese take-out was almost certainly farmed by a woman's hand, and she was probably paid little or nothing for doing it. Your clothes were likely sewn in a sweatshop where women are forced to have abortion, work as prostitutes, sew as slaves and their "masters" receive awards from the likes of Tom Delay. Go to a bar, or a gathering place in any town or village, and you will find men socializing while the women are at work.

Yes, women in America and Western Europe don't have it quite so bad. We deal with issues like equal pay for equal work, and being held back from success in our chosen fields in spite of ability and accomplishments solely because of our gender. We should be grateful that we are allowed to earn more than men in the two professions where it's permitted: Prostitution and Modeling. 2 out of every 3 of us will be sexually violated or beaten in our lives by men unlikely ever to face prosecution, and we aren't safe being out alone at night, and we'll have trouble even getting a job if we're old or fat or not very attractive, but that's better than being systematically raped by soldiers, our genitalia carved by broken glass and our virginity sold to the highest bidder before we've even reached puberty. Some great deal.

Patriarchy is a vile institution. Patriarchal, monotheistic religions support the brutalization of women around the globe. The wars being fought right now can ALL be traced to greed and patriarchy. The rights of men are assumed in all but a very few, tiny cultures. When a man says "I'm in favor of all human rights, not just the rights of women" I hear him saying that my rights still don't matter as much as his - that he won't for a second allow me to have an iota of attention or concern that does not include him. He thinks he's being "fair" - I think he's being egotistical and presumptuous.

I don't know most of the people who will read these words, but I know one thing about every one of you. You came from a woman's womb. You had a mother. These rights were are talking about are the rights she did or didn't have. They're the rights your lover, wife, sister, daughter will or will not have. Will it really diminish you NOT to be first, once in your life? Are you so dependent on your male privilege that I can't have a problem that doesn't touch YOU and still have it matter? Doesn't the phrase "if one of us is not free, then none of us is free" include me, too?

When we talk about Women's Rights, those rights are inclusive. They include the welfare of children - YOUR children - and they directly impact the quality of your life. Men's privilege has traditionally not affected the lot of women. The wife of the richest, most powerful man may still be a raped, beaten, starved slave. A family with a free, well-paid, respected mother is a happy, strong family.

I know that some men work very hard. I know I will never know what it is like to be a man. I also know that women have experiences that will never touch men. A man may talk about abortion, but he will never be pried open and vacuumed or scraped, nor will he be ripped apart by an exiting baby. He has the option, most times, as to how involved he will be in the care of that child. Only the rarest of women has any choice in that matter, and she will be punished socially, professionally or financially in ways that will never affect a man, in spite of her lack of options.

There's nothing "fair" in this situation. The genders don't start from equal positions in any aspect of their lives. Don't expect me to bend over backward to be fair to you. Life already bends me to breaking. It may not be fair, but that's the way it is - fairness is just an idea to you. This is my body and my life we're talking about. Considering that you have all the advantage in the situation, I'd think you ought to be able to be a "man" about it, and understand that sometimes it just isn't about you, and that's o.k., too. The minute you try to put me "back in line", champion what's "fair" or consider the disposition of my uterus as a subject of barter, even in an election (are you listening, Kos?), you have joined the ranks of my oppressors.

Friday, August 12, 2005

American Graffiti: Signs of the times

Independent Online Edition > Americas : app3

WOW - Freeway Blogger hits the big time in the U.K.!

Way to go, O Scarlet One! Bringing the power of paint and cardboard to the masses!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

100,000 March to Keep the Vote Alive in Atlanta | Democrats.com

100,000 March to Keep the Vote Alive in Atlanta | Democrats.com

Follow that link and look at that picture. That's THOUSANDS of people marching in Atlanta to "Keep the Vote Alive". Haven't seen shit about this in the media, have you? Spread the word - people are taking to the streets. I hope thousands show up in Crawford, so the local police can't possibly handle them.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Urgent: Join Cindy Sheehan in her stand at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas

August 7, 2005

Dear Morgaine,

Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, is holding vigil in Crawford, Texas until she gets a meeting with George Bush. She has some simple questions to ask him: “Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for? If the cause is so noble, why don’t you send your twins?” She also has a clear demand: “Honor our sacrifices by bringing our nation's sons and daughters home from a war based on lies and deceptions.”

On Saturday, as Cindy marched towards the ranch where Bush is vacationing for 33 days, she and her supporters, including CODEPINK cofounder Diane Wilson, were stopped by local sheriffs, who pushed them into a ditch with fire ants in 100 degree heat. Cindy was undeterred: “I am not leaving until I meet with George Bush and he answers my questions about the death of my son. This is the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq,” she said, (read more ).

Inspired by the power of Cindy's determination Diane pledged that CODEPINK would join her in solidarity by staging a hunger strike. Diane has already begun her fast and many of us are making our way to Crawford to join her, including Ann Wright, former US Army colonel and senior diplomat who resigned after 35 years of service because of the Iraq war (Cindy, Diane and Ann all have powerful essays in our book Stop The Next War Now (read more ).

Knowing that every day lives are being lost in the war on Iraq, Cindy, Diane and Ann have taken an uncompromising position. This is a powerful moment in our struggle that cannot be overlooked by any of us who care deeply about the lives that are being wasted in this immoral war. When we are given the opportunity to witness someone else’s courage in the face of struggle, it is a gift. An even greater gift comes when we are presented with the possibility of joining boldly in that struggle.

Here are ways you can stand with them click here for more info

This vigil and fast follows in the footsteps of all those throughout history who have taken extreme action, putting their own needs aside to save our humanity. We are reminded of another great soul, Robin Cooke, former British Foreign Secretary who, in 2003, resigned from Blair’s cabinet in protest of the invasion of Iraq. Cooke died on Saturday, but his courageous example lives on for all of us to follow until the last foreign soldier leaves Iraq.

In solidarity,
Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Rae, and Tiffany

Please join us in Washington DC on September 24-26  as we rally for the troops to come home and make sure you list your reason to get out of Iraq on onemillionreasons.org  and pass it on to others .

To help sustain our work and actions, please consider making a donation  to CODEPINK today.