Thursday, October 30, 2008

To John McCain and his campaign: I am sick of you

Being 19 years old, next Tuesday will be the first presidential election that I will be old enough to participate in. And quite frankly, I can’t wait for the election to be decided. I have a feeling that we will be sitting, anxiously biting our nails, as this and that is contested, perhaps repeatedly, but I am really looking forward to the end, which I hope hope hope comes with a victory for Obama/Biden.

This election cycle has brought the ever-infuriating John McCain and his campaign to a frightening point. Frightening, because he might very well become President if we aren’t careful.

I recently had a friend send me a link to a CNN article about Campbell Brown’s response to a story that an adviser to John McCain called Sarah Palin a “diva” because she has gone "rogue" and has been trying to “bust free” mismanagement that her candidacy has faced.

I admit, I am not a fan of Sarah Palin as a politician. But when I heard about this story, I was not happy at all. I agree with Brown in her assessment of the word “diva.” Here, it is used to shame Palin who dared to try to straighten things out for herself when she perceived that they were not going well. A woman trying to take control of a situation that she does not see as beneficial? How dare her! The diva!

And then, on Shakesville today I ran across this article that claims that the McCain camp is using Palin as their scapegoat for their problems, and possible loss of the election. Um, hello? Did McCain and his advisers forget that McCain chose Palin as his running mate, despite her lack of qualifications? And now that he’s realizing that she might not have been a good choice, McCain’s advisers are attacking her? Great. Why not let the woman take the fall for the man’s mistakes. Shame on you, John McCain, for allowing this to happen. I hope you do not make it to the White House. If you can’t even stand by your team, the team YOU helped pick, I can’t even begin to imagine what kinds of trouble you could get this country into. So many things about John McCain make me quiver, both out of fear and anger.

John McCain is a “tar baby” with a lovely temperament who would give you an IED as a gift and then tell you a joke about domestic violence after refusing to come forward and state that rape isn't funny. John McCain knows how to "beat the bitch" as long as the trollop/cunt doesn't receive equal pay or get more “education and training.” John McCain is full of ideas, especially when it comes to appropriate times to use the term "gook," bombing Iran, and killing those suckers with cigarettes! Nevermind the fact that he once threatened suicide over the thought of a Democrat majority in the Senate and the fact that he has no idea what it's like to be a normal American!

Perfect picture of an American President, if I ever saw one. And to think, I left out so many of his other "qualifications"...

Dear, I want this election to be over. I want Obama to win. Because, if not, well, there isn't much for anyone who isn't a misogynist, racist, super-privileged American to look forward to, is there?

*Thanks to Melissa at Shakesville for many of the links*

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CT Voters: Vote NO on Question 1

Even though Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and gay couples will start to get married some time during the week of November 10, there's still a possibility that might allow for the possibility of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

On Connecticut's ballot next week, people have a chance to vote on Question 1 which reads, "Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the constitution of the state?"

Every 20 years, the state of Connecticut requires a vote on whether or not to change the state's constitution, and the convention would be used as an arena to establish laws without being promoted, approved, or checked by taxpayers. Although a constitutional convention sounds like a good example of democracy, the convention delegates would be picked by state legislators, not citizens. The constitution would potentially be altered by lobbyists and special interest groups. Many anti-gay marriage and anti-choice proponents would see the convention as an opportunity to push for rights reducing changes, such as banning gay marriage and taking away a woman's right to choose.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has stated that a convention would be unnecessary, adding, "The convention proposal is a risky and costly process. The State Constitution is not a document to be rewritten carelessly."

So, anyone out there in Connecticut, vote NO on Question 1. There's more info here at CT Vote No and Love Makes a Family. If you're interested in standing at the polls, distributing information on Question 1, either group would love to have you volunteer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Female Impersonators Radio Hour

Female Impersonators Radio Hour
1:20pm Today!

As long as we don't have anymore technical problems, we will be featuring the music of:
Belle and Sebastian
Emily Haines
Gogol Bordello
...and more!

We'll also be discussing:
Sexist Halloween costumes
Sarah Palin's "feminism"
"Birth Control Free" Pharmacies
...and more!

And, Amelia's family is coming! Yay!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Feminist Halloween Costumes?

My sister just cut off all her hair to donate it for Locks for Love, and she's got cute short hair. We were trying to come up with Halloween costumes that could work for her new hair, and I suggested Rachel Maddow, which would be way awesome.

One year my roommates and I dressed up as Rockford Peach players from a League of Their Own and I've gone as Rosie the Riveter in the past, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

So, are there any more brilliant feminist Halloween costumes that you've done in the past/planning to do this year?

Friday, October 24, 2008

12 year old pregnant girl missing - please help

EDIT: Tekenya Wooten found

Here's the email I received from Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez:

The Durham Police Department has been actively trying to locate Tekenya Wooten since she was last reported missing from the group home where she resides. It is clear that she left on her own accord. The investigation of this runaway is continuing with any and all leads being fully followed. We have enlisted the help of our community partners in an effort to locate Ms. Wooten, to include the Bus System and Mall/Shopping Centers security. Available information and photograph has been forwarded to all media outlets in the area. Although this case does not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert (, the Durham Police Department is very concerned about her welfare.

Due to Juvenile privacy laws I am limited in the information that I can release but I can say that:

· Since September, 2008 the Durham Police Department has investigated three separate incidents of Ms. Wooten walking away from this same group home.

· The circumstances surrounding her pregnancy has been addressed in the jurisdiction that the incident occurred.

· Ms. Wooten’s information has been entered in NCIC, each time that she has been reported missing.

All runaways place themselves in harm’s way and as such the Durham Police Department puts every effort forward to locate them and return them to their residences.

During this writing, I have been informed that moments ago Tekenya Wooten has been located and taken into custody by a Durham Police Officer on Patrol who recognized her as she walked down the street.

Thank you for your interest and concern in this matter.

Jose L. Lopez, Sr.
Chief of Police
Durham Police Department


Renee's right: "A missing 12 year old pregnant girl is an emergency."

Black and Missing:
Durham Police are looking for Tekenya Wooten, 12. She is believed to have run away from her home at 3529 Manford Drive.
Wooten is black, stands 4 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. She is eight months pregnant.
When last seen, she was wearing a white
T-shirt, blue jeans and silver shoes.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts should contact Detective T.M. Ochman at 919-560-4440 ext. 289 or Durham Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

Here's more contact information, thanks to Renee:

Durham PD -Cheif Jose Lopez, Sr. of the Durham Police Department 919- 560-4322

Durham City Manager- Thomas Bonfield (919)560-4222

Mayor of Durham (919) 560-4333 ext. 269

Durham Child Protective Services (919) 560-8424 ( This is run by Durham COUNTY)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain: Obama flipflops on the World Series

I swear to God, I thought this was an Onion article when my roommate read it aloud:

McCain in baseball election play

US Republican presidential candidate John McCain has accused his rival, Barack Obama, of supporting both teams playing in the baseball World Series.

The baseball championship series begins on Wednesday, and both teams - the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies - are from key swing states.

Senator McCain said Mr Obama backed the Phillies when in Pennsylvania and rooted for Tampa Bay when in Florida.

But the Obama campaign said that its candidate was a Chicago White Sox fan.

Speaking in Pennsylvania, Mr McCain said: "Now, I'm not dumb enough to get mixed up in a World Series between swing states.

"But I think I may have detected a little pattern with Senator Obama. It's pretty simple really. When he's campaigning in Philadelphia, he roots for the Phillies, and when he's campaigning in Tampa Bay, he 'shows love' to the Rays.

"It's kind of like the way he campaigns on tax cuts, but then votes for tax increases after he's elected."

OMFG. Can we just elect Obama and get rid of having to listen to McCain already?

Monday, October 20, 2008

How to use our ally voices

I'm just going to let Fatemah of Mulismnista and Muslimah Media Watch speak for herself in An Open Letter to White Non-Muslim Western Feminists:

Knowing some Muslim women through work or as friends does not give you the authority to speak for them or the rest of Muslim women.

There are those of us who suffer. But don’t speak of us as victims if we are not dead. Don’t deny the agency with which we become survivors and active shapers of our lives. Don’t ignore the fighting we do for ourselves.


Being an ally does not mean speaking for us, making choices for us, or figuring out what’s best for us. It means supporting and defending the choices we make and the voices we use.

The whole post is really good. Check it out.

Feminist of the Week: Halle Berry

After reading this latest interview excerpt with Halle Berry, I'm pretty much in love:
Berry says, "You know that stuff they say about a woman being responsible for her own orgasms? That's all true, and, in my case, that makes me responsible for pretty damn good orgasms.
How refreshing is it to see a woman publicly talk about 1: orgasms, 2: giving herself orgasms, and 3: that she actively enjoys it.

"(They're) much better orgasms than when I was 22, and I wouldn't let a man control that. Not anymore. Now, I'd invite them to participate.

"I've learned my tricks. I know what I like. I do not wait around. I initiate. And I'm not all about frequency; I favour intensity."

Calling into the Oprah show in America on Friday, Berry revealed she felt inspired to talk openly about her sex life after Esquire named her their sexiest woman.

She said, "I was astonished. I was like, 'I've just had a baby. Don't you guys know..? This isn't the year to pick me for this.'

"I thought, 'Well, you know, it might be a really good year to talk about some things and talk about what sexy really is.'"

And she joked, "When I mentioned the big 'O' I'm sure when people first read it (article), they thought I was about to talk about Oprah."

Berry admitted that if her romance with boyfriend Gabriel Aubry ever ended, she wouldn't be looking for a toyboy to satisfy her sexually.

She confided, "Men in their 20s? Forget it."

Halle Berry: proving the importance of women's pleasure in her sex life since 1966.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

When the fear and threat of sexualized violence is gone, I will...

The Women's Center at my school is preparing for Take Back the Night and they're going around videotaping people, asking them to finish this sentence:

When the fear and threat of sexualized violence is gone, I will...

What will you do?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Banner

Just got a new banner posted today. It was actually an assignment for my digital photography class (we had to take a "meaningful bit of text" and create a picture for it).

Posted with the permission of the model, Kate.

What do you think of it from a creative standpoint?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Michele Bachmann's been drinking too much of the koolaid

h/t Minnesota Independent

Because what we need right now is McCarthy-style patriotism tests. (last minute or so is the more extreme stuff)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First translation of The Aeneid by a woman - Awesome!

In other translating/foreign language news, we now have the first translation of Vergil's The Aeneid done by a woman, Sarah Ruden. It's getting great reviews and the language is simply beautiful. She's done other translations before such as Lysistrata and The Satyricon of Petronius.

Here's an excerpt that reflects the lyrical nature of her translation:

My little Iulus' fingers
Were twined in mine; he trotted by my long steps.
Behind me came my wife. We went our dark way.
Before I hadn't minded the Greeks' spears
Hurled at me, or the Greeks in crowds, attacking.
Now every gust and rustle panicked me
Because of whom I led and whom I carried.

— translated by Sarah Ruden (2008)

Ruden did an interview with NPR that you can listen to here and you can order her book here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fuck You, Caller Two

Amelia and I had our radio show today.
It was going really well. We were talking about Sarah Palin and Barack Obama and playing Santogold.
Then the phone rang. I picked it up:

"Hello. WVKC. This is Kate."
"Hey, I really like the song you just played."
"Good. I'm glad you like it."
"I really want to get naked for you two."
"Excuse me."
"Yeah. I really want to fuck you both."


Maybe this happens to other DJs. If it does, that totally sucks too. But, this caller called into a feminist radio show to harass the DJs and to show us that no matter how much we care about politics, talk about important issues, and prove we are informed and capable, he can still call and talk about fucking us. Its all about the power, I suppose.
But its just another reason to stick around.

So, fuck you, harressing caller. And tune in next week.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gibt es ein...embedded sexism?

I am taking German classes this year to fulfill the second language requirement for my college. I could have taken Spanish, the second language that I studied for four years in high school, but I decided it would be fun to try to become multi-lingual.

Oh, fun indeed, as Lindsay may be able to attest to.

A while ago I was flipping through the glossary in my book, looking for a vocabulary word so I could do my homework, when a word caught my eye.

(die) Jungfrau. Translation: virgin.

Some explanations for those not familiar with German.

The German language uses three different "genders" of articles (masculine, feminine, and neuter) when referring to nouns. "Die" means "the" and it is feminine.

The word "jung" is German for "young." "Frau" means "woman."

Literally, the German word for virgin translates to "young woman."

Excellent! Slut-shaming embedded in language. There's nothing like associating virginity strictly with women...even if it is rather covert like this.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Matthew Shepard, Coming Out Day 2008 and Same-Sex Marriage Ban Overturned in CT!

Some other sites have already posted the news, but it's worth repeating:

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that marriage and civil unions are separate entities that are not equal, making gay marriage legal.

In the CT Supreme Court's words: "Although marriage and civil unions do embody the same legal rights under our law, they are by no means 'equal.' As we have explained, the former is an institution of transcendent historical, cultural and social significance, whereas the latter most surely is not,"

Also: "Despite the truly laudable effort of the legislature in equalizing the legal rights afforded same sex and opposite sex couples, there is no doubt that civil unions enjoy a lesser status in our society than marriage. We therefore conclude that the plaintiffs have alleged a constitutionally cognizable injury, that is, the denial of the right to marry a same sex partner."

Cara at the Curvature makes a great point that since the ruling is based on Connecticut's constitution, the decision isn't under the jurisdiction of the US Supreme Court. How's that for states rights?

If you're in Connecticut and want to celebrate, head on down to the Capital steps in Hartford at 5:30 and join Love Makes A Family to celebrate the decision!

Also in LGBT news, it's National Coming Out Day tomorrow so be sure to see if there are any Coming Out Day events in your area.

Sunday is the 10th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death. He was robbed, tortured, and left tied to a fence to die, simply because of his sexual orientation. In our rejoicing today, let's also remember. It's not enough to simply tolerate those different than us... one of my friends pointed out in chapel today that there's a fine line between hating the sin and hating the sinner. We need to stand in solidarity with those who struggle for justice and those who struggle to simply be accepted.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Politician's hairstyles are NOT news

I've been a bit out of touch with the world this week (I'm looking at you, faulty laptop power cord), but I thought this was worth mentioning:

Attention Huffington Post: Sarah Palin's hairstyle has nothing to do with her politics or the presidential election. It is not news-worthy or interesting.

Stop posting slideshows of her with her hair up compared to her hair down.

That is all.

This is why I would cry if I wasn't already registered to vote...

My camera was rolling for literally seconds before people happily said to me, on camera, that Barack Obama is a terrorist. If I hadn’t spent most of my time at the event inside, waiting for the candidates to show up, I could have gotten dozens of these people on tape.

I’ve been doing blog video for a while, and presidential rallies a lot longer. And this is the most strange, ignorant, uninformed, angry, up-to-no-good, and gullible group of people I’ve ever seen at a political rally.


h/t to Shakesville.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Feminist Supporting Liberal Politicians Does Not Mean Conspiracy

Sometimes people hear only what they want to hear, no matter how many facts and figures and testimonials you throw their way.

I have been having discussions with people who are absolutely convinced that Sarah Palin is the right choice for America, and if feminists can’t support her, it must be because feminism is part of the vast “liberal conspiracy” that is trying to take over the entire country.

In short, the accusation is this: Feminism isn’t really about equality of the sexes, it is about putting in place a liberal political agenda and trying to destroy America under the guise of something benevolent, like equality.

This topic has been one that I have been sitting on for a while now. I was thinking about the different ways this could be answered. As a feminist, I support liberal women candidates for office because they are more in line with my feminist values. That does not mean that I wish only to advance the rights of liberal women in this country. Not at all. I just feel that liberal women candidates (or male candidates) would be more likely to make things better for more women, instead of just a select few that agree with them.

But feminism is not a single mindset. Nearly every person who identifies as a feminist wants to see women’s lives bettered by doing away with a lot of the systemic inequality under which women live. But, as Habladora said in a comment on this post on The Feminist Underground, women can have different ideas about what is best for women.

Some feminists might think that having a woman Vice-President is the best thing for women, because we’d have “one of our team” in the White House in the second highest position in our government. While I might agree with that idea, I will not agree that Sarah Palin fits that equation.

Sarah Palin is an anti-woman candidate, and as a feminist, I cannot support her. This is not a conspiracy. To me, it is nothing more than common sense. Sarah Palin is against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. She did little while rates of sexual and domestic violence stayed high under her leadership in Alaska. She is on a ticket that opposes the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and has not come up with any solutions for implementing it. Again, I think that Palin is a clearly anti-woman candidate, and my support cannot be given to her.

Her narrow sense of morality would only translate into the suffering of many women. As a feminist, I seek to help change our society so that women of all political persuasions and religious affiliations can have the freedom to make informed choices about their lives and live without restrictions placed by politicians imposing their strictly faith-based policies on the country. Palin’s sense of morality may work for her, but I would resent her trying to push it on me, because I do not agree with it and would not be willing to give up autonomy over my life because of it.

So, of course I will not support Sarah Palin, even though she is a woman running for a spot in the White House. Although it might be easier for some of the men I know to call this a liberal conspiracy and not attempt view Palin’s policies through a feminist lens, that is just not accurate. At all.

Thanks to Frau Sally Benz at The Feminist Underground with some help with the links.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Female Impersonators Radio Hour!

Tomorrow. Tuesday October 7. 1:20pm CST.

Female Impersonators Radio Hour feat. Kate and Amelia.

We will be providing feminist-styled discussion and sweet music for your listening pleasure. This will also be the 3rd week of the running Vagina Tally!

Please tune in. We love our listeners.

Feminism. Talk. Music. Yay.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Enlighten Yourself

It is not our responsibility, as bloggers, to take time to explain details of subject matter to people who come to read our writing. If readers want to engage in discussion in the comment threads, they should make sure they are educated on the topic before making inflammatory remarks.

The idea of privilege, however, I think needs to be discussed. It is often hard to know that one has privilege without being made aware of it. That is how I came to know many of my own privileges. So, because of that, and because I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to know where to go for information about an unfamiliar topic, I am compiling a list of links about male privilege. If you are a male reader of this blog who is inclined to be wary of feminism (and all males, really), please check out the links and enlighten yourself.

1) What is Male Privilege? (Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog)
- An excellent beginning reading on privilege in general, and male privilege more specifically.

2) The Male Privilege Checklist (Alas! A Blog)
- A list of examples of what having male privilege entails.

3) Privilege-Colored Glasses
- A blog post I wrote to call out men I had interacted with whose male privilege shone through brilliantly, probably without their knowledge.

4) A fan-video for the song "Privilege" by Incubus.

This page, and the links contained on it, will be updated from time to time. If you know of any other links to add to this list, leave them in comments.