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Aug. 8th, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes

Hey, guess what: she really is a Republican

Sarah Palin on how Obama is scheming to kill her baby.

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Yup, because there are no old people or PWD in Canada or in Europe.

Now please tell me more about how feminists should have voted for McCain/Palin because Obama is too right-wing.

Aug. 2nd, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes

Why are they so cruel to me, um I mean her, yeah HER

When someone falsely reports that Sarah Palin and her husband are divorcing and it is picked up by a number of outlets before being debunked, that's because "Sarah Palin is everybody's Designated Hate Receptacle" (never mind the millions of people for whom she can do no wrong).

But when the Birther conspiracy theorists go on, and on, and freaking ON, for months, well, that's not a sign that people irrationally hate Obama (everybody loves Obama!  Even though Obama is the worst man in the world!), that's a sign that...um...Obama's press secretary is a twit.

Well okay.

Jul. 31st, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes

I'd kind of like to lock her in a room with Glenn Beck, except I think they might become friends.

So Obamabots are silencing the left.

This was news to me; I've read plenty of criticisms of Obama's health care plan, even from fairly mainstream liberal sources like Pandagon, but never mind. The point is that Reclusive Leftist is now into its "we were never right-wing" phase, which is either a sign of improvement (Violet Socks is even coming out as pro-choice again, sort of) or a sign of ever-deepening delusion.

Part of the blame lies with Republican propagandists, who — hilariously — have chosen to depict Obama as a commie pinko leftist who wants to turn the U.S. into a socialist utopia. (If only.) The charge is especially ludicrous since Obama is just about the most Republican-friendly Democrat around. Of the three major Democratic presidential candidates last year, he was easily the most conservative, and his administration has proven to be a corporatist Republican’s dream-come-true.

But opposition propaganda from the GOP isn’t tethered to reality and never has been; John Kerry was called a socialist too. That’s how wingnuttery works...

Yes, and that's how Violet's girlcrush Sarah Palin works, too, with all that talk of small government and whatnot, but we're not going to think about that right now. Because wingnuts always demonize Democrats as communists, the logic goes, their opposition to a health care plan can't really have an effect, because it's just always there, like gravity or something, and you learn to adjust to it.  Or you join in!  Either way.

No, the real problem is -- can you guess? -- Obots!

With Obama, though, there’s another factor: his own rabid fan-base. By elevating this rather centrist Democrat to the status of progressive icon, and ignoring or mischaracterizing any substantive criticism of him from the left, Obama’s Democratic supporters have effectively created the myth that Obama is the ne plus ultra of liberalism.
I have no doubt that there are Democrats who think that, but I certainly didn't think that and neither did most people I know who voted for Obama. I think a great number of Obama supporters were being more pragmatic than that. And a lot of the enthusiasm over Obama has to do with the enormous anger, frustration and despair that built up among progressive people during the Bush years. There was talk of a permanent Republican majority not that long ago. 

I’ve heard stories from other people who were also branded wingnuts and crypto-Republicans when they, too, offered a leftist or feminist critique of Obama. There seems to be a concerted effort by Obama’s supporters to pretend that only far-right racists and freakazoids could possibly have a problem with Our Barry. Certainly that was rife before the election, when PUMAs were regularly slandered as GOP ratfuckers. In fact, most PUMAs I knew were staunch feminists and Democrats who were appalled by Obama’s sexism, corruption, and pseudo-Republicanism.

Bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit. Staunch feminists and Democrats don't fight sexism by voting for "Marvellous Ape" McCain and they don't fight pseudo-Republicanism by voting for actual Republicanism. Violet Socks' most frequent commenters went overwhelmingly for McCain/Palin; Violet herself may have voted Green, but she spent much, much more of her time praising and defending Sarah Palin (her "kin", her "Annie Get Your Gun", her "conservative feminist" "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", etc.) than she spent promoting Cynthia McKinney. In fact, as I recall, she hardly mentioned McKinney the entire time Palin was running. 

Obama hasn’t tried. He’s been in Republican-lite mode all along. There’s no battle here for the soul of America, no brave struggle to remake our society and economy, no reversal of the Bush Era abuses. There’s just good old Barry and the status quo.

Which means it’s up to progressive activists to push for reform, but — oops! They’ve all been co-opted into cheerleading for Obama, no matter how unprogressive his policies.

There is some truth to this charge, although again, mainstream progressives have not "all" been co-opted, which VS would know if she took her fingers out of her ears and stopped screaming "I hate Obama, I hate him, I hate him I hate him I hate him" for three seconds.  Glenn Greenwald, for example, has been documenting the Obama administration's secrecy and various violations of international law; Pam Spaulding has had angry words to say about the lack of movement on LGBT issues; plenty of pro-choice feminists have called out the "common ground" babble that appeared around the time of the Notre Dame convocation and the murder of Dr. George Tiller.  This is just off the very top of my head; feel free to mention more in comments if you like.

Furthermore, Violet Socks' credibility in making this charge is approximately nil.  There is, as I've observed before, absolutely nothing the Obama administration can do that would satisfy Violet Socks and her crew, because that group has nothing in common but hatred of Obama.  When you openly invite anti-choice and fiscally right-wing women to join your little group of Feminists Against Obama, it makes no sense to follow that up by complaining that Obama is a sexist because he's anti-choice (or insufficiently pro-choice) and fiscally right-wing, or because he associates with people who are anti-choice and fiscally right-wing. 

It seems that Violet's PUMA clique has shrunk a bit; I've noticed from reading her on the Feministblogs feed that she's back to openly dissing "godbags" and the like, which means her anti-choice Christian fans have probably gone bye-bye, and perhaps some people who voted for McCain out of spite have got over it and moved on.  It will be interesting to see who she's left with, in the long run; I expect it'll be a bunch of Trotskyist feminists (we must strengthen teh patriarkee to bring about teh REVOLUSHUN!!!!) and a small clique of politically clueless, vaguely dissatisfied white women, just now getting outraged about stuff that happened in 2002.

Jul. 26th, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes

the nursery agenda

Michelle Bachmann, feminist.

I might add that Karen can't write for shit:

Like all children, [Bachmann] went beyond her home boundaries and attended Virginia’s William and Mary Law School where she graduated with a degree in tax law.

All children attend William and Mary?

Karen, a college student, explains how she researched her post:

I went to wikipedia first, and it was difficult for me to figure out how much was smear, distortion, and fact. So
I just stuck to her official webpages.


Anyway, Bill Prendergast, of Dump Bachmann, tries to reason with Karen:

The fact that what you found on Wikipedia seemed unpleasant to you, does not mean you should have dismissed it as “smears and distortions” and substituted material written by Bachmann’s staff instead. It would be a mistake to take a similar approacht to , say, an short biographical profile of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Limiting your research for this article to materials provided by Rep. Bachmann is also a kind of “distortion,” and (I’m sorry) but in this instance the kind of research you did calls your personal judgment and the value of the publication you represent into question.

Amy Siskind, however, is having none of it:

Karen is a hard working college student who is taking the time to research and learn about women candidates and other women’s issues.
As such, please go easy. We have invited you all to contribute blog pieces on any women candidates or issues that you would like. TNA is an organization, not a blog. Our blog is a meeting place to exchange ideas.
Karen is not endorsing Bachmann, nor is TNA. Karen is a young woman learning to do research. Let’s go easy folks.

Well, there we have it. Heaven forbid a "hard working college student" should be called it on it when she does her research badly. That's not what college is about at all!

Amy isn't done:
Just a thought - it might not be such a great reflection on you personally Bill to be so overly critical of a very young woman learning her way in the world all over the blogosphere. You made suggestions and let Karen learn and rewrite her piece.
I, for one, as a mother, if I saw you coming out to post all over about a girl learning to research in college, I might wonder. Just a thought. You’ll do as you wish.

I am so, so sick of reading variations on "How dare you ask us to be competent? We're women! YOU'RE SEXIST!" (I'm not seeing the "overly critical" in Bill's comment, either, but then, I'm not a delicate precious snowflake blossom like the women of TNA.)

I've been doing research projects since elementary school. If Karen has made it to college without learning the first thing about research, it is high time she learned. If she's made it to college, she's had more opportunities to pick up research skills than many people her age.  I know TNA is all about how middle-class white women are THE MOST victimized, but really.

H/T: Rumproast.

Jul. 8th, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes

ice in hell

Madama B writes something I agree with.

Perhaps she's coming out of the PUMA stupor?  This post directly contradicts much of what she and others wrote on the PUMA blogs. 

Legislatively speaking, the pro-life movement has done its very best to make it impossible for women to control their own reproductive organs, and they continue to do so at every opportunity. From attempting to overturn Roe v. Wade and return us to the days of the coathangers and back-alley abortions, to their latest crusade against contraception (falsely conflating it with abortion) and pushing abstinence-only education (which, ironically, has led to more unwanted pregnancies and STD’s), to the heartless lies the Pope recently told about condoms and AIDs, to the senseless murder of Dr. Tiller (which the lovely Ann Coulter has characterized as “termination in the 203rd trimester“), the pro-life community has been utterly consistent in its refusal to see the massive amounts of harm it is doing to its own sisters and brothers; real, fully adult sisters and brothers who have to live with the consequences of their moral myopia.

I honestly do not see how in the world a woman can call herself a feminist, and still reserve the right to meddle in and ruin the lives of other women (and the men who love and support them).

This goes against pretty much everything ever said at The New Agenda, where the murder of Dr. Tiller was not even mentioned.  They were too busy writing twenty posts about how evil David Letterman is. 

Seriously, though, read the whole thing.

Sarah Palin belongs to a political party that wants to ban abortion; she speaks at anti-choice functions; her Eagle Forum questionnaire answers made it pretty clear where she stood on what "we" can "allow" women to do with our bodies; she refused to state that violence against abortion providers is terrorism; she belongs to an organization, Feminists For Life, that makes it clear in their publications that they are effectively anti-contraception and pro-early motherhood for all women. The evidence just piles up.

Maybe she wouldn't do anything to restrict abortion access if she had the opportunity (as Madama B herself claimed back in the fall), but why in the hell would I believe that when she describes herself as "unapologetically pro-life"? 

AngelShepherd disagrees in the comments:

I could be wrong, but I believe Sarah’s position on the issue is that she supports ‘the peoples right to decide’, despite being ‘pro-life’ herself. Meaning that she supports the individual states’ laws regarding abortion as passed by their elected representatives (my read on it). As one who is uncomfortable with some aspects and forms of abortion, such as late term with no health risk to the mother or child, I regard this as the intelligent and moral position.

The individual states' laws regarding abortion.  That's entirely reasonable.  I mean, if individual states want to criminalize certain decisions people might make about their own bodies, that's cool, right?  Totally intelligent and moral.  No reason to object.

As for "late term with no health risk to the mother or child", um yeah, that totally happens all the time, because women (other than AngelShepherd, if AngelShepherd is female) are weird creatures who like to have horribly painful, expensive, multi-day surgeries.  I've never been pregnant, but sometimes when there's nothing good on TV, I go in to a medical clinic and have my cervix dilated for funsies.  Jesus fuck.

Madama B responds:

I recognize and understand that there are varying degrees of being “comfortable” with abortion. But to be a member of the “pro-life” community is to own the massive damage they have done to women’s rights over the past several decades.

I find it very sad that this community is now coming to New Feminist groups and painting themselves as victims, and the New Feminist groups are buying it.

I won’t be a part of that nonsense.

She forgot to add "any more", but still, I guess there's hope.

Jul. 6th, 2009


in which Amy Siskind gazes into her daughter's navel

First of all, a good post here about Violet Socks and her projections, and big flaming WORD to this paragraph in particular:

I have listened to and read Palin speeches and interviews, and I do not think Sarah Palin knows what Sarah Palin believes. She doesn’t seem to have any cohesive political ideology beyond what plays well to the crowd. And when the crowd wants red meat, she throws it with the best of ‘em.
Sarah Palin is a great object for worship because she hasn't said a whole lot that's conclusive. She clearly believes that she personally is competent and capable; she personally seems to have a fairly egalitarian (or at least not traditionally patriarchal) marriage; she's said a few generic things about the "power of women" and relatively uncontroversial feminist issues, but as far as actual policy positions goes...she believes in "free enterprise" and "fiscal responsibility" and "small government" (translation from Republicanese: vastly restricted social services + unlimited military spending), she thinks abortion is a Very Bad Thing but hasn't clarified what she wants done about it, she's "all for contraception" but opposes "explicit" sex ed (whatever that is to her), etc.  She speaks in buzzwords and businessese -- "effecting change" (change in what?) and not doing "politics as usual" (how?) and "making a difference for our priorities" (what priorities?).  Because she hasn't explained her opinions in detail, her fans project on her whatever they want to believe. 
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Apr. 4th, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes


As you've noticed, I've not been posting lately, but I felt this post at Rumproast merited passing on, if only for its continued confirmation that Madama B is a loathsome twit.

At this point it would be trite for me to observe that there is literally no way Michelle Obama can clothe herself that would satisfy the PUMAsphere (she's either a cheap bitch or an extravagant bitch), but the phrase "all that and a bag of hips" did give me pause. 

I expect it was intended as a racial insult because of the widespread belief that black women have bigger hips and butts than white women, but, um, most women have curvy hips.  I'm a white woman with an "underweight" BMI and I have curvy hips.  Way to insinuate that the majority of adult women are ugly, PUMAsphere.  And they said feminism was dead.

Jan. 29th, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes

just saying

Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act.

His statement is here:

Ultimately, though, equal pay isn't just an economic issue for millions of Americans and their families, it's a question of who we are - and whether we're truly living up to our fundamental ideals. Whether we'll do our part, as generations before us, to ensure those words put to paper more than 200 years ago really mean something - to breathe new life into them with the more enlightened understandings of our time.

That is what Lilly Ledbetter challenged us to do. And today, I sign this bill not just in her honor, but in honor of those who came before her. Women like my grandmother who worked in a bank all her life, and even after she hit that glass ceiling, kept getting up and giving her best every day, without complaint, because she wanted something better for me and my sister.

And I sign this bill for my daughters, and all those who will come after us, because I want them to grow up in a nation that values their contributions, where there are no limits to their dreams and they have opportunities their mothers and grandmothers never could have imagined.

I think this was a good day.

Jan. 27th, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes

insert your own pun on the word "font" here

The Lily Ledbetter Act passed the Senate; the global gag rule has been overturned; Hillary Clinton's replacement in the Senate is a woman; so now it's time to talk about...typefaces.

Yes, you read that right: typefaces.

See, the Obama campaign was incredibly disciplined about their use of typefaces, to the point that they never, ever published signs using the wrong font. It was always Gotham, not Arial. Which leads to this:

It’s extraordinary: a campaign so relentlessly on-message and attentive to detail that they never even used Arial font when it was supposed to Gotham, not once, not even for a last-minute extra batch of signs.

And we’re supposed to believe that the sexism was an accident?

Well, now, y'see, the -- dare I say, obvious -- problem with this little analogy is this: It's really easy to tell when you've accidentally set your font to Arial instead of Gotham. It's a black-and-white issue, so to speak. You can go into your design software -- whatever the kids are using these days, I don't even know -- and change that shit in a matter of seconds. 

Not so with any kind of bigotry.  It's easy to make ignorant statements by accident; I've done it many times in my life and will no doubt do it many times in the future.  And after that come the defenses and the arguments: I didn't mean it THAT way, you're misinterpreting me, I meant no offense so you shouldn't be offended.  Do you know how hard I've worked for you people all my life, you've got no right to criticize me.  I love members of your group, I'm married to one, aren't I.  You're too PC.  Et cetera.  Many of TNA's members are extremely good at doing this dance themselves.  It's complicated. 

I think the Obama campaign was sometimes thoughtlessly sexist, sometimes deliberately sexist, and sometimes read as sexist when it wasn't.  It's all very interesting to unpack, rather like Bush v. Gore, but you know, stuff happened after Bush v. Gore.  The Bush administration did things that had to be reported on and analyzed and protested.  I wonder if there are people in the blogosphere still fulminating over the fact that George Bush spoke at Bob Jones University in 2000, ignoring everything he did after that.

I hope TNA can move beyond this, because some of the other work they're doing is admirable.  I would appreciate it if they would stop publishing posts about abstinence education in sub-Saharan Africa as if they actually gave the twentieth part of a shit; as far as I'm concerned, they have zero credibility on any issue related to policy.  (If it were up to most TNA members, the Lily Ledbetter Act would be headed for a veto, the global gag rule would be firmly in place, UNFPA wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting their funding back, and Title X funding would be going to crisis pregnancy centres indefinitely.  Y'know, just for a start.)  But if they can stick it to sexist creeps like Chris Matthews and push more women to run for office, they're doing something of value. 

In other news, this is an interesting photo:

What I find fascinating is the caption given to it on TNA: "President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts shake hands."  I mean yes, that happens, but who's in the dead centre of the photograph?  Malia Obama.  She's unmissable.  And yet somehow they've managed to miss her.  It's not "President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts shake hands as Malia and Michelle Obama look on"; it's not "Malia Obama watches as her father, President Barack Obama, shakes hands with Chief Justice Roberts"; it's...nothing. 

Given the ongoing Palinist attempts to cast Michelle Obama as a hyper-conservative Stepford wife/angry black radical bitch, and the Obama girls as pathetic victims of a father who cartoonishly loathes all females, this stuck out at me. Perhaps it has no significance, but I found it jarring. 

(And yes, I'm aware of the irony of posting to this particular blog saying "can't you move past this".  But every few weeks I feel the urge to dip a toe in; what can I say.)

Jan. 8th, 2009

third wave feminists oh noes


As you can see, posting is slowing down a lot here. Belle has a rundown of the latest bit of PUMA persecution angst.

What fascinates me, aside from the obvious ignorance, exaggeration and appropriation, is the way some PUMAs regard their identity as pretty much immutable, even after such a short time.

(I seem to recall reading that the early Puritan settlers in Massachusetts considered themselves the "new Jews." Hmm.)

We see this again with this comment on The New Agenda, to an article about the historical struggle for birth control access in the United States, which would be perfectly inoffensive were it not for the whole "no really, I invented it, I call it a...hueel" thing:


“An unlikely alliance”…. I love this. Imagine what we could accomplish if women with different backgrounds and even ideology could work together. Then we wouldn’t have to “Sarah Palinize” anyone or throw any woman under the bus. Well, thanks to New Agenda for taking this on!

It's as if ideology is a background, and not, you know, ideology. I find this especially interesting in the context of birth control. Very devout Catholic and Quiverfull women oppose the use of birth control; they cannot work with other women on that issue because of their ideology. Many fundamentalist women oppose the use of most forms of birth control -- the pill, the IUD, emergency contraception, Depo-Provera, etc.

In other words, contraception is still controversial, and the only feminists who don't know that...are the ones so threatened by established feminists, by women who have actually read and written and studied and thought for longer than they have, that they hang out on sites like The New Agenda and pretend they thought of everything themselves.

Amy Siskind explains her own journey: it sounds as if she put a kind of trust in the Democratic Party that many "Obots" never, ever did. It also sounds as if she's trying to out-Linda Hirshman Linda Hirshman:

It’s when you are canvassing the projects in North Philly asking for a vote. And you happen upon a woman who lives in a tenement whose windows have been replaced by cardboard boxes. And when you knock to ask her for her vote, she cries instead about raising her child alone. And her son is in trouble at school. And no one will listen. And no one will help.

And this is very sad. But perhaps it is not a problem that you will solve by voting for people who slash social benefits and reform tax codes to redistribute wealth up, up, up; and perhaps it is not a problem that you will solve by getting Sarah Palin elected or Caroline Kennedy appointed to the Senate; and perhaps this poor woman in North Philly needs a properly heated home more than she needs you to take on Jon Favreau for the fifteenth time.

I'm not saying it's not all connected or that taking on Jon Favreau isn't important or meaningful.  What I am saying is that perhaps your stated priorities and your stated goals should be, you know, kissing cousins to each other.  And that perhaps, appropriating the struggles of poor women to serve the goals of affluent women -- on some trickle-down theory of female empowerment, oh sorry, 30% Solution -- is a questionable move.

There's no real coherence to this "movement" any more, that I can see; now that PUMAs don't have a right-wing woman to rally around, many of them are returning to their anti-religion and basically liberal positions while pretending that they didn't abandon them at all. See the many complaints about Rick Warren, who, on women's issues, is not substantially different from James Dobson -- you know, the guy their beloved Sarah Palin was so honoured to talk to before the election -- or, likely, from most conservative evangelical Christians, the women TNA and other PUMA sites were eager to court in the fall.

Like Hillary Clinton, like Obama, the Sarah Palin of the PUMAs has nothing to do with the real Sarah Palin, the anti-choice conservative Republican; the Palin of the PUMAs has been reinvented as...well...Cynthia McKinney in a bouffant hairdo.

In other news, this is a brilliant summary of the whole "movement." (Via Rumproast.)


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