Snowy Evening Open Thread: Women? Who Cares!Posted: March 6, 2013
Many of you have read about the sequester, or the filibuster being conducted by Rand the Nut Man…this post will have none of that.
This thread is going to focus on a few news items about women. I will start with this essay from The Atlantic. When America Was Female by Garance Franke-Ruta
Uncle Sam’s older, classier sister Columbia fell out of favor after women got the vote. Maybe it’s time to bring her back.
The photos of the historic suffragette March on Washington on March 3, 1913, that were all over the place over the weekend were a reminder of how far America has come in the last century, and of how much American women have been at the forefront of pushing the international rights of women forward. But as I admired their bonnets and their courage, their side-buttoned boots and hooded woolen cloaks and looks of fierce determination, the women in the 100-year-old images also raised for me some slightly more prosaic questions.
Why were some staging tableaux wearing breastplates and laurels? Who were they dressed as? And — perhaps more importantly — why can’t contemporary feminists have costumes that are as regal and classical as those of 1913 — instead of Code Pink’s vulgar giant magenta lady bits?
The answer, it turns out, is that Uncle Sam had a much older and classier sister named Columbia, the feminine historic personification of the United States of America, who has since the 1920s largely fallen out of view. But she was as recognizable to Americans of yesteryear as the man in the top-hat and tails remains today, and when the suffragettes donned robes and armor, they garbed themselves in her rebel warrior’s spirit. From the 18th century until the early decades of the 20th, Columbia was the gem of the ocean, a mythical and majestic personage whose corsets or breast-plates curved out of her striped or starred or swirling skirts with all the majesty of a shield. She was honored from the birth of the nation — “Hail, Columbia!”, whose score was first composed for the inauguration of President Washington, was an unofficial anthem until the “Star-Spangled Banner” displaced it as the official national one in 1931 — to the birth of the recording and film industries, which is why we have had Columbia Records and Columbia Pictures. Yes, that lady with the torch at the start of the movies isn’t just some period-costume-wearing chick — she is a relic of this earlier personification of America…
Take a look at the rest of the article. I think bringing back Columbia is a wonderful idea. When you finish reading it, go ahead and read the comments. Typical of course, but it still pisses me off when I read them.
Meanwhile, the latest law against a woman’s right to make her own damn decisions was passed today. Arkansas Adopts Restrictive Abortion Law
In the sharpest challenge yet to Roe v. Wade, Arkansas adopted Wednesday what is by far the country’s most restrictive ban on abortion, at 12 weeks of pregnancy, around the time that a fetal heartbeat can be detected by abdominal ultrasound.
The law was passed by the newly Republican-controlled legislature over the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, who called it “blatantly unconstitutional.” On Tuesday the state Senate voted to override his veto by a vote of 20 to 14; on Wednesday the House enacted the bill into law by a vote of 55 to 33, with several Democrats joining the Republican majority.
The law contradicts the limit established by Supreme Court decisions, which give women a right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks into pregnancy, and abortion rights groups promised a quick lawsuit to block it.
Adoption of the law, called the “Human Heartbeat Protection Act,” is the first statewide victory for a restless emerging faction within the anti-abortion movement that has lost patience with the incremental whittling away at abortion rights — the strategy of established groups like National Right to Life and the Catholic Church while they wait for a more sympathetic Supreme Court.
Isn’t the court already leaning right? Honestly…twelve weeks? I did not even know I was pregnant with my daughter till I was three months. This Arkansas law is ridiculous.
And if you think the US has some f’d up treatment toward women, this series of investigative articles from the Guardian will make you shake your head in disgust.
Get this…police “spies” would become involved with women…even having children with them, just to get the goods on political activists staging protests. They would spend years with these women, only to disappear into thin air. The spies also stole the identities of dead children, which is causing another kind of anguish…that of the families of the dead who must deal with the shock of finding out the cops are making a mockery of their loss.
I have two articles below…be sure to read the entire piece at the Guardian.
John Dines, an undercover police sergeant, as he appeared in the early 1990s when he posed as John Barker, a protester against capitalism
Britain’s largest police force stole the identities of an estimated 80 dead children and issued fake passports in their names for use by undercover police officers.
The Metropolitan police secretly authorised the practice for covert officers infiltrating protest groups without consulting or informing the children’s parents.
The details are revealed in an investigation by the Guardian, which has established how over three decades generations of police officers trawled through national birth and death records in search of suitable matches.
Undercover officers created aliases based on the details of the dead children and were issued with accompanying identity records such as driving licences and national insurance numbers. Some of the police officers spent up to 10 years pretending to be people who had died.
The Met said the practice was not “currently” authorised, but announced an investigation into “past arrangements for undercover identities used by SDS [Special Demonstration Squad] officers”.
Keith Vaz, the chairman of parliament’s home affairs select committee, said he was shocked at the “gruesome” practice. “It will only cause enormous distress to families who will discover what has happened concerning the identities of their dead children,” he said. “This is absolutely shocking.”
Ah, shocking…as shocking as the Sky News scandal where we found detectives and cops were tipping off Sky News reporters and editors of potential material.
Anyway, here look at this: Police spies: in bed with a fictional character | UK news | The Guardian
He was a burly, funny scouser called Mark Cassidy. His girlfriend – a secondary school teacher he shared a flat with for four years – believed they were almost “man and wife”. Then, in 2000, as the couple were discussing plans for the future, Cassidy suddenly vanished, never to be seen again.
An investigation by the Guardian has established that his real name is Mark Jenner. He was an undercover police officer in the Metropolitan police’s special demonstration squad (SDS), one of two units that specialised in infiltrating protest groups.
His girlfriend, whose story can be told for the first time as her evidence to a parliamentary inquiry is made public, said living with a police spy has had an “enormous impact” on her life.
“It has impacted seriously on my ability to trust, and that has impacted on my current relationship and other subsequent relationships,” she said, adopting the pseudonym Alison. “It has also distorted my perceptions of love and my perceptions of sex.”
Alison is one of four women to testify to the House of Commons home affairs select committee last month.
Another woman said she had been psychologically traumatised after discovering that the father of her child, who she thought had disappeared, was Bob Lambert, a police spy who vanished from her life in the late 1980s.
A third woman, speaking publicly for the first time about her six-year relationship with Mark Kennedy, a police officer who infiltrated environmental protest groups, said: “You could … imagine that your phone might be tapped or that somebody might look at your emails, but to know that there was somebody in your bed for six years, that somebody was involved in your family life to such a degree, that was an absolute shock.”
Their moving testimony led the committee to declare that undercover operations have had a “terrible impact” on the lives of innocent women.
What the hell is wrong with the Metropolitan Police’s perception of women? Guess it is the same as everyone elses, that women can be mistreated, abused, manipulated, controlled, and disregarded for the “greater good.”
It’s all bullshit if you ask me.
This is an open thread.