Sunday Reads: No Agency

I am a woman.

Agency refers to the thoughts and actions taken by people that express their individual power. The core challenge at the center of the field of sociology is understanding the relationship between structure and agency. Structure refers to the complex and interconnected set of social forces, relationships, institutions, and elements of social structure that work together to shape the thought, behavior, experiences, choices, and overall life courses of people. In contrast, agency is the power people have to think for themselves and act in ways that shape their experiences and life trajectories. Agency can take individual and collective forms.

I am a resident of Georgia.

Sociologists understand the relationship between social structure and agency to be an ever-evolving dialectic. In the simplest sense, a dialectic refers to a relationship between two things, each of which has the ability to influence the other, such that a change in one requires a change in the other. To consider the relationship between structure and agency a dialectical one is to assert that while social structure shapes individuals, individuals (and groups) also shape social structure. After all, society is a social creation — the creation and maintenance of social order require the cooperation of individuals connected through social relationships. So, while the lives of individuals are shaped by the existing social structure, they none the less have the ability — the agency — to make decisions and express them in behavior.

I have no Agency.

The above is quoted from: How Sociologists Define Human Agency …it is not the best source but it came in handy. As you can see…I am not in a particular good mood this morning.

Wave Of Protests Planned For Tuesday Over State Abortion Bans | HuffPost

lanned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Women’s March, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other groups are organizing nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday to protest the wave of new state laws banning abortion.

The “extreme bans on abortion [are] stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access,” the groups said on the “Stop The Bans” protest website.

[…]

Actions will be held Tuesday at statehouses, town squares and courthouses across the nation. “We will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women,” the website states, referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. “Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions best left to women, their families and their doctors.”

You can find more information at the website here:

#StopTheBans

Across the country, we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion, stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access. This is Trump’s anti-choice movement… and it’s terrifying, particularly for women of color and low-income women who are most affected by these bans.

We will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women. Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions best left to women, their families, and their doctors.

Together we say: Stop the bans. Sign up below to be the first to get updates.

I will end this with the song Veronica, by Elvis Costello:

 

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?
Well I used to know a girl and I could have sworn
That her name was Veronica
Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
And a delicate look in her eye
These days I’m afraid she’s not even sure
If her name is Veronica
Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those who shout
Her name and steal her clothes
Veronica
Veronica
Did the days drag by? Did the favors wane?
Did he roam down the town all the while?
Will you wake from your dream, with a wolf at the door,
Reaching out for Veronica
Well it was all of sixty-five years ago
When the world was the street where she lived
And a young man sailed on a ship in the sea
With a picture of Veronica
On the “Empress of India”
And as she closed her eyes upon the world
And picked upon the bones of last week’s news
She spoke his name out loud again
Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those who shout
Her name and steal her clothes
Veronica
Veronica
Veronica sits in her favorite chair
And she sits very quiet and still
And they call her a name that they never get right
And if they don’t then nobody else will
But she used to have a carefree mind of her own
With devilish look in her eye
Saying “You can call me anything you like,
But my name is Veronica”
Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those who shout
Her name and steal her clothes
Veronica
Veronica
Oh Veronica

Elvis Costello’s grandmother inspiration for ‘Veronica’ | Lifestyles | heraldcourier.com

Q: I recently heard the Elvis Costello song, “Veronica,” and wondered what the story behind it was.

A: Co-written with Paul McCartney, whose Hofner bass can be heard on the song, “Veronica” can be found on the 1989 album, “Spike.” It has been one of the most popular and successful of Costello’s songs, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard singles chart. A very intelligent song, both musically and lyrically, it tells the achingly touching story of an aging woman suffering from memory loss. In a posting on his website, Costello states that his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, was the inspiration for this song. He says that it appeared that his grandmother was happiest when she remembered events that occurred in her life between the 1920s and 1950s. “I wanted it to be joyful-sounding,” he says, “But with some sort of defiance. Because there’s a strange sort of defiance in old people when they’re physically pathetic. A strange way about them. They’ll suddenly look at you and they’ll be looking right into you. And then you look back and they won’t be there at all. I think that’s quite comforting.”

Veronica by Elvis Costello – Songfacts

Elvis Costello recalled the story of the song in his 2015 memoir Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink:

“When I’d got the call to say Paul wanted me to write some songs with him for his next record, I didn’t know what to expect, but as his last co-written hit had been with Michael Jackson, I wondered whether I should be taking some dancing lessons. I’d brought an early draft of ‘Veronica’ that you would have recognized, but we immediately got to work putting a better flow into the chorus and shifting the bridge into making that part of the song seem more like a dream.”

More interesting tidbits at the link.
The little cat at the top of the thread was a stray that had been hanging around our house for the past week…she was very sweet…I decided I was going to keep her…and call her Veronica.
She was in our back screen porch yesterday…content as can be…using the litter box…but last night she got stuck on some sticky paper my dad had stashed in his trash heap he keeps in the back corner. Needless to say, he let her out this morning without telling me…and she is gone.
So…that is that.
This is an open thread.

Wednesday Reads: Heartbeat bill my ass!

 

 

We gotta shut this shit down:

Especially this shit:

You got that right…

Georgia governor signs ‘heartbeat bill,’ giving the state one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation – The Washington Post

The American Civil Liberties Union and other critics including medical lobbies have called bans on abortions after six weeks — which have been struck down by at least two courts — draconian, unscientific and part of a deliberate strategy to pass increasingly radical laws in hopes of getting the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court. They have vowed to bring a lawsuit targeting the legislation — and promised electoral payback as well.

Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in an interview that the Georgia legislation is part of a larger landscape of nearly 300 antiabortion bills introduced so far this year in 36 states. Many of them contain far-reaching provisions, such as one in Georgia that would allow authorities to investigate women who miscarry and one in Texas that would allow capital punishment for those receiving or performing an abortion.

“This is an extremely dangerous time for women’s health all around the country,” Wen said.

[…]

Like some other versions, Georgia’s law includes exceptions for incest, rape and situations of medical futility or where the health of the mother is at stake. But unlike the others, Georgia’s says a fetus is a “natural person” and “human being” once a heartbeat is detected.

Which can lead to possible other conclusions? Like this thread from Leah McElrath….

And then there is this shit:

What the fuck are they talking about? Is this procedure done at your local CVS or Walgreens? Where women can also get a pap smear on their cooch and x-ray possible tumors on titties…while they pop in for any other supplies they may need?

Walgreens Corrects Fox & Friends: We Don’t Offer Pap Smears

On Saturday’s Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade attempted to dismiss the importance of Planned Parenthood funding by claiming that services like pap smears are available “at Walgreens.” In response to an email about the segment, a Walgreens spokesperson told Media Matters that they do not offer such services.

The Fox News hosts’ remarks came during a discussion of the debate over federal funding to Planned Parenthood. During the budget showdown, Republicans attempted to remove federal funding for the women’s health group. Planned Parenthood defenders, such as Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, have argued that the funding is necessary because it goes to “clinics that provide services like cancers tests that save women’s lives and save money down the road by catching diseases that are expensive to treat.”

On April 9, Doocy and Kilmeade responded to Reid by dismissing Planned Parenthood services:

STEVE DOOCY: And the thing about it that was audacious was the fact that he [Sen. Harry Reid] was talking about Planned Parenthood being this great provider where women can get blood pressure checks, and pap smears, and breast —

BRIAN KILMEADE: Which you can get at Walgreens.

DOOCY: –examinations. Exactly right.

Ah…memories….that was from back in 2011. We have come a long way baby!

This is an open thread.


Lazy Caturday Reads: A Bit of News and Some Fascinating Long Reads

The cat’s lunch, Pierre Bonnard, circa 1906

Good Afternoon!!

I’m sick to death of politics right now, but I don’t want to completely ignore it either. So today I’ll begin with a few of today’s news stories and then I’m going to recommend some interesting long reads that I’ve enjoyed this week.

Harry Litman at The Washington Post: Release the Mueller team’s summaries. Now.

In the (so far) quiet war of words between the Barr and Mueller camps, we have learned that the special counsel’s report was prepared with summaries of each section that were designed purposely for quick delivery to Congress. These summaries have been scrubbed of all or nearly all controversial material and, therefore, consist of Mueller’s analyses and conclusions without disclosing the supporting, potentially confidential, evidentiary material.

‘Company’ by English painter & illustrator Ophelia Redpath (b.1965)

The summaries should be released to the Congress and the public. While some at the Justice Department assert that the materials are marked as containing grand jury material, we know from Mueller’s team that they were prepared for the purpose of quick release. It, therefore, stands to reason that any problematic material they contain could be removed in short order. They are core explanations of Mueller’s work, which the public has been hungry to learn about — and which Mueller intended the public to have.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the Judiciary Committee chairman, should set to the side for one day the maneuverings over grand jury material and other redactions. The Justice Department should similarly reserve its prerogative to fight over these materials in court. For today, all parties should agree immediately to produce the summaries of Mueller’s work that would greatly illuminate the currently obscured special counsel’s report.

Marcy Wheeler at The Washington Post: We already knew Barr’s summary was too easy on Trump. Public records prove it.

When Attorney General William P. Barr released a four-page memo two weeks ago opining that “the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,” we already knew enough to be sure that Barr was spinning the contents of the report his memo claimed to summarize, as multiple reports now say he did.

Girl with Cat, by Lotte Laserstein, 1898-1993, was a German-Swedish painter and portraitist

That’s because there was already public evidence at the time that undermined Barr’s conclusions. Barr’s letter may have been accurate, technically speaking. But based on what it omitted about two key associates of President Trump — his longtime adviser Roger Stone and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort — it was obvious that the attorney general had left whole areas of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings out of the summary. That Mueller’s team thinks Barr made the investigation’s findings look less damaging to Trump should not come as a surprise.

For example, the indictment of Roger Stone, who isn’t mentioned in Barr’s “summary.”

When Attorney General William P. Barr released a four-page memo two weeks ago opining that “the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense,” we already knew enough to be sure that Barr was spinning the contents of the report his memo claimed to summarize, as multiple reports now say he did.

That’s because there was already public evidence at the time that undermined Barr’s conclusions. Barr’s letter may have been accurate, technically speaking. But based on what it omitted about two key associates of President Trump — his longtime adviser Roger Stone and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort — it was obvious that the attorney general had left whole areas of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings out of the summary. That Mueller’s team thinks Barr made the investigation’s findings look less damaging to Trump should not come as a surprise.

Read more examples at the WaPo.

Think Progress: Lawsuit alleges utterly flabbergasting sexism at law firm closely associated with Donald Trump.

By Suzanne Valadon (French, 1865-1938) Jeune Fille au Chat

A $200 million lawsuit filed against a law firm closely associated with President Donald Trump alleges that the firm fostered a “fraternity culture” featuring heavy drinking, an overbearing male leader, and sexism that was often so absurd it reads like something out of a gross-out comedy from the 1980s.

The suit against Jones Day, a 2,500 lawyer firm that played a significant role in placing Trump in the White House — the Trump campaign paid Jones Day $3.3 million in legal fees according to a 2017 report — alleges a culture where women attorneys were denied promotions despite exemplary work, excluded from mentoring opportunities afforded to male associates, asked to leave the firm after taking maternity leave, and subjected to cruel and sexist jokes by male colleagues.

Trump appointed numerous Jones Day lawyers to high-level positions within his administration, including Solicitor General Noel Francisco, former White House Counsel Don McGahn, and the two highest ranking attorneys in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Trump also appointed two former Jones Day partners to federal appellate judgeships.

At one event hosted by a Jones Day partner, the complaint alleges that a male summer associate (“summer associate” is the title typically given to highly paid law students who work at a firm during their summer vacation) pushed a female colleague into the partner’s swimming pool while the woman was wearing a white dress. According to the complaint, “the male summer associate who pushed her was applauded and high-fived by the Firm’s summer associate committee and leadership rather than reprimanded.”

In another incident, a partner allegedly “demanded that three female summer associates sing and dance to a Care Bears song (an event captured on video).” These three summer associates were allegedly told that they must humiliate themselves in this way “to receive verbal offers to join the Firm as associates.”

During a limo ride to a firm event, male Jones Day lawyers allegedly played a game called “Fuck, Marry, Kill,” in which they “named coworkers from the office and proposed to whom they would do each of these things.” At the event itself, a male associate allegedly “called several of his female colleagues ‘cunts,’” yet the lawsuit claims that he remains employed by the firm.

More disgusting allegations at the link.

Now for those longer reads:

This one is political. The New York Times, April 3: Attacks by White Extremists Are Growing. So Are Their Connections.

Léonard Tsugouharu Foujita (aka 藤田 嗣治, Fujita Tsuguharu) 1950s Self Portrait

In a manifesto posted online before his attack, the gunman who killed 50 last month in a rampage at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, said he drew inspiration from white extremist terrorism attacks in Norway, the United States, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

His references to those attacks placed him in an informal global network of white extremists whose violent attacks are occurring with greater frequency in the West.

An analysis by The New York Times of recent terrorism attacks found that at least a third of white extremist killers since 2011 were inspired by others who perpetrated similar attacks, professed a reverence for them or showed an interest in their tactics.

The connections between the killers span continents and highlight how the internet and social media have facilitated the spread of white extremist ideology and violence.

In one instance, a school shooter in New Mexico corresponded with a gunman who attacked a mall in Munich. Altogether, they killed 11 people.

Please go read the whole thing. I think this is an important story. How are these white supremacist networks any different from the on-line “radicalization” of Islamic terrorists? The interest has made it much easier for crazy people to find and communicate with others like them.

The New Yorker: The Day the Dinosaurs Died, by Douglas Preston

I loved this article! I can’t possibly do it justice with a few excerpts. It’s about a paleontology grad student, Robert De Palma, and his discovery of a rich fossil bed in North Dakota that may shed light on the rapid extinction of dinosaurs. Here’s a taste:

By Zviad Gogolauri

On August 5, 2013, I received an e-mail from a graduate student named Robert DePalma. I had never met DePalma, but we had corresponded on paleontological matters for years, ever since he had read a novel I’d written that centered on the discovery of a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex killed by the KT impact. “I have made an incredible and unprecedented discovery,” he wrote me, from a truck stop in Bowman, North Dakota. “It is extremely confidential and only three others know of it at the moment, all of them close colleagues.” He went on, “It is far more unique and far rarer than any simple dinosaur discovery. I would prefer not outlining the details via e-mail, if possible.” He gave me his cell-phone number and a time to call.

I called, and he told me that he had discovered a site like the one I’d imagined in my novel, which contained, among other things, direct victims of the catastrophe. At first, I was skeptical. DePalma was a scientific nobody, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kansas, and he said that he had found the site with no institutional backing and no collaborators. I thought that he was likely exaggerating, or that he might even be crazy. (Paleontology has more than its share of unusual people.) But I was intrigued enough to get on a plane to North Dakota to see for myself.

DePalma’s find was in the Hell Creek geological formation, which outcrops in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, and contains some of the most storied dinosaur beds in the world. At the time of the impact, the Hell Creek landscape consisted of steamy, subtropical lowlands and floodplains along the shores of an inland sea. The land teemed with life and the conditions were excellent for fossilization, with seasonal floods and meandering rivers that rapidly buried dead animals and plants.

Ludwig Kohrl (1858-1927)

The Hell Creek Formation spanned the Cretaceous and the Paleogene periods, and paleontologists had known for at least half a century that an extinction had occurred then, because dinosaurs were found below, but never above, the KT layer. This was true not only in Hell Creek but all over the world. For many years, scientists believed that the KT extinction was no great mystery: over millions of years, volcanism, climate change, and other events gradually killed off many forms of life. But, in the late nineteen-seventies, a young geologist named Walter Alvarez and his father, Luis Alvarez, a nuclear physicist, discovered that the KT layer was laced with unusually high amounts of the rare metal iridium, which, they hypothesized, was from the dusty remains of an asteroid impact. In an article in Science, published in 1980, they proposed that this impact was so large that it triggered the mass extinction, and that the KT layer was the debris from that event. Most paleontologists rejected the idea that a sudden, random encounter with space junk had drastically altered the evolution of life on Earth. But as the years passed the evidence mounted, until, in a 1991 paper, the smoking gun was announced: the discovery of an impact crater buried under thousands of feet of sediment in the Yucatán peninsula, of exactly the right age, and of the right size and geochemistry, to have caused a worldwide cataclysm. The crater and the asteroid were named Chicxulub, after a small Mayan town near the epicenter.

De Palma was fascinated by bones even as a child, and he has been finding fossils for his entire life. If you have any interest in prehistory and dinosaurs, please read this article. You won’t be sorry.

The Washington Post, April 3: The last survivor of a slave ship has been identified, and her story is remarkable.

by Suzan Visser

She was captured at about the age of 12 in West Africa and forced aboard the Clotilda, the last slave vessel to arrive in the United States in 1860.

Now researchers have identified Redoshi as the last known African-born survivor of the transatlantic slave trade when she died in 1937, according to a statement released Tuesday by Newcastle University in Great Britain. Renamed Sally Smith in Alabama, she may have been 110 years old at the time of her death.

Until now, researchers believed the last survivor of the transatlantic slave trade was Oluale Kossola, also known as Cudjo Lewis. But, according to research by Hannah Durkin, a lecturer at Newcastle University, Redoshi lived two years longer than Cudjo, who died in 1935.

Durkin said she first saw a reference to Redoshi in the writings of Zora Neale Hurston and began researching her life story from other writings.

In 2018, HarperCollins published Hurston’s manuscript, “Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo,’” 90 years after she wrote it. “Barracoon” detailed the life of Kossola, or Cudjo Lewis, who was just a teenager when he was captured in what is now Benin. Kossola and more than 100 Africans were forced to board the Clotilda in 1860, even though the United States had banned the importation of enslaved people in 1808.

Read the rest at the link.

One more from NBC News: Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski might have been a woman or intersex.

Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.

By Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938)

Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

That’s the eye-opening takeaway from a new Smithsonian Channel documentary titled “The General Was Female?,” which premieres Monday and is part of the “America’s Hidden Stories” series.

“One of the ways that male and female skeletons are different is the pelvis,” Virginia Hutton Estabrook, an assistant professor of anthropology at Georgia Southern University, told NBC News. “In females, the pelvic cavity has a more oval shape. It’s less heart-shaped than in the male pelvis. Pulaski’s looked very female.”

While the Pulaski skeleton showed tell-tale signs of extensive horseback riding and a battle wound on the right hand that the general is known to have suffered, the facial structure and jaw angle were decidedly female, Estabrook said.

Read the rest at NBC News.

I hope you’ll find something here that appeals to you. Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and have a great weekend!


Wednesday Reads: The Usual BS

 

04/03 Mike Luckovich: Sunday’s half-priced!

04/02 Mike Luckovich: Touching moments

03/31 Mike Luckovich: Selective outrage.

04/03/2019 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

 

Close Talker Joe Biden: 04/03/2019 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe

Cartoon by J.D. Crowe - Close Talker Joe Biden

 

 

Bennett editorial cartoon: 04/03/2019 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Bennett editorial cartoon

04/03/2019 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

04/03/2019 Cartoon by Joel Pett

Cartoon by Joel Pett -

#MeToo over-reach: 04/02/2019 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - #MeToo over-reach

BE BEST: 04/01/2019 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - BE BEST

 

 

 

GA 6-Week Abortion Bill Passes: 03/30/2019 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - GA 6-Week Abortion Bill Passes

This is an open thread.


Sunday Reads: Witches of Women

 

Some observations, and if I had the the time…this motherfucker would…

Union County High School, here in Banjoville, has a problem. A rape culture problem.

You can read the pdf of the story here:

ngn-02-27-19-front-1.pdf

ngn-02-27-19-front-2.pdf

Just 57 boys sharing sexting pictures…nothing to see here. Send them to church, it will be ok…

Can you believe this shit…fucking hell.

(BTW, 57 boys, is about the entire team.)

I don’t know, I think we need some W.I.T.C.H.s up in here:

Feminist Fight Club on Instagram: “The only thing more powerful than a confident woman? An army of them. For the 31 days of #WomensHistoryMonth, we’re highlighting 31 badass…”

The only thing more powerful than a confident woman? An army of them. For the 31 days of #WomensHistoryMonth, we’re highlighting 31 badass feminist fight clubs you may not know, but should. Like, W.I.T.C.H., or the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, that formed on Halloween 1968 to protest sexism, racism and patriarchy. With chapters called “covens” (13 members in each), WITCH staged colorful hit and run protests called “zaps”—once gluing the doors to the New York stock exchange shut (the Dow fell five points the following day 😹); staging a “hex” on a Manhattan bridal fair in which they released 100 white mice into the convention hall; and organizing an “ogle-in” on Wall Street where the witches catcalled men. Today, WITCH is still active — with chapters in Boston, Seattle, Portland and more. From the original WITCH Manifesta: “There is no ‘joining’ WITCH. If you are a woman and dare to look within yourself, you are a WITCH. You make your own rules.” 💫 #31daysofFFC

Check it out:

These two articles from last year….

How the Socialist Feminists of WITCH Use Magic to Fight Capitalism – Broadly

The first incarnation of WITCH performed their inaugural action—a hex on Wall Street—on Halloween in 1968. Now a new generation of witches is taking up the mantle from the infamous provocateurs.

Is It OK to Hex a Nazi? How Anti-Fascist Witches Are Mobilizing Under Trump – Broadly

As Trump supporters and antifa clash throughout the country, witches are turning their magical attention towards the new administration—and their spells are not all about love and light.

I seriously wish there was a local chapter around here.

Just a few links on the Global Women’s Rights movement, Global women’s rights movement SheDecides event concludes in Kathmandu

The flagship event of SheDecides Day 2019 concluded in Kathmandu with a firm commitment from participants to advance the movement in their home countries, and plans taking shape in Nepal to build local momentum.

Only 6 countries give women the same work rights as men. The U.S. isn’t one of them. – The Washington Post

A decade ago, no country in the world treated men and women equally under the law, according to a gender equality index from the World Bank. Today, only six countries do — and the United States isn’t one of them.

A new index released this week by the World Bank analyzes how each country’s laws affect women at every stage in their working lives — from applying for a job to having a child to receiving a pension — and the extent to which legal gender equality has progressed over time.

The study shows that over the past 10 years, the majority of the world moved closer to gender equality under the law, raising the global average score from 70.06 to 74.71 today.

Well, we could always find ourselves living in a cubby hole: Will these be the worst new ‘rabbit hutch’ flats in Britain? | Money | The Guardian

Wearing one of these thingamabobs, Scold’s Bridle, a Metal Mask Was Used to Punish Mainly Women Found Gossiping, Nagging, Brawling With Neighbors or Lying ~ vintage everyday

Scold’s bridle is a metal mask meant to bring upon public humiliation. It originated from Britain and spread to other European Countries and was used to punish and torture women till about the 1800s. Scold’s bridle was assigned by the local magistrate to women found gossiping or quarrelling.

The device was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head (although some bridles were masks that depicted suffering.) A bridle-bit (or curb-plate), about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad was slid into the mouth and either pressed down on top of the tongue as a compress or used to raise the tongue to lay flat on the wearer’s palate. This prevented speaking and resulted in many unpleasant side effects for the wearer, including excessive salivation and fatigue in the mouth.

We lost Katherine Helmond this week, Katherine Helmond Golden Globe-Winner of ‘Who’s the Boss?’ Dies at 89 · Guardian Liberty Voice

Katherine Helmond’s talent agency APA informed CNN on Mar. 1, 2019 that the actress who was best known for her roles on “Who’s the Boss” and “Soap” died on Feb. 23 at her home in Los Angeles from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 89 years old.

Katherine Helmond, ‘Soap’ and ‘Who’s the Boss?’ Star, Dies at 89 – The New York Times

On “Soap,” ABC’s prime-time parody of daytime soap operas, which ran from 1977 to 1981, Ms. Helmond played Jessica Tate, a lovable aristocrat who was one of the show’s main characters. Some viewers, as is often the case, wrongly assumed that the character was her.

“After I did ‘Soap,’ ” she told The Boston Globe in 1998, “people thought that the casting director had gone to a dinner party or something and found this dizzy lady and brought her to Los Angeles. People are surprised to find out that I’m from a very working-class Irish Catholic family and that I didn’t come from a lot of money and go to a nice finishing school and live in a grand house in Connecticut.”

[…]

…more important to her was the example the character set for women in midlife, especially if they had been widowed or were otherwise facing an uncertain future.

In a videotaped oral history, she recalled in 2008, “I got letters from people saying, ‘When my husband passed away I thought it was the end of the world for me, but by watching your silly show I found out that there were other things in life.’ ”

[…]

Katherine became involved in local community theaters in junior high school and high school.

“I did everything,” she said in the oral history, for the Archive of Television History. “I pulled the curtain, I learned to do the lights, I did the props, I held the script. And I truly learned everybody’s job that contributed toward the total piece.

“I think that that helped me tremendously when I became a professional actor. I didn’t have the deluded notion that I was ‘it.’ ”

That community theater experience was essentially her acting training; she did not go to college or acting school. After graduating from high school she worked for several years with a professional theater in Houston, then went to New York. She began landing Off Broadway and summer-stock roles, and with several friends ran a summer theater in the Catskills for three seasons.

Ms. Helmond became a well-regarded stage actress in New York and beyond. In 1966, working with the Trinity Square Repertory Company in Providence, R.I., she took on the role of Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

“Miss Helmond gives all of Blanche’s irritating mannerisms,” Kevin Kelly wrote in a glowing review in The Boston Globe, “the coquettish come-on, the infuriating pretense, but she makes us understand (far more persuasively than many actresses I’ve seen in the role) the demons driving her beyond the brink. I’m not ashamed to admit that Miss Helmond brought tears to my eyes in three scenes.”

I always loved Katherine Helmond, especially fond of her performance in Brazil.

20 Beautiful Vintage Photos of Katherine Helmond From Between the Late 1970s and 1980s ~ vintage everyday

More pictures at the link.

I’ve got a few more items to share:

10 ‘Little People’ Myths From Around The World – Listverse

Domovoi

Photo credit: Ivan Bilibin

In Slavic folklore, they have house spirits called domovoi.[8] They look like a small man with either a beard or hair all over. Some stories say that they end up looking like the owner of their house, just with a grey beard and sometimes also a tail or horns. These spirits live behind the oven and protect the house, its inhabitants, and their animals. Every house has one, but it is never seen. Instead, people are only aware of it through the noises it makes, such as through footsteps or murmuring.

To keep the domovoi happy, people would leave milk or bread in a corner near the oven. When the domovoi feels respected, he does his best to protect the family, but if they upset him, he causes mischief. He does so by riding their horses or cows all night so that they’re too tired to work during the day, tripping them in the dark, or making milk go bad. If people moved, the domovoi would come with them; otherwise, they wouldn’t be safe.

I saw that bit come through my Newsblur service and I had no choice but to post it here…y’all know my weakness.

And since we started this post about teenagers….and women, and stuff, here is a compare and contrast….

45 Cool Pics Show What Teenage Girls Looked Like in the 1850s ~ vintage everyday

28 Cool Snaps That Defined the ’80s Teen Hairstyles ~ vintage everyday

It is funny, the clothes and hairstyles may change, but the expressions are similar…

This is an open thread.


Sunday Reads: Murder Victims

I would say these are the Tree of Life Synagogue Murder Victims….

 

As Tree of Life Victims Are Identified, Pittsburgh Rallies Together | Vanity Fair

After yesterday’s devastating shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the city and its wonderful community have been rallying around the synagogue.

Officials at a Sunday morning press conference identified the 11 people killed in the shooting including one married couple and two brothers.

[…]

Prosecutors charged Robert Bowers, the suspected shooter, with 29 counts—including 11 counts of murdering victims who were exercising their religious beliefs and 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder.

[…]

“The news was in the air, along with the shock and the sadness, the grief and the gruesome details, the worst of which were confirmed within hours,” wrote Pittsburgh Post-Gazetteexecutive editor David M. Shribman, who himself lives three blocks from Tree of Life. “You could hear it in the sirens that broke the stillness of the morning and shattered the serenity of the Saturday routines at the cleaners, at the shoe store, at the hotcake house. No need, of course, in a place like this to identify the name of the cleaners, the shoe store, the hotcake house. Everyone knows them, just as they know the names of almost everyone along Forbes Avenue at any time of the day.”

Many have turned to the words of Fred Rogers, who was perhaps the neighborhood’s most famous resident, for comfort. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” Rogers said. The quote traveled across social media, onto CNN and the TodayShow, and into the pages of The New York Times over the weekend. Rogers’s home was three blocks from Tree of Life.

Fox News guest blames CNN after mail bombs: They ‘make no effort’ to understand why people chant ‘CNN sucks’

Fox News guest on Sunday blamed CNN for not trying to understand why people like suspected mail bomber Cesar Sayoc repeat the slogan “CNN sucks.”

During on Fox News segment about the attempted mail bombings, host Howard Kurtz asked if it was fair to blame President Donald Trump for the toxic atmosphere his rhetoric creates.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” Emily Jashinsky of The Federalist said. “And it takes responsibility away from where it belongs: with the sick and twisted individuals who are committing these heinous crimes, whether it’s [the synagogue shooting] or whether it was earlier this week with these pipe bombs. To blame anybody but the people responsible for this, I find disgraceful and unfortunate.”

Then the Democrat Fox had on as a rebuttal:

 

… Adrienne Elrod argued that Trump’s rhetoric “is a big problem here.”

“There is a divisiveness in this country that the president of the United States has created,” she explained. “He criticizes the media. We’ve had media who have had to have Secret Service protection. He’s not doing anything to try to bring this country together.”

But Jashinsky suggested that CNN could have prevented the mail bombs if it had tried to “understand” why Trump fans chant “CNN sucks” at his rallies, where Sayoc was seen with a sign expressing the same sentiment.

Then came the crap…

Jashinsky said that she was hesitant to talk about her views on CNN “because obviously CNN was the victim.”

“They had a device sent to their headquarters — whatever,” she continued. “When you see at rallies people chanting, ‘CNN sucks’ — I would never do it personally — but CNN makes no effort to understand why people feel that way. They do the opposite. Right? They act like they are the victims, that they’ve done nothing wrong to deserve this.”

According to Jashinsky, the lower-third graphics on CNN broadcasts are what “gets people so upset.”

“There’s no room for violence,” she said. “There’s no room to be sending devices to CNN, it has to stop. I hate it. But they need some self-reflection.”

Video at the link…if you care.

One more link:

The True Toll Of Donald Trump’s Words | HuffPost

Saturday morning, President Donald Trump attacked a Democratic Senate candidate on Twitter, calling her a “Nancy Pelosi Wacko!”

Just a short while later, speaking about the horrific shooting massacre in Pittsburgh that killed at least 11 people, Trump lamented, “It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country… It’s a violent world. You think when you’re over it, it just goes away but then it comes back in the form of a madman, a wacko.”

Within a few hours, the president of the United States applied the term “wacko” to one of the most accomplished public servants in our nation’s history and then used precisely the same term for a deranged murderer.

Earlier last week, on the same day that numerous pipe bombs targeted several prominent Democrats and Trump critics, the president declared that, “We have to unify. We have to come together and send the unmistakable message, that acts or threats and political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”

In the very next breath, Trump returned to his divisive refrains attacking and blaming the media for the hate infecting our country. “The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories,” he said.

The next paragraph of this op/ed goes on with the same shit…tRump is “ignorant of what he does vs he doesn’t care” …I think we all know that he knows exactly what he is doing…and he fucking doesn’t care.

Words matter. Trump more than anybody understands this. From the first day of his campaign, his political strategy has relied on the use of insults like “crooked,” “crazy,” “weak,” “lyin’,” and “wacko” to smear his opponents and mobilize his supporters.

The events of the past week has revealed the true toll that Trump’s words are having on our society. And I am afraid it is only going to get worse.

The scariest thing isn’t that Trump says what he says, it’s that there are those who cheer him for it. Who believe it when he says the free press is “the enemy of the people.” Who laugh when he mocks a disabled reporter. Who chant “lock her up” after Hillary Clinton was mailed an explosive device. Who look the other way when reports surface revealing how foreign powers are eavesdropping on the president’s cell phone conversations because he refuses to use a secure line. Who applaud when he attacks victims of sexual assault. Who would rather militarize schools and churches than consider any reform to our nation’s gun laws.

Read the rest at the link…

One last thing before I go…

 

I spent some time at a local domestic violence crisis center, handing out candy to the children who are being kept safe by staying behind a twelve foot electrified fence topped with razor wire…at an undisclosed location. A prison of “safety” to keep the family protected from the violence of “loved ones” who want to kill them.

I’m going to continue to go back there. I met these three women, I will call them the Ladies Auxiliary…who were a powerhouse of strength. You could tell they had the determination to push through, but the exhaustion was plainly visible. When I told them that my derby name was Jugzz of Fury…. they started laughing and all of them were saying, “Oooo, we got that too….” “Yeah, we have full Jugs of Fury!” Spectacular boobs and luscious curves was a fantastic feature we all shared in common.

There was many children, toddlers..young boys but mostly preteen and teen aged girls…who are at that age where having women with a strong body positive role model is an important.

I am so happy to be a part of WFTDA Roller Derby, it is truly a great experience…Roller Derby is exercise, sisterhood and a form of therapy that is totally beneficial for everyone involved.

If you are on Facebook, be sure to like our page:

 North Georgia Roller Girls – Home

 

 

Anyway, this is an open thread.

 


Lazy Saturday Reads: I Have No Words

Judith Slaying Holofernes, Artemisia Gentileschi

Good Morning!!

I have no words today.

Thanks to Delphyne for this article at The Guardian: More savage than Caravaggio: the woman who took revenge in oil.

Two women are holding a man down on a bed. One presses her fist against his head, so he can’t raise it from the mattress, while her companion pins his torso in place. They are well-built with powerful arms but even so it takes their combined strength to keep their victim immobilised as one of them cuts through his throat with a gleaming sword. Blood spurts from deep red geysers as she saws. She won’t stop until his head is fully severed. Her victim’s eyes are wide open. He knows exactly what is happening to him.

The dying man is Holofernes, an enemy of the Israelites in the Old Testament, and the young woman beheading him is Judith, his divinely appointed assassin. Yet at the same time he is also an Italian painter called Agostino Tassi, while the woman with the sword is Artemisia Gentileschi, who painted this. It is, effectively, a self-portrait.

Susanna and the Elders, artemisia gentileschi

Two big, blood-drenched paintings of Judith and Holofernes by Gentileschi survive, one in the Capodimonte in Naples, the other in the Uffizi in Florence. They are almost identical except for small details – in Naples Judith’s dress is blue, in Florence yellow – as if this image was a nightmare she kept having, the final act to a tragedy endlessly replaying in her head.

“This is the ring you gave me and these are your promises!” yelled Gentileschi as she was tortured in a Rome courtroom in 1612. Ropes were wrapped around her fingers and pulled tight. The judge had advised moderate use of the sibille, as this torture was called, for she was after all 18. Across the court sat the man who had raped her. No one thought of torturing him. Defiantly, Gentileschi told him her thumbscrews were the wedding ring he’d promised. Again and again, she repeated that her testimony about the rape was reliable: “It is true, it is true, it is true, it is true.

Tassi was hired by Gentileschi’s father to give her painting lessons.

Tassi tricked his way into her room and started making unwanted offers of sex, she testified. “He then threw me on to the edge of the bed, pushing me with a hand on my breast, and he put a knee between my thighs to prevent me from closing them. Lifting my clothes, he placed a hand with a handkerchief on my mouth to keep me from screaming.”

She fought back. “I scratched his face,” she told the court, “and pulled his hair and, before he penetrated me again, I grasped his penis so tight that I even removed a piece of flesh.” But she couldn’t stop him. Afterwards, she rushed to a drawer and got out a knife. “I’d like to kill you with this knife because you have dishonoured me,” she shouted. He opened his coat and said: “Here I am.” Gentileschi threw the knife but he shielded himself. “Otherwise,” she said, “I might have killed him.”

1498 self portrait, artemisia gentileschi

Read the rest at The Guardian. It’s a story that still rings true today. Gentileschi’s rapist was found guilty but wasn’t punished, and she was tortured. It’s a story as old as time and as modern as today when a Senate dominated by old, white Republican will elevate an attempted rapist, sexual abuser, and right wing political activist to the highest court in the land.

Centuries after Gentileschi was tortured by the legal system of her day, women are still routinely raped, sexually abused, and even murdered in the name of male supremacy. And when they dare to speak about what was done to them, they are abused again by the “justice” system and betrayed by colluding women like Maine Senator Susan Collins.

What is wrong with these men, beginning with Donald Trump, pretender to the presidency? Because I’m feeling mean, I’m going to post this Twitter thread.

I’m not sure I agree with this analysis, but I have always seen Trump as effeminate. His vanity, his hair, his odd hand gestures, he’s so far from masculine. Is that why he hates and abuses women? Because he feels weak and inadequate? That’s what I suspect.

Here’s piece by Jaco at The St. Louis American: Brett Kavanaugh and Republican white maledom.

Like most 68-year-old white males, I’m disgusted that an ideologue and perjurer accused of sexual assault is about to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

That sentence, of course is a lie. And the lie is in the first seven words. Most 68-year-old white males want Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. The respected Quinnipiac University poll shows 48 percent of Americans polled oppose Kavanaugh, while 42 percent support him. But 59 percent of white men want Kavanaugh, along with 45 percent of white women.

African Americans oppose Kavanaugh by 81 percent, while Hispanics dislike him by a 65 percent margin. In fact, the poll finds Kavanaugh is unpopular among every demographic group except white people over age 50, where the majority support him. Not co-incidentally, white people over age 50 vote in huge numbers and control the big money donations to the GOP.

Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, Artemisia Gentileschi

The entire Kavanaugh process has been one of the most blatant examples of minority rule since apartheid fell. Kavanaugh raged in self-pity during testimony. The White House limited the FBI “investigation” into sexual assault charges. Trump mocked Kavanaugh’s accuser. Majority Leader U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell sniffed that the GOP “won’t be intimidated” by sexual assault survivors. In every case, conservative white men snarled about how they, not Prof. Christine Blasey Ford or the rule of law, were the victims.

Charlie Cook, founder of the often-indispensable Cook Political Report, crunched the numbers and found that conservative Republican white males make up 18 percent of the American population. And yet they make up 100 percent of the GOP on the Senate Judiciary Committee, 100 percent of Republican leadership in the Senate, and 84 percent of the GOP Senate majority.

They’re determined to put a man with the judicial temperament of Bart Simpson on the bench for one simple reason. They want him as the fifth Supreme Court vote to erase every “liberal” decision of the last 60 years that has given expanded rights to blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, consumers, workers, and anyone else not part of conservative white maledom.

Click on the link to read the rest.

More recommended reads:

Yahoo News: Christine Blasey Ford’s Attorneys Reveal Statement From Corroborating Witness.

Yahoo News: Minutes after Sen. Susan Collins announced her support for Brett Kavanaugh, the site to fund her opponent was so overwhelmed that it crashed.

Statement from Debbie Ramirez (PDF)

The New York Times Editorial Board: The High Court Brought Low. Don’t let Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh have the last word about American justice.

Michael Tomasky at The New York Times: The Supreme Court’s Legitimacy Crisis.

Dahlia Lithwick and Susan Matthews: Investigation at Yale Law School.

Yahoo News: Lawsuits point to large trove of unreleased Kavanaugh White House documents.

The New York Times: House Democrat Promises Kavanaugh Investigation if Party Wins Control.

The Intercept: Sen. Susan Collins and Brett Kavanaugh are both in the Bush family inner circle. That helps explain her vote.

The New Yorker: The Tears of Brett Kavanaugh.

That’s all I have for now. Please take care of yourselves this weekend.