Misogyny is Everywhere

No. That picture isn’t a joke.  Some Brit jean company thinks putting “Give it to your woman, it’s her job” on the washing instructions is snarky.

We are not amused.

Jeans sold at the UK store Madhouse made headlines this week after British journalist Emma Barnett picked up her boyfriend’s jeans while tidying the house.

On the washing-instructions tag, she read “machine wash warm.” Under that was the washing advice that would quickly set off a Twitter firestorm:

“OR — GIVE IT TO YOUR WOMAN, IT’S HER JOB.”

It’s so rampant these days that even Kristen Powers “hijacked” Hannity about misogynistic sermons.

On Tuesday night, Kirsten Powers joined Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson on Sean Hannity‘s Great American Panel. Veering from scheduled discussion topics, Powers directly addressed Peterson about his sermons, citing what she called “misogynist” statements.

“I didn’t know I was going to be sitting here” with Peterson, Powers said. She then confronted him, saying, “You said women are creating a shameless society, and that they are destroying the family, and they shouldn’t be put in powerful businesses. Address that.”

“Most Americans know that liberal women are destroying the family, they hate men, they hate society,” Peterson responded. Powers replied, “That is absolutely false,” turning to Hannity, asking, “Sean, do I hate men, do I hate you?”

“I hope not,” he answered.

Powers went on: “You are a pastor distorting God’s word for misogyny. What do you mean — when you say women —when you say you leave a woman alone in charge a family and she destroys the family?”

“We allowed the national organization of women who hate men to come in years ago,” Peterson said, to which Powers protested. Peterson continued, “We left them alone, look what condition we are in today; out of wedlock birth, abortion.”

“I have to step in,” Hannity interjected, noting this was not a topic he was anticipating on the show. “You are hijacking the show.” Powers said, “I didn’t know I was going to be on with him.”

Questioning Powers’ outrage, Peterson said, “If you believe what you believe, why are you upset at me? I’m not upset at you.”

“Because you’re a pastor using God’s word to teach misogyny to people,” Powers replied.

We’ve been learning a lot the last few years about rampant misogyny, racism, and homophobia. The level of discourse in this country is not improved by the many people that have no problem slamming people simply for biological traits over which they have no control.  They are all closely linked and appalling.

This is the latest JC Penney ad under attack. It shows a married lesbian couple with their daughter.

The One Million Moms are back with a new crusade — slamming JCPenney for including a lesbian couple in their Mother’s Day campaign.

Perhaps those one million moms need to get a life?

The conservative group issued a statement to get their members to take action against JCPenney, saying that the retailer is “taking sides” in the “cultural war” on gay rights:

“On pages ten and eleven, under the title “Freedom of Expression,” you’ll find ‘Wendi and her partner Maggie and daughters.’ In the picture both women are wearing wedding bands.”

It continues to be time to put our money, mouths, and beliefs into action.


These are not My American Values

The U.S. Constitution clearly states that the government shall not establish any religion as a state religion.  It confirms the rights of people to be safe in their privacy and that they should not be subject to unreasonable search or seizure. There are very clear powers delineated so that the majority cannot assert a form of tyranny and remove the rights of the minority.  For a group that holds that Constitution supposedly in esteem, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann,  many Republicans, and a good deal of the so-called Tea Party movement sure don’t seem to get the fundamentals of the U.S. Constitution. I descended from two signers of that document and five signers of the Declaration of Independence.  I grew up surrounded by lawyers and veterans of foreign wars that knew what it meant to fight for the rights there in. That is why I get totally mad when I read things like this: Herman Cain: Americans Have The Right To Ban Mosques .

Herman Cain says voters across the country should have the right to prevent Muslims from building mosques in their communities.

In an exchange on “Fox News Sunday,” the Republican presidential contender said that he sided with some in a town near Nashville who were trying to prevent Muslims from worshiping in their community.

“Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” he said. “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”

Asked by host Chris Wallace if any community could ban a mosque if it wanted to, Cain said: “They have a right to do that.”

Cain, an African-American who grew up during the civil rights era, claimed he was not discriminating against Muslims. He said it was “totally different” than the fight for racial equality because there were laws prohibiting blacks from advancing.

Nonetheless, Cain has drawn backlash for comments about Muslims in the past, saying that he would be uncomfortable if a Muslim served in his Cabinet if he were elected president.

“I’m willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists,” Cain said Sunday. “If you look at my career, I have never discriminated against anybody. … I’m going to err on the side of caution.”

It’s difficult to think of things to say to this other than it’s plain old bigotry and hatred.  Bigotry and hatred are not one of my American Values.  I value tolerance.

Here’s another example of something that should go without saying.

He may not agree with the vote in New York to legalize gay marriage, but former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the Republican Party should butt out of the bedroom and stick to fiscal policy. “I think the Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms and let these things get decided by states,” Giuliani said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’d be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots.”

It saddens me to see one of the two major political parties hellbent on preventing women from practicing their constitutional right to abortion and access to birth control, stopping GLBT citizens from having full civil rights, and standing in the way of any religion to practice their beliefs as they see fit.  These are extremist religious positions and have nothing to do with any American Value that I’ve ever grown up knowing.   We need to keep speaking up vehemently that we will not tolerate any one in this country decimating the civil liberties and constitutional rights of others. It’s WE THE PEOPLE, not we the white, right wing, extremist christians in the country.

Something to think about from My Fellow American.


Michele Bachmann’s Homophobia: Is it Reaction Formation?

Michele Bachmann and family

A couple of days ago, I read a fascinating piece about Michele Bachmann by The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. It’s a real eye-opener, and the information in it spurred me on a voyage of discovery across the internet as I tried to understand what happened to this woman to cause her to embrace her bizarre religious beliefs and her extreme right-wing political ideology. For the purposes of this post, I want to focus primarily on Bachmann’s homophobia.

Goldberg begins her article with a particularly vivid episode from Bachmann’s tenure in the Minnesota state senate:

In April 2005, Pamela Arnold wanted to talk to her state senator, Michele Bachmann, who was then running for Congress. A 46-year-old who worked at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Arnold lived with her partner, the famed Arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, on a farm in Scandia, Minnesota. Bachmann was then leading the fight against gay marriage in the state. She’d recently been in the news for hiding in the bushes to observe a gay rights rally at the Capitol. So when members of the Scandia gay community decided to attend one of Bachmann’s constituent forums, Arnold, wanting to make herself visible to her representative, joined them.

A few dozen people showed up at the town hall for the April 9 event, and Bachmann greeted them warmly. But when, during the question and answer session, the topic turned to gay marriage, Bachmann ended the meeting 20 minutes early and rushed to the bathroom. Hoping to speak to her, Arnold and another middle-aged woman, a former nun, followed her. As Bachmann washed her hands and Arnold looked on, the ex-nun tried to talk to her about theology. Suddenly, after less than a minute, Bachmann let out a shriek. “Help!” she screamed. “Help! I’m being held against my will!”

Arnold, who is just over 5 feet tall, was stunned, and hurried to open the door. Bachmann bolted out and fled, crying, to an SUV outside. Then she called the police, saying, according to the police report, that she was “absolutely terrified and has never been that terrorized before as she had no idea what those two women were going to do to her.” The Washington County attorney, however, declined to press charges, writing in a memo, “It seems clear from the statements given by both women that they simply wanted to discuss certain issues further with Ms. Bachmann.”

Bachmann’s anxiety at being confronted by three lesbians was so extreme that instead of either responding to their questions or politely excusing herself and calmly walking away, she screamed, cried, and called the police!

Now let’s look at the previous episode when Bachmann was photographed hiding behind bushes to covertly watch a gay rights rally. The context was that Bachmann had just left the State Senate after proposing a bill to ban gay marriage in Minnesota.

“The state Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to force a floor vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage as thousands of ban opponents rallied outside the Capitol. Sen. Michele Bachmann, the Stillwater Republican who’s led the push for the ban, said Senate Democrats have denied her repeated efforts to get the bill heard. Senate leaders countered that Bachmann, a candidate for the U.S. House, is flouting Senate rules to advance her own political career. At the same time, about 2,500 gays, lesbians and their supporters attended a rally on the Capitol grounds just a few hundred yards away, organized by OutFront Minnesota.” [Star Tribune]

After the move didn’t pan out, Michele took to hiding in the bushes to watch the queers rally

Another story reports that during the hearing 100 of the rally participants

…filed inside the Capitol building and took their place in the Senate gallery overlooking the proceedings. With a crowd on hand, Bachmann issued a motion to bypass the committee and have the floor vote on the bill right then and there–a highly unusual move in state Senate proceedings. Even more bizarre: While making her case, she addressed not the Senate floor as per protocol, but the gallery above.

In my opinion, these out-of-proportion reactions suggest that Bachmann’s extreme homophobia is a cover for deep fears that she has about herself or people close to her. I believe she is unconsciously engaging in the defense mechanism of reaction formation to deal with this anxiety.

Follow me below the fold…. Read the rest of this entry »


Friday Reads

Good Morning!

President Obama was on the road yesterday as well as making TV appearances. Suppose that means the campaign days are here again. CBS news reported an exchange between a laid off government worker and the President.

In one of the more personal exchanges from CBS News’ town hall with President Obama, one audience member, a pregnant woman who recently found out she was being laid off from her government job, asked the president for some earnest advice: “What would you do, if you were me?”

Karin Gallo, who jokingly described her job at the National Zoo as “non-essential employee number seven,” said she had taken a job in government “thinking it was a secure job” – but that now, she feared for her family’s future.

“I am seven months pregnant in a high-risk pregnancy, my first pregnancy,” Gallo told Mr. Obama. “My husband and I are in the middle of building a house. We’re not sure if we’re gonna be completely approved. I’m not exactly in a position to waltz right in and do great on interviews, based on my timing with the birth.”

“And so, I’m stressed, I’m worried,” she continued. “I’m scared about what my future holds. I definitely need a job. And, I just wonder what would you do, if you were me?”

More information is coming out on the Republican contenders for President.  This shows yet another Republican that has thrived taking funds and hand-outs from the government.  Who is it?  It’s our  reality star, self-promoting, egoist Donald Trump as reported by the LA Times.

From his first high-profile project in New York City in the 1970s to his recent campaigns to reduce taxes on property he owns around the country, Trump has displayed a consistent pattern. He courted public officials, sought their backing for government tax breaks under extraordinarily beneficial terms and fought any resistance to deals he negotiated.

He has boasted of manipulating government agencies, misleading officials in one case into believing he had an exclusive agreement to develop a property and then retroactively changing the development’s accounting practices to shrink his tax bill. In New York, Trump was the first developer to receive a public subsidy for commercial projects under programs initially reserved for improving slum neighborhoods. Such incentives have now become the norm in the powerful New York real estate community.

Karen Burstein, a former auditor general of New York City, reviewed a major Trump project in the 1980s and concluded he had “cheated” the city out of nearly $2.9 million. Decades later, Burstein said she was still appalled at the way Trump operated.

“It’s extraordinary to me that we elevated someone to this position of public importance who has openly admitted that he has used government’s incompetence as a wedge to increase his private fortune,” she said in a recent interview.

It seems that  al-Jazeera’s Dorothy Parvaz was deportated from Syria to Iran this week after being missing last week.  Her father is reported to be quite worried about her.

Her father, Fred Parvaz, who lives in Vancouver, told the Guardian: “I haven’t heard anything of late. We are in the dark. Syrian officials have made a statement that Dorothy was sent to Tehran on 1 May. But I have yet to receive confirmation from any authority in Iran that this is the case.”

“I am gravely concerned. I have not heard from her for two weeks. No word, no contact, nothing. We are a very close family so this really breaks my heart,” he said.

Parvaz, a 68-year-old physics and computer studies teacher, said al-Jazeera was trying to approach Iranian officials to get confirmation that she was in the country and was also attempting to create a line of communication with her.

Parvaz, who migrated from Tabriz in north-west Iran and has lived in Canada for 26 years, also said that the Canadian foreign ministry was making interventions on his daughter’s behalf. “But all these efforts so far have been fruitless,” he said.

The Guardian also reports that the EU is expected to sanction Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The EU is expected to agree on personal sanctions against the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and other members of the regime over the continuing killing of protesters, sources said.

The US Senate has also called for the president to be directly targeted but few observers believe the measures will be enough to change the government’s “security first” strategy, which involves suppressing protests and only then opening a “dialogue” with opposition figures.

The regime was on Thursday preparing to quash any upsurge in demonstrations following Friday prayers tomorrow. Tanks have been deployed across the south, particularly in towns around Deraa, the epicentre of the pro-democracy demonstrations.

The US State Department condemned  the Ugandan anti-gay bill as “odious”.

The State Department Thursday condemned a proposed bill in the Ugandan parliament that could make engaging in homosexual acts a capital offense punishable by death. The bill may be debated Friday by the Ugandan parliament.

“No amendments, no changes, would justify the passage of this odious bill,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. “Both (President Barack Obama) and (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) publicly said it is inconsistent with universal human rights standards and obligations.”

The State Department, he said, is joining Uganda’s own human rights commissions in calling for the bill’s rejection.

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! CBS reports that ‘SEAL helmet cams recorded entire bin Laden raid’. It really looked like they were watching TV in that sit room pic didn’t it?

A new picture emerged Thursday of what really happened the night the Navy SEALs swooped in on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports the 40 minutes it took to kill bin Laden and scoop his archives into garbage bags were all recorded by tiny helmet cameras worn by each of the 25 SEALs.

Officials reviewing those videos are still reconstructing a more accurate version of what happened. We now know that the only firefight took place in the guest house, where one of bin Laden’s couriers opened fire and was quickly gunned down. No one in the main building got off a shot or was even armed, although there were weapons nearby.

Kadafi appeared on TV and was swiftly attacked by NATO jets shortly thereafter.

News services reported that NATO warplanes struck Kadafi’s fortified complex and several other sites in the capital, the second aerial bombardment of Tripoli in a 48-hour period. Reports from the scene indicated that the target could have been an underground bunker.

A North Atlantic Treaty Organization official said the site was a “disguised” command center for the Libyan military, one of a number of such facilities that Kadafi has tried to conceal amid a punishing aerial assault.

“He’s forced to hide whatever remains of his severely damaged command-and-control network,” said the NATO official, who could not be named under alliance guidelines.

The strikes in Tripoli came after Kadafi appeared on state television for the first time in almost two weeks.

Most of the fighting in the country is centered around Misurata which is now thought to be under rebel control.  There’s some speculation that Kadafi’s days in office may be numbered

Rebel advances in Misurata have opened up the port for renewed deliveries of humanitarian aid and other supplies, officials said, bringing some relief to a city that has come to epitomize resistance to Kadafi’s rule. Rebels seized control of Misurata’s airport this week in a step hailed as a major opposition triumph after weeks of street fighting in Libya’s third-most-populous city.

But it was unclear how much further the opposition could push out from the enclave of Misurata against Kadafi’s superior forces on the city’s eastern and western edges. Experts have also not ruled out the possibility of a government counterattack on Misurata, the only western coastal city that remains in rebel hands.

Nonetheless, the rebel advances in Misurata, combined with the aerial strikes in the capital, have been seized on by the opposition as a sign that Kadafi’s regime is tottering under mounting pressure.

There have also been widely reported accounts of unrest in Tripoli, where the embargo against Kadafi’s regime has led to fuel and food shortages. The opposition has also alleged escalating defections and desertions from Kadafi’s ranks, though the reports remain unconfirmed.

Well, that’s some of the news that’s fit to print.  There’s probably lots more out there!  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Simpson Strikes Again

Alan Simpson, Co-chair of President Obama’s Catfood Commission has opened his mouth again, attacking seniors:

…because they are unhappy with his ideas for reducing the deficit by cutting Social Security benefits while reducing corporate taxes.

“I’ve never had any nastier mail or [been in a] more difficult position in my life,” Simpson told Jeremy Pelzer at the Casper Star-Tribune. “Just vicious. People I’ve known, relatives [saying], ‘You son of a bitch. How could you do this?'”

[….]

“We had the greatest generation,” Simpson said. “I think this is the greediest generation.”

Maybe you all have heard about this already–I wasn’t following the news too closely yesterday–but I just had to frontpage it. The nerve of this man! And why isn’t President Obama responding to his ugly slurs of elderly people who paid into Social Security for their entire lives? Why should we take cuts in Social Security so that rich people like Simpson can take more money for themselves?

From TPM:

The problem, Simpson explained, is the “polarized” country we live in, and the media that exemplifies it. He then to reeled off the media figures ruining America for deficit commissioners like him.

“You don’t want to listen to the right and the left — the extremes,” he said. “You don’t want to listen to Keith Olbermann and Rush Babe [Limbaugh] and Rachel Minnow [sic] or whatever that is, and Glenn Beck. They’re entertainers. They couldn’t govern their way out of a paper sack — from the right or the left. But they get paid a lot of money from you and advertisers — thirty, fifty million a year — to work you over and get you juiced up with emotion, fear, guilt, and racism. Emotion, fear, guilt, and racism.

Simpson refers to Rachel Maddow as “that.” Is that because she’s a lesbian or because she’s a woman or both?

At FDL, Jon Walker writes: Is Simpson an Obama-Appointed Bully or Sexist?

While I don’t know former Republican Senator Alan Simpson personally and can’t say definitively whether or not he is a sexist, his behavior says a lot about him. He’s repeatedly behaved and spoken in a manner completely consistent with sexists who have strong disdain for intelligent women. His schoolyard attempts at bullying women, the strange terms he uses, and his incredibly childish attempts at demeaning women who dare criticize with name calling are all trademarks of a sexist.

Walker ends with this:

I could care less about Simpson’s behavior if it weren’t for the fact that President Obama appointed him co-chair of the bipartisan President’s Deficit Commission. It’s disconcerting that Obama tolerates this sexist behavior. Why would he appoint Simpson and stay silent as Simpson used the perch Obama gave him to lash out in such a childish manner and pointedly against women?

The fact that President Obama has not yet countered any of the ugly words that have come out of Simpson’s mouth strongly suggests that Obama himself agrees with Simpson’s views. And Obama dares to call himself a Democrat?

But should Jon Walker or anyone else really be surprised? Obama is the same person who during the primaries in 2008 characterized Hillary Clinton’s experiences as First Lady as drinking tea with foreign ambassadors. He’s the same guy who suggested that Hillary’s “claws come out” if you “challenge the status quo,” and that when Hillary “is feeling down” she “periodically launches attacks.”

No one should be surprised at Obama supporting attacks on the elderly or gays either. Here at Skydancing, we can easily cite the many previous examples of President Obama’s disrespect for seniors and gays.

Alan Simpson is simply saying aloud in very crude language what the President of the United States apparently believes in his heart–if he has one.