Friday, August 29, 2008

A Woman? They Are Desperate!

For the traditional Old White Man Club of Republican candidates (tm), and especially John McCain, to suck it up and choose a female running mate, they must realize they are in deep sh!t.

I can't wait to see how this all pans out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On Feminism, #1

I was recently debating with someone on the internet about whether feminism is still needed in society, and about the meaning of "overthrowing the patriarchy." You know the usual arguments that people have regarding feminism.

It all started with this article about frivolous lawsuit king Roy Den Hollander. I'm sure you've heard it about by now. But if you haven't, Hollander is suing Columbia University because they offer a women's studies program.

I believe Fannie, and others, have already sufficiently addressed most of the reasons why this lawsuit is unnecessary and ridiculous.

But I will give my take on it.

This man I was arguing with, Babo, insisted that women now have equal rights. In fact, he ventured beyond equal, and stated that women basically now have more rights than men. And that the alleged goal of "women's studies" programs is to "overthrow the patriarchy" by giving women "everything" and leaving men completely out of things.

I know.

Like most MRAs, his need to oversimplify, overgeneralize, create straw men, and fight windmills that to him represent The Entire Feminist Movement leads to quite a slippery slope. Namely, that femininsts are all out to destroy all men. And now he is just sick and tired of being told "10,000 times" that because he is a man, he is a rapist and violent. You can read the entire exchange here.

Frankly, I don't want to bore you with the entire thing and I've had a long, hard day saving lives to get into it again.

I am too frustrated to explain the simple premises of feminism that men (and some women) like this fail to take the time to learn about. But they are listed conveniently at one place. I don't sincerely expect an anti-feminist to venture to this site, because anti-feminists usually aren't looking for explanations that oppose their prejudices and sexism. All they want is validation from other like-minded men and subserviant women. As men, I suppose they already have the entire world figured out. Men are objective, and correct. Always. And women are whiny, subjective, emotional babies.

Babo is smart enough to not go that far with it. He is smart enough to realize that, "of course," women deserve equal rights, "everyone" knows that by now. But then he immediately goes on to say that women are way past equal rights, to the detriment of men, and dammit our boys are sufferin!

But let's take a look at some things that should make everyone question, as Fannie calls it, The Invisible Ideology.

For example, a man might explain the fact that 138 out of 138 books and authors listed in Wikipedia's "Great Books" entry are written by men, by saying "women just aren't as naturally driven or ambitious" as men. Or "men just write better books." After all, that's just the way it's always been. Men are just the authors of every "important book" out there.

Or would they even notice that all the authors are men?

Would most women even notice?

I mean, is the patriarchy so incredibly invisible that people really believe that the only great books throughout our millenia of existence writing books were written by men? And by mostly white men, at that?

Is it really a "feminist" thought to question this belief, a belief that is held by most "educatated" people in the Western world? Or is it just plain beneficial for all of humankind to question this inherent by-product of patriarchy?

Another internet search of "Great Books" led me to this website: "From the ancient classics to the masterpieces of the 20th century, the Great Books are all the introduction you’ll ever need to the ideas, stories, and discoveries that have shaped modern civilization."

That's right folks, these books have shaped modern civilization as we all know it! And guess what? The list starts in the year 1790 BCE with Hammurabi, and the first female author isn't present until nearly 4 thousand years later when the famous, mostly self-educated, recluse Emily Bronte was born in 1818. Yet, even after she wrote her books, many claimed that her brother Branwell wrote her books instead.

From then on, women make up a few more, mere pinpoint specks in the "shaping our entire civilization" mural that consists of mostly white male authors.

I strongly suspect that the only way, in fact, to get a list of great, influential books written by women--and there are plenty--would be to visit a feminist website, or to take (as was my one "feminist" class in undergrad) a Women & Literature class in school.

For anyone to claim that the effects of learning about male-only authors continuously throughout school have no resounding effects on what females accomplish is naive, at best. Deliberately ignorant at worst.

Further, to sue a school for its curriculum that includes women, as well as men, in its anthropological history is just plain selfish.

And like so many other feminists have decried, "isn't every other course in school a course in men's studies?" It certainly appears to be the case. These are courses that every student is required to take in order to graduate.

Students are never forced to become women's studies minors (as a major isn't offered at the school, check their website) in order to get a degree or graduate.

Yes, in spite of women's suffrage in the past century, and Babo's (and more accurately Christina Hoff Sommers') so-called "equity feminists" of the 1st wave of feminism, women's studies is still a very necessary vocation. Especially considering that despite women gaining the right to vote, more reproductive rights, the rights to themselves (meaning rape laws are no longer property crimes against the man who owns the woman), most students get through their schooling without ever being taught about influential women, why women were excluded from political offices until the 20th century in most countries, or women's literature. They are still learning that the single most important people in western civilization are white men. And after that, and in other cultures, the most important people are just men. Of any color.

As someone on the Feminism 101 blog states, throughout every story, fable, cartoon, movie, novel, poem, epic, etc. men are written as the active protagonist. The hero. Women only ever serve as their decorations, prizes, or damsels in distress that need rescued. (random shoutout to the Buffy series and creator Joss Whedon for being an exception).

Basically, to think all of those social, political, moral wrongs have been rectified by so-called equity feminists in a couple decades; so much so that men are now being harmed is the biggest lie that anti-feminists like Hollander are trying to tell themselves. And worse, now one is clogging the court system and wasting other people's time.

The AAUW (American Association of University Women) responds appropriately to Hoff Sommers' claims that "gender equity" feminists are "stealing feminism" and "harming young boys:"

Unfortunately, Who Stole Feminism? is not about making positive societal change or changing behavior to create a more equitable society for women and girls. Rather, AAUW perceives the book to be an attack on scholars, women's organizations, and higher education. Contrary to what Sommers contends, there is nothing in any of our research about terms she uses--domination, subjugation, victimization, or oppression. Anyone who has read The AAUW Report will know that none of this is in our research. Ours is not a radical agenda despite Sommers' characterization of AAUW. We are about positive societal change. What does Sommers have to offer women and girls of America? Our research looks for solutions and is based on facts, not anecdotes or soundbites. The important thing to remember is that this debate is not about AAUW; it's about the children in this country. What is important is that our daughters and sons reach their full potential.

In that sense, and given the history of the treatment of women, is wanting the best for both sexes, not just males, really a bad thing?

The Washington Post agreed:

"In the end, Sommers fails to prove either claim in the title of her book. She does not show that there is a "war against boys." All she can show is that feminists are attacking her "boys-will-be-boys" concept of boyhood, just as she attacks their more flexible notion. The difference between attacking a concept and attacking millions of real children is both enormous and patently obvious. Sommers's title, then, is not just wrong but inexcusably misleading. For the claim in her subtitle that 'misguided feminism is harming our young men,' she does not present a shred of credible supporting evidence but rather advances her position by assertion and abstract argumentation. ...Sommers's book is a work of neither dispassionate social science nor reflective scholarship; it is a conservative polemic. Sommers focuses less on boys than on the feminists and cultural liberals against whom she has a long-standing animus. As a society, we sorely need a discussion of boyhood that is thoughtful and searching. This intemperate book is a hindrance to such conversation."

(both of these extended quotes are in wikipedia article on Sommers Hoff)

I am assuming that Babo probably cut and pasted his arguments from Sommers' book. In that case, it is clear to me why he can't back up any of his arguments with any solid facts. Instead, blindly believing, as many do, in an ideology that suits his male privileged needs the best.

It is my sincere belief that patriarchy, not feminism, is responsible for most male grievances these days. If they spent more time advocating for men in that respect, they would probably get a lot further than Hollander ever will. But, that is an entirely different topic, and one that perhaps would be best addressed by men.

On a sidenote, check out Hollander's myspace page.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Great Gay News!

How about some positive gay news, and a break from insane homobigots?

Here it is:

The Coquille Indian Tribe, of Oregon, has decided to recognize same-sex marriages.

Even though the state passed an amendment to it's Constitution in 2004 banning gay marriages, the Tribe is a federally-recognized sovereign nation, thus not bound by Oregon's Constitution.

Perhaps those who base their arguments against gay marriage on the grounds of a "perverse" or alleged "unhealthy lifestyle" could take lesson from the Chief of the Coquilles, who says, "For our tribe, we want people to walk in the shoes of other people and learn to respect differences. Through that, we think we build a stronger community,"

But if those opposed to gay rights on those grounds knew anything about empathy, we wouldn't be having this insane argument today.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's been a while! How about some more insane homobigot comments?

Professor Mike S. Adams, relatively unknown author of "Feminists Say The Darndest Things" recently wrote a piece titled "Fat Lesbians on Crack."

What lesbians have to do with obesity or drug use, he leaves that up to his faithful readers to discern.

Oh wait, I get it. He's just taking a cheap shot at lesbians everywhere by calling them fat and on crack.

How typical of one whose argument doesn't have much else to stand on. Call them names instead!

Not that he really ever gets to a point, much less an argument, in this article.

He mostly just blathers in the typical hetero-male-that-is-insecure-because-lesbians-do-it-better speak, which is mostly just propaganda and scare tactics to help sway the echo chamber that is the religious right in this country.

The background of the story is that a *gasp* lezzzzbian came in for counseling, and the counselor refused to see the woman because homosexuality is against her religion. The woman allegedly asked for a new counselor and within 10 minutes was allowed to see a non-prejudiced counselor.

Where did this happen? No one knows.

When? Not one date is provided by Adams.

Actually, did this really happen? We don't know!

Adams never provides a link to any real news source. This could be hypothetical, this could be a real story.

Or, for all we know, he could have pulled it from the lapel of the classy little gay man suit he's wearing.

But I get it. The hypothetical (?) he poses merely serves as yet another fundamentalist scare tactic about The Gay Agenda taking over the Universe.

In Adams' eyes, homosexual and feminist rights present The Classic, Ever-Pressing (non)Issue of the oppressed becoming the opressor.

But let's talk about this in real terms.

Is it ethical for a counselor to refuse to treat a client based on her sexuality?

Christian blogger Shawn McEvoy says no, at least in the context of doctors and medical care.

While blogging about CA's recent decision stating doctor's can not refuse medical treatment to gays and lesbians, even when doing so goes against their religious beliefs, McEvoy gives his opinion.

In his words,

"'Thank God,' I said to myself. Goodness, a lesbian is still a woman, and still has reproductive capabilities, does she not? If I refuse to treat her, am I doing more damage to the body of Christ and the gospel message, and completely missing a chance to treat her with love and kindness, vs. refusing on the grounds that society apparently will crumble if one more child is raised in a non-traditional family?"

First off, I just want to give McEvoy the props he deserves for his compassionate response above. Of the thousands of so-called Christians I have seen argue against rights and equal treatment for gays and lesbians, this is one of the first times I have ever seen on a fundamentalist Christian website a compassionate, empathetic reaction towards gays and lesbians.

Secondly, my opinion as a health-care provider. My main priorities in my profession is to do no harm to patients, and only work to better their health.

Do some of the patients I see have lifestyles and do things with which I personally disagree? Do they go against my personal morals and spirituality? Hell yes.

But as a health-care provider, I am there to treat an individual for specific health needs. Not society as a whole. Let's leave that up to the democratic process, shall we?

Does it sometimes piss me off on a personal level? Yes. But I would never be so self-righteous that I would refuse to treat someone based on something my religion disagrees with. The two are separate, for good reason. If someone is so deeply religious that they are not able to care for those that their profession asks that they care for, perhaps they should consider another calling. Priesthood? Missionary work? Private school teacher?

Anyway, here is a sampling of comments from Adams' article from some other "Christian" folk:

Ken, in North Carolina, wrote:

"You see, Homosexuality is a perversion, a twisted thing, a biological wrong behavior. It can be corrected, but the addict must realize the error in this behavior. There is room at the cross for even you, Will. You can find your way back. What you are doing is wrong, and cannot be proven right no matter how many black robed nutcases you can get to say it is right. It is a biological and medical abberation. Continuing to practice this abberation will only result in your paying a huge pain price someday. Not to mention the cost of your soul."

That's not all folks! Ken posted immediately after his comment above to say,

"I saw a picture on Yahoo of Ellen DeGeneres and her partner, Portia. You know, I know they are not that old. I think DeGeneres is only in her early 40's, and Portia is probably about the same. Yet, the lifestyle is getting them obviously. They are both wrinkled and drawn. I was thinking they looked pretty fair for a couple in their late 50's. I mean DeGeneres looked older than even I, who understands the damage Homosexuality does to the human body (and soul)."

Jim, in VA states,
"Subject: Baby Deserves a Father
What we are missing here are the consequences of lesbians and insemination. The baby never knows its FATHER. Two women do not a father make. That is pure evil."

DanS in CO prophecizes,

"Supremacy of the Lowest Denominator"
"I’m not claiming that the gay rights movement has taken over the country."

You don't have to, it's self-evident. It is the public school principle of the "supremacy of the lowest common denominator" which has empowered homosexuals. See

Being under "God wrath," (Rom. 1:18) they are mentally haunted and tormented. Their effort to find psychological relief is a socio-political agenda to eliminate Christians (first by incarceration, then death if necessary) and Christianity from the face of the earth. Sound extreme? You're not paying attention.

Tolerance of and civil rights for the sodomite lifestyle will never be adequate to assuage their psychological torment, which they attribute solely to Christianity.

Sorry folks, but this situation is not going to have a pretty ending."

Eeeeep!! Armageddon!

And, there actually were some rational people on the site, too:

Shells, from IL said
"Subject: Joycey
Counselors are trained to be empathetic and non judgemental. There is a way to move the lesbian to a new counselor without making it seem judgemental. It is not lying.

People go to suicide for counselors. Would she turn them away? I don't think she would. So it's more the act of homosexuality that impales her ability to be empathetic and non judgemental. That's not good.

Counselors are meant to listen, to empathize, to help, to offer advice and if necessary if the problems are too deep, to refer.

They are entitled to their beliefs, such as, we don't believe in child molestation, we don't believe the color red means to kill us and we don't believe in marrying our pets, but if a person seeks help for these matters, and your job is counselor, you counsel."

True that, sister.

Swampfox from SC said,

"Subject: The counselor
The Christian counselor thought that this was the time and the place to espouse her religious beliefs on homosexuality? She should have deftly referred the young woman to someone else without the judgmental remark. But, then the Christian Counselor says that her religion doesn't allow her to lie. Then Adams's column says that being lesbian is an unhealthy lifestyle. This whole issue is getting tiresome. I don't know what is the cause of my homosexuality might be. I did not choose it. But, I have to live with it. For once I would pray that Mr. Adams would try to walk in my shoes just once.

And, I will add that I hope that the Christian counselor gets a better job somewhere else that is more suitable to her beliefs and Christian lifestyle."

I agree. Since when is being a lesbian considered to be unhealthy, by any medical standards?

Just a thought.

Anyway, an easy google search of Professor Mike S. Adams shows that he is profoundly not respected or admired by most people he encounters on the internet.

I sure hope my friend Fannie decides to put this dude in her Asinine for Attention archives.