Thursday, September 27, 2007

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself

"In this country we have a real problem with women and power. If people don’t stop saying incredibly sexist things about Hillary Clinton, I may just have to vote for her."

-Kathy Pollitt (from an interview with Deboarah Solomon, NYT Magazine 9/23/07)

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Little Wit to Start the Week

I saw this bumper sticker last week, it made me think, and since the UAW started striking today it seems relevant.

The church can take credit too. They called for a day of rest and worship first, but the bumpersticker makers have a point: without organizers the 40 hour workweek would be a reality for even fewer folks than it is now.

Whether you believe it or not, a well known idea about unions is that they help lazy, underperforming people keep jobs, to the detriment of motivated workers, and companies. This month's Vermont Women has an article about the nurses' union at Fletcher Allen. A few people at the hospital express that idea in the article, but when pressed can't cite concrete examples.

All of this is very interesting to a (relatively) new member of the workforce.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hang onto your Uteruses, Ladies

Or is it uteri?
A district judge in Illinois blocked the opening of the Aurora Planned Parenthood facility. Read all about it at Feministing, 'cuz I have to go to work. Here is my initial thought though, when it comes to womens health, Americans, judges included, feel increasingly free to act based on their own discomfort, not based on legal precedent or what's good for public health. Shameful & Scary.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

On Growing Older

By most measures I’m finally an adult: I support myself by holding down a full time job, own pants that need dry-cleaning, and even act mature from time to time. Lately though, I’ve been feeling young. While in school I didn’t feel young. This is not to say I had illusions of adulthood--- those are hard to have when the most important decision you make is whether to take chemistry or biology. Since I interacted largely with people my age or younger, however, it was hard to feel old. These days though I’m usually the youngest person in the room. Hanging out with people who voted against Reagan is fine, they are usually “hipper” than me anyway, but it sure makes me feel more like a young adult than when I actually was one.

My intent was to write a whole post without mentioning sex, or sounding angry, but good old Maryland ruined that plan. Two days ago, the state supreme court upheld a decades old statute limiting marriage to man-woman couples. The court ruled that the statute doesn't discriminate on the basis of sex, homos aren't a "suspect class" deserving of legal protection, and that there is rational interest in saving marriage for the heteros. Ugh.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Timeless Humor, Unfortunately

From the Onion, October 4, 2000:

Interviewer- Last week, the FDA approved the controversial French abortion pill RU-486, permitting non-surgical abortions in the U.S. for the first time . . . . What do you think?

Patrick Klennert, TV Repairman: "Now, hold on there. Isn't there a line in The Bible specifically prohibiting safe, non-invasive, affordable medical procedures for women?"

The piece has stuck in my mind since I first read it, in the summer of 2001. Rereading it, I chuckle because it is a fake interview, in a spoof newspaper. The realness of it stings. As I think about it, my laughter begins to come from a place of cynicism, nervousness, and then fades out.

The anti-choice cause du jour is trying to deny women in Aurora, Illinois health care access by blocking the opening of a Planned Parenthood health center there. These folks aren’t just opposed to abortion, they are also opposed to the preventative care (including birth control) the center offers.

Why? I don’t care to speculate. Following their unreasonable reasoning is a distraction from the issue at hand: extremist protestors, with ties to violent individuals, are trying to block the opening of a clinic, not on any reasonable legal grounds, but because they are opposed to women having sex without giving birth nine months later.

For those of you who’ve missed my subtle cues, I take this personally. As my current favorite Supreme pointed out last April, in order to achieve equality, a woman must be able to control if and when she has kids. Amen. Furthermore, at their core, anti-birth control arguments rest on a belief that enjoying non procreative sex is immoral. As you might guess, this dyke disagrees.

Counter the protestors by clicking here to display a ribbon in support of the clinic. If you are more ambitiously pro-choice speak up in your community, write a letter to the editor, donate to a clinic. Do something for the care and feeding of our rights. Right now they sure need it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Maybe He is Newsworthy After All

What does one have to do to get arrested for disorderly conduct? In the case of Larry Craig, tapping his foot in the wrong restroom stall sufficed. Basically the guy was arrested for flirting, albeit in a bizarre way, and with a police officer. Hard as it is to side with a man of Craig’s voting record, it irks me that what he did is criminal. Ellen Goodman wrote a great column on this.

At times like these, being a lawyer sure would come in handy. For starters, how does the law define disorderly conduct. Next, why is flirting, or foot tapping disorderly? states disorderly conduct is a “catch-all crime” used “to keep the peace when a person is behaving in a disruptive manner, but presents no serious public danger.”A peek at Minnesota’s statute is helpful. In MN being “disorderly” can get you arrested if you are “brawling,” disrupting “lawful assembly” or if you are “offensive, obscene, abusive or boisterous.” Craig wasn’t fighting, or interfering with lawful assembly, so his arrest must have been based on the last category, which is pretty subjective. I am not reassured that offending a policeman is arrest worthy, and would like to understand why this does not conflict with the First Amendment. Any scholars out there want to weigh in?

Some odd-balls of the right wing variety think Craig was charged because he’s conservative. You know, its part of the liberal media/ liberal courts conspiracy to pervert America’s soul, or some such drivel. That analysis ignores the fact that anti-gay conservatives benefit from this debacle. Craig’s arrest enforces the notion that acting gay is perverse and, quite literally, criminal. Also, the GOP gets to appeal to their conservative base, the Christian right especially, by publicly purging Craig for actions the base finds morally repugnant. In this way, the situation benefits the Cheney types more than the Clinton types, and all at the expense of Joe Gay.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Leave it to the Professionals

I’m tempted to write about Fred Thompson’s Actor/President campaign ads, but I’m too tired to pull off strident and witty, so we’ll let that alone for now.

My eyelids are another tempting topic. You see, they are quite sunburned. Something tells me though, that the post would only interest readers who are both:
1) exhausted to the point of delirium
2) Me

This Friday I’ll let the professionals handle blogging. Visit RH reality check for a painful yet informative video on why the Global Gag Rule is deadly. The Senate voted to repeal the law last night. George “I’m all about freedom, for people who share my ideology” W. Bush will veto the repeal, so get ready to give him hell. Actually, get ready to give your congressman hell, chances they’d override the veto may be slim, but chances Lame Duck W. will do anything are non-existent. That’s for another day though, right now it’s Friday, relax, sip a beer, enjoy life.