Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rob Delaney On the Necessity of Educating Women

Below is a brief article written by comedian Rob Delaney that made me giggle and strengthened what is left of my faith in humanity, so I thought I'd share it.

"Education is the most important thing for women to pursue aggressively as they continue their fight to be recognized for what they are: dynamic, vital, biologically heroic people. Men and women are the two wings of humanity's bird, or perhaps pterodactyl. (I offer the pterodactyl as a metaphor because humankind is often terrifying, as demonstrated by this discussion's necessity.) If the wings aren't equally strong, the pterodactyl flies in circles, gets angry, slams into a tree and explodes. (Look it up.) Education is what's most important, because it isn't an opinion that women should have equal rights to men in every possible way; it's a fact. Its acknowledgement is an indispensable ingredient in the recipe for the survival of our species. And facts are much easier to identify when you have an education, which is something that remains out of reach to this day for many millions of women around the world.
Women outnumber men on our planet. And women create life inside their bodies. Yet misogyny and sexism, whose twin engines are fear and ignorance, continue to exist. We must deprive them of their fuel and that begins by educating women and men. The good news is that women and men start out as girls and boys, who are more fun to be around. So take heart in how the most powerful political act you might ever commit is to read to a child. And kids love pterodactyls, so try to find a book about them."

Stay funky,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Covered in santorum? How about GOVERNED by Santorum?

I am continually disgusted to have grown up in the same state as Rick Santorum. If G-d-forbid he is elected to serve our country, he plans not only to make same-sex marriage illegal, but also to nullify all current same-sex marriages. I am both fortunate and sane enough to be completely unable to comprehend the hatred (and ignorance) this man (and many others) holds inside of him.
In this current political climate, I say with utter certainty that: as a woman, as an LGBTQ ally, and as a human being, I want to move to Canada.

Why is the GOP hating on women?

On February 10th, President Obama announced his compromise in the contraception coverage debate. Obama’s compromise means that, as a preventative health care measure, contraception services will be provided to all women under the new insurance plan. However, for women who work at institutions that for religious reasons object to providing contraception, their health care providers (not their workplace) will be required to cover the cost so that these institutions need not pay for something that they do not support (Contraception Mandate Statement). On the February 16th panel, not a single woman was represented. Why? When asked to include a woman’s testimony in the panel’s decision-making process, Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa refused, responding that,

“As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience…Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness (Gittleson 2012).”

Anti-choicers’ central argument has focused on religious freedom: It is Americans’ first amendment right to be able to practice religion freely, and being forced to participate in providing birth control when a person’s religion says it is wrong is unconstitutional. The Catholic Bishops argue that because pregnancy is not a disease, the new healthcare plan should not provide preventative measures against it.

I am shocked that religious groups, which supposedly have some moral fiber, and our lawmakers, who supposedly represent the needs and wants of their voters, are arguing about religious freedom when women’s health, lives, and basic human rights are at risk. Many women are on birth control for hormonal regulation, to alleviate painful cramps around their periods, to help them gain weight, and for a variety of other health reasons. And yes, there are some of us who take it because we want to have sex. Why do religious groups and political leaders insist on focusing on issues like controlling women’s bodies and sexuality under the guise of religious freedom when larger problems prevail? Human rights abuses happen all over the world (denying citizens basic medical care…human rights abuse, anyone?), yet giving women access to free birth control is so wrong that it cannot be provided free of charge even when religiously-affiliated institutions themselves are not paying for it? Since I went on the pill my first year of college, I have had to pay for it myself because my father works at a Catholic high school that does not cover birth control. It not only angers me, but hurts me as a woman that these institutions feel it their right to control my body. As a free human being, this should be my right and mine alone. Although they have never met me and do not know why I use the pill, they believe that it is appropriate to deny me access to free birth control. Maybe instead of working to control women’s sexuality, we should reflect more on where this need to control comes from: Is this truly an issue of religious freedom or a manifestation of our culture’s deep-seated misogyny that tells us that women’s sexuality and bodies should not be their own to control?


Gittleson, Wendy. "GOP Kicks Women out of Contraception Debate--Says It's About Religion Not Women." Addicting Info. Addicting Info, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. Feb. 2012.

President Obama Contraception Mandate Statement. Barack Obama. Youtube. PBS News Hour, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jam Sesh

I will be traveling across the treacherous Atlantic seas come September, to our Statue of Liberty’s homeland (and will blog about it, worry you not). In honor and preparation of my bon voyage, I have been reading about French women and food, feasting my eyes on the country’s finest drawings, and listening to Carla Bruni. Though I have not yet familiarized myself with her full discography, I’ve recently downloaded the album Quelqu’un M’a Dit, which does not disappoint. If the beautiful language was not enough to make me swoon, Bruni sings her sweet and sad melodies with a voice that is intimate and soothing and evokes a slow curiosity. With her songs, I can celebrate the sun, cry quietly, look through old photos, or dance my pants off with small and happy steps. Perhaps the transformative quality I sense in her music is partly due to the fact that I understand nothing of what she’s saying. I should probably begin to use Google Translate. But, I think I’ll wait a bit longer to let the mystery linger…

Enjoy a nice tune off the aforementioned album!

To make up for Jam Sessions lost in the midst of springtime, I would like to present a second artist. Lulu and the Lampshades initially caught my attention with this video, which remains to be one of my favorite Youtube gems. They have released just a few songs (so catch 'em before they're hot), and I assure you they will make you want to sing and frolic in an open field of fresh strawberries. And aren’t lovely harmonies all we really need in the summer?

Peace, Love, and Jams,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

I REALLY hate this guy...

If you're not familiar with the story of Roman Polanski, he's a highly successful Polish-French director who's won Oscars and all kinds of other awards. He was also accused of raping a 13-year-old girl more than thirty years ago, and after pleading guilty to the charges of unlawful sex with a minor, he fled the country to avoid harsh sentencing. In 2009, the U.S. asked Switzerland for his extradition when Polanski arrived in an airport there, but the Swiss government refused, making Polanski a free man who's managed to avoid punishment for his crime. If you want more information, The New York Times has a concise version of the whole thing here.

I tried to upload a YouTube video where this REALLY COOL guy talks about the whole thing, but it wouldn't work so here's the URL:

Just another sad example of the patriarchy hurting our ladies...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ya Killin' Me, HuffPost.

The Huffington Post is on a role this week posting (in my opinion) not so great articles targeting women within their recently added headline subsection 'Women'.  Topics include: fashion, cooking/homemaking, diets, love, lust, marriage, etc. Because women aren't interested in anything else, right?  Oh, wait, there's an article about the gender wage gap, but they blame the issue on the inability of women to negotiate for what they want, and their answer is for women to be more like their male coworkers (but not too much or you'll seem pushy).  Classic double bind. But, my favorite is this one.  Watch out, ladies. If you have sex too early, you might never be able to hold onto a man, AND WHAT COULD BE WORSE THAN THAT?!

Happy reading,