Monday, March 31, 2008

Body Politic '08

Planned Parenthood of New York City is hosting Body Politic 08 events, the next one is Rack 'Em Up For Choice from 6:00 to 9:00 on April 8 at Steinway Cafe Billiards in Astoria, Queens.



Because 6 Is The New 14.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who read the occasional Sweet Valley High book (and, you know, played the board game and read the spinoff books). The series started in 1983 and ran for about 20 years and inspired multiple spinoffs. They are now being re-released, but with certain changes.

As I'm sure we all remember, in every frickin' SVH book we had to hear how the beautiful and lovely blond twins were "a perfect size 6." Well, in order to further their already amazing blond perfection, in the re-release the twins will now be "a perfect size 4." Because, you know, it wasn't damaging enough to girls to hear that a 6 was "perfect," so making perfection smaller seemed like a good idea. I have an idea, let's go ahead and make them a size 0, and make the school's "fat girl" Lois Waller a massive size 10 or something equally damaging.

Also, the twins no longer share a Fiat. Now it's a Jeep. Why an SUV is cooler than a Fiat, I don't know.

Plus, Elizabeth is now the editor of the school website instead of the school paper. Because high schools have completely done away with print newspapers.

I have a sick desire to reread these books. I know how awful and stereotypical and damaging they are; it's like a car accident, I can't look away.

I guess I could go to the LiveJournal group dedicated to snarking the books.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Women, Action, and the Media

(I stole the image from Feministing because I couldn't find it anywhere else)

In case you missed me, I was in Boston all weekend for the Women, Action, and the Media (WAM) conference. It's a conference for women in the media (duh?) to gather and discuss issues and concerns and what needs to be done. It was held at the Stata Center at MIT.

Side Note: The Stata Center is really cool looking. Have a picture:

I'm going to do a full recap of the weekend at another time. I'm really tired right now.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We're Better Than You. And We Know It.

According to the The New York Times, feminists are more open to different body types.

It does mention that feminists and non-feminists found the same woman most attractive, and that she was slightly underweight. But generally, feminists had a more open view of attractiveness when it comes to the overweight.

Because apparently it's a revelation that we ample-figured ladies can be attractive, too.


Yeah, I'm *Totes* Not Buying This One.

Allegedly, the results of a Gallup poll indicate that if Obama were the Democratic nominee, 28% of Clinton supporters would vote for McCain. And 19% of Obama supporters would vote for McCain over Clinton.

So yeah, I really doubt that.

I mean let's think about this logically. Clinton and Obama are ideologically very similar if you look at their voting records and platforms. Focusing on issues that are important to me, both would be fine. Both are pro-choice and earned a 100% rating from NARAL, both have plans to get us out of Iraq, both have a idea for healthcare, etc. McCain's record on all of these things (which I'm not going to link to, because I don't want to be the reason anyone pukes up their dinner) is abysmal. He's anti-choice (and anti-woman, essentially), pro-war (he's said staying in Iraq for a century would be fine by him), and panders to the wealthy (which means healthcare reform is right out).

You'd have to be ridiculously stupid to vote for a candidate with a 180 degree difference from yourself because your favorite wasn't nominated. Especially when there's a candidate with a nearly identical ideology to your favorite just waiting to be voted for.

This kind of poll is incredibly fallible anyway. There's also the fact that people may say those things NOW, but come Election Day there's no way they'd actually pull the lever for McCain.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Is Why You Need To Sell Your SUV

A chunk of Antarctica approximately the size of Connecticut is teetering dangerously close to breaking off.

Seeing as how I live in one of the cities that will be engulfed by seawater if/when the ice caps melt, I'm not so thrilled about this.

Besides, I take the subway. This isn't my mess.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gubernatorial Sex > People Losing Their Homes

David Paterson admitted today that both he and his wife have had extramarital affairs, both at the same time when they were going through a rough time in their relationship.

I understand why he would come forward and say this. He's a politician, so at some point someone would probably drag this into the spotlight, and by being forthright with the information he sets an example of honesty that, after recent events, the state of New York sorely needs. So as not to be the butt of too many jokes.

But seriously, why do we even need to know? As long as he does a good job as Governor, I genuinely don't care what he does in his own time. It's not illegal, it doesn't put anyone's life in danger, and it has no bearing on his job! Who are we to judge someone else's private life? Who are we to look into someone else's relationship and use it to determine their fitness for a given profession?

There was a comment left on the New York Times website that was great. It was written by Vivek Chandran and is as follows:

"If say my wife and kid got run by a car .. and I rushed them to hospital.. I’m looking for the best doctor to ensure that my wife and kid get the best medical care possible. Once I find the best doctor .. I do not ask him for his credit history, whether he is gay or straight or whether he has had an extra marital affair. I only look for competence. Similarly I expect only competence from my janitor, my garbage collection person, the baggage handler at the airport, the grocery clerk. When all of us as people do not look for morality but competence in all our transactions with other people .. why do we looks for morality just in the Governor .. who is a provide of another service for all of us."

I literally copied and pasted that, so all errors, grammatical or otherwise, were made by the original poster.

Also, some infidelity statistics for you (taken from various internet sites via Google):

-22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
-14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
-50 percent of Americans say President Clinton's adultery makes his moral standard "about the same as the average married man," according to a Time-CNN poll.
-17 percent of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.
-Affairs affect one of every 2.7 couples
-Ten percent of extramarital affairs last one day, 10 percent last more than one day but less than a month, 50 percent last more than a month but less than a year, but 40 percent last two or more years. Few extramarital affairs last more than four years.
-75% of men and 65% of women admit to having sex with people they work with. (I include this because Paterson admits to having an affair with someone who worked in a different department at the NY Capitol)
-Percentage of marriages that last after an affair has been admitted to or discovered: 31%

Bottom line, someone's private life and relationships have nothing to do with their ability to do their job.

I think we should pay attention to how many people lost money because of the collapse of Bear Stearns. Or how when we were concerned about Spitzer's little whore problem, one of Bush's cronies was spending over $200 billion to bail out predatory banks and lenders?

But no. We are much more concerned about what's happening in someone's pants.


Best. Magazine Cover. Ever.



Saturday, March 15, 2008

My PSA About The Return of TV

Well, with the end of the Writers' Strike a few weeks ago, shows are back in production.

Click to find out when your favorite shows come back on.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Candidates and Choice

Hillary Clinton: good, pro-choice. NARAL rating: 100% (rated since 2001)

Barack Obama: good, pro-choice. NARAL rating: 100% (rated since 2005)

John McCain: you probably don't want to know. *runs screaming into the night...or Canada* NARAL rating: 0% (rated since 1987, there were 4 years he did not score zero: 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, where he was either 5% or 10%)

We need a pro-choice President. There is no question about it.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Have a Feeling This Wouldn't Go Over So Well In New York

But it's in Georgia, so...yeah. Minor league baseball team the Macon Music (say it out loud, then reminisce about the city's now-defunct hockey team the Whoopee) has deemed June 13 "Eliot Spitzer Night". They have extended an invitation to the future former governor to come throw out the first pitch. Some other perks:

-The 9th fan to enter (a.k.a. "Client 9") will get a prize pack.
-Anyone named Eliot, Spitzer, or Kristen will recieve an admission discount. So will any fan from New York or anyone who has ever "resigned a position."
-There will be a giveaway: a trip to New York and a stay in the Mayflower Hotel (except I thought the Mayflower was in DC?).

I haven't decided yet if I find this funny or horrible. I guess it could be a little of both.

Thanks Jen for sending this to me, by the way.

I close with an amusing Daily Show video:

"It was his Achilles heel...if Achilles' heel had been on his penis"

Also, the lip bite factor:


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where Spitzer Was SUPPOSED to be on Monday

So on Monday, I attended the 31st FPA Conference in Albany. FPA is the Family Planning Advocates of NYS. It was held at the Empire Plaza in Albany. I got to go because I'm a member of the Planned Parenthood of NYC Activist Council.

So I had to be at Planned Parenthood in Manhattan at 6:30 AM. Anyone who knows me can probably guess how much I enjoyed that. When we arrived in Albany we registered and went into a brunch, where there were several notable speakers scheduled. Future former Governor Eliot Spitzer was one of them (actually, the one I had been most looking forward to seeing) but he was, ahem, "called away." I did get to hear a speech from Governor-to-be David Paterson. He was a really good speaker, and thanks in part to that I'm confident in him as Governor.

Anyhoo, Paterson spoke, as did some other people whose names I have written down somewhere but am too lazy to go get, then they handed out the Margaret Sanger Award to Sen. Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava. Interestingly enough, Scozzafava is a republican. Who'da thunk it?

The keynote speaker was Amy Goodman from the Democracy Now radio show/podcast. She was excellent, and I bought one of her books, Static (and had it signed).

In the afternoon we had lobby appointments with our Senators. Mine is Martin Conner, who is very pro-choice and pro-reproductive health, so he was already in support of RHPPA and the Healthy Teens Act. Easy meeting.

We actually met with one of his aides, and that's where we were when the Spitzer story broke. In the middle of the meeting, the aide answered the phone and all we heard was "what? prostitution? I'm in a meeting, I'll have to call you back" then she sat down and said "there's something about Spitzer and prostitutes." And after the meeting everyone with an internet phone was glued to it (that is to say, NOT me, though if I pay $1 a day and hold my phone in just the right position I can get a text only version of Rumors were flying. One minute he was a john, the next he was the pimp, the next he had already resigned, etc. And the murmurs between government workers in the elevators was constant. It was a very interesting day to be in Albany.

We also watched a performance by the group The Capitol Steps. They were hilarious. They made fun of politicians. I would love to see them again once they've incorporated this Spitzer thing into their act.

So the main reason I was disappointed to hear about Spitzer was the fact that he has been such a friend and ally to the reproductive health movement. RHPPA is his bill. He initiated it in response to Gonzales v. Carhart, which as we all remember is the late-term abortion ban that doesn't take womens' health into account.

Tangent: "Partial birth" is a lie. It is a phrase made up by the radical anti-choice, anti-woman right to make late-term abortions sound icky and evil. Women who have late-term abortions generally have a very good reason for it.

Tangent 2: The actual procedure of having a surgical abortion takes three minutes.

Here's a picture I took of David Paterson:




It's official. Eliot Spitzer has just resigned from the office of Governor of New York. Effective Monday, David Paterson will take over. He will be the first black Governor of New York and only the fourth black Governor in the country.

This may seem hard to believe, but I don't know what else to say. I don't even have any sarcasm for this. I'm snark-less.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Random Little Quickie For You

I just noticed something, and it sure is deep.

You know that annoying Dunkin' Donuts commercial with the people singing about how they are too stupid to pronounce the names of coffee drinks?

One of their "Fritalian" names was "Himen Plu Cento," which I read as "hymen placenta."

That's all.


Some Good Out of the Spitzer Fiasco

So, Spitzer is probably going to resign. We all pretty much figured, right?

I was thinking about it. It may actually do some good for the state. Not that Spitzer was bad for the state, from my point of view and with what I care about he actually was very good. But, with him leaving there is allowance for some shuffling that may be beneficial. According to the New York Times, if/when he steps down, David Paterson would become Governor. And as I said yesterday, I believe he will do a fine job. I think that ideologically he's very similar to Spitzer. He also gave an incredible speech at the FPA Conference I attended yesterday. Also, as an interesting tidbit, he would be New York's first black (and legally blind) governor.

So then Senator Joseph Bruno would become Lt. Governor. This is where I think I may have found some silver lining. He's the current majority leader of the state senate. He's also a republican. Very anti-reproductive freedom. Which means he has consistently blocked the Healthy Teens Act and RHPPA from getting to a floor vote and, ultimately, getting passed. So in theory with him in the Lt. Gov. seat, there is a chance that his successor will be friendly to women and possibly get these laws passed. I guess that depends on who succeeds him as majority leader. I don't know how this sort of thing is handled. Will there be a special election in his district? Will the republicans still be a majority in the state senate? I think it was only a one seat difference. So without him there, there is a tie until his seat is filled.


Change Your Mind, Not Your Diet

I had mentioned this in my Quick and Dirty Update, but I'd like to get more deeply into it.

This three part article reports that feeling fat, or felling bad about your weight is worse for you than actually being overweight. It sites psychological stress and its physiological effects, especially relating to social stigma and status.

They are really good articles. You should go read them.


Monday, March 10, 2008

On A Non Governor-Whore Note...

What do college sports and sperm have in common?

Apparently watching the NCAA tournament is the perfect way to recover from a vasectomy. Because you can sit on the couch and apply frozen peas to your boy bits. Why peas? They squish around into all the nooks and crannies. OK, that last part actually makes sense. I've used peas and corn on injured toes and ankles for exactly that reason; they wrap around whatever hurts.

Do you think I could make this up?


My Name Is Eliot Spitzer, And I Like Whores.

I'm sure we've all heard the news. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has been linked to a prostitution ring. As "Client 9." He hasn't answered many questions, nor has he addressed the concept that he may resign.

Now, I actually don't care if he wants to pay for it. Seriously. Yeah, it's illegal, and it's not the smartest idea, but really, that's not what bothers me here.

My problem is that this seriously diminishes his credibility. The good things he has done in his career will now forever be overshadowed by his sexcapades.

Politically, I still like him. But now I don't think he'll be effective in any office. Thankfully, Lt. Governor Patterson is politically similar, so if Spitzer resigns, Patterson will be a fine successor.

These are expensive hookers, too. Around $4,000 per hour. I'm in the wrong line of work.

Interestingly enough, he was scheduled to speak at a conference I attended this morning. He had to cancel. He was "called away." I'll post about the conference later. I will say it was an interesting day to be in the NY Capitol building.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rush Limbaugh is a Tool, Part Deux

CNN's Political Ticker reported yesterday that Clinton said she would love to be part of a "dream ticket" of both her and Obama. I've pretty much been saying all along that that's what it should be. I think we should have Clinton-Obama in 2008, then re-elect them in 2012, then Obama should run for President in 2016 (and 2020). He would have 8 years as veep to remedy his lack of experience, and the U.S. would have 16 years chock full of awesome.

So where does Rushy-Rush play into this? With idiotic comments, of course.

Limbaugh claims that the ticket "wouldn't have a prayer" because "a woman and a black" wouldn't be something the country is ready for. Excusing me for quoting Scrubs, but I gagged and vomited at the same time. I gavomited.

I wonder what he'd say if it were Ann Coulter and Colin Powell? I don't know who he'd say it to, of course, since most of the country would probably flee in terror.

I'll close with an amusing picture I found on Google:


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

For funsies.

I love Jem, Le Tigre, and A/V geeks with too much free time.

And by the way, I completely disagree with the Project Runway outcome.


Also, In Case You Missed It

I didn't know about SNL until after.

Here are Hillary's appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show (the writers are back, so it's "the" again, right?):

Part 1:

Part 2:


As Ohio Goes, So Goes The Nation

Let's hope that statement is accurate. Watch Clinton speak after her victories last night.


Bush Endorses McCain, No One Notices

It's official. George W Bush has endorsed McCain. Um, duh?

He is the only remaining Republican candidate. So this isn't exactly a surprise. Bush waited until there was no competition left in his party and supported the only option. He really wasn't taking any risks here.

I really would have seen Bush as more of a Huckabee man. I mean, they have the same psychotic backwards narrow-minded religious views coupled with a general disregard for reproductive freedom.

Of course, we can't forget this picture:

Now that there's an official endorsement, will we get to see some spooning?

We would if I was better with Photoshop.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Little Something To Make You Lose Faith In Humanity

A video was recently removed from YouTube because it showed a Marine abusing a puppy. And by abusing, I mean throwing off a cliff.

I say we throw him off a cliff and see how he likes it. But afterward, he better NOT get a military funeral.


Rush Limbaugh is a Tool (I Know, That's Not Really News)

He seems to think republicans should "cross over" and vote for Hillary because then his party will have a better chance in November.

And he actually said "I want Hillary to stay in this…this is too good a soap opera."


I hope his listeners DO go vote for Clinton. Because then when she creams them in November he can eat his words. I hear words go well with painkillers.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Fat People Are Allowed To Travel, Too

Here's a fantastic article. Some rather impolite person wrote in to "Miss Conduct" to ask about overweight people on public transportation:

Frequently I've seen overweight people insist on squeezing themselves into subway and bus seats that are too small for them. This results in their arms and legs landing on top of the people sitting on either side of them. This is very uncomfortable for the riders being squished, who often just get up out of their seat because it's too awkward to say anything to the person with the weight issue. Nobody seems to know how to handle this. What do you suggest?

[Gag me] <-- That's my response. Miss Conduct's? Much more eloquent:

A subway or bus token buys you the right to a ride, not to a seat or an enjoyable experience. As a short person, I don't like having my face stuck in some basketball player's armpit when I ride, but such is the case at times. As a person with a bad back, I don't like having to get up and surrender my seat to an elderly person, but this happens, too. I don't like hearing secondhand rap music from a neighbor's ear buds or shrieking drunken dialogue, nor do I like smelling Axe body spray or last night's Mad Dog 20/20. But when you take public transportation, you need to develop tolerance and detachment. If you can't handle contact with the flesh of strangers, public transportation is not for you.

As a rule, subway riders shouldn't sit where there isn't enough space, unless they have a compelling reason to do so. If someone is impinging on your space – because of obesity, a puffy coat, a pregnant belly, a laden backpack, or an infant in a Snugli – you can say, "Excuse me. You're in my space," or you can get up and move. Neither option is particularly awkward; they just reflect the realities of crowded public transport.

If my tone seems brusque, I apologize. But I know the kinds of letters that will be waiting for me on Monday morning because I dared not hate fat people in this response. Do you know that every time I suggest courtesy to the overweight, I get not just letters disagreeing with me, but actual hate mail? The general theme of which is, invariably: "But if we treat overweight people with dignity, they will have no motivation to lose weight, and will continue to be fat at me!" Miss Conduct is not at home to that line of reasoning.

Here's the thing about fat people, folks: They exist. And they have a right to do so. And a whole lot of them wrote sad, funny, insightful things to me when I posted this question on my blog, and you can read some of their responses yourself at Go read, go learn.

(All emphasis is mine)

I will tell you, I get some looks on the subway. When I go to sit between people, I get the "oh no, you are not squeezing that thing in here" look, which of course makes me want to really plop my booty down. Also, people don't sit directly next to me. I guess they're scared that they can catch it? Kidding. They probably assume that my girth will infringe on their space. Plus, if I dare to snack on the train or walking down the street, I get those "why can't the fatty wait to eat" sorts of looks. Like I'm not rushing from one place to another trying to have my lunch on the fly just like they are. Nope, the lardo is just too hungry to wait and can't control herself.

I don't let it bother me. Really. It doesn't stop me from sitting where I want or eating on the fly, it's just sad and a little annoying that people still find these kinds of perceptions acceptable.

As long as someone is healthy there's no reason to judge based on size. Seriously. But most people assume that if you're fat, you're unhealthy. Even if you eat well and exercise. But someone who eats fast food garbage and never gets off the couch is "lucky" if they are thin. Yeah that makes sense.


Obama's Sad Attmepts To Pander To The Right

According to Shakesville, Obama plans to appoint Republicans to key positions in his cabinet.

I know what some will say. Hillary Clinton says she will use Colin Powell to "hit the road on her behalf". The difference? Her idea is only to use him as a diplomat, not to appoint him to any official position.


Fat-Shaming: Always a Good Message to Send Video Game Loving Teens and Kids

Here's one I couldn't have come up with myself. A Japanese video game based on fat-shaming. Oh yeah.

The story:

"A young woman who was once svelte and lovely has binged on too many sweets and pastries. As a result of extreme indulgence, her waistline has blossomed and her weight has surpassed 220lbs (100kg). When she reaches her sophomore year in high school, her father decides to send her and her brother to live in an apartment building which is populated with boys. Lots of boys.

The young woman likes the boys but when she introduces herself and professes her interest, she's rejected because of her tremendous size. With the help of her brother and inner determination, she resolves to lose weight and become little Miss Popular. You are that young woman and your mission is weight loss by way of exercise, diet, and mini-games."


1. No man could ever love someone who is overweight.
2. 220 lbs is so unbelievably massive ("tremendous" even) and unheard of that we should all be appalled by that horrific number.
3. There are many high school sophomores sent away by their fathers to live in apartment buildings that are also populated by teenagers.
4. "Svelte" and "lovely" are only available together. One could never be chunky and lovely.
5. Weight is the ONLY thing that keeps someone from being popular.

Gag me.

What a great message to send to teenagers. Like young girls don't have enough body issues. I think I'll keep this one OUT of my Nintendo DS.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Feminists 1, David and Goliath "Waaaaaaaaaaaah"

So that despicable shirt has been taken down, thanks to countless of angry emails from feminists (mostly Feministing readers). Hooray!

However, apparently David and Goliath are crying and bitter. If you follow the same link you go to a t-shirt that says "Miss Bitch" on it:

I don't think this is a coincidence. Especially because of the sidebar that says:

Special 10% OFF code for all our friends @!

Just enter the discount code NOMEANSNO


Haha. What whiny little children.

P.S. One of the site's owners, Todd Goldman, has created several t-shirts with striking resemblances to existing art. I would never want to accuse someone of plagiarism or anything, but take a look at that site.