leticia: (Default)
Planned Parenthood is, or was, an easy political target. But half the population is female, and Planned Parenthood is remarkably effective at empowering women. Planned Parenthood keeps women in school, keeps women in college, keeps women employed. Women who use Planned Parenthood's services are more likely to break free of generational cycles of poverty. The men they love are more likely to break free. And, of course, Planned Parenthood provides services to men as well.

Planned Parenthood's 'graduates', if you will, those men and women who have benefited from the many services they offer, will, by the nature of what Planned Parenthood does, be more educated, more articulate, healthier, and better off than they would have been before. That is to say, better able to support the organization that supported them.

Sure, some will pretend "I got here on my own," or "only my birth control/abortion/pap smear is moral because I had a REAL situation and everyone else is a lying whore".

Planned Parenthood has been around for decades. There are generations of women AND MEN who have benefited from the education, healthcare, and simple compassionate respect (more valuable, perhaps, than the rest put together).

Biological bondage is one of the things that has been most effectively used to keep women and the poor preoccupied and away from the halls of power.

Planned Parenthood frees people from that. From debilitating pain that prevents gainful employment (and can be easily treated by cheap birth control, in the case of many common female hormonal disorders), to unwanted and unplanned children, to the often brutal consequences of pregnancy, to cancer detection and prevention, with many sidetracks in between.

Planned Parenthood is freeing the oppressed. It is breaking the chains. It is one of the ministries most in the spirit of Christ I know (regardless of anyone involved's religion). And yet some cowardly so-called Christians hate it because they're afraid of the oppressed being free.

But it is my belief that they're too late. Too many oppressed have been freed. And they're turning around and offering a hand to those behind them. They made it through college. They got out of the abusive relationship. They got the job. They survived the cancer. They wouldn't have without Planned Parenthood, and they know it.

And there's more coming, all the time. It's too late.

(Unfortunate the hateful buggers can still do damage before they're gone, and they will, out of hatred, spite, and desperation.)
leticia: (Default)
And anyone who disagrees can bring the freaking flamewar here:

Evopsych is tautological bull. It's based on starting with what we have and justifying it in terms of it being -right- and unchangeable. The only reason anyone can get away with it all is because social sciences are sometimes considered soft sciences and so laymen who don't know better tend not to expect actual scientific process.

Evopsych. Is. Bunk.

(Yes, you can write a scifi or fantasy piece which PROVES evopsych in your makebelieve world where you play god. I can also write a piece in which the laws of aerodynamics don't matter (and have, and will again) but that doesn't mean I go around claiming humans can fly without mechanical aid in reality or think that makes it good science.)
leticia: (human stupidity)
One of the paper's editors just left. Her title was "Features Editor" and her primary job was editing two 'feature' publications every week - our entertainment tab and our 'Women' tab.

There was some interesting discussion apparently about not filling the position, and just ending the Women tab and rolling its information into the main paper or dropping it.

The Women tab runs a weekly story about an interesting (which usually means 'community service') woman or group of women, wedding, anniversary, birth, and engagement announcements, and some syndicated columns on romance, parenting, and finances-as-a-woman.

I presume the syndicated columns would likely be dropped if we ended the tab, and the announcements would be moved into an events sectipon in the daily, probably given a page on Sundays.

Now, note, I have absolutely no weight in this discussion at all other than doing whatever IT needs to do to implement whatever decisions are ultimately made.

But regardless of my lack of investment in the decisions, it brought back up some interesting thoughts about the original need to ghettoize these things as "Of Interest Only To Women."

What are we saying about both women and men by moving weddings - the vast majority of which include both males and females, after all (we have run one announcement for a lesbian wedding that I can remember) - and births and parenting and romance (which again tend to involve both men and women) to a special, ghettoized section marked as "Men, this doesn't interest you?"

Because that's what "Women" means. This isn't something special which is only provided to women. This is something which the presumed editors want to make sure doesn't bore the men. Women have as much invested in the rest of the paper as men do, the news of local triumphs and tragedies, the scandals of local politicians, the rants and raves of our aging community.

The entire purpose of the 'women' tab is to say "These things aren't important to normal people, but there is an inexplicable market for them anyhow, so we'll toss you a bone."

If I was more eloquent, I could say why this bothers me so deeply, but I'm still trying to hammer down the words. Suffice it to say that there is women's space which is claimed by women... and it's completely different from the reservations women are placed onto by men.
leticia: (in a dark alley)

Given that SE Asia (in certain regions) is like the sex tourism capital of the world and flat out infamous for the prostitution and slavery of girls, why are all the international manhunts we keep hearing about involving the abuse of /boys/?

Oh, right.

Because boys are people.

Screw you, Interpol.

leticia: (Default)
e·mas·cu·late [v. i-mas-kyuh-leyt; adj. i-mas-kyuh-lit, -leyt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -lat·ed, -lat·ing, adjective
–verb (used with object) 1. to castrate.
2. to deprive of strength or vigor; weaken.

–adjective 3. deprived of or lacking strength or vigor; effeminate.

[Origin: 1600–10; < L émasculātus (ptp. of émasculāre), equiv. to é- e- + māscul(us) male + -ātus -ate1]


Today's sexist code word of the day, kids, is 'emasculate'. The very construction of this word indicates its nature. This is a word about how men are superior and stronger than women, about how weakness is feminizing.

The usual defenses are 'well, it's just about weakness' or 'it's not about being feminized, it's about having your gender identity assaulted'. Yes, a gender identity that's based on being the superior gender.

And no one ever seems to refer to women as 'emasculated'. Victimhood /is/, in the world-view that uses words like 'emasculated' to refer to a man's ability to support his wife or defend 'his' women, a feminine attribute. Weakness is.

If there was a corresponding word to indicate the 'male-ing' of a woman, it'd be a /compliment/ culturally. Of course, there's not, because the cultural over-bearing impression is that we should be scared of women who 'emasculate' our men by daring to not fit their appointed roles of weakness.

Therefore, whenever someone refers to something as 'emasculating' for men, my hackles go up. It can be poor word choice - but it usually links back to subconscious acceptance of traditional male privilege.

Please discuss.
leticia: (Default)
I am pro-life. Abortion is something I am not very comfortable with. I believe it to be a social ill, by and large.

And with that mildly inflammatory statement, I cut. )
leticia: (Default)
I am, apparently, 48% masculine. It's interesting that such was the header of the test results, despite being supposedly about both femininity and masculinity. Masculine is the default; feminine is in the gaps.

I took a test today, from tickle.com (I was a member back when it was emode and actually kinda cool) which purported to weigh my gender identity.

It lived up to all my expectations, with blatantly loaded questions which have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with our society's entrenched fucked-upness, such as this question:

45. What are you most likely to do when you're angry?
  • Fume over it, but keep it inside
  • Talk to a friend so I can work it out
  • Curse or scream
  • Hit, kick, or break something
  • Hit or kick someone
I kid you not.

This test and the stereotyped gender bias reflected in the questions is, frankly, disgusting, and I am proud to have fallen squarely in the middle. (Remember, guys, punching people when you're unhappy is masculine.) This is exactly the kind of idiot reinforcement of societal gender roles which causes sexism. If you're not doing these things, you're not masculine enough or feminine enough, and if you are, we criticize you and your whole gender with you for doing such stupid things.

Ultimately, the entire notion of 'feminine' or 'masculine' is a cultural myth. It is true that certain behavior types are slightly more associated with biological women than with men, but it's impossible to remove the elements of biology from the elements of enculturation. There is no way for this kind of test to be meaningful OR non-offensive, because it's very nature is to reinforce the cultural definitions of what you must do to be a real man or a real woman.

What this over-simplistic view of human nature forgets is that these various behaviors are not on a single continuum, nor are they linked. A like for gardening does not make me any more likely to stop and ask for directions; liking children does not make me unlikely to enjoy sports or to know Star Trek TOS.

The only thing that links these behaviors - or makes them exclusive - is cultural programming.

It's more than past time to reject this linear view of human behavior and nature as overridden by the single issue of biological gender. Culture is far more important in our primary self-definition than the actual biology of gender - look at the different values and behaviors of genders in other cultures, even so gender-bound as ours but /differently/ - and stop feeling threatened by people who break the 'rules' and infringe on the other side's territory.

I would rather be a programmer than a soccer mom. I would rather change the world than have children or find a soul mate. I like certain sports, though I don't get to do them often. I like to cook. I like to garden. I like children. I accept all these facets of myself, without apology or shame.

Because they have nothing to do with the chromosomes I received and everything to do with who I am.

My destiny revolves around more than the gender of my body. I refuse to reject my self-designation as feminine just because culture says the things I do, men should do.

I am 100% feminine. I am a woman. I celebrate my body. And if your test says otherwise, it's obviously wrong.
leticia: (bland)
The best thing (and pretty much only good thing) about this story? They didn't charge him with murder. Okay, and they convicted the scumbag. Two good things.

(BTW, I've decided to try to get mouthier. If you don't like uppity wimmin, now would be a really good time to stop reading.)
leticia: (Default)
Apparently just 7.2% of America's broadcast media outlets - TV and radio - are owned by the 33% of Americans who happen to be less melanin deficient than your standard European-descended neo-colonialist.

Shameful, huh?

Of course, a disgraceful and disproportionate number of those 33% live in poverty, having been kept down by institutionalized racism, so it shouldn't be that surprising they own less businesses.

But that's not the point. The same people that are ranting and raving about these studies quietly point out that ...women, who make up 51% of the US population, own less than 6% of broadcast outlets. Yes. There's more of us than there are minorities (though of course, approximately 33% of us are minorities as well, and how many of THEM do you think own broadcast outlets?) and we have even less voice in the media. We're still the pretty chick whose purpose is to breathlessly read from the teleprompter with a tight shirt and some nice cleavage, when it comes to broadcast media.

I'm getting pretty tired of being dependent on the charity of men to tell my story - and the story of other women, and the story of our ongoing conflict with so-called traditional gender-based oppression.

But you know something? The FCC wants to let the big (white, male) corporations get their hands on even more. To let the same people tell you the same story even more often. To let even /accidental/ errors propogate with ease - let alone deliberate or malicious ones.

Go do something.

Both democracy and capitalism depend on actors in the market - be it shopping for cars or shopping for congress representatives - having full and accurate information - and being represented in full, having the power and voice to act on the information.

Right now, we - as working Americans who actually understand what it means to have a credit limit, as women, as minorities (which I am not, I should qualify) have neither of those.

Do something. Because if we don't, we will be sentenced to more and more coverage of Britney Spears and her custody battle for the rest of our lives.

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