The Notorious RBG talks ‘unconscious bias,’ abortion, and push-ups

19 Feb
Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia
Originally posted on Feministing

In an exclusive interview that appeared on The Rachel Maddow show on Monday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, feminist hero, and Tumblr sensation Ruth Bader Ginsburg talked to MSNBC’s Irin Carmon, sharing her thoughts on abortion, her push-up routine, and how she describes President in Obama in one word.

See the video here…
Here are some of the greatest moments from their discussion…

On unconscious bias:

…what’s still with us and harder to deal with is what I call unconscious bias. And my best example is the symphony orchestra. When I was growing up, one never saw a woman in the symphony orchestra, except perhaps playing the harp. People who should have known better like The New York Times critic, Howard Taubman said, “You could put a blindfold on him and he could tell you whether it’s a woman playing the piano or a man.”

Someone had the simple idea, “Let’s drop a curtain. Let’s drop a curtain between the people who are auditioning and the people who are judging.” And almost overnight, there was a sea change. Once the curtain was dropped, the testers couldn’t tell whether it was a man – or a woman. And they made their judgments based on the quality of the performance.

Some years ago, when I was telling this story, a young violinist told me, “You left out something.” “Well, what? What did I leave out?” “You left out that we auditioned shoeless, so they won’t hear a woman’s heels behind the curtain.” That device of the dropped curtain isn’t so easy to duplicate in other areas.

On abortion access:

It’s not true that it’s [abortion] inaccessible to women of means. And that’s the crying shame. We will never see a day when women of means are not able to get a safe abortion in this country…. It hurts women who lack the means to go someplace else… all the restrictions, they operate against the woman who doesn’t have freedom to move, to go where she is able to get safely what she wants.

On how she does 20 pushups: We do ten at a time. And then I breathe for a bit and do the second set.”

On what she hopes young women take away from her work:

I would like them to have the enthusiasm that we had in the ’70s – determining that the law should catch up to the changes that have occurred in society, changes in the way people whatever, the realization that no one should be held back, boy or girl – because of gender, artificial gender barriers. That everyone should be – in the words of a wonderful song that Ms. Magazine popularized, everyone should be free to be you and me.

On the one word that comes to mind when she hears the name President Obama: “Sympathy. That’s a French word. It means more than sympathetic. It means who cares about other people.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

Romance tips from an end-time pastor: Demons torture married couples who practice ‘woman on top’

19 Feb
image via youtube

image via youtube

Are you ever unable to sleep because you’re wondering which sexual positions will land you in hell, where you will be tortured by demons who will cut you, “in the most painful places”? Well, you’re in luck! A UK pastor has released a video explaining, in great detail, the various behaviors that will get you banned from heaven. And his source is pretty good… infallible, I would say in fact: god! So, you’re gonna want to pay attention.

The video, which is called, “Warning to Married Christian Couples from the Lord Jesus Christ,” is the creation of the Nigerian Pastor Olugbenga Oladejo, who founded the Complete in Christ Church (CICC), an “end-time” church which teaches “sinners to repent and children of God to be ready like the wise virgins,” located in Peterborough, England.

Continue reading…

 

Guess we don’t live in a post-racial world after all: 13 disturbing criminal justice statistics

18 Feb
image via shutterstock

image via shutterstock

 

Next time someone tells you we live in a post-racial world– after all, we have a black president– show them these stats.

  1. The number of black men currently in the United States prison system is higher than the number of black men who were slaves in the South before the war.
  2. There is a 32 percent chance that a black male will be in prison during his lifetime. For white males, the chance is 6 percent.

Continue reading…

Austerity kills: study links economic policies and suicide

17 Feb
image via flickr

image via flickr

About 15,000 people gathered in central Athens on Sunday to protest austerity measures and to support the new Greek government, led by and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza Party, which is challenging these draconian economic policies. But this issue isn’t just about policy and politics. It’s about life and death, according to a new study which links austerity to suicide.

The suicide of a 77-year old pensioner in front of the Greek parliament garnered much outrage and media attention in 2012. The man cried out, “So, I won’t leave debts for my children,” before shooting himself in the head. In his suicide note, he  criticized the government of the time, which had “annihilated any hope for my survival and I could not get any justice. I cannot find any other form of struggle except a dignified end before I have to start scrounging for food from the trash.”

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Animated Valentine’s Day cards from your favorite Republican misogynists

16 Feb

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 3.25.42 PM

Here are some GIFs from your favorite misogynists. Make sure to send them to your Republican female friends!

1. Newt Gingrich: “I’d leave my third wife for you!” The former Speaker of the House, who defends s0-called family values, attacked Bill Clinton over his infidelity, and condemns homosexuality and abortion, had no problem bringing his wife, who was recovering from cancer treatment in the hospital, divorce papers, so he could get married for the third time.

Continue reading and see the GIFs

10 Worst Sex and Romance Tips from the Christian Right

16 Feb

Let right-wing Christians spice up your love life on the most romantic day of the year.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we bring you 13 pieces of advice from the Christian Right so you can spend the potentially sin-inducing holiday the right way.

1. Dump the Infidel

Dan Miser, author of Single Woman Seeking Perfect Man has a must-read column called “Five Red Flags for Christians Blinded by Romance.” The worst one of all is when “you’re dating an unbeliever,” or “dating someone who does not have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.” Well, it turns out, “Any emotional attachment you have toward a person who is not on the same spiritual page as you, or vice versa, is an unhealthy attachment.” But don’t worry. Follow these concrete steps to find happiness, which are presented in totally relatable colloquial language: “Read and learn from those such as Samson of the Bible, and do now what you’ll otherwise wish you would have done later. Heed God’s Word, and be not unequally yoked.” In case you missed the memo, Miser has you covered. “Yes, that means break up and move on.”

2. Don’t Do It Missionary-Style

It’s not just wrong to date a doubter of Jesus Christ; it’s a documented and diagnosable disease, according to Miser. “Most Christians who hang onto a non-believer actually think they are the best chance that their unsaved date will ever have for knowing Jesus? Don’t be deceived.” And it’s so endemic that someone made up a term for it. “Someone has already coined a word for this false evangelistic strategy. It is called ‘missionary dating’.” Don’t do it!

Hey ladies! Because the Christian Right doesn’t exactly challenge the gender binary, to put it lightly, let’s look at some of the advice tailored for women.

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Blackface, ‘darkies’ and chain gangs: 23 racist, ‘funny’ Valentine’s Day cards people still buy

13 Feb
image via ebay

image via ebay

Valentine’s Day is known for its commercialism and sexism, but it also deserves credit for its racist advertising.  The racism shown in the greeting cards  is overt and unapologetic. What makes them that more disturbing is the way they make use of children, humor, and puns in particular, sanitizing the gravity of not only stereotypes but literally by presenting it in a cutesy and playful way. While the racism in these images is more overt, many of today’s cartoon’s, comics, and greeting cards express stereotypes though (alleged) comedy. Far from satire, which has the ability to challenge and discredit prejudices and stereotypes, they perpetuate them through contrived and obvious so-called jokes. People will often defend these representations by saying, “it’s just a joke, don’t be so sensitive, don’t be so P.C.” Could the same be said about these cards? And if not, what does that say about the caricatures of today and those who defend them? Many of these cards are for sale on Ebay or Amazon. Hopefully, the people buying them are doing so because they are studying or writing about them and not because they find them amusing. Dr. Harvey Young certainly falls into the first category. A historian and critic, Dr. Young is Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in  the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, where he holds appointments in African American Studies, Performance Studies, and Radio/Television/Film. He is the author of several books, including Embodying Black Experience: Stillness, Critical Memory and the Black Body. In 2012 Dr. Young delivered a lecture at Northwestern on stereotypes and caricatures in Valentine’s Day Cards from the early 20th century and his research on the subject will be included in his forthcoming book explores how people learn about race through objects and media. While these cards may seem like mere relics of the past and archaic artifacts, they are closer to the present than they appear. As Dr. Young told me in an e-mail, “These cards were bestsellers into the early 1930s. A lot of people’s grandparents purchased and exchanged them. This history is more recent and much closer to home than most people suspect or want to acknowledge.” Without further ado, here are 25 racist Valentine’s Day greeting card, mocking Black, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Native American and even Scottish people.

See the cards…

 

America finally holds the worst liar of the Iraq War accountable: Brian Williams

13 Feb
image via wikipedia

image via wikipedia

Can you smell it, America? That is the smell of justice! Because finally, 12 years after we invaded Iraq and 4 years after we withdrew our forces, the American people is demanding accountability!

Many people have blood on their hands for the war which was based on lies and has claimed an estimated half a million lives and contributed to the rise of ISIS. But so far, one man has been forced to apologize and face the consequences for his unspeakable deeds. That man, whose name I can barely bring myself to type, is… Brian Williams. His admission to the crime of deception and his suffering of punishment bode well for swift justice for other war criminals in high places.

Continue reading…

 

Shocking Study: HPV Vaccine does not turn girls into diseased, sex fiends

12 Feb
image via shutterstock

image via shutterstock

Contrary to popular belief, common sense,  good old fashioned intuition, squeamishness, ignorance and fear of female sexuality, a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) does not embolden girls to have more sex, have more unprotected sex and contract more diseases.

Almost  one-quarter of U.S. girls between the ages 14 and 19 and 45 percent of women between and 24 are affected by HPV. And though the vaccine isn’t foolproof, it can protect against genital warts, and more importantly, cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers which result from certain HPV strains.

You would think that these the vaccination, which consists of three shots, would be popular, given how widespread and lethal HPV is. But, by 2013, only 57% of girls ages 13 to 17 had received one dose and only 38% all three recommended doses.

Continue reading…

 

Woman fired over divorce can’t sue, creationists who want tax dollars to discriminate can

12 Feb
image via youtube

image via youtube

Well, this makes for a nice juxtaposition. A judge ruled that a woman has no right to sue her employer for firing her over her marital problems. But, at the same time, a Creationist non-profit has already sued the state of Kentucky for not subsidizing their Noah’s Ark replica or letting them discriminate against non-Christians.

Alyce Conlon was a spiritual director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, an organization that ministers to college students in Michigan.  In 2011, she told her bosses about problems she was having in her marriage and confided that she was considering divorce. Her bosses, asking themselves What Would Jesus do, no doubt, put her on leave, first paid, then unpaid. A year later, having not achieved marital harmony and bliss, she was fired. The next month, her husband divorced her.

Conlon tried to sue IVCF because, she claimed, the organization did not fire two male employees they knew had divorced their wives. But the 6th Circuit Court ruled that she did not have the right to sue because federal discrimination laws do not apply to religious leaders at religious institutions. U.S. Circuit Judge Alice Batchelder wrote that, “The government cannot dictate to a religious organization who its spiritual leaders would be.” IVCF, Batchelder wrote,  “believes in the sanctity of marriage and desires that all married employees honor their marriage vows,” and thus has the right to “consider the impact of any separation/divorce on colleagues, students, faculty and donors.”

Continue reading…

 

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