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Awful “Fire Valerie Jarrett” piece is great for a middle school book report, “Mean Girls” GIF

10 Nov

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 3.12.33 AM

Originally published on RawStory

Politico published a very nuanced critique of Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, with the equally nuanced title, “Fire Valerie Jarrett.” The piece, by Carol Felsenthal, isn’t very good journalism, since it mostly repeats and recycles the research of other people and doesn’t have any real new information or insights. But it would make for a great middle school book report, specifically a great middle school book report on Chuck Todd’s forthcoming The Stranger and the Ebook Obama’s Last Stand by Glenn Thrush from 2012. While reading the article I was  struck by the tone, which reminded me of something I couldn’t at first remember. Then it came to me: Mean Girls, the 2004 comedy, starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Tina Fey about mean, cliquish, gossipy high school students. I realized that the article works perfectly when broken down into its cattiest pieces and set to GIFs from the film So, without any further ado, I present quotes from the article juxtaposed with Mean Girls GIFs. The headings are my words, by the quotes are all Felsenthal.

Someone needs to get her out of here!

“Almost since the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, people who have actual, real duties in the West Wing of the White House—the working, executive part of the government, that is—have been urging him to do something about Valerie Jarrett. Push her into the East Wing, where she can hang out with Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary, or give her an ambassadorship—or something—but for Pete’s sake get her out of the way of the hard work of governing that needs to be done.”  tumblr_ne1pcn10ue1qd243po1_500

 

What does she even do?

“Nobody knows precisely what Jarrett does in the White House. What exactly do her titles—senior advisor to the president, assistant to the president in charge of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Public Engagement, the White House Council on Women and Girls—mean?”
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Top ten most common sexual fantasies: new study asks what makes a fantasy “unusual”

10 Nov

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Originally published on RawStory

A new study from the University of Montreal published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that a lot of sexual fantasies are pretty common and pretty vanilla.

1,516 participants rated 55 sexual fantasies and the researchers broke down the fantasies into four categories:  “statistically rare” (found in 2.3 percent or fewer of participants), “statistically unusual” (found in 15.9 percent or less of participants), “Statistically common” (found in more than 50 percent of the participants) and “statistically typical” (found in more than 84.1% of the participants).

How do the results translate into a top ten list? Well… In women, the top 10 most typical or common  fantasy descriptions are …

1. “I like to feel romantic emotions during a sexual relationship.” (typical, 92.2%)

2. “Atmosphere and location are important in my sexual fantasies.” (typical, 86.4%)

3. “I have fantasized about having sexual [sic] in a romantic location (eg on a deserted beach).” (typical, 84.9%)

4. “I have fantasized about having sex in an unusual place (eg in the office; public toilet).” (common, 81.7%)

5. “I have fantasized about taking part in oral sex.” (common, 78.5%) Continue reading

Seven batsh*t crazy things said or done by candidates asking for your vote today

4 Nov
via youtube

via youtube

Vote today! Because Joan Jett says so

4 Nov

Still not convinced the mid-terms matter? Check out this great PSA video in which awesome people, including Joan Jett, Carrie Brownstein, Jemima Kirke, Lesley Gore, Tavi Gevinson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sia, Hannah Simone, and Alia Shawkat, lip synch to Joan Jet’s 1980 hit Bad Reputation to get out the vote. 

In case the video isn’t enough, the Department of Peace, “an art collective geared toward creating consciousness-raising content and inspiring young people toward political participation and community-oriented action,” provides some scary statistics to show how “the most regressive, anti­-woman, anti­-voting, anti-equality laws are being passed on the state level.”

• 29 states in America allow a rapist to sue a women for custody and/or visitation of the child birthed from that rape.

• 87 percent of all US Counties have no abortion provider.

• 35 percent of American women will have an abortion by the age of 45.

• In 35 states, Medicaid recipients do not have abortion coverage.

• In 13 states, a pharmacist can legally refuse to disperse birth control, even if you have a prescription.

• 26 states have waiting periods for abortion; only 11 have waiting periods for guns.

• In 17 states, the government forces women to go to counseling before she can have an abortion.

• In 32 states, terminally ill women are forced to carry a pregnancy to term, regardless of her wishes or her living will.

• More than 50 abortion clinics were shut down by unnecessary laws from 2010­-2013. Not including the dozens that were shut in Texas in the last month.

And the song’s lyrics work pretty well!

Related:
Vote today! Because the GOP is really, really hoping you won’t
Vote today! Because reproductive rights are lost when Republicans gain control of state legislatures

Originally posted on Feministing

10 brilliant sexy Halloween costumes

29 Oct

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Originally posted on Feministing

There are lots of terribleoffensive Halloween costumes on sale this year, as usual. While you’re figuring out a feminist costume this week, get inspired by some clever costumes by the feminist filmmaker Cheryl Furjanic, who has won awards for her documentaries and her costumes. 

Cheryl Furjanic‘s Back on Board: Greg Louganis, a new documentary feature about the gay, HIV+ Olympic champion is getting great buzz and won the audience award at Outfest. Furjanic’s previous feature documentary, Sync or Swim, about swimmers trying to get onto the all women’s synchronized swim team for the Olympics received numerous awards including a Billie Award for Journalism from the Women’s Sports Foundation. She also recently signed on as the Consulting Producer for the documentary Reel in the Closet.

But that’s not all! Furjanic’s Halloween costumes are a refreshing alternative to the “sexy [insert animal or profession]” available at a store near you. And, like her films, they’ve won awards, from the now closed Brooklyn lesbian bar Cattyshack. RIP.

I asked the New York-based Furjanic about her “process,” and she explained,

For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved Halloween. But sometime around middle school something shifted. My grandmother had given me a book of creative costumes that you could make yourself. That gave me an insight into costume construction and I started making costumes from the book. People responded really well to them and I just kept going. I outgrew the book at some point and spent a bunch of years making bizarre and/or elaborate costumes (I once dressed as Hanson, the entire boy band).

At some point I came up with the idea to dress as an idiom or a play on words and things kind of took off from there.  The living room of my apartment is  my costume workshop. It’s a real scene with foam and tape and glue everywhere.  Sometimes friends come over to hang out (or help) while I’m building. Often we’ll all make our costumes together and then go out together. The best part for me is walking around the city  and having people guess what I’m dressed as. And my friends are always eager to find out what I’m going to be that year.

When I asked Furjanic if she had ever felt pressure to wear “sexy” or “pretty” costumes, she responded, “Depends on your definition of pretty/sexy. I’ve absolutely never felt pressure to dress in a revealing costume. But I find smarts and a sense of humor to be pretty sexy. So my version is a clever costume where I can’t fit through doorways and have trouble sitting down.”

Check out some of Furjanic’s costumes below. See if you can guess what they are. I put the captions under the photos so don’t cheat!
Check out the Costumes

Seven billboards proving why churches would make terrible standup comedians

28 Oct

shutterstock_94185775Originally posted on RawStory

Add to the long list of “signs the church is out of touch”: really corny, eye-roll-inducing billboards that are more likely to repel than attract. I did find one funny one, which I saved for last…

1. The “We’re down with the Facebook” Billboard

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2. The “internets, am I right?” billboard. 

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Five depressing studies confirming everything you already knew

27 Oct

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Originally posted on RawStory

We all like to be right. But when it comes to having hunches or suspicions about the things that are wrong in the world, I’d rather be wrong. I’d love, for instance, to see empirical evidence prove me wrong about my assumptions like there is a lot of homophobia in the world, or people vote against their own interests, or Best in Show is considered superior to Waiting for Guffman.

But, I don’t have any of those for you today. Instead, here are some studies which show that the things lots of us feared, felt, or thought were true, actually are.

1. Obese people have to deal with a lot of bullshit and obese women have to deal with even more bullshit than obese men. Women who are considered obese earn less and work lower-paying and less visible jobs in the U.S. workforce according to a new study by Jennifer Shinall an assistant professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School.  Shinall explains that obese women are less likely to have “personal interaction jobs,” such as a salesperson, customer service representative or receptionist and more likely to have physically demanding jobs in home health care food preparation and childcare. “Employers don’t want to hire heavier women to be the face of their company.” But even when a heavy woman works in one of these personal interaction jobs, she “will earn almost 5 percent less than a normal-weight woman working in an occupation with exactly the same emphasis.” Shinall  finds that the discrimination isn’t just about weight but about gender: “morbidly obese men don’t seem to be underrepresented in these personal-interaction jobs, nor do they seem to be over-represented in physical-activity jobs. That’s what’s striking about the data: We see a pattern for women but not for men… This is a sexual discrimination issue.”

2. The whole bullying thing is still happening. Though there has been increased awareness around bullying and anti-bullying legislation, bullying is still prevalent. A report by researchers from Clemson University and Professional Data Analysts Inc., which was published by the Hazelden Foundation, was based on a representative sample of more than 200,000 questionnaires filled out by students. The sample was made up of 1,000 girls and 1,000 boys from grades  third to 12th. 22 percent of schoolchildren reported being  bullied two or three times or more per  month. Bullied students are more likely to dislike school and feel afraid of  being bullied than uninvolved students. While  93 percent of girls and 81 percent of boys across all grade levels feel sorry for bullied students, most do nothing to help them.

The Report recommends, “A good evidence-based anti-bullying program [that] will have the power to restructure and strengthen the school environment by teaching everyone how to identify acts of bullying, how to react to bullying, and how to work together to reduce opportunities and rewards for bullying behavior.”
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Mindy Kaling is not Malala: 15 celebrities of color mistaken for people they look nothing like

26 Oct

Mindy-and-Malala

Mindy Kaling is an American comedian, actress and writer with her own Fox sitcom The Mindy Project. She is 35 years old. Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani women’s rights and human rights activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban, survived and became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is 17. Yet, apparently Kaling was mistaken for Malala at a New Yorker Festival after party in New York City’s Boom Boom Room. The New York Times revealed that  “a tipsy man in his 80s came up to Kaling and gushed: “Congratulations on your Nobel Prize.” I mean, the two look nothing alike, have an age gap by nearly 20 years and one of them wears a head scarf. But at the end of the day, they are both brown so easy mistake. Sadly, this is hardly the only time people of color who look nothing alike are mistaken for each other. Let’s take a look at eight other times people were unable to tell the difference between celebrities who have nothing in common besides their ethnicity (that we know of).

1. Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne: during an interview back in February, KTLA entertainment reporter asked Samuel L. Jackson about his Super Bowl commercial. It may have been a good question… if it had been posed to the person who had actually starred in said commercial, Laurence Fishburne. Jackson unloaded on the reporter in an epic rant that turned into a viral video:

“Oh hell no… There’s more than one black guy doing commercials. I’m the ‘What’s in your wallet?’ black guy. [Fishburne’s] the car black guy. Morgan Freeman is the other credit card black guy. You only hear his voice though, so you probably won’t confuse him with Laurence Fishburne.”


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Nine Halloween costumes that are both sexist and racist and on sale right now!

24 Oct

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Ladies! Are you tired of having to choose between either a sexist and objectifying Halloween costume or a racist and unflattering one disguise? Well are you in for a treat! Because I’m about to show you how you can have it all this Halloween!

Just go online, find a website like Brands On Sale  specializing in costumes and look for the “International” section.

To make your job easier, I’ve picked out some of my favorites. So lean in and check out some totally offensive, culture-mocking, and hypersexualizing costumes, along with the offensive names and descriptions that accompany them.

“MEXICAN” SECTION 

1. Adult Sexy Mexican Shot Girl Costume

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Adult Sexy Mexican Shot Girl Costume via brandsonsale

“The Sexy Mexican Serape and Hat costume is one spicy number for this Halloween. Complete with shot glasses, this Senorita outfit is ready for the party! For a hot couples costume, try our other Mexican and international costumes.”

Main Features

  • Serape mini dress
  • Belt with four loops and bottle holster
  • 4 shot glasses
  • TEQUILA print sombrero

I actually appreciate how the description of the costume says senorita instead of señorita. There’s something honest about spelling it senorita, despite the fact the spell-check will correct it. Like they embrace their utter ignorance. And the fun-loving-alcohol-drinking Mexican stereotype is so original and refreshing.

2. Women’s South of the Border Costume

Women’s South of the Border Costume via brandsonsale

 

“This Latina costume has all the spice of traditional Mexican clothing with just a bit of extra pink. The one piece dress falls below the knees and features a loose fit top for a classical look.”

I almost admire this costume for not really making any sense. it’s like it doesn’t even know what stereotypes to work with. Also, can a costume even be “Latina”?

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Finally! A medical reason to drink alcohol and a GIF guide on how

23 Oct
via giphy

via giphy

Great news for people who like alcohol. A new study has found that alcohol consumption after you hit 60 helps your memory.  I know how I’ll be spending my retirement! It’s not quite as bacchanalian as it sounds. You’re not supposed to get wasted. In the study researchers from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, University of Kentucky, and University of Maryland, looked at the medical history of 660 patients in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort in Massachusetts and gave them a battery of tests. The results, published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, demonstrated that light alcohol consumption is linked with higher episodic memory– the ability to recall memories of events– while moderate alcohol consumption correlated with a larger volume of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain related to episodic memory. The findings only apply to people who do not have dementia. And, of course, moderation is key as too much drinking impairs brain functioning. Too much, scientifically and medically speaking, means five or more alcoholic beverages during a single drinking occasion. For example, a University of Exeter Medical School study saw that older adults who had drinking problems when middle-aged were twice as likely to have memory and cognitive issues as people without a history of drinking problems. Now enjoy these Lucille Bluth GIFs demonstrating how we should spend our golden years. Do not drink any more than four drinks at a time while doing this. Continue reading

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