Posts tagged Feminism

Things about gender… and my anger

There’s a recent news story regarding the South African female runner who is being questioned about her sex due to the fact that she, well… looks like a boy.  And runs fast.

No, really.

It’s like being on the playground as a having someone call a little 4 year old girl a boy because she has short hair and likes to play with trucks.

NBC sports reports (emphasis mine):

Semenya dominated her rivals to win the 800 on Wednesday despite revelations that surfaced earlier in the day that she was undergoing a gender test. Her dramatic improvement in the 800 and 1,500, muscular build and deep voice sparked speculation about her gender.

“She was always rough and played with the boys. She liked soccer and she wore pants to school. She never wore a dress. It was only in Grade 11 that I realized she’s a girl,” Eric Modiba, head of the Nthema Secondary School, told the Beeld newspaper.

No.  No, really.


I get that there are a tiny number of incidents in sports where a male will pretend to be female in order to gain advantage.  I know it has happened.  But this is fucking ridiculous.

On top of the fact that this is an allegation based completely on rumors, therein lays a larger problem with this whole mess in that  you cannot. test. for. gender.


Gender is a societal construct. Yes, I’m aware that makes me sound like a complete flaming liberal (I have no idea why), but you cannot biologically test a person for gender.  No matter how many swabs you collect or doctors you see, you cannot test for gender.

Even Miriam Webster agrees with me, as it defines gender as:
b : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex

You cannot test for that.  YOU CANNOT TEST FOR GENDER.

So if you’re going to be ridiculous about this and put this person through international scrutiny… at least get the fucking term right. You are not. testing. for. gender.  Have I repeated myself enough yet?!

You are testing for her biological sex.

Which leads me to the fact that the topic of intersex athletes requires a whole separate rant which I do not have the energy for.


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Things that need a reality check

Courtesy of CNN, Jenny Sanford makes a statement regarding her husband’s recent disappearance and infidelity:

I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband’s infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.

This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.

I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal. I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage.

Jenny Sanford.  Please… just… just…

This man chose to spend his time during your trial separation – WHICH WAS INTENDED TO “STRENGTHEN [YOUR] MARRIAGE” – bonking his Argentinian mistress!

By disappearing. Unsubtly. To a foreign country.

Instead of doing something which would actually prove that he was committed to making this marriage work, he actually flaunted the fact that he doesn’t care.

You are so right.  He definitely has earned a second chance.

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Things that make me angry #3

A few days ago I noticed that an acquaintance from a past life had recently changed her picture on Facebook to be a “Sara Feigenholtz for Congress” picture.  Now, knowing this girl as I did/do (read: solely Facebook since July ’06, and co-volunteers for 4 months before that), I am aware that she considers herself a huge advocate for women’s issues, and especially women in politics.  I am also aware (via the book of face) that during the election season she worked for the Hilary campaign.

Now, that being said, according to my highly honed stalking skills, she is also currently living in Massachusetts.  Therefore, being that the IL-05 is not really garnering a whole lot of attention nationally, I was curious as to what she knew about Sara F.  Thus began a series of exchanges (again, via stalkerweb), that went something like this:

Me: As someone who lives in the IL-05 and attended the candidate forum in January, and has done a lot of research, I’m interested as to why (other than the fact that she’s a woman, which I agree is bad ass and I want more women in congress) Sara F?

I’m curious as to your take, because there’s actually several progressive (and you could argue more progressive) candidates in this race. I do like Sara a lot, but I’m not sold on her.

And thus began our multi-day internet discussion.  She responded as thus to my inquiry (names changed to protect the whateverandsoforth):

Katie: I like what she’s done, what she’s worked on for women and gay rights. Also that she’s endorsed by Emily’s [sic] List . . .

Who do you think is better?

Me: Honestly, I don’t have a clear preference yet (which is part of the reason I was curious on your thoughts). My top three are probably Sara, Tom Geoghegan, and Mike Quigley. Sara and Mike both scare me a little because they’ve been involved in Chicago politics for a while, which usually denotes bad things. Tom has an amazing labor record and is pretty much identified as the most politically progressive candidate. Also, I want Mike to stay where on the Cook County Board and fight Todd Stroger.

Katie: Hmm. . well I don’t know Chicago politics that well so I can’t say how I feel about it, but usually an endorsement from Emily’s List is good enough for me.

I mean, Obama is Chicago politics . . . did you support him in the election? (just curious).

Interjection here: Please note that Katie – who does not live in Chicago – admits to knowing, oh, nothing, about Chicago politics.  And EMILY’s List is an acronym and should be in all caps, but that’s just a grammar thing because I’m really cool and not anal at all. Carry on.

A few hours later, another post:

Katie : I also like this:

Illinois’ GLBT community has had no stronger ally in Springfield than Sara. She sponsored the Human Rights Law, which protects against unfair discrimination based on sexual orientation. She has also consistently supported hate crimes legislation.

Sara also secured funding for ADAP, a program designed to make sure life-saving drugs are available to those who need them. She worked to clarify existing legislation regarding the Illinois Cares Rx prescription drug program to help Illinois residents reap the full benefits of the ADAP program.

Please note also that this is copy/paste off of Sara F’s website.  Um.  Hurrh?  Not that I don’t like Sara (as previously stated, I do, and I’m all for more women in politics), but… if you wanted an opinion of what Sara has done… shouldn’t you look for, oh, I don’t know, a slightly less biased source than her campaign website?

My sister, having read her comment on Obama responded:

Sister: Obama is NOT Chicago politics. I disagree strongly with that statement.

Me: Indeed, hells yes I supported Barack. Obama was also never really involved in the political machine in Chicago, which is the problem with a lot of Chicago – most people end up more or less under Daley’s/Machine’s thumb. That’s why this election is pretty bad assed – no one is technically being endorsed by the Machine (although Fritchey = machine). It’s actually got a chance to have a progressive candidate win the election (of which, yes, I do count Sara F.).

And Katie’s reply to the comments on Chicago politics and the Chicago Machine was naturally about Chicago politics and the Chicago Machine. Right?

Katie: Ha Ha ok well. . . I was for Hillary obviously so my opinion is slanted but . .

Obama not involved in the machine? How about how he ran his Senate campaign and how he stabbed his mentor in the back? How about shipping in 11,000 people from out of state to caucus in TX illegally? How about my brother and all his friends who caucused illegally in Washington? How about the people I met who caucused in IA and then voted in other states (for him again)? What about what happened in Lake County the night of the Indiana primary? What about my volunteers that got hassled and attacked (literally) by Obama supporters?

Anyways, this primary made me realize that in politics everyone cheats, Obama just cheated the best and the smartest. And that’s what wins . . .

Uuuuhhhh…. Huuurrrrhhhh?  Duuurrr??

So. Here’s the thing. I legitimately asked this girl her opinion, despite the fact that she was a little fanatical during primary season on Facebook, and to be honest, I was in Alaska in my little bubble sans-cable, sans-internet, sans-cell phone for a year, and I missed a lot of the ground action for the primaries.  Besides, I already knew with whom my vote lay, and the most politics I was around during my tenure in Alaska  was debating the valid points of BO v. HC’s health care stances with my coworkers at the women’s shelter.

Despite this fanatical vibe I got from her, I decided that perhaps in this election, with her background in feminism, politics, and activism, she might have some special insight into this election.

But no. Her entire basis is that EMILY’s List endorses her, which again, huzzah, I like EMILY’s List (side note: whose founder, Ellen Moran was appointed White House Communications Director FuckYEAH!), but if that’s your only reason… and you don’t know anything about the other candidates… um… maybe you should learn why EMILY’s List likes her in the first place?

But what is possibly most irritating  in this is that in response to my comment about the CHICAGO Machine and CHICAGO politics she responds with… the bitter writings of a spurned Hilary supporter?  She ends up attacking me and Obama because, uh, I don’t fully support her candidate in a district that I LIVE IN and she doesn’t and admits to knowing NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT??

Jigga. What. Now.


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Dear North Dakota

Dear North Dakota.

Blow yourself.

You know, until last August, I was all for giving you to Canada. I mean, you’re cold, and far away, and were one of 4 states I had left to visit (and the other three were MS, LA, and AR, which are logically close together, ergo feasibly visitable in one trip).  But then I jaunted through your merry sunflower fields and discovered your rolling hills and took beautiful pictures such as this one:

Seriously, who knew North Dakota was so pretty?

Seriously, who knew North Dakota was so pretty?

And this one:

North Dakotan Proof

North Dakotan Proof

So then I was all for keeping you as a state.  I mean, sunflowers! Woot!

But then you had to go and do this:

North Dakota’s House of Representatives has passed a bill effectively outlawing abortion.

The House voted 51-41 this afternoon to declare that a fertilized egg has all the rights of any person. That means a fetus could not be legally aborted without the procedure being considered murder.

Minot Democrat Kari Conrad says the bill will land North Dakota in court, trying to defend the constitutionality of a law that goes against the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

(Rep. Kari Conrad, -D- Minot) “People who presented this bill, were very clear that they intended to challenge Roe versus Wade. So they intend to put the state of North Dakota into court defending Roe vs. Wade”

Sigh. Ergo, despite the fact that this is just a House vote and is still on its way to the Senate, per the above, please blow yourself. Hard.

Love, Me.

PS – Afterthought: Perhaps now Barack can barter you to Canada while he’s there.  DUDE!  Then we could finally make Puerto Rico a state (and keep that bad assed 50 number)!  Or maybe DC.  Oooooh this is f*&!ing golden! Let the pay-to-play begin.

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Sarah Haskins is my new hero.

Oddly enough, I found this woman, the new possible love of my life, as a result of watching TV and finding myself becoming increasingly angry that Every. Single. Damn. Cleaning. Commercial. has something to do with the fact that women do all the housework AND THEY LOVE IT!  Seriously, even commercials with men in them are playing on the stereotype that women are the only people who clean… or men do it when a) using extremely manly cleaning products or b) sucking up to their wives.

It’s a good thing no men ever live alone or unmarried. They wouldn’t even OWN cleaning products, much less do anything with them! They’d be cleaning everything with duct tape, and that could just become a sticky situation.

Anyhow. Inevitably, as it happens, Anger+Google = Random Findings, which led me to many videos, including this one:

I perhaps Love Her.

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