All entries by this author


Oct 26th, 2016 12:30 pm | By

Uh oh. Rachel Maddow could be in for some shunning.

New rule:

If you don’t have a vagina, you don’t get to make laws regulating them.

 … Read the rest

Men do not have a fundamental right to use female bodies

Oct 26th, 2016 11:20 am | By

Glosswitch on the World Health Organisation’s new definition of infertility:

A woman’s desire to control her reproductive destiny will always be in direct opposition to patriarchy’s desire to exploit female bodies as a reproductive resource. The social institutions that develop to support the latter – such as marriage – may change, but the exploitation can remain in place.

To put it another way, marriage is not the only way to exploit female bodies as a reproductive resource. We live in modern times! We are liberated! Women can simply be rented now!

This is why all feminists – and indeed anyone serious about tackling patriarchy at the root – should be deeply concerned about the World Health Organisation’s new definition

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The Green Man

Oct 26th, 2016 10:49 am | By

The BBC reports on a pleasing interlude in the well-forested state of Maine:

A man in America has been arrested for obstructing traffic after crossing the road dressed as a tree.

Asher Woodworth, from the US state of Maine, covered himself in branches and walked really slowly across a street.

Ok so he slowed traffic a little, but he probably brightened up a lot of people’s day in the process.

You can see people grinning in the video – including one of the cops. Day brightened.

Frankly I hope it catches on. Beats scary clowns any day.… Read the rest

This will help rile up the base

Oct 25th, 2016 6:06 pm | By

Obama is reminding the Republicans that he warned them.

On the stump, Obama now regularly links Trump’s candidacy, and the bind he’s created for down-ballot Republicans, to a greater theory about the way the right has practiced politics throughout his presidency.

“For years,” Obama said in Las Vegas, “Republican politicians and the far-right media outlets have pumped up all kinds of crazy stuff about me, about Hillary, about Harry [Reid]. They said I wasn’t born here. They said climate change is a hoax. They said that I was going to take everybody’s guns away.”

Obama went on:

[T]here are a lot of politicians who knew better. There are a lot of senators who knew better. But they went along

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Guest post: The party where facts don’t matter

Oct 25th, 2016 2:04 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on Trump and framing.

Here’s my armchair theorizing about the rise of Trump:

1. Republicans became the party that refuses to compromise. Explaining why is probably a whole separate argument itself, but here are a few contributors. (a) The tyranny of 40% — hard-core conservatives don’t have an actual majority among the population as a whole, but they can control the Republican Party, and they make up enough of the public that they don’t think they need non-conservative allies. In part they’re right: they vote in higher numbers (especially in midterms), and aren’t “wasting” their votes by being concentrated in urban areas. (Progressives, by contrast, have generally learned to accept that they need … Read the rest

Trump and framing

Oct 25th, 2016 9:32 am | By

George Lakoff on Trump last July:

Donald J. Trump has managed to become the Republican nominee for president, Why? How? There are various theories: People are angry and he speaks to their anger. People don’t think much of Congress and want a non-politician. Both may be true. But why? What are the details? And Why Trump?

He gives an extended answer that he says is based on his research…but his sample of the theories above is too short: he leaves out the simple fact of Trump’s celebrity, which is surely much too important to leave out. An unknown guy from East Jesus, Oklahoma who did exactly what Trump did would not, I think, have had the success Trump had.… Read the rest

He is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan

Oct 24th, 2016 5:26 pm | By

Oh look, a detailed examination of Trump’s SLAPP suits, sweetly titled Donald J. Trump Is A Libel Bully But Also A Libel Loser. The author is Susan E. Seager.

Donald J. Trump is a libel bully. Like most bullies, he’s also a loser, to borrow from Trump’s vocabulary.

Trump and his companies have been involved in a mind-boggling 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years and sent countless threatening cease-and-desist letters to journalists and critics.[1]

But the GOP presidential nominee and his companies have never won a single speech-related case filed in a public court.

He had all the fun of bullying people though.

This article examines seven speech-related cases brought by Trump and his companies, which include four

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Nice guys

Oct 24th, 2016 4:19 pm | By

Surprise surprise – Julian Assange and Donald Trump have things in common – and not just the predilection for sexual assault.

Julian Assange isn’t a Russia spy, but he is taking revenge on Hillary Clinton, and “if an anonymous or pseudonymous group came offering anti-Clinton leaks, they’d have found a host happy not to ask too many awkward questions,” James Ball, who worked with WikiLeaks when it made its biggest splash, in 2010, writes at BuzzFeed News.

Anti-Clinton animus isn’t the only thing driving Assange in 2016, after four years of self-imposed exile in a tiny apartment in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Ball writes: Assange thinks himself “the equal of a world leader,” and the leak of Clinton

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Your innate, invisible gender identity

Oct 24th, 2016 9:57 am | By
Your innate, invisible gender identity

When beliefs about “gender” topple into full-on woo bullshit.

It’s a reply to a comment at the Huffington Post (which provides a link to the comment but not the reply, go figure):

Vanessa Sheridan ·

Director of Transgender Relations and Community Engagement at Center on Halsted

With respect, I would suggest that how the world relates to you has nothing to do with your femininity. Femininity comes from within, not from without. How others may or may not perceive you has nothing to do with your innate, invisible gender identity. That identity is self-determined (at least in an emotionally healthy person), and external forces are simply that: external and, for the most part, extraneous. Oh, it’s nice when other people

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Trump’s vocabulary exercise

Oct 24th, 2016 8:32 am | By

The Times has compiled a massive collection of Trump’s Twitter insults of various people and institutions. Each item is a link. That’s a lot of work!

Let’s look at the list under Elizabeth Warren:

“Sad to watch” “bombed last night!” “Pocahontas” “Pocahontas” “wanted V.P. slot so badly but wasn’t chosen because she has done nothing in the Senate” “Pocahontas” “a very weak Senator” “Goofy” “Pocahontas” “Goofy” “the least productive Senator in the U.S. Senate” “Goofy” “goofy” “one of the least productive senators” “Very racist!” “Goofy” “has a nasty mouth” “one of the least productive U.S. Senators” “Goofy” “All talk, no action!” “Total hypocrite!” “lowlife!” “Goofy” “she doesn’t have a clue” “If it were up to goofy Elizabeth Warren, we’d
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Convicted felon and mean asshole

Oct 24th, 2016 7:42 am | By

More from the Moral Vacuity Files – Dinesh D’Souza on Twitter:

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Erratic, empty, cruel, intolerant, and corrupt

Oct 24th, 2016 7:26 am | By

The New Yorker has a lo-o-o-ng editorial endorsing Clinton and dis-endorsing Trump. Some highlights:

…the Democratic nominee has ended up playing a sometimes secondary role in a squalid American epic. If she is elected, she will have weathered a prolonged battle against a trash-talking, burn-it-to-the-ground demagogue. Unfortunately, the drama is not likely to end soon. The aftereffects of this campaign may befoul our civic life for some time to come.

If the prospect of a female President represents a departure in the history of American politics, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump, the real-estate mogul and Republican nominee, does, too—a chilling one. He is manifestly unqualified and unfit for office. Trained in the arts of real-estate promotion and

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All worked up on adrenaline

Oct 23rd, 2016 5:12 pm | By

Rebecca Solnit shared a discouraging story of random misogynist aggression from Mary Diaz:

Driving through the back roads this morning I was enjoying the energy of this pack of road bikers in front of me taking up 2/3 of the lane. Until one of them yelled into my open window “You fucking stupid cunt!” I was driving slow as I passed on the left and there were at least 30 men in this group – wasn’t sure how to navigate around them so I’d slowed down as I passed. A mile or so later I pulled over when I realized his comment had left me shaking. Then there they were pulled up across the street stopping for a break…

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Then came Donald Trump — liar, thief, bully

Oct 23rd, 2016 11:59 am | By

Even Mort Zuckerman doesn’t like Trump. The Daily News is all over him.

When the Daily News Editorial Board strives to identify the person who offers the greatest promise to brighten the futures of Americans and to safeguard the national security.

Never have we questioned a candidate’s fitness to serve.

Then came Donald Trump — liar, thief, bully, hypocrite, sexual victimizer and unhinged, self-adoring demagogue.

If even the Daily News can see it, everyone can see it.

The 16-month campaign since Trump vaingloriously entered the race has horrifyingly revealed that the Big Lie brazenly told — built on smaller falsehoods and spread by social media and a lust for TV ratings — can bring the United States to the

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A place where there is need for her kind of writing

Oct 23rd, 2016 10:50 am | By

Taslima talked to a reporter about life “at home in exile.”

India, Nasrin reiterates, articulating feelings she has expressed often, is “closest to home, to my bhasha, my culture. I relate to this society, feel I belong here”. It’s necessary to her very raison d’etre as a writer. “I am not a writer of romances. I am a socially committed writer; my writing is for freedom of expression, for women’s rights. I cannot live in a place where everything is ideal, where there is freedom of expression, human rights for all. I am a citizen of such a country (Sweden). I have to live near the oppressed, to see them up close, to meet them, a place where there

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Actual flaws

Oct 23rd, 2016 10:35 am | By
Actual flaws

Speaking of Trump, I found this pretty hilarious –

Michael Nugent

The Al Smith Dinner helped to humanise Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who are both demonised beyond their actual flaws.

Hahaha yes the two are exactly equivalent.

No but seriously – it’s beyond me how anyone who’s not as awful as Trump is himself can say that. Trump puts his actual flaws on display at all times. He makes it quite impossible to overlook them.

Nugent was also tweeting up a storm about how it doesn’t matter that Trump has refused to say he’ll accept the election results if he loses. Easy for him to say from the other side of the Atlantic.… Read the rest

“What do you want? How much?”

Oct 23rd, 2016 10:23 am | By

Another woman for Trump to threaten to sue.

Adult-film star and sex educator Jessica Drake is the latest woman to accuse Donald Trump of moving on her sexually without consent. At a live Los Angeles press-conference Saturday with lawyer Gloria Allred, Drake accused the Republican presidential nominee of “uncontrollable misogyny, entitlement, and being a sexual assault apologist,” and claimed he kissed her and two other women without their consent upon meeting them in 2006. Drake also said Trump offered to pay her for sex.

According to Drake, she and the other women were invited by Trump back to his Lake Tahoe hotel suite after meeting him at a golf tournament. Once there, Trump allegedly grabbed each of them tightly

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Another obligation

Oct 22nd, 2016 5:22 pm | By

The WHO has a new plan.

Single men and women without medical issues will be classed as “infertile” if they do not have children but want to become a parent, the World Health Organisation is to announce.

In a move which dramatically changes the definition of infertility, the WHO will declare that it should no longer be regarded as simply a medical condition.

Why not just call them unwillingly childless or similar, instead of hijacking a perfectly good word that means something different?

Because hijacking the existing word will create a new right.

The authors of the new global standards said the revised definition gave every individual “the right to reproduce”.

Oh yes? Sounds like a rapists’ charter, to … Read the rest

All of these liars

Oct 22nd, 2016 11:50 am | By

So Trump gave a talk today in Gettysburg – as one does, hoping some of the cred that Lincoln picked up there will transfer. Slate chose a nice photo to show Trump in Lincoln mode:


After weeks of scandal after scandal, Donald Trump was meant to focus on policy. His Saturday address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was billed as the chance for Trump to show why voters should choose him over Hillary Clinton. The speech would “set the tone” for the final weeks of the campaign as Trump would make the case for why he is “the change-agent our country needs,” Stephen Miller, Trump’s national policy director said before the speech.

Right at the beginning of

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Oct 22nd, 2016 10:40 am | By

Don’t go thinking Canada is perfect.

The Federal Standing Committee on Finance heard from a variety of speakers about economic disparities, including gender inequality, Tuesday in Charlottetown.

The only problem? The committee didn’t have any female members present.

Because women are such a tiny minority that such a committee can’t possibly be expected to represent them?

Jenny Wright, executive director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council, posted a tweet Tuesday highlighting the irony of the fact that she was about to speak in front of an all-male government panel about income inequality for women.

Nine members; nine men. Marvelous, isn’t it?

“Any standing committee like this needs to go for gender parity,” Wright told Yahoo Canada

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