HPV: maybe it is women’s fault (Cartoon of the Day)

February 20, 2007

Bad news

(From Nick Anderson, Houston’s Chronicle’s excellent editorial cartoonist)

Ah, so what is it gonna be, conservative idiots? As a future doc, this picture sums up my feelings quite nicely.

Given all the brouhaha over HPV and Texas Governor Rick Perry’s order to implement a mandatory vaccination program for all school-age girls in Texas, I found an interesting nugget that has been largely ignored:

First lady’s influence?

Also, a spokesman indicated that first lady Anita Perry’s strong support for the vaccine may have played a role in the governor’s decision. A former nurse and the daughter of a doctor, Anita Perry works for an organization dealing with sexual assaults.

“I know they have discussed it, and it’s something they both feel very strongly about,” said Press Secretary Robert Black.

But some who oppose the bill have suggested that a political contribution from the vaccine-maker influenced his decision.

So his wife, a former health professional, may have had a bit to do with it. Do I buy that? Sure, why not – but lots of first ladies are involved in humanitarian and educational endeavors as well. If politicians actually listened to their wives a little, things would be a lot better in ALL countries.


Women: wear chastity belts to prevent sex-crimes

February 18, 2007

Postings have been quite slow around here… have been busy studying and fighting a nasty URTI. I’m afraid postings will suffer in the next couple of months, at least until June, when my baby is born.

But on with another story. Normally I roll my eyes and don’t bother with asinine stories, but this one is just too much:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Women should wear chastity belts to prevent rape, incest and other sex crimes, a prominent Islamic cleric in northern Malaysia was quoted as saying Friday.

Abu Hassan Din Al Hafiz, speaking in the northern state of Terengganu, said chastity belts could protect women from a growing number of sex crimes in Malaysia, The Star newspaper reported.

The best way to avert sex perpetrators is to wear protection,’ Abu Hassan told a crowd of followers. My intention is not to offend women but to safeguard them from sex maniacs.’

Yes Mr. Cleric, women must wear chastity belts… is it too much to ask to educate the men over there that women should not be raped? I’m using the word “men” loosely here, people who rape women and children are beasts, not humans. This seems to be a concept that men worldwide don’t get: you CANNOT rape a women just because you feel like it. It is in the books you morons – rape somebody and you are going to jail, pure and simple. And if a woman is raped, it is NOT her fault:

Religious leaders in Malaysia’s conservative north have in the past blamed sexual attacks on women wearing provocative clothing and make up.

Just in case you don’t know what a chastity belt is, here is a pic. I’m sure the cleric won’t mind.

Chastity Belt

How Employers Discriminate by Marital Status

December 28, 2006

As if women weren’t discriminated enough. One of the most common factors of discrimination is via marital status. Men reading this blog might think, that’s just a bunch of bull. It’s not:

Only 22 states and Puerto Rico specifically prohibit employers from inquiring about applicants’ marital status. That means “maternal profiling” is a real problem for many women.

Just ask Kiki Peppard. […] But Pennsylvania is one of those many states that says nothing against the practice, which in the absence of a federal prohibition, makes it perfectly OK. In fact, those were usually among the first questions asked, she said, and many hiring managers ended the encounter soon after she honestly answered them.

“You have to understand how humiliating it was to be denied employment because I was a mother, and how humbling it was to not know where your next meal is coming from, and that as a woman in this country, you really are treated as worthless,” she said.

As you might imagine, the mainstream media barely covers any related developments, if at all:

For 12 years Peppard, a single mother, has campaigned to get Pennsylvania to make it illegal for employers to ask about an applicant’s marital or familial status. Last week, on Nov. 30, the bill died its most recent death when committee chairmen refused to allow it to move to the floor of the state House and Senate for a vote.

This bill has not only failed with legislators, it’s also been pretty much of a non-starter with the press. Peppard says–and my own Web searches confirm–there was no coverage of the bill’s most recent failure. […] She spent six years trying to get Pennsylvania legislators to sponsor a bill against maternal profiling in interviews and the next six trying to get the bill passed into law.

She says she has been contacting reporters from the very beginning, but after all that time she can count the news sightings on just about two hands and most of that is coming from the alternative or independent press.

One break came her way when MomsRising.org made her story a centerpiece of their cause to improve U.S. motherhood conditions. Peppard is heavily featured in the activist group’s 2006 documentary “The Motherhood Manifesto,” based on the book of the same name by MomsRising co-founders Joan Blades and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, who also published a Mother’s Day piece about Peppard this year in the Nation. MomsRising blogger Cooper Munroe also got an op-ed about Peppard published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sept. 27.

How typical. By the way, visit the MomsRising website when you have a chance.

Dumb-but-stupid? Leave that Lewinsky girl alone!

December 26, 2006

Now I don’t know why a newspaper publishes certain articles – maybe the chief editor was on vacation, or truly nothing else was happening in the world (yeah right) – but yesterday’s article in the Washington Post, From Thong to Thesis, Monica Lewinsky Flashes her Intellect, is one of the biggest pieces of trash ever published.

Take this small bit of sheer journalistic genius:

There are moments that make you question your fundamental assumptions about the world. One of them took place a few days ago, when news emerged that Monica Lewinsky had just graduated from the London School of Economics.

She did not!!

Lewinsky, 33, is known more for her audacious coquetry than for her intellectual heft, and the notion of her earning a master of science degree in social psychology at the prestigious London university is jarring, akin to finding a rip in the time-space continuum, or discovering that Kim Jong Il is a natural blond.

The emphasis above is NOT mine, it actually appeared that way in the article. Read the rest of the article to grasp the level to which the Washington Post, and the U.S. media, has fallen (basically, people who are “dumb” but are actually “smart”, in all of its immature glory). I never understood why the media focused so much on Monica Lewinsky – oh yes, I remember now, she had an intimate relationship with the president of the United States. The rabid right-wing was so obsessed that a woman had a blowjob. She was not dumb or stupid, but young and immature. She screwed up, so what? Dubya screws up all the fucking time with consequences U.S. soldiers take to the grave, and nobody says anything to him.

This article provides us with 2 Christmas thoughts we can take home. Number one is, of course, that the journalistic bar was set so low that the fact that she was EVER news reflects very poorly on the Washington Post judgment, and again on the U.S. media as a whole. The fact that she is covered NOW is amazing at all. Is it not true that president Bush’s actions are far more serious than any of president Clinton’s misdeamenors?

Which reminds me, when the hell are we going to have an “impeachment watch” on the front of every American newspaper? Do the media think we are stupid? Are we supposed to weigh more heavily some sexual escapades than the current administration lies that led us to an illegal war, more than 600,000 innocent Iraqi dead, nearly 3,000 American soldiers and more than 20,000 injured? Give me a break! Now that the impeachment bar has been set so low, why don’t the media live up to it and carry it out to its logical conclusion?

The second thought is that a women can’t seem to be smart and have sex at the same time. Either she is a sexual object or she is an intellectual. Wow, a girl that had a blowjob can’t graduate from college? That a women can’t be pretty and smart as well? Look conservative wingnuts, she interned for the president. Whatever she did afterwards in said position, one has to be quite smart to get into that position in the first place. Many, if not all, of White House interns graduate with advanced degrees and get high-paying jobs. I graduated with honors from college and go to medical school, which is not easy, so the notion that a White House intern, much less a woman, somehow was able to graduate with an advanced degree is so stupid that it could only come from a right-wing idiot.

Expect plenty of Monica-bashing as the 2008 presidential elections come close.