The real problems facing American feminists today.
Commentary has printed some brilliant feminist insights by Jonathan S. Tobin on Brandeis University’s refusal to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
We have heard a great deal in the last couple of years from liberals about a “war on women” that was supposedly being waged by American conservatives. That meme played a crucial part in President Obama’s reelection and Democrats hope to repeat that success in this year’s midterms. Liberals have tried to mobilize American women to go to the polls to register outrage over the debate about forcing employers to pay for free contraception, a Paycheck Fairness Act that is more of a gift to trial lawyers than women, and attempts to limit abortions after 20 weeks. These are issues on which reasonable people may disagree, but what most liberals seem to have missed is the fact that there is a real war on women that is being waged elsewhere around the globe where Islamist forces are brutalizing and oppressing women in ways that make these Democratic talking points look trivial. It is that point that Hirsi Ali is trying to make in her public appearances.
But instead of rising in support of Hirsi Ali’s efforts to draw attention to these outrages, leading American feminists are silent. The only voices we’re hearing from the left are from men who are determined to justify Brandeis.
I recently commented on the nastiness that occurs when political passion jumps the shark into idol-worshiping territory. One need look no further for evidence as to how ugly and narrow-minded political idol worshipers can get than the quotes Tobin pulls from left-wing sources hellbent on defending Brandeis’s decision. A search of both Jezebel and Bitch Magazine websites turned up zip on the controversy, once again proving the theory that feminism really is all about white, upper class “rich” chicks and their pop culture fanaticism.
I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.
The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.
The fact that the mainstream feminist movement has no use for Hirsi Ali’s brave fight for women’s rights should come as no surprise. Her global campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and abuse of women within radical Islam is so far out of the realm of #FirstWorldProblem Feminism that it doesn’t even ping on their radar. Which is precisely why feminism is a joke and women continue to be the laughingstock whipping boys of Democrat men who keep them well oiled and distracted during election season before shoving them back under Oval Office desks where they belong. What can I say except submission sells.
Perhaps Muslim women aren’t the only ones who are being targeted and abused because of their gender after all.
David Swindle has entered the ongoing discussion on altruism, religion and politics here at PJLifestyle. In doing so, he’s issued a number of great questions I’ve been wrestling with over the past few weeks. Jumping back in, I’d like to address them one by one, beginning with:
Walter, Susan, Lisa, and anyone else who’d like to join the discussion: am I going too far when I say that for a good number of people “Conservatism” is a form of idolatry?
No. I’ve had a hard, sad reminder of that through some of the commentary I’ve received on a numberof articlesin the past few weeks. There are some wonderful, insightful people out there who I’d love to have dinner with some day. And then there’s the passionate base who has time to issue verbose rants: Contradict popular line and you can “F-off”. You know this segment of the population; they are the reason stereotypes exist. But, they also prove the point that there are people out there who worship Conservatism above all else. Ironically, they’re as abusively passionate as those “liberals” they are taught to hate.
I just returned from Australia, where I was speaking at a conference sponsored by Australia’s superlative human rights group, the Q Society, along with Stop Islamisation of Nations (of which I am a board member). Also on the trip were Pamela Geller (SION’s president), Ashraf Ramelah of Voice of the Copts, Nonie Darwish of Former Muslims United, the Israeli scholar Mordechai Kedar, and numerous Australian human rights activists.
Australia is a beautiful country full of marvelously friendly people, as I saw both on this trip and on my speaking tour of six Australian cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, and Cairns) in late 2011. If you’ve never gone, book your trip now – and watch out for a few of the things I saw there…
Thursday, March 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
The MSM’s latest fetish, college girls-turned-porn stars for tuition money, smacks of the rotten legacy of second-wave feminism’s “our bodies, our selves” mantra. Take the story of Belle Knox, a Duke University fresh-girl forced to do porn for the tuition money. While her sleaze-bag of an agent attempts to milk her 15 minutes with stories of a poor girl turned out by multimillionaire parents (a story she later changed when chatting with Piers Morgan), Belle Knox views herself as anything but a victim.
The 18-year-old appeared on front pages across the globe and sat down with Piers Morgan for a CNN interview using only her stage name and claiming that she was not ashamed of what she was doing and, in fact, felt ‘empowered’ by her career.
I’m not being exploited. I love what I’m doing and I’m safe,’ insists the women’s studies major.
Women’s studies major. Good thing she’s in porn, considering her future career choices at this point don’t rise far above McDonald’s worker (and we all know how poorly they’re paid). Seriously, though, paying for your women’s studies degree by doing porn? Has anyone stopped being sucked in by the rich-girl lifestyle to consider that glaring irony? Or the fact that her women’s studies major has justified her career choice?
She told her student newspaper in an interview last week: ‘My entire life, I have, along with millions of other girls, been told that sex is a degrading and shameful act. When I was five-years-old and beginning to discover the wonders of my body, my mother, completely horrified, told me that if I masturbated, my vagina would fall off.
‘The most striking view I was indoctrinated with was that sex is something women “have,” but that they shouldn’t “give it away” too soon -– as though there’s only so much sex in any one woman, and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she “gives” it to.’
The vapid meanderings of Belle Knox illustrate the very scary impact of the second-wave feminist notion that our bodies really are our selves. Beyond our physicality, we have nothing left, no brain, no feeling, to “lose” or invest in a sexual encounter.
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
First exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon in 1765, Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s ”A Girl With a Dead Canary” was designed to evoke much the same emotion as PETA member Sarah Segal’s proposed memorial to chickens who were killed in a truck accident last month in Georgia. It seems like a tacky comparison that may even be read as an insult to a well-done and even pretty (if bizarre) work of 18th century art, but the bottom line is that both pieces were created for the same purpose: To tug at viewers’ heartstrings while affirming the moral superiority of a particular cultural class.
According to British historian Simon Schama, ill-fated French King Louis XVI introduced the “cult of nature” to the throne, “replacing couches and courtisans with [the] tenderness and simplicity” of Marie Antoinette’s toy farm and the well-crafted embrace of wildlife in art. “Tears were especially prized as evidence of feeling,” Schama explains, noting that, “people wept when they saw” Greuze’s painting. “Feelings …the shallow kind were embraced by the fashionable elite.” It was the attempt of a king and class to portray themselves as perfect, superior human beings.
So it goes with the Roadkill Memorial, albeit in a much more blatantly political format. A tombstone designed to dwarf roadside memorials to mere human victims of vehicular death, the proposed memorial is intended to remind all drivers to approach all of their animal relations with reverence:
Cascada said the tombstone’s visibility would make drivers’ more wary of people and chickens alike, thereby helping to avoid unnecessary accidents and preserve the lives of chickens in transport. …But Cascada acknowledged the reality of the chickens’ final destination, making the “Go Vegan” phrase a key takeaway.
“The more people who go vegan, the fewer chickens are in this situation to begin with,” she said.
Simply stating that “meat is murder” isn’t enough anymore. For PETA, the time for mere sloganeering is over. Humans are animals, don’t you get it? You’re all slabs of meat now, and some are much more important than others.
At a Shabbat (Sabbath meal) this past week, conversation veered into the political realm, as it often does when my husband and I are guests. We began to discuss the likelihood of Hillary Clinton running, the papers recently unearthed by my former colleague Alana Goodman, and about how Bill’s wandering eye could impact Hillary’s campaign. Around the table were three young people, ranging in age from about 9-17. Adult participants in the conversation soon realized that it was impossible to conduct a conversation about the Clintons with children present, and soon, the mother (rightfully) asked for a complete change in subject. Before doing so we reflected how sad it is that a president’s legacy cannot truthfully be discussed with innocent ears listening.
For how long can this mother shield her children from the topic? If Hillary runs, perhaps only a few more months. With the Clintons back in the news, pundits will be (and should be) discussing how ready America is to relive the sex scandals of the ’90s. Anyone who believes that Bill has learned his lesson need only look to Anthony Weiner to understand that old dogs can’t, and won’t, learn new tricks. Bill’s wandering eye, both in the past and, in all likelihood, the future, will be a topic of conversation for as long as a Clinton occupies the White House.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
Hannah Horvath has a “What am I doing with my life?” moment common in corporate bathrooms the world-over.
It took 3.5 seasons, but finally I found something culturally relevant in Girls.
The latest episode, Free Snacks raised barely a blip in the world of Girls criticism, most likely because it played more like a Woody Allen movie than your typical Girls episode rife with awkward sex and lunatic meltdowns. In fact, for the first time ever the few sex scenes featured in this episode were actually relevant to character exposition and development. I’ve thoroughly criticized Dunham for being a sacrificial goddess on the altar of pop culture, but this episode has left me hoping that perhaps Lena Dunham isn’t that kind of girl after all.
The episode opens with Hannah quitting her job at Ray’s coffee shop to become an advertorial writer at GQ. Thrilled after her first day’s success, she arrives home to find that Adam walked out of another audition because he didn’t like the direction he was given. The moment foreshadows the following day, when Hannah is confronted by the fact that her co-workers, who are more accomplished writers than she, turned their backs on their “spiritually fulfilling” writing for corporate jobs with steady salaries, health benefits and perks. Hannah’s nervous breakdown moment is priceless: Dunking her head under the bathroom sink, she walks her wet head into her boss’s office, responding to the compliment “you remind me a lot of myself,” with “I quit.”
When her boss doesn’t fight for her to stay on, Hannah rethinks her decision and asks to stay on. By this point, her boss brushes her off: “Email me when you make a decision.” Later that evening Hannah arrives home to find out that Adam, who stuck to his guns, crushed an audition and is one step closer to fulfilling his career dreams. Now it’s Hannah who has compromised herself for her dreams. “I’m going to write for 3 hours every night, no matter what,” she explains to Adam before passing out on the couch, exhausted.
No meltdowns. No emotional crises. No meandering self-obsession. And Hannah managed to convey a range of emotion without once getting naked. She also confronted a totally relevant issue that every 20-something college graduate is forced to face: The earth-shattering compromise of career dreams with economic realities. This theme resonates with Hannah, who realizes that the joy in paying her bills may come at the price of her personal writing aspirations. Yet, it is also relevant to Shoshanna in an emotional sense when she begins to believe that her ideal mate is a whim to be sacrificed at the altar of “relationship”.
She later wrote in her autobiography that in reality she felt ‘dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged’ at finding out he had lied to her and the public – an act that ultimately led to his impeachment in later that year.
But it can now be revealed that Hillary, who is now running for the presidency herself in 2016, told Blair he was driven to infidelity in part by his political adversaries, the loneliness of the presidency, and her own failures as a wife.
Hillary told Blair she had received ‘a letter from a psychologist who does family therapy and sexual infidelity problems,’ who told her, ‘most men with fidelity problems [were] raised by two women and felt conflicted between them.’
She said the psychologist believed Bill’s lapse in fidelity was rooted in his childhood.
The Clinton camp found itself dealing with Bill Clinton’s infidelity early on. In a confidential Feb. 16, 1992, memo entitled “Possible Investigation Needs,” Clinton campaign staff proposed ways to suppress and discredit stories about the then-Arkansas governor’s affairs.
Campaign operatives Loretta Lynch and Nancy McFadden wrote the memo, addressed to campaign manager David Wilhelm.
The first item on the itinerary discussed “GF,” a reference to Gennifer Flowers, the actress and adult model who had recently disclosed her 12-year affair with Bill Clinton.
“Exposing GF: completely as a fraud, liar and possible criminal to stop this story and related stories, prevent future non-related stories and expose press inaction and manipulation,” said the memo.
In 1998 Bill Clinton admitted he had had a sexual relationship with Flowers.
On Feb. 23, 1993, Blair joined the Clintons for a family dinner at the White House. The subject of health care reform came up.
“At dinner, [Hillary] to [Bill] at length on the complexities of health care—thinks managed competition a crock; single-payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare,” Blair wrote.
The account is at odds with public statements by the former First Lady that she never supported the single-payer option.
In an interview with the New York Times as she ran for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton said she had never seriously considered adopting a single-payer system, in which the government, using funds appropriated from taxpayers, pays for all health care expenses.
“You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single payer system,” said Clinton in the interview.
Scary thought: electing Hillary as President tells America’s daughters that to succeed they must endure a man like Bill for life… #tcot
The country that used to permit the performance of “Can’t Buy Me Love” on the grounds that it was a song critical of prostitution in the West has no problem pimping out its female athletes to soften its rather uptight image ahead of the Olympic Games. The salacious images portray female athletes in poses more typical of lingerie models, pole dancers, and strippers than skiers, curlers and hockey players.
Russian male athletes have yet to pony up to the cameras and bare near-all.
When asked how photos of nearly naked female athletes will quell the concerns surrounding the Sochi games, including “disputes about homophobia, world leaders refusing to attend, and mega-security at Sochi,” the response received was: “It is democratic to look at half naked women. Women are beautiful. Everyone likes a pretty girl. Which is why we send ugly ones to Siberia.”
Saturday, February 1st, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
The BBC/PBS Masterpiece series Sherlock wraps up its third season this Sunday, much to the chagrin of a fan base that has come to embrace the belief, as “The Woman” Irene Adler explained in season 2, that “brainy is the new sexy.” The self-proclaimed sociopath Sherlock Holmes is a character that has turned the otherwise average looking actor Benedict Cumberbatch into an international sex symbol; even religious readers of Christianity Today dig Sherlock’s sex appeal:
The show highlights a male hero who breaks our hypermasculine stereotypes while demonstrating qualities we also find in a mature Christian life: Sensitivity to those around us, friendships that support growth, investment into community, and a discerning focus on truth. No wonder he gets our attention.
“The most attractive person in the room is not always the best-looking; it’s the most interesting.” …The showrunner emphasizes that his Holmes isn’t a Vulcan with no emotions – he’s simply decided that things like sex and jokes would interfere with his deduction. “It’s the decision of a monk, not an affliction,” Moffat says. “It’s an achievable superpower.”
“It wasn’t like, in all fairness, anyone was salivating over Benedict before he was Sherlock Holmes,” he told the University Observer when asked about the newfound popularity of the show among women. “It’s a meeting of part and actor I think that makes geeky sexy.”
The show’s writer went on to admit that this is probably the first time the Sherlock Holmes audience has been “female skewed” despite the fact that more traditionally attractive actors have taken on the role in the past.
Pop culture goes on to obsess over all things geeky, praising Big Bang Theory and Comic-Con to the skies, while establishing a new double standard when it comes to the intersection of gender and sex appeal. Sure, geeky guys can be cute, but it isn’t as if Amy Farrah Fowler look-alikes are trolling geekfests to be drooled over. Sherlock may be breaking new ground when it comes to depicting the sex appeal of an intelligent man, but women are still expected to house their brain in their booty.
Ted Nugent doesn’t need puny little Canadian me to “defend” his legal right to use that expression, even though I believe we should keep the adjective “subhuman” chambered until someone more like Dr. Mengele is in our sights.
McInnes has children; I do not — hence the “EXTREME language warning,” probably. That is: This difference likely colors my feelings about Allen, which remain frustratingly ambiguous and were better reflect by this piecein, yes, The Onion.
Allen’s impact was deeper, though, because his movies gave me a glimpse into another possible world, in which intelligent, creative people enjoyed deep yet witty conversations in gorgeous urban environs.
The scene in Annie Hall, in which Allen’s character travels back in time to his public school, surveys his unpromising looking classmates and declares, “Even then, I knew they were just jerks” literally changed my life.
I don’t remember my first kiss, but can easily recall that moment in the darkened downtown movie theater around my 13th birthday. I finally felt… understood.
An orphaned duckling imprints on the first creature it sees, however ridiculous its cloying affection for that indifferent St. Bernard looks to us.
And as far as I know, that imprinting can’t be reversed.
I could probably rewire my brain to hate Woody Allen, or any of the other dubious individuals who “imprinted” themselves on my impressionable young mind.
Sunday, January 19th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
This week both critics and fans of Girls and Downton Abbey sounded off on the treatment of women on screen, highlighting the horrifying potential of 21st century feminist groupthink.
It all began on January 9 when TV critic Tim Molloy stepped in hot water by posing the following question to Lena Dunham:
I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you, particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones, but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.
Dunham deflected the remark with her usual snotty response that boiled down to nudity is realistic and if you don’t like fat bodies, that’s your problem. Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, the show’s producers, supported Dunham’s remarks with their own politically correct, vitriolic comments about misogyny and female oppression.
Although Molloy’s question never did receive a direct answer, the exchange generated even more critical angst and bizarre philosophizing. For example, Megan Gibson at Time feels the nudity on Girls has nothing to do with “titillation” and everything to do with comedic value and expressions of non-sexual intimacy. It is questionable whether the primary audience for Girls, those “white dudes over 50,” would agree.
One telling thing critics didn’t bother to notice: All the uproar over Molloy’s question, even from Apatow and Konner themselves, wasn’t to defend Dunham’s honor — but to defend awkward bodies, female sexuality, and women’s rights under the umbrella term of “feminism.” In other words, if Hannah Horvath jumped off a bridge naked, she wouldn’t be a pathetic individual who succumbed to her psychoses, she’d be a mere statement about feminism in the 21st century.
The post is meant to advocate for a higher minimum wage and who did they pick? Un-notated explicitly in the post is that this minimum wage earner’s paycheck is being garnished for child support. This is a man working on minimum wage and just over half of what he makes is going to his kids. He’s the one progressives want to hold up to make us feel sorry for minimum wage earners?
Unasked questions: how much money does this guy get from the government in assistance? Food stamps? How much does he make in off-the-books business transactions for cash?
What’s the real problem going on here? The fact that the law does not require businesses to pay people more per hour than they are capable of creating in value? Or that some men choose to abandon their children, forcing the government to garnish their checks to support them?
Today the Drudge Report covers the Justice Department’s racialist attack on school discipline policies. The DOJ policy is based on the idea that school discipline policies are racially discriminatory because black students comprise a greater percentage of students disciplined than their percentage in the general population. Call it exceeding the bad-behavior quota.
That this four-year-old federal policy exists wasn’t news. I covered it in my 2011 book Injustice. What is newsworthy is how these radical racialist education policies will outlast the Obama administration, and Republicans are ill-equipped to reverse it even if they win the White House.
The DOJ’s reasoning goes like this: if minorities face school discipline at rates greater than their overall percentage in the population, then the school is engaging in racial discrimination. As Civil Rights chief Tom Perez explained, “Black boys account for 9 percent of the nation’s student population, but comprise 24 percent of students suspended out of school and 30 percent of students expelled.” This preposterous racial bean-counting is an affront to the very concept of individual responsibility.
According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, a senior staffer for Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) sent an email to a Port Authority official that seems to direct the official to jack up traffic in an area run by a Christie political opponent.
In September, two of three local access lanes from Fort Lee were closed on the George Washington Bridge, stymying commuters from the city. The mayor of Fort Lee had refused to endorse Christie’s re-election effort. For two months, the Port Authority was silent on why the lanes were closed.
This is the straw that breaks the camels back for Christie. There shouldn’t have been any more talk of him in 2016 at this point but any that remained should be shut up by this. New Jersey political thugs are only moderately wimpier than Chicago’s breed.
Even as the movement begins to cohere, it’s not all neighborliness and camaraderie. Over the course of numerous conversations, I heard the Daily Caller called “kind of a three-ring circus” and the Free Beacon, “a vanity site about Israel.” Breitbart and the Blaze get sniffed at as unserious.
Still, nearly all the conservatives I talked to said the new range of right-wing outlets is a good thing. “The only thing that I think is hurtful to the movement is if you didn’t have that kind of variety,” Domenech of the Federalist told me. During the Bush era, he said, the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina showed that partisan media’s failure to question its own leadership can lead to a collective lurch into the political wilderness. The remedy is an array of sites playing complementary roles—a “weaponized” hit piece here, a clicky slideshow there, anti-Obama video snippets nearly everywhere.
They don’t mention us. I suppose that means we’re not HuffPo enough to fit the narrative.
It took capitalism half a century to come back from the Great Depression. It’s taken socialism half that time to come back from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In New York City, avowed socialist Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that his goal is to take “dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities” — the gap between rich and poor. In Seattle, newly elected socialist city Councilmember Kshama Sawant addressed supporters, explaining, “I wear the badge of socialist with honor.” To great acclaim from the left, columnist Jesse Myerson of Rolling Stone put out a column telling millennials that they ought to fight for government-guaranteed employment, a universal basic income, collectivization of private property, nationalization of private assets and public banks.
The newly flowering buds of Marxism no longer reside on the fringes. Not when the president of the United States has declared fighting income inequality his chief task as commander in chief. Not when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said that America faces “no greater challenge” than income disparity. Not when MSNBC, The New York Times and the amalgamated pro-Obama media outlets have all declared their mission for 2014 a campaign against rich people.
So what is the moral case for capitalism? It lies in recognition that socialism isn’t a great idea gone wrong — it’s an evil philosophy in action. It isn’t driven by altruism; it’s driven by greed and jealousy. Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution. Socialism violates at least three of the Ten Commandments: It turns government into God, it legalizes thievery and it elevates covetousness. Discussions of income inequality, after all, aren’t about prosperity but about petty spite. Why should you care how much money I make, so long as you are happy?
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: So what’s the cocktail-party answer to what “the new school” is?
GLENN REYNOLDS: Both higher and K–12 education in America are based on models imported from 19th-century Germany. In 21st-century America, those models are woefully out of date.
LOPEZ: How is education like the newspaper business?
REYNOLDS: A decade or more ago, I used to have conversations with journalists who reflected that their industry’s business model was collapsing, but who somewhat sheepishly hoped the collapse wouldn’t come until they reached retirement age. Now I have the same kind of conversation with academics.
LOPEZ: How should higher ed “sacrifice for the common good”?
REYNOLDS: Back in the 1930s, economist John Hicks said that the best monopoly profit is “a comfortable life.” The quasi-monopolies that have been set up by unionized teachers in K–12 and the tenured professoriate in higher education have given the guild members a comfortable life, but at great expense to students and families. If you favor redistribution from the well-off to the less-well-off, then academics’ lives should probably become less comfortable in exchange for cheaper and more responsive educational models.
LOPEZ: Would you abolish the concept of teenagers if you could?
REYNOLDS: People think that teenagers act the way they do because of biology, but the teenager is mostly a modern social invention. We turned young adults into teenagers by taking away anything productive for them to do. A century or more ago, they were important parts of a family’s economic picture. Now they’re consumers, not producers. In pre-modern times, they were around mostly adults, and tended to try to act in ways that earned respect from those adults. Now they’re herded together with other teens, and tend to try to act in ways that other teens respect, ways that are usually a lot less constructive.
The relevance of the Soviets’ effort to provide every goody imaginable isn’t to suggest they came up with the idea; it’s to demonstrate that when such ideas are put into practice and allowed to run their course, they fail — and often crush both kinds of freedom in the process.
Regardless, the failure of Communism didn’t put the debate to rest because the debate is eternal. Like those summer fireflies, it is a permanent fixture of the human condition, particularly among the affluent and fashionably rebellious young who are always eager to explain why this time is different.
And Cuomo’s plan, per MPP, won’t do that. Instead, MPP expects the program — which reports indicate will let some hospitals give marijuana they receive from the federal government (or, if that doesn’t work, confiscated marijuana) to some patients — to be “unworkable and problematic.” They give a host of reasons for this. Among them: Hospitals, which are federally regulated, usually don’t want to break federal law (and marijuana is still federally illegal). Also, the program would actually cost the state money, instead of generating tax revenue. And the bureaucratic hoops patients and hospitals would have to jump through to get medical marijuana from the federal government are nigh insurmountable.
Something I hope to eventually write on more at length: I think that California’s model of medicinal marijuana is a better approach for easing a state culturally into a way of regulating the drug better than the full blown legalization of Colorado. As more states strive to figure out how to deal with this issue the fight that will count will be a cultural one. Is marijuana going to be just a party drug, a different kind of alcohol? Just another vice? Or are its medicinal qualities yet unknown and untapped? Just what is being regulated here? Defining marijuana as just a way to get high misses the plant’s potential.
Operating a theme park is quite a challenge. Guests have their favorite rides and love certain things about how the park looks now, but at the same time, change is exactly what convinces a whole host of other people to come back. These proposed updates would cost fans Autopia and the current version of AstroOrbitor, but if it means introducing a slew of new rides, I’m a big thumbs up on that. Progress has to be made at some point. Despite losing some great rides, I think we can all agree it’s better Disneyland doesn’t look exactly as it did when it first opened back in July of ’55. Besides, Tomorrowland looks like a dated mess anyway.
If the remodeling does away with Autopia then I say good riddance! Lousy ride that should have been phased out in the 1970s!
Outrageous though it may seem to suggest, the American economy better resembles fascism than capitalism, with actors constrained by ever more intrusive controls. Like all words, capitalism does not mean whatever an author wants it to mean. It requires the condition of liberty, a condition unseen in American jurisprudence and made incrementally more elusive which each “progressive” reform. We cannot blame capitalism when no such thing exists in practice.
APRIL BEY’s Hair has always been used by people to place her in a comfortable race category.
Her mother is white and her father is black. When growing up in the Bahamas, April was told and in some cases bullied into chemically altering her hair to conform to a euro centric notions of beauty while masking her blackness.
After educating herself by doing comprehensive research into black hair and identity, she decided to put together an exhibition provocatively titled “Picky Head”. It brings together a number of observations and features from her research. The exhibition is set for 5.30pm, Friday at the Liquid Courage Gallery, featuring 8 to 9 pieces of her work.
“The ironic part of this is that black women are the highest consumers of hair relaxer and to blend in with them you must straighten your hair to appear white. This seemed like the protocol to me until about the age of 23. It flabbergasts me that I spent over 17 years of my life having no idea what my natural hair looked or felt like because I chemically destroyed it to blend in with the black women I lived, worked and went to school with. Even more disturbing was that I wasn’t alone,” April told Tribune Entertainment.
“He became to Jesus what the Talmud became to the Torah – a commentary and a way of Life.” — Dimont on the Apostle Paul:
“The schism between Jew and Christian was total.” — Dimont after explaining the theological changes Paul made to transform Christianity from a Jewish sect into a global religion made up mostly of converted Pagans:
14. An excerpt from page 267 of Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae, the chapter discussing Goethe, and the seeds of Decadence in Romanticism, and their origins in Paganism:
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the sequel to director Adam McKay’s 2004 smash and cultural touchstone Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, is by no means a good movie. The film, which follows titular news anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) from San Diego to the big time in New York and the rise of cable news is too eager to repeat comedic beats from its predecessor, and is hampered by confused character motivations and a long diversion involving a not-so-tame shark. But what Anchorman 2 does do is solidify the most significant theme of Will Ferrell’s career: the ways in which masculine ideals harm men even as they help them, and the desperate need for a feminist movement that helps men figure out what they actually want out of life.
Gee if it wasn’t for a feminist movement and the progressive comedy stylings of Will Ferrell then what would men know to do with their lives?
Meanwhile recall the first story linked in this round-up wherein the check used to advocate for a raise in the minimum wage was of a father getting his paycheck garnished to pay child support.
How much more could so-called liberal feminists do to improve the world if instead of devoting their energies to analyzing dumb comedies and supporting male politicians who will give them free birth control, they instead stopped tolerating the millions of men who abandon the children they create and the women who chose to get involved with them in the first place?
The United Nations estimates there are as many as 200 million girls missing from the world today — killed, aborted or abandoned, simply because they are females. India and China alone “eliminate” more girls than are born in the United States every year.
In India, the desire for male children has led to widespread sex-selection abortions targeting females. On average, one girl a minute is aborted in India just because she is female. Infanticide — the murder of baby girls who survive birth — is also widely practiced in some areas. According to The Invisible Girl Project, “Infanticide is so widely practiced in some areas of India, that the mortality rate for girls between the ages of 1-5 is 75% higher than the mortality rate for boys of the same age.” Girls and women also die from neglect, lethal violence, and dowry killings. There are 37 million more men than women in India, a statistic that has contributed to widespread human trafficking; women and girls are regularly sold in India’s brothels.
In China, the country’s one-child policy has led to 18 million more boys than girls under the age of 15. One out of every six girls is lost to gendercide. All Girls Allowed says that, “Gendercide, defined as ‘the systematic extermination of a particular gender,’ has become widespread in China. With the use of illegal ultrasound equipment, couples can determine the sex of their child and choose to abort the female fetus. In other cases, midwives have been reported to deliver “stillborn” girls by strangling the female infant with the umbilical cord as she is delivered.”
New York Times contributor Mai Jian described the brutality of the forced abortions and forced sterilization, particularly in rural villages in China: “Village family-planning officers vigilantly chart the menstrual cycle and pelvic-exam results of every woman of childbearing age in their area. If a woman gets pregnant without permission and is unable to pay the often exorbitant fine for violating the policy, she risks being subjected to a forced abortion.”
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, said that China’s one-child policy “causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth.”
Human rights advocate Markus Redding from Columbia University has called gendercide “our generation’s holocaust — a systematic extermination of millions just because they are females.” He said, “Most people can’t believe it. They can’t believe the numbers. When you talk about a Nazi holocaust occurring right now, people are in denial about it.” Redding said it’s a direct violation of human rights and against international law and we must mobilize the international community to end this abuse of women.
It’s A Girl, a feature-length documentary that focuses on gendercide and forced abortion in India and China, was recently presented to Amnesty International’s film series against gender violence by Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. The documentary is part of the group’s “Save a Girl” campaign that includes providing monthly support for women at risk of aborting or abandoning their baby girls and emergency help for women in danger as a result of oppressive coercive family planning policies.
Littlejohn says we must “stop the violence” and end the war on women.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
This past week, Leslie Loftis provided a keenly written summation of the aftermath of Second Wave Feminism when she asked the question, “Can We Rebrand Feminism?” Her conclusion, that”…many women will continue to disavow ‘feminism’ as the label for a life of work. As women plan for more in their lives, the term will diminish and fade, an ignominious end to a once-powerful historical label,” is far more nuanced and thought-provoking than most conservatives would permit in their black-and-white world of Left versus Right. Which is exactly why feminism must remain a part of the conversation.
Loftis is fully correct in her observation that feminism has become the property of “wealthy, elite-educated,white women, who are closest to perfect [boardroom] parity”. But, to turn our collective back on the real oppression of women that exists in this world because of the ideological failures of Barbie-esque dilettantes is as effective as throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In a post-denominational era where religion has been replaced by cause and community has gone from neighborhood to global, better to rally effectively than disperse into isolationism. What feminism needs isn’t dissolution, but evolution out of the boardroom and into the real world.
While American feminists engage in Dunham-esque debates over their penny-ante problems, over 500 girls in Britain are “estimated to have undergone the procedure of female genital cutting” common in African culture. According to a recent BBC report, “It is estimated about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.”
“One of the most devastating practices to young girls in the Islamic world is female genital mutilation. Young girls have their clitoris removed without anesthesia to eliminate their sexual drive and preserve them for a life of sinless purity. As so much rides on a woman’s honor, including the livelihood and community standing of every member of her extended family, the practice is a kind of insurance policy. Female genital mutilation ensures that honor will be preserved because the girl will not have any sexual attraction to boys. It will also ensure that the girl, who is considered a financial burden to the family, will be prime property on the marriage market as a virgin.”
Sunday, November 17th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
The abuse of language has got to stop. …We cannot condemn as bigotry everything that we don’t agree with. Words like bigotry have to go. …That’s what you do. You destroy meanings, you anesthetize people, and you turn people off. You turn the mind off. You kill the brain. We cannot have this. We cannot have this abuse of language going on.
Sarah Milstein knows a thing or two about abuse of language. Just check out her advice to fellow white women at the Huffington Post on how to confront their inner-racist:
2. If you feel defensive when talking about race with a woman of color or reading about race in a piece written by a woman of color, assume the other person is saying something especially true. That is: use your defensiveness as a Bat Signal, alerting you to your own biases. Sure, yes, of course, the other person may have said something insensitive or unreasonable. But if you want to change the dynamics of the world (reminder: you’re a feminist, so you do), assume your discomfort is telling you something about you, not about the other person.
3. Look for ways that you are racist, rather than ways to prove you’re not.
4. Listen to people of color, even if you don’t know many. …You can also do a ton of thoughtful listening on Twitter — a medium that gives you legitimate access to the thoughts and conversations of people you may not know.
No, Ms. Milstein doesn’t write for Saturday Night Live, although her advice does play like a really bad joke penned by a socially insulated upper middle class white woman. One who probably spends her weekends trolling Hell’s Kitchen with her yuppie boyfriend going, “Look, honey, The Other – aren’t we so racially cool?!” before heading back to Williamsburg for some sustainable vegan yoga.
For every liberal feminist who hates Paglia, there’s a moronic Milstein out there proving her right. There is real racism within feminism and every other -ism that values a human being in terms of minority/majority status. However, instead of focusing on this inherent ideological discrimination, the lingo fascists of feminism have grossly abused language to suit their own politically correct agenda. In doing so, they trivialize the historic connection between modern feminism and eugenic racism, replacing it with a pastiche of ignorant expressions of pseudo-guilt. If feminism truly sought to confront racism within its ranks, they’d start by confronting the racist reality of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.
Late-night comic Conan O’Brien tweeted Friday night: “Marvel Comics is introducing a new Muslim Female superhero. She has so many more special powers than her husband’s other wives.” The predictable self-righteous firestorm ensued.
O’Brien was referring to “Kamala Khan,” Marvel Comics’ new Muslim superhero, unveiled with great fanfare last week. They are only introducing this Muslim superhero because of the hugely successful post-9/11 campaign by Islamic supremacists and their Leftist allies to portray Muslims as victims of “Islamophobia” and “hatred” — when actually the incidence of attacks on innocent Muslims is very low (not that a single one is acceptable or justified), and the entire “Islamophobia” campaign is an attempt to intimidate people into thinking that there is something wrong with fighting against jihad terror and Islamic supremacism.
Will Kamala Khan fight against jihadis? Will Marvel be introducing a counter-jihad superhero? I expect that the answer is no on both counts.
In any case, O’Brien’s tweet was just a silly quip, but as the Ayatollah Khomeini said, “There is no humor in Islam.” One of those who were offended wrote: “I didn’t know that @ConanOBrien had Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller writing for him now. Interesting.” A legion of Leftists descended upon O’Brien’s Twitter feed, accusing him of being a “f***ing racist scumbag” and “Islamophobic,” and his joke of being “kinda tasteless,” “really ignorant and terrible,” “in very poor taste,” and “f***ing gross and racist.”
“Racist”? What race is Muslim polygamy again? I keep forgetting. O’Brien’s joke has a factual basis. The Qur’an says: “And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].” (4:3)
But as O’Brien is discovering now, calling attention to uncomfortable truths about Islam is “racist” and wrong, even if they’re undeniably…truths. I am sure that Conan O’Brien will not make this mistake again: almost immediately after people began criticizing him for it, he took the offending tweet down. After all, he wants to stay on television; bringing uncomfortable aspects of Islam to light is the quickest way to be read out of polite and decent society. Just ask Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, formerly darlings of the Leftist intelligentsia — until they touched that third rail of American public discourse and dared to criticize the violence and brutality that Islamic jihadists commit and justify by reference to Islamic texts and teachings.
Sunday, November 10th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
When I began researching pimp/prostitute culture in feminism I had no idea the white feminists would be trying so hard to be the pimps. To understand the race war inherent in modern feminism, look no further than the battle over Beyonce. The music icon’s self-proclaimed feminist identity has been intensely scrutinized by white feminists questioning everything from her costume choices and dance moves to the title of her latest tour, “The Mrs. Carter Show.” Comparing the feminist criticism of Beyonce with the feminist praise of Lena Dunham, Lily Bolourian rightly concludes:
“Beyoncé is a legend and Dunham a “voice of a generation,” yet Beyoncé’s sexuality is deemed as unacceptable or overbearing. Dunham’s sexuality, on the other hand, is accepted and praised. Why the distinction? Dunham has been seen naked often and even in sexual positions in much of her work. Beyoncé wears clothes that show off her legs and bust, along with half of the populace, but still she has never been seen fully naked. I’m still waiting for an explanation on how this makes her the Anti-Feminist.”
In commenting on the Beyonce contradiction, black feminists highlight the long history of grotesque stereotypes surrounding black female sexuality, stereotypes they feel have a continued impact today on the way white critics, feminists included, receive expressions of black female sexuality in pop culture. Perhaps the most insightful critique regarding the white interaction with black female sexuality is in the African American reaction to Miley Cyrus’s infamous VMA performance. While most critiques focused on Cyrus’s offensive twerking, Jacqui Germain at Racialicious took even deeper offense to “the black woman Cyrus smacked on the bottom during her VMAs performance and then casually dismissed—quite literally reduced to a faceless, body-less prop.” For Germain, black feminists “are fighting to remove the hyper-sexual assumption” from their bodies. A hyper-sexual assumption that pays off big, at least where the skinny white chick is concerned.
Friday, November 8th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
It’s a Girl!
Hamas’s new spokesperson, Isra al-Modallal, is 23, fun and feisty in a traditional Islamic sort of way. The former correspondent for Iranian television will be Hamas’s new mouthpiece to the West.
Planning to put a motherly face on international media relations, the divorced mother of one said: “I will make the issues more human, and even if [Palestinian] officials do not understand this language, I know Western people will.” She added: “The West does not understand religious discourse the same way they do human discourse.”
“Most people in the world recognise that Palestinians are humans too so the world will understand our message as refugees and people who live under siege.”
“She said she was conscious of the great responsibilities of the role, especially given her age, but insisted her gender was not an issue. ‘Palestinian women take an active role in the street, in organisations, in the media. I have not found any difficulties being a woman. We have all the freedom we need.’”
Modallal was ambiguous, however, when it came to her personal freedom to speak to the Israeli media.
“The new Hamas spokeswoman said she did not have a problem with talking to Israeli media, in contrast to the policy currently followed by the ousted government and by many leaders of Hamas, though she stressed that she would only do so with official permission.
“If I am given permission, I personally have no problem,” she said.
The Hamas government does not allow journalists in Gaza to deal with Israeli media sources, and many officials refuse to talk to Israeli journalists.”
Modallal does, however, “plan to launch Twitter and Facebook campaigns in the near future to promote Hamas and its policies.” No word yet on whether or not Israelis will be blocked from following these social media sites.
Monday, October 21st, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
Ann Coulter is brilliant because she possesses the unique ability to eviscerate hypocrites with thorough research and quick wit. Her brilliance is further proven by the fact that the most her detractors (notably the ones commenting on my review of her latest book) can ever do is criticize her appearance — after all, why not make grossly sexist remarks about someone you just don’t like when they happen to be a woman? Needless to say, it was quite a challenge to cull my top 5 favorite columns from Never Trust a Liberal Over 3, Especially a Republican. Somehow I managed to rise to the challenge — albeit with a few notable runner-ups for good measure.
5. America Nears El Tipping Pointo (December 5, 2012)
Runner-ups:Romney Doing the Job Republican Establishment Just Won’t Do and If the GOP Is This Stupid, It Deserves to Die
In this keen look at voter statistics, Ann reveals that Romney won the majority of the vote among 18-29 year olds … who are white. “Even the Lena Dunham demographic — white women under thirty — favored Romney,” she quips. At this point, liberals would be reeling with accusations of racism and Romney’s obvious membership in the KKK. However, those bold enough to read on will not only receive a valuable comparison of voter stats from Reagan to Romney, they’ll also learn something their public education failed to teach them: the practical fiscal and electoral impact of Ted Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act.
One of the many articles that highlight the patronizing racism of liberals, “El Tipping Pointo” details the difference between honest and manipulative immigration over the course of the last 40 years. Drawing a sharp comparison between America as “the land of opportunity” and the land of “the soulless rich who want cheap labor,” Ann illustrates exactly how liberal pundits and elite Republicans take advantage of “phony ‘family reunification’ rules” to bloat the welfare system and liberal voting rolls while presenting a stereotypical image of hardworking Hispanics (versus the “recent Hispanic immigrants who …are the poorest of the world’s poor”) to gain public support for policies that bankrupt America and keep real change from ever happening in D.C.
The girl’s Muslim parents forced her into the marriage when she was fourteen. Her mother tried to put a good face on a bad situation, enticing the girl with a picture of marriage as a never-ending party: her husband, she said, would treat the girl to ice cream and lollipops and take her to movies and amusement parks. Reality turned out to be a bit different: her husband imprisoned her inside their home and forced her to watch violent videos featuring jihad attacks against soldiers from Western countries. He also raped her and beat her frequently.
The girl went to her father for help. But her father, as she recounted later, was completely unsympathetic, telling her: “So what if he raped you? So what if he bashed you? The only way you can come back to me is in a coffin.”
This didn’t happen in Pakistan, or Egypt, or Indonesia. This girl suffered in comfortable suburban Australia, where Western society failed her as thoroughly as did Islamic society: she went to a teacher and explained what was happening, but despite laws requiring teachers to report such incidents, nothing was done.
Perhaps the teacher was afraid that if she reported the girl’s husband, she’d be accused of “bigotry” and “hate.” The forces promoting multiculturalism are as strong and deeply entrenched in Australia as they are in Europe and the United States. But inevitably, the multiculturalist acceptance of all things Islamic and stigmatization of any and all opposition to Islamic law as “racist” and “bigoted” are going to come into conflict with core Western principles of human rights and human dignity. This Muslim teenager’s teacher apparently accepted child marriage and spousal abuse as the price of eschewing “Islamophobia.”
Last week I wrote that Western countries were soon “going to have to make a choice as to whether they’re going to affirm the human dignity of women and maintain the illegality of polygamy, or whether they’re going to allow them to become mere possessions and playthings, denizens of de facto harems.” The same choice is coming regarding child marriage. Australian society, along with European and American society as well, is before too long going to have to choose between protecting the rights of women and thus fighting against child marriage, or allowing it in the interests of marching together with Sharia adherents into the brave new multicultural future.
She talks with the fierce clarity of a prophet, and observing her calm, resolute gaze is the nearest we will come to knowing what Joan of Arc looked like when she declared: “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”
Exactly 12 months ago, Malala Yousafzai was in the back of an open truck on the way home from school when a Taliban gunman asked for her by name and shot her in the head. The bullet exited her brain, but they had to remove part of her skull to relieve the swelling. When I heard what had happened, I hoped that she would die. The thought of that eloquent spirit unable to speak or think or hear was unbearable. But she didn’t die.
When she awoke, she was in a Birmingham hospital. Her doctor says she never cried, not once. The eloquence came back, reborn fearlessly in one who had cheated death. A campaigner for female education, she spent less and less time in the classroom herself. She said she missed geography, but there was no time; her job now was making history.
Tomorrow, 16-year-old Malala may become the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Which would restore just a little of my faith in the deeply abused prize. However, my confidence in the committee leads me to say they will give it to Putin, the “tzar” of Russia.
Elizabeth Smart is making the rounds, flogging her new book My Story (written with Congressman Chris Stewart). Smart is, of course, the beautiful Mormon girl who in 2002 at 14 years old was abducted for nine months by evil lunatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife. Then, miraculously, she was found and reunited with her family. Today, she’s married and says she “couldn’t be happier.” She does good work fighting human trafficking and speaking to sexual abuse survivors.
I’ve always been kind of fascinated with Smart (I’ll read the book and get back to you on it if it’s any good). Her kidnappers dragged her around the country, chaining her up like an animal and raping her daily. And the two questions everyone always asks her are 1) why didn’t you run/call for help and 2) how come you’re not, like, bats**t crazy?
The first question doesn’t mean much to me. Fourteen-year-old-girl, threatened, brutalized, terrified: in the movies, she’d have run away. Real life, not so much. I think anyone with half an imagination can figure that one out.
But that second question — that haunts me. It really does. Nine months of trauma, raped every day, mentally tortured by these demonic lowlifes with their threats and their sick religious delusions. Hell, I know women who’ve been assaulted once and have never gotten over it. I know people whose whole lives are defined by the cruel things that were done to them. I myself just have to hear Smart’s story and I start having angry fantasies about what I’d like to do to Mitchell (hint: it involves a ball-peen hammer and pliers). So how does she, who actually went through this stuff… how does she live her life without being consumed by rage every day all the time?