Category Archives: Women

UK Needs to “Debate” Sexist Dress Code in 21st Century

The Associated Press reports:

high-heelsBritish lawmakers are focusing on footwear, asking whether employers should be able to make women wear high heels as part of corporate dress codes.

Members of Parliament on Monday will debate banning mandatory workplace high heels, in response to a petition by a receptionist who was sent home for wearing flat shoes.

You don’t get much more sexist than dictating high heels in a dress code. And they wonder why women march around the world.

 

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Filed under Politics, sexism, Women

Laurie Luhn Cashing In On Others’ Sexual Harassment

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luhn-ailesLaurie Luhn, a self-proclaimed Fox News “victim” is making the TV talk show rounds to bemoan her treatment at the hands of Pig Extraordinaire, Roger Ailes. It was really just a matter of time after Gretchen Carlson’s big settlement. Ignore her tears however, until you read her story; compare the one she’s telling now to the one she told New York Magazine, in a piece titled: “Former Fox News Booker Says She Was Sexually Harassed and ‘Psychologically Tortured’ by Roger Ailes for More Than 20 Years“. Contrary to the post’s title, or Ms. Luhn’s portrayal of herself as a victim, you’ll find she willingly jumped into the sewer with Roger Ailes, because he could get her what she wanted. The New York article begins:

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“Professionally adrift (a flowery term for unemployed) and emotionally unmoored”, hmm, those darned female “emotions”. Trust me, Laurie Luhn was more calculating than “unmoored”. She says she “worked for” Roger Ailes for 20 years; if by “worked for” she means prostituted herself and pimped for, then yes, she did “work for” Ailes.

Luhn’s story is an “account” of her deplorable complicity in Ailes’ predatory behavior; from accepting money and employment from him for sex, to setting up unknowing young women in one on ones with him. Not only did Ms. Luhn willingly put herself in the situation she describes now, she chose to stay in it. Do not confuse consent with coercion; she and Ailes both got what they wanted out of their arrangement.

In her very first meeting with Ailes, which was supposed to be a job interview, Ms.Luhn just happened to mention that she had “nothing but bills”.  After the meeting, she gave him a ride to the airport where she told New York Mag, “He leans over and slips me the tongue and kisses me, and hands me a wad of cash.”

Now at this point, a few scenarios are possible:

  • She screams and he jumps out of the car, never to be heard from again
  • She slaps him, and tells him to get out (among other things), throws his money at him and drives off
  • Says bye-bye, drives off with the money thinking sucker (among other things), and he never hears from her again

Ms. Luhn however, accepted his money and advances, and came back for more, essentially striking a deal for her employment. Despite having no background or education in the field, Luhn decided she wanted to work in political communications, and found herself a shortcut to get there. She sought Ailes’ assistance, then agreed to a “quid pro quo” for that position.

Ailes put her on a “retainer that, “…paid for Luhn to be available to meet Ailes when he was in Washington” – at his hotel. Her new “employer” immediately asked her to purchase a “black garter and stockings” to wear when they met, which she did. She was now prostituting herself for a job; far different from going into your boss’ office for a meeting and being surprised by sexual advances, something Luhn set other women up to face:

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 Only after being relegated to a bogus job with no responsibility years later, did Luhn suddenly find her emotional “mooring”. Enough in fact, to contact the Fox legal department about sexual harassment, for which she received a hefty settlement.  Even so, she was still trying to use “Daddy Roger”(ugh) to get ahead this past summer when she wrote this in a letter to him (my emphasis):

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“Generous financial compensation” to the tune of more than 3 million dollars for this “good soldier”, or is it victim? Either way, despite her 20 year “ordeal”, she’s contacting him again for help getting a job This is the definition of sexual harassment according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

EEOC quote

In Ms. Luhn’s case, she agreed to his conduct willingly, in order to obtain her job. She also conspired to set women up for Ailes, which should make her a party to other women’s harassment claims as well. Now, as she does the talk show circuit, she seems to be downplaying her responsibility in their arrangement, and embellishing the poor victim parts of the story. According to the Daily Mail:

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He “had her strip”? What power did Ailes have over her at the time; she didn’t work for him, she had supposedly just recently met him. The room had a door, and any self-respecting woman would have slammed it shut behind her. And where’s the part about the airport trip, where she took his money? The part where she could have driven away, never to be heard from again?

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She followed this pig and took another job with him, but she thought it would end? She talks like she had no control over the situation. “It continued” because she allowed it. The Daily Mail does report on her initial New York Magazine story in their article, and several discrepancies are evident; they close the piece with this:

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luhn-nowToo bad the truth didn’t “set her free” a couple of decades and 3 million dollars ago; HUNDREDS of women might have been spared the indignities she willingly accepted. Laurie Luhn is the worst kind of woman; she used sex to get what she wanted, yet now she wants you to believe she was a helpless toy for Roger Ailes, with no control over what happened to her. Now that there’s money to be made on the talk show circuit, and probably a book deal, her story will continue to evolve, or devolve, depending on which way you look at it. I have no sympathy for this woman; she makes a mockery of all the women who have battled real sexual harassment over decades.

Don’t get me wrong, there are far too many bosses like Ailes, who abuse their positions and harass, even assault their female employees. Unfortunately, there are also women like Luhn, who know exactly what they’re doing when they use slobs like him to get ahead. This woman used sex to get and keep a job, while knowingly and willingly putting other women at risk.

Laurie Luhn is no better than Roger Aisles.

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Filed under Fox News, Roger Ailes, Sexual Harassment, Women

WaPo’s Marcus Confuses Infidelity With Sexism

In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post titled: “Trump is right: Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual history is fair game“, Ruth Marcus attempts to justify Donald Trump’s playing of the Bill’s Affairs card. She writes:

Bill_Hillary_ClintonWhat is the relevance of Bill Clinton’s conduct for Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Ordinarily, I would argue that the sins of the husband should not be visited on the wife. What Bill Clinton did counts against him, not her, and I would include in that her decision to stick with him. What happens inside a marriage is the couple’s business, and no one else’s…

But Hillary Clinton has made two moves that lead me, gulp, to agree with Trump on the “fair game” front. She is (smartly) using her husband as a campaign surrogate, and simultaneously (correctly) calling Trump sexist.

Marcus just gets it REALLY wrong. First of all, whatever one thinks of Bill Clinton’s extra-marital affairs, they do not make him a sexist. In the case of Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern Bill took up with while President, she was 22 at the time, and an adult. As I’ve said before, unless she’d been cloistered somewhere, she knew she was fooling around with a married man; he just happened to be the President. If Ms. Lewinski had wanted to, she could have left the situation at any time, or gone public if she felt harrassed. 

callista.cindyOn the other hand, paramours tend to get a free pass when it comes to political campaigns. In the cases of Callista Gingrich and Cindy McCain for example, they weren’t lambasted for their parts in the affairs that broke up two marriages, because it was their husbands seeking office, not them. No one thought it a liability when they did campaign events for their husbands. Much as one might condemn infidelity, it is not sexism.

trumpWhich brings me to my second point: Donald Trump IS a sexist. He simultaneously denigrates women, while treating his wives like ornaments. He has referred to women as “pieces of ass“, gold diggers, Bimbos, Dogs, and Pigs. You can call Bill Clinton a lot of things, but woman hater isn’t one of them.

Marcus’ WaPo piece is not the first time someone has tried to hold Hillary partially responsible for her husband’s behavior. She has been called his “enabler“, and accused of  ignoring his behavior to “reap the benefits of being the FLOTUS”. (Whatever the hell that means.)

Bill and Hillary

President Clinton disappointed many people by tarnishing both the office of the President, and his legacy, with the Lewinsky mess. That being said, Bill may be a lot of things, but sexist isn’t one of them.

The fact is, Hillary would be crazy not to use Bill in her campaign; he regularly polls at a 60% Favorability Rating, can speak off the cuff to any issue, and is her biggest supporter. They’re a great team.

One final point: How Hillary Clinton chooses to handle her marital issues, including her reasons for staying with Bill, is nobody’s business. Whatever their relationship, it’s obvious they love each other. The only thing that matters in the end is that she is running for President, not her husband.

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Filed under 2016 Campaigns, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Women

Feminism Is Not This Trivial

not importantAs if there aren’t enough important issues for women to be dealing with, it seems some women are going in search of slights. Previously, I wrote about a young lady in a tizzy about the word too, after somehow getting it into her head that it was an insult to women:

In my experience, I rarely hear too thrown around about men. You hear someone say, “He’s short,” but you seldom hear “too short.” I hear women and men alike each day describing women as too something. But what does it really mean when you call a woman too? I asked myself, “too what?” I have determined that too means you’re calling a woman too far away from your idyllic vision of what a woman should be.

Yeah okay, you can read my response here… anyway, now we have Jessica Ensley who refers to herself as a “feminist extraordinaire” telling us in a post on RHReality Check, that “Gendered Language Teaches Us Women Are Objects To Be Controlled“. She writes:

The practice of using feminine pronouns (often in a sexually suggestive way) to refer to things such as tools, cars, and even boats is fairly common—so common that many people do not stop to question what they are actually saying, which is that women are objects. This underlying message in our language is reflective of how our society treats women…

… The words we use to describe objects helps us to understand how we actually feel about them. I grew up around men who loved fast cars. They liked to fix them up and race them at a local track. It wasn’t uncommon to hear “I’ve got to polish her up,” and, “Look at how beautiful she is; she’s just begging to be taken for a spin.” Not only were they talking about an inanimate object as being female, but they talked about the car as if it were something to have sex with. The car, like a woman, is something to be owned and controlled by men. The car (woman) has no autonomy. It (she) does not get to decide what happens to it (her).

There was a television show dedicated to “pimping your ride.” At car shows where people go to buy, sell or oogle (sic) at various vehicles, women are shown standing in front of them with barely any clothes as if they are another pretty car to buy and own…

… Our language clearly reflects a larger issue. Women are seen as objects to be controlled, bought, driven, or used. While this reclaiming of our bodies must be fought on multiple fronts, we also should push back to make our language more inclusive…

Seriously, is any woman losing sleep this? I’ve used male and female pronouns my whole life. I call my truck “her” and “she” with never a thought of “owning women”. I often refer to trees I plant as he, which doesn’t imply men that are dumb as a stump, either. Ms. Ensley continues:

Gendering objects not only harmfully impacts cisgender women, but also transgender and gender-nonconforming people, individuals with a gender identity and expression that fits outside of the gender binary. Yet we live in a world where people assume objects, from modes of transportation to pets, work within a gender binary, thus reinforcing it.

Sorry, but I’m calling bullshit. We cannot run around editing the English language to remove words we’ve trumped up phony grievances with. Men call cars “her or she” because cars are sexy to guys (and quite a few women, too); if anything, it’s meant as a compliment. Who cares? Who has time to spend parsing every little word or phrase people use? We live in a world with hers and shes, and hims and hes; equality does not require androgyny in language or people.

On a final note, I’ve mentioned before that we’re only seen as objects if that’s how we put ourselves out there, so blame your fellow women for that. The truth is, there will always be women like those car models, who are glad to be treated as second class citizens if there’s enough money involved.

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Filed under Feminism, Politics, Women

RW Phony Christians React To PP Shooting

As All Things Democrat’s Doug Marquardt wrote yesterday,Planned Parenthood Terrorist Was A Conservative, Anti-Abortion Nut – End Of Story. If only the crazy stopped there; but the Right Wing reaction on Twitter shows how many unstable, uninformed, willfully ignorant people align themselves with Conservatism. Here are a few “Christian” tweets, mixed with a little irony:

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In case you can’t read it, this guy’s avatar says: “Love Thy Neighbor. Period.”

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This avatar is a Black person in front of a rebel flag.

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There’s the “Black people get all the abortions” myth again, but I’ll come to that later.

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The insanity raged at the usual RW Crazy hot spots like Breitbart, among others; but “Lifesite” had some of the most interesting/callous comments:

Lifesite comments

Yes, PP has just been hoping and praying for a shooter so they could get sympathy. Idiot. How ironic that a RW’er, who’s political party’s entire philosophy is predicated on dishonesty, would utter the phrase: “Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.” It is precisely the lies told by the right, and Carly Fiorins in particular, that led to this shooting.

James O’Keefe wannabe, David Daleiden, the person responsible for the bogus Planned Parenthood video, had to admit on CNN that an image purportedly showing an aborted baby was actually a miscarriage. As If You Only News wrote:

Daleiden knowingly used a mother’s personal pictures of her miscarried son, which he stole from her by using them without permission, to misrepresent an aborted late-term, living fetus being prepared to have its organs harvested. Then, when pressed on it he excused his lying and theft by generally saying “Well it sorta looks like what an abortion could be.”

Well, as long as it “sorta looks like” what something “could be”, I’m sold; how about you? Now to the ridiculous and bogus “Black Babies” statements. Here are some FACTS to know, via NPR:

[Margaret] Sanger’s birth control movement did have support in black neighborhoods, beginning in the ’20s when there were leagues in Harlem started by African-Americans. Sanger also worked closely with NAACP founder W.E.B. DuBois on a “Negro Project,” which she viewed as a way to get safe contraception to African-Americans.

In 2014, the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research center, surveyed all known abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood clinics, in the U.S. (nearly 2,000) and found that 60 percent are in majority-white neighborhoods.

Margaret Sanger certainly had some questionable views, and in some ways was a detestable human being; but her opinions like many others’, were borne of the ignorance of the times. That’s not an excuse, it’s a fact. One thing she was right about:

image sanger

 

“No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”

 

That is true regardless of race, nationality, or ethnicity. Now here’s a tidbit you won’t hear RW’ers echoing; Charisma News reports (as many might have guessed): 70 Percent of Women Who Have Had Abortions Call Themselves Christians. They write:

Fear of gossip and judgmental reactions routinely prevents churchgoing women who are considering an abortion from first seeking the counsel of pastors or others in their church, according to a new survey by an evangelical polling group.

The survey was conducted by LifeWay Research, associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and sponsored by the Care Net network of anti-abortion pregnancy centers.

The survey found that seven in 10 women who had an abortion identified themselves as Christian. Breaking that down, Catholic women represented 27 percent; Protestant, 26 percent; and nondenominational, 15 percent. Among Protestants, the top three denominations represented among women who had abortions were Baptist (33 percent), Episcopal (6 percent), Church of Christ (4 percent).

It’s hardly a surprise that religious doctrines of “submit to your husband“, coupled with the determination of conservatives to provide no, or incorrect sex education, is a recipe for disaster. Maybe if religion practiced a little more “Judge not lest ye be judged”, and a little less “Let’s stone her”, we would have far fewer abortions. 

One final point for sex ignorant RW’ers:

baby vs tissue

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cross posted at All Things Democrat

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Filed under Politics, Religion, Religious Right, Reproductive Rights, Women

Not Just Trivial, TOO Trivial

roseA young woman named Cameron Schaeffer recently wrote a post for HuffPo’s blog titled: “The 3-Letter Word That Cuts Women Down Every Day“. While you might be expecting the word to be something crude or “sexist”, it is not; the word she’s talking about is too. Yes, you read that right, the word too.

Ms. Schaeffer writes of her self-described “epiphany”:

There is no proper way for a woman to cut her hair, let alone do anything right in this world. There seems to be an unobtainable one-millimeter-wide mark of perfection, and none of us can reach it. Everything is too this or too that. We see it every day in the tabloids. For example, one day a female celebrity is too revealing and the next day she is too matronly.

In my experience, I rarely hear too thrown around about men. You hear someone say, “He’s short,” but you seldom hear “too short.” I hear women and men alike each day describing women as too something. But what does it really mean when you call a woman too? I asked myself, “too what?” I have determined that too means you’re calling a woman too far away from your idyllic vision of what a woman should be.

Something as small as calling a woman’s dress too long or her muscles too built has a much larger social construct. With all the varying tastes and cultures in this world, it is impossible for a woman — or anyone, for that matter — to fulfill everyone’s criteria. And why is it our responsibility to satisfy them, anyway?

 

Merriam-Webster gives these three uses for the word too:

a :  to an excessive degree :  excessively <too large a house for us>
b :  to such a degree as to be regrettable <this time he has gone too far>
c :  very <didn’t seem too interested>
The word seems rather innocuous to me. Now I’m all for young women thinking about their role in the world, but honestly, this cultural critique is nonsense. She continues:
 
What makes me furious is the constant strain on females to find their unreachable perfect self. This realization really struck me when I figured out that I’ve never been satisfied with myself. My internal opinion is always that I’m too this or too that. I, like most women, have been deprived of self-satisfaction and appreciation because of this word and this attitude.
Most women deprived of self-satisfaction and appreciation because of the word too”? Seriously? Moving on:
 
Women are still objects to a disturbingly large number of people. If society continues on in this way, women will always be unfairly judged. But there are small and achievable steps we can take. We should call on both genders to cut the word too from their vocabulary when discussing women. If we ever want an end to the way females are put in boxes, this is the beginning of an important and tumultuous journey ahead.
 
I’ve grown weary of the constant refrain that “women are objectified”, as if someone is doing it to them; women do not become “objects” unless they allow it. Do you think professional female anchors dress like the women at Fox News? Do you think the women at Fox don’t know that? They trade on their appearance because it makes them money; and while I’m no psychologist, I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of weird self-validation going on there as well. Whether it’s music, magazines, movies, or commercials, there will always be women who objectify themselves; that is hardly men’s doing.
 
If there is one failure of feminism thus far, it is this: We are still not raising enough daughters who realize their self-worth isn’t located between their neck and their knees.
 
But, back to Ms. Schaeffer‘s post. The idea that the word too is somehow anti-women, and rarely used pertaining to men is ludicrous. We have enough gender issues to contend with; we don’t need to be fabricating new ones. I’m sorry, but this was about the most ridiculous post I’ve read from a woman. The whole premise is just too trivial.
 
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Filed under Feminism, Men, Women

Bill Kristol, Another Trump Bitch

megyn_kellyLet’s face it, Megyn Kelly is hardly a “journalist”; but then, neither is anyone else at Fox. That being said, she works for the station and thus deserves to be treated with respect by other people who are paid to appear on Fox. Some people don’t seem to get that, namely Bill Kristol.

Recently, Fox “pundit” Donald Trump referred to Kelly as a “bimbo” in one of his endless childish tweets:

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This was Kristol’s response, according to Mediaite:

27523_5_Kristol told Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg today that Trump’s tweets about Kelly––including a retweet of someone calling her a “bimbo”––were “a little excessive” but news people say things all the time and need to have thicker skins.

He wasn’t too “disturbed” by Trump’s comments and didn’t think he should apologize, only noting that it’s not necessarily the best idea to “antagonize” Megyn Kelly fans he might want on his side.

Yes, that’s all that matters, some of Kelly’s fans may get upset. Are there any MEN left in the Republican Party, or are they all just Donald Trump’s bitches?

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Filed under 2016 Campaigns, Donald Trump, Politics, Republicans, Women