Saturday, August 30, 2008
Women are not interchangeable. We aren’t paper dolls with removable heads and pantsuits. We’re individuals. We have brains. We even like to use them. Yet with his selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential pick, John McCain has shown us how he really feels about women. We’re dumb and fickle and will vote for anything in a dress. Am I glad that another woman has a shot at the second-highest seat in all the land? Of course – more opportunities for women to enter the upper echelons of power are always welcome. But does it also make me angry? Of course – this isn’t a sign of McCain’s newfound belief in the intrinsic equality of women. This is a joke.
This is a man who opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, opposes (and instead favors overturning) Roe v. Wade, opposes women serving in military combat roles, opposes the federal recognition of gay marriages and domestic partnerships, opposes the mandatory coverage of birth control by health plans, opposes comprehensive sex education – shit – I could go on forever. Earlier this year he didn’t vote on (but later said he would have voted against) the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that would ensure women have the opportunity to recover back pay for discrimination. Instead of an equal pay bill, he said women just needed “education and training.”
It’s insulting, condescending, infuriating that McCain would think we women vote as a monolithic block controlled solely by our ladyparts. We do not, sir. Nor are we amused by the sexism that will no doubt be leveled Palin’s way (and already has been…um, VPILF.com, classy). I disagree with Palin based on her record. Pro-life. Pro-drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Pro-teaching of creationism. Pro-National Rifle Association. With only 20 months as governor and the mayorship of a town of less than 9,000 people on her resume, why was she selected when other much more experienced Republican women were passed over? This is not what feminism is about.
So, this vacation, my crush is on all of you, the smart women. The smart women who won’t have the wool pulled over your eyes by a nice-looking brunette with glasses. The smart women who care about the issues not just the ovaries. The smart women who know that your vote is yours alone, and won’t be swayed by desperate, cynical pandering to your X chromosomes. Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain, because she certainly isn't Tina Fey. Not even close. Happy weekend, all. See you again Sept. 10.
Friday, August 29, 2008
UPDATE: I couldn't wait until Monday. But, trust me, she should be sexy and smart and sexy and funny and sexy and interesting and sexy enough to hold you until Sept. 10.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
[Click to enlarge, you know you want to.]
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” --Hillary Clinton on Harriet Tubman
Life moves forward, whether we're ready or not. Time passes, seasons change, the world just keeps going. But – after last night – one thing is abundantly, unquestionably clear: Hillary Clinton is ready to move forward. She has moved forward. She knows we must move forward. She knows we can't afford four more years of the last eight years. Her speech last night was nothing short of masterful. But then I never doubted it, or her, in the first place. I was part of her sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits. I watched her the entire primary process. I voted for her with uninhibited pride. I felt my heart break a little with her loss. But, that's life. You win, you lose – either way you have to keep going.
I wasn't in this campaign just for Hillary. I was in this campaign for a better America. I believed she could deliver that better America. But I believe that Barack Obama can, too. In fact, I know he can. He must. The disappointment may still be real, but the realities are impossible to ignore. Two wars. A deepening recession. A staggering chasm between the rich and poor. A dangerously warming planet. Continually eroding civil liberties. Families losing their homes. Children without health care. This is why I was in this campaign. I was in this campaign because I wanted all of that to change. I wanted finally to feel like our country was on the right track again. I wanted again to show the greatness that can exist within the hearts of everyday citizens. History is made not just by the winners, but all those who worked tirelessly along the way to pave the road. So, now, we keep fighting. Keep believing. Keep going. This is the story of America, and it's a great one.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
[Hat tip, USWNT Fan, for the chest bump above!]
Friday, August 22, 2008
In these games, few have shown us more than Lolo Jones. Her story is custom made for those soft-focus profiles with lilting soundtracks that television producers adore. She came from poverty. Her family lived in the Salvation Army basement for spell. She went through depression. She fell at the trials in 2004 and failed to make the Athens games. Still, through it all, she kept her focus. She worked minimum wage jobs. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning an economics degree from LSU. And, earlier this year, the girl who was once homeless went back to her high school in Des Moines and donated $3,000 to repair its track. She later gave her $4,000 prize money for winning the 2008 Olympic trials to a fund for a single mother who was a victim of the recent Iowa floods.
So in Beijing everyone expected her to win, wanted her to win the 100-meter hurdles. Through the first nine hurdles it looked like she would do just that. And then, then her right foot didn't make it over all 33-inches. She clipped the top of the penultimate hurdle, lost her balance and – in that split second – lost the gold. In fact, she lost any medal, finishing seventh. Afterward she fell to the track on her knees. No words were needed to explain her emotions. Yet, after letting it sink in that her life's work may forever go unfulfilled, she got up and walked over to the cameras. She smiled; she made no excuses. “It's hurdles,” she told the eager microphones, “and if you can't finish the race, you're not supposed to be the champion.” Everyone wants to be the champion. Still sometimes it's the losers like Lolo Jones who show us how to really win. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
[Click each to enlarge the Straight Gals* Acting Like Gay Gals.]
*I'm assuming straightness. If any of these ladies wants to kick open the closet door, I'd be more than happy to create a new category: GGALGG.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Rachel will take the 9 p.m. timeslot behind “Countdown” now occupied by “Verdict With Dan Abrams.” Besides making gay history, Rachel also joins only a small handful of women to host prime-time news shows. Seriously, try to think of five women who host their own news shows in under 10 seconds. Start...now. How many did you get? Yes, the awesome Gwen Ifill. No, the wretched Nancy Grace does not count. Harder than you think, eh?
Rachel's promotion also defies the Barbie-caster mentality that pervades most network newsrooms. She isn't a wafer-thin blonde model type who can read a teleprompter. (Not that all wafer-thin blonde model types are stupid. Case in point, Lara Logan. ) Still Rachel is practically the antithesis of what we've come to expect on TV. She is a short-haired, boxy jacket wearing, totally completely gay woman who is also smart as all get out (Rhodes Scholar, hello). She is, in short, the last person on earth you thought would break into the upper echelon of the boy's club of political reporting. Yet, there she is. Atta girl.
The more I think about it, perhaps in an odd way it is because of her obvious gayness that she made it in the first place. She was the “liberal lesbian” they could pit against some crusty old conservative coot. And since the fellas tend to get so terribly distracted whenever a (stereotypically) attractive woman walks into a room, it worked. Think I'm kidding? Heck, even the gay, er, gray ones like Anderson Cooper aren't immune. Seriously, go watch him flirt and flit with Erica Hill. Just go paint each other's toenails and get it over with, you two. Or maybe, possibly Rachel's new gig means that America has warmed up to the idea of a smart, funny lesbian telling them important things. After all, they already have a smart, funny, short-haired, pant-wearing lesbian keeping them company in the afternoon. So why not go from the daytime blonde to a nighttime brunette? Looks like I've got a 9 p.m. date.
p.s. Isn't she cute when she blushes?