Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Vacation Crush

I know Tina Fey. Tina Fey is a favorite of mine. Governor, you’re no Tina Fey. And – more to the point – Sarah Palin, you’re no Hillary Clinton.

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,, 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

Please hold

Hello, my pretties. I am forging the traditional Weekend Crush today to give you a Vacation Crush come Monday. I know, bad form. I'm building up expectations that can never be met. How can she be sufficiently sexy and smart and sexy and funny and sexy and interesting and – wait – did I mention sexy? I really don't know. But, gosh darn, I'll try.

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

When in Rome

Oh, kittens, it's been a long, emotionally draining week for a variety of reasons – both personal and political. I'll tell you right now – just so you won't be surprised and can mentally prepare yourself for the anguish, ahem – that I'm going on vacation the first 10 days of September. I'll be recharging and posting very sporadically during that time. I hope to come back full of spark and many, many good nights sleep. Still, as tired (and apparently whiny, listen to me go on – boo hoo) as I am now, one thing never fails to light a delightful spark under me. That one thing, naturally, is Helen Mirren. God, I love that dame. So, it only follows that the news of an uncut, uncensored DVD edition of her 1979 Roman orgy “Caligula” got me excited in all the right places. No, it's not a great film by any leap of the imagination, but that's hardly the point. Heck, that cheeky monkey Helen herself called the film an “irresistible mix of art and genitals.” That has to be the best tagline in the history of cinema. So, how did Helen look in her “Caligula” days? Gosh, do you even have to ask? But, since you did, what follows should sufficiently whet your appetite for this greatest of dames circa 1979. What follows is also (tastefully) NSFW. So make sure your boss is at lunch and then hit the scroll button.

[Click to enlarge, you know you want to.]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is the story of America

“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

True love, happy ending

It's the chocolate and peanut butter of posts today – two great things that go great together: Sarah Haskins and the movies! Sarah, my fake internet girlfriend (not to be confused with my fake TV girlfriend, Tina Fey), returns to unleash a jumbo, butter-topped tub of whoop-ass on today's chick flicks. Or, as she calls them, “unlikely suitor, high-concept hijinks, unnecessary obstacle, true love, happy ending.” Oh, wait, sorry – did I just give away each and every one of their plots? It will forever baffle me that we, as 52 percent of the population, have become a niche market. And it irks me even more that most of these movies are so inexplicably bad. If you're going to marginalize us, at least give us something good to watch.

p.s. While stalking researching Sarah I stumbled upon her “5 Questions with...” for the Editrix. Hey, I did one of those. See, we're clearly meant to be together. Keep your grubby paws off of her, Colin Firth!

Monday, August 25, 2008

GGALGG: Gay Medal Edition

Sigh. I miss the Olympics already. All those amazing, muscley, sweaty, semi-clad women. Once every four years isn't nearly soon enough. Let's look back once more with feeling at all the gaiety. And by gaiety, I mean just gay – as in, let's see how some of the out gay women did at the games. So, by popular request, I give you GGALGG. Or, as these gals might call it, just another Monday.
[Hat tip, USWNT Fan, for the chest bump above!]

[Click each to enlarge the Gay Gals Acting Like Gay Gals.]

Natasha Kai, USA, soccer, goldBrandi Chastain, eat your heart out.

Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg, Norway, handball, goldSneaky Russian checks out Gro's abs.Katja retaliates for the ogling.Big gay hug in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Carole Péon, France, triathlon, 34thBiceps like that are their own medal.

Imke Duplitzer, Germany, fencing, quarterfinalsThis outfit will soon be seen in lesbian bars everywhere.

Fiona Pennie, Great Britain, canoe/kayak, 19thForearms like that are their own medal.

Victoria Svensson, Sweden, soccer, quarterfinalsRounding second base, headed for third.

Judith Arndt, Germany, cycling, 41st and 6thBest hat at the Olympics, hands down.

Linda Bresonik, Germany, soccer, bronzeThird place and a threesome. Life is filled with happy synchronicity.

Lauren Lappin (37) and Vicky Galindo (19), USA, softball, silverGee, lesbians play softball?

[For more on the big gay winners, check out AfterEllen today.]

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Weekend Crush

The Olympics really don't belong to the winners. Sure, they get the medals and the media, the magazine covers and the Wheaties box. They get the glory and the gold. But the Olympics really belong to the losers. After all, there are more of them. In fact, nearly everyone who comes to the Olympics leaves a loser. They won't take home any precious metal. But they're the ones who make that metal truly precious. Because it is in that depth of disappointment that we often see a person's true mettle.

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

SGALGG: Gold Medal Edition

What I love, among many things, about the Olympics is the sheer, unfiltered joy on the faces of the women as they reach their goals. It may be a gold medal. It may be a personal best. It may just be having made it to the grandest stage of her sport. But in that moment of supreme accomplishment, she has a beauty that transcends simple victory. This is not about bragging. This is about happiness. Of course, I also love that in their jubilant moments of triumph these women tend to look super, duper gay.

[Click each to enlarge the Straight Gals* Acting Like Gay Gals.]

Kerri Walsh & Misty May-Treanor , USA, beach volleyballGreat sport or greatest sport ever?

Tamsin Barnett & Natalie Cook, Australia, beach volleyballCloser, closer, closer...

Luiza Almeida & friend, Brazil, dressageShe is 16, so behave.

Keri-Anne Payne & Cassandra Patten, Great Britain, women's marathon swimmingAll that swimming deserves a kiss.

Hanna Thompson & Emily Cross, USA, fencingParry, parry, thrust

Women's Eight, USA, rowingOh, to be the ninth.

Nicole Hudson & Sarah Young, Australia, field hockeySticks, tattoos, muscles, dresses...where was I?

Rebecca Adlington & Cassandra Patten, Great Britain, swimmingPublic pool, private moment.

Xue Chen & Zhang Xi, China, beach volleyballHands, hands!

Li Jia Wei & Feng Tianwei, Singapore, table tennisI watched table tennis all last night. It. Was. Awesome.

Anastasia Davydova & Anastasia Ermakova, Russia, synchronized swimmingClearly too much eyeshadow to actually be gay, and yet......this is how they celebrated their 2004 gold medal in Athens.

Dara Torres, USA, hottieThis one is for the ladies of Shakesville, you know who you are. Sorry I couldn't bring along Tina, too. Sadly, they still haven't officially recognized “awesome” as an Olympic sport. Bastards.

*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 rising

It looks like Rachel Maddow may finally want to buy a television. News broke yesterday that the (smarty)pants-wearing political commentator will host her own MSNBC show starting Sept. 8. Rumors had been swirling that Rachel was on a “very short list” to host her own show since last month. And, after her triumphant guest-hosting gigs on “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” recently, she is now America's first and only openly gay woman to host a prime-time news show. Let's let that sink in for a second, shall we? Really let it swirl on the tongue and savor the flavor. Mmm, sweet.

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. 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?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tank Top Tuesday

See, I told you the rest of the world wouldn't be far behind. Today Olympians from around the globe get their due. Consider this the United Nations of tank tops. And, before you ask, vests in lieu of tank tops totally count. Unless you have a problem with gorgeous, gay, Norwegian handball players. Didn't think so. Go world!

Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg, Norway, handballThe best possible lesbian twin syndrome.
[Hat tip, Vibeke!]

Leryn Franco, Paraguay, javelinMystery of the hot Paraguayan from the opening ceremonies: solved.

Laure Manaudou, France, swimmingHer “scandal” was utter rubbish; they'd never do that to a man.

Kristin Gauthier, Canada, canoe-kayakOh, Canada...
[Hat tip, Marya!]

Jessica Zelinka, Canada, heptathlon...what great muscles you have.
[Hat tip, shasta!]

Shelly-Ann Fraser, Jamaica, 100m dashThis is how it feels to be the fastest woman alive.

Rita Dravucz, Hungary, water poloMarco! Marco! Marco!

Yelena Isinbayeva, Russia, pole vaultFaster, stronger, higher, hotter.

Jelena Jankovic, Serbia, tennisIs it just me, or do leather tank tops seem like they'd chaff?

Stephanie Rice, Australia, swimmingGoogle image search her name, she seems fun.

Erin Phillips, Australia, basketballRopes? International rules must really be different.
[Aussies hat tip, Tracey!]

Victoria Pendleton, Great Britain, cyclingBike to work day just got a lot more interesting.

Guo Jingjing, China, divingBecause a swimsuit is just a tank top that didn't know when to stop.

Larissa Franca & Ana Paula, Brazil, beach volleyball
Because a sports bra is just a tank top that had its growth stunted.
[Hat tip, Fernanda!]

Dutch field hockey teamTank dresses are the real Dutch treat.
[Hat tip, Ingrid!]