George Tiller's killer "treated as a criminal"  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cross posted from The Bilerico Project:

Filed by: Alex Blaze

June 7, 2009 2:30 PM

Over the last several decades, the right has constructed and reinforced the idea among themselves that if someone does something, however illegal or wrong, because of their "personal morals" or "religious beliefs," then they should get off the hook. According to them, it's wrong to punish, not support financially, or even have any negative reaction to a nurse who doesn't want to perform STD screenings, a pharmacist who doesn't want to give contraception to single women, a beauty pageant contestant who opposes same-sex marriage, or a restaurant owner who donated to Prop 8, because those people are acting on their Very Personal Beliefs and therefore can't be held responsible for them.

(It goes without saying that if someone who isn't a card-carrying member of the Religious Right wants to get off the hook for their actions because of their own very important personal beliefs that it's not going to happen. What they believe simply isn't as important as what a Christian conservative believes.)

We've walked down this road for a while, getting more and more ridiculous each year, but this takes the cake:

The man accused of shooting a Kansas abortion provider to death as he handed out programs at a Sunday church service said he appreciates the prayers said for him and his family in the wake of his arrest.

"I haven't been convicted of anything, and I am being treated as a criminal," Scott Roeder said Thursday.

Imagine that.

I'm sure that he is being treated as a criminal, because, you know, he shot and killed a guy in front of hundreds of witnesses. But to him, it's not murder because what he did was right. To summarize quite a few conservative internet comments and blog posts I read on this item: would we treat someone who assassinated Hitler as a criminal?

Of course, it's a ridiculous position, since we don't let some dude with a gun decide who's Hitler and who's not (nor should we allow someone with a Fox News show decide that either). He was demonized for decades, and, let's face it, the left did little to come to his aid. I know that we're supposed to be looking for compromise ground with these people, but I doubt that it's in the sort of abortions Tiller was providing:

In 1994 my wife and I found out that she was pregnant. The pregnancy was difficult and unusually uncomfortable but her doctor repeatedly told her things were fine. Sometime early in the 8th month my wife, an RN who at the time was working in an infertility clinic asked the Dr. she was working for what he thought of her discomfort. He examined her and said that he couldn't be certain but thought that she might be having twins. We were thrilled and couldn't wait to get a new sonogram that hopefully would confirm his thoughts. Two days later our joy was turned to unspeakable sadness when the new sonogram showed conjoined twins. Conjoined twins alone is not what was so difficult but the way they were joined meant that at best only one child would survive the surgery to separate them and the survivor would more than likely live a brief and painful life filled with surgery and organ transplants. We were advised that our options were to deliver into the world a child who's life would be filled with horrible pain and suffering or fly out to Wichita Kansas and to terminate the pregnancy under the direction of Dr. George Tiller.

We made an informed decision to go to Kansas. One can only imagine the pain borne by a woman who happily carries a child for 8 months only to find out near the end of term that the children were not to be and that she had to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy and go against everything she had been taught to believe was right. This was what my wife had to do. Dr. Tiller is a true American hero. The nightmare of our decision and the aftermath was only made bearable by the warmth and compassion of Dr. Tiller and his remarkable staff. Dr. Tiller understood that this decision was the most difficult thing that a woman could ever decide and he took the time to educate us and guide us along with the other two couples who at the time were being forced to make the same decision after discovering that they too were carrying children impacted by horrible fetal anomalies. I could describe in great detail the procedures and the pain and suffering that everyone is subjected to in these situations. However, that is not the point of the post. We can all imagine that this is not something that we would wish on anyone. The point is that the pain and suffering were only mitigated by the compassion and competence of Dr. George Tiller and his staff. We are all diminished today for a host of reasons but most of all because a man of great compassion and courage has been lost to the world.

The pro-lifers twist the pro-choice position into "Abortion on demand," another phrase for slutty women going and using abortion as birth control instead of just closing their legs. It's ironic, then, that they'd demonize someone like Tiller who worked on what were the most extreme cases of abortion, the exact opposite of "Abortion on demand."

But their position isn't logical, and that's the point here. Tiller's work saved women's lives and alleviated many people's suffering, and yet he was sold to the nuts as the worst of the worst when it came to abortion.

Sometimes people's Very Personal Beliefs, whether they're religious or not, whether they're Christian or not, are stupid. And they're wrong. And we decide the limits of the actions people can take based on their beliefs with the democratic process, not some dude with a gun.

The fact that Roeder thinks that he can complain about being treated like a criminal, and people will actually sympathize with him even if they agreed that Tiller's work was wrong, shows how far off-track our political discourse is in this country. If Tiller didn't die from being shot, we'd be hearing a bit more from the right and the mainstream pundits about respecting people's deeply-held religious beliefs and not using the law to intimidate Christians.

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Blog for Choice 2009  

Friday, January 23, 2009

Technically this was Thursday (about 43 minutes ago), but I fell asleep. Oops:

For Blog for Choice Day this year, we are given the theme:
“What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?”

Good grief, as though I could pick just one.
I’d like to see the recently enacted “conscience” rule wiped out, for these ten reasons and a few more. That’s one specific issue that clearly relates directly to choice. I’d like to see the Global Gag Rule repealed, and restore funding for UNFPA. I’d like for our laws to allow women to exercise their choice without being subjected to misinformation under biased counseling laws or forced ultrasounds that assume women just haven’t worried their pretty little heads enough about what they’re doing. I’d like to see our discussions of these issues be evidence-based, science-based, instead of agenda-based.

So many other things, though, have an effect on women and the choices they make. I’d like to move away from abstinence-only sex education, so that individuals will be better informed about how to control their own reproduction. I’d like to make pharmacies put up signs indicating whether they will or won’t fill prescriptions for birth control, or dispense emergency contraception. I’d like WIC to include more than a suggestion of fresh fruits and vegetables. I’d like for all people to be able to afford healthcare, including contraception. I’d like our approach to “the war on drugs” to be overhauled so more people can be with their families instead of in jail. I’d like for us not to assume we know who “deserves” to have children, to recognize that choice is an issue of being able to have children, too, of reproductive justice that isn’t just about abortion. I’d like people to make a living wage. I’d like women to be able to talk about abortion without fear or shame, given how common an experience it is across the nation.

But you know, I think that’s all an awfully tall order a handful of days into a Presidency.

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Stop Gaslighting Me!  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Two things need to be talked about: Bush and Obama.

First, Obama. I voted for the man. I gave money. I even went the watch party, and I hate parties. And, I would never, ever want McCain/Palin to be in power. But, the idea that he invited Rick Warren to be apart of the inauguration infuriates me. It's not because I don't like his theology-even though I don't. It is because of his political views. Equating the "Social Gospel" viewpoint with Marxism [because helping people is UnAmerican] and the Homosexual community to some of the worst society has to offer(incest and pedophilia) is abhorrent and unacceptable to me. Try saying that my friends are the same as the lowest of scum to my face and we'll have a lot to "talk about".

Obama tried to defend his position by saying that Warren was so nice to invite Obama to Warren's church in 2006 that he wanted to return the favor. That is not returning the favor. Returning a favor is inviting Warren to the White House on talks about something or inviting Warren to his church. But, to invite such a man, especially after the LGBTQ community just had dirt kicked in its face because of Prop 8 (which Warren was an ardent supporter of), is careless and tactless. What if Obama invited a vehemently anti-woman or anti-Hispanics or anti-children? People would be up in arms. Apparently, it is okay for a certain portion of the country (at least 10%) to be ignored or shunned. Obama even felt like saying that he is a huge supporter of LGBT equal rights. Granted, he is better than his Republican opponents. But to not be for marriage rights is to be against LGBT equal rights. Not that Hilary would have done better. In fact only Kucinich was for gay marriage. But Mr. Obama, please do not stand up and say you support equal rights when you do not support gay marriage. As it was written in the opinion of Loving v. Virginia: Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man".

Enough of Obama. On to Bush, my favorite.
A couple of years ago, I was apart of the NEW Leadership program at OU. I loved it. I wish I could return every year. I loved it because it taught me many things. One of the major things that it taught me was that I should be proud to be a woman and not let anyone put me down because of it. Prior to NEW, I believed being a woman was such a burden: you have to look pretty, be smart-but not too smart, certain height, certain weight, certain shade of whatever, gotta get married early-because no one wants an old hag, gotta have kids-whether you like them or not, and always, ALWAYS, keep your thoughts to yourself- you don't want to be thought of as a nag. Thankfully, that old me has gone away. But the problems have come back. Oh, they are not the same. Now, being a woman is burdensome because everyone keeps trying to mess with my ovaries. They're mine, damn it! And if I don't want them to be used; then, don't make me.
All this stems from the Bush Administrations last effort to have me hate being born with two X chromosomes rather than just one. The Administration just pushed through new HHS regulations that includes the "right of conscience rule":

Reporting from Washington -- The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new "right of conscience" rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable, including abortion and possibly even artificial insemination and birth control.

For more than 30 years, federal law has dictated that doctors and nurses may refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further by making clear that healthcare workers also may refuse to provide information or advice to patients who might want an abortion.

Well, this is very annoying. First, let me say that although I'm sure the Administration's target is abortion and contraceptions. This also applies to simple things like cold medicine. And the rule is so broad that it not only includes the doctor or nurse or pharmacist, but also the cashier ringing you out. If you have a Christian Scientist as a cashier, then to bad, no Sudafed for you.

So, essentially, even if you have the right to obtain an abortion, you may not have access to the information necessary to actually know all your options. I would never deny how smart a doctor is, but I don't really think it is up to a doctor to decide what is morally right for me or for my body. If the law has already decided that I can have access to reproductive technology, then why is a doctor allowed to tell me something different? I would like the advice I get from my doctor to be based on my health needs, not his/her religious and moral beliefs. Just as Rachel Maddow says, "If you are Amish, you may have the right to drive the bus, but you should not be able to."

Doctors give advice just as lawyers give advice. You give your patient/client the information and he/she acts on it- to his or her improvement or detriment. I go to the doctor and I want birth control that doctor better give it to me.
Although it is possible to go to a different doctor, who the hell wants to go doctor shopping? And women shouldn't have to do that because the government got pious. Plus, this affects mostly women who are poor and/or live in a rural area. They have less options than others.

So thanks, Bush Administration. I don't believe in Hell, but now, I wish there was one so you guys can fry in it. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

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My view of the media  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I originally wrote this as a response to a friend's note, but I thought it was noteworthy in and of itself. So, I'm reposting it.

I clicked on Lawrence’s link and read the article. What the researches found was that there is an ideological divide between two of the three networks: Fox and MSNBC. CNN being the other one, was seen as in the middle. Now in terms of negative treatment of the candidates, I would agree that the last month or two there has been more negative treatment towards McCain than Obama in the media. But the reason for that is not bias- it’s sensationalism. Obama’s campaign has been streamlined and controlled. They stayed on message, on point, there were limited gaffes. McCain and Palin was treated different not necessarily because they were Republican but because they gave the media fodder. When one day, you wake up and the Republican nominee is using the tag line of his opponent, that’s going to gather some interest. Calling someone a socialist when they obviously don’t know what a socialist is. Racial undertones at rallies, negativity. Need I go on? The media, excluding MSNBC and Fox, is looking for the next big whatever to feed its rating. On the other hand, MSNBC and Fox have a strategy, a set narrative, of which to follow.

BTW, just because Fox is ahead in the ratings, that does not mean that people watch them because they are the most fair and balanced. More people buy Tide over Gain- does that mean that Tide freshens your cloths better? Not necessarily. In a pure sense, it basically boils down to advertising.

You know, everybody rings their hands of Fox news: “Fair and Balance? Why, that’s snide”. Yeah okay, they’re not fair and balanced. But you know what CNN use to have a slogan “You can depend on CNN”. Guess what? I watch it. No you can’t. So what’s the difference?

If you watch the news networks, and I believe that this is the judge, which news program would have covered the Iraq War differently if it a Democratic president was in office? I believe only one would have and that is Fox. Therefore, that is an activist stance.
As for the others, the bias of the media is not liberal; it is lazy. And it’s sensationalist. But not liberal. There is no active strategy, which is employed on Fox, which is advocating for conservative and right causes. But they are part of an overall thirty year strategy of putting together a way to reconsolidate power.

BTW, well within their rights. I do not have a problem with that because I don’t consider them news. I consider them an active, political arm. Moreover, when they say that they are “Fair and Balanced”, do I believe that is false advertising? Absolutely. However, when did we start worrying about that? If the presidential election commercials are not held to that standard, then why should news organizations? We have lost accountability. And just because they are, why whine about it? Why not create a television organization that is not liberal, but credible. Why not create something that has the same passion that Roger Ailes brings to his cause. And, I admire what they’ve done because they have shown the way to a new media paradigm; that this type of programming can be successful and profitable. I do not think the answer to it is to set up Al Gore’s network and fight it with liberal strategy. A: because liberals are shitty and will not be able to accomplish it. Liberals feel shame. Shame does not work.

So back to the coverage of the election: It is not about how things were covered during the election, it is about what should be done differently on a 24-hour basis. Fox did not come out of the gate and earn its conservative street-cred. Of course, Roger Ailes being at the head of it helps. But they earned it over time by presenting a narrative.

However, I do not think that narrative is helping, just like I do not think MSNBC’s narrative is helping. I think it helps make them popular but it does not help the country. I think there is a responsibility in the media to help. But someone can create a paradigm of a media organization that is geared towards no bullshit and do it actively. And stop pretending that we don’t know what is going on. And stop pretending that it is a right-left question. I don’t buy that the world is divided into bi-chromatic thought like that.

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Writing for Rights  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I’m actually not a huge proponent of marriage in general. Partner benefits, family health benefits and legal recognition -- Yes. Marriage as a normative cultural institution with the white dress and bells -- No. I feel strongly that marriage has become more of a religious and/or commercial institution than a civil one, which makes me extremely uncomfortable. Also, I personally do not feel that I need a ceremony to prove (and prove to whom?) that I am in love with someone. That said, I am not wholesale against marriage nor should my personal feelings reflect on what other people choose to do with their lives and in their relationships. I may not be keen on marriage myself, but I would never presume to impose my views on other people.

What I fail to understand is how anyone can make an argument against same-sex marriage on any grounds, religious or otherwise. I think the moralizing "traditional marriage" argument is ridiculous and wrong wrong wrong, but at least I've grown accustomed to the fact that when it comes to some religious institutions people don't seem to have any qualms about saying they're better or more worthy than other people. If you don't have the false judgmental security of "God on your side" (whatever that means), what is your excuse? Everyone should be outraged by this blatant discrimination, because that is what it is. And it scares me that so many people don't see it that way. It may seem like not that big a deal. It is just marriage, who cares? But if you claim you're against same-sex marriage for any reason, no matter how you rationalize it, you're really just saying that you think LGBTQ people are less than, that they don't deserve the same rights as everyone else. And we all know where that line of thinking leads.

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

~Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

Unless you think, as some people do, that equality is a Un-American , I find it hard to even wrap my mind around the outright discrimination implicit in denying same-sex couples the right to marry. Even more mind-boggling? The lying and coercion perpetrated by those opposed to gay marriage. You can bet your hat that if the "liberal elite" were trying to deny, I don't know, say, right-wing conservatives the right to marry each other, there would be an outcry of discrimination to beat the band. And rightfully so. Nevertheless, apparently, in the eyes of some, only certain (straight) people are equal in the eyes of the law.

California's a Proposition 8 (which would make same-sex marriage illegal) and Florida's Amendment 2(which would not only legally define marriage as between a man and woman, but also disenfranchise unmarried couples whether homosexual or heterosexual) are discriminatory and hateful. Why are these votes in California and Florida so important when we don't even live there? Because every statewide opposition to same-sex marriage is another blow to LGBTQ freedoms and rights across the country.

It does not matter if you're straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual. It does not matter if you never plan to get married, if you are hoping to get married one day in a big church with all the frills or if you married years ago at City Hall. We should all cry out in outrage against laws that seek to discriminate against a group of people, regardless of if they affect us personally or not.

"Your silence will not protect you." ~ Audre Lorde

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The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act will be my generations ERA.  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It has been stated that one does not fully understand an issue unless a person has gone through it. The ERA is one of those issues for me. The ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) was initially proposed to Congress in 1920s. For over fifty years, feminist groups have lobbied for the amendment, not truly gaining traction until the 70s. Anti-Feminists movements, mostly led by Phyllis Schlafly, rallied against the ERA, claiming that it would harm women more than help them. In fact, that has been the reasoning for most legislation that was designed for women’s equality: by making women equal, they will in fact be harmed. How sweet. How thoughtful. How patriarchal.

To give a perspective of the anti-feminists flawed logic in what they viewed would be harming women, let me draw an example. Phyllis Schlafly and others like her stated that the ERA would allow women to have equal access to employment (oh no!) and therefore would be able to work “manly” jobs without being discriminated against. Women would be able to work in places like mines, which would require them to lift heavy objects, which the anti-feminists would claim harmed women because we just might hurt ourselves (we are very clumsy gender, are we not?). Granted these groups never took into account that heavy lifting is required in jobs that are more socially acceptable for women such as childcare, secretarial work, nursing, and so forth. Apparently, women are too stupid to take care of ourselves in inherently dangerous (or not) workplaces without hurting ourselves. On the other hand, maybe it is because women working a variety of employment that might pay more would allow women to escape being solely dependant on her husband, and we just cannot have that. What is next-women thinking for themselves? By the way, may I bring to attention how I find it somewhat hypocritical that some women like Ms.Schlafly are able to climb the ladder to success yet work tirelessly to make sure women have a difficult time gaining the same authority and notoriety? Just a thought to hang your hat on.

Nevertheless, before you get outraged, just remember, that those anti-ERA groups were only trying to protect our mothers. Obviously, as I stated at the beginning, I was not around during the precipice of the ERA. Reading my history books and talking to feminists who fought the fight over 30 years ago, I wondered what is so controversial about equal rights especially in today’s climate where we as a society believe, falsely, that we live in a post-feminist nation. I wonder what could possible be the reason today for not enforcing equal pay and punishing discrimination. Why is it so hard to pass such legislation? How dumb were those legislators and states who opposed the ERA? What were they thinking?

This brings me to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Act was brought before Congress this past spring and failed. First, I will give you the background. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act started out as a critical Supreme Court case: Ledbetter v. Goodyear, 127 S.Ct. 2162. First the facts. Lilly Ledbetter worked for Goodyear for 19 years before accepting an early retirement offer. Shortly before she left Goodyear, Ledbetter received an anonymous memo revealing that the other shift supervisors with the same title and job responsibilities she had, were paid between 14-30% more than what she was earning. The decision to pay Ledbetter less than her male co-workers was made years earlier by a supervisor who did not believe women belonged at Goodyear, and certainly not working as supervisors. Until Ledbetter got this memo, she had no knowledge that she made less than her co-workers did all those years. Ledbetter sued, and during the discovery of the lawsuit, Goodyear’s records confirmed the anonymous tip: the sole woman supervisor was paid far less than the men in the same positions were paid.

A jury found that Goodyear had unlawfully discriminated against Ledbetter and awarded her $224,000 in back pay, $4,600 in mental anguish and $3.2 million dollars in punitive damages. Goodyear appealed, and the appellate court sided with Goodyear finding that Ledbetter was barred from bringing a lawsuit because she did not file a complaint within six months of when her supervisor made the discriminatory decision to pay her less than the men. Finally, the case went to the Supreme Court, which decided in a 5-4 conservative majority opinion that shielded employers from liability unless an employee discovers the pay discrimination and acts on that information within 180 days. The dissenting opinion written by the sole woman justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and joined by three male justices (Stevens, Souter, and Breyer) raised an issue that the Court’s majority decision blatantly ignored: the reality of the workplace and common characteristics of pay discrimination. As most who have ever worked a job realize, workers rarely, if ever, have knowledge of how much they are making compared to the co-workers doing the same or similar jobs or the factors employers take into account in making pay decisions- not to mention that many employers specifically bar its employees from discussing their pay. Let it be said that the majority’s opinion goes against most appellate courts (granted, not the appellate court in Ledbetter’s case) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) longstanding position that every unequal paycheck, based upon discrimination, is a new violation, therefore starting the statute of limitations clock again. At the end of Ginsberg’s dissenting opinion, she noted that it is now Congress’ duty and invited the legislature to correct the Court’s “parsimonious reading of Title VII.”

The House of Representatives, with the help of many Civil Rights groups, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have reinstated the law that the EEOC and most appellate courts interpreted Title VII. However, once the bill went to the Senate for approval, forty-two members of the Senate voted to block cloture. The unabashed action of the US Senate has and does astonish me. Many of the Republicans who blocked the vote to reinstate the original reading of Title VII claimed they were doing so to protect women (read “stupid women”)from the greedy clutches of unprincipled plaintiffs’ attorneys and from women’s own stupid inclination to sit around for years, decades even, while being screwed over financially before they bring suit. That means they were, of course, just protecting us from the dangerous laws that protect us. THANK GOD! Women in the United States are paid only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men; African-American women earn only 63 cents, and Latinas earn only 52 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Yet the Ledbetter decision tells employers that as long as they can hide their discriminatory behavior for six months, they have the green light to treat female employees badly forever. Why is this problem not sufficiently real to be addressed by Congress?

It seems that several people in government have attempted to answer that question. Can guess what their concerned about? Of course, the answer is protecting women, or in their view- stupid women, who just cannot seem to think for themselves. Ladies, when will our brains evolve to be on par with men? Let us look at the reasons they proffered:

The White House threatened to veto the legislation if it ever passed Congress because the act would “impede justice and undermine the important goal of having allegations of discrimination expeditiously resolved.” Of course, there is a place for finality in the law, and it is not reasonable to bring allegations against businesses for actions that were committed twenty years back. Nevertheless, unless an employee is psychic, one hundred and eighty days is simply not long enough to decipher a pattern of pay discrimination, which is normally subtle not obvious. The notion that expeditiousness in resolving legal disputes should altogether trump one’s ability to prove those disputes is cynical beyond imagining. Moreover, the very notion that extending the statute of limitations somehow encourages scads of stupid women to loll around accepting unfair wages for decades in the hopes of hitting the litigation jackpot in their mid 70s is just insulting.

Next on the list is a statement by Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. The Senator did one better in insulting women when he said, “The only ones who will see an increase in pay are some of the trial lawyers who bring the cases.” See, now this is the argument that holds that the same women who are too stupid to bring timely discrimination claims are also too stupid to avoid manipulation by those scheming plaintiffs’ attorneys. First off, some of us still believe that those damn civil rights attorneys do some good in the world. But what really infuriates me here is the endless, snobbish recitation that it is only the really dumb people—you know, the injured, the sick, and the women—who are not smart enough to avoid being conned by lawyers into filing frivolous lawsuits.

All of which brings me to Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona(who, by the time you read this, may or may not have won the presidential election) skipped the vote on equal pay vote altogether because he was out campaigning. (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both showed up to support it.) McCain’s opposition to the bill was expressed thusly: He is familiar with the pay disparity but believes there are better ways to help women find better-paying jobs. “They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else.” All of that is code for the imperceptive claim that the fact that women earn 77 cents on the dollar for the same work as men will somehow be fixed by more training for women as opposed to less discrimination by men. Now, this makes me wonder. McCain has at least one daughter. If she ever came home to tell him the same situation of Ledbetter happened to her, would he really stay to her face that she needs more training, rather than telling her that she was discriminated against. I think not.

So, forty two members of the U.S. Senate blocked a bill that would allow victims of gender discrimination to learn of and prove discrimination in those rare cases in which their employers do not cheerfully discuss it with them at the office Christmas party. And the reasons for blocking it include the fact that women are not smart enough to file timely lawsuits, not smart enough to avoid being manipulated by vile plaintiffs’ lawyers, not smart enough to know when they are being stiffed, and (per John McCain) not well-trained enough in the first place to merit equal pay. So how dumb are we as a nation? Unfortunately, the next generation, thirty plus years down the road, will have to tell me.

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While Mayor, Sarah Palin Charged Rape Victims for their Own Justice  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Feministing:

Multiple readers clued us into the latest incredibly disappointing fact about Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin: under her mayoral leadership in Wasilla, Alaska, rape victims were charged for their own rape kits. Op-Edna explains:

A rape kit is a sexual assault forensic evidence kit, used to collect DNA that can be used in criminal proceedings to assist in the conviction of those who commit sex crimes. The kit is performed as soon as possible after a sexual assault or attack has been committed. It is usually humiliating and uncomfortable for the victim-imagine enduring that and then paying $1200 just so that the criminal who assaulted you might be caught.

Let's put this into perspective. One of the services that almost every American (with the exception of a few hardcore Libertarians, I suppose) agree that our government should provide is policing and investigation into crime, especially of a violent nature. Rape, one of the most difficult to prosecute, disproportionately affects women--young women, in fact. If Palin wants to play fierce mother hen in her stump speeches, I suggest she explain how it is that she wouldn't do everything in her mayoral power to make sure that rapists be caught and prosected.

What adds insult to injury here is her stance on abortion for rape victims. So, not only did she neglect to support women who were raped in getting the evidence they needed to get justice, but she doesn't believe they should have the right to choose what happens with their bodies after they've endured such violation.

What a frickin' feminist.

Note: the Democratic governor changed this heinous policy in 2000.

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