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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 39,670

About Me

Whiteness is a scourge on humanity. Voting for Obama that one time is not a get out of being a racist card

Journal Archives

Senators Introduce Legislation to Ensure All Married Same-Sex Couples Have Access to S.S.

Senators Introduce Legislation to Ensure All Married Same-Sex Couples Have Access to Social Security
Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Mark Udall introduced legislation to amend the federal code to ensure all lawfully married same-sex couples will receive Social Security spousal benefits. Since the Supreme Court decision last June in Windsor v. U.S. striking down a key section of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Obama Administration has proceeded in implementing the decision across the federal government.

While the Social Security Administration has moved forward on spousal benefits for people living in marriage states, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicare, it has not yet addressed spousal retirement, spousal survivor, and lump sum death benefits for married couples living in states that do not allow same-sex couples to marry. Nor has it determined that those joined in civil unions and registered domestic partnerships are eligible for spousal benefits based on their ability to inherit from their spouses/partners without a will under state law. This leaves thousands of legally married gay and lesbian couples, most of whom are living on fixed incomes, without financial support they have earned and are entitled to by law.

Social Security remains one of the most successful, popular federal programs in the nation and serves about 56 million people, or about 1 in 6 Americans, annually. For many people, social security benefits have become a lifeline out of poverty — filling a financial gap created by disability, retirement, or death of a breadwinner. The amount lost by same-sex couples and their children in non-marriage equality states can be significant. On average, a full retirement age same-sex household with one wage-earner forfeits $675 monthly or $8,100 annually in lost spousal retirement benefits. A legally-unrecognized child of a deceased same-sex parent could forfeit as much $15,072 annually in survivor income.

Living Outside the Safety Net: LGBT Families and Social Security, a co-publication by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign, details how same-sex couples living in no-marriage equality states are affected by a lack of access to Social Security.


Northeastern University Allows Rapist To Transfer

In 2011, Katherine Rizzo was raped by a fellow student at Northeastern University, a private college in Boston. After a university police department investigation and hearing, her assailant was found “responsible” for sexual assault with penetration, but he appealed the decision based on a “procedural error.” Before the next hearing could take place, he swiftly withdrew and transferred to another college.

Rizzo, defeated after the more than 130-day-long hearing process, dropped out of school.
Two years later, as students across the country started to attract attention for filing federal complaints against their colleges for mishandling sexual assault, Rizzo became curious about what had happened to her case. After she pressed her former school for information, Northeastern told her that her assailant had successfully argued for his appeal by claiming that the “level of consent” the hearing board used to find him responsible was “too high.”

On Wednesday, Rizzo filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights alleging that Northeastern violated sexual assault survivors’ rights under gender equity law Title IX, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Clery Act, which mandates that schools accurately report campus violence.

Although Rizzo is no longer within the 180-day statute of limitations for filing a Title IX complaint, she and End Rape on Campus, the activist coalition that helped Rizzo write her complaint, hope her story will draw attention to the limitations of the statute, as well as the way schools define consent and allow guilty parties to transfer without consequence.


On-line Etymology Dictionary "slut"

c.1400, "a dirty, slovenly, or untidy woman," according to OED "Of doubtful origin," but probably cognate with dialectal German Schlutt "slovenly woman," dialectal Swedish slata "idle woman, slut," and Dutch slodde "slut," slodder "a careless man," but the exact relationship of all these is obscure. Chaucer uses sluttish (late 14c.) in reference to the appearance of an untidy man. Also "a kitchen maid, a drudge" (mid-15c.; hard pieces in a bread loaf from imperfect kneading were called slut's pennies, 18c.).

Specific modern sense of "woman who enjoys sex in a degree considered shamefully excessive" is by 1966. Meaning "woman of loose character, bold hussy" is attested from mid-15c., but the primary association through 18c. was untidiness. Johnson has it (second definition) as "A word of slight contempt to a woman" but sexual activity does not seem to figure into his examples. Playful use of the word, without implication of messiness or loose morals, is attested by 1660s:
My wife called up the people to washing by four o'clock in the morning; and our little girl Susan is a most admirable slut, and pleases us mightily, doing more service than both the others, and deserves wages better. [Pepys, diary, Feb. 21, 1664]
Compare playful use of scamp, etc., for boys. Sometimes used 19c. as a euphemism for bitch to describe a female dog.

There is a group of North Sea Germanic words in sl- that mean "sloppy," and also "slovenly woman" and, less often, "slovenly man," and that tend to evolve toward "woman of loose morals." Compare slattern, also English dialectal slummock "a dirty, untidy, or slovenly person" (1861), variant of slammacks "slatternly woman," said to be from slam "ill-shaped, shambling fellow." Also slammakin (from 1756 as a type of loose gown; 1785 as "slovenly female," 1727 as a character name in Gay's "Beggar's Opera", with variants slamkin, slammerkin. Also possibly related are Middle Dutch slore "a sluttish woman," Dutch slomp, German schlampe "a slattern."


Tucker Carlson: Being sexually assaulted by female teachers (trigger warning)

And yes I know he's an asshole, but this is reflective of a lot of what we hear today; young men who are molested are molested. It not some great thing.

Tucker Carlson: Being sexually assaulted by female teachers is “the greatest thing that ever happened” to teenage boys

Tucker Carlson is the reason we have the Daily Caller, so it’s no surprise that he has abhorrent and dangerous views about sexual assault. But his Monday comments claiming that sexual assault against teenage boys is a victimless crime — which were actually him doubling down on his earlier argument that teen boys love being sexually assaulted by older women — aren’t just ignorant, they’re part of the reason so few men report sexual assault. Because people like Carlson think it makes them wusses.

Carlson’s comments were in response to the arrest of a 42-year-old Texas middle school teacher who gave her 15-year-old student a lap dance. Teachers shouldn’t do this, but Carlson doesn’t see the problem. “There are people out there who believe that there ought to be criminal sanctions against that woman, and I think that’s just deranged,” he said on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” last week. “There’s no victim here.”

When asked Monday why he said that this extremely illegal thing this teacher did isn’t a big deal, he replied, “I said it because it’s true.”

“Notice that the breakdown is along sex lines,” he continued, noting that most of the criticism he received came from women. “The women are upset, and the men understand. But here’s the bottom line: a 15-year-old boy is not a 15-year-old girl. Every man understands this. A 15-year-old boy looks at this as the greatest thing that’s ever happened, and I think for a 15-year-old girl it would be traumatic. That’s just real. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want it to be true, it just is true.”

Carlson saying this isn’t just ignorant — it’s dangerous. All victims of sexual violence are hurt by this kind of stupidity, but his comments actively contribute to a culture in which men feel like they can’t come forward about their experiences of sexual assault because so many are actually raised to believe that they can’t be victims. It’s a really twisted view, but it’s a common one.


Mark Twain's Fascinating Letter to Walt Whitman

I found this and thought to post it here; Walt Whitman is generally considered to have been a Gay man, (what love poems he wrote!) what is open to question is what that meant to him in his time and place. To see another great-- Mark Twain, whose life was marked by incredible tragedy, reach out with a letter of honor, I felt was heartwarming. Twain, to the best of my knowledge was not Gay, but I like to think he was not homophobic, and knew the person he was honoring, certainly he respected his craft.

The following is an excerpt from Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, compiled by Shaun Usher [Chronicle Books, $40.00].

Walt Whitman, “the father of free verse” and one of the great American poets, in 1855 published Leaves of Grass. A self-financed collection of his life’s poetry, it was denounced at the time by many critics due to its unconventional and “obscene” verse; but it slowly and steadily attracted praise and has since gone on to be immeasurably influential. In May 1889, as Whitman was approaching his seventieth birthday, the great Mark Twain wrote this grand letter of congratulations to Whitman: a four-page love letter to human endeavor as witnessed during the poet’s lifetime. Read it below:

Hartford, May 24/89
To Walt Whitman:
You have lived just the seventy years which are greatest in the world’s history & richest in benefit & advancement to its peoples. These seventy years have done much more to widen the interval between man & the other animals than was accomplished by any five centuries which preceded them.

What great births you have witnessed! The steam press, the steamship, the steel ship, the railroad, the perfected cotton-gin, the telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, the photograph, photo-gravure, the electrotype, the gaslight, the electric light, the sewing machine, & the amazing, infinitely varied & innumerable products of coal tar, those latest & strangest marvels of a marvelous age. And you have seen even greater births than these; for you have seen the application of anesthesia to surgery-practice, whereby the ancient dominion of pain, which began with the first created life, came to an end in this earth forever; you have seen the slave set free, you have seen the monarchy banished from France, & reduced in England to a machine which makes an imposing show of diligence & attention to business, but isn’t connected with the works. Yes, you have indeed seen much—but tarry yet a while, for the greatest is yet to come. Wait thirty years, & then look out over the earth! You shall see marvels upon marvels added to these whose nativity you have witnessed; & conspicuous above them you shall see their formidable Result—Man at almost his full stature at last!—& still growing, visibly growing while you look. In that day, who that hath a throne, or a gilded privilege not attainable by his neighbor, let him procure his slippers & get ready to dance, for there is going to be music. Abide, & see these things! Thirty of us who honor & love you, offer the opportunity. We have among us 600 years, good & sound, left in the bank of life. Take 30 of them—the richest birth-day gift ever offered to poet in this world—& sit down & wait. Wait till you see that great figure appear, & catch the far glint of the sun upon his banner; then you may depart satisfied, as knowing you have seen him for whom the earth was made, & that he will proclaim that human wheat is worth more than human tares, & proceed to organize human values on that basis.

Mark Twain


Where’s All The Animal Vagina Research?

In 2009, duck penises took the Internet by storm. Thanks to a newly published study and an eye-opening video, people learned that while most birds lack penises at all, male ducks have huge, corkscrew-shaped ones. During sex, they extrude these into females at high speed. Since then, duck penises have become a short-hand for the “ain’t nature wacky” genre of science writing, and an unexpected focal point for debates about the value of basic science.

And during that time, one important part of the original study was lost. People forgot that the story of duck penises is really the story of duck vaginas.

Duck sex can be fiercely competitive, and several males will often try to force themselves onto a female. Their extreme penises help them to deposit sperm as far inside her as possible. But duck vaginas are also long and twisting. They’re lined with dead-end pockets and they spiral in the opposite direction to the male’s penis. This shape stops the progress of a male’s ballistic organ—something that Patricia Brennan proved by getting drakes to launch their penises into variously shaped glass tubes.

As I wrote in 2009, a duck’s vagina is an “organic chastity belts that evolved to limit the effectiveness of the males’ lengthy genitals.” If she actually wants to mate, she can change her posture and relax the walls of her genital tract to offer a male easy passage. If not, she makes him insert his key into an inconveniently shaped lock. To a casual observer, the male looks like the one with the power, but the female is actually in control, thanks to her convoluted genitals.


Wha? In control? Dude no way, everyone knows nature leaves females helpless nurturers.

In case

A Lengthy Feminist Response to Shailene Woodly about the definition of feminism

When asked by Time if she thinks she’s a feminist, Granola Oatley responded as such:
No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 percent feminine and 50 percent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that is important to note. And also I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance.
My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism. I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t even seem to respect each other. There’s so much jealousy, so much comparison and envy. And “This girl did this to me and that girl did that to me.” And it’s just so silly and heartbreaking in a way.
MOTHERFUCKING SHIT GODDAMN. I am so fucking sick of faux intellectual Hollywood dipsaps telling us why they’re not feminists when they clearly have no fucking clue about what feminism is because if they did they wouldn’t fucking be saying this. GODDAMN SHIT MOTHERFUCKER.
You want to know what a feminist is, Woodley?

I am all for sisterhood, but you know what? I care more about feminism than sisterhood. Because some women? They’re fucking morons. Just like men. When we decide all women must stand together in harmony as though we all must agree and support one another in every endeavor, that’s how you get Sarah Fucking Palin. I’m not going to stand by every single female just because I’m rockin’ vag just like she is. Because feminism, at its very core, means every woman has the same right to be as big a shitheel as a man. And that’s fucking beautiful.


On Our Radar: Feminist News Roundup

News post by Sarah Mirk on May 5, 2014 - 10:52am;
Here's all the news we're reading this Monday morning.

• Today is Cinco de Mayo, so here's a friendly reminder that Cinco de Mayo is actually not all that important in Mexico. [Racialicious]

• If you do want to do something to mark the occassion, here's a list of eight positive ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. [Feministing]

• As 55 colleges face federal investigation for the way they've handled sexual assaults, it's clear that students speaking up about rape culture on college campuses are actually making change. [New York Times]

• A beautiful new photo essay looks at the lives of gay service members. [Slate]

• TIME published an essay by a young guy explaining why he's "never going to apologize for his white, male privilege." Here's a great response. [Medium]

• A new study shows that girls' happiness plummets at age 11—I bet a lot of women could back up that finding. [Autostraddle]

• How can LGBT folks make it big on the small screen? Here's a look at a bunch of great queer vloggers. [The Advocate]

• One man recalls his time as an Abercrombie employee: "That was the year I spent discriminating against everybody." [Salon]

• Finally, Cosmos takes on climate change! [Mother Jones]


I sold my body (and nearly my soul) to Abercrombie

Not exactly feminist , and not exactly well- written, but a cautionary tale about working for a company that's full of shit.

This is the story of the year I discriminated against everybody.


We have to begin somewhere, so let’s begin with bodies. Mine, yours, hers, theirs. All of the bodies that entered the store and left it. All of the bodies that could fit into our clothing and all of the bodies that didn’t.

“No ma’am, we don’t carry size 16 in those pants,” our cattiest assistant manager, a former cheerleader with a rail-thin physique, would gleefully inform potential customers.

“No ma’am, we don’t carry size 16 in those pants,” I soon found myself saying. First sadly, then automatically and cattily. First time as tragedy, second time as farce, amiright?

Those big bodies didn’t belong in “our” clothing, you see. I mean, look at this killer body–I bulged out of the A&F’s 100% cotton and 100% poorly ventilated “muscle-fit” t-shirts. Get out of here with that sloppy trash. ”We” were hot and “you” weren’t.

I don’t know if I ever totally bought that. Then again, I can’t reproduce my interior thoughts from a decade ago with a high degree of accuracy. Did I drink the Kool-Aid? Was I “collegiate” and “quality” to the core of my being? My terrible performance as a manager suggests that it didn’t take, but, then again, I was also something of an arrogant 20-year-old asshole who took inordinate pride in his ripped 220-pound physique.

Or I was until the weekly meetings started.


For Seabeyond

( just change the name and gender)

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