Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Anti-Feminists

Susan Venker

There are a lot of women in America who are against feminism. They believe women should act like women, and ‘be true to our feminine nature.’  If we fail to do this, men won’t marry us. According to these women, we are destroying the country. Yeppers ladies, due to the fact we believe we deserve equal pay and want to control when and if we get pregnant, we are the in-house American terrorists.

Author Susan Venker accuses feminists—me— of having sex at ‘Hello.’ She has never met me and for her to assume this about me, or an entire group of women, is just completely ignorant and judgmental.  Venker recently wrote an article for FOX News titled The War On Men. She asserts that men have not changed much over time but women have changed dramatically. She says women are angry, defensive and that we’ve pushed men off their pedestal—now men have nowhere to go.

Before women were able to earn enough money to support ourselves and before we had the ability to choose if and when we become mothers, we had very little choice. Before the sexual revolution, being a divorced woman carried with it a very negative stigma—one where a woman was no longer worth anything because her marital status labeled her as damaged goods. Men dominated the work force and the jobs women worked, like secretaries and waitresses, didn’t provide enough income for a divorced woman, especially one with children, to live independently. So, if a woman was married to a man who was physically or emotionally abusive, a man who was unfaithful, or to a man she simply no longer wanted to be married to, her choices were so limited that she was often forced stay with him.

When women stood up and demanded freedoms like the right to vote, the right to earn as much as a man in the workplace and the right to choose whether or not to be a mother at any given time, we were labeled as angry and slutty. Because we could take a pill that prevented pregnancy, we were all of a sudden labeled as being loose. A woman who likes sex is a whore, a disgrace. This attitude is damaging enough when it comes from men but when it comes from women, it takes on a completely different meaning. It always reminds me of a battered woman who stays with her abuser because on some level she feels she deserves it. Venker and women who share her negative views on what women ‘should be’ are a danger because they help to keep all women from real equality.
Phyllis Schlafly
A perfect example of how these dangerous women have influence is Phyllis Schlafly, a politically conservative constitutional lawyer. Schafly opposed the ratifying of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s with a campaign —STOP ERA. STOP stood for Stop Taking Our Privileges.  One of the ‘gender specific’ privileges she was trying to preserve was, ‘dependent wife.’  She was an outspoken opponent of feminism and the ERA, and her efforts to stop women from being equal in the Constitution proved successful.
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter is a completely different kind of anti-feminist. Her messaging does not stem from the belief that all women should be obedient trophy wives. Coulter is actually a strong, unmarried feminist with a contradictory message. She is the author of books that are nasty, racist and mean-spirited. She’s on record saying that women should not be allowed to vote. The reason? If women didn’t vote, conservatives would always win.

Her sales approach is to go on news programs as a political pundit and make incendiary comments as a way to draw attention to her hateful books. An example is a recent guest appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher. Just weeks before the election, she accused Maher’s entire, liberal audience of being racist while promoting her latest book Mugged. If you are not familiar with Coulter’s work, here is the description for Mugged "
“This isn’t a story about black people—it’s a story about the Left’s agenda to patronize blacks and lie to everyone else.”

For decades, the Left has been putting on a play with themselves as heroes in an ongoing civil rights move­ment—which they were mostly absent from at the time. Long after pervasive racial discrimination ended, they kept pretending America was being run by the Klan and that liberals were black America’s only protectors.

It took the O. J. Simpson verdict—the race-based acquittal of a spectacularly guilty black celebrity as blacks across America erupted in cheers—to shut down the white guilt bank.

But now, fewer than two decades later, our “pos­tracial” president has returned us to the pre-OJ era of nonstop racial posturing. A half-black, half-white Democrat, not descended from American slaves, has brought racial unrest back with a whoop.

 Coulter knows how to cause controversy and her loyal followers reward her handsomely and flock to buy her books. They allow her to keep going and have a place on the national stage. During Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, she tweeted “To get Bill Clinton to speak at the convention, Obama had to agree to carry his bags.” She also tweeted “Clinton just impregnated Sandra Fluke backstage.”
As you can see, Coulter herself comes off as angry and as long she has an audience, she has power and influence.

In this past election season, conservative women equated women’s rights with abortion. They criticized liberal women with the asinine argument that we were voting with only our lady parts and that all we wanted was free birth control. These women are liars and an embarrassment to women everywhere.

I could go on and list many other women who stand in the way of equality for women but that would be a book. It’s a matter of every woman deciding what it is she wants for herself, her life, her children’s lives and then voting accordingly.

Women can be strong and equal and also love men. I am one of them. I don’t love all men and there are definitely some men I wish to remove to remove from congress. Those men are against my equality and cast votes to prevent it. I would rather elect a man or woman who will enact laws and policies that enable equality for all.

Being a strong independent woman allows for freedom to choose a mate based on desire, not necessity. The women who promote feminism as an evil are negligent, irresponsible and are slowing down the process of equality for all.

This is precisely why you need to vote – in every election, including the ‘boring’ mid-term elections. People who didn’t vote in the 2010 mid-term elections, helped to allow for the obstructionists to dominate House of Representatives. This resulted in more than a thousand of pieces of anti-women legislation  from January 2011 until today.  Let’s not do it again.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Deborah Sampson Posed As A Man To Fight In A War


Human beings are made up of all kinds of people who have all kinds of interests and desires. Sometimes the law dictates that only one gender—usually male—or one race is permitted to engage in a given activity or cause. These biases can and will be overcome when someone finally has enough!

Take for example, Deborah Sampson. She wanted to be a soldier and fight during the American Revolutionary War. In 1778 women were not allowed to enlist in the military. Not surprising, considering the lengths she went through to fight, that she was against British rule. She joined the Continental Army. What is surprising is that she was not the only woman who fought. Sampson was among a small number of women who fought in that war.

She fought under the name of Robert Shurtliff  (her deceased  brother’s first and middle name) and served for seventeen months. Because she was 5’7 and considered a tall woman, it was quite easy for her to convince people she was a man. She was teased by other soldiers for not having to shave but clearly, she was able to fool the masses.

She was chosen for the Light Infantry Company of the 4th Massachusetts Regiment under the command of Captain George Webb and the unit was made up of fifty to sixty men.

During her first battle on July 3, 1782 outside of Tarrytown, New York, she was wounded, receiving two musket balls in her thighs and a huge cut on her forehead. For fear of being found out, she begged her fellow soldiers to leave her to die. Despite her pleading, they refused to abandon her and took her to the hospital. She was treated for her head wound but before doctors attended to the musket balls, she left the hospital and removed one of the balls from her thigh by herself with a penknife and sewing needle. Her leg never fully healed because the second musket ball was lodged too deep into her thigh for her to remove.

By April 1783, she was promoted and served as a waiter to General John Paterson. Because of the promotion, she was afforded a better quality of life. She ate better food, had shelter and encountered less danger.

Everyone assumed the war was over when the peace treaty was signed, but on June 24, General Washington was ordered by the President of Congress to send a fleet of soldiers to Philadelphia to “aid in squelching a rebellion of several American officers.”  Just as this was happening, Sampson fell ill with a malignant fever. The doctor who treated her removed her clothes and her secret was out. Fortunately, he did not reveal the fact she was a woman posing as a man, in fact, he took her to his home and treated her with the help of his wife and daughters.

When Sampson recovered, she returned to the army for a brief time. In September of 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed and peace was assured. When the doctor who treated her asked her to deliver a note to General John Paterson, she thought the cat was out of the bag—fortunately for her it was not. Sampson was granted an honorable discharge by Henry Knox after a year and a half of service, with a note with some words of advice and only enough money to pay for her trip home.

In January 1792, eight years later, her story became known only when she petitioned for back pay. She petitioned the Massachusetts State Legislature for the earnings withheld as a result of her being a woman. With the help of her friend Paul Revere, her petition was approved and signed by Governor John Hancock. The General Court of Massachusetts verified her service and wrote that she "exhibited an extraordinary instance of female heroism by discharging the duties of a faithful gallant soldier, and at the same time preserving the virtue and chastity of her gender, unsuspected and unblemished.” She was awarded 34 pounds—which was considered quite inadequate and ultimately resulted in Sampson giving lectures for profit, discussing her wartime experiences. 

Because of her extraordinary achievements and bravery, her successful struggle for the American Revolutionary War pension bridged the gender gap in asserting that all veterans who fought for their country were entitled to compensation.

In Sharon, Massachusetts, a statue was erected in front of the library honoring Sampson. Sharon also has Deborah Sampson Street, Deborah Sampson Field and the Deborah Sampson House. 

Excerpt from Women in the U.S. Army, coutersy of

" February 1946, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower directed the preparation of legislation to make the Women’s Army Corps a permanent part of the Army. Lt. Col. Mary Louise Milligan (later Rasmuson) became a consultant/planner for the project. Col. Hallaren, third director of the WAC, became the recognized leader in the fight for passage of the legislation. In September 1947, the bill was combined with the WAVES/Women Marines bill and a section to include women in the Air Force was added. The bill was renamed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. President Truman signed the bill into law on June 12, 1948.

In July 1948, the first enlisted women entered the Regular Army and in December, the first WAC officers received Regular Army appointments. Women could enlist from ages 18 to 35. Enlistment under age 21 required parental or guardian consent. Women were no longer sent to a TO unit of 150 women, but received individual assignments. Enlistments in the Women’s Army Corps, Regular Army, opened to civilians in September 1948, and on Oct. 4, the Women’s Army Corps Training Center opened at Camp Lee, Va.”

I decided to share this story as an example. As women, we have to fight harder for rights and freedoms. It is worth it. And it is important to never forget what the women before us did so that we have choices, rights and freedoms today.
More details HERE


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Radium Girls - Profits Before People

Have you ever heard of the Radium Girls?

Around 1917, women were hired in radium factories to paint watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint. The paintbrushes would lose their shape after a few strokes, so employers encouraged the women to re-shape the brushes with their mouths. For fun, the women painted their fingernails and even their faces and teeth. Hey, it was glow-in-the-dark and that’s FUN! The women believed the paint was safe.

Here’s the rub—the U.S. Radium Corporation who hired these women were hip to the fact that radium is not safe to ingest or to smear all over skin. In fact, the chemists carefully avoided contact with the toxic substance, using lead screens, masks and tongs to handle it. Literature on the injurious effects of radium had been distributed throughout the medical community but this didn’t stop the factories from hiring women and using them as expendable employees. These factories could have easily provided the women with the necessary masks and gloves but they didn’t. Masks, gloves and tongs would have cost the radium companies money. They even encouraged the women to put the paintbrush tips in their mouths—KNOWING the radium was toxic!

Was this a case of employers wanting to make employees sick? Doubtful. It’s more likely they just wanted product to sell. Glow-in-the-dark watches were used in the military and money was to be made. So what if women got sick? It wasn’t their problem. Profit was their bottom line.

Women DID get sick. Many women later suffered from anemia, bone fractures and necrosis of the jaw—also known as radium jaw.  Radium and other watch-dial companies denied the radium caused these ills. In an effort to keep this information from the public, doctors, dentists and researchers complied with requests from companies to not release the damning data. At the urging of the radium companies, workers’ deaths were blamed on syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases in an effort to not only distract the public from the poisoning but to smear the reputations of the women who died.
In 1922, Grace Fryer, a woman who once worked in the plant grew concerned when her teeth started to loosen and eventually fall out. Her jaw became swollen and inflamed. A primitive X-ray machine revealed serious bone decay and her jawbone was honeycombed with small holes in a random pattern. The doctor suggested her condition was a direct result of her exposure to radium.  Fryer decided to sue U.S. Radium but it took two years to find a lawyer willing to take on the case. Five women who worked in the factory, dubbed "The Radium Girls" joined the suit. Their case set precedents including a baseline of provable suffering.

As mentioned in my last blog about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, where women who worked under extreme sweatshop conditions plunged to their deaths to escape an inferno, this horrific and true story also resulted in labor laws and legal precedents. The Radium Girls case enabled the right of individual workers to sue for damages from corporations due to labor abuse. Industrial safety standards were demonstrably enhanced for many decades as a result.

I used to sell industrial chemicals. The company I worked for often complained about the EPA and their pesky rules—rules in place to keep the air and water clean. Their beef was primarily about the fees associated with EPA testing of certain chemicals. Companies who distribute these chemicals must cover part of the fees. This chemical company would have gladly looked the other way so they could make more money selling products that were damaging and unhealthy to the environment, their own employees who had to demonstrate the chemicals and the maintenance crews who handled the product—just so they would have a little more money in their pocket.

Without labor laws and unions, employers have proved that employee safety is not always a concern. We know that every employer isn’t evil but enough of them have proved that labor laws, regulation and worker safety are necessary in order to protect the rights of employees.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

These Women Had To DIE So YOU Can Have Better Working Conditions

Unions have gotten a bad rap lately, especially by Republicans. The GOP has made union a dirty word and while any organized group is open and vulnerable to corruption, unions are there for a reason: To protect workers from poor working conditions, unfair rules and making sure they receive fair wages. I’m about to share a gruesome story that impacted union, safety and labor laws.

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City caught fire and 146 of the women who were working there under extreme sweatshop conditions were killed.

Most of the women who worked and died in the factory were Jewish and Italian immigrants and were between the ages of sixteen to twenty-three. They endured long hours—usually ten-hour days, six days a week. Workers earned approximately $1 a day. The common practice of locking the doors and blocking stairwells in order to prevent ‘pilferage and unauthorized breaks' resulted in a horrific disaster when fire struck on the eighth floor just before quitting time.

A cigarette was blamed for the fire, although there is some dispute. Smoking in the factory was prohibited. When firefighters arrived, their ladder only reached to the sixth floor. Women on the eighth, ninth and tenth floors jumped to their deaths in order to avoid being burned alive. Others died of smoke inhalation
Sidewalk after the fire

From Wikipedia: “Terrified employees crowded onto the single exterior fire escape, a flimsy and poorly anchored iron structure which may have been broken before the fire. It soon twisted and collapsed from the heat and overload, spilling about 20 victims nearly 100 feet to their deaths on the concrete pavement below.”

Years later, Louis Waldman who witnessed the scene, had this to say:

“One Saturday afternoon in March of that year — March 25, to be precise — I was sitting at one of the reading tables in the old Astor Library... It was a raw, unpleasant day and the comfortable reading room seemed a delightful place to spend the remaining few hours until the library closed. I was deeply engrossed in my book when I became aware of fire engines racing past the building. By this time I was sufficiently Americanized to be fascinated by the sound of fire engines. Along with several others in the library, I ran out to see what was happening, and followed crowds of people to the scene of the fire.

A few blocks away, the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was ablaze. When we arrived at the scene, the police had thrown up a cordon around the area and the firemen were helplessly fighting the blaze. The eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the building were now an enormous roaring cornice of flames.

Word had spread through the East Side, by some magic of terror, that the plant of the Triangle ShirtWaist Company was on fire and that several hundred workers were trapped. Horrified and helpless, the crowds — I among them — looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies.

The emotions of the crowd were indescribable. Women were hysterical, scores fainted; men wept as, in paroxysms of frenzy, they hurled themselves against the police lines.”

This tragic disaster led to legislation requiring improved safety standards as well as spurring the growth of The International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union which fought for and resulted in better working conditions for sweatshop and textile workers.

As a teen in high school, I can’t remember learning about HERSTORY. I must have learned something regarding women’s rights, the right to vote and suffrage, but if I did, it’s long gone. This 2012 election brought the plight of women into my focus and the more I learn about it, the more interested I am in spreading the word. All the talk of rape, sluts and extreme abortion bans awoke the fire and passion in my soul – and I don’t say that lightly – to help all women, and especially young women, and the men who care about them, realize what the women before us had to deal with in order for YOU to have rights. Forgetting this will start the erosion of these rights. It already has. Just ask Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, Todd Akin, Richard Murdock, Michele Bachmann, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and on and on and on…..

Women plunged to their deaths because (male) employers didn’t want them to take a break.

Remember that.

A similar fire that killed 112 employees at a Walmart supplier in Bangladesh has prompted a workers-rights group to take action, calling on the world's biggest retailer to improve its safety efforts.
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Read more about this on Wikipedia HERE

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why Liberal Media Won’t Stop Reporting On Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck And Ann Coulter

Recently, a colleague of mine at Addicting Info posted that she is flattered her articles on people like Rush Limbaugh are keeping him in the public eye. She wished she had that kind of magical power. As someone who writes for a political blog, so do I but alas, it has nothing to do with us.

Every time I post or write about these people, I get at least one person telling me I need to ignore them. I usually comment why I won’t and am choosing to write this blog so I can just post it instead of constantly having the same conversation about it.

Liberal media is not the reason any of these lunatics have a voice. They have a loyal following. The right-wing electorate is their audience. What’s worse is Republican politicians like Speaker of the House John Boehner take cues from Rush Limbaugh.

FOX News also falls into this category. They lie and promote hatred and racism. They have an audience of millions. As long as they have a voice and influence, they NEED to be held accountable. Liberal media and everyday people will not always (or even often) have the ability to change the minds of their rabid followers, but we can help to educate those who are open to truth. Fortunately there are more truth seekers out there than we give credit to. They voted in 2008 and 2012 and made the difference.

These GOP pundits generate millions in revenue and the politicians want and depend on that money. The beautiful irony is that after BILLIONS of dollars failed to win this election, the GOP will be forced to change their tactics or face extinction. Limbaugh, Coulter and the like will always exist. They will never completely go away because there will always be the fringe audience that needs to suckle from their teat. Always.

It won’t always be necessary for liberals to call them out. When the GOP lays down to die and a new and improved party emerges—one that does not allow lies and fear to dictate message and strategy—liberals will find something else to focus on. It’s as simple as that.

Last, as a rational and critical thinker, I understand you are frustrated that hate mongers and the knuckle draggers get any attention. So am I!!!! I would prefer they go away too. You have the option of not reading the articles and paying them no mind. For those of us who report on the happenings in the world of politics, we will continue to stand up against the BS, call them out and hope that inch-by-inch, we can help to eliminate them from the public lexicon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Women ROCKED The 2012 Election - THANK YOU!!!!!

What a beautiful day!!!

In February, Rush Limbaugh helped to spread awareness about the Republican War On Women. As a result of his ignorant, misogynistic comments regarding Sandra Fluke, I penned an open letter to him. Because of the letter, Addicting Info – a political blog - asked me to be a contributor and then on April 5, I received an email from Susan Emry. She asked if I would be interested in being the spokeswoman for Rock The Slut Vote. It didn’t take long for me to say yes, and the journey began.

It has been an amazing journey and the reason Obama was re-elected had EVERYTHING to do with YOU!!! It was YOU who shared the posts, YOU who sent us story ideas,YOU talked to your friends and helped spread awareness, YOU got your friends and family to the polls and most importantly, it was YOUR dedication to justice and what is right (no pun intended.) We all did this together and doesn’t it FEEL REALLY GOOD???

We’ve put up with A LOT of crap for our liberal beliefs. We’ve been called sluts, ugly, c*nts, baby killers – you name it. As far as we’ve come, we still have a long journey ahead.

The House kept a majority. Paul Ryan kept his seat and so did Michele Bachmann. Obama will still have to work with the congress that refused to work with him. The difference now is, hopefully, they will see their obstructionist strategy has pissed off the majority of Americans. In 2014, we have a shot of firing John of Orange Boehner and Mitch Sour Grapes McConnell. The mid-term elections are usually less exciting and less people vote. In 2010, so many were disappointed that Obama couldn’t magically fix the eight years of damage in two years and we allowed the obstructionists to take control. I know everyone – including me – is breathing a heavy sigh of relief this morning but our work is not done.

The other very important point I NEED to address is that WOMEN ARE NOT LEGALLY EQUAL IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. This is a BIG HUGE DEAL.

Please check out this wonderful site: ERA EDUCATION PROJECT. Kamala Lopez is doing a stupendous job. Let’s help her. Let’s educate the young women and men. It IS our responsibility.

Look at the difference we all made yesterday. BELIEVE that with more effort and diligence, we can get the ERA ratified but it won’t happen if we stop now. And if we do stop now, in four years, we could easily go back to ‘legitimate rape’ and ‘binders of women.’ We have helped to preserve Roe v. Wade – for now. We have told the rape dudes, Akin and Murduck to stick it where the sun don’t shine but WE ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE to being equal.

My goal is to continue this fight for equality – with some humor and sarcasm. I will continue to write about what is happening and to do my best to inspire and motivate but I am one woman. Kamala is one woman. We can only do so much alone. We need your help. We all need each other. I am not sure what Susan will do with Rock The Slut Vote – but I ask that if you wish to forge on with me – to please 'Like' the Facebook page I created HERE. I love getting your ideas and feedback. I am an author as well so from time to time I will talk about the projects I am working on and will ask for your opinions, your stories and let you know how you guys can contribute if you’re interested. I also wish to help promote others – whether they are artists, activists, writers or any other form of inspiration.

I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for making November 6, 2012 a day I will never forget. You are beautiful and I hope we can continue to make a difference together.