The Widdershins

Feminism Friday: Good News and Deep Thoughts

Posted on: October 23, 2009

HRC Equality Symbol

HRC Equality Symbol

Our friend Regency alerted us to some wonderful news last night: Finally, the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Bill has passed the Senate and is on its way to the White House to be signed. (It passed the House on October 8th.)

WASHINGTON – A bill to make violence against gays and lesbians a federal crime cleared the Senate Thursday and is headed to the White House for final approval.

The 68-29 vote was a victory for civil rights groups that have been fighting for years to expand the federal hate-crimes law beyond attacks motivated by bias based on religion, race, national origin or color. The new bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, includes penalties for assaults based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, disability or gender identity.

Yes, there is a catch. Isn’t there always? The bill was attached to an obscene, bloated Defense Department budget which allots yet another 130 BILLION to the unending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And 28 Republicans voted against it. (Bigoted *ssh0les.) But you know what? I don’t care right now. I am just so happy for the LGBT community that I don’t want my mellow harshed by reality just yet. Congratulations on this historic win to us all!

Now for the Deep Thoughts (YMMV, of course). Toodling around the Intertoobz, checking out the feminist sites, I see a lot of debate about what feminism is, and what it should be. I think I’ve made my thoughts on this matter pretty clear, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to bloviate some more. I AM a blogger, after all.

Here’s what feminism isn’t. Feminism isn’t about your feelings, or my feelings, or the feelings of the man, woman or transgender down the street. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn about your feelings, nor should I expect you to give a damn about mine. So when people start going on and on about how they feel about abortion, I start losing interest.

Because here is what I think feminism IS. It’s a civil rights movement. And its goal should be equality for all women. I am so sorry to tell all you people who get all cringe-y and whinge-y when they hear the word “abortion,” but that does mean that the State does not get to tell me what to do with my reproductive organs. Just as men are free to choose a vasectomy, a condom or Viagra, women are free to choose the Pill or the maternity ward, or “GASP” termination of a pregnancy. (Oh Noes! Some Guy In The Sky Is Crying As I Type These Words!!!!1111!!!)

The State also does not get to tell me whether or not I can get birth control. It does not get to take my money to preach a bunch of dangerous bullshit to young, impressionable kids in the guise of “education,” bullshit that actually has increased the amount of STD’s and the rate of teen pregnancy

If you do not support these equal rights for women, then you are not a feminist. That’s it. It is really, really that simple.

There are so many red herrings out there. Even feminists that I greatly respect get all squishy and “can’t we all just get along” when it comes to admitting that yes, damnit, being pro-choice is a minimum requirement for being a feminist.  Saying that you are a pro-life feminist is like saying you are a pro-slavery abolitionist. And if you “feel” that you don’t want an abortion for yourself or your children, but are not engaged in this type of activity, or this, or this, or this, then guess what? I don’t care how icky or uncool you think the term is, but you are pro-choice. Not pro-life. Pro-choice.

So, those of you who are in the vast majority of Americans who are pro-choice, how about we make a deal? You support my civil rights, and I’ll support yours. I dunno, but something tells me if we would all just understand feminism this way, we’d get along a lot better, with a lot fewer hurt “feelings.” (Except for the fundies. Screw ’em!)

 This is an open thread.


34 Responses to "Feminism Friday: Good News and Deep Thoughts"

morning all I cant mash your mellow Madamab I am basking in the new drive to move Pampers to the left….

Public Option-yes finally some sense out of my own party!

Oh Rumors of a “secret” Clinton-Pelosi Meeting in the last few weeks are a rank falsehood!

I haven’t heard those rumors, Fuzz. Can you elaborate?

Speaking of wars – specifically in Afghanistan – Dick Cheney called – he wants his war back

TRK!! So good to see you, and thanks!

How’s your son doing?

Chat – I think Fuzzy was joking – giving credit for Pelosi’s spinefulness to Hillary.


Ah, so. Wondered how I had missed that momentous occasion.

More good news, courtesy of LadyBoomerNYC: Some liberal groups are getting their feet in the street to try to push Obama to the left.

Good for them!

I’m not going to quibble about the hate crimes thing being attached to a defense bill. It’s a useful way to get something passed.

Mr. David Vitter, R-asshole-Louisiana voted against it.

Apropos of nothing on the topic but h/t to Suzie Madrack for this:

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.

The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid Germany’s economic recovery.

Germany could raise 100bn euros if the richest people paid a 5% wealth tax for two years, they say.

The petition has 44 signatories so far, and will be presented to newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Gee…I wonder if…NAH, nevermind!

Fredster – That is a great story. Can you imagine our greedy-ass billionaires doing that here in the Land of the Free Market?

MB: In a word-no. In a few words, they’d start looking for every loophole they could find to get out of it.

Fredster – AND, they’d whine about how THEY were being victimized!

This is why you really need to mix socialism with capitalism. Otherwise, you get a country on the brink of financial disaster.

I guess this was “empty the trash” day for all news organizations.

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Ville Platte company that makes “Slap Ya Mama” Cajun seasoning has slapped a lawsuit for trademark infringement on an upstart spice company marketing under the name “Punch Ya Daddy.”

Walker & Sons, the family owned company that makes “Slap Ya Mama,” alleges the similarity of the other brand’s name and logo are an attempt to draw on their brand’s good reputation.

“We think the name itself was calculated to call on the image already created by ‘Slap Ya Mama,”‘ Walker & Sons attorney William Stagg said. “They were attempting to grab hold of the image ‘Slap Ya Mama’ had already developed.”

Stagg said the family became aware of the other seasoning brand when customers began asking about their new product.

“Punch Ya Daddy” owner Kirby Falcon Jr., of Houma, and his attorney declined comment on the case.

In a news story in The (Houma) Daily Courier earlier this year about Falcon’s spice brand, he was quoted as having come up with the name for his seasoning while roughhousing with his young son, who said, “I’m going to punch ya, daddy.”

Falcon told the reporter that he first began offering the seasoning at his former coffee shop and restaurant in Houma and has distribution in more than 100 stores.

Falcon registered “Punch Ya Daddy” as a trade name with the state in May and the state lists its first use in February.

Walker & Sons registered the “Slap Ya Mama” trade name in February 2008 but had been using it for about 10 years before that, with the current logo making its first appearance at the Ville Platte Smoke Meat Festival in 1998, according to the lawsuit.

Stagg said the issue is not just the name but also the similar design of the packaging.

The case was originally filed in state District Court in Evangeline Parish but transferred this week to federal court in Lafayette.

No court date has been set.


LAFAYETTE, La. — The Ville Platte company that makes “Slap Ya Mama” Cajun seasoning has slapped a lawsuit for trademark infringement on an upstart spice company marketing under the name “Punch Ya Daddy.”

Really, how much further do you need to read?

God bless the Cajuns. That branch of my family is wildly amusing.

Really, how much further do you need to read?

That’s so true and in reality ‘slap ya mama” is probably a rip off of Tony Chachere’s seasoning.

I put some Tony’s in just about everything I fix. Yum!!

Yes, feminism must be about civil rights. Did you hear about the woman denied health insurance because of a past caesarian but was told she could get the coverage if she got sterilized? Sure that was a private company not the government, but it’s a slipery slope — any entity or state that can say “you must go through pregnancy and childbirth” can also turn around and say “you can’t have a baby.” Our freedom to have or not have babies is for us to hold, not up to the government and not up to big business (supported by laws the government enacts and enforces, of course).

Luv2cruz: Yet “the people” out there are so afraid of government interfering in their health care! Private insurance does it all the time, yet they don’t get it!

I was joking as I walked out the door to work this morning I came accross Madamab’s wonderful post here I was happy only thing that would have mad me happier is if hillary was signing the bill….

And the Cajuns gave us all sorts of good dishes crawfish ettouffe Shrip Creole and Gumbo with Aouindollue (sic) sausage….

Yes, they did. Love those seasonings, whether Mama or Papa.

did Obozo sign the bill and did he hold his nose while he did it?

chat some day we have to sit down for a nice gumbo….

fuzzybeargville said
October 23, 2009 at 6:19 PM

And the Cajuns gave us all sorts of good dishes crawfish ettouffe Shrip Creole and Gumbo with Aouindollue (sic) sausage….

Oh Lordy…I’d kill for some good Shrimp Creole and a loaf of good, *real* New Orleans French Bread. I’ve tried making it, but it didn’t come out so good.

Or some red beans and rice – yum. It’s hard to get proper Andouille sausage down here. Next time I’m in Luzianne………

So is anyone up on the legal ramifications of this bill? Would it, for instance, make it possible for assaults on women presently trivialized as “domestic violence” to be tried as hate crimes?


Adrienne – I would think so, which is absolutely a stunning and incredible victory for women who are victims of violence by an intimate partner.

There is a Feminist Law Professors blog out there – I think Reclusive Leftist has a link to it.

P.S. Welcome to you, luv2cruz – your comment was excellent.

Just figured out – this war on Faux is not some brilliant fundraising campaign scheme, but a typical fit of pique from teh one

Edgem it’s a tantrum.

Actually, it’s neither brilliant, nor a tantrum. It’s a strategy to silence dissent. That’s the way he rolls.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm. You’re probably right.

So wonder how the tyrannt and tyrantita in the WH are dealing with all this lefty legislation hitting his desk?

I wish it was President Hillary R Clinton signing this into Law…

DADT and DOMA loom Mr Pampers and Naughty Nancy Pelosi has lots of gay votes she needs in 2010 to get re-ellected.

Ms P has been at this alot longer than you she is a survivor I would suggest you get used to her dictating your agenda….Harry Reid gave into her a long ime ago.

Pampers its very easy to live with out a spine…ask Harry he can give you some advice!

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