The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Hello Widdershins! Thank you for all the good wishes! Things are definitely getting better here chez MadamaB.

Last week was a doozy even in the Era of Drumpf and Republicans sans spinal cartilage, moral compasses or patriotism. The Rob Porter scandal has taken hold the way few of the multitudinous scandals of this benighted, horrible administration have managed to. And for the first time, unbelievable though it may seem, the Mango Meerkat’s approval rating has been seriously damaged amongst women.

The most recent Washington Post-ABC poll has found that approval from white women has fallen since the president’s first 100 days. While most white women voted for Trump in 2016, his approval rating has fallen 10 points since then, and strong disapproval of the president by this group rose 12 points, from 39 percent to 51 percent.

I would take issue with the verbiage that “While most white women voted for Trump in 2016,” and replace it with the wording, “While a slim majority of white women voted for Trump in 2016,” since 53% is hardly “most” in most peoples’ minds. But whatevs…the bottom line is that Drumpf is in trouble, again, and the sainted General Kelly, as well as pResidential serial-dating spokesmodel Hope Hicks, are in trouble with him. But even this major disaster could be eclipsed by a greater one, which has been brewing for many months now: the potential firing of Rod Rosenstein.

I have always been of the opinion that the Orange Crusher won’t dare fire Robert Mueller, and that his preferred tactic was to discredit the investigation. So far, that opinion has held at least partially true, especially with the myriad attacks the Republicans, and their enablers in the press, have been making against the FBI and DOJ. But that doesn’t mean Drumpf won’t take a page from Nixon’s book, and try to make the people overseeing the investigation fire him. He is a desperate, cornered animal, and may risk it all to try to escape the consequences of his actions. And everything from the release of the ridiculous dud called the Nunes Memo, to the recent resignation of Rachel Brand, is showing that this reckless and dangerous course of action might be imminent.

So what do we do if that happens?

WE TAKE TO THE STREETS!!!

Moveon.org has organized a march that can take place at a moment’s notice, if Trump fires his way to find a Bork who will fire Mueller. The marches are called “Nobody is Above the Law,” and are organized all over the country. You can sign up here:

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events/search/

If the firing of Mueller happens before 2 pm, the local march will take place that day. If it happens after 2 pm, it will take place the day after. I’m ready to go. Are you?

In these dark times, we never know what may happen. Let’s make sure we are as prepared for action as we can be.

This is an open thread.

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Good Sunday and Monday Widdershins!

Saturday January 20th 2018 showed us that the Women’s March of 2017 was not just a one shot deal of protest mainly against Donald J. tRump.  Once again women turned out by the hundreds of thousands in New York, Los Angeles, Oklahoma and even across the globe in Canada, the UK, Japan, Italy and other countries. Further, on the 21st of January there was a huge rally in Las Vegas with the theme of Power to the Polls with the goal of registering one million new voters ahead of the mid-term elections in November.

Also, the #metoo movement is staying strong, with the latest news concerning Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn being accused of sexual harassment of dozens of women. Despite Wynn’s denials the story must have legs because Wynn has resigned as RNC Finance Chair.

So with these successes in mind, let’s take a look once again at songs dealing with womens empowerment.  While we’ve visited this type of songs before, it’s always great to take a look at them again.

(1) Beyoncé~Run the World (girls)

(2) Demi Lovato~Confident

(3) Aretha Franklin~R-e-s-p-e-c-t

(4) Meghan Trainor~NO

(5) Joan Jett~Bad Reputation

(6) Lady Gaga~Born This Way

(7) Reba McEntire~I’m A Survivor

So there ya go Widdershins – seven songs about surviving and empowering.  I know that you will have others that you’ll add in the comments below.  Open thread of course.

 

Who’s That Girl?

Hmmm. I’ll bet it’s a real mystery what I’m going to write about today!

That wonderful picture above is courtesy of our own Contrask, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where approximately 3500 people marched this past weekend both in support of women, and against Drumpf. Here are a few more of her pix.

Nice pantsuits!

They Persist

Grope ’em by the…

Not going to break US!

Two great signs

So think about that…in Tulsa, there were 3500 people marching, one year after the biggest single day of activism in the history of our country. If you went by most of the media last weekend, you might think nothing much happened. But the truth is, something huge happened, and it’s been happening ever since January 21, 2017. It’s #TheResistance, and it’s only getting bigger

Women’s March, Chicago: Credit Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune

and bigger

Sam Boyd stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, home of the Nevada Women’s March. Credit: The Twitter feed of Analise Ortiz from KTNV.

and BIGGER.

The 600,000-strong march in LA. Credit: The Twitter feed of the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.

And even though the largely white, male and oblivious masters of the Teevee screens don’t get it; the bros in Silicon Valley don’t get it; and the leaders of the DNC don’t get it; it doesn’t matter. Because we’re women, and we’re people who support women’s rights, and we’re taking this country back. And believe me, they’ll notice in November.

This is an open thread.

Via Elle Magazine: Women who won on November 8, 2017

Good Monday, all. It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, and I cannot thank Fredster, DYB and GAGal enough for stepping up so wonderfully in my absence. Everything is fine, just working an average of 60-70 hours a week, including Sundays (which, at the moment, means packing for Monday travel again).

Back in the Old PUMA days, many of us struggled with our sense of betrayal by the DNC as we saw them put thumbs, hands and feet on the scale to make it seem like Obama was the favorite of the primary electorate. Even after massively over-weighting caucuses, and making huge states like California and Florida count as “half votes” (a decision much like Bush v. Gore, in that it only applied to Hillary Clinton and was never seen again), the DNC still failed to convincingly eliminate Our Girl the way she would crush Bernie Sanders in 2017 (by 4 million votes). The super delegates switched to Obama, however, making her nomination impossible. This cemented our perception that the DNC had driven the bus over the clear female favorite in order to install their guy. (Remember my radio show with Sheri Tag and other PUMAs, “Not Under the Bus?” Blast from the past!)

One of the reasons I had a bit of a reputation in those days was my advocacy for the 30% solution; in other words, work up to 30% women in government, and the balance will start tilting towards equality. I stated time and again that women needed to take matters into their own hands, wake up and realize that the DNC was not going to do enough to court and promote women for office. I stated also, in pre-Tea Party and Trump days, that Republican women were better than Republican men, and made it clear that I was only going to vote for women until the DNC heard me.

Some of what I said in the original 30% solution post hasn’t aged well. Palin turned out to be a disappointment (to say the least), and McMaverick ended up following his party off the extremist cliff as they became more and more out of touch with reality. And Barack Obama was not unelectable.

This part, unfortunately, was dead on.

If 30% of the Senate and House were women, you can bet your increasingly-less-valuable paycheck that both parties would be feeling a lot more responsible to that constituency. But as it is now, the Democrats have gotten fat and lazy, assuming that we will hand them our votes no matter what they do, resting on their decades-old laurels and doing little or nothing to stop [the] horrendous attack on our reproductive freedoms.

[snip]

[The Democrats]…will continue to be a Party divided on racial and sexual lines; a Party that thinks nothing of an African-American candidate who gains the support of 93% of AA’s by race-baiting, but is fauxraged at women who self-identified with Hillary and now Sarah Palin; a Party destroyed from within by the most divisive and destructive candidate in recent memory.

It’s up to you, Democrats. You can re-commit yourselves to social justice and gender equality, or you can continue on your path towards becoming the New Plutocratic Party. But be prepared to reap what you sow. Remember, pissing off your constituents, then blaming them for not voting for you, is never a good electoral strategy. Giving your constituents what they want, however, works every time.

Flash forward to 2015. The majority President Obama briefly enjoyed was quickly swept away in 2010 by the overwhelming Tea Party reaction to his election, and the Republicans have only gained ground since then. The Democrats have shrugged at the concerns of women and minorities, focusing solely on health care, fixing “the economy” (translation – improving the stock market and creating jobs for highly educated people) and litigating LGBT rights (which I’m happy about of course, but couldn’t they have walked and chewed gum at the same time?). The number of women in Congress has actually decreased, so the ERA remains DOA. And, equal pay for equal work was stripped out of the Lily Ledbetter Act in the Senate, even though Democrats controlled it at the time. This made the Act toothless and once again, left women out of the economic recovery Obama has presided over. And predictably, the number of health care options available for women has deteriorated astonishingly: for so many women in rural America, there’s no place to either get an abortion, or give birth.

Yet still, we failed to learn the lessons of 2008. Still, we put our faith in a Democratic Party hollowed out by the self-centered “leadership” of Barack Obama, tens of millions in debt and without a clear transition plan, electoral strategy or modern infrastructure. Still, we hoped against hope that this time, the Party would support the obvious, clear favorite, that they would empower her candidacy against a Republican Party suffering from its own identity crisis. Still, feminists of all genders, thrilled beyond words by the thought of the first female President, felt that finally, our time had arrived. The Party couldn’t, wouldn’t screw this up again, would it?

Of course it could, and of course it did, by letting a bitter, disingenuous and unelectable candidate exploit the cracks in the Party that Obama had exposed in 2008. Obamabots became BernieBros, and took to Twitter and Facebook to bully and silence Hillary’s supporters, aided and abetted by wingnuts and Russian bots. As before, policy and facts didn’t matter; sexist rants, death threats and abuse became routine for those who dared not bow to the Cult of Sanders. And even now, his toxic effects are being felt. Bernie’s “Unity Commission” recommendations are about to be shared, and they’re the worst ideas ever: more caucuses and open primaries, guaranteed to break the Party even more and expose it to epic Republican ratf*cking.

Yes, the Democratic Party was one of the factors that gave us Drumpf. And finally, ever since the day after Drumpf’s nightmare inauguration, we have been showing that now, we get it. Hat tip to Socalannie for sharing this article: The Glorious Anger of Female Voters, One Year Later.

As recently as the morning of November 8, 2016, I believed, as I think many American women did, that if we only played by the rules, we could rise to the highest positions of power.

[snip]

On November 9, we woke up, and Donald Trump had been elected.

It became clear that you can be the most qualified woman and still lose to the least qualified man.

That was like a spell being broken. All across the land, women woke up and realized we were never going to get where we wanted to go by playing by the rules. Even if you walked the tightrope of acceptable feminine behavior perfectly, even if you managed to sidestep every trap laid for women, you would still never to get to the top. The bar for men was so low they could slither right over it.

And I think something inside us broke. Some dam within so many women that kept them quiet, that kept their anger tucked away, pent up all the times women smile politely when we feel like screaming. That dam burst.

And every furious moment we’d tried not to think about came flooding forth. We were awake, and we were righteously angry.

Being women, and people of all genders who support us, what did we do with that anger? We turned it into action. #TheResistance was born. If the Democratic Party wasn’t going to support the most qualified, admired, exceptional woman in the world, then we weren’t going to waste any more time waiting for it to support us. Instead, we would run for office. We would form our own groups and support outside organizations that trained and supported female candidates. We would support Hillary’s new PAC, Onward Together, and donate to organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood instead of the DNC. We would speak out on Twitter and Facebook. We would stand up to rape culture by demonstrating the scope of the problem through the #MeToo campaign. And most of all, we realized that no one is going to listen if we don’t take control of the conversation.

So in 2017, we gave the Rulez a polite and definite middle finger. Women are running for office and winning at 4 times the usual rate for first-time candidates. Transgender candidates are running and winning. Suburban women are supporting their sisters. And men, more and more, are standing up proudly for equality, sharing their own stories about rape culture, and pledging to stand up to misogyny whenever they see or hear it. What’s happening now is the silver lining starting to shine through the dark clouds storming over our democracy.

I’m going to close this hopeful post with some words from Our Girl on November 8, always and forever our inspiration. We’re finally woke, and we won’t stop until we have the equality we deserve.

Last night, we were reminded what is possible when we come together and fight for what we believe in.

With the support of Onward Together, 40% of the candidates that Run for Something endorsed and supported won their races in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and more — compared to the 10% rate at which first-time candidates usually win. 86 women trained by Emerge America won last night, including nine of the seats flipped in Virginia. Color of Change PAC was instrumental in winning the district attorney race in Philadelphia. And Indivisible groups made more than 600,000 calls into Virginia to help pull out a win for Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring.

This year hasn’t been what any of us had hoped it would be. In fact, it’s been frustrating and, at times, painful. But we never lost faith in our vision of an America where our children and grandchildren can grow up safe and loved, and with every opportunity they deserve.

To those of you who worked your hearts out for these victories, including our friends on the ground in Virginia, New Jersey, and more: thank you. I am so proud to be on your team.

This is an open thread.

It’s a crazy world out there folks. I don’t have to actually say that, of course. It’s always been crazy to some degree, but the current degree is basically hell. But did you know that the first dishwasher was invented by a woman? I know that seems random and it is. I just wanted to change the subject from the madness of the world with something to distract us for a minute or two and wasn’t sure of a graceful way to do it.

So anyway, Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913) from Ashtabula County, OH, was the co-inventor of the first automatic dishwasher. (Her maternal grandfather, John Fitch, apparently invented the steamboat!) Cochrane designed the first model of the dishwasher in the shed behind her house.

cochrane.jpg

To build the machine, she first measured the dishes and built wire compartments, each specially designed to fit either plates, cups, or saucers. The compartments were placed inside a wheel that lay flat inside a copper boiler. A motor turned the wheel while hot soapy water squirted up from the bottom of the boiler and rained down on the dishes. Her dishwasher was the first to use water pressure instead of scrubbers to clean the dishes inside the machine.

Mass production on this modern marvel started in 1897 at the Garis-Cochran factory, though the dishwasher didn’t become common until the 1950’s.

Did you know that Hedy Lamarr invented a bunch of things? One of the most talented and gorgeous of all Hollywood actresses spent her life inventing things. Like trying to improve the traffic light and a pill to make carbonated water (not a successes.) Howard Hughes thought she was a genius and funded a lot of her “tinkering,” like a new design she made of plane wings that made them less square and made planes fly faster.

During World War II, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes, which could 220px-Hedy_lamarr_-_1940.jpgbe important in the naval war, could easily be jammed, thereby causing the torpedo to go off course. With the knowledge she had gained about torpedoes from her first husband, she came up with the idea of somehow creating a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. She contacted her friend, composer and pianist George Antheil, to help her develop a device for doing that, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals. They drafted designs for the frequency-hopping system which they patented.

Though Lamarr got a patent for her invention, the US military was too busy at the time (world war and all) and didn’t accept inventions from outside the military. However, in 1962 (during Cuban Missile Crises) a revised design of her invention appeared on US Navy ships. Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. This invention laid the foundation for WiFi and GPS.

Do you have a home security system? You should thank Marie Van Brittan Brown. She was born in Queens, NY in 1922 and she invented a security system in 1966 that included cameras that fed a signal to a monitor. Residents could also unlatch the door by remote. Brown said she was inspired to invent this because of the long time it would take the police to arrive after being called by residents. She died in 1999; her invention lives on and keeps people safe in their homes around the world.

United States Navy rear admiral Grace Murray Hopper was a pioneer of computer engineering. She believed that computer codes could be written in English. Many years of research led to the creation of COBOL, the high-level programming language still in use today. Though she was not personally involved in the creation of COBOL, it was her research that led to it and she is commonly referred to as “the (grand)mother of COBOL.”

This is an open thread.

 


Good Monday, all. There’s a lot going on, and most of it not good, as usual, these days. The new bootlicker Drumpf has hired to represent him on teevee is typical of all his stooges: narcissistic, greedy (h/t Prolix!), and intimately tied to Russia. He’s dangling lots of fake news in front of the cable news media, and they’re all lapping it up. Drumpf still doesn’t believe Russia attacked our elections!! (Of course he does, idiots. He and his campaign helped make it happen.) He’s looking into pardoning himself!! (Of course he is. That doesn’t mean he’ll do it, for heaven’s sake. He knows he’s going to get caught, and is looking for ways to evade the consequences, just the way he always does.)

Meanwhile, some Democrats are buying into stupidity of their own. Such as, “Hillary lost ‘the Obama coalition’ to Drumpf!!! ZOMG we have to chase those 70,000 switchers in swing states with a strong economic message!” Do old white guys like Chuck Schumer never get tired of mansplaining to women?

Apparently the fact that Nate Silver, expert pollster, agrees with Hillary’s analysis of why she lost, has failed to penetrate. And, apparently the fact that the Resistance is female, and the base of the Democratic Party is female AND of color, is immaterial to Chuck and his fellow mansplainers.

Someone please tell me this: how is it a good strategy to target only a few white men by focusing on an economic message that is proven to be irrelevant, and ignore the giant mass of women that is active, energized and ready to vote, and run, as Democrats?

Like this woman.

In Prince William County, Hala Ayala is hoping to bring her values of empowerment for women and equality for all to Richmond, and at the same time, send home one of Virginia’s leading anti-choice, anti-immigrant delegates.

Ayala has long been involved in local politics. She volunteered for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. And in 2014, she helped revive the National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter in her community, becoming its president.

Now THAT is the Obama coalition, you jack*sasses!

The Democrats would be much, much better off energizing its base with a sharper version of Hillary’s message, than losing its principles by trying to gain the voters who want to go back to the fake 50’s in their heads.

Hala Ayala is doing something. And we should too. Forget the Democratic Establishment. The more we Do Something, the more they will get the message.

So let’s go to marches. Let’s form groups. Let’s donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Let’s call our Senators and attend Town Halls.

It’s all working. Let’s stick with it!

This is an open thread.

 

 

GettyImages-660179780-1024x566

Just in time for Independence Day, NBC News wrote an article about the excavation of Sally Hemmings‘ living quarters at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation. The byline reads: “Thomas Jefferson’s mistress Sally Hemings’ secret living quarters finally discovered.” NBC’s use of the word “mistress” is unfortunate. Hemmings was a slave. She was 14 years old when Jefferson first raped her. What editor wrote this byline without a bolt of lighting striking them down?

We are living in a diseased world. Trump himself is not the disease, he is a symptom. He used the disease of misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc., to get himself elected. He launched his campaign by declaring all Mexicans as rapists and murderers. (And some, he assumed, were ok.) We are living in the same world that also houses Brock Turner. On January 18, 2015 Turner raped an unconscious woman. He was convicted of his crime. The presiding judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, sentenced Brock to 6 months in jail. A year since that ruling, Judge Persky has finally decided to explain himself. ““I have a reputation for being fair to both sides,” Persky says. Let that sink in for a moment. Persky was looking at a victim of rape and the man who raped her while she was unconscious. And Persky prides himself on being fair to both sides. He is running for reelection. I’d like to say that there’s no chance Persky will get reelected, but we are living in a Trump world. He might.

I ran into this article at Mother Jones about men taking credit for women’s work. (Last week Bernie Sanders embraced Hillary Clinton’s public option healthcare plan. It was the same plan he and his Bros previously excoriated Clinton for. But now Sanders is taking credit for it, and some in the media are happily giving him credit. Sanders also previously embraced Hillary’s college tuition plan after being vehemently against it. The  media gave him credit for Hillary’s plan too.) Mother Jones digs far, back to cave paintings. Newest research suggests they were painted by women. From Mary Shelley to Ada Lovelace to the rapper M.I.A. and singer Taylor Swift – the more things change, the more men continue to take credit for women’s work. (Remember when Michael Moore claimed to be the leader of the Resistance? Yeah, no Michael Moore. You’re NOT the Resistance.)

We’ve all heard the word “mansplain.” It’s a word that has entered the lexicon fairly quickly. I didn’t even notice it, it was just sort of there. I did not realize it originated with a 2008 essay “Men Explain Things To Me” by Rebecca Solnit. Solnit related an anecdote that at a party she got into a discussion with a man who had heard Solnit was an author. She began to tell him about her latest book about Eadweard Muybridge and the man interrupted her to inform her that just last year a new and popular book about Muybridge came out. Had she heard of it? It so happens that she had. Solnit wrote it.

And finally: on June 26th we celebrated the 20th anniversary since the publishing of the first Harry Potter novel: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” (Retitled “The Sorcerer’s Stone” in the US.) Joanne Rowling famously started jotting down the novel onJK-Rowling a napkin in an Edinburgh cafe when she was a single mother and broke, living on welfare. She finished the manuscript on an old-fashioned typewriter. It was rejected by 12 publishers. Finally a small children’s publisher Bloomsbury accepted. They asked Rowling to create a gender-neutral name because a novel about a boy wizard was likely to sell better if boys didn’t know a woman had written it. So Joanne became J.K. Rowling. Bloomsbury printed 500 copies of the original hardcover (now worth a fortune!) 300 of those copies were sent to libraries and only 200 into the wild. The rest, of course, is history. Over the course of seven novels Rowling’s story of the boy wizard and his best friends Ron and Hermione’s struggles against forces of evil have inspired generations of children and adults. Movies and a play made billions. Rowling herself became a billionaire (Forbes claims she is the first writer to make a billion dollars from writing alone), and at one point Rowing was proclaimed to be richer than the Queen of England. However, Rowling gave away so much to charity that Forbes had to remove her from their list of billionaires. She is currently said to have only about $840,000,000.


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Blog Archive

April 2018
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.7 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Perfect Name For Him h/t Daily News

Scary a.f.

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