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Friday, May 17, 2019

"I may have been fired by the people who brought us Guantanamo Bay and Reduced Fat Triskets, but at least I leave here with my dignity!"

Wypipo mostly stopped lynching negroes, and they had the advantages of the Green Book anyway, so why bother integrating schools and protecting their right to vote, amirite?

A couple years ago we were in Topeka, Kansas.  A couple years before that, Michelle Obama was in Topeka, and people got upset that she reminded them of structural racism.  Because that's beneath our dignity as Real Americans.

As I've observed before, the concept of 'dignity' has been a key element in a variety of SCOTUS cases:

  • Trop v Dulles (1958): The basic concept underlying the Eighth Amendment is nothing less than the dignity of man.
  • McKaskle v Wiggins (1984): [T]he right to appear pro se exists to affirm the accused's individual dignity and autonomy.
  • Planned Parenthood v Casey (1992): These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment...Part of the constitutional liberty to choose is the equal dignity to which each of us is entitled. 
  • Lawrence v Texas (2003):  It suffices for us to acknowledge that adults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons...The stigma this criminal statute imposes, moreover, is not trivial. The offense [is] a criminal offense with all that imports for the dignity of the persons charged.

That word is not used in Brown v Board, issued on this day in 1954, but dignity is still clearly at the heart of that landmark decision:

To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone. The effect of this separation on their educational opportunities was well stated by a finding in the Kansas case by a court which nevertheless felt compelled to rule against the Negro plaintiffs:

"Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system."

The words of the [14th] amendment...contain a necessary implication of...exemption from legal discriminations, implying inferiority in civil society...

So today it's fitting that the Democratic House voted 236-173 for dignity and equality:

“This vote is a monumental step forward in the fight for true, lived equality for LGBTQ people," said Ronald Newman, national political director at the ACLU, in a statement after the vote. “Finally, our elected officials stepped up to affirm that our nation’s civil rights laws protect everyone. It is now incumbent upon the Senate to finish this work. The ACLU will continue to fight for the advancement of this crucial legislation, and will be taking note of the members who stand in its way. The time for full equality for LGBTQ people is long overdue.”

The Equality Act, or H.R. 5, would provide protections nationwide on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation against discrimination in employment, schools, credit, housing, and public accommodations, and federally funded programs. The bill would also codify certain anti-discrimination protections for women and would extend discrimination protections for people of color. The members of the LGBT Equality Caucus — representatives David Cicilline, Angie Craig, Sharice Davids, Katie Hill, Sean Patrick Maloney, Chris Pappas, Mark Pocan, Mark Takano — originally sponsored the bill.

Naturally, Mitch McConnell has no plans to bring this up for a vote in the Senate. Because he's an undignified asshole, upon whom history will rightfully shit.


May 17, 2019 in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Kids Must See Captain Marvel

Yeah, but [90s movies] were all bad:

Captain Marvel may not, as one especially hysterical bit of fanboy outrage puts it, “castrate” Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, but the movie does take a shot—literally—at another action-movie icon. When Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers crashes to Earth in the mid-1990s, she lands in a Blockbuster Video, and the first thing she sees is a cardboard stand-up for the movie True Lies, featuring a tuxedoed Arnold Schwarzenegger with an admiring Jamie Lee Curtis draped over his shoulder. Still groggy from the intergalactic trip and rattled by her unfamiliar surroundings, Carol reads the gun-wielding figure as a threat and fires a photon blast in his direction, leaving a smoking hole where Arnold’s head used to be.

I admit that as a young man I enjoyed True Lies and even owned it on VHS (just one of many things from that epocha that will seem fantastically archaic to Sadie and Sam).  As an evolved old man I see it for the misogynistic crap it was, and am happy that not only did Carol blast Arnie's head off, but that Cameron will likely never let the movie be released on modern media.

Anywayz, we loved Wonder Woman--Sadie especially did--and I'd really like the kids to see yet another female superhero kick ass on screen and at the box office.


March 13, 2019 in Family Life, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

When You Take The House A Couple Times, Then Maybe You'll Understand

Thought Criminal:

Nancy Pelosi is worth all of the Bill Clintons there ever were or ever will be.   I suspect that for more than a few of the detractors of Nancy Pelosi, it has everything  has everything to do with her gender in the way it never does for the Bill Clintons. 

I say this as somebody who spent a great deal of time and money sending Madame Speaker spines in various forms: she's the real deal, and definitely knows how to play the current occupant on Pennsylvania Ave.


March 12, 2019 in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Friday, February 15, 2019

The Nineteenth Amendment Must Be Unconstitutional

Happy Birthday, Susan B Anthony, who was arrested for voting a straight Republican ticket in 1872--the presiding judge denied her the opportunity to testify on her own behalf, amongst other miscarriages of justice.  Seven years later on her natal day, Republican President Rutherford B Hayes signed a bill that allowed women attorneys to argue cases before SCOTUS.  Wasn't that nice?


February 15, 2019 in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ah, The Noble Marketplace Of Ideas

Make Some Americans Chattel Again!

Anything to avoid addressing toxic masulinity and gun violence.


May 22, 2018 in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

This Is A Boob-free Zone

Not really:

Kelda Roys is running for governor in Wisconsin. She's also a mom, small business owner, and attorney. In the middle of her campaign ad, in which she talks about helping Wisconsin become the first state to ban BPA when she was in the State Assembly, her baby starts to cry. Her husband, who can't help the hungry infant, walks on set and hands his daughter to Roys, who casually starts feeding the baby while continuing her discussion. What an awesome way to normalize breastfeeding in public (not to mention proving how adept she is in the art of multi-tasking!). If you're uncomfortable watching a woman breastfeed, she suggests you "don't watch the video."

This is just so goddamned much awesome, I can't stand it.  And I can't wait until Tammy Duckworth starts nursing on the Senate floor.  Seriously.


March 11, 2018 in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, March 01, 2018

She always sings her Barbados songs, and we dance.



March 1, 2018 in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

To All Intensive Purposes, Chicks Can't Handle Dey Vote

You might recall that the Nineteenth Amendment was upheld by SCOTUS on this date in Leser v Garnett (1922).  The objections:

  • For some strange reason, the Framers forgot to tell us in Article V that certain things other than equal state suffrage in the Senate were not subject to the amendment process.
  • Article VI makes Federal law and the US Constitution supreme, so logically states cannot possibly ratify amendments contrary to their own constitutions.
  • Somehow, the legislatures of WV and TN didn't actually ratify the amendment because somebody's fingers were crossed.

After dispensing with the first two items, Brandeis breezily concluded for the unanimous Court:

The remaining contention is that the ratifying resolutions of Tennessee and of West Virginia are inoperative, because adopted in violation of the rules of legislative procedure prevailing in the respective states. The question raised may have been rendered immaterial by the fact that since the proclamation the Legislatures of two other states-Connecticut and Vermont-have adopted resolutions of ratification.

But a broader answer should be given to the contention. The proclamation by the Secretary certified that from official documents on file in the Department of State it appeared that the proposed amendment was ratified by the Legislatures of 36 states, and that it 'has become valid to all intents and purposes as a part of the Constitution of the United States.' As the Legislatures of Tennessee and of West Virginia had power to adopt the resolutions of ratification, official notice to the Secretary, duly authenticated, that they had done so, was conclusive upon him, and, being certified to by his proclamation, is conclusive upon the courts. 

And now nobody gives Trump enough credit for doing well with the babes in 2016...


February 27, 2018 in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

More Honor For Mutter

Ah, this again:

During a news conference on Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged American women to have more babies, saying their lack of procreation was stunting economic growth.

“People — this is going to be the new economic challenge for America. People,” Ryan said, in response to a question about entitlement reform.


Alluding to the fact that he’s a father of three, Ryan added, “I did my part, but we need to have higher birth rates in this country. Meaning, baby boomers are retiring, and we have fewer people following them in the work force.”

I'm hearing a rhyme...


December 16, 2017 in Soaking In Patriarchy, Why We Fight | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Friday, November 17, 2017

F for Frankendetta

I admit when I first saw Franken's initial, short, weak tea apology, I wanted him to step down

The longer version, along with his direct apology to his victim, along with her acceptance of his proffer, changed my mind.  He did wrong, admits it, and isn't so smarmy and self-serving as Louis CK or other men called out.  Sure, "investigate" and castigate and let his lesson be for all of us in the ruling patriarchy.

More than that strikes me as counterproductive.  No need to shoot him behind the chemical shed when Roy Moore and Donald Trump don't acknowledge their wrongdoing.


November 17, 2017 in Soaking In Patriarchy, Suffering Fools | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Confirmed Kills

Before we watched quaint, rather sexist Xmas movies, we took in some Iliza tonight.


November 16, 2017 in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (5)

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Medicine's Women Problem

Via the MissTreated blog:

As the kids say, read the whole comic.


October 30, 2017 in First Do No Harm, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

People Don't Understand, Anne Hutchison Forced Men To Found Harvard So Lord Dampnut Could Attend

On October 28, 1636, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts voted to establish what eventually became Harvard:

The Court agreed to give 400 [pounds] towards a schoale or colledge,  wherof 200 [pounds] to bee paid the next yeare, and 200 [pounds] when the worke is finished, and the next Court to appoint wheare and what building.

According to American Jezebel:

[T]he Massachusetts court determined to build the colony's first college as a way of minimizing Hutchinson's threat. 'The college," which would later be named for the wealthy newcomer John Harvard, "is ordered to be at Newtown"...At a college, orthodox ministers would be able indoctrinate young men before they fell under the Antinomian spell.
[T]he colony determined to provide for the education of a new generation of ministers and theologians who would secure New England's civil and theological peace against future seditious Mrs. Hutchinsons "when our present ministers shall lie in the dust"...At Harvard we may seek her memorial in vain, but without her it is difficult to do justice to the motivating impulse of our foundation. Inadvertent midwife to a college founded in part to protect posterity from her errors, Anne Marbury Hutchinson, ironically, would be more at home at Harvard today than any of her critics.

In times like these, we need a lot of uppity...


October 28, 2017 in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Monday, October 23, 2017

"What happens when you know something is terribly wrong but nobody believes you?"

It’s time for women to be taken seriously when it comes to our health, our bodies and our ability to speak out.

 - Salon (10/23/2017)

A couple weeks ago, Samuel and I went to the local clinic to establish a PCP so we could get refills on our meds (our VT medicos were kind enough to give us plenty to stretch until we'd settled in).  Records had not been transferred yet, so it was pretty much a cold call.  After getting our vitals and our basic exams, I told the doctor what we each were taking, and also asked if I could get something to help me sleep. 

Boom, boom, boom, he sent orders electronically to the local pharmacy without my having to bring up info on our old clinic's portal showing we had, in fact, been prescribed anything previously.  Even my new Rx wasn't an issue.

Compare and contrast:

As Jennifer sought treatment for her symptoms, “they would run a wide range of tests and do investigations. And then when they couldn't find anything, it always turned back to, ‘Well, maybe you're just really stressed. Maybe you are depressed. Maybe there's nothing wrong at all. Maybe this is all in your head.’”

It took Jennifer over a year of seeing doctors and getting second, third and fourth opinions to even land on her diagnosis. Was this reluctance to diagnose Jennifer due to the lack of knowledge about this fairly prevalent disease? Or was there another unstated prejudice standing in the way of Jennifer getting treatment?

“I started to suspect as I was trying to get a diagnosis that I was being taken less seriously because I was young and female there was a strong expectation that because of my youth I was supposed to be well and nothing could be wrong,” Jennifer told me in our interview for "Inflection Point." “But that also because of my youth and my gender that I was just more prone to be kind of anxious and worry about my body and what I was feeling. . . . And I think there's just this sort of unspoken expectation that women are more fragile and more achy, more whatever.”

This has been precisely Ericka's experience with the United States' medical community (please see the previous Factoid of the Day). 

Glibly diagnosed with menopause at 42 by her PCP. when her ovaries completely failed all of a sudden.  Told by ER doctors that she was making herself hyperventilate to explain why she was tachycardic, hypertensive, and doubled over on the floor in pain and nausea.  Scolded for not getting enough exercise when my active, vivacious wife was brought down by absolute fatigue.

At various times during this saga, Ericka questioned herself, and would ask me if I thought she was crazy.  No, the strongest person I know, who always played through the pain, who made amazing shit happen, who could extemperaneously convince funding agencies to give her millions of dollars for affordable housing whilst dressed in gardening clothes, would not all of a sudden...just stop.

She stopped being able to have light in her life.  She stopped being able to listen to music.  She stopped being able to read, be active, do any of the things she loved.

We went to the same clinic last week to jump through bureaucratic hurdles and get an extension of meds an astute ER doc had prescribed her a few days prior to mitigate debilitating pain--neurology couldn't get her in for a couple more days, and it would be the height of cruelty to make Ericka suffer for any length of time.  Yet a 30-minute appointment turned into a torturous, 2-hour ordeal of cajoling, presenting old records, proving the need for relief, even taking a drug test, before the physician deigned to do no harm, and prescribed a mere 2 days' refill to help my wife.

Ericka has a systemic disease.  We know because she has terrible symptoms, and we have a lot of lab data to explain why.  But nobody listens to her because our health "care" system, and society at large, has a systemic disease that quite literally hurts and kills women.

Despite that fact, despite the crippling agony, despite the anguish caused by lacking a diagnosis, despite all the obstacles--from insidious microaggressions to traumatic misogyny--my wife is still here.  She is relentless, and she is smart, and she has put all the clues together and gotten all the pieces in place.

Ericka is going to make the medical establishment listen to her.  Every doctor she meets--not to mention American society--will be all the better for it.


October 23, 2017 in Family Life, First Do No Harm, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (5)

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Kinder, Kirche, und Kuche

Defender of Womanhood, General Kelly:

When I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country.  Women were sacred and looked upon with great honor.

Reminded me of das Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter, and the Rosenstrasse wives' resistance in Berlin:

By the third day SS troops were given orders to train their guns on the crowd but to fire only warning shots. They did so numerous times, scattering the women to nearby alleyways. But the wives always returned and held their ground. They knew the soldiers would never fire directly at them because they were of German blood. Also, arresting or jailing any of the women would have been the rankest hypocrisy: According to Nazi theories, women were intellectually incapable of political action. So women dissenters were the last thing the Nazis wanted to have Germans hear about, and turning them into martyrs would have ruined the Nazis' self-considered image as the protector of motherhood.

Say what you will about Hitler, he never grabbed a mutter by die Muschi.


October 21, 2017 in Conscience, Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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A Prater, A Star-gazer, A Good-for-nothing

Factoid of the Day: 26 doctors, 6 specialties, 3 states, 2 years, 0 confirmed diagnosis of the systemic failure ravaging Ericka's entire body.

Over the coming days and weeks, we'll be sharing more about the systemic failure of the American health "care" system, including the entrenched misogyny that makes it nigh impossible for a relentless, incredibly smart woman to be heard, helped, or healed by the medical community despite having platinum insurance coverage.


October 21, 2017 in Family Life, First Do No Harm, Soaking In Patriarchy, Suffering Fools | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

How Dare Disney Ruin My Second Favorite Childhood Ride With Political Correctness

After three days men grow weary, of a wench, a guest, and rainy weather.

 - Benjamin Franklin

What fresh PC hell is this?

DLP Welcome has released a look inside the new Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland Paris. The Wench Auction has been replaced with an auction where male and female residents of the town are forced to turn over their valuables for bidding. The famous Redhead, formerly a “wife” up for sale, has been transformed into a bidding pirate, armed with a cool hat and a shit-ton of guns.

Paris’ new Pirates of the Caribbean ride opens to the public July 24, and the companion rides at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom should be updated sometime in 2018.

What next?  Excising racist scenes from timeless movies?


July 13, 2017 in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trump: "Have you heard of Peggy Whiston? I’m shocked!"

Let's go outside for a walk!  #RecordBreaking8thEVA


March 30, 2017 in Mars, Bitches!, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Friday, March 24, 2017

No quarter will be given!

The Quartering Acts--first of which passed March 24, 1765--were egregious enough to be referenced in our Declaration of Independence:

[King George III{ has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

And 15 years later we got the Third Amendment protecting us from forced billeting of soldiers in our private homes, which probably isn't the biggest worry most people have right now.  F'rinstance, here's Griswold:

[S]pecific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance. See Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 516-522 (dissenting opinion). Various guarantees create zones of privacy. The right of association contained in the penumbra of the First Amendment is one, as we have seen. The Third Amendment, in its prohibition against the quartering of soldiers "in any house" in time of peace without the consent of the owner, is another facet of that privacy. The Fourth Amendment explicitly affirms the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." The Fifth Amendment, in its Self-Incrimination Clause, enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

With the defeat of TrumpCare2.0, women at least don't have to worry about Republican Men quartering in their uteri or mammaries for now...


March 24, 2017 in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Show And Tell

Jenny Boylan:

I’m so over defending my own humanity. I’m so over providing a power-point presentation about the fact that I exist. And I’m completely done with engaging with anyone who has a clever theory explaining why they actually understand my soul better than I do.

To be blunt: if your crazy-ass theory of the world doesn’t ease the suffering of people whom you do not understand, maybe what you actually need is a new theory.

Look, I’m going to continue all of the work I’ve been doing these last 15 years talking about identity and story and love. I’m going to try to support other people in the community whose work I admire, or find challenging or engaging.

But in creative writing circles we have a saying: Show, Don’t Tell. [ed. note: she drilled that into us in class] In writing, that means that a scene — with dialogue and texture and character — is much more convincing than narration — explaining and lecturing. And it strikes me that this is true of our movement now as well.

To exist is to resist.


February 19, 2017 in Conscience, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (1)