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Geraldo Rivera calls Casey Anthony a slut, offers no apology

Outside the Florida courthouse last week where Casey Anthony is on trial for the murder of her infant daughter, Fox’s Geraldo Rivera proclaimed,

[Anthony] was a selfish, narcissistic, self-involved slut who wanted to kill her child to have ‘la bella vita.’

The comment was in response to the fact that Casey Anthony had reportedly gotten a tattoo on her wrist that read “La Bella Vita,” which means “beautiful life” in Italian.

Casey Anthony could very well be guilty of murdering her child, and she should be punished appropriately, but it is not acceptable for a reporter to call a subject a “slut” or any slur that degrades a person for her/his sexuality. Anthony’s sexual history has nothing to do with whether or not she killed her daughter. News anchors are there to report the news and occasionally comment on it, but not to pass judgment on the people involved in the news — especially in such an offensive and misogynistic way.

Ed Shultz of MSNBC was suspended for calling Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut,” and he almost immediately released an apology. As far as I know, no one at Fox has commented or reprimanded Rivera for his use of the term “slut” to describe a woman on national television.

Fox News needs to start taking a little bit more responsibility in their news coverage. But that’s like saying you should always leave a note if you hit someone’s car in a parking lot. Some people just lack moral integrity.

For further reading check out this article.

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Women of color on the burlesque stage

Today I’m linking to a post on Racialicious.com about how women of color are typically left out of the history of burlesque dancing in America. Very interesting, check it out!

Women of Color in Burlesque: The Not-So-Hidden-History by Arturo

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Sarah Palin and her giant-ass Star of David necklace

Last night while watching media coverage of Sarah Palin’s  publicity tour narcissistic sh**show family vacation, I noticed something…peculiar…around her neck. A Star of David necklace. No, a GIANT-ASS Star of David necklace. Also known as a Magen David or Jewish Star, this pendant is typically worn by Jews and no one else (except maybe Rastafarians). And usually, we wear small, classy ones from the temple gift shop. Why would anyone else wear a Star of David necklace? The simple answer is they wouldn’t. Unless.

Unless they were planning to run for President next year and were pandering to the conservative Jewish population in America who is concerned that Obama is not a strong enough supporter of Israel. Huzzah.

Please take off the necklace, Palin. SERIOUSLY. You look ridiculous.

As a member of the Jewish community (albeit the liberal one), I am fully aware that there are many American Jews who think that Obama has “thrown Israel under the bus” with his recent remarks about Israel’s role in the peace negotiations, and are very likely to vote for a Republican in the next election if Obama doesn’t show his undying, kiss-Netanyahu’s-feet, love for Israel. My heart is full of love for Israel (and I’m also an advocate for a two-state solution), but I don’t think Obama needs to metaphorically j**k off Bibi in front of Congress in order for Jews to believe that the president supports Israel’s right to exist and defend itself against enemies.*

Back to my point, Sarah Palin is aware of this concern in the Jewish community (which is surprising, because I was almost certain that she wasn’t aware of anything). And by strapping that Star of David around her neck Palin is hoping that conservative Jews will see her as a strong supporter of Israel and will vote for her when she magically “decides” to run.

The most nauseating part is that when questioned about her choice of jewelry, Palin purportedly responded: “Today is the 44th anniversary of Jerusalem being reunited. We want to call attention to that.”

Yep, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. I don’t think this woman could be a more embarrassing representation of American ignorance if she tried. [Update: Surprise! Today Palin expressed her clear understanding of American history by claiming that Paul Revere’s ride was to warn the British.]

So Sarah Palin, as a Jewish American, I am asking – nay – begging you – to take off that necklace. Seriously, you look ridiculous.

In closing, the second I saw that Star of David around Palin’s over-publicized neck I knew that she would be running for President in 2012.

Update #2: I never noticed (presumably because I don’t watch Fox constantly), but apparently Palin has been wearing this necklace for several weeks now. Blogger Malia Litman deconstructs Palin’s use of religious symbols for political benefit.

*For the record, the Israel/Palestine conflict is long and complicated and cannot be properly discussed in less than the space of one large book, so I will refrain from going down that controversial road in this particular blog post.

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Who’s Really Destroying the Sanctity of Marriage?

Last week I wrote about the Arnold Schwarzenegger-illegitamite-love-child scandal. Specifically, I responded to Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow’s argument that Maria Shriver should not seek a divorce because Arnold cheated on her and impregnated a household employee (who went on to give birth to the child within days of the birth of Maria and Arnold’s youngest son). Instead, Ablow argued that Maria should take this time to become closer to her  husband in his obvious time of need.

In my blog entry, I briefly brought up the fact that while many prominent and powerful male Republican politicians are caught in marriage-destroying affairs and sex scandals, the GOP continues to maintain it’s stance that it’s the LGBTQ community that is, in fact, responsible for destroying the sanctity of marriage and the traditional American family.

With the seemingly recent surge in political sex scandals (most of which seems to come from Republican side, although several left-leaning politicians have been caught in affairs as well), the continued attack on gay rights, and the opposition to gay marriage in this country is baffling to me. Luckily, I came across an entry from the Citings & Sightings blog on my favorite Sociology website, The Society Pages, on this very topic. Click over and check out Kyle Green’s entry, which deconstructs a Huffington Post editorial about heterosexual privilege and adultery.

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Turkish Mayor Offers “Obvious” Solution to Sexual Harassment

I’ve been reading and writing a lot about rape, victim-blaming and slut-shaming recently. Maybe I’m just paying more attention now, or maybe the the recent SlutWalk phenomenon has helped vocalize the issues of sexual assault. It also seems that recently more and more people (mostly men) have been suggesting what they think are solutions to stopping sexual harassment. In actuality, these “solutions” are absurd and only work to further degrade women. As written about previously, a police officer in Toronto this year said that women should stop dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized (setting off a series of protests all over the world). And now Mayor Necmittin Dede from Turkey has offered up his own suggestion: women should just not leave the house.

Both these men (and countless others who have similar suggestions about avoiding sexual harassment/rape) essentially blame women, their behavior, their clothing, and their independence for their assaults. How did we come to blame women for their own rapes? It’s becoming frighteningly common for society to teach girls how not to be raped, instead of teaching people that they shouldn’t rape. Instead of suggesting that women stay inside the home (presumably “where they belong”), why didn’t the Turkish Mayor come out with a statement proclaiming that people shouldn’t assault others?

Lana Moore over at Jezebel wrote a great article on the topic. Check it out here.

UPDATE: Apparently a Scottish school has also suggested that school uniforms would help curb pedophilia rates. Right, because adult men pedophiles definitely don’t love a kid in uniform…..Jezebel’s Margaret Hartmann has it covered.

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Help Me Support Planned Parenthood and Lizz Winstead’s tour!

Source: Alibaba.com

Aha! My plan worked! I caught your attention with this cute puppy! Now keep reading….

If you read my blog I’m sure you are aware that I am highly invested in matters of women’s health – especially access to reproductive health clinics. So this week I set up an account on Crowdrise.com (which I have previously talked about), to raise money for Planned Parenthood!

Specifically, I am supporting Lizz Winstead (creator of the Daily Show and all-around funny person), who will be driving across the country this summer putting on stand-up shows to raise money for Planned Parenthood. Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a political satire writing workshop with Lizz at NextSpace Santa Cruz, which was incredibly informative, inspiring, and hilarious, and I want to give back to Lizz and Planned Parenthood by raising money to offset the costs of her shows and ensure that all proceeds go to supporting the clinics.  As you well know, Planned Parenthood provides essential sexual health services to you, me, your mother, sister, daughter, and friends – including those who might not otherwise be able to afford or have access to care. So it’s a pretty important organization! And the GOP is actively trying to dismantle access to women’s health care in this country, so your donation and support is extremely vital right now. Here is Lizz’s description of her plan to help:

Throughout 2010 and 2011, I have been selling out comedy shows throughout the country and now I want to bring these crowds in to shows that benefit Planned Parenthood. This summer, I am driving from Minnesota to Brooklyn and want to do shows that raise as much money, for as many Planned Parenthood Chapters as I possibly can along the way. In each city, I will provide an evening of laughter and inspiration, motivating folks to get active doing a comedy show full of material poking holes in the current state of our country, and sharing my personal story of how Planned Parenthood has played an important role in my life. Through humor, I want to bring a much needed catharsis as we deal with this national assault on women’s reproductive health.I am asking some of my talented friends to join me along the way. I want to create a cross-country excitement that shows America, “We are the face of Planned Parenthood,” and more importantly says,

“Thank You Planned Parenthood for being there for me, and together we will scream it from the top of our lungs,

“Planned Parenthood, I am here for you!”

 You can donate on my Crowdrise page here:  bit.ly/RachelScottCrowdRise

I’m sure many of you have  personally relied on PP for assistance with family planning, contraception, and health screenings, so I really hope you’ll consider contributing! You’ll also be helping women with limited access to reproductive information and health care. Your contribution will go directly to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. And I’m not saying that you’ll feel guilty for not helping out….but you probably will. And I’ll love you forever if you give!

Thanks!

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To Derby or Not to Derby?

As long as we’re blogging, maybe I should mention that for the past few years I’ve been really wanting to play roller derby. The local league in Santa Cruz started when I was a junior or senior in high school, and my hair dresser was a derby girl. I thought it sounded ridiculously fun and wanted to try it out, but then I joined a band and went to college and moved a lot, and I kind of forgot about roller derby. Over the years I thought about it off and on, but I never pursued it. Then last week I finally went to my first bout – the Boardwalk Bombshells vs. the L.A. Ri-Ettes – and they announced that they were going to be having a training camp this summer. And that spark inside me came back.

I really really really want to do this camp. It’s only $150 for 6 weeks, it would be great exercise, and I could finally find out if I’d be any good at this sport. But I’d have to have all my own gear: roller skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, mouth guard. I’m sure I have some old safety gear hidden somewhere in the garage, but I’m worried that I’m going to spend all this money on gear and end up either hating the sport or sucking at it!

I think what intrigues me about roller derby is it’s innate girl-power qualities: it promotes community, team work, strong bodies and minds, grassroots organizing, and giving back to the community. Even the little derby groms who played during half-time were adorable, hard-working, and inspiring. I love that derby is about female empowerment, and it sends a positive message to young girls about body image, athleticism, spirit, and inner strength. Plus, kicking ass at a sport is fun.

My mom and all of her friends think playing roller derby would be ridiculously fun and bad-ass. The only thing my dad (who is a sports doctor, a downhill skier, triathlete, and surfer) said is that it sounds dangerous. It’s funny that the person who I thought would unconditionally support my interest in a sport turns out to be the only person against me playing roller derby. What’s up with that? I’m sure he’ll come around, but my gut reaction to his skepticism is that I just want to join the sh*t out of roller derby.

So, what do you think? Do you know anyone who plays? Have you ever been to a bout, and did you enjoy it? Do you play roller derby and have any advice/words of wisdom? Let me know in the comments!

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