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Archive for April, 2008

shame

Posted by pocochina on April 29, 2008

Three times in the last six days, some asshole has, on national television, joked about the murder of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.  That’s less than a week.  None of these fuckers have been fired or suspended.  Olbermann has grudgingly offered a half an apology.  That’s all you have to do if you suggest killing someone, if that someone dares to walk and talk and go out in public while in possession of a vagina.  If anyone stumbles on a reporter, journalist, or Lefty Dood blogger who gives a raving shit whether or not a US Senator lives or is violently murdered, please let me know; in the meantime, I’m going to consider them all useless fucking hypocrites.

Shame. Shame. Shame.

Oh.  And also via Shakes, the people charged with protecting her from the lunatics who are hearing these jokes?  Are busy planting fucking nooses all over training centers.  They’re also supposed to be protecting Barack Obama.  I don’t have to be a supporter to point out that he absolutely deserves – and clearly needs – better protection than this.

Shame.

I’ll be actually thinking and posting after my international law exam.  On which I want to do really well now, so I can have the option to get the fuck out of here.  Because if they’re coming for Hillary, they’re coming for me too.

ETA (bumping this up from comments, thanks celiloquy for prodding me to refine my thoughts):  If some brown foreign person publicly laughed at the idea the murder of a senator, we would call it terrorism. But since it’s white Americans talking about HRC, it’s a joke.

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…gettin’ older over here

Posted by pocochina on April 23, 2008

Oh my God.

I didn’t want to do this.

I really, really, REALLY didn’t.

But I’m so fucking pissed off about it that I just CAN’T not talk about it any more.  Linda Hirshman is fucking right.  Okay, she’s not totally right, but she’s talking about something important that nobody fucking wants to hear.  I know it would be totally cool to just focus on the criticisms and why she is a total bitch and we hate her and don’t want to sit with her in the cafeteria, I am going to DARE TO AGREE.  I am not saying there are no critiques of Hirshman that can be made, I am not saying there are no valid critiques of the second wave.  But I am calling bullshit  on some of my fellow young people.

Yes.  Looking at the demographics, younger women are slightly more likely to vote for Senator Obama, older women are slightly more likely to vote for Senator Clinton.  And what I see here, in the discussion of the campaign – from feminists, non-feminists, and anti-feminists – is another -ism that nobody wants to talk about.  AGEISM.  Ageism is wrong too, assholes.  If you assume that an older woman is myopic and out of touch and selfish, but you, the younger woman, are de facto more aware of intersectionality or are Magically Above Vagina Voting, that’s not just non-feminist, it’s also ageist, and it ignores the reality that women are punished more for daring to age – YOU KNOW, THE WAY LIVING BEINGS DO – than men are.  When you think of being “scolded by [your] mother,” (I seriously wish I were making that gem up, and yes, it’s from a feminist writer who thought this ageist, sizeist, anti-feminist cartoon was a real freaking laugh riot) when Senator Clinton goes off on one of her cranky bad-day-at-work rants about getting people health care or some shit, that is part of a systemic framework that punishes women for being adults, and that connects adult women with that which we do not like about the domestic sphere.   I, for one, like older women, and in fact hope to be one some day.

Maybe I am really lucky.  My mom’s neither a feminist nor a HRC supporter.  I’m the Ms. reader in the house, not her.  So I get to feel all warm and fuzzy and rebel-y voting for Hillary.  Hell, my being a Democrat is upsetting enough to my parents.  I saw this interview that LH talks about in the article.  “In an interview on PBS’s NOW with Maria Hinojosa*, Ms. magazine founding editor Letty Cotton Pogrebin and her Obama-supporting author daughter, Abigail, discussed their personal quarrel over the election.”  The daughter spit all over the camera for twenty freaking minutes about how – I SWEAR TO GOD I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP – her mother’s feminist movement was “only about abortion” and younger women “care about more things.”  I’m lucky I didn’t break the fucking treadmill.  How could anyone possibly be so ignorant about the accomplishments of the second wave of feminism?  By purposeful ignorance, that’s how.  Again, I’m not saying there are no valid critiques to be made, I’m saying that disappearing the work those women did and are still doing is bullshit.

And Robin Morgan’s article was, yes, problematic because comparing racism to sexism is impossible, and for a lot of women, unnecessary because they live both.  But the “some younger feminists women” stuff should have a huge freaking “IF THE SHOE DOESN’T FIT, DON’T FUCKING WEAR IT” neon fucking flashing border around it.  I could have very easily taken offense – I am a younger feminist, and dammit, I did vote for Clinton – but I could tell that she was not talking about women who honestly and in good faith consider their preferences for one candidate or another.  She was talking, in a nutshell, about some – NOT ALL – young women who see rejection of Senator Clinton as a way to show that they are So Over That Feminism Crap Already.  “I’m not a feminist, but….” has become “I mean, I’m a woman and I didn’t vote for her.”  It is a convenient way to make oneself non-threatening to a dude-dominated social scene.

And JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH.  This “change” and “old politics versus new politics” and “same old, same old” crap?  ARE AGEIST AND ANTI-FEMINIST.  I don’t want to hear one more fucking word of defense for it.  They are key phrases for the Obama campaign for fucking good reasons.  (Hey, I never said they were dumb.  Wrong, yeah, but not dumb.) Youth is a valued position in our society, and age is not.  Partially, this is our capitalist standard of physical attractiveness, and partially of course, it’s the fear of death – if we act young, we are young, we won’t die.  Therefore, the Obama campaign is reminding us that as far as age goes, he has more privilege than her.  It’s not quite as heavy-handed as “periodically feeling down,” but it’s there.  And this “young and attractive” versus “old and…..well, old” is especially pernicious because women are judged more than men are based on our physical appearance, and this is especially true of Senator Clinton, paradoxically,  because she’s performing work outside of her gender role, and that’s how our society punishes powerful women.

More importantly though, in the context of politics, age means something different for women than it does for men, because it is new for women to be in politics.  When we get old-skool on our masculine-coded politics, we think of the Founding Fathers in their boots and wigs.  When we get old-skool on our feminine-coded politics, we draw a blank.  Because there is no such thing.  But rather than face that fact, and grasp that we are living in an era where that is changing, we fill that blank in with older women, who are explicitly not a privileged group in our society.  We code older women especially as grandmas baking cookies.  Being a grandma who bakes cookies is a totally awesome and valid thing to be, and certainly not dispositive of many other identity components – again, I love my grandma, she makes great cookies, and some day I might be a cookie-baking grandma myself.  But we correlate age in women as belonging to a previous generation, one in which women weren’t demanding to actually be taken seriously and stuff.  We consider it as a time of unpaid labor – like, I don’t know, baking cookies for someone because you love them and not because you’re going to get money (which in our society connotes financial independence and thus personal autonomy) or going on state visits because of your husband’s job.  We pretend this hypothetical grandma didn’t want to be taken seriously so that we don’t have to take her seriously.  Hillary Clinton demands to be taken seriously – maybe we shouldn’t have taken those cookies for granted.  “Old politics” doesn’t just connote smoke-filled rooms, when you’re talking about a woman.  It also connotes “hag” and “crone” and “witch” and all of the other terrible thoughts about humanity that we project onto older women.

Now, it’s a smart campaign strategy.  But for feminists to dismiss the older women who call out the bullshit because they are older – LIKE DISMISSING FEMINIST CONCERNS WHEN THEY COME FROM A WOMAN – is also bullshit.

Don’t tell Mom I said this, but sometimes she really has a point, you know?

(For the record – I do find the ageism directed at Senator McCain to be reprehensible as well.  If HRC were 72, you’re damned right I would still have voted for her.  And I expect Senator McCain’s supporters to do the same.  It’s not as loaded with him because he’s a man and this country has a tradition of voting for old white men, but it’s still ageist.  Shit, my great-grandma lived to be 105, let’s not be acting all like we’re voting in his VP, okay?)

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American Catholics, Working Class Communities, and HRC

Posted by pocochina on April 18, 2008

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
…………Let it be
(Beatles)

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headdesking into eternity

Posted by pocochina on April 16, 2008

EZRA.

WE TALKED ABOUT THIS.

Posted in all-high badass dick-swingin' motherfuckers, classism, feminism, idiots, politics | Leave a Comment »

Very Serious Observation

Posted by pocochina on April 16, 2008

God, guns, and xenophobia really are the deciding factors for those poor rubes in small towns, and that’s why Pennsylvania (with nearly half of its twelve million voters in the Philadelphia metro area alone) is trending Clinton.

This explains the devastating losses Senator Obama suffered in low-density population states like Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota, and also highlights his clear lead in the three most densely populated (and also among the most wealthy and highly educated) states in the country, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

Oh.  Wait.

Way to insult your own voters.

Or to just have made a really fucking stupid generalization which could be easily refuted.  How did nobody call him on that? How?  Look, I don’t think hate and a desire for a heavily-armed theocracy are driving small-town Democrats.  If those are someone’s priorities, that person is not voting for a Democrat, ever.  But if I were a candidate for national office with any sense of irony and self-awareness making a legitimacy argument based at least in part on rural states, I sure as fuck wouldn’t insinuate the things that he did about the voters in those very states.

And wasn’t it just a fucking nice touch that one of those small towns full of haters is the one where teeny Hillary Rodham spent part of her childhood?  Nice.  Really, really classy.

(I hope, though doubt, that this will be my last word on classism-is-the-new-pink-gate.)

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medical marijuana

Posted by pocochina on April 13, 2008

I have a sleeping disorder.  It fucking sucks.  I’m trying to fix it, or at least some way to find it manageable, or at the very least, get a diagnosis that’s not “I can only sleep in the middle of the day.”  Really, any one of the above would work, but lookint for any of those three things sucks too.  In the last four months, I’ve met with a GP, a pulmonary specialist, a psychiatrist, three therapists (one of whom was such an insensitive prick he made me cry for a week) a sleep specialist and a sleep technician.  In the last I talked to my doctor (I affectionately refer to her as “#4”) on Friday, I heard – no, I am not making this shit up – that “we think you might have trouble getting to sleep because you have insomnia.”

Right now I am taking Ambien.  Which also sucks.  My health care providers suck more, though, because out of the seven so-called expert people involved in Operation Pocochina Dozing, only one of them warned me that my drugs would cause tolerance and I’d need to up my dosage, and none of them warned me that they mess with concentration, that they cause anxiety and depression, that they make it hard for your mouth to say what your brain is thinking, and for your brain to think at all.  All five of those things have been happening to me in the last five months, so the anxiety and depression (THANKS AMBIEN!) is doing a number on my healthy but fragile self-esteem (THANKS MOM AND DAD).  Which has played really nicely in with the most stressful year ever.  (THANKS LAW SCHOOL.)

Which brings me to pot.

When we talk about medical marijuana, we tend to talk about desperate cases.  Chemo patients who may suffer just a tiny bit less.  I’m totally for marijuana for them.  It’s an embarrassment that we as a society do not allow our medical profession to treat its patients to the best of their abilities.  “First, do no harm” does not end with “to the drug company’s profits.”

But I’m also a potential medical marijuana case.  Pot does put me to sleep – it eases me down gently, if I’m in a quiet place and have nowhere to be.  It doesn’t fight my circadean rhythm* all the next day if I’ve done it at slightly the wrong time, the way Ambien does.  The day’s stress and care – which are critical parts of sleep-onset insomnia – would seem a lot lighter as I was dozing off.

Now, I’m for drug liberalization for everyone, I am against mandatory minimums, I abhor crack/cocaine sentencing disparities.  I think it’s a travesty that we lock people up because there was hash at a party.  I know that when pot is legal people will continue to use it the way they do now – that is, some to treat illnesses; the vast majority to have a good time – and I fully embrace that.

But I also really, really want to be like everyone else for a couple of days a week.  Fall asleep at night, be able to function all day, and then fall asleep at night again.  I can’t fathom who I would be hurting if I could grow a couple of plants under my windowsill.  I could be a productive member of society, free of this dark cloud that I pack away and carry with my casebooks.  I wouldn’t have to wonder if my bad mood was some drug; or if it was, which drug, or maybe I’d have a good mood again once in a while.

It might not even work for me.  But I’m so angry that I don’t even get to try.

*Fun thing to think about next time you see a health professional – my psychiatrist (#7) didn’t know what a circadean rhythm was the first time I met him!

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let me clear my throat

Posted by pocochina on April 12, 2008

So there’s this fabulous/hateful meme that’s been going around for a while – probably, in fact, certainly since before I began blogging – that makes the assumption that Clinton supporters are not anti-war.  In fact it turns into a pretty ugly assumption that the superior non-Clinton supporter knows all about the Clinton supporter, who she is, and why she is wrong about everything.

Fuck you.  You will not erase me.
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what’s the matter with classism?

Posted by pocochina on April 12, 2008

So we all know about this bullshit, right?  We all up to speed?  Good.

I went looking for context.  I was hoping there was a shitty question involved.  As always, though, the candidate of Hope (TM) let me down.  Listen up, so-called liberals, I was reading Thomas Frank when you were all creaming your boy-panties over the Power of the Netrootz and Democracy for America. This was not the “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” argument.  What’s the Matter with Kansas was asking why people vote against their own economic interests, leading working-class rural people to vote Republican even when it means big business gets a break and the rural poor get screwed.  Barack Obama was talking about the Pennsylvania primary.  You know, the one with all Democrats.  (Well, supposedly.)   He summarily discounted the possibility that the Pennsylvania Democrats could, in choosing the other Democrat, be voting vehemently in their own rational best-interest, and assumed that a vote for someone other than him was due to misplaced “bitterness,” to religiosity and xenophobia.  A vote for Clinton may very well be in the best interests of the working-class voter.  Poor people are not stupid.  Assuming they are xenophobic, that they are religious at all or that their faith is stupid or intolerant, is bullshit.  In this statement, he not only handed the Republican party a fucking gold mine (so that the phenomenon Frank was actually talking about can continue, conservatism without end, amen) but he:

(a) ignored that the Clinton campaign actually exists
(b) insinuated that those of us who have voted for her are not Democrats
(c) flat-out stated that a vote for anyone but him is irrational
(d) refused to grant the existence of Clinton’s many policies which are more beneficial than McCain’s, or his own, to the working class
(e) either exempted his own religious convictions from the bitterness and irrationality of the rural poor (because religious exceptionalism is so hot right now) or presented himself as a cynical nonbeliever who plays a Christian on TV to get votes.

This is insulting.  It is classist and it is short-sighted.  It was not manufactured by that machiavellian bitch Hillary Clinton – in fact, by addressing it, she performed a vital service to the party, pointing out that this shallow and classist group of assumptions are not the liberal or progressive platform.   It was not manufactured by John McCain, but I think we all know that the RNC is producing some ads right now and I think we all know what they say.  Conflating the villification of half the Democratic party with Frank’s complex sociological argument is irresponsible, and it is flat-out wrong.  This will not go away, and moreover, it should not go away, and everyone excusing political stupidity and blatant classism should be seriously reassessing their priorities.

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How wonderful life is…

Posted by pocochina on April 10, 2008

….when Elton John is in the world.

2.5 million to HRC’s campaign!

And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – this is a great moment not just for Senator Clinton, but for the LGBTQ community.  Visibility is everything in the fight for equality. For a major presidential candidate to headline a major fundraiser, days before a critical primary, with an openly gay celebrity, is a step in that direction, and while my heart is with Hillary right now, it’s full of hope for all of my loved ones in the queer community as well.  Particularly coming on the heels of a major interview with a gay and lesbian newspaper, and another television appearance with supporter and friend Ellen Degeneres.  I, for one, want a Democratic nominee and president who will stand toe to toe with the homophobic bigots in this country, with her out and proud friends, colleagues (both openly gay Congresspersons are Clinton supporters) and constituents behind her.

“I’m amazed by the misogynistic attitudes of some of the people in this country. And I say to hell with them …. I love you Hillary, I’ll be there for you.” – Elton John

Amen.

*dances off, singing “Philadelphia Freedom”*

(For less promising comparisons, here and here. And here.)

Posted in clinton, feminism, lgbtq, politics | Leave a Comment »

i fuckin’ quit

Posted by pocochina on April 9, 2008

Evo psych from NICHOLAS KRISTOF.

I have no words. None.

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Posted in domestic violence, feminism, sexual assault | Leave a Comment »