Friday, November 14, 2008

Breaking News: Women in the White House

President-Elect Barack Obama has asked Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State. She's asked for time to consider the offer, according to The Huffington Post. (Technically, this offer isn't official yet. Neither Obama or Clinton have commented, but the leak was from "two senior Democratic officials." I think this is real, but I'm sure there will be no official statement until Senator Clinton makes her decision.)

Update: Apparently, he also met with Bill Richardson today, so either he hasn't actually made a decision yet or he's waiting to see what Clinton decides with Richardson as a back-up. The Huffington Post is awfully misleading about all this...

As a great admirer of Hillary's, this seems like an amazing position for her, but I understand the quandary she might face weighing the Secretary of State position against her goals in the Senate for the following years (vis-a-vis health care, etc.) and her possible bid for the Presidency in the future (not that being Secretary of State would necessarily hurt that chance, but it's a different avenue to take). That said, as Secretary of State she would have a lot of influence, power and political clout, not to mention a great deal of exposure. I'm eager to hear what she'll decide.

A quote from an earlier article speculating about the possibility:
"She is a beloved figure around the world. She has visited over 80 countries, as first lady and senator together," the assistant said. Noting in particular the fact that she learned as first lady how to be effective as a "backdoor diplomat," the former White House assistant said Sen. Clinton actually mastered "a lot of the intricacies of these issues before ever joining the Senate's Armed Services committee. She's tough; she had meetings with some Prime Ministers and Presidents where she had to deliver some blunt messages for us."

And there is one other symbolic reason why Obama might go the extra mile to convince Clinton to come on board, the former assistant said. "He would be choosing a very high ranking woman to be one of the faces of this country all over the world. This is the first woman's name that has come up, by the way, for one of the top four cabinet posts. So she gives him this great political asset. And she and Biden are really tight. So I wouldn't be at all surprised if Obama offered it to her."

He's also named friend and top campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett as a senior White House adviser.

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Fight the H8 this Saturday...

National Protest Against Prop 8

Fight the H8 in Your State

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Special edition? New York Times?

If you all haven't seen it yet, you should check out the New York Times special edition which came out yesterday. Headlines/articles include:

Iraq War Ends: Troops to Return Immediately

Ex-Secretary Apologizes for WMD Scare

National Health Insurance Act Passed

Big Boxes Appeal Eviction from Low-Income Neighborhoods

Court Indicts Bush on High Treason Charge

Popular Pressure Ushers Recent Progressive Tilt

Nation Sets its Sights on Building a Sane Economy

All Public Universities to be Free

Obviously, it's a fake newspaper, quite elaborate, dated for July 9, 2009 and not sanctioned by the Times itself. Check it out and read some of the articles before someone shuts the website down.

The editorial note reads:
Two years ago, who would have dared to image we’d elect, as President of the United States, an African-American community organizer?

Six months ago, who would have predicted we’d enact universal health care, reform our education system, establish a maximum wage and “true cost” tax, and start taking steps to make our cities more livable — or that we’d so swiftly end the war in Iraq, and try for treason the leaders who took us there?

Yet we’ve done all that. Although we demanded change of Barack Obama, we understood that only we could bring about that change. And that’s why it happened.

Of course even with all these victories, we can’t let up for a second, and we can’t get tired. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past two years, it’s that the most restful, energizing thing we can do is fight for a better world.
What do you all think? An uplifting look at a possible future? A silly prank? Are there any artistic and/or political merits to this sort of utopian look forward? Is it just amusing or also hopeful?

And why, oh why, aren't there headlines like Congress passes an across-the-board equal pay act for female workers or Gay Marriage Legalized Nationwide or, I don't know, Patriarchy Called into Question, Women Take Over Government? Now that's my kind of utopia! ;-)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The 68th Carnival of Feminists is here!

Come one, come all and Welcome to the 68th Carnival of Feminists (thanks Natalie)! My favorite thing about these Carnvials is the unique opportunity to read about issues I hadn't yet considered and the work of bloggers that I hadn't yet come across and this Carnival was no exception.

Check out all the great posts--some compelling, some fun, some thought-provoking, some heart-wrenching--below:

Politics on the brain

slothwomyn at ...snapshots of a spiral path muses on the ups and downs of election day. Celebrating Obama's win, she also considers the passage and defeat of a few California propositions, for better and for worse.

P Threlfall at Sociology Eye wonders about former Vice Presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin and whether she can be considered a feminist icon. Some compelling questions are asked, so go weigh in on the debate.

And, Word Bandit offers a few thoughts on misogyny, Sarah Palin and double standards. Was Sarah Palin picked for all the wrong reasons and how would she be treated differently now if she were a man?

On Women, Writing and Big Ideas

Jason at Executed Today remembers Olympe de Gouges, beheaded in Paris in 1793. Ahead of her time (pun intended), this "proto-feminist" authored Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Citizen, voraciously wrote plays and pamphlets, and lobbied for the rights of those less fortunate.

earlgreyrooibos at This is What a Feminist Blogs Like critiques the claim that women don't write "big idea" books. She considers the gendered nature of the publishing industry and wonders why women are often deemed better at fiction than nonfiction.

Popular Culture and Everyday Life:

Unmana at Unmana's Words recounts an anecdote about sexism and cooking. Are the two so intermeshed that some men only want to eat food cooked by women?

harpymarx analyzes misogyny in slasher films. She considers the filmic trope of "the final girl," and asks some really compelling questions about where women viewers are allowed to seek identification in horror films.

Sierra at Pervyficgirl rants about fan fiction and consent. She writes about how she sees pairing a mentally-unstable, teenaged girl with an older man in the Marvel comics fandom as akin to a rape narrative.

mzbitca at What a crazy random happenstance explores the women of Harry Potter. In particular, she examines how the character of Molly Weasley, as a stay-at-home mom in the series, challenges our assumptions about homemakers and feminist roles.

Reproductive Rights, Sexuality and Our Bodies:

Word Bandit's anecdote about her neighbor's sex life leads to an examination of female sexuality. How is female sexuality often performed, used and abused in our society and what does it say about women's position of power in relation to sex?

Saranga at Pai writes about the erasure of bisexuality in Diva magazine. She wonders why bisexuality is often elided by the media and despairs at not finding bisexual representation in UK-based popular culture.

Jill Morrison at Womenstake argues that a pro-life pharmacy is far from "pro-life." She wonders what will happen to women who fall through the cracks because they're falsely instructed by a pro-life pharmacist that they can't get the contraception they want or need.

little light at Taking Steps recounts her heart-wrenching trans rape narrative (trigger warning!). She opens up about the stigma she faced from the very people who were supposed to help her because she is trans.

Genevieve Dusquesne at UneFemmePlusCourageuse offers an impassioned rant against John McCain's “health of the mother” scare quotes. She ruminates on the reasons for third-trimester abortions and wonders if McCain and those who think like him actually have any compassion for women.

Last, but not least, Meditations on feminism:

At incurable hippie's musings and rants, the author contemplates disability and access to feminism. She offers a variety of critical accounts and recounts her personal experience with ableism among other feminists.

Aerik wonders what makes a feminist ally. He examines what makes a good ally as well how sexism often prevails in the name of pseudo-feminism, particularly in relation to science and Skepticism.

Kenneth Reitz discusses modesty and political centrism. He wonders who's to blame for commodity culture's objectification of women and what both women and men can do to stop it.

mzbitca at What a crazy random happenstance contemplates feminist deal-breakers. Her post about what she finds untenable in regards to otherwise feminist people and actions inspired a great discussion, so go join in.


And that's all for this edition, folks! Thanks for stopping by.

By the way, if you forgot to contribute this time around but would still like to, send me your post within the next day or two (to fourthwave[dot]feminism[at]gmail[dot]com), and I'll add it to the Carnival.

If you'd like to contribute to the next Carnval (wherever it may be), you can fill out this form.


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Keith Olberman and Proposition 8

I'm a little late on the draw here, and this has been posted everywhere lately, but it always bears sharing again.

MSNBC's Keith Olberman, with his powerful, heartfelt critique of "yes on Proposition 8" voters:

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

68th Carnival of Feminists Last Call

Last Call to submit your recent blog posts to the 68th Carnival of Feminists here at Fourth Wave.

Again, you can submit posts by filling out the online form or sending an email directly to me at fourthwave[dot]feminism[at]gmail[dot]com.

Deadline is midnight tonight Eastern Standard Time (12:00EST)! I've got a whole list of awesome posts, so I think it's going to be a great Carnival.

The Carnival should be up by noon tomorrow.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Feminist Flashback #10

Just under the wire, the 10th Feminist Flashback also marks this blog's 101st post! Landmark moment... Okay... Moving on...

For today's flashback I'm showcasing the photography of Catherine Opie, a contemporary, L.A.-based lesbian artist whose amazing portrait photographs and sharp still-lives/landscapes showcase the stark realities and simple beauty of our lived communities (especially LGBTQ communities). For an overview of her work, check out her bio on the Guggenheim Museum's website.

I find her work, particularly her portraits and her Domestic series (which chronicles lesbian families across the country) really haunting and beautiful. Hence, in honor of LGBTQ people and their families, today's post is also a tribute to same-sex marriage (down with Prop 8!) and the struggle for equality (there's a selection of photos below the cut):

Self-Portrait, 1993

Being and Having, 1991

Miggi & Ilene, Los Angeles, California, 1995, from the series Domestic

Melissa & Lake, Durham, North Carolina, 1998, from the series Domestic

Catherine, Melanie and Sadie Rain, 1998, from the series Domestic

Self-Portrait/Nursing, 2004

For some more, high-quality photos, check out this online exhibition.

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