Archive | April, 2011

Dr. Greenfield’s Magic Elixir…

30 Apr

What's in This Mad Scientist's Basement

Thank you again to my friend who wants only to be known as the “Voice of the Trailer,” for inspiring me to write this story.  As though Bill Frist wasn’t evidence enough of how misogyny and homophobia can preclude real medicine, now we have Dr. Lazar Greenfield.  Greenfield quoted a study which found that women who had unprotected sex were less depressed than those whose partners wore condoms and made the claim that semen makes women happier.  I would love to see the specifics of this “study” and who conducted the study and all of the other studies that contradict Greenfield’s favorite.

Where to start on when Greenfield started his journey to Looney Land, City Center?  I guess our Doctor Greenfield has never heard of the AIDS epidemic, or other STDs.  I guess Greenfield has never met a lesbian.  I am only grateful that this quack was forced to resign.  Click here to see the full article.


Kudos to the U.S. Labor Department

30 Apr

Kudos to the Department of Labor

Yesterday, April 29, 2011, the U.S. Labor Department announced it would finally extend equal protection under gender identity. This move on behalf of the Labor Department is no small thing.  Adding the category of Gender Identity as a protected population that is now illegal to discriminate against is huge; this sends a message to employers and to housing that it is now against the law to discriminate against a person due to their gender identity.  This protection is particularly helpful for our transgendered brothers and sisters. Rea Carey, the Executive Director of the task force said:

With this change, the federal government is doing what smart employers in the private sector have been doing for years. They know that in order to attract the best talent they need to show that diversity is important to their companies. We are grateful for the leadership of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on this issue and look forward to our continuing work with the administration to ensure greater fairness in federal policy.

My hope is that now the Federal Government will take the lead in preventing discrimination, as it should take the lead!  Brava, to Rea Carey. Click here to see the full story.

Women’s History: April 30

30 Apr

Happy Birthday, Alice B. Toklas

Happy Birthday, Alice B. Toklas.  Toklas grew up in California and Washington but then became an expatriate and started her life in Paris, France.  Toklas met her future life partner, Gertrude Stein, in Paris. Together, the women would set up a Salon, almost a type of artists colony, attracting such literary giants as Thornton Wilder and Sherwood Anderson (Winesburg Ohio being one of my favorite collection of short stories). The Salon became famous for what would become known as avant garde masters such as, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cezanne.

While Toklas’ partner is knows as the writer of the family, Toklas, too, was a writer.  Toklas and Stein were together for almost 40 years until Stein’s death. After Toklas lost Stein, she published a memoir, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.   Perhaps the most famous recipe in the cookbook/autobiography was “Haschich Fudge,” a mixture of fruit, nuts, spices, and marijuana.

Although Toklas was born a Jew, she later converted to Catholicism.  Upon her death, she was buried next to Stein.

Hero of the Week Award: April 29

29 Apr

Hero of the Week

This week’s heroes are Zan Christensen and Mark Brill, creators of the anti-bullying comic The Power Within. Christensen is the Publisher of Northwest Press, a publishing imprint devoted to providing the highest-quality lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender graphic novels and comics collections. He has dedicated his career to creating and compiling comics and graphic art for and about the LGBTQ community.

In October 2010, Christensen and Brill came up with a project for 24-Hour Comics Day, a comic industry activity where creators design a whole comic in a single day. Because of the rash of teen suicides due to anti-gay bullying last fall, they decided to focus on the issue of bullying. The Power Within is the story of Shannon,

who gets picked on a lot at school because he is smaller, quieter and more “artistic” than the other kids. His dad and his teachers think the other kids wouldn’t tease him if he just “fit in” more. Their advice is for him to hide, or he’s bringing it on himself. Faced with all this, Shannon has created a super-powered alter ego that he can escape into whenever he’s in a bad situation. Pretending he’s a powerful hero helps him stand up for himself. But will the power within be enough to save him?

This week, Northwest Press announced its plans to do a full print run of the comic (originally distributed only at conferences from a small printing) for wider distribution. Says Christensen,

In addition to sharing a great story, our goal is to get copies of the book into the hands of young people through youth centers, gay-straight alliances, and teachers’ groups. Printing the book in a large print run will help us distribute free copies of the book to people who need to hear its message.

You can help Northwest Press meet its funding goal by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign for The Power Within. The total goal is a modest $3000 and even a small contribution will help.

Bravo to Zan Christensen, Mark Brill, and Northwest Press for creating a powerful and important story and for working to get it into the hands of the kids who need it most.

Ellen Calls Our Bigot Sally…

29 Apr

Go Ellen

Thanks to my friend who likes to be known as the “voice of the trailer,” for sharing this video of the Ellen Show just after I posted TSM’s Bigot of the Week Award today.  Not only does our poor Sally Kern not have any black friends, but she has not a gay friend to be found either. When not wearing her KKK outfit, Kern is serving as a Republican Senator in Oklahoma, where she takes history lessons from Michele Bachmann.  Click here to see the video of Ellen trying to call Sally Kern.  While there are so many disturbing things about the video, what really concerns me is the absolute LIES Kern reports as facts.  How on earth did she become an elected official. Again I ask, is not the role of elected officials to protect the citizens?

Women’s History: April 29

29 Apr

Today I would like to honor Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  Gilman was a social reformer, poet, and novelist of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. She is, perhaps, best known for her semi-autobiographical story, The Yellow Wallpaper. The Yellow Wallpaper was one of the first published stories of its kind that addressed women’s health.  Today we would call it a pioneering work of feminist literature.  The main character in the book is referred to as “hysterical.”  I remember working as a therapist in Atlanta many many years ago and found the word “hysterical” to be most misogynistic.  Many of the female patients were called hysterical while NEVER did any of the psychiatrist refer to the male patients as such, another reason why I re-read The Yellow Wallpaper.  The Women’s Movement and women’s health have much to be grateful to for the work of our Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Quote of the day:

It is the duty of youth to bring fresh new powers to bear on Social progress. Each generation of young people should be to the world like a vast reserve force to a tired army. They should life the world forward. That is what they are for.  —Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Bigot of the Week Award: April 29

29 Apr

Bigot of the Week

Wow! Talk about an embarrassment of riches this week.  Of course, all of the “birthers” get a dishonorable mention this week, with a special shout out to Orly Taitz and Donald Trump.

Oklahoma’s Republican controlled House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment eliminating Affirmative Action in state government.  But wait! It gets worse.  Sen. Sally Kern (R) said “blacks” just don’t work as hard as whites:

… minorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative.

We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.

I would say that Sen. Sally Kern most certainly earns this week’s BWA.  Click here to read the full article.

The Royal Wedding and the Institution of Marriage

28 Apr

I know many people are focused on the Royal wedding tomorrow and I am happy for the young couple as they start their lives together in a legally recognized union, albeit I am not a monarchist, I can still be happy for the young couple. I would like to focus on the institution of marriage here in the United States and how when we deny marriage equality on the federal level, we also allow discrimination that tears apart bi-national couples.

For example, if a heterosexual couple gets married here in the U.S. and one of the partners is from a different county, there marriage prevents deportation, as it should. The same is not true for LGBT marriages.  Many LGBT couples that may have been married in their home sate are not protected by federal law and thus one of the partners can easily be deported. I highlight this point because I firmly believe we will be a healthier nation once we have full marriage equality.  Click here to see this video about how our federal government can legally separate same sex couples.  I apologize that the video is from NBC.  I and others are now boycotting NBC until they FIRE the bigot Donald Trump.  To help bi-national couples, take action here.

I think it is important to put real lives and their stories to issues.  Click here to see a music video of friends of mine that are being discriminated against.

Women’s History: April 28

28 Apr

April 28, 1993 was the very first “Take Our Daughters to Work” day.  Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation started the program to  address self-esteem issues unique to girls.  In 2003, the program was expanded to include boys and is now called “Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work” day.  To learn more about the Ms. Foundation, click here.

Where’s the Placenta?

27 Apr

Kill the Birther Movement

Yes, I just read the NYT article that the White House Released the Long Form of President Obama’s Hawaii Birth Certificate.  Will this be sufficient to quell the blatant racist bigots?  What’s next? Will Trump (“the blacks love me”) and the other bigots demand testimony from a hospital nurse or the doctor that delivered him? I’m actually disappointed that President Obama caved in to these bigots, albeit I understand why.

I worry about a country that focuses on Obama’s birth certificate rather than the false promise of the morally bankrupt John Boehner creating new jobs–where are they? I worry about a House of Representatives efforts to protect the wealthiest of the wealthy in our country rather than ensure that people have health insurance, or that women have access to health care, via Planned Parenthood.  I worry that the “Tea Party” has corrupted a national conversation and made us look and feel like a country that is in desperate need of an elephant size dose of Haldol.

As we wait for the next embarrassing attack from right wing conservatives, let us now hope the “birther movement” is now dead.  Click here to see the full NYT article.

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