Archive | May, 2011

Bigot of the Week Award: May 27

27 May

Bigot of the Week Award

When I first read this quotation:

Clearly, a thoughtful analysis strongly suggests that if DC does fall, G-d forbid, to homosexualist matrimony, eventually, the entire nation will be “Paradigm-Shifted” ( – straight to the same locality in which Ted Kennedy has, of late, taken up his rightful position).

Please be aware that there are only a few weeks left to stop homosexual “marriage” in Washington DC. Please help bring people to the rally/media event on Wed. Feb. 24 on Capitol Hill.

If this edit is not stopped by the beginning of March, we stand to lose not only the Capitol, but, ultimately, the country.

I thought I was reading more trash from Fred Phelps.  Sadly, this homophobic propaganda is being issued by a group called Jews for Decency, thus earning them the BWA!  As followers of TSM blog are aware, there is nothing that sticks in my craw more than when a marginalized population is culpable of the same type of oppression and bigotry they have suffered.  Shame on Jews for Decency!  Click here to see the full article.

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I Married a Terrorist (?)

27 May

Clearly a threat to society

Yes, (In my best Gestapo accent) vie must interrogate za very dangerous librarians.  The agents of learning and holders of wisdom are nothing less than subversive terrorists!  If they had their way, all of us would be reading and comparing sources and then analyzing information, or talking about the human condition.  I know of what I speak. I am married to one of these sneaky subversive terrorists.

Thank goodness for The Los Angeles Unified School District which has hired attorneys to interrogate these knowledge pushers.  Yes, you heard me correctly–they are nothing more than knowledge pushers. There I said it!  The Los Angeles School District is actually escorting teacher-librarians to the basement of an administration building, “where they are made to sit on lawn chairs while being interrogated by school district lawyers who are seeking to prove that the librarians don’t actually qualify as teachers.”  My how enlightened.

I understand that California, as most states right now, needs to cut costs in a time of budget crisis, but Really?  Really?  They are going to go after librarians in this fashion?  Click here to see the full article. I know I am biased, but please support your local library and support school librarians!

Women’s History: May 27

27 May

Happy Birthday, Rachel Carson

Happy Birthday, Rachel Carson. Carson was a pioneer environmentalist and author of Silent Spring. In Silent Spring,Carson documented the dangers of pesticides and herbicides and the lasting ill effects of toxic chemicals in water and on land and the presence of DDT even in mother’s milk.  Needless to say, Carson was attacked by the agricultural chemical industry.

After reading Silent Spring, President John F. Kennedy started an advisory committee which led to a full investigation of pesticides by the US Senate.  In 1963 the investigation corroborated Carson’s claims, and finally in 1972 the use of DDT was banned.  Just a side note, but the EPA was established in 1970 under the Nixon administration.  Carson died of cancer shortly after the book was published.

Happy Birthday, Amelia Jenks Bloomer.  Click here for more on our Amelia.

Happy Birthday, Julia Ward Howe. Click here to learn more about our Julia.

Hero of the Week Award: May 27

27 May

Hero of the Week

What an absolutely wonderful surprise this week.  While TSM had several nominations for HWA, two of the nominations were so compelling that today marks the first day that there are two winners.

Nominated by “Voice of the Trailer,” Congresswoman Jackie Speier earns this weeks’ HWA for her heartfelt and compelling self-disclosure of her own abortion in defense of Planned Parenthood:

You know, I had really planned to speak about something else, but the gentleman from New Jersey has just put my stomach in knots, because I’m one of those women he spoke about just now. I had a procedure at seventeen weeks, pregnant with a child that had moved from the vagina into the cervix. […] I lost a baby. For you to stand on this floor and suggest that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcome or done cavalierly or done without any thought, is preposterous. […] There is a vendetta against Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has a right to operate, Planned Parenthood has a right to offer abortions, last time you checked, abortions were legal in this country. You may not like Planned Parenthood; so be it. There’s many on our side of the aisle that don’t like Halliburton […] but do you see us filing amendments to wipe out funding for Halliburton? No, because frankly that would be irresponsible.

It clearly did not take much to expose New Jersey Republican Chris Smith for the misogynistic hater that he is.  Brava, Jackie Speier! Click here to see the full story.

Nominated by Jennifer Lockett, Lisa Lampanelli also earns this week’s HWA. The funny and irreverent stand up comic, Lampanelli, was performing in Topeka, Kansas, also home to the nefarious and homophobic  Westboro Baptist Church.  When Lampanelli  learned that there would be protesters from Fred Phelps church present, she made a pledged to to donate $1,000 for every protestor who shows up to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis — the nation’s oldest HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services provider.  Click here for the full story.  Brava, Lisa!  Click here to see the video of Lampanelli giving a check for $50,000 to the GMHC.

Maggie Gallagher working her charms on President Dilma Rousseff (?)

26 May

Presiding with no spine.

Thanks to my friend Jennifer Lockett for inspiring this story.  Sadly, the United States is not the only country caving into homophobic evangelical bigots.  President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil has now suspended sex education materials, specifically the material that addresses bullying of LGBT youth.  Yes, after “evangelical church groups and their allies in Congress threatened to block any upcoming legislation,” President Rousseff then halted the educational videos–nice backbone there, Rousseff–great leadership.  According to the ministry:

Several members of Brazil’s chamber of deputies with strong evangelic Christian beliefs said the sex education packs encouraged homosexual behaviour.

Really?  That’s the best you can do?  I have to say that all the sex education I had that “encouraged” heterosexual behavior did not “recruit” me to be heterosexual.  How sad that the ministry of health and education puts its own bigoted agenda ahead of the health and welfare of all youth, specifically LGBT youth.    Click here to see the full article.

The R- Word and other Unacceptable Words

26 May

A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine was telling a small group of us a story about a horrible day she had while working at the Waffle House.  While telling the story she made fun of a woman she worked with and used the R-word.  She referred to the woman, who could not even pronounce waffle, as a “retard.”  I must confess my jaw dropped with disgust, as did the jaws of the small group of friends I was with at the time.  Having taught kids with special needs for several years, I was so personally offended by her story.  Here is where I wish I had had more patience, but rather I just stopped listening to her and walked away–not very generous of me.

My friend Shawn shared a video with me, actually a PSA done by the amazing out lesbian Jane Lynch.  The PSA does a tremendous job of sending the message that we all need to engage in stopping discrimination.  I look back now and realize I should have stopped the woman telling her story about the Waffle House and I should have kindly let her know how inappropriate her story was, rather than walking away and dismissing her. Click here to see the PSA.

Yes, Amelia, There Are Great Feminist Books for Children and Young Adults

26 May

Inspirational Feminist Publisher

Every year the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association compiles a list of the best books for children and young adults with strong feminist themes. Dubbed the Amelia Bloomer Project in honor of the great suffragist writer and publisher, the list has been produced since 2002. Each list contains between 20 and 50 books segmented by type (fiction or non-fiction) and reading level (young readers, middle readers, and young adults). The content ranges from coloring books to textbooks, from comics to novels.

The Task Force selects books based on four criteria:

  1. Significant feminist content
  2. Excellence in writing
  3. Appealing format
  4. Age appropriateness for young readers

The “feminist content” criterion is of particular interest. Given the relative prevalence of stronger women characters in modern publishing, identifying books that are truly feminist and not just inclusive of female protagonists is essential. As the Task Force states in its statement of criteria:

Feminist books for young readers must move beyond merely “spunky” and “feisty” young women, beyond characters and people who fight to protect themselves without furthering rights for other women. Feminist books show women overcoming the obstacles of intersecting forces of race, gender, and class, actively shaping their destinies. They break bonds forced by society as they defy stereotypical expectations and show resilience in the face of societal strictures. In addition, feminist books show women solving problems, gaining personal power, and empowering others. They celebrate girls and women as a vibrant, vital force in the world. These books explain that there is a gender issue; they don’t leave the reader to guess. A book with a strong female character that does not demonstrate that an inequality exists may not be a feminist book.

The Feminist Task Force

With the forces at work in our government and society that want to relegate women to second-class status, it is more important than ever that young readers — both girls and boys  — are presented with reading material that emphasizes the power and equality of women. Kudos to the Feminist Task Force for undertaking the essential work of identifying high-quality books with positive messages.

The 2011 list is available online or as a PDF file, and a complete set of the lists is available here.

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