des femmes

des femmes, defamed...

Reasons for picking X for president

Whatever we believe about the candidates, we still have to live together after November. Maybe understanding how the other half thinks will ease the divisions.

Why people are voting...

via Shaula at tsuredzuregusa

Valium in Iraq

The question of whether Valium use is a problem in Iraq came up on Trish Wilson's blog.

Riverbend discusses Valium use in Iraq.

Fascism and pseudo fascism

Shameless Agitator lists the fourteen common characteristics of fascist regimes:

"5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses." [my emphasis]

Orcinus has written a series on "The Rise of Pseudo Fascism": [December 8, 2004: Links to final articles added]


The New York Police Department refused to investigate a police officer who wore a motorcycle helmet with the words "Loud Wives Lose Lives" on it during the GOP convention.

Under current HMIS guidelines, that cop would have access to the addresses of domestic violence shelters.

Many domestic violence shelters in this country rely on HUD funding and will be required to participate in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a computerized database to track people who are homeless. Within any given state there could be literally thousands of people who have access to this information. Early in the process of developing HMIS standards, domestic violence organizations raised concerns about client safety, explaining that there was a need for domestic violence victims' identities and temporary residences to remain confidential so that their abusers can't locate them. The exemptions for domestic violence shelters and domestic violence victims have been removed from the final standards. Go here to complain about these standards.

Sexist and homophobic

Katherine R at Obsidian Wings writes:

"All of this [Coburn's lesbian epidemic and Keyes' accusing lesbians of selfish hedonism] becomes a lot less funny when you read stories like these two. But note that it's not just a red state thing--the two follow-ups are about a girl from Newark:
'Survival is a part of everyday Newark, but for Felicia it intensified in May 2003 with the killing of her friend, a 15-year-old lesbian named Sakia Gunn, who was at a bus stop downtown when she rejected a man's pickup attempt with the declaration that she was gay. A fight followed and Sakia was stabbed to death.' "

A few comments

I read all the advice columnists in the newspaper--childrearing, physical fitness, automobile repair, it doesn't matter. The columnist that grates on me is the younger Dear Abby. She has to put in her opinion after every single letter, even when the letter stands alone, nothing needed but a thank you for writing in.

Most of the comments here don't need any response from me, like these two:

"How do we insult upper-class, white, heterosexual men?" (Sarah)
"We become equal to them." (Hanna)

Here's a question that does need an answer:

"I have a generic question about your blog: is the name a conscious tribute to Les ├ęditions des femmes, the historic French feminist publishing house?" (Jimmy Ho)

No. Embarrassingly, I don't think I ever heard of it or Antoinette Fouque before. Thank you for asking and making me learn something new.

Words, homophobic and otherwise

Graham asked:

"Is 'ass-kisser' homophobic?"

And Greg said:

"Brown-noser and ass-kisser strike me as strongly homophobic."

Wow, that's a reaction I never anticipated. I was thinking of someone making obeisance, instead of kissing the ground kissing the foulest part of someone's body, which in our culture would be the anus. Think "put it where the sun don't shine," "eat shit," "asshole," "got their heads up their asses," and so on.

Maybe I'm just out of touch--how do others feel? Is ass-kisser homophobic?

Graham continued:

"I would actually find 'spunkless' incredibly insulting. It suggets that I cannot impregnant a woman and am therefore less than a man."

It sounds like we're looking at different meanings for "spunk." My dictionaries say spirit, pluck, mettle. Spunk is also slang for semen?

In any case, your being insulted by the word "spunkless" is amazing. Can any man seriously consider that his worth as a human being depends on what squirts out of his penis? To judge a man by his ability to impregnate a woman implies that men are nothing more than baby-makers, worthless for anything else. That standard demeans all men, and specifically insults those who are physically unable to or who for any reason choose not to procreate.

James D said:

"I'm curious about how you feel about 'suck' -- i.e.; he/she/that 'sucks.' Obviously referencing oral sex with the implication that it's a bad thing (to be giving, of course, not receiving), which leads back to being a whore..."

I didn't comprehend how insulting "suck" could be, not just to gay men but also to nursing mothers. I'm trying to weed "suck" out of my vocabulary, and alsis38's suggested substitutions--reeks, stinks, rots--are a big help; these words have the same strong emphatic sound. Alsis38 also said, "Good suffixes to add empahsis are things like '...on ice,' 'on toast,' 'on stilts,' etc."

RepubAnon proposed these terms:

"ashcroft (v) wanton destruction - as in 'They've done a real ashcroft on the Bill of Rights.'
cheney (v) as in 'go cheney yourself'
Powell (n) powerless toady, as in my manager sure is being a powell after the CEO called.
Rumsfeld (n) insane, as in 'crazy as a rumsfeld'"