Monday, November 28, 2011

Kansas Governor, Brownback, Has Feelings Hurt By a Teenager

A teenager, Emma Sullivan, in Kansas went on a field trip to Kansas governor, Sam Brownback's (R) office. She then tweeted: “just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.”
She did not, in actuality, do what she said she did. It was an inside joke among her and her teenage friends. Also a matter of opinion, really.
At the point that she tweeted, she had about sixty followers on twitter. Let me clarify this: about 60 people read her tweet.
And then Governor Brownback's staff, who comb social media outlets for insults against him, called her principal, demanding an apology. The principal of the school called Emma into his office and told her that she had to write a letter of apology.
I guess it's only okay to have free speech when you are a Republican, yes?

Like when Glenn Beck called President Obama a racist.

Or when Sarah Palin called President Obama a liar and terrorist.

No apology was demanded from them. The incident with Ms. Sullivan just shows that Gov. Brownback can not rise above childish insults. Yes, what Ms. Sullivan wrote was childish, but she has risen above the situation with grace and is making a stand for First Amendment rights. This incident has also exposed the practice of using taxpayer money to spy on social media sites.

Way to be mature, Gov. Brownback.

Sullivan: 1
Browndback: 0

A NOW intern

Friday, November 18, 2011

Breaking Dawn

Apparently, the new Twilight movie came out today. I know what you're thinking; "Oh god! Not another Twilight-is-destroying-feminism blog!"
I just want to say that it is perfectly fine to read Twilight. It is even perfectly fine to like Twilight. What is not perfectly fine is to ignore the things that Twilight is teaching to young girls.
I have come across many Twilight fans in the past few years, most of them are related to me. Each of them has asked me why I don't like Twilight. When I explain to them that the books and movies portray an abusive relationship and give the reasons that I believe the relationship is abusive, they shoot me down with "But he loves her!" This line is a classic domestic abuse excuse. It is almost always rationalized in the following way: "It's okay that (my partner) did this to me, because (my partner) loves me!"
No matter how much a person says they love you, it is not okay for them to abuse you. If they love you, they won't do things like that to you. It is not okay for them to do things like:
  • Abandon you in the woods
  • Say that they wanted to kill you
  • Stalk you
  • Tell you who you can see or talk to
  • Threaten to commit suicide unless you do something
Again, I don't think that it is wrong to read and enjoy books like the Twilight Saga. These books are romance novels. Romance novels are fiction. Although Twilight-mania has swept the globe, it doesn't mean that the books are something that you need to base your life on.

A NOW intern

If you or someone you know is being abused, you can help them by following the links below:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What is a person?

What a joyous occasion on Monday! The "Personhood Amendment" in Mississippi was voted down. The amendment stated that life would begin at the moment of fertilization. It would effectively make a fertilized egg a person. This raises all sorts of questions from the practical to the silly. Some of the good ones I found are listed below.

  • Will hormonal birth control be illegalized?
  • Will miscarriages be tried as murder?
  • If the fetus kicks the mother while it's inside the womb, will that be considered assault?
  • Will the mother be able to charge rent?
  • Will a mother be charged with child negligence if she has a glass of wine or eats a shrimp cocktail?
  • Would the zygote have automatic U.S. citizenship? The current law states that people born in the U.S. have citizenship, zygotes haven't been born yet.
As ridiculous as some of these sound, they could pop up in court one day if an amendment like this passes. Do you have any questions that you can think of for this amendment?

A NOW intern

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Feminist's Guide to Youmacon

Hello everyone!
Kari here, and I just got back from an amazing time at Detroit's only anime convention: Youmacon! The panels were great, the celebrity guests were wonderful and the dances were great fun. That being said, I noticed a lot of women's costumes were overly sexualized. Don't get me wrong, anime in and of itself sexualizes women constantly, however, these costumes weren't already sexy anime characters. These costumes were male characters or fantasy animals that were sexualized. Most of these costumes were made by the wearers, for example:

Pikachu is a character from Pokemon, an anime and card game that has been popular with kids since I was in elementary school (I am 24 now). It is a kids' show. There is absolutely no reason that we should be sexualizing not only a fantasy pet, but a beloved character from a children's television show.

Pansy Parkinson is a (minor) character from the Harry Potter series. I understand that as the books and films grew up, so did the readers, but that is no excuse for someone to portray a school-age girl as someone's sexual fantasy.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were so cool, but as far as I remember they never wore short skirts. That's because they were fighting crime and eating pizza. They were not sexualized. Ever.

All in all, fun was had. I just think that we need to start letting women know that while it is fun to re-imagine our favourite characters, we need to realize that it needs to be for us, not for the people looking.

A NOW intern.