Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Rich white man declares victory for feminism

Here is Ross Douthat explaining why a billionaire, anti-choice zealots, and right-wing extremists hijacking U.S. politics is a victory for vaginas everywhere.

When historians set out to date the moment when the women’s movement of the 1970s officially consolidated its gains, they could do worse than settle on last Tuesday’s primaries.

I’ll give him points for a hilariously hyperbolic opening. Make your case, sailor.

It was a day when most of the major races featured female candidates, and all the major female candidates won. They won in South Dakota and Arkansas, California and Nevada. They won as business-friendly moderates (the Golden State’s Meg Whitman); as embattled incumbents (Arkansas’s Blanche Lincoln); as Tea Party insurgents (Sharron Angle in Nevada). South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley even came in first despite multiple allegations of adultery.

But mostly, they won as Republicans. Conservative Republicans, in fact. Conservative Republicans endorsed by Sarah Palin, in many cases. Which generated a certain amount of angst in the liberal commentariat about What It All Meant For Feminism.

The question of whether conservative women get to be feminists is an interesting and important one. But it has obscured a deeper truth: Whether or not Palin or Fiorina or Haley can legitimately claim the label feminist, their rise is a testament to the overall triumph of the women’s movement.

Yesterday, I wrote about media pundits’ propensity to portray the extremely old and familiar as fresh and exciting. They do this to sell papers, drum up website hits, and to appear insightful and necessary. Maybe a handful do it out of boredom, or stupidity, believing what they are seeing really is something revolutionary.

In reality, there is nothing more sexist than assuming any woman’s political victory — regardless of the type of woman — is a progressive step forward for the feminist movement. Women are people, and people are a diverse bunch. It still matters what kind of woman wins the election. And the kind of women that won these races are either preposterously wealthy, staunch anti-feminists, or a healthy combination of both.

What happened on election day is an old story: rich, mostly white, right-wingers won. Oh, and they also happen to be girls. Hooray.

Basically, it will take more than Douthat calling this a victory for feminism to make it so.

California

Meg Whitman, the billionaire former eBay chief executive, won the Republican nomination for governor after spending a record $71 million of her money on the race. Quite simply, Whitman bought her victory, and this has nothing to do with the bonds of sisterhood or feminine strength. This is corporatism in a skirt.

In fact, Whitman herself seems to hate the notion of feminism. At least, she certainly doesn’t want anyone calling her such an offensive term. When asked if she is a feminist, Whitman replied, “I am a big believer in equal rights for all people … in a level playing field.” But she said, “I’m not a big label person.”

This could be NOW’s new slogan: Taking action for women’s equality since 1966…or whatever…we’re not big label people.

Arkansas

I know when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were taking on the male-dominated establishment, what sustained them was the thought that one day Blanche Lincoln (D-Walmart) would squeak out a victory despite being a corporate whore.

Apparently, it doesn’t matter than Lincoln is a turncoat Blue Dog Democrat, who voted with Republicans to allow warrantless government surveillance, the invasion of Iraq, and shot down the public option. All that matters is the stuff between her legs, which sort of goes against the whole notion of “feminism,” but nevermind. A girl won!

Nevada

And then there’s Sharron Angle. I’ve written about her support of the right-wing extremist fringe, but Douthat skims over such silly details for the sake of preserving his narrative i.e. Things Are Super Awesome For Women Right Now. He’s going to jam this premise down your throat even though women earn around 79% of men’s median weekly salaries, and Congress just passed a healthcare bill that dramatically diminishes a woman’s right to choose the fate of her own body.

Angle proposed a bill that “would have required doctors to inform women seeking abortions about a controversial theory linking an increased risk of breast cancer with abortion.” (The abortion-causes-breast cancer theory is a myth, and was spread, in part, to discourage abortions). But I hear lying to scared, pregnant women for the sake of controlling their bodies is all the rage right now in the neo-feminist movement.

South Carolina

Other than the novelty of having survived not one — but multiple — allegations of adultery, Nikki Haley is extremely typical of the right-wing fringe. She has a 100 percent rating from the anti-abortion S.C. Citizens for Life group, and she calls on her website for the deportation of illegal immigrants. Oh, and if any of her white supremacist base, who may confuse her for a “raghead,” were concerned, don’t worry. She converted to Christianity.

Modern Republicans have grown wise to the fact that they’re never going to defeat feminism. Try as they did to shame, humiliate, and dismiss feminists as a bunch of ugly, barren spinsters, who refuse to shave their legs and can’t land a man, the propaganda campaign didn’t stick. Now, they’re left with only one option: hijack the movement.

In the same way President Obama’s victory was a sign that affirmative action is “no longer necessary,” so the victories of a handful of women (be they billionaires, right-wing extremists, turncoats, or militant anti-choicers) herald the dawn of a new feminism: one that is staunchly anti-woman, and represents only a class of wealthy, pro-Business, right wing extremists.

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Palin: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Abortion Clinic Bombers Are Terrorists

Posted in abortion, politics, women's rights by allisonkilkenny on October 25, 2008

This is a wink and a nod to her radical base. Door’s open, boys. Go kill them wicked doctors. Meanwhile, John McCain looks like he wants to crawl under his seat and die.

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Clean Up America In Three Easy Steps!

Posted in abortion, Bush, civil rights, human rights, women's rights by allisonkilkenny on July 29, 2008

Any casual viewer of cable news or peruser of the internet knows there’s a lot of negativity floating out there in the American population. The Bush administration is constantly faced with this CAN’T-do spirit in the form of obnoxious protests and pesky petitions.

The most recent example of this overzealous protesting happened on Friday when four people were arrested in Iowa for trying to make a citizen’s arrest of former White House Deputy Karl Rove. The group included a retired Methodist minister and peace activist Chet Guinn, and three members of Des Moines Catholic Worker.

Luckily, there is a cure for the Negative Nancy Blues infecting the American Spirit. President Bush and the U-Team (Cheney’s Unitary Executive version of the A-Team) have devised a three-step solution to counteract this recent spell of democratic spirit.


I can already hear you spineless Democrats pondering, “Hey, Allison, can it work?”

First of all, shut your Communist mouths. Second, yes. Yes, it can. With a little grit, determination, and merciless martial law, we can get back to a more happy, optimistic time!

1. Arrest Everyone
: Okay, that’s just me being provocative. I don’t think Bush and the U-Team want to arrest EVERYONE. After all, we need people to run our Starbucks stores and Walmarts. PLUS, my coal isn’t going to mine itself, so at the very least we need free men and women to carry heavy objects.

However, there’s no quicker cure to the Negativity Blues than locking up protesters. The administration has already enjoyed great success with keeping protesters caged like wild animals in roadside ditches, while the president saunters through their cities.

Eager to savor the success enjoyed by Republicans in this area of marginalization, the Democrats have also followed suit with plans to cage members of their own party at the DNC this August. What a bunch of wannabes! They’re all for freedom and Godless, liberal rhetoric when it’s the RNC’s convention, but when it’s their turn to host an open, honest discussion about the State of the Union, they can’t WAIT to climb on board the incarceration train!

Locking up protesters will be the foundation of America’s new, clean house. The point is this: In a cage, no one can hear you scream. Well…they can, I guess, but no serious journalist is going to walk 200 yards to write down what you’re screaming. That’s really far, and it can be really hot in Denver during August.

2. Do Whatever You Want. All The Time: Now, certain wiener Constitutional “experts” say the president and his U-Team are not above the law. In response, I offer the Play-doh visage of Mr. Karl Rove, who refused to obey an order to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing. All the Bush administration needs to do his ride-out the spirit of “Nuh-UH!” and “I can’t recall” until January.

For the most part, the Democrats are spiritless drones, who don’t possess the will and determination to hold any Bush administration official accountable for anything, which is GREAT! Sure, occasionally a squirrelly Democrat like Dennis Kucinich rushes around everyone’s ankles, flapping an impeachment in the air, but no one really cares about that stuff.

Congress stares vacantly at men like Rove when he responds “Nuh-UH!” to requests for his testimony. The worst case scenario for the U-Team is that someone like Alberto Gonzales actually has to show up to testify. In case of an event like this, the “I can’t recall” policy is the way to go. That way, no confession ever becomes part of public record and the vein on Henry Waxman’s forehead continues to pulsate ominously.

The “Nuh-UH!” and “I can’t recall” policies once and for all dispel the myth that the purpose of government is to serve the people. If that was true, then Congress would be more powerful than the President, and the Constitution would have used its magical powers to teleport Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales to jail. Since neither of those things happened, I can only logically conclude that the president is our King and/or the son of God and the members of Congress exist to dance, juggle, and perform other tasks to amuse him.

The scale of power is so heavily tipped in favor of the Executive branch that cops actually arrest citizens FOR TRYING TO UPHOLD THE LAW! Sorry, Iowa protesters. Maybe next time you should heed that advice from your mother and if you can’t say something nice, don’t expect to see your children for dinner.

We Americans need to honor the tradition of “Executive Privilege,” where Executive means “anyone with whom the president makes eye contact,” and Privilege means, “Can never be held accountable for anything, ever.” Therefore, anything that happens in the White House is none of our business, and stop blogging about it, thank you very much.

Sure, the government functions with public tax dollars, but the reason we give them money is because WE can’t be trusted with our own destinies. Do YOU know how to make write-up an annual fiscal report? I don’t even understand what “fiscal” means.

Americans need to reacquaint themselves with the “Give and Take” of a society. For example, I am willing to let the government spy on me if it means they’ll handle all that yucky tax paperwork. Call it a trade-off. They can listen to my mother yell at me if they’ll just figure out what percentage of my pay check I don’t deserve to keep.

3. Declare War on Brown People and Vaginas: Look, there’s a lot of problem areas in America, and I call those areas “black people” and “women.” They’re the people getting uppity about John McCain siding with banning Affirmative Action , and the U-team trying to designate birth control as “abortion”.

Unfortunately, the problem isn’t only in the streets. Brown people and vaginas have infiltrated the highest areas of government. Did you know the Speaker of the House is a vagina? AND there’s a black on the Supreme Court. I had no idea Justice Thomas is black until I saw a photo of him. I always assumed he was white (and racist) based on his voting record.

But the problem remains pertinent! What do we do with these sleeper militants? Simple: imprison them. Hear me out: According to the Justice Department, we’ve already imprisoned over two million individuals. That only leaves 298 million citizens, and if we figure half of those people are on our side and/or too dumb to understand what’s going on, then that means we only have to keep an eye on about 149 million of them. Most of the 149 million will be too scared to do anything, and in fact only 10 million (give or take) will be a serious threat. Well, 10 million we can handle! Hell, we killed 100 million Indians to get the land in the first place!

Meanwhile, ten percent of the African-American male population is in jail, and more young black men are in jail now than are in college. Between dictating what a woman can’t do to her own body, locking up the black and brown population of the country, and any citizen that protests their policies, the U-Team is well on its way to cleaning up America!

Keep the faith, people! We’ll clean up this place yet!

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