Msnowe's Blog

girls, gays, minorities, and everyone else: keep it in your pants.

Posted in CDC, gender, sex bias, sexist, STDs by m.snowe on March 15, 2009

(M.snowe originally posted this on March 12, 2008, but it’s been clicked on a few times recently, so she thought: “Hey, why not see where we were a year ago this month?” and then she thought: “I’m hungry, and where’s my coffee?”)

Gender, race, and sexual orientation inequalities run around naked all day for everyone to observe, all over the world (though many turn a blind, scandalized eye). But one rather juicy piece of exposed, bigoted flesh should get some extra ogling today, after a recent CDC report. It elucidates the inequality of gender-, race-, and orientation-based health tests/studies. Invariably, these tests are not only biased, they are blatantly so; in turn, the media reports and methods of prevention and reform are also skewed towards unequal and unfair consideration.

The latest report, which came out this week, details the CDC’s finding that among US teenage women, 1 in 4 have some sort of STD. Those reported STDs ranged from chlamydia, to HPV, to HIV/AIDS. HPV, as many media outlets have been clear about reporting in the past year or so, is the virus that can lead to cervical cancer –obviously a disease that only effects those of us with cervices. But men are at least “carriers” of all the diseases listed (though with most STDs, men suffer the same symptoms as women).

The way the CDC, and those reporting this supposedly news worthy story, is the first issue. It’s not “roughly 25% of teenage women,” it’s not “One-fourth of the female teenage population,” or anything of that nature. They make this study personal: One in Four Teenage Girls. (and this is how practically every media outlet is phrasing it) Let’s break this down. “One in Four”: this implies proximity. Not one-fourth, which suggests a fraction, which by definition means only a part. By saying “one in four” the reader (and especially the white male reader) is implored to consider the obvious: “think of four women–you know quite a few. Well, one might have the clap.” Next, consider “teenage girls“. The term “girls” suggests that these sexually active women can’t possibly take care of their own sexual health. This is the best type of fear mongering we’ve seen in a while: it not only admonishes young women, it scares parents, potential sexual partners, and women themselves. The article practically screams: “Why, don’t you see: these young “girls” shouldn’t be trusted to make their own decisions about their sexual lives. They’ve gone and mucked up all the boys’ fun.”
But the problem with this saddening study (because 25% of teens with STDs IS saddening) is that it completely disregards the male aspect of this report. Doing a quick search on the CDC website, and special section on STD prevention, you can find reports on women, and the general population as a whole, and minorities, and studies broken out based on sexual orientation. What you cannot find is a good study on the rates of STDs among your average, straight, white males. Hmmm. Why is it that we place the research blame on women and minorities and gays? In the study, it also highlights how black women have an even higher risk of STDs. What about white and black men? Why is it solely the responsibility of the woman to get tested for STDs, as the CDC heartily recommends? Oh, and telling your partner about any STDs you might have–that’s a woman’s job too. Because men, well, they’re only having sex with one woman, always. And that’s verily true, it is–we got this little tidbit from Elliot Spitzer, so you know it’s legit. And women should be the ones with whom the responsibility to get treated lies. Men don’t need the HPV vaccine, because they wouldn’t ever get cancer. But, ahem, they can still transmit it. If you found the cure for HIV, would you exclude giving it to any population that was only a carrier and didn’t themselves contract full blown AIDS? I think not. In order to best serve the women, it would be a valid argument to vaccine both sexes. For more, read here why men should be similarly vaccinated.

And this just in:
Here’s another orientation, gender, and race skewed report by the CDC, that hopes to incite fear and reinforce bias. It talks about how gay men are reportedly more likely to contract syphilis. The study does say that men are six times more likely to contract this disease, but they quickly include that the primary transmitters are gay, and that the researchers “also called rises [in syphilis] among women and blacks troubling.” The article also points out that the increase stems from “high-risk behaviors” (whatever that means) and “multiple partners.” This language is even more insidious than that of the teenage girl article, because it suggests, very overtly, that gay males are in some way more apt to commit risky or irresponsible behaviors. Well, sorry, but high-risk behavior (like unprotected sex, and other, non-vaginal forms of sex) as well as having multiple partners, happens with ALL sexual people–regardless of orientation or sex. And the rather tactless implication of this article is that only gay men practice certain behaviors. The fact of the matters (sexual and otherwise) is that white, straight, rich men have a better ability, and the need and want to cover up their sexual activities. What’s more is that often what is reported by certain groups varies–is a middle aged married man willing to admit to his sexual escapades, especially if they’re Spitzer-style risky? What is reported, and what is happening in the collective sex life of all Americans is much more than meets the eye, and you can bet the CDC.


Sexist Copyediting Rules

Posted in Copyediting, new terms, sexist by m.snowe on April 10, 2008

Who knew that even the bookmakers are a part of the patriarchy!

Taken from a manuscript copyediting website:

“A “widow” is the last line of a paragraph that appears alone at the top of a page. An “orphan” is the first line of a paragraph that appears alone at the bottom of a page.”

Instructions from manuscript prep document:

“Avoid ‘widows and orphans’: that is, headings, single words, or single lines of text that dangle, separated from the rest of the section to which they belong, at the top or bottom of a page. You may insert additional line spaces to avoid such occurrences.”

While it’s understandable that widows and orphans aren’t exactly wanted personages in society, and there are obvious connotations of incompleteness and sadness, why is it only women and children that get abused, via manuscript preparation requirements?

Here are some healthy, equally-abusive suggestions for manuscript problem terms:

Please avoid the following common manuscript problems:

Widowers: text that stands flush right in the middle of the page, and seems deeply unconnected to the rest of the text (either by differing font or font size), and yet tries strenuously to fit in.

Mid-lifers: unnecessary breaks in text flow accompanied by extravagant design images or colored text vehicles.

Machomarks: overly elaborate and masculinized sentences sectioned off for extra attention (by phallic-shaped bullets or charts), even though the facts therein are void of any intellectual value or attractiveness.

Asshole: Random termination of a paragraph without explanation, often followed by tense diction and sense of impropriety.

Snobs: Sentences constructed with ten or more rather overly erudite, pithy adjectives to describe the banal.

ED Guys: Incomplete sentences.

Write in with other suggestions!

Absolute Insanity.

Posted in 17240750, feminism, feminity, rights, sexist, UN commission on the status of women, womanhood by m.snowe on February 26, 2008
You looking to blow a fuse or two? Then it’s suggested you check out the short piece by an American University Chaplain here. It’s also pasted below, for your viewing horror.

If pure anger was personified and could speak, it would hope that we are driven to write this piece off as absolute piss-poor, uneducated dribble — but the best approach is probably to use logic and sense to deconstruct such an asinine argument. Also, the writer of this piece is in charge of helping to mold young, vulnerable minds, a truly disturbing thought (even more than the experience of reading the article itself), and the writer is giving speeches on this topic in different spots of the country.

We’ll first mention that this “copyrighted” piece has at least two typos– a sure sign of true care and concern for promoting a healthy message, right? Second, the
credentials listed for this writer are scant at best, and nowhere near where they should be for anyone to consider her an expert on the topic. But speaking of her education, let’s
point out that if feminism did not exist in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the majority of women, probably including this writer, would not be writing, or have jobs such as chaplain at a university, or traveling to speak at events in New York City, at least not without the expressed consent of a father or husband. Also, like any ideological movement, Feminism takes various forms and is applied in various ways among various people – it is not one homogeneous creature but an amalgam of many different beliefs and applications. To narrowly define an entire manner of thought with many different aspects and sects inside the movement would be a mistake. There are forms of feminism that take on many “masculine” aspects in order to effect change, however, that is only one sliver in a much larger stump of wood (and let’s remember that the definitions of “masculine” and “feminine” are only social constructions, made not by god or nature but pure inherited social expectation).

Feminism is not defined as “pretending to be men,” but to receive EQUAL treatment and rights under law that men enjoy. The writer would be correct if she had said the the state of feminism isn’t without its problems. Feminism isn’t perfect, for the exact reason that it has not succeeded in eradicating the unequal treatment of women, including wage disparity, sexual harassment, reproductive freedom, etc. But, it has made great gains, and without feminism, many problems and inequalities would still exist in American society: including, to name a few:

– no female property rights
– no equal marriage contracts (i.e. LEGAL ownership of women by husbands)
– women voting rights
– slavery (would have been abolished later, because women, especially feminists, influenced the push for emancipation)
– no equal educational opportunities
– no special protections from domestic violence
– no special laws against sexual harassment and rape
– virtually no women’s sports, including no funding
– etc.
– etc.
– etc.

The author also proclaims that American Feminism has had widespread negative effects, and has “broken down” not only American society, but the “global societies” that America influences. Here’s one society that America has influenced lately: Iraq. And the writer is correct, our view on the rights of women has played a part in the forced societal breakdown of parts of the Iraqi culture through our war in Iraq. Putting aside our need for oil and the threat of jihad and terrorism, Americans get queasy when they hear of the stories of Iraqi women who are stoned, victims of rape, victims of “honor killings” due to the rape, or are forced to wear veils and adhere to strict rules, including forced non-interaction (i.e. complete seclusion) with any males outside the family, etc. Americans, feminists or no, would usually agree that this type of pseudo religious-fundamentalism backed by the Iraqi government translates into enforced oppression. So yes, the idea of female equality, backed by feminist thought is rearing it’s ugly head in the Middle East, according to this writer.

Someone once said to me in conversation (paraphrasing) “there aren’t many women theologians and writers such that I know off throughout history, but that’s good because they had more important things to do,” implying that they were taking care of children, etc., and therefore patronizing the historically oppressed roles of women. Setting aside the strange and rampant anger that this quote ignited, it is utterly false. Women have been and will continue to write and think and create — it is that they do not receive recognition by the greater (mostly male) population. They are chosen to be ignored, quashed, and smothered by the patriarchal pillow that rests squarely at the center of the world’s cradle. Feminism isn’t about domination of men, or discarding of men, it’s about equal footing with men, and recognition of accomplishments free from any association with the accomplisher’s sex.

The time needed to fully elucidate the evils of this article would be decades.Hopefully, enough has been said to show it’s nature as complete mental turpentine.

The author only potentially gets one thing slightly right –Feminism is still an experiment in imperfection. That’s why this article is so insidious– it hopes to sidetrack any further efforts to improve the situation of women in America and across the world. Here’s your movement of zen to show how far we truly still have to go:
“…’in the world as a whole, women comprise 51 percent of the population, do 66 percent of the work, receive 10 percent of the income and own less than one percent of the property.”
-UN Conference on Women, 2001.

Here’s the upsetting article: (Disclaimer: this article is pure, poisonous, unadulterated, undiluted crap.)

By Kimberly Rogers

Women today face many problems from financial difficulties to divorce to raising children alone, just to name a few. Our purpose here it to provide a place for women to get scriptural and moral support, help with difficulties and information through articles, links and a forum.

Now, more than ever, it is important that women lead this nation and the world out of the mess we have created through Feminism. We created this mess, collectively. Now, we must solve it collectively. The only way out is through our collective return to following Jesus Christ and His Salvation Plan.

The return to a better society starts within each of us individually. Then, we must gently teach those around us what it really means to be FEMININE and not a Feminist. The two terms are mutually exclusive because of how the definition of Feminism evolved.

Feminism is truly at the heart of the breakdown of American society, and by extension, the other global societies that America influences. It is never too late to amend our mistakes, but we must truly begin the process now.

Womanhood, on the other hand, requires that we uplift, nurture and help others. These ideas are foreign to the nature of Feminism. Feminists are not women – they are women pretending to be men. True women have much more to offer than whether we are able to usurp the abilities and natures of men to ourselves. It is much more of a challenge to be a Godly woman than it is to be an ungodly one.

The End Times have arrived. All we need to do is look around us to verify this fact. We must help to save as many people as possible before it is too late. Women must return to prayer and caring for others. The time is coming, very soon, when these active qualities will be needed. There are not enough of these activites or qualities in the world’s women today, so we must return to our true femininity and learn all over again what it means to be a woman.

Copyright 2007 – All Rights Reserved

Want true insight? go to the UN commission on the status of women website, here.

Final comment: Yesterday, someone made the suggestion that god and cancer could be given the same name. While many might take offense at such a suggestion, it’s articles such as the above that trend the suggestion towards “convincing,” or at least “warrants merit.”

FISHy Business

Posted in Clinton, Holy Grail, sexist by m.snowe on February 5, 2008

This post by Stanley Fish reinforces the comments made about blatant Clinton-hating. Especially of interest is the Horowitz quote: “She is,” Horowitz concludes, “an empty vessel into which [her detractors] can pour everything they detest.”
“empty vessel”? sounds like: chalice, womb, inverted penis?
How much more blatantly sexist imagery/language can one use? Although not everything in this article is spot-on, it does uncover the unfair posturing of anti-Clinton camps verses other anti-candidate groups. Because of a differing anatomy, the hate-spin has allowed itself to morph into a whole different, and openly sinister, animal.
Of course, the funniest aspect is that an “empty vessel” sounds like holy grail iconography… does this mean that Clinton is the Holy Grail, according to Republican pundits? I doubt they foresaw that scenario.