Tag: misogyny

Paul Ryan and John Shimkus don’t understand the concept of insurance

It has become inherently clear that the Republican majorities in both houses of Congress have zero concept of how insurance is supposed to work. Broadly speaking, insurance is a method of protecting one’s self from financial loss, and insurance can be an individual policy (such as a car insurance policy through a private-sector entity like State Farm, GEICO, or one of their competitors), a group policy (such as group health insurance plans provided by employers through a private-sector health insurance firm to the employers’ employees), or a government policy (such as the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program commonly called Social Security). Likewise, health insurance is a method of protecting one’s self from financial loss associated with medical expenses, and can be an individual policy, a group policy, or a government policy. In order for insurance policies to be financially sustainable, those who do not need the benefits of the insurance policy in question must, by buying into the policy (which can be by paying premiums, taxes, and/or other means), effectively subsidize those who do need the benefits of the insurance policy in question.

The problem is, Republicans, who want to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), don’t understand how a financially-sustainable health insurance policy works.

At a recent press conference, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin bizarrely claimed that health insurance doesn’t work if healthy people have to effectively subsidize people people who are ill and/or injured:

…He even lost the suit coat and broke out the PowerPoint on Thursday. It was like watching something on cable access late at night, or a flop-sweaty rookie substitute teacher, and it was hilarious—except for the parts where people will lose their health insurance and die, of course. And this is what he said and, peace be unto Dave Barry, I am not making it up, either:

Paul Ryan said that insurance cannot work if healthy people have to pay more to subsidize the sick.

As if Ryan wasn’t far enough out of touch with reality, the person who legally represents me and several hundred thousand other people in downstate Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives, John Shimkus, made the sexist motivation behind repealing the ACA publicly known in committee:

But Republican Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois took the cake on Thursday night when he questioned why men aren’t exempt from paying into insurance plans that cover prenatal care. “What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” the congressman said. “Is that not correct? And should they?”

Let me ask a similar question: Why should women have to purchase health insurance for prostrate cancer treatments? Clearly, men never need prenatal care, and women never need prostate cancer treatments. However, if only women had to pay for health insurance covering prenatal care, such a system, regardless of whether the public sector or the private sector were to administer it, would be financially unsustainable. The same problem would be the result if only men had to pay for health insurance covering prostate cancer treatments. This is because a large percentage of women will need prenatal care for at least several months of their lives, so it would be only women who never get pregnant effectively subsidizing those who get pregnant any number of times in their lives. Health insurance covering gender-specific health illnesses/procedures can only be financially sustainable if both men and women pay into a health plan covering prenatal care, prostate cancer treatments, etc..

While I’d never run for public office myself, John Shimkus may legally represent all people in the 15th Congressional District of Illinois, but a significant minority of voters in the 15th district, including me, understand that Shimkus doesn’t understand how health insurance works.

Advertisements

CAMP’S CONSTANT #1: If women are standing up for their rights, Piers Morgan is being a smug jerk

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of blog posts called Camp’s Constants, in which I will write about various things to expect from right-wing extremists and their enablers.


Former CNN talk show host Piers Morgan, who is now a media personality in his native Britain, is no feminist. Sadly, he proved that by taking to Twitter and delivering a screed that would make the far-right and rabidly misogynistic men’s rights movement proud:

Piers’s latest anti-woman screed comes the same day that an extremely large group of women’s rights supporters are descending on Washington, D.C. to take part in the Women’s March on Washington. Unlike what Piers wants you to believe, feminism is not a threat to the male gender, in fact, there are many men, including me, who strongly support the goals of the women’s rights movement. Reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, and eliminating sales taxes on feminine hygiene products are issues that I view as important. I believe that women should have the right to control their own bodies, receive the same pay that men receive for the same work, and not have to pay sales taxes on feminine hygiene products that they need.

Piers Morgan is a sexist jerk, and I’ll go ahead and predict that, if he holds a men’s march, there would be fewer than 200 people show up to participate. The vast majority of people here in America view the men’s rights movement for what it is: a desperate attempt to preserve the idiotic concept of male supremacy.

I hope that there is extremely large turnout for the Women’s March on Washington, and that many men and young people show up to support women’s rights and gender equality.

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team fights for equal pay in sports

While the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) is struggling badly in its efforts to qualify for the 2018 FIFA (Men’s) World Cup in Russia, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) is winning on the field and fighting for justice in front of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

On Thursday, five of the biggest stars on the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) — Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Hope Solo — filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charging the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) with wage discrimination.

The players, who were all key members of the Women’s World Cup championship team last year, say that while the popularity and success of the USWNT generates revenue for the federation, they are still paid less than their male counterparts.

According to USWNT member Becky Sauerbrunn, the pay discrimination complaint is supported by the entire USWNT roster:

The USWNT members are being very honest when they say that they’re being discriminated against by the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), which is responsible for front-office management of both the women’s and men’s national soccer teams here in the United States. In fact, USWNT members get paid far less than their male counterparts, despite the fact that the USWNT is expected to become responsible for generating more of the USSF’s revenue than the USMNT, as well as the fact that the USWNT is the reigning Women’s World Cup champions while the USMNT may not be able to qualify for their World Cup. In fact, USWNT members have been paid as little as 40% of their male counterparts, despite being considerably more successful than their male counterparts.

Once again, the USWNT is proving that they are badass American heroes on and off the field. I support the fight for equal pay for equal play.

 

Rebecca Bradley uses the Hillary Clinton playbook, tries to paint critics as sexist

Remember the “BernieBro” meme that supporters of the Hillary Clinton campaign have used to criticize progressives who support the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign?

Well, it’s back, thanks to an ultra-right-wing Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who is seeking a full ten-year term on Wisconsin’s highest bench:

I don’t know why the media isn’t picking up on the one glaring problem Rebecca Bradley has…her temperament. Her mean girl antics have reached the surreal stage.

One critic has been using Bradley’s own words and deep political resentments against her, destroying her credibility as a judge or justice.

So what does she do? She accused him of using the “c-word” on Twitter. The (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel investigated and didn’t find any evidence to back up Bradley’s juvenile claim.

While female politicians have been the victims of sexism ever since women started running for office in America, for someone to dig up hate speech that one wrote in the student newspaper of an university and use it against the author of the hate speech is not sexism. If Scott Walker appointed a male justice to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and he wrote a ton of hateful columns for a student newspaper (or, for that matter, any other type of publication), being familiar with Scot Ross’s work, he’d be more than willing to use that against him. Ross’s criticism and investigative work on right-wing politicians knows no gender boundaries, and he’s holding right-wing politicians, regardless of gender, race, etc., to the same standard.

I strongly encourage Wisconsinites to vote in the Democratic presidential primary for Bernie Sanders, and vote for JoAnne Kloppenburg for Wisconsin Supreme Court, on April 5.

 

Hillary should condemn anti-Semitism by her supporters immediately

It’s been brought to my attention that one of the many Nevada precinct captains in the Nevada Democratic caucuses a couple of days ago said that caucus-goers at his precinct shouldn’t support Bernie Sanders because he’s a socialist Jew:

Now, to be fair, a Bernie supporter was prohibited from talking to undecided voters after making some kind of remark about Hillary’s gender, but bigotry doesn’t justify bigotry. This is the kind of stuff you expect from racist, sexist, and xenophobic Donald Trump supporters, not from supporters of Democratic presidential campaigns.

Much hay has been made about Bernie supporters saying offensive things and being rowdy online, but there are many Hillary supporters who are worse than the most vile of the Bernie supporters. Bernie has condemned bigotry by his supporters. It’s time for Hillary to do the same in regards to her supporters.

Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright offend women who support Bernie

AUTHOR’S NOTE: From this point forward in the 2016 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, “Hillary” refers to Hillary Clinton, and “Bernie” refers to Bernie Sanders.


This is really one of those times where, admittedly, I wish I had a female co-blogger to help push back against the offensive remarks by some of Hillary’s supporters towards women who support Bernie.

If you’re wondering what I was referring to in the above paragraph, I’m referring to recent remarks by women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, both Hillary supporters. In both cases, offensive remarks were made about women who support Bernie.

Steinem went on the HBO show of Bernie backer Bill Maher (YouTube video here, Steinem’s remarks about Bernie supporters begin at the 3:50 mark) and claimed that women who support Bernie are only doing so to meet men:

The feminist icon made an alarmingly sexist remark on “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday night, suggesting that young, female supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders only support him because dudes do, too.

Steinem was discussing Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sanders. When Maher noted the Vermont senator’s popularity with young women, Steinem responded with her theory that women get more “radical” as they get older.

“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie,” she said.

I’m not going to comment on Steinem’s theory about men becoming more conservative, and women becoming more liberal, as they get older, since I’ve not seen any scientific study on that matter. However, what I will say is that women who support Bernie are not doing so because they want to meet men. After all, if they did, I’d probably have a girlfriend by now (in reality, I don’t have or want a girlfriend). Women who support Bernie support him because they share and support many of his values and ideas, such as restoring good government, making college truly affordable, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, and significantly reducing health care costs.

Not to be outdone by Steinem, Albright claimed that women who support Bernie are going to hell:

Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright attempted to shame young women voters at a Hillary Clinton campaign event on Saturday, repeating her now-famous line: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

[…]

The 78-year-old diplomat, who served in the Bill Clinton White House, complained that some young women “don’t understand the importance of why young women have to support Hillary Clinton.”

In my opinion, Albright’s remarks were even worse than Steinem’s remarks for one reason. To claim that women who don’t support a particular candidate are going to hell and saying that they have to support a particular candidate is basically a way of saying that you don’t believe in democracy, without actually saying that. Democracy is about choosing between political candidates, not forcing someone to support a particular political candidate.

While women make up approximately 56-58% of the Democratic primary and caucus electorate nationwide due to the institutional gender gap in American politics, you cannot completely run on shaming women into supporting a female candidate and win nationally, even in a Democratic primary or caucus. The Democratic Party cannot be seen as being condescending towards women who don’t see eye-to-eye with the party elites, or we’ll end up with a President Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or some other Republican.

NH State Rep. Amanda Bouldin (D) harassed by Republican colleagues over nipple bill

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This will be my final blog post for the year 2015. I wish everyone a safe and happy 2016!


In the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a legislative chamber that has 400 seats and serves as the lower house of the state legislature of a state with slightly over 1.3 million people, you’re bound to find some interesting people serving as state legislators. One such interesting person is New Hampshire State Representative Amanda Bouldin (D-Manchester), who has earned national attention for criticizing a sexist Republican-backed bill that would prohibit women from going topless in public in New Hampshire:

Under current New Hampshire state law, both men and women may expose their nipples as they so please. Some Republicans want to change that. A recently proposed bill, sponsored exclusively by Republican men, would make it illegal for a woman to “purposely expos[e] the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts in a public place.” (The bill makes an exception for breastfeeding.) Men would still be permitted to expose their nipples in public with impunity.

In case you’re wondering what the areola is, it’s a donut-shaped area of skin immediately around each human nipple that is of a different color than most or all of the rest of a person’s skin.

Not surprisingly, Bouldin was not one bit happy about the hypocritical standard of banning women from exposing their breasts in public, while continuing to allow men to do so. So, she posted her opinion on Facebook, and at least two Republican state legislators responded with vile, sexist remarks.

One of the sexist Republican state legislators who confronted Bouldin online is Josh Moore (R-Merrimack), who essentially encouraged sexual assault:

…If it’s a woman’s natural inclination to pull her nipple out in public and you support that, than (sic) you should have no problem with a mans (sic) inclination to stare at it and grab it…

Grabbing a woman’s breasts without her consent is sexual assault, which is a criminal offense in every jurisdiction in the United States and something that nobody should encourage.

The other was Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry), who essentially called Bouldin’s nipples ugly:

Amanada (sic), No disrespect, but your nipple would be the last one I would want to see…

If you’re calling a woman, or any part of her, ugly, you’re intending disrespect.

If Amanda Bouldin wants to go topless in public, that should be her choice and not anyone else’s. If Amanda Bouldin wants to wear a shirt, blouse, jacket, coat, or other type of top in public, that should be her choice and not anyone else’s. It’s worth noting that the sexist mindset of those Republicans isn’t all that different from the sexist mindset of Islamic fundamentalist men who think that women should be forced to wear clothing that completely covers their face. I’m glad that people like Amanda Bouldin are standing up and speaking out against sexist legislation like the New Hampshire Nipple Bill.

If you want to thank Ms. Bouldin for speaking out against the sexist hypocrisy in the New Hampshire Nipple Bill, here’s her Twitter page. Please be respectful to her!

 

Sexist “KFC Hillary Special” buttons make a comeback at Florida GOP confab

While I’m a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter, I strongly dislike the sexism that’s been directed at Hillary Clinton. Most recently, the overtly sexist “KFC Hillary Special” buttons, which were seen at the 2013 California State Republican Convention, have now been spotted at this year’s Florida Republican Sunshine Summit, an annual Republican gathering in Florida. The buttons falsely claim that KFC, a fried chicken fast food chain owned by Yum! Foods, is offering a “Hillary Special” consisting of “2 fat thighs”, “2 small breasts”, and a “left wing”.

I have two points about this. First off, KFC is not, to my knowledge, actually offering a “Hillary special” of any kind, nor would they be willing to piss off a large portion of their customers by naming a fried chicken meal after Hillary. Secondly, mocking Hillary’s thighs and breasts is absurdly sexist. After all, Republicans wouldn’t make that kind of campaign button referencing Bernie, Martin O’Malley, or any other male political figure.

Remember, sexism is always finger-licking bad!

Hillary Clinton and her allies are running a gender-baiting campaign

Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she is not going to run a campaign on the issues and, instead, is going to run a gender-baiting campaign by emphasizing the fact that she’s a woman (she did this at least twice that I know of at the first Democratic presidential debate) and falsely accusing Bernie Sanders of sexism. Now, some of Hillary’s allies, most notably Stephanie Schriock, a career political operative who leads the big-money Democratic establishment organization EMILY’s List, are attacking Bernie over one of his campaign operatives (idiotically, in my opinion) floating the idea of Hillary possibly being Bernie’s running mate should Bernie win the Democratic nomination.

This is disgusting gutter politics from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Hillary’s allies, and it would seriously damage the Democratic Party if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination. Hillary is, for all intents and purposes, running her presidential campaign on the fact that she’s a woman. That would be the ruination of democracy in America if Hillary were to win the nomination that way. The qualifications to be President of the United States are that one must be at least 35 years of age, a natural-born U.S. citizen, and a U.S. resident for at least 14 years at the time of inauguration. The Constitution does not include a gender qualification for the presidency, and there are, to my knowledge, four Democrats (Hillary, Bernie, Martin O’Malley, and Lawrence Lessig) running for our party’s presidential nomination who are legally qualified to run for president.

For those of you who are invariably going to accuse me of sexism, I don’t think it’s feminist for one to run a political campaign primarily on the candidate’s gender. It is feminist to run a campaign for public office in support of ideas like paid family leave, reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, and other pro-woman ideas.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is running an ideas-based campaign. Bernie is more than willing to talk about actual political issues like women’s rights, gun safety, and legalization of marijuana. That’s the kind of campaign I support.

I care about women in sports, thanks in no small part to the U.S. women’s soccer team

Last night, the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) defeated Japan by a score of 5 to 2 to claim the third Women’s World Cup for the United States and the first one for the U.S. in 16 years.

While an estimate of how many people watched the FOX telecast of the Women’s World Cup final, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is not yet available, I was among the people who watched the Women’s World Cup final live, although I originally didn’t intend to. The start of the broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona International Speedway in Florida, which was televised by NBC, was scheduled at roughly the same time as the opening kickoff of the Women’s World Cup final, and, as a big NASCAR fan, I originally intended to watch the NASCAR race live and watch the soccer game late at night via DVR. However, because rain delayed the start of the NASCAR race by over three hours, I ended up tuning into the soccer game live a couple of minutes after the start, right before Carli Lloyd scored the first of her three goals for the USWNT, and I ended up being able to watch the rest of the game live because the NASCAR race ended up starting well after the soccer game was over. I was not disappointed one bit by the soccer game, in fact, I’m absolutely excited that our nation’s women’s soccer team are, once again, the world champions of women’s soccer.

I hope that the incredible success of the USWNT in this year’s Women’s World Cup leads to a greater public acceptance, and a greater level of respect, for female athletes in all sports.

Usually, the only instances where female athletes get any significant level media attention in this country is when the Olympic Games are taking place, when the major tennis championships are taking place, when Danica Patrick runs in automobile races, and…you guessed it…when the Women’s World Cup of soccer is taking place. This is one of a number of reasons why women’s sports have not been accepted by as much of the American public as men’s sports have. I’m fortunate to have an expensive enough satellite television package where I can, during the winter months in non-Winter Olympic years, find women’s bobsled, skeleton, and curling on television. When female athletes do get a significant level of media attention in this country, it’s often in a sexist manner. When the sports media covers female athletes, they often talk about subjects like the athletes’ love/sex lives or whether or not they have kids, subjects that have nothing to do with an athlete’s performance and the sports media rarely talks about in regards to male athletes.

I hope the U.S. women’s soccer team’s World Cup victory leads to less misogyny towards, and more acceptance of, female athletes in all sports.