Israel Will Outlaw Anorexic Models

Jacqui sent me a link to this article, of particular interest for her as she works (or worked?) with plus-size models in the industry.

The Guardian reports that Israel is in the process of ending the employment of fashion models with eating disorders:

This Sunday, a committee of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, will decide whether to proceed with a bill to compel model agencies to monitor the health and body mass index (the ratio of height to weight) of models. Models would have to undergo regular medical tests to ensure their body mass index (BMI) is 19 or above. The most serious anorexics can have a BMI as low as seven.

If the Knesset passes the bill, [Israeli photographer] Barkan hopes the effect will be two-fold. First, agencies will be forced to confront a problem they have for long ignored and, second, only “healthy” models will be seen on television, in magazines and on billboards.

Barkan would only employ models with a certain BMI, saying that he employed only healthy models despite being able to hide the signs of eating disorders with good lighting and digital imaging software. Barkan also believes that the fashion industry has a huge part in furthering spectacles that lead to body image disorders, saying, “”I think 50% of the problem can be dealt with by us. If the fashion stores, food companies and other consumers of model services refuse to employ unhealthy women, that will remove one part of the motivation to reduce weight.”

This is one overseas reform I can get behind. First Benneton, then Dove, now Barkan. But unlike the Dove campaign, Barken seeks to remove the spectacle from the spectacle, a reform that will begin to reframe normalcy.

Posted in Feminism | 38 Comments

Extreme Makeover: SCOTUS Edition

How a Roberts confirmation will affect reproductive rights.

via Bush v. Choice

Posted in Politics, Reproductive Rights | Tagged | 1 Comment

Feminists Vie for Female Submission

Last week, a study was released on female sexual submission that concludes “women, but not men, automatically associate sex with submission and that connection reduces the quality of their sexual experience.”

Long stretch, in my opinion, especially since their method of study involved free association with words like “sex” and “oven” (fucking oven?) and came to the conclusion that these terms and the speed with which women responded to these terms draw a correlation with women’s passive sexual activity. It is far more workable to draw correlations between passivity and the culture in which women are made than relying on Freudian psychology to determine the nature of female sexuality. ‘Cause you know Freud was real kind to women.

The priming results indicate that women may have unconsciously picked up the message that they should be sexually submissive, raising the possibility that women have internalized societal pressure, said Sanchez, a recent doctoral graduate in the psychology department and women’s studies.

Previous research suggests that social norms promote deference to men, and this extends to intimate relationships. This message is constantly repeated by the media in magazines, television and movies that “commonly display male sexual dominance over women and female sexual submission to men,” the paper states.

I’d also like to point out that many men and women enjoy various states of dominance and submission at different times in their lives and for a huge number of reasons. Although we can’t claim citations of personal preference are always pure, we also know that the range of human sexuality differs from person to person, politic to politic.

Long story short, we have yet another piece of research that amounts to common sense for any sane, thinking human being. Nonetheless, Cassandra of Villainous Sensibility announces that this study, and other recent studies on sex, is fueled by a dirty “feminist agenda.” I agree with much of her analysis on this research but still fail to see why the pointlessness of it should be laid at feminist feet. Why, we’re the crew that ensures you have access to birth control, sex toys, and sexual healthcare! Some of us even like teh cock!

No feminist I know of cheers at results like this — if anything, it means we ugly feminists have yet more work to do.

via Ilyka Damen

Posted in Feminism, Sex | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Our Lady of Guadalupe

A well-known fact among my friends, I am obsessed with religious art. The gaudier the better. I am especially intrigued by gothic religious art that depicts gruesome acts, peculiar because I can’t stand gore. One of my favorite subsets of this subject is the wide variety of Our Lady of Guadalupe imagery that can be often found in what seems like odd and inappropriate places.

When Amanda posted pictures of her new religious bathroom art, I had to share my favorite gaudy find.

Guadalupe Mirror

This is my Guadalupe mirror, the light of my interior decorating life. Literally. A flip of a switch on the back of this thing makes it light up like a sign on the Vegas strip, flashing bright red dots at lightning speed. When I found this in a Chicago dollar store I had a hard time choosing between this and the matching Last Supper mirror. The cash flow only allowed for one or the other, and Guadalupe won.

For another example of bizarre artwork I have in the house, see my bedroom art featuring three big-eyed emo kids, two of which look like they’re on heroin.

I’m confident we could have a tacky interior decorating contest among bloggers. We’re so damned geeky you know that 90% of us collect bizarre stuff. If you have anything to share, post pictures and leave a link.

Posted in Domesticity, Religion | 16 Comments

Bush’s PA


For those not in the know, a Prince Albert is a male interurethral piercing, where the needle enters from beneath the glans. (Picture here.) And despite the description and everything involved, like a Supreme Court nomination, it isn’t really all that painful for the president.

Urban legend has it that Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha used a ring in a piercing of this type to restrain his penis for reasons of fashion. So if Rogers is Bush’s allegorical PA, who is Bush’s pesky prick?

You guessed it: Karl Rove.

Read the rest and download Rove’s theme song.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

New Template Unveiled

Despite a quirk or two, the new Bitch Ph.D. template that I built for Dr. B. is up and going. Thanks to Chris for helping me quibble with a bit of code. Chicks totally dig dudes with CSS skills, and vice versa, as we have found.

Stop by and check it out.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged | 15 Comments

Should Roe Go?

Katha Pollitt, with a more eloquent answer than I can muster:

Legislative control might be more “democratic”–if you believe that a state senator balancing women’s health against a highway for his district represents democracy. But would it be fair? The whole point about constitutional protection for rights is to guarantee them when they are unpopular–to shield them from majority prejudice, opportunistic politicians, the passions and pressures of the moment. Freedom of speech, assembly, worship and so on belong to us as individuals; our neighbors, our families and our legislators don’t get to vote on how we use these rights or whether we should have them in the first place. Alabamans may be largely antichoice, but what about the ones who aren’t? Or the ones who are but even so don’t want to die in childbirth, bear a hopelessly damaged baby or drop out of school at 15–or 25? If Roe goes, whoever has political power will determine the most basic, intimate, life-changing and life-threatening decision women–and only women–confront. We will have a country in which the same legislature that can’t prevent some clod from burning a flag will be able to force a woman to bear a child under whatever circumstances it sees fit. It is hard to imagine how that woman would be a free or equal citizen of our constitutional republic.

Posted in Reproductive Rights | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Things to Read

Neil asks, “You’re brown, can I check your bag?” with his usual sarcasm and hilarity.

Women dominate the violin sections; men dominate everywhere else (fun fact: I played the violin for almost 8 years). Now, a male violinist is suing the New York Philharmonic for discrimination — and the New York Times doesn’t care (or, as they put it, “No matter why the male violinist, Anton Polezhayev, was ousted from the Philharmonic, the fact remains that women outnumber men in its violin section by 20 to 13. “). What is an otherwise decent article, though, has a ridiculously stupid ending:

As for the profusion of female violinists, [Ann Hobson Pilot, the Boston Symphony’s principal harpist] noted that the instrument was the smallest of the strings. “It’s easy to carry,” she said.

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is married to a Feminist for Life. In good news, uh… I guess this means she’s a “feminist”…

Lefterer has the dossier on Roberts.

Abortion Clinic Days writes about choice from an abortion provider’s perspective, and abortion as self-preservation.

Brutal Women on raising kids (or not) in the matriarchy.

American Patriot Jesus’ General posts The Battle Hymn of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders — for all those true-blue young Republican patriot-bloggers who fight for freedom from behind their PCs.

Also from my favorite patriot, maintaining the gender order in Texas public school concert choirs: “Boys cannot audition for soprano or alto roles in that state’s All-State Choir. Girls cannot audition for tenor or bass. No matter where their talents lie.”

Please, find it in your heart to help Tom Delay. Seems his legal defense fund — which has raised $1,089,871 since July of 2000 and has already shelled out almost $100,000 this year alone — can’t keep up with his skyrocketing legal fees.

How many Iraqis have we killed? Does anyone even care?

Dr. Laura is performing in a one-woman show in California. I am not kidding.

Slate explains the phenomenon of the cat lady — also known, apparently, as “animal addiction.”

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Oh Dan Savage…

Angry readers respond to his advice to the pro-choice girl whose anti-choice boyfriend refused to have sex with her. I’m laughing out loud in an internet cafe, and people are looking at me like I’m crazy — so read it. Favorite parts:

Dan’s excuse:

I thought my response last week to the guy who wanted to fuck his brother’s girlfriend—go for it!—would be the one that sent turds through turbines, not my advice for OBGYN. I had no idea abortion was such a contentious issue. But a salient point that my furious readers seem to overlook is that I WAS FUCKED UP WHEN I WROTE THAT COLUMN, and I said so.

And when other readers call him out:

Q. You told OBGYN to use birth control and “cross your fingers.” There is no need for luck! She can fully protect herself by doing the basics. Pills or hormone patches used correctly give you 99 percent protection, and she should be using a condom too, to protect herself against STDs. If OBGYN takes these two basic precautions, not even the Holy Ghost can get her pregnant. —OVER THIRTY

A. Thanks for sharing, OT, but didn’t the Holy Ghost knock up at least one teenager already?

— ——————————————————————————

Q. They can avoid conflict by avoiding pregnancy. I’ve never heard of someone getting pregnant from anal sex! Also, in the interest of being egalitarian, anal sex should include taking turns. That is, OBGYN should strap it on and fuck his anti-choice ass frequently. —PINK PEARL

A. Anal sex—of course! Why didn’t I think of that? Actually, I did think of that, and it was in the first draft of my advice to OBGYN: “Or let him fuck your ass—but only if you get to fuck his ass too.” But I took it out because I didn’t want to be accused of promoting anal sex acts to impressionable teenagers. That’s Wonkette’s job.

And damn if she isn’t good at it.

Posted in Reproductive Rights, Sex | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Nanny Diaries

Or, why I don’t blog about my summer job.

The premise is this: a Park Slope nanny kept a personal weblog, which she showed to her employer. Her employer followed the blog “obsessively,” and was so offended by what she wrote that she eventually fired the nanny — and then wrote a piece for the New York Times calling the nanny a promiscuous pill-popping alcoholic who wants to do Tucker Carlson six ways to Sunday, has bisexual fantasies about girls in 19th century garb, and touches her breasts while reading. The last straw, apparently, was when the nanny wrote this: “I am having the type of workweek that makes me think being an evil corporate lawyer would be O.K. Seriously. Contemplated sterilizing myself yesterday.”

All right, look. Taking care of other peoples’ kids is hard work. And nannying is a whole different story than babysitting for a few hours — you’re with the kid(s) all day, almost every day. Some nannies live in-house, meaning that you always have to be “on.” Many people who employ nannies want them to be “part of the family,” and as a nanny, sometimes you feel like that’s exactly what you are — but the fact is, you’re not. You are an employee, but you’re doing a different kind of work — you’re being paid to provide intangibles, like care and love. You’re working. And just like actual parents, some days aren’t so great. I’m quite sure that there were times when I was a kid that my mom wanted to lock my in my room just to get some peace, and I’m sure there were days when she swore up and down that she would never reproduce again. I think all parents get frustrated from time to time. Well, so do nannies. Even if we love your kids — and most long-term nannies do, I think, really fall in love with the kids they’re watching — we aren’t Mary Poppins. We’re going to have bad days. Occassionally, your kids are going to be such brats that we’re going to think, “My God, I am never having children.” Other days, your kids are going to be so adorable that we’ll feel sad just knowing that the job is temporary.

What the woman who wrote the Times article was apparently so offended at — having too much “personal information” about her nanny and her nanny’s views posted online — is peanuts compared to what she did in return. The nanny leveled a few compaints on a personal blog that couldn’t have been read by more than a handful of people, and was fired. Her employer writes an article in the most widely-read newspaper in America, in which she basically says, “Ugh, my nanny is such a slut,” and presumably expects the reader to feel sorry for her.

Particularly interesting, though, is what she uses to paint her nanny as a “bad” (or at least questionable) person: She has sex with her boyfriend. She had an abortion. She made a comment about a girl being hot (which the employer translated into the idea that she was “determined she’d had more female sexual partners than her boyfriend”). She takes over-the-counter sleeping pills. She goes out for drinks with her friends. The employer mentions her irritation at the nanny for blogging at work (while the child was taking a nap — what else should she be doing? Scrubbing the floors?) and for having the nerve to get sick twice when the rest of the family only got sick once, but that doesn’t seem to be the reason that she fired her. Her sex life is, apparently, more problematic.

Get the nanny’s side of the story here.

Posted in Domesticity | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Legislating Time

Apparently the government controls time as well as reality, so goes the bipartisan bill that passed in Congress to extend Daylight Saving Time by two months. March through November, they say, to “save energy.”

“The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored the measure with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)…

The pair cited a government study that estimated the additional energy savings at the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil a day, or about half of 1 percent of the nation’s daily oil consumption. Most of the energy saved would be in the form of electricity because lights would be used less in the early evenings, the study projected.

Gee, I can think of a few great ways to save energy other than screwing with our sense of time, namely generating our own energy, updating our home insulation, turning the degrees on the AC up and the heat down, turning them off altogether, planting trees near our homes, driving and manufacturing more efficient cars, programmable thermostats, buying and shopping green, walking, public transit, recycling, and gardening.

Damn. All that is possible to “save energy” but apparently “saving energy” is completely insistent on what time the goddamn sun rises and sets. It may just be me, but I can’t think of anything more absurd than trying to control time.

Indiana, my home state, has been exempt from DST while the rest of the country reset and reset their clocks every year. It was perhaps the only thing we had to brag about other than our great masses of corn and soybeans. Then Mitch Daniels, a Bush cronie, came in as governor and the first thing he pledged to do was get us in on DST like the rest of the country, citing that our state’s lack of outside commerce was contingent on our refusal to participate in DST. We are a time zone border state and because many of our cities lie close to big cities in bordering states, certain counties went with their bordering big cities’ time zones. Daniels’ goal was to have us all on one page.

Imagine my surprise when it was recently announced that counties now get to pick which time zone they’re in. You know, that really clears up the time zone issue and I’m totally sure it will boost the state economy. Thanks, Mitch Daniels.

Posted in Politics | 15 Comments

Weekend Reads

Ms. Musings: A Feminist Conservatives Could Love
Ginmar: Excuses, Excuses
Pesky Apostrophe: Behold the Power of the Penis
Kim Procrastinates: Post-Partum Baby Blues
Dr. B.’s Blog: It’s a Damn Shame
The Drunken Lagomorph: There’s Always a First Time
Big Brass Blog: Double Super Secret Background (the movie)
An Eighth: Standardised Exams Suck Ass but Make Great Cogs
Noli Irritare Leones: Responding to Ex-Gays
Whirled View: Deflection or Deception?
To Be Determined: Fourth gay-marrying country has not fallen into the drink
Gender Geek: Faith, Terror, and Gender

Posted in Recommended | Tagged | 2 Comments