Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘sexism’ Category

Ireland takes responsibility for enslavement at Magdalene Laundries.

Posted by Charles II on February 5, 2013

This is an issue that Phoenix Woman has covered previously. Thirty thousand women were effectively enslaved by the Catholic Church, with the collusion of the state, and without due process. The Magdalene Laundries were not finally closed until 1996. Now Ireland has stepped up to the plate to admit that the state took part in this travesty.

Harry McDonald, The Guardian:

Ireland has officially recognised the state’s guilt in the “enslavement” of more than 30,000 women, most of whom were sent against their will into church-run institutions where they received no pay, no pension and no social protection.

Labelled the “Maggies”, the women were sent to the Magdalene laundries where they worked for nothing, serving in some cases “life sentences” simply for being unmarried mothers or regarded as morally wayward.

Justice is far from being done. Human justice cannot even come close to remedying the wrongs.

Posted in politics masquerading as religion, sexism | 8 Comments »

Sexism On Parade!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 22, 2010

News concerning Men Behaving Badly has flooded into my mailbox this morning:

— Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA), he who is currently in the news for blatantly breaking the law forbidding using taxpayer funds to send out political mailings, has a history of breaking the law and getting away with it. Here’s how Ken Calvert first came to the nation’s notice:

In 1993, Calvert was caught by police with a prostitute in a parked car in California. Subsequently, Calvert repeatedly attempted to cover up the incident for nearly a year, publicly denying that it ever occurred.

But a year later, a court order forced the release of the police report, which revealed how Calvert was clearly caught in the act and attempted to run from the police. From the police report:

I observed a male subject in the driver seat…As I made my way to the driver door, a female immediately sat up straight in the front passenger seat. It appeared as if her head was originally laying in the driver’s lap. … I noticed that the male subject was placing his penis into his unzipped dress slacks, and was trying to hide it with his untucked dress shirt.

As the male subject covered up crotch area with his left hand and shirt, he started his vehicle and placed it into drive and proceeded to leave. I ordered him three times to turn off the vehicle, and he finally stopped and complied…The male identified himself as Kenneth Stanton Calvert.

That wasn’t all Calvert tried to cover up. “We’re just talking, that’s all. Nothing else,” he nervously explained to the police as he “continued to cover his unzipped pants with his hand.”

— Meanwhile, Ginny Thomas’ ill-considered phone call is backfiring in ways she could not have imagined. The latest news: It’s caused her husband’s ex-girlfriend, Lillian McEwen, to speed up her decision to finally step forward after nineteen years of silence:

In an interview with the Washington Post, Lillian McEwen says Hill’s allegations fit a pattern:

“He was always actively watching the women he worked with to see if they could be potential partners,” McEwen told the Post, adding that he was particularly “partial to women with large breasts” and even would ask woman about their bra size.

“He was obsessed with porn,” McEwen also said of Thomas, a claim that is particularly relevant to Hill’s allegations that the then-chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had repeatedly relayed scenes from pornographic movies to her. “He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting,” McEwen continued.

— Speaking of Clarence Thomas, one of his most prominent defenders is none other than FOX News’ own Juan Williams. Seems that when he was defending Thomas against sexism charges in the Washington Post, Juan Williams was making life hell for around fifty women employed by the WaPo:

The disclosure came five days after a Williams column on The Post’s op-ed page in which he said that Anita Hill had “no credible evidence” for her allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, but that Hill was “prompted” to make her charges by Democratic Senate staffers. The Post’s personnel inquiry had begun more than two weeks earlier, but the column angered many women in the newsroom, and several came forward to say that they had also had problems with Williams. Post editors say they decided to make a public statement after WRC-TV aired a report on the controversy.


Seven women said in on-the-record interviews yesterday that Williams had repeatedly made hostile and sexually explicit comments to them, in some cases over a period of several years. All of them said they believed the comments were meant to embarrass them, not an attempt to date them, and most said that Williams persisted despite their protests.

Jo Ellen Murphy, art director of the Weekend section, said that “he was obsessed with my sex life and that’s all he wanted to talk to me about . . . . I raised my voice at him and said, ‘Just don’t talk to me again.’ ”

Posted in Fox Noise, GOP/Media Complex, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples, sexism, Silly Republicans | 4 Comments »

Things The GOP/Media Complex Won’t Tell You: Pittsburgh Shooter Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 6, 2009

While watching the various TV news accounts of George Sodini, the guy who invaded a fitness center and shot dead three women before shooting himself, I kept waiting in vain for someone to describe any hint of a motive. It was mentioned that he’d had a Facebook page, and had even planned out the whole thing last year but decided to postpone it a few months until after Barack Obama was elected, but that was it.

Now, thanks to Greg Mitchell, we find out what the GOP/Media Complex won’t describe to us — namely, evidence that he was a right-wing racist and misogynist nutjob:

The diary focuses on his severe problems with women (surely his biggest motivator in the slayings) and other worries related to family and layoffs. But it also includes comments about the “liberal media,” the “Obama economy” — and it opens with remarks about last fall’s election, the election of “The Black Man” and jokes about black men bedding white women.

All of this was left out of the AP excerpts and nearly everywhere else, including a new New York Times account.

Furthermore, Sodini was posting anti-Clinton messages online as early as 1994, so his far-right nuttiness was of long standing. Yet all of this was swept under the rug by the same press that hounded Ward Churchill, Bill Ayres, and Jeremiah Wright without mercy or pity for little or no good reason, simply because they could be used as clubs with which to beat up on liberals or Democrats.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, rightwing moral cripples, sexism | 2 Comments »

Smilin’ Tim, Running Afoul Of The Peter Principle

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 8, 2009

Smilin’ Tim’s way of dealing with the messes he leaves behind him has been to simply hop up the political ladder, trusting in his press allies to scrub off any of his fingerprints he may have left on the bodies. However, in his quest for the biggest rung on the ladder, it looks as if he may have finally risen to the level of his own incompetence.

“Republicans need to be more like Eminem”? Really? Which Eminem, Tim? The antiwar one or the misogynistic one that wants to ‘nail’ Sarah Palin?

Posted in Republicans, Sarah Palin, sexism, Silly Republicans, Tim Pawlenty, WTF? | Comments Off on Smilin’ Tim, Running Afoul Of The Peter Principle

Saturday Afternoon News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 26, 2008

Is Cut/Copy/Paste coming to the iPhone and iPod touch? That would be excellent, excellent news, as then you would have one less reason to lug around a laptop, an important consideration in these days of $50 carry-on luggage surcharges.

— Former Mossad chief and other knowledgeable Israelis to the PNAC Platoon: Don’t attack Iran, dipwads!

— How popular is Obama (aka Not Bush) overseas? Even frickin’ neo-fascists like France’s Sarkozy like him. Remember, Bush was oh-so-happy to see Sarkozy elected, because Bush was pissed at Chirac for not backing Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and thought Sarko would be more pliable to Bush’s will.

Someone with a clue rips into a rather lax and sexist as hell study on men, women, and sex.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Bush, France, Internet, Iran, science and medicine, sexism, technology | 2 Comments »

Sorry, Racists, But “Whitey” Is Actually “Why’d He”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 3, 2008

Seems that certain people who should know better are peddling the Larry Johnson bullcrap about Michelle Obama and “whitey”. Booman, who up until this week counted himself as a friend of Johnson’s and of his co-blogger SusanHu (who used to be Booman’s co-blogger but pretty much left Booman Tribune after being criticized for posting racist anti-Muslim cartoons; which is sadly ironic, since she was one of the people behind the Abu Ghraib FOIA docs project), debunks the slander:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, hypocrites, liars, mythmaking, narcissism, racism, rightwing moral cripples, sexism, The smear industry, WTF? | 13 Comments »

TWC: Have They Screwed Their Last Female Employee?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 11, 2008

Salon’s Broadsheet and the blog Time in Moments remind us about The Weather Channel’s history of not only tolerating sexual harrassment, but of punishing those female employees who refuse to submit to it — acts which are finally coming back to haunt them as they try to sell themselves for top dollar to a new owner:

Ms. Andrews isn’t stupid. Before her contract was up she filed a demand for arbitration according to her contract with The Weather Channel. Her complaint? The company TWC allowed Bob Stokes to sexually harass her.

She won. On January 31st, 2008, the arbitrator issued an award of an undisclosed amount to Ms. Andrews.

For some reason the Weather Channel doesn’t want this little story out in the media while a bidding war is going on. They want that 17 pages of arbitration hidden until they get a new owner.

Awww. Rick Santorum’s favorite cable channel is in trouble. Gee, you mean that TWC’s coddling a lawsuit and bad-publicity magnet among their employees might just hurt their marketability? What a shame. Not.

By the way: If you want to go look up US weather online, the NOAA’s own website,, is a much better bet — and it’s free.

Posted in abuse of power, rightwing moral cripples, sexism | 4 Comments »

States To Bush: We Don’t Want Your Bogus Abstinence Programs

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 17, 2007

More and more states are refusing to put up with Bush’s faith-based gaslight, especially where Sex Ed is concerned:

The number of states refusing federal money for “abstinence-only” sex education programs jumped sharply in the past year as evidence mounted that the approach is ineffective.

At least 14 states have either notified the federal government that they will no longer be requesting the funds or are not expected to apply, forgoing more than $15 million of the $50 million available, officials said. Virginia was the most recent state to opt out.

Two other states — Ohio and Washington — have applied but stipulated they would use the money for comprehensive sex education, effectively making themselves ineligible, federal officials said. While Maryland and the District are planning to continue applying for the money, other states are considering withdrawing as well.

Until this year, only four states had passed up the funding.


The trend has triggered intense lobbying of state legislators and governors around the country. Supporters of the programs are scrambling to reverse the decisions, while opponents are pressuring more states to join the trend.

“This wave of states rejecting the money is a bellwether,” said William Smith of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, a Washington-based advocacy and education group that opposes abstinence-only programs. “It’s a canary in the coal mine of what’s to come.”

“We hope that it sends a message to the politicians in Washington that this program needs to change, and states need to be able to craft a program that is the best fit for their young people and that is not a dictated by Washington ideologues,” Smith said.

Smith and other critics said they hope that if enough states drop out, Congress will redirect the funding to comprehensive sex education programs that include teaching about the use of condoms and other contraceptives.


The jump in states opting out follows a series of reports questioning the effectiveness of the approach, including one commissioned by Congress that was released earlier this year. In addition, federal health officials reported last week that a 14-year drop in teenage pregnancy rates appeared to have reversed.

“This abstinence-only program is just not getting the job done,” said Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “This is a ideologically based program that doesn’t have any support in science.”

Posted in abortion, faith-based flim-flams, Fundies, our tax dollars at work, Professional Christians, rats deserting Bush's ship, rightwing moral cripples, science and medicine, sexism, theocrats, women's issues, wrong way to go about it | Comments Off on States To Bush: We Don’t Want Your Bogus Abstinence Programs

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Cheung: Can We Talk?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 23, 2007

It’s about your son, David — or Dave, as I understand he prefers to be known.

You see, there’s this woman, Jade Raymond, who helps create video games (her current job title is “producer”). She’s been involved in the video game field for many years, in many different positions, and is known by her colleagues as a clever, hardworking and talented programmer and producer. Her most famous recently-produced game is called Assassin’s Creed.

Unfortunately for Ms. Raymond, she also happens to be both pretty and Eurasian, two things that seem to bring out the worst in male gamers. Equally unfortunately, your son Dave is at the forefront of this, making a comic that strongly suggests that a) Ms. Raymond is too stupid to be able to create a videogame and b) got where she is by giving her sexual favors to others. (You really probably don’t want to see the whole thing, so here’s a link to a post with one of the least-offensive panels.)

When your son was taken to task about this, he responded by making this cartoon as well as a celebratory post boasting of what he’d done. (This last link is to a quotation in full of what his post looks like now; I’m posting that in case he finds out that there’s a chance you might actually see it and realize what he’s been up to, and he decides to try to eliminate some of the worst evidence. Here’s the direct link.)

I’m sure that I need not recite to you the long history of racist Western assumptions concerning the sexuality of Asian women. One would think that a person in his mid-twenties might be mature enough to understand these issues and feel compassion and empathy, but his attitudes towards women seem to be stuck at the level of an adolescent racist BNP supporter.

At any rate, he needs a good talking-to by persons whose opinion he might have a chance of valuing.

Posted in eedjits, racism, sexism, women's issues, WTF? | 15 Comments »

Stay Classy, Right-Wingers!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 6, 2007

Another missive from the self-appointed Bastions of Morality:


Of course, now he’ll write in to tell me that he’s not a bastion because his parents were married.

Amazing, the things right-wing internet junkies will post when they think no one can see their IP addresses.

(Update:  And here’s some more classiness from the right wing.)

Posted in Busheviks, eedjits, family values, Flying Monkey Right, hypocrites, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, sexism, Silly Republicans | 3 Comments »