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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
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The Gambia bans female genital mutilation

The Gambia has announced it will ban female genital mutilation (FGM) after the Guardian launched a global campaign to end the practice.

The president, Yahya Jammeh, said last night that the controversial surgical intervention would be outlawed. He said the ban would come into effect immediately, though it was not clear when the government would draft legislation to enforce it.

FGM involves cutting female genitalia – often when girls are young – to remove their labia and clitoris, which often leads to lifelong health complications, including bleeding, infections, vaginal pain and infertility. More than 130 million women worldwide are subjected to the procedure in Africa and the Middle East.

The practice is widespread in many African countries, including the Gambia, where 76% of females have been subjected to it. The age at which FGM takes place in the Gambia is not recorded, but it is reported that the trend of practicing FGM on infant girls is increasing. By the age of 14, 56% of female children in the country have had the procedure.


Hating Hillary: The One Thing Left and Right Men Can Agree On

(*My note: while this article specifies a gender, Hillary hate is by no means exclusive to men)

“It” is Hillary-hate. It is the tendency for people to decide, at regular intervals, that Hillary Clinton is not a mainstream Democrat who’s carved out a groundbreaking career in politics, but a blood-drenched, boner-killing, venom-dripping hellbeast who is out to destroy America.

“They” is more nebulous, and worse: Hillary-hate is often, but not always, the province of men. It is often, but not exclusively, Republican; conservatives launched The Hillary Project to stop her candidacy back in 2013. (“Hillary Clinton—the name alone strikes dread in the heart of freedom loving Americans.”) And it is often, and unacceptably, embraced by otherwise progressive men, who abandon their principles and their common sense in order to trash her, demonize her, and loudly proclaim to anyone who will listen that they Just Don’t Like Her.

You know Hillary-hate. You’ve seen it before: It’s Tucker Carlson proclaiming that “when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.” It’s Chris Matthews scolding Clinton, when she criticized Bush’s homeland security spending in 2005, by saying that “you look more witchy when you’re doing it like this.” It is sainted progressive icon Jon Stewart getting huge laughs, off a shot of Clinton smiling politely, with the line “that look is where boners go to die.”

And it goes on, and gets worse, until Hillary is not just portrayed as an ugly, mean old lady these dudes don’t want to fuck, but as an actual monster. Hillary-hate is the fact that, while Clinton was grieving the suicide of her friend Vince Foster, Republicans spread rumors that she had seduced and murdered him. Hillary-hate is Maureen Dowd calling Clinton “Godzilla” and “Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.” Hillary-hate is the not-remotely-subtle implication that Clinton abuses her husband, spread by the New York Post; next to a photo of Clinton with her mouth wide open at a Benghazi hearing, they ran the headline “NO WONDER BILL’S AFRAID.” Hillary-hate is the persistent, bizarre need for major media outlets to go along with Dowd’s calling Clinton the “50-Foot Woman” and to make Clinton look scary by portraying her as superhumanly huge: On the cover of TIME as a rampaging, pantsuited giantess the size of a skyscraper (photographed in the act of stepping on a powerless man, of course) or on the cover of the New York Times Magazine as some sort of Lovecraftian elder God the size of a planet.


Do black children's lives matter if nobody writes about them?

Besides teaching us who we are, books are where we learn who is important enough to read about – and only 5% of kid’s books had black characters last year

Literature’s job is not to protect young people from the ugly world; it is to arm them with a language to describe difficult truths they already know.

“In times of crisis or unrest,” Ferguson municipal public library director Scott Bonner wrote in an email conversation, “everyone, but especially kids, will have questions that tie to identity, empathy, sense of belonging vs exclusion, seeking a role to play, and so forth”. Bonner turned the FMPL into a safe haven during the civil unrest in 2014, earning it a Library of the Year award and international acclaim.

“Books help us know who we are,” he added, “and we must know who we are before we can understand what we must do.”

Besides teaching us who we are, books are where we learn whose lives matter enough to read about: a recent Florida State University study called children’s literature “a dominant blueprint of shared cultural values, meanings and expectations”. Exclusion from this world, the study says, constitutes a kind of “symbolic annihilation”. As suicide rates among black youth skyrocket, and police officers justify killing unarmed children, the annihilation becomes much more than symbolic.

The ongoing crisis of state-sanctioned violence and antiblackness in America is not a new problem, but sustained protests have forced the world take note of it. And while some individual writers have spoken up, the Young Adult industry has had little to say about what the New York Times called “the most formidable protest movement of the 21st century to date”.



So my grandson's football couch has been caught "in a relationship" a high school girl. They have confiscated phones because how the girls patents found out, was texts left on her phone. Now my daughter tells me this isn't the first time in this particular school district, and school board members have quit over non-action (cover-ups, she calls them)

The story is a little messier than that, I don't have proper details, but it could get even uglier--it's not in the news cycle. My daughter wil probably go to the press, if nothing is done.

Not that it matters, but it's the Quillayute school district--that's right--home of "Twilight"

You NEED to Watch ‘Black Woman Steps Up to Mic’ RIGHT NOW by Clutch

Sha’Condria Sibley’s poem, “Black Woman Steps Up to Mic” is everything. And yes, that word gets used for, well, everything these days, but Sibley’s award-winning piece fits the bill.

In her poem, which she performed at the this year’s Texas Grand Slam, Sibley takes on the misconceptions and stereotypes about Black women that do little but make us feel under siege.

Sibley powerfully spits:

Sibley later proclaims, “Black woman is even afraid to call herself Black woman too many times in this poem because she has been taught that she is too insignificant to be acknowledged.”

Well, damn.

“As a black woman with a big name,” Sibley told Fusion she wrote the poem for “people who may have been guilty of not listening to someone based off their initial presentation.”


Female Comic Says Show Will Go on After Brutal Attack in Northwest D.C.

A group of men beat a female comedian on a D.C. street just days before she's set to take the stage – and she says the show will go on.
Paris Sashay, 23, was brutally beaten by several men late last Saturday night after they called out to her and friends and she rejected their advances, she told News4

The comic was walking from Eden, on I Street NW to a car parked on L Street NW when a group of men began harassing the group of women. Their behavior escalated and then became violent, Sashay said.
She blacked out and woke up in a hospital with a broken nose and chipped teeth, her face covered in bruises.
"Guys make it where you don't have a right to say no anymore. But as a woman, you should be able to say no," Sashay said. "Just say no. You're just not interested."


Heavy Metal Feminism

Last fall, Kayla Phillips, vocalist and songwriter for Tennessee’s hardcore/grindcore band Bleed the Pigs, published a piece with Noisey about her experiences as a black feminist with a natural inclination towards extreme music (“I’m more of a womanist,” she told me recently, “just to differentiate that I address intersectionality to ensure that people are aware that there are two sides that make me who I am”). She wrote:

My anger as a Black woman fronting an aggressive, politically charged hardcore/metal band with DIY punk ethics is somehow too much for . White punks screaming about the same politics, the same fucked-up shit, and even about racial issues and injustices they don’t even particularly face, are wholeheartedly accepted, never questioned, never told to tone down, and never told to relax. No matter how justified I am, or how down for the cause they are, they’re put off by my very valid rage. Why is that? What is it about a Black girl doing the same shit white men do that makes them feel like it’s too much? How am I the only one being labeled too aggressive in a genre that is all about aggression?

Despite the global appeal and presence of heavy metal culture, widespread online distribution, and increasing awareness among a diverse audience, there remains great resistance to discuss ongoing sexism, racism, and other issues that can potentially dissuade fans from actively participating in the subculture. “I don’t know why it is so hard for people to understand that not everyone is just like them,” Phillips told me. And Phillips isn’t alone; other artists and journalists are questioning the pervasiveness of discriminatory practices and beliefs within a musical culture that, ironically, not only boasts of its “inclusive community” (in which membership is predicated on fandom and not gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation), but also, because of its underground status, places an emphasis on fan participation and economic support in order to create and distribute music that will never, and doesn’t want to, receive true mainstream commercial attention.


Despite both carrying reputations for rejecting societal norms, more often than not, using “heavy metal” and “feminism” in the same sentence is bound to raise some eyebrows. For anyone who remembers the 1980s hair metal craze and the ensuing complaints about the representations of women in Motley Crue and Poison videos, or the impossibly high number of women KISS bassist Gene Simmons allegedly had sex with during the band’s heyday, it makes total sense that the genre and the ideology mix as well as oil and water. And metal’s tense relationship with female representation is hardly confined to the past: The fact that, in the 21st century, a national music magazine publishes an annual issue and sponsors a national tour dedicated to physically attractive female metal musicians, doesn’t bode well for the argument that heavy metal can be a liberating and empowering culture for women.


Love this

"Will you get paid as much as a man when you're president?"

Hillary Clinton to sit down with Ellen DeGeneres

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton will sit down for an interview with Ellen DeGeneres during the week of Sept. 8, according to the show's Twitter account.

"These 3 women are changing the world," @TheEllenShow tweeted Monday. "They're also on my premiere week, starting September 8th."

The tweet included a photo of Clinton, along with photos of Caitlyn Jenner, the athlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner, and Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate for her work as an activist for female education.

Representatives for the show did not immediately respond to questions about when Clinton's interview will air.

Clinton's first national television interview as a candidate was with CNN's Brianna Keilar in July. Clinton also spoke with Maria Elena Salinas of Univision earlier this month.

Bill Clinton is the most recent member of the Clinton family to sit down with DeGeneres. The former president talked with host in November 2014 -- before Hillary Clinton had declared her 2016 candidacy -- and chatted about the prospect of his wife running.


Marissa Johnson: a generation of activists who believe in disruption

She showed that new face last weekend, attracting national notice as she and another woman shouted presidential candidate Bernie Sanders off the stage to denounce police brutality before a crowd of thousands. In taking over the microphone and disappointing those who had waited hours to hear the progressive Vermont senator speak, Johnson set off a furious debate about protest tactics, racism and Seattle-style liberals.

It’s one we may be having for a while. The screaming disruption, shocking as it was, reflects the Black Lives Matter movement that Johnson jumped into after Ferguson — when Missouri prosecutors declined to indict a white officer who killed an unarmed black man.

The movement is comprised of a new generation of activists, with a decidedly different style and mindset than those of generations past. They are either wonderfully bold or appallingly disrespectful, depending on your point of view. Whichever, they embrace confrontation — be that with an aging white politician or veteran black leaders they see as not doing enough.

The cause, they believe, is urgent, explained K.L. Shannon, a Seattle labor organizer who at 45 serves as a mentor to some in the local Black Lives Matter movement. “Every day, some black man is getting killed.”


(Front Page of the Seattle Times)
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