Category Archives: Politics

“My Lethal Weapon’s my Mind”

Ice-T, Juan Williams, Tipper Gore, Jello Biafra and Nelson George, all on the Oprah Winfrey Show (circa 1990) discussing the influence of rap music on white teenagers.

Alright, alright.  That’s not what half of them take themselves to be talking about, but that’s what they’re talking about.

What’s striking to me about this is that I actually remember seeing this discussion around that time (I was in high school), and I can vividly remember being completely against Ice-T and thinking that he was truly evil.  (Did I mention I’m white and that I grew up in the South?)

But now I can’t watch this without really being astounded at the implicit white supremacy and complete erasure of the experience of young black men that comes through in what a lot of these people are saying.  It’s all over the discussion, but I especially direct your attention to the white male audience member who’s speaking at the break between the first and second video below.

The other angle is that there is a serious problem with misogyny going on as well.

So what is my opinion?  I honestly don’t know what to think about it.

I do think that criticism of misogyny in Ice-T’s music, as if he and other hip hop artists are uniquely or especially misogynistic, belies the implicit white supremacy I mentioned above.

Misogyny is everywhere in popular music going back a very long time.  See Johnny Cash (“I shot my woman down”), Led Zeppelin (“The soul of a woman was created below”) and countless other white musicians of all genres.

None of that’s to say that there isn’t and wasn’t serious misogyny in hip hop, but any justice minded person should worry when charges of misogyny are deployed from a white supremacist standpoint in order to silence black men.

I have to think that it’s possible to reconcile gender justice and racial justice.

So, yeah, watch this.  And wonder if we’ve made some progress since 1990.  Or if we’ve gone backwards.

Yes, it’s (annoyingly) in four parts.  Yes, it’s Oprah Winfrey.  Yes, it’ll take you about 45 minutes to get through it.  Yes, should watch it anyway.

But first, watch  Ice-T’s Lethal Weapon (the link is to the lyrics), which is – frankly – a work of genius.

And here’s the Oprah in four parts.




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Filed under Classism, Culture, Feminism, Injustice, Music, Politics, Racism, Religion, Sexism

VegasJessie

As we’ve learned from recent polling, George W Bush is the least popular living president. What does he and his party represent? I found the perfect summary for those living in and out of the USA.

GOP Beliefs

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You can rest assured, Willard Romney will strictly adhere to these principles. After all, he was a severely conservative governor that panders to the far right without giving any of their insanity a second thought.

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Filed under 2012 Election, Politics, Romney

A fight for LGBT rights in Lincoln, Nebraska

Feminist Philosophers

Reader DL draws our attention to an ongoing conflict over LGBT rights in Lincoln, Nebraska (state capital, population 250 000+). It all started when the city council passed a “fairness ordinance” granting gay and transgender people anti-discrimination protection in employment, housing and public accommodation. 21 states and some 140 cities in the US already have legislation like this on the books, so you might think that that would be the end of the story.

However, local law allows for a vote on any new ordinance if sufficient petitioners demand it quickly enough, and an impressively well-organised reactionary campaign managed to garner the 10 000 signatures required within the 15 days allowed. Due to the complexities of the laws governing petitions and  votes on them, the city mayor has responded by recommending that the legislation be repealed, and the protections instead be put to the vote as an amendment to the…

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Filed under Injustice, Politics, Uncategorized

I agree with this blogger’s point whole-heartedly. Understanding the problems that women encounter in the public sphere is a key part of my work.

4firestone's Weblog

After all these years, women still struggle to have access to express their voice in the public sphere. Not only are they not present, for the most part, they are not even considered. Issues relating to family, work, right to choose, and motherhood are still framed within the context of the male dominated perspective.

I am not a male hater, as those who fought for women’s rights used to be labeled, but I do believe that women perceive relationships differently than men. That difference, though some argue is not essential but taught, is real. So, what over 50 percent of the population thinks and how they envision change might just be significant. 

All right, I will admit that women are not a single group with a single voice. But, then neither are men. However, the opportunity for women to express their voices in this country and other places in the…

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Filed under Feminism, Injustice, Politics, Sexism

Michigan’s Surprise Anti-Abortion Blitz : Ms. Magazine Blog

They want to take your freedom away.

This week, the War on Women in Michigan moved from low-intensity combat to a full-scale firefight. Without warning, three anti-choice zealots in the Michigan Legislature, sponsored by state Rep. Bruce Rendon (R-Lake City), have launched a package of three anti-choice bills (H.B. 57115712 and 5713) representing an unprecedented assault on reproductive rights.  Among other things, the bills would turn conscientious health care providers of late-term abortions into felons and force most of the state’s reproductive health care centers to close.

Michigan’s Surprise Anti-Abortion Blitz : Ms. Magazine Blog.

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Filed under Feminism, Injustice, Politics

Republican Bullshit

Don’t fall for it.
If you aren’t old, white, rich and male, Republicans are not your friends

Feminist Philosophers

Here at Feminist Philosophers, we love Margaret and Helen, two righteous old ladies who are continually tearing strips off anti-woman asshats. Today, they take John Boehner to task for invoking sex-selective abortion, and pretending to care about women. Writes Helen, “The Republican party caring about women?  Margaret, that dog just don’t hunt.”

Excerpt:

A sex-selective abortion is just the symptom.  The actual problem is a sex-selective society where men like Boehner and other Republican leaders continue to make women second-class citizens.  Many of the bill’s supporters have rejected equal pay for women and have tried to slash funding for programs that serve women and children.

And, speaking of “sex selection,” it bears observing how many of the bill’s supporters (Boehner included) are men — men who are on the whole getting way more airtime than women when the media turns its attention to women’s issues, as this useful, depressing graphic from

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Filed under Feminism, Politics

Ezra Klein on the May Job Numbers

Ezra Klein puts things in perspective

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June 4, 2012 · 8:56 AM

Remember in November

Remember this in November. Remember, if you give a damn about women’s rights, access to contraception, and reproductive rights in general, the Romney campaign thinks you’re being distracted by shiny objects.

http://cognitivedissonance.tumblr.com/post/24360296872/david-plouffe-under-a-romney-presidency

If you aren’t old, rich, male and white, the Republicans are not your friends.

(From a great blog that I tumbled across.  She’s lefty in Wyoming!)

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Filed under 2012 Election, Feminism, Politics