Happy International Women's Day! Technically it was yesterday, but this thread is late to the game. And speaking of late, don't forget to spring your clocks forward tonight! It's the only time of the year where you can take a 3AM phone call at 2AM and get away with it, so don't miss it. Of course, if you're a Republican, feel free to spring forward to this millennium.
- Exhibit A in how much a conservative strategy to "improve outreach to women" simply won't fly with their base. Take a look at what happened to feminist activist Zerlina Maxwell when she went on the Hannity show and said something as blatantly noncontroversial as the idea that men shouldn't rape women:
Deeper down on the Internet, the responses got even more scathing, from bloggers who said she’d been “oversimplifying” to the Twitter trolls who told her she ought to get raped. Thanks for the feedback, Internet dopes. Why would anybody think that you need some sensitivity training?So in other words...if you dare say that someone shouldn't commit a violent crime, you deserve to be the victim of a violent crime! Classy.
“I knew going in I was going to get a lot of pushback,” Maxwell says. “I didn’t think I would receive rape threats. I can’t even go on my Facebook page; it’s full of people wanting to rape me. It’s too triggering. The amount of insensitivity is shocking.”
- Is it a fetus? or is it the Dark Lord of the Sith? You decide!
- Last week, I wrote about the hotly contested board of education race in Los Angeles. I'm happy to say that Steve Zimmer, the incumbent member supported by teachers, defeated his billionaire-backed opponent this past Tuesday. In other news, City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel both advanced to the runoff in the race to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles, with Garcetti taking 33% to Greuel's 29%. The runoff will take place on May 21, and also feature high-stakes races for City Attorney and City Controller.
- This could be news:
A new type of microbe has been found at a lake buried under Antarctica's thick ice, according to news reports. The find may unveil clues of the surrounding environment in the lake, according to scientists.
The bacteria, said to be only 86 percent similar to other types known to exist on Earth, was discovered in a water sample taken from Lake Vostok, which sits under more than 2 miles (3 kilometers) of Antarctic ice. The freshwater lake has likely been buried, unaltered, under the ice for the past million years.
Russian scientists reportedly obtained the water samples in 2012 when they drilled all the way down to the lake's surface. They ran the bacteria's composition through a global database and were not able to find anything similar to its type. Scientists couldn't even figure out the bacteria's descendents.
- Another one for International Women's Day: why do women still change their names when they get married?
Your name is your identity. The term for you is what situates you in the world. The cultural assumption that women will change their names upon marriage – the assumption that we'll even think about it, and be in a position where we make a "choice" of whether to keep our names or take our husbands' – cannot be without consequence. Part of how our brains function and make sense of a vast and confusing universe is by naming and categorizing. When women see our names as temporary or not really ours, and when we understand that part of being a woman is subsuming your own identity into our husband's, that impacts our perception of ourselves and our role in the world. It lessens the belief that our existence is valuable unto itself, and that as individuals we are already whole. It disassociates us from ourselves, and feeds into a female understanding of self as relational – we are not simply who we are, we are defined by our role as someone's wife or mother or daughter or sister.That's definitely true--but for another, changing your name has to be a real pain in the ass. New license, new passport, new every-other-form-of-identification-there-is...to say nothing of the fact that in the internet age, changing your name is almost like hitting a historical reset button. Imagine being a woman with a professional career and an extensive online presence, who then changes her name when she gets married. All of a sudden, that previous history is no longer associated with her by anyone who did not have the historical knowledge of her maiden name. And that's not even remotely fair.
- If your allegations aren't even good enough for Politico, maybe you shouldn't make them. Regarding the discredited allegations against Senator Menendez:
The Huffington Post reported Friday that the New York Post's Josh Margolin and the Star-Ledger's Ted Sherman also were approached by operatives with the prostitution allegations last summer and investigated them. Neither Margolin nor Sherman -- each veterans of past New Jersey political scandals -- found legitimate information that would merit a story.
Bresnahan recently hinted in a Feb. 16 article on an FBI probe of the allegations that Politico may have investigated the claims. Bresnahan wrote that an "anonymous contact has declined to identify himself in exchanges with POLITICO and other organizations looking into the allegations against Menendez going back to last year."