This was originally published on Liberal America on March 26, 2017.
Fox News, aka “Faux News,” often talks about having a hatred and resentment of poor people. They throw out statistics about “poor households” that are just plain ridiculous. They claim that poor people shouldn’t have basic appliances like refrigerators and microwaves.
A blogger on Cracked, going by John Cheese, shows the ridiculousness of these claims by using his mother as an example. He went on a Fox News-style rant about the things in his mother’s home.
When talking about her refrigerator, he said:
“What the hell is that bullshit? She claims to be poor, but right there in front of me is a refrigerator! She didn’t even try to hide it. It’s right out in the open, where any tax-dollar-providing citizen — nay, hero — can see. As if that wasn’t enough, notice that in the bottom-left corner of the picture, there’s a chair propped up against the door to hold it shut, because the magnetic strip has long lost its holding power. So my mother not only owns chairs, but owns so many that she can use one as a doorstop?”
When he got to her medicine, he said:
“Oh my Tax God of the Dollarverse, what is going on? I thought I knew my mother, but this is too much. Here I am, working 7,000 hours per week in order to give the government money, who in turn gives it to her, and she’s hoarding baskets of drugs like some sort of … drug hoarder. This is the true face of drug-fueled poverty right here, sheeple, and you need to wake up.”
Side note: “Tax God of the Dollarverse” may be my new favorite phrase.
I guess I’m living the life that Faux News would find “luxurious.” I have a chronic condition, but how dare I have a phone and a car? I guess I have offended the Tax God of the Dollarverse with my wicked ways.
Here are The Young Turks talking about this topic:
This was originally published on Liberal America on March 27, 2017.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t yet seen the film The Most Hated Woman In America, information in this article could spoil the plot. Read at your own risk.
Netflix released its latest original film on Friday, The Most Hated Woman in America. It follows the life story of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists and activist who fought against prayer in public schools and won.
Her Supreme Court case took on mandatory Christian prayer in schools.
Even if you are a Christian, you may still root for Melissa Leo in this well-done biopic. As an atheist, I admire her courage to challenge Christian prayer back then.
She is not perfect, but she is brash and bold. She stands up for what she believes in, and she does it with style. Melissa Leo does a great job portraying her.
She didn’t just fight against school prayer either. She also fought against segregation and the Vietnam War. She was also an ardent feminist. She was not perfect, but she was a good person in her own way.
She lost her life because she trusted an employee who turned against her. A man she hired at American Atheists is the one who abducted her, her son, and her granddaughter in the mid-1990s. They were never seen again.
Here is some biographical information about her:
“Born in 1919 to a poor family in Pittsburgh, she was raised by church-going parents but claimed she became an atheist after reading the complete Bible in her early teen years. Madalyn Murray O’Hair became a household name when she contested the required moment of prayer and Bible reading in her son William’s Baltimore-area public school in 1960. The Supreme Court, then under Chief Justice Earl Warren, delivered its 8-1 verdict in favor of O’Hair on June 17, 1963, expanding an earlier school prayer decision in the 1962 Engel v. Vitale case. Murray v. Curlett, along with Abington v. Schempp, eliminated not only obligatory school prayer but also mandatory Bible readings in public schools.”
She was a great pioneer, and I admire her.
This was originally published on March 8, 2017 on Liberal America.
I love to see things like this out of my state. Today, March 8, 2017, is International Women’s Day and it is also the “A Day Without A Woman” strike. Many women are taking the day off paid and unpaid work and not shopping today. Businesses were urged to close for the day. There are other small things we can do to participate if you can’t get out of work.
I’m proud to say that one radio station in Birmingham, Alabama, HOT 107.7, is not playing any songs by women during syndication hours today in solidarity with the strike.
Operations Manager Ken Johnson, said:
“Women are our core listeners and these women contribute a great deal to our sound. Honoring women by highlighting to the community how important they are is a no-brainer.”
“Plus, hearing more Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, and Luther Vandross is not a bad thing.”
Two of the hosts, Tasha Simone and Jeanine Johnson, are not going to be working today.
There are many other interesting protests going on for the strike today as well.
Planned Parenthood is open, but the National Women’s Law Center and the National Organization for Women are closed.
Female Democrats in Congress are staging a walkout in support of the strike.
A 10-year-old school child wrote a letter to her principal explaining that she wants to use this day to make sure that her voice is heard. She even said she would pick up all of her school work in advance.
The television channel, MTV, is flipping the letter “m” in their logo upside down in solidarity with the women who are striking today.
Many websites such as Bustle and Romper will not be posting new content today. Netflix and NBC are offering personal days for their female employees.
Last night, the lights at the Statue of Liberty were out for a few hours. The National Park Service says it was just technical difficulties, but many people online think that it was a silent protest.
This was originally published on Liberal America on March 10, 2017.
There are many things that women have to do or like to do every day to avoid being sexually or otherwise harassed. Here are just seven things that women do that men might not realize they do:
1. Keys In The Hand
Women often carry their keys in their hand as a “weapon” when walking alone at night. Walking alone at night can be very nerve-wracking for anyone, but I often feel it myself as a woman.
2. Telling Someone Where You Are
Sometimes if I’m uncomfortable or just if I’m out late at night, I will tell my family or someone where I am going. Many women feel uncomfortable being out and about by themselves at night.
3. Pretending To Be On The Phone
Yes, many women will pretend to be talking on a phone call or pretend to be texting. If someone is staring at them or if someone is making them uncomfortable, they can pretend to be on a phone call. I have done this myself just to avoid people I didn’t really want to talk to.
4. Calling A Friend When In A Cab Or Uber
Sometimes, getting into a taxi can be a bit unsettling. Taking a ride from a stranger can be unnerving. If you are uncomfortable, talking to a friend can help make you feel safer.
5. Keeping Your Drink Covered
When women are at a bar or a club, it is good practice for them to cover their drink and not to leave it unattended. It is easy for someone to slip something in the drink when you are not looking.
6. Giving Fake Names To Men
Sometimes, women are afraid to say no to men out of fear that they might get angry at the rejection. A lot of women will give men a fake name, number and/or a fake address.
7. Turning Your Headphones Off
Some women will turn their music on to avoid being in an awkward conversation. Others might turn off their music so they can tell if someone is following them.
This was originally published on Liberal America on October 19, 2016.
Ryan Williams, a teenager in the United Kingdom, is taking a stand against feminine products that he obviously knows nothing about. He is in favor of an extra luxury tax on tampons and pads, also known as the “tampon tax.”
Williams says that women should be able to “control their bladders” and not need tampons. This poor boy is in need of an anatomy lesson.
This 19-year-old is just so confused that people are telling him to get an anatomy lesson. Williams actually said:
“I saw a post about ending tampon tax and I was so annoyed I had to have my say.”
“People are saying tampons shouldn’t be taxed because they are a necessity but why can’t those women just learn to control their bladders?”
“If they are going to bleed then they should wait until they get to the toilet. It’s all about self-control.”
“If you can’t control your bladder then that’s not the taxpayers’ problem. I don’t urinate everywhere and expect free nappies.”
“If you make tampons free where do you draw the line? They’ll be going about petitioning for toilet roll to be free next.”
He actually called women who are in favor of ending the tampon tax “cheapskates.” This kid needs a sex-ed class ASAP. He doesn’t seem to realize that we can’t stop our periods. We can’t hold it in.
Williams set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his “biology lessons,” but it was removed.
This story is happening in the U.K.; however, we have similar problems here. Back in March, Chicago got rid of its luxury tax on pads and tampons.
Here in the United States, about 40 states still place extra taxes on periods. These products are essential for women. Trust me, if we could stop our periods we would. We shouldn’t have to pay extra for things we can’t control.
Here is English comedian Russell Howard’s take on this ridiculous tax.:
This was originally published on Liberal America on March 7, 2017.
The Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group and religious cult headed by the Phelps family. They are known for their protests with the signs saying, “God hates fags.” They protest at soldiers’ funerals and other inappropriate places. After the shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando last year, they protested the memorials for the victims.
From the church’s about page:
“Established in 1955 by Pastor Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of Topeka, Kansas still exists today as an Old School (or, Primitive) Baptist Church. We adhere to the teachings of the Bible, preach against all form of sin (e.g., fornication, adultery [including divorce and remarriage], sodomy), and insist that the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace be taught and expounded publicly to all men.”
Megan Phelps-Roper grew up exposed to this hate and brain-washing. At age 25, she left the group and her family. She recently gave a Ted Talk on her days at Westboro and what it was like to leave.
She was forced to spread the hatred from the age of five onwards:
“I was a blue-eyed, chubby-cheeked five-year-old when I joined my family on the picket line for the first time. My mom made me leave my dolls in the minivan. I’d stand on a street corner in the heavy Kansas humidity, surrounded by a few dozen relatives, with my tiny fists clutching a sign that I couldn’t read yet: ‘Gays are worthy of death.’ This was the beginning.”
She discusses being exposed to conflicting beliefs when she joined Twitter in 2009 to help spread the hate on social media. Hearing conflicting beliefs caused Phelps-Roper to start to doubt the ideas she grew up with. She was finally able to ask questions. She also learned to not be so harsh when talking about these kinds of topics.
She describes leaving the group with her sister as “walking into an abyss.” Personally, I applaud the courage to leave the hateful cult.
She ended the talk with:
“Each one of us contributes to the communities and the cultures and the societies that we make up. The end of this spiral of rage and blame begins with one person who refuses to indulge these destructive, seductive impulses. We just have to decide that it’s going to start with us.”
Here is the entire Ted Talk:
This was originally published on Liberal America on December 2, 2016.
That’s right, ladies. Having women in business and in powerful positions can make our country so much better. Obviously, millions of people thought so when they voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Special Envoy for Women and Children (SEWC), the African Union for Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), as well as Bineta Diop, and I’m foundedr of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Cherie Blair herself, took part in a panel at the Fortune-Time Global Forum in Rome, Italy.
They argued that businesses should harness the power of women to grow. Diop said:
“It’s not just about doing good. It’s also doing the smart things because women have the capacity and knowledge and competence to bring another dimension into the workplace.”
Placing women in leadership roles could really help an organization.
As Women of HR reported:
“In 2007, a not-for-profit organization Catalyst reported that Fortune 500 companies having females as board members show significantly better financial performance than those having low female representation. The surveys took into account three points- return on sales, return on equity and return on the investment and found that companies having better female representation excelled on all the three parameters.”
Women are often better communicators than men. We are also great at networking and building relationships with potential business contacts.
Research from the Harvard Business Review shows that women rate higher than their male counterparts in relationship building skills. This works for inter-office relationships, as well as client satisfaction.
Gallup reported some advantages to having gender-diverse teams:
Many fields, especially those in science and technology, are still male-dominated. It’s getting better, but professions such as software development are lacking in women. These companies, and many others, would benefit with more women on their teams. We have gained many rights, ladies, but we still have more work to do.
This was originally published on Liberal America on December 23, 2016.
Over 23 years ago, Lorena Bobbitt made the news because she fought back against her abusive husband. She still gets recognized all these years later.
She married John Wayne when she was just 19-years-old. The abuse began soon after. It started as verbal abuse but quickly escalated to physical violence.
On June 23, 1993, John Wayne Bobbitt came home drunk and raped Lorena like he had done on many other occasions. That morning, she snapped. She had had enough, so she went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and cut off her husband’s penis.
She fled their apartment and threw the severed penis into a field nearby.
The entire country heard this story; it became a sensation. This story could’ve been used to spread awareness of domestic violence and marital rape. Instead, it became a joke, and Lorena was the punchline.
After the incident, women’s groups and domestic violence survivors’ groups tried to start the conversation about abuse. However, the media just wanted to talk about the severed penis. They portrayed her as some kind of vengeful woman.
Bobbitt recovered, though, and she uses her story to spread awareness of domestic violence. She said this about it:
“I took my life back and I gave myself a second chance. It takes a lot of energy to say, No, I’m not a victim, I want to go on with my life, and you just don’t look back."
She has a charity organization called Lorena’s Red Wagon that raises money for shelters across the country. In December, she collects gifts to give to children who are staying in shelters.
This story should have been a way to spread awareness of domestic violence. She was the victim, but she was portrayed as some kind of monster. She is a survivor, and she has used her story for good.
This was originally published on December 19, 2016 on Liberal America.
I am a Millennial; we are the generation that is aged 18 to 34. Many people in older generations see us as lazy, entitled, and who knows what else. People say we need constant praise at work and elsewhere.
Yes, there are jerks in every group, but we are not like this. Here are some of the most common stereotypes against us and why they are false:
1. We Job-Hop
Many employers are hesitant to hire someone who job hops. A lot of us want to find a job that we can stay at for a while. Some employers may reject someone who has had a lot of past jobs. They usually prefer someone who will stay at their job at least a year. I get that some employers don’t want to waste the time training someone who will leave.
2. We Are Slackers
Many people associate us with being on Facebook all the time and talking about vacations. However, we are not trying to be lazy slackers because we ask for a day off. We are just trying to achieve good work-life balance. People burn out when they work too much. We’re only human. We watched our parents work ridiculously long hours, and we don’t want to be that bad. Some of us end up being workaholics anyway, but work-life balance is a good thing.
3. We Hold A Sense Of Entitlement.
We were taught about basic benefits of work such as maternity leave or paid overtime. We were taught to speak up about our want and needs. We want to be outspoken and be agents of change. That’s not a bad thing.
4. We Only Want To Work At Big Companies.
The size of the company is not as important as how they treat their employees. We want flexibility and opportunities to grow and learn. We want an employer who takes care of their staff. The size of the company is just one small part of the equation when we decide who we want to work for.
5. We Are Glued To Our Phones
We are no more attached to our phones than the previous generation. However, we have access to more technology now. We can connect with people around the world in an instant. We use these things to our advantage. Do you need to fact-check something in a meeting? We’ve got it.
6. We Can’t Handle Money
Yes, there are some of us who get irresponsible with our money. Many of us are saving our asses off trying to pay off student loans and one day afford a house or a car or other dreams. We care about our money and want to save. However, it’s not our primary focus. There are other ways to be happy.
7. We Don’t Have Concrete Beliefs
On the contrary, many of us have very strong beliefs and are outspoken about them. We are also very open-minded and accepting. We are in touch with the fact that everyone is different, and we all have different beliefs.
This was originally published on Liberal America on January 19, 2017.
President Barack Obama is the first United States president to self-identify as a feminist. Now, we have p***y-grabbing President-elect Donald Trump being sworn in tomorrow.
Last year, President Obama wrote an essay on feminism for Glamor magazine. He talked about how important it is for men to help in combating sexism. He mentions the scrutiny his wife and daughters have faced being the First Family.
He said we need to change the way our culture that:
“… Criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear … that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs … that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, and penalizes working mothers.”
He first identified as a feminist during a 2016 speech at the White House. He points out that sexism is often stereotyped as being anti-male when that is not true.
In the speech, he compared our culture today with that from 1961, the year he was born:
“The year I was born, in 1961, women made up less than 40 percent of college students. Today, you earn almost 60 percent of college degrees, make up roughly half of the workforce. (Applause.) Back then, the pill was still illegal in some states. And today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, birth control is free. (Applause.) In the old days, women actually needed a husband to open a credit card. Today, more women are choosing to be single — and all Americans are able to marry whoever they love. (Applause.)”
He married a strong, beautiful woman and has raised a lovely family while leading the country. After the horrific tape of Donald Trump leaked, Michelle Obama gave one of the best political speeches I’ve heard about feminism.
I will miss this man very much. He has led the country with grace and dignity. He has made tremendous progress in the area of feminism as well as many others. Now, we will have president Trumplethinskin who is a threat to all of the progress Obama has made.
Ellen DeGeneres gave a heartfelt tribute to him this morning. Prepare the tissues before you watch: