UPDATE: Police now say Sharmeka Moffitt set herself on fire and wrote “KKK” and a racial slur on her car herself. She is still in critical condition at a hospital in Louisiana. [MSN]
There are no words to really describe this: the FBI in Louisiana are investigating a possible hate crime attack by the Ku Klux Klan on Sharmeka Moffitt, a 20-year-old black woman, on Sunday evening. Police say Moffitt called 911 to report that three people in white hoodies attacked her. The men pounced on Moffitt while she was exercising alone in a park in Winnsboro, set her on fire, and spraypainted “KKK” on her car. Sharmeka Moffitt has third-degree burns over the majority of her body and has been hospitalized in critical condition. Our thoughts are with her and her family. [KLFY, UPI, The Franklin Sun]
The Daily Beast: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Taylor Swift: I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.
Are we surprised that Taylor Swift doesn’t really consider herself a feminist? Not really. But it’s still completely dismaying that “guys versus girls” and that when women don’t succeed it’s because we just didn’t work hard enough is apparently what she thinks feminism is. It’s actually about men and women being equal to each other and deserving the same opportunities; it’s also about women being able to make choices for themselves. Call the Feminism PR Department, we have a pop star to educate! In all seriousness, though, I do suspect feminism within the pop music industry can be hard to come by. At the very least, the messages are complicated — Beyoncé, anyone? Taylor has been pursuing her career since she was about 14 and she’s probably drank the industry Kool-Aid about how she has to be marketed — sweet, innocent, uber-feminine, wearing dresses — to appeal to tweens and teens (and the parents who buy their music for them). Still, she’s 22 now and has been exposed to a lot in these past few years. I do not expect that Taylor Swift would have the politics of Kathleen Hanna, India.Arie, Ani DiFranco or even Alanis Morrissette. But I do wish she could correctly identify what a feminist is — even if she does not want to identify as one. [The Daily Beast]
Yes, men cleaning. Who’d've thunk, right?! Just a T-shirt, Swiffer? Not a Boy Scout badge? Or the Nobel Prize, perhaps? I mean, men cleaning is obviously such a rare and uncommon practice that you think guys deserve a T-shirt bragging “Caution: Men Being Awesome” for wiping a Swiffer across the floor. (Which, as someone who also does not like to clean, I don’t think we can justifiably call “cleaning.”) It’s all part of the world’s dopiest Facebook contest called “Man Up, Clean Up” for men who are “clean, dirty, skilled or clueless” to go to Swiffer’s page and share stories of why it is “worth it” to help with household cleanups. More blowjobs? Not getting roaches? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. And just think, when you win that T-shirt, you’ll have something to use as a rag. [BusinessWire]
“Now it’s a war on women; tomorrow it’s going to be a war on left-handed Irishmen or something like that.”
— Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan in Florida yesterday handily dismissed the so-called “war on women” (as a left-handed Irishmen would say) as bollocks. So I guess this means tomorrow every left-handed guy across Ireland will earn 77 cents on the dollar and be expected to procreate like a barnyard animal. And just wait until these fellas learn all about “legitimate rape.”
You want to make me angry, Paul Ryan? You take away my reproductive rights and pretend like you’re not doing it. You want to make me REALLY angry? You declare war on my precious Chris O’Dowd. [Raw Story]
Looks like Joe Walsh won’t be getting off Jon Stewart’s list of the craziest guys in Congress any time soon: Last night in a debate with his opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois rep and Tea Party favorite explained that he is “pro-life without exception.” He continued, “Understand though, that when we talk about exceptions, we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, life of a woman. Life of the woman is not an exception.” Duckworth accused Walsh of allowing a woman to die rather than get an abortion, and Walsh said that was unfair. After the debate, he explained further to the press, NPR reports.
- He told CNN: ”This is an issue that opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. There’s no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology. Health of the mother has been, has become a tool for abortions any time under any reason.”
- He told WGN: “With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance … there is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.” Read more…
I’m as disinterested in whether Joe Biden waxes his undercarriage as I am in whether Kirsten Gillibrand reads 50 Shades Of Grey. But someone — hopefully someone currently hiding under their desk in shame? — thought it would be a good question to ask New York Senator Gillibrand and her challenger Wendy Long during a debate on Wednesday night. The candidates were participating in a rapid-fire round of yes-or-no questions. But included in still-kinda-stupid-but-kinda-legitimate questions like “Do you write your own tweets?”, they were asked if either had read 50 Shades Of Grey. And while I couldn’t care less if either woman read a SEXY SEX BOOK ABOUT HAVING SEX, I can’t imagine why this information is the least bit important to, you know, governing. However, I will hold off on declaring this question sexist until someone asks two male politicians whether they’ve read another famous sadomasochism tome, The Story Of O. (Seriously. Please. Someone do that.) [NYMag.com] [Photos: Getty/Amazon]
“I can’t stand whining. I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they’re not happy with the choices they made. You live in a time when there are endless choices. … Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don’t break a sweat.”
— Da-yum, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Tell us what you really think. Marie Claire asked Clinton about The Atlantic‘s infamous Anne-Marie Slaughter piece “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”; I hope that in the context of the actual piece it doesn’t sound so much like she’s dismissively saying “deal with it.” I’m certain Clinton knows all about the larger, structural institutionalized sexism and workplace flexibility issues that families face, so I’m not sure why that wasn’t reflected in her response. [Jezebel] Keep reading »
Angie Epifano is a former student of the class of 2014 at Amherst College. This piece is cross-posted with permission from The Amherst Student.
When you’re being raped time does not stop. Time does not speed up and jump ahead like it does when you are with friends. Instead, time becomes your nemesis; it slows to such an excruciating pace that every second becomes an hour, every minute a year, and the rape becomes a lifetime.
On May 25, 2011, I was raped by an acquaintance in Crossett Dormitory on Amherst College campus.
Some nights I can still hear the sounds of his roommates on the other side of the door, unknowingly talking and joking as I was held down; it is far from a pleasant wakeup call.
I had always fancied myself a strong, no-nonsense woman, whose intense independence was cultivated by 17 harrowing years of emotional abuse in my backwoods home. May 25th temporarily shattered that self-image and left me feeling like the broken victim that I had never wanted to be.
Everything I had believed myself to be was gone in 30 minutes. Keep reading »