Why Farrah Fawcett Is A Feminist Issue

June 26, 2009
Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett

Farah Fawcett is dead.  The 1970’s blond bimbo Charlie’s Angels teevee star who transformed herself at mid career into a talented actress has died of a disease so horrible I’m almost glad I had never heard of it:  Anal cancer that spread to other vital organs.  This type of cancer has a high correlation with the human pappilloma virus, HPV.  To the Phyllis Schlafly’s of the world Farah Fawcett’s life and death must look scandalous.

That is why Ms. Fawcett’s death is a feminist issue.

For the right wing there are just two possibilities for women: Conventional man-on-top marriage or disease, disgrace and death.  Take your pick.

A couple of years ago there was talk of immunizing girls against the risks of HPV caused cervical cancer with Guardasil, a Merck product.  “Defenders” of the “family” such as Phyllis Schlafly contend that HPV can only be contracted from an unchaste, and presumably unmarried, partner.  Therefore, as expected, the religious right concealed its true anti sex education agenda with claims that Guardasil was bad for women’s health.  It put forward its usual antidote for all issues sexual.  Here’s what Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum had to add to the conversation on HPV:

A 100% effective means of protection against … diseases is freely available, and it is abstinence (emphasis mine).

This abstinence only proscription dealing with disease has also produced painful results in Africa, where religious zealots Rick Warren and Pat Robinson deliver the Gospel, dramatically increasing the HIV/AIDS rate among women, obliged to have sexual relations with their infected men.

The religious right fought convenient contraception and the post-coital drug RU 486 on health grounds as well. But their real aim is obvious.  Read the language describing the action of the drug:

That initial action causes the lining of the uterus to release the embryonic child. A second drug, known as misoprostol, is taken two days after mifepristone and causes the uterus to contract, expelling the baby, (emphasis mine).

Much of the “abortion” debate is cloaked in concern for health issues such as this alarm over FDA inspections in  China:

We do know that Shanghai is the sole supplier to the United States of the abortion pill, Mifepristone, known as RU-486. The FDA had previously concealed the source of RU-486…

Or this:

Free trade is not only bringing us contaminated drugs and foods, but soon could bring us the products of embryonic stem cell transfers (aka cloning).

Does Phyllis oppose free trade and globalization or just stem cell research?  Hard to figure.

The religious right’s argument in favor of abstinence also permeates their position against sex discrimination and animates much prejudice against public school  curricula, the teaching of evolutionary and biological science, as well as other “socialistic” subjects.

For the far right-

Marriage=sex=children=happiness=private enterprise=the controlling formula in the “choice” debate.  Here is Phyllis making the case for marriage+capitalism at all costs.  That’s why female conservatives fought and beat the ERA:

Another theory could be the increase in easy divorce and illegitimacy (now 40 percent of American births are to single moms), which means that millions of women are raising kids without a husband and therefore expect Big Brother government to substitute as provider. The 2008 election returns showed that 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama, perhaps hoping to be beneficiaries of his “spread the wealth” policies…..

In the pre-1970 era, when surveys showed women with higher levels of happiness, most men held jobs that enabled their wives to be fulltime homemakers. The private enterprise system constantly produces goods that make household work and kiddie care easier (such as dryers, dishwashers and paper diapers).

Here’s a FOX channel video of Phyllis speaking about the defeat of the ERA:

STOP ERA rally

Wow.

I don’t know whose universe she’s living in (yes, I do) but there is no boundary here between sex and capitalism, with comfortable, stay-at-home women the consumers, and you know who running the world.

There is plenty of talk about women putting aside differences over abortion to form a neutral voting block that can simply advocate for women’s rights.  That sounds good.  But among other non-starter stumbling blocks on the road to non-partisan kumbaya (such as just about everything) is the barricade that must never be surrendered, choice.

Choice isn’t just Rove v. Wade.  Reproductive choice for women is the sine qua non of other choices: to be married or not; to have sex or not; to go to work or not; to have a career or not; to accept bad treatment within a relationship or not.  The prevalence of unmarried women in the workplace has removed much of the stigma associated with divorce, Lesbianism  and the terrible shame once known as “spinsterhood”.

What the religious right opposes is not just “choice”, it’s choices. That’s clear.

I wonder what Phyllis Schlafly would have to say about Farrah Fawcett.


It’s About Oil Part III-China Invades Africa

May 5, 2009

One hundred years ago, the eugenicist Sir Francis Galton,  cousin of Charles Darwin, propounded his belief that the Chinese would and should one day usurp the indigenous peoples of Africa.  China has made a massive and permanent advance into the African continent and intends to do just that. From How China’s Taking Over Africa…..

Chinese President Hu and Dictator Robert Mugabe

Chinese President Hu and Dictator Robert Mugabe

From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower’s long-term survival.

The strategy has been carefully devised by officials in Beijing, where one expert has estimated that China will eventually need to send 300 million people to Africa to solve the problems of over-population and pollution.

The Chinese are all over the place,’ says Trevor Ncube, a prominent African businessman with publishing interests around the continent. ‘If the British were our masters yesterday, the Chinese have taken their place.’Likened to one race deciding to adopt a new home on another planet, Beijing has launched its so-called ‘One China In Africa’ policy because of crippling pressure on its own natural resources in a country where the population has almost trebled from 500 million to 1.3 billion in 50 years.

China is hungry – for land, food and energy. While accounting for a fifth of the world’s population, its oil consumption has risen 35-fold in the past decade and Africa is now providing a third of it; imports of steel, copper and aluminium have also shot up, with Beijing devouring 80 per cent of world supplies.

The pot-holed roads are cluttered with Chinese buses, taking people to markets filled with cheap Chinese goods. More than a thousand miles of new Chinese railroads are crisscrossing the continent, carrying billions of tons of illegally-logged timber, diamonds and gold.

So it isn’t just neo-liberals like Larry Summers, Obama’s Director of the White House Economic Council, that think Africa is the ideal toxic waste dump for the industrialized world.

China has become the most important client for African politicians hoping to join the queue for possibly the biggest ecological disasters imaginable.

China is supplying the arms to fuel the continent’s wars and propping up dictators formerly propped up by other colonialists; madness touched rulers such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.  From the same article:

However, there is a lethal price to pay. There is a sinister aspect to this invasion. Chinese-made war planes roar through the African sky, bombing opponents. Chinese-made assault rifles and grenades are being used to fuel countless murderous civil wars, often over the materials the Chinese are desperate to buy.

Take, for example, Zimbabwe. Recently, a giant container ship from China was due to deliver its cargo of three million rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 3,000 rocket-propelled grenades and 1,500 mortars to President Robert Mugabe’s regime.

or the murderous regime in Sudan’s Darfur region.  Also from the article:

Nowhere is that more true than Sudan. Branded ‘Africa’s Killing Fields’, the massive oil-rich East African state is in the throes of the genocide and slaughter of hundreds of thousands of black, non-Arab peasants in southern Sudan.

In effect, through its supplies of arms and support, China has been accused of underwriting a humanitarian scandal. The atrocities in Sudan have been described by the U.S. as ‘the worst human rights crisis in the world today’.

According to Human Rights First, a leading human rights advocacy organisation, Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers and ammunition for rifles and heavy machine guns are continuing to flow into Darfur, which is dotted with giant refugee camps, each containing hundreds of thousands of people.

With all the investments China makes in Africa, Chinese laborers imported into Africa have caused anger. From the article:

There have also been riots in Zambia, Angola and Congo over the flood of Chinese immigrant workers. The Chinese do not use African labour where possible, saying black Africans are lazy and unskilled.

In Angola, the government has agreed that 70 per cent of tendered public works must go to Chinese firms, most of which do not employ Angolans.

As well as enticing hundreds of thousands to settle in Africa, they have even shipped Chinese prisoners to produce the goods cheaply.

In Kenya, for example, only ten textile factories are still producing, compared with 200 factories five years ago, as China undercuts locals in the production of ‘African’ souvenirs.

Not just oil, this time, but the oil helps.


Albinos Killed for Body Parts-Tanzania

March 9, 2009

Roaming the internet can be an eye opener. A jaw dropper. Imagine. All the horrors in the world and all the ignorance that fuels it.
Albinos in Kenya and Tanzania are killed for their body parts. Bodies, already buried are dug up and dismembered to make potions for those desiring to get rich.

excerpt:

Mluge is an albino, and in Tanzania there is a price for his pinkish skin now.

“I feel like I am being hunted,” he said.

Discrimination against albinos is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa, but recently in Tanzania it has taken a wicked twist: At least 19 albinos, including children, have been killed and mutilated in the past year, victims of what Tanzanian officials say is a growing criminal trade in albino body parts.

Many people in Tanzania — and across Africa, for that matter — believe albinos have magical powers. They stand out, often the lone white face in a black crowd, a result of a genetic condition that impairs normal skin pigmentation and strikes about one in 3,000 people here. Tanzanian officials say witch doctors are now marketing albino skin, bones and hair as ingredients in potions that are promised to make people rich.

In other news in Kenya, authorities sought the execution style murderers of of two human rights advocates:

excerpt:

Oscar Kamau Kingara was the head of the Oscar Foundation, which had released a report on extrajudicial killings and the disappearance of thousands of Kenyans in police custody. John Paul Oulu was the foundation’s communications and advocacy director. They were killed on their way to meet with a senior member of Kenya’s top human rights group.


Obama’s “Friend” Rick Warren Plays with AIDS-HIV Fire

January 9, 2009

For all of you “progressive” Obama apologists and LGBT Obama enthusiasts, below is an article by Max Blumenthal, writing yesterday from The Daily Beast, about  conservative Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren. The pastor the President-Elect has selected to deliver a prayer at the presidential inaugural on January 20th is  far worse than some of us ever guessed.  Before you read it, here is a snapshot:

President-Elect Barak Obama has referred to Pastor Warren’s work combating AIDS-HIV in Africa as a stellar accomplishment uniting the two powerful men in Warren’s “purpose driven” causes. Few details surrounding Warren’s AIDS outreach have been disclosed by the MSM but the information revealed in Mr. Blumenthal’s coverage are eye-opening. Mr. Warren is described as promoting an all-abstinence campaign with the help of Ugandan officials which was funded with earmarks from the Republican controlled congress to the tune of $200 million. The burning of condoms and the all-abstinence campaign have actually RAISED the AIDS-HIV rate, especially among women.

As part of the Christian anti-AIDS-HIV campaign, gay activists had their pictures and home addresses published on the internet and many were forced into hiding. There is much more to be disgusted and shocked about in this story.

Pastor Warren has described himself as “not homophopic”, sufficiently gay-friendly to have the sodomites and lezzies over to his house to eat a fattening meal. Melissa Etheridge, well-known lesbian recording artist, swallowed this Obama-Warren hockum and spewed it back out for consumption in the LGBT community. She was rightly criticized for her astonishingly naive, Kool-Aide inspired shout-out on Warren’s behalf. The LGBT community has raised concerns about Obama’s Rick Warren pick, but so far NOTHING much in the way of protest has come from the women’s activist community. Nothing, nada in protest has come from Nancy Pelosi, part of the Obama inaugural committee, Speaker of the House of Representatives and congresswoman from California’s 8th district, with one of the largest gay constituencies in the nation.