Thursday, November 24, 2005

Rape Myths in the UK

An Amnesty Report indicates that a third (34%) of people in the UK believe that a woman is partially or totally responsible for being raped if she has behaved in a flirtatious manner.

Some responses and their excerpts:

"Wouldn't it be interesting to conduct a survey about mugging victims' culpability in their muggings? If I was creating one of these surveys I'd ask whether driving an expensive car makes the victim partly responsible for the crime of carjacking or if checking the time with ones Rolex in plain view contributes to the arm being cut off when the watch is stolen."

Deanna Zandt from Alternet
"By focusing continually on the situations that women are subjected to rape, we reinforce the victim's 'participation' in the crime, and remove the subject -- the rapist -- from responsibility."

Lakshmi Chaudhry from Alternet
"The really, really sad part: there isn't much of a gender difference in those numbers. Apparently, even English women think that the bitch is just asking for it."

"And people have the nerve to ask me why I’m a feminist."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wacky-Off: Jean Schmidt vs. Pat Robertson

I can't decide who's wackier, Ohio's Jean Schmidt or Pat Robertson. Here's the first of my pair of limericks about Jean Schmidt's outrageous House floor speech, in which she called John Murtha a coward because of his Iraq withdrawal plan:

A Rep From Ohio Named Jean
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A Rep from Ohio named Jean
Called John Murtha a coward. How mean!
The Dems were quite riled
At her unprovoked bile.
She beat Hackett? How sad and obscene!

You can find both Schmidt limericks plus a Pat Robertson limerick here.

And here's my audio / podcast version.

Friday, November 18, 2005

because We need our own place!

I have started a Webring of sorts for all single moms. Its a way for us together and support one another. If you are a single mom please join my webring and lets make it Our webring....
Single Mommies Ring homepage
Or Just Join by:
Clicking here!

Bob Dylan and Juan Cole... Brilliant!

First time I post here, thanks for inviting me to be part of this!!!

I have to start with a post I already put on my blog but it's just simply such a good article/post, I think you'll all appreciate it!

Click here for the latest Juan Cole article

It's quite the blow on our "dear" low percentage approval rating government!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Musings of a Naijaman - a Nigerian man living and blogging in the UK: Adichie makes the John Llewellyn Prize shortlist

Calling All Geeks

(cross-posted at I See Invisible People)

CALL FOR PAPERS: She's Such a Geek An Anthology by and for Women Obsessed with Computers, Science, Comic Books, Gaming, Spaceships, and Revolution

Slated for Fall 2006

Geeks are taking over the world. They make the most popular movies and games, pioneer new ways to communicate using technology, and create new ideas that will change the future. But the stereotype is that only men can be geeks. So when are we going to hear from the triumphant female nerds whose stories of outer space battles will inspire generations, and whose inventions will change the future? Right now. Female geeks are busting out of the labs and into the spotlight. They have the skills and knowledge that can inspire social progress, scientific breakthroughs, and change the world for the better, and they're making their voices heard, some for the first time, in Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders' book She's Such a Geek.

This anthology will celebrate women who have flourished in the male-dominated realms of technical and cultural arcana. We're looking for a wide range of personal essays about the meaning of female nerdhood by women who are in love with genomics, obsessed with blogging, learned about sex from Dungeons and Dragons, and aren't afraid to match wits with men or computers. The essays in She's Such a Geek will explain what it means to be passionately engaged with technical or obscure topics and how to deal with it when people tell you that your interests are weird, especially for a girl. This book aims to bust stereotypes of what it means to be a geek, as well as what it means to be female.

More than anything, She's Such a Geek is a celebration and call to arms: it's a hopeful book which looks forward to a day when women will pilot spaceships, invent molecular motors, design the next ultra-tiny supercomputer, write epics, and run the government. We want introspective essays that explain what being a geek has meant to you. Describe how you've fought stereotypes to be accepted among nerds. Explore why you are obsessed with topics and ideas that are supposed to be "for boys only." Tell us how you felt the day you realized that you would be devoting the rest of your life to discovering algorithms or collecting comic books. We want strong, personal writing that is also smart and critical. We don't mind if you use the word "fuck," and we don't mind if you use the word "telomerase." Be celebratory, polemical, wistful, angry, and just plain dorky.

Possible topics include:

· what turned you into a geek
· your career in science, technology, or engineering
· growing up geeky
· being a geek in high school today
· battling geek stereotypes (i.e racial stereotypes and geekdom, cultural analysis of geek chic and the truth about nerds, the idea that women have to choose between being sexually desirable and smart, stereotypes about geek professions such as computer programmers)
· sex and dating among geeks
·science fiction fandom
· role-playing game or comic-book subcultures
· the joys of math
· blogging or videogames
· female geek bonding
· geek role models for women
· feminist commentary on geek culture
· women's involvement in DiY science and technology groups
· Stories from women involved in geek pop and underground cultures. These might include comic book writers, science fiction writers, electronic music musicians, and women interested in the gaming world.
· women's web networks and web zine grrrl culture
· Issues of sexism in any or all of the above themes

Editors: Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders are geeky women writers. Annaleeis a contributing editor at Wired magazine and writes the syndicated column Techsploitation. Charlie is the author of Choir Boy (Soft Skull Press) and publisher of other magazine.

Publisher: Seal Press, an imprint of Avalon Publishing Group, publishes groundbreaking books by and for women in a variety of topics.

Deadline: January 15, 2006

Length: 3,000-6,000 words

Format: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and a short bio on the last page. Essays will not be returned.

Submitting: Send essay electronically as a Document or Rich Text Format file to Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders at

Payment: $100 plus two books

Reply: Please allow until February 15 for a response. If you haven't received a response by then, please assume your essay has not been selected. It is not possible to reply to every submission personally.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Helping People in Need This Holiday Season

I sometimes feel as though I am a very selfish person. I stress about things happening in my life that others wished that was all they had to worry about. Today, I received an email from HR for giving to families in need. Searching through the list, I saw many stories about single mothers trying to take care of their children, fathers trying to assist their families, and families that lost everything due to Hurricane Katrina. I signed up for a few Christmas present. Is there more I could do? I could and try by helping non-profit organizations during my free time.

If I had all the money in the world, I would adopt, give millions to people in need, and just try to make the world a better place. But I don't. Therefore, all I can do right now is help at least one person during this holiday season. It is known that the holiday season is when there are the most suicides.

If you feel like assisting someone, please check Volunteer Match, Charitable Choices, or go to your local supermarket and inquire within.

I hope everyone has a good holiday season.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

In Which We Re-Visit the 'Door Opening' Mythology

[X-Posted at Rox Pop]

Ah, kids. I wrote about this urban legend blogospheric eons ago. As a commenter pointed out here then, it's possible it has its origins in Marilyn Frye's essay, Oppression:

"The door-opening pretends to be a helpful service, but the helpfulness is false. This can be seen by noting that it will be done whether or not it makes any practical sense... The gallant gestures have no practical meaning. Their meaning is symbolic. The door-opening and similar services provided are services which really are needed by people who are for one reason or another incapacitated – unwell, burdened with parcels, etc. So the message is that women are incapable... The message of the false helpfulness of male gallantry is female dependence, the invisibility or insignificance of women, and contempt for women."

I took a handful of women's studies courses back in the early '80s [at the first University to offer a major in women's studies, btw] and I'd never heard of Frye or this essay until last January. Maybe I ditched and went surfing the day it was covered. Is it widely taught?

Or, more to the point, has there ever been an angry mob of protesting feminists who refuse to have men open doors for them? Does anyone have the time to register the gender of someone opening the door for them? Or is this simply yet another instance of taking the opinions and/ or actions of the fringe and attributing them to a larger group in an effort to render the larger group or cause perjorative in the mainstream?

John Edwards: "I was wrong."

First, I want to thank everyone for inviting me to join Blog Sisters, especially Roxanne @ Rox Populi. I'm thrilled to be here and look forward to posting. I'm new around here, so I'm going to start off with something that may be a little odd, but is so important I simply have to share it. John Edwards has come out to admit he was wrong about Iraq. A little about my stance on the war, as a Democratic Party hawk, I was against this war, because it was the wrong fight. Anyway, I've put Edwards entire letter on my site, which I invite you to visit. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton continues to "stay the course," which is untenable, but there you have it. As Edwards says, "it was a mistake." Amen to that. Here are a few paragraphs...

Dear Friend,

I was wrong.

I wrote these words about my vote to authorize the Iraq war in a Washington Post op-ed piece and I want to share my views with you as well.

Almost three years ago, we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.

It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a very dear price. It is not right, just or fair that we made a mistake, but they pay for that mistake. ...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Yet Another White House Leak

Now that Harriet Miers' office has announced mandatory ethics classes for all White House EOP staffers, I guess we're supposed to forget about Libby's indictment and Karl Rove's ethical transgressions. Of course, these classes are nothing more than window dressing designed to dupe us into thinking Bush gives a damn about ethics.

How do I know this? A top secret White House source leaked this Harriet Miers memo to me, in a exclusive.

And on another topic, I'm newly in love with Senator Harry Reid and Rule 21. Senator Frist, however, doesn't share my feelings. And that brings me to my latest limerick.

Finally, my latest podcast is here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

4 Judge Sam Alito Limericks

Now that Harriet Miers is back doing whatever it is she does best (writing Bush mash notes and covering his tracks?) Bush has a new nominee to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. And I'm afraid he's just the sort of extremist judge we feared a weakened Bush would come up with - 3rd Circuit Judge Samuel Alito. And that means it's time for some limericks. Here's one of four:

There Once Was A Judge Named Alito
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There once was a judge named Alito,
Who's often called Judge Sam Scalito.
He's fond of state powers.
At labor he glowers.
The Dems must Alito's name veto.

All four of the limericks are here.

And my audio / podcast version is here.

Yoni Ki Baat- South Asian Vagina Monologues in San Francisco!

For those living in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, the following promises to be a great event! See this article to learn more about the project and the group that's putting it on!

South Asian Sisters proudly presents...

~~~~ YONI KI BAAT ~~~~

An all-new, completely original performance of
South Asian Sisters' acclaimed 'Yoni ki Baat'
(Talks of the Vagina) will feature all-new titillating
monologues, drink specials, and a late-night after-

Saturday, November 19th, 2005 @ 8 PM
The Canvas Gallery, 1200 9th Ave (at Lincoln),
San Francisco, California
(Bart to the N Muni line, get off at 9th)

Tickets are $10 in advance (but them online on our
site), and $15 at the door.
Visit , or email for more info!

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Asian
Women's Shelter, a shelter program for battered
Asian women and their children.


What to do with teenagers when roller skating gets old? SkyZone!

As the mother of a teenage daughter, figuring out activities that give ME a break, are nearby, don't involve computers and cell phones...