I completely agree with Stephanie Coontz below. It’s important for women to fully understand HOW THINGS USED TO BE before we can fully understand how things are now — and why we still, unfortunately, have to fight for things like contraception, choice, equal pay and opportunity, education, etc. I mean, just look at Liz Trotta’s opinions for this week’s unfortunate example of why we still need to fight (there’s a GOP / Fox “News” woman for you!).
GOP presidential candidates like Rick Santorum, who want to impose their religious / social views on the lives of others, are a threat to society and to progress generally, and to women in particular. You don’t have to label yourself a ‘feminist’ to realize we’ve got it better today than they had it in the ’60s and other than white males, seriously, who would want to go back to all that?
“Mad Men’s” authentic portrait of women’s lives in the early 1960s makes it hard for some women to watch. Over the course of its first three seasons, I interviewed almost 200 women from the same era for a new book on the Greatest Generation’s wives and daughters. Many had suffered from the same numbness that plagued Betty Draper in the first season. They had seen psychiatrists who were as unhelpful and patronizing as the one Don Draper hired for his wife, or they had been married to men who displayed a sense of male entitlement similar to Don’s. Those who had worked, whether before or after marriage, had experienced the same discrimination and sexual harassment as the female employees at the show’s ad agency.
Yet to my surprise, most of these women refused to watch “Mad Men.” Not because they found its portrayal of male-female relations unrealistic — in fact, many recounted treatment in real life that was even more dramatic and horrifying than that on the show. It was precisely because “Mad Men” portrayed the sexism of that era so unflinchingly, they told me, that they could not bear to watch.
The rest of us, however, should tune in for a much-needed lesson on the devastating costs of a way of life that still evokes misplaced nostalgia. We should be glad that the writers are resisting the temptation to transform their female characters into contemporary heroines. They’re not, and they cannot be. That is the brilliance of the show’s script.
“Mad Men’s” writers are not sexist. The time period was.
Note: Okay, except for the dresses. I do love the women’s clothes on this show. We could go back to the styles. Nothing else.
This is great. The wannabe President of Our Bedrooms explains his feelings on women in the military and especially in combat positions to accompaniment of very funny animation:
I like this. So much.
Texas federal Judge Fred Biery is a key villain in GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s narrative about why federal judges are out of control and must be intimidated into submission. Gingrich routinely cites a previous decision by Biery holding that the Constitution does not permit a public school district to sponsor a student-led prayer at graduation to justify eliminating courts that displease Gingrich [...] In his order approving the settlement, Biery includes an unusual “personal statement” directed at the many lawmakers who, like Gingrich, have painted him as some kind of enemy of religion:
To the United States Marshal Service and local police who have provided heightened security: Thank you.
To those Christians who have venomously and vomitously cursed the Court family and threatened bodily harm and assassination: In His name, I forgive you.
To those who have prayed for my death: Your prayers will someday be answered, as inevitably trumps probability.
To those in the executive and legislative branches of government who have demagogued this case for their own political goals: You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Biery also includes a clever dig at the many Christian right groups that have attacked him:
“Any American can pray, silently or verbally, seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, in private as Jesus taught or in large public events as Mohammed instructed.”
Touché, Judge. And thank you for your service.
1) Poll: Nearly Half Of Americans Say Deficit Primarily Caused By Wealthy Not Paying Enough In Taxes - A plurality of Americans — 46 percent — say the primary cause for the nation’s deficits is that “wealthy Americans don’t pay enough in taxes,” according to a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll. Just three percent blamed too much federal spending on the elderly, and just 14 percent blamed too much federal spending on poor people. Meanwhile, 80 percent oppose cuts to Medicare, 75 percent oppose cuts to Social Security, and nearly two-thirds oppose cuts to Medicaid. Perhaps for those reasons, Americans prefer President Obama’s budget, which raises taxes on the rich and preserves Medicare and Social Security, by a 10-point margin over the one proposed by congressional Republicans.
2) TheTruth Behind The GOP’s ‘1000 Days Without A Budget’ Canard - But the much more important fact Republicans have left out is that the Senate passed a budget on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis last summer — one that unlike an annual “budget resolution” has the force of law behind it. The Budget Control Act — the law that resolved the debt limit fight — set binding appropriations caps for this fiscal year and the next and instituted a mechanism to contain spending on domestic discretionary programs — education, research, community health programs and the like — through the next decade. [...] When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says it would be redundant for the Senate to pass a budget, this is what he means. Republicans know this.
3) Poll: Catholics approval of Obama mostly unchanged amid birth control battle - Catholics approval of President Barack Obama has remained relatively unchanged despite facing harsh opposition from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over new contraception rules. A survey released Tuesday by Gallup found that 46 percent of Catholics approved of Obama last week. A week prior to that his approval was at 49 percent, a change within the margin of error. [...] Facing a backlash from Catholic bishops and their Republican supporters, the White House said last week that it would change the proposed rules by exempting religious hospitals and universities, and instead mandating that insurance companies provide those services.
4) The Internal Contradictions of Mitt Romney - And by “internal”, I mean in the same paragraph: “This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis,” Romney said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors”. Yep, Obama has failed to resolve the problem of excessive entitlement spending; furthermore, he’s cutting entitlement spending!
5) Rick Santorum doesn’t want to be typecast as a social conservative - Um, Ricky? Too late. Rick Santorum is hoping to turn the political conversation away from the social and cultural issues that have dominated his quest for the Republican presidential nomination so far and focus instead on the economy as he prepares to compete in the big, recession-plagued battleground state of Michigan. [...] So now, after endless moralizing and sanctimonious preaching against sex for fun, Santorum wants to pretend he’s got something else in his pocket? Ha ha ha! He’s a Republican. His job plan is to cut taxes for Mitt Romney. There. Done. Now that that’s out of the way, he can get back to talking about what he really wants to talk about: Your bedroom.
6) BREAKING: Tentative deal reached on payroll tax cut extension - Congressional negotiators have reached a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits while avoiding a fee cut for Medicare doctors, according to Republican legislators and aides.
7) Meh: Poll finds low enthusiasm for Republican candidates - Most Republicans believe Mitt Romney will be their party’s presidential nominee and that he has the best chance to beat President Barack Obama in November, a national poll released Tuesday found. But the CNN/ORC International poll found little enthusiasm for the former Massachusetts governor’s presidential bid, instead favoring Christian conservative Rick Santorum over Romney, 34 to 32 percent. The poll findings underscored Romney’s failure to ignite his base weeks into a primary season that has seen one candidate after another surge to challenge his de facto frontrunner status, and then lose steam.
Mitt or get off the pot - Nevertheless, he’s probably right that the GOP is running out of fools, that’s it’s quarter-to-three, there’s no one in the place except Rick and Romney, that it’s time for some hot man-on-man action: “We think this is a two-person race right now,” Santorum said on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday,“and we’re just focused on — on making sure that folks know we’re the best alternative to Barack Obama and we have the best chance of beating him.” I’ve always said that in this primary, Republican voters love the bad boys. Now it’s come down to a guy who wears sweater vests versus a guy who wears magic underwear. Who’s bad?
8) Wingnuts Furious About … Fox News Going Liberal - What are America’s old white racist exurban cretins on Medicare and Social Security upset about today? Oh, the usual: Obama, liberals, gays, sex, black people, youth, hippies, the poor, the rich, Mexicans, “the hip hop,” Iran, exercise, unemployment, unemployment benefits, vegetables, a talented black woman with addiction problems such as Whitney Houston, [or, now, her young daughter], organic farms, birth control, people having sexual intercourse in general, solar energy, Mormons, national parks, public transportation, Europe, NPR, Media Matters, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. WAIT WHAT IN THE ??? Yes, Fox News. The wingnuts have spastically lurched from one invented outrage to the next with such shallow furor that they finally wound up enraged about the very teevee channel that tells them what to freak out about.
9) 52% Say GOP Agenda In Congress Is Extreme - While positive ratings for Congress remain at an all-time low, more voters than ever see the Republican agenda in Congress as extreme. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% of Likely Voters say it would be more accurate to describe the agenda of Republicans in Congress as mainstream, while 52% feel extreme is a more accurate description. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.