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Discussions on Women's Rights

Trump Slams Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand In Suggestive Tweet

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      He's doing it again! The man knows no shame.

      WASHINGTON — A day after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) called for President Donald Trump’s resignation in the wake of renewed sexual misconduct allegations, he fired back at her, claiming that she was once “begging” him for campaign contributions and that she “would do anything for them.”

      He wrote, “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

      A number of Trump’s critics immediately found his tweet itself a form of harassment and took it as suggestive innuendo about a female. Mika Brzezinski said on “Morning Joe” that its was “derogatory and disgusting.”

      http://variety.com/2017/politics/news/trump-kirsten-gillibrand-tweet-1202637342/

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      Word Of The Year: Feminism

      Why Merriam-Webster Picked 'Feminism' as Its

      2017 Word of the Year

      Merriam-Webster Reveals Its Word of the Year for 2017
      “Feminism”.
      By Billy Perrigo
      10:52 AM EST

      The year 2017 began with the Women’s March on Washington, and ended with a #MeToo movement that saw thousands women empowered to speak up about sexual harassment. It is with these cultural shifts in mind that Merriam-Webster on Tuesday declared “feminism” its 2017 Word of the Year.

      The accolade is given each year to a word looked up on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary disproportionately more than in previous years. Feminism beat out contenders such as dotard, complicit, recuse and empathy for the 2017 top spot.

      “No one word can ever encapsulate all the news, events, or stories of a given year,” Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, said in a statement. “But when we look back at the past 12 months and combine an analysis of words that have been looked up much more frequently than during the previous year along with instances of intense spikes of interest because of news events, we see that one word stands out in both categories.”

      Feminism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and “organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.”

      Searches for the word spiked during the Women;s March on Washington D.C., the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Other events that had an impact on searches included when Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said she didn’t consider herself a feminist. Merriam-Webster said interest in the blockbuster movie Wonder Woman and the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale also increased searches for the term.

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          Food for thought. The premise;

          White women have a history of betraying their sisters. The 2016 election was no exception. According to exit polls, 53% of white women in America voted for Donald Trump. The pattern of white women choosing white men over women of color underscores some of the more insidious machinations of patriarchy and the racism ingrained in the feminist movement. White women’s modus operandi for gaining power—economic, political, and otherwise—is simple: acquire power from those who have it. And those who have historically have had it are white men. This has resulted in white women’s historic abandonment of their black and brown sisters, as well as their more heinous adoption of white supremacist rhetoric to advance their own status.

          https://qz.com/835567/election-2016-white-women-voted-for-donald-trump-in-2016-because-they-still-believe-white-men-are-their-saviors/

          White women need education, empathy, and a collective consciousness. In the minds of the 53% of white women who supported Trump, what makes them think that a sexist, racist white man will change the system and upend “the establishment”? This contradictory logic highlights a toxic cocktail of cognitive dissonance, internalized misogyny, and not-so-subtle racism that continues to impede women’s political and economic progress. This isn’t ideology; this is about ending the oppression of all women and eradicating the structures that prevent women from controlling their bodies and their lives.

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          Roy Moore And The Christian Fundamentalists

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              BY S.M.A., AKA KarateG,

              Recently, I read an article noting that Roy Moore met his wife in a Bible study class. However, after reading a couple of additional pieces with references to Moore’s own book, they mentioned that he originally likely saw his wife Kayla dancing at a recital several years before, when she was fifteen or sixteen years old. “I knew Kayla was going to be a special person in my life,” Moore recalls, in regards to the then teenager who later became his wife. Strange, I thought, most thirty-something men don’t think about teenage girls in this way, but with many accusations of Moore’s affinity for teenage girls and alleged sexual harassments, one can’t help but wonder if this was typical of his thinking. Most men at that age wouldn’t be caught dead carousing shopping malls for dates with teenage girls, or at least would be deeply ashamed of their proclivities. However, inside of some fundamentalist, religious communities, a grain of this idea supporting grown men dating underage girls is often idealized and not as far-fetched as many of us would like to believe.

              Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson had once recommended, “You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16.” Apparently, Phil advocates that child-brides are preferable to their grown-up, adult counterparts. By, 20, he notes young women are less suitable. And, in fact, he married his a sixteen-years-old wife when he was twenty-year-old. Their age difference is not exactly scandalous, but my thought is why not wait until a child becomes an adult for marriage? Children are, after all, not like adults, as most developmental psychologists will assert.

              People like Christian homeschooling leader Jonathan Lindvall actually romanticize stories about child brides marrying much older men, as was the tale told of Matthew Chapman and Maranatha Owen. Matthew told Maranatha’s father that he was interested in her when she was still a thirteen-year-old child and he was already a man of twenty-six. By fifteen, her father allowed the twenty-seven year-old man to marry his daughter, and several years later, Matthew argued that some girls are ready to marry this young, stating, “I have also seen that, oftentimes, a difference in age—even a significant one—with the man being older, helps make for a better fit.” In other words, he condones adult males marrying underage minor girls, and perhaps even encourages it. The girls who become child brides are not asked to marry, but are instead ‘given’ from their fathers to their husband, an exchange in which she may or may not have consented to and is likely too young to make a mature decision about anyway. For me, practices like this reduce a girl, dangerously, to a piece of property transferred from one owner to another.

              Some in the Christian fundamentalist movement idealizes Matthew and Maranatha. In fact, their sixteen-year-old daughter Lauren has recently married a twenty-six year old man, following the family tradition of child brides. Matthew contends that home-schooled girls, like the Duggars on television, mature faster and are ready to be wed, sometimes before they reach legal age. Many fundamentalist religious movements encourage young marriage as a way to avoid sinful behavior, like engaging in sexual activities before marriage. However, it’s interesting to note that girls are often the underage partners, upwards of 90%. Their much-older male counterparts seem to generate less interest in whether they have been sexually active before marriage or not. In my view, this dichotomy of older males paired with child brides tends to benefit the male partners far more than the underage girls. Marriages for minor girls are much more likely to leave them living in poverty, suffering from depression and anxiety and abused by spouses. Also, very few attend college or develop skills that will afford them to be self-supporting or having a career, something that might come in handy if a spouse is derelict or abusive. Dependency is the constant, whether under their father’s control or their husbands.

              Eerily similar to the age difference between Matthew and Maranatha is that of Moore and his accusers. Perhaps in Moore’s worldview, trying to have a relationship with a teenage girl had been somehow normalized because of his cultural or religious beliefs. I just don’t know, but instead of pursuing women also in their thirties, he sought out children and tried to date them. One can picture a group of teenage girls rolling their eyes and saying something like, “Here comes that old, creepy man again” as they pop their gum and look for boys their age. To most teenage girls, not home-schooled and from a fundamentalist religious group, a thirty-something year-old man is just plain old and probably deserves pity for trying to pursue them.

              Even if Moore’s religious views prompted him to attempt courting these girls, the stories about him reveal a difference compared to those of Matthew Chapman or Phil Robertson. Those men courted and married young brides. They didn’t try to take them back to their houses or dark parking lots and frighten them by groping their bodies, as one then fourteen-year-old victim alleges. One could ask, “Was Moore an awkward individual searching for a partner or was he perhaps a more predatory creature waiting to pounce on a a vulnerable girl?” Either way, there is something disturbing about a man asking a mother if she wanted him to watch her daughter while the women enters the courthouse for a custody hearing and then later secretly picking up the child in his car for a ‘date’ at his house. Leigh Corfman’s story about Moore should be disturbing to anyone, even those fundamentalists who support marrying grown men to child brides. One would hope that the people of Alabama would think hard about this election and feel free to speak to those who claim Moore was banned from a shopping mall for harassing girls or to discuss with anyone else the signs that Moore was capable of this kind of behavior. Moore claims these allegations are false, but so far, I haven’t heard of him denying that he dated teenage girls, nor has he spoken of any plans to take a polygraph to clear his name of these charges. Let’s hope that those voices of women who claim they were victimized long ago are not silenced once again by a powerful man who has not yet been held accountable for his actions.

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              The Trump Effect

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                  The Trump Effect

                  (Written by S.M.A., AKA KarateGirl)

                  Although Harvey Weinstein appears to be leading the pack in terms of the sheer numbers of those claiming he sexually assaulted or raped them, make no mistake as to who provided the catalyst for the recent movement calling out sexual predators caught using their powerful positions to launch assaults on those more vulnerable. It was not even Roy Moore, a then thirty-something assistant district attorney, who was allegedly banned from a shopping mall for repeatedly pursuing and harassing teenage girls, including those under the legal age of consent. In light of his unwanted advances and sexually assault allegations, including a highly disturbing one made by a then fourteen-years-old, he now awaits his fate in the polls. However, neither of these men is the person who triggered this avalanche of outrage from sexual assault victims and those demanding justice for them across the country. As Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona stated, “If we become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.” Flake was right to pair the behaviors of these two men, for it was none other than Donald Trump, the man who bragged about his power to touch and look at women and girls without their permission, whose election provided the final straw for many, especially women. His presidential inauguration served as the last act before the house of cards began to fall, taking down several, wealthy, powerful individuals who probably never thought their accusers would come forward and be taken seriously. Granted, others like Bill Cosby, and even Bill Clinton, were already paving the way with many sexual assault and rape allegations made against them, but Donald Trump’s own inflammatory words and growing list of possible assaults signaled a new era of women standing up to powerful men and demanding they finally be held accountable.

                  After Trump’s election, millions of women, and many men who support them, marched against a president whose public musings on television, print, and radio, over the years, provided a glimpse into how powerful men feel entitled to do as they please in regards to women. The march was a decisive, coming-together moment for many in the cause against sexual assault and abuse. Many wore pink, feline hats as a direct reproach to the man recorded bragging about kissing and grabbing women’s bodies without their consent. Some of his supporters claimed his words were merely ‘locker room’ talk, the kind of harmless, macho stuff guys say to one another when no one else is around, but this contention rings fairly hollow in light of the many allegations against Trump now made by several women. He serves as a direct reflection of a power dynamic’s imbalance that has manifested itself for decades, influencing the structure of boardrooms, inserting itself into political back offices, and even seeping behind the closed doors at casting calls.

                  Until recently, many women in these environments felt compelled to carry crib notes and hold private discussions amongst themselves, highlighting men’s offences and where to not be alone with the predatory individuals with whom they must interact as part of their careers. Elevators, private meetings, and invitations for dinner and drinks might just provide the traps where the inequity of one’s position can be used as leverage for a higher up to wager a sexual assault. Most times, it is the less-powerful women who are left with a sense of guilt and self-recrimination, silently wondering if they did something to invite the unwanted sexual advances and planning ways to avoid them in the future.

                  Many times, society has been quick to question those claiming victimization, asking what they did to provoke it, what clothes they wore, and if they secretly wanted a man’s advances. The assumption has always been that somehow a victim could avoid an assault if he or she really wanted to, but the reality, too often, is that those in power utilize their position to prey upon the vulnerabilities of others, whether it is because of another’s age, subordinate position, or career ambitions. Places like the workforce and the political arena are no more immune to sexual assaults than the local shopping malls or beauty pageants, and the Trump Effect has finally provided a mobilizing force that might push for those in power to be held accountable, taken out of leadership positions when necessary, or to spend time behind bars when ruled by law. Perhaps, history will note Trump’s presidency in terms of its connection to the downfall of many powerful individuals, especially men, and its consequent offering of hope for justice to those who have remained silent for far too long.

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                  My Story Of Sexual Harassment

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                      Yes, a section for women to now write about their experiences. Let me share a couple that might shed some light on my views. On the question of whether I have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace and in college, let me state that 'yes' I have, and now that women are speaking out in various sectors, this is why it is so important to not let the momentum of this movement die.

                      When I was in college, I took a geography class, the abridged, summer version, as it was not my favorite subject and I wished to complete the requirement in less time than a whole semester. It was hot out, about 90 degrees most days -- with no working air-conditioning in the classrooms, so I wore shorts and a tank top to class to avoid sweating like a wildebeest. Over time, I noticed the professor looking at me, in a not-so-wholesome way, so I tended to sit in the back of the room, away from him. He was around 60 years-old and seemed like a socially awkward individual, so I kept my distance. One day, my best friend came running up along side of me while I was heading to class, and she told me he was walking behind me, staring at parts of my anatomy. I felt sick and wouldn't enter his classroom if I was the first student to arrive. At the end of the term, I knew I was sailing in with an "A" in the course. However, I received a grade card in the mail, stating that I received a "B". I contacted the professor, who was also the dean of the department, and we scheduled a meeting. In a dark, windowless room he sat behind his desk, waiting for me to enter. I immediately felt uncomfortable, but I wanted to find out what happened to my grade, so I entered the room. After going over my test scores, which clearly indicated I deserved an "A," he suggested that I might go 'camping' with him as extra credit to improve my grade. This made no sense to me, as I had already completed all of the classroom extra credit that term. However, when he looked at me, I began to realize, in complete horror, that he was letting me know that he would not give me the grade I earned until I went somewhere private with him off campus-- you get the gist of what he wanted. I felt like I was floating above the room, looking down. Total disbelief struck me, and I thought "this can't be happening to me!" I left and consulted the associate dean of the department about what to do. She said it would just be a case of he-said-she-said and told me I would likely be dragged through the mud and questioned as to whether I led the man on (not likely. He made me feel nauseous just to look at him.), and that everything I did and wore would be heavily scrutinized. In the end, she said I would likely receive no justice. I took the "B," not because that was the grade I earned but because I wasn't up to the fight with those odds against me. He truly was a despicable man.

                      I applied for a job working for a high-powered accountant who handled a lot of movie industry individuals, actors and singers. I met him and his wife at his firm, and they interviewed me together. She was a seemingly sweet lady, and I was glad to get the job, which paid well for a twenty-something person. It started fine, when she was there, but after a short time, the accountant began hanging around me while I was typing, making jokes and telling me about his dissatisfaction with his wife. I was severely uncomfortable, so I would not comment and continued my work, keeping exceptionally busy at all moments. A few weeks into my employment, he began asking me to lunch and to have drinks, for some reason Bourbon, after work. I said "no" to both and began to realize he was trying to make a move on me. He was double my age, married, and I had NO interest in him. My dilemma was that I needed the job to pay for college expenses, since I was paying for my college education myself. I tried to stay away from him and yet he would walk up behind me while I was paying bills or typing and try to look down my shirts. I wore clothes that were over-sized, my skirts were large enough to cover an entire homeless encampment, in hopes he would leave me alone. As he began to lean closer and try to whisper things to me, I realized that I would need to quit. He was not going to stop until he got what he wanted. Again, I understood that I probably would not be believed. This man was a highly regarded professional, had a beautiful wife, two adorable children, and he was a total creep who tried to hump anyone who happened to be female within the office. One co-worker confirmed this to me, and she offered me details of how he tried to seduce ALL of the other female employees. And then she did something I will never forget. She showed me his salt-and-pepper (as she called the color) wig that was hung on a rack in his closet, and I laughed so hard and spun it in my index finger. The wig-wearing, bald, perv might have made me quit, but at least I now knew what kind of phony, skirt-chasing, wife-cheating jerk he was.

                      I gave up a good paying job, but regained peace of mind.

                      Again, this is what a lot of women face at universities and in the workplace. Many face much worse abuse and sexual harassment. I think it is far time to shame men who abuse women, or men, in theses situations. I hope no one makes false accusations about these predators because the truth is far worse for most of us already. I hope justice will be served for all of the damage men like theses have done.

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                      Quizzing For Justice

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                          Here's a history/geography/political/biography photo quiz, complete with the usual completely unbelievable, astonishing, never before seen, prizes for the winner(s). For reasons that will be obvious to them, neither Michael Buckner nor Fred Whitehead is eligible to enter.

                          1. Who is being quoted? (full name, please)
                          2. Nickname of person being quoted?
                          3. Where, exactly, is the plaque (city or town, province or state, nation, and further detail[s] about the place?

                          Bonus question &/or hint: What are the exact birth and death dates of the author (so *now* you know it's not a living person).

                          Start your engines:

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                          Bernie Sanders At His Best.

                          With my thanks to; Dose of Dissonance

                          #BERNIE • Published on Nov 8, 2017

                          Bernie Sanders brilliantly explains the Paradise Papers and destroys the tax plan of Trump & his lackeys!
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                          “a Small Class Of Enormously Wealthy And Economically Powerful Men..."

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                              ... “a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power,” could destroy American democracy. That quoted line is from, of course, a Republican President. To learn what Republicans--and, emphatically, Democrats, too--need to do about this, read Robert Reich's offering today, "The Growing Danger of Dynastic Wealth":

                              http://robertreich.org/

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