Archive for sexuality

A Woman's View of Serial Genital Mutilation in Iraq (and everywhere else)

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WARNING: graphic and troubling graphics below, please check your environment. Thank You.

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Years ago, Kathy Griffin (a rather political comic with a strong voice) spoke of her having gone to Iraq during active U.S. conflict - the last time - that was absolutely in terrible taste but is something I've not forgotten in the interim - she achieved her point.

She had some sentimental moments (for Kathy) with our troops, then got into some dialogue later about one of the things that burned her as a woman: genital mutilation in the region, escalating every year and mega-egregiously offensive to women around the globe. Now ISIS is back in the mix, and Griffin's bit becomes that much more relevant.

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She essentially described an overview of what was being done to woman and girls in shocking numbers, and it isn't pretty. Griffith got halfway through the train of thought before she dropped a term I'll always remember, "big bucket of clits". It was in the context of things she found hardest to accept, like Sharia Law and the fact that a high percentage of females lining up to have their clitorises sliced off and discarded.

Here's a bit more information from Unicef.

It's beyond heartbreaking this misogynist balderdash, we passed into torture a while ago … it is rumored and reported that Egypt manages to mutilate the genitals of nearly 95% of women. Many are done near birth, like a bris gone bad.


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ISIS has brought all of this horror back to the front page. The tribal custom is old and has deep religious roots … this isn't just a punishment of mild chastising like we give date-rapers in our own country. It's a global ethics crisis.

Here are some words from activist women and victims themselves about this horrific practice.

War brings more need for wealth, arms and whatever strategies will work to keep the people down, help the regular poor and abused and violated girls and women, and historically defined as 'always' a bi-product of war: violence against women. Take your pick of countries to highlight, but at the moment Northern Iraq is in the spotlight.

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I can't look at these hideous images without tearing up - but I think they need to be seen. Those poor girls are simply born the wrong sex to be valued in the MidEast and other oppressive regions, the War On Women is GLOBAL.

From Alarabiya.net.

The al-Qaeda-Inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered all girls and women between the ages of 11 and 46 in and around Iraq's northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said on Thursday.

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“It is a fatwa (or religious edict) of ISIS, we learnt this this morning,” said Jacqueline Badcock, the number two U.N. official in Iraq.

The “fatwa” would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said, according to Reuters.

WHY? Indeed. Don't see Jesus or Allah signing off on this one.

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Lindsey Graham Is Hated By Tea Party, Yet Today He'll Win. Why?

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Lindsey Graham

When it comes to South Carolina's long-time senator, there's a love-hate relationship with him. A lot of Republicans like him because he's a cute little imp of a man, not really anyone who does anything, and that quiet, gentlemanly demeanor goes over well with the unwashed of his state.

But for the Tea Party, not so much. Fortunately they're a minority recently stepped off of their mother ship from the planet Moron and their association with the GOP is strictly a coincidence. Their spaceship crash landed and they were overtaken by the drum beat of hatred and bigotry coming from the Republican Tent. Besides, the word "No" in moron means "fart" and that puts a perpetual smile on their faces, as the GOP says "no" to everything.

To get a flavor for what these Tea Party aliens think of Senator Graham, or as Joel McHale referred to him at the recent White House Correspondents Dinner, " the Blanche DuBois of "A Streecar Named Desire..."  here's a bit on Blanche as reported by The Beast:

With a vitriol usually reserved for rapists and traitors, some of the most extreme Palmetto State conservatives have burned Graham in effigy and then flushed him down a toilet; derided him as a “war mongering, cowardly, fiscal liberal whore;” openly questioned the unmarried senator’s sexuality with the label “Miss Lindsey,” and promised Low Country voters a 2014 primary challenge against Graham of epic proportions. 

Sadly for America, and with great relief for Blanche, five candidates are splitting the conservative and Tea Party vote. Graham will easily win his party's nomination. In South Carolina, that's tantamount to winning the general election. The big question is whether he can muster up 50% of he primary vote to avoid a run-off. Now that could be interesting if the true conservatives would coalesce around his second place finisher should there be a run-off.

Conservative rag, Fitness News has this to say:

But Graham isn’t just a whore for our unwieldy taxpayer-subsidized military industrial complex – he’s a whore for all sorts of special interests. In fact he’s everything that’s wrong with Washington, D.C. – and he’s a “Republican.” Hell, recent television ads run by those same special interests are trying to fool impressionable South Carolinians (of which there are many, sadly) into believing that Graham is a “conservative.”

Meanwhile Graham – in an effort to ramp up those “conservative” credentials in anticipation of his 2014 reelection bid – is raising holy hell (again) in Washington, D.C. over the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. His public relations machine is also placing plenty of nice puff pieces in the Beltway media extolling his statesmanship and proclaiming his invincibility.

Looks like sometime later today, we'll know if South Carolina is going to be sending it's "whore" back to Washington to keep in tact the three musketeers of crazy land-- John McCain and that lady who always stands behind them, I think her name's Senator Kelly Ayotte. She's the dumb one -- and by dumb I mean can't speak. She's been elected to the senate to just stand and nod. That's her super skill. McCain's is he can fly -- off at the mouth and Graham's super power is he's a master of disguise (he's equally as comfortable portraying a real conservative as he is on the boards playing Blanche Dubois, if Joel McHale is really onto something).

Streetcar named desire

Can't wait to see the results of this primary. Listen closely and you might even hear the screeching breaks of that "Streetcar Named Desire."

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Museum Donation Brings In More Than An Arm And A Leg

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Iceland Museum 2The Iceland Phallological Museum

Okay, it's Friday and I'm looking forward to my weekend to hike, party and refresh my batteries. So forgive me if I indulge my silly side with this curiosity AND accompanying video. Oh, and despite the topic, it is safe for work. Don't worry.

The story is about a one-of-a-kind museum and it's quest for their most elusive donation.

Ever have an interest in visiting Iceland? I can't say that I have and most probably this post won't have you rushing to priceline.com for airline tickets and hotel accommodations either, but it might put a little smile on your face. This courtesy of  The Daily Beast:

Iceland is home to many wonders. Volcanic mountains. The Blue Lagoon. Musical acts Björk, Of Monsters and Men, and Sigur Rós. Four-time “World’s Strongest Man” winner Magnús Ver Magnússon. The evil ice hockey team in D2: The Mighty Ducks.

It also has the distinction of hosting the world’s only penis museum.

Wait. Back up. Run that by me again? The World's only penis museum?

I had to investigate. C'mon, guys, who hasn't wondered how they stack up against others of their species? And women, you can't say that you haven't had a certain curiosity -- I'm not saying every woman's read Fifty Shades of Grey but there's interest in sex on both sides of the aisle. On all sides of the aisle, actually, not to ignore my LGBT friends.

The Iceland Phallological Museum boasts the world’s largest display of penises—and penile parts. The collection consists of 280 specimens from 93 species, including foxes, pigs, and walruses. The biggest penis on display is that of a sperm whale, measuring 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 154 pounds—and that’s just the tip. The smallest item in the museum is the penis bone of a hamster, which measures less than 2 mm and has to be observed via microscope. There’s the penis of a Cave Bear, a species that became extinct 10,000-15,000 years ago, as well as the alleged penises of Huldufolk (Icelandic elves) and trolls.

museum displaySigurdur “Siggi” Hjartarson

They've evidently got every type and size of penis they can find except one the one they could find on any street corner around the world today. It's the human penis.

Well, I'm sure that's going to change. Someone's going to donate to the museum -- but there are some requirements. Not just any human penis will do.

Of course not--

In order to donate your penis to the museum, Siggi [museum curator and owner] has two requirements: the first is a legal document (letter of donation) signed by three witnesses, and the second is proof that the penis is a “legal length” of at least 5 inches.

Five inches? Is that erect or at rest or with shrinkage (thanks Seinfeld) after a cold, Icelandic dip in the ocean?

Lest you think there's no competition to be the first human endowment to the museum, read on.

Enter Tom Mitchell. A kooky middle-aged American who runs a horse farm in the Santa Ynez Mountains in California, Mitchell is eager to have his penis be the first one on display at the museum that he’s willing to amputate himself while he’s still alive.

“He calls his penis ‘Elmo’ and is extremely well-endowed,” boasts Siggi. Tom’s is about 7 inches in length “with a great girth.”

Okay, TMI.

So now for the "teaser" to the full length documentary about the museum and it's quest for the first human display, here's the trailer for THE FINAL MEMBER:

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Genderqueer — Neither Male Nor Female But An Androgynous Hybrid Or Rejection Of Both

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genderqueer

Genderqueer. I'd never heard that term before, but there's lots I've yet to learn.

The newish word is for members who describe themselves in terms such as agender, bigender, third gender or gender-fluid are requesting — and sometimes finding — linguistic recognition. At least that's what they're talking about at Mills College in California.

Yahoo News reports:

The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying their names and the personal pronouns they want others to use when referring to them — she, he or something else.

It's an exercise that might seem superfluous given that Mills, a small and leafy liberal arts school historically referred to as the Vassar of the West, only admits women as undergraduates. Yet increasingly, the "shes" and "hers" that dominate the introductions are keeping third-person company with "they," ''ze" and other neutral alternatives meant to convey a more generous notion of gender.

I actually think this is kind of cool, but at the same time a bit confusing. But then again, try to explain long division or the mating rituals of the American Prairie chicken and you'd loose a lot of people along the way too.

So suffice to say that today, the progressive thinking when it comes to pronouns is to let the individual choose what is most certainly not a selected choice for them -- their sexuality. Everybody is what they are, and that's how they should be referred to.

Take Bradley/Chelsea Manning as an example. We knew him as he. He knew himself as she. Now technically and correctly, she is a she. Unless of course, Manning should prefer to be called by the newer term, "ze."

That's right. Ze. Along with that one, students at Mills are allowed to assign themselves their preferred gender pronouns, known as PGPs. Becoming more and more familiar are such ones as ''sie," ''e," ''ou" and "ve." These have become an accepted practice for professors, dorm advisers, club sponsors, workshop leaders and health care providers at several schools.

So, please do everyone a favor. If you have a preference, feel free to make it known up front. Don't let us call you, her or him if you prefer another term. But also, don't take offense if it takes us a bit of getting used to. I think there are a lot of people like myself who, by the way is a he or him, and I'll stick with that for the time being, who will need a bit of time for the adjustment.

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