Some parts of this blog may contain adult-oriented material. (It is NOT porn or erotica, but some of the content is inappropriate for children). If you are under your country's legal age to view such material or find it to be "objectionable", please leave this page now. Reader discretion is advised...but if you couldn't infer from the title that this may be an adult-oriented blog, then you shouldn't be on the Internet at all.

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July 29, 2008

Summer, Sex and Spirits

Tonight the ESC is going to support 'the Planned Parenthood' (I love throwing a 'the' in there, it just makes it more fun to say)... at the 4th annual Summer, Sex and Spirits event!

I mean, it doesn't get much more awesome than this... Not only are they combining three of our favorite things (summer, sex, and spirits), but they're also combining two of our favorite 'places': Planned Parenthood and the Museum of Sex!

Tonight between 7 - 10 pm the ESC will be partying it up at the Museum of Sex and supporting Planned Parenthood of New York City by drinking and looking at sex-stuff (our favorite ways to support any good cause). All proceeds go to benefit Planned Parenthood of New York City's healthcare services, education programs, and legislative work. And you know how we feel about that!

We originally intended to write this blog entry in order to promote this party, however a recent visit to their website indicates that this event has been sold out. Yay them! (We're not sure if that means officially 'sold out' or just that advanced tickets are not longer being sold, so you can contact activists@ppnyc.org with questions about the event or other ways you can support Planned Parenthood).

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July 28, 2008

Dumb Bitch: Brooke Doesn't Know Best

Okay, this may be old news already.... Honestly, we don't even have any new commentary to add to this one, but it was just too dumb and ridiculous and funny and sad not to say something about it... (That and we were drinking all weekend so we're sorta lazy about posting a real entry today).

So in case you actually haven't already heard about this, here it is:

"You know what? I am actually not that much into voting. I think it's kinda crazy that a woman is running, because I think that women deal with a lot of emotions and menopause and PMS and stuff. Like, I'm so moody all the time, I know I couldn't be able to run a country, 'cause I'd be crying one day and yelling at people the next day, ya know?" —Brooke Hogan, when asked who she's voting for by a potential roommate on her series Brooke Knows Best.

Seriously. We couldn't even make this stuff up.

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July 26, 2008

What's with all the gayness?

Someone recently asked us this question. "What's with all the gayness?" Obviously not a regular reader, this person had looked at our blog briefly and noticed several posts dealing with 'gay issues'. This person couldn't understand why we would devote so much time to The Gayness unless we were gay or bisexual ourselves. Currently none of the members of the ESC are lesbians, although we're generally not all that big on labels and I'm sure that we're not all at the same exact point on the sexuality continuum.

Of course, our sexual orientation hardly even matters in this case. To us, this question, "what's with all the gayness?" is like saying "hey why do you write so much about people?" We write about women's issues a lot, because we're women and it's what we know best and we're passionate about it. (There are other subjects that we know very well, like 80s dance movies for example, but we can't write about Fast Forward every day.) But we also believe that women's issues aren't just about women, because women's rights are human rights and what affects women affects everyone. The same principles apply to gay rights. (And civil rights and the rights of disabled people, etc.) We think that this is just common sense. Equality, justice, fairness, the pursuit of happiness and rainbows and unicorns - what good is fighting for all that shit just for myself, while others are excluded?

One of the things that Evil Slutopia is about is the freedom to be who you are and not let other people define your terms for you or tell you what categories you should fit yourself into, so LGBT issues are a pretty natural fit for us. And we admit it, pointing out the endless hypocrisy and idiocy of anti-gay people and groups is also totally fun in addition to being necessary, because they say and do so many laughable things. (Exhibit A: depicting Ronald McDonald as some kind of gay terrorist.) So in a society where people will casually use the words 'gay' and 'stupid' and 'retarded' interchangeably, of course we talk about gay rights and the rights of other groups, even if we don't all necessarily fit into all of those groups. We just can't relate to the idea that only gay people should talk about gay rights. If everyone thought that way, nothing would ever change.

Sure, our blog's not going to change the world. But we're not going to shut up either. So if you think that speaking out about gay rights is a "strange" thing for us to spend our time on...well, then we think you're the one who has some explaining to do. We're going to continue to be totally gay and proud of it.

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July 25, 2008

Have We Mentioned That McDonalds Is Totally Gay?

This video gives us wicked McD's cravings. Mmmm, gay french fries.

We assume that Ronald is holding a bomb in this video as a symbol of his secret plans to destroy the American family by supporting The Gay Agenda. Be afraid.

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July 24, 2008

Evil Sluts for a Good Cause

A while back we walked very slowly against breast cancer in the Race for the Cure and wondered what else evil sluts like us could do to make the world a better place. Well apparently, some people have found a charitable outlet for their evil slutty ways.

We've already written about the World Naked Bike Ride (to raise awareness about the dominance of car culture and oil dependence) and Sex, Wine and Chocolate (a sex-positive cabaret fundraiser). Check out some more of our favorite ways of using that evil slutty energy for a good cause. (Of course, the rest of the world isn't always too happy about that, as you'll see).

Shotgun Willie's (Colorado's #1 gentleman's club) sponsors an annual charity golf tournament to benefit breast cancer, with strippers serving as caddies to the golfers. This year there was a little bit of a controversy when their event overlapped with the Gold Crown Junior Golf Association (for children age 7-12). Oops.

As part of the Strip2Clothe campaign, Virgin Mobile intended to help clothe homeless youth by having people post videos of themselves stripping. The National Network for Youth recently declined to partner with Virgin after protests from member charities, so the totally cool and ironic "Strip2Clothe" has become the boring "Blank2Clothe":

At BLANK2CLOTHE, almost any verb goes - whether it be Skydive2Clothe, Yodel2Clothe, Bark2Clothe, or Contort2Clothe. You choose how you want to donate new clothing. Just print the Blank2Clothe sign, fill in the blank with what you're going to do, hold it up for the world to see, and DO YOUR THING. For every approved video posted, an item of new clothing will be donated to a homeless youth. For every five people who watch your video, we'll donate another piece of new clothing. So get creative! The more people who watch your video, the more new clothing we donate. However, inappropriate behavior, nudity, profanity, and any videos in bad taste will not be posted.

We're really really upset that we missed this year's annual Masturbate-a-thon, which is... exactly what it sounds like... and funds sex education and sexual safety.

Panties For Peace is a campaign launched by a peace activist group Lanna Action for Burma, in which underwear is mailed to Burma's foreign missions in other countries in order to pressure the Burmese government toward democratic reform. Why underwear? Apparently because of the popular superstition that touching panties will eliminate one's powers. Slutty and symbolic. Nice.

And of course, we all know how much animal rights groups like PETA like to get naked! Like putting a naked pregnant woman in a cage to protest the use of gestation crates for mother pigs... the "Running of the Nudes" in Pamplona to protest the abuse of bulls... and of course, their most famous "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign.

So we were trying to figure out how we could use our um, natural strengths, to do some good.

There are plenty of "dance-a-thons", but why not an exotic dance-a-thon? And instead of a typical charity auction where men and women are "sold" for an evening, why don't we hear more about BDSM Slave auctions?

We all remember those magazine subscription fundraising drives that schools would always do... What about all those racier titles? Has there ever been a adult-magazine subscription fundraiser drive? (And we're not talking about that bullshit controversy over Asimov's Science Fiction in 2004, we're talking about actual adult magazines, you know the ones with naked pictures!)

Or how about taking inspiration from John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-Ins for Peace and have a different kind of Bed-In. "Fucking for peace" sounds like it could be huge.

We're going to keep brainstorming... but in the meantime, if you have any ideas let us know!

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July 21, 2008

Michael Savage is a Douchebag

On his nationally syndicated radio show last week, ultramegaconservative Michael Savage had this to say about children with autism.
Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I'm not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden -- why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I'll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], "When the nurse looks at you, you go [fake cough], 'I don't know, the dust got me.' " See, everyone had asthma from the minority community. That was number one.

Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is.

What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

Autism -- everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, "Don't behave like a fool." The worst thing he said -- "Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry." That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have. [via Media Matters. emphasis ours.]

Now, this is Michael Savage we're talking about here, so it's not exactly surprising that he would make such racist, misogynist, offensive, ignorant and ridiculous comments. Although, that's part of the problem too, because people are more likely to brush this off as 'Savage being Savage' rather than taking action to make sure there are consequences.

It's so nice to know that in Michael Savage World:

~Only children of single mothers can get autism. "Good" fathers can discipline the autism right out of their kids.

~Only boys get autism.

~It doesn’t matter that girls don’t get autism, since simply being a girl is a horrible affliction that is basically the same as having autism, and should be avoided at all costs.

Obviously most of the focus of the reaction to these comments has been on the "autism is a fraud" portion. (And of course the obvious 'if fathers are supposed to tell their sons not to act like idiotic fools, Michael Savage's father has clearly been falling down on the job for years now' jokes.) But it's also interesting to read into the comments and see that Savage essentially views 'being a girl' as a disorder and autism as some sort of pseudo-feminist conspiracy to create more "beaten men".

Every time we hear about the latest offensive thing that this guy has said, we wonder if there's anything he could say that would actually get him fired. A group of angry parents is going to try to make it happen this time by holding a protest outside WOR Studios in New York today.
They will be calling for the firing of the radio jock and asking for a boycott by parents of children with autism of all stations carrying his signal...Talk Radio Network, which syndicates The Savage Nation, claims that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches at least 8.25 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it one of the most listened-to talk radio shows in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.
Don Imus was fired for making a racist and sexist comment on the air. Michael Savage's comments were not only racist and sexist, but also intolerant, insulting, medically inaccurate, and unbelievably ignorant. If you did something at your job that was totally wrong, based on ignorance and misinformation, and had the potential to harm thousands of mentally ill kids and their families, you'd probably be fired, right? Well, maybe not if you work for Fox News or the Bush administration.

Check out this site for a listing of contact info for Savage, Talk Radio Network, and most importantly, the sponsors of Savage's show. Media Matters also has an action alert with a tool that makes it easy for you to find and contact the Savage-supporting radio station near you. Some people will argue that this is a free speech issue and that Savage is entitled to his opinion, and he is. Free speech is a right, but having your own radio show to broadcast your speech to millions of people is not a right. Neither is having lots of corporate sponsors choose to support your show to keep it on the air.

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Stupid Protest: Evil Slutty Barbie

We couldn't talk about this before because all of the legal issues with the deal weren't worked out yet. But now we're proud to announce that we've partnered with Mattel on the new Evil Slut Barbie, which is hitting stores this fall!

Okay, it's actually the new Black Canary Barbie, which is based on the character Black Canary from DC Comics. "Black Canary is noted for her martial-arts skills and her "Canary Cry" – a high powered, sonic scream with the ability to shatter objects and incapacitate villains. Among the first generation of superheroes, she was a member of the Justice Society of America, the first superhero team to appear in comic books."

Black Canary Barbie is already inspiring lots of 'S&M Barbie' type jokes. And although the doll isn't going to be released until the fall, she's also already got her very own protest. The UK based group Christian Voice said: "Barbie has always been on the tarty side and this is taking it too far. A children’s doll in sexually suggestive clothing is irresponsible — it’s filth." We do have to agree with them about one thing - the word "tarty" is really great and we're going to make an effort to use it more often.

[As an aside we have to say that the Evil Slut Clique has a bit of a history with this particular Christian group. Without going into detail, we'll just say that we're not at all surprised to see their crusade against tarts continuing.]

Now, is this group totally off base to suggest that little girls shouldn't be playing with dolls that are too "adult" or sexually suggestive? Of course not. Are there legitimate criticisms about Barbie and the lessons that she teaches to little girls? Sure, plenty of them. Am I asking myself questions and then answering them? Yes, I am. But this is a collectible Barbie, not a regular find it in the pink girly aisle at Toys 'R Us Barbie. Young girls really aren't the intended audience for this doll, collectors are. And since collectible dolls generally aren't sold in toy stores alongside the regular dolls, most little girls won't even know that the Black Canary doll exists, unless they also happen to be big DC Comics fans, or unless this protest continues to give the doll lots of free publicity. (In fairness, although we doubt this doll will be sold in most toy stores or marketed to little girls, it is available on the Toys R Us website, but with a recommended age range of '12 and up' listed. We think most 12 year olds have already been exposed to more tartiness than Barbie could ever hope to aspire to, and are also old enough to understand that the doll is a depiction of a comic book character.)

Since Christian Voice is so worried about the ways in which toys may contribute to little girls growing up too soon and being introduced to problematic adult concepts too early, we're sure that they must be equally troubled by toys that attempt to teach girls that it's really fun and enjoyable to do laundry and vacuum.

There are plenty of other dolls on BarbieCollector.com that little girls probably won't be begging for anytime soon: Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds Barbie, I Love Lucy dolls, a doll of Bert from Mary Poppins
, the Kimora Lee Simmons doll, etc. And on the flip side, we're sure there are plenty of 'regular' Barbies that wear outfits that Christian Voice would deem tarty and sexually suggestive, so if they were dead set on this 'Barbie dresses too slutty for little kids' protest, they could have chosen some examples that actually supported their argument. The fact that they didn't, and instead went with this unfounded knee-jerk protest instead, makes us think that this was less about Barbie and more about any excuse to remind everyone that sluts are evil and that women's sexuality is dirty and wrong.

And after spending time on the Barbie collector site while writing this, we'll also provide you with the list of Barbies that we've now decided we want for ourselves: Barbie as Medusa, Batgirl Barbie (one of our evil sluts in training already has a Batgirl doll, but we need one for the office), and most of all, the 80s Cher doll wearing the outfit from the Turn Back Time video (aka the best music video ever).

Now why didn't any Christian groups protest the Cher doll? Because even they know that nobody takes on Cher and wins.

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July 17, 2008

Love Hurts

This week at I Read While He Plays Video Games...
what we've all been waiting for!


July 16, 2008

Super Gay Link Roundup!

There is so much gay news this week that we couldn't not do another totally gay link roundup. As Kathy Griffin would say, let's get down to work because we've got a lot to cover.

~The Census Bureau is refusing to acknowledge legal gay marriages from MA and CA. If you're gay and you fill in 'married' on your forms, they're going to edit your reply and change it to 'unmarried partner'.

~"A majority of Americans believe that gays and lesbians could not change their sexual orientation even if they wanted to, according to results of a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday. It's the first time in a CNN poll the majority has held that belief regarding homosexuality."

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation released their second annual GLAAD Network Responsibility Index after examining thousands of hours of TV programming. "ABC and cable channel FX have been ranked the most gay-friendly networks...at the other end of the scale, NBC, Fox, A&E, Spike, TBS, USA Network and TNT all received fail grades" from GLAAD.

The Massachusetts Senate today passed a bill that would repeal a 1913 state law that prevents gay and lesbian couples from most other states from marrying in Massachusetts. Governor Deval Patrick has already said that he will "proudly" sign the bill if it gets to him, so the only hurdle left is for the bill to pass the House, where it seems to have enough support.

~"Congress should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center. The study was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton's policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation."

A state employee has resigned and officials have disavowed an international advertising campaign that led to calls for an investigation of tourism posters proclaiming “South Carolina is so gay.”

Some recent discrimination cases:
"When a Buffalo lesbian couple was denied spousal health care benefits in February following their marriage in Canada two years ago, BlueCross BlueShield denied their human rights guaranteed under state law, a civil liberties group claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday."
~"A gay and lesbian group who said it was kicked out of a Longview Lake campground plans legal action. The group, Pride Revolutions, rented about a dozen campsites Friday, but said it was harassed and that on Saturday morning, it was told to leave by Jackson County park rangers and park attendees."
~"A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability."
~"A lawsuit was filed in Miami Wednesday against a hospital that refused to allow a lesbian to see her partner of 18 years before dying because the hospital did not consider the two women family. The suit will be filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of Janice Langbehn."

And then there's this:

~From Right Wing Watch: "In addition to blocking traffic from websites they don’t like, it looks like the web-geniuses behind the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow site have a few other tricks up their sleeves, such as automatically replacing any use of the word “gay” with the word “homosexual” in any of the AP stories they run … leading to instances in which proper names are reformatted to meet their ridiculous standard, such as this article about sprinter Tyson Gay winning the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in which he is renamed “Tyson Homosexual”."

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July 15, 2008

Dumb Things People Say To Pregnant Women: Part II

And now for a new edition of Dumb Things People Say to Pregnant Women, submitted by one of our favorite evil slutty mothers-to-be, Roxeigh.

Dumb Bitch Parade:
The Maternity Edition Part II

Roxeigh: No sorry, I can't drink. I'm pregnant.

Dumb Bitch: That's what she gets for sleeping with random strangers!
And yet she still figures she gets to call herself an aunt.


Roxeigh: The one thing that really gets me is Red Bull. Not being able to have my precious caffeinated energy is an exercise in human strength on my part.

Dumb Bitch: Oh one or two won't hurt! I drank Bailey's all my pregnancy and my kids are fine!
Her youngest is an FASD child.


Dumb Bitch:
Oh My God You are NOT having a midwife! They don't know what they are doing!

Roxeigh: Plenty of people have had midwives.. but I'll be sure to tell her she doesn't know what she is doing.

Dumb Bitch: Well she might know.
She has never had kids or known anyone who has ever had a kid with a midwife.


Dumb Bitch: Do you know what you are having?

Roxeigh: Yep, its a boy, so says two ultrasounds.

Dumb Bitch: Oh. You know that means you are going to get bigger hips right? Boys always do that to a woman.


Roxeigh: I've gained... maybe a pound since being pregnant.

Dumb Bitch: Well you definitely look bigger! I bet you weight more than me!
She is a size 22. I'm an 18, max. She has backwards anorexia. ("I'm sooo skinny!")


My stepbrother and his girlfriend have decided to try to have a baby now too.
Dumb Bitch: Aren't you excited that we are working on a family?

Roxeigh's Stepdad: Well, I'm pretty excited to have grandkids in general.

Dumb Bitch: But aren't you excited to have a real grandchild? One from the bloodline?


My parents bought a folding cot for me to put in the nursery, to save me going up and down the stairs all the time.

Dumb Bitch: Are you planning to take boarders in the nursery?

Um, yeah totally. I want a stranger sleeping beside my child.

We can't wait to hear what the dumb bitches will say once Roxeigh's baby is born!

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July 10, 2008

Dumb Things John McCain Doesn't Say

Please enjoy this short clip of the man who could be our next president addressing, or rather failing to address, the ever popular question of why some insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control and whether that practice is fair.

[Please also enjoy the MSNBC caption for this video, "McCain keeps stiff upper lip during Viagra question". Ah, journalism.]

We really feel that this video entirely speaks for itself, but we know that some people won't be able to watch the video, so we're going to post the transcript below and if we're going to do that, we might as well get a little commentary in.

Q: Earlier this week Carly Fiorina was meeting with a bunch of reporters and talked about it being unfair that insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. And -

McCain: I certainly do not want to discuss that issue. (uneasy laughter)

No problem, Senator McCain. All of us young women who are registered voters and care about health and equality and fairness and other junk like that, we totally don't want to talk about it either. You don't have to tell us how you feel about it if you don't want to. It's cool.
Q: But apparently you’ve voted against (McCain laughter continues)

McCain: I don’t know what I voted -

Q: Voted against coverage of birth control, forcing health insurance companies to cover birth control in the past. Is that still your position?

McCain: I’ll look at my voting record on it, but I have, uh, (5 second pause), I don’t recall the vote right now. But I’ll be glad to look at it and get back to you as to why, I don’t -

You'll look at it and get back to us? Oh, thanks so much, Senator. Of course, you could just tell us how you feel about the issue, because even if you don't remember the specific vote you must know what your position is now, correct? And your position now must be the same as it was then, because everyone knows that politicians don't ever change their views unless they're one of those damn dirty flip-floppers. But, you know, if you want to get back to us that's fine. We don't want to put you out.

Q: I guess her statement was that it was unfair that health insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that?

McCain: (after 8 second pause) I don’t know enough about it to give you an informed answer because I don’t recall the vote, I’ve cast thousands of votes in the Senate. I will respond to - it’s a, it’s a (nervous)

Well, you knew enough about the issue to vote on it before, but now you're so uninformed that you can't even make any kind of statement about it at all? You're practically acting like you don't know what birth control or Viagra are, and all due respect and everything, but we all know that's not the case. Listen, we're aware that women having access to affordable birth control is an issue that appears exactly nowhere on the McCain Master List of Priorities and Goals. But if you're hoping to try to avoid the question entirely right up to the election, can you please at least come up with a smoother non-answer? Those awkward pauses are just painful.

July 8, 2008

Stupid Protest: McDonald's Loves the Gays!

The stupid protests just keep coming! The Starbucks mermaid is slutty... Dunkin Donuts dresses Rachael Ray like a terrorist... taking birth control pills will stop you from having babies (um, isn't that the point?)

...and now McDonald's is like, totally gay! Or that is they totally support the gays, which is just as bad, right?

Now it's not what you're thinking... this has nothing to do with Ronald McDonald. You'd think he would be the source of any homophobia directed toward MickeyD's... I mean, he's got all the trademark signs of being a big ol' drag queen: tons of makeup, outrageous wig, brightly colored outfit, large shoes...

But no. It has nothing to do with Ronald at all. It has more to do with Richard Ellis. Ellis - Vice President of Communications at McDonald's - recently took a position on the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). And apparently McDonald's didn't condemn him for it so that means they are "promoting a lifestyle that would utterly destroy the traditional family"! Scandalous! McDonald's is a "Corporate Partner and Organization Ally" (that basically means they donated a chunk of money) of NGLCC, a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBT community.

The idiots behind the stupid protest are the American Family Association, the same group that has boycotted other huge companies for being a little too gay-friendly, like Wal-Mart, Ford, and of course Disney (which is just silly, because that's like boycotting Oprah or Jesus Chrsit... nothing can stop Disney!)

They've launched a new website (appropriately titled BoycottMcDonalds.com) asking us to... you know, boycott McDonald's. There is so much wrong with this boycott (and so much wrong with the AFA's arguments) that I almost don't know where to begin... so I guess I'll just begin... at the beginning.

What the boycott of McDonald's IS NOT about
This boycott is not about hiring homosexuals.
It is not about homosexuals eating at McDonald's.
It is not about how homosexual employees are treated.

What the boycott of McDonald's IS about
It is about McDonald's, as a corporation, refusing to remain neutral in the culture wars. McDonald's has chosen not to remain neutral but to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage.

Okay, first of all I think it's hilarious that they even felt the need to mention "it is not about homosexuals eating at McDonalds", but the bigger issue is this whole 'neutrality' thing. Why does McDonald's have to be neutral? I'm sure if they were supporting more 'conservative' causes, the AFA would have no problem with it. "They're not neutral!" is such a cop-out argument. In my opinion remaining 'neutral' when it comes to gay rights, is not much better than being against gay rights. (That is, if you see injustice in the world and don't try to stop it, you're no better than those who are directly responsible for those injustices).

We expect huge corporations, like McDonald's to have a certain level of 'corporate responsibility'. We don't ask them to be neutral about other issues... they have funded programs devoted to the environment, to children's health (e.g., Ronald McDonald House charities), to leadership development and community outreach, etc.

The AFA meticulously dissected and responded to an email/press release/some kind of document from the McDonald's corporation. (They're not exactly clear where they found this document; it has been reprinted all over the anti-gay and Christian websites.... but I can't find any direct reference to it from any sources). I've decided to dissect and respond to their responses...

[From AFA.net]

The statements in bold below are those made by McDonald’s, followed by AFA’s responses.

“At McDonald’s, we treat all our employees and customers with dignity and respect regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or any other differentiating factor.”

We are not telling McDonald’s who they can hire to work for the company, nor are we demanding that they stop serving Big Macs to homosexual customers.

This issue is about the world’s largest fast food chain allying itself and partnering with an organization that lobbies Congress to enact laws that we feel can be used to repress religious freedom or undermine the sanctity of marriage.

Okay. They're upset that a huge corporation has teamed up with a gay rights organizations. I get it. If I was anti-gay rights, I suppose I'd be pretty miffed about this as well. But wait... is the NGLCC actually trying to repress religious freedom and undermine the sanctity of marriage?

According to their website, the organization is focused on economic issues as they relate to the LGBT community. They call themselves a "direct link between Corporate America and LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs" and well, McDonald's is part of Corporate America. The NGLCC isn't trying to undermine religious freedom; they're trying to fight discrimination. It's true that while you're fighting discrimination as it applies to business, discrimination issues as it applies to the rest of life are going to cross over, you know just like they do for hetereosexual business owners too.
“While one McDonald’s employee is affiliated with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), McDonald’s is in no way ‘aggressively promoting the homosexual agenda’ as suggested in the newsletter.”

To refer to Richard Ellis, who is the vice president of communications for McDonald’s, as “one McDonald’s employee,” as if he is a teenager flipping hamburgers, is disingenuous at best.

While “aggressively” is admittedly a subjective term, AFA believes that giving money to and partnering with a homosexual lobby organization is certainly an enthusiastic promotion of the homosexual agenda.
Okay, yes it's true Richard Ellis is more than just an employee. However, for a corporation as HUGE as McDonald's, his vice presidency is not that high up on the ranks. (He didn't even make it to their main list of executives, as given on the McDonald's website). But regardless of his position, the fact remains that he is still just one person and hardly represents the entire company. (In fact, according to McDonald's VP Jack Daly, Ellis personally approved the donation to the NGLCC).

The AFA openly admits that "aggressively" is a subjective term. I think making a donation is far from aggressive. If anything it's passive aggressive; aggressive would be Ronald McDonald marching around with a rainbow flag. I haven't yet seen any gay rights activism coming from the McDonald's corporation, but even if you can say that their "enthusiastic" donation is aggressive... So what? They're aggressively promoting non-discrimination; not the homosexual agenda.

What's with this whole "homosexual agenda" thing anyway? What exactly is the homosexual agenda...? To be treated like human beings? How dare they!

“The NGLCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to support economic opportunities for the gay and lesbian business community.”

It is quite clear from the NGLCC Web site that that organization not only supports “economic opportunities” for homosexuals, it also lobbies Congress on a wide range of issues related to the gay agenda.
There's that word again... "agenda". The NGLCC may lobby Congress on a wide range of issues, however at the core of those issues is non-discrimination (and as a result, economic opportunities). Of course, the NGLCC is going to lobby on issues like same sex unions, because as much as the AFA would hate to believe it, that does relate to business (e.g., domestic partner benefits equity).

“In addition to McDonald’s, there are numerous other Fortune 500 companies that serve as corporate partners with NGLCC.”

AFA rejects this “everybody’s doing it” excuse offered by McDonald’s, and is asking the fast food company to remain neutral in these controversial skirmishes of the culture war.

Yeah, but everyone else is doing it! The other members of the Board of Directors include execs from companies such as IBM, Wells Fargo, and Motorola. They have a shitload of big time corporate partners, including American Express, Pepsico, and even our buddies over at Merck. Why should McDonald's have to remain neutral, but no one else? In fact, I don't think there are very many companies that do remain neutral on issues that matter... why should McDonald's be the exception?
“All references to comments from Jim Skinner, McDonald’s CEO in the Action Alert Newsletter are complete fabrications.”

Our Action Alert assumed that Mr. Skinner’s comments were specifically addressing the promotion of the gay agenda, when they were not. We apologize for any confusion this has caused.

However, the actual comments attributed to Mr. Skinner were not fabricated, but instead came from McDonald’s own Web site. They were a direct quote of Mr. Skinner’s comments, posted by Vice President Bob Langert, made by Mr. Skinner at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in 2007.

When Mr. Skinner said, “We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world,” we now have come to believe that part of that vision, as evidenced by McDonald’s partnership with the NGLCC, is the promotion of the gay agenda.
I agree that McDonald's is obligated to use their resources to make a difference in the world and I think diversity is a pretty good cause. I'm pretty sure that promotion of the gay agenda isn't the only cause they care about... or even one of the main ones they care about. But I'm certainly glad that they do care. Of course, the AFA isn't too happy about that... but eh, they suck anyway.

The AFA has posted a letter (written by Pat Harris, Global Chief Diversity Officer of McDonald's) on their website and we're all supposed to be outraged by what it says. But you know what, I'm not really much outrage at this letter. In fact, I think it's pretty damn awesome. I trust you will too.

The AFA isn't alone... Apparently the Family Research Council is also on the McNugget-boycott. They've supplied all the conservative bigots with a sample letter to McDonald's... and well, it made me laugh, so I'm posting it. (
This version of the letter has even more comical additions, [in brackets] from the Yoests, who make me laugh and cry simultaneously... not in a good way).
We are writing to request that you end your "Corporate Partnership" with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and refrain from making corporate contributions to this or other homosexual organizations.

[If individual members of the board of McDonald's wishes to give to any charity, have it your way, so to say -- but a corporation should not use earnings for charity. Charity is a test of the individual heart -- not corporate or government largess.]

Um, what? Since when should corporations not use earnings for charity? Aren't corporations typically huge contributors to charitable causes? Aren't we always pushing for corporations to use their money and power for good?

We also request that you adopt a policy which would prevent your corporate officers from using the McDonald's corporate name to lend legitimacy to work they may do for such organizations. The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce exists to generate business for companies that are owned by homosexuals. While we do not object to McDonald's doing business with any suppliers who can provide a quality product or service at a good price, we also do not understand why anyone would engage in affirmative steps to seek out suppliers based on their sexual behavior, or assist in promoting businesses for that reason.

Now, McDonald's does not "seek out suppliers based on their sexual behavior". They just don't discriminate against a particular supplier based on it either. The NGLCC does not exist merely to generate business for gay-owned businesses. They aim to protect these businesses and business owners from discrimination.

[Your Business Blogger (R) has spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in McDonald's PlayPlaces. I'm not sure I've ever seen a homosexual in a McDonald's. The demographics do not fit the fast food market segment.

No. The homosexuals do not want to eat at McDonald's any more than they really want to serve in the military. Homosexuals are on a marketing campaign for normalcy. And they are looking for a stamp of approval in basic cultural institutions: Ronald McDonald, marriage and the military.]

This part made me pee a little. They've never seen a homosexual in McDonald's... because you know, all homosexuals are immediately recognizable as homosexuals. And why exactly does the homosexual demographic not fit the fast food market segment? Are you saying that gay people don't like chicken nuggets!? Do they like chicken nuggets more or less than they like serving in the military? (I also think it's hilarious that their basic cultural institutions of 'normalcy' are the military, marriage, and Ronald McDonald. Ronald McDonald is anything but normal).

However, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce does not exist just to promote the economic interests of their members. They also promote an extensive political agenda, including explicit support for legislation and litigation that would:

  • Undermine the unique treatment granted to marriage between one man and one woman under the law
  • Treat homosexual and "transgender" behavior on the same basis as race under federal civil rights laws
  • Label disapproval of homosexual behavior a form of "hate" under so-called "hate crime" laws.

Can you say "duh"? How exactly do they think the NGLCC can promote the economic interests of its members without promoting political and legislative change?

They believe in marriage rights for same-sex couples, both because marriage should be a fundamental right given to all adult human beings... Why fight against discrimination in the workplace and then put up with discrimination in your personal life? Also, marriage laws relate to business on many levels, particularly health insurance benefits and income.

Giving homosexual and transgendered people basic human civil rights most definitely applies to economic interests, because if it's not illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, then how exactly are they free to run their businesses as they see fit? Also they seem to be a little confused about how it is that being gay actually works... it's not just about the "behavior", it's about the person. But as for hate crimes... it seems they have no idea what that means. Bias-motivated crimes are typically defined as those where the victim was targeted because of his or her race/religion/sexual orientation/etc. It is not merely "disapproval of homosexual behavior", but rather crimes motivated by that disapproval (or you know, motivated by hate). You can disapprove of homosexuality as much as you want, but once you take that "disapproval" and turn it into assault, harassment, abuse, etc... that's a hate crime and yes, it should be against the law!

[Parents should ask if McDonald's will embrace open unisex restrooms where transgenders and transvestites and cross-dressers can have proximity to the wee ones.]
Yeah, because "transgenders and transvestites and cross-dressers" are really dangerous to children. (Insert eyeroll here). How fucking idiotic is that? Who exactly lets their "wee ones" go to a public restroom alone anyway? I'd be more concerned that they'd be kidnapped by some psychopath, than approached by a cross-dresser. (I mean, really... drag queens stand out in their flamboyant outfits... and those high heels are hardly practical for abducting children). I'd much rather my kids be around transgendered people than conservative bigots. In fact, I kind of wish I knew more transgendered people, just so I could show my kids first hand that they're... people.

The NGLCC promotes a controversial social and political agenda that is offensive to tens of millions of your customers. A corporation like McDonald's, which prides itself on providing a family-friendly product in a family-friendly environment, should not be associated with any narrow political agenda. Thank you for considering my views.

Yeah, and I would hope that a corporation that prides itself on being family-friendly, would be friendly towards all kinds of families. I think if McDonald's were to withdraw their support of groups like the NGLCC, that promote diversity and non-discrimination, then they would be associated with a whole other narrow political agenda... one that is even more controversial and offensive.

Now there are plenty of reasons to not eat at McDonald's, but this isn't one of them. The AFA and FRC and the rest of the uptight people would like us all to boycott McDonald's and let them know why... I instead urge you to contact McDonald's corporate headquarters and let them know how happy you are they support diversity in all its forms. I'm not going to urge you to actually eat at McDonald's unless that's something you already enjoy doing (and aren't overly susceptible to diarrhea). To locate a McDonald's near you: Restaurant Locator.

July 6, 2008

Pro-Life Isn't

It has been said many times before that many of the people who call themselves "pro-life" actually don't seem to truly value life all that much. They talk about "sanctity", but with their actions demonstrate a commitment to quantity and not quality, to pregnancies being carried to term no matter what but not to women and children having access to the health care and resources that they really need.

What's interesting is watching the ways that they give themselves away. We expect to find them protesting outside abortion clinics and pushing ineffectual abstinence only education programs and setting up misleading websites for crisis pregnancy centers, but they can be more creative when they really put their minds to it. Here's one recent example. (I'm not turning this into a full link roundup with a million examples because I have a feeling this is going to become a regular series.)

June 27th was National HIV Testing Day. Planned Parenthood of Eastern Washington organized an event for the day where groups of people were going to engage in safe sex in the parking lot of the local WalMart to show how much fun it can be. No, they didn't. Actually, they had just organized a group of teens who were going to stand outside the store and hand out information about HIV prevention and testing.

WalMart canceled the event at the last minute. They cited company policy, but it turned out that a protest from the American Life League may have influenced the decision as well. (Remember that the ALL also came up with the brilliant "The Pill Kills" campaign. Love those guys.) Now, we wouldn't expect the ALL to be running out to volunteer for HIV Testing Day, but what's so bad about this event that they felt the need to protest it? The volunteers weren't running through the WalMart aisles tossing condoms into people's shopping carts, they were just outside the store offering information only to people who wanted it. Well, it's simple really - the ALL saw through Planned Parenthood's devious plan here. This wasn't about offering people useful information about an important health issue. No, this was just Planned Parenthood's attempt to make more money by encouraging lots of teen sex!

From the ALL press release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (26 June 2008) – Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the country, has teamed up with a Wal-Mart Supercenter, an affiliate of the largest retailer in the country, in an effort to supersize their campaign to sell sex to children. Planned Parenthood will pass out information at the Wal-Mart in Richland, Washington from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 27.

“Planned Parenthood is now in such desperate need of customers it’s willing to do anything – even stand outside shopping centers to lure young people into its clinics,” said Marie Hahnenberg, a researcher for American Life League.

Planned Parenthood, Hahnenberg says, is responsible for the deaths of over 289,700 babies in 2006 alone and also recently was willing to accept donations earmarked specifically for the abortion of black children. The organization faces lawsuits across the country for protecting child rapists and is coming under increasing fire for its use of pornography in tax-subsidized programs, advertisements and literature.

“They’re pushing pornography and contraception onto young children – beginning in kindergarten. Now parents aren’t even safe to go shopping without worrying Planned Parenthood will pressure their kids into promiscuous lifestyles that will increase their bloated birth control and abortion profits,” Hahnenberg said.

American Life League is asking community members to call Wal-Mart at (509) 628-8420 or 1-800-WAL-MART and demand they stop Planned Parenthood from this literature distribution.
We think the funniest thing about this press release is that it's barely related at all to what the event was really about. Or to, you know, reality. Child rapists! Pornography! Kindergarten sex addicts! We have to stop Planned Parenthood from this distribution of "literature" with information about...getting tested for HIV. Which has nothing to do with abortion or pornography or "selling sex to children". They hate Planned Parenthood because they believe that PP takes lives, but how are they any better if they try to prevent the distribution of information that could save lives? We're sure it couldn't possibly have anything to do with any misguided notions they might have about HIV. Since they value life so much, we're sure that they care about people with HIV and people who are at risk of getting HIV, even if they might not agree with all of the choices that those people might make. We're sure that, committed to life as they are, they must be full of compassion and free of judgment. Right?

Also amusing is the fact that at the bottom of the ALL news release is a link to a news story entitled Free HIV Testing At Planned Parenthood July First. Free testing? But we thought this was a secret plot by Planned Parenthood to make more money? I guess we just don't understand PP's sneaky tactics like the ALL does.

As Planned Parenthood of Eastern Washington said in their own statement on this event, "If we are going to stop the spread of deadly sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, ideology can not be allowed to trump public health." We also think that groups like the American Life League cannot be allowed to continue to claim to be the true protectors and defenders and spokespeople for "life" without being called on their hypocrisy at every turn.

July 5, 2008

Frida Kahlo

Our potassium rich arts expert is at it again, and this time Chiquita's taking on Frida Kahlo.

Women burst onto the art scene with an explosion in the 20th century; no longer content to be relegated to the roles of artist’s helpers and muses merely, they demanded, as a whole, their rightful recognition for their very important contributions to society and the world of art. Everyone knows the name of the most famous female artist of the first half of the 1900s: the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Frankly, no other female artist has given me such a conflicted impression; you see, she eschewed labels and couldn’t – or rather, WOULDN’T be subjected to a mold. She was a womanizer and a man hunter, but she wouldn’t have liked the term "bisexual". She painted in the style of the great Surrealists, but she violently rejected that label. She turned away from the predominant developing ideas of the art world in order to develop her own, and instead of seeking a muse, she turned inwards to find the source of her art’s vision. She was married to the famous painter/revolutionary activist Diego Rivera, and chafed in her role as his wife. A bus accident in 1925 shattered her pelvis and broke her leg, compounding her difficulties from an earlier bout with polio; as a result, she was unable to have children, and she never walked without a limp.

Her agonies stemmed from two distinct incidents in her life; as she put it:

"I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down... The other accident is Diego."
All of her art must be looked at with the idea of an autobiography in mind; her method of working through the pain was to document her isolation, heartache, loves, hates, hopes, fears…onto canvas. When her husband was in Detroit for a gallery showing, she went along and it was there she suffered a miscarriage, which inspired her famous Henry Ford Hospital painting.

Henry Ford Hospital

Surrounding Frida, you can see various items attached to her via six ribbons held in her hand by her stomach: a pelvis, a purple orchid, two spinal cords, a baby, a snail, and a salmon pink torso. Each item is rife with significance, carefully chosen to explain how she felt about the miscarriage; the background speaks of her longing for what she spoke lovingly of as Gringolandia: Mexico. The pelvis and spinal cords refer to the accident that made it impossible for her to carry a baby to term; the baby is little Dieguito, the child she lost; the orchid, a symbol for the female reproductive organs, was a gift to her from Diego; in the torso you can see the sperm that created the baby; in ancient Indian lore, the snail represented female sexuality – a symbol of conception, pregnancy and birth. Her bed floats in the middle of the scene, halfway between the earth and an industrial city: suffering alone, suspended between longing for her home in Mexico and her hospital bed in Detroit. With six symbols and her position in space, she speaks of her loneliness, despair, heartbreak, and homesickness.

Although superficially borrowing elements from the Surrealist movement, Frida was careful to avoid realism by following no rules but her own: that the painting make sense to her on her own terms and accurately narrate an event in her life.

It would be better to acknowledge Frida the way she saw herself: as a Mexican woman supplanted from her home into a strange land. No biography could have described her feelings for America better than her self-portrait of herself standing on the border between Mexico and the United States.

Self Portrait on the borderline between Mexico and the United States (1932)

Once again, you can see her standing, quite literally, on the borderline that separates the two countries; on the left is her homeland, showing the natural vegetation and indigenous beliefs that feel very organic in nature, and by contrast, on the right is the United States, symbolized by the metallic industrial products that drove the economy. The most telling contrast lies in the roots below her feet: her Mexico’s roots were still natural, whereas the United States’ roots were mechanical in nature.

She didn’t see herself as a bridge, however; her purpose was far less altruistic and more emotional – instead, she saw herself as a patriotic daughter of Mexico and used her paintings to convey her desire to be reunited with her country.

Another conflict that arose in researching her life and work has been the sheer magnitude of her work. Many, many, many paintings exist, all equally complex, equally significant in their reliance on the culture and heritage of Mexico. To research more fully and delve more deeply into her work, you may access a treasure trove of illustrations with accompanying descriptions.

Her personal life continued to batter her emotions: Diego began an affair with her sister Christina, which eventually led to a bitter divorce in 1935; however, they remarried in 1940, possibly so that Diego could take care of her in her declining health. They eventually moved back to Mexico, where she lived out the rest of her life in her Casa Azul, a very blue house that has since been converted into a museum devoted to her life and art.

Before she died in 1954, she finally faced her dread by painting about that which scared her most: death. She believed in the cycle of life and death, knowing that even her life would come to an end, but she was reluctant to give it up. She had an insatiable thirst for living, and it was with great fear that she began to deal with the emotions surrounding her death.

Thinking About Death (1943)

This time, instead of being juxtaposed against a background that showed her conflict between two worlds, she showed what was on her mind – literally. An opening in her forehead shows a skull and crossbones; she stands against a background of leafy thorns that almost push her toward the viewer, evoking a pre-Hispanic symbol representing the rebirth that follows death and the ensuing cycle.

Writing this blog has been a challenge to attempt to see her how she saw herself, especially since her form of autobiography is a large body of art. Frida has been thought of as many things: an artist, yes, but also a free woman, an independent woman, a sharp woman with an even sharper tongue, a Mexican woman, but most especially a woman who defined herself on her own terms, discarding the role others would have her fill. Judging from what we know of her art, perhaps we’re not too far off.

After going through Chiquita's links, we couldn't resist adding a few more images of our favorite pieces. It's definitely worth checking out everything.

The Dream (1940)

The Broken Column (1942)

Tree of Hope (1946)

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