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December 31, 2008

The ESC 2008 Year In Review

Dumbest Protests of 2008

Dumbest Things Guys Said in 2008:

Biggest Douchebags of 2008:

Lamest “Scandals” of 2008:

Greatest Accomplishments of 2008:

Worst Let Downs of 2008:

Our Most Popular Posts of 2008:

Our Favorite Posts of 2008:

2008 has been really great for us... and we're sure 2009 will be even better! See you next year!

December 29, 2008

Dumb Things Guys Say: The Happy Holidays Debate

Apparently some guys get even dumber during the holidays. The following 'conversation' began very early in the morning on December 25th, Christmas day and went on for a few days progressively dissolving into more idiocy as time passed. I started off participating in the debate mainly because I thought it was dumb that he was so outraged, so it was fun to poke at him. (This is clearly not an important issue for me, heh). But then it took on a life of its own. Most of the winter holidays are over by now, but it's so dumb that we felt it deserved its own special place in the Dumb Things Guys Say hall of fame.

On Christmas eve, I received a text message from someone I know telling me "Merry Xmas". So I responded with my typical greeting "Happy Holidays to you too". Instead of "Thank you" or something to that effect, his response was "I HATE Happy Holidays! Wish me a Merry Christmas! I celebrate Christmas too!" (Silly me, not to realize that my Jewish acquaintance celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ). I told him that I've always said "Happy Holidays" because there are a lot of holidays in December, so it just always made more sense to me.

Well apparently it was still incredibly offensive to have wished him Happy Holidays, because later that night (or technically the next morning) he posted the following message online:

Dumb Guy hates it when people say "Happy Holidays"... unless you won't see me for a while, say "Merry Christmas"! It's an American holiday, too.

To protect the dumb guy's privacy, I will refer to him as 'Dumb Guy'. (I used green and red to be festive in the 'holiday' spirit. Heh).

Friend #1
It's capitalist holiday.
Friend #2
It's the PC way to address it. I could care less if people wish me a Merry Christmas since 90% of people away from Long Island don't even realize that I'm Jewish. Happy Holidays covers it all.
Dumb Guy
I know that it's the PC way to address it... that's WHY I hate it. If someone isn't gonna see me for a while, "Happy Holidays" is fine if they also mean New Year's. Otherwise, by your logic "Happy Holidays" is just plain lazy. Any Jew (or non-Christian) offended by being offered a "Merry Christmas" doesn't understand an American tradition.

And [Friend #1] so what? That's part of it. There's a whole other realm within the tradition.
Friend #1
I'm just sayin.' That's the American tradition.

Evil Slut
The way people celebrate Christmas has become secular, but the real point of Christmas is... Christ. I don't know any Jews who would be OFFENDED by being wished a Merry Christmas, but I think it's incredibly stupid to be annoyed by "Happy Holidays".

It's not just PC - which when did being a little PC become a bad thing - but it's just more ACCURATE. There are a lot of holidays in Winter, not just Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's. "Happy Holidays" covers it all and doesn't make the assumption that you make (that everyone celebrates the 'American' holiday, Christmas).

Friend #1
Good one [Evil Slut]!

Evil Slut
I just get annoyed by people who get annoyed by "Happy Holidays". I've said that since way before people knew to be PC. I say it because 1) I know better than to pretend that everyone celebrates Christmas and 2) I celebrate a minimum of 4 holidays in December myself. So it just makes more sense to be all encompassing. Just because Americans act like there are only two religions that exist, doesn't mean Christmas is an 'American holiday'.

For a list of various holidays that take place in the Winter: Winter festivals
Dumb Guy
It is an American holiday, in that in addition to the meaning ascribed to it by Christians, it has deep traditions NOT rooted in Christianity long shared by people of many religions. "It's a Wonderful Life" was meant to appeal to all, not just those who celebrated the "religious" Christmas.

And I don't "act like there are only two religions"; just today my Taiwanese (Buddhist) friend could not hang out because his family was having their Christmas festivities. They may not include church, but the secular symbols of Christmas coalesce into what is clearly a distinct holiday that's available to all of us.

The fact that not everyone celebrates Christmas doesn't mean that they have any reasonable reason for being offended by the expression; that's hyper-sensitive, and besides that, you can still be wishing that they have a merry day on Christmas day. And by that logic, at least 3 of the four holidays in December are religious, so "Happy New Year" is the only non-offensive greeting.

And [Evil Slut]...
(he actually spelled my name wrong here, despite it being written along side each of my comments... therefore making me 100% sure that it was intentional to piss me off. So he's officially dead to me).
...calling Christmas an American holiday in NO WAY presumes everyone celebrates it. First, it's an officially recognized holiday. Second, there are many, many American traditions that some Americans don't practice or celebrate; that in no way applies they are not equally American.

And being PC has ALWAYS been a bad thing. The disappearance of some previous offenses is good; likewise, being polite, considerate, & generally aware of what you say is good. PC has nothing to do with that. PC is a term, as it was designed and usually & properly practiced, with an inherently negative connotation because it denotes PRESSURE; not that we have learned anything, but that we are AFRAID to say some things, not that we are actually any more considerate. You put words in my mouth.

Evil Slut
Christmas is a Christian holiday. It's the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The 'Christmas traditions' not rooted in Christianity are NOT Christmas traditions, but rather traditions stolen from other cultures.

For information on the actual origins of some 'Christmas traditions': Christmas Traditions
A lot of people (e.g., the ACLU) aren't totally okay with the fact that Christmas is a 'national holiday' because it violates the 1st amendment. But regardless, no one here has suggested that Merry Christmas is offensive, so your repeated insistence that it isn't offensive is both unnecessary and annoying.

What I DO think is absolutely ridiculously stupid is when people are offended by NOT being wished a Merry Christmas. I think most people say Happy Holidays because it makes a lot more sense and because it is more inclusive, not because they're afraid of offending someone.

PS: If you spell my name wrong again, you will officially be dead to me.
For more information on the issues surrounding the national acknowledgment of Christmas:
Christmas Controversy

Oh and by the way, being PC is not a bad thing. The term may only used in the negative because some people have taken it to extremes, but the meaning/intentions are positive. As a concept, being politically 'correct' means just that... Correct. Accurate. For example, calling any Spanish-speaking person 'Hispanic' regardless of their ancestry isn't politically incorrect just because we're afraid of offending them... it's politically incorrect because it's INCORRECT.
To read about the 'Hispanic' vs. 'Latino' debate: LasCulturas.com

I don't say "Merry Christmas" to every person I meet, not because I don't want to offend them, but because I KNOW that not every person I meet celebrates Christmas. Period.
Dumb Guy

[Evil Slut], I never once got personal. We are having a civil discussion.

Friend #1
But if you really hate "Happy Holidays," then aren't you in essence the same as someone who hates "Merry X-mas?"

Someone is giving you their best sentiments in the way they feel most comfortable. Isn't that what's most important?
Evil Slut

Um, where did I get 'personal'? Or un-civil?

(But I am serious about that name thing).

Dumb Guy
"annoying" "absolutely ridiculously stupid" "incredibly stupid to be annoyed by" etc., etc., etc.

And while EFFECTS may be the same the difference between PC and being polite is in REASON; one is based on fear and social pressure, nearly by definition and absolutely by common usage, and the second is the sign of societal growth and inclusiveness we should be encouraging.

Your Spanish/Hispanic example is not helpful, because in that case it's irrelevant whether it's politically incorrect; it's OBJECTIVELY incorrect. But when something is politically incorrect as the term is properly applied and commonly used, it is not because it is INCORRECT, it is because it is "unbroachable", largely because of fear or confusion over what constitutes "acceptable". And a great deal of people, and I would even say the movement toward Happy Holidays, don't say it to be non-offensive, they say it because of job requirements and legal fear. Towns don't wish to be sued by one irate citizen, and large corporations employ policies requiring it, to avoid ANY possible loss (however small) of business.

That's not societal growth, that's societal acquiescence, in my opinion. Calling an El Salvadoran and not a "Mexican" or a "Spanish American" is good when one is doing it to be accurate and polite; it is bad when one is terrified of that one mistatement being amplified and turned into a microcosm of who they are as a person. That's all I mean by this, that the difference between societal growth (good) and PC (bad) is the reasoning, and I feel that in most cases "Happy HOlidays" is a result of the latter, or conditioning to the latter.

Friend #1
Personally I say Happy Holidays usually because it is a lot less effort for the tongue to go from 'i' to 'h' than 'i' to 'kr'

Evil Slut
I think sometimes a little bit of 'fear' is good. It'd be nice if people weren't racist or sexist or heterosexist, etc. out of 'politeness' or 'accuracy', but that's not always life. I think if fear of losing business helps people be less offensive and more inclusive that's still a good thing. But do I actually think that most people who say "Happy Holidays" do it out of fear? No.

If your reasoning for hating it so much is based on 'job requirements and legal fear', then you should have no cause to be annoyed when a private citizen such as myself, says it. I had no reason to fear legal action etc. when I told you to have a happy holiday. The 'polite' response would've be "thank you" or even "Merry Christmas" if you were stubborn, not "I hate happy holidays!"

I don't care if you like or don't like to be wished "Merry Christmas". I don't like to wish it. Period. I think it's silly to be offended by "Merry Christmas" but I think it's even more silly to be offended by "Happy Holidays".

A lot of people oppose 'PC' language as an excuse to be rude. They've turned something good intentioned into something to be mocked. I use what I consider to be the most accurate and respectful language. I don't need fear in order to be a respectful person. It's really lame that so many people do.

But as for getting 'personal'... You basically have said that you hate an expression I use, you hate the reason/s I use it, and you hate all things 'PC'. You've said people who use it (or who dare to be offended by an inaccurate greeting) are lazy, hypersensitive, don't understand a so-called 'American tradition', and fearful. I didn't take any of that as a personal insult, but as someone who says "Happy Holidays" almost exclusively, I could have. I wasn't calling you personally stupid or annoying, but yes, I find a 'behavior' of yours annoying just as you've already said you find a 'behavior' of mine annoying.

But this is me being civil. I just like a good debate. Especially when I'm RIGHT. ;-)

Dumb Guy
Fear is never a good thing... not as a reason to behave a certain way toward other people. PARTICULARLY not as a way of behaving that SHOULD be based on decency. And while I expressed general annoyance at an expression you happen to you use, you expressed specific annoyance, and while not using the term you (i.e. me) you did so in a forum wherein any reasonable person would easily substitute one for the other. The two are not self-same.

And nowhere did I state that I don't ISSUE the polite response of "Thank you";

Of course, he didn't issue that polite response TO ME, which was what I was referring to. His actual, specific response to MY wishing him a "Happy Holidays". Instead of "Thank You" he said "I hate happy holidays!" which is ungrateful and rude.
...rather, in a personal forum, I expressed my discontent with the state of affairs that led to the expression. "Happy Holidays" is NOT an organically created expression; it WAS created as a "top->down requirement; and its usage in personal correspondence or conversation is traceable as SUBSEQUENT to its corporate & governmental adoption.

Being "PC" was NEVER good, and was NEVER well-intentioned. At or around the same time as the term became applicable, some people began choosing to use terminology that they felt was, or indeed was, more sensitive/appropriate; however, the development of PC language was correspondent, chronologically, to this, NOT intertwined with it.

I would rather have a world where people are rude but honest than a world where people are polite but disingenuous. Behaving civilly in no way prevents this; behaving in a PC manner INHERENTLY precludes this. Fear, even when not legally/governmentally initiated, as a means of controlling the populace (and PC is very much a social, and sometimes governmental, way of doing this) is ALWAYS bad.

And "politically correct" language, ironically, is often objectively incorrect, or at the very least utterly unhelpful language.

As for being "RIGHT", other than some historical/chronological/linguistic observances, neither one of us can be "right"; these are our opinions. One opinion, however, can be more well-reasoned than another, and this can be somewhat dispassionately judged by people experienced with logic. I feel that my argument would win in such a case; nevertheless, we have no such professional panel, and it is besides the point anyway. So there is no need to be so supercilious.

And while I expressed disdain for some behaviors which you happen to partake in, I was very much directing the disdain at the behavior, and any refraction onto you was incidental and, in some senses, regrettable. Your way of expressing disdain for my behavior, was much less incidental, contained more sniping, and would by any person not following our whole discussion be assumed to have been directed at me. So don't equate unlike things, por favor.

I'm glad that you, unlike most people, can have a heated discussion like this and understand it is, however impassioned, a discussion about a "thing", and not a reflection of our opinions of one another.

I would, still, argue that my position allows for greater freedom for BOTH sides of any "name-calling" argument. Freedom is always preferable to enforced civility for civility's sake.

"Heat from the sun somedays slowly passes; until then, you'll have to live with yourself."

Evil Slut
I'm not going to continue debating this, lol... but I'll end with this. Yes, fear IS a good thing in some cases. There are certain behaviors (such as 'speaking racism' for example) that should not be done, ever. It's more than just rudeness... Hate speech begets more hate. Embracing stereotypes gives the impression that they are fact. Non-inclusive language suggests that it is okay to be non-inclusive, therefore promoting division.

I think the fact that a CHRISTIAN holiday is considered an 'American tradition' is evidence of this. Christmas should never have become an 'American holiday' regardless of whether it's only the 'secular aspects'. That fact alone suggests that - although we don't have an 'official' U.S. religion - Christianity is the 'norm' or at least the majority, enough so that we've embraced Christian holidays as 'American', but have yet to do so for any other religions.

It's the same reasoning that has politicians making laws based on 'morals' we don't all share.

Dumb Guy
It has nothing to do with politicians, and there is nothing with the "norm", insomuch as it is not actually oppressive, being determined by what actually is most prevalent in society.

It is perfectly okay to be non-inclusive, and perfectly okay to be divided. Not if it stems from government intrusion, but if the social organism gels, even temporarily that way, it may not be desirable from our POV, but it has that "right". Inclusiveness in no way ends division; in fact, one of the most ground-breaking, taboo-shattering, AND well-respected studies performed in recent years showed that communities that are highly diverse and inclusive tend to have MORE isolation, MORE tribalism, and LESS civic engagement. The reasons may be myriad, but to suggest that their is anything wrong with a societal group or organization, or the societal (non-governmental) organism being "non-inclusive" is inherently wrong is just dictatorial, beyond didactic, and reminiscent & redolent of the sort of oppression it seeks to suppress.

Your "hate speech" is another person's honesty; another person's "hate speech" is your honesty. And while we may not desire that people "speak racism", it's not that they "should not be done, ever", its that the society we work toward should not WANT to "speak racism". But if it does, I am terrified of a world where what is publicly spoken is dictated simply by what is more feared to be uttered, rather than what people actually want to say.

You can think "fear IS a good thing in some cases", but you will find yourself living in a world inevitably dictated by fear, and you may be shocked that your modified utopia makes you VERY, VERY afraid.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. THAT'S IT. No one has a "right" to feel "included"; no one has a "right" to feel "comfortable" (whatever that means, other than the absence of physical intimidation), no one has the "right" not to be criticized, no one has the "right" not to be spoken about in honest (whether correct/incorrect, fair/unfair) terms by others. You have no "right" not to be called a kike/gentile, faggot/breeder, nigger/honky, gook/roundeye, spic/wop, or any other names.

No one has any of those rights, nor should they ever. What a terrible world that would be, and what a horrible perversion of our constitution (both our actual Constitution and our society's constitution) would be required to enable it.

And THAT is exactly where he 'lost' the debate. And his mind. And my respect. Forever. It's REALLY easy for a white, upper middle class, heterosexual male to not understand what hate speech is or why it wouldn't be a 'perversion' to protect people from it.

Evil Slut
OK, this goes way beyond the "Happy Holidays" issue, which I was just having some fun with.

I don't think that a world where people are protected from being called any of those horrible slurs can in ANY WAY be considered a 'terrible world'. I feel very strongly about freedom of speech, but I feel just as strongly about protection from hate speech and discrimination. Hate speech is not honesty. Hate speech is intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action. Racist/sexist/homophobic/etc slurs are not honesty and I wish there were more laws protecting people from them.

I was just having fun poking at your Happy Holidays diatribe before, but I'm actually appalled right now. You can take that personally if you like.

Dumb Guy
What if the hate speech IS honesty? And who gets to determine what IS hate speech?

And I hope you don't confuse a world where I think things should be allowed to be a certain way with a world where I WANT them to be that way.

And I didn't even touch on the issue of discrimination.

That's him trying to backpedal. Oh when I said it would be a 'terrible world' if people had the right to NOT be called a nigger or a kike or a faggot... I didn't mean that I WANT people to be called those things. I just don't want them to have the right not to be. Totally different. Uh huh.

And hate speech is not honesty. (I also think it's interesting that he doesn't see the correlation between hate speech and discrimination).

Evil Slut
I have no desire to discuss this further so you can stop responding if you want to. (Just an FYI). I remain appalled.

While I've never really cared much about the "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" debate, after reading his ranting and raving... I think it might actually be important to think about. It's common knowledge that the United States is predominately Christian. So it's understandable that the U.S. might act as though Christianity is the national religion. However, there is no national religion and our constitution clearly states that and protects our right to practice our own faiths as we see fit. That's it on a governmental standpoint.

But think of it from the point of view of a young child who is say, Muslim or Hindu. They go to school and maybe 80% of their class is Christian. They turn on the TV in December and see endless Christmas movies and commercials depicting Christmas celebrations. Never is there any national reference to Ramadan or Diwali or anything else, except maybe Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. They are not represented and therefore they are invisible. It is this lack of inclusion that leads this young child to be ashamed of their own culture. Maybe to try and fit in and be more 'American', they'll start embracing the secular aspects of Christmas.

The 'Christmas is American' myth is a self-perpetuating cycle.

I think it's unfortunate that in a melting pot such as the United States (which really has NO national culture that wasn't stolen from other cultures, except maybe the Native Americans) immigrants feel so much pressure to become Americanized. For example, growing up, so many of my multicultural friends shed their 'ethnic-sounding' names for American versions. The dumb guy may have referenced his Taiwanese friend's family as an example of how 'everyone' celebrates Christmas, but I think that example more accurately proves my point than his. Why does a Buddhist family celebrate a traditionally Christian holiday? Because it's 'American'! Only... it's not.

I understand why groups like the Catholic League try to fight the alleged 'War on Christmas' and I don't blame non-Christians for wanting to embrace the fun, secular aspects of Christmas. But it baffles me to believe that a non-Christian person would feel so strongly about Christmas that he would be offended by being wished "Happy Holidays".

Related Posts:

December 25, 2008

Stupid Protest: Campbell Soup is Totally Gay

There's nothing like a good homophobic protest to get you in the holiday spirit!

The fun-loving bigots over at the American Family Association are irrationally mad at yet another company. This time it's at Swanson Broth/the Campbell Soup Company for promoting the evil gay agenda. Apparently they dared to promote their product with an advertisement featuring a lesbian couple. The AFA makes it seem as if they posted graphic pictures of BIG GAY SEX on the front page of Highlights, but they actually made a very sweet ad about a lesbian couple cooking Christmas dinner with their young son in the Advocate, the largest homosexual magazine in the U.S. (You can view the ad at amplifyyourvoice.org).

We think it's great that Campbell Soup acknowledges and supports all types of families. In fact, that's exactly what they said... Anthony Sanzio, a spokesperson for Campbell Soup, replied to the AFA:
"We support all types of families, regardless of how they're defined, [and have done so] for more than 100 years," Sanzio offers. "We advertise in a variety of different media outlets that appeal to a broad spectrum of society. That's what we're doing here, and that's what we'll continue to do."

Sanzio said that so far they haven't experienced any negative reaction due to the ad. I think we all need to take that one step forward and show a positive reaction. Go out and buy some Swanson Broth... and tell Campbell Soup why!

Related Posts:

December 20, 2008

Light Up The Night For Equality

Tonight's the night to Join the Impact and Light Up The Night For Equality! Here's the info:


On December 20th, we ask that you join us again for a nation-wide demonstration that will make an impact on the private sector. Candlelight vigils will be held at commercial centers in cities across the country in vigil for the rights of 18,000 same-sex couples who married and look forward to the day when those rights are available again - for EVERYONE.

  • Please take to your local commercial district -- be it a shopping mall, outdoor financial center, you name it. Check your city page for the time and location of your event.
  • This will be a peaceful demonstration in the spirit of the holidays.
  • Dress alike. Wear the same t-shirts or signs pinned to your coats. You can make or buy a "2nd Class Citizen" t-shirt, but the message is optional. Learn more about why we suggest "2nd Class Citizen."
  • This will be the culmination of our National Food Drive for Equality
  • Hosting peaceful candlelight vigils
  • We will stay silent unless asked a question, we will not yell, instigate, or bear signs. Instead, we will let our shirts do the talking and our candles pay our respects. Bring candles (battery powered if you'll be huddling inside).
  • Singing and/or silence encouraged...chanting is not....keep it peaceful and in the holiday spirit.

Go to Join the Impact's to find a Light Up The Night event in your area, and to keep up with the movement for equality.

December 19, 2008

Last Minute Gift Ideas: Subscribe

Still looking for some last minute gift ideas? Give the gift of literacy! Or actually, hopefully whoever you're shopping for will already have the gift of literacy... Give the gift of something good to read!! Order a subscription to a great magazine!

As you may have already realized from previous blog entries, we're BIG fans of Bust Magazine and Bitch Magazine.

If you decide to become a "monthly sustainer" of Bitch - by joining the B-Hive and making a tax-deductible donation (which can be as little as five or ten dollars a month) - they'll give you a subscription for free. Here, we'll let the bees explain it to you.

But if that isn't exactly your thing (why not!?) we've got plenty more options for you...

Buy a gift subscription to VenusZine before December 31 for the chance to win a prize, including an iPod Classic with a custom designed Venus Zine cover.

CURVE, the nation's best-selling lesbian magazine, offers a "fresh, exciting and cutting-edge look at the worlds of entertainment, politics, fashion, travel and sports - all from a lesbian perspective."

You can sign up for a full year of the digital edition of Nylon Magazine (or their male counterpart Nylon Guys) for only $4.95.

Missbehave Magazine is a whip-smart testament to urbane awesomeness published quarterly in Brooklyn New York. Metropolitan, multicultural, young, intelligent, and sexy ladies now have a journal that speaks to them specifically about all the many facets of of their lifestyle. We got hot kicks, bananas manicures, dope jewelry, downtown gossip, and the latest in lust-worthy fashion.

Spread Magazine is a magazine for sex workers, sex worker outreach and labor rights.

make/shift magazine creates and documents contemporary feminist culture and action by publishing journalism, critical analysis, and visual and text art. Made by an editorial collective committed to antiracist, transnational, and queer perspectives, make/shift embraces the multiple and shifting identities of feminist communities.

And for our friends up north... Shameless Magazine is Canada's independent voice for smart, strong, sassy young women. It's a fresh alternative to typical teen magazines, for girls who know there's more to life than makeup and diet tips.

Don't forget about the younger girls in your life! Get them a membership to New Moon Girls, which includes a subscription to their magazine as well as access to their online community. "Safe. Educational. Advertising-Free. Girls ages 8 to 12 develop their full potential through self-discovery, creativity, and community in an environment designed to build self-esteem and promote positive body image in the important tween years."

Of course, if you're still not sure what to get for us for the holidays, the ESC will happily accept subscriptions to any of the above magazines. We'll also accept suggestions, so if you think we left some awesome publication off the list, let us know!

December 18, 2008

Free Will Power

NARAL Pro-Choice America has a cool new campaign out called Free.Will.Power. Here's their declaration:

It's all about approaching education, awareness, and activism in a creative way, and they've gotten a bunch of talented spoken word artists to put together videos for the "free", "will", and "power" elements of the campaign. Below is "Free", written by Shira Erlichman with music from DJ Spooky. (Check out the Free.Will.Power site to see the other two videos and learn more about the campaign.) Erlichman says she chose to participate in the campaign because "It is through education that I have become more informed regarding reproductive rights. But often that education has not been "text-book"; it has come in the form of stories, paintings, and extraordinary ordinary folks who pulled out a seat and made time for my questions and thoughts. I hope to spark others in the ways I have been sparked".

I like the fact that this campaign focuses on the positivity of being pro-choice. We all spend so much of the time on the defensive and dealing with the negatives - the anti-choice laws, the abortion myths, the misleading campaigns from "pro-family" groups. We're constantly faced with the outrageous and the offensive from the anti-choice side, or we're feeling insecure, uncomfortable, and silenced in the face of stigmas and stereotypes about women who dare to have sex or speak out about reproductive rights. It can be exhausting, and campaigns like this are a nice balance and a reminder of what we're really fighting for.

Being pro-choice isn't just about whether we can have abortions or not. It's about feeling secure in ourselves, being free of self-doubt and shame, and really recognizing that we deserve to have full access to the accurate information and resources and health care services that we need to make the best decisions about our health and our lives. It's about what we can accomplish when we're not worried about fighting for control of our own bodies. It's about refusing to be ignorant and refusing to accept ignorance from others. It's about remembering: "Nobody gives you power. You just take it." It's about having a voice and using it. It's freedom. It's life. And it's our right.

December 17, 2008

Shameless Promotion 2: ESC Holiday Products

It wouldn't be shameless holiday promotion season if we didn't include our own products, right? Below are some selections from some of our 'old favorite' ESC stores, plus three brand new holiday designs. All of the links take you directly to each store and lots more items. Happy evil slutty shopping!

Peace, Love, Equality, Joy - we're hoping for a lot more of those things in the world next year:

[Equality Holiday]

Please don't forget to keep the 'ho' in holidays. (And always have safe sex, because chlamydia is not a good gift to give or receive.)

[Keep the 'HO' in Holiday!]

Celebrate inappropriateness by wishing someone a Merry XXXmas!

[Merry XXX-mas!]

Recognize the dedication and hard work of the community organizer in your life:

[I Love Community Organizers]

Sarah Palin is not going to become our VP in January, and that is definitely something worth celebrating:

[This Is NOT What A Feminist Looks Like]

And, of course, what kind of holiday would it be if you didn't celebrate how much you love us? A totally sucky one. And nobody wants to see that happen.

[Evil Slutopia]

Int'l Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Today is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers!

Today the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA) held a National March for Sex Workers Rights in Washington, D.C.

December 17th is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This event was created to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe. Originally thought of by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and started by the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle, Washington. International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has empowered workers from over cities around the world to come together and organize against discrimination and remember victims of violence. During the week of December 17th, sex worker rights organizations will be staging actions and vigils to raise awareness about violence that is commonly committed against sex workers. The assault, battery, rape and murder of sex workers must end. Existing laws prevent sex workers from reporting violence. The stigma and discrimination that is perpetuated by the prohibitionist laws has made violence against us acceptable. Please join with sex workers around the world and stand against criminalization and violence committed against prostitutes.

For more info on sex workers rights: Bound, Not Gagged

Related Posts:

December 16, 2008

Shameless Promotion: ESC Holiday Shopping Guide

It's finally here! The Evil Slut Clique Shameless Promotional Holiday Gift Buying Guide for 2008! Below you will find some of our favorite stuff this holiday season and also some cool new stuff from our friends, in a completely totally random order! Enjoy! (All images are 'clickable' and lead to more items). We met quite a few of these vendors at the BUST Holiday Craftacular so we can personally vouch for some of them not only having great products, but being cool people too.

Also, don't forget to look back at last year's list because a lot of last year's vendors aren't on this list (due to space constraints, and also laziness on our part) but we still love and support each of them! So check out the new items they each have this year!!

We both bought a ton of stuff from Funky Artsy at the Bust Holiday Craftacular. In addition to being really nice people and having really beautiful jewelry... their adorable little decorated matchboxes are just too cute to resist.

Check out Rebecca Shepherd Jewelry Design, who now has a store with other designers in Park Slope, Brooklyn (Urban Alchemist, 343 Fifth Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues).

I was really drawn to Neile Cooper's exquisite butterfly jewelry and stain glass art. (FYI: The butterflies used live out their adult, winged stage in only a few days or weeks. After their natural death, the wings are recycled and preserved in glass).

The Angel Court Jewels collection is a collaboration of artistic expression by designers Angela Burgess and Courtney Taylor, who incorporate antique estate pieces and nontraditional objects into their one-of-a-kind jewelry designs. To check out their Boutique and online Gallery: AngelCourt.com

Gabriela de la Vega has some very pretty, precious hand-wrought jewelry. We could have just browsed her "key" items alone for hours and hours. (We're kind of into keys, not sure why).

Digby & Iona is offering 10% off all purchases of their unique jewelry for the month of December. Just type in the promotion code 'Holiday' at checkout for your discount.

According to their website, Lingua Nigra literally means "Black Hairy Tongue"...
...something coarse and hard. A black tongue can give beautiful words, and take them back. Lingua Nigra wants to give you beautiful organic pieces that you will have forever... or at least until you die.

The designer of Spragwerks jewelry is a former heavy-duty diesel mechanic (which explains his awesome "industrial" aesthetic) and backs each piece with a lifetime warranty.

We originally checked out Poison Apple NYC because we just thought the name was cool. Luckily, their jewelry turned out to be even cooler than their name...

We accidentally found Poison Apple T-shirts while looking for the website of the jewelry vendor Poison Apple NYC (see above). We're really glad we did because they have some really amazing print t-shirts with designs that will blow your mind.

Unhappy Animals has the most adorable t-shirts and other items, featuring a collection of unhappy animals including a "time bomb" angry monkey, a laid back turtle, a lactose intolerant mouse, a paranoid koala, "three's a crowd" elephants, a numb cat, a bunny with braces and (our personal favorite) a fish swimming in a bowl of his own tears.

Harrilu is a line of modern apparel and accessories, hand silkscreen designs for children and adults (including maternity wear).

We have decided to start entertaining more often... just so we can find an excuse to use these awesome pin-up girl coasters from Sourpuss Clothing! (And in case you couldn't tell from the name, they also have some pretty awesome clothing and other cool stuff).

ClothMoth is offering free shipping on U.S. orders of $50+. Their stuff is really cute... who doesn't love a fetus with a Blackberry?

1 Girl 1 Boy has really cute hand dyed & block printed t-shirts and textiles. We really like their cute little zipper pouches.

Charm NYC is a boutique located in NOHO ("North of Soho, downtown NYC) within the EDGE*ny NOHO boutique complex on 65 Bleecker St. Check out their cool head wear and accessories:

Ichigo Black offers "gothic street fashion with a burst of femininity inspired by Japanese gothic, lolita, and punk styles".

The Junkprints business card that we grabbed at the Craftacular read "clothing, accessories, general dopeness". I think that says it better than we could!!

JaK Random Art has unique, eco-friendly, handmade jewelry made from recycled vinyl records & other found materials.
The materials used in my art are from recycled or found objects placing an emphasis on the notion that out of decay there is rebirth. This results in one of a kind pieces that are antique-like reflecting the fragile innocence that we imagine existed in past eras.

Barking Maddison's jewelry is made from vintage wallpaper... and each piece is double-sided, so flip them over! (She also has some very pretty hand-tooled leather bags).

We chatted with Rebecca of RAR RAR Press a little bit at the Bust Holiday Craftacular and we loved her! She creates letterpress printed postcard and other miscellaneous items.

Product Superior has some really cool greeting cards, etc. We particularly liked the ones of the busted muscle cars!

Tina the seamonster's holiday items had us cracking up. "Zombies Attack Santa... Christmas Totally Cancelled". Hilarious.

Earmark's custom cards, stationary and gifts are really great. She has some more traditional items, but of course, our favorites were the sillier stuff. (I bought my new holiday cards for this year... "Tis the seasons to be AWESOME"). Also check out her invitations and announcements.

And we're about ready to buy out the entire Mean Cards collection... It's tough to pick our favorites (but we can't list their entire catalog on our blog) but as far as the holidays designs go, I think this one might be the topper:
Outside: "I didn't cry when I learned there was no Santa"
Inside: "but your kids just might... if they read the front of this card. Merry Christmas"

This is really cool and green: all of reiter8's items are made from recycled sails, including one-of-a-kind (and 'few-of-a-kind') totes and pillows.

trixie and radar have the COOLEST decoupage clocks (seriously, the coolest) and awesome light plates too.

I fell in love with these gloves from Father Panik Industries the second I saw them. You can get them saying "BAD ASS, ROCK STAR, GOOD EVIL, HELL YEAH, LUCKY 13, LIVE FAST, LOVE HATE or LONE WOLF". (Or check out the website for lots of other cool stuff).

QASSA has some really cute, kitschy funky candles. My absolute favorite is the Bettie Page (R.I.P.) but they're all incredibly cool.

Cykochik is an innovative line of custom handbags. The original, signature Portrait Totes boast portrait cut-outs (reverse appliqu├ęs) in a myriad of attractive colors, prints, and designs to choose from. Just send them a photograph and get your sweet face on a handbag! (All bags are made of animal & eco-friendly vinyl and are 100% sweatshop-free).

In Hope: handspun yarn, purses, housewares and all things cute!

Brookadelphia is the sisterly collaboration of Amber & Heather Zezeck. They make jewelry "with a sprinkle of sophistication, a dash of irony, and heaping teaspoon of street cred".

Potus31 is a line of handmade, pewter sculptures of American snack food icons designed by Herber Hoover. We particularly liked the fortune cookies (which can have any custom fortune put inside).

Painter Girl Handmade Chocolates are as beautiful as they are delicious. We particularly liked the "Painter Tribute Bars" of Frida Kahlo.
Art-inspired chocolate. Chocolate-inspired art. What fun! Something so delectable to eat could also be wonderful to look at. A complete experience.

Lollibomb Beauty is serving up only the best in vegan bath and body treats with one-of-a-kind handcrafted cruelty-free creations in fragrances that range "from mild to wild". They have organic sugar scrubs, lotions, paraben-free mineral cosmetics, handmade lip balms, and cool gift ideas (including edible massage oil, yum!)

Kim Westad's hand thrown porcelain ceramics are beautiful and come in both unique and more "classic" styles. Check out the "whirls" category of her collection gallery for items that are functional works of art.

Whether you've ever seen the Naughty Naughty Pets show or not (we actually haven't) you'll still adore their cute plush toys and other naughty items.

Sarah Apple has not only a cute name (okay fine, it's not her real name), but also some really cute stuff... including stuffed gnomes! Yay!

By Mary Jane (created by Mary Jane Hunter) is a line of one of a kind handmade bags, headbands and jewelry. She uses mainly vintage fabrics, leathers, trinkets and hardware to create unique designs inspired by the 60's.

kg + ab ceramics is a husband and wife design team in Brooklyn, NY. Their unique clay designs range from the practical (vases and other "vessels") to the whimsical ("bears in love" figurines).

Catherinette is handmade and recycled gifts and accessories made by Katie Stack. We thought the sushi ornaments were really cute and would make a lovely addition to the ESC's Christmas tree. (If the ESC had one, sigh).

Weekly podcast, Radio Free Bakersfield, is selling 2009 calendars "with BABES!" for $15 plus shipping.

Leviticus Jewelry is offering free shipping on all U.S. orders until Christmas Day. (Free for international orders over $100).

This year they sent out a very special thank you message to all their friends and customers, so we wanted to share a part of it with our friends (um, you).
When you shop at leviticusjewelry.com you are supporting handmade. You aren't giving money to sweatshops, you are giving money to an actual loving family trying to make a better future for their children and family. In return I promise to turn these babies into great members of the human race, bettering our future. I wish that more mothers and fathers had the opportunity to work from home doing something that they love while getting the time to spend with their children.

Ayin Aleph has some holiday promos up on their website, including a CD + t-shirt combo.

You might also want to check out the holiday shopping guides provided by Feministing, Feministe, and the Rotten Little Girls because, well, we did. And as always, check out what we're selling on our ESC cafepress stores. We're still adding new items as we speak, so stay tuned for a separate blog later today or tomorrow shamelessly promoting and showcasing them.
(And don't forget to scroll back a few days before this to see our previous holiday blogs).

Happy Ho-lidays!