Sunday, April 15, 2012

Last Call

Everything old is new again as this generation's young Catholic women are rolling out what their distant ancestors used as the new hipster choice in birth control:  "Natural family planning".  Meet Ashley McGuire:

McGuire, 26, of Alexandria, is part of a movement of younger, religiously conservative Catholic women who are trying to rebrand what may be Catholicism’s most-ignored teaching: its ban on birth control methods such as the Pill. Arguing that church theology has been poorly explained and encouraged, they want to shift the image of a traditional Catholic woman from one at home with eight kids to one with a great, communicative sex life, a chemical-free body and babies only when the parents believe the time is right.

The movement sees an opportunity: President Obama’s decision this year to require most religious employers, like employers in general, to provide contraception coverage. The move angered Catholics so much that it cracked open a discussion about contraception that has been largely taboo for decades because there’s so much disagreement about it.

“More priests have given sermons on this in the past few weeks than in the last 50 years,” said Janet Smith, a conservative theologian who teaches at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

The new movement’s goal is to make over the image of natural family planning, now used by a small minority of Catholic women. But natural family planning, which requires women to track their fertile periods through such natural signs such as temperature and cervical mucus, is seen by many fertility experts as unreliable and is viewed by most Catholics as out of step with contemporary women.

Meet the new phase in the War on Women, folks.  The pill is slavery and if charting your fertility periods was good enough for women before the 1960's, well it's good enough for GCB's like Ashley here.  They're "chemical-free" ladies, you see.  That makes them better than you, and of course if women didn't use the pill, it would just go away, and then we can reframe the argument of whether married women having sex for pleasure is a sin or not (of course it's evil for unmarried women to have sex!)

We've gone from "Should society have to fund the pill as a women's health issue" to "Do REAL Christian women even need the pill?"  One is a policy issue, where Democrats can win.  The other is a morality issue, where Democrats can fight all they want to, but they'll lose to slut-shaming every damn time.  How nice of the Washington Post to accept this reframing of the argument to the absolute benefit of the Austerity Party.

There's a lesson here, but I'm thinking most liberals will miss it.  Just like they'll miss being able to have affordable birth control in a GOP world.

The Girls Are Not Alright

The UK Daily Mail gets into the "Ann Romney is right, real women are stay-at-home moms whose husbands are rich enough to support them staying home" nonsense with a study that shows that the more men are in an area, the more women want to get married.  Shocking, I know.

Forget ambition, financial security and that first-class degree.

A controversial study has concluded that the real reason women pursue careers is because they fear they are too unattractive to get married.

The research team, made up of three women and two men, said that when men are thin on the ground, 'women are more likely to choose briefcase over baby'.

And the plainer a woman is, they claim, the more she is driven to succeed in the workplace.

Central to their argument was the idea that women have evolved to become homemakers and men, providers.

They said this means that when men are scarce in a particular area, women, and particularly less attractive ladies, may decide they need to provide for themselves with a well-paid career.

What the study really means is that women who have had body issues pounded into their heads all their lives that they're not attractive, that they're not valued in society other than as adjuncts for powerful men and as baby factories, tend to buy into the horrible images that society lays out for them. Surprising, I know.

The Daily Mail smugly declares feminism the resort of "unattractive" women who can't find a man, so real women stay at home.

Which is of course the exact opposite of what Mitt Romney said in January.

"I wanted to increase the work requirement,” said Romney. “I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.”

The dignity of work.  Good enough for your family and Michelle Obama.  Not for Ann Romney, who is a "real woman" for not working a day in her life.


Kelly Osbourne, Meet The High Road

Read the whole article on

Don't expect Christina Aguilera to get an apology from Kelly Osbourne. 

The Fashion Police cohost, 27, infamously called The Voice mentor, 31, fat on TV, and she's not retracting any time soon. 

"She called me fat for years," Osbourne, who dropped 50 pounds in 2010, tells Glamour magazine. "I said, 'F––– you, now you're fat, too! ... Now you know how it feels!" 

"I'm sorry," she continues, "but I stand by that." 

And Osbourne would have no problem telling that to Aguilera directly. 

"I make a point on the show never to say anything about anybody that I wouldn't say directly to their face," she says. "I'm famous and she's famous. It doesn't mean I can't stand up for myself. I took it for 10 years, and finally decided to be like, 'You know what? I'm done.' " 
Few things here.  First, are we really still a society where name calling is effective?  I've been called everything from fat in elementary school to a child killer because I'm pro-choice.  Having been called names my entire life, I learned early on that it doesn't change a thing.  The "you did it to me so I'm going to do it to you" mentality is also frightening, and makes Osbourne look like a fat girl who never got over herself.  Which is pretty much on target.

Just because you would say it to someone's face doesn't make it right.  Just because you're on top of things at the moment doesn't mean you squash someone who is having a rough patch.  Aguilera has come a long way, from a trashy teen grabbing headlines to a woman, mother and even activist.  Maybe she has grown up.  Kelly Osbourne sure hasn't.

Yabba Dabba Waitaminute

I was really excited when I learned Seth MacFarlane was going to redo The Flintstones.  It was one of my favorites (I'm old enough to remember Saturday morning cartoons) and there was a certain magic about a big burly guy with a heart of gold, and a loyal friend who joined in every time.  Even as a kid, I realized they missed the chances for some great jokes, most likely due to the time period.  After all, in the 60s television was far more conservative than it is now.  However, it's been put on hold due to MacFarlane's incredibly busy schedule, so the 2013 launch date was pushed back.

MacFarlane hasn't quit on the project, he's just enjoying a streak of good fortune.  Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show all got picked up for a new season, plus he is working on a project related to Carl Sagan's Cosmos.  I hadn't heard about the latter, but for those who are disappointed there will be new material to watch while we wait for Flintstones to make it to the screen.

Squeal Of Fortuno

It takes about 15 paragraphs to find out why, as with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, that Puerto Rico's young GOP Governor, Luis Fortuno, has no shot at Romney's veep slot.  None whatsoever.  Let's skip the hagiography and get right to the part where Fortuno gets run out of the party if he's even nominally mentioned:

On immigration, Fortuno advocates strong border security, but has also criticized a proposal by some Republicans to deport 12 million illegal immigrants.

“I support enforcing our laws, securing our borders and comprehensive immigration reform,” Fortuno said. “We must also promote a respectful dialogue on immigration, because too often, the tone and tenor of the public discourse has been counterproductive and pushes away instead of embracing the Hispanic community.”

And all the GOP base will hear is SHAMNESTY.  See, Republicans don't want a respectful dialogue with the Hispanic community.  They want to deport as many of them as they can and drive off the rest, just like they would with African-Americans (and they're happy to just incarcerate us.)

Naah, Luis here has about as much chance as I do of being the veep for Romney.
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