August 2009

Women, Transgender Rights, and Sports

There is a lot of sports-related hysteria cropping up on the internet, in the wake of the situation with Caster Semenya.  The South African runner swept the competition, winning a gold medal in the 800 meter at the World Athletics Championships.  The question of whether or not Semenya was born female has been officially raised, and she is currently circling through an embarrassing barrage of medical tests to determine her gender.

I can't speak for the World Athletic Championships, because honestly I'd never heard of them until now.  (I'm not much of a sports fan, obviously.)  But I did learn a lot this morning about how the Olympics work, and how my first impression - that the Olympics were WRONG AND EVIL AND SEXIST - was completely wrong.

What a Waist!

Classic style has always been.... well, classic. Clean, put together, elegant, and altogether timeless. As time has rolled on, one thing that has remained constant, is the undeniable allure of the feminine hourglass figure. The fitted styles of the 40's and 50's which, emphasize a dainty waist, continue to come back in fashion, except the woman of today is less concerned with her waistline and more focused on her overall health. The low riding hip huggers popular these days are seldom worn by the strictly svelte. In fact, the pot bellies of today are so prevalent, apparently they are 'acceptable' in men. Right....

Women Charged for Rape Kits

Remember back when the excruciatingly simple Sarah Palin was running for office (who could forget!) and one of the many scandalous, mystifying tidbits surrounding her was the fact that she made people who were sexually violated buy their own rape kits? Well, it turns out that Palin wasn’t alone in crafting up these ridiculous rules.

Victims of rape have had to pay up to $1,200 for their own rape kits, hospital expenses and exams during active investigations. There was actually a law created by Congress to prevent rape victims from being charged for their rape kits fifteen years ago. State or local authorities are supposed to be required to cover these expenses, but loopholes and bureaucratic BS have managed to send the bill to plenty of victims instead.

Kelly Clarkson De-Fatted; SELF Editor-In-Chief A Photoshop Apologist

You may already have heard that Kelly Clarkson was given a severe computerized slim-down for the cover of SELF magazine.  Nothing new there!  Compare the side-by-side photos of the real Kelly Clarkson with the fake magazine cover version and decide for yourself.

Let's not pretend to be shocked by this.  The really fascinating part is that SELF magazine's Editor In Chief, Lucy Danziger, has written a breezy blog post which brushes off the controversy, while at the same time being one of the saddest things I've ever read.

Rejected, Religious Nutjob Massacres Female Aerobics Class

I remember hearing about the Columbine tragedy when I was in high school and feeling utter shock. Though it was not the first school shooting in history, it was the first I’d ever heard about, and it shook me to my core to think that school, the one place where people are supposed to be safe, could result in so much death. Sure, I’d seen my share of fights, but I went to a small-town school and wasn’t even aware that anything beyond a few punches was possible between the bell rings.

More tragedies followed, and along with others I began to feel numb towards the killings—I would murmur how terrible it was, but rationalized that it was a reflection of the violent nature of our society. Then, when I became a mother, I wept for hours following the Virginia Tech shooting—a crime that occurred near a friend, and that I suddenly saw with a new perspective.