Admittedly, I consume a bulk of my news diet from a strange blend of the Daily Show, the Times, the Post, NPR, Slate and MSN online, the morning TV news and of course, The Onion. I find it gives me a reasonably full dose of the hard information, the quirky features, the slightly parodic, and my grandmother's second favorite - the wedding section.
Generally, I can peruse these with a minimal of outrage, these less-calm moment most frequently sparked by the misadventures of the current presidential administration. However, in the past week I came across a few things that raised the proverbial eyebrow and forced me to question what year we're living in.
Item One: Larry Craig's Resignation
In case your end-of-summer vacation did not involve any connection with the outside world, let me recap. Veteran Republican Senator, Larry Craig, resigned under extreme pressure from his party following an arrest in an undercover vice operation in an airport bathroom well-known for George Michael-esque activity. Over the years, people have questioned Craig's sexual identity, despite his avowed statements of heterosexuality and staunch anti-gay rights voting record.
My question for Sen. Craig and the entire Republican party is why? Why continue to live an ugly, closeted lifestyle and vote against your own civil liberties? Why force people into secrecy about whom they love and how they choose to express it? Is this 2007 or 1950?
This issue concern us all and it hurts me to see that as far as we've come in the quest for equality we still have such a long way to go. Public figures - be they politicians, athletes, actors or celebutants should feel able to come out without fear of scorn or ridicule. Besides, it helps thin out my dating pool.
Item Two: First Female Beefeater
In a far less hyped story across the Pond, Britian appointed its first Beefeater at the Tower of London to have two X chromosomes. Since 1485, all the guards at the Tower (who routinely pose for pictures in their adorable fuzzy hats) have been men and Class Two Warrant Officer Moira Cameron was selected over 5 men who also applied for the position.
First off, a big up to Moira for breaking down a centuries-old barrier on what is ostensibly a ceremonial position. Secondly, I have ask again - why? Why did it take more than 500 years to break through those thick Tower walls? Sure, I'll give them the first 450 years on the whole, men ruling the world thing, but why not any other women in the last 30?
Overall, my purpose here is to just broadcast the excellent news and to suggest that feminism and women's equality are far from dead issues. There are still many arenas in which women have yet to achieve parity including politics, the pay scale, professional sports and many of our daily work environments. To all my ladies reading, I hope you take this small victory and use it as inspiration to keep up the good fight. And to the fellas, you've been warned.
Item Three: Don't like abortion? Don't have one.
This one I can barely even blog about it makes me so angry. Just when you think we've won a tiny victory like item two, the man seems to have a way of telling those of us with a vagina that we simply can't own it. In the real estate metaphor of sexual politics - it seems I often have a tenuous, illegal sublet situation going on with my own reproductive system and that certain legislators periodically swoop in to conduct raids as some perversely-motivated landlord of Cuntsville.
I guess that sage who said "if you're not angry, you're not paying attention," was right after all. Here's some sites if you want to take action: www.now.org, www.plannedparenthood.org, www.naral.org.