Friday, August 24, 2012

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*Note: Julia is not officially endorsed by our caucus but has been a long time supporter and friend. We have previously endorsed Julia in many political races and encourage all to get engaged in her race.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Article From Jezebel Aug 22, 2012

From: Jezebel

Rape Fatigue and You: 

When There’s Just No Anger Left

By: Erin Gloria Ryan
       Original Article

Since around 2pm on Monday, I've felt like a contestant on a sadistic Japanese game show, donning an American flag bikini and a blindfold, covered in glue and standing in a phone booth, trying to catch dollar bills with my flailing arms as an industrial strength blower propels cash around me at high speeds. But instead of cash, I'm trying to process and react to a veritable blizzard of ignorant, rape-related bullshit flowing unabated from the mouths of conservative lawmakers in America. Reading story after story of how, say, a cranky old coot of a doctor peddling medically dangerous misinformation has somehow informed half of the American public's views on women's health care, or how, say, another dude — always a fucking dude — is saying that he doesn't think that pregnancy from statutory rape or incest is really A Thing since he personally doesn't know any pregnant kids or how, say, the GOP is condemning this sort of Wingnut Real Talk while quietly inserting a mandatory ultrasound hat tip/constitutional amendment that would force all rape victims to carry their assailant's child to term into their official party platform has worn me down.

I am at full rape capacity. I am officially in the throes of rape fatigue.

The first time I had to get up and walk away from my computer, shaking my head in disbelief, was when I first found out about Akin's morning show shenanigans. Really!? "Legitimate rape" victims don't get pregnant because of some unknown mechanism in the female body that "shuts that whole thing down?" My Twitter feed exploded with jokes about how Akin envisions that the female anatomy contains an army of scrubbing bubbles, about how legitimate murder shouldn't cause death, how the doctors Akin spoke with must think that the uterus has the personality of a Schutzhund champion. A uterus dentata, if you will. But rather than sharing in the embarrassment and chastising Akin for talking yang about crap he had no business talking about, the knee jerk reaction from the conservative loudmouths I hatefollow for their entertainment value was to defend Akin, or point out how Biden saying that dumb thing about chains was SO MUCH WORSE. Yes. Let's protect our own fragile illusion of perpetual correctness above all else. BEING SHOUTY IS ALL WE HAVE! NEVER STOP SHOUTING!

Akin's statements didn't surprise me, but the depth of his ignorance and the extent to which people with a lot more power than I have back him up did, no matter how many times it's reiterated to me (Remember this? Or this? Or this?). I'm not jaded enough to accept this as par for the well-manicured, men-only course, but should I be? Sure, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John Cornyn, Sean Hannity, and a host of "unnamed GOP officials" paid lip service to disapproving the sentiment, but then went ahead and ratified an official party platform that promotes a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortions with no exception for rape or incest and wrote in an Official Bro Fist Bump for states who require women seeking abortions to receive a penalty dick mandatory ultrasound before terminating their pregnancies.

And yesterday, Todd Akin's grinning carcass had the gall to issue a 30-second apology for using the "wrong words in the wrong way." He has daughters, after all, and a wife. He loves women. He's likely talked to literally dozens of women in his life whom he did not subsequently stone. Also yesterday, Iowa Rep. Steve King backed Akin up, telling another local news outlet that he'd never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. Sounds like someone needs a dressing down from Oprah, who was raped at age 9 and impregnated by a relative at age 14. Or maybe this Mexican 10-year-old. Or not. It's not secret, after all, that Steve King really does not like Mexicans.

Paying attention, digesting, and reacting to every dismaying War on Women news item that hits my inbox or reddit or endless alarming "PLEASE SEND MONEY NOW. WE NEED YOU - Michelle" emails that I still get from the Obama campaign after donating during 2008 can start to wear down on a person after awhile. Earlier this year, I pitched a "depressing new state laws governing or related to your ladybits" post to my editor, thinking it would take me about a week to research. There was so much shit to wade through that it took me almost a month. Along with scores of other women, I watched, agape, when Congressman Darrell Issa hosted a panel on birth control featuring all religious men whining about how allowing women to purchase birth control with their health care plans violated the men's religious freedom. I watched the entire multi-hour web stream of the hearing, thinking that maybe these men were just being deliberate assholes, that this was the newest realm of the urban hipster. Choosing to be religious and using that choice to interfere with women choosing not to be pregnant. Hipsters love irony. And when Virginia lawmakers pushing for mandatory transvaginal ultrasound laws were quoted saying, basically, that pregnant women had already been penetrated vaginally once, so it makes perfect sense for the state to require they be penetrated again, I winced so hard I think I strained something. Remember the time when Terry England of Georgia justified his support of a bill that would force women pregnant with nonviable fetuses to carry them to term with the fact that he was a farmer and sometimes livestock delivered stillborn baby farm animals and it was very, very sad? I did, until the memory was temporarily displaced by the next crappy thing a man who is actually in charge of stuff said. I was so fed up with Todd Akin's assholery yesterday and so distracted by the fact that he used a picture of a backlit fetus on the page he used to panhandle for signatures supporting his decision to stay in the race that I missed the fact that he misused YOUR, which is the sort of thing that pedants like me typically receive with gleeful schadenfreude.

Once, during a radio interview, I was asked if the War on Women was a real thing. I laughed like an overacting Bond villain. Ha! Ha! Ha!

When part of your job is delivering bad news, part of your job is constantly reading bad news. And, implicitly, occasionally drinking an entire bottle of wine on a Tuesday or taking a long, aimless walk that takes you all the way across the Manhattan Bridge and into the section of Chinatown that smells like an army of zombie fish. It's sitting at your family's dinner table during your summer vacation, unable to think of things to talk about with your own father that don't involve female anatomy or the regulation thereof. It's falling asleep in front of an episode of Arrested Development you've already seen 1,000 times because the scene when Tobias ascends the hill dressed as a mole makes you temporarily forget the cloud of ugh.

But even though I wish it would, it doesn't stop. Rep. Todd Akin still leads Claire McCaskill in the polls by a point and refuses to drop out of the race. Voters — millions and millions of them — will still cast their ballots for people like Akin and Iowa Rep. Steve King this election, even though they've made it their business to deregulate the hell out of banks and regulate the shit out of women. I hate to sound like a crotchety YouTube commenter who just watched a clip of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo for the first time, but what is wrong with this country? We have so far to go before we're even close to where we need to be for human beings to coexist in a state that is not terrifyingly precarious for one or more historically disenfranchised groups. This story and the garbage avalanche that has followed feels like stepping outside of my apartment one morning and realizing that I had traveled through time to 1955. Or 1200. I feel like a teacher who just gave a long division test only to discover that most of her students don't know how to subtract.

As President Obama said earlier this week, "Rape is rape." Seems like a pretty simple concept that a human being possessing a basic level of empathy should understand. But so many people don't. And no matter how sputteringly angry I get, no matter how many Twitter jokes or scathing Atlantic articles are written and petitions are signed, assholes are still going to vote similarly destructive assholes into office.
Akin, King, and the rest of the GOP that supported a WIRE HANGERS ALWAYS! constitutional amendment aren't simply destructive assholes — they're actively harmful, ill-intentioned. Evil. And before you condemn me for being overdramatic and premenstrual for choosing the word "evil" to describe guys who wear suits and America flag pins, consider what that word means — profoundly immoral and malevolent. People who truly believe that rape cannot lead to pregnancy because of *~uTeRuS mAgIc~* or that women who become pregnant under any circumstances must stay pregnant are using information that they know to be wrong in order to promote laws that cause bodily harm, physical punishment, and distress to women. Doesn't get much eviler than that without getting weapons and uniforms involved.

What needs to happen before spouting ignorant, anti-woman crap in public is uniformly met with the same sort of derision we now reserve for politicians who appeal to ethnic stereotypes during drunken tirades? How much longer are we all going to have to stay angry, after our mothers spent their lives angry? And is it even working?

Eventually a person gets to the point where they can longer withstand the constant blitzkrieg of bullshit. So, Steve King, Todd Akin, and shouty Twitter conservatives: you win. Rape outrage limit reached. I have given this all of my fucks, and the fucks I have given are still not enough fucks. So many more fucks need to be given, and I have exhausted my fuck supply. The fucks are on backorder. Employees are working overtime to restock my fucks, but in the meantime, please accept this 10% off coupon while we wait for the fucks to arrive via FedEx. I'll be over here, drinking wine from a Pac Man mug and watching cartoons.

Original Article

Friday, August 17, 2012


From "The Nooner"on 8/14/12 (see full post here)

I have written a few times on the prospects of women candidates to the state Legislature. There was a moment last year at which it appeared that there could be a significant reduction--when there were discussions of serious intra-party challenges to three Democratic women senators, Loni Hancock (SD09), Carol Liu (SD25), and Fran Pavley (SD27).

Some very tense discussions in legislative caucuses and elsewhere quelled each of those attempts. So, where are we?
There are currently 21 women in the Assembly--including 6 Republicans and 15 Democrats. In the Senate, there are 12 women, consisting of 2 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
In the Assembly, four seats currently held by women will switch to men--AD08 (Huber), AD19 (Ma), AD23 (Halderman), and AD50 (Butler). There are two more seats that are 50/50 as to whether a woman will continue to represent--AD20 (Hayashi --> Ong v. Quirk) and AD47 (Carter --> Baca, Jr. v. Brown).

Thus, women will lose 4-6 seats that are currently held, with all but one being Democrats.

There are four seats currently held by men where pickups will or might happen. AD58 (C. Calderon --> Garcia) and AD75 (Jeffries --> Waldron) will be picked up by women, and AD67 and AD76 are competitive with a woman running.

In the upper house, three seats currently held by women will switch to men: SD15 (Alquist --> Beall v. Coto), SD21 (Runner --> Knight), and SD39 (Kehoe --> Block v. Plescia). There are two possible pickups in SD13 (Simitian --> Lieber v. Hill) and SD27 (Strickland --> Pavley v. Zink).

Pavley will likely be succeeded in her "old" seat by Hannah-Beth Jackson.

In the end, there will likely be 2-3 fewer women in the Legislature, but it won't be as bad as it briefly appeared last year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Two Women Running for Mayor of LA

There are two women running for Mayor of Los Angeles in this coming election. As most of you already know, we have never had a female Mayor in our city. While our caucus has not officially endorsed either of these women yet, we wanted to let you know about both of their upcoming events:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Making the Case for Women"

Making the Case for Women:
Research and Messages for the Fall Election  

How are women doing in the 2012 elections? What are the most persuasive reasons to support woman candidates? What difference do women legislators make? What's the best way to convince voters that electing women matters?    

Learn from our panel of nationally recognized experts about the latest research and polling data on women candidates, voters, and women's campaigns -- and how to translate that data into powerful messages.   

Who should attend?  Everyone who cares about getting more women elected to office!    

Space is limited. RSVP Today!


Interested in sponsoring one or both of the Summits? 
Contact Sue Nemeth via email or (732) 932-9384, x229, 
or Betsy Cotton via email or (510) 306-0038

Want to support The 2012 Project?

Visit us on the web:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

From Center for American Women & Politics

The 2012 Project: Educate. Inspire. Connect.
We're Watching

Watching what? The progress of women candidates for state legislatures.

Already, 1,078 women have won their primaries in 23 states, an historic high. In 2006, the record-setting year for women elected to state legislatures, there were 1,009 nominees in those same states. In 2010, the year with the most women nominees overall, there were 1,039 at this point in the election for the 23 states.  


By the time the last state legislative primary ends on September 13 in New York, we hope to see a record number of women candidates.

But 2012 - a year of extraordinary opportunity for women seeking office, as we've noted all along - is unpredictable for several reasons. Consider this:
  • New legislative districts post-reapportionment have altered the playing field around the country. In some places, longtime women incumbents were forced out by redistricting. In others, conditions are more favorable than before - and, with the help of The 2012 Project, women have stepped up to run for new and open seats.
  • Since 1994, 15 states have been phasing in state legislative term limits; this year, for the first time, all of those states will feel the impact. A total of 255 incumbents (including 62 women) must retire - but their departures create new open seats.
  • A presidential election on the ballot brings out even infrequent voters; larger turnouts alter the political math.
This year, 44 states have legislative elections. With just over half of their primaries completed, 306 women have won nominations for open seats - the most winnable spots for newcomers. The all-time record number of women candidates for open seats was 769 in 1992 - like this year, a post-census presidential election year, and a record-setter for women in many ways. Can we match or beat that historic year? We'll be watching.

To keep up, check out our  2012 Women's Election Tracker, where you'll find links to the 113 U.S. House candidates who have already won their primaries. As each state's results are certified, you can click through to find links to primary winners for state legislative seats as well.

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