What will it take for film critics to be satisfied with movies about young, unmarried pregnant women?
For most, a clever script and outstanding performances will suffice, but not so for Lisa Schwarzbaum, a film critic for Entertainment Weekly. It must also carry a weighty discussion on the "hard-won, precious rights" to choose.
"Juno,"the latest film about an unintended pregnancy carried to term, opens nationwide December 14. The movie reportedly depicts Juno, the pregnant 16-year-old lead character, deciding to place her baby for adoption after a chance encounter with a pro-life protester at an abortion clinic.
Schwarzbaum said in her review of the film, "The old-school feminist in me wishes ‘Juno'spent more time, even a tart sentence or two, acknowledging that the options taken for granted by this one attractive, articulate teen are in fact hard-won, precious rights, and need to be guarded by a new-generation army of Junos and Bleekers, spreading the word by text message as well as by hamburger phone."
All the co-hosts of "The View," a show intended to advance women’s voices, do not get offended by women’s persecution in the Islamic world. On the November 30 edition, in discussing the British woman charged for naming a class teddy bear Muhammad, the co-hosts did not direct any anger at the Sudanese government, but rather blamed the woman for not adapting to their culture.
Co-host Sherri Shepherd opined "you would think that with her being in Sudan, she would know the rules and customs." Whoopi Goldberg said Europeans and Americans are "not as anxious to learn the customs before we go places." And of course that’s why we’re called "ugly Americans."
The show was recorded before news of the woman’s 15 day sentence. The entire transcript is below.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Now in the Sudan, there’s a British teacher who is possibly going to be stoned or lashed.
Here’s a headline that suggests an objective article will not follow: "Hillary Hatred Finds Its Misogynistic Voice." Newhouse News Service reporter Jonathan Tilove, whose beat is usually race relations, indicted John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, former RNC spokesman Cliff May, "South Park," and Facebook groups as historic forces of hatred and vitriol, putting poor Hillary through a punishing gauntlet never run by men: "Thanks to several years of phallocentric history, there is no comparably vocabulary of degradation for men, no equivalently rich trove of synonyms for a sexually sullied male." The story began:
In the coming months, America will decide whether to elect its first female president. And amid a techno-media landscape where the wall between private vitriol and public debate has been reduced to rubble, Sen. Hillary Clinton is facing an onslaught of open misogynistic expression.
Nearing the end of 2007 can only mean one thing: it’s time for lists. The Most Inspirational, The Sexiest, and The Most Fascinating. Lists of Fill-In-The-Blank People of the Year are starting to hit airwaves and newsstands.
Glamour magazine is out of the gate with its “Women of the Year” profiles featured in the December issue. It’s not a surprise that not one strong conservative woman is featured. Thankfully however, neither are Senator Hillary Clinton or Rosie O’Donnell. And though both were left off the list the liberal tilt is clearly evident.
Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, is lauded as “The Role Model” for her boldness in continuing to live her life in the face of cancer and for her devotion to her family.
But Edwards is not the only wife of a presidential candidate who is facing health issues. Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and is also extremely devoted to her family in addition to helping better the lives of at-risk youth. Yet Romney wasn’t chosen as a “Role Model.” Is it because her husband is a Republican candidate?
Who'd you bet on in a Mixed Martial Arts match between Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd? You might get the chance. Earlier this week, Krugman called Barack Obama a "sucker" and a "fool," while praising Hillary. Maureen Dowd has now gone after Paul's girl, calling Clinton every name in the headline and a few more.
The theory of Dowd's column today is that while Hillary knows how to shake Barack Obama with her ice-cold demeanor, Rudy will revel in the combat with Clinton. Excerpts from "Shake, Rattle and Roll" [emphasis added]:
On Monday, NewsBusters reported the ironic occurrence of a Missouri newspaper firing a former journalism professor for plagiarism.
At the time, I wrote, "I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry."
Well, new information suggests the latter, as the piece which started the brouhaha, a November 3 column by professor emeritus John Merrill, was critical of a new department for women's and gender studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia (emphasis added):
Q. Who could possibly be "surprised" that in choosing women to date, college-aged men tend to prefer beauty over brains?
A. An Ivy League professor.
What is truly surprising is that Maureen Dowd thinks this commonplace about men's preferences has implications for Hillary's campaign strategy. Dowd propounds her odd theory in her column of this morning, "Should Hillary Pretend to Be a Flight Attendant?"
Fox TV's The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet ran a segment this morning that promoted the Rutgers University Sex, ETC. site for teens. Unfortunately I was not able to watch the program so I can not comment on the specifics of the segment but I can provide some background on the site that should have every parent concerned about the effort to circumvent parental involvement in teaching their teens, and yes, pre-teen children about sex within the context of a parent's perspective.
The first item you may not be surprised to learn is that while the site runs under the subtext of "a website by teens for teens" that it is heavily influenced by adults with a particular agenda. Adults such as Nora Gelperin who is the training coordinator for the Network for Family Life Education based out of Rutgers University. The organization has been renamed to the more child friendly name of Answer and has been the recipient of government sponsored earmarks for the New Jersey Teen to Teen education project.
Filing a report on how crucial single female voters are for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), CNN reporter Carol Costello left out the central, defining aspect of a liberal political action committee hoping to elect Clinton.
Costello's report aired on the November 1 "The Situation Room" about a quarter before 6 p.m. Eastern. Here's how she blandly described EMILY's List over B-roll showing the group's Web site (pictured at right):
Two thousand eight could well be the year of the woman, or rather the single, anxious female. According to new research by EMILY's List, a political network for Democratic women, they might just put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Yet the very same Web site declares the group to be "the nation's largest grassroots political network" that is "dedicated to building a progressive America by electing pro-choice Democratic women to federal, state, and local offic." Hammering home the point that the abortion issue is THE litmus test for candidate funding, the Web site answers the question "Who is EMILY" by among other things asserting that she's "every woman who’s ever had to defend her right to be pro-choice. She’s every woman who’s ever had to explain her choice not to have a child."
In a political act loaded with cultural symbolism, Senator Hillary Clinton endorsed an effort to earmark a million taxpayer dollars for a museum in Bethel, New York celebrating the circus of 1969, the Woodstock music festival. Other senators smelled the pork and successfully voted to remove it.
The tie-dyed, drug-soaked post-war babies that populated that muddy plain are now approaching Social Security age, and the aging hippies that made their way into the establishment want to imbue the notorious excesses of their youth with respectability. The New York Times said the Bethel complex would be "what Cooperstown is to baseball" – a hippie Hall of Fame.
I liked that music. I still do. Then as now, I simply ignored the cultural and political messages. Many others didn’t.
The bohemian worldview of Woodstock Nation is in some ways dominant, and in some ways passe in our popular culture. Hallucinogenic drugs are no longer the rage, but the "free love" spirit of "if it feels good, do it" still runs strong, especially in our entertainment world. And yet, burbling beneath a noisy culture of sexual excess and self-love, there’s a quiet undercurrent in our movies carrying subtle, and even obvious pro-life themes.
As much as liberals decry major corporations that act as if they’re above the law, there’s always quiet when the subject is Planned Parenthood, America’s number one corporate provider of abortions. During its 2005-2006 fiscal year, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed a record 264,943 abortions, reported a tidy profit of $55.8 million – and received a record high in taxpayer funding of $305.3 million.
This is one corporation the media hold in the highest regard. They’re not "merchants of death." That would be the tobacco companies, or gun manufacturers, or hamburger joints. These are the heroic "providers" of "a woman’s right to choose."
They’re also sleazy in their business practices. In Aurora, Illinois, Planned Parenthood planned to build the biggest abortion clinic in the country, but they lied by omission to the city. Throughout the construction process, the McDonald’s of the abortion industry applied for permits by listing the owner as "Gemini Office Development," not as Planned Parenthood.
Hillary Clinton doesn't just want to give us all free healthcare and fix things in Iraq. No, she's set her sights much, much higher -- nothing short of "repairing the world." At least, so says her avid supporter, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY).
In the wake of Hillary's "National Women's Finance Council Summit," a campaign event in which she explicitly appealed to women to vote for her because of her sex [raising $1.5 million along the way], Lowey was a guest on this evening's "Tucker." Host Carlson was prodding the congresswoman to explain just what it is about a woman president that would be different from a man.
Sure, Michael Vick has admitted involvement in dogfighting. But did you see how sharp he looked in that suit on the way to the courthouse? And yes, Mark McGwire bombed at those congressional hearings with his "I don't want to talk about the past" skate on steroids, but he's the epitome of what a XXXL Abercrombie & Fitch guy can be.
Inane as those comments are, they at least have the merit of being made by me in jest. But what is Robin Givhan's excuse for her similarly silly glorification of the fashion sense of another disgraced athlete, Marion Jones? For that's exactly what the Washington Post's style maven does in her column of this morning, "Marion Jones, a Success On the Glamour Track, Too".
You know The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper when it hails Democratic grande dames -- in the Home section. The lead story in the Thursday section was "Secretary Albright's Sugar Shakers: And Other Significant Parts of Great Women's Houses." Post reporter Annie Groer touted the effects of "great women" like Madeleine Albright. When Albright ran through her official flower budget as U.N. Ambassador, "she pressed her antique sugar shakers into centerpiece duty in New York and later in Foggy Bottom." A large picture of Albright and her shakers dominated the top of the page.
Is "The View’s" Joy Behar comparing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to O.J. Simpson? With a comment on the October 2 edition of the women’s chat show, it sounded like it. The "Hot Topic" discussion involved Justice Thomas’ new book "My Grandfather’s Son" and Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations. In that context, Joy Behar offered the following snarky remark.
"Why is he writing this book? He won basically the round. He’s the Supreme Court Justice for life. He should write a book, ‘If I Harassed Her.’"
Presumably she was alluding to O.J. Simpson’s book, "If I Did It." Joy’s comments amused even the show’s "conservative" Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Liberalism had an absolutely fabulous showing Friday evening as comedienne and former Air America Radio host Janeane Garofalo put on a performance on HBO's "Real Time" that likely left even her parents wondering what they had wrought.
Beginning with her tirade about America's support of Israel being "the detriment of the Palestinian people and the American people," to telling Fox News's Bill O'Reilly to "kiss my fat a**," and concluding with her statement that "George Bush is a war criminal," Garofalo demonstrated just how totally unhinged Hollywoodans have become.
Sure, it was just an acceptance speech at some silly awards ceremony. However, when Hollywoodans say ridiculous things on television that media applaud along with the Hollywoodans in attendance, someone's got to point out the inanity.
As such, when Sally Field said at Sunday's Emmy awards ceremony as reported by the MRC's Tim Graham, "And, let's face it, if the mothers ruled the war, there would be no (expletive) wars in the first place," I can't sit idly by without contesting such nonsense.
After all, it appears Field has never heard of some famous female leaders who brought their nation's to war:
Fox’s swear-word hunters were quick on the button at the Sunday night Emmys, including an "anti-war rant" from actress Sally Field. A cursing Flying Nun? AP reported that Field "screeched at the audience to stop applauding so she could finish talking — and then was bleeped by Fox censors as she stammered through an anti-war rant." AP added:
"And, let's face it, if the mothers ruled the war, there would be no (expletive) wars in the first place," Field said, but Fox cut away for much of her comment.
Backstage, Field told reporters that she wanted to recognize mothers who wait for their sons to come home from war. She added, however, that she "didn't have a political agenda."
Told that she had been bleeped, Field responded: "Oh well. I've been there before. Well, good. I don't care. I have no comment other than, oh well. I said what I wanted to say. I wanted to pay homage to the mothers of the world, and let their work be seen and valued."
In today's media, anti-male sexism is the rule far more than anti-female sexism. Whether it's calling men "idiots," creating smart mom/stupid dad TV shows, publishing books with titles like "Are Men Necessary," our culture is full of what some scholars are calling the "WAW effect," short for Women are Wonderful. These days, it's tough to catch a break if you're an unapologetic male.
What's interesting about the situation is that it's not really that removed from the way things used to be in Western society in which men were the preferred sex. In a fascinating address provocatively titled "Is There Anything Good About Men?" Florida State University professor Roy Baumeister discusses how we've moved from male superiority to male inferiority as well as the reasons behind that shift (h/t Helen Smith):
I said that today most people hold more favorable stereotypes of women than men. It was not always thus. Up until about the 1960s, psychology (like society) tended to see men as the norm and women as the slightly inferior version. During the 1970s, there was a brief period of saying there were no real differences, just stereotypes. Only since about 1980 has the dominant view been that women are better and men are the inferior version.
I just viewed this video via Michelle Malkin of failed sportscaster Keith Olberman naming her Worst Person of the Week and pushing a quote by Geraldo Rivera in doing it:
“Michelle Malkin is the most vile, hateful commentator I’ve ever met in my life,” he says. “She actually believes that neighbors should start snitching out neighbors, and we should be deporting people.
“It’s good she’s in D.C. and I’m in New York,” Rivera sneers. “I’d spit on her if I saw her.”
Now it appears Michelle has had a small ad buy which served to call attention to the quote banned by Quigo. So, Rivera's ugliness is okay for broadcast on MSNBC in another sad attempt to further demean the target in this, but it's not okay to point a finger at Rivera with his own words?
Is PBS still making money off a discredited documentary that they know is filled with untruths, misquotes, and lies? It would seem so.
In 2003 PBS aired a show titled "Einstein's Wife" that attempted to prove that Albert Einstein's world changing theories of physics were a result of a hidden collaboration with his first wife, Mileva Maric. This documentary claimed that Maric’s work on the theory of relativity was lied about and hidden away all these years by Einstein, his biographies and history. Imagine the implications if the work of what must be the smartest woman on earth was hidden by those evil, greedy men who don't want to share credit with a woman. It's a feminist's dream story promulgated by PBS.
Unfortunately it isn't true. Not only is it not true, but also so many historians have since complained to PBS that they surely know the real truth by now, even if their original airing was a result of their honestly just not knowing the truth then. Yet, this faux documentary still has a PBS sponsored webpage and was recently aired by Australian broadcasters. PBS is also still selling DVDs and attempting to make money off a film hat has been discredited by dozens of historians and even attacked by the scientists in the film who were misquoted and misrepresented by the film's producers.
Helen Thomas, the Hearst columnist and long-time scourge of Republican presidents as UPI White House correspondent, was "miffed" at Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau because he joked that the rumors were that she was Harry Truman's lover: "I wished he said I was Jack Kennedy's lover."
If that makes Thomas sound like a liberated woman, that would be in line with her recent Planned Parenthood luncheon speech in Iowa, where she claimed conservatives would love to deny women even their right to vote: "It seems now, more than ever, the Supreme Court is prepared to put Americans -- especially women -- back in the 19th century if not earlier...Women, in particular, have to be more vigilant. They can never let go and think that the battle is won. There has been a chipping-away at every advance we've had. Pretty soon they'll be taking aim at the vote."
Mika Brzezinski is so outraged that people are discussing Hillary's cleavage . . . that she hopes it helps the Dem prez candidate.
The topic arose at 6:18 A.M. EDT on today's "Morning Joe." The affable Willie Geist, a frequent panelist, is serving this morning as guest host for the absent Joe Scarborough. He broached the subject.
MORNING JOE GUEST HOST WILLIE GEIST: One of the other big stories that everybody is talking about is this Hillary Clinton cleavage thing.
MORNING JOE NEWSREADER MIKA BRZEZINSKI [in an exasperated tone]: Oh my gosh.
GEIST: . . . There's a shot of it right now; that's not so bad, I've seen much worse.
BRZEZINSKI: Are you kidding me? That's a great outfit. But what annoys me is that people wrote about it and talked about it. And if has helped her in any way I guess it doesn't bother me because that was ridiculous.
Newsbusters revealed the overwhelming left-wing bias of the YouTube video question clips at the CNN Democrat presidential debate on Monday night. One of the most outrageous questions of the night came from Anne Laird of Pennsylvania (pictured at right), who identified herself as an employee of Planned Parenthood. Laird asked, “My question is, we here at Planned Parenthood support comprehensive sex education, and I'd like to know if any of you as candidates have talked to your children about sex, and used medically accurate and age-appropriate information?” Laird uses the word “we” in the question -- due to the fact that her clip was one of 22 that was submitted by Planned Parenthood and its supporters on one YouTube.com account with the user name PPVotes.
Laird, an Altoona, Pennsylvania native who works for Planned Parenthood in the Pennsylvania state capitol of Harrisburg, asked her question at a recent Planned Parenthood conference in Washington, DC, as revealed by an article in the Altoona Mirror. Other attendees at the conference asked a range of questions which reflect Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive sexual agenda, from “Would you push for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment?,” “Will you repeal the global gag rule?” (referring to the Mexico City policy of the Reagan administration, which was reinstated by the Bush administration), to “Would you protect a woman’s right to control her body?” (an obvious reference to Planned Parenthood’s support for Roe v. Wade).
It’s amazing how supposedly liberal and feminist publications that enjoy roasting conservative Christians will turn around and honor Islamic traditions as the latest rage. Witness Time’s promotional coverage this week of the "Burqini," the head-to-toe women’s swimsuit. If this was a Pat Robertson idea, they’d be bowled over laughing. But it’s Islamic, so it’s surprisingly chic. The front page of the Life section promoted Time’s Laura Fitzpatrick writing "The Burqini swimsuits allow women, Muslim or not, to choose comfort over conformity." Obeying Islamic dictates of modesty is not conformity? On a 90-degree day, a head-to-toe suit is the definition of comfort?
On page 50, the story’s headline was "The New Swimsuit Issue: Modest beachwear for Muslim women is taking off with secular swimmers too." Fitzpatrick began:
Move over, Tankini. Since the full-coverage swimsuit dubbed the Burqini (as in burqa plus bikini) hit the international market in January, devout Muslim women have been snapping them up.
Be honest: when you saw the news Sunday that a woman was going to be president in the next season of the hit series "24," you smelled something akin to when ABC made a similar announcement concerning "Commander in Chief," and CBS hired Katie Couric.
Well, according to Politico, the failure of both is actually not good news for Hillary Clinton (h/t Hot Air).
But, before we get there, what was also fascinating about this piece was how the producer of "Commander in Chief" admitted a political goal behind casting Geena Davis as the first female president (emphasis added throughout):