Archive for the 'Women’s Lives' Category



19
Dec
08

Fav’s Style

I’m so relieved to hear WaPo isn’t letting grope-gate go!!

What’s that, now? I should read the actual article?  What?  Say that again? They called the whole incident “silly?”

Oh.

At least he isn’t the Bostonian of the Year.

As Red Queen notes, it’s all about the straight dudez – hope and change, bitchez!!

Welcome to the Obama White House, where boyz will b boyz, don’cha know it!  Excuse my edits and snips, I just want to accurately re-cap the WaPo piece for ya.

Three months ago, Favreau lived in a group house with six friends in Chicago, where he rarely shaved, never cooked and sometimes stayed up to play video games until early morning. Now, he has transformed into what one friend called a “Washington political force” — a minor celebrity with a down payment on a Dupont Circle condo, whose silly Facebook photos with a Hillary Rodham Clinton cutout created what passes for controversy in Obama’s so far drama-free transition. …

He listens to Obama tell stories in his office and spins them into developed metaphors, rich in [patriarchal] historical context. …

“The president-elect understands that Jon is a rare talent. He knows what he’s got,” said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor, who also worked in the Senate office. “There’s a mutual respect and appreciation between them, and the president-elect trusts Jon’s instincts and ability. It’s a partnership.” [Man hug!  Chest bump!  I bet Favs can totally crush more beer cans against his forehead in a row than Obama.]

“A speech can broaden the circle of people who care about this stuff,” Favreau said. “How do you say to the average person that’s been hurting: ‘I hear you. I’m there. Even though you’ve been so disappointed and cynical about politics in the past, and with good reason, we can move in the right direction. Just give me a chance.’ “[Relax!  You just might enjoy it!]

“I think this is going to work,” Obama said.  [Bros before hos!]

Friends joke that Favreau suddenly turned 40 this year — but he still shows flashes of 27.  [Boyz Kids today!]

At a party at his parents’ house over Thanksgiving vacation, he danced and posed awkwardly next to a cardboard cutout of Clinton. A buddy uploaded photos onto Facebook, reporters discovered them, and suddenly experts were debating Favreau’s maturity on television. Favreau called Clinton and Obama to apologize. They told him not to worry, but he still does. [So thoughtful!  So glad he managed to laugh and smile through those “awkward” moments!  Seriously, can’t we cut him a break already?]

When the pressure wore on Favreau, he unwound like a 27-year-old, sending prank e-mails to friends at the Obama offices or playing the video game Rock Band in the Lincoln Park group house he shared with six campaign staffers [or mimicking sexual assault on senior women colleagues].

How is this supposed to work, anyway? Do Favreau and the rest of Obama’s young staffers transform to meet the formalities of the White House, or does the White House change to accommodate them?  [Duh, obviously it’s the latter.]

“We know that we’re going to have to approach the White House our way and have some fun with it,” Favreau said, “because that kind of attitude is what made us successful.”  [My point exactly.]

Favreau said. “You had a bunch of kids working on this campaign together, and it was such a mix of the serious and momentous and just the silly ways that we are. For people in my generation, it was an unbelievable way to grow up.” [Wait a minute, I thought you were still just an innocent, misunderstood, impish 27 year old.  My lady-brain is confused….]

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12
Dec
08

Friday afternoon news dump

Say hello to Change.org’s newest blogger!!  (No, over here!!!)

Yes, me!

I will be blogging about poverty in the U.S.

It’s expected to curb my personal blogging here, but stay tuned for details.

Many thanks I think to Feministe who originally linked to their job postings.  Many thanks to friends and fellow bloggers for thinking through issues of poverty with me here.

12
Dec
08

inappropriate

warning: long post

Count me as one of the “humorless feminists” who can’t “get over” grope-gate.  This is mainly because I’m increasingly infuriated at the defensiveness I’m reading from (mostly) men over Favreau’s “private” behavior and our societal imperative to leave him alone to act out occasionally.  If you haven’t been following NYC Weboy’s “debate” with Adam Serwer at TAPPED (one, two, three, four, and five), do it now.

Lest you think we’re making any progress in opening people’s eyes to this case of sexual harrassment and the creation of a hostile work environment (not to mention how Favreau’s terrible judgment defies the stated essence of Obama’s candidacy and governance), before I continue with my rant check out this smattering of comments from the peanut gallery of liberal dudez who just wish we’d leave them the f— alone and spare them our puritanical judgy-ness – and didn’t you know, Clinton’s a racist anyway, and don’t we have more important things to gripe about,  like world peace and hunger, or something???

Continue reading ‘inappropriate’

09
Dec
08

Dee Dee Myers Nails It

Favreau’s Sexist Photo is No Laughing Matter

(h/t)

Meanwhile, in other f***ed up news…Blagojevich is insane!!!  What drama!   And I thought 2008 political madness was done now that the election was over.  What a thug!

I’m glad to hear Obama’s clean, and also pleased that this may put Jesse Jackson, Jr. out of the running for his seat.  I don’t like him, for reasons Liss gets at here and I expand on here.   And what does this mean for Andy Stern and SEIU??

07
Dec
08

Cardboard

For the record, there are three issues I see with grope-gate:

a) the misogynistic implications of a woman being felt up and force fed alcohol into her pulled back head by two men (yes, this is sexual harrassment);

b) the “frat boy” culture alleged by the party atmosphere, presence of booze, and casual style of two white men raucously ganging up on a woman, even if it is a cardboard cutout, and then publishing it on a social networking site as evidence of their supposed hilarity; and

c) the complete lack of judgment evidenced by an important member of the Obama team, a young man who has been covered in The NY Times and elsewhere as largely responsible for Obama’s words and eloquence.  Favreau is the speechwriter for a candidate who won in large part because of his ability to draw enormous crowds to hear his electrifying, inspiring speeches.  He’s a player on the no-drama Obama team, a team that invested tremendously in crafting an image and a brand in their candidate.  And this is how a key image-maker behaves?

If Samantha Power is banished for calling Clinton a “monster,” then shouldn’t Favreau be kicked off the bus too?  Given the willfully public nature of his actions; their offensiveness (even if you believe it’s just “boys being boys,” this does mean you realize it’s behavior that requires rationalization, which suggests there’s something going on that needs to be acknowledged, dismissed, possibly forgiven, scolded, etc.); and Favreau’s immaturity and crudity versus Obama’s poised, professional and unruffled demeanor, I can’t believe Obama wouldn’t want to sanction this clown for his embarrassing and uncalled for behavior.

Didn’t Obama run on and beat Clinton and McCain in part because of his better judgment and cool and collected nature?  Yet, he’s got dudez like this working for him?  I listened to Tracy Morgan on TBS’s Laffapalooza for about five minutes the other night, as he painfully tried to layer one black stereotype after another ghetto behavior trope on to the Obamas and their future White House life.  Epic FAIL, as teh bloggerz say.  I don’t see how Favreau’s behavior is any less inappropriate for our President-Elect.  Although Larry Summers and Rick Warren (and Donny McClurkin) suggest otherwise, I do hold out hope that Obama is not “palling around with” men who fail to see women (and gays/lesbians) as their equals and as fully human, versus just cardboard cutouts, punching bags, helpmates, child-rearers, she-devils, and sandwich makers.

06
Dec
08

Weekend Skirmishes

If you’re not headed out to your local Swedish Christmas Fair today, perhaps you’ll want to catch up instead on the latest action from the Obama team.  Oh teh menz and their vaunted intellect, team-building skillz and decision-making prowess!  Sen. Clinton, Melody Barnes, Susan Rice, Janet Napolitano, etc. should have tons o’ fun working with teh dudez.  Tis an inclusive bunch, that Obama gang.

Treasury Chief designate Timothy Geithner wants to toss FDIC head Sheila Bair out on the street alongside her constituent homeownersTake that, Main Street! What’s that now about progressive leadership?  Wait, I mean, team of rivals??

Head speechwriter Jon Favreau has the hots for Sen. Clintonright?  Wait, this isn’t a show of respect for our SoS designate and former Democratic candidate for President?  You mean, this is bizness as usual?  Silly me!  I guess I was right not to fill out that job application.  I don’t have anything nearly as lascivious as this.  Maybe I’ll go grope some hot Swedish buns this afternoon to try and keep up.

03
Dec
08

awakenings

Feminist awakenings, that is, are happening, bit by bit, in the aftermath of the 2008 Presidential Election.

Last night I attended an anniversary party for the 50th anniversary of my PhD department at MIT.  Perhaps you’ve heard of the school.   Current PhD students – most of us women attending the event (and arguably in our dept. overall) – listened to a panel of 5 PhD recipients representing different decades: the first to speak was a man who is a retiring MIT professor, one of the first graduates of the program in the 1960s who went on to spend, like so many male MIT PhD graduates, almost his entire career at the Institute.  Following him was a woman, a faculty and dean from Princeton, who received her PhD from MIT in 1971.

During the introductions, she was credited as the first woman to receive her PhD from the department.  Everyone in the room clapped and cheered.  I was struck by it; we’re probably one of the most politically-minded departments in the Institute, but if the top 3 employers of PhD grads is any indication – World Bank, MIT, and Harvard – we’re not exactly firebrands.  It struck my obsessive, politicized mind as a distinctly post-election moment.

Prof. XY-’60s spoke first, about being offered a spot in the new PhD program when he arrived as a Master’s student in the early 1960s, the fully funded option coming through the haze of pipe smoke from the male faculty member extending the offer.  When he was close to graduating, another professor man offered Prof. XY-’60s a job: “Would you like to teach here?”  They asked several times before he finally accepted – “okay.”  Why not? 40 years later, he’s finally leaving the department.

When Prof. XX-70s spoke, one of the first thing she said was “no one offered me a job.”  Shocking, I know.  Also shocking – there was no applause for that.

Buried in the print materials lauding the department was the recognition that no women have gone through the complete tenure track in our department – from assistant professor to tenure – since 2007.  As recently as 2002, no woman had done that ever in our School (not just the dept).  Last night’s panel was a perfect encapsulation of that: 5 panelists – 3 women – 1 in academia, 1 in industry, and 1 at the Bank.  There’s still a lot of leaks in the academic pipeline.




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