Who Needs Feminism? You Do.

Want to see me in person? Sure you do: this Saturday at the Burbank Public Library Buena Vista branch, I will be there, signing books, selling books. There will be a bunch of other great local authors of different genres. Come on down.


A few months ago, Facebook and other social media blew up over a Tumblr account of young women holding up signs declaring that they don’t need feminism:


Yeah. What this smugster doesn’t realize is that her gender has already been politicized whether she likes it or not.

This group reminds me of young, wealthy and privileged, like Paris Hilton or the Kardashians. They are enjoying the benefits that a parent or a grandparent sweated blood, fought, fell back, fought some more, and sacrificed to secure. They don’t see a need for others to fight and struggle because they themselves don’t need it.

They’re not thinking about things like Title IX as they go out for a college soccer or field hockey team. Or these women:


Because of their sacrifice, these young women are free to go vote for men (or women) who want to restrict access to birth control because it offends their religious sensibilities or outlaw abortion for the same reasons.


Know this woman? No? Do you young anti-feminists use birth control? She did a lot of fighting and sweating to lay the groundwork for that.

“I’m morally opposed to having my tax dollars pay for birth control and abortion.” Hey, I’m morally opposed to having my tax dollars pay a salary to a Congress that’s been sitting on its ass for 2 years and wasting taxpayer dollars on 50 plus show votes to repeal a law that’s working. I’m morally opposed to churches getting involved in politics and not having to pay taxes. I’m morally opposed to paying for war. I’d prefer the money went to supporting women in controlling their own destinies.



The young women in the Tumblr feed were not on the planet when the bitch shown on the left almost single-handedly sank the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have made gender equality a part of the Constitution. Know who she is? Someone dug up her nasty old ass and stuck a microphone in front of it. She’s running her trap again on topics as diverse as birth control, women’s rights (again. Jesus. Everything old is new again) and that she thinks the President is responsible for Ebola in the US. Phyllis Schlafly is an older edition of the spoiled rich kid who doesn’t appreciate the sacrifices that were made in order to allow her to publicly be a stupid shit. Seriously, though I generally do not wish I’ll on people, I want her to die soon and in the most embarrassing way possible.

Young Women Who Think They Don’t Need Feminism (especially THIS one):


Do you want to make your own decisions? Like whether or not to shave? (I’m a feminist and I shave. I have the choice) If you find yourself with an unplanned pregnancy, how many choices do you want available as you chart your course? Just one? How about reading? Getting an education? Think it’s not necessary to fight that fight?


Malala Yousefzai

This girl was shot in the head because she said she thought girls getting an education was a good thing and should be a right.

Got a job? You got to choose that rather than having your father choose a husband for you (sometimes based on what kind of stuff your prospective husband was willing to trade for you. Goats, camels, land, a title (Consuelo Vanderbilt), cash, a corporate merger, building a political/Royal dynasty (Catherine of Aragon). Women stopped putting up with that shit. That’s feminism.

Earn money from that job? Do you enjoy getting to decide how you use it? Want to buy a house or rent an apartment? Get a car loan? Not so long ago, you couldn’t have done those things without a man getting involved, whether you were married or not.

Feminism, my dear, spoiled young ladies, is not about shaving body hair, or allowing a man to open a door for you. Remember telling someone “You’re not the boss of me”? That’s what feminism is about; fighting for and protecting the right of women to be their own bosses.

Respect is an earned thing, not a freebie. Feminism is not only about us making our own decisions, it’s about them being respected. See this guy? And the woman?



He’s now a US Supreme Court justice whose confirmation hit a major snag when he was accused of sexual harassment by the woman in blue. The hearings lasted days and the details were unflattering to an an educated man who would be making decisions affecting women. I suspect part of the reason that Justice Thomas does as little as possible on the bench is payback for being exposed. Know all the sexual sensitivity training that is now part of orientation? That came about because a woman came forward and said, “This is the shit I was subjected to as part of my employment. No one should have to deal with a hostile work environment.” That was over twenty years ago; two decades and four Presidents. Want to see what’s outside the HR Manager’s office where I work?


She doesn’t think we need feminism, either. And she’s in charge of enforcing the policies that prevent this kind of inappropriate shit.

And we have to deal with this kind of shit:


The reason we need feminism is because these battles from twenty, forty, fifty, and ninety years ago have not been won. People with means who don’t think that the American ideal of equal rights for all have been buying legislators on the state and Federal levels to undo this progress. Women are the majority in this country yet we are underrepresented in government at all levels. Do you honestly think the freedoms you enjoy now are going to be protected if women stop fighting for them?

You do need feminism, you spoiled little shits, even if you don’t want to mess up your manicure fighting for your rights.

Things to Ponder

Within the space of two weeks, women, average women (average looking) have been given two news items to think about in the mixed message department of sexual politics.

Timewise, we first have the “Louie” episode, “So Did the Fat Lady.” The gist of it is that Louie is pining after the attractive waitresses at his nightclub and ignoring the energetic, smart fat girl. Here’s the clip (warning: raw language)



“So Did the Fat Lady” clip

 This is nothing new. George Costanza on “Seinfeld” was a short, pudgy, balding, largely underemployed whiny schmendrick who didn’t see why he couldn’t date models.  And that episode wasn’t the first time this dynamic was explored on a TV show. I auditioned for a “George Lopez” where his ugly little friend made a blind date and she rejected him in the bar even after he makes a “why not me” speech. I was given the audition because I had (and have) a big, unattractive body (eyes to die for and that limits me in roles because I’m not ugly enough. I’m stuck with writing) and it would be really funny for an unattractive woman to dump the unattractive guy, even though he tells her the choice is either him or nothing. Who could resist?

This is me. I was never one of the attractive, desirable girls. I look at pictures and think I looked okay (my weight was a lot lower in my 20s. Been a big issue – see what I did there? – ever since. Even when I took off 75 lbs. 3 years ago, no one showed interest). I’m 53. I can count on both hands the number of dates I’ve had and still have unused fingers.  Plenty of male friends, but… I remember some friends in my law school class approaching one of my male classmates on my behalf. Understand, this gentleman was over 250 lbs. himself. His response? “One of us in this relationship needs to be thin.”


I’m smart, funny, I can cook, earn my own keep, clean house (I can. Not saying I always do), talk baseball, politics, culture. But I’m too  (fill in the blank) or not enough (fill in another blank). It’s Mad Libs, the Dating Edition.

Of course, unwanted women are fodder for jokes. Back to the TV sitcoms, after the rejection comes the ice cream binges or adopting a bunch of cats or an awkward attempt at lesbianism.

This is one of the reasons I created Liz Gardner and Ty Hadley of “These Foolish Things.” I wanted to show one of these super alpha stud males (an alcoholic one) finding value in someone who wasn’t arm candy and/or just a goldigger. She doesn’t need him for support or social standing. He doesn’t need her to prove his status. Ty and Liz end up together because they discover they really dig each other.

The other watershed incident is Elliott Rodger and his rampage at at UC Santa Barbara. This was a guy in the “Louie” mode who got turned down by the alpha females.  I’m not including any pictures because he doesn’t deserve that much attention.

Instead of eating his feelings or getting a pet, he stabbed his roommates, got in his car and went looking for women to shoot. I started to read his 141 page tirade online and gave up. He takes NO responsibility for his life.

A friend has a daughter in her early 20s who is an attractive young woman. She is subject to a lot of unwanted attention including a strange man on the city bus playing with her hair and saying, “You’re so pretty, I just couldn’t resist” to excuse his behavior (Her mom bought her a bejeweled pepper spray dispenser).

This is the mindset behind burkas, behind blaming rape victims, behind fighting reform of handling sexual assault cases in the military. It’s why in 2012, we had a number of political candidates making stupid, stupid comments about rape like “the female body has a way of shutting that down” (Yeah, Todd Akin. You’re a douche) in order to deny women the right to control their bodies.

“We can’t be bothered to control ourselves, Ladies, so we’re leaving that responsibility up to you. Yep.” (With a big, dopey smile and some furtive “pocket pool.”)

There have been cases of fashion models in New York City disfigured by men who’d been turned down for dates (acid or knives to the face). Someone close to me revealed that she’d lost her virginity in college to date rape. And she has always been one of the alpha girls with the carefully turned-out appearance, big charming smile, flirty demeanor. This is scary shit

So, it’s acceptable for the not-so-good-looking guys to turn down the less-than-10 girls, but if THEY get turned down, it’s a denial of a right? Fuck that.

First of all: Ladies, if you want better men, START RAISING THEM. Teach your sons, your nephews, your brothers what it means to respect a woman. Trust me, they will not learn this shit from their stupid little friends and depending on the adult men in your life, maybe not from the role models around them. Try giving them a beautifully-wrapped box full of excrement to learn that the exterior doesn’t always indicate what’s inside and maybe that girl who’s a good friend may turn out to be something more and something special.

Secondly: VOTE. We. Women,  are the MAJORITY in the US. It is goddamn time we elected representatives to our state legislatures and and Federal government who actually fucking represented OUR interests and not those of Super PACs, the “Christian Right,” or those people who want to push the nation’s power dynamic back to the 1950s when white men were the undisputed kings. That needs to be stopped.




‘Tis Pity You’re an Inarticulate Moron

I am on Facebook. I used to be on Myspace. I am a passionate Red Sox fan which means I am also a passionate Yankees foe (it’s part of the package. Kinda fun, actually).  During last night’s game (a loss for the Sox), Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster deliberately threw the ball behind batter Alex Rodriguez three times, then deliberately pitched one that hit him in the thigh.

(The following may not be news to readers, but I do not make assumptions of who knows what when they read something) A-Rod (A-Rat, A-Hole, A-Roid, A-Fraud) has been served with a 215 game suspension for using PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs). Unlike the other guys who were also suspended, he appealed it and is still playing. He is quite close to certain batting records/benchmarks that, should he get to the, mean millions of dollars more for him. I am of the opinion that he should not still be playing, but then he has a history of this kind of “weasel out of it” behavior. Case in point: July 24, 2004. Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit him with a pitch (that seems to happen a lot, huh?) and rather than just take his base as the rules dictate, A Rod started mouthing off at Arroyo. Jason Varitek, Red Sox catcher, got involved and well, this is the indelible image:

tek arod

Both men were hit with 4 game suspensions. Tek just served his, A-Rod ended up serving his after appealing it and continued to play until the decision was rendered. He had to serve.  As a sidebar, in an October post-season game facing the same picture, A-Rod pulled a punk move to avoid being tagged by Mr. Arroyo by slapping the ball out of Arroyo’s glove. Given the “Hamburger Helper” style (or Mickey Mouse, perhaps more in keeping with his level of play) batting gloves, it would have been hard for the ump to miss:


Just call him “Slappy.”

photoshop slappy

I like this version better.


This is what he prefers. I don’t know if this is the original (certainly the Mickey Mouse gloves are photoshopped in), but he does have a portrait of himself as a centaur.

But I digress. Let’s return to August 18,2013.

The WEEI (Boston sports radio) Facebook page had a post regarding last night’s incident and asked for comments about Dempster drilling A-Rod. Since I don’t think the sumbitch should be playing baseball PERIOD if he’s suspended, I commented that “Dempster should have drilled him in the head.” Perhaps excessive and rash, but if that’s what it takes to get him out of the game…

There was a reply to my comment from someone named Derek Moretti:

“You should have been aborted whore”

From this statement, we can deduce that punctuation is not Mr. Moretti’s strong suit.

In 2007, on a Myspace Red Sox community page, I posted a  comment about the previous night’s game (which the Red Sox won. Post season on their way to a second World Series title in 4 years. The previous being 2004. Again, I make no assumptions). I got a response from some who kept changing his name to variations on “Hack.”

“Shut up, you fat fucking whore. I hate you.”

“Whore.” There it is again.

Come to think of it, THAT “whore”  was provoked by a negative comment about A-Rod. Perhaps his fans are as doped up as he is? Or just dopes?

These two guys (I’m presuming they’re two completely different people. I don’t give enough of a damn to find out) figured that the most damage they could inflict was by calling me a whore.

When I saw today’s comment, I started thinking about the intended use of “whore” as a weapon. (And it doesn’t apply. Both of these guys could have called me a US Senator and it would have been equally as applicable. And perhaps the same thing) By their choice of word to use as an insult, these two have given me the impression that they consider women who trade sex for money to be the lowest form of female, something shameful. If I had been a man and they’d wanted to insult me, would I have been called the male equivalent of a whore: gigolo? I don’t think so.

The thought that occurred to me was “Well, if there were no johns, there would be no whores.” I tried googling “If there were no johns” and got back this image:


The Madonna/Whore complex in a picture (rebus).

Coincidentally, she dated A-Rod for a while.

If there were no johns, there would be no whores; good ol’ supply and demand economics. So, these two guys flinging the term “whore” around; would they be as judgmental and harsh towards her customers? After all, if there were no johns willing to pay for sex, there wouldn’t be any whores to sell it. (male or female). what I’ve observed is a lot of back-slapping and “You dog!” with respect to guys who have gone to prostitutes. I remember sitting in Starbucks and overhearing a detailed conversation between two guys who had just come back from a trip to the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. There was no shaming, no “how could you do this to your wife?” Nope.

A man who sleeps around doesn’t get shamed as a slut or a whore by his fellow men (Women he doesn’t call back or gives an STD to, that’s a different matter). In fact, there’s some approval of the “player.” And if a sports discussion got heated, no one would use his sexual activity (presumed or otherwise) as a weapon. Women, though? We’re sluts, bitches and whores if you get angry. (By the way, if we’re not supposed to be as sexually active, who are the players supposed to sleep with? Somewhere, the Westboro Baptist Church’s heads just collectively exploded)

Just a wee bit of a double standard.

I believe that anger is actually an aggressive form of fear and that by lashing out as these guys, they were actually displaying fear. Of what? A woman? Certainly, but what’s so fearful about a woman who likes baseball? Are they afraid I’ll try to talk about the game with them? Is sports and being a fan supposed to be exclusively a male province? In the Myspace incident, I was also called a “Pink Hat” which is a Boston term for the women who buy pink Red Sox caps to wear to the games with their boyfriends and and recently jumped on the BoSox Bandwagon when they started winning; couldn’t care less before then. (I’ve been a Red Sox fan since I knew what a baseball was. We’re talking 47-48 years here). Again, it’s an insult specifically aimed at WOMEN, although, in 2007, when Troy Aikman showed up for a World Series game decked out in Red Sox gear, someone told me he was a pink hat. Okay, it applied that time.

So what is so intimidating about a woman who follows sports and expresses an opinion (rather strongly)? And if such a woman is a terrifying thing, do you really think the word “whore” is going to stop her?