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Thursday
Mar012012

Blunt Amendment Contraception Fight Comes Dead Center Today | Catholic Bishops Make Big Threats | Republican Retreat?

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Missouri Senator Roy BluntOne of the most important votes for or against women’s health care will occur in the US Senate today, known as the Blunt amendment. Introduced by Republican Senator Roy Blunt, the bill “is about the First Amendment” in his own words. The Blunt Amendment allows employers to opt out of health care coverage they disagree with on moral grounds.

This so-called ‘conscience’ amendment is meant to curtail a recent Obama administration decision mandating that key women’s health care needs like birth control by covered by religious employers through a compromise that puts the insurance company and woman in direct contact. The Obama administration ruling doesn’t apply to churches but does apply to hospitals, universities and businesses operated by religious institutions.

Catholic bishops are in revolt over the regulation allowing their employees to receive contraception, even though 98% of Catholic women say they now or have previously used birth control, ignoring the church’s insistence that contraception is a mortal sin, punishable by going to hell.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid has scheduled the vote, which will require every senator to take a stand on the Blunt amendment. Retiring Republican senator Olympia Snowe has said she will vote against it. Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia will vote for the Blunt amendment.

The Blunt bill has 37 cosponsors, including Mass. Sen. Scott Brown, who is being challenged for his Senate seat by Elizabeth Warren. Brown’s decision should give momentum to Warren in Massachusetts, where educated men and women generally believe in a separation of church and state.

Supreme Court Justice Scalia, one of the most conservative judges on the court, has already ruled that the US Constitution doesn’t guarantee or imply the wide-ranging religious or moral exemptions sought by the Blunt amendment. Based on Justice Scalia’s interpretation, we agree that the Blunt Amendment IS about controlling women’s bodies and not religious freedoms.

Related: Catholic bishop warns HHS mandate will mean an end to Catholic hospitals, clinics, charities Hot Air

More DFR

Nubian queen or princess riding in chariot and wearing a magnificent feather crown. Anne’s Facebook page was pretty raucous yesterday, filled with defiance as Republicans move against women’s health all over America. Anne has always linked women worldwide, believing that saying Saudi Arabian women can’t drive is related to the same patriarchal mentality that gives Catholic bishops the final say over women’s access to contraception in America.

Our friend Max Dashu reminds us that Nubian women drove chariots and Islamic scholars agree also that women drove chariots in the lands now called Saudi Arabia. The arguments that face women worldwide today are designed to suppress women’s freedoms and deny our history. Learn more about women’s real history before monotheism at Max Dashu’s Suppressed Histories Archives.

Are Republicans Nervous?

Are Republicans Backing Away from the Contraception Fight? The American Prospect

Santorum Fails to Win Catholic Majority in Michigan and Arizona Primaries The Daily Beast

Have Anti-Abortion Ultrasound Bills Become A Republican Liability TPMDC

GOP Struggles To Contain Birth Control Fallout TPM

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) believes states have right to outlaw contraception. “Why should I care?”

Tuesday
Feb282012

Dems Positive Re Winning Snowe's Maine Senate Seat | A Depressed Brain Discovery | Anne on PInterest

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe is retiring.Maine Senator Republican Olympia Snowe has announced that she won’t seek reelection, citing gridlock and pure partisanship as the reason she is putting her seat in play.

I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and “my way or the highway” ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions. … [W]hat I have had to consider is how productive an additional term would be. Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term. So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail. As I enter a new chapter, I see a vital need for the political center in order for our democracy to flourish and to find solutions that unite rather than divide us. It is time for change in the way we govern.

Christian Science Monitor writes that Maine is largely Democratic today, although Snowe was very popular. Obama won Maine by 17 points in 2008 and is expected to win again in November.

The Depressed Brain

UCLA researchers studying depression have observed that people suffering from depression have increased connections among most areas of their brain. A healthy brain must be able to regulate its connections to function properly.

Dr. Andrew Leuchter, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA explains: “The brain must be able to first synchronize, and then later desynchronize, different areas in order to react, regulate mood, learn and solve problems.”

The depressed brain maintains its ability form functional connections but loses it ability to turn off these connections, putting it in a permanent state of hyperactivity. via Science Daily

More DFR

Adweek focues on Pinterest: The New Facebook for Lifestyle Magazine. With its mostly female user base (68%) and focus on visuals, Pinterest is in play. Traffic is up 10-fold in the last six months, for the three-year-old Pinterest writes WSJ.

Comcast reports that Pinterest passed the 50,000 monthly visitors for the first time in May 2011. In January the site surpassed the 11-million mark.

Anne has been on Pinterest for one week and is very happy with our traffic response and followers generated. Much easier to operate than Tumblr, if you want separate concepts like Fashion & Style vs Values & Ideas, flipping from one board to the next is so easy.

Visit Anne on Pinterest.

Mother-Son Bond Is Tricky

Getty imagesCan we just be honest, asks Kate Stone Lombardi, talking about mother/son relationships.

For generations mothers have gotten one message: that keeping their sons close is wrong, possibly even dangerous. A mother who fosters a deep emotional bond with her son, we’ve been told, is setting him up to be weak and effeminate—an archetypal mama’s boy. He’ll never be independent or able to form healthy adult relationships. As the therapist and child-rearing guru Michael Gurian wrote in his 1994 book about mothers and sons, “a mother’s job…is very much to hold back the coming of manhood.” A well-adjusted, loving mother is one who gradually but surely pushes her son away, both emotionally and physically, in order to allow him to become a healthy man.

Society doesn’t worry about ‘masculinizing’ our girls. Why does a close mother/son bond make everyone so nervous? Read on at WSJ

Monday
Feb272012

Comparing Body Types of Playmates & Fashion Models | Andrew Sullivan Explains Santorum &Theocons

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Santorum Exposes The Real Republican Party by Andrew Sullivan for The Daily Beast

Sullivan calls Santorum’s vision for America what it really is: radical, not conservative.

It is a radical theocratically-based attack on modern liberal democracy; and on modernity as a whole. It would conserve nothing. It would require massive social upheaval, for example, to criminalize all abortion or keep all gay couples from having any publicly acknowledged rights or status. Then think of trying to get women back out of the workplace or contraception banned - natural, logical steps from this way of thinking. This massive change is radical, not conservative. It regards the evolution of American society these past few decades as literally the work of the Father of Lies, not the aggregate reflection of a changing society. It is at its essence a neo-Francoite version of America, an America that was not the pinnacle of Enlightenment thought, but an America designed to destroy what the theocons regard as the catastrophe of the Enlightenment.

More DFR

Barbie on the left is a creation of Jocelyne Grivaud, the creator of the site Barbie Ma Muse, which focuses on representations of women and their transformations as Barbie dolls. On the right is Man Ray’s image of Kiki, the Montparnasse singer, a woman with obvious curves.

Vogue Italia asks: The choice of the most famous doll of the last fifty years is important for the female stereotype it refers to – a skinny physique that obliterates curves and flattens shapeliness. Is Barbie really the women that we all now want to be?

Men and Female Shapes

Psychology Today asks: Do Men Find Very Skinny Women Attractive? We note that this very question now exhausts the vast majority of women. Let’s skip over the question and focus on some data. The author is focused on fashion runway models and Playboy Playmates.

Playmates haven’t gotten thinner over the years, unlike fashion models. The average Playmate is 5’6” tall and weighs 115 pounds with a BMI of 18.5. Ignoring today’s obesity epidemic, before 1980, almost two-thirds of American women in their late teens has a BMI below 20. The Playmates are more curvaceous with typical measurements of 35-23-34.

The average BMI for fashion models is 17.1, with half being under 17, compared to only 6% of Playmates. At 5’10”, they are taller than 99% of American women. Their busts are smaller by 3 inches than Playmates.