Small-Town Elitist

October 18, 2009

Food access and fighting obesity…

It seems lately everywhere I turn, people are discussing the disparities in access to food for people who struggle financially, and who have always struggled this way. I have especially been thinking about this subject since Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars wrote about the subject of overweight and obese people being forced to pay more for health insurance.

Under the BMI, I am considered obese. Even though I am actually quite healthy, I still feel it’s important for me to take on my health. But, for quite a while, my finances, and the structure of my community in the San Joaquin Valley, have made things rough. For the longest time, I had no where to walk or jog for fitness where I felt safe to do so. Unfortunately, trying to do that in my neighborhood brings up attention I don’t want, from men I want nothing to do with (street harrassment). Joining a fitness club in town was not always financially possible, either.

Thankfully, in more recent times, our town has created a fitness center next to one of the public swimming pools. There, for $30 a month, or $2 per individual session, we can have access to treadmills, stationery bikes, weight training equipment, and other types of equipment. There’s the basketball court also, and of course the public swimming pool. It’s been a very positive development, and I love going there to exercise. And even though the center is used by both genders, I feel very comfortable using it.

Another new development, which I like, but need to pay attention to, is our town recently got its own Fresh & Easy market. I was wowed by the organic and/or vegan foods they had, which we’ve never had access to here. However, the Center for Food and Justice cautions people to pay attention to whether they are organic, and they challenge Fresh & Easy to build in more places where they desprately need better food, such as South Central Los Angeles. Like Season of the Bitch says, it’s still not that easy for people who need access to better foods, but at least I think this is a good start.

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October 15, 2009

Questions about life and death, plus other linkage.

So I have a little free time after having spent a while continuing to pack up my house. I’m moving into a new one soon! 🙂 I’ve decided to do a linkage post first, and if there’s still some time, see if I can write something else.

Christian Liberal has an interesting post on a new study about near-death experiences.

Renee at Womanist Musings has a post about the racist new Nadya Suleman Halloween costume sweeping the nation… Racialicious has a post on Anita Tedaldi’s privilege showing with regards to her former adopted child. Jenn at Reappropriate wrote about some positive developments between President Obama and the Asian-American/Pacific Islander community.

Marcella at abyss2hope posted the 80th edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Great posts; I hope you’ll check it out! Natalia Antonova has plenty of snark and zero sympathy for Roman Polanski, who apparently is depressed behind bars. She also handles an idiot troll very well in her comments section.

And speaking of the tiniest violin on earth playing the background, Rush Limbaugh got his widdle heart bwoken over his being cut from the group interested in buying the St. Louis Rams after an outcry was raised over his notorious racism (especially towards Black athletes). Think Progress has the scoop.

BlueGal has a nice post about Gov. Howard Dean’s idea to allow people over 50 to pay for their Medicare. Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars wrote about the New York Times delibrately shutting out discussion of Single Payer care in its paper. MOMocrats has a guest post sharing why the author supports health insurance reform. At at RHRealityCheck, a midwife shares what the repercussions of not making health care available for expectant mothers are.

Cara at the Curvature has a post about a boss who fired his employee because of her gender identity.

Feministe writes in about the disgusting sexist comments the right wing has been making about Republican senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

Speaking Out has some excellent news about a class of 6th grade children in Sweden who reported Toys R’ Us so that it would be held accountable for gender-stereotypical toys!

Flip Flopping Joy has a post about UTNE Magazine’s list of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

Season of the Bitch and Jonthan Turley have some thoughts about Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

At HuffPo, Arianna Huffington suggests VP Joe Biden resign the vice-presidency in protest over Obama’s plans for Afghanistan.

And last but not least, Majikthise has a rich post about an idiot affiliated with Frank Luntz who has been charged under the Patriot Act for making a fool of himself on an airplane (a must read).

Time to get back to packing.

May 1, 2009

An Open Letter: Earth to Carrie Prejean!

Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, as many people know quite well by now, has taken heat for her response to Perez Hilton’s question about whether she supports gay marriage.

It’s this following part of her response that has left me, as a bisexual woman, with a nasty taste in my mouth. Prejean said:

We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.

I hate to break it to you, Carrie, but while GLBT Americans may not be a part of your family, we *are* a part of this country. The USA does not revolve around you, and your prejudices. I imagine you may be among those who pride themselves for “loving the troops.” How then, do you feel when I tell you that an estimated 650,000 gay veterans of World War II have lived in a country where their brave and valuable service to this country in its time of crisis counted for nothing, and they did not have many of the same rights other WWII military men had upon their return, including marriage equality?

I’m guessing you may not have a reaction, simply because you probably had no idea that the GLBT community served its country bravely and honorably, and despite Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, still continues to till this very day.

As someone who was close to wearing the crown of Miss USA, you must realize that you are representing a vast group of Americans, including the GLBT community. No one has the right to dictate to you what your views on marriage equality are, no matter how bigotted and wrong-headed they may be, but you certainly could have answered the question a thousand times more graciously and gracefully than the alienating manner in which you did.

I hope that you realize these things before you step on the toes of your fellow Americans, who were defending their beliefs and principles long before you and I were even in diapers. Please rethink your shameful wording of your opinions.

Till then, I must say that as a lifelong Californian, and ex-evangelical, I won’t have a Miss California USA who I can be proud represents me until at least 2010.

Annaleigh W., the Small-Town Elitist, who will not give her full identity, simply because I don’t have the same rights as Carrie, including basic safety if my bisexuality were known by my neighbors.

P.S. – I recommend you check out a couple of these links.

April 11, 2009

What it really means when a lady’s priorities don’t match with the ones a Talk Radio dittohead’s chosen for her.

Early this morning, while out and about in town buying supplies for the bathroom and garden, I had one of those little experiences of sexism that arise in the life of a woman from time to time.

The city bus driver, though seemingly a nice man, is a Rush Limbaugh dittohead. And for whatever reason, he has decided to scrutinize and comment on my purchases when I am taking the route he is driving that day.

I had a garden planter among other items, and he asked, “You went into town just to get a bucket? You women and your shopping. No wonder nothing gets done at the house, no dinner, no lunch…”

Blech. How screwed up is it when someone talks to you in such an arrogant manner with some ridiculous preconcieved notion about what you ought to be doing, and what your priorities are supposed to be? Why should I have to stay home to please a bitter old man?

Unfortunately for Rush Limbaugh dittoheads of the male persuasion, my priorities right now and quite rich and full, and do not consist of being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

My most recent relationship was with a man who insisted that we were both young, and that we ought to just enjoy ourselves. For him, that meant partying for the most part. I am not really a party person. Not in the sense that most people my age think of as parties. I quite like the idea of private entertaining for a few friends, having a nice meal and connecting and reconnecting with friends at a time when the bustle of life can make that difficult. It’s because of our diverging priorities that the relationship didn’t last. So I went back to being happily single and working the things that do command my time and concern.

Hmm, let’s see, what are my priorities, in no specific order?

I’m an artist, craftsperson, and business owner. That means I’m in the middle of preparing for a debut with an out of state boutique soon, and am hoping to arrange more consignment deals in other locales, while creating my works and filling orders placed directly with me. I’m also in the process of setting up a tent studio in my backyard.

I’m a college student, which means that I have been hustling for financial aid and preparing for an upcoming full load of courses covering many different areas, such as Spanish, and Shakespeare.

I’m someone’s adult daughter, which means that I am caregiving for my mother right now, and will probably be so for the foreseeable future as she is having health difficulties and has no one else to keep an eye on her and make sure she’s getting to a doctor except for moi.

I’m a member of an extended family, which means loving and supporting dozens of uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it. It means babysitting occasionally. It means going to Sunday dinners, to birthdays, to weddings, to funerals, or sometimes just cuz. It means caring for babies, and reassuring a sleepless child that she’ll be just fine.

I’m a pet parent of four little animals, including two dogs with special needs who also require attentive care and lots of TLC, having come from abusive situations prior to living with me.

I’m an activist, which means that I have been working hard on a library fundraiser for an endangered library, am hoping to resume volunteering at my local library, and am long overdue to resume updating my website for fellow rape and sexual abuse survivors, which has been helping survivors and their loved ones for over 9 years now.

I’m a friend, which means listening to long venting sessions and emphathizing, the need to get away and enjoy myself with others, and trying to crochet summer baby blankets for a pregnant friend.

I’m someone with responsibilies to the environment, which means gardening, making jewelry with recycled materials, and trying to figure out how to reduce my carbon footprint.

I’m a person with a physical body, which means getting up at 6 am to head to the community center to work out, studying the food pyramid, and yes, preparing meals that are good for me and for my loved ones who will be eating my food.

I’m an intellectual seeker, which means I have to have my nose in several books at one time, that I have to have debate and discussion with others, and that I have to have, gasp, a thought life!

I’m a spiritual seeker, which means learning about the earth and the spirit realm through a variety of ways, be it books, prayer, meditation, or just feeling the wind outside.

I managed to accomplish all of these things at different stages of my life despite having debilitating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for many years, and you can bet I am doing all these things now and more, as I have reached a state of wellness.

And now the Rush Limbaugh dittoheads of the world want to tell me I get nothing done around my house?

April 10, 2009

California’s Religious Wrong is on the warpath again; plus more links.

Filed under: "Sexting",Ableism,Abortion,Abstinence-Only,Activism,African-American Issues,Anti-Feminism,Anti-Violence Activism,Asian-American Issues,Asian-American Women,Bai Ling,Barack Obama,Betty Brown,Black Femininity,Black Women,Blog Carnivals,Body Image,Books & Reading,California Politics,Camille Paglia,Charities,Child Pornography,Child Sexual Abuse,Christian Fundamentalism,Classism,Coal Mining,Contraception,Crafting/DIY,Diversity,Domestic Violence,Emergency Contraception,Environmental Issues,Evangelical Christians,Exploitation of Poverty,Family Issues,Family Planning,Femininity,Feminism,Film & Film Reviews,First Ladies,Gardening,GLBT Issues,Goth,Healing from Rape,Homophobia,Human Rights,Immigration,Immigration Reform,Intersectionality,Kal Penn,Languages,Linkage,Marriage,Marriage Equality,Maternal Health Care,Media Criticism,Michelle Obama,Misogyny,Mountain Top Removal,Nativism,Non-Profit Organizations,North Carolina,North Carolina Women,Obama Administration,Objectification,Pat Buchanan,Performing Arts,Photography,Poverty,Prenatal Health Care,Proposition 8,Protests & Demonstrations,Racial Stereotypes,Racism,Raising Awareness,Rape and Sexual Violence,Reality TV Trash,Religious Right,Reproductive Health,Rihanna,Seth Rogen,Sex Education,Sex Offender Legislation,Sexism,Sexual Exploitation,Sexual Violence Myths,Sexuality,Take Action,Take Back the Night,Teen Pregnancy,Teen Violence,Teenagers,Tennessee Women,Texas,Texas Politics,Triggering Media,Tyra Banks,U.S. Economic Crisis,U.S. Economy,Vermont,Vermont Politics,Victim Blame,Victory Gardens,Violence Against WOC,Violence Against Women,Voting & Voting Rights,West Virginia,Women of Color,Women's Advocacy,Women's Health,WTF,Xenophobia — by smalltownelitist @ 12:56 am

Hi there, time for a long overdue compilation of some great links. I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

First off, Crooks and Liars writes about a disgusting ad in California from the religious right in an attempt to fight the granting of marriage equality to the GLBT community. Momocrats have a post about Vermont’s legalizing gay marriage, and challenges California to do the same.

At The Curvature, Cara writes about what the MSM should be reporting on the “sexting” scares… Marcella of abyss2hope posted the latest edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Feministe let us know about an upcoming Take Back the Night march. Cara also warned everyone about how triggering and awful Seth Rogen’s new movie is. Marcella also reported about a serial rapist who is dragging his victims’ reputations through the mud…

Flip Flopping Joy has an important post about mountain top removal, a form of coal mining.

RH Reality Check has a great roundup of family planning news. They also have a great essay from a young lady about emergency contraception for teenage girls. MOMocrats write about international family planning issues, and have a list of charities that help with this issue.

Natalia Antonova shares some thoughts about Camille Paglia.

Reappropriate has info on a racist Texas State Representative who thinks Asian-Americans should change their names to make things easier on election workers. Racialicious has an interesting quote from Bai Ling about Asians and Hollywood’s stereotypes.

Reappropriate also has an article about actor Kal Penn joining the Obama administration.

Racialicious has an important article about Black women and domestic violence.

Renee of Womanist Musings calls Tyra Banks out on her encouragement of objectifying women.

Feministe wrote about FOX exploiting victims of the recession.

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars wrote about how immigration is going to be a big issue with Republicans again.

From the Crafty Corner:

Etsy’s Dark Side has a gallery of Madhouse Mauly’s dark photography.

WhipUp has a book review of Switch Craft, a book that incorporates batteries into surprising projects.

And Flip Flopping Joy has a post about Michelle Obama planting her first seedlings in the White House’s victory garden. I was psyched to read this one; I just sowed my cilantro/coriander seeds yesterday! 🙂

February 3, 2009

Are Neo-Confederates to blame for Republican obstructionism?

Ah, it’s time for another collection of linkage. Enjoy!

A writer suggestions that people who don’t realize that the CSA lost the Civil War are to blame for Republican obstructionism. I’m not totally sure what to think, so I’ll leave you to your own conclusions! h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters.

HuffPo reports that Congressman Barney Frank has ordered the banking CEOs that were bailed out to testify before Congress and get a good yelling at.

This Yahoo article explains the different kinds of jobs that can be created by President Obama’s stimulus package. Once again, h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters. 🙂

From Crooks and Liars, a report on Michelle Bernard suggesting that women shouldn’t worry about pay equity.

Check out Project Censored’s Top Censored Stories of 2009. Brought to you by the rocking commenters at C & L! 😉

Womanist Musings has a post on a transgendered woman who was discriminated against by a nightclub based on her transgendered status.

Good on a judge! Abyss2hope writes about a judge who was uninterested in rapist’s excuse that his crime “was not that bad.”

Season of the Bitch shares thoughts on what roles liberal and progressive bloggers should play in cleaning up the mess our country is in.

There can never be enough snark when it comes to Dick Armey’s dickish comment to Joan Walsh on Hardball the other day. Feministe provides us with more snark, plus the actual video of Armey making a dick-sgrace of himself.

From RH Reality Check, women’s health advocacy groups react to the Obama Administration caving on contraception in the stimulus package.

MOMocrats write about why the Republicans are freaking out over labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis.

And last, but not least, Natalia Antonova deconstructions the comments being made about Ali Campoverdi, former pinup model turned White House employee by so-called progressives.

That’s it for now, no craftiness until tomorrow, when I will be doing an entire post on why I choose to get crafty! 🙂

February 1, 2009

Rape myths challenged, plus other good reads.

It’s time for a weekend edition of linkage. Not as much to work with today, hopefully everyone is enjoying their weekend! 🙂

abyss2hope challenges some rape myths, namely how some people deny the occurance of sexual assault in their minds by thinking of what happens in an assault in very melodramatic terms.

Womanist Musings writes about the alarming rise of hate groups and hate crimes since the election of President Obama.

Feministe reports on new restrictions on abortion in South Carolina, such as a day long waiting period, and that the requirement that ultrasounds be performed.

The Curvature reports on a Lutheran religious school, which a court has ruled may discriminate against and expel “suspected lesbians.”

Brownfemipower did a post on a tax workshop for strippers and other sex workers.

Season of the Bitch reports on abortion restrictions in Utah, which could put doctors on trial for murder.

Hear Me Roar wrote about the disturbing trend of news sites reporting incidents of violence against women as “weird news.”

RH Reality Check has an article on Obama and family planning aid.

MOMocrats wrote about NSA domestic spying.

Rachel of Rachel’s Tavern has written a great piece of the difficulties and complications of carrying pregnancies with multiple babies.

Crooks and Liars pointed out some super-icky comments by Michelle Malkin about old Republicans with erections! :S

Natalia Antonova has some snark for Dick Armey in light of his boorish comments directed at Joan Walsh.

From the crafty (and political!) department:

WhipUp has a series of posts on the Quilts for Obama exhibit, along with posts on Obama related crafts in general.

Etsy’s Dark Side has some info on mini books for gothic dollhouses made by one of our members.

January 31, 2009

The Patriarchy Movement: Submission, subordination, danger, and attraction.

Well, I am glad to see that the complementarian and patriarchal movements are starting to get attention from liberal and progressive sources.

I think that it is important that these movements be examined, and that everyone reach their own conclusions about them. I feel they should not go ignored.

I would like to use my personal space to explore where I stand with this movement, which is not exactly knew to me.

Nearly seven years ago, I became a born-again Christian. I still consider myself a follower and daughter of Christ, but I am transitioning to a place where I can’t stand by evangelicism. That is another story for another time, but this post should begin to shed some light on my exit from conservative Christian settings.

Long before I became a born-again Christian, I was a feminist (and have never truly crossed over to anti-feminism, to be honest). When I entered the church, there was shaky and scary new ground for me to personally confront. My attraction to feminism was an outgrowth of how an overtly religious school counselor treated me when I confided physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as a child. Now as a new Christian, I was essentially admitting that I felt my position on gender relations as a feminist were wrong. What was going to take its place?

This was when I began my education into the various stripes of complementarianism and patriarchy in the 21st century church.

Because I knew of the teachings that one must submit to her husband, I intially had determined for myself that I would never marry and never have children because I’d grown up in a home where there was domestic violence. I was terrified by giving a chunk of my autonomy over to a future husband, I was setting myself up for further abuse.

Eventually, I came to the decision that I would read about “biblical femininity,” and, how to put this politely…martial obligations, specifially, I wanted to know what was required of husbands.

Good luck finding that. In the past, internet searches had trouble finding sermons and essays on these obligations, and even now, you will still find more sites yammering on about what women must do and must not do. When you do find a man’s obligations, it does sometimes seem like a good game. For someone who’s lived their life with abuse, protection does sound great. But a certain realism has to set in, and you realize that there’s a huge danger in giving your personal autonomy over to a mere mortal who is just as messed up as you are, if not more.

Everything seemed so daunting, so painful, and as a survivor, it was so triggering.

One thing that is indeed very triggering about complementarianism is that not all of its proponents like women all that much. Many of them are actually misogynists who are content to blame women for society’s problems. Some take vigorous offense to any thought that God might actually be Goddess, or that a woman could be a leader in a male God’s church.

And worst of all in my experience, I found lots of blame for victims and survivors of abuse in a complementarian structure. Once, at women’s Bible study, I was given a little booklet of quotations, some biblical, some not quite, on issues that women face. I was horrified and disgusted to read an admonishment not to wear skimpy clothes under the “rape” section. Years after that, Michelle McKinney Hammonds book The Power of Femininity horrified me with its suggestion that men abuse women when their authority is challenged.

I ask you, is that a view of men you want to have? That they are cowards and bullies?

The EWTN network had a series with Alice von Hildebrand and Father Benedict Groeshel which I actually liked, which stressed a reconciliation between man and woman.

In light of that idea, how does showing complementarian men to be bullies and cowards work towards this reconciliation??

I don’t have any idea of what to replace complementarianism, including egalitarianism, but I do know that as it stands, complementarianism has some flaws and vulnerabilites that make me wary of it.

January 29, 2009

Racist RNC-chairman contender shirks personal responsibility; plus more links.

Time for my roundup of blog links for the first time in such a long while. Here we go!

Racist pig Chip Saltsman, who is in the running for RNC chairman, tells Contessa Brewer that it’s all the *media’s* fault that he sent out a mixtape of racist songs including “Barack the Magic Negro” to his Republican buddies and got caught in the process. Yes Chip, blame the media!  H/T to Crooks and Liars.

Womanist Musings has an article about boneheaded comments made by George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

abyss2hope writes about men who complain about “men haters” by spewing their own misogyny.

The Curvature brings up something I’d read the other day that depressed me: Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi says it’s impossible to protect Italian women from rape because they’re all so beautiful.

Michelle calls Rush Limbaugh out on his BS about the economy.

Season of the Bitch shares their thoughts on Rachel Maddow’s big interview with Rod Blagojevich.

Beyond Feminism talks about the breakdown of the nuclear family and what it means that an new alternative to it has not been found.

Racialicious explains why the Boston Globe is missing the point about why racial parity is important amongst the White House Press Corps.

Feministe has a great post on why the <a href=”http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2009/01/27/obama-getting-it-wrong-on-birth-control/”&gt; family planning provisions</a> in the stimulus package were important, up until they were tanked, anyway…

Rachel at Rachel’s Tavern posted about the scary actions of racist mobs in Australia.

HuffPo has an article on the House of Representative passing the stimulus bill without the help of the House Republicans.

Natalia Antonova writes about how the dire economic situation in Kiev, Ukraine is leading to more alcohol abuse and then more sexual harrassment and out of control behaviors in general. She then makes a great point, when are people going to quit excusing violence and harrassment with the phrase “he was drunk?”

Brownfemipower has some powerful insight on how the myths surrounding the life of Sacagawea affect Indigenous women and women of color living today.

MOMocrats have a post on President Obama’s interview with the al-Arabiya Network.

From the crafty department:

WhipUp shares how to make a purse from a “fat quarter” of fabric.

That’s it for now!

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