24 May 2010

A Feminist’s Anniversary re Her Scorched Earth

... the video of the link above PLUS Chapter Twenty – Three

of http://bluemaas.public.iastate.edu/chapter_23

Mawwiage: Thy Scientific Name, Thy Scorched – Earth Plague is Misogyny

“Women have very little idea of how much ... men hate them.”

--- The Female Eunuch, 1970, and Germaine Greer’s opening sentence,
p 245, of the first chapter, “Loathing and Disgust,” in its Part IV
entitled “Hate”

18 May 2010

TWO WORDS =s THE key to World Peace AND World Prosperity: HONOR WOMEN

i) May 2010 by Elizabeth Black http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/05/19/abused-women-in-maryland-arent-lying
ABUSIVE fathers are more likely to obtain primary custody when domestic violence is present, alleged or not.

ii) How Family Courts Punish Abused Women

17 May 2010 by R. Dianne Bartlow http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/05/17/how-family-courts-punish-abused-women

“The dirtiest little secret in America” is that family courts, in deciding custody, often wreak devastation upon mothers and children.

So argue Mo Therese Hannah and Barry Goldstein, editors of the new anthology Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody, which brings to light what many familiar with the family court system have long known: Designed to dispense justice, the system has become instead “an instrument of oppression,” particularly in cases involving domestic violence.

To find a chilling example of what the editors mean, we need look no further than the recent murder of infant Wyatt Garcia, reported in the Daily Beast:

Wyatt Garcia was born in April 2009. Nine months later, he was shot and killed by his father, who then turned the gun on himself.

It might have turned out differently—if a family-court judge had listened to Wyatt’s mother.

Wyatt’s mother, Katie Tagle, had previously filed three motions in family court for an order of protection against the baby’s father, Stephen Garcia, alleging that he had physically assaulted her and harassed her and her family. Garcia was apparently jealous that she was dating again. In the last motion, Tagle charged that Garcia “had threatened to kill her and their baby.”

The San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Robert Lemkau chose to believe Garcia’s denials over the evidence supplied by Tagle – which included emails, text messages, and voice messages, according to the Daily Beast. Tagle says she was treated like a “criminal” and “complaining woman.”

One goal of Hannah and Goldstein’s book is to convince judges, attorneys, and others who work in the court system that all forms of abusive behavior, whether physical, verbal, financial or legal, cause harm to women and children. On the legal side, men who abuse their female intimate partners have successfully used strategies such as false accusations, harassment, manipulation, and intimidation to win custody while often driving their victims into poverty. According to contributing author and lawyer Joan Zorza:

Abusive men not only harass their victims, many harass their partners’ lawyers and manipulate those in and connected with the court system who are supposed to insure that children are placed with their better parent in a safe, nurturing environment.

This makes it all the stranger that about half of the time batterers win custody in family courts. They are actually more likely to win custody than men who do not abuse their partners, according to Zorza. Over the past nine months, 75 children have been murdered by abusive fathers who used custody battles to get even with the mothers, according to the Daily Beast.

Yet Katie Tagle’s dismissive treatment by family courts is all-too-familiar. While there has been a growing awareness over the last 30 years of the harm domestic violence causes, courts are more and more ignoring women’s allegations of domestic violence and holding them responsible for their own abuse. This is largely due to courts’ reliance upon mental health experts who have inadequate training in intimate violence or child sexual abuse and who are easily manipulated by batterers.

Gender bias plays a large role in this backlash, according to the editors:

Compared to men, women are disbelieved more often, held to much higher standards, and judged far more punitively for failings such as drinking, use of drugs, adultery or hostility to their partners. …Such behaviors are readily seen as grounds for giving the father custody.

Hannah and Goldstein hope to also expose two particularly harmful court practices that have evolved over the last several decades: Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), and “friendly parent” statutes. PAS provides a handy–and utterly without basis–refutation to incest and abuse claims by blaming mothers for any hostility that the children feel towards their fathers, maintaining that children love and respect their fathers unless a “poisonous” mother has convinced them otherwise. Even alleged incest and violence are not deemed reason enough for children to independently turn against their fathers.

Since PAS has been deemed by the American Psychological Association to have no scientific backing, at least 32 states have incorporated the milder sounding “friendly parent” concept into their custody laws. This gives custody to the parent who will encourage the child to have more contact and a better relationship with the other parent. Often mothers are hurt by the friendly parent concept, since they can be deemed “unfriendly” for saying anything against the father, including alleging abuse. Zorza says that, ironically enough:

The unfriendly behavior of noncustodial parents (usually the father), such as not paying child support, physically or verbally abusing the mother, or stalking her, is not considered as meeting the definition of unfriendly.

With such an approach, Zorza says, family violence is discounted, and abusers are empowered while battered women are disempowered. Ultimately, children are harmed.

Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody will be instructive for policymakers, those working in the family justice system, and members of the media–which the authors say has by-and-large failed to expose custody court scandals. But it is a must-read for any mother involved in a child custody battle, and especially for mothers trying get free from an abusive relationship.

iii) Female Sales Reps Win Case Against (birth control - maker!) Novartis In Largest Gender Discrimination Case to Go to Verdict // Jury Says Pharma Giant Discriminated Against Women and LARGEST - EVER AWARD in GENDER - BIAS case // http://www.law.com/jsp/law/LawArticleFriendly.jsp?id=1202458479079

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/female-sales-reps-win-case-against-novartis-in-largest-gender-discrimination-case-to-go-to-verdict-93965454.html

NEW YORK, 17 May 17 / PRNewswire -- A New York jury handed Novartis Pharmaceuticals a bitter pill today, finding the giant drug maker guilty of gender discrimination in pay, promotional opportunities and pregnancy-related matters. The nation-wide class of 5,600 female sales representatives earned the victory in Judge Colleen McMahon's courtroom in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In addition to delivering a verdict for the Plaintiffs, the jury awarded the 12 testifying witnesses some $3.36 million in compensatory damages for the specific instances of discrimination testified to by those witnesses. This award is just the beginning of the money that will be associated with this verdict.

In deliberations tomorrow, the jury will determine how much in punitive damages to award against the company in order to punish it for its discriminatory acts and to deter it from behaving so in the future.

Judge McMahon will determine a separate amount of class damages for the approximate 5,600 individuals in the class at a later date. Those class damages will include back-pay damages for lost earnings.

In separate proceedings, compensatory damages will be decided for each member of the class that opts-in. Those damages will include money for the pain and suffering caused by Novartis' discriminatory acts.

In addition, Judge McMahon now has the opportunity to order Novartis to make changes to its policies and procedures in order to prevent future discriminatory behavior.
The class includes female sales representatives who have worked for the drug giant between 2002 and 2007. Thirteen of them testified during the five week trial. The class action was originally filed in 2004. The case is Amy Velez et al., vs. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation 04 Civ. 09194.

The case was the largest gender discrimination matter ever to go to trial in the U.S.

The women were represented by David Sanford, Steven Wittels and Katherine Kimpel in the New York and Washington, D.C. offices of Sanford, Wittels & Heisler LLP, and Grant Morris, of Washington, D.C.

"Today's verdict sends a clear and powerful message to Novartis and every corporation in the United States: women are equal partners in our workforce. The days of second-class citizenship are over. Play by the rules or be subject to great exposure – financially and reputationally," said David Sanford. "This verdict is the first step in bringing about long overdue changes at Novartis and other companies that encourage or tolerate unfair treatment of women in their workplaces. We'll have to wait and see just how much the jury awards in punitive damages, but this is certainly a company that deserves to be punished for the way it has mistreated working women in this country."

"This jury learned that Novartis is not somewhere you would want your wife, your mother, your sister or your daughter to work," said Kate Kimpel. "Novartis expected its female employees to do more than just go out and market its drugs -- Novartis has a corporate culture that expects female representatives to be available and amenable to sexual advances from the doctors they call on. Time and time again, Novartis looked the other way when female representatives complained about inappropriate doctors. And then, to add insult to injury, Novartis paid those same women less, wouldn't promote them into management, and punished them if they got pregnant. Novartis refused to treat its female employees as the competent and hard-working professionals that they were and are."

On the first day of the trial in the defense's opening statement, Novartis' own attorney said of an abusive male district manager, who had shown female sales reps pornography and invited them to sit on his lap, "He wasn't that bad a manager. He was just terrible with women." *!*!*!

Novartis kept that manager on staff, actively managing women in the field, for years after it first learned of his inappropriate behavior.

Although several of Novartis' witnesses claimed it had a "zero tolerance policy" for discrimination, those same witnesses admitted that managers were not terminated or demoted even when complaints of discrimination were substantiated by HR.

Steven Wittels said of today's victory, "This jury has sent a message to Novartis ---- Get your house in order! Change your culture: the 'old boys network' will not be tolerated. Provide your HR department with enough resources to create policies which mandate employment equity across the board, and provides training and guidance as well as people to make sure the laws are respected and followed."

Novartis was created in 1996 through a merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the company had 2009 sales of $44.3 billion.

Sanford Wittels & Heisler is a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, consumer and complex corporate class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in some of the major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations, commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters. More information at www.SWHlegal.com

*!*!*! DEFINITION of "MANAGER" ---- IF a person canNOT work managing ... women, THEN the person canNOT work ... managing!

IF he canNOT manage himself, then he canNOT ... MANAGE!

11 May 2010

respecting NONmagical – / freethinking

respecting NONreligion -- from Teaching TOLERANCE & the Southern Poverty Law Center and

http://www.tolerance.org/activity/respecting-nonreligious-people?newsletter=TT051110

* Level:* Grades 3 to 5 * Grades 6 to 8 * Grades 9 to 12

* Subject:* Reading and Language Arts * Social Studies * ELL / ESL

"Students often learn the importance of respecting people of different religions, and of respecting religious beliefs that are different from their own. But what about people who do not hold religious beliefs at all? Too often the right not to believe is excluded from lessons about tolerance.

Yet atheists and others who do not believe in gods experience discrimination because of their NONbelief. In this lesson, students learn about episodes of anti - atheist discrimination; and they develop ways to educate others about respecting nonreligious, as well as religious, diversity."

10 May 2010

Is it too much to ask for a MOTHER on the Supreme Court?

As long as the diversity nonsense continues ad nauseam, how about -- FINALLY -- a representative from a TRUE, and not faux, demographic group ... THE largest one there is?

FLIP / REVERSE -- AGAIN! How many SUPREME COURT justices over the years have, themselves, not been fathers? What has been, since the Court's inception, the ratio of them that were fathers to them that were not (... ever ... ) fathers, "step" [- back and - away when there is actually, in the kiddos' lives, true ... ] fathers, ahalfadaddy or someone's ... sugar ... daddee?

http://trueslant.com/level/2010/05/09/headed-for-a-motherless-supreme-court-elena-kagan-nominee

Elena Kagan sends us on the way to a(nother) MOTHERLESS Supreme Court .by Michael Rosten

As Mother's Day comes to a close, we're hearing reports that tomorrow morning, President Obama will nominate an individual to be the ninth Supreme Court Justice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

If Mike Allen's reporting for Politico and NBC News's late breaking report holds up, that nominee will be Elena Kagan, the current Solicitor General of the United States.

There are all manner of issues to raise where Kagan is concerned -- from the relevant, such as her minimal record of scholarship and her lack of judicial experience, to the irrelevant such as rumors that she's a lesbian. Critics also have expressed concern that she's too conservative-leaning for an Obama appointee. But an issue about Kagan that hasn't been discussed is one that transcends her -- if she is confirmed as a Supreme Court Associate Justice this year, the nation's top bench will be heading toward a make-up with no mothers sitting on it for the first time since 1981.

It will be great to have three women sitting on the nation's highest court, but it probably won't last for long. An aging Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remains sharp as a tack, but her health is not great, and like Justice Stevens, she might feel the time is right to exit the bench while there is a guarantee that President Obama can replace her with someone who won’t move the Court to the far right.

There are no guarantees that a third Obama justice will be a woman, and even the statistical probability that he won't appoint another woman given the variety of constituencies that he'll need to satisfy with his next pick. And that will mean that the two women sitting on the nation's high court (Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor being the other) will both be single and childless.

Certainly there is no requirement that every Justice sitting on the court be a parent. But on a powerful body full of fathers, is it too much to ask that we have one mother as a member of the Supreme Court?

I would posit that there are an enormous number of problems in our country that have or will come before the Supreme Court in which motherhood is a critically important detail. From abortion to discrimination in the workplace to future technologies concerning genetic engineering and beyond, women and the decisions they make (or don't get to make) about becoming mothers to sons and daughters will be burning issues in Supreme Court jurisprudence. Mothers in our society are often forced to make complicated decisions about their lives and those of their children that are not necessarily faced by childless women or even fathers for that matter. And since 1981, the Court has had the benefit of having a mother involved in deliberations on these issues, starting with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was later joined by Ginsburg.

It’s true that Justice Sotomayor and a possible Justice Kagan could sympathize or even (gasp) empathize with mothers. But they’ve never personally been confronted with the choices that being a parent generally, and a mother in particular brings on in our society. Women in America are constantly facing decision points about whether to focus on work, raising a child, or both. Once they become mothers, women have to make decisions along the way about how best to raise their children. And the decisions they make for better or worse often wind up being of broader concern to society as a whole.

To me, if a woman doesn't have a child, she has only an abstract ability to pass judgment on issues where motherhood is concerned. I say this not out of disrespect for childless women, whose own struggles I would not dare to play down. Rather, I say it out of respect for all the mothers in the world, including my own. Women with the concrete knowledge of the decision-making that comes with motherhood simply know better -- A mother knows best -- as we so often say.

General Kagan and Justice Sotomayor are talented women, and their unique experiences, legal knowledge bases, and ability to judge laws are worthy of esteem and fair consideration on their own merits. But I must insist that a Supreme Court without a mother on the bench would be as incomplete as a tricycle with two wheels. Mothers make the world move forward, and they need to have a voice in the arrangement of our society, from the boardroom to the courtroom and beyond.

So while the Solicitor General's lack of children in no way disqualifies her, it would be a setback if in 2011 or in a year not too far off, we find ourselves with a bench of nine that includes no justices who are mothers. And that's something that President Obama must consider when he contemplates future Justices beyond Kagan.

09 May 2010

nytimes: Group Backs Ritual ‘Prick’ as Female Circumcision Option

"On this day, you are not going to believe this one. This? This is soooo not.not.not believable!"

"O Blue! YOU exaggerate! O'course, it IS believable. These are "modernity" 's medical MEN you're talking about = those of the American Pediatric Association! ! !

O'course, THEY are gonna suggest this "wee - prick" - ing "solution" and BE themselves COMPLICIT (in America!) with the other men of the World who loathe femaleness so much so that ... BECAUSE THEY CAN ... then they WILL ( ... CONTINUE TO ... ) defile ( ... ONLY ... ) us DEhumans!"

"Un – fucking – believable!" I drop jaw!

FLIP / REVERSE: NOOOO gawddamn pricking of any girl. NOT until ALL boys' wee pricks are under such SAME PATRIARCHAL "RELIGIOUS" / "MORAL" / family - "HONOR" attack and are ... likewise ... PRICKED,” I blitz!

nota bene, Folks! … how quite "carefully" America’s pediatricians used as spokesperson to the New York Times ... a ... (very male - identified) female ... MD. !heh.heh.heh!

This? This just begs for the wisdom of University of North Carolina’s Pyschiatrist Cort A Pedersen from his primates’ research: “The evolution of mother love was essential FOR the evolution of ... intelligence.”

That’s “ … FOR the evolution of INTELLIGENCE,” Folks!

NOTHING … LESS THAN THAT!


Group Backs Ritual ‘Nick’ as Female Circumcision Option
By PAM BELLUCK
06 May 2010

In a controversial change to a longstanding policy concerning the practice of female circumcision in some African and Asian cultures, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting that American doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or “nick” on girls from these cultures if it would keep their families from sending them overseas for the full circumcision.

The academy’s committee on bioethics, in a policy statement last week, said some pediatricians had suggested that current federal law, which “makes criminal any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals” of a girl in the United States, has had the unintended consequence of driving some families to take their daughters to other countries to undergo mutilation.

“It might be more effective if federal and state laws enabled pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ritual nick as a possible compromise to avoid greater harm,” the group said.

But some opponents of female genital mutilation, or F.G.M., denounced the statement.

“I am sure the academy had only good intentions, but what their recommendation has done is only create confusion about whether F.G.M. is acceptable in any form, and it is the wrong step forward on how best to protect young women and girls,” said Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, who recently introduced a bill to toughen federal law by making it a crime to take a girl overseas to be circumcised. “F.G.M. serves no medical purpose, and it is rightfully banned in the U.S.”

Georganne Chapin, executive director of an advocacy group called Intact America, said she was “astonished that a group of intelligent people did not see the utter slippery slope that we put physicians on” with the new policy statement. “How much blood will parents be satisfied with?”

She added: “There are countries in the world that allow wife beating, slavery and child abuse, but we don’t allow people to practice those customs in this country. We don’t let people have slavery a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway, or beat their wives a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway.”

A member of the academy’s bioethics committee, Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, said the panel’s intent was to issue a “statement on safety in a culturally sensitive context.”

Dr. Friedman Ross said that the committee members “oppose all types of female genital cutting that impose risks or physical or psychological harm,” and consider the ritual nick “a last resort,” but that the nick is “supposed to be as benign as getting a girl’s ears pierced. It’s taking a pin and creating a drop of blood.”

She said the panel had heard anecdotes from worried doctors.

“If we just told parents, ‘No, this is wrong,’ our concern is they may take their daughters back to their home countries, where the procedure may be more extensive cutting and may even be done without anesthesia, with unsterilized knives or even glass,” she said. “A just-say-no policy may end up alienating these families, who are going to then find an alternative that will do more harm than good.”

Currently, more than 130 million women and girls worldwide have undergone female genital cutting, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It is mostly performed on girls younger than 15 in countries including Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. Consequences can include severe complications with pregnancy, childbirth and sexual dysfunction.

The academy’s statement acknowledged that opponents of the procedure, “including women from African countries, strongly oppose any compromise that would legitimize even the most minimal procedure.”

Dr. Friedman Ross said, “If you medicalize it and say it’s permissible, is there a possibility that some people will misunderstand it and go beyond a nick? Yes.”

But she said the risk that people denied the ceremonial procedure, usually on the clitoris, would opt for the more harmful one was much more dangerous.

And the statement said that, “in some countries where FGC is common, some progress toward eradication or amelioration has been made by substituting ritual ‘nicks’ for more severe forms.”