We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, November 7. 2007
Climate skepticism on the rise in Europe
Fred fading? The guy is good, but does he really have his heart in this?
Sarkozy in Washington: "We want to win your hearts back."
Prude: How our sex-obsessed culture damages girls. A book, at Powerline
Business news you might have missed. Wizbang. Incomes rising faster than inflation.
Outstanding pencil sharpener. FMFT
More on my "invisible knapsack" of privilege. Moonbattery
Finally - Brit pubs rebel against smoking ban
Whole thing at Town Hall
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MIT sues Gehry, citing leaks in $300m complex...
I've never got why the U.S. is so Sally Field -- "You like me, you REALLY like me"-- about foreign countries, the French included. As friendly as Sarko now seems, does anyone doubt he or whoever follows him won't revert to the classic French attitude of duplicity and betrayal when it suits them?
Fred's style works fine.
He is straightforward and there is no confusion left in his wake.
(Get some sleep, Tiny.)
That's hearty enough, me thinks.
"Liebau contends that American girls face a sexual minefield planted, in part, by a generation of women whose brand of radical feminism has resulted in a seismic shift in our culture."
try selling that point as a female at a liberal arts college in nh. my buddies excused my refusal to join in important activities like the vagina monologues because i was from the south and had been brainwashed from watching my mom drive too many carpools and clearly didn't understand that without our continuing the women's liberation movement, we wouldn't have sex-positive feminists and we'd all be stuck washing dishes, changing diapers and trapped in orgasmless marraiges (and thus never knowing true happiness because that doesn't come from committment and responsibility to your husband and children, it comes from raw passion with strangers) until we died.
Media cited for showing girls as sex objects
The Bratz dolls Feelin' Pretty line shows the pouty lips and miniskirts that a psychological report says are "worrisome."
By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
Advertising and media images that encourage girls to focus on looks and sexuality are harmful to their emotional and physical health, a new report by the American Psychological Association says.
The report, released Monday, analyzed some 300 studies over the past 18 months. It included a variety of media, from television and movies to song lyrics, and looked at advertising showing body-baring doll clothes for pre-schoolers, tweens posing in suggestive ways in magazines and the sexual antics of young celebrity role models.
The researchers found such images may make girls think of and treat their own bodies as sexual objects.
"The preponderance of evidence suggests a cause for concern in these sexualized images and the mental health outcomes for girls," says task force member Tomi-Ann Roberts, a psychology professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.
Individual studies have found problems related to eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression, but Roberts says there hasn't been a body of work that illustrates how these problems are "directly linked" to sexualized images in ads and popular media. The group recommends more research on girls since the bulk of the studies reviewed dealt with teens and young women.
"It's fair to say, were we to do these same studies on younger girls, you would expect to find the same results, but we have to do the studies," says Sharon Lamb, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vt., who served on the task force.
The panel defined sexualization as occurring "when a person's value comes only from her/his sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified, e.g., made into a thing for another's sexual use."
The report cites Bratz dolls, in particular, for "sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings and feather boas."
"Although these dolls may present no more sexualization of girls or women than is seen in MTV videos, it is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality," the report says.
Isaac Larian, CEO of Bratz doll manufacturer MGA Entertainment, based in Van Nuys, Calif., says he "adamantly disagrees" with the report's assessment of the dolls. The company has sold more than 125 million worldwide in the seven years the dolls have been on the market, he says.
"These are the clothes that are worn if you go to schools anywhere in the USA," Larian, a father of three, says. "They are not sexy. Bratz dolls are caricatural plastic dolls. They don't even look like real human beings. They're cartoonish."
The report also notes another toymaker dropped plans to release a line of dolls modeled after the Pussycat Dolls (a musical group known for revealing costumes and sexy lyrics) following a campaign last year against the planned dolls.
Ann Pellegrini, an associate professor at New York University who writes about the sexual politics of American childhood, and who was not associated with the report, says she is concerned about what she calls "the panic" about the sexualization of children.
"Not that I would deny there is this aggressive marketing to children, but there is a deep moralization around it," she says. "I do think girls and women are still profoundly objectified when it comes to sex, but there may well be some things that look like objectification that are being experienced by girls and young women that feel empowering."
She says someone of an older generation might view today's teen-age fashions as too-revealing, but the teen may not see being proud of her body as objectification at all.
The task force urges parents, school personnel and health care professionals to counter sexualization with images of girls in settings that are not viewed as sexual.
this topic presses a BIG button, sorry! i'm all over the place.
Conversation with Jesus - Classic
Many times when I am troubled or confused, I find comfort in sitting
in my back yard and having a vodka and cranberry along with a quiet
conversation with Jesus. This happened to me again after a
particularly difficult day.
I said "Jesus, why do I work so hard?"
And I heard the reply: "Men find many ways to demonstrate the love
they have for their family. You work hard to have a peaceful,
beautiful place for your friends and family to gather."
I said: "I thought that money was the root of all evil."
And the reply was: "No, the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.
Money is a tool; it can be used for good or bad".
I was starting to feel better, but I still had that one burning
question, so I asked it. "Jesus," I said, "what is the meaning of
life? Why am I here?"
He replied: "That is a question many men ask. The answer is in your
heart and is different for everyone. I would love to chat with you
some more, Senor, but for now, I have to finish your lawn."