Friday, July 29, 2005

for you heteros out there...

Yay for research. A new lube-type product in the research/almost-testable stage may be functional not only as a no-babies-for-me contraceptive, but could prevent the spread of STI's, including HIV/AIDS, as well.

Basically, you insert it into your vagina via a capsule, cream, or gel prior to hetero intercourse, and there's no need for a condom (which, my straight friends tell me, can be rather unpleasant and annoying). If all goes well with testing and studies, they could be marketable w/in 3 years.

Plus, us feminists like it too:

Perhaps the most significant benefit is the product's ability to empower women. Rather than negotiating the use of a condom, women would be able to apply the cream with disregard to the sentiment of their partner.

I wonder, though, if it'd work for my gay boys too. Obviously, they don't have to worry about the contraceptive aspect of the stuff, but they (like everyone who engages in sex with anyone other than themselves) do have to worry about the STI-prevention part. And I'd presume that lube would be helpful in such sex as gay men tend to have. The article, however, mentions nothing about its use in anal sex, just a general celebration that heteros might not have to use condoms anymore. Which is all well and good, but...where're the gays?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

pataki's tacky, and almost GONE

I know I'm a bit late on picking this up, but I just got really excited.

Turns out douchebag Governor George Pataki WON'T run for a 4th term.
And I guess Eliot Spitzer, NY attorney general and relatively decent and respectable Democrat, has been talking about running for governor. I'd be ok with that. Gotta be better than Douchebag, right?

Of course, this increases the chances that Douchebag Patakass will run for President, and take all of his "family values" bullshit with him, but I say we cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, I'll celebrate that NY won't have to deal with his stupidity anymore. Hey, maybe we'll even pass a budget on time. (Crazy idea, I know.)

pro-lifers as feminists?

So I've been slacking with this blogging thing, and there's really no way I could possibly make up for a week's lost news/blogging opportunities, so I'm just going to pick up and go.

In my daily (compulsive) perusing of feministing's latest posts, I came across this post by Hannah, discussing the stance of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' wife as ex-board member of Feminists for Life, and broaches the difficult concept of pro-lifers and their inclusion/exclusion in the feminist movement.

This is something that's been bothering me since my good friend's assertion in my History of American Feminism class last fall ('04) that she could very much be a feminist and pro-life. I respect this woman immensely, so I didn't argue with that assumption, and it was also obvious that she'd been hurt in the past by people denouncing her claim to feminism because of her pro-life stance, and I didn't want to be another one of those people. So I remained silent. But I've been turning it over and over in my head ever since.

Obviously, I'm pro-choice. And obviously, I'm a feminist. A feminist who is very adamant about the diversification of feminism so that we don't repeat the mistakes of the 2nd wave by excluding everyone who wasn't a white, middle- to upper-class. heterosexual, biological female.
However, I'm very torn on the inclusion of "feminists" who are anti-choice in this developing canon of feminism.

On the one hand, who are we, as pro-choice feminists, to say that someone who identifies as a feminist cannot identify as such because ze doesn't believe that abortion is morally correct? It seems anti-feminist to exclude someone because of their moral creed, and antithetical to the movement to alienate those who may stand with us on other issues.

On the other hand, I don't really understand their definition of feminism if they are ok with the controlling and curtailing of other women's reproductive rights. At least most of these feminists, including Feminists For Life are (from what I understand at least) pro-contraception (well, maybe not FFL particularly, but most pro-life feminists I know), (real) sex education, and, for the most part, pro-equal rights and whatnot. In every other aspect, really, these feminists "fit." But I'd say that a woman's right to choose is a pretty damn important part of feminism.
And maybe abortion shouldn't have to happen, but the changes that need to occur in order for abortion to not be necessarily legal - real sex education, access to contraception, etc. - sure as hell won't happen under Bushie's "culture of life."

(Note: I'm not going to get into whether or not I agree with Feminists For Life's position or campaigns or anything, because I don't really have time to write a 10-page paper on the topic. Perhaps for a women's studies class later...)

This isn't really as coherent as I'd like, but I can only make it as clear as it is in my head, which, unfortunately, is rather blurry.

Now, I'm the last person who would tell a person that ze couldn't identify as a feminist because of hir "morals" or "values," no matter how much I disagreed with them.
But I still doubt the viability and validity of a connection between feminism and pro-life. For some reason, "Feminists for Life" still strikes me as a glaring oxymoron, and these women who rally behind the banner of feminism but question the morality of a woman's choice still rub me the wrong way.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

missionary position

On my way home from Wegman's today to buy fruit for what will undoubtedly be a fabulous fruit salad, I was stopped by two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Mormons.
Now, they seemed friendly enough, so I stood and chatted (in the blistering sun) with them for a few minutes.
I told them I was a Baha'i (not entirely true, since the Faith doesn't technically accept homosexuality as a lifestyle...yet...but it is for the most part true).
They had no f-ing clue what the Baha'i Faith was (you'd think they'd require missionaries to be a little more informed on the world's major religions, of which the Baha'i Faith definitely is), so I informed them.
They claimed that their beliefs were similar to the Baha'i Faith (lie), and said that they'd love for me to join them at their church. (At this point, I realized they were travelling missionaries, because they had to look up the location of the church. So I decided to have a little fun with them and their not-acquainted-with-Ithacan-etiquette.)

"So, what are your teachings on homosexuality?"
(they grimaced - it seemed like they'd been asked this question before and shot down)
"Well, we know that the practices of homosexuality do happen, but..." (insert some scrambling for words here...)
"Because, well, I'm very gay, and I'm very happy being gay."
"I know from personal experience with my family that this can be a very hard time for you, and the church can help you find the right path."
"Actually, it's not hard at all. And I've found my path, thanks."
"Oh, well...will you come to the church sometime, see what it's like?"
"Probably not. I'm pretty set in being a Baha'i and being very gay and pro-choice and a feminist."
"Oh. Well, we'll just leave you this pamphlet, if that's ok."
"If you must."

They handed me a pamphlet entitled The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
It's a small little thing, with copy covering only the inside 3 panels of the pamphlet, but damn, some of that copy is pretty damn offensive and inflammatory.
For example:

"Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."
"The first commandment thta God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force."
"The sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."
"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families..and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families."
"Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."
"individuals who violate chastity" (i.e. gay people and those damn whores who fuck w/o being married -- aka most of my generation) "will one day stand accountable before God."
"the disintegration of the family" (i.e. what those damn activist judges in Mass. are doing, allowing gay people to marry) "will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

Number of times "marriage between a man and a woman" is mentioned: 12.

Denouncing homosexuality in Ithaca, one of the gay meccas of the northeastern US?
How stupid can you be?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

to march or not to march.... News has an article weighing the pros and cons of holding another national March on Washington (or wherever) for queer rights.
Sure, they're the old-school-activist way to "galvanize the troops" so to speak (please excuse the militaristic metaphor. I apologize.), but are they still effective today? Or has the political climate changed so much that we need an entirely different approach?

The article includes the opinions of six influential leaders, including:
-Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who has represented the 4th district of Massachusetts since his election in 1980. (I believe he's gay, but I'm not sure.)
"But standing on the Mall and listening to speeches, carrying signs, etc., has literally zero impact in this regard."
-Robin Tyler, who initiated the 1979 and 2000 marches on Washington.
" A grassroots march with an unyielding commitment to LGBT equality will be a huge step forward for our community."
-Keith Boykin, a NYT best-selling author and former Clinton White House aide.
"If you march too often, the events lose their impact, but if you don't march enough, you may miss an opportunity to mobilize a whole new generation of activists. And maybe that's the best reason to have a march in the first place."
-Lorri Jean, CEO of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.
"So, rather than spend millions of dollars and hours organizing a national march with nebulous goals, I'd rather we spent the time and energy figuring out how best to protect and advance our gains where most of the action is these days: at the state and local level."
-Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
"Marches have the ability to show a high volume of concerned citizens in one place. Still, too often people don't connect the marchers with their neighbors, their co-workers, their sons and daughters. We are those people, and it doesn't take a trip to Washington to make that point; it takes an honest conversation."
-The Rev. Troy Perry, founder and moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, who has been involved in the organization of every LGBT march.
"Here's the thing about which I am even more confident: If and when another national march does take place in the United must fully represent the broad diversity of our LGBT communities."

To march or not?
I really have my doubts that occupying the National Mall and screaming at the top of our lungs about these issues that we're passionate about will actually make anyone in the U.S. government listen. It seems like they've gotten very, very good at ignoring the masses of people who converge on the Hill when they do something that pisses the rest of us off.
Look at the March for Women's Lives last spring. We had a record turnout for a political demonstration in Washington, DC. And what did it accomplish? Evidently nothing, given the latest nomination to the Supreme Court which will inevitably overturn Roe v Wade.

So the question now is:
What can we do then, if national marches are no longer effective? What can be our new strategy?
"Think globally, act locally."
But "act" doing what exactly?

ann coulter=satan in a blond wig, but...

Well, shit.

Even Ann Coulter, famed anti-feminist, anti-choice, anti-everything-the-left-stands-for political pundit, isn't so crazy about Roberts' nomination.
Ok, yeah, so she attacks NARAL and Planned Parenthood and spews anti-choice rhetoric while denouncing Roberts, but...

I think it says something when pro-choicers and liberals, who Miss Coulter so vehemently despises (her recent book's title: How to Talk to a Liberal, if you must), actually agree with someone like Ann Coulter that Bush fucked up.

A (very) rare gem from her article:
"It’s as if he is from some space alien sleeper cell. Maybe the space aliens are trying to help us, but I wish we knew that."

the threat of the three-year-old faggot?

was evidently too much for a 21-year-old Tampa father to handle.

Ronnie Paris Jr. went on trial for his life last week in Florida after his 3-year-old son was beaten to death.

Ronnie was afraid that his 3-year-old would be gay.

And evidently, given the choice between living with a potentially gay son (because, you know, our sexualities are completely cemented by age three, so it was logical to predict a three-year-old's sexual orientation) and being put to death for murdering him and removing that awful "gay scourge" from the earth, Ronnie thought the more acceptable choice was the latter.

The toddler's mother, Nysheerah Paris, testified that her husband thought the boy might be gay and would force him into a box.

Evidently, they didn't have a closet handy to force him into.

Oh, and even better: there's a chance that ever-popular "gay panic" defense will be employed in the murdering father's trial. Because obviously, it's ok to kill someone you're supposed to love and care for if there's a slight chance that said child would be gay. Better to off them early, you know. (please note the sarcasm)

Judge (to be Justice?) Roberts

This is bad, kids.
This is real bad.

At least Bushie's not trying to override the precedented (constitutional) standard for appointing Supreme Court justices.
But now, our last line of defense for Roe v. Wade before it's inevitably overturned (Roberts has actually argued that Roe was "wrongly decided and should be overruled") is the Senate.
The Republican-majority Senate.
The overly-influenced-by-the-White-House Senate.
The Senate where most Democrats are too fucking spineless to actually stand up for leftist values (i.e. pro-choice).

Thus, my conclusion that Bush's nomination of Judge John Roberts as Justice O'Connor's replacement will be a disaster.
Especially since he's already been confirmed by this Senate once, in 2003, when Bush nominated him to his current position in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
And rumor has it that both sides "highly respect" him as wicked intelligent.
And there are people like MSNBC who are putting the odds in his favour.
So much for Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose....

However, please go to NARAL Pro-Choice America's website and do whatever you can to help save Roe. There's a letter you can sign that they'll send to your Senators, there's an action kit, and lots of other things to do to help.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


President Bush will announce his decision for the Supreme Court nominee tonight at 9pm EDT.

Slate has a short list of the backgrounds of some of the potential nominees, as does a special report in the NY Times online, and really, none of them look very promising.
Ok, that's a bit of an understatement.
All of them look pretty dooming for the future of women's choice, not to mention the other innumerable basic civil rights that Americans now enjoy.

The rumor is around Edith Brown Clement, who the AP seems to think would be the best choice for us pro-choicers.
Um, yeah. Sorry, guys. Not really.
NARAL's Nancy Keenan has this to say about Judge Clement:
"Edith Brown Clement is a worrisome choice for the United States Supreme Court. Judge Clement, appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by President Bush in 2001, has not directly dealt with the right to choose while on the bench or in private practice. However, she has been an active member of the Federalist Society for Law and Policy Studies, a conservative organization with many prominent anti-choice leaders and members."

I can't decide whether this is good or not, but the dying Chief Justice William Rehnquist announced some days ago that he intends to stay on the bench as long as his health permits. It seems that Rehny and I have differing views on what his health actually does permit, since he looks like he's about to keel over any minute now. I don't know that Bush can really nominate anyone worse than Rehnquist and get them through Congress, but I also don't know that I want to see him try. Yeah, Rehnquist is an assface and as antichoice as most people Bush could nominate, but somehow, I think he has at least some kind of dignity and human respect left in him, something I don't know I'd be able to say for whoever Bush might end up forcing through in his place.

Needless to say
I'm rather frightened about what name will spew forth from Bushie's tiny, funny-looking mouth tonight.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

grassroots disappointment

Opening up my email today (for about the 6th time -- I'm a bit of a compulsive email checker), I came across an email from NARAL Pro-Choice America, with the subject line, "Help us mobilize 250,000 women in key states."
At first, I was really excited -- "finally," I thought, "they're going to tell me what I can actually do!"
Scroll, scroll, scroll, and then the dreaded words "Click here to make your pledge online now."

Now, I'm not saying that these organizations -- NARAL, Feminist Majority, NOW, etc -- don't need your contributions. They do, most definitely. I have no problem with their reminding people that they're nonprofit NGOs and need contributions in order to keep running.

I do, however, have a problem with their assumptions that: a) the only thing people will do is give money or sign pre-written form letters to their senators/representatives, and b) that the only way people can help is through financial contributions.

Maybe the reason I have such a problem with this is because I'm a poor, broke-ass college student who doesn't have any money to give to them.
And in their logic, it seems like the only way I'd be of use to them is if I had money to contribute to their fight. I'm not a useless blob just because I'm racking up debts that I'll be paying off until I'm 62. I want to be in there, I want to be the one that's actually fighting.

Why is it that the only actions they ever offer to us are form letters and forking over money? There's got to be more I can offer the pro-choice/feminist/whatever movement as a college student than money and harassing my senators, both of whom have already pretty much vowed to not let Bushie stack the Supreme Court.

Anyway, so I wrote an email to Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, saying basically what I said above, telling her to, instead of offering just the standard options for recourse, to really give us something to do.
I think she'd be surprised at the response if she gave people more to do than putting their names on letters they didn't even write.

And then, I suggested that NARAL and NOW and FMF and whoever else host another March for Women's Lives. Because it's been over a year. And now, we've got something real, something tangible to rally behind; there actually is an imminent threat to our control over our own ovaries.
I know that I, for one, would be down in DC (even in this heat) in a second if they held another one.

harry potter and the half-brained wingnuts

Are you joking me?

An article in Salon today covers those who are yet again bemoaning the lack of morals of our collective children.
The culprit, you might ask?
Why, Harry Potter, of course.

And it's not just right-wing Christian nutjobs that are blaming a children's book for robbing kids of the ability to know right from wrong; now the new Pope is getting in on the action.

In a letter to a Bavarian Roman Catholic sociologist, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who is now Pope Benedict XVI) claimed that Harry Potter books "erode Christianity in the soul before it can even grow properly."
This sociologist has an "insightful" (read: b.s.) book entitled Harry Potter: Good or Evil, in which, according to Salon, she argues that "the Potter novels blur the boundaries between good and evil and impair young readers' ability to distinguish between the two. She also asserts that they glorify the world of witches and magicians at the expense of the human world."


Does anyone else see a problem with this? They're children's books. They're not "harmful." Rowling is a fabulous storyteller with fabulous stories.
And that's all they are: stories.
If kids are mistaking them for real life, there's a bigger problem in that child's life than a lack of Christianity or knowledge of good and evil.

Is the religious right really that desperate for a scapegoat that they'll blame fictional children's books?
Honestly, guys.
You can do better than that.

Rehnquist (finally) in trouble?

Seems that good old Rehny, our favourite Supreme Court Chief Justice, might be giving in to his illness, something that I know I expected long before now.
He was hospitalized with a fever last night, and remains in a hospital in Arlington, VA today.
And as much as I dislike the guy, I'm actually going to root for him not stepping down or dying, because quite honestly, the idea of W. getting to put two Justices on the Court scares the bejesus out of me.
The last president who had the opportunity to nominate two justices? Nixon. And as much as Bushie already sucks, I don't think he really needs any more potential comparisons to our other infamous asshole president (well, one of them at least).

However, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he makes it at least until 2008, until we have a chance to get this Insecure Ruling Dickhead out of office for good.

In the meantime, everyone should go check out NARAL Pro-Choice America's website and take some action to help prevent a Bushie wingnut from being appointed and taking away numerous civil liberties, including a women's right to choose.

because centuries of mass genocide just ain't enough

While this only specifically affects those in Central New York (and those on the Seneca-Cayuga reservation in Oklahoma), it's a dangerous precedent that this Second Circuit Court of Appeals is setting, and one that makes me rather nervous...

A bit of background:
The Cayuga Indian Nation of New York sued the State of New York in 1980, 25 years ago, for breach of treaty and illegal acquisition of tribal lands. After a long court battle, the Cayugas won their suit in 1994, receiving a $248 million land claim for 64,015 acres of tribal land in Seneca and Cayuga counties in central New York (along Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes).
The courts, in 1994, acknowledged that NY had indeed illegally seized these lands that were promised the Cayuga Nation in the (inevitably shafting) treaties the white folks made with the Native Americans way back when.

Since that court ruling, animosity between property owners and Native Americans has only grown, not least due to the "No Sovereign Nation" signs that line the main roads on both sides of the lake. There was even a sign I saw one day, driving up the west side of the lake, admonishing people for buying the tax-free gas and cigarettes on the reservation, basically saying it hurt businessowners and they were therefore no better than traitors. (And here's a picture of one such sign that some friends and I "borrowed" from a roadside one late night...)

On June 28th, a Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this decision, deciding that "too much time had lapsed between the alleged treaty breaches and the filing of the claim."
Problem #1 with this: Did they expect the Cayugas/other Native American tribes, who were being sent to Oklahoma and given blankets ridden with the smallpox virus and being killed off in what can only be described as a mass genocide, to argue with these people who were killing them in disgusting numbers? And even if they did argue, how could you expect the Native Americans to be well-versed enough in Euro-American law to be able to contest these treaties that shafted them, or to challenge their oppressors when the land promised to them in these already unfair treaties was stolen from them?
Now, I'm not trying to place the Cayugas or any Native Americans 200ish years ago in a helpless victim place, but really, when your people are being subjected to mass genocide by a people who are technologically more "advanced" than you (read: they can kill you quicker), you can't really do much to protest this.

And Problem #2 with this decision: The Court acknowledges that the land was illegally seized. NewsDay has a decent article that explains fairly well the background of this situation, as well as the court's reasonings and reactions from local Native American leaders and scholars.
Like this one, from Robert Odawi Porter, director of Syracuse University's Center for Indigenous Law: "I don't know how the circuit court could come to its conclusion. It's clearly an erroneous interpretation. Even the circuit court said there was no question New York ... took tribal lands illegally. The courts have to provide for some type of remedy."
But the courts don't intend to. At least, not this court.

Local and state lawmakers were, of course, praising the Second Circuit Court's decision.
Our lovely governor (who doesn't have a clue, but somehow continues to get elected...) George E. Pataki called the decision "a tremendous victory for the property owners and taxpayers of central New York." Ok, so I'm a lowly student who doesn't own property and only pays taxes through my measly paychecks, but I'm still a voting member of New York State, and I do not see this as a victory. I'll thank you not to speak for me, Georgie.
And state Senator Mike Nozollio (R-Seneca county), who I had the (dis)pleasure of meeting when I went to Albany to lobby for TAP money, "Today’s decision validates my strong belief that this land claim is unjust to our homeowners and should effectively end almost three decades of legal harassment perpetrated in the courts by this land claim. This is a total victory for our property owners.”
What about the fact that stealing land was, and is, unjust to the Cayuga Nation?

Isn't it enough that we intended to (and almost did) kill off these people, just because we perceived them as a "threat" and "intruders" on "our" land? Isn't it enough that we just barely teach our children about the violence we inflicted on them, talking mildly about the Trail of Tears, but not ever using that horrendous "g" word (genocide), which would put us on the same level as those crazy terrorists over in the Middle East? Do we still have to create so much animosity between these people and "our people" that we go to such lengths as to post signs explaining how they're taking away business with their tax-free cigarettes and cheap(er) gas?

So thank you, imperialism. And thank you, colonialism, for never letting your devastating effects fade into the past. There's nothing like a wound that keeps getting scraped open time and time again.

"real beauty" gettin' it on with capitalism

For a while now, I've been noticing the Dove "campaign for real beauty" commercials on TV*, and for a while, I've been struggling with how to react to them. On the one hand, I want to applaud Dove for stepping out of the waif-like-model-as-ideal mainstream marketing approach. On the other hand, though, it seems like there might be something wrong with tying capitalism and the drive to sell your product so closely with women's self-esteem and body image.
Capitalism and Ethics don't usually go hand-in-hand. More like hand-in-big-pointy-spike. (One guess as to which one's the spike.)

On the surface, the campaign looks pretty fabulous. The website has a pretty opening ad-like thing that states, "For too long, beauty has been defined by narrow, stifling stereotypes. You've told us it's time to change that."
And yes, I agree with that statement pretty wholeheartedly.
It even gets better from there; Dove has started the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which is supposed to act "as an agent of change to educate and inspire girls on a wider definition of beauty and to make them feel more confident about themselves." It acknowledges the devastating effects of low self-esteem, and even acknowledges that beauty and fashion media, through "beauty pressures," have a huge part in shaping girls' self-esteem.
The campaign also includes a Real Women Have Curves marketing campaign, as well as a celebrate-your-real-hair marketing ploy, and a space on the website where they're "creating an album based on real beauty" by having ordinary people submit photographs of themselves with little statements of what they think about beauty.

So yeah, it seems pretty fabulous, and very feminist and conscientious, especially as far as marketing campaigns go. When I first saw it, I was initially excited, and had this wave of hope rush through me -- maybe our classist, racist, sizeist, sexist, objectifying, capitalistic commercial system really could be changed. Yes, this was only one commercial, but it's all got to start somewhere, right?

But still, something doesn't feel right here.
So my mind goes back and forth, and back and forth...
Despite its surface good intentions, Dove is still capitalizing on women's insecurities about themselves and their bodies. Maybe it's ok, though, in this case, because it's capitalizing on the desire to change these insecurities.
Still, Dove's message is basically: "Are you like almost every other American woman/woman in a Westernized culture who is unsatisfied with your body? Do you want to love your body like these happy women on the screen? Buy Dove soap, and you'll love your body." Not only is it hardly that simple, but it's implying that the way to love your body and yourself is through participating in the capitalist system.
Is it one of those necessary evils, though? Take, for example, the LiveStrong bracelet craze. Millions of knockoffs were made, and some people refused to wear them because Lance Armstrong's original good intention was so corrupted by our opportunistic capitalist culture. But most of these knockoffs also went to charity; the Susan G. Komen Foundation's bracelet's proceeds went to the Komen Foundation, which funds all kinds of good breast cancer charity. Is it wrong to promote something through capitalism in order to get a much-needed message across?
And yeah, it's kind of a disgusting use of capitalism, and seeing capitalism and charity combine isn't exactly my idea of a perfect match, but is that the only way we can actually raise awareness about these important issues?

And is it really so bad, if it's getting women to 'love the skin they're in'? What's more - will it really work, if it's so combined with this message that the way to loving yourself is through capitalism? After all, "love the skin you're in" is just another used-up marketing slogan for some kind of body product that never raised awareness for "real beauty" or helped real women love themselves or their bodies any more.

Is it ok to use one corrupt system to help dismantle another? More, is it even possible, or are capitalism and the patriarchy's dictation of the physical ideal too intrinsically linked?

Any thoughts?

(Also see Lauren at feministe's take on the Dove Dilemma. She seems as undecided as I am with this whole situation, though.)

*Note: this link requires your computer to have macromedia flash player 7. If you don't have it, it provides a link to download it.)