Sexism: The mother of all 'isms'.

Sexism is the 'gateway 'ism'', that makes all other 'isms' possible.  It precedes all other forms of discrimination, setting the example that there are some people that view others as inferior and they use brutality upon them.  What I mean by that is that because our family and society models are built around the model of inequality, injustice and brutality - we accept that behavior as normal.  So, too is racism, classism, speciesism and any other oppression by one group toward another.  The behaviors of sexism are the behaviors of bullying, injustice, intolerance and cruelty.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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The World Would Be a Better Place if REDACTED Were the President-Elect

The world would be a better place if Nancy Kallitechnis were the president-elect.  Seriously.  Think about the issues she would dedicate herself to.

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NBC Picks 11th Consecutive White Male Host for MTP


Cross posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

After a long search that began when Meet the Press' ninth consecutive white male moderator, Tom Russert, died, now NBC has finally selected the white male moderator who will be the 11th consecutive white male moderator in the show's history.

Ironically, the show was created in 1947 by a woman, Martha Rountree, who then hosted the show until 1953.  Ever since 1953, however, when NBC has conducted a search for the best white man for the job, NBC has always succeeded in finding him.  (Of course I have no direct evidence that NBC has conducted searches exclusively for white men, and I am drawing this inference from the extraordinary coincidence that although white men are only 30% of American, they have nonetheless been more than 90% of Meet the Press moderators.

Moreover, Media Matters points out that:

. . . the top-rated Sunday show -- Meet the Press -- shows the least diversity of all. The NBC program is the most male and nearly the most white (Face the Nation beats it out by 1 percentage point), and it has the highest proportion of white males to all other guests. Media Matters

Media Matters points out that eight-five percent of guests on Meet the Press are men and eighty-nine percent are white.  Media MattersSo, it was about as likely that the new moderator would not be a white man as it was likely that Hawaii would be blanketed with six meters of snow at the height of the summer holidays.  On Meet the Press, white maleness is, statistically speaking, the gold standard, even though the show was created by a woman.  

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Lessons for a Facebook Generation.

Today several publications are reporting on this:

While another diary histrionically reported this, a very negative and flame-war discussion emerged.  Several commenters suggested that someone else diary this so that the MyDD community could discuss this in a more positive way - so here goes.

Question No. 58 in the transition team vetting document for the Obama White House asks that applicants: "Please provide the URL address of any websites that feature you in either a personal or professional capacity (e.g. Facebook, My Space, etc.)"

Question No. 63 asks that applicants "please provide any other information ... that could ... be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect."

For a while there this afternoon, President-elect Barack Obama's immensely talented chief speechwriter, 27-year-old Jon Favreau, might have been pondering how to address that question.

That's when some interesting photos of a recent party he attended -- including one where he's dancing with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of secretary of state-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and another where he's placed his hand on the cardboard former first lady's chest while a friend is offering her lips a beer -- popped up on Facebook for about two hours. The photos were quickly taken down -- along with every other photo Favreau had of himself on the popular social networking site, save for one profile headshot.

Asked about the photos, Favreau, who was recently appointed director of speechwriting for the White House, declined comment. A transition official said that Favreau had "reached out to Senator Clinton to offer an apology."

Favreau is not the first campaign aide whose online presence has proved awkward. Last March, John McCain aide Soren Dayton forwarded an anti-Obama YouTube video to his private Twitter feed linking Obama with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, leading to his suspension from the campaign. And in 2007, two bloggers hired by former North Carolina senator John Edwards stepped down after blog posts they had written before he hired them became a subject of controversy.

Favreau's case seems unlikely to be so dire; Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines cast the photos as evidence of increased bonhomie between the formerly rival camps.

"Senator Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon's obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application," he said in an e-mail.

To me this story is really kinda gross but also touches on an important issue.  

Namely that technology has changed everything.  I recently had a discussion about this phenomena with a colleague, whereby he explained that some of his staff had no problem posting lewd and unprofessional photos, etc on their Facebook pages even though they know that their boss could see/read them and are on their Friend list.  We debated whether or not this was a result of technology and if not caring about the implications of their actions was a generational thing.  

We went on to talk about how people born in 1990 and after do not know a world without the internet.  Which then changes how everything is done, from education to work.  For example - imagine a world never having to step in a library????

Anyway - this topic merits a fair discussion both in terms of the photo and the circumstances of its discovery.

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"We Are All Pakistani Women Now!"

In an article entitled "Equal share in land, property for women urged" by Sikander Shaheen in The Nation(Pakistan) details a campaign by ActionAid within Pakistan, urging equal property rights for women.  (ActionAid is an international anti-poverty organization that has been in operation for over 30 years.)

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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