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Friday, November 30, 2007

"Mis"Leaders in the fight Against HIV: World AIDs Day Edition

Saturday, December 1st is Worlds AIDs day when millions of people worldwide come together to commemorate those we have lost and celebrate the gains we have made in the struggle against HIV/AIDs.

Playing off of the 2007 World AIDs Day theme of "leadership", we thought we'd put up some of our favorite quotes from some of the great "mis"leaders in the fight against AIDs.

Who better to start with than Rev. Falwell:


"Aids is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

— Jerry Falwell, US televangelist, 1991.


"Are they taking DDT?"

FormerVice President Dan Quayle asking doctors at a Manhattan AIDS clinic about their treatments of choice, Apr. 30, 1992 (as reported in Esquire, Aug., 1992 and the New York Post, early May, 1992)


"Antiretrovirals, they're quite dangerous. They're poison actually. We cannot allow our people to take something so dangerous that it will actually exterminate them. However well meaning, the hazards of misplaced compassion could lead to genocide." "Peter Mokaba, Youth Leader of the ANC, New York Times, March 31, 2002


"And remember, back then in the '80s, one of the accompanying -- there -- there -- there -- there was a lot of fear-mongering going on around -- about AIDS, as a lot of people were scared about it. And one of the things that -- that the -- the AIDS activists said regularly back then was, oh, this is only a matter of time before it spreads to the heterosexual community. It's only a matter of time. And they used that as -- as one of the weapons to try to get people like Reagan to start talking about it from their standpoint. And of course it -- it hasn't. It -- it didn't, and it hasn't, other than in Africa, and in Africa it is -- it is being spread not just by -- it -- it -- it's promiscuity that -- that -- that spreads this, if you want to know the truth. It's promiscuity. But it -- it hasn't made that jump to the heterosexual community.

- Rush Limbaugh: Jun 9, 2004 LIMBAUGH show:

To find out more about how people worldwide are celebrating World AIDs Day, check out the World Aids Campaign site

To learn more about organizations doing great things in the field of HIV/AIDs, click here and here and here


Trans Bachelorette Gets Her Shot at Love

Producers, ever trying to reel in new audiences, continue to add new twists to the dating competition format. The latest is a transsexual MTF who is looking for love among eight eligible bachelors. The show will premiere in February on Logo.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

xmas 2007: no gay nutcrackers allowed

Looking for something to get that slightly homophobic friend who has everything?

Well, look no further! Stupid.com, a novelty toy site, is now offering a talking Larry Craig doll for the 2007 holiday season.

Press his button (ha ha) and hear the Republican Party's favorite scapegoat declare, "I am Not Gay!"

And for the misogynistic politico on your list, don't forget the Hillary Nutcracker. I know a few people who could have a ball (or two) with one of those.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Planned Parenthood Golden Gate holding t-shirt contest

Design Planned Parenthood Golden Gate's new t-shirt and win an iPhone! Yup, it's that easy. Better get right on it - the deadline is December 31st.

Planned Parenthood Golden Gate is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the national Planned Parenthood. Both organizations are on the front lines of the fight for a woman's right to choose, birth control access, and sexual literacy. The Golden Gate chapter is dear to our hearts here at the NSRC because, like them, we're based in the Bay Area.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Is Bitch Always Bitchy?

For those who don’t follow the US presidential campaign or watch The View, Hillary Clinton is the new (and, evidently, the only) “bitch” to beat come 2008: At a campaign event this past Monday, republican candidate Senator John McCain was put to task when a female audience member asked the Senator, “How do we beat the bitch?” Since then, everyone from the media to the general blogging public (present company included) has been debating the term, as well as McCain’s response to the not so subtle remark. To his credit, McCain did his best to brush off the remark and proceeded as eloquently as possible, a slight nervous chuckle notwithstanding. Nonetheless, people are divided on whether or not McCain did all that he could, and many are calling the presidential hopeful sexist for not doing more to defend Hillary’s “bitch” status. Personally, I don’t believe the senator is to blame for the comments of another. What I do find interesting, though, is the seeming public consensus surrounding the word’s merits, with most people agreeing that the term, when used to describe a woman – particularly by a man (or in McCain’s case, a man merely listening to another woman calling a woman a bitch) – is akin to denying a woman’s right to vote, (never mind run for President.) While I do agree with this newfound definition and societal self-reflection of sorts, I can’t help but feel slightly on edge regarding my rights to the word. Does the ban on bitch extend to “bisnatch,” and all the other pet names my girlfriends and I use with such affection? Is “Yo bitch, waddup?” no longer an acceptable greeting or voicemail message? Have we gone too far? Or more to the point, is “bitch” necessarily bitchy?


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tyra Banks: America's Next Top Sex Educator?

I must admit that one of my guilty pleasures right now is 'America's Next Top Model.' (Yes, my life is that boring).

I'm not proud of this, but, there is just something so joy-inducing about gorging on carbs and full calorie beer while watching 19 year old waifs get into bitch fights. I love the dramatic goofiness of Tyra and watching the slightly awkward (and endearing) Miss Jay show those little girls how to work it on the runway.

Though I love ANTM, as us real fans refer to it, I had never seen the Tyra Banks Show. So I have to thank YouTube and Perez Hilton (another guilty pleasure) for leading me to this amazing clip from a show devoted to women's health with Tyra's special guest...the Vulva Puppet.

Check it out:

Top that Oprah!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Public Health Officials 'Just Don't Understand'

The New York Times had a mildly interesting article yesterday about how public health officials are looking into hip-hop to figure out the sex lives of youth. Apparently, after watching one too many 50 Cent videos on MTV 2, someone finally decided that it must be that darn rap music that's prompting kids to 'get jiggy with it' these days. I mean hip hop's only been around, what, 30 years now?

So after joining young women and men on many a hip hop dance floor and using a yardstick to measure the distance between teens genitals while they danced, researchers were able to make some important conclusions. The main being that hip hop does not cause kids to fornicate like rabbits! In fact, "the overt sexuality of the music and dancing was not the main influence on sexual behavior. Rather it was the old standbys of alcohol, drugs and peer pressure that typically led them into sexual encounters."

And folks, it didn't stop there! They also found that if you talk to teens using their own 'hip hop vernacular', they actually understand you better! "The language of hip-hop also may in fact be a more effective way to communicate with teenagers." No shiznit!

As a public health wannabe (MPH '08 baby!), I'm a little concerned by this study, are we really that far behind? I understand teens seem like they're from another planet, but last time I checked they were human, just like us. Maybe if we gave them a little more credit and comprehensive education about sexuality, they could become empowered independent thinkers.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Feminists do it better


Busting stereotypes that peg feminists as man-haters, a new study shows that having a feminist partner is linked with healthier, more romantic heterosexual relationships.

Apparently, having equality in a relationship leads to a better sex-life. I love when my personal values are born out by science.

This raises the more fundamental question - should science be used to confirm your values?


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Romney: The only good gay parent is a dead gay parent

That is not exactly what he said, but it is too close for my comfort. The British Pinknews reported these words from Romney:

I believe that maintaining the strength of the marriage relationship, the family relationship, is critical to the strength of an entire society," he said, according to Rocky Mountain News.

And I believe that the development of children is enhanced by having a male and a female as part of their upbringing in their home.

Even when there's a divorce, you still have a mom and a dad.

And even where one member of the partnership may pass away, the memory and the characteristics of that gender, of that partner influence the development of a child.

I'm in favour of promoting, as a society, the marriage of men and women and the development of children in that kind of setting.

I am sure that when your father dies, what you remember most about him is that above all he was a man and the one who is left with you is a woman. I mean, we focus on the important things when we lose a parent.

What more can I say. The man who courted the gay community when he ran for the Senate in 1994 is now bashing that community when that suits him. Someone so opportunistic will do anything, and will literally, as the Dutch say, run over corpses to get what he wants.


Gender and Hillary's candidacy

Digby, one of the smartest political minds on the left, has an excellent post about gender in presidential contests and particularly around Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination. Hillary's been getting a ton of flack in the pundit world for 'playing the gender card' during a speech to her all-women alma mater Wellesley College.

An excerpt from Digby's post here:

Every presidential candidate, and most other politicians, since 1980, have been bowing and scraping before this constituency. But for some reason, the hunting trips and codpieces and brush clearing and all that metaphorical crotch measuring isn't considered playing "the gender card." It's just considered the normal political pander to an aggrieved minority vote: the poor white males who've been treated terribly by all those powerful women and minorities and gays. What could be wrong with that?

I'm sorry, but this is truly sexist crap. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are out there one upping each other on who will be the most macho sadists among the crowd of warring GOP thugs. Hillary goes to her alma mater and says that her education at the women's college prepared her to do battle with the political boys club and the gasbags' eyes roll back in their heads and they start drooling and whining that she's she's broken the rules.

Well boo fucking hoo. The rules are changing. Get used to it.

This is right on. Gender plays a central role in every election. But now a candidate wants to use her femininty to advance her candidacy instead of manliness, the punditocracy flips out. Just another indication of the long road ahead of any candidacy operating outside the normal phallis measuring framework.