Monday, August 22, 2005
What We Need to Know Today
So I was watching the end of Meet the Press yesterday. Tim Russert is off on vacation and David Gregory subbed. The last panel focused on the Iraqi Constiution and Reuel Marc Gerecht who is the Director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute had a doozy to say about the importance of women's rights in the creation of the Iraqi constitution.
"I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective."
Women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy? Aren't women's rights essential to the creation of a democracy? What the fuck is he talking about and how did this idiot get on Meet the Press?
Supreme Court Watch
Last week's document dump has revealed some more disturbing news about our new justice to be.
"John Roberts scoffed at the notion of elevating Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to chief justice as a way to close a political gender gap, calling it a 'crass political consideration.'
Why is it always the quiet white guys who always inflict the most damage.
- It hasn't gotten any better for women and girls in Afghanistan. According to a new UN Population Fund report nearly half of all marriages in Afghanistan are thought to involve girls under age 16. The report also states that girls as young as six years old are married off by their families and traded to resolve conflicts between tribal families.
- Women will for the first time be deployed on the front lines in the Australian army, but not in direct combat. So they can get close to the battlefield, just not on it.
- Ellen Goodman on the most visible peace activist, Cindy Sheehan.
More Magazine, targeted to women in their 40s has grown from its launch subscriber base of 320,000 in 1998 to 1.1 million today. I'm almost 40 and I read More, the stories are so much more worthy of my time than the other women's mags like Glamour and Self.
Latasha Byears was a dominant physical inside presence during her years on the Sacramento Monarchs and LA Sparks, but an accusation of sexual assualt (she was never arrested or charged) that lingered for two years ended her career in the WNBA. One of the taboo issues related to her firing and that has made her poison for other teams is her sexuality.
The WNBA, which has a huge lesbian audience, still tries to keep the lesbian players in the closet. Its interesting to note that at the same time Byears was cut by the Sparks, the same organization supported another player accused of sexual assualt- Kobe Bryant.
A rare major study of sports sections in American newpapers, was released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, concluding that they are a "passive and reactive space, one dominated by game previews and recaps with little room for enterprise reportage."
It also finds very little coverage of women's sports, few women sources, and very few female sports writers. Female athletes were the main figures in stories only 5% of the time, female teams only 3% (compared to 33% for men's teams).
The study of more than 2,000 articles in 16 newspapers of varying sizes last year found that 88% of the stories revolved around “planned events” with 70% of that total related to actual games. Newsroom-initiated stories or enterprise pieces made up only 10% of the total, and this lack extends to all papers, big and small, right up to USA Today and The New York Times.
It also found that the big three sports (baseball, basketball and football) made up a full 65% of the stories covered on the front pages. Sports “issues” made up less than 4% of stories.
BOX SCORES AND BYLINES
Women still face bias in science.