Archive for November 2008

Vermonters, VPR, and Burton Snowboards   Leave a comment

The November 25th (2008) segment on Vermont Public Radio (VPR) featuring Donna and Jake Carpenter, founders of Burton Snowboards, was awkward and insincere, leaving this listener with the decidedly unfavorable impression that the
Carpenters do not want to fully apprehend why there is a controversy over these limited-edition snowboards. Both Donna and Jake Carpenter presented themselves as defensive, arrogant, and irresponsible. Worse, Donna Carpenter’s bumbling effort to revise Playboy images as subjective art forms is disingenuous. Soft porn or not, using sex or the promise thereof to sell snowboards works. They know it and we know it. Sexism, like racism, is insidious and difficult to negotiate. What might be useful is an analysis of the issue, with several perspectives, that connects the politics of sexism with sexual violence against women and men.

VPR exercised poor judgment in airing the segment. Donna Carpenter is a member of the VPR board, and she should recuse herself (and her husband) from such bold self-promotion and rationalization. Vermonters do not need VPR board members grabbing the microphone to justify regressive and unsophisticated rationalizations of the issue. That is
an abuse of public trust.

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Does gender identity politics play any role in the fashion industry? Is there such a thing as inclusive design? This week on Woman-Stirred Radio, Ben Silverstein, a merchandiser for the Italian design company Max Mara visits with Merry Gangemi to discuss the social and political representations of gender in fashion. We’ll explore the significance of culture, clothing, and notions of the body.

Ben Silverstein, 27, lives and works in New York City. A native of New Jersey, Ben brings an unjaundiced perspective to the conversation. He is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and travels extensively for Max Mara both within the continental U.S. and throughout Europe.

So join us, this Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 27th, for a fascinating discussion of gender and fashion. Interview begins at 4:15.

Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR 91.1 fm and online at wgdr.org every Thursday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. (eastern), with interviews and music; plus weekly commentaries from British writer Nicki Hastie and guest commentaries from Julie R. Enszer, and Jan Steckel. Our assistant producers are Lisa Harris (scheduling) and Sassafras Lowrey (social networking). Our intern is Mikhael Yowe, an IBA student at Goddard College.

Woman-Stirred Radio is funded in part by the Samara Foundation of Vermont, a non-profit, Burlington-based foundation that seeks to improve the quality of life for Vermont’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens. Click on the link to find out more about Samara Foundation and its programs.

Kepp Abortion Legal: No Exceptions. No Apologies.   Leave a comment

Keep Abortion Legal. No exceptions. No apologies

The Coat Hanger Project is a documentary that analyzes the pro-choice/reproductive justice movement at a time when the first generation of men and women who have never known illegal abortion are coming into power and awareness.

The Coat Hanger Project director, Angie Young visits with Merry Gangemi and Woman-Stirred Radio today, Thursday, November 20th at 4:15 (EST), for an in depth discussion of the project and the current political and social climate that informs it.

Interview begins at 4:15.

Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR 91.1 fm and online at wgdr.org every Thursday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. (eastern), with interviews and music; plus commentaries from British writer Nicki Hastie and guest commentaries from Julie R. Enszer, and Jan Steckel. Our assistant producers are Lisa Harris (scheduling) and Sassafras Lowrey (social networking). Our intern is Mikhael Yowe, an IBA student at Goddard College.

Woman-Stirred Radio is funded in part by the Samara Foundation of Vermont, a non-profit, Burlington-based foundation that seeks to improve the quality of life for Vermont’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens. Click on the link to find out more about Samara Foundation and its programs.

Phobias are not the Word of God   Leave a comment

Proposition 8. Wow. In California no less. What happened? Why would anyone who professes to enjoy the love of God and Jesus spend so much money and work so hard to deny queer Americans the right to marry? And who among the legions of American Christians is finally going to stand up and say “STOP!” ?

Religious fundamentalism, biblical world views, simple bigotry and complex hatred. These are fast congealing into an unfortunate legacy for the religious right. History will note the role that American christians played in propagating discrimination because discrimination and bigotry always implodes on the individuals and groups that try to sustain it. The historical record bears this out from slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, the internment of Japanese Americans, Joe McCarthy, Little Rock, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Matthew Shepard, and every instance in which some divinely inspired preacher decides that his phobias are the Word of God.

When will the The legions of Christians, who continue to support policies and politics that deny equal rights and which violate every principle Jesus taught, decide enough is enough?

Heterosexuality, as defined by the religious right, is not the only performative along the spectrum of sexual identities. It is the dominant paradigm, not the right paradigm.

It’s time that the Silent Minorities within American religious communities stood up to the bigotry that James Dobson and his fellows promote. And it’s time religious leaders and elected officials, from Billy Graham to the president-elect, get off their knees and do the right thing. Stop postponing equal rights for queer Americans.

Posted 11/11/2008 by Merry Gangemi in Uncategorized

Voting in America   Leave a comment

The scenes are unbelievable! Lines of Americans waiting hour upon hour to do what is, in the American consciousness, a fundamental act of citizenship– voting. This is another engineered fiasco and a gross failure of our governments–local and national.

Delays and lines at polling places are the systematic and mean-spirited game of disenfranchisement that has been evident in every Bush election—and this election seems to be no different. It is another Rovian scenario playing out loud for all to see.

One can only imagine what swing state is going to join the ranks of Florida and Ohio as the key to the kingdom.

That our governments cannot organize an orderly national election is a disgrace. There is no excuse, but I imagine there are motives.

Continual malfeasance and intentional electoral incompetency is another poll tax of sorts, if one realizes how many Americans are paid–hourly. Who can afford to give up 4 or 5 or more hours of pay to stand in line? Certainly not the working poor or the middle class.

Election Day should be a national holiday. Open those polls up for 24 hours–they do it at McDonald’s–and give all Americans the opportunity to participate in democracy.

Posted 03/11/2008 by Merry Gangemi in Uncategorized