Thursday, March 13, 2008


This is post #51 and Winifred has still failed to login herself and share these things with the web. Just sayin'. It's been a gender discriminatory two weeks, and I've been an aggressive monger this week. So have the other Quimbys, and my inbox is bursting with material to share.

Let's start with my most recent e-mail from Winifred. She wants us to check out and read Marlo Thomas and Julia Reed's responses to yesterday's Question of the Day (Should Silda Spitzer Stand By Her Man?)

wowOwow is a "website created, run and written by Lesley Stahl, Peggy Noonan, Liz Smith, Joni Evans, Mary Wells, Sheila Nevins, Joan Juliet Buck, Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Reed, Joan Ganz Cooney, Judith Martin, Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, and Marlo Thomas." It launched last Saturday. I'm not so keen on Whoopi but I'll hold my breath that this doesn't go downhill. I'm all for women on the internet, and hey guess what! I'll get to that next.

Here's what Marlo has to say:
It is her decision whether she wants to stand by him in the long run — but for God’s sake — why must these women have to stand next to them when they confess their sins?

I really didn’t mean it to be funny. I think it’s painful to see these women, time and time again be dragged out to these press conferences to stand there by their man. I’d think more of Spitzer and any man who refused to make his wife stand there in humiliation with him.

and Julia:
I can’t imagine Silda staying with her husband after so public a humiliation, but she wouldn’t be the first woman to do it. Just last July, when Louisiana Senator, David Vitter, was caught in almost the same situation, his wife — another attractive, highly intelligent, auburn-haired lawyer — stood with him by the press conference podium in a photo that looks exactly like the one today on the front page of the New York Times. So far, Wendy Vitter is still standing by her man and he is still in the Senate, but either of these women are made of far sterner stuff than I…or they are nuts. I still remember the awful stone face of Lee Hart in the wake of Donna Rice, and Silda’s face was heart-breaking. She was just so obviously thrown. As Candice said, Bill Clinton’s philandering did not come out of left field like this. And whatever bizarre pact the Clintons may have, Hillary has her reasons for sticking it out. I would have a far more difficult time, especially since these guys are not just unfaithful, but so arrogant. Gary Hart went so far as to challenge the press to follow him, and then he led them right to the monkey business. Did Eliott Spitzer honestly think he would never be outed as client number nine?

Okay, I lied. I can't hold back from wowOwow. I just. Can't. Do. It. The website includes a piece titled, "PRINCESS DIANA! Remember Her?"Liz Smith alleges, claims, and shouts that America has forgotten Princess Diana and that her former lover, Dr. Hasnat Khan, has gone unheard in American media ("And nobody stateside seems to have printed what this man said.") REALLY? BECAUSE EVERYWHERE I TURN HIS CLAIMS ARE REPEATED. Smith doesn't expound on The Pill (hopes dashed) but how we've "forgotten" Diana in the Democratic nominee goings-on and Spitzer scandal. Smith, I've got a tip for you: Turn on E! Check Google headlines. I promise you'll change your mind. What's your point, anyway, Smith? You've only regurgitated what Khan has said. And Khan's testimony was more than a week ago. Okay. Done now, really.


This season's issue of Bitch arrived in the mail this week and its theme is "THE WIRED ISSUE" (just in time for me to exasperate over dumbed down websites 'run by women for women') and details "blog bandits" among other tech-related stuff. Charlotte gave me a subscription last year, and it has brought me endless joy because the thing about Bitch is that it tends to arrive when I've found I can take no more from the masses. I find solace knowing that other women are as fed up as I am.
Yet issue #39's "Wack Attack" by Jaclyn Friedman addresses an issue I can't (and luckily haven't had to) relate to (yet). Addressing "blogging while female," gender bias on the internet, and the overwhelming amount of power handed to men in control of the internet, Friedman includes several resources for avoiding and supporting one's words on the internets, so I've added them to The Gospel's links. (And, oh yeah, we're part of BlogHer.)
...So I want to like wowOwow but it looks like it just won't work for me. It's not you, it's me, and I'm sure Winifred will have more she wants to share in the future.


First: The Vatican has released new sins. I love to sin, so I love to know that my inability to recycle in the apartment (bad habits die hard, I guess) or accept my college's graduation pledge (it's just not your business, degree dispersers) can add more sinful delight to my daily life. That was tongue-in-cheek. Honest. A thorough discussion has been shared by e-mail by the family, but I think Charlotte summarizes everyone's feelings accurately. She wrote, last night:
I have been considering the "new sins." As it turns out, this is just one guy's opinion and not actual policy, but it was telling nonetheless. I am encouraged by the emphasis on the effects of one's actions on others, but why are these specific sins mentioned? It seems that those who bear social responsibility are still disproportionately female.

I also think that it is insane to single out drug use as a sin in general, much less as a mortal sin. Do caffeine and Ritalin count? Was Frank McCourt's father sinning by indulging in alcohol, or was his sin the neglect of his family? Is it a sin to have a mental illness? Why aren't owners of gambling establishments, pimps, or sellers of alcohol mentioned instead? Is this really about targeting pleasure yet again?

I liked this from the BBC: "Father Gerald O'Collins, former professor of moral theology at the Papal University in Rome, and teacher of many of the Catholic Church's current top Cardinals and Bishops, welcomed the new catalogue of modern sins. 'I think the major point is that priests who are hearing confessions are not sufficiently attuned to some of the real evils in our world,' he told the BBC News website. 'They need to be more aware today of the social face of sin - the inequalities at the social level. They think of sin too much on an individual level. I think priests who hear confession should have a deeper sense of the violence and injustice of such problems - and the fact that people collaborate simply by doing nothing. One of the original deadly sins is sloth - disengagement and not getting involved,' Father O'Collins said."

I particularly like that this priest focused on priests' responsibilities toward their parishioners, who should, as Deacon Manley says, be exercising their consciences rather than obeying a catalogue of mortal and venial sins. It is absolutely time for an honest examination of the intersection of individual freedom (and moral agency) and social responsibility. I take comfort in the idea that there are at least two priests who care about the divide between rich and poor. I do wonder what the definition of "poverty" is -- vis a vis, say, Mother Teresa and her views. Is it still okay for nuns and mothers to be poor? Will the Vatican share some of its "excessive wealth" to feed those who heed its warnings against "bioethical" sin? Or are they still receiving "graces" in return for their suffering?

Charlotte used to live in New York. In fact, I've told people that she's "from New York" even though she was raised in the same house that Emily and I were. She's more devastated than I am, and I'm embroiled in my own drama, preventing me from really getting involved.

I am so disgusted by Spitzer. I had been telling people how great he was for years. What a load of CRAP about testosterone. The problem here is not hormonal. It is entitlement to women as products -- as of today's tawdry revelations, we know that he saw them as products whose lives were of no import to him. Clearly the feds are lying about how they caught him, but he knew that there were incredibly powerful people after him -- including "Tammany" Joe Bruno and the entire Bush administration -- and he goes to the Mayflower?? Ugh. I would like to know when we can expect David Vitter's resignation as well.

Also -- Geraldine Ferraro cannot really be that clueless. Why is she making things worse??
Why, Geraldine, why?
Winifred is disappointed that he had to "import" women from DC. (If Winifred had to pick a home-away-from-North Dakota, she'd pick the District.) I've called her three times today about this post, and forgotten each time to ask what she thinks about Dragging These Women Through the Mud with him. So I'll go out on a limb and assume. (Deep breath.) It's not really our business, and while I think it's important to cover every corner of a story, I don't think it was in the best interest of my campus newspaper to report about Spitzer's clients, and I don't think it's anyone's business what these women look like, what they do, how old they are, and what their myspaces say. He did something illegal. They did too, but prostitution isn't really a woman's career goal and maybe it's better to help women then lambaste them for their choices. BUT MAYBE THAT'S JUST ME.

Is coming later. It's good. I promise. Charlotte said I had to share, and I typically do whatever she says.

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