Keep Your Deeply Held Religious Beliefs Off My Body

June 25, 2018

After giving birth to her first child, Nicole Mone Arteaga suffered a number of miscarriages. When she recently became pregnant again, her doctor monitored her carefully on a weekly basis; at 9 weeks, however, she learned that, tragically, the baby was not developing, that there was no heartbeat, and that the pregnancy would not result in a live birth. She was offered the option of an invasive surgical procedure or a prescription medication that would allow her to resolve the pregnancy at home, and which was likely less expensive and less medically risky. She discussed the matter with her physician, who ultimately issued an prescription for an “abortion drug.”

Ms. Arteaga did not want an “abortion,” and this pregnancy was no longer viable – no beating heart, no living fetus. She was heartbroken, because she had wanted this baby very much. But since there was nothing else to be done, she went to Walgreen’s to fill the prescription, aware that it would induce painful uterine contractions that would cause her body to expel a pregnancy she desperately wished to keep.

When she went to collect her prescription from Walgreen’s, the pharmacist on duty refused to fill it because of his “deeply held religious beliefs.” He expressed those “deeply held religious beliefs” to Ms. Arteaga, in front of other store customers and Ms. Arteaga’s 7 year old son. Ms. Aretaga attempted to explain her situation to him, but the pharmacist refused to budge.

Eventually, Ms. Arteaga was able to fill her prescription at another Walgreen’s store and then went home to complete her miscarriage. Walgreen’s has commented that, under Arizona law (and that of five other states), a pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription when doing so would violate “deeply held religious beliefs,” but that the pharmacist must then step away and allow the prescription to be filled by another employee. That did not happen in this case, and Walgreen’s was appropriately apologetic to Ms. Arteaga for the conduct of its employee.

Everything I just wrote is a fact.

Here’s my take:

The pharmacist in this story thought his right to live his “deeply held religious beliefs” was more important than Ms. Arteaga’s right to fill a legal prescription ordered by a medical doctor.

He believed that his “deeply held religious beliefs” entitled him to violate Walgreen’s policy and Arizona law.

He believed that he had a right to impose his “deeply held religious beliefs” upon a customer who, through no fault of her own, was in need of a prescription medication.

He believed that his refusal to serve a customer who was understandably distraught over losing a pregnancy was consistent with his “deeply held religious beliefs,” none of which, it would seem, include the value of compassion.

He believed that HIS interpretation of his “deeply held religious beliefs” required Ms. Arteaga to, oh, I don’t know, continue the pregnancy until it ultimately terminated itself, with whatever medical risk that may have involved.

It is bad enough that this moron determined that his “deeply held religious beliefs” trumped Ms. Arteaga’s own motives, ethics and values – about which he made unfounded and inaccurate assumptions; what’s equally atrocious is that he also attempted to override the professional judgment of her physician.

Last time I checked, pharmacists don’t hold medical degrees. They don’t examine their customers, take medical histories, lay hands on them, or have discussions with them about treatment options.

Do they have to know something aboue medicine and physiology? Of course. But they aren’t physicians, and this particular pharmacist did not know whether or not there may have been extenuating circumstances which would have ruled out a D & C or a natural conculsion to the pregnancy because, guess what?


I find it outrageous that this pharmacist thought his “deeply held religious beliefs” entitled him to override not only the judgment of someone who had ACTUALLY BEEN TO MEDICAL SCHOOL, but also to determine that it was his right to decide for Ms. Arteaga how she should deal with her dead fetus. That she, too, may have had “deeply held religious beliefs” about abortion was something he apparently never considered, nor, apparently, did it trouble him that shis prescription was not being filled for the purpose of terminating a viable pregnancy (thought it was none of his business in the first place whether it was or not) but, rather, to bring to a final conclusion what had already happened.

It is outrageous that some in this country believe that their “deeply held religious beliefs” are morally superior to the “deeply held beliefs” of those who may not agree with them.

It is outrageous that those same people believe that their “deeply held religious beliefs” entitle them make decisions for the rest of the world, including by refusing them access to healthcare.

This country was founded upon the principals of religious freedom, including the freedom to espouse viewpoints different from those purportedly held by some asshole pharmacist working at Walgreen’s.

And guess what else? Just because you call them “deeply held religious beliefs” doesn’t mean that I have to bow to them, or that they’re “right.” It just means that they’re yours.

I’ve never had a miscarriage, but I know plenty of women who have. Most of them were extremely excited to learn that they were pregnant, did everything they could to maximize the chances for a healthy pregnancy, and were heartbroken when they learned that the pregnancy had terminated. Those who miscarried spontaneously have described the pain and the emotional trauma of their experiences, which for many required them to retrieve the “products of conception” and deliver them to their doctors in order to make sure the miscarriage was complete.

Others learned that their pregnancy was over on the ultrasound table, and were sent home to await the miscarriage or undergo a painful medical procedure which has risks of its own. I don’t know which would be worse. What I do know is that each and every woman who has ever told me about a miscarriage – whether she has gone on to have more or other children – was deeply traumatized to lose a baby she very much wanted to parent, and the pain is still there even years later.

Bottom line, Mr. Walgreen’s Pharmacist? Ms. Arteaga came to you for a prescription she never wanted to have to fill, knowing from past experience that the process awaiting her after she took said medication would be painful and traumatic. Your response was to get up on your deeply held religious high horse, buttressed by the smug self-satisfaction of someone who has exactly ZERO understanding of what is like to be pregnant, or to lose a child to miscarriage.

Because I was curious, I looked up whether or not pharmacists take an oath with regard to the discharging of their duties; turns out, they do, and it includes, as the very first item, way at the tippy top of the list, the following:

“I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.”

Looks like, in addition to Walgreen’s policy and Arizona law, this guy also violated his oath as a pharmacist. I guess the “welfare of humanity” and the “relief of suffering” are irrelevant in the face of one’s “deeply held religious beliefs.”

I also guess that those “deeply held religious beliefs” do not include the basic concept of “don’t be a fucking asshole.”

On Being A Feminist

October 10, 2017

Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you are “angry inside,” but it may mean you get angry when you see people treated differently based upon their gender, skin color, or ethnicity.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate an appropriate acknowledgment of some aspect of your character, but it may mean you don’t like it when random men on the street provide feedback about your boobs.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean you don’t lead a “normal life,” but it may mean that you understand that “normal” may be different for other people, and that everyone should find out what “normal” means for them.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you aren’t moral, but it may mean that you appreciate and respect that others may have different values than you do.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you hate men, although it may mean that you prefer a woman as sexual partner.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean you sleep with every man or woman you meet, but it may mean that you are comfortable exploring your sexuality in a mature and thoughtful way.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you are always on the look out for oppression, but it may mean that you are sensitive to situations in which someone is being evaluated or treated differently because of their gender, ethnicity, race, or religion.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you “won’t raise a family,” but it may mean that you do a lot of thinking about when and whether having children is something you are ready and able to do well.

It also may mean recognizing that the definition of “family” doesn’t necessarily mean getting married to a man and having and raising biological children with him.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to have short hair, a bold look, or a confrontational facial expression. It may mean that you don’t buy into to societal norms about what constitutes feminine beauty, or that being physically pleasing to men may not be the most important thing on your list of priorities.

Being a feminist also means that you probably don’t make broad generalities about others based upon a staggering misunderstanding about what “feminism” actually means.

If you think about it, being a feminist pretty much means that you advocate that women not be treated differently from men – in the home, workplace, and society in general – simply because they have different body parts.

In fact, being a feminist pretty much means not being an asshole. Which is more than I can say for the person who created this meme.

The List

Updated 12/15/17


Donald Trump (45th President)

Bill Clinton (42nd President)

George H.W. Bush (41st President)

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)

Rep. Blake Fahrenholt (R-Texas)

Don Shooter, Arizona House

Raul Bocanegra, California Assemblyman

Tony Mendoza, California Senate

Steve Lebsock, Colorado House

Paul Rosenthal, Colorado House

Randy Baumgartner, Colorado Senate

Jack Tate, Colorado Senate

Jack Latvala, Florida Senate

Ira Silverstein, Illinois Senate

Dan Kirby, Kansas Senate

Jeff Hoover, Kentucky House

Dan Johnson, Kentucky House

Julian Carroll, Kentucky Senate

Tony Cornish, Minnesota House

Dan Schoen, Minnesota Senate

Joshua Peters, Missouri House

John Diehl, Speaker, Missouri House

Paul LeVota, Missouri Senate

Eric Schleien, New Hamphire House

Mark Menendo, Nevada Senate

Ruben Kihuen, Nevada Senate

Cliff Hite, Ohio Senate

Wes Goodman, Ohio House

Will Fourkiller, Oklahoma House

Ralph Shortey, Oklahoma Senate

Bryce Marlatt, Oklahoma Senate

David Gomberg, Oregon House

Jeff Kruse, Oregon Senate

Matthew Wollman, South Dakota House

Brian Gosch, South Dakota House

Mark Lovell, Tennessee House

Jeremy Durham, Tennessee House

Brendan Williams, Washington House

Clarence Thomas, United States Supreme Court

Roy Moore (Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Alabama; former member of Alabama Supreme Court)

Alex Kozinski, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Andrew Capone, New York State Court

Rafael Ovalles, Rhode Island State Court

Thomas Estes, Massachusetts State Court

Richard Roberts, Federal Court

Ronald Duebbert, Illinois State Court

Hassan El-Amin, Maryland State Court

Timothy Parker, Arkansas State Court

George W. Huss, Montana State Court

John Caruso, Connecticut State Court

Bob Filner, Former Mayor of San Diego



Harvey Weinstein, Producer

Roy Price, Producer, Amazon Studios

Andrew Kreisberg, Television Producer

Peter Aalbaek Jensen, Producer

Gary Goddard, Producer

Adam Fields, Producer

Morgan Spurlock, Producer

Matthew Weiner, Television Producer

John Lassiter, PIXAR

Chris Savino, Creator, “The Loud House”

Matt Weiner, Creator, “Mad Men”

Roman Polanski, Director

Lars Von Trier, Director

Oliver Stone, Director

James Toback, Director

Brett Ratner, Director

Kevin Spacey, Actor

Ben Affleck, Actor

George Takei, Actor

Jeremy Piven, Actor

Casey Affleck, Actor

Ed Westwick, Actor

Jeffrey Tambour, Actor

Steven Seagall, Actor

Andy Dick, Actor

Dustin Hoffman, Actor

Richard Dreyfuss, Actor

Tom Sizemore, Actor

Garrison Keillor, Host, “A Prairie Home Companion,” NPR

Louis CK, Comedian

Bill Cosby, Comedian

Eddie Berganza Editor at DC Comics

Kirt Webster, Publicist

David Guillod, Agent

Carter Oosterhouse, HGTV



Russell Simmons, Music Producer

R. Kelly, Musician/Rapper

Matt Mondanile, Real Estate, Duck Tails

Alex Calder, Singer/Songwriter

Ethan Kath, Crystal Castles

Twiggy Ramirez, Marilyn Manson

Nelly, Musician/Rapper

The Gaslamp Killer, D/J and Producer

Heathcliff Beru , Music Publicist



Terry Richardson

Bruce Weber



Benjamin Genocchio, Artist

Israel Horovitz, Playwright

James Levine, Conductor, Metropolitan Opera of New York



Roger Ailes, Fox News

Bill O’Reilly, Fox News

Mark Halprin, MSNBC

Charlie Rose, CBS/PBS/Bloomberg

Glenn Thrush, New York Times

Ryan Lizza,The New Yorker

Michael Oreskes, NPR

Tavis Smiley, PBS

Hamilton Fish, The New Republic

Rick Najera, Diversity Showcase (CBS)

Knight Landesman, Artforum

Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic

Lockhart Steele, Vox Media

Ken Baker, E! News

Andy Signore, Defy Media

Stephen Blackwell, Billboard Magazine

Roger LaMay, NPR

Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone

Matt Zimmerman, NBC

Jimmy Soni, Huffington Post

Giuseppe Castellano, Penguin Random House

Matt Lauer, Anchor, “The Today Show,” NBC

Tom Ashbrook, Host, “On Point,” NPR


Warren Sapp, Former NFL Player, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Eric Weinberger, President, Bill Simmons Media Group

Marshall Faulk, Former NFL Player, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Ike Taylor, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Heath Evans, NFL Network On-Air Analyst

Gregg Zaun, Television Analyst, MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Eric Davis

Warren Moon, Former NFL player and Radio Analyst for the Seattle Seahawks

Donovan McNabb, former NFL Quarterback

Jamie Horowitz, Former President of Fox Sports



John Besch

Bobby Flay

Mario Batali

Johnny Iuzzini

Ken Friedman



Steve Jurvetson (Business/Venture Capital)

Larry Nasser, US Gymnastics Doctor

To All Women Who Still Don’t Need Feminism

So some idiot posted a meme on Facebook that compares life “before feminism” with “life after feminism.” It goes something like this:

• Before feminism, women were long-haired, modest, happy, moral, faithful creatures who had boyfriends, “normal lives” and the willingness to raise a “family.”

• Since feminism, women have become shrill, confrontational shrews who are angry inside, hate men, are always on the lookout for oppression (that’s a bad thing?) and “won’t raise a family.”

As Hanna would say, “let’s unpack that.”

The definition of “feminism” isn’t, as some would have you believe, “man-hating, non-deodorant using, non-leg hair shaving Lesbian.” What “feminism” actually means is, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” In 2017, most young women take it as a given that they are equal to their male counterparts, and that they will enjoy the same opportunities as men in all aspects of their lives, both personal and professional. Although wage discrepancies, sexism, and sexual harassment continue to present obstacles to women in the workforce (think Roger Ailes or Harvey Weinstein of late), and despite the ongoing dearth of women holding leadership positions in the corporate and governmental sectors of our country, things are better for women than ever before.

You know why?

Because of feminism.

In case you think that the world you live in has always been this way, consider all the things women didn’t used to be able to do:

• Control their own finances, own property in their own name, initiate a lawsuit, or receive an inheritance in their own right (this was not true in all states until 1900);
• Vote (1920)
• Be free from legal beatings by their husband (1920)
• Marry a foreigner but keep their own citizenship (1922)
• Have legal access to birth control (1960)
• Have equal access to job listings (1968)
• Have the right to be paid the same as men for the same work (1970)
• Be free from discrimination in public schools on the basis of gender, including in school athletics, financial aid, career counseling, and admission practices (1972)
• Apply to pretty much any college in the US (1970’s…but Harvard didn’t admit women until 1977)
• Get a credit card in their own name (1974)
• Have the right to work without discrimination due to pregnancy (1978)
• Be appointed to the United States Supreme Court (1981)
• Sue in civil court for sexual harassment in the workplace (1986)
• Prosecute marital rape in all 50 states (1993)
• File a complaint about pay discrimination (2009)

What’s that, you say? It was legal for men to beat their wives all the way up to 1920, and to rape their wives as recently as 1993? Why, that’s crazy!

Yes, it is. Happily for the women of America, there were suffragettes such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Fuller, and Lucy Stone, who won their sisters the right to vote. Then there were the “second wave feminists,” such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and Simone de Beauvoir, who wondered why women’s roles, even in the 1950’s and 1960’s, continued to be largely confined to homemaking and childrearing, and who suggested that perhaps women were capable of more, if more was what they wanted. In the 1990’s, Naomi Wolf asked whether it was okay to objectify women as sex objects, and women such as Roxanne Gay continue to challenge societal norms about what constitutes feminine beauty.

These days, most young women assume it is their birthright to seek the education, training, or vocational skills they need in order to pursue the career of their choice, even if it’s not in the fields of education or nursing. In 2017, women can determine for themselves whether or not they wish to marry, have children, end unhappy marriages, or wed another woman. They can serve as leaders of community, charitable, youth, civic, or political organizations. In short, they can pretty much have it all, whether they want it or not.

None of that would have happened without feminism, and if you’re a women who has a college degree, a professional career, or a car titled in your own name, it’s because of feminism – trust me, the recognition of those rights wasn’t the result of men waking up one day and saying, “hey, let’s do something for the little ladies out there.” Indeed, most of the progress noted herein was the result of women who fought, were vilified and repudiated, and, in some cases, even died so that women could enjoy the same opportunities as men. To recap, if you have a checking account, graduated from a private college, or have ever purchased any form of birth control, it’s because of a feminist.

So before you start maligning “feminism” as being anti-men, anti-family, or anti-anything other than “equality of treatment between males and females,” stop and ask yourself, “would I want to be a women in 1850’s America?” Unless you can answer that question, “Yes, absolutely! Sign me up for a life largely selected for me exclusively by men, one consisting pretty much of non-stop child-bearing, child-rearing, and domestic servitude, with no hope of self-actualization or an individual identity,” then you owe a debt of gratitude to a feminist. If you’re too mean-spirited or self-satisfied to admit it, then may you be instantly transmogrified into a pioneer woman – and not the kind who has a show on The Food Network.

The truth is, we ALL need feminism, whether we are willing to acknowledge that fact or not. I am, and if you call me a feminist, I’ll say “thank you.”

You should, too.

Rape Liars

Scene I:

Woman: I was raped.
Man: Really?
Woman: Yeah. It was awful.
Man: Were you wearing something slutty? Were you drinking? Were you walking alone somewhere at night? Were you on a date and fooling around with the guy?
Woman: Why would you ask me that?
Man: So I can figure out if you’re telling the truth.
Woman: Well, I just told you what happened.
Man: Yeah, I need some evidence.
Woman: Why would I lie about that?
Man: To get attention and money. Also because some women have sex with a guy and then regret it but don’t want to admit it.

Scene II:

Man: Some asshole hit my car!
Woman: Really?
Man: Yeah. It was awful.
Woman: Was it a flashy car? Were you in a bad section of town? Did you do something to provoke someone? Are you sure you didn’t just back into something?
Man: Why would you ask me that?
Woman: So I can figure out if you’re telling the truth.
Man: Well, I just told you what happened.
Woman: Yeah, but I need some evidence.
Man: Why would I lie about that?
Woman: To commit insurance fraud. Also, because some guys are shitty drivers but don’t want to admit it.

Tips for Trump: Things Not to Say to the First Lady of France (or Any Other Woman, for That Matter)

July 17, 2017

So, you’re just back from Paris, Mr. President. Quite a whirlwind trip, there! What a lovely parade, and so moving to see American and French soldiers marching together to celebrate Bastille Day. When you saluted the American military participants? That was a nice moment.

But that thing you said to Brigitte Macron? Umm…maybe not so much.

So, I know you meant well. I know you thought you were paying her a compliment when you said, upon meeting her for the first time ever, “You’re in such good shape … beautiful!” I know you think that this is exactly what every woman wants to hear when she meets a man for the first time.

Yeah, it’s not.

Hey, could you put your phone away? This is important.

What you said was inappropriate, and not just because of your history of being, well, sort of an asshole when it comes to women. It was clumsy and weird and creepy and sort of suggests that you’re still living in the 1950’s. Which, okay, in many cases, you are.

But to focus on the matter at hand, for the last 100 years or so, women have been trying to communicate an essential truth to men. They’ve tried to say it in a lot of ways, in a hundred different languages, and in a variety of media, but what it comes down to is this:

What I look like isn’t who I am.

Let’s say that together, Mr. President: “What I look like isn’t who I am.”

Now, it’s true that most women – indeed, most people – attempt to present their physical selves in a pleasant and appealing manner. Many women, and even some men, are flattered when someone provides feedback that suggests a positive assessment of one’s physical appearance.

Most women, however, tend to feel uncomfortable when such an assessment is made within the context of a business setting, or at a casual social function that is not a date, at the library, watching or participating in a sporting event, picking up the dry cleaning, test-driving a car, donating blood, getting your teeth cleaned, attending church, standing in line to vote, buying groceries…oh, and meeting your husband’s professional counterpart at a public event celebrating your country’s independence day.

In fact, probably the only circumstances in which it’s perfectly appropriate and even a nice idea to compliment a woman’s physical appearance is when it’s your significant other, but even then, you should also remind her that it’s her formidable intelligence, determination, and creativity that really get you going.

Now, you may not know this (because it doesn’t appear as though the women with whom you’ve chosen to share your life were particularly interested in the cultivation of their intellect, personal growth, or independence while they were with you), so you may need to do some further reading.

Yeah, I know, you don’t like to read.

Okay. Well, maybe we can do it this way. Here is a brief survey of the seminal literature on feminism in a format that even you can read and digest:

  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir (1959): Tracks the role of women throughout history and the extent to which they have been suppressed and dominated by men largely by virtue of their ability to bear children.
  • The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan (1963): Talks about how suburban housewives in the 1960’s were frustrated that the roles available to them were limited to wife and mother.
  • Sexual Politics, Kate Millett (1969): Discusses how male-dominated culture has produced writers and literary works that are degrading to women as well as the tyranny of sexual stereotypes.
  • The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf (1991): Explores the growing social prominence of women and society’s demands for them to conform to specific standards of beauty.
  • Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit (2014): Defines and demonstrates the concept of “mansplaining,” in which men attempt to explain to women topics they believe women do not understand, particularly when dealing with areas that are traditionally within the exclusive purview of women (such as the menstrual cycle, which, since the beginning of time, no biological male has ever experienced).

To review:

Men have been treating women like crap for a while, and we don’t like it. We are not here solely to procreate or to serve as sexual playthings or eye candy, whether or not you think we are pretty/sexy/hot enough to make us desirable to you for that purpose. You should treat women with the same level of respect and professionalism as men, and commenting on a woman’s appearance should be avoided.

See? That was easy!

Now, with that in mind, let’s take a look at what you said to Madame Macron last week and examine:

You said, “You’re in such good shape…beautiful!”

Here’s why that was maybe the wrong thing to say:

1.  As we have discussed, you should treat women with the same level of respect and professionalism as men. If you wouldn’t tell a man he was in such good shape and beautiful, you shouldn’t say it to a woman.

2.  Commenting on a woman’s appearance should be avoided. (Yeah, I know I already said that, but it’s worth repeating).

3.  Your comment did not just suggest that Madame Macron is an attractive woman (“…beautiful!”), which, on its own might not have been so awful (though still wildly inappropriate). It also brought her body into the conversation (“You’re in such good shape”), as in, you have a good body, which turns what could have been a relatively innocent comment (“you look nice”) into something undeniably sexual in nature. For example, a father might say to his daughter, “you look beautiful today, sweetie!” and that would be okay, but he would NOT say, “you’re in such good shape, sweetie!” Well, okay, maybe YOU would – and, indeed, you basically HAVE – but most non-creepy weird fathers draw the line at making assessments of their daughter’s bodies. You might want to think about that, too.

4.  Finally, and not to get too personal, but geez, your wife was RIGHT THERE! I mean, show some class, guy!

You may be scratching your head and saying, “wait, I’m not allowed to talk to women about their periods, or their face lifts, and I’m not supposed to shove them against the wall and start making out with them…good Lord, what’s a man to do???”

I’m glad you asked.

Here are several things you might have said to Madame Macron – and, hey, if you want, I can make them generic so you can use them the next time you meet with Prime Minister May or Chancellor Merkel, or President Coleiro Preca (Malta), President Grabar-Kitarovic (Croatia), President Simonetta (Switzerland), President Kopacz (Poland), Prime Miniter Straujuma (Latvia), Prime Minister Bratusek (Slovenia), Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt (Denmark), Prime Minister Solberg (Norway), Prime Minister Siber (Cyprus), President Jahjaga (Kosovo), President Grybauskaite (Lithuania), Prime Minister Simpson Miller (Jamaica),Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad and Tobago), President Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina), President Rousseff (Brazil), President Bachelet (Chile), President Geun-hye (South Korea), Prime Minister Wajed (Bangladesh), President Samba-Panza (Central African Republic), President Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia), or Prime Minister Toure (Senegal).  (Damn, that’s an awful lot of female world leaders.  I wonder when we’ll get one?)

Here are things you can say instead (I used a lot of exclamation points, because you seem to like those):

  • Good morning, Madame Prime Minister! How nice to meet you!
  • I am very much looking forward to our meeting this afternoon, Madame President!
  • What a beautiful country is [insert name of country here], and how excited am I to be here!
  • I bring the well wishes and friendship of the people of the United States, even those who did not vote for me, which is only about seven, but them as well!
  • You are totally smokin’ hot, Madame President! (THAT WAS A TEST TO SEE IF YOU WERE PAYING ATTENTION!)
  • I am very intrigued by the policies you have implemented in [insert name of country here] to advance the cause of equal pay in the workplace, mandatory maternity leave, and universal medical care! (Admittedly, there are only a handful of places where this would be appropriate, seeing as how most of the countries whose leaders you will be meeting have already adopted those policies).
  • Welcome to the White House, Madame Prime Minister. I look forward to our hour-long joint press conference where we will both give responsive answers to all media outlets!
  • I can’t wait to have some croissant/falafel/pad thai/hakarl/fasolada/bulgogi/poutin/pho! I hear it’s incredible!

So, now you’re good to go. You can handle any situation. Keep these simple tips in mind, and you’ll be prepared for anything. Well, okay, not anything. Or even most things. Or, really, anything at all, except how to properly greet a woman you’ve never met before, but, hey, it beats grabbing them by the pussy.Go in peace, Mr. President.

More Sheryl, Less Ivanka

April 28, 2017

So Ivanka Trump was invited by Angela Merkel to attend the W20 Summit in Berlin, where the First Daughter was booed by audience members after describing her father – that pillar of orange-flavored feminist goodness – as “a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive.” Ivanka responded to those boos with protestations that His Royal Highness, the Viscount Ermine of Fatback, had always been nice to HER, which is sort of like saying that the serial killer next door is a tremendous champion of people not being murdered simply on the basis that he never locked me in a basement and then ate me for dinner.

But Ivanka is a Trump through and through, and she understands the importance of family loyalty, even as it pertains to the guy who famously said he’d like to date her, has agreed that it’s okay for others to refer to her as a “piece of a**,” and once stated publicly that their greatest commonality was their mutual enjoyment of sex. All of which is really creepy, since he’s, like, her DAD and all.

So I’m not really surprised that Ivanka’s defending Custard McPumpkin Sludge of Horny Hound Mews, even though doing so significantly decreases whatever credibility she may have had in her own right as a designer of made-in-China shoes and – let’s be honest – a line of jewelry that’s sort of tacky.

What IS surprising is that Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel – you know, that lady with the graduate degree in quantum physics? – actually invited Ivanka to participate in the W20 Summit based upon her ostensible accomplishments as a handbag designer (an occupation, it should be noted, that also counts among its member by Jerry Seinfeld’s ex-girlfriend, Shoshanna Lonstein and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky).

It’s not even a little bit depressing that Merkel overlooked women like Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, or Ursual Burns, CEO of Xerox Corp., or Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi, or Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft….I could go on. Despite the White Male Patriarchy that firmly remains, even in 2017, as the backdrop against which all American business and governmental affairs are conducted, it appears that there are, in fact, at least a FEW women who might have been BETTER choices than Princess Lightweight von TrustFund to represent our country at an international conference where women leaders explored issues such as gender gaps in the labor force, female entrepreneurship, and greater inclusion of women in STEM occupations. Yeah, I’m sure Sheryl Sandberg, who’s just written a terrific book on grieving and previously exhorted women to “Lean In” and demand their seat – and voice – at the professional table, had nothing meaningful to say on any of those topics.

But Angela Merkel invited Ivanka instead.

Ivanka Trump is an easy target, to be sure: How convenient her privilege, family money, and name recognition as the sole explanation for the unexpected level of success she has achieved at a relatively tender age (and that was before Trump supporters starting buying her merch as a show of solidarity with the man who financed those endeavors), especially given the lack of any evidence of formidible intelligence, talent, or sweat.

It’s also fun to hate Ivanka for always looking perfect, even 30 seconds after giving birth. The majority of us women who clean our own toilets and wipe our kid’s butts and noses often feel – justifiably, I think – some level of resentment that this woman, who can jet off to an international women’s summit on another continent without having to worry about who’s going to get the kids to school or make sure they have clean underpants, is always so well-coiffed, her makeup just so, and dressed so as to leave no question that there’s not an ounce of fat or a single stretch mark on her buff physique, notwithstanding three pregnancies. Yeah, she’s easy to hate, even though she’s sort of likeable, especially in comparison to (1) her father; (2) her brothers (the older ones, anyway); and (3) everyone else in the Trump Administration.

I would have expected more from Merkel, however, and I’m dismayed that, according to conventional wisdom, Merkel invited Ivanka to the W20 (instead of, say, Virginia Rometti, the CEO of IBM, or Sheri McCoy, former CEO of Johnson & Johnson and current CEO of Avon) because of the potential access such an invitation may later provide her for networking with President Pillsbury Q. Squeezebottom. Which also raises the question, why does Angela Merkel need ANY access to Frothy O’Sandwich Hands? She seems to be doing just fine without the smarmy comments and “I’m not gonna shake your hand and you can’t make me” nonsense of King Toddler McNeedaNap. There’s a possibility that Ivanka was invited so as to bring attention to the work of W20, but if that was the reason, maybe just invite Oprah Winfrey, or Emma Watson, or Beyonce, even? Same amount of publicity, greater intellectual heft, fewer boos.

I’m disappointed in Angela Merkel and unsurprised by Ivanka, but I am at least a little bit encouraged that the women who DID attend W20 called out Princess Fairy Dust and Pink-Iced Cupcakes for shilling for her creepy, disturbing father and trying to pass him off as a champion for women and families, when even bacteria, asparagus ferns, and mold spores know that he is neither.

The bottom line is, we don’t need to pay attention to Ivanka Trump, whether as window dressing at what was supposed to be a gathering of serious women, or as an apologist for the dryer lint that currently sits in the Oval Office. Ivanka Trump, minus her money and looks, has no greater pretense to be at the W20 Summit than any of the rest of us (in fact, she’s probably got less). We need to showcase women who set a standard of excellence, innovation, leadership, and courage, and Ivanka Trump is none of those things – not by a long shot. What she’s good at – trying to make her despicable father appear more palatable and less, well, despicable – isn’t worth entertaining, and none of us should be giving her any further opportunities to spout her dubious claims that the leader of the free world isn’t a misogynistic racist who would rather the poor, sick, and powerless just die already.

Angela Merkel, and all women who are in a position to elevate other deserving women, should keep that in mind the next time they’re writing out the guest list. Next time, ask Sheryl Sandberg what she’s got to say, and I doubt there will be any boos.

Things I Learned Today About Sexual Assault and The People Who Taught Me

October 14, 2016
1. Men don’t rape women unless they’re pretty. (Source: Current Republican Presidential Nominee [hereinafter “RPN”])
2. It’s okay to assault women if you’re in the private sector, but not if you’re in the public sector. (Pete Hoekstra, RPN Campaign Co-Chair, Michigan)
3. If you don’t vote for the RPN, more women will be assaulted. (Michelle Bachman, Former Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota)
4. You couldn’t grope a woman in the First Class section of an airplane in the 1980’s because planes with movable armrests didn’t exist back then (except for the ones that did)(Katrina Pierson, RPN Spokeswoman).
5. If a woman doesn’t immediately report a sexual assault, it probably didn’t happen. (Joe Scarborough)
6. Women who DO report sexual assaults are obviously “just looking to get some free publicity.” (Hope Hicks, RPN Spokeswoman). Because all women want to share that sort of humiliation, and that’s exactly the kind of publicity people actively seek out.
7. IF a woman reports a sexual assault, you should tweet her phone number to as many people as you can so they can harrass her even further. (Lou Dobbs, Fox News)
8. Every person who makes accusations of sexual assault should be heard. Unless you’ve made them against the current RPN. (Kayleigh McEnany, RPN Spokeswoman)
9. Telling a 10-year-old girl that you’ll be dating her in 10 years, when you’re a 46-year-old man, is completely normal. (Curt Schilling)
10. You’re not allowed to judge someone for their despicable comments about sexually assaulting women unless you are “without sin.” (Former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani)
11. If a man hasn’t assaulted YOU, then there’s no way that he could have assaulted anyone else. (Kellyanne Conway, RPN’s Campaign Manager)
12. The RPN wouldn’t be such a disgusting pig if all those liberals hadn’t promoted the sexual revolution, which has devalued women. (Jeffrey Lord, National Spokesman for RPN’s Campaign)
13. If you can’t handle being sexually harassed in the workplace, you don’t belong there, and you should be a kindergarten teacher. (RPN’s son and namesake )
14. The correct answer to any question about RPN’S hot mic comments is: “We have to defeat ISIS and reduce the national debt, and Obama has ruined this country.” (RPN’s running mate). Sort of like the answer to the question, “should dogs be allowed to vote?” (Answer: Obviously) is, “eating carbs after 6 will sabotage your weight loss program.”
It’s been a very educational day.

Curt Schilling is an Idiot

October 26, 2016

Curt Schilling says that the Republican Party presidential nominee’s comments about wanting to date underage girls is no big deal,…/300924-curt-schilling-defends-trump-af…, and he doesn’t have a problem with his candidate’s now-infamous hot mic comments because they were made “over 11 year ago” and because he (Curt) “is bigger than those remarks and we have all said stupid things throughout our lives.” This from the same man whose first reaction to sexually malicious tweets about his 17-year-old daughter was, “I’m going to get in the car and go kill somebody,” the same man who would “rather kill [the guys who posted the tweets] than speak to them,” the same man who claims to believe that “no woman should be subjected to the abuse that his teenaged daughter faced,” the same man who said, “if you’re a young lady and being harassed, first of all it’s against the law. As a young lady and a human, no one, anywhere, ever, is allowed to talk to you that way.”…/curt-schilling-this-wasnt-a-mistak…. So, what have we learned? It’s okay to ogle 10-year-old girls, or to make jokes about dating them “in a few years,” or to grope women, or to joke about grabbing them by their genitalia – unless it’s your daughter. Well, Curt, those 12 women your candidate assaulted, that 10-year-old-girl he wants to date, those young women at the Miss Teen USA pageant he walked in on while they were getting dressed—they’re ALL someone’s daughter. Just because they’re not yours doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.