Archive for Women

Incivility, gender, race and hate

I threw on my cloak of optimism, supposing that Hillary will become POTUS and that this will be a springboard for a nation more at ease with a woman at top.

I spent many years in Virginia and still identify with the best of us there. Thomas Jefferson in Notes on the State of Virginia (XVIII: Manners), “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just…”

As this motley, churlish election cycle completes in less than a week, let’s discourse on big themes, such as:

  • Following the no-colored-Presidents-for-me tone, how deeply are we experiencing, the no-dames-for-President tone?
  • Are 40% to 50% of us truly OK with a puerile, impulsive ignoramus as out leader?
  • Are the judgmental Europeans right about us as bigots and socially retrograde?
  • Can this election catapult us to a new America of tolerance and egalitarianism?

We’ve had 8 years plus the campaign of “Oh, no, it’s not that Obama is Black. It’s that he’s foreign; Muslim, a pinko. :Assuming POTUS Clinton the Greater, do we then get, “Oh, no, it’s not that Hillary’s a women. It’s that she’s a crook, a criminal, a pinko.”?

I can’t believe 6% or more of the electorate is undecided, or so they claim. Then I”m an incredulous sort. Playing cards so close to your vest makes them tattoos. Bad form.

Let’s kick around the final days of a much too long, far too nasty season.

icon for podpress  Incivility may end [17:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Drumpf Schtup Fantasies

GOP Prez nominee Donald Trump keeps his puerile treatment of sex in the fore (insert foreplay joke here) of the campaign. Let’s ask:

  • Will this lead voters to see him as manly or immature?
  • Will trying to blame Hillary Clinton for her husband’s infidelites of several decades ago backfire on an admitted serial adulterer who can’t maintain a stable marriage?
  • Will insinutations b y him and his surrogates that Hillary may have mad an affair hurt him much more than her?
  • Will his incessant allusions to how much he wants to hve sex with daughter Ivanka (see here and here and here and here and here) make him just too creepy for whom to vote?
  • What, say proven incest with one of his daughters, would prove too much for GOP voters who self-identify as moral?
  • Does bragging about sex organ size add to the dialog?
  • Will he be harmed by previous protracted verbal abuse of beauty queen Alicia Machado and subsequent falsely defaming her for a nonexistent sex tape?

Admittedly, I may be an outier. I’m a long-term adultry-free married, one who raised three sons and zero daughters. To me, infidelity is just wrong. Also kissing grown daughters “as often as I can,” as he is wont to say on the mouth is simply creepy or worse. I know people in open marriages and men who who snog regularly with their teen and older daughters. To me that is plainly sexual; to them, including the daughters, they say it is just natural affection.

Let’s talk. Click below for my take on his puerile sexualization of the campaigns.

icon for podpress  Drumpf Schtup Fantasies [17:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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No VP Warren Podcast

We’re not through with Elizabeth Warren yet in Massachusetts. You can’t have her as 2016 Vice President. She’s my U.S. Senator and is better than just fine.Elizabeth Warren

I get into why she’s effective beyond merely doing the job for us and discuss pros and cons of Hillary Clinton bringing her on the ticket. Unlike my usual cited sources, this is personal and my perceptions.

She has been doing a great job with her small stable of political and positions she rides in D.C. She largely is the conscience who shames the lackluster, plodding Senators with her dynamism and accomplishments. She was on the ground running even before she got to the Senate. She could do a great job for the next President as the leading Senator and not the disappearing lackey.

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Jessica Berson on Exotic Dancing Podcast

jessicaYou likely don’t know much about exotic dancing or dance studies. Reading guest Jessica Berson’s <>The Naked Result: How Exotic Dance Became Big Business will fix that.

She came on to discuss her book, what goes on in private dances as well as on stage, and a lot more. Click below to hear the personal, the business, the history, and surprising (to me) analysis of the meanings of the dancing. We also spoke about how dancers and customers interact and what they get from each other.

She teaches dance studies at Yale and has at other august institutions. She is professorial type and dancer, one who got the most out of her year on stage and in front of single clients. Her book ended up at once academic and highly readable, concentrated on exotic dancing, but from its many angles. While it has personal vignettes, it is not yet another stripper memoir as Berson is quick to note.

icon for podpress  The Naked Result [31:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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The Naked Results right here

This coming Thursday, April Fool’s Day Eve Day, 3/31, the guest will be Jessica Berson, author of The Naked Result. That’s a definitive study of exotic dancing — the methods, the people, the business.

She teaches dance studies at Yale and has at Harvard, in the UK and elsewhere. She earned grad-school money as an exotic dancer. Then as an scholar, she studied the industry. She has both the personal and the professional view. Plus, from her book, I learned quite a bit about the methods and meanings of movement.

Her story is not a woe-was-I one. Be prepared to insights, history and the human sides of it all.

If you want to join us live, click here at 11AM EDT, Thursday, 3/31. Afterward the show will be available on demand there, back here at Left Ahead and on our iTunes channel.

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O’Connor Ives Podcast

Three-term Newburyport Councilor Kathleen O’Connor Ives joined us to talk about her run for the open MA Senate seat in 1st Essex. She acknowledged it’s a tough field. She wants to beat out two other Democrats in next week’s primary. There are also two unenrolled and two Republicans after the spot.

As her website details, she has staked out specific proposals across a spectrum of issues from the environment to economic redevelopment to public safety to women’s rights to campaign-finance reform. She bristled only once with us, at the mention that one of her opponents likes to portray himself as the progressive in the race. She pointed out that her positions gives her as much right.

Listen in as she speaks to her policies and planks. We covered a wide range of topics, as well as her collaborative style by which she expects to pass legislation. She also differentiated herself from her fellow Dems in the race. For example, she said they stress their executive experience, which she says is not all that useful for a job that would entail understanding policy, parsing proposed legislation and researching. As an environmental lawyer, she thinks she has a leg up here.

Listen in as she presents herself as “not a Pollyanna.” Yet she is relentlessly hopeful and has a clear sense of direction.

icon for podpress  Kathleen O'Connor Ives [31:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Dolan Update on 3rd Middlesex Race

In an exciting MA race for a rare vacant senate seat, candidate Mara Dolan joined us for a followup on this simmering campaign. Her original visit was here. Click below for today’s show.

Since the last time, the five Dems headed for a Sept. 6th primary battle have met in public as well as campaigned solo. Dolan tells us why she should be the choice from among a field that identifies as progressive. None of the Dems (or the two Republicans) have backed down or backed out. There are issues of contention and differences the candidates offer.

She discusses some of her positions, including attacking economic woes by using community colleges and trade schools to prepare MA residents for the 120,000 middle-skill jobs going unfilled right now. She talks about how Republicans have “wrongly claimed the mantle of being good for business” from Dems. She addressed the importance of aiming for gender parity in a senate with only 6 of 40 members who are women. She and Mike even swapped support for marriage equality vignettes.

Dolan comes on about 7 minutes in; we originally gave her the wrong call-in number. It’s worth advancing to where she starts.

icon for podpress  Mara Dolan Followup [30:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Sasquatch SCOTUS Podcast

Even without Thursday’s looming health-care reform ruling, the SCOTUS strutted its stuff this week. We dealt with forbidding life without parole for teens, Arizona’s immigrant laws, and dismissing Montana’s version of limiting Citizens-United style campaign spending.

All threads led to November. We discussed what it might mean for Republicans and Romney in particular trying to walk back anti-Latino/anti-immigrant screeds, whether Dems and Obama can rally those groups, women, young voters and more in the face of slow economic recovery and more. Listen i as we try to put current and pending Supreme Court rulings in a progressive context.

icon for podpress  Sasquatch SCOTUS [30:03m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Thy Willard Be Done Podcast

Ah, coincidences amuse and fulfill us all. As we started today’s show, Rick Santorum was literally announcing the suspension of his campaign for the GOP nomination for POTUS. While edgewise Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are still in the now misnamed race, Willard Mitt Romney will run against President Obama in November. Punditry has it that Santorum hopes Romney does not have an outright majority of delegates for the Tampa convention and that he’ll somehow magically get the slot. Dream on.

Ryan and Mike started reveling in the turns and dips. We mused on whether the candidates had done so much damage to Romney and pushed him soooooooooooo far to the right that he had zero appeal to left, moderate and even ordinary right-wing voters. Then there have been Romney’s colossally arrogant and insensitive gaffes, indicating how divorced he is from reality, at least the lives of 90% or more of us.

In a pleasant surprise, former Boston City Councilor John Tobin joined us. This self-described political junkie is now VP at Northeastern University charged with community relations. We spoke a bit about the recent increase in PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) to the city from his school, but mostly it was politics.

Listen in as he describes how he still believes it will be a tight race, still dependent on the state of the economy come fall. Mike and Ryan are in the camp that the GOP, from POTUS candidate level to state legislatures and governors, has so hosed itself, it has even bigger repairs needed before it has the slightest shot in November.

icon for podpress  Thy Willard Be Done [31:50m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Dolan on Policy, Women Pols and More Podcast

OK, we learned what Mara Dolan meant with she and MA Sen. Jamie Eldridge coming up with a Policypalooza. Listen in on the player below as she talks about what’s in the works in the next couple of months. There’ll be policy days when Dems around the commonwealth can gather for sessions focusing on big issues. These will equip them with focused reasons and arguments for the mini-debates and discussions that can happen anytime, anywhere.

As co-chair of the Mass Dems’ Committee on Public Policy, she noticed how excited people were when policy sessions of any type were available. That was the seed for this program.

We went into some depth about her completion of the six-month Emerge Massachusetts training. Designed to prepare women in all aspects of running for public office, her one-full-day-a-month training included several women who ran for office right away, like Suzanne Lee and Sheneal Parker (Boston City Council) and Christine Barber (Somerville Alderman). Listen in as Dolan discusses the training from contents to effects. She also touches on mentoring by incumbents and fund-raising.

We couldn’t get her to be specific on what office she wants or when she’ll run. However, she says she’s not the typical woman candidate who has to be asked six times before going for it.

We spoke briefly at the end about her Right Here, Right Now show on cable TV. She points to some of her must see and hear sessions, available on her on-demand site. She suggests starting with MA Dems Chair John Walsh on issues including Sen. Scott Brown and Tufts Health Plan President James Roosevelt on Social Security.

She joins us about six minutes or so in.

icon for podpress  Mara Dolan [35:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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