Tuesday, November 20, 2012

PghLesbian: What Does the Election Mean for PA LGBTQ Community?

I love that Trish jumped right into my favorite topic – Daryl Metcalfe’s reign of holy terror in Pennsylvania.
I had been planning a one week reflection on the election, but was derailed by tendinitisand well … OMG, its been a week? Like my sister blogger, I think there is a lot of interesting “space” between the federal elections ass-kicking and the state of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so to speak.
Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual person elected to the US Congress (Arizona.)
The bright spots?
  • Marriage equality *won* in all four referendums (Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and Maine)
  • Tammy Baldwin is the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected to the United States Senate – she represents Wisconsin
  • Pennsylvania elected our first openly gay man to serve in the PA General Assembly – Brian Sims
  • Arizona elected the nation’s first openly bisexual person to serve in Congress, Krysten Sinema
  • West Virginia elected their first openly gay man to serve in their General Assembly
  • The Victory Fund endorsed 180 candidates; 122 won.
What does it mean?
Well, I hope it means the base remains mobilized and works on the ground on issues in Pennsylvania – from the school boards to the General Assembly. I agree we need more candidates – more progressive candidates. Not “pro-life” LGBTQ persons who seem to have missed the connection between right to privacy and their own lives … a rant for another day.
But I go one step to the left of Trish and say that the *party* needs to do a better job of connecting with the LGBTQ constituency and voters. In my opinion, the candidates did that successfully – but not so much the party. We keep getting these endorsed candidates who simply have little to no concern for our community and they end up doing dumbass things like supporting “marriage protection” amendments instead of creating jobs and addressing funding for public transportation.
I also want to stop hearing about the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia with “Alabama in the middle” meme … its crap. Yes, we are a blue end of the state but we still spit out socially conservative Democrats (like Mark Critz) who don’t really reflect the unique type of progressivism grounded in the Pittsburgh region. I know many Catholics who believe in birth control, marriage equality and access to abortion. They also believe in their Church. Like Joe Biden and John Kerry believe, not Paul Ryan believe.
While I’d agree the challenge is to run candidates, I also think we have to do a better story of telling our stories – all of our stories. Not just our two white lesbians with a minivan in the suburbs stories. And we need to tell those stories to our committeefolks and very local elected officials. We need more school board candidates seeking the endorsement of the Gertrude Stein Club and Stonewall Democrats.
But mostly we need to educate our own community – drive home the reality of our situation and encourage them to take action. This election has demonstrated to us that mobilization and hope can bring about amazing things. I have confidence things can turn in Pennsylvania, but I’m concerned that more members of the LGBTQ community will retreat into denial and lose touch with our sisters and brothers who are most vulnerable – because of their orientation, identity, economic status and more.
The ongoing battle around Voter ID and the disproportionate impact on our trans sisters and brothers should be evidence that its not going to be easy.
There’s hope, but it requires that we remain hopeful together.
NOTE: I was smiling at how Trish beat me to the political post; that’s exactly why I jumped at the chance to bring her on board!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hippie Digest: Hippies & Punks, Beatniks & Bums to the Rescue! – Frank Zappa Is Back – You have the right to Shut the Fu$k Up. Use it!

Hippie Digest: Hippies & Punks, Beatniks & Bums to the Rescue! – Frank Zappa Is Back – You have the right to Shut the Fu$k Up. Use it!

The Importance of Competent Pollworkers

Importance of Competent Pollworkers

If you live in North Fayette Township, dress warmly, wear boots, and maybe bring along a thermos of coffee. Vote anyway, but be prepared.

WWH/CJE Tuesday News Briefs

WWH/CJE Tuesday News Briefs

In “A Lawless America” High-ranking Army general Jeffrey ‘the meat” ‘Sinclair raped five women and threatened their lives if they exposed him’

In “A Lawless America” High-ranking Army general Jeffrey ‘the meat” ‘Sinclair raped five women and threatened their lives if they exposed him’

Hippie Digest: Counterculture: Norman Mailer – Protest and Rock n’ Roll – WHAT THE HIPPIES TAUGHT AMERICA

Hippie Digest: Counterculture: Norman Mailer – Protest and Rock n’ Roll – WHAT THE HIPPIES TAUGHT AMERICA

'Twas the night before the election...

'Twas the night before.....

Ah election eve. I still feel a little thrill tonight, although I didn't expect it. I'm over the commercials (we see a lot in the 'Burgh because PA is still considered a swing state), the attacks, the ridiculous Facebook posts and Twitter updates. In short-I'm over people warping their personalities for two candidates who, when it comes down to it, are just that. Two candidates. While the passion for politics and change in America is amazing, the vitriol with which it is proclaimed is not. It's disgusting. And frankly, I'll be happy when the election is over and we can move on-regardless of who wins. And that's the thing. Winning (not said in a a Charlie Sheen voice please note). If your candidate wins, are you a winner? I don't know. I do know this. There are far more losers than winners in elections. And those losers tend to be us, the American citizen. I don't mean that in the sense that we are losers as in something is inherently wrong with us and we have an L on our foreheads. We are losers because those we elect, for the most part, cannot put party and pride aside to do the job we elected them to do. So, bills that should be passed die in the House or Senate. Or, legislators bargain and wheel and deal and bills are passed that do far less than their actual intent. It's frustrating. These legislators (and President of course) are paid well, have decent perks-hey, at least they have health insurance-and get to be part of living history. Even if they're not re-elected, I wouldn't say they've lost so much as they just didn't win.

It's a weird situation-our political climate. For presidential elections, approximately nine states matter. I think it's time all states matter. We all matter. Or, at least, we should. People defend their views so heatedly they won't even listen to another opinion. It's as if we all need to feel one extreme or the other. What happened to just being people? When you get down to it, I think for the most part people are just people. We go to work, raise families, study in school, spend time with those we love and try to enjoy the moment. This political climate has divided us. Ironically, it has taken a storm to unite us. Tell me that's not the greatest metaphor and art imitating life-America is at it's most bitter and divided in a long time-and then we are brought to our knees and reminded again that nothing is certain, life is fragile, and red and blue are just colors, not ways to identify one's state or issues. People and lawmakers reached across party lines to help those in need and are still doing so. So, I have to wonder, will things change that much in the next four years? If we have divided government, probably not. But, maybe we can learn from this experience and work together. We're all we have when you get down to it. So, I still feel a slight thrill tonight as a national presidential election is exciting. But, I know that tomorrow and the next day life will probably continue normally regardless of who wins. Sure, there will be changes here and there over the next four years. As an optimist, I remain hopeful the best is yet to come and that in four years from now things will be better for more and not just a few. I just know that when I vote tomorrow, I will be doing something that people years before fought for so that someone like me, a female, would have a voice in shaping my country. I feel not only is it a legal right but it is a privilege. And one I'm proud to exercise.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Revolution 99% Updates: Trees sitting to molotov cocktails (We didn’t start the fire…)

Revolution 99% Updates: Trees sitting to molotov cocktails (We didn’t start the fire…)

Free fuel, if you can get there, among actions to ease Sandy shortage

Free fuel, if you can get there, among actions to ease Sandy shortage

november blogging challenge

Hi there!

I'm a little shy about posting directly to this blog so bear with me. My blog is Buttercupia, and I post mostly about crafts, knitting and spinning in particular, though I have forays into recipes, feminism, fat politics, and kitties from time to time.

During november while many of my friends and acquaintances are doing NaMoWriMo, I've decided to challenge myself to post a blog post a day on Buttercupia, to revitalize it and to give my writing a much needed spark.

So to that end, I'd like to invite you all to visit scenic Buttercupia, where I'll be attempting to post every single day during November! Check out the archives too, for recipes, knitting patterns, and lots of fun photos and self-conscious blathering.

The kitten compels you! Come visit!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Plenty of fish?

Plenty of fish?

Match.com. Eharmony. Chemistry.com. Zoosk. Plentyoffish. OkCupid. I could go on. Those are just some of the most popular online dating sites today. And I have come to a conclusion. If these sites worked for most people and dating was easy, online dating wouldn't be the billion dollar industry it has become. There wouldn't be a need for it. Much like the diet industry, there's a reason it's also a billion dollar venture. People try and fail. Or in the case of dating, try and maybe meet someone and break up and try again. Sure, there are married couples and people happily paired up. Some of my friends met their spouses online. But that's not the majority. If only one in five relationships start online, where do the other 80% start? Then there are the ones that fall in the one in five category. The "dating is just not working for me but I'm not totally ready to give up because mr/ms right could be the next click away" category. Eternal optimists and romantic comedies fuel the online dating economy. And then there's dating in general. Which at age 30 is a double-edged sword.

You're smarter about who you want and what's important to you but also realizing that the people that fit that category might be few and far between. Or are already married. Or gay. Or both. Or the famous "just not that into you". Which, by the way, has given people the power to use that excuse more than ever before. That book perpetuated stereotypes-and unfortunately gave people (read: wimps not strong enough to admit the truth) a line to tell someone and let themselves off the hook and not having to feel that guilt you feel when you hurt someone who cares about you. It's not MY fault I'm not into you. It just took 3 months to realize. Ladies (and men) please. You know almost rapid-fire fast if you're into someone. With the Internet today, you find out more about someone before you meet them than you used to find out in the first three dates. I'm not saying that's a good thing; I'm just saying that's reality. And maybe that's the problem. There isn't much of a mystery to dating these days. It's all a google/linkedin/facebook click away. With online dating, you should proceed with caution but that applies to dating in general. You don't really know who the other person is unless it was a carefully vetted set up by mutual friends. But still. The mystery is gone. Manners are sometimes gone under the guise of "I'm blunt, deal with it". People say "oh I'm just being me" or "This is who I am like it or not" but not a lot of people are going to like profanity-laced phone calls and constant stories about themselves and tales of the "good ol' days" of getting into fights. That may or may not have been someone that I talked to. (OK. It was).

The point is, dating is no easier now than five years ago. There are many theories why and depending who you talk to-ahem my guy best friend- some people feel that it's because women have more "power" now, more earning potential and more influence. Roles are reversed. I don't entirely agree because most women still want that courtship, still want to feel like a lady (OK princess), still want to be appreciated and treated well. We just want respect for what we have accomplished. Not insecurity. Not judgement. Not "well you make more than me so you should pay more than I do". That also may or may not have happened to me. But, with so many other "options" a click away, people get scared to settle. And not just men. I see women do that too. But oftentimes, someone better isn't just a click away. Everyone brings something to the table, both good and bad. We all have the "stuff" that makes us us. We have the good, the bad and the ugly. It's being able to stick with someone for more than a passing fancy and take a chance on someone and not bailing and thinking "i might be able to search for a guy/girl that won't do that" when things aren't fun and hot and heavy 24/7. Yes, you may be able to search for someone else who doesn't do whatever "it" is, but I can guarantee you that other person will do something else that irks you regardless. While a lot of things are ordered on-demand in our society, a date, partner, or spouse should not be. You may have met online and known more about each other up front than had you met otherwise, but that does not mean you need to speed-date through the relationship. Take a chance. Get to know someone. Put the mouse down. Hide your profile awhile. You just might surprise yourself and realize that someone better is the someone you have already met

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Freed Pussy Riot Member Says ‘Art Must Be Political’

Freed Pussy Riot Member Says ‘Art Must Be Political’

A Change Is Gonna Come....Or Is It?


Twelve years ago you wouldn't have found a more idealistic young woman. Raised by parents who were active in both civic duty and charity groups, I had a sense of community service and involvement from a young age. For some reason I gravitated towards politics and current events. My brother, nine years older than me, was able to vote for the first time when he was in college. I'll never forget calling him that November day to remind him. I was nine. He was not thrilled.

After the fiasco of the 2000 election, in which I volunteered tirelessly, I started to lose that innocence a little. The economy tanked after September 11th, through the fault of no one but the cowards who attacked us.The last ten years or so have been dismal economically for many but not for all. Government gridlock is the one constant in our political lives. And I have to wonder, will it change with this impending election, just mere days away? I hope so. The idealist in me believes it will. But I know too well what divided government will lead to-more gridlock. The only way out is for some brave lawmakers to cross the aisle, man up, put their own election worries aside and do what they were voted in office to do-unless of course one party has a majority in both the White House and Congress. History shows Americans prefer divided government however.

This will be one of the only times my blog takes on politics. But, as a woman in her 30s and a citizen of this country it can't be escaped. One thing has changed with age-my idealism. That freshman in college, who told Al Gore it was an honor to vote for him the first time she ever voted, has seen too much to believe like she used to. But, somewhere deep down, the 30 year old me still gets that thrill during election years and election night and believes, just a little, that things can change for the better. Hopefully you do too.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


The Society has been on a semi-hiatus for several months. With the resurging interest in blogging via the  Facebook blogging group and #BlogMob, it seems like a great time to recommit to sharing interesting content here. A few invitations for you:

  1. Autopublish your posts to this site. Either the full post or a teaser to invite people to click over and enjoy the full post at your blog is fine.
  2. Post a weekly or biweekly update - links to your latest posts, etc.
  3. Revisit your blog. We aren't going to remove anyone until Blogger tells us our list of cobloggers are full. Maybe now is the time to dust off the keyboard and update your blog?
  4. Join us! Email pghwomen at gmail with your name, blog URL and interest in blogging. You can post original content or share your blog posts. 
  5. Suggest other bloggers. We can have up to 100 bloggers contributing to this site. The requirements are simple - you blog and you are a woman. Your blog can also have male contributors. There's no restriction on topic or political view or anything of that nature. Well, we do prohibit content that is abusive, defamatory or illegal of course. 
So what are you waiting for? 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

USENET Post (1992): Sexual Abuse and the Pillars of Society

I've always been infuriated by sexual abuse.  So this year has been an infuriating year.  Here's an essay I wrote about sexual abuse back in 1992, which, sadly, is as accurate today as it was then.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Transvaginal Ultrasound

A few months ago, I blogged about my experience(s) around a medically necessary transvaginal ultrasound. 

The post continues to be one of the most frequent landing pages on my blog. It is *almost* more popular than my posts about Robert Traynham.

Why is it so popular? The searches are pretty sparse so in my imagination, I see women facing the need for this procedure seeking some answers. I confess that I googled it myself prior to the procedure, but only found rants about why Senators needed to probe my body.

I suppose there are women who seek comfort - women facing terrifying diagnosis or outcomes, from cancer to hysterectomies. To the unknown.

I don't have many answers myself, but I've been thankfully able to rule out the worst possible scenarios. So for now ... I'll just hope I can offer a measure of "I feel ya sister" to some other women out there waiting for this procedure to be over and life to move onward.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

every once in awhile you may see a post from me that belongs on my blog-my fault- not paying attention.

btw- i've been writing every week for worldwidehippies.com -yes, i AM old!  ;  )

and i have 4 of my poems published in HIP POETRY 2012 (amazon or barnes and noble-hint hint)

bet you thought i was just sitting in a corner and gathering dust since i turned 60!  

we women never give up!

Retailer To Close Pittsburgh Call Center, Layoff 300 Workers - Pittsburgh News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh

Retailer To Close Pittsburgh Call Center, Layoff 300 Workers - Pittsburgh News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh

my sister has worked there for 28 years. now- as of june-no job!

Bad Local Business Practice: Sending Unsolicited Text Messages

Last night, we went to a restaurant I really like with with an out-of-town friend. Today, I got text message spam from that restaurant. I sent the following response (and I'm not mentioning the name of the restaurant unless I receive yet more spam to my cell phone): Dear [Restaurant Owner]: We brought a friend from out of town to [your restaurant] last night as we've always been a fan of the food and the beer selection. As we had to wait for a table to open up, I gave my cell phone number so we could easily be notified when a table was available. A little while later, I got a cell phone text message saying our table was ready. However, that does not mean that I've invited [your restaurant] to send additional text messages to my phone, like the one I got today. Many of us are not on unlimited text plans, so we pay for your spam. It's a really poor practice on your part and I hope you stop it right away. Use cell phones and social media wisely.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pittsburgh Bus to Reason Rally in DC, 3/24, Confirmed

The Reason Rally is just a little over a week away now. The charter bus from Pittsburgh is now confirmed, and there are a few more seats available: http://reasonrally.dcrallybus.com/Trip/From/Pittsburgh Speakers will include Richard Dawkins, James Randi and Lawrence Knauss. See the Website for more information: http://www.reasonrally.com/

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blog for Sister Supplies

On the Spot is a local organization which provides menstrual products to girls in local public schools. Many local students do not have access to proper menstrual products for various reasons, including economic hardship and disrupted family situations. Teachers, nurses and administrators at the schools do their best to provide the products, but pay for them out of their own pockets. Even more heartbreaking, young girls stay home from school while menstruating. Think these products are covered under food stamps? They aren't!

This month, On the Spot is teaming up with The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project to help out these girls. They're asking that you donate menstrual products in a tote bag and bring it to one of the many drop-off spots (see here). Here's some suggestions on what to stock in the bag:

  • Box of pads, any size. Variety is good. Special need for pads designed for young girls.
  • Box of tampons, any size. Variety is good.
  • Panty liners, any variety. Unscented is best.
  • New reusable products are welcome, too. If we can give women choices, that’s good.
  • New or gently used tote bags. Backpacks also useful.
  • Sample and trials are fine as long as they are sealed.

  • And, please check here and here for more ways that you can help!

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    City Prepares To Go Green For St. Patrick’s Day Parade « CBS Pittsburgh

    City Prepares To Go Green For St. Patrick’s Day Parade « CBS Pittsburgh

    Nationwide Grassroots Project Will Amend U.S. Constitution to End Corporate Power in Elections

    Restore American democracy. Corporations are not people.

    Who inspires you? Abolitionists? Suffragists? Union organizers? Civil rights workers? Peace activists? Occupiers? They all have one thing in common. They were ordinary people faced with extraordinary injustice. Then they stood up, walked out of their comfort zones, and into history. They made the world better for all of us. Now we can all join them.  

    Thanks to our right-wing activist Supreme Court, corporations and billionaires now legally and proudly own our politicians. Our elected representatives no longer have to pretend that they give two hoots about us. Americans’ confidence in our public institutions is at an all-time low. But there is a way to turn things around. There are people already working on it. And we need your help.


    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Rush Limbaugh Calls Sandra Fluke a Slut - Reformed Whores' Response Video

    Worldwide Hippies News Briefs Friday

    Worldwide Hippies News Briefs Friday

    Reason Rally, Washington, DC, 3/24

    If you haven't heard about the Reason Rally (and, the way things have been going this year, America needs a Reason Rally), it'll be on the Mall in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 24. Speakers include Richard Dawkins, Adam Savage, James Randi, and this year's poster child against irrationality, Jessica Ahlquist. If you live near Pittsburgh and are thinking about going to the Reason Rally, the Pittsburgh Bus still needs 27 riders! I think this will be a very interesting day, probably similar to the Rally for Sanity that Stewart/Colbert sponsored back in late 2010, but with more scientific speakers. http://reasonrally.dcrallybus.com/Travel/From/Pittsburgh

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    You're Always Welcome At Our House.

    Sister Supplies: Collecting Totes and Menstrual Products During Women's History Month

    Contact: Sue Kerr
    (412) 216-3535

    March Tote Drive Theme: Sister Supplies – Joint Project with “On The Spot”

    Pittsburgh, PA
    - Local organizations On The Spot and the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project have teamed up to dedicate the month of March to collecting menstrual supplies with tote bags. On the Spot works to address the scarcity of menstrual products for many young girls in local low-income communities. The group focuses on collecting menstrual supplies that can be distributed in the schools, where teachers and staff often purchase items for girls who come to school with nothing. The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project collects items defined as a “priority” by Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

    Many women and girls in our region simply do not have the extra cash to stop at the drug store to pick up a box of tampons or pads. SNAP (food stamps) doesn’t cover these products. The difficult reality for many working women is that feminine hygiene products are a luxury.

    During the month of March (Women’s History Month), The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project and On the Spot, will be asking community members to fill tote bags with menstrual supplies for those women and girls in our region who so desperately need them. One grocery store tote bag with pads or tampons could provide a local woman with up to six months worth of supplies. Totes with products can be donated at any of the regular drop-spots for the three projects. More information on drop-off spots can be found at www.tote4pgh.com/sister-supplies.

    “Dignity is an important part of the project,” explains Sue Kerr, co-chair of The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project. “It is good fit with our goal of making the food pantry experience a bit more dignified. Working with On The Spot highlights the impact of poverty throughout our community and creates opportunities for us to support our neighbors.”

    Suggested ways to participate include asking coworkers or family members to purchase products to be included in a tote bag, organizing a drive at your place of worship or community group, or working with a group of young women to educate them about this critical need.

    “Many women and girls are stunned when they realize that this need exists,” says Kerr. “We take these items for granted, assume that the days of using rags or similar solutions are ‘history.’ That’s why we chose Women’s History Month – it is important for everyone to understand that poverty – even for working families – makes this very much a current problem.


    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Does Rush Limbaugh Owe America a Sex Tape?

    Does Rush Limbaugh Owe America a Sex Tape?

    Why We Must Retire Casey and Murphy

    So yesterday, Senator Casey, after claiming to be a "pro labor," "pro woman" Senator, was one of three Democrats to vote in favor of the Blunt amendment. Luckily, Olympnia Snow voted against it and helped to kill it. Yesterday, Representative Timothy Murphy, who represents part of the same district that Rick Santorum used to "represent," got in a fight with Secretary Sebelius. http://m.examiner.com/liberal-in-baltimore/she-blinded-him-with-science It's a shame so many of our representatives are so scientifically ignorant and hate women's rights to govern their own health care so much. So do we have any people who plan to run against these jokers? We need people who aren't going to constantly vote for 19th-century ideology.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Support Western PA Girl Scouts & Pgh TransYouth: Buy More Cookies

    Earlier this year, a Brownie troop in Colorado made news when they (after some delay) welcomed a 9 year old transgirl into their ranks. This prompted the typical outrage with some troops leaving the GSA to join with a more socially conservative, faith based girl's organization.

    Fast forward to cookie season. A 14 year old Girl Scout has released a video on YouTube, chastising the Girl Scouts for not taking her safety into consideration over this decision and calling for a cookie ban.

    In response, I urge you to purchase one extra box of cookies and donate to the youth programs at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh. It a simple $4 investment to support the Girl Scouts of Western PA AND transyouth in our area. Scouts are taking orders now and the cookie "booths" will be set up in February so you have many opportunities. If you need some assistance getting the donation to the GLCC, please email me pghlesbian (at) gmail.

    And hope this young woman stays connected with Scouts so she can learn to open her mind and her heart.

    (Still wrapping my head around the 14 year old worried about being safe from a 9 year old ... that adds a new twist on bullying.)