Dirty Words on Clean Skin by Anita Finlay — Website Launch!

In an election year, we can be sure of two things:  First, the incumbent and his opponent are going to pander to groups where their poll numbers need shoring up.  Second, we can count on the mainstream media to function as the de facto PR firm for their favored son, further ginning up whatever problem said politician avers we need to solve, coincidentally ensuring his re-election.  In this case, that favored son is President Obama.

The current pandering is aimed squarely at the hearts and minds of women.  First, we had the contraceptive debate designed to whip us into a frenzy and now, suddenly, and as if it had not occurred to anyone else before him, the President deigns to tell us women we are not cookie cutter people and need to be dealt with as individuals.  Will this political pander work?  Of course it will.  If I’d learned anything in 2008, it is that women have an endless capacity to settle for crumbs rather than standing up to claim the cake.  That is the only way we could have witnessed the more qualified female candidate dragged through the mud, only to watch Ms. Magazine offer up a cover photo of Mr. Obama and declare, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like.”

The real war on women is something entirely different than we are led to believe.  It cannot be contained in soundbites and certainly will not be explained in worthy fashion by someone who advantaged himself at every turn by the sexist rhetoric that was used to take down his worthy primary opponent.  In the name of changing the narrative and reclaiming the debate, my book Dirty Words On Clean Skin asks us all to examine the daily media and political brainwashing that deliberately shames, marginalizes and abuses women.  I am so pleased to launch my website to further this cause…please help it to go viral!

Also on the website is a video that shares more information about the book — and why it advantages all of us to get involved:

Please visit my site at www.AnitaFinlay.com.

DIRTY WORDS ON CLEAN SKIN is now available for purchase on Amazon, and is now also available on KINDLE.

Thank you very much for your support of my work!

159 Responses

  1. Hi Ani.
    I’m now reading the book from the beginning. It’s killing me. How did we all ever get through those years of . . . I awakened this morning (very early) thinking about how Columbia was to me just as Yale was to you.
    Anyway, loved your video and will send your links to as many people as I can. (I’m giving copies of your book to my daughters, and my son for Mother’s Day.)

  2. Just ordered my copy. Via Amazon. One Click!

  3. Woo Hoo!! Way to go Ani.

  4. It was the misogyny that made me start commenting on blogs and articles. I was so shocked by the vitriol that I felt I had to say something! (Hence my name…imustprotest!) I’m so glad that this book will tell the true story of the 07/08 campaign.

  5. Ani, just looked at your new website and saved it on my Favorites bar along with Uppity. Looks great!

    We “women” are sometimes our worst enemy. I still can’t believe that women cannot see through Obama.

  6. Shared the vid and web address on Facebook. Thanks Ani

  7. Barack’s approval index is -17.

  8. WLM I think more women than we think see thru Obama. It’s just that the alternatives for women seem worse. It’s the difference between terrible and horrible.

  9. As women, I think we have to create our own party and make both parties pay until they address our concerns. I will never vote for Obama, because a vote for him means that I support the misogyny. And I’m tired of progressive/liberal women calling people who don’t agree with them fools or stupid. Ani’s book is a great resource that brings all the women-hate of 2008 in one place. It should make us all demand respect from our political class. (Also, I bought an extra copy to give to my local library.)

  10. Good morning ((((UPPITY’S)))))))

    Just read the first chapter, GREAT START!!

    cannot wait to read the rest of it.

    If ONLY——–sigh, will share it whenever I can

  11. That would be great, if so many women weren’t against anything resembling Women In Charge. Women can be really nasty to one another that way. Look what they did to Hillary.

  12. We also have major differences in policy. LIke abortion, for example. These are not SMALL differences.

  13. How nice to wake up to all your wonderful comments. Thus far, i have had a number of people who do not know me read the book and tell me that it changed their views not only of Hillary but the media and the political b.s. we are fed daily. Whether or not that moves them to any other action in the future remains to be seen.

  14. Love Hillary’s Texts. ;lol:

  15. Here’s a good video at YouTube:
    watch?v=IsPBuKe6_ws

    You have to get to YouTube yourself. I didn’t provide a link because it’s generic liberal and may qualify as Obama-friendly in parts. But, otherwise a spot-on indictment of the hypocrisy.

  16. I bought the book on Amazon last night. There were 8 reviews – all with high praise for the book. I’m so glad the 2008 sh** storm was documented by such a smart, articulate woman.

    I have been surprised that my own anger (and the anger that many, many of us Hillary supporters felt in 2008) has not diminished – not one bit. If anything, it has gotten more intense. Some would say that holding onto anger is unhealthy, that we should just see 2008 as politics as usual, and move on. I say – SCREW THAT. It may not be totally comfortable living in a permanent state of pissed-off, but it does serve to motivate activism against sexism and gender bias; corruption within the Democratic Party & the democratic process; and abuse of power and the right of free press by a biased media.

    I say – never forget the injustices of 2008. Keep that white hot anger burning, and work like hell for change and real equality for women.

  17. Hmph- sexism- it’s everywhere. Teachers not based in reality.
    http://news.yahoo.com/girls-math-problem-teacher-bias-154607153.html

  18. I can’t wait to get home from work to read this post and comments!

    Just hopped on to tell people who are expecting a book from me that the P.O. says they should be there on Wednesday!!

    (sorry it’s hard for me to get to P.O. when they’re open – work work work!)

  19. Cool thing: a wind map of the US.

  20. Goodness, sorry I haven’t been around. I found some time and got immersed in Ani’s book.

  21. Spirit, it’s a REALLY good book too.

  22. Ani hope you read this. I regret being an asshole and not reading your manuscript when you gave me the opporutnity. As I read, I realize I could have given you citations for some of the disgusting comments you winessed. Like the one about slitting hillary’s throat and throwing her in the Kentucky River. I took a screen shot of that one and, I have to go find it, but I believe it occurred on the mybarackobma site.

  23. yup it was mybarackobama site

    3:58 am Post:

    “Re: HIllary Clinton suprised me | Report to Admin Reply
    By Y from Alameda, CA Today at 3:58 am EDT

    yea, just slit her throat and dump her in a river in East Kentucky.

    Appalachians… Shessh, they’re the worst ”

    4:25 am post:

    “Re: Sexism will rise like crazy once Hillary’s out | Report to Admin Reply
    By Y from Alameda, CA Today at 4:25 am EDT

    Just slit her throat, lock her in a car boot, and drive the car into river in West Virginia.

    Ain’t gonna let no whore screw with the man “

  24. Just orederd my copy and will recommend this book to my Aunt for her book club.

  25. Uppity — that quote is in my book — did you get to that chapter yet?

  26. Thank you, slavetothechochips! Sounds great.
    Book clubs — group discussions — yum!

  27. yeh.I think it will be sparks for sure.. specially when this club was all out supporting obama and I was the only one supporting Hillary. My Aunt blurted out to them I was supporting Hillary..man oh man the reaction I received . well anyway .. I will definitely have her submit this as required reading. It will be a lively discussion I am sure.

  28. Yes Ani, that’s why I mentioned it. I got to the chapter where you said you ‘saw’ itand paraphrased it, but i was saying I actually had the site and quote.

  29. I am shocked as I look in my files how many comments I captured. I shall have to do a post at the write time for a trip down memory lane to remind everyone of what the left REALLY is.

  30. Hilarious from April 2008

    Senator Obama needs to get tougher on Senator Clinton in terms of her character, and he needs to focus more on her mandating universal health care. Mandating health care is detrimental: If someone cannot pay for health care,he/she will be fined — this is serious, and Senator Obama should not let everyone thinks that there platform on universal health care is the same — quite the contrary.

  31. How about a nice election 2008 night comment?

    Deal with it, bitches | yousuck@pumacunts.com | IP: 193.200.x.x

    How does defeat taste, traitor cunts?

    Muhahaha!

    Not Spam — Nov 4, 10:45 PM

  32. YOULOSE | YOULOSE@YOULOSE.COM | IP: 67.160.x.x

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE LOSERS ON THIS SITE FOR FAILING SPECTACULARLY TO MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE ELECTION.18 MILLION STRONG?NOPE.18 MILLION WRONG!HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHANOW YOU GUYS CAN SHRIVEL INTO NOTHINGNESS, LIKE HARRIET CHRISTIAN’S SAGGY TITS.

    War on women. Indeed.

  33. I know, Uppity. I knew I could count on you! You should absolutely do a post on it with the cite references. That would be invaluable. And I appreciate you mentioning this to back me up!!

  34. yes UW: Hillarious and very very SAD !!——-It still breaks my heart what they did to her

  35. Oh I’ve got pages and pages of links.

    And where did the War on Women begin again?

    All I have to say is keep crying like broads on a rag. You all lost face it…Cowards…..

    Posted by: The Oracle in MD | May 10, 2008 10:24 AM

  36. And where did the War on Women begin again?

    DKos?

  37. Comment by Uppity | 2008-05-11 10:54:49

    You wouldn’t be in Iran or somewhere would you?

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Uppity | 2008-05-11 11:02:36

    Did you set any women on fire this week?

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Hyperman | 2008-05-11 11:05:25

    You would be my first

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Uppity | 2008-05-11 11:16:17

    You would have to get past my gun and my dog first, asshole. This isn’t Afghanistan buddy. And we have no intention of allowing you to turn it into Afghanistan. It’s assholes like you who have created this movement against your compadre. But thanks for your post. I collect them as an example of why we must never let Barack Obama be president.

  38. McCain 08 | SABZIMUNDI@hotmail.com | IP: 74.237.207.135

    And what are you ? The bitch who sucks off the boss so she can blog at work ?

    McCain 08

    (I’m sure this was an Obot pretending to be a McCain supporter)

  39. So said the kid who lives in his Mom’s basement so he could post bot comments instead of working. Sheesh.

    I was over at Confluence in those days and MyIQ used to tell us it was brutal in the spam pit.

  40. PMM needs our support, on last thread, last comment————It’s KOZMOE-she didn’t want to post it here because of ANI’S new book,

  41. PMMom and are are emailing on Koz.

  42. UW: you are such a good loving friend to all of us

  43. Comment by Kevin | 2008-05-21 14:24:55

    If women were more rational and less emotional, they would vote for Obama. They will learn with time. As Michelle says, they will wake up. Besides, Hillary is not a MILF. Why would young voters like me want to vote for an old hag?

    Obama 08!

  44. Goes both ways, Michelina xo.

  45. Ok report on PMMom’s cat Koz. They don’t think it’s a stroke, but neurological. They are keeping him overnight.

  46. Not just Kos, Sophie. Moveon too.

  47. Ani, your book overcomes me. I had to put it down because it is all so real again. What an outstanding Historical record this is.

  48. We should set a day, near future, when we will have read the book and can discuss it as a group.

  49. These shitstain democrats are soooooooooooo not without sin.

    Hillary is batshit, Liebercrat crazy.

    Fuck her with a pitchfork.

    May 23, 3:28 PM

  50. PMM, I just saw your post at the end of the last thread. Hope Kosmoe isn’t in pain and I hope some of your pain is eased by all of our love headed your way. *hugs for the kitty and mom*

  51. UW: I said dKos to be half snarky. I wasn’t really paying attention to MoveOn at the time. I happened to be commenting there quite frequently when the abuse went down. And I was too slow to get it—really.

    Upon reflection, I’d have to say it didn’t really “start” at either place–more like it came out of remission in those places.

  52. Reposting. Just seeing some of these comments again makes me literally ill. While I knew it was bad at the time, I did not realize how insidiously traumatic it was until 4 years later i still have nightmares about that year. I still never fail to be appalled and sickened at some of the things that come out of human mouth.

  53. Dametruth, I kept a boatload of those things because i had a distinct feeling I would need them again one day…

  54. Sophie, those echo chambers, including Sullivan, etc. They were just conduits. It all came from the Obama campaign and there is no getting around it.

  55. You could follow their path. One of them would post a remark and by the end of the day, the echo chamber reposted it everywhere.

  56. Uppity Woman, on April 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM said: Edit Comment
    **************************************
    Uppity, I understand. That is part of the reason it took me all this time to bring it to fruition. I had to get calm enough to write this from a calmer place in myself. The book is a double edged sword. I knew it would be tough making those of us who were so involved read and relive this experience. The only good news in the reliving part is that 95% of the population was not aware of most of this and now they have an opportunity to find out and understand why we felt the way we did.

  57. sophie, they surely are polar opposites and yes, karma visited them both.

    Good Karma always to Hill. She deserved the respect all along and isn’t it funny how she has not changed at all. She is doing what she always did – pouring her enormous heart and considerable brain power into every hard working minute of every day.

    Bad Karma to Newtie. Tons more on the way, Newton. What a marrrroon, as bugs bunny says.

    PMM – So sad to go through illness in our little luv muffins. You are in our thoughts today. So many of us lost pets or had sick ones this year. more hugs. Hang in there.

  58. This strikes me as odd:
    “yup it was mybarackobama site

    3:58 am Post:

    “Re: HIllary Clinton suprised me | Report to Admin Reply
    By Y from Alameda, CA Today at 3:58 am EDT

    yea, just slit her throat and dump her in a river in East Kentucky.

    Appalachians… Shessh, they’re the worst ”

    4:25 am post:

    “Re: Sexism will rise like crazy once Hillary’s out | Report to Admin Reply
    By Y from Alameda, CA Today at 4:25 am EDT

    Just slit her throat, lock her in a car boot, and drive the car into river in West Virginia.

    Ain’t gonna let no whore screw with the man “”

    It’s odd because you have an alleged Appalachian hillbilly (I are one) threatening a white woman for a black man. 1+1=19. Not disputing your account at all but …

  59. Churl, That quote was taken from a comment made at the Obama site during the primary election. Who made the comment is unknown. The person says they are from Alameda, California.

    It doesn’t matter where the person was from, what matters is that it was a pattern of abusive remark that was constantly in our faces daily on all the obama boards and they had the balls to post on our sites too.

  60. It’s not an ‘account’ churl. It’s a copy and paste from a whole page of comments. That part of the comment might be in reference to another commenter in the mix. They also refer to two different Re: Topics. They are the same person commenting at two different topics. I tried to break it up into two quotes but it came out as one.

    Two topics
    “Re: HIllary Clinton suprised me

    “Re: Sexism will rise like crazy once Hillary’s out

    Two different rivers too. lol. But same asshole.

  61. I hate this damned shortened reply box and no cursor in it! 👿

  62. Fredster- Oh good- I thought it was just me. When will WordPress stop messing with the comment box? Sheesh. Youngsters never learned- If it ain’t broke, don’t “fix” it.

  63. Wow…I thought it was me! (actually thought the PC might need a refreshing reboot).

  64. I’m commenting from the comment box instead of admin area. My comment box had faded words “comment here” which, when clicked turn into a cursor. It does look like the comment box is back to what it WAS before they expanded it and forced you to scroll down to click the ‘post comment’ button. In short, it’s back where it was because so many people hated the ‘improved’ one.

  65. I do think ‘enter comment here” is seriously stupid, since you would have to be a complete moron not to recognize a comment box.

  66. Okay, I click on it with the faded comment here thing, but still no cursor! I liked my cursor. Right now I have no idea where the damned thing is and don’t like it! Grrrr!!

  67. Fred, mine has a cursor and expands when I click it. I am using Firefox.

  68. Also the “enter comment here” disappears when I click on the small box.

    Imust – that isn’t your name anymore. Protest was replaced with a P word.

    I made NY cheese cake with sour cream top. I’ll top it with fresh strawberries before serving. I’m making a key lime pie tomorrow. Both are for a bridal shower at work on Wednesday.

  69. My cursor disappears too and I like to know where my cursor is at all times.

  70. I have finished Ani’s book. I laughed. I cried. I would read it again and again. So when’s the book discussion?

  71. Sophie, the kindle readers get the book after the 11th. If everyone discusses the book before then it would be best to do so on one thread that we can wait till later to read. A “spoiler alert” thread or a separate “tab” above for on going discussion of the book, perhaps.

  72. Did karen mention PIE?🙂

  73. FF, both headers were adorable. The little pink pads on Bill’s foot are so feminine! Is Bill Gay?

    Upps?

  74. I did, I did see a putty tat, um, mention pie. Want some, imust? West Coast delivery, asap.

    I love me my Key Lime Pie and Cheesecake. The sweet and sour thing in foods hits me just right, too. Chinese Sauce. Duck sauce. Pickles.

    Apricot sour, lemon and lime, etc.

  75. Wisconsin state senator says women are paid less because money is more important for men. Where on earth does Wisconsin find these assholes?
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/04/09/460917/wisconsin-state-senator-money-less-important-wome/?mobile=nc

  76. Karen let me make this clear before Bill sees what you wrote and punishes you for life. Bil is not gay. He is simply well manicured. Metrosexual, if you will. He knows that girl kittehs like a Tom with a soft paw.

  77. Great post, Admin.

    Ani, I received your book last Friday and must admit I had an approach-avoidance relationship with it at first. I just didn’t know if I wanted to re-open the wounds from 2008 as the entire experience seems like it ocurred just last week. Finally, this weekend, I was determined to read your book. I think I’m 20 pages into it and already I’m sorta rationing the pages. This is very unusual for me because I normally don’t start rationing pages until I’m close to the end of a very good read … wanting to savor it and make it last.

    Thank you for memorializing our common experience of the previous presidential shenanigans. I can’t begin to imagine the kind of courage it took to re-visit the serial travesties of 2008 and beyond, nor can I imagine the strength it took to make yourself as vulnerabe as you did writing specifically and intimately about your personal background. Thank you so much.

    Brava! Loving your book! You’re another woman who smokes!!

  78. Karen, I’m cool with waiting for the discussion…just want to know when it is. I wouldn’t want to spoil this for anyone.

  79. I saw this tweet from FreeUsNow regarding Anita’s book:
    Monday April 9, 2012, @ 10 PM Eastern 7 PM Pacific

    What’s the event and where is it?

  80. Sophie — if you go to Anita Finlay, Author, on Facebook, all details are there…

  81. Got it. Thanks.

  82. Ani,
    Wondering if you would mind adding your website address in the account details box so your name will be a clickable link to you website?

  83. Yeah that’s the only way I make cheesecake. Layer of sour cream baked right atop it.

  84. DWP, I’m confused — if you click on my website name in my post above, it will take you to my website.

  85. Ani she means if you would add your website to the URL link when you login. Then your name will “light up” and people can get to your website just by clicking on your name in any of your comments.

  86. Ani- I think Dances is referring to the links you see under some of our names in the comments. When I log in, I can add my http address for my blog- and then it gives and underline so people can click on my name in the comments and go right to my blog. WP is annoying in that it autofills my gravatar http so I have to erase it and then put the blog http in- but once I erase the gravatar one it autofills my blog address.
    Uppity has a line, I have one, Dances, Fredster etc. All link back to a blog. You should have one too! That way even if the post is not about your book, we can click to go to your site. Better than bookmarks lol

  87. LOL Uppity- typing at the same time again I see.

  88. Understood — I will do that later this evening! I’ll be back!!! Thank you for mentioning — I’m getting quite the technological education. Then again, I never had my own website!

  89. Yeah Mom, you and I have a psychic hotline for sure.

  90. Ani,
    So sorry.
    If you click in the “Give us your Uppity opinion” comment box, a few other texts boxes will appear below it.
    1st = your email address
    2nd= your screen name
    3rd= the box for the URL of your website (http://www.anitafinlay.com)

  91. “Oy” what?

  92. Wisconsin state senator says women are paid less because money is more important for men. Where on earth does Wisconsin find these assholes?

    Ah, we’re going back to the days when women “just worked for ‘pin’ money”!!!! (I never understood what “pin money” meant, except that it means some inexpensive, unneeded little treat that a woman just has to have every now and again – maybe a “pin” as in a “brooch”, when they used to wear those….? Yeah, anyway, it’s an oooooooold argument! And of course, the fact that most households these days are headed by women (dada went byebye), doesn’t factor into their elite views of everyone else’s lives… but sure, women don’t really need money….

    Karen let me make this clear before Bill sees what you wrote and punishes you for life. Bil is not gay. He is simply well manicured. Metrosexual, if you will. He knows that girl kittehs like a Tom with a soft paw.

    I thought the girl kittehs like a Tom with a SLOW paw!

    Or on the other hand, it could be – with a SOUTHPAW!

  93. Oh I just noticed that those are little broken easter eggs in the header! Creative! lol

  94. Someone posted the url to this article upthread. Oh, it must be read! It’s by Ashley Judd – she’s like Ani’s literary cousin, or something! ASHLEY is what a feminist looks like, and she can even write the word “feminist” in relation to herself – wow! Ashley needs one of Ani’s books, that’s for sure.

    I’ve always loved Ashley – beautiful woman, great actress, doesn’t have to be saved by men all the time.

    —————————————–

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/09/ashley-judd-slaps-media-in-the-face-for-speculation-over-her-puffy-appearance.html

    Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance

    by Ashley Judd Apr 9, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    Ashley Judd’s ‘puffy’ appearance sparked a viral media frenzy. But, the actress writes, the conversation is really a misogynistic assault on all women.

    The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.

    As an actor and woman who, at times, avails herself of the media, I am painfully aware of the conversation about women’s bodies, and it frequently migrates to my own body. I know this, even though my personal practice is to ignore what is written about me. I do not, for example, read interviews I do with news outlets. I hold that it is none of my business what people think of me. I arrived at this belief after first, when I began working as an actor 18 years ago, reading everything. I evolved into selecting only the “good” pieces to read.

    Over time, I matured into the understanding that good and bad are equally fanciful interpretations. I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. I thus abstain from all media about myself. The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself, my personal integrity, and my relationship with my Creator. Of course, it’s wonderful to be held in esteem and fond regard by family, friends, and community, but a central part of my spiritual practice is letting go of otheration. And casting one’s lot with the public is dangerous and self-destructive, and I value myself too much to do that.

    However, the recent speculation and accusations in March feel different, and my colleagues and friends encouraged me to know what was being said. Consequently, I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.

    A brief analysis demonstrates that the following “conclusions” were all made on the exact same day, March 20, about the exact same woman (me), looking the exact same way, based on the exact same television appearance. The following examples are real, and come from a variety of (so-called!) legitimate news outlets (such as HuffPo, MSNBC, etc.), tabloid press, and social media:

    One: When I am sick for more than a month and on medication (multiple rounds of steroids), the accusation is that because my face looks puffy, I have “clearly had work done,” with otherwise credible reporters with great bravo “identifying” precisely the procedures I allegedly have had done.

    Two: When my skin is nearly flawless, and at age 43, I do not yet have visible wrinkles that can be seen on television, I have had “work done,” with media outlets bolstered by consulting with plastic surgeons I have never met who “conclude” what procedures I have “clearly” had. (Notice that this is a “back-handed compliment,” too—I look so good! It simply cannot possibly be real!)

    Three: When my 2012 face looks different than it did when I filmed Double Jeopardy in 1998, I am accused of having “messed up” my face (polite language here, the F word is being used more often), with a passionate lament that “Ashley has lost her familiar beauty audiences loved her for.”

    Four: When I have gained weight, going from my usual size two/four to a six/eight after a lazy six months of not exercising, and that weight gain shows in my face and arms, I am a “cow” and a “pig” and I “better watch out” because my husband “is looking for his second wife.” (Did you catch how this one engenders competition and fear between women? How it also suggests that my husband values me based only on my physical appearance? Classic sexism. We won’t even address how extraordinary it is that a size eight would be heckled as “fat.”)
    That the conversation about my face was initially promulgated largely by women is a sad and disturbing fact.

    Five: In perhaps the coup de grace, when I am acting in a dramatic scene in Missing—the plot stating I am emotionally distressed and have been awake and on the run for days—viewers remarks ranged from “What the f–k did she do to her face?” to cautionary gloating, “Ladies, look at the work!” Footage from “Missing” obviously dates prior to March, and the remarks about how I look while playing a character powerfully illustrate the contagious and vicious nature of the conversation. The accusations and lies, introduced to the public, now apply to me as a woman across space and time; to me as any woman and to me as every woman.

    That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.

    This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.

    A case in point is that this conversation was initially promulgated largely by women; a sad and disturbing fact. (That they are professional friends of mine, and know my character and values, is an additional betrayal.)

    News outlets with whom I do serious work, such as publishing op-eds about preventing HIV, empowering poor youth worldwide, and conflict mineral mining in Democratic Republic of Congo, all ran this “story” without checking with my office first for verification, or offering me the dignity of the opportunity to comment. It’s an indictment of them that they would even consider the content printable, and that they, too, without using time-honored journalistic standards, would perpetuate with un-edifying delight such blatantly gendered, ageist, and mean-spirited content.

    I hope the sharing of my thoughts can generate a new conversation: Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place? How, and why, did people participate? If not in the conversation about me, in parallel ones about women in your sphere? What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about? What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about? How does this symbolize constraints on girls and women, and encroach on our right to be simply as we are, at any given moment?

    How can we as individuals in our private lives make adjustments that support us in shedding unconscious actions, internalized beliefs, and fears about our worthiness, that perpetuate such meanness? What can we do as families, as groups of friends? Is what girls and women can do different from what boys and men can do? What does this have to do with how women are treated in the workplace?

    I ask especially how we can leverage strong female-to-female alliances to confront and change that there is no winning here as women. It doesn’t actually matter if we are aging naturally, or resorting to surgical assistance. We experience brutal criticism. The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others—and in my case, to the actual public. (I am also aware that inevitably some will comment that because I am a creative person, I have abdicated my right to a distinction between my public and private selves, an additional, albeit related, track of highly distorted thinking that will have to be addressed at another time).

    If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start. Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who. The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women.

    In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood. It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation.
    ————————————————————————————
    Ashley Judd is a prolific actress, who will next be seen in ABC’s new midseason show, Missing. Judd most recently appeared in Dolphin Tale alongside Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr. and Kris Kristofferson. Judd is also on the board of directors for PSI (Population Services International), which she joined in 2004 after serving as Global Ambassador for PSI’s HIV education and prevention program, YouthAIDS since 2002. Judd has visited PSI programs in Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, India, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In her work, she witnesses the lives of the exploited and poor to help educated the world about the reality of global poverty and bring solutions to the devastating effects of social injustice and gender inequality.

    Judd was the subject of three award-winning documentaries aired in more than 150 countries worldwide on VH1, The Discovery Channel and The National Geographic Channel. In her role as PSI board member, Judd has graced the covers of countless magazines and been the subject of newspaper and television interviews bringing vital awareness to issues closest to her heart, gender inequality and poverty alleviation.

    Judd has visited legislators on Capitol Hill, addressed the General Assembly of the UN on the scourge human trafficking, spoke at the National Press Club, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the protection of vulnerable women from violence, sexual abuse and HIV and, most recently served as an expert panelist at Clinton Global Initiative to discuss the issue of safe water and the empowerment of girls in the developing world.

    Recently, Judd has come on board as a spokesperson for organizations Defenders for Wildlife and The Sierra Club providing her time and voice to advocate against practices of aerial wolf hunting (Defenders for Wildlife) and mountaintop removal coal mining (The Sierra Club). She resides in Tennessee and Scotland with her husband, the international racing star Dario Franchitti. They have 8 beloved pets and enjoy a quiet, rural life.

  95. Ani or socal – how does one send something to a movie star? Do you have to find out who their agent is, and send it to them?

  96. yeah Lorac, I think Uppity is in for a surprise about her Bill. Just look at him in the pink bunny ears surrounded by rainbow colors.

    He might have been influenced by all the Lebanese around here.

    That cat swings.

  97. lol Karen you may be right about the Lebanese influence!

  98. That Judd was an expert panelist on woman and girls at the CGI is so fitting with her words. She walks the walk.

  99. I think Bill has crashed in the header after a nip bender.

  100. Those peeps in the header look a little creepy too btw……Hitchcock anyone?

  101. http://minx.cc/?post=328259

    Top Ten Things Almost As White As Obama’s Campaign HQ Staff

    10. The Annual Frasier Cosplay Convention

    9. People who buy CDs from Starbucks; also, people who buy biscottis from Starbucks; also, Starbucks

    8. An National Hockey League line, doing a line dance in honky-tonk in White Line, Michigan, after doing lines of the purest cocaine, and then standing in line for Bocephus tickets

    7. An eggwhites-only omelete, covered in mozzarella and white truffles, made by a Racist Short Order Cook named Kyle

    6. A Wonder Bread & Mayonnaise sandwich, crust off

    5. The officer corps of the Galactic Imperial Fleet

    4. A snowman with a black tear tattoo

    3. The racist Whitesnake tribute band, Aryan Sex Dragon

    2. Beneath the wild thatch of mangy, unkempt hair — Rosie O’Donnell’s egg-shaped frontbutt

    …and the number one thing almost as white as Obama’s Campaign HQ…

    1. The liberal editorial staff at Buzzfeed, who at no point in this process wondered where the black and Hispanic staffers were

  102. I’m telling you Karen, you’re cruising for it. I won’t be able to do a thing for you.

    Wow Judd is mucho pissed off. You go girl.

  103. Ani DWP will be cross posting you at Pumapac. Forgot to tell you.

  104. karen? karen who? I don’t know her MKBill…really.

  105. This is wise of you, imust.

  106. I have nothing to post tomorrow. Who wants to write? I’ve been so fracking busy.

  107. Lorac — yes, you would send it in care of their agent with a cover letter, explaining to the agent what you are doing, then a personal note to the star along with whatever you are sending.

  108. Uppity Woman, on April 9, 2012 at 11:46 PM said: Edit Comment

    Ani DWP will be cross posting you at Pumapac. Forgot to tell you.
    **************
    Sounds great — thank you !!!

  109. Lookie — I think I got my website posted under my name!!!

  110. Ani – how does one find out who their agent is? Is there a website?

  111. http://johnwsmart.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/4-reasons-why-obama-will-win/

    Well-said paragraph over at John Smart’s place

    (urrrrghhh I HATE these tiny boxes… you can’t add anything to the end, because every time you put your cursor there, the text scrolls back up. Idjits!

    Think of it this way: The electorate is an organism with a depressed immune system. This organism is open to any and all infections that may come its way. What we call these infections in 2012 is “memes”. In the last 6 months at least 3 “infections” (that is: explosive news directed and injected into popular discourse) have been helped along by Axelrod Inc. Occupy Wall Street, the contraception debate – now morphed into the “war on women”, and race via the Martin tragedy. Who knows how many more will come along in the next 6 months. Only one needs to “take”.

  112. Lorac — trying to find out for you right now…

  113. lorac pls check your email.

  114. Yup ani. It’s definitely You.

  115. I was so happy to see that, Lorac! Great of him to give me an endorsement! I know you are always over there plugging for me and I sincerely thank you for that!

  116. Yeah we got a pingback from 44 today. Glad he’s giving Ani some press over there at the Big Pink.

  117. Lorac, want to offer some books over at John Smart’s?

  118. Uppity @1:20. I am sooo tempted to say something here except you’ll delete it.

  119. Oh, Ani, yes, I always plugged your articles there. But…. I don’t hang out there much anymore…. and that’s all I’ll say about that in this forum lol

  120. lorac, on April 10, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    But…. I don’t hang out there much anymore…. and that’s all I’ll say about that in this forum lol

    tee-hee!!!

  121. Oh, yeah…. I got gas today….. $4.45/gallon. Delightful!

  122. lorac: 😯

    It hasn’t hit $4/gal. here…yet.

  123. Rub it in, Fredster, rub it in lol

  124. UW – are you going to post at John Smart or do you want me to ?

  125. Oh no, it’s probably coming. But y’all have to use that fancy California gasoline so it costs ya more. 😉

  126. And what about myiq’s site?

  127. Oh it wasn’t that one. It was the one uppity mentioned; the neighbor’s place and the book offer.

  128. So, I think today was Ani’s interview on blog talk radio, but I can’t re-find the info – I wanted to see if I can listen to it now. Can anyone point me to it?

  129. Go here:
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/

    Do you remember the name of the show? If not, there’s a search button. $^@^$#$^ NO CURSOR!!!!

  130. Oh, thanks, Fredster. I don’t know, I think the name of the show was a woman’s name. I’ll check around!

  131. try searching Ani’s name (full name)

  132. try doing a search here on “radio” or talk show (?)

  133. Wow – Sophie called in to the show, and so did Marcia Pappas, the president of NOW NY whom UW always talks about!

  134. Lorac, I’ll take care of comment at John’s and Myiq’s.

  135. Did you all see the photos of Obama campaign’s kickoff with Messina and all the campaign staffers? If this isn’t a White Boyz club, I don’t know what is.
    http://crayfisher.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/white-like-me/?tw_p=twt

  136. Mom’s cat Koz doesn’t seem to be rallying. She’s on her way to the vet to discuss his condition. Please keep her in your thoughts.

  137. hoping Koz gets better.love all the comments and the header. 🙂

  138. Upps. About mom and kozmoe. Done. Hugs for Mom.

  139. Those pictures at myiq’s are funny as hell. About the only people falling for the whole hopey-changey round deux are the clueless new kids on the block. They do not know diddly squat about beans and are falling for this absolutely clear as day con-man. Brought to you by no obamabot left behind. Give them all a medal of honor and a noble prize for joining the Chicago Way chapter of Hoodwink and Bamboozle Inc.

    White pimple faced boys that live in mom’s basement and play video games and tweet all day. How cool is that? Not. At. All. Kewl.

  140. Uppityites. Mom has lost her Kozmoe.

  141. Thanks Uppity. Heart is broken. I think it is the hardest thing in the world to make that decision for our pets. I stayed with him through the process- and we brought him home and buried him near his Mom and the mare we lost a few years ago. Poor Kozmoe, he was just so much worse this morning and in such obvious distress and pain. Peaceful now and no more pain.

  142. Hugs mom. So sad. You’ll forget the bad parts in time. Someday there will only be his wonderful memories and the good times.

  143. I know it’s hard, Mom. Boy do I ever. But you did it for him and that makes it the right thing. Sometimes we just have to give them peace even though we want to keep them with us. I believe, in the end, they are always grateful for that act of love that hurts us so much but frees them from pain. They take a piece of us with them, to be sure. But they also leave a piece of themselves behind in our hearts. Fly away, Koz. You good guy, you.

  144. Mom, I just read about Kozmoe. I’m sorry. I know this was difficult. My thoughts go out to you.

  145. Leslie, I enjoyed our classical music gig.

  146. Dirty Words now on Kindle, too!!

  147. me, too, Ups.

  148. Ani, Just read the first chapter of your book. It was excellent. You are a terrific writer. I am ordering it through Amazon as soon as my new debit card comes in the mail. I don’t use credit cards any more.
    I am going to try and get my lapsed feminist Obama supporting sisters who also bought in to the Hillary hate, to read it too. It is important for women to understand how we all got talked in to turning on each other. It’s going to be kind of hard to unite against the war on women, as long as we still see other women as the enemy.
    So looking forward to getting your book in the mail. And who knows, maybe one day we will meet at a political event and you will sign it for me.

    ps….also an actor (mostly musical theater) who can’t resist the world of politics.

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