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December 31, 2007
-Lindsey Lohan - go back to the red hair, stop screwing around, and make Mean Girls 2 already
-Heather from Rock of Love - go back to the "BIG HAIR" we miss it!
-The makers of reality TV - bring back the so-bad-it's-good reality programming! We're on model overload with some of the only semi-decent reality shows that were on the past few months being Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, America's Most Smartest Model, and The Shot. (There have also been commercials for the upcoming Make Me a Supermodel). Tila Tequila was never as "turned on" as Bret Michaels, I Love New York really didn't need a sequel and there's only so much we could take of the Hills. Where are the washed up celebrities and pick up artists we've grown to love? Rock of Love 2 better be fucking great.
-George Bush - wow, there's just so much we could say. How about just "do the opposite of almost everything you've been doing".
-The Spears Family - boycott all contact with the media. Even a month or two would be great. (Waivers might be granted for the shows Intervention or Celebrity Rehab.)
-The AMPTP - Just pay the writers already.
-Tom Cruise - Reconsider your bowl cut. It doesn't look good on anyone. Oh, and while we're at it...
-Katie Holmes - Reconsider Tom Cruise.
-The United States Congress - Reconsider your continuing support and funding for abstinence only sex education. Unless maybe you'd like to wait for another 50 or 60 studies to come out proving that it doesn't work.
-Amy Winehouse - Go into rehab and stay there until 2009, then make a big comeback with a fresh beehive and an awesome new album.
Of course, we also hope that all of our readers will resolve to be as evil and slutty as possible in 2008. Happy New Year!
December 30, 2007
Seeing as tomorrow is a really big drinking night for a lot of people, we thought it was a good idea to remind everyone how dangerous and irresponsible (and selfish) it is to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Yeah, that's it. No funny blog entry. Just straight to the point: don't drink and drive.
Have a safe and happy new year.
December 29, 2007
Dumb Things Guys Say #18
Recently, the AP asked all of the presidential candidates to name their most prized possession.
The answers ranged from the lame...
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (laughing): "I hate these questions because they always require more thought than I have time to give them. Prized like long-term or short-term? My running shoes are very important to me."...to the truly dumb:
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson: "Trophy wife."How charming! He managed to combine a good old-fashioned 'wives as property' joke with a hilarious comment about only marrying his wife for her looks. Funny stuff. Let's hope Mrs. Thompson made him sleep on the couch that night.
December 28, 2007
DB: So, I messed up. Everyone does. Does she want me to go off and commit sudoku?
Sakura: You mean seppuku.
DB: No sudoku.
Sakura: Seppuku is ritual suicide. It was a way for a samurai to kill themselves and die with honor rather than falling to an enemy or being dishonored. Sudoku is that number game in the paper. Now, were you trying to say 'Does she want me to kill myself' or where you trying to say 'Does she want me to paint a grid on my face and place the numbers 1 through 9 in it?'
DB: I hate you.
(We love her).
December 26, 2007
December 23, 2007
December 20, 2007
Lenora Claire presents "Merry Titmus" at the World of Wonder Art Gallery (6650 Hollywood Blvd, in California). The breast art show in town runs through the first week of January and will be donating a portion of the proceeds toward the fight against breast cancer. Check out a slideshow of art from the exhibition here courtesy of LA Weekly.
Morningwood has a really fun holiday song up on their myspace right now that you can download for limited time only.
You can pay homage to the best Christmas movie of all time and get yourself a leg lamp (It's a Major Award!)
Or rent one of the Top Ten Worst Christmas Movies of All Time (according to the "Fat Guys at the Movies" from filmschoolrejects.com).
Continue a (totally fake) "tradition" by playing hide the pickle. (It just sounds dirty).
You can buy - and then um, hide - this pickle at terryvillage.com
Remember the origins of Christmas are all about you-know-who. So have a slice of birthday cake and celebrate JESUSFEST2007 in your own way!
Okay, in the end, we have to give you one more meaningful piece of information:
Code Pink reminds us not to overlook what is happening in the rest of world during the frenzy of December, so they have offered a list of 10 Ways to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season. See how peace can transform your holiday experience and inspire others.
We hope you all had a happy Chanukah, Bodhi Day, and Eid ul-Adha... and have a great time celebrating Yule, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. And HAPPY NEW YEAR and other random holiday we don't know about!
And let us know how you spent your holidays this year!
December 19, 2007
We’ve talked a lot this month about buying things, and we’re certainly not the only ones. In the middle of all of this $$$$$ December noise, we thought we’d take a day to talk about charity, ESC style.
Don't just give...
Habitat for Humanity is an international “housing ministry” that is working to eliminate poverty and homelessness by partnering with volunteers and families in need to build affordable housing. They accept donations of money and materials and also invite people to volunteer locally or around the world. Habitat is a Christian organization, although they say that they welcome and help people of all religions. They work through a group of affiliate organizations—most are highly rated by charity evaluators, but there are a few that aren’t, so do a little research before deciding where to commit your money and time.
Sanctuary For Families is an organization dedicated to providing a whole range of services for victims of domestic violence. They have several shelters and safe houses, run a support hotline, provide counseling services, have special programs for children, help clients with housing and other issues, and also provide legal support. If that’s not enough, they are also dedicated to treating their clients as individuals and respecting their specific needs, which includes providing service in many different languages and having programs to address the unique needs of immigrant women. They accept donations and are always looking for volunteers to help with the many many support services and special programs that they provide.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness. They focus on policy, which means that they work with other nonprofits and private organizations and well as with local governments to try to help communities develop stronger programs to address the problem of homelessness. They provide lots of data and research on the issues surrounding homelessness and how they can best be addressed.
The Haven Coalition is a New York City based volunteer network that provides hosting services for women traveling to the city to have abortions. Abortion access is very limited in many parts of the country, which often puts women in the position of having to travel a long distance and spend a great deal of money in order to have an abortion. Haven volunteers will open their homes to these women and will also provide a meal and help with transportation to and from their appointments. The only way we’ll be able to fight for our reproductive freedom and win is if we all work together.HONOR
"The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust is dedicated to one, single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families. To carry out this responsibility, the Charitable Service Trust supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs, meets the special needs of veterans with specific disabilities such as amputation and blindness, and aids and shelters homeless veterans. In addition, the Trust is a grant maker, expending more than $48.5 million in service to disabled veterans and their dependents since 1988."
Operation Homefront provides emergency assistance and morale to our troops, to the families they leave behind, and to wounded warriors when they return home. They provide financial assistance in crisis situations, as well as help with food, furniture, school supplies, moving services, and holiday programs.
The International Rescue Committee is a global network of “first responders, humanitarian relief workers, healthcare providers, educators, community leaders, activists, and volunteers” working in 25 countries to provide help to those who are affected by violent conflict. They work on resettlement of refugees, economic development, providing shelter and health care and other basic services, and advocacy on issues like gender-based violence, trafficking, and children’s issues.We know that there are a lot of strong opinions out there about the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan and what should be done about it, and we're not going to tell anyone what to believe (at least, not in this blog entry). We're just suggesting that you look for opportunities to help those affected by war and violence in a way that feels right to you.
RAINN is the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. They operate a national sexual assault hotline 24/7 and are working on launching a 24/7 online hotline as well. They conduct college outreach programs and media campaigns, and are involved in political and legal issues related to sexual assault. RAINN "educates the public about sexual assault, and leads national efforts to improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice".
Dress For Success is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged women find and keep employment. They provide women with professional clothes to wear on job interviews, and services to help them once they are employed. They run the Professional Women's Group (PWG) program, which “provides ongoing support to enable women to successfully transition into the workforce, build thriving careers and prosper in the mainstream workplace. Once a woman joins PWG she is a member for life, able to attend meetings at any affiliate throughout the world and can benefit from additional employment retention and mentoring programs”. Economic independence for women is a beautiful thing.HIVSA and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU) are two closely related African organizations. HIVSA runs a wide range of educational and community programs to help those who are affected by HIV and AIDS, and PHRU is "one of the largest AIDS research centres in Africa. The early research focus on prevention of mother to child transmission has expanded and PHRU now leads studies on many different aspects of HIV prevention, treatment and care including medical and social research". The PHRU and HIVSA offices are at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa. HIVSA accepts donations to fund their programs.
Toys For Tots organizes collection drives all across the country, collecting new toys to distribute to needy kids at holiday time. Find a donation site, give a toy. It's simple and doesn't have to be expensive. You can also go to their website and 'sponsor a toy' by giving a cash donation. This allows you to be lazy, but also helps because it gives Toys For Tots the ability to make sure nobody misses out by buying toys for older kids, since donated toys tend to be geared towards younger kids.
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America's public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as a part of each child's complete education. "VH1 Save The Music purchases new musical instruments to restore music education programs that have been cut due to budget reductions in the past or to save programs at risk of elimination due to lack of instruments. The Foundation also conducts awareness campaigns, musical instrument drives and fundraising events." They accept donations and also provide resources to help you advocate for music education in your own community.
Donors Choose is program designed to address inequity and scarcity in public schools. Basically, teachers submit proposals to the site and explain what materials or resources they need for the particular program that they want to teach their kids. You go to donorschoose.org, browse around and pick a program that you would like to help fund. When a project is funded, donors get a package with photos, letters, and info about how it worked. Donors Choose screens all of the projects and then purchases and ships the necessary materials.
Author Timothy Ferriss is working with the nonprofit group Room to Read to raise $15,000 to build a school in Nepal. "Room to Read provides under-privileged children with opportunities to gain the lifelong gift of education, in order to break the cycle of poverty and provide the means for self-determination." We wanted to link directly to Tim's project as well as to the Room to Read home page because he's more than halfway to his goal, and getting there means a school gets built and children's lives are changed.
We've written about V-Day a million times, but we can't leave them off if we're talking about giving and unity. We all need to work together until the violence stops.
The Humane Society of the United States promotes the protection of all animals. "With nearly ten million members and constituents, The HSUS is the nation's largest and most powerful animal protection organization, working in the United States and abroad to defend the interests of animals. We celebrate the human-animal bond, and we fight animal cruelty and abuse in all of its forms. We work to reduce suffering and to create meaningful social change for animals by advocating for public policies to protect animals, investigating cruelty and working to enforce existing laws, educating the public about the issues, and conducting hands-on programs, such as assisting animals when disasters strike."
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. HRC seeks to improve the lives of GLBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs.
Oxfam is an international relief and development organization that works to combat poverty and injustice. They work for women's equality, the rights of minority and indigenous people, security, trade, and economic issues, and for basic needs like land and clean water. They believe that "conflict violates the inherent rights of all people" but also that victims of violence and injustice are not helpless and can work together for change. They accept donations, have programs for students, and also welcome volunteers.
And before you begin, don't forget one other important activity...
Independent Charities of America is a nonprofit association of America's best charities. “Our purpose is to represent charities that meet the highest standards of public accountability and program effectiveness and to facilitate gifts to those charities from contributors in fund drives conducted at work and on the web.”
Charity Navigator is an independent organization that evaluates charities and nonprofit organizations. They have a team of professional analysts and a rating system that looks at how charities spend their money, so they can help you decide which groups will make the best use of your donation.
Give.org is the home of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. They have a Wise Giving Guide and a long list of evaluation reports on national charities.
December 18, 2007
Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in the South. Fair trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.Many people feel that fair trade programs is a long term solution (compared to short term charitable aid) because it gives these communities a way to support themselves. We agree that it's important for companies to see beyond the bottom line and take into account what impact their business actions can have on the rest of the world and the environment.
So here is a short list of some companies and organizations that are doing the right thing when it comes to fair trade. Of course, there are so many other worthy groups out there, so if this issue is important to you please do your own research as well.
- Adina gets its name from the Senegalese word for "life". Their organic beverage company uses cultural recipes from around the world (including the traditional Bissap juice of native Senegal) and works with community-based cooperatives and collectives.
- Aid to Artisans is a non-profit organization, that offers practical assistance to artisan groups worldwide, working in partnerships to foster artistic traditions, cultural vitality, improved livelihoods and community well-being. Through collaboration in product development, business skills training and development of new markets, they provide sustainable economic and social benefits for craftspeople in an environmentally sensitive and culturally respectful manner.
- Choice Organic gets their Himalayan green tea from a remote co-op in Nepal, donates 10 cents per tea box to Save the Himalayan Kingdom, and has all organic products.
- Co-op America is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to harness economic power - the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace - to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
- Cred Jewellery is an ethical jewelry company that makes sure that the mining of the metal and gems used in their beautiful jewelry respects strict social and environmental principles (such as restoring and reforesting mined land, avoiding the use of toxic chemicals, improving the standards of working conditions in the mining industry, adhering to the Kimberly process, etc.)
- Dagoba Chocolate uses fair trade-certified cacao in their chocolate but also pays producers wagers higher than the fair-trade standard.
- Divine not only pays a fair price to the cocoa farmers cooperative Kuapa Kokoo of Ghana, but also gives them a share in the company's profit.
- Fair Indigo is a clothing company that creates stylish, high-quality clothes for men and women while paying a fair and meaningful wage to the people who produce them (which includes "the best, most ethical factories around the globe").
- Equal Exchange offers organic, gourmet coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, and chocolate bars produced by democratically run farmer co-ops in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
- The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is an association of businesses and organizations who are fully committed to fair trade. FTF strengthens the capacity of its members, encourages the exchange of best practices, and raises awareness about the importance of choosing fairly traded products and supporting businesses committed to fair trade principles.
- Ganesha is a fair trade partnership (with a shop in London) that imports quality home furnishings and accessories from India, sourced from/developed with co-operatives and producer associations.
- Global Exchange is an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting environmental, political and social justice. Their online fair trade store gives you the option of shopping by individual country; they also offer "Reality Tours" so you can learn about global issues firsthand.
- Novica has more than 2,000 handcrafted works of art for sale in order to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity.
- Numi pays their Chinese tea garden farmers a significantly higher salary than the national average and also gives them free land and housing.
- Oké gives its banana farmers 30 percent ownership of the company and has changed the social landscape in Costa Rica and Ecuador (where banana farmers previously were known to have the worst working conditions).
- Organic India's farmers of use traditional ayurvedic practices in growing their herbs and teas and alternate between growing crops for the company and themselves every other season.
- Oxfam America has teamed up with Co-op America to call on consumers to adopt their local supermarket. By building up local community pressure, they hope to get supermarkets to stock, market, and display more Fair Trade products. Go to CheckOutFairTrade.com for more information on how you can get involved.
- Pangea Market gets its name from the Greek pangea for "all lands". They bring together traditional high quality handicrafts made by artisans in developing countries to help create sustainable livelihoods for artists in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
- Pura Vida Coffee is one of the largest sellers of fair trade, organic coffee in the U.S.
- ResponsibleTravel.com is a directory of carefully screened trips run by hundreds of specialist operators and accommodations. They provide more authentic holidays that allow you to truly experience a destination and its culture, all of which have been screen to ensure that the local people benefit as much as possible and any negative environmental impacts on the destination are minimized.
- SweatFree Communities assists sweatshop workers globally in their struggles to improve working conditions and form strong, independent unions. They have their own Shop with a Conscience Consumer Guide (partnered with Sweatshop Watch and the International Labor Rights Forum) filled with products made in good working conditions.
- Taraluna believes you can "change the world one purchase at a time" by shopping wisely, buying fair trade, sweatshop free, American made, organic and natural. They are a small, woman-owned/family-run business that offers unique products.
- Ten Thousand Villages works with over 100 artisan groups in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to bring you fair trade jewelry, home decor, gifts and more. It is one of the oldest and largest fair trade organizations.
- Trans Fair USA is a nonprofit organization that audits transactions between US companies offering Fair Trade Certified™ products and the international suppliers from whom they source, in order to guarantee that the farmers and farm workers behind Fair Trade Certified goods were paid a fair, above-market price.
- Two Hands Worldshop offers beautiful Fair Trade certified arts and handcrafts from the world's artisans, so that disadvantaged artisans and producers can have fair wages, safe working conditions, and long-term, stable business partnerships.
- World of Good was formed to "create a bridge" between individuals in the US looking for beautiful and interesting handcrafted products and small artisan organizations around the world who could really benefit from the opportunity to share their handcrafts with the world.
December 17, 2007
It was originally created in 2003 by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and the Sex Workers Outreach Project, as a memorial and vigil for victims of the "Green River Killer" (Seattle, Washington) and now serves as a day for sex workers and supporters to empower and organize against discrimination.
Sex workers are often reluctant to report violent crimes (mainly due to societal stigma and the existing laws) and don't always get justice when they do - as we all learned from the Judge Deni controversy in Philadelphia.
Annie Sprinkle offers Ten Things You Can Do to Participate:
Participants are also encouraged to carry red umbrellas on December 17th as a symbol of international solidarity for sex workers' rights.
On December 17th, people around the world will be calling attention to hate crimes against sex workers, namely prostitutes. Here are some suggestions and options for ways to participate. Or by all means, make up your own.
- Do something of personal meaning alone at home; take a ritual bath, or simply think about those who have died, light a candle, make a wish, have a cry, call a friend and discuss the topic, etc.
- Write a short personal quote or a statement about violence against sex workers and send to the SWOP web site for them to post.
- Send a donation to a nonprofit group that helps sex workers stay safer.
- Organize a public memorial event in your town. If not, choose a place, and time, where you can gather. Make an email letter and/or flyer and get it around with news of the event. Invite people to bring writings, stories, readings, thoughts, related news items, poems, performances, etc. Make a circle at the event. Take turns sharing. This will make for a wonderful memorial and be great for consciousness raising and outreach as well.
- Organize a panel discussion about violence towards sex workers. You can ask a church or other community space if you can do it there.
- Send news of this event to any and all press you know, so the word gets out that there are people who care about murdered sex workers, and who are concerned with the safety of sex workers out there today.
- Attend one of the events which is listed on the SWOP web site.
- If you know any sex workers, send them some information about self-defense.
- Send a personal email letter to people telling them how you feel about violence against sex workers and the women who were murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway. Or email this letter around.
- Read Daisy Anarchy's poem, click here, to yourself or to friends, or at one of the public events. Or email it around.
There are a lot of events going on that you can find on the SWOP website or you can organize your own, but here are just a few events that we found out about from some of our myspace friends:
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
This year, SWOP-LV (Sex Workers' Outreach Project) will hold a memorial march down Fremont Street, with a candlelight vigil at the end. We will meet at the Fremont Street Experience Parking Plaza on the top floor. (See map at vegasreservations.com)
www.scapa.lv.org for more info, including quotes from paste vigils and info on serial killers who target sex workers.
Please bring a red umbrella or wear a red shirt in solidarity.
Afterwards, those interested are invited to join us for dinner somewhere cheap (TBA). We plan that dinner will only cost you $10 or less.
Meet time: 7pm
End time: 9pm
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free at 1-866-525-7967, ext. 701.
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
December 17, 2007 7:00-8:30pm at Charis Books and More
(1189 Euclid Ave NE in the Little Five Points Business District)
December 17th is the 5th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This event was created to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe. Please join us as we celebrate this important day of action with a sex worker open mic, a few brief video screenings and inspiring conversation on the movement for sex workers rights, dignity and decriminalization! This event is free and open to everyone; however to participate as a performer in the open mic, the organizers request that you be a current or former sex worker.
For more information, please visit myspace.com/redumbrellaatlanta,
ONLINE at swopeast.blogspot.com
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
For Immediate Release Media Contact: email@example.com
Sex Workers Outreach Project East
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Two-Part Online Event
1) Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects/Pictures/Events …and…
2) Live Online Vigil
Who: Sex Workers Outreach Project East Two-Part Online Event
What: Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects and Live Online Vigil
When: Repository begins Saturday, December 15th, 5:00 PM EST and continues through Monday;
Live Online Vigil Monday, December 17th, 5 – 11 PM Eastern (2-8 PM Pacific)
Beginning Saturday, December 15th, at 5:00 PM EST, the swopeast.blogspot.com will be available for posting pictures, events, comments, summaries, reactions, etc., to events related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Please post any comments or artifacts that you’d like to share and visit our blogspot to view happenings related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers from around the world.
On Monday, December 17th, beginning at 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM EST SWOP East will be holding a Live Online Vigil. Please join our virtual community to share your stories, mourn our sisters and brothers, and work toward a space where this violence is no longer tolerated.
For questions or more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask Us, live virtual press conference
On Monday December 17, we will be holding a live press conference. This opportunity to post a question and get a virtual/live response swopeast.blogspot.com
Currently the following activists are scheduled to be live at these times. Please note all times are Eastern Time Zone. Time differences, Chile +2 hours. Central US time zone -1 hour. Mountain US time zone -2 hours. Pacific time zone -3 hours. Hawaii -6 hours.
If you are interested in taking part in this live event as a speaker please leave your name and the time in which you will be available as we would love more to join us. Times may be different or overlap!
Amanda Brooks: 8-12pm EST
Jill Brenneman: 9-11pm EST
Jill McCracken: 7 EST to ?
Jessica Land 5-7pm EST?
December 16, 2007
In case you missed it, here are the contest details one last time...
Dare us to do something - anything - and if you win, we promise to do it and share the experience with the world. You can suggest anything you'd like to see us do/write about/take pictures of/make fun of/etc. in the upcoming year. This is your chance to have an effect on what the Evil Slut Clique does (and in turn, blogs about). Make your mark on Evil Slutopia! And if we like your idea the best, we'll send you a little something special to say thanks.
OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES
1. Submit your entry via email only, to email@example.com (DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY AS A COMMENT).
2. You may enter as many times as you like, but please send a separate email for each entry.
3. Please put as the email subject: "Dare the ESC Contest"
4. Each entry should contain the following information:
- Your name (or alias, if you're secretive)
- Your email address (this will not be made public)
- Your dare
- How you first found out about the Evil Slut Clique
6. Do not email us "so did you choose a winner yet?" "So did I win?" "So when do I find out if I won?" or anything else like that. We can't really tell how long it will take us to judge, until we see how many entries we receive. (It's possible we'll only get like two entries and you'll know the next day that you either won or came in second place... but we're hoping that at least a few of you will enter).
7. We will not discuss the voting/judging/decision-making process with you. Be assured that there is no scientific system being used. We're gonna get together and just pick the ones we like best. Yes, it's that arbitrary.
8. After a winner has been selected you will be contacted by email and asked for a mailing address (so we can send you your prize).
9. We will then announce the winner/s on the blog and post the winning entry (and maybe a few of our favorite non-winning entries too). We'd love to hear your feedback on the entries once they're posted, but we don't want to hear "that sucks, mine was better!" because that's just being a sore loser.
10. Nothing. I just felt like the list needed a number ten.
December 15, 2007
Yes, even sex toys are going green... and it's about time! Although really, there have always been sex toys that were eco-friendly... but now we're finally more aware of which ones weren't so great. And we're more overall more conscious of the choices we make in general.
*For more information on safe sex toy shopping, check out BadVibes.org, the Coalition Against Toxic Toys. They have a really helpful Shopping Guide that delves further into the issues that we will briefly address here. You can also check out this video guide to green sex toys from Treehugger.com.
So obviously, the big issue with sex toys is what they're made of... and the damage certain materials can do to the environment and your health.
Pliable "jelly" toys are made from PVC plastics and contain phthalates, which many people now believe are bad for us. Phthalates are a family of chemicals used to soften plastics which have been potentially linked to hormonal disruption, damage to the reproductive system and even cancer. (Those of you who already own sex toys that have phthalates in them... if you still don't want to part with them, it's recommended that you use a condom with them at all times).
Soft jelly rubber dildos might not be your safest choice
All of the toys from Tantus are made from 100% ultra-premium platinum silicone. (They are hypoallergenic, hygienic, phthalate free, odorless, tasteless, boilable, bleachable and dishwasher safe!) Smitten Kitten doesn't sell any "jelly" items at all, while Good Vibrations and Babeland have both greatly limited their number of products containing phthalates. (Babeland also now has the "Eco-Sexy-Kit" which includes a latex-free and phthalate-free vibrator, a skin-safe soy massage candle and a natural lube that contains no animal-derived ingredients. Sounds like a great holiday gift).
Babeland's Eco-Sexy Kit makes a great eco-sexy gift
The bad thing about silicone is that it isn't biodegradable. Although silicone does not biodegrade, it is recyclable. Check out SexToyRecycling for more information. Or you can trade in your old "rabbit" to be recycled (and get a new one at half-price) through Love Honey's Rabbit Amnesty recycling program).
And silicone isn't your only option obviously. Glass or metal are more eco-friendly (and durable) than plastics of any kind. They are also easier to clean. You can find many styles of glass Pyrex sex toys from XXX Glass, that are considered very safe (unless of course, you smash them on the floor but that's a whole other issue).
And don't forget about... wood! The Jildo from WoodPeckers Roost, is a safe, non-toxic wooden dildo made from wood that comes only from renewable sources (not from any endangered areas such as the rainforest). You can also find many environmentally friendly wooden dildos from Hardwood Dildos (all the wood used is salvaged or recycled; the varnish is food-grade).
one of the wooden "jildos" from WoodPeckers Roost
And of course, you can always make your own sex toys using typical household products. Some of the suggestions on homemade-sex-toys.com kinda freak me out... but others are simply genius.
it doesn't get any more natural than this...
Another material that you should avoid is petroleum and petroleum-derivatives (such as polyester, nylon, vinyl) when shopping for lubes, massage oils and apparel. Earth Erotics has a large selection of non-toxic green sex toys (PVC-free and phthalate-free) , as well as organic cotton linens and other environmentally friendly items for the bedroom. Love Me Naturally carries all natural, chemical-free and organic massage oils and personal lubricants, as does Good Clean Love. The Sensual Vegan (formerly the "Veg Sex Shop") carries sex toys and lubes that are free from animal byproducts and animal testing. And we bet you didn't realize that there was such a thing as vegan condoms (or maybe you thought all latex condoms were vegan?) Lambskin condoms obviously contain animal-derived ingredients, but did you know that even latex condoms sometimes simply use animal-derived ingredients in the manufacturing process (e.g., milk or milk derivatives)? Other condom companies test their products on animals. Some "vegan-friendly" and "cruelty-free" condoms include Glyde condoms and Europe's Condomi.
Here's something else you might not have known existed: a solar-powered vibrator!
rechargeable, solar-powered vibrator
With all these options, it's obviously difficult to make a decision on which sex toy is best for you. Obviously there are other factors to consider aside from how eco-friendly it is... but hopefully this information will give you some insight in the impact of your choice.
December 14, 2007
The original law banning the sale of sex toys in Alabama was passed in 1998, but has gone back and forth over the years in the courts, only to make it all the way to the Supreme Court this October. Unfortunately the they declined to even hear the appeal (leaving the original ruling intact).
Last month we noticed something interesting on Babeland's blog on the subject:
Former Gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall is proposing that people send sex toys to Troy King, the Attorney General of Alabama to encourage him not to waste money prosecuting sex toy shops.We should note here that a spokesperson for Mr. King has said that this is an issue that would be better addressed by clarifying the original law, and suggests that the dildos would be better directed to the 140 members of the State's Legislature. We can only imagine how many closeted gay Republican politicians would contemplate moving to Alabama if they knew about this idea.
If you don’t know. Alabama passed a law banning sex toy shops. After a lengthy appeals process, the Supreme Court finally said that they wouldn't hear the case, meaning that the law stands. Mr. King may push for a clarification to the language in the law. I’m not sure what that would mean for the case but it may allow some people to obtain toys and thus, allow the stores to remain open. It all has to do with what is considered anti-obscenity law.
If you want to send a sex toy to Mr. King, here’s his address:
Office of the Attorney General
Alabama State House
11 South Union Street, Third Floor
Montgomery, AL 36130
Babeland suggests a couple of different ways to go on this one:
We're thinking you should send the giant purple dildos to Alabama and send the glass dildos to us. We've been looking for a new art piece for our coffee table, and they are hand-blown. (We only pointed this out because we wanted to say hand-blown. Cause it's a dildo. Get it? Oh, we're supposed to be talking about sexual issues in a mature and responsible way right now, aren't we? Sorry.) We think this would be a great way to stimulate...conversation. Like maybe about sexual health and happiness and freedom of choice, in Alabama and everywhere, for everyone.
1. Send the most egregious, shocking, obscene sex toys you can think of in an effort to shock him into complacency
2. Send some of the best, cutest, most useful sex toys in the hope that he’ll see that not everything is a giant purple dildo and realize that things toys are useful. I suggest the Ducky, the Velvet Jewel Vibe, the Babelight and if you can afford it - any of the stainless steel or glass vibrators.
December 12, 2007
We hadn't realized how diverse our myspace friends were until we did a little "consumerist investigation" (translation: we browsed your bulletins, profiles, websites and promotional emails). So we figured there's no better time than right now, to throw in some shameless promotion of our "friends"!
*And we're pretty sure we left a lot of people out, because, hell, we're not organized enough to be that detailed. If you're one of our friends or loyal readers and you're selling something (or um, doing something interesting) that you think deserves some attention, leave a comment to this blog entry or send us an email. Please no outright spam though (we know you understand the difference so don't play dumb).
Anyway... in no particular order, here are some of our friends who are selling stuff that we think is pretty cool:
Leviticus Jewelry is offering 15% off all their necklaces until December 25th and The Inch Witch has adorable little pins for just $1 or less! From Goddess Life you can find clothing, jewelry, music, videos, etc. Big Cheese Crafts has cute crocheted items and Kooky Kitsch is offering 20% off of all orders of their pop-culture collectibles until December 31.
Pretty much all the bands on our friends list are selling something, be it t-shirts or CDs... we could never list everyone without getting a cramp in our hands from typing (check out our friends list yourself if you want to know about everyone else). But in the meantime, here's a semi-random and only slightly biased sampling! Buy Morningwood's CD or clothes... (and then take them off). Allyptic is selling all sorts of clothing, but we thought it was cool that they were selling thongs. We'll buy a thong from anyone, it's true. Northern State has got some stuff up on their site too; as does Skull Toboggan and Harsh Reality.
The Gotham Girls Roller Derby is selling their tees and tanks for 20% off until December 16th.And if you want to support the Long Island Roller Rebels instead, you can do that too! And who can resist the Pillow Fight League!?
CURVE Magazine's limited edition designer tee shirts are on sale right now (or just buy a subscription to the best selling lesbian magazine!) And while you're looking at magazines, you can also subscribe to or order back issues of: Venus Zine... Varla... Playgirl... and of course BUST (or just shop their Boobtique, great name!) The online magazine, Girlistic also has some items for sale through their website.
Over the Rainbow Shop has a ton of awesome pride items. Marie Maynard is a designer of "glass and fiber optical panels" (which has an uncool sounding name, but her stuff is actually really cool). Steve tells us he's selling his writing services. We're not exactly sure how you'll wrap that up and stick it under the tree, but if you want to give your loved ones a resume or press release, let him know.
Speaking of writing... Amanda is selling a series of reference books for Internet escorts (although they can totally be applied to dating and safer sex in general). We already mentioned her first book The Internet Escort's Handbook in our Reading List and book #2 - which focuses more on advertising and marketing - is on it's way soon! Other books/authors on our list include Be Good... Lily Burana... Jen and the Art of Foot Seduction... Christine Hamm... Peggy Munson... How Sassy Changed My Life... and of course Lance Bass!!!
You can get some porn from Pink Visual... and Molly Heartbreaker is selling her naughty videos on DVD for $15.99 each - or all for $40. (Don't click these links if you're at work or around children... although you really shouldn't click any links we give you at work or with children! The site is called Evil Slutopia after all).
As much as we support nudity, we love cute clothes too! Sexualiteez is selling naughty t-shirts. Evil Threads is selling... evil threads. Get it? (Yeah okay... you get it). FG Girl Apparel has clothes that say "Fungina", and really, what can be more fun than that? Plus they have an awesome slogan "think inside the box". Chickyz has some really cute stuff (we like the tiny "sport shorts" the best) and Buddha Clothing... come on, do we have to explain everything to you? It's more clothing. Just check it out. Don't be lazy.
And of course, we've got sex toys! Lots of 'em! Tantus Silicone... Cherry Bomb... Pucker Up... Good Vibrations... Babeland. Also, Jenifer from Your Pleasure Party let us know that she has over 1,200 items to choose from right now... from lotions to games to books to "bedroom adventure gear".
Obviously, the most important "sex accessory" is the condom. For designer condoms as well as clothing and other cool stuff, check out ONE Condoms. They're offering a 40% discount through December 31 (enter code HOLIDAYMS at checkout). Also, Good Time Condoms will donate 20% of all their web sales this December to the AIDS Art Alliance. You can support the AIDS Art Alliance directly by buying some of their great pride and holiday items.
Support Code Pink (and in turn, support peace and social justice!) by shopping their online store... or also support About-Face and therefore help them fulfill their mission to"equip women and girls with tools to understand and resist the harmful stereotypes of women the media disseminates". Support Flex Your Rights by buying one of their guides or "fourth amendment" t-shirts and help their ongoing public education work so everyone will know how to flex their rights during a police encounter.
And last but not least, don't forget us! Support the Evil Slut Clique!!! We're going to be adding a lot of new items to our cafepress stores this month (you can also let us know what you want to see on cafepress!)
Evil Slut Clique
(an I Read While He Plays Video Games comic)
More coming soon!
And just in case you thought this was the last of our shopping propaganda, you're wrong. There's still a bit more coming during the lovely month of December. It's kind of funny in a way because we're all broke and not really so materialistic, but we just can't stop talking about shopping! Nah, but seriously... we know you're all out there buying stuff for friends and family and loved ones anyway, so why not find out about some cool stuff you never knew about before?
December 11, 2007
These unique bags are made by women who are participants in UNICEF-supported NGOs that are doing life-saving work on the ground. Eve Ensler bought one of these bags on her recent trip to DRC, and came up with the idea of selling them abroad to help generate funds for the remarkable women she met. Many who survive sexual violence in DRC suffer stigma and discrimination, resulting in limited economic opportunities. The proceeds from the sale of these bags will help these women get back on their feet and support themselves and their children. Local Congolese fabric was used to make these bags. The bags also include a Stop Raping our Greatest Resource campaign button. For just $20, you can make a difference!
A V-Card is the perfect gift for the holidays. One size fits all and you will know that your gift is needed and will be well-used. We'll send a special holiday V-Card letting your recipient know of your gift in their honor. This V-Gift will be used to address the most critical issues of violence against women and will help to empower women and girls around the world. 94 cents of every dollar you give goes straight to ending violence against women and girls. In over 120 countries and all fifty United States, V-Day campaigns and events raise funds and awareness, supporting local shelters and anti-violence groups on the ground.
Global Sistergoods is a sister-owned small business that imports fairly-traded crafts from women artisans from around the world. We provide a living wage to economically disadvantaged women in fragile economies by supporting entrepreneurship, self-reliance and micro enterprise development. Global Sistergoods partners with international non-government organizations (NGOs), governmental trade associations and individual artisans. We sustain traditional craftmaking techniques as we provide high-quality products and educate consumers about women's issues in the countries our artisans live in. Global Sistergoods believes strongly in the value of "women's work."Pretty cool, right? They have bags, jewelry, home decor items, and stuff for kids, made everywhere from Namibia to Thailand. The great thing about a site like this is that you can get things that are unique and handmade and special (and not a generic diamond squiggle from Kay Jewelers) and support women artists and business owners around the world (and not generic chain stores like Kay Jewelers).
~Nest is another organization designed to support businesswomen and artists in the developing world. Here's how it works--Nest provides loans to women around to world "to be used for the purchase of the supplies and materials necessary to begin and/or maintain art or craft-based businesses". The money for the loans comes from a line of products created for Nest by established designers. You can also buy products from the loan recipients on Nest's website, and they use the money that they earn to pay back their loan. There's a business model worth supporting.
~Nest also runs the Shop to Save the World campaign, with the goal of eliminating poverty worldwide. Anyone who sells their own merchandise can join this campaign by choosing an item to be their "Nest item" and agreeing to donate 25% of the profits from the sale of that item to Nest, which they will use for their loan program. So if you sell your own stuff (or you know any super-talented people who do), consider joining up and helping some more super-talented women all over the world.
Of course, not everything you buy has to be the gift that saves the world. But there are so many women out there running cool businesses and making different and fun and interesting and beautiful stuff. Yeah, you could just buy some stupid crap from Kay Jewelers (sorry Kay, whoever you are!), but isn't it worth it to spend a little bit of extra time searching around to find something that's actually special, that will actually mean something to you and to the person who made it and sold it to you? We think so.
So next time you need to buy a gift (and gifts for yourself totally count), pick up a Bust magazine or head to their Girl Wide Web and find a funky woman-owned business like Sin In Linen or Naughty Secretary Club to buy from. Or head over to Etsy and find an independent artist to support. You'll be glad you did. While you're at it, buy a little something for us too for giving you all of these great ideas. You'll feel even more satisfied. Trust us.
December 10, 2007
We've already given you suggestions for eco-friendly shopping, but there a lot of other issues to think about when you spend your hard-earned savings this month. So in honor of this being Human Rights Day, we thought it'd be the perfect time to offer you something from the Human Rights Campaign:
Every day, you make decisions about whom to support in corporate America. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Buying for Equality can help you easily support companies that support equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.
Ratings in Buying for Equality are based on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual report card, the Corporate Equality Index. A record 195 companies scored 100 percent on this year’s report, which is a significant increase from the 138 companies that earned a perfect score last year. Every day, from enhanced domestic partner benefits to transgender inclusion in non-discrimination policies, we are seeing a revolution in the American workplace.
Last year, more than 250,000 people used Buying for Equality to make informed choices about their purchases. This year, you can do your part to support fair-minded businesses by requesting or downloading Buying for Equality 2008.
We think this Buyer's Guide is a great idea because it's always nice to know who and what you're supporting. Especially during the holidays when people do so much shopping. So how does this guide work?
Businesses are rated on a scale from 0 to 100 based on whether or not they have policies that support GLBT people. These include anti-discrimination protections, domestic partner benefits, diversity training, transgender wellness benefits and advertising practices.Each business/brand is assigned one of three colors based on its score in our report: green, yellow or red.
Green (80-100): Businesses/brands with one of our higher scores. Consumers should make every effort to support these companies.
Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace, but where there is still progress to be made.
Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that have more work to do in furthering equality. If possible, make the choice to support a fairer company.
Human Rights Campaign National Corporate Partners
The support of these companies is directly tied to the Human Rights Campaign’s success in ensuring equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. All HRC National Corporate Partners are required to maintain a CEI score of 85 or above.
We were happy to see some of our favorite companies in the green... such as Amazon.com, Target, Ford, Delta Airlines, UPS, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and even McDonald's (we know, it's horrible, but so good... and at least their GLBT-friendly).
Some of them made us chuckle a bit. For example, Mattel (makers of Barbie) and Disney (makers of everything princess) are both gay-friendly. And even Merck is in the green. Who knew? Viacom - which brings us MTV as well as Logo, the gay and lesbian network - obviously scored high, while Bravo, which has some of the more gay-friendly shows on television today is only yellow (as part of General Electric).
Some big companies to avoid:
- Walmart (just another reason to hate them, right?)
- Toys "R" Us
- Cracker Barrel
- Exxon Mobil
- Nestle Purina
- Dow Jones