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How Does the President "Respect" Women

Every year the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8, a holiday created to commemorate the movement for women’s rights. Today President “Grab them by the Pussy” took to Twitter to celebrate. Trump's tweets about the holiday included words like "respect," "honor" and "vital." If you happen to be one of his 26.1 million followers or haven't been living under a rock, Trump using these words in the same sentence as "women" may come as a surprise. After, he's been so “respectful” of women on Twitter and irl.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to remind ourselves how much our president "respects" and "honors" we "vital" women.





Do you feel respected yet, ladies?    More


9 Rejected Names for A Day Without A WOMAN

On March 8, women across the country will stay home, wear red and shop local for A Day Without a Woman, a follow-up protest created by the Women’s March on Washington. According to the Women’s March website, the protest, which takes place on International Women’s Day, is intended facilitate “recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.”

That’s right, in spite of the fact that we have a newly-elected president whose daughter is capable of saying with a straight face that he’s not a misogynist, that he believes all the bangable chicks like her are just as good as a man, we ladies are still getting the shaft–and not the good kind–on payday and in society at large.

Nearly 100 years after we finally got the right to vote, and 45 years since Congress ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (still working on getting those last pesky three states, including Florida, to ratify it – c’mon state Senator Audrey Gibson, we can do this!), as of 2015, a woman in America still makes an average of 80 cents to a man’s dollar, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Nothing like economic inequality to keep the 'good god, how is this still a thing' going. Sigh.

Anyhoo, in the spirit of turning those “can you believe this manspreading asshole on the Skyway?” frowns upside-down, here’s some names that were probs rejected before they settled on A Day Without a Woman.

“Day the boss learns where the coffeemaker is.”

“A day without a catcall.”

“A day without a pussy grab.”

“Day Netflix better not fucking freeze.”

“Day Netflix is guaranteed to freeze.”

“Day our Amazon overlords made up to boost …   More


He said WHAT?

Green Cove Springs Chief of Police Robert Musco retired last month. According to records provided to Folio Weekly by the City of Green Cove Springs, prior to his retirement, Officer Kimberly Robinson alleged in a complaint that Chief Musco referred to her as his “token” and made other statements with racial undertones. 

The complaint states that in front of other employees Musco yelled out to the officer, “Here’s my token . . . get in here token,” then asked if she would be working the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Day festivities. She replied that she was scheduled to have the day off, saying, according to the complaint, “That is my holiday … and I’m going to enjoy the day off,” to which Chief Musco responded, “Columbus Day was taken from us for Martin Luther King Day.” The complaint said he further stated that officers who work the MLK Jr. Day event are paid overtime.

News4Jax reported that according to the city’s Human Resources Department, Musco did not deny making the statement; further, that Green Cove Springs City Manager Danielle Judd indicated that Musco would not have remained with the department if he hadn't stepped down.

FW’s attempts to contact Musco for comment were unsuccessful; Musco’s cell phone is disconnected and his house is up for sale.

According to the complaint, Musco also asked Robinson’s superiors to “calm her down” and to get her to drop her actions against him.

Even though many officers have said Musco was a “great guy” and some felt his comments might have been taken out of context, the company the city hired to investigate the matter found he had harassed the officer, who is African-American, because of her race; in addition, that he used a “mocking tone” when referring to the city’s celebration of MLK Jr. Day. The company found that these behaviors violated the city’s no …   More


On the Front lines for FORESKIN

Today, the intersection of Hodges and Beach Boulevards was occupied by the Bloodstained Men & Their Friends. Dressed in all white with splashes of bright red in the genital region, they were hard to miss. These red-crotched men (and women) stood in protest of the practice of circumcising male infants; they believe it is the individual’s right to decide to cut the foreskin–or not.

Brother K, CFO and co-director of Bloodstained Men, formed the organization in 2012 to support keeping the very thing he feels that he has been deprived of. He even changed his name to Brother K in 1986, which he says was to protest circumcision based on his belief that it is associated with giving a child its name.

“I felt that the medical lies were not sufficient to explain why I had been circumcised,” Brother K explained. “So the more I researched it, I had understood that I had been subjected to a religious sacrifice called medicine.”

In the belief that America stands alone in what they call a “barbaric” procedure, the Bloodstained Men have a more European mindset of what is medically appropriate. 

Rejecting the idea that circumcision in infants is more hygienic and healthier, Brother K does not agree with medical findings that circumcision is preventative of UTIs, penile cancer and other problems, such as paraphimosis, a condition wherein the retracted foreskin of an uncircumcised male can’t return to its normal position, potentially resulting in gangrene and amputation.

The Bloodstained Men believe that having a foreskin is an essential human freedom that doctors and parents take away from an infant.

Brother K said, “It would be naïve to say you haven’t missed out on something, it’s meant to hurt you, it’s meant to be a punishment, its meant to diminish and reduce sexual life.”

This group believes that society holds men to a different standard than they do women, …   More


FIGHTING Mad ... at Somebody

When J.D. Vance’s uncle was a child he was kicked out of a drugstore after playing with a toy. The manager who expelled him was concerned the toy might be broken.

When his parents arrived, they threw one of the toys against the wall, slammed another into the ground and started smashing other merchandise. They demanded to know why their child was kicked out of the store.  

Vance’s grandmother screamed for his grandfather to assault the manager. His grandfather leaned into the manager’s face and told him, “If you say another word to my son, I will break your fucking neck.” The manager apologized and the grandparents “continued with their Christmas shopping as if nothing had happened.”

J.D. Vance’s book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis offers a view into the lives of working class, working poor and just plain poor white families who live in the cities and towns of the Appalachian Mountains.

Vance realizes his grandparents did not react like a normal middle-class family. He explains, “That’s what Scots-Irish Appalachians do when people mess with your kid.” His grandparents were “like everyone else in our family, they could go from zero to murderous in a heartbeat.”

Many readers have sought out Elegy to understand the rising popularity and eventual presidential victory of Donald J. Trump. Published in 2016, the book spent 29 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and was the top seller for three weeks.

In 2004 former U.S. Senator James Webb wrote a book on the Scots-Irish from the Appalachian region called Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Some reviewers believed the book helped explain George W. Bush's presidential victory in 2004. Its author, Webb wrote that the Scots-Irish represented a “GOP secret weapon.”

But if Webb’s book venerated the fighting spirit and patriotism of the Scots-Irish of …   More


This article has been updated.

In an attempt to wrest control of Jacksonville’s government from its duly elected representatives, the Washington, D.C., Lynchburg, Virginia and Orlando-based Liberty Counsel has released a three-page memorandum arguing that when Mayor Lenny Curry said he would let the human rights ordinance expansion become law without his signature, even though he does not believe that legislation protecting the LGBT community from discrimination is necessary, he “actually vetoed the HRO.” No, we are not making this up.

The memorandum from Liberty Counsel's assistant vice president of legal affairs, Roger K. Gannam, takes 1,231 words to reach this shocking (read: yawn) conclusion: Until City Council concludes its next meeting on Feb. 28, “…Curry still has the power to veto the HRO.” You may remember Gannam from his ongoing efforts to equate laws banning discrimination against LGBT people with discrimination against those Christians who justify bigotry by clinging to the belief that their faith demands they deny others marriage licenses, wedding cakes and the right to choose their own clothing.

Liberty Counsel launched itself into the national consciousness in 2015 when it volunteered to represent Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who infamously refused to comply with the law and issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. Keeping with their mission to let certain Christians discriminate against gay people, they parachuted into town the last time HRO came around for a press conference at First Baptist Church that was as long-winded as this memorandum. Deemed “a legal organization advocating for anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of religious liberty” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Liberty Counsel justifies its extremism by equating homosexuality with pedophilia, arguing that homosexual conduct is inherently damaging to society and various other debunked, bigoted and …   More


The Abstract TRUTH

Princess Simpson Rashid’s newest show, Constructed Narratives in Red, Black and White is the logical conclusion to what might be termed “phase one” of the artist’s investigations into formal and chromatic reduction. Her works, which take as their points of art historical reference Motherwell, Mondrian and Kandinsky, are the unexpected result of research she was doing for a large commissioned piece several years ago. “I became very interested in Mondrian’s use of space and distilled color,” explains Rashid .

Thus, she began this new, red, black and white geometric body of work with small studies: "The ‘thing’ that got me going,” Rashid explains with a smile, “was a cartoon—Samuri Jack.”

Samuri Jack is minimally rendered in a reduced palette of reds, blacks and oranges (overall) and the drawings are very geometric. Cinematic in scope, and reliant on visual cues more than dialogue, once Simpson Rashid mentions the connection to the cartoon, it is very clear. However, unlike many other artists who take cues from popular culture, Rashid succeeds in rendering images that have a relationship to their catalyst, but are still wholly unto themselves as paintings.

“I strive for poetry, and no, it is not for everyone,” says the Northeast Florida-based artist, of her process and goals. Indeed, if poetry is vigorous and introspective, if it excavates the personal and turns it into the symbolic, then Rashid has passed her own litmus test. Recalling her background in the sport of fencing, the works seem to bristle with bottled—and then intentionally released—gestures. The works range in size from (approximately) five by seven inches to (approximately) three by five feet. This disparity in size is important. The works leap from small, sketchbook-sized studies, to large works that seek to preserve the minimal monumentality of the studies. The work also shifts from mostly …   More


A Woman on the Verge of a Nervous BREAKDOWN

An entire play taking place in the comfort of one room might sound strikingly boring to some, yet Henrik Ibsen, the creator of the 1890s play Hedda Gabler, succeeded in making it exhilarating.

Ibsen wrote a letter to one of his colleagues in December 1890 stating, “My intention in giving this name was to indicate that Hedda, as a personality, is to be regarded rather as her father’s daughter than as her husband’s wife.” This kind of familial dysfunction, disconnection and discord drives the gripping drama.

St. Augustine’s Limelight Theatre is currently staging this one-setting play which shows how Hedda faces the battles of the domestic sphere in 19th-century Norway.

Theater lovers interested in modern dramas, rebellion and violent demonstrations of power and manipulation are sure to enjoy the final stagings of this production, mounted through Feb. 19 at this intimate theater.

Sharon Resnikoff is brilliant as Hedda Gabler, a newly married aristocrat who is unwilling to accept the rôle of a passive wife, the usual fate to which women were relegated in that era. Born the daughter of a famous general, Hedda is accustomed to the finer things in life and refuses anything that is not up to her standards. Throughout the play, we see Hedda use her intelligence to manipulate her husband and friends with recurring acts that make her seem dishonest and unpredictable. Resnikoff is skilled at capturing both the complexity and tragedy of the title character.

In the opening scene, we discover that Hedda and her well-heeled husband Jorge Tesman (Thomas Muniz) have returned from a six-month-long honeymoon to a lavish home that Tesman bought to impress his new bride. Yet this stately manor looks like a prison to Hedda’s eyes. The fact that the new home was purchased by Jorge’s Aunt Julle (played by Francesca Bellavista) only adds to Hedda’s resentment that her groom is not the deep-pocketed husband on whose fortune …   More


Sensory Deprivation and CHILL

Northeast Florida is now home to both a sensory deprivation tank facility and a whole body cryotherapy chamber: respectively, H20m Float on St. Johns Bluff Road South and Outlast Cryotherapy + Performance Training in Ponte Vedra Beach. In the interest of science, I decided to try both.

Sensory deprivation tanks, also called float pods, are like large bathtubs with a pulldown lid attached. They are filled with 10 inches of saltwater to make floating easier. Floating has many benefits ranging from relaxation to stress relief to decreased restlessness — it can even be somewhat of a detox.

I’ve always considered myself adventurous, so when asked to try a sensory deprivation tank, I immediately said, “Hell, yes.”

I usually enjoy my bathtub at home with candles, a book, music and plenty of bubbles; the sensory deprivation “bath” would be pitch-black, soundproof, salty and bubble-less. Initially, it seemed like spending an hour in a giant, darkened bathtub was the furthest thing from scary. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, “Oh, shit.” The very idea of floating in a body of water, alone with my thoughts, coupled with a fear of drowning, had me second-guessing my decision. So I gave myself a quick pep talk while driving to the facility.

If you’re wondering how sanitary these tank things are, the facility’s website states that the water is filtered five times between each session and is sanitized with UV light and an ozone purification system. These facilities are held to the same Florida Department of Health sanitation standards that apply to public swimming pools.

The spa-like lobby at H20m Float was scented with essential oils and there were several sea salt dispensers on one wall. Manager Kylie Stein greeted me and checked me in. There was no turning back now.

The tanks are in separate rooms, ensuring privacy to those who visit. Stein handed me some earplugs and towels …   More


Fear and Loathing in JAX-VEGAS

Hunter S. Thompson wrote in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, “You better take care of me Lord, if you don’t you’re gonna have me on your hands.” It’s a terrific line. Since the origins of this country, we have used religion to justify many forms of discrimination and prejudice. Grounded in self-determined moral high ground, our society has used fear and a myopic view of “God’s image” to justify actions which probably would lead one to be denied entry at St. Peter’s gates.

The most recent battleground is Jacksonville’s lack of a Human Rights Ordinance protecting sexual orientation and gender identity. Everyone from Desmond Tutu to Shad Khan has weighed in on it. In 2012, Desmond Tutu specifically compared Jacksonville to South Africa, saying, “…We quite deliberately ensured that gays, lesbians and bisexuals were included in South Africa’s Constitution. Having ourselves suffered terribly, we did not want to inflict discrimination on any group that lived within our borders.” Last year, Khan told Florida Politics, “It’s like civil rights. It’s so late that it’s not even worth talking about.” He's been more vocal recently.

It is worth talking about. We must talk about it.

I want to address some of the common misconceptions and use of fear and loathing to oppose passage of an inclusive Human Rights Ordinance.

“The HRO Caters to a Minority Group”

These ordinances are designed to prohibit discrimination by employers, prevent discriminatory housing and stop unequal treatment based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status, and even marital status. Proponents of the human rights amendment seek to add sexual orientation and gender identity, essentially. The science is clear that sexual orientation is genetic, unlike say, marital status or some handicaps and disabilities. Yet opponents urge …   More