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The Panties of Liberty

I am so not into identity politics. No, scratch that — I really hate identity politics. I have consistently refused to participate in women’s art shows (I can compete in the regular kind just fine, thank you). A lifetime of observing the increasing role of women in politics and the workplace has convinced me the female influence in those places has been mostly bad. Really bad.

A mother is someone who has stuck her finger down the back of somebody’s else’s pants to see if he’s shat himself. That sort of person no longer recognizes boundaries like the rest of us. “None of your business” just doesn’t compute any more.

So it isn’t some reflexively feminist impulse that the number of women candidates on our ticket this year makes me think of this lady. Liberty, up there. That particular seated Liberty was all over our money in the 19th Century (by law, Liberty has to appear somewhere on US coins).

I love this one, because it looks like she’s waving her panties around on a stick. Which totally says “Liberty” to me.


(Okay, it’s a Phrygian cap on a liberty pole, but it’ll always be panties on a stick to me).

Good weekend, all!


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 17, 2010, 9:51 pm

All blown up big like that, somehow she looks like someone left over after the end of a big celebration, looking around for the bus to take her home. Panties and all.

Comment from goodkarma
Time: September 17, 2010, 10:05 pm

Shat is a word that is not used enough anymore – if ever. I just enjoy seeing it in print. Smote is another favorite.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: September 17, 2010, 10:36 pm

Gah. This is not something my egalitarian soul likes to hear. But after all, maybe there’s a reason every culture that ever lasted long enough for us to hear about it later was in some ways patriarchal…


Comment from Pavel
Time: September 17, 2010, 10:42 pm

Actually, just the word “Liberty” has to appear on our coins, not the goddess. But the goddess has been on most of them. E.g., the Mercury dime isn’t actually the god Mercury, but a winged goddess Liberty. Sometimes she is homely (most of the early coppers); sometimes she is beautiful (the $20 St. Gaudens gold piece.) On the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, she was even half-nekkid.

Why, yes. Yes, I am a pedantic numismatist git.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 17, 2010, 10:47 pm

Ha! So’m I, Pavel. I said “Liberty” had to appear, I didn’t say the image of Liberty.

Somewhere, I’ve posted about that law, but I couldn’t find it.

Here’s Elsie Kachel Stevens herself (oh, and look — my bad — I did say “an image of Liberty” in the description there).

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 17, 2010, 11:15 pm

Accursed Weasel! I shall never be able to look at a Phrygian cap again! i shall always think of the person in any painting wearing one as wearing panties on thier head.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 17, 2010, 11:24 pm

Then think of this poor lady, who got so excited her panties flew clean off her head.

Exit question: why do the Smurfs wear Phrygian caps?

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 17, 2010, 11:39 pm

AAAARGH! Smurfette advertising her availability by showing the world that she isn’t wearing panties! At least not conventionally.

Comment from steve
Time: September 18, 2010, 12:31 am

@ Scott the Badger –
As the old guy said to Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona:

“Son. Yew got a panty on yer head.”

@ SWeasel –
To keep their heads warm!

Comment from Monotone (The Elderish)
Time: September 18, 2010, 12:58 am

either that, or the camera man is hallucinating…

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: September 18, 2010, 9:14 am

So, they’re not following her for the reason Delacroix thought.


I found the first link below the banner particularly appropriate — “Fine Art Racks” indeed…

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: September 18, 2010, 9:26 am

Exit question: why do the Smurfs wear Phrygian caps?

A more appropriate one (given the “panties-as-chapeaux” theme): “Were Paris Hilton and Smurfette separated at birth?”


Comment from David Gillies
Time: September 18, 2010, 11:09 am

Poor Smurfette. She must have been exhausted. All those male Smurfs and her the only female. Reminds me of the girl who went sport fishing with six guys and all she caught was a red snapper.

I saw an interesting exegesis of the Smurfs which basically lambasted them for being a bunch of filthy blue-skinned Commies. When you think about it, there was a definite whiff of the collective farm about them.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 18, 2010, 11:19 am

I used to worry about Smurfette. But I really, really worried about Lois Lane.

And the Owl of the Owl and the Pussycat.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: September 18, 2010, 12:23 pm

Do you mean Larry Niven’s observation that the first time Superman got poor Lois’s panties off he would have inadvertently gutted her, at best, and at worst made enough of a mess to need a HAZMAT team to be called in, plus sundry other calamities?

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

As a side note, I once worked out that if Elves had periods like humans, for Arwen to still be fertile when Aragorn knocked her up, she had a pair of ovaries the size of a ripe mango each , not the olive-sized ones normal XXs are blessed with.

Yeah, big ol’ nerd, me.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 18, 2010, 10:03 pm

Why worry about the Owl? Pussycats are on the menu for some of the larger Owls. He can look out for himself.

Or am I being a particularly dense Badger today?

Comment from Frit
Time: September 18, 2010, 10:40 pm

*bursts out laughing*
David Gillies: Yes! I’m very familiar with that story by Niven. Isn’t it lovely? Of course, one should never read it while drinking or eating. *snickers* Thank you for the link; I have that story in a book (hard copy), but now I can share it with more people. *Muwahahahahaaa!*

Ahem. 0:)

P.S. Stoaty, how about an “innocent” weasel emoticon? Or would that be too obviously impossible? 😉

Comment from naleta
Time: September 19, 2010, 2:13 am

How about a halo on the weasel for an angel emoticon?

Comment from Anonymous
Time: September 19, 2010, 11:44 am

…how about an “innocent” weasel emoticon?

That’d be a weasel with oversized puppy eyes — a sorta “Margaret Keane mustelid.”

Oh, Lowered, I just had an idea…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 19, 2010, 12:21 pm

This just arrived in my inbox:

Anybody know how to burn an email?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 19, 2010, 12:59 pm

Eeeeeewww! Thanks for sharing!

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: September 19, 2010, 11:32 pm

Phrygian cap? Nonsense, it’s obviously a used condom.

That’s why she’s holding it on the end of a stick. Eeeewwww!

in re: owls and pussycats, a woman living near me once inadvertently saved her cat from an owl. She opened the door to her deck just as a honkin’ big one was stooping on the poor widdle kitty, hunched and cowering in a corner. After that she decided that her cats were not outside cats, which in rural Western Washington is a good idea.

Hell, we have rabbits that would beat the crap out of felis domesticus. Not to mention the coyotes, bobcats, cougars, and bears. And, needless to say, large predatory owls. A guy up here once kept emus – bet they’d punt a cat right over the treeline without effort.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 20, 2010, 1:20 am

I will definitely keep my kitties safe in suburbia. 🙂

This thread has provided me with a much needed smile this evening…thanks, everyone!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 20, 2010, 4:30 pm

Didn’t Burger King market Panties On A Stick back in the ’90s?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 20, 2010, 7:40 pm

Didn’t Burger King market Panties On A Stick back in the ’90s?

It was King Fredrick of Hollywood who offered edible panties on a stick, although I seem to recall that the deal was “stick sold separately”.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: September 20, 2010, 9:48 pm

SCOTTtheBADGER: Pussycats are on the menu for some of the larger Owls.

Ogden Nash’s “The Indignant Owl” addresses Edward Lear:

…In which, to top off your fantastic narration
You baldly accuse me of miscegenation.
In forest or meadow or green arboretum
Pussycats I don’t woo, sir, preferring to eatum…

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 21, 2010, 1:16 am

CHORTLE GUFFAW! I must remember that one, Rich, thank you!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 21, 2010, 1:22 am

/resists urge to match Nash for Nash, but stores up for future reference information that RR is also a Nash aficionado

Comment from Abraham Lincoln Facts
Time: October 2, 2010, 6:02 pm

I will Remember this!!

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