After thousands of objections from several medical associations and 13 attorneys general against the rule, the Bush administration today passed regulations reinforcing protections for doctors and other health care workers who refuse to participate in abortions and other procedures because of religious or moral objections.
Read the AP story!
Today is not a good day for women's health!
More on my thoughts later. . .
Thursday, December 18, 2008
After thousands of objections from several medical associations and 13 attorneys general against the rule, the Bush administration today passed regulations reinforcing protections for doctors and other health care workers who refuse to participate in abortions and other procedures because of religious or moral objections.
Looks like the streets of NY will soon be safer - for the patients and staff of health clinics that perform abortions at least!
It looks like a bill commissioned by City Council speaker Christine Quinn which would provide protection against anti-abortion protestors has gained support and is expected to pass - possibly as soon as this week!
In a time when the Bush administration is doing its best to pass last minute regulations that would restrict access to birth control, not to mention abortion, this is fantastic news!
Check out the NYT article!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
A new study from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reveals that 21% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys have sent or posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves. Among young adults (20-26) the figures are even higher – one-third of participants surveyed have posted or sent racy images of themselves and almost half have received them.
With the culture that we live in today, I’m not particularly surprised by these findings. Last year, naked pictures of High School Musical Star Vanessa Hudgens surfaced and recently Cheetah Girls star Adrienne Bailon had a similar incident. These are two celebrities that young impressionable teen girls look up to and idolize. They go to see their movies, memorize the songs they sing, shop for the clothes they wear. And now they’re taking naked pictures of themselves too – just like their favorite celebrities.
And then there is the slew of celebrities whose sex videos did little to derail their careers but instead increased their popularity and fame - think about Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian. What if teens start making their own sex videos and begin circulating them around school or posting them on youtube or facebook?
We need to teach young girls to respect their bodies and learn the consequences of their actions. If a picture or video is leaked it is with you forever. This is a hard lesson to sell when sex is everywhere in our culture - even our good old “friend” Jennifer Aniston this month graces the cover of GQ magazine with nothing on but a men’s tie around her neck (and that’s just the cover). But we need to try or we will be very, very sorry.
I found this great article on allAfrica.com that links the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to violence against women - very interesting!
Click here to read!
Ok, ok so it was yesterday, but forgive me for being late. I'm sick . . . again!
60 years is a momentous anniversary, but to me it really signifies how far we have left to go before women's worth and value is really taken seriously. Take for example Article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Now let’s look at the facts:
- In the U.S. every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted;
- In the U.S. every 15 seconds a woman is battered, usually by an intimate partner;
- Globally, at least one in three women and girls are beaten or sexually abused in their lifetime.
- Fewer than half of all rapes and sexual assaults and only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police.
- When factoring unreported rape cases, only one out of twenty rapists ever spend a day in jail. 19 out of 20 walk free.
How is this humane or just? Let’s hope with the election of Barack Obama that women will begin to be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I know many haven given up on Grey’s Anatomy, and I was well on my way too until the re-surfacing of Denny Duquette (ok I know having the dead fiancé come back to life is a lame story line, but he’s beautiful to look at so I’m ok with it for now), but I have found a whole new love for its sister show Private Practice. This season the show has tackled a number of ethical issues and last night they did something I’ve never seen on TV before – an abortion. Ok, they didn’t show the procedure or anything, but abortion was an unfolding theme throughout the entire episode and I have to say that this sticky topic was handled beautifully on the show.
In the episode, a young woman, Renee, comes in for a termination and of course there is disagreement between the doctors as to whether their practice should perform the procedure. While I would have preferred for all the doctors to have welcomed the idea with open arms, this is not what happened and in reality this wouldn’t have happened either. Instead, the decision divided the doctors, as it divides Americans and people around the world on a daily basis. What was most interesting to me was that two of the doctors – Addison and Violet – shared that they’d had abortions in their past. Violet even expressed that she wasn’t ashamed of her choice and Addision said, “I was. I had one and I was embarrassed and scared. I was everything a woman shouldn’t be.” Right on!
The exchange between Meg, the doctor who would be performing the procedure, and Dell, the intern who was unsupportive of abortion, was also very interesting. Check out the exchange below:
Dell: “We work really hard to create babies here. We are in the business of bringing babies into this world”
Meg: “I don’t know you very well. I certainly don’t know you well enough to judge you for this but you don’t know Renee [the patient] very well yet you were quick to judge her.
Dell: “Was she raped?
Meg: “Would it matter if she was? Would that make it ok? Does that make her more or less worthy? We don’t get to know why. That is her business; that’s her choice Dell. That woman agonized over a difficult choice, made it, and came in here. I guarantee you she was already worried about people out there judging her only to have you make her feel ashamed, but we are medical professionals. It’s part of our job to support her after she has made the hardest choices imaginable.
Meg couldn’t have said it any better! Like her I’m unapologetically pro-choice too and believe it’s a woman’s choice, and no-one else’s, to decide what is best for herself and her body. On the other hand, I understand that this is not a black and white issue and I am tickled pink that Private Practice took the issue of abortion, with all it’s complexities, head on. There are not many other shows or movies that would have done the same. Bravo!
Check out the episode on abc.com!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, I was under the weather most of the weekend, but of course that didn’t stop me from eating non-stop! It did, however, stop me from blogging – sorry! But I’m back and have lots of interesting things to report that may be a little out dated so forgive me!
1). It really bothers me that people often forget about adolescents when it comes to discussing reproductive rights, and dare I say it – abortion. But the fact of the matter is that teenagers have sex and sometimes make risky decisions, so when I saw this article in London’s Daily Telegraph I was extremely impressed. In turns out that in the UK, the Family Planning Association has made it a priority to look out for the rights of young women and educate them on their right to choose an abortion. The group is urging schools to show girls a film called Why Abortion? that shows a range of scenarios that tackle the issue of abortion which are then debated by Northern Ireland teens. In the U.S., women under 18 can’t even buy emergency contraception! Maybe with our new President we’ll begin to give teens more reproductive choices.
Make sure you check out this article!
2). When I went abroad my junior year of college I was afraid to go to Amsterdam. I couldn’t imagine walking through the infamous racy Red Light district with women lined up in windows on the street luring men in for peeps shows or live sex shows. Anyway, I never realized that this openness with sex could have a positive effect until I read this article in the Times (London). Now, don’t get the wrong idea – I don’t believe in the whole empowering philosophy behind women flaunting their bodies, but when it comes to talking to teens about sexuality, the Netherlands is blowing us all out of the water. In fact, they have the lowest teen pregnancy rate in the West and the lowest rates of sexually transmitted diseases among young people! Now, the UK will look to the Dutch as an example as the country tries to reduce the number of abortions.
Check out this excerpt from the article:
Next year, 12-year-old Sasha explains to me, they will learn how to put a condom on a broomstick (she says this without a trace of embarrassment, just a polite smile). Across the city, nine-year-old Marcus, who lives in a beautiful 18th-century house on a canal, has been watching a cartoon showing him how to masturbate. His sister, 11, has been writing an essay on reproduction and knows that it is legal for two consenting 12-year-olds to make love. Her favourite magazine, Girls, gives advice on techniques in bed, and her parents sometimes allow her to stay up to see a baby being born on the birthing channel.
Then there is Yuri, 16, who explains to me in perfect English that “anal sex hurts at the beginning but if you persevere it can be very pleasurable”. When I ask whether he is gay, he says “no” but he has watched a documentary on the subject with his parents.
Do any of these scenarios ring true in the U.S.? I think not!
Some other interesting findings from the article:
In the Netherlands – at secondary school sex education is formalised and children are shown how to use various types of contraceptive and how to have “safe and pleasurable sex.
In the U.S. - President Bush proposes that funding for abstinence-only programs reach $270 million by 2009.
In the Netherlands – the average teenager loses his or her virginity 17.1 years old.
In the UK – the average teenager loses his or her virginity at 16.
In the Netherlands - about 93% of young people use contraception.
In the UK – 53% of young people use contracpetion.
Seriously check out this article! It looks like being open about sex with teens works! Who knew?
3). Planned-Parenthood of Indiana is offering holiday vouchers for basic healthcare services for the network of 35 clinics across the state. The vouchers can be used for exams, insurance co-pays, medication, including birth control, and even abortions. This move has angered many pro-life folks (surprise, surprise), but I think it’s fantastic! Yay PP!
Ok well that’s all for now! Comments welcomed and encouraged!
Monday, November 24, 2008
A friend sent me this youtube video and I was blown away! What an amazing organization! Take a look! What do you think?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My roommate sent this to me at work today and while it is absolutely hysterical it is also completely pathetic and embarassing - and not only for Bush but for this country! We elected this man - twice! Seriously?
And that's just for 2008. There are lots and lots more. Could January 20th come any sooner?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
While I was away CT legalized gay marriage! YAY CT!
After the slew of anti-gay ballot initiatives passing on Election Day in California, Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas this is a hopeful move!
Massachusetts and Connecticut are now the only two states that allow gay marriage.
Who’ll be next? (New York, fingers crossed!)
Sorry for the hiatus away. I was distracted by some other stuff going on in my life, but now I’m back.
So, the Obama victory – what are my thoughts? Well, I’m thrilled! I know people keep saying how historic it is, but it really, really is and saying that isn’t going to get old anytime soon. Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States – thank God! He will undoubtedly lead this country in a drastically different direction – far from what we’ve endured the last 8 years. And I’m not just talking about his policies; his presence in office will undoubtedly change the course of history. A Black woman in my office has little kids and she kept talking about how different her children’s lives will be. For them having a Black man in the White House won’t be something to dream about, it will be a reality. Through their eyes the whole world will be different because of this historic (there I said it again!) victory. It’s incredible.
On the flip side, one Black president doesn’t erase years and years of racism or mean we’ve reached full equality by any means, but it’s a step - an important baby step.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
What a historic night - there are no words. I need some time to process and then I'll report back.
We did it!
For now though, I call bullsh*t on the anti-gay/lesbian ballot initiatives!
It looks like California, Arizona, and Florida's bans on gay marriage will pass as well as Arkansas' ban on gay couples adopting children.
Bullsh*t mama! Let's hope the morning will look more promising, although this is rather unlikely! Barack, it's time for the change you promised! January 20th couldn't come any sooner!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Although I wish I were casting a vote for Hillary tomorrow, I've officially found love for Obama and am confidant that he is the best person to lead this country in a new direction. The alternative is frightening and not an option so go out and rock your vote for OBAMA!!
And if you need more convincing check out Hillary in the Daily News!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Dear feminist activist,
We're emailing you together for the first time, because the situation is critical. Never before have all of us - leaders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) , NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL) , Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), and Feminist Majority Foundation - joined together to ask for your immediate help.
Our message is urgent. We must defeat Proposition 4 in California. Right now polls show we are down by just two points - 46-44 percent - so we can still turn it around. This draconian, deceptive so-called parental notification ballot measure will endanger teens, especially vulnerable teens. Please donate today so we can make the final push we need to win.
We have twice defeated such a measure in California. But this time, the proposal is far more dangerous and deceptive. It is reputed to be the most deceptive measure on the 2008 California ballot, and we can't let them fool the voters into hurting at-risk teens.
You can be sure that if we lose this anti-abortion measure in California, it will sweep the nation. Scared, pregnant teens who cannot go to their parents may feel forced to take matters into their own hands, seeking back-alley abortions, or even considering suicide. This law puts these vulnerable young women in danger. That's why we've joined together to ask for your help.
We must act now, before it's too late. Please join us by donating now to help us defeat Prop 4.
The Knights of Columbus just put in an additional $175,000 to pass Prop 4. We must match the Knights of Columbus and then some, to make our final ad buy for the No on Prop 4, Protect Teen Safety TV ad campaign.
Together, we can stop this dangerous ballot measure in its tracks. We're counting on you for our last crucial media buy. We don't have a moment to lose.
If we don't stand up for teen safety, who will? Please donate right now .
For Women's Lives,
Feminist Majority Foundation
National Organization for Women
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)
NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL)
P.S. We promise every dollar will go immediately toward No on Prop 4 media ad buy. Please donate now before it's too late.
There is only 1 week left until Election Day and now more than ever a woman's right to choose is in jeopardy!
Please send this video to any undecided voters or John McCain supporters that you know and re-post widely!! If we don't step up to protect women's lives who will?
Friday, October 24, 2008
In the U.S. President Bush proposes that funding for abstinence-only programs reach $270 million by 2009 (could January come any sooner?). This is an enormous amount of taxpayer funds to support programs that have been scientifically proven ineffective. To date 16 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming) have declined funding for such programs, yet the government’s position on the issue remains the same: abstinence-only education is here to stay.
Meanwhile in the UK, the British government is bringing sex education to schools starting as soon as kindergarten! That’s right - along with learning how to read, write, and share, kindergartens in the UK will be introduced to reproduction as part of their science curriculum. Requirements as to what the lessons will specifically entail haven’t been released yet, but we do know that schools will be asked to cover age-appropriate discussions on relationships and contraception in their lesson plans. By 11 students will be taught about developing respectful relationships and how risky sexual behavior can lead to STDs and unplanned pregnancies.
I could not be more thrilled at this prospect! The sooner we begin introducing comprehensive sex education the better off we will all be! Sex is a natural part of life and everyone has a right to live a safe sexually fulfilling life at any age. This isn’t to say that I’m an advocate of kindergarteners having sex (Um no!) but I think we all too often forget that young women have the right to control their bodies and get the information necessary to make safe and healthy decisions. By remaining silent on the topic or, worse yet, delivering inaccurate information (abstinence-only programs teach that condoms don’t prevent HIV, touching someone’s genitals can cause pregnancy, having an abortion will make you infertile) we are putting young women at incredible risk. In a time when teen pregnancy rates are on the rise and the economy is in shambles, we cannot afford to waste another minute or dollar on ineffective and inaccurate abstinence-only programs.
What will it take to get government mandated comprehensive sex education in the U.S.?
For more info check out: http://www.aclu.org/reproductiverights/sexed/12604res20080612.html
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I wish I’d known sooner that October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, but it’s better late than ever.
What does Barack have to say about this issue?
"We'll stop treating this as just a woman's issue, and start recognizing that when a woman is attacked, that abuse scars not only the victim, but her loves ones, sending currents of violence that ripples across our society."
Well said. Domestic violence isn’t just a woman’s issue and we have to stop treating it that way. So many solutions are centered around what a woman can do to end violence (don’t walk home late at night alone, don’t dress slutty, don’t drink too much, etc.) when they should really be focused on what we need to do to change the culture we live in that condones this violence.
What especially angers me about domestic violence is the enormous amount of victim blaming that is centered on the wives (not that victim blaming is exclusive to domestic violence – it’s not – it’s rampant in all sorts of violence against women). People always ask, why didn’t she just leave? Well, it’s not that easy. The circumstances surrounding each situation are so complex and different and asking why someone didn’t leave is incredibly insensitive, not to mention condescending. The better question is why couldn’t she leave; what made it so difficult to leave that she risked her life by staying?
Raising awareness just one month out of the year won’t end domestic violence. We need to raise hell about this issue every single day and we need a President who will make ending violence against women a national priority.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
You’d think birth control pills and condoms would be staple pharmacy items, but it looks like this may no longer be the case – at least not in Virginia where a pharmacy opening next Tuesday in a Chantilly shopping center will carry neither, not to mention the “morning after pill,” cigarettes, or pornographic magazines.
Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy, the pharmacy in question, has declared that it will be a pro-life business that does not provide these items on the basis of morality. They also argue that birth control and condoms can endanger a woman’s health and cause abortion. As it turns out this logic is completely off base. Birth control methods actually promote health by protecting women and men from contracting STDs and HIV / AIDS and from having unplanned pregnancies that ultimately reduce the need for abortion.
Refusing to stock these essential health care items places the political agenda of the pro-life movement squarely before a woman’s right to health. NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Virginia branch has asked opponents to boycott the store saying, “Birth control is basic health care for women.”
Ain’t that the truth! A pharmacist’s job is to look after its customer’s well being - not become an obstacle to their health.
One day she is a "role model for women," the next she is "a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America" . . .
Looks like John McCain has finally given up on his Palin feminist branding technique - not that it worked much anyway!
P.S. Someone should tell Johnny Boy (and Sarah Palin for that matter) that if it hadn't been for the "liberal feminist agenda" the possibility of a female vice presidential candidate wouldn't have even been possible.
Monday, October 20, 2008
On Friday Jocelyne Voltaire, a Queens Village resident, was sure her luck was out. She’d lost her oldest son, a Marine, in Iraq, she was unable to pay her skyrocketing mortgage payments, and was scheduled to lose her home – a home where she raised her four children in for 20 years – that very day. As her house was being put up on an auction block, CodePink received word of her story via a video on the American News Project and Jocelyne’s story quickly changed. After sending out an urgent call to supporters, CodePink raised over $10,000 within the hour! By 11am the mortgage bankers stopped the auction with a promise of $15,000. By the end of the day 650 donors had raised over $30,000 with money still pouring in!
It is the generosity of these ordinary people that got Jocelyne back on her feet. In these hard financial times, countless people just like Jocelyne are falling victim to the crippling economy and losing their homes, not to mention their sons and daughters overseas. Unfortunately, most of these people are not as lucky as Jocelyne was and many are finding themselves with no place to turn. It’s time for the government to step in and bail out these Main Street Americans, not Wall Street!
Friday, October 17, 2008
I wonder how this young girl felt when McCain told American that Sarah Palin is a role model for women . . .
This ad literally brought tears to my eyes and drove home one of the many reasons why Sarah Palin does not belong anywhere near the White House.
We also have a choice in who we elect in November so make the right one.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
When McCain said in tonight’s debate that Sarah Palin is a “role model for women” I wanted to ripe my TV off the wall! Seriously? Seriously?
Would a role model for women . . .
- Force a woman to carry a fetus to term even in cases of rape or incest?
- Make a woman pay for her own rape kit?
- Oppose the Violence Against Women Act?
- Endorse ineffective abstinence-only programs in schools?
- Promote the teaching of creationism?
- Oppose the Fair Pay Act?
- Ban marriage between same sex couples?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
When I saw this story in the Daily Mail I was shocked. I realize that girls are exploring their sexuality at younger and younger ages these days, but this is an invitation for trouble. It turns out that teenage girls in Australia are turning heads at the beach by painting their phone numbers on their backs while sunbathing to meet boys.
This new trend frightens me on many levels. First of all, these girls are willingly and deliberately objectifying their bodies to attract boys in a most unsafe way. Making a billboard of your half-naked body at a public beach opens the door for anyone - boys, men, predators, rapists, etc. – to get your private contact information. This is incredibly dangerous. These girls are minors – some as young as 14 years old – who are inviting strangers to check out their body and take down their number if they like what they see. And what if your phone number gets in the hands of a predator or rapist and something goes awfully wrong and a young girls is assaulted. Will people turn around and say she deserved it? We need to stop this trend in its tracks now before more young girls are put in danger.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
It took a so-called “pregnancy pact” and nearly 20 pregnant teens, but last night Gloucester, MA’s school board voted unanimously to allow contraceptives to be distributed in the high school’s heath center. There’s only one small catch – parental consent. And let’s face it - that can be a big catch if parents aren’t too careful. I understand not wanting your children to have sex, but if teens want to have sex they’re going to no matter what their parents tell them. Maybe having condoms at school would give parents the opportunity to have the awkward sex talk at home sooner rather than later. Why the school offered pregnancy tests, but not condoms to begin with is a mystery to me. If you’re offering pregnancy testing at school that means you suspect students are having sex. If you suspect students are having sex, why wouldn’t you offer condoms to not only avoid pregnancy in the first place but HIV and STDs too? Regardless, this is great news. Let’s hope the next trend in American high schools is not more teen mothers, but lots and lots of condoms and open and honest sex education at school and home.
On my way home from work I saw this in big bold letters on the street:
GOD BLESS MCCAIN
I wanted to scream!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
May the best woman win!
I came across this cool new campaign while skimming through the latest Marie Clare at the gym. It’s called the Girls m.powerment campaign and it’s an initiative of mark, a network of young women who sell exclusive make-up, skin, body care, and fragrance products, as well as accessories. One of the company’s latest accessories is the “Have a Heart Necklace” whose full net proceeds will go to ending the cycle of dating abuse and violence. The necklace was designed by Lauren Conrad of MTV’s hit reality TV show the Hills.
Join the movement to empower young women everywhere now by purchasing your very own heart necklace.
The campaign is being managed by the Avon Foundation which also has campaigns for breast cancer, domestic violence, and emergency relief. (Thank you Avon!)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Registration opens today for V-Day’s 2009 campaign events! Become part of the global movement to end violence against women by staging one (or more!) of the five benefit events offered this year:
· The Vagina Monologues
· Staged readings of V-Day’s A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer
· Staged readings of Any One Of Us: Words From Prison
· Screening of V-Day’s documentary Until the Violence Stops
· Screening of What I Want My Words To Do To You
After 10 years of vagina victories - and many more ahead - it is time for you to join the movement!
Sign up TODAY
V-Day’s spotlight campaign this year will highlight the Democratic Republic of Congo and the atrocities women and girls are enduring every day. Here rape is being used as a weapon of war to torture women and girls who suffer in silence and are often left with devastating emotional damages, painful physical wounds, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections. What’s worse – most perpetrators walk free. It is time for someone to stand up against this violence once and for all! Why not you?
Learn more NOW
Friday, October 3, 2008
A bunch of friends forwarded the chart below to me this afternoon and I thought it hilarious enough to stop my busy day at work and post! This is just too good!
ENJOY! (I betcha will!)
For further entertainment:
Tonight, Sarah Palin revealed that she is way out of her league and quite frankly possibly the worst Vice Presidential nominee in history. As she walked out to the stage she blew a kiss out into the audience and immediately asked Senator Biden if she could call him Joe, instantly setting the down-to-earth, home town vibe that she continued to jam down our throats throughout the 90 minute debate. She repeatedly emphasized her desire to speak straight to the average American people – all the Joe six packs and hockey moms out there – although she was unable to directly or clearly answer any question asked of her. She may have filled her speech with folksy language like “darn,” “straight up,” “you betcha,” and “we’re gonna,” not to mention personal mannerism like winking at the camera (yes more than once), but her desire to talk straight to the American people was overshadowed by her over-rehearsed and robotic delivery. Her lack of experience was evident too, 5 weeks and counting, as was her ignorance, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan is David McKiernan not Gen. McClellan.
All in all it was not a good night for the Republican Party, but that doesn’t mean the race is over yet. There are still 32 days and countless undecided voters to sway, and you betcha were gonna do our darndest to get their votes!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Turns out that abortion is becoming quite the hot button topic in this heated race to the White House. Each year abortion affects the lives of thousands of women, and in this election year we will finally hear what these women want from their next President.
Exhale , which operate the nation’s first and only nationwide non-judgmental after-abortion talkline, and RH Reality , an online forum that provides information and analysis on reproductive health issues, have teamed up to launch Pro-Voicein ’08 , a clever YouTube campaign that will given women the opportunity to candidly speak up about their personal experiences with abortion.
With the threat of a Roe reversal more real than ever before, it is time for women to share their stories and demand respect for the decisions they’ve made. The next President will determine whether women continue to have the right to decide what is best for their bodies so share your story today.
What should the next president say to convey his support and his respect for your personal experience with abortion?
Turns out this isn’t the first time this genius plan has generated serious cash. In January 2001, soon after President Bush was sworn into office, Morrison asked readers in her LA Times to send Georgie a President’s Day gift – of course a donation to PP in his honor.
Bush, who has gone to great lengths to erode a woman’s right to choose in the last 8 years, became one of Planned Parenthood’s biggest money-generators of all time (over one million dollars) and now Sarah Palin, our country’s next worst threat to reproductive rights, will follow suit. The irony is just too good! And what’s more is that people who never before cared to open their wallets for a good cause are shelling out some much needed cash. In fact, two-thirds of the donors who submitted funds in Sarah Palin’s honor were first time contributors. How about that!
So keep the money – and thank you cards – rolling in! And while you’re at it, why not send some funds over to the candidate who will protect your right to choose.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The verdict is out – ladies’ nights remain!
On Monday, Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum struck down a lawsuit alleging that ladies’ night at nightclubs in Manhattan discriminate against men. The suit was brought on by attorney Roy Den Hollander, an ardent opponent of feminism, who most recently sued Columbia University for its women’s studies program and the lack of a comparable men’s program (yea right!). Hollander was not pleased with the suit’s outcome and said the decision is “consistent with the discrimination embedded in many of America’s institutions.”
This is just plain ridiculous! Seriously? I want to meet this guy so I can knock some sense in him or better yet throw my discounted drink in his face! There was a time when bars and pubs were exclusively male spaces and women were unwelcome or assumed only to be there for one thing, and it wasn’t alcohol. That’s discrimination - as is the fact that women still do not receive equal pay for equal work! If my logic were as good as Mr. Hollander’s I’d demand that women deserve to pay less for alcohol (and everything else for that matter) to make up for the wage gap – am I on to something? (I kid).
What concerned me about this lawsuit was the nightclub owner’s defense that men might actually benefit from ladies’ nights because of the abundance of women who attend. Really? Lots of women, lots of alcohol, and lots of men eager to “benefit” – this combination can easily put women at extreme risk for being assaulted, raped, or worse. Perhaps this is the more important issue.
Monday, September 29, 2008
That’s a whole lot of women, but who are they? What are their stories?
We don’t know. We have no idea who these women are or what led them to make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Of course abortion is a private and intimate matter but it is a right that we have, at least for now, and something we must protect. Unfortunately, with all the silence and secrecy that surrounds this pivotal life choice, abortion remains a mystery to many.
In “Abortion & Life” Jennifer Baumgardner sets out to demystify abortion as she documents the stories of multiple generations of women and their abortion stories. The women in the book are photographed wearing “I Had an Abortion” t-shirts, a campaign Baumgardner began to “challenge the taboo that cloaks abortion in silence.” The cover depicts a pregnant Baumgardner and a woman wearing one of the t-shirts standing by her side touching her belly. It is this dichotomy that we need to embrace – the notion that women who’ve had abortions can understand one another and the decisions they have chosen for their lives. I’ve never had an abortion, but I wouldn’t judge another woman for choosing to do so. We are lucky we are able to choose and we must stand up for our right to have an abortion now more than ever.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Check out The Hot Ticket for participating theaters:
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I’d like to take credit for what I’m about to tell you, but unfortunately this was not my genius idea. Ok here’s the deal. We all know Sarah Palin poses an undeniable threat to women’s health so why not do your part to protect a woman’s right to choose, and have a little fun doing it. Make a donation to Planned Parenthood – in Sarah Palin’s name. When you do, they’ll send her a thank you card telling her that a donation has been made in her honor. You’ll need to fill out an address for her to receive the card so why not send it to the McCain campaign headquarters?
Here’s the address:
McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
Arlington, VA 22202
And the link:
Have at it! Told you it was genius!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
We did it! Bitch Magazine has been saved – at least for now. The next issue will be out December 1st, but to ensure Bitch stays alive keep the money rolling in!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Hillary Clinton teamed up with Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in today’s New York Times with an excellent editorial, Blocking Care for Women, that criticizes the recently proposed regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services that would allow medical professionals (doctors, nurses, receptionist, volunteers, you name it) to opt out of providing any medical procedure they find objectionable.
What’s on the line here? Well, abortion (of course), sterilization, possibly even basic forms of contraception, and other “unspecified medical procedures.”
As Clinton and Richards note:
Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable?
Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?
These are all legitimate questions as the proposed rules are vague and leave room for interpretation. Nonetheless, whatever way you slice it, women lose.
There is less than a week left until the public comment period on the regulations closes. Don’t miss your chance to raise your voice and protect women’s health!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Obama received the endorsement of six women's rights organizations this week:
Business and Professional Women/USA
Feminist Majority Political Action Committee
National Association of Social Workers
National Congress of Black Women
National Organization of Women
Women’s Information Network
With Election Day less than two months away its time to rally as much support as possible for the change this country needs. The alternate choice is not an option.
My favorite feminist magazine, Bitch, needs you! In these hard economic times, these bitches need a helping hand - $40,000 by October 15th to be exact - so dig in your pockets and dig deep. Bitch is one of the only places we can go for serious feminist analysis on the issues we care about so don’t let this be the last Bitch! Donate now!
After a short hiatus away, I’m back! And there is lots and lots to talk about, especially the Palin Mania that has hit the media by storm. My thoughts? As a Democrat, woman, and human being I’m completed insulted. Palin’s feminist cries are laughable, as are her rallying cries to shatter the glass ceiling, an accomplishment that would abandon the 18 million voters (including me) who were hammering away behind Hillary Clinton. Yet, despite her anti-woman policies and ultra conservative values, the Republican campaign is doing its damndest to rally the female vote to nominate a woman whose candidacy will turn back the clocks.
Supporting Palin means supporting a candidate who will limit our reproductive choices, a woman who will make criminals out of women for choosing what is best for their own bodies. This is a woman who believes rape victims should carry their assailant’s baby to term, a woman who also believes incest survivors have no choice but to have their father, brother, uncle, or grandfather’s baby.
A vote for Palin is a vote for abstinence-only education, programs that have been proven ineffective and have failed even Palin’s pregnant 17-year-old daughter. A Palin-McCain ticket will ensure that young women across the country do not learn about birth control or contraception, topics comprehensive sex education programs teach to avoid unplanned pregnancies and reduce the rate of abortion.
About what about same-sex relationships? Forget it. In 1998 Palin supported the constitution amendment in Alaska that defines marriage to be solely between a man and a woman. Against a decision by the Alaskan Supreme Court in 2006 to give same-sex couples the same spousal benefits (such as healthcare and retiree benefits) that married couples receive, Palin believes such rights belong only to heterosexual couples.
Palin may be a woman, but her policies do not protect and support the rights of women. They undermine and seek to erode the very freedoms women have worked for decades to achieve. Her nomination to one of the country’s highest offices is a notable achievement, but Sarah Palin is not the right woman for this job.
Want a few more reasons not to support Palin? Check out: http://womenagainstsarahpalin.blogspot.com/
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tonight marked a historic and proud day for America as Barack Obama, the first African American candidate to lead a major party ticket, accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States. As an ardent Hillary supporter who only recently (Tuesday night after Hillary’s speech to be exact) decided to fully support Obama, tonight was an important night and Obama did not disappoint. He proved he can lead this country in a new direction, one that will right the countless wrongs of the last 8 years with George W. Bush. He spoke eloquently and passionately and with power and grace. He didn’t fluff up his speech with his grandiose oratory flair. He clearly laid out a plan for a better future – a future that McCain cannot and will not provide for us. From the state of the economy, to the war in Iraq, social security, universal healthcare, gun control, abortion, gay rights, and equal pay for equal work Obama touched on every hot button topic of this election and then some. He showed voters that he has a clear vision for his presidency, one that will give us back the America we love and have missed.
‘Tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."’
I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a hint of disappoint at not seeing Hillary on stage tonight, but I walked away from the TV set hopeful, enthused, and proud to be a Democrat.
I love Hillary Clinton. I love her values. I love her politics. I love her drive to push boundaries and chip away at the glass ceiling with a life-size hammer. That being said, what I like most about her is that she is, well, a woman. There I said it. Call me sexist if you like, but as a woman myself I was beyond thrilled that a woman was finally saying that she too deserved a chance to run for the highest position in the United States. It was about time!
I stood by Hillary’s side until the bitter end. My roommate’s mother actually asked me how I was doing after the news broke that Obama was going to get the nomination. I was devastated, I told her. I didn’t know how I was going to get on the Obama-train after he’d shattered my dreams (and that of countless others) of seeing the first woman in history head to the White House. I was angry, but instead of wallowing in despair I channeled my anger in the direction of a new dream – a Dream Ticket. If Hillary couldn’t be President, she’d be VP. Forget the naming calling and rivalry of the last few months. The past was history and it was time for the kind of change I could believe in – a power Democratic partnership of man and woman.
Turns out I was wrong. Hillary wouldn’t be President and she wouldn’t be Vice President. I was crushed. Now what? There was no way I would switch teams, but I couldn’t help feeling betrayed by Obama and his supporters. How could he not see that Hillary was the best choice? How could I abandon the first woman to go where no other woman had gone before? Well, after Hillary’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention I realize that I have no choice but to support Obama just as she has so humbly done. A vote for the opposite would be a vote for four more years of more of the same abysmal Republican policies. As Hilary so eloquently and cleverly put it:
“John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize social security and in 2008 he still thinks its ok when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work. Now, with an agenda like that it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be in together next week in the Twin Cities because these days they are awfully hard to tell apart.”
To quote Hillary again, “No Way. No How. No McCain.”
Hillary may no longer be in the running but her politics and values remain. I will make certain that my vote in November ensures a Democratic victory and the election of the United State’s first Black President (another remarkable milestone). And why not make history two terms in a row? Next election, thanks to Hillary, the possibility of a Madam President is not nearly as foreign as it once was and if we’re lucky we may just get a Hillary comeback.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Today, Tuesday August 26th marks Women’s Equality Day. It frustrates me that we recognize and celebrate a day for equality that is far from reality. Yes, women have made many strides over the years, but if you take a look at the world around us it is clear that despite these triumphs, women in the U.S. (and around the world) are still treated as second-class citizens:
-Women only make $.77 to a man’s dollar ($.71 for African American women; $.58 for Latinas).
- Women only make up 16% of our representatives in Congress.
- Every day 4 women die in this country as a result of domestic violence.
- One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
- Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by intimates.
- More than 130 million girls and women around the world have undergone female genital mutilation.
- Nearly 75% of the nation’s elderly poor are women.
- Women are only half as likely as men to receive a pension, and those who do, receive only half as much.
- Women are still being told what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, as access to birth control and abortions is more of a threat today than ever before.
- Women athletes continue to get fewer teams, fewer scholarships, and lower budgets than their male counterparts.
- Female caregivers may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than male caregivers.
- Americans still do not feel confidant in electing a woman to the White House.
And that’s not all. Tell me is this equality? What if the genders were versed and these statistics were true not for women, but men? How can we celebrate an equality that obviously does not exist? We must persist in the fight for women’s rights to make certain that one day these unjust statistics are not true and we can truly celebrate.
“If you want to taste freedom, keep going.”
Hello fellow bloggers! I cannot tell you all how excited I am to get this blog up and running. I’m a firm believer in the power of the written word and women, so this is my space to write about everything and anything about the world around me, a world where women are constantly fighting to be seen as equals. Needless to say, I’m a feminist. Always have been. Always will be. To be honest, I don’t understand why or how someone could not be a feminist, but I think that is where this blog comes in – to open the eyes and rattle the brains of the unbelievers and join together with those who stand by my side.
Please share your thoughts and comments with me so together we can share our stories and find a way to create a new story for ourselves and for the women who are to follow us.