Monday, November 30, 2009

Anti-feminists are still telling lies  

If you need your daily dose of disgust, head on over to Men's News Daily to check out Paul Elam's charming article, "The Myth of Women's Oppression." In it, he so ignorantly compares women's oppression to the oppression faced by people of color, deducting that since women were never lynched or made into actual slaves on plantations, clearly our lives are a walk in the park.

Women were never oppressed to begin with. Not even close.

I’m no historian, but I did attend some history classes before I finished middle school. So, by the time I was 13, I knew what oppression was. And lucky for me I was 13 in a time when people still knew what it wasn’t.

Oppression has some pretty obvious tell tale signs. Like torture and death; like bullwhips and chains; gas chambers and death camps. Oppression is a roadmap of scars on the back of a field hand that was purchased at an auction. It is the rope that gets strung over a tree branch in broad daylight and used to choke the life out of someone convicted of being the wrong color.

Getting through the rest of this steaming pile of garbage was a task for me, as my stomach began churning and I thought I was going to vomit all over Paul Elan's sickening words.

Go post your comments and tell Pauly that he needs to actually meet a feminist before publicly trashing them. My comment went something like:

Are you serious? You base "oppression" solely off of whether or not someone was PHYSICALLY abused? You have an extremely warped view of oppression.

But if we want to go by your definition, let's look at the grossly high rape statistics. Yes yes, men are raped too, but not nearly as often as women are. Why is this? Because of deeply embedded stereotypes that women are weak playthings to be used and abused.

And let's pan out a bit and look at women globally. If you are a woman in the Middle East or in Africa, you have a shitload to worry about. Perhaps you were forced to live underground after surviving a rape because your family was so ashamed of you that they kicked you out, or maybe you have no choice but to undergo genital cutting, in which your clitoris is cut or removed or your entire vagina is sewn shut to ensure that you do not experience any type of sexual pleasure until you are forced into marriage. Or maybe you live in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where you constantly have to worry about you or your daughters or your sisters or your friends being raped endlessly and left with unwanted pregnancies, STDs, or a torn vagina. For these women, I'd say feminism is pretty damn important.

And as far as the "the older rules for men" go... do you honestly believe that all men follow these "rules"? Touch her in the wrong way and you're a dead man? That's a nice rosy picture... but let's get back to reality.

You have such an incorrect view of what feminism is. Methinks you have never experienced an ounce of oppression in your lifetime, unless you count the big bad feminists stomping all over poor little you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

CPCs to be regulated in Baltimore  

Crisis pregnancy centers, establishments that pose as clinics out to help pregnant women but in actuality are run by anti-choice staff, are prevalent across the country. Unfortunately, CPCs have a tendency to avoid revealing the fact that they exist to deter women from having abortions, and most are not obligated by law to do so.

HOWEVERRRR... Baltimore has now become the first city in the country to regulate their CPCs. The Limited Service Pregnancy Center Disclaimers Bill passed by a 12-3 vote in the Baltimore City Council and will now move to the the desk of Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is expected to sign it. The bill will require crisis pregnancy centers to post signs disclosing that they do not offer referrals for or information about abortion and contraception.

Seriously, why isn't this mandated everywhere? There are about 4,000 CPCs nationwide... four thousand establishments set up to deceive pregnant women. We only need to read stories from real women who have visited CPCs to know how awful they are:

I had a surgical abortion in April. When I discovered I was pregnant, I visited a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC). When I walked in, I was greeted warmly. They gave me a free ultrasound and seemed sweet and supportive. Then came the counseling session, during which I asked to be excused several times, and was told each time it was mandatory since they had given me an ultrasound for free. When I informed them of my decision to have an abortion, I was forced to watch a graphic video. I was suffering from morning sickness and I had to run out to vomit several times. They told me these were the consequences of sin. They warned me my fiance would never be able to look at me as anything other than the woman who killed his first child. I'll never forget the way I felt leaving the Crisis Pregnancy Center that day.

Read more about CPCs on the National Abortion Federation's website. And if there is one in your town, make a shitload of noise about it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  


Monday, November 23, 2009

Not even equality in the after-life  

Governor Carcieri, of Rhode Island, has decided that "domestic partners" can't be buried next to each other, i.e. same-sex couples.

"This bill represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage, which is not the preferred way to approach this issue," said Carcieri.

Are you serious?
Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Hanger Project  


Amplify has created what they have called The Hanger Project, made to spread awareness about the restrictions anti-choice legislators are trying to put on abortion through the health care reform bill.

Join The Hanger Project, and learn about how you can help fight against politicians in Washington attempting to take away our legal right to have an abortion. Download and print the Hanger Project's awesome flyers and hang them on wire hangers around your town or on your campus. I think we could get many more people to join our fight, but first we need to educate them on what is happening. Awareness is key.
Friday, November 20, 2009

Transgender Day of Rememberance 09'  

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to remembering those who have been killed by transphobic murderers. The very first TDOR was held on November 28th, 1998 to honor Rita Hester, a transwoman who was murdered.

You can visit the TDOR website to view a list of the countless people who were known to have been killed by anti-transgender discrimination and hatred this year. You can also find an event near you if you would like to do something to honor this day... maybe attend a candlelight vigil or a meeting to discuss trans rights.

But you can also engage in small personal actions if you cannot attend an event, whether it be bringing up trans issues with people you know, or creating a pro-transgender Facebook status or Twitter update. What is everyone doing to honor those who have been killed by hatred?
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Update on abortion coverage ban  

Here's the deal.

The Senate healthcare bill that was revealed yesterday does not include the Stupak language in it, thankfully.

However, the bill does include the long-standing Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal dollars from being used for abortions. Also, the Senate now has the ability to bring the bill they have passed to the floor for debate, during which they can add amendments, so we still need to call our senators and voice our opposition to Stupak's amendment to ensure that similar anti-choice language isn't introduced when the bill hits the Senate floor. Senator Hatch, for example, has said that he will introduce a similar bill. So, our reproductive rights are still very much in jeopardy.

PUSH your senators to support a woman's right to have at least her private insurance cover an abortion. It's so important.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Protest the Stupak amendment!  

Important information: Planned Parenthood has organized a National Day of Action to protest the unacceptable Stupak amendment. This day of action is:

Wednesday, December 2nd.

You can join the anti-Stupak rally in Washington, D.C., or organize your own event in your community or on your campus. Our feminist group is going to set up a table on my campus to have people sign a petition and learn about how harmful this amendment is. What is everyone else doing?
Friday, November 13, 2009

Women: you are NEVER safe  

A great new "Target Women" is up, and I'm so happy that my Sarah covered this topic, since these Broadview Security commercials have been seriously freaking me out lately. Every single one is the same: an unsuspecting attractive woman has her house broken into by an angry man, said angry man runs away when the alarm goes off, and a hunky Broadview Security man calls the woman and comes to her rescue. Don't burglaries happen to all different people, not just attractive white women...?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Update on same-sex marriage in NY  


As some of you might have heard, rumors were flying that the state senate was supposed to vote yesterday on whether or not to consider legalizing same-sex marriage in New York. As a proud New Yorker, I was hoping for the best. Unfortunately, the senate got caught up with budget-related issues and didn't get to vote on the marriage bill.

But, according to Governor Paterson, the bill should be voted on by the end of the year. So, if you're a New Yorker, please please visit the Human Rights Campaign's website to send a message to our senators and encourage them to vote in favor of same-sex marriage in New York!

Feminists against the Stupak amendment  

If you were as devastated as I was about the passing of the Stupak Amendment, you might feel a little better when reading the Feminist Majority Foundation's press release about what happens now:

The fight is far from over. Many pro choice legislators and groups, who were reluctantly willing to compromise on the Capps amendment included in the Act, are now determined to strip the Stupak amendment from the Act before it is finally approved by Congress and signed by the president.

President Obama IS against the Stupak amendment, so please send a letter to him on Planned Parenthood's website urging him to take action to get rid of this horrific law. We really cannot stand for this.

Feminism and poker  

If you're a card-playing feminist, shoot on over to Lady Junkie's feminist poker blog. Start by reading some lovely interviews Lady Junkie conducted recently with feminist bloggers, including yours truly, and Julie Zeilinger of The FBomb.

As someone who was taught how to play poker by her father when she was ten years-old, I really enjoyed doing this interview. More power to any women poker players who are kicking ass in the male-dominated game.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

White people 'saving' people of color in films  

This is a trailer for a new movie coming out, called "The Blind Side."

This is a concept that has been covered by quite a few films: the privileged white person coming in and fixing the lives of Black and Hispanic kids. It's been seen in both "Dangerous Minds" and "Freedom Writers" and has been parodied in "High School High" (whether it was parodied tastefully or not is another story).

What does everyone think of Hollywood's obsession with these types of movies? Are they positive and inspirational, or stereotypical and offensive? I think it's an interesting and important debate to have, especially since it seems like these kinds of films aren't dying out anytime soon. Gimme your two cents.
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Health care reform bill disappointing, to say the least  

As most of you probably heard, the health care reform bill that passed Saturday night was anything but woman-friendly. Thanks to the Stupak amendment, our reproductive health care access has been severely limited.

I'm too upset and worked up to write much more, but head over to Planned Parenthood's action website to read more and send a letter to President Obama.

It's really time to take back control over our bodies. We deserve reproductive health services, and these services are necessities, not luxuries.
Saturday, November 7, 2009

Advancements in women's rights in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia  


Two positive pieces of news regarding women's rights in the Middle East:

In Pakistan, the National Assembly passed a law increasing the penalty for sexual harassment. It now must be passed in the senate, but let's keep our fingers crossed. If passed, the law would increase the penalty for sexual harassment from one year to three years in prison and would add a fine of up to 500,000 Pakistani rupees (6,000 American dollars).

In Saudi Arabia, women's rights activists are launching a "Black Ribbon Campaign" to demand women's rights in the country. Activists are asking those who support women's rights to wear a black ribbon or bracelet. The campaign has three goals: "that Saudi women be allowed to represent themselves in official and government agencies without a male guardian; that Saudi women be treated as citizens equal to Saudi men; and that Saudi women be allowed to enjoy rights and privileges that are currently restricted including the rights to travel, work, study, inherit, gain custody of children, marry, divorce, drive cars."
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maine repeals same-sex marriage law  

Yesterday, in a move that resembled the famous Prop 8 debate in California, voters in Maine decided to repeal the state's new law that allowed same-sex marriage.

I was horrified when I heard this. It's to the point where I'm so hesitant to celebrate any small victories or any states gained or rights earned because part of me knows that there is a good chance that someone will take it away from us.

A friend of mine who was particularly upset about this said, "We're supposed to be moving forwards, not backwards." Unfortunately, the process of gaining equality is a painstakingly slow one. While we are pushing forwards, there will always be people trying to shove us backwards. We have so many battles to fight.

The only comfort I can take is in the fact that I know we are the ones who are right in this situation. I know that technically, opinions can't be wrong, which is true... but this is so much more than just, "I have this opinion, and you have your opinion." Opponents of same-sex marriage promote hatred, close-mindedness, and discrimination. That is wrong. And I believe that eventually, though it might take some time, justice will prevail. I have enough faith in this country to know that one day, the good, the just, and the right side will triumph.

Until then, hang in there, my loves <3