Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'Stop Deceptive Advertising' Act aims to crack down on crisis pregnancy centers  

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Today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Stop Deceptive Advertising in Women's Services Act (SDAWS), which would crack down on crisis pregnancy centers, or fake clinics that claim to offer women all their options, but fail to provide abortion services or referrals of any kind. From their press release:

"Although I may disagree with their views, many crisis pregnancy centers are forthright and respectful. Unfortunately, some take a more underhanded approach to lure in women seeking abortions by using tactics that should be illegal," Representative Maloney said. "An unintended pregnancy is an especially difficult time to encounter deception, and deceptive practices should be outlawed. Women shouldn’t have to face the added stress of deciphering whether or not the clinic they choose offers legitimate medical services."

Senator Menendez said, "This legislation would simply help ensure truth in advertising related to reproductive health services. Women's reproductive health choices are very personal decisions, and they should never be influenced by deception or pressure."

Essentially, the Act directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish rules declaring it illegal for an establishment to advertise as a provider of abortion services if they do not provide such services. I wonder if it would crack down on other deceptive tactics CPCs use, such as deliberately placing themselves across the street from a real family planning clinic, so that women might accidentally wander into an anti-choice establishment instead. Probably not.

Read the full text of the act here (PDF).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New technological trend in dating violence  

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A new weapon that is becomingly increasingly popular amongst abusive partners: text messages. The Washington Post had a chilling update in their Breaking News blog recently, highlighting this issue. They have stories to back it up, including one about a 22 year-old who was texted and called 758 times by her boyfriend.

Text messaging is allowing abusers to keep constant tabs on their partners, and because young people are handed cell phones from the minute they emerge from the womb, it can take awhile for them to notice something wrong in receiving excessive text messages from a significant other.

This is why new trends in dating violence need to be immediately woven into the anti-dating violence already implemented in schools. And for the schools that don't have any such programs, why the hell not?!?

And I don't need to remind anyone that this is yet another reason why we still need feminism: to teach young girls that their purpose extends beyond getting the attention of dudes. People wonder why women and girls stay with abusive partners - maybe this wouldn't be the case if we were taught that we can survive without a husband.
Friday, June 25, 2010

Fetuses definitely don't feel pain before 24 weeks, says U.K. docs  

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Interesting piece of news! A new report released by United Kingdom's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that there is no evidence to show that fetuses feel pain in the womb before 24 weeks, according to Women's eNews. 24 weeks is a few weeks short of the third trimester.

Apparently, the nerve connections in the cortex, which is the area in the brain that processes responses to pain, does not form properly before 24 weeks. But the report also points out that even in cases of abortions after 24 weeks, a fetus is naturally sedated and unconscious in the womb before the procedure.
Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day shout-out  

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To my wonderful dad, and all the other wonderful dads out there. Fatherhood is undeniably a feminist issue because it's up to us to promote positive parenting that transcends gender stereotypes. To demonstrate, I'm re-posting this adorable and heart-warming ad from Fatherhood.gov.



And one more!



We can only hope for more people to be lucky enough to have feminist daddies :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Random tip of the day  

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If you're not already following Feminist Hulk on Twitter, DO IT NOW. Some sample Tweets:

TRICK TO SMASHING GENDER BINARY: MAKE SURE IT NOT SIMPLY BREAK INTO TWO NORMATIVE PIECES. HULK CREATE GENDERQUEER DEBRIS!

HULK SMASH MASCULINIST DEMANDS TO DENY EMOTION. LOGIC AND FEELING NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. HULK CRADLE TENDER, SENSITIVE HULK WITHIN.

HULK HAVE LOVE FOR SMASH, / HATE FOR PATRIARCHY, AND / PENCHANT FOR HAIKU.


So much awesome feminist humor in this one Twitter page, and almost 16,000 followers!

More reasons as to why same-sex marriage opponents are wrong  

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In light of the sheer stupidity demonstrated within the comments during the Prop 8 trial, Jason Kuznicki wrote an interesting opinion piece, analyzing the arguments of same-sex marriage opponents:

For the opposition, possibly the strongest is the claim that children need a mother and a father, and that marriage is the institution that ties heterosexual sex to childbirth and parenting.

Clearly, that's one thing that marriage does, but it can't be the only purpose of the institution. If it were, we wouldn't let 80-year-olds get married, and if you've had a hysterectomy, then forget it. To complicate matters, gays and lesbians also raise children, and an institution that ties them to their kids, and that empowers them to raise their children responsibly, seems like a reasonable addition to the law.

He later concludes:

All of this brings up a strange inconsistency to the opponents of same-sex marriage. Their ends -- every child gets a mom and a dad -- are strangely mismatched to their means -- prohibit same-sex marriage. It's sort of like banning bad moustaches to stop pornography. Perhaps there's some vague association, but that's about it.

Same-sex marriage isn't nearly the root of the problem, and we all know it. If it's really so important that every child gets a mom and a dad, then there is an obvious policy solution: prohibit divorce after childbirth. Of course, divorced parents are numerous and politically powerful, and it's always easier to scapegoat a minority.

Why, oh why, can't the same-sex-marriage-will-ruin-society crazies understand such simple and undeniable logic?

Monday, June 14, 2010

'Stonewall Uprising'  

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I really, really want to see this. Stonewall Uprising is a new documentary about the infamous Stonewall riots in 1969 and how queer people were treated (or mistreated) during the time period. Here's part of the synopsis from the official website:

Told by Stonewall patrons, reporters and the cop who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; public service announcements warned youngsters against predatory homosexuals; and police entrapment was rampant. At the height of this oppression, the cops raid Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. The rest is history.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sarah Palin: start your own damn movement, and leave ours alone  

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Your "UGH" moment of the week: Sarah Palin on the cover of Newsweek in all her angelic, feminist, conservative glory.


I said it before, I'll say it again: I refuse to accept Sarah Palin as the face of feminism.

Calling Sarah Palin a feminist is like calling Perez Hilton a queer rights activist. You can't claim to advocate for queer rights when you make blog posts with titles such as "WHEN TRANNIES ATTACK!" just like you can't claim to want the best for women when you oppose their right to reproductive control and are perfectly comfortable with reducing lesbians to second-class status.

How dare she publicly adopt the "feminist" label and distort to some warped, twisted anti-equality anti-woman bullshit, all while acting like she's some kind of savior for women.

I'm all for building inclusive social movements, but I'm not about to roll out the welcome mat for those who are blatantly detrimental to our goals.
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Want oral sex? Buy her pretty things!  

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Oh my goodness, now I want to go down on you!

Came across a charming article from The Frisky called 19 Ways to Get Her to Go Down. According to this list, dudes can get blowies from their chicks by doing things such as: buying her jewelry, taking her to the opera, sending her flowers, or giving her an engagement ring.

How about: ask us and we'll "go down" if we effin' feel like it? Why all the bass-ackwards ulterior motive bullshit and not, oh I don't know, communicating with your partner? Major fail on the part of The Frisky and on the (female) author for perpetuating stereotypes that men are conniving assholes, and women are shallow gold-diggers.

PETA: still offensive  

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PETA has never ceased to disappoint us when it comes to sexist, racist, and overly-sexualized ad campaigns. I'm 100% for animal rights, but I'm also 100% for advertisements that don't offend large amounts of people. Here's their newest display of a lack of morality:


Wow PETA, between the "eating meat" comment, the limp hotdog, and the cleavage-y lady, you really know how to shit all over feminism. Keep up the good work! :)

As one commenter on Jezebel said: "PETA is to animal rights activists as Glenn Beck is to Christians."

O'Reilly compares gay people to Al-Quaeda  

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Bill O'Reilly has had some pretty douchey moments, but this might just be one of the douchiest things he's ever said in his entire douchebag history.

Remember the French McDonald's ad I posted about the other day, the one featuring the gay teenager with the phrase "come as you are"?

Last night, during O'Reilly's segment, first he and Fox News anchor Jane Skinner implied that the commercial will only make gay men hungry for McDonald's (what?) Then, O'Reilly went on to say: "Do they have an Al-Quaeda ad? You know... 'Come as you are.'"

Here's some advice, Bill: gently wrap hand around ankle, then in one swift motion, remove foot from mouth.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Assumptions that all skin comes in white  

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The ever-amazing Sociological Images posted recently about the undeniable fact that in the fashion world, "nude," "skin," and "natural" equals Caucasian, and I went hunting for some examples. I found three of them in all of five minutes.

This model is wearing a "natural"-colored bra (the name "natural" might be the one that bothers me the most).


Victoria's Secret made my case for me by putting a woman of color in a nude bra that clearly is so far from her skin color.


In this one, the color meant for black women is called "mocha," while the color meant for white women is simply "nude."


Lesson learned: white people are the default, and people of color are the other.

When will the fashion industry learn that there is no one color that can be associated with "skin"?

Queer character in McDonald's ad  

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Saw this French McDonald's ad posted on Feministing, and I actually kind of love it.

Dr. Tiller honored on the Senate floor  

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave a statement on the Senate floor last week, honoring former Dr. George Tiller. The one-year anniversary of his murder was just this past Monday. Here is the statement:

A community in Kansas still shakes one year after the brazen murder of one of its own. This weekend will mark the first anniversary of Dr. George Tiller’s death. He was gunned down in front of his Wichita church the day before last Memorial Day.

Dr. Tiller was killed at point-blank range, at his place of worship, in the middle of a Sunday morning, while his wife sang in the church choir just yards away.

He was murdered by an unrepentant assassin who took a life in the name of protecting life. It was an indefensible crime and an incomprehensible excuse.

Just as despicable as Dr. Tiller’s death was the fact that his murder wasn’t an isolated incident. It wasn’t even the first time someone tried to kill him. His clinic was bombed in 1985. He was shot twice in 1993. And over the next 16 years, seven clinic workers would be killed before Dr. Tiller would become the eighth. More than 6,000 other acts of violence have been launched at clinics and their workers – bombings, arsons, assaults and other attacks.

The last doctor killed before Dr. Tiller was a husband and father from Buffalo named Barnett Slepian. He was an OB/GYN who also helped poor women access safe, legal abortions. Because of that, he was murdered in his home. I didn’t know Dr. Selpian, but I knew his niece. She came from Reno, Nevada, and she once worked in my office.

The tragedy of Dr. Tiller’s death, and of Dr. Slepian’s death – and of every atrocity like it – is independent of the issue of abortion. It’s not about the legality of abortion or funding of abortion. These are emotional debates, and ones on which people of good faith can disagree.

What so shook that Kansas town was rather an act of terrorism. What reverberated out to our borders and coasts from the center of our country was the violation of our founding principle: that we are a nation of laws, not of men.

Everyone in America has the right to disagree with its laws. Everyone has the right to dispute and protest its laws. But no American has the right to disobey them.

Not all of us would choose Dr. Tiller’s profession. Not all of us would seek his services or agree with his philosophy. But it is the responsibility of every American to respect another’s right to practice his profession legally.

Those who believe in the sanctity of life cannot be selective. We must value every life – not just those with which we agree.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Screw Marriage" Tuesday  

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I've stated before that I'm not the biggest fan of the institution of marriage. To sum it up: I don't need a piece of paper from the government to validate who I'm allowed to love, and I don't feel comfortable being a part of a patriarchal and exclusive institution that I feel wrongfully dominates our society. That being said, I don't judge anyone who chooses to get married, feminists included.

Anywho!

For those who dig the idea of challenging holy matrimony, check out Liz Langley of AlterNet's Eight Reasons Marriage Doesn't Matter. I applaud anyone who's gutsy enough to take on the ginormous institution of marriage.

Reproductive coercion  

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I'm encouraging everyone to head over to AlterNet to check out a recent article, "My Boyfriend Stole My Birth Control": When Men Force Women to Get Pregnant Against Their Will.

Scary new evidence is showing that a significant number of women experience their partners trying to steal away their bodily control through "reproductive coercion," or the act of forcing a pregnancy onto someone.

In the largest study of this phenomenon to date, “Pregnancy Coercion, Intimate Partner Violence and Unintended Pregnancy,” published in the January issue of the journal Contraception, lead researcher Elizabeth Miller and others surveyed nearly 1,300 16- to 29-year-old women who’d sought a variety of services at five different Northern California reproductive health clinics. Among those who had experienced intercourse, i.e., who could be at risk of unintended pregnancy, not only did 53 percent of respondents say they’d experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner, but one in five said they had experienced pregnancy coercion; 15 percent said they experienced birth control sabotage, including hiding or flushing birth control pills down the toilet, intentional breaking of condoms and removing contraceptive rings or patches. These figures were consistent from clinic to clinic.

Currently, this phenomenon is little-known, and the prevailing stereotype is still "the woman—call her the femme fertile—who conspires to get pregnant, perhaps by 'forgetting' to take her birth control pills, as a way to 'trap a man' and force marriage—or at least keep him in her life." But people need to know that there is another scarily common situation out there: the boyfriend or husband who, disgusted by a woman's ability to have reproductive control, goes to heinous measures to force pregnancies, abortions, or miscarriages onto his partner.

This is some seriously fucked-up stuff. Spread the word, feminists. Please.