In what’s actually a pretty reasonable and thoughtful piece, one woman says no: That abortion rights given women an out from being parents, and we shouldn’t tell men that having sex means taking on the responsibility to have a child:...read more
The Australian army is currently investigating a ring of officers and NCOs accused of distributing explicit photos and videos denigrating women. Calling themselves the “Jedi Council,” the men e-mailed among themselves thousands of degrading videos and photos of sexual encounters with women, military and civilian, without their knowledge. Lieutenant General David Morrison, Chief of Army, describes the text and images as “explicit, derogatory, demeaning, and repugnant to me.” On Wednesday, Morrison spoke the media, then delivered an unblinking video address directly to the members of the Australian army....read more
Promote yourself....read more
A distinctive shadow on the sand of one of the world’s famous tourist traps is the host of this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.
Any readers participating or otherwise aware of any guerilla knitting happening in their neighbourhoods this weekend, please drop links to what’s happening in this thread.
* with a few netiquette exceptions...read more
[Content note: frank discussion of a man's... frank]
Say you’re texting back and forth on a dating app with someone, and it starts getting a little personal, and you think, “You know what I think this person would like to see? A photograph of my naked genitalia.” So you send the photo. And the other person says, “That’s disgusting! I’m posting that online!” And you say, “I’m so sorry! I seriously thought you’d want to see that. Obviously, I was wrong, and I apologize wholeheartedly. Please don’t post it online. I’m going to leave you alone now.”
Trevor didn’t do that....read more
This week at the Guardian (and in the national news media) there’s been much attention paid to the role of private contractors in our intelligence and military operations, after an NSA employee leaked classified documents about U.S. spying to Glenn Greenwald. I’m using my column this week to talk about a different kind of privatization in American security: The privatization of our prison system, which turns the building and management of prisons over to corporate entities. Of course, even non-privatized prisons in the U.S. are rife with abuses. But privatization creates strong financial incentives for increased incarceration; the actors who are incentivized are particularly powerful, politically connected and monied. There’s also little oversight and regulation of private prisons, as attempts to do so are met with significant push-back. A part of the column (content warning: the text below and particularly the linked column include descriptions of violent prison abuses):...read more
(Editor note: Ooops on the scheduling button there! Nevermind.)...read more
Today marks the 46th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision, the Supreme Court decision that declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statutes unconstitutional and ended all similarly discriminatory laws across the country. Mildred and Richard Loving were each sentenced to a year in prison for marrying in violation of Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act after police raided their house late at night in response to an anonymous tip. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction on the grounds that Virginia’s statute violated the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment....read more
A daily misconception from Wikipedia’s List of Misconceptions, for discussion or enlightenment. Today: Sunflowers....read more
This list is by no means exhaustive. Unfortunately, many people will know or do know someone who’s a survivor of a sexual assault or rape. If you find yourself in the position of confidant, please choose your words carefully. They can make the world of difference. (This list is heteronormative because it’s an account of personal experiences. However, sexual violence is by no means just male-on-female. People of all genders commit sexual violence against people of the same or a different gender.)...read more
Too often we are led to believe that work must be something separate from pleasure: that we are to do what we love on the side, in our spare time; that pleasure is an extra-curricular activity, a hobby, a side gig. As if only a privileged few are supposed to do work that is fulfilling and passion-driven. As if pleasure is a luxury, not a necessity.
Know: these are lies....read more
I’m sure many Feministe readers have been closely following the story of Beatriz, a young Salvadoran mother with lupus who was pregnant with an anencephalic fetus. The pregnancy, which was doomed because the fetus had only a brainstem but no brain, was killing her. Her kidneys were shutting down, and the longer they were under stress, the higher the likelihood that if she didn’t die, she would need to be on dialysis for the rest of her life — a major hardship and almost definitely a life-shortener for a woman living in rural El Salvador with very limited access to health care. Doctors said Beatriz needed an abortion, but El Salvador has some of the strictest pro-life laws in the world, and their courts refused her the procedure under the logic that her life wasn’t imminently threatened (apparently since she would die in a few days or weeks, not minutes) and that it’s never ok to prioritize a woman’s life over a fetus’s life. Doctors in El Salvador got around the law by waiting until the 26th week of pregnancy and then performing a Cesarean section — a procedure everyone knew would result in the death of the fetus (which it did) but which can be construed as a “birth” instead of an abortion, even though the end result is the same. Of course, a C-section is significantly more dangerous than an abortion (and especially more dangerous than an earlier abortion, which Beatriz could have had two months ago if she didn’t live in a “pro-life” nation). C-sections are invasive surgical procedures, which are significantly more complicated than early abortions, and pose much higher risks of infection or complication, especially when performed on someone whose health is already compromised by lupus and potential organ failure. They take longer to recover from, and they’re more expensive. Beatriz, thankfully, seems to be doing fine. But she was still legally compelled to undergo a more dangerous, invasive and complicated procedure — and forced to have her body suffer through declining health — so that ideologues could feel better about the intent of a more dangerous procedure that everyone knew would have the exact same outcome as an earlier, safer one....read more