Here are some good, basic ideas for fighting violence against women:
1. Violence against intimate partners is not ok.
2. Rape is rape, even within a marriage.
3. Religion, custom and tradition are not excuses for committing acts of violence.
4. Everyone has a right to bodily autonomy and integrity.
Those are the exact ideas that may tank a final communique from the Commission on the Status of Women, thanks primarily to Iran, Russia and the Vatican, but also because of objections and concerns from religious conservatives in the U.S., Egypt and Poland. Good work, guys. You must be very proud....read more
The National Women’s Law Center pulls together real women’s stories to explain why we need the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which makes sure that all pregnant workers are able to get the minor workplace adjustments they need to continue working during their pregnancies. These aren’t major changes in job duties; they’re reasonable and small accommodations that make all the difference for pregnant people. A few examples:...read more
Go read this piece about how the NYPD can arrest you for carrying condoms and someone please explain to me in what universe any of this makes sense. Trans and carrying condoms? You must be a prostitute, and condoms are the proof! Wearing a tight t-shirt and carrying condoms? You must be a prostitute, and condoms are the proof! A sex worker who is trying to keep herself safe in her work? You are actually a prostitute, so go to jail, or at the very least get your condoms taken away so your work is more dangerous. The condoms-as-evidence policy serves absolutely no one....read more
For Valentine’s Day, I wrote about the One Billion Rising movement that is staging actions around the world today to bring attention to the epidemic of violence against women. I was initially unconvinced; here’s why I came around:...read more
That is actually an argument being made by anti-same-sex-marriage litigators. To the Supreme Court of the United States. This is not a joke. Someone give this guy a raise, because this is creative:...read more
The Longest War, by Rebecca Solnit, details the ways that physical violence against women and political hostility toward women are part of the same epidemic of gendered violence and control, leveled almost entirely by men. Women are beaten, raped, killed, harassed, controlled and abused by men at astounding rates. We write these incidents off as isolated or personal, tragic but certainly not epidemic. On other pages of the newspaper we talk about conservative encroachment on women’s bodily autonomy as if that’s totally separate from violence, as if it’s a “social issue” or a difference of political opinion. But all of it — the violence, the domestic abuse, the street harassment, the online harassment, the gang-rapes, the abortion debates, the contraception battles — comes down to a desire to control women, and rage when that control isn’t maintained....read more
An elementary school teacher told a story to me once. I was still struggling to learn English, so over the course of the year I asked her often to retell the story.
Years ago in Alabama, the wife of a young preacher received a delivery of red carnations from her husband. They were beautiful, but as she touched them, she noticed they were artificial. When her husband came home, she asked about the flowers. He said, “I wanted to give you something that you could always keep.”...read more
I’m glad to see queer youth getting some love / representation in this New York Times article. But like so many pieces on youth social justice movements, the article positions young LGBTQIA folks as “post-gay” and somehow at odds with older generations, which doesn’t actually seem to be true in the real world.
I’m glad to see that a diversity of sexual identities are being recognized. But I also worry about the intense focus on identity, and what that means for social justice movements....read more
Remember that dentist who fired his female assistant because he couldn’t control his own boner? And the Iowa courts that said it wasn’t discrimination and she has no recourse? Looks like Yelpers are taking matters into their own hands....read more
The NRA held a press conference today detailing their plans to prevent more mass shootings in the United States. Mass shootings now happen with some regularity, and your standard run-of-the-mill shootings where only one or two or three people are hit happen daily. The NRA’s response? Put armed security guards in schools, and create a national database of mentally ill people (what this database will be used for is unclear). A few thoughts:...read more
It needs no re-telling here, but there’s a big gender gap in leadership roles: there are 20 women in the Senate, and that’s a record high. As of November 2012, there are 21 women who are Fortune 500 CEOs – about 4% – and that is also a record high. Yet, women are getting college degrees and entering the workforce at higher rates than men. Between graduating college and reaching senior management, something is stopping women from making it to the top echelons of the workforce...read more
What’s going so wrong with the breastfeeding and formula-feeding conversation? Start with the rampant individualism. Conversations about how you feed your baby tend to be preoccupied with women’s choices and decisions.. and then, blame. You know the conversation has little feminist value when you end up at a point where some poor, exhausted woman is [...]...read more