Just two days after acquitting George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges for killing Trayvon Martin, Juror B37 — one of five white women on the six-woman jury — had signed with Martin Literary Management to write a book. President Sharlene Martin released a statement saying that B37 felt it important that the public understand her experience during the trial. After the public got to know B37 a little better, however, the book plans have disappeared....read more
A jury has acquitted George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, of second-degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.
Comments on this thread will be fully, and heavily, moderated, so please be understanding when they take some time to appear. Please keep in mind that this is a sensitive time and a painful subject, so idle questions and dispassionate speculation may not be deemed appropriate for publication....read more
Abortion restrictions are being introduced, debated and mostly passed across several states in the U.S. Texas has been the most notable, but many others — Ohio, North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and North Dakota — are ramping up their anti-abortion legislation. But while the GOP claims to focus on “life,” many of the states dedicating enormous amounts of time, money and energy to limiting abortion also see incredibly poor health outcomes for mothers and children. I outline some of them over at Al Jazeera; here’s a bit:...read more
Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years — and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.
Not even 50 years since Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were lynched–really lynched, not what conservative assholes call “lynching.” And how many of those states moved to restrict voting how many hours after the ruling? I feel like so much of what was fought for and won with good men and women bleeding and dying was just rolled back and thrown out.
This thread will be pre-moderated....read more
I’m overjoyed about the DOMA ruling earlier this week. But coming on the tails of the gutting of the Voting Rights Amendment and the meh ruling on affirmative action, it tasted less sweet. And it reflected a very simplistic American idea of “fairness.” That’s what I’m writing about in the Guardian this week:...read more
1. We’re trashing a teenager who is doing her civic duty and whose friend was murdered. Good job, everyone, you should be proud. No, she doesn’t speak like a 50-year-old white lawyer. But Rachel Jeantel is not on trial here, and the attacks on her are awful. Also, watching George Zimmerman’s defense lawyer hammer the fact that Trayvon Martin told Jeantel that he was being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker” in a transparent attempt to stoke some racial animus among white people who are deeply offended at being called “crackers” was pretty appalling....read more
Hurrah for the next step forward for marriage equality....read more
Last night, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis attempted a 13-hour filibuster to block the passage of SB5, which would have made abortion illegal after 20 weeks and establish stringent requirements for abortion facilities that would have shut down most of the facilities in the state. And while her filibuster was cut short after less than 11 hours, other Democratic lawmakers and supporters in the gallery carried the vote past the midnight deadline. At 3:00 a.m., Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst announced SB5 dead....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
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
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