An anti-abortion siege is under way in Albuquerque, and activists there are using tactics and rhetoric we’ve heard before — tactics and rhetoric that have a marked history of getting abortion providers killed. I’m detailing the pro-life strategy of violence in Salon:...read more
Well here’s your depressing study of the day: A quarter of men in some Asian nations admit to rape; more than half committed their first rape as teenagers. The vast majority of rapists — been 72 and 97 percent — faced no legal consequences. And men rape because, well, they feel entitled to sex and to women’s bodies:...read more
The right-wing anti-sex “real woman” backlash seems to have hit the feminist movement this month, with the publication of books telling women to swear off the Pill and to swear off sex. I’m writing about it in the Guardian: That we’ve come a long way, baby, but gender relations remain fraught, and living with a wide variety of choices that look wide-open but end up constrained is much more challenging than having one or two paths to choose from. It’s easier, in many ways, to offer simple proscriptive advice about “real” femininity than to have to figure out how to be a woman when the definition of “womanhood” is increasingly broad:...read more
At some point, when your organization is picketing Holocaust museums and when your organization is run by a felon who conspired to bomb medical facilities and when the last doctor your organization targeted ended up murdered by a person who shares your political views (and a few before him were killed or shot at), don’t you pause for a second and think, “Hmmm. Maybe we don’t have the moral high ground here?”...read more
Hormonal birth control isn’t for everyone. But that doesn’t mean that it’s part of a patriarchal capitalist plot to force women to work while menstruating (WORK WHILE MENSTRUATING?!?! IMPOSSIBLE). Yet that’s the argument from a feminist writer in her new book Sweetening the Pill: or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control. Lindsay Beyerstein handily addresses her arguments in Slate:...read more
Rape is in the news again this week with another widely-publicized gang rape in India and a 31-day sentence for an American teacher who raped a 14-year-old student (she later committed suicide). In the Guardian I’m writing about how certain cultures abet rape and keep reporting rates low:...read more
I’m not a fan, but at least Republican rape philosophers shine a light on the GOP’s radical views on abortion. As it stands, they’re passing laws that include no exceptions for rape survivors, and they’re doing it quietly:...read more
This summer, I did something that I’ve been putting off for eight years: I sat down and talked to my parents about how they handled my abortion. We’ve talked about my abortion before, a sentence here or there, but usually it’s in the context of a larger conversation about something that’s going on in politics or the news. The most we’ve ever talked about it is when I’ve talked about my feelings about my abortion. I have never given my parents the space to talk about how it affected them, never gave them a platform to talk about their own feelings. I think this is because I had been carrying a load of resentment for a long time....read more
We live in an era of unprecedented access to information about sex, imagery of sex and health care related to sex. Internet porn is ubiquitous. Sexual health information, though not always easily accessible, is more accessible online, in mainstream publications (hello Cosmo) and at doctor’s offices than ever before. Frank discussion of sexual pleasure is standard on television and in movies. There are entire university departments dedicated to the study of human sexuality. That’s all good, and we have early sexual pioneers and researchers to thank for it. But we still have quite a long way to go. I’d love to see us embrace a vision of sexuality that isn’t transactional or gendered or capitalist:...read more
With much of England and half the U.S. on Kate Middleton Baby-Watch this week, I’m writing about motherhood in the Guardian. It’s great (and normal) that we’re all excited about a new (and royal!) baby. Babies are really cute, and all of them should enter the world into the arms of folks who are excited to welcome them. But our celebrity pregnancy obsession, coupled with our unrealistic and condescending view of motherhood (it’s THE HARDEST JOB IN THE WOOOOORLD!) make real political change difficult, and keep parents (mostly mothers) unsupported. A bit:...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.