Why the Komen/Planned Parenthood Breakup—While It Lasted—Was Good for Feminism: from The Nation


A box for the Sephora Collection Pink Eyelash Curler. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Thank you, Amy Schiller, for writing this amazing, illuminating, and clarifying piece. Perfectly phrased, spot on the dilemmas in this world of big marketing strategies and how it uses feminism for own capitalist, patriarchal, and neoliberalist goals. Bravo.

For the past decade, this has been the feminist’s lament: How do we identify the line where feminism becomes a marketing strategy for the very patriarchy it nominally opposes—selling a non-threatening agenda that doesn’t buck the status quo? It’s often hard to tell reclamation from capitulation, and easier to rely on shorthand symbols like, say, the color pink and “you go girl” sloganeering; it’s tempting to assume that everyone’s on the same ideological page. By the time you realize that’s not the case, you’ve already purchased hundreds of dollars of carcinogenic cosmetics and applauded NFL players accused of sexual assault for courageously donning pink shoes.

Read the entire article here —



The World’s Abortion Laws: An Interactive Map from CRR

Can I Get an Abortion Here? The Abortion Rights Map of the World
posted by Amanda Hess

When does human life begin, and a woman’s reproductive rights end? Depending on a woman’s location in the world, the answer can depend on her age, mental health, and socioeconomic status. Governments around the world have instituted a complex network of restrictions and exceptions in an attempt to negotiate the abortion question. Now, the Center for Reproductive Rightshas compiled them all in an interactive map of the world’s abortion laws.

Tool around CRR’s map of the world, and you’ll find countries coded red (abortion is banned except possibly to save the mother’s life), green (abortion is not restricted based on the justification behind the procedure), and shaded somewhere in-between (exceptions exist based on a woman’s health, age, or socioeconomic status). Click further and you’ll find that many countries have instituted abortion restrictions and exceptions rarely discussed in the United States.

From “About the Map”:

Since 1998, the Center for Reproductive Rights has producedThe World’s Abortion Laws map to visually compare the legal status of induced abortion in different countries-and to advocate for greater progress in ensuring access to safe and legal abortion services for all women worldwide.

The legal status of abortion is an important indicator of women’s ability to enjoy their reproductive rights. Legal restrictions on abortion often cause high levels of illegal and unsafe abortion, and there is a proven link between unsafe abortion and maternal mortality.

We offer this publication as a resource for human rights advocates working on abortion law reform-and as a means of both tracking progress and identifying the challenges that must still be overcome.


Countries worldwide are liberalizing their abortion laws

Between 1950 and 1985, nearly all industrialized countries-and several others-liberalized their abortion laws.  In 1994, 179 governments signed the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, signalling their commitment to prevent unsafe abortion. Since this important milestone, more than 25 countries worldwide have liberalized their abortion laws-while only a handful have tightened legal restrictions on abortion.

Read more at “About the Map“.

To view the map: The World’s Abortion Laws: Home.

House Votes to Strip Planned Parenthood of Federal Funding – ABC News

Thank you, Rep. Jackie Speier, for speaking up and clarifying the gross waste of time going on in our House of Representatives. Wake up and stop these “personal vendettas” and help the people of our country to get jobs, healthcare, care for their children, get an education, be able to pay for their food to feed their families. What a travesty is our current House.

The House of Representatives Friday passed a measure to end federal funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood a day after Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., brought the chamber to stunned silence after describing her own personal experience with abortion.

via House Votes to Strip Planned Parenthood of Federal Funding – ABC News.

Who thinks restricting abortion and sex education protects women?

Jan Brewer, governor or Arizona. Remember her? The one who passed the law that anyone who looks like they may not be a legal resident can be stopped by police and required to show their papers?

Planned Parenthood of Arizona has a great post on their blog:

10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Jan Brewer

1. Jan Brewer opposes responsible sex education, and continues to put students at risk by applying for federal funding to promote ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage in Arizona schools. Arizona has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, which makes it very clear that abstinence-only isn’t working.


4. Arizona’s Omnibus Abortion Bill, passed and signed into law by Jan Brewer last year put into place multiple restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. Jan Brewer said, “In one swift signature it was all delivered, we protected women.”

Certain political groups love her, of course. Is she a “frontier feminist” like Sarah Palin? At least she hasn’t come out and called herself a feminist. (Or has she — please let me know.)  Her political views are “right” in there with her religious views — sound familiar?  Here’s the full blog post:



The Hush on Abortion — In These Times

The Hush on Abortion — In These Times.

Features » April 9, 2010

What the silence surrounding black abortion rates says about race relations in America.

By Shell Fischer

Film still from Silent Choices (Photo by: Melissa Cliver)

Black women frequently feel a tension between asking for government support for access to family planning and opposing efforts by policymakers to use birth control to limit family size.

Several years ago, during their “annual argument about abortion,” documentary filmmaker Faith Pennick’s pro-life friend asserted that as African Americans, they shouldn’t be arguing in the first place, since abortion is a “white woman’s issue” and black women have more important things to worry about.

Shocked by this statement, Pennick started doing extensive research to dispute her friend’s assertion, and the result was Silent Choices, an award-winning documentary that explores black women’s experiences with abortion—a topic Pennick and other black reproductive rights activists say is blanketed in silence.

“White women not only allow themselves to talk about this issue, but willingly own it and take it on as the bellwether of politics, of why they vote,” Pennick says. “But as black women, we feel if we acknowledge we have abortions, or even considered having an abortion, we’re going to be looked down upon not only as women, but as a race.”

This silence is significant, Pennick says, when one considers a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute that shows black women obtain abortions at rates three to five times higher than white women.

Read the entire article at The Hush on Abortion — In These Times. Thanks to Delia Aguilar for this link.

NOW! UConn Metanoia 2009: Preventing Violence Against Women

UConn Metanoia 2009

UConn Metanoia 2009

For complete information: http://www.metanoia.uconn.edu/

Sunday, Oct. 4

Past (1979), Present (2009), and Future (?): Preventing VAW

This panel – featuring participants from the 1979 Metanoia as well as current students and professionals in the field – will kick off the week of the 2009 Metanoia. Audience questions and discussion by the panelists will conclude the session.

4:00pm – 5:15pm

Dodd Center, Konover Auditorium

Monday, Oct. 5

What Will You Do?: Metanoia Rally

This student rally will include speakers, a capella groups, and a candle light vigil. This is your chance to show a united front as the UConn student body.


Student Union Mall (Rain location: SU Lobby)

Monday, Oct. 5

Represent & Resist! A Metanoia Speakout by Long River Live!

Long River Live! presents an open mic, as well as an evening of literary, visual and performing arts that celebrate women while challenging oppression. If you’re interested in performing/displaying your work at this event, please contact amber.west@uconn.edu or itsjoewelch at gmail.com.

8:00pm – 10:00pm

Student Union Lobby

Tuesday, Oct. 6

Why Women Stay

This interactive brown bag luncheon session for faculty and staff will provide participants with information on how to recognize abuse and reasons why women stay in abusive relationships. We will also let you know about resources that are available. Sponsored by the Something’s Happening Committee.


Student Union Theatre

Wednesday, Oct. 7

Honoring Our Past, Present and Future: Working Together

to End Violence Against Women with Tonya Lovelace

This presentation will look at the violence against women’s movement and ways that prevention of violence work has evolved, with women as the pioneers and men as newer and exciting partners in the work. There will also be an exploration of the intersections of race, class, gender and other identities within the movement.

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Student Union Theatre

Wednesday, Oct. 7

Film: The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo

The African American Cultural Center will be showing this film by Lisa Jackson. Don’t miss the shocking and riveting stories of these survivors as they give us an intimate portrayal of their lives.

5:30pm – 7pm

Student Union, Room 407

Thursday, Oct. 8

A Call to Men: Breaking Out of the Man Box

with Tony Porter

This presentation will challenge many of the social norms that define manhood, particularly those that support a culture of violence against women. A gifted public speaker, Tony Porter is an educator and activist working in the social justice arena for over twenty years. He is nationally recognized for his effort to end men’s violence against women.

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Jorgensen Auditorium

India: The Sex Workers

This video and report are from 2004. Coming soon will be an update to this topic. –Kathy

FRONTLINE/World . Video | PBS



In the heart of Mumbai, India [also known as Bombay] lies Kamathipura, one of the country’s poorest districts and also its largest red light district, home to more than 60,000 sex workers. In the spring of 2004, FRONTLINE/World correspondent Raney Aronson traveled to Kamathipura to investigate what has quickly become the center of the AIDS epidemic in India, which affects more than four and a half million people.

On the streets of Kamathipura, it’s no challenge for Aronson to find sex workers to talk with. In a small gathering she asks them frankly about the core issues of their trade — economics and health. The women get the equivalent of US$1.50 for sex, $2 on a good night, less than a dollar on a bad night. To have sex without a condom, men will often pay more or, after a few visits, tell the women they love them. The women in the group laugh a bit about the men’s proclamations of love, but there’s a tragic fact behind their laughter: more than half of the sex workers here are HIV positive. Continue reading

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