This Week: Male Survivors, GOP Gains, & more

Why 200 Men Are Speaking Out On Oprah Huffington Post: “The sheer numbers of male survivors are staggering; according to most researchers, one in six men has been sexually abused by age 18.” What Do GOP Gains Mean for Health Care, Abortion Rights? The Media Consortium: “The most significant threat to the implementation of health care reform may be at the state level.  Republicans picked … Continue reading This Week: Male Survivors, GOP Gains, & more

This Week: Black Women Voters, Miniskirts, & more

Black Women Could Swing November’s Vote
Women’s Media Center: “Analyst Page Gardner, founder of Women’s Voices, Women Vote, follows women’s voter enthusiasm.  Her review reveals a recent increase in interest among unmarried and minority women. And small blocs of voters can be decisive.”

Advocates Hope That Transgender Identity Is Not a Defining One
New York Times: “But she is not the only transgender person campaigning for public office this fall. And unlike in years past, when such candidates were often considered mere curiosities, several are within striking distance of historic victories.”

Miniskirts ban planned by Italian resort
The Guardian: “The new rules, which were approved by the town council yesterday, drew outrage from local centre-left politicians, who mounted a sit-in outside the town hall. ‘The Bobbio administration is male chauvinist,’ the organisers of the protest said in a statement. ‘This town does need decorum, but not the decorum that is measured by a tape measure held against women’s clothing.'” Continue reading “This Week: Black Women Voters, Miniskirts, & more”

This Week: Mothers in Prison, Women & Economics, & more

New report on the treatment of mothers and pregnant women in U.S. prisons
Feministing: “According to the report, there are more women behind bars than ever before in U.S. history and, thanks to the mandatory sentencing laws of the war on drugs, the majority of those women are non-violent, first-time offenders. They are also mothers. Two-thirds of women in prison have at least one child under age 18.”

Rachel Maddow Breaks Down How the Racist Political Past is Present
Colorlines: “This election season we’ve seen political candidates drop offensive racially charged comments with such casual impunity that cataloguing them all, let alone mustering up the anger to react, has become a daunting task. But last night Rachel Maddow summarized this election cycle in a historical context that made for must-see TV.”

Americans Say Religious Messages Fuel Negative Views of Gays
Huffington Post: “Nearly three-quarters of Americans (72 percent) say religious messages about homosexuality contribute to “negative views” of gays and lesbians, and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) see a connection to higher rates of suicide among gay youths.” Continue reading “This Week: Mothers in Prison, Women & Economics, & more”

This Week: Emotional Midwifery, Sarah Palin, & more

Sex and the GOP

The Nation: “Women, by and large, are leery of the new right-wing female politicians, but men are far more receptive. Palin has a much larger gender gap than her ideological persuasion would predict: men are split 44 to 45 between those who hold favorable and unfavorable views of her; for women, the split is 35 to 58, according to a National Journal poll. Says Christie Whitman, ‘Palin appeals to more men than women. It was the white men in the party who put her on the ticket [in 2008], thinking that women who would have voted for Hillary would vote for her. That was dumb. They weren’t going to buy into that.’ In a recent survey presenting respondents with a hypothetical matchup between Palin and Obama, Obama beat Palin by 13 points among women, but men preferred Palin by 2 points. In other words, if it were up to men, Palin might very well become president in 2012 (if it were up to white men, she’d be a shoo-in).”

Asians Out of Work Longest Among US Minorities

NPR: “The community is reinforcing in good times, but during a downturn — more so than other minorities — Asian-Americans lack the networks or language skills to find jobs outside their community or industry. And whereas Latinos of different nationalities are bound by a common language, there are about a dozen languages spoken in the Asian-American community.”

Emotional Midwifery

Feministing: “So I could date women and maybe have a better chance of finding an emotional equal (I know lots of them aren’t particularly facile with their emotions, too). Turns out, I’m mostly attracted to dudes, so I’m trying to learn how to have boundaries in my relationships so I don’t end up exhausted or bitter at helping guys I love figure out their emotions all the time. I’m also hoping to someday raise a boy who is adept at naming and managing his own emotions. This is some of the major undone work of the feminist movement.” Continue reading “This Week: Emotional Midwifery, Sarah Palin, & more”

This Week: Women and HIV, Decriminalizing Prostitution, & more

US apologizes for STD experiment

MSNBC: “The researchers were trying to determine whether the antibiotic penicillin could prevent syphilis infection, not just cure it, Reverby writes. After the subjects were infected with the syphilis bacteria — through visits with prostitutes who had the disease and direct inoculations — it is unclear whether they were later cured or given proper medical care, Reverby notes. While most of the patients got treatment, experts estimate as many as a one-third, did not.”

Respecting HIV-Positive Women, Regardless of their Pregnancy Status

Feministing: “And, too often, HIV-positive women are only given life-saving medication during pregnancy, suggesting that their health matters only in the context of the health of their child.”

DR Congo sexual violence victims speak to UN

BBC News: “Either alone or in small groups, they are being heard by the panel including UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, a member of the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims and a doctor from the Panzi Hospital in South Kivu, who specialises in the treatment of rape victims.  The aim of the hearings is to improve the treatment, support and compensation currently given to victims.” Continue reading “This Week: Women and HIV, Decriminalizing Prostitution, & more”

This Week: Texas textbooks (again), Masculinity in crisis, & more

Texas Board Approves Warning Textbook Makers Against “Pro-Islamic, Anti-Christian Distortions”

TPM: “One parent said she read through a section of her son’s history book and found four pages on Islam and only one reference to the Bible. Asked by a board member what the section was titled, she replied, ‘Life in the Eastern Hemisphere.'”

Many States In Mexico Crack Down On Abortion

New York Times: “Here in the state of Guanajuato, where Roman Catholic conservatives have controlled government for more than 15 years, it is standard procedure to investigate suspected cases of abortion. But Guanajuato is no anomaly, women’s rights advocates and some health officials say, since a broad move to enforce antiabortion laws has gained momentum in other parts of Mexico.”

Gabourey Sidibe As Mammy

Womanist Musings: “By this standard, by virtue of their weight, any fat Black woman would be understood as a mammy regardless of her political understanding of how race and gender functions to effect her life’s chances.  What we cannot escape, no matter how post racial we claim our society is, are the categories of: mammy, jezebel, and sapphire.  This is not because these categories have any basis in reality, but because Whiteness is pervasive. These simplistic categories are meant to demean and debase Black womanhood.” Continue reading “This Week: Texas textbooks (again), Masculinity in crisis, & more”

This Week: Youth & Poverty, Islamophobia & more

Women Candidates versus Women’s Rights (Rachel Maddow)

The Poverty Nation Washington Built

Colorlines: “While the overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent—one in seven—more than a quarter of both African Americans and Latinos lived in poverty last year. The data for poor children is the most arresting. Nearly 36 percent of black kids and 33 percent of Latino kids were poor in 2009, as were 38.5 percent of all families headed by single moms. Stop and try to digest this data: More than a third of all black and Latino kids are growing up destitute. With numbers like that, how can we talk meaningfully about a future of any kind, let alone a better one?”

French Senate Passes Full Islamic Veils Ban

Huffington Post: “Many Muslims believe the legislation is one more blow to France’s No. 2 religion, and risks raising the level of Islamophobia in a country where mosques, like synagogues, are sporadic targets of hate.”

The Forever Culture War

The American Prospect: “Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin argued in Politico recently that Obama actually ended one culture war—the one over gay rights and abortion—and stepped into another. Now, they write, the fight is over ‘the role of government and the very meaning of America.’ But really, this is nothing new. For women, people of color, LGBT people, poor people—those of us whose very lives were on the line in what Smith and Martin define as the “old” culture war—it has always been about who is a ‘real American.'” Continue reading “This Week: Youth & Poverty, Islamophobia & more”

This Week: Female Sexuality as Insanity, Birthright Citizenship & more

Glass ceiling for female Hill aides?

Politico: “In general, women have traditionally had little problem securing employment on the Hill, especially entry-level positions. But in more advanced positions, including legislative director and chief of staff, their numbers drop off significantly.”

“Colorblindness,” “Illuminated Individualism,” Poor Whites, and Mad Men: The Tim Wise Interview, Part 2

Racialicious: “Illuminated individualism is really just a fancy term for progressive color-consciousness: a kind of color conscious mentality that leads us to take account of how color has shaped the experiences of others, and ourselves. So in terms of employment, this means adopting the mindset that when evaluating job applicants, we need to understand how things like on-paper credentials have been shaped (and mis-shapen) by the unequal opportunity structure.”

Female Sexuality As Insanity

The Atlantic: “Here’s a cool video of Rachel Maines discussing a time when the sexual desires of women were, quite literally, considered a mental disorder. Hysteria, they called it. Watch it and learn, fellas. And though Maines is snickering the whole way through, you better not.” Continue reading “This Week: Female Sexuality as Insanity, Birthright Citizenship & more”

This Week: Indigenous Women Disappear, the Anti-Gay Agenda & more

The Female Factor

Slate: “Much has been made of the fact that Elena Kagan’s confirmation last month means that for the first time in American history, there will be three women on the high court. But beyond a sense that the court will be slightly more representative of the American people, and the possibility of yet more intriguing white lacy scarves from on high, what does the difference between having one, two, or three women at the court really signify?”

Recovery Mission

Guernica: “Between 2003 and 2009, 191,500 women served in Afghanistan and Iraq, twenty-six times as many as served in Vietnam. Helen Benedict, author of The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, reported that ‘by September 2008, 592 American female soldiers had been wounded in action and 102 had died in Iraq, more than in the Korean, Vietnam, first Gulf, and Afghanistan wars combined.’ According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), women make up 15 percent of the total military. As women have become more instrumental to the U.S. military, the last few years have seen a high rate of military sexual assault. It’s been the subject of investigations by media outlets including the New York Times and Salon.com. Responding to public outrage, the Defense Department created the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in 2005. Benedict has reported that one in three women serving in the military is sexually attacked by comrades and that ‘harassment is virtually universal.'”

Focus On the Family says anti-bullying efforts in schools push gay agenda

Denver Post: “As kids head back to school, conservative Christian media ministry Focus on the Family perceives a bully on the playground: national gay-advocacy groups. School officials allow these outside groups to introduce policies, curriculum and library books under the guise of diversity, safety or bullying-prevention initiatives, said Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman.” Continue reading “This Week: Indigenous Women Disappear, the Anti-Gay Agenda & more”

This Week: Rape in the Congo, Antichoice TV & more

Some 200 Women Gang-Raped Over Four Days Near UN Base

Huffington Post: “Civil society leader Charles Masudi Kisa said there were only about 25 peacekeepers and that they did what they could against some 200 to 400 rebels who occupied the town of about 2,200 people and five nearby villages.”

Marginalized folks shouldn’t always have to be the “bigger person”

What Tami Said: “And women, people of color and other groups learn early to pick their battles, lest they be branded bitter, angry or over-sensitive. There are just some dull aches that have to be swallowed. We try to pick our battles strategically, but it is stressful and ultimately soul-destroying to have to work so hard to ignore so much—to constantly be forced to show benevolence in the face of rude and dehumanizing treatment.”

On ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Abortion Goes Stigma Primetime

The Nation: “What the antichoice characters on the show want is exactly what their real-life counterparts want: to deny women any information that could help them obtain an abortion and to prevent them from getting one.” Continue reading “This Week: Rape in the Congo, Antichoice TV & more”