Archive for the ‘politics’ Category
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on October 2, 2008
It’s true. I know this may be confusing. For some reason, I’ve consistently been questioned by why I do not like her. She has a vulva, so we must have things in common, right? Actually, not much more than that 2nd X chromosome. Here are a few things that I know about Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin:
- Elected as Governor in 2006 and previous political history includes being mayor of her hometown of about 6,700 people (Wasilla)
- Youngest person and first female to become Governor of Alaska
- Strongly opposes abortion, even in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is in danger
- Has a lifelong membership with the NRA
- Enjoys slaughtering animals for sport and helped Alaska to sue over polar bears being declared endangered because it would “cripple offshore oil and gas development”
- Supported Alaskan legislature that would allow wolves to be hunted from airplanes
- Believes marriage to be solely between one man and one woman
- Free market capitalist
- Part of the Alaskan Independence Party, who would like to secede from the United States
- Chief achievement in any office was 2006 award from the National Arbor Day Foundation
- Currently under investigation by state lawmakers over the dismissal of a public safety commissioner, who allegedly did not fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper who is currently in a custody battle with her younger sister
- Married to a BP oil field production operator
- Claims to be unaware of Wasilla policy on treating rape victims that would charge them up to $1200 to be able to obtain a DNA evidence kit in order to put their attacker to justice
- Lies about Alaska supplying 20% of U.S. energy
- “When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, “I still can’t answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” When asked about Iraq, she said, “I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.”" [Source]
Palin’s gender has nothing to do with her political background. I thought Obama’s rep was meager until I heard about this woman. She is wholly inexperienced and has never dealt with big issues such as foreign policy. There is no doubt that she will attempt to work with McCain in order to achieve his dream of overturning Roe v. Wade as well as making sure that gay rights are not synonymous with civil rights. She is an animal killer who is married to a fucking oil field producer; think the situation about renewable energy will get any better? She openly admits to not knowing anything about what the VP even does! Have we ever elected a male as president who has done the same?
It is blatantly obvious that she was chosen as a running mate to give McCain one last headliner over Obama as well as attempt to win over Hillary supporters. His choice of Palin was purely positive discrimination. McCain was surrounded by plenty of experienced politicians and yet, he picked the girl just to give his ticket some good ol’ diversity as well. McCain is not progressive or a political “maverick”. His campaign is sexist and just struggling to adapt to the standards that Obama’s nomination has set. Even the National Organization for Women is endorsing Obama!
I am a hardcore feminist but I rue the day that this woman steps foot into the White House.
Other helpful sources:
***Women Against Sarah Palin.org***
Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention
Women Against Sarah Palin Blog
Examining Palin’s Record on Violence Against Women
‘Sarah Palin Feminism’? More Like Sarah Palin Sexism
Sarah Palin’s History of Indifference to Sexual Assault
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Posted by crustyriotgrrl on September 2, 2008
This is an essay I was asked to write for a WS class last semester.
Throughout my entire life, my gender has played a huge role. It has determined what kind of things I should be interested in, what expectations are placed upon me and what point of view I have on certain issues. It has affected me for the better and for the worse. In this essay, I will focus on the worse; negative aspects and experiences that I have endured simply because of my reproductive ability.
There are numerous challenges and contradictions of being a woman in American society. One of the most prominent contradictions I see has to do with body image. Because of influences from the media, women are taught that being thin is an ideal body type. This may be difficult enough to deal with for women that are naturally curvy but it is complicated because of the culture we live in as well; American society also stresses over-indulgence and “the bigger the better” mentalities, including in the realm of food. It seems as if women are tempted to indulge in the smorgasbords but if so, they will be ostracized for not keeping up with society’s ideal body image. Women must also deal with other societal expectations for physical appearance such as having long hair and wearing makeup. Both are seen as “feminine” attributes and may cause women to believe they are more masculine or less beautiful if they do not yield to these expectations.
Education is another area in which I see complications for women. From a very young age, American children are taught that education is the solitary most important tool needed for success in life. The reasoning behind this being that the more intelligent one is, the more career opportunities one may have. This seems to be ineffectual for women. Importance on our education is severely undermined because of the ideal female job; housewife. Being able to find a rich husband seems to be a much more necessary skill for women. Because of this, women are not taken seriously in high-end jobs and receive much less pay for equal work overall; about 78 cents to the male’s dollar. It seems as if no amount of education could convince men that women are on an equal intelligence and capability level as them in careers. I see this as somewhat of a double-edged sword; whereas it may be more acceptable for women to be somewhat less intelligent, it’s also somewhat expected. If a woman has no desire to further her education after high school, she is automatically thought to choose home keeper as her eventual day job.
Women’s sexual freedom has also been subject to several contradictions. Perpetuated by the media’s representation of the ideal woman as well as what the typical man desires, women are seen as quintessential if they are somewhat promiscuous. This also includes their choice of dress, such as low-cut shirts or short skirts. This also can go the other way if a man finds a woman ugly or is generally displeased with her; she may then be known as a slut or a whore for the way she looks. Women struggle with having to fit within the stigma men have for their outer appearance or run the risk of being referred to as undesirable terms. This is also affected by the ideal that women should save themselves for marriage, something men do not have thrust upon them. It is almost as if men are expected to be unbridled but if women exhibit the same tendencies than they are easy and cheap.
These ideals that women struggle with on a daily basis are somewhat contributed to our upbringing and socialization. Girls are raised with the principals such as being quiet, physically presentable, soft, dainty and passive. If we deviate from any of these, we may be seen as bitchy, annoying, ugly, abrasive or manly, all of which are very negative for women. Young boys are inoculated with a very different set of morals; being strong, independent, assertive, aggressive or brave are all ideals that they are taught to strive for. If a woman would exert any of these characteristics, she would most likely be seen as any of the aforementioned unfavorable adjectives.
Political involvement also has somewhat of an influence in women’s lives. Affirmative Action is seen as necessary in order to put women on the same level playing field as men. This is a very bittersweet because women should not have to be backed up by a piece of legislation in order to achieve equal status to their male counterparts. Another huge aspect of political legislation in regard to women is the touchy debate over abortion legality and rights. Politicians have found it to be their own business in the issue of control over women’s reproductive abilities. This is contradictory along with education because in many cases teens altogether are not taught satisfactory safe sex practices which lead to women’s desires for abortion in the first place. It’s like teaching a child to steal and then later imprisoning and punishing them for being a criminal; how can we expect anything different from uneducated young women?
In some cases I believe women’s emotions can be extremely contradictory and difficult to deal with. Specifically, their fear. In our heterosexual-preferring society, women are taught that men are our natural other halves yet at the same time very dangerous predators. The thought of a daughter walking home alone in the dark, or alone anywhere, could make a mother cringe with worry and concern. Women are somewhat expected to always need protection and never be alone in public situations or else we would be subject to devious sexual predators, which is perpetuated by both genders, not just other women. This reinstates the belief that women are primarily seen as sexual objects by men and their reproductive organs hold their only redeeming value. Because of this, women are generally distrusting and insecure about men in general.
As an American woman, I find many issues of importance in our society. I am concerned with the current state of equality between the sexes in all aspects of life and in all cultures of the world. I think our society needs to be taught more understanding and tolerance of outsiders’ opinions and experiences. I dislike our current ideals of self-centeredness and “every man for himself”; there needs to be more collaboration and collective effort among both genders to be able to get past these obstacles. I believe we need dire improvements in the areas of education, global compliance and interconnectedness, health care, general safety and freedom, whether they be for more funding, expanding the bracket of those who are eligible or overall increase.
I also am very concerned about how women are valued in society. In my own personal experience, I have struggled with being unsure if male attention and desired friendship is contingent on my personality or solely on my physical appearance. Women should not be seen as having worth just because of their looks, but because of their overall character and personalities. I have also experienced negative reactions from men because of my appearance and style of dress, who question why I do not partake in “more feminine” outerwear.
Because of several negative experiences women in my family have had with men, I am more independent and strong-willed than most. My family is definitely matriarchal because of both my grandmother’s and mother’s dealing with divorce, abuse and neglect with their past spouses. Through their experiences and unfortunate situations I have learned to be self-sufficient. I have personally felt fear of males because of domestic abuse my mother, sister and I went through when I was a child.
As for connectedness with women of other cultures, I definitely feel like I am able to relate to them. As a Social Justice major, I am extremely interested in women of other cultures and the struggles they endure. I feel like women of all different countries go through the same central issues in relation to oppression by outside forces.
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Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 27, 2008
I’ve been plagued by the thought of marriage lately. It seems at every possibility someone in my family brings up the prospect of me entering into nuptial confines and then reproducing and wondering out loud when such a time will come. I’ve said it for years and I say it now: I am not getting married nor having children.
Mostly I’ve been dwelling on the subject because a young woman very close to me has decided that she would like to marry a man that she has met while visiting another country. They have known each other but a scant half a year and are supposedly in love with one another. She has only dated a couple of guys over the past few years and neither were serious. Now she plans to marry a man almost a decade her senior, live with him in a foreign country, leave everyone she knows behind, bear children and become a housewife as soon as possible. I know that it is blatantly obvious that I am a devoted feminist but I wholeheartedly commend women who decide to let their primary concerns rest within their own households and children. It is a very difficult decision to make and I applaud women that make it. I’ve met women who have told me that having and raising children has been a lifelong desire and they could not be happier having the ability to do so. They’ve obtained their dream jobs, so who am I to judge their work?
I am, however, at odds with such a young woman leaving all she knows behind for someone she barely knows. Going through numerous bad relationships, I have learned that when its good, its good and when its bad, its fucking horrible. I would never claim to be worldlier in love than another, but I do know that statistically the younger women and men marry the more likely they are to divorce. I’m concerned for her well-being and it would break my heart to see her unhappy and in some kind of situation that she would not easily be able to get out of. I understand that she has always wanted to get married and have children and that her dream job is indeed mother and home keeper. I just wonder if she could possibly slow down the process!
I don’t understand why people want to rush into things at top speed. If you are in love with someone and honestly want to spend the rest of your life with that person, then why make such slapdash decisions? What is so appealing about marriage, honestly? Why can’t a couple live together under an understood bond that should not be broken? Why do people feel that the only way to express their utmost love for someone is a state-sanctioned relationship? I have a few ideas.
Why people get married:
1. Pressures from family and friends.
2. Societal expectations and the fear of being ostracized.
3. Proving their love for one another.
4. Tax benefits.
1. I think I’m affected by this one the most. My family has a history of ugly, torn marriages and ruptured living situations, but somehow the issue of getting married has still been pushed upon me. After 20 years of such subjugation, I have finally found that the only minuscule desire I ever had to get married was because I was imbibed and socialized to believe that marriage is the only way to have a legitimate adult relationship with a partner. If you’re raised to believe something to such a degree, it can be very difficult to shy away from such a thing. Especially if it is endorsed by society at large, which bleeds into the next reason. Also, one may feel more pressured to couple up with another if all of their close friends are doing so. I have not had the joy of feeling like all of my friends are getting married off so that I should as well, but I know many people have felt very uncomfortable by being surrounded with (seemingly) perfect, content couples.
2. Many people believe (because of morals, values, religious beliefs, etc.) that living and/or procreating with someone out of wedlock is fundamentally unacceptable, and by entering into marriage, their action is somehow justified and their consciences are cleared of any wrongdoings. They may be concerned that others may see them in a bad light because of the ‘unofficial’ status of their partnership. Let’s not forget the massive wedding industry, which rakes in $70 billion annually from happy couples wishing to get hitched in an elaborate, flashy array of table linens, fresh flowers and horrendously colored bridesmaid dresses. There is no doubt about it; the idea of a wedding is almost exclusively catered to women. A wedding day represents one in which a woman can feel pampered, like the star of the show, and have everything her way. Wedding planners are hired to ease this process as well as serve as confirmatory opinion that the service will indeed be spectacular. All the magazines, movies, and television shows are targeted towards making a personal statement of love into a commercial process to be made money off of. As a related story, it has been noted that recognizing gay marriages would also add an additional $16.8 billion to the industry.
3. We all know the stereotype of women fawning over the idea of being swept off of her feet by a prince charming and being married to him. We are also aware of the stereotype of the eternal male bachelor, dreading the idea of marriage and hating it even more after continuing to do so. Does this mean that women pressure men into getting married? Do men feel obligated to marry their female counterparts? Maybe. At a point, a couple may feel like they have no where else to go but take it to the next level and enter into the binds of marriage. Shit or get off the pot, you know? I am still iffy about this reason and see it as being a front for one of the other 3 stated reasons.
4. I mean, really. It sounds like a humorous joke but I’m sure some people go for it. I know a couple who has actually refrained from marriage because they receive a higher amount of welfare for their 3 children. They have other reasons but this is a major benefit for them. I think it could go the other way, then. In the film ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry’ the back story is that Kevin James and Adam Sandler pretend to be in a domestic partnership in order for James’ pension to be switched over to his children since his wife has passed a few years prior. This may be an uncommon situation but in a time of a ravaged economic status in the US, people may go to great lengths to stay afloat.
Personally, I feel no pressure from any of the aforementioned reasons to get married. If I find someone that I would like to spend the rest of my life with, I will do so without having to pay the state for a piece of paper noting our status. I dislike marriage because it is withheld from same-sex couples and even if I did want to marry, I would not do so unless this supposed civil right applies to all persons regardless of orientation. I dislike marriage because it goes along with the belief that humans are naturally monogamous and all persons have soul mates. I dislike marriage because I have had difficult enough breakups and never want to know what a crushing divorce would be like. I dislike marriage because it brings with it the ideal that people will be less likely to cheat on their spouses. I dislike marriage because I would henceforth be expected to have kids after becoming wed and I refuse to voluntarily enter into a whole nother slew of societal and familial pressures.
Marriage isn’t for me. I want to have my own career and travel the entire globe. If someone would love me to the point that they would want to spend copious amounts of time with me, then they will come with me. Don’t even get me started on kids, either. If I would have them, I’d pull an Angelina Jolie and adopt. 4,000 children die per hour just from starvation. Why would I choose to bring a separate life into this world instead of saving one already existing?
“Marriage is a wonderful institution… but who wants to live in an institution?”
- Groucho Marx
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Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 27, 2008
For the more than 200,000 women serving on active duty in the U.S. military, sexual assault and harassment are issues not to be ignored – and now that the armed forces are taking steps to correct the problem, some wonder if it is doing enough.
In the fiscal year ’07, ending Oct. 1, military members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan reported 131 cases of rape and assault. The Department of Defense recorded 2,688 cases of sexual assault last year; 60 percent were allegations of rape.
Some women claim the military does not respond adequately to allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Carolyn Schapper, 35, told the Associated Press an Army National Guard soldier repeatedly stormed into her room while she was dressing in Iraq. She began changing in her shower stall to ensure she had privacy. Schapper said she wouldn’t think of reporting the incident, because she believed administrative action would be taken against her instead of the other soldier.
Missing pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach’s body was found burned in a shallow fire pit located in Cpl.Cesar Armando Lauren’s backyard earlier this year. She had accused Lauren of sexually assaulting her and planned to testify against him before she vanished.
Lauterbach’s mother, Mary, blamed the military for being slow to act, denying her daughter’s request for transfer and not properly dealing with the sexual assault complaint – even after her daughter was punched in the face.
“I believe Maria would be alive today if the Marine system had been different,” she told a panel of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee July 31.
A woman named Ingrid Torres worked with American Red Cross at a U.S. base in Korea. Torres took Ambien before bed, and an Air Force flight director raped her while she slept.
Testifying before the committee, Torres said, “He still comes after me in my dreams.”
After the hearing was dismissed, Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., said there is an “epidemic of assault and rape against women in our military.”
“Women serving in the military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than be killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” she said.
According to a Government Accountability Office report released July 31, incidents of rape and sexual assault in the military are under-reported by nearly half. Many soldiers fail to report assaults because they worry “that nothing will be done; fear of ostracism, harassment, or ridicule; and concern that peers would gossip.”
Some victims argue that the military chain of command would punish or move them if they complained, rather than discipline the person responsible for the assault.
A Department of Defense 2006 Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members shows 34 percent of all female service member respondents were sexually harassed, and 6.8 percent indicated experiencing unwanted sexual contact including rape, nonconsensual sodomy or indecent assault.
While evidence that war worsens the problem of sexual assault is lacking, women serving in the Army were most likely to be sexually harassed and/or assaulted than any other branch. Low-ranking, enlisted females were more likely than their commissioned or higher-ranking counterparts to be raped. Seventy-five percent of victims reported assaults occurring at a military installation.
A full 50 percent of female respondents experienced incidents of rape or attempted rape, 38 percent reported unwanted sexual touching and 12 percent did not specify. Most women did not report the incidents because they felt uncomfortable, thought they would be labeled a troublemaker, didn’t want anyone to know, did not think anything would be done or feared retaliation.
Under fire for its method of handling sexual harassment and assault cases, the military introduced a Care for Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld charged the task force with investigating sexual assault in the military in 2004. The U.S. Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response confidential reporting system was established in 2005 – though reports still show half of female victims do not report the crimes. The military also conducts required classes on sexual assault and harassment.
The Pentagon has teamed up with Men Can Stop Rape, a non-profit organization that seeks “to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women,” to teach soldiers how to recognize signs of sexual assault.
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs added a 16th inpatient ward for military victims of sexual trauma, the Associated Press reported. VA hospitals are also providing keyless locks on its doors so female patients can feel more secure.
Source: WorldNetDaily, August 21, 2008
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Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
BEIJING, Aug. 20 — Two elderly women could face a year of “reeducation through labor” because they applied for permits to demonstrate during the Olympics, according to one of the would-be protesters.
Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, went to Chinese police five times between Aug. 5 and 18 to seek approval to protest against officials who evicted them from their homes in 2001.
The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau did not approve or deny their applications during the first three visits. On the fourth visit, the women were told that they had been ordered to serve time for “disturbing the public order” until July 29, 2009.
According to a written order they received, they would not have to immediately go to a reeducation labor camp, but their movements would be restricted. If they violated various provisions or regulations, however, they could be sent to a labor camp.
Wu and Wang tried to return a fifth time to inquire again about their protest application, but they were told that their right to apply had been stripped.
“When I first heard about the possibility of being allowed to protest, I was very happy. My issue could be resolved. But it turned out all to be cheating. . . . I feel stuck in my heart,” Wu said in a telephone interview.
Wu’s son, Li Xuehui, 48, said his mother and her friend are outraged.
Usually labor reeducation is reserved for “prostitutes and thieves,” Li said. “What the two old ladies did is nowhere near that.” He pointed out that Wang is blind in one eye and can barely see out of the other.
“We are a communist society, with the people the leaders and owners, but basic citizens’ rights cannot even be realized today. How sad it is. The way things are is the opposite of the ‘people-oriented’ ideology of the country when it was founded,” Li said.
In response to international pressure, China said it would allow protests in three parks during the Olympic Games Aug. 8-24. Earlier this week, the official New China News Agency reported that police had received 77 applications, but none has been approved.
“Punishing Wu and Wang after they applied for protest permits and actively petitioned the government demonstrates that the official statements touting the new Olympics ‘protest zones,’ as well as the permit application process, were no more than a show,” the executive director of Human Rights in China, Sharon Hom, said in a statement.
Wang Wei, executive vice president of the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, cast the empty protest zones in a positive light, telling reporters Wednesday that the disputes brought by would-be protesters had been resolved.
The International Olympic Committee, which has been criticized for not taking a harder line against China for failing to fulfill promises it made related to human rights, has referred questions about the protest zones to the Beijing government.
IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies recently said, however, that “to date, what had been announced publicly doesn’t appear in reality to be happening, and a number of questions are being asked.
“The IOC is keen to see those questions answered by the relevant authorities,” she added.
Source: Washington Post Foreign Service, Thursday, August 21, 2008; Page A10
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Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
According to an article in the Parenting section of The Wall Street Journal, a personal finance journalist commented that
“At the end of the day, I say parents should pay for their kids’ education — but only after saving for their own future. After all, when you stop working one day, there’s no one waiting to hand you a scholarship or grant to retire.”
To me, this comment is in line with Ron Paul’s belief that parents should educate their own children instead of leaving it up to the dastarly public school system. Does he forget the millions of single-parent homes? What about all of the families trying to scrape by that are right on the poverty line? I love how its so easy for a guy with a cushy job to make recommendations with the typical familial structure in mind. I think if this guy was a single mom with 2 kids he’d be singing another tune.
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Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
The draft regulation, prepared by the Bush Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and currently circulating among anti-women officials, redefines abortion as, “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.” Taking a page from the extremist right, they are deliberately blurring the lines between contraception and abortion, providing an extraordinarily broad definition of abortion that could be interpreted to cover various forms of birth control, including oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUD’s), and emergency contraception.
This draft regulation requires entities and individuals that receive family planning funding to certify that they will not discriminate against people who object to abortion or to dispensing birth control on the basis of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Under the guise of passing anti-discrimination laws to protect health care providers participating in federal programs, the proposed regulation would effectively undermine a health care provider’s ability to offer the very services for which they are funded, as well as a patient’s ability to access those services. All health care providers must be able to appropriately screen and hire individuals capable and willing to perform the core services that they provide.
The regulation puts laws and policies that protect women’s access to birth control in serious jeopardy, including state laws that require hospitals to provide sexual-assault survivors with access to emergency contraception. The draft rule limiting Title X funding will create a direct conflict between Title X (America’s Family Planning Program) and the Maternal Child Health and Medicaid programs, which requires that grantees provide a broad range of contraceptive services and supplies to their patients.
Currently, there are “crisis pregnancy centers” in communities across the country that look like health care centers, but deliver woefully incomplete care and only provide the reproductive health care options that fit their agenda: NO birth control, NO abortion — and NO choice for women and families who need it! If Bush’s proposed regulation takes effect, these “crisis pregnancy centers” are likely to receive a massive influx of our tax dollars.
At a time when 17 million women are in need of publicly-supported reproductive health care services, this regulation disparately impacts the low-income, uninsured and under-insured women who rely on these programs for their health information and services!
Source: NOW – HHS Needs a News Flash: Birth Control is NOT Abortion
[Please visit the above link to let Secretary Mike Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services know that you do not aprove of this legislation by commenting his blog and signing the petition!]
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Posted by grrrlriot on August 18, 2008
8/18/2008- Presumptive Presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama outlined their positions on abortion Saturday night in nationally televised back-to-back appearances. Reverand Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California posed questions to each candidate about a range of issues, including abortion and gay rights.
When asked at what point is a baby entitled to human rights, McCain quickly replied “at the moment of conception.” He went on to say “I have a 25 year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate. And as President of the United States I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies.”
In response to the same question, Obama chose to speak on abortion more generally. Among other comments, he stated: “I am pro-choice, I believe in Roe v. Wade and come to that conclusion not because I am pro-abortion, but because ultimately I don’t think women make these decisions casually. I think they wrestle with these things in profound ways…and so for me, the goal right now should be…how do we reduce the number of abortions? Because the fact is that although we’ve had a president who is opposed to abortion over the past eight years, abortions have not gone down.”
In relation to gay rights, the candidates were asked to both define marriage and comment on the possibility of amending the Constitution to define marriage. McCain defined marriage as “a union between man and woman, between one man and one woman” and said that he would favor a constitutional amendment “if a federal court decided that my state of Arizona had to observe what the state of Massachusetts decided.”
Obama said that he does not support a constitutional amendment to define marriage “because historically we have not defined marriage in our constitution. It’s been a matter of state law.” He proceeded to comment that he is “not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage but [that he does] believe in civil unions.”
Media Resources: Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency Transcript 8/16/08; LA Times 8/18/08
Posted in news, politics, women | Tagged: abortion, barack obama, john mccain, mccain, news, obama, opinions, politics, presidential candidate, presidential candidates, presidential election, views, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on August 5, 2008
An Indian Court rejected a couple’s petition on Monday for an abortion of a 25-week-old-fetus with a congenital heart problem. According to the Associated Press, Niketa and Haresh Mehta and their gynecologist, Dr. Nikhil Dattar, petitioned the court last month because they are concerned about the quality of life a child with congenital heart problems would have and because they cannot afford the pacemaker required to treat the condition.
Dr. Dattar told the Associated Press, “My plea was that the decision is best left to the parents who will take care of the child. We sought the opinion of many doctors and we were worried about the quality of life the child would have.”
In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act legalizes abortion up to twelve weeks. Women can obtain abortions between twelve and twenty weeks only if they or the fetus face a health risk. After twenty weeks, abortions are only legal if the mother’s health is at risk. However, many birth defects are only detected after the fetus is 20 weeks old.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed in 1971, but the government has ruled out amendments to the law. Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told the Times of India, “As it is today going by just one case, I do not think the law can be amended.”
Media Resources: Associated Press 08/04/08; BBC News 08/04/08; The Times of India 08/04/08; Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act
Posted in news, politics, women | Tagged: abortion, india, news, politics, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 15, 2008
Feminists Express Outrage over New Yorker
7/15/2008 – Feminist groups immediately expressed outrage over the New Yorker’s cover for the July 21 issue that depicts a caricature of Michelle and Senator Barack Obama. Editor David Remnick Claims the Caricature is Satirical.
The cover features Michelle and Barack Obama in what appears to be the oval office, with a portrait of Osama bin Laden over the fireplace and a U.S. flag burning in it. The Michelle caricature has an afro, is wearing camouflage, and carries a machine gun while the Barack caricature’s attire mirrors that of bin Laden. The two caricatures are doing a fist bump that Fox News has previously described as a terrorist fist jab.
Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Dr. E. Faye Williams’ response was that “the New Yorker cover is not satire; it’s racism and sexism at its worst! Never again, will I purchase a New Yorker. Some people understand nothing less than the ‘power of the purse’.”
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is encouraging its membership to e-mail letters to the New Yorker urging that the cover be removed.
The Feminist Majority (FM) has also sent out an action alert. FM President Eleanor Smeal remarks that “Of course some will say that feminists have no sense of humor, but there is absolutely nothing satirical or funny about it. This is a vicious attack masquerading as satire.”
The blogosphere has also lit up. Michelle Obama Watch calls the cover “reprehensible” and calls for its “immediate removal”. Feministing calls the cover “a perfect visual summary of what Fox News spews and what right-wing emails allege every day”. The Diary of an Anxious Black Woman asks “are we, as a nation, truly sophisticated enough to make these kinds of jokes?.
Media Resources: National Organization for Women 7/14/08; Feminist Majority Foundation 7/14/08; Women’s Media Center 7/13/08; Feministing; Diary of an Anxious Black Woman 7/13/08; Michelle Obama Watch 7/14/08; YouTube
Posted in feminism, feminist, feminists, news, politics, women | Tagged: barack obama, feminism, feminist, feminists, michelle obama, news, politics, racism, racist, sexism, sexist, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 14, 2008
Cynthia McKinney will be Green Party Presidential Candidate
7/14/2008 – Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was nominated by the Green Party to be its presidential candidate at the party’s convention in Chicago on Saturday. McKinney represented Dekalb County, Georgia’s 4th district, for six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat.
Journalist, activist and community organizer Rosa Clemente will be McKinney’s running mate. Clemente has remarked that “Cynthia McKinney is a hero to me and many others across this country and around the world for her courage in standing up to George Bush while the Democratic Party establishment caved.” McKinney is known for initiating legislation to impeach Bush during her last days in Congress.
Media Resources: rosaclemente.com; runcynthiarun.org; greensforgreens.org; Associated Press 12/8/06
Posted in news, politics, women | Tagged: candidate, candidates, cynthia mckinney, election, green, green party, news, politics, presidential candidate, presidential election, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 12, 2008
Obama Reaches Out to Women with Economic Plan
July 11, 2008
Sen Barack Obama focused on women yesterday and unleashed his economic plan for women. In New York, he attended a breakfast for women with Sen. Hillary Clinton before speaking at a town hall meeting in Fairfax County, VA.
Obama’s economic plan for women includes increasing the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011, giving 8.4 million women a raise of up to $4,700 a year. He also proposes to increase retirement saving options for 45 million women by providing a new automatic workplace pension and a $500 matching tax credit for their savings.
Obama’s plan supports closing the gender wage gap. He voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007, which is currently stalled in the Senate following a Republican filibuster in April. If passed, this bill would correct the US Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire Rubber Co., Inc. that guted the ability of women workers to sue for wage discrimination..
“We won’t truly have an economy that puts the needs of the middle class first until we ensure that, when it comes to pay and benefits at work, women are treated as the equal partners that they are,” said Obama, according to the Washington Post.
The presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain, did not cast a vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, but said, according to the Associated Press, he “thinks the Supreme Court got it right,” and “this kind of legislation … opens up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.”
Media Resources: Associated Press 7/11/2008; Washington Post 7/10/2008, Feminist Daily News Wire 4/24/2008; Report: The Impact of the Obama Economic Plan for America’s Working Women
Posted in news, politics, women | Tagged: barack obama, candidate, candidates, economic plan, economy, election, news, politics, presidential candidate, presidential election, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 11, 2008
Family planning vital to improving maternal health, UN officials say
11 July 2008 – Family planning is a critical element to improving maternal health, one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or global targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, senior United Nations officials said today, urging that women everywhere have access to this vital service.
In messages to mark World Population Day, which is observed annually on 11 July, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) noted that improving maternal health – MDG 5 – is lagging the furthest behind among all the targets.
“The rate of death for women as they give birth remains the starkest indicator of the disparity between rich and poor, both within and among countries,” Mr. Ban said.
He noted the three basic interventions necessary to improve maternal health: skilled attendance at the time of birth, facilities to provide emergency obstetric care and family planning.
“Studies show that family planning has immediate benefits for the lives and health of mothers and their infants,” he stated. “Ensuring basic access to family planning could reduce maternal deaths by a third and child deaths by as much as 20 per cent.
“And yet the benefits of family planning remain out of reach for many, especially for those who often have the hardest time getting the information and services they need to plan their families, such as the poor, marginalized populations and young people,” he said.
Posted in feminism friday, news, politics, women | Tagged: family, family planning, feminism friday, news, planned parenthood, politics, women, world population day | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 10, 2008
The following news story was taken from here.
Unable to ‘Express’ Any ‘Straight Talk,’ McCain Stumbles Over Viagra, Birth Control Question
Thursday July 10, 2008
John McCain’s Straight Talk Express stalled yesterday when a reporter asked him about insurance companies that cover Viagra but not birth control. The Republican presidential candidate refused to give a straight answer. The exchange, which happened aboard McCain’s famously-named campaign bus, can be seen at MSNBC.com.
Also on that bus – according to the Associated Press – was Carly Fiorina, a McCain supporter and trusted female advisor, sitting just a few seats away:
The former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, discussing consumer-driven health insurance, mentioned something “I’ve been hearing a lot about from women: There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won’t cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice.”
Women voters have another choice, and it’s spelled O-B-A-M-A.
Time for McCain to go back to the books and learn the alternate meanings of the word ‘express.’ Because he’s not doing a very good job of expressing himself, or impressing those of us who believe that BC (birth control) is as important an issue as ED (erectile dysfunction). If he doesn’t follow up with any real straight talk on his position, as far as we’re concerned he and his bus are on the road to nowhere.
Posted in news, politics, women | Tagged: birth control, candidate, candidates, contraception, election, issues, john mccain, news, politics, presidential candidate, presidential election, viagra, women, womens issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 9, 2008
Peru: At-Risk Women Denied Legal Abortions
(Lima, July 9, 2008) – The Peruvian government’s deliberate refusal to streamline procedures and approve guidelines for legal abortion is endangering the lives and health of women and girls who are often forced to use unsafe solutions for risky pregnancies, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
Women and girls confronting pregnancies that could kill or permanently harm them are refused legal abortions, or don’t even know they have a right to get one.
Angela Heimburger, Women’s Rights researcher at Human Rights Watch
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“My Rights, and My Right to Know: Lack of Access to Therapeutic Abortion in Peru”
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The 52-page report, “My Rights, and My Right to Know: Lack of Access to Therapeutic Abortion in Peru,” documents the difficulties women face in accessing therapeutic abortion – those needed to save the life of the woman or avoid serious health risks – in Peru’s public health system. While no reliable statistics are available on how many women have been turned away from a legal abortion, in interviews with women, healthcare providers, rights activists and government officials, Human Rights Watch found that women in general lack accurate information about their right to a legal abortion, and public health care professionals are often unclear about the intent of laws guaranteeing women access to legal abortions.
“Women and girls confronting pregnancies that could kill or permanently harm them are refused legal abortions, or don’t even know they have a right to get one,” said Angela Heimburger, a women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “The government not only has an obligation to raise awareness about the right to safe, dignified and affordable legal abortions, but it should make getting the procedure as painless as possible.”
Abortion is legal in Peru when a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life and when it is necessary to protect a woman’s health. But because a legal abortion is rarely available in a public hospital, many women seek unsafe and clandestine procedures to deal with a risky pregnancy. Human Rights Watch found several obstacles to making legal abortion accessible. Ambiguities about abortion in Peru’s legal system raise fears of prosecution among health care professionals and women. The absence of a national protocol provides no standardized outline for when a therapeutic abortion can be performed. The public health care system is ill-equipped to deal with referral procedures, and circumstances under which a therapeutic abortion can be approved are unclear. Peru has legal abortions, but in practice it is nearly impossible for a woman to have one.
Read more of this story here.
Posted in human rights, news, politics, women | Tagged: abortion, human rights, news, peru, politics, rights, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 7, 2008
I’m Grrrlriot on Wikipedia. A couple of months ago, I was very active on editing on Wikipedia. As of the past couple of days, I have went back to being active on Wikipedia. Looking for feminists/riot grrrls or others that edit feminist/riot grrrl articles on Wikipedia? Check out these pages on Wikipedia, that I’ve created: Category:Wikipedians interested in feminism, Portal:Feminism, and Portal:Feminism/Feminism Task Force. The Feminism Task Force did have 8 members a couple of months ago, but since I went back on Wikipedia, It has grown to 12 members! I have been adding and editing the Portal and the Task Force, so please check out those pages. For more information on these pages, just check out the pages.
If your a feminist, supporter of feminism, or interested in feminism, Feel free to add yourself to the Category:Wikipedians interested in feminism on Wikipedia.
Feel free to add to/edit/help out the Portal:Feminism on Wikipedia. Any suggestions and edits to the pages are welcome!
Help us improve the quality of feminism articles on Wikipedia, Join the Feminism Task Force. Anybody with an interest in feminism, feminists/riot grrrls, feminist supporters, or anyone that likes to edit feminism related articles is welcome to join. If you want more information about the task force, please go to the task force page. If you want to join the task force, just sign your Wikipedia name under “Participants”. Thanks!
Posted in activism, activist, activists, feminism, feminist, feminists, men, politics, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, women | Tagged: activism, activist, activists, articles, categories, category, editing, en.wikipedia.org, feminism, feminism portal, feminism task force, feminist, feminists, grrl, grrls, grrrl, grrrls, interests, politics, riot grrl, riot grrls, riot grrrl, riot grrrls, riotgrrl, riotgrrls, riotgrrrl, riotgrrrls, wiki, wikipedia, wikipedia.org, wikipedians, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by grrrlriot on July 5, 2008
A Kansas Grand Jury adjourned on Wednesday without finding substantial evidence that Dr Tiller, a late-term abortion provider, violated any abortion laws. The Wichita Eagle reports that the grand jury was forced to convene by an anti-choice group, Kansas for Life. Kansas is one of six states that allow citizens to petition to convene a grand jury.
The District Attorney told the Wichita Eagle, “After six months of conducting an investigation … this Grand Jury has not found sufficient evidence to bring an indictment on any crime related to the abortion laws.” The grand jury investigation had previously come before the Kansas Supreme Court over its attempts to subpoena confidential patient medical records.
Dr. Tiller is one of only a few late-term abortion providers in the country. According to Kansas and federal law, an abortion can only be performed after the 22 weeks if carrying the fetus to term would cause the woman “substantial and irreversible impairment,” according to KWCH News. Dr. Tiller has consistently been targeted by anti-choice groups.
Media Resources: Wichita Eagle 7/3/2008, KWCH 7/3/2008, Feminist Daily News Wire 7/6/2007, Feminist Daily News Wire 5/7/2008
This story was taken from Feminist Campus Daily News Wire
Posted in news, politics | Tagged: abortion, kansas, news, politics, pro choice, pro-life, united states, us, usa | Leave a Comment »