Quick Hit: Should Anita Hill Apologize?

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a suggestion for Anita Hill. Apologize. What?!? You read that correctly. Ginny Thomas thinks that Anita Hill should apologize to Clarence Thomas for making him as the sexual harassing misogynist that he is.

My suggestion to Ginny Thomas? Get a clue. Sexual harassment should be called out. And women who think that the victims of sexual harassment are the ones to blame seriously need to question their alliance with the patriarchy.

Feel Your Boobies! A Plea For Self-Exams and Early Detection

I know, I know, you’re inundated with pink and tired of listening to people shill for breast cancer awareness.

I understand, I truly do. The corporate takeover of breast cancer awareness, though, does not mean that you don’t have to self-exam, get mammograms, and have an early detection plan.

Breast cancer is still a killer (even though women have other major health issues, breast cancer is one that we should still be concerned about) of women AND men. It will continue to be, until we find a cure.

This post isn’t about a cure, though. This post is about you taking ownership of your health and making sure that you don’t fall victim to stage 4, untreatable cancer. Women’s health is clearly not a priority for the federal government, so we have to take it into our own hands (literally). [Read more...]

Fox News: Terrorist Organization?

Terrorism, by definition, is the systematic use of terror and fear to coerce individuals for political purposes. So when Fox News actively organizes and promotes protests against the United States Government through fear-instilling tactics, it engages in a form of terrorism. No other television news organization rallies individuals to participate in protests against health care reform, taxes, or abortion. Unlike media organizations that provide commentary on current events, Fox News is mobilizing individuals to take action against Americans that do not adhere to what it calls upright and moral beliefs. I am not saying it is wrong to protest one’s belief, but instilling fear and terror to motivate individuals to act in accordance with a limited ideology is coercive by definition.

Rather than providing clear proven facts, Fox News deploys rhetoric tactics to justify their commentary. This is problematic, because this form of media does not present necessary and objective aspects of the discussion at hand. By pinpointing and selecting certain pieces of an event, an organization like Fox News distorts a possibly equitable discussion. Without taking into account various perspective, Fox News silences perspectives central to a discussion.

On August 28, 2010, Glenn Beck celebrated the “Restoring Honor” protest he helped organize.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMGpBCllHWs[/youtube]

In the clip attached, he breaks down what individuals must do in order to be honorable citizens. He tells viewers where, when, and how to rally against the current administration. This is exactly what Fox News says terrorist organizations do to get individuals to attack America. It seems like this media organization is informing individuals how to organize against the governing administration. How can this be a news organization? Fabricated stories, selective reporting, and securitization rhetoric are the means by which Fox News is mobilizing viewers to not question, but blindly follow attacks on an administration that happens to be led by a Black man.  [Read more...]

Quick Hit: Cheerleader Gets the Boot for Refusing to Shake Her Booty

I love it when a young woman stands up for herself and claims ownership of her body!

Faylene Fampton, you’re the shiz. Good for you for sticking up for what you believe in. It sucks that your cheer leading coach doesn’t support you – but there are other great things in store for you. So keep fighting the good fight.

World Economic Forum Reports the Best and Worse in Gender Equality

While the United States entered the top twenty for the first time, Iceland remained the leader in gender equity according to a report from the World Economic Forum that was released last week.

Since 2005, the forum has ranked 134 countries for their reduction of gender disparities in economic participation, education, political empowerment and health over the previous year. Some of the ways the determine the results is by looking at life expectancy, access to jobs and education, number of women in government and high level decision making positions and pay.

Nordic countries lead the pack with Norway, Finland and Sweden coming in just behind Iceland to make up the top four. On the other end of the spectrum, Pakistan, Chad and Yemen continue to show no progress in reducing gender disparities. The most surprising country was France that slipped to 46th place from 18th last year.
[Read more...]

Feminist Explains Why She’s Telling Women’s Stories

Feminist Conversations is a weekly series here at Feminists For Choice. We spotlight feminists from across the interwebs to find out what feminism means to them. Today we’re talking with blogger Dior Vargas. Dior lives in NYC and is a proud alumna of Smith College. She will be graduating from Pace in May 2011 with a Master’s in Publishing. She is currently interning for feminist author Gloria Feldt, helping her promote her new book No Excuses. Dior will be starting at Random House in November, working on eBook production. Her favorite publisher is The Feminist Press, and her ultimate dream is to work for or start a publishing company that is dedicated to social justice, feminism, and women of color. She regularly blogs at The Personal is Bloggable.

1. When did you first call yourself a feminist, and what influenced that decision?
I first called myself a feminist when I was in high school. I was becoming more aware of what was going on around me and around the world. Growing up in a female-headed household really influenced my decision, because I had a mother and grandmother who were so hardworking and taught me how to be a strong woman. Even though they never used the term, I knew that they had raised me to be a feminist. I don’t think there is a point to living life and not being a feminist. It’s the best feeling in the world.

2. What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means social justice, respect, expressing one’s self, and sisterhood. Feminism means supporting each other at all times across all classes, races, genders, sexualities and more.

3. Why do you think it’s important to bring a feminist perspective to the publishing industry?
I think that in any industry, there should be a feminist perspective. As far as the publishing industry goes, I think it is very important because feminism has a very important space in writing and educating. When I interned at The Feminist Press, I realized that there is a huge difference between the larger publishing houses and them. There needs to be more books about feminism and its place in society. When Florence Howe first started the press, she thought that it wouldn’t last that long because she assumed that the publishing industry would realize that it is important to publish feminist works. The FP is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. [Read more...]

Roeder Round Up

Scott Roeder is back in the news again.  Here’s list of links to get you all caught up on the latest.

Federal Grand Jury Probing Dr. Tiller’s Murder – Daily Kos and Wichita Eagle
Roeder’s Bible Group is Questioned –
RH Reality Check
Not a Lone Wolf – Ms. Magazine

Condoms: What are they good for?

Used to be I could joke that the only people even talking about condoms were the teens on Daytime TV. Maybe it was all the celebrity babies, or the “bump” watches. But it didn’t seem like too many grown-ups were using them. (Or any other form of birth control, for that matter.)

Times have changed. Condoms are making a comeback. Thrusting their way into the media spotlight, so to speak.

First Nicholas Kristof wrote a column on contraception that practically put the condom out to pasture. His rosy prediction:

The next generation of family planning products will be cheaper, more effective and easier to use — they could be to today’s condoms and diaphragms what a smartphone is to the bricklike cellphones of 20 years ago. (Kristof, “Birth Control Over Baldness,” NYT, 9/26/10)

Condoms made the news again a few days later in the coverage of a new study on American sexual behavior published by The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The chief talking point? Sexually active teens are using condoms on a more regular basis than their Baby Boomer parents (and grandparents). Even when the parent or grandparent is having sex with a stranger.

The stories themselves are a mixed bag. If Kristof is right about the future of reproductive technology, it would not only be good news for women looking for effective forms of birth control—it could very well be the key to our survival as a species, given the threat of overpopulation. And if teenagers are using condoms more than boomers, well, that’s fewer unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among teens. And for their elders? A lot of tough questions.  [Read more...]

Breast Cancer: The Most Important of All the Cancers (?)

It would seem that breast cancer is more important than any other type of cancer.  Though breast cancer was fourth in both number of new cases and deaths in 2010*, its month of awareness trumps all others.  Does anyone even know that Prostate Cancer Awareness month is September? As in last month, the month before October, the month before Breast Cancer Awareness month? It seems one cannot escape Breast Cancer Awareness this month as it is blaring from the television, viral campaigns nearly reach the level of spam, pink ribbons are plastered all over restaurants and retail shops, even professional football players are sporting pink.  The sheer volume of business that jump on the pink band wagon is astronomical.

It was not until writing this article that I was even aware which month (if any) had been assigned to prostate cancer and while the gender stereotypical color blue has been deemed the color of prostate cancer, not many are aware of it.  And certainly the television, professional athletes and local retail establishments were not sporting any sort of Prostate Cancer Awareness paraphernalia last month.  Yet prostate cancer rates are close to, and in some years surpass, breast cancer rates in number of new cases and deaths each year.
[Read more...]

Quick Hit: birth control in a down economy

It is no secret that the current economic crisis in this country is causing an enormous strain on many families.

While some families may be willing, the last thing they need is to have another child in this economic climate. As this article shows, there are other, more practical options for birth control than the pill or condoms. While the pill may not be a large expense each month, the cost of an unplanned pregnancy due to failed birth control is very costly. This article has wonderful information for families who are struggling:

Birth Control Doesn’t Have to Mean the Pill