Tuesday, August 5, 2014
The New Yorker: What is a Woman?, by Michelle Goldberg:
The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism.
O May 24th, a few dozen people gathered in a conference room at the Central Library, a century-old Georgian Revival building in downtown Portland, Oregon, for an event called Radfems Respond. The conference had been convened by a group that wanted to defend two positions that have made radical feminism anathema to much of the left. First, the organizers hoped to refute charges that the desire to ban prostitution implies hostility toward prostitutes. Then they were going to try to explain why, at a time when transgender rights are ascendant, radical feminists insist on regarding transgender women as men, who should not be allowed to use women’s facilities, such as public rest rooms, or to participate in events organized exclusively for women. . . .
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Salon: Women who don’t use birth control explain why not, slut-shame those who do, by Jenny Kutner:
Hint: It's because they don't understand how birth control works
In the aftermath of the Hobby Lobby ruling that will effectively allow corporations to prevent their female employees from accessing certain forms of contraception, BuzzFeed posted explanations from 22 of its own female employees about why they use birth control. The responses ranged from medical — “for my endometriosis” — to ethical — “because it’s none of your business” — to practical — “because condoms break sometimes.” All were different, but each reflected some of the most common reasons that more than 99 percent of sexually active adult women use some form of contraception.
Well, the <1 percent of women who don’t use birth control took it upon themselves to respond to BuzzFeed by explaining their own reproductive choices, listing the reasons theydon’t use birth control on the faith-centered blog Catholic Sistas (not a spelling error). But instead of simply offering up their “logical” (read: totally putative) justifications, the women also illustrated a general lack of understanding of how birth control works, as well as what it means not to try to “force others to follow what we believe” by sending preachy messages about the virtue of sexing to make babies. . . .
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The Wrap: Planned Parenthood Jumps Into ‘Obvious Child’ and NBC Abortion Flap, by Eric Czuleger:
Planned Parenthood is lashing out at NBC for refusing to air the trailer for Jenny Slate's new film,”Obvious Child.” The organization has launched an online petition to pressure the network into reversing its decision. . . .
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Obvious Child's story goes like this: Boy dumps girl; girl is sad; girl rebounds with nice guy she meets at a bar, and then things get complicated. Comedian Jenny Slate plays Donna, the main character:
"Donna's in her late 20s. She's a comedian in Brooklyn. ... It's going pretty well for her at the start of the film. [But then] she ends up getting dumped and fired and then pregnant all in time for Valentine's Day. ... It all really starts to circle the drain a little bit."
Slate and director Gillian Robespierre join NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about the challenges of making a romantic comedy about abortion.
Listen to the story here. See also:
TIME: The Obvious Question About Obvious Child: How Do You Make a Rom-Com With an Abortion?, by Lily Rothman
The Huffington Post: 'Obvious Child' Is An Abortion Rom-Com -- And The Year's Most Revolutionary Film, by Emma Gray
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Slate - DoubleX blog: No More Shmashmortion, by Amanda Hess:
Obvious Child is the most honest abortion movie I’ve ever seen. It’s about time.
In the new movie Obvious Child, twentysomething stand-up comic Donna gets pregnant after a drunken one-night stand, loses her job, attempts to schedule an abortion at her local Planned Parenthood clinic, and—cherry on top—discovers that the only available appointment is on Feb. 14. Turns out, it’s the perfect day: This is a romantic comedy where the girl gets an abortion and gets the guy. Along the way, she doesn’t even have a change of heart, contract a nasty infection, or succumb to a tragic death. That makes Obvious Child a run-of-the-mill story for a woman in America but an exceedingly rare tale for a woman on film. . . .
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
TIME: What’s Desperately Needed in Sex Education Today, by Jaclyn Friedman:
The tragic story of Elliot Rodger and his misogynistic path to murder in Santa Barbara should compel us to have a truthful conversation about sex ed and intimacy with our teens. It's time.
Most sex education messages in the U.S. go to great pains to elide one basic truth: that sex can be an incredible, pleasurable experience. In theory, that’s to avoid encouraging young people to have sex, but what it does in practice is deprive us all of the expectation that sex should be great. And increase the odds that the sex we do have will live down to those suppressed expectations. When we don’t expect sex to be a mutually satisfying experience shared by two people, it leaves us vulnerable to some truly poisonous alternative ideas, including the stubborn myth that sex is a precious commodity that men acquire from women. . . .
Sunday, May 11, 2014
The link to Letts's essay is here:
Cosmopolitan: Why I Filmed My Own Abortion, by Emily Letts
TIME: Here's Why This Woman Filmed Her Own Abortion, by Charlotte Alter:
Emily Letts works as an abortion counselor at Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, so when she herself got unexpectedly pregnant, she didn’t take long to decide she would terminate the pregnancy.
It wasn’t a difficult decision for her, she wrote in a Cosmopolitanessay, because she knew she wasn’t ready to have kids. But Letts took it one step further– she decided to film the abortion to show other women that it wasn’t scary. . . .
The Huffington Post: Emily Letts' Abortion Video Garners Angry Reaction From Right-Wing Media, by Emily Thomas:
When Emily Letts found out she was pregnant last November she knew she would get an abortion. In an effort to help inform women facing a similar situation, the 25-year-old abortion counselor decided to film herself undergoing the procedure. Reactions to the award-winning clip, however, have been quite mixed. . . .
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Jezebel: Floyd Mayweather Posts Ex's Sonogram, Accuses Her of 'Killing Babies', by Erin Gloria Ryan:
Earlier this year, boxer Floyd Mayweather got dumped by his fiancee Shantel Jackson after he allegedly cheated on her. But Mayweather has since apparently gone batshit insane, insisting that it was he who dumped her, and that he did it because she had "a abortion." To support this accusation, he posted what he claims are images from a sonogram Jackson had in December. Holy shit.
Mayweather posted the images — complete with identifying details and measurements, which we've blurred out — to Facebook this morning . . . .
Thursday, February 6, 2014
ABCnews: Anti-Abortion Groups Don't Want You to Buy Thin Mints, by M.L. Johnson:
Anti-abortion groups angry over what they see as the Girl Scouts' support for abortion-rights advocates, including Democratic Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, have launched a cookie boycott.
The groups have taken issue with tweets and Facebook postings that link to articles recognizing Davis, who shot to political stardom last year with a filibuster of abortion limits, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, another Democrat who supports abortion rights. . . .
Friday, January 24, 2014
E! Online: Sarah Silverman and Jesus Chat About Abortion, Women's Reproductive Rights—Watch Now, by Rebecca Macatee:
Sarah Silverman might've known that a PSA with her "Jesus f--king Christ" talking about abortions would get people's attention.
And just why is God's son (an actor portraying Him, actually) paying her a visit in this controversial YouTube clip? To discuss women's reproductive rights and specifically to talk about access to safe abortions in the state of Texas. . . .
Saturday, November 16, 2013
New York Magazine: 26 Women Share Their Abortion Stories, by Meaghan Winter:
Of all the battles in our half-century culture war, perhaps none seems further from being resolved, in our laws and in our consciences, than abortion. It’s a fight now in its fifth decade, yet in the past two years, 26 states have passed over 111 provisions restricting abortion. In Texas, the state where the single, pregnant woman who became Jane Roe sued for access to an abortion 41 years ago, Wendy Davis became a national hero for filibustering abortion legislation, as did her governor for signing it into law. . . .
Monday, November 11, 2013
The New York Times: Using Humor to Talk About Birth Control, by Tanzina Vega:
FEW things may be less comfortable to talk about with one’s parents than sex and birth control, and with that in mind, a new public service campaign hopes to offer guidance through a series of ads and online videos. . . .
Monday, September 2, 2013
Jezebel: Progress! NY Times Wedding Announcement Openly Discusses Abortion, by Doug Barry:
Signs of real social progress are often very subtle. They ought to be, by nature, since real progress is really a process of normalization. When same-sex marriage doesn’t merit the “same-sex” modifier, for instance, in most mainstream news publications, it’s a signal that most members of our society think beyond the man + woman = monogamous married couple for ever and ever paradigm. Or, when a wedding announcement in the New York Times openly discusses abortion as a difficult yet pragmatic decision a young couple made before they were financially and emotionally ready to have a kid, it’s a signal that a vast majority of Times readers (at the very least) recognize that having an abortion is a completely legitimate option.
On Friday, the Times announced the wedding of Faith Rein and Udonis Haslem, a power forward on the Miami Heat’s championship-nabbing team. . . .
Monday, August 19, 2013
Bustle: Mark Ruffalo Gives Pro-Choice Speech, Talks About Mother's Illegal Abortion, by Rachel Krantz:
You can add this to your weird The Kids Are All Right sperm-donor-dad fantasy: Mark Ruffalo is also apparently a pro-choice activist. The 45-year-old actor gave a moving speech at a rally for abortion rights in Jackson, Mississippi this weekend, opening up about his mother's own illegal abortion.
"My mother’s illegal abortion marked a time in America that we have worked long and hard to leave behind. It was a time when women were seen as second rate citizens who were not smart enough, nor responsible enough, nor capable enough to make decisions about their lives," Ruffalo said. . . .
Monday, August 5, 2013
Guttmacher Institute Press Release: One Week Later, Women Denied an Abortion Feel More Regret and Less Relief Than Those Who Have One:
Women who are denied an abortion feel more regret and less relief one week later than women who undergo the procedure, according to “Women’s Emotions One Week After Receiving or Being Denied an Abortion in the United States,” by Corinne H. Rocca of the University of California, San Francisco, et al. Specifically, while 41% of women who had an abortion near the provider’s gestational age limit reported feeling regret about it, 50% of women turned away because they requested an abortion beyond that limit did so. And while 90% of women who obtained a near-limit abortion reported feeling relief, 49% of those turned away expressed this emotion.
Researchers used data on 843 women seeking abortions at 30 U.S. facilities between 2008 and 2010, who were interviewed as part of a larger, five-year study on the health and socioeconomic consequences of receiving or being denied an abortion in the United States. The women were asked about six emotions: relief, happiness, regret, guilt, sadness and anger. They were questioned separately about their pregnancies and their experiences seeking an abortion, so as not to confuse their emotions about the two.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
The New York Times: Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa, by Celia W. Dugger:
A comprehensive new assessment of the ancient practice of female genital cutting has found a gradual but significant decline in many countries, even in some where it remains deeply entrenched.
Teenage girls are now less likely to have been cut than older women in more than half of the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is concentrated, according to the assessment by the United Nations Children’s Fund. . . .
Monday, July 15, 2013
Rolling Stone: The 10 Dumbest Things Ever Said About Abortion and Women's Rights, by Sarah Seltzer:
The worst sexist statements, logical fails and outright idiocy from the anti-choice movement
As long as abortion restrictions and bans continue to be rammed through state legislatures and introduced on Capitol Hill, it seems that anti-choice zealots will continue making headlines with their bizarre, scientifically incorrect and downright cruel remarks. Whether they're confusing the basics of female anatomy, making offensive comparisons to historical tragedies, trivializing rape or labeling pro-choice politicians "terrorists," these anti-abortion crusaders – led by a hee-hawing band of actual elected officials – could populate a thousand lists of epically dumb comments. Here's a sampling of the most ill-informed, borderline delusional and flat-out misogynist statements from the so-called "pro-life" movement: . . .
Saturday, July 6, 2013
The Guardian UK: Why I Support Women's Access to Safe, Legal Abortion, by Rob Delaney:
I so love my kids, I can be envious of my wife for carrying them when pregnant. But I care about her right to choose just as much
I support a woman's right to safe, legal abortion because centuries of history shows us that women are going to get abortion whether they are safe and legal or not. And when they're not safe and legal, these women will often die terrible or be damaged irreparably. . . .
Sunday, June 30, 2013
The New York Times: Coming Out on Abortion:
For years, conservatives rallied support around opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. Support for same-sex marriage has grown, in part, because opponents have realized that friends and relatives are gay. But Republicans have continued to press for tougher laws against abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute says 30 percent of American women have had an abortion by age 40. Would support for abortion rights grow if more women discussed their abortions?
Read the discussion.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The New York Times: Unexcited? There May Be a Pill for That, by Daniel Bergner:
Linneah sat at a desk at the Center for Sexual Medicine at Sheppard Pratt in the suburbs of Baltimore and filled out a questionnaire. She read briskly, making swift checks beside her selected answers, and when she was finished, she handed the pages across the desk to Martina Miller, who gave her a round of pills.
The pills were either a placebo or a new drug called Lybrido, created to stoke sexual desire in women. . . .
. . .“Female Viagra” is the way drugs like Lybrido and Lybridos tend to be discussed. But this is a misconception. Viagra meddles with the arteries; it causes physical shifts that allow the penis to rise. A female-desire drug would be something else. It would adjust the primal and executive regions of the brain. It would reach into the psyche. . . .
See also Jezebel: How a Women's Libido Pill Could Actually Save Monogamy, by Lindy West.