Collective blogging for Dr. Tiller

Blog in memory of Dr. Tiller until June 7th – make sure to link to the Abortion Gang’s site. Here’s the 1st question:

How can the pro-choice and reproductive justice movements better support the people who have later abortions and providers who perform them?

It’s my understanding that teens tend to have later abortions because they’re so frightened and anxious about the pregnancy they take longer to come to a decision.  The other group is women with medical complications. Of course, the anti-choicers would have us believe an evil woman doesn’t want the “inconvenience” of a pregnancy – as if anyone would call being pregnant convenient or not. The decision to raise a baby to the age of 18 has nothing to do with convenience. You need maturity, financial means, child care, proper lodging, etc.

Abortion Gang

Your post can directly answer this question, or use it as a jumping off point to talk about other issues, such as:

  • Why is it so difficult for our movement to talk about and support later abortions?
  • Reflecting on Dr. Tiller’s famous quote: ”Make no mistake, this battle is about self-determination by women of the direction and course of their lives and their family’s lives. Abortion is about women’s hopes and dreams. Abortion is a matter of survival for women.”

In your post, please link back to this blog post so that folks can come here and find links to other reflections on Dr. Tiller.

NOW’s Media Hall of Shame

I have one little word: Ugh!

Newsweek Glamorizes Women’s Submission

The article attempts to support its premise with the not terribly precise estimate that “between 31 percent and 57 percent of women entertain fantasies where they are forced to have sex” (according to Psychology Today).

Picture for a moment a mainstream magazine arguing that men feel there is something “basically liberating about being overcome or overpowered.” Imagine a male author positing that men have an “incandescent fantasy of being dominated.” And try, just try, to envision that cover with a blindfolded male model.

Is it paranoid to suggest that Newsweek and Roiphe intentionally portray women as fearful of equality in order to grease the wheels for rolling back their rights? Is it too extreme to suggest that the cover image and the article work together to convey the message that women want to throw in the towel on being in charge of their sexuality and their lives in general? Would it be going too far to characterize articles like this as contributing to a cultural environment where it’s not so bad when men physically assault women, even rape them, because that’s what women really want?

Roiphe argues that feminists are “perplexed” by the persistence of dominance/submission fantasies, but when Gloria Steinem tries to explain it, Roiphe shrugs her off, writing that “maybe sex and aggression should not, and probably more to the point, cannot be untangled.” Sure sounds like a writer with an agenda that’s hostile to women’s empowerment and safety. Not to mention the fact that Roiphe never asks why men might want to dominate and hurt women, and what that might say about them.

Canadian Supreme Court rules consent cannot be given when unconscious (duh!)

It’s a sad state of affairs when you need a Supreme Court to tell you an unconscious person can’t give consent!

No consent in unconscious sex case: Supreme Court

A woman cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday.

The decision restores the conviction of an Ottawa man who regularly practised consensual erotic asphyxiation with his longtime girlfriend.

The case goes back to a particular episode in 2007 when the woman, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, complained to police about what her partner did to her after she passed out. At trial, the man was found guilty of sexual assault but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

On Friday, in a 6-3 decision, the country’s top court restored the conviction. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said consent ends once someone is unconscious or asleep.

“If the complainant is unconscious during the sexual activity, she has no real way of knowing what happened and whether her partner exceeded the bounds of her consent,” the ruling said.

Here’s a dissenting viewpoint:

“The approach advocated by the Chief Justice would also result in the criminalization of a broad range of conduct that Parliament cannot have intended to capture in its definition of the offense of sexual assault. Notably, it would criminalize kissing or caressing a sleeping partner, however gently and affectionately.”

Sounds like they’re protecting male entitlement. I hardly doubt any rational woman would run to court to press charges against her partner for kissing or caressing her. And if a person is not suppose to be kissing, caressing, or anything else- well, it should be a human right to seek protection from somebody doing something against our will.

Hillary too sexy for the shot

Where’s Hillary? Hasidic paper breaks rules by editing Clinton out of White House photo

Hillary Clinton has been edited out of the photo in the White House Situation Room because of her gender:

That would be the Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic broadsheet Der Tzitung, published in Brooklyn. The paper photoshopped Clinton, as well at the only other woman who could be seen in the room–Audrey Tomason, the national director of counterterrorism–out of the frame.

Here’s what Der Tzitung had to say about this situation:

“In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status… Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”

That’s really funny – they don’t want to be seen as relegating women to “a lower status” or being “disparaging to women.”  Then why don’t they forbid men to buy/see these broadsheets? They are called broad sheets afterall – let the broads see them and keep them out of the hands of men. Easy peazy.

Burqa ban goes into effect Monday

Religious leaders tell them to wear a burqa.

Politicians tell them not to wear a burqa.

Where are women’s voices in this debate? The ones insisting  they not be forced to wear a burqa are forcing them not to – doesn’t make sense to me – seems like they have an ulterior motive because their certainly not trying to liberate women.

French police arrest burqa ban protesters

“The French Republic lives in a bare-headed fashion,” he said in an official government newspaper explaining the law.

The law imposes a fine of 150 euros ($190). The person breaking the law can be asked to carry out public service duty as part of the punishment or as an alternative to the fine.

The law was passed in October but included a six-month period to inform people of the penalty before it went into effect.

Penalties for forcing a person to wear a burqa are part of the law, and they became effective immediately in October.

Forcing a woman to wear a niqab or a burqa is punishable by a year in prison and a 30,000 euro fine (about $43,400). Forcing a minor to do the same thing is punishable by two years in prison and 60,000 euro.

The government has called this coercion “a new form of enslavement that the republic cannot accept on its soil.”