College Kids Speak Out in Favor of Planned Parenthood: 'We Have Sex!'

A fine argument for Planned Parenthood and sex ed that goes beyond abstinence education:

International Women's Day Highlights

Today the world pauses to celebrate the great work women are doing — and pushing harder for the progress we have yet to make. Following are some of the highlioghts of International Women’s Day 2011. What did you do today to promote the awesomeness of women?

Anika Rahman, present of the Ms. Foundation, reminds us of the work we have yet to do:  On this 100th International Women’s Day, we stand with all women and girls — down the street and around the world — to cheer our wins and inspire us all to further action. We have come a long way… but we’ve got miles to walk, here in America and across the seas.

Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton announced a new global women empowerment program today. And let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that we have an Office of Global Women’s Issues.

The victory of revolution in Egypt doesn’t scratch the surface of the problems women face in the region. Women who  joined the protest were faced with celebrating a liberty that seemingly didn’t include them. “They said that our role was to stay home and raise presidents, not to run for president,” said Farida Helmy, a 24-year-old journalist.”

Daniel Craig goes drag to support women. If James Bond can walk a few feet in our shoes, perhaps there’s hope for us yet.

SF Talking Points: Abortion Provider Tells All, Reality TV + Charlie Sheen = Not A Great Combination For Women

The Scoop On Abortion Providers! In an excellent article in The Hairpin, Dolores P., abortion provider trainee, answers basic questions about her profession with extensive, funny, and often quite intimate responses. First, she cites two reasons for having gone into the field.

“I went into healthcare in general because of a bunch of shitty gynecologists growing up who told me, for instance, that “when you” (me) “have sex with so many people” (I, like, halved the real number) “so young” (18) that “none of them care about you” (me). I figured the most direct way to ensure that there wasn’t a total asshole at the bottom of the table was to do it myself.”

Also, she embraced the job because of the sad fact that the number of abortion providers is in severe decline. Right now there are fewer than 2,000, only 2% of ob/gyns perform half of all abortions, and the number of abortion providers has declined 37% since 1982  — but what I didn’t realize before reading her article is that many of the ones that still exist are either approaching retirement or likely to quit soon because of how dangerous the job has become.

“I am lucky to be training in a liberal Northeastern state: the biggest impact of “antis” on my training is that I have to bring my lunch every day because it’s not really a good idea to go outside more than you have to.”

I mean, even in a liberal Northeastern state it’s risky to go outside for lunch? Dolores P. doesn’t seem at all unnerved by this, and maybe I’m just green to the world of abortion providers, but it seems even more profoundly awful hearing this from their side — not just in another news bit about crazy, violent protesters issuing threats. It’s sad. Though it’s been said, I can’t reiterate it enough: Killing an abortion provider does not make you better or more moral than they are. And providing abortions is not, at all, immoral. Dolores P stresses against this (obviously) — there are many reasons why women get abortions, but in most cases, it’s because they didn’t feel they were in a position to adequately care for a baby. And, seriously, what’s worse — terminating the pregnancy of a woman with children already (65% of women who get abortions are already mothers) so that they can continue to take care of themselves and their families, or killing a doctor? Though, she also emphasizes the importance of avoiding “abortion hierarchies.”

Ladyblog Debate: Can Feminists Be Sexy, Professionals Pretty?

After getting some friendly feminist Twitter flack for our name when we relaunched as The Sexy Feminist, we teamed up with Pretty Young Professional (another site whose name has been questioned) and The Daily Femme (who’d done someof the questioning) to debate whether feminists can be sexy and young professionals can be pretty without compromising our principles. This is exactly what feminism should be — women teaming up to intelligently discuss the issues that face them. We’re hoping to do more of these collaborations in the future; for now, here’s what we said on the great name debate — tell us what you think!

[Read more...]

SF Talking Points: Why Did Nothing Happen When Charlie Sheen Declared His Own War On Women?, Crisis Pregnancy Centers — Celebrated Here, Regulated There

It’s Charlie Sheen’s World, Women Just Barely Live In It: Sheen was able to terrorize women (though terrorize isn’t nearly a strong enough word) and continue his career unscathed, making heaps of money on Two and a Half Men. But when he punctured the ego of his big TV exec boss? Now that was the final straw. David Carr writes about Sheen’s horrendous behavior toward women in a recent NYTimes article, and how, because his actions didn’t result in any real consequences, this surely says something about the still-unjust attitude toward women in our country. Let’s go through all of the already well-known atrocities Sheen inflicted upon women in his life, as recounted by Carr, shall we?

“In 2006, his wife at the time, Denise Richards, filed a restraining order, charging that Mr. Sheen had pushed her down, thrown chairs at her and threatened to kill her in person and on the phone.”

“Mr. Sheen was charged with a felony for an incident on Christmas Day in 2009 in which he threatened to kill his wife, Brooke Mueller, while holding a knife to her throat. According to the police report, Mr. Sheen ‘started to strangle Mueller then he pulled out a knife he always carries on his person and held the knife to Mueller’s neck and threatened, ‘You better be in fear. If you tell anybody I’ll kill you.’’” [Read more...]

Working Women in History: Chicago's Irish Pubs

Bridget Frances Guinea behind the bar of the Jack Kennedy tavern.

A year ago my friend Mike Danahey and I embarked on research for a book about Irish pubs in Chicago. When our focus turned to history (as opposed to our initial, rather shameless attempt to get somebody to pay us for hanging out in bars all day drinking) it also turned to the role of women running and working in the taverns that, more often than not, bore their husbands’ names.

Women, if they could enter a saloon at all as customers, entered through the back door and stayed in a separate seating area. But women were often the keepers of the tavern, like the one at left.

From the book:

Doris Neeson’s grandmother, Bridget Frances Guinea, came to America from Limerick and opened a saloon at 4113 S. Ashland St. with her then-husband, George Bowers, at the turn of the 20th Century. It was his name on the sign outside, but she did the majority of the work behind the bar. “She was a strong lady, she had to be,” Neeson said. “She was raising children and running the place herself.”

When George Bowers died and Bridget Bowers remarried, her new husband, Jack Kennedy, put his name up over the saloon doors in 1906.

The saloon catered to the Irish working class in the area, serving women in a separate area in the back and providing a buffet lunch, Neeson recalled. “It was mostly stockyard workers,” she said. “In those days you would stop at the tavern to pick up some beer and take it home.”

Modern society likes to think of working women as an invention of the mid-20th Century, when we all read The Feminist Mystique and went out into the workforce en masse. But some women always worked, either out of necessity — poor and lower-middle-class families have almost always been two-income families — or because the tavern door bore their family name.

Chicago’s Historic Irish Pubs is on sale now. You can get it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and direct from the publisher here.

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