Wednesday, March 28, 2012
"Education is the most important thing for women to pursue aggressively as they continue their fight to be recognized for what they are: dynamic, vital, biologically heroic people. Men and women are the two wings of humanity's bird, or perhaps pterodactyl. (I offer the pterodactyl as a metaphor because humankind is often terrifying, as demonstrated by this discussion's necessity.) If the wings aren't equally strong, the pterodactyl flies in circles, gets angry, slams into a tree and explodes. (Look it up.) Education is what's most important, because it isn't an opinion that women should have equal rights to men in every possible way; it's a fact. Its acknowledgement is an indispensable ingredient in the recipe for the survival of our species. And facts are much easier to identify when you have an education, which is something that remains out of reach to this day for many millions of women around the world.
Women outnumber men on our planet. And women create life inside their bodies. Yet misogyny and sexism, whose twin engines are fear and ignorance, continue to exist. We must deprive them of their fuel and that begins by educating women and men. The good news is that women and men start out as girls and boys, who are more fun to be around. So take heart in how the most powerful political act you might ever commit is to read to a child. And kids love pterodactyls, so try to find a book about them."
Sunday, March 4, 2012
“As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience…Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness (Gittleson 2012).”
Anti-choicers’ central argument has focused on religious freedom: It is Americans’ first amendment right to be able to practice religion freely, and being forced to participate in providing birth control when a person’s religion says it is wrong is unconstitutional. The Catholic Bishops argue that because pregnancy is not a disease, the new healthcare plan should not provide preventative measures against it.
I am shocked that religious groups, which supposedly have some moral fiber, and our lawmakers, who supposedly represent the needs and wants of their voters, are arguing about religious freedom when women’s health, lives, and basic human rights are at risk. Many women are on birth control for hormonal regulation, to alleviate painful cramps around their periods, to help them gain weight, and for a variety of other health reasons. And yes, there are some of us who take it because we want to have sex. Why do religious groups and political leaders insist on focusing on issues like controlling women’s bodies and sexuality under the guise of religious freedom when larger problems prevail? Human rights abuses happen all over the world (denying citizens basic medical care…human rights abuse, anyone?), yet giving women access to free birth control is so wrong that it cannot be provided free of charge even when religiously-affiliated institutions themselves are not paying for it? Since I went on the pill my first year of college, I have had to pay for it myself because my father works at a Catholic high school that does not cover birth control. It not only angers me, but hurts me as a woman that these institutions feel it their right to control my body. As a free human being, this should be my right and mine alone. Although they have never met me and do not know why I use the pill, they believe that it is appropriate to deny me access to free birth control. Maybe instead of working to control women’s sexuality, we should reflect more on where this need to control comes from: Is this truly an issue of religious freedom or a manifestation of our culture’s deep-seated misogyny that tells us that women’s sexuality and bodies should not be their own to control?
Gittleson, Wendy. "GOP Kicks Women out of Contraception Debate--Says It's About Religion Not Women." Addicting Info. Addicting Info, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. Feb. 2012.
President Obama Contraception Mandate Statement. Barack Obama. Youtube. PBS News Hour, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I will be traveling across the treacherous Atlantic seas come September, to our Statue of Liberty’s homeland (and will blog about it, worry you not). In honor and preparation of my bon voyage, I have been reading about French women and food, feasting my eyes on the country’s finest drawings, and listening to Carla Bruni. Though I have not yet familiarized myself with her full discography, I’ve recently downloaded the album Quelqu’un M’a Dit, which does not disappoint. If the beautiful language was not enough to make me swoon, Bruni sings her sweet and sad melodies with a voice that is intimate and soothing and evokes a slow curiosity. With her songs, I can celebrate the sun, cry quietly, look through old photos, or dance my pants off with small and happy steps. Perhaps the transformative quality I sense in her music is partly due to the fact that I understand nothing of what she’s saying. I should probably begin to use Google Translate. But, I think I’ll wait a bit longer to let the mystery linger…
To make up for Jam Sessions lost in the midst of springtime, I would like to present a second artist. Lulu and the Lampshades initially caught my attention with this video, which remains to be one of my favorite Youtube gems. They have released just a few songs (so catch 'em before they're hot), and I assure you they will make you want to sing and frolic in an open field of fresh strawberries. And aren’t lovely harmonies all we really need in the summer?
Peace, Love, and Jams,
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011