thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Posts Tagged ‘reproductive health’

Singing Out: In Praise of Women (And Against Rush Limbaugh)

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Sarah T.

Let’s talk about sex.

More specifically, let’s talk about women who have sex, and why some people want to punish them so much.

Rush Limbaugh thinks a woman who wants affordable birth control—and, by extension, any sexually active woman—is a slut. The problems in his statement are almost too numerous to name. Lauren O’Neal at the Hairpin and Emily Bazelon at Slate, among others, do a good job of unpacking them.

But it’s not just moralizing extremists like Limbaugh who are trying to wrest power away from women by shaming them for what they choose to do with their own bodies. There are more insidious ways that our culture gets people to internalize the idea that women should be judged for their sexuality and sexual activity. From there, it’s an easy move to persuade people that sexually active women don’t deserve to be safe from the threat of violence, or to be treated with respect and decency, or to decide for themselves whether they are physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and circumstantially able to bring a child into the world.

I’m talking about the message that gets sent when someone laughs and calls, say, Courtney from The Bachelor a whore, when what he means is that Courtney is manipulative, or mean, or fake. Or when a smart, educated woman calls her ex’s new girlfriend a slut, when what she means is that she’s hurt and angry, her pride is wounded, and she doesn’t like this new girl at all. Or when campus security announcements about sexual assaults emphasize what women ought to do to protect themselves (stay at home all day long while wearing a Snuggie with all the blinds drawn and a couch shoved up against the door, one imagines) instead of talking about what everyone, men most certainly included, can do to eliminate sexual assault and make the campus safer. Or when people make fun of girls who show cleavage or wear short skirts or get tattoos on the smalls of their backs. Or when the person sitting across from me at a bar last year said casually of a mutual acquaintance, “Even you would think she’s a slut.” Read the rest of this entry »

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GLG Weekly Round-up: Women’s Health

In body politics, reproductive health, Uncategorized, Weekly Round-Up, Women's health on March 3, 2012 at 6:37 am

With all the legislative madness afoot in the U.S. in regards to women’s health, we decided to devote this week’s weekly round-up to Women’s Health. Please share more links in the comments if you have them!

On the Academy Award-winning film, Saving Face:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mmw/2012/02/%E2%80%9Csaving-face%E2%80%9D-may-be-a-saving-grace-for-women-victims-of-acid-attacks/

On Virginia’s new proposed anti-abortion legislation:

From Slate: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/02/virginia_ultrasound_law_women_who_want_an_abortion_will_be_forcibly_penetrated_for_no_medical_reason.html

From xoJane:
http://www.xojane.com/issues/virginias-proposed-abortion-ultrasound-requirement-turning-your-uterus-public-forum

From Colorlines:
http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/12/gender_2012_more_battles_for_reproductive_healthcare.html

And in response,

From The Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/georgia-vasectomy-ban_n_1293369.html

And AJC:
http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/02/21/democratic-women-seek-a-state-ban-on-vasectomies-for-men/