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Feminism Archive

Sunday

19

February 2017

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – February 19, 2017

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

Fight Back

Horrific Executive and Legislative Actions

  • “Upset about damaging leaks of his calls with world leaders and other national security information, Trump has ordered an internal investigation to find the leakers. Staffers, meanwhile, are so fearful of being accused of talking to the media that some have resorted to a secret chat app — Confide — that erases messages as soon as they’re read.” Upheaval is now standard operating procedure inside the White House (by Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker for the Washington Post)
  • ““The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane. Going down [to Mar-a-Lago] ain’t free.” The three Mar-a-Lago trips in Palm Beach cost the federal treasury around $10m, based on figures used in an October government report analysing White House travel. This includes cash for coast guards to patrol the exposed shoreline. Trump family trips cost taxpayers $11.3m in one month – almost as much as Obama’s cost in a year (by Peter Walker at The Independent)

Homelessness

  • “If Pippin had lived in a house, the officer’s actions likely would have amounted to an illegal search. Unless an officer has a warrant or extenuating circumstances, the US Constitution protects you from a cop walking in your front door, seeing drugs, and arresting you. The Fourth Amendment guarantees people’s right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and the Washington State Constitution adds that “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.”” Is a Tarp a Home? (by Heidi Groover for The Stranger)

Criminal Justice

  • “Understanding how the penal system operates helps to illuminate that, counter to Bauer’s claims, the CCA are not the ones calling the shots. Rather, they are following the laws and policies put in place by the state legislature and other state officials. For instance, Bauer implies that Winn’s guards and officials revoke incarcerated men’s “good time” for slight prison violations so that CCA officials may collect more cash for their extended incarceration. This assertion simultaneously ignores the routine taking back of good time at publicly run state prisons and erases the decades-long assaults on good time by tough on crime politicians that have created the mechanisms for guards to reduce and revoke good time in the first place.” Getting the Facts Right: How the Mother Jones Fixation with Private Prisons Misleads Us (A Late Rejoinder) (by Lydia Pelot-Hobbs)

Ableism

  • “If your goal is to get people to see our humanity, why is it wrong for us to act human?
    Because I am human, I’ll get angry and frustrated if you say things that are hurtful to me. Because I am human, I’ll get tired and struggle in the face of persistent barriers. Because I am human, I’ll have needs and take up space. I trust that the people in my life will see these truths as well and adjust their attitudes to make room for me. I am lucky enough that for the most part, they do. As for those who do not, who hold me to a standard they would never hold themselves to — we are not operating from the same basic premise in the first place. No number of words from me can change that.” I’m Not Going To Be Nice About Ableism (by Alex Lu for The Establishment)

Trans Rights

  • ““What people should know about these bathroom bills that criminalize trans people… is that these bills are not about bathrooms,” Cox told “CBS This Morning.” “They’re about whether trans people have the right to exist in public space. If we can’t access public bathrooms, we can’t go to school, we can’t work, we can’t go to healthcare facilities ― this is about public accommodations and public accommodations are always key to civil rights. I can’t help but think about that moment from ‘Hidden Figures’ when Taraji P. Henson’s character has to walk 45 minutes to the bathroom ― Gavin had to go to a special ‘gender neutral’ bathroom, a nurses bathroom that was way out of the way.”” Laverne Cox References ‘Hidden Figures’ To Make Powerful Point About Trans Rights (by James Michael Nichols for Huffington Post)

Minimum Wage

  • “So picture a hypothetical situation for a moment: Based on a regulation from the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a restaurant with a steep staircase leading to its front door is required to add a ramp to its entrance. Now imagine that business added an “ADA surcharge” to the bottom of its checks, along with a passive-aggressive note explaining that the fee is to pay for the installation of the ramp. Customers would understandably lose their minds. There would be a very real, very loud—and very deserved—furor over the owner’s business decision.” What to Do When A Restaurant Puts a Minimum-Wage Service Charge on Your Bill (by Paul Constant)

Sex Work

  • “Edel McGinley of the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland (MRCI) said the new laws will not protect the most vulnerable – migrants, asylum seekers, refugees doing survival sex work. She said: “It promotes harmful stigmatisation and obstructs access to justice. We know from our decade of work on human trafficking and forced labour that this approach will not help victims of trafficking.”” ‘This approach will not help victims of trafficking’: Groups at odds as sex bill passes final stage (by Garreth MacNamee for The Journal)

Awesomeness

Sunday

29

January 2017

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – January 29, 2017

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

The last week has shown what a monster we have in the White House. Remember that every day.

Fight Back

  • “The New York Taxi Drivers Alliance on Saturday said it would not make any pickups from John F. Kennedy International Airport after two Iraqi travelers were detained trying to enter the U.S. following President Trump’s immigration ban.” NY taxis refuse to pick up from JFK over refugee detention (by Brooke Seipel, at The Hill)
  • “The freedom struggles of black people that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and colonialism, which means for better or for worse the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history. No human being is illegal.” Here’s the Full Transcript Of Angela Davis’s Women’s March Speech (Angela Davis)
  • “On Friday, during Inauguration Day protests, D.C. police arrested 230 demonstrators after corralling them at 12th and L streets NW. Defense attorneys and some of those arrested are likening the treatment to the problematic mass arrests at ­Pershing Park nearly 15 years ago, saying these protesters, too, were “trapped and detained” and then arrested without being given dispersal orders.” Defense attorneys allege police trapped and then arrested protesters (By Peter Hermann and Michael E. Miller via @postlocal)
  • “The intention of this weekly document is to make clear suggestions for action backed by well-considered research. If an issue doesn’t affect you, consider whether you would support this issue on behalf of other Americans and act accordingly. Although these topics have been well researched and are intended to be helpful, they are still subject to human error. Please do your own research!” What to Do This Week
  • “Rewire Legislative Tracker is an easily searchable database of the laws, people, organizations, and litigation involved in sexual and reproductive health and justice in the United States, as well as the connections among them. Primarily focused on the anti-choice universe, the database provides factual summaries of key topics, lawsuits, and laws. It is available for use by the public with credit to Rewire.” Legislative Tracker
  • “While many tech reactions have been muted and largely focused in how to deal with hardships that could result for employees because of the ban, some tech leaders — such as Netflix’s Reed Hastings — have issued strong challenges to Trump’s action. “Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all,” wrote Hastings in a personal statement on Facebook. “Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe.”” Airbnb, Salesforce and Etsy’s CEOs are the latest tech leaders to speak out against Trump’s Muslim ban (by Kara Swisher via Recode)

Horrifying Legislation and Executive Action

  • “If the REINS Act had been in effect, it’s unlikely that the Tea Party-dominated Republican caucus in the House would have approved of any of these rules. Future standard setting under the entire body of legislation enacted over the past 40 years to protect the public, from the Clean Air Act to the Dodd Frank financial sector reforms, would be frozen. Over time, as new health, safety, consumer and labor protection issues arise, all of these laws will effectively have been repealed, with no public debate and no accountability. It will also be impossible to restore them as long as the REINS Act is in effect, because by requiring Congress to approve every regulation, it makes it impossible to pass technically complex and scientifically valid rules on any topic of controversy.” The Most Dangerous Bill You’ve Never Heard Of Just Passed The House (by Carl Pope, via Huffington Post)
  • “In its simplest form, turning Medicaid into a “block grant” simply means handing control of the program — and the funding for it — over to the states. But in all these plans the details reveal something else, too: a massive cut to Medicaid spending that could throw tens of millions of people off the program. To understand how that works, you need to understand the unusual way that Medicaid works.” Donald Trump’s plan to cut Medicaid spending, explained (by Sarah Kliff via @Vox)
  • “None of that money is spent on performing abortions. The Helms Amendment has prevented U.S. tax dollars from funding overseas abortions since 1973. Proponents of the global gag rule believe the policy is nevertheless still necessary, arguing that Helms isn’t strong enough by itself. But the Guttmacher Institute and other opponents of the gag rule say that such restrictions have devastating effects on international organizations, often forcing them to close their clinics or reduce their services, denying women access to help from safe providers and even hampering HIV prevention efforts.” Donald Trump Reinstates Ronald Reagan’s Abortion ‘Global Gag Rule’ (by Amanda Terkel and Laura Bassett, via The Huffington Post)
  • “President Barack Obama signed a continuing resolution Dec. 10 that included $100 million specifically for Flint’s water crisis, but as reported by MLive, that legislation included a process for the city to apply for the funds through a grant program at the state Department of Environmental Quality. Anna Heaton, press secretary for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, said in an email to MLive that the “statutory language is being reviewed to see if the [Drinking Water Revolving Fund] grants [targeting Flint] would be affected.” “We haven’t received any guidance from the federal government,” Heaton’s statement said.” Flint, Mich., Left Wondering How Trump’s EPA Freeze Will Impact the $100,000,000 It Was Promised in Grant Aid (by Monique Judge, via The Root)
  • ““It’s basically a fear tactic,” Wang told BuzzFeed News. “The weekly list is part and parcel of Trump’s efforts to intimidate and coerce cities, counties, and states.” Wang said declined detainer outcome reports are unreliable because they’re issued without probable cause to believe they are deportable and have lead to people being wrongly detained, including UC citizens. As recently as Tuesday, a federal court found that immigration authorities and the state of Rhode Island violated a US citizen’s constitutional rights by detaining her without probable cause.” Trump To Publish Weekly List Of Crimes Committed By Undocumented Immigrants In Sanctuary Cities (by Adolfo Flores, at Buzzfeed News)
  • “Weatherford says that he woke up the morning after the event to “several homophobic and transphobic slurs as well as (sexual) threats” on social media, through his UW work email, and on a website where students can rate their professors.” UW Instructor Gets Doxxed, Harassed and Threatened After the Milo Yiannopoulos Protests (by Amber Cortes via The Stranger)

White Feminism

  • “When women of color speak out of the anger that laces so many of our contacts with white women, we are often told that we are ‘creating a mood of hopelessness,’ ‘preventing white women from getting past guilt,’ or ‘standing in the way of trusting communication and action,'” Lorde said. In short, black women were accused of stunting feminism, thwarting its efficacy and momentum. They were bursting the bubble of “sisterhood” and “solidarity” within a movement that has historically marginalize them. In order to make any true progress, Lorde maintained that women must agree in some measure to abandon these illusions of unity. Acknowledging women’s differences, accepting criticism and embracing each other’s anger will only make the feminist movement stronger.” Women of color are being blamed for dividing the Women’s March — and it’s nothing new (by Marie Solis, via @mic)

Good Things

  • “In an unprecedented event, nine black women were elected as circuit and district judges in Jefferson County, Alabama, this November. For a predominantly Republican state, the Democratic sweep came as a surprise, as Alabama is one of the few states that judges still have to run on party lines to get elected.” Why the Election of 9 Black Female Judges in Alabama Matters (by Lindsay Peoples via @TheCut)

Saturday

28

January 2017

0

COMMENTS

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, Reviews

Four Stars

Best for: People interested in one story of life under authoritarian governments.

In a nutshell: A professor uses literature as the framework for her memoir of life teaching in Iran.

Line that sticks with me: “Lack of empathy was to my mind the central sin of the regime, from which all the others flowed.”

Why I chose it: I flew the weekend after the election, and saw this in the airport. I figured perhaps it would be good to study up on life under leadership that doesn’t view everyone equally.

Review: I’d heard about this book many times before, and thought it was all about a group of young girls who got together to read literature that they couldn’t access in other venues. That’s not entirely accurate. Instead it is the memoir of a professor that includes, in some parts, a group of women in their 20s getting together with the professor to discuss literature.

The book is organized into four parts, each using an author as the background to the events. It does not go chronologically; it jumps around a bit, which I found somewhat challenging, although I think it ultimately works well.

The book spends a lot of time exploring what it means to both receive an education and try to educate others with the implementing many strict rules. Dr. Nafisi spends a fair bit of time, for example, looking at what it would mean to follow the requirement to wear the veil, as she would not choose to wear one if it were not mandated. Is that a fight that it is worth undertaking if it means she would not be able to share her lectures with her students?

I think one of the more shocking things for me was how almost casually the author discusses how many people – including some of her own students – are thrown in jail for years for seemingly minor issues. And then they are released and it’s … it’s a big deal but also not surprising. It’s terrifying, and I have to say that given the utterly despicable things the 45th president has done in just the last eight days, I don’t think it’s too ridiculous to think it could happen here, too.

Before reading this book, I knew very little about Iran in the 80s and 90s. And obviously reading one book does not mean I know much more than I did before. But through the lovely writing of Dr. Nafisi, I feel like I understand some of the different perspectives of those living under the regime.

Sunday

22

January 2017

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – January 21, 2017

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

It happened. But then the next day, millions of people showed up to fight back. Now we have to keep it up.

Fight Back

  • “Women’s March crowds at cities across the country on Saturday have grown so large that the only way to capture them is with overhead shots. Below, overhead photos and videos from Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Memphis, Nashville, Boston, Raleigh, and more.” Overhead Shots Show Massive Women’s March Crowds in Cities Across America (via @Slate)
  • “In some ways, protecting ourselves digitally in the Trump era will be the same as protecting ourselves in any other era, since good digital practices are important no matter who’s in power or what’s happening in the larger political sphere. The free speech threats under Trump, however, could well be greater than anything we’ve experienced in the past.” How To Protect Yourself Digitally In The Trump Era (by Vivian Wagner, via @ESTBLSHMNT)
  • “Allred said at the press conference that after Zervos came forward, Trump “lied, debased and denigrated” her in public, denying that he’d ever met her. She pointed out some of the many public statements Trump made about Zervos and the other women who accused him of sexual assault or harassment.” Former Apprentice Contestant Summer Zervos, Who Accused Trump of Sexual Harassment, Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Him (by Anna Merlan, h/t @Jezebel)
  • “I know that Empress Duchess Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, Queen of my heart, said “when they go low, we go high.” But see? I’m going to act like she followed that up with a silent “except when it comes for Donald Trump, then all bets are off.” I need that, because that dude goes so low that I feel like we have no choice but to go gutter.” A Handy Guide to Disrespecting Cheeto Satan From Inauguration and Beyond (by Luvvie Ajayi, via @Luvvie)
  • “Murphy had traveled to Philly from Toronto, where another data-rescuing hackathon had taken place a month prior. Murphy brought with her a list of all the data sets that were too tough for the Toronto volunteers to crack before their event ended. “Part of the work is finding where the data set is downloadable—and then sometimes that data set is hooked up to many other data sets,” she said, making a tree-like motion with her hands.” Rogue Scientists Race to Save Climate Data from Trump (by Zoe Schlanger, via @Wired)

Disability Rights

White Supremacy

“Justice” System

  • “Lori Kavitz is a mother of two boys, and is exactly the kind of prisoner this program was created for and yet, her clemency request was denied just last week. Advocates have no idea why. Meanwhile, men with much more significant criminal histories have already received clemency under the project.” Obama’s Clemency Program Has Failed Incarcerated Women (by Britni, via @ESTBLSHMNT)
  • “Republican lawmakers in the state introduced a bill last week in the legislature that would not hold motorists liable for negligently running over someone obstructing a roadway. The bill was introduced in response to a year of protests over a proposed pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.” Running over protesters on roadways could soon be legal in North Dakota (by Justin Boggs, h/t @AdamWeinstein)
  • “For much of modern American history, police officers were considered, by most judges and jurors, to be the most reliable narrators in a courtroom — professional and neutral arbiters of facts. The increasing prevalence of camera footage eroded that bedrock of the justice system, wiping out powers long held by law enforcement. Within the last half decade, a new reality has set in for cops, lawyers, and judges: Videos have replaced police reports and testimony as the most credible version of events, proving time and again, with increasing frequency, that police officers lie.” Blue Lies Matter (by Albert Samaha, via@BuzzFeedNews)

Misogyny

  • “The co-worker, however, did not want to speak with him, and instead left the office. In an effort not to be left alone with von Keyserling, the victim left with her co-worker. As she walked by, he allegedly “pinched her groin area.” She responded that if he ever did that again, she would punch him.” Connecticut Politician Arrested For Grabbing Woman’s Groin, Called it A ‘Joke’ (by Lauren Evans, via Jezebel)

45th President’s Policies

  • “At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.” Trump team prepares dramatic cuts (by Alexander Bolton, via @TheHill)
  • “However, photographs of the crowd gathered to watch the inauguration of the 45th president showed a smaller crowd than in past ceremonies, particularly the massive crowds that gathered to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as the nation’s first black president.” President Trump’s Spokesman Just Lied About The Size Of The Inauguration Crowd (by Salvador Hernandez, via @BuzzFeedNews)

Sunday

15

January 2017

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading: January 15, 2017

Written by , Posted in Childfree, Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

At this time next week, President Obama will be former President Obama. He did many things I disagree with, but I will miss him so much.

Fight Back

  • “During a town hall meeting, an ex-Reagan campaigner — who initially opposed Obamacare — stood in front of Paul Ryan and thanked President Obama, saying that without the ACA, he would be dead today. Ryan essentially offered him a lie, saying something to the effect that after the ACA is repealed, it will be replaced with high-risk pools, which do not work. But don’t worry. Paul Ryan also showed the town-hall audience that he knows how to do The Dab. SAVED!” The Appalling Last 24 Hours Of GOP Politics (by Dustin Rowles, @Pajiba)
  • “The platform supports increased accountability for perpetrators of police brutality and racial profiling, demanding the demilitarization of American law enforcement and an end to mass incarceration. It calls for comprehensive antidiscrimination protections, health care, and gender-affirming identity documents for LGBTQ people. It calls unions “critical to a healthy and thriving economy” and aligns the march with movements for the rights of sex workers, farmworkers, and domestic workers.” The Women’s March on Washington Has Released an Unapologetically Progressive Platform (by Christina Cauterucci, via @Slate)
  • “That’s right: Sessions was apparently too racist for the GOP of Ronald Reagan but will likely pass muster with the GOP of Donald Trump. And when critics say Sessions’s confirmation would be a blow to equality, it’s not just about comments from his past — it’s about his present-day views. His positions on voting rights, criminal justice, and immigration mean confirmation would represent a massive setback for civil rights for African Americans and other people of color.” If you want the truth about racism, listen to the Sessions hearing, not just Obama’s farewell (by Jenee Desmond-Harris, via @vox)

Ableism

  • “The outrage over the mocking stems from a perception of disability that is stigmatizing in and of itself: We’re a defenseless group, already leading pitiable lives. Never mind that Kovaleski is a successful, established reporter. Because of his disability, he’s viewed as an underdog. Streep’s speech directly played into this stigma, referring to Kovaleski as “someone [Trump] out-ranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back.” Though that’s true in that Kovaleski is just a journalist while Trump is a wealthy President-elect with a major following and constant media coverage, it’s evident that Streep meant what she said in reference to Kovaleski’s disability. Kovaleski has now become a shallow symbol of disability, a poor guy being bullied, while the rest of his humanity is ignored.” I’m A Disabled Woman Who’s NOT Celebrating Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech (by Emily Ladau, via @ESTBLSHMNT)

Capitalism

  • “As a businessman, he said it was fair enough for him to be concerned about protecting his properties from abusive partners who might smash his doors down. He admitted that the system was stacked against single people on average or lower incomes — but said poor people were not his concern.” Kent landlord bans ‘battered wives’ and single mothers from renting properties (by Charlotte England, h/t @ACallToMenUK)

Representation

“Justice” System

  • “Although Mosby’s attorneys said she had immunity from prosecution for actions taken as a state’s attorney, Garbis noted that her office had said it conducted an independent investigation.” Federal Judge Allows Malicious Prosecution Lawsuit Against Marilyn Mosby to Proceed (by Monique Judge, via The Root)
  • “Police officers are starkly divided by race, about race. Among white officers, 92 percent say the country has made the changes needed to give black people equal rights to white people. Just 6 percent of white officers say the country needs to continue making changes to give black people equal rights. Among black officers, those percentages are 29 percent and 69 percent, respectively. The racial gap on the issue among police officers is much wider than it is among all Americans. Among both white and black Americans, civilians are far more likely than officers to say the country needs to keep changing to address racism.” Police Officers Say Scrutiny Of Police Killings Has Made Their Job Tougher (by Carl Bialik, via Five Thirty Eight)

Reproductive Choice

  • “Once you have kids, you start to want them to do better, to be better off, than everyone else, and you make decisions that may be good for your own family but not for society or the world. People always talk about having kids as an unselfish act. And it is true that once you have them, you, in some sense, subordinate yourself to them. But you also subordinate everything else to them, as an extension of yourself, which makes you far more, rather than less, selfish. When you say, “I’d give the world for you,” you mean it, and you do.” My wife and I don’t want kids. Ever. So I decided to get a vasectomy. (by Baynard Woods, via @Vox)
  • “H.R. 490 (legislative text found here) would prohibit abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. This can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — a time period before many women know they’re pregnant.” A New Bill Introduced in Congress Would Constitute a Total Abortion Ban (by Gabriella Paiella, via @NYMag)

Sexual Assault

  • “Preventing colleges from investigating sexual assault incidents until the conclusion of a criminal case, which typically takes anywhere from six months to three years, sometimes even longer, would directly conflict with what the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights says schools must do under the gender equity law Title IX.” Georgia Lawmaker Wants To Stop Colleges From Investigating Rapes (by Tyler Kingkade, via @BuzzFeedNews)

Sunday

8

January 2017

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – January 8, 2017

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

The horror show of the incoming administration continues to unfold. The latest? Paul Ryan seeking to deny access to medical care to millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood. The misogyny is strong with that one.

Fight Back

  • “The use of the rule would not be simple; a majority of the House and the Senate would still have to approve any such amendment. At the same time, opponents and supporters agree that the work of 2.1 million civil servants, designed to be insulated from politics, is now vulnerable to the whims of elected officials.” House Republicans revive obscure rule that allows them to slash the pay of individual federal workers to $1 (by Jenna Portnoy and Lisa Rein, via @WashingtonPost)
  • “Call it what you want. I don’t care. Complain that we’re making shit about race — you know what? We are. Complain that we’re keeping the left from focusing only on class — yup, and proudly so. Complain all you want because I am not and will never be ashamed of focusing on the politics of identity. I will not feel a moment’s guilt for slowing this whole train down to make sure that everyone can get on and we’re on the right track. I will proudly own up to making shit hard for you.” Thank God For Identity Politics (by Ijeoma Oluo, via @ESTBLSHMNT)
  • “Paul Ryan said that he would roll defunding Planned Parenthood into the reconciliation bill that will also include repealing Obamacare. That it’s a reconciliation bill means that in the Senate, they need only 50 votes to pass it. Republicans have 52 seats. As Kylie pointed out, defunding both Obamacare and Planned Parenthood would be a double whammy for low-income women and could be seen as an attack on human rights.” The Nightmarish Last 24 Hours of GOP Politics, Summarized (by Dustin Rowles, via @Pajiba)
  • ““We have got just a tremendous number of calls to our office here and district offices concerned about this,” Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) said, according to Bloomberg News. Jones’ Communications Director Allison Tucker told ThinkProgress the congressman also received numerous emails and messages on Facebook from constituents.” Flooded with phone calls from voters, House GOP drops effort to gut ethics panel (by Kira Lerner, via @ThinkProgress)
  • “I hate to disappoint anyone, but the breaking point for me wasn’t the trolls themselves (if I have learned anything from the dark side of Twitter, it is how to feel nothing when a frog calls you a cunt) – it was the global repercussions of Twitter’s refusal to stop them. The white supremacist, anti-feminist, isolationist, transphobic “alt-right” movement has been beta-testing its propaganda and intimidation machine on marginalised Twitter communities for years now – how much hate speech will bystanders ignore? When will Twitter intervene and start protecting its users? – and discovered, to its leering delight, that the limit did not exist. No one cared.” I’ve left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators (by Lindy West, at The Guardian)
  • “These days everybody from left to right — from Dean Baker to conservative Arthur C. Brooks — addresses this breakdown of the labor market by advocating full employment, as if having a job is self-evidently a good thing, no matter how dangerous, demanding or demeaning it is. But “full employment” is not the way to restore our faith in hard work, or in playing by the rules or whatever. (Note that the official unemployment rate is already below 6 percent, which is pretty close to what economists used to call full employment.) Crappy jobs for everyone won’t solve any social problem we now face.” Column: Why we need to say goodbye to work (by James Livingston at PBS)

“Justice” System

  • ““[Cuomo] has rejected a groundbreaking and bipartisan fix to our deeply flawed public defense system and left in place the status quo, in which the state violates the rights of New Yorkers every day and delivers unequal justice,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.” New York governor celebrates New Year’s by denying effective counsel to the state’s poor (by Kira Lerner, via @ThinkProgress)
  • “According to the report, Dajerria Becton and her legal guardian, Shashona Becton, filed a complaint last month claiming that former Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt violated the teen’s constitutional rights through the use of excessive force and holding her without probable cause. The family is also saying that the city and the Police Department are responsible for her injuries by not training officers properly.” Black Teen Slammed to Ground at Texas Pool Party Sues Ex-Cop, City for $5,000,000 (by Breanna Edwards, via @TheRoot)
  • “Organized by the Arundel Bay Area Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc., “Race & the Law” was one of more than 225 similar events held around the country last year and more than 50 such events scheduled across the nation in the first three months of 2017. They are places where anxious black parents bring their children in hopes of preparing them for potentially fateful encounters with the police. They are, in essence, mini boot camps for children about how to be black in 21st-century America.” Black parents take their kids to school on how to deal with police (by Janell Ross, via @WashingtonPost)

Sports

  • “In the first half of the Sugar Bowl, ESPN’s Brent Musburger embarked on a bumbling broadcast booth thought experiment about Mixon. He called the punch “troubling,” an adjective the (relative lack of) severity of which would be better applied to his own words than Mixon’s actions, before wishing the running back luck in the NFL. In and of itself, the soliloquy was tone deaf, not to mention what Musburger didn’t say. He uttered not a word about Molitor, and it would have been so easy. He could have wished her well in her recovery, or acknowledged that the video of the punch, released in December, seemed to show both students’ anger issues. At the least he could have expressed hope that both had dealt with that anger and would move on healed from that night. But not a word.” Joe Mixon’s actions, and how we’ve viewed them, cast shadow over Sugar Bowl (by Joan Niesen, via @JoanNiesen)

Sunday

25

December 2016

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading: December 25, 2016

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

Fight Back:

  • “Access to the franchise is now the object of an all-out political battle. Those committed to protecting people’s right to vote — as well as their actual ability to exercise this right — must organize accordingly.” The voting rights manifesto: a state-by-state plan to defend democracy (via @Vox)
  • ““I believe it was voter suppression laws from the state government that crushed turnout,” said Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki, one of two officials who oversees local elections. “They tend to hit hardest on people who are poor, who don’t drive and don’t have a license, who are minorities.”” Election officials focus on whether voter ID laws contributed to Hillary Clinton’s defeat (by Jaweed Kaleem, h/t @greenhousenyt)
  • “A day after Vanity Fair published a negative review of Trump Grill, the steakhouse at Trump Tower in New York City, Trump mocked the magazine for having a low circulation and personally attacked the publication’s editor by name as a “no talent.”” Trump smears magazine editor who published a critical review of Trump Grill (by Josh Israel, via @thinkprogress)
  • “A group of activists protesting the proposed construction of a new youth detention center interrupted King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray during the press conference. Activists, many of who were people of color, called on Constantine and Murray to use their power to oppose granting a master use permit to begin construction on a proposed replacement facility, which would have “112 [beds], about half the capacity of the current complex,” The Seattle Times reports.” While WA Politicians Declare State a “Hate-Free Zone,” Protesters Make a Call for Action (by Ana Sofia Knauf, @asknauf)
  • “So, for her final photography assignment, she created #SignedByTrump, a jarring NSFW collection that features Trump’s derogatory comments he’s made about women, including fashion models, previous Apprentice contestants, and talk show hosts. She uploaded the images to her Tumblr after they were deleted from Instagram and Facebook.” These Photos Put Trump’s Sexist Words On Women’s Naked Bodies (by Patty Affriol, via @bust_magazine)

Racism

  • “Hey—hey America, can we talk about racism for a second? Everyone else, feel free to listen in, but America . . . we really need to talk. Why? Because you seem to think the only racism that counts is the kind that involves crosses being burned on lawns by people in white hoods. In reality, it’s the way that racism is passed down through generations—the way that it is taught passively and overtly—that should concern you. And one of the many ways this happens is via our deeply flawed education system.” We Need To Talk About Racism In Education (by Mikki Kendal, @Karnythia)

Supporting Diversity

  • “As an industry, we’ve made some progress, but not nearly enough to where newsrooms look like the diversity of the places we cover. And while we are in a moment of reflection about how we could have collectively done better covering white working class and rural white Americans, many of our newsrooms are still lacking diversity of thought, race, gender, ethnicity, class and disability.” How newsrooms can stop being so white (by Tanzina Vega, @tanzinavega)
  • “On Monday, the organization unveiled Backing Black Business, an interactive map and directory of online stores where customers can purchase food, health and beauty supplies, entertainment, and lifestyle goods — all from retailers owned by black people. The site also includes nonprofits, and allows business owners to add themselves to the database.” Black Lives Matter launches site to support black businesses across the country (by Carimah Townes, via @thinkprogress)

Civil Rights

  • “Fractured and short-fused before Christmas, the North Carolina legislature adjourned Wednesday evening without repealing a law that had polarized a national debate by restricting transgender people’s use of certain public restrooms.” North Carolina Legislature Fails To Repeal Bathroom Law After Deal Breaks Down (by Dominic Holden and Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, via @dominicholden)

Reproductive Rights

  • “In a move that could affect thousands of low-income women, state health officials on Tuesday delivered a final legal notice to defund the organization from the Medicaid program through which it provides family planning and women’s health services to the poor. Planned Parenthood had previously received $3.1 million in Medicaid funding, but those dollars will be nixed in 30 days, according to the notice which was obtained by The Texas Tribune.” Texas officially kicking Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid (by Alexa Ura, h/t @evanasmith)

Sexual Assault

  • “Saying publicly that you were sexually assaulted can open you up to scrutiny and to the pain of having to repeatedly defend yourself from all corners against claims that you are lying or seeking attention. You also risk becoming narrowly defined not only as “the woman who was raped” but also “the resilient survivor.” You are both simultaneously what happened to you and recovered from it, too. There is no room to exist somewhere in between. To be not just a survivor, but someone who is actively surviving.” The Ballerina Who Accused Her Instructor of Sexual Assault (by Jessica Luther, @scATX)

Sunday

4

December 2016

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – December 4, 2016

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

Fight Back

  • “Here’s the thing. You either believe in justice and equality or you don’t. You either believe that people of color are human beings deserving of full rights or you don’t. There are no preconditions to that. There are no exceptions to that. You believe in my humanity or you don’t.” You Don’t Have To Like Me—You Just Have To Believe I’m A Human Being (via @IjeomaOluo)
  • “Now is the time to confront the weak core at the heart of America’s addiction to optimism; it allows too little room for resilience, and too much for fragility. Hazy visions of “healing” and “not becoming the hate we hate” sound dangerously like appeasement. The responsibility to forge unity belongs not to the denigrated but to the denigrators. The premise for empathy has to be equal humanity; it is an injustice to demand that the maligned identify with those who question their humanity.” Now I the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About (h/t @alexisgoldstein)
  • “The language could not be any more specific or clear. Donald Trump will breach the contract on Jan. 20, when, while continuing to benefit from the lease, he will become an “elected official of the Government of the United States.”” GSA’s Trump Hotel Lease Debacle (h/t @JuddLegum)
  • “The truth is that social justice and economic justice are not mutually exclusive. Those who would sacrifice one for the other will end up with neither, which is of course what the unscrupulous narcissists manspreading at the gates of power are counting on.” No, identity politics is not to blame for the failures of the left (via @PennyRed)
  • “Indeed, the parallels between the conservative and liberal movements right now are chilling: On both sides, white men are controlling the narrative. And on both sides, these narratives are relying on the scapegoating of minority groups, and the repudiation of a fight for civil rights (because, to be clear, “identity politics” is code for civil rights).” Why Are ‘Liberal’ White Men Asking Us To Stop Fighting For Our Rights? (via The Establishment)
  • “Not everyone can, or wants to be, this public about their political views, however. “I’m an introvert and don’t feel comfortable putting myself out there.” “Making my political views public will get me fired.” “It’s not safe for me to talk about opposing Trump.”” 5 Ways To Be A Silent Trump Protestor (via The Establishment)

Health Disparities

  • “The New York City Department of Health report on maternal morbidity, which is based on similar information as Howell’s report, found Black women experienced a rate of near misses of 386.9 per 100,000 deliveries, or more than a third of all near misses in the city. The highest rates of near misses are experienced by women living in the city’s neighborhoods with high percentages of residents with African heritage.” Segregation Increases Black Women’s Risks for Severe Birth-Related Injuries (via @Rewire_News)

Representation in Media

  • “The black actors of Gilmore Girls rarely get to speak. Except here.” Gilmore Blacks (h/t @margeincharge)
  • “If White Supremacy is ever going to be abolished, those who created and maintain it—white people—must remain accountable and fully invested in its abolishment, which includes dissecting the films and shows we create and the stories we tell. And after watching the new series, we’re left wondering: Were these stories worth telling?” ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life’ Has A White Feminism Problem (via The Establishment)

Reproductive Health

  • “Price has voted for extreme bans on abortion care and coverage and vowed to end Obamacare. This nomination is yet another signal that Trump plans to make good on his promise to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, and punish women who have abortions by making the Hyde Amendment permanent,” Destiny Lopez, co-director of All* Above All, said in a statement. “Trump has no mandate to take away women’s basic rights and we plan to fight these heinous proposals every step of the way.” Trump Taps ‘Entirely Unfit’ Anti-Choice Congressman to Lead HHS (via @Rewire_News)

Sexual Assault

White Supremacy

  • “Avoid using the term generically and without definition, however, because it is not well known and the term may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience. In the past we have called such beliefs racist, neo-Nazi or white supremacist.” Writing about the ‘alt-right’ (via @AP)

Monday

28

November 2016

0

COMMENTS

It’s back! What I’m reading … for the last 12 months

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, What I'm Reading

I used to post a weekly update of articles I was interested in and thought you might care about too. Given the state of things right now, I think it’s time to bring it back. Some of the below are a bit old, but still relevant.

Fight Back

  • “Create a home base for the evening, where folks who are protesting can take physical and emotional breaks indoors with others.” 26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets (via @A_S_Alexander)
  • “All of these guidelines are intended to help you: spend your time and energy in an effective way, build psychological safety so the potential ally feels comfortable asking questions and expressing doubt, serve as a role model by consistently acting warm and compassionate while also sticking to your values, continue the discussion only as long as the potential ally is still making progress, and end in a way that makes them feel safe coming back to talk to you again.” A Guide To Changing Hearts And Minds—Without Starting A Fight (via @ESTBLSHMNT)
  • “Protect our progress. Support each other.” Feminist, LGBTQIA, Race/Gender Inclusive, Anti-Ableist, Progressive Volunteer Opportunities and Organizations, State by State (via @remember_the_e)
  •  “A lot of these ideas are about building strong communities and connections, stuff everyone can do, even if you don’t have a lot of money, power, or influence. It’s about working in small ways, and big ways, and taking time to make sure we stay safe and loved in Trump’s America.” 10 Ways to Resist Donald Trump (via @bitchmedia)
  • “A daily email of suggested actions to help others and reduce the impact of racism, sexism, class and income inequality, disability discrimination, and more.” Actions (via @mikkipedia)
  • “Now is the time to affirm our support for those whose lives are in danger. Bigots are not in fear for their lives because they are bigots. People of color are. A “difference of opinion” is how you like your coffee, or debates over trade and economic policy. Opinions that dehumanize others, that incite violence against them, cannot be treated as merely “opinions.” They must be called what they are: bigotry.” Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves (h/t @prisonculture)
  • “We recommend the following books for all families, but especially for parents of white children who may be struggling to talk about racial injustice with their kids and teens. We intentionally only featured a handful of “history” books and did not include the many wonderful biographies and histories of movement leaders because, though we carry those books in our store, too often discussions of racial justice and racism focus on the past, on the Civil Rights Movement in isolation or on individual heroes. Change begins now, with white people, in this present moment.” Books to Teach White Children and Teens How to Undo Racism and White Supremacy (h/t @SisterSong_WOC)

Feminism

  • “Despite all the work we do towards sex worker safety, there is also a lot of organizing being done that makes things worse for sex workers. Prohibitionists, or people who seek to, in their view, “rescue” sex workers actually make sex work more dangerous. They claim that they have the best interest of sex workers in mind, while simultaneously destroying our safety nets. These “rescue” attempts fail, because criminalization only feeds crime against us and because they’re based off of failed Drug War ideas.” Want To Be An Ally To Sex Workers? Here’s What You Need To Understand To Help Keep Us Safe (via @BGDblog)
  • “Some of these works—fiction, non-fiction, and poetry—are engaging with feminism directly, and some are just inherently feminist. Of course, no list could fully address all of the feminist books out there, so simply consider this a starting point. But get started quickly, before Pence gets his hands on a uterus near you.” 40 New Feminist Classics You Should Read (h/t @Bookriot)

Racism

#NotMyPresident

Monday

14

November 2016

0

COMMENTS

Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Politics, Reviews

Four Stars

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I’m still so angry that I’m surprised I could focus long enough to finish this book. I started it right before the election, and finished it this weekend, in between quietly (I was visiting family) screaming at Twitter and just generally being pissed at how racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic and just plain shitty so many people are in this country.

But I digress.

This is a useful book right now, as we all know that the sexists who may have been thinly veiled already are starting to show their asses even more. It is focused specifically on workplace sexism, which is perfect because the rules of engagement in that arena differ from, say, figuring out whether you want to kick directly in the balls the man who grabbed your arm on a street corner. It’s a more challenging environment, because how you react to the sexism can ultimately hurt you. Which is bullshit, but still true.

Ms. Bennett breaks the book down into six sections: Know the Enemy, Know Thyself, Booby Traps, Get Your Speak On, F You Pay Me, and What Would Josh Do. Each section takes on a different component of workplace misogyny, describing the problem and then offering some realistic and varying ways of responding. She isn’t telling us that every solution will work each time; she’s helping us build our arsenal so that we have the right weapon to deploy at the right time.

I am lucky in that my actual office is not particularly sexist. My team is more women than men, my boss is a woman (and so is her boss, and her boss’s boss, who happens to also be the head of the agency). However, outside my workplace, I am in a field full of not just men, but a lot of men in traditionally ‘manly’ roles – police, fire, military – which can include some … let’s go with ‘outdated’ actions and statements. While I’m not looking forward to needing to use the advice in this book, I am looking forward to using it effectively.

I think this is a great gift book to any young woman in your life who is entering the work force, or any woman currently in the work force, or any man in the work force (because they need to know what we are facing).