- Obama just spoke this morning at the Planned Parenthood 2013 National Conference – watch parts of the speech here.
- Wack news out of Florida, as they try to ban race- and sex-selective abortions.
- Put the Pill on Drugstore Shelves. Pregnancy Is More Dangerous Than Birth Control.
- What Real Teenage Families look like
- What Do Women, Immigrants And Gay People All Have In Common?
- More on “choice,” “reproductive justice,” and the ongoing semantic battle that our movement faces
- While the US cuts abortion access, Australia likely to increase it
- There’s been some horrible stuff going on at the University of Arizona. Trigger warning for rape apology and victim blaming.
LaTanya Mapp Frett, Planned Parenthood Vice President – Global, on why women in the peace corps should have the same access to abortion as other women serving our government. More info here.
End Street Harassment Week was the week of April 7th.
That week was also the first nice weather we’ve seen in a while. I didn’t think it was a coincidence.
Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking, and assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly and even scary for many girls, women, and LGBQT folks. It limits their access to public spaces.
Even if you don’t know the term “street harassment”, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s overt, like stalking or unwanted touching. Sometimes it’s not as blatant: it’s a man telling you to “smile, baby” or a man asking your name because he just “wants to get to know you.” These things can be street harassment too.
The reality of street harassment means thinking twice about your outfit or your makeup before you go out to avoid unwanted attention. It means taking a cab instead of the subway to get away from strangers. It means sizing up situations constantly, knowing that even the most innocent smiles from strangers can quickly escalate to unsafe situations. It means keeping your head down to avoid eye contact, knowing that any attention, even accidental, could become threatening. This might sound totally reactionary and paranoid to some people, but it’s the reality for a lot of folks — specifically women and gender non-conforming folks.
Street harassment maintains the divide between the public sphere and the private sphere – it means that women can’t feel comfortable in their own neighborhoods. It exacerbates the objectification that we already feel – just because we are in public doesn’t mean our bodies are public property.
What can we do about street harassment? We can name it, we can call it out, we can talk to our [male] [cisgendered] [straight] allies about what they can do. We can talk to each other, because that’s what gives us power: knowing we’re not alone.
Here are some links from #EndSHweek:
- The always brilliant Zerlina Maxwell wrote about SH for Ebony.
- One of my favorite: some kickass illustrated responses to street harassment. (some are a little bit violent for my taste)
- Did you see Hollaback’s new ads in Philly? They are excellent.
- If you still think it’s a compliment and we should just lighten up.
- Dear catcallers, go home. A letter from a fed-up young lady.
- To cheer you up: Cat Calling Cats.
- And heres a great roundup from Stop Street Harassment.
Most of the time, when I think about threats to someone’s reproductive health, I think about the ability to access services – does the person have health insurance of some kind, can they easily get to a health care provider who is trained and not judgmental, are there local laws that will impact their ability to access birth control, prenatal care, or abortion services.
I don’t usually think about the chemical environment we live in. I do some green things – I recycle and I try to buy organic. But chemicals and reproductive health have only the vaguest connection in my mind.
The truth is, every day we eat, drink, breathe, and touch chemicals. Some of those chemicals can affect our health, fertility, ability to have a healthy pregnancy, raise healthy children, and more. We know that toxic chemicals affect our hormones, and can cause a litany of health problems, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects, learning disabilities, and more.
Want to see more about what I’m talking about, in a simple, animated way?
So, since today is Earth Day, it’s the perfect day to take action.
- Check out whether your personal care products are safe.
- Write to your member of Congress. Tell them you want the FDA to eliminate harmful chemicals from the products women, men, and children put on their bodies every day. (h/t Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)
- Check out Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national organization working to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm our health.
- Learn more about why toxic chemicals are a reproductive justice issue here, here, and here.
- Read up on Planned Parenthood’s Green Choices initiative, working to provide people with the information they need to create a sustainable, healthy world – and be able to have a healthy baby, if and when you want to. There are even some recipes for safer cleaning products you can easily make at home (personally, I’m thinking the drain cleaner sounds like a fun science experiment for my daughter).
Image h/t Mothers for Sustainable Energy
Today is GLSEN’s national Day of Silence, in which students take a one-day vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effects of bullying and harassment in schools.
Great image on what consent is and how it should work – because only yes means yes.
On preventing STDs among Native American youth – through peer education.
- Check out these kids in their blue and pink rooms – astounding.
- Groups supporting the contraception mandate in President Obama’s healthcare law collected and formally filed almost 350,000 comments on the policy.
- Face-Palm, America: French Government Will Cover All Abortion and Contraception
- 100 Amazing trans Americans you should know.
- This week was End Street Harassment Week – here’s a roundup of links and check out Hollaback!’s awesome PSAs in Philly.
Wednesday was a national day for rallying for comprehensive immigration reform. Hundreds rallied in White Plains and thousands more across the nation.
Are you wearing red today?
You should be. April 9th marks the last day of the year that the average American woman is in the red.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry – you’re not alone. And, I will happily explain. Read on.
Big news! And good news for a change: Federal court rules emergency contraceptives needs to be sold over the counter. This is a huge victory!
- Planned Parenthood Does Not Endorse Infanticide and We Can’t Believe That Even Needs to Be Clarified but apparently it does. More on that: “The headlines in conservative media for the last few days would be shocking — if they were true.”
- Washington State Bill Would Require All Health Insurers to Cover Abortion
- Why Is North Dakota Torturing Women?
- Some Feministing editors are unveiling an impact paper o April 8th about online feminism. Read about it here and then get involved.
- Did you see our post about GYT? It’s April, which is STD Awareness Month. Don’t forget to Get Yourself Tested in the next few weeks!
Have a great weekend!