Weekly Feminist Reader

Lots of linky goodness this week!
Will Saletan once again mistakenly believes the anti-abortion movement will support broader access to contraception.
The Seattle Times seems shocked that straight dudes are into Project Runway, too. (Thanks to straight-dude and Runway fan Darin for the link…)
Apparently 30-year-old women only like fluffy news. This from a 31-year-old woman… who works for US Weekly. Yeah.
The Washington Post profiles the horrendous, anti-sex Kansas AG, Phill Kline.
A new book speculates that maybe the ranks of nuns are declining because women these days are less likely to put up with patriarchal institutions like the Catholic church.
Shockingly, early abortions are hard for many women to obtain! A new article in the journal Contraception examines some of the reasons.
In the latest issue of Bust, Amy Poehler asks us all to grow our bushes out tall, wide and proud. Literally and metaphorically.
The Boston Globe fact-checks statistics on how men and women use language.
A group of scientists has gotten together to support political candidates who believe science should trump ideology.
Soldier Suzanne Swift, who went AWOL because she was sexually harassed, has been charged.
An Ohio judge strikes down a law that restricts how doctors can provide the abortion pill Mifeprex (commonly known by its French name, RU-486).
If the Democrats retake the House in November, it would mean significantly more women in positions of power in Congress.
The New Republic assigns a “strategic assessment of the Mommy Wars” to James Wolcott, a childless dude. He proceeds to be condescending toward women on all sides of the issue. The piece is titled “Meow Mix,” clearly because this isn’t a complicated debate wrapped up in class, education, power, and feminist issues. Nope, it’s a catfight.
Teen pregnancies are still on the way down. Experts with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy say it’s due to comprehensive sex ed and increased contraception use. Conservatives conflate comprehensive sex ed with abstinence-only, and claim their medically inaccurate, stereotype-packed programs are to be credited for the decline.
The Governator signs a bill to ensure the personal contact information of abortion providers isn’t made public.
Trojan gives universities a grade based on how accessible they make sexual health information and services.
“Model minority” pressures are driving young Asian women to attempt suicide.
Rebecca Traister takes NOW to task for their support of Jeanine Pirro.

and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

15 Comments

  1. sojourner
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Ann,
    It’s Suzanne Swift who has been charged; that’s what the headline says, not the man who sexually harrassed her.

  2. orwoody
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Just a general observation, but Suzanne Swift was a low ranked enlisted soldier, not an officer. I think that the story is that she was alledgedly “harassed” or worse by an officer.
    Keep up the good work.
    Woody

  3. Ann
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, guys.
    Changes made.

  4. Mallorie
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    The Trojan grading of universities was interesting. I had one problem with it though: They use only “A” or “F” under the column of condom availability. I currently attend LSU,(#30 on the list), which was given an F, and I know that condoms are available on campus. But they aren’t Trojan brand. I really hope they didn’t skew their recording of this simply because a school only hands out Lifestyles and makes you pay for Trojans in the healthcenter…

  5. colddaye
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Mallorie: Are Lifestyles free? If so, then I think that branding may have skewed the grade. I would be curious to know where they checked for availability because I know you can get free condoms at places other than the health center at my school (which wasn’t even on the list, so I guess it doesn’t matter).
    Also, that fluffy news bit seemed to be more of a “women intake information differently”. Men watch the shows, women read it online or in magazines…could be giving the piece too much credit.

  6. Mallorie
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    “Are Lifestyles free? If so, then I think that branding may have skewed the grade.”
    Yeah, the Lifestyles are free and handed out in a couple of places. I’d consider them to be available, but I guess some students wouldn’t know to go to the Women’s Center, or would be embarassed to ask for them at the healthcenter.

  7. Fitz
    Posted October 2, 2006 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    ”Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns” Lafayette College instructor Kenneth Brigg s, a former religion editor at The New York Times and Newsday , he indicts what he characterizes as the clergy’s use of control and convoluted tradition to ”make fools” of the women who have served with dedication in roles from teaching to caring for the sick.
    This article does a good job of debunking the author’s main thesis. The actual nuns he talks to reject the “authoritarian & patriarchal� pap that he asserts as the reason for declining vocations. The truth is that vocations in general have fallen short since that watershed year of 1968. I read skimmed this book in my local Borders and its not surprising that the gentleman was a former NYT religious editor. Most of his charges are easily explained and debunked.
    Not mentioned in the article is the vocations of women religious are on the upswing in the last ten years & that the growth is in the most orthodox orders. It does mention the traditional habit that is making a comeback. Orders that rejected its use found themselves being basically poor, celibate, women with no public acknowledgement of their vocation. Kind of takes the mystique out of it.

  8. EG
    Posted October 2, 2006 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    “Orders that rejected its use found themselves being basically poor, celibate, women with no public acknowledgement of their vocation.”
    Ah, like social workers, then. At least, single social workers who aren’t seeing anybody. So this leads to the question of whether or not the vocation in and of itself is actually fulfilling, if public acknowledgment is so vital. I’m not one to dismiss the importance of public respect for one’s work, but unhabited nuns are hardly alone in lacking public respect and acknowledgment; indeed, most female-identified and public-service careers are in the same boat.
    And…mystique? I’m not at all religious, but I thought the point was religious devotion, not…mystique.

  9. nonwhiteperson
    Posted October 2, 2006 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Nuns are sexy. Madonna said so herself.
    /sarcasm

  10. Fitz
    Posted October 2, 2006 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    EG
    “So this leads to the question of whether or not the vocation in and of itself is actually fulfilling…mystique? I’m not at all religious, but I thought the point was religious devotion, not…mystique.”
    Well the vocation can be very fulfilling and part of that is its connection to a larger tradition and continuity with the past. Your mentioning social workers are quite to the point. They don’t enjoy a great deal of prestige (which they should) .A women religious in an order gives more than her career and prospects of marriage; she gives her entire life to Christ & his Church. When you remove this from its true heritage and sense of connection to the past (& all those millions of dedicated women who came before) you are indeed removing part of the mystique. The Catholic Church knows all about symbology , a women religious in habit is the New Eve, the New Mary, the Bride of Christ. It is unfair to ask her to make such a religious devotion while denying the importance of those symbols.

  11. Posted October 2, 2006 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Well the vocation can be very fulfilling and part of that is its connection to a larger tradition and continuity with the past.
    Continuity with the past doesn’t make anything more fulfilling. The most depressing vocations are often the most traditional ones: housewifery, caring for one’s eldery parents, domestic service…

  12. Posted October 2, 2006 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Alon, in general that may be true, but part of the value of religion *itself* derives from a sense of history and tradition. This is what separates religion from philosophy — anyone could have an epiphany about the meaning of life, but having an historic organization dedicated to this thought makes it somehow more meaningful.
    Note, this is apart from any discussion of the value of specific doctrines or practices. I’m just noting that religion is different from any other random tradition because continuity is part of what integrates it into people’s lives — whereas traditions like occupations, etc., apply only to one aspect of a person’s life.

  13. Posted October 2, 2006 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    You know, just two and a half hours ago I wrote something to that effect about the importance of religion to people’s identity.
    I still don’t think it’s going to make religious work any more fulfilling. Caring for elderly parents surely supports one’s family obligations and family-based identity, both of which are very strong even if they’re politically invisible on account of their not killing people. And yet, people who care for elderly parents full-time (but not social workers in geriatric care) tend to be as depressed as homemakers.

  14. Posted October 3, 2006 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Alon, I’m just going to say that it’s incredibly disrespectful of you to malign other people’s beliefs just because you spot imperfections. Just because it doesn’t do anything for you, isn’t reason to question the motives of people for whom it’s important.

  15. Fitz
    Posted October 3, 2006 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Levy seems to avoid my more substantial critique of his worldview on Religion (over at Majikthise) and instead reveals his misunderstanding of the Christian perspective here.
    http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2006/09/recommended_rea_3.html#comments
    “Continuity with the past doesn’t make anything more fulfilling. The most depressing vocations are often the most traditional ones: housewifery, caring for one’s eldery parents, domestic service…â€?
    The history of Christianity shows a emphasis on agape (sacrificial love) it is precisely the struggle and self sacrifice that makes such occupations noble and worthwhile. Indeed this lies at the very hart of Christain doctrine. Christ sacrificial suffering for mankind.

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

175 queries. 0.859 seconds