Weekly Feminist Reader

Anti-choice acvitism reaches a fever pitch in Mississippi.
Reframing fighting cancer as… sexy? (The lead paragraph is incredibly annoying.)
GPS shoes for sex workers warn police, or, more likely, sex-worker outreach groups when the alarm is triggered.
What the demise of Punk Planet says about media consolidation.
More on the campus birth control price spike.
Shocker: Discrimination drives people to leave the workforce: “What is pushing these professionals out is not, by and large, overt racism and sexism but rather a series of more covert actions that end up undermining their trust and respect for their company and colleagues.”
Chinese couples try to circumvent the country’s forced abortion policies by doing everything from bribing officials to filing lawsuits.
On feminism and baking cookies.
If an Albany hospital merges with a Catholic hospital, they’ll be cutting their women’s health services (i.e. contraception, tubal ligations, and counseling).
Your weight could affect how effective your birth control pills are.
On whether it’s appropriate to compare Elvira Arellano and Rosa Parks.
Some DC firehouses may be running a prostitution ring. (Talk about a hostile work environment.)
HHS bows to pressure from infant formula companies and “tones down” ads about the benefits of breast-feeding.
U.S. childbirth deaths are on the rise.
And the 16th Erase Racism carnival!

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22 Comments

  1. Posted September 2, 2007 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    LOVED the article about baking cookies. my boyfriend loves to bake cookies w/ my daughter…not related really…but something i enjoy seeing…
    when are we going to stop allowing anti-choicers to limit our lives? those articles make me hurt for our children. i will never understand why they want to take our choices away

  2. bridgetka
    Posted September 2, 2007 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    federal health officials commissioned an attention-grabbing advertising campaign a few years ago to convince mothers that their babies faced real health risks if they did not breast-feed. It featured striking photos of insulin syringes and asthma inhalers topped with rubber nipples.
    Evil formula company lobbyists aside, I agree that such ads are inappropriate. All shit like that does is make women feel bad. Until this country steps up and makes breastfeeding even remotely feasible for women, it’s got no business scaring the bejesus out of the woman who has to go back to work at McDonald’s two weeks after she gives birth in order to keep her apartment, putting her child in welfare-run daycare 12 hours a day. No business at all.
    I really hate the guilt-mongering and sanctimony that comes off the extremes of both sides. On one end you’ve got the formula companies, and on the other you’ve got the loonies who insinuate that women who bottlefeed are terrible, inferior mothers who don’t really love their children and might just as well set them on fire they’re so neglectful and abusive. Please.

  3. Posted September 2, 2007 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    If feminism these days is all about sexiness as power . . .
    That’s a pretty huge “if.”

  4. Shyva
    Posted September 2, 2007 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    What I want to know is why religious organizations are still allowed to make rules for major health centers such as hospitals.
    I understand that historically hospitals started out being largely run by the Catholic church as outreach in helping the community, doing good works, etc., but damn, this is the 21st century. Why are we still allowing medical decisions to be dictated by somebody else’s antiquated moral beliefs about reproductive health?
    The whole thing makes me see red.

  5. Mina
    Posted September 2, 2007 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    “I understand that historically hospitals started out being largely run by the Catholic church as outreach in helping the community, doing good works, etc., but damn, this is the 21st century.”
    I got the impression that a whole bunch of hospitals are still largely run by the Catholic church (not as in pulling the hospital owners’ strings, but as in being the hospital owners).
    “Why are we still allowing medical decisions to be dictated by somebody else’s antiquated moral beliefs about reproductive health?”
    Isn’t it more like “why are we still relying on someone with antiquated moral beliefs about reproductive health for medical decisions?”?
    From what I’ve heard, some places have only one hospital within a reasonable distance and some of these hospitals are Catholic-church-run. It seems that in those areas, finding a surgeon who wasn’t basically hired by the church could be very difficult…

  6. Shyva
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    “From what I’ve heard, some places have only one hospital within a reasonable distance and some of these hospitals are Catholic-church-run. It seems that in those areas, finding a surgeon who wasn’t basically hired by the church could be very difficult…”
    Exactly, that’s what makes me so angry. I guess my “historically” statement wasn’t very well phrased. I meant that I understand why there’s still Catholic run hospitals today, because a lot, if not all, hospitals way back when were run by a church because there was no one else to do it. But today, it’s ridiculous that not only are there hospitals still run by the Church, they’re often the only sources of care in a large geographical area.
    And on a related note, why is it that when a regular hospital and a Catholic hospital merge, it’s the Catholic one that ends up taking over the business of running the place?
    Just, gah.

  7. oenophile
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    those articles make me hurt for our children. i will never understand why they want to take our choices away
    Because, to a lot of people, that “choice” is tantamount to murder. Ergo, it’s not a valid choice and should not be legal.
    Now that I’m done stating the obvious, happy Monday, everyone.

  8. Posted September 3, 2007 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t even finish reading how sexy cancer is, so maybe I shouldn’t even comment. Am I overreacting or not getting the point, or is the f-word, feminism, being morphed into frivolous, which is what women were once always perceived to be?
    Cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, is profoundly traumatic. Sure, humor helps to get one through it, but come on! to treat it as one more whoop on the rollercoaster of life is just airheadedness.

  9. Posted September 3, 2007 at 9:40 am | Permalink
  10. florafloraflora
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear it’s OK to bake cookies. My fashion-obsessed feminist sisters can legitimize their interest by blowing smoke about “the body” and “transgression” (love y’all), but baking gets no respect at all, until now.

  11. oenophile
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Grace,
    If you can get last month’s Glamour, read it – there’s a much better article in there about Crazy Sexy Cancer. Apparently, Kris Carr threw herself into fighting cancer, from finding the best doctors (via a system called something like Operation Save My A–) – her theory was that you wouldn’t tolerate a second-rate person as an employee, so why as a doctor? The Glamour article gave the impression of absolute toughness (hence the sexy), not airheadednes.

  12. amberadams
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a new book entitled “From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow” about, obviously, misogyny in geography. Or, as the description states, “a sufficiently detailed gazetteer offers plenty of material to rile up minorities, feminists and persons of refined sensibility.” Yeah, because that’s always lots of fun.

  13. Interrobang
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Evil formula company lobbyists aside, I agree that such ads are inappropriate. All shit like that does is make women feel bad.
    I just posted on this over at my blog, except it took me about 500 more words to say what bridgetka said. I’m so ashamed of myself…

  14. Posted September 3, 2007 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    On feminism and baking cookies.
    I’m confused: is my fiancee’s lack of kitchen skills indicative of her being a good or a bad feminist? Am I a good feminist because, even though I’m a man and not a professional chef, I spend a good chunk of time baking (generally muffins, rather than cookies)? Do I get dinged here because cooking/baking for me is a matter of being able to have a decent life? — since I’m allergic to milk, I can’t have most commercial baked goods so I have to make them myself.
    Speaking of which milk allergy … my mom was unable to breast-feed me. Maybe because I was already allergic to milk and hence didn’t suck properly. Or maybe because in spite of being, well, zafdig, she just inherently couldn’t produce milk.
    Whatever. My mom is about as militantly pro-breast-feeding as you could imagine (she wanted me to hint to my then gf, now fiancee that she should take hormone pills that way she could breast-feed her adoptive daughter) … yet, even she found a lot of the breast-feeding advocacy groups to go too far … they treated her as if she were doing something wrong and that it she was being a bad mother because she wasn’t producing milk (to which I would have likely been allergic anyway).
    The problem is that these you’d think “strawmen liberals” are used to denigrate all liberals.

  15. Posted September 3, 2007 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, oenophile. I’ll try to check it out.

  16. Mina
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    “My mom is about as militantly pro-breast-feeding as you could imagine (she wanted me to hint to my then gf, now fiancee that she should take hormone pills that way she could breast-feed her adoptive daughter)”
    Oh, I could imagine being even more militantly pro-breastfeeding. What if your mom had hinted to both of you to take the hormone pills…?
    http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/miscarticles/milkmen.html

  17. marle
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I could imagine being even more militantly pro-breastfeeding. What if your mom had hinted to both of you to take the hormone pills…?
    Oh, if I ever adopt and someone suggests I take hormones and use a pump so I might be able to breastfeed even though I wouldn’t have done so naturally, then they better suggest the same thing to my husband.

  18. Atalanta
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    DAS: I hear you, man. It was something of a minor miracle my mom could breastfeed me; my sister was so allergic that, in order to breastfeed, my mom would have had to have eaten nothing but rice, chicken, and potatoes. I will never understand what exactly inspires people to spout off in public about someone else’s baby-rearing in public (short of, you know, flogging the kid or something).

  19. invisible_hand
    Posted September 4, 2007 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    not to be a stickler, but it’s an albany-area hospital. amsterdam is a good 40 minutes away from albany.

  20. Posted September 4, 2007 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    As mentioned above, the Boston Globe article does a really poor job of talking about Kris Carr’s documentary about her ongoing battle with cancer. The title of the documentary, “Crazy Sexy Cancer” is a reference to the subject line of emails regarding her status that she would send to friends and family. The angle applied by the Globe article, is really unfortunate.

  21. Thorn
    Posted September 5, 2007 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Funny. When the Financial Times writes about discrimination driving people out of the work force, it’s decried as a terrible brain drain and is this big bugaboo that needs to be fixed. When the New York Times writes about discrimination driving a certain segment of people out of the work force, it’s celebrated as an “Opt-Out Revolution!” and women embracing traditional gender roles again.
    Oh wait, that’s not funny at all.

  22. Thorn
    Posted September 5, 2007 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Oogh. Lest I was unclear: I think discrimination driving anyone out of the work force is a bona fide Bad Thing, and truly does need correcting. I’m just snarking that apparently if it’s mothers leaving their jobs due to discrimination, it’s no big deal. Apparently mothers don’t represent enough brain power in the work force for anyone to worry about it draining off. (more snark)

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