Following up on a few posts

Because of the huge volume of stuff we blog about here, we (regrettably) don’t always have time to follow a story to its end or report on the variety of responses it garners around the blogosphere. In an effort to be better about that, here are a few updates to recent posts:
Latoya at Racialicious responds to those creepy anti-statutory rape ads, bringing in a class- and race-conscious analysis to clear up some misconceptions from our comments section. Please, check out her post.
We blogged about Canadian doctors refusing to perform pap smears on single women (a story originally reported at RHRealityCheck) earlier this week. The key source for that article has a post up making clear that this is anecdotal, second-hand evidence. The story as she told it is absolutely true, she says, but this is obviously a call for more in-depth reporting on the subject. (No, Ms. Pedgehog, you’re not being a bitch about this! It’s a valid point.)
The Marine charged with raping a 14-year-old Okinawan girl has been released, and Condi Rice expressed her “deep regret” over the incident.
To clarify, the sports bra ads that we blogged about last week were spec ads, meaning they were created by a third party never approved by the company for public use.
Colorado state Rep. Larry Liston — you remember him, the one who called teen moms “sluts” — recently visited a school for teenage mothers. I highly recommend this account of his visit. After a long awkward conversation, he finally apologizes to them, face to face: “I uttered a word which I regret and I apologized for. It’s a word I don’t use. Scout’s honor. I never use it. I regret it. I am sorry.” Uh, except for that one very public time he used it? Seriously, though, the article is great: read the whole thing. (Thanks to Libby for the heads up!)
And finally, I mentioned in Sunday’s Weekly Feminist Reader that our awesome feminist bloggy pal Sara at F-Words recently found out she has a brain tumor, and will be undergoing surgery to remove it. Please send prayers, thoughts, good vibes, etc. her way. And if you want to do something a bit more concrete for Sara, there’s a donation button in the upper-righthand corner of her site.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted February 29, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I missed the pap smear story the first time around, but now that I’ve caught it I want to offer my experience as another data point. I have had two, TWO, doctors refuse to do pap smears on me. No, I’m not single, I’m gay. According to both of those doctors, since nuns don’t get cervical cancer, lesbians don’t need pap tests. Whu?

  2. Posted February 29, 2008 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I missed the pap test story the first time around, but since I caught it now I’d like to offer my experience as another data point. I have had two, TWO, doctors refuse to give me a pap test (in Canada). No, I’m not single, I’m gay. Apparently, since nuns don’t get cervical cancer, lesbians don’t need paps. Whu???

  3. Posted February 29, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow, arcticwoman, that is horrifying. Can you complain to anyone about those two doctors? Denying gay women pap smears is indredibly irresponsible!
    I love love LOVED the article about Liston visiting the school for teen moms, and I loved the honesty of the article. If only there were more articles so honestly written!

  4. Posted February 29, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    A little more on the Marine: he’s currently being detained by the military right now, pending an investigation. Of course, it remains to be seen how thoroughly they investigate it, but my guess is he’ll be facing some punishment- admitting that he held her down and forcibly kissed her is admitting that he violated the military sexual assault policies. Assuming that the Marine policy is at least somewhat similar to the Army policy: “Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent.”
    “Sexual assault is incompatible with Army Values and the Warrior Ethos and is punishable under the Uniform Codes of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other federal and local civilian laws.”
    We shall see, though.

  5. Posted February 29, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for posting the link to my clarification – I surely do appreciate it. :)
    For the readers who do plan on checking out my blog post about it, make sure you read the comment left by Amie Newman, the managing editor for RH Reality Check, which has even FURTHER clarification.
    Since I made that post, a lot of people have been telling me that they were refused pap smears as well. So I guess it really is an issue! So that’s depressing. I feel that we will be fighting the good fight in New Brunswick for a while yet…

  6. electronBlue
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Latoya’s piece at Racialicious was enlightening and moving, especially for someone like me who didn’t have to deal with anything like that as a child.
    My favorite bit is this:
    … because these people were either low class, ghetto, or their culture permits it. I am projecting that these labels fit different groups of people – “low classâ€? stands in for poor white; “ghettoâ€? stands in for poor black; and discussions of culture normally stands in for Latino men.
    So succinct. She just takes it apart like a surgeon. one, two, three!
    Off to read the Liston article now.

  7. Posted February 29, 2008 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I love the Larry Liston follow-up. But here’s an irony: the Florence Crittenton Association originally provided homes for “fallenâ€? and “waywardâ€? women—i.e. unwed and pregnant—and, especially during the ‘40s through the ‘60’s these homes were among the places where “girls who went awayâ€? were sent to hide their shame and then give up their babies (exactly what Liston seemed to be endorsing in his original tirade). By the early ‘70s, thanks to the women’s movement, Roe, and the rising acceptance of unwed motherhood, the demand for these homes had largely evaporated and they began closing or being transformed into schools like the one Liston visited. I love it that girls at one of the Crittenton school faced Liston down—poetic justice.

  8. Posted February 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I too LOVED the Larry Liston follow-up. But here’s an irony: the Florence Crittenton Association originally provided homes for “fallenâ€? and “waywardâ€? women—i.e. unwed and pregnant—and, especially during the ‘40s through the ‘60’s these homes were among the places where “girls who went awayâ€? were sent to hide their shame and then give up their babies. By the early ‘70s, thanks to the women’s movement, Roe, and the rising acceptance of unwed motherhood, the demand for these homes had largely evaporated and they began closing or being transformed into schools like the one Liston visited. I love it that girls at one of the Crittenton homes faced Liston down—poetic justice. Some things really do progress.

  9. lyndorr
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this post.
    It’s great to hear about Liston visiting the people he called sluts. Everyone should spend more time with the people they have stereotypes of.

  10. A male
    Posted March 1, 2008 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    I read about the Marine’s release at my usual Japanese news sites a few minutes ago, and am speechless. So the Marine will go unpunished by Japanese authorities for an admitted assault of abducting a 14 year old girl, holding her against her will, and forcing her down and kissing her, at the very least. Also beating her, if her friend listening on the telephone is correct. In addition, all other service personnel are still under an imposed curfew because of the charges, and the racist sentiments on both sides will continue.

  11. Maeve
    Posted March 1, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I also really liked the follow up story on Larry Liston. I read a few of the comments on the article, and the second one is fairly amusing. The author is sympathetic to these girls, but can’t understand why in this day in age, girls aren’t protecting themselves from getting pregnant. Uh… maybe it’s because of abstinence only sex education, where they aren’t being taught about the resources available to them? And also being taught that condoms don’t really work and that they cause cancer? I think that’s probably a large part of it, but that’s just my opinion. :-)

  12. Mina
    Posted March 1, 2008 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    “The author is sympathetic to these girls, but can’t understand why in this day in age, girls aren’t protecting themselves from getting pregnant. Uh… maybe it’s because of abstinence only sex education, where they aren’t being taught about the resources available to them? And also being taught that condoms don’t really work and that they cause cancer?”
    …and being taught that they’ll still have no good job opportunities even if they aren’t raising 3 kids by age 19…
    “I think that’s probably a large part of it, but that’s just my opinion. :-)
    Definitely large parts of it. Also, don’t some teen girls (even in the U.S.) face pressure to get pregnant even if they do have birth control available? I’ve heard of in-laws demanding grandsons from some of the married ones, friends and relatives telling some of the unmarried ones they’ve got nothing better to do than have babies soon, etc.

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