April 2, 2012
Head into this week with a recap of last week’s news in feminism—the good, the bad, and everything in between.
No poetry will serve. Adrienne Rich, feminist, poet, activist, theorist, and educator, died Thursday at the age of eighty-two. While Rich’s documented transphobia is deeply disturbing, we must acknowledge her significant contributions to both queer and feminist thought.
“Women are not an interest group.” As the Republican “war on women” continues, President Obama released a brief video this week affirming his support for Planned Parenthood. While the rhetoric is nice, remember, it’s an election year.
Happy birthday, Gender Across Borders! The consistently excellent feminist blog Gender Across Borders celebrated three years of bringing an important international perspective to feminist and queer issues.
Keep it classy, NOM. Internal memos leaked from the National Organization for Marriage revealed attempts to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” as a strategy in its (unfortunately) tireless opposition of marriage equality.
Birth control increases earnings. A University of Michigan study concluded that women who had early access to the pill in the 1960s and 1970s earned, by the 1980s and 1990s, an average of 8 percent more. Economic stimulus, indeed.
Gender gap in insurance costs. As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act, it’s worth remembering that in all but a few states, women still pay significantly more for health insurance. Under the ACA, this inequality would be rectified starting in 2014.
Good news in Georgia. An attempt to ban abortion after 20 weeks failed this week.
Not so much in New Hampshire. The state’s House passed a trio of terrible bills this week that would severely limit women’s access to abortion: a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, a ban on abortions after 20 weeks (based on the unproven “fetal pain” justification), and an “informed consent” requirement.
Arizona, too. Arizona’s Senate approved a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks (that fetal pain excuse again!). This bill is extra creative, since it begins measuring the fetus’s age from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period—meaning it’s actually, in practice, a ban on abortion after 18 weeks. Any physician who performs an abortion after that time faces criminal charges and revocation of his or her license. Just for good measure, Republicans also threw in mandatory ultrasounds and a 24-hour waiting period.
Gwen Moore speaks out. In an act of extraordinary courage, Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, shared her story on the House floor. Moore’s testimony comes as Republicans continue to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. In Moore’s own words, “Violence against women in this country is not levied against just Democrats, but Republicans as well…not just rich people or poor people. It knows no gender, it knows no ethnicity, it knows nothing.”
Julia Calagiovanni is a freshman in Yale College. She is an associate editor for Broad Recognition.