Note: Check out Saturday’s post about ‘The Birth Project’ to enter to win a free pack of mixed blank greeting cards with Amanda Greavette’s beautiful artwork!
Is it just the political season that brings out all of these amazing viewpoints? Is it certain people being spoken about and spoken against that riles people up enough to cause themselves to speak loudly and often? Despite the binder fodder, there seems to be more uniting of women against certain language than in the past. Or, perhaps I am at a similar level of fired-up that I am paying more attention, and the internet’s endless connectivity allows all of us to participate in this together? Regardless, this week is rife with amazing-ness. Also, Colorlines is absolutely my new favorite news source – some really amazing writers over there talking about really important issues for all of us.
Collateral Damage in the War on Women – Akiba Solomon at Colorlines
There is so, so much I want to talk about in this article. Possibly with a later post, but for now sharing because of its importance. Absolutely read all of this article.
“…Two years into what NARAL Pro-Choice America has famously dubbed the War on Women, the wear is beginning to show in cities and towns around the country where poor, uninsured women live. In the right’s new abortion war strategy, taking apart the infrastructure for family planning services—providers like Planned Parenthood, Title X funding and, now, the Affordable Care Act—is as important as triggering a Supreme Court challenge that will overturn Roe v. Wade. In just one year, dozens of clinics throughout Texas have shut down or slashed their hours—limiting options for poor and working women in even big cities like Austin and Dallas, and closing the doors of clinics that have nothing to do with Planned Parenthood. The state offers a striking example of the collateral damage that’s inevitable when anti-choice Republicans use the legislative equivalent of drone strikes to attack abortion rights.
To show me what rural poverty looks like in Hidalgo County, Planned Parenthood promotora (outreach worker) Dora Alicia Proa takes me to a colonia nearly 15 miles away from McAllen, in San Carlos. Colonias are unincorporated subdivisions founded in the 1950s by predatory developers who sold lots of barren and flood-prone land to poor Latin American migrant workers without installing basic infrastructure. They are synonymous with poverty. Literally. The Texas Secretary of State defines these communities as “residential areas along the Texas-Mexico border that may lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water and sewer systems, electricity, paved roads, and safe and sanitary housing…”
Tumblr: Binders Full of Women
Perhaps you all already know about this, but Mitt made a pretty big gaff at the Presidential Town Hall Debate on Tuesday, talking about finding women candidates for a job by acquiring “binders full of women.” A clip of the town hall debate is available here. An incredible number of intelligent people are now populating this Tumblr. A few favorites below.
Avery Durable View Binder – Reviews on Amazon.com
Women and men are now reviewing the Avery Binders on Amazon in reaction to Mitt’s comments. Glad to know that people were paying enough attention to the debate to really share some great comments about unmarried parents and gun violence, unequal pay for equal work, and getting women home to cook dinner if they are employed. Sigh.
From ‘I’m A Binder Mom’: “I’m proud to say that I’m in this binder. I’ve spent 20 years working my way up from Walmart mom to soccer mom, and finally, I’ve hit the glass ceiling. I’m a binder mom! I highly recommend this binder I’m in, but be aware that if you purchase it, you must be flexible and let me put a ham in the oven by 5. Otherwise, my kids might resort to gun violence.”
From ‘Dena DarkStar’:
“There once was a man named Mittens
Whose women were all playful kittens
He bound them all in
An Avery bin
And had only to pay them a pittance”
From ‘LeeBo’: “As a wife and mother, I LOVE this binder. It keeps me in my place, allows me to get dinner ready on time, AND only costs 72% of the more masculine version. Some people might think it’s sexist, but sheesh, I’m not binding my feet, just my brain. Extra bonus, if you sit on it just right, it can act as an effective method of birth control! Full disclosure: I submitted this under my husband’s account, with his full permission. He is the head of our household, and the owner of the binder.”
From ‘Romance Reader’: “I am 50 years old and I recently became aware that there are men in the workforce. I thought it would be a good idea to hire a few for the sake of political correctness and future political viability.
Despite being a businesswoman for decades, I didn’t personally know any males who were qualified for positions other than… well, you know what positions they’re good for. I thought, “Hey, what if I asked the US Chamber of Commerce or steroid manufacturers to find me some men to fill quotas within my company?”
So I did, and long story short, I’m happy to report that they filled my binder with man beef extraordinaire! I hired several of these men and they did an acceptable job. To my credit, I was flexible. Some of my male employees had to leave by five to go home and service their women. Being a woman myself, I permitted it. They have a role in society, after all, and I couldn’t selfishly ignore that fact.”
Bodyform Responds :: The Truth
Bodyform is a manufacturer of maxipads, which women purchase to protect clothing against bloodflow during menses. Richard Neill, not connected to the company, posted on BodyForm’s Facebook wall, with a satirical rant about how commercials about women’s monthly flow and “blue water spilling over wings” and joyous outdoor activities were all a lie. There have been over 96,000 “likes” to his post. BodyForm responded with this video:
Warning Picture Might Be Considered Obscene – Stella Boonshoft at The Body Love Blog and Huffington Post
Stella Boonshoft, author of The Body Love Blog, posted a picture of herself in her underwear. Proud of her body, Stella writes about her struggles with other people’s opinions of it and feedback to the picture itself.
From the Huffington Post Blog re-post of Stella’s original post, with great links:
“This post originally appeared on Stella Boonshoft’s Tumblr, The Body Love Blog. Brandon, founder of the photo blog Humans of New York, recently met and talked to Stella and published the portrait and Stella’s post on the organization’s Facebook page, where it got 270,000 likes, nearly 10,000 shares and over 26,000 comments in 14 hours. You might also be interested in reading Stella’s thoughts on the origins of her body image issues and her response to all of the attention her first post has received.”
And from Stella’s original blog post:
“…This picture is for my horseback riding trainer telling me I was too fat when I was nine.
This picture is for the girl from summer camp who told me I’d be really pretty if I just lost a few pounds.
This picture is for all the f*cking stupid advertising agents who are selling us cream to get rid of our stretch marks, a perfectly normal thing most people have (I got mine during puberty)…
MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me. For the girl who hated her body so much she took extreme measures to try to change it. Who cried for hours over the fact she would never be thin. Who was teased and tormented and hurt just for being who she was.
I’m so over that.
THIS IS MY BODY, DEAL WITH IT…”
Easier as a Latino? Rosie Perez Schools Mitt Romney in New Video – Jorge Rivas at Colorlines
A satirical look at why things would, or in reality, not, be “easier” for Mitt if he were born of Mexican parents. Back to that whole idea of someone of power needing to “ask” for binders full of eligible candidates without power…
“…At the heart of it, this really gets to the Romney campaign’s effort to use racial resentment as a tool to move voters,” Mik Moore from JCER told Chris Matthews last week.
“The lie here is that it’d be much easier if [Romney] were Latino — this is the same kind of racial resentment you have when he says the poor are taken care of, or when he goes after lies about welfare reform — it’s all one-of-a-kind, where he is using these lies and exaggerations to turn up racial resentment in an effort to get votes,” Moore went on to say…”
A Brief History of the Beef Against Women Reading – Amanda Hess at Slate
The horrible shooting of Malala Yousafzai cannot be forgotten as women all over the world fight for equality. In countries where that equality has not yet reached equal pay for work, and women are still fighting for education, the battle is all that much harder. Women everywhere must unite around our issues of inequality, so that an issue as simple, and as important, as reading is not an instigator for violence.
“…Pocket novels and book clubs have given way to a bustling publishing market for chick-lit novels, where the voices of male writers are not valued; endless fan-fiction boards, where women log on to draft their own fantasies in their spare time; and social networking sites, where women—who regularly make up over one-half of users—are empowered to document their lives in real-time, one navel-gazing status update at a time.
But the fear of educated women—women who might learn to think for themselves—still persists in many parts of the world. This is why universities across Iran recently banned women from studying dozens of subjects, including English literature. This is why Afghan girls face acid attacks while walking to school. And this is why the Taliban targeted the 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who penned a pseudonymous diary for the BBC, beginning at age 11, where she detailed her struggle to be educated under terrorist rule. So they shot her in the head. Now she’s in the hospital, not the classroom.
Even in countries like the United States, where the lucrative market for women readers is happily exploited, the stigma against women and books takes on new and exciting permutations. Female authors like S.E. Hinton, J.K. Rowling, and Curtis Sittenfeld (given name: Elizabeth) still truncate their names to appear more masculine…”
W. Eugene Smith’s Landmark Photo Essay, ‘Nurse-Midwife’ – Ben Cosgrove at Life
A beautiful look into the history of midwifery. Step to the side, ‘Call the Midwife,’ Maude Callen has a beautiful story to tell as well. Midwives, continue taking picture of the work that you do so that our history can continue to be chronicled in this way. Picture from the photo-reel on Life.com.
“…Calling Maude Callen a heroic figure — especially today, when the word “hero” is thrown around like confetti — might strike some as problematic. She was, after all, not really risking her life in her daily and nightly rounds. But how else should we characterize a woman who saved so many others through her work, and who firmly, compassionately delivered into the world so many children who, without her intervention, might well have died at or shortly after birth? What else do we call someone who dedicated seemingly every waking moment to helping others — in a time and place where pain and want were the rule, rather than the exception?…”