Busy week. Period. Wonderful weekend. Period. Hope you’re all doing well!
Why Would Anyone Oppose the Violence Against Women Act? – Molly Ball at the Atlantic
I had been asking myself that same question right before Rubio’s speech last week… hot air can make one’s mouth a bit dry.
“…The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas — that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a “feminist” attack on family values. “The ideological foundations of the law are flawed and have led to an inability to help victims effectively,” Christina Villegas, a visiting fellow at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum and adjunct professor of political science at Cal State San Bernadino, told me.
VAWA, Villegas said, is premised on the theory that violence against women is a product of sexism and patriarchy — “men’s desire to keep women down” and the sexes’ unequal social status. But research shows that such violence has many sources, from substance abuse to marital conflict, according to Villegas. “VAWA provides so much funding [based on this model] that could be so much more effective if it focused on the proven causes of violence,” she said.
The act’s grants have encouraged states to implement “mandatory-arrest” policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation, or officers defer to the “man of the house” and fail to take an abuse claim seriously. But Villegas and other critics say mandatory-arrest laws can backfire. A 2007 study found that states with such laws saw increases in intimate-partner homicides — perhaps because they made victims, who may have wanted the police to intervene without making an arrest, less likely to report abuse before it could escalate out of control. Villegas points to this as an example of VAWA funds being distributed in ways that are well-intentioned but not necessarily best for victims…”
The Abortion Clinic Escort That Leads Patients Past Protestors – as told to Anna North at Buzzfeed
A wonderful article about women’s health workers, and one person’s story in particular.
“…The power of small talk as a clinic escort is really not to be discounted. There was a study some years ago by a couple of psychology researchers looking at the after effects of antiabortion protesters on patients. What they found is that whether protesters were present made less impact on a patient than whether the protesters could be heard. So even if there was just one escort there saying dumb things about the weather, that would help. I would always find a way to compliment the patient — “Wow, that’s a nice coat,” anything. Honestly the need to physically protect a patient is — thank God — rare in this day and age. Before the laws prohibiting trespassing, my clinic staff tells stories of having to form human chains to get past blockades.
That said, there have been scary moments. In New Jersey we had a private parking lot, and one protester approached someone waiting in a car there. I planted myself in front of him and he kept coming at me and we were chest to chest. I thought about this escort who got beaten up by protesters two years ago — luckily it didn’t get to that point. And the reason I started volunteering as an escort was because of abortion doctor George Tiller’s murder. When he was killed, that was the first abortion provider killing since the Clinton administration. I had thought we were beyond this…”
Call for Art – Women’s Rights: An Artist’s Perspective – UniteWomen.org
My mom sent this along, and now I share it with you!
PROSPECTUS: UniteWomen.org is looking for art that speaks to, examines and explores the social, political and economic issues related to women’s activism. We are seeking art (all media) that expresses the women’s perspective on issues of women’s rights, political rights, reproductive rights, the ERA and issues of societal control which can range from literal to poetic, abstract to representational, and psychological, to social and political commentary. Submit work that explores the concepts of being a woman in today’s global society and how social constructs define your experience whether internal, external, imagined or imposed, and how it defines and shapes our identities, relationships, ideas and politics. Artists are encouraged to interpret this theme broadly; submit works that have resonance and meaning to you.UniteWomen.org will present these issues in visual form, creating a public forum for action, reaction, and informed discussion.
CDC: 1 in 9 Women Have Used the Morning-After Pill – Abby Ohlheiser at Slate
So glad to know that they are keeping track of this data! I speak with every woman about the availability of Plan B, many of whom have no idea it’s OTC for their age.
“…The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics: good with numbers, a bit weird about Valentine’s Day. According to a federal report out today, 11 percent of women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 have used emergency contraception.
That’s about one-in-nine women, about half of whom took the pill because they feared their regular method of birth control had failed (the other half had unprotected sex). It’s an increase from previous years, which is probably in part due to the pill’s increase in availability. And while use is on the rise, conservative talk radio hosts who believe EC’s availability encourages promiscuity should take note that most women who have used the pill have taken it just once (59 percent), while 17 percent have used it three or more times…”
College Health Plans Respond as Transgender Students Gain Visibility – Richard Pérez-Peña at The New York Times
“…The idea still seems radical to plenty of people; last year, when Sandra Fluke, a law student, became famous for speaking in favor of an insurance mandate for contraceptive coverage, conservatives painted her as part of a fringe element because she also supported sex-change coverage.
But since 2008, the American Medical Association has advocated the same thing, for treatment of gender identity disorder. Other medical groups, like the American Psychiatric Association, have taken the same position. Several major insurers have taken the stance that the treatment, including surgery, can be considered medically necessary. The Internal Revenue Service considers the expenses tax-deductible.
The issue directly affects only a tiny number of students; no one knows how many. But universities recognize that their insurance plan sends a signal to the much larger number of students for whom the rights of transgender people have taken a place alongside gay rights as a cause that matters…”