The last weekend of 2013! Turns out I’ll be working at the hospital New Year’s Eve, and two different 4 hour shifts on New Year’s Day since I had plans but there was no coverage, so a midwife and I are splitting it. Should make it interesting to host many guests for brunch and relaxing when I’m running to and fro, but such is the life. I hope that you all have a blast ringing in the new year – I can only hope it is a midwife who catches the first baby in the new year, makes it to the news, and advertises the beauty of our profession as a way to ring in 2014. See you all next year!
From the Facebook page of Women’s Rights News
From the Facebook page of Rock the Slut Vote
10 women who shaped 2013 – Frida Ghitis at CNN
“…Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot
What is it about macho politicians who get so scared of brave women?
In Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s suppression of the political opposition spurred an unlikely force, the defiantly named punk rock group Pussy Riot. The female band protested Putin’s increasing authoritarianism. When five of them broke out into an anti-Putin song, “Punk Prayer,” at Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral, two of them — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina — were arrested and put in prison.
Why did Putin decide to free them before their sentence was finished? Because Pussy Riot has become synonymous with the harshness of the Putin regime. The group’s outspokenness raised an international outcry so strong that even the Russian president, normally impervious to global public opinion, started to feel the pressure.
Tolokonnikova sent out letters describing the brutality of prison life and went on a hunger strike. On her release from prison, Tolokonnikova fearlessly shouted, “Russia without Putin.” She and Alyokhina dismissed the release as a public relations stunt by a president trying to improve his image ahead of the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. That’s exactly what it was.
Delhi rape victim
As 2012 was coming to an end, a horrific gang rape occurred in the Indian capital, capturing the world’s attention over the following months and, more importantly, awakening the Indian people to the crisis of violence against women.
The Delhi rape victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, was gravely injured, and she died of internal wounds in 2013. Her tragic case galvanized Indian women and men to fight the epidemic of rape in India, a battle that continues in the face of even more brutal attacks.
When the European Union nearly fell into the economic abyss, there was one leader who held it together, standing up to criticism and holding firm on a controversial austerity program despite vilification and recrimination. The policy may not have been the best route to recovery, but in the chaos it was Merkel who saved the Union. Forbes named her the world’s most powerful woman, as it has for eight of the last 10 years. Germans re-elected her to a third term earlier this month…”
She emerges from the crisis as the undisputed leader of the European Union, and a key player as the U.S. and Europe struggle to maintain their political and economic pre-eminence in the face of a rising China and a chaotic Middle East…”
10 Completely Sexist Ad Campaigns You’ll See This Christmas – Lauren Maffeo at Policy Mic
“…Submitted by Hillary Hawkins via Facebook, these suitcase stickers “take a stand against monotonous travel,” according to Fancy.com. It’s hard to tell if they’re warning that these stickers “may cause offense to airport and immigration staff” is ironic. Regardless, they’re repulsive…”
Stop Asking Where Young Feminists Are. They Aren’t Unicorns. They Exist. In Fact, Here’s One Now. – Rebecca Eisenberg at UpWorthy
CDC Reverses Discriminatory Breast Cancer Screening Rule for Trans People – Parker Marie Molloy at Advocate
“…One’s assigned sex at birth does not exclude them from qualifying for the preventive care offered through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.
This clarification comes in response to criticism that followed after Jennifer Blair, a Colorado transgender woman, was denied a screening. Her health care provider cited a policy that limits coverage under the early detection program, which offers preventive breast cancer screening to low-income women, to people who are “genetically female.” Blair had sought screening after noticing unusual growth in one of her breasts.
On October 18, the Human Rights Campaign and National Center for Transgender Equality sent a joint letter to CDC director Tom Frieden. In the letter, both groups urged Frieden to update this policy, saying it was inconsistent with other health programs run by the federal government.
They point to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, which “requires carriers to provide all necessary preventive benefits and services for insured patients, including transgender individuals.” They go on to highlight a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services, in which HHS clarifies the language in the Affordable Care Act to make it clear that discriminating against transgender individuals is prohibited.
Transgender women on a hormone regimen of estradiol find themselves at an elevated risk for breast cancer, with risk contingent on how long the individual has been on hormone replacement therapy. Additionally, transgender men who have not had a bilateral mastectomy remain at risk for developing breast cancer.
Changes to the policy go into effect immediately…”
The GOP’s History of Sexisty Hillary-Bashing – Sam Kleiner at The Daily Beast
“…The deep-seated antipathy to Hillary in that campaign was part of the right’s inability to accept women in the workplace. The idea of a professional woman disturbed Republicans. The year before, the party had gone after Anita Hill for speaking out about workplace sexual harassment from her boss, Clarence Thomas. “Are you a scorned woman?” asked Republican Senator Howell Heflin, in a line that became synonymous with apparent Republican discomfort with the role of women in the workplace. Watching the all-male Senate panel grill Anita Hill encouraged women across the country to run for political office. Amongst them was a state legislator, Patty Murray of Washington, who was told that she couldn’t succeed in politics as a “mom in tennis shoes,” but she used that as her campaign slogan.
Despite the personal nature of the attacks against her, Hillary maintained a sense of calm in the campaign and emerged as an important voice for women. In April 1992, U.S. News and World Report, called her the “overbearing yuppie wife from hell.” When she was asked about the derogatory attack by a reporter, Clinton smiled and told the reporter, “I’m too old to be a yuppie.” She became a leader for contemporary women with her commitment that her career was “aimed to assure that women can make the choices whether it’s full-time career, full-time motherhood or some combination.” The Republican attempt to skewer her as a supporter of “radical feminism” failed, and revealed how deeply anti-feminist the Republican Party was…”
We’re Getting a RomCom About Abortion Starring Jenny Slate – Rebecca Rose at Jezebel
“…A full-length romantic comedy about a woman who gets an abortion is set to debut, starring Jenny Slate.
OBVIOUS CHILD is an honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the worst/best Valentine’s Day of her life. Forever nudged by her parents to make better choices, Donna’s forced to do just that when a one-night stand leads to a difficult decision that does and does not define the rest of her life. Though confident in her choice, Donna must gain the confidence to believe in her talent, herself, and the best in those around her, especially one surprisingly decent guy (Jake Lacy) who just might make this the worst/best Valentine’s Day ever.
Filmmaker Gillian Robespierre said they were motivated to make the original film because of “limited representations of young women’s experience with pregnancy, let alone growing up.”:
We were waiting to see a more honest film, or at least, a story that was closer to many of the stories we knew. We weren’t sure how long that wait was going to be, so we decided to tell the story ourselves.
The Top Pro-Choice Heroes of 2013 – RH Reality Check
“…Nina Turner: Turner is not just a courageous pro-choice lawmaker running for Ohio secretary of state—she’s also hilarious. She wore a t-shirt suggesting “GOP” should really stand for “Get Out of My Panties” when her conservative colleagues were fighting for extreme restrictions on abortion. And she’s introduced some amazing taste-of-their-own-medicine bills that use absurdist role reversal to expose right-wing hypocrisy. Ohio lawmakers think welfare recipients need to be drug-tested before they get taxpayers’ money? Well, then so should Ohio lawmakers. Legislators concern-trolling about how women seeking abortions don’t know what’s good for them? Good point, says Turner—taking Viagra is a serious reproductive decision too (priapism is no joke!), so we should require “informed consent,” including psychological testing, for the men who want the drug. Just to, y’know, make sure they know all their options (celibacy included!). Bravo, Nina. —Emily Crockett
Leticia Van de Putte: “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” Texas state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s pointed question to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, asked in the final minutes of Sen. Wendy Davis’ 13-hour filibuster against Texas’ omnibus abortion bill, sent the reproductive rights supporters who were packed into the state senate gallery into an uproar. Anti-choice legislators were unable to hear each other to take a vote, and the bill died at midnight. It has become Van de Putte’s most publicized moment from a hard-fought summer at the state capitol, but the senator—a pharmacist by profession—has a long record of standing up for reproductive rights, and this winter announced a bid for Dewhurst’s office, showing that she’s nowhere close to backing down. —Andrea Grimes…”