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Sunday News Round-Up, Catastrophizing Edition

March 10, 2013

In Texas, Restoring Family-Planning Cuts Without Ruffling Feathers

Using taxpayer dollars to finance family-planning services has become politically thorny in Texas, largely because of Republican lawmakers’ assertions that the women’s health clinics providing that care are affiliated with abortion providers. In the fiscal crunch of 2011, the Legislature cut the state’s family-planning budget by two-thirds, with some lawmakers claiming that they were defunding the “abortion industry.” Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, found that more than 50 family-planning clinics had closed statewide as a result.

Now, amid estimates that the cuts could lead to 24,000 additional 2014-15 births at a cost to taxpayers of $273 million, lawmakers are seeking a way to restore financing without ruffling feathers.

How about we just do what’s right for women’s access to healthcare and control of their own reproduction, ruffled feathers be damned.


Why does America pretend that it doesn’t hate women?

A gang rape happened in Ohio and no one heard about it. A gang rape happened in India and everyone heard about it (as we should). The American media has represented India as a misogynistic country where women need to be constantly wary of the men that surround them….While our media went out representing India as a typical place for these deplorable events to happen, another woman’s similar story went ignored and without subsequent societal action. This country outright refuses to admit that it is a rape culture.


“Zerlina Maxwell said men can prevent rape — and recounts for Salon the nightmare that followed thereafter”

…where she drew outrage was in her suggestion to Hannity that “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.” She told Hannity, “You’re talking about this as if it’s some faceless, nameless criminal, when a lot of times it’s someone you know and trust,” adding, “If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.”


We are Oberlin…And Here’s Our Dirty Laundry: This is a good post at Racialicious on the recent hate speech incidents at Oberlin College (of which I’m an alum). And let me just add that regardless of whether someone was in actual KKK regalia, in something meant to look like KKK regalia, or just wearing a damn misconstrued blanket, the reaction it generated among students wouldn’t have looked anything like it did if there weren’t some serious privilege, race, ethnicity, diversity, and awareness issues to address on that campus, and a history of recent concerning events. I watched the Convocation, and what I heard were students demanding to be educated, to have their concerns addressed in a systemic way, and a President listing off his credentials and saying it’s gonna be fine without making concrete promises beyond “investigation.” You can guess whose side I come down on.

For background:
Hate Speech Incidents Continue
An Open Letter from Students of the Africana Community (timeline of events leading up to Convocation)
Vandalism, Harassment Inspire Systemic Reform


On the difference between monosexism and biphobia


It ignores LGBT people of color in favor of promoting alliances between people of color and (erroneously by default presumed to be white LGBT people), but it will probably still give you chills:


Chuck Grassley accidentally becomes pro-choice – LOL. But only if you don’t want the government forcing you to have something in your body. Ahem.


Planned Parenthood has a tumblr.


Book things, haven’t read these yet: Two New Children’s Books About Gender-Independent Kids and LLF Announces Finalists of the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards


Arkansas passed a ban on abortions after 12 weeks. It’s surely unconstitutional.
Arkansas Abortion Law Bans Procedures After 12 Weeks of Pregnancy
Arkansas Abortion Ban Disproportionately Affects Poor Women and Teenagers
ACLU Statement on Arkansas Senate Passage of Bill to Ban Most Restrictive Abortion Law in the Country
Activists Will Challenge Arkansas’ New Abortion Limit


South Dakota Governor Signs 72-Hour, No Weekends Waiting Period Into Law

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a bill that forces women to wait three days before they can obtain an abortion in the state; under the law, weekends and holidays do not count toward that waiting period.


A day of appreciation for abortion providers is being observed. I’d like to point to and give thanks to future providers as well, recognizing Medical Students for Choice and Nursing Students for Choice, for doing the work of making sure competent providers are being trained for the future.


The President signed the Violence Against Women Act, including provisions to improve protection for Native American, LGBT, low income, and immigrant women.


Plants for Patients: advocating wellness and pro-compassion
This is pretty terrific, a North Dakota non-profit started by a ceramics artist making planters and giving them with plants to post-abortion patients as a show to support and compassion. Here’s their homepage, and they’re also on Facebook and Twitter.


Recent thing at OBOS: Europe Takes on Review of Birth Control Pills Containing Drospirenone, because there are concerns that newer pills like Yaz are not as safe as some other existing options.


And, finally, via MedlinePlus a list of resources on anxiety. On my mind because of a stressful situation and my own catastrophizing.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kerse permalink
    March 21, 2013 2:56 pm

    So, as this is obviously a controversial response, please understand that I do not mean any criticism or injury, just trying to have honest conversation:

    I don’t think that Zerlina Maxwell is correct at all. I think that, like many things, it works great on paper, but not in practice. The truth is that enough parents simply don’t care enough to make a difference. In a perfect world, where all parents were actively involved in their children’s growing up process, I would agree. Simply teach young boys that rape is bad, and we should be good.

    However, we don’t live in a perfect world. The reason that so many gangs exist in the world is because somewhere, moms and dads didn’t care enough to actively teach their kids right from wrong, and it led to their children having children that they didn’t care about either.

    While it isn’t fair, and it’s not right, I think that teaching women how to avoid “rapey” situations, or self defense will actually make more of an impact in today’s society than trying to get to all of today’s youth to teach them a lesson. It’s sad, yes, but it’s also true.

    • March 22, 2013 7:36 am

      Thanks for your comment. I think you’re right to some extent, but that there is a pretty huge gap between “won’t work for everybody” and “won’t work for anybody, or for most people.” The reactions to the simple sentiment that you reduce rape by teaching men not to rape (rather than blaming women for not preventing it) have been so strong, it’s obvious that it’s a novel or radical concept for many – many people are much more invested in the idea of controlling women than actually teaching people (primarily men) not to rape. So while it might not work for everybody, as a concept it may work for a lot of people, and is new to many, going against an awful lot of social expectations.

      Somewhere around here I have something on my issues with the self defense/avoidance strategy, I’ll try to remember to dig it up and link it.

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