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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Birth Control Fight, But Viagra is Fine

A few weeks ago, my university feminist group, Lucy/Vox* hosted a table in our student center called “Ask a Feminist.” At first, we were hoping to get some weird or misinformed questions, either to inform the student body of the honest feelings of feminists, or just to spend a few minutes chatting with likeminded people. As a back-up, we had a petition to support low-cost contraceptives for women.

Unfortunately, there was no swarm of curious students dying to pick our brains. So be it. However, we ended up around fifty or sixty signatures, which isn’t bad considering how dismal the turn-out seemed to be earlier in the day. One of the male feminists at our table brought up an important, and entertaining, argument for our petition.

People are fighting for the right to deny coverage of birth control without copay but Viagra can be covered with no problems. (See Image in Last Post)Image

It proved to be convincing enough to allow people to ask us questions about that problem, which led to more in-depth conversations and, hopefully, some enlightenment or new information if we would be so lucky.

This clip is from last year, but it still brings the lols.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/08/05/289117/hannity-blasts-insurance-coverage-for-birth-control-defends-viagra-that-is-a-medical-problem/?mobile=nc

“This is a medical problem versus a choice to have sex”

Right, Sean Hannity. People need Viagra just so they know that they can get an erection… Viagra has nothing to do with the choice to have sex. Women also take birth control for intense menstrual cramps and cysts. Hmmph.

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Rick Perry vs. Planned Parenthood

I should really start labeling every post XXX vs. Planned Parenthood.

I opened up an e-mail from Planned Parenthood today to find another open attack on women’s rights. Texas governor (and ex-presidential candidate) Rick Perry is trying to attach the Medicaid Women’s Health Program (WHP).  According to Planned Parenthood, over 25% of Texas women are uninsured, and have the third highest rate of cervical cancer in the country.

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The email read:

On Thursday, Texas Governor Rick Perry moved to effectively sabotage the state’s entire Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which provides 130,000 low-income women with basic reproductive health care services. This comes on the heels of devastating cuts to women’s health funding across the board — cuts already expected to leave 160,000 women without care this year.

In short, Perry is trying to block Medicaid funding to programs involved with abortion services. Right now, the decision is unclear whether Medicaid is to cut funding to the WHP or simply “or allow the rule blocking Planned Parenthood to go forward, allowing Texas to violate federal law and forcing nearly half of WHP clients to find new healthcare providers.” (Anna Merlin, Dallas Observer)

It’s a shame. This pie chart represents the services that Planned Parenthood provided in 2011. Only 3% of activity was abortion services. Not to mention that Medicaid funding never goes to abortion. It is just another lightly-veiled attempt to attack Planned Parenthood because of their pro-choice attitude.

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Murphy Brown vs. Dan Quayle

There used to be a show on CBS called Murphy Brown, which ran for ten seasons, beginning in 1988. Murphy Brown is portrayed as a strong woman working in the field of journalism as an investigative reporter. She is highly successful, except for her bout with alcoholism, which is how the show begins. (She returns to working for FYI after her stay at the Betty Ford Clinic.) She is always dressed in a women’s power suit, and is considered “one of the guys.” Typical.

Murphy as a character is independent, outspoken, and self-sufficient. She proved stronger than her addiction, and within the first few seasons, finds herself in hot water when she discovers that she is pregnant. It is important to note that Murphy is in her forties and is single.

I have known many single mothers, my own mother included, and though it is tough to raise children with the (possibly) limited income of one person, it is far from impossible, and does NOT mean that the mother is discounting family values. However, Dan Quayle, then vice-present, thought differently.

During a speech, due to discuss the Los Angeles riots of 1992, Quayle preached about the breakdown of values. He referenced Murphy Brown with the following statement :

“[it] doesn’t help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown — a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid, professional woman — mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another ‘lifestyle choice.”

I don’t quite understand his reference after such an eye-opening event like the L.A. riots. The writers did not intend to mock the importance of fathers. In fact, the program showed the father’s unwillingness to change his lifestyle to have a child. Instead, Murphy decided to raise the child on her own. This doesn’t negate intelligent, professional women’s power. It shows her independence and courage.

Extra Credit : Not everyone believes that Murphy Brown was a purely progressive, feminist show.  Bitch Media has an article, Backlash in Action, which talks about an episode in which Murphy returns to her alma mater and sits in on a Women’s Studies class.

What are all of your thoughts on Murphy Brown?

Reproductive Issues vs. The GOP

There are some terrifying threats to reproductive freedom flying around as of late. Now, this blog isn’t to batter people with my political views, but something has to be said about the GOP views of women’s rights and reproductive issues.

Rick Santorum on the topic of rape, and in turn, pregnancy.Image

“As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that –in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.”

What is the world?! A woman is raped, and Santorum believes that she should not have the right to choose an abortion, to carry the child which was forced on her by a violent criminal. Instead, it’s a GIFT from GOD. (Whatever happened to separation of church and state?)

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Ron Paul on rape and possible pregnancy.

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“If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen.”

Yeah, an honest rape. The juxtaposition of those words makes me ill. If a woman is raped, she can get the Plan B Pill this time. He believes that if you are raped, you should just get the morning after pill. Forget about going to a clinic in a month after rape. Sorry ladies, you missed your chance. Try being honest.

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Never mind the fact that some unplanned pregnancies could be avoided if birth control pills could be covered by insurance. However, people are fighting tooth and nail to allow employers to deny the right to birth control pill coverage. Isn’t it interesting that all of these people are men, who will never have to worry about becoming pregnant.

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-LHM

Lucy/Vox*

As I may have mentioned before, I am a part of my university’s Feminist Club, Lucy/Vox*. When I first joined, I tried to come up with reasons as to why it was called Lucy/Vox*

I knew that vox is typically short for vocals on music tracks, and learned soon after that the Vox, indeed stands for vocal feminists, and sprung from our involvement with Planned Parenthood.

We recently discussed the “Lucy” meaning, and I found that our members had the same thoughts that I had. Hurrah Lucy! Let’s start with the oldest Lucy..

-For decades, Lucy was the oldest human fossils found, only recently dethroned in 2009. Lucy was important is evolution studies, as her skull size and her ability to walk upright.

-Lucille Ball, who is often touted as one of the most recognized and loved entertainer. She was the star of the television show, I Love Lucy, and owned a production company with her then-husband Desi Arnaz.

-Lucy from Peanuts- though she may be unpleasant and inconsiderate at times, she gave a strong voice to a woman in the media. I’m sure anti-feminists will have a field day with this one. Yes, she is cruel to Charlie Brown, but you have to give her credit, she knows what she wants. In any case, enjoy the cartoons.

Upon further prodding the subject, I stumbled upon Lucy/Vox*’s website, which apparently, is unused and ancient (compared to how quickly media changes nowadays. Our three discussions were on the list, as well as these:

Lucy Pfleeger, feminist

Lucy Burns, American suffragist

Lucy Stone, feminist and abolitionist

It was fun to search out the history of our feminist club, now on to bigger feminist studies of famous feminists who have been paving the way for decades.

-LHM

WTF Chris Brown

Not to beat a dead horse here (unfortunate phrasing), but WTF is with all of those Chris Brown tweets one week ago during the Grammy’s? I can understand the plight of some of the women after their Twitter names were plastered all over the internet, as they claimed it was just a joke. HOWEVER, domestic abuse is not a joke.

Treating a woman, treating ANYONE with such force is sickening. The details of the attack are available on the web. They include biting, punching, slamming her head against the car door repeatedly. This is not something to joke about.

After talking to peers about it, I got responses that ran the gamut, but nothing even suggesting that they would let Chris Brown beat them, or even that what he did wasn’t wrong.

-If Rihanna forgave him, why can’t everyone else? [No one who attacked someone so viciously should escape being demonized, IMO.]

-I can’t believe that he won a Grammy. [Me either. I understand that the guy wants to move on from his past and continue his music career, but a mere two years ago, he brutally beat his girlfriend.]

Personally, I think it’s horrible. According to what I have seen, many others do as well. I feel bad for the girls who tweeted the awful remarks, only because I will not encourage cyberbullying. However, I truly hope these girls understand the severity of their “jokes.”

**Unrelated: I am 22 years old, and know who Paul McCartney is. I love The Beatles. How can people not know him?! Last Sunday was a shameful night for Twitter, that’s for sure.

-LHM

“Why I Am A Male Feminist”

I was referred to a wonderful article “Why I Am a Male Feminist”, which can be found here. The author, Byron Hurt, is speaking about his involvement in the MVP Program, or Mentors in Violence Prevention Project. While involved, he and his peers discuss what each gender does to prevent sexual assault.

Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:

“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
“I carry mace or pepper spray.”
“I watch what I wear.”

He realized that he had assumed that all feminists were white lesbians who hated men. However, after this experience, he learned that this generalization was far from the truth.

Byron Hurt is a male feminist: he respects women, and understands the Feminist plight, because, as a young boy, he saw that his father used his size and gender to intimidate his wife, Hurt’s mother.

This is a wonderful article to help understand that Feminism does not disqualify men, people of other races, ages, and sexual orientations from feminism. Feminism, at the very root, means to support women’s rights and respect women as you should respect anyone else.

Women should never have to feel that we are in danger when walking at night, wearing clothes that “ask for it”, or just being out alone. We never ask for rape or sexual assault, and it’s about time people get that through their heads and STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM.

-LHM