Seriously, if we believe a 14 year old is too immature to know how to take a pill, do we really think she’s adult enough to handle an unwanted pregnancy?
The truth is that the age restriction is completely arbitrary, tied only to our puritanical comfort levels. And listen, I get it; I think it’s fair to say that most people are uncomfortable with the idea of a 14 year old having sex. But here’s the thing - access to Plan B isn’t about keeping a 14 year old from having sex - by the time she gets to the pharmacy, that ship has sailed - it’s about keeping a 14 year old who has already had sex from getting pregnant. And despite what urban legend (or past embarrassing FDA memos) may tell you, making emergency contraception more available is not more likely to make young teens have sex - it will just make them less likely to end up pregnant.
We can’t let our discomfort with teen sex trump young people’s right to sexual and reproductive health and we can’t continue to let politics trump science. If we care about young women’s health and bodily autonomy and integrity, we’ll drop all age restrictions from emergency contraception. Anything less isn’t just illogical - it’s immoral.
I cannot understand anti-abortion arguments that centre on the sanctity of life. As a species we’ve fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don’t believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain and life-long poverty shows us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we’ve made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred.
You want to slow the spread of AIDS? Educate a girl. You want to slow population growth? Educate a girl. You want to grow the global economy? Educate a girl. So, what exactly changes when the 600,000 girls in the developing world get a good education?
Some stirring statistics in this trailer for Girl Rising, a moving documentary about the impact of educating girls worldwide.
At a time when even in the “developed” world the gender gap in academia gapeswide, what could be more important? Even Einstein knew that.
Help support the project with a donation – for the cost of an average New York City dinner, for instance, you can cover the school feels for one girl for an entire year.
Shane attacked Maggie, throwing her into chairs, pushing her up against the wall and choking her in front of her daughter, Memphis.
After I confirmed one of the housemates had called the police, I then continued to document the abuse — my instincts as a photojournalist began kicking in. If Maggie couldn’t leave, neither could I.
Eventually, the police arrived. I was fortunate that the responding officers were well educated on First Amendment laws and did not try to stop me from taking pictures. At first, Maggie did not want to cooperate with the officers who led Shane away in handcuffs, but soon after, she changed her mind and gave a statement about the incident. Shane pled guilty to a domestic violence felony and is currently in prison in Ohio.
The incident raised a number of ethical questions. I’ve been castigated by a number of anonymous internet commenters who have said that I should have somehow physically intervened between the two. Their criticism counters what actual law enforcement officers have told me — that physically intervening would have likely only made the situation worse, endangering me, and further endangering Maggie.
And no, I’m not talking ninja-wise, the way she’s written in Jim Hines’ princess series, I’m talking about a young woman who’s blessed with the kind of skills that makes a queen into a history making ruler. Strategy, diplomacy, a sharp sense of persona and a deep motivation of exactly how to motivate people. The skill to make her country great, the ethics not to do so on the backs of the disenfranchised, and the ability to rule as a partner with her husband despite the cultural norms surrounding her.
Know what she’d be then? The wicked queen of the next fairy tale down the row. Because dudes fear nothing quite so much as a bitch who don’t need their permission to shine.
When the media reports domestic violence murders as random tragedies - or when individuals say the perpetrator must have “snapped” - they enable a culture of violence against women. Because when you don’t contextualize this violence as part of structural misogyny, you give credence to the myth that there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it.
Insisting that this murder or others like it are ‘unthinkable’ or ‘shocking’ is another way of saying that no one could have predicted it. (He was such a nice guy! A family man!) It’s a dangerous lie that allows us to wash our hands of responsibility when it comes to the violence that is perpetrated against women. Because the truth is that murders like this are predictable.
In a Thanksgiving message titled “A letter to a friend,” Jada Pinkett-Smith wrote, “This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete… Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.”
Abortion is a hotly debated and poorly studied medical procedure. There are a few studies of dubious validity that connect abortion to mental illness and drug use.
Latest in no-duh news: Women experience less poverty, more employment, less domestic violence, and better mental and physical health outcomes when provided access to abortions. It’s a no-brainer—but now there’s a lovely case-control study presented at APHA to support common sense with evidence.
Or, as someone so eloquently stated in the comments section of this post,—”as an act of protest about Anita’s concerns over how women are treated in video games, he makes a video game about beating up a woman.”
Helen Lewis wrote an article on the New Statesman yesterday on the online harassment experienced by Anita Sarkeesian, which I’ve been following for a while. To recap:
American blogger Anita Sarkeesian, who launched a Kickstarter programme to raise $6,000 to…
If you’re even remotely following the shitstorm that been following Anita Sarkeesian for wanting to conduct feminist critique of female tropes in video games, go read this. It sums up a lot the mind-numbing WhatTheFuck-ery of the backlash against her.
Folks who have spent any amount of time on internet forums will probably find a kernel of truth in this. It’s frustrating to see how quickly a person is “trolled” into submission for standing up to clear examples of privilege on the internet.
Need an example of what feminists face on the internet? Check out this sample of comments/emails that have been sent to those who stand up against inequality at the “Dear Feminist” tumblr, or visit Feministing.com and check out some of the feminist hate mail they receive.