women

LaPrincipessa's picture

Support the Birth Control Matters Campaign For Contraception With No Co-Pays

Birth Control Matters is an effort to make birth control available with no copays so that all women can use the method that works best for them and to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.

Affordable prescription birth control is an essential part of health care for millions of women. The average woman spends 30 years of her life trying to avoid getting pregnant. More than one-third of women voters in America have struggled with the cost of prescription birth control at some point in their lives, and, as a result, have used birth control inconsistently.

No copays for birth control is the single most important step we can take to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.

The new health care reform law represents the single biggest opportunity to advance women’s health in 45 years. 

To make this opportunity a reality, the law must require health plans to provide prescription birth control to women with no copays, as part of the prevention provision. 

This would be a huge step forward for America – and especially for the many of women in this nation who cannot afford to pay for prescription contraception.

Please read the entire release from Planned Parenthood and find ways to donate and spread the word.

(Posted at Women Undefined)

arvan's picture

Pat Condell: Human Rights Travesty

Pat's on fire again.  This time he goes after the UN and how it allows flagrant brutalizers of women to have a say in their policies toward the betterment of women.

lilith land's picture

Why Women Fake Orgasms

The publication of one the largest sex studies (The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior) in recent years has once again revealed an

arvan's picture

Columbia College Chicago presents Tomboy

Columbia College Chicago presents Tomboy

Columbia College Chicago November 8, 2010 – January 7, 2011

Glass Curtain Gallery,

Columbia College Chicago

1104 S Wabash Avenue, 1st floor,

Chicago, IL 60605

Gallery Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri, 9-5pm,

Thurs 9-7pm, Sat Noon-5pm

http://www.colum.edu/deps

Reception with curator and artists: November 11, 2010, 5-8pm

Opening Night Programming:

Artist Performances include Indoor 5k, run with Mary George, 4:30-6:30pm

and I Will Always Love You, interactive performance by Allison Halter, 5:30pm

Accompanying Lecture

“Crossing the Line: Genre & Identity,” a reading and lecture by award-winning author Dorothy Allison, 7:30pm in the Conaway Center adjacent to the Glass Curtain Gallery

Additional Programming:

Cafe Society, a year-long series featuring several Columbia College exhibitions, welcomes the Columbia community and the public for a salon style discussion of Tomboy. November 16, 4:00-6:00pm in the Glass Curtain Gallery.

Tomboy examines the degrees to which identity and gender influence meaning in the work of six contemporary queer women artists.  From painterly gestures to performative acts, sculptural installations to digitally altered photographs, this exhibition explores the variety of approaches artists take in negotiating notions of identity.  These works turn away from the essentialism of early feminist art and the specificity of “identity art,” and instead employ identity in intentionally ambiguous, mercurial, and peripheral ways.  Tomboy delves into the murky spaces between the personal, the political, and the formal in order to ask viewers the question: “can and should what we know about an artist be separated from how we experience their work?”

Participating Artists:

Kelli Connell

Dana DeGiulio

Daphne Fitzpatrick

Mary George

Allison Halter

Leeza Meksin

Tomboy is curated by Betsy Odom

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Visit the Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces webpage: http://www.colum.edu/deps

CONTACT

Exhibition information: Mark Porter, mporter@colum.edu

Press inquiries: Elizabeth Burke-Dain, eburkedain@colum.edu

This program is produced by the Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces of Columbia College Chicago.

arvan's picture

Islamic Legal Tradition and Feminism: Opening a New Dialogue

Author: Ziba Mir-Hosseini (via SKSW)

Publication Date: October, 2010

(This paper was presented at the IV International Congress on Islamic Feminism in Madrid, 21-24 October 2010)

I am delighted to be here, and I would like to thank the organizers, in particular Abdennur Prado, for inviting me to the Fourth Congress on Islamic Feminism. I am sorry that my co-panelist compatriot, Ms Fariba Alasvand, whose scholarship and writings I have been following from afar for some time, was not able to be here. I am grateful to Mr Joaquin Rodriguez for presenting her paper.

The term ‘Islamic Feminism’ gained currency in the 1990s as a label for a brand of feminist scholarship and activism that was associated with Islam and Muslims. I was among the first scholars to use the term to speak of a new gender consciousness that emerged in Iran in the early 1990s, a decade after the 1979 popular revolution that led to a merger of religious and political power in the country. There has since been much discussion and debate and a growing literature on ‘Islamic feminism’, to which I have contributed. Inevitably, there are diverging accounts of the nature of this phenomenon, and of its origins and development.[1] Here I want to revisit this term and offer some reflections on the heavy political baggage that comes with it—as well as with its component elements: ‘Islamic’ and ‘feminism’.

I have two objectives. First, I want to set the record straight and to explain the context in which I have used the term myself, and the kind of feminism that is involved. I shall reflect on the term in the light of developments in the intervening years, culminating in two events in 2009 that, I believe, show how far the debate has moved on, both globally and locally, namely, first, the launch of Musawah, a ‘Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family’, and secondly, the emergence of the Green Movement in Iran. Musawah, launched in Kuala Lumpur in February 2009, brings Islamic and human rights frameworks together to build an overlapping consensus among Muslim women from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and to push for legal reform.[2] The Green Movement in Iran started in June last year as a protest against a fraudulent presidential election, but it soon became a broader civil rights movement in which Iranian women have been the most prominent actors.[3]

arvan's picture

Undesired: A Short Film About Discarded Girls

India is a diverse country separated by class and caste. But all women confront the cultural pressure to bear a son.  This preference cuts through every social divide, from geography to economy.  No woman is exempt.

This preference originates from the belief that men make money while women, because of their expensive dowry costs, are a financial burden.  As a result, there is a near constant disregard for the lives of women and girls.  From birth until old age, women face a constant threat of violence and too frequently, death.

The numbers are staggering.  Since 1980, an estimated 40 million women are 'missing,' by way of abortion, neglect or murder. 7,000 female fetuses are aborted every day according to the U.N., aborted solely because they are girls.  One dowry death is reported every 77 minutes.  Countless others are never known.

The government has tried to intervene.  Dowry and sex selective abortions are illegal.  Yet both practices still thrive, in large part because of deep-rooted cultural prejudices.

Today, eighty percent of Indian states are now facing a shortage of women.  To compensate for this differential, young, unknowing women are bought from surrounding countries like Bangladesh and sold to young bachelors.  Not knowing a word of the language, these trafficked women now face the same kinds of violence as other Indian women.

Read more: Mothers of a Hundred Sons: India's Dying Daughters.

Links:
The Alexia Foundation
Visa Pour l'Image: Astrada's back with new chapter in ongoing project
Visa Pour l'Image: Interview with Walter Astrada
United Nations Development Programme: Power, Voice and Rights (pdf)
Disappearing Daughters: Action Aid & International Development Research Centre (pdf)
NYT: Missing: 50 Million Indian Girls
The Guardian: Women fight for life

Kaberi Gayen's picture

Feminist Responses towards Fundamentalisms and Neo-liberal Economy

This is the final installment of a six-part series, orignally posted at e-Bangladesh.  

Last Episode

Discussion and Conclusion

Asian feminists’ problems are somehow different from that of western societies. The nature of their problem may be understood from an advertisement that Othman (2006) mentioned in the context of Malaysia. An advertisement (in Malay) on all local TV stations in 2003 portrayed a veiled beautiful Muslim Malay woman who in order to ‘please her husband’ groomed her hair with the shampoo being advertised. The advertisement never showed her unveiled head, only a frame of her husband supposedly admiring her beautiful recently shampooed hair! What could be a better metaphor than this advertisement to portray the combined attack of corporate capital and religious fundamentalism in one female body!

Throughout literature, the rise of religious fundamentalisms has been portrayed as the reaction to the failure of capitalist democracy. Mernissi (1989) argues that the spread of fundamentalism in the last two decades has stemmed from the political and social failures of the secular, authoritarian states of the post-colonial period, states that operate within the rules of the International Monetary Fund and the interests of the imperialist powers.  Again, feminism has been seen as the response to fundamentalism. Taking either side, i.e., fundamentalist side or corporate capital side, may prove to be fatal.

We need to consider that religious fundamentalisms are in rise in this region with help from rightist political parties in power who support unconditional foreign investment in most of the countries and women lack not only human capital but social capital too. Also their access to political power is limited though many countries of this region are headed by women with almost no impact on women’s life. This cast further insight that women’s participation in democratic process is important but more important is to understand what political agenda they are advocating for. A note of caution here is, almost all the renowned women leaders of this region are in politics by inheritance, either of their father’s or husband’s. They just carry out the patriarchal agenda set by the concerned political parties and do not want to loose their vote taking any pro-women action that might hostile the religious fundamentalism unless they have pressures from  foreign donor agencies.

Kaberi Gayen's picture

Encagement of beauty and rise of two feminisms

This is the fifth installment of a six-part series, orignally posted at e-BangladeshThe next episode will be posted tomorrow.

Episode - Five

While on one hand this free market economy is prescribing national governments for cutting the provision of education, housing, healthcare and childcare that lessen the economic burden on women and assist their economic independence, on the other hand they are maximising their capital by exploiting women in entertainment and beauty industries.

Women’s Body Esteem is a big business worldwide. Billions of dollars are spent on the “weight loss industry” yearly. That industry is solely dependent on women’s self-hatred. Women are reduced to size, told to be less, told to shed big chunks of themselves for acceptance. Likewise, the “beauty industry” has convinced millions of women that chemical crap on their faces, and plucked eyebrows that are drawn back on, is “beauty.”

The modelling industry, as Ann Simonton (www.mediawatch.com), a former cover model for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Cosmo, Covergirl, etc., observed is promoting an unattainable standard of beauty for women.  In a quest for thinness, women starve themselves, vomit, have their stomach stapled, their jaws wired shut and fat sucked out. Not only are women told that they are too fat, but they are also told that everything else about their bodies needs improvement. Media images teach women that they need to inject collagen into their lips because they are too thin. They are told to inject botox into their faces to freeze nerve endings and iron out wrinkles. Their teeth are not white enough, nor are their skin, their eyes are not blue enough, their hair is not shiny or straight enough, nothing they do is ever enough. This trend is ever increasing.  Just for an example, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 8.5 million U.S. cosmetic procedures were performed in 2001, increased by 48 percent since 2000. Growth is not confined to America, with cosmetic procedures in Asia estimated to be growing 20 percent a year. The German annual growth rate is 15 percent, according to the European Society of Plastic Surgeons, and in Britain there was a 30 percent rise just over 2000.

To sustain and increase this trend, an ideological warfare is always employed against women through mass media, not only in advertisements but also in drama, soap opera, film, magazine and of course in pornography to manufacture their consent. Virtually any mainstream magazine or television commercial shows women’s bodies being used not only to sell products like cosmetics and clothing, but also to sell products that bear no connection to women’s bodies, like cars, food and electronics. The images of women that are used to sell, well, virtually anything, are sexualized, commodified and objectified.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Her beliefs hurt women

Christine O'Donnell: Believes Creationism should be taught in schools and given equal time to Evolution. Believes a woman does not have the right to choose and should submit to her husband. That's right, she's advocation for a 1950's social model which oppressed women greatly.

CNN debate with opponent Chris Coons - Transcript:

BLITZER: Let's give you a chance to respond to some of the things she said because in a television appearance back in 1998 on Bill Maher's show you said evolution is a myth. Do you believe evolution is a myth?

O'DONNELL: I believe that the local -- I was talking about what a local school taught and that should be taught -- that should be decided on the local community. But please let me respond to what he just said.

BLITZER: We'll let you respond but answer the question. Do you believe evolution is a myth?

O'DONNELL: Local schools should make that decision. I made that remark based on --

BLITZER: What do you believe?

O'DONNELL: What I believe is irrelevant.

BLITZER: Why is it irrelevant?

O'DONNELL: Because what I would support ...

BLITZER: Voters want to know.

Kaberi Gayen's picture

Exploitation wins in Fatwa and Neo-Liberalism

This is the fourth installment of a six-part series, orignally posted at e-BangladeshThe next episode will be posted tomorrow.

Episode - Four    

Another basic difference that the women under Islamic doctrine have to suffer from is though other religious fundamentalisms are rising worldwide, women may get the shelter of secular laws of respective countries, but the lives of Muslim women are guided primarily by religious laws. Islamic legal system regulating women-related issues, the family law (al-akhwal al-syakhsyiyyah), has remained static and immutable since its codification a thousand years ago. This same law has been used as a reference on issues like gender relations, polygamy, divorce, inheritance, women’s leadership role, etc. which, unsurprisingly, reaffirms the already patriarchal attitudes of these societies. 

However the most significant feature that has distinguished Muslim fundamentalism from others is as pointed out by Helie-Lucas (2005): “It is also a transnational political movement. This makes it different from most other religious rights that also use religion for political purposes but are more geographically located. ‘Religious’ demands made in Europe and North America to give visibility and specificity to ‘Muslims’ have all been done under the control of fundamentalists with an exclusive focus on the control of women. For an example, in France, Muslim fundamentalists demanded the end of co-educational schools, a different curriculum for girls in state schools that includes a banning of sports, music, graphic arts, biology (like Christian fundamentalists in the US, they refuse Darwinism and want creationism to be taught—at least to girls!), the ‘right to veil’ for girls under age.”

 Thus Islamic fundamentalism has a global character and imposes all Muslim women of the world to be conformed to that character. So if anybody even tries to leave her/his country to enjoy the privilege of secular law in the adopted country, the fear of death in names of ‘fatwa’ runs after them. Fatwa of persecution after Salman Rushdi, Taslima Nasrin, and Nawal el-Saadawi are only a few examples.

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