Alex Karydi's picture

How to make Lesbian Friendships

Ever feel at a loss? Are you completely consumed by life demands? At times it feels like we are on a stage and everyone is watching us fail! We have a sense of lose, as if it is within reach but like a toy that’s been taken by the ocean’s current it has slipped away.


Every relationship has left a trace, maybe even jaded our view of life and love to a point where even if perfection was to walk in it would seem impossible to see her! Or maybe even want her. Why want what you can’t have or ever keep.

You go out and every woman looks the same, every woman sounds the same, so familiar on the surface nothing has changed.  We have the same discussion with different faces and hear the same empty promises and speech of lost loves and new beginnings. 

We have become committed to finding a partner so badly that for most of us friendships have been put aside, until that someone comes along. Others of us have been in relationships where being with one another was sufficient and slowly isolated you from the world. Friendship, the unconditional love we have for what once was a stranger is the equivalent to oxygen in a healthy person.

arvan's picture

Ireland: Abortion Limits Violate Human Rights

(h/t @HunterSony)

Women in need of abortion services should, as a matter of international law and – frankly - human decency, be able to count on support from their government as they face a difficult situation. But in Ireland they are actively stonewalled, stigmatized, and written out.

Marianne Mollmann, women’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch

(Dublin, January 28, 2010) - The Irish government actively seeks to restrict access to abortion services and information both within Ireland and for its residents seeking care abroad, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 57-page report, "A State of Isolation: Access to Abortion for Women in Ireland," details how women struggle to overcome the financial, logistical, physical, and emotional burdens imposed by restrictive laws and policies that force them to seek care abroad, without support from the state.  Every year thousands of women and girls travel from Ireland to other European countries for abortions.

"Women in need of abortion services should, as a matter of international law and - frankly -human decency, be able to count on support from their government as they face a difficult situation," said Marianne Mollmann, women's rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. "But in Ireland they are actively stonewalled, stigmatized, and written out."

LaPrincipessa's picture

But Will It Be Covered By Insurance?

The New York Times has an intriguing report about a drug that a German drug company has "stumbled upon" that purportedly will raise a woman's sexual libido. Call it Viagra for women. The FDA has been holding hearings about this new drug and ever since Viagra has been FDA approved, many in the pharmaceutical community have worked to turn low sexual libido in women into a medical pathological condition.  Whether you agree with that or not; whether you see this as damaging to women and women's rights world wide or not; there is no doubt that should this new drug pass FDA regulations and hit the market, there will be significant backlash from a variety of communities.

Due to current insurance regulations and laws, the administrator of insurance plans (ie: Blue Cross/Blue Shield or AETNA)  usually defer to employers to chose what is and is not covered under insurance plans they provide/offer to employees, after the base plan that is offered for a certain premium. If the company choses a self funded plan, the restrictions on what they do and do not cover are even less. This has in part, created the trend that sees employers creating exemptions that say birth control, abortions and several other women's health services as "medically unnecessary" or simply "not covered" .  Yet, there is almost always no restrictions on the coverage of drugs like Levitra, Viagra and Cialis.  Now, with the pending approval of a female libido-enhancing drug and the push to create the "low female libido" condition - there is no doubt insurance companies will cover such a drug.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Feminist Rules - A Recap

A lot of commentary of late is cropping up across the internet about who is or is not a feminist. I have read countless articles that have provided numerous rules and regulations for women (not men) who want to be, or already call themselves, a feminist. In case you haven't had time to surf the net and check off each item on your "i AM a feminist for reallllls" list, I will kindly provide a recap of everything a self-questioning or thinking-to-pledge feminist will need.

1. You have to have a college degree. If you don't, make sure you are enrolled in a college. Community colleges and technical schools are not the same as a four year institution. The intellectual rigor of feminist theory and gender philosophy requires  a diploma, without one you are probably just pretending. If you cared about the advancement of women, you would know that empowerment begins with the mind and education(previously an all male activity) is the way to go.

2. You have to remain unmarried. Okay, so this is an iffy subject. If you are a woman who is married, then you are choosing to conform to hundreds of years of patriarchal subjugation of women and thus you are by default not allowed to call yourself a feminist. There are some who will argue that getting married is okay; if you believe this then get married, but DO NOT change your last name to match his last name. Your feminist card is smoking when you state , "I do".  It will explode if you surrender your name.

arvan's picture

Are Namibian Women Being Forcibly Sterilised?*

By Servaas van den Bosch

REHOBOTH, Namibia, Jun 1, 2010 (IPS)- A landmark court case, alleging that HIV-positive women were forcibly sterilised in Namibian state hospitals begins in Windhoek's High Court on Jun. 1. Human rights groups claim the practice has continued long after the authorities were notified.

The Windhoek-based Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) is litigating 15 alleged cases of forced sterilisation. Three women's cases will be heard initially. Each woman is demanding the equivalent of 132,000 U.S dollars in damages.

The sterilisations were first uncovered by the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW).

"The first cases emerged during community meetings in early 2008. In the months that followed we interviewed 230 women, 40 of whom were sterilised against their will," says the ICW's Veronica Kalambi.

"In August 2008 we formally alerted the ministry during a meeting with the deputy Minister."

Although the State will argue that consent forms were signed in all three cases, the women’s lawyers maintain the process necessary for "informed consent" was not followed and the women were coerced, or did not understand the procedure.

arvan's picture

Female Migrants Charge Sexual Abuse in Detention

By William Fisher

NEW YORK, Jun 7, 2010 (IPS) - In the wake of allegations that a male guard at a central Texas detention facility sexually assaulted female detainees on their way to being deported, immigrant advocacy groups say stronger oversight and accountability is urgently needed to prevent further abuse of female detainees.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said last week that the guard has been fired. It added that Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison company that manages the Hutto facility, has been placed on probation pending the investigation's outcome. The consequences of probation were not immediately clear.

ICE said that several women who were held at Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas, were groped while being patted down and at least one was propositioned for sex.

"We understand that this employee was able to commit these alleged crimes because ICE-mandated transport policies and procedures were not followed," David Sanders, DHS's contracting officer, said in a letter to Corrections Corporation of America obtained by The Associated Press.

LaPrincipessa's picture

More Victim Blaming

This is all sorts of fucked up. In response to an apparent need to address the increase in "frivolous" lawsuits against celebrities for sexual assault that never went to trial, Britain's new government is cracking down on rape victims and acting quickly to protect rapists.

The British Prime Minister is supporting limited anonymity for rape defendants, says the BBC News.

In its coalition deal, the government backed keeping the identity of defendants in rape cases in England and Wales secret until after conviction.

But Mr Cameron told MPs he favoured a "limited extension" to the law to cover the period between arrest and charges.

Tbe acting Labor leader Harriet Herman is of course dismayed at such a stance. She is quoted as correctly stating that protecting rapists will only make it even more difficult for rape victims to come forward.

To single out rape defendants sends a very powerful message to juries in rape cases that the rape victim is not to be believed. It sends a devastating message to rape victims that uniquely of all victims they are not to be believed.

Although the article cites the statistical odds piled against rape victims in the UK, it concludes with the justification for rapist protection stating "number of cases in which celebrities were named in newspapers over allegations of sexual assault, even though in some cases they were not charge". Of course the actions of a few will endanger hundreds of thousands of other women, and for the British government that is apparently okay.

LaPrincipessa | Twitter | Email

(Posted at Women Undefined)

arvan's picture

Teenage Pregnancies Soar as Church Looks the Other Way

By Pavol Stracansky

WARSAW, Jun 1, 2010 (IPS) - Pressure from the Catholic Church to effectively stop sex education in schools is threatening the health of tens of thousands of teenagers who fall pregnant every year because they have little or no knowledge of safe sex, education groups in Poland have warned.

They say many youngsters go into their first sexual relationships with little or no idea of contraception and the health consequences of unprotected sex, as conservative clergy covertly stifle any school sex education that does not conform to the Church’s strict Catholic teachings.

Anka Grzywacz, educator with the Polish Ponton Group of Sex Educators, told IPS: "The Catholic Church has a huge influence in Poland and in schools. The Catholic Church does not want sex education to be taught and, therefore, schools simply do what the Church wants and just do not teach it."

More than 20,000 Polish girls below the legal age of consent give birth each year, according to official figures. But it is believed that many more teenagers fall pregnant, and because of Poland’s strict abortion laws and the unwillingness of doctors to perform even legal abortions, they undergo dangerous illegal abortions or head abroad to have the procedure carried out.

arvan's picture

Muslim Conservatives Blocking New Family Law in Mali

By Soumaïla T. Diarra

BAMAKO, May 19, 2010 (IPS) - A new family law has raised tension in Mali. This controversial law, intended to give greater freedoms and rights to women, has been sent back to the National Assembly for a second reading after protests from Muslim radicals.

These Muslim are threatening to make the country ungovernable if the law is enacted in its original form as voted by Parliament in August 2009.

"Those who oppose the new family law have started threatening legislators, railing against them in sermons and organising protest meetings. They're also using newspapers and radio since they learned that the law is on the agenda of the current parliamentary session," Salimata Kouyaté told IPS. Kouyaté is an activist with the Malian Network of NGOs and Women's Associations.

The next full session of parliament is scheduled to begin on May 20, but for now there is no confirmation when the legislation will be reviewed and put to a vote.

arvan's picture

Women Intensify Push to Pass Law Against Acid Attacks in Pakistan

By Zofeen Ebrahim

KARACHI, Pakistan, May 31, 2010 (IPS) - Almost seven years after Naila Farhat, 20, became another victim of an acid throwing attack by a spurned suitor, she is finally seeing more vigorous efforts toward the passage of a law seeking to amend existing legislation to reinforce protection of women against violent assaults.

Farhat is the first to admit, though, that beneath her physical scars is a smoldering anger that refuses to be pacified until she has exacted vengeance against her violators.

"I want him to be doused in acid so he can feel not just the searing pain but live with disfigurement day after day, for the rest of his life," she said of her main assailant over telephone from Layyah, a town in the southern part of Punjab province.

Yasmeen Rehman, advisor to the prime minister on women’s development and a legislator, told IPS that the Ministry of Women Development (MoWD) was doing further research on a draft law against acid attacks.

"It is seeking help from the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women, she said.

The ASF, in turn, is getting assistance from its parent organisation in Britain and Cornell Law School in the United States, said Sana Masood, a lawyer working with the Foundation, which provides medical, psychosocial, socioeconomic and legal aid to acid survivors. "We are currently involved in extensive research to help the MoWD in coming up with another bill," she revealed

"Realistically speaking, I should say we will be able to present it in the (legislative) assembly by July," said Rehman

In November 2009, six years after Farhat filed a case against her perpetrators – a tailor and her elementary science teacher, who acted as an accomplice – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary urged the government to pass a new law that would restrict the sale of industrial strength acid and increase the punishment for acid attacks.

This came with his landmark verdict upholding the original lower court ruling sentencing Farhat’s violators to 12 years in prison and ordering them to pay 1.25 million rupees (about 14,775 dollars) in damages.

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