Keep your fingers crossed: Politico is reporting that the Violence Against Women Act is expected to pass in the House of Representatives this week.
VAWA was originally championed by then-Senator Joe Biden back in 1994 and gets renewed very six years. The bill allocates funds to help victims of rape and domestic violence, including money to process rape kits, and prosecute men accused of abusing women. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Well, it’s not. Apparently violence against women is A-OK for some of our politicians. Last year, VAWA hit a snag in the House, which refused to pass a Senate version of the bill allocating funds to undocumented women, same-sex partners, and Native American women who are abused by non-Native American men. Keep reading »
It was a typical Orange County night at the tail end of a long, lazy winter break. The plethora of yogurt shops in the neighborhood were closing, and even if you craved a Starbucks treat, it was too late in suburbia. The few dive-bars in the area boasted their usual divorcee crowd. My mom, dad and I finished a late dinner and now it was time to select our entertainment. Movie night at the Gray house is not only standard, but also probably the best post-nine-o’clock activity in town.
“What do you want to watch?” my mom asked, flipping through the movies in On Demand. She stopped suddenly, staring at me with calm yet focused eyes, “Do you think you can handle ‘First Position’?”
“Sure,” I responded casually. I understood why she was tentative to suggest watching a documentary about young ballet dancers, yet I was feeling confident. Friends and former co-workers had repeatedly suggested the film and I was in a safe, comfortable environment. I was all in. “Let’s do it!” I took a deep breath and settled in (Snuggie and all) to watch the story of six young dancers dedicating their lives to ballet, as I had for so many years. Keep reading »
In shocking news to everyone, as a fetus you were your mother’s largest organ! Or at least that’s what Alabama State Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R) is now claiming.
The bill she introduced this week requires a series of demanding requirements of abortion clinics who perform this “big surgery.” According to the Huffington Post, these regulations could potentially close the sparse five remaining abortion clinics in Alabama. The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the bill:
“Would require physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals; require clinics to follow ambulatory clinic building codes and make it a felony — punishable by up to 10 years in prison — for a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to dispense abortion-inducing medications”
Rep. McClurkin’s reasoning for such harsh new regulations: the removal of an organ is a serious surgery, and by her estimation a child is an organ. Rep. McClurkin’s assertion is ridiculous for so many reasons.
Keep reading »
This morning, Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius faced his first bail hearing regarding the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and disputed the premeditated murder charge against him. The higher charge caries the most intense bail requirements of South African law, according to The Atlantic.
Here’s an update on where the case is at… Keep reading »
The Associated Press has clarified their journalistic standards on reporting about same-sex couples and they have some weird rules about when to refer to a partner as a “husband or wife.” According to a memo from the AP’s standards editor, which was reprinted by Romenesko, they will only do it if the word “husband” or “wife” is from a quote. But if a gay couple is legally married, the AP still refers to them as “partners” or “couples” instead of “husbands” or “wives”. Keep reading »
If you’re not into the commercial cutesiness of Valentine’s Day, there’s an alternate, empowering holiday to celebrate on February 14th: V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. ”The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler created V-Day, which is celebrated each year on Valentine’s Day as the play is staged around the world to raise money for local rape crisis centers.
This year, V-Day also marks the grand finale of Ensler’s year long One Billion Rising campaign. The One Billion Rising name and collective goal derives from a statistic that one in three women will suffer abuse or rape in their lifetime; out of the seven billion people populating the world, that means roughly one billion women will be victims. Keep reading »
“Slow down. Slow down. How about a little foreplay? There’s a bipartisan conversation going on in the Senate. There’s a bipartisan conversation going in the House. Let these things work their way along. It is too early to talk about legislation going on in one house or the other.”
– This was Speaker John Boehner’s cringeworthy response yesterday to a question about immigration reform. Okay, can we just all say “ewww!” Yo Boehner, if the phonetic pronunciation of your last name is already a dirty joke in the making, best not bust out the sex metaphors! [Huffington Post]