I was born out of wedlock in Minnesota, to a white mother and an Afghan (not the blanket, the country) father. It was considered pretty scandalous for my mom to be a single mother with a brown baby back in 1979 in Minnesota.
My mother had been with my father off and on for nearly seven years before I came along. Just before my conception, Mom had “escaped” down to South Carolina to stay with her sister after my father informed her that he was already in an arranged marriage with his 15-year-old cousin, who would be arriving soon from Afghanistan. My father’s family had arranged the marriage before relocating to the Unites States; apparently, they felt the need to bring tradition — the child bride tradition—along with them.
You can’t blame my father for wanting my mom for the time that he did, though, as his intended wife was a nine-year-old in Kabul when he met my mom at a Twin Cities bar in 1973, coincidentally the year Roe v. Wade was decided. Still, just before his teen wife was to arrive, my father drove all the way from Minnesota to South Carolina to conceive me in the back seat of his Camaro. Keep reading »
Lila Rose, a twentysomething anti-abortion activist who conducts “sting” operations on Planned Parenthood, penned a piece last week for the news site Politico about the voice she says has been absent from the debate over women’s health care: “that of the anti-abortion feminist.”
Now, it’s not a news that a feminist would also be opposed to abortion; there have always been feminists who have made the individual choice not to have an abortion when presented with an unwanted pregnancy. The problem is when women who call themselves feminists and are also anti-abortion try to climb into my bed, my OB/GYN office, my medical records, and tell me what to do — women like Lila Rose, who writes:
We are women who view the intentional killing of children not as a constitutional right, a matter of privacy or a necessary evil but, rather, as profoundly anti-woman and the antithesis of love. … We are women who believe that something precious is lost when fertility is intentionally excluded from marriage, a sacred bond and a total giving of each spouse to the other. We are women who believe that sex and pregnancy aren’t just health issues; they are also inextricably linked with family, morals, faith and values. And we are women who love everything about being a woman, including being mothers. Keep reading »
If you thought it was just dude politicians who were tone deaf on women, think again: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley visited “The View” today and declared, “Women don’t care about contraception.”
Oh jeez Louise. Keep reading »
“I don’t understand how you can be so anxious to populate the world with children who can’t afford to get an education or are going hungry. It’s wonderful to have a family but it takes money. We’re in an election right now where there’s a lot of talk about how the government is not supposed to make it easy for you to get health care, education, food, or any of the things you need to give a child a chance to be a contributing member of society. I don’t understand how that works? If you don’t have control over your reproductive system as a woman, then who steps in to help you? Clearly, abstinence doesn’t work, and we’re living in an age where a lot of gentlemen don’t take responsibility for the children they’re so happy to give to women. So who helps? … Are the Republicans suggesting that they take care of all the children that are born when you don’t have birth control available to you when you’re a poor woman? Do these guys not understand what it takes to raise a child, financially and time-wise? They sound like complete idiots!”
– Susan Sarandon reminds me why she’s my favorite feminist in Hollywood (and not just because she played the mom in the “Little Women” remake). Elsewhere in this interview she calls Rush Limbaugh “a Barnum & Bailey showman” who “doesn’t care who he endangers or what it means” and when asked about dating her much-younger business partner after she split from Tim Robbins, goes off on the double standard against sexual women. She’s also playing “four or five different men” in a movie version of the novel Cloud Atlas, which sounds wild. LOVE HER. [The Daily Beast]
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University Law student who was called a “slut” and a “prostitute” by Rush Limbaugh last week, appeared on “The View” this morning. She utterly floored me with her articulation, composure and professionalism.
Three weeks ago, Fluke was barred from testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committe about women’s access to affordable birth control. Instead an all-male panel trashed President Obama’s compromise on health care reform that if religiously-affiliated employers won’t pay for contraception for their employees, insurers must pick up the cost themselves. Sandra Fluke was later given an opportunity to testify to a group of Democrats, although it was not official, in which she explained how female students at Georgetown are struggling to pay the cost of birth control. Rush Limbaugh then attacked her on air, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” and demanded she post videos of herself having sex online. Keep reading »
Earlier today, the Senate narrowly defeated a proposal called the Blunt Amendment that would have allowed employers and health care insurers to opt out of paying for birth control (and other medical services) if it is contrary to their religious beliefs. The vote was 51 to 48, with Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine the sole Republican to support it.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) proposed this amendment in response to the Obama administration’s decision that if a religiously affiliated employer refuses to cover the cost the cost of birth control, the tab must be picked up by the insurer. Democrats countered that Obama’s compromise should suffice and that the Blunt amendment would give employers power to make medical decisions for their employees. Keep reading »
You’ve probably read — on The Frisky or elsewhere — that religious employers are at odds with the Obama administration over the requirement, under the health care reform law, that insurers cover the cost of birth control if the employer itself — say, a Catholic school — refuses. These employers say it’s against their conscience to have insurers that cover birth control (despite the fact many do already, anyway). Now, someone cheeky over at the Tumblr for Obama’s reelection campaign mocked up this permission slip so employees can ask their bosses for permission to take contraception. Thankfully I work at The Frisky, where having lotsa sex and not getting preggo before you’re ready is encouraged! [BarackObama.Tumblr.com]