Abortion foes in the Arkansas State Senate passed a bill yesterday to ban certain funding grants to Planned Parenthood. The chosen grants heading to the chopping block? Sex education. Which sucks, because Planned Parenthood provided the state’s sex ed.
According to Think Progress, Arkansas lacks a codified set of sex education requirements, which is why Planned Parenthood stepped in to do HIV/AIDS and STD/STI education in the state. A Republican health education teacher, and assistant football coach, Darrell Seward, told the Huffington Post over the phone:
“I would challenge any legislator or politician in the state of Arkansas or higher to set foot in my classroom and listen to the curriculum and walk out and say it’s a bad program. This program has been one of the most well-received programs that our students have ever been engaged in. I am a Republican, but this is one issue I feel very strongly about, because I see the benefit for our kids.”
So why take away these funds? Well because the bill’s sponsor doesn’t like any state funding to go to any organization that has anything to do with abortion or abortion referrals. Keep reading »
“Every cloud has a silver lining, and one of the benefits of the exclusion of women from most professions was that we had wonderful teachers, especially the women who today would probably be CEOs.”
– This is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reflecting on his childhood in New York City for New York magazine’s “Childhood In New York” issue, which was apparently quite lovely because of sexism. Might I remind you this person sits on our nation’s highest court in the land? Wonder how many times Justice Elena Kagan has to stop herself from rolling her eyes. [NYMag.com]
When I was in middle school, I was required to create a diorama illustrating a hypothetical synagogue sanctuary (as you do, at Jewish day school). All I remember about my project is that I glued a picture of Gene Siskel to one of the walls. My teacher rightly called this out for being inappropriately idolatrous, but in the moment, I’d thought that I’d been paying appropriate reverence to an important man. After all, Siskel was Jewish, he had just recently passed away, and, until his death, I watched him and Roger Ebert weekly on television. I loved movies and knew I wanted to be a filmmaker, so I valued the words of Siskel and Ebert as highly as any of the words I was reading in school. These men cultivated my already-growing passion for cinema, and I’m certain that their enthusiasm was a contributing factor in my eventual interest in writing and film criticism.
In the years that followed, I’ve paid attention to Ebert’s ever-expanding body of work, and though I knew of his illness, I was shocked and saddened by his passing last week. I’ve now read plenty of articles praising him for his accomplishments and successes, and I can’t disagree with anything that’s been said. His writing was prolific, his persona was friendly, and he made the general public give a damn about film criticism. His absence will be felt by all who love movies.
Where I begin to disagree with the accolades, however, is the claim that Ebert was a feminist. Keep reading »
“Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others. There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty. To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas — wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now — without corruption — I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.”
— Here’s Meryl Streep, who portrayed former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film “The Iron Lady,” remembering the politician, who died today at age 87.
After the jump, others remember the controversial yet pioneering Thatcher, who was Great Britain’s first and only female PM: Keep reading »
Fathers, lock up your daughters: the government is going to be forcing slutty slut pills down their throats!
That will be the Fox News version of events. But here in Reasonable, Common Sense-land, the story is different: a federal judge — a man! — has struck down the age limit on the morning-after pill, meaning sexually active young women age 16 and younger will be able to access it. Ruling on a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Judge Edward Korman decided that the government’s refusal to lift the age restriction is “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” and said the FDA’s feet-dragging has been an “obstruction.” He ordered the FDA to lift the age restriction within 30 days.
Reproductive rights activists pushed the FDA for years to make Plan B accessible to all and in 2011, they finally did. But it never happened: Health and Human Services Secretary swiftly overruled the FDA recommendation to make Plan B accessible to everyone, citing alleged concern about its safety for young teens — but in reality, kowtowing to a game of keep-conservatives-happy hardball. Keep reading »