This Week: Female Sexuality as Insanity, Birthright Citizenship & more

Glass ceiling for female Hill aides?

Politico: “In general, women have traditionally had little problem securing employment on the Hill, especially entry-level positions. But in more advanced positions, including legislative director and chief of staff, their numbers drop off significantly.”

“Colorblindness,” “Illuminated Individualism,” Poor Whites, and Mad Men: The Tim Wise Interview, Part 2

Racialicious: “Illuminated individualism is really just a fancy term for progressive color-consciousness: a kind of color conscious mentality that leads us to take account of how color has shaped the experiences of others, and ourselves. So in terms of employment, this means adopting the mindset that when evaluating job applicants, we need to understand how things like on-paper credentials have been shaped (and mis-shapen) by the unequal opportunity structure.”

Female Sexuality As Insanity

The Atlantic: “Here’s a cool video of Rachel Maines discussing a time when the sexual desires of women were, quite literally, considered a mental disorder. Hysteria, they called it. Watch it and learn, fellas. And though Maines is snickering the whole way through, you better not.” Continue reading

Breaking Boundaries: Body Politics & the Dynamics of Difference

Breaking Boundaries:
Body Politics and the Dynamics of Difference

a Conference at Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, New York
March 4-5, 2011

Keynote Speaker:
Marilyn Wann
Fat Activist and Author, Fat!So?

When it comes to “the body,” the definition of normal is fluid and changes across cultures and time. In each context, there are those who have been exploited and oppressed because they do not fit prevailing notions of beauty. This conference will explore the body politics around those with “deviant” bodies. Continue reading

This Week: Indigenous Women Disappear, the Anti-Gay Agenda & more

The Female Factor

Slate: “Much has been made of the fact that Elena Kagan’s confirmation last month means that for the first time in American history, there will be three women on the high court. But beyond a sense that the court will be slightly more representative of the American people, and the possibility of yet more intriguing white lacy scarves from on high, what does the difference between having one, two, or three women at the court really signify?”

Recovery Mission

Guernica: “Between 2003 and 2009, 191,500 women served in Afghanistan and Iraq, twenty-six times as many as served in Vietnam. Helen Benedict, author of The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, reported that ‘by September 2008, 592 American female soldiers had been wounded in action and 102 had died in Iraq, more than in the Korean, Vietnam, first Gulf, and Afghanistan wars combined.’ According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), women make up 15 percent of the total military. As women have become more instrumental to the U.S. military, the last few years have seen a high rate of military sexual assault. It’s been the subject of investigations by media outlets including the New York Times and Responding to public outrage, the Defense Department created the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in 2005. Benedict has reported that one in three women serving in the military is sexually attacked by comrades and that ‘harassment is virtually universal.’”

Focus On the Family says anti-bullying efforts in schools push gay agenda

Denver Post: “As kids head back to school, conservative Christian media ministry Focus on the Family perceives a bully on the playground: national gay-advocacy groups. School officials allow these outside groups to introduce policies, curriculum and library books under the guise of diversity, safety or bullying-prevention initiatives, said Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman.” Continue reading

Sister, Fear Has No Place Here.

by Cynthia Ann Schemmer

all photos courtesy of the author

This past April I drove to Amesville, Ohio to stay at SuBAMUH (Susan B. Anthony Memorial Unrest Home) to conduct oral history interviews with three permanent residents. SuBAMUH is a women’s intentional community located in rural farmland just twelve miles outside of Athens. Established in 1979, the land serves as a home, safe and sober space, campground, and educational center for women. Currently, there are only five permanent residents on the land, but a constant flow of women-identified campers pass through every year. Men over the age of 10 are not permitted on the land.

I have recently become interested in how we, as women, react to the destructive situations we find ourselves in, whether they be physical or emotional, as feminists, lesbians, queers, or heterosexuals. These reactions may be outward or inner, private or in response to society as a whole, but they are completely acceptable in their own respects; we are not mad and we should not be convinced otherwise. We react how we must, in order to resist psychic or physical death and maybe, in fact, we are just not mad enough. Continue reading

Freeing Society in “They Don’t Care about Us” by Michael Jackson

by Monica Stancu

In Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, Michel Foucault argues that there is a direct connection between the modern legal system and power relations. According to him, the legal system, with its police, prisons and constant surveillance of the population represents a manifestation of power and is used as a political tool to further restrict and repress society. Foucault’s philosophical principles may be applied to the reading of Michael Jackson’s controversial video, They Don’t Care about Us (1996), which was set in a prison. In the video, the singer claims that the dominant class in America uses its political power to abuse and manipulate the people by keeping them not only in a physical jail, but also in a “metaphorical” psychological jail by withholding information and making false accusations. Continue reading

Sea Change: How We are Altering Everything

by Abby Sullivan

Photo courtesy of the author

In light of the BP Oil spill, it seems like an appropriate time to discuss the health of our oceans and how we, as humans, are altering and changing these vast bodies of water in ways previously thought to be unimaginable. What were once local problems in our waters have become increasingly disturbing and global in nature. Until the 1950′s, people considered the oceans inexhaustible. Today everyone from marine biologists to glaciologists to meteorologists all concur that our oceans are in peril and if we do not drastically change our relationship to the sea, it may be lead to our ultimate demise. I moved to Iceland a year ago to study Marine and Coastal Resource Management. What I learned about the ways we are altering everything in our ocean ecosystems has been a startling, sobering experience. As with most environmental issues, the problems caused by the state of our seas is deeply linked with issues of inequality, poverty and greed. And for me, what is the most disturbing thought is how shortsighted we are—we are stealing from future generations, destroying what is not ours to destroy. I hope to highlight a few of the largest issues we must overcome to save our seas. Continue reading