Thursday, December 30, 2010

Boycott American Women campaign hits Female Impersonator

An American man has decided that he's had enough of American Women and he's been sending in comments to this blog to encourage American men to join him in his boycott of American women.

Of course, none of this comments have appeared on this blog. And they never will.

But this was written about on Jezebel, so I thought I'd let our readers know of the nonsense that I've been getting in my comment moderation queue.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Muslim Women in U.S. Gain Higher Profile

A recent New York Times article explores the role of Muslim women in the U.S. The article maintains an overall positive tilt, emphasizing how successful Muslim women in America are. The author does a pretty good job of alluding to the discrimination Muslim women face in America and the discrepancies between their empowerment and some of their religion's doctrine. However, the hardships these women must face is perhaps understated in the overall celebratory tone. I am including an excerpt below, but I would love to hear thoughts and impressions from people who have had a chance to read the whole thing.

These [American Muslim] women have achieved a level of success and visibility unmatched elsewhere. They say they are molded by the freedoms of the United States — indeed, many unabashedly sing its praises — and by the intellectual ferment stirred when American-born and immigrant Muslims mix.

“What we’re seeing now in America is what has been sort of a quiet or informal empowerment of women,” said Shireen Zaman, executive director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a nonprofit research institute founded after the 2001 attacks to provide research on American Muslims. “In many of our home countries, socially or politically it would’ve been harder for Muslim women to take a leadership role. It’s actually quite empowering to be Muslim in America.”

As Najah Bazzy, a American-born nurse and founder of several charities in Michigan, put it: “Yeah I’m Arab, yeah I’m very American, and yeah I’m very Islamic, but you put those things in the blender and I’m no longer just a thing. I’m a new thing.”

It is not always easy. Several of the Muslim women interviewed for this article said they had been the object of abusive letters, e-mails or blog posts.

Yet in their quest to break stereotypes, America’s Muslim women have advantages. They are better educated than counterparts in Western Europe, and also than the average American, according to a Gallup survey in March 2009. In contrast to their sisters in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, they are just as likely as their menfolk to attend religious services, which equates to greater influence. And Gallup found that Muslim American women, often entrepreneurial, come closer than women of any other faith to earning what their menfolk do.

“Muslims coming to North America are often seeking an egalitarian version of Islam,” said Ebrahim Moosa, an associate professor of Islamic studies at Duke University. “That forces women onto the agenda and makes them much more visible than, say, in Western Europe.”
Via Racialicious

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Access to Emergency Abortion Care Threatened

A recent case highlights the importance of emergency abortion care and the threat religiously affiliated hospitals can pose to providing women with this necessary service:

"...A hospital in Phoenix, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, provided a life-saving abortion to a young mother of four children who was dying from pulmonary hypertension and was 11 weeks pregnant...Last week, the Bishop in Phoenix threatened to strip St. Joseph’s of its status as an official Catholic hospital unless St. Joseph’s agreed to sign a written pledge that it would not perform another life-saving abortion. The diocese made good on that threat yesterday, and stripped St. Joseph’s of its endorsement after the hospital defended its actions. As Amie Newman of RH Reality Check discussed last night, St. Joseph’s refused to agree to allow their patients to die. The hospital said, “Morally, ethically, and legally we simply cannot stand by and let someone die whose life we might be able to save.”

St. Joseph’s did the right thing by standing up for women’s health. But the Phoenix bishop’s actions send a chilling message to other Catholic hospitals in the country: if they save women’s lives by providing emergency abortion care, there will be consequences. This could have a profound impact on women's health care throughout the country, especially given that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also recently reaffirmed that even life-saving abortions cannot be performed in Catholic hospitals across the country.

To learn more about how individuals and institutions may deny patients health care on ideological grounds, click here. To tell the Obama administration that you want this issue to be made a priority, click here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Female Authors 2010

It is no secret that modern literary culture favors men, but in 2010 women might have finally made major publications do something about their bias.

It started when Jodi Picoult (followed by Jennifer Weiner) took to twitter, complaining about the fact that female authors are given significantly less notice by prominent critics. Subsequent research found that the numbers confirm Picoult's charge- Times Book Review does give far less space to novels written by women than to those by their male counterparts.

After being so publicly called on their sexism, influential review publications have taken note of the female authors they have ignored for so long in their best of 2010 lists. Times' and Salon's lists prominently featured books written by women, and the National Book Awards had four female finalists out of five.

Thoughts? Have you read any 2010 publications written by women that you would recommend? I myself am currently making my way through Courtney E. Martin's Do it Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. Martin's book explores the causes and biographies of eight young activists in a reverent, but still critical way. If you get the chance to read it it is definitely worth your time.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Senate repeals Don't Ask Don't Tell

The United States Senate voted 65-31 in favor of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell today.

I am smiling.

(via Shakesville)

EDIT: And Obama signed the appeal.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update on My Life (Because I Know You Were Wondering)

Just writing to apologize for how little I have posted lately. Finals are starting over here and I probably won't be able to post regularly again for a little over a week. Just know that I miss my impersonated community very much. Hopefully you and I will be comforted with some posts from my lovely co-bloggers in the meantime.

To tide you over until my return to the blogosphere, here are some of the things that I have been reading to procrastinate studying that you might find worthy of procrastinating with as well:

Jessica Valenti on the
Assange case

thoughts on Glee

Latest from NYT's "Women at Arms" series

December 6th was the anniversary of the
Montreal Massacre (thanks to my roommate for reminding me about this)

First two openly trans judges in the U.S.
were appointed last month

And another amazing feminist friend of mine just brought
this piece by Andrea Gibson to my attention.

LGBT books vandalized with urine

Around 40 books about same sex marriage and gay and lesbian issues were found to be vandalized with what appears to be urine in Lamont Library at Harvard University. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
Marco Chan '11, co-chair of the Harvard College Queer frustrating" and "disconcerting," and said that it represents a Students and Allies, called the incident "extremely concern not only for the LGBT community, but for the Harvard community at large.

"I am very outraged. It is hard to conceive this as a coincidence when there are 40 books on the same subject," Chan said. "The message that this incident sent to me is that we need more resources not only for the LGBT community but also targeted towards other people."

Chan suggested workshops on homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual issues—similar to the mandatory freshman orientation event Sex Signals—as one possible way to respond to the bias evidenced by the incident.
(via Feministing)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Civil union bill passes IL House and Senate

Good news from my home state today.

The Illinois House and Senate have both passed SB1716, the "Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act" which would give gay couples similar rights and legal status to other married couples. It is now up to Governor Pat Quinn to sign the bill into law.

For more, read here.