Friday, February 18, 2011

Stand with Planned Parenthood

The House of Representatives has voted to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

By law, federal funds haven’t paid for abortions since the 1970s, so the House hasn’t voted to cut abortion funding. They’re cutting funding for the entire Title X program — funding for contraception, cancer screening, STI tests, sex education, mammograms, HIV testing and diagnosis, and pregnancy screening and counseling. Title X is the only federal program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and preventive health services, particularly low-income families. Last year, 5 million people benefited from the services funded by Title X.

Planned Parenthood is the target of this legislation, and American women the primary victims. This isn’t about abortion — it’s about cutting access to health care for women.

Take action against what could have hugely detrimental effects for women's health care. Sign Planned Parenthood's "open letter to every single representative in the House who voted for this cruel, unconscionable, unthinkable law, and to every senator who still has a chance to stop it."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Update: Women in Publishing

I have written before about the fact that significantly less female than male authors have their work reviewed in major publications.Well, some number crunching has been done since I last posted about this topic and it seems like the disparity does not originate with the reviewers, but with the publishers.

...These numbers we found show that the magazines are reviewing female authors in something close to the proportion of books by women published each year. The question now becomes why more books by women are not getting published.

It is unclear why less women are getting published but it seems to have something to do with a possible bias in literary journals.

Of the new writing published in Tin House, Granta,and The Paris Review, around one-third of it was by women. For many fiction writers and poets, publishing in these journals is a first step to getting a book contract. Do women submit work to these magazines at a lower rate than men, or are men’s submissions more likely to get accepted? We can’t be sure. But, as Robin Romm writes in Double X, “The gatekeepers of literary culture—at least at magazines—are still primarily male.” If these gatekeepers are showing a gender bias, there’s not much room to make it up later.

While it is unfortunate to hear that female authors are not properly represented, I am happy to hear that people are trying to get to the bottom of the disparity.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Men's Health Feminist Blog

This made my day.

Yeah, you read that right: Men’s Health magazine, full of “how
to have better sex” and “how to lose the belly fat!” advice for men, has a blog
for men about feminism. This unequivocally rocks for three reasons.

First, it’s a sign that the feminist blogosphere has moved into the
mainstream. When feminist verticals like Broadsheet and Double X are either
disappearing or folding back into their original publications, it’s a good
indicator for the future that a mainstream popular men’s magazine has taken up
the feminist cause.

Second, hopefully a blog like this can help de-stigmatize the label “feminist” for readers.

Finally, the blog could help bring men to the movement. For men, feminism and what it entails is rarely discussed outside of a historical context...

You can read the Men's Health Feminist Blog here.