Sisterhood Blog

Reproductive Rights Take More Hits

By Sarah Seltzer

Allison Shelley/Getty Images
Activists commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade at a vigil in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 2013.

Legal abortion could become a thing of the past in a handful of states if anti-choice efforts are successful. Note that I don’t say abortion will become a thing of the past, because the need for abortion will persist, but safe and legal abortion will be outlawed as a spate of new state-level laws curtail the procedure and shut down clinics.

For several years, as we’ve documented here at the Sisterhood, the anti-choice movement in the U.S. has been trying a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” technique. This flurry of uterus-focused activity got its own nickname: “The War on Women.” In reality, these unnecessary and intrusive health rollbacks hurt more than just one gender, and the “war” part didn’t stop when the catchphrase fell out of fashion. Some measures passed, others were modified, and now the assault on rights has ratcheted up again.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: women's rights, reproductive rights, emergency contraception, abortion, War on Women, TRAP, Sisterhood, North Dakota, Mississippi, Kansas, Jewish Women, Jessica Valenti, George Tiller, Arkansas, Alabama

'Salon' Preview: A Feminist Icon Goes There

By The Sisterhood

Leave it to feminist icon Letty Cottin Pogrebin to spice things up. On the new episode of The Jewish Channel series “The Salon,” a conversation about the so-called “war on women” leads Pogrebin to discuss the power of the female orgasm:

And in another show highlight, fellow panelist Deborah Feldman, the author of the best-selling memoir “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” asks Pogrebin if she thinks her controversial book would have been taken more seriously in Orthodox circles if she were a man. Here’s her answer:

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: War on Women, The Salon, Rachel Sklar, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Joy Sisisky, Jane Eisner, Deborah Feldman

Jon Stewart: Feminist in Bloom?

By Sarah Seltzer

Getty Images
Jon Stewart

Has Jon Stewart become a flaming feminist? After a week of watching his killer segments skewering the GOP’s “War on Women,” I’m wondering if his seeming conversion is indicative of a larger turning point, if the Republicans, after a full year of assaults on reproductive rights, have finally crossed the line that gets people on the sidelines to speak up.

When I was just starting to write feminist blog posts, I wrote one complaining about the lack of genuine, women-focused discussion of reproductive rights in “dude” political culture, particularly on “The Daily Show.” While Stewart’s and similar shows tackled war and torture, gay rights and religion, I felt there was a squeamishness which curtailed discussion of abortion and women’s sexuality — and too much fawning respect for male authority figures who oppose women’s rights. Stewart’s weak interview with Mike Huckabee, in which he failed to effectively refute Huckabee’s points on abortion, exemplified this.

Then 2010 Irin Carmon, in an epic moment of reporting, blew the lid off the guy-centric culture at the beloved late night comedy news show. Her piece in Jezebel contained interviews with former employees who revealed that the onscreen “bro” culture was reflective of the shows inner workers: “behind the scenes, numerous former female staffers tell us that working there was often a frustrating and alienating experience.”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ultrasounds, War on Women, The Daily Show, Jon Stewart, Contraceptives, Birth Control, Abortion




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