Monday
Mar192012

Raging Grannie Action League Forms Viagra Review Board | Tzipi Livni @Women in the World Summit | Obama & Gas

Members of the Raging Grannies Action League in Palo Alto

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Writing for The Daily Beast, John Avlon calls Tzipi Livni, the Israeli opposition leader and head of the centrist party Kadima, “one of the most fascinating figures on the international political stage.” In New York recently to speak at the Daily Beast’s Women in the World Summit, Livni disagrees that President Obama is “weak on Israel”.

Livni, a former Israel Defense Forces lieutenant, lawyer and mother of two children, is positioned to become Israel’s second female prime minister, although she faces a primary challenge within her own party.

“I hate the idea that talking security is Likud and right wing, and talking about peace is left wing and Labor and Kadima. The whole idea is to find a way to bridge, to find a way to have security and peace together,” Livni says while pouring a glass of water. “I think that most of the Israeli public is in the center. They are in the center, and they are more moderate.”

Obama’s Gas Prices

Every time we hear the Republican candidates talk about Obama’s lack of control over oil prices, and they will control it, we just shake our heads. Every one of those guys knows that they price of oil is global and driven largely by factors that no American president can control.

The public comprehends that Obama isn’t to blame for high gasoline prices, as recent polls make clear. Think Progress reminds us that even the Wall Street Journal and Cato Institute agree: “It’s not Obama’s fault that crude oil prices have increased.”

What’s scary is that facts don’t matter in the GOP discussion. NY Times writes

The issue of gas prices has not only been misunderstood but thoroughly distorted by relentless ideological spin from industry and its political allies, mainly Republican.

More DFR

Raging Grannies.com. After being featured on Facebook today, their website is over capacity. The photo above went viral, after the Raging Grannies Action League stated their firm position that men who want drugs such as Viagra to treat impotence should be required to have strict testing before receiving a prescription “for said drugs”.

The Grannies applauded Ohio State Senator Nina Turner who has introduced a bill requiring that physicians take specific actions before prescribing Viagra and similar drugs, including giving a cardiac stress test and making a referral to a sex therapist for confirmation that the patient’s symptoms are not solely attributable to one or more psychological conditions.

The Raging Granny VRB (Viagra Review Board) was formed in response to moves by Republicans to limit women’s right to reproductive health. The members are all women who came of age before Roe v. Wade. Headquartered in Palo Alto, the grannies say that they are “old enough to know what it was like to live before women’s reproductive rights became law of the land, and they will do all they can to make sure that the US does not return to that era.”

Tennessee Bill May Expose Identities of Women Seeking Abortions ThinkProgress

New Networked Feminism Just Like the Old Networked Feminism: Organize or Die RH Eality Check

Illustration by Lola Dupré, based on an original photograph by Shaun Kardinal via NYMagNew York Magazine investigates America’s anxiety-ridden culture and the drugs that keep a calm numbness throughout the land.  Xanax and its siblings—Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and other members of the family of drugs called benzodiazepines—work effectively to keep fear at bay. Prescriptions for benzodiazepines have risen 17 percent since 2006 to nearly 94 million a year; generic Xanax, called alprazolam, has increased 23 percent over the same period, making it the most prescribed psycho-pharmaceutical drug and the eleventh- most prescribed overall, with 46 million prescriptions written in 2010. “In their generic forms, Xanax is prescribed more than the sleeping pill Ambien, more than the antidepressant Zoloft. Only drugs for chronic conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol do better.”

Saturday
Mar172012

Pa WOW's Nicole Turman @Harrisburg War on Women April 28 March Interview by Anne Enke

This week Anne of Carversville introduces friends to the three women behind April 28th’s Unite Against the War on Women march for Pennsylvania: Amy Gould Caraballo, Nicole Turman and Lynn Thomas Guidetti.

Anne, along with other Pa citizens, has joined forces with these three busy moms who have strong views about what’s happening to the women of Pennsylvania at the hands of Republican legislators.

For good reason, most AOC writing focuses on the women’s rights assault of the day in America. Just trying to track the legislation is a nightmare. What’s lost in calling out one vaginal probe and personhood bill after another is the personal side of feminism and women’s rights in America.

Furious over this nationwide assault on women’s bodies,  we want to humanize the pro-woman voices who support women’s rights. Limbaugh calls us ‘feminazis’. But who are we really? Are what are we doing to each other — woman to woman.

After you’ve finished reading Nicole Turman’s interview with Anne, meet previously published Amy Gould Caraballo, then check in at the Unite Against the War on Women national Facebook page and Unite Women’s new website. Follow on Twitter as @NatlWOW.

In Pennsylvania, link here for April 28th’s Unite Against the War on Women Harrisburg march.

Pa Press | If you are a member of the Pa press, Anne is happy to talk to you in her role as media liaison for the Pennsylvania march. Contact her here.

(Anne) Did you know each other before joining forces to organize the We Are Women March - Pennsylvania?

(Nicole) I know Amy. Amy knows Lynn. So, Amy has been the connection that resulted in the three of us together. I think that helps immensely as we get this moving forward – there is familiarity, and trust. We know the reasons we are here and we can get down to work.

Do you have a history of being a women’s rights activist? Was feminism a word in your vocabulary growing up? What is your background and relationship with women’s rights issues?

I participated in the March for Women’s Lives in March 1986. That was my first, I was 20 years old then, but feminism has been a part of who I have always been. I was raised by parents that always supported me – believed in my strengths. Who taught me to QUESTION, to think for myself, stand up for myself and what I believe in. Who told me to never believe someone who says, “you can’t” – not for any reason. They taught me to be strong in the face of adversity and how to do so with grace and with dignity.

I was the young child who stood up for others on the playground. Those high school years were awkward, as they are for many. I really found myself again when I went off to college. It was there that I became actively involved in women’s movement activities. Eleanor Smeal, then president of NOW presented a lecture on campus and it was standing room only. We were relatively close to DC and it was easy to get there and participate in marches, rallies and activities.

I’m constantly told that I can’t possibly be a feminist? I like sex and men. Could you define feminism for yourself?

What feminism is!! It is not about sexual orientation, it is not about abortion. Feminism, to me, is about self-determination. It is about respect and equality. It about the belief that equal access and equal protection mean just that –but, at the same time, understanding that those terms do not necessarily mean the same thing to – to men and women, to black and white, to disabled and non-disabled.

When we consider, for example, access to preventative healthcare, equality cannot be defined in the same way for men and women.  By nature of biology, we have to look at different issues – BOTH are preventative healthcare and BOTH must be considered.

Feminism means not having double-standards whereby it is acceptable for men to be sexual and interested in sex and that is admired, but women — well, women who are interested in sex and sexuality are sluts, promiscuous, prostitutes. It means that family planning and family leave should apply to BOTH parents.

Feminism means that I believe that WOMEN and women alone have dominion over their own bodies. It means recognizing that we are a diverse world, where what makes us all one is the conjoining of those differences and by recognizing, respecting, and working from that mindset means we live, interact and engage in a manner that affords ALL have access to those inalienable rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Do you have any opinions on why feminism has struggled to achieve legitimacy in America?

I am a woman who has faith, yet, I still believe that the struggle of feminism in America relates to religion in America. That is not to say that there are not feminist women of faith. What I mean is far-reaching fundamentalist underpinning where women are seen, through centuries of religious indoctrination, as less than the ‘male’ god.  Why do so many include the right of baptism for babies? To cleanse the infant’s soul from Eve’s original sin?  Seriously, my baby has to be cleansed of a ‘sin’ committed by a character in a book written by men to perpetuate their own authority over women? I think that the undertones of religion have had a tremendous impact on the subconscious of America and it has impeded feminism’s legitimacy in America.

Do you have children? Do you work with children or young women?

Both. I have a son. I do work with children.

Was there a specific trigger that brought you to the national Unite Against the War on Women campaign?

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar172012

40% of Working Wives Outearn Husbands | 75% Americans Reject Birth Control Compromise As Anti-Religion | Vatican & Komen

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Reuters shares the first major article written about the Catholic bishops putting pressure on the Susan G Komen Foundation. Komen founder Nancy Brinker shared her love of Pope Benedict XVI writing about his papal blessing of a box of silver ribbon-shaped pins for her breast cancer charity.

“He took my hands and blessed me for my work. I couldn’t help myself. I burst into tears,” she recalls in her memoir, “Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer.”

Komen’s relationship with the Catholic Church has been complicated in a mutual exchange of funds between the two groups. Reuters writes that Komen has allocated at least $17.6 million of its donations to US Catholic universities, hospitals and charities — none of which provide reproductive health care services to women.

Catholic bishops of Ohio flexed major muscle with Komen in 2011, with 11 bishops announcing a statewide policy banning church and parochial school donations to Komen. As Catholic bishops today investigate Girl Scouts, a similar position could happen in the coming years.

After Ohio, North Dakota bishops forbade Catholic support of Komen.

Observers say the local bishops’ focus on Komen and other social issues reflects a larger conservative shift within the American church since New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan became chairman of the Conference in November 2010.

Arizona Lawmakers Target Planned Parenthood Funding AzCapitol Times

Arizona is poised to follow Texas in banning any federal government funding of Planned Parenthood under a bill that received preliminary approval from the state House on Friday.

More DFR

Is Silence Going extinct? NYTimes Magazine

‘50 Shades of Grey,’ a Self-Published E-Book, Is the Future of Publishing The Daily Beast

Moms Judge Other Moms, But One Says She’s Sorry TIME

Extra Girly Genes Boost Male Sex Drive Live Science

Texas Sues Federal Agency Over Women’s Health Program Austin American Statesman

More DFR

With all the aggressive noise against women in America these days — including talk of banning contraception in many states and making it legal for doctors to lie to pregnant patients about ultrasound results — almost 40% of working wives out-earn their husbands, notes Liza Mundy, author of “The Richer Sex” this week’s TIME cover story and a new book.

Mundy shared her research at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women breakfast, an audience of women with seven-figure salaries and househusbands. Mundy’s research shows women are out-earning men in most U.S. metro areas. In Dallas and Atlanta, the average young woman earns $1.18 and $1.14, respectively, for every dollar earned by a male.

Unless Republicans, Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders succeed in returning women to homemaker status with no access to birth control, the trend will escalate. Today, women make up 60% of US college classes, earning more advanced degrees then men. In professions like veterinary medicine, law and medicine, women will dominate these fields.

Can men, bred to be providers, live happily in a world where women may not need them for support? An optimist, Mundy believes that many men will cede control as breadwinners.(One bit of evidence: Marriage rates for high-income women are rising, as overall marriage rates decline.) Moreover, society will adapt by “broadening the definition of masculinity,” she contends. Masculinity will include cooking as well as hunting, and child care as well as golf. via Fortune

Republicans Losing on Birth Control as 77% in Poll Spurn Debate Bloomberg

Both genders overwhelming reject the argument that the Obama Administration’s policy on employer-provided contraceptive coverage violates religious freedom, with more than 75% saying the topic shouldn’t even be part of the national political debate.

While President Obama continues to lead Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney among women voters in the Bloomberg National Poll, his margins aren’t large.

The poll also indicated that most Americans aren’t comfortable mixing religion and policy. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed — including almost half of Republicans — say a president’s religious beliefs should never influence his policy decisions compared with a quarter who say they should sometimes, and 14 percent who say they should most or all of the time.