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Nobel Winner Leymah Gbowee Chides American Women's Passivity | Catholic Bishops Huddle On Contraception Fight

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Images via Marc Bryan-BrownTina Brown reviews the femme-rich, powerhouse weekend in New York, the third Women in the World summit. IMF head Christine Lagarde gave the keynote speech at opening night dinner, saying “If Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters…we would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened.”

Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee told the cheering crowd: “My definition of victimhood is the person who sits and waits for a knight in shining armor … it was always that way for me.” The international leader confessed to being bemused at American women’s passivity in the debate over reproductive rights: “I watched this and said to myself, ‘Where are the angry American women?!”

Fast Food Nation Still

Emile Wamsteker, Bloomberg/Getty ImagesTen years after his seminal book ‘Fast Food Nation’ Eric Schlosser admits to The Daily Beast that little has changed in food production in America. Yet he remains hopeful.

On the one hand obesity rates soar in America. The rate among preschoolers has doubled in the last 30 years. All major attempts to add new regulations around food safety have failed in Congress. New safety regulations for workers have also failed. That’s the bad news, writes Schlosser.

Looking at positive news, it’s undeniable that a food movement has arisen across America, a drive for more sensible and enlightened eating characterised by the reality of having an organic garden at the White House. Parents are working to kick fast food, junk food and sugar-rich soda out of schools.

The National Restaurant Association, “a corporate bastion of the old mindset” now agrees that today’s top menu trends are “local sourcing, sustainability, and nutrition.”

Primarily because of increased costs, organic food remains only 4% of food sales in America. More than 23 million low-income Americans live in “food deserts”, although some research suggests that people don’t eat better when the access to good food problem is solved.

Schlosser promotes organizations like The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and its fight against wage theft, racism, and the abuse of workers in the restaurant industry; The Edible Schoolyard Project and Slow Food USA and their mission of trying to bring healthy food to children in low-income communities; and Growing Power, a group led by Will Allen and based in Milwaukee, is demonstrating how agriculture can thrive in the inner city, turning urban food deserts into farms that produce healthy food.

Obama Courts Women

The Obama campaign launches a big campaign with American women this week. Mailings go out to a million women in battleground states today. An effort called ‘Nurses for Obama’ will begin Wednesday with a new website and nurses stepping up as advocates for the new health care law in their communities. A national campaign Women for Obama is in high gear.

War on Women

Lynn Leseth in San Diego on Thursday at the Rally for Women’s Rights, which denounced efforts to limit reproductive freedoms. Yesterday’s New York Times article Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With GOP reinforces the reality that Republican women are mad over the GOP effort to roll back access to contraception.

Mary Russell of Iowa City, who describes herself as a retired teacher from Iowa City, an evangelical Christian and ‘old school’ Republican of the moderate mold interrupted a baby shower for her niece to discuss politics. Until recently, Russell supported Mitt Romney but not today.

She said she might vote for President Obama now. “I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”

In fact large numbers of Republican and Independent women interviewed in Iowa say they will vote for President Obama or not vote at all. The 2010 election was the first time since 1992 the women’s vote went to Republicans. Now the pendulum may be swinging back.

“Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks,” said Fran Kelley, a retired public school worker in Seattle who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election. Of the Republican candidates this year, she added, “They’re nothing but hatemongers trying to control everyone, saying, ‘Live as I live.’ ”

As Rick Santorum, and his 1950s vision of women’s role in public life, picked up a win in the Kansas caucus over the weekend, the tough talk on controlling women’s health shows no sign of abating.  Catholic bishops meet Tuesday to discuss just how far they intend to push efforts to seize control of women’s reproduction in America, through their rejection of the Obama Administration’s no co-pay, contraception compromise.

The Catholic Reporter writes that there is no game plan among the bishops for how to proceed.

“If the bishops reject this deal, they don’t have a lot of options,” Russell Shaw, a commentator on religion and politics magazine wrote in conservative Catholic Crisis Magazine. “Closing down thousands of Catholic institutions and programs isn’t likely. Remedial legislation pending in Congress has little chance of becoming law with Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House. As for simply refusing to obey the … rule, it’s a last resort.”

Anne of Carversville

Arizona Muse | Paolo Roversi | Vogue Italia March 2012

AOC Private Studio

Erika Labanauskaite & Rachele Schank | Kosuke Matsuo | Kurv Winter 2011 | The Period Of Silence

Hannelore Knuts | Paola Kudacki | Harper’s Bazaar UK April 2012 | Aria of Andalusia

Milena Milovanovic | Michele Bloch Stuckens | Kurv Winter 2011 | Fleur de Bitume

Julia Dunstall & Ryan Curry | Fabio Chizzola | Marie Claire UK April 2012 | ‘An Affair to Remember’

Kinga Rajzak | John-Paul Pietrus | Chanel for Harper’s Bazaar Singapore

Hanna, Hedvig, Moa & Sara | Marcus Ohlsson | Bon S/S 2012 | ‘Pure Desires’

Kelly Mittendorf | Sheila Metzner | Grey Magazine S/S 2012 | L’atelier d’artiste

Elizabeth Olsen | Glen Luchford | Interview February 2012

Sensuality News

Alyona Subbotina | Yossi Michaeli | Dazed & Confused Korea March 2012

How about this symbol for Women for Obama? Remember Sarah Palin’s crosshairs map? We say a pink innertube is sexy, fun and a real lifesaver for American women.

Anna-Maria Nemetz & Ehren Dorsey | Greta Ilieva | Bullett Spring 2012 | ‘Valley of the Dolls’

Madelene de la Motte | Marcus Ohlsson | NK Stil Spring 2012

Zahia Dehar | Karl Lagerfeld | V #76 Spring 2012 | Zahia

Naty Chabanenko | Aleksei Kolpakov | Harper’s Bazaar Ukraine March 2012

Katrin Thormann | Henrik Bülow | Cover March 2012 | Blue Romance

Hanaa Ben Abdesslem | Benjamin Alexander Huseby | V #76 Spring 2012 | What a Feeling

Jeanne Bouchard | Richard Bernardin | Elle Canada April 2012 | Get In The Ring

Julia Frauche & Ruby Aldridge | Kai Z Feng | Vogue Australia April 2012 | Les Annees Gitanes


China's Women Billionaires | Cecile Richards In-Depth | 98 Advertisers Flee Talk Radio | Georgia Equates Women & Pigs

Anne of Carversville

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Author Amy Chua (second from left) sits with three of her subjects., Matthew Niederhauser for NewsweekNot only does China have more females than any other nation. The nation now hosts more self-made female billionaires than any other country in the world. Writing for The Daily Beast, Amy Chua profiles four female tycoons in China.

Four standouts among China’s intriguing new superwomen are Zhang Xin, the factory worker turned glamorous real-estate billionaire, with 3 million followers on Weibo (China’s Twitter); talk-show mogul Yang Lan, a blend of Audrey Hepburn and Oprah Winfrey; restaurant tycoon Zhang Lan, who as a girl slept between a pigsty and a chicken coop; and Peggy Yu Yu, cofounder and CEO of one of China’s biggest online retailers. None of these women inherited her money, and unlike many of the richest Chinese who are reluctant to draw public scrutiny to their path to wealth, they are proud to tell their stories.

Having spent much time working in China, Anne agrees with Yu’s argument that working women in China have advantages over American women. Domestic help is inexpensive and grandparents believe it’s their job to look after babies. “Sixty years of communism,” said Yu, “did one really good thing: bring true equality between the sexes. I think people in China are brought up believing that women are just as capable as men.”

All four Chinese female billionaires worry that as China emerges from communism, the young are focused not on Confucian values of selflessness, compassion, honor and righteousness. “When we were growing up,” says Yang, “we wanted to be nurses, doctors, astronauts, teachers. Today people are suspicious of anything noble or grand. Kids just want to be rich or powerful.”

The Genius of Cecile Richards Nation

In an excellent, in-depth profile on Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, we quote the last paragraph in response to a query about whether she will eventually follow her mother Ann Richards as governor of Texas:

“Because we have so many supporters,” Richards says of her organization’s 2012 efforts, “we use every new technology for folks to take action from their homes, to contact their representatives, to do block walking. We have seen an explosion in social media for Planned Parenthood. Women are too busy to focus on politics. They are too busy particularly in this economy. They don’t have time to watch TV or follow politics. But they are on social media. Women listen to other women. And they listen to Planned Parenthood. And this will be the silent majority, but it will be the majority of voters in 2012, all of whom communicate with each other with less traditional means, but through a very powerful network.”

As for governor, the always poised woman under fire says: “Texas is not quite ready for me.”

War on Women Updates

98 Major Advertisers Dump Rush Limbaugh, Other Right-Wing Hosts Think Progress

Premiere Networks has shared a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiments.” Included on the list are Ford, GM, Toyota, Allstate, Geico, Prodential, State Farm, McDonald’s, Subway.

The list of shows ‘banned’ informally by the advertisers include Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity.

Are U.S Republicans waging a war on women? Toronto Star

“This is absolutely a war against women,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, which advocates for women’s equality. “It’s deliberate, intentional and as serious as a heart attack.”

Toronto’s foreign affairs reporter Olivia Ward, runs down the big picture in Republican efforts to seize long held abortion, contraception and even rape law rights from American women.

Center stage in the article is Karen Teegarden who is organizing a national day of protest on April 28 after having her own defiant moment watching the Blunt Amendment spectacle.

What the Michigan marketing company owner did was open a Facebook account — her first — and give herself a crash course on how to start a protest. The morning after she posted help-wanted requests for organizers, she had 500 replies.

Two weeks later, more than 18,000 women and men have signed up. The protest, called Unite Against the War on Women, is scheduled for April 28 in major cities across the U.S. If it gains momentum, it may be the largest women’s rights demonstration in a generation.

Georgia Lawmaker compares women to cows and pigs The Raw Story

Republican Georgia state Rep. Terry England says that his experience with cows, pigs and chickens has proven to him that women should be forced to have their babies after 20 weeks of pregnancy — dead or alive.

“Life gives us many experiences,” he explained. “I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. … It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.”

Only a man would make asinine statement like this — suggesting that a woman should be forced to carry a dead or nonviable fetus until it is expelled naturally.

Women are not animals. We have rights to live and breath with some freedom — at least for a bit of time in America.


Tina Brown Kicks Off Women in the World Summit | Texas Drops130,000 Poor Women As Republicans Reject Title X

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

2012 Summit: Who’s On Stage The Daily Beast


Tina Brown | Editor in Chief, Newsweek & The Daily Beast

Lauren Bush Lauren Chief Feeder & Cofounder, Feed Projects, LLC

Watch the conference livestream and read the bios of these incredible women who are devoted to improving women’s lives worldwide.

War on Women Update

Pennsylvania | Just in from Planned Parenthood to women activists. That would be Anne.

YOU DID IT! Thanks to the outrage of tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians like you, the Ultrasound Bill - HB1077- is on hold indefinitely! Every single State Representative received hundreds of emails and phone calls expressing outrage at the excessive government overreach of the bill. Earlier this week, the bill was sent back to the Health Committee where it will stay until major changes are made.

Because of our strength, our opponents have backed down, but there seems to be no limit to their willingness to curtail reproductive rights in Harrisburg. Even though dozens of your representatives have come out in opposition and an unprecedented TWENTY-SIX who had originally signed on have removed their names from HB 1077, we need to keep up the fight!

International Women’s Day, Congress Debates Measure To Limit Reproductive Rights Huffington Post

The House Judiciary Subcommittee began on Thursday to discuss the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), sponsored by two Florida Republicans, Marco Rubio in the Senate and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in the House. The bill would make it illegal for anyone but a parent to accompany a young woman across state lines to seek an abortion — even if her parents are absent or abusive.

Dem women senators press Boehner to nix birth-control vote The Hill

More DFR

Rosario Espriella and her children at Planned Parenthood in Edinburg, Tex. The agency has closed four clinics in the county. Eddie Seal for The New York Times Texas health care clinics are slashing poor women’s services, refusing federal funds under the Medicaid Women’s Health Care Program for 130,000 poor women. Gov. Rick Perry and Republican lawmakers have said the will forgo the $35 million in federal money that finances women’s health care rather than let Planned Parenthood have one dime.

In these state-level culture wars that seek to prevent women from receiving services that are legal in America including the morning-after pill, poor women are pawns in a men’s game of political chess.

Nationally, the four Republican candidates for president also want to abolish Title X at a federal level. Planned Parenthood sees about one-third of the five million low-income people covered under Title X, which has existed since the Nixon Administration, with dollars that represent one quarter of its budget.

Like other federal financing, Title X does not pay for abortions. Only some of it covers birth control. Title X also provides money for cervical and breast cancer screening, testing for H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases, adolescent abstinence counseling, infertility counseling and other services.

Texas Women Suffer Now

Texas already is a leading state in the nation, cutting back health services to poor women. A year ago, Anne wrote You Want to Defund Planned Parenthood & Title X? Look at Texas AOC Sensual Rebel

Texas is #49 in verbal SAT scores in the nation (493) and #46 in average math SAT scores (502). Texas is #36 in the nation in high school graduation rates.

Texas also leads the nation in repeat pregnancies, with Dallas being the top city. Even teens who have given birth once are prohibited from obtaining birth control without parental consent.

Only 40 percent of teen moms giving birth at age 17 or earlier finish high school. Daughters of teen mothers are three times more likely to become teen parents than girls with older moms. Eight of 10 teenage fathers do not marry the mothers of their first children.