Archive for the ‘feminism’ Tag

Sex Worker Open University

Sex Worker Open University

Sex workers are routinely portrayed in the media as victims.

At London’s first ever Sex Worker Open University, over two hundred sex workers and allies from the UK and abroad took part in workshops, discussions and actions.

This film presents an alternative and empowered image of the sex worker.

US abortion doctor is shot dead

US abortion doctor is shot dead

A prominent US abortion doctor has been shot dead at a church in Wichita, in his home state of Kansas.

Sixty-seven year-old George Tiller was killed just after 1000 (1500 GMT) at the Reformation Lutheran Church.

Dr Tiller – one of the few US doctors who performed so-called late-term abortions – had been a long-time target of anti-abortionists.

His clinic had often been the site of demonstrations, and he was shot and wounded by an assailant 16 years ago.

Dr Tiller’s lawyer, Dan Monnat, said he was gunned down as he served as an usher during a morning service.

All God’s children: Life in the Quiverfull movement

All God’s children

Vyckie Garrison wasn’t sure she wanted to use her real name in this article. Until last year, Garrison (then Vyckie Bennett), a 43-year-old single mother of seven living in Norfolk, Neb., followed a fundamentalist pronatalist theology known as Quiverfull. Shunning all forms of birth control, Quiverfull women accept as many children as God gives them as a demonstration of their radical faith and obedience as well as a means to advance his kingdom: winning the country for Christ by having more children than their adversaries. This self-proclaimed “patriarchy” movement, which likely numbers in the tens of thousands but which is growing exponentially, bases its arguments on Psalm 127: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They shall not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Quiverfull women commonly give birth to families of eight, 10 and 12 children, or more.

[…]

But there’s a lot more to the Quiverfull conviction than you see on the Duggars’ folksy show. In 1985, homeschooling leader Mary Pride wrote a foundational text for Quiverfull, “The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality.” The book argued that family planning is a slippery slope, creating a “contraceptive mentality” that leads to abortion, and that feminism is incompatible with Christianity. As an antidote, Pride told Christians to reject women’s liberation in exchange for the principles of submissive wifehood and prolific stay-at-home motherhood. The core ideology was a direct contradiction of Roe v. Wade: Women’s bodies and lives did not belong to them, but to God and his plans for Christian revival.

Amanda Palmer on abortion, rape, art and humor

From the blog of Amanda Palmer:

my label in the UK has been gearing up to promote “oasis” as a radio and video single.
a few days before i left for london i got this email from someone at roadrunner:

”Hi Emily/Amanda,

Hope you are both well,
I just thought I’d let you know that we have been met by fierce opposition on the Oasis track.
Which is disheartening, as combined with the video, we all felt it was a great promotional tool and track.
All our TV outlets have refused to play the video due to it “making light of rape, religion and abortion”. This is the audio as well as visual.
Many of the stations like the track, and even the video but are bound by strict broadcasting rules. I personally find this quite ridiculous.”

dude.
wasn’t this the UK, land of black humor blacker than blackest black itself?

i emailed back and asked which outlets. the reply:

”NME tv, Scuzz, kerrang, MTV, Q, the box … to name a few. There is only a few networks: bauer, chartshow and MTV. They control all stations and they all had the same issue….”

and i sat there thinking, wow. here we go again.
why can’t ANYTHING just be effing EASY this year?

it isn’t a simple issue, obviously. but the fundamentals seem clear to me.

i sat down one day in or around 2002 and wrote a tongue-in-cheek, ironic up-tempo pop song.
a song about a girl who got drunk, was date raped, and had an abortion.
she sings about these things lightly and joyfully and says that she doesn’t care that these things have happened to her because oasis, (her favorite band) has sent her an autographed photo in the mail. and to make things even better (!!), her bitchy friend melissa, who told the whole school about the abortion, is really jealous.

if you cannot sense the irony in this song, you’re about two intelligence points above a kumquat.

The video and song in question:

Amanda Palmer – both solo and as part of the Dresden Dolls – is like an awesomeburger coated in win. Listen to her, for she is correct in all things.

Rick Warren: no divorce for survivors of abuse

Rick Warren is an evangelical preacher and author of the Purpose Driven Life series of books. He is also strongly politically connected, having hosted presidential debates at his Saddleback Church in California. He was also selected by Barack Obama to speak at his presidential inauguration.

In an audio clip from Saddleback’s website (clip 32), Warren advises the listener that it is wrong for abused women to seek a divorce. As described at The New Agenda:

Warren recommends that couples temporarily separate while they participate in counseling to repair the marriage. According to Warren, it is better to maintain an abusive relationship than seek the immediate relief of divorce.

It’s not like you can escape the pain… You don’t — you don’t escape the pain. And I’d always rather choose a short term pain and find God’s solution for a long term gain, than try and find a short term solution that’s going to involve a long term pain in life.

Warren’s views give abusive spouses one more tool to control their victims: the Bible. His teaching undermines the resolve of women who are debating ending an abusive marriage. According to Warren, a Christian who divorces another Christian will ultimately look back and say, “I told myself it was for a right reason but now I realize it was more my selfishness than anything else.”

More commentary can be found here and here.

Rule Shields Health Workers Who Withhold Care Based on Beliefs

Rule Shields Health Workers Who Withhold Care Based on Beliefs

The Bush administration yesterday granted sweeping new protections to health workers who refuse to provide care that violates their personal beliefs, setting off an intense battle over opponents’ plans to try to repeal the measure.

Critics began consulting with the incoming Obama administration on strategies to reverse the regulation as quickly as possible while supporters started mobilizing to fight such efforts.

The far-reaching regulation cuts off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable. It was sought by conservative groups, abortion opponents and others to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways.

Radical Catholic priest and peace activist faces excommunication

Radical Catholic priest and peace activist faces excommunication

A 70 year old Catholic priest who has led campaigns against torture, faces excommunication by the Vatican tomorrow following his active support for women’s ordination.

Rev Roy Bourgeois, from Georgia in the US, said he plans to visit the Vatican personally this week to lobby against the formal excommunication.

Bourgeois is a nationally known peace activist, and has been targeted by the Vatican for participating in a ceremony in which Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a member of a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, was ordained.

The Vatican considers ceremonies for the ordination of a woman as a priest illicit and invalid.

According to the New York Times, Sevre-Duszynska is a veteran agitator for women’s ordination, and the 35th American woman to claim ordination from the increasingly vocal Womenpriests group. The Womenpriests group has been holding its own ordinations of women as priests, deacons and even bishops across North America and Europe, often in secret, starting in 2002 with a ceremony on a boat on the Danube River, reports the New York Times.

Afghan man spared death sentence

Afghan man spared death sentence

A journalism student from northern Afghanistan has had his controversial death sentence for blasphemy commuted to 20 years in jail.

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, 24, was sent to prison in October 2007 after reportedly downloading material from the internet on women’s rights in Islam.

A court is his home city of Mazar-e-Sharif condemned him to death.

An appeals court in Kabul reduced the sentence, but Mr Kambaksh’s family say they will fight for his full release.

Mr Kambaksh’s brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, said they expected the conviction to be overturned.

He said the family believes the court was “influenced by extremists”.