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Combine the World Wide Web and a personal log and what do you get? The increasingly prolific “blog”—a virtual tool for documentation, communication and personal expression. As such, some prochoice activists are using blogs as a platform in the fight for reproductive rights. They are dispensing information and interacting with the community all with the click of a mouse. Here are a couple examples of online pro-choice blogs that you might want to check out. The blogosphere can be a place for you to learn more and join the conversation.
This site provides a forum for a variety of feminist voices and organizations. An added perk of the site is that they keep the conversation progressive and safe—they censor anti-feminist, racist, homophobic and otherwise hateful speech. It’s a great place to start contributing.
RH Reality Check (http://rhrealitycheck.org)
This site is an online community serving those committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights. RH Reality Check wants to empower you with information. They compile the postings of various bloggers, giving you one place where you can go to find many people discussing health and reproductive rights.
~ Jenny Rackl, NARAL Pro Choice SD
From the website, “When Grace’s teacher revels that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school’s mock election. But soon she realizes that she has entered a tough race.
This timely story not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought—and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.”
Reviews for this gem includes "...the book delivers lessons on electoral votes, polls, and the reason every vote counts." - The New York Times
"DiPucchio and Pham are game gals. Explaining the electoral system to adults isn’t easy, but they make it understandable to kids." - Booklist
~Carmen, Planned Parenthood Advocate
As women involved in politics, Carmen and I often get asked about combating sexism in elections and at the capitol. One of my favorite resources on the subject is a new initiative called “Name it. Change it.”
Name It. Change It. is a non-partisan project of WCF Foundation, Women’s Media Center, and Political Parity. Their goal is to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the press—from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits.
Name it. Change it. challenges the media to think before they talk about female candidates: If you wouldn’t ask a man about his children at home, don’t ask her. Don’t use shrill or attractive to describe her unless you would use the same to describe him.
The initiative challenges us all to be on the lookout for sexist commentary and remarks about women candidates in the media. When we “name” sexism by calling it out, we have the opportunity to “change” it. If you witness instances of sexist media coverage, they provide a place to report it and a place for journalists to pledge gender neutrality in their reporting.
The hope is that by eliminating media attacks on women, more women will be willing to run for office. In a world where women are 50% less likely than men to seriously consider running, we need all the help we can get.
~ Alisha Sedor, NARAL Pro Choice South Dakota
We’re planning ahead for summer. We’re in need of four (or more) guest posts for the summer months of The Team Roe Times Unofficial Book Club. If you’ve read a pro-choice book or two (and we’re sure you have!) let us know the book and if you’d be willing to submit a review for our newsletter. You can submit a comment here or you can email me at email@example.com.
Book reviews aren’t difficult and are around 200 words. The best part of book club is showing off the cool/ smart/ funny book you’ve read!
Thanks in advance for helping out. I can’t wait to see what you’ve read!
~Carmen, Planned Parnethood Advocate
I have never read The Feminine Mystique. Nor did I think of myself as a feminist. Coming to age in the “otts,” my life experience has been limited to a post-60/70s first world – where equality between men and women has shifted into normality. My generation is accustomed to women in the work place, family planning, and careers before marriage. We, or at least I, saw the fervent feminism of our mothers as a thing of the past. The bra burning sexually liberated “hippies” felt as a lost age, a time that no longer applies to my present day life.
Then I came to Ecuador.
Two weeks ago SDSU hosted Richard Fox from Loyola Marymount University to present on his joint study, Men Rule.
The Fox and Lawless study found that of men and women, of being generally equal in experience and qualification, women were far less apt to consider themselves qualified to run for office.
This is bad news considering the need for more women in office. According to a recent CBS news report,
"Fewer than 20 percent of the seats in Congress are occupied by women," he said. "Is it possible that Congress would get more done if there were more women in Congress? Is that fair to say?"
Low as the percentage cited by Mr. Obama may be, it still marks an increase over generations past, and there is hope that this fall's election may give those numbers a boost.
On a side note, according to the U.N., the United States ranks 71st in the world for the number of women in the legislature -- behind nations like Vietnam and Kazakhstan. Rwanda ranks number one.
Currently, there are 41 women running for the state legislature in South Dakota. These numbers may change based on the outcome of the June 5 primaries and the possibility of more women running as independents.
~ Carmen, Planned Parenthood Advocate
Even if you were literally living under a rock, it would have been impossible to miss the avalanche of activity surrounding the SGK decision to stop funding grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates for breast health, cancer screenings, and prevention education. Personally, I read as many articles as possible—and I’m certain I only made it through a third.
I recently picked up Jane at the behest of a friend, and probably should have done so ages ago (Thanks Kyle!). Jane chronicles the story of a group of women in Chicago who took it upon themselves to first refer women for abortion services and later become trained as providers in the years before Roe v. Wade.
For me, this book spoke to why our work is so important; not only so that we never return to that place in history, but also how essential comprehensive reproductive healthcare is to women’s equality and the feminist movement. Control over the decision of when and how to have children is at the crux of ensuring equal treatment for women at home, in the workplace and in society. Jane was a fantastic reminder of this basic concept of modern feminism.
~ Alisha Sedor, NARAL Pro Choice SD