Vagina, Vagina, Vagina!!! And Vagina Some More!

Last bit tonight, I promise. But as I imagine many of you know women’s rights are under attack and tonight the issue at hand is that the Republicans in the Michigan state legislature feel that  saying the word vagina is inappropriate – and in light of this they have banned two female state representatives. If I lived in Michigan I would be marching in front of the capitol building with some seriously fun vaginal picket signs. Alas – Michigan you are so far. Instead I will  mention this craziness to all I see and sport a Vagina pin – Thank you Zazzle.

For your reading pleasure  Jezebel  has published  response to this lunacy entitled, 25 Republican-Approved Ways to Say ‘Vagina’ Without Offending Political Pussies,” which I imagine will make you both cringe and giggle – but either way I think you should read it because while I am still I’m gonna say vagina and all the other terms that describe my body – such as vulva, clitoris, fallopian tubes, period and whatever else you can think of whenever I see fit – in the classroom, legislature, hallway, bedroom and/or supermarket – I will henceforth endearingly refer to my vagina as the lovely and illustrious Ms. Kant from now on.

Tell me Ladies – how will you respond to this throwback into the dark ages?


So once again I am sending you to read the commentary posted by Jill @Feministe. Today the discussion posted was about late-term abortions – it linked to this NYT article. These writers consistently impress with their savvy commentary and their up to date awareness of how the world is dealing with women and gender issues. I genuinely recommend that you sign up to receive their RSS feed in your email.

Just say no to McCain

I can’t imagine that there are a whole lot of feminists out there who are considering a vote for McCain, but if so take a look at his position on choice….

Naral Pro-choice advises:
Sen. John McCain served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986 and in the U.S. Senate from 1987 to present. During his four years in the House, then-Rep. McCain cast 11 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues. Ten of these votes were anti-choice. In the Senate, through 2006, Sen. McCain cast 117 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues, 113 of which were anti-choice.

In addition to his solidly anti-choice record, Sen. McCain has never cosponsored or supported legislation that would prevent unintended pregnancy or reduce the need for abortion.

Voting Record:
Sen. McCain has an anti-choice record. He received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice.

2007: 0 percent
2006: 0 percent
2005: 0 percent
2004: 0 percent
2003: 0 percent
2002: 0 percent
2001: Because only one choice-related vote was taken in 2001 – to confirm John Ashcroft as United States Attorney General – no numerical score was given for the year. Sen. McCain voted anti-choice.
Click here for all of Sen. McCain’s scores from 1987-2006.

Public Statements about Choice:
A selection of Sen. McCain’s public statements on this issue is below.

“If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement.”

[Statement by Sen. McCain read by Sen. Sam Brownback at the March for Life in Washington, DC, January 22, 2008. (accessed January 30, 2008.]

Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign website states that he “believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.”
[John McCain for President 2008 campaign website, On the Issues: Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life (accessed February 4, 2008).]

“I’m proud that we have Justice Alito and Roberts on the United States Supreme Court. I’m very proud to have played a very small role in making that happen.”

[Transcript, Republican Presidential Candidates Participate in a Debate, May 3, 2007.]

On the Federal Abortion Ban, Sen. McCain said, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children. It also clearly speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures. As we move forward, it is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life.”

[Press release, April 18, 2007 (accessed February 4, 2008).]

Sen. McCain said that he has supported “the rights of the unborn” for 24 years “without changing, without wavering.”

[Michael Finnegan, Republicans Enter the Ring in Iowa; At a Key Party Dinner, Frontrunners for the Presidential Nomination Take a Beating From Lesser-Known Rivals, L.A. Times, April 15, 2007.]

“I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.”

[Ann Althouse, Rudy & Mitt Hem & Haw on Abortion, N.Y. Times, February 24, 2007.]

Discussing his pro-life voting record, McCain said, “I have many, many votes and it’s been consistent. And I’ve got a consistent zero from NARAL throughout all those years… [M]y record is clear. And I think the important thing is you look at people’s voting record because sometimes rhetoric can be a little… misleading… As you know I don’t support Roe v. Wade. I thought it was a bad decision, and I think that the decision should be made in the states.”

[Transcript, The Full McCain: An Interview, National Review, March 5, 2007.]

Kim Gandy speaks for Clinton


Message from NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy:

In a few hours, at 4:15 am to be exact, I’m headed out in the cold to yet another airport, this time to Chattanooga and then Knoxville, Tennessee to rally and speak for Hillary Clinton.

I’d go anywhere, any time, to shout from the rooftops that Hillary Clinton is the right choice for women, for our families, for our communities and for our future.

Here is why I care so much:

Hillary Clinton is a national leader of the highest order, with the strength and determination and experience to deliver real change to our country. She has been a leader on women’s rights and civil rights for over 30 years.

It is of special importance to me that Hillary is an unparalleled champion for women’s reproductive rights, justice and health. In fact, I’ve just signed a letter from many leaders: Martha Burk, Gloria Feldt, Cecelia Fire Thunder, Lulu Flores, Ellen Malcolm, Irene Natividad, Ellie Smeal, Gloria Steinem, and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones on why Hillary is the best choice for those of us who care so deeply about these issues.

Hillary has been through fire and emerged stronger with each challenge. She can take anything the Republicans can dish out, and give it back double. The Democrats need her, the country needs her, and she needs your vote on Tuesday.

Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to win in November, and to set our country right. She beat the Republicans in two landslide elections, despite predictions that she couldn’t win in upstate and rural New York. And it will take someone with her economic and national security strengths to beat John McCain. We know she can deliver on Day One — from getting our troops out of Iraq, to fixing the shattered economy and the mortgage crisis, to winning health care that covers every single person in this country.

Please vote on Tuesday for Hillary Clinton, and if you haven’t done it already, please email your friends and contacts in the Super Tuesday states and tell them that:

from her earliest days advising battered women, helping abused children, and providing free legal services to the poor,
to her time in the White House advocating for universal healthcare, championing the S-CHIP (State Child Health Insurance) program, and helping to pass the Violence Against Women Act,
to her service as a U.S. Senator, standing strong for reproductive rights and writing legislation to expand contraceptive access, helping win approval of emergency contraception, sponsoring equal pay legislation, and speaking out on the floor against the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, specifically saying that they would damage Roe v. Wade if confirmed. She was right, and I know we can count on her to nominate pro-women, pro-choice judges to the courts at every level.
She’s always stood up for us, and now it’s time for us to stand up for her with our vote and say “I’m Ready for Hillary.”

I’m ready.

P.S. Robin Morgan’s terrific new essay “Goodbye To All That (#2)” calls out the stereotypes, double standards and toxic viciousness against Hillary Clinton – Our President, Ourselves – and she concludes: “Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman-but because I am.”

Go see Juno!

So in honor of Ellen Page and others getting an Oscar tap for Juno, I thought I’d blog about this truly nifty little film.

Juno is the story of a precocious teenager who finds herself pregnant and decides to give her baby to a “deserving” couple rather than have an abortion. It’s worth mentioning that this film is definitely a farce and social critique. You are meant to laugh and see truisms in this less than lifelike world. For example, no parent has ever taken their daughter’s teenage pregnancy as well as Juno’s parent’s do, and no teenager is as equipped to handle life as well as Juno does. As long as you keep this in mind, Juno reveals itself as a touching and hilarious film, featuring a strong-minded, smart protagonist, which us feminists can adore.

A tid-bit about me that most of you don’t know, I have a MFA in creative writing, which means I am eligible for two things, I excruciating job teaching college composition and the right to point out really bad and really great writing. (I paid close to 60,000 dollars for this privilege. Dope.)

Embracing my place in the world as a homegrown and ridiculously over-educated critic, I’m telling you that Juno is smart, funny, clean writing.  Diablo Cody brings rich sarcasm and cutting style to the page.

With this meaty script to work with, director Jason Riteman (Thank you for Not Smoking) and Canadian actor Ellen Page gracefully bring to life the world of this a knocked up and delightfully awkward 16 year old. Watch the trailer, go see the film, it’s easily worth two hours of your life and your hard earned pennies:

Check out the blog by Juno’s writer: The Pussy Ranch

Hillary attcked for her pro-choice position

Women’s e-news sent this out this morning and if you haven’t read it yet, then I thought you might be interested, very timely:

Anti-choice PAC targets Clinton for early Attack

By Allison Stevens

Life and Liberty PAC, a new anti-choice political action committee in Washington, D.C., has so far attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina and is planning to continue doing so in other states before Feb. 5, when more than 20 states hold nominating contests.

Altogether it plans to spend $500,000 in early primary states on phone calls warning voters that Clinton has been downplaying her support for abortion rights in her race against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

While all three candidates are pro-choice, Mary Lewis–who founded the PAC in September because she said other anti-choice groups were not being aggressive enough–said Clinton is their top target because she is more hostile on the issue. Clinton, for example, is a co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would enshrine protections for abortion rights into law; Obama is not.

You already know that I’m a Hillary fan, so suffice to say we agree in regards to the right to choose.

Pro-choice, forever.

Last year, I was driving in my car listening to NPR when I first learned that the supreme court had banned late term abortions. Nausea surged from the pit of my belly and I had to pull over. I wrote about this once before a few months ago. I wont repeat myself…you can look if you want.

It has never occurred to me to condemn a woman or a couple for recognizing that the better choice is not to bring an ill or unwanted child into the world. I don’t believe that abortion is birth control, but it is a necessary entity. In a world where abstinence is taught as sex ed and sexual activity is condemned as sin… unwanted pregnancy will happen.

There are so many reasons that our right to choose is important. And I’m not just talking the dirty back alley abortions went on when the choice didn’t exist. (A little Thank you Dirty Dancing for exemplifying this to every eight year old in my generation). I ‘m talking about poverty and starving families that can’t afford to feed another child; I’m talking about a country where children of minorities are less likely to get adopted than Caucasian children; I’m talking about 11 year-olds who are raped by their fathers and mothers who have HIV.

But the truth is, I’m also talking about the twenty year old, unwed women who are just starting out or busy with college, and by some accident the find themselves no longer menstruating and decide that their only option for their future and the future of their future children is to choose to have an abortion because they want to lead strong successful lives.

No matter what the politicians say or the lawyers argue, I will never be swayed. I am eternally faithful to my belief the we have a right to choose our own destiny. I am pro-choice, forever.

Happy Birthday Roe v. Wade!

May You live a long safe life and continue to protect the women of this country.

We Must Have a Right to Choose…

There are a number of states that are trying to grant legal “personhood” to fertilized eggs, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi and Montana. According to Women’s e-news:

Colorado’s proposed initiative extends the state’s constitutional protections to “any human being from the moment of fertilization.” The Colorado Supreme Court has approved that wording and it will appear on the ballot if it garners just 76,000 signatures…

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Gonzales v. Carhart decision last April–for the first time giving more value to potential fetal life than to the pregnant woman’s life and health–demonstrates that threats to federal protection for reproductive rights are real. The center’s attorneys predict at least 30 states–including Colorado, Mississippi and Michigan–would outlaw abortion in a nanosecond absent federal restraints.

We cannot let this happen. It is not the dark ages, no one gets to tell a woman what she can do with her body. No one.

Last year when the decision was handed down on the Gonzales v. Carhart case, I cried. Let’s say your a woman needing a late term abortion because your body is in revolt, believing that your fetus is a disease and suddenly you are living in a septic house. The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act leaves you no choice. You cannot abort so you will die along with your fetus. What if your child is afflicted with a brian disease that will cause it to die within moments of being born. How can the Government dictate that you must continue to carry a dead child? It’s just morbid and sad.

Abortion is not birth contol. Nor should it be. Abortion is a needed procedure that helps us be resposible and healthy adults. It is a choice which must be available. It should be forced on no one but an option for all.