So, new stories keep pouring in regarding women’s issues in our country and abroad. Taking a weekend off and traveling has rewarded me (heh) with an arsenal of blogworthy news. So without further ado, here’s a recap of some events from the past week:
The headline says it all; the newest argument that has surfaced in the ongoing pro-choice and pro-life war is that birth control should be provided in insurance plans or available either for free or very cheaply in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and a subsequent abortion. Now, doctors are saying that that having oral contraceptive available over the counter would be a huge factor in decreasing the percentage of unwanted pregnancy. The main concerns that have generated regarding prescription-free contraception available are the risk of blood-clots associated with taking the pill and the idea that women may skip their annual checkups with their OB-GYNs. However, so many other medicines associated with even higher heath risks are available over the counter already, such as acetaminophen or the morning-after pill (or, you know, alcohol and cigarettes). We may be one step closer to widely accessible contraception.
Fox News has now offered unto the world this slam-dunk – a “war on men.” Apparently, the lack of “marriageable men” in favor of men who disregard commitment and the like nowadays is because of feminism. “Women aren’t women anymore,” says Fox, and they see men as the enemy and have become so self-sufficient with their jobs and college degrees that men are unable to act as the “man” in a relationship and are subsequently threatened and turned off to marriage. Evidently, feminism is only hurting women, since men have the freedom to engage in casual sexual relationships and women are losing eligible bachelors. Fox does offer us a solution – “All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.”
After reading this, my WTF-o-meter was in overdrive. Republican representatives in Michigan have proposed to offer a $160 tax credit to any woman who was at least 12 weeks pregnant at the end of the year. I’m sure that the basic idea behind the proposal is to assist soon-t0-be-mothers with their upcoming financial burden. However, I read this proposal as a very strange next step for these reps to take after having slashed tax credits for actual children. If lawmakers cared so much about children, why take funds away from the children that are here with us now? I see this tax credit as something completely different – a reward for a woman being pregnant and not having an abortion. Evidently, this proposal is still in the works, so we’ll see what happens.
Let’s end today with something awesome – Iranian women have proven that in fact, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Women in Iran are so fed up with having their actions, dress, and sexual partners being decided for them, that they have learned ninjutsu and are learning the sacred art of kicking people’s asses. This just goes to show that women are not done fighting, metaphorically or literally, for our due respect and rights in society. I raise my glass to Iran’s female ninjas and I can only hope that the rest of us will make these ladies proud.
…And that’s part of our world tonight.
“It isn’t running away they’re afraid of. We wouldn’t get far. It’s those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale