Have Book, Will Travel

L-R: Contributing writer Janet Frishberg, publisher Kim Wyatt, moi.

L-R: Contributing writer Janet Frishberg, publisher Kim Wyatt, moi.

So! “Get Out of My Crotch,” the awesome collection of essays I’ve told you about, came out last week, and there were readings in Portland and South Lake Tahoe to kick things off. I figured, eh, the office can probably manage without my brilliance for a week, so I took time off and went to both events. I am SO glad I did, because as much as I enjoy sitting at home in sweatpants, pecking at my laptop and bouncing ideas off the poodle, getting out and actually talking to people about this stuff is way more fun. [Read more...]

When You Have a Hammer, Everything Looks Like Abortion Rights (Part 2)

When U have a Hammer ArtLast post I was talking about today’s Roe v. Wade anniversary (happy birthday, right to not have babies I don’t want!), and how it started me thinking of all the things that get left out of the feminist conversation because we’re so focused on protecting that law, and on legislation in general. I closed Part 1 by blaming President Kennedy for feminism’s narrow focus on public policy reform; let me explain. Kennedy was the first US President to enter office knowing full well that he owed women big for his victory. [Read more...]

When You Have a Hammer, Everything Looks Like Abortion Rights

Photo from the 2004 March for Women's Lives, t...

Photo from the 2004 March for Women’s Lives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Part 1)
One week from today, January 22nd, is the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and people are making a justifiably big deal about it. There will be marching, there will be chanting; everyone will have signs. And I will cheer the demonstrators on even as I wonder why, at least since the ‘70s, abortion access has been the only truly reliable mass mobilizing issue for American feminism. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why it’s so crucial, I just don’t understand why it’s so singularly important to the US women’s movement as a theme, as a PR strategy, as a recruitment tool. I mean, is our ability to get unintentionally pregnant really the strongest tie that binds women together? [Read more...]

What Keeps Me in My Seat

puzzlepiecesI have to tell you guys, today was a BUMMER. Slow news day, dull paperwork, depressing winter weather and, oh yeah,  I spent most of the day thinking about America’s epidemic of intimate partner violence, so there was that. This particular occupational hazard, the fact that it’s just plain depressing sometimes to spend so much of your life thinking about the horrors human beings visit on each other, isn’t one I complain about much. For the most part I’ve acclimated (read: “compartmentalized”), but it’s definitely the case that my kind of job weeds out the lightweights fast. [Read more...]

Happy New Year! VAWA’s Dead

VAWA Demonstrators 1.3.12

Sorry, activist lady, Congress will not be doing its job anytime soon.

The Violence Against Women Act is dead. Defunct, extinct, “expired” in both the legislative and the Victorian senses of the word. At least that’s what you’d think if you read headlines about it in the last day or so, many of which emphasize the drama of the bill’s expiration, without describing what will happen to domestic violence victims as a result. [Read more...]