Welcome to the 44th Carnival of Feminists. We're going to focus on policy, economics and feminism.
Let’s start of with traditional policy and feminism – the law, elections, abortion, and all that good stuff. Like, how there’s so much political pandering to the “Republican base” about being anti-choice. Mit Romney is a great example, as Our Bodies Our Blog and Elanor Clift point out.
Part of the strategy to attack abortion rights is this chipping away we’ve seen over the past 20 plus years, including restricting young women’s access to abortion. Scott Lemieux, of Lawyers Guns and Money, reviews a book about this very subject.
And really, this is all about a compromise. Compromising values for votes (you know who you are), and compromising on rights, sometimes for money. Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Professors discusses a legal case where the State wanted to continue selling drivers’ data without their consent, even though there were documented cases of this data being useful to stalkers and murderers.
What about when we don’t necessarily compromise, but when we get suckered? Like, a joke you don’t really think about until after you laugh? And then you realize it was misogynistic? Kate at the Cruella-blog talks about irony and meta-analysis, and if we excuse a whole lot of crap if it’s “ironic” or a “joke”. And, how things like racism and sexism are pervasive, including comedy – her arena.
Another great example is this whole rash of going to rehab or finding God when you’ve erred. Daylight Atheism takes Catholics to task for excusing domestic violence. Not only that, but the rash of apologies and religious apologies makes it hard for those who do wrong to be held responsible for their past and future infractions.
And we all know that plenty of women (and rising numbers of
men) compromise their health and fitness for looks as well as compromise
themselves to fit in. A book, Perfect
Girls, Starving Daughters, is reviewed and summarized chapter by chapter for
When making policy arguments, framing the issue is of the utmost important. That’s why Rachel knows I’m a pain about nomenclature, but she’s equally pointed when it comes to scientific and media accuracy. She has a great piece on the study showing that RU-486 is no less safe than surgical abortions.
The Lizard Queen talks about Hillary
Clinton’s insistence on “safe, legal and rare” and takes her to task for saying
that pro-choice voters have gotten lazy . And while many of us, likely including
those reading this, do vote for pro-choice candidates how else do we explain the millions of votes from women who have been touched
by abortion for anti-choice candidates ? It’s not the overriding voting
decision – that has to be the only answer. The reason is that the majority of voters, by definition, are in the
middle of the road, and when we are always on the defense and always letting
them frame the issue, we get painted as extremists.
Men versus Women
Anyone who reads this site knows that I talk a lot about the
HPV vaccine, it’s potential use in boys, and the fact that it causes cancers
other than cervical. Another blogger
wonders if there’s some underlying framing of the issue that makes it a women’s
issue. Why are men, and gay men, being
left out? Or, maybe it was just a question of urgency
on the part of Merck when navigating the approval process? Either way, approval for the HPV Vaccine in boys is underway, and the third generation of the vaccine, which will be therapeutic, rather than just preventative, is already in trials.
An Indian blog discusses set-asides, or quotas, for women in the Indian Parliament. India has been struggling with quota issues for some time now, including set-asides for people from the lower castes. This blogger, sidhusaaheb, finds the idea of reservations insulting, arguing that women can adequately represent herself. Interestingly, India had a woman Prime Minister in the late 60s, although Indira Ghandi has been derided by some for her family connections, allegedly discounting her role as an outsider to the government.
Girl with Pen, inspired by a recent article, a great blog and one of my favorite feminist articles, writes about home economics and gender roles. When men stay home, and women work, some of the gender roles are reversed. Some aren’t, though, and this whole mess causes a lot of confusion and resentment.
Thankfully, Helga points out that this girls-like-pink thing is a relatively recent social phenomenon - like engagement rings. But don’t get me started on that. More entrenched roles that we've come to accept as absolutely certainties.
And since gender roles are more malleable now, is feminism dead? How much mentoring do young women need in this supposed age of equality? Feminism was surely needed back then, (you know, the old days when educated women were secretaries and mistresses to their bosses) but now…well, some even argue that feminism is not just irrelevant, but harmful to society and to blame for many of our problems.
Paying for Sex
A few people talked about the economics of the sex workers – I guess it’s not just me who wants to be Gary Becker when I grow up! Cara, at Curvature, discusses a new study out about the UK sex market and trafficking. Aundi at QueerCents talks more specifically about paying for sex and sexual titillation as an important part of the gay market.
The fine line (or maybe not so fine) between objectification and appreciation as well as consent is incredibly relevant to this discussion.
Of course, some sex work is legal, and some is illegal, and the debate over where that policy and legal line is drawn is a continuous one. For women, especially, is sex work a financially good choice? An emotionally healthy one? Does it exploit a gender power imbalance or help fuel it? The study cited by Cara talks about the normalization of sex work and the market, and calls for further stigmatization
Polly at Marginal Notes, a blog I’m going to have to read more often, has a post about economic calculations, and how that impacts national decision making. For example, war can be financially lucrative for a company, contributing to that country’s economic measures like GDP and GNP. Therefore, war becomes profitable as a machine for growing the economy. On the other hand, unpaid housework and childcare, as we all know, are not factored into these calculations. So then, she concludes, it’s more profitable to kill a child than care for one.
And that's all you wrote! Check the Carnival of Feminists regularly for new carnivals - there's a new one every couple of weeks.