Archive for the ‘Politics’ category

Guiliani absent at former roommates’ wedding

May 4, 2009

THIS is truly an example of politics at its worst.

Rudy Giuliani’s refusal to attend the same-sex wedding of his former roommates shows both his commitment to the stagnant Republican party, and the decline of his personal, independent choices.

I realize that in politics anything goes, and all politicians compromise something at one time or another. But I think that forsaking personal relationships and close friends represents the saddest form of all.


Three updates

March 15, 2009

I haven’t written in a few weeks. Between things heating up at my job, and getting into a few different grad programs, I’ve been quite busy…but enough about me. I’ve got a few updates on a few things:

1. Three cheers for Obama for Lifting the Ban on Stem Cell Research, and for signing a bill that will help lower and control the cost of birth control. That being said, I still want to know what he is doing about Abstinence Only Education Funding…because to me, thats one of the most dangerous things still going on. So many unnecessary pregnancies and STIs, leading to financial and personal crises, simply for the fact that conservative America is embarrassed to talk about sex and thinks if they just ignore it, one of our greatest human instincts will somehow just..go away. 

2. March 10th was National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This is important to me, because I work with a lot of HIV-positive clients on Medicaid. With Obama’s new Council on Women and Girls, I hope one of the top policy focuses if HIV/AIDS for women, particularly of color. As listed on HHS, AIDS is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34. That’s a scary statistic, particularly when its a disease that’s preventible with proper education, access, and policy/financial support. 

3. Kai Wright has a really great piece up at The Root about ‘Raisin In The Sun’ playwright Lorraine Hansberry, and how her homosexuality has been effectively erased from history. Wright compares the erasure of gay Americans, in this case a black playwright,  to the erasure of blacks from history (though one can make the comparison with SO many groups in American history).  There’s a great quote from Hansberry at the end:

 I have suspected for a good time that the homosexual in America would ultimately pay a price for the intellectual impoverishment of women. Men continue to misinterpret the second-rate status of women as implying a privileged status for themselves; heterosexuals think the same way about homosexuals; gentiles about Jews; whites about blacks; haves about have-nots.

Vogue! Strike a Pose, Michelle Obama

February 11, 2009

Hello, Beautiful:

There are probably going to be people critiquing how much attention we are devoting to Michelle Obama + fashion, etc. Yes, I think we should talk more about her as a person and not the dresses she wears. But the thing is, Vogue is arguably the most popular fashion magazine. Vogue doesn’t have the greatest history of putting WOC on the cover of their magazine. And putting such a great role model WOC on the cover, which is going to be very visible, is positive. Michelle Obama is extremely intelligent, powerful, independent, all of these things. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t also have a great sense of style. Or that its not positive to use her image to show how beautiful POC are. (since apparently, Madison Avenue doesn’t understand that Cute Black Girls Are Everywhere, You Idiots (Danielle Belton Campaign See her blog for more).

Video Quickie- Gay Marriage

February 6, 2009

“Fidelity”: Don’t Divorce… from Courage Campaign. (i seem to be having trouble embedding).

I blatantly took this from Feministing but this video contains Regina Spektor and images of happily married gay couples and is pretty tear-inducing. You should watch.

“It is not women’s liberation, it is women’s and men’s liberation”

February 5, 2009

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Treated For Cancer: My thoughts are with Justice Ginsburg, who has been a strong female voice and ally for 15+ years. Ginsburg founded the first women’s rights law journal in her early career and co-authored the first book on sex discrimination. Throughout her time on the Supreme Court she has continued to be an advocate for abortion rights and justice.

And on a personal connection note, my law firm brought an incredibly important environmental suit (Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.) to the Supreme Court that Ginsburg voted with us on, and authored the Supreme Court’s Opinion on. She is a true ally.

Here’s to her successful recovery.

Birth Control IS Stimulating

February 4, 2009

All the debate about Obama’s Economic Stimulus bill and Family Planning is really stirring things up for me.

For one, I’m 100% for allowing ALL women the greatest possible access to practice their reproductive rights and obtain birth control.

For a second reason, because I work with people on Medicaid.

Now, I’m not sure if people realize how extremely indigent you have to be in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits. The poverty line is set at $10,400 for an individual. And may I just add that to even afford housing in Washington, DC you have to make  much more than that. In addition, people generally only qualify for Medicaid if they are disabled or have children to provide for.

And boy, does that leave a lot of people out.

People who are struggling every day to pay their bills– most financially disadvantaged people can’t qualify for Medicaid and certainly can’t afford to pay for their own private insurance.  

Now take a low-SES woman. Not only does she have general health issues to worry about, she has to worry about paying for her own sexual health. Furthermore, she is generally less educated, and has WAY less access to knowledge about birth control and contraception. Which gives her a MUCH greater chance of getting pregnant unintentionally. Which can lead to her raising that child alone in many cases. Which she cannot afford.  

Including contraception in this bill would allow a huge amount of low income women to access information and birth control. They will have control over their bodies and their futures. They can PLAN to not have children, to start getting on a track to economic stability and be more  in charge of their destinies.

Let alone the fact that birth control frequently has incredibly positive health effects (i.e. condoms reduce STIs, the pill reduces cysts & cervical/ovarian problems).

Let alone the fact that not just these women will save money, the country will too- fewer unplanned pregnancies to people who can’t afford to pay for them. More people getting out of poverty because they will have fewer costs.

The bottom line? Republicans don’t see women’s health/economic situations as important. Scratch that, people don’t see women’s health/economic situations as important. Forget that they’re half the country. Or the world. Or that there is already enough discrimination and barriers to their advancement  in the first place. Or that they will be caring, often times alone, for this country’s next generation. No, that’s right. Their needs aren’t as important. (And yes, sexual health is a need).

check this Nation column out for more info

Choice & Fair Pay- A glance into the Obama future

January 31, 2009

I wrote a bit about choice in my other blog,, for NARAL’s “Blog For Choice” day– asking all bloggers in the blogosphere to dedicate 1 blog to writing about Choice, and what they want from President Obama.

Barack Obama has been President for 12 days. In less than 2 weeks, he has shown a strong commitment to women’s reproductive rights. Since the majority of my intellectually mature life was spent under Bush,  I had almost entirely given up on a US that actually fit beliefs– on a US that would fight for women, fight for reproductive justice for women not just here, but all around the globe.
Obama has realized that ideal in the 12 days that he has been in office. He has reversed the Mexico City gag order, a move that will greatly improve the lives of women abroad.

The first bill President Obama has signed is the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The bill is a HUGE step for women’s equal pay in the workplace, and something that I have closely followed since Lilly brought her case to the Supreme Court (pause here to breathe a sigh of relief that we have Obama in the office to hopefully appoint Justices to the Court– since Bush appointees were the ones that turned this vote to 5-4 against Lilly). Opponents of this bill wanted women silenced. They wanted Lilly’s courageous fight to look like an uppity, nagging, whining woman who should sit down and shut up. But she never did. And now because of her, other women won’t have to.

But in addition I think there is an important symbolic significance about this bill being the first Obama signs as President. As he states himeself:

“It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign – the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act – we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness.”

Throughout the campaign, the battle between Clinton and Obama seemed to endlessly pit us against each other in the media– the older white feminists against younger, civil rights-oriented Obama supporters. But the thing is, Obama is on our side. Obama is on feminism’s side. He always has been. And I look forward to 4 or 8 years more.

Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Act

Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Act

(i encourage you to read his full statement…its quite powerful)