In the understatement of the century, the New York Times reports that “Republicans acknowledge that their communication on women’s issues has been inadequate.” Their solution involves training candidates to try putting a sheen on their unappealing policies:
It was not on the public schedule for the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting at the stately Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. But inside a conference room, a group of conservative women held a boot camp to strengthen an unlikely set of skills: how to talk about abortion.
They have conducted a half-dozen of these sessions around the country this year, from Richmond, Va., to Madison, Wis. Coaches point video cameras at the participants and ask them to talk about why they believe abortion is wrong.
While I was on vacation, I was kindly nominated for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award by Kelsey DeMelo over at respect thy #selfie project. I’m belatedly getting around to passing it along and letting you know about some great bloggers you should check out. (more…)
You have to wonder at the thought process (if there is one) behind catcalling. What does a guy expect is going to happen? The few times in the past that I’ve confronted people who’ve sexually harassed me, the main reaction was utter surprise that someone was responding to them at all, particularly in an angry manner. They cowered and offered apologies, but I never dug in to the question of why. (more…)
“Respectability politics” is a concept that plagues many social justice movements. Members of marginalized groups feel the need to prove that they are worthy of certain rights they want to be granted in order to win victory in mainstream society. It’s an understandable impulse, but it often ends up hurting a cause as well as the people fighting for it. Irin Carmon takes this on in the context of birth control access and makes a strong case against the overemphasis on medically necessary contraception: (more…)
It says something about our culture’s handling of “controversial” issues that at honest take on people’s common lived experience ends up feeling so refreshing. That’s one reason why the film Obvious Childhas received such a rapturous response from many viewers, especially women (it’s also because it’s hilarious and Jenny Slate is wonderful- check it out). (more…)
You might not have time today between barbecues and fireworks, but I recommend that you find some soon to check out the important and moving new film Freedom Summer (you can watch it for free here). If we’re going to celebrate our country, the most inspiring stories I can look to are those of people who struggle to make this country live up to its promise. The bravery and dedication of the Freedom Summer organizers helping to register voters in Mississippi in 1964 is awe-inspiring.
It’s especially important to revisit this history as we face a full-on attack on voting rights today. We’re still a long way from the US as portrayed in rousing Independence Day rhetoric, but today is a great day to honor those who are taking us closer step by step.