Space Candy writes, Here is the thing about Helen Thomas:
If you haven’t heard the news yet, White House reporter and columnist Helen Thomas has announced her resignation, effective immediately. This is in response to comments she made about Jews getting out of Palestine; you can hear the comment straight from her mouth here. I’m not going to spend much time on her comment except to say I think it speaks for itself and I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I think she had a point to be made, even if it is one that not all would agree with, and she made it poorly. She also apologized. The reaction to her comment has mostly been a collective of outrage, and I think we can all understand why.
But in that collective outrage is a lot of sexist, ageist crap. And here’s the thing about Helen Thomas: She has been hearing that sexist crap her entire career (and I would venture to say even before that), and she has been hearing the ageist crap for probably two decades now, and she still showed up to work and went about her business of being Helen Thomas. (Who thinks being Helen Thomas has been easy? Anyone?)
Miriam at Feministing tells us that Al and Tipper Gore to separate after forty years of marriage:
By now you’ve probably heard the news that former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper are divorcing after more than forty years of marriage. The couple announced the split yesterday in an email to friends:
After a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate," the Gores wrote in an e-mail to friends. "This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together."
The media, unsurprisingly, is pretty obsessed with speculating and lamenting the end of this marriage.
Al and Tipper had a publicly romantic marriage (remember the awkward kiss at the Democratic National Convention in 2000?), one that was in stark contrast to the tumultuous and seemingly cold Bill and Hillary Clinton marriage.
One question to be asked here is why the media (and the American public) cares so much about the private romantic lives of our politicians. Or our pop stars and public figures for that matter? I often find myself wishing they would be left alone when these media tirades begin. Relationships are hard enough on their own, I can’t imagine adding the scrutiny of the American public to the mix.
Miranda Simon at Salon interviewed professor Robert Crews, an expert on Afghanistan at Stanford University, about the The "peace jirga" and Afghan women: “What would a truce with the Taliban mean for the liberation of the country’s women?"
As the third and final day of Afghanistan’s three-day peace conference gets underway, it’s worth asking what its implications are for the country’s women. After all, the "jirga" is focused on a proposal to offer money and jobs to the Taliban — a group not exactly known for valuing the rights of women — if they give up their violent ways.
Soon after President Obama took office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed her commitment to Afghan women, and resistance to the Taliban. Now, President Obama is backing Karzai’s proposal and, according to the Guardian’s Jonathan Steele, many women in Afghanistan do too, despite potential setbacks to their freedoms. After interviewing a diverse sample of Afghan women, he came to the conclusion that their desire for peace trumps their desire for liberation. Salon took these thorny issues to professor Robert Crews, an expert on Afghanistan at Stanford University, and co-editor of the book "The Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan," in search of some much-needed clarity.
Why is President Karzai reaching out to the Taliban, and why do you think the U.S. has backed this decision?
Karzai came to power promising amnesty for Taliban fighters and has repeated various versions of an amnesty proclamation since. The international community has mostly pretended that they are not real political actors. Karzai doesn’t have that luxury.
Jess McCabe at The F Word writes in Is It Time for Abortion to Return to the Political Agenda?
Anti-choice lobbyists are gearing up as the new coalition government settles in. We should not let them define the terms of debate, says Lisa Ansell, instead we should push for women’s right to access abortion to be shored up
I take for granted the right to autonomy over my body. I have grown up secure in the knowledge that, should I ever find myself pregnant, the law is unlikely to force me to continue a pregnancy against my will. I am part of a generation of British women who look at the rhetoric of the debate around women’s healthcare issues in the US and count our blessings that we are so progressive that our ‘right’ to safe, legal termination of a pregnancy is not threatened.
It seems that my complacency is shared. In the run up to the election – often described as the ‘Mumsnet’ election – there was little discussion of abortion. The Fawcett Society established the position of each political party on issues affecting women and did not mention it. We take for granted access to safe, legal terminations.
Stephanie Drahan from National Women’s Law Center writes, We Asked, You Answered: This is How "the Pill" Changed Women’s Lives
Back at the beginning of May, we requested that you share how access to the birth control pill impacted your lives. And thanks to your incredible participation, we got some incredible responses.
To finalize an incredible month of celebration of the golden anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the birth control pill that has featured numerous blog posts, tweets and a survey of your stories, we are now releasing the final compilation of the 50 ways “the Pill” revolutionized women’s lives.
There were happy stories:
When I was 16, my mom took me to the doctor to get the pill. It was one of the best things she ever did for me. I was the first in our family to graduate from college. Now, I’m married and pregnant and plan to do the same for our daughter when she’s ready.
The pill treated my horrific cramps and wildly irregular menstrual cycle. I also have partial complex seizures that are affected by my cycle and the medicine I take for them is estrogen-sensitive, so the pill also helped keep my estrogens at a stable level. For me, a happy side-effect is no unwanted pregnancies!
You want more feminist links? Check back here next Tuesday! And, if you have links to share, please email them to us or leave them in the comments.