On Rhetoric, Responsibility & ReproRights: The Fem2 Friday Rewind 11.28-12.4 2015

Note from the Associate Editor:fem2 rewind 11.28

This last week leaves me only wanting to look forward.  The painful collective cultural memories we’ve shared in the U.S. these recent days leaves me haunted, and, quite honestly, afraid.  Black Friday, for many people across the country, took on a dark, double meaning after the murders of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.  The violent gun attack at a holiday party in San Bernardino – 14 confirmed victims and 21 injured – at a center for the disabled promoting independence, inclusion and empowerment leaves me even more heartsick.  In the span less than a week, innocent people at a medical clinic and a social services center were brutally attacked – is no public place sacred anymore?

Nonetheless, it’s my duty to bring you this week’s feminist news.  It’s more important than ever you TALK to your friends and family about what you read and what’s going on in our society.  Be present and be outspoken.  Most importantly, be informed.

Especially at this time of year, it’s imperative to be knowledgeable of the political rhetoric being thrown around as the 2016 election season rallies for its full swing into the New Year.  As a resource to you, the Fem2 team curated a list of great individuals and organizations to follow who often live-tweet Presidential debates – go check it out and join in the conversation surrounding the upcoming debates on Twitter.


UPTICK OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ABORTION PROVIDERS:  As more and more clinics are vandalized and attacked, a disturbing trend of violence towards reproductive health spaces and providers has emerged.

ATTACKS ON REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ARE TERRORISM:  Bryn Greenwood, who worked for Planned Parenthood in the late 90s, listed on twitter the “acts of terrorism” she and her colleagues experienced while working in the reproductive health field.

An example:

“We received hundreds of phone calls, threatening to torch our clinic & to kill the ‘murdering whores’ who worked there.”

The clinic she was working at did not provide abortions.


Ilyse Hogue, president of advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America, poignantly wrote  a Facebook post to the leaders of the falsified video attacks on Planned Parenthood following the shootings in Colorado:

“The language you choose matters.  You are not free from the judgement of the consequences of your hate-filled rhetoric.”

DEM CANDIDATES #STANDWITHPP: Democratic bidders for the White House immediately reiterated their support of Planned Parenthood upon receiving news of the shooting.

GOP REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE DEAR’S POLITICAL MOTIVES:  GOP contenders for the Presidency stayed curiously silent for too long regarding the shooting at Planned Parenthood. When they did comment, they sidestepped acknowledging that their own words defaming Planned Parenthood were uttered by the shooter following his attack.  This great piece by Amy Davison of The New Yorker asks why we are asking so little of our politicians in the face of real issues like gun violence.

SOME IN REPUBLICAN PARTY REALIZE DETRIMENTAL IMPACT:  Three GOP senators, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Mark Kirk (R-IL), pushed back against the continued assault on Planned Parenthood. They are challenging their party’s proposed cutting of Planned Parenthood funding, saying that it would result in millions of women being deprived of the health care provider of their choice.


WOMEN CAN SERVE IN COMBAT ROLES:  In a historic announcement, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said he is opening all jobs in combat units to women.

“Our process and studies showed that as long as someone can meet operationally relevant, occupation-specific, gender-neutral individual standards, that person is qualified to serve. Gender does not define the Service of a United States Sailor or Marine — instead, it is their character, selflessness, and abilities.” – Navy Secretary Ray Mabus


#SOLIDARITYWITHSTOYA: Adult film star Stoya accused porn actor James Deen, also her former boyfriend, of sexual assault on Twitter.  Her words inspired many others to speak out, both about their own experiences of assault and in support of her statement, countering the popular false notion that one cannot be raped if they work in the sex industry.  Rape is an underreported crime. False reports of sexual assault are incredibly rare. Assuring sexual assault victims they’re believed is the message #SolidarityWithStoya hopes to get across.  In the days following Stoya’s statement, two more women have accused Deen of violating them.


NAKED, WHITE, CIS-GENDERED WOMEN AREN’T NECESSARILY THAT INTERESTING: My favorite feel-good story of the week is the about-face pulled by Italian tire-maker Pirelli.  Their annual calendar, formerly featuring barely clad or nude pin-up girls, now highlights fully clothed female luminaries of the business, arts, and sports communities. The best part: the only two women who do appear nude, Amy Schumer and Serena Williams, have both been body-shamed this year.  Talk about sticking it to the hateful trolls!

That wraps this week’s Rewind.


The Fem2 Team

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