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I just posted this on my blog, but wanted to post it here, too.  I'd love to dig into this and discuss it.

The Feminist Law Professors blog has a link up to a downloadable paper on the problems of mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. Carol Singer uses legal framing of the issue that I personally hadn't seen before. I haven't read the whole thing myself yet, but it looks extremely interesting.

A highlight from the abstract:
Mandatory ultrasound intrudes upon that protected area of decisionmaking in several respects. First, simply by virtue of having an ultrasound, a pregnant woman is promoted into the category of mother and it is against this conscripted status that she must proceed. Second, unlike other compulsory forms of abortion disclosure, the statutes require the woman to use her body to produce the very information intended to dissuade her from pursuing an abortion. The resulting fetal image is intended as a self-evident statement about the meaning of human life.

But characterizing the fetus as a child, as most ultrasound statutes do, is a political description, not a scientific one. It confuses medically informed consent with what I identify as morally informed consent, that realm of personal considerations that are a woman’s alone to determine. Imbued with indelible social meaning, the mandatory ultrasound requirement replaces consent with coercion - not about the ultimate decision, but about how a woman chooses to get there.

The idea that the decision making process should not be coerced fascinates me and I'm looking forward to reading more about it. Beyond the legal discussion that I assume the paper is limited to, it brings up the cultural perception of women as autonomous moral agents. That is, the commonly held perception that women are not autonomous moral agents in the way men are. Women are frequently limited to the virgin/whore dichotomy and a woman seeking an abortion is already deemed a whore and therefore incapable of being responsible for her own morality.

Go read the whole thing.

I know those south of the border have been preoccupied with their own history-making elections, and hell, so have I, so don’t blame you, but man, have things took a turn towards the exciting up here right quick:

Yesterday, the Liberals and the NDP signed a formal, unprecedented pact to replace the minority Conservatives, who were re-elected just seven weeks ago, with a coalition government.

With guaranteed support from the separatist Bloc Québécois for at least 18 months, the Liberal-led coalition wrote to Jean to offer a governing alternative, claiming the Conservatives have lost the confidence of the majority of the House of Commons.

“We are ready to form a new government that will address the best interests of the people,” said Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, who would lead the coalition government as Prime Minister. “It’s all about the economy . . . it’s why we are together, to fight this economic crisis.”

The Liberals and NDP, with the help of the Bloc, together fighting a totally shitty, regressive budget? Growing balls, fighting back, uniting the left majority of this country? AMAZING.

Crossposted to Adoxography; as Northern Auxiliary of the Chatty Fuckers, author will gladly supply background information as requested.
 

Senator Bill Clinton?

Some people have suggested Bill Clinton replace Hillary in the Senate when she leaves to serve as Secretary of State.  I can't find it now, but a Washington Post op-ed suggested it would be a great twist on the way women often fill in for their husbands after a death.  In this context, though, I'm afraid it plays too much into the way Hillary has been treated as if she is an extension of Bill.

What do you all think?
How privilege makes people, not only dumb as dirt, but also completely bugfuck insane:

At the Tuesday feast, Raheja said her 5-year-old daughter was harassed. A parent dressed up as an American Indian, Raheja said, "did a war dance around my daughter." The parent then told her daughter and others to "go to hell," she said.

It's straight out of a Mel Brooks movie. I met these people in junior high, but I thought they actually grow up. That I'm a little shocked by this means I got a lot more educating of myself to do. And obviously, am not properly frightened enough yet.

Me, I'm not coming out of the apartment all day.

Links via delux_vivens

Edit: For your edification, the LJ spell checker says "bugfuck" should be 2 words or hyphenated, but I'll let my error stand.

Good and Bad

The bad: Larry Summers is still part of Obama's administration, as director of the National Economic Council.  Lovely.  This is seriously pissing me off this morning.  He will still be playing a huge role in setting economic policies.  So much for that victory.

The good?: His proposed economic stimulus plan.  A huge, two-year plan that will give people jobs repairing the country's infrastructure and schools, and investing in green energy. What do you all think?  My biggest reservation is not seeing any indication that he will also be investing more in social programs.  Also, most of the jobs the plan would initially create would be in the male-dominated construction industry.

Progressive cabinet choices?

Obama's picks sure aren't shaping up to look very progressive to me. He's going totally centrist as I expected with more reaches across the isle to Republicans and conservatives than across the divide on his side of the isle to progressives. So yes, centrist leaning right. Yes, it's a change from the Bush administration, but a decade later, it's not anymore to the left than Clinton's admin. Yes, we need that improvement form the last 8 years of dismantling all corporate regulations, greed and war waging, but it's hardly change, merely some restoration. And despite the support he garnered from progressives by playing to them when convenient, he's choosing more to satisfy Republicans than the progressive wing of his own party.

Clinton and Napolitano seem to be the token women. I don't know anything about Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), but he sounds good and maybe the most progressive pick there.

So Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, unlike their husband's in charge, pick women for their chief of staffs. Their husbands in charge choose men--no, identity politics have nothing to do with that same old same old--why would you think that? Right.

Addendum: Grijalva is pretty progressive.

A dose of reality

Wheelchair Dancer has a fantastic post about post-election Hope and Change reporting.  I'm a little late spotting it, but it's more relevant by the day.

And get a clue. You haven't been here, in the community, with the people. So, don't take those answers as real. As true as they might be, they are the expected platitude, fed back to you. Fed to you because you don't dig (for whatever reason) for deeper truths. Fed to you, because you want to be able to declare a new era, a new vision, a new end to racism (I make no speculation as to why). Fed to you because while people are touched to their very core about the beauty of Mr. Obama's result, people are smart, savvy consumers who know that the news media cycle will be over soon and that the real journey will begun away from the bright lights of the camera.

See, the problem is that, while Mr. Obama's election is historic, the fact of it does not per se change some of the most difficult problems our communities have faced. Blaring about the beautiful, joyous success of one man doesn't make it any easier for the next kid. We are not one nation. We are not all united. In fact, the very insistence on this rhetoric has begun to smell to me like an exercise of the power of exoticism. Look. Black people! One of them has made it. How strange. How peculiar. But look. This is America, land of the free, home of the brave. It couldn't happen in any other country of the world.

Read the whole thing.
http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN1935061320081120

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's top choice to lead the U.S Department of Homeland Security is Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing multiple sources.

The Democratic governor, a supporter and campaigner for Obama's presidential campaign, had been reported to be on a short list of people to fill cabinet posts in the new administration.

CNN also reported that Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker was Obama's pick for commerce secretary. (Reporting by JoAnne Allen, editing by Anthony Boadle)


I don't know that much about her except what I read about her at politico today: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15815.html



Not to get too "hopey/changey" or "constructive" for a maiden post here, but via Reclusive Leftist I've been introduced to The New Agenda, and today is their Bring a Friend Day.


Mission Statement of The New Agenda:

The New Agenda, through its members and partner organizations, seeks to advance women’s rights. The New Agenda will bring about a systemic change in the way women are treated in the media, by the government, at the workplace, and at home. To achieve our goals, we will empower women by working towards parity in the government and in the workplace. The New Agenda will also formulate an agenda based on core women’s issues which we will promote in a non-partisan fashion. The New Agenda will speak out for the millions of women in this great country who often have no voice.


The primary goals of The New Agenda are as follows:

  1. Enacting Fair Pay Legislation
  2. Increasing the Number of Women in High-Level Appointments
  3. Increasing the Number of Women in Elected National Office
  4. Increasing Women’s Representation and Opportunities in Business
  5. Reducing Domestic Violence
  6. Implementing Code of Conduct/FCC Modifications
  7. Increasing the Number of Women-Owned Businesses Receiving Government Contracts
  8. Expanding the Availability of Paid Family Leave
Dr Socks is a founding member of TNA, and the organization is based on the principle of The Big Tent:

Imagine a big lawn party with lots of little booths and kiosks staffed by different groups. This lawn party is Feminism. Over in one rather large booth we have the liberal feminists; they’re wearing power suits and carrying Blackberries. In another part of the lawn the cultural feminists are holding court in their Earth Mother skirts, with some womyn-only music playing on the speakers. A group of radical lesbians have set up a kiosk and are selling Hothead Paisan books and T-shirts. There are Christian feminists and Jewish feminists and Muslim feminists and Buddhist feminists, all with their own booths piled high with literature. The stay-at-home moms have a booth, of course, and they’re graciously sharing their brownies with everyone. The NARAL crowd is out in force, while at the opposite side of the lawn some pro-life feminists have set up a kiosk of their own.

In the middle of the lawn is a big blue tent with a sign saying, “The New Agenda.” This is the tent where women from all the different booths and kiosks gather to work on the issues they agree on — which, as we all know, is not every issue. They don’t stop being themselves when they go to The New Agenda tent, and they don’t abandon their beliefs. They just put aside their differences long enough to talk about the things they do agree on.


I'm always one to give "pro-life feminists"  a wary eye, but at this point, I'm ready to do a little pragmatic do-si-do with the devil for now, and cross that bridge when we come to it.