The 31st Carnival of Feminists (part one)February 7, 2007 at 7:01 am | Posted in blogging for choice, Blogroll, the forg | 14 Comments
Hello, and welcome to the 31st Carnival of Feminists here at Truly Outrageous. Whether you’re a regular reader, or a follower of the carnival stopping by for the first time, I’m pleased to present you with some of the finest writing by feminists, our friends and allies produced over the last few weeks. I’d like to congratulate our corner of the blogosphere for being so prolific and articulate – I’ve found so much I want to highlight, I’ve divided this carnival into two posts! You’ll find the first half behind the cut.
PART ONE: Who owns my body for what cause?
I think it’s fitting to open with littlelight’s post the seam of skin and scales at Taking Steps. Her words inspired not just praise or condemnation but, more importantly, a lot of powerful discussion, for example on the Language around trans post on Alas, a blog. The concept of ‘a feminism of the monstrous’ resonates strongly, it seems, for all of us:
I am done with traps. I am done with the philosophy of traps, and I am done with the feminism of who owns my body for what cause. It is time for something that tells you that I am here for blood–my blood, the blood of my loved ones, the blood of the people who have battered themselves against my life and found me still here.
‘Who owns my body for what cause’ — a question that was raised again, in a different context, during Blog for Choice Day on January 22. Many bloggers participated, and I was deeply impressed by the questions we raised about the framework of the mainstream pro-choice movement, particularly its tendency to erase women who don’t fit into its paradigm and thus both preclude and judge women’s choices. Posts by elle, abd and Jane Awake provide good examples of women examining their position on what ‘choice’ can mean. And as I wrote on the day itself, let’s be real.
When you hear about these women who have abortions ‘as birth control’, what kind of woman do you picture? Is she:
a) a woman of color
d) someone with a criminal background
e) all of the above?
Now, just so we know I’m not making this all about the choice to have an abortion, and that choice only, what kind of woman do we picture who has a lot of children? Uh-oh. Do some of those above descriptors still fit?
Shark-Fu at Angry Black Bitch gets to to the heart of the matter with her Blog for Choice post, Pro-Choice for Life.
Let’s talk about sex…about black women and our reproductive health. About how choice impacts the treatment of endometriosis, fibroids, breast cancer and other conditions black women are at risk for. Let’s discuss choice as it relates to access to basic healthcare for women…to our ability to choose treatments rather than have them forced on us…to our ability to empower our daughters rather than hand them over to a system that expects them to get pregnant…anticipates them getting an STD…and could give a damn if they die out as a result of inadequate care and government enforced ignorance.
Since Blog for Choice Day, many bloggers have reflected on the problematic nature of health and safety for women who don’t quite fit the Shiny Happy Pro-choice profile. Sylvia at The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum has more on reduced chemotherapy treatments for women in poverty; Jack at Angry Brown Butch writes about the rape survivor in Tampa who was jailed and denied emergency contraception; Jamila Akil reports on Kansas City police denying medical care to a pregnant suspect; Jaymi at Girlistic comments on the prevalance of doctors’ dismissal of women’s complaints; and Ilyka over at Pandagon posts on the up-for-grabs sentencing of Marlon Brando Gill, who assaulted his former girlfriend with a telephone, and the impact of different doctors’ opinions on the extent of injury.
Rachel at Women’s Health News informs us of some whining in Tennessee over the state’s medicare program reimbursing hospitals for the costs of assisting immigrant women in labor. She then asks the logical question: What’s your solution?
Would you have illegal women who cannot pay what the story estimates as $10,000 for an uncomplicated delivery turned away, to labor on their own, in their homes, with no support? Would you have ERs continue to be required provide care in emergency situations (including labor), but provide them no reimbursement, and count on the illegal immigrants to pay the bills? Do you realize that, assuming illegal immigrants even make minimum wage, $10,000 would take 48.5 40-hour weeks to earn? If the bills don’t get paid, are you comfortable with what happens to the staffing, supplies, and morale at the ER you may need to visit one day?
BrownFemiPower has written extensively and broadly on disenfranchised immigrant women, recently discussing a Palestinian family who moved to the US for asylum, now being held in the Hutto Prison in Texas.
Recently, some members of a Palestinian family were released after being held since November. Specifically, a pregnant woman and four minors were released–the adult male (who is housed at a different detention facility than the rest of the family and has had no contact with them since their imprisonment) is still imprisoned. The youngest child, a three year old who is a U.S. citizen and as such, was not imprisoned, has also had no contact with her family since November. [...]
And unfortunately, this type of catch-22 is not “odd”–Mexicans, Guatemalans, Dominican Republicans, Chinese, Laoasians–people of almost every poor brown nation, live every day with the reality that it is not safe to live in their homelands but that it’s also not safe to live in the colonial nation either. That colonial and neo-colonial practices have shifted their identities from “human being” to “expendable”–all in name of the latest model SUV or wedding band or cell phone.
What does it feel like to live knowing that any where you go, any where you hide–you are not safe? What is it like to know that the land you dream of returning to, the land you beg and demand to return to, is barred to you forever? What is it like being a woman creating life with a body that is imprisoned indefinitely? What is it like being a 14 year old asleep in your bed one minute, and imprisoned the next? What is it like being a 3 year old whose parents disappear in the middle of the night for three months?
On a more positive note, Marcella Chester at abyss2hope shares news of the conviction of a former New Hampshire corrections officer Douglas Tower for raping a female resident of the halfway house. And Sheezlebub at Pinko Feminist Hellcat gives us fierce a send-up of the NYTimes ‘Fashion and Style’ article by Ashley Cross, I Wish He Had Found Me First. What? That’s not what it’s called?
What drives me crazy about rape in this culture is that any time we talk about it, we get the chorus of THE MENZ! THE MENZ! WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ! We shouldn’t call it rape or make the guys feel uncomfortable, since they won’t feel okay about admitting what they’ve done in the past and doing better, poor dears. We have to create a safe space for the poor little darlings and stomp all over the women they hurt, who, after all, should have known better.
Maybe he did feel bad, but I doubt it was true remorse at the time. Who knows, maybe he’s come to understand what he’d done and changed. One can only hope. But his apology after the fact, coupled with the story he gave his girlfriend Cross, smacked of glibness. Ultimate Nice-Guy TM crap. Gee, I’m so sorry you feel that way. Gee, I’m so sorry I did that, please don’t hate me, can’t we just forget it now. Forgive me. Forgive me, dammit! I’m a really nice guy. Don’t you see, Ashley, she got hysterical over nothing, I didn’t mean to hurt her.
Now that I’ve got you all hairy-legged and man-hatin’, it’s time to head over to the Carnival’s part two. But first, a joke:
Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
The answer… after the break.