Politics

Recent posts

The Problem With The Texas Senate Tampon Confiscation

Those following the saga of the anti-abortion laws being passed in Texas likely saw that tampons were being confiscated from those entering the Texas capitol. Without even getting into the strange irony that guns were still allowed inside (because how are tampons more dangerous than guns?!), I’d like to talk a bit about the dissonance between an abstract idea and the concrete reality that follows. The idea here, of course, was to prevent protestors from using tampons as projectiles or launched items within the capitol. The concrete reality of that idea being enforced, however, went beyond implementing that idea and in fact revealed a lack of regard for the consequences for individual women. What if a woman were on her period that day and actually needed a tampon? Continue Reading →

O-H-I-No! – Limits to Sex Ed in Ohio’s Schools

I’ve mentioned here before that I live in Ohio, and have a decent amount of pride for my chosen state (and especially the city that I live in). Living in Ohio can be a constant test, whether it’s experiencing a whole season in the matter of days or dealing with living in a state that is not a fan of comprehensive sexuality education. Each semester, I have a minimum of three students who tell me that they wish they had received adequate sexuality education before now (these are college students, typically juniors and seniors). I have students who tell me that they believe they wouldn’t have been pregnant or have dealt with a sexually transmitted infection, etc. While on one hand I’m glad that my students seem to enjoy and learn in my classroom, I do wish that medically accurate and age appropriate sexuality education was more readily available. Continue Reading →

Remember: We’re Not The First Advocates for Equality

As I wait with bated breath for the Supreme Court to make a decision on the repeal of DOMA and Proposition 8, I’m reminded of all those that came before me. In the past several years, the LGBTQ community has seen some incredible legal, social, and political advances. Just in my lifetime, I’ve seen several states pass laws that recognize same-sex unions, gays and lesbians in the military be allowed to discuss their sexuality openly, and have experienced a huge growth in cultural acceptance of the queer community. To put this in a different perspective, here are some numbers. A document from the Movement Advancement Project recorded that between 2000 and 2010, the United States experienced a 1300% increase in states outlawing gender discrimination based on gender presentation, a 600% jump in the number of high school Gay-Straight Alliances, and today, majority (57%) support for marriage equality. Continue Reading →

Be A Woman, Join The Gun Debate – Get Sexually Harassed!

The (female) co-editor of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffrey, tweeted about the death of a skilled American sniper who had recently been murdered at a gun range. She wasn’t mocking him or his death, but rather stating that if even a talented shooter couldn’t stop a determined gun attack, maybe we should keep discussing the gun laws in our country. The outpouring of sexual harassment on Twitter was prompt and vicious. Among gender-neutral insults like scumbag and worthless ass, she was called a whore, bitch, slut, and other derogatory names. I’m really disappointed by how unsurprising it is that women who share their opinions on the internet can expect to receive that kind of harassment pretty regularly. Continue Reading →

Queer Alphabet Soup: Moving Beyond Sexual Inclusivity

LGTBQIA…and the list goes on. What we once simply called gay expanded to gay and lesbian, then to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender, and then further to include the umbrella term queer, as well as intersex and asexual. A recent New York Times article by Michael Schulman tackles this expansion of inclusive terms, discussing the new generation of queers and the gender inclusivity that they are striving for. “If the gay-rights movement today seems to revolve around same-sex marriage, this generation is seeking something more radical: an upending of gender roles beyond the binary of male/female. The core question isn’t whom they love, but who they are — that is, identity as distinct from sexual orientation. Continue Reading →

Larger Social Implications Of The 2012 Elections

If you check out my run-down on gender, sex, and sexuality topics that came up in the 2012 U.S. elections, there are a slew of significant things happening: women, sexual, and religious minorities are being represented greater numbers than ever before in elected positions. Male politicians who make ignorant or disparaging comments about rape (a.k.a. “Republican Rape Philosophers”) are not winning their campaigns. And so on. There are, however, a number of subtler changes that also impact sexual health – which is, no matter how you slice it, a public health issue. Continue Reading →

2012 Election Results: California Sex Laws

Last week, Californians voted on whether to make condom use mandatory in pornography shoots. Measure B passed, but remains controversial. Many adult performers believe that they already take adequate safety measures such as regular testing, and that the law only further marginalizes them. For those reasons, I prefer to hear more of their perspectives before I make up my mind on the law. In more California news (because that’s where I’m from), Prop 35 also passed, which approves harsher sentences for human trafficking. Continue Reading →

2012 Election Results: Gay and Lesbian Issues

In terms of gay rights, the 2012 election showed significant progress. In three states – Maryland, Maine, and Washington – citizens voted to allow gay marriage. Minnesota lagged a little behind, voting against a ban on gay marriage (which is not quite the same thing as legalizing it), but hey, progress is progress. Additionally, Tammy Baldwin is the first openly lesbian senator to serve in U.S. history, and Kyrsten Sinema is the first openly bi member of Congress. Hopefully more will follow in their footsteps. Continue Reading →

2012 Election Results: Women’s Issues

The 2012 U.S. elections were important for a number of reasons. From a women’s issues perspective, one of the most significant occurrences was the election of 20 female senators to Congress, the most who have ever served. Also notable is the fact that of these female officials, one is Buddhist and another is Hindu (both are the first elected senators of their religion in the U.S.). Further, some of the most notorious rape-commenting Republicans (such as Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock) have been defeated in their races. From a feminist perspective, it’s wonderful that there are more elected female officials, representing more diverse women’s experiences, and that ignorant remarks about rape are not going unnoticed. Continue Reading →