Advances In Women’s Health Politics (Plus Ninjas Against Rape)

If you have the time to read it, I highly highly highly recommend checking out Echo Zen’s Feministe post “How Women’s Health and Social Media Won 2012: Retrospective.” This link-rich essay describes the political events of 2012 in relation to women’s health, the amazing role of social media, and the rise of feminist advocacy by everyday women.

Zen points out that what the social media strategies of 2012 exposed is “the violent rhetoric that once came from GOP quarters about how women’s healthcare isn’t real healthcare, since only sluts and prostitutes need contraception and family planning. If the extremists have learned anything from this cycle, it’s that openly campaigning against women’s lives is no longer a winning strategy, just as relying entirely on the white Christian vote is no longer a viable tactic.”

This underlines how politicized an issue women’s health has become. On the one hand, it totally should be – women should be involved in policy decisions that affect them, rather than being a mute population whose sexuality is legislated by people who don’t share their genitals, life experiences, or struggles. This seems like a no-brainer to me. On the other hand, though, why are we still wasting time on this debate? Why isn’t it a given that women (and men!) should have access to reproductive health care and birth control? Many other countries are way ahead of us on this one, and it makes me sad that around half our country consistently votes against women’s health and women’s rights.

Even if you just skim the Echo Zen piece, make sure you scroll to the bottom, in order to see a Youtube short about ninjas preventing rape. Yes, you read that right. Enjoy!

About Jeana

Jeana

Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.