CDC: No alcohol at all for the pre-pregnant


There is no end to the men, mostly, who seek to govern women’s bodies, who deny women freedom, agency, and power.  Now they want to prevent any woman who MIGHT become pregnant from drinking alcohol, even though there is no solid evidence to support such draconian prohibition.

 

Source: CDC: No alcohol at all for the pre-pregnant

Martha Nussbaum on sexual assault


What do you think?

Martha Nussbaum, a famous philosopher and a woman who has, you might say, “made it,” in the patriarchal halls of philosophy and academe, has this to say to women who would seek justice when famous and powerful men rape them:

Law cannot fix this problem. Famous men standardly get away with sexual harms, and for the most part will continue to do so. They know they are above the law, and they are therefore undeterrable. What can society do? Don’t give actors and athletes such glamor and reputational power. But that won’t happen in the real world. What can women do? Don’t be fooled by glamor. Do not date such men, unless you know them very, very well. Do not go to their homes. Never be alone in a room with them. And if you ignore my sage advice and encounter trouble, move on. Do not let your life get hijacked by an almost certainly futile effort at justice. Focus on your own welfare, and in this case that means: forget the law.

Source: Martha Nussbaum on sexual assault

Do you agree with Jennysaul, below:

Nussbaum draws on her own experiences to discuss sexual assault by powerful men.  Her main argument has a deeply depressing conclusion, consisting of advice to women:

Kansas Planned Parenthood Investigation Found No Wrongdoing, Governor Still Wants to Cut Funding


Patriarchy governing women’s bodies and minds.

Like many across the country, an investigation in Kansas found that Planned Parenthood was not involved with the illegal sale of fetal tissue.

Source: Kansas Planned Parenthood Investigation Found No Wrongdoing, Governor Still Wants to Cut Funding

Sexism Valley: 60% of women in Silicon Valley experience harassment | Technology | The Guardian


Survey co-authored by Trae Vassallo, who testified in the Ellen Pao case, found that for women in tech and venture capital gender discrimination is common

Source: Sexism Valley: 60% of women in Silicon Valley experience harassment | Technology | The Guardian

Gender Bias in Student Evaluations


There’s mounting evidence suggesting that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable. But are these evaluations, commonly referred to as SET, so bad that they’re actually better at gauging students’ gender bias and grade expectations than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness? A new paper argues that’s the case, and that evaluations are biased against female instructors in particular in so many ways that adjusting them for that bias is impossible.

 

Source: Gender Bias in Student Evaluations

3 People Senselessly Killed


929a9504a932e0badec1cb283b682d25I’m quoting from RH Reality Check, one of the best blogs on the net.  Jodi Jacobson, the editor-in-chief,  eloquently exposes the hypocrisy of right-wing politicians, such as Ted Cruz:

Last Friday, two civilians and one police officer died and nine others were wounded in a vicious and wholly predictable attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The alleged gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, who used what the New York Times described as an assault-style rifle to blast his way into the health-care facility, reportedly said “no more baby parts” during his arrest.

This would be a direct reference to false and defamatory rhetoric ceaselessly repeated by GOP candidates and the anti-choice movement over the past six months to claim Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal body parts for research, when not a shred of evidence of illegal or unethical activity has been produced.

It’s no secret that the GOP, now fully co-opted by what was once a radical Christian fringe, long ago set its sights on destroying access to reproductive health care in the United States. With callous disregard to the effects on the nearly three million a year who receive primary reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood clinics, the right has made a religious crusade of efforts to shutter Planned Parenthood, persistently threatening to shut down the entire U.S. government in an effort to do so. State legislatures and governors throughout the country have voted to strip funding from family planning and other forms of reproductive health care, destroying an essential keystone of public health. And an entire industry now exists devoted to, among other things, manufacturing lies about abortion and contraception; passing laws to reduce access to abortion care and make criminals of doctors and patients; picketing clinics; harassing and threatening providers and patients; and denying women medically accurate information.

In this environment, heated rhetoric about abortion providers is only one lit match away from a raging forest fire of hatred and violence culminating in unstable people taking matters into their own hands.

Dream


IMG_4859.JPG

Parrot Cay, near Hopetown, Abaco Islands, Bahamas

Dream time: November 20, 2015, before sunrise

Dream location: Parrot Cay, near Hopetown, Abacos, Bahamas.

I had gotten very sick, and started to draw the windows of my former client, where there were tiny porcelain figurines of girls and animals and much smaller little tea cups that I myself had made with a flourish of my paintbrush–two dimensional becoming three.  While painting I find myself clinging to the building, twenty or thirty stories up in the air, and nearly fainting from terror.

My former client opens and window and brings me in to her rooms which are filled with books in English and German, rare and valuable books, and enormous, elaborate porcelain trees and flowers.  The decor is fanciful, bohemian, educated, and shabby.  I feel at home here.  I have arrived very sick, deeply distressed, depressed, nearly hysterical with weeping.   A psychiatric nurse is called, who thinks I’m going to throw myself out the window, which is nonsense.  But I am sick, far gone into what some might call madness.  I am not mad, I have fallen into a kind of ego sickness, attachment, samsara.

My sorrow is more acute than my client’s, and she does what she can to heal me.   I sign up for some kind of ashram, a retreat that I bike to, far out in the tropics.  I walk the path into the forest.  It leads down, down, and, strangely,  into my former client’s apartment.  I find her dressed in scarlet, Tibetan silks.  She is the doorkeeper.

She leads me to a circular stairway that plunges perilously to deeper floors of rooms, where I meet children laughing and playing, women basking in sunlight and water, teachers.  I retreat, fleeing back up to my client’s rooms, where she tends to me, dresses me, feeds me, until I am strong enough to return to the floors beneath her.

I know I must go, that this retreat down and within, will help me, but I have come late.  I have paid dearly for this retreat, and worry that I have missed too much, that the teachers there will not allow me to start.  I will lose my investment, a heavy price.  I attend some meditation lessons and attempt to blend in, in vain.  My former client works here, too, and helps me to find my way.

I cannot find the guru I need, the teacher who will listen to my complaints and point out the cure.  Slowly I learn that I must listen to myself, hear and feel the sadnesses within, the terrors, the abysses.  Only by embracing what I fear to know about myself, can I heal and grow stronger. Only by surrendering to the darkness can I experience the dawn breaking within.

Ich glaube, daß fast alle unsere Traurigkeiten Momente der Spannung sind, die wir als Lähmung empfinden, weil wir unsere befremdeten Gefühle nicht mehr leben hören. Weil wir mit dem Fremden, das bei uns eingetreten ist, allein sind, weil uns alles Vertraute und Gewohnte für einen Augenblick fortgenommen ist; weil wir mitten in einem Übergang stehen, wo wir nicht stehen bleiben können. Darum geht die Traurigkeit auch vorüber: das Neue in uns, das Hinzugekommene, ist in unser Herz eingetreten, ist in seine innerste Kammer gegangen und ist auch dort nicht mehr, – ist schon im Blut. Und wir erfahren nicht, was es war. Man könnte uns leicht glauben machen, es sei nichts geschehen, und doch haben wir uns verwandelt, wie ein Haus sich verwandelt, in welches ein Gast eingetreten ist. Wir können nicht sagen, wer gekommen ist, wir werden es vielleicht nie wissen, aber es sprechen viele Anzeichen dafür, daß die Zukunft in solcher Weise in uns eintritt, um sich in uns zu verwandeln, lange bevor sie geschieht. Und darum ist es so wichtig, einsam und aufmerksam zu sein, wenn man traurig ist: weil der scheinbar ereignislose und starre Augenblick, da unsere Zukunft uns betritt, dem Leben so viel näher steht als jener andere laute und zufällige Zeitpunkt, da sie uns, wie von außen her, geschieht.

—Rainer Maria Rilke, Briefe an einem jungen Dichter, Franz Xaver Kappus.  Borgeby gård, Flädie, Schweden,
am 12. August 1904

 

Depression


is the worst of maladies.  It rips your heart out and leaves you breathless, exhausted, wasted, denuded.  Your skin comes off and all your nerves get exposed, and you weep for no reason that you can explain to anyone, and no one cares, anyway. Depression makes you irritable and cranky and bad-tempered with everyone you know.  The smallest things get under your skin, which isn’t there, so the smallest thing gets under your nerves and rubs them with salt so that you feel like screaming. There that, the endless and incomprehensible desire to scream your head off and, failing that, which you do, of course, because you fail at everything, you collapse into crying and self-loathing. Depression chains you to your bed or your chair or your corner, and if you manage to get up and walk around depressed, the chains drag and mossy anchors drag you back.  You think about drowning.  You long for death, to sink into the muck, the brown brownness of it, to bury your face into its dirty mess, your own dirty mess of self.  You argue and blame and shout at people and feel furious with them for not understanding and stopping to throw their arms around you, kiss you, and hold you until the tears stop.  The tears you fear will never end. But depression makes you monstrous and no one wants to kiss or hold a monster, so you carry on behaving monstrously, miserably alone, misunderstood, mistaken, misplaced, missed.  Me miserable, which way I fly infinite wrath and infinite despair.  You think you are going insane.  You don’t trust yourself.  You have no one but yourself to trust and so you fall into the lower deep that devours you. Depression confuses the mind and wrings the hands, it stammers the mouth and removes choices.  It unfurls the mind against itself and dissolves the skeleton, hunches the back against the stairs uncomfortably.  No comfort in the mind shut down and the body broken.  They call depression a disorder.  It is disorganized, chaotic, stormy, an attack, a tornado, a tidal wave of sadness, and it hurts.  It burns the eyes, scorches the throat, stops up the nose and ears and painfully overstimulates every nerve in the body while simultaneously deadening everything, so that you move, if you can move, through the world muffled, muted, deafened, dulled, retarded, defeated, deflated.  It washes you up on unfamiliar shores, it abandons you, wrecks you, dashes you, destroys you.  Do not underestimate this affliction.

Sophia Means Wisdom, and it is Wise to Sail with her.


My partner, Ryan, and I recently bought a boat named Sophia, which means Wisdom, and we are both very wisely deciding to spend the next few years sailing this vessel around the Bahamas and the Caribbean.  Cruising these waters is something we have always wanted to do, and we decided to go now that we are in our mid-fifties and still agile enough to move around.  For stories about our adventures aboard Sophia, please go to sophiasailing.com.

Sophia (σοφία) is the name of the goddess and creator who appears in the Bible as the co-founder of the universe.

14.25_Sophia_(Wisdom)_in_the_Celsus_Library_in_Ephesus

Personification of wisdom (in Greek, “Σοφία” or “Sophia”) at the Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey.

In Proverbs 8, Wisdom speaks:

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him:

The Greek noun sophia is the translation of “wisdom” in the Greek Septuagint for Hebrew חכמות, Ḥokmot or chokma.      Plato taught that philosophy is the friend (philo) of wisdom (sophy).  To create, to do or know anything, one requires wisdom, which Plato regarded as something beyond mere human inventions and constructions.  Hildegard von Bingen, the great medieval mystic and composer, regarded Sophia, or Sapientia, in Latin, as the divine, undying source of existence. In Hinduism, the goddess Durga,mother of all things, is also believed to be outside of time.  These ancient concepts of wisdom are not unlike Buddhist notions of the dharma, or the way, as a knowing that cannot be expressed in words, an awareness of what is that comes through meditation.

Below, Karen Clark sings Hildegard’s beautiful hymn to Sapientia:

O virtus Sapientie

Antiphon for Divine Wisdom (R 466rb) by Hildegard of BingenBack to Table of Contents

O virtus Sapientie,
que circuiens circuisti,
comprehendendo omnia
in una via que habet vitam,
tres alas habens,
quarum una in altum volat
et altera de terra sudat
et tercia undique volat.
Laus tibi sit, sicut te decet, O Sapientia.
O Wisdom’s energy!
Whirling, you encircle
and everything embrace
in the single way of life.
Three wings you have:
one soars above into the heights,
one from the earth exudes,
and all about now flies the third.
Praise be to you, as is your due, O Wisdom.

Latin collated from the transcription of Beverly Lomer and the edition of Barbara Newman; translation by Nathaniel M. Campbell.

Back Off, Intrusive and Offensive Anti-Choice Rabble!


Remembering Trailblazing Abortion Provider Mildred ‘Millie’ Hanson

Friends, family members, and former colleagues gathered in Minnesota Monday to celebrate the life of Dr. Mildred Hanson, the chapel filled with flowers sent by well-wishers from across the country. 596 MORE WORDS

‘Personhood’ Legislation Dealt Another Blow, This Time in Iowa

An Iowa state lawmaker’s bill to define life as beginning at fertilization failed to meet a legislative deadline Friday, joining so-called personhood bills in at least nine other states introduced without success this year. 638 MORE WORDS

Reflections on trying to organise a panel with more women

Recently, we—Elisa Freschi and Malcolm Keating—set about organizing a panel for the upcoming ATINER panel. We aimed for a panel which would include significant numbers of women, using suggestions from the Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) published on the Feminist Philosophers website to achieve this goal.109 MORE WORDS

Bias

Twitter Changes Sexual Health Ad Policy, Reinstates Condom Retailer’s Account

Several condom companies and sexual health campaigns last year said Twitter had blocked them from advertising about condoms and safer sex. The reason for the blocks appeared to be Twitter’s… 565 MORE WORDS

IAPh in Australia in 2016. See you there!

Women and Philosophy: History, Values, Knowledge

A conference to be held at Monash University, Caulfield Campus, Melbourne, Australia

7-10 July 2016

Invited speakers: Moira Gatens (Sydney, Australia), Ruth Hagengruber (Paderborn, Germany), Sally Haslanger (MIT, US), Lisa Shapiro (Simon Fraser, Canada)167 MORE WORDS

Pro-Choice Win: Federal Court Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zone

A federal judge in Pennsylvania last week upheld the enforcement of a Pittsburgh ordinance that establishes a 15-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon issued the ruling in the case of… 467 MORE WORDS

More from NU grad student Kathryn Pogin

Kathryn Pogin, a philosophy grad student at Northwestern, has followed up her open letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education with an editorial at the Huffington Post… 238 MORE WORDS

Women Deserve to Know About HIV Prevention Medication Too

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the antiretroviral medication Truvada as the first form of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a pill to protect against getting HIV. 1,018 MORE WORDS

red bean and green grain taco bowl

I swear, this wholesome-looking meal isn’t penance for anything. It’s not a budget-friendly apology for the frenetic unplanned redecorating project or atonement for the fact that I’ve basically only wanted to eat chocolate, peanut butter, bread and…212 MORE WORDS

The Epidemic of Lying at Crisis Pregnancy Centers Exposes the Moral Rot in the Anti-Choice Movement

This new NARAL report about the tactics of CPCs is called Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie: The Insidious Threat to Reproductive Freedom. It’s an apt title, because once you’re done reading it, you could be forgiven for wondering if anti-choice activists are capable of telling the truth about anything, much less reproductive health care.1,098 MORE WORDS

No, It’s Still Yogaphobia

Kyle Garton-Gundling has offered a thoughtful and critical response to my discussions on yogaphobia and the Catholic Church in my recent RD essay, “Is Pope Francis Yogaphobic” 2,008 MORE WORDS

It’s Not Yogaphobia, It’s Theology

Andrea Jain’s timely piece in RD sets Pope Francis’ recent inoffensive reference to yoga against a larger context of yogaphobia in Catholic thought. Of particular importance is her reading of “ 1,096 MORE WORDS

Dr. Cheryl Chastine of South Wind Women’s Center Talks Reproductive Justice and Not Backing Down

This piece is published in collaboration with Echoing Ida, a Forward Together project.

Abortion providers are the backbone of reproductive health care. They are there for patients in emergencies, and often experience stigma simply for providing a procedure that is essential to economic and reproductive freedom.

1,508 MORE WORDS

Pro-Choice Win: Federal Court Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zone

A federal court in Pennsylvania was the first to uphold an abortion clinic buffer zone ordinance since the Supreme Court called into question the constitutionality of similar laws last summer.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania last weekupheld the enforcement of a Pittsburgh ordinance that establishes a 15-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon issued the ruling in the case of Nikki Bruni and four other anti-choice protesters who sued the city last year claiming the ordinance unconstitutionally prevented them from offering “sidewalk counseling” to patients. The conservative religious advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit on Bruni’s behalf and had asked the court for an injunction blocking the ordinance.

Bruni is the local campaign director for “40 Days for Life,” a nationwide anti-choice protest campaign that targets clinics for daily protests and picketing.

Bissoon’s order upholding Pittsburgh’s buffer zone is the first federal court decision to examine the constitutionality of abortion clinic buffer zones after last summer’s Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakely, which struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law.

The Pittsburgh ordinance creates a 15-foot buffer zone around health-care facilities in the city. As first passed in 2005, the ordinance creates both a fixed 15-foot buffer zone around facilities and a floating “bubble” zone around patients.

The bubble zone rule meant that people outside the clinic were protected by a roving eight-foot buffer zone while within 100 feet of the clinic. But in 2009, a court ruled that Pittsburgh must choose between either a fixed or floating buffer zone, but not both at the same time. Friday’s ruling upholds the fixed 15-foot buffer zone.

Bissoon, in upholding Pittsburgh’s buffer zone, noted the history of anti-choice violence that had plagued the area and concluded that the ordinance did not violate protesters’ First Amendment rights. “Prior to the enactment of the Ordinance, there were incidents of physical intimidation, violence and obstruction where the buffer zone now stands,” Bissoon wrote. “Such incidents have rarely, if ever, occurred since the buffer zone has been implemented.”

“While plaintiffs’ message is restricted in that they cannot continue to walk alongside women as they approach within fifteen feet of the entrance, that method of communication is not foreclosed or effectively stifled,” Bissoon concluded.

Attorneys for ADF said they are considering appealing Friday’s decision.

“Americans, including those who are pro-life, have the freedom to speak with whomever they please on public sidewalks,” ADF litigation council Elissa Graves said in a statement. “Because of this, we are considering appeal of the court’s decision, which allows enforcement of Pittsburgh’s unconstitutional censorship zones to continue.”

Bissoon’s ruling did not dismiss all of the protesters’ claims, however. Bissoon let continue a claim by protesters that police do not enforce the buffer zone evenhandedly. She also ruled that more evidence is needed to resolve that claim and ordered that it continue to trial.

Image: Shutterstock

The post Pro-Choice Win: Federal Court Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zoneappeared first on RH Reality Check.

Day 2 of Being Present


It’s raining and dreary, so I decided to stay home instead of stumble through the Ashtanga class I thought I would go to.  I rolled out my mat in my own studio/office and put on a new playlist and moved through as many of the postures as seemed sensible.  For the past 12 months or so, I have been going to various physical therapists who have instructed me to avoid yoga. Well, actually, the first guy told me to avoid forward bends, and the second woman said to avoid backbends, so I stopped feeling confident in my body altogether.

Last week I went to an Ashtanga class (the one I avoided tonight).  I felt I had aged ten years.  My arms buckled in chatturanga and I could no longer squeeze myself into any kind of bind.   Humbling.

I teach a Trauma-focused yoga class to women in therapy at a community health center every week, and there I tell them to pay attention to what they feel in their bodies, and to make choices based on what they are feeling.  I’ve decided to practice what I’m preaching and spend a few minutes each day writing about it.

Things I noticed today: my stomach feels bulky and heavy and in the way.  My neck feels tight when I bring my ear to my shoulders.  I clench my teeth.  I felt angry today, not irritable, but appropriately angry, I thought.  A co-worker was rude and unkind to me.  Another challenged my judgment.  My back went up.  I’ve been carrying anger around in my belly and my neck.

It was surprisingly lovely to arrive in my body during sivasana, to dwell in my awareness of  the sweat cooling my forehead and chest, my lumbar spine and hips settling down towards the floor, my abdomen resting as my heart slowed down, the sound of my breath and a quiet, soothing swishing sound filling my ears.  It was surprisingly difficult to stay there, to remain simply in being.

Nina Simone


Listening to Nina Simone, who was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon.  The great civil rights advocate and musician inspires me.  One of my clients looks like her.  Hard to say whose history is harder.  The woman I know remembers her father holding a gun to her mother’s head.  She suffers from complex trauma, a syndrome unrecognized by the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  She trust no one, certainly not me.  Nina_Simone_1965 (1) Nina_Simone_1965

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