Category Archives: Uncategorized

NOW Campaign: Reject More Abortion Restrictions

The National Organization of Women has set up an action page, allowing you to instantly contact your House representatives, urging them to oppose further restrictions on abortions through insurance plans funded by the federal government.

Abortion rights opponents are trying to use health reform legislation to impose additional restrictions on abortion services that go far beyond the compromise in the Capps Amendment. Short of a complete ban on abortion coverage, these opponents will try to attach additional restrictions — and they are severe. The Capps Amendment language would require that insurers segregate funds for abortion services so that no public money is used. That requirement is sufficient to continue the harsh Hyde Amendment restrictions already in place.

As a supporter of the National Organization for Women and an ardent advocate for affordable health care for all, [Your name here] want to urge you to hold firm against further attacks by opponents of abortion rights who want to deny all women access to an important health care service.

[Your name here] oppose any effort to exclude abortion services from private health insurance plans.

Has feminism been co-opted?

Over at The Wooden Spoon, lit blogger Daniel E Pritchard considers Ariel Levy in The New Yorker and Marni Soupcoff in the National Post, on the “feminist conundrum”: why and how the word continues to be used pejoratively:

What the movement has become, in some sense, is a movement framed entirely by the politics of the wealthy: you can have a rich liberal woman empowered, or a rich conservative woman empowered, and you are to live vicariously by their success. Practical equality between men and women is no longer the goal of feminism. We also very often frame the role of the wife / mother and husband / father in entirely traditional ways, even when describing the goals of feminism: the woman ‘has the choice’ now, the implication being that the man’s role of financial support is still mandatory while the woman’s role is newly flexible. (Realistically, neither partner probably has a choice at all. Times are tough.)

Honor our rape-sponsoring legislators!

We’d like to help circulate this list of thirty legislators who were brave enough to stand up in defense of rape and vote against Senator Al Franken’s anti-rape amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill. We applaud these courageous men! Visit this site, and roll over their portraits with your mouse to see each Senator’s contact information. We encourage you to send your kind words to these gentlemen!

Sarah Hrdy at BU

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, the Departments of Anthropology, Biology, and Psychology and the Darwin Bicentennial Committee.

Publication of interest: Phoebe

Women’s & Gender Studies at SUNY Oneonta publishes a semiannual journal, Phoebe: Gender and Cultural Critique , which fosters intellectual exchanges between scholars of women’s and gender studies & gender & sexuality studies within SUNY, across the country and abroad.

Phoebe publishes works which explore different methodological approaches to provocative questions about gender, and gender’s intersections with sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class. Phoebe has published numerous award winning poets — Wanda Coleman, Lyn Lifshin, Rita Ann Higgins; short storywriters — Merrill Joan Gerber, Janice Eidus, Lisa Chewning; and accomplished scholars — Bettina Aptheker, Teresa Ebert, Marilyn Wesley, Vivien Burr, etc.

The journal accepts submissions year round. Submissions can be mailed to Phoebe, c/o Women’s and Gender Studies, SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820. Authors may also submit by email:


Screen capture from Wikipedia
Here’s a scrap of distressingly unreflective sexism from the Wikipedia article on wedding rings:

Women in Greek and Anatolian (comprising most of modern Turkey) cultures sometimes receive and wear puzzle rings – sets of interlocking metal bands that one must arrange just so in order to form a single ring. Traditionally, men wryly gave them as a test of their woman’s monogamy. However, with time and practice it takes little effort to re-make the puzzle and any intelligent woman can learn.

Has Wikipedia been infiltrated by misogynists? Had it not been, we should have been surprised — why should that community be any more secure from such influences than anywhere else on the internet? We should not be surprised, though, to read this kind of wry condescension in articles concerning the Western white wedding. Matrimony as ritualized commodity exchange attracts, for reasons unknown to this lay reader, certain simple conceptions of gender roles and relations.

I do not know, but would like to know, whether there is any regiment of volunteer editors who seek to remove derogatory language, even as there are those who devote their time combing out false facts and tagging unattributed assertions as in need of verification.

Three Perspectives on Technology and Childbirth in America

Día 225: cabeza arriba y cabeza abajo (by Flickr user evaguein)

Thursday, September 3, 2009
4 PM, in the Women’s Resource Center, 775 Commonwealth Avenue
(in the George Sherman Union, lower level)
Boston MA — “BU Central” on the Green Line B-train

Panelists: Claudia Olivetti, Christina Michaud, and Eugene Declercq

Childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization in the United States, and cesarean section is the most common form of major surgery. Yet childbirth also has significance for women’s sense of identity and our understanding of the meaning of family. This panel will offer a historical overview of the economic implications of technologically assisted birth, a discourse analysis of women’s birth narratives, and a public health perspective on birth practices and outcomes.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Email for more information.

Sponsored by the Boston University Women’s Studies Program and the Faculty Network on Women’s Studies, Gender, and Sexuality

Roundtable on Feminism & Politics

Feminism & Politics: Gendering the Contemporary Debates in Political Philosophy
A roundtable discussion with Jean Cohen (Columbia), Etienne Balibar (Nanterre/Irvine), and Margaret Moore (Queens)

Wednesday September 16th at 4pm
Kardinaal Mercierzaal, H.I.W, K.U.Leuven

In a world of rapid changes and deep transformations with consequences we cannot yet begin to oversee, one thing appears unchanged: deep and persistent inequalities structured around the nexus of gender, race, class and capital. Although there have been some major steps forward in some realms of our lives and some parts of the world, this deep-seated inequality continues to exist on many levels. In this roundtable discussion, three political philosophers who have made it their business to address the political state we are in, will focus on gender, and its multiple intersections with contemporary politics. Each one of them has engaged deeply with feminist thought and practice, considering feminism not only as a useful but as a necessary perspective when discussing politics. However, current debates in political philosophy pay little attention to this perspective, in spite of the work that is being done by feminist academics and activists alike. This discussion does not just aim to put feminism on the map, but rather to demonstrate the urgency and importance of doing so in the face of the political challenges posed to us by globalisation.

Presented by the Centre for Ethics, Social & Political Philosophy of the Higher Institute for Philosophy of the K.U.Leuven. To register (free) or for more information:

Call for Submissions–Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism

In an article published in Hypatia almost two decades ago, Charlene Haddock Seigfried, asked, “Where are all the Pragmatist Feminists?” Seigfried found it curious that feminists had not integrated the intellectual tradition of the United States into their thinking as well as why American pragmatists had failed to engage feminism in a more meaningful manner despite the obvious points of contact between the two branches of thought.  Her question remains valid today.

Feminist pragmatist scholarship remains a marginalized, albeit robust, area of study.  What has occurred in the intervening two decades is the important feminist work of recovery.  In particular, through the publication of a number of books and articles, the writing of Jane Addams has been rediscovered as a classical American site of pragmatist philosophy.  Although engaging Addams has been intellectually fruitful, if feminist and pragmatism is to be a viable intellectual endeavor, its connection to contemporary thought, policy, and action will have to more explicitly emerge.  One way to frame the relationship between feminism and pragmatism is in their common commitments such as the importance of context and experience, the relationship of politics and values and the production of knowledge and metaphysics, and the need for diversity and thus dialogue among differently situated groups.  Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism offers the next step in this intellectual journey as site for engaging the intersection of these two dynamic fields of thought.

Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism is an interdisciplinary collection of original chapters that explores the present implications of feminism and pragmatism for theory, policy, and action.  Chapters in this volume can take a variety of forms including the drawing of contemporary inference from the work of classical American feminist pragmatist thinkers such as Addams, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Emily Greene Balch, Mary Whiton Calkins, Mary Parker Follett, and Ida B. Wells.  Other chapters may simply wish to work with the ideas of feminist pragmatism and apply them to current work being done in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, or social philosophy.  Case studies or policy analysis may also frame chapters for this volume.  Because the anthology is intended for an interdisciplinary audience, we ask that authors address their contributions to an intellectual but not specialized audience.  Topics may include (but are not limited to): Ethical theory;  Epistemology; Social & Political Philosophy; Intersectionality; Utopian Thinking; Philosophy of religion; Social policy; Education theory/practice; The multicultural subject; Transnational feminism; Cosmopolitanism; Globalization; Feminist theory; Business Ethics; Sexualities Studies; Philosophy of science; Community organizing; Peace Studies.

The editors of Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism are Maurice Hamington, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Women’s Studies and Services at Metropolitan State College of Denver, and Celia Bardwell-Jones, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies, Towson University.

Submissions from all fields are invited. For inquiries please contact Celia Bardwell-Jones at or Maurice Hamington at . The editors request that 300-word abstracts be sent electronically by October 1, 2009 to Maurice Hamington at   Abstracts will be evaluated for and comments/suggestions will be offered to those accepted for the volume. Completed chapters will be due by July 1, 2010.