Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

Friday Round Up: DADT Away Yay! Edition

Repealed-DADTAbout 40 years ago, someone close to me told me she was involved with another woman and asked me how I felt about that. “I don’t know,” I replied. That was my honest answer at the time. You see, this “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) business has been around for a long time. Nobody asked, nobody told, nobody really talked at all about sexual orientation with me as a heterosexual woman, and certainly not in the social justice and human rights context as I now understand them to be.

But change can happen. This week I joined many other Americans, gay and straight, to celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” an event that culminates decades of LGBTQ movement building and educating people like me about the fundamental fairness and justice of ending discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s not the end of the battle, but certainly a great milestone. This Friday Round Up is a tribute to the end of an unjust and unworkable policy on gays in the military, with particular emphasis on its impact on women…

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She’s Doing It: Mallika Dutt Defines Her Terms for Global Human Rights

Mallika Dutt

“You have to meet Mallika—she’s amazing!” my friend Lynn Harris enthused. She was so right. There are few people with visions big enough to encompass human rights on a global scale and then create breakthrough ways to advance them. Mallika Dutt did just that, and she tells her story in this week’s “She’s Doing It.” President and CEO of Breakthrough, the global human rights organization she started is based in New York and India and uses the power of arts, media, and pop culture to advance dignity, equality, and justice. Read on and be sure to watch the powerful video’s they’ve produced to deliver the message.

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CEDAW FORUM: The Unfinished Business of Ratification

My guest post today is about a very important topic I intended to write about–but my colleague Linda Tarr-Whelan has already said it all better in a post she wrote for the National Council for Research on Women’s “The Real Deal” blog. It’s embarrassing as well as just plain wrong that the U.S. is one of just seven nations that never signed onto the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Want to know the six other nations? They are Iran, Nauru, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, and Tonga –overall not very good company!

This week has been declared a Week of Action by a coalition of U.S. organizations working to get our country to enter 21st century and sign CEDAW. So to the U.S. Congress: Sign already!

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What’s the Best Language: Choice, Freedom, Human Rights, or???

after 35 years, I’m tired of arguing about what is the most persuasive language to bring the most people into what we have for some decades now been referring to as the pro-choice fold. And frankly, I have moved on–or outward, as I prefer to say–to the bigger canvas of women’s equality and power, not just between the navel and the knees but also in politics, at work, and at home.

However, thanks to the perpetual obsession about women and sex by those who want to outlaw abortion, I find myself drawn in once more to the fray over the rhetoric of–well, whatever you want to call it. Historian Nancy L. Cohen started the latest public discussion of the terminology in her Los Angeles Times op ed proposing that we switch from “choice” to “freedom.”

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Say It Isn’t So, O!

They always disappoint you, these politicians. I tend to be a bit of a Pollyanna or at least a cockeyed optimist even after all these years of political involvement. And though Obama’s appointments have sometimes been thrilling, sometimes worrying; I figured we needed to cut the guy some slack; he’s got a mighty hard job in front of him after all, and it is critically important that he be successful.

But today, he went too far when he gave Rev. Rick Warren the enormous honor of delivering the invocation at his inauguration. I mean, please. Sarah Posner at The Nation writes:

There was no doubt that Obama, like every president before him, would pick a Christian minister to perform this sacred duty. But Obama had thousands of clergy to choose from, and the choice of Warren is not only a slap in the face to progressive ministers toiling on the front lines of advocacy and service, but a bow to the continuing influence of the religious right in American politics. Warren vocally opposes gay marriage, does not believe in evolution, has compared abortion to the Holocaust and backed the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Excuse me, but what about the basic human rights of women and gays? Is Obama buying into the absurd notion that such disrespect for our fundamental humanity is just a matter of opinion rather than a violation of simple justice?

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Not Under the Bus This Time

December 10 is Human Rights Day. Appropriately today, there’s a new campaign for women’s human rights that I want to share with you.

On the heels of the Senate’s defeat of anti-abortion measures, Bart Stupak published a defense of his amendment in the New York Times (“What My Amendment Won’t Do.” His aggressive protest clearly illustrates the crusade against women’s rights won’t stop any time soon.

The Women’s Media Center is proud to announce the launch of its new media campaign NotUnderTheBus.com, a platform that amplifies the voices of women and organizations devoted to a health care reform that is fair to women.

NotUnderTheBus.com’s first call to action is to stop the Stupak Amendment, the Hatch-Nelson Amendment, and others like them which are the most draconian restrictions on women since the 1977 Hyde Amendment that cut federal funding for abortions by Medicaid.

NotUnderTheBus.com will serve as an aggregator and media resource center in the fight to safeguard women’s reproductive rights in the national health care reform debate.

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Justice Ginsburg’s Right About Roe, Wrong About Solution

Several people have e-mailed me today to ask what I thought about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comments about the Roe v Wade decision in today’s New York Times.

“The court bit off more than it could chew,” Justice Ginsburg said in remarks after a speech at Princeton in October. It would have been enough, she said, to strike down the extremely restrictive Texas law at issue in Roe and leave further questions for later cases.

“The legislatures all over the United States were moving on this question,” she added. “The law was in a state of flux.”

Roe shut those developments down and created a backlash that lasts to this day.

“The Supreme Court’s decision was a perfect rallying point for people who disagreed with the notion that it should be a woman’s choice,” Justice Ginsburg said. “They could, instead of fighting in the trenches legislature by legislature, go after this decision by unelected judges.”

It’s also old news that Ginsburg believes, as many others have said over the years that the Court’s decision in Roe leapfrogged over public opinion that was heading in the prochoice direction anyway, so they should have just waited for the legislative process to work.

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A DOCTOR WHO WAS THERE DESCRIBES ABORTION PRE-ROE

Repairing the Damage, Before Roe by Waldo Fielding M.D., in today’s New York Times is a must read and must share. Fielding is 80; his generation of doctors knows the real stories about the injustices of illegal abortion. An excerpt:

With the Supreme Court becoming more conservative, many people who support women’s right to choose an abortion fear that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that gave them that right, is in danger of being swept aside. When such fears arise, we often hear about the pre-Roe “bad old days.” Yet there are few physicians today who can relate to them from personal experience. I can.

I am a retired gynecologist, in my mid-80s. My early formal training in my specialty was spent in New York City, from 1948 to 1953, in two of the city’s large municipal hospitals. There I saw and treated almost every complication of illegal abortion…

Now it’s up to the generation now present to make the coat hanger (photos of which accompnied the article) a symbol of women’s empowerment rather than victimization.

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