Sunday, March 28, 2010

Suggested Sunday reading (3/28/10)

Just a couple quick reminders: If you have any suggestions for this column, whether they be your own blog posts, news stories, etc., feel free to send them in. You can e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com. I'm also on Twitter and Tumblr. On to Sunday reading:

You may recall the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, a woman who was working as a contractor for KBR/Halliburton in Iraq when she was drugged, kidnapped and raped by seven co-workers and held hostage in a shipping container. She tried to take the case to court, but it turned out that her contract prevented that; it said all such cases had to be settled via arbitration. Her case has gone back and forth in the court system: a court said her case could go to trial, but KBR appealed. However, Sen. Al Franken was able to get legislation through Congress that said the U.S. government could not enter into contracts with companies who have such policies (no thanks to the THIRTY Republicans in the Senate who voted against the bill). And because of that, KBR has dropped its appeal and Jones' case will be going to court, finally. KBR said "KBR did not want to risk being in violation of the amendment, so the company withdrew its petition." As I've said many times on this blog, thank you Sen. Franken for looking out for women's interests. And thank you to Jones, for continually pursuing her day in court, which is the least she deserves after what she went through, and for standing up to such a huge government contractor.

In other rape and rape-culture related news:

  • Yes Means Yes: "Affirmative consent as legal standard?" This is a long piece, and completely worth your time. The basic idea is to turn more from "no means no" to "yes means yes." Seriously great material here, and even though sometimes it comes down to semantics, it's important stuff.
  • The Sexist: "Why Rape Isn’t One Big Misunderstanding." As they say, THIS. This all day long.
  • The Curvature: "Trial for Officer Accused of Rape Invokes Victim-Blaming Myths." Ugh.
  • Shakesville: "Today in Rape Culture." This is from March 5, but I just came across it a couple days ago. And oh my goodness. Just read it.
  • RH Reality Check: "Rape Culture No More: What the Medical Community can do to Eliminate Violence Against Women."
  • Care2: "Facebook Groups Continue to Poke Fun at Rape." FFS.
  • Pandagon: "Seriously, why are they so obsessed with rape metaphors?."
  • Feminally: "The Privilege of Not Being Raped." So, so true.

In other news:
  • The State Journal Register (Ill.): "Companies allowing babies to join moms at work." I have mixed feelings about this. It's great for moms who have offices, but what if you're working out of a cubicle? There aren't many offices at my job, maybe 10 total. Women have four of them, I think. The rest of the women in my office could never bring a baby to work all day, because there's no room in the cubicles. Seems to me this would need to apply to all women or none, and I'm just not sure how feasible that is. But if it can be made to work, I'm all for it.
  • "America's Inexcusably High Maternal Death Rate." I'm glad to see stories about the maternal death rate here. It's been written about a lot recently (I've written about it here). This needs to be in the public eye.
  • NPR: "NPR Changes Abortion Language."
  • AP: "Abortion ban proposal to be on Colorado ballot." Yes, this is a "personhood" initiative.
  • Salon: "Tiger Woods' adultery: The scientific defense." One of my biggest pet peeves is when people claim, "scientifically" or otherwise, that men have to cheat because they are men. I don't buy it for one single second.
  • Washington Post: "Pelosi, Clinton celebrate Women's History Month, even as they make history, too." Congrats to both this week!
  • Tiger Beatdown: "13 Ways of Looking at Liz Lemon." Lots of really good stuff in here.
  • Talking Points Memo: "An open letter to conservatives."

A couple stories of note regarding the health care reform bill:
  • RH Reality Check: "The Health Care Bill and Women's Health: Wins, Losses, and Challenges."
  • Women's Media Center: "Gloria Steinem Responds to President Obama Signing Health Care Reform."
  • Race Wire: "What Health Care Reform Means For Abortion."
  • The Miami Herald: "Individual health insurance mandate started as a Republican idea."
  • Salon: "Mitt Romney's healthcare hypocrisy and the GOP base."

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