How To Outlaw Single Parenthood

Oh, Wisconsin…

Can you please tell me why your state legislature is ready to consider single parenthood a form of child abuse? Please?

If passed, SB507 would theoretically land 1/3 of the state’s population in jail. In my eyes, that is not at all a smooth move. But don’t tell Senator Glenn Grothman, the wonderfully moronic legislator that proposed this nonsense. He just wants this bill to become law so the big, bad government doesn’t use single parenthood as a means to throw the nation into a totalitarian state of dependency, as mapped out by his paranoid diatribe (which you can read here).

Although single parenthood is indeed stressful for both parent and child(ren), that in itself does not lead to child abuse. Single parenthood in conjunction with a dangerous living environment (substance, unsafe living conditions, mental instability, etc.) is really the issue behind the abuse.

Trust me, I know.

Since single parenthood is a risk for economic instability, and since it seems to be a major issue in Wisconsin, perhaps the state legislature should do their part to ease the financial strain of single parenthood via tax breaks (for example) instead of further punishing this population-which, in case you haven’t noticed, is overwhelmingly made up of women.

Watch Sen. Grothman in action below.

 

Rape, Redifined

The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used―victim under age of consent) are excluded.

This is the current federal definition of sexual assault. It was written in 1929.

Aside from the obvious exclusion of statutory rape, this definition excludes many other forms of equally terrible forms of sexual assault (same-sex assault, oral assault, and rape with an object, to name a few) and excludes entire classes of members,namely male and transgender victims. With sexual assault already being a highly unreported crime, this narrow federal explanation of sexual assault makes it difficult-if not impossible-for victims of sexual assault to prosecute their assailants at the federal level.

On Oct. 18, an F.B.I. subcommittee will finally meet to discuss and (hopefully) ultimately expand the definition of rape. True, it may cause a surge in the number of sexual assaults as per its new definition, but this expansion will allow the reporting of sexual assault to be prosecuted by the same criteria, allowing for consistency at the state and federal level of crime and prosecution.

To help support this move, please click here to participate in an email campaign hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Click here for the original New York Times’ article.

Reclaiming “Slut”

The recent emergence of “slut walks” has been causing quite a stir in the media, with the latest occurring in my (semi) hometown of Philadelphia.

So, what is the point of an army of scantily clad women taking to the streets? According to a report on NBC, the SlutWalk movement was sparked by a Boston police officer’s comment which reflects the unfortunate opinion of many when it comes to the sexual assault and rape of women” “If didn’t dress like a slut, then she would not have been raped.”

I could go on a 100 mile-long rant on how this police officer is an idiot, how he would think twice about saying that if the victim were, say, his mother, daughter, sister, niece, etc., how the way a woman is dressed is not an invitation to rape no matter what, that rape isn’t a crime caused by uncontrollable sexual urges but by an assailant wanting exercise power and control over their victim and so on. But, I won’t. I think these SlutWalks are doing a great job in not only gaining media attention for a crime that continues to affect women worldwide, but they are also sending a powerful message: we are not “sluts,” we are women who have rights to our bodies and to our sexuality.

Free Birth Control!

I thought this was a hoax when I first heard the news, but it is true: birth control is now fully covered by insurance.

As of August 1 (yesterday!): No. More. Copays.

Gratis! (Credit: Planned Parenthood Inc., click for source file)

As someone who has spent as much as $50 per month for contraceptive pills (and that’s with insurance coverage), this is a major victory for me and women everywhere. Aside from relieving our wallets, it has been proven that easy access to contraception has a direct effect on reducing a nation’s abortion rates.

Contraception isn’t the only thing covered under the Affordable Care Act. Also going copay-free are services such as gestational diabetes screening, HPV testing and domestic violence counseling, among other services.

Granted, religious institutions may opt-out of this plan, but it is still a giant leap in the right direction.

Click here for the original article on Good.is.

Click here for a full explanation of women’s health benefits through the Affordable Care Act.

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