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UnCUT/VOICES: Unequivocally Against Female Genital Mutilation

by Tobe Levin

"During training, I would say out loud what others were merely thinking. For example, the day that white gynecologist [said], 'I don't understand my colleagues making [such a fuss] about excision. It's harassment! I always tell them to mind their own business when it comes to African clitorises.'

It's so much easier to say if you still have yours."


Khady in Blood Stains: A Child of Africa Reclaims Her Human Rights.

Among efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM), voices to the left of the Atlantic appear muted, tentative. The North American reaction is a far cry from declarations heard in Africa and Europe, loud and …


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UnCUT/VOICES: Unequivocally Against Female Genital Mutilation

In His Shorts: What Happened to Male Birth Control?

by Laura Eldridge

While feminists in the 1960s and '70s dreamed that a "male Pill" was close to happening, today it has become a joke that such a drug has been "five years away" for decades.

Despite huge advances in sexual equality, we still live in a world where contraception is largely the responsibility of women. Scientists, doctors and women have been talking about the possibility of a birth control pill for men since before there was one for women, but male contraceptive options remain the same as they have been for decades -- condoms, withdrawal and sterilization.

Why, then, there is still no pill for men?

The answer is rooted in history. …


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In His Shorts: What Happened to Male Birth Control?

Equally Expendable: Looking at Men and War through a Feminist Paradigm

by Kathleen Barry

I had not planned to write a book on masculinity and war. But following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 with daily reports for a month of "loss of innocent lives," that term haunted me. "If we agree that it is wrong to kill civilians in war, then there must be others who can be killed." I knew, of course, the answer to the question that followed, "Who are they?"

Men in combat! In my research I found that even the Geneva Conventions exclude all of those "engaged in hostilities" from the protection of their right to live as guaranteed by the

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Equally Expendable: Looking at Men and War through a Feminist Paradigm

Double Standards in Economic and Political Clout

by Juhu Thukral

When a young creative on this past season of the show Mad Men was fired for posting a sexually explicit drawing of the firm's office manager, many in the audience cheered. That he was fired by a young woman taking control of her career only made the moment sweeter. Moments later, this woman rode the elevator with the colleague whose honor she defended and sought her gratitude. Instead, the woman who had been harassed coldly explained, "You wanted to be a big shot…But no matter how powerful we get around here, all they have to do is draw another …


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Double Standards in Economic and Political Clout

A Radical Look at the Question of Equality

by Helen Gilbert

When I heard from Radical Women members who attended this summer's U.S. Social Forum that some participants in the Gender Justice workshop had questioned whether "equality" was a worthwhile goal, my first response was: "Oh no, are Women Studies academics caving to the rightwing?" It reminded me of how many reproductive rights groups have substituted the demure term "choice" for demands for abortion, no forced sterilization, and female self-determination.

A similar debate over words and goals is happening now among some progressives who tell socialists such as Radical Women that our political identifier should be …


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A Radical Look at the Question of Equality

Gloria Feldt's "No Excuses" and Ways for Women to Think about Power

by Theresa Noll

As Gloria Feldt points out in her new book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change the Way We Think About Power and Leadership, the dial of women's progress is in many ways stuck.

The mainstream media is often quick to declare that gender equality has been achieved, but in the United States, where women comprise the majority of voters and college graduates, we make up only 17 percent of Congress. We spend 80 percent of consumer dollars, but control just 15 percent of …


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Gloria Feldt's "No Excuses" and Ways for Women to Think about Power

MDs Tell HHS: High-Risk Patients Need Abortion Coverage

by Jodi Magee

At Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, we know that abortion is an essential part of comprehensive health care for women, particularly for those with pre-existing conditions like heart disease or cancer. That's why our doctors strongly object to the recent decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding abortion.

The department has created an insurance program for the many Americans whose medical histories have made them uninsurable. The catch? HHS won't allow abortions to be covered by the new program. This policy makes no …


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MDs Tell HHS: High-Risk Patients Need Abortion Coverage

Girls – and Women -- Are Slamming the Poetry Scene

by Lauren Zuniga

Every year at the National Poetry Slam poets from all over the country gather to tell their stories. A poetry slam is a competition invented in the late eighties by a Chicago construction worker named Marc Smith. Poets generally have three minutes to present an original poem and are given scores by five judges picked randomly from the audience. Any given night, you can hear about an abusive father in Omaha, migrant workers in Albuquerque, levees breaking in New Orleans, a school teacher in Oakland. It is where the real news is reported. It is impossible to go home unchanged.

In 2007, I came from competing in the National Poetry Slam to a failing marriage and a life that had …


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Girls – and Women -- Are Slamming the Poetry Scene

Female Music Critics Transcend Fan Culture

by Georgia Kral

Scan through the pages of a major music magazine, the arts section of The New York Times, Pitchfork.com or myriad other sources and count the number of female bylines you find on pop music criticism. Not many, right? (Or in the case of The Times, zero.) In music writing, gender disparity is a persistent feature.

One theory that has caught on about why there are so few women in pop music criticism builds on the idea that a woman is trained from a young age to be a fan and not a critic. In an article for the music-oriented Loops Journal, critic Anwyn Crawford writes that young girls are socially …


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Female Music Critics Transcend Fan Culture

Broadway Has A Long Way to Go, Baby

by Deborah Savadge

Remember the Virginia Slims ad campaign from 40 years ago? Directed at women, it announced, "You've come a long way, Baby." Ads showed black-and-white photos of Victorian era housewives, performing menial tasks, contrasted with slick, color portraits of ostensibly liberated 1960s' women, "provocatively dressed, smoking slim cigarettes."

We have come a long way in the theatre in the 2,500 years since the ancient Greeks staged the first plays without allowing women to act, write, direct or appear in the chorus. Fast …


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Broadway Has A Long Way to Go, Baby

Advancing Rights: 1964 Marks the Beginning of A New Era

by Sonia Pressman Fuentes

On August 26, we'll be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. It's a good time to review what rights women have secured since August of 1920.

Actually, women secured no additional rights in the 44 years after suffrage was ratified. Then in 1964, the first federal law prohibiting gender discrimination became effective, the Equal Pay Act which required equal pay for equal or substantially equal work without regard to gender. In 1965,

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Advancing Rights: 1964 Marks the Beginning of A New Era

Gender Pay Gap Underestimates Economic Inequality

by Joan Williams

The gender pay gap is standard measure of women's economic inequality. At the dawn of second-wave feminism, it was 59 cents: women earned 59 cents for every dollar men earned. Today it's up to 77 cents, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity. That's progress, right? Here's even more rosy news: women without children now earn over 90 percent of men's wages. So maybe it is time to stop worrying about women and economics.

Not so fast. Let's start with the 90 percent statistic, which describes childless women at age thirty. Conservatives like to point to that one, concluding that what ails mothers is not discrimination but their own choices.

In fact, I …


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Gender Pay Gap Underestimates Economic Inequality

Formation of Gender Identity in the Church

by Rev. Rebecca Turner

Growing up in a small Missouri town Southern Baptist church in the 1960s, I recall very little being said about sex, sexuality, and gender. We didn't have sex education of any kind in my church. But I do remember that every pastor was a man. Every deacon was a man. Every greeter, usher, and offering collector was a man. Every person who read the scripture in church, who directed the choir, who was in any way participating in worship leadership was a man.

As a little girl I knew without being told that men made all of the decisions for the church -- all I had to do was look around. Men were the ones granted the religious authority to interpret the scriptures and make moral …


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Formation of Gender Identity in the Church
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"Nontraditional": A Video Makes a Car Job Seem Auto-Matic

by the Editors

It's generally called "nontraditional" employment – women working in jobs that are mostly held by men. While becoming an auto mechanic may be a nontraditional career path for most women, in another sense, it was a totally traditional choice for Audra Fordin. She stepped into the boots of her auto-mechanic father, grandfather and great-grandfather, carrying on the 80-year-old family tradition of auto repair.  

In Car Repair is Women's Work, our Feature Video Story, writer and videographer Ann Farmer shows "Equality Under the Hood." She uses her camera to follow Fordin, a mother and mechanic, into …


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"Nontraditional": A Video Makes a Car Job Seem Auto-Matic

A Prayer for the Girl-Child

by Suzanne Stutman

When I grow up
Please let me:
Be safe.
Learn to read and write.
Live with my parents
And my brothers and sisters.
Not be sold to work
As an indentured servant
Or a sex slave.
Have enough food
And clean water
To enable me to have
A healthy body and mind.
Keep my sexual organs
Intact and not mutilated.
Allowed to love and marry
The person of my choice.
Enabled to keep
The children that I bear,
And to bear as many as I choose.
When I grow up
May I discover
A world populated
By all who honor
Peace.
And one another.


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A Prayer for the Girl-Child

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