Good Late Evening!
I’ve spent the night watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit? This film came out in 1988…can you believe it? I love this flick.
“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way…”
So…According to this article in RH Reality Check, the phrase “Pro-Choice” is going to become a thing of the past. Honestly, I don’t like the new slogan. After “Pro-Choice”: What’s Next for Our Messaging?
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) recently announced that it would move away from “choice” language in its messaging. As PPFA President Cecile Richards argued, the term “pro-choice” no longer resonates with many younger advocates and voters, nor does it reflect the complexity of reproductive health decision making. But the move raises an important question that the movement now must answer: what’s next for our messaging?
During the recent media coverage surrounding Roe v. Wade’s 40th anniversary, the term “reproductive justice” was often cited as a framework that better appeals to young people since it encapsulates economics, race/ethnicity, environment, sexual orientation, and other contexts that affect access to reproductive rights. While many of us advocates welcome the opportunity to have a discussion about reproductive justice (RJ), it’s important to note that individuals in the media are often unclear about how to discuss RJ and may not fully grasp what it means.
I don’t think Reproductive Justice is going to help get the message across, and RJ sounds like a damn low-testosterone condition.
As communications strategist and full-spectrum doula Miriam Zoila Pérez noted in a recent post, “Reproductive justice isn’t a simple concept that can be explained in a sound bite. But because of that, it also better mirrors the complex world we live in than a label like pro-choice or pro-life ever could.” Furthermore, RJ isn’t an identity, so it isn’t a replacement for “pro-choice.”
The fact that Planned Parenthood, the biggest, most well-known reproductive health provider in the nation, is abandoning “pro-choice” terminology is a sign that the movement needs to find more relevant ways to talk about these issues—ways that better connect to people’s real-life experiences. When abortion access is under attack at the local, state, and federal levels, holding on to stigmatized messaging that doesn’t work inside or outside the Beltway is obstinate and myopic.
What do you all think about the phrase, Reproductive Justice?
moving away from “pro-choice” language won’t mean that discussions about abortion will be displaced. Many vocal RJ leaders and advocates do significant work on the ground to promote abortion access. But an RJ framework is more inclusive than that; it allows us to deconstruct the conditions that limit access to abortion, contraception, comprehensive sex education, and more.
Eesha Pandit of Men Stopping Violence and the National Network of Abortion Funds points out that even if we drop the term “pro-choice,” mainstream reproductive rights organizers won’t suddenly adopt the RJ framework. “On one hand, there’s the co-opting of ‘reproductive justice’ within reproductive rights and reproductive health communities. That’s problematic because it makes the real point of reproductive justice and the work that women of color have done in creating the framework, completely invisible. Just using the term ‘reproductive justice’ does not mean that the framework or the perspective is in an intersectional frame,” she told RH Reality Check. Changing language is irrelevant if the reproductive rights community doesn’t shift its approach. But introducing RJ as a framework can help the media make these important connections.
When I think of the word justice, I think of someone being a victim and looking for justice….why not just call it reproductive rights? Or find another word salad that can be made into a catchy acronym? I guess Pro-Choice isn’t going anywhere soon, but this “RJ” sucks.
Since I am enjoying this fabulous classic movie, just a couple of more links for you tonight.
This next link is also about messaging, on the GOP side: A muddled message gets messier and more mendacious
With the sequestration cuts just days away, Republicans have spent the last several focused on rhetoric instead of policy. By any sensible standard, GOP policymakers have invested no real effort on resolving the problem, and have instead devoted all of their energies in winning a public-relations fight once the sequester starts doing real damage.
And with this in mind, one might expect their message to be amazing. After all, once a political party gives up on governing and focuses solely on messaging, it’s stands to reason they’ll be pretty good at it.
And yet, Republicans’ sequestration message “is all over the place.” GOP leaders believe the sequester will be awful but they want to let it happen. The policy was integral to the Republican fiscal plan and it’s entirely the White House’s idea. When Republicans say the cuts will hurt, that’s fine; when Democrats say the cuts will hurt, it’s evidence of scare tactics.
One of Georgia’s brilliant </snark> representatives is spouting off a load of crap:
Rep. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a likely U.S. Senate candidate, argued over the weekend that sequestration cuts “must” happen in order to “get this economy rolling again.”
As a matter of economic policy, Price’s argument is practically gibberish. Taking billions out of the economy and forcing public sector workers from their jobs does not get an economy “rolling,” unless we’re talking about “rolling” downhill. Independent economic estimates, including that of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, suggest these cuts will likely cost the U.S. economy 750,000 jobs just this year, which leads to legitimate questions about whether Price, a member of the House Budget Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, has the foggiest idea what he’s talking about.
But the larger point is, Price’s comments offer a reminder that Republicans don’t even agree with other Republicans. If the sequester will “get this economy rolling again,” why is Price’s party so eager to blame the policy on President Obama? Why are some far-right House Republicans saying these cuts will do real harm while other far-right House Republicans say the exact opposite?
More commentary and video at the link…
Perhaps both of these messages would be easier to get across if the politicians used the technique we saw Jennifer Lawrence use at her press interview after she won the award for Best Actress. Politicians Can Take A Lesson From Jennifer Lawrence’s Mocking Post-Oscar Press Conference
For the press who she ruthlessly mocked and whose questions she reluctantly answered in a glib but charming fashion, Lawrence may not have been their favorite interview of the night.
When asked what the “process” was for preparing to come to the Oscars, Lawrence replied – with all the sincerity and lack of affectation that one would expect from anyone other than an Academy Award-winning actress – that she woke up, took a shower, tried on the dress and “came to the Oscars.” That last bit delivered with a bit of faux pomposity she knows the reporter was expecting.
“I’m sorry,” Lawrence added. “I did a shot before I…”
Lawrence displayed humility and self-deprecation – it was disarming. Probably due mostly to that particular character trait’s conspicuous paucity in Hollywood, as well as Washington D.C.
“The fall up to the stage,” another reporter then asked regarding a minor trip that Lawrence encountered on her way on stage to accept the Oscar. “Was it on purpose? Absolutely,” Lawrence said, simultaneously anticipating and rejecting the reporter’s premise before it had even been submitted. “What happened?” the reporter asked. “What do you mean ‘what happened?’ Lawrence replied. “Look at my dress.”
Contentious, but entirely lacking in aggression. Mocking, but buttressed by a transcendent likeability.
You can read more about who else has that special touch when it comes to dealing with the press. (Can you guess which politician is gifted with such talents?) I don’t know if I agree completely with the article’s assessment, but it does make a point. I guess.
Alright, that is all I got for tonight…Enjoy this bit of fun from Roger Rabbit.
And this great tune by Jessica Rabbit.
This is an open thread…
We’ve watched the Republicans flail in all directions, trying to find a message, a mission, an issue to drive them to victory in November. It’s been tough going for the GOP with less than stellar candidates and the endless circus ride the public has witnessed. Now down to four ‘iffy’ wannabes, attention has focused on flaws, egos, missteps and gaffes. Uncle Newt appeals to the confederate South. Ron Paul is loved by the Ayn Rand aficionados. Reptilian Rick Santorum cheers and warms the cockles of the Religious Right. And Mitt Romney. Poor Mitt is loved by virtually no one.
So, I can only imagine the excitement with the new-but-old controversy boiling over birth control and reproductive freedom. The right to choose. It sticks in the craw of the Republican Party, even as the loudest voices scream about liberty and individual rights. This isn’t a question of abortion at this juncture. We’re talking about the basics: contraception, the freedom to choose how many children we have and when we have them. And privacy. A woman’s right to decide these things herself in the privacy of her own space, heart and mind, with or without a husband, with or without government or religious leaders telling her, demanding she turn one way or the other.
To listen to the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and the faux religious warriors, one might think that all religion, but particularly Christianity, has been put on the rack, whipped into humiliating submission or fed to the lions for the vile amusement of secular humanists.
Enough with the lying! Enough with the bully pulpit exhortations with the emphasis on ‘bully.’
Demanding equal access to healthcare, expecting reproductive freedom and sexual/gender equality is not a Satanic plot. It’s what reasonable people do and think. We are not living in the Middle Ages [though I suspect many fundamentalists think of the era as ‘the good ole days]. If anyone doubts the politicization of women’s healthcare issues, please review the past week’s headlines, the unseemly expose of the Komen Foundation, more concerned about dissing Planned Parenthood than serving lower-income women with breast screenings. Or the manufactured outrage of the Catholic Church hierarchy and their mouthpieces, who [sputter, sputter] decry the Administration’s insistence on equitable healthcare service as a vicious attack on religious freedom.
Really? Twenty-eight states require organizations offering prescription insurance to cover contraception. Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control and many Catholic institutions offer the benefit to their employees.
Let’s review some recent statistics:
Two-thirds of Catholics, 65 percent, believe that clinics and hospitals that take taxpayer money should not be allowed to refuse procedures or medications based on religious beliefs. A similar number, 63 percent, also believe that health insurance, whether private or government-run, should cover contraception.
A strong majority (78 percent) of Catholic women prefer that their hospital offers emergency contraception for rape victims, while more than half (55 percent) want their hospital to provide it in broader circumstances.
Yet despite these numbers, the Church, the Religious Right and the heat-seeking Republican establishment are foaming at the mouth, waving mummified fists in righteous indignation.
Make no mistake. This is an old war. I wrote about the struggles and absolute determination of Margaret Sanger a few days ago. She fought these battles. The arguments were identical; the accusations the same. She fought the religious establishment, she fought the righteous, small-minded moralists 100 years ago. If anything this should be a wakeup call: the defense of reproductive rights, which are basic human rights, need to be taken seriously, day-in, day-out. Freedoms gained can quickly become freedoms lost. Gender equality, which is a matter of civil rights, should be supported with voices and votes pitched against the ugliness of bigotry and discrimination.
This is a power play wrapped in thin prayer and religious dogma. It’s a desperate attempt by traditional religion to regain ground lost to modernity, a world where the old stories and myths have lost their power, their ability to control by fear, a world in which human dignity applies to all our members, a world where the mysteries of the Universe and our place in it is far grander than our words and imaginations can conjure.
We have choice. We always have. It’s time to put away childish things and become accountable, rational adults if we’re ever to deal with the problems facing us. We can fearfully grasp the old ways, allow ourselves to be drawn into self-limiting dictums. We can argue how many angels dance on the head of a pin with religious fanatics and the politicians who love them.
Or we can say, ‘No!’ We have that choice.
Recently, I wrote a post about Rick and Karen Santorum’s responses to their miscarriage. After this loss, Karen wrote a book called Letters to Gabriel: The True Story of Gabriel Michael Santorum. At the time, I looked up the book and it was selling cheaply on Amazon.
Some of you may know that I’ve become a bookseller, at least temporarily. Well, I should have bought a bunch of copies of Karen’s book when I had the chance. The book was published in 1998, and until recently used copies were selling for less than a dollar. Today, the cheapest price I could find was close to $100.00 on some foreign websites. New copies of the book begin at $2,5 on Amazon and nearly $900 on E-bay. This copy at Half.com was selling for $.75 plus postage just recently and is now listed at $891.00.
I don’t know who is buying the book–maybe slumming pro-choice readers or pious anti-choicers–maybe both. Since I began selling my book collection, I’ve sold a few old and scarce books for inflated prices, but never this inflated. I’m going to have to get better at foreseeing these kinds of trends!
I know that title is kind of harsh, but I’m beginning to lose my patience with the Republican candidates for President. How on earth can anyone even consider voting for one of these people? Just looking quickly at the headlines on Google, I was able to find multiple examples of complete idiocy from Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain.
Today Rick Perry went pheasant hunting in northern Iowa and was quoted as saying that he has had a “long love affair with guns.”
“As long as I’ve got memory, I had something to go hunting with,” Perry told a small gaggle of reporters at the Loess Hills Hunting Preserve. “It was a long love affair with a boy and his gun that turned into a man and his gun, and then it turned into a man and his son and his daughter and their guns.”
Look, I have nothing against hunting. My grandfather used to go pheasant hunting in North Dakota every year, and we enjoyed eating what he brought back. But I can’t imagine my grandfather ever talking about loving his guns. That’s just sick.
The Boston Globe noted that Perry seemed a lot more comfortable holding a gun than performing on the debate stage. And he wants to make it easy for everyone to become a gun-lover.
As governor, Perry supported legislation that made it easier for Texans to pay for a concealed handgun license, and a bill to let them keep their concealed handgun licenses for five years instead of four. He helped cut agreements with other states to let Texans carry their concealed handguns outside the state.
Perry has his own concealed handgun license — and regularly carries one, once famously shooting a coyote that was threatening his daughter’s Labrador retriever while out on a jog. The gun company, Ruger, has a special version of its .380 in Perry’s honor: the True Texan Coyote Special.
And where it comes to guns, Perry has plenty of the same aggressive bravado he’s displayed on the debate stage. He sent a video introduction to the National Rifle Association Convention that featured him shooting a rifle and calling himself “a believer in the notion that gun control is hitting what you’re aiming at.” (He’s also said it’s “use both hands.”)
Something tells me if Perry ever got elected, he’d get worse treatment from the Villagers than Carter or Clinton did. He comes across as the consummate hillbilly (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with being a hillbilly).
Perry also announced his “economic plan” today, and it’s going to drive Dakinikat nuts.
Rick Perry previewed the economic plan he will roll out on Tuesday, saying he would call for trashing the current tax code and replacing it with a flat tax, ending all earmarks, enacting a balanced budget amendment and reforming entitlements.
“It’s time to get Washington out of the way in order for us to preserve the American way,” Perry said. “The American people may be bruised but they’re not broken and they want a new president who can deliver the hope and change that this one that we have today promised.”
It sounds pretty changy, but not very hopey, if you ask me. Perry also had this to say about women’s reproductive rights:
Maintaining the U.S. moral authority in the world begins with preventing abortion and protecting “innocent and vulnerable unborn children,” Perry said.
For that reason, government must take an active role in legislating restrictions on the procedure, he said.
Really? The country’s “moral authority” depends on controlling women’s bodies? What about torture, war, summary assassinations, and government corruption? I guess those are all “moral.”
Next up, Michele Bachmann. A couple of days ago, her entire New Hampshire staff quit, and she didn’t even know it.
According to POLITICO and WUMR, Bachmann’s entire New Hampshire staff jumped ship, partly because they hadn’t been paid in a month. That story seemed to make sense, considering the severe fundraising shortfalls in the Bachmann camp and growing dissatisfaction with her as a candidate.
However, Bachmann released a statement about her New Hampshire staff, saying, “That is a shocking story to me… I don’t know where this came from, but we’ve made call and it’s certainly not true.” Well, if she’s made calls, then certainly we must believe her! There’s no way Michele Bachmann could be so incredibly wrong about the status of her own campaign!
….According to Jeff Chidester, who is either Bachmann’s current New Hampshire campaign director if you believe Michele, or her former campaign director if you believe Jeff, “The New Hampshire team has quit.” When asked about Michele’s statement that they were still working for her, Chidester added, “I’m sorry the national team is confused. They shouldn’t be.”
But Herman Cain has to be the stupidest of these three. He amazed everyone by going on CNN and, in so many words, declaring himself pro-choice. Now he’s trying to walk that back, and not doing a very good job of it. Here his is on Fox News sounding completely confused. This guy has no understanding of any issue–even the ones most near and dear to his wingnut fans.
We’ve been watching state after state wage a coordinated war against women. Here’s a summary of this year’s assault on women’s health by NYT’s Emily Bazelon. Women better wake up and smell the threat to their right to self-determination.
Ever since Republicans took control of half the country’s statehouses this year, the anti-abortion movement has won one victory after another. At least 64 new anti-abortion laws have passed, with more than 30 of them in April alone. The campaign is the largest in history and also the most creative. Virginia started regulating abortion clinics as if they were hospitals. Utah, Nebraska and several other states have stopped private health insurers from covering abortions, with rare exceptions. South Dakota will soon tell women that before they go to an abortion clinic, they must first visit a crisis pregnancy center whose mission is to talk them out of it.
It’s amazing to me that after 8 years of Republican focus on the war on Terror, their focus turns towards turning the clock back decades for American women. What is behind these reactionaries? What is fueling the fantancism? Why have they suddenly switched strategies?
Instead, lawyers representing their side have been challenging the laws that hurt women most — which are also the ones most likely to sway public opinion back to their side. Can it really be good politics for a state to tell private health insurers what kind of coverage for women’s health they can and can’t provide? Or to take away the money that allows Planned Parenthood to prescribe birth control and treat S.T.D.’s? Quinnipiac and CNN polls from earlier this year both found majority support for continuing government financing of Planned Parenthood. There’s also a clear argument against laws like the ones that permit Virginia to regulate abortion clinics like hospitals or that allow Louisiana to immediately close an abortion clinic for any technical rule violation. In making early abortions more burdensome and costly, these laws take aim at the ordinary version of the procedure that women experience and for which support is greatest. In a 2007 poll, Gallup found that twice as many people favor making late-term abortion illegal than favor overturning Roe (72 percent versus 35 percent).
Abortion rights advocates are also trying to prevent South Dakota from mandating that women wait a full 72 hours for an abortion. This comes on the heels of a lawsuit that challenges the requirement that mandatory counseling include the claim that abortion is linked to an increased risk of suicide (there is no reliable evidence to support this). In Casey, the Supreme Court allowed states to impose only a 24-hour waiting period and to require counseling that accurately explained the stages of fetal development. The South Dakota law is far out enough that when I asked Yoest about it, she said only, “That’s not one of our pieces of legislation.” If the battle reaches the Supreme Court, there’s presumably little chance that Justice Kennedy would sign off on requiring doctors to read a script of made-up data posing as facts.
These are precisely the kinds of cases that lawyers in support of reproductive rights should pursue, because they portray abortion foes as radical. The South Dakota fight shows that in the name of protecting women, abortion opponents are willing to demean them — by forcing them to visit a crisis pregnancy center and listen to unsupported medical claims. (According to a 2006 Congressional investigation, most of these centers give out inaccurate information about abortion’s health effects.)
At this point, there seems to be no organized women’s movement to get us off the defensive and put us back on the offensive. Religious activists have worked hard to ensure that nearly all Republican candidates are not pro-choice. The entire Republican contingent in the U.S. House of Representatives from a solid anti-choice block. It’s time for those of us that support a women’s right to make a decision regarding her own body to go on the offensive. We need to recruit and support more pro-choice candidates.