Racism

3 posts

November 10-17 Weekly News Round Up

A round up of current news story on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues

By Tess Koenigsmark

Players on the UConn Women’s Basketball team are speaking out against the discrimination of LGBT athletes, just in case you needed any more proof of how awesome they are.

The GOP is upset that insurance companies must now cover maternity care under the Affordable Care Act, with one economic advisor claiming that having a baby is a choice equivalent to buying a Porsche. First of all, no luxury item I’ve ever heard of cries all day and poops on you. Secondly, this is a great example of the paradox of the GOP stance on reproductive rights: the “life” of a fetus is super important, until that fetus is born and becomes just another mooching poor person.

CT Senator Richard Blumenthal and five other Congressional Democrats introduced the Women’s Reproductive Health Act on Wednesday. The legislation would aim to counteract the litany of anti-choice TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws that have sprung up in states around the country by creating a basis for challenging such laws in court.

A UConn professor who publicly criticized Susan Herbst’s lack of response to rape culture on campus says the price of speaking out is her dismissal.

Another of the UConn Title IX complainants, Alyssa Palazzo, has gone public. Palazzo witnessed UConn football player Lyle McCombs yelling at his girlfriend outsider Palazzo’s dorm. McCombs was later charged with Breach of Peace for yelling, pushing, and spitting on his girlfriend. Palazzo claims that when she reported the incident to UConn, administrators discouraged her from providing testimony and failed to address her concerns about retaliation. Palazzo wrote an article about her experience for the Huffington Post.

At a legislative hearing in Hartford Wednesday, state representatives heard testimony from both the complainants in the UConn Title IX case and UConn administration on how the university handles sexual assault complaints.

In response to news that many people’s health insurance plans are being cancelled because they don’t meet the requirements set by the Affordable Care Act, President Obama announced Thursday that people will be able to keep their current plans through 2014. While most of the cancelled plans offered very limited coverage to begin with, and some people with cancelled plans may be able to find a better deal through the government’s healthcare exchange, many are predictably upset after Obama’s promises that people would be able to keep their plans if they like them.

Connecticut is the only state in which more people have signed up for private insurance than Medicaid through the healthcare exchange. This is at least partially because CT began its Medicaid expansion several years ago. CT’s exchange, Access Health CT, continues to fare better than the exchange run by the federal government.

Washington Post columnist and perpetual waste of ink Richard Cohen attempts to defend the GOP against accusations of racism in his latest article, but instead ends up vulgarly insulting biracial couples. After the Miley Cyrus debacle, why does this guy still have a column?

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Miley Cyrus & Modern Day Minstrelsy

This post is written by Cynthia, CT NOW board member. Its views express her own and are not indicative of anyone else’s on the Board nor does it represent CT NOW’s official stance on any issue.

I’ve never watched the VMAs and never had the desire to. I didn’t understand why they were such a huge deal, but even I heard about how  this year’s, in particular, caused an explosion on the internet due to Miley Cyrus’ performance.

So for those of you who don’t know what happened, Miley took the stage in a rather bizarre looking outfit that blended in considerably with her skin, and proceeded to prance around with a background entourage of Black women. There were several moments where she then used their bodies as props, ranging from ass slaps/grabs to simulating other sex acts with these women.

White feminists: Yes, I know that there was an immense amount of slut-shaming over Miley’s outfit. Yes, I know she should be able to wear whatever the hell she wants and that it’s immensely unfair that nobody’s judging Robin Thicke, when really, we should all be judging the hell out of him.

But people who focus solely on that are missing a HUGE elephant in the room, and it’s WHY IS SHE JUST GOING AROUND GRABBING AT BLACK WOMEN? Like seriously? No one sees that this was egregiously wrong, due to oh, the HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF APPROPRIATING BLACK WOMEN’S BODIES? Of the stereotypes and caricatures of Black women being animalistically sexual? Of Black women being violated? This portrayal of Black women hearkens back to the minstrel shows of not too long ago, and it’s incredibly frustrating that again, no one in the mainstream (read: white feminists) are really talking about it.

As a WOC feminist (but not Black), it’s been weird sometimes when issues like this or the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag pop up. Because I’m fairly privileged in terms of my education, economic background, and have grown up around white feminists, taught by white feminists, and have read works by white feminists, I sometimes realize that I inadvertently overlook injustices facing other WOC, even ones of my own ethnicity or race. Also, since one of the common criticisms launched against NOW is that it seems to be a “white” woman organization, I thought it’d be especially appropriate to write it here.

For more reading about this issue (as this is what inspired me to write this post), go here, where Tressie McMillan Cottom talks about this from the point of view of a Black woman.

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Miley Cyrus & Modern Day Minstrelsy

This post is written by Cynthia, CT NOW board member. Its views express her own and are not indicative of anyone else’s on the Board nor does it represent CT NOW’s official stance on any issue.

I’ve never watched the VMAs and never had the desire to. I didn’t understand why they were such a huge deal, but even I heard about how  this year’s, in particular, caused an explosion on the internet due to Miley Cyrus’ performance.

So for those of you who don’t know what happened, Miley took the stage in a rather bizarre looking outfit that blended in considerably with her skin, and proceeded to prance around with a background entourage of Black women. There were several moments where she then used their bodies as props, ranging from ass slaps/grabs to simulating other sex acts with these women.

White feminists: Yes, I know that there was an immense amount of slut-shaming over Miley’s outfit. Yes, I know she should be able to wear whatever the hell she wants and that it’s immensely unfair that nobody’s judging Robin Thicke, when really, we should all be judging the hell out of him.

But people who focus solely on that are missing a HUGE elephant in the room, and it’s WHY IS SHE JUST GOING AROUND GRABBING AT BLACK WOMEN? Like seriously? No one sees that this was egregiously wrong, due to oh, the HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF APPROPRIATING BLACK WOMEN’S BODIES? Of the stereotypes and caricatures of Black women being animalistically sexual? Of Black women being violated? This portrayal of Black women hearkens back to the minstrel shows of not too long ago, and it’s incredibly frustrating that again, no one in the mainstream (read: white feminists) are really talking about it.

As a WOC feminist (but not Black), it’s been weird sometimes when issues like this or the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag pop up. Because I’m fairly privileged in terms of my education, economic background, and have grown up around white feminists, taught by white feminists, and have read works by white feminists, I sometimes realize that I inadvertently overlook injustices facing other WOC, even ones of my own ethnicity or race. Also, since one of the common criticisms launched against NOW is that it seems to be a “white” woman organization, I thought it’d be especially appropriate to write it here.

For more reading about this issue (as this is what inspired me to write this post), go here, where Tressie McMillan Cottom talks about this from the point of view of a Black woman.

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