Weekly News Round Up
A roundup of current news story on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues
By Tess Koenigsmark
The Washington Post has pulled off a remarkable feat, running not one, but two, victim blaming, rape apologist columns in under a week. You can read both at your own risk, but both columns essentially blame girls, not women but girls, for their own rapes. Both articles are resoundingly idiotic, desperate attempts at relevancy by the people who penned them. That makes the larger question, why would the Washington Post publish them in the first place? My best guess is the titillation factor. Discussing something “taboo” like rape is seen as edgy and attention grabbing. Rape is not a scandal; it is a crime and should be covered as such.
The percentage of Connecticut households experiencing food insecurity has risen, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture. Cited reasons for the increase, which is at odds with national trends, include CT’s high unemployment rate and food deserts. The current situation will only worsen if the federal government decides to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps).
A Connecticut pilot program requiring perpetrators of domestic violence to wear GPS ankle bracelets has proved effective since its launch in 2010. Legislators are considering making it a statewide program.
Teen birth rates dropped to their lowest numbers yet last year. Researchers are crediting more effective birth control methods, such as the IUD, for the decline. Let’s take this moment to reflect on the awesomeness that is the IUD – no upkeep, low risk, and virtually foolproof. It’s definitely an option that should be recommended to more young women.
In honor of their 20th anniversary the National Network of Abortion Funds has launched Abortion Access Month 2013. They will be promoting discussions on barriers to abortion access throughout the month. You can use the hashtag #access13 to follow the conversation on Twitter.
A collective of Texas reproductive health centers is mapping the crisis pregnancy centers in the state, as well as the abortion facilities expected to remain open by September 2014. Several clinics are expected to close by that date, when restrictive new anti-choice laws take effect. The current tally stands at 108 crisis pregnancy centers versus 6 abortion clinics. In making abortion clinics scarcer, the new laws also increase the risk that women will turn to crisis pregnancy centers, which are religiously funded organizations that offer inaccurate medical advice to scare women out of seeking abortions.
Under direction from Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Veteran Affairs will no longer enforce a law that denies spousal benefits to same-sex couples. A Norwich veteran will continue with the lawsuit she filed against the VA after she and her same-sex spouse were denied benefits. While federal orders such as Holder’s can be reversed, the suit would force a definitive ruling on the law’s constitutionality.
The city of San Antonio has passed an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents of the bill claimed that it would be a violation of free speech and lead to the persecution of Christians. Seriously. Newsflash for the bigots of San Antonio, free speech is not a blanket defense for treating someone like dirt.
CT Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal are in disagreement about the use of air strikes on Syria. Blumenthal supports the strikes, while Murphy has voiced his opposition throughout the debates over Syria.
If you haven’t seen this already, it should definitely brighten your day. Aziz Ansari, a comedian most well known for his role as “Tom” on Parks and Recreation, gives a smashing takedown of racist and homophobic jokes after sitting through one too many as a presenter at Comedy Central’s roast of James Franco. Watch the video here.