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Feminist Coffee Hour 17: Lindsay Beyerstein’s Care in Chaos

Posted in Editorials on May 25th, 2017
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Lindsay Beyerstein’s Care in Chaos

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We interviewed Lindsay Beyerstein about her upcoming documentary “Care in Chaos” which is the story of two abortion clinics in red states and how their relationships with police impact access to reproductive healthcare.

Discussed in this episode:

Rewire

Tape Reveals Nixon’s Views On Abortion

Lindsay’s new podcast, The Breach

Lindsay Beyerstein on Twitter

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 16: Voices Of The Resistance

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on May 11th, 2017
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Voices Of The Resistance

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Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

Greetings listeners, it’s been a while, but we are back!

In this episode hear interviews Karen did at the Women’s March.

Discussed in this episode:

‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood

Science Is For Everyone

Neil deGrasse Tyson: When Science Becomes A Partisan Issue, It Is The Beginning Of The End Of Informed Democracy

What Do I Say When I Call My Representative?

The 65

The Women’s March Take Action Page

The Congressional Docket

Find Your Community Board

New York State Independent Democratic Conference

Our Interview with Rebecca Lynch

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Conservatives are the OLD Punk Rock

Posted in Editorials on February 27th, 2017
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I balk when I see tweets about conservatives being the new punk rock just because people vehemently hate Milo Yiannopoulos for being a *fashionable* blowhard. This is because I associate punk with my rebellion against fascistic tendencies and I associate the alt right with shitty old nazis who just so happen not to carry the SES association with rednecks. But today, my “shuffle all” played 7 Seconds and I realized how much I cling to the good and put aside the bad in my memories of the punk rock I loved in my youth. As a tween and teen, I clung to bands like 7 Seconds because they had the edge and the energy I loved about punk, but they also created space for me. With feminist 101 songs like “Not Just Boys Fun” and lines like “fuck big business, church and war/that’s not what we’re fighting for” in “Definite Choice,” I had music to get me fired up for the political work and to comfort me in times when I felt like maybe I was the crazy one and I should just conform. The flip side of that realization of how fucking great 7 Seconds was, is that there was SO MUCH that was garbage.

I remember the first time I listened to Nevermind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols and thought Bodies was an incomprehensible story of abortion stigma. Is the problem that she was poor? “A case of insanity”? That she was a “no-one who killed her baby”? Was the transgression supposed in the graphic gorey descriptions? If so, then the purity ring wearing indoctrinated tweens outside clinics who carry signs bearing gorey images of god knows what are as punk rock as the Pistols. I did not find it to be progressive or transgressive, and I didn’t have the language or discourse of the problematic fav so I just had to live with my cognitive dissonance and continue to call punk progressive while knowing it could be weirdly conservative. Bodies is downright milquetoast compared to what I heard as I got into hardcore and oi!

I remember smiling while my at-the-time boyfriend and his bestie listened to “Politically Incorrect” by Combat 84 not quite ironically enough to justify their smirks at “Equal opportunity?! What about my fucking opportunities?!” (also lol, this line basically sums up the entire argument of conservative transgression). Yes, for every kid with a SHARP patch, there was a kid with an 88 patch (or the little patch with a no symbol over the SHARP logo because I guess graphic design for nazis died in the 40s); for every Kathleen Hanna there was a Fat Mike; for every “Jesus was a Communist,” there’s a really bizarrely high number of white dudes trying to convince you that Screwdriver is just really great punk music if you can put aside the white power shit. As a kid I had a lot of trouble navigating whether or not some kid I was meeting was gonna say some outrageously dehumanizing shit about Jews without noticing (or maybe intentionally because they did notice) that I’m Jewish.

At that time, I had to dig to find Team Dresch or Bitch and Animal (ok, does anti-folk count as punk? I don’t know, don’t @ me) to express that queer anger I had inside me, an anger that was definitely not acceptable to a lot of the traditional-gender-role-loving hardcore scene. Punk rock and queercore is now a huge part, if not the dominating genre, of punk. Thanks in part to band like MEN and Gravy Train!!!, we have bands like PWR BTTM being featured in the New York Times. The new punk rock is a glittering queermo paradise, not some fucking punch bait dude with a frog pin talking about how he’s *technically* not a member of the KKK.

What Do I Say When I Call My Representative? January 23, 2017 edition

Posted in Editorials on January 23rd, 2017
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In the past two days, two people have asked me, “But Elizabeth, after I call my Congressperson, what do I say?

I’m glad more people are interested in contacting their representatives and this seems like such a responsibility. I don’t really want to tell people what to say – it seems so personal to me. But since people have been asking me, here’s a few suggestions. Notice, this post is dated, in case I write more posts like these in the future.

If you haven’t yet, read the Indivisible guide. I know it’s 26 pages. But. Read it.

Ok, onto calling your representative:

First, know who you are calling. If you live in one of the 50 states, you have one Congressional Representative and two Senators in Washington DC. You also have one state assembly member and one state senator representing you to your state government. [Unless you live in Nebraska, then you just have one legislator]. You have a governor. There’s probably also people who represent you at the local level. In New York City, there’s my city councilman and the Mayor. When I lived on Long Island, I had village trustees, a village mayor, a town councilman, a town supervisor, a county legislator and a county executive. Local government varies wildly but most have websites where you can find out who represents you – and since many localities in the United States have local elections in odd years – the people who will be knocking on your door this summer and fall are the ones who will represent you the closest to where you live.

Second, pick a specific issue that the person you are calling has direct influence over. Learn about the issue and find out who votes on what before you call. For example, your Senator can’t help you with a pothole (thus why you should learn the nitty gritty of your local government). And your congressperson doesn’t vote on Supreme Court nominees (only Senators do).

When you call, make it short and sweet:

Hello, my name is __________, and I live in (town) (zip code). I’m calling to ask (the Congressman/Senator/Assemblywoman/Councilman) to vote (Yes/No) on __________. Thank you

But, you may ask, what goes in that last blank? I hesitate so much to do this because I really think people should decide for themselves, but here’s my personal suggestions, and links which support my position. Pick one or two of these at a time. You can always call back the next day with more requests.

Call your Senators and tell them:
Vote No on Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State
What Rex Tillerson’s Exxon Mobil track record tells us
What Tillerson Could Mean for US. Foreign Policy and Women’s Empowerment Programs
A bunch of military veterans have taken over Sen. McCain’s office to protest Rex Tillerson

Vote No on Jeff Sessions for Attorney General
Read the letter Coretta Scott King wrote opposing Sessions’s 1986 federal nomination
My previous post on this

Vote No on Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education
The Betsy DeVos Hearing Was an Insult to Democracy

Vote No on Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury
Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Nominee, Failed to Disclose $100 Million in Assets

Vote No on Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services
Senate Dem [Kirsten Gillibrand] asks for SEC investigation of Trump HHS pick
Tom Price can’t recall voting to allow employers to fire women for using birth control. Democrats help him remember.

Vote No on Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator
Scott Pruitt Criticizes Environmental Rules

Vote No on The REINS Act
The REINS Act: Why Congress Should Hold Its Horses
Questioning the Constitutionality of the REINS Act: Bill Seeks to Restructure Federal Rulemaking Process

Call your Congressperson and tell them:

Vote no on any budget that the National Endowment for the Arts, or efforts to fight climate change like the Paris Climate Agreement
Report: Trump Team Preparing $10.5 Trillion in Budget Cuts

Also, tell them to vote no on these bills. I found them all on congress.gov you can read the text of all of these bills online.

Vote no on HR 217 Defunding Planned Parenthood

Vote no on HR 175 Repealing The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Vote no on HR 34 which would get rid of Gun Free School Zones

Vote no on HR 36 which would ban abortion at 20 weeks

Vote no on HR 49 which would allow oil drilling on the Alaskan coastal plain

If you live in New York State:

Call your State Assemblyperson and State Senator and tell them to vote yes on The New York Health Act.
It’s Time for New York State to Pass Universal Healthcare

If you live in Indiana:

Call your State Assemblyperson and State Senator and tell them to vote no on Senate Bill 285 which “would require law enforcement to clear protesters from roadways by “any means necessary.””
Lawmakers Delay Vote On Bill To Clear Protesters From Roads

If you live in North Dakota:

Call your State Assemblyperson and State Senator and tell them to vote no on bills that crimalize protests or “exempt a driver from liability if they unintentionally injure or kill a pedestrian obstructing traffic on a public road or highway.” I tried to find the names of these bills but the ND Legislature website appears to require being a resident of the state to track a bill. If you’re from ND, let me know. Here’s some sources:
North Dakota’s experience with pipeline protests spurs bills
Pipeline Protesters Decry North Dakota Bills That ‘Criminalize’ Protests

Finally…

Remember to be polite. You might be angry, but you are speaking to a staffer whose job it is to talk to the public all day. It’s basic human decency to be nice to them.

After you call, tell people who you called and what you said and why. Use social media or just bring it up in conversation. You will encourage others to do the same. If you find out your representative is planning to vote how you asked them to, thank them, and tell your friends that too.

Happy dialing.

What To Read To Your Kid During The Trump Administration

Posted in Book Reviews, Editorials, Personal Essays, Pregnancy And Motherhood Thinkpieces on January 20th, 2017
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My son is still a baby by but I try to read to him every day. He doesn’t understand the words yet but he likes looking at the pictures and hearing my voice. In some ways I’m glad I don’t have to explain Donald Trump to him yet, and my heart goes out to parents who do. When I was a kid I liked topical books like “How My Parents Learned to Eat” and “The Lorax.” My Dad gave me a copy of Jack London’s “The Scab” when I was about ten. And I plan on continuing the tradition of including political books with my own son. Here’s some kids books covering themes that may come up in the net few years:

For Very Little Ones
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
An alphabet board book which covers the A-Z of activism from “Advocate Abolitionist Ally” to “Zapatista of course.” Some people may balk about introducing radical politics to young children. But I love this book. I will unapologetically share my Unitarian Universalist faith with my son, and he’ll be hearing a lot of these words at coffee hour after services, or while I’m playing “Democracy Now!” in the background of a quiet day at home. So why not read him this remarkable book of rhymes about activism?

For Your Budding Feminist
Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl
About a year before I had my son, I reviewed this book on Goodreads: “This book is amazing and I want to buy a copy for every child I know.” Children will enjoy learning about historical figures they’ve heard of and those they haven’t. Although it’s written for children, it does not hold back. It begins, “A is for Angela. Angela Davis was born in 1944 in Birmingham Alabama into a neighborhood known as ‘Dynamite Hill’ because a group of racist white men called the Ku Klux Klan often bombed the homes of black families who lived there.”

The authors have also written a sequel “Rad Women Worldwide.”

For The Elementary School Age Peacemaker
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan
This is a simple story of two girls who are best friends, one white and one Arab, but who secretly think each other’s food is gross. You can probably guess what happens next. It’s a sweet story with charming pictures.

If Things Get Really Bad
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss wrote this during the Cold War, and it’s an unflinching look at the prospect of nuclear war through the eyes of a child. I read it when I was about 11 in 1994. By that time, both the Berlin Wall and the USSR were things of the past. For children who lived through times where the prospect of mutually assured destruction was very real, this book was much more relatable. It’s also a good tool to teach kids about allegory and how literature can simplify real world problems into stories we can talk about.

2016 Link Roundup

Posted in Editorials on December 31st, 2016
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I’m still way too pessimistic about America’s descent into fascism to call this post the “Best of” but here’s some things I think you’d like if you missed them, with election stuff kept to a minimum.

If you need a good cry:
What to tell the children

This Letter To Philando Castile From A Schoolchild Gives A New Perspective On His Death

Pat Summitt, Legendary Tennessee Basketball Coach, Dies At 64

Lin-Manuel Miranda Tony Award 2016 – Love is Love is Love

Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks

If you need something to read:
Alt-Right’ Trolls Are Targeting DC’s DIY Music Houses

The Federal Government’s Program to Feed Pregnant Women and Children Is Terrible

Belgian beer culture is intangible cultural heritage: it’s official!

The Planned Parenthood Shooting Survivors Finally Speak Out

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that wore black warmup shirts

NBC’s coverage of the Olympics is atrocious. There’s a simple reason why.

Complaint: Citing Catholic Rules, Doctor Turns Away Bleeding Woman With Dislodged IUD

How betrayal aversion makes anti-vaxxers more afraid of vaccine complications than of disease

Abortion ban linked to dangerous miscarriages at Catholic hospital, report claims

How Fake News Articles Fabricated A Child Trafficking Story And Led To Death Threats For A Pizzeria

If you want to bake a cake that I also baked:
Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake

Blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting

If you want to watch a video about a brave man:
“I Refuse to Serve as an Empire Chaplain”: U.S. Army Minister Resigns over Drone Program

If you need good news:
Giant pandas rebound off endangered list

If you need a laugh:
NYC Snowplow Spares Snowman’s Life during Snowmageddon 2016

If you want to follow the most 2016 twitter account of 2016:
Infinite Scream

If you want to listen to a great a podcast that’s been on hiatus and is coming back in January 2017:
Cultish

My Fave 2016 TV I think you should binge on Netflix:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Luke Cage

The most 2016 youtube video of 2016:

Don’t Let Go Of Free Speech In Trumpland

Posted in Editorials on December 14th, 2016
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1.

“If Ivanka were’nt my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

2.

“Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father . . . ”

3.

“Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?”

4.

“My daughter, Ivanka. She’s 6 feet tall, she’s got the best body.”

5.

“Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?”

6.

7.

Hi all —

You will remember the note from John and me a few days ago in which we emphasized that POLITICO journalists are representing the publication at all times and on all platforms, and must present themselves accordingly. We also emphasized that the power of POLITICO comes from our independent reporting and analysis. Gratuitous opinion has no place, anywhere, at any time – not on your Facebook feed, your Twitter feed or any place else. It has absolutely zero value for our readers and should have zero place in our work

Julia Ioffe’s tweet this afternoon about President-elect Trump – currently and understandably racing across social media – is a clear example of the opposite of what we were talking about.

Julia had previously announced she is taking her work to the Atlantic. We have accelerated the close of her POLITICO contributor contract, effective immediately.

We understand how absolutely infuriating it is to have incidents like this tarnish POLITICO and the great work being done across the company. We feel the same, and as such there will be little tolerance for this type of behavior.

Thanks to the vast majority of you who are providing positive examples of the responsible way to engage on social media.

Carrie and John

8.

WAS IT? WAS IT THOUGH? Was it tasteless and offensive to joke about Trump doing what he clearly wants to do? Is it more tasteless and offensive that Trump said those things in the first place or that Iofee wisecracked about them? Or is it only truly tasteless and offensive that she got fired for it while he gets to be President of the United States?

We are in for a hell of a ride people. Do not let yourself be gaslit. Facts still matter. History is real, it really happened, and it matters. Do not fall down the rabbit hole of letting Trump or his supporters or Politico tell you that reality isn’t real.

(Never thought I’d be one of those people signing posts this way, but) RESIST!

Letter Writing Sunday – Support the No Religious Registry Act (H.R. 6382)

Posted in Editorials on November 27th, 2016
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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene issued the following press release on November 21:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) introduced the No Religious Registry Act (H.R. 6382) to ensure individuals of all faiths are protected from the establishment of a national religious registry.

“President-elect Donald Trump is breaking his promise to be a President for all Americans by supporting the creation of a Muslim registry. This kind of xenophobic and hateful rhetoric has no place in our government,” DelBene said. “We cannot allow our country to disregard the civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution. My bill would prohibit the administration from violating the constitutional rights of Americans because everyone should be treated equally under our laws.”

DelBene’s bill would prohibit the Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security and any United States government official from establishing or utilizing a registry for the purposes of classifying individuals on the basis of religious affiliation. The legislation would cover U.S. nationals, U.S. visa applicants and aliens lawfully present in the United States.

Reps. John Conyers, John Lewis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Doris Matsui, Steve Cohen, Keith Ellison, Andre Carson and Judy Chu are original cosponsors of the bill.

As Donald Trump’s surrogates and members of his transition team continue to say he will start a Muslim registry, it is important to act on this right now. Even if Donald Trump does not create a Muslim registry, this is a good law to have on the books for posterity.

I’m sending the following letter to my member of Congress:

Please support the No Religious Registry Act (H.R. 6382). No one should have to fear religious persecution in the United States of America.

Next, even though there’s no bill in the Senate yet, I’m going to send this to both of my Senators:

You may have heard of the No Religious Registry Act (H.R. 6382). I urge you to support this bill if and when it comes to the senate and to consider introducing a Senate version of this bill.

How to find your Member of Congress’ contact information.

How to find your Senator’s contact information.

Questions For The Anonymous Millennial Nurse Who Voted For Trump

Posted in Editorials on November 25th, 2016
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Let’s just assume this is real. I have some questions.

I’m also a women’s health nurse practitioner and I’ve cared for women of many different religions, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

Do you agree that we should repeal the Affordable Care Act? How would this affect your patients?

Should abortion be illegal? If you do, how would that affect your patients?

The Affordable Care Act has resulted in many women getting IUDs. This may soon be over. Will this be good or bad for women’s health?

I don’t claim to speak for all urban white women who voted for Trump. But I’m sure I’m not alone in my astonishment at the allegations thrown around the social media echo chamber, accusing us of being racist, self-hating misogynists.

How do you think Donald Trump would respond if an employee of his made a substantiated report of being groped by a supervisor?

If you had a daughter and you noticed she was reading an article or watching a news story about Donald Trump admitting to barging in to the Miss Teen USA pageant dressing room to see the girls when they were naked, would you say anything to her about it?

Many of my left-leaning friends don’t see how other people could have valid rational reasons for opposing gay marriage, abortion, or open-border immigration policies, and still be good people. This is not tolerance

What are your valid rational reasons for opposing gay marriage?

I remember feeling I was doing my civic duty just by changing my Facebook profile picture to a Planned Parenthood emblem or the Pride Flag. I was supporting policies I believed were for the greater good—but was able to do this without making any personal sacrifice. I could pat myself on the back and march off to spread awareness, a crusader for social justice and humanism out to convert the infidels. I never asked myself whether the policies I promoted might make some people’s lives quite difficult.

Do you no longer support Planned Parenthood? If not, why?

What is wrong with Gay Pride flags?

How do Planned Parenthood and Gay Pride parades make some peoples lives quite difficult?

Do you think liberals only engage in the kinds of slacktivism you describe?

How would your argument change if you were talking to someone who put a lot more of their time, energy or even safety on the line for their beliefs?

It worries me when social justice warriors swirl their $15 glasses of wine in swanky urban restaurants and talk condescendingly about the backward hatred of rural, working America.

Did you know that Hillary Clinton won all voters making 50K or less and Donald Trump won voters making more than 50K?

Let people say what they will. Shame them publicly for cruel, offensive statements that are inconsistent with American values.

So, we can shame people who make cruel offensive statements that are inconsistent with American values, but we can’t shame people who voted for a man who made cruel and offensive statements that are inconsistent with American values?

Hear No Evil – Trump isn’t really suddenly an Environmentalist

Posted in Editorials on November 23rd, 2016
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Have you heard the news?! Donald Trump said he might do something about climate change!

From The New York Times:

On climate change, Mr. Trump refused to repeat his promise to abandon the international climate accord reached last year in Paris, saying, “I’m looking at it very closely.” Despite the recent appointment to his transition team of a fierce critic of the Paris accords, Mr. Trump said that “I have an open mind to it” and that clean air and “crystal clear water” were vitally important.

Not so fast.

Remember that personnel is policy and Donald Trump has appointed Myron Ebell, a climate change denier to oversee the EPA transition team. If he really cared about the environment, he would have appointed someone who actually has a good record on environmental issues. I can think of several Republicans who might be up for the task: Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Christie Todd Whitman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even Michael Bloomberg would be a good pick.

Over the weeks and months ahead, all kinds of random things are going to come out for Donald Trump’s mouth. Some of them might even sound really good. But before you breathe a sigh of relief, think about whatever he said for two seconds, and ask yourself “How does this measure up against what he has done?” This is so important because most media outlets will not fact check adequately. The original New York Times headline for this story was “Donald Trump says he has ‘An Open Mind’ on Climate Change Accord” and did not mention Ebell’s record of climate change denial, even though it’s incredibly relevant to his statement.

Image Credit: Melanie’s Crafting Spot Cliparts.co