Category Archives: Women

Happy International Women’s Day 2012

International Women’s Day globally recognizes women’s achievements and observes and highlights gender inequalities and issues.  I want to share some feminine inspiration with these quotes by women who are and have made a difference.   

Politics must not remain a bastion of male dominance, for there is much that women can bring into politics that would make our world a kinder, gentler place for humanity to thrive in. – Corazon Aquino 

Independence is happiness. – Susan B. Anthony 

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt  

Women are the real architects of society – Harriet Beecher Stowe 

The lovely thing about being forty is that you can appreciate twenty-five-year-old men more. – Colleen McCullough  

And it actually gave me an identity and an understanding of what being a woman is, which also was not submissive or obedient. – Haleh Afshar, Baroness Afsha 

If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman. – Margaret Thatcher  

If you have any doubts that we live in a society controlled by men, try reading down the index of contributors to a volume of quotations, looking for women’s names. – Elaine Gill  

Modern invention has banished the spinning wheel, and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother. – – Susan B. Anthony  

A celebrity name is never enough for an intelligent mass market, … truly successful businesses are born of passion and heartfelt interest. – Elle Macpherson 

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. – Eleanor Roosevelt 

If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to Yes, she ought to say No, directly. – Jane Austen 

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult. – Melinda Gates

GOP Enough! Women Will Fight Back

I’m beyond anger! 

Since this debate about birth control began a few weeks back, I have felt like I stepped back in time….like I took a “worm hole” in a Stargate episode that shot me back to the 50s. Now I realize the reason for this whole debate — the GOP are going to their playbook and going to the good ol’ reliable social issues in an effort to galvanize their base. In normal years it has worked to their benefit almost 100% of the time, but this time I think (I hope) they will fail.  

Since their big wins in 2010, they have been attacking women’s access to healthcare in unprecedented ways both at state and federal levels. I think the cherry on top of their fudge sunday was the now infamous Congressional hearing by Rep. Issa with the all-male panel of “experts” to discuss women’s healthcare.  

This week it has taken an ugly, sharp turn thanks to the likes of Rush Limbaugh (an utter cocksucker…sorry…can’t stand him). He has been waging an attack on Sandra Fluke all week referring to her as a slut, demanding to see sex tapes of women who get birth control, etc, etc. Keep in mind, the only thing Ms. Fluke did to warrant this vitriol is to testify before Congress. Her testimony didn’t have anything to do with pregnancy prevention but the use of birth control for medical reasons. I want to add that I am one of those women who have had to use birth control for medical reasons after I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I was fortunate enough to have my prescription covered unlike her friend for whom she was testifying about.    

A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome and has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. […] After months of paying over $100 out of pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore and had to stop taking it. […] Without taking the birth control, a massive cyst had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary. […] 

Since last year’s surgery, she’s been experiencing night sweats, weight gain, and other symptoms of early menopause as a result of the removal of her ovary. She’s 32 years old. As she put it: “If my body is indeed in early menopause, no fertility specialist in the world will be able to help me have my own children.” 

As a woman, I am absolutely infuriated by the range of attacks by Republicans on women’s health. These attacks have ranged from transvaginal ultrasounds (I don’t care how you look at it, it is government-mandated rape when women are forcibly penetrated by a device) to personhood amendments to attacking Planned Parenthood.   

Women are fighting back though. This week in Wilmington, Delaware, the City Council passed a personhood amendment for men.  

The Wilmington City Council has a message for men — sperm are people, too. 

The council for Delaware’s largest city passed a resolution by an 8-4 vote Thursday calling on the Delaware legislature, other state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to pass laws granting “personhood” rights to eggs and sperm. The resolution was authored by councilwoman Loretta Walsh as a protest in the current battle over women’s health care access. 

“[E]ach ‘egg person’ and each ‘sperm person’ should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government and be subject to the same laws and regulations as any other dependent minor and be protected against abuse, neglect or abandonment by the parent or guardian,” says the resolution. “[L]aws should be enacted by all legislative bodies in the United States to promote equal representation, and should potentially include laws in defense of ‘personhood,’ forbidding every man from destroying his semen.” 

The vote came the same day that the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that would have given employers the right to refuse any health care service to employees for moral reasons. 

Walsh isn’t the first lawmaker to introduce such a measure. Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democratic state senator from Oklahoma, introduced and later withdrew an amendment to a “personhood” bill that would have given zygotes the same rights as adults. “However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child,” reads the amendment.  

I think the best way we can fight these attacks on women is to elect women. We presently have a very small voice in our government compared to men and we need women representing us. We are after all 51% of the population!

Republicans and Catholics Not Satisfied

President Obama came out yesterday with a compromise to the requirement that nonprofit institutions provide contraception coverage. Now employees of religiously affiliated colleges, universities, and hospitals who do not wish to provide birth control can receive contraception coverage at no additional cost directly from the insurer. This seems to be a win for both sides. Catholic run nonprofits get their way and will not have to go against their beliefs and the women who are employed will have access to affordable contraception. 

Not so fast. Republicans and some conservative Catholic groups are not satisfied with this. They are now continuing to use their claim of “religious persecution” to deny women access to preventive health services by proposing an amendment that would permit ANY employer or insurance plan to exclude any health service, no matter how essential, from coverage if they morally object to it. Next week Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is expected to offer the following amendment:     

“(A) FOR HEALTH PLANS. — A health plan shall not be considered to have failed to provide the essential health benefits package described in subsection (a) (or preventive health services described in section 2713 of the Public Health Services Act), to fail to be a qualified health plan, or to fail to fulfill any other requirement under this title on the basis that it declines to provide coverage of specific items or services because — 

“(i) providing coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or 

“(ii) such coverage (in the case of individual coverage) is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage

This would allow an insurer or an employer to claim a moral or religious objection to covering HIV/AIDS screenings, Type 2 Diabetes treatments, cancer tests or anything else they deem inappropriate or the result of an unhealthy or immoral lifestyle. Similarly, a health plan could refuse to cover mental health care on the grounds that the plan believes that psychiatric problems should be treated with prayer. 

Today I read an op-ed by Art Caplan where he creates a scenerio which shows just how dangerous it is to let any organization deny health coverage based on their faith or morality. It demonstrates the dangerous game Catholics are playing with a person’s access to healthcare. 

Imagine that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is based in Brooklyn, NY, creates a printing company that happily employs people from many faiths and cultural backgrounds. The company’s sole task is to print all the Witness literature that its followers distribute door-to-door all over the world. That literature clearly states the Jehovah’s Witnesses adamant opposition to blood transfusion. Then the federal government then issues a national set of minimal standards which all companies operating as public entities must provide as part of the health insurance coverage they offer. 

The Governing Body is outraged because on that list are blood transfusions. They issue a statement accusing the President of trying to crush religious liberty by forcing their printing company, which employs many non-Jehovah’s witnesses, to cover transfusions.  

I must wonder if the above scenario did come to pass would lawmakers come out en masse decrying the overreach of government. How did the imposition of an insurance mandate on companies operating in the public sphere become an act of religious intolerance? Do those who work in Catholic run companies, hospitals, nursing homes or hospices but do not follow the teachings of the Catholic Church have rights? 

With the above amendment being proposed, the type of insurance coverage that would be available to us would be subject to our employers moral and religious beliefs. In essence, our employers would get to decide what healthcare they deem morally appropriate to provide.