Tag Archives: sex education

Women’s History Month: 2015

1 Mar

Womens-History-Month-300x153Today marks the 29th year we celebrate National Women’s History Month. My dear friend Molly Murphy MacGregor led the pioneering effort to recognize how women have impacted, shaped, and influenced our world. Molly — always very humble — is the co-founder of the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) and a key force behind why we now celebrate Women’s History Month in the United States. The not insignificant move forward started in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week.  Finally in 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity.

Sadly, we still see enormous resistance to treating women equally and equitably. The Republican controlled house sent a very clear message when they voted no on the equal pay act. This past February we saw Representative LaVar Christensen and Representative Brian Greene trying to defend rape, a very sad echo of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock talking about “legitimate rape.” Yes, we continue to witness myriad vicious attacks on women and their bodies.  John Boehner and his ilk seem to want property rights to every vagina in America.

Over the course of the month we will look at women pioneers and women who fought for civil rights, while we also examine the continued hypocrisy and double standards that exist, as we witness right wing extremist policing women’s eggs.  Reproductive health is debated by men (Catholic Bishops? Darrel Issa‘s all-male birth control panel?) with paternalistic moralizing and no reference to women at all. Sadly, it is not just men that are trying to control women’s bodies, but a faction of self-loathing women — who have internalized male oppression — are also hurting women. Are you listening Susan G. Komen Foundation? Helping everyone learn Women’s History is the best preventative for creating any new Phyllis Schlaflys or Karen Handels.

We have much to celebrate and much work yet to accomplish.

Maggie Gallagher working her charms on President Dilma Rousseff (?)

26 May

Presiding with no spine.

Thanks to my friend Jennifer Lockett for inspiring this story.  Sadly, the United States is not the only country caving into homophobic evangelical bigots.  President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil has now suspended sex education materials, specifically the material that addresses bullying of LGBT youth.  Yes, after “evangelical church groups and their allies in Congress threatened to block any upcoming legislation,” President Rousseff then halted the educational videos–nice backbone there, Rousseff–great leadership.  According to the ministry:

Several members of Brazil’s chamber of deputies with strong evangelic Christian beliefs said the sex education packs encouraged homosexual behaviour.

Really?  That’s the best you can do?  I have to say that all the sex education I had that “encouraged” heterosexual behavior did not “recruit” me to be heterosexual.  How sad that the ministry of health and education puts its own bigoted agenda ahead of the health and welfare of all youth, specifically LGBT youth.    Click here to see the full article.

Hero of the Week Award: April 1

1 Apr

Hero of the Week

This week The Solipsistic Me is pleased to honor a local hero, Oregon state Senator Frank Morse. It is certainly rare that we honor Republican legislators on this blog, but Morse is a rare Republican. Representing a district that includes historically conservative Albany (my husband’s hometown) and progressive University town Corvallis, Morse makes every effort to represent the needs of all of his constituents. This frequently puts him at odds with the Republican caucus, but Morse stands strong.

Compelling his selection as HWA, Morse:

  • Was a primary sponsor of the Civil Unions bill in Oregon, both in 2005 (when it was blocked in the House) and in 2007, when it was finally passed. “When it comes to discrimination, it’s not acceptable for any reason…[Civil Unions are] the right thing to do, even if they may be unpopular in some quarters.” Demonstrating a rare glimpse of true Christianity in politics, Morse has indicated that one driving force in his support of equality is his faith.
  • Supports a woman’s right to choose, stating that, “while abortion should be a matter of necessity and not of convenience, I respect and support each woman’s right to make those decisions.”
  • Champions strong, accurate sex education programs in public schools.
  • Was named a Stand for Children Education Champion in 2010 for his efforts to legislate for well-funded, high-achieving public schools and a solid economic future for our children.

This week, Morse was a vocal proponent, sponsor, and one of only two Senate Repubicans to vote for in-state university tuition for children of illegal immigrants, arguing that they should not be punished for the actions of their parents and should be given every fair opportunity to improve their own lives and contribute to the success of Oregon. This principled stand, the latest in a long series, earns him this week’s Hero Award. Bravo, Sen. Morse!

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