Today in Women…

Today, two articles about women captured my attention for a good portion of the day. I share them here with little commentary, as in both cases, the content speaks for itself.

The first piece is Ashley Judd’s blistering critique of patriarchy and women’s and men’s complicity in upholding it. In it, she thoughtfully problematizes the media’s portrayal of women. It is fierce and awesome and bookmarked in my Diigo account  for future reference.

The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted. Continue reading.

As excited as I was to read Ashley’s piece, I was later reduced to tears – devastated to find out about legislated acts of violence against imprisoned women. I’ve been tuning in more to the politics of the prison industrial complex, and I’m the first to admit I have a lot to learn. Yet, the fact that women in 35 states are shackled while giving birth, was an appalling revelation. This article touts the good news that Florida (of all regressive places!) has put an end to this horrendous practice.

It’s unusual to hear of good news from the war on women coming out of Florida, but there is some. Last week Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a bill that establishes humane and uniform rules for the treatment of pregnant women who are incarcerated in any jail, prison or detention center in Florida. Continue reading.

I was encouraged to learn about the efforts of the Rebecca Project, and they are now on my list of organizations I’d like to support and/or partner with in some way. One of my goals this year is to write and publish an advocacy piece on a cause of personal import. I think I’m one step closer to at least finding the cause. Lest we forget, prisoners are people, too.

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