Sorry, there will be no pictures of Christian Bale in this post. Instead, I’m doing a round-up of news items that have relevance for those with feminist goals.
1. April 29 marked Obama’s first 100 days in office, and in his official address, I couldn’t help but note his problematic statement about abortion policy, calling it “not my highest legislative priority”) and stating that it isn’t “simply an issue about women’s freedom.” Mm-hmm. Women’s freedom…who give a shit about that? At least he noted that:
I don’t think women take that position casually. I think that they struggle with these decisions each and every day, and I think they are in a better position to make these decisions ultimately than members of Congress or a President of the United States — in consultation with their families, with their doctors, with their clergy.
I’ll take that, but I’m not going to fawn all over it. You don’t get a cookie for “letting” women make up their own minds about their own bodies.
2. In other news, Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services, completing the administration’s cabinet. Sebelius is one of 4 women in the Obama cabinet, along with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Three other women hold cabinet-level rankings: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, head of the EPA Lisa P. Jackson, and Chair of the Council on Economic Affairs Christina Rohmer. We don’t have parity yet, but Sebelius will have a lot to say about health care reform that is so desparately needed in the US.
3. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is changing his political affiliation from Republican to Democrat, and will be running in 2010 on the Dem ticket. Specter has served as a Republic since 1980, and there is plenty of speculation about his motivations (a rat leaving a sinking ship, or a man officially detaching from a party that had already left him?). Regardless, if Norm Coleman ever gets the hell out of Al Franken’s way in Minnesota, Specter’s defection will give the Dems 60 seats in the Senate, and if Party Whip Dick Durbin does his job, this may make them filibuster-proof.
4. Lastly, news came out that Supreme Court Justice David Souter will be retiring at the end of the year. Souter was appointed by Bush pere in 1990, but in later years seemed to shift more to the center-left. I for one am crossing my fingers that the Dem-heavy Congress and President Obama will find a female Justice to join the bench, since O’Connor’s retirement in 2005 and Ginsberg’s ongoing struggle with pancreatic cancer may soon leave us without female voices and perspectives in the judiciary. I don’t know who might be in the running, but if we end up with another middlin’ white dude, I’m gonna scream my fool head off.
I’ve been distracted this week looking for work (anyone need a tutor? an ABD professor? a personal chef? Email me!), so let me know in comments if I’ve missed anything.
P.S. Happy May Day to flower lovers, and Happy International Workers’ Day to all you unionized laborers!
P.P.S. Okay, here’s some Christian Bale…