A great article about structural difficulties in improving women’s health in India is up at Guernica.
For one thing, initial outreach efforts may have worked a bit too well; Delhian facilities have become overwhelmed and now a full quarter of poor women are turned away from hospitals for a host of reasons, exacerbating a feeling of distrust in slum communities. Difficulties with transportation access, inhospitable hospital staffs and other challenges also abound. Likewise, while the government offers to pay poor pregnant patients between 600 and 1200 rupees to incentivize use of healthcare facilities, impoverished migrant women can’t “prove” that they’re living below the poverty line, or even that they have residency in the city at all, making them ineligible for the benefit.
Amanda Hess at the Sexist has a crucial piece up about how rape victims are actually treated during the investigation process:
“It’s not just the hospitals who are skittish about being associated with rape,” says Snyder. “This is one of the greatest struggles we experience with law enforcement: The pressure on law enforcement is to always get their numbers down. But with sexual assault, seeing higher numbers should often be interpreted as a positive sign, if it means that more women are feeling comfortable to step up and say, ‘I was raped, and I demand justice.’” Snyder says she’s encountered many cases in D.C. where “the police’s assessment of what happened did not match up with what the survivor said happened,” she says. “For a sexual assault survivor who has already experienced an intense violation, to have your governmental system essentially say to you, ‘This didn’t happen, if it did happen it doesn’t really count,’ is devastating.”
Alice Walker gives great interview, you guys:
As long as the world is dominated by racial ideology that places whites above people of color, the angle of vision of the womanist, coming from a culture of color, will be of a deeper, more radical penetration. This is only logical. Generally speaking, for instance, white feminists are dealing with the oppression they receive from white men, while women of color are oppressed by men of color as well as white men, as well as by many white women. But on the joyful side, which we must insist on honoring, the womanist is, like the creator of the word, intent on connecting with the earth and cosmos, with dance and song. With roundness. With thankfulness and joy. Given a fighting chance at living her own life, under oppression that she resists, the womanist has no or few complaints. Her history has been so rough—captured from her home, centuries of enslavement, apartheid, etc.—she honors Harriet Tubman by daily choosing freedom over the fetters of any internalized slavery she might find still lurking within herself. Whatever women’s liberation is called, it is about freedom. This she knows. Having said this, I have no problem being called “feminist” or “womanist.” In coining the term, I was simply trying myself to see more clearly what sets women of color apart in the rainbow that is a world movement of women who’ve had enough of being second- and third-class citizens of the earth. One day, if earth and our species survive, we will again be called sacred and free. Our proper names.
Even if it were to be discovered that Montag suffered from body dysmorphic disorder, it would not be acceptable to cast her aside as a crazy woman run amok. In fact, the very idea that she may indeed be ill has been used as justification to attack her decision. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a psychological disorder that often manifests in the form of conditions like anorexia, bulimia and even excessive overeating. It is completely debilitating, because those who suffer with it are obsessively worried about their appearance and the judgment of others.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (I was in the same room as him this week, SQUEE!) on the GOP:
This is who they are–the proud and ignorant. If you believe that if we still had segregation we wouldn’t “have had all these problems,” this is the movement for you. If you believe that your president is a Muslim sleeper agent, this is the movement for you. If you honor a flag raised explicitly to destroy this country then this is the movement for you. If you flirt with secession, even now, then this movement is for you. If you are a “Real American” with no demonstrable interest in “Real America” then, by God, this movement of alchemists and creationists, of anti-science and hair tonic, is for you.
A very eloquent livejournal post by fiction_theory on the difference between Erykah Badu and Amanda Palmer:
As I know that with Palmer’s projects and statements, there are things I might miss because I am able bodied, because I am privileged as Palmer is herself. I know that I have been made to think about the ways I think of disabled bodies and about the history of racial violence and murder in this country. I have been forced to examine myself, to see the ways in which I am no better (or maybe worse) than Palmer. But when the time came and is still coming that opinions about the disabled, about them speaking up for themselves are formed, when people insult and laugh at and ignore and disregard the disabled, accuse them of faking it or belittle them, or use them as tools to be “inspirational” to able people, it will not be Palmer who bears that cost, who gets hit in the face. When it comes time for people to handwave away murder and torture and the history of racial violence in this nation and how the images and words connected with it still hurt for some but are meaningless for others, Palmer will not be hurt by that. Palmer will not pay the price for it. Palmer will surf the wave of controversy and sadly free publicity to interviews and sales and she will laugh all the way to her bank.
Because it comes down to this, as I’ve said before. When the price for art and statements about art came around, Badu paid up, in full, on time, and without hesitation from her own metaphorical coiffers, and it is becoming a steep price. Palmer passed the buck onto those who have already paid so much for the statements and “art” and “irony” of others. The price is steep, but she is not and never will truly be on the hook for it. Because she chose other bodies, other selves to put in the line of fire.
Okay, readers, have a great weekend. Feel free to drop your own links to your blogs in the comments.