On Feminism

“. . .unless you have actually handed in your vote at the White House and said ‘I have no need for this anymore,’ then you are a feminist.”

-Caitlin Moran, author of “How To Be A Woman.” Read the interview here or listen to her talk to Terry Gross. Better yet, do both.

If anyone wants to join me in reading her book and then meet up to discuss I’ll be glad to coordinate. Let me know!

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What's interesting today

Digital Shift: Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks Rises as Much as 300 Percent
Random House has increased the price they charge libraries to purchase ebooks for lending. I could understand this if they were also changing their lending model such that more than one person at a time could use a single copy of the book. But it remains a “single-seat” model. Oh, and as David Lee King points out – libraries don’t actually OWN these books, and the price increase isn’t due to a change to an ownership model. I think that for most libraries, this price hike is ultimately going to mean fewer copies of popular titles available, and fewer ebooks purchased in general. I know the publishers need to make money to stay afloat, but do they really think this is the way to do it?

Unofficial SXSWi Primer for Rowdy Librarians
A quick take on how to make the most of SXSW. This includes some great general tips for any conference, and for any time when you need or want to try and strike up a conversation with someone. It seems so obvious but I rarely think to ask “so what brought you here?” which will really work in ANY situation.

The Hairpin: The Contraception “Debate”
This is a brief post on what’s been going on lately with the debate around contraception. I find it disheartening how conservatives (well, at least the loudest ones) seem to only see the issues around “separation of church and state” from one angle. I have no problem if someone chooses not to do something because of their religious beliefs.  But trying to impose those beliefs on others is where I draw the line. A few stray thoughts I’ve had in the last week or so as I continue to hear and think about this issue:

  • What do conservative women think and feel around this topic?
  • As far as the politicians involved are concerned, I keep thinking to myself “did they forget women got the vote?!”
  • Imagine what things might be like if our elected officials spent this much energy on something like job creation.
  • Would we be having this discussion if men could get pregnant?

Bitch saved!

Holy smokes!

We’re thrilled to announce that in just three short days, you’ve
rallied together and propelled us beyond our $40,000 fundraising goal.
In fact, by the time we looked up from our computers, you’d already
donated $46,000! (Read more.)

That’s amazing. I still plan to send them some money after my next paycheck (I always think about it when I read their appeals each issue), but it’s fantastic that so many people feel so strongly about this magazine that they didn’t wait — they donated, immediately.

As I write this post (which will be auto-posted sometime tomorrow), they’re at $55,000.

Save Bitch!

Oh shit! Bitch Magazine needs $40,000 by October 15 or else they won’t be able to print the next issue. Sounds like they are working to figure out an alternative publishing model that will be more sustainable, but in the meantime they still need to get the goods out there.

I don’t know how many of you read Bitch, but if you do, I hope you’ll think about donating something. I will be (as soon as I get my next paycheck and feel a little less “ack!” about my account balances). It’s a fantastic publication, and I’ve read about all sorts of things that I otherwise never would have read about. As I feel like I often hear other people say, I don’t always agree with everything I read in Bitch, but I’m glad that someone’s out there doing what they do.

Four months later . . .

(This is a bit of a rant, and also may be too much information for those who don’t care to know about Girl Things. Consider yourself warned.)

. . . I think I have finally resolved the billing problems I was having with Planned Parenthood. I was really excited in July when I went to the clinic in Davis Square to get my birth control. They give you a years’ worth up front and then bill you each month, cool right? But there was a hitch — I left without the 13 months’ worth I should have received — they didn’t have enough that would still be within the expiration date. I was told I could go back at any time and pick the rest of it up. When I went back before moving, they still didn’t have enough. They assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem to contact the billing office and stop the contract, and gave me the contact info. Continue reading

Popline blocking searches for abortion resources

Popline, which I previously hadn’t heard of, bills itself as “Your connection to the world’s reproductive health literature.” The site is run by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The gist of the current news, according to Wired, is that USAID currently has a policy to deny funding to non-governmental organizations that perform abortions or promote them as an option. JHU has apparently decided to stop returning results on searches for “abortion” since they are funded by USAID.

My friend Ellen has already put together some information & screen shots here, check them out. I’ll be interested to see how this plays out in the next couple of weeks.

3:17 PM — Edited to add:

ResourceShelf reports that “abortion” has been removed from Popline’s stop word list (words ignored when you search for them — typically things like a, and, the) and posts a response from the Dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Read more here.

Another reason why Planned Parenthood rocks

In which I divulge personal information you may prefer not to know, depending on who you are and how you know me. I clearly don’t think it’s too much to put on the Internet (and I think about these things), but FYI.

So, despite being a huge Planned Parenthood supporter, I had actually never been to one until late last week, when I visited Plan, an express clinic that opened a few months ago in Davis Square. I went to get an STD check and a refill on my birth control, since I currently can’t afford to go visit my regular OB/GYN to take care of this (and get a pelvic exam)*. Plan doesn’t offer pelvic exams, but they do STD tests and other counseling. Continue reading