February 10, 2010

Do these shoes look good with my knee brace?

Whether we’re discussing the legitimacy of cultural traditions as in the age-old examples of Chinese foot-binding & the corset or the modern use of elective plastic surgery, the Muslim head scarf or the burka – fashion is a contentious and contradictory place for a feminist to find herself at play. I’ll admit to owning more than a few pairs of heels despite my knowledge about their not only misogynist, but classist and racist, history. They make my legs look long, lean and pretty. What’s the problem?

Well, according to your doctor, there are many including: osteoarthritis, knee injury, bunions, hammertoes, and let’s not forget one “health risk” listed on the always veritable Wikipedia (please note sarcasm ;): “they render the wearer unable to run.” Wow. I am compelled to write a blog simply based on why that is a health risk for women.

In an interview with the Australia based “Today Tonight” supermodel Abbey Lee Kershaw dismisses the interviewers’ questions about the industry standard of thinness. However, she does note that the excessive and dangerous use of extremely high heels has to change. Kershaw herself had to have knee surgery at the age of 21 due to a fall in a pair of these . The theme for the last couple of seasons has been an architectural design which has lead to some pretty outrageous and, needless to say, impractical footwear.

Despite my love of the illusion of long, fabulous legs & the art that is involved in creating said illusion, I think that it’s time we call for change in the use and abuse of the women in fashion. Even if that’s simply by choosing a nice pair of ballerina-style mary janes…..

December 1, 2008

Hillary Clinton and Global Women's Health

Cecile Richards on the implications of Hillary Clinton’s appointment:

For the past eight years, the Bush administration has enforced a global gag rule, an executive order that prevented thousands of health care entities around the world from providing women with birth control. In some parts of Africa, women have a one-in-10 risk of dying in childbirth. And as Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times in October, the result of the so-called “pro-life” policy has likely been tens of thousands of additional and avoidable abortions each year. In addition to implementing the gag rule, each year the Bush administration has denied funding to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, at the behest of the far right — money that would have paid for the provision of critical reproductive care.

Today, the incoming administration will generate another celebration by women all around the world when President-elect Obama names Hillary Clinton as our next secretary of state. The selection of Senator Clinton represents an important first step down a new path for American foreign policy — an enormous shift represented by the selection of a champion of women’s health and rights to be in charge of America foreign policy.

As first lady and as a U.S. senator, Hillary Clinton visited more than 80 nations, but for a majority of the world’s population, her unique quality may be her gender. Senator Clinton understands that improving the status of women is not simply a moral imperative; it is necessary to building democracies around the globe. Improving the status of women is key to creating stable families, stable communities, and stable countries. Women’s ability to control the size of their families, regardless of economics, nationality, or culture, has a direct impact on their economic well-being and that of their children. Senator Clinton understands that women’s quality of life directly affects the major issues confronting the globe: national security, environmental sustainability, and global poverty.

In a speech that, by the standards of the Bush administration, sounds positively radical, Clinton addressed the Cairo Plus Five Forum at the Hague in 1999, saying, “Women’s reproductive health and empowerment are critical to a nation’s sustainability and growth … we now know that no nation can hope to succeed in the global economy of the 21st century if half of its people lack the opportunity and the right to make the most of their God-given potential. No nation can move forward when its women and children are trapped in endless cycles of poverty; when they have inadequate health care, poor access to family planning, limited education.”

November 20, 2008

A word from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on Bush

This is it. The Bush administration is poised to issue a
last-minute regulation that will impose harsh new restrictions
on women’s access to reproductive health care any moment now.
Will you help stop them? Click here.

The new rule is Bush’s parting gift to the anti-choice
extremists who have supported him for the last eight years. The
rule could allow health care organizations that receive federal
funding to redefine abortion to include the most common forms of
birth control — and then refuse to provide these basic
services. For any health care provider to intentionally withhold
information about widely embraced health care options from a
patient is absolutely unconscionable under any circumstances.
The federal government has no business funding providers who do
not abide by this most fundamental standard of care.

But that’s exactly what the Bush administration is proposing.
More than 35,000 Planned Parenthood supporters have already
signed our petition demanding that the Bush administration
withdraw the proposed regulation. And just moments ago, Sen.
Hillary Clinton and Sen. Patty Murray joined the uproar over the
proposed rule. Sen. Clinton said,

“In the final days of his administration, the president is again
putting ideology first and attempting to roll back health care
protections for women and families. This HHS rule will threaten
patients’ rights, stand in the way of health care professionals,
and restrict access to critical health care services for those
who need them most. Senator Murray and I are standing up once
again to the administration against this rule and will continue
to fight for women’s reproductive rights.”

It’s so important to have prominent allies like Sen. Clinton and
Sen. Murray speaking out, but we also need to continue to raise
the voices of citizens everywhere. Join them in speaking out
now. Click here.

The Bush administration promised not to release any new
regulations after November 1. Sneaking this regulation through
at the last minute could have a devastating effect on countless
individuals who rely on their health care providers to provide
complete and accurate reproductive health information. Tell the
Bush administration: Keep your word. Stop the attack on women’s

With the economy in such bad shape, more and more people are
being locked out from receiving complete medical care. This is
the worst possible time to undermine patients’ ability to access
the comprehensive health care they so desperately need. This
proposed rule would force women and families who already have
limited health care access to pay a dreadful price for the
administration’s anti-choice ideology. Please, tell President
Bush: Keep your word. Stop the attack on women’s health.
Click here.

Thank you so much for your help today on behalf of the millions
of women, men, and teens served by more than 880 Planned
Parenthood affiliate health centers all across the country.


Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

October 21, 2008

Thanks, FMF. No on 4, California!