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JOURNAL OF THE 25TH YEAR
Edward S. Herman
Obama & OIRA
War on Drugs
Israel and Palestine
Election Cartoon Extravaganza
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
War Against Women
Emergencylabor.org writes that there’s no doubt about it, women are under attack. Though many use this term to refer to Republican proposals, the attacks are in most cases bipartisan, with Democrats either supporting anti- woman policies or agreeing to “compromises” that undermine women’s legal rights, health, and economic, and social status.
Equal pay is still a dream.
Though the wage gap persists—largely because women are concentrated in low-paying jobs—it crosses races, educational levels, and most occupations. Even with- in the same employer, in jobs where women dominate, their pay is typically 20 percent less than in jobs dominated by men requiring comparable education and skill sets (an issue referred to as “comparable worth”), showing continuing discrimination in women’s wages.
Only women with union contracts can truly expect to be paid the same as equivalent men, and, even in union jobs, comparable worth rarely is addressed. Union women, though, usually have some job protection and a grievance process.
The most direct and blatant attacks on women have been in the area of reproductive rights. Without the ability to control if, when, and how they give birth, women have little control over the rest of their lives. Yet, the right to choose legal abortion has been under attack ever since it was established by Roe vs. Wade in 1973.
At the federal level, the most prominent restriction is the Hyde Amendment, which denies any federal funding for abortion, except for cases of rape, incest, or to save a woman’s life. Hyde ensures that women dependent on federal funds—including active-duty service women—are routinely denied access to abortion, since they often can’t afford, locate, or visit private providers. Also, the Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which prohibits a certain method used for medically necessary late- term abortions, inaccurately referred to as “partial birth,” even when there is no chance of fetal viability and the method is in the best medical interests of the woman.
Restrictions at the state level are numerous. Most states require parental consent for minors and many require spousal consent for married women, waiting periods up to 72 hours, and exposure to anti-abortion counseling. Current efforts, already successful in many states, focus on:
- Outlawing private insurance coverage for abortion
- Denying state funding for abortion and to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions
- Requiring that abortions be performed only in hospitals (where they are more expensive)
- Requiring that women hear the fetus’ heartbeat, even though that often requires using an invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound
- Putting medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers
- Allowing medical providers to refuse to perform abortions, regardless of circumstances
In most parts of the
Contraception has been fully legal throughout the U.S. since 1965 and 99 percent of all sexually active U.S. adults have used it at least part of the time, including 98 percent of Catholic women. Yet, contraception is also under attack. Efforts to restrict it are usually posed as protecting religious freedom or as a means (proven ineffective) of delaying sex among teens. Many public schools are now limited to teaching abstinence as the only effective way to avoid pregnancy, despite the fact that abstinence-only education programs have resulted in higher teen pregnancy rates wherever they have been implemented. Many states allow pharmacists to refuse to fill contraceptive prescriptions if they have a religious objection to doing so. Efforts are underway to require women to tell their employers if and why they are seeking contraception, if covered by employer-provided insurance. Opposition to contraception indicates that the most important issue for the extreme right isn’t abortion, which contraceptive use obviously helps prevent, but restoring the traditional patriarchal family model.
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.