• Filmmaker Dina Fiasconaro has launched a Kickstarter campaign in support of her documentary, Women and Meds, which focuses on women who take medication for mental illness and want children. Check out the trailer here. [Kickstarter]
The news on reproductive rights this year has not been good. Texas is shutting down health clinics, Ohio is forcing women to get an ultrasound before they get an abortion, Oklahoma is trying to restrict teens from buying Plan B over the counter—the country's reproductive options are generally going to hell in a Republican handbasket.
But there's one area of reproductive health that has been quietly and steadily improving for years: reducing teen pregnancies. During the last years of the Bush administration, the teen birth rate rose for the first time since 1992. But from 2007-2011 (the four most recent years the experts crunched the numbers), the trend swiftly reversed and the teen birth rate nationwide dropped a whopping 25 percent.
The reasons behind the drop are much more complex than just statistics on birth control use and funding for sex education—looking only at the dollars and data ignores the fact that we all learn about sex from the culture around us.
Today is not just any Wednesday—it's the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech. All of today's links are about the impact of the speech and the civil rights issues we still face today.
• What problems still limit equality in our country? This piece sums it up: "It's about systematically cutting off certain groups of people from the right to vote, to earn a living wage, to make choices about their own bodies, to recognize and provide for their families." [Advocate]
• The name of the original march was actually the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." We've made progress promoting civil rights, but many of the march's original goals for creating economic equality have been forgotten. [PolicyMic]
It's Monday! Here's all the feminist news on my radar!
• Dancing teddy bears and boy bands? Oh my. In case you missed the very white and extremely surreal MTV Video Music Awards last night, Autostraddle has a liveblog full of ridiculous GIFs. [Colorlines, Autostraddle]
It's Friday! Finally! Here's all the feminist news on our radar from the end of the week.
• The announcement yesterday that Private Bradley Manning would now be known as Chelsea Manning and should be referred to as female instantly highlighted the varying media outlet policies on trans issues. While GLAAD encourages all media to use a person's preferred pronoun, places like NPR refuse to switch pronouns until a person's "desire to have his gender changed actually physically happens." [New York Times]
• There has been a lot of activism on college campuses over the past year around getting school administrators to take sexual assault seriously. A new website called Know Your IX aims to be a resource to help students end sexual violence on their campuses. [Know Your IX]
What did I miss? Add what you're reading to the comments.
Here's all the feminist news we have for you this morning!
• Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving files to WikiLeaks. He hoped that the documents he leaked would lead "society as a whole to come to the conclusion that wars weren't worth it." [Boing Boing]
• In a bizarre attempt to shut down abortion clinics, a billionaire-backed anti-abortion group urges lawyers to sue abortion providers by sending them an 11-minute DVD. [Mother Jones]
• Victim-blaming has once again gone viral: Photographs of a 17-year-old girl performing oral sex at a concert in Ireland emerged online, creating the slut-shamey hashtag #SlaneSlut while discussions of the men involved are nowhere to be found. [Jezebel]
• Our border with Mexico has become more and more militarized, with the number of border patrol agents quintupling over the past 20 years and the agency's budget swelling to $18 billion. In 2012, the Border Patrol used that money to arrest 364,000 people—mostly harmless migrants, not a single one of them a terrorist threat. [New York Times]
• The biggest movie at the box office this weekend was Lee Daniels' The Butler, about a black butler who served seven presidents. [Ebony]