Andrea James, who spent a year-and-a-half in prison, speaking at the Free Her rally in Washington, DC.
The women of Orange is the New Black are, for the most part, fiction. But this summer, actual women who were incarcerated at the prison where the hit Netflix show takes place are organizing in real life for prison reform.
Thanks to today's Supreme Court decision, Hobby Lobby and other for-profit companies run by religious individuals will face no punishment if they refuse to provide insurance coverage for female birth control. As one person astutely noted, "Crafting now leads to unwanted pregnancies." All of this action is sparking some creative energy! It's time we got some new hobbies, preferably ones that involve lobbying for reproductive rights.
Here are eight fun new lobbying hobbies to help counter today's decision.
Craft a vintage-inspired protest sign! When Missouri legislators debated a bill that would require mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, reproductive rights supporters whipped up 1950's costumes and retro protest signs that harkened to the era before abortion was legal. The message was clear: don't force us back to the Mad Men era. Host a party to make big, showy signs so that you and all your friends will be ready for the next big rally. (photo by @AlisonDreith)
The Hobby Lobby birth control case decided at the Supreme Court today hinges on a debate over freedom of religion. Five out of nine Supreme Court justices (all male) say that the religious beliefs of people who run companies trump the rights of workers to access reproductive healthcare. The rest of the Supreme Court justices—including all three women on the court—agree that freedom of religion shouldn’t impinge on employees’ access to contraception.
This article was co-written by Adriana Maestas and Maegan E. Ortiz.
A basic principle of American democracy is representation. Our country is built on the premise that an elected government represents the way its citizens look, think, and act. It’s an important principle. “When people have the personal experience, when they look like you and talk like you, they are more likely to represent you. They have same cultural experiences or have faced the same situation,” says Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
But we all know it doesn’t actually work this way.
In 1948, in a seventh grade classroom in Eugene, Oregon, a teacher dimmed the lights and flipped on 16mm projector. A film called Human Growth began to play and for 20 minutes, a fictional teacher explained the human reproductive system while animated sperm and ovum flickered onscreen.
When it burst onto the small screen last summer, Orange is the New Black quickly catapulted women's incarceration into pop culture consciousness, becoming most-watched of Netflix's series of 2013. As media has been buzzing about the all-at-once release of season two this Friday—speculating on plot development and characters—the real-life Piper Kerman has also been busy.
It makes sense for public health departments to invest in distributing free condoms. But why would a city spend a million dollars a giving out free condoms—then allow police to use those very same condoms as evidence of prostitution? This may sound ridiculous, but this has been the reality in New York City.
Lilly Ledbetter is an icon of the fight for equal pay. In person, she’s a very polite and friendly woman whose Alabama drawl draws audiences through complicated subjects like the politics behind the Paycheck Fairness Act and the realities of gender discrimination on the job.
A Texas protester rallies against the state's recent abortion rights restrictions. Photo by Mirsasha.
Is it possible to advocate for fetuses and babies without advocating for pregnant women?
Such a question might not even have been possible a generation ago. But over the past few decades a trend to treat fetuses as if they exist separately from pregnant women has reverberated throughout our culture and legal system, resulting in all sorts of illogical, surprising, and decidedly unfeminist positions.