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.
An Oregon Christmas tree farm worker, photographed as part of the Pineros project.
In 100 different homes across Portland this winter, Christmas trees were adorned with unusual ornaments: instead of tiny Santas and candycanes, the evergreen branches were also graced with glass ornaments etched with the name of a farmworker who helped grow and harvest the tree.
The scene is familiar to any fancy home design magazine reader: the perfectly appointed living space full of gleaming surfaces, fluffed up pillows, artfully arranged flowers next to tasteful objets d’art. But painted in to this pristine domestic landscape is the woman who is actually responsible for the polishing and dusting and cleaning of the space—Edith, a brown-skinned woman waiting for her check.
• Germany’s new third-gender law that gives an alternative to declaring babies male or female on their birth certificates may seem positive, but it was not written with any input from intersex activists and it may actually put intersex babies in more danger. [The Advocate]
• La Luz, a great female surf band that Bitch reviewed for our next print issue, was in a serious car accident this week, totaling their van, destroying their gear, and causing injuries to the band members. If you want to help them out, they have a Paypal account set up here. [Seattle Weekly]
• Indiewire looks at women in sitcoms and argues that while Jess from "New Girl" has evolved over time, Mindy from "The Mindy Project" still doesn't know who she is. [Indiewire]
• Indian Health Services finally expands over-the-counter Plan B access for Native American women to be in line with federal law (though it's still not part of their policy to make it available to all ages without a prescription). Access to emergency contraception is particularly important for Native American women because of the high rates of sexual assault they face. [Feminist Majority Foundation]