Friday, May 28, 2010

NOW Supports Protests Against Arizona Immigration Law

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NOW Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116

NOW Supports Protests Against Arizona Immigration Law
Measure Will "Push Already Vulnerable Families Past The Breaking Point"

May 28, 2010
The National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, joins the Arizona chapter of NOW in supporting the public protest against Arizona's controversial new immigration law, SB 1070, which makes it a state crime for a person to be undocumented. The law, as it stands, will take effect on July 29 unless the courts intervene.
"For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arapaio has been terrorizing this community by profiling, arresting and deporting the undocumented. This law codifies Sheriff Arapaio's vigilante justice and gives a green light to the politics of racial division, fear and discrimination," says NOW President Terry O'Neill.
"Just as chilling," O'Neill says, "and equally dire, are the effects of this law on immigrant women. The law will push already vulnerable families past the breaking point. In particular, immigrant women who are victims of violence need a range of services including screening and early access to benefits, assistance in establishing their own independent immigration status, the ability to work legally and protection from detention and deportation. By deterring immigrant women from seeking help, SB 1070 would increase the risk of violence to them and their children, often with tragic consequences. Additionally, when husbands and fathers are deported, many families lose their primary means of support and are left destitute, with no access to social services or public assistance."
NOW supports the class action lawsuit challenging the law that was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups on May 17.
"We hope that this cruel and unconstitutional law is stayed until the lawsuits are resolved," O'Neill says. "NOW supports vigorous public protest, grassroots action and a push for a comprehensive immigration solution. We hope that the Obama Administration will move quickly to challenge the law as unconstitutional and antithetical to the principles of equality, fairness and justice for all."

NOW Hails Votes to End Discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy, Says Bill Does Not Go Far Enough -- Discharges Should End Immediately

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NOW Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116

NOW Hails Votes to End Discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy,
Says Bill Does Not Go Far Enough -- Discharges Should End Immediately

May 28, 2010
Yesterday the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to end the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that has barred lesbians and gay men from serving openly in the military.
"This has been a long time coming. More than 14,000 service members have had their careers cut short," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "While NOW applauds the action taken by Congress, we believe that it does not go far enough."
The amendments to the Defense Authorization bill allow for a repeal, but only after the Defense Department has completed a study of implementation and its impact on troops. This study, already underway, is not due to Congress until Dec. 1, meaning the full repeal will probably not take effect until next year. The Washington Post reports that "Pentagon officials have said it could take several months after completing the study until they are prepared to fully integrate gays into the armed forces." Also still required are a vote on the amendment by the full Senate, final passage of the Defense Authorization bill, and certification by President Obama and military leaders.
"How many more service members will be discharged during this delay? How many will serve under the threat of possible exposure and expulsion?" asked O'Neill. "This issue does not need to be studied any longer. Extensive research has already been done. Other countries have taken the lead in welcoming openly lesbian and gay service members into their armed forces, and the results have been positive and productive. With equality on the line, the U.S. should stop the unnecessary delay and end the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy immediately."
O'Neill noted that Don't Ask, Don't Tell has a disproportionate impact on women in the military, according to the Service Women's Action Network. Sexual harassment of military women often takes the form of lesbian baiting; and in 2008, 34 percent of service members discharged were women, although women make up only 15 percent of military personnel.
"Every day that this unjust policy continues is another day of discrimination that leads to the military's loss of valuable service members and the needless disruption of their careers and lives," said Terry O'Neill.

Help pass the Strangulation Prevention Act of 2010. Legislative session is almost over


Help the National Organization for Women-New York State pass the Strangulation Prevention Act of 2010. Legislative session is almost over. Take a few minutes to call or email key people in the NYS Legislature. With your help, we can do it!
Help NOW-New York State Pass the Strangulation Prevention Act of 2010
Take Action!
A01061/S6987
Help us Pass the "Strangulation Prevention Act of 2010" A-10161/S-6987 
or use this link

Did you know choking/strangulation is not  necessarily a crime in New York State?  
1. Choking is often more dangerous than punching, shoving and other kinds of abuse.    
2. If an attacker applies 11 pounds of pressure for just 10 seconds, the victim can become unconscious. With greater pressure, death can occur within minutes. And even after the attacker lets up, a victim can collapse and die hours or even days later because of underlying damage to the neck, or to the brain due to lack of oxygen.

3. Ten percent of violent deaths in the United States are strangulations.

4. With no visible signs, strangulations is not charged as a crime.

5. A 2008 study of 310 homicides in 11 American cities, published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, found that 43 percent of women who were murdered by intimate partners had experienced at least one episode of choking before their killing.
Join the National Organization for Women-New York State push to for much needed legislation that will address this problem. New York State Eric Schneiderman has introduced legislation that would criminalize chocking and suffocation in our state. The law would provide for severe penalties: intentional chocking and suffocation into unconsciousness would be considered a violent felony. The bill number is A-10161/S-6987 known as the "Strangulation Prevention act of 2010."  
Three key people that need to hear from  you:
Assemblymember Helene Weinstein(Chair of Assembly Judicary Committee)  at 518-455-5462 or 718-648-4700
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol (Chair of Assembly Codes Committee) at 518-455-4477 or 718-383-7474
State Senator Eric Schneiderman (Chair of Senate Judiciary Committee)  at 518-455-2041 or 212-544-0173

After you have made a call to the three key people above, please contact your NYS Senator and tell her/him that we must penalize those criminals who would choke or strangle another individual. Take Action NOW!

Online, Men Say Are Willing to Split Housework

Womens eNews
Covering Women's Issues -
Changing Women's Lives

Friday, May 28, 2010

TODAY'S UPDATE

Online, Men Say Are Willing to Split Housework
By Shahnaz Mahmud
WeNews correspondent
Friday, May 28, 2010
A new online test taps visitors' attitudes towards sex roles. So far, male respondents express more traditional attitudes toward professional occupations but say they are more willing to divide the household duties evenly.
Online, Men Say Are Willing to Split Housework(WOMENSENEWS)--Men and women are both likely to take a gender-neutral attitude toward most job occupations, according to the preliminary results of an online test launched in February that will keep crunching the data on an open-ended basis.
Some jobs, however--such as carpenters and prison guards--were still considered male preserves, at least by male respondents.
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"For the most part, men felt that both genders would be equally suited to most job positions we listed on the test," said Ilona Jerabek in a phone interview. Jerabek is president of PsychTests AIM, the Montreal-based psychological assessments company that developed the 126-question test that takes around 30 or 40 minutes to complete.
"Gender Roles: Are We Still Playing the Part?" provides a description of where people fall on the traditional-modern continuum in professional and personal life.
It seeks to assess attitudes, feelings and behaviors in situations where gender-role issues may arise. Depending on the results, a subject could come out finding herself described as a traditionalist, progressive or a progressive traditionalist--somewhere in between.
Nearly 200 men and more than 300 women--their ages range from under 17 to over 60--have responded so far. Most have been Caucasians from North America.
Surprisingly, men have so far been more willing than women to divide household duties with their partners and take on jobs beyond such traditionally male tasks as mowing the lawn and taking out the garbage.

Theory and Advice

Jerabek has a hypothesis and some advice to offer to women about that.
"While women feel that men should chip in, they still like to be in control of those tasks," she said. "What this frequently translates into is a situation such as this: The guy does the laundry and mixes blacks and colors or mixes underwear with jeans, and the woman gets upset because this is not how she would do it. The moral here is: If you want him to do things at home, don't chastise him for not doing it 'right.' If you have to correct him, do it with appreciation and pick your battles."
Jerabek said the survey often finds women having more modern attitudes than men about gender roles at work. Women wholeheartedly pursue traditionally-male positions, hire women for traditional male positions and turn to male colleagues for emotional support and encouragement at work, she said.
However, she said when it came to the occupations that men often considered male-only, a polling gender gap opened up.
When it came to carpenters, for instance, 41 percent of women versus 21 percent of men felt that both genders could do this job. For prison guards the same answer was given by 43 percent of women versus 26 percent of men.

Male Stereotypes Accepted

Men are also more likely to endorse stereotypical traits of how males should behave at work, such as being power hungry, authoritative, decision-makers, competitive and more intimidating.
Nearly half of women (48 percent) felt that men were not necessarily more cut-throat in business than women and 49 percent completely disagreed that men should be the decision-makers in a company.
More women than men (55 percent versus 40 percent) considered women in the workplace intimidating. Do men necessarily make better managers? An answer gap also arose there, with 74 percent of women disagreeing, compared to 50 percent of men.

Women Seek Gallantry

In personal relationships, Jerabek said many female respondents said they like it when men initiate, plan and pay for dates, all the while being gallant and courteous. Surveyed women also often tended to regard women as more emotionally expressive, nurturing, and romantic, and more comfortable being vulnerable in a relationship.
When it comes to first dates, 53 percent of the males surveyed believed that they should be the one to pay. Only 16 percent thought it should be split evenly.
They also believed very strongly in gallantry--which is probably a good thing, since the majority of women love it.
The survey found women more modern in their views of sexuality. The majority of male survey respondents were not as comfortable as women are with the idea of females being sexually assertive in the bedroom and initiating sex.
Both sexes agreed that men and women should make decisions together. Jerabek said men and women see each other as equally capable of managing finances.
Jerabek said the topic of changing attitudes toward changing gender roles is very popular in academic research.
"We realized that despite the popularity of this topic in research circles, there weren't many ways regular people could learn about their own views of gender roles. People can easily say, 'Of course I'm totally modern in my views,' but when they actually sit down and take our assessment and think about how they really feel, this perception can change."
Jerabek said the data so far are indicating that individual test takers have a spectrum of attitudes. "Some people had a modern attitude towards gender roles, but when it came close to home, like how to raise their children, some traditional views held strong," she said.

Results No Surprise

In my own case, however, the results provided no surprise.
I emerged from the test as a "progressive traditionalist." That is, a woman who accepts many, but not all, twists on modern gender roles.
Scoring a 53 overall, it appears that I am neither totally conservative nor completely modern in my views and behaviors. While I might be considered more unconventional in my thinking about the workplace, I apparently take a very traditional stance where romantic relationships are concerned. Yes, I like to be courted and gallantry is not dead in my world.
Jerabek said my test results fall in line with statistical averages the company has gathered so far.
"I think it's kind of a balance. Some women might wish for complete equality. But, then they are stunned if a man doesn't hold the door open for them. I (myself) am a feminist, but I still like these little gallantries," she said.
Jerabek emphasized that more women take "psychometric" assessments like this, so the findings may not be the last word on the male-female areas of agreement and disagreement on sex roles.
In general, men lean towards the technical and IQ tests, while women have a keen interest to dive into the relationship assessments, Jerabek said.
"Women are much more open, in terms of getting feedback from these assessments and acting upon them," she said.
Shahnaz Mahmud is a writer based in New York.
Subscribe

For more information:

Test Yourself: Do you believe in traditional or modern gender roles? (Women's version):
http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2435
Test Yourself: Do you believe in traditional or modern gender roles? (Men's version):
http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2436

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dr. Tiller honored today on the Senate floor


Patients and providers should never be the targets of violence.
One year ago this Monday, my friend Dr. George Tiller was murdered at his church for providing abortion care to women.
Every day, doctors, clinic staff, and patients face the same harassment, threats, and intimidation that Dr. Tiller lived with for decades. The time to end the violence is now.
That's why today, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stood up against clinic violence. Please thank Majority Leader Reid for condemning clinic violence and honoring Dr. Tiller's memory.
Anti-choice fringe groups haven't backed down after the murder of Dr. Tiller. Instead, they've set their sights on terrorizing providers like Dr. LeRoy Carhart in Nebraska and protesting outside women's health centers across the country.[1]
We cannot and must not allow this hateful rhetoric to escalate into further violence. No woman who seeks reproductive-health care should have to endure verbal attacks and physical intimidation. No doctor or nurse should be made to practice medicine under the threat of violence – and even death – just because of his or her commitment to women's health.
It's systematic. It's terrifying. And it's unacceptable. That's why we are so proud that Majority Leader Reid has taken this somber anniversary as a moment to speak out.
Tell Majority Leader Reid "thank you" for honoring Dr. Tiller's legacy by speaking out in support of reproductive-health professionals and patients.
Thank you for all that you do to protect a woman's right to choose.
My best,
Nancy Keenan



Nancy Keenan
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

[1] "States test abortion limits," Politico.com, April 28, 2010


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Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights saving consumers billions of dollars a year



USA Today recently reported that the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights, a bill that I authored, is saving consumers billions of dollars a year:

"New credit card and overdraft restrictions will save U.S. consumers
from being charged at least $5 billion in fees this year alone at the
 largest U.S. retail banks and credit card companies,
a USA TODAY analysis reveals."

I have always been a champion for consumers like you. That's why I stood up to the special interests and fought to level the playing field between consumers and credit card companies. This bill bans abusive and deceptive practices, such as retroactive rate increases on existing balances and double cycle billing.

It's been a long fight. But after years of hard work, I was proud to stand with President Obama as he signed this historic bill into law. After he signed it, the President gave me the pen and a kiss – but all of you got something even better: billions of dollars back in your pocket.

I'm proud of what we've accomplished together, but there's much more work to do.

Visit CarolynMaloney.com to find "5 Things You Can Do."  Your support means so much to me and I look forward to continuing our fight in Congress.

Sincerely,
Carolyn B. Maloney
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the issues we care about.



Paid for by Maloney for Congress




24 E 93rd Street, Ste 1B
New York, NY 10128

GOOD NEWS: African Women Win Promise of U.S. Protection

Womens eNews
Covering Women's Issues -
Changing Women's Lives

Thursday, May 27, 2010

TODAY'S UPDATE

On Wednesday Women's eNews learned Sarah Shourd, currently imprisoned in Iran after being seized along the Kurdistan-Iran border while on a hiking holiday in July 2009, filed one of her last stories to our organization. Women's eNews will be posting next week Shourd's article, as finalized with the assistance of her mother Nora Ultreya.
The entire Women's eNews team joins Ultreya in awaiting the safe return of her daughter.
You can find out more about Sarah and her current situation at the Free the Hikers Web site.

African Women Win Promise of U.S. Protection

By Rebecca Harshbarger
WeNews correspondent
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Obama earlier this week signed the most widely co-sponsored Africa-specific law in U.S. history. Supporters hope it will defend women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan from further atrocities.
A family in an LRA-impacted community in the Central African Republic.(WOMENSENEWS)--The Lord's Resistance Army has displaced an estimated 300,000 people in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo since leaving Uganda in 2005 and abducted and killed hundreds of people, according to the United Nations.
Women are disproportionately burdened by the displacement, forced to take care of their families without access to their farms and businesses.
The 23-year-old extremist northern Ugandan Christian rebel group originated from tension between northern and southern Uganda, the latter where the Ugandan government is based. However, the group has not had a coherent political ideology for years and largely preys upon civilian communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Central African Republic now, according to Resolve Uganda, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization.
At a May 25 signing, President Barack Obama promised to vigorously implement the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which increases humanitarian aid for communities afflicted by the group's violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Sudan.
Lydia Lakwonyero, a 24-year-old journalist working for a radio station in northern Uganda, welcomes the law. She fears that the region's governments will not be able to protect people in the Democratic Republic of Congo from the kind of menace the Lord's Resistance inflicted on Uganda from 1987 to 2005, when it was forced out by the Ugandan military.
"Sometimes I can't even sleep at night. I fear for the DRC very much," Lakwonyero said about the eastern Congo region in a phone interview. She spoke from Uganda a day before Obama signed the bill into law. "I can assure you that the same thing my people suffered, they will. I definitely support the new bill. I do not trust that our government can do it alone."

Terrorizing Ugandan Communities

Lakwonyero remembers when the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA, terrorized communities in northern Uganda. Five years after the group's departure, women still remain in camps for the displaced.
"The LRA used sexual violence, rape as a weapon," she said. "During the war period, the LRA rebels particularly targeted girls in schools, abducting many. Some managed to return, but their lives were never the same."
Rights groups say that since its ouster from Uganda five years ago, the Lord's Resistance Army has been abducting women, conscripting children and killing countless civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan, and the attacks have been escalating.
Now the group faces a potential crackdown. The legislation signed by Obama earlier this week requires him to produce within 180 days a detailed strategy to permanently end the group's atrocities.
The new law also allocates $10 million a year to support reconciliation and justice processes in Uganda, where historical regional tensions between northern and southern Uganda created an incubator for violent groups such as the Lord's Resistance Army.
The law is the most widely co-sponsored Africa-specific legislation in U.S. history, according to Resolve Uganda.
Wisconsin's Democratic Sen. Russell D. Feingold, chair of the U.S. Senate's Africa Subcommittee, introduced the bill, which picked up 64 co-sponsors. Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern, co-chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, introduced the bill in the House, where it gained a staggering 201 co-sponsors across party lines, according to a Library of Congress legislative-tracking site.

Sense of Growing Urgency

The urgency of developing a new strategy to tackle the Lord's Resistance Army is part of what drew both members of Congress to the bill.
"Recent reports indicate that, rather than being weakened, the LRA today is stronger and strategically more sophisticated than it was just last year," said Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, before the final House vote.
The law represents the culmination of a five-year grassroots campaign by American college students and Washington-based advocacy groups such as Resolve Uganda, Invisible Children and the Genocide Intervention Network. Forty-nine Sudanese, Ugandan, Congolese and American groups released a statement after the signing, welcoming the law, Resolve Uganda said.
Campus-based groups such as Invisible Children drew attention to the Lord's Resistance Army through large, eye-catching events. In one called "Displace Me," held in 2007, over 68,000 individuals slept outside in 15 cities to draw attention to the regional conflict driven by the Lord's Resistance.
From 1987 to 2005, the movement terrorized countless Ugandan women with sexual violence, slavery and abductions and abducted over 60,000 children from northern Ugandan communities, according to Human Rights Watch.
About 2 million Ugandans were displaced by fighting between the Lord's Resistance Army and the government and were forced by the government in 2001 to live in squalid camps, according to Enough, an anti-genocide project of the American Center for Progress, a progressive Washington think tank.
Women suffered disproportionately, as they faced high levels of sexual violence within the camps and were disconnected from the land they farmed to feed their families, said Paul Ronan, co-founder of Resolve Uganda.

Shifting the Operation

Since the Lord's Resistance Army was ousted from Uganda it has largely operated out of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan, where government leaders say its forces have been diminished.
Researchers and local communities, however, rebut that. Some say brutal attacks have been underreported and could get much worse.
Earlier this year, Resolve Uganda's Ronan traveled to different parts of east and central Africa where the Lord's Resistance Army has been operating. He was heartened by the signs of rapid rebuilding in northern Uganda since 2005, when the Lord's Resistance Army was driven out. But he was discouraged by the escalation of the armed movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the Central African Republic and Sudan.
"There's been a huge impact on Congolese women," Ronan told Women's eNews in a phone interview from his Washington, D.C., office. "There are high levels of internal displacement and they can't access their fields. Many Congolese women and girls have been abducted and forced to do sexual acts with the LRA commanders; women who escape say that's a common occurrence."
Violence linked to Lord's Resistance escalated after a U.S.-funded joint regional military operation in December 2008, which was led by Uganda, failed to capture the top Lord's Resistance Army commander.
After that, the rebel army scattered throughout the region and retaliated by murdering 800 civilians, abducting women as sex slaves and conscripting children over the next two months, according to Human Rights Watch. In December 2009, the Lord's Resistance Army killed 321 civilians in three days and abducted 250 people, according to a March 2010 Human Rights Watch report.
Rebecca Harshbarger is a journalist based in New York. She started a media company called Africa Connections that connects African immigrants with independent news from their homelands. The company's pilot news site recently launched at www.ugandansabroad.org. You can follow Rebecca on twitter at www.twitter.com/rebeccaugust.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

1,800 More Petitions Needed by May 31 to Pass the Reproductive Health Act





With less than a month left before the end of New York's legislative session, for this week's Action-a-Week to Pass the Reproductive Health Act we're kicking our Petition Drive into high gear.
Last year, New Yorkers collected over 5,000 petitions in support of this critical bill. So far in 2010, activists like you have signed more than 3,175 petitions. We want to reach the 5,000 mark – it's time for the final push!
Even if you've already signed yourself (and we're sure you have!), you can still join the effort to flood legislators' inboxes and offices with pro-choice signatures. You can…
The Reproductive Health Act will ensure that every woman in New York State has the right to make the reproductive health care decisions that are best for herself, her family, and her future.
Now is the time to show Albany that New Yorkers across the state support this bill and want to see it passed in 2010. Thank you for joining with us to ensure that New York reclaims its rightful place as a pro-choice leader!
For Choice,
Laleña Howard
Community Organizer
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NOW News and Action Summary: Welcome Back

NOW News and Action Summary
National Organization for Women:
News &  Action Summary

Welcome Back!

Terry O'Neill, NOW President
Terry O'Neill, NOW President
Welcome back to NOW's new and improved News & Action Summary. We're pleased to debut a new look for our bi-weekly e-newsletter. You'll still receive highlights from the past two weeks on the NOW website, with lots of feminist news, views and action ideas. I think you'll find the re-design reader-friendly and fabulously fresh. Let us know what you think!


IN THIS ISSUE:


2010 National NOW Conference in Boston, July 2-4

Join Us at the Conference!
NOW will set off some fireworks of its own this Fourth of July weekend, when we hold our annual conference in Boston, Mass., on July 2-4. The 2010 National NOW Conference will include a summit on health and body image issues, which led to this year's theme, Loving Our Bodies, Changing the World.
NOW activists will be joined by guest speakers Kim Bottomly, Carol Moseley Braun, Andrea J. Cabral, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, Sonia Chang-Díaz, Susan Douglas, Irasema Garza, Amy Goodman, Silvia Henriquez, Lois Herr, Kierra Johnson, Adrienne Kimmell, Stephanie Poggi, Priti Rao, Loretta Ross, Niki Tsongas and others to be confirmed. Find out more about the speakers. Learn more and register online.



House Vote Soon on Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Take Action!
Tens of thousands of lesbian and gay service members have been discharged from the military due to the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy. How many more will see their careers cut short? How many more will continue to serve under a cloud of possible exposure? Tell the House to take action NOW!



NOW Applauds President Obama's Historic Nomination to Supreme Court

Upon confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Solicitor General Elena Kagan would join Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor to become the third woman currently sitting on the Supreme Court -- a historic achievement. Read more.



National NOW Times - Spring 2010

The national publication of NOW is hot off the press and on the web. This issue includes a preview of the national conference and the proposed bylaws amendments that will be considered that weekend, plus articles on health care reform, anti-abortion terrorism, hate crimes law and much more. Read more.



NOW Congratulates Joe Sestak on Pivotal Win in PA Primary

Rep. Joe Sestak achieved a pivotal victory in Pennsylvania by besting 30-year incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in the state's Democratic primary. After two previous endorsements for the House of Representatives, the NOW Political Action Committee enthusiastically endorsed Sestak for his Senate run. Read more.



Stop the Global Gag Rule -- Permanently!

Take Action!
It is unconscionable to place worldwide access to comprehensive reproductive health services and accurate information about women's health care, including abortion care, in jeopardy every four to eight years. That is what the Global Gag Rule does. Take action NOW!


NOW President Calls for Fundamental Reform to Stop Clergy Sexual Abuse

"Law enforcement authorities need to step up their investigations of sexual abuse in religious organizations because it is apparent that many church officials will not act in a prompt and responsible manner," NOW President Terry O'Neill stated. Read more.
MAY 26, 2010
Grassroot Spotlight
MONTGOMERY COUNTY NOW PROTEST
Snapshot of protest
Members of Montgomery County NOW, MD protested outside the courthouse against Judge Eric Johnson, who reduced Jason Lay's 30-year sentence for raping a 4-year-old girl by 14 years. Watch a video online of their protest, from NBC Washington.




FRESH FROM NOW'S BLOGS...
Find more on NOW's Media Hall of Shame and Say It, Sister! NOW's Blog for Equality

NOW READ THIS...
Read more on NOW Read This

National NOW Conference
COME TO THE CONFERENCE...
Are you coming to the 2010 National NOW Conference? When you come to a NOW Conference, you'll find all the things you might expect. Fabulous feminist speakers. Dynamic workshops. You'll network, make new friends, get energized, maybe even raise some hell. Plus we'll be celebrating marriage equality with a wedding and gearing up for midterm elections.


RATIFY WOMEN! CAMPAIGN
Have you heard about our RATIFY WOMEN! campaign? Right now we are demanding that President Obama and the Senate RATIFY WOMEN! by prioritizing and passing CEDAW without restrictions. If you haven't yet, sign the petition.

Action Alert: House Vote Soon on Don't Ask, Don't Tell

If you are having trouble viewing this email, please read it online.
NOW Action Alert
House Vote Soon on Don't Ask, Don't Tell
After taking action, please support our work!
Tens of thousands of lesbian and gay service members have been discharged from the military due to the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy. How many more will see their careers cut short? How many more will continue to serve under a cloud of possible exposure?
Finally, the end is in sight for this unjust policy -- but we need your help to make it happen. This week a key vote is taking place in the House of Representatives on the Defense Authorization bill, and we expect Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) to introduce an amendment that would repeal DADT. Unfortunately, the amendment will likely include a delay in implementation of the repeal until after the Defense Department has completed its study of the issue. At the very least, there should be a reasonable time limit on any such delay.
Take Action:
Call or write your member of Congress NOW, and urge them to vote FOR the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would end DADT without delay.
Background:
Since its inception in 1994, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy has prevented lesbians and gay men from serving openly in the military. The policy has resulted in the discharge of more than 14,000 service members so far, with an estimated 66,000 LGBT people currently serving in the armed forces and at risk of expulsion.
DADT has a disproportionate impact on women in the military, according to the Service Women's Action Network. Sexual harassment of military women often takes the form of lesbian baiting; and in 2008, 34 percent of service members discharged were women, although women make up only 15 percent of military personnel.
President Obama, as well as high ranking military officials, have stated that it's time for the policy to go. However, the Department of Defense is conducting a study on the implementation of repeal, resulting in a delay of justice that may drag on until the end of the year or even further.
NOW firmly believes that this issue does not need to be studied any longer. Extensive research has already been done. Other countries have taken the lead in welcoming openly lesbian and gay service members into their armed forces, and the results have been positive and productive. With equality on the line, the U.S. should stop wasting time and end DADT immediately.
"Every day that this unjust policy continues is another day of discrimination that leads to the military's loss of valuable service members and the needless disruption of their careers and lives," says NOW President Terry O'Neill.
Take action NOW by contacting your representative. Phone calls to their office are especially important at this point. When you call, use the language from NOW's sample letter as your talking points. If you can't call, please send an email right away.


take action and then donate
SUPPORT NOW: Donate to NOW | Join NOW

TV Soap Dramatizes Islam's Cultural Clashes

It would be interesting to learn about the treatment of Islam in the show - whether it is demonized or presented in all its intricacies, like any other monotheistic religion.

Sincerely,

Jerin Alam
Co-Chair
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force 

Womens eNews
Covering Women's Issues -
Changing Women's Lives

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TODAY'S UPDATE

"El Clon" is a tele-drama about a young woman's effort to span her cultural and personal identities across modern and traditional Muslim societies. One New York fan says it offers great fodder for cross-cultural exchange, Rima Abdelkader reports.
Apologies: We know you are all avid readers and daily subscribers to the Women's eNews stories so we want to let you know how sorry we are that we suffered a technical glitch over the last four days which blocked our outgoing emails. However, you will have noticed that the emails have returned and we couldn't miss the opportunity to make sure you knew  about the stories that have gone out at the Women's eNews Web site but not to your inbox.

Haitian Women Regroup, Rebuild
By Rebecca Harshbarger
WeNews correspondent

Three provisions in health reform give mothers some needed help. In addition to mandating lactation breaks at work, there's money to fight postpartum depression and to bring nurses into the homes of new mothers.
http://www.womensenews.org/story/momagenda/100521/mothers-helpers-hidden-inside-health-reform-0

Novartis Must Pay Up; Priest Denied Church Burial
By WeNews staff
Drug maker Novartis AG must pay $250 million in punitive damages to over 5,000 current and former female employees. Also in today's Cheers & Jeers column, Janine Denomme, a female priest, is being denied a Catholic burial after her May 17 death.
http://www.womensenews.org/story/cheers-and-jeers/100521/novartis-must-pay-priest-denied-church-burial

Wallstrom Reports Congo Still Needs U.N. Troops
By Danielle Shapiro
WeNews correspondent

Congo's president is pressing the U.N. to withdraw its historic peacekeeping mission. Margot Wallstrom, the special envoy on sexual violence, advises otherwise. Other advocates agree, offering details on how peacekeepers assist women's safety.
http://www.womensenews.org/story/international-policyunited-nations/100520/wallstrom-reports-congo-still-needs-un-troops

Kagan's Star May Dim as Voters Reject Incumbents
By Sharon Johnson
WeNews correspondent
Mid-term elections got off to a volatile start this week. That could change the political calculus surrounding Elena Kagan's High Court nomination. Voters gave her weak polling results on Tuesday and many wonder where she stands on Roe.
http://www.womensenews.org/story/in-the-courts/100519/kagans-star-may-dim-voters-reject-incumbents
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TV Soap Dramatizes Islam's Cultural Clashes

By Rima Abdelkader
WeNews correspondent
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
"El Clon" is a tele-drama about a young woman's effort to span her cultural and personal identities across modern and traditional Muslim societies. One New York fan says it offers great fodder for cross-cultural exchange.
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NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--Most weeknights since March 8, 21-year-old college senior Alia Dahhan has rushed home to tune in to "El Clon" to watch her favorite character Jade on the Spanish-speaking network Telemundo.
"As a Muslim woman, I feel it is almost a duty to watch the show, not only for entertainment purposes but to be able to discuss my opinions with other non-Muslim and non-Arab viewers of the show," said Dahhan, who attends Pace University's Lubin School of Business in New York and is president of the Muslim Student Association at the university.
She's been able to tune in to the show recently since Telemundo began airing the program in New York in Spanish with English subtitles. Dahhan said her Mexican mother and her father, who is of Syrian and Egyptian descent, both enjoy the show. "It is especially interesting for me to see how the Mexican side of my family is quite captivated by the story. The Arab side of my family does not follow the story but this is most likely because of the language barrier--the show is in Spanish."
Telemundo, owned by NBC Universal, provides English subtitles for every weeknight show for English-speaking audiences to follow.
"It's extraordinary to encounter an audience of multiple nationalities who follow our telenovelas by English subtitles," writer Stopello said over email.
"I remember last year the subtitles were eliminated and there were numerous calls, letters, emails and communications from the general public," Stopello said. "That became overwhelming, requesting us to go back and subtitle the novellas, and that is what we did.""
Shandra Anaid, 35, a cardio belly dance instructor and performer in Connecticut, is also a fan. "The most enjoyable for me is the belly dance scenes," she said.
The show is called "El Clon" because the death of a central character raises the possibility of an effort to bring him back from death through cloning.
But the plot mainly belongs to Jade, a young Muslim woman caught in a forbidden love with Lucas, a non-Muslim man.

Juxtaposition of Different Worlds

Jade started her life in Miami, but after her mother's death was sent to live with her uncle in Morocco.
The two worlds offer chances to juxtapose different worlds and contrasting stereotypes about women, with scenes of Muslim women seductively belly dancing for their husbands jostling against bikini-clad women on Miami beaches.
The 150-episode, one-hour drama also treats such controversial matters as irreverent attitudes towards Islam, alcoholism and machismo.
Cross-cultural attitudes towards virginity come up on Jade's wedding night, when her conservative family stands outside the bedroom door waiting for the newlyweds to produce a bloody sheet that proves her virginity. Her husband knows she is not a virgin and cuts his hand and uses his own blood to protect her.
"I believe the story introduces people to a world they do not understand or are downright afraid to," Dahhan said in an e-mail interview. "It allows viewers of different cultures to understand from a number of Muslim women's perspectives."
Mexican actress Sandra Echeverria plays the part of Jade.
"I hadn't seen a project where you can see more of the Muslim culture than this one," Escheverria told Women's eNews in an e-mail. "To play a Muslim girl and learn about the culture and this other world is completely fascinating for me."

Upholding Devotion to Islam

Tio Ali, or Uncle Ali, a devout Muslim and a part of the religious elite in Morocco, requires that Jade follow the culture of Morocco and religion of Islam.
Dahhan said she deeply admires Uncle Tio. "Tio Ali is tested throughout the story in defending Jade and upholding his devotion to God and Islam at times of conflict," she said.
"We are making a very modern treatment of the Muslim issue and showing the world that what makes us different is our religious beliefs," Roberto Stopello, one of the writers of the 2010 remake, told Women's eNews. "Other than that, we are all the same."
"El Clon" was launched in Portuguese in 2001 as "O Clone" for the Portuguese and Brazilian viewers and later dubbed into Spanish for the U.S. Hispanic audience on Telemundo. Soon afterwards, it was dubbed into several languages and aired in over 90 countries.
The Spanish-language remake that Dahhan watches is co-produced by TV Globo and Telemundo International and has been exported to 13 countries in Latin America, according to press accounts. Globo TV International is said by press reports to be looking next for airtime in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Rima Abdelkader is a New York-based multimedia journalist. If there's a story you'd like her to cover, she invites you to email her or send her a tweet on Twitter.
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For more information:

"El Clon," Telemundo:
http://msnlatino.telemundo.com/novelas/El_Clon/

Monday, May 24, 2010

Girls Rule and Boys Drool

Posted by: Camille

Hi everyone. This is my first blog post so I'd like to introduce myself: My name is Camille, I'm a student at Fordham University majoring in mathematics/economics and minoring in classical civilization. In my spare time, I like to read and do other nerdy things. I'm interested in learning about feminist political theory [and feminist theories in general] and helping women through several nonprofit ideas I have [which I'll be posting about]. I'm really excited to take two women's studies classes my senior year!

This blog entry is about man-haters VS feminists. Perhaps this is something you have dealt with as well.

This blog entry was inspired by a conversation with a member of the opposite sex...let's call him John. According to John, there is a large group of "women in America that believe they are entitled to some kind of aggressive, defensive, patronizing attitude towards all men, because for so many years of history, that's how women were treated".

In all fairness, if one believed in retributive justice then we should treat men in the same exact way women were once treated. However, we are civilized and we understand this would be exacerbating rather than solving the issue.

To me, feminism is not about a sense of superiority of elitism. It's about pride and equality.

It's 2010; we should be over this whole "Man hater" situation but clearly we are not. To me, it's easy to see why feminists ARE not man haters. Actually, we are probably the biggest man-lovers [if that's even a phrase]. We strive for equality and therefore are usually very strong-willed, competitive, quick witted women, all characteristics that can are typically considered "masculine". [As a side note: I'm actually against labeling characteristics as feminine and masculine as I believe our gender should not define our personality] http://www.feministing.com/archives/016973.html , good related article

We do not know the prior experiences of any other human being [i.e. John], whether they had an experience with a woman who was truly aggressive towards men. My main focus is how proud feminists can distinguish themselves from those who give us a bad reputation.

So some questions:
How can we still make jokes stemming from the classic "Girls Rule and Boys Drool" without giving the wrong impression?
Rather than being concerned with the impression we leave, how can we show others what REAL feminists are like?

I look forward to reading any comments you might have.

-Camille



Monthly Divorce/Child Custody Forum in Nassau County, Long Island -Thursday, May 27, 6:30 pm-9:00 pm


Divorce Forum Meeting
Sponsored by the National Organization for Women-NYS
(NOW-NYS)
  The next divorce/custody/support forum meeting will be held on Thursday May 27th, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm. 
As always there is an experienced matrimonial attorney attending to answer your questions.    Hope to see you there.  Call Tracy for location.
    
Please RSVP Tracy at  (516) 233-9343

What the Forum is NOT: free legal representation.

What the Forum IS:  It is an opportunity to learn how to help yourself navigate the murky waters of the court systems procedures and rules, to learn what options may be available to you, and to get answers to legal questions from an experienced matrimonial attorney free of charge.

It is also an opportunity to occasionally be involved in actions like supporting legislation so desperately needed to bring women a level playing field in courts.

It is an opportunity to network with women who are facing the same challenges that you are, and other women who often have the same judge, attorney, forensic and/or law guardian as you do.

 
Want to be involved in an important survey that addresses this issue?
Go to our  home page www.nownys.org and download the survey, fill it out and send it to us asap.