Tag Archives: United States

Guest Blog: Not One Dollar

28 Feb

Hello Everyone! This is Lilipop. I am proud to announce that we have a guest blogger today from the USA (exotic)! Charlotte has written about a film she saw that changed her life…

 

My name is Charlotte and I am a freshman at S******-B****** School. Part of my school’s goal is to help students find their voices, and I have wanted to find my voice since I was nine years old. I have wanted to find my voice since an exhibit taught me to fear death, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation. I have wanted to find my voice since I realized that I could use it to change my life. But I never thought of using it to change someone else’s, and I never realized that what I thought was a personal struggle was something women faced all around the world: not being heard. I knew that women were oppressed, but it seemed like a distant problem that I had no connection to. This year, a single film changed that for me, something I never thought a movie could do.

Three Saturdays ago, a senior at my school showed the 2004 drama Iron Jawed Angels as part of her Women’s Film Series project. The film tells the story of the final steps of the suffragist movement by through the eyes of suffragist Alice Paul and her companion, Lucy Burns. The movie captures the internal conflicts of the suffragist movement, from race divisions to the clash of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman’s Party, while also putting the movement against the political backdrop of World War I.

Besides putting us in touch with the history of women’s rights, the film was a welcome breath of fresh air in terms of its complex, multidimensional characters. This contrast to the standard depictions of women in film was accentuated by the first movie in the Women’s Film Series: Miss Representation, a 2011 documentary about the disparaging portrayal and underrepresentation of women in the media. In that light, Iron Jawed Angels was a unique movie in that it featured strong, multi-layered women who had diverse goals, desires, and priorities and whose entire lives didn’t rely on being in certain types of relationships. However, this welcome contrast also served to emphasize how one-dimensionally women are usually portrayed in film.

To pay the fine would be admitting guilt. We haven’t broken a law. Not. One. Dollar. -Lucy Burns, Iron Jawed Angels

That Saturday night, I walked out of the room where the film had played with quaking knees, but I felt stronger than I had in a long, long time. Instead of skipping the three steps that led to the door, I took the stairs one at a time, watching the soles of my shoes meld with the carpet and the rubber treads on the edge of each step. It was not the disturbing scenes from the Occoquan Workhouse or the tragic death of Inez Milholland that weighed me down, but the strength of those women. I saw the world through a lens of fury and passion: the same passion that Paul and Burns had displayed not only in the film but also in reality. I couldn’t imagine living through the thirty-minute car ride home, through studying for a math quiz, through all the

mundane actions that I realized made up my life, without knowing why. I had found my voice long ago, but I hadn’t realized how to use it. Iron Jawed Angels snapped me out of my spell of apathy. I wanted to be like those women: fighting for something I believed in. And what was there to fight for? The rights of my own gender.

That’s how Iron Jawed Angels turned me into an active feminist. But I can’t help be bothered that it took me this long, when the only thing that changed was seeing a role model, even a partially fictional one, who used their voice. Does that mean that I haven’t closely witnessed a woman speak out for what she believed in with such a fire in the last few years? And if I, a teenager raised in a socially aware family and attending an all-girls school, haven’t in the past few years, what does that mean for girls growing up in less accepting communities and cultures? One thing is clear: we need more women behind the scenes in the media. We may have gotten the vote back in 1920, but as for taxation without representation, we are unquestionably misrepresented.

Seriously Texas, this is NOT on!

14 Jan

Hello! Lilipop here.

Today I wanted to talk about the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas.

You probably have read about it but if not or you didn’t understand I will try to explain what’s been happening in that crazy place we call America.

It was announced on New Years Eve (which is probably why it has had next to no coverage) that judges had decided that the state of Texas could cut off funding to a program run by Planned Parenthood that provided family planning to poor women through the State Womens Health Program. This included basic care such as birth control, cancer screenings, pre natal care and advice and the program served 48,000 poor women.

“This sounds like an important service” I hear you say “why would Texas want to cut it off?”
Well it comes down to Texas’ so called “affiliate rule”. This is a law pushed through by Texan Republican law makers last year that says State funding can not be given to an organisation or an organisation affiliated with an organisation that perform abortions or is pro-choice. This law was justified by the people who wanted this law by saying that Texas is a “pro-choice” State.

Abortions are in fact legal in Texas but all women who want or need abortions must have two counselling sessions including an ultrasound scan at least 24 hours before the abortion. The State of Texas will pay for an abortion but only in the case of rape, incest or if the mother is in danger if the woman is covered under the government healthcare programs. Insurance rarely covers the cost of abortions either so it almost always has to be paid for out of the women’s pocket and can cost a women more than $500 as well as being an incredibly traumatic experience, prolonged by the mandatory counselling sessions and scans. Planned Parenthood provides abortion services privately in Texas as well as in other states and that is the problem.

Planned Parenthood has 74 independent local affiliates that operate nearly 800 health centres around the USofA; because the health centers providing the free, important health care for poor women are affiliated with the health centres providing abortions privately, by Texan law, they cannot have any State funding.

Now you would think with the amount of fuss Texas is going to, leaving tens of thousands of women without basic healthcare, that planned parenthood must be performing abortions left, right and centre! In fact only 3% of the services provided by planned parenthood are abortion services. Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care, education and information to almost 5 million women, men and adolescents. Most of their services are aimed at PREVENTING unintended pregnancy but they also perform 770,000 Pap tests and 750,000 breast exams each year which are essential to detecting cancer. They also perform more than 4 million STI tests each year.

I find it disgraceful that, firstly, these people think that they have the right to dictate what a woman can and cannot do with her body and secondly, that they are letting these misguided and in my opinion WRONG WRONG WRONG beliefs affect their political decisions that affect tens of thousands of women. They have denied women not only their right to reproductive health care but also sexual health care, contraception, cancer tests and education on all of these.

Why can women not choose for themselves what they do and do not want to do with their bodies? Why are women not trusted to make important decisions for themselves? Why are men making these decisions? That’s right, it is mostly men, who will never get pregnant and will never have an abortion are making these choices for women. Here is an interesting fact for you, women make up 20-25% of Texan Lawmakers and only 18.3% of the United States’ House of Representatives which is absolutely disgusting and even worse when you know, that is SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than North Korea, in which women make up 1/3 of representative positions. This makes me want to throw up then punch the US goverment in the face. Very hard.

I think every women should have a choice. Poor Texan women are not given a choice. Their own goverment is crushing their choices.

I am way too angry to write any more but I expect you can imagine your own rant now!

Lots of ANGRY love

Lilipop

P.S BYE!!

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