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Tuesday’s Telepathy::Feminist news that you can count on!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

thanks to chicago foundation for women for their TUESDAY STARS

Bravo and brava to everyone who helped pass Illinois SB 75, the First Offender Probation Act, so women convicted of felony prostitution will have the opportunity to see their charges dismissed after 24 months probation. This bill failed last year, but thanks to strong support it will soon become law (Gov. Blagojevich is expected to sign it soon). Thanks to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless as well as the elected officials who helped—and people like you, whose individual advocacy helped get the needed votes.

Lauren Breayans, Lauren Chief Elk and April Grolle witnessed a gang rape by a college baseball team of an underage girl who was passed out drunk at a DeAnza College campus party in San Jose, Cal. Despite eye-witness testimony and DNA evidence, the case was dismissed as too weak to prosecute. We applaud these women for speaking out to local media to seek justice. “It makes us think that no girl is ever going to want to come forward” with rape charges because “they’re going to think it doesn’t even matter,” said Chief Elk. “But it does.”

NEWS IMPORTANT TO YOU
MEMORIAL DAY: WOMEN IN THE MILITARY
This weekend we remembered and honored our soldiers who served in the military. We ask you to also to remember the women who serve and how they are affected by service or association to the military. Check out these stories:
Department of Justice finds male veterans are jailed for rape twice as often as other men.
Servicewomen can’t get emergency contraception.
Sexual assault by men in the military is the “private war of women soldiers.”
FDA APPROVES LYBREL
The FDA this week approved the drug Lybrel, an oral contraceptive that would halt menstruation. All birth control pills halt ovulation, though Lybrel stops even the “fake period” resulting from hormonal withdrawal. The Sun-Times asked women what they think of Lybrel. TELL US in an email: Would you prefer to use it, once it’s available in July, or not?

STEREOTYPES: WORDS CAN HURT
Girls often suffer math anxiety precisely because they are expected to do worse than boys, a study by the University of Chicago finds. When people worry, they erode their “working memory,” a type of short-term memory. Plus, these anxieties can spill over into other subjects, which can lower scores on standardized tests or grades in classes that come after math.

TAKE ACTION
Bills and policies that need your energy. Up-to-date as of Friday, May 25.
NOTE: the Illinois Legislature adjourns May 31. Take action now.

ILLINOIS ACTION – CONTACT YOUR STATE REPS
YES on Illinois SB 12: Increase Illinois’ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income families. Read the fact sheet. We need action THIS WEEK.

YES on Illinois HB 1826: Legalize civil unions in Illinois. Read the fact sheet. We need action THIS WEEK.

YES on Illinois SB 5 and SB 1: Illinois Covered and state tax reform to fund it.

YES on SB 715 (now in the house) for school health centers. Opponents object to reproductive health services, such as referrals for birth control. Clinics will also provide students with immunizations, counseling and asthma care. Read more at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.

YES on HB 949 (now in the senate) to increase the TANF grant by 15 percent for low-income families. Like the minimum wage, TANF has not kept up with inflation. Read more.

FEDERAL ACTION – CONTACT YOUR NATIONAL REPS
YES on U.S. Senate Bill 1105 and NO to a promised veto: Matthew Shepard Act, to expand “hate crime” to include gender, sexual orientation and disability status. CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE NOW.

YES on U.S. House Resolution 121: Ask Japan to apologize for the “comfort women” of World War II.

NO to federally-funded abstinence education. Tell your Congresspeople to let Title V funding expire June 30. Remember, studies show it doesn’t work. Read more on cfw.org.

YES on federal HR 2064, the Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act, so women in the military can access emergency contraception. In the Armed Services committee.

YES to U.S. S.972/H.R.1653: Responsible Education About Life Act for medically accurate, comprehensive sex education. Read the fact sheet.

WHAT IS MISSING?
We add perspective to recent headlines

The story: Baseball players are manly men, but sportswriters who cover them are girly. Chicago Tribune sports columnist Rick Morrissey said writers’ reactions to White Sox coach Ozzie Guillen swearing on a live radio show were “like a 6-year-old tattling on her brother.” He wondered aloud if sportswriters like himself “have lost our compass guywise, if we ever had one” since baseball “might be the last bastion of American guyness,” where men are together all the time, reveling in “arrested emotional development.”
What it didn’t say: Morrissey made a black-and-white distinction: There are real men and then there are the rest, but we think men don’t have to live inside the “man box.” Athletes don’t have to “walk with [their] knuckles dragging behind” to be good at sports and sportswriters don’t have to avoid criticizing men to be good at their job. When we ask “What will it take?” we know one answer is changing the way we think. Learn more about the “man box” and masculinity from anti-sexist activist Jackson Katz, also a former athlete.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
TOMORROW
MAY 30: Reproductive health issues briefing via conference call, 3 p.m.

NEXT WEEK
JUNE 7: Music Matters Concert: Singers and Songwriters Unite Against Violence featuring Jill Scott, 8 p.m. (“What Will It Take?” special event)

LATER IN JUNE
JUNE 13: 2007 Impact Awards with Dr. Ruth Westheimer, State Senator Carol Ronen and Silvia Rivera, 6 p.m.

JUNE 13: Not to my mother, my sister my friend: A day-long youth conference in Urbana (“What Will It Take?” cosponsored program)

JUNE 21: Town Hall – DeKalb/Rockford, time and exact location TBA

COMING IN JULY
JULY 26: The Fairway Network Annual Charity Golf Tournament, 1 p.m.

For more programs and events see our calendar page or the “What Will It Take?” statewide events page.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Catch up on more at our Press Room or our Past Events page at cfw.org or our News page on whatwillittake.org.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN “WHAT WILL IT TAKE?” If you see our PSAs on TV or hear them on the radio, or if you see one of our ads in newspapers, on buses or on billboards, email lfletcher@cfw.org saying when and where the ad appeared. We will enter you in a drawing for a t-shirt and a few surprises. Please include your name and a daytime phone number.

Speakers bureau: Want a free speaker to come and tell you or your organization about “What Will It Take?” Contact Laura Fletcher at (312) 577-2824 or lfletcher@cfw.org. More about the speakers bureau…

JULY 12 tickets to “The Color Purple” in Chicago on sale now, to benefit the Sojourner Fund of the African American Leadership Council.

SAVE THE DATE
SEPT. 11: The Foundation’s 22nd Annual Luncheon and Symposium, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Featuring Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, speaking on how women’s rights are human rights.

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