Friday, November 07, 2008

New President - New Chances for Women?

The Obama team have launched a new website,, outlining their proposals and offering the American people a chance to have their say. Excellent! My inner sceptic is reminded of the UK version, allowing us to send online petitions to the government, which rarely seems to make much impact, but here's hoping that it's more than just an empty popularity-generator. Certainly there's a lot of positive stuff in there!

Naturally, I went straight over to the 'Women' section of the agenda, and it makes me smile. Headings such as 'Empowering women to prevent HIV/AIDS', 'Fixing the nation's healthcare system' and 'Supporting stem cell research' jump out - and for all the pro-choicers out there, here's the reproductive rights section:


Supports a Woman's Right to Choose:

Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.

Preventing Unintended Pregnancy:

Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.

Oh my. Along with the recent pro-choice voting going on over the pond, this new load of sensible speak is a breath of fresh air after all the 'Zygotes=fully-formed cute babies in miniature' rhetoric. See, if all this comes true, the USA may have a chance of shaking off the unfortunate 'idiotic bigot-rich power-crazed backwater' image that it's been building up under Bush. I can't find anything on LGBT rights though, which brings back my reservations. Considering the recent successes of motions like Prop 8, what's in store when Obama is finally the president? Hopefully it'll be positive too, but there's no mention. More progressive action, please!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election night in another country!

But it could affect us over here and it WILL affect other countries threatened by war and relying on US aid, so damn straight I'm getting excited! Here's a little vintage humour. This is, incidentally, exactly how us Brits see politics.

I always imagine Ron Paul as Kevin Philips Bong.

I recall someone describing the difference in attitudes to political matters between the UK and USA. In Britain the situation is hopeless, but never serious, whilst in America the situation is serious, but never hopeless. And that's why we have a lot of satirical programmes such as Yes, Minister and across the pond they have drama like the West Wing.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Quick Hit - Dismissive Doctors

Over at Ramblings of Today's Yoof we have a trio of posts about doctors being dismissive because of gender, i.e. treating men with dignity and women as hypochondriacs when both present with the same symptoms. All three bloggers have had negative experiences which we think were influenced by our sex - alongside my suspicions that the GP was brushing me off, there's Becca's history of being told her problems are psychosomatic and being prescribed ineffective treatments as she sat crying in front of the doctor and, disturbingly, Curly Sue's visit to hospital where her life was put on the line as the doctors wrote off symptoms of a ruptured appendix as 'minor issues' such as constipation or 'bad period pains'; meanwhile, a young man with the same symptoms got surgery quickly.
Check them out, and please, if you have had similar experiences of your own, feel free to tell your own stories.