Erika Lust’s Alternative Porn Vision – The New York Times

“BARCELONA, Spain — When Billie Eilish called pornography “a disgrace” in a recent radio interview, the quote made headlines. The Grammy-winning musician said she had started watching at around age 11, to learn how to have sex, and that she was now angry about the way she felt porn misrepresented women.

When people talk about pornography, they’re often referring, like Eilish, to its commercial, heterosexual variety, which is what most of the free porn online tends to be. On those sites, you’d be forgiven for thinking it all looks the same. But depending on the sexual politics and vision of its creator, porn can look wildly different.

Take, for example, the work of the Swedish filmmaker Erika Lust. She has built her production company, Erika Lust Films, into an art-house pornography behemoth by offering something outside the porn mainstream. Most viewers watch Lust’s stylish, highly produced films by subscribing to her websites, where she also distributes videos by other like-minded directors. But her own films have also been screened in regular movie theaters in Berlin, London, Paris, Los Angeles and New York.”

Opinion | Where the Pro-Choice Movement Went Wrong – The New York Times

” . . .  Chief among those mistakes was the relative neglect of grass-roots groups in states where the battle over abortion access has been quietly waged for half a century. A key turning point came in 1992, when the Supreme Court overhauled Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allowing states to restrict abortion before viability as long as they didn’t impose an “undue burden” on those seeking such care. This opened the door to states chipping away at abortion access through incremental restrictions — a trend that accelerated after the 2010 midterm elections, when a Tea Party-backed wave swept state legislatures.

The Casey decision “could have been, and probably should have been, a moment where abortion-rights organizations funneled attention and resources toward local and state-level organizations,” said Meaghan Winter, author of “All Politics Is Local: Why Progressives Must Fight for the States.” National groups, Ms. Winter said, should have been thinking “in terms of both changing the culture, and building clinics, doing whatever it took on a logistical level to provide access, and thinking about creative ways to build electoral power.”

That didn’t happen — at least not to the extent that it should have.

Instead, Ms. Winter writes, national abortion-rights groups and the progressive movement at large have tended to focus on federal policy and elections and on defending access through federal courts, while neglecting many fights at the state level. While big-name organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have long maintained a presence in states including Texas, those state groups operate independently and must raise much of their own money.

That often puts groups in conservative states at a disadvantage. For example, the Texas A.C.L.U. — which has the job of opposing attacks on the rights of transgender students and immigrants as well as efforts to roll back abortion access and voting rights — had a budget of about $5 million in 2018, similar to that of its counterpart in the much smaller state of Massachusetts.

Investing in states matters because states are often laboratories for a movement’s boldest ideas — like S.B. 8, with its unusual enforcement mechanism that’s made it extremely difficult for abortion providers to fight it in court.”

Intersectionality, explained: meet Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term – Vox

“There may not be a word in American conservatism more hated right now than “intersectionality.” On the right, intersectionality is seen as “the new caste system” placing nonwhite, non-heterosexual people on top.

To many conservatives, intersectionality means “because you’re a minority, you get special standards, special treatment in the eyes of some.” It “promotes solipsism at the personal level and division at the social level.” It represents a form of feminism that “puts a label on you. It tells you how oppressed you are. It tells you what you’re allowed to say, what you’re allowed to think.” Intersectionality is thus “really dangerous” or a “conspiracy theory of victimization.”

This is a highly unusual level of disdain for a word that until several years ago was a legal term in relative obscurity outside academic circles. It was coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap. “Intersectionality” has, in a sense, gone viral over the past half-decade, resulting in a backlash from the right.”

Source: Intersectionality, explained: meet Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term – Vox

Josephine Bennett: Hartford’s City Mother | Connecticut History | a CTHumanities Project

By Steve Thornton

“The history of the early Connecticut women’s movement is not complete without the story of militant suffragist, feminist, anti-imperialist, and labor pioneer Josephine Day Bennett (1880-1961). Bennett played a leading role in the federal passage of the 19th Amendment which guaranteed voting rights for women. As an organizer, speaker, and prison inmate (five days in a Washington, D.C. jail), Bennett shed her family’s class privilege and became a model of tireless advocacy.

Working for Women’s Suffrage

Bennett’s suffragist activity centered on transitioning Connecticut’s women’s movement “from philosophical to political work.” She placed special emphasis on recruiting working women and African Americans, as well as forging links with other social movements. Her first public speaking engagement was at the State Capitol on April 5, 1911, where she shared the stage with Dr. Anna Shaw, president of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA).”

Source: Josephine Bennett: Hartford’s City Mother | Connecticut History | a CTHumanities Project

Gail Collins | What Makes Cuomo So Grabby? – The New York Times

” . . . He’s buried under these sexual harassment charges and nobody is defending him. Well, virtually nobody. Rudy Giuliani says driving Cuomo out of office would be “unjust, dangerous and entirely un-American.” People, do you think this is because:

A) Giuliani just wants to see Cuomo suffer through a long, painful impeachment.

B) Giuliani made the remark at a party after several tumblers of scotch.

C) Giuliani thinks it’ll help his son Andrew’s chances to be governor.

Yeah, yeah, it’s A. Well, very possibly all three. But short of Rudy, Cuomo does seem to need all the help he can get. He’s been trying to defend himself by showing pictures where he’s kissing and hugging lots of people who seem perfectly happy with the attention. Of course, some are elderly fans who were standing in line waiting for it. Others, like, say, Al Gore, seem … not transported.” . . .

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Thank you Gail Collins. My lady and I are used to your writing being magnificent and funny, and this was fun to read aloud. We especially liked, “And then there’s the non-grabby Cuomo, who looks almost as bad in the James report. Some women said his “flirtatious behavior” was problematic, but still “a better alternative to the otherwise tense, stressful and ‘toxic’ experience in the Executive Chamber.” Don’t think it’s possible to defend yourself against charges of unwanted grabbing by proving your targets were even more traumatized when you screamed at them.”

Jill Filipovic | Women Are Having Fewer Babies Because They Have More Choices – The New York Times

Ms. Filipovic is a journalist and lawyer whose work focuses on gender and politics. She is the author of “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind” and “The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness.”

“American women are having fewer children and having them later than ever before — a demographic shift being met with significant consternation from the left and right alike.

For conservatives, the fact that more women are putting off parenthood or forgoing it entirely is evidence of a dangerous decline in traditional family values. In this framing, women have been manipulated into putting their educational and professional aspirations ahead of motherhood, contributing to a broader cultural breakdown.

Liberals make the (better) case that birth declines are clearly tied to policy, with potential mothers deterred by the lack of affordable child care and the absence of universal health care, adequate paid parental leave and other basic support systems. Couple that with skyrocketing housing prices, high rates of student loan debt and stagnant wages and it’s no surprise that so many women say: “Children? In this economy?” “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT comment:

Lovely essay, but also disappointing. We now have 7,7 billion humans, up from 2 billion in 1930. We are destroying the planet with pollution and over consumption. We face climate change, and rapid species extintion, so remarkable, that the scientist say we are living through the 6th extinction. It breaks my heart to realize that most Americans are ignorant of these threats and atrocities. Some women, but not enough, are having fewer children, because they are aware of these grave and serious problems.

David Lindsay Jr is the author of the Tay Son Rebellion about 18th century Vietnam, and blogs at InconvenientNews.Net. He is currently writing a book about his concert on climate change and the sixth extinction.

Lindsay Crouse | Naomi Osaka’s French Open Power Move – The New York Times

Ms. Crouse is an Opinion writer and producer.

“When Naomi Osaka dropped out of the French Open on Monday, after declining to attend media interviews that she said could trigger her anxiety, she wasn’t just protecting her mental health. She was sending a message to the establishment of one of the world’s most elite sports: I will not be controlled.

This was a power move — and it packed more punch coming from a young woman of colorWhen the system hasn’t historically stood for you, why sacrifice yourself to uphold it? Especially when you have the power to change it instead.

Women have long functioned as bit players in sports industries designed by and for men. Now Ms. Osaka, who at 23 is the top-earning female athlete in history, is part of a growing group of female athletes who are betting that they’ll be happier — and maybe perform better, too — by setting their own terms. Increasingly, they have the stature and influence to do so.

In 2019, the runner Mary Cain, now 25, explained how rather than continue to harm her mental health by competing for Nike’s famed track coach Alberto Salazar, she left the sport in 2017 for a few years — and wound up changing it. She is starting a new kind of women’s track team, in which the athletes are employees of a nonprofit instead of working for a corporation.  . . .”

Lindsay Crouse | My Ex-Boyfriend’s New Girlfriend Is Lady Gaga – The New York Times

Ms. Crouse is a senior staff editor in Opinion.

“I was eating bodega grapes at my desk on a recent Monday morning, gearing up to wrangle my inbox, when my phone started buzzing:

“Check Facebook.”

“Check Twitter.”

“Are you OK?”

It was an emergency: My ex-boyfriend, I learned, had a new girlfriend.

Lady Gaga.

“Lolol” if you want. (Everyone I know did.)

But it was true. While I’d been watching the Super Bowl on television in New York, they were snuggling in her private box at the Hard Rock Stadium at Miami Gardens. There were the paparazzi as he escorted her away, her pink hair flowing and sequins pasted around her eyes.  . . . “

Opinion | The Catholic Church’s Abortion Fight and What’s Behind It – The New York Times

Ms. Manson is the president of Catholics for Choice and a former columnist for The National Catholic Reporter.

“Last summer, after years of excruciating menstrual pain and anemia caused by excessive bleeding, I saw a gynecological specialist. He ordered an M.R.I., suspecting the cause was endometriosis. I instinctively grab my rosary when I’m anxious. For days after the test, I moved bead to bead, praying that the radiologist would find signs of disease so that I could find appropriate treatment. But the test showed a perfectly healthy uterus.

Normal or not, my symptoms continued to worsen, to the point that the doctor agreed that the answer to ending my pain was a hysterectomy. I was 43 years old. As a longtime advocate for women’s equality and reproductive freedom, I was surprised not to encounter the resistance so many women face from the medical community and society when I made this choice. Women are often told that they will regret losing their ability to have children. My doctor understood I knew what was right for my life, my body and my health. It felt like a miracle.

And yet after I scheduled my surgery, I was haunted by a Catholic teaching about women formulated by Pope John Paul II as part of his larger “theology of the body.” He was deeply concerned about the rising threat of feminism — particularly the growing movement in Protestant denominations to ordain women to the priesthood — and needed to articulate why Catholic women could not enjoy roles equal to men’s. He formulated the phrase “feminine genius” to explain that women’s most essential purpose and their fulfillment are based on their biological capacity to nurture, gestate and give birth. By extension, then, a uterus is God’s way of showing a woman that her primary role is to be a mother, literally and figuratively. . . . “

Melinda Gates Interview: Coronavirus, Masks and Inequality – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/business/melinda-gates-interview-corner-office.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article

“As the valedictorian of her Dallas high school, Melinda Gates delivered a graduation speech that included a quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,” she told her classmates, “this is to have succeeded.”

Decades later and billions of dollars wealthier, Ms. Gates says the quote is still ringing in her ears. “That’s been my definition of success since high school,” she said. “So if I have an extra dollar, or a thousand dollars, or a million dollars, or in my case, which is absurd, a billion dollars to plow back into making the world better for other people, that’s what I’m going to do.” “

David Lindsay:

Back in 1996, I ran Derric Computer, and was helping a customer with his home office. He complained that he had to buy and use Microsoft Windows, because he despised Bill Gates, who was the richest man in the country, and had never given a cent to charity. We verbaly pissed on Bill Gates together, and it was a bonding experience. However, Bill has rehabilitated himself. We had no idea how strong a philanthopist he would become, in partnership with his wife, Melinda French Gates. Their story is exemplary, and I’m saddened to hear of their divorce. I am confident that their partnership in philanthropy will continue unabated.