Abortion Laws: Alyssa Milano Calling For A Sex Strike, And More Feminist News

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Alyssa Milano Calling For A Sex Strike to Stop Abortion Laws

Social media activist Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike against restrictive abortion laws popping up in states like Georgia. “Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano said on Twitter last week. “JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.” Sex strikes are not a new thing in the history of the world (or at least in works of art). Sex strikes are made for viral —and pre-viral—chatter. In 2006, Columbian women organized a sex strike in order to facilitate gang disarmament (it worked). A few years later, in a small Columbian town, women organized a sex strike to get their roads paved (the Mayor’s wife slept in a separate room until they won the fight). In 2003, for example, Nobel prize winner Leymah Gbowee organized a sex strike to end the Liberian civil war and pave the way for that nation’s first women President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Farther back into remote antiquity, in the Greek play Lysistrata, women called for a sex strike to put an end to the Peloponnesian War. That was the first incidence—real or literary—of sex strikes.

Afghanistan: Assassination of Women’s Rights Activist and Journalist Mena Mangal

In Afghanistan women’s rights activist and journalist Mena Mangal was shot dead in public while en route to work in Kabul. The authorities believe that the killer was someone who knew the TV presenter. “This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers,” Afghani human rights lawyer Wazhma Frogh, posted on Twitter. In the lead up to her murder she had posted of her fears on social media. The police are presently investigating the death. Afghanistan is widely considered to be one of the worst places in the world to be a women.

U.N Newest Campaign: Generation Equality, Realizing Women’s Rights For An Equal Future

The U.N. women’s agency last week launched a new campaign ahead of the 25th anniversary of the international platform conference to achieve women’s rights and empowerment. “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future” is meant to address five major issues in gender equality that have not been fully achieved since the seminal Beijing Declaration of 1995, namely: sexual harassment and violence against women and girls, equal pay, eliminating unpaid domestic work, universal healthcare access for women, and equality. “The Generation Equality campaign will bring together the next generations of women’s rights activists—many of whom may not have been born in 1995—with the gender equality advocates and visionaries who were instrumental in creating the Beijing Platform for Action more than two decades ago, to accelerate efforts to make gender equality and women’s rights a lived reality,” is how the press release describes this campaign.

British Academy Television Awards Highlights

At the British Academy Television Awards or the BAFTAs, the top award ceremony for British television, equal pay was a frequent topic of presenters. 86 year old Joan Bakewell won the celebrated  BAFTA Television Fellowship, the highest award for British actors. "It has been a long journey, and along the way I've had the encouragement and professional support of many, many women, making their own bid to [have] as much a chance as men,” she quipped. "And possibly earn as much. That would be nice." Further, "Killing Eve" won the most awards—including best drama series, best supporting actress and best actress.

Pay Gap in Florida: The Worst State For Latina Women

According to the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF), Latina women in Florida experience some of the most intense gender pay inequity in the U.S. “In Florida, women earn 87 cents for each dollar earned by a man, a difference of $5,515 per year,” Sarah Moreno writes for the Seattle Times. “But for a Latina woman in Florida, the picture is more dire. A Hispanic woman earns only 60 cents for each dollar earned by a white non-Hispanic male, a gap of $20,380 per year, on average, in the state.” The reasons for gender pay inequality are many, including racial and gender discrimination, workplace harassment, job segregation and a lack of workplace policies that support family care-giving. If the gender pay inequality were eliminated, Jessica Mason, a senior analyst with the NPWF, told el Nuevo Herald, Latinas in Florida could pay for more than two additional years of child care.

Feminism For The 99%: A Manifesto

How does the class structure of society tie in, if at all, to gender equality? Brendan O'Connor of Splinter makes a fascinating linkage between modern feminism and the class struggle from his reading of a new book out by Verso Press.

Summary:

“Unaffordable housing, poverty wages, inadequate healthcare, border policing, climate change—these are not what you ordinarily hear feminists talking about. But aren’t they the biggest issues for the vast majority of women around the globe?

Taking as its inspiration the new wave of feminist militancy that has erupted globally, this manifesto makes a simple but powerful case: feminism shouldn’t start—or stop—with the drive to have women represented at the top of their professions. It must focus on those at the bottom, and fight for the world they deserve. And that means targeting capitalism. Feminism must be anticapitalist, eco-socialist and antiracist.”

"According to Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, and Nancy Fraser, co-authors of Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto, these struggles are best understood through the theoretical lens of social reproduction, which describes the kind of labor necessary to sustain capitalism over time: preparing workers to go back to their jobs day after day, looking after sick or retired workers, and making new workers (i.e. babies),” he writes. “Such labor, devalued and obscured, is mostly done by women.”