OTI Newsletter – October 22, 2012

OTI Newsletter – October 22, 2012

Malala was the name on our minds over the past two weeks. The Taliban’s shooting of this 15-year-old who spoke out about Pakistani girls’ rights to an education drew outraged responses from the Pakistani people and the rest of the world.
“Without education, what is the meaning of Pakistan?” had become Malala’s motto, and it makes a a fitting title for the thoughtful commentary that social worker and activist Robina Niaz wrote about this remarkable young woman and her cause. “Malala will, I believe, speak out when she recovers.” writes Niaz. We’re grateful to learn that, as of this mailing, all reports indicate that Malala is, indeed, recovering in a UK hospital where she was flown for treatment.

“No, Joe Walsh: Women Do Not Have Nine Lives.”

On the Issues Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Merle Hoffman was quick to respond to the latest bizarre claim to come from a Republican. This time, it was Illinois congressman Joe Walsh, who informed the press that not only is he against abortion without exception — but that abortion is never medically necessary to save a woman’s life.
We understand if you’re speechless. Hoffman, however, had plenty to say. Read her riposte in full here.

From our current issue: Speaking of appalling conservative reactions to women’s basic rights — you might want to take another look at Amanda Marcotte’s “No Dancing: The Right Aims to Take Down Sexual Liberation.” And in considering how to productively counter just such right-wing aims, we recommend Susan Yanow’s “Silos No More: Shaping Alliances for Reproductive Justice.”

The Committee for the Shulamith Firestone Memorial Apartment petitioned Firestone’s landlord to reserve her now vacant East Village apartment for a feminist activist who would pay below the market rate. Unfortunately, what was envisioned as a feminist activist residency, to be awarded to a candidate selected by the committee, is not in line with what Firestone’s former landlord had in mind.

On the Issues was at 335 E. Tenth Street when the group presented the petition to Tower Brokerage. Read our coverage here.

A very different Wuthering Heights is what filmmaker Andrea Arnold has brought to U.S. theaters this fall. The writer-director, known for the single, dominant perspectives of the female characters in her previous films, has adapted the Emily Brontë novel to show us Heathcliff’s point of view. Or is that Catherine’s? As On the Issues’ new associate editor, Alyssa Pelish, notes in her review, “Brontë’s Catherine avows that she is Heathcliff. … Arnold uses her directorial skills to show us what this might feel like.”

What else happened? We also took note of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s impressive smackdown of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for his alleged misogyny and hypocrisy. We snickered at the “Binders full of women” Tumblr, while beginning to give serious thought to the not-so-funny implications of such a phrase (stay tuned). And we were glad to learn of efforts by the Hoshyar Foundation to build a school for girls in Pakistan, in recognition of Malala.


Merle Hoffman's Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto

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“Merle Hoffman has always known that in a democracy, we each have decision-making power over the fate of our own bodies. She is a national hero for us all.” —Gloria Steinem

In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade and a country divided, Merle Hoffman, a pioneer in the pro-choice movement and women’s healthcare, offers an unapologetic and authoritative take on abortion calling it “the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberty.” 

Merle Hoffman has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom movement since the 1970s. Three years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade, she helped to establish one of the United States’ first abortion centers in Flushing, Queens, and later went on to found Choices, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities. For the last five decades, Hoffman has been a steadfast warrior and fierce advocate for every woman’s right to choose when and whether or not to be a mother.