Identity Politics

By Vicky Diloné

You are betraying your race.

This statement and others like it have been directed towards me throughout my adult life. I have been called a tool of the patriarchy, an extremist, and yes, someone who hates minorities. Having said that, this post isn’t about me being a victim to hateful comments or discrimination. In fact, it is the opposite.

I am not a victim. I am not oppressed by white supremacy or the patriarchy. My failures or hardships are not the result of nationwide systematic racism. The rise of identity politics seeks to make me a victim, one that can never be saved because of who I am.

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Source: David Klein

Identity politics is defined as “politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group.”

At first glance identity politics doesn’t seem bad, nonetheless people tend to forget the last part of the definition. Claiming to be a part of a specific group does not automatically grant anyone special authority outside of that group. We are all given equal inalienable rights; we should all be seen as human and given fair treatment. If one comes from a different or even problematic culture, they are to be treated with respect.

I’m not saying that fair treatment is always given or that discrimination doesn’t exist. Boxing ourselves into an infinite number of identities and checking our “privilege” does nothing but make us hyper aware of our differences. Continue reading “Identity Politics”

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Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life

By: Madeleine Clow

Pro-choice vs pro-life is a highly controversial social issue that the United States debates over continuously. Abortions have been a part of American legal history since as early as the 1820s. The first law against abortions was instated in 1821, in Connecticut, targeting apothecaries who sold “poisons” to purposely induce a miscarriage. Coming into the 20th century, some states had anti-abortion laws emplaced until the Supreme Court’s decision in the Roe vs Wade trial of 1973. The Supreme Court’s decision decriminalized abortion nationwide.

Later with the 1992 Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Planned Parenthood vs Casey, emplaced the original guidelines of the laws on abortions nationwide. In the 2016 Supreme Court decision in the Whole Woman’s Health vs Hellerstedt case, led us to the abortion laws we have in place today. Each state has their own laws pertaining to abortion in the United States. Most of the common state-level laws regarding abortion are parental consent for minors, mandating counseling meant to persuade women from continuing with the abortion, limitations on public funding, excess regulations on abortion facilities, and a mandated waiting period before the abortion. Continue reading “Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life”

Planned Parenthood

Birth Control Pills
Birth Control Pills

By Beatrice Santiago 

What is Planned Parenthood?

Before we can talk about the resources of Planned Parenthood, I think it is important to understand the history of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood started at a time when sex education and birth control was not permitted in the USA. A woman by the name of Margaret Sanger would soon change all that. She was raised in Corning, New York in 1916. After seeing her mother suffer from seven miscarriages, Margaret Sanger decided to study birth control. She later traveled to Europe where she would learn about not only birth control but sex education. As a huge advocate for Women’s rights, she would soon see restrictions from opponents.

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Margaret Sanger

Her first birth control clinic was shut down by police. (However, the clinic was still able to offer information about birth control.) Margaret Sanger spent 30 days in jail for refusing to pay the fine. This experience led her to travel the country and talk about birth control. Eventually, two organizations named Birth Control Clinical Bureau and American Birth Control League, joined to become Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A 1936 court ruling established that birth control and the information given about it would not be seen as immoral. This was one of many barriers birth control and its education has broken through to reach the public prominence it has today.

What are the resources of Planned Parenthood?

When looking at the website of Planned Parenthood, I found it to have easy to find tabs and info for women or anyone wanting resources. Topics cover: Pregnancy Prevention, to Health and Wellness, Sex and Relationships, and Sexually Transmitted

Infections (STDs). Additionally, there are guides for high school students and information about sex education. All this I believe is vital to not only women but men as well. In Idaho, there are three centers of Planned Parenthood: Boise Health Center, Meridian Health Center, and Twin Falls Health Center. Therefore, if you wanted to go to one in Idaho from Moscow, it would be about a six-hour drive. That is a long distance. Luckily, there is one across the border in Pullman, Washington.

Continue reading “Planned Parenthood”

UPDATE: Zika Virus is Still Spreading

By Shanda Glover

This past February, I wrote a post on the rising Zika virus epidemic and how quickly it was spreading to different countries. At the time of the first article, the Zika virus had only spread to U.S states closest to the Mexican border specifically Texas and Arizona. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been at least one case reported of Zika in all but seven states. However, all these cases have been traveled associated cases, meaning they were infected by the virus outside the United States.

The Zika virus is dangerous because studies show that it raises the probability that a pregnant woman may give birth to a child with severe microcephaly. Many women both in the United States and South America have chosen to have an abortion knowing that their child may be affected by the Zika virus. According to the Washington Post, the CDC received, between August 2015 to February, more than 257 requests from pregnant women wanting to be tested for Zika. Thankfully, of those, 97 percent tested negative for the virus.

However, since February, there has been two abortions, two miscarriages, and one child born with microcephaly reported in the United States, all caused by Zika.

The abortion debate still continues in South America. Most South American countries have strict laws prohibiting abortion, and access to birth control is often restricted.  Countries including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, and the Dominican Republic outlaw abortions even when a woman’s life is at risk. And that has yet to change even with the presence of the Zika epidemic.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the rising occurrence of the virus has encouraged many women to demand that these countries’ extreme abortions laws make exceptions in cases of microcephaly. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has called out for “laws and policies that restrict access to sexual and reproductive health services” to be abolished in light of Zika.

Still nothing has changed.

For those who live in Idaho, you can sleep well knowing that Idaho has not reported any cases of Zika, but you should still be careful.

Zika is still present in South America and is rising in the United States.  With 450 people affected in the United States, Zika is not something that we should ignore, especially since there is no vaccine to prevent it.

Zika Virus Epidemic: From Mosquito Bite to an STD

By Shanda Glover

A mosquito on a finger.
Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. They live indoors and outdoors near people.

Last week, health officials from Dallas County, Texas, announced a confirmed case of the Zika virus, a disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. This case involves a patient who had traveled from Venezuela to the United States and later passed on the virus to his wife.  The Center of Disease Control (CDC) confirmed this is the first known case of the virus being acquired in the continental United States. It is also the first confirmed case through sexual transmission.

Currently, there is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika infections. The CDC states that getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water, and taking acetaminophen to relieve pain can help those who are infected. Common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and intense headaches. These symptoms are usually mild lasting up to a week. About 80 percent of people infected with the Zika virus don’t show symptoms at all.  Usually people don’t get sick and rarely die. However, an increasing number of children born to mothers experiencing Zika symptoms have had birth defects. Research on the virus has been extremely limited. With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Zika a public health emergency, attention on Zika science and research funding have increased, and better diagnostics tests have been created to detect the virus. Continue reading “Zika Virus Epidemic: From Mosquito Bite to an STD”

An Open Letter to a Florida Anti-abortion Activist

By Stephanie Sampson

at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA.
At the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA.

A Florida State Subcommittee heard a testimony from an anti-abortion activist last week that made many Americans cringe. The activist insisted that “white culture” is being destroyed because white women are “outside the home, not having babies.”  The activist was expressing his support for HB 865 which would make abortion completely illegal in Florida except when pregnancy threatens a woman’s life or if two physicians certify in writing that the pregnancy interferes with the treatment of an already life threatening disease

I am here today to address this activist’s testimony. Here is how I feel about your so-called testimony:

Continue reading “An Open Letter to a Florida Anti-abortion Activist”

Debunking Antifeminism

All this talk about feminism gaining popularity, empowering women all across the globe, the advocacy of equality…it sounds great, right? Well, unsurprisingly enough, there are always the select few who don’t jump on board. The notion of antifeminism is becoming more prevalent than I would have ever thought possible. It is paradoxical for a woman to be antifeminist. It is voting Republican when you are for women’s rights, it is a person of color in the Ku Klux Klan, and it is a woman saying she does not value herself enough to fight for equality. As a feminist, I feel obligated to debunk some of the more popular ideas circulating about antifeminism. Continue reading “Debunking Antifeminism”