I told my small discussion group I’d post this but I would recommend it to anyone. Its pretty interesting and relatively short


“Racism, Birth-Control, and Reproductive Rights”

“Birth control – individual choice, safe contraceptive method, as well as abortions when necessary – is a fundamental prerequisite for the emancipation of women” (165). It is obvious that reliable birth control would be beneficial for all women, and yet the movement has served to divide women’s groups rather than unite them. When abortions were made legal in the ‘70s it women in the (predominantly white) Women’s Liberation movement did not understand why so few racially oppressed women were participating in the movement.

Different kinds of birth control pills.

When we examine the origination of the movement we see that “birth control” began as racist driven involuntary sterilization of women of color. In 1977, the Hyde Amendment was passed, withdrawing federal funding for abortions but maintaining funding for surgical sterilization. Poor women often had no choice but to become permanently sterile.

The women’s movement for reproductive rights and “voluntary motherhood” was within the movement for women’s political equality. The pursuit of careers outside the home and the use of political equality could not be enjoyed if women were burdened with constant childbirth. The problem with theses motivations for effective birth control is that they are only enjoyed by the middle and upper-class. Poor women could not identify with these goals.

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Rape in the US Military

Women’s Rights Violations Still Pervasive in U.S. Military

AnonymousThe Tennessee Tribune [Nashville, Tenn] 07 Sep 2006: A5.


–This article discusses.. The article also overviews Suzanne Swift’s case. She was sexually assaulted multiple times during her enlistment in the military, both at home and in Iraq. She went AWOL to avoid her deployment back to Iraq for which she was jailed. Her pleas for help were not only ignored, they were punished.

The Mother of All Hooks: The Story of the U.S. Navy’s Tailhook Scandal

D’Amico, FrancineMinerva 2 (Jun 30, 1998): 51.


–The Tailhook scandal occurred during, and following, the Navy’s national Tailhook convention in Las Vegas. Not only were approximately 70 women sexually violated but the offenses were not punished.

The Tailhook Scandal

Minerva’s Bulletin Board 2 (Jun 30, 1992): 5.


–This article gives a timeline of events following the Tailhook scandal.

The Invisible War


–This is a film released in 2012 documenting the epidemic of rape of soldiers in the U.S. military


Some questions this raises for me:

  • How have legal procedures handling rape in the military changed since the Tailhook scandal?
  • Why is sexual assault more prevalent in the military than in the civilian sector? What can be done about this? What about the military facilitates misogyny?
  • The fact that men are protected in these rape cases is very reminiscent of the Steubenville case. What does this say about our rape culture?