Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sexism and *The Second Sex*

We are meeting on Bastille Day, July 14th to discuss the new translation of Simone de Beauvoir's ground shaking The Second Sex at 7pm at Inquiring Minds in Saugerties.

If we are to read this book as one of the GREAT BOOKS, as in actually reading this book as a primary source, and understanding it from our own perpsective, here are some questions to ponder:
If this is your first time reading this, how do yu find the book? Does it resonate with you? Is it dated, if so, how so?
If you read this book in its first translation--do you remember how that made you feel? How does the book strike you now?

If we are to read this book in context of modern life, academics, philosophy and feminism we might find that there have been 2 major reviews that have been negative. I might ask why...and I might answer my own question with--sexism is alive and well.

There have been a few negative reviews--The London Review of Books, for instance. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n03/toril-moi/the-adulteress-wife
Read the letters back and forth,and you will see that the contention is that this volume is not the scholarly annotated one, but just a translation of one of the foundational books of 20th century feminism.
The second negative review was in the NYT
and a critique of Simone herself http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/being-and-frumpiness/

It is my hope that the reviews will not discourage women from reading this translation...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Birth Control Prevents Pregnancy

Birth control prevents pregnancy, and some forms also prevent stds and HIV/Aids transmission. Thus, birth control in all forms is a form of preventative medicine/devices and is eligible to be covered by Health Care reform's preventative services policy that means no costs to the individual.
Unfortunately there is a battle going on over this, and Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS charged with determining the list of preventive services. There is some discussion that Sec. Sebelius will ask the national Institute of Medicine to "study" this question. SAY WHAT????

Write or call
Sec. Sebelius
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775

or on line: www.hhs.gov/ContactUs.html



Friday, June 11, 2010

Equal Pay Day

Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act--the White House issued a press release (see below). In 1963 women on average earned 59 cents to the male dollar. Today, depending on where they live white women earn on average 77 cents to the male dollar, women of color 67 cents if they are black, to 58 cents for Latinas. Today women make up over 50% of the workforce.

While the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act was signed into being, it is still common practice to pay males more as the breadwinner, head of household even though in most families there are 2 incomes, or the women is the head of household. Even in the federal government, according to Carolyn Maloney, women earn 7% less than men.

I say, Mr. President, if you want to be the change do not just issue a press release, issue an executive order and model equal pay for equal work. You are the CEO of the federal system issue, you can do it.