Thursday, August 30, 2007

Abortion a Human Right

In case you missed this, Amnesty International met and has changed its neutral position on abortion, now condoning it in cases of rape or incest. The organization has worked in many areas, like Darfur, where rape has been used as a weapon of war against women, so it would naturally follow. It's really time that abortion is seen as a human right, and acknowledged that way. For Amnesty International to take this stance in some ways is way behind the curve, but better late than not at all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Women's Suffrage Rocks

Sunday marked the 87th anniversary of women's right to vote in the U.S. So, in honor of 87 years of telling it to the man with the ballot box, I've added a very cool voter registration tool to my blog. Because now that women have the right to vote, we have to rock the vote, which is exactly what Rock the Vote intends for us to do: single women, especially, haven't been voting in recent elections, and just think of all the things those women miss out on having a say on: after all, do you really want some old, white men telling you that abortion is illegal? I thought not. So check out this cool tool (powered by Working Assets), and pass along the word to everyone you know how easy it is to register. Point. Click. Print and mail. That's it. That's what women in 1920 were fighting for, so let's not let it go to waste.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

NPR Flips for B-Side

This is totally great news for a radio show run on practically nothing but a whole lotta love: B-Side is now featured on the alt.npr podcast. Check us out and give a listen as we debut today on the NPR site. Stick with us, we're heading for great things.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Not Your Mother's Bionic Woman

Yes, in this scenario, I am the mom. Or would be, if I were a mom. This was the promo before The Simpsons Movie to get the youth intrigued with Bionic Woman redux. Same bionic woman, new generation. You remember The Bionic Woman, don't you? From the 70s, super-cheesy show about a woman, Jamie Sommers, reconstructed from a nice-girl tennis pro to a bad-ass crime fighter?

She was born of her times. A product of the women's movement and the success of Billie Jean King (let's just say not your father's tennis pro: she is one of the best tennis players ever, and the woman who defeated Bobby Riggs in 1973 in the "Battle of the Sexes match").

Well, NBC doesn't want you watching. They want the kids who weren't born when the first one came out. And those kids don't think technology is weird, it's just part of life.

So I guess I'm wondering (and maybe this is my old-school, feminist voice speaking here): what exactly was wrong with the original series? One thing's for sure, without the women's movement, Billie Jean and the original The Bionic Woman, there would be no Bionic Woman. Without "your mother's Bionic Woman," it would have just been, well, The Six Million Dollar Man.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cancer Doc, Not Show

If there was a Chick Lit novel about a cutie with cancer, it would probably sound a lot like the ad promos around Crazy Sexy Cancer, a documentary -- not a reality show -- airing on TLC on Wednesday, August 29. I'm glad it's not a reality show -- who lives? who dies? who gets sick from chemo? Tune in! But I'm still wary of trying to promote cancer as something cute and sexy. Maybe this is how TLC likes to roll, and is not the fault of the doc. Well, that's what I thought until I checked out the Web site.

You can check it out to see what I mean.

What is the equivalent for other terminal diseases: Fun! Adorable! AIDS!

Maybe this is the way to tap into a young audience choosing to watch a show on cancer or What Not to Wear. And hey, we all have to fight the good cancer fight in the way we know how. But I am already so turned off by the promos of this by TLC I don't hold up too much hope for the doc itself.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Crazy, Sexy, Cancer

That's the name of a new reality show about some hotties with the diagnosis downer. I'm not kidding. I haven't watched it and don't know if I could possibly manage to (we already have bridezilla, nanny 911 and my sweet sixteen. What's next after this, my very special funeral? Watch this space, because after Six Feet Under, could it be far behind?)

In the New York Times "Modern Love" column today, is a piece about two exes who have survived their breakup and cancer. Cancer as competition. Cancer as romancer. Please.

When my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer back in 2002, it made me painfully aware that just by being young does not mean you're free from the disease of the old. But now between the disease of tell-all TV and the new normal of young, healthy people coming out with cancer (Lance Armstrong, anyone?) the disease is no longer relegated to the back closet and the wig shelf -- it's front and center, part of life.

While I have realized that cancer is truly commonplace these days (I've actually discussed the merits of chemo treatments with friends that would have previously been talking spa treatments), I can't accept ogling people struggling to survive. Whether they come across as noble, selfish or just plain boring, it's a cheap trick that makes entertainment out the very heavy toll of this disease.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Outrageous Abortion

Where does Judith Warner get off writing in The New York Times about late-term abortion like she knows something about it. Her graphic description in her op-ed today of dilation and extraction procedure, banned by the Supreme Court, was unnecessary and completely misses the point. Yes, abortions are gross. I mean, to hear tell, so is childbirth. And, come to think of it, most medical procedures, if described, are probably pretty damn disgusting, fetus or no fetus.

But neither the men on the Supreme Court who voted in an egregious way, nor pictures of aborted fetuses or any of Warner's rhetoric changes the fact that nobody, and especially not the government, should be dictating a woman's private medical decision.

Now, if we start having Supreme Court cases on vasectomies (after all, that's ending lots of potential life, is it not?) or whether some old geezer should get an RX for Viagra, then maybe the old guys on the Supreme Court would have a different point of view. But since women are still the only ones saddled with pregnancy, it is they who have to live with their decisions. Not Judith Warner, who is affronted with the Obstetrics and Gynecology trade journal that treats the Supreme Court decision with a "mocking tone." Well, how's this for an affront: a doctor who is criminalized for a medical procedure done in 1/2 of one percent of all abortion cases? A woman who must deal with an abortion of a wanted pregnancy due to a horrible birth defect, or forgo a procedure necessary for her health because a bunch of old guys said they didn't like it, it's gross. That's not gross. That's life.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Manny Diaries

Look, if a woman can be president, a man can be a nanny, or, to put in in man terms, a manny. Apparently, the manny is the new nanny. And he's so very cool. At least, that's how the San Francisco Chronicle's lead story in Sunday's Style section made it look. Young bucks who want to make a buck who are good with kids. They're like one-on-one camp counselors. They play with your kids! They change diapers! They're like nannies, but funner.

Lucky for them, sounds like these moms don't expect their mannies to take out the garbage or cook or any of the other add-ons that other nannies might be saddled with. The trend was busted wide open with two works of fiction, The Manny, by Holly Peterson, and Plum Sykes' book ( of Bergdorf Blondes) The Debutante Divorcee. I have not read them and don't plan to (alas, no beach time this summer for me). But to read the descriptions of the novels, and Plum Sykes' breathless description of her real-life manny in Vogue (I was getting my hair done!) these mannies are nothing more than man-meat for their employers, a boy-toy who also babysits. At least, that's the fantasy.

And while we're on fantasy, The Nanny Diaries -- the movie of the book -- starring Scarlett Johanson is set to come out at the end of the summer. Never has being a nanny looked so good, even if the job was a nightmare as a semi-slave to a junior leaguer with nothing to do but get her hair done and order people around (I did read that one). Of course, the real open secret of nannies is that they're not just working in tony duplexes on the Upper East Side, but in one bedroom walk-ups in Park Slope and Prospect Heights. The truth is, having a nanny doesn't exactly set you apart these days (unless of course, one parent doesn't work and still has help.)

If mannies come in and help masculinize the business of watching babies, so be it. Maybe they'll take out the trash, too. Now there's a fantasy.