Friday, June 5, 2009

Why being a feminist is worth it

To my fellow feminist Princetonians:

Although I have just recently left your ranks (oh, Princeton, how I’ll miss you), I want to emphasize the worthiness of your cause. I was running last-minute errands on Tuesday afternoon before bidding farewell to our beloved campus—never to return as an undergraduate—and my boyfriend was keeping me company, just because. As we walked toward Firestone to collect a few leftover materials from my carrel, he turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you got highest honors and a thesis prize. I am so lucky to be dating such a smart woman.”

I don’t know about you, but for me this moment was an absolute epiphany. THEY EXIST! These men who value women for their intelligence, personality, and strength are not a dream, but a reality. And they exist because we encourage the rightness of their beliefs and choices with our actions and words. Feminists, hold your heads high. We are making a difference on Princeton’s campus—and we have just barely begun.

To all Equal Writers: have a healthy, happy, and productive summer. To underclassmen: make the most of your remaining time at Princeton. To seniors: now we must carry this mantle out into the wider world, and I can think of no worthier men and women than you. Best of luck.

An anonymous senior

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer love from Sarah Haskins

Every woman wants to be a heroine, rescued by a man bringing...deodorant?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Abortion doctor shot in Kansas

by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

One of the only doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions was shot dead yesterday in the foyer of his church, as he handed out the weekly bulletin. George Tiller was one of the central figures in the debate around abortion; his clinic was bombed and in 1993, an anti-choice activist shot him in both arms. Dr. Tiller was literally one of the only doctors in the country who would perform third-trimester abortions, and his death means that there are even fewer options for women who seek late-term abortions. Scott Roeder may be charged with his murder later today. Roeder, according to the NYT, was a subscriber and occasional contributor to a newsletter, Prayer and Action News, run by Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist who horrifyingly claimed that to call Tiller's shooting a crime would be "simplistic." Leach added, "There is Christian scripture that would support this."

To their credit, anti-choice organizations have also expressed outrage at Tiller's death, saying that they always sought "nonviolent" ways to end Tiller's pro-choice activism. But let's be honest here - their rhetoric does nothing to discourage people like Roeder, who believe that they are ethically ordained to commit murder in the name of anti-choice activism. And pro-choice activists were understandably devastated by the violent death of a man who was courageous enough to continue his work, despite many threats to his life. President Obama issued a statement, saying, "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence." But this killing is likely to make abortion providers feel even more threatened by their choice to provide a basic reproductive service to women.

Many pro-choice activists are conflicted about abortion, and are totally committed to making abortion as rare as possible. But until we can provide contraceptives, education, and reduce stigma about discussing sexuality openly, abortion is going to need to remain a viable choice for women - and they should be able to access it without fear. Doctors, too, should be able to provide the service without thinking about their own security. Many people are identifying Dr. Tiller's death as a terrorist act - and they're right. If people who work in reproductive clinics are afraid to do their jobs - afraid that they'll be murdered outside their workplaces, in their churches or homes, then this is terrorism.

I really don't have words.