Arguments against Title IX are based on two premises that are, in turn, grounded in cultural tradition: 1) Men and boys are the rightful "owners" of sports, and 2) Males are superior to females in athletic ability.
When a person who has differences related to gender or doesn't fit ability norms is able to compete against the highest level athletes without these differences, accusations of unfairness immediately start to fly.
After a lifetime of working different jobs, jockeying for promotions that resulted only in title changes, winning races and earning titles, and being a writer and author, I understand how much titles matter, and how much Title IX mattered.
I support abortion rights because I want keep my options safe and legal so I can continue running down my biological clock. All potentially child-bearing persons have the right to chart their own life course, at whatever age.
I've been on both sides of the reproductive rights debate – the side that thinks reproduction is not a right or a decision but a God-given duty; and the side that thinks birth control and abortions ought to be available to whoever the hell wants 'em, regardless of age (within reason) or reason (within reason). I've spent my entire adult life on the latter side of the issue.
What's chutzpah? Until December 2011, I would have deferred to the classic definition in Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish: chutzpah is a man who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court as a lonely orphan. But at the end of the year, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced a bill to teach the world the real meaning of chutzpah: the "Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011."
Medical Students for Choice were and are still literally putting their futures and lives on the line by taking on the medical establishment as well as the anti-abortion zealots to bring forward new generations of abortion providers.
What about abortion gives it staying power as the central issue in domestic politics, even in the period of the worst economic situation since the Great Depression of the 1930s? This is a question well worth pursuing.
Although the clinic blockades of the 1980s and early 1990s, called "rescues" by anti-abortion activists, are fewer than they used to be thanks to 1994's Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act [FACE], the ever-present threat of violence remains a fact of life for providers.
Engaging, mobilizing and building alliances on an issue like abortion can be an uphill climb. But as 2012 rolls in, we want to take a few minutes to remind you about why it is important and suggest a few ways you can go about this challenge.
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