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National Lampoon’s abortion challenge: If you don’t send me $1 million, I’ll kill this fetus

It’s supposed to showcase pro-life hypocrisy–or something:

I am a twenty-six-year-old female and I am currently 7 weeks pregnant. I have every intention of having an abortion, but I’m giving you a chance to stop it.

I’m enrolled in a graduate program in a state that very recently passed extremely restrictive abortion laws that impose unnecessary waiting time to get an abortion and attempt to enforce rules that bypass the doctor/patient privacy privilege. I now feel more comfortable traveling to my home state to get an abortion than I do trying to get one here.

On July 7th I will start accepting donations on this page. I will accept donations for 72 hours, the same amount of time this state currently requires a woman to wait after a consultation with a doctor until she can have an abortion. If one million dollars is raised in those 72 hours then I’ll have the baby, give it up for adoption and every cent of that one million dollars will be put in a trust fund for the child, which he or she will have access to when they turn 21.

I’ll keep none of the money for myself so if I am to be vilified in this process, it can’t be for that. If the one million dollar goal is not met by the end of those 72 hours, any and all donations received will be refunded and I will have an abortion that I have already scheduled for July 10th in my home state. Mathematically this means that every one of the 157 million Americans that identify as pro-life needs to donate less than one cent to stop this abortion.

The backward direction this country is headed in terms of its treatment of women I feel is due in large part to the influence of the religious right disguised as the pro-life movement. The pro-life movement cares very little about saving lives and far more about controlling women by minimizing their choices in a wide variety of ways not the least of which is readily available reproductive health care.

I will do my best to remain anonymous in this process as what I aim to prove has nothing to do with me personally. I hope to give the American public a concrete example that the conservative right in America doesn’t actually care about the life of a child, they care about controlling the lives and choices of women. We have to acknowledge this and we have to stop it.

I wonder what field this chick is in grad school in.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

That’s not funny! Nobel winner’s remarks part of a “joke”–but feminists still out for his head

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Connie St Louis, pictured of City University reported the original comments made by Sir Tim Hunt which led to his resignationSt. Louis: Evidence that she distorted what Hunt said
Well! Witness-evidence has emerged that Tim Hunt, the Nobel-winning U.K. biologist forced to resign from his university job because of some supposedly misogynist remarks he made at a  lunch for female science journalists had been only joking–and that that his remarks were distorted by an academic who was present, Connie St. Louis, who set in motion a Twitter cascade of feminist calls for Hunt’s head. The University College London, the Royal Society, and the European Research Council duly complied, hounding him out of his prestigious positions.
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“This individual, who has not been named, sat with him at the lunch and provided a transcript of what Sir Tim ‘really said’.

“Crucially, it presented a very different take to the one which had been so energetically circulated by Connie St Louis.

“The report began by confirming that Sir Tim had joked about falling in love with women in laboratories and ‘making them cry’.

“However, it said he’d prefaced those comments with an ironic introduction, joking that they would illustrate what a ‘chauvinist monster’ he was.

“The report then revealed the existence of an entire second half of the controversial toast.

“In it, Sir Tim was said to have told his audience that his remark about ‘making them cry’ was, indeed, an ironic joke.

“He purportedly said, ‘now seriously . . .’ before going on to speak enthusiastically about the ‘important role’ women scientists play. He ended by joking that his largely female audience should pursue their trade, ‘despite monsters like me’.

“The report’s author added: ‘I didn’t notice any uncomfortable silence or any awkwardness in the room as reported on social and then mainstream media,’ going on to describe the speech as ‘warm and funny’.”

At this juncture, you’d think that maybe, just maybe UCL, the RS, and the ERC might ask Hunt, who won the Nobel Prize in 2001 for his work on cell division, might reconsider and ask him back–as several distinguished British scientists male and female who came to Hunt’s defense, have pleaded. But nooo, that hasn’t happened.

And the U.K.’s flagship liberal newspaper, the Guardian, thinks that’s a good thing. Because there are some things that just can’t be joked about: The Guardian lectured:

“This bitter mix of resentments amplified by the polarising environment of social media should have met a calmer official response. But the professor still had to go.

“The Hunt camp claims feminists are too humourless to see that it was a joke. But as the provost of UCL, Professor Michael Arthur, pointed out when he indicated last Friday that Professor Hunt would not be reinstated, it was impossible for an institution to tolerate someone to whom they had awarded an honorary post, even a 71-year-old Nobel prize winner, expressing views even in jest that so comprehensively undermined its own reputation as a leading supporter of female scientists….”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Elizabeth Gilbert’s “I’m a Seduction Addict”: Sounds like a fancy way to say, “He never called”

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

A remarried Gilbert: Cured of that “addiction” at last

To my mind the sentences that stuck out most prominently in the Eat, Pray, Love author’s latest Oprahfessional in the New York Times were these:

“Seduction was never a casual sport for me; it was more like a heist, adrenalizing and urgent. I would plan the heist for months, scouting out the target, looking for unguarded entries.”

“Soon enough, and sure enough, I might begin to see that man’s gaze toward me change from indifference, to friendship, to open desire.”

and:

“I might indeed win the man eventually. But over time (and it wouldn’t take long), his unquenchable infatuation for me would fade, as his attention returned to everyday matters.”

Um, Elizabeth, there’s an easier way to accomplish this trajectory. Here it is: Go to a bar an hour before closing time. Another way of phrasing “his unquenchable infatuation for me would fade” is: “I’ll call you.”

And if there’s someone specific you’ve got your heart set on to “win,” here’s another tip for making it easier in 99 percent of the cases: Invite him over (or drive over to his house) and be wearing something scanty and lacy when the door opens. See! You don’t need to “plan for months” after all!

Posted by Charlotte Allen

If feminists got to pick a woman for the $10 bill: Beyonce, Gloria Steinem, and more Beyonce

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Molly Pitcher: Never on any feminist list

But at least people have heard of Beyonce. That’s more than you can say for half the females on the above lists. Let’s look at some of the ridiculous choices, starting with Exposito’s:

1. Shirley Chisholm. The first black woman to win a congressional seat (Democrat). Not too awful a choice–but was that enough to put her on a bill?

2. Inez Mllholland. Who? Oh, she was a suffragette who “handcuffed herself to an incarcerated person while investigating Sing Sing.” I thought  that was Joyce Mitchell at Dannemora.

3. Dolores Huerta. Heads the United Farm Workers Union, which now has all of 6,000 members. Also never worked on a farm, which was one reason that even liberals say caused the near-terminal decline of this highly publicized union: a heavy-handed top management out of touch with its rank-and-file.

4. Harriet Tubman. This famous Underground Railroad leader is the only serious contender on Exposito’s list. Plus, her stern demeanor may discourage would-be spendthrifts from throwing their $10 bills around too freely.

5. Eleanor Roosevelt. Yeah, sure. An ultra-liberal motormouth whom even her husband couldn’t stand to be around.

6. Wilma Mankiller. Name says it all.

7. Alice Paul. Who? Oh, another suffragette.

8. Ida B. Wells. Who?

9. Christine Jorgensen. Oh, c’mon, Suzy! If you’re going to go down that road, why not go all the way and put Caitylyn Jenner on the tenner?

10. Beyonce.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Researchers: Let’s delude women into thinking they’re better at math than they actually are

My latest  blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Math is hard–but the “power of positive illusions” is easy

For years scientists have been trying to figure out some purely cultural explanation for the fact that boys significantly outperform girls when tested for mathematical aptitude–the key to success in STEM. The idea that males and females might actually be biologically different in aptitude is anathema. In fact, you can lose your job as president of Harvard for even suggesting that men’s and women’s brains might be differently structured.

One of the pet theories for explaining why women lag on math tests has been “stereotype threat”–the idea that women are told so often that they can’t add or subtract that they panic and flub their answers. But stereotype threat was blown to bits by researchers at the University of Missouri, who published a paper in 2012 pointing out that the studies that claimed to support stereotype threat contained serious methodological flaws, such as a lack of  male control groups.

But now there’s a new theory. Let’s call it “stereotype thrill.” The idea is that men in reality perform no better in math than women, but thanks to “male overconfidence,” they overrate their mathematical abilities–and thus choose STEM careers. The evidence? Researchers at the University of Washington studied several hundred college students and adults, and found that the males among them consistently overpredicted their scores on a math test, in contrast to the more humble and accurately-predicting women.

So, the new theory goes, let’s encourage young women to be overconfident, too:

“The discrepancy in overconfidence was less pronounced for women who reported positive past experiences with math — highlighting the importance of encouraging young female math students.

“‘Despite assumptions that realism and objectivity are always best in evaluating the self and making decisions, positive illusions about math abilities may be beneficial to women pursuing math courses and careers,’ said [lead researcher] Shane Bench.

“‘Such positive illusions could function to protect women’s self-esteem despite lower-than-desired performance, leading women to continue to pursue courses in science, technology, engineering and maths fields and ultimately improve their skills.'”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

New Republic: Let’s blame the Charleston massacre on “the concept of white women”

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Author Angyal: The unbearable white-woman-ness of being

Leave it to the new New Republic to come up with the weirdest take on the Charleston massacre ever:

“We cannot talk about the violence that Dylann Roof perpetrated at Emanuel AME last Wednesday night without talking about whiteness, and specifically, about white womanhood and its role in racist violence. We have to talk about those things, because Roof himself did. Per a witness account, we know that he said: ‘You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.’ ‘Our’ women, by whom he meant white women….

“There is an important distinction between white women, a people, and the concept of white womanhood—one that holds that a white woman is the best thing you can be in America after a white man, and that it is the responsibility of white men to protect your virtue at any and all costs. This white supremacist and benevolently sexist ideology depends both on the subjugation of white women by white men, and on the subjugation of all people who are not white—by white people (including white women)…..

“We must not ignore the role of white womanhood in this act of white supremacist violence, or in any other. We must not find a way, yet again, of avoiding talking about whiteness. And until white women decide that we will no longer be used as an excuse for violence, until we decide that we will no longer tacitly condone and benefit from the violence, we will continue to have blood on our pale, ‘perfect’ hands.”

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It’s usually fun to watch feminists try to drag feminism and carping about men into everything. Except that sometimes–such aswhen it’s about the pointless slaughter of nine people gathered together in prayer–it strikes me as being in just plain bad taste.
Posted by Charlotte Allen

The Washington Post’s Fathers’ Day message to dads: Shut up and pitch in with the housework

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

CEO Slaughter: My h̶o̶u̶s̶e̶k̶e̶e̶p̶e̶r̶ husband does the chores

So you might be wondering what it takes to be a good dad in Washington Post-land. Here’s what it takes: Doing all the housework so Mom can pursue her career.

That was the gist of the Post’s lead Father’s Day “Outook piece,” titled “Don’t Worry, Working Moms: Just Leave Dad in Charge at Home” by Anne-Marie Slaughter.

High-power-career wives (Slaughter is president and CEO of something called New America) have been trying to get their husbands to do more laundry-folding and lunchbox-packing since God knows when–but the husbands never seem to perform up to snuff. (And of course the stuff that husbands actually do around the house–shoveling the snow and repairing small appliances–never actually counts as “housework”). Slaughter claims to have finally put her finger on the problem. Quit treating your husband like a part-time homemaker and start treating him like a full-time homemaker. Don’t “micromanage” the chores he does. Just tell him he’s “in charge” of all the chores. There!

“For men to take charge, however, women have to be willing to step aside, despite all the cultural expectations that we’ll run the home front no matter what. Andy and I have, after some debate, come to an understanding that if he’s the lead parent, he gets to call the shots about schedules, how things are organized (I can never find anything in our kitchen), the punishments to mete out when the kids break the rules and myriad other parenting decisions. I don’t like it. But he says that if I want to change it, I can stop traveling as much as I do and focus less on running things in my office. Otherwise, he’s not about to be micromanaged.”

“Andy” is Slaughter’s husband, a “distinguished professor of international affairs.” I like the “some debate” part–I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the Slaughter household for that!

But my favorite sentence in Slaughter’s Outlook essay is this one:

“[W]e are fortunate enough to be able to pay for a full-time (and indispensable) housekeeper.”

Uh-huh. That’s one way to get a distinguished professor to get that load of laundry done. Being a CEO is hard.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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