April 14, 2009
Tuesday Blast returns on May 5
The Tuesday Blast will be switching temporarily to a monthly format—each First Tuesday—starting in May. Behind the scenes Chicago Foundation for Women is fine-tuning our online communications, part of our strategic planning. You will continue to hear from us about urgent action alerts and upcoming events, including our Race for a Safe State 5K on May 1.
Despite regulatory and legislative victories, barriers remain to accessing emergency contraception here in Illinois and in the armed services. The Springfield Journal-Register reports that two Illinois pharmacists are refusing to dispense Plan B, despite an administrative rule passed in 2005 requiring just that. The two men's lawsuit says the law violates their right of conscience, and a judge granted a temporary injunction allowing the pharmacists to continue their refusal to stock the drug at their five pharmacies as their case continues. Chicago NOW urges a boycott of a plantiff's Chicago-area pharmacy, Kosirog Rexall Pharmacy at 1000 N. Western Ave. The Illinois rule says that pharmacies that carry other forms of prescription contraception must provide emergency contraception to patients who request it, and these pharmacies must order Plan B for a patient if it is not in stock. Individual pharmacists may refuse to dispense the drug as long as the pharmacy itself will still do so. In related news, RH Reality Check reports that the U.S. military refuses to require its pharmacies to stock Plan B. This affects 200,000 servicewomen, as well as all the women who live on military bases.
With competition for jobs increasing as the economy wanes, Title IX enforcement must be a priority—because it is about more than athletics. Theresa Moore's Women’s eNews commentary points out that since Title IX's passage in 1972, women have become Rhodes Scholars, scholarship winners and leaders at previously male-dominated schools and companies. Moore is president of T-Time Productions which made the documentary "License to Thrive: Title IX at 35." Watch a preview on YouTube.
Julie Nakagawa was one of five Asian American women honored for their leadership in the creative arts at our Asian American Leadership Council's Breaking Barriers event on April 8. Nakagawa's daughter, Stefanie, introduced her mother and moved the crowd with her sincerity and strength (pictured at right). Nakagawa said she is proud that she and the other honorees can break down barriers for her daughter and all young women. Emceed by "Scrubs" star Sonal Shah, the event celebrated five artistic women in Chicago's Asian American community: Cheryl Hamada (stage and screen actress), Mary Anne Mohanraj (writer and literary activist), Julie Nakagawa (dancer and creative director), Yoko Noge (band leader/singer/pianist) and Nancy Tom (academic and philanthropist). Proceeds benefit the Asian American Leadership Council's Silk Fund, supporting Chicago-area programs for women and girls of Asian descent. Pictured at left: Alumnae Council member Juju Lien, honoree Nancy Tom, board chair-elect Gail Ludewig and board chair Mae Hong.
Colleges choose to screen pornography; advocates respond
Campuses across the U.S. are showing a XXX hardcore pornographic film after its filmmaker, Digital Playground, offered it at no cost. Students and professors in favor of the screening said objectors to the film were violating their right to freedom of speech. In response, the Media Education Foundation is offering its documentary on the porn industry, "Price of Pleasure," free to campuses showing this or other porn industry films. As the documentarians say in a press release, "the cure for bad speech is more speech." Robert Jensen, author of "Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity," spoke to the Tuesday Blast. "Why discuss the First Amendment in such impoverished terms?" he said. "Instead of asking important questions about what a relentlessly sexist and routinely racist pornography genre says about our culture, conservatives try to assert control and liberals try to assert independence. Complex questions about contemporary pornography are too often derailed by a debate that never gets past First Amendment arguments," he added.
Through our advocacy coalitions and our grants, Chicago Foundation for Women supports campaigns and projects that explore how pornography and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation impact women, as well as how public policy can help end demand for the sex trade. Here are five ways you can respond now:
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In the spotlight
APRIL 16 (Thurs.): Spring Into Giving fundraiser (for the Young Women's Leadership
Council), 6-9 p.m.
NEW APRIL 17 (Fri.): Midwest Girls Collaborative Project Kick-Off Conference
(cosponsorship), 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
APRIL 23 (Thurs.): Grantees: Executive Director Roundtable on issues facing
domestic violence providers and advocates, 12-1:30 p.m.
APRIL 23 (Thurs.): April Artifacts fundraiser (for the African American Leadership Council),
MAY 1 (Fri.): Race for a Safe State: A 5K Run, Walk and Roll in Grant Park, 6:30 p.m. start
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