In my view, feminism is one of those areas where active participation is required for identification. It’d be like calling yourself an astronaut because you’ve always wanted to go into space, but have never been. I guess that pro-feminist would be the category you would fall into, as I assume I did before I started reading, writing, educating and marching.
Some people do say, however, that men can never be feminists as a man can never know what it’s like to be a woman. This all depends on your belief in a binary gender system and preset gender roles, which, with the existence of pansgenderism, appears an outdated view and the opposite of what feminism should be fighting for. I, personally, consider myself to be somewhat androgynous and identify with women more than men and have also experienced many situations that feminists fight against (verbal abuse for my femininity, physical abuse for my femininity, sexual assault) so I don’t think that this view really holds much water any more.
It is worth pointing out that there is an issue with men (and women, as I’ve experienced) identifying as feminists as more of a fashion statement to impress other people. Missapropriation of the term by “gender privileged” males is a serious issue as they can espouse theories or act in a way that can damage the work being done by proper feminists. However, if you do actively participate in feminism you should definitely identify yourself as such as it will help to de-construct negative gender roles further and show that the movement is for the benefit of everyone, not just women.
Republicans pulled controversial “forcible rape” language from a pending bill, but they’re trying a backdoor maneuver to ensure the legislation achieves the same effect.
They’re doing it again: After jettisoning controversial legislative language narrowing the definition of rape for the purposes of abortion law, House Republicans are attempting a backdoor maneuver to ensure that solely victims of “forcible rape” are eligible for federal funding if they seek abortions.
By removing the forcible rape language from the bill but then using the committee report to claim that the bill would not allow Medicaid funding for abortions in cases of statutory rape, Republicans seem to be trying to “have their cake and eat it too,” says Karl Manheim, a constitutional law professor at Loyola University Law School who has also worked as a congressional staffer. “This is very typical,” he says. ”This will be a big battle if [the bill] passes. It will be challenged for its exclusion or inclusion of statutory rape.”
Republicans argue that they’re not changing anything. They say that an existing law, the Hyde Amendment, already prevents Medicaid from paying for abortions in cases of statutory rape. They even claim as much in the committee report. But that’s just not true, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which works with state agencies to administer Medicaid. “There is no such distinction in Hyde,” a CMS spokeswoman told Mother Jones after consulting the office of the agency’s general counsel. “It is not current law. Hyde does not make a distinction between statutory rape and any other kind of rape and states are not free to make such distinctions.” [Read more from CMS here.]
The Hyde Amendment, which was first passed in 1976, forbids the use of federal funding to pay for abortions via Medicaid or other health services. Originally, Hyde only allowed such funding to save the life of a pregnant woman, but in 1993, abortion rights supporters forced through two additional exceptions that allow Medicaid to fund abortions in cases of rape or incest. Those rape and incest exceptions have stood ever since.
Republicans offer no evidence—not even a footnote—for the committee report’s claim that Hyde distinguishes between statutory and “forcible” rapes. And no such evidence seems to exist. Congressional Quarterly’s summary of the legislative history of the current version of the Hyde Amendment contains no mention of statutory rape. If lawmakers at the time had intended for statutory rapes to be ineligible for Medicaid funding, they don’t seem to have said anything about it.
A Texas high school cheerleader who was kicked off the squad for refusing to chant the name of a basketball player - the same athlete she said had raped her four months earlier - lost a U.S. Supreme Court appeal Monday.
A federal appeals court ruled in September that the cheerleader was speaking for the school, not herself, and had no right to remain silent when called on to cheer the athlete by name.
The Supreme Court denied review of the case Monday without comment.
The girl, identified by her initials H.S., was 16 when she said she was raped at a party in her southeast Texas hometown of Silsbee in October 2008. She identified the assailant as Rakheem Bolton, a star on the Silsbee High School football team.
Bolton ultimately pleaded guilty in September 2010 to a misdemeanor assault charge and received a suspended sentence.
At a February 2009 basketball game in Huntsville, Texas, H.S. joined in leading cheers for the Silsbee team, which included Bolton. But when Bolton went to the foul line to shoot a free throw, H.S. folded her arms and was silent.
H.S. said the district superintendent, his assistant and the school principal told her she had to cheer for Bolton or go home. She refused and was dismissed from the squad.
H.S., joined by her parents, sued school officials and the district. They claimed the school had punished her for exercising her right of free expression.
An appeals court in New Orleans ruled against her, saying a cheerleader acts as a “mouthpiece” for the school.
Federal courts have also ordered H.S. and her parents to reimburse the district more than $45,000 for the costs of defending against a frivolous suit.
The family’s lawyer, Laurence Watts, said the ruling means students who try to exercise their right of free speech can be punished for refusing to follow “insensitive and unreasonable directions.”