Monday, June 24, 2013


Where we’re making progress:

There are now 20 EVE in the U.S. Senate! That’s an all-time high, but still only 1/5 of the members of this powerful legislative body. Then again, EVE can often have positive effects beyond their numbers.

* Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Maryland, is the first non-male to lead the Senate Appropriations Committee, which dispenses billions of dollars annually,
* Senator Patty Murray, D-Washington, is the first chairwoman of the Budget Committee,
* Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, presides over the agriculture committee and led the fight on critical farm legislation, and
* Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California Democrat, Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, shepherded the highway bill.

These EVE Senators bring many things to this powerful body: different life experiences, new social perspectives, more practical priorities, and an ability to look for solutions rather than continue the partisan chest thumping. And they’re already showing how things can get done when it’s not about winning or being powerful no matter who suffers:

1. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-New York, and Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, led the repeal in the Senate of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2010, allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military,
2. All four of the EVE Senate Republicans split with their party and voted with Senate Democrats to reauthorize the Violence against Women Act, which had lapsed during the last Congress.

A wide array of scholarship supports the view that “while men may choose to obstruct and delay, women continue to strive to build coalitions and bring about new policies.” And even male senators say EVE’s potential to change the tenor of the Senate and push for compromise is extremely important. Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, put it this way, “I don’t want to generalize, because this isn’t true of all of them, but they tend to be interested in finding common ground. So I think it’s going to have, and is having, a positive impact on the Senate.”

More EVE = more production & less corruption!

Where we’re losing ground:

Is this the Wild West or 21st century America? It can be hard to tell in Texas.

In early June, a jury used a preposterous interpretation of a Texas law to exonerate a man who shot and killed a woman who had refused to have sex with him. He was in no danger at all when he murdered her, but he will serve NO TIME AT ALL!

Ezekiel Gilbert shot and killed a Craigslist escort when she left without having sex with him. His lawyer argued that since he had paid her $150 for the evening, he was justified under Texas law in shooting her because state law allows people “to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft."

This attitude and this judgment sets a very dangerous precedent. EVE are not property and should NEVER be required to have sex if they don't want to. You can argue about the $150, but you can’t just kill her!!!!!!! EVER.

It’s horrifying that we’re still having to clarify, define, and defend the fact that EVE’s control of their bodies is absolute and consent is always theirs to give, regardless of the circumstances.

Thanks to the UltraViolet team @

Monday, June 10, 2013


I’ll bet you didn’t think that working hard at your job was destroying society, ruining marriage, and hurting children did you.

Well, if you’re body parts are “innies” and not “outies,” that’s just what FOX News has accused you of. And evidently Lou Dobbs and his fellow FOX commentators have a source of wisdom that most of us living in the real world don’t. Because they say that all the scientific studies about women who hold jobs outside the home aren’t right.

Once again, you have a complex subject involving many types of social and economic pressures reduced to the age-old blame game – it’s women’s fault. Whether it’s the changing face of the average family, the shift in household earnings, the exodus of manufacturing jobs from America, or (I guess) the melting of the polar ice caps – it’s women’s fault.

It can’t be growing out of the fact that ALL workers in America, regardless of their sex, can’t survive on what they’re paid even for full time work. And it couldn’t be tied to the fact that there is still NO child care system in this country that offers women a safe, affordable, high quality environment for their children if they must or choose to work at a job. And it must have nothing to do with the fact that the types of jobs that are growing – service, technological, flexible – are many times done just as well by women if not better.

Changing social institutions and norms will always create uncertainty, but couldn’t we work together to make the evolving institutions and norms more positive and productive? Just once, rather than saying, “In my grandfather’s day women didn’t ………..” couldn’t we react to women having more influence and more options as a positive thing and create a society that helps ALL workers and ALL children?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Now that’s clout! There are few life experiences that determine EVE’s lives more than child bearing. So a policy decision by Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will literally save millions of EVE’s lives over the next decade and completely change the futures of millions more. Simply put, she has made family planning and access to contraceptives her new priority for the foundation’s worldwide advocacy work.

Beginning at the Family Planning Summit in London in July, 2012, public and private leaders began a campaign to allow 120 million more women access to birth control by 2020. And the Gates Foundation has made a $1.1 billion commitment to family planning over the next seven years. Ms. Gates stated, “Access to contraceptives is high on the world’s list of priorities again. But it’s more than that. … We have been working on a new approach that gives women what they really want: voluntary access to high-quality education, health services, and contraceptives. When defined broadly in this way, family planning can be what it should be: a strong link on a chain of good health for women and their children.”

Being able to plan for children and afford to feed, clothe, and educate them is the dream of millions of EVE in developing nations where the birth rate can still be as high as 7.2 children per woman. But authoritarian policies like forced sterilizations in India in the ‘70s and China’s state-mandated one-child gave family planning a bad name. And religious opposition in the U.S. to EVE’s use of contraceptives has drowned out their voices in recent years.

But this is a new campaign driven by a bottom-up demand from EVE themselves. As Melinda Gates traveled the world for other Foundation initiatives, she heard the same desperate pleas from EVE like Sadi, a mother of five in Niger, Africa. Sadi told Gates, “Don’t you see that we’re struggling here? I can’t feed these children. How can I possibly have another one?” Sadi has “only” five children because she does have some access to contraceptives, but it can be difficult to access and undependable. And that’s part of what Melinda Gates hopes to remedy.

This new focus on family planning is a natural fit with the foundation’s belief in, and commitment to, “the boundless dignity of all people” because family planning goes hand in hand with women’s empowerment. “We really have to ground this in women’s rights and human rights,” Gates told The Daily Beast. 1

When EVE can plan and space births we will live in a different global society. It’s as simple as that.

1 - May 29, 2013 – by Katie Baker @