Donate for an Actual Cure

From Feministe:

By Caperton
on 10.24.2012

It’s October, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the U.S. is awash in a sea of bubblegum pink. The most recognizable, of course, is that of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and their ubiquitous pink ribbon, pink t-shirts, and potentially carcinogenic co-branded pink products.

In recent years, and particularly in light of their defunding and subsequent re-funding of Planned Parenthood earlier this year, Komen has come under increased scrutiny for their fundraising and fund-distributing efforts. Despite fighting to trademark the phrase “for the cure” and declaring a goal of “ending breast cancer forever,” in 2011 SGK devoted less than a quarter of their funds to research and 7 percent to treatment. Administrative and fundraising costs accounted for 17 percent.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help “end breast cancer forever”–catch it early, treat it effectively, and discover and eliminate the reasons it occurs in the first place–without going through SGK. The simplest way is just to go straight to the source.

Breast cancer screening

The National Breast Cancer Foundation. The NBCF’s National Mammography Program has established partnerships with health facilities in 49 states to offer free mammograms and patient navigation. A $100 donation will fund one free mammogram. Donate to the NBCF (and check them out on Charity Navigator)

Planned Parenthood. Public response to Komen’s defunding of Planned Parenthood was outrageous, with more than $3 million in donations coming in within days of the announcement. Planned Parenthood has directed those funds into their Breast Health Initiative, which will allow PP providers to give referrals and grants for followup care for women who can’t afford it. Donate to Planned Parenthood (and check them out on Charity Navigator)

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“You Don’t Own Me” PSA

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NCTE’s Voting While Trans Campaign Fights Voter Suppression

From The Edge:

by Holly  Grigg-Spall
EDGE Contributor
Thursday Oct 25, 2012

The National Center for Transgender Equality has launched Voting While Trans, an awareness campaign that will prove vital in the coming weeks. The program aims to educate transgender people and poll workers on the potential for misunderstandings, confusion and discrimination at the voting booths in November. It also helps to counter voter suppression tactics directed at presumed Democratic demographics, which have the potential to impact the trans community’s right to vote.

“We want to flag the possible issues for those in danger states. A driver’s license still states your sex, despite the photograph, so if this is made a requirement for voting it could cause a problem if it hasn’t been changed to reflect the current information. Or you might have changed your name and sex on everything but the voter registration records,” explains Mara Keisling, executive director of the NCTE. “Some states won’t let you change your name unless you’ve had what they call ’sex change surgery,’ which is hard to define and restrictive. According to the UCLA William’s Institute, 25,000 transpeople could potentially be disenfranchised. A transperson could be accused by a poll worker of trying to fool them, or they could face harassment, even violence. You shouldn’t have to come out as trans to a poll worker.”

The campaign has produced a number of public service announcements with prominent trans activists to publicize this information and get the message out to those who need to hear it most.

Only one-fifth of transgender people who have transitioned, according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, have been able to update all of their IDs and records with their new gender, and one-third had updated none of their IDs or records. At the time of the survey, only 59 percent had been able to update their gender on their driver’s license or state ID. In states considering voter ID laws or that already have them in place, 40 percent of the transgender population does not have an updated driver’s license and 29 percent have no identification that lists their current gender.

Keisling hopes the campaign will remind those who have never had issues voting previously that this could be the year that they do. With organizations like True the Vote training “poll watchers” to catch those committing voter fraud (despite lack of evidence that voter fraud exists as a significant problem), anyone at risk of being denied their right to vote must be vigilant.

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Why LGB People Should Care about Trans Bias in the Military

From Bilerico:

By  Tom Carpenter
October 24, 2012

I recently blogged about the unfinished mission after repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”law (DADT). Most of the blog dealt with well known issues related to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), family benefits, and instituting a non-discrimination policy to prevent hostile workplace issues. I also brought up transgender service – which has been allowed in the United Kingdom even before they were forced to permit lesbian, gay and bisexuals to serve – as one of the remaining challenges. One of my readers, Sharon W, vehemently disagreed with my support of the transgender community, and the opportunity to be in the armed forces.

Sharon W wrote:

If the “LGBT” ideologues had had their way, our side would have had to insist upon the right of cross-dressers to serve openly before any repeal could happen. Thus, there would have been no DADT repeal, just as there has been no ENDA and will be no ENDA any time in the near future.

The issues raised by “transgender” military service are wholly distinct from those raised by LGB service. Many transgenders suffer from a recognized mental illness, GID. Others have or are in the process of altering their bodies surgically and/or via hormone therapy. This raises real issues concerning fitness for service, at least in some cases. None of this has anything to do with gay servicemen and servicewomen, and it is entirely right that this issue was kept out of DADT repeal, even if it hurt Mr. Carpenter’s feelings.

It is unfortunate that there continues to be an unthinking assertion that gays and lesbians form one “people” with transgenders. In fact, LGBT is a recent contrivance. “Transgender” is an umbrella term (which is rejected by some of its would-be members) which encompasses various subgroups; the vast majority of the members of these subgroups are not gay. LGBs should be friends to trans people, but it makes absolutely no sense to continue to insist on using terms like “LGBT people” when there is no such thing.

When I read Sharon’s comments, I felt a lot of things. I was surprised there is still a great deal of misunderstanding about what transgender and gender dysphoria means. There was disappointment that some in the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) community would so casually turn their backs on people who are on the same side as us on every major issue: the end of DADT, marriage equality, the end of DOMA, passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), and every form of legal protection for LGB people. The implication that trans people are ballast that should be chucked overboard at the earliest opportunity disturbed me greatly.

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Meryl Streep Draws The Line

France Free Abortion Bill: Lawmakers Vote To Fully Reimburse Procedure

From Huffington Post:


PARIS — The lower house of the French parliament has voted to fully reimburse all abortions and to make contraception free for minors.

Currently, France’s national medical insurance fully pays for abortions for minors and the poor, while other women are reimbursed for up to 80 percent of the procedure’s cost, which can be as much as (EURO)450 ($580). Contraception is partially reimbursed.

The bill, which passed the National Assembly on Friday, would make all abortions free and would also pay for contraception for those between 15 and 18. It now goes to the Senate, where it is likely to pass.

Some groups, however, complain that price is only one impediment to abortion access. They say too few doctors offer the procedure and there needs to be more information about who does.

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The theology (Superstition) behind Mourdock’s ‘gift from God’ pregnancy after rape remark

When someone tells me they have a doctorate in Theology I say, “That’s nice.”

But I think is that like a doctorate in astrology or crystal therapy. I always find myself wondering if it would it be rude of me to ask if I could give some one twenty bucks for a piece of paper that would let me declare I have a similar degree in say goat entrails reading?

From Raw Story:

By The Christian Science Monitor
Friday, October 26, 2012

When Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock this week spoke provocatively of rape-induced pregnancy as “something that God intended to happen,” liberals and atheists weren’t the only ones outraged.

The furor extends into Evangelical camps, too. Believers have taken Mr. Mourdock to task for bungling the important doctrine of providence, which holds that a benevolent God upholds and cares for an imperfect world.

In awkwardly wading into theological waters, Mourdock apparently aimed to affirm the belief – widely held in Evangelical circles, in particular – that God’s sovereignty knows no limits. It is a concept that has strong ties to 16th-century Swiss religious reformer John Calvin, who saw in scripture and day-to-day events evidence of a hands-on God. Mourdock showed, however, how tricky it can be to apply the doctrine in discussing tragic events.

What Mourdock said “is offensive,” says Richard Lints, a theologian of the Reformed tradition, which has Calvinist roots, and dean at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. “The clumsiness is [to] so align God with evil that God becomes a horrific figure. It’s contrary to anything you read in scripture, and it removes the human responsibility.

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Ah The Epicurean Dilemma
If god exists and is all powerful,
whence cometh evil?
If god creates or permits evil then god is capricious or malevolent.
If god sees evil but does not prevent it then god is either complicit or impotent.
Either way why worship such a god?
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