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Feminism

Three Times

Three Times

The pregnancy was the crisis, not the abortion

One was OK: a mistake. But two was a pattern. I knew at an early age that I never wanted to have kids but I didn’t think I was the type of girl who would have an abortion, certainly not more than one. Not because of adherence to a religious or natalist ideology but because I was too educated, too responsible—which is an ideology, too.

Your Body, My Choice

Your Body, My Choice

The movement to criminalize abortion

Those who wish to ban legal abortion are not “pro-life”; they are pro-criminalization. Those who wish to protect the right to abortion are not “pro-choice”; they are anti-criminalization. Reframing the conflict in these terms clarifies the stakes. At issue here is not a principled attachment to “life” or to “choice” but the practical question of whether terminating a pregnancy should be considered a crime.

Did the Democrats Fuck It Up?

Did the Democrats Fuck It Up?

Abortion politics and the long road to Dobbs

To a remarkable degree, party elites have sorted on abortion. When the House voted on the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, codifying the right to abortion prior to viability and thereafter if “continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health,” every Democrat but one was in favor, and every single Republican was opposed. The result was the same in the Senate, where a vote to advance the bill failed 49-51. The one Democrat who voted no in the House, the corrupt but loyal Henry Cuellar of Texas, faces a runoff challenger to his left, Jessica Cisneros, backed by national groups like Justice Democrats. It is a proxy fight about House Democratic leadership generally, as those leaders have been for decades happy to back members who don’t ruffle feathers in Washington and whom they deem good fits for their districts, but in terms of abortion politics, it’s a sideshow.

Mammals

Mammals

Just clench that pelvic floor

She called all the local doulas and hired me because I was cheapest. I still wasn’t sure whether this was a pastime or calling or business or what, but I was leaning toward pastime/calling, as I had neither the desire nor the bandwidth to hustle in this realm. So I asked for the tiniest of honorariums. 

My fellow doulas got wind of this and read me the riot act, because I was undermining the whole community. We all had to charge within the same ballpark. No one cared whether this was my calling or pastime or what; just please charge the standard goddamn rate. I apologized. I hadn’t wanted money to be a thing, but money is always a thing.

Eye to Eye with the Beast

Eye to Eye with the Beast

The fight to decriminalize abortion in Brazil

For these activists, the issue of abortion is one of paramount importance to nothing less than the future of Brazilian democracy. It’s an institution that is besieged and deeply flawed but also somehow still imbued with the hope and creativity that animated the social movements that more than thirty years ago brought an end to the dictatorship and helped draft an inclusive new constitution. Motherhood, in their eyes, must be elective rather than obligatory, if democracy is to be upheld. As Rosado, the Catholic advocate, told me, “There can be no such thing as dignified motherhood if a woman cannot choose to not be a mother.”

Dispatch from the California Stripper Strike

Dispatch from the California Stripper Strike

The rumblings of revolutions begin small

In all radical labor movements, history is made when ordinary workers disrupt the system that seeks to exploit and silence them. Because of social stigma, wage theft, and sexual assault, the strip club has always been a difficult and dangerous work environment. Today, the stakes have reached a desperate tipping point, even though, technically, thanks to a recent court ruling, we have more legal rights than ever: we have the right to discuss the job while on the job, the right to organize and gather, and the right to unionize, which will give us a voice in the workplace—instead of only a body to be gazed at.

How to Build a Hookers Army

How to Build a Hookers Army

Developing a self-defense system for sex workers requires more than compiling a list of techniques that can be performed in close proximity, in heels, with nails, or in a car. It requires a philosophy of self-love for sex working populations that asserts our right to bodily autonomy and self-protection in a culture that treats many of us in media and in law as disposable people.