Female Big-Game Hunter

The discovery of a 9,000-year-old female skeleton buried with what archaeologists call a “big-game hunting kit” in the Andes highlands of Peru has challenged one of the most widely held tenets about ancient hunter gatherers — that males hunted and females gathered. this young woman was a big game hunter, who participated with her people in the pursuit of the vicuña and deer that made up a significant portion of their diet. Reseachers looked at 429 burials in the Americas from about 14,000 to 8,000 years ago and identified 27 individuals whose sex had been determined who were found with big game hunting implements. Eleven were female and 16 were male. females were about 30 to 50 percent of the big game hunters.

— source nytimes.com | Nov. 4, 2020

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Arrested in Protest over Voting Rights & Infrastructure

Nearly 100 women from around the United States were arrested outside the Supreme Court as they marked the 173rd anniversary of the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls with a protest calling for voting rights and economic justice. We speak with Reverend Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and one of those who was arrested. She says Congress needs to scrap the filibuster, pass voting rights legislation and pass a “bold infrastructure bill” that addresses economic inequality, as well as the climate. She also discusses the work of her father, historian Athan Theoharis, who recently died after a lengthy career dedicated to exposing FBI misconduct.

I and nearly a hundred other women got arrested in front of the Supreme Court, in front of the Senate office buildings, because our democracy is in peril. We are living in a moment when 17 states have passed voter restrictions in the past — since 2020, and where, since the 2020, about more than almost 400 voter suppression kind of legislation has been introduced in states. And we see the connection between this attack on voting rights and all of the other issues that impact, especially the 140 million poor and low-income people in this country.

— source democracynow.org | Jul 23, 2021

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The Claim U.S. War in Afghanistan Protected Women Is a “Shameless Lie”

As the United States continues to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan after 20 years of war and occupation, the Taliban say they now control most Afghan territory, surrounding major population centers and holding more than two-thirds of Afghanistan’s border with Tajikistan. Former President George W. Bush made a rare criticism of U.S. policy, saying, “I’m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm.” But a leading Afghan women’s rights activist says the plight of women in the country has always served as a “very good excuse” for U.S. military goals, while conditions in the country have barely improved. “Unfortunately, they pushed us from the frying pan into the fire as they replaced the barbaric regime of the Taliban with the misogynist warlords,” says Malalai Joya, who in 2005 became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan Parliament. She says the decades of U.S. occupation have accomplished little for the people of Afghanistan. “No nation can donate liberation to another nation,” she says.

— source democracynow.org | Jul 15, 2021

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Save Reproductive Freedom

The Supreme Court is set to review a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy that intends to challenge Roe v. Wade, raising concern for advocates about how reproductive rights can be preserved without the landmark ruling. “I think it’s very, very likely that the court will either eradicate the right to choose abortion as we now know it completely or so undermine it to make it meaningless for most of American women,” says Kathryn Kolbert, longtime public interest attorney who argued the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the Supreme Court in 1992, which is credited with saving Roe v. Wade. She lays out her argument in a new book published today, “Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom.” We also speak with co-author Julie Kay, a human rights attorney who argued for a human rights framework for abortion rights in Ireland before the European Court of Human Rights. “We’re not just talking about privacy or even equality,” Kay says of the fight for abortion access in the United States and beyond. “We’re really looking at liberty, dignity and the ability to have full participation in all aspects of life.”

And let me just say, I think it’s more important for the president to do the right thing, not to talk about it, so I’m not disturbed by the fact that he hasn’t mentioned the question of abortion.

And I do think that the fact that the Hyde Amendment — efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment, are going through Congress, are a very good thing, but let’s remember that that bill has a long, long way to go. It has to get through the House and the Senate, and there are not currently sufficient votes to support a Hyde-free bill. So we have a long way to go.

Let’s go back, though, to the more important question, is: What’s the Supreme Court going to do around this issue? And I think it’s very, very likely that the court will either eradicate the right to choose abortion as we now know it completely or so undermine it to make it meaningless for most of American women. And that means that we, as a nation, need to stand up and make changes, both at the state level and in Congress, to ensure that our rights are protected. And unless we do so, unless we change tactics, unless we go forward and with a new vision of what’s possible, we’re going to be in for a very, very, very difficult period of time.

— source democracynow.org | Jul 13, 2021

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Calls Grow to Remove NY Governor

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing mounting calls from fellow Democrats and progressive organizations to resign or be impeached over sexual harassment allegations and his cover-up of thousands of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation after three women — two former aides and a woman who met Cuomo at a friend’s wedding reception — accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. “Credible accusations of sexual harassment made by these courageous women coming forward show a clear pattern of Cuomo’s abuse of power,” says New York Assemblymember Ron Kim, who is calling for Cuomo’s resignation

New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Cuomo of drastically undercounting the number of COVID deaths in New York nursing homes by as much as 50%, forcing the Cuomo administration to admit the true death toll to be nearly 15,000. The FBI and U.S. attorney in Brooklyn are now probing the cover-up. He’s also being accused of secretly giving nursing homes legal immunity.

This is a long pattern of toxic behavior that we all know that exists in places like Albany. And at the helm of it all is a person at the top who normalizes verbal abuse against women. Case in point, even his top aide have called some of my closest progressive young women colleagues in this Legislature “F—n’ idiots,” on record, in The New York Times, when they called him out for having fundraisers with the budget director in the room. These are the type of verbal abuse that he helped normalize, because at the very top, you know, he does it himself in those closed rooms. He cracks jokes. He sexually harasses. He preys on people, and he abuses his power all the time. And that’s why he has an orbit of staff members that reflects his values every single day in his administration. And they all need to be held accountable.

— source democracynow.org | Mar 03, 2021

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When Women Were Invited to an 1869 Medical Lecture

As she handed the clerk her entry ticket, Ann Preston was excited, if a little apprehensive. It was Saturday, Nov. 6, 1869, and Preston, dean of the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, and her students, were about to attend a clinical medicine lecture at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia in a radical mixing of the sexes. Male medical students from Jefferson Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania had regularly attended these lectures for years; students from the women’s college were regularly refused admission. This was the second time Preston had brought students to a lecture there. After the first time, back in 1856, the women had been barred from returning. Until now.

Preston and her students were immediately reminded of their second-class citizen status when the clerk told them they would only be allowed to enter by way of the back stairs. Still, nothing could dim their enthusiasm. The determined dean and her 30 students began to file into the octagonal surgical amphitheater, gingerly squeezing their long puffy skirts through the tiered rows of seating that climbed the sides of the wall.

The day before the lecture, one female student had gotten hold of an ominous slip of paper that was being circulated among the male medical students. It read: “Go tomorrow to the hospital to see the She Doctors!” Clearly, the boys were planning some form of mayhem for this historic occasion. But what awaited the women

— source motherjones.com | Olivia Campbell | May 31, 2021

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University of Tennessee Settles Sexual Assault Suit for Nearly $2.5 Million

The University of Tennessee paid nearly $2.5 million to settle a sexual assault lawsuit filed by eight women who argued the university condoned a hostile environment that led to sexual assaults by male athletes. The lawsuit argued UT football coach Butch Jones called one of his players a “traitor” and said he’d “betrayed the team” after the man helped a woman who said she’d been raped by two other football players.

— source democracynow.org | 2016

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One State for All: a Palestinian feminist view

African-American artist Nina Simone, also an activist in the American Civil Rights Movement, experienced the most important turning point of her life when the Curtis Institute of Music rejected her application as a student because of the color of her skin. Simone expressed her disappointment at being deprived of the opportunity of becoming the first Black classical pianist in the United States. This racist incident gravely impacted Simone’s life and forced her to work in bars. Later, she decided to write her own song lyrics. Some of those songs became revolutionary icons as they fueled Black people to be proud of who they were, united them against white supremacy, raised their self-confidence, and urged them to discover themselves and cherish their Blackness and culture.

Simone lived long enough to witness the era of many icons of the Black struggle in the United States and worldwide. A little while before she died in 2003, she was surprised to receive a honorary diploma from the same institution that had rejected her in the past. This compels us to pause for a moment and think about the racist structure of the colonial mind: What exactly happened to make the Curtis Institute of Music apologize for their racism against Simone? Why would such a racist power, enjoying superior privileges, reconsider its position vis-a-vis the rights of the oppressed? The answer lies in the legacy of the cumulative resistance of Black people.

— source | Rifka Al-Amya | May 6, 2021

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