What’s Current: Argentina lawmakers are debating a bill that would decriminalize abortion

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • Today, the Chamber of Deputies, Argentina’s lower house of Congress, began debating whether to allow abortions for women within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Led by Ni Una Menos, (Not One Less), a movement that began as a protest against femicide, women’s protests and abortion stories have shifted public opinion.
  • Author Steven Galloway has been awarded $167,000 in damages after being fired from his position as head of UBC’s creative writing program following accusations of sexual misconduct.
  • Denis Hof, pimp and owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch and several other brothels, is running as a Republican nominee for a Nevada state Assembly seat.
  • Deteriorating economic conditions combined with unaffordable or inaccessible birth control is driving Venezuelan women to extreme birth control measures, including irreversible sterilization and risky illegal abortions.
  • Two male high school students who identify as transgender won first and second place in the 100 meter dash at the state championships for girls track and field.
Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Robert Gonzalez

    “”I had these pink and purple furry boots that I wore to school,” Yearwood said. “I guess since I was always different I learned to deal with it and grow tougher skin over it.”

    I used to love playing with my mom’s antique Victorian-styled dolls. Shit, I just now realized that I’m a woman.

  • hyperjoy

    Even if neither sex had a physical advantage in sports I would be in favor of keeping males out of female sports just as a matter of maintaining boundaries and opportunities for female bonding. Even when they don’t have an advantage, such as in childhood, boys who have to compete with girls in a sport they previously considered as only for them, such as little league baseball or touch football, sometimes go over the top, such that if a boy is playing against male opponents he wants to win, of course, but if his opponent is a girl he’s out to annihilate her.

    Men are, on average, larger and stronger, at least at this point in time, so it’s not fair for them to infiltrate our sports, but sometimes the way that it is talked about is as though male physical superiority is engraved in granite, invariably, always and forever, rather than simply an evolutionary development, and the result can be very depressing and discouraging for women. As for males actually being faster than women, maybe not. On average they have longer legs, so a single stride taken by a male would span a longer distance, enabling him to go a particular distance in a shorter time than a female, even if his legs were not actually *moving* one bit faster than hers were.

    Anyway, there is a book I like on the subject, called “The Frailty Myth” by Colleen Dowling, which gives a pretty good overview of women’s and girls’ physical abilities, the great improvements in which have taken place since the advent of Title IX and our more widespread participation in sports, and just how we really stack up against men.

    • FierceMild

      Thank you for the book recommendation. I love getting books from FC commenters.

  • Hekate Jayne

    The superior, smart male is so often just CONFUSED, THO.

    It’s almost like they socialize women into excessive patience in order to manipulate us into endlessly explaining the basic and obvious reality so that they can accidentally take exactly what they want and then call it confusion.

    My opinion on the ladyboy track dudebro juniors is that the parents of the girls are pissed. And the rumor is that half of the parents are male, although, I don’t think that their xy chromosomes have been verified so we can’t be sure.

    I don’t know about sports, but winning is referred to as “the podium”. And when girls are trying for a track scholarship, colleges look at who is on the podium. In this case, 1 and 2 is always male, but the colleges won’t necessarily know that, they just see where the girls place. Essentially, the girls only have a shot at 3rd place.

    Well, until next year, when another boy finds out that he is actually a girl because he can’t drive well, open jars, or when he squeals in joy when he discovers the perfect shade of lipstick and then he will get himself a spot on the girls’ team. And 3rd will go to a male, too.

    Fathers of the girls are pissed. The mothers are, too, but no one cares about that.

    This will play out the way it always does, when males cross each other. That is the only human interaction problem in a patriarchy, is between males over their property, rights and feelings. The rest of us are just objects in the crossfire.

  • martindufresne

    “After 22 hours of debate, Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies has voted 129 – 125 to decriminalise abortion in a country where 500,000 illegal abortions happen each year. Huge victory for campaigners – now the fight moves to the Senate. #AbortoLegalYa #AbortoSesionHistorica”

  • susannunes

    I don’t think the pimp Hof is going to get elected despite his throwing a ton of his own money, or rather his employees’ money, into the race. Almost the entire GOP apparatus in Nevada is against him.

  • Omzig Online

    I am both surprised and relieved that Hof is running as a Republican. Many women and liberals can only see misogyny if it’s a conservative/Republican espousing it, while liberal men get a free pass. The liberal stance on prostitution is a superlative example of this. If Hof, a self-described sociopath, were to run as a Democrat, he would have a very real chance of winning.

    But then again, Trump’s views about women are basically identical, and look what happened….

    In other news, did you guys see this article? This is so depressing. The term “trans-identified male” is now banned from Mumsnet.

    • Tobysgirl

      The editors at Mumsnet need to listen to the entire Deborrah Cooper youtube essay about transgenderism. One of the things she asks is, “What is wrong with white people? [read women for people] How come they’re so scared of everything?”

    • Kathleen Lowrey

      Wait — Mumsnet has caved? That is terrible news.

    • Wren

      Yeah Hof is running on conservative fiscal policy, but he’s going up against the religiosity of the Republican party. However, many liberals and libertarians will cross party lines to support him for his misogynistic, capitalistic ideology. I think he could win. My hope is that the activists got the signatures they needed:

      “Hof’s bid comes as a petition drive is underway in Nye and Lyon counties to eliminate their brothels. Activists in the two counties, which have 40% of the state’s brothels, have until Friday to gather enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.”

  • How do *you* know you’re a woman, CM? I mean, really, since sex is not apparently attached to the physical, but is only something in the mind, how can you or anyone be sure what sex they are? Maybe you’re a man! How do you know you’re not a man? Can you prove you’re a woman? Can you? Eh? (I hope you note the sarcasm.) But I think it follows naturally, logically and inevitably that no one can be sure what sex they are. There’s no way to know.

  • When Dennis Hof won the primary, he was asked about his ambition for higher office: “When I got into the brothel business in 1992, I said I would buy one brothel and that’s it. One brothel turned into seven. I’m always moving onward and upward.”

    His opponent accused him of sexual assault through two of his ex-employees, of being a “womanizer” (now how could that be?), and for being a supporter (yes) of Hillary Clinton (so, was Trump before he ran).

    Hof won by taking out full page ads, and plastering the immediate environment with billboards… all funded by (yup) his profits from his seven brothels to the tune of 240,000.

    His Democratic woman opponent spent 1400 in her primary, 1000 of which came from the Teachers’ Union.

  • acommentator

    “I also note that the article quotes various sources as saying that the question of letting boys compete in girls sports is “complex” and “multi-layered.””

    Translation: this is something that really bothers the average person so we have to finesse it rather than simply reply with our normal statement that transgirls are girls full stop.

  • Tobysgirl

    These boys aren’t transgender, they’re just creepy little wimps who don’t want to compete against other boys.

  • Tobysgirl

    I remember field hockey from ninth grade in Shaker Heights, Ohio. We wore bloomers — I am not kidding — and it was definitely a contact sport, contact with a hockey stick, that is. I hated it even more intensely than I hated most of so-called phys ed. How lovely it was to move to California (for all of a month, my mother having serious issues) and have a choice of 1) tennis, 2) swimming, 3) modern dance, and 4) touch football. And curtains for the individual showers!

  • Hekate Jayne

    I know that you are probably speaking rhetorically, but those teenage girls are probably afraid to speak out.

    Can you imagine?

    When ladyboy number 2 joined up and began taking first place over ladyboy number 1, the local paper did a piece on how ladyboy 1’s feelings must be hurt, now that he is losing out to another boy. That piece struck me for several reasons, but the main reason was that the reporter was male, and he talked to ladyboy 1 and his father. About ladyboy 2.

    Not even a mention of girls. But lots and lots of male feels.

    • Po21

      Yes, it was rhetorical. Those girls must be scared to talk, indeed. It must be so difficult for them: you can’t win, but if you complain you get call a bigot.

      But the journalist, and the press in general, should do a better job. The fact that they rather present ladyboys feels instead of the injustice the female athletes face is not surprising, but still it’s insulting. So one-sided. It proves again that man feels is more important than women and girls.

  • Wren

    I just had a light-bulb moment. Maybe we should be encouraging more and more men to become trans? After all, they are likely to become sterile for life even if hormone therapy is temporary:

    “Within a few months of beginning hormone therapy, you must assume that you will become permanently and irreversibly sterile.”

    This is one way to weaken their gene pool.

    • Hekate Jayne

      If we could convince them that males are rewarded in the afterlife with an endless supply of 12 year old female virgins, but only if they commit suicide, that would take care of at least 80% of them.

  • Wren

    I have lost weight due to illness, both when I had major PTSD episodes (I wouldn’t be able to eat much for months) and when I was suffering with chronic bronchitis. It is rather terrifying when you’ve shed 1/3 of your body weight and you feel completely out of control. Everyone kept telling me how good I looked despite the fact that I felt like I was dying. Nobody asked me if I was ok, which I clearly wasn’t. It’s really fucked up.

  • FierceMild

    Absolutely. I used to work as a hardscaper and garden designer (building stone walls and making gardens etc) and the most important thing is to team up with a person of similar height and leverage or work on your own. I would watch my male colleagues use their bodies in such a destructive way and really pay for it in pain by the end of a workday. I never worked with a woman who didn’t work smarter instead of harder.

    There is also how we gauge strength. If we’re meaning pure muscle then men are certainly stronger than women. If we mean viability of the organism than we must consider that women have more endurance, are less prone to illness, and have longer life spans.

    It is only when men and male culture seize control of our bodies through stringent femininity practices, forced sex and unwanted reproduction that we become frail. When women are completely able to determine whether and when we have sex we don’t overbreed our bodily resources or have children too young or too old.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You seem chill…