Friday Double Dose: The Care Crisis, Organized Moms and Good News in the Fight Against AIDS

By Christine Cupaiuolo — February 24, 2007

The Care Crisis: “The great accomplishment of the modern women’s movement was to name such private experiences — domestic violence, sexual harassment, economic discrimination, date rape — and turn them into public problems that could be debated, changed by new laws and policies or altered by social customs. That is how the personal became political,” writes Ruth Rosen in The Nation. “Although we have shelves full of books that address work/family problems, we still have not named the burdens that affect most of America’s working families. Call it the care crisis.”

Mom’s Mad. And She’s Organized: “For years, mothers have been taking to the Internet to blog or post messages about the travails of motherhood, commiserating, fuming or laughing about their shared lives,” writes Kara Jesella in The New York Times. “But in the last year there has been a marked increase in those who are going beyond simply expressing their feelings. In a throwback to their mothers’ — or was it their grandmothers’? — time, they are organizing about family and work issues.” For more information, visit Moms Rising.

Ending Female Genital Mutilation: “Some human rights advocates believe that a tipping point is at hand — if the momentum against the practice, spurred on by the work of many government-supported agencies and nongovernmental organizations in Africa and around the world, continues,” reads a L.A. Times editorial.

AIDS Posters: This week’s Scout Report points to the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library digital archive of 625 AIDS posters from 44 countries, including Australia, Costa Rica, New Zealand and Poland. “Overall,” notes a Scout Report editor, “the collection is well-thought out and executed, and one that will be of interest to students of public health, graphic design, and other related fields.”

Circumcision Reduces HIV Risk: A study published in The Lancet confirms earlier reports linking circumcision to a reduction in HIV transmission. The “conclusive data shows there is no question circumcision reduces men’s chances of catching HIV by up to 60 percent,” reports the AP.

And at the American Prospect Online, Beth Schwartzapfel reports on the new, improved diaphragm: “In a large-scale clinical trial that’s the first of its kind, researchers are currently testing the impact that diaphragm use has on HIV infection rates in Africa — where methods of protection that women can initiate without requiring their partners’ consent are badly needed. The new diaphragm, known as SILCS, tested well in early trials and is poised to enter the market before the end of the decade.”

“Got Pole?”: The upside of late-blogging … an early peek at tomorrow’s New York Times story: “Pole Dancing Parties Catch On in Book Club Country

No Rest for a Feminist Fighting Radical Islam: Speaking of book clubs, check out “Infidel,” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. William Grimes writes, “The circuitous, violence-filled path that led Ms. Hirsi Ali from Somalia to the Netherlands is the subject of ‘Infidel,’ her brave, inspiring and beautifully written memoir. Narrated in clear, vigorous prose, it traces the author’s geographical journey from Mogadishu to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and her desperate flight to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage.

“At the same time, Ms. Hirsi Ali describes a journey ‘from the world of faith to the world of reason,’ a long, often bitter struggle to come to terms with her religion and the clan-based traditional society that defined her world and that of millions of Muslims all over.”

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