Has the conservative agenda come to dominate the national and international conversation on sexual rights?
Obama's victory and the vote against abortion bans in Colorado and South Dakota brought some sexual rights back from the edge of a political precipice, but others remain in the balance.
Join scholars, journalists, and policy makers to talk about how we can help the new administration change policies and reframe national and international thinking on sexual rights.
Participants include Dagmar Herzog, author of Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics and Professor of History, Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Nation columnist Katha Pollitt, and Faye Wattleton, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women.
Discussant: Rosalind Petchesky, author of Sexuality, Health and Human Rights and Distinguished Professor of Political Science. Moderated by Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY- City University of New York
Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology, Womenâ€™s Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her recent awards include the 2008 Social Justice Action award from the Winter Cross Cultural Roundtable on Psychology and Education, 2007 Willystine Goodsell Award from the American Educational Research Association, the 2005 First Annual Morton Deutsch Award, an Honorary Doctoral Degree for Education and Social Justice from Bank Street College in 2002 and the Carolyn Sherif Award from the American Psychological Association in 2001. Recent publications include: Cammarota, J. and Fine, M. (Eds., 2008) Revolutionizing Education: Youth Participatory Action Research in Motion. New York: Routledge Publishers; and Sirin, S. and Fine, M. (2007) Designated Others: Muslim American Youth Negotiating Identities Post 9-11.New York: New York University Press.
Dagmar Herzog is a Professor of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she focuses on modern European history, the history of sexuality, and the history of religion.
She has written three books, Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany; Intimacy and Exclusion: Religious Politics in Pre-Revolutionary Bade; and, most recently, Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics. In addition to her books, she has edited or co-edited four volumes and has published numerous academic articles on the history of sexuality.
Lynn M. Paltrow, J.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women ("NAPW").
Paltrow is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law. She has worked on numerous cases challenging restrictions on the right to choose abortion as well cases opposing the prosecution and punishment of pregnant women seeking to continue their pregnancies to term. P
altrow has served as a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, as Director of Special Litigation at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and as Vice President for Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of New York City. Paltrow conceived of and filed the first affirmative federal civil rights challenge to a hospital policy of searching pregnant women for evidence of drug use and turning that information over to the police.
In the case of Ferguson et. al., v. City of Charleston et. al., the United States Supreme Court agreed that such a policy violates the 4th amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Rosalind Petchesky is Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York, the founder and former international co-ordinator of the International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group (IRRRAG) and a MacArthur Fellow.
Columnist Katha Pollitt is well known for her sharp and provocative analyses of popular culture and politics. Her "Subject to Debate" column, which The Washington Post called "the best place to go for original thinking on the left," began in January 1994 and appears every other week in The Nation; it is frequently reprinted in newspapers across the country.
Pollitt has been contributing to The Nation since 1980. Her 1992 essay on the culture wars, "Why We Read: Canon to the Right of Me..." won the National Magazine Award for essays and criticism. Also in 1992, she won the Whiting Foundation Writing Award; in 1993 her essay "Why Do We Romanticize the Fetus?" won the Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Pollitt has also written essays for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Harper's, Mirabella, Ms., Glamour, Mother Jones, and The New York Times.She has appeared on NPR's Fresh Airand All Things Considered, Charlie Rose, The McLaughlin Group, CNN, Dateline NBCand the BBC.
A collection of her writings, Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism,was published by Knopf in 1994. In February 2001, Random House will publish Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture.Born in New York City, she was educated at Harvard and the Columbia School of the Arts and has taught poetry at Barnard College and the 92nd Street Y.
Faye Wattleton is the president of the Center for the Advancement of Women, an independent, nonpartisan non-profit research and education institution dedicated to advocating for the advancement of women. From 1978 to 1992, as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Ms. Wattleton played an unsurpassed role in defining the national debate over reproductive rights and health, and in shaping family planning policies and programs around the world.
As the youngest person and first woman named to the presidency of the nationâ€™s oldest and largest voluntary reproductive health organization, Ms. Wattletonâ€™s vision, leadership and courage projected Planned Parenthood into the forefront of the battle to preserve womenâ€™s fundamental right to self-determination. Under her leadership, PPFA grew to become the nationâ€™s seventh largest charitable organization, providing medical and educational services to four million Americans each year, through 170 affiliates, operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Under Ms. Wattletonâ€™s guidance, PPFA also supported family planning programs in dozens of developing nations through its international division, Family Planning International Assistance.
Ms. Wattleton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Ohio State University and a Master of Science degree in maternal and infant care, with certification as a nurse-midwife, from Columbia University. In addition, she has received twelve honorary doctoral degrees; Simmons College (1993), Hofstra University (1992), Haverford College (1992), Meadville Lombard Seminary at the University of Chicago (1992), Bard College (1991), Oberlin College (1991), Wesleyan University (1991), Northeastern University Law School (1990), Long Island University (1990), University of Pennsylvania (1990), Spellman College (1986), and St. Paulâ€™s College (1985).
Ms. Wattleton was a 1993 Inductee into the National Womenâ€™s Hall of Fame. Her memoir, "Life on the Line", was published, in the fall of 1996, by Ballantine Books. Ms. Wattleton presently serves on the boards of directors of Savient Pharmaceuticals, WellChoice, Inc., Quidel Corporation, Columbia University, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Pardee RAND Graduate School and the United Nations Association of the United States of America.
Rights that belong to an individual as a consequence of being human. The term came into wide use after World War II, replacing the earlier phrase natural rights, which had been associated with the Greco-Roman concept of natural law since the end of the Middle Ages. As understood today, human rights refer to a wide variety of values and capabilities reflecting the diversity of human circumstances and history. They are conceived of as universal, applying to all human beings everywhere, and as fundamental, referring to essential or basic human needs. Human rights have been classified historically in terms of the notion of three generations of human rights. The first generation of civil and political rights, associated with the Enlightenment and the English, American, and French revolutions, includes the rights to life and liberty and the rights to freedom of speech and worship. The second generation of economic, social, and cultural rights, associated with revolts against the predations of unregulated capitalism from the mid-19th century, includes the right to work and the right to an education. Finally, the third generation of solidarity rights, associated with the political and economic aspirations of developing and newly decolonized countries after World War II, includes the collective rights to political self-determination and economic development. Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, many treaties and agreements for the protection of human rights have been concluded through the auspices of the United Nations, and several regional systems of human rights law have been established. In the late 20th century ad hoc international criminal tribunals were convened to prosecute serious human rights violations and other crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The International Criminal Court, which came into existence in 2002, is empowered to prosecute crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, and war crimes.
The success of the religious Right war on sexual pleasure is also due in part of the moronic people who actually believe in "soulgasms". First of all, if you still believe that a religious cult has works on behalf of your best intentions, then you are just a fool. Secondly, if you believe that someone other than yourself knows your body better than you, then you are just pathetic.
I feel Faye Wattleton's comments were objective and bold. I think we need to be circumspect about any sweeping condemnation of the efforts by conservatives or any one else to caution people about excess. We cannot do away with the notion of excess when it comes to any kind of pleasure. Of course each one of us has the right to decide our limits for ourselves and give the same right to those we engage with. She also rightly pointed out the intersection between sexuality and other human needs and aspirations. This has to be acknowledged. Some of us might want to see sexual freedom in relation to those needs and aspirations.
If the Religious Right gets their way we won't be able to publicly discuss such topics. I am growing very tired of religion in America...It causes people to vote for candidates who support 1-3 issues only...Outlawing Abortion, prevent equal rights for GLTB and prevent Evolution from being taught in Public School. Or the new Creationist strawman "Teach the Controversy".
Considering the recent SCOTUS Decision the religious right just might get all 3.