Turning the Tide: A Letter from the Editor
Day Care

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Sexing the Political: A Journal of Third Wave Feminists on Sexuality

Editor and Publisher:

Krista Jacob

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Volume Three
Number One
June 2003

Turning the Tide: A Letter from the Editor
Day Care
Krista Jacob
Today is one of those days from which mountainous feelings of mother-guilt and self-blame are built. And it’s only 10am.
It started with a routine trip to my son’s daycare, “kid’s school” as he proudly calls it. Despite the fact that this has been a consistent nine-month routine, at least once a week, in the spirit of a true budding revolutionary, he stages a protest.
more >>


Our Choices, Our Lives
Unapologetic Writings on Abortion

Edited by Krista Jacob

Our Choices, Our Lives: Unapologetic Writings on Abortion is a first of its kind. Based on five years of research by feminist Krista Jacob, this anthology is a collection of essays, poems, and prose that takes on one of the most controversial issues of our time: a woman’s right to choose abortion. Revealing, with honesty and courage, the diversity of individuals behind the political hype, this powerful collection of writings takes the issue of reproductive freedom to a deeper, richer level.

Comprised of abortion testimonies, insights from abortion clinic workers, and political essays, this important anthology reveals the liberating and sometimes poignant reality of the abortion experience. From the women who survived the days of illegal abortion to the women who have come of age during the backlash against abortion rights, the writers in Our Choices, Our Lives: Unapologetic Writings on Abortion demand that people on all sides rethink this varied, complex and personal issue.

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(Un)Apologetically (Un)American
Kimberly Springer
I’ve been in the thick of contemplating what it means for African Americans to be Americans. I’m in the midst of teaching a Black Feminist Theory course and mostly, I’ve assigned readings from Beverly Guy-Sheftall’s crucial anthology Words of Fire: African American Feminist Thought. As much as I attest that Black feminists have something to say on every topic and should not, therefore, be marginalized to only addressing race or gender issues, I’ve been having trouble figuring out a contemporary Black feminist position on being an American. Figuring out a black feminist position on the U.S.’s attack on Iraq was simple: racist, white supremacy unchecked. But, figuring out a Black feminist position on MY GOVERNMENT’s attack on Iraq was a different matter. more >>

Obstacles to Women’s Health:
Indigenous Women’s Reproductive Health in Latin America
Alia Levine
We tend to think of health mainly as a function of biology, a measure of fitness, and/or the availability of various medical services, but the strongest determinants of health are actually the social, political and economic forces in our lives. How healthy we are depends enormously on our access to nutritious food, clean water and medical care, on the levels of violence and stress in our lives, on how much and under what conditions we work and on the opportunities we have for love, pleasure, and fulfillment. more >>

Hi, My Name is Elizabeth & I’m a Romance Novel Victim
Recently I joined a book club. We’ve worked hard to be an admirable club, reading award-winning books and not depending solely on Oprah for our fare. We read Sula, Cane River, The Red Tent, Nine Parts of Desire, God of Small Things. We tackled heavy topics of gender, race, class. Which was really quite a feat, considering some of us were strangers when we started the club. As we politely disagreed about heavy, emotional issues I remembered the old adage about leaving politics and religion off the table. But too late. We were in and, boy, were we in deep. more >>

Oh, Baby
Hanne Blank
Something unanticipated has arrived in my life, something I never really looked for or thought I would experience. Sailing into my thirties, I firmly believed that baby lust was, much like the desire to own an SUV, a house in the suburbs, or join the Republican party, something that happened to other people. Regular readers will doubtless be reassured to hear that I remain allergic to gas-guzzling vehicles and torpid, conservative subdivisions and senators alike, and will perhaps also be slightly startled, as I was myself, to discover that the onset of longings for a child in one's life is not necessarily a symptom of the rather larger social disease known as Growing Up and Settling Down, American Style™. more >>


Why We Need Success Stories
Lisa Michelle Nelson
One day last week, I was at a commencement address. One of the speakers was a middle-aged black man. He began his address by sharing with the audience his personal background. He told a tear-jerking story of growing up with ten brothers and sisters on a small farm in the south. He had no preschool preparation and his parents could help him little with his homework, as his father was the only one to graduate from high school. About half way through his monologue, I recalled that I knew this story all too well… more >>

Lauren K. Alleyne
Poetry. > >

Cygnus and the Burden of Staying Airborne
Kristy Beckman
Poetry. > >

I Am Not a Feminist
Lauri Wollner
I am constantly changing. Defining and becoming who I want to be. I struggle - am constantly struggling - with labels and figuring out where I “fit in”, or not, which seems to be the case most often. I am not sure what I am or am not anymore, really. I am right in the middle on so many issues and with so many labels. It is strange, too – having been so whole-heartedly on one end of more-than-one spectrum at one time or another in my life. I have claimed such labels as: Catholic, “born-again” Christian, Agnostic, Alcoholic, Anorexic, Depressed, Bi-Polar, Witch (AKA Healer), Democrat, Buddhist, Lesbian, Feminist, soon-to-be Olympic athlete, butch Dyke, and on and on. I am now comfortable with many aspects of each of these labels, but cannot claim any of them. more >>

Feminism Focus Group
Facilitated by Professor Jacquelyn Litt,
Transcribed by Rachel Burlingame
In response to the questions Krista posed in last issue’s STP, an Iowa State University undergraduate course on “feminist activism” (fall 2002) transcribed their thoughts and reactions to the following questions: How did/does the anti-feminist backlash affect your interpretation of feminism? Do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not?
How has feminism helped your life? In what ways is feminism failing? What are you doing to change it? What role does feminism play in your everyday life?
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Third Wave Columnists

More Than a Woman
Emari Dimagiba Lavine
For as long as we've known each other, my husband and I have relished the idea of becoming parents, welcoming everything that comes with it -- the challenges and joys, the unexpected surprises and growth. Two and a half years into our marriage did indeed bring the unexpected, though not in the form of an unplanned pregnancy. With a history of depression, several environmental stressors, and most likely, genetic predisposition, I was hospitalized for presenting my first major manic episode with psychotic features. more >>

Vibrator Envy: Why The Boys Don’t Like Our Toys
Dorrie Williams-Wheeler
A few weeks prior to Valentine’s Day I took a trip to my local adult toy store. All customers are allowed to browse the merchandise in the front of the store which includes lingerie, incense and shoes, but you must show proper age verifying identification to enter the main area of the store. I showed the clerk my ID card and walked through the closed door to enter the main area of the store. In front of me was a plethora of adult toys, sensual aids, videos, magazines, whips, and much more. more >>

An Eye For the Ladies
Babes in Mulletland: Is this the Renaissance of your worst nightmare?
Alia Levine
Firstly, I must confess to some discomfort with my own flippancy; is it ok to write about such superficial affairs as hair, when the city I live in—New York—is in a ghastly recession, and much of the rest of the world is in an even sorrier state, mostly thanks to our sexist, trigger-happy, fundamentalist bully of a President? Is it ok to see a trashy movie, miss a demonstration, go on a blind date, or even go shopping? Please consider the following column as some light (read: trite) relief. more >>

Third Eye Open
About Shelly
Rhonda Chittenden
I met Shelly eight years ago. I was working as the program director of a local women's center and she had recently been diagnosed as HIV-positive. At a client’s suggestion, I called Shelly to invite her to speak. At a time when our nation was just beginning to see the trend towards increasing HIV infections in women, Shelly was an anomaly in our small Midwestern city. Seeking health and social services that addressed her unique needs as a single mother, she quickly found a sore lack of women-centered HIV-AIDS services. more >>

Boomerang: Some thoughts from the Baby Boomer Generation

Pregnancy: Lose the Adjective!
Notes on Language
Margaret R. Johnston
I find that I am battling language these days in an attempt to talk about pregnancy in a real way. The first word I bumped up against was the word “unwanted” when paired with pregnancy. On the face of it, a pregnancy that is terminated is obviously not wanted. Ah, but sit with a woman and talk about her decision and the word grows more ill-fitting by the minute. “Oh, I really do want this baby,” they say and then the “but” drops down and everything changes. Dr. George Tiller wisely notes that “until you understand the heart of a woman, nothing about abortion makes any sense at all.” more >>

A Challenge for the Pro-Choice Movement
Charlotte Taft and Shelley Oram
As former abortion providers, we are fascinated by the field of abortion. We have worked in a clinic, have consulted with and trained staffs in other clinics, and counseled with many women both before and after their abortions. We have spoken our minds and have often said things that were unpopular--always in the pursuit of emotional as well as political honesty. We have been privileged to be part of the transformational process that can occur when a woman is willing to look deeply into the heart of choice. more >>

Book and Website Reviews

Accidental Playboy: Caught in the Ultimate Male Fantasy, By Leif Ueland
Warner Books
Reviewed by Krista Jacob > >

Our Choices, Our Lives: Unapologetic Writings on Abortion, Edited by Krista Jacob
iUniverse, Inc.
Reviewed by Nikki Feuerstein > >

That Takes Ovaries!: Bold Females and Their Brazen Acts, Edited by Rivka Solomon
Three Rivers Press
Reviewed by Kristi Johnson > >

C.O.Y.O.T.E: Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics! The Sex Workers’ Rights Organization
Reviewed by Kathyrn Sokolowski > >

Artwork and Photography

4 Days Before
Photograph by Rhonda Chittenden > >


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