WBEZ | feminist movements http://www.wbez.org/tags/feminist-movements Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en In France, abortion no longer a political issue http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-08/here-there-france-abortion-no-longer-political-issue-90000 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/france%20abortion%20de%20beauvoir%20AP.jpg" title="In 1971, Simone de Beauvoir signed the 'Le Manifeste des 343,' a list of famous women claiming to have had illegal abortions. (AP/Jean-Jacques Levy)" /></div><p><em>This episode of Worldview was originally broadcast on August 8, 2011.</em></p><p>As part of our occasional&nbsp;series <a href="http://www.wbez.org/herethere" target="_blank"><em>Here, There</em></a>, we compare the abortion debate in countries other than the U.S. Monday we start in France.</p><p>At first blush, it would seem as though France has a lot in common with the U.S. when it comes to reproductive rights issues: Both legalized abortion in the 1970s and both had influential feminist movements that advocated changing the law and removing barriers to access.</p><p>But the similarities end there. In France, abortion has moved outside the political realm and into accepted medical practice.</p><p>What&rsquo;s behind this divergence? In an interview, Indiana University political science professor Jean Robinson argued it all started with a reframing of the concept in public debate.&nbsp;</p><p>In the 1970s, a group of several hundred prominent and powerful women, including renowned philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, signed a major newspaper ad admitting to having had an illegal abortion at some point in their lives. The media spectacle made it clear that abortion was an issue for&nbsp;<em>all</em>&nbsp;women, not just women seen as promiscuous or uneducated, spurring a national mood change towards the discussion.</p><p>The language that was used to talk about abortion was also changed. Beginning in the &#39;70s, the French word for abortion was taken out of use in public debates, and replaced by a term that translates as &ldquo;voluntary interruption of pregnancy.&rdquo; The change helped desensitize the issue and kept the conversation about abortion within a medical scope.</p><p>&ldquo;In France, abortion is a health care issue for women &mdash; not a moral, political or religious issue,&rdquo; Robinson said.</p><p>That&#39;s a sharp contrast to the way the issue is framed in the U.S. &mdash; where abortion activists are still referred to as &ldquo;pro-choice&rdquo; or &ldquo;pro-life.&rdquo;</p><p>The difference shows. &ldquo;France has fewer abortions than the United States &mdash; some of the lowest rates in Europe,&rdquo; Robinson pointed out.&nbsp;</p><p>There are several reasons for this, Robinson said, a big one being that sex education in France starts in the 6<sup>th</sup> grade. Also, there&rsquo;s a family stipend provided by the government: For every child born, the family gets money from the state.</p><p>&ldquo;There isn&rsquo;t real pressure to <em>not</em> have the abortion in most urban centers,&rdquo; Robinson said. &ldquo;But there is an attempt to reassure women from the state, that they will have full support if they keep the child.&rdquo;</p></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-08/here-there-france-abortion-no-longer-political-issue-90000 'Battling Pornography' documents the rise and fall of feminist anti-porn movement http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/battling-pornography-documents-rise-and-fall-feminist-anti-porn-movement <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-01/BattlingPornography.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The growth of the commercial sex industry in the 1970s resulted in a proliferation of sexually explicit images of women. Feminists critiqued the graphic images as a form of sex discrimination; and some in the anti-pornography movement argued that there was a direct link between pornographic images of women and violence against women. <a href="http://www.depaul.edu/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">DePaul University</a> professor <a href="http://communication.depaul.edu/Faculty%20and%20Staff/Full%20Time%20Faculty/bronstein.asp" target="_blank">Carolyn Bronstein</a> traces the evolution of this movement in her new book, <a href="http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/isbn/item6038447/?site_locale=en_US" target="_blank"><em>Battling Pornography: The American Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement, 1976 – 1986. </em></a>She discussed her findings with <em>Eight Forty-Eight.</em></p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 14:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/battling-pornography-documents-rise-and-fall-feminist-anti-porn-movement