US Senate Passes Measure to Restore Affordable Birth Control

See the call for action at the end!

From Ms:

The US Senate passed a supplemental war spending bill on Thursday, which included a provision to restore government subsidies for birth control pills sold at university and low-income health centers. … For almost 20 years, pharmaceutical companies provided college health centers and clinics servicing low income women with birth control at deeply discounted prices. But the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006, which went into effect in January 2007, has eliminated these discounts for campus and low-income health centers.

The President, OF COURSE, is not happy about it, but he is not threatening a veto.

And another bit of good news from Ms: a key administration anti-contraception advocate has resigned:

Susan Orr, President Bush’s controversial appointee to head the Office of Population Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), resigned this week after less than a year in the position. Orr’s appointment was criticized from the beginning by lawmakers and women’s rights groups because of Orr’s long history as an opponent of contraceptives.

Her position oversees the administration of title X.

You can use this opportunity to make sure Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt knows how you feel about preserving Title X funding for low-income women and men by sending him a letter hereRemember, Title X helps keep students able to stay in school.

And thanks to Reality Check for the link.


Trying to cross the analytic/continental divide

Many of us were at the SWIP UK Conference on Embodiment and Identity over the weekend in Hull. I’ll be blogging more about it later, and perhaps some of the rest of us will too! But here I just want to talk methodologies. Feminist philosophers often criticise more mainstream philosophers as not sufficiently open to new methodologies. But I think it’s important to talk a bit about how genuinely difficult it is to engage with methodologies that are not one’s own. I’m a very analytic philosopher, and the SWIP conference gave me quite an immersion in continental philosophy. It was really exciting– lots of great people, lots of fascinating stuff that was very new to me, lots of wonderful energy. But I also spent a lot of time feeling like I was in a different world, with a language I don’t know and a culture that is unfamiliar. Sometimes I couldn’t understand anything at all that was going on. Sometimes, usually when detailed examples were used, I got a lot out of it. But sometimes it was something in between– I kind of got what was going on, or thought I did. Then someone started talking about water having ‘agency’, and everyone in the room was nodding sagely. It was already several replies into a question, and the queue was long, so I decided not to query further. But it gave me a real sense of the difficulty of simply asking people to be more inclusive with regard to methodologies. It’s just HARD to engage with things when you really don’t understand what’s going on– and doubly so when some of the words are ones that you yourself use differently. (If it hadn’t been for that example, I might well not have realised that clearly something different was being meant by the familiar word ‘agency’.) Do others have thoughts, experiences, advice on the topic of crossing this divide?