FEMINIST FRIDAY: The Factual Planned Parenthood Vid Going Viral & Tennis’ “Battle Of The Sexes”

Welcome to another edition of our weekly Feminist Friday series, where we get to share our favorite videos of the moment. We also started this with the intent to further the conversation and definition about feminism, as it is a term and movement which is often misconstrued or limited in certain narratives.

This week, we have been consumed with news about the US Senate Republicans’ version of the disastrous “Trumpcare” health bill, formerly known as Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Most notably, as scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, it is said to kick a whopping 22 million people off their healthcare, 15 million of which will lose coverage as soon as 2018. This version of the healthcare bill which Republicans want to pass to repeal and replace Obamacare includes mandates that will pull all federal funding from Planned Parenthood, simply because some of their clinics (not all) provide safe, legal and regulated abortion.

Here’s the catch, due to a decades-long law called the Hyde Amendment, no federal dollars can be spent on abortion, so the fact that Planned Parenthood is being singled out as a healthcare provider (the first time this has happened in a US healthcare bill) is not only disappointing, but a blatant political play at falsehood.

TV personalities Max Joseph and Nev Schulman of ‘Catfish’ fame have made a video about their reaction to the healthcare bill, specifically talking about the myths surrounding Planned Parenthood, and it has gone viral. Unlike *those* infamous and now-debunked viral videos from 2015 made by an anti-choice organization (the head of which has been recently indicted on 15 felony counts for making said videos), this video actually contains facts. It breaks down the myth that PP gets a big fat check from the federal government or that it is a line item in the federal budget. In fact, the federal money comes through medicaid reimbursements (meaning they can’t lie about providing abortions on a claim) which can take anywhere from 6-12 months to recoup.

Watch below, and share with everyone you know, because healthcare is important, as are facts.

The second video is a trailer to a forthcoming documentary from Rewire News, a website dedicated to sharing comprehensive news about reproductive rights, immigration, racial justice and more. Their main focus is reproductive issues, specifically relating to policy that affect women, doctors and clinics.

‘Care in Chaos’, which is set to be released July 11th, gives viewers an up-and-close look at abortion clinic harassment perpetrated by anti-choice groups who often claim their motives are religious-based, or in the interests of protecting the women and babies. This documentary specifically looks at the busiest abortion clinic in North Carolina, managed by 26 year-old Calla Hales, who wrote a harrowing op-ed in Cosmopolitan recently, recounting the time she was raped by a guy she was dating after telling him where she worked.

For those lucky enough to live in more liberal or progressive areas of America (or elsewhere) where abortion clinic harassment and violence isn’t common, it’s important to understand the history of it happening for years in the most conservative, Republican parts of the country. Since the Trump administration took office, threats have become worse and more frequent, bolstered by the number of anti-choice extremists appointed to high levels of office, including Vice President Mike Pence and Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

We need more documentaries and media content exposing the dangerous and often violent anti-choice movement (referred to commonly as the “pro life” movement) in order to ensure clinic providers, doctors, and patients are not subjected to harassment and intimidation tactics simply for doing something that is legal under federal law. These protestors want to make it out as if clinics are forcing women to get abortions, but they don’t bother to walk alongside the women who choose abortion in all other aspects of their lives when they need support the most (such as making sure healthcare bills like the BCRA aren’t passed which would get rid of essential maternity care and preventative care as mandated under the ACA).

And finally, while the lead image used in this piece may have made it sound like we had a video related to the John McEnroe-Serena Williams feud, it actually isn’t. But just to quickly catch everyone up to speed, former tennis pro John “you can’t be serious” McEnroe claimed in an interview with NPR that if she were to play on the men’s circuit, she’d be ranked “700 or something”. He also refused to classify her as one of the greatest players in the sport.

Here’s the thing though Mac (can we call you Mac?) Serena has won 23 Grand Slam titles, more than any person (male or female) in the history of the Open era. Also, she literally won the Australian Open in January 2017 after just discovering she was pregnant. Remind us again of the titles you have won while pregnant? Oh that’s right…

Serena, true to her legendary, badass, queen self put John in his place with a Twitter retort that was full of strength, yet love. The sport’s greatest athlete doesn’t need to resort to pettiness and anger when she is the greatest, you see. While we’re not about to see a Williams-McEnroe match-up any time soon, there is one famous battle of the sexes match that proved female players have what it takes to beat men on the court.

Billie Jean King took on noted misogynist Bobby Riggs in 1973, and won. It was not only a great moment for women in tennis, but also a seminal moment during the height of feminism’s second wave. The historical match has been made into a movie starring Emma Stone (King) and Steve Carrell (Riggs) titled ‘Battle of the Sexes’ (naturally). Not only was this an important moment in Billie Jean King’s professional career, publicly being gay was also a risk for her at a time when it was nowhere near as common as it is today. She is a trailblazer in many ways, including advocating for equal pay in tennis, one of the few sports where women do get to earn the same amount as men in certain championships.

‘Battle of the Sexes’ is set to be released in the US later this year, and in the UK on October 20.





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