Double Dose: Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace, "Clean" Porn, Imus, Alanis and More

By Christine Cupaiuolo — April 14, 2007

Pregnant Need Not Apply: “A record 4,901 pregnancy discrimination complaints were filed nationwide with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state and local fair employment practices agencies in fiscal year 2006. That is a 23 percent increase since 1997, making it one of the fastest-growing workplace bias complaints, according to federal officials,” reports the Baltimore Sun. The number of complaints may be much higher, according to an EEOC official, because many women are reluctant to file a complaint.

Shortage of Obstetricians in Japan: “Since losing its last obstetrician five years ago, this city [Tono] of nearly 32,000 in rural northern Japan has been desperately seeking a replacement. So desperately, in fact, that it recently promised a horse to any obstetrician willing to come here,” reports The New York Times. “There have been no takers yet. In the meantime, the city has adopted a high-tech measure that may portend the future of child delivery in Japan: pregnant women are examined remotely by obstetricians using real-time data transmitted to the doctors’ cellphones.”

Costly Contraceptives: Contraception costs recently jumped ridiculously high on college campuses, thanks to a deficit-reduction bill Congress passed in 2005 that took effect this year. A New York Times editorial argues in favor of restoring exemptions from Medicaid pricing rules so drug companies can sell contraceptives and other products “to certain charitable groups, like the college clinics, at an extreme discount.”

Conference on Sex Differences and Health: The Organization for the Study of Sex Differences is holding its first annual conference May 9-12 in Washington, D.C. Questions that will be addressed include: Why do most autoimmune diseases affect more women than men? Why does lung cancer vary between the sexes in progression and responsiveness to treatment? How do women and men respond differently to pain and analgesics?

Health Coverage For All, Almost: “Massachusetts is poised to become the first state to make it possible for 99 percent of its adults to be covered by health insurance, with an ambitious plan that sets limits for the premiums people would be expected to pay,” reports The New York Times. More from the Boston Globe.

All Things Imus: There’s been some great responses to the Imus controversy.  Coverage from throughout the week can be found under the “representations of women” index.

The Aftermath of “My Humps”: Writing for Broadsheet, Raquel Hecker notes that Fergie totally appreciated Alanis Morissette’s remake, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be spared more retro lyrics.

“Get Smart” Gets Real: “The new Get Smart movie has to contend with two big changes from the original 1965 TV show: the fall of communism and the rise of feminism,” reports USA Today. Look for a newly empowered Agent 99, played by Anne Hathaway. Steve Carell stars as Maxwell Smart.

The Fantasies of Straight Women: Add Ironing Board?: “The [Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative] says that when it comes to pornography, what really turns women on is men who clean the bathroom without being asked, or make a gourmet dinner, or bring home flowers for no reason, or volunteer to watch the kids,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Those fantasies, involving some muscular guys posed by photographer Susan Alexander, play out in “Porn for Women” (Chronicle Books, $12.95).

Letter Fueled Feminist Fire: “After all these years, it is time to respond to the numerous letters to the editor regarding the so-called ‘radical feminist movement,’ submitted by Vern Hegenbart,” begins a letter in The Lacrosse Tribune written by Amy Belling-Dunn and Kate Belling. A great response!

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