The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful
News updates just for you
Welcome to Chaise Lounge, a newsletter focused on issues important to women! I am so glad you are here and would love to hear your comments and thoughts. This week, we have a smorgasbord of topics to cover including the arts, abortion rights, international news, and more. Let me know what you think by sharing and commenting. Let’s go!
In the Arts
Cellist rediscovers female composers and creates a label for their music
Cellist Héloïse Luzzati had been playing professionally for three decades before she realized that she had never studied a piece composed by a woman. She went on a quest to find pieces composed by women and was so moved by what she found, that she created a record label to produce that music for the first time called La Boîte à Pépites. In a story she told on NPR, the music of Charlotte Sohy, who is featured in one of the releases, was kept in a drawer for decades. Her grandson copied the music from the handwritten sheets to a computer to recreate it digitally. Check out the collection to hear some beautiful pieces being shared for the first time.
Around the World
Just when you thought that Putin couldn’t get worse
Russian President Vladimir Putin is reviving one of Josef Stalin’s policies to financially reward women who produce ten children who live to the age of at least one year. Each woman who achieves this feat will be rewarded with $1 million rubles (over $16K USD) and the title of “Mother Heroine”. Given that the current cost of living for a family of four is $3155 (at the time of publication), a single $16K payment will not financially move the needle for these large families much less address the wear and tear that bearing ten children places on a human body.
Besides the small amount of the reward, the bigger issue of course is that Putin wants women to become breeders for his wars. According to their own government statistics, the death rate of young people in Russia has increased by 18% due to war. Now Putin wants the women of Russia to put their bodies through ten childbirths to repopulate the country because he is sending so many to war in Ukraine. Seems like there is a better solution, no?
North Carolina expands post-partum Medicaid coverage
Although North Carolina is one of eleven states that still has not expanded Medicaid, there is one piece of good news. Earlier this year, the state expanded post-partum care for pregnant people to move from 60 days to one year following childbirth. Given the statistics on maternal morbidity and mortality, this is excellent news that will lead to better health care for parents.
Florida judge tossed out of office after denying 17-year-old abortion
Earlier this year, Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Jared Smith denied the petition of a 17-year-old girl who was seeking judicial bypass of parental permission to receive an abortion. Citing her “poor grades” (she was a C student), Smith came to the conclusion that she was not mature enough to make the decision for herself. As many have pointed out, does that mean he thinks she is mature enough to raise a child? Fortunately, an appeals court overturned his ruling. On Tuesday, Smith was running for re-election in the primary, but he was beaten by Nancy Jacobs.
South Carolina representative regrets his vote on state’s heartbeat bill
While the South Carolina State Supreme Court gave abortion providers a reprieve by blocking the Fetal Heartbeat bill which would have banned abortions after about 6 weeks of gestation, one Republican representative regretted voting for the bill in the first place. It is hard to know what changed Representative Neal Collins’ mind, but this writer suspects that he personally knows the woman who he discusses in the video. As Chaise Lounge has noted before, many Republicans who vote for bills that reduce people’s rights seem to have a change of heart when it is a friend or family member who is affected. Take a listen to hear his change of heart.
In the Legal Realm
DeShaun Watson fined $5 million and receives 11 game suspension
Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShaun Watson received the highest-ever penalty from the NFL. He is suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million. Watson had a habit of exposing himself and/or using lewd sexually coercive behavior with women who were giving him a professional massage. In fact, 24 women signed on to the lawsuit. He settled with 23 of the 24 women. Initially, the NFL had given him a six-game suspension, the minimum amount for sexual harassment. That punishment was the first issued by a third-party arbitrator, but the public outcry over the suspension sent the NFL back to the drawing board which resulted in this harsher punishment.
Abortion rights eroding in North Carolina
Back in 2019, Federal Judge William Osteen place an injunction on North Carolina’s 20-week ban on abortions because it violated Roe v. Wade. The Republican-led legislature asked Osteen to remove the injunction once Roe was overturned. Although the state’s attorney general and other interested parties recommended that the judge not lift the injunction, he did so anyway. So now, North Carolinians must live with a 20-week ban.
Misogynist of the Week Award
North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson has quite the stance on whether women should be able to talk in his memoir about to be published. A quote from the memoir’s excerpt reads:
“I have found that women in general don’t like to be outtalked. When you go out in groups, it often comes down to discussions, women on one side, men on the other. And back then, I’d be just hurling it. Often women would get quite angry. They love to be able to talk a man into submission. And with me, it never happens. They can’t do it.”
Additionally, Robinson states that science and social studies should not be taught in elementary school classrooms. Take a listen to hear more of his “original” ideas.
Just for fun
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