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Gender & Sexuality

Gender & Sexuality

Is Pope Francis’ Abuse Commission A Fail?

For abuse survivors, the move to silence Saunders (a sexual abuse survivor serving on the commission) confirms their fears that the commission was largely a PR tactic. “We never had high hopes for the commission,” David Clohessy of the survivor’s group SNAP told RD. He says church officials “know exactly what should be done in abuse cases” and have “unlimited resources” to do it. “They don’t need advice, they need courage and no commission will give them that,” he said.

Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches At a time when corporations are buying up elections - not to mention the 24-hour news cycle - help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support all reader supported Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner. 

February 10, 2016 | Pope Francis’ formation of a committee to advise him on long-term policies to stem clerical sexual abuse was hailed as a major step forward in the Catholic Church’s bungled handling of the abuse crisis. But an internal crisis within the committee—along with the glacial pace of any reforms—is raising questions about the credibility and effectiveness of the committee going forward.

Over the weekend, Peter Saunders, one of two actual survivors of sexual abuse serving on the committee, was booted off by a nearly unanimous vote of the other members. They asserted that the committee’s role is specifically advisory and limited to developing long-term policies to prevent abuse and that Saunders was upsetting the apple cart by advocating for more immediate action and intervention in specific cases.

Patricia Miller is a Washington, DC–based journalist and the author of Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church. Her work the intersection of politics, sex and religion has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post, RH Reality Check and Ms. Magazine.

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A Showdown Year for Reproductive Rights

  • Two potentially sweeping Supreme Court cases set the stage for a seismic shift in the battle over abortion and contraception.
  • Howard Zinn | The Intimately Oppressed

Nina Martin, ProPublica in front of the Supreme Court in 2015. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan. 8, 2016 | For advocates of women’s reproductive rights, 2015 was the definition of “annus horribilis:” marked by tough new limits on abortion, a debilitating Planned Parenthood scandal, and a shooting at a Colorado clinic that left three people dead. For abortion opponents, it was the year when decades of incremental political and legal gains merged into something much bigger. Now 2016 is shaping up to be even more turbulent — perhaps the most momentous year for reproductive issues in a generation.

At the Supreme Court, justices will decide two cases that could dramatically reshape abortion law and gut what remains of the landmark contraception-coverage mandate in President Obama’s health care reform law. In Congress and state legislatures, lawmakers are preparing a torrent of bills inspired by videos purporting to show an unsavory trade in fetal body parts for research. Looming over it all is a presidential race filled with GOP anti-abortion hard-liners and a female Democratic frontrunner who’s made defending reproductive rights a cornerstone of her campaign.

Nina Martin covers gender and sexuality for ProPublica.

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Howard Zinn | The Intimately Oppressed, Howard Zinn, Dandelion Salad

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived as a mother, a housewife, full of resentment at her condition. She declared: “A woman is a nobody. A wife is everything.”

Howard Zinn | The Intimately Oppressed

Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived as a mother, a housewife, full of resentment at her condition. She declared: “A woman is a nobody. A wife is everything.”

Howard Zinn, Dandelion Salad you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. Image by Kaleb via Edmonton Public Schools via Flickr 

February 3, 2016 | It is possible, reading standard histories, to forget half the population of the country. The explorers were men, the landholders and merchants men, the political leaders men, the military figures men. The very invisibility of women, the overlooking of women, is a sign of their submerged status.

In this invisibility they were something like black slaves (and thus slave women faced a double oppression). The biological uniqueness of women, like skin color and facial characteristics for Negroes, became a basis for treating them as inferiors. True, with women, there was something more practically important in their biology than skin color-their position as childbearers-but this was not enough to account for the general push backward for all of them in society, even those who did not bear children, or those too young or too old for that. It seems that their physical characteristics became a convenience for men, who could use, exploit, and cherish someone who was at the same time servant, sex mate, companion, and bearer-teacher-warden of his children.

Howard Zinn was one of America’s most distinguished (and valuable) historians. Writing history with an eye to defuse the myths favoring the privileged orders since the nation’s beginnings, his history is an eye-opener for anyone wishing to learn the truth about the United States, especially in an age of deliberate falsification.

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Sex for “mere pleasure”? Shame on you! — 15 sexual hang-ups we can blame on the Catholic Church

  • I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty. ~John Waters
  • The Catholic Church is obsessed with sex. Even if you're secular you're not immune from its noxious ideas.

Valerie Tarico, Salon Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. Ollyy via Shutterstock)

Sunday, Jan 24, 2016 | The Catholic Church is obsessed with sex: who does it, when, how, with whom, and for what purpose. In fact, I might argue that one of the most fundamental ways the Church hooks people is by creating deep psychological hang-ups about sex, for which it then claims to offer a solution.

Sexual intimacy and sexual pleasure are two of humanity’s most cherished experiences. A recent study showed that sex makes people even happier than Jesus does. The Church knows that. It also knows that forbidding something we crave—making it taboo—can make the craving even stronger. It’s the perfect setup for an institution trafficking in guilt and redemption.

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, WA. Her articles are popular at, and As a writer Valerie tackles the intersection between religious belief, psychology and politics, with a growing focus on women’s issues and contraceptive technologies that she thinks are upstream game changers for a broad range of challenges that humanity faces.

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No Woman Should Be Asked These Questions During A Job Interview

They're potentially illegal, definitely sexist and not at all relevant.

Emily Peck, Huffington Post Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. | Attention hiring managers: Don’t ask a woman about her marital status, plans on having kids or her child-care arrangements during a job interview.

These questions, which are almost never put to men, are not only irrelevant to assessing a potential candidate, they’re also sexist and potentially illegal.

And yet… An astonishing 75 percent of senior women in tech said they’ve been asked questions like these during job interviews, according to an incredibly depressing new survey of about 200 senior-level women who work in tech in the San Francisco Bay Area. The report, entitled "The Elephant in the Valley," was first picked up by Re/code.

Emily Peck: Executive Business & Technology Editor, the Huffington Post

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