Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg is a senior correspondent at The American Prospect. She is also the author of Kingdom Coming and The Means of Reproduction.

Recent Articles

Burqa Politics in France

What happens when feminism and sexual liberation become tools for nationalism?

Photo used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of Flickr user superblinkymac.
On Monday, Nicolas Sarkozy became the first French president since Charles Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte to address the Parliament, thanks to recent reforms that scrapped a 19th-century law meant to protect the independence of the legislature. Given the occasion, it was rather odd that Sarkozy's strongest words were reserved for denouncing a garment that hardly any women in France wear. The burqa, he said, "is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women." It is, he added, "not welcome in France." Headscarves have been banned in French schools since 2004. Now Sarkozy wants to go much further, banning burqas, loose, full-body veils that cover women entirely, as well as niqabs, or face veils, from being worn anywhere in public. This was partly a rebuke to Obama, who outraged the French with parts of his Cairo speech. When Obama said that he rejects "the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal," many people in France heard a shot at...

Netanyahu's Illusory Concession on Palestine

The Israeli prime minister endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state, while rejecting it in the particular.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a remarkably intransigent speech at Bar-Ilan University, intended to both mirror and answer the speech President Barack Obama gave in Cairo last month. Netanyahu flatly refused to call for a settlement freeze, making the absurd but oft-heard argument that "there is a need to allow settlers to lead normal lives, to allow mothers and fathers to raise their children like all families around the world," as if no one else on Earth were subject to zoning restrictions. He laid out conditions for Israeli support for a Palestinian state so pinched and deliberately unrealistic, they were more insult than offer. In keeping with the old Likkud line that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people, he asserted the historic Jewish claim to the West Bank -- or, as he put it, "Judea and Samaria" -- and described the Palestinians as living "in the very heart of our homeland." "When Israeli TV, after the speech, went to talk to the...

The Compassion of Dr. Tiller

George Tiller is frequently described as "controversial." But in the tight-knit world of abortion providers and among the women under his care, he was often called a saint.

The Web site A Heartbreaking Choice is a place where women share their stories of late-term abortion. Though clearly pro-choice, the point of the site is not political; it is a support group for grieving parents. These are women who desperately wanted their babies but whose pregnancies turned disastrous. A section of the site is devoted to "Kansas Stories," because when women learn very late in their pregnancies that their fetuses have abnormalities that are likely to be fatal, Dr. George Tiller's Wichita clinic, Women's Health Care Services, was one of the only places in the country that could help them. One woman described her elation at being pregnant and how the possibility of motherhood offered a glimmer of hope through several family deaths. Then she found out her fetus had severe spinal and cerebral deformities. "I laid on the table crying and knowing in my heart at that point my son was not going to make it," she wrote. At almost 23 weeks pregnant, she was too far along for an...

Is Homophobia the New Anti-Semitism?

As the gay-rights movement has been globalized, so has religious and political opposition to homosexuality.

At a march commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, a gay-rights activist is taken away by riot police officers in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. That's why gay-rights activists chose May 17 for the International Day Against Homophobia, a worldwide series of events, now in its fourth year, designed to spotlight the terrible abuses gay and lesbian people face in much of the world. (In what might be seen as a prescient tribute to Larry Craig, it goes by the acronym IDAHO.) Even before this year's IDAHO began on Sunday, events in Moscow offered a lurid demonstration of why global homophobia needs our attention. Moscow gay-rights activists had planned a march to coincide with the finale of the ultra-campy Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. It was a brave and risky undertaking -- in the past, gay-rights demonstrators in Russia have been met with violence from both police and right-wing thugs. Moscow's mayor has called gay-rights marches "satanic," and his spokesperson told journalists that the activists threatened "not only to...

A NEW LOW FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST

According to Advertising Age , The Huffington Post is auctioning off an internship. Bidding is now at $13,000, and the minimum next bid is $15,500. “Jumpstart Your Career in the Blogsphere With An Eye Opening Internship at The Huffington Post in New York or Washington,” says the site hosting the auction. So it’s come to this. I’m still not convinced that this isn’t some kind of brilliant joke about the way Huffpo has devalued the work of writers. After all, as Advertising Age notes, its own media columnist Simon Dumenco predicted just such an eventuality in January. “Now maybe the Huffington Post could be worth more if it further cut its burn rate,” he wrote. “For instance, rather than not pay its bloggers, it could charge them -- for the privilege of getting to help maintain the jetsetting lifestyle of the Great Arianna, of course.” To be fair, the auction is for charity -- proceeds go to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Still, it’s pretty unseemly. Not only...

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