E.J. Graff

Are We Equal Yet?

Ladies, we’ve had fun this year, haven’t we? Komen defunding Planned Parenthood sure made PP’s contributions zoom up, and Komen’s zoom down. The Republicans' jaw-dropping attack on contraception has given Obama an absurd lead among women. Katie Roiphe—yes, she who believes that date rape is nothing more than rough sex—has bravely decided that we’re so tired of being in charge, of our success, working gals all wanna be whipped. (Sigh.

Earth to Ann Romney: The Mommy Wars Are Over

When Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life, the comment was at first touted as an enormous misstep, a jab at mothers, a slip of the lip that could sink Obama's post-contraception-scuffle 19-point lead among women. 

What Does an Abortionist Look Like?

(AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Joe Mahoney)

She’s a single, unemployed mother with three children who finds out that she’s pregnant—just after the father has been sent to prison. She says she is distraught at the idea of hurting her kids by adding another child to the family, giving each of them less money, time, and attention, dragging them further into poverty. But she lives in rural southeastern Idaho, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the nearest clinic in Salt Lake City—and getting an abortion would require two round trips there, because of the mandatory waiting period.

So she takes RU-486, ordered online, self-supervised. She freaks out at the fetus’s size, stashes it on her back porch, tells a friend, and gets reported to the police.

And, is promptly arrested for inducing her own abortion.

November Dreaming

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

I’ve been noticing that, since January, the Obama administration has kicked up its attentions to the LGBT communities, announcing one small regulatory change or conference after another. But they’re not delivering the bigger changes that LGBT groups have been agitating for. I’ve been assuming that the goal is to boost turnout in November. Will it work?

Second-Degree Murder

(AP Photo/Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel, Pool)

You know, by now, that George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. I am relieved. Like so many, I’ve been just crazed over the fact that an armed man could follow an unarmed teenager walking on the street, shoot and kill him, and not be arrested—all in a way that suggests that it happened because the teenager was black and the shooter was not.

Zimmerman's Fair Trial

(AP Photo/Orange County Jail via The Miami Herald, File)

You know, by now, that George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. I am relieved. Like so many, I’ve been just crazed over the fact that an armed man could follow an unarmed teenager walking on the street, shoot and kill him, and not be arrested—all in a way that suggests that it happened because the teenager was black and the shooter was not.

Married With Child

(Flickr / code_martial)

Oh my lord, it’s nice to be home! It was absolutely lovely, reading by my brother’s pool—or, as I told the stepson, doing my homework. (Stay tuned, here, for the resulting review of Linda Hirshman’s forthcoming book Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution). My nephews thought I was crazy, swimming in March. But it was 90 degrees out!

But while I loved the physical climate, I can’t say I’m so crazy about the social. As we changed planes in the Atlanta airport, the flight attendant guarding the entryway to the plane asked, alarmed, “Who’s that stray black child?” "He’s ours," my wife said. Let me describe this clearly: He was standing between us, two white ladies, one of whom had just handed this woman all three tickets.

I’ve Got Some Assignments for Rachel Maddow

(AP Photo / Chris Pizzello)

Last week, the authorities here at the Prospect were calling me the substitute teacher. I got grumpy about that at first (all kinds of anti-woman and bad childhood associations). But I’ve decided to embrace it. Rachel Maddow, here’s your homework.

Over at the Competition

(Flickr/ Michigan Municipal League (MML))

Over at the competition (am I in trouble, editors?), E.J.’s close-up look at the challenge facing Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts provides a deeper and more thoughtful, not to mention professionally-reported, rumination on the redness of a true-blue state than my blog post of yesterday. You’ll want to read it for a fix while she is lounging poolside, and also to sound smart the next time someone takes the Bay State for granted.

An Easter Foreign-Policy Lesson

(Flickr/WillowGardeners)

There’s nothing like a double-barreled Holy Week/Passover to send media flacks leaping for “hooks” of relevance. Here’s my nominee for Most Dubious Holy Week Tie-in—an article from the august Council on Foreign Relations which documents, the email release promises me, how:

[W]hile Obama is by all accounts religious, that faith has not resulted in real foreign policy gains. "Rhetoric is important, but direct action grounds real diplomacy. And on that front, the White House has not kept up with the issue," Preston writes.

Maryland, My Maryland

(Flickr / Dougtone)

I live with my family in one of the bluest places in the nation—Montgomery County, Maryland. We have some things you might expect—relatively high taxes, some of the best schools in the nation, quite a bit of diversity (we’re nothing on Arlington County, Virginia, with 100-plus nationalities in the schools, but our announcements come home in English, Spanish, French, and Amharic, the local cult-ish house whose inhabitants wear head-to-toe purple).

Be Nice to Heather Hurlburt, Ms. Graff's Substitute Teacher

(Flickr/AlborzShawn)

Morning, all. I’m Heather Hurlburt, recovering political speechwriter, national-security wonk, mom, feminist, Gen X-er, executive director of a small-yet-mighty nonprofit, would-be ballet dancer. I’m also the child of two journalists, so writing on deadline is in my blood.

Following E.J. Graff, whose writing has done as much as anyone to create and shape the discourses on the politics of women’s sexuality and on marriage equality, is more than a little intimidating. In fact, while I’ve written on geostrategy and politics for almost two decades now, this’ll be my coming-out party for writing on women’s issues for a clicking audience.

I’m Vacating. Don’t You Go Anywhere, Though.

National Security Network

I’ve been doing a little too much lately, as you’ll see soon in The Nation and the forthcoming print issue of The Prospect. So I’m running off to a foreign country—Texas—to see how much my nephews have grown, hang out by my brother’s pool, splash around with my wife and stepson, and prove to my mother that, yes, she does have an eldest daughter.

Video Killed the Radio Star

The Nation

Please excuse a little self-promo, but The Nation made a trailer for my forthcoming article on Elizabeth Warren.

How Much Longer Until I’m Equal?

(Flickr/Zolk)

Is there an LGBT legal organization that hasn’t filed a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act? Yesterday, Immigration Equality got on the bus, with a lawsuit challenging DOMA’s Section 3 (which bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages) because it prevents American citizens from sponsoring their same-sex spouses for green cards. When my cousin Laura married a Dutchman, Erik, in a beautiful ceremony at the UN, no one worried that they wouldn’t be able to live together here; of course she’d be able to get him a visa to stay, even if he lost his job.

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