Jaclyn Munson

Woman Who Filmed Her Own Abortion: 'We Need to Talk, Not Apologize'

Last week, Emily Letts changed the conversation about breaking the stigma associated with abortion and reproductive rights when she became the first person known to film her own surgical abortion. The YouTube video she made has since gone viral, and become the source of backlash. Letts spoke with AlterNet about her abortion experience and why empathy is the key to the future of reproductive rights. 

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We Need To Regulate Guns, Not Women's Bodies

This past week marked the forty-first anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that expanded the right to privacy to include a woman’s right to an abortion. It also marked yet another tragic shooting, this one at a mall in Columbia, Md., that left three dead, including the gunman who committed suicide. On the surface, it may seem like abortion and gun violence don’t have anything in common but the way these issues have historically been framed — abortion as murder and the right to bear arms as essential — reflects how tightly we clutch our guns and Bibles in an effort to maintain founding principles, ones whose merit should be challenged based on our ever-evolving society.

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Sally Kohn: How to Get Along With Right-Wingers

Is it possible for liberals and conservatives to see past their politics and really hear what the other side is saying? Sally Kohn thinks so. The former Fox News contributor and CNN’s newest contributor (according to TV Newser) spoke about "emotional correctness" in her TED talk last fall, a kind of behavioral intervention for political dialogue that often leaves us gridlocked and divided. In an exclusive interview with AlterNet, Kohn talks about how she discovered emotional correctness and what the left and the right could be doing better.   

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10 Most Sexist Female Characters on TV

It’s pretty easy to get invested in TV shows these days, what with reality being a giant mess. In theory, television should provide an escape from the hardships of daily life—unless you’re a woman, that is, and nasty gender roles and stereotypes are repeated and reinforced on screen. Female characters are still sidelined in television and film, especially women of color. Despite being 51% of the US population, women account for only 37% of prime-time characters. Many female characters are tokenized, objectified, sexualized, and otherwise treated like less than human. 

Here's a roundup of the most degraded characters on TV. 

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Love Really Is The Cure: A Review of Elton John's New Book

As global citizens, we exist both independently and interdependently, relying on the judgment of others to ensure that laws and policy accommodate our needs. The particularities of policy in cultures and communities the world over is, of course, flavored by schemas and frameworks that are historically specific to a given region. What is taboo in one space may be commonplace in another—but popularity of framework shouldn't be mistaken for the resolution and addressing of stigma. When stigmas inform political agendas that serve to maintain white patriarchal capitalist systems, marginalized populations are often disproportionately impacted by such policy and governance. It is no coincidence then that the stigma of HIV/AIDS has not only perpetuated the rates of transmission, but has oppressed global populations and demographics most affected by the illness.

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