Foreign Policy: Head of State

“Still, the Chinese did not give in. At one point, an advisor who was present recalled, Clinton finally seemed to catch their attention by mentioning what a political circus the case had become — with Chen even dialing into a U.S. congressional hearing that Thursday by cell phone from his hospital bed to say he feared for his safety if he remained in China. The Chinese team was visibly surprised. Eventually, Dai agreed at least to let the negotiations proceed. A few hours later, exhausted U.S. officials announced a deal.

By the next morning when we met, it was already clear this had been the most intense high-stakes diplomacy of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. She had worked hard to rescue Chen without blowing up the American relationship with China, but it was not yet obvious whether she had accomplished either goal. The Chinese were furious about the embarrassing attention to their human rights abuses. Clinton and her aides were being pilloried at home by everyone from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to the human rights community for abandoning Chen at the hospital. And the secretary was still worried about the deal. ‘Until he’s actually out and up with his family,’ she told me, ‘it’s still touch and go.'”

While I am not in 100% agreement with our policy toward Syria, Russia, and the subsequent intersections in Central Asia where rampant and ongoing human rights abuses are so often an afterthought to lucrative resource deals, this is nevertheless an excellent article about Hillary Clinton.

Article: Head of State (Foreign Policy)


“And I think…wow, how different their lives are from mine.”

I have some pretty incredible friends. They’re off climbing mountains, running marathons, publishing papers, fighting terrorists and escalefters, and … curing cancer one wrap skirt at a time?


My Facebook feed is sometimes a scary place, since “news” for my particular set of acquaintances often relates to drone strikes, major natural disasters, and famines, but I’m often reminded of what an exciting time we live in. I am reminded of the power of advocacy and the ability of one person to make a world of difference. And with the above quote from an acquaintance from graduate school, I was reminded of today’s article about women learning to drive in post-Taliban Afghanistan. How different their lives are from mine, indeed.

Article: Afghan woman pushes for rights from behind the wheel (Reuters)

Reuters: U.S. Air Force staff sergeant gets 20 years for rape, sex assault

“Staff Sergeant Luis Walker, found guilty by a military jury on Friday of 28 charges, was ordered to be reduced to lowest rank in the Air Force, to forfeit all pay and allowances, and given a dishonorable discharge. He will also have to register as a sex offender.”

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination remain volatile issues in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is sobering that it is more likely for a woman in the military to be raped than killed by enemy fire in Iraq. From Feministe: “Also reported is the ugly truth that of 2,280 cases where victims provided full accounts and evidence, only 317 cases were referred for courts-martial and 247 were referred for nonjudicial punishment.”

It should not be remarkable that Walker was found guilty by a military jury. For more about sexual abuse in the Armed Forces, here is a link to a 2009 blog from Feministe about rape statistics in the military.

Article: U.S. Air Force staff sergeant gets 20 years for rape, sex assault (Reuters)

Shakesville: Photos of the Day

Shakesville’s (a blog you should be reading) Melissa McEwan on July’s confounding onslaught of natural and man-made disasters:

“…I don’t have the expertise to write about what’s going on in the world right now, how to tease out what’s ‘normal’ from what isn’t, and I’m not sure I’d know what to say even if I did.  Anyway, I want to mark that this happening in some way; I want to document that people are struggling and succumbing and surviving.  That’s insufficient, I know, but it’s all I’ve got.”

Blog: Photos of the Day (Shakesville)

Tiger Beatdown: On the Intersection of Race & Feminism: A Conversation With Neesha Meminger and Ibi Zoboi

Q. similarly, in what ways can white feminists work as allies in our struggle for equal voice and representation?

Neesha Meminger: This question brings me to WisCon, the annual feminist science-fiction and fantasy convention in Wisconsin. This year was my third year there and I truly love the hard-won space. I feel completely at home in feminist spaces and this is no different. Except that it is. It’s very different from the feminism that I came out in. While there have been great strides in the presence of people of color at the conference (through the tireless efforts of a handful of attendees who initially spoke up and organized and kept pushing for change), the percentage is still small, overall, and there is still great work to be done. At the same time, discussions about power imbalances and justice and equal rights can take place in feminist spaces. Feminism is about representation and the battle for control over bodies and psychologies, so it’s not such a huge stretch then (one would think) to inject the same awareness into issues of race and class and sexuality and other intersections where power and privilege play huge roles in the rights of marginalized peoples.”

It’s my blog and I’ll use a meme if I want to, but if you go to Wisconsin looking for ethnic diversity, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Not saying ethnic diversity doesn’t exist in Wisconsin, but … well. It’s still Wisconsin.

I recognize I’m contributing nothing to this conversation.

Article: On the Intersection of Race & Feminism: A Conversation With Neesha Meminger and Ibi Zoboi (Tiger Beatdown)

Oh, Where Do We Start….

Since my last series of posts, I got a new job, finished writing a book (which you will all want to read because I am brilliant), lost my new job, got another job, moved into an apartment without Internet, survived a derecho, got Internet, got furniture (because priorities), busted my knee (again) moving said furniture, and now that I have Internet and can’t walk, I am officially back.

Thanks for hanging in there.

New content resumes this week!

The Big Picture: Young women in Chechnya

“‘There’s also a certain level of fear you have when working and living in a region as unpredictable as the North Caucasus. Something I am still trying to get used to:  my phone conversations are listened to. I am often followed on my shoots by federal security forces; my images have been deleted and I’ve been detained now more than a dozen times.'”

Photo Essay: Young Women in Chechnya