Category: Gender & Sexuality

Allen Jones

Another Name for SFO

By Allen Jones, Jan 28, 2013 4:24 PM

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On its face renaming San Francisco International Airport after slain gay rights activist and former city council member Harvey Milk makes total sense. In a city known worldwide as a “gay mecca,” it was Milk who in many ways led that charge.

The council will meet Tuesday to vote on the proposal, which right now looks likely to fail.

Still, as a homosexual black man and a native of the city, my own life’s journey has drawn inspiration from other sources apart from Milk, names not as well recognized though no less meaningful.

Marisa Treviño

On World AIDS Day, Obamacare Could Be Lifeline for Latinas

By Marisa Treviño, Dec 1, 2012 10:25 AM


There was a time when AIDS was considered an automatic death threat. With no viable treatment that ensured its victims a good quality of life as they battled the disease that slowly robbed them of their physical strength, their emotional courage and their hope for a cure, the mention of AIDS always shot fear through communities who were not accustomed to speaking about sexual practices in public spaces.

Jessica González-Rojas

Women of Color Won the Election for Obama-- And They Protected Reproductive Health

By Jessica González-Rojas, Nov 9, 2012 10:30 AM

Jessica González-Rojas is the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

On election night, Latinas and other women of color played an historic role in deciding the future of our country by helping President Obama secure the White House and blocking state-level attempts to curb rights, including reproductive rights. Over and over again, in state after state, Latina and women of color voters provided the winning margin: 76 percent of Latinas and 96 of black women voted for Obama, and Asian voters chose Obama at even higher rates than Latino/as. It’s no accident that women of color chose a president that has taken strong positions in support of health care access, support for a woman’s reproductive decision-making, and equal pay, key issues for this constituency.

Sylvia Manzano

The Latino Gender Gap: Latina Voters Prefer Obama by 53-Point Margin

By Sylvia Manzano, Sep 17, 2012 10:08 AM

Latino Decisions

With seven weeks until the election Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s potential gender gap with women faces a new hurdle in the Latino community, as reported today by Pilar Marrero. According to the fourth week of the impreMedia/Latino Decisions tracking poll Latina voters plan to vote for President Obama by a margin of 74% to 21% for Romney – a 53 point gap. Among Latino men, 61% plan to vote for Obama and 32% for Romney. The September 17 polling data suggest the president continues to solidify his lead among Latinos, and there are no signs of cracks in the Obama coalition among Latino voters. Overall Obama holds 68% of the Latino vote to 26% for Romney, erasing the small bump Romney received in the September 3 (week 2) poll release following the RNC convention.

But it is among Latina voters that Romney and the Republican party fare the worst. The impreMedia/Latino Decisions tracking poll data show very clearly that Hispanic women are very opposed to Mitt Romney and the Republican Party image right now. Romney’s favorability is 27% among Latino men and just 22% among Latinas, while Republicans in Congress are seen favorably by 29% of men, but just 20% of women in the Latino community. Looking towards the vote in the U.S. House, 68% of Latinas say they will vote Democrat compared to 59% of Latino men.

Given the focus of female voters and issues in the 2012 election the impreMedia/Latino Decisions tracking poll included a new question asking Hispanic respondents which party was better equipped to address issues important to women. When it comes to handling issues of concern to women, Latino voters – both men and women say that the Democratic Party is more trusted to handle women’s issues. However, among Latinas, we find a 65 point advantage for the Democrats on women’s issues, perhaps the largest gap on any policy issue our polling data has ever revealed – this is very bad news for the Republican Party. What’s more, our data indicate that Latinas are more motivated to vote in 2012 than are Latino men. Among Latinas, 59% say they are very enthusiastic about voting this year (51% for men) and 88% say they are certain to vote (84% of men).

Explaining the gender gap among Latinos

While much has been written about the gender gap in presidential election this year, little has been said about Hispanic women. Earlier this year, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto was one of the first to point out that Susana Martinez alone would not solve the Latina gender gap for Republicans, and that much deeper policy issues were at stake. Last week, Rob Preuhs pointed out that a June Latino Decisions poll in Colorado found a sizable gender gap emerging there as well. Given the historic and current state of party platforms and policy issues, we identify five reasons why Hispanic women are less inclined to support the Republican party.

1. The hostile rhetoric about immigrants has been gendered – “anchor babies” is a slur directed at Hispanic mothers – and it is no surprise Latinas think Democrats are better than Republicans at women’s issues. Ugly framing about Latina fertility and their children in context of immigration position-taking probably led many Latinas to think Republicans were not in their corner well before they started parsing words defining rape, adopted a platform position to ban all abortions, and waged a fight against covering birth control. It would be entirely shocking if Hispanic women suddenly became the champions of the party and candidates that put that phrase into the national lexicon.

2. When 78% of Latinas, and 68% of Latinos say that Democrats are better at women’s issues relative to the GOP, it is likely a reference to a whole host of issues that matter for Hispanic women, not merely a reference to abortion politics. Abortion and contraception consistently rank last among the most important issues to Latina and Latino voters. It almost does not matter how we conceive of “women’s issues”, Democrats have taken positions much more favorable to Hispanic women – affordable health care, DREAM Act support, Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court – compared to Republicans.

3. The idea that the economy, jobs, immigration, and health care are singular issues may not be so useful when we think about the perspective and experience Latinas (and Latinos for that matter) bring to these topics. It may not be useful to think about “the most important issue”, or “women’s issues” because things like jobs, economic concerns and heath care are inextricably connected for this community. For example, Latina voters are likely to have more care-giving responsibilities than other voters, and less income. We know that Latinos lack health care at higher rates, have more children than non-Latino whites, and have more multi-generational households (e.g. older family members live in the same home). All of these factors make “health care” more pressing for Latina voters who are concerned with their family’s actual health, as well as the impact it can have on the household’s economic stability.

4. Latina voters are more likely to say that the DREAM act is a priority issue, many Latinas – whether they are parents or not – think of the DREAM act as a long-term solution that provides economic and employment opportunities for their friends, children and larger community. So again, the economy and immigration policy are not two different things.

5. While there are differences between Hispanic men and women, it is important to notice that they are on the same side — well over half of Latinos and Latinas prefer Obama over Romney, are certain they will vote, and think Democratic outreach is much better than Republican outreach. This is not the same phenomenon as the white voter gender gap, that usually refers to men and women taking opposite positions on issues or candidates. The “Latino Gender Gap” is nothing like the white voter gender gap. Since Latinos and Latinas are similarly situated in terms of the social and economic status, their political preferences and behavior is pretty much alike. Hispanic men don’t like their kids being called “anchor babies”, or having their mothers insulted either.

Marisa Treviño

Latino immigrants hold dubious distinction of having the most HIV diagnoses

By Marisa Treviño, Jul 24, 2012 3:00 PM


Thirty-one years after the discovery of AIDS in the United States, the hope was that the disease would have been eradicated by now.

Andrés Duque

U.S. Embassies in Latin America Celebrate LGBT Pride

By Andrés Duque, Jul 9, 2012 6:07 PM


It would be hard to overstate just how amazingly LGBT-friendly the US State Department has been under the leadership of Hillary Clinton even as she prepares to depart later this year.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Stanford Grad Reflects on Year Since Graduating

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, May 18, 2012 11:18 AM

In the coming weeks, I will mark my first year since graduating from college. My recent conversations with friends about their final papers, graduation celebrations, and of course, the job search, reminds me of the anxiety I felt over my graduation hopes and fears in 2011. Not to mention, this year’s current statistics on unemployed college graduates makes me wonder at the amount of unprecedented stress this year’s graduates must be under.

Maria Cardona

On gay marriage, Latinos agree with Obama

By Maria Cardona, May 10, 2012 2:35 PM


President Obama is indeed a profile in courage. He has made history yet again with his announcement that he supports full marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Bravo, Mr. President.

Victor Landa

Nebraska Upholds Prenatal Care for Undocumented

By Victor Landa, Apr 24, 2012 9:00 AM

It turns out pro-immigrant trumps anti-abortion in Nebraska after all. This has been a topsy-turvy issue for a few weeks so I’ll give you the need-to-know version of the details, NewsTaco has reported on the story.

Viji Sundaram

CASE Act Campaign Submits 865,000 Signatures to Qualify for Nov. 2012 Ballot

By Viji Sundaram, Mar 29, 2012 3:15 PM

Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (CASE) Act campaign announced today that it has submitted more than 865,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2012 ballot. 

Miriam Yeung

Why I'm Going to Alabama -- Immigrant Women and Human Rights

By Miriam Yeung, Mar 22, 2012 4:05 PM

As I was preparing to write this post about the upcoming We Belong Together delegation to Birmingham, Alabama, I came across a horrifying and upsetting story from Wyoming about a mother who killed herself and her daughter after being targeted in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid. “Friends say that after the ICE agents came, [Erica] Delgado was terrified she would be separated from her daughter, and equally frightened she might be found by her abuser.”

Maria Cardona

Why GOP Could Prompt Women to Vote for Obama

By Maria Cardona, Mar 8, 2012 11:30 AM


Much has been written about the GOP’s huge hole with Latino voters and how that will prevent them from reaching the White House. In fact, a new poll of just Latino voters has no Republican presidential candidate polling above 14% against President Obama. Dios mio! As if that weren’t enough, the GOP is now busy with their shovels digging themselves another hole, this time with another incredibly important demographic – women.

Angela Maria Kelley, Philip E. Wolgin

10 Facts You Need to Know About Immigrant Women

By Angela Maria Kelley, Philip E. Wolgin, Mar 8, 2012 10:30 AM

Center for American Progress

On International Women's Day, we have reason to celebrate the important contributions of immigrant women to our society and our economy.

Marisa Treviño

Latino GOP Group to GOP Women's Org: Don't Host Speaker from Hate Group

By Marisa Treviño, Jan 17, 2012 9:00 AM


Since 2007, many young and new Latino voters have, from time to time, written into Latina Lista to ask how I could publish the viewpoints and stories of Latinos who self-identify as Republicans. It’s a natural question from those newly engaged in the nation’s civic process, especially the young.

Marisa Treviño

More Latinas Going to College, But Many Drop Out

By Marisa Treviño, Nov 16, 2011 7:40 AM


The future of this country takes on desperate importance with each passing day given the ongoing debt debate, the continual low educational rankings of our school children compared to their global counterparts and the rising costs of higher education.

Andrew Lam

First Woman to Achieve Judo's Top Rank

By Andrew Lam, Aug 16, 2011 4:50 PM

Among judo aficionados, 98-year-old San Francisco resident Keiko Fukuda is a legend. She is the first and only woman to hold the ninth degree in the judo world. Last week, Rafu Shimpo reports, "USA Judo promoted her to 10th dan, the highest black belt level in judo.”

The subject of a documentary by Yuriko Gamo Romer to be released next year called, “Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful,” Fukuda is the last surviving student of Jigoro Kano (1860-1938), the founder of judo in Japan. For decades she fought sexism, which prevented her from rising beyond a certain rank in the judo world. When she came to San Francisco, she established a judo club for women in Noe Valley, where she still teaches.

Andrew Lam is author of "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres."

According to Rafu Shimpo, a celebration of her promotion to judo's top rank will be held during the 13th annual Fukuda International Kata Championship in October at City College of San Francisco.

Eming Piansay

The Chick Flick Comedy Diaspora

By Eming Piansay, May 17, 2011 2:52 PM

When the first wave of teaser trailers for Judd Apatow’s Bridesmaids hit the airwaves offering the world a female version to the hilarious, drug induced Hang Over series all I could think was: finally!

Finally, Hollywood got with the program that women have a raunchy side that doesn’t necessary include getting in touch with our emotions 24/7 or running around in airbrushed leather outfits.

Paul Kleyman

WAVELENGTH: What's Original Reporting Worth? Plus AT&T & More

By Paul Kleyman, Apr 4, 2011 12:10 AM

Editor's Note: New America Media (NAM) is pleased  to bring you this summary of  the second issue of "The Wavelength," a new biweekly blog of news  from the front lines of media battles in the United States. It is published by The Media Consortium (TMC), of which NAM is a member. Here is the link to the full issue of "The Wavelength."

How Original?

Last week, the New York Times debuted its long-awaited paywall, and blogger Nate Silver used the launch as an opportunity to explore the value of a news organization based on the amount of original reporting it produces. While Silver’s rankings could be a valuable tool for news organizations, Mother Jones‘ Nick Baumann finds Silver’s methodology wanting.

“The results, as you might expect, made the Times [paywall] look like a pretty good value,” Baumann writes. But the real problems are in how Silver ranks “original reporting”– namely that online citations don’t always identify the outlet, and that larger, established news organizations sometimes get credit for breaking stories when smaller orgs actually had the scoop first. Rankings are valuable, but they need deeper exploration, maybe via funding from the Knight Foundation, or others.

AT&T/T-Mobile Merger still a very bad idea

Free Press’s Tim Karr weighs in on the mega-merger with five reasons why it’s not so great for consumers. According to Karr, “Consolidation on the scale being proposed by AT&T resembles the old railroad and oil trusts of the 19th century.” Karr also notes that the merger would erode competition, result in higher prices and fewer choices for consumers, eliminate many jobs, stifle innovation in the tech sector, and threaten free speech. [And that’s only when the glass is half full. Gulp!]

The disappearance of T-Mobile could have a huge impact on communities of color, which rely on unrestricted text and Web plans, especially people who don’t own computers. At, Jamilah King notes that  blacks and Latinos are among the biggest users of mobile technology. If unlimited data plans end, and prices for wireless service rise for current T-Mobile users--if and when a merger is completed--the digital divide will almost certainly widen.

Buying Anti-Net Neutrality Votes

Crunchgear had an eye-opening article outlining how over the last four election cycles Internet service providers spread $868,024 to the 15 members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology who opposed Net Neutrality—the idea of keeping the Internet from becoming costly gatekeepers of information and likely censors.

New Study Details Women in Media Globally

In “It’s Still a Man’s World, Especially at the Top,” Inter Press Service’s Andrea Lunt reports on a new study of media in 60 countries by the International Women’s Media Foundation showing that gender inequality in the media sphere has been institutionalized. There is good news, though: The gap appears to be closing, especially at the executive level, where women have more than doubled their presence in the past 15 years.

Sandip Roy

DOMA and Obama - Time to Leave Nuance Behind?

By Sandip Roy, Feb 24, 2011 1:43 AM

 Once President Obama’s most appealing asset was his grasp of nuance. Now he often feels like a prisoner of it. He has directed his Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court. But the White House also clarified he is still opposed to same-sex marriage and supports civil unions. His views on same-sex marriage are apparently still “evolving”. Perhaps the president needs some cover before he does a u-turn from his campaign trail stance on the issue. Or perhaps it’s really about nuance. But sometimes you have to be red or blue, not just an evolving shade of mauve. Sometimes you lead by example, not by nuance.