I’m mostly annoyed at “boingboing”: these days, but one story yesterday made me want to jump up and down (in a good way) and yell, “Yippee!!”

The apparently highly enlightened country of Brazil has “refused US aid because of abstinence-only restrictions placed on it!”:,7369,1475965,00.html?=rss

Of the 3 million people who die of AIDS every year worldwide, something like 98% of them live in Africa. To send aid to Africa and tell health agencies not to issue condoms is criminal. To send aid to _any_ country that needs it for health care and tell them to do nothing to stop the spread of HIV except tell people to pray is like designing a world health and economic disaster on purpose. Brazil is not a wealthy country and can ill afford the kind of economic decimation that AIDS has caused in Africa.


And hey, they also have really fabulous music there, in case you’ve been hiding under a music rock for the last twenty years or so. Go check out ‘O Samba!’; it’s on the iTunes music store.


i also want to comment further about a quote in the article:

bq. But Sam Brownback, a leading Senate conservative, told the Wall Street Journal: “Obviously Brazil has the right to act however it chooses in this regard. We’re talking about promotion of prostitution which the majority of both the house and the Senate believe is harmful to women.”

this smacks of an incredibly condescending attitude that implies that women are not capable of making choices in how they live their lives. today over on the 19th floor, “mark siegel writes about this same attitude peeking through in a couple of other places.”:

anyone who doesn’t get this is encouraged to read judy chicago’s autobiography, “Through the Flower”. as a feminist artist in the 70’s, when modern feminism was just getting its legs, her experiences in teaching a women’s-only art class at a University in California are enlightening. in order to get her students to the point where they were able to work effectively, she had to dismantle the roles they’d been raised to fulfull and show them that women can be as strong as men, can work just as hard, can take responsibility for themselves and their emotions, and can choose to lead their lives however they want.