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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 26, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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national security types who believe overpopulation was quick to cause so much misery that it was going to lead to widespread communist revolution. so you had these kind of not social radicals tall that sort of the words of the establishment built the family planning infrastructure that was i think probably one of the most, one of the greatest social engineering experiment in human history. ..
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>> you have this kind of centralized authority as opposed to the group's insisting on their local autonomy. that is the theme throughout the whole book with the women's rights and the focus as it becomes internationalized, they often become can inflated with globalization so all of the local right-wing movements the
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wrapped up in response and one of the things i did in this book was trace how these eruptions play out in various corners of the road you see some of the same characters and arguments but of course, the narrative is quite a different subject for local history. >> that is a great overview. i want to start out with a few questions of my own and ask you to run up to the microphone and as i see you coming i will call on you. first of all, women's rights and reproductive rights. what is the difference? >> it is a subset. i would say women's rights also a include the right to own and inherent -- inherit land, right to the education, the right to work, of property, reproductive rights
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as a subset of women's rights but also a precondition of them. it is the first up toward becoming economically empowered to pursue a education that is tied up with a woman to control her own fertility. i have trouble with that. i have trouble understanding gets that why reproductive rights precede other women's rights and for example, the right to education i think that would be education about reproductive rights, or reproductive options why would we talk about education of women as one of the first things? >> i have to say i am serving not saying i think the education of women is a tertiary but it is a circle. one major reason girls drop out of school is because they get pregnant so that is the first up but maybe on a
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slightly mad tell level, what you see is women who are educated are far more likely to send their daughters to school in the first place. and this is born in a literature of economics and also the education of women, the women who were educated and work outside the home typically have more control over the family finances which it did then has the effect of more money being devoted to education. but a woman with eight children or seven or nine children will have a difficult time having any role besides that domestic. it is very tied together the
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late childbearing and that leads to education which leads to working outside the home which leads to typically women having fewer children who are better educated with the greater share of the family resources. >> i was just making the point* of the causality they seem to be interrelated rather than just the one of reproductive rights is somehow a precedent for the other. >> i am not trying to create a hierarchy as much as i think that's it is not so much there is causality that goes both ways but yes, they will then who starts childbearing at 13 or 14, all of those at other omnipresent false from that. >> let me talk about another issue about fundamentalism and
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the linkage. could you talk about that? and of the role of religion that is it primarily a religious issue? >> if there others sometimes you talk about fundamentalism and sometimes you talk about traditional patriarchal culture is that don't necessarily express themselves in religious terms or of those values. the linkage when i talk about there being an international network sometimes it is the network of affinity but sometimes the actual, there is a real level of cooperation with a very strange bedfellow arrangement. you really start to see it coming in 1994 there is a big conference in cairo the united nations conference on population and that created a lot of the language and
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baseload all understanding about reproductive rights and human rights that have been interpreted by the courts and change will hold the international system works. the conference was a very historic moment and pope john paul ii saw it coming and was incredibly concerned and some people said they have never seen him so alarmed or upset and saying he could not build alliances either with the united states because clinton was in power or other european countries he saw there was a common interest between the vatican conception of the family and those that prevailed in the muslim world. there is a quote common do you mind? hopefully i can get it quickly but there is a fascinating quote crummy heat reaches out they amount to a full-court press their reach out to iran and sent emissaries to the bsa we will help you reach a rapprochement with the world
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libya was a pariah because of the lockerbie bombing they said if you will stand with us against the expansions of women's rights we will help your reentry into the society. there is a quote at the time from the iranian deputy foreign minister when he is in talks with the vatican in 1994. >> a future war is between the religious and material is. collaboration between religious coverage in support of outlawing abortion is a fine beginning for the collaboration of other fields. this alliance, although they're very much that each other's throats when it comes to women's rights specifically on the international level, there is a year ecumenical cooperation you saw
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when bush delegates would be negotiating very closely with iran inside arabia whenever there is a resolution or initiative came up at the un. you continue to see it, there is something called the world congress of families that happens every two years which brings together representatives of various social at and traditional movements more men evangelical catholic muslim a couple of rabbis, eastern orthodox, and they sometimes very high-level people, come the people from the vatican the bush administration and the promise is they can momentarily put aside they're very severe theological differences and join hands against the real enemy which is secular some
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and feminism and liberalism i see that alliance to be clarifying because i believe that fundamentalists of all stripes have more in common with each other than they do with liberals or moderates within their own societies bracket it is fascinating to see they have realized that as well. >> comments or questions from the audience? >> in terms of modernism with its relationship not feminism but the role of women in the world to distinguish bird-brained -- between ideologies your suggesting there is a real conflict between modernism and the promotion of women's rights? >> no, no, no i say modernism is very tied up with the expansion of women's rights
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and often opposition of modernism takes the form. >> my apologies. >> there's a lot of interesting academic data about modernization and urbanization changes women's roles in predictable ways. not the same every where but you can say relatively broadly it has to some extent, star's to level off into the hierarchy and it breaks down some of the profound divide between the men and women sorels. margaret mead often pointed out men and women's roles differed across cultures. some cultures they were seeing as sexual and other cultures their offensive but what is
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universal is every society has this dichotomy. that was at the core that this is mail and this is female. modernism breaks down and scribbles it and panics people. so people often see the changing role of women as the most visible sign of maternity and all types of ways for a maternity. >> but the contrast to make between the need for fundamentalism to hold down those women's rights with modernity. in turkey i saw a number of young women in long full coats completely covering themselves with head scarves, etc. but
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the codes were gucci and the banks were louis vuitton per roi and they were carrying briefcases as a lawyer so they were clearly part of a modern world but still respecting the tradition and traditional culture or in saudi arabia going to a party in someone's home, the women arrived fully clothed and covered with a driver because they are not allowed to drive and they would be doctors, lawyers and happy from their expression that the fact they did not have to worry about but dressed to the nines looking incredibly modern what we would call secular, modernity is. mia seeing a dichotomy? >> i think you are seeing is
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women's rights activists are a minority in our country and in most countries this traditional order i am talking about is something that gives meaning and structure to the lives of both men and women so to say they are as invested as men is clear. but it is also true that unless we get into a deep philosophical debates about relativism i think the purpose we can say the abuses on women in the saudi arabia are profound and terrible. the fact that many women have made accommodation with that system does not change that fact. >> you're trying to make that
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argument? >> yes. are you saying there is the anecdote or actually quite a long section about a woman ph.d., and local sophisticated who goes back to her native sierra leone to go do female circumcision because she sees as her leading to two her ancestors and culture and it is something she defense very staunchly against those who would try to eradicate this practice. so there are always, again, there are never bright lines people's lives are complicated and they make there peace with their societies and in turn allies. >> elvis trying to get to the point* of the linkage between the inherent conflict between traditionalism and the modern
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world of fundamentalism and i was saying or i think you just said that there are multiple ways people accommodate those. >> certainly. >> but i did not get the. >> yes but if you talk about saudi arabia being an example, i don't think it is an example of a place where fundamentalism has reached the accommodation with the modern role of women despite the fact heiress saudi women who are living a modern life. >> there are different levels of analysis that is my point* that on the individual level i see people making fairly easy accommodation. >> i guess again. >> but i would not argue. >> i would say saudi arabia is not an easy accommodation and i think a when you read a lot
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about it being such the incubator for dangerous fundamentalism it has a lot to do with the rigidity of the extreme gender segregation and separation of the sexes. turkey is more interesting and more ambiguous case where there is to raise certain extent you have basically women asserting their rights. you have women enter key asserting their rights against the ruling regime by demanding their rights to wear head scarves. it is a more interesting case certainly. >> with fundamentalism asserting itself and women asserting their rights to fundamentalist. >> an interesting line of
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conversation. i am from turkey and i come from the picture that you described with a mixture of culture is it of whenever shape by experience religion, i had a huge enormous impact on our culture and all of those years i sort both became a 90 beaver and it is hard to relate with a sense of human-rights. i have one question when you were introduced that i won't just ask q. if you could talk more about the interview you
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mentioned that you interviewed some people of like you to talk more about the interview was the most significant one and what do think of put the recreating of the millwrights and creating it to the religion? >> how i went about interviewing, basically i would see comely would often see, let me give you an easy example abortion was outlawed in nicaragua in all instances even when women's lives were as state. one of the first things i did when i started my book was to show up in nicaragua people ask me what was your methodology? it was really a journalistic which is to show up. we won't think that you will
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lead to more people so what i tried to do in the early stages of the book before i even for related some overarching ideas was try to figure out how this happened and specifically endure daniel ortega who is this offensively leftist and what i saw was him talking to people in the women's movement, antiabortion movement, people at clinics and a different cities and politics, professors, the derelicts, i would talk to somebody and say who else i should talk to? buy it was able to piece together a narrative not only the immediate fact we have the double of mortality within one year and women hemorrhaging to death going on treated during miscarriage are being left
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with the birth but it was a way that the whole story started way back with the women's movement and women's health clinics getting a lot of support from europe and the wind and then being demonized as colonialist powers subverting nicaragua from within and undermining the nicaraguan family bringing western values into the country than meanwhile you have seen the nicaraguan white become globalized and got a lot of support from the american antiabortion movement and sharing techniques and language than at the same time you have this changing global regime where so basically by interviewing people and is trying to get as many details as possible of their own
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experiences, you can see where they intersect and piece together. >> i have not read your book and i am sure this is answered buy i wanted to ask you about delivery. i find in discussions about women's issues generally, especially reproductive issues, and then become very uncomfortable whether you say follow the into a and they don't have one or it is that they feel that they can't talk about it so would you talk about an engaging men and boys in these issues a little bit? >> on the one hand that is a question that add thickest -- activists and advocates are concerned with
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how do engage men and boys in these issues or by teeing violence against women or engage men in facilitating safe deliveries. on the one hand when you write a book like this you put yourself in the interesting position as a journalist by their nature, they are not active is. journalists tend to be more interested in problems they and the solutions and actually i think journalists tend to be more interested in the ambiguity in the gray area they and building the coalition so to a certain extent i will see that being beyond my perfume but i will say that in the '50s and '60s when the issue was considered and people were concerned about the national security population we had a tremendous
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interest by men if not by boys, the powers that the in many countries who were willing to mobilize a fast resources and create a vast new structure because they saw, it is not just about women's rights but more about the future of society. there's some ambivalence about making those arguments because it seems to treat women as if their concerns are tertiary but i actually think there are repercussions environmentally in terms of poverty and the things that people who are compared to -- who care about the future care about if you can show them these things that are pretty clear you can hopefully engage more people than just those who are already part of this discussion about reproductive
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health. >> do not hesitate to run up to the microphone but as you do that let me read one quote from the cover women's rights are often treated as mere appendages to war, piece, poverty and economic development. not that women's rights are crucial but our women's rights equivalent of "war and peace"? the application is it is an appendage. >> i do not think that they are. i do not think, it is not that i will say abortion-rights it and the toll of unsafe abortion is the equivalent of i am making the argument you will never get anywhere in terms of addressing the war until you address the causes of the war of instability and other the other subjects and
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until you take the fundamental issues seriously going back to education and how that changes the number of children a woman has and if they're educated, when you have educated women who have control over their own fertility you have smaller families were better educated and healthier and no other factor has such an impact on the health and welfare of the family as the woman's the education not the development in her community so when you have educated women you have more stable committees and women who are enslaved by the dictates of men and biology, you have societies that are of very large or often and poverty-stricken families which create the underlying conditions for all kinds of terrible disorder. >> i am not trying to suggest that women's rights are not
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important. that is not the issue. what i am trying to get at and push you on it is first order, second order, a third order of importance there all by toyota but what you just talked about education and, i think there is massive amounts of research that if you educated grow in the third world that is the best thing you can do on poverty and a lot of other issues. the problem of course, from the policy makers perspective is there's only so much time, some of resources, so many energy they have a president only talk about three or five issues they can concentrate on to make something happen so i am trying to get you to talk about the question of relativity of what to order? not to that it is not vital but what order? been a part of the question is
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whether you are being reactive obviously the president and thank god i am not in that position making those calls pass to respond to the disaster three rather than the structural causes of. so right now obama it is being faced with the taliban march on pakistan and does not have the luxury to consider the underlying causes that create fundamentalism and poverty and a disorder but people in government who are making policy and thinking about these things we do have a huge bureaucracy and parts of the government that are conserve -- concerned with these underlying cause is. with women's rights i am not saying that the goal of the united states at this point* should be to send battalions of people to liberate the women of south asia but i am
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saying that long term although you have to deal again with the can flag durations that come, like you said, there is nothing you can do, and no greater investment of peace or stability or environmental renen taking women's rights seriously. >> what i hear you saying is it is not a zero sum game you do not have to choose wonder the other. >> you do not but here is the example. right now there is the temptation in afghanistan and pakistan to work to say we cannot do with the women's issues at all. we have a huge catastrophe to do with. i am not saying it is the '07 game you need to make women's rights the center of foreign policy but you cannot jettison as soon as something seems more pressing and urgent with
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ultimately paying the price. >> i with the international women's health coalition. i want to take a back a little bit how you think the change in the administration will affect these sorts of policies with hillary clinton as secretary of state and the obama administration a lawyer making a lot of moves toward a more friendly atmosphere? . .
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leading the charge as it did during the clinton years for its kind of expanded definition of reproductive rights as human rights. and hillary clinton was a champion for this. has been for a long time. she gave a speech in 1995 in beijing about women's rights are human rights and humans rights are women's rights once and for
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all and i think the chief secretary of state were going to see one of the things i think is going to be most interesting is to seek board does a foreign policy that takes women and girls rights seriously look like and the first big changes have all been to these kind of backward looking policies on reproductive rights so they were restore funding to the united nations fund. they get rid of this abstinence-only stuff and now i think we are going to see the other day hillary clinton was in a congressional hearing and congressman chris smith, anyone if you haven't seen this you should do lewicke. it's astonishing. congressman chris smith was a leader of the anti-abortion movement and intervening in other countries when they are thinking about liberalizing abortion laws was questioning her and saying are you going to try to undermine anti-abortion
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legislation in africa or latin america and i won't even try to paraphrase it, but she gave this reply, the most kind of eloquent and strong and unconditional reply about reproductive rights are human rights, talking about the horrors that she's seen around the world because the lack of reproductive rights because hospitals in brazil where half the women are there delivering babies and half are recuperating from botched abortions and seeing the toll that early child motherhood takes in africa and suffering that she's seen in asia and she basically said reproductive -- you are free to push your policies, will stage and so are we and we believe reproductive rights are fundamental and that abortion rights are a component of reproductive rights. you couldn't have imagined --
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not just, if i may, it was a better summary of my book and i could ever sit up here and give you. but it also just marked a change in the american approach to these things. >> yes please. >> i am sorry that i missed much of the discussion, so maybe my question was already raised. i would just mention one thing it seemed to me in the question oftentimes traditionalism and fundamentalism or used interchangeably and i can guess sometimes they are the equivalent put in my mind i think of them as different concepts. but you made the plane to that journalists are often more comfortable covering a situation rather than being policy advocates and i wondered if in the research you did in the countries he visited with her it was with regard to reproductive rights or other issues you found
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mechanisms or forms whereby communities or countries or whatever group of people had effectively managed to combine traditionalism and some of the impetus for what was being described as modernity with regard to women's rights or not and to the extent there are communities that are effectively not necessarily losing their traditional aspects but incorporating modernity that we would like them to have. have you seen examples of that and to the extent you have seen examples even though you may not want to make policy implications what do you think that might suggest in terms of whether it is u.s. foreign policy or aid organization policies could be directed to promote the development of additional initiatives. >> certainly traditionalism and fundamentalism are not
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equivalent concept and fundamentalism in many ways is a kind of modern phenomenon. it is a modern bees lawyer to recreate a traditionalism that maybe never actually existed. all the same hue often see people organizing and militating advance women's rights not just any kind of religious ideas that may be in the name of like african values or something like that for nicaraguan values is a good example but absolutely there are women, people working on the ground all over the world to try to combine things they tell you in their culture with new, you know, new nodes to the come lotus of gender, new ways of dealing with women's rights and one example i will give you quickly is in kenya where there
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is this astonishing and kind of inspiring place run by this woman named agnes who herself under went female circumcision, became an anticircumcision activists within her own community. she had a model of a woman's reproductive tract from a local worker and with to get from village to village to convince people to give up this practice and then a few years ago girls started running away to her talent saying i heard there is a woman named agnes who says we don't have to be cut and we can stay in school and she opened a shelter where these girls could come and they run away by the hundreds. it's astonishing. they live in remote villages and they hear that there is a rumor of something else but they don't have to live the way people have been living in their communities and they packed their things and off they go through the bush to find this place and get so agnes
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on the one hand is obviously, you know there's obviously a break there from a side tradition but agnes doesn't want these girls and she enrolls them in school and some of the first of them are in college. she doesn't want them to turn their backs on them as i saw what she is trying to do is she tries to reconcile them with their families if their families will agree to leave them on cut and now give them away in marriage before they are 18 and let them continue their education but she's also created an alternative right of passage ceremony which tries to do some kind of socially with the circumcision ceremony did which it was, you know, about going from being a child to a woman and learning the secrets of adulthood such as tried to recreate that so that the girls can be both masai and healthy
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and autonomous adult women and one of the arguments i try to make in this book is that just as we think of our culture as being dynamic and capable of changing and evolving without losing what is essential about that we should pay other people the same respect and assume a third when men have as much right to change and modify their own culture without sacrificing what's valuable or essentials. it's not just the most far-right forces that have the right to speak to cultural authenticity. >> we have time for michelle to respond one more time so let me ask any of the rest of you if you have questions we will take all of the questions that are remaining. please join the microphone and we will take all of the questions and then michelle can respond to all of them at once. please. >> i am planning messner from the women's health coalition. in the beginning when you introduced your book you talked about reproductive rights
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outside of those of us that work in reproductive rights there isn't a fully understood or recognized area and seems a little mysterious and not really the full impact is understood and i know you also said as a journalist you look at the problem, knous solutions and i wonder if he could speak a little bit or try to talk about what you think are some of the barriers and what you think could be done to create and brought in the understanding about the impact reproductive rights have. thank you. >> stephanie from the carnegie council. i know in your book you discuss a case with a 9-year-old girl that was raped apparently and went through an abortion and years later found out that it was really her stepfather. how do you in your opinion going off when you said you're not a problem solver but in your opinion, how do we avoid people
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hiding behind this reproductive rights movement as abusers that would be my question. >> you've talked mostly about abortion with women's rights and i haven't heard anything about birth control, which i thought was interesting to hear your thoughts on because to me it's the first step instead of ending up with everyone being an abortion. >> the three questions are solutions and barriers to understanding and barriers to understanding the issue, abusers hiding behind reproductive rights if i got that correct and talk about birth control. >> i'm going to do it in reverse order and talk about birth control. yes, absolutely. we in that talking about abortion because abortion is where so much of the political heat and conflict is. but absolutely.
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birth control is fundamental and i often said i think women everywhere in the world deserve abortion rates as low as those in western europe which has the lowest in the world because of access to family planning and to sex education and the highest abortion rates in the world are in latin america and in sub-saharan africa where abortion is brought the illegal but, you know, family planning and sex education or, depending in different regions, but are in many places in short supply. and actually there has been a decrease partly because of abortion politics. there used to be a consensus around the need for family planning and a bus because of the national-security rationale and discussed the question as well when people believed that there were major questions of planetary survival at stake
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there was a huge amount of support so that during the 60's these were issues in "time" magazine. these were issues president had to answer questions about. eisenhower and truman were the co-chairmen of planned parenthood. it was something that was very much in the public conversation almost the way global warming is today. and so you had a consensus about getting birth control to the developing world. there have been a number of backlashes and reasons why that consensus has fallen apart from left-wing anticolonialism and anti-abortion, the conflation of contraception with changing roles of women so it has become very politicized and as a result you seen a real drop-off in the amount of public attention and public funds and public support. i was talking to somebody by a quote in this book who said she
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saw better contraceptive access at clinics in the 70's and cities she knew in sub-saharan africa and now. i think between 1995 and maybe it was 2007 or something around there a and for family planning dropped by something like $100 million. so this was a real falloff. some of it was because scarce resources were diverted to hiv/aids which is understandable but absolutely that is yes dealing with birth control is the key to the problem is absolutely crucial. in terms of how to make this relevant, part of it i wonder -- i sometimes think part of it is because it's become so controversial and fall while there is something of a desire among people who work in the field to speak about it in purely technocratic terms. to speak in terms of programs and supplies and in this kind of
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jargon of ever multiplying acronyms. we have to get this hrh into the mpg which means sexual reproductive health and to the developmental millennium goals and to apply these real existential questions about who has the right to intervene in the practices of others and how you balance individual rights versus the kind of community and societal autonomy. what i think are juicy fascinating issues that the right has absolutely dive into and so when they speak up these issues they are speaking about kind of western corruption and speaking to people's real sense of this come population. they're very real sense of being threatened by globalization of having their own cultures being undermined in various ways. they speak to all of these deep
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issues and use their analysis and it's all about the spread of the family planning and abortion and spread of this pernicious disease of feminism. so sometimes i think part of it is just kind of bringing it back to the big philosophical powerful issues but again i understand why people in the field are not eager to do that and that is why i'm glad i journalist and not a policymaker and finally the other part is i think to connect these issues to bigger issues of again the environment and national security and all the different issues that hour originally surmounted the discussion of population fell off the map for obvious reasons because they were often used to make women's rights -- this is something i think it's hard for us to remember but women's rights were seen as secondary to population control and there were huge
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abuses in the name of population control and because that it became publicly incorrect to even talk about population as a problem in and of itself and some of the kind of second order effects of giving women control of fertility. it became about women themselves and their own lives and i think it had to. that was a necessary stage by think there's also room now that some of that has been established to broaden the discussion and make people see what else is at stake. and the final part about how do you stop predators from hiding behind reproductive rights and this case and nicaragua was a very tragic and complicated case is again you have to make it not just about the right to abortion. it's not just about the right to get contraception. it's about the right to make your own decisions about your own sexual and reproductive
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lives. one of the things i -- one of the aspects i deal with in the book in a chapter about forced abortion is the right to have a child is also a component of reproductive rights. the kind of bedrock is female autonomy and the right to make all these decisions for one's self and so, i think if you start with that it makes it there's always going to be of use but it makes it less likely that a ban abortion or contraception or all these other things would be way is for covering up their crimes i guess thank you, michelle for joining us. [applause] we've been talking with michelle goldberg about her new book means of reproduction, sex, power and the future of the
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world. thanks again for joining. >> meshaal goldberg is a senior writer for and a member of the advisory board of the campaign to defend the constitution. she has written for the san francisco guardian, rolling stone and newsday. she's the author of kingdom coming. for more information on the author, visit the children's author emma walton hamilton. what is the key to writing a children's book?
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>> ghosh, i would say respecting children as readers and not talking down to them. if anything it is basically about trusting their judgment and intelligence and hopefully speaking to what interests them and what they are passionate about. >> what our children interested in? >> just about everything adults are interested in for the most part. the world around them, growing up, learning new things, music, art, sports, you name it. all the same things we are interested in. >> how many children's books have you written? >> i have written just now about to release the 17th children's book that i actually co right with my mother believe it or not. >> what's it like working with your mother as a co-author? >> it's a great pleasure. we were not sure it would be a pleasure to begin with. we are very bossy opinionated ladies and we thought mother daughter working together this can be tricky but happily we
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played to each other's strengths and we have a great time working together and it's turned out well. >> your mother is julie andrews. what part of the book to you right? >> what part of the -- >> do you write? >> the structure as much as anything. i think if tell me if i'm wrong i think i am more the flights of fancy. i think i do certainly the image making, the openings, the closings. i do the big picture and emma says most of the finish, this is the end of the act. and she makes me focus on the shape of the book that act will sort of images and things probably negative strength emma is as much as anything. we seem to complement each other at least i think we do. >> i do, too. >> why did you start writing
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children's books? >> i started as a complete surprise i started as an answer to a game i was playing with my children and i had to pay for fit. i was the first to lose the game and i said what will my forfeit be and my eldest daughter, jennifer, said white a story because i used to love to scribble and right things and i honestly felt that we to be simple. i can write a small thing like an aesop's fable or something very short and then i felt no, this is my stepdaughter and it might be a wonderful way to help bond and i came up with a little idea and kept flashing it out and the next thing i knew there was a book and if it hadn't been for blake, my husband, blake edwards i done think i would have finished it. i didn't have confidence, i didn't know what i was doing but he kept saying it doesn't matter is a sweet idea, keep the pages
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coming. and i've been hooked ever since and that was 40 years ago so i've been writing a percent. >> how many children's books have you authored? >> we've done 17 together and you have done for on your own plus a memoir. so we go back and forth and we have more coming. >> emma walton hamilton do you live close to each other, do you e-mail each other? >> unfortunately we live most of the year on opposite coasts, and we always work best when we are together and we love to be together when we can be but we have become very reliant on modern technology and we use the wide can for a lot of work sessions. we all gone together at the same time and we can see each other. >> it's killing because mom has to get three hours earlier. in l.a. she will say mom, 10:00 is halfway through my morning. can you get up at 7:00? and i will say i think i can.
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>> she does very well. >> i do my best and i am not as literate on the computer as she is what i do my best. >> is there a certain length children's books should be? >> say that again. >> is the uncertain link -- >> it depends on the age. >> what age do you write for? >> all ages i say with tremendous audacity. we right picture books, young adult novels, chapter books, middle grade readers and our latest book is an anthology for all ages, poetry anthology called the julie andrews collection of poems, songs and lice. >> this one is actually quite thick. >> it is the first book with our lovely in a publishers, little brown who are a part of the group, and they actually came to us and said which you consider doing an anthology for us and we
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said -- >> we had so much fun we are doing another one. >> it was enormous fun. obviously it is our favorite poems. we have been fond of them all our lives. my father instilled in me a love of poetry and i hopefully instill that in all of my kids. we've read to each other and get poems as gifts to each other and have done that all of our lives and suddenly we are asked to put down our favorites and the first choice is which were easy, and then after that we had the most wonderful journey of discovery is finding what we've really loved. >> digging back into our memories and families and anthologies. >> when he eventually came down to nine separate teams, and before each theme there is a piece we wrote explaining why we love this theme that say it's optimism or the countryside or major. >> and why each and choice of poems or song lyrics within that
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theme was it makes for us, what memory at associates. >> and we have always as a family exchange poems for fun and as a gift set birthdays and special days and holidays so we sort of challenge each other to write a poem and we wrapped up our courage and added a few more, there are a few hours in there. >> now, emma walton hamilton, you've got some of your children here, grandchildren. are they your focus group? >> absolutely. >> act like, you were when i was writing my own and of course now all the grandchildren are tremendous help. >> not only a focus group the helpless know what is working and what's not working but they also provide tremendous ideas and many of our books were inspired by -- >> such as? >> the dump the dump truck series which is the first series we collaborated which was inspired by my son, sam, who is a passionate new truck lover and
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would only read books about trucks and we were having trouble finding those that have a little bit more than just a mom fiction, the bulldozer goes cranch kind of books so we wrote the series for him and we are working on a new series now with little girls in mind inspired by my daughter. >> and knees andrews, you have also written a memoir. this is the first half of your life right? >> yes, it goes up to my coming out to the west coast of america for the first time and my first movie. but it is about the first third of my life and it took a long time to do. i would never have done it if she hadn't been so generous with her time to push me and make me do it and help me and so on. >> is there a second half coming out? >> a lot of people are asking that. to be honest with you i don't know at this point.
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it took a long time to write the first part. maybe one day. >> emma walton hamilton, what i your favorite children's book that you've written? >> that i have written or that i have read? >> either one. >> the book that was for me, for and growing up was phantom jesters the tollbooth, that was my favorite to go to book on rainy days and so forth. and people often ask what is our favorite of the books we have written and it's so hard to answer it's like saying what is your favorite chocolate in a box of chocolates or your favorite child because you love them all for different reasons but i would say i am particularly excited about the one we just finished, the poetry anthology which is a labor of love and beautifully produced. >> it's given the enormous amount of pleasure to put together. i love the music and poetry and find that a lot of the songs
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i've been associated with or even songs i loved have sometimes the most beautiful lyrics and i usually choose songs free lyrics first and foremost and it is a beautiful melody everything comes together. and so i have always felt that lyrics are sometimes palms in themselves so i concluded in the book and helping children will discover for themselves or adults that is a beautiful poem, who wrote and then realize it is a song and what and listen to the music. >> as mothers finally is it important to teach young children to read and be exposed to reading the next does it make a difference? >> we are passionate advocates of literacy. we do everything we can in that respect. >> i would say it's not so much incumbent upon parents to teach their children to read.


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