Sisters Got 99 Problems: Will Pope Francis Be One?

Interesting post about nuns, feminism, and yes, even a little Jay-Z thrown in there.


Quick, what do Jay-Z and American nuns have in common?

Answer: More than you might think.

Jay-Z’s classic 99 Problems tells of how not women but the police are the biggest threat against him (okay he doesn’t say “women” but let us overlook for the moment his precise term). For progressive nuns, it is not a world full of sin but the Vatican and its witch-hunting posse that has seemed to pose the gravest danger. In both cases, those entrusted with protecting the vulnerable instead hunt them down.

We all know the sickening tale of children abused by Catholic priests and how the Vatican looked the other way and even protected the pedophiles. You might think this was more than enough shock and scandal for the church, but evidently earning their very own Wikipedia page documenting the sex abuse cases was not enough.

Instead of dealing with the festering crisis…

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A visit from Julie Burkhart

Trust Women Foundation Logo     How lucky we were to get a surprise visit from Julie Burkhart this past Tuesday. Julie is an incredibly talented women and is the founder and executive director at Trust Women, an organization leading the fight for women’s reproductive rights in the Midwest and Southern areas of the United States. The organization aims to make women’s full access to reproductive healthcare, community support and an improved climate for discourse a reality.

Julie’s experiences cover an impressive range of involvement and activism. Julie worked at Dr. George Tiller‘s clinic in 1991, during the Summer of Mercy, which literally involved risking her life every day to go to work. Relentless protesters interfered with business and used outrageous tactics to make known their disagreement. Such experiences are what urged Julie in later years to target these areas for promoting women’s rights to proper care and information. These were the areas with the harshest stigmas and most dangerous social climates. The work she had set out for her was not going to be easy but she knew it was the most urgent.

The fight was not and is not about abortion, but rather about a woman’s rights to make her own decisions. Without access to informed healthcare, women in some of these areas of the country are without the resources necessary to choose for themselves. Today, Julie fights to help create fair legislation and social awareness of the injustices that happen every day, all over the country, as women seek access to information, birth control and care in times of crisis.

George Tiller was assassinated on May 31, 2009 by a protester of his work, begging the question, “How pro-life can these people really be?” Julie works in his memory to create a higher standard for women’s access to reproductive information and options in the South and Midwest.

Trust Women is only fifteen months old, but is quickly growing and gaining strength. Visit for current events, further information or to donate.

Dr. Erin Kenny & Julie Burkhart


Drury University Women and Gender Studies has made it out of the musk of Burnam Hall and into the blogosphere. Thanks for joining us!

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