Sisters in Barcelona

We are all aware of the leaked Supreme Court draft that would reverse Roe v. Wade and–for the first time in the history of the United States–legally take away a basic human right: the right for women to make decisions about their own bodies. Words fail to express the outrage and frustration. Fifty years on and the battle continues.

The moment that this decision is officially issued in June or July of this year, between 13 to 26 states will immediately reduce or completely revoke the right to abort, many making no exceptions in any circumstances. 

The Senate just voted on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) , which would have codified abortion protection. As expected, the WHPA lost in a vote of 49 to 51. Every single Republican member of Congress, including those who claim to be in favor of the right for a woman to choose, voted No, along with one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia. 

For abortion rights to be protected in the United States of America, WHPA must pass. For this to happen under the existing filibuster rules, 60 of 100 Senators would have to vote Yes. Democrats must win in all possible races and not only keep the majority in the midterm elections, but improve their numbers. Perhaps a remote possibility, but what are the other choices? Especially in light of Senate minority leader McConnell’s remarks in a recent interview, in which he suggested that if Republicans retake the Senate majority, they may pursue a law banning abortion nationwide. 

I urge you to join the Spain Women’s Caucus and help get the word out and get active! We need volunteers to brainstorm ideas, to contact our representatives, to come together and ‘hacer piña’, and to turn out the vote for equal rights in 2022 and 2024! 

I hope to hear from you soon!

[email protected]

In solidarity, 

Doris


Living in Spain: US Tax Obligations for Expats

Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, siestas and fiestas.living_in_spain.png

For our next webinar, we welcome Mr. Roland Sabates from the firm Expat Legal Services Group. This webinar will be held on May 18th at 7:30 pm (CET) on the topic of US citizen tax obligations while living abroad. Roland will cover important tax issues for Americans in Spain

To tailor these webinars to your needs, we ask that you send us any questions you might have ahead of time. We will pass them on to our speaker, so that he is aware of your concerns and can plan the talk accordingly. Send your questions to [email protected] by Monday, May 16th. 

If you are unable to attend the live session but would like to see the recording, do send in an RSVP. We will send a link to the video to all who sign up.

RSVP here


I am still in contact with the Madrid Embassy about the possibility of a webinar on retirement and the agreement between the US Social Security and Spanish pension system.  Stay tuned for updates on this possible webinar. 

Are there any other topics of interest? Do you know anyone willing to be a guest on one of our webinars? Send your suggestions and ideas to [email protected].

All the best, 

Doris


Litigation in Spain

Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, siestas and fiestas.living_in_spain.png

For our next webinar, we welcome back Mr. Ignacio Pellicer and Mr. Pedro Heredia, from the law firm Pellicer and Heredia. This webinar will be held on April 6th at 7:00 pm on the topic of Litigation in Spain.

To tailor these webinars to your needs, we ask that you send us any questions you might have ahead of time. We will pass them on to our speakers, so that they are aware of your concerns and can plan the talk accordingly. Send your questions to [email protected] by Monday, April 4th. 

If you are unable to attend the live session but would like to see the recording, do send in an RSVP. We will send a link to the video to all who sign up.

RSVP here

And mark your calendars for the May session, which has been confirmed: 

May 18th: US citizen tax obligations while living abroad 

Still being organized: 

  • Retirement and the agreement between the US Social Security and Spanish pension system 

Are there any other topics of interest? Do you know anyone willing to be a guest on one of our webinars? Send your suggestions and ideas to [email protected]


Books and Women’s History Month

Many years ago a friend gave me a tote bag with the slogan ‘Women Who Behave Rarely Make History’. I loved this and to this day proudly carry the tote bag with the slogan side visible to all. It also led me to investigate where the slogan came from and discovered that it had been incorrectly copied from the title of an academic paper, since turned into a book called ‘Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History’. The author, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, defines how this slogan has been interpreted and her thoughts on what a ‘well-behaved’ woman is. The truth is, although not being well-behaved might bring notoriety, it’s no guarantee of marking one’s place in the world. 

I consider myself to be a well-read and well-informed feminist, so when I picked up the book ‘Daily Rituals, Women at Work’ by Mason Currey,  I expected to be familiar with most of the women featured. To my great surprise, I discovered that I had heard of less than half! What a humbling experience that was, and what great insight the book gave into how many women, who had never had–as Virgina Woolf so aptly defined in ‘A Room of One’s Own’–their own space, managed to go on and be successful and celebrated in their fields of endeavor. (And it seems that some were well behaved.)

For this month of March, officially celebrated as Women’s History Month, I decided to finally pick up a book that has been sitting on my shelf unread, I am ashamed to say, for too many years. I bought the new translation of Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘The Second Sex’ after reading the following in the New York Times:

In her splendid introduction to this new edition, Judith Thurman notes that Blanche Knopf, wife of Beauvoir’s American publisher, heard about the book on a scouting trip to France and was under the impression that it was a highbrow sex manual. Knopf asked for a reader’s report from a retired zoologist, Howard M. Parshley, who was then commissioned to do the translation. Knopf’s husband urged Parshley to condense it significantly, noting that Beauvoir seemed to suffer from “verbal diarrhea.” Parshley complied, providing the necessary Imodium by cutting 15 percent of the original 972 pages. And so it was this truncated text, translated by a scientist with a college undergraduate’s knowledge of French, that ushered two generations of women into the universe of feminist thought, inspiring pivotal later books like Betty Friedan’s “Feminine Mystique” and Kate Millett’s “Sexual Politics.”

Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier’s new translation of “The Second Sex” is the first English-language edition in almost 60 years, and the first to restore the material Parshley excised. In this passionate, awesomely erudite work, Beauvoir examines the reasons women have been forced to accept a place in society secondary to that of men, despite the fact that women constitute half the human race.’

I could not have been more surprised or pleased to learn that Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallie are active members of the Women’s Global Caucus book club and often lead the fascinating discussions that take place there. I will soon be able to proudly say that I have read ‘The Second Sex’ in the best English-language translation available. 

In conclusion, whether or not you are well-behaved, the Spain Women’s Caucus is looking for volunteers to help build community and outreach. If you are interested in getting involved in any capacity, get in touch by email at [email protected] or fill out the Volunteer Interest Form

Or if you just want to drop a line and tell me about your favorite feminst book, I’d love to hear from you. 

All the best, 

Doris

citation: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/books/review/Gray-t.html


Wills, Probate, & Inheritance

Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, siestas and fiestas.

For our next webinar, we welcome back Mr. Ignacio Pellicer and Mr. Pedro Heredia, from the law firm Pellicer and Heredia. This webinar will be held on March 9th at 19:30 CET on the topic of Wills, Probate and Inheritance.

To tailor these webinars to your needs, we ask that you send us any questions you might have ahead of time. We will pass them on to our speakers, so that they are aware of your concerns and can plan their talk accordingly. Send your questions to [email protected] by Monday, March 7th. If you are unable to attend the live session but would like to see the recording, do send in an RSVP. We will send a link to the video to all who sign up. RSVP here.

Mark your calendars! Future topics that have been confirmed are: 

  • April 6th: Litigation in Spain
  • May 18th: US citizen tax obligations while living abroad 
  • Still being organized: Retirement and the agreement between the US Social Security and Spanish pension system 

Are there any other topics of interest? Do you know anyone willing to be a guest speaker at one of our webinars?  Send your suggestions and ideas to [email protected]


Living in Spain - Renters' Rights

Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, siestas and fiestas.living_in_spain.png

For our second webinar of 2022, we welcome back Mr. Ignacio Pellicer and Mr. Pedro Heredia, from the law firm Pellicer and Heredia. This webinar will be held on February 9th at 7:30 pm on the topic of renters’ rights and buying property.

To tailor these webinars to your needs, we ask that you send us any questions you might have ahead of time. We will pass them on to our speakers, so that they are aware of your concerns and can plan the talk accordingly. Send your questions to [email protected] by Monday, February 7th. 

If you are unable to attend the live session but would like to see the recording, do send in an RSVP. We will send a link to the video to all who sign up. 

RSVP HERE https://www.democratsabroad.org/living_in_spain_renters_rights

 

Mark your calendars! Future topics that have been confirmed are: 

March 9th: Making a will, probate and inheritance

April 6th: Litigation in Spain

May 18th:  US citizen tax obligations while living abroad 

 

Still being organized: 

  • Retirement and the agreement between the US Social Security and Spanish pension system 

 

Are there any other topics of interest? Do you know anyone willing to be a guest on one of our webinars?  Send your suggestions and ideas to [email protected]

Sign Up to receive ‘Living in Spain’ information directly to your mailbox. Send an email to [email protected] to request to be removed from the list.


Women Keep Marching

January 21 marks the anniversary of the Women’s March of 2017, held in protest the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president. Demonstrations to highlight the threat to civil, human, and reproductive rights took place not only in Washington, DC, but in cities and towns around the United States and across the world. I was heartened by the turnout and enthusiasm of the Women’s March here in my adopted hometown of Barcelona. We were upset and had to demonstrate our angst and frustration in whatever way we were able. 

Now it’s 2022 and, in some ways, it seems that things are not improving for women; in fact, in some areas, things seem to be backsliding. But to celebrate this very important date, and to keep positive, I’ve decided to dwell on the good stuff.

At the top of the list is the fact that Trump has been voted out of office, and we have a female vice president in Kamala Harris. We trust that the first woman president is not far away. 

Women can now be found in greater numbers in all areas of work and life. Television, for example, is full of crack female reporters and interviewers. The MeToo movement has brought gross injustices in the news casting and entertainment industry to the forefront.  

Nearly 60% of university students in the US are women. Here in Spain, there are more women than men studying in traditionally male-dominated fields such as law and medicine.  

Abortion rights are under attack, but there is now an abortion pill that (in part thanks to Covid) is becoming more widely available and easier to obtain. 

A new US quarter-dollar coin is coming out that features the poet Maya Angelou, and women are being remembered and honored like never before. (We are still waiting for the twenty dollar bill featuring Harriet Tubman!)

So, let’s keep fighting for our fundamental rights, but never forget where women were and how far we have come! If you would like to share your thoughts and ideas, write me at [email protected]

Would you like to become a volunteer with Women’s Caucus Spain? Fill out the Volunteer Interest Form and we will be in touch.

Don’t forget to write to your representatives about the ERA and reproductive justice. Click on the links to see what you can do!

https://www.democratsabroad.org/wc_issue_era

https://www.democratsabroad.org/wc_reproductive_justice_action_team


Living in Spain - Immigration

Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, siestas and fiestas.

To kick off 2022, we welcome back Mr. Ignacio Pellicer and Mr. Pedro Heredia, from the law firm Pellicer and Heredia. This webinar will be held on January 12th, 2022, on the topic of residency and other matters related to immigration. Please note that the time of this webinar has been changed to 7:30 pm

To tailor these webinars to your needs, we ask that you send us any questions you might have ahead of time. We will pass them on to our speakers, so that they are aware of your concerns and can plan the talk accordingly. Send your questions to [email protected] by Monday, January 10th. 

If you would like a recording of the webinar but can’t make this session go ahead and send in an RSVP. We will send a link to the video to all who sign up. 

RSVP HERE  Residency visas and other matters related to immigration - Democrats Abroad

Mark your calendars! Future topics that have been confirmed are: 

  • February 9th: Renters’ rights and buying property
  • March 9th: Making a will, probate and inheritance
  • April 6th: Litigation in Spain
  • May (date to be announced) US citizen tax obligations while living abroad 

 

Still being organized: 

 

  • Retirement and the agreement between the US Social Security and Spanish pension system 

We are looking for experts to talk about:

  • Health care/hospice and growing old in Spain
  • Education and raising bilingual children 
  • Workers’ rights in Spain

Are there any other topics of interest? Do you know anyone willing to be a guest on one of our webinars?  Send your suggestions and ideas to [email protected]

Sign Up to receive ‘Living in Spain’ information directly to your mailbox. Send an email to [email protected] to request to be removed from the list.

 


The Supreme Court and Abortion Rights

In the beginning of December, the heavily right-leaning US Supreme Court heard arguments on the Mississippi law that aims to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and has the potential to completely overturn Roe v. Wade. The fact that we find ourselves, in 2021, on the verge of turning back the clock to a time before 1973 seems straight out of a dystopian movie. Unfortunately, it is not! It is a troubling reality for hundreds of thousands of American women, today. A reality that includes potentially life-changing – and, in some cases, life-threatening – implications as well as the quashing of a fundamental human right. 

There are so many disturbing facets to this historical moment. For one, Senator Susan Collins has come under fire for believing Brett Kavanaugh’s pre-Supreme Court confirmation position that Roe v. Wade is ‘settled law,’ which she claimed, at the time, resulted in her supporting his confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. Another disturbing point argued by an anti-abortion lawyer for Mississippi was that the right to an abortion is no longer necessary because ‘women have it all,’ citing Justice Amy Coney Barrett as an example of a successful woman with a career and 7 children. Most disturbing of all is the real and horrifying threat of a return to the days of back alley abortions. 

My takeaway from today is best summarized by the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “Will [the US Supreme Court] survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” I am afraid that if Roe v. Wade is ultimately overturned, the credibility of our highest, and most revered, Court will be irreparably damaged. 

Furthermore, the Court has not blocked the current Texas abortion law (SB8), despite allowing further lawsuits against it to procede. 

There’s no need to wait for a decision to take action. 

  • Sign the petition to Attorney General Merick Garland to keep the ERA alive: ERA petition
  • Contact your representatives and tell them to support the ERA – Call to Action

What are your takeaways about what is going on?  If you’d like to drop me a line or vent via email, feel free to get in touch at [email protected].

All the best, 
Doris


Living in Spain Series

Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, siestas and fiestas.

To help you navigate the minefield so that you can have more fun in the sun, DA Spain’s Women’s Caucus (SWC) is proud to announce a new webinar series called ‘Living in Spain.’ 

Once a month, for an hour, Living in Spain will host a guest speaker who will present on a topic of great interest and answer audience questions. The webinars will take place on select Wednesdays at 6 p.m. 


We are following up our successful November webinar about Spanish taxes with advice on how to talk to Republicans during the Holidays.

Next up, and just in time for the holidays, Living in Spain will feature guest speaker (and former Republican) Victor Horcasitas, who will share sage advice on how to talk to your crazy uncle in the MAGA hat, how to circumvent awkward encounters around the dinner table or at the local supermarket, and more. The session will be held on Wednesday, December 15 at 18:00h. 

RSVP here 


Mark your calendars! Future topics that have been confirmed with  Ignacio Pellicer and Pedro Heredia from the Alicante law firm Pellicer and Heredia are: 

  • January 12th: Residency visas and immigration
  • February 9th: Renters rights and buying property