This Week in Ladybits
Oy, you guys. Michigan right-to-lifers are taking another swing at trying to stop insurance plans from offering abortion coverage. Essentially, women would need to buy special just-in-case abortion plans on their own dime, which have been vividly (and accurately) described as “rape insurance.”
Did you know that more than 40% of the hospitals in the United States are Catholic-run? I didn’t until this week. Turns out can become a problem when it comes to women’s health care such as little things like getting proper care when you’re miscarrying. The ACLU is suing a hospital for following religious directives instead of medical directives (not to mention basic compassion) and sending a woman who was miscarrying home—twice. The hospital also didn’t explain what was happening or the woman’s safest medical options to her. The ACLU has numerous cases of women being denied information about their own conditions, and there are thousands of women in the U.S. whose only option within a safe traveling distance is a Catholic hospital.
Speaking of court cases, keep your eye on the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby case, which could end up restricting your health care choices based on—wait for it—your employer’s religion. If the Supremes rule in Hobby Lobby’s favor, firms could get a religious exemption from providing insurance plans that cover contraception. If you’re not furious, you need to read that last sentence again. (And, hey, while we’re looking at that slippery slope, let’s wonder if Hobby Lobby would be up for covering maternity care for same-sex couples.)
In a way, Hobby Lobby is asking for an expansion of the Citizens United idea that a corporation is effectively a person. In this case, the assertion is that a corporation is person that can hold specific religious beliefs and thus have its religious freedoms oppressed. The always brilliant Dahlia Lithwick has an excellent piece in Slate on what the push for personhood means for the rest of us.
…And lest you think the United States is the only country that’s increasing “personhood” for bricks and mortar and zygotes while backing off of the wacky idea that grown human women might be people, this story from England is a jaw-dropper. Social workers in Essex forced a woman to have a caesarian section “for her own good”—and have not returned her child to her.
This Week in Thinky
You may have sprained your eyeballs with the sheer force of rolling them as you watched this piece of spangled bunk make its way across Facebook, along with people who love to lead unexamined lives commenting “Soooo true! I hate maps & my hubs can’t stand conversations therefore SCIENCE! LOL ROTFL P.S. Have I forwarded you that hilarious not-lying dude who was heroically rude to a woman on a plane?!?!” Anyway, here is my favorite takedown of that completely unscientific load of bulldung I’ve seen thus far.
Were you following the #bisexualfacts hashtag as it ebbed and flowed on Twitter this week?
It’s such a perfect example of how enlightened silliness can be the best pushback against ignorance. If you’re wondering how it got started, there are a couple of good primers. (But, to make a long story short, thank the very funny @VeryLemonade.)
The other hashtag I’ve had fun watching is #TEDWomen. Nothing like watching people getting mad and glad and inspired because of smart, smart women. And girls.
And Feministing featured a review of Do Muslim Women Need Saving?, which looks like a fascinating (and probably uncomfortable, in a good way) exploration of the way Western feminism gets tangled up with old-fashioned ethnic stereotyping.
Feministing is a great outfit, by the way, and they could use a little help.
This Week in Entertainment
First the good news: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen proved that women can open the hell out of a movie. Lessons that come rolled up in dollars have a better chance of sticking in Hollywood, so that may bode well. Cross your fingers.
And the reasons you should keep them crossed are right here: The New York Film Academy produced a monster infographic on the current state of women in film. It’s worth scrolling through the whole thing. (Via IndieWire)
OK, this one isn’t from this week, but it’s too good to pass up. Evan Rachel Wood found out over Thanksgiving weekend that her movie had been recut to appease the MPAA—by removing a scene of her character receiving (and enjoying) cunnilingus. Ms. Wood was not OK with the changes and took to Twitter for a little schooling.
Righteously pissed, mouthy, and yet so polite. What an excellent combination.
The Miss Representation folks are also still on the case and watchdogging how women are represented in the media. What do you think of their picks for positives and fails from the last year?
This Week in Ugh
If you’ve had the sudden impulse to whack your head against a breadboard this week and you weren’t sure why, it might be that you sensed that Republican politicians have been getting coached on how to run against women. Not how to listen to women and address their needs via sensible policy positions, mind you. Just on how to espouse their same-old uterophobic nonsense without actually saying “slut pills.”
Not coincidentally, Salon ran a blistering survey of how the American political system consistently ignores and underserves black women.
And San Francisco and Los Angeles are set to lose lesbian (and feminist) talk show host Stephanie Miller at the beginning of the year. Supermassive corporate radio conglomerate ClearChannel (owned by Mitt Romney’s Bain Capitol) is switching former progressive station KTLK in Los Angeles to an all-conservative lineup anchored with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and may also be making a similar progressive-to-right-wing flip with KNEW in San Francisco. Gross. Since that would leave both major cities with multiple hard-right talk stations and zero, count em ZERO progressive alternatives, please leave your favorite pirate radio stations and/or podcasts in the comments.
The folks at The Stephanie Miller Show, meanwhile, are focused on getting back on television after CurrentTV’s demise. Their Indiegogo campaign to raise studio startup money and launch on Free Speech TV is underway.
This Week in Fun
Bic vehemently denied that they produce phallocentric pens.
And you need to see these ladies meet a remote-controlled car. You need to. (Via TakePart.com)
Have a great weekend. Get out there and show a little pride.
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