Feminist Friday: Oklahoma Is a Sandwich Short of a Picnic Basket


Before we do anything, I need to give a massive hat-tip to the amazing Heather Hogan, who sent me, at last count, eleventy billion links this week. If you are not reading her recaps, you are missing out on joy, megafeels, and belly laughs, so hop to.

This Week in Ladybits

There has been some recent pushback in the comments against the inclusion of this section every week. First off, no, nobody on either side of the debate—nobody in the world, in fact—thinks that abortion is an awesome thing. It’s an awful decision to have to make. It is precisely the awfulness of that decision that makes it so important that we keep that choice in the hands of the woman who is making it.

Second, yes, being personally opposed to abortion is a valid and honorable moral position to hold. The problem comes when people try to force that moral position on others, which is exactly what the current laws are doing—cutting off women’s options, and especially poor women’s options, to coerce them into toeing someone else’s religious line. And, frankly, women in the LGBT community should get especially nervous about the trend of people deciding that it’s OK to legislate what others do with their reproductive organs. If we can lose ground on reproductive rights—and we have lost a hell of a lot of ground just in the last three years—we can lose ground on marriage equality and on deeper protections for The Gay.

And finally, this section will be staying in every week that there is news for it because Roe v. Wade came up before the court because women were dying when abortion was illegal. Going back to a pre-Roe world—which we are perilously close to doing—means going back to a time where women with unplanned pregnancies didn’t have any options beyond humiliation and the risk of maiming or death.

If you’re opposed to abortion, I have nothing but respect for that. You are absolutely within your rights to never have one, and you are more than welcome to keep expressing your opinions in the comments. But when you work to take that intensely personal decision away from someone else, you are crossing an important line, and you are putting everyone with a uterus at risk.

So as long as I’m writing this column, this section stays in.

This Week in Sports

Indian boxer Mary Kom has started a female fighting club in Manipur to teach young women self-defense. She next plans to roll out a mobile app to help girls from all over learn basic techniques.

Hey! The Super Bowl happened! And advertisers finally seem to have figured out that women watch too! The misogyny was toned way down from years past, which was a nice development. Now let’s work on the subtler sexism. Volkswagen, I am looking at you.

You might be thinking it’s the Seahawks who won the Super Bowl, but that’s incorrect. Hillary Clinton won the Super Bowl.

And Canada just won the Olympics.

This Week in Thinky

The Guardian ran this interactive graphic of women’s rights country by country.

…While the Los Angeles Times looked at what U.S. troop withdrawals may mean for women in Afghanistan.

And self-described friend of the LGBT community Piers Morgan interviewed trans* activist Janet Mock …and, unfortunately, illustrated why sometimes it’s important to shut the hell up and listen instead of assuming that someone from a minority population shares your worldview. Morgan’s subsequent Twitter hissy fit has been amazing and embarrassing. I do believe that he went in with all good intentions. He just wasn’t able to shift his own point of view enough to see why Mock objected to the questions Morgan was asking. And then couldn’t or wouldn’t pay enough attention to the criticism to see why people got angry at him. This is why celebrities need handlers. And newspeople need researchers.

This Week in This Is a Joke, Right? A joke?

OK, so remember how a federal judge struck down Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban? Yes, there’s already a hold on that ruling, but it’s already way too close to general human dignity for some Oklahoma legislators, so guess what solution they came up with. You want to take this one, Dr. Maddow?

Actually, I’d be fine if their argument was that if we’re calling marriage a religious thing, the state shouldn’t be involved at all: Everybody gets a civil union from the state for the taxing and the inheriting and whatnot, and whether you go to a religious institution and get married is your private, nothing-to-do-with-legislation business. I’d be totally fine with that—we need some good, solid lines between our state things and our religious things.

But this argument, that of “we don’t want it if you can have it, so nyaaah no one gets it,” is a little breaking-one’s-own-toys, isn’t it? I am looking forward to our nation’s bigoted legislators holding their breaths until they turn blue.

Also from the world of What Happens When You Let Fear and Anger Turn You Into a Jabbering Loonball, Linda Harvey has a book called Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality. Well, there’s her problem right there: If you get the right view, you can tell that someone is pretty darned gay fairly quickly.

Anyway, Harvey says—get ready for a perfect storm of batshit offensive—The Gay is just like an eating disorder, and gay people just think they’re gay, the way (she believes) anorexics just think they’re fat. So, anyway, she did it. SHE SOLVED THE GAY. Good job, Linda!

This Week in Good

The ACLU has filed suit to overturn Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban.

And Scotland legalized same-sex marriage! Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slainte agus sonas, you lovelies.

This Week in Not Having It

Ooh, burn on the media, Laura Bush! The former first lady said that when we have our first First Gentleman, it’s high time he got the extensive hair, clothing, and weight critiques that First Ladies get. (Via Wonkette)

Sportscaster Pam Oliver does not give a rat what the Internet thinks about her hair.

New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots

Seriously, dudes, what is with getting the vapors over women’s hair? Felicia Day is not brooking any hair-related nonsense either.

When is waking up to find a giant wooden dong on your car a good thing? When you’re an outspoken (and by all accounts, hilarious) critic of the Russian government and the dong is confirmation that you’re getting under their, um, skin. (Russian speakers: Tell us what you think of the Kermlins in the comments, please.)

Atlanta news anchor Brenda Wood had a few choice words for the bigots who crawled out of the woodwork in response to Coca-Cola’s diversity-friendly Super Bowl ad. Hell, yeah, Ms. Wood. Way to nail it.

And also not having it? 7-year-old Charlotte, who would like some better Lego options.


This Week in Entertainment

Kristin Scott Thomas’s reasons for quitting the film industry will bum you out of existence.

However, Elle had an interview with Amy Poehler as proof that the universe is a good place that loves us.

Ms.  featured The Cherokee Word for Water, a docudrama about Wilma Mankiller’s drive to get running water to her Cherokee community.

Intrigued? You can host a screening.

And Shaenon Garrity looked at the perils of ladygaming.


This Week in Awesome

I always love a lady with a book.

You have maybe possibly heard that two members of Pussy Riot appeared on The Colbert Report this week. Yes, you want to watch this.

Our own Grace Chu has been covering Pussy Riot’s Amnesty International appearance. Keep your balaclavas peeled.

And hockey player Amanda Kessel is poised to skate out of her brother’s shadow.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and take your own shot.

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