Feminist Friday: Buttoning Up International Clitoris Week

This Week in Ladybits

Were you aware that this was International Clitoris Awareness Week? Even if you’ve missed celebrating for most of the week, I’m sure you can think of a good way to finish it off.



The North Carolina House approved a bill that would require teenagers to get parental approval before they can get birth control. Here’s the thing: The idea that kids should talk to parents before making such major decisions is great as long as you have good, stable parents involved. But once you have a situation where abuse or incest is involved, having to tell her parents can be a really bad thing for the teenager in question. And frankly, even if there isn’t abuse or incest involved, why shouldn’t, for example, a 17-year-old in a stable relationship who has Purity Ball parents be able to get reliable birth control?

And speaking of virginity pledges, Elizabeth Smart explained the lasting damage that abstinence-only education did to her. I’m really impressed with her for speaking out.

This Week in Thinky

We learned how to tell if a toy is for girls or for boys.


Image via The Lyon Rampant tumblr

The Internet was sharply divided over whether this Onion piece aimed at Chris Brown was a trenchant look at the way we gloss over domestic violence as a society or a joke that went way over the line.

Are you planning on seeing Ender’s Game?



The book is a classic, and Orson Scott Card can be a hell of a writer. He wrote what might be the most disturbing short horror story I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, Card is also an outspoken homophobe. And yes, he’s worked with the National Organization for Marriage  against marriage equality. So do you plan on ignoring the artist and enjoying his creation — as we so often do — or do you have a problem with encouraging studios to give Card more money? Which artists are so talented that you’re willing to overlook problematic behavior, and where do you draw the line? Let us know in the comments.

This Week in Ugh

The way the media has been treating Amanda Knox is pretty amazing. Frank Bruni called it out in the New York Times this week (that and the Jodi Arias trial, which I have been refusing to learn about), making a persuasive case that sexual double standards are still alive, well, and super creepy. The excellent Caity Weaver called out Chris Cuomo’s unbelievably sexist CNN interview with Knox.

The National Rifle Association convention included a vendor that carried a scantily-clad, bleeding target called “The Ex.” Zombie Industries claims that since they carry male targets (one of which that was pulled for looking too much like the President), it would be sexist not to carry a female target. Discuss.

Also, the NRA has lots of pink guns aimed at the laydeez. Because we don’t just need a bunch of guns; we need a bunch of gendered guns.

And the U.S. military has a wee problem with a culture of sexual violence. Case in point: The man in charge of the Air Force’s program to prevent sexual assault was arrested for sexual battery this week.

Rachel Maddow had more.


On a much lighter (but still insidious) note, Jessica Canale noticed how sexist the iPhone emojis are. That actually doesn’t surprise me. I used to love everything Apple and be a total evangelist, but then their series of iPhone commercials in which men did big business and adventure things and women used them to take care of family — and only take care of family — really turned me off.

And then there was the time when they named the iPad, which, if you’ll recall, made 51% of the population fall on the floor with laughter when it first came out because it sounds like you’re about to have a Very Interactive Period. And that snort-laughing was an immediate response in every woman I talked to. Which means there were either no women at all that high in the decision-making levels of the company, or there were no women who felt comfortable speaking up, or that there were no women that anyone would listen to. Any of those is a big problem.

Dear Apple: Get some new marketers. And get some women in your executive suite. These little slip-ups are the early symptoms of a slide into irrelevance.

Oh, and Martina Navratilova said a true thing about how you can get fired just for having The Gay in 29 states. So Politifact confirmed that her statement was true and then officially rated it… Half-true. Because they are dingleberries. Do you suppose things like that piss off Rachel Maddow? You would be correct.

This Week in Progress

Delaware legalized same-sex marriage! Way to go, First state!

The Minnesota state house has passed gay marriage. The bill goes to the state senate Monday. You know who could help with that final decision? George Takei. We’re all agreed that George Takei is secretly a magical being made of charm and moonbeams, yes? Good.

And Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is preparing to introduce a bill that bans adoption discrimination.

This Week in Memoriam

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the murder of 15-year-old Sakia Gunn, who was stabbed to death after she and her friends told a man who was harassing them that they weren’t interested because they were gay. Gunn’s death never got the level of coverage that Matthew Shepard’s has; many people in the community believe that’s because she was female, African-American, and working class. To learn more, you might be interested in Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project. (Thanks to Sayre for the tip)

This Week in Awesome

Batgirl writer and all-around cool chick Gail Simone talked about her new comic The Movement.



The Mary Sue pointed us toward a Kickstarter to make a children’s book of the Jonathan Coulton song “The Princess Who Saved Herself.”




Image via MTV.com

Kate Bornstein’s book A Queer and Pleasant Danger is out in paperback.

RustyPatti alerted me to the fact that there were some excellent articles floating around the net this week on why boob plate armor has got to go. No, really, these are fascinating for way more reasons than these prurient pictures that I’m posting.


Image courtesy of Mygaming.co.za

Image via Pinterest. And yes, Young Helen Mirren should get a special dispensation for these things. But still.

And, because you have been very, very good, here are pictures of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler beating up Sacha Baron Cohen with crowbars on the set of Anchorman 2.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and give your awesome feminist moms, stepmoms, grandmothers, and mentors a hug.

(Oh, and if you’re in L.A. and want to make your weekend funnier, come by the Belly Room at the Comedy Store Saturday night at 8:00. I promise not to do any jokes about state legislation.)

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