Feminist Friday: How To Talk To Women

 
 

This Week in Ladybits

Information Is Beautiful had a great big feature on the safety on the HPV vaccine. Spoiler: Michele Bachmann is not coming out on top of this one.

Were you worried that no state was going to pass a spectacularly cruel law this week? Put your mind at ease — Michigan has you covered. Thanks to a new law, women in Michigan are essentially going to have to pay for separate rape insurance if they want their insurance policies to cover an abortion in the event that they are attacked. Laura Conaway of The Rachel Maddow Show breaks it down for you.

Need to take a break from rage-throwing furniture around and laugh for a minute? Feministing pointed the way to this handy guide for Republican men on how to talk to those surprisingly confusing and touchy ladies. Why do I have the feeling that the actual GOP tutorials on talking to women are a lot like this?

This Week in Ugh

The Bode Miller paternity case is getting astonishingly creepy.

I am grateful to and annoyed with Wonkette for alerting me to the fact that anti-gay dark legend Phyllis Schlafly’s niece, Suzanne Venker, is also bringing the blerg. She wants us to know that ladies should learn to have rich and fulfilling lives by the simple trick not ever having careers, which never makes anyone sink into depression or suddenly rise up one day when the Santa Anas are blowing and stab one’s spouse right in the neck.

There are, of course, one or two problems with Venker’s logic, like how “just have a man take care of you” is tricky when both people in the relationship are ladies. Please do write to Suzanne Venker directly if you need to resolve disputes about who is more butch in your relationship and who is more femme. I’m sure she’d be glad to help.

The other wee problem with Venker’s thesis is that it is a complete pile of cowflops. When someone wonders if women “should” have careers, that really means “middle-to-upper-class women,” who are the ones who have the luxury of being made to worry every day that they are ruining everything by working. Poor women have had to work since, oh, lets see, forever, so can we please drop this nonsense at least until we address working poverty first? (p.s. Mom, I always thought you were a bad-ass career woman, and a GREAT example for me.)

Oh, and speaking of the working poor, nearly 2.3 million women earned the minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) or less last year, compared to about 1.2 million men. So, yes, the debate over raising the federal minimum wage is a feminist issue too.

This Week in Thinky

Amanda Hess discussed the experience of reading the canon of “midcentury misogynists” Slate’s XX.

Policy Mic picked its 28 Most Iconic Feminist Moments of the year. Universal crushes Jennifer Lawrence, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Beyoncé are at the top, but you’ll also get treats like this exhilarating clip of Indian actress Mallika Sherawat standing by her well informed outrage. I love it that Not Having It turns out to be another universal language.

NPR’s Dr. Barbara King explained why three genders are not enough.

OK, I know it’s an ad, but, damn, Pantene Philippines, well played.

(Via Adweek)

Want to stomp all over the gender pay gap? Your best bet is to choose a high-pay-track major (STEM or business) over an elite school. (Via Gawker)

This Week in Terrible

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced legislation to allow churches, businesses, non-profit institutions, and even individuals to discriminate against people in the LGBT community for “religious reasons.” And, really, that means they could discriminate against anyone who behaves in ways they don’t like. Because if if there’s one thing that unites the great spiritual leaders of all ages, it’s a rigid insistence on dividing and punishing people.

Australia’s High Court has overturned a new, brief law that allowed same-sex marriages. The marriages that took place during the few days before the law was overturned will be annulled, which seems astonishingly cruel. I’m so sorry Aussies. Stay strong. In an interesting note of hope, it looks like the Court’s decision might actually allow for some marriage equality gains in the long run. (Watch for autoplaying video on that one, and thanks to @WicalBNE for the link.)

And stay strong, Indians—India re-instated a ban on gay sex this week. “Unnatural” sex can now lead to a 10-year jail sentence.

The Washington Post ran a map of the countries that criminalize homsexuality now. (Though I’m not sure how Russia is getting away with that neutral gray.)

This Week in Entertainment

The late Roger Ebert’s web page featured a week of reviews and commentary exclusively by women. Chaz Ebertexplained why she wanted to try focusing on a feminine point of view for a week.

Whoa. It isn’t a perfect diversity solution, but at least they’re listening. SNL held an audition just for black female performers last week.

Alert correspondent Brangien drew my attention to two books that may be of interest. The first is a graphic novel called Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story.

FF Sanger copy

Image via Drawn and Quarterly

The next book is one you can’t have yet. For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu is about a young transwoman and the early word is that it’s amazing. Put it on your list for January.

The Hollywood Reporter ran its “Women in Entertainment Power 100” list.

And Geena Davis told us how to make Hollywood less sexist in two easy steps.

This Week in Awesome

Computer scientist Grace Hopper got herself a Google Doodle this week! Slate ran this terrific clip of her zinging David Letterman in honor of what would have been her 107th birthday.


The Russian equivalent of the Supreme Court will be reviewing the cases of two of the members of Pussy Riot. It looks like an early release is a real possibility.

Comedian Rob Delaney explained why even big, hairy alpha males should be feminists.

BuzzFeed reminded us of 19 flawless pieces of advice from Amy Poehler. And from just the past year!

FF Amy

Original source: amypoehler.tumblr.com

And the Jane Goodall Institute tweeted this photo of a young Dr. Goodall and a young chimp studying each other.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and make your world a little bigger.

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