This Week in Ladybits
Oh, I do like it when there is some actual good, sane news for ladybits. Congressional Democrats are hoping to crack down on false advertising by “crisis pregnancy centers” that give women the impression that they are actual clinics. Which they are not. Many crisis pregnancy centers don’t have any medical personnel on-hand at all, and many of them flat-out lie to pregnant women. There are some members Congress who think women should be protected from that. It would be nice if that were more of a bipartisan no-brainer kind of thing, but, hey, at least a lean towards not allowing people to lie to women who are already in distress is a start.
Oh, and speaking of lying to try to get people to behave the way you want, Slate looked into the underhanded editing techniques Live Action uses to falsely discredit abortion providers. It’s pretty creepy.
Hey, what would you guess would be the biggest priority for Oklahoma legislators this week? Maybe getting some emergency funds and supplies? Figuring out temporary housing for hundreds of people? Getting a plan going to start building safe rooms across the state right the hell now? Wrong! Ever with their priorities in order, the charmers in the Oklahoma state legislature took time to pass a law de-funding Planned Parenthood. Thanks for the help!
A judge correctly struck down Arizona’s unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban. But that didn’t stop Arizona Representative Trent Franks from trying to introduce a nationwide 20-week ban. Check out the dudebro makeup of the Congressional panel discussing it.
Image courtesy of Emily’s List
There has to be an alternate universe in which female legislators do nothing but pass laws about Trent Franks’s ballsack. There just has to be.
Back in the world of sanity, the Illinois state senate has approved a measure that will require sex ed classes to teach about birth control. If signed by the Governor, this will replace the state’s current abstinence-only policy.
This Week in Thinky
Good showed that bikes can be much more than transportation in rural Cambodia.
Maria Alekhina of Pussy Riot has been denied parole. Alekhina started a hunger strike on Wednesday after being refused permission to attend her own parole hearing. Sir Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, and Patti Smith all sent letters to the Russian court asking that Alekhina and fellow Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova be freed, to no avail. Alekhina’s lawyer intends to appeal.
And Star Trek into Darkness co-writer Damon Lindelof half-apologized for the shallow female characters and gratuitous underwearing in the film.
This Week in Entertainment
Janet Jackson’s net worth has topped a billion dollars. She can now enforce the rule that that’s Miss Jackson if you’re nasty.
Amy Pascal, the head of Sony Studios, gave a surprisingly frank interview in which she said the whole studio system sets up female directors for failure. Director-Actress Lake Bell, on the other hand, says she hasn’t encountered any barriers.
Ugh, Jerry Lewis. UGH. He still won’t shut up about how he can’t think women are funny because I don’t even know what stupid reason he gave this time. Apparently whenever he sees a female comedian he jams a fork in his thigh to keep himself from enjoying anything and pictures her gestating a child or something. There seems to be some self-loathing hidden in his latest round of bushwah, but it’s going to take a more dedicated person than I am to wade through it. I would be more outraged if I had ever found something that Jerry Lewis did funny, but I haven’t. He just makes me tired.
Proof point the first that Jerry Lewis is wrong: Carol Burnett exists. Case closed. Ms. Burnett, by the way, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in October. I really hope she does a Tarzan yell. In the meantime, check out the Washington Post’s slide show.
Also in funny women news: Maria Bamford has a new series called Ask My Mom premiering next week. If you don’t know who Maria Bamford is, you need to.
This Week in Ugh
You’ve probably seen Trish Bendix and Emily Hartl chatting it up over the remarkably stupid Kaitlyn Hunt case. She’s been offered what looks to me like a very bad plea bargain considering she’s facing charges for a consensual relationship that started when both parties were minors. If you’d like to sign the Change.Org petition asking the Assistant State Attorney to stop this nonsense, it’s over here.
Ukraine’s first major gay pride has been blocked by a judge on the grounds that violence could break out. (Warning: That link has a disturbing photo at the top.) This is after a smaller demonstration was attacked by a mob that included Orthodox priests last week.
And Virginia Republicans went stone-cold batcrap this week, nominating a slate of state candidates who are politically somewhere to the right of Vlad the Impaler. Mark Obenstein, the nominee for Attorney General, once introduced a measure that would require women to report miscarriages or face jail time. E.W. Jackson, the nominee for Lieutenant Governor, does not care for the gays. Or for extending the LGBT community basic civil rights. And, of course, our old pal Ken Cuccinelli has been nominated for Governor. Cuccinelli, if you recall, is vehemently opposed to abortion rights, even in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s health. Oh, and he recently tried to reinstate Virginia’s sodomy law. Good luck, Mr. Cuccinelli. My pal Jess and I designed a campaign poster for you.
Image by Ali Davis and the excellent Jess Idres
(Oh, and if that bill about miscarriages seems more than just cruel, you’re correct. MinnPost broke down the ignorance. Thanks to my faithful correspondent Mary for the tip.)
Noted steroid enthusiast Jose Canseco thought he was going to be accused of rape this week. So he tweeted the woman’s name, picture, and phone number to his thousands of followers. Not that he was hoping people would threaten or harass her or anything. The delightful rogues at Wonkette helpfully provided Mr. Canseco’s number as a counterpoint.
This Week in Awesome
Oh, yes! That distinct not-enough-Michelle Yeoh feeling you’ve been getting at the movies won’t last for too much longer. The Mary Sue reports that the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel that I murmur about as my head hits the pillow each night is actually happening. And, yes, with so much butt-kicking by Michelle Yeoh.
Photo courtesy of Ms. Yeoh’s official website
Astronaut Sally Ride will be awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Kiera Wilmot, the impeccable student who was expelled for blowing the top off a bottle as a science experiment, has been awarded a full scholarship to Space Camp. The former NASA engineer who made it happen, Homer Hickman, reached out to Kiera because he, too had the police called on him when he was experimenting with science as a teenager. Nice work all around. Enjoy the Space Academy, Kiera!
Speaking of young women and scientific ass-kickery, 18-year-old Eesha Khare has invented a supercapacitor that will charge batteries in seconds.
EVERYBODY BE COOL. Don’t scare this away.
Had an interesting call from a chap who wants to re-invigorate the #Xena brand. You guys may have started something.
— Lucy Lawless (@RealLucyLawless) May 23, 2013
Hey, Chicagoans! Get over to The Miss Neo Pageant by the Neo-Futurists. Looks like you’re in for some fun tweaking of gender norms.
The Feminist Friday Can’t Stop Loving Helen Mirren streak is still going and I’m not sorry. This week, the Queen of England declined a dying boy’s request to have tea, so Mirren invited him to see her play the queen in her current show The Audience. Then, still in costume and character, she invited him and his family backstage for tea and — hankies ready — knighted him.
Have a great weekend. Get out there and find your inner queen. You too, boys.
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