This Week in Ladybits
If you’re wondering why I almost always lead with this section, Feministing has it in cold, hard numbers: More abortion restrictions have been enacted in the last three years than in the entire previous decade. That’s not a normal ideological back-and-forth, that’s a full-on, coordinated attack on women’s health care choices. If you want the raw data, check out Guttmacher’s year-end report.
And a gentle reminder that the “pro-life” crowd is also pushing back against basic, no-brainer stuff like birth control—trying to restrict women’s behavior by just flat-out pretending that birth control causes abortions instead of, you know, preventing them.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor handed out what looked like a loss to people who want grown women to be able to get birth control this week, but it’s actually not as bad as it seems. It’s just a temporary delay for non-profit religious groups that are claiming Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate—which already does not apply to them—still violates their religious liberty. The case they’re making is pretty damn weaselly. All the groups have to do to be exempt from covering birth control for their employees is sign a paper saying they’re a religious group and don’t wanna cover birth control.
However, an employee who wants birth control would then take that signed statement to her insurance company so that the insurance company would provide birth control at its own expense. So the religious groups don’t want to sign the paper because they don’t want their employees to be able to have it and thus get covered birth control by other means.
In other words, they’re asserting their right to control some pretty major private life choices of their employees.
So does that mean that a religious employer should be able to stop you from using a supplemental insurance plan that covers acupuncture treatments if they decide those are demonic? Can a group that believes in faith healing stop your insurance plan from covering your antibiotics? Can they keep you from using your paycheck to buy a car that’s big enough to have sex in on your lunch hour? I am JUST ASKING.
This Week in Sore Losers
Speaking of Justice Sotomayor, after a truly hilarious saga of Utah trying and failing to stop all the same-sex weddings that were suddenly pouring out of its ears and the foam parties and loft renovations that were breaking out all over the place, the state’s officials have applied to Sotomayor to ask for a suspension of U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling that it’s time to suck it up and stop discriminating. Good luck with that.
Rachel Maddow, do you have anything to add on this one?
This Week in Entertainment
Kiera Knightley chatted about feminism (and about talking about feminism) and women in film in the U.K. edition of Harper’s Bazaar.
Jay Mohr decided to whine about Alyssa Milano not meeting his standards of womanly perfection right after she had a baby. Milano responded with grace. (Via Jezebel)
.@jaymohr37 So sorry you felt the need to publicly fat-shame me. Be well and God Bless. Please send my love to your beautiful wife.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 26, 2013
Bonus: Here are another couple of reasons to fan the flames of that Milano crush.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 1, 2014
Happy New Year. I wish you all the love you can stand in 2014.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 1, 2014
And some genuinely hope-filled news: Movies that passed the Bechdel Test made significantly more money—like billions more—this year than the ones that failed. Hollywood pays attention to money, which means more female characters who can talk about more than men will soon be in the pipeline.
This Week in Thinky
The Awl recapped the year in lesbians, hitting politics, Orange, feminism, Blue and economic justice. Discuss.
Amanda Marcotte looked at the proliferation and changing use of trigger warnings.
And Dangerous Minds noted that Goldfrapp’s heartacher “Clay” is based on a love letter from one gay WWII soldier to another.
This Week in Awesome
Which makes me think of my favorite Rose, and this genius visionary who wants Lego to make a Golden Girls set.
Image via Lego Cuusoo
Female ski jumpers are finally a part of the Olympics.
BuzzFeed featured 34 American women scientists who changed the world. (Readers from other countries, tell us your own favorites, please.)
Image courtesy of the Smithsonian collection on flickr commons
Need even more inspiration? Hashtag Feminism railed against the New Year’s media barrage of ways to feel bad about yourself and proposed an #IResolveToGain hashtag.
And Happy Nice Time People alerted us to Bing’s Heroic Women of 2013 compilation. There was one choice I disagreed with and one that made me choke up. Blatant marketing, yes, but blatant marketing that’s done really well.
Have a great weekend. Get out there and do what makes you the happiest. I’m hoping that includes hitting the comments to tell us how you’ll be even more amazing in 2014.
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