This week in suck
Completely insane Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill to end funding of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, so I hope nobody there needs an affordable cervical cancer screening anytime soon. Since the state already banned the use of tax dollars to fund abortions (except when the life of the mother is in jeopardy), the bill really does just take a targeted (even if ignorantly so) at low-income women who need health services. The best part is the bill’s Orwellian name, the “Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act,” which would hilarious if it wouldn’t actually result in women dying. Which it will. Cervical cancer is an easy catch – populations with regular Pap screening see cervical cancer rates drop by up to 80%. But you have to get those screenings. I went through chunks of my twenties when Planned Parenthood was the only way I could afford basic health screenings. And when you can’t afford them, you don’t get them. Congratulations, Governor Brewer, you’ve added a little more pain to the world. I do hope you’re proud.
In less fatal but equally teethgrindy news, some dinglesack has announced the release of a “chickspotting” guide called Field Guide to Chicks of the United States. If I may quote the FAQ for a moment…
Two-page species profiles on each chick are the key to the guide. Each profile includes a ¾ page illustration of each chick, as well as its species name, common name, group (regional, ethnic, other) name, and its most distinguishing physical characteristics, song, behavioral tendencies, mating patterns, (chick) magnets, location, and habitat. It also includes a behavioral trait chart, promiscuity index, and color-coded range map. And there are even a few (whoa! and fetch!) tips for guys in the field.
Yes, you read that correctly: A promiscuity index.
But hey! Don’t stop at letting your sensibilities as a feminist get offended. How About We reported that the women depicted on the book’s cover are the “species” “Afrodisiac,” “Country Biscuit,” and “Taco Belle.” Because women can be summed up by their ethnic backgrounds! Well, that and their promiscuity indexes.
This week in interesting
The Raw Story ran an account and clip of Fox News host Kristen Powers objecting to Sean Hannity having noted crazeball misogynist the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson on his show. Peterson has publicly said that women – all women – are crazy and never should have been allowed to vote. I can’t imagine what Powers was so upset about. Maybe his tie? Oh, right – she was just being crazy, like all us gals. It’s part of our charm.
Melissa Harris-Perry took a different look at Florida’s "stand your ground" law. The same law that may protect Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman has been invoked by women in Florida who victims of domestic violence… only to discover that somehow it doesn’t apply to them. Harris-Perry took a look at the case of Marissa Alexander, who is facing a 20-year sentence for shooting (but not killing) her abusive husband, who has admitted to beating, choking, and punching her.
As you may be aware, many of dozens of bills aimed at restricting abortion rights that have been introduced over the past couple of years are written with the assumption that women don’t really understand what they’re doing when they get abortions, so it’s really very helpful to require forced, medically unnecessary ultrasounds while the woman’s eyeballs are clipped open Clockwork Orange-style and a registered nurse sings lullabies. Slate’s Amanda Marcotte reported on research in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health that suggests – hold onto your heads, because they are about to be blown off – that women who make that choice actually have a very good idea of what they are doing. Not that that will stop the condescension, but at least you’ll know you’re right the next time you’re watching a news report on how women now have to get a note from their parents and a local clergyman before they can buy birth control.
And staunch LGBT ally Ana Marie Cox theorized that the vile amendments against marriage equality that have been skulking through state legislatures lately are “the last gasp of a dying movement.” (This was published before President Obama’s statement in favor of marriage equality, so give her a little wiggle room.)
Oh, about that Presidential endorsement of marriage equality, did you want to hear Rachel Maddow talk about it? Yes. Yes, you do.
This week in awesome
We have a standing rule of thumb here at Feminist Friday Headquarters: There is almost nothing better than feisty nuns who fight for what’s right. Pope Benedict XVI recently decided that American nuns needed to shut up about female ordination and LGBT tolerance and stop with the tedious working to fight poverty thing. Sister Brigid McDonald gave a refreshingly frank interview on that point to MinnPost.com. Doesn’t sound like she’s shutting up any time soon.
Seattleites just got a little happier with the opening of Hey Geek Girl! a tribute to women and pop culture. Laughing Squid had the details and some very cool images. Someone go and tell me how you liked this.
Good news, Danes! Karina, an AfterEllen.com correspondent in Denmark, alerted us to the fact that as of June 15 her beautiful and enlightened home nation will be tossing the special "registered partnership" label lightly over its shoulder and extending full marriage equality to same-sex couples. (Denmark was actually ahead of the curve and legalized same-sex unions in 1989, but this is about the M-word.) Congrats, you happy Danes! I will be listening to extra Aqua this weekend in your honor.
Have a great weekend and treat yourself to a Danish. Or a Dane.