Feminist Friday: Fox News alerts us to the war on men


Hello, you excellent ladies! I missed you! Let’s dive right in, shall we?

This Week in Ladybits

Oh, did you think everything with ladybits would be all cool now just because great honking chunks of the American electorate screamed “Will you STOP with your attempts to cage up our ladybits!?” No, of course not. In fact, the Forces Opposed to Ladybits Liberty in Everything (FOLLiEs) whipped themselves up into an extra-frothy tizzy this week, particularly at the state level.

Wisconsin, for example, has Republicans in control of both houses and our old anti-choice pal Scott Walker still in the Governor’s seat, and so Wisconsin Right to Life is pushing a raft of new restrictions, including an odious ultrasound requirement, a ban on abortions for sex selection, which aren’t really a thing in this country, and a deceptive “fetal pain” ban. (According to actual scientists, a fetus at 24 weeks or less cannot feel pain. You will be shocked to learn that fetal pain bans tend to go way below that number.)

Arkansas anti-choicers are also jumping in, including another fetal pain bill and a ban on telemedicine. (Hat tip to the MaddowBlogfor the link.)

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, long under attack, may be forced to close in January.

Michigan is trying a refreshingly new bit of weaseling: Suggesting a tax break for fetuses older than 12 weeks as a legal back door to personhood. (Thanks to The Friskyfor the link.)

And women who are putting all of their bits on the line for us in our military are denied insurance coverage for abortions if they are raped. You can help put an end to that bit of madness.

In the world of ladybits sanity, The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that the morning-after pill should be available to teenagers. (Teens can currently get the morning-after pill, but not without going to a doctor for a prescription. …Which means that most teens don’t get it.)

This Week in Awful

Saudi Arabia is now electronically tracking its women. If a grown woman tries to leave the country, her male “guardian” gets a text message.

A woman in Bangladesh has been forced to go back to her abusive husbandafter he threw acid in her face.

And a defense attorney in a gang-rape trial suggested that the 11-year-old victim was a seductress. Amanda Marcotte points out that this was perhaps the only defense tactic left to the attorneyand we should perhaps blame the culture that has ever allowed such a tactic to work. Still: Ugh.

This Week in Good

Gay conversion “therapy” is the worst kind of quackery — not only does it not do what it claims, it can cause real damage to the people who undergo treatment. Fortunately, some bold legislators are starting to do something about it. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D – CA) introduced the Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) resolution this week to protect minors from this practice and make sure tax dollars aren’t being used to reimburse clinics that espouse it. It’s a nonbinding resolution, but it’s a start.


And Adela Hernandez became Cuba’s first trans person to be elected to public office.

This Week in Thinky

Becky Chambers had an interesting piece in The Mary Sue on what the lack of female protagonists says about the gaming industry.

The Atlantic featured an article on the creepy frat-house atmosphere at Goldman Sachs. Not that anyone at the company had a problem with following sensible rules or anything.

Mother Jones notes that single mothers conclusively did not cause the ‘70s crime wave. (Phew!)

Slate ran a terrific photo feature from photographer Boushra Almutawakelof Yemen examining the Hijab. I don’t think I’ll look at head scarves the same way again.

Image via Slate

A new survey indicates that women who work in porn are more likely to enjoy sex and identify as spiritual than other women. And — wait for it — they also report higher self-esteem. (This is not necessarily true of porn clerks.) It’s not all good news — adult film actresses also have a high incidence of drug and alcohol use, and some critics have pointed out that women in truly exploitative situations are far less likely to have filled out the survey. Still, I think it’s an interesting deflation of the assumptions we make as a society about women who have sex with multiple partners for whatever reason — that they must be damaged in some way or at least have low self-esteem. Why do we as a culture still assume that women are being used if they’re having sex? Is it so wrong if some of them are happily in control?

Jessica Valenti looked at the tug of war between success and likability for women.

And Lori Adelman at Feministing took a hard look at the victim-blaming bushwah that is getting thrown at Halle Berry.

This Week in Not Helping

Heavy sigh. OK, so author and Lady Against Women Suzanne Venker has solved — SOLVED! — modern society. Turns out, according to her, that the reason lots of men are delaying marriage (Oh, please. Did you think anything other than straight marriage is at issue here?) isn’t that, you know, people in general are less likely to view marriage as something they absolutely have to do and more likely to view it as something they should think real hard about before they do it, but because women got all feministy and self-sufficient and now men are just sitting it out, because how can they be men if women are competing with them?

Even if you have zero interest in marrying men or anyone else, her line of reasoning is unbelievably gross and offensive. Not just because she thinks women should solve all this by giving up all of feminism’s gains and all that personal and intellectual fulfillment and junk, but because she sees men as big babies who lose all motivation in life if they encounter a woman who achieves anything. I don’t know who Ms. Venker has been hanging out with, but the (straight) men in my life do not see female awesomeness as a bonerkiller. Pretty much the opposite, in fact. Probably because they are grownups and life is not a zero-sum game and being good at something is really, really hot, regardless of your gender.

I don’t have a problem with men and women or butches and femmes or whoever setting up “traditional,” labor-divided households, but the idea that everyone should have to do so lest an entire gender just give up on life is stupid. And, really, that premise has always been fake — the argument over whether women “should” work outside the home is a luxury debate of the upper classes. Women who aren’t wealthy have never had that choice. And if you’re going to work, why not kick ass at it? And why not find a partner of whatever gender you please who will love you even more for that? I’m sure the feebs and the people who love them can find each other just fine; let’s not worry about them so much.

Anyway, blah blah blah it’s a War on Men even though there has not been, for example, a sustained, concerted national effort to pass laws about manbits. Suzanne Venker is the niece of Phyllis Schlafly and has a book coming out. Are you shocked by either of those facts? Didn’t think so.

Oh, and the GOP announced their committee chair recommendations this week: A stunning array of white dudes.

Image via Facebook

It’s amazing they can muster so many what with the war on them and all. And really, that’s what so much of the whining of the entitled comes down to: The world is suddenly a scary place because some people actually think that white men maybe shouldn’t automatically get all 21 committee chair spots.

I mean, they still got them, but isn’t it scary that sometimes people think they maybe shouldn’t always and are so impolite as to mention it? It’s amazing these guys were able to muster the strength to get married.

Are people still putting Rick Warren on television? WHY? This time he says that loving someone of the same gender is probably okay, and that those feelings might even be natural and biological in origin. Oh, but that to act on those feelings is like punching someone in the face. But hey, please don’t let that frank expression of views make you think that Warren is unwilling to take on the victim pose. He also says that it is really mean to call him prejudicedjust because he thinks there is something inherently wrong with you. I’m guessing he also thinks bringing up the phrase “cognitive dissonance” would be really mean too.

Personal to Mr. Warren. I know that Christians are, as you say, commanded to love everyone. That doesn’t mean you get to make a workaround by insisting you love people when you clearly don’t. You don’t get to pretend to love people when you’re talking about how they shouldn’t exist or at least should try very hard not to. It doesn’t wash, and, while I can’t claim to have a personal relationship with him like you do, I’m guessing your pal Jesus will not be fooled. Last time I checked, Christianity was also about admitting that you are imperfect. Please. Mr. Warren, just admit that you still have a lot of work to do on the whole loving project and gay people squick you out. It will mean that you have to admit that you are far from perfect. But at least you won’t be committing the sin of lying anymore. And, to be honest, Jesus and the rest of it probably wouldn’t mind it if you turned down the wattage on that glowing wall of smug.

This Week in Awesome

President Obama has nominated Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, an out lesbian Latina, to be a federal judge.

More reasons to love the Swedes: A Swedish toy company published a gender-neutral catalogue. Isn’t it nice when we acknowledge that boys and girls can actually enjoy whatever the hell they want?

The Athena Film Festival is returning to Barnard College February 7-10. This year Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd will be presented with the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award. One hopes it will be modified to apply to undeath too.

Jezebel ran this cool video of girl skaters in Afghanistan.


And check out this monkey who demands equal pay for equal work. (Hat tip to Jezebel.)


Have a great weekend. Get out there and demand your fair share of the grapes.

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