This Week in Ladybits
Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the radical Supreme Court decision that women might actually be able to make the best decisions about what happens to the inside of their own bodies.
If a fella gives you Roe guff this week, tell him you’re introducing legislation that would let you decide whether his spleen gets removed.
As you may have noticed, things have not been going so well for keeping sovereignty of our own ladybits lately. The awesome Lizz Winstead takes stock of where we are.
Want a more detailed look at that map? The Daily Beast has an interactive map of abortion access (or lack of access) in the United States. You’ll note the long strip down the middle of the country in which women have to travel at least 150 miles to get to a clinic — and then usually run into a waiting period. How many hourly workers do you know who can take three days off whenever they need to?
The New York Times reminded us of the horrific measures women have resorted to when abortions aren’t accessible.
And, if you’ll recall, anti-choice measures are still coming thick and fast and ever more callous. This week a Republican legislator in New Mexico — and a woman, no less — proposed that rape victims should be jailed for destroying evidence if they have abortions. I sent out a tweet calling Republicans cold-blooded [very bad word]s after I saw that, and then I felt guilty about generalizing Republicans that way.
And then I realized that what I have not seen is Republicans speaking out against such a manifestly cruel piece of legislation. Which they should have, by the truckload. And you know what? If the cold-blooded [extremely bad word] fits, you have to wear it. Until a substantial chunk of the GOP starts speaking out against proposals like this, they can keep the monstrous image they’ve earned.
NYMag published quotes from fifteen women and a few men on aborting.
For a jaw-dropping dose of hypocrisy, try the case of the Catholic hospital that’s claiming that fetuses aren’t people to protect itself against a wrongful death lawsuit. The case involves twin fetuses that were in their seventh month — in other words, far later term than when most abortions occur. Kate McDonough in Salon takes a deeper look at the case.
Mary Elizabeth Williams also has an essay in Salon this week, this one called “So what if abortion ends life?” She makes some interesting points, and I wish her luck with all the death threats she’s about to get from wingnuts who claim to cherish life enough to threaten to murder people.
Fortunately, the nation recognizes the importance of reproductive rights, even if Republicans don’t.
And behold the Avenging Uterus tee. (Hat tip to Mary.)
This Week in Hillary Clinton Being a Bad-Ass
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified in front of Congress about Benghazi and hit her limit of how much rude and stupid she was going to take from Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Clinton also received an unbelievable amount of guff from Senator John McCain (R-Bitterzona) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
This Week in Thinky
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong wondered whether it’s sexist to notice the First Lady’s sartorial choices.
Anita, Frieda Mock’s documentary on Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas, premiered at the Sundance festival. Jezebel says Ms. Hill herself saw the premiere and got a standing ovation for the crowd. I am still knocked out by the fact that many men theorized at the time that Hill just really, really wanted attention in the form of talking about sexual harassment to a room full of old white men. Well, sure, isn’t that what every girl dreams of?
Io9 has a genuinely thought-provoking piece on spider reproduction—which often involves cannibalism— and the words human scientists use to interpret it. Non-scientific, judgmental words like “rapacious” come up in regard to the female, while different choices come up for the male suggesting that he is doomed or hapless. It’s interesting to look at the way we reinforce outdated human stereotypes even when we’re looking at completely different organisms that may be behaving in a way that is a matter of nature for them. (I am reminded of Chris Rock’s line, “That tiger didn’t go crazy. That tiger went tiger!”)
This sexism and problematic language is surprisingly pervasive in the scientific community (for example, calling a grouping of many females and one male a “harem” instead of, for example, an “independent amazon collective that keeps one male around for sperm.” See how that changes your human perspective? (PS, both interpretations are silly.)
This Week in Progress
Myrlie Evers-Williams, after an already impressive life, became the first woman to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration.
The National Young Feminist Leadership Conference is this March in Washington, DC.
Nepal has recognized that two genders don’t cover it. The nation will be issuing “third gender” citizenship certificates to help combat widespread discrimination.
The Mary Sue reported on Dr. Ellen Ocha’s move from being the first Latina in space to being the second female director (and first Hispanic director) of the Johnson Space Center.
Congress is having another go at actually renewing the Violence Against Women Act. Let’s hope the Republicans have realized that there will be hell to pay if it gets blocked again. At the very least, domestic violence screenings will be covered under Obamacare.
And the Pentagon removed the ban on women in combat roles. (Or, really, acknowledged that women are already in combat roles.) Sexists promptly flipped the hell out. More practical non-sexists decided it might be a good idea to take care of the horrific rates of sexual assault within our own military.
Former Marine Goldie Taylor went on The Ed Show to discuss the issue and smack down the sexists. Thank you, Ms. Taylor, for your service, and thank you, Ed Schultz, for pointing out that Tucker Carlson is a sexist dingleberry.
This Week in Ugh
The former UNC dean of students says she was forced to under-report sexual assaults.
A group for military spouses at Fort Bragg is denying membership to same-sex spouses—and the Pentagon is backing the excluding group.
And Russia is moving to enact an anti-gay law. (Hey, Russia! I came to visit you a lot when I worked on a ship during the summer of 2008. And I was bi the whole time. Just walked around all day long being a “hooligan” and really happy. MYOOHOOHAHAHAHAHA!)
This Week in Good
Feministing pointed the way to photographer Anthony Kurtz’s No Man’s Job project, featuring women at Femme Auto in Senegal. Check the full series out on his website.
Want to know where the smart money goes? To female-run hedge funds.
One Million Moms, the bigots who came after J.C. Penney because they didn’t like them hiring Ellen DeGeneres as their spokeswoman, are now going after Girl Scout cookies. The Moms, who I wish to stress are not really one million strong, don’t like it that the Girl Scouts allow transgender kids and do encourage real-world sex education. The One Million Moms (part of the anti-gay American Family Association) also claim that the Girl Scouts support abortion, which they don’t. So why is this in the “Good” section? Because I’m pretty sure a box of cookies bought to stick it to the One Million Moms is a guilt-free box. Remember to share with your fabulous LGBT friends.
This Week in Fun
Oh, good heavens, do I love the willingness of some science fiction authors to do wryly funny gender-swapped book covers.
These Dutch TV hosts found out what labor contractions feel like, with a little help from some electrodes. (Skip to about 3:49 for when the real magic starts.)
You know what you need to launch you into your weekend? Rachel Dratch running an obstacle course based on Julia Roberts’ career. She’s hilarious and amazingly game.
(Via The Frisky)
Have a great weekend. Get out there and knock down a few obstacles yourself.
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