Feminist Friday: Ladybits and Man Brains


This Week in Ladybits

Gird your bits, ladies. It’s getting ugly out there.

Our old pal Representative Trent Franks (R-1387), for example, is trying to push a breathtakingly cruel, medically ignorant, exemption-free national abortion ban through Congress. (Where it has passed its all-male committee. Thanks, jerks!) In arguing against exemptions for rape, Franks helpfully explained that “the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

In case you’re coming in late to this argument, a) Franks is utterly, completely wrong and b) WHAT THE HELL?! Is he seriously suggesting that there is an acceptable number of rape victims who should be forced to carry their pregnancies to term?

(Personal to Mr. Franks’ doctors: Should the Congressman need minor surgery at any point, I will Kickstarter up $10,000 for you to implant a bump in his abdomen while he’s out. Not for long enough to hurt him or anything. Just enough to make him think about it. Tell him it’s the latest in forced fertility and let him stew for a bit.)

Quick quiz: Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker and the GOP in the state legislature would like to force some of their constituents to undergo a completely unnecessary medical procedure. Guess which one!

Well, if you were anywhere near Wisconsin this weekend, you’ve already had this one spoiled for you, because the GOP in the state senate went completely batcrap and decided that they did want to punish women seeking abortions by looking into their uteruses, but did not want to hear any Democrats object to the idea. This video is insane.

Governor Walker, of course, says that he sees no problem with ultrasounds and will be happy to sign the bill into law. Your Scott Walker campaign-branded probes are on the way, sir. Enjoy.

But hey, don’t count out Ohio, whose GOP members are serving up a bill with mandatory ultrasounds, an extended waiting period, and language that forces doctors to lie to their patients or face a felony charge. State Senator Nina Turner is pissed off. You should be too.

Image courtesy of Senator Turner’s website

You know who’s also not having this lying to women and demanding unnecessary medical procedures crap? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, that’s who.

If you think this already sounds like one of the worst years you can remember for basic reproductive rights, you are correct. (H/T to Mary for the link.)

While we’re on the subject, there have been studies before on how women do after they are granted abortions; this week the New York Times ran a long piece on what happens to the women who are denied abortions. (Via Tricia McKinney at the MaddowBlog.)

At least the Obama administration has stopped trying to block access to the morning after pill for young women. That feels like pretty cold comfort at the moment.

This Week in Thinky

Jean Rabe, the editor of the SFWA Bulletin, has resigned over sexist content.

Word is that the Dark Girls documentary will be premiering on OWN on June 23.


Check out the Women in Space tumblr! Hello, awesomeness!

Images via Women in Space

This Week in the Military’s Massive Sexual Assault Problem

The excellent Irin Carmon looked at why the right is confounded by military sexual assault in Salon.

The Air Force, in a positive it’s-about-time step, appointed a woman to head its sexual assault prevention program, and one with some real clout. I look forward to Major General Margaret Woodward making some real progress.

If you’re still catching up on the hearings, The Frisky ran a good primer last Friday. Though, in a rage-inducing update, this week the Senate blocked a plan to hand sexual assault cases to an independent prosecutor.

If you’re looking for other ways we could be dealing with this, holy wow, check out this message from Australia’s Lieutenant General David Morrison, who has had enough of this sexist crap and is about to start tearing things up. You might want to play 1:46 over a few times. Enjoy the steely righteous anger goodness. (Thanks to Karen for the tip.)


This Week in Getting Paid

This week was the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. How’s that going, Nancy Pelosi?

Seriously, yo.

Image via Planned Parenthood Action

This Week in Jerks

The trash talk during the demo for Microsoft’s Killer Instinct got a little sexist and creepy. Rebecca Greenfield elaborated on why that’s a problem even if it wasn’t scripted. Microsoft has since apologized.

Also at E3, Anita Sarkeesian complained that XBox One didn’t introduce a single game with a female protagonist. And wow, did the misogynist dickbags come out of the woodwork. Why does the gaming industry have such a problem with female protagonists?

So, yeah, E3 has a little way to go

A British ad for The Heat Photoshopped Melissa McCarthy’s face and made her thinner. (Haven’t I also seen that version around L.A.?) Debenham’s, in contrast, is calling on retailers to stop Photoshopping people altogether.

Studly, manly super-smart Maine Republican Ken Fredette explained to the state House how his man-brain lets him think better about money than silly ladies do. If he’s so smart, how come he doesn’t know that John Gray, the relationship “expert” he’s referring to, has long been debunked? Or is that a lady brain thing to worry about?

What do we do with all this? Destroy the joint has a suggestion.

UFC fighter Josh Thomson says that gay marriage leads to (sigh) incest and pedophilia. Dudes who are trying to be manly: You have got to stop saying things like this. We all know you’re a closet case when you say things like this. It is the deadest of the dead giveaways. If you don’t want people to know about your secret tormenting thoughts, just be cool, shut up with the homophobia, and call a hotline or something. It’ll make that future airport bathroom arrest so much easier.

And GOP strategist Raynard Jackson said that social services should take MSNBC’s Krystal Ball’s daughter away from her. Ball’s terrible crime? Teaching her daughter that gay marriage is OK.

This Week in Awesome

Twitter just got 87% more bad-ass. Ms. Clinton has entered the building.

Also bad-ass? This Tumblr full of bad-ass women.

OK, I’ll admit it: Karman Kregloe is right, and there’s something about Stevie Nicks that’s kinda great. Case in point: Her firm happiness with herself as a single woman.

Also great? Oprah Winfrey gave $12 million to the new Smithsonian Museum of Black History and Culture.

Lara Croft will be getting her dark reboot from Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon.

Remember how racists went spittingly insane over the Cheerios commercial that featured an interracial family? Kenji America knocks it out of the park with this parody. (Via Dangerous Minds)


Joss Whedon understands why we need female superheroes. (And superheroes of color, and non-straight superheroes…)

Check out all the strong, fierce plotting ladies in the trailer for The White Queen.


And ohhh, I want this so bad I can’t even stand it. And I’m mentally lining up girls to give it to. There’s a new graphic novel called Primates that tells the stories of groundbreaking anthropologists Diane Fossey, Biruté Galdikas, and Jane Goodall. You need this book. We all do. I might hand it out at bus stops and cafés.

Image courtesy of the MacMillan Primateswebsite

While we’re at it, check out these Jane Goodall then and now shots from National Geographic. And if you ever get the chance to see her speak, go.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and make some wild discoveries of your own.

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