Feminist Friday: Ladybits Triumphant

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This Week in Shameless Gloating

Haaaaaahahahahahahahahaha! Wow, did our ladybits (and some helpful people with manbits, and some more people with transitioning bits and intergender bits) ever deliver a firm and furious rebuke to the politicians who wanted to cage our nation’s free-range uteruses.

Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin – No Senate seat for you! And say goodbye to your spot on the House Science Committee! And say hello to a thunderous defeat delivered by Senator Claire McCaskill (D – MO), who was absolutely, positively supposed to lose her seat to whichever Republican ran against her. Mr. Akin, in the spirit of friendliness and community, I would like to suggest that you spend part of your newfound free time rehabilitating that comb-over.

Representative Joe “No Such Thing As a Life-Saving Abortion” Walsh (R – IL) – Outta there! The nationally known deadbeat dad lost to war hero Tammy Duckworth, who Walsh, for real, mocked for being so uncouth as to have mentioned her military service when talking about how she has served the public. So far I do not hear much weeping or lamentation issuing from the great state of Illinois.

Richard “God’s Plan” Mourdock (R – Indiana) – Whoopsie! Turns out God’s plan was not to send you to the Senate! Apparently the Supreme Being just wanted you, Mr. Mourdock, to learn exactly how appalling your twisted theology is from the nation at large and the good people of Indiana in particular. She also might like you to shut it for a while.

And let’s not forget you, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who – lest we forget, because goodness knows they wanted us to – publicly espoused views on ladybits that are not one whit more moderate than those of any of the candidates I just mentioned. You got yourselves stomped, boys, and it had nothing to do with any superstorm. It was because you decided that it was okay, not just a viable election strategy, but morally okay, to write off huge chunks of the population. It was because you acted as though “American” means “wealthy, straight, white male,” and everyone who doesn’t fit that description is somehow other and thus somehow suspect.

And you acted like the straight, white men you were trying to shear off from the rest of the population didn’t have any connections to anyone who was female, LGBT, non-white, or poor, or couldn’t possibly care about those people (or basic fairness) if they did. Turns out that may have been a wee miscalculation, fellas!

Hey, GOP men, it might be time to actually listen to what the women in your lives want, or at least to what appalls them, and maybe even to try to understand why. And conservative women, it is definitely time to abandon the cherished Republican unified front and start raising a little hell about what matters to you, or at least about treating women like real human beings with fully functioning brains.

Or y’all could just keep doing what you’re doing and watch your Senate seats evaporate. Don’t let me stop you.

Oh, are we done gloating? NO, WE ARE NOT DONE GLOATING!

Because we now have a record number of women elected to Congress! 20 Senators! 81 (and maybe more) Representatives!

New Hampshire now has two female Representatives to hang out with their two female Senators, and they can all hash out important Granite State matters with their newly elected female Governor!

Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren won a victory for nerds and populists everywhere!

Mazie Hirono (D – HI) became the first female Asian-American Senator!


Image courtesy of Ms. Hirono’s campaign website

Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI) became our first Hindu Congressional Representative!


Image courtesy of Ms. Gabbard’s campaign website

Let’s see… Anything else? Nope, can’t think of a thing left to gloat over, except oh, wait, maybe Tammy Baldwin becoming our nation’s first openly lesbian Senator! If you would like to know more about Ms. Baldwin, Feministing gave us an excellent introduction.


Image courtesy of Ms. Baldwin’s campaign website

And Kyrsten Sinema is as of this writing in the lead to put the “bi” in “bipartisan” by becoming the first out bisexual member of the House of Representatives. Sinema is also an atheist, which means all she has to do is fake a European accent to send Rick Santorum screaming from the room in fear anytime she wants.


Image courtesy of Ms. Sinema’s campaign website

And speaking of The Gays, Maine, Maryland, and Washington said that same-sex marriage is OK by them. And Minnesotans refused to ban it, and love got a little easier in a few more corners of this country.

Yup, it was a pretty good evening, in lots of ways. And a lot of it had to do with women like you having heard exactly all the horsepuckey they were going to stand about locking down ladybits and equal pay for equal work being more of an optional thing.

Say, did Rachel Maddow have anything to say about that? I reckon she did.

(Yes, I know: You were probably expecting me to embed Maddow’s magnificent blast of truth from Wednesday night, but I’m guessing you’ve had that link forwarded to you one million jillion times, because it is a big pile of awesome with a side of fantastic and some sprinkles of ohmygod on top. But here it is just in case.)

But just a reminder, it ain’t over yet. And as important (and satisfying) as the national races were, it’s important to remember that it’s your state and local reps who are committing much of the jerkassery when it comes to restricting your ladybits. Stay on ‘em. Call them, write them, and if they’re driving you up the walls, please run for office yourself. I can’t wait to gloat about your winning campaign.

This Week in Moxie

Galicia Malone was in labor, with contractions coming five minutes apart. But she didn’t let a little thing like that stop her from voting. That kid is going to grow up with an awesome sense of civic responsibility. And a really good go-to icebreaker story.

This Week in Horrible

Just in case you thought we didn’t need health care reform, health care and health outcome disparities still abound. For example, this week the American Association for Cancer Research released a report saying that black women have an increased risk for breast cancer death – 48 percent greater than white women during the first three years after diagnosis.

Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair is facing charges for using his rank to force women under his command into sexual relationships. His lawyers are (Surprise!) calling his main accuser a jealous liar.

And a Pakistani couple is accused of “honor killing” their daughter for turning her head to look at a boy.

This Week in Good

Malawi suspended its laws against same-sex relationships (thanks to Bisera for the link) and is also planning to increase the age of legal marriage from 15 to as high as 21.

Equality didn’t have any slouch of a week in Spain either.

This Week in Thinky

Jill Filipovic suggested that, though we dislike Superstorm Sandy and the devastation she’s brought, we maybe don’t need to refer to her as a bitch who deserves to be smacked around.

Amanda Marcotte has an excellent piece in Slate explaining why pro-choicers shouldn’t let ourselves get tied up in fights for rape exemptions.

Alissa Quart wrote about hipster sexism in NY Mag.

Emma Garman gave us a terrific piece in Salon on Noor Inayat Khan, an Indian-American who won the George Cross award for bravery and the Croix de Guerre for her work as a spy during World War II.

And Feministing featured this video from Project Unspoken. It’s a beautifully simple concept: Ask both men and women how much they adjust their lives on a daily basis to avoid sexual assault. The men in your life may not know how much they want to see this.

This Week in Fun

The feminist in me mostly enjoys beauty pageants in a play-horror sort of way, but I kind of can’t help loving the photos BuzzFeed brought us from the Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant.


Photo via BuzzFeed

Oh, goodness gracious, I don’t care if you’re into sports or not: This footage of nine-year-old Sam Gordon tearing up her boys’ football league will do your heart good.

Kotaku had a story about Mike Hoye, a terrific dad who hacked Legend of Zelda: Wind Walker so his daughter could play Link as a girl. On Hoye’s blog, he explains, “I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers.”

No, I am not all misty. It’s the smog.

And finally, io9 had a gallery of Disney-Star Wars mash-up art that featured this little slice of fantastic by Will Mottram.


Photo courtesy of Will Mottram’s Twitter feed via io9.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and run the world. Or the galaxy.

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