Feminist Friday: When Sinéad Wrote Miley

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This Week in Ladybits

Oh, for crying out loud, Texas. Get  Wendy Davis  governored up fast (She’s running!) and let some sensible sex education policies blossom. Because until then, there is OurTown4Teens, an abstinence-promoting website that aims to reduce the state’s sky-high teen pregnancy rate by… Not mentioning birth control. Because how would teaching teenagers about their own bodies and giving them a realistic understanding of all their choices help, right? $1.2 million well spent! (Via Wonkette)

Fortunately, Texas is indeed filled with feisty protectors of ladybits: Planned Parenthood, The Texas ACLU, and the Center for Reproductive Rights have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the crazy-repressive abortion law that the Texas GOP passed in a special session after Davis’s filibuster this summer. And by the way,  Texas Monthly  put up a big ol’ Wendy Davis feature this week. (Via the MaddowBlog)

In other repressive news, you may remember that Saudi women are planning a driving protest later this month. Well, Sheikh Saleh Bin Saad Al-Luhaydan has explained that the driving ban is—in part—a public-spirited attempt to protect ladybits. The Sheikh claims that driving can push a woman’s pelvis up and magically harm her ovaries. Thanks for looking out, dude.

And among the other outrageous demands House Republicans made as a term for stopping the government shutdown was yet another attempt to stop women from getting birth control. Not abortions, birth control. Senator Elizabeth Warren  has had exactly enough of that bushwah. Enjoy some righteous outrage.

This Week in Suck

Amanda Marcotte looked at seven ways the government shutdown hits women the hardest.

This piece on helping marketers pinpoint when women feel least attractive is a joke, right?

This Week in Musicians Making Public Statements to Each Other

Oh, hey, have you heard that Miley Cyrus has been showing a more sexual side of herself? Long story short, she has been. For a while, actually, but she’s been in the news recently, and then there’s the “Wrecking Ball” video.

Upon hearing that Cyrus had taken inspiration from the “Nothing Compares 2 U” video,  Sinead O’Connor  sat down and wrote an open letter to Miley. (Pro tip: It’s best if you read it out loud in an Irish accent.) O’Connor has spent no shortage of time in the public wringer, and certainly has made a public bad decision or two of her own. I believe that her letter was written with a genuine empathy and intent to help. That said, I had some mixed feelings about it—while O’Connor was absolutely correct in noting that people in the entertainment industry are not often focused on cherishing you and your overall well-being, a lot of her advice boiled down to “don’t be so naked.” And seemed to stem from an assumption that a woman doing something sexual has almost by definition been manipulated into doing so by men.

That said, the advice to see oneself as more than your sexual attractiveness is always sound advice, and the urge to “fire any motherfucker” who isn’t taking proper care was heartfelt and dead-on.

Amanda Palmer read O’Connor’s letter and responded with one that was more sex-positive and gave Cyrus much more credit for knowing what she was doing.

Cyrus herself responded to O’Connor with a tweet.

And then O’Connor responded to Miley’s response with a considerably less warm tone.

So… There’s that. Thoughts? Hit the comments.

This Week in Entertainment

Tasha Robinson  had an interesting piece on Don Jon and Thanks For Sharing, suggesting that even movies that are about respecting women can fail to develop rich female characters.

If you’re near Columbia, Missouri, the Citizen Jane Film Festival starts tonight at Stephens College. Check out some great work by women filmmakers.

Lynda Carter spoke frankly about what she thinks Hollywood misses in trying to adapt Wonder Woman. Just to prove that an awsetastic Wonder Woman film is possible, check out this fan-made short.

Natalie Portman reminded everyone that a truly strong female character is well rounded and well written, not just an ass-kicker.

And Ebony looked at Janelle Monae  as the face of Afrofuturism. (Via io9)

This Week in Good

A judge is allowing a legal challenge to the same-sex marriage ban in Illinois to proceed. (Hat tip to Bisera for the link.)

…And New Jersey judge Mary Jacobson ordered the state to start recognizing same-sex marriages on October 21. New Jersey’s Republican governor Chris Christie has already appealed.

London’s Project Guardian is cracking down on harassers on public transportation.

Are the new, colorful German Olympic uniforms a pro-LGBT political statement?

The Joyful Heart Foundation has a new public service campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. It focuses on the excuses that we still hear too much of.

This Week in Awesome

This is the most interested I’ve been in a fashion show since—ever.

Rick Owens - Runway RTW - Spring 2014 - Paris Fashion Week

Designer Rick Owens blew the roof off Paris Fashion Week by bringing in four step show teams to show off his Spring collection.

Beyond the Surface  is a documentary featuring  Ishita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer. Through surfing, it branches out to numerous other issues facing India and the world.

Like you needed another reason to love  Jennifer Lawrence. She says her response to people suggesting she should diet is “You can go fuck yourself.”

Premiere Of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" - Arrivals

Have a great weekend. Get out there and set your own rules.

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