This Week in Ladybits
Oh, remember how certain Texas lawmakers totes assured everyone that Texas women would be perfectly well cared for even without Planned Parenthood? Yeah, not so much. Among other wall-punch-inducing stats in that article, wellness exams dropped by 23%.
Spain could be making drastic changes to its abortion laws that will look familiar to American women.
Ugh, ugh, ugh. Virginia women voted for Terry “At Least He’s Not Ken Cuccinelli” McAuliffe by huge margins—and he’s repaying them by planning to reappoint outgoing governor Bob McDonnell’s anti-choice health secretary. What a freaking weasel. I hope the women of Virginia will be giving him an earful.
And Patton Oswalt reminded everyone that pro-choice and pro-ladybits doesn’t mean pro-abortion.
This Week in Oh, My God, Beyoncé Broke the Internet
Once people recovered from the sheer wonderful audacity of Beyoncé freaking owning the holiday season with a surprise album (and videos, and a series of mystery novels, and chainsaw sculptures, and whatever the hell else she wants to do because she is Beyoncé), we got around to talking about “Pretty Hurts” and Beyoncé’s feminism and Beyoncé kicking down the walls of other people’s definitions of feminism and then the Internet started arguing if Beyoncé was allowed to call herself a feminist or if she is the right kind of feminist and that, to be honest, is where I checked out of the conversation. Because maybe we can do less arguing about whether an obvious powerhouse is doing it wrong and more kicking down of walls in our own way.
This Week in Ugh
L.A. Weekly will piss you right the hell off at Saving Mr. Banks, which scrubs away Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers’s bisexuality (and a hell of a lot of other things that were interesting about her) in favor of creating a prissy straw-woman character for the much wiser Walt Disney character to charm. I know we all need fluff sometimes, but doesn’t the other movie that could have been, the one with two smart, eccentric, opposed visionaries sound more fun?
This Week in Not Having It
The #NotYourAsianSidekick hashtag started as a conversation about Asian-American feminism and blew up on Twitter. It’s well worth going back and reading through. North Carolina Public Radio had more about Suey Park, who created the hashtag, and about the conversation itself.
And the U.K.’s Let Toys Be Toys campaign is making some real headway with getting retailers to cool it with the gender-segregated marketing. Marks & Spencer is the latest store to pledge to introduce gender-neutral toys in 2014, joining Boots, Debenhams, Toys R Us and others. (Hey, Toys R Us U.S.—you think you could let any of that smart thinking make its way over here? Because we want to play with all the toys.)
This Week in Blasting Off
This Week in Very Bad Things
The Village Voice made me take a hard look at my iPod this week when it reminded us of the [trigger warning] deeply upsetting charges against R. Kelly. And, more to the point, the way that we have collectively managed to ignore them and think of Kelly as that guy who writes the hilarious lyrics over terrific jams instead of as a serial rapist of very young teenage girls. Even one of the headlines from when the charges first came out refers to “sex with” teenage girls, as though that is a mildly scandalous thing instead of a coercive situation after which more than one victim tried to commit suicide.
The way our culture deals with young women—and particularly young black women—as disposable commodities or as willing sex kittens who seduced that vulnerable older man puts new young women in danger every day. But we routinely treat their physical safety as less important than “Ignition (Remix)” or “Trapped in the Closet” or whatever Roman Polanski is cooking up in his so-called exile at a beautiful European villa. (Thanks to my friend Jamil for the link.)
And The Atlantic told the heartbreaking story of Australia’s first transman.
This Week in Awesome
Meet the Guardian Princesses, heroines who are designed to appeal to young girls, but break the old-fashioned princess mold by actually doing things instead of looking pretty while waiting to be rescued. I love the concept. Let’s hope there’s some really good storytelling to back it up.
New Mexico got a big, sweet dose of marriage equality.
Nine-Year-Old Hannah Diem became the youngest person in the United States to bowl a perfect 300.
The women of Pussy Riot are now free.
Image from Mother Jones via Twitter
Bob Newhart made our hearts grow three sizes by calmly announcing that he will not perform for Rick Santorum and his anti-LGBT pals at the Legatus Summit. Sometimes these quiet moments can mean so much.
And author Meagan Spooner had some important advice on owning the hard work you put in for your successes instead of saying “I was lucky.”
Have a great weekend. Get out there and make your own luck.
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