Feminist Friday: Shame of “Thrones”


This Week in Ladybits

Yes, states and anti-choice activists are still working to keep women from accessing a legal medical procedure. I was hoping it was all a big misunderstanding too. But no, we have been reading correctly.

For example, University General Hospital of Dallas revoked the admitting privileges of two doctors who perform abortions to protect the hospital’s “reputation.” Neither doctor performed abortions on the hospital premises, and both, of course, can’t perform abortions at all unless they have admitting privileges at a hospital. A judge has temporarily reinstated their privileges until a hearing on April 30.

A creepy Pier 1 case shed some light on how employers discriminate against pregnant women in general—or just go ahead and fire them.

And Cardinal Dolan says ladies don’t need contraceptive coverage on their employer-sponsored health plans when there are so many contraceptive options at your local 7-11. Oh, had you not spotted the rack of IUDs at your 7-11? They’re between the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the refrigerator case full of Soda Shaq.

So Dolan of course ignores or is unaware of the fact that IUDs, which you cannot get at a freaking 7-11, are more reliable than condoms, especially when you look at real-world use by imperfect users, and does not seem to know that hormonal birth control, which you cannot get at a freaking 7-11, is used for many medical reasons that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy.

I’m not saying you have to have an active sex life to comment on contraception, but you should, AT A VERY BARE MINIMUM, have bothered to learn something about how birth control works and why it is used and where you can and cannot get it.

This Week in Thinky

Antonia Ayres-Brown chronicled her fight against gendered Happy Meal toys.

Jill Filipovic looked at why we have to help young women stop defining themselves by their relationships.

Duke University rolled out their “You Don’t Say” campaign. (h/t The San Francisco Globe)

425FF1Image by the You Don’t Say campaign, via Facebook

The Between a Veil and a Dark Place blog discussed some thorny issues on critiquing Islam — and then moved on to the disturbing practice of virginity testing.

Megan Amram’s Science for Her is available for pre-order, complete with all the science you can fit into your delicate ladybrain.

425FF2Image courtesy of Ms. Amram’s tumblr

And I’ve long been a fan of Snipy’s writing on Wonkette. This week, she wrote a piece on a Supreme Court decision on affirmative action that is a perfect illustration of why true feminists are and should be concerned with equality in general, including LGBT issues, racial discrimination, and our old pal social justice. Seriously, it’s a good, thoughtful read that incorporates a fine amount of outrage and swearing. You may want to curse along with it.

This Week in Apps

Going out? Taking a long road trip? Leaping from rooftop to rooftop fighting crime? Kitestring alerts your emergency contacts if you don’t check in after a pre-set interval.

And Susie Lee and Katrina Hess developed the soon-to-be-released dating app Siren to help stem the harassment and general crudeness that women endure on so many dating sites. Sounds pretty cool… And I’m eager to see how they apply the site’s interface and rules to the women seeking women section.

Yup, this section is short. Let us know which apps are rocking your world (or just making it a little sweeter) in the comments.

This Week in Ugh. This Guy.

Hey, every woman’s pal Mitch McConnell is up for re-election, and he has apparently figured out like just this year that sometimes ladies vote and, more to the point, sometimes they vote against you if you spend your entire career pissing them off and/or treating them like chattel. Now he’s doing some frantic and farfetched backwards scrambling. Case in point: Mitch McConnell is claiming he was quite the non-partisan, pro-woman heavy during the Bob Packwood sex harassment scandal. Which is completely true, except for those giant chunks of not being true at all.

And Michael Brown had some “honest questions” for people who define themselves as both Christian and LGBT. For example:

Are you 100 percent sure that God blesses committed, monogamous same-sex relationships? If you say that you are, I can only pray for you. If you admit that you are not, then please, step back and reconsider.

Mr. Brown, are you 100 percent sure that you, as an imperfect human being, are able to fully understand the mind of an omniscient and omnipotent creator? If you say that you are, I can only call bullpuckey. If you admit that you cannot, then please, step back and think about the fact that rhetoric like yours causes young people to hate themselves. Don’t think you should err on the side of tolerance — or at least of not driving people to self-loathing and suicide?

This Week in Entertainment

This next bit has an enormous Game of Thrones spoiler and then some discussion that will make you want to throw appliances at the walls, so hide that beloved toaster oven before you start.

As you may know, during Sunday’s episode, Jamie raped Cersei (Assuming you can call sex in which a woman keeps saying “no” rape. Hint: Yes, you fucking can.) on a show that already had plenty of sexual violence. Even more disturbing, the original scene in the book was one of consensual sex. So it was changed to rape on the show for… What? Entertainment value? Entertaining for whom?

Director Alex Graves tried to get everyone settled down about the scene by saying that, yes, the scene starts as a rape, but then the sex “becomes consensual.” All the women that I’ve read on this have been very measured in their responses, so I’m going to let them take that high road and go ahead and address Graves in a somewhat less measured way.


No, rape does not “become consensual,” and suggesting that it does is what we call “perpetuating rape culture,” because IT IS LOGIC THAT RAPISTS ACTUALLY USE.

Well, at least no impressionable teenagers watch Game of Thrones. OH, WAIT. THEY TOTALLY FUCKING DO. And thanks for making a fan-favorite character into a rapist, co-writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Thanks for making it just a little easier for people to write off a woman’s “grey rape” or whatever dickbags are calling it nowadays, and for making it just a little harder to prevent and prosecute. This is why you risked everything to get into entertainment, was it? To make the world a little more violent and rape a little harder to report and prosecute? Well. Fucking. Done. I’m sure your starry-eyed younger selves are very proud. Don’t let them actually watch the show, OK?

If you want to go back to the world of even-tempered, thoughtful writing on the episode and its ramifications, The Mary Sue had an excellent discussion. Alternet looked at our refusal to see rape in Thrones and elsewhere, and Jessica Valenti addressed our damaging squeamishness about actually calling it rape.

Once you’ve replaced your blender and stove, read Heather Graham’s Esquire interview. She talks about Hollywood’s sexism, and said that she’s fighting it by telling her own stories. Specifically, she’s written a sex-positive script from a woman’s point of view, and she’s hoping to direct and star in it. Good.

TFF Awards Night - 2014 Tribeca Film FestivalGetty Images

This Week in Awesome

This is not a photograph. This is a pencil drawing by 16-year-old Shania McDonagh of Ireland, and it just won her age category in the Texaco Children’s art competition. This is the fourth year in a row McDonagh has won her age category. We look forward to seeing what she does next.

425FF3Image by Shania McDonagh, via the Texaco Children’s Art Competition

Author Alexandra Duncan saw that a reader on Goodreads had sorted her book onto a shelf called “Slut.” And that same reader had put several YA novels—and their young female heroines—on that same “Slut” shelf. But why get mad when you can get awesome? Duncan is spending the next three weeks accepting entrants into her Slutshelf Giveaway. The winner receives a terrific selection of books—and each of the first thousand entrants can know that you brought another couple of dollars to the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Whether you celebrated Passover or Easter or Eostre or anything else or nothing, I hope your weekend was enlivened by these feminist Mormon Peeps.

425FF4Image via Feminist Mormon Peeps

Have a great weekend. Get out there and break a few eggs.

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