This Week in Ladybits
Thanks to TRAP laws, Mississippi may be losing the state’s last remaining abortion clinic. Which means the state may have succeeded in making a legal procedure effectively illegal and a Constitutionally protected right inaccessible to any woman who can’t afford to travel to another state.
…And every now and then, we win one—and this is a fairly big one. Google is removing deceptive “pregnancy crisis center” promotional ads from search results for women who are looking for abortion clinics. The ads in question suggested (or outright said) that these “crisis centers” offer abortion services, when they’re actually set up to counsel or bully women out of getting an abortion. That is what we call “lying,” and Google is absolutely right to stand by that decision in spite of the angry protests by the people who were doing the lying. Here’s a thought: If you can’t perform your good works using the truth, maybe they aren’t so good.
Thanks to NARAL for doing the genuine good work of protecting women and pursuing the investigation. And no thanks to The Washington Post, which put scare quotes around the word “deceptive” in its coverage of the incident. Lying is lying. You’re a major newspaper. Let’s be brave—and honest—about stating the objective facts. (Hat tip to Jerzey for the initial tip.)
This Week in Good
The White House issued guidelines and rolled out a new campaign to try to curb campus sexual assault. (And federal investigators are scrutinizing 55 schools for allegedly being particularly terrible at handling sexual assault cases. As of this writing, I have heard from numerous women who found out their alma maters were on the list; I have yet to hear from one who was surprised.)
And transfolk will soon have a new and important resource—written by transfolk. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is due to come out in mid-May.
This Week in Unbelievably Awful
More than 230 Nigerian school girls were abducted from their dorm more than two weeks ago by the militant fundamentalist group Boko Haram. The Nigerian government has been completely ineffective in tracking down even such a large group, and over the last few days word has gotten back to the girls’ families that they have been sold as “brides” in mass weddings to the group’s members in Chad and Cameroon.
“Boko Haram” means “Western education is forbidded,” and the group has attacked schools before, warning girls to leave school and go get married.
This week protesters marched through the capital of Abuja to try to get the government to negotiate for the girls’ release. If you want to help bring media attention to the abductions—and try to spur international action—Twitter users have been using the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag.
This Week in Thinky
Tech boom veteran Maria Bustillos took a look at the swaggering startup culture that produced (among others) Gurbaksh Chahal, who was removed as CEO of RadiumOne after allegedly beating his girlfriend.
And Brits can rejoice that The Vagenda’s book came out there on Thursday. I’m new to the website, but I like the way they’re tearing it up and laughing their butts off at women’s magazines—all while demanding better. Here’s a great entry point: A collection of reader-submitted de-jerked headlines.
Image courtesy of The Vagenda
(While we’re registering our umbrage at creepy marketing aimed straight at women’s insecurities, one of Cracked’s editors worked with a participant in a workout DVD commercial. It’s even worse than you thought.)
This Week in Ugh
This week we learned about codebabes.com (no, I am not linking).
Image courtesy of the Codebabes website
I don’t doubt that these men love their daughters. But can you even imagine if an expected part of a mother’s love for her son was supposed to involve a lot of energy to hoping and praying that he doesn’t fuck anybody?
And another “Ugh, this guy.” Very bad, thoroughly debunked “historian” David Barton idiotsplained how ladies voting makes society fall apart. (Thanks, I think, to Mary for the link.)
For real: I know there’s a lot of apathy about midterm elections, and I understand why. But think about how much you can piss this guy off just by voting.
This year, I encourage you to vote in every last race: state primaries, local assemblies, dogcatcher races, everything. Then tweet your attractive voting selfies to Mr. Barton with the #RuiningSociety hashtag. There’s no reason your civic duty can’t be fun.
This Week in Awesome
Teresa Younger is the new President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, as announced at Gloria Steinem’s 80th birthday party Thursday night.
I’ll admit it: Every time I see an Emma Stone headline, I tense up. I worry that this is the time she stops being heart-bouncingly awesome and she’ll just be regular again. Don’t worry: This is not that time.
What I love about her in this clip is that she’s totally polite, but she won’t let casual sexism—and the standard unthinking gender-normative stuff kids get fed all day every day—slide. Not even from her boyfriend, and especially not in front of a crowd of kids. And they ended up with something so much better than what that could have been.
And Bollywood’s Celina Jaitly brought her star power to this lovely video. It’s part of the United Nations Free and Equal Campaign.
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