This Week in Your Ladybits
Ovary ovary hooray! Thanks to the latest phase of health care reform rolling out Wednesday, women in the United States (or at least those of you women who have insurance) will have free access to preventive health screenings, domestic violence counseling, and contraception at the start of your new insurance plan year. (Psst. If you’ve been on your plan for a while, check into whether your plan is grandfathered.)
Members of the Congressional GOP reacted to this thing that they all knew was happening like sane, rational adults by declaring that women being able to get birth control is the same thing as 9/11 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. You can see how that logic follows, right? Oh, and also religious freedom died, because freedom of religion equals being able to force your religious beliefs on everyone else, but P.S. only if you are a Christian and even then only if you are a particular kind of right-wing Christian, not those hippie commie kinds that don’t care what you do as long as you make a general effort to not be a jerkbag to others.
Hey, Los Angeles Times, while we’re shooting the breeze about this sort of thing, you wouldn’t happen to have a soul-crushing current example of what happens to societies in which poor women are blocked from getting birth control, would you? Oh, you would? Terrific. Here’s a representative sentence, spoken by a married Filipina woman who’s too poor to get birth control and whose children are malnourished and constantly getting sick:
Thanks for the awesome morals, right-wingers! I’m sure those kids at death’s door really appreciate you drawing a firm line on married people banging.
In contrast, the Times noted that free contraception (and information about contraception) caused Iran’s birthrate to drop and educational opportunities to open up for women, even in rural areas. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is, of course, against this, because he would like a military might–beefing population explosion, whether Iranians want those extra kids or not. Psst! Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney and all you conservative dudes trying to block access to birth control: You are in complete agreement with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Think about that after you’ve scraped your brains back off the walls.
On the upside, hooray for ladies and our ladybits! Thanks to the next rollout of the Affordable Care Act kicking in, it’s a little easier to keep all your bits safe and healthy.
In other good ladybits news, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked Arizona’s 20-week abortion ban.
And so everyone settled down and agreed to leave women’s extremely personal medical decisions between the women in question, their doctors, and any loved ones they choose to consult.
Well, not quite. As always, the excellent nerds at The Rachel Maddow Show have a couple of important doses of perspective to add.
This Week in Scary
[Trigger warning] Reddit had a disturbing thread in which men who had committed sexual assaults talked about them, including one admitted serial rapist. It’s compelling and baffling. And the fact that, as Katie J.M. Baker pointed out on Jezebel, the fact that several men only realized they were about to commit a crime when they finally (and belatedly) looked at the face of the woman they were terrifying shows that we do not talk to our young men about sex well in this culture. At all.
This Week in Not Helping
I am a huge fan of Conan O’Brien. Believe me. But his tweet about Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold was a lazy joke and really not cool. Fortunately, Holley herself is quick-witted, funny, and generally fantastic.
You so want to follow her Twitter feed. Can’t wait to see what you do next, Holley.
Gabby Douglas also got an astonishing amount of flack about her hair while she was winning gold medals. People. She is busy. And, really, ladies, how about we not tear each other down for superficial things while we’re busy being awesome and making history.
This Week in It’s About Time
This Week in Thinky
Gawker ran an interesting (and strange and ultimately sad) piece on North Korean female athletes at the Olympics.
Feministing had a great article on the complex issues that come up when one thinks about Sherlyn Chopra, the first Indian woman to do a Playboy photo spread.
And Bitch is launching a series on gender and sexuality in young adult literature.
This Week in Awesome
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY) isn’t kidding around when she says she wants to see more women in office. She could stay focused on her own re-election campaign, and no one would blame her, but instead she’s raising money for three Democratic women running for House seats. Rock on, Senator.
Aussie music critic Chloe Papas of X-Press Magazine ran the only review of noted batterer Chris Brown’s new album you need.
The always wonderful Mary Sue featured a gallery of Disney princesses re-imagined as women of color.
If watching news footage of people lining up to hate-chew some chicken in order to demonstrate their passionate commitment to be total bigoted dipwads bummed you out this week – especially if you started to go bughouse because all of those bigoted dipwads choking down the chicken were claiming that they were the ones being oppressed, because “freedom of speech” apparently means that you get to say any horrible bigoted dipwad thing you want and nobody gets to criticize you for it lalala no takebacks – Jen McCreight has the well-argued smackdown you’ve been aching for.
Oh, and one last marvelous Olympian for you. Weightlifter Zoe Smith does not give a rat if she conforms the standards of attractiveness of plateheaded Internet commenters. (Hat tip to Feministing for the link.) You tell ‘em, Zoe.
Have a great weekend. Get out there and speak your mind yourself.