This Week in Ladybits
Do your ladybits feel supremely annoyed this week? I can’t blame them. Our old pal Paul Ryan signed on to co-sponsor the so-called Sanctity of Human Life Act again. Among other things, this bill would allow rapists to sue for parental rights.
The only abortion clinic in the entire 48,430-square-mile state of Mississippi is in real danger of closing.
A bill in Wyoming would ban abortions after six weeks.
The Commonwealth of Virginia will still be the Commonwealth of State-Mandated Unnecessary Ultrasounds, but did narrowly narrowly narrowly vote down a ban on abortions. TRAP laws are staying in place, though. Wonkette hears there have been some attempts at shady dealings behind that.
And Rachel Maddow covered the inspiring and scary story of the people who are risking their lives to re-open a women’s health clinic that provides abortion services in Wichita, Kansas for the first time since Dr. George Tiller was murdered. I don’t know how you get to call yourself “pro-life” when you’re using terrorist tactics, or why people in the pro-life movement who don’t believe in using threats and murder to force others to conform to their beliefs won’t distance themselves from these violent, harassing lunatics. And yet, here we are.
This Week in Ugh
Remember how a couple of months ago you couldn’t swing a stunned rat without hitting a Republican politician who was either saying how rape is either sort of okay or always a lie or if it’s a “real” rape the woman has magical uterus goblins that keep her from getting pregnant? And then the rat would be all “Gross,” and demand to be let down so it could take a shower?
And remember how we all thought it would be OK in the end, because at least those ignorant, sexist dingleberries would shut the hell up after the election? Enter ignorant, sexist dingleberry, Congressman, and actual OB-GYN Phil Gingrey, who refreshingly wants us to look at the good side of Todd “legitimate rape” Akin’s remarks. Gingrey’s point was that sometimes stressed out women have trouble conceiving, so (if you’re an idiot), that TOTALLY makes Akin’s assertion that women who have “legitimately” been raped can’t get pregnant kinda true. (Note: No. No, it does not.) So Akin’s not such a bad guy, right?
No, Congressman Gingrey, it just means that you’re both horrible. The idea that long-term low-grade stress is analogous to to the terror of a sexual assault is exactly why you shouldn’t be anywhere near a political office or a doctor’s office.
Republican consultants and spinners have spent the week advising men in the GOP to please, for crying out loud, shut up about rape, but let’s take a close look at that imperative:
The consultants aren’t telling these Republican politicians to talk to women or listen to women or take a freaking high-school level biology class. They’re telling potential GOP candidates to keep on rocking their Medieval understanding of biology and women and just talk about it more delicately, or not at all. They don’t want the men of the GOP to learn, they just want them to learn to shut up.
Personal to these Republican politicians: Really? You going to let some elitist East Coast fancy-pants political consultant tell you what to say? Hmm. That doesn’t seem very manly. That sounds like a guy who doesn’t even own a military assault rifle. A real manly politician would just keep saying what he believes right out loud, don’t you think? Especially right near the election. Go on and speak your creepy, ignorant little heart’s truth, GOP politicians. Let the whole nation know how you feel.
Oh, and Alabama state law requires that sex ed classes teach that homosexual conduct is a crime. Which it isn’t, according to the Supreme Court, but why let that get in the way of making a kid feel bad?
This Week in Incremental Progress
Saudi Arabia is taking some baby steps towards women’s rights.
And Jim Daly of Focus on the Family now says that The Gay is still a sin, but “not a super sin.” Yay? Side question: How do I gain uncanny powers? Because being Super Sin would be worth all the headaches of superheroing.
Deep Silver, the publishers of Dead Island: Riptide, have apologized for offering a statue of a dismembered woman’s torso (in classy Union Jack string bikini) for sale as a special treat. As The Mary Sue notes, it’s not the most direct or thorough apology you’ve ever seen.
And Trans Student Equality Resources released this infographic on why transfolk need more visibility.
This Week in Horrible
Alison Vingiano of The Jane Dough took a hard look at the media’s failure to report on rape as a weapon of war in Syria.
Two more gang-rapes have been reported in India. AlterNet looked at the way increased financial and social mobility is fueling rage against women. On the other hand, The New York Times looked at how North Dakota’s oil boom and skewed male-to-female ratio is fueling harassment and attacks against women. So some men can’t feel like they’re no longer automatically in charge or they’ll commit heinous crimes, but some men also can’t be too dominant a force in society or they’ll commit heinous crimes. How about we stop looking at this as something men just do, like they’re uncontrollable animals? Let’s treat our young men as humans who can be taught not to rape other humans. We could at least take a better crack at it than we have been.
Writers in the United States have been connecting the gang-rapes in India and the horrific incident in Stuebenville, Ohio… And so have writers in India.
The always great Zerlina Maxwell took a look at football culture and the Steubenville rape case in Ebony. And that forgive-athletes-anything attitude is epitomized in this jaw-dropper of a piece from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on how much the columnist loves Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, blithely glossing over his involvement in a double stabbing. Which I guess shouldn’t be surprising when Steelers fans root so hard for Ben Roethlisberger. The piece contains the sentence “If Lewis played for the Steelers, you would love him every bit as much as they do in Baltimore.” Unfortunately, that’s probably true.
This Week in Thinky
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been speaking out about affirmative action.
Feministing has a great piece on Joyce Banda, the president of Malawi, and her push to make progress for women’s rights and women’s health while she can.
And New Yorkers have the chance to see Cairo 678, a documentary about the fight against street harassment in Egypt. It’s showing tonight (assuming you’re reading this on Friday the 18th) and January 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Modern Art.
This Week in Awesome
Fun, hilarious feminist Susie Bright decided to take the trillion-dollar coin plan by the horns. Have you been to see Susie Bright read or speak yet? You need to.
Marvel Comics has announced an upcoming female-led X-Men series. You’ll be able to follow the adventures of Storm (swoon), Jubilee, Psylocke, Rogue, Rachel Grey, and Kitty Pryde with cameos from Pixie and Bling in the first issue. (via The Mary Sue)
Egyptian journalist Deena Adel Eid chased her car thief down in traffic and yelled at him until he gave up and got out of her car.
A terrific group of Indian men donned skirts to protest the country’s rape culture and mock the idea that short skirts invite sexual assaults. (via Buzzfeed)
TNT just greenlit a show starring one of my favorite brainy, talented feminists, Geena Davis. She’ll be playing a quirky bounty hunter. I’m in.
You know what everyone can use at the end of a long week? A little Amy Poehler. Especially when she’s telling you how to fight off negativity.
Have a great weekend. Get out there and be one of the dreamers and the thinkers and the creators.