Feminist Friday: Praying for Michele Bachmann


This Week in Ladybits

Michigan decided to just go ahead and roll with evil funhouse logic with their latest anti-choice bill. Care to take this one, Rachel Maddow?

Again, in Michigan, abortion, a constitutionally protected right, is now effectively outlawed if you’re poor.

The cray is coming from every direction, in fact. A Colorado bill would impose a total abortion ban — and criminal charges for doctors who give women emergency contraception.

A pending Missouri bill would triple the state’s waiting period to 72 hours.

Just as a reminder that it’s not only Republicans and not only men who are working to restrict women’s health choices: Democrat Katrina Jackson of Louisiana is suggesting keeping a state database of women who have had medical abortions. Not that that would be used to intimidate anyone or anything.

And The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee investigated one of the most astonishing aspects of our country’s double standard on sexual health policy and spending.

This Week in Thinky

Anna Holmes wrote about Harriet the Spy, Scout Finch, and the good bad American girl in The New Yorker.

The Ban Bossy campaign fired up with a goal of keeping girls interested in leadership instead of letting them be shamed out of it. What do you think about the idea of going after a goal by going after a word?

Meanwhile, Millennial Julie Zeilinger has other ideas about why Millennial women don’t want to lead. I think Zeilinger’s ideas are interesting, but I was surprised by her premise. The Millennial women I know aren’t exactly shying away from responsibility. Is your experience different?

The third Women in Secularism conference will be May 16-18 in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Lindy West, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Taslima Nasreen. (Thanks to Brangien for the tip.)

And Brittney Cooper explored why black women intellectuals are so consistently overlooked by the kinds of dudes who think they get to say who an intellectual is.

This Week in People Losing Their Damn Onions Over The Gay

Hey, Michael Medved, did you get tired of people calling you an occasionally reasonable conservative voice, or what? (Yes, some people do insist that Medved is one of the more thoughtful and debatable public conservatives. That said, I am honor-bound to point out that this is the same bonehead who, in the course of a movie review, called the pivotal scene in The Accused “sexy.”)

In his latest burst of inspiration, Medved told an audience at CPAC that states have never banned gay marriage. That’s news to us here in California, Sparky!

Right Wing Watch theorizes that Medved seems to be launching into the idea that defining marriage as between a man and a woman doesn’t ban gay marriage because, hurr hurr, gay people can still have loveless marriages with someone of the opposite sex. I can’t tell if it’s that or if he has some other sort of rhetorical contortion that he’s about to go through, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Here’s a hint. Mr. Medved: If you have to work that hard to be able to assert that you’re technically not discriminating against anybody, you probably are.

And, even more impressive on the dingleberry meter, Michele Bachmann lamented that “the gay community have so bullied the American people” by, um, objecting when politicians try to pass laws that discriminate against the LGBT community. Just in case anyone had any doubts about Ms. Bachmann’s Mean Girl status in high school.

Conservatives Attend Annual Faith And Freedom Coalition

In the first place, Ms. Bachmann, you need to learn what actual bullying is. Bullying is trying to harm people or make them feel less-than — I’m pretty sure those things would include trying to make a group of people actual legal second-class citizens. That’s how you spot the side that’s doing the bullying: The side that’s trying to make it legal for, say, an LGBT group to be unable to find a business that will sell them food or rent them hotel rooms or let them use a bathroom for the entire way across the state of Arizona. The side that’s claiming that people in same-sex relationships are so contaminating that just letting them get married ruins the institution of marriage for straight people.

Putting a stop to it when someone is trying to systematically do horrible things to other people is not bullying; it is parenting. And that, Ms. Bachmann is something you and your pals seem to need.

I do want to be fair to Ms. Bachmann, though. Pretty much anyone who knows me will tell you that I would face a dragon to be fair to either of the Bachmanns. Since Ms. Bachmann insists that she is not, in fact, a bigot, but a woman of deep principles, and that she actually loves LGBT people but just hates what she believes to be our sins, I will take her at her word: It is not bigoted or mean-spirited for her to lovingly wish that LGBT people just wouldn’t be LGBT.

I will also take both Bachmanns at their word that there is nothing mean-spirited, bigoted, or bullying about the “pray away the gay” therapy that Marcus Bachmann offers and accepts money for. Indeed, it is a warm and loving act that shouldn’t make any LGBT person feel threatened or offended.

That’s why I’m going to return the favor by spending the next month praying for Michele Bachmann to turn gay. And I invite you to join me.

Please let me be clear: This is a spiritual and loving act: I think it might help her see her sins of pride and judgment — which I am totally qualified to judge, just like she is qualified to spot and enumerate the sins of queer people — and I think it will give her a valuable new perspective on the world in general. Plus kissing girls is awesome.

(Yes, it is true that even if (when) she turns gay, Bachmann would still have to work out whether she’d get to kiss girls, since she’s married and all. Somehow I think there might be an area in which Marcus would be willing to negotiate.)

Obviously Bachmann would never believe that Jesus would turn her gay, so I’ll be praying to other deities. I know there are any number of, uh, “virgin” goddesses who would be more than willing to lend a hand to that end, but you know how we feminists get flack for being to woman-centered. That’s why I’m going with Artemis, because duh, and also Cernunnos the Horned God to keep things interesting. And fair. I would bottle a storm to be fair here.

If you’d like to join me, please choose whatever deity or deities you’re comfortable with. My short but fervent daily prayers for Ms. Bachmann’s lesbification will run March 15 through April 15 — dates that should be easy for her to remember because I’m sure she already finds the Ides of March and Tax Day unsettling. But then, unsettling is just what so many important personal revelations are.

To be clear: I am not saying that you or anyone should contact, bother, or direct ill will at Ms. Bachmann in any way. Just that if you’d like to join me in spending a month benevolently trying to pray her gay via the deities of your choice, please do.

And if Ms. Bachmann in any way objects to this project she is, by her own definition, a bully who is trying to strangle our religious liberties and hates America.

This Week in Bad

What was all that good we were supposed to have been doing there again? An Iraqi draft law heading to parliament would allow child marriage at the age of nine and condone marital rape.

This Week in Good

Last week we mentioned Joe Biden’s attempt to get federal funding to deal with the thousands of unprocessed rape kits across the country. Looks like some more muscle is on the way. Law & Order: SVU’s Mariska Hargitay is producing a documentary on the backlog of rape kits, with proceeds going to the Joyful Heart Foundation.

BuzzFeed ran 15 comics for the queer soul.

And Betabrand used PhDs and doctoral candidates to show off their new spring line.

FFBetabrandImage courtesy of Betabrand

This Week in Awesome

The Mary Sue just killed it this week. Case in point: This heartening little feature on QCF and their work to create characters for Desktop Dungeons that didn’t fall into the same old fantasy gender representation ruts.

Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta invented the LuminAID, a solar-powered, waterproof inflatable lantern to help disaster victims.

Portland saw the premiere of Roberta Hunte and Bonnie Ratner’s play My Walk Has Never Been Average, based on the experiences of black women in construction. There will be a second performance on June 7th, Portlanders.

Assertiveness training starts early. (And takes some time.)

Bleeding Cool gave us a rundown of eight essential women working in comics. Oh, and introduced me to the (fully funded!) She Makes Comics project along the way.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and create your own world.

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