Feminist Friday: Chris Brown inspires a lot of feelings, birth control gets discussed by a bunch of dudes


Welcome to Feminist Friday, a round-up of women-centric stories from the world wide web this week.

I’m not going to lie to you: It’s been a tough week to be an owner of ladybits.

Noted batterer Chris Brown made his “triumphant” return to the Grammy Awards and the organizers of the show acted like he had discovered the freaking polio vaccine instead of, you know, horrifically beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna and then waiting around while being not at all remorseful for a couple of years.

Way to send a message that battering a woman is totes no big deal, Recording Academy!

And young women are picking up on that message. BuzzFeed ran a terrifying selection of tweets from young women who thought getting battered was a pretty good trade-off for getting to date someone so very dreamy, and Gawker announced that Rihianna herself is planning to collaborate with Brown on a new song.

Ugh, ladies. This is one of the few areas in life where you are not only allowed but required to sit your loved ones down and talk some sense into them if you catch them saying (or tweeting, or singing) nonsense like that. Even the meanest mean girl at your high school doesn’t deserve to be with a batterer.

We also lost Whitney Houston, an iconic singer who may or may not have been one of the team. While radios blared and fans mourned a life cut too short, tabloids made lurid hay of Houston’s past drug use. Feminist writer and general beacon of wonderfulness Susie Bright had a much more interesting take, wondering why our hungry media machine treats the deaths of male and female stars so differently.

(By the way, if you ever have the chance to see Ms. Bright speak in person, go, go, go. You may not always agree with her, but you will love her.)

In saner, happier musical news, Adele cleaned up at the Grammys, sweeping six awards. The Wall Street Journal, of all papers, ran an interesting piece on the science of why “Someone Like You” makes you cry.


Oh, go on and watch it and have a good bawl. No one’s looking.

Besides, you need to get the sad out of your system so you can She-Hulk out at the complete political insanity that’s been going on:

An Idaho State Senate committee decided that housing and employment discrimination against members of the LGBT community is totally cool.

The Virginia state legislature approved (and Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign) an outrageous law stating that any woman requesting an abortion has to submit to a medically unnecessary ultrasound exam. As violating as that concept already is, in most cases we’re not talking about just little gel on the belly. Most abortions occur during the first trimester, which means to get the information the law requires, the provider will need to use a penetrative transvaginal ultrasound wand. “Invasive” does not even begin to cover it.

Rachel Maddow is, of course, tearing it up over this issue. I wish a few more news outlets were.


And the United States House of Representatives held a hearing on the disputed birth control benefit. Yeah, the one they already reached a compromise on. Planned Parenthood ran a picture on Facebook noting that committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) had invited a bunch of conservative dudes to testify for the first round. And that’s it. Dudes. Because what could silly girls have to say about contraception?

The one minority witness, a female progressive, was deemed unsuitable by Issa ‘n’ friends and only allowed to testify on video. The Democratic women on the committee walked out in disgust.

Ugh, we need to shake all that off. Thank goodness for The Mary Sue. This week they gave us the news that Janet C. Wolfenbarger has been nominated to be the Air Force’s first female four-star general and a peek at a new round of comics with female leads.

It’s been a rough week, ladies, but I know you have the moxie. Get out there and hero it up yourselves.