Feminist Friday: Don’t Skim Ruth Bader Ginsberg


This Week in Ladybits

At last, North Dakota (and lovers of ladybits everywhere) got a sliver of good news with a backlash against North Dakota’s insanely harsh abortion ban — a backlash by North Dakota Republican lawmakers.

Are you surprised that Rachel Maddow had some of the best coverage of North Dakota and infrigginsane new laws? No. No, you are not surprised.

(The TRMS folks also rocked Supreme Court coverage this week. Check their clip archive or The Maddowblog to get your brain all nice and full.)

Amanda Marcotte thinks she has the anti-choice folks’ number.

And an Idaho biology teacher is facing parent complaints for using a word those parents don’t care for: Vagina. Also for actually teaching his students useful information about sex, which presumably the parents want him to describe as “When Jesus inflates the husband’s doodle and the husband puts it in his wife’s whoopsie and then they love each other very much and then they both cry for a little bit.”

This Week in Thinky

Oof, this mess. As you probably know if you have an Internet, last week “developer evangelist” Adria Richards overheard two dudes making some childish jokes at a tech conference. Instead of turning around and glaring or asking them to tone it down, Richards (in my opinion) overreacted by tweeting a pic of the dudes in question.

And then everyone who reacted to her overreaction completely lost their damned minds. Instead of just telling him to try to make a more woman-friendly space and save jokes for private, one of the tech dude’s companies fired him. Which was stupid and wrong and a huge overreaction.

And that overreaction in turn inspired a freaking overreaction tidal wave of monstrous behavior, with Richards — and not the company that made the decision to do the firing — receiving racial slurs and death threats for daring to put a thing on Twitter. Not a thing demanding the dude’s firing, I wish to stress: Just noting that he was being, in her opinion, obnoxious. A collection of hackers also targeted Richards’ company with denial of service attacks until she, too, was fired.

Let’s not do this anymore, OK? There, I’m sure the Internet will settle down now.

Melissa Harris-Perry had an open letter for the Steubenville survivor.

Irin Carmon theorized that defenders of Prop 8 have gender anxiety. Which I think is true. My experience with the people who, for example, attended the Glenn Beck rally in Washington, D.C., was that they were angry and lashing out because they were terribly frightened by a changing world. Which is why we should have a little bit of compassion for the anti-marriage equality folks. (But that doesn’t mean they get a pass on being bigots.)

And in honor of Gloria Steinem’s birthday, The Frisky published 15 things to know about her.

This Week in Awful

Lucy Meadows, a *trans teacher, killed herself after Richard Littlejohn wrote a vile column about her in the Daily Mail. Though they have reportedly received numerous complaints, Britain’s Press Complaints Commission isn’t moving forward because they haven’t received a complaint directly from a family member of Meadows. Contact information for the Mail is over here.

And a Tunisian woman named Amina is rumored to have been confined to a psychiatric hospital against her will for posting topless pictures of herself in protest of her country’s subjugation of women. That’s only one of many stories that are circulating about what happened to Amina since she posted pictures of herself with “fuck your morals” and Arabic script meaning “My body belongs to me. It is not the source of anyone’s honor” written across her chest.

Women’s rights activist Bouchra Bel Haj Hmida issued a statement claiming to be Amina’s lawyer and saying that Amina is safe and living at home, but Inna Shevchenko of Femen seems skeptical of that version of events — Amina’s family issued public statements condemning her actions and she has received numerous death threats.

There is a call to establish an International Day to Defend Amina and a petition to the Tunisian government to keep her safe. Femen members are also submitting topless protest photos to their Facebook page in support of Amina. (Thanks to Madabip for passing along the news item.)

This Week in Debunking

You may have seen this letter going around Facebook, from a dad who does not care for Victoria’s Secret’s new line aimed at junior high schoolers and featuring a thong with the words “call me” across the crotch.

The product line would indeed be very shocking if it were real. The author dropped the age the line is aimed at and included a product that no longer exists. Victoria’s Secret does kind of admit that the “Pink” line is aimed as much at high school students as it is at college students. I’m having trouble mustering umbrage over that, though I probably should. My main problem with the “Pink” line is that I feel like it’s aimed at stupid people, or at getting smart people to adopt stupid as fashion. Or it’s possible that I’m grumpy because some people are pushing and/or accepting the notion that it’s a good idea to have words across your butt.

Pro tip for young women on their way to their first job interviews: Do not have words going across your butt. No, not even “HIRE ME.”

This Week in Bad-Assery

There’s now video of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz telling shareholders to drink a venti mocha full-caff GTFO with whipped cream on top if they don’t care for the company’s support of marriage equality.

I did not think I would ever type the words “60 Minutes featured a Pussy Riot interview.” I was incorrect.

Julia Pierson has been named the first female director of the Secret Service.

And Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought down the house (and possibly DOMA) by comparing marriage without federal rights to a skim-milk marriage. Ginsberg, by the way, is also a push-up-doing bad-ass. At the age of 80.

This Week in Awesome

I don’t know what’s up with Batgirl writer Gail Simone, but I’m glad she remembered.

Author Baratunde Thurston ( How to Be Black, The Onion) reminded men that you don’t have to be a woman to fight violence against women.

After reading this article, Hilary Bowman-Smart hit her limit with don’t-get-raped advice that assumes women are idiots and/or don’t ever need to go outside at night and started the #SafetyTipsForLadies hashtag. Twitter jumped in and helped with the hilarity.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and laugh at what truly needs mocking yourself.

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