Feminist Friday: Helen Mirren kicks ass


This Week in Ladybits

As you may have noticed, we’re in the middle of an unprecedented wave of local laws with the goal of making abortion, a legal service, impossible to get. Rachel Maddow talked with Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood this week to try to figure out what the hell.


Meanwhile, Republican Congressmen are trying to mess with abortion rights in D.C. again.

And this is baffling: Medical Science says that Plan B is safe for any woman of reproductive age. But the Obama Administration is fighting to restrict its availability. Plan B prevents conception from happening, and thus if widely available it could prevent thousands of abortions from happening. But it gets fought because prudery wins over science and actual practical solutions.

And MotherWise has some issues with what Facebook thinks is porn. (That link may be NSFW. Probably, in fact. But different workplaces will disagree on which parts.)

This Week in Thinky

The Unslut Project is a tumblr of diary entries Emily Lindin kept during the 6th grade… when she was called a “slut.”

Did we need Candyland to get sexier over the years?

NPR discussed inroads for female programmers, including the RailsBridge workshops.

PBS exploded the myth that women talk too much… or more than men.

This Week in Ugh

Oy. These people. I expect you to destroy their logic in the comments. Go.


16-year-old Kiera Wilmot, a good student with an interest in science, mixed some chemicals and blew the top off a water bottle… And got expelled. Which is stupid. In spite of protests, the school is insisting on enforcing the letter of its rules instead of the spirit. Bleah.

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted against equal pay legislation because she says we have enough laws.

Does the world really need a show in which two men sit and critique women’s naked bodies?

And some truly appalling sleazebags are running push-polls against Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) who is running for Congress against former Governor Mark Sanford (R – Appalachian Trail) in South Carolina. Push-polls are fake polls that are actually used to plant outrageous accusations about candidates in the public mind without getting charged with libel. For example, a push-poll might ask, “What would you think about Mark Sanford if you found out that he had also had an affair with three gila monsters and a plate of grits?” Or you might ask, “Would it change your opinion of Mark Sanford if it was revealed that he spent thousands of tax dollars Bedazzling Ted Nugent’s face onto his back?”

That’s not a perfect example because not many things could lower many people’s opinion of Mark Sanford, but you get the idea.

This Week in Sports

The roll for the annual softball game between Congressional women and female reporters has been posted. Looks like a fine roster all around.

Don’t forget to take three minutes to root for Rosie Napravnik to become the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Derby this Saturday. Napravnik is already the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks.

BuzzFeed noted that, much as we love and cheer Jason Collins for coming out, there have been out female athletes for decades.

And speaking of out female athletes, Brittney Griner nabbed an endorsement deal with a little company called Nike.

Image via Ms. Griner’s Facebook page

This Week in Sad

Ms. Magazine founder Mary Thom was killed in a motorcycle accident on April 26. There will be a public memorial on Monday, May 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center.  Ms. Thom also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Women’s Media Center. Our condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues

This Week in Awesome

Natasha Frost didn’t want to just toss a bouquet after her wedding. She decided instead to toss a little wisdom to her state legislators and pass the bouquet to her sister, Nitara Frost, who has been in a committed relationship for seven years, but can’t yet marry in Minnesota. (Via BuzzFeed)


What’s that, you say? Marriage equality? You go, Rhode Island!

The White House will honor 15 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women as “Champions of Change” on Monday. Among them will be UMass professor Karen Suyemoto, who has been teaching and studying how Asian Americans are affected by discrimination.

Image courtesy of the University of Massachusetts Boston

OK, they’re not all women, but you still need to look at these vintage photos of librarians being awesome.

Images courtesy of Flavorwire

The WIGS channel celebrated its first anniversary this week. If you’re looking for female-centered dramas with high-quality production in handy bite-sized episodes, this is the place. You’re probably familiar with the Jennifer Beals vehicle Lauren, which premieres its second season today.


There are several other shows, including Christine, featuring America Ferrera,


…And Blue with Julia Stiles, which has a full two seasons under its belt. I talked to Karen Graci, a writer for Blue, who said she was “thrilled to see female-centric programming gain such a strong following on the Web.” She’s hopeful for a rumored third season of Blue, and for more female-centric programming in general. Hear, hear.

Five university students in Ontario launched The Miss G Project eight years ago… And finally will see gender studies added to high school classes next September.

This Week in Fun

I don’t care how ratballs crazy Helen Mirren is in interviews. I will watch her act in anything, anything, anything, and Red was a total blast. Which is why I’m so grateful to The Mary Sue for alerting me to the fact that the Red 2 trailer is out. You have to get two minutes in before you truly start to see Mirren kicking ass, but it’s worth it.


Dear people who edit trailers: You should always, ALWAYS be asking yourself if what you have done has enough Helen Mirren in it.

And this bit of early Mother’s Day loveliness has been going around the Intertubes: The Matrix as explained by an animator’s mom.


Have a good weekend. Get out there and bend reality to your will.

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