Feminist Friday: When Your Boss Has Control of Your Lobby


 This Week in Ladybits

Here’s a scary precedent heading for us: A “fetal harm” case could open women to being prosecuted for stillbirths and miscarriages. (Thanks to Stiltzkin for the link.) Kansas is also advancing a bill that would require the reporting of miscarriages. Oh, and Tennessee would like to imprison women based on their pregnancy outcomes too. All the articles I linked to refer to this trend as “criminalizing pregnancy,” but to me it looks more like pregnant women increasingly becoming state property. Either way, it’s creepy as all hell.

But the big Ladybits news this week was the Hobby Lobby case. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week, and hoo, boy, is it hard to stay updated on this case. Mostly because you need to keep purchasing laptops to replace the ones you’ve already thrown at the walls.

Hobby Lobby is claiming that a corporation can be religious and that an employer’s religious beliefs should trump an employee’s right to get full health care benefits.

FF328- 1Image courtesy of Planned Parenthood

Hobby Lobby may keep Justice Kennedy, widely believed to be the swing vote that is sanity’s only hope here, from landing on the side of women’s rights by claiming that the Affordable Care Act would force employers to subsidize abortions, which it won’t, and that some birth control methods cause abortions, which they don’t.

And that’s that part that’s really infuriating: That the Court is considering taking religious beliefs—any religious beliefs—over freaking objective reality. Even when those beliefs fall firmly into the category of “recently made up nonsense.” The fact that Hobby Lobby’s demonstrably false belief that some birth control methods cause abortions is close to trumping the rights of women who are dealing with biological fact is maddening.

What if my boss believes that manual screening breast exams lead to immorality? Can he or she request that my insurance company stop recovering preventive care? What if my boss believes that vaccines summon tornados? Or that broken limbs are a punishment from Ishtar?

Golly, you don’t think the conservative wing of the court will interpret the law as though Christianity is the only religion we have here, do you? One sec, I’m about to need to purchase a new laptop.

If you’d like to add some bric-a-brac to the electronics you’ve been destroying (it’s an excellent cardio workout), you can always keep track of the sexist, gross, inaccurate batpiles that conservatives in the media are flinging around about contraception when they talk about the case. Remember: Birth control is always cheap and easy to get, all the same, and is never used for anything other than sleazy premarital sex.

Dahlia Lithwick has a characteristically excellent summary of the case (bonus: each Supreme Court Justice is accurately compared to a method of birth control), and as always, the good people at The Rachel Maddow Show are on the case.

This Week in Thinky

Ever been in one of those situations where you feel like you’re being treated as less-than just because you don’t have a penis?  Well, whip one out.

Comic Book Resources talked to artist and writer Phil Jimenez about race, gender, sex, and Wonder Woman. (Via The Mary Sue)

BuzzFeed offered up a “How Transphobic Are You?” quiz.

Feministing unpacked this Australian Snickers ad.

And Dr. Nerdlove gave a great explanation of why the “socially awkward” cop-out is no excuse for making a woman feel unsafe.

This Week in Ugh

The Parliament of Kenya legalized polygamy—or really polygyny, since Kenyan women certainly aren’t getting to marry multiple men. Not only may a man take multiple wives, he doesn’t have to inform any wives he already has before he brings home new ones. The female members of Parliament walked out in protest.

Timberlake Christian School kicked an eight-year-old girl out for looking too much like a boy. Be glad to be rid of the place, kiddo. The school’s defense is not exactly compelling.

No need to say “amen” to this goober. No speaking, no asking questions, definitely no preaching. And no opinions, even if you agree with his impeccable logic. Oh, but you can sing to him! My song is called “Bite Me.” (Via Progressive Populist)

And the Tennessee legislature passed a bill that would allow “Christian” kids to bully LGBT kids in the name of religious freedom.

This Week in Bad-assery

In one of the oldest forms of protest, Ukranian women have started a sex strike against Russian men.

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Images courtesy of the “Don’t Give it to a Russian” Facebook page

The Google Doodle saluted Civil Rights pioneer Dorothy Irene Height.

Dorothy Height

And this Colorado girls’ soccer team objected to their teammate getting benched for wearing her hijab. So they all wore them too.

This Week in Entertainment

I’m mostly putting this one in because I’ve never seen a movie described as a “thrilling and erotic, energy-conscious, sci fi suspense film” before. Production for Fembot is set to begin this summer. It is, of course, about a future in which one can order a specially programmed, sexy robot. Which could be a biting satire or… Really not. I am dying to hear your impressions in the comments.

From the Duh Files: The MPAA reports that women buy half the movie tickets sold in the United States. Which doesn’t mean we’ll get more and stronger female leads, because if there’s one thing marketers and decision-makers love, it’s an excuse to keep doing things the way we have been since 1953.

And Ms. Latina Stereotype explains Hollywood.

This Week in Awesome

Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down! It’s yet another one of those situations where an appeals court is harshing everyone’s buzz while the whining over an “emergency” appeal gets worked out, but I’m feeling optimistic for the nation’s biggest mitten. The emergency, just so we’re clear, is that Michiganders who were in love were getting married—more than 300 of them, in fact. Governor Rick Snyder admits that those marriages were legal, but says he won’t be recognizing them. Enjoy your legacy as a minor footnote to the wrong side of history, sir!

NPR’s Barbara King wished an early happy 80th birthday to Dr. Jane Goodall.

And check out the fantastic lady knights who are springing to life thanks to Dogbomber’s Lady Knights randomizer.

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Images by Sean Ng via io9

 Have a great weekend. Get out there and start a quest of your own.

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