This week we’ve got some good news, some Oscars news, and the usual assortment of fucked up shit. Let’s get down to business. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
Huzzah, generic versions of Plan B will be available without having to go to the pharmacy counter and without age restrictions!
And in other good news, Wendy Davis won her primary and is now officially the Democratic candidate for Texas governor.
In a case that’s pretty much fucked up all around, Patricia Esparza is being charged in the 1995 murder of a man who had raped her a few weeks before. The evidence against her is basically non-existent (and instead points to her then-boyfriend and some of his friends), but police are trying to discredit her by saying that she consented to the rape. Which is impossible!
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it’s legal to take upskirt photos of women in public — not because of “freedom of speech,” but because the state’s Peeping Tom laws are written too narrowly. The state legislature got right to work and plans to have a bill to remedy this gap on the governor’s desk ASAP.
The soon-to-be ex-wife of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has been granted a temporary order of protection against him after he allegedly shoved her during an argument at her home.
Maine state representative Lawrence Lockman (R) issued an apology after the Bangor Daily News compiled a greatest-hits list of all the horribly sexist and homophobic things he’s said over the years, including a 1990 statement that “If a woman has (the right to abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”
State legislatures have been busy this week!
- In Georgia, the state senate passed a bill that would prevent state-funded insurance policies from covering abortions, with only a very narrow exception to save the life of the mother.
- The Alabama House passed four extremely restrictive anti-choice bills, including a “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortions so early that many women wouldn’t even know they were pregnant until it was too late.
- South Dakota’s senate passed a bill narrowing the definition of “pregnancy help centers” by preventing them from discussing adoptions; women are required by a 2011 law to seek counseling at these centers before they can obtain an abortion.
- A committee in the West Virginia Senate advanced a 20-week abortion ban.
But that’s not all! One out of the four abortion providers in the entire state of Montana has been forced to close indefinitely after the clinic was severely vandalized, and two more reproductive health clinics in Texas have closed their doors.
An Army lawyer who trains prosecutors on how to handle sexual assault cases is under investigation for allegedly groping a female lawyer while they were at a training session about, you guessed it, prosecuting rape and sexual assault. Meanwhile, the Senate rejected Kirsten Gillibrand’s bill that would have removed the investigation of rapes from the chain of command, protecting victims from retaliation by their commanders.
Northwestern University students held a march and sit-in to protest the continuing employment of a professor who sexually assaulted a freshman two years ago.
A new study found that men who aggressively force unwanted attention on women in bars aren’t actually doing it because they’re too drunk to know better, but rather because they’re taking advantage of a situation where they feel like they can get away with it, drunk or sober.
Oh, Bill O’Reilly, will you never shut up? He tried desperately to get guests on his show to concede that there would be a downside to having a female president. And the clip below has so much hand-wringing about “gangsta rappers” who wear backwards baseball caps (not in this decade, Billo) and other racist crap, culminating in him challenging Michelle Obama to come on his show to tell teen girls to stop having sex. Which, abstinence education doesn’t work, and it’s not like teen girls are watching his show in huge numbers, so it’s clearly just a play for ratings. (h/t Media Matters)
If you want your head to absolutely explode, click on over to this article about a sex abuse scandal in the homeschool community. So much victim-blaming and rape apology, so many allegations that the victims are making it all up.
A female pilot is speaking out after a passenger left a note complaining that women don’t belong in the cockpit and that he wishes the airline would let him know if a particular flight is piloted by a woman so he could rebook onto a different flight. (Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to be a hoax like the last story about sexist notes passed on a plane.)
- People need to lay the fuck off Kim Novak. She’s 81 years old! Apparently women are only allowed to age in Hollywood if they don’t actually start doing movies until they’re already an adorable grandma-type like June Squibb.
- Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech after winning the Best Actress award for her role in Blue Jasmine might have sounded feminist, but it was undermined by her thanking Woody Allen.
- BuzzFeed’s red carpet reporter decided to ask Kevin Spacey all the insipid questions that female stars always get asked. And bless them, because I have a new favorite gif!
- Condoms for ladies (though not female condoms) whose marketing downplays “the whole sex thing,” because women are embarrassed to buy condoms due to their association with sex. What the fuck else are they for? Pretty sure the Whole Foods cashier is gonna know you’re planning to get laid even if they are fair-trade.
- And then there’s the ad for the Windows All-in-One, which is the perfect lady computer because you can use the touch-screen to browse Pinterest and plan your wedding with your bffs! Oy.
- Whites and men are seriously over-represented on TV and in the movies, but a new study found that movies with relatively diverse casts earned more money than movies with little to no minority involvement onscreen.
- Why aren’t there as many female rappers as there used to be?
- While many people have focused on the lack of reviews of books written by women (and the lack of book reviews written by women), the statistics are even worse for reviews of non-white writers.
- It’s also tough out there for female film and theatre critics, who are more likely than men to be the targets of personal attacks when they dislike a production.
- “Jennifer Lawrence And The History Of Cool Girls.”
- Birth control is good for your sex life.
- But try telling that to “Birth Control Truthers,” whose mere existence has given me a headache.
- Hanna Rosin on struggling to figure out how to talk about sex with her teen daughter.
- A rant about calorie restrictions, diet food marketing, and getting “toned.” (It’s not perfect, but there’s some good info.)