Today’s Lady News: Bill Clinton (And Gender Equality!) Makes Us Swoon

  • Gender equality got its due today at the former president’s Clinton Global Initiative. Diane Sawyer moderated a panel with the head of Women For Women International, the head of the World Bank and several big-time CEOs. Clinton himself told guests at the session, “Whether the issue is improving the involvement of young women and girls in education, to climate change and all political, economic, and social issues in between, I think empowering women is central to what the world has to do in the 21st century.” Damn straight! [AP]—He probably thinks people could start by showing some respect to his wife!
  • Christina Aguilera talked about the domestic abuse her father wrought on her family in an E! documentary, explaining how she has dealt with his abuse of her and her mom and how she has dealt with the after-affects as an adult. [Guanabee]—I caught most of the show on E! this weekend and respect Xtina so much for how she has overcome that crap!
  • A court in Poland awarded $11,000 to Alicja Tysiac, 38, who was likened to a child murder by a Catholic magazine after she expressed her desire for an abortion when she learned she’d go blind if she gave birth to her fourth child. (Tysiac’s gyno refused to provide her with an abortion and her eyesight, which deteriorated after each birth, has gotten worse.) Two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Poland to pay Tysiac $36,000 to compensate for this ordeal and the Catholic mag wrote an article that complained about giving money to someone they consider to be a child killer. [BBC]—Wake up America! This is what’s going to happen here if we are not vigilant about protecting women’s reproductive rights.
  • Veils will be optional and women and men will be allowed to mix freely amongst each other at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, which recently opened. [BBC]—Methinks the restrictions on women are more lax because the university has students from up to 60 countries, though, not because the fundamentalist Islam culture interested in treating women as equals.
  • The vice chancellor of a university in Britain was reprimanded after he wrote a tongue-in-cheek article for the Times Higher Education Magazine about how one of the “perks” of the job is female students who “flaunt their curves.” Terence Kealy of the University of Buckingham got in trouble with the U.K.’s National Union of Students for writing, “Most male lecturers know that, most years, there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration and who asks for advice on her essays. What to do? Enjoy her! She’s a perk.” [BBC]—I know British humor is a little different than ours, but those jokes are douchey in any culture.
  • Brendon Ayanbadejo, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, attended an event planned by a pro-gay marriage organization last week in Maryland. Plus, Ayanbadejo recently penned a blog on The Huffington Post in which he wrote “we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as everyone else.” [Washington Blade]—Swoon! Hot football player with a conscience!
  • Peeps in New York City’s Little Italy neighborhood talked back to a promo poster for Tucker Max’s appallingly misogynist “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” movie. On a poster that says “Strippers will not tolerate disrespect…just kidding!” and next to a rape-y sounding one that says “Blind girls never see you coming,” somebody wrote “And Little Italy will not tolerate your misogyny!! Go f**k yourself.”[Gothamist (hat tip to Feministing)]—Word.