Today’s Lady News: Sara Hurwitz Is The First Female Orthodox Rabbi

  • Sara Hurwitz made history last month when she was made the first Orthodox “rabba,” or female rabbi. After complaints from others in the Orthodox Jewish community, the rabbi who ordained her, Rabbi Avi Weiss, has promised he will not give the title of “rabba” to other women. When asked about the controversy, Hurwitz said, “You know, there’s certain language that people have been using for centuries. Any traditional language being associated with something new is difficult for people. And having women as spiritual leaders is a new phenomenon, and so we’re all trying to figure out what the right language is.” [Heeb]
  • Disney is apparently rejiggering their script for a movie about Rapunzel over concerns that it would not appeal to boys after disappointing numbers for their last flick, “The Princess & The Frog.” The title will be changed from “Rapunzel” to “Tangled.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Representative Eric Massa recently stepped down after a male staffer complained of workplace harassment. But after reading Massa’s quote on the incident in question, Bust magazine has quite rightly pointed out there is a sexual double standard going on when it comes to men and women being sexually harassed. [Bust]
  • In related news, aides to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi allegedly had concerns about former Rep. Massa’s inappropriate behavior as far back as October. Pelosi has said her staff only heard about Massa in February. Assuming this is true, it just goes to show men aren’t the only ones guilty of mishandling sexual harassment accusations. [Wall Street Journal]

  • Idaho is considering a change to their “age of consent” laws, which will allow 16- and 17-year-olds to have consensual sex with each other without fear of being prosecuted for statutory rape. [Idaho Reporter]
  • The National Institute of Health has urged hospitals to give a closer look to guidelines about births after Caesarean sections. VBACs, or vaginal births after Caesareans, are often not advised by doctors due to possible health complications, such as the scar on the uterus breaking during labor. However, some woman would prefer to make their own choice about how to give birth after a C-section. [New York Times]
  • Police say a man followed a woman into the bathroom stall of a NYC bar last night and beat her until she was unconscious because she rejected his advances. The victim, a nurse, was at Social, a bar in Midtown Manhattan, when she refused to dance with him. The unidentified man allegedly followed her into the second-floor bathroom and beat her until she was unconscious, breaking her eye socket and jaw. She was later found in the bathroom by her friend, who called 911. Police are still trying to figure out the assailant’s identity. [AP]
  • Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has admitted to police he had sexual “contact” with the woman who accused him of sexual assault in a Georgia nightclub last week, but denies that he raped her. [CBS News]
  • Terry Gross of NPR recently interviewed Melisa Febos, author of Whip Smart: Memoirs of a Dominatrix, and apparently struggled to come to grips with the fact that “normal” people work in sex work. [Bust]


  • A group of Canadian women are suing Bayer’s Inc., claiming they were not warned about the possible health risks of the birth control pills Yazmin. [Toronto Sun]
  • The Vatican has criticized the decision by a high school in Rome, Italy, to install six condom vending machines. Students will be able to purchase a package of three condoms for $2.70, which is lower than market price in Italy. The school headmaster told the Associated Press, “This is not about stimulating the use condoms or intercourse. On the contrary, it’s about prevention and education.” [Forbes]
  • Unions in Australia are headed to court to close the 17 percent pay gap between men and women who work in the same field and have similar qualifications. [ABC News Australia]