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Today’s Lady News: French Woman Flies Into A “Burqa Rage”

  • This weekend, a 60-year-old lawyer in Trignac, France, attacked a fellow shopper, a 26-year-old Muslim woman, and ripped her body-covering veil off. Police say the woman made “snide remarks about her black burqa” before she flew into her “burqa rage” and ripped the veil off. The lawyer and her daughter then began physically fighting with the woman before all three were arrested. Currently, France is considering a ban on all body-covering veils for women, which has fanned the flames of racial tensions in the country. [Telegraph UK]
  • A woman in Saudi Arabia beat up a religious policeman — or “virtue cop” — who stopped her in an amusement park for walking with a male friend. In Saudi Arabia, unmarried men and women are forbidden from socializing and are policed by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Experts say the woman can now expect a prison term, lashing or both. [Daily Mail UK]

  • A 12-year-old girl near Louisville, Kentucky, who has lesbian mothers, was defending gays and lesbians from kids on the bus. The bus driver allegedly thought the situation was funny and called this girl a “contradiction.” The girl then called the bus driver a “jerk.” The girl was suspended from the bus for three days by her middle school. Now gay rights groups in Kentucky are calling for the bus driver’s termination and an apology from school officials who punished her for standing up for her moms. [Change.org]
  • The 16 female CEOs listed on Standard & Poor’s 500 index earned 43 percent more than the average male CEO, according to data collected by Bloomberg News. What’s that? The glass ceiling cracking just a little bit? Alas, let’s not forget that one study of nearly 1.1 million CEOs found that women in general were earning only 75 percent of what men were earning. [New Jersey Star Ledger]
  • Here are some Arab-American women to look up who are not Miss USA Rima Fakih. [Huffington Post]
  • President Obama honored the UCONN women’s basketball team at the White House after they the Huskies won 78 straight games in a row — the longest winning streak in the history of women’s college b-ball! [ESPN]
  • As many as five female race car drivers — including Danica Patrick — may start at the Indianapolis 500 race on May 30, breaking a record and gender barriers. It’s a long way from 1977 when race car driver Janet Guthrie had to fight a letter-writing campaign to keep her off the track because sponsors worried racing was too dangerous for a woman. [AP]
  • The state of Iowa has never had a woman in Congress, ever. Meet Roxanne Conlin, a lawyer who is challenging incumbent GOP Senator Charles Grassley. Conlin ran a losing campaign for governor back in 1982 but hopes to finally bust through the state’s glass ceiling. (Fun/sad fact: Mississippi, Delaware and Vermont have never elected a woman to Congress, either.) [Politics Daily]
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals has lost a sexual discrimination lawsuit and has been ordered to pay over $3.4 million to female sales representatives who were found to be underpaid and passed over for promotions. [Forbes]
  • New York City police narcotics detective Oscar Sandino was charged today with demanding sex from two women he arrested and assaulting one woman in a station bathroom. Sandino is still accused of coercing a third woman to sleep with him in exchange for helping her cousin’s case. Among other accusations, this winner has been accused of telling an arrestee she would lose her children unless she had sex with him. [New York Daily News]
  • Two Susan B. Anthony scholars say the famous suffragette never took a public stance on abortion and her views on the subject are unclear. This should pose a problem for the Susan B Anthony List, a group that opposes abortions and claims to be following Anthony’s lead, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who addressed the group last week. Speaking on Friday to the List, Palin said, “Organizations like the Susan B. Anthony list are returning the woman’s movement back to its original roots, back to what it was all about in the beginning. You remind us of the earliest leaders of the woman’s rights movement: They were pro-life.” Revisionist femin-istory! [Newsweek]
  • Why are there so few women writers on late night comedy? Feministing blogger (and Frisky contributor!) Chloe Angyal investigates. [Feministing]
  • Miyam Bialik from “Blossom” guest posts on ex-Sassy writer Christina Kelly’s blog about feeling like the only woman in Hollywood who takes seconds and eats dessert. [Fallen Princess]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Yesterday, Edurne Pasabanm, 36, of Spain, became the second woman in the world to the scale the highest 14 peaks. [AP]
  • A quarter of women in a multi-country study say they regularly exercise indoors to avoid harassment or assault. [Montreal Gazette]
  • The “Not One More” art exhibit at Drexel University in Philadelphia showcases art about violence against women in Juarez, Mexico, where hundreds of women have been kidnapped and killed. Many of the women work in “maquilladoras,” factories located near the Mexican border. Women’s rights activists say the Mexican government has not taken the murders of nearly 700 women seriously. [Reuters]
  • Nigerian politician Ahmed Sani Yerima has been questioned by investigators for his marriage to a 13-year-old Egyptian girl. In an effort to protect girls from becoming child brides, the Nigerian Rights Act of 2003 has forbidden the marriage of anyone under age 18. [AFP]
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