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Today’s Lady News: Turns Out You Can’t Fire Someone For Getting A Sex Change

  • A judge has ruled on behalf of a transgendered woman who claims she was fired when she told her employer she would soon be coming to work dressed as a woman. When Vandy Beth Glenn, a former Georgia state legislative aide, told her employer she would soon be undergoing a sex change, her boss claimed she would make her colleagues feel uncomfortable and the sex change itself was “immoral.” [AP]
  • Feministing co-founder Jessica Valenti is six months pregnant and she has a request: stop touching her belly without asking first. “You wouldn’t touch a non-pregnant person’s belly without asking,” she writes, “so what makes you think it’s okay to just lay hands on mine?” [JessicaValenti.com]
  • South African runner Caster Semenya was cleared today to compete as a woman in future races. Last year, Semenya was found to be intersex — meaning she has both male and female parts — and there was some controversy about how she should be competing. [AFP]

  • New York State has repealed a law restricting midwives. They no longer have to get a written requirement from a doctor to attend to the birth of a baby. [Buffalo News]
  • The United Nations’ General Assembly unanimously approved an umbrella organization for its women’s agencies: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. [New York Times]
  • A Milwaukee man has been arrested for sexually assaulting, kidnapping and choking seven women over the past six years. Some of the women Gregory Tyson Below brought him with him from a local club; others he pulled from the side of the road into his van. Below has 15 restraining orders against him from women. Fifteen. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
  • A New York City subway employee was beaten when he tried to stop a man from assaulting a woman. Tareq Ahmed, who worked in an underground booth, saw the woman being abused, so he yelled at a co-worker to call police. The assaulting man then turned his attention to Ahmed, hitting him and kicking him until he landed in the hospital. Wow, what a hero! [New York Daily News]
  • The U.S. education secretary is encouraging more black men to become teachers; he’ll be touring historically black U.S. colleges this fall to recruit. [Essence]
  • John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, who’s been on the receiving end of a lot of body-snarking, is a fan of “Huge,” the new ABC Family show set at a teen weight loss camp. [The Daily Beast]
  • Wow, I wish feminist summer camp had existed when I was a teen. [Salon.com]
  • Are y’all Girl With The Dragon Tattoo fans? Lisbeth Salandar is literature’s new feminist heroine. [Forbes Woman]
  • Vendela Vida, co-editor of The Believer magazine with her husband, Dave Eggers, talks about a trilogy she’s written on women in crisis. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Do ladyblogs manufacture “outrage” to gin up page views? Emily Gould, a former editor at Gawker.com, says that blogs like Jezebel, Double X, and Broadsheet prey on women for pageviews and comments. Just seems like feminist-baiting to me. [Slate.com]
  • Here’s your daily reminder: feminism is for everybody, even women we don’t like. [The Sexist]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Spain’s more progressive abortion laws went into effect yesterday. A woman may now receive an abortion up to 14 weeks into her pregnancy. Also, 16- and 17-year-old girls may have an abortion so long as a parent is informed; although the parent does not have to provide consent. [New York Times]
  • The French Parliament is currently debating whether the country should fine a woman $190 for wearing a face-covering Muslim veil in public. The family member who pressured her to wear a niqab or burqa in public would also face penalties. [UPI.com]
  • Health experts have descended upon Montreal for the International Papillomavirus Conference and to discuss how to protect women and girls from the strains of HPV that develop into cervical cancer. [CTV.ca]
  • … and on that note, the European Union has approved the use of a simpler cervical cancer test, which could be used in places in Africa without better-stocked medical facilities. [Guardian UK]
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