Today’s Lady News: Do You Even Want To Know What Rape “Bait” Is?

  • Rape “bait”: do I even want to know what that is? [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • The yearly cost of child care is more expensive than the cost of sending a child to a public college in 39 states and Washington, D.C., according to a study released yesterday by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. [ABC News]
  • Oh dear. The southern Malaysian state of Malacca is now allowing girls to wed under the age of 16. The Islamic council announced yesterday it would lower the marriage age to 16 for girls and 18 for boys to curb unwed pregnancies. [Reuters]

  • Susan Retik, a 9/11 widow who raised money for widows in Afghanistan, will be awarded today with a Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest award that can be given to an American citizen. Retik has raised over $600,000 for Beyond the 11th, which provides job skills and literacy classes for female Afghani widows. [Boston Globe]
  • At a recent Public Safety Committee meeting, Dallas Police Chief David Brown suggested that date rapes had increased by 25.3 percent because women were not being careful enough while drinking around men. The chief suggested women need to receive the “message” that if you’re going to drink in front of a man then you should “have your friends watch you.” You know, like a chaperone. [Dallas Observer]
  • A new study in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology found the birth control pill is equally effective in both obese and slim women. [Vancouver Sun]
  • New boyfriend! Michael Edwards, 28, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been arrested not once, but twice, for squiring semen from a bottle onto a random woman. His haunts of choice are a Michaels craft store and the grocery store. [Washington Post]
  • Did you know that Jane Austen had a lesbian contemporary? Her name was Anne Lister and she kept diaries — some of which were written in code that took over a century to crack! Anne Lister’s life has been made into a film, “The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister,” and Ms. checks in with the screenwriter, Jane English. [Ms. Magazine]
  • Meet Helena Andrews, a former journalist for The New York Times and author of the hilarious-looking memoir Bitch Is The New Black. Anyone who says “Lucy Ricardo was the most subversive Stepford wife in the history of the world” is my new hero! [Can I Get A Man With That?]
  • Salon.com has noticed that in the weeks since Jezebel criticized the paltry amount of female correspondents on “The Daily Show,” the show appears to have taken pains to include more segments on women and gender. [Salon.com]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Bibi Aisha, a young Afghan woman whose nose and ears were cut off by her Taliban husband, is traveling to the United States today for plastic surgery. Aisha’s face was recently on the cover of Time magazine to illustrate a story about the plight of Afghan women. [CNN]
  • An Iranian court could decide the fate of Sakineh Mahammedie Ashtiani, who was sentenced to death by hanging for the crime of adultery. Ashtiani’s original sentence was to death by hanging. Recently, Brazil offered the mother of two asylum, but that offer was rejected by Iran. [CNN]
  • Meet Waris Dirie, a model who has spent the past 20 years campaigning against female genital mutilation. Waris ran away from home in Somalia at age 13 to escape an arranged marriage, found her way to London, and was discovered by a fashion photographer while working at McDonald’s. Now Waris is 45 and her autobiography has been made into a film, “Desert Flower,” starring Ethiopian model Liya Kidebe. [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • The Girl Guides — the U.K.’s version of the Girl Scouts — is advocating for all airbrushed images of models and actresses to carry warning labels. [Daily Mail]
  • Laura Dekker, 14, of The Netherlands, began sailing her boat, Guppy, from her home port this morning in a bid to be the youngest woman to sail around the world. She is expected to arrive in Portugal within three weeks. [CNN]
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