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Today’s Lady News: May The Force Be With You, Katie!

  • A first grader named Katie was made fun of by the boys at her school for owning a “Star Wars” water bottle. Now there’s a Twitter hashtag for #MayTheForceBeWithKatie and, one would hope, a squad of Storm Troopers showing up at those boys’ front doors. (Thanks, commenter Vivster, for the heads-up!) [StarWars.com]
  • “Real Housewives” Bethenny Frankel is hawking a pink “Future SkinnyGirl” onesie for babies on CafePress. I get that “SkinnyGirl” is her brand. But, seriously, encouraging your baby girl to stay skinny?! What happens if Bethanny’s baby Bryn grows up naturally thicker than her famously svelte mommy? [Styleite]
  • A passage of Sarah Palin’s latest book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, criticizes Michelle Obama for saying she hadn’t felt proud of her country, but then goes on to drag racial tensions into it. “In retrospect, I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people,” Palin wrote. Holy race-baiting! [Huffington Post]

  • In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance this weekend, let’s take a moment and remember the 22 transgendered women and men who were murdered in 2009 because of their sexual orientation. [ColorLines]
  • Beth Mooney of Cleveland, Ohio’s KeyCorp bank will become the first female CEO of a top 20 bank in the United States in May. There are less than 20 women leading Fortune 500 companies. “I’m conscious of trying to fill this role with grace and in a way that makes women proud. I take that very seriously,” Mooney said. (Thanks, commenter Maynard, for the heads-up!) [Cleveland.com]
  • Last night Nancy Lieberman became the first woman-ever to coach an NBA-affiliated team. Unfortch, the Texas Legends (in the NBA Development League) lost to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 123 to 115. (Thanks, commenter William Paul, for the heads-up!) [ESPN]
  • A University of New Hampshire civil liberties and feminist history professor, Jill Silos-Rooney, is upset about the “tight-fitting, scoop-necked, midriff baring” top and “tight,” “low” jeans of one of her students in a rather creepy op-ed titled “Student Bodies.” [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • Will “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ the movie be as feminist as J. K. Rowling’s book of the same name? [Slate.com]
  • Comedienne Fran Lebowitz opens up in the new Martin Scorsese-directed documentary about her life, “Public Speaking.” [AfterEllen.com]
  • ESPN tackles the “softball players are lesbians” stereotype that haunts players and interviews actual lesbian softball player Lauren Lappin about her experiences. [ESPN]

INTERNATIONAL

  • British politician Gareth Compton was arrested after he called on Thursday for a female Muslim journalist, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a columnist for the Independent and Evening Standard, to be stoned to death. Compton allegedly tweeted, “”Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan’t tell Amnesty if you don’t. It would be a blessing, really.” He later deleted the comment and said it was an “ill-conceived attempt at humor.” [Reuters]
  • The student association at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, said it will vote in December on whether to allow an anti-abortion group to register as a school club. The student association recently revoked the membership of Carleton Lifeline because its discrimination policy specifically said that opposing women’s reproductive rights is discriminatory. Carleton Lifeline, however, disagrees and said it is entitled to school funding and access to campus resources like any other club. [CBC.ca]
  • Police in Israel are investigating doctors at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center for allegedly providing abortions for a mentally disabled now-17-year-old girl without informing her parents. [Jerusalem Post]
  • The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is “sexist,” said New Zealand MP Heather Roy. “Personally I think that having a separate Ministry because women can’t do very well on their own is a bit insulting to women,” she said. It’s so annoying when people think just because they are doing well that everyone else must be doing well, too. [TVNZ]
  • African-American lifestyle blog The Grio says “Winnie,” the new biopic of Winnie Mandela starring Jennifer Hudson, has them “wincing.” Uh oh. [The Grio]
  • Meet Roshaneh Safar, a Pakistani banker who fights terrorism with micro-loans in her community. She’s given out over $200 million to over 300,000 families, like the one headed by a mother of 14 kids who used $70 to start her own jewelry and cosmetics shop. [New York Times]
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