Today’s Lady News: Metal Band Gwar Disembowels Sarah Palin Effigy Onstage

  • The monster-costumed death metal band Gwar disemboweled a Sarah Palin effigy onstage at a concert. I’m no Sarah Palin fan, but that’s hella disturbing even for “death metal.” (Apparently the band “kills” lots of public figures onstage, both males and females. So it’s not necessarily misogynist, but I still can’t help but be freaked out by what kinds of people enjoy seeing her effigy “die” onstage.) [Daily Beast]
  • Crap, how could I have missed this one? Yesterday was the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ historic refusal to give her up bus seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. [ColorLines]
  • A civil union bill passed in the Illinois state senate on Monday that affords gay couples some of the same benefits as married couples, like the right to visit a partner in the hospital. The bill has already passed in Illinois state House. Illinois now joins California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington in giving civil unions or domestic partnerships to gay couples. [Feminist.org]

  • A Minnesota politician was picked up by police for hanging out in a Planned Parenthood parking lot with a loaded gun and claiming he was “checking on” his online girlfriend. Rep. Tom Hackbarth was spotted by the security guard at St. Paul Planned Parenthood. (At least he was carrying his gun legally.) The pol called it a “misunderstanding” and said he didn’t know he was in the PP parking lot, but thought his online girlfriend was on a date with another man. Police are suspicious because Harkbarth could not name the online site he met her own, her phone number or her address. Republican leaders in the state house have since stripped him of his leadership positions. [Talking Points Memo]
  • The suicide rate among female veterans is nearly three times as much as among civilian women. That’s according to a study of nearly 6,000 suicides in 16 states that will be published in the journal Psychiatric Services. Certainly this underscores the concerns had by many that female veterans need special attention paid to their mental health needs. [U.S. News & World Reports]
  • Meet Ann Wagner, a former Missouri party chairwoman who could become the first woman elected to head the Republican National Committee. [The Daily Beast]
  • Meet California’s first female attorney general, San Francisco district attorney Kamala Harris. She will also be the first African-American and first Indian-American in the position. As DA, she worked to make human trafficking illegal in CA and advocated to strengthen services for survivors of domestic violence. She’ll be sworn in on January 3. [Feminist.org]
  • An anti-abortion Florida politician is changing his tune on his support for his state’s proposed “fetal personhood amendment,” which would define fetuses as people and therefore make abortion akin to murder. Rep. Dennis Baxley said he is still anti-abortion, but he is unsure that the “fetal personhood amendment,” which is typically considered a fringe item among the many states that have tried and failed to pass one, is the way to go about banning abortion. [Florida Independent]
  • Flo Henry of McKinney, Texas, is fighting to get a once-segregated cemetery preserved as a historic site. [The Grio]
  • A prostitute working in Pensacola, Florida, may have been murdered by one of her johns. The rest of this news article rather obnoxiously speculates that a “serial killer is targeting prostitutes,” even though only one has died. [WKRG]
  • World champion boxer Christy Martin was allegedly shot and stabbed by her husband last week after telling him she was leaving him for a woman. As a former Sports Illustrated cover girl (for athletics, not bikinis), Martin is apparently credited with legitimizing women boxers. [Advocate]
  • Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge is holding a special exhibition on letters and diaries written by Southern women during the Civil War. [KLFY]
  • Soccer star Brandi Chastain opens up about the state of women’s soccer. [Bleacher Report]
  • This journalist is begging and pleading for no more trend pieces about women based on “Sex and the City.” Sounds reasonable! [NPR]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Say what? The Puerto Rican first lady, Lucé Vela, yesterday told reporters at a World AIDS Day event in San Juan that there is a cure for AIDS. She appears to have been telling a news station that if people get tested for HIV early enough, they can be cured of it — which is not true. [Guanabee]
  • An army colonel in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the subject of a travel ban and asset freeze for his involovement on multiple massacres of women and children, as well as mass rapes of women and girls. [AllAfrica.com]
  • Cartagena, Colombia, in South America holds dueling beauty pageants: one for the wealthy and one for those who live in the city’s slums. [New York Times]
  • The documentary “Bhutto” tells the life story of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, a groundbreaking pro-democracy feminist, who was elected in 1988. Bhutto was killed in 2008. [Film School Rejects]
  • Watch actress Rosumund Pike, co-star of “Made In Dagenham,” discuss the ’60s women strikers at the Dagenham Ford plant in the UK. In case you missed my Q&A with the star, Sally Hawkins, you can check it out here — or read my movie review. “We’re marking in this film a sea change in consciousness,” Pike said. “But it’s not a film about male chauvinism.” [Guardian UK]
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