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Today’s Lady News: An Apology For Gang Rape, 65 Years Too Late

  • Sixty-five years too late, Recy Taylor, 91, has received an apology from her hometown and the state of Alabama, which refused to prosecute the seven white men who abducted and gang raped her in 1944. Rosa Parks took up Taylor’s case and directed attention to the racial and sexual injustices faced by black women in the racially segregated South. Although the rapists admitted their guilt at the time, local/county police wouldn’t punish them. In March, the mayor of Abbeville, Alabama, finally apologized to Recy Taylor and the Alabama state legislature also approved a resolution which issued a formal apology. [NPR]
  • Legislation is on its way to the Missouri governor’s desk removing the exemption for women’s health from a ban on late-term abortions. Instead, the legislation will require the state to only allow late-term pregnancies to be terminated if the woman’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy would cause grievous harm to any of her vital organs. [Greenfield Reporter]
  • Sen. John McCain said he would not dignify Glenn Beck’s recent fake barfing and fat-shaming of his daughter, Meghan McCain, on a radio show with a comment. Good for you, Senator. [Mediaite]

  • Montana’s governor vetoed a bill which would have required parents of young women under the age of 16 to be notified before an abortion. The MT state legislature, which is led by Republicans, may instead put it to a vote on the state ballot in 2012. [Great Falls Tribune]
  • Kansas’ state legislature approved a bill today that bans insurance companies within the state from offering coverage for abortion, unless the woman’s life is at risk. Governor Sam Brownback, who is against legal abortion, is expected to sign the legislation. [AP]
  • Two top female directors have big projects in the works: Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids Are Alright”) on “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) on “The Bitch Posse.” [After Ellen]
  • Harvard University’s student newspaper, The Crimson, devoted a three-part series to the experience of the school’s transgender students. [The Crimson]
  • Anna Holmes, the founder of Jezebel.com, has been commemorating the 50th anniversary of civil rights activists, the Freedom Riders, in a unique way: each day she changes her Twitter avatar to a photograph of a different Freedom Rider and explains their role in the group. [Wall Street Journal]
  • The newspaper Tulsa World has this lovely, respectful profile on Katie Hill, who at 15-years-old told her mother she was transgender. Born Luke Hill, she was complaining to her mother about her male genitals by age five and plunged into “darkness” at adolescence. It’s really a touching story of a mother’s love and a family’s acceptance and I can’t wait to read the second half of it. [Tulsa World]
  • Meet Bel Kaufman of New York City: she is 100-years-young but still teaching! Bel became an adjunct professor in Jewish humor this year at Hunter College in Manhattan. [New York Times]
  • Step aside, NeNe Leakes. Which black women, portrayed in a positive light on reality TV, deserve our attention instead? [The Root]
  • Rihanna’s raunchy “S&M” music video is too hot for daytime TV, Britain has ruled, but Village Voice blogger Maura Johnston says the real trouble with “S&M” (and songs like Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl”) is these female singers’ sexuality is a “depressing” performance for men. [Village Voice]
  • The “Women Who Rock” exhibit has finally opened at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Any Frisky readers going to check it out? [Billboard]

INTERNATIONAL

  • On the life of Amal Ahmed al-Sadah (that’s Mrs. Osama bin Laden #3 to you) and the stereotyping of Muslim women. [Guardian UK]
  • Uganda’s legislation increasing penalties for homosexuality (which is already illegal), including floating the death penalty as “punishment,” has been “shelved” by politicians. [BBC]
  • Could Egypt have its first-ever female president? Buthayna Kamel, a TV show host and activist, has declared her intention to run. [Ms. Magazine]
  • Meet Helen Hyde, 63, of the UK, who has been pushing for punishment for former Nazi John Demjanjuk, who worked at a concentration camp where her aunt and several other relatives died during the Holocaust. [BBC]
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