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Today’s Lady News: Performing Sexual Favors Totally Fine For Women In Politics, Says Italian Dude

  • It’s totally OK if women use their bodies to get ahead in politics, advises Giorgio Stracquadanio, an ally of Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister of Italy (who has made plenty of sexist comments himself). Stracquadanio added that, in his opinion, a woman performing sexual favors to get ahead would not be grounds for dismissal. Being a woman working in Italian government must be a ball. [Telegraph UK]
  • Investment banking firm Goldman Sachs is being sued for sexual discrimination. Three women are seeking a class action lawsuit against the bank, claiming they were held back from raises and promotions because of their gender. [New York Observer]
  • Who amongst us does not want to hear Rush Limbaugh’s opinion on Ines Sainz, the sports reporter who was sexually harassed by the New York Jets? [Media Matters]

Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Bryan Batt, AKA Salvatore Romano On “Mad Men”

Bryan Batt photo

It would be easy to hate Bryan Batt.

He breathes the same air as Jon Hamm, playing the closeted gay art director Salvatore Romano on “Mad Men.” He counts Christina Hendricks and Jane Krakowski from “30 Rock” among his besties. And you wouldn’t know it from “Mad Men,” but this Louisiana native has the dreamiest thick Southern accent.

But how could you hate someone who is just so darn nice? Bryan profusely apologized for playing phone tag with me because he was busy taking care of his elderly mom (aww!) and then generously chatted from the back room of the home furnishings store, Hazelnut, he owns in uptown New Orleans with his partner of 20+ years, Tom Cianichi. Can you say “down-to-earth”?

After the jump, find out if Bryan thinks Sal will ever return to “Mad Men,” what it was like playing Lumiere the candlestick on Broadway’s “Beauty & The Beast,” and how he felt seeing Jon Hamm’s handsome mug for the first time. (Answer: amazing.) Keep reading »

Quotable: Bristol Palin Needs To Work On Moving Her Hips

“She’s not ready. She’s very nervous. She’s never performed or done anything like that in her life, so it’s like we’re starting completely from scratch and having to build her confidence and make her feel like she’s doing it well. [Bristol] needs to work on moving her hips and not being shy to be sexy and sensual and womanly when she’s dancing. She’s a little shy, little taken back. She’s out of her element. She’s uncomfortable. It’s new for her. But she’s getting comfortable with it as we go along.”

— Mark Ballas, who is Bristol Palin‘s dancing partner on “Dancing With The Stars,” says the Wasilla teen mom is not quite ready for a hotcha cha-cha-cha. Sounds like her $30K-a-pop pro-abstinence speeches are making it tough to call forth her womanly wiles. [iVillage] Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Columnist Says Ines Sainz Provoked Harassment By “Selling” Her Hot Bod

  • In a column titled “Giving Off The Wrong Signals,” New York Post writer Andrea Peyser blames sports reporter Ines Sainz for being sexually harassed by the New York Jets, writing “all bets were off the minute Sainz declared herself ‘the hottest sports reporter in Mexico’” and questioning “exactly what she’s selling — her sweat and hard work, or her body parts.” Peyser also points out Sainz has posed nude in the past, which apparently excuses being hooted and hollered at for the rest of her life. [New York Post]
  • And it gets better! Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins appeared on a Washington, D.C., sports radio show this morning to excuse the Jets’ behavior by way of claiming Ines Sainz surely found one of the team members “appealing” to her. “I don’t know what kind of woman won’t [find them appealing], if you get to go and look at 53 men’s packages,” Portis said. (Um, Clinton Portis? No one was talking about penises until you brought them up.) The NFL is less than pleased. [Washington Post]
  • The French senate has approved a ban on face-covering Muslim veils, like the niqab and the burqa. France is the first European country to impose such a ban, which will go into effect in spring 2011. [CNN]

Keep reading »

Kate Winslet And Evan Rachel Wood Remake 1945 Flick “Mildred Pierce” For HBO

All right, who is the Frisky reader with HBO who will have me over for the five-night series of “Mildred Pierce”? Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood star as a mother and daughter in a remake of an old black-and-white Hollywood film about spoiled children, indulgent parenting, sex, resentment and redemption. I’ve seen the 1945 original and lemme tell you, it’s juicy stuff, so I can’t wait to see what they do in 2010. Not to mention Kate Winslet in a period piece (lots of red lipstick and finger waves) should give Joan Crawford a run for her money. [Women And Hollywood] Keep reading »

Nancy Pelosi Cast As The “Wicked Witch Of The West” In Campaign Ad

She’s mellllllllting … and she’s the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi is the cackling Wicked Witch of the West in a new “Wizard of Oz”-themed campaign commercial by Republican Congressional candidate John Dennis. An actress playing Pelosi flies in on a jet, jabbing Dorothy, Toto and pals with the end of her broom and shrieking that her flying monkey henchmen, the IRS, will come after them. That is, until John Dennis throws a bucket of water in her face. Keep reading »

Who Dares Hate Lady Gaga?! Camille Paglia Takes Potshots At Mama Monster

If you somehow missed Camille Paglia in any gender studies or cultural studies classes, here is a general (but by no means complete) run down: she’s a public intellectual who is extremely critical of mainstream feminists and accuses them of being the P.C. police; she’s pro-pornography and pro-legalized sex work; she believes masculinity and femininity are essential qualities in each of us that should be nurtured; she argues love and sex are supposed to be passionate, even violent; and she is obsessed with both “high culture” and “low culture,” particularly art and literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the pop star Madonna. To say Camille Paglia is controversial is putting it mildly; quite a few female writers dismiss her entirely as a publicity whore. Personally, I’ve read a few of her books and old Salon.com columns and find some of Paglia’s ideas interesting to think about.

Some of Paglia’s criticisms are spot-on: indeed, the woman whose birth certificate reads Stephani Germanotta was raised in New York City’s Upper West Side, attended the same private school as the Hilton sisters and attended one year of $40K-a-year NYU, and was financially supported by her parents while she launched her music career. Paglia accuses Gaga of a disingenuous identity, writing:

“There is a monumental disconnect between Gaga’s melodramatic self-portrayal as a lonely, rebellious, marginalised artist and the powerful corporate apparatus that bankrolled her makeover and has steamrollered her songs into heavy rotation on radio stations everywhere.”

[Wikipedia: Camille Paglia]

On Snobby Feminists

Feminism has a lot of PR problems. Millions of people around the world believe men should be the heads of families and companies, women are designed to be their help-mates. The idea that women are better parents than men and men are better bosses than women are pervasive, to say nothing of the notion that the sole purpose of a women’s sexuality is to be a receptacle for male genitalia. Famous people who obviously support a woman’s right to be whatever she wants to be hesitate to label themselves a “feminist” out of fear for negative connotations of the word. And to top it all off, every few years some magazine declares, “Feminism is dead!” Seriously, Marmite gets a better wrap. Keep reading »

On Snobby Feminists

Feminism has a lot of PR problems. Millions of people around the world actually believe men should be the heads of families and companies, women are designed to be their help-mates. The beliefs that women are better parents than men and men are better bosses than women are pervasive, to say nothing of the belief that the sole purpose of a women’s sexuality is to be a receptacle for male genitalia. Famous people who obviously are in support of a woman’s right to be whatever she wants to be hesitate to call themselves a “feminist” because of negative connotations of the word. And to top it all off, every few years some magazine declares, “Feminism is dead!” Keep reading »

Hey, Ines Sainz: You Can Be Sexually Harassed And Still Not Feel “Offended” Or “Attacked”

Before this weekend, perhaps only Miss Universe Pageant fans or sports fans in Mexico had heard of Ines Sainz. But today, we know her as a beautiful sports reporter who was sexually harassed by members and staff of the New York Jets football team. Or wasn’t sexually harassed at all. Or is skeptical about whether to label what happened to her. In any case, Ines Sainz may not call what happened to her “sexual harassment,” but she did say this to The New York Post last night: “I felt very uncomfortable … Women should be treated professionally, and they deserve to be treated with respect.” Keep reading »

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