Tag Archives: feminism

Gloria Steinem Urges Boycott Of “The Playboy Club”

I, for one, am excited about “The Playboy Club,” NBC’s new fall show that sounds like a bonus dose of the sex, drugs and cultural upheaval we’ve come to love from “Mad Men.” (Come back soon, pretty please?) But other ladies are less than thrilled, such as the inimitable Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon/all-around badass who went undercover as a waitress/Bunny at the Playboy Club in 1963 for an exposé in Show magazine. In an interview with Reuters to promote a new documentary about her life, the 77-year-old huffed and puffed, “Clearly ‘The Playboy Club’ is not going to be accurate. It was the tackiest place on earth. It was not glamorous at all.” I take her word for this: her exposé revealed many things to the public about the so-called harmless fun of Playboy Club culture, including how all the waitresses were required to have a pelvic exam and a test for STDs. Let me repeat that: waitresses had to get tested for STDs. “[O]ne of the things they had to change because of my expose was that they required all the Bunnies, who were just waitresses, to have an internal exam and a test for venereal disease,” Steinem said, no doubt with pride. She continued to praise “Mad Men” as “a net plus [for pop culture], because it shows the world of the early 1960s with some realism.” However, she added, “I expect that ‘The Playboy Club’ will be a net minus and I hope people boycott it. It’s just not telling the truth about the era.” Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Sean Hannity Will Not Pay For Your Birth Control, You Whore

  • Why does anyone go on Fox News “talk shows” when they just get screamed at? Sean Hannity burst a vein in his neck bellowing about how if he is not having the sex, he shouldn’t be “paying for” the birth control under the new health care reform laws. People should have “responsibility,” you see, and pay for their own birth control or practice abstinence. Abstinence, as you know, is wonderfully realistic for horny Americans! I wonder if Hannity objects as strongly to paying for other people’s lung cancer treatments, other people’s cirrhosis, and other people’s Five Guys-induced diabetes, which are all things Hannity is already “paying for.” Don’t they have a “responsibility,” too? Anyway, not having sex is clearly a topic this man is familiar with. [Media Matters]
  • Meet Rosie, a golden retriever therapy dog, who recently sat on the witness stand with a 15-year-old girl who was testifying that her father had raped her. Dogs like Rosie cuddle and nuzzle child victims as they sit on the stand and help them keep calm while recounting their stories. Critics are concerned, however, that a cute puppy dog elicits too much sympathy from the jury and will sway opinions. (Yes, this is a Lady News story, because Rosie is a lady dog!) [New York Times]

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Megyn Kelly Defends Maternity Leave In Unlikely Feminist Fox News Moment

Something, dare I say, feminist happened over at Fox News yesterday! Anchorwoman Megyn Kelly schooled her guest, jerkface/conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher, for calling her three months’ maternity leave a “racket” on his radio show. You know, maternity leave — that time a woman takes off work to recuperate after an 8 lb. human being passes through a vagina. Yeah, what a racket that is. At least Megyn Kelly is able to have a sense of humor about with this goon, who is very, very worried that the status quo privileges he enjoys as a white dude are being infringed upon. If a man asked me, seemingly in earnest, “Do men get maternity leave?” — and that’s a direct quote — my jaw would hit the floor. I am not usually a fan of Fox News or Ms. Kelly, but I have to give her a sisterly tip of the hat on this one. (However, the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, so it’s not exactly something America should be proud of. The United States joins Papua New Guinea and Swaziland in countries that don’t offer paid maternity leave.) [NJ.com] Keep reading »

Tide Thinks Your Little Girl Is A Big Ol’ Lesbian Because She Likes To Play With Blocks

Tide’s new “Hoodies & Cargo Shorts” commercial is all about a prissy mom’s squeamishness with her daughter’s tomboyish tendencies. But in case you missed the subtext: Pssst! The mom is worried her daughter is a L-E-S-B-I-A-N! The gay blog Queerty thinks Tide might be “lampooning” the Stepford mom’s behavior — and that’s probably a little of it — but this doesn’t read as satire to me. Advertising, as you know, is meant to connect with people by tapping into their deep-seated beliefs and/or fears. Nothing just “happens” in a commercial, including fanning the flames of homophobia. Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: NYPD “Rape Cops” Sentenced

  • The NYPD officer accused of raping a drunk woman in 2008 was sentenced today. Kenneth Moreno, who was acquitted of rape charges in May, was sentenced to one year in jail for three counts of official misconduct. Moreno and his partner, Franklin Mata, were also kicked off the NYPD. [New York Observer]
  • Anti-abortion groups seeking to gather signatures to put a “fetal personhood” amendment on the ballot have gotten approval from the state government to move forward. Activists need 48,000 signatures in order to put a initiative on the ballot in the 2012 election that will grant fetuses the same rights as human beings and therefore criminalize all abortions. [Florida Independent]
  • Nafissatou Diallo, the housekeeper who was allegedly sexually assaulted in the NYC hotel where she is employed, has filed a civil lawsuit against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund. The lawsuit asks for unspecified monetary damages for physical, emotional and psychological harm. Strauss-Kahn has denied all charges against him. [CNN]

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Penelope Trunk Says Startups Shouldn’t Hire Women Because We’re Too Emotional

Technology startups should not hire women because their crying jags and fit-throwing at the office is too much of a distraction, according to Brazen Careerist and business writer Penelope Trunk, writing for business site BNET.com. Oh, you know us ladies and our hormones. It’s a wonder we get anything done when we’re weeping all the time.

Drawing on examples from her own life, Trunk argues that “diversity” may be an ideal that businesses in general strive for — studies have shown that a diversity of opinions and ideas is very healthy for a company — but that startups are so pressurized and intense that less diversity makes things run more smoothly. Since a hell of a lot of startups are run by men, Trunk advises the guys not to bring women on board because they will be “emotional” and “difficult.” Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Reader Submission Edition!

As you read this, I’m on a beach with my toes in the sand and a trashy novel on my lap. Jealous? You should be. Anyhoo, Today’s Lady News will be a reader submission edition! Submit your own links to news articles and blog posts about women, girls, trans-identified people, gender roles, feminism or sexism in the comments. Just write a sentence or two summary explaining what the link is about and give everyone a heads up if it has language or imagery that’s NSFW. Be back on Monday! Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Victim’s Lawyers Claim Dominique Strauss Kahn Sexually Harassed Stewardesses

  • Air France may have had an unofficial policy to only allow men to work in first-class when ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn flew on the airline because he may have sexually harassed female flight attendants, according to the French newspaper Le Parisien. DSK was accused in May of sexually assaulting a housekeeper at a New York City hotel. Even on the day he was arrested by NYC police, DSK allegedly barked at an Air France stewardess “What a nice ass!” as she prepared the cabin for take-off. Lawyers for his alleged victim are soliciting testimony from Air France employees who experienced “inappropriate behavior” from DSK in the past. Well, that’s just lovely, isn’t it? [New York Post]
  • The American Psychological Association voted unanimously today to support legalizing same-sex marriage as “the policy that the country should be moving toward.” [Think Progress]

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San Francisco Smacks “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” For Misleading Women About Abortion

abortion photo

First Resort, a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” in San Francisco, has until the end of the month to change its advertisements misleading women about abortion-related services — or else. “Crisis pregnancy centers” often look like women’s health clinics and advertise about pregnancy counseling and services; they claim to help women pay for prenatal care and give them free diapers and other baby supplies. However, CPCs are frequently run by religious organizations and don’t have actual medical professionals on staff; instead, they “counsel” women to not have abortions. Thus, the SF city attorney sent First Resort a cease-and-desist letter warning them about its ads that “appear to be designed to confuse or mislead consumers.” The SF Supervisor Malia Cohen also introduced an ordinance on Tuesday that would punish CPCs for using misleading statements in their ads that make it seem like they provide abortion or counseling for abortions. Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Lesbian Couple Saved Lives In Norway Massacre

  • Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen are a married lesbian couple who were camping on the island of Utoya in Norway when the shooting massacre occurred. Together they saved 40 teenagers by taking their boat on four trips back and forth across the lake to bring the kids to safety. An astounding 92 people were killed in the massacre by a right wing extremist gunman. Who knows how many more may have died if not for Dalen and Hansen’s bravery? [Guardian UK]
  • Bill O’Reilly has somehow linked women’s health care and “breastfeeding stuff” to unemployment. My brain hurts trying to make sense of this. [Think Progress]
  • DC Comics chiefs are addressing their lack of female characters. [IndieWire]

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