Category Archives: News

From women’s health to feminism to politics – news that’s real and relevant to you.

Lena Dunham Asked Her Twitter Followers Why They Use Birth Control

Lena Dunham Asked Her Twitter Followers Why They Use Birth Control
Real Talk: Birth Control
real women talk about birth control
Part one of our Real Talk on real women's birth control options. Read More »

In light of the last month’s ruling by the Supreme Court that some employers with religious objections to birth control can deny coverage to female employees, Lena Dunham asked her followers Twitter to start an conversation about why we need the stuff in the first place.

The responses she received served as a reminder that there are about a million reasons that someone may rely on birth control — and that you don’t need a reason in the first place. Conservatives, take note. Keep reading »

New Book Claims Bill Clinton Has A Mistress Whom Secret Service Agents Call “Energizer”

Bill Clinton 072314

Hillary Clinton might be about to run for office, so that means rumors of her husband cheating are reappearing right on schedule. The latest scuttlebutt comes courtesy of a new book about Secret Service agents called The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents. In it, author Ronald Kessler claims Bill Clinton has a “buxom blond mistress” who visits the former president so frequently at his Chappaqua, New York, home — when Hillary’s not around, of course — that the agents call her “Energizer.” Says Page Six: Keep reading »

Real Talk: On Debra Harrell’s Arrest, Motherhood & Race

Real Talk: On Debra Harrell's Arrest, Motherhood & Race

In last week’s Mommie Dearest column, I wrote about Debra Harrell, a South Carolina mother who was arrested for “abandoning” her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s. (Just yesterday we learned that Harrell has been let go from her job.) I had mentioned in my post that Harrell is Black, prompting a few folks to ask why I needed to note her race. Instead of penning my own response, I thought it would be a good idea to hear from women of color who are mothers. We gathered for a virtual roundtable to discuss Harrell’s situation and  explorehow race impacts motherhood in the United States today. Meet:

Our conversation begins after the jump: Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On Trigger Warnings & Facing Trauma

The Soapbox: On Trigger Warnings & Facing Trauma

When I got to my friend’s place for my self-defense lessons last week, he told me we were going to do basic self-defense techniques and toward the end, simulated assaults. The simulated assaults were walk-bys: We would walk across the room in opposite directions and he would either do nothing, or he’d very suddenly grab my throat and wrist. The purpose was to train me to react quickly and correctly if it were to happen to me in real life.

But it had happened to me in real life, and after the first or second walk-by, I wound up having visceral, vivid flashbacks to my former partner putting me in arm locks and finger locks, pinning me, kicking me, putting his hand over my mouth, pushing my head into the floor or the bed. I hyperventilated and cried, and my friend hugged me and helped me calm down. He also didn’t let me stop, because the things I experience will upset me sometimes and I still have to know how to handle it, especially when physical danger is involved.

Which brings me to trigger warnings. Keep reading »

What A Relief: The Real Larry From “Orange Is The New Black” Is Not Such A Schmuck

It’s strange that my own story has now been told in my wife’s memoir and, in a way, by the Netflix adaptation of it, yielding such delights in my inbox as a link to an article called “A Guide to the Internet’s Love of Hating Larry Bloom From ‘Orange Is the New Black.’” What can you do with that? Well, I read every word, clicked on every link, and laughed my ass off, appreciating the passion and level of detail that went into documenting the love of hating Larry Bloom. And when my friend’s teenage daughter texts me to say that she just wants me to know I am so much cooler than that guy, I appreciate that, too. …  I stuck by Piper because it never occurred to me to do anything else. I later signed a marriage contract with Piper Kerman, and a life rights release with Jenji Kohan and Netflix. And now, here’s my version of the story. If you ever meet me, I hope you’ll discover I am neither the saint of Piper’s book, nor the schmuck of a hit show.

Never before have pop culture consumers of the world been united in such certainty: we hate Larry Bloom, Piper’s ex-fiance on “Orange Is The New Black.” Just seeing Jason Biggs’ face on my computer screen brings on the douchechills. ‘Tis a pity for real-life Larry, an editor and writer named Larry Smith, who finally opened up about being half of Netflix’s most famous couple in a long essay for Medium. Keep reading »

Hollywood Sucks At Depicting LGBT Characters Onscreen

brokeback mountain
  • According to a study released today by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, only 17 of 102 films released by Hollywood’s seven largest studios during 2013 depicted gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans characters. Those characters were mostly minor roles and ones which portrayed the sexual orienation negatively. Of the films which did portray LGBT folks, they were more than twice as likely to portray gay male characters than lesbian or bisexual ones. So, you’ve got more work to do, Hollywood. (P.S. “Brokeback Mountain” obviously didn’t come out in 2013, but I couldn’t resist and excuse to post a pic of the hot Heath/Jake kiss.) [GLAAD.org via IndieWire] Keep reading »

It’s Time To Cry: Bride’s Favorite Mascot Walks Her Down The Aisle After She Loses Her Father

Bride And Mascot
So Sweet

When Jennifer Sullivan unexpectedly lost her father to a heart attack six months before her wedding, she brought in her favorite mascot to walk her down the aisle. “I knew that I would be thinking about him the entire time,” Sullivan told WSVN News. “I knew I needed to do something really special to take my mind off of it and make the moment as lighthearted as possible.” Sullivan is a hardcore University of Miami fan, and a former employee of the school’s athletics department. Sebastian, the Miami Hurricanes mascot, was all too happy to step in on her special day, wearing a jersey with her late father’s nickname, Big Walt, on the back. It couldn’t have been a more fitting tribute. [CosmopolitanWSVN News]

Homeless Pets Are Now Featured In Some Ikea Showrooms

Ikea Dog
I Love My Dog
Amelia is terrified of losing her dog, Lucca. Read More »

Ikea stores in Tempe, Arizona, and Singapore have teamed up with Home for Hope and the Arizona Humane Society to add life-sized cardboard cutouts of homeless animals to its showrooms. The cardboard critters, which are based on real photos of shelter cats and dogs, will be placed in the spots a real-life pet might hang out — on couches, rugs and bunk beds. The cutouts even have bar codes customers can scan to learn more about the animals. So far, all six of the pets featured in the Tempe store have found homes, and more cutouts will be placed in the store starting on July 29. Here’s hoping this spreads to other stores! [Apartment Therapy, Business Insider] [Image via Home For Hope]

True Story: I Was In A Date Rape Play

True Story: I Was In A Date Rape Play

It’s freshman year of college, and Janie and Dave are best friends. They do everything together – hang out in their dorm rooms, go to the dining hall, walk around campus. Their friendship is great, until one night, they decide to head to a “fraternity party.”

At the party, Janie and Dave drink alcohol. When they decide to leave, Dave walks Janie back to her dorm room – to be sure she gets there ok, of course. Once inside, Dave confesses that he loves Janie. He starts to kiss her and gets on top of her. Janie is confused, saying that she’s not sure about this…

I’m sure you can fill in the rest.

This is the plot of a play in which I once starred, called quite aptly “The Date Rape Play.” It was the summer before my junior year of college. I was cast in the play — and, crucially, paid $200 — in order to perform it for groups of incoming freshman, who Needed to Know About Date Rape. The play was written by an adult trying desperately to be “down” with the way the kids talked and acted. Sample lines included: “Have you heard about the date rape drug, Rohypnol?,” “I don’t know, I’m worried people will be drinking alcohol there,” and “You got the look girl, work it!” My fellow theater kid friends and I thought it was the best thing we’d ever seen. Keep reading »

Start Stockpiling Hershey’s Bars, Because Chocolate Prices Are Going Up

Start Stockpiling Hershey's Bars, Because Chocolate Prices Are Going Up

Hershey announced last week that its prices would increase due to a rise in the cost of chocolate ingredients. Very soon, those amazing Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme bars (or am I the only one who likes those?) will now cost eight percent more, and so will every other treat the company makes. Other candy companies will probably follow suit. The price increase is effective immediately, and it’s time to stock up on chocolate in case the price goes up even higher in the future.

By sales, Hershey is the top candy maker in the US, and it also sells 40 percent of dark chocolate in the country, so we’re pretty much at its mercy to cut us a deal on our chocolate fix. The rise in the price of ingredients can be attributed to a growing chocolate market in Asia, and chocolate consumption is still rising in the US, which makes the demand that much greater. Researchers have predicted that there could be a one million-ton international cocoa bean deficit by 2020. Halloween is going to be a struggle this year. [Quartz]

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