Arkansas’ state House of Representatives advanced a bill yesterday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. The bill is based on the medically unproven theory touted by anti-abortion advocates that 20 weeks is when a fetus can feel pain. Keep reading »
Did you know that House Republicans go on a retreat every year? (I imagine Democrats do the same, by the way.) Do they serve tea sandwiches and practice trust falls? Who knows. On last night’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” Maddow discussed one of the scheduled retreat activities we do know about (which took place between between archery and crafts, I assume): a lecture of sorts taught by pollster Kellyanne Conway on how the GOP can better talk to female voters and get their conservative messaging across. One of the things Conway focused on what the subject of rape, which was a popular topic for more than handful of dingbat GOP politicians up for reelection in 2012. Nearly all of them lost their respective races, in part because of how offensive their comments about rape (and how it relates to abortion) were to their female constituents. So what did House Republicans learn from Conway? As one GOP strategist put it, “This is actually pretty simple. If you’re about to talk about rape as anything other than a brutal and horrible crime, stop.” Conway’s advice to GOP representatives, according to The National Review, was ”to tread carefully on language, particularly on sensitive matters such as rape, which she called a ‘four-letter word’ that should be used sparingly, or not at all.” In short, “Don’t say rape. Ever,” said Maddow.
Maddow brings up an interesting point — do Republicans actually think they have a policy problem with women (i.e. that their policies are unpopular with female voters and they need to change them) or just a language problem (i.e. it’s the way they talk about those policies that’s the problem, not the policies themselves)? Watch the full segment above!
Following a spate of gang rapes in India in the past several months, the Times Of India newspaper is running quarter-page ads imploring men to treat women with respect through the stark statement, “The true test of your manhood is how you treat a woman. All women. Any woman. Every woman.” I’m pleased the newspaper is questioning traditional aspects of toxic masculinity, like “rash driving” and “drunken brawls,” which some men do think defines their manhood. Yet I also think their conclusion about proving your manhood by behaving a certain way (even if it’s the right way) is problematic: “If you do not respect women, you are only half a man.” That’s the flip side of the same thinking that says guys aren’t manly if they don’t want sex all the time. Just like sexist expectations of femininity can imprison women, sexist expectations can imprison men, too. I’m all for eradicating rape culture everywhere. But the answer isn’t to tell men to act like “real men,” it’s to tell them to act like good human beings. [Our Mobile World]
“Don’t look like trash, don’t get drunk, don’t be sick down your front, don’t break your heels and stagger about in the wrong clothes at midnight. This is bad. It’s not me being a snob about it. It’s not me being an old woman talking to young women, its just standard practice for how our species should behave. Don’t behave badly. … I promise you it is better to look after yourself properly, which means behave properly, be polite, be on time, dress properly – I don’t mean dully – but don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home, because somebody will take advantage of you, either they’ll rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you. … I am now an old lioness, if I see my young ones getting out of order, I’ve got to be able to say to them this is not how lions behave. This is not right.”
– Here’s Joanna Lumley, who plays Patsy on “Absolutely Fabulous,” making comments to the UK’s Telegraph that have infuriated a lot of folks for victim-blaming. Newsflash, Joanna: women still get raped if they “behave properly” and “dress properly.” Believe me, I understand the concerns about young women and binge drinking — but these comments are pretty gross for all the “don’ts” they place on women alone. The problem is the robbers and the rapists, not women who dare to get drunk or wear a “silly dress.” [Telegraph UK]
A pregnancy resulting from rape or incest is evidence and having an abortion is “tampering with evidence,” according to a new bill introduced yesterday in New Mexico which would legally require a rape victim to carry a fetus to term.
Presumably Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican, will also criminalize tampering with evidence by taking a shower after a rape, too? Keep reading »