Violent sexual assaults in the military have increased by 64 percent since 2006, according to a recent Pentagon report. Let me repeat that number: 64 percent.
But few days ago, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta made it clear she doesn’t consider this to be a valid problem. “Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact,” said Trotta, who also dismissed the Pentagon’s new support programs for sexual assault victims as a waste of money: “I thought the mission of the armed forces was to defend and protect us, not the people who are fighting the war.”
Ex-Marine Sarah Albertson is not having it. Albertson, who served as a Security, Governance, and Economics Analyst in the USMC from 2003 to 2008, wrote an open letter responding to Trotta’s inflammatory remarks and has created a Change.org petition calling for Fox News to fire her. Says Albertson: “Nowhere in my enlistment contract, not even in the fine print, did I agree to sexual assault as a part of the job.”
Click here to sign the petition, and read the full text of Albertson’s letter after the jump. Keep reading »
Here’s a picture of the witness table at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is discussing access to contraception and comprehensive healthcare. Let’s play a quick game of “Count the uteruses,” shall we? Oh, right, there are none. At least there’s a second panel coming up, which will include … wait for it … four more men. Said Rep. Carolyn Maloney before walking out of the hearing in protest: “I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”
That’s a really excellent question. [Think Progress; Huffington Post; Maddow Blog]
Your daily reminder that as screwed up as our government’s attempts to control women’s bodies is sometimes, it could be worse: female TV presenters in Afghanistan have been warned by the government to lay off the makeup and wear veils more frequently. The Information & Cultural Ministry asked TV networks to require women to wear a veil and forgo “dense makeup” in respect to “Islamic and Afghan values.” The ministry was reportedly pressured to make this advisement by a council of Islamic religious scholars. The continued policing and controlling of women’s bodies is just another example of how misogyny is still very much afoot in Afghanistan. [AFP]
“Grooms get in free!”
That’s the generous offer from Austin Monthly, my local glossy society rag, for its “Couture, Cakes and Cufflinks,” uh, “Bridal Bash.” There’s nothing particularly unusual about this kind of shill party, and that’s what makes it particularly offensive. It’s every disgusting wedding narrative rolled into one day-long event that women are actually expected to pay to attend.
There’s so much to hate about mainstream wedding culture — the consumerism, the gender policing, the fucking consumerism, the body-shaming, did I mention the consumerism? — but perhaps the wedding-related narrative that pisses me off more than any other is the idea that men are incapable of being interested in weddings and must be coddled and babied so that their delicate wedding-hating sensibilities are not offended. Keep reading »
“Sadly the propaganda campaign launched in the 1960s has taken root. The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.”
This is a passage from GOP candidate Rick Santorum‘s 2005 book It Takes A Family; it seems like he’s suggesting women shouldn’t be in the workplace. When questioned this weekend by George Stephanopolous about this passage, Santorum said that it was his wife, Karen Santorum, who wrote that part — even though his name is the only one credited as an author and she isn’t credited in the acknowledgements as someone “who assisted me in the writing of this book.” When pressed this weekend, Rick Santorum said, “I don’t know — that’s a new quote for me … the bottom line is that people should have equal opportunity to rise in the work force.” I’m not even going to address how silly it is that someone is blaming his wife for a line in his book. Instead, let’s talk about how tone deaf this guy is about women in the workplace: poor women and women of color have pretty much always worked in America. It wasn’t a choice; it was a necessity. Apparently Rick Santorum — or his wife? — are just upset when middle-class white women go to work, too? [New York Times] Keep reading »