An anti-choice Oklahoma law goes into effect on Nov. 1 requiring the data of every abortion performed in the state to be posted on a public web site. The doctor performing the abortion must answer deliberately misleading questions like, “Was there an infant born alive as a result of the abortion?”. Though the doctor isn’t revealing the woman’s name or address, Broadsheet said the first eight questions of the questionnaire would identify any woman living in a small town. “They’re really just trying to frighten women out of having abortions,” Keri Parks, director of external affairs of Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma said. [Salon.com Broadsheet]
The FBI said that in 2008 reported rapes were at their lowest level in the past 20 years. Roughly 89,000 women reported a sexual assault in ’08, compared to 109,062 women who reported rapes in 1992. [USA Today, UK Times Of London] — The use of DNA in rape reporting could be sending more repeat rapists behind bars. But it’s also possible that the number of rapes hasn’t actually gone down and only the number of reported rapes is decreasing.
Filmmaker Roman Polanski has been denied a request to be released from jail after Swiss officials busted him in Zurich over a week ago for a 1977 incident in which he gave a 13-year-old girl drugs and alcohol and then raped her. Polanski served 42 days in jail for the rape, but had been living abroad since 1978, when he fled the country on the day he was scheduled to be sentenced for additional time. [Fox News]
The mother of a convicted rapist might be headed to jail after she used her position as a social service worker to find damaging info about her son’s victim. Victoria Munson of Johnstown, NY allegedly performed dozens of illegal computer searches on social service and motor vehicle databases looking for dirt on the woman her 25-year-old son raped. [NY Daily News]—Because having sped through a red light once means you had it coming when you were raped.
Egyptian lawmakers have called for a ban on importing the Artificial Virginity Hymen kit from China, a $30 kit that leaks a blood-like substance when inserted and broken, allowing women to fool men into thinking that they’re virgins. [Fox News]—Hmm, how about a ban on the degrading notion that a woman is only valuable if she hasn’t had sex before? Just a thought!
President Obama included “same sex couples” in a speech last week when he declared Sept. 28 “Family Day,” but some gay activists say they’re not impressed and want him to be a stronger advocate for LGBT families. [L.A. Times]
Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made a stupid joke about Barack and Michelle Obama‘s dark skin, calling it a suntan. According to the AP, he told a crowd in Milan he was bringing well wishes from the United States from “what’s his name? Some, tanned guy. Ah, Barack Obama!” He then continued, “You won’t believe it, but the two of them went to the beach, because the wife is also tanned.” [Essence]
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Showtime’s “Californication” is about a horny novelist. But this ad, which just shows David Duchovny flanked by college students’ legs, is still gratuitously objectifying women’s bodies. Good shows can still have sexist ads! [Showtime]
Shock #1: Rosalind Miran-Ramirez of California discovered her nipple was bleeding. Shock #2: Her insurance company, Blue Shield of California, sent her an emergency room bill for $2,791 because “an emergency did not exist.” When Miran-Ramirez filed an appeal, her insurance company stood firm, saying they would not cover the cost of her bleeding nipple because she had not shown “any acute distress.” [Think Progress, hat tip to Feministing]
A 14-year-old girl in England died after being given a dose of the Cervarix vaccine, which protects against some strains of HPV, which causes cervical cancer. The U.K. began vaccinating 12- and 13-year-old girls in September 2008 and is also giving older teens the vaccine, too. So far, one million girls have safely received Cervarix in the U.K. [BBC]
The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network hotline has reported a 26 percent increase in phone calls since Mackenzie Phillips told Oprah that she had an incestuous relationship with her father, John Phillips. RAINN also said website traffic has increased 83 percent since Phillips’ appeared on “Oprah” earlier in the week to promote her book High On Arrival. A RAINN spokeswoman said it is common for rape reports to increase after such a public confession. [ABC News]
Police arrested a pilot for stalking his ex-girlfriend by hovering a low-flying airplane over her home. Several dozen residents of Concord, CA called to report that Tom Huey’s single engine aircraft was too close to a house, which turned out to belong to his ex. Huey is held on $155,000 bail on suspicion of felony stalking and violating a restraining order. [Fox News]
The percentage of homeless female veterans is growing at a higher rate than male veterans, according to advocates for the homeless, with roughly 740 former women of the military living on the streets. This number is extremely troubling because only 15 percent of the U.S. Army is female. [CNN]
“Spontaneous ejaculation,” supposedly a medical condition, is no excuse for acting like a creep! A Singapore judge ruled recently against 28-year-old Chong Weien, who got nabbed splooging on a fellow student’s thigh in 2006. Ew! Weien, who is also a National University of Singapore student (in psychology, ha), was riding a bus when he pressed his crotch up against some chick’s thigh and blew his load. She took him to court for an “outrage of modesty,” which the judge agreed with, despite testimony from two doctors who said Weien does indeed suffer from a “spontaneous ejaculation” problem. Hmm, maybe it was the fact that creepy Weien was jailed for 15 months and caned three times in 2002 for a similar conviction? [Straights Times, hat tip to True/Slant]
Gender equality got its due today at the former president’s Clinton Global Initiative. Diane Sawyer moderated a panel with the head of Women For Women International, the head of the World Bank and several big-time CEOs. Clinton himself told guests at the session, “Whether the issue is improving the involvement of young women and girls in education, to climate change and all political, economic, and social issues in between, I think empowering women is central to what the world has to do in the 21st century.” Damn straight! [AP]—He probably thinks people could start by showing some respect to his wife!
Christina Aguilera talked about the domestic abuse her father wrought on her family in an E! documentary, explaining how she has dealt with his abuse of her and her mom and how she has dealt with the after-affects as an adult. [Guanabee]—I caught most of the show on E! this weekend and respect Xtina so much for how she has overcome that crap!
Amanda Hess at The Sexist blog braved “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” scribe Tucker Max‘s website for a mathematical breakdown of his hilarious jokes about Mexicans, gays, women and the disabled. A general formula for Tucker-ian humor: [Universally recognized bad thing] + [surprise reversal] x ["edge"] x ["shock value"] = Tucker Max joke. [The Sexist]
Brigham Young University, a Mormon college, canceled a Greek tragedy hours before curtain at the Annual Greek Festival. Content in “The Bakkhai,” to be performed by the University of Utah, was deemed inappropriate for BYU students. Director Larry West indicated this referred to sex, wine and “losing one’s inhibitions.” [UWire.com]—Seriously, this school didn’t realize a Greek tragedy wouldn’t involve lots of sex?
On Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke in favor of health care reform, reminding us that women still face bias from insurance companies which can still legally deny coverage to women based on “preexisting conditions like having a C-section or having had a baby.” Studies have shown women can be charged more than men of the same age when shopping for the same insurance policy. [Washington Post]—You tell ‘em, Michelle!
A 12-year-old boy in England, who hopes to be the youngest person in the world to have a sex change operation, came back to school this year donning a dress with his hair in pigtails. When bullies began picking on him, his school called the kids together for an assembly and told children only to refer to the boy by his new name. Now some parents are complaining that the school tossed a “hand grenade into the room” because they’re stuck answering their kids’ questions about gender-reassignment surgery. [Daily Mail]—Hey, it’s a teachable moment, parents.
Brigitte Harris, 28, of NY told Queens Supreme Court she castrated and then killed her allegedly sexually abusive stepfather last year so he would not abuse anyone else. Harris said she got the idea from Lorena Bobbit, who castrated her husband in 1993. [NY Post]