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Today’s Lady News: FBI Definition Of “Rape” Criticized

Today's Lady News
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  • The FBI’s working definition of “rape” was roundly criticized on Friday at a meeting of police chiefs, sex crime investigators, and victims’ advocates. The definition of rape used by the FBI is “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” But that definition does not take into account sexual assault cases where the victim was penetrated against their will orally, anally, with an object, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and male victims. Therefore, the number of sexual assaults released by the FBI’s annual crime report are drastically under-reported. In response, the FBI has agreed that the definition of “rape” should be revised. A subcommittee will take up the issue at an Oct. 18 meeting. [New York Times]
  • Filmmaker Roman Polanski has apologized, sort of, to the woman he  drugged and sodomized as a 13-year-old girl. “She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press,” Polanski told reporters at the Zurich Film Festival. That’s probably as good as it’s going to get, sadly. [Videogum]
  • Visiting Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi condemned audience members’ booing of a gay soldier at a recent GOP presidential debate. [Think Progress]

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Today’s Lady News: French Women Say Au Revoir To “Mademoiselle”

Today's Lady news
  • Parlez-vous feminism? French feminists are storming the Bastille (not really) over use of the honorific “mademoiselle,” which means “miss,” because they say it is demeaning to define women by their marital status. I wholeheartedly agree and appreciate the 1970s’ feminists who popularized use of the term “Ms.” as a general honorific for women. French feminists leading the protest are hoping “madame” will overtake “mademoiselle” as a counterpoint to “monsieur.” Good luck, ladies! I mean, women. Womyn? Wimmin? Just … good luck. [TIME]
  • Obligatory “What’s Your Number?” article about a woman’s number of sex partners. BREAKING NEWS: it doesn’t matter. [Vancouver Sun]
  • A seven-year-0ld girl responds to DC Comics’ sexed-up reboot of Starfire, an alien member of Teen Titans. (Thanks to reader Jim for the link!) [io9]

Today’s Lady News: Idaho Court Blocks Abortion Law

  • An Idaho woman won a court order on Friday to block a law that makes a woman who ends her own pregnancy a criminal. Jennie Linn McCormack was arrested and charged earlier this year for having an abortion with RU-486 pills she ordered online. By terminating her own pregnancy, McCormack ran afoul of a 1972 Idaho law. Enforcement of that law is now temporarily banned, pending a further ruling from the judge. The judge failed to advance a separate lawsuit by McCormack challenging Idaho’s ban on abortion after 20 weeks, claiming she no longer had legal standing to demonstrate she would be harmed by the law. [Wall Street Journal, Reuters]
  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, has asked a Bronx court to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed against him by a hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault. Strauss-Kahn claims he has diplomatic immunity and therefore cannot be sued. Prosecutors for the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, dropped criminal charges against him after she was found to have lied about some items on her immigration asylum paperwork. [The Griot]
  • After a recently published book accused the White House of being a sexist workplace, Vice President Joe Biden defended his boss on “The View” saying, “I look around … I don’t see any [sexism].” [The Hill]

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Today’s Lady News: On Being Over 50 And Pregnant

  • New York magazine has a controversial piece about whether it’s unethical — morally, biologically, etc. — to be 50+ and pregnant, which is now possible thanks to science. Rather than wrap my head around that conundrum, I’m going to marvel at what it must be like for this kid to have a big brother who’s 35 years older. [New York]
  • The first African woman to win a Nobel Prize has died at age 71. Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist and feminist, paid women to plant trees to fight erosion and create firewood. [New York Times]
  • Amber Rose says people hate on her all the time because she’s a woman. There’s probably a lot of truth to that. [Clutch Magazine]
  • Celebs who want you to know they are not feminists. [The Gloss]

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Today’s Lady News: Reader Submission Edition!

Sadly, Miss Jessica is still the ill communication so Today’s Lady News will be a reader submission edition again! 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. Speedy recovery, Jessica! Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Reader Submission Edition!

Hey there! Jessica is out sick today with the flu so 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. Jess should hopefully be back tomorrow — thanks! Keep reading »

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