France has introduced legislation to bring 50/50 gender parity to French board rooms by 2015. All companies listed on the French stock exchange would be required to stock their boards with 50 percent women. The affirmative action-like plan would begin with women on 20 percent of board seats in 18 months and 40 percent of board seats within four years. Presently, women comprise only 10.5 percent of board members in companies listed on the French stock exchange. Norway enacted similar legislation in 2003. [Guardian UK]—I love this idea of diversifying talent by overcoming institutional obstacles with quotas. And by way of comparison, the percentage of female board members on U.S. Fortune 500 companies—considering it is the year 2009—is a paltry 15.2 percent. What do you think?
Hooray! There are lots of women on The New York Times‘ “Best Books of 2009″ list! Do you think the diverse offerings are helped by the fact that two of the Times‘ three daily book reviewers, Janet Maslin and Michiko Kakutani, are women? [New York Times]
… but today, New York’s State Senate voted down a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Extreme disappointment. The only good thing to come out of the vote was this rousing, passionate, and impressive speech — above — in favor of passing the measure, by NY Senator Diane Savino. It’s funny, as well as moving and worth watching all 7.5 minutes. [New York Times]
“Saturday Night Live” has hired another female writer! Jessi Klein is the third person with a vagina (not including performers) to grace the current “SNL” writing team. [The Wrap]—Could it be that Klein was hired in response to criticism by former “Letterman” writer Nell Scovell, who complained in Vanity Fair about nearly all-male comedy show writing staffs?
John Marcotte, a rabble-rouser with a great sense of humor, is trying to get a measure on California’s ballot box to bandivorce to make a statement about same-sex marriage, which was outlawed in 2008 to protect so-called traditional marriage between straights. Marcotte told CBS News, “Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage … it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more.” He has a point! [CBS News]
This weekend, The New York Times Magazine profiled psychologist Lori Brotto, who is helping revise the definition of a woman’s low libido for the psychiatrist’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (D.S.M.). The American Psychiatric Association will re-publish the manual in 2012 or 2013, and Brotto is helping to shape how doctors diagnose and treat a low urge towards doin’ it. What might surprise you? Throughout her studies, Brotto has found many women who report a low libido are perfectly capable of feeling pleasure. The problem seems to lie, instead, in their mind’s relationship to sex. [The New York Times Magazine]
A lawyer for one of the lacrosse players involved in an incident at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut on Sunday night said three male students didn’t actually rape an 18-year-old female student, but held her down and joked about raping her. Therefore, these three young men were charged with conspiracy to commit sexual assault. Timothy Sanders, the lacrosse player with whom the victim was having consensual sex and who held her down when his friends entered the room, has also been charged with unlawful restraint. The lawyer called it a “sophomoric prank”—understatement of the year, sir!—and said the victim of this sexually humiliating situation “deserves an apology.” Does he not see how pranking a girl that she is going to be raped goes beyond just plain douchey behavior? [Huffington Post, Newsday, Boston Herald]
Oh, man, this story hits close to home because, literally, Sacred Heart University in Connecticut is in my hometown. According to police, on Sunday night an 18-year-old victim was allegedly having consensual sex with 19-year-old student Timothy Sanders, when he called his two friends from his SHU lacrosse team, Nicholas Travers and Zachari Triner, to join him. Sanders allegedly held the victim down while Travers and Triner sexually assaulted her; when she screamed and struggled, Travers and Triner fled the room. Police said Sanders allegedly asked the victim if he could continue to have intercourse with her. Police have charged all three with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault, while Sanders was also charged with first-degree unlawful restraint. [Connecticut Post]
Lady buffaloes in California are being put on birth control because they’re screwing like bunnies. Sorry, folks, I just thought slutty buffaloes would make you giggle on a Friday afternoon. [L.A. Times]
Conan O’Brien is the subject of pissy Tweets by plus-sized actresses Kirstie Alley and Star Jones after cracking jokes about Alley’s size. Example? A recent earthquake drill in California might have just been a response to Alley jazzercising. [New York Daily News]—Ah, fat jokes: the province of lazy comedians. Maybe he could mix up his repertoire and do ugly jokes, too? And for her part, maybe Alley could practice what she preaches and stop drawing so much attention to her own weight.
An analysis by George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services found that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to Obama’s health care reform bill would “produce industry-wide effects, leading to the elimination of health plan coverage for nearly all medically indicated abortions.” The GW study arrived at this conclusion after examining how “the health benefits services industry adjusts its products over time to conform to the regulatory environment in which it operates.” [George Washington University Medical Center]
Poor women in developing countries will be most negatively affected by global warming, according to a new report by the United Nations Population Fund. Weather-related natural disasters are likely to affect how they get their food, water and energy. [BBC]