Chicago resident Kathy Cleaves-Milan is suing her former landlords, Elm Creek Apartments, for evicting her due to “criminal activity” after she reported to police her ex-boyfriend had shown up at her apartment brandishing a gun. The company said it was concerned about potential gun violence, but it was afraid Cleaves-Milan could not have paid her rent without her ex. An attorney for the ACLU Women’s Rights Project said her landlord’s actions put women in the position of being trapped with an abuser so they don’t lose their housing. [Chicago Tribune]
Last November, a police officer in London, responding to the U.K.’s version of a 911 call, left a woman in an apartment with a rapist without further inquiry. On Monday, Vitas Jalonis was found guilty of raping the 32-year-old victim. However, police officer Matthew Harris is now under investigation for responding to an emergency call from a neighbor who heard the victim screaming, but then taking Jalonis’ word for it when he answered the door and said everything was OK. Hours later, after the victim had been raped again, she called police herself and Jalonis was finally arrested. [BBC]
Hillary Clinton told NBC’s Ann Curry she won’t run for president again and plans to retire after she wraps up her Secretary of State gig with Obama. [Politico]
All kinds of things were wrong with a front page story on the New York Times about the Roman Polanski case. The worst offense is how the author drew a parallel between Polanski giving a 13-year-old girl Quaaludes and raping her with the Woody Allen film, “Manhattan,” in which Allen’s character is dating an 18-year-old played by Mariel Hemingway. Thirteen and 18 are two entirely different universes when you’re talking about maturity levels, not to mention one was real life and one was a movie. [New York Times]
Ralph Laurenmodel Filippa Hamilton has a stomach, really she does! Don’t let this airbrushed-to-sh*t Ralph Lauren ad on the left fool you. [Daily Mail]—At least the company apologized, sort of. A spokesman for Ralph Lauren said “we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body.”
A transsexual with gender dysphoria in England who has been living as a woman for the past 10 years has been fighting since 2006 for the UK’s National Health Service to pay for her breast implants. The woman, known only as “C,” has already undergone hormone treatments to become more feminine but said a boob job is essential to her identity. [UK Telegraph]
Let me guess—all the crazy cat lady game pieces in the oh-so-ironic “Crazy Cat Lady Game” are single? [Urban Outfitters]
A former patient of Dr. Phil McGraw, Oprah’s self-help guru, has accused him of sexual assault. Shirley Dieu filed a lawsuit on Wednesday claiming Dr. Phil trapped her in his production office and groped her breast. [NY Daily News]
Were you appalled yesterday when you learned that after November 1st in Oklahoma, all data regarding a woman’s abortion will appear online per state law? Then brace yourself, dearies. Here’s some of the utterly useless information that state is collecting about each woman who wants to terminate her pregnancy: date of her abortion; county in which abortion is performed; her age; her marital status; her race; her years of education; her state of residence; her total number of previous live births, miscarriages and abortions. SCARY.[Think Progress]
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]