A school district in Michigan has banned two pregnant teen girls from showing their bellies in the high school yearbook, claiming it goes against the school district’s abstinence-only sex ed policy. “It’s our feeling … that (the photos) could very well be a contrary message to (the state policy),” White Could Public Schools Superintendent Barry Seabrook said. “We’re not saying they can’t have their photos in the yearbook.” But they do have to reshoot waist-up photos in the yearbook if they want to be included.
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A 28-year-old man gave the abortion pill to his six-weeks-pregnant girlfriend without her knowledge, causing her to have an abortion. John Andrew Welden has been charged with first degree murder and product tampering.
His girlfriend, Remee Lee, became pregnancy in February and was “elated” about it, according to the AP. But Welden didn’t want her to have a baby, so he gave her Cytotec — a pill taken in conjunction with mifepristone as part of the abortion pill (also called a medical abortion) — leading her to believe she was taking the antibiotic Amoxicillan. The girlfriend had visited Welden’s father, an OB/GYN, and Welden lied to her and said that his dad had warned him that she had an infection. Then he forged his dad’s signature on a prescription for Cytotec (AKA Misoprostal) and gave it to Lee with a label reading “Amoxicillan.” Trusting her boyfriend was telling her the truth, Lee eventually got abdominal cramps and began bleeding and went to the hospital, only to be told she had been given the abortion pill without her knowledge. Keep reading »
It’s never really a good year for the Bechdel test. But is it possible that things are degenerating for women in film? According to a study done by USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, the answer is yes. A study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith found that over the five years that the researchers looked at — 2007 to 2012 — the most recent, 2012, was the worst for women onscreen. Annenberg’s study found that:
“Out of 4,475 speaking characters on screen, only 28.4 percent are female. This translates into a ratio of 2.51 males to every 1 female on screen. 2012 reveals the lowest percentage of on-screen females (28.4 percent) across the 5-year sample. Only 6 percent of the top-grossing films in 2012 featured a balanced cast, or females in 45-54.9 percent of all speaking roles. Just over a quarter of all narrators (27.5 percent) are female.”
Additionally, women who appear onscreen are depicted more sexualized, especially in the 13- to 20-year-old age group. Last year, over half (56.6 percent) the women in that age group was shown in “sexy attire.” Keep reading »
Gee, don’t you just love that in the battle to train men to not rape, you have the security secretary of Hong Kong, Lai Tung-kwok, stomping on all our efforts by suggesting women just drink less? I do. It’s my favorite. Having the government permit men to not taking responsibility for their actions and place the onus of avoiding sexually assaul on women is just fabulous. Especially when this was the knee-jerk reaction to a 60 percent rise in reported rapes and an 18 percent rise in reported sexual assaults. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the director of the Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centers responded, “There’s a lot of stigma that’s given to the victims. The remarks he made are proof of a culture that blames victims for doing something ‘wrong,’ like drinking.” The fear is that women won’t report abuse because they fear being blamed and shamed. Rape culture, it’s great.
[Wall Street Journal]
Is there a penalty for a woman who breaks through the glass ceiling and, then, from her position of power, admits that she struggled with mental illness in her past?
Yesterday New York City’s Speaker of the City Council and the Democratic candidate for mayor Christine Quinn revealed in the New York Times that she had suffered from bulimia and alcoholism for a good portion of her life. Quinn explained how her mom suffered through breast cancer throughout Quinn’s childhood and after her mom died, binge eating and purging gave her a brief feeling of relief. It was also in college that Quinn binge drank to the point of developing alcoholism. She checked into a rehab center at age 26 and got control of her eating disorder and her problematic drinking; it wasn’t until three years ago that Quinn, who is also the first mayoral candidate to be openly gay, went entirely dry.
Christine Quinn’s admission echoed another powerful woman’s recent decision to go public about a private struggle: “Morning Joe” cohost Mika Brzezinski revealed in MORE magazine that she has suffered from exercise bulimia for many years, meaning that she binges on food and then over-exercises to burn off the calories.
Brzezinski and Quinn aren’t the only two well-known women to admit to mental illness: Carrie Fisher and Catherine Zeta-Jones have both been public about their struggles with bipolar disorder, Lena Dunham talks about her OCD, and plenty of other celebs have been open about their mental health struggles, too. But I suppose that Christine Quinn and Mika Brzezinski fascinate me in particular because they both work in fairly male-dominated fields — the mainstream media and politics — that aren’t known for being warm and fuzzy. Keep reading »
This past Monday night, women and quite a few men brought their most honest queries to WNYC hoping to glean some wisdom on “How to be a Grown A$$ Women.” Lindy West, of Jezebel, fielded the questions (and threw in some of her own), and the panel included the expertise of bloggers Twanna A. Hines, Jolie Kerr and Logan Sachon talking about relationships, cleanliness and money, respectively.
Prior to the event I was trying to pinpoint when I felt like a grown-up. Was it when I got my first post-college job working for a U.S. Senator? Was it when I moved into a new apartment, actually washed my dishes and cleaned my toilet? I think it was when I built my own bookshelf. I certainly felt empowered as I stared at the squat, three-shelved product of my sweat and blood.
What I do know is that since going back to school, I stopped feeling like a badass independent working woman. It slipped away when I turned in my Senate I.D., and when I moved into student housing. It has been a slow decline ever since student loans instead of paychecks populated my bank account. I joke that I’m “not a real person” anymore.
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