Beatriz, a 22-year-old woman in El Salvador with severe health problems, was refused a lifesaving abortion of a fetus with severe birth defects by the Supreme Court of El Salvador yesterday. The country has a strict ban on all abortions, regardless of any threat to the health or life of the mother. Beatriz, who has a malfunctioning kidney, lupus and other health-related issues, appealed to the court to terminate her pregnancy. The fetus, in its 26th week, has a severe birth defect in which parts of its brain are missing. It is not expected to live more than a few hours after birth.
As quoted in The New York Times, one of Beatriz’ lawyers said, “The court placed the life of the anencephalic baby over Beatriz’s life. Justice here does not respect the rights of women.” Keep reading »
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? That’s what LeanIn.org, the organization established by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work And The Will To Lead, wants you to ask yourself. Would it be calling yourself a writer or a musician? Would it be asking for more money? Would it be standing up to men who sexually harass you? In this touching video and accompanying essay by Sandberg herself, Lean In challenges women to face our fear and stop being afraid to take risks. The ode to ambition is not an all-encompassing solution, but it’s a great start — just the encouragement a lot of us need. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? [LeanIn.org, IfUWerentAfraid.Tumblr.com]
To: Tour Coordinators
Subject: Hot D Intern Prospect
One of my friends from college, [sic] just graduated and is trying to intern on the Hill this summer. She is a smoke show from FSU, but she happens to be a Dem so I’m having trouble finding her a spot. She’s a smart girl and has worked for FEMA. She’s real cool and gets along with everyone. If one your interns falls through or you can squeeze another in, give her a shot.
Florida ties, from Tampa.
This is an email sent from a House Republican staffer to a congressional email group. I’m not sure whether I should be more offended by the misused comma or the fact this person trumpets his prospective intern candidate is “hot” and a “smoke show” (which also means hot). Just kidding, it’s not the comma. Sigh. Yes, we all know that’s the most important about a summer intern: whether she’s pretty to look at. [Roll Call]
“Biggest mystery? Women. No one understands them. They don’t even understand themselves. Books and books and books have been written about it, and no one understands it. Men are very easy to understand. Very basic, very simple.”
– One of your elected officials, folks! This is Republican State Senator Bill Kintner speaking with Lincoln, Nebraska’s Journal Star in what should have been a puff piece …. buuuut ends up with him sounding like a doof. LADIES! THEY’RE SO CONFUSING! Kintner also revealed that he was single for 47 years before he married his wife. Let me repeat that, 47 years. I hate to break it to you, sir, but it might just be you who doesn’t understand women. And now you’re governing us. Sigh. [JournalStar.com] [Confused woman photo via Shutterstock]
One day in college, during track practice, I wore a bandanna to my work out. I was having a spectacularly bad hair day and that thin piece of printed cloth made me feel safe from criticism. My coach, who was a hard ass, wasn’t having it and ordered me to take it off immediately. I ran back to the locker room, did my best to make my mane look presentable but still, I cringed as I walked back to the track, embarrassed of what my teammates would think.
Like many black women I know, I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my hair. If it didn’t look good, I didn’t feel good and often it dictated whether I would have a good or bad day. But my own criticism of my hair wasn’t something I could have ever controlled; it was something that started with my ancestors, long before I was born. Keep reading »
I know you care about the opinions of a man who, in 1977, gave a Quaalude and champagne to a 13-year-old girl before he raped her. This weekend, filmmaker Roman Polanski said that the birth control pill has “masculinized” women and taken the “romance” out of our lives. You know, the romance of yore, like giving drugs and alcohol to 8th grade girls. Keep reading »
On Sunday and Monday you’re binge-watching “Arrested Development,” I get it. But set your DVRs now for Tuesday night at 10 p.m. for “Outlawed In Pakistan,” a new documentary airing on the PBS program “Frontline.” The film by Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann, follows a teenaged girl named Kainat Soomro, who accused four men of gang rape at age 13 at great risk to her own life. Like other women who try to go through Pakistan’s justice system, she’s found herself being shamed, doubted, and threatened by a culture that blames the rape victim more than her perpetrators. One family member of one of Kainat’s accused rapists even told the two female filmmakers, “There will be murders over this.”
You can learn more about the film at PBS.org. It will air on Tuesday night and then be viewable online. I know I’ll be watching. [Frontline: Outlawed In Pakistan]
Huffington Post reporter Laura Bassett snapped this photo Wednesday at a House of Representatives hearing regarding a proposed nationwide 20-week abortion ban spearheaded by Republican Rep. Trent Franks. If you look closely, you will see a dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, and yup, one more dude. EIGHT MEN! At a hearing on abortion rights! Dudes! Legislating women’s bodies! [Twitter; Huffington Post] [Photo via Laura Bassett]