The UK boasts universal healthcare, tea flowing like wine, and Conservatives who sound like our Democrats when it comes to gun control and reproductive justice. A foreigner unfamiliar with the journalism landscape in the UK would have no reason to question the country’s progressive values.
The Sun is the UK’s widest-circulation newspaper and is read by more than two million people every day. It is published by News UK, a subsidiary of News Corps, and owned by Rupert Murdoch – i.e., it’s about as far right as the UK gets. I never purchased The Sun, but for the entire four years I lived in the UK I saw it most days I ventured out of my house; it’s absolutely everywhere. The paper costs £2 (just under $4.00), boasts amazing sports coverage, celebrity and political news and a TV guide. But where The Sun sharply diverts from newspapers we’re used to in America is on its third page. Page 3 is a cultural institution: in every issue for the past 40 years, there has been a topless young woman on the third page, referred to as “Page 3 girls.”
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I guess the good ol’ boys of Texas get started early.
The progressive Texas politics blog Burnt Orange Report reported on Friday that nearly 1,000 high school-aged boys gathered in early June for the annual, nonpartisan Boys State conference, where they learn firsthand about politics. The students are split into two fake parties, the Federalist Party and the Nationalist Party, and are meant to learn basic civics lessons such as how to run for office and pass legislation. Another conference for young women in Texas, called Girls State, is held separately. Sounds as wholesome and American as apple pie, yes? Keep reading »
The Supreme Court ruled today [PDF] that employers with religious objections to birth control are not required to cover contraception in health insurance plans for women under the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores owned by evangelical Christians who oppose birth control. The Obama administration had made a variety of concessions for religious employers like churches and religious non-profits, but this ruling affects for-profit businesses. (According to Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog, this ruling will not apply to publicly held corporations, just family-owned businesses when the owners in question are clearly religious.)
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Growing up, I played a lot of catch in the backyard with my dad and male cousins. Every time I missed the ball was a golden opportunity to remind me that I “threw like a girl.” It never bothered me — I’m just glad he taught me to throw a baseball!— but this ad by Always shows the more harmful side of phrases like that one. Since when does acting like a girl equate to behaving like an idiot? [NYMag.com]
Yoko Ono’s breasts, a model’s ass, and a vagina are front in center at an art show in Paris. It would be just another day in the art world if the person behind it wasn’t one of hip hop’s greatest assets. Which begs the question: Does Pharrell Williams have a woman problem?
The Oscar-nominated musician was recently tapped to curate a modern art show at Galerie Perrotin in Le Marais section of the City of Lights. I was rather excited to check it out on the recommendation of a friend. The show is called “G I R L,” taking its name from Pharrell’s recent album. The themes, according to press coverage in the art world, are a celebration of femininity and of women.
The exhibit featured 37 artists — 18 of them women, including Tracey Emin, Cindy Sherman, Sophie Calle. Marina Abramovic, and pieces by the Guerrilla Girls critical of women’s exclusion from the upper echelons of the art world. Yet upon entering the gallery featuring more than three dozen pieces of art curated by Williams, I felt safely uncomfortable, if that makes sense. Keep reading »