Fathers, lock up your daughters: the government is going to be forcing slutty slut pills down their throats!
That will be the Fox News version of events. But here in Reasonable, Common Sense-land, the story is different: a federal judge — a man! — has struck down the age limit on the morning-after pill, meaning sexually active young women age 16 and younger will be able to access it. Ruling on a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Judge Edward Korman decided that the government’s refusal to lift the age restriction is “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” and said the FDA’s feet-dragging has been an “obstruction.” He ordered the FDA to lift the age restriction within 30 days.
Reproductive rights activists pushed the FDA for years to make Plan B accessible to all and in 2011, they finally did. But it never happened: Health and Human Services Secretary swiftly overruled the FDA recommendation to make Plan B accessible to everyone, citing alleged concern about its safety for young teens — but in reality, kowtowing to a game of keep-conservatives-happy hardball. Keep reading »
Over the past few months, India has been racked with high-profile gang rapes and deaths of little girls and women. From the three sisters under age 11 who were sexually assaulted and murdered to the student who was gang raped with a metal rod, which mangled her insides so badly it eventually killed her, the brutality of the country’s rape culture is horrific. One of the main problems with the rape culture in India has been placing the onus on the victim instead of the perpetrator — society as a whole, including police, had been blaming women for being out in public where they could be attacked, instead of punishing the men who hurt them.
The new laws aren’t perfect. First of all, as legal scholar Karuna Nundy for the BBC notes, the laws only protect the “modesty” of women, not boys, men or transgender folks. Additionally, marital rape is still legal (including if the wife is a minor ages 15 through 18) and homosexuality is still criminalized.
Alas, it is with cautious optimism that we welcome India’s new spate of laws criminalizing rape and other acts of violence which went into effect yesterday. Keep reading »
Late last month, in the midst of several recent and prominent examples in the steady stream of stories about the challenges that women in the tech industry face, Complex.com published its list of “The 40 Hottest Women In Tech.” Tone deaf move, fellas! People were understandably upset. Maybe if it had been published a month or two earlier or later, a big website that caters explicitly to the libidos of straight dudes tossing up a list that ranks accomplished women on a scale of “hotness” would have just been another eye-rolling example of the sort of overt-yet-casual sexism that women in the industry (and many others) have to deal with on a regular basis. But the timing couldn’t have been worse. The author of the piece, Luke Winkie, went to The Daily Beast to explain why he’d taken the assignment and how, after his editors got their hands on it, it didn’t turn out the way that he’d planned.
Luke is my friend, and I know the position he was in: Dude is a young freelancer who got offered almost a month’s rent to write something that he knew was kind of shitty. He thought that he could make that shitty thing a little bit better (he wrote at the Beast that he “got the idea that maybe we could make a list called ‘The Hottest Women In Tech’ sound as earnest and empowering and good-hearted as it could possible be”), and then it didn’t work out. I’m not here to defend the guy – he can do that himself – but I can relate, because I had been in similar positions in the past. When you’re a straight, white, cisgender dude who benefits materially from living and working in a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic society, it’s easy to overestimate the amount of power you have. Keep reading »
Finally, something positive happening for the reproductive rights of women in Kansas. Four years after abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was fatally shot by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder in Wichita, Kansas, his clinic is re-opening.
Activist Julie Burkhart, who worked with Dr. Tiller for seven years, started the nonprofit organization Trust Women Foundation in 2010. The foundation purchased Tiller’s old office, and after raising nearly $1 million, is ready to open the South Wind Women’s Center.
There will be some changes: unlike under Dr. Tiller, the clinic will not provide late-term abortions. The Kansas City Star reports that despite the fact that Kansas allows abortions 22 weeks into a pregnancy, the clinic’s cutoff will be 14 weeks. South Wind Women’s Center will also provide other women’s heath services including fertility counseling and other routine health care, like Pap smears. Keep reading »
I am a single, 25-year-old woman who is still in graduate school. I can hardly see down the road to my next assignment deadline, or even what I’ll make for dinner. Yet the ongoing discourse about women in the workforce has me thinking (and generally pretty terrified) about the future.
In a New York Times article, “Woman in a Man’s World,” Irene Dorner, the chief executive of HSBC USA, shared her regrets about not pushing to change the status quo for more women than just herself while she climbed the finance ladder on Wall Street.
Like Sheryl Sandberg, whose book Lean In has received flack for telling women to be more aggressive, Dorner says there is a “sticky floor” problem in conjunction with the glass ceiling. She does not necessarily believe that women of Wall Street need to be more like men, but does highlight a difference… Keep reading »
Usually movies like Tyler Perry’s “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” are right up my alley. You don’t see a Tyler Perry film because you’re under any illusions it will be good. At their best, Perry movies excel at hitting the sweet spot of terrible, the kind of bad movie you can’t wait to pick apart with your friends afterward. Why else did I go see “Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2″ in theaters? I was under no illusions I was seeing a good film. I wanted a glorious waste, and boy, did I get my money’s worth. Michael Sheen’s evil laugh was worth the price of admission alone.
Like Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room,” Perry’s films aren’t so much made as they are loosely cobbled together, and it’s fun to point out the seams in his craftsmanship. The sound design is terrible, the acting is all over the place and the film takes place in about seven different genres simultaneously. “Temptation” can’t decide if it wants to be a melodrama, high camp, a morality play, a broad comedy, a Lifetime movie or a potboiler, so it makes the proceedings into a $5.99 buffet — a little bit of this, a lot of that, doused with camp and unintentional humor. Douglas Sirk would have loved Tyler Perry.
However, despite my best efforts to find the film funny, there’s something immensely troubling about the morality slopped in with Perry’s genre stew. The film is about a Christian woman’s destructive sexual awakening and an affair that leads her away from her marriage. “Temptation” initially feels like a rebuttal to readers of Kate Chopin (or, heaven forbid, E.L. James) showing how passion can destroy the stability we take for granted. The main character is the therapist for a “Millionaire Matchmaker”-type who has her wandering eye on a billionaire client. He looks like a male model, is named Harley and drives a red sportscar. He espouses the belief that humans should have sex like animals. [Spoilers after the jump!] Keep reading »