Friday afternoon wasn’t just any old Friday afternoon: it was also Hillary Clinton’s last day of her four-year-long tenure as Secretary of State. Her successor, Senator John Kerry, was sworn in on Friday in a private ceremony and may do just as well a job as Hill did. But he certainly won’t give us any GIFs where he gets his freak on bumping and grinding,
So, what do we think Hillary Clinton is going to do with all her free time now? Text Meryl? Nag Bill about his diet? Plot world domination? [Photo: Getty]
The Obama administration released new details this morning about which religious employers will be exempt from covering the cost of birth control under health care reform — which the Associated Press describes as a “broader opt-out.”
The Health and Human Services Department announced this morning that businesses which object must “self-certify that they are non-profits with religion as a core part of their mission,” according to The Huffington Post. For example, you can’t just object to covering women’s preventative care if you are, for example, a religious Catholic who objects to birth control and also happens to employ people working at a nonprofit animal shelter. Additionally, if a religious nonprofit refuses to provide coverage of contraception, a third-party health insurer must handle the coverage for women who want it. Keep reading »
February 14th isn’t just Valentine’s Day: it’s also V-Day, the day dedicated to raising awareness about violence against women. The playwright Eve Ensler, whose play “The Vagina Monologues” is performed all over the country on V-Day to raise money for local shelters and crises centers which help women, is commemorating this year with One Billion Rising. The One Billion Rising campaign is asking people all over the world to go on strike for the day, and to hold gatherings and parties to protest against the violence instead. I won’t be striking, but I have been sending Eve Ensler’s “Man Prayer” video to some of the men in my life. It’s recited by men and boys from around the world, each in their own language. The prayer for men asks them to question toxic masculinity which are constricting, like solving problems by hitting, holding negative feelings inside and seeking to control. No matter what your faith, I think any feminist can join their hands together in this prayer. [YouTube]
Did you know that House Republicans go on a retreat every year? (I imagine Democrats do the same, by the way.) Do they serve tea sandwiches and practice trust falls? Who knows. On last night’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” Maddow discussed one of the scheduled retreat activities we do know about (which took place between between archery and crafts, I assume): a lecture of sorts taught by pollster Kellyanne Conway on how the GOP can better talk to female voters and get their conservative messaging across. One of the things Conway focused on what the subject of rape, which was a popular topic for more than handful of dingbat GOP politicians up for reelection in 2012. Nearly all of them lost their respective races, in part because of how offensive their comments about rape (and how it relates to abortion) were to their female constituents. So what did House Republicans learn from Conway? As one GOP strategist put it, “This is actually pretty simple. If you’re about to talk about rape as anything other than a brutal and horrible crime, stop.” Conway’s advice to GOP representatives, according to The National Review, was ”to tread carefully on language, particularly on sensitive matters such as rape, which she called a ‘four-letter word’ that should be used sparingly, or not at all.” In short, “Don’t say rape. Ever,” said Maddow.
Maddow brings up an interesting point — do Republicans actually think they have a policy problem with women (i.e. that their policies are unpopular with female voters and they need to change them) or just a language problem (i.e. it’s the way they talk about those policies that’s the problem, not the policies themselves)? Watch the full segment above!
Abortions could be banned as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant, under a new bill proposed in Arkansas. Keep reading »
In South Florida, one man’s romantic gesture to his wife has turned into a legal battle with the DMV and a moment to reflect on traditional gender roles. Keep reading »
This is disgraceful: a 15-year-old Chicago high school sophomore named Hadiya Pendleton died yesterday in a park where she was murdered as a bystander to gang violence. Less than two weeks prior, Hadiya and her classmates performed in Washington, D.C., for President Obama’s Inauguration ceremony. The Chicago Tribune reports that Hadiya and other students from King College Prep School (one of the top prep schools in the city), were dismissed from class early on Tuesday and so they went to hang out in a park. A gang war broke out and Hadiya, a majorette and volleyball player, was caught in the fray. In addition to her death, a 16-year-old male classmate was also injured and is in serious condition. [Think Progress]