What does a woman’s past sexual experience have to do with her teaching skills? Just about everything! That’s why the education department in Sao Paolo, Brazil gets all up in the ladybusiness of potential female employees. According to women’s rights activists in Brazil, as cited by The Washington Post, women are required to prove their virginity via a doctor’s note or undergo a gynecological exam to test for cancer. At the direction of the Health Ministry, the education department says they want to ensure that female hires won’t be taking any longterm leaves due to health matters, because the cervix is the only place on a woman’s body where she can get sick. Stay on top of it, Sao Paolo! We wouldn’t anyone with carnal knowledge teaching our children.[Washington Post] [Image of gynecologist's office via Shutterstock]
With the decisions coming out of the Supreme Court these days, I wouldn’t be too surprised if this was how things actually went down in the judges’ chambers. Can I hang out in the fort too if I give the password? [Funny Or Die]
“The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler has been speaking out about violence against women and girls with her V-Day movement for years. But she took things to a whole new level on February 14 of last year: One Billion Rising, her call to action that made headlines all over the world and even prompted celebrities like Anne Hathaway to speak out about gender-based violence. The premise was simple: on February 14, all over the world, women and men were asked to stop what they were doing and dance in the name of ending violence against women. Last year, one billion people “rose and shook the earth” through dance to strike back against the startling UN statistic that 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime. One Billion Rising will be back in 2014 for a second round, and we are all invited to participate. This year, Ensler is screening a short film she created with Tony Stroebel about last year’s movement. “One Billion Rising” will be available to watch online on January 19, the same day it’s set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival. The film compiled footage of One Billion Rising from all over the world, and was put together with contributions of filmmakers from 207 countries. Check out the trailer and share it with everyone you know so we can make this year’s movement even bigger.
In the most recent episode of “Downton Abbey” to air in America, the lady’s maid Anna Bates — whose story through four seasons has almost exclusively focused on her romance with her husband — is raped by a visiting valet. It is not the first example of sexual misconduct on the show. But it is the most sexually violent act to occur to any character. Not surprisingly, the incident has been hugely controversial.
When it first aired in the UK, viewers complained about sexual violence on an otherwise fairly frothy PBS program. (I say “fairly frothy” in a nod to the deaths of Sybil and Matthew.) The UK’s media regulatory agency declined to investigate the over 400 complaints made to both the agency and ITV, the channel on which “Downton” airs, saying that it provided a proper warning before the show about the content. But now that it has aired on PBS here in America, a large share of the criticism is coming from feminist bloggers who take issue with how the rape was handled on the show. Keep reading »
Fund Texas Women, a nonprofit that helps support women who seek abortions, has warned that anti-choicers are encouraging members of Christian groups in Texas — where abortion rights have just been gutted — to join an email list of volunteers to take women to abortion appointments. But instead of actually taking women to their abortions, the group Abolish Human Abortion warns, “it’s a wonderful opportunity to minister to an abortion-minded woman for an hour while you DON’T take her to her clinic.”
Or, you know, like, kidnapping. Keep reading »