Go read this funny comic strip on how to improve street harassment, courtesy of Slog tipper MacCrocodile.
(PS. I like your shoes. They look really practical but also stylish.)
“This is a significant issue of police misconduct that goes to the heart of dignity and self respect,” Egan states. The lawsuit claims privacy violations including plaintiffs being taped urinating on camera and women recorded while changing. Egan says that some of his clients were also groped and had their breasts grabbed by male officers while their hands were cuffed behind their back. None of the women were searched by female officers, which Egan and his partnering law firm on the case, Connelly Law Offices, say violates state law addressing both strip searches and voyeurism.
“These were blatant civil rights violations committed against our clients,” states Julie Kays, a lawyer with Connelly's firm and former King County deputy prosecutor specializing in sexual assault cases. “If this had happened to any other person outside of jail, we would call them Peeping Toms. That's what they were. They had no legitimate purpose to view the intimate parts of their bodies, to view them using the bathroom, to videotape it, to make fun of our clients, and to violate their privacy.”
Kays and Egan, a DUI defense lawyer, characterize their clients as first-time offenders pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. None of their clients were being booked into the jail, they were simply being held on temporary detention while taking a breath alcohol concentration (BAC), yet all were instructed to change into jail uniforms for prison booking photos—a practice that both Egan and Kays characterized as highly unusual.
Furthermore, a series of records requests conducted by Egan systematically over the past two-plus years has revealed a pattern of male officers directing women into holding cells to change into the jail uniforms, where, unbeknownst to them, discreet cameras captured their every move. Meanwhile, male detainees in similar circumstances were directed to change behind a curtain. “All the men I obtained in these videos changed behind the curtain,” Egan stresses. “While some women were specifically directed by officers to take off their bras and panties—after already changing into a jail uniform,” which seems to indicate that male officers are watching the women undress.
“These Puyallup police officers have a heightened security protocol that seems to apply specifically to women—maybe women they deem as attractive,” Egan adds.
By contrast, Egan says that DUI suspects in other jurisdictions are simply brought into a holding cell, asked to sit in front of a BAC machine, answer questions, and released to face charges at a later date. They're not asked to change clothes and “if they have to use the toilet at that time, there are no hidden cameras," Egan explains.
Not only were the women filmed changing and using toilets that lacked privacy stalls, officers allegedly made obscene and degrading comments to the women after filming them getting undressed and urinating. As Egan explains, one officer allegedly said to one suspect, “You're a redhead—are you red downstairs, too?” and “You've got a great body.”
Today, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office issued a statement confirming that public hospital districts that contract with religious hospitals cannot refuse to provide reproductive services like abortion and contraception if they offer any form of maternity care.
"A public hospital district that provides, directly or by contract, maternity care benefits, services, or information to women, through any program administered or funded in whole or in part by the district, must also provide the substantially equivalent benefits, services, or information required by RCW 9.02.100 and .160," Ferguson's statement reads. (Note the broad language! There is very little room left for wiggling!)
The statement was issued in response to a letter sent by state Senator Kevin Ranker (D, Orcas Island) earlier this year, asking for clarification on the responsibilities of religious hospitals—which are merging with public hospitals in unprecedented numbers—to provide a full range of reproductive healthcare to patients.
Ferguson acknowledges that refusing women access to their full reproductive and family planning options violates the 1991 voter-approved Initiative 120, otherwise known as the Reproductive Privacy Act, which declares that residents have a “fundamental right to choose or refuse” birth control or abortion. The law prohibits the state from discriminating against women's healthcare rights through “regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services or information.” It also requires the state (including public hospital districts) to provide equal parity for maternity care and contraception/abortion services.
"People should be excited that the attorney general affirmed what Washington voters have affirmed seven or eight times now—that women and men have the right to make their own reproductive choices," says Lisa Stone, Executive Director of the women's legal rights group, Legal Voice. "Maternity services in this state are defined very broadly, and the attorney general has made it clear that if any public funds are used for maternity services, cleverly structured transactions [i.e. hospital mergers] should not succeed in stripping women's right to contraception and abortion."
"It would be a rare hospital that does anything around women's reproduction that could say it wasn't providing any maternity care services," Stone adds.
That's the good news.
Amanda Marcotte writing for Slate:
Things had been good for Wichita, Kansas, anti-choice fanatics in the years since one of their own forcibly closed down the town's sole abortion clinic by shooting its doctor dead in the middle of his church. With Dr. Tiller gone, the anti-choicers didn't have to spend so much time endlessly protesting and obsessing over his clinic, giving them more time for quiet contemplation about how liberals and feminists will destroy civilization with all their genital-touching. But now there's a new clinic in town where Dr. Tiller's used to be, and irate anti-choice groups are petitioning the city to have it shut down.
Their reasoning is that the clinic, the South Wind Women's Center, provokes them into harassing the people going in and out of it, and because they understand that they are super annoying people, they would like the provocation taken away.
Better yet, an intra-fundamentalist controversy has erupted over the question of exactly how provocative the clinic is. One group says that medical workers providing private abortion care are deliberately provoking gun violence and have to be stopped before some hapless responsible gun owner who brings a gun to an abortion clinic ends up in jail because a meanie doctor pushed him to murder. The other groups say that while they fully agree that the clinic is making them harass its workers and patients, it's a step too far to suggest they're pushing anyone to shoot at them.
Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
A Missouri legislator asked the federal court on Wednesday to exempt his family from contraception coverage through the state insurance plan, saying it violates his religious beliefs as a Catholic.
Rep. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, and his wife, Teresa, filed suit in U.S. District Court downtown against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and two other federal agencies. It asks the court to declare that the mandate for contraception coverage in the federal health-insurance law, known as Obamacare, violates their First Amendment freedom of religion.
While there have been other lawsuits filed by companies seeking an exemption from the Affordable Care Act's contraception coverage mandate because they don't want their employees accessing birth control (because they're controlling assholes and/or religious bigots), it seems like this is the first exemption lawsuit filed by individuals. Aside from the "religious freedom" argument, Wieland says he doesn't want to set a bad example for his daughters by, uh, allowing his wife the option of controlling her own fertility (he refers to all contraceptives as "abortion-inducing drugs," which is demonstratively false).
So... providing more options for families is tantamount to trampling on religious freedom? Aren't the Wielands free to ignore the birth control coverage, or am I missing the ACA clause that states federal agents will be force-feeding Mrs. Wieland birth control, along with all other religious conservative women out there?
This morning Bustle founder Bryan Goldberg apologized for his arrogant and insultingly clueless blog post from earlier this week, where he announced the launch of his new "women’s publication" while simultaneously dismissing every great feminist website that already exists. (Here's a refresher, if you missed it.)
I’m disappointed in myself, because my blog post completely overshadowed the women who are working hard at Bustle to build a valuable site. I came to these editors with the proposition that we could put together a ‘dream team’ of skill sets and bring a great publishing company to life. Not just great editors, but also software engineers, investors, and ultimately ad sales people. We achieved the goal of building a great team, bringing in talented writers, and launching a sleek product…
And my blog post completely took away from that.
This is a brand new site that still needs time to develop and evolve, and putting the team through this has added needless pain to that effort.
My blog post not only spoke about Bustle’s voice on behalf of the editors, but it also put them in a tough spot with the claim that we are trying to do something completely different.
You can read the full thing at PandoDaily.
The apology is not posted on Bustle. In fact, none of this controversy has been addressed on Bustle. While I appreciate the apology, and I'm glad Goldberg recognized that it was a mistake to write off all the great blogs and magazines that have existed for many, many years, it still doesn't undo the mountain of shit Bustle writers will have to overcome in order to be taken seriously, and that's partly because Goldberg is still the one continuing to speak on Bustle's behalf. While he has been quite vocal about the blog's controversy, Bustle's writers, the female voices he claims he's trying to showcase have been quiet on the matter. And that's a bummer! Goldberg should shut up, step back, and let them take the reins—let those strong voices prove that they're not just his new cash cow, and that they are, in fact, at Goldberg says, bringing something new to feminist writing. So far, though, they're regurgitating news on Egypt (which is better than nothing, I suppose), posting about Justin Timberlake's Instagram account, and keeping everyone up on Real Housewives drama.
I tried to tell Goldberg as much on Twitter yesterday, but he blocked me. Sad face. I guess he's not carefully reading all the criticisms from his blog post...
It reads like an Onion story: Successful male entrepreneur raises $6.5 million in venture capital to start a feminist website which, he says, he plans to "make a fortune" off of.
Sadly, it's not a joke.
Yesterday Bryan Goldberg, founder of Bleacher Report, announced that he has launched a new website called Bustle, which is going to do what "Jezebel, Refinery29, and PopSugar" do, but with a profit. He says he "aims to completely transform women's publishing" and has hired "talented women with experience at Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Daily Beast, and Seventeen" to lead the editorial team.
He says, "Are there many great women's websites out there? Absolutely. Are many of them attracting huge audiences and mainstream advertisers? No."
Is that what's been missing? Pop-up Tampax ads with dancing ladies in colorful dresses? Finally! A man has come to rescue the feeble feminist blogging industry with his cutting-edge concepts!
Don't worry, he's not going to be a voice on Bustle—he's leaving that to the women. Goldberg says:
My job, as CEO, is to hire the right people. My job is to know a lot of engineers, editors, venture capitalists, and salespeople — and to bring them together. Knowing the difference between mascara, concealer, and eye-liner is not my job.
Oh for fuck's sake, dude. Seriously? Do you want us to hate you? Saying shit like that will really make us hate you. To make him even less likable, Goldberg has also gotten a kick out of working in a female-dominated environment. He's taken to Twitter to express just how kooky these adult "girls" can be:
Women's Website Drama — one of the ladies didn't get the bowling ball all the way to the pins. Maintenance guy on the way...— Bryan Goldberg (@bgoldberg) July 19, 2013
Some bar mitzvah videos can't wait until 11 AM:
Sam is a man now, people! (Via Gawker.)
For seven nights out of every month, my boyfriend soaks his balls in a bathtub of 118-degree water for 45 minutes. He crams his six-foot-four frame into our claw-foot bathtub and sweats profusely as a constant stream of hot water slowly kills off enough sperm to render him infertile for the next few weeks.
He does this so that I don't get pregnant.
This approach may seem dramatic—it is—but there are very few options available to men who choose to take control over their fertility. Vasectomies and male-driven condom use account for about a third of current contraceptive action in the United States, but the permanent nature of a vasectomy isn't ideal for couples who, like us, would like to spawn at some point in the future. Condoms make the most sense, are super-important in the effort to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections, and are highly useful as barricades against wily sperm on the hunt for an egg. But one of the many pleasures of being in a long-term, monogamous relationship is not having to worry about such diseases, and we really don't want to have to rely on condoms every time we have sex until I reach menopause.
The Guardian has her well-written story:
I am 17 years old and I am a feminist. I believe in gender equality, and am under no illusion about how far we are from achieving it. Identifying as a feminist has become particularly important to me since a school trip I took to Cambridge last year.
A group of men in a car started wolf-whistling and shouting sexual remarks at my friends and me. I asked the men if they thought it was appropriate for them to be abusing a group of 17-year-old girls. The response was furious. The men started swearing at me, called me a bitch and threw a cup coffee over me.
For those men we were just legs, breasts and pretty faces. Speaking up shattered their fantasy, and they responded violently to my voice.
Shockingly, the boys in my peer group have responded in exactly the same way to my feminism...
As a side note, I've noticed that internet bellyachers have two main complaints about these types of posts: The experiences women describe are either a fluke ("I talked to my wife and her friends and they've never blah blah blah"), and thus their experiences are worthy of dismissal, or the stories are all the same, which somehow makes them not newsworthy. Boring. Mundane.
I post them because the common refrain in these narratives is intolerable—that women are casually physically and verbally assaulted by strange men every day, but then they're assaulted deliberately and with malice if they refuse to be complicit in their own abuse. It's not boring; it's indefensible. Absolutely indefensible.
It happens every day to 15-year-old girls, it happens to 50-year-old women, and as long as it keeps happening, I'll keep pointing it out.
A Republican Super PAC prominently features a game on their website that allows users to slap former secretary of state and possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton across the face. The game is being hosted on the website for The Hillary Project, an anti-Clinton Super PAC that lists its address in Nashua, New Hampshire, according to FEC filings, and has Christopher M. Marston, a Republican campaign finance consultant and former member of the Bush administration, as its treasurer.
What's a little violence against women between friends? Har har har. You feminazis just don't know a good joke when you see it. Etc.
On at least two separate occasions, Texas police publicly searched the body cavities of women during routine traffic stops. These stops have been recorded on police car dashboard cameras, and the victims of the searches have filed federal lawsuits in response. I learned about this story from Leslie Salzillo's post on Liberals Unite, which explains the most recent case very clearly:
What amazes me about this story, is not only is this an illegal, sexually-violating police search, but that it happened on a public road, for anyone driving by to see. These two women were pulled over, for allegedly throwing a cigarette out of the car window. They were given full body internal searches.
Gloves were not changed between probes, nor were they changed between women. Under Texas law, this is considered sexual assaults/rape.
I don't understand how anyone could make a case that the police are in the right, here. And I feel horrible for these women, who had absolutely no good options. Had they refused the search, they likely would have been arrested, whereupon authorities would have given them body cavity searches anyway.
But I also want to say that I don't think the public needs to see the videos of these searches. Both the New York Daily News and Liberals Unite posted the dash cam videos—they're on YouTube, nearly a million people have watched them—and I just don't understand the purpose of publishing a video of what appears to be a sexual assault. If the facts of the incidents written in plain English isn't enough to get the horror of what happened across to your readers, you should probably get out of the blogging business. I'm not going to post these videos on Slog; I don't recommend that you watch them. They're terrible and will make you feel bad and adding to the view-counts of the videos feels like exploitation to me.
In the final installment of Anita Sarkeesian's Damsels in Distress miniseries, which examines women's roles in video games (here are parts one and two), we are introduced to that rare bird known as the dude in distress, who must be saved by an empowered lady. Sadly, in games that feature gendered role reversals, heroic women possess shit powers—like the power of mood swings.
Sarkeesian also confronts the concept of "ironic sexism" in video games, which is making a comeback with 80s-style nostalgia remakes: "It's the I know, that you know, that I know this is sexist, wherein the underlying assumption on the part of media makers seems to be that as long as the sexism is overt, obvious, or over the top, it then it somehow loses it's cultural power and is no longer a problem."
It's Friday. Go ahead and watch the whole thing:
University of Wisconsin research shows that young girls who have been physically abused don't tend to release cortisol—the "fight-or-flight" hormone that boys release—in stressful situations; instead their bodies respond with oxytocin, sometimes called the "cuddle chemical" (which is the thing that makes females want to bond—perhaps especially, and especially inconveniently for the modern woman, after orgasm). The hypothesis is that biologically, when young females are stressed, their bodies may actually go toward the mating imperative, so that they form relationships and get their genes out there sooner before, you know, they perish.
Of course, young girls who are abused may not be around the greatest people to form relationships with. Still, though, their own bodies' chemical response may drive them to it more and sooner.
"For example, release of oxytocin in a stressful or threatening situation or in the context of an inappropriate sexual partner or peer may lead to trouble for these girls," [UW-Madison psychology professor Seth] Pollak says. [Leslie Seltzer, a postdoc, and her team conducted the research.] "Indeed, abused girls are at heightened risk for early puberty and initiation of sexual behavior, teen pregnancy, and selection of aggressive, violent partners."
The UW-Madison article indicates that the corresponding paper is in the latest issue of Child Development, but I can't find it, and it looks like it's behind a paywall, anyway. (Too bad; I would also like to read "'Two for Flinching': Children's and Adolescents' Narrative Accounts of Harming Their Friends and Siblings.")
Thanks again, Nature.
It's simple, really. Laws like the Texas one Cienna wrote about yesterday—ones that are all, Hey, just trying to educate these fool women about babies, here!—are stupid because most women who have abortions already have one or more children.
Sure, the law being put forth in Texas is to force women to take an adoption class, not get a mandatory ultrasound, but it's still all about treating women seeking abortions as if they have no idea what their options are (and/or what babies are, in the case of mandatory ultrasounds or pamphlets about babies or whatever bullshit). As if public schools and women's clinics and after-school specials hadn't really covered the fact that adoption exists and that it is an option for unintended pregnancies. Thanks, Texas.
I'd just like to say it a million more times: Most women who have abortions—around 60 percent—already have at least one kid; they know exactly what is going on in there. The reasons women have abortions are generally financial and/or a concern for their family, work, or education responsibilities. Some of them are like Carolyn Jones of Texas, women who are all straight-married and picket-fenced and looking to mom, and then discover dramatic medical abnormalities partway through a pregnancy.
Seriously, read Jones's story, which she wrote just after Texas's mandatory sonogram law passed:
“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.
“Here I see a well-developed diaphragm and here I see four healthy chambers of the heart…”
Jones and other Texas women have to go through this patronizing, traumatizing bullshit because of the made-up mythical abortion-seeker that anti-choicers have invented in their head—a sad-eyed teenager who just needs another pamphlet about heartbeats to decide to "choose life." But most women—58 percent—who have abortions are in their 20s. Seventy-three percent are religiously affiliated. (Stats here.) You don't need to lecture anybody; you can be damn sure they've heard it already. If y'all wanted to bring abortion rates down, you'd do something about poverty. Everyone can tell that you just want to punish abortion patients, not educate women. So fuck you.
It wasn't enough that Texas lawmakers passed legislation effectively closing all but five abortion clinics in their state, now they're introducing a measure that would force all women seeking abortions at those few remaining clinics to first attend a three-hour adoption class. Via Jezebel:
So let's say you're a woman in Texas and you want to terminate your pregnancy. In addition to the insane loopholes you already have to go through (a 24-hour waiting period, a mandatory ultrasound followed by a state-mandated description of the fetus that must occur at least 24 hours before the abortion if you live within 100 miles of an abortion clinic, and a "counseling session"), if SB-42 passes, you'll also have to take an "adoption class" that will take 3 hours.
... Before you get all gaspy and hysterical about the obnoxiousness of this proposed requirement, LADIES, there would be exceptions. For example, if you're a woman and your physical (but not psychological) health is in imminent danger, the good conservatives of Texas's legislature will grant you the favor of not having to take an online "adoption education" class and printing out a certificate while you hemorrhage on the hospital floor. Further, if you're a teen and you've been raped or incest'd, you don't need to worry about taking the class provided you can prove you reported the rape or incest to the police. So, you just need to prove to the state of Texas that you're literally going to die or that you told a cop you were raped. Easy-peasy, right?
This law implies that women are either too stupid to know all of their reproductive options or they're unfit to make decisions for themselves. It also implies that women aren't really autonomous people, they're more like talking, walking breeding cows.
It is a declaration of war on women and their autonomy, and taken as such, it leaves Texas women with only a few options: Pull a Rick Perry and threaten to secede, overthrow their government, or stop having sex with all Texas men.
Slog tipper Tom points out that I've been doing it wrong:
Blushing in pleasant surprise after receiving the admiring attentions of a pedestrian Tuesday morning, local woman Maley Phillips, 25, told friends she was genuinely flattered when an absolute stranger approached her and said the nicest thing about her tits. “They say chivalry is dead, but without any prompting or encouragement, this man on the street—someone I had never met in my life—came right up to me and complimented me on my breasts,” said Phillips, noting that the amorous gentleman paid further praise to her figure by calling on other passersby to “get a load of that rack” and check out her “sweet ass.”
Consider me schooled, The Onion.
Looks like Time Warner is preparing their next big superhero for a TV series and an upcoming movie franchise. And it's...The Flash?
I really like The Flash. I think he's a character whose powers are well-suited to the comics medium, and he's had some great talent on his book over the last seven decades. But come on. Come on, people. The next choice for a superhero movie should be obvious: Wonder Woman. She already had a successful TV series. She's the most high-visibility superhero to not have a movie in the works. There's presumably a Justice League movie on the horizon. Why wouldn't Time Warner be putting her on the fast-track? Is it because the conventional wisdom dictates that female-led superhero movies don't succeed? The three superhero movies that I can think of off the top of my head that starred women didn't fail because they starred women. They failed because everything about the movies were terrible, from top to bottom. If you put top-notch writers, directors, and stars on a Wonder Woman movie, you'll make money. I assume that Time Warner wants to make money. So what's the problem?
Last week, feminist blogger Caroline Criado-Perez successfully lobbied the Bank of England to add a woman—Jane Austen—to the face of the new £10 note. In response, she started receiving up to 50 rape and death threats an hour via Twitter. Gross, but unsurprising in a welcome-to-the-internet way.
What's really surprising was Twitter's reaction to Criado-Perez's complaints:
The affair took on a wider context when Ms Criado-Perez, a blogger, said Twitter's response to her complaint was unacceptable. It had told her to fill out a form describing the offensive behaviour.
"If you're someone who's receiving . . . about 50 rape threats an hour, it's just not practical to expect you to go and fill in this form every single tweet. They're on the side of the abusers, not the victims, and they really, really need to get on the side of the victims," she told ABC Radio on Monday.
When she tried to report the abuse to Twitter's manager of journalism and news, Mark Luckie, he allegedly shut his account.
In belated response to Criado-Perez's complaints—and an online petition calling on Twitter to take a zero-tolerance policy to abuse—the social networking site announced that it was bringing its popular "report abuse" iPhone function to android phones and the web. Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that a 21-year-old man has been arrested by police investigating the threats. Because, you know, sending death and rape threats is considered a crime most places:
The Metropolitan police said officers acting on their behalf in Manchester had arrested a man on suspicion of harassment offences. The Met said the arrest was in connection with an allegation of malicious communications received by officers in Camden last Thursday.
Criado-Perez tweeted that she was at a police station making a formal statement and there were "many more threats" to report.
I'm no longer surprised by people who respond to public discourse with threats of violence against women. Those people will never disappear. But, if effectively handled and contained, they're consistently ignorable, much like mouth herp. What does surprise me is how horrible social networking businesses like Twitter or Facebook are at handling these kind of threats. I mean, how many Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus gaffes do we need to suffer through before businesses stop ignoring this bullshit and hire PR staff smart enough proactively respond to this stuff?
Have you seen this awesome video by The Doubleclicks? It gives me feelings.
You can read the lyrics here.
(Thanks to Slog-tipper Vic!)
We've gotten a few tips today about Mod Carousel's cover of "Blurred Lines"—you know, Robin Thicke's catchy rape anthem that will have you guiltily muttering "I know you want it" under your breath for hours.
In a genius move, the Seattle-based group parodies Thicke's music video by gender swapping the main players. The video is fantastic.
But that's not the most interesting part. As Lindy notes over on Jezebel, since going viral two days ago, Mod Carousel's YouTube parody of "Blurred Lines" has been slapped with a 18+ age restriction.
If you peruse YouTube's community guidelines, which dictate under what circumstances videos are pulled and age restrictions are applied, it seems that the only rule they could be applying to Mod Carousel's parody is a rule against sexually explicit content. Which is weird, because YouTube's age restriction that isn't applied to Thicke's original video (the unrated version), which features gyrating, scantily clad women instead of men.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked one of the strictest abortion laws passed in the US. The North Dakota law would prohibit abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. From the LA Times:
In his 22-page ruling, Hovland said the North Dakota law was in conflict with the federal constitutional guarantee to an abortion. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade and other cases held that a woman had a constitutional right to abort a fetus before it reached viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.
"The state has extended an invitation to an expensive court battle over a law restricting abortions that is a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women,” Hovland wrote in a 22-page decision emailed to reporters. “The United States Supreme Court has unequivocally said that no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability. North Dakota House Bill 1456 is clearly unconstitutional under an unbroken stream of United States Supreme Court authority."
The law was scheduled to go into effect on August 1, but now both the plaintiff and the state have 30 days to respond to the ruling and potentially take the case to trial. Not to shit all over this modest bit of good news, but the article notes that North Dakota currently only has one clinic that performs abortions in the entire state.
Y'know what's better than a woman surfing in high heels? Your Grandma going into a music shop in Wisconsin, and schooling ERRRY'BODY. Dag, G-Ma!
This morning, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law the heinous state anti-abortion legislation that will shutter most of the states legal, safe providers. I avoided watching the live feed, or blogging about it, because there are more entertaining ways to depress myself on the internet, if that is my intent.
Like stare at this handy Daily Kos infographic that shows the locations of every legal abortion clinic Texas had before and after the legislation passed. It's mesmerizing. There they are, then poof! They're gone.
Thanks, Bill, for the reminder.
Today, Rick Perry signed draconian anti-abortion regulations into law in Texas. Also today, pro-choice reporter Egberto Willies published this interview he did with an anti-choice protester named Lori Harris in Austin back on July 12th. It's an interesting interview, because while Harris says some absolutely maddening things, the two manage to strike up a—well, I don't want to call it a conversation, exactly, because there's not so much give and take. But they're not ripping each other to shreds or shouting sound bites past each other, either. Let's call it a civil exchange of ideas.
Go read Willies's thoughts on the interview.
Damn, these women = BAD ASS! I can barely walk in anything but a 2" wedge...
Also ladies, did you know you can take surfing lessons in Ballard? It's true!
The Nation's Salamishah Tillet has a great article up on a slew of new anti-harassment smartphone apps that contact everyone from your close circle of friends to emergency responders to let them know where you are and that you might be in trouble.
As Tillet explains:
This is how they work: GPS-enabled phones send data to Circle of 6, OnWatch, BSafe, and other app makers to show your location. Some apps also allow users to receive an emergency phone call from their contacts, call 911, or track them as they walk to their destination).
Many of these apps were submitted in the White House’s 2011 “Apps Against Abuse” technology challenge—a national competition to provide young adults with tools to help prevent sexual assault and dating violence.
... On Circle of 6, you upload six of your most reliable contacts (your trusted circle) to which you can send the following texts: “I’m looking up healthy relationship info,” “call me I need an interruption” and “come and get me” and your location will be immediately sent to them.
She also warns that apps like Circle of 6 work better if you let your friends know about the application—and its urgency—before they get a text from you. Otherwise, they might take their sweet-ass time responding.
Thanks, Greg, for the tip.
Yes, I'm late with this particular story, but 5 Gender Moments from E3 2013 really drives home how hostile the industry is towards women with stories of shockingly sexist behavior at the gaming trade show.
And speaking of hostility: XBox has a new CEO, Julie Larson-Green, who also happens to be a woman. And of course gamer boys are freaking out. Jezebel documented the "sexist shitshow" that followed the announcement of Larson-Green's promotion, and today HuffPo explains why promoting her was a good move.
A recent study shows that female gamers spend and play as much as their male counterparts. O rly? Ladies be gamers? And when they game they act like... GAMERS? This on the tail of another AMAZING DISCOVERY: that 45% of gamers are women.
Which segues nicely into this post on Kotaku: Every Misogynistic Argument You've Ever Heard About Video Games is a great point-by-point refutal of the crap women who game hear all the freaking time. (Even high-profile gamers like Aisha Tyler and Felica Day put up with this shit.) It's totally true you guys: we ladeez only want to play games where you ride unicorns to go shoe-shopping! SIGH.
And yesterday IGN.com announced a change in their comments policy, saying:
"While most IGN comments are respectful and productive, we've let the abusive comments get to a point where they dominate our discussions. When even just one hostile comment is enough to ruin an entire thread, we've got to take our job as curators of our site more seriously. The best way to create an appetite is to feed it and, by letting these abusive comments live on IGN, we've been encouraging more of the same. It's long past time for that to stop."
Writer Chris Brecheen has a writing blog. On his blog, he recounts a story of a woman being harassed on the BART one day, and his reaction to it, which is fantastic. The post, "Changing the Creepy Guy Narrative" starts in earnest about four paragraphs down, after a little throat clearing:
He waited until the train was in motion to make his move—a true sign of someone who knows how to make the environment work to their advantage. Then he leaned forward. "Hi." "How you doing?" "What are you reading?" "What's your name?" "I really like your hair." "That's a really nice skirt." "You must work out."
It was painful to watch. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him, and he clearly wasn't going to take the hint. Her rebukes got firmer. "I'd like to read my book." And he pulled out the social pressure. "Hey, I'm just asking you a question. You don't have to be so rude." She started to look around for outs. Her head swiveled from one exit to another.
The thing was, I had already heard this story, many many times. I knew how it would play out. I knew all the tropes. I probably could have quoted the lines before they said them. I wanted a new narrative. Time to mix it up.
So I moved seats until I was sitting behind him. I leaned forward with my head on the back of his seat.
"Hi," I said with a little smile.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy—which isn't exactly untrue—and turned back to her.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm fine," he said flatly without ever looking back.
"I really like your hair," I said. "It looks soft."
That's about when it got.....weird.
What the story really gets is better, and all without escalating to violence! Thanks, Chris, for being empathetic enough, and clever enough, to help a lady out.
And thanks, Slog tipper Rob, for the tip.