Feminist Friday: Alison Brie is Grumpy and Overly Attached

This Week in Ladybits

Bette Grande, one of the primary North Dakota state representative behind the state’s new draconian anti-choice laws, subscribes to the theory that women who want abortions really don’t just know their own minds.

Mississippi women will get a brief reprieve — a federal court has blocked closure of the state’s only abortion clinic. Now women won’t have to travel out of state to get safe access to a legal medical procedure. A woman in Oxford, Mississippi, for example, only has to travel 173 miles — about two hours and 45 minutes — to get to the clinic. See how easy it is for women there?

In other potential good news, the ACLU is challenging the Arkansas law that bans abortion at 12 weeks, otherwise known as “before many women realize they’re pregnant.” (Hat tip to Mary for the link.)

Steve Benen at The MaddowBlog took a moment to remind us that GOP and Beltway pundit darling Paul Ryan has startlingly regressive views on reproductive rights. Question: Since Paul Ryan is against birth control, how come he only has three kids?

You may have been reading about (or deliberately avoiding) the nightmarish Kermit Gosnell case. This week, the anti-choice trope that there was a “media blackout” on the case was thoroughly destroyed. A more important story is that the current push to make abortion completely inaccessible to women — or at least to the women who are too poor to travel for it — is going to open up an environment where butchers like Gosnell thrive.

If you can only stand to read a couple of articles on the case, I recommend Jill Filipovic’s masterful coverage in Al Jazeera. She tackles the complex tangle of issues, including the racism and misogyny at the heart of the matter, and the mainstream media’s willingness to parrot the words of known liars on the anti-choice side. And Irin Carmon has been doing some amazing work on the case — and the appalling media reaction to it — in Salon.

Gosh, I wonder why the media coverage of this has been so flawed.

And New Hampshire state senator Peter Hansen (R, Duh) is taking all kinds of unwarranted heat just for using the beautiful poetic art of synecdoche. Oh, all right, if you want to get specific about it, he referred to women as “vaginas” in an e-mail discussion with other lawmakers. The penis has since apologized.

This Week in Thinky

In the wake this week’s tragedy, Dave Zirin wrote about the Boston Marathon and remembered Kathrine Switzer in The Nation.

Watching this Dove short/ad make its way around the Intertubes this week has been fascinating. It is an impressively crafted tearjerker.

But aside from the reminder that the world judges most women far less harshly than they do themselves, is the message really all that empowering or helpful? Alexandra Brodsky at Feministing (and others) took issue with the spot’s skew toward conventional definitions of beauty. And white definitions of beauty. And the focus on beauty as a cornerstone of a woman’s self-esteem.

I’m starting to look at the spot like a very tasty cheeseburger: Very satisfying in the moment, but then you wonder what exactly you ingested.

This Week in What Year Is This?

The Ohio state budget now prohibits teachers from talking about “gateway sexual activity.” Wait, talking about what? Winking? Flirting? Doing favors with not-entirely-pure intentions? Being really good at something within the eyeshot of someone else? Dancing? Suggestively eating Cadbury Creme Eggs? WHAT?

For crying out loud, Disney. Really?

Image via the Disney Store

Image via the Disney Store

And, yes, that’s a boy’s T-shirt and a women’s T-shirt. Girls can’t get an Avengers shirt at all. As someone who had the Hulk on her birthday cake when she turned six, I’m feeling the distinct need to SMASH. How was there NO ONE at any point in the process who noticed that this is sexist dickery?

Speaking of dickery, Carla Hale had been a high school teacher for 19 years, but got fired after she was outed via her mother’s obituary. Ugh.

This Week in the World

A university in Tajikistan’s capital reportedly requires female students to wear high heels. (And also “single-block” colors of clothing. Can anyone explain that last part in terms of either decorum or higher learning?)

The French Senate voted to legalize le same-sex marriage, which means it could become law this summer. Unfortunately, the U.S. is still exporting bigots. Sorry, world.

On the upside, those wonderful Kiwis just went ahead and legalized it. Prepare for one of the funniest, best political speeches you have heard in ages. (Hat tip to the MaddowBlog.)

Ugh. Pope Francis may be leaps and bounds ahead of his predecessor when it comes to dealing with the poor, but the pontiff has announced that he wants to continue the Vatican’s push against uppity nuns. We at Feminist Friday, in addition to being Ladybits HQ, are also a satellite office of Team Uppity Nun. Keep being difficult, Sisters.

Turkish women are calling for a sex and housework strike to protest the increase in violence against women.

Malala Yousafzai is on one of the Time 100 covers.

And the Swedish National Encyclopedia has added the gender-neutral pronounhen.”

This Week in Awesome

BuzzFeed ran some amazing vintage photos of tattooed ladies.

Image via BuzzFeed

The fantastic Aisha Tyler was moved to tears by married gay service personnel at the NewNowNext Awards.

You know what’s always delightful? Senator Elizabeth Warren kicking ass and taking names.

Entertainment Weekly had a peek at Faora, the villain in the upcoming Man of Steel. I’m going to have some trouble deciding whom to root for.

Image via The Mary Sue

Student Ria Chhabra started a science fair project that has sparked some serious investigation into organic versus “conventional” foods.

Katelyn Campbell, a high school senior in West Virginia, spoke out against the creepy abstinence-only/anti-birth control/all-sex-is-bad speaker her high school brought in to address the students. And, in spite of her principle threatening to rat her out as a “backstabber” to Wellesley College and ruin her future, Campbell stuck to her guns. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Neither can Wellesley.

This Week in Fun

Do you need to see a French horn quartet playing a cover of “Somebody to Love?” Probably, yes. (Thanks to Theresa for the link.)

Alison Brie would like to replicate the internet for you.

Oh, hell, yes. Get your tickets now for the Chicago Funny Women’s Festival. I can personally vouch for the mad comedy skills of several of the women and groups on this bill. Trust me: When it’s freakin’ cold out for a solid eight months of the year, you spend a lot of your time indoors honing your funny.

Happy 75th birthday, Lois Lane. Thanks for being a savvy career woman.

Image by Kate Beaton from Hark! A Vagrant

Ms. Lane even got Twitter all verklempt.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and chase down your goals.