Feminist Friday: Sasheer Zamata is ready for Not Ready for Primetime

This Week in Ladybits

You know how sometimes I get all het up in this section and start ranting about how the current wave of anti-choice laws treat women as nothing but fetus incubators?

A brain-dead women in Texas is being kept on life support against her explicit wishes so that her body can serve as a fetus incubator.

To be clear: This isn’t a coma. This isn’t something she can recover from. Her brain was cut off from oxygen for too long to survive and is no longer producing electrical impulses. Her heart was artificially re-started and is kept beating artificially. And Marlise Munoz’s wish not to be kept on life support wasn’t an uninformed decision: She was a paramedic. She had seen artificial life support and did not want it.

But the state of Texas asserts its right to ignore her explicit wishes and the incredibly private decisions that she and her husband made together. Where does this end?

…It probably won’t end in Texas just yet. On Monday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit hear arguments about the Texas laws that have taken basic women’s health care from so many in the state. It’s not looking great for Lone Star women.

Oh, and this Feminist Friday was preceded by a Throwback Thursday, in which YET ANOTHER coalition of Congressional dudebros made decisions about your ladybits. This time they are trying to stop private insurance coverage of abortions. Yes, private insurance coverage. One particularly fun aspect of the bill is that the IRS might get to decide whether it thinks you were really raped or not, and what counts as incest. Aren’t these the same Tea Party peckerwoods who were losing their minds over the idea of the IRS determining whether a group was non-profit or political a couple of months ago?

In a bit of good news, Retta (of Parks & Rec fame) and comedian/actress Laura Kightlinger are co-hosting A Night of a Thousand Vaginas! at Largo at the Coronet benefitting the Texas Abortion Fund on January 19. Sarah Silverman, Jen Kirkman, Zach Galifianakis, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age are also standing up for Texas women.


HBO's Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Post Award Reception - ArrivalsGetty Images

This Week in Thinky

In case you just got here from space or have never dipped into the AfterEllen comments, the The New York Times summed up all the things people say about bisexuality. It’s a fine article, but I was mostly astonished to be reminded that many people are just wrapping their heads around this stuff and need a primer. Which, yeah, they are and they do.

Using much the same jumping-off point, WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show also talked about bisexuality and how that label has changed. (Hat tip to my pal Soren for the link.)

Elephant Journal featured eight tips on how to love a woman …as a friend. Yeah, I know, you already clicked. Still worth a look.

The 2013 Levitan Prize for the Humanities went to anthropologist Manduhai Buyandelger to support her study of female political candidates in Mongolia. (Thanks to Tim for the link.)

Rocket Girl tells the story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s first female rocket scientist.

And the Google Doodle featured Zora Neale Hurston for her birthday. You can listen to the sound recordings she made while working for the Federal Writers Project for the Works Project Administration.


This Week in Ugh

Female mortality rates in rural areas in the United States are worsening. As if they aren’t already being underserved in reproductive health services.

Apple Computer has the chance to take a stand and not be creepy (or, really, let’s face it, to not be even creepier) and avoid dealing with Euroset, a major phone retailer in Russia. Euroset’s creative director, Ivan Okhlobystin, has said that he would prefer to see gay people burned alive in ovens. A coalition of LGBT groups is asking Apple CEO Tim Cook to draw the corporate line.

The Supreme Court stopped the joyous flood of gay marriages in Utah by granting a stay for the state, which is essentially still arguing that they don’t want marriage equality because eek. The state will not be performing gay marriages in the meantime—or recognizing those that have already been performed, because apparently that’s what loving tolerance means—but the state clerks have at least been given the go-ahead to finish the paperwork on the marriages that have already happened. Hang in there Utah.

This Week in Entertainment

Saturday Night Live made a great choice and hired Sasheer Zamata, whose work we’ve featured in this column before, as a featured player.

Here’s a quick hit from her “Beyoncé as a Mommy” series.

…Even better, they hired two more women of color as writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones. Congratulations all around, ladies.

Stelana Kliris wrote about what it’s like to be a woman director in the small film industry of Cyprus.

Wired gave us a look at the new Ms. Marvel.

The magnificent Meryl Streep is not particularly interested in giving Walt Disney a pass.

And the BBC looked at the legacy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

This Week in Awesome

Hey, there, old-school nerds. Up, Not North featured a patch that allows you to replace Ms. Pac-Man with Mr. Pac-Woman.

Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox was firm and wonderfully graceful in educating Katie Couric about the trans issues that really matter.

This Human of New York will make your heart full.

Lizzie Velasquez’s TEDxAustinWomen talk was published just before the holidays, but it’s been burning up the Internets this week. So how do you define yourself?

Oh, my goodness, Sharon Jones (and your Dap-Kings!) You kicked cancer straight in the teeth and now you are making us all dance! (via Jezebel)

Have a great weekend! Get out there and get to know your own happiness a little better.

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