Feminist Friday: Rachel Maddow goes back to the man cave, the FBI redefines rape

Welcome to Feminist Friday, where we highlight a week’s worth of stories we think you’ll be talking about over the weekend.

Rachel Maddow takes to the man cave to explain birth control — Apparently Mitt Romney isn’t sure how birth control works, and why supporting a “personhood bill” could be such a catastrophic problem for women, so on last night’s show, Maddow excused the ladies from the room so she could take Romney into her man cave and explain the specifics.


Women’s groups applaud the FBI — After 82 years, the FBI is finally updating its definition of rape. The broader, more accurate description will ensure that thousands more rapes make it to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report each year, which should result in a better allocation of resources. Women’s Law Project exec Carol Tracy told the NYT: “What I’m happiest about is that such a clear consensus is emerging from law enforcement officials all over the country that this has to happen.”

Women have opinions too, say women — This week, the New York Times announced that it will be expanding its opinion pages for online readers with Op-Docs, which are essentially opinionated vlogs about a variety of topics. Unfortunately only one woman made the cut for the NYT‘s new content scheme. And Alyssa Rosenbery from Think Progress had a lot to say about that:

And more to the point, it’s always astonishing to me that the folks who put out these press releases, and these white dude-heavy lineups, don’t seem to understand how they look to other people, to other potential consumers. If you’re surrounded by older white men all day, I understand that might not look aberrational to you. But do people seriously not recognize that what is normal (and desirable) for them is not necessarily normal or desirable for everyone else? That doesn’t seem particularly hard to consider. And yet it’s a small cognitive effort that a lot of publishers seem to have tremendous difficulty making.


But the NYT isn’t exactly lady-averse — This week The New Yorker profiled the New York Times‘ first female executive editor Jill Abramson. The entire profile is fascinating and I love this little tidbit:

Once, it was preposterous to think that a woman could become the editor of the Times. When Eileen Shanahan, who went on to become a well-respected economics reporter, arrived for an interview with Clifton Daniel, the managing editor, in 1962, she hid her desire to become an editor. “All I ever want is to be a reporter on the best newspaper in the world,” she told him.

“That’s good,” Daniel responded, as Shanahan told the story, “because I can assure you no woman will ever be an editor at the New York Times.”

Clutch magazine wonders why TV networks won’t let black actors be great — In a great opinion piece, Drew Shayne-Daniels says, “Is lack of talent the issue issue? Not even. There are plenty of talented black actors available and willing to work. However, some networks are not willing to donate the time, tools and resources needed to market and promote the types of shows that include a wide spectrum of talent.”

What pinged your feminist radar this week?