Last week, the New York Times provided a breakdown of a breakdown — an accounting of the investigative errors that turned rape allegations against FSU quarterback Jameis Winston into a non-event.
I’ll give you a minute to try and contain your shock....read more
The Sheryl Sandberg-driven movement that is #banbossy has its fans and its detractors — and rightly so. There are those who agree that yes, language like “bossy” is often applied to girls in response to behavior that would otherwise be seen as strong and assertive. Then there are those who point out that “bossy” can also be applied to overbearing, inflexible, rude behaviors that aren’t conducive to leadership. In the end, though, if you really want to know how “bossy” affects girls, do what SheKnows did and just ask them....read more
Fred Phelps, Sr., despicable human being and founder of the notorious hate group Westboro Baptist Church, has died.
Family members have said that Phelps, who one estranged son says has been excommunicated from the church, will have no funeral to picket....read more
[Trigger warning for eating disorders]
This week has been designated National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and the tagline for 2014 is I Had No Idea. It recognizes the fact that eating disorders are more prevalent and more dangerous than many people recognize and that they touch every aspect of life. Talking about eating disorders is always a question mark for me — for some women, simply discussing it can be immensely triggering, and in areas of education, one girl’s cautionary tale can be another’s instructional video. (I’ve mentioned in the past that my introduction to bulimia came through educational efforts.) But for a week like this one, raising awareness — and, as part of that, dispelling myths — makes it worth the risk. Because a lot of people really do have no idea....read more
Discussions of privilege are always interesting to me because they tend to generate a greater defensiveness-to-rationality ratio than almost any other sensitive subject. The most reasoned, non-accusatory approach can result in so much pushback and protestations that I didn’t ask to be this way, so why should I be ashamed of it and be punished for it? Robot Hugs’s webcomic explanation of privilege should, by all rights, explain the concept without generating defensiveness, but probably won’t, because People....read more
Conscience laws. Fucking conscience laws. In this case, the fucking “Health Care Rights of Conscience Act,” Alabama HB31, which would allow the entire hospital staff, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, counselors, and social workers, to refuse to provide medical care in situations that would “violate their conscience.”...read more
Mainstream women’s magazines, despite their protestations to the contrary, are rarely an outright bastion of body positivity for any woman of non-model proportions and facial features. So it’s admirable that it was Marie Claire Australia that commissioned six ad agencies to create print ads encouraging women to love their bodies. But is it enough?...read more
Heard that there was something going on with Jezebel and Vogue magazine and Lena Dunham, and you were quasi-curious but not really curious, or you were semi-demi-curious but not inclined to give Jezebel the clicks? For your reading pleasure: the condensed version....read more
It’s no secret that a woman dressing all sexy-like is all it takes to negate a rape accusation. But just how sexy is all sexy-like? I don’t know for sure, but courtesy of Virginia state Senator Dick Black, we can guess that in marital rape it goes as far south as “flannel nightie.” Meanwhile, In the House of Representatives, Virginia rep and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte defends the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” as a job creator because of all the care that will be necessary for all the kids that will be born to mothers who have no other options....read more
Ani DiFranco’s “Righteous Retreat” songwriting camp was originally scheduled for next June at Nottaway Plantation in White Castle, Louisiana. It’s a charming, verdant resort with luxurious rooms, fine dining, and expansive event facilities, all built on the back of a “wiling workforce” (per the resort’s website) of hundreds of slaves used as physical labor and, on occasion, currency....read more
I’m not a Cosmopolitan reader. There are endless reasons to leave it on the magazine rack. And then there’s Cosmo fashion editor Charles Manning, who is both a dude and the fashion editor for Cosmo. In an editorial on the magazine’s site, Manning points out that teaching women to “fix their figure flaws” and camouflage their bodies to fit traditional standards of perfection doesn’t exactly promote a positive body image....read more
On Saturday, Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black woman, was in a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a wealthy, majority-white city adjacent to Detroit. She was injured, she was disoriented, her cell phone was dead, and she knocked on the wrong door looking for help....read more