In Florida, Stand Your Ground was used as the foundation of George Zimmerman’s defense after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. In South Carolina, it was used to defend a man who walked out of the house with a gun to confront “women thugs” who had threatened his daughter; he ended up shooting a teenage boy in his car instead. Also in Florida, Marissa Alexander has repeatedly been denied the chance to use the Stand Your Ground defense against charges after she fired a warning shot above the head of her abusive husband. This month, Charleston prosecutors moved to further endanger the Marissa Alexanders of South Carolina by saying that Stand Your Ground shouldn’t apply to victims of domestic violence who confront their abusers....read more
Most women don’t need to be told the story of a woman’s abortion (or two abortions) after forgetting to use birth control in the heat of the moment. Most of us know a woman who’s done that. About one in three women will be her. Statistically, several women reading this post at this moment have not just had an abortion, but have had a “bad” abortion. So they don’t need to read about someone else’s just to understand....read more
In all the discussion of sex and consent — and there’s been a lot of it, and it’s not all recent, and unfortunately it doesn’t change all that much for all that the debate is pretty much constant — a recurring theme is the idea of somehow recording consent and negotiating it in an official context to avoid any confusion. Now, a smartphone app is available to address that. Available for iPhone and Android, the Good2Go app encourages prospective sexual partners to assess consent — electronically — before embarking on their sexual adventures....read more
Chances are, you’ve heard the much-lauded pop song of late summer, Meghan Trainor’s body-acceptance anthem “All About That Bass.” (Chances are, just reading that title has driven the season’s most pernicious earworm directly into your brain, and for that, I apologize.) You may or may not like it. You may or may not be disappointed that it wasn’t better, like I was, which seems unfair because nothing’s perfect, but there’s so much promise that the problematic stuff is extra frustrating....read more
[Trigger warning for rape]
Don’t do anything to get yourself pulled over.
No, seriously, that’s it....read more
It’s Banned Books Week, celebrating books that are absolutely, objectively horrible and mustn’t be read by anyone. They’re books that need to be blocked from school libraries, ejected from public libraries, struck from publisher’s lists and set on damn fire every time they’re encountered. Which means that most of them (although by no means all of them) are worth reading, particularly when it comes to books for school-age kids who shan’t be exposed to naughty language or mentions of sex. Because if there’s one thing that abstinence-only education has taught us is that if you never, ever mention it, kids will never do it.
So here are six banned and/or challenged children’s and young adult books to read to a kid this week in honor of Banned Books Week....read more
Any father of daughters knows that a woman doesn’t actually become a person unless you contribute DNA to her. But when you do, boy howdy!...read more
[Trigger warning for domestic violence]
Short answer: We don’t know, and it’s not for us to know or judge....read more
[Trigger warning for domestic abuse]
In February of this year, leaked video showed what appeared to be the aftermath of Baltimore Raven Ray Rice assaulting his then fiancee Janay Palmer in a casino elevator. He was given a two-game suspension. Now that another leaked video shows him actually throwing the punches, he has been released from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Because up until then, of course, there was no way of really knowing what had happened....read more
Now it’s time for that beloved and time-honored game, “Satire (Please, God, Let It Be Satire) or Not Satire”: Doree Lewak in the New York Post.
[W]hen I know I’m looking good, I brazenly walk past a construction site, anticipating that whistle and “Hey, mama!” catcall. Works every time — my ego and I can’t fit through the door!
Recently, in Ferguson, Missouri: A lot of things happened....read more
[Content note: Suicide and mental illness]
Yesterday, after a long battle with depression, Robin Williams took his own life. He left behind a family that loved him dearly and a legion of fans who loved having someone to make them laugh and cry and think, even as he himself was so frequently in a dark place. He made kids’ movies with jokes that only adults would get, he made movies for adults that made you forget he was the genie from Aladdin, he made a few zany comedies that possibly made you stupider just by watching them but were so entertaining that who cares, and he made people feel better. He gave joy....read more