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
Almost exactly a year ago I posted about the ongoing sexism and misogyny fallout in the skeptical and secular activist communities, ever since Rebecca Watson said “Guys, don’t do that”, and as this latest Dawkins snit shows, that particular cyberstorm is still raging on.
[Content note: links to material discussing rape culture, victim blaming, rape myths, sexual harassment]...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
Why the latest escalation from the constant rumbling fulmination that has become Sarkeesian’s normal circumstances? Because she published another video in her series of Tropes vs Women critiques: Women as Background Decoration: Part 2...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!
After a stupidly long hiatus (entirely the fault of our editor being AWOL, because of a new job), we’re back with a new episode – and this time it’s a topic from the headlines. Now that campus rape in the U.S. is finally getting the attention it deserves from media and federal investigators, the usual pro-rape lobbyists are stepping up their efforts to stop the oh-so-ghastly spectre of rape prevention, claiming that campus rape is way overblown by feminist propaganda…...read more
They’re frequently identified as “Women’s Health and Safety” laws, but a growing number of laws regulating abortion providers are more accurately called TRAP laws — Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. Mandatory delays, ultrasounds, “informed consent” lectures, and medication restrictions strike out at abortion by hitting women directly. If you’re the kind of person who believes in evil, these restrictions are arguably the most evil of TRAP laws....read more
Imagine this conversation with your employer:
YOU. Hey, it looks like my paycheck is $25 short.
EMPLOYER. Oh, no, that’s for Kitten Day.
YOU. I’m sorry?
EMPLOYER. Once a month, we bring in kittens for everyone in the office to cuddle for a day. Studies show that it reduces stress. It’s adorable.
YOU. I’m sure it is, but you’re paying for it out of my paycheck.
EMPLOYER. Yes. Kitten Day is part of your overall compensation package.
I used to work to and from work, my mile-long round trip taking me past plenty of men from all walks of life who were very concerned with my mental state as reflected on my face. “Smile, beautiful!” they would say, or, “Give us a smile, honey,” or, my favorite, “It can’t be that bad!” I felt so bad for letting them down by showing them my actual emotional state. If only the Smile Bitch Training Camp had a branch in Birmingham....read more
So a bunch of women are gathering on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook as #WomenAgainstFeminism, proclaiming how very much they don’t need feminism. And they get to do that. The sacrifices made by feminists and womanists throughout history have gotten us to a place where women are free to reject feminism on the grounds that since my husband is nice to me, I’m too smart and strong to ever get myself raped, I don’t personally feel threatened by street harassment, I’ve never personally been stopped from doing something I want to do because of my gender, I receive no pushback or consequences for dressing the way I want, I want and am ready to have kids, I’ve never personally been silenced, I like shaving my legs, I’m free to marry the person I love, my religion doesn’t require me to do anything I wouldn’t want to do anyway, I’m a lady, I personally find fulfillment in being a wife and a mother, I don’t even want to work outside the home, health care is easy for me to come by, and obviously nobody else is facing such issues, and if they are it’s their own fault for being big ol’ slutbags, what do I need with a movement that supports people who aren’t me? I already have everything I want! I’m not a victim and I don’t hate men, y’all....read more
Tampa Family Health Centers is a Title X health care facility in Florida that found itself in need of certified nurse-midwives. Up-and-comer Sara Hellwege graduated from nursing school in June, took her boards in July, and is all about certified nurse-midwifery, except for the part where she would have to provide health care because that would violate her religiously held but not scientifically supported beliefs that hormonal contraceptives “have the potential to act in a manner potentially threatening the lives of embryos after their conception/fertilization.” With that in mind, she applied for a nurse-midwife position at Tampa Family Health Centers, and when they declined to interview her for a job she had religious objections to performing, she decided to sue....read more