Time magazine’s annual poll of the year’s “worst words” looks for words that make you “definitely cringe,” even “exhale pointedly,” even “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids.” And it asks people to “vote another word off the island” (and if I never hear that phrase again, I’ll be okay). This year’s poll includes bae, basic, bossy, disrupt, I can’t even…, influencer, kale, literally, om nom nom nom, obi, said no one ever, sorry not sorry, turnout, yaaasssss, and… feminist....read more
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
If you’ve been following US news recently, you have probably read about Detroit Water and Sewage shutting off water to thousands of homes, some of which owing as little as two months’ worth of bills. It’s a perfect storm of right-wing class and race war–we’re talking about largely impoverished, mostly black people. For some unimaginable […]...read more
Edited because, I’m sorry, I forgot TW: medical racism and exploitation, child abuse. I just want to make sure that we’re all aware that twenty years ago, decades after the Tuskegee syphilis “experiment,” scientists affiliated with Johns Hopkins partnered with slumlords in order to deliberately cause lead poisoning in black toddlers from impoverished families to […]...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
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.
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
Following the Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which established that companies are free to enforce bullshit restrictions on women’s health care on their employees if said bullshit corresponds with their religious beliefs, another religious group has stepped forward to claim their religious exemption: the Satanic Temple....read more
Before we even get started: The universally accepted definition of “pregnancy” within medical science begins at implantation — at the moment a fertilized egg adheres to the wall of the uterus. That’s when pregnancy begins. Not at ovulation, not at ejaculation, not when the winning sperm meets the egg and wriggles its way in. Implantation. But what if you’re comfortable rejecting medical science out of hand and insisting that emergency birth control — the morning-after pill — is an abortifacient for preventing implantation? Well, you’re still wrong. But that particular mistake is a little easier to make....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. Last week, we looked at hospital admitting privileges. Another favorite restriction is unreasonable requirements for the medical facility itself, holding it to standards that have little impact on keeping women safe and, ultimately, plenty of impact on keeping them pregnant....read more