What is a “good abortion”?

photo via washingtonpost.com

photo via washingtonpost.com

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is in the news again for sharing her abortion story in her recently released memoir. She shares the heart wrenching tale of ending two wanted pregnancies. It’s brave of Davis to share these personal stories, surely anticipating the ridiculous pushback and prying questions she would face. As many people have pointed out, while it’s very important for people to share these stories to end the stigma around abortion in this country, it’s no woman’s responsibility to carry that burden.

But Davis’s story also raises questions about what is viewed as an “acceptable” abortion in our culture, and what decisions are still shrouded in shame. Tara Culp-Ressler writes at Think Progress (more…)

Weekend reading


Two women get married after 72 years together. 

A photo essay on women who risked everything to expose sexual assault in the military.

As Cosmo dives into elections this year, they offer 10 reasons young women need to vote in the midterms.

Every president in the last quarter century has gone on prime time TV to announce bombing Iraq.

24,000 transgender voters could be disenfranchised by voter ID laws.

17 black women who deserve their own biopics.

Advice from Ask Polly: “Fuck wondering if you’re lovable. Fuck asking someone else, ‘Am I there yet?’ Fuck listening for the answer. Fuck waiting, alone, for a verdict that never comes. Don’t grow up to be one of those women with a perpetual question mark etched into her brow: Am I good? Am I lovable? Am I enough?

A satisfying video for when you’re annoyed at being told to smile by random dudes.

Tell us what the rules for women are, so we can break them

It’s hard for women to do anything right if you want to measure by the constraints that society puts on our behavior.  Jay Smooth put out this great sarcastic video rant that sums this up well following the debate around the hacking of celebrities’ private photos. You should watch the whole thing, but here’s a snippet:

There’s a lot of stuff in the news about women, how women are treated, right now. And I want to contribute and be a part of the conversation, but I’m having trouble keeping track. Does anyone have a complete, up-to-date list everything women are supposed to do and not do so that they qualify for having their humanity respected? Like, ok, I know that if women want to feel safe in public, they’re supposed to “not dress a certain way” and then if they don’t dress a certain way and they still get harassed and assaulted all the time, there are other things that they’re doing or not doing to earn a right to safety, but what are those other things? I’m having trouble keeping track.


Weekend reading


Gun control group takes on open carry policies at grocery stores in new ads.

Janet Mock on how she came to embrace the term feminist.

A new Minnesota law provides doulas for incarcerated women.

10 documentaries about political women.

Police in North Carolina arrested a young black activist and politician for distributing voting rights leaflets.

Private prison stocks are rising with the influx of unaccompanied migrant children.

It’s sleazy at the top: on women, power and body policing

photo via cbsnews.com

There’s no question that we need more women in power. But if we ever needed a reminder that climbing to the top doesn’t insulate women from sleazy sexism, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) gave us one this week:

“In Off the Sidelines, Gillibrand, 47, shares a sobering incident in the congressional gym, where an older, male colleague told her, ‘Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!’ On another occasion, she writes, after she dropped 50 lbs. one of her fellow Senate members approached her, squeezed her stomach, and said, ‘Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!'”

The People interview is short, but the New York Post filled it in with some more examples from the book, like the time a congressman told Gillibrand, “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.”


Weekend reading


What it would look like if Marvel drew male superheroes the way they draw females ones.

A Marine Corps veteran rants against rape jokes in the military.

How does a 9-year-old come to shoot a fully automatic weapon?

California passed a law requiring affirmative consent on college campuses.

Kat Stoeffel makes the case for objectifying men without guilt.

11 better ways to deal with rape than nail polish.

What’s wrong with those (white) people?


Sadly, but not surprisingly, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson has brought our country’s most virulent racism to the fore. A prime example, which I have not had the stomach to visit directly myself, is the fundraising page to support Darren Wilson, the police officer who took Brown’s life. From what I’ve seen featured on other sites, it’s a virtual playground for the worst humanity has to offer.  (more…)

Weekend reading


The first episode of The Daily Show’s new podcast goes behind the scenes of their great piece on campus sexual assault.

A man is facing online threats for taking in a Guatemalan refugee family to demonstrate compassion to his children.

Why we should stop calling abortion a “difficult decision.”

”My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.” Meet the first female head of a major North American professional sports union.

Trayvon Martin’s mother writes a moving open letter to the family of Michael Brown.

What happens to police officers who kill unarmed black men.

A 90-year-old Holocaust survivor was arrested protesting in Ferguson.

The female voter’s guide to being wooed by political parties.

Female directors on the movies that influenced them.

What we must remember after Ferguson

photo via slate.com

photo via slate.com

Every time there is a tragedy like the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, we are reminded of the many lessons our society has sadly failed to learn. It’s wrenching to watch yet another family grieve a young person who paid the ultimate price thanks to racism and institutional failure. As we fight for justice for Michael Brown and others, we must also highlight the lessons that will help our country prevent these tragedies in the future.  (more…)

Weekend reading

photo via philly.com

photo via philly.com

The news this week was dominated by the disturbing events in Ferguson, Missouri. More on that to come soon, but in the meantime some other weekend reading recommendations:

Mo’ne Davis became the first girl to throw a shut out in the Little League World Series.

Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to ever win the Fields Medal for mathematics.

Install this extension on your browser to see where members of Congress get their campaign funds as you read about them in the news.

Another reason to like John Oliver.

How women are affected by benevolent sexism.

Art that aims to change the conversation about abortion.