Weekend reading

Rep. John Lewis recalls the time he was arrested for using a “white” restroom.

Getting in arguments about voter fraud? Here are 7 papers, 4 government inquires, 2 news investigations, and 1 court ruling showing it’s largely a myth.

An anti-choice activist admits that harassing women outside abortion clinics doesn’t change their minds.

Oregon’s One Key Question initiative ensures that patients and doctors are talking proactively about reproductive health care needs.

There is currently no quantitative data on police-perpetrated sexual assault.

How the term “classic rapist” shows that people don’t understand rape.

Birth Control Pill Container

Birth control is related to sex, and we should talk about that

“Respectability politics” is a concept that plagues many social justice movements. Members of marginalized groups feel the need to prove that they are worthy of certain rights they want to be granted in order to win victory in mainstream society. It’s an understandable impulse, but it often ends up hurting a cause as well as the people fighting for it. Irin Carmon takes this on in the context of birth control access and makes a strong case against the overemphasis on medically necessary contraception:  (more…)


Weekend reading

A pro-choice activist has some fun at her local Hobby Lobby.

Dahlia Lithwick on how the Supreme Court “chose not to see women this term, or at least not real women, with real challenges, and opted instead to offer extra protections to the delicate women of their imaginary worlds.”

Jezebel skewers a ludicrous Esquire piece on the newly-found desirability of 42-year-old women.

Birth control saves a lot of money.

Sad, but not surprising: the NSA has been retaining a lot of irrelevant information about innocent people and spying on Muslim-Americans.

Kelly Williams Brown expands on the right’s caricature of young women as “Beyonce voters.”



Lucy Flores’ refreshing honesty about abortion

It says something about our culture’s handling of “controversial” issues that at honest take on people’s common lived experience ends up feeling so refreshing. That’s one reason why the film Obvious Child has received such a rapturous response from many viewers, especially women (it’s also because it’s hilarious and Jenny Slate is wonderful- check it out).  (more…)

Weekend reading

Kyle Buchanan at Vulture looks at the trend of casting women as mothers in age-inappropriate ways, and what it would look like if Hollywood did the same thing with men.

All of the NSA revelations to date in one chart.

10 ways men can combat sexist entitlement.

The Hobby Lobby ruling offers yet another reason why we shouldn’t have an employer-based health insurance system.

A map of which countries subsidize birth control pills or offer them for free.

Despite protestations that the Hobby Lobby ruling was narrow, the Supreme Court has ordered lower courts to rehear cases on denying coverage for any type of contraception.



July 4th recommendation: Freedom Summer

You might not have time today between barbecues and fireworks, but I recommend that you find some soon to check out the important and moving new film Freedom Summer (you can watch it for free here)If we’re going to celebrate our country, the most inspiring stories I can look to are those of people who struggle to make this country live up to its promise. The bravery and dedication of the Freedom Summer organizers helping to register voters in Mississippi in 1964 is awe-inspiring.

It’s especially important to revisit this history as we face a full-on attack on voting rights today. We’re still a long way from the US as portrayed in rousing Independence Day rhetoric, but today is a great day to honor those who are taking us closer step by step.



Corporations win over women: Hobby Lobby roundup


The Supreme Court struck a blow against reproductive rights yesterday in its ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that Katie McDonough sums up as “five male justices ruled that thousands of female employees should rightfully be subjected to the whims of their employers.” It’s infuriating that medical decisions that should be made between women and their doctors are subjected to religious beliefs grounded in junk science. Women need access to the full range of contraception options, and imbuing corporations with the religious rights of a person and inserting those beliefs into women’s health care decisions is unacceptable.  (more…)

Weekend reading


A group of progressive Democrats give the administration a taste of their own medicine on secrecy and drones.

Mother Jones tells you what you need to know about the Supreme Court decision on buffer zones around abortion clinics.

In light of last week’s Supreme Court ruling limiting access to your cell phone, 4 things you need to know if the police try to search your phone.

Rebecca Traister makes a strong case that more women should join Hillary Clinton in running for president in 2016.

Why Orange is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba didn’t consider changing her Nigerian name.

Iranian women defy a ban and watch the World Cup with men. If you like that post, you’ll probably enjoy Jafar Panahi’s film Offside about young Iranian women who sneak into a stadium to watch a World Cup game.

Photos from one of the US’s longest running gay proms.

A Mormon women’s rights activist was excommunicated for advocating the ordination of women.

Is anyone not creeped out by Robin Thicke?

You can almost hear the collective cringe in response to Robin Thicke’s creepy new music video/visual stalking handbook. The video is a strange mix of out of context violent imagery, groping and airing of private text messages.

Not having followed his career closely or listened to his music much, it would be easy to dismiss this embarrassing endeavor, part of an entire album named after his estranged wife. But as several feminist authors have pointed out, there is a troubling undercurrent that reverberates in our culture. (more…)

Calling out candidates on choice works

graphic via womenarewatching.org

graphic via womenarewatching.org

Apparently last Thursday was opposite day in Colorado, as a Republican Senate candidate published an op-ed calling for increased contraception access:

Since “the pill” was first approved 44 years ago, it’s been one of the most proven and tested pharmaceuticals of our time. It is safe, reliable, effective, and presents very few risks or complications for the more than 10 million women who use it. When other drugs have that kind of track record, we approve them for purchase without a prescription; the Food and Drug Administration has already reclassified over 100 different treatments. Name-brand drugs like Advil, Pepcid, Claritin, Prilosec and many others were once sold by prescription only, but moved to over-the-counter sale (OTC) once they’d been proven safe and unlikely to be abused.

When treatments go over-the-counter, two things happen: they get dramatically cheaper and consumers save time and hassle by avoiding unnecessary doctors’ appointments just to get the pharmaceuticals they already know they need.

What caused Rep. Cory Gardner to see the light on this issue? Did he carefully weigh the facts and realize that birth control access is a fundamental right for women?  (more…)