Weekend reading

rape cloak

An artist has designed a “rape cloak” to ask people to rethink consent.

Male scientists receive twice as much funding as their female peers.

Opposition to legal abortion take magical thinking and a lack of logic.

A troubling email from Hillary Clinton on LGBT issues.

Whole Foods promises to stop selling food produced by people in prison.

The ridiculous number of guns owned by Americans, in one chart.

Please by inspired by the badass women of the 2015 MacArthur Genius grant. 

Weekend reading


Amy Poehler’s smart girls asked the best Emmy red carpet questions.

Why do we vilify Kim Davis, but accept doctors who refuse women abortion care?

Killing a white person is almost the only reason murderers ever receive the death penalty.

This law is supposed to protect babies, but it’s putting their moms behind bars.

The AP just adopted a stronger way to describe climate change doubters.

If feminist icons lose their way, the movement continues without them.

Enough with the queer and trans films that are actually about straight people.

What Donald Trump doesn’t understand about calling women beautiful.

A transgender woman live tweets her expulsion from Orlando airport.

Brewing Hatred: Coors markets to Women, Latinos, LGBT Communities as Coors family attacks their rights.

How to teach consent


As the idea of affirmative consent gains in popularity, there are still many people who stubbornly refuse to recognize the importance of changing the way we teach people about sex. Many of these are the same people who want to focus on telling women to stop drinking and wear different clothes to protect themselves from sexual assault, rather than focusing on the perpetrators of the crime and fighting back against rape culture.  (more…)

Weekend reading


An innovative new program teaches Bay Area jail inmates gardening skills.

Ann Friedman analyzes Republican candidates’ attempts to pick a woman to put on the $10 bill.

Comedian Sarah Silverman says being put off by “political correctness” is “a sign of being old.” 

Here are 8 terms you can use instead of “anchor baby.”

Chicago Sun-Times writer says sex workers cannot be raped.

Matt Damon inadvertently demonstrates why Hollywood isn’t more diverse.

Immigrant woman could face deportation after she tried to go to the doctor.

Twitter was not amused by Vanity Fair’s celebration of late-night TV’s sausage fest.

If you like Return of the Jedi but hate the Ewoks, you understand feminist criticism.

Remember Sarah Palin? Women don’t vote for a woman just because she’s a woman

fiorina gop debate

Carly Fiorina is being hailed as the winner of last week’s Republican presidential debate (a dubious honor if there ever was one). She certainly came across as more polished and articulate than many of her bumbling opponents. But the New York Times is giving way too much credence to Republicans’ argument that she could help the party appeal to women:

With a debate performance that was steely and at times deeply personal,Carly Fiorina appears to have improved her standing in the race to be the Republican nominee. But even if she falls short, she took a big stride toward filling a role her party badly needs: a credible antidote to the gender gap and the Democrats’ claims of a Republican “war on women.”

Carly Fiorina isn’t an antidote to the war on women. She’s a soldier in it. (more…)

Weekend reading

Care Net ad

At NARAL Pro-Choice California, we had some fun “welcoming” an anti-choice conference to San Diego.

What would it look like to decriminalize sex work? Just ask New Zealand.

What it’s like to live on $2 a day in the United States.

Republican’s mind blown when witness tells him some Planned Parenthood patients are mothers.

Women aren’t here to smile for you.

5 female farmworkers will be awarded $17 million after facing rape and harassment.

Only 3 of 45 House Democrats who who voted “no” on Obamacare are still there.

The secret to Connie Britton’s amazing hair is feminism.

A generous feminist response to “Dear Fat People”


The internet has been abuzz about Nicole Arbour’s offensive “Dear Fat People” video. Before I wrote this post, I thought I should actually watch the video I was writing about, but I only made it through about 30 seconds. It was all I needed to get the point. It was fat-shaming (which she dismisses as a concept), lazy and unfunny. Arbour puts on a show as though it’s a brave move to heap criticism on people who are overweight. Our society has a made a lot of progress in pushing back against fat shaming, but she is still expressing the dominant viewpoint, if in a more blunt way than most.

There’s a lot to criticize here, but Lindy West, who has done a lot of wonderful writing about body acceptance, offered a rousing and generous response:

So, instead, I want to pull back and say this, to all the Nicole Arbours of the world: You know what, Nicole? I fight for you.

Whether you like it or not, whether you realise it or not, your life is tangibly better because of fat women who live unapologetically, who wedge the gates of acceptance open wider every day. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who wants to be more than just a body. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman whose body is scrutinised and policed every moment of your life. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who wants to be taken seriously in comedy. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who wants to be heard, not blamed, when she reports a sexual assault. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who will eventually age and be told you are without value. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman vulnerable to any number of emotional and physical maladies that could, to your surprise, make you as fat as me. I fight for you in your capacity as a complex, fully formed human being with the right to autonomy over your body, even if that body gets fat.

I fight for you even when you are cruel, even when you are making money off the back of fat people’s pain, even when you refuse to fight for me. Because I know that it is hard to have a body, that insecurities make us mean, and that male approval can be a comfortable harbour while it lasts.

But you will eventually be kicked out of the club, and when that happens, you may find yourself grateful to those of us who have built a new one. Safe journey.


Weekend reading


Read one Texas abortion doctor’s scathing ultrasound informed consent form.

Your guilt trip won’t stop gentrification.

No, the anti-choice movement doesn’t care about sexism, racism or ableism.

Kim Davis is wrong–but bashing her looks isn’t right.

Man acquitted of dumping beer on Native American kids’ heads at hockey game.

Black America’s “gaslight” nightmare: The psychological warfare being waged against Black Lives Matter.

Democrats pass a resolution supporting Black Lives Matter, but Black Lives Matter doesn’t support Democrats.

The rape culture tropes we hardly even notice


In my belated binge watch of “Scandal,” I was one of many people simply could not stand Mellie, the overdramatic, calculating wife of President Grant. I simultaneously hated her and found myself annoyed at the writers for creating a female character that I wanted to hate so much.

There was a turning point in the story that made Mellie suddenly sympathetic. It was revealed in a flashback that she had been raped by her father-in-law and suffered in silence for years. This plot line showed a different side of her character and from there on out she became much easier to root for. Admittedly, I did not think about this in the moment as one of many tropes of rape culture.

There are obvious ways that rape culture manifests, the most common being portraying women who accuse men of rape as liars. But Flavorwire talked to writer Kate Harding about her new book and covered 6 tropes of rape culture that I’m sure many of us see on TV and in movies regularly but don’t even register. Read the piece and see how many you recognize. Do you always notice these ways rape culture seeps into our entertainment?

Weekend reading


Music writer’s Twitter feed exposes industry’s harsh sexism, marginalization.

Opponents of abortion rights, including those convicted of violent crimes, are digging up details about patients and doctors.

What would happen if we repealed birthright citizenship.

The case against cash bail.

Actually, Hillary, hearts do change.

Questioning Trump’s insane immigration plan doesn’t make Jorge Ramos an “activist.”

Doctor pens anonymous essay recounting sexual misconduct in operating rooms.