Weekend reading


Everything you need to know about Abercrombie’s hijab court case. Short summary: Abercrombie is awful.

The most anti-women assertions at this year’s CPAC conference.

Prisoners at California’s maximum-security prison are making an album with singer-songwriter Zoe Boekbinder.

How to hire a woman film director.

Men complain more than women about work-family conflicts.

What a debate between two college students reveals about class in America.

Prison phone companies have found a new way to squeeze money out of families.

In case you missed this gem, an Idaho politician weighing in on abortion restrictions thinks the stomach and vagina are connected.

10 fabulous podcasts hosted by fabulous women


Lauren Lapkus

Like many things in our culture, the burgeoning world of podcasting has been dominated by men. But Alex Madison at Bitch Magazine has a great piece about why women’s voices are becoming more prominent in the medium. Women host two of the top three podcasts on iTunes, Serial and the new Invisibilia. I am a huge podcast nerd and spend just about any spare moment I can find with my earbuds in working through my constantly updating feed. In the spirit of highlighting kickass women in podcasting, here are my recommendations for podcasts hosted by women to add to the ones Madison highlights in her piece.


Weekend reading


The one time I checked out the Brownies when I was a kid, we were stitching our names into plastic grids with yarn. These Radical Brownies are about a million times more awesome than that.

The telegram Martin Luther King, Jr. sent to Betty Shabazz after Malcolm X’s assassination.

9 coming-of-age films that aren’t about white men.

Alan Cumming and GLAAD mock the absurdity of the FDA’s regulations on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

Why you might still be paying for birth control even though it’s supposed to be free.

“If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them.” No, no, no, no, no.

Why is bearing children seen as more important that surviving pregnancy?

12 great responses to sexist questions.

Good Samaritans bought a homeless couple 3 nights out of the cold, but the hotel kicked them out.

Jessica Williams is not yours


Speculation about who will replace venerated fake newsman Jon Stewart is running wild. Understandably, after seeing many late night spots go to white men, there’s been a lot of discussion about women who could take over The Daily Show. Also understandably, many of those discussions have centered around Jessica Williams, a correspondent who has put out many brilliant and feminist comic pieces for the show. Williams graciously accepted the compliment and demurred, and that’s when things took a turn, as Katie McDonough wrote at Salon(more…)

Weekend reading


The first couple to get married when marriage equality reached Alabama.

Finally dealing with campus rape means that some men will have it tougher.

A New Jersey judge ruled that claiming to “cure” gay people is consumer fraud.

13 awesome podcasts bringing black voices to the mic.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes are still five times more common today than before 9/11.

A new textbook could revolutionize the way students learn about reproductive rights.

New York is illegally shackling inmates during labor.

Celebrate your right to vote with these vintage suffragette valentines.

A bad feminist is better than no feminist at all

photo via novelsounds.net

photo via novelsounds.net

On top of every other pressure that women feel in our society, we can be hampered by the challenge of try to live up  perfectly to our feminist ideals. As Roxane Gay wrote in her excellent book Bad Feminist “In truth, feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed.” Gay was a guest for a discussion about the realities of practicing feminism with regular hosts Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond in what was a very auspicious beginning to the new Dear Sugar Radio podcast. They took a woman’s letter about recovering from an abusive relationship as a jumping off point for a broader discussion of the tension between being human and trying to be a perfect feminist. It’s well worth an hour of your time. (more…)

Weekend reading


A gift for all the kids in your life: Rad American Women A-Z.

Republicans say Obama’s immigration actions make us unsafe, but cops are all for them.

Lily Tomlin in a movie about a grandmother helping her granddaughter find money to pay for an abortion? Yes, please.

Trademarking of “drone” phrases is already out of hand.

Lindy West confronts a troll who impersonated her dead father.

A leaked memo shows that Twitter realizes they “suck” at dealing with such trolls.

Kaitlyn Mitchell at Bitch crunches some numbers on how much stage time female comedians get.

Don’t worry, Fox News is looking out for men and the horrible ways they’re stereotyped and misrepresented in films.

Law & Order: SVU: the comfort food of television?

old school Stabler and Benson

old school Stabler and Benson

Last week, after a stressful day, I thought to myself, “I’ll put on some Law & Order: SVU to cheer myself up.” I didn’t mean it in the perverse sense that I would watch the show and be reassured because minor stress doesn’t compare to the horrors that people experience in any given 44-minute episode. I meant it because I think of a show that’s solely focused on “especially heinous” crimes, mostly against women, as comfort television. Not for the first time, it occurred to me how odd that is. (more…)

Weekend reading


If, like me, you watched a lot of Saved by the Bell as a kid and then grew up to love bell hooks, enjoy.

England just established “yes means yes” guidelines for police investigating rape.

One of many takedowns of Jonathan Chait’s piece bemoaning “political correctness.”

157 hate tweets a feminist faced in one week.

Reasons you were not promoted that are totally unrelated to gender.

A record-breaking number of wrongfully convicted people were released from prison last year.

Karen Hartman on wanting to go beyond being “passively pro-choice.”

Lena Dunham, Kristen Wiig, Mindy Kaling and Jenji Kohan on misogyny in Hollywood and more.

Debunking the myth of the good guy with a gun.

Donate to help a sexual assault survivor return to Paris to testify against her attacker.

Time to stop running from abortion rights


Democrats have been playing defense on abortion rights for years. They embraced what felt to them like a reasonable compromise with “safe, legal and rare,” but that formulation ignores the reality of women’s need to access abortion care. Contributing to a framework that implies the only “correct” response to an abortion is regret and emotional turmoil reinforces abortion stigma and feeds the cycle that prevents us from having an open and honest discussion. As Katha Pollitt adeptly argues in Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rightswe should embrace abortion as a critical medical procedure that empowers women and contributes to our social and economic equality.  (more…)