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Posts from August 2013

This Week in the War on Women (August 24)

This is cross-posted at Daily Kos.



High School Virginity Check: Coming to a school near you?

So it’s good that these girls can get an education, but my goodness, the disrespect shown to them is unimaginable. Disrespect, I don’t even know what word works here. The patriarchy always knows what’s best for everyone.

“A city on Indonesia's Sumatra Island will require female students to pass a virginity test for entering senior high school in an effort to reduce the rate of "negative acts," news reports said Tuesday.

“Muhammad Rasyid, chief of the Education Agency in the city of Prabumulih in South Sumatra Province, reportedly said the virginity test, which will be a response to the high rate of "adultery" and "prostitution" among female students, is slated to start next year.”


Because Men always Know what God Thinks

The depravity is just incomprehensible. What is the point of religion if it only makes you fearful and full of hate?

“A cleric cut his wife into pieces on Wednesday for refusing to wear a veil and sending their children to school, police said.”

“He said he had been telling her to cover her face with a veil when she stepping outside, but she had not listened. He also wrote that he did not want to be responsible for her sins and thus killed her.”


VIOLENCE: The Kind Women Suffer From

Can’t a Girl Have Fun?

“Recently, the Guardian reported that women gamers who are threatened or targeted for abuse are often told by game companies that it’s their own fault for choosing a female name or avatar. One user reported that the CEO of a popular gaming company simply banned her from playing the game in which she’d been threatened because he was “tired of hearing about” her problems with other players.”


The Double-Standard Lives On: And On And On In Social Media

“A 17-year-old was reportedly hospitalized after a photo of her performing oral sex on two different men went viral. Caroline Linton on a girl's public shaming—and her defenders.”

“Welcome to today’s reminder that it’s different for girls,” wrote Sarah Ditum in the New Statesman “A culture that hates women for having sex is one that simply hates women, and that is the grotty truth photographed at Slane.”


Victims of Domestic Abuse Afraid to Call the Police

It is absolutely incredible (in a very, very bad way) how things always manage to work themselves out to a woman’s detriment. So she can’t call the police for help because they will evict her from her apartment because she’s disrupting the neighborhood. How many times does a woman need to be punished because she is/was with a violent man? Is there never going to be compassion or logic in the way the law deals with women? 

“The nuisance laws are growing in popularity around the country. They are ostensibly enacted to enable landlords to weed out drug dealers and other disruptive tenants from rental properties and create “crime-free neighborhoods.” Unfortunately, they often end up placing victims of domestic violence and other crimes at the mercy of their abusers.”


Rape Culture at Work: Five Examples of How Employers Turn Women into Sex Objects 

1. ”A New Jersey judge ruled that casino waitresses can be fired for gaining weight.”

2. “A widely-used employee training manual tells women how to make sure they don’t lead men on.”

3. “Women at Merrill Lynch have been instructed to seduce their way to the top.”

Check out the other two here:




So How Does a Woman Lean In? Iranian Version

“That’s right, male officials in Iran have deemed Moradi simply too beautiful to hold public office. They even allege that she won her campaign based on her looks alone, calling her posters “vulgar and anti-religious.” To the contrary, her posters are in line with Islamic tradition. In the photograph in question, Moradi dons a hijab and hides all of her hair, as well as her skin other than her face.”

Read more:

Some Games Are Just Too Complicated for Women (Hint: It involves a ball and scoring points, you know, complicated stuff)

I appreciate the apology, but my goodness, will the auto-pilot to sexism ever cease? “Alabama newspaper apologizes for saying women find football ‘confusing’ and ‘often vexing’”


Women Shortchanged In Retirement Earnings

An NPR interview (transcript also provided). Systemic change is needed. Once again: stop blaming individual women, even those who are the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This is a societal issue.

 “We're talking about the implications of the retirement-gender gap. And Paul, speaking to this gender gap specifically, what solves it? Is it bringing pay up to equal? If men and women are making the same amount, will then their retirement accounts have the same amount in them?

“SOLMAN: Well, not if, in fact, women leave the work force for longer periods of time than men, right? Even if they were making a hundred percent of what men make, if they had fewer years they'd have fewer years to accumulate income, they'd have a smaller pension and they'd have lower Social Security. So that by itself wouldn't change things unless you literally have men be house husbands to the exact same extent that women have been housewives, you know, over the years.”



Can They Ever Just Relax and Let People Get Medical Care?

“Well, if you’re watching Fox, you’d think it’s apocalyptic. Right wing radio host Mike Gallagher acted like there was nothing more outrageous than a public health clinic getting involved in a program that helps people get better access to health care. “I always try to anticipate what my friends on the left will possibly say to try to defend this egregious about-face,” he chuckled on Fox. The “about-face” is a reference to the overt lie underpinning this entire campaign against Planned Parenthood, which is the conservative claim that Obama somehow promised that Planned Parenthood as an entity would not get any federal funding under the Affordable Care Act. Obama made no such promise. He signed an executive order disallowing abortion to be covered in health care plans sold on the exchange, but signing people up for health care should not be equated with giving them abortions or even giving them plans that cover abortion. That’s like saying the Department of Motor Vehicles is casting your ballot for you by giving you the opportunity to register to vote—an outright and inflammatory lie.”

“Anti-choice activists object not just to abortion but to any reproductive technologies or sex education that makes it easier for people, women especially, to have sex without serious negative consequences.” (Emphasis added because it gets to the point so succinctly.)


Let’s See if You Can Play Fair

“Seven doctors who perform abortions in Wisconsin are applying for hospital admitting privileges as a way to show they cannot comply with a new state law (SB 206) that requires them to have the privileges, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.”


North Dakota Showing the Way

“A North Dakota judge on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction against a state law (SB 2305) that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, Bloomberg reports.”


And Bingo! But Can They Listen to SCIENCE and DATA?

“An analysis of these documents shows that congressional Republicans will find no support for their arguments in favor of new restrictions on abortion care in the evidence presented by the states. In particular, to the extent that anti-choice advocates claim that women are being put at risk by abortion services, these documents—from the very state entities charged with overseeing and regulating abortion—show the contrary. They show that abortion in the United States is highly regulated and overwhelmingly safe.”


Using Tragedy for their Own Ends

“A tragedy, and Surovik was furious when she found out that while the other driver would be penalized for driving drunk, he wouldn’t be punished for causing her miscarriage. Her anger, and the terrible situation, has served as a perfect opportunity for the always-active anti-choice movement in Colorado, which seized upon it as an ideal excuse to advance yet another attempt at a fetal personhood law. Under such laws, a developing fetus is given rights similar to those of a fully developed person outside of the womb, despite the potentially dangerous implications of such measures.”

Read more:


Abortion in Texas: The Game

Fundraising is underway to develop Choice: Texas, an interactive fiction game based on abortion access in the state of Texas.

According to the Kansas City Star, protesters from across the country, called the Abortion Rights Freedom Riders, converged on a crisis pregnancy center called – without a hint of irony – A Better Choice. They held signs that said “Fake Clinic” and “Stop Forced Motherhood” in front of the crisis pregnancy center, which happens to also share a parking lot with Operation Rescue, an anti-choice group known for their graphic protests of abortion clinics.”

“No one is doubting that anti-choice activists are well-organized and effective, but now pro-choice activists are fighting back. As long as they don’t start murdering people in cold blood, I say that it’s time to get loud.”

Read more:


Unbelievable: In the YEAH! Department

“Birka Avenger: A Super-Hero in a Birka for Women’s Education in Pakistan”

Have a look at the clip and know that progress is being made for girls’ education where we don’t expect it.


A Discovery that Makes So Much Sense

“The discovery in Peru of another tomb belonging to a pre-Hispanic priestess, the eighth in more than two decades, confirms that powerful women ruled this region 1,200 years ago, archeologists said.”

“This find makes it clear that women didn’t just run rituals in this area but governed here and were queens of Mochica society,” project director Luis Jaime Castillo told AFP.


Planned Parenthood Winning in Court

“The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. District Court ruling that will prevent Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s administration from effectively defunding Planned Parenthood.”

“This marks the second time in less than a month that Planned Parenthood has defeated an attempt to limit access to its facilities. On July 30, the ACLU prevailed in its lawsuit on behalf Planned Parenthood of Indiana when Judge Tanya Walton Pratt decided that an Indiana law similar to the Arizona one violated the same free-choice-of-provider provision.”


Too Touchy: Filner Resigns

I guess now he’ll have some time for real therapy, not the pretend days in hiding.


Hero Who Used Her Words

And this story proves the lie that only guns fight guns. NO WORDS DO. YOU GO GIRL! A tragedy was averted in Georgia by a compassionate, wise, patient woman: Antoinette Tuff.

Award the Presidential Citizens Medal to Antoinette Tuff of Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Atlanta, GA


Not Forgetting Gun Violence: Action Against the NRA

Protesting against the NRA August 2013

This is where I was tonight: outside of NRA headquarters in Virginia protesting the NRA and calling for background checks. The tee-shirts that you see in the picture had the names of the people killed at Virginia Tech and Newtown. The tee-shirt in front of me was a children’s small. It was for Allison, who was born on 07/03/2006 and killed on 12/14/2013; the number on the back of her shirt was 6, for her age. Devastating to look at the line of shirts that is a bare representation of the people who are killed by guns in this country every year.

Lots of people honked their horns in support of us as they drove by. One guy, who came out of the headquarters, yelled, “Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?” And two men gave us the finger. Other than them, there were lots of thumbs up and honking—even from guys in pickup trucks.

Let’s all do what we can to support background checks, and other measures to staunch the flow of guns and the deaths and injuries and heartache that they sow.

Let us turn swords into ploughshares.

(The protest was a Day of Action to prevent gun violence organized by Organizing for Action and the local group Concerned Citizens Against Gun Violence.)

Diary on "the War on Women" at Daily Kos

One of the things that I have been working on lately is compiling a weekly This Week in the War on Women diary at DailyKos. This week's is now available: This Week in the War on Women. I'll be doing them every couple of weeks. At first I thought that there wouldn't be much to find since it is the end of summer. Alas, I was wrong. It is incessant, the beat against women, here and around the world. A never-ending war.