Sunday, October 31, 2010

Suggested Sunday reading (10/31/10)

Just a quick reminder, you can submit links for this column via e-mail at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com, and you can catch up with Spare Candy on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr as well. Or! Leave a link in the comments! Self-promotion is perfectly acceptable here.

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you made it through without being exposed to too many awful costumes. What makes an awful costume? Well, Colorlines has helpfully provided a list of "Seven Racist Costumes to Avoid This Halloween," so that's a start (though oddly, their list doesn't include any Native American/Pocahontas-type costumes, which I think are extremely common). You can also check out Resist Racism's "The annual Halloween post." Then, of course, there are the oh-so-many "sexy" versions of costumes. Like "sexy Big Bird," which should never ever ever have been made. Ever.

In other news:
  • Village Voice: "Dustin Dominiak: The Guy Who Sleazed Christine O'Donnell, Says Friend (Updated)." I'm not going to link to the Gawker article in question; you can find it easily enough if you want to read it. But I will link to this article outing the author of the Gawker article. Also check out this Politico article: "Christine O'Donnell camp rips Gawker 'slander,'" and this article: "NOW Defends O'Donnell After One Night Stand Story." I posted my thoughts about this on Tumblr. In short, I'm with O'Donnell on this.
  • AlterNet: "Covered up: More than 1/3 of American woman soldiers raped." This deals with some documents recently made public by WikiLeaks.
  • Jezebel: "How To Rape A Woman And Get Away With It." Major trigger warning here.
  • The Curvature: "Media Employ Tabloid Tactics to Report on Rape Allegations Against Candidate."
  • Transmeditations’s Blog: "Bob Jensen, Lierre Keith et al.: The Rabid, Transphobic Hate-Mongering of the Anti-Pornography Movement."
  • The Independent: "US-style anti-abortion protesters target clinics in Britain." Sigh.
  • Los Angeles Times: "For women, ideology trumps the gender card: Female voters are judging Whitman and Fiorina more harshly than men, Times/USC poll finds."
  • The Guardian: "Sarah Palin's 'mamas': more grisly than grizzly." If you're looking for a good, ranty article about "conservative feminists," click on this one. Love this line: "'Conservative feminism' has nothing to do with empowering women in general, and everything to do with empowering these women in particular."
  • Raspberry Mousse: "October 26th is Intersex Awareness Day. Learn the facts." Yes, this was earlier in the week, but still good information!
  • "Arkansas School Board Member Says Gay Students Should "Get AIDS and Die.'" Including this in case you didn't hear about it. The guy has since resigned and issued a standard non-apology apology.
  • "Gold's Gym Takes Your Membership Fees and Gives Them to Anti-Gay Politicians."
  • "Is Your Amazon Cruise All-Inclusive of Child Rape?"
  • The Curvature: "Justice Department Report on Sexual Assault in Juvenile Detention Minimizes Violence."
  • The Guardian: "'Fat' blog aesthetics: The Marie Claire blogger who wrote about being 'grossed out' by fat people created a huge backlash, but I know she's not alone."
  • New York Times: "4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case." Yep. A 4-year-old.
  • Al Jazeera: "BP dispersants 'causing sickness': Investigation by Al Jazeera online correspondent finds toxic illnesses linked to BP oil dispersants along Gulf coast."
  • The Age: "Feminism curbing Third World women." This is such an important point.
  • Womanist Musings: "I'm Sorry Whiteness, You Can't have Everything."
  • Swiss Info: "Swiss stage world’s first antifeminism event." File this under "things I don't want to know but need to know."
  • New York Times: "Why Can’t Middle-Aged Women Have Long Hair?" I love this article, probably because I am in my 30s and have very long hair and intend to keep it until I'm 80.

Popular Culture:
  • Making Of: "Indie Darling Lena Dunham talks 'Tiny Furniture.'" I really want to see this movie.
  • Twitch: "Uwe Boll's BLUBBERELLA Will Kick Major Ass. With Her Major Ass." Not sure what to make of this.
  • Bitch: "Horror Show: Faux-feminism and Horror Films." I would offer up "The Descent" as a possible feminist horror film. Thoughts?
  • Entertainment Weekly: "Ron Howard says 'gay' joke will stay in 'The Dilemma'; GLAAD criticizes decision." You can read the background about this joke here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

In History: Nettie Podell Ottenberg

This is the 49th post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

Nettie Podell Ottenberg (1887-1982), who organized the National Child Day Care Association and became known as "the mother of day care" for her lobbying activities, was born in Russia and came to the United States at the age of 5. She grew up on New York's Lower East Side, where, when she was 16, she found a starving woman in a neighborhood tenement. Shocked at the hostility then prevalent against the poor, she decided to become a social worker and graduated in the first class of the School of Philanthropy (later part of Columbia University).

In 1908, when she was 21, she became a suffragist. Later she began lobbying for day care as she saw more and more mothers entering the work force. When she was in her 70s, she testified before the Senate and obtained the first public money ($50,000) ever allotted to day care in the federal city. She continued to work into her 90s for medical screening for day care children, for the NCDCA's $1.5 million showcase program in the District of Columbia, for therapy for slow learners in public schools and a 1979 conference on slow learners, and for a "granny patrol" paying "kids in gangs" a small amount to be escorts for old people.

Podell had another passion: After women gained the right to vote in 1920, she helped found the "Voteless DC" chapter of the brand-new League of Women Voters. Speaking at a 1936 conference of the national league, she prevailed on the group to back federal suffrage for the District.

A longtime member of the Washington, D.C., section of the National Council for Jewish Women, Ottenberg became president of the local group in 1938. She used it as a platform for District voting rights, backed by the NCJW, which, as early as 1957, blamed congressional resistance to the change on racist attitudes.

Over some two decades, Ottenberg would testify before Congress on behalf of the D.C. franchise and lived to cast ballots for president there, after its approval in 1962.

Sources: "The Women's Book of World Records and Achievements,"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Learn More about the Challenges Facing Mothers Behind Bars" with NWLC

I want to bring this webinar to your attention because it sounds fantastic and educational! The National Women's Law Center is hosting this; here's what they have to say about it:

More women — two-thirds of whom are mothers — are behind bars today than at any other point in U.S. history as a result of mandatory sentencing for drug offenses. Federal and state correctional laws and regulations must ensure the humane treatment of these women. Policy makers’ failure to do so results in the neglect of pregnant women and mothers and unnecessary suffering for them and their children.

On Monday, November 8 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, we are hosting a webinar to discuss how federal and state correctional laws can better meet the needs of pregnant and parenting women behind bars. We hope you can join us.

The National Women’s Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights co-wrote the Mothers Behind Bars report exploring the egregious practice of shackling women during childbirth and other important issues affecting pregnant and parenting women behind bars — the vast majority of whom are non-violent, first-time offenders. In the report, we grade each state on whether it has adequate policies — or any policies at all — on prenatal care, shackling, and family-based drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. We give 20 states and the District of Columbia overall failing grades and identify steps that the federal government could take to improve conditions of confinement for women in federal facilities, including prisons and immigration detention.

Join me and my co-author, Malika Saada Saar, Executive Director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, to learn more about the issues facing pregnant and parenting mothers behind bars. Register for the webinar today!

Thank you for your continued support of women and their families.

Jill Morrison,
Senior Counsel,
National Women's Law Center

See how great that sounds? Unfortunately I have to work at the time of the webinar so I can't tune in, but I hope a lot of you can -- this is an important topic often ignored or undervalued. You can register for the webinar here (you will probably have to register with NWLC), and you can download the NWLC's report here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Planning on voting Nov. 2? Check out these resources

The United States has a big mid-term election on Nov. 2, with all House seats and a number of Senate seats on the line (as well as all kinds of state and local races and issues, of course). If you're planning to vote, or thinking about voting, check out these two resources:

NARAL's Pro-Choice Voter's Guide:
This is an excellent tool to check candidates' stances on abortion. It has a map of all 50 states. Click on, say, Ohio, and you'll find this information on the Senate race:
Lieutenant Gov. Lee Fisher (D) is pro-choice.
Lieutenant Gov. Lee Fisher has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC.)

Rob Portman (R) is anti-choice.
  • Former Rep. Portman voted to deny funding of abortion care to survivors of rape and incest. [House vote #619 (8/3/95); House vote #51 (3/7/96)]
  • Endorsed by the National Right to Life PAC.
  • Endorsed by the Ohio Right to Life PAC.
  • For 12 of the 13 years Rob Portman served in Congress, his Congressional Voting Record score was zero.
You'd also find similar information on all the House races, as well voter registration and early/absentee voting deadlines, and links to help find your polling place if you don't know it.

National Women's Law Center's "Why Women Should Vote: Fact Sheets"
From the site:
The 2010 midterm elections will have a critical effect on whether women and families will get the helping hand they need in these difficult times. In the coming months, Congress is poised to make decisions on a host of critical issues, including unemployment insurance, health insurance coverage, and other important supports for struggling families.

Women’s votes make an important difference, and we can't afford for women to sit this one out. To learn more, read our fact sheets on Why Women Should Vote.  If women don’t show up to vote, we’ll all lose.
Any other resources you would recommend? Leave a link in the comments!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guest post: Why Do Women Apologize More Often Than Men?

Today's guest post comes courtesy of Che Kamal, who is a regular contributor at If you're interested in writing a guest post for Spare Candy or cross-posting something, check out the guidelines or send an e-mail to rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

Conflict is a common occurrence anywhere. There are just some occasions where one is involved in a fight or a simple misunderstanding with another person. This type of conflict is called interpersonal conflict, which is not new among families, friends, colleagues, and especially in couples. Some issues just stir up misunderstanding, anger and eventually lead to a bigger fight. However, the problem cannot be resolved without reconciling the two. Asking for apology is basically the initial step for reconciliation and to forget ill-feelings.

Do you believe that women utter the words “I’m sorry” more often than the opposite gender? If you say yes, then you are right! According to a recent study, women apologize more often than men do. This doesn’t mean that men are hesitant to admit they have done something wrong in their part. The study shows that they just have a higher threshold over something that demands reconciliation. Furthermore, the study found out why women apologize more frequently.

The researchers looked at the number of apologies and the number of offenses that the participants had committed, and they found no disparity between the genders. Karina Schumann, one of the researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, stressed that it is not that men think they will appear weak or because they are not responsible with their actions that they are actively refusing to make the move and apologize. They do apologize frequently when they think they have committed wrong or every time the women think they’ve done wrong. It’s just that men believe they’ve done fewer wrongs.

Women are often regarded as the more apologetic ones; however, evidences are not enough to rightfully establish this opinion. To see the differences on the genders’ apologizing and reasons for doing so, Schumann and her colleagues made two studies. In one study, it revealed that women have reported more offensive acts, which could be the reason why they apologized more. However, both genders showed that when they thought they’ve committed a wrongdoing, they apologized 81 percent of the time. Also, men rarely report being offended. A further study was conducted in relation with this to see if men are just not easily offended or are they simply insensitive when they’ve done something wrong.

The second study took a sample of 120 undergraduates who were tasked to rate how severe the particular offense was. The results revealed that women rated the severity of the offense more compared to men and they were suggesting that the offense required an apology. However, this study was only participated in by a small cluster of university students and the results might not be applicable to the general population.

Unlike men as previously mentioned, Schumann speculated that women might have a lower threshold for an offense maybe because they are more empathetic and concerned with the emotions of other people and in initiating accord in their relationships. With the men and women’s dissimilar perceptions over several situations, these may be of help for both genders to get along and live in harmony. Schumann stated that men and women have different opinions in the events that have occurred between them. For instance, when one partner is mad and feeling offended, he or she must consider that the other partner might have not perceived the event in the same way he or she did.

Schumann added that instead of assuming that your partner can precisely understand and read your thoughts and emotions, you need to communicate with your partner openly about what you are feeling and eventually out of that communication a successful reconciliation may be obtained.

Editor's note: I realize this article deals only with heterosexual relationships; as far as I can tell, that's all the study included. If anyone has similar information for other relationships, please let me know!

Monday, October 25, 2010

"The Assassination of Dr. Tiller" airs on TV tonight

If you can't watch it live, set your DVRs, Tivos, VCRs, whatever for "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller," which airs at 9 p.m. EST tonight on MSBNC. (I suspect it will also be available online at MSNBC after it airs.) Rachel Maddow and her crew have put together this hour-long documentary about the 2009 murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in Kansas. I expect this will be a good program; I trust Rachel Maddow to do her best to report on this subject. Just take a look at this clip from her show last week, when she was talking about "Wanted" posters of abortion doctors:

Tell me who else on TV or in the mainstream media talks about this as often and as well as Maddow does?

Feministing just posted their "Feministing Five" with Rachel Maddow a couple days ago, and I highly recommend it. A lot of it is relevant to this documentary. For example, they ask her "Why did you decide to make a documentary about the assassination of Dr. Tiller, and why did you feel so strongly about doing a larger-scale production about the anti-abortion movement?" (Her answer is great.) She also talks about the above segment on the "Wanted" posters.

A three-minute preview of the documentary has been posted at the Maddow blog:

In addition, check out "Dr. Tiller's Story Still Not Over," also on the Maddow blog. You can read more about such posters and abortion clinic violence here and here. If you're interested, you can read the Feminist Majority Foundation's "2008 National Clinic Violence Survey" here (PDF), and you can see a list of violence against abortion doctors, clinics and staff in the United States here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Suggested Sunday reading (10/24/10)

Just a quick reminder, you can submit links for this column via e-mail at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com, and you can catch up with Spare Candy on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr as well. Or! Leave a link in the comments! Self-promotion is perfectly acceptable here.

I'm running late, so I'm going to get right to it today:

  • Ms. blog: "Cheerleader Required to Cheer for Man Who Assaulted Her."
  • "11 College Women Hospitalized After Slipped Date Rape Drug at Party." This is at Central Washington University.
  • AlterNet: "Shocking: College Rapists Almost Always Get Off the Hook."
  • Colorado Independent: "Rape victims deem Buck’s support of abortion ban 'appalling.'"’
  • Questioning Transphobia: "Theory is Yours: A Brief Archaeology of Trans Feminist Awesome."
  • Bird of Paradox: "National Transgender Discrimination Survey results."
  • Kasama: "Race and wealth: the widening gap."
  • Feministing: "Black Marriage Negotiations Video Perpetuates Stereotypes and Ignores Context."
  • A Certain Beauty: "'Sesame Street' encourages little black girls to love their natural hair." (Video below.) Also check out "Black hair disrupts whiteness this week" on The Loop 21.

  • TBD (Amanda Hess): "GW offers female-only swim for Muslim students." GW = George Washington University. This is a great idea, by the way.
  • Towelroad: "Cub Scouts: Gay Dad Can be 'Popcorn Fundraiser' But Not Leader."
  • CNN: "Lesbian couple ejected from mall meet with property managers."
  • Associated Press: "'Hang them': Uganda paper publishes photos of gays."
  • AFP: "Feminism, war and silence fuel domestic abuse in Finland."
  • wild child, full of grace: "Today in Rape Culture: '14-Year-Old Girl Raped in Bathroom After Being Used as Bait.'" There is a related petition about this on
  • Women's Views on News: "Rape 'impossible' in marriage, says Muslim cleric." This is Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain.
  • Associated Press: "Study: Women give more to charity than men."
  • Colorlines: "CDC Study Shows Teen Pregnancy About Education, Not Race."
  • Washington Post: "Chinese woman forced to abort 8-month-old fetus."
  • Feministing: "Oct 18-22 Is Intl Access to Safe Abortion Week."
  • Shakesville: "WHAT. THE. EVERLOVING. FUCK." This post is in response to the article ""Eight Straight Suicides," written by a "conservative."
  • CNN: "20-year-old woman becomes top cop in violent Mexican municipality."
  • Gawker: "The Rape Accusation Against Meg Whitman's Son That Got Hushed Up."
  • RH Reality Check: "Yale Fraternity's Chant Reveals Depth of Our Culture's Misogyny."
  • "UAE Gives Men the Okay to Beat their Wives and Children."
Pop Culture:

Friday, October 22, 2010

In History: The Supremes

This is the 48th post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

On this day, Oct. 22, in 1966, The Supremes became the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album with "The Supremes A' Go-Go."

On the album are original songs:
"Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart"
"You Can't Hurry Love"
"Put Yourself in My Place"
And covers:
"Baby I Need Your Loving", "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)", "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" by the Four Tops;
"Get Ready" by The Temptations
"Come and Get These Memories" by Martha and the Vandellas
"Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong
"This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" by The Isley Brothers
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra
"Hang On Sloopy" by The McCoys

Honestly, if you aren't aware of The Supremes, I'm not sure how to help you. (Jokes! But really, YouTube is your friend here.) I could never attempt to give a comprehensive history of the group, so I will just say that they were first known as The Primettes, later as Diana Ross & the Supremes, and then The Supremes again. They started young, still in high school, in 1959 with members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown, all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit. Members changed over the years, and included Barbara Martin (1960–1962), Cindy Birdsong (1967–1972, 1973–1976), Jean Terrell (1970–1973), Lynda Laurence (1972–1973), Scherrie Payne (1973–1977) and Susaye Greene (1976–1977). The Supremes broke down barriers for black women in the music world, and did something that was hard for black artists to do at the time: became wildly successful among both black audiences and white audiences.

This album of theirs that reached No. 1 was hardly their only work. All told, they had 29 studio albums, four live albums, 27 compilation albums, 60 singles, two soundtracks and eight other albums. Thirty-three of their singles reached the Billboard Top 40 in the US, 23 reached either the US or UK Top 10, and 12 of them reached the No. 1 position on the US pop chart. Twelve of their albums reached the Top 10 in either the US or UK, with five of them going to No. 1.

Photo source.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Suggested Sunday reading (10/17/10)

Just a quick reminder, you can submit links for this column via e-mail at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com, and you can catch up with Spare Candy on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr as well. Or! Leave a link in the comments! Self-promotion is perfectly acceptable here.

I'm not normally big on the kind of column I'm about to quote, but I love the answer given in this one by Carolyn Hax for the Washington Post. She answers a question about (paraphrasing) why women are in relationships with "abusive" men instead of with "nice" men. Her answer is short, but great. Here's just part of it:
If you're male, and if you're angry that women aren't receptive to you when you see yourself as a "nice" guy, and you believe these women are instead receptive to abusive guys, then maybe it would be productive to consider that you're harboring attitudes about women (and men, for that matter) that aren't really "nice" at all.
The conversation goes on to discuss Nice Guy Syndrome; it's good.

In other news:
  • The Vancouver Sun: "Afghan activist calls for end to NATO 'occupation' of her country."
  • The Guardian: "The new anorexics: big increase in eating disorders among women over 30."
  • Huffington Post: "Closing the Gender Gap," by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
  • ABC News: "Citigroup Sued by 6 Women Alleging Gender Bias."
  • BBC: "Iceland 'best country for gender equality.'" I want to go to there.
  • USA Today: "Women in politics? The U.S. is failing." When it comes to women's representation in the government, the United States ranks 90th out of 186 countries worldwide. And is expected to lose women in the next election.
  • Spero News: "Africa launches Women's Decade with keynote address from deputy UN chief."
  • New York Times: "The True Mission of 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers.'" Also check out the Wall Street Journal article "Council Sets Abortion Fight; New Bill Would Set Strict Disclosure Requirements for Crisis-Pregnancy Centers."
  • The Age: "Advocates call for abortion law reform." This is about the couple in Queensland, Australia, who was acquitted of a charge over a home abortion. Abortion is illegal in most cases in Queensland.
  • New York Post: "Paladino leases to abortion clinic." Even though he is against abortion in any case, Paladino is the landlord of a Planned Parenthood clinic. Go figure.
  • Salt Lake Tribune: "Abortion access and training expands in Utah."
  • Sydney Morning Herald: "Talking About Rape: There are many reasons women don't report rape. I know, because it happened to me - twice."
  • Good Feed: "In Yale Fraternity Pledging, Rape Is Laughing Matter." Awful. Just awful. So full of privilege I can smell it from here. You can sign a petition about this at
  • Feminist Majority Foundation: "Two Indigenous Mexican Rape Victims Awarded Damages."
  • The Curvature: "Canadian Court Overturns Ruling that Rape Victim Must Remove Niqab to Testify."
  • Associated Press: "NYC officials outraged over anti-gay gang torture."
  • The F Word: "Why cis attendees of RTN are letting trans women down."
  • Jezebel: "Oklahoma Teen Commits Suicide After Homophobic Meeting."
  • Windy City Times: "Queer suicides: Complicate the issue."
  • CNN: "Florida won't appeal ruling stopping adoption ban by gay men, lesbians." Awkwardly worded headline, but this is good news.
  • Washington Post: "Pentagon to comply with court order to end 'don't ask, don't tell.'"
  • The Grio: "Family embraces 5 year old son who wants to be princess." I love this story. What a great family.
Pop Culture:
  • Washington Post: "Why 'Mad Men' is TV's most feminist show."
  • New York Times: "Women on the Verge of a Big Broadway Gamble," about "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," the new Broadway musical by film director Pedro Almodóvar.
  • Spangle: "The Slippery Slope of the MPAA's New Ratings Policy." This is a great article.
  • Women & Hollywood: "Zero Progress Made on Gender Disparity in Films Targeted at Kids."
  • ComingSoon: "First Look at Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe."
  • Women & Hollywood: "Awards Watch: Women Directors Dominate The Documentary Shorts."
  • Ms. blog: "Rape Kit Backlog Hits Primetime on 'SVU.'"

Friday, October 15, 2010

In History: Alice Stewart

This is the 47th post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

 Dr. Alice Mary Stewart was born in Sheffield, England, in October, 1906, and lived until June, 2002. She studied pre-clinical medicine at Girton College in Cambridge. According to The Guardian, "She was, however, one of only four women among 300 men on her course, and recalled having to run the gauntlet of hostile male students stamping their feet in protest at the women's attendance at lectures." In 1932, Stewart completed her clinical studies at the Royal Free Hospital in London. She worked in hospital posts in Manchester and London before returning to the Royal Free Hospital as a registrar. In 1941, Stewart took a teaching post at the Oxford University Medical School, where she developed her interest in social medicine, advising on health problems experienced by wartime munitions workers.

As a physician and epidemiologist, Stewart specialized in social medicine and the effects of radiation on health. In 1953, the Medical Research Council allocated funds to Stewart's pioneering study of x-rays as a cause of childhood cancer, which she worked on from 1953 until 1956. Her findings on fetal damage caused by x-rays of pregnant women were eventually accepted worldwide and the use of medical x-rays during pregnancy and early childhood was curtailed as a result.

Stewart retired in 1974, but she continued doing notable work, including working on the controversial Hanford (Wash.) plutonium production plant study that ultimately found a far higher incidence of radiation-induced ill health than was noted in official government studies. (You can read much more about that here; it's quite interesting.)

For even more information, check out the New York Times' obituary for Stewart.

Photo source

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guest post: "The Bechdel Test: Women in Movies"

Today's guest post comes courtesy of Gunter Jameson, who writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and online classes. If you're interested in writing a guest post for Spare Candy or cross-posting something, check out the guidelines or send an e-mail to rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

In the last 50 years, Hollywood has made some great strides to include more well-rounded female characters and create more good roles for female actors. But just because there are more roles for women doesn’t mean that the parts that these women play are getting much better or living up to any type of feminist standard. In fact, one theory of movies will give you a whole new perspective on feminism in pop culture. It’s called the Bechdel Test.

The Bechdel Test was invented in 1985 in an underground comic strip called “Dykes to Watch Our For” by Alison Bechdel. In the comic strip, one of the characters says she only sees movies that fit three criteria:
  1. It has more than one woman character
  2. The two women talk to each other
  3. They talk to each other about something other than the men in the movie
Some proponents of the Bechdel Test also add that there has to be more than one woman in the motive who have names. (Learn more here.) The test itself is not even a measure of whether or not the movie is feminist, but rather is simply a test to find out if the movie portrays an active female presence and if the characters are well rounded.

You’d be surprised at the number of movies that can’t pass this simple test. In fact the website has a running tally of current movies that pass or fail the test. Further, some of the most famous and popular movies of the past few years can’t fully pass the test:
  • Shrek
  • The Dark Knight
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Transformers
  • Wall-E
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (all of them)
  • Lord of the Rings (all of them)
Even movies that appear on the surface to be pro-feminist movies can’t pass the test. For example, Salt, starring Angelina Jolie, features a strong, female CIA agent who fights through a number of obstacles (fists and guns flying) to uncover a conspiracy against her. A strong, confident female lead like this would surely pass the test right? But it fails all three questions right off the bat. Evelyn Salt, Jolie’s character, is the only woman in the movie.

With this in mind, think about your favorite movies, the movies you’ve seen lately, or the movie you’re going to go see this weekend. Does it have more than one woman (who is named), do they talk to each other, and do they talk to each other about something other than the men? The answer may surprise you.

Editor's note: What are your favorite movies that pass the Bechdel test? What movies do you love that don't pass it? Also, I recommend checking out this blog post on the Bechdel Test and race.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Suggested Sunday reading (10/10/10)

Just a quick reminder, you can submit links for this column via e-mail at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com, and you can catch up with Spare Candy on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr as well. Or! Leave a link in the comments! Self-promotion is perfectly acceptable here.

There is a lot of news this week. Well, there always is, but I might have spent way too much time online this week, thus coming across more news. So I'm just going to jump right in with the links, but I want to highlight this story on Shakesville, "Consent. Autonomy. Respect. Dignity.", which compares two cases involving bullying and sexual assault that ended in suicide (Tyler Clementi and Hope Witsell, pictured) and how the reactions to each suicide have differed. Read this; it's good.

In other news:
  • Spilt Milk: "The good wife." This is a really great satirical piece that is in response to the truly awful ABC News story "'Women to blame' for bad Aussie husbands."
  • Morning Star: "News Corp.'s Fox News Denies Retaliating Vs Reporter As EEOC Claims." From the article: "According to the EEOC, Fox News retaliated against reporter Catherine Herridge after she complained to Fox that she was subjected to disparate pay and unequal employment opportunities because of her gender and age."
  • Bloomberg News: "Wall Street Says Women Worth Less as Disparity Over Pay Widens."
  • Time magazine: "Another Clue to the Scarcity of Women Executives."
  • eScience News: "Sociologists find lowest-paid women suffer most from motherhood penalty."
  • Feminist Law Professors: "Selling Sex in Canada vs. Buying Sex in Sweden."
  • AlterNet: "What It's Like To Be a Man Who Doesn't Want Sex."
  • Jezebel: "Do Young Men Need a New Kind of Masculinity?"
  • Primer: "The Millennial Man’s Field Guide to Feminist Mythbusting." I thought this was a good overall primer, for lack of a better word, on feminists.
  • Corpulent: "Two Piece Swimsuit, Two Middle Fingers."
  • Telegraph: "French women cause a stir in niqab and hot pants in anti-burka ban protest." Note, there's a video of the protest that will automatically start playing. Also check out Muslim Media Watch's "Does NiqaBitch Enrich the Burqa Ban Debate?"
  • New York Times: "For Female Marines, Tea Comes With Bullets."
  • "God Goes Gender Neutral." From the article: "The Scottish Episcopal Church isn't the biggest religious organization around, but it made a big splash with its recent decision to no longer refer to God as male."
  • Washington Post: "Women optimistic about drive for a women's history museum."
  • Haaretz: "Israeli rabbi: Honey-pot sex is kosher for female Mossad agents." Um, what?
Rape/rape culture/sexual assault:
  • The Raw Story: "15-year-old raped in court: Rapist gets probation, teen gets 12 months." This is beyond outrageous. This girl was literally raped in the courthouse when she was there for a hearing. The guy who raped her AND sexually assaulted two other teens got probation, while this girl got sentenced to a year in prison for a false police report. How utterly fucked up is our justice system? Especially when it comes to sex-related crimes? I can't stand it.
  • Christian Science Monitor: "In Congo mass rapes, UN guilty of negligence, not complicity." Also check out the BBC story "DR Congo rebel leader arrested over mass rapes."
  • "Feds Lied About Catching Serial Rapist Who Targeted Native Teens."
  • The Frisky: "Anti-Binge Drinking Campaign Slut-Shames Drunk Girls."
  • Chronicle Live (UK): "Rape victims are the focus of special team." This story is about what's happened in the year since the Rape Investigation Team was formed.
  • Gainesville Sun: "Alcohol a factor in majority of rape cases at UF." OR! Rapists are a factor in the majority of rape cases.
  • Huffington Post: "Failure to Test Rape Kits is a National Embarrassment." Agreed, to the nth degree.
  • The Herald (Scotland): "New ways to help rape victims," such as using mobile phone records, which I can understand, but I do not like the sound of this: "Expert testimony from psychologists about a person’s behaviour after they claim to have been raped will now prove to be a vital second strand of evidence." I really hope those psychologists know how many varied reactions there are to being raped. There is no one "right" way to react.
  • Questioning Transphobia: "Penny Arcade Markets Rape Culture." Really, these guys can bit me. Also check out "Devil May Rant's "Welp. Bye PA."
  • The Curvature: "Australian Women Report Sexual Abuse in Victoria Psychiatric Wards."
  • The Curvature: "More Details Emerge in Decision to Not Prosecute MSU Rape Allegations."
Abortion/reproductive news:
  • "Doctor charged with pointing handgun at abortion protesters." Not cool at all. There is no reason for this other than self-defense, which doesn't sound like the case here.
  • "British biologist who developed in vitro fertilization wins Nobel Prize."
  • "What if We Took 'Fetal Personhood' Literally?"
  • Ms. blog: "It's Not Abortion That Drives You Mad, It's the Law."
  • "4000 Years for Choice Celebrates a Long History of Abortion and Contraception."
  • Prison Law Blog: "California: Gov. Schwarzenegger Vetoes Ban on Shackling Pregnant Women."
  • Medical News Today: "Manassas, Va., Resolution Backs Stricter Rules For Abortion Clinics."
  • "Polish Woman Dies When Doctors Refuse Treatment, Fearing for Fetal Life."

  • Human Rights Campaign: "Mormon leader gives anti-gay sermon after suicides – Sign the open letter!"
  • Colorlines: "Study Shows How to Build LGBT, Racial Justice Movements Together."
  • Paz En La Vida: "Latina Trans Student Blocked From Running for Homecoming Queen."
  • Shakesville: "What happens," about transphobia, trans people in prison and sexual assault.
  • "Walmart To Sell Book About Curing Gay People."
Popular culture:
  • Chicago Sun-Times: "She-Ra still 'fighting the good fight,' 25 years later." I have lots of sentimental love for She-Ra.
  • Pajiba: "The Reprehensible Sexualization of Rape." This is about the movie and movie poster for the re-make of the 1978 rape-revenge movie "I Spit On Your Grave." Jezebel also has a story about the movie, "The Return Of I Spit On Your Grave's Rape And Revenge Fantasies."
  • Jezebel: "The Social Network, Where Women Never Have Ideas." I've been hearing that this movie is great, and that it's inclusion and portrayal of women are awful. Don't think I'll be seeing it in the theater. Also check out the New Statesman's story "Facebook, capitalism and geek entitlement."
  • The Guardian: "Lisa Cholodenko: 'I wanted to make a film that was not sanctimonious or sentimental.'" Cholodenko is behind the movie "The Kids Are All Right."
  • Ms. blog: "No Comment: Axe Body Wash Will 'Scrub Away the Skank.'" Who in the world came up with this??
  • Feministing: "Unapologetic fat people, removed from your TV." About the cancellation of the ABC Family show "Huge," which I really enjoyed. There is a petition to bring it back; link is in the the story. Sign it, please! And check out the Jezebel story: "Nikki Blonsky Talks About Huge's Cancellation."
  • Women and Hollywood: "A Feminist Fall at the Movies."
  • New York Times: "The Unwilling Diva," about Katherine Heigl. I love this quote from her: "I’ve been told I’m too forthright with opinions. Well do they want a fierce woman or milquetoast? Should I be me, or should I pretend to be something I think people want? Pretending seems pretty ridiculous to me. I didn’t think that what I was was so bad that I needed to hide it."
  • After Ellen: "The 50 Most Important Queer Women in Music."
  • Entertainment Weekly: "Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Rachel Dratch heading to 'Women of SNL' special." It's set to air Nov. 1.
  • Zap2It: "'Reviving Ophelia': Jane Kaczmarek takes -- and plays -- parenting seriously." I still can't believe this is going to be a Lifetime movie.
  • The Hollywood Reporter: "GLAAD: Only 6 disabled primetime characters."
  • Jezebel: "The Blue Valentine Trailer: Now With Bonus NC-17 Drama." I'm really curious about this movie.

Friday, October 8, 2010

In History: Nannie Burroughs

This is the 46th post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

Nannie Helen Burroughs holding a Woman's National Baptist Convention banner.
Nannie Helen Burroughs lived from May 2, 1879, to May 20, 1961. She was an educator, orator, religious leader, and businesswoman. She's probably most well known for her 1900 speech "How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping," which she gave at the National Baptist Convention. (I wish I could find a transcript of the speech, but the internet doesn't seem to have one.) Burroughs' speech laid the groundwork for the formation of the largest black women’s organization in the United States, the Woman’s Convention. Membership of the WC reached 1 million members in 1903 and 1.5 million members in 1907. She was involved in the WC until her death.

Another legacy Burroughs left behind is the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C., which she founded in 1909. The school was renamed in her honor -- the Nannie Helen Burroughs School -- after her death, and is now a National Historic Landmark. She was involved in the school until she died. In addition, Burroughs helped establish the National Association of Colored Women in 1896, which is still active today.

You can read more about Burroughs here, here and here, and you can find a register of Burroughs' papers at the Library of Congress' website (PDF).

Photo source one, two.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Health care reform bill and how it affects women

Okay, so I'm a little late on this (and by the way "being late on this" is becoming too common on this blog; my apologies!), but the information is too important not to pass along. Parts of the health care reform bill (the Affordable Care Act) that was passed in March went into effect on Sept. 23, and a number of provisions are important to women's health. The National Women's Law Center has a great list of some of these:
It will be easier for children and young adults to get and keep health insurance.
  • Young women—who are more likely to be uninsured than women in any other age group—will benefit from a new rule that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy as a dependent until age 26.
  • Health plans are prohibited from denying coverage to children ages 0-19 with “pre-existing conditions” such as asthma and diabetes. This protection applies to most health plans.
Women will have improved access to affordable preventive care.
  • All new health plans are required to cover certain recommended preventive health services for women, with no co-payments or deductibles. These services include mammograms, smoking cessation treatment, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, and pap smears.
Women will have new protections against harmful insurance practices.
  • Coverage rescissions are banned, meaning that insurance companies are prohibited from cancelling a woman’s health insurance policy unless there has been fraud or an intentional misrepresentation of fact. In the past, insurance companies often searched for reasons to rescind or cancel the policies of women who become sick, as a way to avoid paying for medical treatments. This new protection applies to every health plan.
  • Women will have “direct access” to obstetrical and gynecological care. The health care law prohibits new health plans from requiring referrals when women seek this care.
  • Health plans are prohibited from imposing lifetime limits, meaning they can no longer limit the amount of money they will pay for benefits over a woman’s lifetime. This protection applies to every health plan. It is especially important for women with high health care expenses, such as those with chronic conditions, disabilities, or serious illnesses.
  • Similarly, health plans face new restrictions on annual limits (the amount of money they will pay for benefits during one year).These limits cannot be lower than $750,000/year starting on September 23rd, with minimum limits increased annually until they are completely prohibited by 2014.  This protection applies to most health plans.
  • Patients in all new health plans will have the right to appeal medical coverage decisions made by their health plan to an external, independent party.
And the law provides even more relief to women like making it illegal to charge women more than men for insurance.*
The NWLC has a lot more information here about the bill, including things like "I'm a woman and I buy my own health insurance, what does the new law mean for me?" You can also sign their "Sharing is Caring" pledge, if you're interested.

Also, according to this article, the bill "has a provision that directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to initiate education campaigns to raise the level of awareness on breast cancer among women 44 years old and younger. The directive calls for encouraging healthy habits and promoting prevention and early detection of breast cancer." In addition, the bill "provides grants to organizations that support young women suffering from the disease."

You can read more about the general health reform changes at Talking Points Memo.

*My understanding is that part of the bill becomes official in 2014.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Suggested reading: Tyler Clementi edition

I suspect most people have at least heard about Tyler Clementi (pictured) by now. He is the Rutgers student -- a freshman -- who killed himself on Sept. 22, a few days after his roommate and another student had used a web cam to secretly transmit sexual images of Clementi and another man.  According to ABC News, "Two students, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, have been charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy after allegedly placing a camera in Clementi's room and livestreaming the recording online on Sept. 19, according to a written statement by New Jersey's Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan." You can read more about the news story of Clementi's death at that link, as well as here.

Some general background to keep in mind: Almost 85 percent of LGBTQ teenagers are harassed in high school because of their sexual orientation, with 61 percent of gay youth reporting that they felt unsafe in school and 30 percent staying home to avoid bullying, according to a 2009 survey by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

What I wanted to do with this post is include a roundup of some of the recent stories and articles about Clementi, about bullying, about suicide among the LGBTQ population, and everything else related to this. By no means is this going to be comprehensive, so please contribute links in the comments to anything you've found compelling on this subject, or to resources that can help.

AlterNet: "Vigil for society's Casualties." This article, about a vigil held Oct. 3, lists details about the six gay teens and young men who have recently killed themselves. (I would guess these are not the only recent suicides, but these are known). They are Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Justin Aaberg, and Raymond Chase.

Associated Press: "NJ school holds vigil for student who killed self." News story about Rutgers' vigil held on Oct. 3.

On Top magazine: "Gay Teens Bullied To Death: Asher Brown, Seth Walsh Remembered." Both of them were 13 years old.

FWD/Forward: "How Do You Fight a Suicide Epidemic?" Good, informative piece that includes numbers to hotlines, as well as gems like this: "These young people were all failed by the people with a responsibility to protect them."

Bethany Joy Galeotti: "The American Gossip Epidemic." I especially like this part:
"If you are a teenager, I don't envy you your pain, but I do see the amazing opportunity you have to change the environment around you. Your parents aren't perfect, no one is, and if they didn't teach you to be kind then teach yourself. Take responsibility for your own words, thoughts and actions and make this world a better place than what has been left to you. Please.

We have to start somewhere..."
Christian Science Monitor: "Rutgers student death: Has Digital Age made students callous?" I have to agree with this: "'We are tempted to think that social-media technology drove the behavior, but as a truly ethical matter, the behavior has to be and should be considered human-driven, not technology-driven,' says Scott Foulkrod, a philosophy professor at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania."

CBS News: "Preventing the Youngest Suicides." This is such an important point: "'We have to get used to the idea that it's okay to raise our hand and say "I'm struggling,"' said Dr. David Skorton. Skorton, a physician for 36 years as well as a university president, feels the most important way to prevent suicides is to take away the stigma of seeking mental health care."

Time magazine: "Cyberbullying? Homophobia? Tyler Clementi's Death Highlights Online Lawlessness." I want to address something the article says: "Even bullying experts are undecided, with many calling the humiliation that 18-year-old Tyler Clementi endured outright sexual harassment and others going back and forth on whether Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, and Ravi's friend, Molly Wei, had malicious intentions." Regardless of the intentions, what happened to Clementi is most assuredly sexual harassment (at the least). Intentions are irrelevant here. They may have "intended" for their actions to be a "joke" or a "prank," but that does not exclude what they did from being properly labeled sexual harassment.

Also on Time magazine: "'It Gets Better': Wisdom From Grown-Up Gays and Lesbians to Bullied Kids." You may have heard about Dan Savage's YouTube project. If not, this discusses it, and other things. I will say that I love the idea of this project, even though I know there are some inherent flaws in it (Below the Belt has a good critique of the project). But some of these videos are fantastic, and I hope they can provide even a little help to anyone who needs it.

The Stranger: "Who Killed Tyler Clementi?" by Dan Savage. I have to quote this part of his column, because it's so true:
Tyler's roommate did not act alone. There are accomplices out there: uncaring teachers, criminally negligent school administrators, classmates who bullied and harassed Tyler, "Christian" churches and hate groups that warp some young minds and torment others, politicians on the right and left who exploit and perpetuate anti-gay prejudice, perhaps even Tyler's own family. We need to learn more. And more charges need to be brought. Not just criminal charges against a couple of stupid teenagers who should've known better but didn't. But ethical charges need to leveled against adults and institutions that knew better but didn't care.

Ravi and Wei did not act alone. We have to recognize that there were others involved in destroying Tyler Clementi. And we need to start calling the effort to pin all the blame on Ravi and Wei exactly what it is: a coverup.
Trans/plant/portation: "Some things just aren't funny." This is a great piece, about suicide and bullying. One line: "All it takes to hurl over a precipice are some indifferent or absent adults, mean-spirited kids, and bad to no communication."

CNN: "Why did Tyler Clementi die?" by Pam Spaulding, of Pam's House Blend. She writes: "In the coverage of this incident, I have seen discussion about the legal angles of prosecution, the psychological impact of the alleged heinous violation of privacy, but not enough about the festering social ill that brought us here. Who creates the bully? Who is accountable?" YES to this. We all need to be talking and thinking about this. "Ellen DeGeneres Speaks Out About Teen Suicides." Her video is very moving. You can see it at the link if you haven't yet.

Think Progress: "As More Bullying Victims Commit Suicide, Right-Wing Groups Decry Anti-Bullying Policies As 'Gay Agenda' Ploy." I can't even stand this crap. There's always a "gay agenda," but never a "straight agenda." Right, GOP and right-wingers?

"Needless to say, public attention has been intense. The outpouring of emotion and support from our friends, community and family — and from people across the country — has been humbling and deeply moving. Regardless of legal outcomes, our hope is that our family's personal tragedy will serve as a call for compassion, empathy and human dignity."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Suggested Sunday reading (10/3/10)

Just a quick reminder, you can submit links for this column via e-mail at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com, and you can catch up with Spare Candy on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr as well. Or! Leave a link in the comments! Self-promotion is perfectly acceptable here.

I'm going to start this week's suggestions in an area that isn't usually very feminist-friendly (though it should be!): Professional wrestling. And that is because current TNA and former WWE star Mick Foley has been making news in feminist circles with his new book, thanks to his work with RAINN and ChildFund. On his blog, he says: "I've really tried to put my money where my mouth is here, donating 100 percent of my advance royalties to 'Countdown to Lockdown' to combating sexual violence - 50 percent to RAINN, 50 percent to ChildFund International to set up microloans and scholarships for victims of rape and their children in Sierra Leone." How awesome is that?! Foley volunteers for RAINN's hotline once a week and was named the organization's volunteer of the month for September. Foley is a huge fan of Tori Amos, and I'm pretty sure his new book talks about that and how he got involved in his philanthropy. Hat's off to him. Here's more reading on the subject:
  • Slate: "The Wrestler and the Cornflake Girl," by Mick Foley. Portions of this article are adapted from his book.
  • TNA Wrestling: "Blog: Mick Foley's Latest Weekly Column," in which he talks about why he wrote about his philanthropy.
  • Jezebel: "Wrestling Star Mick Foley Blows Our Collective Mind."
  • Huffington Post: "Authors Mick Foley And Jason Pinter Talk Politics, Philanthropy And Barbed Wire."

Rape, rape culture and sexual assault:
  • Toronto Star: "Are mass media creating a culture of rape?" by Antonia Zerbisias. This is good stuff.
  • CNN: "Deaf victim of sex abuse is suing pope, and going public with his story for the first time."
  • Colorlines: "Antoine Dodson Not Happy About 'Bed Intruder' Costume." This is infuriating.
  • "In North Carolina, No Changing Your Mind About Having Sex." Also infuriating. You can sign a petition about this here, and check out The Curvature's post on the subject too.
  • TBD: "The Daily Caller's rape victim hit piece gets its facts wrong," by Amanda Hess.
  • Whittier Daily News (California): "The Lady Killer: Monterey Park man preyed on girls and women." For decades.
  • Chicago Tribune: "Reduced sentence ordered for Chicago killer: Court rules for Chicago woman who took part in the 2004 murder of a man she believed raped her infant daughter."
In other news:
  • The Nation: "Who Stole Feminism?" by Jessica Valenti.
  • New York Times: "Birth Control Over Baldness." If you haven't yet, be sure to read this column by Nicholas Kristof.
  • Washington Post: "After 10 years in US, abortion pill still divisive." USA Today also has a story.
  • Daily Kos: "Utah defines miscarriage as 'criminal homicide.'"
  • Feminist Majority Foundation: "CO Sued Over Voter Guide Personhood Language."
  • RH Reality Check: "Roundup: Women's Groups Who Don't Like Women."
  • Feminist Majority Foundation: "Dedicated Abortion Provider Dr. William Harrison Dies."
  • Los Angeles Times: "Jill Johnston dies at 81; author of 'Lesbian Nation.'" R.I.P.
  • Time magazine: "CDC: 20% of Gay Men Are HIV-Positive, but Nearly Half Don't Know It." The story also talks about the high rate of women of color who are HIV-positive.
  • The Washington Independent: "Menendez Immigration Bill Includes Gay Rights Provision."
  • New York Times: "Gray, Gay … and Worried."
  • DC Trans Coalition: "52 New Gender Neutral Bathrooms in DC!"
  • CNN: "Assistant attorney general blogs against gay student body president." I can't get over this story from Michigan. By the way, the student body president has filed for a restraining order against the assistant AG.
  • Womanist Musings: "Spark of Wisdom: A token insert can never reflect a community accurately or entirely."
  • Yes Means Yes: "Lubricated Holes and Mangina Attack Dogs: A Glimpse At The MRA Abyss." Not for the faint of heart.
  • ABC: "After Broken Arm, Boy Cheerleader Still Threatened." This kid is pretty damn amazing.
  • Jezebel: "What Would Change Women's Minds About Voting?"
  • Houston Chronicle: "Oxymoron of 2010: feminist conservative."
  • Huffington Post: "Sen. Jim DeMint: Gays And Unmarried, Pregnant Women Should Not Teach Public School."
  • New York Times: "U.S. Apologizes for Syphilis Experiment" on unsuspecting Guatemalans.
  • Relief Web: "UN Special Representative on sexual violence is paying a working visit to the DRC." Also check out BBC's article "DR Congo sexual violence victims speak to UN."
  • Irish Times: "Network plans to promote feminism." This is pretty cool.
  • Wired: "Astrophysicist to be named UN’s alien ambassador." Her name is Mazlan Othman. (And by "alien," they mean the extraterrestrial kind.)
  • The Jakarta Post: "Councilors mull virginity as criteria for enrollment." As in virginity tests to be enrolled in school. Yeah.
  • The Independent: "Former guerrilla Dilma Rousseff set to be the world's most powerful woman." She is set to become president of Brazil.
  • Yahoo: "Second EU nation set to ban burqas." That would be the Netherlands.
Popular culture:
  • Alternet: "How 19th Century Prostitutes Were Among the Freest, Wealthiest, Most Educated Women of Their Time." Book review for Thaddeus Russell's "A Renegade History of the United States," which sounds interesting.
  • Sports Grid: "Ines Sainz Lets Playboy Know What She Thinks Of Their Offer."
  • Deadline Hollywood: "Wonder Woman Returning To TV As Series Written And Produced By David E. Kelley."

Note: I intend to have a separate roundup on stories related to Tyler Clementi. I don't want anyone to think I'm ignoring the story.


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