Links for Sexy Feminists: Akin camp calls for opponent to drop out, Cosmo goes ’50 Shades,’ and more …

Akin Camp Says Opponent Should Drop Out?!?: So first Rep. Todd Akin makes up the redundant term “legitimate rape” and tells us we have magical uteri that can ward off evil sperm and stop pregnancy from resulting after an attack. Then everyone tells him he’s an idiot and even his fellow Republicans demand he drop out of the race. Now his campaign manager/son is calling for Akin’s senate-race opponent, incumbent Claire McCaskill, to drop out of the race instead? If Akin’s people are trying to confuse us out of following this whole thing anymore, they’re getting dangerously close to succeeding. Read about it on Talking Points Memo. If you’re not depressed enough yet, read on about how in 31 states, rapists can get joint custody of the children they fathered by attacking someone. If anyone tells you we don’t need feminism anymore, tell them this.

Dating After Divorce: We’ve written before about how hard this is. YourTango offers some tips.

Cosmo Goes 50 Shades: Two annoying tastes we never want together, and yet here we are. Jezebel makes appropriate amounts of fun.

Vermont Resort Fined for Not Hosting Lesbian Wedding Reception: Kate and Ming Linsley filed a suit against the Wildflower Inn, with the help of the ACLU, after the venue refused to book their reception because of the owners’ “personal feelings.” The resort agreed to settle the suit this week by paying $10,000 to the Vermont Human Rights Commission, placing $20,000 in a charitable trust to be allocated by the couple, and agreeing not to host any wedding receptions instead of turning away only select couples.

Know Who’s Cool? Venus and Serena Williams.: Here they are in The New York Times.

Collaborating with Friends: A Feminist Act

We’ve had it with the term “catfight” and all other popular culture references to female infighting. The truth is, women are each other’s greatest allies in everything from love to career to family. One of the best ways to figure this out—and harness the feminist power of female friendship—is to collaborate with women you know, trust and admire. The founders and editors of this website turned their friendship into a business partnership eight years ago and we’re still going strong—in business and in friendship. Here are some stories of more women who’ve changed their lives for the better through a collaboration with a female friend.

‘Rock Star’ Is a State of Mind

Even now, in the days of Gwen Stefani and Pink and Carrie Brownstein, women in rock are seen as an anomaly — see Rolling Stone’s Best Female Rock Albums list or the special annex at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame dedicated to female artists to witness the ways we’re still ghettoized from rocking out. That might be why it seemed so ridiculous that my friend Melissa and I decided to start a rock band.

Or maybe that was because we were over 35. Or maybe because she’s an opera singer, but wanted to play the drums while I sang, and I’m a writer who took like six months of guitar lessons.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: Rape debate rages, Phyllis Diller dies, and more …

It Was Rape: Feminist author/filmmaker/all-around cool chick Jennifer Baumgardner needs your help. Click here to help fund her It Was Rape documentary, which will explore “how denial allows rape to thrive.” Alas, this project is all too timely with the misinformation being spewed by Rep. Todd Akin, who thinks “legitimate rape” somehow doesn’t cause pregnancy. (You may remember Akin from the debate over “forcible rape,” in which he conspired with our illustrious VP candidate Paul Ryan to distinguish that kind of rape from, um, the other—nonexistent—kind.)

YourTango Explores the Tricky Territory of the Money Talk: When should you bring $$ into the <3 equation? We don’t know, so their guess is as good as ours.

Jezebel Profiles the 24-Year-Old Who’s Willing to Die for the Anti-Abortion Movement: Lila Rose says, “I’m all in for this cause.”

Phyllis Diller Dies: The Grande Dame of comedy, who gained fame in the ’60s through several appearances on Bob Hope specials, was 95. Read more about her at

The Single-Sex Class Trend Is “Rooted in Stereotypes,” ACLU Report Says: The organization says the idea is based on “discredited science” and calls for reasonable alternatives to be offered.


Links for Sexy Feminists: Paul Ryan’s Anti-Woman Agenda, Forced Teen Pregnancy Tests, and More

Mitt Romney chooses Rep. Paul Ryan as VP running mate: As the Examiner points out, this matters to women for a lot of really important reasons: He’s vehemently Pro Life. He supports private, religious education, not the funding of public institutions. He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, primarily for its coverage of birth control and family planning services, including abortion. And he’s a tightwad when it comes to social programs. On his chopping block: healthcare, education, Social Security and Medicare. GULP! You can sign a personal letter to Ryan, opposing his anti-woman’s health agenda, via Planned Parenthood here.

The civil rights of teenagers in Louisiana are being threatened: The ACLU reports that a prviate high school in the state is requiring its female students to undergo forced pregnancy tests if they’re suspected of being pregnant. If a little plus sign appears or they refuse the test, they’re kicked out of school. This is a violation of Title IX and, you know, the Constitution. Hell to the N.O. To learn more about this and other issues facing girls and women, visit the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

Is Lolo Jones selling sex or just being herself?: The New York Times ran a rather scathing profile of Olympic runner Lolo Jones that accused her of being more of a spokesmodel than an athlete, basically damning her for being attractive. While Slate points the finger not at Jones but a media obsessed with hotness, rather than achievement. Athletes such as Anna Kournikova win endorsement deals and commercial spots over badass superstars who don’t share her supermodel looks. In our opinion, picking on a woman because of her looks, whether she’s considered gorgeous or grotesque, is offensive no matter what. What do you think?

 Feminist Ryan Gosling becomes a book: One of our favorite feminist Tumblr blogs got a book deal. Danielle Henderson’s Feminist Ryan Gosling, Feminist Theory (as Imagined) from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude hits stores Tuesday. It’s a totally fun guilty pleasure—and the photos of RG aren’t awful either.


Women’s Health Update: What You Need To Know Before You Vote

This campaign season has seen a flurry of women’s health issues come to the forefront of political debates, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming to keep track of which women’s health issues are being discussed, where proceedings stand, and what the major implications of decisions are. Here’s a quick guide to what matters most when it comes to bureaucrats governing your lady parts.

Michigan passes abortion “superbill” in the House. In early June, the Michigan State House of Representatives passed a bill (HB 5711, 5712, and 5713) which puts severe restrictions on abortion clinics and services. One of the most notable provisions of the bill mandates abortion clinics performing six or more abortions per month to become licensed surgical centers, even if they only perform non-surgical abortions. The bill awaits a Senate vote (likely in September) and discussion on further provisions, such as criminalizing abortions, even in the case of rape or incest, after 20 weeks. Notably, two female Michigan legislators were banned from speaking on the House floor after Rep. Lisa Brown used the term “vagina” while discussing the bill.

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Sexy Feminist Smackdown: Eric Benet

We start this post by reminding you who Eric Benet is, something we were forced to do when engaging our partner in a discussion about his latest round of douchebaggery. He’s the guy who married Halle Berry and cheated on her. A lot. Because of “sex addiction,” something we know Dr. Drew is very serious about but oftentimes sounds to us like the infidelity equivalent of “irreconcilable differences.”

Anyway, this guy we all forgot about wants us to remember him. So how does he do it? By exploiting women’s insecurities. To promote his new R&B album, “The One,” he’s selling t-shirts that divide women along colorlines. Not just black, white, Asian and Hispanic, which could actually be empowering, but specifically degrees of blackness among African-American women. For about $20, women can order “BRAND NEW” tank tops that read “Red Bone Girl” or “Chocolate Legs.” There are a lot of reasons why this is annoying and offensive. Here are our top three:

1. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a woman’s uniqueness, even her skin tone. But when put into terms such as “coffee and cream, thick and lean,” as Benet does in the song, and, “I like ‘em light skinned/lighter than a feather… I’m high and my girl is high yella,” as Lil Wayne does on his cameo, it promotes comparison and competition. Intra-racial racism is a deeply damaging force rooted in rape and slavery. Let’s not pick on that scab.
2. This is not the equivalent of the “I’m a Carrie,” “I’m a Samantha,” t-shirts that were everywhere during the Sex and the City era. Black women aren’t going to buy these, dude.
3. Looking at the whole song/album, rife with adjectives for women such as “honeys” and “devilis,” we’re reminded that so many male artists resort to these lazy, insulting terms in their lyrics. Is it so hard to buy a dictionary and talk to some real women about how they like to be wooed?


Links for Sexy Feminists: Ryan Lochte, Rashida Jones, and more …

10 Reasons Why Ryan Lochte Is America’s Sexiest Douchebag: Courtesy of Jezebel. We see that he’s super-hot, but we’re happy he isn’t totally our type, because, seriously.

Today in Lady Olympic News: America’s Missy Franklin breaks records and wins 200-meter backstroke, reports the LA Times.

Oh, Goody, the Personhood People Are Petitioning the Supreme Court: Details via The Daily Beast.

We Do Love Rashida Jones: She talks about writing herself a better role in Celeste and Jesse Forever, via Feministing.

Bitch Goes Beyond Judy Blume: And we’re suckers for anything with Judy Blume in the name.

What Working Moms Can Learn From Marissa Mayer

There has been a lot of talk about Marissa Mayer’s ascension to the top spot at Yahoo!—and her being pregnant while doing it. Most women, feminist or not, cheered the news as yet another fracture in the corporate glass ceiling—and one that puts a powerful face on a working mother to boot!

But her face looks a lot different than that of most career moms. Mayer talked about her maternity leave as if it were a mild inconvenience: it would be brief and she would work throughout it. But the only way she will be able to do that is with the kind of help and resources many working moms don’t have. While I understand Mayer’s commitment to her new job, I do worry that such declarations (issued as if to assume anything less would be unconscionable) hurt working moms everywhere and further prevent the U.S. from adopting a realistic family leave policy.

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Gloria Steinem on the Power of Name-Calling

This video just makes us swoon for Gloria Steinem all over again. Here, she talks about Rush Limbaugh calling her a “feminazi,” but this all applies to any of the name-calling that’s been going on in our brand new War on Women:


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