Links for Sexy Feminists: Petraeus Scandal Sexism, Consequences of Denied Abortions, Victoria’s Secret Sucks

New abortion study shows we need to let women have abortions. A new finding by public health researchers with the UC San Francisco group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) lays out the consequences of denying women abortions. The highlights: The majority of these women ended up in poverty, stayed in abusive relationships, were unemployed, on public assistance and showed signs of mental health issues. Considering most of these women cited reasons of financial concern, lack of stability in their homes, or just feeling that they were not ready to have children as reasons to terminate their pregnancies, it makes sense that when their gut instincts were rejected there would be damaging consequences.

Victoria’s Secret sucks. For the record: We are officially never buying underthings from Victoria’s Secret ever again. We’ve been on the fence for a long time—questionable treatment of women in ad campaigns, cheap stuff that doesn’t really fit right—but this latest racist move (and there have been several) seals the deal. Dressing up half-naked models as angels is fine. Maybe. Perhaps the religious community has something to say about that. Anyway, dressing up half-naked models as “sexy Natives” by appropriating sacred cultural regalia of Native Americans—who, can we agree, have been screwed enough already—is just offensive and wrong.

Petraeus scandal: sexist already? We have a message to all the media covering this: calm the fuck down! Yes, there are important national security issues involved here, but mostly it’s about grownups having sex. And it’s beginning to border on slut-shaming. We’re not defending Paula Broadwell—or any woman who sleeps with a married man: seriously, there are more options—but things can get real sexist here, real quick. Already the focus is shifting to the “other women” rather than the man—you know, the guy who ran the Central Intelligence Agency—who initiated this whole mess. Let’s not lose focus, media, and perhaps also cover the rest of the world. Hey, look, (sound of keys jangling) Syria and Israel are about to go to war!

Media Literacy Matters: How to Watch the Presidential Debates

There are two more presidential debates to go. Tonight, President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney face a town-hall-style audience, answering questions from Americans concerned about everything from unemployment to war. This should yield important talking points for all of us to consider, and give us facts to take with us to the voting booths on Nov. 6.

Or we could get another Big Bird.

During the first debate, Romney looked moderator Jim Lehrer in the eye and told him PBS funding would go if he is to become the next president: “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

The Internet went bonkers. Saturday Night Live made funny. President Obama included B-Bird in a campaign ad. Facebook profile photos changed. Sexy Big Bird became the new It costume for Halloween (le sigh).

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Another ‘Having It All’ Myth Promotes Media Illiteracy

Guess what, ladies: you can totally have it all! You’re winning! You’ve come a long way, ba… You know the hard sell by now. Modern media pays as much attention to disproving the need for feminism as it does to the season finale of The Bachelor—an oxymoronic scenario if ever there was one.

The Atlantic is the latest to send this dangerous message. In an article entitled, “A Working Woman’s World: Out-Learning and Under-Earning Men,” the mag outlines the results of a poll that declares, among other things, that 75 percent of women believe they can advance as far as their ambitions take them in the workplace, regardless of their gender. And 71 percent report never being discriminated against because of their gender.

Wow, progressive stuff, right? Except: wrong. This “trend” story is based on a poll of 1,000 people. This sample can hardly represent the majority of women in our country, much less make a grand statement about the state of gender equality. But this happens all the time. Little nuggets of information are lifted from out-of-context quotes, articles published (but fact checked?) by other media or skewed polls such as this and picked up by news wires. They’re then published in national media (again: fact checked?) and inspire headlines such as, “feminism, who needs ya?” or declare that, “women can have it all!”

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