Links for Sexy Feminists: Girls in science, Catholics in birth control, and more …

Girls like science and technology: The suddenly kick-ass Girl Scouts of America released a study showing girls dig math, science, and technology but don’t see these lucrative fields as possible careers. We hope this means a new generation will see that programming computers is more lucrative than selling cookies. Though Thin Mints still rule.

Catholic bishops hate birth control: Of course, we already knew that, but now they’re threatening legal action against the Obama administration’s plan to make insurers cover contraception — even though this is a compromise after an earlier plan would have made religious institutions directly responsible for paying for their workers’ birth control. Sigh.

While we’re at it …: The Center for Reproductive Rights is launching an email campaign to urge the Obama administration to lift age restrictions on emergency contraception. Seriously, everyone: Why are we so into making people have unwanted kids?

Why do men love jailbait porn?: A fascinating analysis on Jezebel from Hugo Schwyzer.

Life and love after being part of the sex trade: Check out this deeply personal account at YourTango.

If you’re wondering why we shouldn’t let Chris Brown continue being a pop idol: Here are some good reasons, via Feministe, Hello Giggles, and others.

Links for Sexy Feminists: Newt vs. Herman, the (Non-)Legacy of Marie Curie, and More …

The Nation wonders why Republicans prefer serial adulterer Newt Gingrich over alleged adulterer Herman Cain: Blogger JoAnn Wypijewski ponders how it wasn’t his crazy politics, but his supposed affair (which he denies), that did Cain in

Rookie‘s Tavi Gevinson reports from the TEDxWomen Conference: Which we tell you about just to celebrate a 15-year-old who self-identifies as a feminist and worships Gloria Steinem

Ms. celebrates the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s Nobel: By asking why we still have so few women in science

Author Georgia Pelligrini explains why she hunts: She writes in a thought-provoking Huffington Post piece about paying “the full karmic price” for food

Time celebrates marriage: Its “Top 10 Marriage Stories of the Year” list reviews everything from Will & Kate to the rise of the singleton

SF Talking Points: Crazy Things Can Happen When You're Fertile, A Site For Lady Journalists

Are We Really “More Like Mammals”? Adding to the recent evolutionary psychology trend, the study of “relationship maintenance,” an experiment conducted at Florida State University revealed some new things about how males react to ovulating women. According to the results, single males find fertile women more attractive, and men who are in a relationship with another woman find them less attractive. John Tierney of the New York Times wrote about it at length, taking it upon himself to draw quite a few conclusions from the bit of data available. Like, the men in relationships didn’t find the woman as good-looking as the others did, “…presumably because at some level they sensed she then posed the greatest threat to their long-term relationships. To avoid being enticed to stray, they apparently told themselves she wasn’t all that hot anyway.” This seems a bit dicey, because really, who knows why they didn’t find the woman attractive? They weren’t asked. Tierney goes on try to make sense of this, saying,

“Natural selection favored those who stayed together long enough to raise children: the men and women who could sustain a relationship by keeping their partners happy. They would have benefited from the virtue to remain faithful, or at least the wiliness to appear faithful while cheating discreetly.” [Read more...]

SF Talking Points: Building and Burning Bridges in the Workplace

Four Women Finally Land Right to Paint New York City’s Bridges: It took four years, but they finally won when Judge William Pauley III of Federal District Court in Manhattan “ruled that the city ran bridge painting as a ‘de facto boys’ club’ that turned away ambitious women in ‘unvarnished sex discrimination.’ He ordered that painters be chosen based on a civil service exam.” Any warrior women out there who would like to sign up? It’s a $44/hr job, and all ya gotta do is “climb 50-foot-plus towers, calmly amble across scaffolded aeries, lug paint pails of up to 65 pounds, rig lines and tackles for gravity-defying boatswain chairs and clamber atop swooping bridge cables. And mix and apply the right colors of zinc paint.” [NYTimes]

Scientists Discover That Lymph Node Surgery May Not Be Advantageous For Breast Cancer: The common practice for 100 years has been to remove lymph nodes from the armpits of breast cancer patients, as it was believed to help combat the disease. But a study now shows that this may have no effect on about 20% of patients who meet certain criteria. Unfortunately, while patients are likely to follow the guidelines of new studies, they often get scared when they suggest less treatment.

Don’t Buy Flowers From 1-800 Flowers On Valentine’s Day! And tell your boo not to for you, too! The flower plantations where 1-800 Flowers’ flowers come from often exploit their workers, as none of their stems are Fair Trade. Writes Amanda Kloer for

“On Kenyan flower plantations, workers reported being forced to work 8-12 hour days for less than a dollar a day, handling dangerous chemicals without protective gear, and living in cramped, unsafe conditions. In Colombia and Ecuador, which are the main countries that supply the U.S. flower market, over half of female workers have been sexually harrased or assaulted on the job, and mandatory 70 to 80 hour work weeks without overtime pay are common.”

Either sign this petition to get 1-800 Flowers on the Fair Trade circuit, or just don’t buy from them at all.

Chief Executive of Deutsche Bank Wants Women To Make His Boardroom More Colorful And Beautiful: Because that’s what we do best! Wait… we can do other things well too…

Josef Ackermann is proving that he is a real progressive in Germany, where none of the 80 largest companies have a female chief executive, and “only 2% of executive board members are women in the 30 firms which make up the Dax index of blue-chip firms.” Except then he let slip why he’s creating these initiatives for women. Whoops.

SF Talking Points: The Speaker's Anti-Choice Agenda Makes Us Cry

Your Tears Are A Turn-Off, Scientists Say: In a recent study in the journal Science, scientists were surprised to find that the chemicals in women’s emotional tears suppress arousal in men — signaling a message that says something like, “Not tonight, dear.” Though they don’t know for sure why (some experts say maybe it’s because, over time, tears have evolved to reduce aggression in men when they are around stressed out ladies; they think it may also have something to do with menstruation: men not wanting to have sex with women conveniently because they are on their period, since apparently this is the only time/reason women cry), it is a breakthrough in tear-science. They are still working on finding out what the implications of men’s emotional tears are, citing that it was quite difficult to come by male “criers” who could bawl on demand for the experiments. Why didn’t they just call the new House speaker, John Boehner?

Speaking of Boehner, now he’s really pushing his anti-choice agenda: According to, Boehner has voted against women’s choice 142 times and his health reform plan threatens to wipe away every shred of legislation that protects women’s reproductive rights. In Boehner’s ideal world, the health reform law that allows millions of women access to birth control and prenatal care would be repealed,  women’s abortion coverage would be done away with, family planning programs would have no government funding, and Bush’s clearly effective abstinence-only education programs would be reinstalled. So what’s the reason behind Boehner’s seeming contempt for women? Could it be that his tears have washed away Mrs. Boehner’s arousal? Don’t take it out on us, crybaby.

[Read more...]

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