Cuddle up to the America's (favorite) gladiators at Olivia Pope and Associates during tonight's season 2 finale of Scandal, and don't forget to bring these BINGO cards — because you know Harrison is gonna be adjusting those suspenders.
Everything about these cards — created by Franchesca Ramsey and Awesomely Luvvie — is perfect. Olivia lip quiver? Check. Elbow length gloves? You know they're coming. SHUT UP, QUINN? Indeed! Olivia, you in danger girl? (IN DANGER OF STEALING MY HEART.)
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Missoula Police Department have reached an agreement that the cops will stop being so horrible to rape survivors, starting with actually acknowledging that they might have been raped.
The agreement is similar to the one that the DOJ and the University of Montana cemented last week (both investigations were launched last May, following a number of highly-publicized alleged rapes in the area) except that investigators had harsher complaints about the way the city handles sexual assault reports.
“MPD’s investigations are marked by practices that significantly compromise the effectiveness of MPD’s response to sexual assault and contribute to the under-enforcement of sexual assault laws in Missoula,” the DOJ said in a letter to Missoula Mayor John Engen.
Some issues the DOJ found (via The Missoulian):
• In one case involving a UM student who said she was assaulted at a fraternity house, the woman told police she’d repeatedly said “no” and pushed at her assailant, who was more than twice her size. But the detective’s case report termed the incident “mostly voluntary fueled by alcohol,” and left out statements about her resistance.
• Women reporting sexual assault were commonly asked whether they wish to seek prosecution, leading them to believe it was up to them, rather than the County Attorney’s Office, whether to prosecute.
• The police department required victims and witnesses to be interviewd at the police station, a “practice more appropriate for an interrogation of a suspect than an interview of a crime viction.” Women typically were interviewed without an advocate, even though under Montana law they had the right to an advocate’s presence.
• Police relied on women’s sexual histories in evaluating reports of sexual assault. “That reliance in turn reflects assumptions and stereotypes about women, such as assumptions that women who are sexually active are less likely to be legitimate victims of sexual assault.”
• The police “routinely failed to timely share information about sexual assault involving UM students with either university officials or with OPS (UM’s Office of Public Safety).” Although in one case the police told the football coach about a report of sexual assault by student athletes, UM officials didn’t learn about the allegations until nearly a year later.
The letter also mentioned that the DOJ was frustrated with the County Attorney’s Office "lack of follow-up and prosecution" regarding sexual assault cases. Unlike police, Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg has refused to cooperate with the Justice Department investigation — he seems to feel it's not legitimate, much like many of the rapes he's allegedly ignored over the years.
We'll be watching to see what happens.
Image via Katherine Welles/Shutterstock.
So here's a thing! Zoe Saldana's Allure cover prints her weight like she's a slab of nova at the Zabar's fish counter. The dek under her name reads: "115 pounds of grit and heartache." (The rest of the dek: "—117.6 pounds after quinoa lunch; 114 pounds after bikram yoga, 0.00 pounds in space" — was cut for design purposes.)
Isn't it an adorable contradiction that she weighs so little but she's TOUGH? The weight mention has whipped up an Internet firestorm, and Saldana just appeared on the Today show to discuss just how okay she is with it: "I have a thin frame." She also understands that they were trying to make a point that thin, beautiful women can also be strong. Or something. A poll on the Today show site asserts that it would never be done with a male actor. Doy alert. [Us Weekly, Today]
Johnny Depp maybe-possibly proposed to Amber Heard on her birthday and they're maybe now looking for a "one of a kind vintage ring." Apparently Heard gave him an ultimatum before running off to Paris and dating a (female) French model. Depp chased her down and offered her everything, including marriage, to come back to him — which was the endgame for Heard, who had a crush on him since she was a teenager. Congratulations, Amber: Go to sleep with Gilbert Grape, wake up with a mincing Keith Richards impersonation. [Allie Is Wired]
Shakira won't be returning to Season 5 of The Voice, which she says was a "hard decision" but one she had to make. And her hips wouldn't lie about that. “I really enjoyed ‘The Voice,’ but I also have a musical career and I’m also a mother now and my poor baby’s so tired flying such long distances. He already has more miles than any pilot. So I think I have to give him a little break."
Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera is returning to replace her, divine soothsayer Carson Daly confirms. [Gossip Cop]
Jennie Runk, the plus-size H&M bikini model who debuted this year to many accolades, made the decision to gain weight and inspire plus-size women to "try on a bikini for the first time in years."
"I was given the option to lose weight and try to maintain a size four, or to gain a little – maintain a size 10 – and start a career as a plus-size model. I knew my body was never meant to be a size four, so I went with plus. People assume ‘plus’ equates to fat, which in turn equates to ugly. There shouldn’t be anything negative about being the same size as the average American woman, or even being a little bigger. Some women are perfectly healthy at a size 16.”
Image via Getty; Allure
Here's Isabella Rossellini's exxxtremely high concept webseries — it's about as amazing as you'd expect. Well, we already knew she was all about explaining duck sex, so this pretty much makes sense.
Get down with it, Isabella Rossellini. You know, though? She's like, "I'm Isabella Fucking Rossellini, and I do what I want. Pass me the bagel phone, I need to call Mars." Love her.
Ooh la la: Here's how movies in the United States stack up against French films, diversity-wise.
Dog Show in Los Angeles certainly makes it look that way.
If Zooey Deschanel's character on The New Girl (and probably Zooey Deschanel, in real life) had a favorite hangout in Los Angeles, it would probably look a lot like Dog Show. This colorful store owned by two 26-year-old bffs from Omaha is hard to describe — maybe if Leslie Hall shapeshifted into a vintage clothing boutique? — and it's a stellar fucking example of sisters doing it for themselves.
Anna Dewey Greer and Christine (Tina) Stormberg, best friends forever since preschool, moved to L.A. with nothing but a little money saved from bartending in Omaha and a giant (NOT REAL) unicorn head. Since everyone in Hollywood has got a dream (what's your dream!), they decided to use their funds to open a vintage clothing boutique that specializes in fun shit like haircut parties, fortune-telling parties, craft parties, even drink margaritas outside parties. The store is called Dog Show, and it's been open in Los Angeles' Echo Park for a year and a half, and we want to move in.
It's rad to see two women working together to make shit happen, and all while celebrating female partnership — hello, friendship retreat! It's so exuberant and genuine, and you can't hate. You must celebrate.
Not because two young women are walking, talking transforming-dreams-into-reality machines, but also because they're supporting their fellow ladies:
When the girls host in-store events, it's not a marketing strategy; the events are their agenda. Recently they've hosted a viewing party for a friend's web series, "Hollywood Nails"; comedy shows with another close friend, comedienne Kate Berlant, just because she was in town; an old-fashioned Valentine's Day dance, because they felt like decorating. Everything is free and open to the public.
So cool! It's always inspirational to see women going after what they want, no matter what it is. It's just a reminder to live each day like we mean it (if you want to and are in a position to do so!), even if it's not something so dramatic as moving to another town and opening a store.
Although, uh, that sounds kinda fun, right? Who now wants to drop everything and follow their deepest, realest desires to open a vegan bodega? Nobody? OK, then.*
*But really. Let's do it.
I. can't. stop. watching.
I worry for Amy Bouzaglo, obviously she is not well, but there is just something so absolutely charming about her meowing — I can't help it! I want her to succeed!
[Update: Did you know that Amy and Samy are now saying that their Facebook page was hacked? I agree with Burt Reynold's Is My Spirit Guide, it does feel like an inside job by overeager Redditors, but it was still glorious and in keeping with the whole theme of Amy's Baking Company Bakery Boutique and Bistro.]
Not cool, guy: A crazed Taylor Swift fan swam a mile in super cold ocean water to try to bust into her newly purchased Rhode Island manse.
...was caught trespassing on the singer’s Rhode Island beach house earlier this morning! The 22-year old male swam a mile through cold ocean water, up to her beach front all for a glimpse of his beloved Tay Tay! But upon spotting the singer’s security detail, the Swiftie in question quickly turned back round, swimming another mile in the opposite direction.
Well, I'm glad she has security, because WTF WEIRDO.
By the way, this is her fourth mansion. And she's 12. I'm 50 times her age and live in an apartment the size of a Kix cereal box. What I'm saying is: I've made some mistakes, and YOU GO, GIRL. [Perez Hilton]
I'm reallllly hoping this is real (even though PBS is saying it's not — WHATEVER! They've been known to lie before.*):
MY BIG NEWS: So happy to announce that Im a series regular on DOWNTON ABBEY-my favorite show+i'll be debuting a sneak peek tonight 12am PST!— Diddy (@iamdiddy) May 15, 2013
Amazzzzing Ask Me Anything on Reddit with former Amy's Baking Company employee, Katy! First question: "Did you know Amy did 3 years in prison?" Answer: "yes for identity fraud!!!!!!! crazy woman" [Reddit]
1. GAH!!! 2. I've totally done this before at a wedding when my feet were killing me. and 3. GAH!!! [Dlisted]
Is Hayden Panettiere wearing an ENGAGEMENT ring? or just A ring!? Only time will tell! [People]
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are on a boat. [TMZ]
The ACLU wants Modern Family's Cameron and Mitchell to have a wedding. TV weddings are generally pretty great, I'm onboard. [Laist]
Chris Evans has some big ol' muscles. I said goddamn, goddamn! [Perez Hilton]
"Reese Witherspoon & Jim Toth Have 'Great Chemistry' While Shopping in N.Y.C." is a headline that exists in the world. [People]
Image via Getty Pic
In today's edition of Tweet Beat, Kristen Chenoweth seeks sleep's sweet embrace, Slash hates touch screens but probably also hates his lack of motor skills, and Kim Kardashian casually mentions she's eating a grapefruit like a healthy, not gigantic person.
Im awake. I wanna go back to sleep.— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) May 15, 2013
In reference to my last tweet, "Rock n Roll!" I hate fucking touch screens. iiii]; )'— Slash (@Slash) May 15, 2013
Eating grapefruit 4 breakfast reminded me of my nana & papa! They had a tree & would always pick fresh grapefruits every day #MissThem— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) May 15, 2013
I'm squaring with everyone - I am balls-deep in Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook and loving it.— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) May 15, 2013
My PhD is on distinguishing David Bowie and Tilda Swinton.— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) May 15, 2013
Everytime Kim Richards tweets "Voom Voom She-Bang" next to turtle emojis it reminds me how we all watched Anna Nicole Smith die in real time— Julie Klausner (@julieklausner) May 15, 2013
Warsaw is like williamsburg but with no black people— dıpןo (@diplo) May 15, 2013
Biscotti, you make me sad. Why can't you be a real cookie?— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) May 15, 2013
Has anyone seen The Great Gatsby and is it any good?— Retta (@unfoRETTAble) May 15, 2013
Can I get a spellcheck on "wahoowa"?MSWord thinks I'm trying to spell "washbowl"!— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) May 15, 2013
Khal Drogo, loose on the streets. i expected nothing less. twitter.com/IMKristenBell/…— Kristen Bell(@IMKristenBell) May 15, 2013
Also girls,Well done today. Looking fiiiiiiiiiine. Guys,Firm handshake.— Dominic Monaghan (@DomsWildThings) May 15, 2013
Martha Stewart is on Match.com. And if anyone knows how to match, it's Martha.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 15, 2013
Still on the plane. Have to pee so badly but I know I'll get stuck doing my blackheads in that godforsaken light.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
i am sorry - i have a super bad temper and my period is like super late!— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) May 15, 2013
Image via Getty Images
If you didn't think people could get douchier about denying LGBT rights, here's a story of yet another low in anti-gay douchiness. An Oregon bakery owner, Pam Regentin of Fleur Cakes, has refused to make a wedding cake for two brides-to-be, Erin Hanson and Katie Pugh, soley because they are gay.
"I mentioned Erin in passing," said Pugh of her future wife, "And said a 'she' in passing too, in the email. A few days later she called back… and verified it was a same-sex marriage." That's when Regentin refused to bake the wedding cake the couple had requested, with a lovely, "Not from my kitchen." When pressed by a local reporter, Regentin stated, "I believe I have the liberty to live by my principles."
Regentin isn't the first in Oregon, even, to deny cakes to gay couples. Salon has reported multiple cases of bakeries refusing to do business for gay weddings, including Aaron Klein, whose bakery came under fire after he declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple from his bakery, Sweet Cakes Bakery. "I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God," Klein told NBC. "A man should leave his mother and father and cling to his wife… that to me is the beginning of a marriage." Cling to his wife after moving out from his parent's basement? Looks like you have some of your own issues to sort out, dude.
The same thing has happened across multiple bakeries in the U.S., with one Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado reporting a boom in business Chik-fil-A style. In my opinion, if I know a bunch of assholes love to congregate in the same place, it's that much easier for me to avoid them. But that's just my personal theory. The law, on the other hand, counts this as discrimination in several states. Oregon's 2007 Equality Act mandates businesses provide full and equal accommodations "without any distinction on account of race, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation." But these criminal bakers just had to stand by their morals. No cake for the sinners, they said. Only the worthy heterosexuals get that cake (cake cake cake cake cake cake).
In New Hampshire, politicians are pushing for legislations that may allow for bakeries, among other businesses, to refuse services to gays thanks to a clause that essentially amounts to this: "If you don't like the gays, you don't have to sell them stuff for their weddings!" In the fair state of Oregon, though, vendors like Regentin and Klein have no clause to hide behind. Couples like Katie Pugh and Erin Hanson have the legal right to have their cake and eat it too. Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.
Image via Shutterstock
On Tuesday, Angelina Jolie wrote an emotional op-ed for The New York Times about her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. Jolie’s decision came after she underwent genetic testing that indicated she was a carrier of certain genes that put her at a greater risk for developing aggressive breast cancer. Detecting these genes—known as BRCA1 and BRCA2—can be a crucial first step in preventing breast and ovarian cancers for women who have a family history of those diseases. But you’re gonna need some serious Jolie-bucks to find out if you’ve got the faulty genes.
Things that exist inside of your body are usually, you know, yours. But the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes actually “belong” to a company called Myriad Genetics, which patented the genes in the late 1990s—truly the salad days of creepy science. Myriad didn’t patent the testing procedure or the method of extraction, but the genes themselves. These patents allow the company to control research on BRCA1 and BRCA2, set the price of the testing, and locations of their labs. Jolie herself points out that steps must be taken to ensure that all women have access to genetic testing, since at the moment it’s totally cost-prohibitive for those women who are not Angelina Jolie. Because that gilded billiards room in the party yacht isn’t going to pay for itself, Myriad charges anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 for the test.
Last fiscal quarter, Myriad raked in $126 million dollars from genetic testing for breast cancer (85% of their total revenue!). Jolie’s piece on her genetic testing and subsequent surgery was a windfall for the company—Myriad can finally swap out the 4-ply for one hundred dollar bills in the executive bathrooms. (And it’s not just Myriad. About 20% of our genes have already been patented, potentially creating financial impediments for those whose diseases might be prevented through genetic testing.) It’s just like your conservative Uncle Larry always says, “Let private enterprise provide life-saving medical services, because I fucking hate poor people and women!” CAPITALISM GUITAR RIFF!
But those rabble-rousers over at the ACLU think this whole gene patent thing is messed up, and have filed suit against Myriad. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case this past April. The ACLU argued that Myriad’s patents are unconstitutional, because generally speaking, you can’t patent something that is a “product of nature.” For something to be patentable, it needs to involve “human ingenuity.” Here’s an example: let’s say you’re an old-timey prospector hopping around in the river in your long johns (with a back hatch, doy) and overalls. You love panning for gold but hate when your beard hairs get yanked out after getting stuck in the pan. You create a special pan that helps you find all the gold while still maintaining the integrity of your chin curtain. You can patent your special pan, but you can’t patent the gold that you find, because gold is a nature thing, not an invention thing. The same idea applies to genes—because BRCA1 and BRCA2 are made by nature, and were not created by Myriad, the ACLU doesn’t think the genes are patentable.
Myriad, of course, disagrees. It argued that its patents are legit because it isolated the genes outside of the human body, which the company thinks is enough to meet the “ingenuity” threshold. Plus, they totally want to keep drinking champagne out of diamond-encrusted woolly mammoth tusks, so please don’t harsh their mellow, SCOTUS! For their part, the Supreme Court justices were mostly all, “Duhhhh, science?” because lawyers are useless dummies who know nothing, Jon Snow.
Ultimately, Myriad’s approach makes life more difficult not just for women hoping to prevent cancer, but groups of geneticists, pathologists, and other scientific researchers who are eager to study BRCA1 and BRCA2 for a cure or for alternative testing methods. The whole point of patenting is to encourage discovery and invention by allowing those who hold patents to retain exclusive rights over their invention. Instead, Myriad has blocked these pursuits by refusing access to BRCA1 and BRCA2—including researchers who could determine whether certain gene mutations are more common in minority groups. As a result, Myriad’s monopoly on genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer has only made it more difficult for women to make choices about their own health. Even women of means like Jolie can’t always get a second opinion after receiving the results of their genetic testing, because Myriad often prevents labs from running more tests. I mean, I don’t know, a second opinion might be useful when it comes to deciding whether or not to have parts of your body removed.
Although President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has expanded the number of preventive services that women can receive at no-cost (I just made a birth control milkshake, y’all), many women will still have to pay at least some of the cost for genetic testing, even with insurance. This disproportionately affects African-American, Latina, and poor women (women who are already at an increased risk of developing aggressive cancers) who are more likely to delay treatment because of the cost and are less likely to survive a cancer diagnosis.
Angelina Jolie made a courageous decision and absolutely deserves a standing ovation for her honesty and her inspiration. But every woman should have the chance to make that same choice without cost as a barrier. As long as Myriad Genetics holds patents for BRCA1 and BRCA2, it may be financially impossible for all women to get the testing that they need.
Meagan Hatcher-Mays is an unemployed graduate of Washington University Law School in Saint Louis. She does a significant amount of yelling on Twitter.
Image via Mopic/Shutterstock.
Model Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter yesterday, to call someone a whore and was promptly accused by her followers of slut-shaming. She responded with a full-on, crazy-ass ignorant rant for hours that began with: "uh 1, i'm too old to know the term 'slut shaming' and 2, what the fuck is wrong with slut shaming." Uh 1, she's only 27. And 2, we're about to tell you what exactly is fucking wrong with slut shaming.
It all started when Chrissy tweeted about Teen Mom/Backdoor Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham, calling her a whore.
farrah abraham now thinks she is pregnant from her sex tape. in other news you're a whore and everyone hates you whoops not other news sorry— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 14, 2013
Here's the thing: there are plenty of things that a person can call Farrah that are both objectively true observations and sufficiently insulting, like that she's a "liar" or "delusional bitch" or "fucked-up sad person." That girl has plenty to be ashamed about. Hell, you could even call her a fame whore. But plain whore? That's problematic. But Teigen doesn't see it that way, which is equally problematic.
OK, well, lemme enumerate for you what the fuck is wrong with slut-shaming:
1.) There is no cognitive content for the term "slut," meaning that there is no one, true meaning. Like, there isn't a set number of men that a woman has to sleep with in order to qualify for the description. It could be one guy—it could even be no guys. There are cases that virgins have been called sluts because they "acted slutty." You see, the notion is completely subjective. Everybody perceives sluttiness and whorey-ness differently. Some people think that women who dress a certain way—like revealing too much skin—or inspire certain kinds of thoughts in men are sluts. By their definition, you, my dear, are a big ol' slut.
why is "slut shamer" a defended term? you guys know slut is a negative term, right? work on changing that.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
We just have two completely different definitions of "slut shaming". I think of the word "slut" as being negative, and you do not.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
2.) It is an exercise in futility for you to view "slut" as a negative term, because, as stated in item 1, there is no universal, literal meaning of it. It is instead based on implicit gender biases about how women are supposed to behave. The kicker, though, is that because these biases are as varied as the people who subscribe to them, it doesn't actually matter what you do or don't do. As a woman, someone could always come up with a reason to call you a slut or a whore. And trying to delineate yourself from "girls like that" only endorses the whole ridiculous concept of "slut" being a slight in the first place, which only puts you more at risk of being the next target. When you do that shit, we all lose. It's like a snake eating its own tail.
I believe in shame and having shame and being shamed.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 14, 2013
Disgusted at your lack of being disgusted. Go away. Unfollow. You make me sick.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
3.) When it comes to associating shame with a woman's sexual behavior—whether it's in a porno or her dorm room, it doesn't matter—what you're essentially saying is that sex is shameful for women and they should be embarrassed by it. The result of publicly shaming one woman's sexual behavior is that other women will be scared of being open and honest about their own sexuality, lest they be mocked for it. It's what makes young women shy away from seeing a gynecologist, or buying condoms, or buying the morning after pill. It enables women to disregard their sexual health, thus shaming is unhealthy.
Not thinking you guys understand what "shame" is. And I hate it. Shame isn't bullying.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
4.) Slut-shaming definitely qualifies as bullying. Teenage girls who get slut-shamed in high school are committing suicide, unable to handle the horrendous, unrelenting harassment, and being told that they are "less than." Amanda Knox spent four years in prison for a murder that she didn't commit simply because some prosecutors in an Italian town and a few tabloid journalists painted a giant scarlet letter on her chest, using her sexual history and no actual physical evidence, in a trial to convict her. Slut-shaming is a real thing with real consequences.
ladies: you aren't a super feminist for okaying super whores. you don't need to defend EVERYone with a vagina.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
5.) Dude, super whores are OK. (So are mediocre ones.) And we aren't defending everyone with a vagina. Case in point: your comments here are indefensible.
I keep reading my tweets over and over seeing if I can understand why you're SO mad. I can't. I stand by everything.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
i get it. you are wrongfully offended by something so you made up a term to make it bullying. whatever makes you feel better.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
But you clearly don't get it. And it's doubtful you ever will. I mean, we're talking about a person here who models swimsuits for a living but hasn't ever bothered to learn to swim—and is totally OK with that!
i am right. you are wrong / extremely sensitive. unfollow. go to bed.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 15, 2013
Sallie Krawcheck, whose resume includes time as an executive at Bank of America and Citigroup and who was – according to Forbes – the 7th most powerful woman in 2005, announced Wednesday that's she's purchasing 85 Broads, a worldwide network for professional women. What do all these broads do? Help women become businesswomen.
The name is slightly misleading; 85 Broads was started in 1997 by a group of women that included founder and executive Janet Hanson, though the broads part was actually the address of Goldman Sachs at the time (85 Broad Street). Hanson is still committed to the project – in an interview with Katie Couric, she said she'd invested almost everything she was worth ($7 million) into keeping it running – and will be staying on as Chairman Emeritus with an ownership stake.
In a post about her choice to join 85 Broads on LinkedIn, Krawcheck explained that it's only recently that she's wanted to focus on helping women in business:
"For most of my career, I tried to avoid the topic of being a woman in business, vaguely concerned that talking too much about it would hold me back in some way. My standard response: 'Oh gosh, I never really think about being a woman in business. I’m just focused on getting the job done.'
But I’ve been thinking about it over the past year…..a lot.
And it’s not just because of the fairness issue, important though that is. It’s because the research and business case for the economic advancement of women is so compelling, in a world deeply in need of greater economic prosperity."
What 85 Broads does by connecting women from different organizations sounds like a mix between a consciousness-raising circle and a website like LinkedIn that's built just for women – though like those "Leaning In", the company wants to distinguish themselves from that feminist-y legacy:
"Don’t think of these as tired 'support groups;' they are instead platforms for the exchange and promotion of information and ideas, accelerating one’s acquisition of skills and knowledge."
Krawcheck seems like the perfect person to move from merely advocating for women to doing something to help them because she's evolved that way throughout her own career; she's been the subject of articles with headlines like "The Woman Who Made It on Wall Street". In that piece, Heidi N. Moore wrote about Krawcheck's belief that women "get tired" after they turn 30 and fail to rise further in business:
"She is something of a maverick among female executives, because she is all too willing to portray her struggles as shared, while many female executives want to project Superwoman. This makes Krawcheck easier to relate to, because her co-workers see what she's up against."
Whether her not her recent shift in worldview has actually developed over time or is happening because now she's got the clout to do something about it, it's refreshing to see a female executive who has gotten to a place where she's confident and strong enough to not feel as though she doesn't have to avoid the female issue. Though nothing 85 Broads does is particularly groundbreaking, something Krawcheck acknowledges (it teaches women how to do things like manage better, develop a strong social media presence, mentor young women), it's interesting to see how women are being increasing discussed as a commodity in the business community they way they have long been seen in other sectors, prostitution or modeling being the most obvious examples. This time, however, they're being seen as investment commodities – something that gets better over time and doesn't devalue with age or as they become less attractive according to societal standards. Krawcheck uses this language herself:
"I am becoming involved with and investing in 85 Broads because investing in women is smart business. And women investing in themselves and in others, as they do through the network, is even smarter business."
It's the language we hear politicians use more and more: invest in women and the country and world will prosper. It's basically the same way people talk about microfinancing in developing nations, or buying products from a company like Tom's which is built off of an idea of corporate responsibility. I'm not sure there's anything particularly wrong with this change in language, as arguing merely that the world should be fairer and so women deserve an equal wage hasn't gotten anyone very far. There's not much that's more motivational than the idea that doing good things will also make you money, so let's run with that while it's working.
Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP
Artist Emily Nemen's depiction of the U.S. Senate's gender imbalance is both a bummer and visually appealing! While you're over at her Tumblr, Women of the 112th, be sure and check out her paintings of Nancy Pelosi, Michele Bachmann and many more.
I swear a lot. In writing, if not so much in speech (but, fuck it, also a lot of times in speech). Swearing is awesome, because it adds a little extra punch to your sentence that lets people know you mean business! Or, at least, I guess that's how most people characterize the function of swearing. Personally, I don't really give a shit. That "punch" is meaningless—it's a construct—I swear this much because I like to push back against outdated, constrictive, distracting forms of propriety that I don't believe in. When people bitch at me about swearing in articles about grievous, mind-boggling, viscerally enraging hypocrisies and human rights violations—that's what's interesting to me. That tension, that decision to prioritize meaningless bullshit over tangible real-world harm. Fuck you, and fuck your delicate sensibilities.
Over the weekend, Salon posted a fun little look into the etymological, cultural, and socioeconomic history of swearing (an excerpt from Melissa Mohr's book Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing). Being a shrewish shit-scold, of course, I particularly enjoyed this part:
With the development of feminism, many swearwords have become more equal-opportunity, not less. Bitch can now be applied to men and women, as can cunt. In the 19th century shit as a noun was reserved exclusively for men — the “West Somerset Word-Book” defines it as “a term of contempt, applied to men only,” as in “He’s a regular shit.” Now, women too can work, vote, own their own property, and be called a shit.
When swearwords don’t become more equal-opportunity, they often begin to be used solely for women — Geoffrey Hughes calls this the “feminization of ambisexual terms.” Words such as scold, shrew, termagent, witch, harlot, bawd, and tramp were all at one point in their histories terms for men; furthermore, the terms were usually neutral and sometimes even adulatory. Scold, for example, comes from the Old Norse word for “poet.” When these terms were feminized, they perjorated, going from neutral or positive to insulting. Buggerbucks this trend, too, going from a word used of men and women equally to an insulting term reserved almost exclusively for men.
Language is powerful. Language pushes and pulls on our culture and culture pushes and pulls on language, and acknowledging that power can have a profound effect on actual human lives. Reverence for language means both opposing its restriction and encouraging its responsible use. I want people to wield their words be freely but carefully; anyone who thinks language doesn't hold real power has no business making a "free speech" argument in the first place. The dissemination of the printed word, the right to assemble and dissent, the spread of literacy among oppressed populations—these are the things that drive major cultural and political shifts. The way we talk about things can directly affect the way we feel about things, and the way we feel about things of course affects the way we act on things. Fucking duh.
The problem is that people mistake the "language is powerful" argument for "it stings my granny when you say the fuck word." The history of swear words is interesting, but swear words themselves don't matter one fucking bit. Swear words are what people whine about when they want a cheap way to derail an argument. Swear words are for people who don't have anything real to complain about. I wish my life (or, at least, my awareness of the shit going on in the world) was simplified to the point where swearing could be my top priority—where swearing could be worth complaining about. But fuck that.
When I say "language is powerful," I'm talking more about intent than about the actual arrangements of letters. What are you saying and who are you saying it to? Are you punching up or down? Do you have a reason to be angry?
Do I somehow care less if someone calls me a "filthy pig" instead of a "fucking filthy pig"? Fuck no. And should you somehow care more if I say "fuck the pope" (because of the Catholic Church's track record as a global anti-gay, anti-prophylactic, child-molestation cover-up racket) than if I'd said "I strongly dislike the pope"? Should you really be more offended by the swearing than by the fucking behavior of the fucking Catholic Church? Not from where I'm fucking standing. The fact that people get more offended by "fuck" and "shit"—any swear words that aren't ethnic or gendered slurs—than by life-ruining concepts like institutionally protected pedophile priests, or violent anti-gay rhetoric, or the puritanical refusal to cover women's reproductive healthcare, or blatant rape apologia in the mainstream media, or the grindingly self-perpetuating wealth disparity in this country, is FUCKING KOOKOO-BONKERS, YOU GUYS.
So it's not that I don't care about your granny's feelings, it's not that I don't care if people are offended—it's that I can't care. It's just not a fucking priority. This fucking world is in the shitter, and I'm not going to hold back just because some people have been socially conditioned to jump at certain combinations of letters (combinations that don't systematically oppress anyone) that they've heard a million times before. It's nonsense, and I've got bigger fucking problems.
Ever since boycotting products became a popular means of protesting in the Gandhi days of divesting from British goods, divestment has become an increasingly effective method to punish the bad guys with the only action that seems to have significant impact in our capitalist society: buying things. Even for the savviest activist, with complete knowledge of the corporate links between criminals and the products that line your grocery store aisles and your clothing store racks, discerning what company receives profit from your purchase is virtually impossible (unless you keep a crazy web of corporations in your burlap sac that you make notes on frantically in public whilst wearing an Occupy pin). Former Microsoft programmer and congressional candidate Darcy Burner, along with freelance programmer Ivan Pardo, has found a modern day solution to a very modern day problem with an app called Buycott.
Buycott, an idea Burner first pitched at the annual progressive political convention called Netroots Nation last year, allows for users to scan the barcode of any product. The app reveals the products ownership, starting from the brand to its parent corporate company and, ultimately, the corporate conglomerate it feeds in to. If you're hellbent on making sure Koch Industries doesn't get a single one of your dollars, Buycott will show you with a single scan that Dixie cups is owned by Georgia-Pacific, a Koch subsidiary, so you can drop kick those Dixie cups before you hit check-out lines and high-five yourself for not giving in to The Man.
One of the most interesting features of the app allows for users to create campaigns to boycott businesses based on certain business practices rather than whole companies. Demand GMO Labeling is a popular user-created campaign that does just that: You can scan your food to see if it was made by a corporation that donated significant funds to oppose mandatory labeling of GMOs. On the flip side, Buycott also creates brand-positive campaigns that encourage users to buy products created by companies that openly support gay rights, for instance.
With Buycott programmers still working on adding new data to its corporate ownership structures and more and more users building campaigns of their own with the app, divestment in the age of hyper-consumerism has become a lot simpler.
Images via Forbes
Has anyone read this (satirical! Key word is satirical!) article by Ellie Kemper about how men aren't funny? The Gothamist has been so kind as to highlight a few MRA-esque commenters who just aren't getting it.
"Made an account just to say this: Really poor concept for an article. So you're telling me that a woman doesn't usually find men funny? You mean like how the entire history of popular comedy has been completely dominated by male performers because the majority of the audience was men and men don't usually find women funny? How it is a sudden revelation that men and women find different things funny, and that the people who talk about the things they do find funny are really likely to be their own gender? And then, what, you decide to turn it into a dating advice article half-way through, then a switch to commenting on classical poetry? What?
In particular I have to take MAJOR offense to this particular statement: 'the truth is, there is no evolutionary cause for you to have to be funny.' Are you kidding me, really? Have you never, ever met a male who wasn't really attractive, or have you just never paid attention to them? Because let me let YOU in on a little secret, those of us men who can't get ladies through looks alone (and that would be most of us) have had a serious evolutionary cause to develop other skills. It may not always be comedy, some men go for athletic or artistic ability or the tried and true giant bank account, but many of us spend a long time developing and honing our comedic skills as part of our attempt to attract a mate, and those that are smart about it develop comedy that women appreciate.
And seriously, 'men, God bless them, just aren't funny'? So: George Carlin, Richard Pryor, John Cleese, Lenny Bruce, just to name a few out of hundreds. Aren't funny? Huh, guess all of us fans must just be wrong then."
Oh, and Jez gets a shoutout! Yay us!
I know it's a troll article.
But it isn't funny, nor does it have a point. Like Jezebel feminist rant isn't funny, and is pointless.
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Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate and current attorney general Ken Cuccinelli loooves telling women how to take care of their bodies; it's as if he wishes he could be with us at the doctor's office and in the bedroom 24/7. Now you can show your friends what life would be like if Ken Cuccinelli was really *everywhere* by inserting him into your photos.
Cuccinelli has said that his goal is to "make abortion disappear in America," and he's certainly not trying to achieve it by increasing access to birth control, because he's also said people who oppose the federal mandate for contraception coverage should be willing to go to jail to show their opposition. Whatta guy.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund has been actively campaigning to make sure Cuccinelli doesn't take over the governor's office; earlier this year, the group launched "Keep Ken Out," a detailed website that explains Cuccinelli's positions on abortion, contraception, and Obamacare. Voters need information, but they also need memes. So here's a fun photobomb tool you can use to truly illustrate how Cuccinneli is all up in your fucking business.
Here's "The Cooch" (that's his self-described nickname, believe it or not) getting in the way of the YA book I'm trying to read in my avatar. A book he has probably tried to ban because girls do things in it.
Feel free to share your own Cuccinelli photobombs below.
They're making a film adaptation of Into the Woods! Did you know that? Did I know that? This is the type of news item that I go out of my way to stay on top of. How could I not have known?
The film already has a fair share of celebrity clout — Meryl Streep has been cast as the fast-singing, garden-obsessed Witch (but can she even touch Bernadette?) and Johnny Depp will be playing the predatory Wolf. No other cast members have been confirmed, but generically handsome humans Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal have both met and sang for director Rob Marshall and might be signing on to play the musical's two charming-yet-shallow princes.
Quick question? Do they sing? These videos suggest that both Gyllenhaal and Pine can at least carry a tune (if that really is Pine singing), but Into the Woods is a Sondheim musical and Sondheim is notoriously hard to perform. Why not consider actors with real Broadway backgrounds like Aaron Tviet, Bryan Terrell Clark or Jeremy Jordan? Even Johnny Depp, while always willing to go for it, doesn't have a very high quality voice for musical theater. Do filmmakers not remember the great Russell Crowe/Javert debacle of 2012?
Or maybe I'm wrong and they'll totally kill it. Here's a taste of what they'll be singing:
Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal Circling Musical 'Into the Woods' (Exclusive) [THR]
Image via Getty.