Weekend Coffee: International Women’s Day Edition

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, so in honor of that, all the links in this week’s roundup are feminist-themed. And there’s a lot of news to cover:

• Anita Sarkheesian of Feminist Frequency has released the first in her Tropes vs Women in Video Games series, exploring the cliche of the damsel in distress. (Hilariously, a group of “men’s rights” advocates who solicited donations for a rebuttal video series appear to have taken the money and run.)

• A brutal, poignant comic-book retelling of the story of Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban for wanting girls to get an education.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, because it mentions the existence of LGBT people.

• My wife’s review of Quiverfull: Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce.

• Miri on Freethought Blogs has some unsolicited advice for guys who want to be feminists. (Also, go congratulate her for being accepted to Columbia!)

• The activist Zerlina Maxwell suggested on Fox that we should prevent rape by telling men not to rape, not by telling women to buy guns, and as if to prove the point, was promptly inundated with violent threats from the deranged.

• The Arkansas legislature passes a blatantly unconstitutional abortion ban. No surprise: if it survives court scrutiny, it will disproportionately affect poor and young women. This is just the latest in an escalating series of legal harassments and restrictions placed on women by misogynist legislators: as Amanda Marcotte writes, “Arkansas [already] has a mandatory lecture and then waiting period, restrictions on insurance coverage, parental notification laws, and a gag rule on state-funded clinics so they can’t help women find abortion providers.” But no abortion restriction is ever enough to satisfy the fetus-obsessed.

Image credit: NARAL Pro-Choice America

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Bdole

    Malala Yousafzai is a brave young girl who completely misses the fucking point(emphasis mine):

    She said: “Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone and I am getting better day by day. It’s just because of the prayers of people. Because all people – men, women, children – all of them have prayed for me.
    “And because of all these prayers, God has given me this new life, a second life. And I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organised the Malala Fund.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/08/malala-yousufzai-discharged-hospital

    She’s alive because of modern medical science, not superstitious appeals to a the very same god worshipped by her attackers, the same people who want to prevent her and her entire gender from getting an education! This kind of shit drives me up a wall. How can someone utterly fail to diagnose the underlying cause of the disparity between the culture of the doctors who restored her and the culture of the fundamentalists who shot her?

  • Adam Lee

    I agree, it’s exasperating. But for all her courage, Malala Yousafzai is still young, and older and wiser people than her have similarly failed to draw that connection. I can’t judge her too harshly for it. Or if you want to be Machiavellian, you could speculate that even if she did draw it, she’d also have to know that openly rejecting Islam would be a sure way to get her society to declare her and everything she stood for to be anathema. Sometimes progress has to come in small steps.

  • Bdole

    “Or if you want to be Machiavellian”
    I’m not sure I’m capable of being otherwise.
    The thing is she could’ve at least THANKED the DOCTORS who saved her life along with god. No harm in that. That’s what really got to me. All for god, and nothing for science or the generous people who actually helped her. I know she’s a kid and at least she’s heading in the right direction. Maybe, once she’s got that education she’s after, she’ll make the connection. In fact, I expect that she will.


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