Some of us have been missing Kaili Joy Gray's weekly recap of the War on Women.  I'd rather be just plain missing the War on Women, but until then, we're trying to bring this weekly feature back as a group effort, so anyone who's interested, please sign up to take a week.  

The good, the bad & the ugly are below the orange scrambled egg.

Tom Tomorrow offers the Republican Pickup Artist's Guide to Seducing Female Voters!  Looks like some Republicans have already studied it.

Reproductive Rights:

Rick Perry signed a restrictive anti-abortion measure, severely limiting abortions after 20 weeks and requiring all clinics to fit the requirements for ambulatory surgery centers.  During debate on the law, spectators were searched before entering and required to surrender tampons and sanitary napkins - but not guns.  No word on what they would have done with a gun that fired tampons.  

Meanwhile, defunding and new restrictions are forcing Planned Parenthood to close three Texas clinics - two of which didn't even provide abortion.  Show Planned Parenthood some love here.

California prisons have performed at least 148 medically unnecessary sterilizations on women prisoners.

Ireland just passed a law allowing abortion if the woman's life is in danger.  Incredibly, this was not the case before.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a bill that requires women seeking abortions to obtain an ultrasound and mandates that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

And North Carolina slipped some abortion restrictions into a motorcycle safety bill.  No word on whether abortions now require a tiny helmet to first be inserted into the woman's uterus.  Meanwhile, NC Governor Pat McCrory saw an instant 15% drop in his approval ratings.

In North Dakota, a judge overturned the ban on medical abortions.

A doctor's description of a coat hanger abortion.  Trigger warnings:  it's even worse than you think.


Rick Perry vetoed the Texas version of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would give victims of pay discrimination 180 days to sue after the last discriminatory check (rather than after the first one, which might well be before they had any idea that the discrimination was happening).

Nancy Pelosi wrote an op-ed for CNN saying it's time to move beyond the "Mad Men" era for women in the workplace.

Nearly two-thirds of all minimum wage workers are women. The poverty rate among women is as high as it has been in 17 years. Women are more likely to file for bankruptcy and have less retirement savings. Women have rushed to get more education and training, but student debt has skyrocketed. Five decades after the Equal Pay Act, women still make just 77 cents for every dollar men make for the same job, an average real difference of $11,000 a year. Unmarried women -- single, widowed or divorced -- are the most economically insecure.
And if you doubt that we're still in the "Mad Men" era: the all-male Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that it's ok to fire a woman solely for being "too attractive."


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY is fighting hard to change the rape culture in the military, including taking sexual assault cases out of the hands of the commanding officers.  She's even found a little Republican support.  Meanwhile, the military is fighting hard for the status quo.

Bob Filner, Mayor of San Diego, has been accused of groping and sexually harassing at least two women.   Filner is denying the accusations, but acknowledged that he "failed to respect women who work for him and he intimidated them at times," and that he "needed help."  Inexplicably, after this news came out, Filner was made the keynote speaker at a benefit for sexual assault victims.

The George Zimmerman acquittal travesty has drawn some attention to Marissa Alexander, a battered woman who fired a warning shot into the ceiling in self-defense.  She was not allowed to use Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law in her defense, and wound up sentenced to 20 years.  I'm sure it goes without saying that Marissa Alexander is African-American.  Leslie Salzillo's diary at the link has contact information for Gov. Scott, and other ways to show support.

In South Africa, two male magazine writers were suspended for "jokes" belittling rape victims.  Naturally, there's been plenty of public outrage aimed at the woman who publicized their comments.

In Dubai, a Norwegian woman went to the authorities to report being raped.  Authorities responded by sentencing her to 16 months in jail for "sex outside marriage."  Speak up for Marte here.

Four years ago, a 16-year-old girl was gang-raped outside of her high school after leaving the homecoming dance in Richmond, CA.  This week two of her assailants were convicted, facing up to 33 years in prison for the attack.  Two others have already pled guilty, and two more are awaiting trial.  There may have been as many as twenty young men involved in the rape.

We don't have to wait long for the next one of these stories:  it's already happened.  13-year-old girl, 10 or more men.  And yes, they filmed it.


The Russian group Pussy Riot has released "Like a Red Prison," their first new song since two of their members were imprisoned for "hooliganism".  One other has since been released onto probation; the identities of the rest of the performers are kept anonymous.

Taliban (I can't believe I have enough material to make this an actual category):

The Afghan government last week appointed a former Taliban official as a commissioner on the newly established independent human rights commission.

In part of the Baghlan Province in North Afghanistan, clerics have issued a "Taliban-style" decree severely curbing rights for women, including barring them from leaving the home without a male relative.  The Karzai government has refused to intervene.

Similarly, (although the Taliban per se doesn't appear involved) clerics in Northwest Pakistan have issued a decree temporarily banning women from shopping unless accompanied by a male relative.  The justification offered was a "to keep men from being distracted during the holy month of Ramadan."  Because if men can't function without being "distracted," it's women who must be confined, right?

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for pursuing education for girls, spoke before the UN a few days ago.  A senior member of the Taliban in Pakistan responded with a nonpology letter to Malala expressing "regret."  It could best be summed up as "Sorry you made us shoot you."

As for Malala's speech, it was phenomenal.  Here's an excerpt, but seriously, read the whole thing:

Dear friends, on 9 October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.
You can send well wishes to Malala and friends here.

I'm sure I've left stuff out, so please add other news and action items in the comments.

Originally posted to Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, Sluts, This Week in the War on Women, and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.