Stuff you may have missed this week
by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
Once again, a brief and very incomplete summary of what's been going on in the world for the past week, in case you're relying on us for your feminist news.
A very moving and compelling essay in the American Prospect by Jaclyn Friedman about the legacy of Stonewall, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the riots in Greenwich Village. Friedman points out some disturbing truths about the status of the gay rights movement, 40 years after one of its most important events. She writes, "The modern LGBT-rights movement owes its existence to the heroes of Stonewall. And while much has been gained in the intervening decades, a certain crucial something has been lost. We've become a movement that will settle for anything vaguely positive that proves we exist."
Idiotic Bloggingheads video debate about the idea of paying women not to have abortions. This is going to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies - how? We want to give financial incentives to stay (and probably, as some interpret it, to become) pregnant, but we can't provide adequate welfare, because that encourages people to rely on handouts from the government.
Lynn Rosenthal was named the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. Just one more reason to love Joe Biden!
According to the NYT, vibrators are as common in American households as toaster ovens. Well, maybe not that common.
Can we just pause and ask why Ross Douthat is allowed to publish in the NYT? His latest column basically asserts that lower-class people are having wilder, more unsafe sex, but also sex with more "romantic excess," while feminism has trapped men in the kitchen where they are unable to seduce their wives. Does anyone else understand what he's trying to say? Over-educated feminists aren't having enough unsafe sex, but lower-class couples should try to take it down a notch? My question is - why the hell would anyone (regardless of their economic status) care what Ross Douthat thinks about their sex life?
And, straight from Vietnam, my sexist comment of the day, courtesy of my tour guide in Saigon this past weekend. Imagine this accompanied by an unnecessarily large wink:
"You know, sometimes in Vietnam they call 'ladies of the night' mermaids. So when I take large groups to some towns, at night I tell the women that they can go shopping, and men can go fishing."