“Let me tell you how you feel”

“Why are most of the animals in ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ male?” asked a female reviewer.

I thought that was a good question. It’s not like there was a plot reason to have the characters male. petsSo I posted that article on a page devoted to animation, and immediately was attacked. “Oh, here go the feminists again!” they said. “This woman doesn’t know what she’s talking about” and so on.

All from men, of course.

I expected one to scream “All cartoons matter!”

I always try to listen to the experts. When the vast majority of scientists are telling me that climate change is real and vaccinations are good, I tend to listen. I don’t have any experience in that area.

Similarly, it is tremendously frustrating for me as a lawyer who once taught Constitutional Law to be lectured by some high school dropout about the meaning of the second amendment.

Everyone reading this is an expert in something. Your job, your hobbies, your life — how do you like it when someone tries to tell you you’re wrong about something you know better than anyone else?

So when women tell you that the lack of representation in a film is important to them, don’t go tell them they shouldn’t feel that way. If black people are telling you that they fear the police and are targeted by them often, don’t go saying that they are wrong.

Let’s assume they’re the experts here.

 

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Supreme Court sees through Republican bullshit

One of the key strategies of Republicans lately has been to create a fake problem and then “solve it” in such a way that the real result takes away rights from people they don’t like.

There’s the fake “voting fraud” issue where their solution just happens to have the side effect of removing many Democrats from the voting rolls.

There’s the fake “transgender bathroom” issue where their solution just happens to take the rights away from people who merely want to pee in peace.

And of course, there are plenty of other fake issues they create, sometimes for the sole purpose of riling up their base and raising money. (War on Christmas, Benghazi, Obama is going to take all your guns, etc. etc.)

One of their more successful fake problems was the “protection of women” one. In many states, laws were passed to require clinics that provide abortions to meet standards that were completely unnecessary and which have nothing to do with the health of women. These restrictions made half of the clinics in Texas shut down.

The Supreme Court saw through all that today. The decision found that these restrictions “provide few if any health benefits for women, pose a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes a, ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”

Cartoon by Ann Telnaes. Yes, I know Scalia isn’t there any more, but I just love this drawing.

Do not underestimate the importance of the Court on your life. They are a way to protect your rights against rabid legislatures. And that’s why it is so important that you vote for Democrats, not just for the presidency but for Senate (so the President can get her nominees approved).

 

The dead have more rights than women

by guest blogger Yvette d’Entremont (a/k/a “Science Babe“)

The buffer zone around funerals is three hundred feet, in a court battle that limited free speech of religious zealots.

The buffer zone of 35 feet around Planned Parenthood clinics was declared unconstitutional because of freedom of speech for religious zealots.

The takeaway from this is that dead bodies get more respect in the courts than women.   7171972292_02616f58e7_k

The decisions for these restrictions should be compared because, if these were just about where we are allowed to practice free speech, shouldn’t these buffer zones be the same? One would hope so. However, the behaviors of the two groups in question are entirely different.

Planned Parenthood is an organization that provides low cost OB/GYN care to women. This includes annual physicals, breast exams, and birth control. They do counsel women that abstinence is a way to avoid STDs and pregnancy, and they also counsel them on how to maintain your health in sexual relationships.  The organization fills a necessary role in the health care system.

About one percent of their services are for abortion. The other ninety-nine percent of women who go into their clinic are harassed by protesters for getting a breast exam.

Planned Parenthood protesters, allegedly aiming to protect life at all cost, have murdered in the name of their cause. These buffer zones were introduced after women were attacked not to limit the group’s speech, but to keep women and doctors from being killed.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote about the decision, “At each of the three Planned Parenthood clinics where petitioners attempt to counsel patients, the zones carve out a significant portion of the adjacent public sidewalks, pushing petitioners well back from the clinics’ entrances and driveways.”

How quickly Justice Roberts has forgotten the original intent of the laws, not to stop women from hearing a difference of opinion, but to stop them from being subject to harassment and violence that has come along with a lack of protection at these clinics. Given the current environment in which our senses have grown numb  with the news of weekly shootings, would we even bat an eyelash if a shooting happened at a Planned Parenthood?

Would Justice Roberts still want to protect free speech and give groups right to “counsel?”

Conversely, Westboro Baptist is guilty of spewing extraordinarily hateful and unpopular opinions, but they have never threatened or harmed somebody.  Given that the buffer zone has been declared unconstitutional at Planned Parenthood, a non-violent protest group has now legally been given an infinitely bigger buffer zone than the violent one.

Why are we giving a group that has a history of violent protest unfettered access to women who are trying to see a doctor?

As a woman who has been harassed en route into an annual doctor’s appointment because my doctor held some of her office hours at a Planned Parenthood, I thoroughly enjoy that my cozy OB/GYN’s office in Orange County comes with a koi pond and wifi. It’s a world removed from that cloudy day when protesters screamed at me in Boston.  Every woman should have that right to feel safe when walking to a doctor’s office.

And under law, shouldn’t there at least be as much protection granted to women as to a dead body?

Yvette d’Entremont is a forensic chemist and writer living in Southern California. She enjoys running, baking cupcakes with bacon in them, and cuddling her cat, Lexi (but really, she’s a dog person). She’s currently working on a crime novel in her free time and you can follow her antics on twitter @yvetteguinevere and on her Science Babe website.

Republicans know what them women folk want

A few weeks ago, Republicans in Colorado had a debate about “women’s issues” so their all-male slate of candidates could discuss the things women want. MichGOP They ran the debate like “The Dating Game” — including the theme music — because women clearly want their representatives to woo them like a suitor.

I am not making this up.

This week, Michigan Republicans wanted to show their solidarity with women by tweeting a picture of the all-male group reading “women’s magazines” with the text “Don’t say we don’t understand women.”

If I have to explain to you why this is wrong, you may be a Republican.