Mission Kidnapping Scare
A 19-year-old woman very narrowly escaped a kidnapper in the Mission last Sunday. She was approached at gunpoint while walking down Mission Street at 1 a.m, then dragged to a brown van in which she was held captive for several blocks. The suspect tried to force the victim to swallow a pill, but she successfully resisted and soon jumped out of the van and ran away to safety. The suspect is still at large. This story is scary as fuck and is, I hope, a good reminder to be aware of your surroundings when walking alone late at night. (Appeal, Mission Local)
Cupcake-inspired Author May Not Understand Irony
In lighter news! I feel kind of bad making fun of Geraldine Solon, who I’m sure is a very nice woman, but this interview with the Fremont-based “women’s fiction” author is pretty silly. For example, here’s Solon describing the “ironic” (her words, not mine) way she came up with the idea for her latest novel: “I was craving one day for a rich, filled, three-layered chocolate cupcake, and slowly, I had a vision of a rich woman in distress. The story unfolded so naturally and I found myself immersed in Blair’s chaotic world. My cravings were so powerful that the whole essence of the cupcake had to be the saving grace to Blair’s nightmare.” (Examiner.com)
Ed Lee, The Women’s Choice?
Women want Ed Lee (to run for mayor), according to the SF Weekly and Bay City News, which reported that female leaders met on Wednesday to organize the first all female-driven effort to draft Lee for mayor. (Appeal, SF Weekly)
Well, Twitter is What’s Really Important
The U.S. may have lost the Women’s World Cup, but hey; at least the event broke Twitter’s record for most tweets per second (over the wedding of Prince William and Kate and the death of Osama bin Laden). (SF Chronicle)
Famous Bra Does Not Inspire World Cup Win
Also: did you know former World Cup champion Brandi Chastain — she of the infamous post-winning-kick jersey-rip-off — lives in the Bay Area, co-founded the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, and loans out “The Bra” that she donned on the field back in 1999 for special occasions like the Cup? It was on display at Neto’s Market and Grill in Santa Clara last Sunday — unfortunately, it didn’t help much. (San Jose Mercury News)
SF Weekly Calls the SFBG Sexist, Kind Of
The SF Weekly takes offense with the fact that the newest SFBG cover story on nude beaches shows full-frontal female nudity but no male genitalia (it’s all hidden behind books and picnic baskets). Do you think they’re right? (SF Weekly)
Slutwalk Coming To SF
The Slutwalk movement began in Toronto, when a police officer suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” to remain safe. Women took to the streets in protest–some dressing “like sluts” (the Slutwalk websites’ words, not mine) with the goal of drawing attention to the issues with blaming the victim instead of the harasser. Since then, Slutwalk marches have been held all over the world, and the protests have been hotly debated over the past few months. I would try and break down the different opinions for you but, honestly, name a point of view and someone has probably fervently expressed it. Women are taking back their sexuality! Women are defining themselves by their sexuality! Etc. (If you’re wondering what I think, this Awl piece sums up my feelings on the marches pretty perfectly). Find out what they’re all about for yourself when SF gets its own Slutwalk on August 6th. (SlutwalkSF)
Institute of Medicine Recommends “Free” Birth Control for Women
The Institute of Medicine officially recommended that the U.S. government require health insurance companies to cover birth control for women as a preventive service — without deductibles or copayments. Other services the IOM thinks should be deemed preventative care include diabetes tests during pregnancy, cervical cancer screening, and screening for domestic violence. “Today’s IOM recommendation is an enormous victory for women and their health,” said Heather Estes, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific. (PPSP)
Some women’s rights bloggers feel that the media is covering the announcement incorrectly, as birth control isn’t exactly “free” when women or employers pay for general coverage. “[I] don’t think that we should give [the antiabortion movement] their argument on a silver platter,” Steph Herold tweeted. (@IAmDrTiller)
Sorry If You Don’t Care about Harry Potter, But I Really Do
Is Harry Potter a feminist story? Alternet writer Kyrstie Yandoli thinks so. “Rowling gave the women of the Wizarding World a range of characteristics and personality traits,” she writes, “instead of pigeonholing them into the progressive female stereotype of independent, loud and smart.” Ms. Magazine thinks the movie teaches feminist lessons such as “Patriarchy is evil. And it can be destroyed” and “The ‘Smurfette Principle’ needs killing along with Voldemort.”
But Global Comments’ parody, “In praise of Joanne Rowling’s Hermione Granger series,” makes some good points to the contrary: “But, if we look closely, we can see that Harry is a parody of every cliche Rowling avoided with Hermione. Harry is not particularly bright or studious; he’s provided with an endless supply of gifts and favors; he’s the heir to no less than two huge fortunes; he’s privileged above his fellow students, due to his fame for something he didn’t actually do himself; he even seems to take credit for “Dumbledore’s Army,” which Hermione started. Of course this character is obnoxious. It’s only by treating ourselves to the irritation caused by Harry that we can fully appreciate Hermione herself.” BAM. (Alternet, Ms., Global Comments).
Summer’s Eve Ads Are … Quite Something
In lieu of commentary, I will quote directly from a Summer’s Eve ad entitled, “Hail to the V: BFF:”
Hello from Vagina Land. Population: 3.5 billion and growing. Thanks to us.
Listen, we need to talk. I tried given you subtle hints but you keep ignoring me. Not cool sister. You and me should be BFFs. You take care of me, I take care of you. You know, like side-kicks….I’m not talking a brazilian or vajazzaling. Just a little love for your vertical smile. Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash and Cloth. Hail to the V!
Another advertisement herald the vagina as being “the center of civilization,” which judging from the kung-fu heavy ad means men have been fighting over them for centuries. (Feministing)
BILLS, BILLS, BILLS (AND RULINGS)
In what RHRC optimistically calls “a sign that the administration is continuing to be more aggressive in suing those who violate the laws surrounding abortion clinic access,” a Maryland resident has been charged with “intimidating and interfering” with abortion clinic patients by blocking entrances, stepping on patients shoes, and following patients after leaving the clinic into oncoming traffic. The accused, who has been allegedly harassing women for more than a decade, will face a $10,000 fine plus $5000 in damages to three different victims if convicted. (RHRC)
More Antiabortion Bills in Kansas
They’ve already won several bills in the past few months–including measures that imposed new licensing requirements for clinics and ruled out abortion after 21 weeks–but Kansas antiabortion-rights groups aren’t satisfied. Mark Gietzen, chair of the Kansas Coalition for Life, asked Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to consider a “heartbeat” bill that would ban abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat could be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Another group is planning to introduce a “personhood” bill that would define personhood as beginning at fertilization.
Late-Term Abortion Bill Passed in Missouri, Without Gov. Signature
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced last week that he would let legislation that prohibits most late-term abortions take effect without his signature. Before now, Missouri law prohibited aborting “viable fetuses” (some states claim a fetus is “viable” after 20 weeks, but Missouri will now let doctors determine viability on a case-by-case basis). Now, starting August 28, “it will allow such abortions only to save the woman’s life or when the pregnancy poses a serious risk of permanent physical harm to a major bodily function.” Sounds pretty similar – but abortion-rights advocates say the law is part of a plan to “eliminate a woman’s mental health as a justifiable reason for a late-term abortion.” (AP)