Rihanna Shoots Her Rapist in “Man Down” Video

Rihanna has been a controversial music figure in recent years for all the wrong reasons. As a victim of physical abuse at the hands of her boyfriend, rapper/singer Chris Brown, Rihanna was victim-blamed and cast aside as she watched her fans post messages of support for her abuser all over the web. As a saucy provocateur and performer of sex-laden songs like 2011′s “S&M,” Rihanna is no stranger to controversy over her personal life and music.

Now, Rihanna is facing backlash and calls for boycotts from parenting and “family values” groups for the video for her latest single, “Man Down.” The video features a quite-fierce Rihanna shooting her rapist in cold blood, and feeling remorseful about what she has done. Lyrics from the song read: “‘Cause I didn’t mean to hurt him/Could’ve been somebody’s son/And I took his heart when/I pulled out that gun.” [Read more...]

Women’s History Month: Barbara Jordan

Being from Texas, there aren’t a lot of strong, progressive women in positions of power. Barbara Jordan is the key exception to that rule – she. was. awesome. As the first African American woman elected to the Texas State Senate, she joined the US House as the first female and black representative from a southern state.

A lawyer, state Senator, and Congresswoman, Jordan championed equal rights, availability of abortion services, social security benefits for homemakers, and just generally kicked ass – including Richard Nixon’s. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, she fought for his impeachment following the Watergate scandal. She was a constitutional scholar, educator, and eloquent speaker. Her keynote addresses at the 1976 and 1992 Democratic Conventions are a must-watch.

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Feminists For Choice Stands With Planned Parenthood

House Republicans, in their infinite wisdom, have chosen to forgo wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, immigration reform, and THE FREAKING ECONOMY. Instead, they’re choosing to take vital health services away from women who already face significant barriers to healthcare.

That sounds like a really productive use of your time. According to your campaign promises, my uterus must be creating a hell of a lot of jobs for you to be so damn interested in it. I am glad, though, that we have such incredible women representing us in Congress, like Representative Jackie Speier. Her revelation that she’d had an abortion and impassioned defense of Planned Parenthood is seriously moving.

“There is a vendetta against Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has a right to operate. Planned Parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. Planned Parenthood has a right to offers abortions. Last we checked, abortions were legal in this country. You may not like Planned Parenthood, so be it. Some of us on the other side don’t like Halliburton.”
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Quick Hit: What can we do to prevent sexist ads like this one?

UPDATE: If you feel so compelled, please use this link to write a letter to the editor of the Dallas Observer. http://www.dallasobserver.com/feedback/EmailAnEmployee?department=letters

I was flipping through my copy of the Dallas Observer, our local alt-weekly. Yes, I know that the ads for escorts and strip clubs aren’t exactly pro-woman, but this one really caught my attention in all the wrong ways.

So, let’s have a discussion. What can we do, as readers and consumers, to get rid of this sophomoric crap?

Photo courtesy of Kelli Ondelacy, a local blogger and tweeter.

Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore Suck.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Like any other liberal chick searching for news on TV, I’ve seen more than my fair share of Keith Olbermann. The same can be said for Michael Moore; I’ve seen his movies and even enjoyed a few of them.

Everyone knows that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is sitting in a British prison for sexually assaulting two Swedish women. Because of the precarious nature of his “business,” Michael Moore automatically assumes that these allegations are “hooey,” and…

…wait for it…

BAILED HIM OUT OF JAIL. What the hell, Mike? I get that you’re all about open governments and not keeping secrets and such, but really? You think it’s okay to bail a rapist out of jail because of his political leanings?!
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Why Marriage Is Irrelevant (To Most Of Us)

I’m from the South. Weddings are part of our shtick. Daddy pays for a Barbie dreamland wedding, you go on a fabulous honeymoon to Jamaica, and return to your freshly-purchased-by-Daddy house where you live happily ever after.

Or not. In my reality, the nature of a wedding is entirely capitalist. Thousands of dollars are spent on dresses, venues, flowers, gifts, rings, food, and festivities, and a glamorous trip to some place in the tropics. For those that can afford it, of course.

For something that should be about love, mutual respect, and the connection of two people, it sure costs a lot of money. This is perhaps the reason why a study conducted by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and New York’s Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values raised such a stink.

According to this study, millions of Americans (especially those without college degrees, or the “moderately educated”) are choosing to not marry. Others who are married, report declining levels of satisfaction in their union. Also “shocking” were the numbers that suggested that people are no longer embarrassed about having children out of wedlock. [Read more...]

What Happens When You Need An Emergency Abortion? (And You’re At A Religious Hospital)

It’s no secret that religious institutions control a significant portion of hospitals and the healthcare industry. Just in Dallas (where I live) we have Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Catholic institutions.

It’s also no surprise that those in charge of these institutions are vehemently anti-choice. As I’m sure you remember, a nun in Phoenix was excommunicated earlier this year for providing life-saving care (aka abortion) to a woman.

Wait, what? She got kicked out of the church for saving a life? That doesn’t sound like any church that I’d want to be involved in, and brings up another point. What happens if I’m dying and no one will help me?

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Tomorrow is Election Day! Vote Choice!

Nothing is more painful to watch than the week of television before an election day. Your favorite shows keep getting interrupted by politicians, PACs, and every other person in the world trying to get your vote.

This is something similar to that-  without the flag waving and fear mongering. Tomorrow, go vote for candidates that you support based on the issues. Don’t let ads and smoke-blowing distract you from what really matters: the issues.

As a pro-choice voter, you have to consider your candidates views on more than just abortion. Do they support abstinence-only sex education? Do they support the requirement of medical insurers to provide access to birth control?

How do they feel about women’s issues overall? Have they been accused of sexual harassment by staffers? What do they think about gay marriage? All of these issues (and others that are important to you) are essential to finding a good pro-choice candidate. Visit NARAL’s voting guide to get a bigger picture of your candidate’s vote on choice. [Read more...]

Body Hate and Television: Marie Claire Blogger Gets Nasty About Overweight Actors

Marie Claire is a traditional women’s magazine, so I know we shouldn’t expect much in the way of quality journalism, but a recent post by blogger Maura Kelly incited the proverbial shit-storm on Marie Claire’s Facebook page and blog.

Hundreds of commenters were appalled at the language and insensitivity that Kelly calls “writing style.” Her post was about one of the most serious issues in the country: obesity.

The post, entitled “Should fatties get a room? (Even on TV),” was posted to Kelly’s blog, A Year of Living Flirtatiously. This blog details Kelly’s year long search for love. The blog is filled with the standard relationship advice and “how to please your man” pieces, in the vein of Cosmopolitan.

This particular post, though, was written in response to an editor’s question about whether or not people would be “uncomfortable” seeing overweight people “making out on television.” Whoever this editor is, she must not live in America, considering that over 60% of us are either obese or overweight.

What’s more shocking is Kelly’s blatant fat-shaming. She says that she is “grossed out” by seeing obese people kissing on screen, and even continued to say that it is “aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room.”

Grow up, chick. Every person on earth has been (at one point or another) complete dissatisfied with their bodies. Including YOU. Kelly’s bio includes that she is a recovering anorexic, which fully explains why she wrote the post. [Read more...]

Tonight: Watch Rachel Maddow Narrate “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” On MSNBC

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tonight, MSNBC will air an hour long documentary about last year’s slaying of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

As I’m sure you remember, Scott Roeder walked into Dr. Tiller’s house of worship and shot him in cold blood, claiming that it was to protect the lives of unborn children. The documentary will feature never before seen footage of Roeder and people close to him, including his ex-wife Lindsey, who will detail his spiral from anti-abortion advocate to murderer.

“The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” will also include interviews with nurses in Tiller’s clinic, and most importantly, the singling out of Operation Rescue as an inciting force in Tiller’s murder. If you read Feminists For Choice often, you’ve probably seen the blogs about Operation Rescue leadership – Randall Terry, Cheryl Sullenger (who has unique ties to Scott Roeder and the murder of Dr. Tiller), and others. I urge you to read up on these posts before you watch this documentary.

Check out this trailer of the documentary from The Maddow Blog. After the show has aired, please come back and leave your thoughts and comments on this thread. We’d love to have a good discussion about the documentary and the case.

Most importantly, though, we’d love to have a discussion about the rampant harm that Operation Rescue is causing. This quote, from Shelly Sella, one of Dr. Tiller’s fellow doctors, sums up exactly why we need to have discussion about these groups and their hate-filled rhetoric:

“The anti-abortionists who don’t carry guns definitely incite the ones who do,”