• All-star young adult author Malinda Lo has put together an annual report on LGBT characters in young adult books. This year, she found more YA books had LGBT characters—but fewer of them were published by the big mainstream publishers. Plus, there are significantly more male characters than female ones. [Malinda Lo]
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Photo: A still from Young Lakota, a documentary about women's activism in South Dakota.
“Every other race of women in this country has access to emergency contraceptives as an over-the-counter, except for native women,” says Charon Asetoyer, executive director of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center who is fighting to change that reality. Most press coverage celebrating recent changes to federal law around Plan B have left at least one group behind: Native Americans. That's why Native American activists are still pushing the slow-moving bureaucracy at the Indian Health Service to make Plan B available over-the-counter for women of all ages. And while progress is being made, challenges to accessing emergency contraception remain in Native communities, where high rates of sexual assault make the need particularly dire.
In collaboration with the radio journalists at Making Contact, I put together an audio story about Native women pushing for emergency contraception access. The story will be featured in our podcast coming out later this week, but you can listen to it now or read the transcript below.
• Why are there still so few women in science? One of the first two women to ever receive a physics degree from Yale investigates why there's a persistent gender gap in who gets advanced science degrees. [New York Times]
• Actress Lupita Nyong'o discusses how she dealt with the violence of her role as a slave in the new film 12 Years a Slave. [Colorlines]
• Marvel is running a contest based on Thor's Jane Foster: they give high school girls the tools to find and interview professional women in STEM industries, then offer a prize for the best video about the girls' love of science, career hopes, and experience talking to their new mentor. [The Mary Sue]
• Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Iowa for quietly banning the largest telemedicine abortion program in the country, a service that primarily serves low-income and rural women who can't make an in-office visit. [ThinkProgress]
• The NYC Girls Project aims to show young girls that their value comes from "their character, skills, and attributes – not appearance." [NYT]
The Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health is pushing primary care doctors to ask every woman one extra question when they see her for a regular checkup: "Do you want to become pregnant in the next year?"
• From the Department of Bad Ideas: Gawker has created a Privilege Tournament in the form of an NCAA–style bracket. "Privilege has its benefits," writes creator Hamilton Nolan, "but the lack of privilege confers that sweet, sweet moral superiority." Keep it classy, Gawker. [Feministing]
• From the department of extra-bad ideas: Author and University of Toronto professor David Gilmour caused a continental stir yesterday when an interview revealed this quote: "I'm not interested in teaching books by women." He went on to say, "What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth." Roxane Gay addresses his shortsightedness with a reading list and some pointed responses. [Salon]
• Cloudy with a chance of bigots: Guido Barilla, CEO of pasta giant Barilla, declared that the brand would never advertise with images of gay families, saying "I think the family we speak to is a classic family." He walked back his remarks a bit once news of the statement sparked a Barilla boycott, but the damage seems to be done. Good news for Ronzoni! [The Guardian]
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