• In not so shocking news: new research from Minnesota shows that colleges with more health services have students with lower rates of pregnancy and higher rates of birth control and condom use. [Bedsider]
A victim of sexual assault should be able to get a fair investigation without having to plead her case on national media.
But after prosecutors in the Missouri town of Marysville dropped rape and sexual exploitation charges against two locals, a teen girl and her mom are speaking out with the hope that media pressure will lead the state to reopen the case
Here's the feminist news we've got on our radar today.
• Friday was National Coming Out Day. Jayson Flores asks what it means when we celebrate "straight-acting gays" for coming out while mocking those who are more gender non-conforming for telling us what we already presume to know. [PolicyMic]
• After receiving criticism for its "buy one, give one" business model that fails to address systemic causes of poverty and displaces local shoe producers, TOMS announces plans to begin manufacturing some shoes in Haiti starting in 2014. [Public Radio International]
• When urban scientist Dr. Danielle N. Lee turned down an offer to write for Biology Online, its editor called her an "urban whore." Then she wrote a blog post about it for Scientific American and they deleted her post without informing her. [Slate]
• Christina Aguilera traveled to Rwanda with the World Food Program to feed children, continuing a long legacy of white American celebrities "saving the children" in Africa. [Africa Is A Country]
• Viceinterviewed Petra Collins about her controversial American Apparel vagina t-shirt, feminism, menstruation, and pubic hair. Collins says, "Women are supposed to be submissive, we’re not supposed to be in control of our sexuality, so I guess it’s scary when a woman goes through puberty and gets hair and is able to take control of herself and her body." [Vice]
Let us know what's on your radar in the comments section.
• We're heard that women can't be soldiers, scientists, political leaders. Now, some bigwigs in the world of classical music are arguing that women also can't be conductors. You know, those people with the batons on a podium. Come ON, world. [NPR]
• The National Center for Transgender Equality released a new report highlighting the challenges of transgender immigrants. [Colorlines]
• According to the head of animation on the new Disney princess movie Frozen, animating female characters is super hard because they need to have emotions and look pretty. Here's the quote: “Animating female characters are really, really difficult, ’cause they have to go through these range of emotions, but they’re very, very — you have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive to — you can get them off a model very quickly. So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, and having them both in the scene and look very different if they’re echoing the same expression.” [The Mary Sue]
• Ohio’s abortion restrictions are an example of the pro-life incremental strategy: pushing the boundaries of Supreme Court guidelines without technically violating them. And it’s working: only 11 clinics remain in Ohio, and some more may be forced to close. [NYT]
• 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]
What did I miss? Add what you're reading to the comments.
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]