At times, it can seem like the best way to get good treatment from the government is to be a corporation. Since corporations are people and have free speech thanks to the Citizens United decision, do they have any other rights normally afforded to human citizens? Depending on what the Supreme Court decides in coming months, corporations may have the right to decide their employees’ birth control choices.
• The award for the worst sex writing of the year comes out this week. Amanda Hess runs through some horrible nominees, including this line from Woody Guthrie's long-lost novel, "Inside the door of her womb she felt her inner organs and tissues, all her muscles and glands, felt them roll, squeeze, squeeze, and roll." [Slate]
Here's what's on our day-after-Thanksgiving radar:
• One cool thing we can do surrounding Thanksgiving is remember and honor Native American struggles for self-determination and liberation. Red Power activists issued a proclamation to the US government when they occupied Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971, and it was pretty rad. [The New Inquiry]
• Many female saints were women who were radically opposed to traditional gender norms and fought against following the path they were expected to take. Here's a list of ten feminists who were canonized. [Autostraddle]
• Clyde Peterson is working on a new stop-motion film about LGBTQ youth and schizophrenia called Torrey Pines. If you're interested in any of these things, help Kickstart the project. [Torrey Pines, Kickstarter]
How great would it be to share a dinner table with Sherman Alexie? The National Book Award winner, Spokane Coeur d'Alene Indian, and author of 24 books always has something smart to say, and his way of saying it is with a good-natured dark humor that illuminates the bad stuff of life with a warm and loving light. A week before Thanksgiving, Sherman and I talked about the holiday and how he's made it his own, imagining the traditional Thanksgiving feast as a celebration of survival.
Black Friday is a good time to reflect on the need for better minimum wages.
Both Walmart and McDonalds have recently come under fire for practices that acknowledge their employees are struggling financially yet make no move to pay them a livable wage. This November, a Walmart in Ohio had bins that let employees donate food to other employees so they could eat on Thanksgiving. A McDonalds website that gives tips to its employees recommended that they sell holiday gifts to make quick cash, cut their food into smaller portions so they feel like they’ve eaten more, apply for food stamps, get a second job, and to "Stop complaining. Stress hormones rise by 15 percent after 10 minutes of complaining."
That's actually a comparatively women-centric line-up for Thanksgiving weekend. This week, the folks at the New York Film Academy put together this interesting infographic about women in film that has me thinking about the how the way women are represented in film certainly stems in part from who is behind the scenes in the industry.
• A pregnant woman moving from California to New York has resulted in a disturbing custody battle. A New York court said, “her appropriation of the child while in utero was irresponsible, reprehensible.” This is a new step in treating a fetus as a child and limiting women's reproductive rights. [The New York Times]
In Catching Fire, the normally unflappable Effie Trinket seems increasingly dismayed at her role as media handler.
The Hunger Games series is about a lot of things—growing up, violence, a boy with the same name as a delicious bread—but the new film, Catching Fire, has the feel of a political thriller.
While the first film the now-four-part (ugh) series focused a lot of its story on the action of the Hunger Games themselves and the life-and-death choices of each character, Catching Fire frames its story from beginning to end as a bigger, meatier critique of how governments use media to keep control.
• It turns out that Plan B—the emergency contraceptive pill that reproductive rights advocates have spent a decade trying to make accessible to all American women—may not be effective for women who weigh over 176 pounds. The European manufacturer of an identical "morning after" pill says the medication begins to lose effectiveness in women who weigh over 165 pounds, which is especially upsetting as the average weight of American women is 166 pounds. [Mother Jones]
• In case you missed it: Katy Perry's "geisha" performance at the American Music Awards was not okay. [The Atlantic]
• Immigrant rights activists calling for an end to deportations of undocumented immigrants' family members disrupted Obama's speech in San Francisco's Chinatown yesterday. [Colorlines]
• Feminista Jones explores an interesting question: Does sex addiction exist? Is there a double standard around how women are diagnosed as hypersexual? [Ebony]
• Obamacare enrollment is targetting moms, encouraging them to get their kids and communities to sign up for healthcare—a strategy that makes clear how women do a social and emotional work in communities that is often invisible. [Guardian]
What did I miss? Add what you're reading to the comments.
New York artist Donna Choi wanted to create a “weird, memorable way” to discuss fetishization of Asian women, so she put together a satirical series about how to diagnose Yellow Fever—the specific obsession many Western men have with Asian culture.
The over-the-top series is a discussion of race crafted for the attention span of the Internet.