• Same-sex marriage is now legal in England and Wales! The country's Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties all backed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which was given official "Royal Assent" on Wednesday. [BBC News]
There's a script for women in commercial country music that doesn't necessarily coincide with more mainstream stereotypes and assumptions about women. If you've ever heard Carrie Underwood's ubiquitous 2007 single, "Before He Cheats" (lyrics), you'll recognize the tropes.
Of course there are exceptions, but the ideal country woman is often blond (and white), feisty, world-wise, and hot. She is deeply possessive of her man, and aims to squelch competitors for his affection. She gives the appearance of working-class roots even if she didn't grow up working class, and she's equally comfortable talking about guns (Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead"), Jesus (Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel"), and heterosexual romantic relationships (Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away").
One of the newer variations on these themes is the girl group Pistol Annies (Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley). Check out the first single of their August LP, Hell on Heels (lyrics):
Two weeks ago the Disarm Domestic Violence Campaign launched worldwide. The first international campaign to protect women from gun violence featured women activists from 28 countries who spoke out against small arms proliferation through art, advocacy, media outreach, and direct action.