Million of Indians took part in anti-rape protests this year, including this protest in Delhi in April. Photo by Ramesh Lalwani.
This past year has been a turning point for media discussion of sexual assault in India, with last December’s high-profile gang rape in Delhi generating unprecedented public interest in the treatment of women and unleashing extensive news coverage of sexual violence in the country. But despite this recent spike in reporting on issues of gender inequality, India’s media industry continues to be overwhelmingly male-dominated. Recent studies show that women make up only 2.7 percent of India’s local journalists.
• On Wednesday, the Michigan legislature passed a bill that bans private insurance plans from covering abortions. Women can buy extra coverage for unplanned pregnancies that many are calling "rape insurance", but Jessica Valenti argues that this phrase creates a hierarchy of good and bad abortions that limits reproductive justice for all women. [The Nation]
• Queers for Economic Justice, a progressive non-profit organization that has been dedicated to addressing poverty and inequality through a lens of sexual and gender liberation, has announced that they will be closing due to lack of funds, and they urge their supporters to continue the fight for justice. [Queers for Economic Justice]
For some people, street harassment is an everyday occurrence. It can be such a common part of our lives to be hollered at and made uncomfortable as we go about our days that it can be difficult to imagine anything that can be done about the persistent problem besides small actions like confronting or ignoring our harassers.
To offer a bigger picture perspective, this week the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment released a “Know Your Rights” toolkit, a state-by-state breakdown of laws that can be applied to street harassment, including laws the prohibit “unwanted sexual behaviors in public spaces, including, but not limited to, obscene comments, flashing, up-skirt photos, following, and groping.” Stop Street Harassment released the toolkit on Tuesday, Dec. 10, to coincide with the United Nation’s Human Rights Day.
• Conversations by people of color on Twitter and other social media platforms are holding the American media accountable for their lack of skill and sensitivity in discussing race in pop culture. [Salon]
• If you were disappinted when Rashida Jones told women to "stop acting like whores," you're probably still going to be disappointed by her explanation of it, even though it's always nice to hear celebrities engaging critically with feminism. [Clutch]
• In the latest installment of comedic reactions to Cosmo's sex tips, someone actually tests out some of the awful advice they give, like eating a doughnut off of a penis, or poking your partner with a fork while you have sex. Hilarity ensues. [AlterNet]
• Three young black men in Rochester were arrested for standing on the sidewalk and "refusing to disperse" while waiting for the school bus. When their black male basketball coach tried to intervene and say he was supervising them, the police threatened to arrest him as well. [Rochester Home Page]