1. French Classrooms Embrace Their Cliteracy.
You know how the heads of school districts in this country have a big meeting each month about how best to keep students from learning proper sex education? Well, it looks like French officials decided to skip that meeting this month, as they’re about to vastly improve their sex ed with the realest learning tool we’ve ever seen: a 3D (printable!!) clitoris. Supposedly entering primary and secondary school classrooms soon, this lifesize clit classroom supplement will be used to teach students about how the clitoris works--highlighting all the (c)little details that are almost always left out of the discussion, including but not limited to how it’s made of the same tissue as the penis and becomes erect in the same manner, is mostly internal, and has the most nerve endings of any body part ever. TBH, kids shouldn’t have to wait until they’re grown adults to learn about the most incredible organ ever. Let’s hear it for the first coming of the very cliterate youth! (Pun very much intended).
2. Women Fined For Wearing 'Burkini' On French Beaches.
Looks like it’s one step forward, two steps back for France this week. While we’re giddy over their clitoral accomplishments, we’re a little hot and bothered (and not in a good way) about the fact that multiple women were fined this week for going to the beach in “Burkinis”--a waterproof full-body covering worn so that Muslim women can enjoy summertime without compromising their religious or personal beliefs--as they violated a temporary, new secularist ban on Burkinis at French beaches. The controversy surrounding Muslim headwear for women in France has a complicated history, but many people feel the laws outright policing the way women dress are Islamophobic and sexist all wrapped into one. Religious affiliations aside, any government that is instructing its women on what to wear in public is not a government that we want to support.
3. NYC Comedy Community Ignites Debate On Rape Culture.
Image by Marcin Whichary
This week, the NYC comedy scene exploded with controversy over former UCB performer Aaron Glaser who was quietly banned from the New York comedy institution after a reportedly in-house investigation found him to be a threat to his female peers, some of whom had accused him of rape. What began as a private Facebook thread between female comedians expressing concern about Glaser’s behavior escalated into an all-out social media duel, co-opted by male comedian and television writer Kurt Metzger, who came to the defense of Glaser, as well as what feels like all men who have been accused of sexual assault, taking Glaser’s claim that he was victim to a “witch hunt” to the next level on his Facebook--referring to women as a host of different farm animals, insulting women writers and activists, denying rape culture, asserting that women who accuse men of rape are often lying, criticizing women for not immediately going to the police, and a bunch of other cliche responses to women who come forward with rape allegations that have been addressed by women too many times already. He is angry because he feels like men are punished too harshly just for rape allegations. We’re angry because we know that men often go unpunished for assaults that they commit, and that aside from a very, very small minority, women don’t lie about sexual assault. The language he uses is also extremely unnerving, and indicative of a larger issue of disrespect and violence against women. The only thing keeping us sane in this stressful time has been Reductress--the satire site dedicated to uncovering the many hypocrisies that women face on the daily through the sharpest comedy you’ll ever see. In response to the whole controversy this week, Reductress *covered* their site in satirical articles addressing all these issues. (Think: titles like “We Built This Robot To Explain Rape Culture To Men”). More (satirical!) thoughts on this here.
4. Deanna Carter Fearlessly Calls Out Subway Masturbator.
Getting bumped and thrown around on the NYC Subway is already such a pleasant experience, why not add in some unsolicited sexual behavior from a strange man to top it all off? Luckily there are women out there like Deanna Carter keeping our city safe, especially when our morning commutes are defiled by a stranger’s morning wood. Carter, NYC’s newest hero and the voice of my new ringtone, posted a video online of a man she caught masturbating himself on a crowded train--but the best part was not just her exposing him; it was her voice in the background, absolutely shredding him with her unadulterated confidence in the face of his public indecency. The video has since gone viral, as Carter is heralded as a protector of the weak and foe of the phallus. Unfortunately, instances of a man openly whacking his weeds are all too common (as is pretty much all sexual harassment). Behavior like this is particularly threatening to women when it occurs on public transportation; the claustrophobic environment leaves many women feeling especially vulnerable. Next time you feel subjected to unwanted behavior on the train, you may want to channel your inner Deanna and jerk that creep right off (the train, that is).
5. Tiniko Thompson Faces Life In Prison After Defending Her Life Against Abuse.
Tiniko Thompson is one of many women in the U.S. who has acted out of self defense and has consequently faced jail time. After taking the gun out of her mouth (as it was placed there by her boyfriend) and shooting him to defend her own life, Thompson was found guilty of murder and now faces life in prison. According to her story, her boyfriend, a Florida cop with a history of committing domestic abuse, had just punched her in the face and then shoved a gun in her mouth, threatening to kill her after she had maxed out his credit card. The male judge rejected her claim of innocence, and prosecutors and antagonizers have tried to paint a narrative wherein Thompson lied about the murder, pointing to the maxed out card and the potential for Thompson to have been hiding a pregnancy from her boyfriend as justification for her boyfriend’s violence. For more about the cultural distrust of women, read here.