1. Texas Judge Rules For "Religious Freedom," Says Doctors Can Refuse Female, Trans Patients.
Another in a long string of rulings legalizing discrimination justified by religion, there was a ruling in Texas this week that says doctors can refuse medical care to transgender patients and/or patients who have had an abortion solely on the grounds of protecting their (the doctor’s, that is) religious freedom. Judge Reed O’Connoll ruled that existing measures that required doctors to conduct an “individualized assessment” of every request for procedures from patients was an undue burden (lol) on medical professionals whose religious freedom hangs delicately in the balance. Hmmm….sounds fake but ok.
2. Musical Acts Decline Offers To Perform at Drumpf Inauguration.
It’s been a bit of a drag tuning into the news ever since the election of Drumpf--that is, until this past week as we’ve watched his staff struggle to find performers for the inauguration on January 20th. Thus far, the crew has only been able to wrangle former “America’s Got Talent” contestant Jackie Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Rockettes (who successfully protested their boss volunteering their services, changing each performer’s commitment from “mandatory” to “voluntary”). Desperate for star power, the camp turned to British “X Factor” star Rebecca Ferguson who agreed to sing on one condition: she'll gladly perform, as long as she can sing Billie Holliday’s anti-lynching classic, “Strange Fruit.” Oof, talk about a kick in the ole’ (racist) pants.
3. Owner of Coachella Supports Anti-LGBT+ and Anti-Woman Efforts.
Image by Byron Gonzales
Did you wait patiently by your computer screen for three days straight without blinking or peeing to buy your Coachella tickets yet? If the answer is yes, you may want some valuable information about the Coachella organization itself, and where some of that music fest money might very well be going. Turns out, the man behind Southern California’s biggest desert parade of flower crowns and bro tanks, Philip Anschultz, contributes money to extreme right organizations that actively fight against LGBT+ and women’s rights. Maybe Beyoncé--the festival’s first solo female headliner in the past ten years, BTW--will save the day? She always has before.
4. Megyn Kelly Stirs Things Up, Leaves FOX.
It was announced this week that Megyn Kelly of FOX News fame/infamy will be switching networks and heading over to NBC to host a daily daytime show and a Sunday newsmagazine program, which has a lot people feeling a lot of different things. Some are skeptical of her ability to appeal to a wider range of audiences, coming from FOX where the viewership shares a pretty narrow political bent, far to the right of center. Our friends at BUST pulled through to remind the world of Kelly’s top five most racist moments from her time at FOX (like that one time she reassured all the children of the world that Santa couldn’t possibly be anything other than white. Yike!), making us cross our fingers in hopes that she’ll change her tune and adopt a, er, less racist approach to news.
5. Menstruating Nepali Girl Dies While Subjected To Illegal Practice.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that a girl in Nepal died after being banished to a shed while menstruating, a practice that is now illegal in Nepal. The girl's name was Roshani Tiruwa, and the cause of death is believed to be suffocation while left alone, out in a secluded shed, meant to keep menstruating girls and women away from the community at large. This ancient Hindu practice of forcing menstruating girls into sheds reflects a deep misogyny, prevalent all over the world, that persists even when certain laws exist to curb it.
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