On Our Radar: Feminist News Roundup

• Conservative pundits like Ross Douthat have pointed out that Texas’s abortion restrictions are quite similar to the no-abortion-past-the-first-trimester policies in many Western European countries. But, as Katha Pollitt points out, the religious and moral climate in most of those countries do much more to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. [The Nation]

• At his sentencing yesterday, Cleveland kidnapper and unceasingly horrid speciman of humanity Ariel Castro claimed that his rape of the three women her held hostage was consensual because none of them were virgins previously, and then blamed the whole thing on porn. Massive trigger warning, obviously. [Salon]

• If you’re interested in just how much Yale University does not value the well-being of its students, do read the school’s new report titled “Report of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct.” The report does not use the word “rape,” preferring the more neutral “nonconsensual sexual conduct,” and notes that five out of the six students officially recognized as not-rapists will be returning to the school to not-rape again this fall. [Yale]

• In the wake of That Disgusting Racist Song (we posted about it in yesterday’s OOR), Hyphen advises redirecting our attention to Asian-Pacific-American female artists who are the creators—rather than the offensively drawn subjects—of music. [Hyphen]

• Blame for the passing of California’s Propostition 8 was famously—and erroneously—laid at the feet of Black voters. This and other instances of an assumption of homophobia in Black communities are explored in the documentary The New Black, as well as several other new films. [The Village Voice]

• Adele Han Li writes about how she ended up working in the world of stop-motion animation, and why that world needs more stories created and directed by women. [IndieWire]

• A Queens middle school has removed Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from its sixth-grade curriculum after parents complained about its content, which they felt promotes masturbation. Because sixth-graders will never find out about masturbation otherwise. Alexie later tweeted that the kerfuffle is not exactly hurting book sales. [New York Daily News, Twitter, and h/t to Dianna Anderson]

screengrab of Twitter update from Sherman Alexie

by Andi Zeisler
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Andi Zeisler is the cofounder of Bitch Media and the author of We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement. You can find her on Twitter.

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