Calling All Sluts
Time to fight back
By Mandy Oaklander
SlutWalk is coming to a park near you.
It all started earlier this year in Toronto, when a constable with the Toronto Police Service told a group of law school students at a safety seminar how not to become victims. His advice: Women should avoid dressing like "sluts."
And you thought ish didn't go down in Canada!
The constable's comment — which mirrors a widespread belief — rightly spurred an incensed response. Soon SlutWalk was born. It's a march of women and men who are sick of a "blame the victim" mentality — that if a lady wears "slutty" clothing and gets sexually assaulted, she had it coming. People of every gender get raped wearing all kinds of clothes. And it's never their fault.
The march hopes to make that point obvious to all.
Morgan Hopkins, the president of the Women's Studies Student Association at University of Houston-Clear Lake, is an organizer for the Houston version. Several LGBTQ and women's groups are planning the event, slated for this summer. "We live in a society that perpetuates crimes against women," Hopkins told Hair Balls. "We shouldn't be told not to act a certain way."
It's also about taking the bite out of the pejorative and gendered word "slut." (When's the last time you heard the word aimed at a guy, without first qualifying it with "man" tagged in front?) "We're not going to allow someone to use this against us to shame us," Hopkins said.
Come as you are — or wear what you dare (it's your right, after all) — to SlutWalk: July 9 from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Cherryhurst Park.
Forced Sonograms Lauded by White Men
By Richard Connelly
Texas, you may now consider yourself even more safe when it comes to women abortin' babies just 'cause they feel like it.
Governor Rick Perry, in a big ceremonial show, signed into law the bill that mandates women seeking abortions must undergo sonograms.
His official statement on the matter included quotes from three people: himself, state Senator Dan Patrick and state Representative Sid Miller.
Because if anyone knows what's good for women, it's three Tea Party Texan politicians.
"Today is a great day for women's health and unborn children in Texas," Patrick said. "This bill will greatly improve women's health care in Texas, provide women the information that they deserve through informed consent and will undoubtedly save thousands of innocent lives."
All about the women's health care, is our Dan.
Sid Miller's thoughts: "By providing women with a full 24-hour waiting period, this bill will provide expectant mothers with adequate time to review their sonogram and to carefully weigh the impact of their life-changing decision without undue pressure or influence from abortion providers or others."
And finally, rounding out the rich-white-guy trifecta, the honorable governor: "Every life lost to abortion is a tragedy we all must work together to prevent, and I commend Representative Miller and Senator Patrick for their hard work on this significant legislation. This important bill will ensure that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying, and understands the devastating impact of such a life-changing decision."
We can only hope the women of Texas are properly grateful to have such stalwart defenders in their midst.
The governor's office, by the way, made sure there were plenty of women surrounding him as he was photographed signing the bill, just so no one would get the wrong idea or anything. Not to mention they quickly followed up the original release with a second featuring quotes from women.
DOING IT DAILY
Theres tons of stuff each day on the Houston Press blogs; youre only getting a taste of it here in the print edition. Head to blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs (or /rocks or /eating or /artattack).
The governor is set to sign a bill allowing 75 mph speed limits on rural highways, so get your Sammy Hagar on and guzzle that gas. In the light of President Obama's call for Israel to return to its 1967 borders, a leading Texas nationalist asks him to return the Lone Star State to its 1845 borders. (No response yet from the White House.) In honor of SlutWalk (see above), we listed five Texas sluts worthy of your admiration. And in two studies, the state was shown to be a) terrible when it comes to sex equality in the workplace and b) on top when it comes to most immigrants being detained behind bars.
Texas took a teeny, tiny, bare-minimum step into "regulating" payday lenders who can charge up to 500 percent interest, in essence telling them to include more impenetrable fine print on the contracts. That's what happens when a key legislator (from Houston!) is himself a payday lender. Rick Perry criticized Obama's Middle East policy "as someone who has visited Israel numerous times," which is more than good enough for us. And opponents failed to block the new drainage/flood control fee by arguing voters were too stupid and lazy to understand it when they voted for it.
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For some reason, KPRC posted prom pictures of its anchors and reporters, including Dominique Sachse. Why, we have no idea. A study found Houston to be among the ten deadliest cities for pedestrians, so maybe it's a good idea no one walks here. And a doctor at the Baylor College of Medicine believes he has found a vaccine against cocaine addiction, but is running into red-tape problems getting it approved.
On the 22nd anniversary of her death, we looked back on the life of Gilda Radner with some of her best-loved characters. We introduced our new weekly roundup of Tumblr sites (Cosby Show sweaters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and swanky restrooms each received some special attention). We reviewed Masquerade Theatre's production of Jekyll and Hyde, Catastrophic Theatre's Crave and gave you our predictions for fall TV.