Trump WH creates protections for those using “religious” beliefs to subvert the legally enshrined civil rights of their fellow citizens

via Trump administration creates new religious, moral protections for health workers | TheHill

Because bigotry is what these guys do best.


CVS bans photo manipulation in store beauty brands, pressures suppliers

CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes, who made the official announcement at the National Retail Federation’s convention in New York, said the decision reflects an acknowledgment that “unrealistic body images” are “a significant driver of health issues,” especially among women. About 80% of the chain’s customers are women.

“We’re all consuming massive amounts of media every day and we’re not necessarily looking at imagery that is real and true,” Foulkes said in an interview. “To try to hold ourselves up to be like those women is impossible because even those women don’t look like how they appear in those photographs.”

CVS bans photo manipulation in store beauty brands, pressures suppliers


Aziz Ansari and Grace

[Media directed at young women in the middle of the 20th century] didn’t prepare teenage girls for sports or stem or huge careers; the kind of world-conquering, taking-numbers strength that is the common language of the most-middle-of-the road cultural products aimed at today’s girls was totally absent. But in one essential aspect they reminded us that we were strong in a way that so many modern girls are weak. They told us over and over again that if a man tried to push you into anything you didn’t want, even just a kiss, you told him flat out you weren’t doing it. If he kept going, you got away from him. You were always to have “mad money” with you: cab fare in case he got “fresh” and then refused to drive you home. They told you to slap him if you had to; they told you to get out of the car and start wailing if you had to. They told you to do whatever it took to stop him from using your body in any way you didn’t want, and under no circumstances to go down without a fight. In so many ways, compared with today’s young women, we were weak; we were being prepared for being wives and mothers, not occupants of the C-Suite. But as far as getting away from a man who was trying to pressure us into sex we didn’t want, we were strong.

Was Grace frozen, terrified, stuck? No. She tells us that she wanted something from Ansari and that she was trying to figure out how to get it. She wanted affection, kindness, attention. Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested. What she felt afterward—rejected yet another time, by yet another man—was regret. And what she and the writer who told her story created was 3,000 words of revenge porn. The clinical detail in which the story is told is intended not to validate her account as much as it is to hurt and humiliate Ansari.

…But we’re at warp speed now, and the revolution—in many ways so good and so important—is starting to sweep up all sorts of people into its conflagration: the monstrous, the cruel, and the simply unlucky. Apparently there is a whole country full of young women who don’t know how to call a cab, and who have spent a lot of time picking out pretty outfits for dates they hoped would be nights to remember. They’re angry and temporarily powerful…

The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari – The Atlantic


The #metoo Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex

What it’s really about is work, and women’s equality in the workplace, and more broadly, about the rot at the core of our power structures that makes it harder for women to do work because the whole thing is tipped toward men.

…One of the perils at hand — as we try to parse how butt-groping or unsolicited kissing can exist on the same scale as violent rape — is a reversion to attitudes about women as sexually infantilized victims.

…The thing that unites these varied revelations isn’t necessarily sexual harm, but professional harm and power abuse.

…Sexual harassment may entail behaviors that on their own would be criminal — assault or rape — but the legal definition of its harm is about the systemic disadvantaging of a gender in the public and professional sphere.

…To cross powerful men is to jeopardize not just an individual job in an individual office; it’s to risk far broader professional harm within whole professions where men hold sway, to cut yourself off from future opportunity.

…As hard as it is to stir concern over women’s sexual autonomy, we do have a long history of wanting to protect (some) women’s virtue. It is also true that we still rile ourselves up more about a woman’s sexual violability than we do about her professional autonomy or rights to public and economic equality.

…Glenn Thrush, who is accused of making unwanted advances outside of his workplace, against colleagues he did not directly supervise, would seem to give fodder to those worried about a sex panic: It raises the concern that bad passes, made between adults at a bar, might get condemned as sexual harassment in a way that assumes the women in question to be incapable of full sexual participation.

…A man telling a story about how a female colleague came on to him and he put a stop to it has the potential to do damage to the woman’s professional standing — rendering her as needy, undesirable, and showing professional bad judgment — while bolstering the man’s, by framing him as responsible, mature, professional, and ultimately desirable to the opposite sex.

…What makes women vulnerable is not their carnal violability, but rather the way that their worth has been understood as fundamentally erotic, ornamental; that they have not been taken seriously as equals; that they have been treated as some ancillary reward that comes with the kinds of power men are taught to reach for and are valued for achieving.

…A woman who is harassed, or who is in a workplace where other women are, might feel vividly the full weight of the system that’s not set up with her in mind, and see with clarity how much more difficult her professional path will be at every turn, how success might not be on her terms, but on terms set by powerful men. She might feel shame, or embarrassment that worms its way into her head, affects her confidence. She will likely spend time and energy focusing on how to maneuver around the harasser, time and energy that might otherwise be spent on her own advancement. Some women decide to play along; maybe their careers will benefit from it or maybe they will suffer, but they may long wonder whether their success or failure was determined not by their own talents or even by a lucky break, but rather by how they responded to a man. This is especially difficult for very young women, those with fewer economic or social resources, who lack professional networks and professional stability; it’s these women who are most likely to be targeted. The whole thing might begin to feel overwhelmingly difficult, hopeless, perhaps not worth the fight. It can mean a sapping of ambition.

…The frustrated conversations between some Democratic women in the Senate had gone on for a week, held sometimes, literally, in the Senate’s women’s restrooms: What should they do [in response ot he allegations about Sen. Franken?]

Those women surely knew that if they did not speak out against Franken, they would be tarred as self-interested hypocrites; they probably also understood that if they did speak out against him, they would be viewed as self-interested executioners.

…The shitty position women are so often put in: as the designated guardians, entrusted —whether as colleagues or wives — with policing men’s bad behaviors, they will get dinged for complicity if they don’t police it vigilantly enough, and risk being cast as castrating villainesses if they issue sentence.

This Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex


Margaret Atwood asks, “Am I a bad feminist?”

The #MeToo moment is a symptom of a broken legal system. All too frequently, women and other sexual-abuse complainants couldn’t get a fair hearing through institutions – including corporate structures – so they used a new tool: the internet. Stars fell from the skies. This has been very effective, and has been seen as a massive wake-up call. But what next? The legal system can be fixed, or our society could dispose of it. Institutions, corporations and workplaces can houseclean, or they can expect more stars to fall, and also a lot of asteroids.

If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers? It won’t be the Bad Feminists like me. We are acceptable neither to Right nor to Left. In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.

…A war among women, as opposed to a war on women, is always pleasing to those who do not wish women well. This is a very important moment. I hope it will not be squandered.

Am I a bad feminist? – The Globe and Mail

I hope not but I wouldn’t hold your breath, Margaret.