Someone’s going to have to clean up all this shattered glass.
On the seventh of June, in the year two thousand and frickin’ sixteen, a woman finally — ALL CAPS EXCLAMATION MARKS FINALLY!!! — shattered that stubbornly second-strongest glass ceiling. (We’ll be coming to smash that toughest ceiling of all in November.) And not just any woman, but first lady, senator, secretary of State, world ambassador for women, nerd extraordinaire, the one and only Hillary Rodham superbad badass Clinton.
One hundred years ago, we could not even vote. Fifty years ago, we could not even have credit in our own names. And now HR superbad badass C is going to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president of these United States.
It’s not over. We have a general election to win, a Senate to reclaim, a Supreme Court to protect, legislation to enact, barriers to break, and so much work ahead. That’s always the way, isn’t it? We work so hard, for so long, so often feeling like there is no end in sight. We carry on the fights our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers started, battles they did not even live to see won. Most of the women who started the journey toward voting rights did not get to see the 19th Amendment come to pass. And so many of our sisters had to wait even longer for that sacred right to exist in more than name only. We are still waiting for the constitutional amendment to recognize our equal rights (ahem cough cough awkward glances pass the goddamned Equal Rights Amendment already COUGH COUGH).
Tuesday’s victory is not the end of our war. Nor will a victory in November be the end. But we’re off to one hell of a start. And Hillary Rodham Clinton is one hell of a backwards-and-in-heels general to lead us into this, our next big and glorious battle. Finally.
Here’s this week’s good, bad, and hideously ugly:
- You’ll be shocked — shocked! — to know that some women enjoy having sex. If you’re a straight dude, that is. No really, it’s science:
Men in long-term, heterosexual relationships generally tend to underestimate their partners’ interest in sex, according to psychologists at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario. In findings published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers discovered that men were more likely than women to misperceive when their partners wanted to be physically intimate, which could be an expression of men’s fears of sexual rejection. […]
While women could typically tell when their partners were interested in sex, men had a harder time picking up on their partners’ cues when they wanted to get laid. There could be myriad reasons for the discrepancy, most of which have to do with social norms that treat female sexuality as taboo: Women might not be as comfortable initiating sex or stating what they want outright, which can lead to misunderstandings and missed signals.
So according to the study, men are too busy being fragile and afraid of rejection to be able to pick up on the hint-hints when their special lady friends are in the mood for a little somethin’ somethin’. Maybe they should focus less on their own insecurities and more on their partners and what they want, and then everyone wins.
- Airbnb has a bigot problem. In 2015, a Harvard Business School study found that renters with white-sounding names had an easier time booking reservations through the site than those with African-American-sounding names. This, despite the company’s insistence that it has “a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination on our platform.” And it’s not just racial discrimination. Last year, a gay couple claimed their host evicted them when she realized they were gay. (Airbnb subsequently banned the host from its site.) And most recently, this story surfaced:
— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) June 5, 2016
Here’s the silver lining: The company acknowledges that it has a problem and is taking steps to address the too-common reports of discrimination against people of color and LGBT would-be renters and has hired Laura Murphy, former head of the ACLU’s Legislative Office in DC, to review the company’s practices and policies and figure out what it can do to fight discriminatory practices on its site. Not that Airbnb will be able to fully eliminate all discrimination — it won’t — but the simple fact that a company recognizes discrimination is not only wrong but also bad for business is a good thing. You might even call it progress.
- Dear cable news: You’re doing it wrong. An extensive 14-month study by Media Matters found that the way CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC cover abortion flat out, straight up sucks. How do they suck? Oh, try to count the ways. No, really, just try. Mostly male guests talking about abortion? Check. Mostly anti-choice guests talking about abortion? Check. Misleading or downright wrong information? Check. And not just by a little bit, but by a big fat huge bit, with Fox as the biggest offender (as if you couldn’t have guessed). For example:Take a look at the whole study, but be warned: You will probably choke on your own vomit.
- Speaking of vomit:
— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) June 6, 2016
Brock Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman behind a dumpster while she was unconscious, and was sentenced to a mere six months in county jail. His father asked the judge for leniency on behalf of his son because the poor guy was having such an awful hard time since being tried and convicted and prison would be so hard for him and — real quote — “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” The judge agreed because that’s how the justice system treats “nice” white boys from well-to-do families when they commit heinous crimes. But if there is only one thing you read about this scumbag — and he is most definitely a scumbag — take a deep breath and steel yourself to read the letter his victim wrote and read out loud in court at his sentencing hearing. It’s hard. Real hard. And it’s worth it.
- Let’s end on a good note. No, a GREAT note: the victory speech we’ve been waiting hundreds of years to hear.
Join us next Wednesday for another round of reporting. Unless we’ve won the war by then.