Is It Cold Out Here, Or Am I Just A Woman?
This is not science. I'm making a metaphor... but then again, if you're a Hollywood movie producer drawing up the snowy sequel to 127 Hours where Ani DiFranco cuts off her arm to save the future of women's rights in this country, by all means, stop right now.
Without further ado, let's recap what the media, the entertainment industry, and the government have all done this past month to get Punxsutawney Phyllis to see her shadow:
Talking Heads â€“ Highs in the Low 30s, Lows in the Late Teens
While sharing the screen with her resume's highlights, Trotta cited a recent Pentagon report revealing the over 50% increase in violent sex crimes in the Army in the past six years. In response to the report, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said these numbers were "a stain on the good honor of the great majority of our troops," Army vice chief of staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said the Army has "zero tolerance for this," while Trotta asked "what do they expect?" then went on to criticize programs designed "to support women in the military who are now being raped too much." (emphasis added)
MSNBC wasnâ€™t feeling too much warmer for women when Rick Santorumâ€™s top super PAC funder (read: sugar daddy) Foster Friess was on Andrea Mitchell Reports to discuss Santorumâ€™s stances on social issues like abortion, gay rights, and contraception. During the interview, Friess â€œjokedâ€ that an inexpensive contraception alternative was a Bayer Asprin that, â€œgals put it between their knees.â€
The Grammys â€“ Highs in the Low 40s, Lows in the Late 20s
Chris Brown warmly returned to the Grammys stage a few weeks ago with , a high-tech light up pyramid, solid dance moves and no memory of the night before the Grammys three years ago. You know, the night when he brutally assaulted Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time.
Despite the fact that Brown pleaded guilty and is on probation until 2014, the music industry let him out early for good behavior (see high-album sales). And the Grammys welcomed Brown back by building him an altar to sing on and sending him home with a shiny new trophy.
Possibly more shocking than Brown's "too soon" return, was the #chrisbrown conversation that followed. During and after the awards show, dozens of viewers used their personal Twitter accounts to praise Brownâ€™s return by sayingÂ Brown could â€œbeatâ€ them anytime. Brown himself tried to use his new Grammy as a â€œGet of a Jail Freeâ€ card when he tweeted:
State and Federal Governments â€“ Highs in the Mid-20s, Lows in the Early Teens
The Virginia House of Delegates left women out in the cold when they followed theÂ rising trend in statewide abortion restrictionsÂ and passed a bill requiring an ultrasound as a prerequisite to an abortion. For many women in the early stages of pregnancy, this means a mandatory and invasive transvaginal ultrasound. The Senate of Virginia was wise enough to kill the bill in committee, although it is currently slated for reintroduction in early 2013.
Issa tried to justify his boysâ€™ club by saying the hearing wasnâ€™t â€œabout reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administrationâ€™s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience."
Time to Warm up a Bit
Thankfully, there has been a fiery backlash to Fox Newsâ€™ take on sexual abuse in the military, the Grammysâ€™ warm welcome for domestic violence perpetrators, Virginiaâ€™s probing-before-abortion bill, and Congress' biased birth control decision-making. But isnâ€™t it extremely troubling to see this rising effort to freeze up years of progress for womenâ€™s rights? And in such a short span of time?
Despite what this past month has shown us, itâ€™s important to remember that the non-radical idea that women should be considered equals in our society, aka feminism, is not dead. In fact, this feminist is more heated than ever.