The end of abortion rights in the US
Well, it finally happened. The fact that we all expected it, that we had spent the last few weeks waiting for this to happen, did not mitigate the impact. On Friday, the supreme court issued a decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v Wade. Six unelected Supreme Court Justices stripped bodily autonomy from tens of millions of women and ended nearly 50 years of legal abortion rights in the US.
It is a mistake to say that the United States is going backwards. It is wrong to say that America is being transported back to the 1970s, to a pre-Roe era. We are not going forward into something far more sinister. The pre-Roe era did not have the pervasive surveillance mechanisms that exist today. Retrogressive laws can now be enforced with the help of modern technology: Even if you google “abortion pill” there’s a chance it’s online. search history could be used against you. If you leave your state to try to get a safe and legal abortion in a state where it is still allowed, your location data could be used against you. For the past decade we have been sleepwalking into a new era of digital authoritarianism. Now we are in the middle of a nightmare.
This nightmare, of course, is not evenly distributed. Friday’s decision will not affect everyone equally: restrictions on abortion, it should be stressed, disproportionately harm poor people and women of color. Male Republican politicians, on the other hand, will probably still be able to get their lovers to have abortions when it’s convenient for them.
The end of Roe is just the beginning of an all-out assault on civil rights in America. There have been signs for a while now that, emboldened by their progress in restricting abortion rights, conservatives are going to go after things like birth control and gay marriage. On Friday, Justice Clarence Thomas issued a concurring opinion in which he acknowledged that the Supreme Court would not stop with abortion. Now that Roe has been struck down, the supreme court, Thomas said in his opinion, must reconsider landmark cases protecting the right to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. (Just to refresh his memory, Thomas is the guy who has been accused of sexual harassment and whose wife tried to bring down the government.)
There is a war on women in America. There is a war against trans people. There is a war against homosexuals. There is a war against people of color. There is a war against democracy. And guess what? Only one side of the government is really fighting. Roe v Wade wasn’t overturned like that: It was the result of Republicans spending decades consolidating power and working to promote their vision of America. Democrats need to stop making fun of “civility,” their obsession with task forces and polite bipartisan deals, and start fighting back appropriately.
The US government regulates women more than guns
Roe v Wade was overturned the day after the Supreme Court struck down New York’s 100-year-old gun restrictions that made it difficult to carry a concealed weapon outside the home. Then, in the same week, the supreme court ruled that states don’t have the right to pass their own gun control laws, but they do have the right to pass their own women’s control laws. Time for wombs to be reclassified as assault rifles, I guess.
Former chambermaid elected to the French parliament
Rachel Keke, a former hotel housekeeper who led a strike for better pay and conditions at a Paris hotel, beat President Emmanuel Macron’s former sports minister in France’s legislative elections on Sunday. She is now one of France’s few working-class parliamentarians. While that’s exciting, it should be noted that even though Keke is now on the left, she has admitted sharing posts supporting far-right leader Marine Le Pen during the 2017 elections.
Women are credited less in science than men
Women’s contributions to research “often go unrecognized, unappreciated or ignored,” say the authors of a new study. posted in Nature. The study shows that to be credited in scientific articles, women need to work more than men. The research focused on women, but the authors “saw similar patterns in people from other groups that are marginalized in science.”
Ukraine begins first trial of Russian soldier accused of rape
It is the first of what could be dozens of such cases. Although the soldier is being tried in absentia, this trial is still incredibly important. Rape has always been a weapon of war (Christina Lamb describes it as the “cheapest weapon known to man”) and accountability is rarely held.
Chinese city stripped of ‘civilized’ title after attack on diners
Earlier this month, a group of women was brutally attacked at a restaurant in the northern Chinese city of Tangshan. The attack was caught on video and made headlines around the world. Nine men have since been arrested and Tangshan has now been removed from China’s list of “national civilized cities.” If you’re wondering what the heck a civilized city is, there’s an explanation. here.
‘Abhorrent and systemic’ culture of sexual abuse in Australian mining
A parliamentary inquiry published Thursday found that mining in Western Australia is riddled with misogyny and that “sexual harassment is generally accepted or overlooked”.
Israeli gunfire killed journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, UN says
the UN office for human rights it is the latest body to say that Abu Aqleh was killed by Israeli forces. How many more investigations does there have to be before someone is held accountable?
The website that saves home sewing history from the trash
“Scholarship around patterns and home sewing is still relatively underrated, often dismissed as women’s work or insignificant to fashion and art.” write the edge. The Trading Patterns Archive is trying to change that; has preserved some 65,000 home sewing patterns dating back to the 19th century.
The week in parasite-archy
Ninety percent of us are home to horny little mites called Demodex folliculorum. Every night when we go to sleep, the tiny parasites emerge to have sex on our faces. And while that sounds pretty gross, it turns out that they probably keep our pores unclogged and our skin nice and fresh. Now, however, the mites face extinction. It’s perhaps not the biggest threat we’re facing right now, but it’s a dermatological mite mare nonetheless.