Emma Sullivan, a Kansas 18-year-old, refused to apologize to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback after tweeting that he “#blowsalot.” Brownback, who wants to veto the Kansas Arts Commission’s entire budget, is opposed to equal rights for gay people, approved a number of anti-abortion measures in the state, including a serious attempt to make Kansas the first state with no abortion providers, reacted strongly and publicly to Sullivan’s tweet, and the principal of her high school demanded that she write the governor a letter of apology. But she declined. “I’m just an 18-year old girl who knows what I believe, and I know what he believes, and we disagree,” she said. “That is not going to change.”
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology released a statement this week compelling its members to work with transgender patients. Here’s an excerpt:
To address the significant health care disparities of transgender individuals and to improve their access to care, ob-gyns should prepare to provide routine treatment and screening or refer them to other physicians, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College). In a Committee Opinion published today, The College also states its opposition to gender identity discrimination and supports both public and private health insurance coverage for gender identity disorder treatment.
Herman Cain soldiered on for weeks after being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women from his past, but this week, after a woman released a report saying that she’d had an extramarital affair with Cain that lasted more than a decade, he finally announced on Saturday that he is suspending his campaign. There’s something odd about the fact that four women could accuse him of harassment and discrimination and get a response mostly limited to the blogosphere, while a consensual affair immediately meant the end of his campaign. But all’s well that ends well. Don’t worry, you can still see the Pizza Man up on the wall at Yorkside.
Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a bill that will punish people who force women into marriage or deny them inheritances with big fines and, potentially, jail time. Social mobility! Financial independence! The bill still has a ways to go, but definitely still qualifies as good news. Watch this for more info.
Thursday was World Aids Day. The disease is still devastating and pandemic—according to the World Health Organization, approximately 34 million people are currently living with AIDS—and Thursday was a day of awareness and commemoration. But it was also a day to think about progress—like the fact that in 2011, PEPFAR treatment costs were down to $335 per year, a 70% drop from 2004, and the fact that an HIV+ patient on treatment is 96% less likely to pass the virus on. Watch this video for a timeline of statistics. Also, see the series of pieces on Broad Recognition in honor of World Aids Day.
On Saturday, 100 Libyan women, duct tape over their mouths with “no comment”written on it and pink scarves around their necks, marched silently through the streets of Tripoli to demand support from the country’s new government for rape victims during the eight-month war to oust Muammar Gaddafi.
Students who recently discovered that Fordham, the Catholic university in the Bronx, will neither prescribe birth control at campus clinics nor fully own up to this policy, have started an off-campus clinic as an alternative.
Jezebel on the new, post-Levin Report proposal for Sex Week at Yale. The site highlights that the organizers end the proposal in this way:
“Understanding sex, love, gender, sexuality, intimacy, and relationships is essential to our education at Yale and our well-being. This time of scrutiny can serve as an opportunity for Yale to become a leader in eliminating sexual violence by raising campus standards. A thoughtful, interdisciplinary, peer-sponsored forum on sex can enrich lives, while silence creates the environment for abuse, intolerant, and disrespect.”