On Our Radar: Today's Feminist News Roundup

Good Friday! Make it even better with this roundup of news from around the web.

• The Writer's Guild of America West has released its 2011-2012 staffing brief, which reveals, among other things, how many women and people of color were hired that year to write the TV shows we all love so much. ThinkProgress breaks down the report and lists the shows that hired neither—and, hey, Californication, I'm so not surprised to see you on that list. [ThinkProgress]

• In related news, Ann Friedman asks cable-news fave Chris Hayes how his show got to be so refreshingly diverse. His answer? "We just would look at the board and say, 'We already have too many white men. We can't have more.' Really, that was it." [Columbia Journalism Review]

• Everything you need to know about the recently passed Arizona Senate bill that would allow business to determine which bathrooms transgendered people may use. [BuzzFeed]

• Should elementary and middle schools be training students to attack and subdue school shooters? According to Mother Jones, some already are. But as one skeptic notes, "You can't get a group of middle-school kids to simultaneously agree on chicken nuggets or pizza in the cafeteria for lunch, much less make a split-second decision to start throwing items at an armed intruder." [Mother Jones]

• In further North-Dakota-is-the-Worst news, a state congressman freaked out at a state coalition membership meeting about VAWA provisions for victims of violence committed by non-native people against natives, saying that he'd like to "Wring the Tribal council's neck and slam them against the wall." The director for Spirit Lake Victim's Assistance was on the receiving end of the tirade. [Last Real Indians]

Rick Ross rhymes about drugging and raping a woman on a new single by rapper Rocko, a fact that fellow rappers and music critics are likely to ignore, charges Jamilah Lemieux at Ebony.com. She's half right, but there's been encouraging pushback beyond the industry, with a Change.org petition asking Ross to apologize for glorifying rape, and another urging Reebok to drop Ross as a spokesman. [Ebony, Change.org, UltraViolet]

• At Tiger Beatdown, Flavia Dzodan explains why she's had just about enough of Jon Hamm's penis. [Tiger Beatdown]

• Finally, if you live in the Bay Area, mark your calendars for what looks like an awesome evening celebrating the work of Valerie Solanas, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of her death. The event is hosted by Michelle Tea, with readers and performances by Kirk Read, Cheryl Dunye, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and many more. [Facebook]

What'd we miss? Let us know in the comments, and happy weekend.

by Andi Zeisler
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Andi Zeisler is the cofounder of Bitch Media and the author of We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement. You can find her on Twitter.

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5 Comments Have Been Posted

Valerie Solanas

First, I'm a fan and supporter of Bitch and think your publication is an important, even necessary tool in the never ending battle against sexism, inequality and oppression. Although I'm a white male of fortunate circumstances, I have always made sure to stay involved in the "good fight" - most recently as a board member for Planned Parenthood's Legislative Action Team.

That said, I have a question about your support for Valerie Solanas, labeling her 25th Anniversary (of death) party as an "awesome evening." In one paragraph, you rightly call out Rick Ross for his contribution to a song with lyrics glorifying drugging and rape. (Believe me, I'm disgusted too as this actual event happened to my wife from a complete stranger while on vacation in Colorado). However, next you mention the Solanas event with glee. Not right.

Was Solanas a staunch feminist? Yes, definitely. Did she contribute to pushing the feminist cause forward? Um, maybe, but was it commendable? I have read a great deal of her published work and I would argue that she was rather unstable (perhaps, mentally ill) and prone to encourage and participate in outlandish violence - attempted assassination of Andy Warhol, not withstanding. Regarding that incident: Andy Warhol was no saint and despite his own homosexuality, was quite the misogynist. However, it would be tough to say he didn't believe in equality and an openness to "other" ideas.

I know Warhol was the vehicle Solanas hoped to use to push the S.C.U.M manifesto to a greater audience but was attempted murder the answer and more importantly, is it worth celebrating? Is her manifesto, "The Society for Cutting Up Men" worth celebrating? Is a violent, 'all male hating' individual the message that today's feminists would like to celebrate? Seems a lot like the celebration of a woman-hating, violence prone douche named Rick Ross.

I believe in what you're doing, but I don't believe that Valerie Solanas is worthy of any more praise than Rick Ross. Regardless, keep up the great work, Bitch.

My thoughts exactly

My first thought was "wait, wasn't Valerie Solanas the woman who tried to murder Andy Warhol? Who would celebrate her life?"

Valerie Solanis and Andy Warhol

For anyone not familiar with the story of Valerie Solanis' assassination attempt at Andy Warhol, I recommend viewing the film <i>"I Shot Andy Warhol"</i> The ever-awesome feminist actor Lili Taylor plays Solanis. As for such topic, it's for continuous subject and debate.


I'm glad this event was cancelled.
Tea never got the message that celebrating an attempted murderer
is not

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