Ladies, who says we can’t have it all? Who says we have to choose between carrying our child and carrying our loaded firearm? Certainly not Melody Lauer, an Iowa mother of three and gun owner who is offering a “Babywearing and Carrying” class to moms (and some dads) who want to pack some heat and pack on the kid at the same time.
Lauer is uniquely qualified for this course, thanks to a strong background in both guns and attachment parenting. After receiving her firearm instructor credentials through the NRA, the Harvard of gun education, she worked in sales and as an instructor at gun stores and shooting ranges. Lauer has also, at the same time, worked at an “attachment-parenting center” that teaches childbirth, babywearing, and breastfeeding classes.
Happy International Women’s Day! The beautiful diversity of our world is reflected by the diverse ways different nations celebrate this important holiday.
If you’re a woman in Italy, for instance, you may be given a yellow Mimosa (as in the flower, though I’d be partial to the drink, myself). In France, you could get some violets or lilies-of-the-valley. If you’re in Montevideo, Uruguay you might want to check out the all female drumming group La Melaza, which has been giving concerts on International Women’s Day since 2008.
In an unintentionally viral video, a Saudi Arabian historian justified his nation’s ban against women drivers by arguing that it protects them from roadside rape.
Saudi Arabia’s prohibition on women driving instituted in 1990, has been defiedseveraltimes in recent years by women who have filmed themselves driving in protest. The government has responded with a crackdown, arresting women who break the law and even sending two women to a the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh which handles terrorism cases.
But don’t worry. There’s a good reason for this ban.
In a recent TV interview, historian Saleh Al-Saadoon claimed that the reason women are allowed to drive in Europe, America and parts of the Arab world is because women there don’t care about getting raped if their car breaks down: “They don’t care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do,” Al-Saadoon said on Saudi Rotana Khalijiyya TV.
The understandably incredulous host, who isn’t named, responds by saying, “Hold on. Who told you they don’t care about getting raped on the roadside?” To which Al-Saadoon replies, “In our case, however, the problem is of a social and religious nature.” When the host pointed out that the two other guests were shocked by the historian’s comments, he said, “They should listen to me and get used to what society thinks, if they are really so out of touch with it.”
Never fear — the women of Saudi Arabia may not be allowed to drive, but they are waited on by a gaggle of male relatives who have nothing to do but serve them: “Saudi women are driven around by their husbands, sons and brothers,”Al-Saadoon explained. “Everybody is at their service. They are like queens. A queen without a chauffeur has the honor of being driven around by her husband, brother, son and nephews. They are at the ready when she gestures with her hands.”
The host then wondered about the risk of being raped by these drivers, asking, “You are afraid that a woman might be raped by the roadside by soldiers, but you are not afraid that she might be raped by her chauffeur?”
“Of course, I am,” replied the concerned historian. And then he dropped a radical policy recommendation that could forever change the transportation system of Saudi Arabia: “There is a solution but the government officials and clerics refuse to hear of it. The solution is to bring female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives.” No, he didn’t! He then asked the host, “Are you with me on this?”
Her response was a face palm, followed by laughter.
So, to summarize: the solution is to bring in foreign female drivers who may very well get raped on the side of the road if their car breaks down. But it’s all good, because it’s no big deal for them.
Nothing shatters the image of an out of touch, sexist Catholic Church like an all-male summit on women. So, in a great P.R. move, the Vatican is hosting a Plenary Assembly entitled, “Women’s cultures: equality and difference,” from February fourth to February seventh. (Then again, given that the Vatican did appoint someone with Hitler Youth experience to be god’s messenger on earth, this is a relatively minor misstep.)
But even given the insular, boys-only nature of the Assembly, as well as the Vatican in general, the video released to publicize the event is shockingly bizarre, embarrassing and cringe-inducing.
Incorporating cheesy wipes, and interesting fonts, the video stars Italian actress Nancy Brilli, who does some dramatic head moves appropriate for a Pantene commercial and says things like, “I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, who you are, who you do, what you think about your being a woman. Your strengths. Your diffIculties. Your body. And your spiritual life.” She then encourages women to put their work online with the hashtag, or, as Brilli says, “ashtag,” #LifeOfWomen. She signs off by saying, “You– [shampoo ad head move]–Yes you–are important!”