This Concludes the Jezebel Post-Hurricane Emergency Blog
Oh, HELLO: Jezebel.com is back up and running! And so one tiny, minuscule, inconsequential sliver of our post-Sandy nightmare comes to a close. It’s time for us to head home. Thanks, Tumblr, for letting us hang out.
Guess What, Everyone? The Vatican Haaaated J.K. Rowling’s New Book
I think we’d all like to believe that, sitting next to a reading lamp and swaddled in his Holy Snuggie somewhere deep inside the Vatican’s intestinal labyrinths, Pope Benedict Palpatine Vader XVI read The Casual Vacancy with a mounting sense of disappointment that Harry Potter didn’t make at least a cameo appearance. Really, though, who’s to know what the Pope really thought of J.K. Rowling’s adult fiction effort?
Dogs That Chase Their Tails May Be Totally OCD, Says Science
Owning a dog brings many joys and frustrations. For instance, in order to chaperone my dog from puppyhood into young adulthood, I have been forced to perform all of the following duties, sometimes simultaneously: listen to her plaintive wails while she was being crate trained, clean another dog’s poop out of her face fur, brush her teeth, throw a tennis ball until my shoulder made a clicking noise, and watch the vet violate her with a rectal thermometer while she looked at me as if to ask, “Why are you allowing this to happen? Do something!” I’ve also had the pleasure of watching her chase her until she literally vomited from sheer dizziness without realizing that it may be a symptom of a very human problem. She may have OCD.
Awful Vandals Spray Paint “Baby Killer” on Campaign Headquarters of Eric Cantor’s Democratic Challenger
Maybe you’ve forgotten that it’s election season, what with all the superstorms swirling around the planet, but that’s totally okay because vandals in Virginia were on hand to remind the nation that politics can be really gross by spray painting “Baby Killer” on the campaign office of Wayne Powell, the (pro-choice) Democrat challenging Rep. Eric Cantor (R. Va) for his congressional seat in Virginia’s 7th District.
In Breaking Booze News, Birds Are Totally Down to Party
Birds, as you may or may not already be aware, love to party, and by “party” I of course mean eat fermented rowan berries until they die from alcohol poisoning. According to a Saturday report in the British Medical Journal’s Veterinary Record, drunk birds react pretty much exactly as drunk people, if people had wings and thus the added danger of trying to fly in between buildings while intoxicated.
Elizabeth Warren Is Pulling Ahead of Scott Brown and Can Hardly Stop Herself from Gloating
At least according to this gif Elizabeth Warren seems positively wracked with glee that she may very soon get to do victory donuts in front of Scott Brown’s house with her Harley (I don’t know if Elizabeth Warren rides a Harley, but if she did I can’t imagine how else she’d use it). According to the Western New England University Polling Institute (which is an organization that exists), Warren leads Republican rival Scott Brown 50-46 in the Massachusetts Senate race. Her, knock on wood, victory party will feature juice and cookies, though I’ve heard a delightful rumor that the juice is spiked with grain alcohol and the cookies have weed in them. Three cheers for election season! [via WaPo]
All of a Sudden, Beasts of the Southern Wild Is the Most Relevant Fable Ever
In a crass attempt to exploit storm-weary New Yorkers (kidding!), director Benh Zeitlin came onstage for a Q&A after a special screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild in Astoria. What once seemed like a whimsical (and extremely parochial) fable about residents of a South Louisiana town trying to patch up their community after a hurricane now, in the wake of Sandy, seems like it has the potential to resonate with pretty much everyone who lives in a coastal region and therefore can look forward to experiencing an annual “Storm of the Century.”
Critics — the Telegraph book critic Christopher Howse who looks like a Santa Claus that’s been turned into a Dracula Santa Claus (incidentally, a sure-fire title for a spec script for Supernatural (you’re welcome)) — have not been kind to Pippa Middleton’s new book, Celebrate, which is about how much Pippa Middleton loves to write, cook, and throw well-mannered tea parties with her stuffed animals.
Lindsey Vonn Determined Far Too Awesome a Downhill Skier to Compete with the Dudes
The International Ski Federation has told Lindsey Vonn, whose race-day nails are very glittery, that under no circumstances will she be able to compete in the men’s World Cup downhill race Nov. 24 at Lake Louise, which, for all you geographically challenged readers, is in Canada, the cozy knit cap of the continental United States with a special earhole cut out for the cauliflower ear that is Alaska.
Just in case you had started to believe that the horrifying story of a New York nanny stabbing to death two of the children in her case was simply an awful collective nightmare we had before Hurricane Sandy, here’s an update: Yoselyn Ortega, the nanny in question, was charged Saturday with murder.
Laura Carmichael, whom you might know as Lady Edith Crawley from Downton Abbey, was just minding her own business acting in a West End production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, when, hark, from the audience, a dickhead spoke: “Stop, stop, stop. It doesn’t work and you don’t work. It is not good enough. I could be at home watching television.” The voice, according to several bemused audience members, belonged to old theatre lion Peter Hall, director and amateur heckler.
Bill O'Reilly Is Not Thrilled That Single Women Might Decide Election
Single women are the fastest-growing voting population in the country: 55 million unmarried women will be voting in the upcoming election, and it goes without saying that they’re not being courted by Romney/Ryan. When Ann Romney went off-script at the RNC to yell “I love you, women!” she later clarified that she was specifically addressing the “moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.”
This specificity is pretty indicative of the female voting split along marital lines: married women favor Romney 51 to 41%, while single women prefer Obama 63 to 23%. Obama’s camp, on the other hand, has been targeting the group by releasing material like the Lena Dunham video, aimed at first-time female voters who are (ostensibly) in her unmarried demographic. On the flip side, there’s this:
Bill O’Reilly, who obviously treasures the “Friend” half of the “Best Friend” charm necklace that he shares with ALL women, EVERYWHERE, knows just how important the single lady vote is. He makes this clear by sending O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters on a smirky man-on-the-street poll of 35-or-younger white women in sexy costumes out partying on Halloween night in New York. The women (or, judging by what Watters addresses, the womens’ cleavage) are split about evenly between Romney and Obama (which is kind of amazing in itself) and their answers are, of course, edited at the producers’ discretion. At one point, Watters asks one woman sardonically: “You’re like, a radical feminist, right?” Also spliced in are clips of sexy women in bars from movies.
At the end of the , O’Reilly jokes that Watters “never came back from the assignment.” WINK. Get it? Because he spent all night doing It. With a Skanky Costume Girl.
“[John] Cusack is a slender, dark-haired 46-year-old, while [Rush] Limbaugh is 61, balding and portly. But Hollywood’s makeup experts have probably had greater challenges.”—CBS News reports that outspoken liberal Cusack will produce and star in a Limbaugh biopic.
Today In Unsurprising News, IVF Can Make Sex Less Sexy
The invasive nature—not to mention the emotional pressure—of in-vitro fertilization on a couple’s relationship can cause some strain in the bedroom, says Health Day via U.S. News and World Report. An Indiana University study examined the questionnaires of 270 women, 127 couples using IVF and 70 doctors, nurses and mental health specialists. The women undergoing IVF reported lower rates of “sexual interest, desire, orgasm, satisfaction, sexual activity and overall sexual function” with their partner, as well as specific sexual problems (e.g. pain and dryness), which held true regardless of which partner was having the fertility problems. 70% of the couples undergoing in-vitro reported that it had negatively impacted their sex lives, a rate that increased exponentially with the number of IVF cycles they went through. Makes sense, right?
Researchers admit that the repercussions of IVF’s hormonal treatments on women’s sexual satisfaction haven’t been studied in depth, but one counselor who’s written an article on the subject for the National Infertility Association suggests that it’s not just the regimented and unromantic nature of intercourse on IVF that’s turning women off, but something more serious: trauma by association. “Intercourse doesn’t feel nice when it’s associated with the transvaginal ultrasound you had earlier in the day… There’s a helplessness that so many of these women are experiencing, and depression and shame. With that comes a lot of negative feelings about our bodies. It’s really pretty traumatic to a woman’s sexuality.”
But there are ways to fix it, according to the director of the marriage and sex therapy program at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Dr. Ann Hartlage. While she admits she most often sees couples after the fact, not during, Hartlage suggests talk therapy, as well as encouraging the couple to perform other sex acts besides intercourse (which could very well feel like a chore by then).
Cher Graciously Allows Multiple Cher Puns In Anti-Romney PSA
Sometimes, when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, gay icons Cher and Kathy Griffin hang out. The two women have now combined forces on behalf of the activist website Actually.org (which has previously featured Obama supporters Sarah Silverman and Rosie Perez) in a PSA called “Don’t Let Mitt Turn Back Time On Women.” Get it? Get it?*
In the video, the queen and her court jester discuss the GOP’s dismissive attitude towards women’s issues (particularly Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock’s debate comment that pregnancy via rape was “something God intended”) and urge female voters in swing states to remember who’s really got their back on November 6th.
*if not, it also includes “Believe” and “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” jokes.
As December and peak mall season approaches, you may be wondering: “Hey, Anna, why the fuck do I always forget where I parked my car? Is it because my brain is shaped like a tampon? Is it because I have a run in my pantyhose? Is it because lipstick? What? Lipstick? Where! Give me some!”
Now we have an answer to this age-old question: according to a study out of the Netherlands reprinted in the Wall Street Journal, men and women use different spatial memory techniques to recall where they parked their car in a lot, and apparently ours are somewhat less efficient. When 115 shoppers were asked about their location strategies, researchers found that women were significantly more often to use landmarks (38% of us do this, as opposed to 18% of men). Out of 115 shoppers studied, 59% of women and 42% of men reported difficulty locating their cars in a 431-space lot, and 21% of women report taking 400-feet detours in the wrong direction before finding their vehicle—compared with 7% of men.
So, don’t use landmarks! Try drawing a map! Unless you think it will turn out like this.
Lowered Age Requirement Allows Mormon Girls To Dump Boyfriends And Peace Out on Missions
Even as the prospect of a Mormon White House looms, causing us non-Mormons to inquire about the most basic tenets of the faith (e.g. would Romney be sworn into office on a Book of Mormon? experts say: nope!), the mission, a rite of passage for Mormon men, is now more available to women of the faith thanks to a bit of technical reworking. Last month, Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced that the age requirements for missionary service would be lowered to 18 for men and 19 for women. Before the change, the age requirement for women was 21, by which time Mormon women were often married or “on to other things,” says one Mormon woman; as a result, missions were primarily the Plan B for women who hadn’t locked down a husband yet.
So, what does this mean for young Mormon couples? Basically the same thing it means for any college couple whose better half goes abroad for a semester (plus a little more lip service to the Almighty than usual). And frankly, it’s kind of exciting that Mormon women are now able to put marriage on the back burner—like Annelise Tanner, a junior at Brigham Young whose boyfriend just got back from his own sojourn:
“He loved his mission, and he’s really excited that I could have the same opportunity that he had. He could definitely be married when I get back, but I feel this is what the Lord wants me to do.”
While men serve for two years, often overseas, missions for women are optional and only require 18 months. However, Mormon women in college seem to have been chomping at the bit to begin their service—on October 6th, the day the new age requrements were passed, seven co-eds at Southern Virgina University began their application process. Their local Mormon bishop, also a professor at the university, says:
Now young women consider going on a mission as a real opportunity to serve… It doesn’t have anything to do with their marriage prospects, and I know a number of young women who, when they heard this announcement, started weeping openly, just bawling, because it touched them that profoundly.
The Sex and The City Women Would Neeeeever Vote Romney, Says Cynthia Nixon
A few days after Obama supporter Sarah Jessica Parker laid the truth-smackdown on Billy Bush about Romney’s vacillation and her personal support for the President, Cynthia Nixon stopped by Ybor City, Florida to stump for Obama, saying: “I’m so grateful to be here… because in New York there’s nothing to do Obama-wise. There’s some other stuff to do — we were in the eye of the storm this week. But here you’re the eye of the political storm.”
Nixon admitted she hadn’t really “gotten off her butt” and campaigned for Obama until she was impressed by a FLOTUS speech a few weeks ago at a special “presidential actors” rally (people who have played presidents in pop culture).
"You know, everybody used to say about Bill Clinton that he was the first African-American president, but I think that Barack Obama is the first gay president. My wife and I got married this May — and I know it took him a little while to get there, but the fact that he came out fully for marriage equality for all Americans — we’ve never had a president come anywhere close to that. And I know that if we can keep him in there for another four years, we’re gonna see the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. […] For me as a woman, as a mother of a teenage girl, as a gay woman, as a cancer survivor; Barack Obama, we have to have four more years.”
Oh, and if you were wondering, and I KNOW you were, LADIES, she says that Miranda, Charlotte, Carrie and Samantha would totally be Camp Obama. (Hmmm, not even Charlotte? And HMMMM, do we care?)
Beautiful Women Are Selfish, Totes Down To Conform, Says Study
Are you really, really ridiculously good-looking? THOT SO.
Do you also want a case of the icks? If so, read on!
A new study out of the Open University of Israel and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem suggests that the most attractive members of the female sex are also the most willing to conform to society’s norms as well as put their own interests before the interests of others.
Researchers came to this conclusion after pulling 118 college-age women for a series of questions about their values and personality traits (openness, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-direction, etc.) and then taking video of each woman reading a weather report. Another 118 students—40% of them male—were asked to watch the videos and rate each woman on their attractiveness as well as their values. As it turns out, not only were the more attractive women thought to possess more desirable traits than those gauged less attractive, but also found that:
Attractiveness correlated with values that express the motivation to conform and submit to social expectations, and with values that express a focus on self-promotion rather than on concern for others… [the results indicate] that the beautiful strive for conformity rather than independence and for self-promotion rather than tolerance.
These two principles dovetail in the concept of “erotic capital,” the idea that women use their looks and sexuality to get ahead in office environments—and the reason that attractive women are often judged as undeserving and incompetent in the first place. Sigh. Where are the 118 dudes we can watch and analyze? I’m waiting.
Trans Woman In College Locker Room Sparks Title IX Debate
Hey, in case you’ve forgotten in the midst of the unification of Sandy relief that there are some arguments you really can’t take a side on, here’s the latest in Catch 22s!
Evergreen State College’s non-discrimination policy is being put to the test now that the mother of a 17-year-old girl using the Evergreen swimming facilities filed an incident report about 45-year-old transgender woman named Colleen Francis, who walked nude around the locker room. Francis was confronted by a female swim coach who later apologized when Francis told her she was transgender, but maintained that her (biologically male) presence might make the girls—as young as six—uncomfortable.
Francis, who, after 20 years serving in the army, wears a low-dose estrogen patch, plans not to undergo sex reassignment surgery and says she prefers women, is outraged: “This is not 1959 Alabama. We don’t call police for drinking from the wrong water fountain.”
But for the time being, Evergreen’s temporary solution does sort of resemble that: after parents refused to allow their minor daughters to change in front of Francis, the girls’ sports teams were placed in a smaller ancillary locker room space to change and Francis was given the run of the main locker room—which is where Title IX comes in, say some: the old discussion of “male privilege” shuttling female athletics by the wayside.
Are both sides of the situation unfair? Absolutely. To make it worse, this is one of those situations that fundamentalists and right-wingers like to turn political; hell, even the blog coverage feels skewed towards anti-trans. Just look at the headlines.
The parents have retained lawyers from the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, who throw all kinds of disrespectful terms around in their letter to the head of student affairs at Evergreen (the transgendered Francis becomes a “dangerous,” voyeuristic “naked man,” etc.).
David Hacker, senior legal counsel at the Alliance, had this to say:
The idea that the college and the local district attorney will not act to protect young girls is appalling… What Americans are seeing here is the poisoned fruit of so-called ‘non-discrimination’ laws and policies.”
The website Gender Trender also attacks Francis personally by posting her various dating profiles and sexual predilections.
Adorable Pit Bull Puppy Perseveres After Ear Cropping
Meet Coco, a three-month-old pit bull from Sacramento who’s currently recovering from an at-home “ear cropping,” a practice that’s only allowed to be carried out by a licensed veterinarian. It’s often administered to pits under cruel and painful makeshift circumstances so they don’t bleed during a dogfight.
Luckily, Coco is recovering in his foster home, who reports that he’s “coming out of his shell,” and is almost ready for a forever home.
Dirt Bag: Lady Gaga Reminds Us That Adele is Plus-Size, Awesome (In Case We Forgot)
In which Lady Gaga wonders why the media weight police doesn’t rip on Adele:
I thought, well I don’t really care if they think I’m fat, because, quite honestly, I did gain about 30 pounds. Adele is bigger than me, how come nobody says anything about it? She’s so wonderful and I think her confidence is something I have to match. She has set the bar very high for a lot of women. I need to be a confident woman and just say politically active things when I can that are helpful to young people.
Mother Monster is also “obsessed with the royal family, especially Pippa Middleton.” Apparently she read Middleton’s book Celebrate in the hopes of being able to learn to “party like a royal” and in order to make conversation should she ever meet Pippa. Should this happen, I would like some gifs, please. Thank you. [Monsters and Critics]
Alec Baldwin visited a bunch of displaced NYU students after Hurricane Sandy claimed their dorm rooms and delivered a Coach Taylor-esque pump-up speech. (My friend once saw him talk, and she described him as “leonine.” Troofacts.) [HuffPo]
Kirstie Alley confessed to Barbra Walters that John Travolta was the love of her life, and it took “all the power [she] had” not to run away with him after they did the Look Who’s Talking franchise together. But what would the talking baby think?! [Radar Online]
Here’s the first blurry picture of Jessica Bielberlake and Justin Timberlake’s Tanzania honeymoon. [E!]
And the Bielberlakes plan on raising their kids in Tennessee. [Zee News]
Bam Margera and Missy Rothstein’s divorce has been finalized, soooo laaaaaayyydeeez. [Examiner]
Leonardo DiCaprio and Erin Heatherton are finito, sooooo layyyydeeez, if you can’t get Bam Margera… [Us Weekly]
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are too busy being in love to think about getting married. [Us Weekly]
Snooki is donating clothes to Sandy relief, which is totally nice and not something I should mock even though it’s in my very marrow to do so. [People]
Mitch Lucker, lead singer of the band Suicide Silence, has died in a motorcycle accident. [LA Times]
An Irish band called The Original Rudeboys has turned down a performance slot with Chris Brown because of his 2009 domestic battery charge, should really change their name to The Rather Upstanding Musical Group. [NME]
Evan Rachel Wood reminds her curious Twitter followers that even though she’s now married to Jamie Bell, she’s still bisexual. [Daily Mail]
Shaun White’s Halloween costume is sort of the stuff of nightmares. I warned you. [Buzzfeed]
"I’m far less appealing in real life. I really don’t know what to say about it. My mother used to say, ‘You just haven’t grown into your face yet.’" —Your boyfriend Chris O’Dowd feels weird about this new wave of female attention. [Monsters and Critics]
Dirt Bag: Stephenie Meyer Is Never Going to Leave You Alone
Oh, grool. Stephenie Meyer ”isn’t ruling out” the possibility that she’ll write MORE Twilight books.
In fact, she admitted to having already thought through the entire story. “I planned out where it would go for a couple more books,” she said. “So, I knew exactly what would happen,” of the storyline that involves Jake, played by Taylor Lautner in the films, and Renesmee, played by Mackenzie Foy, following the end of Breaking Dawn.
“There are other characters who I think would have a lot of voice in those coming stories,” she said.
I can’t wait for Jacob and Renesmee to have THEIR baby and name it Jernesmoob. [EW]
Michael Fassbender will play Thomas Wolfe and Colin Firth will play Max Perkins in a movie called Genius about the pair’s “complicated relationship,” and really the only question left to ask is IS THIS THE MAKE-OUT TYPE OF “COMPLICATED” OR JUST REGULAR TYPE. ANSWER THE QUESTION.
The film will chart the real-life relationship between literary giant Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender) and renowned editor Max Perkins (Firth), who developed a tender, complex friendship that changed the lives of both men forever.
Michael Grandage — who recently served as the artistic director of London’s famed theatre the Donmar Warehouse — will direct from an adapted script by John Logan, whose numerous credits include James Bond pic Skyfall.
I mean, it sounds like regular type. But I’m saying, a screenwriter could get creative. Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! [HollywoodReporter]
Here. You can learn “all about” Kelly Clarkson's oxblood nail polish at the 2012 CMA awards. THERE IS SO MUCH TO KNOW, YOU GUYS. [E!]
Conrad Murray, the doctor who presided over Michael Jackson's demise, is getting death threats. [ContactMusic]
TLC has renewed Long Island Medium for another season. But I’m sure she already knew that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! [Deadline]
Scarlett Johansson is “a real screamer,” says Hitchcock director who MAYBE wasn’t trying to be gross but I can’t be certain. [E!]
Mark Geragos to Chris Brown in court: “I don’t dance, you don’t talk.” Actual lolz. [TMZ]
SOMEONE GOT ALL As IN HEADLINE SCHOOL: “Man used pet python to beat his girlfriend as she soaked in a hot tub.” [DailyMail]
In this edition of Tweet Beat, Anderson Cooper is thrilled to hang out with a pig (and Nancy Grace), Nancy Grace posts an inappropriate screen grab, Andy Cohen’s glad the marathon was canceled and RuPaul wants you to #supportfreaks.
DIY: How To Make Your Very Own Naughty Cross-Stitch
A few weeks ago, my friend Lux Alptraum (who runs the fantastically NSFW porn blog Fleshbot) asked me if I could teach her how to do cross-stitch embroidery. Sure, I said. Needlepoint was actually one of the first crafts I learned, and I still find it extraordinarily comforting. And cross-stitch is one of the easiest kinds of embroidery to learn: it’s all in the counting. The thing about cross stitch is there’s only one stitch. Cross-stitch is the baking to free embroidery’s cooking. Just stick to the pattern, count your squares, and you’ll be fine. And once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to come up with patterns of your own — there are even great online tools that can help.
Blue Plate Special: Dining According to Magazine Weight-Loss Tips
It’s a known fact that women only think about three things: Sexually pleasing their men, getting that rock/baby/shoes/chocolate, and losing weight. The internet is inundated with “how to” articles on these topics, from landing and keeping your very own Commodities Broker (even if he is Patrick Bateman, NBD, you can change him, girl!) to shedding those pesky winter pounds before they even begin. Because so much is squeezed from the dry teat of this weak material, writers either have to regurgitate the same tired crap or, if they’re feeling adventurous, dream up all new ridiculous crap to entertain the women folk.
MTV has confirmed the four young women who will comprise the third installment of its Teen Mom franchise, culled from the fourth season of 16 & Pregnant. For the first time in the show’s history a woman of color will be a featured cast member. So who are these girls? Clockwise from top left: Katie Yeager, Alexandria Sekella, Briana Dejesus, and Mackenzie Douthit.
Meet Charmaine Yoest, the Pleasantly Dangerous Anti-Choice Leader
Emily Bazelon’s New York Times Magazine profile of Charmaine Yoest — the PR-savvy anti-choicer whose advocacy group, Americans United for Life, is responsible for roughly one-third of the 92 fetus love letters abortion restrictions passed by state legislatures in 2011 — is both excellent and frustrating.