This Week in Women: Bill Cosby's Mistrial & Another Bad Bill
This week was a real doozy for women’s progress. From the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol building and Republican senators’ secretive healthcare bill-writing, to Bill Cosby’s mistrial and upcoming appearances announcement. Here we are with a This Week in Women update!
Bill Cosby’s Going to Do What in Town Halls….?
Alleged predator Bill Cosby and his handlers have decided after this week’s mistrial that the best way to move forward would be to host town halls focusing on sexual assault. Cosby’s spokespeople made the cringeworthy announcement on “Good Day Alabama”, explaining that the actor formerly known as “America’s Dad” and his wife, Camille, would be doing a public appearance series to educate young people on sexual assault.
“We are now planning town halls and we’re gonna be coming to this city sometime in July to talk to young people because this is bigger than Bill Cosby,” said Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt. “This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing… and it also affects married men.”
“Laws are changing,” chimed in Cosby’s other spokesperson Ebonee Benson. “The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So, this is why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder, you know anything at this point can be considered sexual assault and it’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”
Yes, they are right, young people (and many adults) do need to be educated on what constitutes sexual assault; however, context is everything and with Benson’s statement that “anything at this point can be considered sexual assault” there seems to be a pungent whiff of victim blaming to boot. This series is already shaping up to be Cosby’s most ironic and self-indulgent stand-up yet.
Missouri Women Face New Discriminatory Legislation Based On Healthcare History
This Missouri Senate has been hard at work this week crafting a bill that would overturn an ordinance that prevented women from being discriminated against by potential employers and landlords based on their reproductive history. Besides including intimate health choices, such as an abortion procedure, this bill also discriminates based on birth control use.
Missouri has a reputation for being deeply conservative, and this ordinance served as a safety net, showing social progress for women’s ability to control their healthcare without fear of repercussions. Now, it’s in danger of being repealed.
“Gov. Eric Greitens and his GOP colleagues should be ashamed of their wasteful ‘emergency’ special session and their continued efforts to restrict a woman’s access to basic health care,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Executive Director Alison Dreith. “The bill that passed the House today, negotiated in the dead of night and out-of-sight of the Missourians it will most affect, is a disgraceful blow to women and families. This bill will do nothing to expand access to healthcare or improve the lives of Missouri residents. Instead, it puts Gov. Greitens’s personal political ambitions and out-of-touch agenda ahead of the needs of hard-working Missourians. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri members across the state will continue to fight back against GOP efforts to restrict access to abortion and discriminate against women for their personal reproductive healthcare decisions.”
NY Legislator Approves $5 Million Tax Incentives for Women Writers and Directors
Let’s end things on a good note: to wrap up This Week in Women, here’s a bit of bright news from our home state of New York. The state legislature passed a tax law that allocates an additional $5 million in tax incentives for television programming that hires female or minority writers and directors.
“New York already gives a $420 million tax break to the entertainment industry to work in the state through the Empire State Film Production Credit specifically for diverse hiring,” said in an official statement by Senator Marisol Alcantara.
The diversity bill was sponsored by Sen. Alcantara from the 31st district, who tweeted:
— Marisol Alcantara (@NY31Alcantara) June 22, 2017
“By encouraging studios, networks and producers to discover the talented New York TV directors and writers that are out there in abundance, this bill can be a meaningful step forward in establishing a level playing field for all,” said Eastern Head of Directors Guild of America Neil Dudich.
Featured image via LifeSite
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.