The Week in Women

by Katie Halper

Another week, another roundup of lady news, some of which, is actually… wait for it… inspiring. But first, in what appears to be good news for Brooklyn women everywhere, American Apparel's board fired its CEO and founder, Dov Charney this week over “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct.” The creator of the hipster chain store already had quite a number of misconduct allegations under his Poly-Web Leather Belt, but the news came as a surprise regardless.

In fact, seven employees have at one point accused Charney of sexual harassment. So why was this time any different? According to new co-chairman Allan Mayer, “new information came to light,” prompting the board to terminate Charney Wednesday. In all fairness to the board, they really had nothing to go on until now. (Oh, except for the multiple allegations that Charney had forced himself or attempted to force himself on women; would conduct interviews wearing nothing but a towel; masturbated in front of a female journalist; asked an employee to be his sex slave; released nude photos of models; fired employees for being ugly; referred to women as sluts, walked around without pants at work, and impersonated women who had accused him of harassment on blogs.)

Oh, and here he is, gracing his employees with a dance performance while naked.

Thanks, Dov. Now, I'll never be able to listen to that amazing Talking Heads song again.

It's pretty disappointing when someone who is great on certain issues, like labor and workers' rights and not using sweatshops, is so terrible on issues like, say, respecting women and consent. But it's hardly shocking, given the company's sexist double standard, evident in advertising which features women scantily clad and men, well, clad. (See how they sell their "unisex" shirt to men and women.)

American Apparel
American Apparel

At least one newspaper doesn't want their columnists to be dishonest rape deniers

And here's some more good night, sweet-misogynist news. You may remember George Will's Washington Post op-ed last week, in which he used phrases like the “supposed campus epidemic of rape.”

In case you missed it or repressed it like a bad memory, the conservative commentator said that colleges and universities were encouraging women to report their rapes by making being a rape victim a “privileged status.” In other words, it’s not that more women are being raped. It’s just that since being a rape victim is such a blast, all the cool kids are doing it.

I’m happy to report that Will's work will no longer be appearing in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial, one of the largest newspapers in the Midwest. According to the paper’s Editorial Page Editor, Tony Messenger, the newspaper was already considering getting rid of Will but, “a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.”

Students who committed sexual assault to be expelled... AFTER they graduate

The Huffington Post

Well, you knew it wasn't going to be ALL good news, right? In case you needed more proof that George Will is totally right that being a rape victim is, like, the best thing ever, check out this news out of James Madison University.

It's a typical story at this point: university student girl Jessica Butters was sexually assaulted by her peers, who then sent a video of the assault around. When Butters reported the incident to her college, the school did what any fine institution would do: they punished the assaulters with expulsion, which will occur... AFTER graduation. Next May.

That will teach 'em! Now they'll never sexually assault or rape a colleague, because they know that can only lead to getting fired after they have quit and starting a better job somewhere else.

The university is now under federal investigation for it's handling of the her complaint. But Butters is already withdrawing from school.

If the controversial dress fits, wear it to your daughter's graduation

In the latest creative response to school slut-shaming via arbitrary (but always sexist) dress code enforcement, a North Carolina mother decided to attend her daughter's high school graduation in the very dress that got her daughter sent home in.

Central Davidson High School senior Violet Burkhart just wanted to mark her last day of ever being a high school student by dressing up. But, as Burkhart recalls, on her last day of school, with only two hours of the school day left, her teachers "took me in a crowded hallway and told me to grab my crotch….while they measure[d] it in front of everyone." After determining that the length of the dress violated the school’s dress code by a half an inch, the school sent Burkhart home.

Burkhart's mother got mad, but she also got... to dressing! In her daughter's dress. Which she wore to her graduation. "If her dress is too short, then my dress is too short and I’m going to wear it in front of everybody and be proud just like she should have been able to on her last day," her mother said.

Looking good ladies!

Yet another Hilarious menstruation video

I know what you're thinking. Do we really need another hilarious, well-written, and well-executed video about periods? Don't we already have enough? Shouldn't the priority be on helping boys and men be comfortable with talking about, naming, and touching their penises in public? Maybe next week. But for now, enjoy this gem created by

Hello Flo, a subscription service that delivers period products every — you guessed it — month. You may remember their "Camp Gyno" ad:

Now, the company has an even funnier video which, once again, uses humor to help destigmatize the red scare and, you know, push product. (Let's be honest. Even we feminists live in the Capitalist World System.) Here is "First Moon Party":

I wish I had had one of those. Instead, when I got my period, I scoured through Our Bodies, Ourselves , desperate to find another phenomenon that caused bleeding and cramps. Luckily, we didn't have the Internet back then, or I'd still be reading a forum instead of writing this.