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This weekend, The Daily Beast and Newsweek hosted their third annual Women in the World Summit. Among the many accomplished and inspirational speakers and panelists were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem, Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, and many-Oscars-winning actress Meryl Streep.The sold-out summit took place at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater in New York, and managed to send Twitter briefly over capacity with the hashtag #wiw12.

2012 has been a tough year so far for women’s rights, and it’s only March. With legislation cropping up across the nation that seeks to limit our access to birth control and to put hurdle after hurdle between a woman and a legal abortion, it seems only fair that female legislators are turning the tables. Democrat Nina Turner of the Ohio State Senate has introduced Senate Bill 307, which aims to regulate men’s access to erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra.

Now, I’m no Trekker – I was raised on Star Wars – but I do love me some George Takei. Whether he’s sassily taking on basketball player Tim Hardaway’s homophobic comments or brokering Star Peace and ridiculing Twilight, he’s proven himself over and over again to be a (fabulous) man among men. And he has done it yet again, posting a video of his “happy dance” in celebration of over $158,000 raised for Allegiance, his star-studded, Broadway-bound musical about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

It's no news that advertisers have pretty outdated views on gender roles. Women are depicted in domestic roles, neurotically striving for the cleanest, best smelling home. According to them we're all eating yogurt to lose weight, doing yoga in all white on our periods, or frantically shopping during the holidays. Men on the other hand get to drive sports cars through the desert, shave in super futuristic looking bathrooms, and shop for diamonds all calm, cool, and collected.

Not gonna lie, y'all--I am way more afraid in my parents' quiet, suburban home than my urban apartment. True, I could get mugged or something on my walk home, but I'm probably never going to get BTK'd. That sort of stuff happens where nobody can hear your screams. And that sense of helpless isolation is exactly what is so scary about Silent House, a new thriller from Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, the duo behind Open Water.  Sarah, a young woman(played masterfully by Elizabeth Olsen) is working with her father to renovate the family's dilapidated lake house.

Nowhere in my life does the statement "The grass is always greener on the other side" ring truer than when it comes to my haircut. If my locks are long, I dream of lopping them off, and if my hair is short, all I want is to be able to braid it down my back like those girls on Tumblr. The most intense source of my hair anxiety, though, is whether or not to get bangs. Girls with fringe seem to always be walkin' on sunshine, seem to just know how to wear those weird scarves that are really just a loop of fabric, and seem to never have to worry about visible forehead pimples.

  International Women’s Day might be over, but that’s no reason to stop celebrating women. Check out this video, posted last week by STC Craft. In it, a few of their authors briefly discuss how knitting has fit into the lives of women, past and present. For over six years, I have been a proud member of the population of young, urban knitters. Personally, knitting has always been a way for me to produce something unique and beautiful, but with the security blanket of patterns and stitches to follow. Sort of like paint-by-numbers, but more sophisticated.

In case there was any doubt left in our minds that Republican lawmakers viewed women as little more than baby vessels, this week Arizona's Senate passed what they're calling a "wrongful birth" bill. This legislation allows doctors to opt out of informing pregnant women about prenatal complications because such information could lead to an abortion, a totally legal medical procedure. In addition, if shit hits the fan (you know, like the expectant mother dies) as a result of the doctor neglecting to share critical information, he or she cannot be sued for malpractice.

As I was surfing the girl wide web this morning, I came across a video series put together by The New York Times, “About Time” on three female boxers as they prepared to compete for a spot on the first ever (that’s right, the FIRST) U.S. Women’s Boxing Team competing in the Olympics this year. Men have been competing in Olympic boxing since 1904 but women’s professional boxing wasn’t recognized until 1993 after 16-year-old Dallas Malloy filed a lawsuit which removed a ban on women's professional boxing.

I’ve long suspected that Jamie Stewart, the brains and bleeding heart of Xiu Xiu, could be the third member of Mates of State, exiled from their land of hetero jangle-pop to a rehab center for self-harm. In a similar vein as 2010’s Dear God, I Hate Myself, the band’s new album Always (out now on Polyvinyl) finds Xiu Xiu still wandering the freeways, subsisting on fistfuls of wild kumquats and prescription painkillers. Stewart’s voice is somewhere between a 9-1-1 call and a lullaby.
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