All-male Utah panel votes to keep sales tax on tampons
A Utah committee of all-male lawmakers has voted to keep the sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products despite an international push to remove it.

“Governments that make money off the products penalize women for their biology, some say. That perspective has picked up momentum, with at least five U.S. states dumping the taxes.

Pennsylvania and Minnesota are among states that have eliminated the taxes. A handful of other states, including California, have seen similar proposals before their legislatures this year. In Wisconsin, a Democratic lawmaker has proposed providing free tampons in all public buildings.

President Barack Obama said in an interview with a YouTube blogger last month that he had no idea why feminine hygiene products were taxed.

Overseas, Canada removed taxes on the items last year, and British leaders, who have set the tax at the lowest possible level, have considered doing away with it altogether.

Feminine hygiene products should not be considered luxuries but necessities like prescription drugs or food, which most U.S. states do not tax, said Stephanie Pitcher with the Utah Women’s Coalition. “Having a period is not a choice for women,” she said.”

Read the full piece here

U.S. readers, register to vote here

Azealia Banks blasts critics of Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’

When Beyoncé dropped her new track and video Formation on Saturday night, it marked an unapologetic celebration of blackness, womanhood and heritage, with many hailing it as her most incredible (and political) creation to date. However, despite the widespread praise, others have somehow found it offensive, with the conservative US media drawing comparisons to the KKK, and a bunch of dimwits genuinely planning an anti-Beyoncé protest in New York this weekend.

Azealia Banks, who has always been vocal about the struggles faced by black artists, took to Twitter last night to call out the ludicrous response to “Formation”, particularly the “All Lives Matter” variety of commenter, and the input of white feminists. “No shade I could honestly throw up in a box watching all these white women go in about the damn formation song,” she began, adding: “‘Why only support black women? What about ALL WOMEN?!’ Sarah cried, as she pulled hot sauce out of her bag and used as eye drops…. And honestly look how as soon as Beyoncé decides to embrace her blackness and love herself the whole white feminist world turned on her.”

This isn’t the first time Banks has called out the priorities of white feminism. Earlier this year, the Harlem rapper started a dialogue with musician Ryn Weaver, who posted this armpit selfie on twitter. “I find that non-colored feminists cloud the feminist sphere with shit like free the nipple and hairy armpits,” Banks retorted. “Women everywhere are in much more dire situations than worrying about pussy hair or whether or not they can show a nipple on instagram.”


Beyonce did her best to help her community. Only idiots can attack her for “Formation”. Where’s your empathy and solidarity, white women? It’s our joint activity!

Kathleen Antonelli (1921-2006) was an Irish computer scientist, and part of a team of six programmers which in 1946 developed ENIAC: the first electronic general-purpose computer.

She emigrated to the United States as a young girl and in 1942 graduated with a degree in mathematics from Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. A week later she was hired as a ‘human computer’, calculating bullet and missile trajectories at a research laboratory in Maryland. The team of programmers that worked on ENIAC was all-female, and helped to develop an understanding of the computer’s inner workings, as well as inputting programmes.
70 years ago, six Philly women became the world's first digital computer programmers
Without any real training, they learned what it took to make ENIAC work – and made it a humming success. Their contributions were overlooked for decades.

”In 1945, the U.S. Army recruited six women working as computers at the University of Pennsylvania to work full-time on a secret government project. For the next year, they used their creativity, tenacity and solid backgrounds in mathematis to become the original programmers of the world’s first electronic general-purpose computer, called ENIAC.

“These women were hired pretty much to set this machine up, but it turns out that no one knew how to program. There were no ‘programmers’ at that time, and the only thing that existed for this machine were the schematics,” said Mitch Marcus, the RCA Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. “These six women found out what it took to run this computer — and they really did incredible things.”

“They stepped in to do a job that they didn’t understand, that nobody understood,” said Bill Mauchly, a Berwyn resident who hopes to put together a Philadelphia-area museum honoring ENIAC. “So they had to invent, discover, and learn how to work this machine without any real training. In that sense, they were real trailblazers.”

He believes they were probably the first people to have “programmer” as a job title, even though it was nothing like the occupation of today. Babysitting this giant, complex computer was very physical work, requiring them to haul cables and trays to different parts of the room-sized machine to get it to run programs correctly. They would even crawl inside the hug structure to fix faulty links and bad tubes.

“The first time I talked to Betty Holberton, who wrote the demo program for [the Feb. 15 ENIAC public unveiling], she said to me, 'There was this big dinner that night, and we girls were not even invited,'” said Marcus, who had confirmed this fact earlier by looking at the guest list in the Smithsonian archives. “The women were viewed as operators of the machine. They were there to help men figure out how to use the computer and were given basically no credit, and their role was entirely minimized. The fact that they weren’t invited to the dinner is pretty telling, I think.”

Read the full piece here


A different male coworker always calls me the “marketing girl,” and it really rubs me the wrong way. So why is the word girl so demeaning?

I don’t really think it’s because girl refers to the female gender. Rather, girl refers to a female child.

Child, in this case, is the key word.

Chances are, if I were male, … he might introduce the male version of me as the “marketing guy.” But there’s a big distinction between “guy” and “boy.”

In the dictionary, boy is defined as a male child, just as girl is defined as a female child. Guy, on the other hand, refers to a man. So, no, “marketing girl” and “marketing guy” do not have the same connotations.

The use of “girl” to refer to grown women has always bothered me, and this article did a great job expressing why.

Mermaid “Char” - Lillian Cuda, 2016.

Charybdis, or “Char” for short, is a beautiful and treacherous sea monster who dwells in the Strait of Messina, across from her BFF Scylla. She enjoys creating whirlpools to mess with seafarers, and sitting on rocks to polish and sharpen her weapons in the sunlight.

Available in my Merbabes Sticker Pack on bigcartel and etsy!

Also available on t-shirts, tote bags, phone covers and more through my society6!

(plz don’t remove caption)

Did you know that City Lights Books carries zines? We love supporting the D.I.Y community both near and far. Send us a sample of your poetry, essays, short stories, comics, manifestos, and other handmade beauty, and you just might be featured on our zine shelf (professionally bound books need not apply!)

Samples can be sent to us at:

City Lights Books
261 Columbus Ave
SF CA 94133

My mother had
a recipe for disaster,
it was quite simple. 

Put a pretty girl
in a pretty dress 
and have her 
speak her mind. 

She told me that no one 
would remember 
what the girl really said,
but oh, how the world 
would explode over it.

Because the idea
that pretty girls 
are not allowed to speak,
they are only meant to be seen,
has not yet been 
erased from society.

—  Recipes from the 1950′s || O.L.