Slipped through the cracks

Serena Williams poses nude for ESPN Magazine. Plus: Ellen Page becomes an HBO writer, and brides trash their gowns

By Jessica Roy

Published October 9, 2009 10:02AM (EDT)

 In a strange twist to this week's David Letterman extortionist plot, feminists were accused of not being humorless enough (!) due to the minimal outrage the scandal provoked among women. Of course, we were also accused of being too humorless, when we expressed disgust at a high school in Texas that printed T-shirts depicting a woman having sex with two horses. But it wasn't all bad: Here at Broadsheet, we also noted that an ad run by a Las Vegas restaurant was taken to task by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus newspaper, demonstrating that young feminists are indeed out there. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a shocking new law mandates that women must disclose a host of personal information about their abortions for display on a public website. And in Egypt, officials banned a kit that would allow women to fake their virginity.

Maybe we got a little too distracted by this nine-year-old's creepy remake of Britney Spears' "Toxic," because here are some articles we missed:

ESPN has Body Issues

Celebrating the beauty of the athletic form, ESPN Magazine released its Body Issue today, which will run six different covers, each featuring a different athlete. Serena Williams posed completely naked on one version, and her healthy figure is a refreshing departure from the stick-thin models that usually grace magazine covers. Other women featured in the issue's covers include martial artist Gina Carano and triathlete Sarah Reinertsen.

Ellen Page pregnant ... with HBO comedy!

"Whip It" alum and "Juno" smart-aleck Ellen Page is slated to write a new comedy about three hipsters relocating from Williamsburg, Brooklyn to its LA equivalent, Silver Lake, in pursuit of their shared dream to become artists. Page will also be executive producing the project along with friends Alia Shawkat ("Arrested Development") and Sean Tillmann, and potentially starring in it as characters that sound reminiscent of the disenchanted youth portrayed in another HBO hipster ode, "Bored to Death." Assuming "honest to blog" will never be uttered, we look forward to seeing how the show turns out.

Take this expensive, luxury wedding dress and shove it

On Tuesday, "The Today Show" aired a segment devoted to brides' stories of how they destroyed their costly wedding dresses post-ceremony. At both Double X and Jezebel, writers took issue with the practice, comparing it to an article in British Marie Claire that highlighted the fact that many women, specifically refugees in Uganda, are happy to even receive a special dress for their wedding day. Whether you think the tearing of the dress is an act of self-expression or a symbol of selfish American consumerism, there are no doubt less wasteful ways to shake off the shackles of traditional weddings.

Where are all the female astronauts?

An article in Wired this week explores the history of the female astronaut, citing newly released medical studies as a testament to the fact that women astronauts in the 1950's were "just as cool and tough" as the men sent to the moon. In 1959, Randy Lovelace founded the Women in Space program, which trained 19 female astronauts -- 13 of whom graduated from the program, boasting a success rate higher than the men's. The program was eventually discontinued in 1961, with officials citing concerns about menstruation and pilot inexperience as excuses to not send the women into space. As such, we had to wait until 1995 for the first female-piloted mission, but as the article states, "Collins was the first woman to become a space pilot, but not the first woman who deserved to."

House rules: Sexual orientation included in hate crimes law, finally

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a motion that would define attacks fueled by gender or sexual orientation as hate crimes. Attached to a must-pass defense bill and already supported by President Obama, the legislation will be voted on in the Senate next week. It's a motion worth celebrating, but one that is undoubtedly long overdue.

Jessica Roy

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