Rosa Parks Revelations and Fearless Feminist Governors: Editors’ Picks, July 24-30

A new revelation about the life of Rosa Parks surfaced this week: Among thousands of her personal items collected by Guernsey’s Auctioneers was a six-page, handwritten account of an attempted rape by a white neighbor in 1931.

Civil-rights historian Danielle McGuire called the discovery astounding, saying she had never before come across a mention of the attempted rape. McGuire is the author of At the Dark End of the Street, which recovers the lost history of Jim Crow-era anti-rape activism by Parks and other black women. “I thought [her anti-rape activism] was because of the stories that she had heard. But this gives a much more personal context to that,” McGuire told the AP.

On Wednesday, Eman al-Obeidy, the Libyan woman who bravely accused forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of brutally raping her, reached sanctuary in New York. CNN reports that al-Obeidy hopes to someday meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose State Department helped ensure al-Obeidy escaped Libya.

Not everyone had kind–or substantive–things to say about Hillary Clinton this week, however. On Tuesday night, Project Runway design guru Tim Gunn was a guest on Lopez Tonight, where he and host George Lopez spent a significant amount of time ridiculing the Secretary of State’s fashions, as well as mocking her “cankles.” Gunn, visibly distressed by Clinton’s wardrobe, lamented her pantsuit collection:

Why must she dress that way? I think she’s confused about her gender!

Jezebel’s pithy response pretty much says it all.

We will never, ever get enough of “working-class domestic goddess” Roseanne Barr, so we were thrilled that she was a guest on Democracy Now! this week. She and host Amy Goodman talked labor issues, feminism (of course!), class, LGBTQ rights and her nine-year battle with TV executives for creative control of one of the most subversive shows ever on TV.

In light of the scrutiny of Dominique Strauss Kahn’s accuser Nafissatou Diallo, Latoya Peterson of Racialicious breaks down the many problems with the way the media frames rape victims.

Most of us know that the voter-suppression laws sweeping the nation target the poor, those with disabilities and people of color. But did you know that they also target women? Megan Devlin explains at TAPPED.

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue, the first woman in the post, has been steadfastly vetoing all of the ultra-conservative, anti-choice legislation pumped out by the state legislature this year. Unfortunately, the legislature overturned her veto this week to pass the “Women’s Right To Know” act, the knottiest thicket of red tape for women seeking abortions yet devised. We’re with Rachel Maddow guest host Melissa Harris Perry (a native North Carolinian) in urging the governor to keep on slamming down her “giant veto stamp” on future anti-woman legislation.

We leave you this week with the words of the ever-brilliant Shark Fu of AngryBlackBitch, who expresses what so many of us are thinking as we watch the debt-ceiling debacle drag on in Washington:

Let’s keep it real…it is time for the freak show to end, for the richest people and corporations to take a dip in Lake Sacrifice where the rest of us are already treading water…and it is time for that gaggle of fools who voted for enough fools to form a caucus that is now fixin’ to redefine FUBAR on an international scale to acknowledge that electing people to government who don’t believe in government is like choosing an arsonist to house sit while you’re on vacation.


Annie is the Community Editor at The Nation and the former New Media Coordinator at Ms. magazine. She studied sociology and women's studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She's a big fan of birds, plants and things that are funny. Her animal totem is the bat.