Skip to main site content.
The newly-weds, Maria Cobar and Carlos Suarez (Twitter)


The Week in Women: A cake kerfuffle, an adorable wedding, and a mansplaining hotline

November 23, 2016

Happy almost-Thanksgiving! As a tribute to this lovely holiday of food comas and weird uncles, we’ve devoted our news roundup to things that made us feel grateful this week. Let’s take a look at the list:

Cake vigilantes: Karen Carter Peterson, a Louisiana senator, is accusing her colleagues of misogyny after they celebrated a birthday with a cake decorated in the shape of a bikini-clad woman. The offending dessert had been made in honor of Rep. Mark Abraham’s birthday, and a sign attached to its box read: “Happy Birthday Mark Abraham. He likes his cake and eats it too!!!!” Peterson tweeted a photo of the cake, and in her caption wrote that the Louisiana State Capitol is “not a ‘locker room’! If folks want to celebrate bdays like this, don’t do it here!” When Abraham declined to remove the dessert from view, Peterson smashed it and tossed it into the trash. Yikes. We haven’t seen this much cake drama since Mary Berry left the Bake Off.

Public dissent: A horrible piece of legislation was delayed in Turkey thanks to widespread protests. On Tuesday, the country’s ruling AK Party rolled back on a bill that would indefinitely suspend the sentences of men who had sex with underage girls, provided that they married them afterwards. Both the public and other government factions vehemently denounced the bill as legitimizing statutory rape and child marriage. Just before parliament was scheduled to vote on the matter, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced that the legislation would be delayed to “give time for the opposition parties to develop their proposals.”

Elderly brides: Eighty-year-old Maria Cobar got married, for the very first time, to her 95-year-old beau Carlos Suarez at a nursing home in Florida. Cobar moved to the United States from Guatemala when she was 26. She never married, and raised her daughter Ana as a single mother. Ana told ABC News that the wedding was “amazing.” “I’m happy for [my mother] because even though I go visit her often, it’s not the same as someone to share your life with,” she added. “I’m very happy for that, and we’re very blessed that we found Carlos.” Oh, no. Crying in public again.

Swedish hotlines: Unionen, a Swedish trade union, has set up a “mansplaining hotline” so its female members can report patronizing male colleagues. The union represents more than half a million workers, and it launched the hotline as a stunt to highlight the tendency that (some) men have to speak condescendingly to women about things they don’t know much about. Many have denounced the initiative as unnecessarily polarizing, but it has seen some success: men have reportedly been calling the hotline to educate themselves about what exactly constitutes mansplaining. Be right back, just seeing if 1-800-MANSPREAD is available for purchase.