Margaret Atwood couldn't have written this, because it's too absurd to be believed. Facing vigorous public protest over the Texas Legislature's railroading of draconian abortion restrictions, Texas state troopers searched visitors to the Texas state capitol yesterday and confiscated tampons, maxi-pads, and other potential projectiles.

Not confiscated: concealed firearms, which contain potential projectiles much more dangerous than Tampax.

Only a maleficent mix of misogyny and machismo could lead a state to view a woman's personal hygiene products as a greater threat to public safety and democracy than a loaded gun.

Related 09:02 CDT: Meanwhile, a 12-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the face by the Taliban for going to school, speaks to the United Nations Youth Assembly:

The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them....

Dear fellows, today I am focusing on women's rights and girls' education because they are suffering the most. There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But, this time, we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women's rights rather I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.

Dear sisters and brothers, now it's time to speak up....

So let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.  [Malala Yousafzai, speech to United Nations Youth Assembly, New York City, 2013.07.12].