This Week in Misogyny (and Other Assorted F#@%ery)

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted from the ups and downs in the news this week. Wendy Davis is a big damn hero, but her efforts may be for nothing. SCOTUS’s decision on DOMA was a win for”¦ conservatives? My head is reeling. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

Anti-choice legislators in Texas tried to use a special session of Congress to force through a set of devastating new abortion regulations, which would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, forced the closure of 42 of the state’s 47 women’s clinics that provide abortions, and required doctors (at one of the five remaining clinics) to supervise even non-surgical abortions. (Bitch has a good piece on the bill’s background.) Democratic senator Wendy Davis managed to pull off a nearly 13-hour filibuster with an assist at the end by fellow Democrat Leticia Van De Putte, who had raced back from attending her father’s funeral earlier in the day, and eventually by supporters in the gallery who managed to disrupt the session long enough at the very end to push the vote past midnight. Republicans tried to doctor the record to pretend that the vote had taken place at 11:58 instead of 12:03, but eventually realized that they couldn’t get away with it and admitted defeat. Unfortunately, the fight isn’t over yet, since Gov. Rick Perry has called another special session of Congress to begin on July 1, and also said that Davis should oppose abortion because her mother was unmarried and she herself was a teen mom. Republican State Rep. Bill Zedler went a step farther, calling Davis a terrorist on twitter.

Tweet by Bill Zedler reading " We had terrorist in the Texas State Senate opposing SB 5"

Fox News’s Greg Gutfeld says that the overturning of DOMA is a victory for conservatives because now gays will be less promiscuous and will have more time to protest what really matters–“radical Islam.” Suuuuuure, dude. Pat Robertson isn’t coping as well, claiming that Justice Kennedy only voted the way he did because he must have gay clerks warping his perspective and that God’s gonna go all Sodom and Gomorrah 2.0 on us.

On Wednesday, Julia Gillard was ousted as Prime Minister of Australia, and she subsequently announced that she will leave politics. While she didn’t outright claim that she was replaced because she’s a woman, she did admit that she’s, “A little bit bemused by those colleagues in the newspapers who have admitted that I have suffered more pressure as a result of my gender than other PMs in the past but then concluded it had zero effect on my political position or the political position of the Labor party.” The vote came just days after Gillard was mocked for a magazine photoshoot that showed her knitting; she knitted a kangaroo as a baby gift for Prince William and Kate.

Three new studies have looked at how women around the world are affected by violence and sexual assault, and the numbers are just plain awful.

Phyllis Schlafly continues to be an all-around horrible person, saying Republicans really need to step up their efforts with white voters instead of trying to get Latinos to vote for them. She seems to think that all Latinos are immigrants, apparently from a single country with big government and no understanding of democracy, and that all they’re interested in is getting handouts for all of their illegitimate babies.

A blurb in the June issue of Health magazine says that women are secretly made happy by getting whistled at by construction workers. Yes, of course we all love getting harassed and objectified for our bodies! (I also take issue with their statement that we’re happy because of “Celebrities who look pudgy after having kids.” God forbid a woman who just gave birth actually looks like her body changed!)

By the way, if a girl or woman is being harassed, don’t just tell her to “deal with it.”

The Awl published an interview with Ken Hoinsky, who became infamous in the last couple of weeks for his Kickstarter campaign to publish a book of advice for picking up assaulting women. It’s kind of a clusterfuck.

If anyone ever asks you why more women don’t report rapes, make them read this account of how a rape victim was shunned by friends, brushed off by police officers, and basically put on trial herself in front of a grand jury, only to have the case dismissed because she should have done things differently (and sadly, her experience is pretty typical).

Marissa Mayer may be the CEO of Yahoo, but she still had to deal with a self-described “dirty old man” man telling her that she’s attractive at a recent shareholder meeting. Show some damn respect.

In her guest of honor speech at this year’s Continuum convention, N.K. Jemisin discussed the fact that about 10% of the votes for presidency of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) went to an unnamed (by her) racist, misogynistic, asshole. Theodore Beale rather proved her statements about his character when he replied, using all kinds of heinous slurs to attack her, and went against SFWA policy to promote his post via their twitter feed.

During an altercation on Fox News during Sean Hannity’s show, radio host Bill Cunningham told fellow guest Tamara Holder that she needed to, “Shut up. Know your role and shut your mouth.” And yes, he meant her role as a woman.

So many young women are going to college these days that some university officials have admitted to lowering standards for male applicants.

Why is there no female equivalent of Tony Soprano? Because when we try to cast women as anti-heroes, people just don’t like them.

Is Robin Thicke’s number one song “Blurred Lines” about rape or is he just overly presumptuous?

A 12-year-old Georgia girl was removed from her Christian school’s football team because school officials thought she might lead the boys to “have impure thoughts” and because the Bible says “that men and women are created equal but different.”

A transgender 6-year-old has won permission to use the girls’ bathroom at her school. Good for her, but it’s sad that her parents had to go to court over it.

Recommended reading

  • Senator Claire McCaskill responds to allegations that she’s trying to “criminalize male sexuality” because of her efforts to change the way sexual assault cases are dealt with in the military.
  • On the difficulties of helping men who are raped during warfare, which is surprisingly common and yet hardly ever addressed.
  • Related to both of the above: 53% of the 26,000 US servicemembers raped last year were men. Women only make up about 15% of the armed forces, so while any particular woman is more at risk than any particular man, their smaller numbers skew the overall percentages somewhat. And no, this isn’t because of gays in the military!
  • “Systemic misandry” isn’t real, so stfu already.
  • The logistics of female masturbation.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg is finally getting recognized for her awesomeness.
  • Women are frequently told to dress modestly, but Braless in Brazil suggests that men should dress modestly too. She even has pictures as evidence of how men’s immodest dress can cause lustful thoughts in ladies. Lovely, lovely, pictures. Mmmm. I’ll be in my bunk.

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

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