I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, this week’s news is just awful. Politicians are awful, victim-blamers are awful, the internet is awful. Let’s get ready to punch this week in the face, yes? (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker says he can’t create jobs in the state because meanie protestors make his job too difficult, but then he says he’s going to sign a bill to force women seeking abortions to undergo mandatory (unnecessary) ultrasounds. And he might sign a different bill that would allow certain companies’ insurance policies to deny contraceptive coverage to employees. Guess he doesn’t care about protestors if they’re just ladies.
Ohio Republicans have introduced a new bill that includes some of the harshest restrictions on abortion of any state in the U.S. Along with the usual forced ultrasounds and unnecessary (and in some cases, wildly incorrect) medical information about the fetus and abortion risks, the bill would require a 48-hour waiting period even in the case of a medical emergency and would require doctors to tell patients how much money they make from abortions. Doctors would risk jail times and fines of up to $1 million for noncompliance.
Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) is opposing a Democratic amendment that would exempt victims of rape or incest from the nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks that he’s trying to push through Congress. His reason? “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” He also thinks that it’s unnecessary because women are supposed to report rapes within 48 hours so why would they need to wait longer than 20 weeks to get an abortion anyway? One tiny bright spot? Even some Republicans are opposing the bill because Congress ought to be focusing on jobs and the economy instead of wasting time on a bill that’s likely unconstitutional, especially since it probably won’t pass the Senate anyway.
Ireland is considering loosening its ban on abortions following the death of Savita Halappanavar, and even though exemptions would only be granted to save the life of the mother, the prime minister is receiving protest letters written in blood from anti-abortion activists. When will these fuckers understand that if the mother dies, the baby will almost certainly die too?
The New York Times Magazine has an interesting longread on what happens to women who want to have abortions but are turned away for one reason or another. Only 9% of the women in the study who went on to give birth gave up the children for adoption, and the “turnaways” were much more likely to fall below the poverty line than the women studied who did have abortions just under the wire. Most of the women didn’t regret having the children, even if their lives were much more difficult than they had been before. Amanda Marcotte at Slate cautions that people shouldn’t read too much into this and try to use it as an excuse to ban abortions; rather, it shows the glaring difference between potential children and actual children.
In a YouTube video posted last September, current Virginia Lt. Governor candidate E.W. Jackson has said that, “Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was.” Wagatwe Wanjuki at RH Reality Check explains why he’s wrong.
The military is trying to figure out how to deal with an epidemic of sexual assaults in their ranks. Former congressman and current Fox News analyst Allen West says that they’re only happening because women are being allowed in combat units and says that many of the reports are probably made up anyway. Meanwhile, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) proposed a measure that would make military prosecutors responsible for deciding which assault cases to try. Currently those decisions are in the hands of commanding officers, which may make victims hesitant to report crimes due to fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, the head of the Senate armed services committee, Carl Levin (D-MI) said he will not include her measure and will instead add his own that will simply require a review by a senior military official of all cases that commanders decide not to prosecute.
After being raped by a 17-year-old when she was only 13, an Indiana girl decided not to get an abortion when she realized she was pregnant. Now she’s being constantly harassed and even had “whore” and “slut” scrawled on her house.
A teacher was fired after her abusive husband came to the school’s parking lot in violation of a temporary restraining order. Despite the fact that he was put in jail, the school felt that her presence endangered students if he was released.
Family court employees in Nevada are being investigated for covering up the 2011 sexual assault by a court officer of a woman who showed up for a routine divorce hearing, then was ordered to lift her shirt to be searched for drugs. Despite her requests for a female officer to perform the search and then her pleas for help when this was ignored, no one intervened and she was arrested for supposedly making “false allegations.”
Pro-tip: Men, if you find a woman lying unconscious and want to warm her up and save her life, don’t have sex with her. That’s rape, jackass, and nobody’s buying your explanation.
Bad study alert! Researchers at Texas Christian University somehow decided that women with absentee fathers were more likely to be “sexually risky,” even though they didn’t even ask the participants about their sexual history or whether their fathers were habitually absent. They just had them do word games after thinking about a particular instance in which their fathers were either supportive or disappointing.
Sexism in gaming is finally getting some much-needed time in the spotlight after several incidents during the E3 convention this week, including a rape joke being directed at a woman during a demonstration of a game, wolf whistles when another woman took the stage, and a seemingly endless stream of comments on the convention’s Twitch feed that had to be deleted by mods for inappropriate content. The makers of the game Exalted are also coming under fire for a feature that allows players to rape other characters to death, turning them into ghosts.
Oh thank goodness, white men are just the thing we need to revitalize the publishing industry! Why didn’t anyone think of that sooner?
Tabloids have no business deciding if stars are good moms or not based off paparazzi photos that don’t tell the whole story.
BeyoncÃ© is frequently called out for being a “bad feminist,” and that’s messed up in a whole lot of ways.
Trendy rich ladies no longer have to drink the same bottled water as the rest of us plebes. My eyes just rolled right out of my sockets.
Why the hell are the new My Little Ponies sexy teen girls instead of, I dunno, ponies? Goddamn bronies.
Mara Mercer set up an OKCupid account and then found out that there was an entire forum on the Men Going Their Own Way website discussing it in detail and calling her a slut in lots of creative ways.
Good news! And after all that, we need some.
- The Obama administration has reversed course and will allow Plan B to be sold over the counter without an age restriction. Woohoo!
- Um, I got nothing else. Shit really sucks this week.
Finally, here are some new tumblrs to check out.
- Make Me a Sandwich Bitch – The screencaps speak for themselves.
- Smile, Sizeist! – Photos and stories of assholes who were rude to fat people.
- Shit I’ve Learned From Books Written by White Men – The annoying ways in which white male authors misunderstand and misrepresent women and PoC.