This Week in Misogyny is Looking on the Bright Side

Hallelujah, I’ve got some good news to balance out the bad this week. Given how patently absurd some of the bad is, I think we’ll all need it! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) thinks we should have classes in elementary school to teach children about traditional gender roles for moms and dads. Our schools are spending so much time prepping kids for standardized testing that many of them don’t even have time to teach kids cursive anymore, but we should waste time telling kids stupid stereotypes about what moms and dads do differently (and in the process, shaming kids whose parent(s) don’t fulfill their “roles”)? Nope, dude.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) says we should ban abortions after only 15 or 16 weeks because when he was an OB-GYN he supposedly saw male fetuses masturbating during ultrasounds. No word on what he thought female fetuses were doing if they had their hands on their crotches, or how he could even tell what sex they were if they were covering their genitals. I’m horrified that women actually let this dude anywhere near their bits, much less in a medical capacity.

The GOP Chairman in Montgomery County, Illinois, went off on a racist rant against Erika Harold, a former Miss America who’s running for the House of Representatives, calling her a “street walker” and claiming that the Democrats were the “pimps” who got her to run in the Republican primary.

An editorial writer at the Wall Street Journal says that the campaign to reduce the number of sexual assaults in the military is “a war on men” and “an effort to criminalize male sexuality,” and that accusations are just “he-said/she-said.” There is a world of difference between male sexuality and rape/assault, and men who don’t understand that frighten me.

An Ohio anti-abortion group is raising money for outreach to get a personhood amendment on the ballot”¦ by selling automatic weapons and ammo.

XOJane has a horrifying and yet sadly typical story of what happened after a Disney parks employee was raped by a coworker and tried to report it to higher-ups at the company. Spoiler alert: Victim-blaming!

It turns out that when cities actually process rape kits, they can get serial rapists off the street in ridiculous numbers. Too bad they didn’t get around to this sooner to prevent some of the rapes from happening in the first place.

Even women who research sexual harassment and assault are not immune to freezing up when it happens to them. We’re too damned conditioned to avoid conflict and making a scene.

The 15-year-old daughter of the founder of Boing Boing was told by a TSA agent at LAX that she needed to cover herself up. Pro-tip: Your job is to screen passengers’ IDs and carry-ons, not their wardrobe choices!

There’s a petition to remove a Kickstarter project to fund a book of “advice” for men to win over women; the excerpts posted on the fundraising page range from creepy and obnoxious to outright sexual assault. Donations are closed as of Wednesday, but Kickstarter’s TOS allow them to withhold funds if a project is offensive. The goal was originally $2,000, but they managed to raise more than $16,000. Gross.

“Christian Domestic Discipline” is apparently a way for couples use the Bible as an excuse to engage in domestic abuse (or dom/sub fetishes, because God forbid that people enjoy a little kink in their sex, and only if the man is the dom of course). Who Would Jesus Spank?

A UK teen set up a feminist society at her school and promptly had a whole heap of sexist (and sometimes racist) vitriol launched at her and the other members. Given the reaction, I can’t imagine why she and other female students wanted to band together for support and to raise awareness of how women are affected by sexism.

How Nice Guysâ„¢ made a tomboy realize she needed feminism.

What the hell, celebrities?

  • In an interview with Rolling Stone, Serena Williams made an offhand comment blaming the Steubenville rape victim for being drunk, implied that the severity of what happened to her was dependent on whether she had been a virgin, and questioned whether it was fair that the rapists were punished. She later apologized (sort of) and implied her words might have been taken out of context or misinterpreted in the article, but the reporter who interviewed her reiterated that he had her words on tape. Jill Filipovich at The Guardian points out that in a world that largely hates women, we shouldn’t be surprised that some women echo misogynistic crap.
  • Melissa Etheridge wants people to stop calling Angelina Jolie “brave” for undergoing a double mastectomy, saying instead that it was a “fearful choice” and that stress is what makes BRCA genes activate in some women but not others. Mind ya business, and stop spreading patently false bullshit that blames cancer patients for their diagnoses.
  • In a taped deposition for a lawsuit stemming from claims of abusive behavior at her restaurant, Paula Deen admitted to telling racist jokes, using the N-word, and wanting black waitstaff to dress up as slaves for a wedding.

Paparazzi photos circulated this week of Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson being choked by her husband outside a London restaurant. Why does the media love to capitalize on violence against women?

Hollywood is squandering a generation of talented actresses by continuing to write movies about men that relegate women to supporting roles.

Author Lauren Sandberg thinks that women who want to be successful writers should only have one kid because more than that would be too distracting. Zadie Smith counters that plenty of female authors have multiple kids, no one ever worries about how many kids male authors have and how that will affect their writing, and besides, if you have two (or more) kids, they can play together and give you more free time!

A fashion spread in the latest Fiction issue of Vice shows models reenacting the suicides (or suicide attempts) of famous women authors. The pictures have been pulled from the internet but are still in the print version.

Why do we value different things from women’s magazines vs. “serious” journalism?

To make up for that steaming pile of crap, I’ve actually got a fair amount of good news this week! It’s hard not to get discouraged by all the misogynistic bullshit in the world, but sometimes we win some fights and that makes it worthwhile to keep speaking out.

  • Four of the eight new astronauts announced by NASA this week are women! BAMFs.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that anti-HIV/AIDS groups can’t be denied federal money for not having an explicitly anti-prostitution stance. This struck down a 2003 law that gave billions in aid to international relief groups, but not if they worked to reduce HIV/AIDS in sex workers.
  • A CDC report released on Wednesday says that HPV infection rates among U.S. teen girls have dropped 56% since the first vaccine was introduced in 2006. Getting vaccinated doesn’t make girls have more sex either, despite handwringing that getting protection from viruses that can cause cancer would suddenly turn all teens into raging sluts.
  • NYC artist Tatayana Fazlalizadeh has launched a street poster campaign in Bed-Stuy to combat street harassment.
  • A prominent Australian anti-abortion activist has changed her mind and is now advocating to legalize abortion.
  • The Social Security Administration will now allow trans* individuals to change their gender without undergoing reassignment surgery.
  • The New South Wales Court of Appeals has ruled that people have a right to be officially designated as genderless on official documents.
  • The Australian military has its own sex scandal to deal with, but Lieutenant-General David Morrison, the Chief of Army, isn’t having it and wants all the sexists to GTFO. Hell to the yes!

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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.

4 thoughts on “This Week in Misogyny is Looking on the Bright Side”

  1. “Melissa Etheridge wants people to stop calling Angelina Jolie “brave” for undergoing a double mastectomy, saying instead that it was a “fearful choice” and that stress is what makes BRCA genes activate in some women but not others. Mind ya business, and stop spreading patently false bullshit that blames cancer patients for their diagnoses.”

    Say it again! I kept thinking when I read this, “Where the f%$# do you get off telling someone how they should deal with THEIR cancer diagnosis? She should play Russian Roulette with her life and risk leaving behind her man and her children just to prove she’s ‘brave’? What a dim bulb!”

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