Once again, we find ourselves with two weeks’ worth of misogyny to round up. Can’t the world ever cut us a break? (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the misogynistic jackassery! Wendy Davis is still coming under attack from conservatives; Fox News commentator Erick Erickson called her “Abortion Barbie” on Twitter, while state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione thinks that Davis should have to reimburse the state for the second emergency session of Congress that was called after her filibuster prevented them from passing anti-abortion legislation in the first session. Meanwhile, governor Rick Perry had to call for a third special session to deal with the highway funding bill that was supposed to be addressed in June, but they just didn’t get around to it because they decided to put abortion restrictions ahead of infrastructure. Great job, assholes. At least state Sen. Eddie Lucio, the only Democrat to vote for the anti-abortion legislation, is planning to wait for the next full session in 2015 to reintroduce a bill that would require most women seeking abortions to take a three-hour class about adoption. As if women are too dumb to know that adoption is an option if they want to go through with the pregnancy. Lucio’s bill is just one of many that assume women are pretty stupid when it comes to making decisions for themselves; some of the others are even more infuriating.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory enraged protesters last week when he sent them a plate of cookies after signing the controversial motorcycle safety/abortion bill. The state has already shut down the only abortion clinic that has in the past met the qualifications of an ambulatory surgical center. While the newly passed bill changed the language somewhat and will set up standards specifically for the abortion clinics, the final rules are likely to be designed to shut down as many clinics as possible. Clinics are also already closing in Ohio after new regulations were passed in June.
For a truly depressing infographic, check out Remapping Debate’s interactive chart of each state’s abortion restrictions. Oregon is the only state without any restrictions [EDIT - Washington state also has no restrictions], while Oklahoma has 22. Never mind that there’s no science behind the idea of “fetal pain” that many states use to justify restrictions or that a new study shows that the vast majority of women who have had abortions are relieved and feel that they’ve made the right choice.
You know the bullshit about how supposedly women can’t get pregnant from rape (or “legitimate rape”)? Yeah, not only was that based on reports of experiments done by Nazis in concentration camps, there’s no evidence that the experiments ever actually took place.
This may be the least coherent argument Bill O’Reilly has ever tried to make. I can’t help but laugh, since I have no way of throttling him through the internet. And I’d kill to hear Jay Z’s reaction to the suggestion that he should do government PSAs to tell girls not to get pregnant. But they can still have sex! But we shouldn’t help them get contraception because they can just go to Planned Parenthood! Never mind that states are forcing those clinics to close. Also, the government telling you what to do is not “peer pressure.” Sheesh.
Back to Texas! The state has approved funding to finally process an estimated 20,000 rape kits that have been ignored until now either due to budget constraints or police simply deciding they didn’t need to follow up because they had no intent of prosecuting the case. Also, state troopers in multiple locations have been caught on video performing unconstitutional roadside cavity searches on women pulled over for traffic violations. In two taped instances, the officers didn’t put on new rubber gloves between probing two women’s vaginas and rectums.
USC is being investigated for its handling of rape reports made by students. One student involved in the case was told that she wasn’t really raped because her assailant didn’t orgasm, while another was told that the goal of the school’s investigation was to educate her rapist, not punish him. Others were told by campus police that they simply shouldn’t have expected any other result after going out and having a drink.
A flyer with victim-blaming tips to avoid being assaulted was put up in a women’s restroom at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Veteran and National Guard battalion commander Jennifer Stephens got rightfully pissed off and put up her own poster with actual advice for women who have been assaulted (and questioned whether men’s restrooms display the same posters, since 53% of sexual assault victims in the military are men).
Sanctions against Iran have severely limited Iranian women’s options when it comes to birth control pills.
It’s Weiner time!
- New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s communications director, Barbara Morgan, was enraged that former intern Olivia Nuzzi wrote unflattering stories about the campaign. Morgan went off on an obscenity-filled tirade against Nuzzi, calling her pretty much every sexist insult in the book, then said she thought it was all off-the-record after the rant was published on Talking Points Memo.
- Maureen Dowd opined in the New York Times that the real reason Huma Abedin has stuck by Anthony Weiner through multiple sex scandals is that “Huma was raised in Saudi Arabia, where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the planet.” Looking beyond the ridiculous racism in that statement, I also hate when journalists refer to women by first name throughout an article while referring to men by last name.
- Weiner’s sexting also inspired another WTF-worthy New York Times op-ed in which Susan Jacoby laments that women settle for soulless internet sex due to low self-esteem or something.
A judge has ruled that the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is perfectly justified in firing waitresses known as “Borgata Babes” if they gain weight after being hired, since the women knew of the condition and that the job required them to be sex objects.
The drinks at NYC’s 44 1/2 restaurant are all named after celebrities. Unfortunately, someone there thought it was clever to name drinks “Bloody Rihanna” and “Britney Breakdown.” Domestic violence and mental illness aren’t funny!
Caroline Criado-Perez successfully lobbied to put Jane Austen on Britain’s 10-pound notes and then became the target of hundreds of abusive tweets, including being threatened with rape. One man has been arrested for harassing her, and people are calling for Twitter to have a better system in place to deal with abuse on the site. Amanda Marcotte explains why we shouldn’t write off attacks like this as simple trolling; many “trolls” really do believe the awful, misogynistic crap that they spew across the internet and ignoring them can lead to women self-silencing rather than put up with them.
Mindy Kaling explains her decision to make her character on The Mindy Project more likeable. Turns out that while viewers have no trouble watching a show where the male lead is an asshole, female leads are still judged more harshly.
When PMag editor Liza pointed out on Twitter that the comedian lineup at punk rock festival The Fest was predominately male, they replied in a rude and condescending manner. Not the best way to win fans, morons.
The NFL hinted that they may hire their first female referee, and fans on Facebook went predictably apeshit.
Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Garza went off on a bizarre and misogynistic rant against the wife of an Oakland player who bunted in a run off him during a game last Saturday.
The Children’s Place issued an apology and pulled t-shirts from store shelves after there was a customer backlash to the girls’ shirts that declared that the wearer’s best subjects were shopping, music, and dancing, but not math.
- An op-ed in The Guardian discusses the horrifying instance of a 13-year-old girl who was called “predatory” and “sexually experienced” by her own lawyer and the judge during her case against the 41-year-old man who had abused her. He walked away with a only suspended sentence despite also having child pornography on his computer. Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident in the courts when older men prey on young girls.
- Amanda Hess at Slate’s XXfactor blog discusses how the New York Times’ policy against using certain language can undermine the credibility of stories of sexual harassment; when graphic exchanges are described as merely “crude,” it can leave the impression that they weren’t that bad and that accusers are simply overly-sensitive.
- Another XXfactor post, this time from L.V. Anderson, discusses the sexism in an AP report on a woman who fell to her death after the railing on her 17th-floor balcony gave way.
- Nicholas D. Kristof explains why “women’s empowerment” is more than just a politically correct buzzword.
- Claire Mysko is hilariously scathing when it comes to people obsessing over how quickly Kate Middleton will lose her baby weight.
- Make some popcorn, then check out this Storify account of Politico reporter Ben White’s meltdown after a female fan tweeted that she preferred his old profile pic.
- I love this Texas dad’s list of “10 Things I Plan to Tell My Daughter About Sex That Aren’t That Purity Movement Crap.”
- Why one mom doesn’t want her daughter to be “nice.”
- Vice has a horrifying longread about the ghost rapes of Bolivia, where for years residents of a Mennonite colony would wake to discover evidence that they’d been raped in the night, but with no memory of the event.
- Beverly Donofrio speaks out about what it was like to be raped at 55 and about why more women don’t speak out.
- Salon breaks down five reasons that women are underrepresented in the atheist movement.
- Historical misogyny! In honor of the upcoming 93rd anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted American women the right to vote, here are 12 anti-suffragette cartoons.
- Bless the Onion. I laugh so I don’t cry.
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the good things that happened over the last two weeks.
- A judge ruled that a nightclub asking a 66-year-old man to buy a $350 dollar of vodka in order to be allowed inside was not, in fact, a human rights violation. The plaintiff, lawyer and MRA Roy Den Hollander, has previously unsuccessfully sued to prevent bars from offering special prices to women on ladies’ nights.
- California’s state-mandated comprehensive sex education has caused the teen birth rate to drop by 60% since 1991.
- A new campus initiative called “Know Your IX” has been launched to educate students about their rights under Title IX and the Clery Act, which outline how schools should deal with sexual assault and gender-based violence.