The world seems to have been slightly less terrible than usual last week, at least when it comes to misogynistic attacks on women. Slightly. The news that was out there was still pretty bad, there just wasn’t as much of it as most weeks. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
An audit of the inspection records for Texas abortion clinics shows that all the “safety” regulations enacted this summer were completely unnecessary, since the clinics were already safe. The few problems that were found were mostly administrative mistakes that had no impact on patient health or were remedied so quickly that the state didn’t even levy fines on the clinics. Meanwhile clinic closures are already forcing women to drive several hours to get affordable, non-judgmental care.
California has finally closed a loophole in an 1872 state law that technically allowed the rape of unwed women in certain circumstances. The old law made it illegal to impersonate a woman’s husband for the purpose of having sex with her, but forced the court to set free a man who admitted to raping a sleeping woman who at first mistakenly believed he was her boyfriend.
A former Rick Perry campaign adviser tweeted a link to an article that calls Wendy Davis “Too Stupid to be Governor.” The article, which appeared on right-wing extremist website Urban Grounds, also referred to Davis repeatedly as Abortion Barbie and called all blondes dumb.
The feminist group FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture and an army of college volunteers set up an elaborate hoax to impersonate Playboy and pretend that their list of party schools was taking a new approach to encourage consent. A lot of news organizations fell for it before realizing that it was fake. Well done, ladies!
An anti-Obamacare conservative group has produced a series of ads and has planned to visit campuses to discourage college students from signing up for health insurance.
Bless Katy Kay. Ron Paul went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to promote his new theory that up to 20% of American children should be homeschooled (with his curriculum, of course) so that they can become the Libertarian leaders of tomorrow. Kay blasted him because for that to work, a huge number of women would have to drop out of the workforce to stay home and teach their kids, and he’s OK with that because women should be at home anyway. Fuck you, dude.
A Smith College student wants to set up a straight-girls-only sorority on campus because there are too many lesbians and she feels “marginalized.” Nope.
An online dating website used a picture of Rehtaeh Parsons in a Facebook ad that has since been taken down. It’s unclear if the site knew that the teen committed suicide after being raped and cyberbullyed and thought the image would drum up publicity for their site or if it was a really unfortunate accident.
The Guardian is taking heat for a story in which they initially stated that a girl “let herself be gang raped” and “allowed herself to be sexually assaulted” by a group of boys who had stolen her Blackberry. They’ve since amended both statements, but without issuing an apology for blaming the victim.
A New Yorker profile of Eileen Fisher frustratingly calls her soft-spoken management style “feminine,” as if men shouldn’t be kind to employees and as if women can’t be outspoken leaders without being masculine.
- This is from a few weeks ago, but still funny. Two male authors answering the absurd questions that are usually limited to female authors.
- New information from the Census Bureau shows the state-by-state variations in the gender pay gap. Women in Vermont and Nevada fare the best, earning 85 cents for every dollar a man makes, while Wyoming women earn a dismal 64 cents.
- On consent and how it’s undermined by abortion restrictions.
- Drew Courtney on the GOP’s double standard on judges—not a single one voted to confirm Nina Pillard’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, but they’ve supported judges who make rape jokes and think gay people should have their children taken away.
- Lola Okolosie at the Guardian spells out why Hanna Rosin is wrong when she says that the patriarchy is dead just because a tiny percentage of women are doing really well.
- Anti-abortion activists love to cite scientific studies about fetal pain, but according to the actual doctors they quote, they’re taking the studies way out of context and misrepresenting their findings.
- Back at the Guardian, Sarah Ditum doesn’t think the specter of sex-selective abortion is a valid reason to outlaw the procedure.
And as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter why any woman wants to end her pregnancy. As the conscious and legally competent entity in the conception set-up, it’s the woman’s say that counts, and even the most terrible reason for having an abortion holds more sway than the best imaginable reason for compelling a woman to carry to term.