This Week in Misogyny Just Can’t

Oh dear. There is just so much wrong with the world this week. A little bit of good news, but a lot more that’s positively rage-inducing. At least there’s an awesome Stephen Colbert smackdown! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

A group of boys in New Zealand set up a “teen rape club” called Roast Busters and would videotape themselves raping girls who they’d gotten drunk. The local police department is being investigated for not doing anything to stop them despite being aware of them since 2011 (and for blaming one of the victims who came forward because of what she was wearing when she was raped).

Five Florida teens have been arrested for beating a 16-year-old girl who refused to have sex with one of them, then holding her down and videotaping him raping her. The victim told her story to the Miami Herald, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

A Texas school districts sex ed course materials compare people who aren’t virgins to chewed-up gum and used toothbrushes.

Anti-choicers are urging each other to offer to give women rides to clinics to get abortions and then instead drive them to churches while lecturing them and making them miss their appointments. AKA kidnapping.

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) plans to introduce a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks in every state. A similar bill passed the House in June.

Days before being reelected as New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie got right in a woman’s face and yelled at her for asking him why he’s so hard on the state’s education system.

Internalized misogyny! While women overall voted for Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, 54% of white women in exit polls voted for Ken Cuccinelli, noted racist and misogynist. Damnit!

Oh goody, yet another Fox News guest who thinks it’s totally unfair that women can’t be charged more than men for insurance. It’s a “War on Bros!” I’ll let Stephen Colbert handle this one (though his segment is about John Stossel’s statements and others previously made on the network, it’s all the same whining). And also? Prenatal care leads to healthier babies, half of which are male.

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The ACLU has filed a complaint on behalf of a woman whose workplace forced her to sit on a filthy floor to express breast milk. The Affordable Care Act requires employers to let nursing women pump in a private room that isn’t a bathroom.

Headlines claiming that Americans prefer male bosses to female bosses are somewhat misleading. A recent Gallup poll found that 35% of those surveyed would prefer a male boss if they were taking a hypothetical new job, compared to 23% would would prefer to work for a woman. However, 41% said they wouldn’t care if the new boss was a man or a woman (which wasn’t even an option in the poll; they volunteered that info), so it could also be interpreted as only 35% not wanting to work for a woman and 64% being OK with it. (And 1% lost in rounding off percentages, not that anyone but me cares about the numbers adding up perfectly.)

Another Gallup poll found that 58% of those surveyed think women should start having babies in their late teens or early twenties, but the breakdown is highly divided by education level.

So, this dude (allegedly) posted revenge porn pictures of his ex-girlfriend online and even sent them to her boss, didn’t get prosecuted because a judge decided that since she’d consented to taking the pictures, she had no grounds to complain that they were made public, and now he’s complaining that she ruined his life?? No.

No, you do not have a first amendment right to take upskirt photos of women on the subway. (And if the courts rule in his favor, so help me god…)

According to Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, breast cancer is caused by working women and if his expensive-ass yoga pants don’t fit you, it’s your fault for having thighs.

Oh, Joss. Just stop.

A sports radio host said that sports have been ruined by the influence of women and “feminized” men, and also women have nothing to say about sports and it’s funny to think that female sportswriters could be any good. Too bad it’s actually fucked up ideas about masculinity that lead to problems like the Richie Incognito bullying story.

A high school girl’s basketball coach was fired after posting a vacation picture to Facebook in which her fiancé was grabbing one of her breasts. He’s a  football coach at the same school and wasn’t fired, merely reprimanded privately. Because of course he wasn’t.

Good news!

  • The Supreme Court will not be hearing an appeal on Oklahoma’s law that would have required women seeking abortions to undergo an (unnecessary, likely transvaginal) ultrasound and then listen to a state-mandated script while looking at an image of the fetus. The law was blocked by state courts last year.
  • A study in Finland found that second-trimester medication-inducted abortions are just as safe as taking the medication during the first trimester, and are no more likely to negatively impact future pregnancies.
  • Parents in Germany will now be able to leave the gender blank on birth certificates rather than arbitrarily assigning a sex to their intersex baby. Germans will also soon be able to have their gender unlisted on their passports if they do not identify as male or female.
  • Four movie theaters in Sweden will now be letting patrons know whether films pass the Bechdel Test (which isn’t perfect, I know, but it’s still cool that they want to raise awareness of how few films even have two women talk to each other about something other than a man).

Recommended reading

  • There are no easy answers when it comes to prostitution. Selma James discusses how well-meaning feminists can make life harder for sex workers and why men really aren’t helping when they address the issue as “Hands off my whore.” Also, a recent study about patronage of sex workers in the U.S. is ludicrously uninformative.
  • Sexual assault and unwanted contact by doctors in the course of medical treatment is a topic that many don’t take seriously, but this first-hand account of the aftereffects shows just how far-reaching the trauma can be.
  • Abortion is not like slavery and people really need to stop comparing the two. This is excellent.
  • “Anti-rape underwear” for women are fucking ridiculous.
  • What you need to know about the “orgasm gap” (and what you should now that isn’t being studied).
  • Lily Allen’s new video may be a response to Robin Thicke’s misogynistic “Blurred Lines” video, but it’s also racist. Really, really racist.
  • It’s fine to post bikini pictures on Instagram… unless you have visible pubic hair peeking out. Then you get your account deleted. Petra Collins has an awesome rant about censorship and hypocrisy.
  • You can’t fight the gender binary with transphobia.
  • No, men shouldn’t be able to opt out of paying child support.
  • Cosmo has a great interview with Tristan Taormino about feminist porn.
  • A new initiative in the UK will pay low-income women £200 if they breastfeed their babies for six months, but that’s not fair to women who can’t or don’t want to nurse exclusively.

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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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