One of the Steubenville rapists got to walk free this week, the pay gap may be even screwier than we thought, and Katie Couric is basically terrible. But 2013 was a big year for the Bechdel Test, and we’re starting 2014 with the first woman to run the Fed. So that’s something. As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.
Steubenville rapist Ma’lik Richmond only served nine months of his one-year sentence before being released from a juvenile detention center for good behavior. He has to register as a sex offender every six months for the next 20 years, but that sentence could be reduced and his registration won’t be in the public record because he was convicted as a minor.
Daisy Coleman, the teen at the center of the Maryville rape case, has been hospitalized after her third suicide attempt, possibly due to another bout of cyberbullying over the weekend after she had the audacity to go to a fucking party like a normal young woman. For fuck’s sake, people, leave her alone!
An alleged rapist walked free after his accuser was denied an interpreter on the stand and thus had difficulty testifying, and now he’s been arrested again for the sexual assault and attempted murder of a 15-year-old girl. Which he wouldn’t have been able to do if he were in jail. Good job, court system.
Maine Senate candidate Erick Bennett is campaigning on his “guts and integrity,” citing that he fought a domestic violence conviction all the way to the state supreme judicial court.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments about two of the provisions of Texas’ abortion law. In response to the claim that closing both clinics in the Rio Grande Valley placed an undue burden on women because they would have to travel about 150 miles to the closest remaining clinic in Corpus Christi, Judge Edith Jones said that the speed limit is 75 mph, so it doesn’t take that long to get there. (Never mind that mandatory waiting periods mean people would either need to make the trip twice or get a hotel room, assuming they could get the time off work.) The court will also have to decide if the law can forbid doctors from following new recommendations for medical abortions that could be safer for some women; currently they must follow guidelines set in 2000.
Good news! Janet Yellin was confirmed as the first female chair of the Federal Reserve.
A new study shows that the pay gap between men and women is basically a self-fulfilling prophecy, with men assuming they’ll get more and asking for it and women assuming that they’ll be underpaid (because, well, they are).
A study of career paths among people with economics Ph.D.s found that men who are already married or who get married after earning their degree have a boost in their pay growth compared to their single cohorts, while women who get married earn smaller raises. Pay gaps are frequently attributed to women having kids, but that didn’t actually make much of a difference.
The New York Post dubbed Brooklyn’s single women “the pickiest in the nation” based on a survey of how often women reply to messages on online dating sites, but even after quoting several women who put the blame squarely on men not making an effort or being sleazy, they finished the article by saying that “[m]en may have more luck” elsewhere.
A Wall Street Journal writer is arguing that the rise of “fatherless” children is due to selfish women wanting careers and using contraceptives. Huh?
Oh my god, who cares whether Kim Kardashian photoshopped her boobs in a selfie or not? It looks more like a weird reflection from a slightly wavy mirror than anything else.
Katie Couric’s interview with Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox was an example of how not to talk to transgender people. Stop asking about their genitals! Carrera and Cox handled it extremely well, but they shouldn’t have been put in that position.
ELLE is coming under fire for its treatment of Mindy Kaling on one of the covers of its “Women in TV” issue. While Zooey Deschanel, Allison Williams, and Amy Poehler are given color full-body shots, Kaling was shot in black-and-white and only gets a headshot.
“Benevolent sexism,” in which women are put on a pedestal and told they need to be protected, actually leads to greater dissatisfaction in relationships when conflict arises, according to two new studies.
- Of the 50 top-grossing films of 2013, the ones that passed the Bechdel Test earned far more money as a group than the films that failed. (Gravity was treated as a special case since it only had two people, period, but most of the movie was about Sandra Bullock’s character.)
- Eris Zion Venia Dyson on Saturday Night Live‘s newest cast member and how the hiring of Sasheer Zamata and two black women writers still may not change much at the show.
- Roxane Gay’s take on unlikeable female protagonists.
- Amanda Hess on how women are made to feel unwelcome on the internet and how online platforms and law enforcement rarely take threats seriously. (Related: Two people have pleaded guilty to sending abusive tweets to Caroline Criado-Perez after she suggested that the UK should continue to have women other than the queen on their currency. Two, out of who knows how many. Better than nothing?)
- A great list of 18 things women shouldn’t have to justify, on Thought Catalog.
- Tara Culp-Ressler on why this year could be much better than 2013 was when it comes to reproductive rights. (Fingers crossed!)
- Debra Haffner on why it’s more sinful to deny women contraception than it is to use contraception.
- AlterNet has a list of the Christian Right’s worst dating tips.
- Feminism isn’t ruining your love life — you’re more likely to have a successful relationship if you’re college-educated and get married when you’re older.