This Week in Misogyny Has Been Around the World

So much misogyny, so little time! We’ve got misogyny in every corner of the globe, more sexism at the Olympics, terrible dating advice, and so much more! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

Michael Dunn compared his arrest in the shooting death of Jordan Davis to a rape victim being blamed for the way she was dressed. Because killing a teenager and wounding his friends because you didn’t like their loud music is exactly like being assaulted. Fuckhead.

A West Virginia anti-choice doctor who wrote a letter to the state’s Attorney General claiming that his hospital was treating victims of botched abortions from local clinics on weekly basis was totally making it all up, since the hospital’s records only found two patients who’d had complications (five if you include women who’d had ectopic or molar pregnancies).

A Pennsylvania mother is facing a slew of bizarre charges two years after purchasing drugs online to help her then-16-year-old daughter have an abortion more than two years ago.

Female students at evangelical Patrick Henry College are being taught that simply being alone with a guy means it’s her fault for “stumbling” if he assaults her. Bob Jones University had similarly blamed victims who came forward and recently fired the consulting group that was supposed to help them figure out how to better handle allegations.

After Beth Whaanga was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent multiple surgeries to remove her breasts, uterus, cancerous lymph nodes, and melanomas, she posted pictures of her scars on Facebook to show the realities of dealing with the disease. More than 100 people unfriended her and several people reported the album to Facebook (though for once, they actually stuck by their new policy and declined to remove the pictures). Way to be supportive, assholes. (NSFW pics at the link.)

The group that governs high school sports in Virginia enacted new rules that were supposed to allow transgender students to compete as the gender they identify with… except that it only applies to individuals who’ve undergone surgery to alter their genitals. Many trans* individuals have no interest in the procedures and besides, you have to reach the age of majority, which is 18 in Virginia, before most doctors will perform the surgery, so that automatically excludes pretty much everyone in high school. So they pretty much just banned trans* teens from competing. Good job, idiots.

International Women’s Issues

More Olympics misogyny!

  • NBC’s banners that introduce Olympians include information including their name, country, hometown, age, and height, but weights are only displayed for male athletes. Slate’s Josh Levin takes this to mean the network is telling female athletes they should be insecure about their weight, but I’m hoping it’s because they realize viewers would be assholes about how much the ladies weigh in a way that men aren’t judged.
  • Meredith Vieira became the first woman to host NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage, but only because Bob Costas got pinkeye (and because everyone kinda hated Matt Lauer’s stint as his original replacement).
  • A reminder that Sochi bronze-medallist Bode Miller is kind of a terrible human being who took away custody of a baby he fathered with Sara McKenna because after they broke up but while she was still pregnant, she moved from California to New York to go to school. Custody battles are tricky enough after the kid is born, but it was ridiculous to treat the unborn fetus as a child who could have been left with Miller.
  • The Onion is on freakin’ fire lately! “U.S. Advances To Women’s Hockey, Hey, Get The Fuck Back Here” is spot on. (And the team earned the silver medal!)

 Ridiculous dating advice!

  • Susan Patton wrote in the Wall Street Journal to encourage women to start looking for a man early, because if they focus on their careers after college, they’ll either have to settle for a man who’s dumber than they are or try to compete with women who are ten years younger because intelligent, successful, 30-something men don’t like intelligent, successful, 30-something women. She manages to be sexist against women and men!
  • WIRED created some interesting infographics based on datamining OkCupid and Match.com profiles to see who gets the most responses, but it seems pretty cynical to encourage people to rewrite their profiles based on weird statistical glitches. (And yes, I’m glaring at the use of “males” and “females.”)
  • Exhibit A: Apparently men who use the word “whom” on their online dating profiles get 31% more responses than men who don’t. Geoff Pullum from Slate’s language blog is now encouraging men to just use the word willy-nilly; the data-miners didn’t check to see if it was used correctly, hence it doesn’t matter if you use it incorrectly! Wimminz will think you’re smart either way! So. Much. Headdesk.
  • As a palate cleanser, hooray for the death of chivalry!

The head of Marvel made vague statements that they might be working on a film centered on Black Widow, who has thus far been relegated to supporting roles while most of the superhero dudes in the Avengers get their own franchises. Yay, possible progress!

Oh, the tears of sci-fi writer dudes who are upset about women and minorities who want their contributions to the genre recognized and supported as well.

Recommended Reading

Finally, I can’t decide how to feel about this criticism that Frozen‘s Elsa gives herself a “sexy” makeover during the “Let It Go” sequence. On the one hand, the author is right that the heels and dress that’s slit up to her thigh are a bit much, but she’s spent nearly her entire life covering every inch of skin below the neck so she doesn’t accidentally freeze someone, so of course she’d want to loosen up a bit! And she’s certainly not doing it to appeal the male gaze when she’s on top of a freaking mountain planning to spend the rest of her life in solitude. I’m leaning toward, “Loosen your grip on those pearls, sister.”

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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.

3 thoughts on “This Week in Misogyny Has Been Around the World”

  1. And then there’s the veterans’ group I’m involved with…A few of the men were serious misogynistic assholes last week (like, posting triggering pictures with rape jokes in a facebook group) then showing their asses when they whined about the posts being removed and kept making “jokes” in that vein. (At least one was removed, and another kept trying to justify it because he has PTSD.)

    But that meant that several women have spoken up (myself included) to tell them that this is NOT OKAY, and I’m hoping to hear back from the staff advisor about dealing with the attitudes involved. The university’s women’s center has workshops that might help (http://oied.ncsu.edu/womens-center/programs-and-events/dont-cancel-that-class/), especially if we can avoid labeling it in a way that the men in the group won’t think applies to them.

  2. For the “Frozen” thing, I haven’t seen the movie, but I watched “Let It Go” because Idina Menzel, and even with ZERO context, I saw it as a freeing moment for the character. Kind of like when I get home and put on my comfy pants, she’s putting on clothes she can move in.

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