This Week in Misogyny is a Magical Unicorn

Welcome to another roundup of misogyny news! Fortunately this week wasn’t nearly as horrible as last week, and we even have some good stuff to report. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

Let’s switch things up and start with some good news! Or at least, some terrible stories that may have not-terrible endings after all.

  • Last week Michelle Byrom was facing execution in Mississippi for her husband’s murder, but the state supreme court not only overturned her sentence but also recommended that she receive a new trial. Given that her son confessed to the murder and that she was basically coerced into covering for him (and that she’s an abuse victim who suffers from mental and physical illnesses), it’s about damn time.
  • An Arkansas mom who was arrested in November after breastfeeding her six-month-old daughter while having a beer at a restaurant will not be brought up on child endangerment charges after all, since there’s no proof she was in any way incapable of caring for her child at the time or that the alcohol had entered her breastmilk yet or in a high enough amount to endanger her.
  • Interns in NYC are now protected against workplace sexual harassment; the city council passed the new law after an intern’s lawsuit was dismissed last fall because she wasn’t technically an employee.

Hobby Lobby news! We won’t hear the Supreme Court’s decision on their lawsuit to get out of paying for employee’s contraceptives, but we did find out that, through their employee 401(k) plans, they invest in the companies that make the exact medicines and devices that their lawsuit alleges they’re morally opposed to. They also invest in companies that manufacture abortion pills. Fucking hypocrites.

A Harvard student, frustrated that the university had done little to help her after she was sexually assaulted by a student who lived in the same house as her because the assault fell outside the narrow definition of “assault” in the school’s 20-year-old policy, wrote a letter to the university in the Harvard Crimson saying that she’d given up and would just move rather than keep trying to get them to take her side.

It took a while, but the Bridgegate scandal in New Jersey finally managed to turn sexist. Gov. Chris Christie’s lawyers reported that Bridget Anne Kelly, she of the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email, orchestrated the entire ordeal because she was upset that her boyfriend broke up with her. Not that they actually interviewed Kelly or her ex, who had also worked for Christie, so it’s hard to say when or how they separated even if it were relevant. The report also claimed that Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer was lying about being strong-armed by Christie over Hurricane Sandy relief funds because she yawned in a picture and thus couldn’t have felt threatened. Mmmkay. Noticeably absent from the report was analysis of the emotional state of any of the men involved.

Terrible people of the week!

  • Senator Lamar Alexander, who opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act because it would be totally unfair if women were suddenly making more money than men!
  • West Virginia’s state legislature, which became the first Democrat-controlled group to pass a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. (Fortunately, Gov. Ray Tomblin vetoed it because similar laws have been declared unconstitutional in other states.)
  • Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden, who suspended du Pont heir Robert H. Richards IV’s eight-year prison sentence for raping his 3-year-old daughter and gave him probation instead because he “will not fare well” in prison. Isn’t it kind of the point that child rapists shouldn’t enjoy their punishment?
  • Sterling Jewelers, the parent company of jewelry stores including Jared and Kay, which is being sued by 16 current and former employees alleging that female employees are paid far less than men and are given fewer promotions.
  • New York Mets fans, who are pissed off that one of their players is missing the first few games of the season because his wife is due to give birth any day now and he doesn’t want to miss it. On his radio show, Boomer Esiason went so far as to say Daniel Murphy should have forced his wife to have a C-section before the season started so that it wouldn’t interfere with his playing.

The Army has implemented new rules regarding hairstyles for female soldiers, and they specifically ban many styles worn by black women with natural hair.

Saturday Night Live misgendered the subject of a joke (and her female professor) during last week’s Weekend Update even though she appeared in the video they were mocking, because of course chemists are men. In the words of the woman in question,

You made me into a male graduate student. I am a female postdoctoral research fellow and a member of the teaching faculty at my institution. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a magical unicorn, so it’s odd you did not notice that. “Magical unicorn” you say? I am a black female chemistry PhD.

A new study has found that women were 52% of moviegoers in 2013. Too bad studios will likely use that as an excuse to say women will go to the movies even if they aren’t represented on screen, so why bother making more female-centric films?

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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.

4 thoughts on “This Week in Misogyny is a Magical Unicorn”

  1. Toy colours have been frustrating again here. We’ve tried as much as we can to get bright neutral colours, but so often it’s either “girl colours” of muddy “boy colours”. I think we have a good mix, but still, MORE COLOURS!

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