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?
- Why Inside Amy Schumer may be the most sneakily feminist show on TV. Or maybe Trophy Wife is.
- Brooke Eikmeier speaks out about ABC Family’s cancellation of the pilot order for the show she created, Alice in Arabia, after it was described as a story about a girl being kidnapped by Saudi relatives and forced to live as a virtual prisoner, when that was the exact opposite tone of the story she wanted to tell.
- BuzzFeed has a good longread about the effort to process Detroit’s backlog of 11,304 rape kits that were found in a warehouse in 2009.
- Why don’t people care (or worse, think it’s cool) that Naked Lunch writer William S. Burroughs murdered his wife?
- “Career advice for women” is almost always useless because it’s mostly full of the same old platitudes and because career women aren’t a homogenized group; different fields have different rules.
- Women frequently feel unsafe on subways and buses, especially late at night, but there are ways cities can make mass transit systems safer for riders.
- One South Carolina town has proved that actually teaching kids about sex can drastically reduce teen pregnancy rates.
- I always enjoy a good rant about why Men’s Rights Activists suck.
- Newspapers need to stop framing introductory articles about things like Twitter and Bitcoin as “how to explain this so your clueless Mom will understand” because that’s sexist and ageist.
- A call for anti-choice activists to give up judgment for Lent.
- A defense of pink toys for girls. While I’m frustrated that seemingly everything for little girls comes in a pink version, I do agree that there’s nothing wrong with girls liking pink things (and that it’s 100% wrong to tell little boys they can’t play with pink things). I just hate that every shopping trip turns into my having to decide if I buy the pink version to prove that girls like things like LEGOs and scooters or buying the gender-neutral/boy version because my daughter doesn’t really care if stuff’s pink or not (she prefers purple, which has also seemingly been coded as girly), but then manufacturer’s might assume I’m buying a red firetruck for a boy and take that as evidence that girls don’t like that sort of toy. (Of course if she’s with me, she gets to pick which version she wants.)
- Posting selfies in which you aren’t wearing make-up isn’t “brave,” nor does it help people with cancer. Just stop.
- I’ll ask again; which of y’all is writing for the Onion?