This Week in Misogyny is Your Brain on Engineering

Some schools may be on Passover/spring break this week, but misogyny didn’t take the week off. Instead, we’ve learned that young girls think it’s normal to be sexually harassed, that even women who become CEOs aren’t exempt from harassment, and that we shouldn’t try to earn the same wages as men if we ever want to catch a husband. Sigh. At least there’s a new GoldieBlox ad! With a baby chicken! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

115 Nigerian schoolgirls are still missing after 129 students were kidnapped from a secondary school on Monday by a militant group that opposes Western education. However, the military has reported that all but eight have been recovered, leading the families of the missing girls to fear that no further effort will be made to rescue them (14 girls managed to escape the kidnappers on their own).

Republicans around the country are trying to eliminate or add obstacles to no-fault divorces, even though studies have proven that domestic violence and spousal murder rates drop when states make divorce easier and that children fare better when their parents aren’t stuck in a drawn-out process to split up.

A new study comparing the number of children living in poverty in the U.S. to other countries with similar family compositions found that single moms aren’t to blame, as many people think, but rather our institutional failure to support people living in poverty.

A bill being considered in the South Carolina state senate would allow the “Stand Your Ground” law to cover threats to empbryos even though pregnant women are already covered under the law.

One of only two abortion clinics in El Paso, TX has been forced to close after the hospital with which they were affiliated revoked admitting privileges without notice.

Good news! North Dakota’s “fetal heartbeat bill,” which banned abortions so early that many women wouldn’t even know they were pregnant until it was too late to terminate if they wanted to, has been overturned. But thanks for wasting everyone’s time and money on a bill that was blatantly unconstitutional!

More good news! The Nevada Republican party has dropped all anti-abortion language from its official platform.

A study of young girls’ attitudes toward sexual harassment and assault found that many don’t report abusive behaviors because they think that it’s “normal male behavior” and that no one will take them seriously if they complain, not even other girls.

Terrible People of the Week!

  • Victor Barnard, the leader of a cult-like religious group in Minnesota, who has been charged with raping at least 59 teen girls in his “Shepherd’s Camp” community because of “God’s word.”
  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed a law allowing unannounced warrantless inspections of the state’s abortion clinics, even though the federal appeals court has ruled that unconstitutional.
  • The Louisiana House of Representatives, which voted 27-67 against striking down an unconstitutional state law that forbids “crimes against nature.” Meaning, oral sex and gay/lesbian sex acts.
  • Phyllis Schlafly, who argued in a Christian Post op-ed that we shouldn’t eliminate the gender wage gap because then women won’t be able to find good husbands who earn more than them, and that the best way to help women economically is to pay men more.
  • Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack and other people protesting that rancher Cliven Bundy shouldn’t have to pay the Bureau of Land Management for grazing his cattle on federal land, who said that if the standoff turned violent, they planned to put the women up front so the feds would look bad for shooting women.
  • Google, which bought out a startup and hired all of the male engineers at the company and gave them huge compensation packages, but didn’t hire the only woman at the company despite the fact that she had created the product in the first place. And for giving her only $10,000 in the buyout because her boyfriend had received a large payout recently.
  • GoDaddy, for releasing personal info about someone who reported a spammer to the spammer, who then created a website to insult her and emailed it to her friends.
  • The unnamed idiot who wrote, “I like my beer like I like my violence… domestic,” on a sign outside the Philly bar from which he’s since been fired.

And a frustrated eyeroll at Kirsten Dunst, for this excerpt from a interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK:

Dunst is surprisingly outspoken on the subject of gender: “I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued,” she says. “We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking — it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work…”

Dove came out with another “Real Beauty” ad in which women were told to wear a patch that would make them more beautiful for two weeks and record how it made them feel, then were told that Surprise! There was nothing in the patch; their higher self-esteem was a pure placebo effect. As usual, some people are pissed off at the hypocrisy that a company that sells beauty products is telling people they don’t actually need them (but hey, if you still want some, buy ours!), while others are annoyed at the outrage. (Three guesses which of the linked articles is written by a dude…)

Recommended Reading

Finally, let’s end with the new GoldieBlox ad!

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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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