Happy belated Equal Pay Day! Let’s see who’s been terrible this week, find out why people need to show the love to Sansa Stark and Black Widow, and, apparently, go to the restroom together. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
The biggest story this week has been equal pay. Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, which is the symbolic date through which women would have to work to finally catch up with what men earned in 2013. President Obama used it as an opportunity to sign an executive order to provide protections to employees of federal contractors. Unfortunately, the Paycheck Fairness Act that would extend those rights to all workers was blocked by Senate Republicans; it fell short of the 60 votes needed to bring it to a floor vote. (Which, don’t even get me started on the fact that you only need 51 votes to pass a bill but 60 votes to agree to vote on it at all.) The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed from some dudes who trotted out the same tired old explanations as to why they think the gender wage gap is a conspiracy between Obama and feminists, but they’re full of shit. And in a particularly enraging turn, a 2010 video was released in which Terri Lynn Land, who will likely be Michigan’s Republican Senate candidate, explained that women don’t want equal pay because we want to take lots of time off to take care of our kids. Because all women are moms and men never need to take care of their kids, amirite?
A rape victim in Senegal has been denied an abortion under the country’s strict laws that require three doctors to testify that a mother’s life is in imminent danger, even though she’s only 10 years old and is carrying twins.
Tennessee’s state legislature has passed a bill that, if signed into law by the governor, allows women to be charged with assault if they use drugs while pregnant (and is written so poorly that it could require investigations into any woman who suffers a miscarriage or stillbirth or whose baby has health problems, in order to prove that the complications weren’t caused by drug use).
Mississippi’s new sex ed curriculum, which has been adopted by more than 60% of school districts in the state, includes an exercise in which teachers are supposed to unwrap a piece of chocolate and pass it around so that the students can see how dirty it is, just like dirty sluts who have sex before marriage. Of course, this isn’t the only really horrible purity analogy being taught to teens.
Related, a CDC survey found that 83% of teen girls became sexually active before receiving any formal sex education.
Terrible people of the week!
- Wisconsin state Rep. Bill Kramer, who has been charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and allegedly assaulted a senate aide three years ago, though that assault was never reported to police. He’s been removed as Majority leader in the state house, but he still gets to keep his seat.
- South Carolina state Sen. Mike Fair, who convinced officials at USC Upstate to cancel a planned production of a satirical one-woman show titled “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less” because he thought it was meant to recruit lesbians.
- Louisiana Congressman Vance McAllister, who ran a family-values campaign and then got caught on video making out with a woman who is not his wife of 16 years, with whom he has five kids. He has stated that he will not resign over the scandal, though many other Republicans aren’t happy about that.
- Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said that Sen. Dianne Feinstein is “too emotional” to investigate the CIA’s torture program. (She called him out in epic fashion.)
- Sen. Mitch McConnell, whose campaign has endorsed a sexist op-ed slamming his opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.
- Truth in Advertising, which released a transphobic ad that promotes several harmful stereotypes (though they’ve since apologized).
- James Franco and Christian McQueen; Franco for hitting on a 17-year-old on Instagram and pickup artist/”Alpha Playboy” McQueen for praising Franco’s game.
- Bill Maher, who took a study about the number of young men who’ve been coerced into sex (43% of those questioned) and turned it into a skit about “Lucky Bastard Syndrome.” Because men can’t possibly not want sex.
- Mike Huckabee, for this sexist and homophobic gem at a fundraiser Tuesday night:
Guys like to go fishing with other men. They like to go hunting with other men. Women like to go to the restroom with other women. I don’t get that. I can tell you this much: if I ever say, ‘I have to go to the restroom’ and some guy says, ‘I’ll go with you,’ he ain’t goin’ with me. That much I know.
- Haters to the left; Sansa Stark is the strongest character on Game of Thrones.
- The Daily Dot explains what Captain America: The Winter Soldier reviewers get wrong about Black Widow.
- Olivia at TeenSkepchick discusses how Divergent has its hits and misses with regards to being a feminist book/movie.
- A new study has been represented as saying that people can tell how smart a man is by looking at him but that women are harder to read; Jamie at Skepchick explains that the study was far too small and limited in scope to make any such grandiose generalizations.
- Similarly, many have claimed the FDA is sexist for not approving flibanserin, a drug purported to increase sexual desire in women, but many of the talking points come directly from the manufacturer and use misleading numbers. Besides, it has to be taken daily, not as-needed like most erectile dysfunction drugs, it has potentially dangerous side effects, and it doesn’t even work. (Note: The article refers to men and women according to their reproductive systems since that’s what the drugs in question work on.)
- Jill Filipovic discusses the problem of forced or coerced C-sections in Brazil.
- Cordelia Fine on why there isn’t a biological reason for girls to like “girly” toys or for boys to like “boy” toys.
- What to do when you meet a lesbian in 1998.