This Week in Misogyny: Bad News and Terrible People

There was so much terribleness this week that y’all get a double dose of This Week in Misogyny! First up, we find out the latest news about the students who were kidnapped by extremists in Nigeria, wonder what the hell L’Oreal was thinking, and shake our fists at terrible people and gender essentialism. There’s a little bit of good news at the end, though! And some levity courtesy of John Oliver. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

New information has emerged about the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls we mentioned two weeks ago. Initial reports had put the number of missing girls at 115, but now it appears that there were actually 230 girls taken from their school by the militant group known as Boko Haram. There have also been reports that the kidnappers had performed mass marriages to force some of the girls to become their wives, while other sources claim that some of them have been sold into slavery in Cameroon or Chad. It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on since the government hasn’t gotten involved and the military has lied about getting the girls back.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law the bill that will allow the state to prosecute women for miscarriages and will likely disproportionately affect WoC.

16-year-old Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death at school by a fellow student, allegedly because she told him she wouldn’t go to the prom with him because she was already going with her boyfriend. This kind of male entitlement has got to stop.

Millionaire RadiumOne founder Gurbaksh Chahal was able to get 45 felony counts of domestic abuse dropped after allegedly beating his girlfriend for 30 minutes, then went on Twitter to bitch that he had to pay a $500 fine associated with pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges. The company’s board of directors fired him from his position as CEO and chairman of the board due to the uproar that had led several companies to rethink their association with RadiumOne, which led to Chahal publishing a long rant in which he accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and proving him into losing his temper and whining about “the American Dream.”

The Montana Supreme Court called for Stacey Dean Rambold to be re-sentenced for the rape of one of his 14-year-old students who later committed suicide. Judge G. Todd Baugh had originally given him a suspended sentence, which meant he got away with spending only 31 days in jail and would have merely been on probation for the remainder of his 15-year sentence. (Don’t worry, a different judge will handle the new sentencing.)

There’s been a renewed call to remove sexual assault and harassment investigations from the military chain of command after several high-ranking officers have been accused of tolerating of covering up inappropriate behaviors.

The 2013 National Crime Victimization Survey of more than 40,000 households found that 38% of rape and sexual violence victims were men, which is a significantly higher number than in past years. Researchers have long suspected that the old numbers were too low and speculate that public condemnation of the perpetrators in high-profile cases may mean that men are more comfortable admitting that they’ve been raped.

One of my friends who lives in Singapore posted this picture from a L’Oreal ad campaign that she’s been seeing all over the place. Apparently the tag line on other posters is “Bring back your baby face.” Aside from the fact that it’s ridiculous to expect grown women to have flawless skin like babies (hell, even babies don’t have perfect skin!), putting a pacifier in the model’s mouth is just gross.

L'Oreal ad from Singapore where the model is giving a come hither face with a pink pacifier in her mouth.

Terrible people of the week!

  • North Korea, whose latest threats against South Korea included calling President Park Geun-Hye a “crafty prostitute” (or “capricious whore,” depending on the translation) and referring to Barack Obama as her “pimp.”
  • Fox News host Bob Beckel, who joked that he’d thought about converting to Islam for the 72 virgins.
  • Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker, who wrote a concurring opinion in which he twisted a quote by Sandra Day O’Connor to say that unborn children have the same rights as actual children, which could lead not only to increased prosecution of women who use controlled substances while pregnant but also to prosecuting women who have abortions.
  • New Hampshire State Rep. Will Infantine, who argued against the state’s “Paycheck Equity Act” by trotting out the same tired bullshit about how women just don’t work hard enough to deserve the same pay as men.
  • Donald Sterling, who’s obviously a giant raging asshole of a racist, but also has a pretty gross history of sexism. His wife isn’t exactly a peach either.
  • Air France executive “Alain D,” who along with his wife and another alleged accomplice ran a prostitution ring that ferried women between Brazil and France using discounted tickets he was able to buy due to his position at the airline.
  • Dr. Drew, for basically telling a Loveline caller that his fiancée’s endometriosis was bullshit and that she’d probably been sexually abused as a child. The worst part is that she really had been abused, but endometriosis isn’t psychosomatic! And then the show’s cohost made fun of her.
  • Bill O’Reilly, who really needs to get over his obsession with blaming all societal woes on Beyoncé. Now he thinks she’s encouraging teen girls to get pregnant.
  • Florida State University, which did everything possible to ignore the rape accusations against star quarterback Jameis Winston but suspended him from the baseball team because he got caught shoplifting some crab legs.
  • Galesburg High School, who gave a student in-school suspension for violating the school’s purse ban because she needed something to carry her pads, wipes, and hand sanitizer in during her period. They told her she could only bring them in a purse with a doctor’s note explaining that they were necessary. I hate to imagine what their sex ed and biology curricula are like if they don’t understand that teenagers have menstrual periods that require extra supplies and that maybe they shouldn’t be removed from their classes because of them.
  • The Nice Guys™ of Elite Daily and their mostly terrible dating advice.
  • The 55 colleges and universities on the just-released list of schools under investigation by the Department of Education for mishandling sexual assault and harassment accusations.

Most of this Today Show segment about wives who earn more than their husbands was just mildly eyeroll-worthy, but I might have started screaming at the television when When She Makes More author Farnoosh Torabi said that:

Men and women are hardwired differently. Generally speaking, men get their sense of pride and contribution from being able to provide as breadwinners. That’s just, that’s gone back to cavemen era. And for women, we’re emotionally torn because, you know, we’re not prepared to be the breadwinner; we are happy to do it, but we feel conflicted.

NO! There’s no hardwiring; it’s patriarchal societal bullshit! And maybe the reason that the women she surveyed are unhappy is that everyone still expects them to be SuperMom without asking their husband to help out because packing the kids’ lunch is emasculating or some shit.

A meta-analysis of grades from more than a million kids around the world dating back to 1914 found that girls consistently outperform boys at every age and in every subject. Cue inevitable handwringing about how feminist lady teachers are discriminating against boys! And how if we don’t start catering to “fidgety boys,” the economy will implode!

We finally found out who some of the new cast members are in the upcoming Star Wars sequels, and while seven men were on the list, there was only one woman. Plenty of people are justifiably pissed off, though Rebecca Watson argues that since the prequels and everything else George Lucas has touched in the last 20 years have been terrible, we should be happy to stay far the fuck away. I just wanted Mara Jade, damnit!

More from the Buffalo Bill’s cheerleader lawsuit — their handbook instructs them in the proper cleaning of their “Intimate area’s [sic]” and on how to shave and use menstrual products. Are you fucking kidding me? Though, bless John Oliver.

Good news & high fives

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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: Bad News and Terrible People”

  1. Ah, yes, I see we noticed a lot of the same bullshit this week. And once again I feel like I have to say, “Montana isn’t populated entirely by people like that judge, I promise.” *sigh* I hope the next judge actual knows what “appropriate punishment” means.

  2. Regarding the girls in Nigeria, the #234whitegirls hashtag was started to question why this hasn’t gotten more mentions in the mainstream media. Basically, it plays off the idea that if 234 white girls were trafficked (because that’s what it is) the outcry would be deafening.

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