It’s been a banner week at the Washington Post; they’ve earned top billing this week for publishing George Will’s latest inanity (though the New York Post has equal blame for that one) and an article that used completely irrelevant data to victim-blame single moms who are abused. Good job, assholes. Let’s see who else is keeping them company, because of course they weren’t the only terrible people out there. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
Fuck you, George Will, being a rape victim is not “a coveted status that confers privileges” and college and universities are not succumbing to “political correctness” when they try to figure out better ways to deal with campus sexual assaults. He even mocked a specific victim who’d reported a rape at Swarthmore College. Mercifully, most of the reactions I’ve seen have been of the outraged variety, and of course his post spawned a Twitter hashtag, #SurvivorPrivilege.
WaPo’s second slot on our shitlist comes courtesy of this unscientific drivel and their attempt to cover their asses by changing the headline when people got pissed. (This may be the only time I actually encourage y’all to read the comments at Gawker, though I’m sure there are some asshats mixed in with the good ones.) Mona Chalabi at FiveThirtyEight explains how W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Davis completely misused the data when they claimed that marriage would magically stop women from getting abused by taming men.
The Gates Foundation has given grants to several groups working to develop a better female condom.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly has passed a bill to make it a third-degree felony for sports officials to have sexual contact with any child under the age of 18 who’s part of the program they work or volunteer for. The state’s age of consent is 16, so this protects student athletes for two more years.
Good news! New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill to create 25-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics.
The Fault in Our Stars had a huge opening weekend and 82% of viewers were women, overwhelmingly women age 25 and under. Second-place at the box office went to Maleficent, another movie with a female lead. See, Hollywood, you can make money by making films that don’t just appeal to men!
Terrible People of the Week!
- Creationist Darek Isaacs, who asked, “If evolution is true… is rape wrong?” YES.
- Tucker Carlson, who doesn’t understand that statutory rape also applies to older women having sex with teen boys.
- Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, who testified that when was an auxiliary bishop in the ’80s, he wasn’t sure if he knew that the sexual abuse of children was a crime, though lawyers have documents he wrote in 1984 in which he references parents who were thinking about filing a police report and the statute of limitations for pursuing legal action against pedophiles.
- Scott Eck, a Tea Party candidate for the Oklahoma state House, who advocated stoning homosexuals to death even though he admitted that it conflicted with his libertarian views. I mean, he wouldn’t pass a law saying we have to do it, but since it’s in the Bible, it’s OK by him.
- Gov. Bobby Jindal, for signing an omnibus abortion bill designed to block access to as many women as possible.
- All the idiots shaming or mocking Karlesha Thurman for posting a picture of her breastfeeding her daughter at her college graduation.
- Kane Zimmerman, who became Twitter-famous for posting screencaps of him being an asshole to his cheating girlfriend (assuming that she’s real and that it wasn’t just a hoax, which I really hope it was based on her continuing to beg to stay friends even after he told her to “stop breathing”).
- Ubisoft, for not including any playable female characters in the next Assassin’s Creed game because it was just too much work.
- The Michigan GOP legislators who thought it was funny to tweet that they understand women because they took a picture while pretending to read ladymags.
— Jake Neher (@GJNeher) June 5, 2014
Annoying conversation of the week: whether size-4 Miss Indiana has a refreshingly “normal” and “average” body.
Cheerleaders have gotten a lot of press recently for the ways their teams mistreat them, but NHL “Ice Girls” don’t have it easy either.
David Rees and Michael Kupperman are mad at the New York Times for declining to publish their comic strip that mocked MRAs for being “Man-Babies” because the paper deemed the subject matter to be “too sensitive.” Though, having read the comic in question, I don’t think they were trying to spare the feelings of MRAs and misogynists, but nervous about publishing a strip that joked about rape. It was a rare instance in which the joke worked, since it was pointing out how terrible men are for making rape threats against women they disagree with, but I understand the Times not wanting to go there.
The WNBA has finally acknowledged their lesbian fanbase with a new line of pride T-shirts and special events. They’re the first major sports league to cater in any way to LGBTQ fans, but is it too little too late?
- Demetria L. Lucas on dealing with internet vitriol.
- Cord Jefferson on the exhaustion of writing about racism: “I’d actually love it if people started not being the worst every day.” I feel those feels.
- Jessica Valenti and Rebecca Solnit discuss mansplaining.
- Hey, misogynistic geek guys? Grow the fuck up. And well-meaning people who tell nerdy kids that one day they’ll get all the girls and laugh at their former bullies, y’all need to shut the fuck up, because you’re contributing to the problem.
- Tara Culp-Ressler’s list of things women do to avoid getting raped isn’t as exhaustive as PoM’s version, but it does have depressing examples of people putting undue emphasis on avoidance rather than discouraging rape in the first place.
- And sorry, Miss USA, but learning Taekwondo isn’t the solution to avoiding rape either.
- LOVE these cartoons that explain victim-blaming.
- Why your fashion choices don’t determine whether you’re a feminist.
- Angelina Jolie: Rape is not just “an inevitable part of conflict,” and instead of pretending it is, we should shame rapists.
- Fiona Lloyd Davis talks about widespread rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- For the love of everything, people need to stop commenting on actresses’ bodies! High fives to Fargo‘s Allison Tolman for telling the haters to STFU about her and everyone else.
- Jessica Grose on the pitfalls of declaring random celebrities like Britney Spears to be “feminist icons” for dubious reasons.
- 4 Lies the Church Taught Me About Sex. (Bonus points for the Robin Hood: Men in Tights reference!)
- The study that claimed that human skulls evolved to be punched was pure bro science with absolutely no historical data and no consideration of the fact that women’s skulls evolved too.
- On sexism in science (and in Fox’s description of the episode of Cosmos about astronomers Annie Jump Cannon and Cecilia Payne).
- Ten feminist books you should add to your reading list.
- Pro tip: If you are not growing a baby in your uterus, you are not pregnant, so cut it out with the “We’re pregnant” when your SO is the one actually carrying the baby.