This Week in Misogyny

I love debunking hoaxes and bullshit “studies.” I hate all the other terrible things I have to tell you about. You win some, you lose some. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

Damnit. Marissa Alexander was denied a new trial; a judge said that the “warning shot” provision added to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law can’t be applied retroactively.

Johns Hopkins has agreed to pay $190 million restitution to the patients who filed a class-action suit after learning that Dr. Nikita Levy had secretly filmed pelvic exams.

UConn announced that they’re awarding a total of $1.28 million to five female students who sued the school for mishandling their sexual assault complaints.

President Obama’s executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ individuals does not include an exception for religious organizations (yay!), but he didn’t do away with the loophole George W. Bush added that allows them to preferentially hire people who belong to the religion that the group represents. That could get sticky if they try to claim that LGBTQ people can’t belong to their religion.

If you were considering supporting the Stop Patriarchy “Abortion Freedom Rides” in Texas, don’t. The grassroots group Texans for Reproductive Justice has raised a host of concerns about the planned events, from the fact that Stop Patriarchy is based in New York and hasn’t done anything to work with people in Texas to see what would actually help to their lack of financial transparency to tell people where donated funds are actually going. Plus, the group is “racist, Islamophobic, anti-sex worker and anti-pornography” and is connected to a group that’s homophobic and transphobic. (Not to mention the whole issue of co-opting the phrase “freedom ride.”)

A tiny bit of good news out of Iraq — looks like the story that claimed that ISIS had ordered all women in Mosul between the ages of 11 and 46 to undergo female genital mutilation was a hoax.

Scottish police are enacting a new “Persons of Interest” initiative in which they could issue warnings to suspected sex criminals even if there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute them.

Meanwhile, gangs in London are reportedly drawing up lists of women who are connected to rival gangs (sometimes sisters or girlfriends of gang members) and encouraging their members to rape them.

Turns out there’s a really easy way for people who are oh-so-concerned about unborn babies to actually help them have better futures: Expand Medicaid.

Awesomeness: Maryland state employees will now have transition-related medical costs covered under their state insurance plan, including hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery.

The summer movie box office is way down this year. Maybe has something to do with the fact that Hollywood stubbornly refuses to make movies for women (even though we go to the movies more than men!), or even to balance out the cast of blockbusters so that there isn’t a single woman surrounded by dozens of men.

Terrible people of the week!

  • Matthew Durham, an Oklahoma teenager who allegedly raped several orphans during a mission trip to Kenya.
  • Tom Greer, the 80-year-old California man who shot and killed an unarmed alleged burglar even after she begged for her life because she was pregnant.
  • Sheila Kihne, a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, who once blogged that women who get married while pregnant or after already having a kid out of wedlock don’t deserve to have dinner or dancing at the wedding, and that single moms shouldn’t have baby showers.
  • Jody B. Hice, the likely successor to Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who has stated that a woman shouldn’t be able to run for political office unless she gets permission from her husband, the Muslims shouldn’t have freedom of speech, that homosexuality is a choice, and all kinds of other bullshit.
  • Todd Akin, who’s just on a fucking roll lately. This time, he’s claiming that several of his staffers were conceived in rape… so either he’s wrong about the body shutting that whole thing down (oh, but he said it was rare, not impossible to get pregnant from rape, so his office is a weird statistical anomaly!), or he’s saying their moms lied about being legitimately raped. Or he’s just a hypocritical asshole.
  • Operation Save America, which is staging a week of anti-choice protests in New Orleans and even interrupted services at the First Unitarian Universalist Church.
  • Science, for putting a picture of transgender sex workers (from the neck down, wearing miniskirts) on the cover of the HIV/AIDS issue. Editor Jim Austin even tweeted gleefully that men who were ogling them would sure be surprised to find out they were transwomen.
  • Sara Hellwege, the pro-life nurse who’s suing the Tampa Family Health Centers because they won’t hire her. Because she told them that she refuses to prescribe birth control due to her religious beliefs, and that’s a necessary part of the job. I smell a set-up.
  • The IBM executives who were allegedly overheard discussing that they won’t hire young women because they’ll just “get themselves pregnant again and again and again.”
  • The security guards at two Philadelphia public pools who harassed a woman who came to swim in an American Apparel bikini, telling her she couldn’t swim in a bra and panties even after she showed them the tag that clearly labelled it as swimwear.
  • The Hair Cuttery, for advertising their chemical relaxers with signs reading “Look smart” and “Straighten up,” which implies that black women with natural hair don’t look smart and need to fix themselves.
  • The unnamed Yelp commenter whose review of EastBurn, a pub in Portland, OR, talked about picking up “hot chicks” there and one of them ending up needing an abortion, but hey, the grilled cheese is great! And high fives to the owner, Mike Bender, who replied by pledging all the proceeds from grilled cheese sales through the end of August to the Portland Women’s Crisis Line.
  • The guy who sent his wife a spreadsheet of her “excuses” for not having sex with him (and the redditors who sided with him). But it least it prompted Raquel Reichard at Mic to create a handy flowchart of when women owe men sex.
  • Kirk Minihane, who first called Erin Andrews a “gutless bitch” on a sports radio program, and then while apologizing for doing so said she was incompetent, unintelligent, only hired because of her looks, and that “if she weighed 15 pounds more she’d be a waitress at Perkins.” That’s not how to apologize, asshole. (H/t Keith Olberman.)
  • Bill Maher, for this bullshit.

Eyerolls at Ted Cruz, for trying to say that True Blood was misogynistic when he was really just mad that his supporters were (spoilered) in this week’s episode.

Girl Scout Barbie. Really? SMH.

I have no idea what to say about “Trophy Scarves,” a project in which a mixed-race “intuitive artist” wears nude or scantily clad women around his neck as some sort of satire.

A tip of the hat to the unnamed British cafe who put up a sign inviting breastfeeding moms to stop in for a free cup of tea if they need to nurse.

High fives to Portland’s What’s the Scoop? ice cream shop, which created a special flavor to raise money for Planned Parenthood.

Spoilers if you’re behind on The Fosters like I am: This week’s episode involved a character getting an abortion, but it isn’t at all the usual storyline we see. Now I have to catch up just so I can see how they handle the fallout.

Study Break

  • Oh, for fuck’s sake. A study out of the University of Colorado-Boulder found that female executives “tend to be viewed as less warm” if they promote other women, while minorities are deemed “incompetent” if they promote other PoC. If they surround themselves with white dudes, everyone loves them, and people also like white dudes who value diversity, since they’re just so darn progressive and awesome to give chances to people who aren’t like them!
  • A survey of scientists who had done field work found that 71% of women had been sexually harassed and 26% had been sexually assaulted. (Via Mother Jones, who misread the stats. Whelp.)
  • A 25-year-long study that followed 800 Baltimore first-graders into adulthood found that even when comparing people who came from low-income families, the white men fared better in life.
  • Evolutionary psychology strikes again. “Why we care about promiscuity” is far more complicated than just “men want to know that they’re really the biological father of their partner’s kids.”

Recommended Reading

  • Some high schools handle sexual assault cases even worse than colleges do, since many administrators don’t realize that Title IX rules also apply to them. Al Jazeera America has the story of a Seattle girl who was raped during a school trip in 2012; despite ample evidence that she had been assaulted, the school dragged its feet in launching an investigation and ultimately only suspended the rapist for 10 days, whereas the victim was too traumatized to return to the school at all.
  • The new suggested strategies for how Republicans can try to win over women voters include just not talking about rape at all and trying to spin issues to pit women against each other.
  • “I don’t care if you like it” — why women are sick of being judged by criteria set by men, whether it’s about whether we’re still attractive at age 42 or whether we’re competent to make decisions about our own bodies.
  • Maybe instead of arresting moms who don’t earn enough to put their kids in daycare while they work or go on job interviews, we should raise the minimum wage and provide childcare subsidies.
  • The founder of Cards Against Harassment shares what she learned when she stopped catcallers on the street and asked them why they feel entitled to comment on women’s bodies and what they think they’re going to get out of it.
  • On #TwitterPurge and why we need smart laws to combat revenge porn.
  • I totally want some of these THINX underwear for shark week surprises (and I’m glad that their mission to help provide pads to girls in Uganda partners with a group that hires local workers).
  • Maybe Rosie the Riveter isn’t the best icon to represent working women and feminism.
  • On food-shaming women who eat in public as a form of street harassment.
  • Why lots of craft beverage companies are kinda racist and sexist.
  • Why referring to genitalia as “lady parts” or “ladybits” is cissexist.
  • Bella Mackie lays out an interesting argument that some body positivity movements boil down to the same thing they criticize mainstream culture for, defining our self-esteem by our body parts.
  • The patronizing ways the weight-loss industry tries to convince women that fad exercises are super fun and more effective than any other workout has ever been.
  • A sex worker lays out nine stereotypes she’s sick of hearing about her job.
  • A call for more TV rom-coms (instead of shows that shoehorn in romantic storylines and then have no idea what to do with them).
  • Captain Marvel launched a brilliant attack on the White Savior Complex; adding to my to-read list.
  • This Onion article is disturbingly plausible (but don’t worry, no states are actually planning to force abortion doctors to scale 18-foot walls). (Yet. ~ed.)
  • 22 BuzzFeed employees on why they take birth control.
  • Also from BuzzFeed, what it looks like when men and women swap places in ordinary situations.

Published by

[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.

5 thoughts on “This Week in Misogyny”

  1. The guy who sent his wife a spreadsheet of her “excuses” for not having sex with him (and the redditors who sided with him). But it least it prompted Raquel Reichard at Mic to create a handy flowchart of when women owe men sex.

    You are correct, women don’t owe men sex and I agree this was a stupid and passive/aggressive way to approach his relationship problems and clearly the people on reddit are stupid idiots, but was it ever considered he was reaching out to his wife about his need for intimacy and that he was constantly feeling rejected by her excuses.

  2. Interesting roundup, for sure, particularly the “body positive movement” link. Whether or not I feel good about my body has to do with factors that have very little to do with who is looking. I know other people don’t feel the same, and I’m not saying there’s any one right way to go about body positivity, but not everyone falls into the “Look at my [unconventional thing]!” high-five tumblr-show, just as not everyone is insecure about how they look.

    I’m sure I have more articulate thoughts on this quite complicated issue, but that’s my initial thinking.

    1. That was one of the very last things I wrote up, so I definitely need to reread the article now that I haven’t been wading through all of that shit for an entire day. My first impression was that she made a few good points, but kinda missed the bigger picture, at least so far as realizing that there isn’t just one way for people to be body positive (and that most people aren’t Tumblr).

      I also didn’t realize until I went to tweet the link that I forgot to add the snarky part of the title. Oh, well. Next week I absolutely have to start working earlier!

      1. Yeah, I would agree with you that it lacks some nuance, but perhaps that’s a problem with a lot of body-related articles. Are we afraid to to explore the grey area because of the shouting people on both sides trying to find why you’re “wrong?” I don’t know.

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