This week has been pretty much the worst. The SCOTUS decision in the Hobby Lobby case obviously captivated most of our attention, but the rest of the world didn’t stop being awful either. Fucking hell. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.) *Programming note: We’re taking tomorrow off to eat delicious cook-out food and play with small explosives. Happy fourth of July!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock all week (in which case, need a roommate?), you already know that the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby and said that “closely held companies” could object to the contraceptive mandate on religious grounds (the full text of the decision is here; the dissent starts on page 60). While many people seem to think the decision only applies to Hobby Lobby, an estimated 90% of U.S. companies fit the IRS definition of “closely held.” Of course not all of them will change their coverage, but it’s a good bet that the qualifying businesses already suing will do so (might want to start boycotting Eden Foods). The ruling specified that it only applied to the contraceptive mandate because non-profits already have an exemption, but it still opens up a can of worms if other companies sue to protect their religious beliefs.* And also, while Hobby Lobby only sued about having to provide four forms of BC that they think are abortifacients (they fucking aren’t), the ruling lets companies opt out of paying for any contraceptives if they want (so all your friends who say to just not use an IUD or Plan B can shut right the fuck up).
*OH HEY, THAT DIDN’T TAKE FUCKING LONG.
And while the case obviously has implications far beyond the single company whose lawsuit made it to the Supreme Court, it’s still fun to point out that Hobby Lobby is at best a hypocritical Christian, since many of their products are made in Chinese sweatshops, they cover vasectomies and Viagra, they invest in the companies that make the IUDs and emergency contraceptions that they don’t want to pay for, and their insurance actually covered them right up until they decided to sue (though they claim they had no idea the plan included them).
At least not everyone agreed with the ruling. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (HBIC, BAMF) wrote a scathing dissent (and hot damn can she throw some epic shade). Sen. Cory Booker (D-♥♥) is urging Congress to find a work-around to the decision, but no word yet on what that legislation would entail. A few people even managed to find some humor in the situation, because we could all use something to quench our ragestrokes right about now. Let’s feed Christians who work at Little Caesar’s to lions and sacrifice JCPenney workers to Cthulhu! And if you don’t have time to read Ginsburg’s full dissent, you can listen to it!
And that wasn’t even the only sexist ruling issued on Monday! In Harris v. Quinn, the court took away the ability of home healthcare worker unions to collect fees from non-members who get the same increased benefits from the union negotiating contracts. Other public unions can still charge the fees, but the one whose members are mostly women? Nope.
What happens when a bunch of men’s rights activists throw a conference? They say that mass murders should be blamed on the murderers’ mothers, domestic violence is the fault of women who marry violent men, and Hillary Clinton and feminists are destroying society (and it’s truly horrifying how many of the attendees and speakers quoted in that article are women; not sure if that was a deliberate choice to make it look like male MRAs aren’t the problem). Ironically, many of the things they complain about could actually be improved by working with feminists to dismantle strict gender roles that oppress anyone who doesn’t fit the mold. But since that would require them actually listening to us instead of blatantly making shit up to make us all look like misandrists, don’t hold your breath.
Two former Goldman Sachs employees are trying to start a class action suit against the Wall Street giant, claiming that women who worked there were largely “sexualized or ignored” and that management planned outings to strip clubs and hired strippers for company parties.
Whitney Wolfe, the former VP of marketing and co-founder of Tinder, is suing for sexual harassment and discrimination. Justin Mateen, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, reportedly called her “a whore” and slung other sexist insults at her, and even though she did in fact help form Tinder, Mateen and CEO Sean Rad took away her “co-founder” title because supposedly no one would take them seriously if they knew a “girl” helped launch the app.
Laws restricting abortion access went into effect in Mississippi and Florida.
Turns out there’s actually no medical reason for your doctor to give you a yearly pelvic exam if you have no symptoms and haven’t engaged in any risky behaviors. (This is not the same as a Pap smear; you should still get those as recommended.)
Terrible People of the Week!
- Every goddamned motherfucker who says we should just stop shopping or working at Hobby Lobby because they’re too dim to realize that the decision has wider implications. And doubly so when they eventually and inevitably say women just shouldn’t have so much random sex if they can’t afford to pay for birth control themselves.
- Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who said the ruling was great because employers shouldn’t have to cover things that women use for “recreational behavior.”
- Greg Gutfeld of Fox News, who said that bloggers who are upset about the Hobby Lobby decision are just “shrieking” feminists who majored in “screaming” and that “hysteria by feminists has set back their cause by decades.”
- Jessie Waters of Fox News, who called single women who voted for Obama “The Beyoncé Voters” and said Hillary Clinton has to appeal to them because “[t]hey depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands.” Because no single women have jobs that provide insurance or pay for it themselves.
- Todd Akin, who’s still talking about “legitimate rape” in his new book.
- Dunlop Sport, for making golf tees that look like headless naked women (and when you hit the ball, you effectively decapitate the tee).
Bravo, Adam Nathaniel Peck. The ThinkProgress editor went into a local Hobby Lobby store and spelled out “All women deserve birth control” with their rubber stamp display.
High fives to the Starbucks barista who responded to a customer’s loud complaint about a breastfeeding mother in the shop by giving the mom a free refill and a voucher to come back as an apology for having to put up with the complaint.
- Irin Carmon debunks five myths about the Hobby Lobby decision.
- In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling against Massachusetts’ buffer zone law, one man talks about still being able to hear the protestors who screamed at him and his wife from 35 feet away from the door to change their minds without realizing that she was aborting a nonviable fetus to avoid waiting for a stillbirth.
- Also, the justices need someone to explain science to them, since they keep messing up.
- Women being masturbated at in public is not an uncommon occurrence.
- BuzzFeed rounded up a bunch of feminist mic drops from Tumblr.
- How Not to Write About Melissa McCarthy.
- Gender stereotyping kids hurts boys too, but teaching them empathy can help.
- The ten worst ad campaigns that tried to sell us things under the guise of feminism.
- A roundup of the most sexist ads tied in to the World Cup.
- Always wants people to know that it isn’t bad to do things “like a girl.”
(Due to the sheer volume of writings about the Hobby Lobby case, I couldn’t link everything, but if you have a favorite bit of analysis or just some good old fashioned ranting, share in the comments! And I’m sure I missed other things that happened; I’ll try to catch up next week.)