New Yorkers, be sure to check out the recommended readings before hitting the voting booth in a couple weeks (you are voting in the primaries, right?) so you can be sure to vote for the feminist candidates, who aren’t necessarily the female candidates. We’ve also got updates on the misogyny of the Emmys, lots of terrible people, some disheartening studies (the one about Fifty Shades readers was particularly interesting, though not terribly surprising), and so much more. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
Hundreds of Yazidi women have been put into secret prisons in Iraq by ISIS; they’ve reportedly been forced to choose whether to convert to Islam and be “sold as brides” (read, sex slaves) or to remain in prison where they face the threat of daily rapes.
Purvi Patel was charged with feticide and neglect for a 2013 premature birth; she went to the hospital afterwards but told doctors that the baby wasn’t breathing at birth, so she put it in a dumpster. She had taken illegal abortion pills earlier in the pregnancy, though they didn’t work. Of course, it’s impossible to be guilty of both crimes, since the Indiana feticide law was intended to prosecute illegal abortion providers and therefore doesn’t apply to babies who are born alive, which is a criteria for a neglect charge, and cases like this just discourage women from seeking medical attention after miscarriages.
The online abuse and threats against Anita Sarkeesian got so bad this week that she was forced out of her home; someone on Twitter posted her address and said he was going there to “rape [her] to death.” All because she talks about how women are mistreated in the gaming community.
In the wake of the Wheaton College case, the Obama administration issued new procedures for religious non-profits to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage. The right still probably won’t be happy.
Chelsea Manning is still not being allowed access to gender-confirmation treatment, even though Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said she should be allowed to dress as a woman.
In better news, transgender city employees in Cincinnati will now have associated medical expenses covered by their health insurance. (Some of the language choices in the article might not be the best, FYI.)
Women in India are testing out a prototype iClik kiosk, which allows them to report crimes anonymously instead of having to go directly to police, who may harass them or which can result in death threats.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted today that giving Ray Rice only a two-game suspension after he hit his girlfriend was inadequate. The new domestic violence policy for all personnel mandates a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban from the NFL for a second offense.
News from the Emmy Awards
- Bruce Rosenblum, the chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, talked about diversity on TV while Sofia Vergara rotated on a pedestal next to him. Cue the collective facepalm of the entire internet.
- #AskHerMore was resurrected to call out the difference between what women are asked about on the red carpet versus what men get to talk about. Sarah Silverman in particular had fun mocking the absurdity of talking about her boobs and handbag (which had weed in in).
- A seat filler who goes by Afterlife Kreations on Twitter tweeted a bunch of fat-phobic jokes at Retta after she had him removed by security for hassling her during the show.
- Stephen Colbert joked about being sorry for only having one woman on his team of 19 writers. That’s not actually funny.
Of course, the VMAs also took place last weekend; the biggest story being Beyoncé’s performance of “Flawless” in front of a screen that said “FEMINIST” in giant letters. Jessica Valenti argues that she’s paving the way for other women to embrace the feminist label, while Bill O’Reilly continued his pattern of hating on Bey by calling her performance “garbage” that kids shouldn’t be exposed to.
Terrible People of the Week!
- Oelwein, Iowa Mayor Jason Manus, who resigned on Monday after being arrested for the rape and sexual assault of two girls who were only 9 and 14 years old at the time of the alleged incidents.
- Will Hayden, the gun shop owner who stars in the Discovery Channel’s Sons of Guns, who was arrested for raping his now-14-year-old daughter “almost daily” starting when she was 11.
- Daniel Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer, who was arrested for sexually assaulting at least six women on the job, some after traffic stops.
- Officer Dan Page of the St. Louis County Police, who was suspended after pushing CNN’s Don Lemon. He has made ridiculously racist comments in the past, has also complained about “sodomites and females” being allowed in the military, and thinks women who file domestic violence charges against men are just wasting police resources.
- The Georgia State Board of Pardons, who last year said it was ok for Dennis Krauss to own a gun upon his release from prison. He was in prison because in 1999, the then-police officer raped a woman who had called 911 after her husband beat her; Krauss threatened to rape her with his gun. But that’s no reason to keep him from getting another one!
- Mayor Francisco Javier León de la Riva of Valladolid, Spain, for saying he’s afraid to go into elevators because a woman might rip off her bra and accuse him of rape. (Though, I love the protestors who made a chain of bras while calling for his resignation.)
- The Virginia mom who turned her daughter over to police because she found out the 13-year-old had been sexting with boys. At least the girl might just have to go through a counseling program instead of facing jail time for child porn.
- Noble High School Superintendent Ronda Bass, who asked students if they’d seen any “skanks” at the Oklahoma school and singled out female students to bend over to make sure their clothing covered their butts.
- Keith Ablow, who not only doubled down on his assertion that Michelle Obama is fat, but also told the female hosts of Fox News’ Outnumbered that they could also stand to lose some weight.
- John Bresnahan, a senior congressional reporter at Politico, for tweeting that he didn’t believe Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s stories about male congressional colleagues’ comments about her weight. (And of course, all the people who made those comments are also on my shitlist, but she didn’t name them and even made excuses for their comments.)
- Patrick Johnson, who runs Personhood Ohio and is trying to ban all public female nudity in the state, including breastfeeding, because boobs destroy families and make people support gay pride (because of topless lesbians on parade).
- Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, former president of George Washington University, who said he doesn’t want to blame victims, but women really ought to drink less so they can fight off men who “misbehave” and try to rape them.
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who wants to change the state’s liquor laws because having to go to multiple stores to buy wine, beer, and food makes it hard for women to get dinner ready.
- The NRA, for using stereotyped maid imagery to call out an anti-gun advocate by saying she’s not really a stay-at-home-mom because she works out of her home during the day and helped her husband open an art gallery. Which is completely irrelevant to her advocacy anyway.
- VH1’s Dating Naked, because all participants were told that the show would blur out all actual nudity in the bikini zone, but then they aired an unobscured crotch shot of Jessie Nizewitz, who’s now suing the show.
- Fella Swim, for photoshopping Australian model Meaghan Kausman’s body to make her look a couple sizes thinner. She and her father, who is a doctor specializing in body image and helping people overcome eating disorders, have slammed the company, which has since apologized.
- LEGO, because they announced that the awesome female scientist minifig sets that sold out everywhere almost instantly were a limited edition and won’t be available in stores anymore. Guess they were just pandering to people who were upset at the lack of female characters in their sets (unless you want skinny stereotyped LEGO Friends); now that they got the good publicity, they don’t care about us anymore.
- Dairy Queen, because if you want to sign up for the Blizzard Fan Club, this is the snide dropdown you get for selecting your gender (and no, you can’t sign up without picking male or female).
Massive eyerolls at the people who flipped out that the BBC was “becom[ing] a porn channel” because Jenny and Madame Vastra kissed (in a non-romantic moment) in the season premiere of Doctor Who.
Middle fingers to the MRA who edited the Wikipedia post about Women’s Equality Day to add in erroneous information about how men were only allowed to vote because of the draft (not true), so it’s not fair that women can vote without the threat of being forced to go to war. STFU, dude. (And giggles that he apparently doesn’t know the difference between “consignment” and “conscription.”)
I’m shaking an angry fist at the Church of St. Nicholas, which is one of the Croatian filming locations for Game of Thrones, which is preemptively banning the show from filming a scene from the books that involves nudity even though it’s unknown if the show was planning to have the scene play out the same way. (Spoilers at the link if you haven’t read the books, including why this move is pretty ironic.)
Taylor Swift announced that she’s a feminist and apologized for her earlier statements, saying she didn’t really understand what feminism was at the time. (Of course, this has been overshadowed by the debate over whether her video for “Shake It Off” is racist or not.)
ALL the high fives to Arizona congressional candidate (and avowed atheist) James Woods, who responded to anti-choice advocates’ demands that he take a stand against abortion by mailing them back condoms emblazoned with “Prevent Abortion” and his campaign logo. ‘Cause if you don’t get pregnant, you don’t need an abortion! I fucking love it.
- Linguist Kieran Snyder looked at 248 employee performance reviews and found that not only were women the only people who were told they were too “abrasive” and needed to watch their tone, they were also far more likely to receive negative feedback instead of constructive criticism.
- A Gallup poll found that LGBT people are less likely to have health insurance than straight people, and LGBT women were group least likely to have a primary care doctor.
- A study of 650 women aged 18-24 found that those who had read Fifty Shades of Grey were more likely to have partners who yelled at them or acted like stalkers, were far more likely to have used diet aids or fasted for a day or more, and engaged in more behaviors that are risk factors for domestic violence, like binge drinking and having multiple sex partners. Of course, the study couldn’t determine if reading Fifty Shades made women more likely to accept these behaviors or if people who were already in questionable relationships were more likely to read the books. They also presumedly didn’t separate out women who hate-read the books so they could disparage them with authority, which might further skew the statistics.
- Well, fuck. When people were asked to read hypothetical transcripts in which some employees asked HR for a flex-time arrangement to take care of their kids, they were more likely to say they’d grant the request if the employee asking was a man (about 70% versus 57% okaying it if a woman made the request). When asked about the employee’s likeability, 24% said the men were “extremely likeable” but only 3% said the same of women; and they were five times as likely to say that the woman wasn’t committed to her job.
- Whoops, Republicans surveyed 800 female voters and had women participate in eight focus groups and turns out, lots of women don’t like their policies. I can’t imagine why not. Annoyingly, though, married women (especially those without college degrees) preferred Republicans over Democrats.
- Why Zephyr Teachout is the only feminist on the ballot in the New York gubernatorial race. (Primaries are Sept. 9; get your butts in the voting booths!) And also, her running mate, Timothy Wu, earned the endorsement of the New York Times, since Gov. Cuomo’s choice, Kathy Hochul, has bragged about voting against Democratic policies like the ACA. And Wu was literally the guy who invented the phrase “net neutrality.”
- A look at this summer’s guests on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report found that they were overwhelmingly white and male.
- Take this quiz to see if you should be a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or mom who works outside the home! Then read on to see why it doesn’t fucking matter, so long as you’re happy with your choice, because your kids will be fine no matter what.
- Inspired by the panda whose keepers thought she was pregnant and gave her more food, here are six reasons you too should pretend you’re pregnant. (Don’t really do that.)
- Well played, Amanda Hess. “Angelina and Brad Finally Wed. Will Billy Bob Thornton Ever Find Happiness?”
- Playboy, of all places, has a great flowchart of when it’s ok to catcall someone.
- Clearing up some lies you’ve been told about your vagina. (Just say no to yogurt douches!)
- ELLE on the virgin/slut dichotomy.
- Seven rape analogies that people really need to stop using.
- Why products like nail polish that detects date rape drugs aren’t actually all that great, since they still put the burden on women to avoid being raped. And besides, hardly any rapes involve “date rape” drugs.
- Rebecca Watson addresses the nasty habit some self-proclaimed skeptics have of throwing out everything they know about statistical probability when it comes to expecting people to prove they aren’t making false rape accusations.
- A call for young male gamers to stop attacking women like Zoe Quinn and for them instead to call out misogyny in their ranks.
- Author Stephanie Feldman on writing a character nobody liked because she was a bitch.
- On Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” respectability politics, and the inevitable backlash about how the video supposedly wasn’t as feminist as the lyrics were because she glorified her ass and gave Drake a lapdance.
- Two beauty pageant winners just came out as lesbians; former Miss Spain and Miss Universe runner-up Patricia Yurena and Ireland’s 2014 Rose of Tralee winner Maria Walsh.
- Why the upcoming all-woman CBS Sports show We Need to Talk lets the network claim that they value women’s perspectives on sports without having to treat them just like regular analysts who could appear on any of their other shows.
- Amy Poehler schools Neal Brennan on how women have always felt the pressure of living up to contradictory societal expectations, which some men are just starting to feel.