We’ve got lots of cool readings this week, ranging from confused MRAs who don’t understand cat-based satire to why Cosmo‘s sex positions for lesbians are ridiculous. But there’s a lot of bad news too, including Ray Rice’s two-fucking-game suspension, assaults at SDCC, and slut-shaming Nicki Minaj and the Bachelorette. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.
The biggest story of the week seems to have been the NFL’s decision to bench Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for only two games after he punched his then-fiancée hard enough to knock her unconscious, then dragged her body out of an elevator (“allegedly;” he pleaded not guilty and was able to enter a pre-trial diversionary program instead of actually facing criminal charges, though TMZ has video of the elevator-dragging part of the altercation). Much of the outrage is over the fact that drug offenses get players benched for at least four games and sometimes a full season, but hitting a woman gets you two lousy games and a fine equivalent to one game’s salary. Of course, some of the reactions have been predictably fucking stupid. Rush Limbaugh said that she couldn’t have been too upset about the beating since she married him anyway so she could be rich and famous. ESPN suspended commentator Steven A. Smith for saying that women should figure out what they do to provoke men into beating them. Whoopi Goldberg came out with basically the same line; that since she hit him first she shouldn’t have been surprised that he hit back. However, massive props to Keith Olbermann for calling out misogyny in sports journalism and in the NFL. (TW: The video below includes the TMZ footage starting at 1:25.)
Good news! The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Mississippi law that would have closed the state’s only abortion clinic because local hospitals refused to give its doctors the admitting privileges they would have needed to keep it open.
Bad news. Toledo’s last abortion clinic is being forced to close because even though they obtained a transfer agreement as required by the states TRAP law, Ohio’s health department decided that the hospital in question was too far away to count. Even though of course local hospitals would still have to take in any patients that needed help.
While I don’t realistically think it’ll go anywhere, I fucking love that Satanists are challenging “informed consent” laws on the basis that they violate their science-based religious beliefs.
A 17-year-old girl was raped at a Keith Urban concert in Boston last Sunday while a group of people watched and took pictures until one woman actually asked the girl if it was consensual.
Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped the wife of a Cameroonian Vice Prime Minister last weekend. And no, the Nigerian government hasn’t brought back the kidnapped schoolgirls yet.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview this week that the five male judges who sided with Hobby Lobby against the contraceptive mandate have a “blind spot” with regards to women’s issues, but she hopes that one day they’ll figure out that they’re being assholes. (That part was a bit paraphrased, but probably fairly accurate.)
San Diego Comic Con was last weekend, and despite calls from the geek community for them to adopt a strict anti-harassment policy, the only action they apparently took was to email badge-holders a phone number they could call to report incidents. Sadly, at least one teen cosplayer was assaulted and had to be hospitalized. And after some random guy groped and pulled down the pants of one of her friends, model Adrianne Curry punched him in the face with the butt end of her bullwhip and screamed at him that he was a rapist and molester.
Terrible People of the Week
- Hobby Lobby! This time for firing an employee a few years ago because she hadn’t worked there long enough to qualify for FMLA but needed a few weeks off unpaid to have a baby. They also tried to deny her unemployment, and when she tried to sue the company, her case was thrown out because her employment contract required her to go to arbitration; she’d signed away her right to sue without even realizing it.
- Bayfront Health Port Charlotte, a Florida hospital that informed a patient who wanted to try for a VBAC that they’d notify the Department of Children and Family Services and force her to have a C-section even if she didn’t want one, even though she’d said she would consent to a C-section if it became medically necessary after attempting to labor and deliver.
- The Bachelorette runner-up Nick, who asked Andi Dorfman on live TV why she’d slept with him before choosing a different contestant. Of course, he isn’t the one who’s going to catch heat for this! Case in point:
- Fox New’s Bob Beckel, who called Andi “a slut” because of Nick’s revelation. He even agreed with Andrea Tantaros’s accusation that “[Beckel] probably sleep[s] with a different woman every night,” but said it was ok because he’s “not some kind of bachelorette.” It’s ok for guys to be “sluts,” amirite?
- Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, who went into a Colorado Planned Parenthood pretending to be a 15-year-old whose boyfriend wanted to reenact Fifty Shades of Gray with her, filmed her meeting with an employee who gave her advice on how to do so safely if she chose to, and then edited it to make it look like the worker was the one who was encouraging her to engage in “torture sex.” Now the state’s attorney general is investigating PP.
- Richard Dawkins, who for some reason decided it would be a good idea to start tweeting about which kinds of rape are worse than others. But he’s not condoning the “mild” versions! They’re still bad! Just not as bad!
- Charles C. Benzing, a supporter of Scott Brown’s Senate campaign in Massachusetts, who replied to an invitation to a fundraiser by saying that New Hampshire’s four Democratic female leaders were all “Fascist cunts” and “whores” and then threw out a bunch of racist language about their supposed sexual proclivities.
- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who said that women shouldn’t laugh in public and should always act chaste.
- Rick Santorum, for saying that the legalization of same-sex marriage had “devalued” it and that’s why we “celebrate” single moms. And that the next step is legalizing polygamy! The horror.
- Facebook, for refusing to take down a “revenge porn” fake profile of a Texas woman until the police subpoenaed them to find out who created the profile, which was filled with fake nude photos.
- The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, which has a stated intention of being for “womyn born womyn,” even though they insist they won’t officially ban transwomen from attending.
- The National Pro-Life Alliance, which is trying to claim that abortion is the leading cause of death in the U.S. because of all the poor little fetuses who never got to exist. (Though as Melanie Mallon points out, “Oddly, they don’t include deaths from miscarriage, a number that would be much higher.” Because logic is not their strong point.)
Side-eye to whoever put up signs in Crown Heights, Brooklyn asking people walking down the street to dress modestly because it’s a Jewish neighborhood.
Angry glares at the makers of Ant-Man for apparently cutting the character of Janet Van Dyne, who in the comics was one of the founding members of the Avengers.
Peggy Orenstein can STFU with her criticism of women who opt for bilateral mastectomies even when they only have cancer in one breast; the mental health benefits for some women are totally worth it.
Hats off to the ladies of Come and Take it Texas, who are staging topless counter-protests to open-carry gun rallies.
Fist bumps to Knoxville meteorologist Julya Johnson, who responded to a viewer who wrote to tell her she should dress to enhance her boobs so that he could see how beautiful she is by telling him he was rude and saying, “I feel good about my appearance. … Does the fact that I bring an accurate forecast mean nothing? I was a straight A student.”
- Researchers who paired MBA students into a hypothetical negotiation found that both men and women were more likely to blatantly lie to women and to offer privileged information to men.
- The European Medicines Agency announced that emergency contraceptives probably aren’t affected by your weight, despite fears raised by an earlier study. (cough CALLED IT cough)
- Many women who choose not to go back to work after having a baby aren’t doing it because their brain is so wrapped up in being a mom that they can’t function in the workplace anymore, but because they may lose their job due to not having paid maternity leave and because they may not earn enough to pay for childcare.
- Closing abortion clinics doesn’t have as big an effect as anti-choice advocates might hope—last year the abortion rate in Texas dropped by 13%, which is larger than expected given the overall drop in abortion rates nationwide (which of course means that the rate would have dropped even without the closures), but still pretty low considering half the clinics were shut down.
- Sigh. A study found that men think it’s sexy when a woman they’ve just met listens to them, while women had more diverse reactions—some liked attentive men, some were suspicious that it was just an act, and others thought it made them “too nice.” (So basically, men like it when women let them monopolize the conversation; women aren’t a uniform group. Seems all too plausible.)
- So, that old study about how husbands who help with housework don’t have as much sex? Was from the 1980s and largely dealt with couples who’d gotten married in the 60s and 70s, when society tended to enforce gender roles a lot more strictly. When someone actually looked at more recent data, couples in which the man helped out more (albiet still rare) had pretty similar sex lives to the couples where the wife had to do most of the work.
Lucy beat Hercules by a long shot in the box office this weekend, so maybe now Hollywood will finally see that they can make money with action movies with a female lead. (Of course, both got terrible reviews and Lucy has been pretty widely criticized as racist, so imagine how much they’d make with a good movie!)
- One aspect of the conflict in Gaza that’s been largely overlooked is the propaganda urging the rape of Palestinian women and the slut-shaming and threats made against Israeli women who speak out against the conflict.
- The video for Maddie & Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song” tries to show what it would look like if men were objectified the same way women are… except the women are still objectified and the men are made to look absurd instead of sexy.
- Why atheists really need to stop supporting “The Amazing Atheist” (he’s awfully fond of making rape threats against people who disagree with him) and other misogynists in the movement.
- More examples of the bias against women in tech. (Like the investor who told one woman, “I don’t like the way women think,” and the investors who move meetings to their hotel bar and then spend the whole time hitting on them instead of discussing their startups. Douches.)
- The only thing better than Confused Cats Against Feminism? The MRA dudes who don’t get the joke. Dying.
- 26 Things Feminists Are Tired Of Hearing (with some excellent gifs).
- 10 sexist scenarios that women face at work.
- 7 Parenting Tips for a World That Harms Women.
- On rape culture and running while female.
- Why some New Yorkers are pretty cynical about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new Women’s Equality Party line on the ballot.
- Apparently “pro-choice” is so last generation, and younger women no longer want to call themselves that. Mostly because the fight for women’s health choices has moved beyond just abortion access to being able to access any kind of health care or because they personally wouldn’t have an abortion and thus the issue isn’t a big deal to them, but of course anti-abortion activists are calling it a win that many organizations have moved away from using the term. Grumble.
- The Science of False Rape Allegations. (Which sounds ominous, but it’s good, trust me.)
- Lessons from the racist slut-shaming of Nicki Minaj’s nearly-nude photo for the cover of her upcoming single “Anaconda.”
- Yesssss. Not every Facebook post about our kids is a volley in the mommy wars.
- Cosmo wrote a list of sex tips/positions for lesbian couples… and it’s kinda awful. (Kinda like their sex tips for m/f couples! Equal opportunity sex injuries!)
- Why people who are mad about the new versions of Thor and Captain America need to STFU.
- Why When Harry Met Sally got it wrong by having them end up in a relationship instead of just staying friends.
- On Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight and all the other movies with wildly inappropriate age gaps between the actors playing a couple.
- 5 upcoming horror and action movies directed by women.
- Lawd. “Open-Minded Man Would Be Willing To Look Past Jennifer Lawrence’s Flaws.” Bless The Onion.