Happy Friday, ladyblogland! This week we’ll talk about two new campaigns to bring feminism to the masses, a truly absurd amount of terribleness, and a math lesson from John Oliver. (As usual, trigger warnings for just about everything apply.)
In “feminism is for men, too” news, the White House launched a campaign called It’s On Us to educate men about ways they can help prevent sexual assaults on college campuses. So far, college guys seem to be embracing its message, but others argue that it over-simplifies the issue. Emma Watson also spoke to the United Nations this week about the HeForShe campaign, which hopes to correct people’s misconceptions about what feminism is and to teach men worldwide about how the fight for women’s equality helps everyone. While plenty of people have been excited about her speech, she’s a woman speaking about feminism, so of course the trolls come out of the woodwork. A website quickly popped up claiming that 4chan was counting down to release nude photos of Watson in retaliation, though it was quickly revealed to be a hoax trying to bring down 4chan. Because the best way to attack a site that loves to be shitty to women is to also be shitty to a woman. Her speech has also been criticized for focusing on basic “white feminism” instead of addressing deeper issues of intersectionality and for telling men they should be feminists because it’ll help them too, not just because it’s the right thing to do.
I can’t possibly sum up this story better than The Raw Story did, because this shit is bizarre:
The family of a 15-year-old witness in a Utah rape trial were shocked to find two of the defendant’s “wives” in their house late Thursday night dressed like “ninjas” and armed with knives and stun guns.
Fortunately a family member heard them and was able to call for help before they carried out whatever the fuck they were planning to do.
The most horrifying story I’ve read in a while (and that’s saying something): In 2010, officials at an Alabama middle school couldn’t take action against a student who’d repeatedly tried to get a special-needs student to have sex with him because they didn’t have sufficient proof. So they asked a different special-needs girl to lure him into a bathroom that they’d hide in so they could catch him in the act and kick him out… except he took her into a different bathroom and anally raped her. She and her family are working with the Justice Department to investigate the school’s actions, which may violate Title IX since they blamed her for going along with it and barely punished her assailant, allowing him to return to the school and shredding the documents regarding previous complaints against him.
Two suspects have been arrested in the brutal attack and sexual assault of a 16-year-old Massachusetts girl; they posted videos of the attack on SnapChat and someone called the police, which allowed them to identify the attackers. Police are still searching for a third suspect in the case.
Well, this is frustrating. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just ordered a new trial for a convicted sex offender in Washington because the initial evidence was collected by an NCIS sweep, which violates the Posse Comitatus Act since Michael Allen Dreyer was just a civilian contractor, not a member of the Navy. Which, no, the military shouldn’t be spying on citizens, but it sucks that he’s likely going to walk free even though this is the second time he was convicted for possession of child pornography.
Congress finally did something right by authorizing funds to process the backlog of untested rape kits.
Sources “with knowledge of the incident” revealed that one of the men who made inappropriate comments about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s body was the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, though Gillibrand refused to confirm or deny.
Fucking hell. More stolen celebrity nude pictures were posted online last weekend.
A pricing error at CVS means that about 11,000 women were charged copays for generic birth control that should have been free because of Obamacare. They’re issuing refunds to anyone who was affected.
Terrible People of the Week
- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Tau Kappa Epsilon house, for giving roofies to at least three female partygoers whose hands had been marked with red X’s by the bouncer. One male guest was also sickened when he shared one of their drinks.
- Bill Frezza, for writing an article on Forbes’ website titled “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat to Fraternities.” Forbes quickly deleted the post and fired Frezza, but they need to take a serious look at their editorial standards so shit like this doesn’t go live without anyone’s approval.
- Matt Mackowiak, a strategist for Greg Abbott’s Texas gubernatorial campaign, who said we shouldn’t get distracted by the “minor” issue of rape and incest victims who want abortions (Abbott opposes making exceptions for them).
- The Commack High School students who thought it would be funny to post pictures on Twitter in which they wore shirts that spelled out “rape.”
- The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office, for saying that a former prison worker who is suing the Department of Corrections (after she was raped by a prisoner who had attacked a female worker at another facility and thus shouldn’t have been allowed access to her office) “acted in a manner which in whole or in part contributed to” her rape.
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who sent out a flyer trying to link his pro-choice opponent to Kermit Gosnell, even though restricting access to abortions makes it more likely for people to seek out dangerous options.
- Sam Pepper, for posting a “prank” video on YouTube in which he grabbed unsuspecting women’s asses to get a reaction.
- Americans for Shared Prosperity, a conservative group that just put out an ad that makes Obama sound like an abusive boyfriend. Nooooooope.
- Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt, for saying Gabby Giffords was “mean” and “a ruthless attack dog” for running ads supporting gun control. Gee, I wonder why she’d have an opinion on that?
- Rick Perry, for speculating about whether Joan Rivers might still be alive if New York regulated outpatient surgical clinics the same way Texas tried to regulate abortion clinics (even though we all know they didn’t give a fuck about patient safety and just wanted to close the clinics).
- Alessandra Stanley, for her racist article about Shonda Rhimes in the New York Times.
- Greg Gutfeld and Eric Bolling, for making sexist jokes on Fox News about Major Mariam al Mansouri, the first female fighter pilot in the United Arab Emirates.
- Marvel, Walmart, and/or 3DPlusMe, because I’m not sure which of them decided to only offer personalized Captain America and Iron Man figurines where you can print your own face on them to be the superhero, even though the 3D printers that 3DPlusMe sets up at conventions also offer Black Widow as an option. (Marvel was at least smart enough to cancel two planned upcoming covers by Milo Manara, the artist who drew Spider-Woman with her ass in the air. At least they learned something from that bullshit, because I don’t even want to know how he’d have drawn Thor now that she’s a woman.)
- Lifetime, for making a “ripped-from-the-headlines” movie about the Steubenville rape case but making it more dramatic by having the victim be a cheerleader who tries to self-immolate in the middle of a football game.
- Facebook, for threatening to delete the accounts of hundreds of drag queens (edit: and transgender people, abuse victims, and others who do not want to use the site under their legal names for various reasons) because they aren’t using their “real” names.
- Ken Jennings, for this ableist horseshit.
Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) September 22, 2014
Tumblr pissed everyone off by taking down a post that named “people known to commit varying levels of gender-based violence” at the University of Chicago.
Eyerolls at Mayim Bialik for complaining that Frozen is both anti-feminist and man-bashing. Mmmkay.
Kira Kazantsev, the new Miss America, was allegedly kicked out of her sorority at Hofstra for hazing new pledges; she denied the charges (though in a somewhat qualified fashion) and said she was actually removed from Alpha Phi for an unrelated issue.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in Scotland just overwhelmingly voted to allow women to become members. Welcome to the 21st century! But side-eye at the 15% of voting members who wanted to keep barring women from playing golf with them.
Kim Dylla is GWAR’s new lead singer. She goes by Vulvatron and wears fake boobs that spew blood during shows. Awesome.
PMag boyfriend and U.S. Senator Cory Booker wants to revoke the NFL’s status as a non-profit organization and then use the taxes they’d have to pay to support domestic violence prevention programs.
BAMF of the Week: Merritt Tierce, who got two $2,000 tips from Rush Limbaugh when she worked at a steakhouse; she donated “a substantial portion” of the money to a fund that helps women pay for abortions.
- Ouch. Healthcare for women of color in America is so bad that it may actually violate anti-racism standards set by the UN. The “Reproductive Injustice” report released in August found that the disparity in maternal maternity rates is particularly troubling.
- The Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media looked at the gender balance of films made in ten other countries to see how they compared to Hollywood’s crappy representation, and the numbers weren’t much better.
Three 10th-grade girls from Ireland won the Google Science Fair!
- Melissa Harris-Perry talks to Roxane Gay about Bad Feminist and everything is beautiful. (Autoplay warning.)
- io9 debunks the stupid arguments people use to defend sexism in comics.
- Meet the Scirens, actresses who want to bring science literacy to Hollywood.
- Punky Brewster might not have been the shining beacon of proto-feminism that people fondly remember.
- Elana Sztokman talks about coming to the U.S. to promote her new book The War on Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalism and the Women Fighting for Freedom and then having an Orthodox man refuse to sit next to her on the flight home and trying to talk other men into switching with him, proving the premise of her book.
- Black Twitter’s response to the racist NYT story: #IWasAnAngryBlackWoman.
- Why it’s stupid to say that women’s soccer has just a big a domestic violence problem as the NFL (and why saying that doesn’t excuse Hope Solo’s actions).
- 13 things you need to know about “personhood,” via Cosmo.
- What it’s like to be a woman online, from BuzzFeed.
- Feminism according to stock photos (NSFW).
- 33 things a woman thinks when a random dude tells her to smile, at Elite Daily (which is nice to see, since some of their writers are pretty fucking sexist).
- Cathy Young discusses the tricky question of rape accusations that really are false.
- Why you should teach your kids the correct terms for their genitals. (But maybe don’t make cookies decorated with frosted genitals for your daughter’s 2nd grade class and then scream at the teacher that she “should be proud of [her] vagina” when she says she can’t hand them out.)
- Users of the Whisper app have been anonymously posting some of the horrifyingly inaccurate and shaming things they were taught about sex.
- So, you know how the Miss America pageant claims that $45 million is “made available” for scholarships? Not so much. John Oliver did the math and discussed some of the other problems with the pageant.