This Week in Misogyny is Scarier than Your Halloween Costume

Y’all. It’s been a hell of a week. Of course we’re still dealing with GamerGate, plus the backlash to the street harassment video that everyone loved just a few days ago. And don’t forget the fucked up Halloween costumes that are already out there! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged in Iran last Saturday for murdering a man who she said tried to rape her when she was a teenager. The message that she sent her mother from prison in April is just heartbreaking.

Last Friday, Jaylen Fryberg opened fire in the cafeteria of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state, killing one student and wounding four others (one of whom died of her injuries on Sunday) before apparently shooting himself. Details are still a bit sketchy; initial reports said he shot his girlfriend because he was upset with her, but a recent ex who attended a different school came forward days after the shooting (it’s possible he had a new girlfriend who was one of his shooting victims, but no one seems to have confirmed this). Disturbingly, since the shooting there have been several threats against members of the Tulalip tribe, to which Fryberg and some of the victims belonged. The news coverage has also been disappointing.

Jian Ghomeshi (autoplay warning) was fired by CBC after four women alleged that he was physically violent without their consent during or before sex (and four more victims have since come forward). He came out with an “apology” worthy of a bingo card, claiming his ex was setting him up and that while had engaged in BDSM, he’d never done anything without permission. And of course some of the public reactions have been exactly what we’ve come to expect — blaming the victims for not coming forward sooner, while simultaneously saying they must be lying or trying to get attention (so gee, wonder why they didn’t want to come forward?).

You’ve probably seen or at least heard about that video of the woman who was catcalled or otherwise harassed more than 100 times while walking around NYC. It didn’t take long for it to turn into a shitstorm. The video shows her being harassed almost exclusively by Black and Latino men, supposedly because the audio just happened to suck when white men said shit. Which, it doesn’t help when people like Joyce Carol Oates come out and say that shit wouldn’t have happened if she’d walked around “affluent” (read “white”) neighborhoods. People have also been complaining on social media that the actress in the video, Shoshanna B. Roberts, is thin, white, conventionally attractive, and cis-female (though I saw someone say she’s biracial but can’t find that post anymore). Damon Young agrees that the racial politics of the video are fucked, but that by focusing on that we’re missing the bigger point that a shitton of men have responded by making it about them and how it’s not fair that women don’t want them to say hi. However, none of this means it’s ok for her to be getting rape threats on Hollaback’s site or for shitheels on Fox News to joke about adding to her harassment tally while commenting on her looks.

New Orleans police ordered The Country Club to ban nudity at their pool after a woman was drugged and raped there earlier this year. Now people are putting out flyers with her face on them that say the policy change is her fault, even though she also disagrees with the police on this because it’s total bullshit to blame a victim for her assault. The flyer also claims that there’s no evidence she was raped; surveillance cameras and eyewitnesses confirm she had sex with at least three different men on the night in question, but police delayed the rape kit until any drugs that were given to her would have passed out of her system.

After tweeting about last week’s school shooting, model Chrissy Teigan was inundated with so much vitriol and so many threats of violence that she quit Twitter.

For the first time, female solo artists have held the top five slots on the Billboard charts for five weeks in a row. (Too bad some of the songs/videos in question have been criticized for being racist or otherwise anti-feminist.)

GamerGate in brief(-ish), because I’m sick of talking about this shit:

Terrible People of the Week

  • Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves, for refusing to put a stay on the requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges, which will probably require one of the state’s only three clinics to close when the law goes into effect on Saturday. The doctor at that clinic has applied for privileges at 16 different hospitals and hasn’t heard back from all of them yet, but Graves said that’s his fault and doesn’t merit a delay.
  • Oklahoma District Court Judge Roger Stuart, for refusing to block the state law that will ban medication abortions after 49 days of pregnancy and also bans all off-label use of mifepristone (RU-486), even though those methods have been used safely for ages and are much safer than the surgical alternative. This law also goes into effect on Saturday.
  • The North Dakota Supreme Court, which just ruled that that state’s medication abortion ban can go into effect immediately.
  • Lindsay Graham, for saying “If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency.”
  • Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue, for trying to say that the pay discrimination lawsuit filed by female store managers that was settled shortly after he stepped down as CEO of Dollar General was no big deal because “it was less than 2,000 people. We had upwards of 70,000 employees in that company.”
  • Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, for trying to block a lesbian couple from divorcing by arguing that the state shouldn’t recognize their marriage in the first place.
  • Wilson Longanecker, Jr., former mayor of Sorrento, Louisiana, who was just charged with possessing child pornography (and with obstruction of justice, since he tried to destroy the videos while police raided his home).
  • Billy Joe Turnage, a Georgia county Republican chairman, for attempting to rape a woman and broadcasting the assault on Skype.
  • New Zealand Police, for deciding not to file a single charge against the “Roast Busters” accused of gang raping at least 25 girls (some as young as 13) and bragging about their assaults on social media, because they didn’t think the victims’ testimonies would be enough evidence to get convictions.
  • The California Highway Patrol officers who went through the cell phones of women they’d arrested to look for nude or bikini pics and forward them to their own phones so they could show them to other people, including other officers.
  • John Herbison, the lawyer for the football player accused of arranging a gang rape of his girlfriend at Vanderbilt University, for claiming his client was too drunk to be held responsible for his actions (even though he was still able to carry her from a car to his dorm room and had the presence of mind to cover up a dorm surveillance camera).
  • Paul Elam and his A Voice for Men MRAs, for making a website mimicking the one for the White Ribbon Campaign (which urges men to advocate for an end to violence against women) so he could trick people who didn’t realize they were on the wrong site to donate money to “end violence against everyone.”
  • Pat Robertson and his 700 Club guests, for saying that Brittany Maynard is promoting a liberal “culture of death” by choosing physician-assisted suicide instead of dying painfully over the next several months, and for saying she should just hope God decides to cure her brain cancer. (Sadly, this isn’t an uncommon view based on my Facebook feed.)
  • Kate Hopkins, who decided the proper response to being called out for fat-shaming was to intentionally gain 50 pounds so she could whine about how horrible she thought it was to be fat. And she got a TLC documentary out of the deal.
  • Everyone who’s dressing up as Ray Rice for Halloween, especially the guy who let made his kid put on blackface and drag around a black doll with fake bruises (no pics at the link unless you play the video).
  • The creators of the “Sexy Ebola Containment Suit” costume.
  • The Walmart tech person who made a “Fat Girls Costumes” section on their website, which was quickly pulled once they realized it existed.

A big fuck you to the drunk old dude at an after-hours party who congratulated Mindy Kaling on her Nobel Peace Prize, because of course there was no way for him to tell the difference between her and Malala Yousafzai, even though Kaling is almost 20 years older and they look nothing alike and why would he think Malala would be out clubbing in NYC anyway? (Of course, this is far from the first time celebrities of color have been mixed up by morons.)

Eyerolls at whoever at Victoria’s Secret thought they could get away with claiming they weren’t saying you had to look like a model to have a “perfect ‘body,'” but that the text was just a play on saying their new “Body” line of bras is perfect. Nope, it just makes you look like you don’t know how to use quotation marks.

And while I understand that mannequins can’t be built exactly like human bodies because it’s a pain in the ass to get clothing onto plastic bodies that don’t bend, this Topshop mannequin is still pretty fucked up (even if other retailers use it, too).

BAMFs of the Week

  • The Egyptian women behind HarassMap, which allows women to anonymously report locations where they got harassed on the street.
  • The Walking Dead actress Laurie Holden, who recently assisted in a sex trafficking sting in Colombia that resulted in the arrest of four traffickers and the rescue of more than 50 girls.
  • Jasmine V, who’s using her fame as an R&B singer to advocate for domestic violence victims. (Though, I’m glad Mic updated the headline since I first saw the article; it used to just refer to her as “Justin Beiber’s ex-girlfriend,” which not only erases her identity but also implies that he abused her, when it was a different ex who abused her when she was 17.)
  • Daniel Radcliffe, for pointing out the hypocrisy of saying it’s weird to see him as a sexual being because we still think of him as Harry Potter, because men didn’t have a problem sexualizing Emma Watson.
  • Alexandra Fine and Janet Lieberman, for developing a hands-free clitoral vibe that couples can use during sex (and they’re still fundraising on Indiegogo if you want to get in on the action, so to speak).

Study Break

Recommended Reading

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[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.

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