This week, let’s talk about why teen girls should think about getting IUDs, why some men are weirdly excited to be called “evil,” and why no app can stop sexual assault. Also, weddings and babies! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
Let’s start with the only wedding coverage you need to read this week:
— The Business Woman (@BusinessWomanTV) September 27, 2014
Chelsea Clinton gave birth to her first child this week, so cue a renewed discussion about how becoming a grandmother could affect Hillary Clinton’s possible 2016 presidential campaign.
Louisiana hospitals are billing rape victims for their exams and other treatments, despite state and federal guidelines that say they shouldn’t be charged. Some of the bills run to several thousand dollars, which may discourage people from reporting their assaults if they can’t afford it or don’t want it reported to their insurance. NOW has spoken out against this practice and urged the state to step in to prevent it from happening.
54-year-old Denise Isaacs died during a prison transfer run by a private company; she was denied her psychiatric medications and they either didn’t notice or didn’t care that she’d stopped eating and drinking and was suffering from hallucinations on the 1,000-mile trip. Her crime? She pleaded no contest to shoplifting $1,200 worth of merchandise from a Florida Walmart in 2012, and her probation was revoked because she hadn’t done all of her community service hours or paid all of her restitution.
Jesus Christ. A third batch of stolen celebrity nudes was released over the weekend.
Virginia’s new health commissioner is fighting back against the unnecessary regulations passed last year that could close every abortion clinic in the state.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that doctors talk to teen girls about using IUDs for long-term birth control. (And a pilot program in St. Louis proves that this would work; the city’s overall teen pregnancy and abortion rates dropped well below the national average and not a single person who got an IUD under the program got pregnant.) If you’re a teen girl–or anyone really–interested in getting an IUD, check out our guide to getting one.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first affirmative consent law; colleges will have to judge rape accusations on a standard of “yes means yes” instead of “the victim didn’t say no.”
Terrible People of the Week
- Kevin Williamson, for tweeting that all women who get abortions should be hanged for committing homicide.
- The UChicago Electronic Army, who responded to the release of a list of names of “people known to commit varying levels of gender-based violence” by hacking the university’s website and threatening the activists behind the list.
- The hosts of Outnumbered, for defending Bill Frezza’s bullshit about how drunk women threaten fraternities and asking what guys are supposed to do if women get drunk at their parties? I dunno, not rape them? Seems like an easy answer.
- Camille Paglia, for saying that the focus on campus sexual assaults is “hysterical propaganda” and that we really ought to be worried about the savage evil nature of men that cannot be contained, which just makes no goddamned sense. And it’s pretty terrifying how many men seem to think she’s totally awesome for saying so.
- The Australian Parliament, for trying to segregate women wearing burqas or niqabs into a separate glass enclosure in the viewing gallery for “security” reasons.
- Birthers, whose latest idiotic conspiracy theory is that Michelle Obama couldn’t be Sasha and Malia’s birth mother because they claim she’s trans.
- The California Catholic Conference, for suing because they claim the state law that requires health insurance providers to cover abortions violates their civil rights.
- The “Child Protection League,” for taking out a full-page ad in Minnesota newspapers to spread all kinds of heinous fearmongering about the proposed policy to let transgender high school athletes play on the correct teams.
- The New York Times, because their explanation that Alessandra Stanley’s article about “angry black woman” Shonda Rhimes didn’t set off any warning bells with the editorial staff just proved that the problem was bigger than just one clueless writer (who also kept trying to explain that we should have known she wasn’t being racist, just using stereotypes to show how Rhimes had “traveled so far from” them). Headdesk.
- Evan Thornley, a tech executive who bragged about saving money by hiring women, since he could pay them way less than men who weren’t as qualified because they’d just be happy to get an opportunity.
- Tyler Lance Craddock, an open-carry douche who told the gun control advocates at Moms Demand Action that they should “get back in the kitchen” and that if they had kids who were victims of gun violence, they should blame themselves for not arming them. (And that’s downright classy compared to some of the other shit on his social media pages!)
- Colorado Child Services, for deciding Tierra Place was an unfit mother because her boyfriend smoked pot. Her 11-month-old daughter was killed when her foster mother shook her violently because she wouldn’t stop crying.
- Congressman Robert Pittenger (R-NC), who said we don’t need to protect LGBTQ workers because one study claimed that gay men earn more than straight men, even though the study in question was deeply flawed (and even if that were true, it still ignores everyone else in the LGBTQ umbrella).
- Westwood Baptist Church in Keithville, Louisiana, for kicking out an AA group that had held meetings there for more than five years because they somehow thought that opening their doors to the group meant they could one day be forced to hold same-sex weddings too.
- The GamerGate hypocrites, who are soooooo concerned about “corruption” in video game journalism that they banded together and pressured Intel to stop placing ads on Gamasutra because they were mad that writer Leigh Alexander expressed her honest opinion that they were dumbass misogynists.
- FIFA, for deciding that the 2015 Women’s World Cup soccer matches will be held on fields with artificial turf, even though turf is dangerous and causes so many more injuries that they regularly accommodate men’s teams who refuse to play on it.
- Jeopardy!, for their “What Women Want” category with really sexist answers. (I can’t even imagine the face I would have made if I’d gotten that one.) (Ed. TyraBanksWeWereAllRootingForYou.gif)
- Maroon 5, for their new video for “Animal” in which singer Adam Levine plays a stalker (and the lyrics reinforce this).
- DC Comics, again, for licensing junior’s t-shirts that read “Training to be Batman’s wife” or show Superman kissing Wonder Woman captioned “Score! Superman does it again” and pajamas for baby girls that read “I only date heroes.” (Ignore the fact that Mic says Marvel is the culprit; Superman is DC. And that they mix up Target and Walmart later in the article. Le sigh.)
And here’s your reminder that you can’t fire workers just because they disclose that they’re pregnant. For fuck’s sake.
Facebook reversed course and will no longer be deleting the accounts of people who aren’t using their legal names.
The GOP’s latest ad campaigns are backfiring in a spectacular fashion. The “Republicans Are People Too” video tries to break down stereotypes about their party by showing Republicans of different races and who like shit like Trader Joe’s and hipster beards… except that they just used stock photos, so they have no idea how those people vote. The same campaign urged people to tweet with #IAmARepublican, and you can guess how well that went. And then there are the ads put out by the College Republicans, which parody Say Yes to the Dress and have a young woman trying on wedding dresses named after different candidates before defying her mom and choosing the one with the Republican name. (Yes, there are multiple versions with the names changed. I can’t.)
Journalists in Canada have been banned from using Rehtaeh Parson’s name in connection with the ongoing trials of the men who raped her and distributed the video because of a law that bans the publication of child porn victim’s names, which is leading to confusion since it makes it look like nothing’s been done and keeps people from following the case as closely as they otherwise would.
So, everyone’s pissed at the Carnegie Science Center because the only class they offer for Girl Scouts is “Science With a Sparkle,” in which the girls get to learn about chemistry by making cosmetics. They responded on Facebook that they used to offer the same classes that Boy Scouts can take at the museum, but no one ever signed up. Apparently 8-year-old girls (or their troop leaders) have already gotten the message that science isn’t for them, but makeup is fun. Fuck.
BAMFs of the week
- Cosmonaut Yelena Serova, who this week became only the fourth woman sent into space by Russia/the USSR. Now stop asking her about her hair and kid!
- Vulvatron, the new GWAR frontwoman, who responded to a reporter who asked her who she slept with to get into the band thusly:
Vulvatron’s sexual prowess is far superior, and although I slept with the entire band and management at the same time, they were not able to keep up. My sexual functions are far too advanced to mate with most primitive forms.
Awesomeness: A bunch of major theatres in the UK have pledged to make sure women are equally represented in their productions, both onstage and behind the scenes.
- Evolutionary anthropologist Eric Michael Johnson says that, contrary to what Redditors would like you to think, misogyny isn’t “inherent [in] human nature” and matriarchal societies are more peaceful (even when the society in question is a group of actual baboons).
- While Republican politicians continue to vote against mandatory paid leave laws, a majority of Americans (and a majority of conservatives) are in favor of requiring businesses to give workers paid sick days and paid maternity leave.
- Unsurprisingly, the states with the most restrictions on abortion access have lower scores on average when it comes to the health and well-being of women and children than the states with no or fewer restrictions
- A third of the world’s female prisoners are incarcerated in the U.S.
- Dianna E. Anderson take a look at the “Christian masculinists” who attacked her for writing about losing her virginity and how they’re terrified that feminism will give women the agency to realize that we don’t have to stick to traditional gender roles.
- How the focus on making sure girls adhere to dress codes instead of making sure guys don’t harass them creates a hostile learning environment.
- Heina Dadabhoy lists all the (bad) things in life that she’s gotten because of her tits.
- Why it matters that Lena Dunham wrote about being raped in college: It helps reinforce that our stereotypes about how rape happens rarely match the reality of women’s experiences.
- The problems with the Good2Go app that is supposed to ensure that sex is consensual.
- Yes, Fallon Fox is a woman, and no, it’s not unfair for her to compete in MMA because she’s trans. If she beats you, it’s just because she’s a better fighter; get over it.
- Has celebrity feminism jumped the shark?
- Amanda Marcotte explains why no, of course we don’t need to close every single gender gap in people’s hobbies, but it’s worth discussing why men are afraid to do things that are considered “girly” and why women’s hobbies tend to be “industrious” rather than stuff that’s purely fun.
- Two great pieces on Major Maryam al-Mansouri: Max Fisher at Vox discusses how a lot of the American dialogue about the story is rooted in ignorance of Middle Eastern society, since the UAE is not a paragon of gender equality just because one woman became a fighter pilot, but at the same time it’s ridiculous to contrast the UAE with Saudi Arabia under the racist assumption that Saudi culture is the norm for Muslim countries. A group of veterans from the Truman Project also wrote an open letter to the idiots on Fox News who joked that she couldn’t park the plane and wondered if she counted as “boobs on the ground” due to her involvement in the fight against ISIS.
- Salon ran a couple pieces about the recent misogynistic meltdown by book critic Ed Champion, who wrote an 11,000 word rant against Emily Gould and other women writers and then tweeted personal details about Porochista Khakpour because of a perceived slight against him. Katie McDonough discussed how people like him should be held accountable, while Andi Zeisler talks about how we need to stop telling women not to take gendered criticism personally when it so often is a personal attack.
- Melissa Harris-Perry on “angry white man” Aaron Sorkin.
- Phoebe Robinson explains how the racist stereotypes of Lifetime’s Girlfriend Intervention hurt black women, then hits the streets of NYC with Jessica Williams to point out just how absurd the premise really is.