This Week in Misogyny Stands With #Ferguson

Ah, it’s a short week because of Thanksgiving, so there can’t be that much to talk about, right? Well… The relatively low amount of shit to report on was balanced out by how truly terrible a lot of it was. Sorry! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

While the murder of Michael Brown and the failure of the grand jury to indict Darren Wilson might not seem like they have much to do with misogyny, they do. Katherine Cross argued at RH Reality Check back in August that Ferguson is a reproductive justice issue, because WoC have to live in constant fear that their kids won’t come home, assuming they aren’t so discouraged by our racist society that they decide not to even have kids.

For one’s children to be random, unwitting blood sacrifices to the prejudice of faceless others is not freedom. To have reproductive freedom means, among many other things, that your choice to raise a family will not be revenged upon by collectivized prejudice wielding batons and handguns.

[…] Michael Brown’s mother was denied her right to a family she could raise in safety.

And of course, the bad news didn’t stop with the Ferguson grand jury. Marissa Alexander took a plea deal on Monday that gave her a three-year prison sentence, though given how much time she’s already served, she should be released on January 27, 2015, but will then be under house arrest for two more years. As a reminder, she didn’t kill anyone, only fired warning shots in self-defense that apparently didn’t count under Stand Your Ground. In Wisconsin, an investigation of a white police officer who brutally beat a black woman in January concluded last week; he was suspended for one day because he used profanity while slamming her face into a car and punching her. The actual attack didn’t violate any policies.

More on Bill Cosby: The AP is being criticized for initially editing out part of a taped interview with Bill Cosby and his wife in which a reporter reluctantly asked him about the rape allegations and Cosby refused to answer. The footage was eventually released, along with bonus footage of Cosby asking the reporter not to use it. Cosby did finally make a statement about the accusations…sorta.

I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos. People should fact check. People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.

Dude, it’s not “innuendo” when at least 18 women have come forward with remarkably similar stories. Slate compiled a full list of women who have accused Cosby of rape. But of course, as Roxane Gay reminds us:

We shouldn’t need so many women to tell such similar stories to believe. We shouldn’t be filled with so much doubt. One accuser should be more than enough.

Terrible People of the Week

  • Dr. Stan Katz, who testified that a nine-year-old who was repeatedly sexually assaulted at school wouldn’t suffer much emotional distress over it because of her low IQ, and that the distress she was exhibiting was instead because of her developmental disability and because she didn’t have a father.
  • Alexa Nicole De Armas, a 17-year-old Florida girl who was running a prostitution ring to pimp out underage girls, at least one of whom was raped after trying to back out of a transaction.
  • Ohio Republicans, who threw the heartbeat bill into a lame-duck session at the last minute and even put new representatives on a committee to ensure it would pass to the full state House.
  • Norman High School, because instead of standing up for three girls who were raped by the same male student, they largely ignored that other students were bullying them. All three girls have since left the school, which prompted their former classmates to organize a walkout on Monday.
  • The catcaller who stabbed a guy nine times because he told him to stop harassing his girlfriend. (Though it’s a little messed up that people are talking more about him than about the women who have been attacked or killed for confronting catcallers.)
  • The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Edinburgh University; leaked minutes from a chapter meeting show members joking about raping the university’s feminism society and taking a “raping trip” to Montenegro, and also making transphobic jokes.
  • James Quigley, a teacher who tried to convince a 16-year-old student to sign a contract that she’d have sex with him in exchange for a grade of at least an 85 in his class (and for actually statutorily raping her twice).
  • Pastor Walter F. Houston, for refusing to bury a 93-year-old parishioner at the church where she’d been a member for more than fifty years because she hadn’t tithed in a couple years and he therefore didn’t consider her a member anymore. She hadn’t given money or gone to services during that time because she was in a nursing home or in the hospital, and for part of that period she was in a freaking coma. WWJD?
  • Sony, for making a PlayStation Vita ad that’s obnoxiously sexist.

FitnessGram is fat-shaming concern trolling, and it’s completely ridiculous that a middle schooler got sent to the principal’s office because she didn’t want to get weighed in front of her whole class.

There’s some sort of feud going on between Bette Midler and Ariana Grande, with Midler telling Grande and other pop starlets, “You don’t have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead. You really don’t,” and Grande tweeting out a picture of Midler in a bikini. Lord.

Recommended Reading

  • 43 sexual harassment cases that had to be thrown out of court because SCOTUS has no idea what a job supervisor actually is.
  • Oof. A proposed “rape by fraud” law in New Jersey is well-intentioned, but actually a terrible idea.
  • Crunk Feminist Collective recently ran two heartbreaking posts from women in prison. Christy Phillips was coerced into a confession for a crime she didn’t commit when she was barely 15 and talks about how she’ll likely never to a mom because she’ll spend all of her reproductive years locked away; Pamela Baker went to the prison doctor complaining of cramps and was given a complete hysterectomy (she was told she had severe endometriosis and fibroids, but upon examining her records years later, found no record of that diagnosis).
  • No, we shouldn’t just laugh off or ignore the sexist statements of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
  • Why women may be more prone to anxiety than men are.
  • IUDs are awesome!
  • Shaming women for having C-sections is not awesome. Neither is calling vaginal births (or only unmedicated vaginal births) “natural.”
  • How the craft beer movement fails its female fans.
  • Cameron Esposito answers some of the dumb questions people ask lesbians.

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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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