This Week in Misogyny: 2014 is Almost Over, Finally

Maybe people are too busy preparing for the holidays to devote as much time as usual to being misogynistic pricks, because the news wasn’t nearly as bad this week as it usually is. It’s a Festivus miracle! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

Two teens have been charged in connection with the gang rape of Jada, who turned into an internet meme when assholes started tweeting pictures mocking a photo that was taken of her while she was unconscious.

A brain-dead woman is being kept on life support against her family’s wishes because she’s 16 weeks pregnant; the hospital fears that removing her from the respirator would violate Ireland’s abortion ban.

The Dominican Republic has agreed to decriminalize abortion for rape and incest victims and to save the life of the mother.

The omnibus spending bill going through Congress right now has a provision to cover abortions for Peace Corps volunteers, with the same restrictions.

SCOTUS has decided not to hear arguments on Humble v. Planned Parenthood, which means the lower court’s decision to strike down Arizona’s unnecessary restrictions on medication abortions will stand. Yay!

Largely overlooked in reports about the CIA’s torture program is the fact that some prisoners were sexually abused and in at least one case, interrogators threatened to rape a detainee’s mother. (TW for fairly graphic descriptions at the link.)

The Ministry of Human Rights in Iraq has claimed that ISIS killed at least 150 women, some of whom were pregnant, for refusing to be forced into marriage. However, The Independent cautions that these reports are as yet unverified and that other stories of purported ISIS atrocities have been proven to be false.

American Apparel fired Dov Charney (again!) and hired Paula Schneider as their new CEO.

Terrible People of the Week

  • Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin, for introducing a bill that would require women to get notarized written permission from the man who impregnated her in order to get an abortion, unless she can prove that the father is dead or if she can prove she got pregnant due to incest or a “legitimate rape.” (Amanda Marcotte lays out how he used MRA talking points to try to justify both the bill and his use of “legitimate rape,” which he says he totally didn’t mean the same way Todd Akin meant it!)
  • Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who’s being sued for sexually harassing a female staffer (and also owns, which doesn’t have any content and is largely irrelevant, but is kind of funny).
  • Bill O’Reilly, for saying that instead of wearing t-shirts reading “I Can’t Breathe,” black people should wear shirts that say “Don’t abandon your children. Don’t get pregnant at 14. Don’t allow your neighborhoods to deteriorate into free-fire zones.”
  • Texas Monthly, for putting Wendy Davis on their “Bum Steers” list of the most embarrassing Texans of the year and for using a caricature of her stepping in cow shit on the cover of the magazine.
  • UPenn’s Phi Delta Theta chapter, for posing with a black blow-up sex doll that was supposed to be Beyoncé in their holiday card picture. (The fraternity got suspended.)
  • PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays), for buying a billboard on I-95 in Virginia that purportedly shows identical twins, one of whom is gay while the other is straight, and claims that twin studies show that no one is born gay. Except the study they reference has been discredited and by the way, the pictures aren’t of twins, just one out gay man in two different outfits.
  • Montana’s Republican state legislators, who just created a new dress code that places detailed restrictions on what female lawmakers can wear and asks them to “be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines.” The dress code also includes recommendations for men, but they’re much more broad.
  • Walmart, because the new policy they implemented in March to “protect” pregnant workers has turned out to be completely worthless, to the point that a complaint has been filed with the EEOC on behalf of a woman who was fired for asking not to clean the bathrooms while pregnant because the cleaning chemicals were dangerous to her developing fetus.
  • Josh Duggar, for saying that by fighting against LGBTQ rights, he and others like him are trying to save them from the “sad, lonely lifestyle” that the devil gave them as a cruel joke. Because they love gays!
  • Leonel Olivarez, who was charged with felony sexual battery for grabbing a woman’s ass and is now suing a man who saw the incident and yelled at him, because that made him feel “embarrassed and humiliated.”
  • Ann Coulter, for saying that the Rolling Stone bullshit proves that “there is no rape crisis” at colleges, that girls who say they were raped just want “attention,” and that the “actual rapists […] are usually Clintons or Kennedys.”

Camille Cosby issued a statement claiming that controversy over Jackie’s story means that it “ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue” and thus we shouldn’t be so quick to believe accusations against Bill Cosby, but Jessica Valenti reminds us that she’s also a victim in this situation.

Study Break

  • No, a new study did not find a gene that explains “why women talk more than men.” Researchers found a particular protein in the brain that might influence when children start talking and how complex their early language is, and that in humans it had higher levels on average in the girls they studied. (Also, don’t use sexist illustrations when misrepresenting science because that just adds insult to injury.)
  • Data shows that black girls receive harsher punishments at school than white girls; only 2% of white girls are ever suspended, while 12% of black girls face suspension at some point, sometimes for the same incidents for which white girls received much lighter consequences.

Recommended Reading

2014 Year in Review

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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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