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 www.blow-me.org, 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.
NEW: Billy Cosby's wife Camille releases statement comparing coverage of her husband to Rolling Stone UVA rape story pic.twitter.com/lzWdytGC22
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 15, 2014
- 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.
- Amanda Hess on why we shouldn’t be so quick to despair that the Rolling Stone retraction of Jackie’s story will completely undermine advocacy for rape victims and that we also should be careful about saying we unconditionally believe any particular victim because we weren’t there and sometimes people do lie.
- Damon Young lays out why it’s fucked up that Bill Cosby asked “Black media” to stay neutral in reporting on the rape accusations against him.
- Also from Damon Young, his realization that he and most other men assume women are overreacting when they’re upset and how that’s pretty much the same thing as white people not trusting PoC’s assessment of racism.
- Why the Salvation Army’s PR campaign is basically bullshit, since they still discriminate against LGBTQ people unless they remain celibate.
- Uptalk is fine and women shouldn’t have to change their voices to be taken seriously (because it’s not actually about the uptalk anyway).
- Cool (and sometimes disheartening) statistics about Disney princesses and heroines.
- Another argument that Jane the Virgin is the most progressive show on TV.
- Cosmo has a great list of 28 books every woman should read.
2014 Year in Review
- Buzzfeed rounds up 18 BAMFs you should know about from 2014.
- Amidst all the bullshit, there were actually a few victories for reproductive rights.
- 2014 in sex; the good news and the bad.
- Roxane Gay talks about how 2014 was the year of the fallen idol.
- Jess Zimmerman on the year in misandry!
- Slate figured out what we were all most outraged about on every single day of 2014.