With all the terrible things going on this week, we actually have a few spots of good news this week. Not many, but I’ll take what I can get! Plus, this week’s BAMFs are even more badass than usual, and two of them are only 7 years old. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in Young v. United Parcel Service, the case about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, and it sounds like it’s going to come down to semantics. Cue nailbiting.
Shia LeBeouf says he was assaulted and raped during a performance art piece at an LA gallery in February. (Details are at the links.) And of course people are being terrible and claiming that he’s making it up for publicity, or that he’s delusional and crazy, or that he must have wanted it because he’s a man, and on and on. Lindy West explains why that’s bullshit, and why it’s especially fucked up that even some feminists have been making fun of him (though she also notes that it’s feminists who are supporting him, not MRAs who love to derail conversations by asking why we never talk about male rape). And if you needed confirmation that Piers Morgan is the absolute Worst, well…
Goddamnit. A federal judge overturned Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL because there was no new evidence to prompt the second suspension for the same event. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claimed that he initially only suspended Rice for two games because he didn’t know how bad the incident with Janay Palmer was, but U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones said he lied and knew all along what happened and only punished Rice again because of the public outcry, which wasn’t permissible because there was no new evidence to support a new suspension and thus it was “arbitrary.” At least Judge Jones also admonished Goodell and the NFL for not taking it seriously until they were faced with a backlash, but damnit.
RIP, Tuğçe Albayrak, the German woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury after she confronted men who were harassing two teen girls. The men proceeded to beat her with a baseball bat. She was removed from life support on Nov. 28 after spending two weeks in a coma with no sign that she could recover; it was her 23rd birthday.
So, Racists Getting Fired is a cool idea in principle, but because people are terrible, not all the people depicted really said the things they’re alleged to have said. I cursed up a storm when I checked the site and the first person on there was from my town, but the tweets were actually from a former co-worker of hers who was impersonating her.
Important news: A new suicide hotline for trans people just went live; trans men and women are much more likely to attempt suicide than cisgender people, but mainstream hotline workers may not be trained to support them. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.
Some good news as a follow-up to the Norman, Oklahoma girls who were bullied out of school after being raped: Their alleged rapist, Tristen Kole Killman, has been arrested.
Take that, personhood advocates: A UK girl who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome is not covered under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme because she was not a person when her mother was drinking heavily enough to cause her brain damage.
The Indiana TRAP law designed to shut down a single Planned Parenthood location was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge this week.
Chicago passed a minimum wage increase, from the current rate of $8.25/hour to $13/hour by 2019. Even better, they fixed a loophole in the old law, so going forward domestic workers like nannies will be covered. Yay!
Terrible People of the Week
- Ben Carson, who said Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson because the women’s lib movement made women more concerned about themselves than about making sure their kids had dads to teach them to respect authority figures.
- Judge James Franklin Davis, who sentenced a 21-year-old man who pleaded no contest to raping an 11-year-old girl to only three years probation and a suspended jail sentence; defense lawyers in the case argued for a light sentence because Steven Bradford had a clean record and the victim had told him she was 16 (which would still be statutory rape in Missouri, so what the fuck even).
- Christian Ferdinand, a 22-year-old Maine man who confessed to killed his 14-year-old “girlfriend” in 2013, for asking that he be sentenced to just community service after being found guilty of her murder.
- James Henderson, who wants Alabama lawmakers to pass a law banning abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of schools. That number isn’t random; it’s the same distance that sexual predators have to maintain, and a school is opening soon across the street from the clinic in Huntsville.
- Border Patrol Sex, a porn webseries about border patrol agents raping migrant women and then sending them back to Mexico.
- Frat bros at San Diego State University, for waving dildos and throwing eggs at participants in a Take Back the Night protest. A sexual assault at a frat house was also reported the following night, prompting the school’s InterFraternity Council to cancel all planned frat parties and social activities.
- Elizabeth Lauden, the GOP aide who criticized Sasha and Malia Obama’s dress and demeanor during the turkey-pardoning. She apologized and eventually resigned, but her remarks are especially ironic since she was actually arrested for shoplifting as a teen and all the Obama girls did was roll their eyes at their dad’s dumb jokes. (I did have to laugh at Andy Borowitz’s satirical post about how Lauden was disappointed that everyone was talking about how she insulted the girls, which totally overshadowed that she said shitty things about Barack and Michelle too.)
- Jill Scott and Whoopi Goldberg, for defending Bill Cosby enough that he publicly thanked them for their support.
- The UK, because the new list of rules for porn bans female ejaculation. (And you know PMaggers love squirting!)
- Zillow, where a former employee is suing because she says she was fired after complaining about receiving sexually explicit messages from supervisors.
- Management at Big League Haircuts in Grand Junction, Colorado, for first being too squeamish about lady business to discuss an employee’s need to take breaks to pump breast milk and for later telling her she wasn’t allowed to pump at work and was “physically unable” to work, so they cut her hours and then fired her. Yeah, that’s illegal, idiots. She’s suing.
- Whichever idiot GamerGater developed an “SJW Auto Blocker” that allows people to mass block anyone suspected of opposing them.
- Whoever designed the posters for Kingsman: The Secret Service, because THIS:
— ThereWillBeTypos (@CijiTheGeek) November 26, 2014
FCKH8 is using little girls to sell their t-shirts again; this time the “potty-mouth princesses” are sporting fake injuries and talking about domestic violence.
Eyerolls at Alexander Wang’s “provocative” denim ads featuring a model who’s naked except for the jeans around her ankles in one version and is grabbing her crotch in another. (NSFW pictures at the link.)
BAMFs of the Week
- Jimmy Carter, for calling out Yale University for mishandling sexual assault allegations against students… while he was onstage at the university in a forum moderated by Yale’s president.
- Yolanda Bogert, the Australia mom who posted a corrected birth announcement in the paper after her child came out as transgender. (I initially worried that he might have been outed without consent, and it does sound like Kai was surprised by the post, but he said he’s “so happy with what she has done,” so phew!)
- Alanah Pierce, for contacting the mothers of GamerGaters to let them know their sons had threatened to rape her for talking about gaming.
- Parker Daines, a 7-year-old whose complaint led Abdo Publishing to drop “for Boys” from their series of books formerly known as “The Biggest, Baddest Books for Boys,” because she liked their book about bugs despite being a girl.
- Maggie, a 7-year-old who pointed out that Tesco was using sexist marketing in their toy department, leading them to remove a sign that said a Marvel alarm clock was “for boys.”
— Karen Cole (@karlou) November 22, 2014
Target stores in Australia have pulled Grand Theft Auto V from the shelves because players can earn “health” points by assaulting and killing female characters.
- For fuck’s sake, Rachel Zoe. NO, your nail polish color can’t make you overeat. Stop blaming “science” for stupid shit. (H/t Styleite, which at least manages to sound a little skeptical.)
- Sportswriter Wendy Thurm discusses why only 11% of her Twitter followers are women, even though women account for nearly half of all sports fans.
- Regardless of what the Supreme Court rules in a case about online harassment, social media companies could implement better screening procedures if they wanted to. (They just don’t, apparently.)
- NPR talks to millennials about their disregard for gender roles.
- Amanda Marcotte talks about how it’s hard to read Janay Rice’s defense of her husband, but that it gives us a better picture of how domestic violence victims justify staying with their abusers.
- Why are some black men dismissing black women’s criticism of Bill Cosby?
- Tope Fadiran Charlton reminds us that our disappointment in having to reassess our opinion of Bill Cosby is not more important than what his victims went through, so we should stop making it about our feelings.
- Writer/director Mariana Rondón discusses her film Pelo Malo (Bad Hair), about a young black Venezuelan boy who wants to straighten his hair.
- Terry Crews talks about toxic masculinity and the need for male feminist allies. (H/t Jezebel)
- Why do some of the media outlets that love to criticize beauty pageants also love to fawn over the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?
- The story of Joan Clarke, a WWII codebreaker who finally gets some recognition in the upcoming film The Imitation Game.
- A look at the cool new lab coat for women designed by Dr. Leslie Latterman.
- 10 black astrophysicists other than Neil deGrasse Tyson.
- GoldieBlox had a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade! And the Spirit of America Dancers did their routine wearing shirts that read “I <3 Gaming,” which was pretty rad (and mercifully, so far as I can tell the GamerGaters left them alone).
- The problems with the “No Gender December” campaign.
- I love this proposed “Sarkeesian Effect”:
The more you try to silence a woman through incessant criticism and harassment, the more likely I am to look into what she actually says and (inevitably) become a fan.