This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny: “Iron-Knickered Feminist Lingerie-Arsonist” Edition

The world continues to be a horrible place this week. Let’s keep fighting the good fight, ladies! (Trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

A woman in Texas has been ordered to have her long-term partner move out of the house they share or risk losing custody of her children. A “morality clause” in her divorce settlement prohibits overnight guests unless they’re related, but she can’t marry her partner because Texas forbids same-sex marriage.

Florida high school senior Kaitlyn Hunt has been expelled from school and is facing felony charges for dating a freshman girl; the younger girl’s parents reportedly contacted the police because they were upset that their daughter was in a same-sex relationship. An online petition urging the prosecutor to drop all charges has gotten more than 200K signatures.

Iran’s parliament is considering a bill that would allow girls as young as nine years old to get married.

The House of Representatives held a hearing on a nationwide ban on abortions at 20 weeks. It looked like this.

Tweet by Laura Bassett: "Well this looks familiar: every lawmaker at the House hearing on the nationwide 20-week abortion ban is a man." with a photo of the men on the committee

New York governor Andrew Cuomo wants the state legislature to pass a Women’s Equality Act to address issues like the wage gap and domestic violence, but state Republicans are trying to derail his agenda by linking campaign finance reform to an Assemblyman’s sexual harassment scandal.

Note to the Associated Press: When covering a story about a girl who got raped on school grounds, your headline shouldn’t refer to the attack as “restroom sex.”

Facebook is catching flack for repeatedly removing pictures of women breastfeeding or showing mastectomy scars, while doing nothing to remove rape jokes, threats of violence against women, or revealing photos taken of women without their knowledge or consent. Activist groups are calling for advertisers to boycott Facebook until their policy changes.

Right-wing radio talk show host Pete Santilli said he wants to shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina, launching a Secret Service investigation.

Labour MP Diane Abbott thinks that there’s a masculinity crisis in the UK, and that the solution is for them to put women back in their traditional places. In response, Laurie Penny from The Guardian wrote my favorite sentence of the week:

Call me an iron-knickered feminist lingerie-arsonist if you must, but I thought we had agreed that forcing women and their children to choose between a husband and punishing poverty was a policy best left back in the dark ages where it came from, along with smallpox and witch-burning.

Kameron Hurley has a great essay on the erasure of women from history, particularly warfare, and the difficulty of writing realistic women even if you’re aware of misogynistic tropes that tell you how women are “supposed” to be and even if you’re writing in a sci-fi/fantasy universe where you can make up your own societal rules and norms.

Speaking of sci-fi/fantasy, boob plate armor would likely kill anyone who wore it, so stop drawing women in it!

An answer to whiners who wonder, “Why aren’t there more YA books about guys?”

Sexism in advertising:

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Beyoncé is a feminist. Suck it, haters.

Former tennis star Jimmy Connors complains in his new autobiography that his then-girlfriend and fellow tennis champion Chris Evert had an abortion without his input. Never mind what she wanted! Including, for example, not wanting to have to talk about something deeply personal that happened almost 40 years ago.

When actor Scott Shepherd hit his girlfriend, she was advised not to talk about it and the theater company they both worked for offered to let her out of her contract (rather than firing him). One of her friends felt this was unfair and took the story to tumblr (while protecting the friend’s identity).

French filmmaker Francois Ozon thinks that all women fantasize about being prostitutes. Um, no.

On butch misogyny toward femmes.

Do mothers need to protect their sons from “aggressive girls?” Hell. No.

Let’s end with some wins, shall we?

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  • The screenwriter of Star Trek Into Darkness apologized for the completely gratuitous scene in which actress Alice Eve wore nothing but a bra and panties.
  • “Attractive and Fat” is a brilliant response to Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO’s douchey statement about why his brand only caters to thin women.
  • An asshole on Reddit posted a picture of a Sikh woman to make fun of her facial hair, and when she caught wind of it she commented to explain that her religion forbids her to shave or otherwise alter her body, and that actions are more important than looks. In what may be a first on Reddit, the OP apologized!


By [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.

9 replies on “This Week in Misogyny: “Iron-Knickered Feminist Lingerie-Arsonist” Edition”

I’ve known the boob plate armor thing for a while, but then I was working on some character designs for knights in a college course so I spent a lot of time looking at armor. Most chest plates were built the exact opposite way, with a ridge right down the center of the chest to send blows glancing away from the body. Also folks tended to use hammers, not swords as a weapon of choice against armored opponents they really wanted to end, so crumple zone unfriendly armor really would get you killed. Real war hammers (not the goofy fantasy ones dwarves seem to love) had about a 18 inch handle and a head that looked sorta like a tack hammer on one side and an ice pick on the other and they were all about denting and punching holes in armor to immobilize your opponent then get to his squishy bits.

It is a new weekly post! This is the third or fourth installment; they go up every Friday evening. And yeah, writing this doesn’t always do good things for my blood pressure; we should find a way to bottle and sell the rage this shit induces.

Let’s market it to the environmentalists and hippies. As long as there are horriblenasty misogynists (and sadly, the seem to be self-replicating), there will be plenty of rage to light up the nights. And then we’d be doing something nice and literal to fight the darkness, and the interwebs loves that stuff!

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