This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny is a Wee Bit Less Stabby Than Usual

After all, most state legislatures and Congress are on holiday, so they aren’t writing laws about my uterus this week. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of other misogyny in the news! (Trigger warnings apply for just about everything.)

More than 70% of the abortion laws passed in states across the U.S. between January and May of this year do not allow for exceptions for rape victims.

Oh hey, when Congress actually asked the states to report on whether their abortion clinics are run safely, the answer was an overwhelming “Yes.” Which means that all the new regulations that are supposedly to protect patient safety are blatantly unnecessary.

Did you know that abortion was the reason three teens allegedly killed an Australian student in Oklahoma? Fox News’ Keith Ablow thinks so, and also blames the killing on Facebook and the Internet. Mmkay.

Dr. Phil asked his followers on Twitter if it’s OK to rape drunk girls. While it’s possible that he really was just weighing public opinion and later planned to explain why it’s 100% NOT OKAY, the phrasing made it seem like it’s not a settled issue and could go either way, and Twitter isn’t the best way to poll on this shit anyway. The hashtag also makes it seem like he’s more worried about the teens who are accused, not the ones who were raped. The tweet has since been deleted, but screencaps are forever!

Tweet by Dr. Phil reading "If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply with yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused

After a 14-year-old girl was raped and impregnated by a 20-year-old man in 2009, he was sentenced to 16 years probation and, in an unusual decision by the judge, ordered to go to family court until the child reaches adulthood. She’s now suing because she doesn’t want to have to pay legal fees and see him in court for the next 16 years.

Why in the world are we worrying about whether or not Hillary Clinton will die before the 2016 election? The actuarial tables quoted give the 65-year-old a 98.9% chance of surviving the election, which is better odds than many of the men she could be competing against and than the odds of many men who went on to be elected when they were at this point in their respective campaigns. But nope, we need to keep trying to convince people she’s too old to run.

Fun with the New York City mayoral race! Maureen Dowd is in hot water after her New York Times column initially drastically misquoted a comment made by Chirlane McCray, the wife of candidate Bill De Blasio, about Christine Quinn. She also seemed confused by McCray’s bisexuality and implies that the fact that McCray once identified as a lesbian and later married a man is somehow the equivalent of Weiner’s infidelities. And she kind of implies that it’s weird that De Blasio and McCray “seem quite conventional” compared with the other couples in the race–McCray is African-American and De Blasio is white, while Quinn is a married lesbian and Weiner, well, shows his dick all over the Internet.

A teen girl who was photographed giving a blow job to a boy at a concert is getting slut-shamed all over Twitter as #Slanegirl. Her name was leaked, but no one has identified him and people pretty much think he’s a “hero.”

Kelly Martin Broderick posted a picture of herself online holding a sign that says “This is what a feminist looks like,” and then found out she’d been turned into a fatshaming anti-feminist meme. And Facebook refuses to take it down even though they acknowledge it violates her privacy and that the people posting it have no right to use her image.

The wage gap starts even earlier than anyone suspected; a new study finds that boys tend to earn more for doing chores than girls do, even though girls are more likely to do chores and spend more time doing them.

A study of dating habits finds that men are still more likely to pay on dates. Nearly two-thirds of men surveyed said that they’d like women to offer to pay, but 76% feel guilty if the woman does pay. 57% of women say they offer to pay, though many hope that the man will refuse the offer and many women are bothered if they’re asked to pay for their meal. Imma let Conan handle this one.

Picture of Conan O'Brien during the August 14, 2013 show, captioned, "According to a new study, most men would like women to occasionally pick up the check. The study also found that most women would occasionally like to be paid as much as men for doing the same job."

Women’s Health polled Men’s Health readers to see how they felt about women keeping their maiden names after marriage. 63.3% of respondents said they’d be upset if their wife didn’t want to change her name, while 96.3% said they wouldn’t consider taking her name if asked. Some of the responses are infuriatingly hypocritical.

Professional women face a fashion Catch-22. If they dress stylishly, people dismiss them as frivolous and immature (see: all the people calling Wendy Davis “Barbie”). If not, people assume they don’t take care of themselves and hurl all kinds of insults at them.

I want to be psyched that there’s a Mars Explorer Barbie that shows little girls that they can be astronauts too, but it’s just so darn pink and they didn’t give her gloves, which is just kind of stupid. They even pinkified Curiosity!

The new movie Lovelace, about Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace, gives a skewed and outdated perspective on the porn industry that does a disservice to people in the industry today.

There are two new contenders that look beyond the Bechdel test to judge movies on their treatment of women and LGBTQ individuals. The Mako Mori test, named after the Pacific Rim star, judges a movie on whether it “has a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.” GLAAD has also proposed a Russo test with the following criteria:

1. The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender.
2. That character must not be solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity. I.E. they are made up of the same sort of unique character traits commonly used to differentiate straight characters from one another.
3. The LGBT character must be tied into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a significant effect. Meaning they are not there to simply provide colorful commentary, paint urban authenticity, or (perhaps most commonly) set up a punchline. The character should matter.

I’d love to see more movies that pass all three, but it’s hard enough finding films that pass even one. One summer movie that surprisingly passes at least two of the tests and may pass the third? The Wolverine.

Some romance writers have a bad habit of having their male characters interrupt foreplay to make sure the female character is sure she wants to do this (yay consent!) but then follow with, “If we go any further, I won’t be able to stop.” NOPE. That’s rape culture right there; people should always stop if their partner changes their mind at any point and it’s dangerous to imply that there’s a point of no return.

An Alabama news site has issued an apology after a post about throwing football parties declared that “football can be a confusing and vexing concept, especially for women.”

Recommended reading

  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] Amanda Hess thinks we may have taken period pride a bit too far and that we’re both letting ourselves be defined by our bodies and excluding women who don’t menstruate for whatever reason. Meanwhile, Sophie Heawood is dreading the day her toddler daughter decides that she can’t be proud of her giant poos anymore.
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] Crushing childcare costs are making even upper-middle-class parents struggle financially and force many less affluent mothers to stay home because they actually save money by not working (but then have to take lower-paying jobs if they later return to the workforce). The lousy economy and skyrocketing costs, not only for childcare but also to even give birth to the child, leave many people with few options, none of them ideal. Even the immediate post-partum period is becoming increasingly difficult; women are expected to be supermoms from day one and the U.S.’s lack of paid maternity (or paternity) leave means new mothers are often unsupported and expected to do it all with very little recovery time. One mother explains that she won’t breastfeed any future children she has because it sets up an unequal work load, not just while nursing but later on because children may bond more strongly with Mom if she has to handle all of the feeding.
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] Anxiety and many other mental illnesses affect women in greater numbers than men, but social stigma may prevent them from getting help lest they be dubbed “crazy women.”
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] How to be a defensive feminist (and shitty ally).
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] “Strong Female Characters” are boring. Can we shoot for some multidimensional female characters instead?

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.

3 replies on “This Week in Misogyny is a Wee Bit Less Stabby Than Usual”

Don’t worry, Sophie Heawood. I am 34 and still incredibly proud of my giant poos. While I stop short of photographing them, I will proudly announce them to my husband, family, or friends. If I get push back, I like to remind people that “Everybody Poops.” Best book EVER.

The stolen Facebook picture makes me pretty stabby, I have to admit, but I think that Kelly Martin Broderick is a goddamn badass for speaking out and taking control of that situation like she did.

Also, The Wolverine wasn’t terrible, and Yukio has long been one of my favorite women in the X-Men universe.

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