This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny: Hoo Lordy

Oh, misogyny. It never stops, does it? This week we’re catching up on three weeks worth of awful, so brace yourselves. Plus, you get to find out why I’m not friends with very many people from high school! (Yes, it’s disgustingly relevant and you probably already saw the story.) As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.

One of the most disgusting stories of the last few weeks has been the case of Stacey Dean Rambold, the high school teacher who was sentenced to a mere 30 days in jail (with the rest of his 15-year sentence suspended) for raping Cherice Moralez, a student who was 14 years old at the time and committed suicide at 16. After a public uproar and calls for his resignation, Judge G. Todd Baugh apologized for saying during sentencing that the victim was “as much in control of the situation” as her rapist and “older than her chronological age,” though he didn’t apologize for the short sentence. He did plan a hearing to possibly resentence Rambold since it may have been illegal to suspend more of his sentence than the state’s two-year mandatory minimum for the crime, but the Montana Supreme Court ruled that the resentencing hearing was also illegal and that it would all have to be sorted out on appeal. For a judge, Baugh doesn’t seem to know much about the law.

A 21-year-old Naval Academy midshipman was inappropriately interrogated during a military hearing to determine if charges will be pressed against three male students who bragged about raping her after she passed out at an off-campus party. While questions about her underwear and how far she opens her mouth while performing oral sex would likely be disallowed in a civilian grand jury trial, the military apparently has no issue with them (though, as Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post points out, it’s hard to imagine the men who are raped in the military being put through the same sort of victim-blaming bullshit).

An Illinois domestic violence victim has been blocked from suing the police for failing to enforce her order of protection against her ex-husband, who in 2010 shot her three times before killing himself. The Court of Appeals judge basically told her that police have more important things to worry about than “messy divorces” and besides, she can’t prove that the police are sexist in their failure to take domestic violence seriously. In a similar case, a North Carolina teacher asked for and was denied a domestic violence protection order against her abusive husband when she started divorce proceedings. Unfortunately, she was killed when he shot her repeatedly in front of her home two weeks ago.

An Ask Reddit thread titled “How come being drunk means you can’t give consent to have sex, but can still be held responsible for having it and charged with rape for doing so?” happened. Fortunately there were a few rational commenters amongst the usual trolls.

The media has been on a fucking roll lately.

  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] The Washington Post published an op-ed by Betsy Karasik claiming that it’s totally not that bad for teachers to sleep with students because teen girls are sex-crazed and are consenting to the relationships. Who needs a pesky age of consent anyway?
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] Another WaPo editorial by Ricard Cohen used Miley Cyrus’s VMA twerking as an excuse to say that the Steubenville victim wasn’t really raped and that the whole case was blown all out of proportion. Also, when young women like Miley act in a sexual fashion, it makes all men see all women as mere sex objects so who can blame them for wanting to debase women? (H/T to the XXfactor.)
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] An AP headline quoted rape statistics in parts of Asia while excluding the statistics about partner rape. The actual percentage of men who admitted to having sex with a woman without her consent was about 1 in 4, not the 1 in 10 cited.
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] Tucker Carlson’s website published a ridiculously misogynistic rant against Stephanie Cutter, one of the new cohosts of the revived version of Crossfire. Never mind that Cutter has an impressive resume that includes acting as deputy campaign manager for Obama’s 2012 election, let’s talk about her dye job and call her a “dead-eyed, tacky sociopath” for no apparent reason (other than, obviously, being a woman and a Democrat).
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] Fox & Friends contributor Dr. David Samadi thinks it’s totally fair for women to pay more for health insurance because we have breasts, are more likely to visit the doctor for screenings, and live longer. Gretchen Carlson pointed out that taking care of ourselves should earn us a discount because we’re more likely to catch issues early when they cost less to take care of, and that it’s unfair to put the cost of pregnancy-care solely on women since a man had to be involved somehow. (And yes, I’m deeply uncomfortable on an existential level that I want to give Gretchen Carlson a high-five.)
  • [icon name=”icon-asterisk”] Not only do Fox News anchors willfully refuse to use Chelsea Manning’s preferred name and pronouns, Fox & Friends played Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady” after a segment about her transition.

Frosh week leaders at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax are being disciplined by the school after video surfaced of them leading incoming students in a chant that glorified sexual assault and sex with underage women.

By now you’ve probably heard about Mrs. Hall’s letter to teenage girls that tells them that they’re unsuitable to be friends with her teen sons (and by extension, her whole family) if they post bra-less selfies on Facebook. Fortunately, the Internet jumped all over that fuckery to explain all the reasons why she’s full of shit and needs to worry more about teaching her sons to respect women no matter what they wear.

More fuckery—Fix the Family has a list of reasons good Catholic parents shouldn’t allow their daughters to go to college. Spoiler alert: They’re all ridiculous (except for maybe the cost of college and the amount of debt students can incur, but that’s hardly gender-specific).

While they didn’t openly admit it, a study found that men’s self-esteem drops when their female partner does better than them.

A sign company in Waco, Texas decided to demonstrate how realistic their printing is by making a truck decal depicting a tied up woman. And because it’s fucking Waco, they’ve had an increase in orders since putting it on an employee’s truck. (I went to high school with the asshole who owns the company, so yeah, I’m taking this one a little personally.)

Misogyny in tech! TechCrunch had to apologize after their Disrupt conference featured a presentation about an app called TitStare in which men can share pictures of themselves staring at a woman’s chest. Also, Business Insider fired CTO Pax Dickinson for a series of sexist, racist, and all-around horrible tweets.

The dickwolves controversy from 2010 flared up again at the Penny Arcade Expo after the original artist lamented that they’d stopped selling dickwolf T-shirts because of complaints from rape survivors.

DC is offering aspiring artists a chance to “Break Into Comics With Harley Quinn.” Too bad the audition panels revolve around making jokes out of Quinn contemplating suicide (while naked, in one of them). Batwoman cowriters JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman also announced their resignation because DC won’t allow them to complete a planned storyline in which Batwoman was to marry her girlfriend.

I love it when Twitter schools dumbasses. Kevin Hart, STFU.

Tweet by Kevin Hart reading, "Today is "NATIONAL SHUT THE HELL UP DAY FOR WOMEN" ......Ladies u r not allowed to talk to your man while football is on!!! RT THIS ASAP"
But if I can’t talk to him, how can I mock him when my team trounces his?

A pizza shop in Champaign-Urbana offered free late-night pizzas to women who were willing to show their tits to employees.

Recommended Reading

  • [icon name=”icon-star”] One pastor’s take on why we should talk to our sons about Robin Thicke instead of just telling our daughters not to be Miley Cyrus.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] A tech journalist’s letter to her daughter’s high school computer programming teacher who did little to prevent boys in the class from harassing her, and how teachers need to do more to encourage girls who are interested in tech.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] While a fair amount of attention is paid to the lack of women in STEM fields, there are even fewer female philosophers (and virtually none of them are WoC). Here’s the first installment of a five-part New York Times online series on women in philosophy.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] Katie Roiphe makes some good points about how statistics about the representation of women in different fields don’t tell the whole story (after all, we aren’t all bad feminists for voting for Obama and preventing Sarah Palin from being the first female vice-president), but it still rubs me the wrong way that she seems to think those conversations are totally irrelevant. I’m also vaguely amused that she held up Christine Quinn’s mayoral run as an example of women voting for her simply because she’s a woman and with no regard to her policies or those of any of the other candidates. While Quinn had some high-profile White Feminist endorsements, she finished the primary in 3rd place with barely 15% of the vote, so clearly women weren’t coming out in droves to support her.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] Salon has a good analysis of the different ways people talk about teen girls’ age (i.e. “She may be 12 but she looks like she’s 20”) and how that can lead to brushing off sexual assault on underage girls or blaming the victims as equally complicit.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] Think Progress has a depressing roundup of rape culture at work.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] Alecia Lynn Eberhardt at XO Jane wants women to stop pretending to have boyfriends to deflect unwanted attention from strangers; Skepchick’s Heina explains why that would only work if men would take no for a damn answer.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] From Tumblr, a photoset of Jessi Klein explaining how ridiculous it would be if flat-screen TVs were the male equivalent of engagement rings.
  • [icon name=”icon-star”] When somebody made an “insulting” meme out of the following picture of John Scalzi in a dress, he fired back with some alternatives that are actually funny and then declared that the original version is accurate, because fuck yeah he’s a feminist.

Picture of a man in a Regency-style dress, captioned "This is what a feminist looks like."

As usual, let’s finish with some good news!

  • [icon name=”icon-smile”] The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional a 2012 Arizona law that would have prevented Medicaid patients from getting any medical care from clinics that also perform abortions (i.e., Planned Parenthood). Suck it, Arizona!
  • [icon name=”icon-smile”] Toys R Us has vowed to stop gender-biased marketing in its UK stores.
  • [icon name=”icon-smile”] In 2012, the teen pregnancy rate was at the lowest number since we started tracking it 73 years ago. Contraception works, kiddos!


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.

6 replies on “This Week in Misogyny: Hoo Lordy”

after being forced to take a break from Persephone mag for so long I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy these “This Week in Misogyny” posts… I especially enjoyed the responses you included links for which were directed towards Mrs Hall. It’s definitely complicated to be a teenage girl online in this generation because you are simultaneously expected to be attractive yet innocent, with all the shame of female sexuality almost magnified because of their suspension between adulthood and childhood. Teen boys on the other hand aren’t forced to take responsibility for the role they play in victimizing teen girls and their sexual privilege as males. It’s a double edged sword and I’m glad people responded to this crazy woman

Leave a Reply