This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny and Other Assorted Bull

Oh kittens, it never stops. The good news is mostly short-lived, and people continue to be terrible. This week has been a rollercoaster in Texas and MRAs have stooped to a new low, but at least if you’re pregnant in Pennsylvania, strangers can’t randomly touch you anymore without risking a fine. Progress? (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

We all rejoiced on Monday when a federal judge declared parts of Texas’ new abortion restrictions to be unconstitutional, just one day before the law took effect and would have forced dozens of clinics to close. Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that the provision that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital can go into effect despite ongoing lawsuits. Closing the affected clinics will leave up to one third of Texas women without access to safe, legal abortions.

77-year-old radio host Dave Herman was busted by an undercover federal agent while trying to arrange to take a 7-year-old girl to his vacation home in the Virgin Islands to rape her. (And yes, headline writers and journalists of the world, when one of the people involved is 7 you shouldn’t say he wants to “have sex with her.” Just call it like it is.)

Maryland Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Douglas Gansler was already in hot water after photographs surfaced of him at a party at which teens were allegedly drinking. Now he’s made it even worse by stating that parents with daughters have more to worry about when it comes to teen drinking than those like him who have sons.

Peter Nolan, an MRA who runs a site called Crimes Against Fathers, decided to release the identity of a woman who filed rape charges (falsely, in his opinion) after a video of the encounter went viral. Except the student he named says she isn’t the woman on the tape, despite someone from 4Chan supposedly recognizing her, and now she’s had to delete all of her social media accounts and is terrified to leave her sorority house because she’s being harassed. (His statements at the linked article are so cruel and awful that I don’t even want to repeat them.)

Good news! It’s now illegal in Pennsylvania to touch a pregnant woman’s stomach without her permission. It isn’t a new law, but a new application of an existing harassment law after a woman called the police on a neighbor who refused to stop touching her.

Fox Business host John Stossel doesn’t think it’s fair that insurance companies can no longer charge more to cover women than men because women are “hypochondriacs” who go to the doctor more often and use more services.

In a segment of “What Would You Do?” on ABC, actors staged an incident in which a man tried to take a drunk woman to his hotel room against her will. Most of the bystanders intervened to protect her from getting raped, but two married men laughed with the actor playing the rapist and gave him advice on where to take her on the beach where they wouldn’t be seen. And one of them is a fucking cop.

The chairman of the board of directors of Jelly Belly donated $5,000 to a group lobbying against trans* rights in California.

A new study from the Columbia Business School shows that when women are asked to take on extra tasks at work, they’re seen as doing their boss a “favor” just for the hell of it rather than actually doing extra work that should be compensated.

In the pilot episode of Reign on CW, a scene of a teen girl masturbating was cut for being too explicit… but the following scene where she has sex with the much-older king was allowed to air. Why are censors so afraid of female sexual pleasure?

Fans of American Horror Story: Coven have taken to Twitter to fat-shame actress Gabourey Sidibe and express disgust that she has sexual scenes. Many of them don’t even bother to refer to her by name, instead calling her Precious after the movie role that earned her an Oscar nomination.

A site called She’s a Homewrecker allows wives to name and post pictures of women their husbands cheated on them with. And of course the cheating men aren’t outed, because it’s all the fault of evil, evil women.

Recommended reading

  • Mohi Kumar, herself a victim of sexual assault at the hands of an older relative, discusses the so-called Common Indian Male and why so many “good men” look the other way when it comes to rape and assault.
  • Jessica Valenti compiled examples of articles about rape that are illustrated with pictures of partying young white women, often without even showing their faces. Amanda Hess discusses the difficulties of finding appropriate pictures to run with articles, given that most victims don’t want to be identified and using identifiable stock photos can give the false impression that the models are rapists or were raped. (Which, statistically, is probably accurate on occasion and that’s kind of messed up.)
  • Nicholas Kristof on why companies like Twitter would be well-served to add women to their boards of directors.
  • Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science compiled a lot of links about recent sexist crap in the sciences. It’s nice to see prominent science bloggers recognizing this shit.
  • Speaking of science, some evolutionary psychologists are trying to claim that women evolved to be bitchy mean girls because it helps us get men by undermining other women, and because we don’t want to resort to physical violence because we need to survive to raise our kids. Have I mentioned how much I hate evolutionary psychologists? At least Live Science included a quote from a different psychologist who pointed out that none of the data in the cited behavioral studies could in any way support that claim; other reports I saw didn’t bother to point out that it’s bullshit.
  • It’s great to give women a place to speak about their experiences, but not when they’re peddling dangerous shit like “lotus births.”
  • MISANDRY JACK O’LANTERNS! You’re welcome.

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.

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