This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny is Overloaded

Seriously, how could all this shit happen in just one week? And a distressing amount hit the news between when I turned in last week’s article and when it actually ran. Can we have a break, please? (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

Last week President Obama announced the formation of a new task force to address the problem of sexual assaults on college campuses and the frequent mishandling of reports by universities more concerned with their reputations than with student safety. He also came out strong on a lot of women’s issues during the State of the Union (which we were all super excited to see!).

We were less excited about the official Republican response by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who set up married mothers as the ideal women and got weirdly bootstrappy about having a son with Down syndrome.

Louisiana scared the crap out of many of its female residents when they announced new rules that would require a blood test and 30-day waiting period to get an abortion, but the Department of Health and Hospitals has already rescinded that rule.

Revenge porn kingpin Hunter Moore and his associate, Charlie Evans, were arrested by the FBI on hacking charges. Good riddance. (This calls for a .gif ~ed.)


Thirteen people have been arrested in India after a village council ordered the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman who was dating a Muslim man.

Four teens in Jackson County, Georgia, are being allowed to finish out the school year before starting jail terms on charges of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

After a two-month-long fight, Marlise Munoz was finally taken off life support on Sunday; the hospital had previously refused to comply with her family’s wishes to take her off the ventilator due to a state law that forbids removing life-sustaining measures from pregnant women. A judge ordered the hospital to turn off the ventilator since Munoz was brain dead and new tests showed that her fetus wasn’t viable.

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were both indicted on corruption charges, but the media seems to have decided it was all her fault for being a greedy woman.

This Week in People Who Need to Shut the Fuck Up

  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): Giving fewer benefits to single women with multiple children is one of the stupidest ideas he’s ever had (and he’s had a fucking LOT of stupid ideas). He even acknowledges that it would be a tricky policy to implement and would rather rely on good old fashioned community shaming to discourage women from having babies (because of course giving them birth control or access to abortions is completely out of the question).
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): But wait, there’s more! He went on Meet the Press this weekend and said, “This whole sort of war on women thing, I’m scratching my head because if there was a war on women, I think they won.” Because a couple women in his family are doing well and he’s hired some women.
  • Mike Huckabee: Dude, you don’t know how birth control works and until you’re willing to figure it out, stop talking about “Uncle Sugar” and women’s uncontrollable libidos. And no, you can’t defend him by saying it was “off the cuff.”
  • Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM): I am so sick of this bullshit about women needing to “submit” to their husbands and be obedient.
  • Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO): Abortion should be banned because it’s not fair for women to take babies away from men who want to be fathers.
  • Kansas State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook (R): She’s introduced a bill to ban surrogate pregnancy in the state; it would even nullify current contracts. No idea what she expects those pregnant surrogates to do with the babies they’re carrying. And the bill is so poorly written it could technically outlaw artificial insemination even for married couples using the husband’s sperm.
  • Virginia pastor Paul Washer: Oh goody, another dude policing what women should wear if they don’t want to look like heathen sinner tramps. News flash: Unless we wear potato sacks, you’re going to be able to see the shapes of our bodies. And that’s ok. (No lie, when I clicked on the story on Facebook, the suggested link that popped up under it on my feed was the Wikipedia article for burqas.)
  • Gawker: For turning an opera singer’s childbirth complication into a fart joke (and dear fucking lord, the commenters get an even bigger STFU).
  • “From Rush to Rehab”: If you really want your blood pressure to go up, check out her post at Total Sorority Move that encourages women not to file false rape claims just because they got drunk and regretted sleeping with someone the night before. Except that doesn’t really fucking happen, you idiot, go educate yourself on actual statistics.

Victoria’s Secret had to apologize after an employee told a woman that she wasn’t allowed to breastfeed her four-month-old in a store dressing room and told her instead to go in the alley next to the store.

Screencaps from Saturday Night Live reading "A Victoria's Secret in Texas banned a woman from breastfeeding her son in the lingerie store. Apparently, they don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about what breasts are for."
SNL nailed it.

People are pissed at McDonald’s for declaring Adventure Time toys to be for boys only, and for not making figurines of any of the female characters.

The Oakland Raiders cheerleaders are suing the team because their pay of only $1,250 per season works out to below minimum wage, and that’s before they take out penalties for all kinds of ridiculous “violations.”

Good news! The gender wage gap for unionized workers is only 9.4¢, about half that of non-unionized workers.

Recommended Reading

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 is Overloaded”

Yeah, the Salon article about casting calls was disheartening. It reminded me of an internship I did for a casting director. She was holding a casting call for men and over and over she kept saying, “I don’t want any black men. No Mexicans. American men.” Something to that effect. I saw the casting call myself and didn’t see anything about race, only the search for a manly man whose job was probably in a labor field. I kept thinking to myself, “Could I REALLY change things from the inside if I ever became a casting director myself? Or would I fear being fired and just do as I’m told, lying to myself that if I just attained a high enough status, I could start pushing for more color and for women who are more than just their looks.” I ended up leaving the field altogether. =(

One of my friends worked for a casting agent for a while and she said one time they refused to represent a woman who’d won multiple Tonys because she wasn’t pretty enough to be worth the effort it would take to get her jobs in Hollywood. So fucked up. I was a theater major and wound up not going into acting because it was just so depressing that people would take one look at me and think, “Nope, too tall, not skinny enough, we don’t want a redhead, etc” before I even opened my mouth.

I appreciated the gay male privilege article. I have often thought those thoughts, but didn’t want to say anything, because last time I did, I got yelled at. Privilege is confusing, yo. I know I have it and I’m scared to dip my toe into feminist waters because I don’t want to bulldoze somebody with it. And also, people get angry about it. And sometimes I just want to be like, “Dude, I didn’t know I was doing that! I will try to fix it in future, please don’t be mad at me!”

Point being, privilege is confusing. It just is.

I have a lot of gay friends who have pulled the “vaginas are gross!!!” card to explain why they’re gay. Which, I can almost see as a reaction to the “butts are gross!!!” shit they get from homophobes, but it’s still not cool (and both ignore the existence of queer transgender people).

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