This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny: New Year, Same Old Shit

Welcome to 2014! Things don’t seem to be much better here in the future, do they? (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

The Affordable Care Act went into effect yesterday, but thanks to a last-minute stay by Justice Sotomayor, employees of some institutions affiliated with religious organizations won’t have their contraceptives covered after all. That’s fucked up.

A Texas woman who suffered a pulmonary embolism on November 26 is being kept on life support against her previously-expressed wishes and against the wishes of her husband and family because she’s pregnant. State law requires Marlise Munoz to basically be an incubator for her fetus until it reaches full term several months from now, even though the fetus may have suffered severe damage from being denied oxygen and nutrients for an unknown length of time before Marlise’s husband found  her unconscious and started CPR. (The state, of course, won’t help pay the massive hospital bills accumulating to keep her “alive.”)

RNC chair Reince Priebus wants to pass a nationwide ban on abortions after only 16 weeks, and is just flat-out inventing public poll numbers to support his cause.

Dallas County State District Judge Carlos Raul Cortez has been arrested following a domestic dispute in which his girlfriend says he dragged her by her hair and strangled her (and she has the bruises to prove it). An attorney for the judge claims that he “actually saved her life.”

Uganda passed an anti-pornography bill that also bans miniskirts and other immodest clothing. The nation also passed another anti-homosexuality bill that imposes life sentences on anyone who has gay or lesbian sex or anyone who even “touches another person with intent to commit the act of homosexuality.”

A class-action lawsuit on behalf of 150,000 women who claimed that Walmart had discriminated against them on the basis of their gender was dismissed in federal court in California. The judge said that the case was too similar to a previous case that had been rejected by SCOTUS and that they didn’t provide enough evidence.

A San Francisco woman who was harassed and threatened with rape at a bus stop in the middle of the night jumped on a bus hoping to get away safely, but not only did the driver refuse to stop her harasser from boarding the bus or call the cops on him, he laughed when the harasser said that she was a prostitute who’d been hassling him.

A Canadian study found that while Millennial women are more likely to be “high performers” in the workplace than men in the same age bracket, they’re still less likely to be singled out by management as having the potential for advancement, a phenomenon the study calls “unconscious bias.”

More sexism in tech, this time from Paul Graham, the cofounder of Y Combinator, who thinks that only hackers who started when they were 13 are authentic, and that 13-year-old girls are inherently disinterested in computers and he wouldn’t have any idea how to make them interested, therefore, women who major in computer science aren’t really good at programming.

Oh, white feminists. Ani DiFranco canceled a planned retreat after protests erupted that it was being held at Nottoway Plantation and Resort, which is the largest former plantation in the South and was built by slave labor. One of her (white) defenders even thought it was a good idea to pretend to be an Ani fan named “LaQueeta Jones” (using a random black woman’s picture she found online) who complained about black people being racist against white people. In a long-winded apology of sorts on Facebook, DiFranco said that she didn’t realize people would be upset and “imagined a dialogue would emerge organically over the four days about the issue of where we were.” Mikki Kendall does a great job of breaking down the outrage and explaining why it wasn’t all an overreaction.

The Whistling Woods International film school has released a PSA in India to show men what the male gaze looks like. Ads like this work much better when they aren’t selling things!

In a video that’s surfaced from 2009, Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson encouraged men to marry underage girls because they’ll be more willing to do whatever their husband says without questioning him (and they’ll pluck his ducks for him).

Photos of actress Shailene Woodley on her way to the set of Amazing Spiderman were leaked on the same day as the studio released official pictures of Andrew Garfield’s new costume. Guess which one inspired more discussion among fans? If you answered that there were seven times more comments (in the first day! And her pics came out hours later!) about whether Woodley was hot enough to play Mary Jane, you win!

Recommended Reading

  • Mother Jones selected their 13 Badass Women of 2013.
  • Media Matters rounds up the horribly misogynistic things conservative media said about women in 2013.
  • AlterNet discusses the ten most sexist female characters on TV. (Though I’m still a bit confused as to how the Doctor wound up on a list of characters that are written as ridiculous stereotypes. Yes, it would be nice to have a Doctor who wasn’t a white dude, but that’s not the list you’re writing.)
  • Frank Bruni writes in the New York Times about how Hollywood’s refusal to green-light a Wonder Woman movie is a metaphor for its stubborn insistence that any successful film about badass women must be a fluke.
  • The mental gymnastics of Fox News—A plus-sized Barbie would be bad because would should encourage kids to be healthy! (Next segment) The Obama administration’s plan to help people make healthier choices by requiring vending machines to display calorie counts is bad for business! Wrong on both counts, but thanks for playing.
  • Two articles from Slate on women and booze: Amanda Hess looks at the actual stats of women and binge drinking, which largely contradict the rash of trend pieces about how women are the new face of drunken revelry, while Kara Newman analyzes increasingly gendered marketing of alcoholic beverages and how it plays into potentially dangerous stereotypes.
  • Amanda Marcotte defends the (spoiler!) twist in Frozen‘s love story (even if it’s a little creepy that Anna’s eyes are bigger than her wrists).
  • Jill Filipovic on the barriers to education for girls in Malawi and how they’re coming together to support each other.

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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