This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny Isn’t Dirty Chocolate

Happy belated Equal Pay Day! Let’s see who’s been terrible this week, find out why people need to show the love to Sansa Stark and Black Widow, and, apparently, go to the restroom together. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

The biggest story this week has been equal pay. Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, which is the symbolic date through which women would have to work to finally catch up with what men earned in 2013. President Obama used it as an opportunity to sign an executive order to provide protections to employees of federal contractors. Unfortunately, the Paycheck Fairness Act that would extend those rights to all workers was blocked by Senate Republicans; it fell short of the 60 votes needed to bring it to a floor vote. (Which, don’t even get me started on the fact that you only need 51 votes to pass a bill but 60 votes to agree to vote on it at all.) The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed from some dudes who trotted out the same tired old explanations as to why they think the gender wage gap is a conspiracy between Obama and feminists, but they’re full of shit. And in a particularly enraging turn, a 2010 video was released in which Terri Lynn Land, who will likely be Michigan’s Republican Senate candidate, explained that women don’t want equal pay because we want to take lots of time off to take care of our kids. Because all women are moms and men never need to take care of their kids, amirite?

"Just thought you should know every single Senate Republican just voted against equal pay for women. April 9, 2014."
Image credit: Occupy Democrats

A rape victim in Senegal has been denied an abortion under the country’s strict laws that require three doctors to testify that a mother’s life is in imminent danger, even though she’s only 10 years old and is carrying twins.

Tennessee’s state legislature has passed a bill that, if signed into law by the governor, allows women to be charged with assault if they use drugs while pregnant (and is written so poorly that it could require investigations into any woman who suffers a miscarriage or stillbirth or whose baby has health problems, in order to prove that the complications weren’t caused by drug use).

Mississippi’s new sex ed curriculum, which has been adopted by more than 60% of school districts in the state, includes an exercise in which teachers are supposed to unwrap a piece of chocolate and pass it around so that the students can see how dirty it is, just like dirty sluts who have sex before marriage. Of course, this isn’t the only really horrible purity analogy being taught to teens.

Related, a CDC survey found that 83% of teen girls became sexually active before receiving any formal sex education.

Terrible people of the week!

  • Wisconsin state Rep. Bill Kramer, who has been charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and allegedly assaulted a senate aide three years ago, though that assault was never reported to police. He’s been removed as Majority leader in the state house, but he still gets to keep his seat.
  • South Carolina state Sen. Mike Fair, who convinced officials at USC Upstate to cancel a planned production of a satirical one-woman show titled “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less” because he thought it was meant to recruit lesbians.
  • Louisiana Congressman Vance McAllister, who ran a family-values campaign and then got caught on video making out with a woman who is not his wife of 16 years, with whom he has five kids. He has stated that he will not resign over the scandal, though many other Republicans aren’t happy about that.
  • Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said that Sen. Dianne Feinstein is “too emotional” to investigate the CIA’s torture program. (She called him out in epic fashion.)
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell, whose campaign has endorsed a sexist op-ed slamming his opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.
  • Truth in Advertising, which released a transphobic ad that promotes several harmful stereotypes (though they’ve since apologized).
  • James Franco and Christian McQueen; Franco for hitting on a 17-year-old on Instagram and pickup artist/”Alpha Playboy” McQueen for praising Franco’s game.
  • Bill Maher, who took a study about the number of young men who’ve been coerced into sex (43% of those questioned) and turned it into a skit about “Lucky Bastard Syndrome.” Because men can’t possibly not want sex.
  • Mike Huckabee, for this sexist and homophobic gem at a fundraiser Tuesday night:

Guys like to go fishing with other men. They like to go hunting with other men. Women like to go to the restroom with other women. I don’t get that. I can tell you this much: if I ever say, ‘I have to go to the restroom’ and some guy says, ‘I’ll go with you,’ he ain’t goin’ with me. That much I know.

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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.

5 replies on “This Week in Misogyny Isn’t Dirty Chocolate”

I love Sansa as well. I don’t think the tv show always does a great job of explaining these women. Arya is easy to like, she’s a little girl with a sword who doesn’t take lip. Cersei and Catelyn are a lot alike–they’ll do anything to protect their children and damn the consequences. The situations they’re in, though, are entirely different. “Action” has always been a man’s game (which is why Brienne is such an awesome character) and tv and movies do better with action than with motivation and deep character exploration, especially on such a grand scale.

tl;dr? Sansa. I love her. I want to give her a hug and tell her it’s going to be ok. (Even though it’s probably not.)

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