It’s been another banner week for misogyny news. Several studies were published that will likely depress you, and the weekly roundup of terrible people will probably piss you off. There’s some fun stuff at the end, though! (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)
More than a month after the kidnapping of the Nigerian schoolgirls, interest in the case has sadly waned in the US even though the girls still haven’t been recovered. There was a huge surge in searches for related terms for a few days after the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag went viral and then again when Fox News blamed Hillary Clinton for the kidnapping, but then the story dropped back off the radar. Of course, this isn’t the first time that a hashtag campaign caused a spike in “awareness” that fizzled out when people realized there was no easy solution to the problem. In actual news, Nigerian teachers staged a protest in support of the girls and in memory of 173 teachers who have been killed by militants, and the U.S. Air Force has deployed an 80-member team in Chad who will use drones to search the forests for the girls.
Yet another judge handing down a completely ridiculous sentence for a convicted rapist — for years David Wise was drugging his wife so he could rape her in her sleep and videotape it, yet despite being found guilty on six felony counts, Superior Court Judge Kurt Eisgruber only sentenced Wise to eight years home confinement (though he’ll still be able to go to work) without a single day in jail.
Well, this is depressing. 26 states currently have waiting periods for women seeking abortions, and Missouri could end up with a 72-hour delay unless Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes the bill (which he has indicated he might, but he’s still thinking about it at press time) and if the legislature can’t get enough votes to override.
There hasn’t been any actual news about why Jill Abramson was fired from the New York Times, but there’s been plenty of speculation to go around. (Pro-tip: Don’t click the links from the New York Post unless you want to get pissed off.) She did get a mention on the Senate floor when Harry Reid used her as an example of someone who might have benefitted from the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are reportedly being investigated by CFS because of that viral picture of Willow hanging out with a shirtless male friend on a bed. Don’t they have actual cases of child endangerment to be looking into? And it bugs me that this is how it came up in my Facebook trending stories:
Terrible people of the week
- Sen. Marco Rubio, who tried to defend himself against accusations that he doesn’t understand the science of climate change by saying that at least he understands the science of life beginning at conception. Except nope.
- Miguel Arias Cañete, a Spanish candidate for the European parliament, who complained that he had to hold back his superior intellect in a debate because his opponent was a woman and he didn’t want to be accused of being a sexist. (H/t Karo.)
- A.J. Delgado, a contributor to National Review Online, for saying that women have been brainwashed by liberals into thinking they’d been raped and that women “crying rape” accounts for half of rape accusations.
- William Giraldi, who in the course of supposedly reviewing an academic book about why Fifty Shades of Grey became such a cultural phenomenon stated that “…romance novels, like racists, tend to be the same wherever you turn.” Hell to the no, sir. Far be it from me to defend diehard Fifty Shades fans because I just don’t get it, but don’t you dare say ALL romance novels are like that and that all romance readers are “brain dead.” Them’s fightin’ words.
- Kansas’ Saline County Commissioner John Price, who refused to take a grant to provide IUDs to county health department patients because he thinks they cause abortions and doesn’t want God to think he’s an abortionist.
- The Louisiana House of Representatives, which blocked a measure that would have allowed the CDC to poll teens about risky sexual behaviors because they didn’t to encourage teens to be curious about sex.
- Premier League (soccer) CEO Richard Scudamore, whose former assistant leaked a series of misogynistic emails he’d sent, and the league committee that decided his actions didn’t even warrant a reprimand, much less a Donald Sterling-style ouster.
- The South Carolina school district officials who decided that Gracie Holtzclaw’s art piece entitled “Rape Culture” was “inappropriate” to show to the public even though she’d already been told that she had been selected for the Greenville County School Art Exhibition.
- Whoever put up “Abortion Barbie” posters all over Los Angeles when Wendy Davis came to town on Thursday for a fundraiser.
Massive high fives to Daniel McCawley, the restaurant owner who responded to a request for his servers to show more skin by adding a potato skins special to the menu and donating the proceeds to the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services. Mmm, potato skins.
Solidarity fist bumps to Sarah Millican, who took on the people who made fun of the dress she wore to the BAFTA awards.
New York Democrats reintroduced the Women’s Equality Act that was blocked by state Republicans last year; fingers crossed it does better this time around.
Infuriating study findings of the week!
- Women are more likely to have to delay seeking medical treatment than men, frequently because they can’t find childcare, aren’t able to take time off work, or don’t have insurance.
- Damnit. Women are almost as likely to men to use abusive language against women online.
- Discrimination isn’t necessarily about hating people who are different than you, but about unconsciously preferring people who are like you. Which isn’t exactly comforting for anyone who isn’t part of the white male power structure.
- A small study found that working women are more stressed out at home than at work.
- Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich wrote an op-ed in the Kansas City Star about how public policies contribute to our rising maternal mortality rate.
- Amanda Marcotte on the pros and cons of self-congratulatory “corporate feminism” that sometimes celebrates powerful women who use that power to oppress less-fortunate women.
- How belligerent masculine posturing is ruining political discourse.
- Why California needs to repeal the Maximum Family Grant rule that forbids increasing welfare to mothers who have babies while receiving state aid under the misguided (and racist) view that “welfare moms” are having babies just to get more money from the state.
- Paid menstrual leave — awesome way to help women who have debilitating cramps, or just another way to reinforce the myth that women can’t function properly during their periods?
- Jessica Valenti on how dress codes unfairly shame girls for “distracting” boys.
- “Revealing Spring Attire Reminds Man He Nothing More Than Weak, Hormonal Ogre.”
- 17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Boys About Sex, because girls aren’t the only ones who get wrong information. (A+ gif usage, especially on number 9. Dying laughing.)
- On fat-shaming opera singers and why editors apparently don’t see a problem with discussing Tara Erraught’s looks without even mentioning her voice or performance.
- I’m always down for reading a good rant about why yes, we do still need feminism (even if there’s not really anything new there).
- Also rants about the lies American women hear all the time.
- Jezebel’s response to Maxim‘s list of the 100 hottest women in the world. Though yeah, we’re totally judging them for putting Neil deGrasse Tyson so far down the list.
- Speaking of whom, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s mom is pretty damn awesome too.
- 28 things that are not actually “porn for women.”
- Who wears short shorts? Men should wear short shorts! (You can totally see the outline of Al Gore’s junk in the picture at the link. Not sure if that’s gonna make y’all more or less likely to click through.)
- I’m way too in love with this Tumblr of cats photoshopped between the legs of men taking up multiple seats on the subway.
- A history of “not all men,” which I would swear was popular in my circle before 2013, but I may be conflating it with “don’t you mean some white people?” since they’re both the same sort of derailing.