This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny Wants Some Potato Skins

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.

Map of U.S. color-coded to show which states have 18, 24, 48, and 72 hour waiting periods for abortions.
Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post.

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:

Screencap of trending news headline on Facebook reading "Jada Pinkett Smith: Smith Family reportedly under investigation after photo of Willow goes viral."
Because let’s blame the mom, right?

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!

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.

7 replies on “This Week in Misogyny Wants Some Potato Skins”

I have to admit, I’ve been bookmarking a billion links about this but haven’t had the heart to actually read anything yet beyond the comments I’ve seen on Facebook. It’s so fucking awful, and I’ve already seen a post from Slate about how PUAs and MRAs are defending him and I just can’t.

The worst about the whole shooter thing is I caught a Sunday morning news show where they were debating, “whether the police could have done anything.” Like, fucking excuse me? His parents told the police he was a danger to himself, which is more than enough to force a psychiatric evaluation. The police didn’t do anything to him because he’s a white, wealthy man. If he had been any other gender or race, this wouldn’t have happened. Then again, if he had been any other gender or race, he wouldn’t have felt entitled to end peoples lives because he had been told no at some point in his life.

Women might be *almost* as likely as men to use abuse online, but I don’t find that that translates to real life. I’ve gotten into arguments with women, sure, of course, but I’ve never been chased down the street by a group of drunk women screaming at me – nor have I been catcalled, harassed, or assaulted by another woman. Still – we need to keep trying to share the ideology of women first. Support women! Unfortunately, internalized misogyny is typically the culprit when women are attacking other women. Sad. :(

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