This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny is 1,000,000% Done

This week has been pretty much the worst. The SCOTUS decision in the Hobby Lobby case obviously captivated most of our attention, but the rest of the world didn’t stop being awful either. Fucking hell. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.) *Programming note: We’re taking tomorrow off to eat delicious cook-out food and play with small explosives. Happy fourth of July! 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock all week (in which case, need a roommate?), you already know that the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby and said that “closely held companies” could object to the contraceptive mandate on religious grounds (the full text of the decision is here; the dissent starts on page 60). While many people seem to think the decision only applies to Hobby Lobby, an estimated 90% of U.S. companies fit the IRS definition of “closely held.” Of course not all of them will change their coverage, but it’s a good bet that the qualifying businesses already suing will do so (might want to start boycotting Eden Foods). The ruling specified that it only applied to the contraceptive mandate because non-profits already have an exemption, but it still opens up a can of worms if other companies sue to protect their religious beliefs.* And also, while Hobby Lobby only sued about having to provide four forms of BC that they think are abortifacients (they fucking aren’t), the ruling lets companies opt out of paying for any contraceptives if they want (so all your friends who say to just not use an IUD or Plan B can shut right the fuck up).


And while the case obviously has implications far beyond the single company whose lawsuit made it to the Supreme Court, it’s still fun to point out that Hobby Lobby is at best a hypocritical Christian, since many of their products are made in Chinese sweatshops, they cover vasectomies and Viagrathey invest in the companies that make the IUDs and emergency contraceptions that they don’t want to pay for, and their insurance actually covered them right up until they decided to sue (though they claim they had no idea the plan included them).

At least not everyone agreed with the ruling. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (HBIC, BAMF) wrote a scathing dissent (and hot damn can she throw some epic shade). Sen. Cory Booker (D-♥♥) is urging Congress to find a work-around to the decision, but no word yet on what that legislation would entail. A few people even managed to find some humor in the situation, because we could all use something to quench our ragestrokes right about now. Let’s feed Christians who work at Little Caesar’s to lions and sacrifice JCPenney workers to Cthulhu!  And if you don’t have time to read Ginsburg’s full dissent, you can listen to it!

And that wasn’t even the only sexist ruling issued on Monday! In Harris v. Quinn, the court took away the ability of home healthcare worker unions to collect fees from non-members who get the same increased benefits from the union negotiating contracts. Other public unions can still charge the fees, but the one whose members are mostly women? Nope.

Moving on…

What happens when a bunch of men’s rights activists throw a conference? They say that mass murders should be blamed on the murderers’ mothers, domestic violence is the fault of women who marry violent men, and Hillary Clinton and feminists are destroying society (and it’s truly horrifying how many of the attendees and speakers quoted in that article are women; not sure if that was a deliberate choice to make it look like male MRAs aren’t the problem). Ironically, many of the things they complain about could actually be improved by working with feminists to dismantle strict gender roles that oppress anyone who doesn’t fit the mold. But since that would require them actually listening to us instead of blatantly making shit up to make us all look like misandrists, don’t hold your breath.

Two former Goldman Sachs employees are trying to start a class action suit against the Wall Street giant, claiming that women who worked there were largely “sexualized or ignored” and that management planned outings to strip clubs and hired strippers for company parties.

Whitney Wolfe, the former VP of marketing and co-founder of Tinder, is suing for sexual harassment and discrimination. Justin Mateen, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, reportedly called her “a whore” and slung other sexist insults at her, and even though she did in fact help form Tinder, Mateen and CEO Sean Rad took away her “co-founder” title because supposedly no one would take them seriously if they knew a “girl” helped launch the app.

Laws restricting abortion access went into effect in Mississippi and Florida.

Turns out there’s actually no medical reason for your doctor to give you a yearly pelvic exam if you have no symptoms and haven’t engaged in any risky behaviors. (This is not the same as a Pap smear; you should still get those as recommended.)

Terrible People of the Week!

  • Every goddamned motherfucker who says we should just stop shopping or working at Hobby Lobby because they’re too dim to realize that the decision has wider implications. And doubly so when they eventually and inevitably say women just shouldn’t have so much random sex if they can’t afford to pay for birth control themselves.
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who said the ruling was great because employers shouldn’t have to cover things that women use for “recreational behavior.”
  • Greg Gutfeld of Fox News, who said that bloggers who are upset about the Hobby Lobby decision are just “shrieking” feminists who majored in “screaming” and that “hysteria by feminists has set back their cause by decades.”
  • Jessie Waters of Fox News, who called single women who voted for Obama “The Beyoncé Voters” and said Hillary Clinton has to appeal to them because “[t]hey depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands.” Because no single women have jobs that provide insurance or pay for it themselves.
  • Todd Akin, who’s still talking about “legitimate rape” in his new book.
  • Dunlop Sport, for making golf tees that look like headless naked women (and when you hit the ball, you effectively decapitate the tee).

Bravo, Adam Nathaniel Peck. The ThinkProgress editor went into a local Hobby Lobby store and spelled out “All women deserve birth control” with their rubber stamp display.

High fives to the Starbucks barista who responded to a customer’s loud complaint about a breastfeeding mother in the shop by giving the mom a free refill and a voucher to come back as an apology for having to put up with the complaint.

Recommended Reading

(Due to the sheer volume of writings about the Hobby Lobby case, I couldn’t link everything, but if you have a favorite bit of analysis or just some good old fashioned ranting, share in the comments! And I’m sure I missed other things that happened; I’ll try to catch up next week.)


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 1,000,000% Done”

First off, I am still all about craft bombing Hobby Lobby. It should be a secret feminist holiday. I know it won’t CHANGE anything, but it would certainly feel good. Second, anyone who thought Citizens United wouldn’t REALLY change anything other than “free speech” was so wrong. This decision isn’t scary so much because women are restricted to certain forms of birth control (though that is REALLY REALLY BAD, I know) but because of the doors it opens for future cases. Sure, the rules set out are “limited” but only in that, more cases can be brought and decided on. The Court didn’t close any doors here, they just cracked them all wider. It’s kind of terrifying.

Also, this was my feeling when reading Alito’s majority opinion:

My current doctor wouldn’t renew my script for birth control because of the yearly pelvic exam requirement. I did have a normal exam from about four months prior, from a gynecologist in the same hospital network, but my family doctor is the one who normally handled all my prescriptions. I had to call the gyn and she wrote me a new script. The gynecologist didn’t have to do that, but I am really lucky she did.

There shouldn’t be so many hoops to jump through to get birth control, particularly when so many people need it for reasons other than controlling birth. Mine was prescribed because I have an elevated risk of uterine cancer. And even though the types of birth control I use weren’t the types targeted by the Hobby Lobby, it still represents this gradual erosion of our rights.

When I was in high school, I learned about IUDs, the rhythm method, oral and injected hormonal birth control, and scientific methods of conception. I learned all that in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, because both countries adhere to an international standard curriculum. I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t easy to live as a woman in either place, but my education there couldn’t be swayed by people who think that ‘safe sex’ is a dirty liberal lie.

When I was a high school senior in the US, required by the state to complete a health class, I watched videos telling teenagers they were going to get pregnant and contract HIV from having sex. Information on protected sex was limited to, “don’t douche with a coke afterwards.” The teacher described abortions as waiting until the woman goes into labor and then murdering the fetus in the birth canal. She was *pissed* when I announced to the class that this kind of procedure only happens when the fetus is already dead and has to be evacuated from the mother’s womb to prevent sepsis. That abortions mostly look like any other period, and are conducted on embryos and not fetuses. Who knows how many people she influenced with her crap?

That is terrifying. I’ve heard of schools who teach sex ed like that, but I never thought they were really REAL. (My bubble is nice and tropical.) Ours wasn’t great, but it least it wasn’t flat out lies. Once we had to watch a few live births on tape and then the cafeteria served lasagna for lunch, I was pretty much off sex for life. (On the other hand, boyfriend went to a Christian high school, so their sex ed was two human forms without genitalia projected onto a wall and being told that sex was for married people and they could figure it out later. I swear to God, we’re almost 30 and sometimes I have to go, “Yeah, that’s not how that works.”)

Yeah, the sheer amount of ignorance of the actual mechanics of sex among Christians is mind boggling (and I was once a part of this so I feel for you and your boyfriend.)

What pisses me off the most about the Hobby Lobby decision is that it’s based on lies and misinformation. The four birth control methods banned are not abortificants and yet, just because the have a “sincerely held belief,” it was allowed to proceed.


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