This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny is So Not Basic

GamerGaters are still rearing their ugly heads this week, to the surprise of precisely no one. We also have some not-good news for everyone who was so excited that the Nigerian schoolgirls might have been on their way home, but at least the massive list of terrible people is somewhat mitigated by a bunch of awesome people and cool readings this week. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

While Nigeria’s government announced last Friday that they’d reached an agreement with Boko Haram that would lead to the release of more than 200 girls who were kidnapped in April, dozens more women and girls were kidnapped by the terrorist group in separate raids on Saturday and Wednesday.

The government just released stricter rules for colleges to follow when investigating sex crimes involving students.

North Dakota voters may pass a personhood ballot initiative.

An unnamed employee of Japan’s Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry is suing the government for back pay she should have earned if “institutional sexism” hadn’t denied her the same raises her male colleagues earned over the past 25 years.

An international arrest warrant has been issued for Jaroslav Dobes, a Czech “spiritual leader” who set up a convent and then raped women to purportedly give them “spiritual healing.”

We’re not done with GamerGate yet, unfortunately. Felicia Day, after mostly avoiding the issue due to fear of retaliation, finally decided to write about it after she was afraid to say hi to some gamers she passed on the street in case they were Gamergaters… and got doxxed less than an hour after her post went up. Meanwhile, Chris Kluwe wrote a delightfully insult-laden rant about the “slopebrowed weaseldicks” who are too stupid to realize that diversity makes gaming better, and then pointed out on Twitter that he didn’t got doxxed even though his post was infinitely meaner. Anita Sarkeesian did an interview with Rolling Stone in which she talked about being a folk hero/villain and the changing face of gaming in recent years. Meanwhile Eron Gjoni, Zoë Quinn’s ex-boyfriend who launched the whole shitstorm by attacking her, says that even knowing about all the death threats that have resulted from GamerGate, he’d still do it all over again and has no regrets.

And let’s talk about “basic” real quick. No, it’s not cool to denigrate young women for liking popular brands and girly things, and there’s definitely a classist aspect to it, but OMG white people are using it wrong and need to chill out.

Terrible People of the Week

  • Penn. Gov. Tom Corbett, for photoshopping a random black woman from a stock photo into an image he’s been using in his reelection campaign, because apparently he couldn’t find any black women who actually support him.
  • Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez, for refusing to overturn Puerto Rico’s gay marriage ban while mocking all the other federal judges who have rightly done so, and for saying that legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to fathers marrying daughters.
  • Rep. Steve King, for saying he doesn’t expect to see any gay people in heaven when he gets there.
  • Rep. Don Young, for telling Alaska high schoolers responding to a question about gay marriage by describing two bulls having sex, then mocked teen suicide and blamed victims’ families for not supporting them, even though a student at the school had killed himself just days before.
  • Steve Waters, a GOP advisor who tried to claim that gay sex gives men cancer and makes them have to wear diapers, therefore it isn’t “normal” and society shouldn’t be forced to accept it. Dude, no.
  • James O’Keefe, whose latest “gotcha” stunt is setting up a fake LGBT student group to try to trick Colorado officials into okaying voter fraud with the state’s new mail-in ballots.
  • Eileen Hedges, a former senior VP at HSBC, for allegedly sexually harassing a female employee by pressuring her to sleep with a male bank executive who had touched her inappropriately at a business conference, tried to pull the employee’s shirt down, and spread false rumors that the employee had sex with clients.
  • Sam Lufti, for writing a whiny-yet-self-congratulatory post on xoJane in which he mansplained that he just wants to help Amanda Bynes and other troubled lady celebrities and people should stop being so mean to him! It’s not about him, except that he makes it about him.
  • Andrea Tantaros, who said on Outnumbered that supermodel Chrissy Teigan was reinforcing stereotypes about models being dumb when she tweeted “active shooting in Canada, or as we call it in america, wednesday” and that she’s only famous for “her lovely bottom” and “should stick to that.”
  • All of these conservative fuckers who think young women are too dumb to vote responsibly and should just stay home and look at dating websites while watching Say Yes to the Dress. Or become nuns. (I’m not making that up.)
  • Brad Rigler, the president of a Pennsylvania school board who’s refusing to resign even after more than 600 people signed petitions calling for him to step down because of his racist and sexist YouTube rants.
  • Pharrell Williams, because his new video for “It Girl” has him singing about grabbing the ass of a cartoon character who looks like a little girl. Creepy. (I know everyone loves “Happy,” but let’s remember that he’s the one who actually wrote “Blurred Lines.” So.)
  • The American Enterprise Institute, for making a webseries that tells women that feminists are trying to scare them by saying they should watch out for date rape drugs when really they should just drink less. One video also includes an animated reenactment of a frat party at which hot women were given all-you-can-drink cards. (And no, most rapes don’t happen because of roofies, but this isn’t the way to discuss that.)
  • Brandy Melville, the increasingly popular store that only offers one size of most of their clothing items, which that claim “fits most” but is actually like a size 2. But that’s ok, people who don’t fit into their clothes can still “find something even if it’s a bag.”
  • The Washington high school that told two male students that they had to change clothes or go home when they dressed as women for a Spirit Week “dress as your favorite celebrity” day.
  • Pathway School of Discovery students and administrators, because kids started bullying 10-year-old Jetta Fosberg after she cut her hair short to donate it to Wigs for Kids and the principal told her to “tough it out” instead of punishing the little fuckers.
  • Everyone who’s making fun of Renée Zellweger’s face. She’s happy with the way she looks, and it’s nobody else’s damn business.
  • Uber, for their (now-discarded) campaign that treated female drivers like prostitutes. (More on why this is really fucked up.)
  • Esquire, for this cover.

It’s awesome that Jena Malone might be playing Robin in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, but let’s stop calling her character “female Robin.” It doesn’t need the adjective; we know she’s a woman.

Yeah, little girls cussing about how sexism is fucked up is kind of adorable, but let’s not forget that the video is scripted (mostly with things that have been said over and over by other people) and FCKH8 is just using them to sell t-shirts and that it’s not really fair to those kids to make them have to think about scary rape statistics when some of them are barely out of kindergarten.

Massive eyerolls at the Chicago man who found himself voting next to Pres. Obama and told him, “Don’t touch my girlfriend.” She was humiliated, but Obama played it off and made him look like a total moron.

So much side-eye at the mom who’s freaking out that she couldn’t find a boy doll for her son at the American Girl store.

BAMFs of the Week

  • Joe Biden and Mariska Hargitay, for making a domestic violence PSA that aired during an SVU marathon on USA Network last weekend.
  • Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecological surgeon who just won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for his work treating women who have been raped as an act of war.
  • Hannibal Buress, for calling attention to all the rape accusations against Bill Cosby during a recent comedy set.
  • Brooke Guinan, the only transgender firefighter in the FDNY, for her participation in the “So Gay So What” campaign (and for the work she does every day).
  • Kristin Beck, a former Navy SEAL who spoke out this week about the continued ban on transgender individuals in the armed forces even after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was overturned. (She waited until after she retired to transition.)
  • Elana Adler, a Brooklyn artist who cross-stitched some of the catcalls she’s heard on the street.
  • Anila Quayyum Agha, because her ArtPrize winning work, Installations, is not only gorgeous, but also examines her experience growing up as a woman in Pakistan.

All the high fives to Redditor “poshpink330,” who tricked a bunch of guys into masturbating to a picture of her husband’s buttcrack that looked like a picture of boobs. Which yeah, it’s immature and prompted a bunch of fucked up homophobic reactions, but at least it pissed off some Redditor bros.

Do not try to step to Madeleine Albright, because she will own you!

Study Break

  • A new study found that overweight women are less likely to be hired for jobs that deal with the public and are paid less than average-weight women when they do get those jobs. Instead, they’re more likely to have to take jobs that pay less and are more physically strenuous. Men are not similarly penalized based on their weight.
  • Pew Research Institute survey found that 40% of adults who use the internet have been harassed online, while 73% have witnessed that harassment. Women were more likely to have experience more severe forms of harassment like stalking and threats than men, who were more likely to say they’d been called names. They also asked if respondents felt that different platforms were more welcoming to men, women, or were open to both; gaming was by far the most unequal when it came to the perception that it was just for men.
  • New numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that American women are still spending three times more time doing chores each week than men do, and that’s before you add in household management.

Recommended Reading

  • Why many Americans seem to think that only rich people should have sex.
  • Related, there’s a scary gap in knowledge about birth control between people who only have a high school diploma and those who went to college.
  • Black women are still more likely than white women to die from breast cancer.
  • The new AAP guidelines that recommended IUDs for teenagers also reminded pediatricians that they should discuss sexual health with disabled teens, but no one really talked about that. (Myself included, since I didn’t have time to read the full report and just relied on other sources that ignored it. I apologize for the oversight.)
  • In praise of GeekGirlCon (featuring one of our friends from Geekquality).
  • I’m SO excited about Moana.
  • NPR examines the drop-off in women working as computer programmers when personal computers started to become more common in people’s homes and were marketed toward men and boys. (Or listen here.)
  • On the societal and racial implications of the (white) kindergarten teaching assistant who quit her job because she was making far more money from the advertising revenue she gets from posting twerking videos online.
  • Why “douchebag” is the anti-white dude slur we’ve all been waiting for.
  • Lesbians Explain Sex to Straight People. (Obviously NSFW.)

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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