This Week in Misogyny

This Week in Misogyny Will Not Break the Internet

Butts, y’all. And also some real news. (As usual, trigger warnings for pretty much everything apply.)

At least 13 women have died and dozens more are in the hospital after a single doctor performed 83 tubal ligations within just a few hours at a sterilization camp in India (reports vary as to exactly how quickly the procedures were performed). Dr. R.K. Gupta has been arrested, but he says he was under pressure to meet quotas and was given tainted drugs (which is possible, since more women were sickened at a second clinic he didn’t work at). Sadly, this isn’t the first time women have died after taking money from the Indian government as an incentive to get sterilized and thus lower the nation’s birth rate.

Five detectives in the New Orleans Police Department’s sex crimes division are under investigation for completely ignoring hundreds of rape allegations, including at least one where a two-year-old showed signs of assault and tested positive for an STD, but the detective closed the case without any follow-up. One detective was even quoted as saying they “did not believe that simple rape should be a crime.”

Ok, so, Kim Kardashian’s butt. Can we maybe move the conversation away from slut-shaming her and pearl-clutching over how a mother shouldn’t be naked and focus more on the hot racist mess of a photographer (Jean-Paul Goude) who shot the pictures? And on how we call some people brave for posing naked while calling others, at best, tacky? (Links NSFW, because butt.)

Did you see the viral video of men trying to take a drunk woman (actually an actress pretending to be drunk) back to their apartments instead of helping her find a bus stop like she was asking? Yeah, it was a hoax; the men were told it was a comedy skit and coached on what to say to her. Which just makes it easier for people to dismiss all incidents like this as fake instead of making a point about how men mistreat women.

Awesomeness: The “Taco or Beer Challenge” raised nearly $30,000 for abortion funds worldwide.

Women Action Media (WAM!) is working with Twitter to try to make it easier for women to report abusive tweets. I hope it works.

Terrible People of the Week

  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, for ruling that four states could ban same-sex marriage because the government needs to “regulate sex” and that marriage is basically just around to convince parents to stay together for the children.
  • Teddy Harris, the mayor of Rossville, Georgia, for pushing through an ordinance to ban abortion clinics because he didn’t want any “drama” or protesters in his town. (There isn’t currently a clinic in Rossville, and the ordinance might not even be legal, but ugh.)
  • Officer Jared Nash of the Greenacres, Florida police department, for breaking a 14-year-old girl’s arm while trying to take her cell phone (without a warrant) to look for video evidence that she’d been bullied.
  • Sean Banks, for raping a woman he met on Christian Mingle (and another woman from and then using a Bible verse (Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”) during his sentencing hearing to back his claim that they had consented and then changed their minds.
  • Time Magazine, for nominating “feminist” as one of the worst words of 2014 in their annual poll (along with a nice dose of words like “basic” that white people stole from PoC and then used incorrectly). And 4chan trolls for voting for it en masse. (If you want to vote, feminist was at 50% when I checked last night, with bae a distant second at 13% and everything else at 4% or less.)
  • Eminem, for rapping that he would “punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice, like Ray Rice.”
  • Julien Blanc, whose “pickup artist” techniques are so vile that he got kicked out of Australia once the authorities caught wind of the content of his seminars and cancelled his visa. Though, at least this happened:

  • (and other conservative outlets), for being so eager to complain about Loretta Lynch, Pres. Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, that they conflated her with a different lawyer with the same name who defended the Clintons during Whitewater. And then when they figured out their mistake, they tried to get away with not changing the headline or rewording that section, but just put a note at the end that Whitewater was a different Loretta Lynch (and no one reads to the end of articles online, assuming they even look past the headline).
  • Pat Robertson, for telling women how to get “clean” again after doing things they’re ashamed of, like having sex with lots of people or having an abortion or STD or murdering someone. Um. One of those things is not like the others.
  • Columbia University, for charging the student group that got the permit for the Emma Sulkowicz solidarity march for the disposal of 28 mattresses that were left at the university president’s residence; they were initially told the bill would be at least $1500, though it’s officially only at $471 so far. (And also for throwing what were likely perfectly good mattresses directly into a dumpster as soon as the protest ended when I’m sure plenty of organizations in NYC would have been happy to take them.)
  • Victoria’s Secret, again, because they changed their controversial “The Perfect Body” ad so it would no longer seem like they were saying you had to be rail thin to have a perfect body, except the new text reads “A Body for Every Body,” which is patently absurd because they have a fairly narrow range of sizes that leaves out a hell of a lot of bodies. (Ed.’s boobs: “Pffffffft.”)
  • Old Navy, for defending their practice of charging more for women’s plus size clothing (but not for larger men’s sizes) by saying the fabric they use for women is fancier and that it’s harder to construct plus size clothing that makes women look good.
  • Rebel Circus, for publishing an article titled “10 Gorgeous Women Who Were Born as Men” (and it got worse from there).
  • Ramapo College, because what the fuck is an anti-rape face??? Is it like resting bitchface, or should you try to look friendly? (Love the hashtag it spawned, though, good stuff there.) And also for the rest of this victim-blaming bullshit:

In a presentation to freshmen students by the school’s coordinator of substance abuse and sexual assault prevention, students were advised on how to dress, how much to drink or not to drink, how to use body language to lessen the chances of assault, and that women should “practice how they articulate their face in a social setting by practicing in a mirror.” Um, WHAT?!

A giant fuck you to Jessica Grose, because saying we can’t complain about the midterm results being bad for women because a lot of conservative women are happy with the results is about the most “white feminist” bullshit I’ve ever seen. Because the thing is, even if those women got the representatives they wanted, even if those representatives are also women, they’re still going to work for policies that harm women, even the ones who voted for them.

Eyerolls at Diplo, who started a Fundly campaign to buy Taylor Swift a booty.

Heaving a giant sigh in the general direction of Matt Taylor, one of the researchers who helped land the Philae probe on a freaking comet, because he decided to wear a lingerie-clad-woman-print shirt even though he had to know he’d be on camera during the livefeed. Way to be a professional, and way to make all the women in your workplace have to look at that shit.

All the laughs at Bill Cosby’s social media team, who somehow didn’t think that encouraging people to make their own #CosbyMeme wouldn’t result in a ton of pictures reminding us all of the rape accusations against him. They eventually figured out how to block some relevant words from the meme builder, but by then it was too late (and people figured out how to get the message across anyway). Meanwhile, Barbara Bowman, one of his victims, wants to know why no one paid attention to all the allegations against him until a man mentioned them.

BAMFs of the Week

  • Elon James White, because #DudesGreetingDudes is a pretty fucking hilarious take on why street harassment is just that.
  • Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova, for figuring out that they could get around Russia’s same-sex marriage ban because though Shumilova self-identifies as “transsexual,” her passport still says she’s legally male. Which, I guess it’s a bit disheartening that she negated her gender identity, but if the system’s gonna work against you, fuck Putin it.
  • All the same-sex couples who trolled the Duggars by taking over their post asking for people to post pictures of married couples kissing.

Study Break

  • Anti-choice advocates tend to underestimate how many of the people they know have had abortions because their friends and family members are less likely to tell them about their experiences, fearing judgement and shaming.
  • The New York Times has some cool (and faintly terrifying) interactive graphs that show the likelihood of unplanned pregnancies over the course of ten years of using different methods of contraceptives.
  • Ha! Turns out when you tell people to be politically correct, they’re actually more creative than people who are trying to be polite or who aren’t instructed on how to act.
  • Very good point: The FDA’s failure to approve any drugs to treat female sexual dysfunction isn’t sexist. The drugs don’t work.

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.

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