Feminist Friday: When a Room Full of Dudes Talks About You


This Week in Ladybits

The cruel, medically ignorant bill that Trent Franks (R-Arizona) is advancing to ban all abortions after 20 weeks passed the House subcommittee this week. You will never guess the gender makeup of that subcommittee. Yup. Room full o’ franks.

The hearings on the massive problem of sexual assault in the military were also just the teensiest bit dude-heavy.

Image via Twitter

OK, new rule: If you’re going to hold a Congressional hearing on a topic that massively affects women but the body making up that discussion is less than 30% female, you can go ahead and hold that hearing if and only if all the men on the panel participate while wearing string bags around their manbits. And every time any given man speaks, the national viewing audience gets to vote on whether or not his strings get tightened.

Also not included in the hearings? Even a single survivor of assault, male or female.

Anyway, we were treated to some She-Hulk inducingly helpful insights about the problem that women who are risking their lives for their country are also risking getting attacked by their own colleagues. For example, actual sitting United States Senator John McCain (R-Curizona) saying that maybe there shouldn’t be ladies in the military at all if they can’t keep themselves from getting raped so much. Ana Marie Cox had a slightly different solution.

Oh, and the ever-charming Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) said that the problem was just young men and their darned hormones. The scamps! Specifically, he said, “The young folks coming in to each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.”

See? Just nature! Thanks for the help, Senator! Seriously, though: At what point do these dingleberries get deluged by letters and e-mails from angry men? Because Chambliss pretty much just called every man between 17 and 23 a rapist in waiting, and I know one or two who would object to that characterization.

Dr. Maddow, did you have any thoughts on the matter?


Emily’s List also put together a helpful greatest hits of GOP fellas talkin’ about the ladies.


This Week in Dudes Who Use Sexist Bluster To Make Themselves Feel Marginally Less Pathetic

Remember last week when Lou Dobbs and Erick Erickson and whothehelleverelse devolved into gibbering incoherence over the scandalous idea of ladies earning money? Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly handed them their sorry sexist butts on Friday. Really, how unfair of her to deploy actual scientific research against Erickson’s made-up science that made him feel all dominant and manly. Well downsmacked, ma’am. (Via Business Insider)

Some contemptible little scumsacks decided it would be awesome to threaten women at the A-Kon 24 anime convention by tweeting at them with #gropecrew and #rapecrew hashtags. Get it? Because making women feel unsafe in a public space with physical threats makes you quite the hilarious and manly dude. The Dallas PD were also not amused.

And amid reports that a couple of Australian feebleknobs have thrown sandwiches at Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the creators of the Make Me a Sandwich, Bitch tumblr have used juxtaposed tweets to illustrate how pitiful guys who shout (or type) “Make me a sandwich” at women really are.

Image via Make Me a Sandwich

This Week in Thinky

This won’t surprise anyone that’s been browsing AfterEllen’s message boards, comments, or fiercely contested Hot 100 nominees, but to people in the outside world, Daniel Bergner’s new book, What Do Women Want? is something of a revelation. In it, Bergner breaks the scary news that female desire is deeper, fiercer, and wilder than our society is comfortable admitting. (OK, yes, I know: Duh. But it’s still a potential step forward for the culture.)

The Mary Sue showed us this crash course on women in the 19th Century. It’s longish, but way worth it — the perspective on class and equality alone is fascinating.


Wired proved that women do too like Game of Thrones, so give it a rest, stereotypers.

Jezebel’s Lindy West has been doing yeoman’s work at pointing out why lazy make-fun-of-the-victim rape jokes are a jerk move and tend to add a little more misogyny to the world. This week she had an extended discussion on Totally Biased with Kamu Bell with Bell and Jim Norton.



…Which inspired, of course, a deluge of rape threats. For speaking her mind and saying that the comedians she loves are better than misogynistic rape jokes. Is it just the commenters ages, Saxby Chambliss? Do tell.

This sort of dickbaggery is one reason Jessica Valenti pointed out that sometimes troll-smashing is good for a girl’s soul.

And an LGBT activist shouted out during Michelle Obama’s speech this week. Reactions to the First Lady’s reaction were problematic.

This Week in 1957

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) theorized that ladies don’t want the government doing silly things like making sure women get equal pay for equal work.

My correspondent @Eyelesstrees sent me a handy bingo game for following the House of Lords debate on gay marriage.

Image via Twitter

We still have a bias against female leaders. (Yes, that “we” includes women.)

Ugh. Really, Swiffer?

And in Texas, it is apparently legal to murder an escort if she takes your money but doesn’t have sex with you.

This Week in Awesome

The odds are in our favor! Suzanne Collins is planning a new series for teens.

Speaking of writers, io9 ran a photo feature of sci fi and fantasy authors in their workspaces. I love Andre Norton’s.

Image via io9

NY Mag gave us a history of Hillary Clinton making pantsuit jokes. I think it’s fantastic that she did all these. The series of  colorful-yet-boring pantsuits was a calculated attempt to get media eejits to stop talking about Clinton’s clothes instead of her ideas, and instead they still wouldn’t shut up about her clothes and constantly talked about how she wore pantsuits instead of interesting clothes they could talk about. Good for Her Infinite Bad-Assery for rolling with it with a sense of humor.

NASA made an It Gets Better video for young LGBTQ science nerds.


Out vlogger Hart gave the best possible response to people who ask why she doesn’t dress “more like a woman.”


(This clip is mildly NSFW, depending on where you W)

Kristin Beck came out as transgender in her new memoir. It’s a big deal — and potentially a huge deal for transfolk in the military — because Beck is a former member of Navy Seal Team 6. Her memoir is awesomely called Warrior Princess.

And yo, Midwesterners, do yourselves a favor and get yourselves to the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival. Yes, I know some parts of the Midwest are really far from Chicago. Shut up and drive. It’ll be worth it.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and make a few laughs yourself.

Got a tip for Feminist Friday? Tweet Ali.

More you may like