Important man's African-American colleague wins Olympic medal

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At the Olympic games in Rio, The Mercury News reports that top U.S. swimmer "Michael Phelps shares historic night with African-American."

The subject of The Mercury News's unspecific racial disinterest is in fact Stanford junior Simone Manuel, who not only has a name and is neither Phelps' sister or wife, but is the gold medal winner in the 100-meter freestyle event.

The Mercury News later apologized for its "insensitve headline." Read the rest

Important man's wife wins Olympic medal

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"Wife of a Bears' lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics," The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday. Sadly, the headline writers were unable to figure out her name before Tweet time, but they eventually did and later credited the wifehood (and the medal) to "Corey Cogdell-Unrein, the wife of Bears lineman Mitch Unrein." Read the rest

Roundup of newspapers that illustrated Hillary Clinton's nomination with pictures of her husband

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The excuses for this come prepackaged: it's what was on the photo wires, his was the great speech of the night, it illustrates a moment of transition in politics, etc. Read the rest

In 1995 Walmart pulled a "Someday A Woman Will Be President" t-shirt because it was offensive (Updated)

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Nick Kapur spotted this gem in an old newspaper: "A Wal-Mart store pulled a popular T-shirt proclaiming “Someday a woman will be president” off its shelves, saying it was offensive to some shoppers."

“It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor,” Jane Bockholt said. She refused to reveal the nature of the customer’s complaint.

Ann Moliver Ruben, the 70-year-old psychologist who designed the shirt and sold them to the store, said the retailer’s response means “that promoting females as leaders is still a very threatening concept in this country.

A buyer at the company reportedly said that the shirt "goes against Wal-Mart's family values," but it didn't respond to press inquiries other than to confirm a customer complaint about the shirt and their removal from the store in which they were being sold. At the time, the United Kingdom, Israel and Pakistan were among countries to have elected women leaders.

After the story hit the papers, though, the company admitted its mistake.

"We made a mistake," Jay Allen, a Wal-Mart spokesman, told the Associated Press. "In this case, we overreacted."

The shirt appears to pop up on Ebay and Etsy often.

Correction: 1995, not 1985.

Update: Walmart Director of Corporate Communications Danit Marquardt spotted this doing the rounds and sent an email: “Wow, it still pains us that we made this mistake 20 years ago. We’re proud of the fact that our country – and our company – has made so much progress in advancing women in the workplace, and in society.” Read the rest

"This Male-Designed Female Character Just Loves To Flaunt Her Sexuality"

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Point and Clickbait posted an amusing take on the adolescent fantasy that if you give a crudely-objectified female character a sword and sexuality she becomes proof that feminists just hate sex.

Critics of the game have suggested that Sexblade is “astoundingly sexist” and “terrible in every way”, but Farmer argues it’s wrong to suggest that Sexblade is sexist.

“Isn’t it shaming female sexuality to attack Sexblade like this?” he asked. “Sexblade is a fully-fleshed out and real character with strong, believable motivations which drive her to do things like moan orgasmically when she takes damage.”

“It’s the people who want to put a stop to that — they are the real sexists.”

Read the rest

Anti-suffragette postcards warn against giving women rights

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Vintage Everyday collects anti-suffragette postcards from a century hence. Despite the best efforts of angry gentlemen, women got the vote shortly thereafter. [via] Read the rest

In her "capacity as a daughter," Ivanka Trump insists dad Donald doesn't "grope" women

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Behold the Clan Trump, God's gift to women. Ivanka Trump, daughter of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, is speaking out on reports that her father is occasionally less than chivalrous with the ladies.

"I found it to be pretty disturbing based on the facts as I know them, and obviously I very much know them, both in the capacity as a daughter and in the capacity as an executive who's worked alongside him at this company for a decade," Trump told CBS' Norah O'Donnell. ... "It's largely been discredited, since most of the time when stories are inaccurate, they're not discredited. In this case, they went so far. They had a strong thesis and created facts to reinforce it, and I think that narrative has been played out now, and there's backlash in that regard," she said.

Come November, her fantasy world will be your reality. Read the rest

Should a programming conference host a reactionary weirdo?

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LambdaConf is a conference for people who are into functional programming. If you don't know what that means, it suffices to say that these are stout, yeomanly Hobbits of computer science. What's news is that they invited Mencius Moldbug to speak at it. Moldbug (real name Curtis Yarvin) is a Hollywood archetype of coders: the programming whiz who has strange and comically retrograde opinions of minorities, slavery, ladies, etc. So. Should he be invited to speak?

LambdaConf founder and chief organizer John A. De Goes wrote in a blog post that the conference decided to keep Yarvin as a speaker in order not to set a precedent of discriminating against attendees because of their beliefs. "LambdaConf does not and cannot endorse any of the wildly different, diametrically opposed, and controversial opinions held by speakers, attendees, volunteers, and vendors," he wrote. …

Jon Sterling, organizer of LambdaConf workshop PrlConf, decided to cancel the workshop, writing in an open letter: "We cannot possibly organize a workshop under the umbrella of a conference that values the free expression of racist and fascist views over the physical and emotional safety of its attendees and speakers."

Not all who oppose Yarvin's views say they will boycott the conference. The writers of a forthcoming book on the programming language Haskell say they are coming to support other speakers and attendees.

There's a passage in one of the Hannibal Lecter novels, probably Silence of the Lambs, where it's made clear that the good doctor, though incarcerated as a serial killer, is still engaged as a professional in his field of study. Read the rest

Trump promises "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions (Update: changed his mind)

Illustration: Rob Beschizza

Once pro-choice, the leading Republican presidential candidate now thinks that women who terminate pregnancies should be punished. Donald Trump's going to ban it, but is not sure yet just what he's going to have done to women who disobey him. But he's thinking about it.

[Chris] Matthews then pressed him for a straight answer on what a ban on abortion would entail.

“Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it,” Trump answered.

The former reality television star later added that “there has to be some form of punishment,” for women who get abortions after a ban is implemented, acknowledging the punishment would “have to be determined.”

He's unsure about how racist to be, but in no two minds at all about the women. Expect to hear a lot more sexist nastiness as the campaign goes on.

Update: He's changed his mind.

There's something amazing about how Trump just blurts out the right-wing positions he's discerned without realizing some of that stuff is supposed to stay implicit. He's like an AI chatbot who boils down his audience to its most vulgar principles, leaving that audience half-delighted and half-terrified at how completely exposed they are by his performance. Read the rest

South Korea having a female leader has made North Korea even crazier

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Even within the batty realms of North Korea's propaganda, the invective thrown at South Korean President Park Geun-hye is remarkable.

In perhaps its lengthiest and harshest verbal attack on Park since she took office in 2013, the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday called her a "tailless, old, insane bitch," a "senile old woman" and a "murderous demon" destined to meet "a sudden and violent death."… North Korea previously called Park a "prostitute" and said she lives on the "groin of her American boss." It has frequently questioned her womanhood because she has no children, which the North labels as an "obligation" for women. North Korea also frequently refers to the "swish of her skirts," a Korean phrase used to describe women seen as overly aggressive.

"The swishes of Park Geun-hye's skirt, created by her American boss, are so unpredictable they're dumbfounding," an unnamed spokesman of the North's Joint National Organization of Working People said in a statement last year published by the KCNA. "This is all because the United States' black, hairy hands reach deep into Park Geun-hye's skirt."

Apart from the absurd sexism, there's a more politically unnerving aspect to it. For all its apparent insanity, North Korea's propaganda traditionally tried to appeal to South Korean leftists. This messaging indicates a new level of ignorance of the world outside, a turning-inwards of its paranoia. Read the rest

Former Westboro hate mouthpiece on leaving the church

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Be sure to read Adrian Chen's gripping profile of former Westboro Baptist Church twitterer Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the church after coming to realize the futility of its hate gospel.

Megan Phelps-Roper, picketing with Westboro when she was still an active member of the family hate cult.

On December 20, 2009, Phelps-Roper was in the basement of her house, for a church function, when she checked Twitter on her phone and saw that Brittany Murphy, the thirty-two-year-old actress, had died. When she read the tweet aloud, other church members reacted with glee, celebrating another righteous judgment from God… But Phelps-Roper had loved Murphy in “Clueless,” and she felt an unexpected pang—not quite sadness, but something close—over her death. As she continued scrolling through Twitter, she saw that it was full of people mourning Murphy. The contrast between the grief on Twitter and the buoyant mood in the basement unsettled her. She couldn’t bring herself to post a tweet thanking God for Murphy’s death.

If you're been wondering why Westboro's been kind of boring lately, it turns out that there was a coup of sorts within the church: day-to-day troll in chief Shirley Phelps-Roper (Megan's mother) was denounced, and a bunch of stodgy old men took over. Since then, women have been marginalized within the church and it has lost much of its media savvy.

Read Adrian's piece to the last sentence: there is an absolutely amazing ending to the life and mind of the church's founder, Fred Phelps.

[Image, top: Megan Phelps-Roper. Read the rest

Comics about men being 'deceived' by makeup

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It is sometimes asked whether or not women wearing makeup is "deceitful" or "unfair" to heterosexual men—a way of "lying" about their beauty, rather than a personal aesthetic choice not so different from deciding to wear flattering clothes. In a wonderful series of comics on Tumblr, Megan Nicole Dong examines what it would really look like for men to be "deceived" by makeup. Read the rest

Listen to Sheriff's deputies' sexist comments on a female reporter's voicemail, after thinking the phone was hung up

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A sheriff's deputy from La Plata County, Colorado left a voicemail message for Durango Herald reporter Chase Olivarius-McAllister before chatting like a jackass with his co-worker about her breast size. Thing is, he hadn't actually hung up.

“Not hot. I means she’s got an okay body,” the deputy said on the recording.

“Giant boobs,” another deputy responded.

“Fucking giant, dude,” the first deputy said. “I mean not like quadruple Ds or anything, but at least a solid set of Ds, probably double Ds.”

Top sheriff Sean Smith apologized to the reporter and says he "will use this as an opportunity to address all of my staff and reinforce the professional conduct that is expected from members of this agency."

(CBS Local) Read the rest

The "transactional love economy"

"Do you ever see a super-old guy…with a super-young girl…and wonder, how the hell did that happen?" Here's what we're calling it now. Read the rest

"Freshman daughter drop off:" frat suspended over sexually harassing signs

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The Sigma Nu fraternity at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia has been suspended in connection with these asinine signs displayed at a private residence where members of the frat live. The brilliant individuals hung the banners during move-in week when parents were dropping new students at campus. Read the rest

U.S. Army Ranger School officer slams critics of first female graduates ever

U.S. Army Capt. Kirsten Griest (L)  and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver (R)
"No matter what we at Ranger School say the non-believers will still be non-believers. We could have invited each of you to guest walk the entire course, and you would still not believe."

Supercut of casual, chortling sexism on Fox News

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70 of the worst: "Men should be able to veto women's abortions", "Know your role and shut your mouth", "Women are victims of violence all the time-maybe they should make better decisions", etc.

Read the rest

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