How medical bullshit and authority helped Larry Nassar get away with it

Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics doctor who sexually assaulted hundreds of young girls, will spend the rest of his life in jail. USA Gymnastics circled the wagons and shredded the files, and as a result it's hard to understand details of how it faciliated and protected Nassar. But Kerry Howley's startling article in New York Magazine shows how important medical bullshit was to his strategy and how the fraternal relationship between medical and administrative authority covered for him.

17-year-old Brianne Randall filed a complaint with Meridian Township police and had a rape kit administered at the local hospital. Detective Andrew McCready called Nassar and asked him to come in for questioning, which he did. Nassar told McCready that he had indeed touched Brianne’s perineum, that it was part of a treatment called “sacrotuberous-ligament release,” and that the treatment was “published in medical journals and training tapes.” He also gave McCready his PowerPoint presentation on said ligament, in which he is pictured cupping a girl’s buttocks and pressing near a girl’s vulva. McCready then called Brianne’s mother to tell her the case would be closed and that “no crime was committed.”

And:

in 2014, cheerleader Amanda Thomashow reported an assault to one of MSU’s Title IX investigators and university police... Thomashow, concluded [investigator Kristine] Moore, failed to understand the “nuanced difference” between osteopathic manipulative medicine and sexual massage. “Dr. Nassar has presented on this nationally and internationally,”

This sort of thing was constant and typical. It's hard to see where dumb respect for the doctor stops and willful contempt for his victims begins. Read the rest

Google staff stage worldwide walkout

Former Google executive Andy Rubin was credibly accused of "coercing" a colleague into oral sex. Google believed the victim and quietly forced Rubin out with a $90m payoff, according to a bombshell story in The New York Times. Staff at Google offices worldwide walked out in protest today.

The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration - a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to take the action.

"I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel," he said in an all-staff email. "I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too."

Remember James Damore and his fable of totalitarian feminism at Google? It will always be more real to those guys than any of this. Read the rest

Because sexism: Mansize Kleenex to be renamed

Quick! Get some of these sexist facial tissues while you still can.

It took them 60 years but Kleenex is finally renaming their "Mansize" tissues after getting customer complaints. The facial-tissues-formerly-known-as-Mansize will now be branded "Extra Large."

Parent company Kimberly-Clark "succumbed to growing public demand to change the name, despite not itself believing that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality."

Sam Smethers, chief executive at feminist campaign group, the Fawcett Society, praised the move, saying: "Rebranding mansized tissues is not to be sneezed at. Removing sexist branding such as this is just sensible 21st century marketing. But we still have a long way to go before using lazy stereotypes to sell products is a thing of the past."

(DesignTaxi) Read the rest

As election looms, Mormon church tells women to leave social media for 10 days

In a year of unprecedented involvement by women in politics, as candidates, as votes and as subjects of political debate and rancor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an interesting proposal: women should quit social media for 10 days, right before the election.

With a major election less than a month away, Nelson’s timing was particularly unfortunate for women involved in politics. Parker is a member of Mormon Women for Ethical Government, a left-leaning group founded in the wake of the 2016 election to encourage LDS women to become politically involved. She is helping to organize a nonpartisan “voter prep party” in her neighborhood where women will gather to review the issues, with the goal of boosting turnout in the midterms. Her group had planned to distribute sample ballots and other mateials online before the party, but now they are handing out invitations and information by hand and hoping for the best.

Tax them. Read the rest

'Lying Skanks' — Fox News pundit slurs Kavanaugh accusers, gets fired

“Lying Skanks.”

That is what radio host and Fox News pundit Kevin Jackson (screengrabbed above) called Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault victims, in a series of tweets today. Read the rest

Facebook allowed job ads to exclude women

A group of women jobseekers, working with the Communications Workers of America and the American Civil Liberties Union, are "filing charges with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday against Facebook and 9 employers," reports the New York Times.

It's a simple case, as least in abstraction: Facebook let job advertisers target users by gender, but it is a violation of federal law to discriminate on the basis of gender or to aid and abet such discrimination.

“That seems pretty egregious,” said Ms. Katz, who specializes in bringing discrimination cases. She said Facebook’s technology made it akin to an employment agency. “The fact that they’re using this tool to facilitate discrimination absolves neither the hiring business nor Facebook.”

Facebook delenda est. Read the rest

Denver cop tells reporter to "act like a lady" as he cuffs her for filming arrest of black man

Susan Greene, the editor of the Colorado Independent, was handcuffed and detained by Denver police while attempting to film them near the Colorado State Capitol building. When she points out to officer James Brooks that what she's doing is protected by the First Amendment, he claims that it does not supercede other laws, cuffs her, and orders her to "act like a lady."

Filming police officers in public is legal, and attempts to prevent it are oftentimes a warning that police feel they have something to hide.

Two studies have found that at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10 percent of families in the general population.

District Attorney Beth McCann "last week called Greene to inform her that the D.A.’s office would not be pressing charges against the officers."

Here's the photo Denver cops didn't want Ms. Greene taking, which she published in a post about the incident.

I’d have plenty of colorful things to write about the moment when the officers were pushing me toward the police car and one of them – Officer Brooks, I think – told me to “act like a lady.” Or maybe it was “try to act like a lady.” In any case, I’m curious to hear, after reviewing the body-cam video, Denver police officials explain how exactly a woman should behave on a perp walk after having been blocked from doing her job, obstructed from exercising her First Amendment rights, handcuffed and otherwise manhandled by an ignorant and over-amped police officer and his sidekick.

Read the rest

Twitter's NSFW porn spam nightmare for women with common names

For at least a couple of years, Twitter has allowed one porn spam bot to clog up search results for common women's names, as well as for names of young female celebrities. It would not take a lot to create an algorithm to block this specific spam, but it's still here, because Twitter can't seem to address the platform's pervasive hostility to women. Read the rest

Undercover investigator: Facebook moderators were instructed not to remove racist far-right material

Facebook claims it is trying to limit fake news and hate speech. Facebook is not.

An investigative journalist who went undercover as a Facebook moderator in the UK says the company lets pages from far-right fringe groups “exceed deletion threshold,” and that those pages are “subject to different treatment in the same category as pages belonging to governments and news organizations.” The accusation is a damning one, undermining Facebook’s claims that it is actively trying to cut down on fake news, propaganda, hate speech, and other harmful content that may have significant real-world impact.

The undercover journalist detailed his findings in a new documentary titled Inside Facebook: Secrets of the Social Network, that just aired on the UK’s Channel 4. ... The documentary insinuates that Facebook takes a hands-off approach to such content, including blatantly false stories parading as truth, because it engages users for longer and drives up advertising revenue.

It sounds like the Trump-loving right is the advertising bonanza of the decade! Social networks are where advertisers can get to that audience without anyone else being able to tell who is marketing to whom. Read the rest

Professor rating site finally drops creepy "hotness" rating

RateMyProfessors.com is like Yelp for college students, but until recently it also had an uncool "Hot or Not" setting where students could rate the attractiveness of professors, with those who were sufficiently hot "earning" a chili pepper next to their ratings. Read the rest

Just look at this racist talking robot banana

Mike from the Useless Duck Company simply wanted to make a dancing and talking banana robot. For his troubles, he got banned from Twitch due to racist and sexist content. Read the rest

Study: Publishers sell books written by women for less than those written by men

Women have had to deal with the shitty end of the employment stick since, well, forever. Sexual harassment, rampant misogyny and pay disparity are but a few of the crap things they frequently have to put up with. Apparently, you can add being screwed out of equal pay for authoring a frigging book to the list: researchers at Queens College have discovered that books written by female authors are, on average, sold for just over 50% less than those written by a dude.

The study looked at sales data for titles released by large publishing houses in North America between 2002 and 2012. Looking to the gender of the authors of the books reviewed, cross factoring this with data on the price, genre and how the books were published brought the study's authors to a lousy conclusion: Books written by women that are released by mainstream publishing houses sell, on average, for 45% less than those written by men.

The study's authors, Dana Beth Weinberg and Adam Kapelner, a sociologist and mathematician, respectively, found that even when you looked at book genres that are dominated by female authors, the percentages only go up by an average of 9% – so, even if hardly any men are writing, say, romance novels, the women who are writing them are still getting screwed out of equal pay.

From The Guardian:

It was little surprise to see evidence of segregation by genre and the differing values placed on each genre, Weinberg added, but the researchers were very surprised at how clear this discrimination was.

Read the rest

Terry Gilliam: women "knew what they were doing" with Harvey Weinstein

Looks like Terry Gilliam is one of those guys: “Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey — that’s the price you pay.”

In a an interview with AFP on Friday, the filmmaker, a member of the comedy group Monty Python, specifically went after Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims, and said, “Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey — that’s the price you pay.”

“It is a world of victims. I think some people did very well out of meeting with Harvey and others didn’t,” he added. “The ones who did, knew what they were doing. These are adults; we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition.” Gilliam also claimed that some of the women didn’t actually suffer, but used Weinstein to further their careers, and that he knew women who walked out of meetings with the mogul before getting sexually abused.

Has a Gilliam film ever had a woman lead? Hell, has one ever had a woman in it?

Photo: Vegafi (CC-BY-SA) Read the rest

SPLC finally adds male supremacists to hate groups list

Male supremacy has gotten a strong foothold online through men's rights activism (MRA), pickup artist movement (PUA), and the "tradwife" movement. Now SPLC has started naming the leaders on their hate watchlist. Read the rest

Sex pest reporter returns to work at the New York Times

Glenn Thrush, who apologized for his behavior around women colleagues at The New York Times, is returning to work there after his time off.

“The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry,” in relation to the June episode. “Over the past several years, I have responded to a succession of personal and health crises by drinking heavily. During that period, I have done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my family and friends.”

The New York Times responded by suspending Thrush and launching an investigation into his actions. He underwent counseling. The newspaper last month announced that he would return to work, though he would no longer be covering the White House, a choice beat under the mercurial and mendacious President Trump.

How odd that false accusations supposedly destroy men's careers, yet truthful ones barely touch them. Read the rest

5 women sue Monster Energy over abusive and discriminatory culture

Yeah, 'Monster' sounds about right. Five women are suing beverage maker Monster Energy over a workplace culture where discrimination and sexually abusive behavior by male executives proliferated with impunity. Read the rest

Sexist midcentury ads re-created, flipping gender roles

Visual artist and photographer Eli Rezkallah has turned the tables on some of the most nauseatingly-sexist (and 100% real) midcentury ads in his latest project, In a parallel universe.

He writes:

Last Thanksgiving, I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling “their womanly duties”. Although I know that not all men think that way I was surprised to learn that some still do, so I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison. “In a parallel universe” is a series of fictional images, recreated from real ads in the mad men era, that question modern day sexism: showing it through a humorous light to spark a conversation through role play - a conversation that we need to have, uncles.

Click on each image to enlarge and take note of the cat litter scooper used in place of a plastic kids shovel in one of the Leggs' ads!:

photos by Eli Rezkallah, used with permission

(Bored Panda) Read the rest

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