To make this week’s Misogynist Soup, you will need the following ingredients.
– A hot tennis star. (If you’re unsure, just poll the public on an official website during a competition. They did!)
– Planned Parenthood. (If you can get to one before they all shut down due to lack of funding.)
– An ill omen. (If you need inspiration, I chose Governors Mitch Daniels and Scott Walker.)
“You’re going to cover Wimbledon today. It’s kind of a big deal, so make sure to get some good shots of the game.”
Photo via MSN.
Remember the “no shorts allowed” mandate issued by the Badminton World Federation in a noble effort to ensure that female badminton players keep it fun and flirty on the court? Well, if you liked that, you’re going to fall in love with this: The focus on the appearance and perceived sexiness of female athletes continued last week with an online beauty pageant that ran alongside Wimbledon.
On the official site, free tickets were offered to those who voted for the “Best Looking Female Wimbledon Players”, the kind of superlative achievement that’s about on par with “Top Wimbledon Chef” in the relevance department, although at least that award would be judged on the basis of skill. Hmm… I wonder if there would be samples? Anyway, what I’m trying to say is: Why does some level of objectification always have to follow closely in the footsteps of female success?
However, fair’s fair: Wimbledon also ran a “Best Looking Male Wimbledon Players” contest, so at least we know that everyone’s participation in the tennis competition has been trivialized down to the degree of whether or not the public finds them hot. Equal footing, right?
Sure, except for the fact that women only started earning the same pay at Wimbledon in 2007. And except for the fact that gentlemen get to play five sets and us gals are done after three. And except for the fact that two years ago, an All England Club spokesperson admitted that the women featured on the hallowed Center Court “aren’t necessarily the best players, but they are the best-looking players.” And except for the fact that we all know that societal scrutiny of physical appearance is a vastly different experience for men and women.
Some people are less than enchanted with funding decisions as of late. Imagine that!
Photo via Bret Mavrich.
Planned Parenthood, the organization that annually provides sexual and reproductive care to over five million people, has found itself under fire yet again. Earlier this year, the always well-intentioned House of Representatives and lovable Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels voted in favor of and signed a law defunding Planned Parenthood. Tailgating them on the road trip to 1970 are Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker just signed a defunding bill, and Texas, which aims to further rob the organization of the funding it needs to operate.
The only silver lining was a decision made by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in Indiana last week, who awarded Planned Parenthood with a preliminary injunction blocking the law signed by Governor Daniels last month, which really amounts to… nothing but a delay, at the moment.
If you want to read between the lines here, the funding is being cut because Planned Parenthood is a known provider of abortions, and we still live in a nation where ultimately, those with power (in the interest of keeping it real, this refers to primarily men) do just about everything but come out and say that a woman’s right to choose is only her right as long as they’re on board with it. (For those keeping score, they aren’t.)
Sure, I get it — if, for some reason, you believe that you should have control over someone else’s body and you don’t want federal funding to go towards her abortion, then you cut the funds. Problem solved, right? Except for the fact that by law, Planned Parenthood cannot and does not allocate federal funding for abortions. So where does the funding go, Gov’nor?
Here’s a statistic you won’t see anyone who’s voting in favor of defunding talking about: Three percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortion services. Three percent. I was never that good at math, but I’d wager that means that 97% of the services are things like Pap smears, breast exams, pregnancy tests, sexual education, birth control, emergency contraception, cholesterol and diabetes screening, flu vaccines, and physical exams, and 100% of these services are about to have their funding cut.
But I mean, who cares if low-income women, the group who benefits most from the funding, are unable to be tested for STDs and cancer? Who cares if they don’t have access to birth control? Who cares if they are unable to receive any of the healthcare that they need? I know you don’t care, Gov. Daniels and Gov. Walker.
The CliffsNotes version of their stance is that women who can’t afford health care of any kind do not deserve it. And it’s really a shame.
You know when couples say to each other, “I’m nothing without you” and then everyone awwws or dry heaves in the corner? Well, it’s not exactly as romantic when it’s literal.
Photo via WUNRN.
In some Indian villages, widowed women are expected to shave their heads, wear white clothing, and eschew new romantic pursuits, festivals, weddings, births, and entering places of worship. Why? Because they’re considered “ill omens.”
So basically, you’d better demand the results of your fiance’s last physical, make sure he doesn’t have any carcinogenic vices, and ensure that he’s a defensive driver, because if he goes, it’s your bad.
Many of these widowed villagers have fled to the temple town of Vrindavan as a haven from the ostracism in their hometowns. There, they face less discrimination and are allowed to enter temples. In exchange for rice, clothing, and money, the women chant religious tunes; however, many of of the widows live on less than $1 per day. Although most of Vrindavan’s female residents have plenty to eat, one-third live on the streets, and two-fifths do not have access to toilets.
Still, this life is better than what they would face in their villages.
Combine all ingredients and bring them to a boil, much like my blood pressure is at the moment. You’ll know it’s done when it tastes like misogyny with a hint of “please tell me this isn’t real life.” Enjoy!