Dudes Tried to Blame a Bunch of Stuff On Women This Week: A Recap
It’s not necessarily part of our plan to roundup egregious news events every week that take pot shots at women, but jeez—between last week’s absurd instances of policing women’s appearances and a marathon of blame-laying this week, this kind of stuff can really send a gal’s forehead vein over the edge. To be fair, a majority of the finger-pointing came from a single source—the White House (surprise!). Without further ado:
It was Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, a day intended to draw attention to the wage gap and the fact that on average, women make at least 20% less than their mail counterparts, resulting in a loss of half a million dollars over the course of their careers. Just days before, President Trump, rolled back protections for women in the workplace that were put in place by President Obama within the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act of 2014. The legislation promoted paycheck transparency (an element of closing the pay gap) and a ban on forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, assault or discrimination claims, which essentially meant companies could no longer force employees to deal with these cases behind closed doors and out of the public eye. Now companies will once again be free to keep their sexual assault and harassment cases a secret. "It can silence victims. They may feel afraid of coming forward because they might think they are the only one, or fear retaliation,” Maya Raghu, Director of Workplace Equality at the National Women's Law Center, told NBC News.
Trump hasn’t offered much of an explanation, but judging by his support of Bill O’Reilly in the wake of the New York Times reporting he’s paid out $13 million in settlements to five different women over sexual harassment allegations (and consequently has had a ton of advertisers pull out of his shows), the action speaks pretty loudly. To add to that, he has publicly expressed his support of O’Reilly, because sexual assailants that slut-shame together stay together: “Personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled, because you should have taken it all the way; I don’t think Bill did anything wrong,” he told the New York Times. ““I think he’s a person I know well. He is a good person,” he added.
Oh. Well, in that case…
Moving on to President Trump’s next object of scorn: Amidst the chaos of zero-evidence claims that President Obama wiretapped Trump and his staffers last month, some fishy business has been going down, among them: allegations that former national security advisor Susan E. Rice committed a crime by leaking the names of Trump associates that were picked up in surveillance of foreign officials. Intelligence officials and politicians on both sides of the aisle have confirmed that this is not an uncommon practice and nothing out of the ordinary has gone down. While he was on the subject, he once again expressed his desire to let us to all know that “The Russia story is a total hoax. There has been absolutely nothing coming out of that.” Absolutely nothing. Nada.
On the flip side, wherein someone bizarrely apologizes to a woman where she probably doesn’t deserve it: Pepsi released a commercial appropriating and trivializing the Black Lives Matter protests and other grassroots efforts fighting discrimination that was so bad it was almost a parody of itself—almost (but that would’ve required a modicum of self-awareness). The commercial was in circulation for about a day before Pepsi removed it and issued an apology to Kendall Jenner, the star of the commercial, for “putting [her] in this position.” Because she was totally unaware of what she was doing...? The Internet ain't’ buyin’ it.
One more golden egg from President Trump: Of the five people he follows on Instagram, three of them are his kids: Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. No Tiffany. Which would be hilarious if it weren’t so freaking sad. He’s clearly *loves* bullying women, but his own famously-neglected daughter, right there on the ‘gram for all the world to see? Call us, Tiff. We’ve got some commiserating to do.