From ‘We Saw Your Boobs’ to ‘Abortion Barbie’: The Year in Sexism

A handy month-by-month guide.

Our columnist thought Oscars host Seth McFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" song was a laugh riot.
Oscars host Seth McFarlane’s “We Saw Your Boobs” song was sexist, but not entirely unfitting for Hollywood, our columnist alleges.

For the fairer sex, 2013 brought its share of slut-shaming, rape-excusing, abortion-denying, boob-obsessing and all-round double-standard misogynist boorishness. Hey, now!

February: A global audience enjoyed Seth MacFarlane performing a frat boy song and dance routine called “We Saw Your Boobs” at the Academy Awards. Meanwhile, the 2013 Oscar nominees included 140 men and 35 women. And through the year, Hollywood produced only one major movie, Heat, in which two named female characters talked to each other about something other than a man.

March: North Dakota, a state with the third largest male-to-female ratio in the nation, passed a law that effectively forces women to give birth if impregnated by outlawing all abortions after the six-week mark, when a fetal heartbeat is detectable but before many women know they are pregnant. Signing the bill, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, crowed that it was “a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.” On the upside, job opportunities for strippers and prostitutes have shot up thanks to the lopsided ratio and influx of horny, fracking roughnecks. Sex crimes are on the increase too.

April: In Kentucky, wax-figure U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his staff were revealed to have schemed to paint Ashley Judd as “emotionally unbalanced” if she ran against the cadaverous senior senator from the Bluegrass State, one of the longest-serving forces of darkness on Capitol Hill. Ms. Judd bailed out of a run she was considering.

May: The murder conviction of quack abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell for scissoring viable fetuses to death propelled a new effort to demonize abortion generally. Even moderates like the Times’ Ross Douthat used the event to remind people how violent and gruesome late-term abortions are when performed by competent doctors, failing to note that childbirth itself is a violent and gruesome event too.

June: The great Texas legislative rebellion led by Wendy Davis ended in defeat as Texas changed its own rules to pass—and Gov. Rick Perry hastily signed into law—an omnibus abortion bill imposing frivolous and harassing sanitary standards that will shut down most of the clinics in the state. For good measure, Fox’s Erick Erickson nicknamed the heroic filibusterer “Abortion Barbie.”

To some, a pro-choice hero. To one right-wing columnist, Wendy Davis is "abortion Barbie."
To some, a pro-choice hero. To one right-wing columnist, Wendy Davis is “abortion Barbie.”

August: Before the 2013 VMAs had even ended, slut-shamers from both ends of the political spectrum were scolding Miley Cyrus for her rather hilarious twerk and tongue routine, while giving her stage partner, Robin Thicke, a total pass for his participation. Not one of the scolders asked the married Thicke to apologize for parading naked women around in his latest music video. Also in August, vendors at the California Republican Convention did a brisk business in “KFC Special” buttons advertising Hillary Clinton’s “2 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, left wing.” Hardeeharhar!

September: A leading Saudi cleric, Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, offered yet another novel reason for why the nation should maintain its ban on female drivers. Driving, he said, “rolls up the pelvis” and could damage ovaries and result in babies born with medical problems.

November: Damon Bruce of KNBR had an on-air castration anxiety attack, blustering that “sports has lost its way, because women are giving us directions.” He elaborated: “I enjoy many of the women’s contributions to the sports—well that’s a lie [laughing]. I can’t even pretend that’s true. … The amount of women talking in sports to the amount of women who have something to say is one of the most disproportionate ratios I’ve ever seen in my life. But here’s a message for all of them. … All of this, all of this world of sports, especially the sport of football, has a setting. It’s set to men.”

Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin's influence lived on in 2012.
Todd Akin’s influence was alive and well in the Steubenville.

Roll Call writer Warren Rojas penned a blog headlined “Somebody Spot Janet Yellen Some New Threads” in which he complained that the Fed chair nominee wears the same basic black dress and jacket at the White House nomination announcement and Hill hearings. We haven’t yet turned up the stories Mr. Rojas wrote rating the threads of those supremely dapper and colorful dressers Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan, but we are sure they’re out there.

AND THE 2013 Todd Akin “Legitimate Rape” Award goes to Steubenville rape case defense attorney Walter Madison, who argued in March to have the case thrown out, because the passed-out victim “didn’t affirmatively say ‘no.’” Second place goes to CNN for commiserating about the lost “promising future” of the defendants as they were sentenced.



From ‘We Saw Your Boobs’ to ‘Abortion Barbie’: The Year in Sexism