Welp, in the greatest WTF of all time, that “bellowing, marmalade-toned demagogue” who shall not be named is going to be the Republican nominee for president. I feel like I should retire this entire feature.
But also this week:
Australia may have unlawfully shipped a bunch of asylum-seekers back to Sri Lanka under cover of night.
The Kenyan government is fighting to maintain its right to conduct forced anal examinations of suspected homosexuals, a practice that has absolutely no diagnostic validity and qualifies as torture.
And the fancy new software system that the UN paid more than $400 million for is actually slowing down the (already glacial) pace of operations of the global organization.
Another week, another crop of politicians being absolute dicks. Specifically:
Our old pal, and candidate for president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte is at it again. This time, announcing his regret at missing the opportunity to rape Jacqueline Hamill, an Australian lay minister who was sexually assaulted and murdered during a prison riot in Davao City during Duterte’s tenure as mayor. He later doubled down on his remarks, insisting: “This is how men talk.” Again, this man is running for president of a whole entire country.
In Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff is facing ejection from office, another contender for Actual Worst Man Alive dedicated his impeachment vote to the army colonel responsible for torturing her in the 1970s. You may remember the slimeball in question, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, from that time he celebrated Human Rights Day by informing Brazil’s Human Rights Secretary that she was “not worth raping”.
And lest you think American politicians took the week off from indefensible asshattery, the U.S.’s Most Inexplicable Governor, Paul LePage of Maine, is back in the news. This time, he has vetoed a bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense Naloxone without a prescription. Naloxone, more commonly known by the brandname Narcan, is a life-saving medication that blocks the effects of opioids. It works nearly instantaneously and can reverse acute overdoses. It’s even on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. And Maine, a.k.a. that state LePage is the governor of, is in the grips of a terrible heroin epidemic. But rather than helping his constituents suffering from opiate addiction, Governor LePage would apparently prefer that they just die. Because he’s the worst.
Happy Tax Day, fellow Americans. In honor of the occasion, let’s talk about one of the other certainties in life. Nope, not death. Overt, inveterate misogyny.
Item the first: At a town hall meeting today, a young woman asked Republican presidential candidate John Kasich what he would do to fight the campus rape epidemic if elected. After some mumbling about rape kits that focused entirely on response rather than prevention, he concluded with some advice for America’s “co-eds” (!). To wit: “Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.” Thanks, dude who wants to be in charge of us, I definitely feel like you take my safety seriously.
Item the second: Harvard’s secretive Porcellian Club made a rare public statement on Tuesday, objecting to the university administration’s call for finals clubs to admit female members. Harvard’s sexual assault task force identified the male-only clubs as hotspots for “sexual entitlement” and “gender inequality” on campus. The Porcellian’s response: “Forcing single gender organizations to accept members of the opposite sex could potentially increase, not decrease the potential for sexual misconduct.”
Because, obviously, ladies can’t be raped in locations they’re not allowed into.
The statement’s author, Harvard alum Charles Storey, later apologized for his “poor choice of words”, but seriously, WHY are so many men so willing to embrace a view of their sex as incapable of not raping any women who happen to be near them?
Item the third: Pro-life legislators in Missouri have decided to make a list of all the state’s women who’ve had abortions. They swear they’re not going to do anything creepy with it, but Planned Parenthood of St. Louis’s president, Mary Kogut, isn’t so sure. She’s currently facing a contempt of court charge for refusing to turn over patients’ confidential, HIPAA-protected medical information to this gang of crusading lunatics. Stay strong, Mary.
Yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of the Rwandan Genocide. In honor of the occasion, a very special atrocity denial-themed WTF Friday:
A billboard challenging the occurrence of the Armenian genocide appeared in Boston recently (screenshot from the Boston Globe coverage above). After protests from the local Armenian community, it is being taken down.
In France, former National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen is once again in trouble for minimizing the Holocaust. This time he’ll be paying a 30K euro fine for his suggestion that the gas chambers really weren’t that big of a deal.
And everyone’s favorite Australian former prime minister, Tony Abbott, is publicly congratulating himself for looking the other way during the brutal end to Sri Lanka’s civil war. The Sri Lankan military is alleged to have intentionally shelled civilians, causing an estimated 40,000 deaths, and tortured, disappeared, and sexually abused countless others—war crimes that Abbott describes as “probably unavoidable”.
A prominent American celebrity suggests that a Trump presidency (you know, that guy who’ll make America great again by getting rid of all the women, immigrants, and Muslims) would be better for liberals than electing Hillary Clinton.
At this point, it feels like cheating to include anything related to the U.S. presidential election. In the last few days alone, the two frontrunners for the Republican nomination got in a fight over whose wife is hotter, and one of them (or possibly both) called for police to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods in the U.S. in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
In other American political nonsense, North Carolina just basically made it illegal to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination.
Meanwhile, across the pond, the European Union has decided that a good way to deal with the refugee crisis would be to ship all “irregular migrants” arriving in Greece back to Turkey. Human rights advocates say that this measure amounts to unlawful mass expulsion, and MSF is suspending its activities at the refugees’ arrival point in Greece in protest.
So everything is pretty much the worst. And if you thought you were going to console yourself with Easter candy this weekend, think again. All of our chocolate turns out to be poison.
This week’s WTFs come in three flavors: WTF Islamophobia, WTF Eagles, and WTF Cambodia. Check it out:
In a victory for crabby 6 year olds everywhere, “she was LOOKING AT ME” has finally been recognized as a legitimate cause for retaliation. Specifically, two women were kicked off of a JetBlue flight for having their eyes open while also being Muslim. Ugh.
An Egyptian student who posted on Facebook that he “wouldn’t mind serving a life sentence” for killing Donald Trump has had his visa revoked and will have to leave the US by July 5. Most of my Facebook feed should be breathing a sigh of relief that they have American citizenship and can’t be deported.
The rise of Trump is not the only harbinger of doom for America: 13 dead bald eagles were found in Maryland. Authorities suspect that they did not die of natural causes.
Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, two men who filmed themselves torturing and killing an endangered eagle have been arrested.
Did you guys see the GOP debate last night? Donald Trump repeatedly referred to Rubio as “Little Marco”, bragged about the size of his penis, and insinuated that our nation’s military would be perfectly happy to commit war crimes at his say-so.
This just in from the internet’s foremost supplier of lady-bummers, Jina Moore: Women in a German refugee camp are accusing nine security guards of not only failing to provide security, but actively sneaking men into the camp to rape them.
In only slightly lighter news, humans once again demonstrated that we should not have been left in charge of a planet when a bunch of us took a baby dolphin out of the ocean and passed it around taking selfies until it died.
And finally, Maine’s idiot governor thinks asylum seekers are his state’s “biggest problem“. (Note: Despite the efforts of Governor LePage, Maine is one of a small number of states that provided welfare to asylum applicants, making it an attractive destination. But we’re still not talking about very many people; a 2014 article reported that at the time, there were 587 applicants in Maine awaiting their asylum interviews. And, because there’s a good chance that Governor LePage doesn’t know the difference between asylum seekers and refugees, it’s worth noting as well that Maine welcomed a grand total of 388 refugees in 2014.) Anyway. Why are they such a problem, you might ask? Well, apparently, they’re bringing in the “ziki fly”. (Additional note: that is not a thing.)
It seems that Kanye had a fashion show last night and the theme was Rwandan refugees.
You might be wondering “What does that even mean?” or “Isn’t that incredibly offensive?” or “Does he mean mid-90s Rwandan refugees in the DRC, or like, current day Burundian refugees in eastern Rwanda?”