Study Finds Hurricanes With Female Names Kill More People: The Week in Women

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Welcome to another weekly War on Women round up! So much has happened over the past seven days. Where to begin? Well, we have an exciting update for you about a story we reported on last week, in which a Utah school decided to photoshop female students’ necklines and sleeves. But first — America’s natural disasters. A study this week from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign looked at 90 years of hurricane data and discovered that hurricanes with female names killed more people than hurricanes with male names. No, it’s not because female hurricanes, just like us female human beings, are just that much more dangerous, twisted, and evil. No, no, no. There’s a logical explanation here. Wait for it…

It’s because people respect them less.

Yes, apparently, it’s sexist thinking which makes people take male-named hurricanes more seriously, while underestimating those pussy female ones (here’s looking at you Katrina). Sharon Shavitt, a behavioral scientist at the university and a coauthor of the paper explains, “The femininity of the name influences the degree to which people feel the storm is dangerous, and that affects how they respond to it. We had a hunch that there would be some gender biases, but we were quite stunned by the degree of this effect.”

Luckily, Stephen Colbert has a solution. Spoiler alert: “Hurricane Butch McBalls.”


Sexism is Making Us Pee Our Pants

Of course, sexism isn’t only killing Americans — it also makes us piss ourselves. (I mean, ladies, who hasn’t become incontinent waiting on an endless line?) Apparently, the only place where this wouldn’t be a problem is — you guessed it — an Apple conference. This telling photo taken from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week. Silicon Valley, I think we have a problem.

Not your mama’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

In better news this week, the plus-size swimwear company Swimsuits went viral when they shot a calendar featuring sexy women who happen to not weigh less than average.  It shouldn’t be news-worthy, but it is, especially since one of the photos features three plus-size models in a pose from this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover. See if you can guess which one is which.


And check out this video from the shoot.

Melissa McCarthy Launching Plus size line 

Speaking of plus-sized beauty, there was even more good news this week: Melissa McCarthy is launching her own plus-size fashion line. The bad news, however, is why she had to do it. McCarthy told Redbook that fashion designers have refused to dress her.

“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed. Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers — very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people — and they all said no.” Guess they missed the memo. No one puts McCarthy in the corner.

Male students can be topless, but female ones can’t show collarbone

Last week, we told you about the lovely Wasatch High School in Utah, where administrators took it upon themselves to photoshop the yearbook pictures of certain female students. These temptresses had made the mistake of showing too much upper arm, revealing a tattoo, or having a neckline that was deemed to low.

The school entered into The Onion territory when it apologized — for not being more aggressive in its digital crusade. But, like Dan Savage promised, it gets better. It turns out that this same school is A OK with male students appearing topless in their yearbook photos. They did no photoshopping of the following page:

In all fairness, the near-nudity was done in a very tasteful way, as you can see. The page is called “Wasatch Stud Life,” and it boasts a classy and clever headline: “Studs doin’ what studs do best!” I guess the tattoos, boxers and nipples are OK because they are so clearly in the service of art.

Tune in next week, for more double standards.

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