One month before Election Day, with the Trump campaign reeling from enough October Surprises to fill an advent calendar, the Washington Post's intrepid David Fahrenthold has landed what may be the mortal blow: vulgar 2005 footage of the Republican nominee bragging about his sexual abuse of married women, just months after marrying his third wife, Melania. "When you’re a star, they let you do it," the future presidential candidate declares. "Grab 'em by the p***y. You can do anything." The bombshell has forced GOP leaders to recoil from Trump and issue a parade of rebukes, with Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz revoking support, House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelling a joint rally, and top donors pulling funds and demanding a new candidate. Hours after a terse press release from the then-59-year-old calling it "locker room banter," Trump released a rare apology in a midnight video maligning the Clintons while vowing to attend the presidential town hall debate Sunday. Betting markets aren't so sure. Unfortunately for the GOP, there’s no longer any way to boot Donald Trump from the ballot. [more inside]
Drama at an Elite High School by Suzy Khimm [New York Magazine] A beloved theater teacher, sexual-assault allegations, and the scandal that has rattled Chappaqua. A longtime Chappaqua theater teacher is accused of abusing students for years, until one told the police.
Greta Zimmer Friedman, 92, has died. According to the New York Daily News, Mrs. Friedman led a long, eventful life. As a girl, she fled from the Nazis in Europe, and settled in New York, where she later studied theater and costuming at the New School. But her place in history is marked by a single snapshot. She was ambivalent, at times, about that place in history, which can well be characterized as sexual assault. Nonetheless, many years later, she became friendly with the man in the photograph, who had been, at the time, a stranger. (Previously, if incorrectly)
Reductress Is Devoting Its Entire Site to Rape Jokes That Punch Up: "In response to a sexual assault controversy that’s currently engulfing the New York comedy scene, women’s satire site Reductress has devoted its entire landing page to humor articles (primarily written by women) about rape." [warning: pointed satire about rape, rape culture, and abuse] [more inside]
“To be a witch is to be a woman with power in a world where women are often otherwise powerless.” [more inside]
A former Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman was sentenced to six months in jail because a longer sentence would have “a severe impact on him,” according to a judge. At his sentencing Thursday, his victim read him a letter describing the “severe impact” the assault had on her. This article is a powerful but difficult read so please take care if accounts of sexual assault are triggering for you.
Baylor University has fired football coach Art Briles and demoted university president Kenneth Starr upon receipt of an independent report detailing how the football program concealed rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence accusations against Baylor football players. The announcement has come as a shock, as it had seemed that Starr would be the scapegoat for the scandal, with his demotion used to protect Briles, the most successful coach in the school's history. However, increased media scrutiny due to the 2016 campaign season bringing up Starr's role in the Whitewater investigation, drawing greater attention to what happened at Baylor.
Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Trial Can Proceed, Judge Rules [The New York Times] Prosecutors in Pennsylvania on Tuesday crossed their final hurdle to bring Bill Cosby to trial on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman he once mentored, with a judge ruling that enough evidence existed for the case to move forward. While Mr. Cosby is fighting numerous civil cases involving similar accusations, the ruling, by Judge Elizabeth A. McHugh, means that the once popular entertainer must face at least one of his accusers in a criminal proceeding, likely to take place here this year. [Previously.] [Previously.] [Previously.]
This morning, Harvard University announced that beginning with the Class of 2021, members of single-gender private clubs and Greek organizations will be banned from holding athletic team captaincies or leadership positions in all student groups, and will be ineligible for College endorsement for top fellowships like the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. [more inside]
The violent sexual assault of Sarah Ottens at the University of Iowa inspired a famous art work by Ana Mendieta. But that wasn't the end of the connection between the women. Mendieta would go on to create more artwork invoking the female body, violence, and disappearance (some images NSFW; many are distressing). Twelve years after Ottens's murder, Mendieta would die in suspicious circumstances in a case that has been called the art world's version of the O.J. Simpson trial. [more inside]
Protect Our Defenders, a victim advocacy group, uses FOIA to fact check military claims on sexual assault. [more inside]
Women do what they need to do to survive. "Emergencies so often don't look like emergencies as we're taught to understand them when we are children. Monsters don't look like the monsters we've been taught to avoid." [cw: rape] [more inside]
I know that I made the mistake of thinking that living well is the best revenge ... If I were a victim of the other horrific crime in my book, I would talk about it openly. I wouldn't pretend like it hadn't happened to me, like I don't still hurt about it, like I don't still cry about it. Why should this be any different? What I know, an essay by Jessica Knoll. Also, in the NYT, Jessica Knoll Reveals the Rape Behind Her Novel, ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’. (There are not enough trigger warnings in the world for this difficult, brave essay and the article about it.)
"I talked to a woman who asked for anonymity because she’s still associated professionally with the University of Iowa. 'When I got to Iowa,' she told me, 'I was like, who the fuck are these people? And where are the adults?'" Jia Tolentino on Thomas Sayers Ellis, VIDA, and the "tradition" of bad behavior from powerful men in the creative fields.
The dangerous culture of male entitlement and sexual hostility hiding within America's national parks and forests. (slHuffPo/Highline) TW: disturbing stories of assault
Honey An organization dedicated to stopping the silence on the subject of sexual assault. Survivors share their truths, find support, and bring awareness to their community.
"Peyton, you messed up. I still don't know why you dropped your drawers. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe not. But it was definitely inappropriate. Please take some personal responsibility here and own up to what you did. I never understood why you didn't admit to it...."Peyton Manning’s squeaky-clean image was built on lies, as detailed in explosive court documents showing ugly smear campaign against his alleged sex assault victim by Shaun King
In October 2014, eight women came forward to the Toronto Star stating that well-known CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi had assaulted them. [Previously on Metafilter] As the case against Ghomeshi finally went to trial this month, it has prompted criticism over the way the defense has treated the women testifying against him. Canadian radio host and therapist Svea Vikander has decided to share her personal experiences of sexual harassment and assault, one for each day of February: "This trial is not only about a man who violated the four women pressing charges, but about whether we, as a society, trust women who tell...It's personal for me...But I can't not do it. The Ghomeshi scandal has one hell of an undertow." [more inside]
Trying to Separate Bill Cosby From Cliff Huxtable by Rachel L. Swarns [The New York Times]
"It was hard then to know where Dr. Huxtable ended and Mr. Cosby began. Mr. Cosby inhabited the role so completely that for a long time I thought character and creator were pretty much one and the same, at least until the allegations of rape began surfacing with increasing frequency. Then I went from feeling certain that Mr. Cosby was just like Dr. Huxtable, to wondering whether Mr. Cosby was like Dr. Huxtable, to desperately hoping that Mr. Cosby was the devoted family man I once thought he had been."
Wondering why pop star Kesha (or Ke$ha) hasn't produced any new music since 2013? Sony refuses to release her from her contract, which bars her from producing music with anyone else but producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, until she's made eight more records. So why is she refusing to work with Dr. Luke? Because, she alleges, he coerced her into drinking and taking drugs and sexually assaulted her when she was just 18, and his ongoing abuse led her to develop an eating disorder. Sony has called the allegations a "transparent and misguided attempt to renegotiate her contracts." [more inside]
After more than 100 women and girls came forward with reports of sexual assault and robbery by gangs of men in the German city of Cologne on New Year's Eve, Cologne's police chief has been removed from his post. [more inside]
An incredible story by ProPublica and The Marshall Project. What happens when police believe rape victims? What happens when they don't?
An all-white jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw of rape. It's almost enough. [The Guardian]
It took 45 hours over the course of four days for an all-white jury in Oklahoma City to decide whether or not they should convict former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of sexual assault on the word of 13 black women. On Thursday night, the jury opted to believe (most of) them. There is perhaps no bigger test of how blind justice could possibly be than asking any American jury – especially one that is all white and includes eight men – to believe 13 black women over a former police officer and supposed hero football player. It’s easy enough to point to cases where the police were acquitted. And yet, against all expectations this time, justice was blind.[more inside]
What is actually going on with men, right now? What are they afraid of and unwilling to talk about? How do the inner lives of men affect women, other men, our culture? We see men struggling to define themselves at a time when gender definitions are expanding. We see men dealing, sometimes gracefully and sometimes not, with the weight of their power. And we learn that what it means to be a modern man is just like everything else: complex, messy, and always changing. Medium presents: The Men Issue [more inside]
What If Bears Killed One In Five People? You wouldn't put up with that. So don't put up with this. 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted by the time they finish college. [more inside]
On November 28th, adult and mainstream actress Stoya sent out a pair of tweets accusing adult actor James Deen of raping her. Deen replied on Twitter that the "egregious claims" were "false and defamatory", but more performers have since made similar accusations, including producer-director-writer-star Joanna Angel, who dated Deen for six years. [more inside]
In the war against campus sexual assault, why are we not talking about drinking? "It bothers me that the conversation about alcohol and consent seems to be debated mostly by women—fought by women, argued about by women, the emotional burden carried by women. I’m ready to see more focus on how drinking changes men: how sex and aggression can get cross-wired, or the frightening way alcohol can smear their good sense away. Not “how much did she drink” but how much did he?" (slTexasMonthly) [more inside]
The Associated Press uncovered about 1,000 officers who lost their badges in a six-year period for rape, sodomy and other sexual assault. Warning: the link contains descriptions of some of these events.
We demand that women live in fear and behave impeccably to avoid 'asking for it.' "In an extract from her book, Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture — and What We Can Do About It, author Kate Harding explains how women order their lives around the fear of rape – and of being blamed for not preventing it." [more inside]
A survey of 150,000 college students across 27 high-profile universities supports previous studies that sexual assault and misconduct is widely prevalent on college campuses. Discussion of sexual assault within. [more inside]
Lady Gaga has just released a new video (Major trigger warnings for graphic depictions of assaults) called The Hunting Ground as a PSA for It's On Us (they also have a tumblr), an organization dedicated to ending campus rape. Take the pledge. [more inside]
There is no clever way to title this video. It is a man talking about being raped.
Today, respected medical medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine published a short, anonymous account called "Our Family Secrets" of two different sexual assaults (or, in the journal's words, situations with "overtones" of sexual assault) by surgeons on their unconscious patients. (trigger warning for sexual assault and misogyny) [more inside]
‘I’m No Longer Afraid’: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen (trigger warning: sexual assault) SL longform New York Magazine. [archive.org saved version here]
"After surviving one of the most high-profile and long-running school sex abuse scandals in history, a group of 32 men and women banded together to seek solace and justice — only to find that public outrage, a star attorney, and overwhelming evidence are no match for a legal process stacked against even the most privileged or traumatized." - Sam Roudman
In The Lost Girls , the Runaways' Jackie Fox tells for the first time of being raped by their Svengali-like manager Kim Fowley. The lengthy article also goes into the extreme power dynamics at play in the band's inner circle. [more inside]
Cruel and All-Too-Usual: A Terrifying Glimpse into Life in Prison—As A Kid A new HuffPo report on juveniles serving time in adult facilities (trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault, suicide), this piece features videos showing how juveniles are treated in facilities designed for adults (trigger warning for violence), several pieces of interpretive art based on those videos, and images of documents retrieved from inmates and prison records.
Rape on the Night Shift: Every night, as most of us head home, janitors across America, many of them women, begin their night shift. They are often alone or isolated in empty buildings — and vulnerable to sexual violence. On Tuesday, a PBS Frontline/Reveal investigation explored ways sexual violence against janitors is going unreported and unpunished. All content is SFW, but some may find descriptions in the links in this post disturbing. [more inside]
“All of those things play a part in who I am as a person. It all has equal weight. I want sexual abuse to sit happily alongside other topics like music and creativity, without this gut shudder, ‘Oh no, we can’t talk about that.’” The book is accompanied by a playlist that Rhodes put on Spotify – Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Chopin’s Etude in C Minor – a wonderfully simple, powerful idea, which at times makes it heartbreakingly difficult to read.For The Guardian Zoe Williams interviews pianist James Rhodes about his just released autobiography, finally available after the UK Supreme Court ruled in his favour in the lawsuit taken out against him by his ex-wife. Trigger warning: child abuse. [more inside]
Why The Mary Sue will no longer be promoting Game of Thrones, after the latest episode.[Spoilers, TW sexual assault] [more inside]
Transgender Woman Cites Attacks and Abuse in Men’s Prison (trigger warning: descriptions of sexual assault) [more inside]
My friend Karla and I bought a book called And the Bride Wore White, a guide to remaining sexually pure. Three chapters of And the Bride Wore White are titled as follows: “Satan’s Big Fat Sex Lies,” “Satan’s Second Big Fat Sex Lie,” and “Satan’s Biggest, Fattest Sex Lie.” The book explained to me why condoms don’t work, why everyone isn’t “doing it,” and that oral sex is just as bad as intercourse. The author painstakingly outlined her own sexual foibles and missteps, honesty that I appreciated. I was ready to learn. I read the book steadily — during study breaks, walking through the hallways, before I went to sleep. Karla and I met at her house and talked about the different chapters while her mother brought us garden-grown beefsteak tomatoes that looked like hearts. We swore to strive for purity in every way possible. No more touching. No more being touchedCarmen Maria Machado writes about growing up, sexual assault, Christianity, family, realising your own queerness and more.
The phone rang. It was my college rapist. (TW) "a comic account of my friend’s sexual assault in college. 33 years after the incident, she received a phone call from her assailant." [more inside]
Today, the Ontario Government released a video called #WhoWillYouHelp (TW; potentially triggering scenes in video relating to sexual assault) as part of the $41-million It's Never OK action plan to end sexual assault and harassment within the province. [more inside]
"This case, which has been picked up by the media, does not fit neatly into the narratives that have fueled an ongoing national conversation about sexual assault of students on campus. But it exposes the risks of Stanford’s open door to Silicon Valley and the pressure that universities are under to do more for students who say they’ve been raped. It also reveals the complexity of trying to determine the truth in a high-stakes case like this one."