[TW: rape, sexual assault, child abuse]
When words fail: women, science, and women-in-science – [Trigger warning for this and all following links] by Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill):
The seminars, workshops, blogs, op-eds, research, policy papers, luncheons, and happy hour discussions are all valuable, and important, and they need to continue. But when the beer is drunk, and the pizza gone cold, and the printed articles relegated to the recycling bin, we are left with words: words written by us and about us, spoken in confidence, tossed like poisoned barbs in the comments sections, smoldering as craters in our in-boxes, pounding in our ears when we run it out at the gym.[more inside]
I’m sorry, you guys, but words are not enough. Not anymore.
I do not believe that most women — that most victims of sexual assault — freeze or shut down when faced with the prospect of coercive sex because they don’t really care what happens next, or because they're excited to push through the moment for the sheer joy of accusing the aggressor of rape after the fact. I believe that these women, these people, have a finely tuned sense for their safety, that when a woman reports having "a feeling that it would turn into an ordeal if I rejected him," she is not crazy and she knows what she is talking about.Mallory Ortberg explores the ongoing debate surrounding passive versus active consent as its effects echo through the Alt Lit community: On Deciding What Counts: Elizabeth Ellen and What Makes A Victim.
[TW: rape, sexual assault, child abuse]
"Sexual assault is alarmingly common in the U.S. military, and more than half of the victims are men. According to the Pentagon, thirty-eight military men are sexually assaulted every single day. These are the stories you never hear—because the culprits almost always go free, the survivors rarely speak, and no one in the military or Congress has done enough to stop it." A tough read from GQ. Could be triggering.
Emma Sulkowicz is a student at Columbia University; she was raped by a fellow student during her sophomore year, and is one of 23 Columbia and Barnard students who filed a federal Title IX complaint in April alleging that the university mishandled sexual assault cases. Now a senior, Emma plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus, as her senior art thesis, "Carry That Weight" [more inside]
On July 22, The Ohio State University fired Marching Band director Jon Waters because he was allegedly aware of (or should have known) about an "environment conducive to sexual harassment within the Marching Band". The University's 23-page report details a wide range of incidents, including sexualized nicknames and staff supervision of an annual "Midnight Ramp" performed in underwear, and includes as exhibits a "rookie test" and a copy of the band's unofficial songbook. Perhaps most distressingly, during Waters' brief tenure as director, two band members were sexually assaulted. The Title IX complaint that prompted Waters' firing was filed by the parent of one of the assaulted band members. (After reporting the assault, the victim declined to rejoin the band for her senior year out of fear that she would be ostracized by some of the other band members.) Waters was also initially unsympathetic to a victim of a different sexual assault which occurred during the Athletic Band's trip to the Big Ten basketball tournament in March 2013. Some legal analysts suggest that Title IX law gave the University no choice but to fire Waters, given his knowledge of the culture issues within the Band. But Waters claims he was doing his best to fix the Band's culture, and submitted his own lengthy document listing the steps he's taken. [more inside]
i believe you | it's not your fault. The "What are we doing here?" post explains the origin: [more inside]
The New York Times examines the case of a student raped by football players at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The colleges are under investigation by the Department of Education [Not Alone, previously] [more inside]
A touching sad comic about how one woman dealt with her sexual assault. (slMedium) (TW: recounting of rape)
(tw: rape) Kathleen Hale reflects on her assault, the subsequent trial, and the relationship between predators and prey.
Pretty much everything, says Jezebel. Or, as Salon puts it, it paints a gentler picture--and makes him look even worse. Here's the NYMag profile in question, which was authored against a backdrop of several complaints about the well-known fashion photographer. Richardson defended himself in March. At least two models Richardson has photographed have sued him; the suits have been settled. [more inside]
"Not Alone" is the title of the first report of The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. This report comes after a number of incidents of sexual assault were under-investigated or ignored at numerous college campus' in the US. [more inside]
His Career Will Be Absolutely Fine: On Telling People About Being Molested
People who have no vested interest in your father’s job, other than as citizens of a country where he pays taxes, will suddenly be very interested in your father figure’s job. Your sister’s friend will say, “She’s going to ruin your dad’s career.” You’re not even sure she knows what he does. Other things people will say. “These are very serious accusations. This kind of thing can ruin a person’s career.” “You should be very careful what you say because stuff like this can end a person’s career.” “You know this could hurt his career?” It will hurt you, because none of these people give a shit about your career.A devastating and beautifully written article.
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf) that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
Alaska's rape rate is the highest in the country -- three times the national average. To find out why, I went to Alaska to talk with victims, politicians -- and the rapists. [more inside]
"Every year Playboy releases the ultimate guide to campus life: our infamous party school list. Over the years, it has been brought to our attention that some of our long-standing party picks have a not-so-toast-worthy, rape-ridden side to their campus life. Somewhere in the countless hours we spent tallying up co-eds and scoring beer pong, we lost track of the most essential element of the Playboy lifestyle: sexual pleasure. Rape is kryptonite to sexual pleasure. The two cannot co-exist. For our revised party guide to live up to our founder’s vision, we had to put a new criterion on top. Namely, consent. In other words… A good college party is all about everyone having a good time. Consent is all about everyone having a good time. Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist. And fuck those people. In our new found light, we proudly present to you Playboy’s 2013 Top Ten Party Commandments, the ultimate guide for a consensual good time." Or did they,
College students across the country conspired to promote consent: the story behind yesterday’s Playboy hoax.[more inside]
The Inside Story Of The Feminists Who Fooled Us Into Thinking Playboy Cared About Consent
How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
Rape in the Fields is a Frontline documentary that explores the persistent allegations that female agricultural workers in the U.S. are frequently sexually assaulted and harassed by supervisors who exploit their (often undocumented) immigrant status. Victims typically do not seek help from US law enforcement, either out of fear that they will be fired, deported or worse, or from a lack of understanding of U.S. law. Reviews: Popmatters. NY Times [more inside]
School violence prevention programs typically focus on risk-reduction by teaching girls not to be victims and boys not to be rapists, with no other roles to play. Even though bystander intervention not a new concept, some schools, advocacy groups and corporations are pushing it with renewed vigor in an effort to deter violence.
The goal is to challenge perceptions of "normal behavior" and make teens aware of the nuanced interactions that create a hostile climate. It could be as simple as diverting a friend's attention when he hollers at a girl on the street, encouraging your sister to talk to her boyfriend instead of secretly checking his texts, sneaking off to call 911 when the popular guys start messing with a girl who's barely conscious.[more inside]
The University of Southern California, Dartmouth College, Swarthmore College, and the University of California, Berkeley are among higher education institutions facing recent scrutiny for their alleged failure to comply with Clery Act reporting requirements. [more inside]
Craig Ferguson seems to have a special liking for conversation with Stephen Fry. Previously. On Wednesday night, Stephen was back on the Late Late Show as the only guest. The naturally wide-ranging discussion includes Arthur Conan Doyle, America, mortality, religion, philosophy, science, homosexuality, Wagner, and more. Enjoy. [more inside]
Last June, the New York Times published an exposé of New York's exclusive Horace Mann School, detailing decades of sexual abuse of students by their teachers. The revelations prompted additional accusations and lawsuits from former students, an all-but-useless investigation, an admission by one of the school's former teachers, and a response by the school to parents (pdf). But one person who escaped the Times' notice was former English teacher Robert Berman.
Keep an eye on your mates when you're out – You look after them, they look after you. It's all about having fun and making it home safely. It's not about being a hero – it's about doing something small. (7:58) A New Zealand PSA about sexual assault prevention focusing on bystanders [WARNING sexual assault triggers abound] [more inside]
The Hairpin's Jia Tolentino holds three interviews with virgins. (Trigger warnings on the second and third stories.)
[TRIGGERS]"Reddit's had a few threads about sexual assault victims, but are there any redditors from the other side of the story? What were your motivations? Do you regret it?" A thoughtful article on Jezebel with some excerpts from the thread and some excellent comments.
In other positive criminal justice news, the US Department of Justice has issued long overdue rules for combating sexual assault of prisoners in federal, state, and local penitentiaries. [more inside]
Women in the bondage and kink scene are speaking out about sexual assaults in the community, and calling for change. Kitty Stryker, KinkyLittleGirl, Perverted Negress, and Maggie Mayhem share their experiences
A Field Guide to Creepy Dom (All links as likely as not to be NSFW)
Sierra DeMulder is one of the most accomplished and recognizable young women in the world of slam poetry. The two-time National Poetry Slam champion has spent the past five years energizing audiences at colleges and poetry events across the nation, seamlessly weaving complex issues of identity and gender with the honesty of heartbreak. Her piece 'Paper Dolls', recently shared on Project Unbreakable (previously), is very, very good. TRIGGER WARNING - subject matter pertains to sexual assault.
Rap legend Too Short has made a career in rap documenting the business of prostitution. In the wake of criticism over a video interview on XXL in which he gave advice on committing sexual assault, he sat down with critic Dream Hampton for a frank discussion that he calls "a wake up call" (possible triggers).
"Under Title IX, a woman is entitled to equal access to everything on a college campus. That includes being safe."
In response to campus advocates and new directives from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, Stanford University has lowered the evidence standard for cases of sexual misconduct from "beyond a reasonable doubt" to a "preponderance of the evidence". This move, which applied immediately and took effect during then on-going proceedings, was met with praise from students("If the new Standard of Proof bothers you, there’s an easy solution: don’t sexually assault people"), but has proved controversial among civil liberties organizations ("a shocking disregard for fair procedures on campus"), academic scholars ("a declaration of martial law against men...and a betrayal of the Title IX equity law"), and alumni ("The President’s recent decision is all the proof I need to know that the University shows little respect for the rights of students"). [more inside]
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF and likely French Presidential Candidate, was arrested in New York for sexual assualt today. The Port Authority of New York removed Strauss-Kahn from the first class cabin of an Air France flight ten minutes before it departed for Paris and handed him over to the NYPD, whose Special Victims Unit is handling the case, for questioning. He is expected to be arraigned later tonight. [more inside]
When men in the military rape other men in the ranks, no one wants to talk about it. Why the sexual assault of males in the service is finally being confronted. [more inside]
Society teaches 'Don’t get raped' rather than 'Don’t rape' "When Stevens reads articles about drunk driving, the police are quoted telling people to stop drinking and driving. But when she reads articles about sexual assault, there is no warning telling would-be attackers not to rape. Instead, the authorities tell potential victims to take precautions." [more inside]
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are registered nurses who have special training and experience in forensic evidence collection (conducting “rape kits”) and survivor-centered care. They also increasingly conduct forensic examinations on suspects accused of sexual assault(PDF). There is evidence that, through this work, SANE programs increase the prosecution rates of sexual assault cases. However, as a result of a recent Supreme Court Case, Crawford v. Washington, the role of SANEs is being increasingly curtailed(behind a pay wall). [more inside]
James Stipe, a Marine, allegedly posed as his ex-girlfriend to post an ad on Craigslist seeking an “aggressive man with no concern for women.” The woman was later raped in her home. [more inside]
"When the day's activities include the likelihood of getting your brains shot out, maybe a little slap and tickle - while not desirable - is not the end of the world."
The New York Times examines several reports of sexual harassments and assaults on women in the US Military. In the article's comments, current and former troops chime in to suggest that this is an inevitable result of including women in combat zones. [more inside]
A nine-month investigation by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that student victims of sexual assaults "face a depressing litany of barriers that often either assure their silence or leave them feeling victimized a second time." [more inside]
If you had to pinpoint today's problem that had no name, what would it be? In answer to that question, Linda Hirshman launches an attack on tabloid feminism prompted by last summer's spirited appearance on Lizz Winstead's show, Thinking and Drinking by Jezebel contributors Tracie Egan, a.k.a. Slut Machine (second link possibly NSFW) and Moe Tkacik. Jezebel's Megan Carpentier responds. Is this the future of feminism?
An Oregon School for Troubled Teens Is Under Scrutiny (TIME) - Allegations at of abuse at the facility have been made for decades, and now it is being investigated by the state for the second time. Of course, abuse at private residential facilities for troubled teenagers is nothing new, but some female students at this school claim there was an additional, cruel twist: [more inside]
In yet another case of possible criminality within The Company ranks, the CIA's station chief in Algeria is facing investigation for sexual assualt, accused of having drugged and sexually assaulted at least two Algerian women. Though recent events have raised doubts about the prosecution of other possible crimes at the CIA, this case may actually lead to an eventual conviction. After all, he made tapes.
My friends and I confided in each other, swapping stories, sharing out pain, while keeping it all hidden from the adults in our lives. After all, who could we tell? This wasn’t rape - it didn’t fit the definitions. This was Not rape. We should have known better. We were the ones who would take the blame. We would be punished, and no one wanted that. So, these actions went on, aided by a cloak of silence. From Racialicious.
Men Can Stop Rape is part of a growing movement to stop rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence by focusing on educating men. There are efforts to change the climate on college campuses and curriculum at Haverford, Tulane, Kansas State, Idaho State, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, University of Minnesota, University of Maine, Portland State, Harvard, University of Rochester, University of Delaware, Franklin and Marshall, and Colorado State, to name a few. Want to start your own? Here's how. Not in college? There's [more inside]
Ubuntu is organizing a 'National Day of Truthtelling' in Durham, NC, on April 28, 2007. They argue that poor judgment does not justify rape, and are gathering women to tell their stories. Their motto: "It is better to speak."
Son of Senate president offered plea deal in assault case Clifton Bennett, 18, the son of Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett, and his co-defendant, Kyle Wheeler, 19, were charged in January with 18 counts of aggravated assault and 18 counts of kidnapping for the incidents, which happened at a youth camp last June. The younger Bennett confessed to police that he and Wheeler sodomized the 11- to 14-year-old boys with broomsticks and flashlights in at least 40 incidents, court documents show.
FemDefence: A Protection Against Rape • "Femdefence is an on-going project first presented in 2003. The project includes the creation of an imaginary product, which bears the project’s name. The 'product' is a kind of protection against rape, somewhat similar to a tampon in that its user carries it inserted in her vagina. In it there is a sharp pin which has a penetrating effect on the perpetrator’s penis in the event of a rape."
"The Associated Press, which usually does not report names of sexual assault victims, stopped identifying the girls by name after authorities said they had been raped. The AP resumed reporting Marris' name Friday after she came forward and used Brooks' name after she appeared on national television Monday." Richard Roeper and the Los Angeles Times cover the media decision to cover rape differently than other crimes.
Baltimore Priest Shot by Accuser. The suspect told authorities that he shot the priest because the priest rebuffed his demand for an apology over an alleged sexual assault.
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