After a stupidly long hiatus (entirely the fault of our editor being AWOL, because of a new job), we’re back with a new episode – and this time it’s a topic from the headlines. Now that campus rape in the U.S. is finally getting the attention it deserves from media and federal investigators, the usual pro-rape lobbyists are stepping up their efforts to stop the oh-so-ghastly spectre of rape prevention, claiming that campus rape is way overblown by feminist propaganda…
Theodore Wafer, the man who killed Renisha McBride as she knocked on his door searching for help after a car accident, has been convicted of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and a felony firearm charge.
Content Note: drug incapacitation, sexual assault, victim-blaming, cyberbullying, ostracisation
The news gets worse on the appalling assault and social media shaming of Texan teenager Jada, and the flawed investigation of a similar case at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York is analyzed by the NYT.
Rape culture? What rape culture?
[Content note: gendered violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment]
That it was not enough for Davies’ college roommate to know that their classmate had been murdered by an intruder to understand Davies’ fears [of walking home alone from work late at night] honestly terrifies me. That a woman had to get attacked right in front of him in order for that to sink in is horrifying. And as Davies points out, he was not some anomaly. This is common.
Well hello again! Yes I am still here, although MIA for the past month or so as I wrapped up my freelance life and started at Cosmopolitan.com full time. And I’m writing a lot over there: On illegal abortion in Brazil, on pro-choice advocates embracing life, on the minimum wage, on the increasing inaccessibility of abortion in the American South, on the kidnapped Nigerian girls. I’m also doing a series of interviews with women who have interesting careers, detailing how they got to where they are. So far I’ve spoken with Jordan Zimmerman, a cheese educator; Anna Holmes, a journalist and the founder of Jezebel; and Sadie Nardini, a yoga instructor who was paralyzed as a child and now runs a massive international wellness empire. The latest: On PUA and MRA responses to the misogynist murders in Santa Barbara. Here is one of those things:
Marissa Alexander appeared in court Friday morning to request a new Stand Your Ground immunity hearing, hoping for a chance to demonstrate that the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband justified her use of a warning shot to defend herself. To support her legal defense, Prison Culture will be selling No Selves to Defend: A Legacy of Criminalizing Women of Color for Self Defense, an anthology of stories, poetry, and original art about women of color who have been imprisoned for defending themselves.
Alexis Okeowo in The New Yorker: Nigeria’s stolen girls.
If this were happening anywhere else in the world, there would have been non-stop mass media coverage of the burnt school and the grieving families and relentless questioning of the relevant officials as to the inadequacy of the search and rescue operations.
I’m in Brazil right now with the wonderful International Reporting Project, and while here I spoke with a young woman who, like many women around the world, got pregnant when she didn’t want to be. Here in Brazil, abortion is generally illegal. After trying several different methods unsuccessfully and reaching out to a variety of slightly-shady people for help, she decided to go the safest route: To say she had been raped and get a safe, legal abortion in a Brazilian hospital. Her story is here. Women in this country are understandably very afraid to speak with anyone about abortion, and lots of women die or are injured from unsafe procedures. I’m particularly grateful to this young woman, who I’m calling Juliana, for her generosity, her honesty and her courage in sharing an extremely complicated story.
Kigali, Rwanda – In December 1990, the Rwandan Hutu-supremacist paper Kangura published The Ten Hutu Commandments. The first three:
The ACLU released a report on life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and the shocking numbers of inmates who are incarcerated for the rest of their lives with no hope of getting out — for committing non-violent crimes, usually drug-related. There are money interests in keeping people incarcerated, but there are also cultural and psychological ones. Long sentences are entrenched in the law through mandatory minimums, but they’re also seeded in our national psyche as “normal”:
On Saturday, Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black woman, was in a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a wealthy, majority-white city adjacent to Detroit. She was injured, she was disoriented, her cell phone was dead, and she knocked on the wrong door looking for help.
Across the internet, various groups are demanding justice for Daily Coleman, the 14-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a popular high school football player from a well-connected family. But it’s unclear what that “justice” would actually look like. A special prosecutor has been appointed to the case, and I’m hopeful she’ll be able to shed light on all the facts. But were it not for conservative Supreme Court justices, Daisy could have had other options: She could have sued her alleged attacker under a federal cause of action established by the Violence Against Women Act. I’m writing about that in The Nation today: