Category: Law

Today in rape culture: Pre-college edition

Because we needed another reminder that a promising young athlete’s bright potential mustn’t be dimmed by the consequences of a rape conviction: 18-year-old rising collegian David Becker was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery after sexually assaulting two unconscious classmates at a house party in 2015. The district attorney recommended two years in prison, but Palmer District Court Judge Estes ordered a continuation without finding for two years. During his two years of probation, Becker has to avoid drugs and alcohol, submit to evaluation for sex-offender treatment, and stay away from his two victims. He won’t have to register as a sex offender and won’t have a conviction on his record as long as he sticks to the terms of his probation, which is good for this community service-serving, college-bound, three-sport athlete, because, his lawyer said, “We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19[.].”

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Open Thread

I apologize for Feministe’s long, long radio silence, and I hate that this is the occasion to break it. This space is available for discussion of the recent extrajudicial executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Updates and links to commentary will be added as they arise. Please be respectful and take your “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” elsewhere; this is neither the time nor the place.

While We Were Out: North Carolina’s Bathroom Law

[Content note: mentions of transphobia and child sexual abuse]

While Feministe has been down, an issue erupted in North Carolina about where trans people are allowed to pee. In response to a local ordinance in Charlotte outlawing discrimination against trans people, the North Carolina legislature passed HB2, a law mandating discrimination, requiring trans people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate rather than the gender with which they identify.

Here are some highlights, if somehow you missed it while you were missing us.

Quick hit: Republicans work really, really fast to uphold LGBT discrimination

On Thursday, Democratic legislators got enough votes to nullify overt LGBT discrimination in a military spending bill. It wasn’t actually the bill in question at the time — the offending language was on the National Defense Authorization Act, passed last Wednesday, and allowed government contractors to fire and harass LGBT employees in the name of Jesus. It passed 277 to 147 then, but on Thursday, New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney introduced language into a different bill to prevent said discrimination. And it passed! To cheers! When the clock ran out, the new language passed 217-206! That’s cool, right?!

Calm down.

“Bernie or Bust”ers: Suck it up, women and minorities, because Hillary is the literal and absolute worst

Golf writer, Bernie Sanders supporter, and self-identified privileged white guy Shane Ryan would “like to address the idea that Bernie Sanders supporters who refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election are over-privileged assholes.”

I feel like “You said it, not me” would be a petty interjection at this early stage.

Note to lawmakers: Rape does result in pregnancy

[Content note for rape.]

This appears to be a tough one.

The whole thing about how rape does result in pregnancy.

(I’m guessing that has something to do with a lack of comprehensive sex education. That’s why it’s important, y’all.)

But lawmakers, officially, for the record, in case it comes up in the future and you absolutely can’t resist your better judgment not to talk about it: Rape does result in pregnancy.

With “significant frequency,” according to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Meet Your 2016 Legislation

It’s January — a time of credit card debt, resolutions you don’t intend to keep, and new legislation that kicked in at the turn of the calendar. What laws are going to be making your life better — or worse — in 2016? Let’s take a look.

Oregon militia bulldozes Native American archaeological site, still NBD

During their weeks-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, armed militants have declared their intention to return the federal land to its “rightful owners.” They’ve also made it apparent that by “rightful owners,” they weren’t talking about the Burns Paiute tribe, whose ancestral lands encompass the reserve. And on Wednesday, they made their priorities clear when they bulldozed a path through a Burns Paiute archaeological site.

When a deadly act of fear and ignorance is deemed “objectively reasonable”

When a grand jury last week failed to pass down an indictment on Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in public park last winter, they did so under the influence of three reports declaring the shooting “objectively reasonable.” In other words, in light of the circumstances the officers thought they were facing, it was reasonable for them to shoot Rice after rolling up and assessing the situation for less than a second.

Quick hit: An armed militia has occupied a federal building in Oregon, but whatever, NBD

On Saturday, a group of armed men seized control of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon. The building was unoccupied at the time they took control and they hold no hostages, but Ammon Bundy (son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, he of his own anti-government standoff in 2014), has said that they “will be [t]here as long as it takes,” up to several years, adding, “We have no intentions of using force upon anyone, (but) if force is used against us, we would defend ourselves.”

Tamir Rice

No indictment (That’s a NYT article, by the way). And the took the opportunity to say that the child looked older than twelve (he didn’t; adults need to learn what twelve looks like, and regardless, it isn’t a capital crime…

No indictment in the death of Sandra Bland

Trigger warning: racist violence and death, police racism The Texas Grand Jury has decided there will be no indictment in the death of Sandra Bland against anyone–not any of the police officers, not any of the jail officials or workers,…