Women are more likely to regret casual sexual encounters than men. Is that because women are evolutionarily predisposed to feel shame after sex? A team of UCLA evolutionary psychologists says yes. I say no:...read more
“Young women need to avoid drinking to avoid rape” is going around as good advice again, first from Emily Yoffe over at Slate and then from a series of other commentators. Lots of feminist writers have covered this ground before, pointing out that it’s victim-blaming. If it were actually effective, there might be a better argument for it. But there’s not — and in fact, it ends up giving cover to rapists:...read more
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:...read more
There’s a part of me that thinks yes — when the legal system has failed, there are few other options to seek justice, and an internet collective isn’t the worst one. But I’m also incredibly wary of unchecked power and the ethos of spreading information without verifying its authenticity or accuracy, and a movement that feeds on rage and indignation without any real accountability. It’s particularly important to look at these issues when they’re being carried out for a cause we believe in. Does the calculus change if Anonymous’s tactics are leveled at someone we support? And then, are the tactics and ethics bad, or just the issue? I have a feeling this position will be very unpopular with the Feministe commentariat, but here goes:...read more
That’s the question a Fox News contributor is asking about the Maryville rape victim. She snuck out! She drank! What did she think was going to happen? As a woman who in my youth did sometimes sneak out, drink and appear in the same room as young men, here is a brief and thoroughly non-exhaustive list of everything I expected to happen on the nights I went out:...read more
In Maryville, Missouri, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a high school senior from a well-connected family. She and a 13-year-old friend snuck out to go to a party with some senior boys, mostly popular football players. They gave her alcohol until she blacked out, and one of them had sex with her. Photos were taken. Then they left her on her doorstep in the winter cold, where she nearly froze to death. Sexual assault, sexual exploitation and endangerment charges were all brought. Then they were dropped. The girl’s family was essentially run out of town, and their house eventually burned down. The entire story is horrific, and the Kansas City Star offers a great piece of in-depth reporting here....read more
1. This article deals explicitly with issues of both penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault. It may be triggering for some readers.
2. While this is written from my own personal experiences, they still do not represent all kinds of sexual assault experiences. My article is meant to bring attention to other kinds of sexual assault and promote the inclusion of these experiences in assault conversations and survivor advocacy.
How does a person achieve redemption after a series of serious offenses? At what point is the process deemed to be complete? What does a person have to do to be judged appropriately sorry and allowed to stop atoning? What should we feel about a person while they’re pursuing the process? What does it say about us when we can’t or won’t let it go?
(Short answer: Don’t care.)...read more
[Content note: links to material discussing rape culture, victim blaming, rape myths, sexual harassment]
There’s a fellow over at Jason Thibeault’s blog who haz a sad because he felt singled out by mention of how nice it might be to have an Index of Rape-Apologist Claims for easy reference. This is happening on a post which is part of the continuing sexism and misogyny fallout in the skeptical and secular communities, ever since Rebecca Watson said “Guys, don’t do that”, in case you weren’t already aware that that particular cyberstorm is still raging on....read more
Well here’s your depressing study of the day: A quarter of men in some Asian nations admit to rape; more than half committed their first rape as teenagers. The vast majority of rapists — been 72 and 97 percent — faced no legal consequences. And men rape because, well, they feel entitled to sex and to women’s bodies:...read more
Rape is in the news again this week with another widely-publicized gang rape in India and a 31-day sentence for an American teacher who raped a 14-year-old student (she later committed suicide). In the Guardian I’m writing about how certain cultures abet rape and keep reporting rates low:...read more