Category: Rape Culture

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.

Quick hit: This is not a thing that happens

Content note: rape and rape apologia Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. You don’t accidentally fall on somebody and penetrate their vagina with your penis. I can’t believe this defense flew, and after only 30 fucking minutes of deliberations. Who thinks this?…

So what went wrong for the slut-shamers?

When a teen is gang-raped and photos of her rape distributed online, the normal human response should be indignation toward her attackers – not toward the victim, for allegedly being a slut who enticed all the boys. Sadly civilisation has a long way to go, but even in the last couple of years, the cultural climate has grown more conspicuously hostile for misogynists who fancy themselves arbiters of women’s sexual worth. Something has changed – but what?

Amnesty International, CATW, a bunch of celebrities, and decriminalization

[Content note: sex trafficking and sexual abuse]

Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Lena Dunham, Emily Blunt, and numerous other celebrities, along with former sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and women’s rights advocates, have signed a letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) criticizing a policy currently under discussion within Amnesty International. The policy, which Amnesty plans to introduce at a meeting in Dublin in August, promotes decriminalization of sex work to protect sex workers’ rights, health, and safety.

Quick hit: New York magazine, Bill Cosby, and #TheEmptyChair

[Content note: sexual assault]

The current cover of New York magazine is significant not just for who’s there — 35 of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of rape — but for who isn’t there — victims of sexual assault who are afraid or ashamed to come forward. Those individuals are represented by an empty chair, including those unspeaking individuals in the “unwelcome sisterhood” of Cosby’s alleged* victims.

Kids, consent, and hugging Grandma whether you want to or not

When it comes to kids and hugs, I fall strongly, strongly on the side of “only if they want to.” I’m a hugger under many circumstances, and the U.S. Deep South certainly encourages it. That said, I’m not an indiscriminate hugger, and even as an adult woman I resent being expected to submit to hugs when I don’t want to as a condition of friendliness, or because the hugger is old/”harmless”/etc.

Debunking trolls during Sexual Assault Awareness Month…

If you live in the States and believe rape is a serious issue, you likely know April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which has been around since the eighties – albeit ignored by most politicians, until filthy liberal Obama became the first president to treat rape as a serious issue. And whilst plenty of aspiring sociopaths think women deserve rape, the majority of civilised folks believe preventing rape is a good thing. But what happens when pro-rape trolls make the jump from spewing misogyny online, to harassing advocates and survivors at campus events?

The report is out on Rolling Stone‘s handling of the UVA rape story, and it’s understandably awful

On November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone published a lengthy and damning piece on the handling of sexual assault on college campuses, centering around a University of Virginia student, pseudonymously identified as “Jackie,” and her alleged gang-rape by members of one of the school’s fraternities. It was striking and stomach-turning — the attack, the response from fellow students, the response (or, more accurately, lack thereof) by university administration depicted in that story. It was also, the world would later learn, almost entirely unsubstantiated. A new report by the Columbia School of Journalism, commissioned by Rolling Stone back in December, meticulously outlines those mistakes.