In Florida, Stand Your Ground was used as the foundation of George Zimmerman’s defense after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. In South Carolina, it was used to defend a man who walked out of the house with a gun to confront “women thugs” who had threatened his daughter; he ended up shooting a teenage boy in his car instead. Also in Florida, Marissa Alexander has repeatedly been denied the chance to use the Stand Your Ground defense against charges after she fired a warning shot above the head of her abusive husband. This month, Charleston prosecutors moved to further endanger the Marissa Alexanders of South Carolina by saying that Stand Your Ground shouldn’t apply to victims of domestic violence who confront their abusers....read more
Most women don’t need to be told the story of a woman’s abortion (or two abortions) after forgetting to use birth control in the heat of the moment. Most of us know a woman who’s done that. About one in three women will be her. Statistically, several women reading this post at this moment have not just had an abortion, but have had a “bad” abortion. So they don’t need to read about someone else’s just to understand....read more
In all the discussion of sex and consent — and there’s been a lot of it, and it’s not all recent, and unfortunately it doesn’t change all that much for all that the debate is pretty much constant — a recurring theme is the idea of somehow recording consent and negotiating it in an official context to avoid any confusion. Now, a smartphone app is available to address that. Available for iPhone and Android, the Good2Go app encourages prospective sexual partners to assess consent — electronically — before embarking on their sexual adventures....read more
[Trigger warnings: sexual violence, beatings, police brutality, domestic violence, racism] The recent events in Ferguson, MO probably have a variety of significance for people, when, in response to a policeman shooting dead black teenager with his hands up and then leaving his body lying in the street for hours, and the policeman in question, […]...read more
the legislation will begin a paradigm shift in how college campuses in California prevent and investigate sexual assaults. Rather than using the refrain “no means no,” the definition of consent under the bill requires “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity”
[Trigger warning for rape]
Don’t do anything to get yourself pulled over.
No, seriously, that’s it....read more
Almost exactly a year ago I posted about the ongoing sexism and misogyny fallout in the skeptical and secular activist communities, ever since Rebecca Watson said “Guys, don’t do that”, and as this latest Dawkins snit shows, that particular cyberstorm is still raging on.
[Content note: links to material discussing rape culture, victim blaming, rape myths, sexual harassment]...read more
Now it’s time for that beloved and time-honored game, “Satire (Please, God, Let It Be Satire) or Not Satire”: Doree Lewak in the New York Post.
[W]hen I know I’m looking good, I brazenly walk past a construction site, anticipating that whistle and “Hey, mama!” catcall. Works every time — my ego and I can’t fit through the door!
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…...read more
People are awful: #JusticeForJada leads to more cyberbullying and Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ football priorities
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?...read more
I’ve been writing about it over at Cosmopolitan.com. Here’s the basic summary of the case. Here are 13 of the biggest misconceptions about the case (this one is especially helpful for Twitter / Facebook / family dinner table fights). And, finally, how the right-wing reaction to women with opinions on Hobby Lobby is a pretty good illustration of how this is all about misogyny and hostility toward female sexuality, not religious beliefs....read more
[Trigger warning for rape]
If you’re a dean at an evangelical college and are visited by a rape victim who never drinks, never smokes, has never even held hands with a boy, and dresses like a Mennonite, what can you tell her to turn the blame on herself? Try “root sin.”...read more