Category: Sexual Assault

The guilt that comes with having no sympathy

A shot from "The Sound of Music" where Mary spins in a mountain prairie, overlaid by the words, "Look at all the fucks I give"

A lot of attention has been paid to the mystery of why, God, why, and how, and why again, any marginally intelligent person could support. How has a man who is completely unsuited, in character, temperament, knowledge base, intellect, and home training, to be the president of the United States make it as far as he’s made it? The obvious answer is that there are a lot more bigoted, closed-minded, hateful, ignorant people in the electorate than we’d originally thought possible. But we, as a society, don’t generally like to think of people that way — for all the whining about “PC culture,” we give a lot of passes to be people who absolutely don’t deserve them — and so we’ve sought out other options.

That’s where we’ve gotten “>so many articles profiling the “realTrump base — salt-of-the-earth, working-class white voters who are stumbling into a new world of multiculturalism, who are suffering from economic woes, and who just want some support for their very real problems. And yet, for all of that, I haven’t been able to escape the feeling that they need to cry themselves a river and canoe on home.

Locker Room Watchlist: These are the GOP gym rats to avoid

A composite of Rudy Giuliani's head on Paul Ryan's dumbell-curling body

Since the release of a video featuring Donald Trump unwittingly speaking into a hot mic about how great it is that his celebrity allows him to nonconsensually grab women’s genitals without consequence, Trump has thrice dismissed the celebration of sexual assault as “locker room banter” or “locker room talk.” Pro athletes across the U.S. have united to say that, in fact, such banter is not acceptable in any of the locker rooms they frequent. (You can take that with as many grains of salt as you choose.) But it raises the question: If that banter isn’t happening in the locker rooms of the Dodgers or the Falcons or the Clippers, in which locker rooms is it taking place?

Trump was preparing to make a move, and Arianne Zucker had no idea

There is still one more chilling but less-discussed aspect of the Trump video. Yes, his language is vulgar, and yes, his casual discussion of sexual assault is horrifying. But two reporters, in separate pieces, point out that there’s something even more disturbing about the video: the way they talked about actress Arianne Zucker, Trump’s costar-to-be, as she waited, unsuspecting, at the end of their bus trip.

Today in rape culture: The Trump video isn’t about the saucy language

[Content note for sexual assault]

On Friday, the Washington Post published a heretofore unseen video from 2005 in which Donald Trump, in the Access Hollywood bus on the way to a cameo on “Days of Our Lives,” gives us a good look at how much he really respects women. Talking with Billy Bush, into a mic that he didn’t know was hot (Donald, are you sure that a malfunctioning microphone isn’t the best thing for you at this point?), he makes it clear that no, women aren’t more than objects to be evaluated, disparaged, and abused at his whim.

Today in rape culture: So Brock Turner is a free man

[Trigger warning for rape]

Well, that was quick.

In a development that definitely disappoints but doesn’t surprise, Brock Turner was released from jail Friday, a stunningly short three months into an already pathetic six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Early release for good behavior, you know. Nice boy that he is, who just made some bad decisions this one time.

Western Ohio… he’s yours now.

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[.].”

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.

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.