Sexual Assault

The newest way you got yourself raped: “root sin”

[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.”

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George Will defies description, and a holder of a “coveted status” responds

[Trigger warning for rape]

In January, the Obama administration created a task force to address the sexual assault epidemic on college campuses. This, according to George Will in the Washington Post, is just another example of the progressivism that has created a privileged status for sexual assault victims. Kind of like a private party that’s only open to sexual assault survivors, and everyone else is looking in through the windows going, “Are those shrimp puffs? And Bellinis? Y’all, I’m totally telling people I was raped so I can get some shrimp puffs.”

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What would you do if you needed an abortion in a country where it’s outlawed?

I’m in Brazil right now with the wonderful International Reporting Project, and while here I spoke with a young woman who, like many women around the world, got pregnant when she didn’t want to be. Here in Brazil, abortion is generally illegal. After trying several different methods unsuccessfully and reaching out to a variety of slightly-shady people for help, she decided to go the safest route: To say she had been raped and get a safe, legal abortion in a Brazilian hospital. Her story is here. Women in this country are understandably very afraid to speak with anyone about abortion, and lots of women die or are injured from unsafe procedures. I’m particularly grateful to this young woman, who I’m calling Juliana, for her generosity, her honesty and her courage in sharing an extremely complicated story.

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Bill Cosby, Serial Rapist?

In 2006, Bill Cosby was accused of raping several women in assaults that go back to the 70s. Tom Scocca at Gawker has the story. Weirdly, I have absolutely no recollection of these accusations being published in People magazine and discussed on the Today show.

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Which Woody Allen movie is your favorite?

Dylan Farrow, the daughter of Woody Allen, speaks out about charges that he sexually assaulted her when she was a kid. [TW for, as you might suspect, sexual assault].

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The Other Side of the Story

At the Texas Monthly, Jenny Kutner tells the story of her affair at 14 with a married teacher 10 years her senior. She paints a complex portrait of herself as both a victim and a survivor, but also a willing — and unwitting — participant, a young woman believing she has full agency and later an adult coming to terms with the manipulation and abuse. More than anything, the piece is powerful because it gives voice to both the 14-year-old girl who lived the experience, and the adult woman assessing and processing it. She’s not a news story or a silent figure in a larger morality tale; she’s a real girl, with all the complex feelings that come along with infatuation and adolescence and victimization and breaking through. It is a must-read.

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