Some new fathers agonising about how to raise their sons in a culture of violence against women:
Rape crisis Scotland: ‘As if’. October 28, 2013
Fantastic (though terrible that it should be needed, of course).
Forum on Women, Drinking, and Rape October 24, 2013
Many of you may have read Emily Yoffe’s advice to young women that they should stop binge drinking to prevent rape, for which she was roundly criticized. The New York Times has a ‘Room for Debate‘ forum up on the subject, and it features the ever-brilliant Louise Antony on what’s wrong with telling women not to get drunk as a method of rape prevention:
But the special risk that drunkenness poses to women – that’s due to a social climate that tolerates sexual predation. When we tell young women to stay sober in order to avoid getting raped, we send the message that we do not intend to change that social climate, that we have chosen to regard misogyny as inevitable.
That’s the message that is sent when we tell women to restrain “pleasure-seeking behaviors” in order to avoid life’s dangers. When men get drunk they get sick; when women get drunk they get sick and raped. That’s not because women are less restrained in their “pleasure-seeking” than men are; it’s quite the reverse. And that’s what needs to change.
Read the whole of her contribution here.
Race and Gender in Black Athena October 21, 2013
This is an old documentary. But watching especially the first 15 minutes, it struck me anew how alike academics’ reactions to suggestions that they might be racist or sexist are. “Maybe we (classicists, historians, philosophers…) used to be a tad racist, a long time ago, but that’s long gone.” The implication being that if they do not accept Martin Bernal’s claim that Greek thought may have add Black Egyptian roots, it’s because those claims are intrinsically wrong! Of course!
Dear media: Please call “non-consensual sex” what it really is September 5, 2013
According to the CBC, “Saint Mary’s University in Halifax is promising disciplinary action after a frosh week chant glorifying underage sex with girls without consent was posted online.” Read the rest of their story, Saint Mary’s University frosh chant cheers underage sex, here.
I’m outraged both at the students and their chant and at the media for the way they’re talking about it. Non-consensual sex is rape, isn’t it? Please call it what it is.
You can also watch the video, and hear journalists again use the phrase “non-consensual sex” here at the Globe and Mail.
UPDATE: Salon does a better job, emphasis mine. “Consider this your humorless, offended feminist scolding of the day. Student leaders at Halifax’s Saint Mary’s University are being disciplined after an Instagram video posted on Monday revealed them leading an orientation week chant extolling the joys of sexual assault. And disciplined they should be. The brief clip shows a crowd of students, male and female, chanting, “SMU boys, we like them young. Y is for your sister. O is for oh so tight. U is for underage. N is for no consent. G is for grab that ass.” And W is for WTF?” See here for more.
Blurred Lines and Double Standards August 28, 2013
If you think a woman in a tan vinyl bra and underwear, grabbing her crotch and grinding up on a dance partner is raunchy, trashy, and offensive but you don’t think her dance partner is raunchy, trashy, or offensive as he sings a song about “blurred” lines of consent and propagating rape culture, then you may want to reevaluate your acceptance of double standards and your belief in stereotypes about how men vs. women “should” and are “allowed” to behave.
For those of you who missed it, Dr. Jill is referring to the reactions to Miley Cyrus’s performance with Robin Thicke at the VMAs.
Yale still not getting that they don’t get it August 7, 2013
Yale is still not getting the fact that they don’t get it.
President Peter Solovey released a letter to the Yale community yesterday, attempting to respond to criticisms of the fact that Yale has failed to institute stiffer penalties for sexual misconduct — unlike, for example, Duke, which, like Yale, was the subject of a Title IX inquiry, but which has revised the sanctioning guidelines so that, beginning this fall, expulsion will be the first action considered.
Here’s an excerpt of Solovey’s justification:
“… in some cases, all parties may agree on what words were spoken but disagree on whether those words constituted clear consent. In many cases, the complainant and respondent come to altogether different understandings of what transpired. In too many cases, excessive alcohol consumption blurs memory.”
The full text is available here.
Yale: Still not getting it about rape August 2, 2013
The word “rape” does not factor into Yale’s new report on how the university is handling sexual misconduct; instead, the act is described as “nonconsensual sex,” and it’s usually punishable by “written reprimand.”
(Thanks, R and S!)
I thought Jezebel blogger Lindy West was going to have the final word in the debate about rape jokes that emerged earlier this month in the wake of the comedian Daniel Tosh’s inane comment that it would be funny if a member of the audience “got raped by… five guys, right now.” West’s brilliant and sassy piece, “How to Make a Rape Joke” made me laugh out loud — and even made an interesting pass at suggesting a few criteria for acceptable jokes about offensive topics. But, despite West’s earlier attempt to point out that responses in the form of threats to rape and kill her only proved her point, the debate continued.
Then poet Patricia (Tricia) Lockwood published “Rape Joke” at The Awl last week.
It went viral within hours — and based on the tone of comments, tweets and blog responses, seems to have silenced — or at least taken the wind out of — those who think that all rape jokes are forms of protected speech.
Obama’s strong words against rape in military June 16, 2013
used as reason to be soft on military rapists. [Many expletives deleted.]
Navy Judge Commander Marcus Fulton has just ruled that comments made by the President regarding military rape “would unduly influence” any potential sentencing in the cases of two defendants in military sexual assault cases, U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes. Stars and Stripes reports that, per the judge’s ruling, should the two men be found guilty, they cannot be punitively discharged because of “unlawful command influence,” meaning, because of what President Obama, as the Commander in Chief, said. Would you like to know what incendiary, unduly prejudicial, trial-influencing comments the president made, so inflammatory that if two servicemen are actually found guilty of violently raping they should not be punished?
“The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this,” Obama said, according to an NBC News story submitted as evidence by defense attorneys in the sexual assault cases.
‘I expect consequences,” Obama added. “So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”