Today’s Lady News: NYPD Officer Being Investigated For Unsolved Rapes

  • Last week, New York City police officer officer Michael Pena was charged with allegedly grabbing a 25-year-old woman off the street, flashing his gun, and raping her in her yard. Pena was caught, literally with his pants down, when a neighbor saw the sexual assault from her window and called 911. Now the NYPD is investigating several other unsolved rape cases and seeing if his DNA matches any that was retrieved from a rape kit in those other incidents. The police commissioner would not comment on the specific reasons certain cases were being examined. However, another NYPD official indicated that a stranger rape on the street is relatively uncommon — most rapes are committed by individuals who know each other — so those may be the types of cases the police department is examining. Regardless, it’s very unnerving a cop allegedly did this. [New York Times]
  • The rate of unintended pregnancies among low-income women is on the rise, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute. Wait, you mean abstinence-only sex education and funding cuts for family planning services means people get pregnant? [Think Progress]
  • Blogger LaToya Peterson at the blog Racialicious reacts to this New York magazine piece on all the (skinny, white) women in the fall TV lineup. [Racialicious]

  • A lesbian mom was removed from her assistant scoutmaster position in her son’s troop by the Boy Scouts of America because she is, you know, gay. [Think Progress]
  • A lesbian couple, their children and their parents were physically attacked with fireworks and threatened with death at a July 4th party in Pathfork, Kentucky. What the hell, people. [Queerty]
  • On being a woman in the philosophy department. [Feministing]
  • Have a school-age girl who is a comics fan? Spencer Gifts is now selling Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman backpacks targeted towards girls. [DC Women Kicking Ass]
  • Following the sudden death of “Dr. Who” actress Elisabeth Sladen, her autobiography will still be published. [The Mary Sue]
  • On the gender politics of Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash 10 years ago today. [Clutch Magazine]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Meet Susana Baca, Peru’s culture minister, folk singer, and the first black member of the Peruvian cabinet. [New York Times]
  • On Tuesday, Google honored the Arabic poet Nazik al-Malaika with a Google Doodle to celebrate what would have been her birthday. Al-Malaka, who often wrote about women’s issues including so-called “honor killings,” died in 2007. [Feministing]

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