Today’s Lady News: FBI Definition Of “Rape” Criticized

  • The FBI’s working definition of “rape” was roundly criticized on Friday at a meeting of police chiefs, sex crime investigators, and victims’ advocates. The definition of rape used by the FBI is “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” But that definition does not take into account sexual assault cases where the victim was penetrated against their will orally, anally, with an object, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and male victims. Therefore, the number of sexual assaults released by the FBI’s annual crime report are drastically under-reported. In response, the FBI has agreed that the definition of “rape” should be revised. A subcommittee will take up the issue at an Oct. 18 meeting. [New York Times]
  • Filmmaker Roman Polanski has apologized, sort of, to the woman he  drugged and sodomized as a 13-year-old girl. “She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press,” Polanski told reporters at the Zurich Film Festival. That’s probably as good as it’s going to get, sadly. [Videogum]
  • Visiting Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi condemned audience members’ booing of a gay soldier at a recent GOP presidential debate. [Think Progress]

  • Several undocumented immigrant women are claiming they were forced to give birth while shackled to their hospital beds after they were arrested. [Huffington Post]
  • “Consent” and “coercion”: do you know the difference? [Clutch Magazine]
  • Sylvia Robinson, the “mother of hip hop,” died today at 75. Robinson produced “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang, which became the first rap song in history to play on mainstream airwaves, and signed artists like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. [Essence]
  • A Mexican court upheld an anti-abortion portion of the Baja California constitution on Wednesday which states that life begins at conception and therefore all abortion is murder. [Los Angeles Times]
  • A transphobic ad appearing in Canada’s National Post on Wednesday, depicts a little girl alongside the words: “Please! Don’t confuse me! I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transsexual, transgendered, intersexed or two spirited.” Shameful. [Queerty]
  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, faced off today with a French woman named Tristane Banon, who has accused him of attempted rape. Banon spoke out about the attempted rape after Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a New York City hotel maid last spring. Criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn for the alleged hotel attack were later dropped. [New York Times]
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