The good news is that YouTube has pulled an account belonging to “John Zippy,” a man who was surreptiously filming women’s legs on the subway through a camera placed inside a Starbucks cup and posting the videos online.
The bad news is the YouTube channel “New York Subway Girls” had 35 videos posted on it before it was yanked, featuring 102 women whose body parts were being filmed without their consent. Gross. And the New York Police Department is unable do anything about the vids — unless a woman filmed specifically complains about sexual harassment — because filming in public is not illegal. Keep reading »
We can all agree that sex trafficking of women and girls is abhorrent and should be illegal. Maybe we won’t agree about whether consensual sex work should be legal. (I personally believe it should be.) But where do you stand on punishing cab drivers who knowingly drive around prostitutes?
On Friday morning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation that pins a $10,000 fine on a cab driver who is convicted the second time for knowingly transporting prostitutes to their work. Simply transporting a prostitute or a decoy prostitute would not be illegal, the mayor said, but knowingly driving around sex workers even after getting caught doing so once before would now constitute participating in a ‘sex trafficking operation.’ Keep reading »
Nearly one year ago, those of us who put our faith and trust in the police had our world rocked: an New York City Police Department officer named Michael Pena was charged with grabbing a 25-year-old woman off the street, threatening to shoot her, and raping her in a yard. A neighbor saw Pena raping the woman and called 911.
But this March, a jury failed to convict Pena of rape. It convicted him of seven charges, including sexual assault, but wouldn’t convict him of rape because he insisted he did not “penetrate” her. The eyewitness neighbor who called 911 said it very clearly was a rape and was shocked the jury didn’t believe the 25-year-old woman.
Yesterday, the ex-cop admitted he had lied. In a retrial yesterday, Pena admitted he raped the young Bronx teacher and plead guilty to two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault. Keep reading »
Hey guys? As a woman, and a feminist and a working person, I can honestly say I’ve never asked if I was going to “have it all.” But Anne Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic cover article about women’s continuing fight to win both the brass ring of family and work seems to have opened up this old chestnut of a debate, with women around the web asking how and when and if we can “have it all.” My response? Let’s shut this crappy concept down all together. The “can women have it all” question is reductive and frustrating — and it only serves to promote the idea that women are constantly going to be failing if they don’t somehow fulfill the work/family mandate.
After all, the construct of “having it all” perpetuates the myth that there is one ideal way to live, rather than understanding and allowing for multiple ideas of happiness. And in this “having it all” myth, a woman’s main responsibilities can be boiled down to feeding the capitalist mechanism (through working) and submitting to her essentialist role as a child-bearing female (having a family). Keep reading »
I just had the extreme displeasure of reading Elizabeth Wurtzel’s essay for The Atlantic, about how rich stay-at-home moms are “anti-feminist and helping make the ‘war on women’ possible.” In the opener, Wurtzel says that she wants to “smack the next woman who says that raising her children full time—and by that means going to yoga classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits —is her feminist choice.” Why yes, we’d all want to smack that woman too. Does she even exist?
To be honest, I seriously doubt that even the wealthy 1 percent women are going around making up excuses for why they don’t work—they’re rich enough not to, and surely don’t feel defensive about it. So it really seems that Wurtzel is just pissed that some women out there can afford what she perceives to be a life of leisure. She bashes them by saying people who don’t pay their own rent and bills are immature and anti-feminist. Actually, what Wurtzel is doing is immature and anti-feminist. Sure, everyone is jealous of rich women from time to time, but to take a personal axe-to-grind and pretend it’s about feminism is a total joke. Keep reading »