On November 2, feminist activists organized together to protest Facebook’s refusal to remove pages that contained jokes about rape and violence against women from their site. Facebook’s Terms of Service bans language that is “hateful, threatening,” or contains “graphic or gratuitous violence” — which you will quickly find out if you make a “joke” about, say, dragging a black man behind a pickup truck. And if you post pics of yourself breastfeeding or anything just “too sexy,” like Courtney Stodden did, you’re in trouble. But Facebook rationalizes that their Terms of Service doesn’t include “jokes” of hate, threats, or gratuitous violence against women — because those are joke-jokes, right, bro?
The progressive web site Change.org collected 188,000 signatures asking Facebook to ban rape jokes and jokes about violence against women. Throughout the day on November 2, activists tweeted the names of offensive pages like “We’re gonna have sex tonight” “Why?” “Because im stronger than you are” to the @Facebook handle on Twitter. And finally — finally! — Facebook listened and responded.
Sort of. Keep reading »
Lock up the Kotex, Mom and Dad! Teens are apparently inserting vodka-soaked tampons vaginally and rectally to get drunk. Granted, this could be another urban legend like so-called “rainbow parties.” But it also could be a legit way the kids are getting wasted these days: A super-sized tampon can hold about a shot of vodka, and when consumed in such a manner, the booze absorbs directly into the blood stream. Keep reading »
Earlier today, I wrote about the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the sexual abuse allegations against his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. It is an utterly tragic case for obvious reasons; Sandusky is accused of molesting and raping eight boys over a period of 15 years and when a witness to one of his assaults reported it to his superiors, they didn’t go to the police. The case has illuminated just how far people will go to protect their “reputations” and to adhere to a chain of command rather than their own moral compass. The student protest/riot in State College, PA, following Paterno’s firing further emphasized that hero worship leaves otherwise decent people blind. The more I read, the more depressed I feel.
But I also came across one article that left me incredibly annoyed. Over at Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan has written a piece which asks the question, “What if Penn State’s coach had victimized girls?” and tries to make the point that if Sandusky’s victims had been female, the public, private, and media response to the allegations would be very different. While I wholeheartedly agree that female sexual assault victims are very often not taken seriously, and that they are somehow blamed, at least in part, for the crimes against them, etc., I have a serious problem with the Penn State scandal being used as an example of how male sexual assault victims are treated somehow “better” than female sexual assault victims. Keep reading »
With seemingly a new woman coming forward every day detailing sexual harassment by Herman Cain, you might think the GOP wannabe presidential candidate would try not to look like a jerk. But during last night’s GOP debate, Cain referred to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Princess Nancy” while grousing about Congress. The audience chuckled and clapped; the (all white) dudes flanking Cain on either side looked uncomfortable. “Princess” is a disrespectful way to refer to a powerful, take-no-prisoners woman without calling her a “bitch” and suggests she doesn’t do what she does in Congress because it’s her job but because, oh, she’s such a princess!
Herman Cain is a sexist pig. It’s time for him to drop out of the race already. [Washington Post] Keep reading »
Last night, legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was fired in the aftermath of the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the university. Thousands of students reacted by rioting, throwing rocks and overturning a news van, shouting, “We want JoePa!” Their loyalty is disturbing. Joe Paterno, yes, has a reputation for being one of the greatest coaches in college football history; he chose to “protect” that reputation by not turning a child rapist into the police. Keep reading »