Lena Dunham’s memoir, Not that Kind of Girl was published at the end of September, and in the last two days, the internet has basically exploded around its contents. Dunham’s narration of her sexual behavior towards her younger sister, Grace, has resulted in many demanding that Planned Parenthood “#dropdunham” as its celebrity spokesperson. And then there’s the notable fissure that Dunham’s very presence has caused in feminist communities: Is she a sexual predator hiding behind quirk and white privilege? Is Grace Dunham, actress, poet and a supporter of her sister’s work (she’s traveling with Lena on her book tour a victim of sexual abuse, in spite of the fact that she doesn’t identify herself as one? Is everyone defending Dunham against the accusation that she’s a predator a child abuse apologist?
In response to the chaos, Nona Willis Aronowitz and Collier Meyerson created Those Kinds of Girls, a Tumblr where women can post stories of childhood sexual experiences – “strange shit” they did, or that was done to them, when experimentation was everything and boundaries were not yet a thing they, and their peers, were cognizant of. I talked to Willis Aronowitz, the newest editor at Talking Points Memo, and Meyerson, a web producer at All in With Chris Hayes, about the motivation behind the Tumblr, policing women’s experiences, and the stories we’re afraid to tell. Keep reading »
Actor Stephen Collins, best known for playing Reverend Camden on the TV show “7th Heaven,” admitted on a secret recording (taped during a therapy session with his estranged wife, with whom he is going through a divorce) to molesting and exposing himself to multiple young girls. In the confession, which he did not know was being taped, Collins admits to soon-to-be ex-wife Faye Grant that he molested an 11-year-old relative of his first wife, Marjorie Weinman, in New York, saying, “There was one moment of touching where her hand, I put her hand on my penis.” Asked whether he had an erection, Collins replies, “No, I mean, no. Partial, maybe I think.” He also admits to exposing himself to her multiple times after that, when she was 12 or 13 years old. He goes on to say that there were other incidents with at least two other girls in Los Angeles, where the couple lived, including a neighbor or relative of a neighbor. As for the legality of the taped confession, TMZ says, “We’re told her lawyer advised her it was legal to secretly record the conversation because in California you’re allowed to secretly record conversations to gather evidence the other person committed a violent felony … and molesting a child under the age of 14 qualifies.” According to TMZ, the tape is now in the hands of the NYPD and that officers were flown out to Los Angeles to interview Grant about the, at the current count, three victims.
You can listen to the confession above, but warning: it’s stomach-turning. [TMZ]
Wealthy White Guys Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity demonstrated their ongoing obliviousness this week by completely ignoring everything that matters about issues like rape and child abuse, throwing out incredibly dumb red herrings on the issues instead.
First, Limbaugh asserted on his radio show that “no means yes if you know how to spot it” and lamented that “that used to be part of the advice boys were given” — that “no” means “yes,” that is. Oh, woe is me, Rush Limbaugh. It’s so terrible that boys aren’t being told to make women’s minds up for them as far as consent goes (or in other words, you know, rape women). This was in response to Ohio State’s enthusiastic consent policy, which requires explicit verbal consent at every step of a sexual interaction, a policy which, by the way, benefits all students at Ohio State, not just female students. Lord knows, the really important thing about America’s campus rape epidemic isn’t, you know, the fact that there are so many victims of rape, or the fact that campus rape investigations get fucked up so often — partially because universities’ policies on rape are vague, a problem which this policy seeks to solve — but the potential loss of the “art of seduction.” GAG. Keep reading »
Growing up, I was occasionally threatened with “the belt,” or asked if I wanted a “patch on my tuchus” whenever I behaved extra naughty. But that’s all they were — threats. Instead, my parents sent me to my room, took away prized privileges, or assigned me extra chores. Now, with my own son, there aren’t even threats. There are other methods of discipline that are more than effective for us so I don’t need to hit, whip or spank my son in order to get him to behave.
I’ve never quite understood the idea of corporal punishment as a method of discipline. In my mind, discipline is used in order to shape good behavior while eliminating bad behavior. In the best case scenario, inflicting pain as punishment, especially when used on young children who may not quite understand what is going on, breeds fear and resentment. In the worst case scenario, it breeds the notion that physical violence is acceptable. In fact, studies have shown that the use of physical punishment actually increases violent behavior in children.
But what if your defense is that you beat your child out of love? Keep reading »
Monday’s apprehension of accused child molester Charles Mozdir in New York City is owed not just to the brave police officer and two U.S. marshals who took bullets during the incident; the anonymous woman who recognized Mozdir on John Walsh’s show CNN “The Hunt” and immediately called the police also should be heralded as a hero. Keep reading »