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 »
It was easy to roll one’s eyes at Elizabeth Wurtzel’s recent piece on TheAtlantic.com, “1 Percent Wives Are Helping To Kill Feminism And Make The War On Women Possible.” Although I understand the point Wurtzel was trying to make (educated women who don’t advance in the workforce and financially support themselves/their families are bad for feminism) she couched the whole thing in kind of bombastic, linkbait-y statements like, “I am going to smack the next idiot who tells me that raising her children full time — by which she really means going to Jivamukti classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits — is her feminist choice.”
But I want to go a little deeper than the eye-rolling. I want to look at the phenomenon of self-described feminists — like Wurtzel — judging other women’s choices. Keep reading »
He liked to talk in bed — a lot, and always dirty — and, as part of his rhetorical repertoire, he liked to tell me about other women he’d been with while he was getting me off. He’d whisper in my ear about how this one went down on him while he told her what a whore she was, or how that one responded when he called her a slut while she was on her knees in front of him. When I told him he wasn’t allowed to call other women by my name — “slut” — anymore, he kissed me so hard I couldn’t breathe and nailed me until I couldn’t see straight. Keep reading »
You remember Chescaleigh from the “Shit White Girls Say To Black Girls” videos? Of course you do. She’s back, this time with a new video about street harassment in which she plays both the loser with no game “hssssss”-ing her on the street and the woman minding-her-own business who has to deal with his catcalls. “Here’s what I don’t understand,” she says. “Are these guys really so desperate, horny, and insecure about their penis size that they are willing to hit on anything? And I mean anything, because they don’t really seem to discriminate.” Yes, Chescaleigh, they really are. Clearly I need to tell you about the time I was catcalled last summer while wearing a fucking eyepatch. [YouTube]