I was horrified to read this week that a 73-year-old woman was raped in broad daylight in Central Park.
Read that again, let it sink in: a 73-year-old woman was raped in broad daylight in Central Park.
According to news reports, the woman goes to Central Park every day and sits on a bench, birdwatching. Last week she witnessed a man in the bushes masturbating, so she took his picture — presumably to show to police. He came up to her after being photographed and demanded she hand over the film, but she refused.
Then Tuesday around noon, she was back in the park and the same man confronted her, asked “You remember me?” and then savagely beat and raped her, vaginally and rectally. He ran off with her bag, which contained her camera, and tried to steal her watch, too. The elderly victim was discovered lying in the ground by a fellow birdwatcher, who called 911. (He was arrested yesterday.) Keep reading »
Don’t go near football players. Don’t trust police officers. Don’t be in or around your own home. Don’t go to Harvard. Don’t drink or go to school dances. And never, never change your mind about having sex if you’ve already said you want to bone. All these and many other victim-blaming tips every woman needs are helpfully collected by the writer Kate Harding on Don’t Get Raped, which is filled with links to news articles about our shitty blame-the-victim-not-the-assailant rape culture. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to learn to how do my own Pap smear because I apparently can’t go to the gynecologist without getting raped. [VictimBlaming.Tumblr.com]
Before my big move to college last year, I can’t tell you how many times my mother told me how I had watch my drink at all times while out with my friends. My mom had good reason to be badgering me with this crucial piece of advice: according to the U.S. Department of Justice, a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes. Not surprisingly, there is a market for anti-date rape products … such as the first reusable anti-date rape straw. Keep reading »
Of all the things you need to get in to university – a certain GPA, a good score on the SATs and recommendation letters – did you ever think you’d need to be able to ace a quiz on sexual assault and rape?
At the University of Montana, in order to enroll in classes, all students must complete an online video tutorial and score 100 percent on a quiz. It’s the first university to require students educate themselves on the “myths and facts” of sexual assault. It’s come as a response to several allegations of sexual assault on campus last semester. It’s trying to address the “rape-prone culture.” Read more …
This parody video brilliantly eviscerates Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, and their 171 fellow politicians who sought to redefine the legal definition of rape and mocks Akin’s assertion that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” Be warned, there is simulated violence, sexual and otherwise. [YouTube]
Republicans are airing sexual ignorances this week. Representative Steve King of Iowa has “never heard of” statutory rape causing pregnancy; Senate nominee Tom Smith thinks ”having a baby out of wedlock” is “similar to” rape; and, of course, there’s Todd Akin. Have these guys never watched “Law & Order: SVU” or browsed movie listings on Lifetime? Rape narratives are a primetime TV staple these days, rivaled in volume only by Real Housewives and Ryan Seacrest’s face.
To speed the sexual education of the GOP, we have paired ten Republicans’ ill-conceived rape comments with cinematic antidotes from the Lifetime TV oeuvre. Movie night at the Tampa Hilton, anyone? Read more…
Disturbing news out of Illinois today: a teenage girl from Missouri escaped from a home in which she had been held captive for the past two years.
The young woman, who was 15 when she went missing, said she had been sexually assaulted and beaten almost daily by an older man. She became pregnant by her rapist and gave birth to a two-year-old child. Keep reading »
Poor anti-abortion Republicans. It must be so hard having the general public pay attention to your extremist views. Case in point: Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is against legal abortion and joined Republicans — including Rep. Todd Akin! — last year to try to rewrite language in the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act (background here), saying government funding could only cover abortions in the case of “forcible rape.”
The language was rejected when more reasonable minds were horrified that a woman who had been roofied and raped would be told “no” if she asked for help terminating a pregnancy resulting from it. Because that’s rape, too. The implication was, of course, that if a woman wasn’t “forcibly” raped — as in, a man jumps out from the behind the bushes — she might be lying and really doesn’t deserve to get help ending her pregnancy. You might even say she was not the victim of a “legitimate rape.” Keep reading »