I woke up one morning last week to my Twitter in an uproar. That’s reasonably common in my world, as many of the people I follow are marginalized and there’s a lot to be angry about. Turns out that the FBI has seized MyRedbook, a California site where masseuses and escorts could advertise for clients for free, and arrested two people, Eric Omuro and Annmarie Lanoce, in connection to “using the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution” as well as money laundering under several aliases.
As of right now it’s not entirely clear if those arrests were the main focus of the sting, or if there will be more upcoming. It’s terrifying to many people close to me, who used MyRedbook to advertise their erotic entertainment services because other options like Eros were too expensive or less trafficked by paying customers. We don’t really know what options sex workers who had profiles up on MyRedbook have to protect themselves from investigation. I’m among them, as I used to advertise on MyRedbook as a professional dominatrix. Keep reading »
It has the elements of so many sexual assault allegations before it: fraternity members, a lot of alcohol, football players, freshman girls. And like too many other stories about sexual assault, this one also includes a university that failed a sexual assault victim and allowed campus rapists to get off scot-free.
This weekend, The New York Times published a gut-punch of a piece (on their front page, in fact) about a young woman called Anna who is a student at Hobart & William Smith, a college in upstate New York. During her first few weeks of college, Anna was sexually assaulted while drunk by several football players on the night of a frat party. After Anna sent texts that she was afraid, a friend found her drunkenly bent over a pool table, face down, surrounded by six or seven football players, including one right behind her who had his pants down. Keep reading »
“Everybody needs a day off, everybody needs the right to say ‘hey, you know what I need a minute to breathe. I want to bring my family to the movies without 30 motherfuckers following me. Everybody here, they like sex right? Sex is great when you and your partner be like ‘hey, this is what we both want to do.’ But if one of those people don’t want to do that, what does that constitute, that’s called rape. That is called violation.”
Add Kanye West to the list of celebrities who need better analogies to describe invasions into their personal life which come with fame. This is what Kanye said onstage yesterday at the Wireless Festival in Birmingham, UK, and well, do I really need to say more? Much like when Charlize Theron compared Googling herself with “feeling raped,” the public is snapping back at Kanye — quite rightly. Think of another analogy, celebs. [Mirror UK] [Photo: Fame/Flynet]
The good news: 29-year-old Lee Setford has been jailed for five years after a jury found him guilty of raping a drunk woman passed out on his couch. The bad news: the judge in the case, Michael Mettyear, is really sad about it and had the nerve to offer Setford some consoling words after the verdict was read that reenforce dangerous myths about sexual assault. Namely, that Setford isn’t a “classic rapist” — are there also avant garde rapists and mod rapists and sporty rapists? — and that it’s a shame he didn’t just plead guilty so he could get a lesser sentence. Yes, seriously. Keep reading »
When three students at James Madison University sexually assaulted a classmate on tape, their punishment was expulsion – after they graduated. Yes, really. JMU, along with 55 other schools, are under investigation for their mistreatment of on-campus assault cases. Other recent absurd assault punishments have included 30-day suspensions and book report assignments. Jon Stewart was just as appalled by that as the rest of us, so he got a real about the dismal state of affairs by bringing in “Daily Show” correspondents Jessica Williams and Jordan Klepper to offer some safety tips to students. [TIME]
James Madison University in Virginia allowed three frat boys found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman and distributing video of it to stay on campus until graduation, even for years.
According to the Huffington Post, Sarah Butters, then a sophomore and a sorority member, was sexually assaulted in Panama City, Florida, on a spring break vacation in 2013. She later learned that the three young men, whom she had considered her friends, had filmed video of the assault inside a bathroom and passed it around.
In the video, Butters is blackout drunk, topless and being groped as the men try to take off her underwear/bathing suit bottom. She is heard saying “This isn’t okay, this isn’t a good idea.” She told WHSV news, “I’m clearly, like, not really able to defend myself or fight them off. We were in an enclosed bathroom. It was three of them surrounding me and none of them thought they were doing anything wrong.”
Keep reading »
New York City has reached a $40 million settlement with the five wrongfully convicted men who as teenagers were falsely accused and imprisoned for an attack on a jogger.
In 1989, a white female investment banker named Trisha Meili was brutally beaten and raped while jogging in Central Park at nighttime. Meili fell into a coma and remembers nothing about the attack. The NYPD pinned the brutality on five Black and Latino teenaged boys, despite the fact that some of the evidence didn’t add up. Keep reading »
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper has dropped conservative columnist George Will in part due to his recent column arguing that being a rape victim is a “coveted status” on a college campus that “confers privileges.” The newspaper insinuated that Will’s column had been on the chopping block for awhile but this sexual assault column “made the decisions easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.” Will is going to be replaced by another conservative columnist, the paper said. Finally, some repercussions. [Politico]
According to a source speaking to Page Six, the video for Lady Gaga’s collab with R. Kelly, “Do What You Want” — which was scrapped following renewed attention on Kelly’s history as a, you know, pedophile — was far worse than we could have imagined. Although maybe we shouldn’t surprised? Shot by pervotographer Terry Richardson, who has his own reputation for sexually coercing and assaulting models, the video (that’s the promo photo above) allegedly featured Kelly as a doctor and Gaga as his patient. “Will I ever walk again?” Gaga supposedly asks Dr. Kelly.
“Yes, if you let me do whatever I want with your body,” he replies, followed by: “I’m putting you under, and when you wake up, you’re going to be pregnant.” THE HELLLLLL. Keep reading »