In Brooklyn, a 17-year-old girl just testified against the man accused of sexually assaulting her. On the surface, this case is sadly too familiar: she and her accused rapist are both members of a strict right wing sect of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, known as the Satmar Hasidim.
Extreme groups exist in every religion, and Judaism is no exception. However, the Satmar Hasidim are a fringe group within a fringe group. Though they are ultra-Orthodox Jews (meaning that they keep kosher, observe the Sabbath, and follow all the other rules), they differ from other super-religious Jews in that they don’t support the nation of Israel. Like other ultra-Orthodox Jews (this isn’t really a thing in the more liberal branches of Judaism), they keep strict gender segregation, sending boys and girls to different schools that teach different subjects and keeping men and women separated in synagogue. But the rape case currently happening in Brooklyn could blow the roof of the place. Keep reading »
Advice columns bring out the worst in journalism outlets, I have found, and Nerve.com is no exception. Today, the website asked readers to play “advice columnist” and dish out advice to a woman who had written asking what to do about her boyfriend who raped her while she was sleeping. She had taken a sleeping pill while drunk, after coming home alone, and was so deeply asleep she didn’t even hear her boyfriend come home that night. But when she woke up in the morning, she realized he had raped her during the night. “Did we have sex last night?” she asked him. “Well, one of us did,” the boyfriend said, laughing. The woman then wrote in to Nerve.com saying she no longer trusts him and asks for advice on what to do.
And Nerve, for some reason, chose to title this post, “Please Advice: My Boyfriend Had Sex With Me While I Was Asleep.” Uh, come again? “Had sex” wit hher? FACT: a person who is asleep — not to mention drunk and on a sleeping pill — cannot consent to sex. Her boyfriend didn’t “have sex” with her. Her boyfriend raped her. Keep reading »
Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra from MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” have been, surprisingly, one of the more controversial couples on the two shows. Catelynn was the only teen mom in the first season to carry her pregnancy to term and put the child up for adoption; the little girl, Carly, is now a toddler and the adoptive family is still in touch with the birth parents. Over the years, some people have wondered why Catelynn and Tyler are even on “Teen Mom” anymore, since she is not a day-to-day parent like the others on the show. Some have even suggested MTV might be exploitatively harming these two for keeping them on a show that’s sole focus is the child they gave up for adoption.
Catelynn and Tyler are in the news less now that younger casts of “Teen Mom” are in the limelight. To their credit, they haven’t had public battles with drug abuse, domestic violence and mental illness quite like Amber Portwood, another teen mom from the first season. They seem like basically good kids with solid heads on their shoulders; last year the two even got engaged and set a date for 2013.
But lately Catelynn’s been making headlines recently for another reason: she’s an anti-abortion extremist. Keep reading »
Who’d've thunk?! Suggesting that pregnancy from rape is “God’s will,” that some rape is “legitimate” while other rape is not, and saying a woman’s body has “a way of shutting the whole thing down” so pregnancy does not occur from rape DOES NOT MAKE WOMEN WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin may have found two women — including one who was raped and had an abortion — to appear in a campaign ad proclaiming him the second coming of Gloria Steinem, but the rest of us ladies were not buying it. Keep reading »