Yesterday, the atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins made comments about rape and pedophilia on Twitter that made many people angry.
From what I can gather, Dawkins appeared to have been tweeting over the weekend regarding religion and Israel, saying support for the Israeli state does not mean condoning the country’s current behavior in Gaza. Then he pivoted his examples — I would argue somewhat insensitively — to ones about about sexual abuse:
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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 »
A few months ago, Amelia and I were talking about rape threats against women who write online. It seems like it happens to feminist writers Zerlina Maxwell, Amanda Hess and Jessica Valenti every day. Amelia asked if any readers have threatened to rape or otherwise harm me. The honest truth is that it only happened once — on Twitter a few years ago. The man had zero followers and had only tweeted a handful of times, all of which were incendiary remarks or threats against other liberals. I didn’t suspect he posed a serious threat to my safety, so I just blocked him. Do I even have to say I’m grateful that this was the one and only time some stranger threatened me?
That one incident isn’t the complete picture, though. A better question to ask in order to illustrate the at-times unsavory experience of being a feminist writer online would be about the kinds of inquiries I get on social media or in my inbox. Nearly every single day, a man emails asking me personal information about my sexuality, for an invitation to a sex party, or straight-up propositions me for sex. Keep reading »
It can’t be easy to go through life with the last name “Sandusky” right now. But I have nothing but respect for Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, convicted child molester/ex-assistant Penn State football coach. Matthew, who was one of six adopted kids, spoke with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday night about the sexually abuse he suffered by his adopted dad. But as can happen with victims of childhood sexual trauma, repressed many of these memories until he was an adult. When Matthew was interviewed years ago by investigators looking into his father’s past, he didn’t remember all the sexual abuse that he now recalls. Keep reading »
In October 2013, a group of current and former students accused the University of Connecticut of violating Title IX by mishandling their sexual assault cases which occurred at the school between 2010 and 2013. The Department of Education’s Office For Civil Rights launched an investigation into the school and whether it failed to follow the gender equality law that provides equal opportunity and access to education.
UCONN still refuses to broadly take responsibility for its failures. But today it was announced that the school is settling with five of the students it is accused of failing. Keep reading »
Here are two things I never expected to be told in the same breath: “You’re so skinny! This will look cute on you,” and “I’m pretty sure you’re lying about that time your dad molested you.”
Nine months ago, I confronted my father about sexually abusing me as a child. Since then, my communication with my family has been limited, and it caught me off-guard when, just two weeks ago, my aunt invited me to meet her for lunch. I impulsively agreed, and initially, we started on the right note. After a few minutes of polite pleasantries, she handed me a gift bag. Inside, I found a hand-me-down Ann Taylor blazer with the tags still on (“I love the pattern, but it just doesn’t fit me”) and a copy of Meredith Maran’s My Lie: A True Story of False Memory (“I learned so much from this book. It’s amazing how unreliable our memories are, don’t you think?”). Never before had I felt so flattered and insulted all at once. Keep reading »