Yesterday afternoon, two Democratic politicians introduced the Ruth Moore Act, a bill to support former service members who survived sexual assault in the military. Veterans Affairs has long rejected disability claims of military sexual trauma (MST) for troops who were raped by colleagues and now need assistance. According to the Service Women’s Action Network, only one in three claims of PTSD from MST were approved by the VA between 2008 to 2010, presumably because the threshold was too high for these survivors to been seen as eligible. Keep reading »
If you’re not into the commercial cutesiness of Valentine’s Day, there’s an alternate, empowering holiday to celebrate on February 14th: V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. ”The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler created V-Day, which is celebrated each year on Valentine’s Day as the play is staged around the world to raise money for local rape crisis centers.
This year, V-Day also marks the grand finale of Ensler’s year long One Billion Rising campaign. The One Billion Rising name and collective goal derives from a statistic that one in three women will suffer abuse or rape in their lifetime; out of the seven billion people populating the world, that means roughly one billion women will be victims. Keep reading »
A flyer for a New School University screening of the new Jennifer Baumgardner documentary “It Was Rape,” which chronicles eight women’s experiences of being raped, was defaced by someone on the New School’s campus. The flyer — which was defaced with the phrase “And It Felt Great” — was spotted by a student in one of the campus buildings, taken down and then handed over to the school’s wellness center. That’s where it was then passed on to Rhiannon Auriemma, a graduate student at the university and a peer health advocate at the school’s Student Health Services. Keep reading »
Arkansas’ state House of Representatives advanced a bill yesterday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. The bill is based on the medically unproven theory touted by anti-abortion advocates that 20 weeks is when a fetus can feel pain. Keep reading »
A Saudi Arabian cleric raised eyebrows over his WTF suggestion on a TV program six months ago that baby girls should be covered head-to-toe in burqas to protect them from sexual assault. It is one thing to suggest, however ludicrously, that veiled women prevent men from being tempted to rape (because we know men are all rapists and must be thwarted at every turn, amirite?), though I obviously don’t agree with forcing or coercing women to wear the burqa. But the mere suggestion that little baby girls might be lascivious if they’re not completely covered? Now, that’s just disgusting. Sheikh Abdullah Daoud’s “burqas for babies” idea has been criticized by other Saudis, who say he is making the Islamic faith look bad. I’m inclined to agree! [Daily Mail UK]
Following a spate of gang rapes in India in the past several months, the Times Of India newspaper is running quarter-page ads imploring men to treat women with respect through the stark statement, “The true test of your manhood is how you treat a woman. All women. Any woman. Every woman.” I’m pleased the newspaper is questioning traditional aspects of toxic masculinity, like “rash driving” and “drunken brawls,” which some men do think defines their manhood. Yet I also think their conclusion about proving your manhood by behaving a certain way (even if it’s the right way) is problematic: “If you do not respect women, you are only half a man.” That’s the flip side of the same thinking that says guys aren’t manly if they don’t want sex all the time. Just like sexist expectations of femininity can imprison women, sexist expectations can imprison men, too. I’m all for eradicating rape culture everywhere. But the answer isn’t to tell men to act like “real men,” it’s to tell them to act like good human beings. [Our Mobile World]
“Don’t look like trash, don’t get drunk, don’t be sick down your front, don’t break your heels and stagger about in the wrong clothes at midnight. This is bad. It’s not me being a snob about it. It’s not me being an old woman talking to young women, its just standard practice for how our species should behave. Don’t behave badly. … I promise you it is better to look after yourself properly, which means behave properly, be polite, be on time, dress properly – I don’t mean dully – but don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home, because somebody will take advantage of you, either they’ll rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you. … I am now an old lioness, if I see my young ones getting out of order, I’ve got to be able to say to them this is not how lions behave. This is not right.”
– Here’s Joanna Lumley, who plays Patsy on “Absolutely Fabulous,” making comments to the UK’s Telegraph that have infuriated a lot of folks for victim-blaming. Newsflash, Joanna: women still get raped if they “behave properly” and “dress properly.” Believe me, I understand the concerns about young women and binge drinking — but these comments are pretty gross for all the “don’ts” they place on women alone. The problem is the robbers and the rapists, not women who dare to get drunk or wear a “silly dress.” [Telegraph UK]
A pregnancy resulting from rape or incest is evidence and having an abortion is “tampering with evidence,” according to a new bill introduced yesterday in New Mexico which would legally require a rape victim to carry a fetus to term.
Presumably Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican, will also criminalize tampering with evidence by taking a shower after a rape, too? Keep reading »
On January 26, FOX is set to air an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight with MMA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who last April posted a video on the YouTube channel for FilmOn in which he jokingly attempted to rape a woman. He in the video, he advises viewers to use choloroform to “help her relax” and suggests purchasing zip ties. Also in the video, Jackson says he hopes the woman he attempts to rape “got low self-esteem.” A clip from the video shows Jackson dressed in all black, sneaking up behind a woman with her back turned while she’s opening her car door. Worst of all, this video is entitled “How To Pick Up A Gurl … Fast.”
Let me remind you again: FOX and UFC want to put this guy on TV.
Keep reading »