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 »
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 »
Today in our regularly scheduled segment “Old White Male Politicians Revealing Themselves To Be Ignorant About Reproductive Rights”: Rep. Steve King (R-IA), when asked about a minor being impregnated from statutory rape or incest, told a reporter:
“Well, I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way and I’d be open to discussion about the matter.”
One, what is there to “discuss” when an 11-year-old is impregnated by her grandpa? And two, this is where I remind you that Rep. King, along with Rep. Akin and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, all co-sponsored a bill to rewrite the existing federal ban on abortion funding to have an exemption only for cases of “forcible rape” or in the case of minors, “an act of incest.” Keep reading »