Hacktivist group Anonymous announced yesterday they know the identities of two rapists who sexually assaulted Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old Nova Scotia girl who died on Sunday, and plan to release their names unless the Canadian government brings her family justice. In 2011, Parsons was raped by four boys at a party and a photograph taken of the rape was then distributed around school; she was bullied and harassed by other students so badly that her family moved. Police did not press charges because they claimed to lack evidence. After struggling with suicidal thoughts, last week, Rehtaeh tried to kill herself and was badly injured; this weekend, her family removed her from life support. Her mother, Leah Parsons, penned a Facebook message on Monday, detailing the ways her daughter’s rapists were never brought to justice — particularly how the police allegedly waited 10 months to interview the alleged rapists.
Now Anonymous, which was involved in bringing the Steubenville rapists to justice, is getting involved. Keep reading »
Here’s a news story that sounds like one we’ve read before: a 19-year-old got a ride home with four people from a night club, who instead took the 19-year-old to a remote location where a sexual assault occurred. But in this instance, the 19-year-old was a man and the four alleged suspects are women. According the Canada’s National Post, the alleged incident occurred on Sunday, March 31, when the young man got a ride home from four women he met in a Toronto club. The man then claims he was taken to a parking lot and sexually assaulted by all four women. Yes, men can be victims of sexual assault as well. What a tragic reminder that rape culture hurts everyone. [Toronto Star; National Post]
“Mad Men” is back and the Draper family is still as fucked up as ever. I won’t spoil Don’s heap of neuroses (oh, they still exist), but we need to talk about Betty Draper Francis:
During a weird moment last night in bed with her husband Henry, Betty started to dirty talk. Only it was this passive aggressive, creepy, really inappropriate dirty talk about how Henry might want to rape Sally’s 15-year-old friend, Sandy, who was sleeping in the next room. Spoilers after the jump…
Keep reading »
Over the past few months, India has been racked with high-profile gang rapes and deaths of little girls and women. From the three sisters under age 11 who were sexually assaulted and murdered to the student who was gang raped with a metal rod, which mangled her insides so badly it eventually killed her, the brutality of the country’s rape culture is horrific. One of the main problems with the rape culture in India has been placing the onus on the victim instead of the perpetrator — society as a whole, including police, had been blaming women for being out in public where they could be attacked, instead of punishing the men who hurt them.
The new laws aren’t perfect. First of all, as legal scholar Karuna Nundy for the BBC notes, the laws only protect the “modesty” of women, not boys, men or transgender folks. Additionally, marital rape is still legal (including if the wife is a minor ages 15 through 18) and homosexuality is still criminalized.
Alas, it is with cautious optimism that we welcome India’s new spate of laws criminalizing rape and other acts of violence which went into effect yesterday. Keep reading »
Usually movies like Tyler Perry’s “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” are right up my alley. You don’t see a Tyler Perry film because you’re under any illusions it will be good. At their best, Perry movies excel at hitting the sweet spot of terrible, the kind of bad movie you can’t wait to pick apart with your friends afterward. Why else did I go see “Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2″ in theaters? I was under no illusions I was seeing a good film. I wanted a glorious waste, and boy, did I get my money’s worth. Michael Sheen’s evil laugh was worth the price of admission alone.
Like Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room,” Perry’s films aren’t so much made as they are loosely cobbled together, and it’s fun to point out the seams in his craftsmanship. The sound design is terrible, the acting is all over the place and the film takes place in about seven different genres simultaneously. “Temptation” can’t decide if it wants to be a melodrama, high camp, a morality play, a broad comedy, a Lifetime movie or a potboiler, so it makes the proceedings into a $5.99 buffet — a little bit of this, a lot of that, doused with camp and unintentional humor. Douglas Sirk would have loved Tyler Perry.
However, despite my best efforts to find the film funny, there’s something immensely troubling about the morality slopped in with Perry’s genre stew. The film is about a Christian woman’s destructive sexual awakening and an affair that leads her away from her marriage. “Temptation” initially feels like a rebuttal to readers of Kate Chopin (or, heaven forbid, E.L. James) showing how passion can destroy the stability we take for granted. The main character is the therapist for a “Millionaire Matchmaker”-type who has her wandering eye on a billionaire client. He looks like a male model, is named Harley and drives a red sportscar. He espouses the belief that humans should have sex like animals. [Spoilers after the jump!] Keep reading »
Last week, a woman named Hillary Bowman-Smart, of Melbourne, Australia, began the hashtag #SafetyTipsForWomen on Twitter in response to an article about victim-blaming on Australian website The Punch called “Advocating Risk Management Is Not Victim Blaming.” Since then the #hashtag has gone viral and continues to stir up some hilarious “tips” for women days after the original tweet. Her Tumblr blog explains:
How about we recognise that being drunk, being ‘sexy’, being out having fun, being loud, being trans, being queer, being sexually active – none of it causes rape, because rapists cause rape? How about we stop pretending that if women follow some stupid, byzantine set of ‘rules’ we’ll be safe?
The hashtag has spread beyond Down Under and to elsewhere around the world. After the jump are some of the best tweets… Keep reading »
How the best laid plans do folly: A Florida sheriff’s office accidentally distributed a phone sex line number to victims of sexual assault. I’ll repeat that. A Florida sheriff’s office accidentally distributed a phone sex line number to victims of sexual assault. The number was printed on a flyer created by the Lake County, Florida, Sheriff’s office as a means of offering sexual violence victims support via telephone. But when they called it? Yup, phone sex from “America’s hottest talk line” where callers are instructed “To talk to interesting and exciting guys free, press 1 now. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you.” Keep reading »
The New York City Police Department is infamous for the controversial “stop and frisk” program, critiqued for how it is used for racial profiling. This story, however, is more like stop and grope.
According to NYMag.com, a Brooklyn woman, Latonya Ratcliff, 39, is suing the city after Officer Joseph Jette entered an apartment, where Ratcliff works as a live-in caregiver, to search for guns and ended up sexually assaulting her. During a not-so-routine patdown, Latonya claims officer Jette “cupped her breast and butt,” according to the Post. Then, when questioning Ratcliff alone in the apartment’s bedroom, Officer Jette allegedly picked up a porn DVD. The Post reports that Ratcliff said, “He asked me if I liked these positions and if I wanted to do them with him and I told him no.” Keep reading »