Experiencing, trying to avoid and constantly hearing about sexual assault are exhausting for women

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Donald Trump’s candidacy isn’t funny anymore. We can’t look at the news without hearing about Trump barging into dressing rooms where women are naked, groping women and even objectifying a 10-year-old girl. It’s exhausting to face an onslaught of disgusting and demoralizing stories, and to see the responses rooted in rape culture that show why Donald Trump wasn’t shut down a long time ago. Continue reading “Experiencing, trying to avoid and constantly hearing about sexual assault are exhausting for women”

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Mandatory minimums aren’t the answer for dealing with sexual assault

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People have been rightly outraged at the leniency shown to Brock Turner, a white student who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The sentencing highlighted how class and race privilege can turn a perpetrator into a sympathetic figure in the eyes of the justice system, a leniency that is not granted to most people who enter a courtroom.

California has responded by passing a new law creating a mandatory minimum sentence for sexually assaulting an incapacitated person. While their desire to respond to the case is understandable, the new law is likely to do more harm and won’t help in deterring sexual assault.  Continue reading “Mandatory minimums aren’t the answer for dealing with sexual assault”

“Why didn’t she go to the police?” Rape culture runs deep in law enforcement

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Among the many things that a rape victim has to deal with is the decision whether or not to involve law enforcement. It’s a personal decision and there’s no right answer. While it’s important for perpetrators to face some kind of reckoning for their actions and to keep serial attackers away from potential victims (though what that should look like is a complicated question on its own), there are many disincentives for women to take their complaints to the police. The very people who are charged with taking sexual assault seriously and holding perpetrators accountable are far from immune from the rape culture that infects society at large.  Continue reading ““Why didn’t she go to the police?” Rape culture runs deep in law enforcement”

Weekend reading

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Authorized Angela Davis biopic in the works

Seven questions the entertainment industry needs to answer about rape

Donald Trump and the long history of white men claiming fraud

Late-night shows are trying to make 2016 voters skeptical of Trump. It’s probably working.

Baltimore police once used a helicopter to break up a dice game

Simone Biles: “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.”

Why educating about consent is so important

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There have been some reprehensible reactions to the rape trial of Brock Turner, his father’s first and foremost among them. Turner himself never apologized for his violent actions; he apologized for drinking too much, an excuse many people are fixated on. Wonkblog highlighted a study that showed a major underlying problem for why attitudes like Turner’s (as well as his friend who wrote an infamous letter in his defense) are widespread: Continue reading “Why educating about consent is so important”

Weekend reading

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Behind the photo that changed the Boston Marathon forever.

There’s no separating the death penalty and race.

Lupita Nyong’o had to remind Vogue that white actresses don’t have a monopoly on beauty.

Doctor, warned to be silent on abortions, files civil rights complaint.

Why won’t Hollywood let us see our best black actors?

Obama to name Stonewall Inn first ever national monument for gay rights.

Rape is common. So why don’t we believe rape victims?

Park Cannon, the black, queer, millennial woman in the Georgia State House, is a very vocal minority.

Wednesday watch: Samantha Bee takes on the rape kit backlog

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In the short time that it’s been on the air, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has proven to be an invaluable addition to the late night lineup, especially in an election year where a dose of smart, cutting humor is sorely needed. In the most recent episode, Bee takes on the rape kit backlog–piles of evidence that could identify and convict rapists going untested. It’s as funny and devastating as you would expect from Bee.