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

trumpwomen

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

rape culture

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”

Why educating about consent is so important

rape protest

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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What’s left when you photoshop the all-male bands out of festival posters.

5 things feminists should know about the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

An Alabama lawmaker is trying to shut down an abortion clinic because the anti-abortion protests outside pose a threat to children.

New laws on strangulation aid prosecution in sexual assault cases.

Hillary Clinton must go bold on abortion.

The new podcast Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race offers insightful discussion from Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda and Tanner Colby.

Meryl Streep has funded a screenwriting lab for women over 40.

A miscarrying woman was denied medication because of “conscience.”

My favorite clothing website ModCloth gets even better by spotlighting transgender comedian Rye Silverman.

A store in Pittsburgh charges women 76% of what it charges men to make up for the wage gap.

Consent is critical, and it shouldn’t be hard

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It’s telling that the idea of affirmative consent is so frightening to so many people. As the issue became a hot topic of debate in the wake of California’s affirmative consent law, I found myself yelling futilely at my computer or people on podcasts as they wrung their hands and seemed to fundamentally misunderstand that idea of embracing “yes means yes.”  Continue reading “Consent is critical, and it shouldn’t be hard”

Weekend reading

radical_brownies

The one time I checked out the Brownies when I was a kid, we were stitching our names into plastic grids with yarn. These Radical Brownies are about a million times more awesome than that.

The telegram Martin Luther King, Jr. sent to Betty Shabazz after Malcolm X’s assassination.

9 coming-of-age films that aren’t about white men.

Alan Cumming and GLAAD mock the absurdity of the FDA’s regulations on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

Why you might still be paying for birth control even though it’s supposed to be free.

“If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them.” No, no, no, no, no.

Why is bearing children seen as more important that surviving pregnancy?

12 great responses to sexist questions.

Good Samaritans bought a homeless couple 3 nights out of the cold, but the hotel kicked them out.