The good, the bad and the ugly below the orange pretzel.
Montana District judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced a former teacher, Stacey Rambold, to just 30 days in jail for repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl. Mr. Rambold will also spend 15 years on probation and register as a sex offender. Baugh's initial remarks claimed that the teenage victim was just "as much in control of the situation" as her assailant. We'll never get to know the victim's response to that comment: she committed suicide in 2010, as the case was going to trial.
Partly in response to that case, here's a piece on statutory rape by a woman who saw herself in the girl that Judge Baugh dismissed as "older than her chronological age:"
The fact is, a 14-year-old girl may be capable of agreeing to sex with a 49-year-old man, but she doesn't have the emotional and mental maturity to consent. I was 25 before I realized that every man I'd slept with as a teenager was a pedophile. It seemed to me that since I'd courted the attention, that I was fully culpable. What teenager believes she is not mentally or emotionally capable of full consent? I thought I was an adult, although when I look at the picture of myself from the time period above, I see a child.A rape victim becomes a "false allegation" statistic.
I thought I was the exception for these men, the girl so precocious and advanced that it superseded social norms. I thought that I was "older than my chronological age."
It never occurred to me as a young sexually active teen that the adult men I had relationships with may have been manipulating me, that they had designs and motives I couldn't see from my limited child's perspective.
Yale punishes attempted rape with a one-day suspension.
A good article by Jill Filipovic about rape culture and the parallel factors that support is in different parts of the world.
Rape happens in every society, and nowhere in the world has perfect gender equality been achieved. But rapes are more likely to be reported in places where men and women are more equal. And rapists are enabled by misogyny, whether it comes in the form of politicians and religious leaders deciding it's the right of the state to regulate reproduction or modesty warriors declaring the female body itself inappropriate. Political violations of the female body abet physical ones; cultural narratives that women tempt men into bad behavior abet legal ones.Reproductive Freedom:
At least 54 women's clinics nationwide have either shut down or stopped offering abortion since the current wave of attacks on accessibility started in 2010. Texas and Arizona have been hardest hit. Shutting down clinics often means that women also lose access to affordable birth control and other health care services.
A new video game demonstrates the obstacles to getting an abortion in Texas.
Mark Ruffalo on his mother's illegal abortion.
Fox's Dr. David Samadi explains that women's health care should cost more than men's, because women have all those, you know, parts.
George Will tries to derail a discussion of racism into blaming - what else? - single mothers.
August 26th was Women's Equality Day, commemorating the passage of women's suffrage. Fox celebrated with a segment on Dog Day.
After the Robin Thicke / Miley Cyrus display at the VMA, a lot's been said about Miley Cyrus. A male blogger responds: Dear Son: Don't let Robin Thicke be a lesson for you. Walsh identifies himself as "no feminist," and seems a bit tied up in rusty notions of "chivalry," but he makes a good point:
A 36 year old married man and father, grinding against an intoxicated 20 year old while singing about how she’s an “animal” and the “hottest bitch in this place.” And what happens the next day? We’re all boycotting the 20 year old. The grown man gets a pass.Good News and Action Items:
The US Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a law intended to strip medicaid funding from doctors and clinics that perform abortions.
After #Solidarityisforwhitewomen, some thoughts on how to be an ally.
Ross Perot's foundation just donated a million dollars to Planned Parenthood in Texas.