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This week had an amazing teachable moment - amazing because it led to some actual teaching.

At Georgia Tech, a frat brother's email on "Luring your Rapebait" went viral. It was about as bad as it sounds, basically advising guys to get the woman drunk.

The author now says it was intended as a satire.  And then he did an interesting thing:  he issued a public apology in the school paper.  Not a bunch of excuses about how everyone should just have a sense of humor about rape.  Not a "sorry if you were offended" weaselpology.  An actual apology:

Misogynistic behavior is everywhere online and unfortunately, my attempt to ridicule it in an immature and outrageous satire backfired terribly and in a manner I mistakenly underestimated. In fact the “locker room” banter that characterizes this email was wrong in and of itself whether or not contained in a written communication. I am both embarrassed and ashamed at this dialogue and realize now that any sexual statement that is demeaning to women is never a joke.
The good, the bad and the ugly  - and some bad and ugly that grew into good - below the orange calligraphy exam.

Speaking of apologies, here's a picture-worth-a-thousand-words one from a business  that had a really bad employee.

Reproductive rights:

While other states have been looking for ways to restrict abortion access, California is making access easier, including letting nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physicians' assistants perform first-trimester procedures.

The Nebraska Supreme Court tells a 16-year-old in foster care that she's not mature enough to have an abortion, and their explanation of what qualifies as "mature" sets the bar beyond the reach of pretty much anyone.

Dahlia Lithwick on "conscience creep,"  a concept that started with health care providers refusing to perform abortions.

But it hasn’t stopped at health care providers, and the list of objectors now encompasses pharmacists and ambulance drivers, cashiers in supermarkets and business owners who object to same-sex marriage. Last year, for instance, a prison guard withheld an abortion pill from a prisoner who’d been raped on the grounds that it violated her personal religious beliefs. And it hasn’t stopped at abortion, birth control, or sterilization, but may include activities like counseling rape victims or teaching AIDS patients about clean needles.

Batty Mamzelle offers a womanifesto on embracing womanism and rejecting the status quo.  A sample:

I reject the notion that I am responsible for my own victimization. I will not be told that I could have avoided the pain that was inflicted upon me by another person if I had been better at expressing the right kind of femininity.

I reject the notion that I have a responsibility to be a representative example of black womanhood. I am an individual with unique thoughts and feelings, and I am allowed to dissent from the mainstream perspective.

I reject the notion that I must be silent in the face of my oppression, or that my concerns are less valid because they are specific to black womanhood. I refuse to accept violence in the form of sexism or racism.

I reject the notion that I should wait my turn to have my intersections of oppression addressed. I will continue to fight to be included in spaces that expect support from me, but do not expect to support me in turn.

Hopefully the last thing we'll ever have to read about Hugo Schwyzer:  [ he's resigned. ]


A disturbing new study of youth aged 14 to 21 found that 9% admitted to perpetrating some form of sexual violence, including attempted or completed rape (4%), using other forms of coercion to get sex (3%), and/or forced kissing or touching (8%).  I'm curious to see the gender breakdown on this, but so far all I've found is that male perpetrators were typically 15 or 16 at the age of first offense, female perpetrators 18 or 19.

As the fallout from the Steubenville rape case continues, an adult IT tech employed by the school has been charged with evidence tampering, obstructing justice  and perjury.  If he's convicted, please let CNN not host another cry-fest on how tough it is for him.

Skepchik on another of those "helpful" lectures telling women how not to get raped.

Trudy at Gradient Lair on street harassment and PTSD.


A Hartford editor explains how single moms and welfare ruined journalism, or something.

One more problem with unpaid internships:  an NYC court just ruled that an unpaid intern can't sue for sexual harassment.

General stupidity:

California's RNC Convention sells buttons with a creepy message about Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Having quite a bit of unwanted expertise on misogynist trolls, Amanda Marcotte reminds them that Your repulsive personality is not inevitable.

I'm thinking of starting a category for worst use of the word "perceive."  It's something that comes up a lot:  women point out sexism, and get told that the problem is just them "perceiving" it.  Here, for instance, is an AP story:  Mormon Women's Group Shut Out of All-Male Meeting.

a feminist group called Ordain Women would ask to be let in an all-male priesthood meeting to highlight what they perceive as gender inequality.
The Mormon Church allows men into the priesthood.  It does not allow women into the priesthood.  It is ok to simply call that inequality, rather than pretending it's just a "perception."


In Yemen, there has been a push for the new constitution to include a provision outlawing child marriage.   This videoshares the voices of girls who were married as young as twelve.

Good news and action items:

Saudi women are taking to the road to protest the country's ban on women driving.  A Saudi blogger was briefly detained for driving a car and filming other women doing so.  She believes there are signs that the ban may finally come to an end.

90% of Wikipedia editors are men,which can result in some blind spots about what does and doesn't get covered.  On October 15th, some women scientists are organizing a mass editing session in honor of Ada Lovelace.

Happy International Day of the Girl!

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for her advocacy for educating girls, has had quite a busy week.  She wowed Jon Stewart (and me) on   The Daily Show, She was awarded the Sakharov Human Rights Prize. She met with President Obama.  She's an inspiration.  Watch the video.  Buy her book!

Originally posted to This Week in the War on Women on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.

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