Under The American Health Care Act -- presently the subject of a full-court press by House Republicans -- insurance companies will be allowed to discriminate against customers who have "pre-existing conditions," refusing to pay for problems stemming from them. Read the rest
In this article for Aeon, author Sandra Newman makes a strong argument for the need to treat rape the way we treat other crimes. But first she digs into the history of the many other ways in which rape has been conceptualized over the years:
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There is a simple and surprisingly durable myth about what causes men to rape women. It goes like this: if a man is too horny, from sexual deprivation or from being constitutionally oversexed, he will lose control in the presence of an unguarded woman. Through the early days of psychology as a science, this basic assumption remained the same. When Richard von Krafft-Ebing wrote Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), he assumed that rapists suffered from either ‘priapism and conditions approaching satyriasis’ or a ‘mental weakness’ that allowed lustful urges to escape their control. It was a simple matter of hydraulics. If the pressure was too great, or the vessel too weak, a horrifying crime would burst forth.
In the early decades of the 20th century, as human sexuality became the focus of intense scientific interest, this naive model of sexual assault went unquestioned by researchers. Havelock Ellis believed that all male sexuality was violent and predatory, and therefore saw no reason to doubt that rape was a normal manifestation of masculine desire. Alfred Kinsey preferred to ignore the issue altogether, dismissing most rapes as false accusations, and doubting they did real harm anyway. Thus the hydraulic model of rape persisted until the latter half of the 20th century, when it was abruptly shattered by a deadly combination of feminist theory and empirical research.
Procedure at New York's Rikers Island prison is for visitors to be subjected to a pat-down search, but women who visit their loved ones are suing the New York Department of Corrections because guards there subject them to illegal, violent, humiliating strip and cavity searches, sometimes holding them down while forcibly penetrating them with their fingers. Read the rest
Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his massive, authoritarian purge of his country's public institutions, news media and civil society groups with a fresh wave of public-sector firings, bringing the total number of jettisoned public servants to 100,000. Read the rest
District Judge John McKeon sentenced an unnamed man to 60 days in prison plus a suspended 30-year prison sentence (which he will avoid if he completes a sex-offender treatment program and other parole conditions) after the man pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his own daughter, who was 12 years old at the time. Read the rest
Update: According to The Verge, Facebook has verified the authenticity of the screenshot below.
In what appears to be an internal Facebook post, Zuckerberg defends his company's ongoing association with Peter Thiel -- Facebook investor/board member and major donor to white-supremacist/pro-rape presidential candidate Donald Trump. Read the rest
“There is no room for objectification of women, or anyone for that matter — not even in the locker room,” Nancy O’Dell says on "Entertainment Tonight."
A day after hot-mic audio emerged of millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump boasting of groping and forcing himself on women, he has promised to be "a better man." In a taped statement about his taped statements, Trump apologizes for the words he used, if not the actions they describe.
Here is my statement. pic.twitter.com/WAZiGoQqMQ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
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I’ve never said I’m a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them.
Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.
I’ve traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I’ve been humbled by the faith they placed in me.
I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down.
Let’s be honest: We’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs; we are less safe than we were eight years ago; and Washington is totally broken. Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground.
Millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump was caught on a hot mic discussing things he enjoys. The WaPo obtained a recording it describes as "lewd" but mostly consists of boasts of pursuing and forcing himself on women.
I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.”
“I did try and fuck her. She was married.”
“Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
His campaign has released a statement saying it's just banter.
This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course - not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.
I guess I shan't be voting for Bill Clinton this November, then. Read the rest
In a pre-sentencing letter to the judge released today by the New York Times, convicted rapist Brock Turner fails to own any responsibility for raping an unconscious woman behind a trash dumpster on Jan. 17, 2015. Turner's plea letter reads like a laundry list of white male privilege lost. It touched the white male judge in all the right places. Turner begs for leniency in his letter, and he got it.
Owen Labrie received a light one-year jail sentence after sexually assaulting an underage girl at his New England prep school. While his victim was subjected to scorn and disbelief from peers and the media, Labrie was coddled every step of the way, turning down a plea deal that would have seen him out in weeks and being mythologized in a pretentious Vanity Fair profile. But now he's going to serve his sentence early, because he just can't follow the rules while he appeals his verdict.
A judge in Merrimack County Superior Court said Owen Labrie would begin his one-year jail sentence immediately.
"You are unlikely to abide by any conditions," Judge Larry Smukler said. "I don't relax conditions because you can't comply with them."…
Smukler, in sentencing him in October and permitting him to remain free on bail pending appeal, told Labrie he would be "exceedingly foolish" to violate his bail conditions.
Labrie's light sentence hinged, as Vice put it, on the fact his underage victim didn't "clearly express her lack of consent." Jurors failed to convict him of felony rape, instead applying a 90s-era computer grooming law in what was described as a "bizarre" verdict.
Those sympathetic to Labrie point to the felony computer charge, arguing it was never meant to be applied to texting teenagers. Had Labrie reached out to the girl via phone, he would have been spared a lifetime on the sexual offender registry. Then again, these were no ordinary messages: Labrie and his peers shared email templates and strategies for scoring with younger girls; Labrie even had a list of potential targets, with the girl at the top, in capital letters.Read the rest
A sexual predator in the UK who raped five women and attacked two more after meeting them on Match.com has received a sentence of life in prison.
An all-male council in India has ordered that two sisters, ages 15 and 23, be raped and paraded in public with blackened faces because their brother eloped with a married woman.
Amnesty International has launched a petition but they've been told that the "decision is final."
“Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment,” the Amnesty petition reads. “It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law. Demand that the local authorities intervene immediately.”
Village councils in northern India, known as khap panchayats, are generally comprised of senior male members of the community’s high castes. Although the councils have been declared illegal by the courts, their edicts are still observed in many parts of rural India.