Amanda Palmer's #metoo song for Judy Blume

Judy Blume is Amanda Palmer's ballad in honor of the author's 80th birthday, celebrating her decades of service in helping young women to navigate a world that labels them as crazy and vain, the nagging sense that it's "just me": "The experiences of her teenage characters ― Deenie, Davey, Tony, Jill, Margaret ― are so thoroughly enmeshed with my own memories that the line between fact and fiction is deliciously thin. My memories of these characters, though I’d prefer to call them “people” ― of Deenie getting felt up in the dark locker room during the school dance; of Davey listlessly making and stirring a cup of tea that she has no intention of drinking; of Jill watching Linda, the fat girl in her class, being tormented by giggling bullies ― are all as vivid, if not more so, as my own memories of kissing Stephen Lee in our elementary school’s auditorium closet atop a pile of gymnastics mats (fourth grade), of being teased by Mike O’Curtin for being too flat-chested (all of sixth and seventh grades), or of discovering that an empty plastic ice pop sheath makes a pretty good dildo when filled with warm water (summer of eighth grade. And believe me, it was a truly great summer.)" Read the rest

Sex pest reporter returns to work at the New York Times

Glenn Thrush, who apologized for his behavior around women colleagues at The New York Times, is returning to work there after his time off.

“The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry,” in relation to the June episode. “Over the past several years, I have responded to a succession of personal and health crises by drinking heavily. During that period, I have done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my family and friends.”

The New York Times responded by suspending Thrush and launching an investigation into his actions. He underwent counseling. The newspaper last month announced that he would return to work, though he would no longer be covering the White House, a choice beat under the mercurial and mendacious President Trump.

How odd that false accusations supposedly destroy men's careers, yet truthful ones barely touch them. Read the rest

Ontario Conservative leader abruptly resigns after he is accused of sexual assault and misconduct with very young, drunk women

Hours after CTV published the firsthand accounts of two women who say they experienced sexual advances and at least one assault from Ontario Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown, Brown has resigned, leaving the party leaderless shortly before a key election. Read the rest

5 women sue Monster Energy over abusive and discriminatory culture

Yeah, 'Monster' sounds about right. Five women are suing beverage maker Monster Energy over a workplace culture where discrimination and sexually abusive behavior by male executives proliferated with impunity.

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App to record sexual consent in the blockchain will be used to discredit sexual assault survivors

LegalFling is a Dutch app that's supposed to protect partners in sexual liaisons from miscommunication by recording both parties' consent to sexual activity in an indelible, public blockchain entry. Read the rest

Making Mario Batali's sexual misconduct cinnamon rolls

Who can forget where their jaw was in mid-December when celebrity chef Mario Batali ended his sexual misconduct apology letter with a recipe for his "fan-favorite" Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls? Breezily contrite and self-promotional!

Well-known blogger, Geraldine DeRuiter, of The Everywhereist, decided to try her hand at the ill-timed recipe and found the results as gag-worthy as Batali's ham-handed apology. There are some hilarious lines in here. And the whole piece, intercut with DeRuiter's own harassment memories, is quite effectively snarky and intense.

The base of the rolls is pizza dough – Batali notes that you can either buy it, or use his recipe to make your own.

I make my own, because I’m a woman, and for us there are no fucking shortcuts. We spend 25 years working our asses off to be the most qualified Presidential candidate in U.S. history and we get beaten out by a sexual deviant who likely needs to call the front desk for help when he’s trying to order pornos in his hotel room.

Donald Trump is President, so I’m making the goddamn dough by scratch.

The pizza dough does not mix well with the sweetness. The icing is sickly sweet, the rolls themselves oddly savory. I was right about the texture – the dough is too tough. I hate them, but I keep eating them. Like I’m somehow destroying Batali’s shitty sexist horcrux in every bite.

Because I’ve rolled them too tightly, the middle pops up and out of one of the rolls.
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Julian Assange is now an Ecuadoran citizen, but the UK government still won't let him out of the embassy

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy to the United Kingdom in London for more than 5 years, believing that if he were taken into custody by the UK police, he would face extradition to the USA where he would be tried for publishing details of war crimes committed by the US military. Read the rest

Evangelical congregation gives pastor standing ovation for admitting he raped a high-schooler

Andy Savage is one of the powerful, wealthy evangelical clerics implicated in the #churchtoo movement, in which congregants are disclosing the sexual assaults and harassment they experienced at the hands of faith leaders. Read the rest

#Metoo: from the Balkans to Twitter

A friend asked me to follow the flow, and write this hashtag #metoo. Cavafi, the Greek poet who lived all his life by the sea and wrote about everything but the sea, before dying he said: Let me too say something about the sea. Read the rest

Does capitalism breed greed, or elevate the greedy?

When a billionaire Koch heir announces that he's taking a break from suing ex-fiancees to give back their engagement rings and playing tennis at Mar-a-Largo in order to produce designer shirts covered in money-bags, it's worth asking: did capitalism turn this guy into a useless asshole, or does capitalism find the useless assholes and shower them with money? Read the rest

Journalists receive forged lawsuit docs hoaxing a nonexistent sexual harassment suit against Chuck Schumer

Someone is shopping a password-protected PDF of a forged lawsuit against Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to the DC press; the forgery attempts to trick journalists into thinking that Schumer is being sued by a female former staffer for sexual harassment. Read the rest

Dylan Farrow wonders why Woody Allen still gets away with it

So much for the Weinstein Moment: Woody Allen is still too powerful and too well-connected for people in Hollywood to speak ill of. Victim Dylan Farrow (whose sibling's reportage brought Harvey Weinstein down and seemed to open a floodgate) wonders why:

A prosecutor took the unusual step of announcing that he had probable cause to charge Allen but declined in order to spare me, a “child victim,” from an exhausting trial.

It is a testament to Allen’s public relations team and his lawyers that few know these simple facts. It also speaks to the forces that have historically protected men like Allen: the money and power deployed to make the simple complicated, to massage the story.

In this deliberately created fog, A-list actors agree to appear in Allen’s films and journalists tend to avoid the subject.

Farrow names names, too: Kate Winslet, Blake Lively and Greta Gerwig each denounced Weinstein but hedge their bets for good old Woody: "Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person," Winslet said. "Woody Allen is an incredible director."

Farrow:

It isn’t just power that allows men accused of sexual abuse to keep their careers and their secrets. It is also our collective choice to see simple situations as complicated and obvious conclusions as a matter of “who can say”? The system worked for Harvey Weinstein for decades. It works for Woody Allen still.
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Bosses seed Silicon Valley Christmas parties with models who impersonate fellow employees, after briefing them with back-stories

Business is booming for Silicon Valley modeling agencies that specialize in "ambiance and atmosphere models" who are sent to company Christmas parties after being briefed with back-stories that allow them pretend to be super-good-looking fellow employees, thus lulling the workers at the company into thinking that it's a kind of haven for extremely beautiful people and raising their self-esteem. Read the rest

Congressman Trent Franks [R-AZ] resigns amidst accusations that he pressured his female staff to bear his children as surrogate mothers

The "inappropriate behavior" that caused Rep Trent Franks [R-AZ] to resign from Congress wasn't fondling or hugging or pressuring his staffers for sex: it was pressuring his female staffers allow him Franks and his wife to use their uteruses to gestate their children. Read the rest

Time Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers

Time got it right: The Silence Breakers.

She recalls one screenwriter friend telling her that Weinstein's behavior was an open secret passed around on the whisper network that had been furrowing through Hollywood for years. It allowed for people to warn others to some degree, but there was no route to stop the abuse. "Were we supposed to call some fantasy attorney general of moviedom?" Judd asks. "There wasn't a place for us to report these experiences."

Finally, in October—when Judd went on the record about Weinstein's behavior in the New York Times, the first star to do so—the world listened.

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UK Tory aides are circulating a list of accused sexual predators and harassers in Parliament

The spreadsheet contains 36 names: 2 Cabinet ministers identified as engaging in inappropriate behaviour towards women; 18 ministers who are said to have engaged in sexual misconduct; 12 MPs accused of sexually harassing female researchers and 4 MPs accused of harassing male researchers. Read the rest