The Onion Wins Again

The Onion has saved me from having to say: fuck CNN & their coverage of the Steubenville verdict. (But do sign the petition, which has now collected 200k signatures, and which demands an apology for their rapist-sympathetic coverage.)

College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed

Just fuck the idiots who treat athletes as if they don’t have to be civilized. I hate the sports cult bullshit, hate it.

(That said, these two NFL guys spoke at the GLAAD awards about being allies to the LGBTQ communities, and I was impressed. My wife had a nice chat with Kluwe, too. More of this, please.)

Kym Worthy’s Noteworthy Goal

Kym Worthy – that’s a name out of a superhero comic in itself, isn’t it? – is Detroit’s prosecutor and she’s trying to get 11,000 rape kits that have never been processed by the Detroit police into the system in hopes of solving some of these crimes.

Today Worthy is a prosecutor in Detroit, with a much different perspective. Her decision not to report the crime, she says, was “all justification and rationalization.” Now she is on a singular mission: seeking justice for people who do report their rapes. She’s leading a charge to get more than 11,000 police rape kits—which contain swabs of semen, saliva, and other evidence—tested for DNA in her city, and to establish a road map for other U.S. cities to do the same. In Detroit the kits had piled up, ignored for years, in a police storage facility, until one of Worthy’s colleagues discovered them in 2009.


And that’s the women who came forward.

Another article discusses how exactly these rape kits work in helping get rapists prosecuted:

While the DNA test results identified assailants in stranger-rape cases, they also created leads in cases that police and prosecutors were not expecting. For example, prosecutors told me of tying the same assailant to multiple acquaintance-rape cases that might otherwise have been difficult to move through the criminal-justice system. Said one, “We had an assailant who raped drug addicts coming to him to buy drugs. These are women who may be particularly vulnerable to rape because of their addictions or their socioeconomic status, but whose cases are hard to get a jury to believe. But when we could connect the same guy to a number of rapes, we could get a conviction.”

One of the reasons they don’t get processed is because so often women know the rapist, and so police have found doing the rape kit redundant – they already know who the suspect is.

A rape arrest rate that hasn’t changed since the late 1970s is a national travesty. Imagine anything else having stayed the same in that 40 years: no cell phones, computers, or cable TV, for starters.

Condoms With Teeth

No, really. It’s almost something out of a feminist sci-fi:

Women fearful of being raped can insert the Rape-Axe condom inside themselves like a diaphragm or tampon. If her worst fears come true, and a man attempts to rape her, the Rape-Axe’s inside hooks attach themselves to the penis and don’t come off, instead getting even tighter and stopping the man from being able to urinate. The only way to remove it is by seeing a doctor—which will obviously help with prosecution.

Oddly enough, via Gizmodo.

What Does a Feminist President Look Like?

Oh yes: Not just Obama, but his VP Joe Biden, who in a recent interview on NPR about rapes on college campuses, said plainly:

Look, folks, rape is rape is rape.

Among the points made by the administration, are:

— When a woman brings a complaint that she was a victim of assault, a school cannot punish her for using alcohol or drugs. In most allegations of sexual assault, alcohol is involved. Laws in every state say when a woman is drunk to the point of passing out, she can’t give consent. But some women have complained that when they went to school administrators to say they’d been sexually assaulted, they ended up getting punished for breaking school rules on drinking or using drugs.

— Schools must fully inform a person who brings a complaint of her or his (men are victims in about 6 percent of assault cases, according to federal officials) rights to an investigation and then they must be told the outcome of the investigation. Some schools thought they could not tell the victim the result of an investigation because it would violate the privacy of the alleged perpetrator.

— Even if a student is said to have assaulted another student in off-campus housing, the school must investigate.

— Schools must investigate in a timely manner. Some schools told women they could not get involved until after local police completed a criminal investigation. That often left a woman on campus — and even in the same dormitory or classrooms — with the man she said had assaulted her.

I would like to see this same points used to investigate accounts of hate crimes, too.

Forcible or Not

This past week, Republicans wanted to redefine rape to mean only “forcible rape.” To understand how ridiculously insensitive – and ignorant – that is, read Jeanette Freidman’s account of her own rape 37 years ago and why she didn’t have any bruises in the aftermath. They failed, at least, largely due to ongoing pressure such as the #DearJohn campaign that happened on Twitter & focused on getting Boehner’s attention.

I don’t think we would even have to discuss something so heinous if we didn’t already live in a rape culture — where most forms of rape are already ignored or even openly encouraged:

Rape culture is rape being used as a weapon, a tool of war and genocide and oppression. Rape culture is rape being used as a corrective to “cure” queer women. Rape culture is a militarized culture and “the natural product of all wars, everywhere, at all times, in all forms.”

Rape culture is 1 in 33 men being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is encouraging men to use the language of rape to establish dominance over one another (“I’ll make you my bitch”). Rape culture is making rape a ubiquitous part of male-exclusive bonding. Rape culture is ignoring the cavernous need for men’s prison reform in part because the threat of being raped in prison is considered an acceptable deterrent to committing crime, and the threat only works if actual men are actually being raped.

I wish we didn’t.