Years ago, a slight acquaintance of mine was caught committing a heinous act of revenge porn. The law hadn’t caught up with technology at that point, and he got away with no criminal charges. The most bizarre part, for me, was another acquaintance — a woman — defending him as someone who’d merely “made a mistake” and shouldn’t have his life ruined over it.
I was reminded of this a few days ago, when actor Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life for drugging and violently raping two women (the jury deadlocked regarding a third). Among the friends who sent the judge letters of support were Ashton Kucher and Mila Kunis, board members of Thorn, an anti-trafficking organization. They issued an excuse-filled nonpology when hit with a publicity backlash, and have now resigned from their positions with Thorn.
Everyone’s outraged by harassment and rape — until the harasser or rapist turns out to be their friend, family member or favorite celebrity. Often this is true even with people who should know that predators will groom a circle of people to vouch for them. Alyssa Royse participated in Slutwalk & other anti-rape activism — but when her friend raped an unconscious woman, Royse set about straw-grasping for reasons to blame the victim. Similarly, Brock Turner’s rape of an unconscious woman could be the textbook example of “legitimate rape,” but a female friend of his wrote to the judge to insist that it was “a huge misunderstanding.”
On a smaller scale, Luis Rubiales finally resigned as president of the Spanish Football Federation after forcing an unwanted kiss on player Jennifer Hermoso. Rubiales’s mother had been supporting him with a very public hunger strike.
As always, this diary is a group effort. Thanks for elenacarlena, mettle fatigue, SandraLLAP, and the WOW crew for links and discussion.
Via Jessica Valenti: Daniel Cameron, the Republican candidate for governor of Kentucky, supports banning all forms of hormonal birth control (including the pill, Norplant, and Depo-Provera), using the increasingly common dodge of referring to contraception as “abortion.”
In Idaho, Alabama, and parts of Texas, there have been attempts to twist “trafficking” laws to criminalize traveling to get an abortion (or transporting someone else for it). Even Brett Kavanaugh (!) has admitted that such bans are unconstitutional (let’s hope that still matters). Moira Donegan has more.
From Medscape: Ob/Gyn Programs struggle to Provide Abortion Training Post Dobbs.
From Reuters: Biden administration takes abortion-pill dispute to US Supreme Court.
From WaPo- Abortion rights group sues on behalf of women denied care in emergencies.
Amanda Marcotte: Having discovered that “pro-life” polls badly post-Dobbs, the QOP is trying to rebrand with euphemisms like “pro-baby.” As usual, they can’t be bothered with policies that would actually help babies and their families (health care access, ending child poverty….)
Scientists in Poland have reportedly developed a test for the use of abortion pills, and law enforcement there is already using the test to investigate pregnancy outcomes.
House Republicans are threatening to subpoena abortion records from the VA, claiming to believe that an abortion for mental health reasons couldn’t possibly be medically necessary.
From The19thNews: Public criticism about rape kit backlogs has spurred a push for more transparency. A look at how sexual assault survivors can now track their kits in most states.
From ProPublica: How Columbia Ignored Women, Undermined Prosecutors and Protected a Predator [--an OB/GYN--] For More Than 20 Years.
From Al-Monitor: “Iranian authorities have since the death of Mahsa Amini systematically persecuted the journalists, often young women, who helped expose the case and magnify its resonance in and outside Iran, campaign groups say.” Amini was killed while in custody for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code for women.
From The19thNews: How podcasts about R. Kelly ---convicted of nine counts of sexual trafficking and racketeering, following dozens of allegations made against him over a nearly 30-year period--- played a pivotal role in elevating Black survivors’ stories.
From AP: Sweeping study finds 1,000 cases of sexual abuse in Swiss Catholic Church since mid-20th century.
Disaster in Morocco:
From VitalVoices.org *Morocco Earthquake Response: Vital Voices Urges Prioritizing Support to Local Women-Led Organizations.
From MoroccoWorldNews: Appeal for providing menstrual products for earthquake-affected women and girls.
In The New Yorker: Betty Friedan and the Movement That Outgrew Her.
From The19thNews The Complexity of Teenage Girls and Social Media: Experts say the relationship between social media, self comparison, body image and self harm means that there’s no singular culprit in the youth mental health crisis.
In The Guardian: China: ‘It’s offensive’: backlash against China’s ‘good for marriage’ women’s trend: Style featuring pastel makeup and modest clothing has taken off, but many are objecting to the ethos behind it.