On 8th August, PZ Myers published an email from a woman he knows and trusts (but who had asked Myers not to name her) at his blog. The email said that a well-known figure in the American skeptics community had
“coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me”.
Several other named and unnamed sources, known and considered credible by PZ Myers, have confirmed the incident and have described what may be other similar incidents:
…he deliberately got her very drunk while flirting with her — a story that corroborates a particular pattern of sexual assault. All of these are people PZ knows, and whose reliability he is vouching for.
It’s been noted that there will be no legal repercussions for this man, though there may be social repercussions:
So the best we can hope for as far as repercussions are that because his name is so popular, the accusations against him will give his potential future victims pause against trusting him enough to drink with or spend time alone with him. This might hurt his feelings, but it will not ruin his career or his life.
Filed under Drinking, Women
The company that produces “Keep Calm And Hit Her” t-shirts that were available on Amazon til this morning claims they were computer-generated, are not actually for sale, and have now been removed.
The vendor who sells these has been on Ebay since 2003, runs an online shop, and has 100% positive feedback.
“You say I never lift a finger to help around the house. Well, here it is, baby.”
For sale here.
Filed under Justice, Women
People have been asking, how did Jimmy Savile get away with rape and sexual abuse, hundreds of victims, for so long?
This cartoon in the Daily Mail today shows how Savile did it.
His victims knew no one would believe them, they’d be laughed at and told they were liars.
How’s about that, then? They were right.
Click for larger image. The cartoon depicts two police officers outside the BBC, interviewing a homeless woman, with the clear implication that she is lying about having been raped by Jimmy Savile. “Mac on… The victims of Jimmy Savile filing compensation claims worth millions”.
(From the actual facts, which clearly didn’t worry “Mac” when he saw a chance to make a rape joke, there are so many victims, and so many institutions which were clearly negligent, that the total cost of all of the compensation claims will very likely be millions. It took the Daily Mail to leap from that to “So they’re lying in order to get the money”.)
Consistently, since her original “Dear Interpol” letter in the Huffington Post in December 2010, Naomi Wolf has been the most high-profile self-identified feminist to argue that Assange did not rape or sexually assault either of the two women. In February 2011 she wrote a much-cited essay Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange. She’s been outspoken in interviews and at parties – Naomi Wolf slams feminists’ response to the Assange rape prosecution (Thursday, 17th November 2011).
She’s been cited with relief from Cory Doctorow to Reuters:
Even well-known feminist Naomi Wolf criticized the international judicial hunt for Assange, writing that she personally knew “1.3 million guys” with similar complaints made against them by women.
But she had never faced an interview like Mumsnet, yesterday lunchtime (Thursday 6th September) Nor did she seem to be aware that Mumset had launched a campaign in March this year:
called We Believe You, and it has two simple aims. First, we want to shine a spotlight on the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in women’s lives; then, we want to pull apart the many myths surrounding rape, which make so many women feel that they will not be believed if they report this crime.
To all those women, we say: we believe you.
Mumsnet interviewed Naomi Wolf, and it didn’t go as Wolf wanted.
Not even in the questions being posted before Naomi Wolf arrived.
- Are we allowed to ask questions about J****n A*****e?
- Hi Naomi, How does a woman say ‘no’ if she’s asleep? thanks.
- Dear Naomi, Why do you speak so authoritatively on Swedish law when you can’t read Swedish and are not a lawyer? Do you have a response to these criticisms of your statements about the Assange matter? You got so many things factually and legally wrong. Thanks!
This post has trigger warnings.
It’s mostly about rape.
Because 6% of college-aged men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act—and that’s the conservative estimate. Other sources double that number (pdf).
A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?
They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.
Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. -Feminism 101: Helpful Hints for Dudes, Part 3
Last night on Newsnight Craig Murray decided it was his job to give the name of “Fröken A” – the first woman that Assange admits to having had non-consensual sex with (though Assange and Galloway and even Todd Akin are at one in agreeing that just because the sex wasn’t consensual this doesn’t make it you know actual rape).
Dear George Galloway:
So, the first point outlines pinning a woman down in order to force her into sexual activity. The second is tricking a woman into sexual activity to which she had not consented. The third is non-consensual–albeit non-penetrative–sexual activity. The fourth is having sex with a woman who is completely unable to consent. The fifth is exactly the same as the second.
You’ll notice, George, that the recurring theme throughout all of this is that the women were not consenting. There’s a word for sex without consent. Rape.
I find it rather concerning that you dismiss this as merely, as you put it, “bad sexual etiquette”. Bad sexual etiquette is not saying “thank you” before leaving. What Julian Assange is accused of is far more than that. It’s rape, George. It’s rape.
On 18th August 2010, Julian Assange applied for a residence permit to live and work in Sweden, hoping to create a base for Wikileaks there, because of the country’s laws protecting whistle-blowers. Swedish law prohibits extradition for political crimes: Swden have repeatedly said that the ECHR would intervene if Assange were to be extradited to face inhuman or degrading treatment, such as Assange claims to fear in the US.
If Julian Assange were genuinely afraid of being extradited to the US more than anything else, he would have stayed in Sweden. He fled because he did not want to be questioned by the Swedish police about the allegations of rape made against him by two women in August 2010. He has spent two years trying not to go back to a country where he wanted to live and where he would be safe from being extradited – but where he might well spend up to six years in jail for rape, if the Swedish authorities decide to charge him and if he is convicted.
Government sources in Quito, Ecuador, confirmed today the President, Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, intended to grant Julian Assange asylum in Ecuador. They also admitted that the offer of asylum was made to Assange several months ago – before he walked into the Ecuador embassy in Knightsbridge on 19th June, following “confidential negotiations” with senior staff at the embassy.
Yesterday, Saturday 7th July, Edinburgh held its second Slutwalk.
The Slutwalk, if you didn’t know, was inspired by comments a Canadian policeman made to a group of college students last year, advising them to stop dressing like sluts in order to avoid being assaulted. I don’t like the word “slut”, and I’m distinctly unhappy about people who tell me I should “reclaim” words I don’t like, so in May last year I was initially unsure whether I’d go to Slutwalk 2011.
Then I read this article in Ekklesia, by Jill Segger, and I changed my mind. She wrote:
Walk the streets in a police uniform and people will take you for a constable. Go on the town on a Saturday night dressed provocatively and someone will be provoked. Given that men respond far more readily to visual stimuli than do women, it is likely to be a woman dressed in this manner who will be subject to the kind of attention which may later prove to have been unwanted.
There is a middle way between dressing like a ‘slut’ and being enveloped in a burqua. Modesty is the guide to that choice. Most women want to ‘look nice’ and to attract the admiration of a possible partner and there is nothing to object to in that. But the very concept of ‘sluttishness’ is an indication of how far off beam this argument has gone.
Here are the exhibitionists of Slutwalk 2012, gathering in Parliament Square, just after half past one on a very rainy Saturday. Continue reading
This is heroism:
PFC Bradley Manning, a 24-year-old Army intelligence analyst, is accused of releasing the Collateral Murder video, that shows the killing of unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists, by a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. He is also accused of sharing the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and series of embarrassing US diplomatic cables. These documents were published by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, and they have illuminated such issues as the true number and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq, along with a number of human rights abuses by U.S.-funded contractors and foreign militaries, and the role that spying and bribes play in international diplomacy. Given the war crimes exposed, if PFC Bradley Manning was the source for these documents, he should be given a medal of honor.
This is rape culture:
Instead, the Matrix plays dirty and lets loose a sex bomb upon our intrepid Neo. When you can’t contest the message, you smear the messenger. Sweden is tailor-made for sending a young man into a honey trap. Sweden has particularly thorny anti-rape legislation, where a conviction might be secured from something as thin as an anonymous accuser’s allegation.
Arrested for being a public nuisance outside a takeaway shop, the 15-year-old blamed her behaviour – screaming and bashing the counter – on the systemic abuse she had suffered at the hands of two men inside. During six hours of videotaped testimony she went on to say how she’d been lured in by the men with gifts – drinks and a phone card or maybe something to eat – and made to feel “pretty” before eventually being asked to “pay for” the vodka with sex. She even handed over underwear spotted with the 59-year-old accused’s DNA.
Nine months later, in August 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge the two men as the girl would make an “unreliable witness” and the lawyer doubted any jury would believe her.
Three-quarters of the time, when sexual offences against children are reported to the police, the adult alleged to have committed the offence will not go to trial. According to NSPCC research, a third of children who are sexually abused “do not tell anyone at all about it, let alone report it to the police.”
The teenager who screamed and yelled and told the police this year saw her evidence – believed at last – form a central part of the case against the gang of nine men found guilty of raping and trafficking children.
As a white feminist, I feel like Fleet Street Fox and Julian Norman: this is about adult men raping and abusing girls, and race doesn’t enter into it.