Sunday Reads: Girl Gangs Rise Up! Now.

0d5214dc2778ac3cc50501ed6841c90eBecause this sexism shit has got to stop.

This story of sexism from Great Britain’s soccer elite is an example of how professional women are treated with an utter lack of respect.

We see it with Hillary. We see it with journalists who have the audacity to ask questions of presidential candidates.

Check this out:

Manager shows sexism is alive and well in soccer

To say that sexism exists in soccer is like saying that leaves grow on trees. The average female player’s salary in the United States is about $15,000 per year, while the average for men is $155,000. Considering that women’s sports generally have a smaller audience, that gap can make sense. But given the numbers from July 5, it’s harder to make that case. And unfortunately, the inequalities don’t stop at salaries.

d0bdbb65ed76e0ff1dfe2b268d9e2dd8Consider the unfolding dispute between José Mourinho, manager of the Chelsea club, one of the top teams in Britain’s Premier League, and Eva Carneiro, Chelsea’s first-team doctor and assistant medical director.

The dispute stems from an Aug. 8 match between Chelsea and Swansea. With two minutes to play, Swansea captain Ashley Williams crashed into Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s forward. The referee called a foul on Williams and immediately beckoned for the medical team – which included Carneiro and Jon Fearn, the first-team physiotherapist – to enter the pitch and treat Hazard. Unsurprisingly, Fearn dashed onto the field, Carneiro hot on his heels. What was surprising was the reaction of Mourinho, who leapt forward angrily, shouting obscenities and gesturing wildly at his medical staff.

It had been a difficult game. The score was locked 2-2, and there were only 10 players left on Chelsea’s side of the field, since the goalkeeper had been sent off. The moment Fearn and Carneiro stepped on the pitch, the rules dictated that Hazard would have to be taken off.

Mourinho later defended his outburst, stating that the medical team had acted incof3dca90a7aecf48b0195da986779446drrectly in entering the pitch and leaving the team with nine men. “Without a doubt, if you are involved in the game, you have to understand the game,” he said, calling his medical staff “impulsive and naïve.”

In fact, Carneiro has been a part of Chelsea’s first team for four years. Also, with 90 seconds left in the game, and Chelsea poised for a free kick that Hazard was unlikely to have a large role in, Mourinho’s anger was both misplaced and inappropriate. Nevertheless, Carneiro has since been banned from matches or training sessions, as well as entering the team’s hotel.
It turns out, however, that she does understand the game. The Premier League Doctors’ Group released a statement declaring that “a refusal to run onto the pitch would have breached the duty of care required of the medical team to their patient.” Carneiro was beckoned onto the field by the referee. Her response was appropriate, and her punishment does not correspond with the performance of her duties. So the question is, why was she punished?a7292556fc24dc524e8d4d23b0e1125f

Carneiro – one of three women on Chelsea’s 13-person medical and fitness staff – is a prime example of what happens when a woman gains a position of power usually reserved for men. Last year, on the sidelines during matches, she faced obscene chants from fans. It seems her gender controls her career. Type her name into YouTube, and the first clip is titled “Eva Carneiro Hot Chelsea Doctor.” It’s just a video of her doing her job.

Considering that Carneiro was only performing her duties in the match against Swansea, Mourinho’s overreaction – especially his claims that she is naïve and ill-informed when he himself didn’t know the rules – clearly demonstrates that some people in authority in the world of soccer are not prepared to treat women equally. It’s bad enough that so few women can attain positions in the sport, but this rash and unfounded demotion indicates that Mourinho does not consider her valuable, despite a positive injury record and years of service to the team.

e109e156f7ab2ccd0aede146eb4ed36eMourinho has never apologized for his actions, and even with the League doctors supporting Carneiro…no official action, fines or sanctions were taken against Mourinho.  Even though there is an actual rule against the sort of conduct Mourinho exhibited toward Carneiro.

BBC Sport – Jose Mourinho: Chelsea boss will not face action over criticism

Rule 7 of the Premier League’s Code of Conduct for managers states: “A manager shall not make public any unfair criticism of any match official or any other manager or any player, official or employee of his or another club.”

But the Premier League says it is a:

The Premier League said it considers the situation to be a “club matter”.

My god, it is like some kind of domestic dispute. WTF?

So what did the asshole say to Carneiro?

b1b6f4e7f2930015ec7cf898fb25a6b2Eva Carneiro row: Jose Mourinho’s tantrum shows sexism in football – Telegraph

Dr Carneiro was lambasted by Jose Mourinho for running on to the pitch to treat player Eden Hazard during stoppage time of the club’s 2-2 draw against Swansea City.

Never mind that she was doing what she gets paid for. Never mind that she wasseemingly summoned on to the pitch twice by the referee Michael Oliver and that physio Jon Fearn went on to the field alongside her.

Cue major Mourinho tantrum on the sidelines.

After the match on Saturday, the Chelsea manager explained:

“I wasn’t happy with my medical staff because even if you are a medical doctor or secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game.”

5058d95a566dddc0c117fd1f9fad7774“If you go to the pitch to assist a player, then you must be sure that a player has a serious problem. I was sure that Eden didn’t have a serious problem. He had a knock and was very tired.

“My medical department left me with eight fit outfield players in a counter attack after a set piece and we were worried we didn’t have enough players left.”



Take key note about the dig….regarding whether you are a medical doctor or a secretary…you have to understand the game.

And Carneiro, 41 who was born in Gibraltar, posted a message on Facebook:

“I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support. Really very much appreciated.”

Eva Carneiro Facebook  Photo: Facebook

How depressing, that one of the women at the forefront of football in this country feels she has to thank the public for encouraging her to simply do her job.

Women firefighters douse flames during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Women firefighters douse flames during the Pearl Harbor attack.

The sexism is strong with Mourinho….

Chelsea fans are upset, criticising Mourinho for ‘blaming anyone but himself’. While others are accusing
him of sexism, following an earlier incident this month where he ranted at the wife of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benítez, saying she should ‘occupy herself’ by ‘taking care of her husband’s diet’.

Now this is where that crack about understanding the game comes into play:

There are also those asking that we leave Carneiro’s gender out of the equation – but I’m afraid that’s impossible.

3cf22050b095bba4c051ca7014486efeBy saying that she doesn’t “understand the game”, Mourinho has made this all about her gender. The insidious narrative he’s perpetrating is that, as a woman, Carneiro couldn’t possibly grasp the complexities of football. It’s the old, sexist joke about women not getting the offside rule, on a massive scale.

Such comments, coming from a highly respected football manager, are dangerous. They give fans the impression that it’s OK to make Carneiro’s sex an issue. That maybe they were right to treat her differently. That she really in an outsider.

He has sanctioned their sexism, as the below tweets (just a sample of the comments Carneiro receives on social media) show. And one can’t help but speculate that Carneiro might agree.

Eva Carneiro row Jose Mourinho s tantrum shows sexism in football Telegraph

Seriously, I bet there are more disgusting tweets out there and you can be sure she gets horrible sexist shit yelled to her at the games as well. (Go to that link, middle of page, and see the sexist abuse Carneiro received from fans as she took to the field.)

fbbe9b45e2054d20b8d0fec2ed2912f9Last year, at an FA sports medicine conference in Sweden, the Chelsea doctor made a rare public speech:

“Women want to be leaders, we just put them off as we go along,” she told the audience.

“In every programme I’ve watched in my life, the female doctor is either hyper-sexualised or she’s not present. This needs to change. Women are discouraged at a young age.

“As a male you can aspire to having a successful professional life and a fulfilling personal life. Women are told that if they want to have both, at best it’s going to be difficult and at worse it’s going to be a disaster. Ninety percent of the mail I receive is from young women wanting to perform the same role. We need to tell them it’s possible and that their presence will improve results.”

Carneiro doesn’t need special treatment. She has, to my knowledge, never asked for it.

U.S. 1st Womens Liberation March, 5th Ave, New York City, 1971

U.S. 1st Womens Liberation March, 5th Ave, New York City, 1971

But nor does she need a boss who tells her how to do her job, when she’s already playing by the rules – those set by football’s overwhelmingly male governing bodies (that Mourinho admitted he knew Hazard wasn’t properly injured only highlights where the grey area really lies here).

For this talented doctor to be demoted, simply for performing her job as asked, shows the sexism that flows through the veins of the beautiful game.

And I, for one, am calling foul.

Oh, yeah…and what is more disgusting is the reports that Mourinho called the doctor a slut. Which, I have looked and have been unable to find the original transcript for btw:

d8135616dcd14c8000dfc1ac8c7f23e3Mourinho insulted Eva Carneiro by calling her a “slut” – (English version)

According to Sky Sports,José Mourinhoinsulted theChelseaclub doctor,Eva Carneiro, labelling her a “slut” during their row in thePremier League openerlast weekend.

Sky Sports have published a transcription of the exchange, which took place in Portuguese and includes two insults directed towards Carneiro by Mourinho. In addition to yelling “slut” in her direction, the Chelsea boss calls for the medic to stop offering Hazard treatment whilst waving his arms theatrically and shouting,“stop, for f*ck’s sake”.

Not only do these reports indicate a massive lack of respect on Mourinho’s part, but what must not be neglected is the fact that Carneiro had no option but to enter the field of play after having been waved on by the referee.

e8bb069b3bca091ab1cf67ad3605c79dIn the aftermath of this incident, Mourinho has been heavily criticised by the English footballing world and this saga could very well impact on his relationship with the club owner,Roman Abramovich.

Just for shits and giggles: Roman Abramovich – Forbes
Anyway, more on that here:

Eva Carneiro a ‘SLUT’: Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho RANT REVEALED | CaughtOffside

Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro responds to Jose Mourinho criticism with subtle message – Telegraph

1d27b34cb2b5e8fa316e337de4e76dd4Who is Eva Carneiro? All you need to know about Chelsea’s club doctor – Mirror Online

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho avoids punishment for Eva Carneiro comments

Eva Carneiro: Video emerges showing full extent of Jose Mourinho’s angry tirade against Chelsea doctor and physio Jon Fearn – Premier League – Football – The Independent

Other very interesting articles about this story, read them in full:

Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro: the key questions answered | Football | The Guardian

You need to shout for Eva Carneiro and every silenced sports woman – Telegraph

This next article talks about the ethics involved in the demotion and mistreatment of Carneiro. My question is, but….would the situation have turned out different if Carneiro was a man? I don’t know.

The case of Chelsea’s Eva Carneiro shows how hard it is to be a sport doctor – Telegraph

(Yes, there is another link dump ahead…but please take a look at these stories, they are important.)

12 Historical Women Who Gave No F*cks

“FEMINISM AT WORK,” Pays Tribute To Pioneers Who Moved Women’s History Forward

Periods make you good at bowling?

Seriously…take a look at that video.

b6a45863f30e28e5abce447d0ee1e7aaTatiana Maslany on Facing Sexism in Hollywood — Vulture

When we are all allowed to fail like white men: Here’s a practical model to solve Hollywood’s diversity problems –

Women in Film, Arclight launch new film series – Hollywood Reporter

Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show – Home News – UK – The Independent

Female Bikers Use Instagram to Connect and Inspire Each Other

88c50ae3684f2690994bf06d39a9f9edRemember that awful dude who video taped telling his wife she was pregnant, only to have a video a week later saying she suffered a miscarriage?

Sam Rader who told wife she was pregnant revealed as Ashley Madison user | Metro News

Addicting Info – Anti-Gay Evangelist Christian Vlogger Caught With Ashley Madison Account, Says God Forgives Him (VIDEO)

Abortion and the myth of ‘protecting’ women – LA Times

Here’s What An Unsafe Abortion Environment Does To Women’s Health

SD lawmakers will hand anti-abortion bill to high court

How False Narratives of Margaret Sanger Are Being Used to Shame Black Women

The Definition of ‘Fuckboy’ Is Not What Bad Trend Pieces Are Telling You

What Beauty Means To Black Women In Different Countries


Mystery of Mona Lisa’s smile ‘solved’ as experts say Da Vinci used the same illusion years before – News – Art – The Independent

aa265b6d9af31dd1fef4436ae35134a1Now this next link is for the story, but check out the sexism in the comments:

The Princes in the Tower: Will the ultimate cold case finally be solved after more than 500 years? – Home News – UK – The Independent

School Board Member to Female Colleague: ‘The Only Thing You Know is Laying on Your Back’

What Do You Do When Your Lady Friends Say Sexist Things?

Dispatches: Saudi Women Registering to Vote is a Start | Human Rights Watch

Ranger School Grads Join Long History of Warrior Women

FOX News Co-Host Explains Why Women Shouldn’t Be in Combat | Styleite




Hillary Battles the GOP Hate Machine | | Observer

416180b19c284f7c679b52b7a3f99be1Undercover Anti-Abortion Video Showed Images of Stillborn  — Not Aborted — Fetus

Simplest Ever Explanation of Hillary’s Emails – In a Tweetstorm — #HillaryMen

Clinton Campaign Alerted To Undercover Conservative Sting | Crooks and Liars

Judge in StemExpress case refuses to renew injunction against release of videos, citing First Amendment – The Washington Post

Did James O’Keefe Send His Goons To Smear The Hillary Clinton Campaign? | News Corpse

Girl Reporters Should Shut Up and Not Ask Important Men “Hard Kwestionz” | hecatedemeter

This next link is a pay per view, but if you subscribe it looks good: Kadner: ‘Horrific’ toll of unsolved Robbins rape cases – Daily Southtown

Female Employee Told to Lose 20 Pounds Because She’s a “Distraction to Males” | Styleite

703763ba94a24b653e1f6fe7a04ce974I’m Tired of Being Kind to Creepy Men in Order to Stay Safe | Alternet

Read this next link with the story about being nice to asshole men in mind.

Dear Men, Women Don’t Owe You An Explanation For Rejection

Man gives attention to a woman. Woman expresses her lack of desire for said attention. Man immediately turns hostile.

Unfortunately, it’s a dynamic as old as time — or at the very least, as old as Internet chat rooms. And anyone looking at BuzzFeed staff writer Grace Spelman’s Twitter feed on Monday saw said dynamic play out as Spelman tweeted her unsolicited, increasingly hostilecorrespondence with former “MuggleCast” host Ben Schoen.

Schoen initially tweeted at Spelman on August 5 after finding her Twitter feed funny. She “favorited” at least one of his tweets, but didn’t respond. He then sent her a lengthy Facebook message (see below), calling her a “special soul,” to which she responded kindly, but informed him that she had a boyfriend. She then blocked him on both Twitter and Facebook.


©Nini Poppins “Not virgins, not whores, just women”Yeah, take a look at that post, and see why it makes sense…a victim is trying to be nice to the attacker so that the violence does not get even more out of control…there are so many abused women who fit that mode. That assholes don’t see this, and will use it against the woman…saying her behavior asked for it. Bullshit!

Anyway, this is a shitload of links I know, hope you take your time and read them.

What is going on in your part of the world today?




Thursday Reads: Elite Boarding School Rape Culture

St. Paul's School in Concord, NH

St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH

Good Morning!!

I’ve been following the rape trial that is going on right now in New Hampshire. The testimony of the alleged victim of a rape at St. Paul’s School suggests that this exclusive private boarding school has an educational environment suffused with sexism, misogyny, and rape culture. We’ve all heard about the many colleges and universities where rape has been ignored and minimized. Is rape culture also widespread in secondary schools around the country? Probably, but at St. Paul’s the acceptance of sexual assault is apparently quite explicit.

I’m not sure how to frame this, so I’m going to begin with some early stories about the trial and go from there.

Associated Press: Rape case points to sordid tradition at elite prep school.

Aerial view of St. Paul's School

Aerial view of St. Paul’s School

St. Paul’s School boasts a glittering roster of alumni that includes senators, congressmen, a Nobel laureate and the current secretary of state. The elite prep school also allegedly has a sordid tradition of sexual conquest where graduating boys try to take the virginity of younger girls before getting their diplomas.

Details of a practice authorities say was called the “Senior Salute” were spelled out in stark terms by a former prefect at the New Hampshire school who is charged with raping a 15-year-old girl on the roof of a campus building in May 2014.

Owen Labrie, now 19, has pleaded not guilty to several felonies. When his trial begins Monday, prosecutors are expected to call current and former students to testify about the sexual culture at one of the country’s most selective boarding schools.

Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, talked openly about the tradition when he was interviewed by Concord police. On a campus where upperclassmen studiously avoid their younger peers in most settings, Labrie told a detective some students “take great pride” in having sex with older students before they leave school.

Labrie also told the detective of a contest where boys compete to “score” with the most girls, keeping a running tally written in indelible marker on a wall behind washing machines. The school kept painting over the scoreboard so it eventually was moved online. He acknowledged to the detective he was “trying to be number one,” the detective wrote.

The New Chapel at St. Paul's School

The New Chapel at St. Paul’s School

The school administrators were well aware of this “tradition” and, according to one counselor, were “trying to educate students against ‘sexual scoring.'”

Excuse me? That sounds pretty weak. What happened to actually banning a practice and explicitly policing the behavior at time time it “traditionally” takes place?

Labrie was an outstanding student who had been accepted to Harvard until the rape accusations surfaced. Harvard now says he’s no longer listed as a student.

Labrie’s defense attorney is well-known and expensive Boston lawyer J.W. Carney, who also defended notorious gangster Whitey Bulger.

Some background on St. Paul’s School:

Founded in 1856, St. Paul’s is an Episcopal school nestled on 2,000 pastoral acres on the outskirts of downtown Concord, New Hampshire’s capital. It enrolls about 530 students and admitted girls for the first time in 1971. Tuition, room and board currently clocks in at $53,810.

The school belongs to the Eight Schools Association, a sort of Ivy League for prep schools that includes Choate Rosemary Hall and Hotchkiss in Connecticut, Phillips Academy Andover, Deerfield Academy and Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

Secretary of State John Kerry graduated from St. Paul’s in 1962, alongside former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau is an alum as are 13 U.S. ambassadors, three Pulitzer Prize winners, two World Series of Poker winners, actor Judd Nelson and sons of the Astor and Kennedy families, according to the school’s website.

The school also has a robust international presence: 17 percent of the 2014-15 class came from 25 countries and notable alums include Bernard Makihara, the former CEO of the Mitsubishi  Corporation, and Edmund Maurice Burke Roche, a conservative member of the British Parliament and the maternal grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Owen Labrie's mugshot

Owen Labrie’s mugshot

Labrie told police that he didn’t have sex with the alleged victim. Instead, he claims “in a moment of restraint” and “divine inspiration” he decided not to have intercourse with the 15-year-old girl even though she was “eager” to do so. He also explained that the girl lied because “it’s a “great source of pride for younger students” to have sex with seniors.

WTF?! Then why would she go through the nightmare of a trial in she knows she’ll be humiliated and shamed?

The Boston Globe: Prosecutor: St. Paul’s rape suspect talked about ‘slaying’ girls as part of hookup contest.

Prosecutors say Labrie arranged for a tryst with the girl at St. Paul’s School in a secluded machine room in a school building, prosecutors say he took it further than she wanted it to go.

took the stand late Tuesday afternoon, answering questions about her upbringing and how she ended up at St. Paul’s, where she enrolled as a freshman in 2013.

Today, the girl is testifying about what led to that night in the machine room. She initially rebuffed his message, thinking it was a form letter he sent to lots of girls.

Owen Labrie had been making a list of girls to hook up with months before a 15-year-old accused him of sexually assaulting her at their elite New England prep school, but her name was the only one written in capital letters, a prosecutor said Tuesday….

There was a game above it all: a storied hookup contest among the school’s upperclassmen called the “Senior Salute.” Labrie and his friends talked about “slaying” girls, with April and May referred to as SLAYpril and SLAY, Deputy Merrimack County Attorney Catherine J. Ruffle said.

“This case is about Owen Labrie sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl,” Ruffle said in her opening statement. “It’s about how he thought about this for months.

Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle delivers her opening arguments against Owen Labrie to the jury in the Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H.(AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)

Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle delivers her opening arguments against Owen Labrie to the jury in the Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H.(AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)

The girl testified on Tuesday and Wednesday and she was reportedly very emotional, describing her confusion, fear, and lack of control over what happened; but she also described how she felt responsible for what happened and, tried to soothe Labrie’s feelings. She didn’t want to cause an uproar, because her older sister was graduating from the school two days later and she (the victim) didn’t want to make it all about her.

NBC News: St. Paul’s School Rape Trial: Accuser Tells Court ‘I Felt Like I Couldn’t Say No.’

A 16-year-old girl who says she was raped at a prestigious New Hampshire prep school returned to the witness stand on Wednesday, recounting a secret date with an older boy that turned suddenly aggressive.

The girl described her confusion as he groped her in secluded room of a campus building at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire in May 2014. “I felt like I was frozen,” she said through tears as she described the accused, Owen Labrie, kissing and biting her and trying to pull down her underwear.

As the groping continued, she said, “I felt like I had no control. I felt like I couldn’t say no.”

A little later, the girl said, she did say no. But as the alleged attack continued, she said she tried to zone out, looking at the ceiling and trying to ignore the pain. That continued through what she described as unwanted sexual intercourse, she said.

“I didn’t want to believe that this was happening to me,” the girl said under questioning from Deputy Merrimack County Attorney Catherine Ruffle.

Recent St. Paul's School graduate Owen Labrie, right, stands with one of his lawyers, J.W. Carney, as jurors view the school grounds, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)

Recent St. Paul’s School graduate Owen Labrie, right, stands with one of his lawyers, J.W. Carney, as jurors view the school grounds, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)

More from the Manchester Union Leader: 

The girl, who was 15 at the time, said Labrie, then 18, sent her what she considered to be a “senior salute,” an invitation from a senior to a girl in the lower classes for a meeting that could result in as little as a kiss or as much as sexual intercourse….

The young girl Labrie was pursuing said she knew of the tradition because her older sister was also a senior at St. Paul’s in 2014.

So her first reaction was to refuse, but Labrie sent an envoy, a friend of the girl, to plead his case and she succumbed to the flattery and agreed to meet him.

Part of the reason for agreeing was his claim to have keys to one of the buildings whose roof was off limits to students. She liked the idea of being able to see a view not available to most students.

She said she expected there would be kissing involved “but that’s all.”

But she was wrong.

She said he took her to the building rooftop, but then back inside the unlighted mechanical room.  There he started by kissing her, then, despite her efforts to stop him, he removed her bra and pants and sexually assaulted her.

She said at one point he laughed and said: “You are such a tease.”

When it was over, she said, “I couldn’t believe what had just happened to me.”

The girl said when Labrie was finished with her he left her  get dressed and go back to her dorm, where she met up with her girlfriends and told them what happened.

Deputy Merrimack County Attorney Catherine Ruffle had the girl read copies of email and Facebook messages between Labrie and herself, messages that were projected on a large screen for jurors.

The girl explained that her friends dictated the messages she sent to Labrie about him using protection.

St. Paul's School

St. Paul’s School

The text messages the girl sent to Labrie are the center of the defense case that she “was a “willing participant” in the sex. I’ll get to that in a minute. First a few more details on the assault from MSNBC:

“I felt like I was frozen,” the accuser said.

“I felt so scared,” she added. “I had no idea what was going on. I had never been put in a situation like that.”

Her second day on the witness stand, the girl continued recounting the events that led to the alleged assault….

The girl said that she and Labrie stood briefly on the roof, and that later, inside an industrial area. She said that the two began kissing and removed some clothing when Labrie became too aggressive, biting her chest and forcing himself on her.

The girl grew emotional as she recounted the intimate details of the encounter, responding to questions from the prosecutor as her family looked on from reserved seating, and telling the court that she didn’t kick or scream as the encounter went on.

“In that moment, I wasn’t strong enough,” the girl said.

She later told the court she said ‘no’ three times. “I don’t know how I could have made it more clear,” she said.

Owen Labrie's defense attorney Jaw W. Carney, left, gives his opening arguments as prosecutor Catherine Ruffle, lower right and Judge Larry Smukler listen Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman at St. Paul's School on May 30, 2014, as part of a tradition known as the "Senior Salute" days before he graduated. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Owen Labrie’s defense attorney Jaw W. Carney, left, gives his opening arguments Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

The cross examination began yesterday and continues today. As I said above, the biggest problem for the prosecution is that this young girl was very focused on not making a scene or being “bitchy.” She was seemingly very concerned about upsetting Labrie or generally calling attention to herself. From the MNSNBC article cited above:

Still, the girl was pressed by prosecutor Catherine Ruffle, the Deputy Merrimack County Attorney, about an email exchange she had with Labrie after the incident, in which Labrie described her as “an angel.”

Reading from copies of the messages displayed on a courtroom projector, the girl told the court that she replied: “You’re quite an angel yourself, but would you mind keeping the events of this evening to yourself for now?”

Asked why she had called Labrie an angel, the girl said she was trying not to upset him.

“It was almost like I was sticking to the script that he was offering,” she said of his email. “I thought it would be rude otherwise to ignore it, or it would cause him to approach me again if I ignored it. I was afraid of him coming after me again.”

In subsequent messages over Facebook, the girl told the court, she asked Labrie if he wore a condom and he assured her he had, and inquired if she was taking birth control medication.

Owen Labrie in court

Owen Labrie in court

Just one last article, from The Boston Globe: Why was the prep school girl so nice to the man she says raped her?

To the defense attorneys of Owen Labrie, the now-19-year-old man accused of raping the girl last year on the campus of their prestigious New England prep school, the message and others like it are obvious evidence that she was not raped, that she was a willing participant in what happened in that dark room. Why else would she chat and giggle and seemingly flirt in some cases if what happened was rape and not a consensual encounter between two teens?

The explanation of the girl, now 16 and on the witness stand in a Concord, New Hampshire courtroom: She didn’t want to offend him. She was trying to be polite. She didn’t want to be “bitchy,” or a “withering little girl.”

And so her chats replying to him in cutesy French phrases, lamenting the loss of her favorite earring, calling him a good guy, paint a blurry picture of how she really felt after what she now calls a rape.

Personally, I can relate to what this girl says. She was only 15 and says she was a virgin.

Part of the reason why she agreed to Labrie’s emailed invitation for a “Senior Salute” on May 30, 2014 in the first place was out of fear she was too rude when she initially rebuffed him.

“I felt bad I’d sent such an attacking response back,” said the girl, who is not naming. “I thought that I was rude and that I was wrong and I had been wrong about everything.”

The girl knew the reason Labrie sent her a flowery email asking to spend time with her. Senior Salute was well known on campus as an attempt to hook up with as many people as possible before graduation. Prosecutors said Labrie and his friends made it a game, competing to see how many girls they could “slay” before they left school.

During the assault itself, she said, she was still thinking about him and his feelings. Right after telling him that no, she didn’t want his face between her legs, and pulling his face away, she laughed.

“I wanted to be easygoing,” she said. “I wanted to not cause a conflict. I didn’t want to come off as bitchy or … I didn’t want to cause any trouble.”

Wincing, walking back to her dorm, she told no one. She wouldn’t even tell her best friend, whom she sat with immediately after the encounter, what really happened. She didn’t want to burden her with her issues.

As she saw her sister graduate, and took her exams, she kept quiet. Her family wasn’t on campus to worry about her and her problems, they were there to celebrate her sister.

Read the rest at the link, if you can. I’ve already quoted too much.

So . . . What do you think? As always, this is an open thread.

Wednesday Reads : Open any door, and what do you see….

5d0108befc79fdb58170b961a1efef48Some eff’d up shit, and let me tell you….it will make you want to slam that door shut and head for hills in search of some sort of fairytale land where things are actually….decent and fair and reasonable.

Because as it is now, we are living in a unbelievably horrible fantasy world, where the wicked witch will cook and eat children…..uh, as long as those kids aren’t fetuses, then in that case it is the pregnant woman who finds herself on the menu.

Today’s stories are here in a link dump. So let’s open some doors and see what shit storms we find.

First up, this….Ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle to plead guilty to sex acts with minors, child porn – Chicago Tribune

ngtime Subway pitchman Jared Fogle agreed Wednesday to plead guilty to allegations that he paid for sex acts with minors and received child pornography in a case that destroyed his career at the sandwich-shop chain and could send him to prison for more than a decade.

Prosecutors allege that Fogle knew the pornography had been secretly produced by the former director of his charitable foundation, which sought to raise awareness about childhood obesity and arranged for Fogle to visit schools and urge children to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits.

28bfb78867de8c0cc0023d28aefb99c4Fogle sat in court with his hands clasped and quietly answered “no” when the judge asked whether he had any questions about his rights. He is expected to enter the formal plea at a later date to one count each of travelling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography.

The agreement released by prosecutors said Fogle agrees to pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 minor victims, who will each receive $100,000. He will also be required to register as a sex offender and undergo treatment for sexual disorders.

The government agreed not to seek a sentence of more than 12 ½ years in prison, and Fogle agreed not to ask for less than five years, according to court documents.

More here: Subway pitchman Jared Fogle pleads guilty to child porn charges & paying for sex with minors –

9fbc8114046b01ca924909afda5e6dcbFor something utterly disgusting: Addicting Info – SICK: Jim Bob And Michelle Duggar Want To Personally Counsel Sex Abuse Victims In New Reality Show

They’ve begged for money from fans and whined about their parental responsibilities. Now the Duggar parents want to put sex abuse victims on reality television and give them counseling that they are unqualified to give.

In a sickening new twist on the Duggar child molestation scandal, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are pitching a new reality show to TLC in which the irresponsible parents would counsel victims of sexual abuse. The report comes as TLC prepares to air a commercial-free documentary called Breaking The Silence that will feature Jill and Jessa Duggar along with other victims of sexual abuse in an effort to bring the issue into the public eye more than it already is.

But rather than just participate in the documentary and go away, the Duggars apparently want to profit off the suffering of others by spinning the documentary off into a brand new series featuring Jim Bob and Michelle as sex abuse counselors.

625a78b41263d6734374c941b7799138Yes, you read that right. According to a Duggar family friend interviewed by Star Magazine, the Duggars are so desperate for money to care for their ridiculously large family that they want to stay on television in any way they can.

“The family can’t afford to not have the show — it is their main source of income, and with a family of that size, without it they’re in enormous trouble,” the source said.

In other TV news: Even ‘Sesame Street’ Is Gentrified Now: TV Show Drops Its Radical Notion That the Urban Working Class Are People Too | Alternet

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s time to admit that like every other trendy NYC neighborhood that gets spotlighted on a TV show, “Sesame Street” has succumbed to gentrification.601f717d9f50ab8ee411910ac6dafa71

I admit I haven’t been a regular viewer of the program since I hit puberty, having long ago familiarized myself adequately with the alphabet and basic shapes and colors for the sake of my career goals.

But I don’t know what else you can call it when the show will be delivering its new season as an exclusive for HBO, a premium cable channel that makes it notoriously difficult to view its exclusive “prestige” content without a pricey subscription.

c7a763e34de3df54bff8472f69691d4fApparently some annoying right-wing prudes at the Parents Television Council provided an easy strawman for HBO apologists by saying the problem with this move is that there’s lots of “offensive” content on HBO–“Game of Thrones,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Girls” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” They say that “Sesame Street” has damaged its wholesome brand by associating itself with these programs.

Well, I have no problem with graphic violence and sex and profane bons mots from John Oliver’s filthy, clever little mouth.

I do have a problem with the fact that the fans of “Game of Thrones” and Lena Dunham and John Oliver–affluent hipsters and yuppies like me–are the people whose children are in the least need of “Sesame Street.”

Tom Scocca at Gawker has already pointed out that this move is a betrayal of “Sesame Street”’s mission to provide open access educational materials for all kids, one that takes the viral support of PBS and “Sesame Street” as a democraticizing cultural force from the 2012 election and throwing it back in those supporters’ faces.

de368069a23bfacd3275cd1a1b00395dBut he doesn’t go into detail about just how big of a shift in priorities for “Sesame Street” this is, and how long it’s been coming.

A few more from Alternet:

Witness Saw Cops Stand Over Zachary Hammond’s Dead Body And ‘High Five’ His Limp Hand: Attorney | Alternet

In a letter sent to the U.S. Attorney General and the FBI Director asking for a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting death of Zachary Hammond, the attorney for the slain teen’s family claims he has a witness who saw Seneca Police Department officers celebrate the shooting by “high-fiving” the teen’s lifeless body.

920d114a3d2279c0f712330feea7f9daAccording to Fox Carolina, the letter details other accusations against officers involved in the shooting including a witness saying an officer pulled the teen’s body from his car and then placed something beneath it.


According to the letter sent by Taylor family attorney Eric Bland, a witness states “… the officer who opened Zachary’s door and pulled his dead body from the vehicle then went ‘to the trunk of his police car and pulled (SIC) something out. The officer walked back over to the man on the ground rolled him over to his side, put something underneath his body, and then rolled him back.’”

The letter goes on to state, “…a police officer with a neighboring police force has confirmed to SLED that the Seneca Police Department celebrated the killing of Zachary by desecrating his corpse. After Zachary had been shot and killed, member(s) of the Seneca Police Department lifted his dead hand and ‘high fived’ Zachary Hammond.”

8f5090807cbf60445477844cd5f18a2eThe case is currently under consideration for a federal civil rights probe, with the State Law Enforcement Division agents denying a formal request to turn over body cam footage of the incident to the media prior to finishing their investigation.

School Officials Used Young Girl as ‘Bait’ in Rape Sting, She Was Raped and They Covered It Up | Alternet

In 2010, a 14-year-old Huntsville girl was approached by school officials who wanted to use her as bait in a “sting operation.” The plan was to use the young girl to catch a boy in the act who’d been accused of sexually harassing students. However, their asinine plan backfired, and this innocent young girl was anally raped by the older student.

0a9c8c1cb51da23bc37f825a40fafa6fThe plan was for the girl not to do anything and teachers would burst in and catch the boy with a girl in the bathroom, but the boy changed bathroom locations. The girl, known in court records as BHJ, was not found by the incompetent school officials until after the student raped her.

After their plan had failed, school officials attempted to sweep the incident under the rug. The boy never went to jail. Instead, he was placed in an alternative school, and his records shredded.

Despite medical records indicating that BHJ had anal tearing, indicating that she was, in fact, raped, the incident was entered into school records as “inappropriate touching.”

Florida Principal Tries to Quietly Ban Book to Appease Christians, Sets off Sh*tstorm Instead | Alternet

7a412f378fdb407e8f4e4f05fb735f70“This case is very startling. A handful of parents are making choices for every other parent in that school,” said Sarah Hoffman of the NCAC to the Democrat. “There is a reason policies are in place — to protect educators and the decisions they make.”

“This seems like a knee-jerk decision,” she continued.

But Sue Gee, one of the parents who complained about the book, feels that Curious Case is an affront to her faith and that its casual use of swear words would be harmful to students.

“I am not interested in having books banned,” said Gee, a former primary school teacher. “But to have that language and to take the name of Christ in vain — I don’t go for that. As a Christian, and as a female, I was offended. Kids don’t have to be reading that type of thing and that’s why I was asking for an alternative assignment.”

e6035652e42ca53769035869ec13ca0f“I know it’s not realistic to pretend bad words don’t exist, but it is my responsibility as a parent to make sure that my daughter knows what is right or wrong,” she said.

But parents like Valerie Mindlin said they don’t want religious parents or any other kinds of ideologues dictating to teachers what they can and can’t teach.

“I was stunned,” said Mindlin. “I feel like it is second-guessing teachers. I never thought that the school would participate in an act of censorship. “At what point do you let parents decide the curriculum for an entire school?”

Addicting Info – School Sends Girl Home Because ‘Revealing’ Outfit ‘Distracted’ Boys With Collarbones (VIDEO/SCREENSHOTS)

a00871922c12d456d64f6d9f61390aeeYet another school has decided to make the assumption that males are completely unable to control their libidos even long enough to pay attention in class for about an hour at a time without their ravenous masculine urges taking over. While Christians screaming about Sharia Law invading the United States seem to be ignoring this instance of something reminiscent of  ACTUAL “creeping Sharia,” The Internet is up in arms over a photograph of a Kentucky high school girl wearing a slutty, revealing outfit that will surely guarantee her the hottest coals in Satan’s pit of nightmares.

According to Woodford County High in Versailles, there’s something very wrong with this outfit. Do you see it?


This next link is just absurd: This Bible Museum Features Rejected Celebrity Wax Figures | Mental Floss

Keen-eyed tourists paying a visit to the BibleWalk Museum in Mansfield, Ohio may spot some familiar faces. That’s because tucked into scenes of Old Testament miracles and the life of Christ are surprise appearances from celebrities like Steve McQueen and Ringo Starr.

The founder of BibleWalk, Pastor Richard Diamond, began pursuing his dream of opening a biblical wax museum in the early 1980s. In order to keep costs low, he searched for used figures from different sources, one of which was the Madame Tussaud’s Museum in Arkansas, so many of BibleWalk’s 300 figures are celebrity wax figure museum rejects.

ecaf82a1a0727be1b48830edc5182e42Little girl asks Hillary Clinton: When you’re president, will you get paid as much as a man?

a campaign stop in Nevada on Tuesday, a little girl asked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a question about equal pay and the race to the White House.

As the candidate extended the microphone to her, the girl asked, “Do you think that when you’re president you’ll get paid as much as if you were a man?”

The crowd laughed and applauded before Clinton replied, “This is one of the jobs where they have to pay you the same. But there are so many examples where that doesn’t happen.”

She went on to pledge that “As president, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that not just the president gets paid the same — whether it’s a woman or a man — but every woman in every job gets paid the same as the men who are doing that job.”

8fe14b693440cbb2b411e32dfe9cb126Children as property: The common root of religious child abuse and the pro-life movement

Why do the same people who fight against abortion argue that parents should have the right to hit their children and deny them medical care or education, as some conservative Republicans have done recently? How can someone oppose family planning because a pill or IUD might have the rare and unintended consequence of interfering with implantation, and then endorse beating a child, which might have the rare and unintended consequence of battering her to death?

These two positions fit together seamlessly only when we understand the Iron Age view of the child woven through the Bible and how that view has shaped the priorities and behavior of those who treat the Bible like the literally perfect Word of God.

e5de444420e0095f62ea490dfd27b98dOpening the door on Ashley Madison:

Ashley Madison hack: Sex cheat data dumped online as ‘dark web’ exposes millions of husbands’ and wives’ details – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent

Hackers Finally Post Stolen Ashley Madison Data | WIRED

This is sad news: Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief and hangs him from ruins he spent a lifetime restoring – Middle East – World – The Independent

And Watch how easy it is for a rat to climb through drain pipes and up into any toilet bowl – News – The Independent

Rats are incredibly flexible animals that are also excellent swimmers, thus making them the perfect creatures to sneak into residential sewers and climb their way up into your toilet bowl. Even if you flush, they will survive.

This video from National Geographic shows the disturbing dexterity of this most loathed of rodents.

2996aaa099b42e90e351707d2fe1bddfRats find it easy to make their way into sewers, crawling through grates and manholes from the street to begin their path to your bathroom. Their sharp claws mean they can scale any vertical surface. But what about the maze of bending pipes that make their way to the toilet bowl?

Video at the link.

No surprise here: Americans Back Federal Funds To Planned Parenthood For Health Services, Poll Shows

So, check this out: ‘Everybody’ Arrested In Ferguson Last August Is Being Charged, Lawyers Say

St. Louis County authorities have decided they’re not done with protesters quite yet. Lawyers representing the interests of those arrested in Ferguson last August say St. Louis County authorities have sent out “hundreds” of summonses to individuals swept up by police a year ago. Because the state prosecuting attorney refused to take many of the cases and the city of Ferguson has not pursued charges in others, the ordinance violation charges have come from the St. Louis County Counselor — the very same entity that defends the St. Louis County Police Department’s actions in civil rights lawsuits.

amazing-old-vintage-doors-photography-5“What we’re hearing is that they’re just charging everybody who didn’t get charged,” Brendan Roediger, a law professor at St. Louis University. “We definitely have cases where the supplemental police report indicates that the state already refused the case. What’s the message there? If the case is too weak for the state, it should be too weak for anybody.”

Meanwhile in Georgia: WALB : Mother critical after shot in the head by child

What about That Time Karl Rove Deleted 22 MILLION White House E-Mails And The Media Said Nothing |

That is an old link, from a post back in March, but I put it here to illustrate a point.

And finally, this clip from John Oliver,

So shut the door and post some links that you are reading about today.

Tuesday Reads


Good Morning!!

I’m getting a slow start again today. We’re having another heat wave here, and its throwing my circadian rhythms off. It’s hard to get to sleep at night because it’s so hot, and then I wake up at around 5AM when it has cooled down some, then fall back into a deep sleep and wake up a few hours later feeling drugged. I’m just drinking my iced coffee now and trying to get myself going. The good news is that at this time of year it does cool down quite a bit at night.

Hillary Clinton is in the news this morning, and as usual, even when she does something positive like requesting the release of all of her State Department emails or hold a meeting with activists and then release the video, the media reports it in a negative light. Here’s the video:

Part 1

Part 2

I hope Hillary supporters will watch the videos and not just read the media reports; because she gives intelligent, sensible answers. I linked to a blog post by Oliver Willis a few days ago in which he suggests that the activists are focusing on getting Hillary to say she’s sorry for things her husband did in the 1990s instead of pushing for real changes in policies. He was right.

The Hill reports: Clinton tells Black Lives Matter activists: ‘You’re not going to change every heart.’

“All I’m saying is, your analysis is totally fair, it’s historically fair, it’s psychologically fair, it’s economically fair. But you’re going to have to come together as a movement and say, ‘Here’s what we want done about it,’ ” Clinton says to a few members of the movement in the video posted by GOOD Magazine.

“Because you can get lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee Stadium and a million more like it,” Clinton adds later. “Even for us sinners, find some common ground on agendas that can make a difference right here and now in people’s lives.”

Clinton met with the group of Boston-area Black Lives Matter activists last week after they were shut out of an event in the early voting state of New Hampshire that they planned to protest. A spokesman said they watched from an overflow room and met with Clinton afterward.

“I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate,” Clinton continues later in the exchange.

Activists who spoke with Clinton appeared on MSNBC last night to criticize her for “ducking responsibility” for policies of Bill Clinton’s administration that led to mass incarceration of black people.

Why is it that no one seems to understand that Bill and Hillary Clinton are two separate people with separate views of the world? Do they really believe that the wife of a president makes the laws of the land?

Still, Hillary did respond to the accusations. CNN:

Daunasia Yancey

The activists, led by Daunasia Yancey, founder of Black Lives Matter in Boston, pressed Clinton on her family’s role in promoting “white supremacist violence against communities of color.”

Clinton acknowledged during the conversation that laws put into place by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, did not work out as planned.

“I do think that there was a different set of concerns back in the ’80s and the early ’90s. And now I believe that we have to look at the world as it is today and try and figure out what will work now,” she said. “And that’s what I’m trying to figure out and that’s what I intend to do as president.”

But Clinton also told the protestors that she was “not sure” she agreed with the activists that her husband’s policies were racist.

“I do think that a lot of what was tried and how it was implemented has not produced the kinds of outcomes that any of us would want,” she said. “But I also believe that there are systemic issues of race and justice that go deeper than any particular law.”

But for some reason all the activists wanted was for Hillary to show contrition in some way. Was she supposed to break down sobbing? I’m not sure what they wanted. Read more about it at CNN.

New York Magazine has more:

Julius Jones is the man on the right.

Julius Jones is the man on the right.

The first video starts with [Julius] Jones spending three minutes going over America’s history of violence toward black people, ending with Clinton’s role in perpetuating mass incarceration. He concluded with a thoughtful question on what that means to Clinton personally — “Now, they may have been unintended consequences, but now that you understand the consequences, what in your heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of the country?” he asked — and a Clinton aide interrupted before she could answer.

Specifically, what was Hillary’s role in this? Do they believe she was actually running the country with Bill as just a figurehead? Continuing,

Clinton started off with a standard politician answer, recapping her lifelong advocacy for minority children, then offered some insight into how she wants to frame the issue on the campaign trail. “Once you say that this country has still not recovered from its original sin, which is true, the next question by people who are on the sidelines, which is the vast majority of Americans, is ‘So, what do you want me to do about it?'” she said. “I’m trying to put together in a way that I can explain it and I can sell it, because in politics if you can’t explain it and you can’t sell it, it stays on the shelf.” ….

Jones objected to Clinton suggesting that Black Lives Matter needs to have clearer policy goals to get the rest of the country onboard. “I say this as respectfully as I can: If you don’t tell black people what we need to do, then we won’t tell you all what you need to do,” Jones said, adding that “this is and has always been a white problem of violence” and there isn’t much black people can do to stop it.

Really? So candidates and activists should not communicate about changes in legislation and policy? As Oliver Willis noted, the activists don’t seem focused on policies for the future. I really hope this analysis is wrong, but it does sound like this movement may go the way of Occupy Wall Street if they don’t start telling candidates what policies they would support.

Hillary and Julius Jones

Hillary and Julius Jones

I know you’ve probably seen the headlines suggesting that Hillary is no longer the most likely candidate to get the Democratic nomination, so I won’t bother posting them. Here’s a response from Nate Silver, based on actual data: Hillary Clinton’s Inevitable Problems.

Clinton’s favorability rating has, in fact, fallen quite a lot, to an average of about 42 percent favorable and 48 percent unfavorable in recent polls.

Numbers like those, when combined with the “emailgate” scandal and Sen. Bernie Sanders’s position in the polls (he’s now running very close to Clinton in New Hampshire, although not in Iowa or nationally), have a lot of commentators saying Clinton’s campaign has had an unexpectedly rough start. “Hillary is probable, but no longer inevitable,” wrote David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times, assessing her chances to win the nomination.

Horsey is right to deal in probabilities rather than certainties. Personally, I give Clinton about an 85 percent chance of becoming the Democratic nominee. (The general election is a whole different story.) That’s a pinch higher than betting markets, which put her chances at 75 to 80 percent.

But those betting markets, unlike some pundits, haven’t changed their assessment of Clinton much. In the markets, her probability of winning the nomination is still close to its all-time high and has barely budged in the past few months, rarely falling much below 75 percent or rising much above 80 percent.

Emailgate? #feelthebern? Clinton’s declining favorables? The betting markets think everything that’s happened to Clinton so far in the campaign is pretty much par for the course. It’s not that these markets are clairvoyant; they presumably didn’t know there would be a scandal involving Clinton and her email server, for instance. But it was a pretty good bet that there would be some scandal involving Clinton. (It’s not as though there is an absence of them to pick from.) Likewise, while you might or might not have identified Sanders as the person to do it, it was a pretty good bet that somechallenger to Clinton would be situated about where Sanders is in the polls. So events like these were “priced in” to her stock. Let’s look at each of them in a bit more depth.

Please go read the rest at the FiveThirtyEight link above.

Valerie Tarico

Valerie Tarico

I’d like to call your attention to an essay by Valerie Tarico published at Raw Story: Republicans want 10-year-old girls to give birth to ‘rape’ babies — here’s what the Bible sas about that. Tarico is a former evangelical christian who is now a psychologist who writes about “the intersection between religious belief, psychology and politics, with a growing focus on women’s issues and contraceptive technologies that she thinks are upstream game changers for a broad range of challenges that humanity faces.”

In her lengthy essay, Tarico demonstrates that in the Bible women have no function except to bear children and serve men. They are not seen as autonomous human beings who should have choices about any aspect of their lives. We all know this, but reading the biblical examples she gives is still highly enlightening.

More interesting reads, links only:

The Intercept: Why Did the FBI Spy on James Baldwin?

Raw Story: ‘Women get equal pay’: Rick Perry doesn’t want a bunch of girly fair wage laws ‘jumbling up our code’

People: Donald Trump Reports for Duty (Jury Duty That Is!) After Five Summonses.

Business Insider: ‘Dilbert’ creator: There’s a ‘clown genius’ behind Donald Trump’s campaign — and it’s why he’s unstoppable.

Washington Post: State Department flags 305 more Clinton e-mails for review. (Go down several paragraphs and you’ll learn that none of the emails were classified at the time and Clinton is not being accused of any wrongdoing. The review of the emails is simply for the purpose of deciding what material should be released under the Freedom of Information Act.)

Reuters, via Raw Story: Scott Walker tries channelling Trump in attempt to kick-start sinking campaign.

Bankok Post: Bangkok blast: the Hindu shrine beloved by Buddhists.

USA Today: Police release footage of suspect in Bangkok bombing.

Matter: I Watched 14 Police Officers Take Down a One-Legged Homeless Black Man Outside Twitter HQ.

NPR: For The First Time, Women Will Graduate From Army’s Rigorous Ranger School.

What stories are you following today?


Wednesday Reads: Anything but real news…

01c1d471a1cb07ba84ebd92c8bd9893b56d71af011Hey, I just can’t bring myself to post anything serious and depressing so here are a few links to other interesting news.

Images in the post are from the Dolce&Gabbana magazine Swide: Saint of the day

Swide’s Saint of the Day Calendar. Swide has commissioned illustrator Lucio Palmieri and Daniel Fields to illustrate and tell the story of each saint of the calendar for 2014.

Alright, big news out of Egypt, as far as archaeology is concerned. Queen Nefertiti: Has the tomb of Tutankhamun’s mother been found hiding in plain sight? via The Independent

Queen Nefertiti has fascinated and perplexed ancient Egyptian scholars in equal measure.

The legendary beauty ruled alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten in 14BC. During her reign she accrued status as an icon of power and elegance.

Despite her prominence in ancient Egyptian history, her resting place has remained a mystery – but now a new theory by a leading historian claims to have finally found the Queen’s burial place.A diagram of Nefertiti's possible resting place. Two secret doorways may exist coming from the walls of the main chamber.

A diagram of Nefertiti’s possible resting place. Two secret doorways may exist coming from the walls of the main chamber.

Nicholas Reeves, an archaeologist at the University of Arizona, has made bold new claims that he believes she has been laid to rest in Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. The pharaoh’s tomb was found fully intact and untouched by explorer Howard Carter in 1922.

01283b9f4a9630b19cc1b3f192d17446608112a3adMore at that link, including an image of a young lady mummy who may be Nefertiti.

And if you take a look here you can read more on the ghost doors: Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb may contain hidden passages leading to Queen Nefertiti’s burial place: Claim

Ghosts in the walls

Dr Reeves has been scouring ultra high-resolution scans of the famous tomb, discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, for clues to its origins and constructions.

In particular, he’s been looking at the overlooked details in the painted walls of Tutankhamun’s inner sanctum, the burial chamber which contains his sarcophagus.

He’s found depressions and edges in the plasterwork which indicates the wall structure behind.

Among this is what he describes as two lintelled, walled-off passages which have long since been painted over with the scenes depicting Tutankhamun’s life and last rites.

0182bc032747f56b00dd137eda085161760d125a94“The implications are extraordinary: for, if digital appearance translates into physical reality, it seems we are now faced not merely with the prospect of a new, Tutankhamun-era storeroom to the west; to the north appears to be signalled a continuation of tomb … and within these uncharted depths an earlier royal interment – that of Nefertiti herself, celebrated consort, co-regent, and eventual successor of pharaoh Akhenaten,” Reeves writes.

Go and see the images at that link. It is very cool.

The original paper can be found here: The Burial of Nefertiti?

Hey, what do you know…there’s some tomb/burial news in our own country that is making headlines as well: The Roanoke Island Colony: Lost, and Found? – The New York Times

Under a blistering sun, Nicholas M. Luccketti swatted at mosquitoes as he watched his archaeology team at work in a shallow pit on a hillside above the shimmering waters of Albemarle Sound. On a table in the shade, a pile of plastic bags filled with artifacts was growing. Fragments of earthenware and pottery. A mashed metal rivet. A piece of a hand-wrought nail.

A secluded cove off Salmon Creek near the dig site in North Carolina where archaeologists have discovered several pieces of Border ware and other materials that may suggest an early English settlement in the area. CreditTravis Dove for The New York Times

0159c2fb95398c02cdaf8a99445e3cdca476f6c47dThey call the spot Site X. Down a dusty road winding through soybean fields, the clearing lies between two cypress swamps teeming with venomous snakes. It is a suitably mysterious name for a location that may shed light on an enigma at the heart of America’s founding: the fate of the “lost colonists” who vanished from a sandy outpost on Roanoke Island, about 60 miles east, in the late 16th century.

 Next up, a bit of history…yet still dealing with death, well…near death:

The last kamikaze: two Japanese pilots tell how they cheated death | World news | The Guardian

Hisao Horiyama first learned how he was due to die from a simple slip of white paper. On it were written three options: to volunteer willingly, to simply volunteer, or to say no.

017e25753d60d1f03f7bdec1a503e601961ee8d2abWith that one act of destruction, he would end his life and the lives of many others, in the name of his emperor as a member of an elite, and supposedly invincible, group of young men whose sacrifice would deliver victory to Japan: the kamikaze.

VE Day: The last British Dambuster – BBC News

…the last British survivor of the famous Dambusters raid explains what it was like to take part.

“I feel privileged and honoured to have taken part,” says George “Johnny” Johnson. “It’s what we were there for. We were determined to do our bit.”

Johnson, now aged 93, is the last British survivor of the original Dambusters, the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron, who conducted a night of raids on German dams in 1943 in an effort to disable Hitler’s industrial heartland.

010a3b8cd60d1306c14a4dcad0f9bf27f3309a81a6Their exploits were legendary even before being made into a film, The Dam Busters, released in 1955. A scene showing back-spinning cylindrical bombs, designed by engineer Barnes Wallis, bouncing along the water to avoid protective nets before sinking and breaching the dams with their explosive power, is one of the most famous in British film history. The Dam Busters March is still played at military events.

But Johnson isn’t entirely happy with the film’s depiction of the operation,codenamed “Chastise”, on that night of 16-17 May. “The thing that was disappointing from our point of view was that the raid carried out by my crew, on the Sorpe dam, wasn’t mentioned,” he says.

If you ever get to see Dam Busters on TCM, it is a riot….The Dam Busters (1955) – Overview –

Video clips to the film can be seen here: Videos for The Dam Busters

Moving on to movies…women in film:  15 Women of Cinema History You Should Know | Mental Floss

You know Spielberg, Scorsese, Lucas, and Hitchcock. But did you know that the success of each of these iconic directors depended on a lesser-known woman behind the scenes? Dig into the hidden history of film and discover the women who shaped cinema into what it is today.


Because of the hands-on nature of film editing, early Hollywood considered it women’s work, like sewing. “Cutters” were often working-class women willing to take low pay to be a part of filmmaking. But despite the sexism surrounding them, this position allowed these female film lovers a unique place to make critical choices about a film’s final cut. Booth was not only one of the earliest pioneers of the craft, but also the one for whom the term “film editor” was coined.

012a26155dd04cfd7f8568d74f9e207cb4b69e0776Right out of high school in 1915, the Los Angeles native got a $10 a week job working underBirth of a Nation director D.W. Griffith as a patcher, eventually making her way up to negative cutter. By the time the controversial filmmaker moved to the East Coast, Booth was in complete charge of print production, managing everything from inspection to cutting to shipping the prints out. Booth would then get a job at the newly formed MGM, where her expertise was quickly recognized by the studio’s head of production, Irving Thalberg. Together the pair would watch and discuss dailies, and Booth’s insightful contributions inspired Thalberg to call her a “film editor,” a move that would forever leave the common term “cutter” behind.

She went on to cut a long list of films, including 1935’s Mutiny on the Bounty, which earned her only Oscar nomination. In 1978, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences awarded Booth an honorary Oscar for “her exceptional contribution to the art of film editing in the motion picture industry.”

See the other 14 women editors at the link.

Now, following the next connection…comes to our article on young women: Study finds unexpected biases against teen girls’ leadership: Not only many teen boys but many teen girls, some parents appear to have biases against teen girls as leaders, research finds — ScienceDaily

01f19941f1cb4e50bd958cf3c0c247af2a3a9a3d02Making Caring Common (MCC), a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, today released new research that suggests that many teen boys and teen girls–and some of their parents–have biases against teen girls as leaders. These biases could be powerful barriers to leadership for a generation of teen girls with historically high levels of education who are key to closing our nation’s gender gap in leadership. The report also suggests that much can be done to prevent and reduce gender biases in children.

Titled “Leaning Out: Teen Girls and Gender Biases,” the research report assesses the explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious) biases of teen girls, teen boys, and parents with regard to gender and leadership. Findings suggest that many teen boys and teen girls have biases against female leaders in powerful professions such as politics, that many teen girls have biases against other teen girls as leaders, and that many teens perceive their peers as biased against female leaders. Further, the research suggests that some mothers have implicit biases against teen girls as leaders.

“Our study points to insidious bias against girls as leaders that comes from many sources” said Richard Weissbourd, a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-director of Making Caring Common. “Bias can be a powerful–and invisible–barrier to teen girls’ leadership. Yet parents and teachers can do a great deal to stem these biases and help children manage them.”

01f371d53ba1d0285e4bec09ec2e563a4dfbf0047fHilary is in the news, and it seems like bias against teen girls as leaders stay with the girls when they grow up.

Hillary Clinton To Give Justice Department Entire Private Email Server

New poll puts Bernie Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire | US news | The Guardian

I will go ahead and put some newsy links here:

UN Peacekeepers Accused of Rape, Killing | Al Jazeera America

Why is the GOP listening to Netanyahu on Iran? They just hate Obama & anything he does | Informed Comment

Texas Cop Fired in Killing of Christian Taylor — NYMag

Woman found dead in jail fears for her life in video – NY Daily News

01df59ac3283a2acdeff093ff514e393faa2e51cceLet’s update you on the toxic spill: Toxic spill from Colorado mine creeps through US southwest (Update)

Environmental scientists tested a key US river Tuesday for signs of a toxic waste spill from a botched Colorado mine clean-up that prompted a state of emergency in the desert Southwest.

What started as a three-million-gallon (11.4 million liter) orange-hued plume last Wednesday in the swift-moving Animas River dissolved from view as it made its way down the slower San Juan River in New Mexico.

No longer easily visible, it was nevertheless flowing on into Utah and the Lake Powell reservoir in the direction of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon, leaving behind questions as to its long-term impact.

“It’s so diluted, you can’t really see it,” Donna Spangler, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, told AFP by telephone.

Intensive water testing is nevertheless underway for signs of such cancer-causing toxins as lead and arsenic, with results expected in a matter of days.

018c7bca856d496239c9ea821a6372d5344fc1052dContinue with environmental issues: This video about the aging pipeline below the Great Lakes should be this summer’s top horror flick | Grist

You know that feeling you get when you’re watching a scary movie, and something bad is about to happen? The music gets weird, the action starts to slow down, someone says something meaningful like “I’ll always be there for you.” That’s the feeling you might get watching this video from Motherboardabout an aging oil pipeline lying at the bottom of the Great Lakes.

Here’s the gist: A company called Enbridge (appropriately evil-sounding) owns a 62-year-old pipeline running between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan along the Straits of Mackinac. The pipeline was originally built to last 50 years and is in questionable shape, but don’t worry — Enbridge says they have everything under control. Sure, the company had 800 spills between 1999 and 2010, according to Motherboard, and yes, one of those spills was the worst inland spill in U.S. 0185cb0070e65cce7dc2d4771bab5c66d67b6875fchistory, causing more than 800,000 gallons of oil to spew into the Kalamazoo River in 2010. But no matter — there’s a very nice Enbridge employee in the video who says that the company doesn’t want to have any more spills.

More than 5,000 earthquakes hit northwest Nevada

Seismologists studying a year-long swarm of thousands of mostly minor earthquakes in northwest Nevada say they could be the precursor for a “big one,” although speculation that they’re related to a series of extinct volcanoes can’t be ruled out.

The University of Nevada’s Reno Nevada Seismological Laboratory announced Tuesday that there have been 5,610 earthquakes in a swarm that started in July 2014 in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge near the Oregon border.

019d3e48512ff990b6e6d7eefc968e1ca72b9fe3b9More than 200 have registered at a magnitude of 3 or greater, which is enough to be felt by ranchers and residents nearby. The largest one hit on Nov. 6 with a magnitude of 4.7, although there’s also been a recent flare-up since mid-July.

“It’s kind of unusual that it has lasted so long,” said Ken Smith, a seismologist.

It’s been a topic of discussion whether or not those quakes stem from the extinct volcanos in the Sheldon refuge collectively known as the High Rock Caldera, which is at least 15 million years old.

That hasn’t been conclusively ruled out yet, but Smith said there’s no direct evidence of volcanic activity driving the earthquakes. To rule it out would require more seismic and geodetic measurements.

Such a repetition of small earthquakes is often associated with , but the latest ones point to a fairly typical tectonic sequence that is characteristic of the western Great Basin region.

Extinct volcanoes, 15 million years old, the next couple of links are about history, but not that far back in time.

01f6707e0836ffc5d06de7ca8d61908125df5204f9History News Network | Ancient Vikings Settled Greenland for the Ivory

After Erik the Red killed his enemies in Iceland, he found himself banished and sailing westward. Around 985 CE, Erik settled his family on an unexplored island, and, in what is widely regarded as the first act of real estate branding, named the place “Greenland,” hoping to attract other Vikings with the implicit promise of rich farmland. But as archaeologists are now learning, Erik may have been better off naming the place “Walrusland.”

Scholars have long thought that Erik’s branding deception worked, and that Vikings flocked to Greenland to set up farms—even though the growing season is short and raising livestock difficult. Archaeologist Thomas McGovern and colleagues, however, are testing a new idea: that Vikings settled Greenland to provide European markets with luxury trade goods such as furs, eiderdown, hides, and walrus tusk ivory.

‘God helped thee; The eagle got food afresh’: Norse Crusaders and the Pleasure of Killing –

The 12th century minstrel Bertran de Born told in a war hymn of  what gave him great pleasure: ‘I tell you, that neither eating, drinking, nor sleep has as much savour for me as when I hear the cry “Forwards!” from both sides, and horses without riders shying and whinnying, and the cry “Help! Help!”, and to see the small and the great fall to the grass at the ditches and the dead pierced by  the wood of the lances decked with banners.’ To Norbert Elias this was a clear example of the relationship between pleasure and killing in medieval society. Knights often took great pleasure in killing and torturing people, something that according to Elias was a socially permitted pleasure caused by a lack of social control.015a689f9bf0850c3d5f42da029d19ea8ec25560fb It was, however, these warriors that pope Urban II wanted to recruit to his new undertaking; the new kind of armed pilgrimage that was later to be known as the First Crusade.

This paper, however, will not focus on the relationship between the emotion of pleasure and killing on crusade from the perspective of the European knightly class, but rather from the perspective of crusaders from the northernmost periphery of Christendom, the kingdom of Norway. The men of the north are often depicted in the Norse sagas as taking great pleasure in killing, even doing it for no good reason; as famously illustrated in the comment of Þórgeirr Hávarsson, who struck the head of a shepherd for no other reason than that “he was well placed to receive a blow.” How then did these men behave on crusade?

Alright, the last few links have no connections whatsoever to the other links above.

Link between intestinal bacteria, depression found — ScienceDaily

Reverse Graffiti Creates Murals By Cleaning | Mental Floss

This is some cool artwork, check it out:


And your last story of the day: New Study Finds Earth’s Core Will Be Most Habitable Part Of Planet By 2060 – The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

015a5dc616112d8dd1aa770884b07e25faeb0b1a20According to a study published Wednesday by geologists at Georgetown University, the earth’s solid inner core will be the most livable part of the planet by the year 2060. “Provided that current trends continue as anticipated, within half a century the most favorable conditions for supporting human life will be located roughly 3,200 miles below the earth’s surface, atop its superheated central 011a72a5e7bc11d7184ed442350aaf745d95e78460sphere of iron and nickel,” said study co-author Lance Zelowski, who predicted that by mid-century, the inner core’s year-round temperature of 9,700 degrees Fahrenheit and its pressure of 3.5 million atmospheres would make it the most attractive location on the planet in which to live, work, and raise a family. “In order to ensure future generations grow up and reside in the best environment available, people will need to make preparations in the coming years to move their families to this highly compressed metallic ball surrounded by swirling liquid metal.” Zelowski acknowledged that, due to its limited surface area, only the wealthiest would likely be able to purchase property on the inner core, leaving most of the world’s population to make do in magma chambers directly beneath earth’s crust.

This is a long ass post for a Wednesday.  Have a good day…share what your thinking and reading about today.

Tuesday Disgusting Behavior Open Thread


Good Afternoon!!

This blog is just barely limping along. JJ is dealing with family issues, Dak is trying to help a friend who is in fear of her life from an abusive husband, and I’m dealing with urgent dental problems. And would you believe I still have itching on my arms and neck? It doesn’t make it easier that the news is filled with just plain horrible, awful, disgusting stuff these days. So here’s a really disgusting open thread.

Yesterday it was Bill Cosby the serial rapist. Today it’s Donald Trump and marital rape. You’ve probably already read or at least heard about the article by Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny at The Daily Beast yesterday about the time Ivana Trump accused her husband Donald of raping her.


Ex-Wife: Donald Trump Made Me Feel ‘Violated’ During Sex.

Ivana Trump’s assertion of “rape” came in a deposition—part of the early ’90s divorce case between the Trumps, and revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.

The book, by former Texas Monthly and Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III, described a harrowing scene. After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.

“Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” Trump cried.

What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.

“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”

Ivana ran to another room, locked herself in and cried all night. The next day Trump asked her coldly about her torn out hair, “Does it hurt?”

Clown runs for prez

When the Daily Beast writers contacted Trump’s “special counsel” Michael Cohen, he was outraged and threatening.

Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”

“It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

Obviously, that is false. New York state criminalized marital rape in 1984, before the incident described in the Ivana’s deposition. Marital rape is now a crime in all 50 states. Cohen then threatened the writers.

“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”

“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.

Of course Ivana is now denying that what happened was rape, but from the description she gave a the time it certainly was a violent sexual assault in which she was held down and raped. Of course Ivan was forced to sign an agreement that prevents her from ever saying anything negative about her ex-husband or their marriage, so she can’t really be honest about what she thinks of the incident anyway.


There’s much more to the story. Go read the whole sorry thing at The Daily Beast if you haven’t already.

This is what the Republican Party has done to this country. This repulsive buffoon Donald Trump is leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and the rest of the clown car aren’t much better.

In a response to the Daily Beast Story, the Trump campaign told Business Insider:

A representative for Trump, who is now a front-runner in many polls of the Republican primary, provided a statement to Business Insider that said the incident was “old news and it never happened.” The person also said Ivana Trump made up the “rape” allegation as part of an effort to “exploit” Trump during their divorce proceedings in the early ’90s.

“This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past — it is old news and it never happened,” the Trump representative said. “It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement.”

Today Trump lawyer Michael Cohen tried–and failed–to clean up the mess he made yesterday.


From The Huffington Post: Donald Trump’s Lawyer Apologizes For ‘Inarticulate Comment’ About Spousal Rape.

“As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism,” Cohen said in a statement to CNN. “They hit me at my core. Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely.”

Cohen had some choice words for The Daily Beast, saying he planned to “come after” the publication.

“So I’m warning you, tread very f—ing lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting. You understand me?” Cohen said, according to CNN.

OK, so now you’re threatening reporters for doing their job. Ever hear of the first amendment? But I guess this is how things are handled in Trump World. I don’t think it will work much longer in the world of politics. At least I hope not.


And for the record, from Think Progress: Memo To Donald Trump: Here’s What The Law Actually Says About Raping Your Spouse.

Cohen’s claim that sex between spouses cannot legally be rape was once true, although it is rooted in a definition of marriage that our society abandoned decades ago. Under the English common law, which still shapes much of American law, a woman became little more than her husband’s property when she said “I do” at the altar. As Sir William Blackstone wrote in a widely cited explanation of the common law rule of marriage, “[t]he very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband; under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs everything.”

Under this traditional definition of marriage, a wife’s financial identity was subsumed into her husband’s. Though she could retain title over real estate, such land was managed and controlled by her husband. The husband actually gained legal ownership of his wife’s remaining property.

Significantly, the common law also held wives to be sexually subservient to their husbands. A husband “cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife,” Sir Matthew Hale wrote in a 1736 treatise on the common law. “[B]y their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given herself up in this kind unto her husband,” Hale added, and this consent was something “she cannot retract.”

This vision of the wife as a kind of sexual property continued until surprisingly recently in the United States. The 1962 draft of the Model Penal Code, a proposed set of criminal laws drafted by legal scholars seeking to encourage uniform laws throughout the states, provided that the crime of rape could only occur when a “male . . . has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife.” Nebraska, the first state to abolish the marital rape exemption, did not do so until 1976.

After Nebraska took this step, however, the remaining states followed fairly quickly. In 1993, North Carolina became the last state to repeal the old rule holding that a husband could not rape their wife.

So . . . what do you think? Again, this is an open thread.


Tuesday Reads: Emily Yoffe and the Problem of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

William W. Churchill, Woman Reading on a Settee

William W. Churchill, Woman Reading on a Settee

Good Morning!!

This morning I read a long article by Emily Yoffe at Slate about The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape on college campuses, How The Hunting Ground Blurs the Truth. I haven’t seen the film, but Yoffe says that CNN plans to show it in the future so maybe we’ll all get to see it eventually. Anyway, I thought I’d present Yoffe’s arguments and some of the responses to her previous posts on the subject and see what you think.

In the article, Yoffe focuses one of the cases presented in the film, listing a number of facts and inconsistencies that she says were ignored by the filmmakers. She also demonstrates a great deal of sympathy for the man who allegedly committed the sexual assaults.

Arthur M. Hazard, Woman Reading in an Interior

Arthur M. Hazard, Woman Reading in an Interior

Some excerpts:

The recent documentary The Hunting Ground asserts that young women are in grave danger of sexual assault as soon as they arrive on college campuses. The film has been screened at the White House for staff and legislators. Senate Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, cites it as confirmation of the need for the punitive campus sexual assault legislation she has introduced. Gillibrand’s colleague Barbara Boxer, after the film’s premiere said, “Believe me, there will be fallout.” The film has received nearly universal acclaim from critics—the Washington Post called it “lucid,” “infuriating,” and “galvanizing”—and, months after its initial release, its influence continues to grow, as schools across the country host screenings. “If you have a daughter going to any college in America, you need to see The Hunting Ground,” the MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told his viewers in May. This fall, it will get a further boost when CNN, a co-producer, plans to broadcast the film, broadening its audience. The Hunting Ground is helping define the problem of campus sexual assault for policymakers, college administrators, students, and their parents.

The film has two major themes. One, stated by producer Amy Ziering during an appearance on The Daily Show, is that campus sexual assaults are not “just a date gone bad, or a bad hook-up, or, you know, miscommunication.” Instead, the filmmakers argue, campus rape is “a highly calculated, premeditated crime,” one typically committed by serial predators. (They give significant screen time to David Lisak, the retired psychology professor who originated this theory.) The second theme is that even when school administrators are informed of harm done to female students by these repeat offenders, schools typically do nothing in response. Director Kirby Dick has said that “colleges are primarily concerned about their reputation” and that “if a rape happens, they’ll do everything to distance themselves from it.” In the film, a former assistant dean of students at the University of North Carolina, Melinda Manning, says schools “make it difficult for students to report” sexual assault in order to avoid federal reporting requirements and to “artificially keep [their] numbers low.”

One of the four key stories told in the film illustrates both of these points. It is the harrowing account of Kamilah Willingham, who describes what happened during the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 2011, while she was a student at Harvard Law School. She says a male classmate, a man she thought was her friend, drugged the drinks he bought at a bar for her and a female friend, then took the two women back to Willingham’s apartment and sexually assaulted them. When she reported this to Harvard, she says university officials were indifferent and even hostile to her. “He’s dangerous,” she says in the film of her alleged attacker, as she tries to keep her composure. “This is a rapist. This is a guy who’s a sexual predator, who assaulted two girls in one night.” The events continue to haunt her. “It’s still right up here,” she says tearfully, placing a hand on her chest.

William W. Churchill, Leisure

William W. Churchill, Leisure

You’ll probably have to read the entire article to get a full understanding of this case, but this should give you a sense of where Yoffe is coming from:

I looked into the case of Kamilah Willingham, whose allegations generated a voluminous record. What the evidence (including Willingham’s own testimony) shows is often dramatically at odds with the account presented in the film.

Willingham’s story is not an illustration of a sexual predator allowed to run loose by self-interested administrators. The record shows that what happened that night was precisely the kind of spontaneous, drunken encounter that administrators who deal with campus sexual assault accusations say is typical. (The filmmakers, who favor David Lisak’s poorly substantiated position that our college campuses are rife with serial rapists, reject the suggestion that such encounters are the source of many sexual assault allegations.) Nor is Willingham’s story an example of official indifference. Harvard did not ignore her complaints; the school thoroughly investigated them. And because of her allegations, the law school education of her alleged assailant has been halted for the past four years.

Yoffe has a history of denying the seriousness of the problem of campus rape (even though in this article she twice *says* it’s a serious issue). Her position seems to be that if college women just stopped getting drunk, rape on campus would be a minor or nonexistent problem.

I found it interesting that she refers to David Lisak’s research on campus rapists as a “theory,” and characterizes his work as “poorly substantiated.” The link to her evidence that Lisak’s work is somehow problematic goes to another article written by Yoffe in which she cites Lisak and another researcher explaining that it’s important to be aware that the (pretty large) sample of UMass students that Lisak used may not be typical of all college populations. This is a standard caveat given in most psychology research papers, because studies on human beings can rarely be representative of the population as a whole. The results need to be considered in the light of other studies and studies of varied populations. That doesn’t invalidate the findings.

Lady reading by a window

Here’s the article in which Yoffe finds fault with Lisak’s research: The College Rape Overcorrection. Again, you probably should read the whole thing, because I can’t represent her arguments in a brief excerpt. Still, here’s a bit of it:

In recent years, young activists, many of them women angry about their treatment after reporting an assault, have created new organizations and networks in an effort to reform the way colleges handle sexual violence. They recognized they had a powerful weapon in that fight: Title IX, the federal law that protects against discrimination in education. Schools are legally required by that law to address sexual harassment and violence on campus, and these activists filed complaints with the federal government about what they describe as lax enforcement by schools. The current administration has taken up the cause—the Chronicle of Higher Education describes it as “a marquee issue for the Obama administration”—and praised these young women for spurring political action. “A new generation of student activists is effectively pressing for change,” read a statement this spring announcing new policies to address campus violence. The Department of Education has drafted new rules to address women’s safety, some of which have been enshrined into law by Congress, with more legislation likely on the way.

Unfortunately, under the worthy mandate of protecting victims of sexual assault, procedures are being put in place at colleges that presume the guilt of the accused. Colleges, encouraged by federal officials, are instituting solutions to sexual violence against women that abrogate the civil rights of men. Schools that hold hearings to adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct allow the accuser and the accused to be accompanied by legal counsel. But as Judith Shulevitz noted in the New Republic in October, many schools ban lawyers from speaking to their clients (only notes can be passed). During these proceedings, the two parties are not supposed to question or cross examine each other, a prohibition recommended by the federal government in order to protect the accuser. And by federal requirement, students can be found guilty under the lowest standard of proof: preponderance of the evidence, meaning just a 51 percent certainty is all that’s needed for a finding that can permanently alter the life of the accused.

a-woman-reading Gyla Benczur

More than two dozen Harvard Law School professors recently wrote a statement protesting the university’s new rules for handling sexual assault claims. “Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process,” they wrote. The professors note that the new rules call for a Title IX compliance officer who will be in charge of “investigation, prosecution, fact-finding, and appellate review.” Under the new system, there will be no hearing for the accused, and thus no opportunity to question witnesses and mount a defense. Harvard University, the professors wrote, is “jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administrative officials.” But to push back against Department of Education edicts means potentially putting a school’s federal funding in jeopardy, and no college, not even Harvard, the country’s richest, is willing to do that.

Again, Yoffe focuses sympathetically on one case involving a male student at the University of Michigan, Drew Sterrett. She also cites research by Callie Marie Rennison and Lynn Addington, who found that non-college women are in greater danger of rape than college women. She doesn’t address the issue that universities are entrusted by parents with protecting young people who may be away from home for the first time.

woman reading1

In an article from October 2013, Yoffe really gets to the point: College Women: Stop Getting Drunk. It’s closely associated with sexual assault. And yet we’re reluctant to tell women to stop doing it. Again, just a brief excerpt:

Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.

Experts I spoke to who wanted young women to get this information said they were aware of how loaded it has become to give warnings to women about their behavior. “I’m always feeling defensive that my main advice is: ‘Protect yourself. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to the point of losing your cognitive faculties,’ ” says Anne Coughlin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, who has written on rape and teaches feminist jurisprudence. She adds that by not telling them the truth—that they are responsible for keeping their wits about them—she worries that we are “infantilizing women.”

So perpetrators are “responsible for committing their crimes,” but women are the ones who should change their behavior. Why not keep criminals off college campuses and try to prevent both male and female students from drinking so much? Yoffe explains her reasoning at the end of the article:

I’ve told my daughter that it’s her responsibility to take steps to protect herself. (“I hear you! Stop!”) The biological reality is that women do not metabolize alcohol the same way as men, and that means drink for drink women will get drunker faster. I tell her I know alcohol will be widely available (even though it’s illegal for most college students) but that she’ll have a good chance of knowing what’s going on around her if she limits herself to no more than two drinks, sipped slowly—no shots!—and stays away from notorious punch bowls. If female college students start moderating their drinking as a way of looking out for their own self-interest—and looking out for your own self-interest should be a primary feminist principle—I hope their restraint trickles down to the men.

If I had a son, I would tell him that it’s in his self-interest not to be the drunken frat boy who finds himself accused of raping a drunken classmate.


She is correct that women are affected more quickly by alcohol than men, but is that a reason to focus only on college women’s responsibility for preventing sexual assaults? She actually believes that we should just hope that if women drink less, men will emulate them? Good luck with that.

I’ve found several responses to Yoffe’s previous articles. I’ll watch to see the reactions to the latest one which came out yesterday. Here are some links you can check out if you’re interested.

Emma Gray at Huffington Post: What Slate Gets So Wrong About College Women And Sexual Assault.

Alexander Abad-Santos in The Wire: Slate Forgot That the One Common Factor in Rapes Are [sic] Rapists.

Kate McDonough at Salon: Sorry, Emily Yoffe: Blaming assault on women’s drinking is wrong, dangerous and tired.

Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezabel: How To Write About Rape Prevention Without Sounding Like An Asshole.

Jennifer Baker at Psychology Today (also cited in the main post): Campus Rape Skepticism. How Not to ‘Debunk’ Research.

Josh Beitel at Medium: A Rebuttal to Emily Yoffe’s College Rape Overcorrection.

As always, this is an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread.