› Notre Dame and Penn State: Two Rape Scandals, Only One Cry for Justice | The Nation
Two storied college football programs. Two rape scandals. Only one national outcry. How do we begin to explain the exponentially different levels of attention paid to crimes of violence and power at Penn State and Notre Dame?
At Penn State, revered assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was raping young boys while being shielded by a conspiracy of silence of those in power at the football powerhouse. At Notre Dame, it’s not young boys being raped by an assistant coach. It’s women being threatened, assaulted, and raped by players on the school’s unbeaten football team. Yet a sports media that’s overwhelmingly male and ineffably giddy about Fighting Irish football’s return to prominence has enacted their own conspiracy of silence.
As unbeaten Notre Dame prepares to play in tonight’s national championship game against Alabama, the sports media has chosen not to discuss the fact that this football team has two players on its roster suspected of sexual assault and rape; two players whose crimes have been ignored; two players whose accusers felt harassed and intimidated; two players whose presence on the field Monday night should be seen as a national disgrace.
The main reason this is taking place is because their accusers are not pressing charges. One cannot, because she is dead. 19-year-old Lizzy Seeberg, a student at neighboring St. Mary’s College, took her own life after her claims of being assaulted in a dorm room were met with threats and indifference. The other accuser, despite description of a brutal rape, won’t file charges “absolutely 100%” because of what Seeberg experienced.
… But the cone of silence that surrounds a company college football town is not enough to understand why Penn State’s rape scandal was front-page news the second the Sandusky scandal went public and Notre Dame has been largely protected by the press. The only answer that makes sense is that raping women has become “normalized” in our culture while raping little boys has not. The only answer that makes sense is that the rape of a young boy sets all sorts of alarms of horror in the minds of the very male sports media, while the rape of women does not. The only answer that makes sense is that it’s been internalized that while boys are helpless in the face of a predator, women are responsible for their assault. The accusers are the accused.
› All the Single Ladies | NYT
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson — who has made a number of appearances on Fox News, founded a Tea Party group in California and is also the founder of a group called BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny) — recently gave a speech (I hope it wasn’t a sermon), in which he said:
One of the primary reasons that it is over for America is because women are taking over, women are taking over, they’re in high so-called powerful position, they’re now running companies, they’re making decisions.
He then pointed out that he was not referring to all women:
The are some, a few out there that are logical women and can make sound decisions, but most cannot.
He prattled on nonsensically for a while, adding that “women cannot handle power, it’s not in them to handle power in the right way” and “women have been degraded, women are now degraded, they have no shame.”
I’m getting upset just transcribing this, so let me just get to the meat of it. Here’s the part of his speech I wanted you to see:
I think that one of the greatest mistakes that America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote. We should’ve never turned it over to women.
The pro-choice movement opposes forced ultrasounds because they override the doctor’s discretion and the doctor-patient relationship, in a manner that is not only condescending to the woman’s preferred course of action, but also often requires a greater outlay of time, sometimes an entire extra day, as well as money. Not only do they not change anyone’s mind, ultrasounds stigmatize and intimidate women who are already under stress.
The ultrasound fallacy (via iamdrtiller)
(Source: stephherold, via randomactsofchaos)
› Probing Tyler Cowen, or: When Libertarians Get Medieval on Your Vagina | Corey Robin
The chunk about Tyler Cowen can be read at the link. I felt this point was more interesting:
This bit from Dahlia Lithwick’s piece caught my eye:
During the floor debate on Tuesday, Del. C. Todd Gilbert announced that “in the vast majority of these cases, these [abortions] are matters of lifestyle convenience.” (He has since apologized.) Virginia Democrat Del. David Englin, who opposes the bill, has said Gilbert’s statement “is in line with previous Republican comments on the issue,” recalling one conversation with a GOP lawmaker who told him that women had already made the decision to be “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.” (I confirmed with Englin that this quote was accurate.)
That notion “once-probed, always-probed” sounds an awful lot like the notion of implicit sexual consent that dates back to the 18th century and that justified marital rape in this country until the 1980s. As I write in my book:
Until 1980, for example, it was legal in every state in the union for a husband to rape his wife. The justification for this dates back to a 1736 treatise by English jurist Matthew Hale. When a woman marries, Hale argued, she implicitly agrees to give “up herself in this kind [sexually] unto her husband.” Hers is a tacit, if unknowing, consent “which she cannot retract” for the duration of their union. Having once said yes, she can never say no. As late as 1957—during the era of the Warren Court—a standard legal treatise could state, “A man does not commit rape by having sexual intercourse with his lawful wife, even if he does so by force and against her will.” If a woman (or man) tried to write into the marriage contract a requirement that express consent had to be given in order for sex to proceed, judges were bound by common law to ignore or override it. Implicit consent was a structural feature of the contract that neither party could alter. With the exit option of divorce not widely available until the second half of the twentieth century, the marriage contract doomed women to be the sexual servants of their husbands.
Resonances like these are why I sometimes suggest that modern conservatism is just a neoliberal gloss on medieval domination.
Men: Stand in solidarity with women. Women, if you were born female, you were born on a battlefield. You will be punished for even saying that out loud, but the grim truth is you’re going to be punished no matter what for the sin of being female. Battering is the most commonly committed violent crime in the United States. That’s a man beating a woman. Globally, half of all women will experience life-threatening violence from a man. Half. That’s more hatred than I can comprehend. Right now, that battlefield is such a slaughter that we can’t even collect our wounded.
Deep Green Resistance (via cultureofresistance)
(Source: socialuprooting, via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti)