Tag Archives | Rape

What’s Wrong With Todd Akin and His Critics: Moral Coherence

Picture: US Congress (PD)

Do you accept or dismiss information depending upon your emotional reaction to it?  Brian D. Earp writes at Oxford’s Practical Ethics blog:

Should abortions be allowed in the case of rape? Republican Todd Akin—running for the U.S. Senate from the state of Missouri—thinks not. His reasoning is as follows:

From what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy resulting from rape is] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment. But the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.

There appears to be no scientific basis for the claim that the trauma of forced intercourse can interrupt ovulation or in any other way prevent a pregnancy; indeed pregnancy is just as likely after rape as after consensual sex, according to the evidence I have seen.

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Are Male Rape Victims Oppressed?

Picture: Florida Depart of Corrections (PD)

For the record, I don’t believe the ubiquity of prison rape humor disproves the existence of rape culture, but rather proves it.  Zek J. Evets writes at the Good Men Project:

I knew a teenage girl who refused to believe men were capable of being raped by a woman. When I told her the stories about Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, and certain Zimbabwean women who even went as far as to steal semen in addition to gang-raping men. She said to me, “that doesn’t count.”

I’ve known grown men who are more likely to believe in UFOs or Bigfoot than some woman who says she was raped. (For the record: UFOs and Bigfoot are real.) They laugh at these women’s stories and slap each others’ backs while calling themselves “good Christian folk”.

Unlike almost any other crime, rape is one in which our private notions of gender, sexuality, and personal responsibility become politicized to the point of oppression.

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A Black Man’s View of Schroedinger’s Rapist

Crommunist writes at the Freethought Blogs:

This morning I made a reference to the fact that men are often assumed to be potential rapists as an example of how sexism negatively affects men as well as women. The argument, commonly referred to as “Schroedinger’s Rapist”, goes something like this: because you can’t know for sure if the stranger approaching you in a dark alley or other unsafe place is a rapist or not, it is generally a good idea to be on your guard. Men can enhance their interactions with women by being aware of this mindset, and adjusting their own behaviour accordingly.

Catexperiment

I have often heard from people making an anti-feminist argument that Schroedinger’s Rapist is profoundly sexist and unfair. After all, most men do not rape – why should every man be treated like a rapist? Isn’t that discrimination? How can you claim to be opposed to sexism, yet promote a fundamentally sexually prejudicial idea?

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FBI Definition Of Rape To Include Male Victims

Only Yes Means Yes CampaignThe Associated Press reports (via the Washington Post):

The Obama administration on Friday expanded the FBI’s more than eight-decade-old definition of rape to count men as victims for the first time and to drop the requirement that victims must have physically resisted their attackers.

The new definition will increase the number of people counted as rape victims in FBI statistics, but it will not change federal or state laws or alter charges or prosecutions. It’s an important shift because lawmakers and policymakers use crime statistics to allocate money and other resources for prevention and victim assistance.

The White House said the change was not motivated by the recent Penn State child sex-abuse scandal. Indeed, the expanded definition has been long awaited as many states and research groups made similar changes in their definitions of rape over recent decades.

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett called the change a “very, very important step.” The issue got top-level White House attention starting last July, when Vice President Joe Biden raised it at a Cabinet meeting.

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Are These Evolution’s Future Sluts?

Toronto Slutwalk

SlutWalk protest in Toronto, 3 April 2011. Photo: Anton Bielousov (CC).

Violet Blue explains why the new SlutWalk protests are “a significant tipping point in cultural evolution” — and she’s serious. “Yes: I think scantily clad girls marching in the streets around the world are agents of change for our species.”

It started in April when a Toronto cop said that to stay safe from rape, women “should avoid dressing like sluts”. Soon “my clothes are not my consent” protests erupted, and the event “had an international identity within a few months,” representing “a huge reclamation and restatement about boundaries and women’s bodies.”

Now sex workers, young exhibitionists, high-heel feminists and random pissed-off women are marching “for the right to dress as they like while having their boundaries respected,” and Violet calls them the true punk rockers — the disruptors. “They’re the ones with the brass ovaries enough to dress like sluts and tell the world to STFU about what they should, or shouldn’t do, with their sexiness.”

“Maybe that’s why its critics are panicking and handwringing as if Invaders From Mars have come out of a time machine from the future in heels and hose, reminding everyone that their face is up here!”

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Iranian Activists Accuse Government of Handing Out Condoms So Political Prisoners Can Be Raped

Evin House of Detention

Photo: Ehsan Iran (CC)

“If the inmate is not powerful enough or guards would not take care of him, he will be certainly raped. Prison guards ignore those who are seen with condoms simply because they were given out to them by the guards at first place” … Saeed Kamali Dehghan reports in the Guardian:

Prison guards in Iran are giving condoms to criminals and encouraging them to systematically rape young opposition activists locked up with them, according to accounts from inside the country’s jail system.

A series of dramatic letters written by prisoners and families of imprisoned activists allege that authorities are intentionally facilitating mass rape and using it as a form of punishment.

Mehdi Mahmoudian, an outspoken member of Iran’s Participation Front, a reformist political party, is among those prisoners who have succeeded in smuggling out letters revealing the extent of rape inside some of the most notorious prisons.

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Peace Corps Failed Volunteers When They Became Rape Victims

600px-US-PeaceCorps-Logo.svgPeace Corps is in the business to help “countless individuals who want to build a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities.” But do they help their volunteers? Numerous cases have come forward about women who have been raped and threatened after being positioned in another country. In many cases, the organization knew about the assaults but ignored them stating that “those types of things happen.”  The Raw Story reports:

A group of former volunteers who were raped while working with the Peace Corps told Congress Wednesday that serious changes need to be made to the organization.

The victims explained that in many cases, the way they were treated by the Peace Corps after reporting the assault was more traumatic than the rape itself.

“These women are alone in many cases, and they’re in rough parts of the world,” Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) told The New York Times prior to the hearing.

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British Newspaper Claims Gaddafi’s ‘Viagra-Fueled’ Troops Raping Children

A representative Daily Mail headline.

A representative Daily Mail headline.

Britain’s Daily Mail tabloid newspaper has long been known for pushing stories of dubious provenance to appeal to the conservative outrage of its largely middle class readership. It has really outdone itself today, however, with this story about Libyan soldiers taking Viagra and raping small children (not that I doubt some atrocities are taking place – but the ‘Viagra-Fueled’ part?):

Children as young as eight are being raped in front of their families by Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, according to a leading charity.

Aid workers described horrific stories of widespread sexual abuse, including one incident in which a group of girls was abducted and held hostage for four days. When they were finally released, they were too traumatised to speak.

Other children have described being forced to watch as their fathers were murdered and their mothers raped. They told Save The Children that they themselves were then brually beaten before being released.

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Libyan Woman Who Was ‘Gang-Raped By Gaddafi’s Troops’ Gets Charged With Slander

800px-Protesting_Libya_outside_the_White_House,_Washington,_D.C.

Photo: Ted (CC)

The Daily Mail reports:

The Libyan woman who was arrested after telling foreign journalists she had been gang-raped by Gaddafi’s troops has been charged, a government spokesman said today.

In a chaotic press conference, the official said Iman Al-Obeidi was being questioned by police – despite a promise that she had been returned to her family.

‘The accuser has now become the accused,’ he added, accusing her of a ‘grave offence’.

The spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, said the men accused by Iman al-Obeidi are now suing her. A son of a high ranking Libyan official was among those she claimed had raped her, he said.

‘The boys she accused are bringing a case against her because it’s a very grave offence to accuse someone of a sexual crime,’ he told reporters in the Libyan capital.

Miss Al-Obeidi was taken into custody after bursting into the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli in a dishevelled and desperate state.

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