Beyond the act of physical and sexual violence, post traumatic rape syndrome, as well as the refusal of many rape victims to report when they have been assaulted can be attributed to a prevailing rape culture on America’s college campuses. Rape culture is a term used to describe the way rape, sexual violence, and sexual abuse are linked to the culture of society. Essentially sexual violence and speech against women is normalized and excused in media and pop culture. Thus, male sexual aggression is in a number of ways encouraged and supported in society. Here, violence and sexuality are interchangeable. Violence is seen as sexy, and sexuality is seen as violent. Music fills the airwaves telling women that “I know you want it” and “I’ll BEAT the pussy up” and if you are familiar with soca music from the Caribbean, you may have heard the song “Kick In She Back Door”, which is literally about breaking into a woman’s home (and her body) through anal penetration if she refuses a man’s sexual advances.
This rape culture simply takes its cue from or is steeped in patriarchy; which is the general structure of privilege in society, where heterosexual men have more power and influence over other members of society.
Naked headless women golf tees, it’s all a bit of a laugh, eh? Adding, according to Dunlop, “a little humour to your game” or “the perfect gift for someone who takes the sport a little too seriously.” Bend down and stick the nice bit of pink plastic tits and arse in the ground, balance your golf ball head, swing and “thwack”. Hilarious.
But what about those of us who aren’t laughing?
I grew up in a village in Yorkshire with a pub called The Silent Woman. The pub sign was a picture of a woman carrying her head in her hands. To be silent a woman had to be headless. A misogynistic leap of association, dragging in the nagging wife, the fishwife, the gossip: to be silent a woman must be headless. Is there a feminist on social media who hasn’t experienced attempts at silencing when she expresses her opinions? I’ve lost count of the number of men who have told me “Don’t start with ….”, “Shut up,” or called me variations of screeching, bleating feminazi. The Silent Woman in Slaithwaite did not have a unique pub name, there are several across the UK, with The Headless Woman as a variation. Sometimes the name appears with the couplet: “Here is a woman who has lost her head, She’s quiet now—you see she’s dead” (Author unknown) just in case the inference from name alone isn’t clear enough. Carl Jung talked about cultural archetypes. Cross cultural , universal concepts that he believed indicated a collective unconscious. Unconscious forces that are expressed in images, religion, stories and mythology as they enter consciousness and shape our interactions in society. The silent woman, synonymous with headless woman is a patriarchal archetype. It reflects sexist misogynistic cultural values.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Massachusetts buffer zone law violates the First Amendment; the justices were unanimous in the ruling. In case you weren’t up to speed on the case, here are the basics: Fourteen years ago, the high court upheld a Colorado law that created an 8-foot “bubble zone” around patients entering or exiting clinics. But Massachusetts’ buffer zone law prohibited demonstrators from standing within 35 feet of the facility, a length the justices seemed dubious of from the start. Walking that length — the size of a school bus — takes approximately seven seconds.
A lot can happen in those seven seconds. A lot can happen when protesters are allowed to enter clinics, physically confront patients or block doors. Massachusetts passed its law in response to aggressive and dangerous conduct from protesters stationed directly outside clinics, including an incident in 1994 where a gunman opened fire at two abortion clinics, killing two people and injuring five others. In its defense of the measure, the state argued before the justices that the buffer law is not a prohibition on speech, but a practical measure to keep access to these facilities “open and clear of all but essential foot traffic, in light of more than two decades of compromised facility access and public safety.”
Washington Post syndicated columnist George Will is standing by his recent article on sexual assault that sparked considerable backlash and led at least one prominent newspaper to drop his byline.
In an interview with C-SPAN that will air in full sometime in July, Will said he wouldn’t take back a word of his controversial column, and dismissed his critics as overreacting. “Today, for some reason, indignation is the default position of certain people,” Will said. “I think it has something to do with the internet.”
Will takes issue with the Obama Administration’s recent report on the scope of the campus rape crisis, which cites data from the Department of Justice to conclude that one in five college women are the victim of sexual assault. He claims that statistic is much too high and doesn’t line up with the other data about sexual assault reports.
Over the past week, experts who research violence against women have pointed out the flaws with Will’s interpretation of the data, which relies on a dubious analysis from the American Enterprise Institute — a right-wing group that has a long history of downplaying campus sexual assaults. Nonetheless, Will is defending his column as an important tool to educate people about the real data at the heart of the issue.
Between fiscal years 2005-2006 and 2012-2013, 144 bilateral tubal ligations, or tube-tying procedures, were carried out. According to the report, tubal ligations are generally done “for the sole purpose of sterilization,” so prisons must follow strict guidelines to perform them.
Auditors found that 39 of 144 did not give full consent. In 27 of the 39 procedures, the physician did not sign a consent form guaranteeing that the “inmate appeared mentally competent and understood the lasting effects of the procedure.” And in 18 of the 39 cases, physicians violated the required waiting period between the inmate’s consent and the actual procedure. Inmates who did give consent did not have a witness of choice, as required by prison medical regulations. Physicians did not document their conversations with inmates about the sterilization process with any of the 144 inmates. And none of the procedures were authorized by an oversight committee of state medical professionals.
“This audit demonstrates there is a systemic problem, and implicates the entire culture. The right to have a family is a fundamental right that each of us has. Many of these women are first-time offenders and already have families,” claimed Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, a member of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, in response to the audit.
The shocking scale of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a Swedish school, where every single girl in one class had been subjected to the procedure, has been revealed.
School health services in Norrköping, eastern Sweden, discovered 60 cases of FGM since March, according to the Norrköpings Tidningar newspaper.
In the class where all of the girls had FGM performed on them, 28 were subjected to infibulation – the most extreme kind where the clitoris and labia are complete cut away, and the genitals are sewn to leave a small vaginal opening.
A behavioral health therapist who pleaded guilty to patient abuse and unlawful restraint for sexually abusing a former patient who has severe mental health issues, was chastised by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Timothy McCormick before he sentenced him to eight weekends in jail.
“What were you thinking?” McCormick asked Gregory Markovich after the victim spoke emotionally for 45 minutes about how she has been unable to cope after the incident last September. “You can tell this victim has serious underlying issues and you were her social worker and was aware of it. What you engaged in is beyond comprehension.”
Markovich, 63, of Conneaut, said he had no explanation and began an affair with the victim after he was no longer her therapist.
He said they lived together for a year-and-a-half and he wanted to help her.
“You took advantage of her,” McCormick said. “You knew how troubled she was and didn’t have the ability to make an educated consensual decision to develop a relationship. Shame on you.”
An Indiana sheriff has insisted that Floyd County Jail was following normal procedures when two male and two female officers stripped a woman, pepper-sprayed her, and then left her locked up without clothes for five hours.
Last week, Attorney Laura Landenwich provided WDRB with video of what happened when New Albany woman Tabitha Gentry was taken into custody for disorderly conduct and resisting officers.
The video shows Gentry in a jail cell with four officers, and two of them are male. After Gentry tries to stand up, the officers take her to what the jail called a “padded room.”
“Almost immediately upon entering the jail, she’s assaulted by four officers. They grab her around the neck, they grab her body,” Landenwich explained. “They hold her down… There are two male officers and two female officers and they forceably remove her pants, her shoes, her underwear and her shirt and bra.”
Oftentimes, the so-called “political” or “trouble-making” behavior they engage in is simply doing what Title IX laws require them to in order to keep their students safe. Every professor I spoke to described a remarkably similar pattern of behavior on the administration’s part: when faculty object to the desultory, ineffective sexual assault and rape policies offered up by universities, they’re ignored; when they persist in their criticism, they’re labeled “hysterical” or “troublemakers” who are acting out of a “personal agenda,” and they’re put under increasing pressure to keep quiet. In some cases that pressure is insidious. In others, it’s bafflingly blatant: for instance, I spoke to two women who were denied tenure after helping students report sexual harassment (which, again, is their legal responsibility under Title IX).
The crux of the issue here is that colleges see the campus rape crisis primarily as an image problem. They put their illustrious reputations before their students’ safety, and, in doing so, they actively harm survivors. Because 1 in 5 women will be raped in college, a spotless sexual assault record simply isn’t possible. When college administrations strive to make it seem as though sexual assault and harassment are wildly uncommon, what they’re really doing is demanding that sexual assault survivors stay quiet about their experiences. Plainly put, low reporting numbers don’t reflect a dearth of sexual violence. They’re indicative of the fact that survivors are afraid of coming forward. But many college administrations seem not to care about this distinction.