Rethinking Manliness

 

C.Hayes photo 2012In the tense hours leading up to the identification of the Boston bombing suspects, a number of pressing questions swirled around their identities. What was their nationality? Did they act alone or were they operatives in a network? Was this an isolated incident or part of a larger plan? Here’s one question nobody asked: Were the bombers male or female? That question was answered before it could even be posed; it was treated as a given that the perpetrators were men. [Read more...]

Thank You for Your Service: “The Invisible War” Confronts Military Rape

"The Invisible War"

Still from The Invisible War.

It’s Oscar week, so I decided I’d get in on the fun by watching a nominated film that touches on my pet issues and doing a little write-up. Of course, “fun” in this case means watching a devastating documentary about rape in the military and then attempt to write about it while sniveling into my cardigan sleeve. [Read more...]

Sovereign

Maze of Injustice_CoverLet me set the scene: it was 2005, and I’d been working in the domestic violence field about six months. It was my first real job as an activist, the realization of a hazy, amorphous dream I’d left a Ph.D. program to chase (albeit in a roundabout way). I was in that exciting phase when you first start something new, and everything’s novel and fascinating just for its own sake. I was constantly amazed by what I was learning. I’m telling you this because the key thing to understand about me back then is that I was still capable of being shocked:  [Read more...]

The Anti-Wonk’s Guide to the Violence Against Women Act

Action4VAWAToday the Senate votes, again, on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), so everyone brace yourselves to read a lot of bad reporting on it. It’s not all the reporters’ fault; political reporters have a problem, which is that people who like to write about policy tend to be wonks, whereas the people who end up reading their stories mostly aren’t. [Read more...]

Beat Cops

Do you remember that recent case out of NYC in which a patrol officer was accused of raping an intoxicated woman while his partner stood guard outside her apartment? And then they were both acquitted despite a mountain of convincing evidence, and people were horrified and everything was gross, the end? Well, as it turns out that wasn’t the end, because another woman has emerged to say that she was mistreated by the same pair of cops several months earlier—not raped, but physically abused and personally degraded in a circumstance in which the two were charged to assist her. There are records of the complaints she filed at the time, so taken together with the alleged rape it’s all a little fishy, no? One might deduce—if one were an extremely jaded feminist blogger, for example—that Officer Kenneth Moreno has a problem with the ladies. [Read more...]

Low-Hanging Fruit: Dov Charney

Welcome to Low-Hanging Fruit,  an occasional feature in which I ridicule people who have already been so thoroughly castigated that they really don’t need me piling on to make the point. But then I go ahead and pile on anyway, because I’m just trivial enough to enjoy that sort of thing. This week’s overripe banana: horrible gross Dov Charney. For those of you new to this skeezy story, Charney is CEO of American Apparel,a serial sexual harasser and the alleged perpetrator of a kidnapping and assault, who finally fucked with the wrong girl and is now being sued for an ungodly sum by ex-employee Irene Morales. [Read more...]

Happy International Women’s Day, Suckers

So there I was in the gym locker room, minding my own business for once, and in under a minute of watching CNN I saw the following headlines: 1) Jet-setting sociopath Joran van der Sloot, who came to prominence for allegedly-probably murdering Natalee Holloway in Aruba, is trying to plead down to manslaughter charges for totally-definitely murdering Stephany Flores in Peru. 2) In Texas, 18 men were arrested on suspicion of gang-raping an 11-year-old girl, though the suspects are black and it’s Texas, so I forbear further comment. 3) A judge upheld a statutory rape charge against one of the teens on trial in the Phoebe Prince suicide-bullying case. [Read more...]

Rape is a Favorite Pastime in War and Other Uprisings

The moment there is any breakdown in the normal social order, women start to get raped. The first time I noticed this was in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. First we heard the reports of looting, then of the chaos afflicting the law enforcement system, then gradually the first rape reports began to trickle out. Then the trickle became a flood, and with that flood came the grim suspicion that the stories we were hearing only hinted at the full scope of the violence that was taking place. And at the time I remember feeling confused. I remember thinking that the looting made sense—supplies were scarce, people were stranded—but rape? How did mass sexual assault follow from a hurricane?

Now we’ve heard about Lara Logan, the CBS correspondent who was raped and beaten by a group of men after she was separated from her crew in Tahrir Square on Friday. [Read more...]