Archive for the ‘Response to the News’ Category

But Really - Homophobia is dead.

Friday, April 11th, 2008

There’s a lot going on in this video that left me absolutely appalled, but I think my “favourite” bit is this: “I’m sure the Joint Chiefs of Staff can’t wait to report to a commander whose representative is Elton John.”

Does that just sound a wee bit like “No one will listen to someone supported by teh_gayz?”

Since apparently celebrity endorsements will affect how the US Joint Chiefs of Staff will react to the candidate…Are they any more likely to listen to someone supported by Stallone?

I know for the most part I don’t need to break down ideas about how Teh_Ebil_Homosexuals are out to get us all, right? We all know that’s not what’s going on. Gay people are not recruiting straight folks into their evil army of undead, queers aren’t trying to send god-fearing people into hell, and transfolk are not waiting to rape anyone in bathrooms. We’re all good on that, right?

But it’s a little more subtle than all of that. It’s a throw away comment that isn’t said in a vacuum. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is a policy in the US military that “prohibits a homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation, or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces. The policy also requires that as long as gay or bisexual men and women in the military hide their sexual orientation, commanders are not allowed to investigate their sexuality. ” [wikipedia] The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the folks who run the military in the US. Sir Elton John is, of course, quite openly gay.

Gosh, I wonder what’s being implied by the sarcasm in “I’m sure the Joint Chiefs of Staff can’t wait to report to a commander whose representative is Elton John.”

[From Media Matters, via Kate at Shakesville]

Belated FDQ: Where’s My Independent Media?

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Okay, I’ve been working on this platonic ideal of a post about the media for weeks now, and instead of becoming the definitive post on mainstream news reporting, it’s become nothing. So, now I’m thinking about horses and getting back on them.

My thoughts are basically this: Some time back I read an interesting criticism of feminist blogs from a womanist blog. She talked about how feminism don’t like mainstream media and mainstream news, but instead of working on changing them, feminists blogs tended to just react to them. I can’t say if this is true in every feminist blog (certainly groups like Girl Wonder; are working to change the media they criticise), but I certainly see it in a lot of them.

And so I got to thinking - what would a news source that I could get behind look like? How would it work?

I know that funding and staffing are serious issues. Like a lot of people, I have that image in my head of the intrepid report, living off coffee and a sense of responsibility, the maverick, going out and finding those stories that no one else will follow, getting the big lead, blowing everyone away with hir some scandal that brings down a government. These fictional reports live entirely for the thrill of the chase, since they rarely seem to make enough money to get more than a seedy apartment and a constant influx of coffee.

Reality doesn’t seem that far off, from what I can tell. According to this very good review of a book that talks about the problems with the British news, there are only four reports to cover Cardiff, South Wales, and the Welsh Assembly. I know Wales is small, but it’s not that small! A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) works in the news room of hir local radio station. “Works”, of course, makes it sound like zie has coworkers, but no - zie works alone. To cover all the news, write the stories, make it out to any and all events, and still be bright-eyed and bushy tailed every morning on the air, starting at o-dark-hundred. How is someone supposed to get all the news, analyse it and give out strong news reports with that much on hir plate?

Is blogging the way of the future of the news? Certainly some of the bigger stories of the past year have started out being blogged and flogged by smaller blogs, until picked up by bigger blogs, and then suddenly they’re front page news. (The most obvious example of this I can think of is The Jena 6, but I know there’s been others.) Certainly a lot of things are brought to my attention through blogging, with passionate and insightful posts varying from the latest attempt (or success) to ban certain articles of clothing to long discussions on the state of privacy (or lack thereof) in the UK. I know when I blog about things on LJ, it brings things to other people’s attention who might have missed it otherwise.

I don’t think that’s the right answer, though. Most people don’t get paid for blogging (I know there are exceptions, but they are rare), which means they’re writing these passionate posts in their “spare” time. Most people who blog don’t have any investigative reporting training. Most people who blog do it in such a way that they can’t really be held accountable if they turn out to be incorrect about something.

I want a news media where I feel they are talking about something important - not making the news, but reporting the news. I want a media where half the stories are not recycled AP stories. I want a media that doesn’t focus so much attention on the antics of various celebrities, and then more attention on how awful it is that the media focuses on the antics of various celebrities. I want an independent media, that isn’t all run by one or two big umbrella companies across the various countries.

But I don’t know what that would look like.

What are your thoughts? What do you want out of the news media? What do you think a more vibrant and relevant-to-you news media would look like? What do you think the answers are? I’m curious as to your thoughts.

Text of the formal apology to Indigenous Australians

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
Text of the formal apology to Indigenous Australians made in federal parliament by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at 7am today. [Tuesday, 12 February 2008]

Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations - this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.

Thoughts?

My thoughts are deceptively simple - What happens now?

Canada formally apologised for the Residential Schools back in 1998, although that apology was specifically to those who had suffered abuse, not for the policy itself or for students who had “just” been taken from their families. It was eight years after that before formal apologies were issued to all students, and compensation was sorted in September of 2007.

To me, the Residential School System was always something “historical” - not something that had happened recently. However, the last Residential School in Canada was closed in 1998. I graduated from high school in 1994.

And again, I look at my History degree and wonder why I graduated so completely in the dark about my own country.

Toronto Opens Black-Focused School

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I got another email from my friend, Mark, forwarding me a link with this comment:


The City of Toronto has just decided to open up a “black-focused school.” This school’s main emphasis will be to teach Black History and other things that have a strong appeal to black people.Some are calling it segregation. Some are calling it a victory for the Black community.

I just want to point out that it will be a public school, and open to people of all races, creeds, and colours.

Toronto trustees vote in favour of black-focused schools

[I have quoted the text here, as I am unsure how long things remain available on CBC’s website.]


A proposal to create Canada’s first black-focused public school was approved by Toronto District School Board trustees Tuesday night.

They have recommended the creation of an alternative school that features a curriculum and teaching environment oriented around black history and culture.

The vote took place after an evening debate on the controversial proposal, which critics believe is a plan for segregation, while supporters believe it could keep more black students in school.

Trustees heard from a number of delegations including academics, parents, teachers and students.

A presentation was also made by the mother of Jordan Manners, a15-year-old boy shot dead in a Toronto school last May. Loreen Smallstood in opposition to the black school plan, calling it “segregation.”

“This black school thing … it ain’t right,” she told trustees, saying teachers need more help to engage with students in multi-racial classrooms.

Some parents have said they want to try something new because the current system isn’t working. As many as 40 per cent of black students don’t graduate from Toronto high schools.

Angela Wilson is a mother of two who has been at the forefront of a push for Africentric or black-focused schools for years.

“Make our education system better for everybody,” she said.

“It’s not a one size fits all education system. It’s actually working its way to be one size fits few — and the few that are successful do not look like me.”

Trustees were supposed to have discussed a report delivered last week that makes four major recommendations:

  • Open an Africentric alternative school in 2009.
  • Start a three-year pilot program in three other high schools.
  • Work with York University to improve school achievement.
  • Develop a plan to help failing students.

Supporters said those options will keep black students engaged and in school, but opponents said it will lead to greater isolation.

“I just feel being with a mixed group of people is better, you know, you get to learn different cultures, different aspects of different people, the way they live,” said Grade 10 student Terrin Smith-Williams.

Board chair John Campbell sees an Africentric school as just one option for dealing with the problems facing young blacks in Toronto’s education system.

“It should not be viewed as the sole solution to a problem, but should instead be seen as a response to a community request for action,” he said in a news release issued before the vote.

My thoughts:
(anything in italics I took from the article)

- “This black school thing … it ain’t right,” she told trustees, saying teachers need more help to engage with students in multi-racial classrooms. I do definitely agree that there needs to be more work done on getting teachers to engage in multi-racial classrooms, but how long should students have to wait for that to happen?

- I’m not entirely certain what’s wrong with a black-focused classroom. With all due respect, the classroom I went to was white-focused, and it wasn’t like every student in the class was white. White (colonial) history was taught, white (male) artists were taught, the default assumption was white. If a black-focused classroom is a bad idea, why is a white-focused classroom a good one?

- As Mark says, it’s a public school - there’s nothing stopping people from sending their kids there at all. Which doesn’t necessarily follow that that will happen, sadly. I wonder if it will. I wonder if the school will be successful in what it wants to achieve. I really hope there are many news reports on it, because I’d like to follow it and see what happens.

- I have to admit, I went to school in B.C., which meant a lot of East Asian people as opposed to black people. I didn’t see a lot of history focused on the third of the class that wasn’t white. In fact, I have no idea of much of went on in countries outside of Europe during the 20th Century. (My high school history classes were mostly about the 20th Century, and a lot of talking about Germany, which is where my history prof was from.)

- I really just wish we could have properly integrated schools that didn’t act like races other than white (and countries outside of Europe) didn’t exist, but I don’t know how long that would take to fix, and again, how long should students wait?

- I’m certain I’m missing some very important aspects of all of this.

- Actually, now that I think about it, there’s a lot of talk that goes on when there’s a move to segregate “women’s only” transportation (like buses and trains in Japan, for example) about how doing this gives an implication that women who decide not to ride in the women’s only area are indicating that they’re okay with the typical groping and other forms of assault that go on in “regular” train cars. I’m wondering if there’s going to be comments about how “if you want education about black things, go to the black school, you black person!” (which, of course, won’t be that polite) if there are complaints in the other schools. I mean, I never went to school in Toronto, so I don’t know what it’s like there in terms of teaching.

- Arg, can’t something be easy?

What are your thoughts?

Happy Mother’s Day And All That

Monday, May 14th, 2007

A Third Gender in the Workplace.

Mothers are still treated as if they were a third gender in the workplace. Among people ages 27 to 33 who have never had children, women’s earnings approach 98 percent of men’s. Many women will hit the glass ceiling, but many more will crash into the maternal wall.

Here’s a Mother’s Day card from a study just published by Shelley Correll in the American Journal of Sociology. Correll performed an experiment to see if there was a motherhood penalty in the job market. She and her colleagues at Cornell University created an ideal job applicant with a successful track record, an uninterrupted work history, a boffo resume, the whole deal.

Then they tucked a little telltale factoid into some of the resumes with a tip-off about mom-ness. It described her as an officer in a parent-teacher association. And — zap — she was mommified.

Moms were seen as less competent and committed. Moms were half as likely to be hired as childless women or men with or without kids. Moms were offered $11,000 less in starting pay than non-moms. And, just for good measure, they were also judged more harshly for tardiness.

“Just the mention of the PTA had that effect,” says Correll. “Imagine the effect of a two-year absence from the workforce or part-time work.”

Happy mother’s day, to all and sundry who are still on Sunday and celebrate it on this date.

*sigh* I can’t even think of what to do about that - moms deserve better.

ETA: gentlespirit reminded me that:

Just to put it out there–that seems to be more in the corporate world. In teaching primary school, and I imagine any profession that brings one in close contact with young people, mothers are often given more respect and credence. (With strong union contracts pay is based upon position, time, level of study and such, no arbitrary raises, really.)

In addition to struggling with my age, and language barriers, I often receive remarks such as “as a mother….” or “wait until you he your own children.” Things I have said have been dismissed with “she’s not a mom” and people who do not know have asked if I have children as a means of judging what I say.

I am not saying that the treatment described in the study you posted is appropriate; I am rather appalled. I am saying that I feel it deals with a select part of the job force. Just saying “workplace” is hardly clear.

[view comments on LJ]

My Deliberately Barren Self Is Having Issues

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

An Australian senator has caused a storm of protest for describing a female politician as “deliberately barren” and therefore unfit to govern.

Bill Heffernan said Labor Party deputy leader Julia Gillard did not understand the public because she had no children.

He has since apologised for the “inappropriate” comments, first made last year but repeated again this week.

Analysts say the incident will be an embarrassment for his close friend, Prime Minister John Howard.

Mr Howard has made it clear he does not support Mr Heffernan’s comments.

“The question of whether people have children, whether they marry and have children, is entirely a matter for them and I do not think it should be a matter of public comment,” Mr Howard told reporters.

Nappy knowledge

Mr Heffernan first questioned Ms Gillard’s childlessness last year, when he queried whether the deputy Labor leader could fully understand her voters because she did not have her own family.

In Wednesday’s edition of The Bulletin magazine, he voiced similar remarks.

“If you’re a leader, you’ve got to understand your community,” the 64-year-old senator said.

“One of the great understandings in a community is family and the relationship between mum, dad and a bucket of nappies,”he added.

Ms Gillard, 45, dismissed Mr Heffernan’s views as old-fashioned.

“The reality is that modern women know all about modern women’s choices. Mr Heffernan is a man stuck in the past,” she told reporters.


What do you think about the senator’s comments that a childless female politician is unfit to govern? Can a woman understand people better if she has children? Are children a help or a hindrance to success in a woman’s life? Send us your comments.

Via: BBC

I’m so conflicted on this report.

First - yay, the whole thing is being condemned rather strongly from various places. Woo hoo! Women politicians should be judged on their merits and not on their relationships or the number of children they don’t have (or do have).

On the other hand…

It’s 2007, and once again - I don’t want my damned flying cars, I want my female politicians to be taken seriously. That Heffernan felt that it was okay to say this in the first place says something in itself.

That the BBC thinks that the question should be “Can a woman understand people better if she has children?” say something in itself.

Not:

- Should discussions about the family status of politicians be part of political rhetoric? Do politicians have a right to a private life?
- Can any politician understand people better if he or she has children?
- Does having children make anyone understand people better?
- Should Heffernan’s remarks be enough to call into question his understanding of his own constituents?

There are probably a lot of other questions that I’m not thinking of that should be asked in response to this.

Why the heck are they asking if children are a help or hindrance to success in a woman’s life? What, men’s lives are not affected by children? What, women’s success is only measured without considering if raising children *is* the success? It’s not like it’s an easy job, for crying out loud.

Deliberately barren? Would she somehow be okay as a politician if she’d found out she was unable to have children because of some medical reason?

[Oh, man, and this doesn’t even get into stuff about lesbian and gay couples who don’t have children…. I have no idea if they can adopt in Aus.]

Yay, the politicians are condemning the remark. Think of the positive. Think of the positive. Think of the positive….

The Revolution Will Be Blogged

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

I intellectually know better than making this post at 2 a.m. because it’s going to be rough and raw and will not be polished properly. I’m gonna do it anyway, though, because damn. Damn. This is insane.

I love this article. I do. Because it’s written like an exact “How To Belittle The Experiences Of Women and Gay People Who Talk About Harassment” Primer.

April 12, 2007 — One of them was “slightly pretty,” so the freelance film director decided to say hi.

Next thing he knew, he was encircled, beaten and knifed in the gut right there on a Greenwich Village sidewalk - by seven bloodthirsty young lesbians.

It came out of nowhere! It did! He was just walking along, minding his own business, when those lesbians (must make sure we know they’re young and lesbian) just attacked him for being friendly! That’s totally how this happened!

“The girls started coming out of nowhere,” Dwayne Buckle told a Manhattan jury yesterday, describing the bizarre beat-down he suffered last summer, allegedly at the hands of a seething sapphic septet from Newark, N.J. “I felt like I was going to die.”

“Seething sapphic septet”? That’s actually funny. I will totally give it extra points for that.

[Since it came up at work last week, Sappho was a Greek poet who wrote about loving other women. She’s from the isle of Lesbos. We get the term Lesbian from her. Without checking it in the dictionary, sapphic refers to women-focused or women-loving women type stuff. I was floored, being that I work with college graduates, that a good chunk had never heard of Sappho, which I think says more about me than them.]

Buckle, 29, of Queens, took the stand in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday to admit he was defenseless and terrified after his simple “hello” spurred a predawn melee on Sixth Avenue at West 4th Street. Three of the original seven women are currently serving six-month jail sentences for attempted assault. But four others are on trial on first-degree gang-assault charges that could get them anywhere from three to 25 years in prison.

The accused ringleader - Patreese Johnson, 20, whom Buckle called the “slightly pretty one” - is additionally charged with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a knife from her purse and slashing Buckle repeatedly, lacerating his liver and stomach.

I want you to remember whose story was told first, and the incredibly sensationalised way it was just told. A simple hello! Defenseless and terrified! The slightly pretty one just came at him for no reason!

Hmm… That just strikes me as a bit odd. But then, I didn’t grow up in the city. And I understand girls are now meaner, and these were young lesbians, so maybe they’re part of that. Damn. Poor guy.

Oh. Wait. There was a video tape of this attack.

The women, in turn, claim they were defending themselves against a violent, anti-gay bigot, and counter that Buckle provoked them as he sat outside the IFC Center movie theater trying to talk pedestrians into buying his latest movie. When they rebuffed his advances - telling him he wasn’t their type - he began calling them “f- - -ing dykes,” they say. He then spat on them, threw a cigarette at them, and even grabbed one of them by the throat -which, like much of the melee, was caught on an IFC video security camera.

Right… that’s just “saying hello” in … some other language? Like Klingon?

“I’ll f- - - you straight, sweetheart,” he told defendant Venice Brown, 19, before choking her, her lawyer, Michael Mays, told jurors.

… You know, I don’t have a witty comment to make to that. It’s been too long a week.

Buckle told a different story on the stand, assigning many of his alleged attackers monikers. There was Brown, the one he admittedly called an “elephant.” Then there was the one with the “low haircut,” do-rag and wife-beater T-shirt,whom he admittedly called “a man,” and the “slightly pretty” one to whom he first said hello. It all started, he said, when the first two walked by. “They looked effeminate [sic] and one of them was slightly pretty, so I said ‘hi’ to them,” he said. But the “heavier girl, she started to dog me out,” Buckle said. “What does that, perchance, mean,” asked the judge, Justice Edward McLaughlin. “Just disrespect me,” Buckle explained. Then “more girls started coming out of nowhere.”

But I’m sure that he just “said hello”, right? And then suddenly seven sapphic samarai just jumped him, for no reason!

Buckle admitted he retaliated,telling the one with the “low haircut” that “she looks like a man.” He felt spit on the back of his neck, and spat back. That’s when the women’s fists began flying. “I had my hands in the air in defense of their blows,” he said. Then “I felt like a nick in my abdomen. I didn’t know what happened. “Everybody just jumped me,” he added, including three male passers-by recruited on the spot by the women. “It felt like it was 10, 20 people.” By the end, “I was messed up,” he said.

Which is, of course, earlier contradicted in this article by the mention of video evidence that he choked one of them after throwing a lit cigarette at them, blah blah. We don’t need to present the facts, though. We need sensational articles! We need it to be all about One Lone Man standing off against the Evil Seven Sapphic Sisters! Ack, the horrors of women - lesbian women, no less - and the way they’ll go at you if you let them out in groups!

So, let’s review:

- Women are just walking down the street, minding their own business, when some guy demands they buy his videos
- Women refuse, and for some reason that he’s not their type comes up
- Man starts hurling abuse at them for daring to be lesbians
- At some point a cigarette is flicked, a woman is choked, stuff like that
- Women fight back against their attacker
- Man = victim

Yes, I will totally agree that the man was knifed and that is horrible and bad. And yes, I will totally agree that violence isn’t the answer to street harassment (although did you hear about the woman who ignored the catcalls from a truck and the guy who was catcalling was so mad he ran over her. Last I heard she may die.).

But why the HELL is he being presented as an innocent victim in the lead in to this article? Why is it being presented as these wild and insane women (gay women!) just going off on him for no reason for the first few paragraphs?

This is my theory:

Because the women being lesbians is titilating. It’s an amusing image. It’s women’s sexuality, and we can’t make it not about the sex.

Look, I know sex sells. I do. But does it bloody well have to sell a violent attack on someone? Does it *really*? Can’t it just be about how a group of women retaliating after a gay-bashing incident? Doesn’t that make the whole thing a bit more serious? And shouldn’t the whole thing be taken a bit more seriously? The guy was knifed, for crying out loud. After attacking the women for not wanting to sleep with him. After choking one of them for… what, not wanting to sleep with him?

Why is this even considered journalism? It’s the New York Post for crying out loud. That’s… something, right?

Lord, I’m tired. If this comes across as sounding like I don’t think the women should be punished in any way, please believe me that I’m not trying to say that. They attacked him, that’s serious, and should be punished by the law.

But to pretend for just a minute that nothing else was going on here is a bit much.

I’m going to bed. Someone wake me when the revolution comes.

Because Rape Jokes Are Always Funny, Take II

Monday, April 9th, 2007

A few months ago someone took me off his flist, and one of the reasons he gave me for doing so was that I had become “humourless”. I found this charge a bit odd - I mean, I still find exactly the same kind of lame humour I found funny last year funny this year, I still celebrate with glee Talk Like A Pirate Day and Sneak Like A Ninja Day. I still giggle when I read The Wotch. What the hell?

Oh. Maybe it’s that I don’t find this funny. Not even on April Fool’s Day.

Katie Conservative, another WIN member, said the march also aims to reclaim nighties from cross-dressing men who have bogarted white,crocheted, old-fashioned nighties for far too long.
“My vagina told me that for too long, men have taken things that are rightfully ours,”Conservative said. “Tonight we take back nighties just like we took back hairy armpits and stilettos, even though trannies are still trying to steal them too.”
Near the end of the march, chaos broke out when Ostrich’s vagina crawled from under flowing white nightie, stole a loudspeaker and went on a rampage.
“How dare you act like you know what I have to say,” the vagina screamed down Richmond Row.
“You don’t know me, bee-otch,” it squealed. “You can’t even see me through all this hair you’ve let over-grow. Think of me. I can’t even breathe down here!”
Upon seeing the chaos, London Police Chief Murray Faulkner stopped greasing his nightstick and intervened.
He grabbed the loudspeaker from Ostrich’s wild vagina and took it into a dark alley to teach it a lesson.
To Ostrich’s dismay, the vagina followed, giggling as it said, “I love it when a man in uniform takes control.”

Women were delighted to see groups of men standing on the sidewalks in support.
“It was so great to see men supporting us in our nighties and helping us to spread vagina peace and love,” Conservative said.
One man held a sign that read, “Yeah baby, I’ll take back your nightie anytime!”
What the marchers couldn’t see was that the men were using their penises as the beat off to the women in their long, flowing garbs.
“It takes a little imagination, but once you picture them without the nasty dreadlocks, the hideous piercings, the hairy pits and the beards, some of them are actually kinda hot,” said Cocky McFratboy, while taking a break from masturbating.
The event ended when a man sent WIN into a screaming, tribal frenzy by yelling, “You want an opinion! With a push-up bra, you could actually have a nice rack of lamb going on there!”

It’s from the April Fool’s Edition of the University of Western Ontario’s Gazette, the student run paper.

This is what I’m supposed to find funny in order to not be considered a “humourless feminist”? This?

Does it become more funny if you know the names they’re using are very similar to names of two major feminists on campus, one of whom suggested they stop making sexist and racist and homophobic commentary and claiming it as “funny”?

Oh, ha ha. I’m laughing. Yeah.

I think I’m going to pull the covers back over my head.

Right after I email the Gazette Editor-in-Chief, Ian Van Den Hurk at gazette.editor@uwo.ca, and equity services at equity@uwo.ca.

For more information, read the entire article.

[hat-tip to Juxta Feminist Cafe

Sex, Rape - to some people, i guess they’re the same thing

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

There seems to be a great deal going on in this article.

Appeal Judge Draws Fire Over Sex Consent [Look, it’s news from Australia!]

APPEAL court judges have erased an alleged rapist’s criminal record after ruling that a man could not rape and have consensual sex with a woman in the same encounter….At trial, the jury heard the 54-year-old defendant drove the woman to a location as a favour, saying “it will cost you”. Shetestified he took her to an isolated area and partially undressed her,then forced her to perform fellatio and have intercourse. The defendant argued the woman consented and the jury verdict was “unreasonable”.

Having done some reading, the jury apparently agreed the sex was non-consensual because she had a condition that caused all vaginal sex to be painful for her.

In his judgment, Chief Justice John Doyle said there was “no satisfactory explanation” for the verdicts, because the charges came from the same evidence.

Which is where my brain starts to get a bit broken.

First - heck yeah! She said she didn’t consent to either sex act, so why won’t the jury believe on both?

Second - what? I’ll have you know that I can be quite happy to have oral sex with someone and not feel up to anything else. One sex act can be consented to and it doesn’t mean I’m going to do anything else. If that second sex act is forced on me it’s still rape.

Yesterday,the State Government vowed to table new laws, wherein sex would become rape as soon as consent was withdrawn – even if the act had already begun.

Darn skippy.

Opposition legal affairs spokeswoman Isobel Redmond warned the new laws may interfere in people’s private lives. “When reading the legislation, one gets the feeling even married couples will need to sign a contract before they have sex,” she said. “You reach a point where you’re trying to legislate for every human behaviour. It’s not possible and it doesn’t lead to justice.”

Wow.

Yeah. Because (wait for it):

OBVIOUSLY it is a big huge deal to say to your sexual partner “Is this what you want?” OBVIOUSLY we will RUIN MARRIED SEX if we insist that no does in fact mean no. That no means no if I’ve had sex with you before, that no means no if I’ve had sex with you five minutes ago, that no means no IF I MARRIED YOU.

Where does Isobel Redmond get the idea that being sure your partner is wanting what you’re doing is such a horrible burden? Isn’t that supposed to be part of the fun?

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