Spam: Game of Thrones Edition

Every so often it amuses and/or shocks me to see the spam left on a particular post. Usually this is because of the horrible incongruity between the content of the post and the content of the spam. About two weeks ago, I wrote a piece about rape on college campuses, including a bit about how rape at religious colleges is often covered in the media as a separate issue from rape at secular private colleges and rape at public universities. Of note, I concluded that studying the cultures of particular educational environments is fine if you want to understand those culture (especially if you want to use that understanding to tailor a message to be more effective at creating positive change around issues including but not limited to institutional responses to rape and sexual assault), but that the biggest institutional barriers to creating safe campuses appear to be shared across the religious/ secular/ state divides. In particular, schools seem to use criminal court systems as a model for determining whether one student is a danger to others, and the criminal court treats each charge as entirely separate, thus schools tend not to allow a history of credible and/or fully established charges against a student to affect how likely it is that a student’s latest denial is credible.

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Gordon College and the Institution of Rape

A day or two ago PZ Myers put up a post about sexual harassment of graduate students, and I followed on with some speculations about how numbers might be relatively low in some programs, yet still dauntingly high in others. These writings were sparked by a forthcoming journal article in the Utah Law Review that reports, among other findings, a 10% rate of women graduate students self-reporting as victims of sexual harassment. The cases they were able to study weren’t mild, either, and did not support the fears and hyperbole of those screaming about squashed academic freedom and an environment in which one careless, ambiguous, but innocent statement can result in serious consequences for the careers of even tenured faculty. On the contrary, they found:

First, contrary to popular assumptions, faculty sexual harassers are not engaged primarily in verbal behavior. Rather, most of the cases reviewed for this study involved faculty alleged to have engaged in unwelcome physical contact ranging from groping to sexual assault to domestic abuse-like behaviors. Second, more than half (53%) of cases involved professors allegedly engaged in serial sexual harassment.

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Safety vs Comfort: A conflation that furthers oppression

Shiv has a new post up that should be read by anyone unfamiliar with the dynamics of nominally-feminist trans dismissal. I’m happy to let the points that Shiv makes stand on their own: they are well made and well supported.

However, there are a couple of points not made that I think are timely, and though they further support Shiv’s thesis they do not suffer from being made separately.

In this post, I’ll take on a tendency on the part of all of us to confuse safety and comfort, and to confuse feelings of safety with actual safety. Although this comes up repeatedly in trans inclusion “debates” the error is not limited to anti-trans theocrats or trans-exclusive feminists or even the combination of the two.*1 In Shiv’s post “Who needs enemies…” we encounter the writing of a feminist who seems on the edge of making this error overtly more than once.

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Some Rapes Are Tuesday

I hope you read the recent post on Republican efforts to preserve the ability to commit rape after someone who previously consented to sexual activity revokes that consent, even when the activity includes things not covered by the original consent, such as violent force.

Some people will wonder how and why someone like Amy Guy, who by all accounts I’ve read sounds a very strong and capable person, could possibly offer any form of sexual consent to someone like Jonathan Wayne Guy, who had a history of acting abusively towards Amy Guy. For many, that history will understandably justify the fear of something horrific that might lead Amy Guy to minimize her risk by consenting, and, hopefully, by consenting help shape exactly what happens next. The hope is that, despite having sex only out of fear, exercising some agency can help make what happens next less traumatic than it might otherwise be.

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No means “don’t stop” … if you’re a Republican Senator in NC

This story, of course, deals with highly upsetting content, continue as you will.

In 1979 the NC state supreme court handed down a ruling that made it non-criminal to continue to act as if one had someone else’s sexual consent after that consent had been withdrawn. Worse? It did not matter if the rapist acted violently: if an encounter began with sexual consent, criminal law in NC would treat rape as consensual sex until whenever a rapist decided to stop raping. Prosecution would have to wait for the rapist to begin a separate, uniquely distinguishable act of sexual contact against a person without consent.

It was, in short, the Blue Balls theory of automatism. She was asking for it, writ in legalese alongside the ever popular, He’s a good guy, he just couldn’t help it.

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Thou Shalt Not Remember Rape #1: Japan to Korea

I originally titled this post, “Japan to Korea: Thou Shalt Not Remember Rape”. I quickly realized, however, that the command not to remember rape is so common that over the course of this blog, I’m likely to have quite a few more posts referencing the command than referencing Japan’s government talking to Korea’s government. Moreover, writing the headline as if the important bit were the identities “Japan” and “Korea” only feeds into Japan’s odious framing that governments’ speaking to each other is much more valuable than the ability of humans to remember our own experiences generally and our rapes specifically. Newspaper-headline conventions be damned, then.

This post comes about courtesy of a wonderful website, Hyperallergic, to which our own Caine, writing the wonderful blog Affinity, just introduced me.

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