Lake Zurich High School’s sordid history of hazing

Hazing is a practice that most people experience at some point in their life. It is usually intended as a bonding experience. Sometimes this is done in good nature, with the newcomer engaging in some silly or embarrassing practice to gain the group’s approval and admittance. Yet It often turns to more cruel activities.

Reports about hazing from fraternities to police departments to sports teams to the military show that hazing becomes a means of ritually abusing newcomers. The older and more accepted the practice, the more perverse the ritual abuse. It is quite common for hazing to take on a sexual nature, usually resulting in sexual assault.

When one thinks of these cases, one would expect to hear this coming out of university or military school. One would not expect it out of a high school. Unfortunately, this is what happened at Lake Zurich High School. Two students who played football at the school filed a lawsuit against the school district, alleging that the coaches and school officials ignored the hazing, which allegedly included forcing the boys to strip naked and sexual assault: Continue reading

Female researchers outraged when asked to include men

Megan Head and Fiona Ingleby submitted a research paper to the journal PLOS ONE. The paper explored the postdoc positions offered to PhD graduates in the life sciences. It specifically focused on whether sexism affected the positions offered to female graduates. The journal rejected the paper, however, on the grounds that “the qulaity [sic] of the manuscript is por [sic] issues on methodologies and presentation of resulst [sic]”.

Setting the irony of that statement aside, the controversy erupted when the researchers published excerpts from the review online:

The reviewer makes objections to the way that the researchers interpreted the results of a survey of 244 people with a PhD in biology, which the authors use to conclude there is gender bias in academia.

In offering an alternative interpretation of the data, the reviewer says: “It could perhaps be the case that 99% of female scientists make a decision in mid-life that spending more time with their children is more important to them than doing everything imaginable to try to get one of the rare positions at the utter pinnacle of their field.”

The reviewer goes on: “Or perhaps it is the case that only some small portion of men (and only men) have the kind of egomaniac personality disorder that drives them on to try to become the chief of the world at the expense of all else in life.”

Continue reading

Rolling Stone apologizes for UVA story

Rolling Stone magazine ran an article about a woman’s account of gang rape at the University of Virgina. In the article, Jackie claimed that a fraternity member organized a gang rape against her. The accusations led to UVA shutting down all its fraternities until next year and an overhaul of the sexual assault policies on its campus. Other schools took similar measures.

Feminists ran with the accusation, using it as proof of the “rape culture” they claim is epidemic. Yet some people questioned the story, specifically the issue of relying solely on Jackie’s claims. With questions concerning the veracity of the interview mounting, Rolling Stone retracted its story. Here is the full statement: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v209

In His Own Words: Victimized by victim support advocates — It’s day 24 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for Men and Boys, the invisible victims of domestic violence. Today’s In His Own Words is an example of the systemic abuse to which men and boys are frequently subjected. It is an egregious example of sexism and misandry. It is also an example of how many women use victimhood (real or imagined) as a form of “street cred” and/or social status.

‘Man up’ to being a victim — The push to empower women could be prompting violence against men. “You have women who have found their voice and were encouraged to do so, which is a good thing. But are the women in the next generation taking it too far?” questioned Charlane Cluett, Muskoka Parry Sound Community Mental Health Service operations manager. “Although women still tend to be the most likely victims, we may be seeing a shift in females acting out more.”

The Rape ‘Epidemic’ Doesn’t Actually Exist — A group of 100 protesters – including many topless women – recently marched the streets of Athens, Ohio chanting, “Blame the system, not the victim” and “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape.” Organized by an Ohio University student organization called “f*ckrapeculture,” the protest was designed to bring attention to what the founders believe is a toxic culture of sexism and sexual violence infecting their campus. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v186

4-year-old Tucson boy in abuse case dies — Jaedyn Minley loved bounce houses, but was terrified of Chuck E Cheese. Jaedyn had a significant collection of little toy cars and the diction of an adult. And on Saturday, after the 4-year-old was declared brain dead, Jaedyn was removed from life support, and his organs were harvested to save the lives of two other children and an adult. “He was the best kid,” Jaedyn’s paternal aunt, Janai Minley, said Monday.

Anti-rape bill is anti-male: Jaya Bachchan — Actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan on Thursday said the anti-rape bill is anti-male and that its provisions make men vulnerable to misuse of the law. Participating in a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, Samajwadi Party MP Bachchan said she was not too happy with various aspects of the bill, including punishment for those found stalking women, which can lead to the misuse of the bill. It’s not just men who stalk women.

Barbara Kay: Our male-victimizing myths live on — Twenty years ago Earl Silverman of Calgary, fleeing his home to escape violence from his abusive wife, had no refuge to take shelter in. There were plenty of shelters for women victims of domestic abuse, but for men the only publicly funded services were for anger management. The message was clear to Silverman: “As a victim, I was re-victimized by having these services telling me I wasn’t a victim, but I was a perpetrator.”

Criminal justice system’s ‘dark secret’: Teenagers in solitary confinement — James Stewart, a 17-year-old from Denver who committed suicide while in solitary confinement, had never been to jail before August of 2008. That was when, under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, Stewart had gotten into a head-on car collision, killing a 32-year-old man. Because of the severity of his crime, Stewart was charged with vehicular homicide – and charged as an adult. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v183

Boys ‘worse at school due to stereotypes’ — Stereotypes about boys being intellectually inferior to girls affect children during the first years of primary school and prevent them fulfilling their potential, researchers found. Teachers should assure boys that they are just as academic as girls and avoid doing anything which could make them feel inferior such as splitting classes by gender, they said. In the first stage of the study researchers presented 238 boys and girls aged four to 10 with a range of scenarios related to behaviour or performance, such as “this child really wants to learn and do well at school”.

Circumcision DOES reduce sexual pleasure by making manhood less sensitive — Men who are circumcised are in for some bad news – it puts them at a disadvantage in the bedroom, according to experts. A study found those who’ve had their foreskin removed as children or adults experience less intense sexual pleasure and orgasm than their peers. ‘We’re not saying less sexual activity or satisfaction, but sensitivity,’ senior author Dr Piet Hoebeke, from Ghent University Hospital, said. The practice is common in the U.S, with three-quarters of men having the procedure for non-religious reasons.

Former area Boy Scout tells his story of abuse — The Boy Scouts of America are under heavy fire these days: first, for the group’s stance against membership by gays, and second, for the so-called perversion files. A judge in December ordered the release of tens of thousands of pages detailing decades of alleged sexual abuse by men inside the organization against Scouts in their care. Instead of turning these tips over to law enforcement for investigation, the Boy Scouts of America chose to keep them in private files.  Continue reading

1 Blue String

Here is a new campaign call 1BlueString from 1in6 raising awareness about sexual violence against boys:

1BlueString is the first awareness campaign to support the 1 in 6 men in the U.S> who were sexually abused in childhood.

The campaign is simple. We are asking guitarists at all levels, in all genres, to help us raise awareness of this alarming statistic by playing with 1 blue string.

The strings and picks will be provided free of charge. All we hope for in return is that you will participate and share your support.

Our campaign is funded, so stay tuned for a Fall 2012 launch. Until then, please help us get people talking: @1bluestring

It looks like they are still in the process of getting the campaign going. I will keep readers updated on the progress.