Feminists, stop trivializing rape

Several days ago a video appeared on YouTube. The title is “My Family Raped Me.” The short film plays like a public service announcement. It appears to be geared for an Indian audience, as all the actors are Indian. The female narrator gives the audience an account of the myriad of ways she was raped throughout her life. She begins with:

Yes, I’ve been getting raped. I don’t even remember since when. Maybe it started when I came out of my mother’s womb.”

There is just one problem: she was never raped. Instead, she claims that acts committed against other women were assaults on her. Yet this presents a problem because none of the acts are sexually violent. The one act of violence in the video is the woman’s father slapping her mother. The other instances are her mother calling some girl a slut and her brother teasing a woman about her appearance.

In short, saying mean things to one women is akin to raping another woman .

Feminists often complain about how people trivialize rape by using the word in the “wrong” context. Saying, “I raped that test” is wrong. Saying, “I got raped in Halo yesterday” is wrong. Yet comparing an insult to rape is acceptable.

The video received more down votes than up votes, a number of negative comments, and a hilarious take-down by TJ of the Amazing Atheist, leading the YouTube account holder to block voting and commenting.

For those out there who might be confused: rape is unwanted sexual intercourse. It is not a lewd comment, not an insult, and not a slap across the face. It certainly cannot be done to you if no one touches you.

Please, feminists, stop trivializing rape.

Calgary Expo sends cop to badger the Badgers

I just read this on Twitter:

Here is an explanation: several people attended the expo to meet the Honey Badgers. Following the Badgers’ ejection from the Calgary Comics Expo, the group decided to find a place where their fans could meet them. They chose a park located near Calgary. They posted the location on Twitter and their website. Apparently someone from Calgary Expo discovered this and promptly had the expo’s security contact the police. Continue reading

Banning the brigade

So this happened yesterday:

With 97,000 attendees last year, this year’s Calgary Comic Expo – billed as the 2nd largest in Canada and the 4th largest in North America – should’ve been a blast for all the guests, exhibitors and visitors.

For one group promoting comic books and free expression, though, the trip turned into a humiliating nightmare – through no fault of their own.

Eight members of the women’s creative artistic group the Honey Badger Brigade (once located in space BF 3821 at the Expo) – Anna Cherry, Brian Martinez, Alison Tieman, Mike Stephenson (of YouTube channel DoctorRandomercam), Karen Straughan (GirlWritesWhat), Hannah Wallen, Sage Gerard, and Rachel Edwards – had their exhibitor’s booth shut down by security just before the doors opened to the public on Friday, April 17, the 2nd day of the 4-day exposition. They were then summarily ejected from the premises along with Alison’s husband and Anna’s companion – 10 ejections in all.

One leader of the cooperative group – comic producer Alison Tieman – was also blacklisted permanently from attending similar Comic Expositions across Canada, effectively destroying her ability to promote her art.

Their crime? Alison politely answered a question during a panel discussion.

The discussion can be heard below. It is clear from the audio that the discussion was civil. There were no threats, insults, or attacks. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v110

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

You were raped? Prove it

Three weeks after police released their report discrediting the rape accusation made by a UVA student, there are still defenders of Jackie claiming that she is the real victim. It is amazing to witness the level of cognitive dissonance on display.

The police report could not have been clearer: there was zero evidence supporting Jackie’s claim of being gang-raped in frat house by seven men. The police could not verify a single element of the story. Indeed, they found the opposite: plenty of evidence suggesting nothing happened. One could not ask for more evidence that this was a false accusation outside of a video of Jackie somewhere else when the alleged rape took place.

Yet that has not stopped the excuses made on this woman’s behalf. There have been some amazing bad article. By far the best and the dumbest came from Sargon of Akkad’s “pumpkin” Jessica Valenti. (Feel free to look up it and read it for yourself, but understand you could have been staring at the wall instead of reading that idiocy.) Cheryl Hunter wrote such an article for the Good Men Project. She begins with:

There’s an epidemic afoot, and it is catching. Unlike other communicable diseases, no matter on which side of the vaccination issue you find yourself, no injection will save you.

It is an epidemic of silence around sexual assault, and it is characterized by two factors:

  • The silence of victims
  • The silence of those who know the victims or know the perpetrators

There is not an epidemic afoot. This precisely the kind of hyperbolic language that led to Rolling Stone’s article. There is, however, a tendency within society to silence those who want to speak about uncomfortable things. These things can range from sexual assault to religious differences. It is human nature not to cause discord within one’s community. Discussing these things causes discord, ergo there is a concerted effort to shut down any discussion about them. As noted, it is not limited to sexual violence. The same thing happens with child abuse, drug addiction, and religious deconversion.

Yet that is not Hunter’s actual point. This is:

Was “Jackie” in the Rolling Stone article A Rape On Campus really gang raped? Perhaps we’ll never know. I was, though, and I think the Rolling Stone debacle fuels the epidemic of silence, and has long-range importance to us all, regardless of our gender or whether we, personally, have been sexually assaulted or not.

The Rolling Stone debacle… on second thought, let us call it what it is. The Rolling Stone fuck up happened because the people involved did not exercise basic journalist skills and fact-check their source. The only thing this fuck up fuels is more fuck ups as people insist on believing any and every woman who claims rape regardless of whether her story holds up under scrutiny.

Hunter goes on: Continue reading

Women preferred 2:1 over men for STEM faculty positions

Readers may recall a common feminist refrain about sexism in STEM fields. The refrain goes something like this: women are being kept out of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields because of sexism. Girls are not encouraged to take STEM courses in school and as a result they fall behind boys in those fields. The few girls who do take an interest in the fields find that businesses will not hire them because of sexism. Businesses prefer to hire men over women.

That turns out not to be true. According to a new study:

Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles (single, married, divorced), with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference. Comparing different lifestyles revealed that women preferred divorced mothers to married fathers and that men preferred mothers who took parental leaves to mothers who did not. Our findings, supported by real-world academic hiring data, suggest advantages for women launching academic science careers.

The authors conducted several experiments that led to the findings: Continue reading

Told you so: Study finds women rape men more than you think

Originally posted on May 3, 2014

It is rare when a person gets to engage in justified schadenfreude, but a recent study allows me to do just that:

Women rape men a lot more often than you think, according to the findings of researcher Lara Stemple.

Her journey to this remarkable discovery that could change how we talk about sexual assault in America began with combing over a recent National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

In it, she noticed that 38 percent of sexual assault cases in a survey of more than 40,000 households involved men as the victims. In previous years, the stats were between five and 14 percent, indicating that the crime is grossly underreported.

This is a sentiment Stemple seems to subscribe to in her work with the Health and Human Rights Project at UCLA.

This is annoying many feminists, particularly since Hanna Rosin (yes, that Hanna Rosin) wrote about the report for Slate. Feminists invest a lot of time in framing sexual violence as something only men do to only women. Whenever research reveals more male victims and more female perpetrators, feminists typically deny, dismiss, or ignore it. The most recent examples resulted from the findings of a 2010 CDC study. Continue reading