All entries by this author

How to ask rape survey questions

Sep 9th, 2014 12:41 pm | By

The deniers and minimizers are starting to succeed in training me to see deniers and minimizers where they aren’t. Like in this tweet from The New Republic:

The numbers on how many women are raped each year might be off by more than 88%: http://on.tnr.com/Yue1dc

I assumed they meant what Sommers would mean by tweeting that. Wrong. By “off” they meant too low, while Sommers of course always means too high.

The article by Claire Groden:

The recent CDC report, based on surveys conducted in 2011, found that almost one in five women (and 1.7 percent of men) have been raped in their lifetimes. In a single year, 1.6 percent of women reported experiences that are considered

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An effort to put women back in their “place”

Sep 9th, 2014 12:18 pm | By

Soraya Chemaly explains some reasons Cathy Young is wrong to say that men get harassed online more than women do.

In addition to the difficulty of comparing data sets of varying size and depth, however, comparing male versus female online “harassment” is problematic for many reasons.

First, as Young points out, women’s harassment is more likely to be gender-based and that has specific, discriminatory harms rooted in our history. The study pointed out that the harassment targeted at men is not because they are men, as is clearly more frequently the case with women. It’s defining because a lot of harassment is an effort to put women, because they are women, back in their “place.”

It seems silly having to … Read the rest

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Stand by your man

Sep 9th, 2014 10:38 am | By

So now Janay Rice is saying she’s pissed off at all these meddling people who got her husband kicked out of the NFL. She did a post on Instagram saying so:

I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass of

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Women and girls, regardless of background

Sep 9th, 2014 9:44 am | By

Irshad Manji made a meme out of a sentence from that statement by British Muslims for Secular Democracy that a group of supporters (including me) signed last week, and that the Independent published.

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“Failure is not getting knocked down, it’s not getting up.”

Sep 8th, 2014 5:39 pm | By

Ok so catching up on the Ray Rice thing, which I didn’t follow before – I just watched the “apology” video. It’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen.

First he apologizes to the bosses, the fans, the kids – “everyone that was affected by this situation that me and my wife were in.”

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABLVS0Jfgy4

Situation? They were in? He punched her in the head and knocked her out.

That’s a terrible beginning, and it doesn’t get one bit better. He goes on that way for six and a half minutes. It’s all about him. He talks about generalities without ever actually admitting to what he did, without ever mentioning it, without ever saying the words, and using … Read the rest

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A year in jail, $225,000; a year in school, $8,000

Sep 8th, 2014 4:32 pm | By

The library came up with that book I told you about last June, Nell Bernstein’s Burning Down the House, about the US’s horrendous and out of step with other developed countries way of dealing with juvenile offenders by throwing them in jail for years. I’ll share some items.

On average, we spend $88,000 per year to incarcerate a young person in a state facility – more than eight times the $10, 652 we invest in her education. In many states, this gap is even wider. In California, for example, the cost of a year in a youth prison reached a high of $225,000, while education spending dipped to less than $8,000. [p 6]

And what’s the payoff? Children … Read the rest

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Reader, she married him

Sep 8th, 2014 12:40 pm | By

So, this guy? Ray Rice, this guy who plays football for the Baltimore Ravens? The one who punched his girl friend so hard he knocked her out, and was suspended by his team* the NFL for the whoppingly punitive two games?

Today a new video was released that shows the actual knockout punch, and the team has now fired him.

Before all they had was a video showing him dragging her unconscious body off an elevator and dumping her on the floor just outside it.

I don’t quite understand why the first video wasn’t enough.

Within hours of the video’s appearance on TMZ.com, Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens, tweeted, “The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice

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Penis Home Road

Sep 8th, 2014 12:04 pm | By

Raw Story reports that Mars Hill church is shrinking operations as more people learn what a pathetic patriarchal mess it is.

An August profile of Driscoll published by The New York Times explained that he had been accused “of plagiarizing, of inappropriately using church funds and of consolidating power to such a degree that it has become difficult for anyone to challenge or even question him.”

A month earlier, it was revealed that Driscoll had posted hundreds of inflammatory Internet comments almost 15 years ago.

Although the media focused on his comments about the U.S. being a “pussified nation,” bloggers who followed Driscoll closely argued that his views on women and sex were the larger problem.

Hello? Calling the … Read the rest

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Outside the Catholic way

Sep 8th, 2014 10:40 am | By

A Catholic school near Detroit has fired a teacher for doing something it considers ooky a sin.

A Detroit-area teacher says she was fired from her post at a private Catholic all-girls high school after she and her lesbian partner announced they were expecting a child through non-traditional means.

So it turns out the Catholic church isn’t so “pro-life” after all, at least according to this school. It disapproves of the future existence of this expected child, disapproves enough to fire the mother from her job at its school. Homophobia trumps “pro-life” it seems.

Hundreds of supporters for Barb Webb, a teacher at Marian High School in suburban Bloomfield Hills, rallied on Sunday at the school after she posted on

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Sommers Watch

Sep 8th, 2014 10:16 am | By

Oh the hell with it, it’s just going to have to be a recurring, updatable thing.

The insult-tweets of the former philosopher, now American Enterprise Institute hack, Christina Hoff Sommers.

Updating.

Oh goody, she does a Dear Muslima.

Sexism in US: Some video games use damsel-in-distress tropes.Sexism in Iran:

She sent that out a couple of hours after RTing her source:

Retweeted by Christina H. Sommers
Jack @SkipTerrio · 18h
For the edification of the 3rd wave #feminist mob, this is what an ACTUAL #patriarchy looks like:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9487761/Anger-as-Iran-bans-women-from-universities.html …
(cc:@CHSommers)

Jim Lippard objected.

.@CHSommers Therefore… ? Beheading is worse than a migraine, therefore no one should complain about or treat migraines?

Sommers informed Read the rest

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Noxious to the Constitution

Sep 7th, 2014 5:57 pm | By

Mark Joseph Stern reports that Judge Richard Posner’s ruling striking down Indiana’s and Wisconsin’s gay marriage bans is a masterpiece of wit and logic.

Ironically, by writing an opinion so fixated on the facts at hand, Posner may have actually written the one gay marriage ruling that the Supreme Court takes to heartOther, more legacy-minded judges have attempted to sketch out a revised framework for constitutional marriage equality, granting gay people heightened judicial scrutiny and declaring marriage a fundamental right. But Posner isn’t interested in making new law: The statutes before him are so irrational, so senseless and unreasonable, that they’re noxious to the U.S. Constitution under almost any interpretation of the equal protection clause.

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From bit-shuffling to caring

Sep 7th, 2014 4:41 pm | By

Metaphors aren’t just decoration, they’re more like the foundationMichael Chorost explains in the CHE.

[I]n their 1980 book, Metaphors We Live By, the linguist George Lakoff (at the University of California at Berkeley) and the philosopher Mark Johnson (now at the University of Oregon) revolutionized linguistics by showing that metaphor is actually a fundamental constituent of language. For example, they showed that in the seemingly literal statement “He’s out of sight,” the visual field is metaphorized as a container that holds things. The visual field isn’t really a container, of course; one simply sees objects or not. But the container metaphor is so ubiquitous that it wasn’t even recognized as a metaphor until Lakoff and Johnson pointed

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Guest post: Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf

Sep 7th, 2014 3:59 pm | By

It’s Sunday afternoon, so why not have a spot of Walden, courtesy of Henry David Thoreau and Project Gutenberg.

From Chapter One, “Economy.”

I would fain say something, not so much concerning the Chinese and Sandwich Islanders as you who read these pages, who are said to live in New England; something about your condition, especially your outward condition or circumstances in this world, in this town, what it is, whether it is necessary that it be as bad as it is, whether it cannot be improved as well as not. I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand … Read the rest

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Guest post: Sometimes the incentives ran all the way up to murder

Sep 7th, 2014 12:04 pm | By

Originally a comment by Freedmen’s Patrol on Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery.

Before I get into this, I want to alert readers that I’m going to quote a period description of brutality, including sexualized violence, against a young slave girl. It also includes the use of precisely the racial slur one would expect. If this would traumatize the reader, please skip the comment and continue your day. I don’t want to bring that kind of upset on anybody. I apologize for any distress caused. I don’t really want to write this myself, but I think that what the Economist is denying deserves to be seen.

It’s horrific to think about, but sometimes the incentives ran … Read the rest

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Driven out

Sep 7th, 2014 11:50 am | By

Last Monday Jenn Frank wrote a piece for The Guardian about “a hot trend among a vocal minority of gamers right now: the harassment of women developers and critics.” She summarized what’s been happening to Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn.

Yes, it’s been quite a banner season for the collective of self-identifying core gamers who gather on forums to muster shared fury. Now they feel they are at war with a group of left-leaning games writers and developers who they refer to as “social justice warriors” – this is effectively anyone who has ever questioned the patriarchal nature of the games industry or the limited, often objectifying depiction of women. Because, you know, games are fine as they are thanks.

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Clerics jumped in

Sep 7th, 2014 9:54 am | By

Another depressing/enraging story out of India – a woman is repeatedly raped by her husband’s father while the husband is working in Dubai, and clerics want to reward the rapist and punish the woman.

The 28-year-old victim alleged that her husband has been working in Dubai for the last two years and her father-in-law has been sexually assaulting her at gun point since 2013.

She remained silent because he used to threaten to kill her. He also video recorded his act and threatened to make it public if she opened her mouth.

When she told her husband about it, he blamed her for making a false allegation against his father.

She told her parents, and they advised her to go … Read the rest

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They read it and thought it a reasonable, cogent piece of commentary

Sep 6th, 2014 6:13 pm | By

The Freedmen’s Patrol on that Economist review.

…the fact remains that the editors published the review. They read it and thought it a reasonable, cogent piece of commentary worth putting forward in one of the more prestigious magazines in the Anglosphere. My honest first inclination is to presume stupidity, but one should not let shock entirely determine one’s response. Likewise it seems improbable that The Economist would assign a reviewer who literally does not know what the word “slavery” means or ignorant of who enslaved whom in Americas to a book about slavery in America.

This leaves us with a far worse scenario: Whoever wrote this review understood the subject, knew the facts, and thought it correct anyway. One

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Necessary conditions

Sep 6th, 2014 4:18 pm | By

Ken White at Popehat takes the Chancellor of Berkeley to task for an email he sent to students faculty & staff on the subject of free speech. You can see what’s coming a mile off, can’t you – the Chance said free speech is very nice but you can’t say anything Offensive.

Well he didn’t, really, although he did say something tending in that general direction – free speech to work properly should be civil and respectful yadda yadda. But Ken thinks he said it With Menaces, so to speak, and I don’t really think he did. Several commenters don’t think so either. (For a piquant detail I’ll add that before I saw this post of Ken’s, I saw a … Read the rest

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Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery

Sep 6th, 2014 12:44 pm | By

Yikes. The Economist published a grotesque review of a history of slavery and capitalism in the US. so grotesque that it ended up apologizing and withdrawing the review, while also keeping it for the record.

Apology: In our review of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” by Edward Baptist, we said: “Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains.” There has been widespread criticism of this, and rightly so.

Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants

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They made all the rules

Sep 6th, 2014 11:43 am | By

NPR did this story on the “Men’s Rights” movement the other day, starting from that conference in Detroit organized by A Voice for Men.

Leaders in the movement say they want to bring more attention to the problems of men and boys. Critics worry, however, that these sites are a breeding ground for misogyny.

For his part, Farrell actually tries to avoid the phrase “men’s rights.”

“It’s like somebody saying we’re in favor of the king’s rights,” he says. “The average person thinks that men are already at the top of the political structure. They have all the rights, they made all the rules, [and] if anything is going wrong with men, it’s their fault, because after all, it’s just

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