A Guide To George Will's Decades Of Attacks On Sexual Assault Victims And "Rape Crisis Feminists" [TW: Rape Culture, Enabling of Rape Culture, Sexism, Misogyny]
George Will has been dropped by a major newspaper and had a planned speech at a California college canceled for his recent comments dismissing the epidemic of sexual assault. The comments are nothing new for Will, who belittled victims, mocked efforts to codify consent, and attacked what he calls “rape crisis feminists” over two decades ago.
In 2014, Will Claimed Sexual Assault Victim Is A “Coveted Status” And Criticized Efforts To Combat The Epidemic
Washington Post's George Will: Sexual Assault Victim Is “A Coveted Status That Confers Privileges.” In a June 2014 column, Will suggested that college sexual assault victims — and people Will suggested were pretending to be victims — enjoyed “a coveted status that confers privileges.” He also disputed the statistic that 1 in 5 women experience assault on college campuses in the U.S., and dismissed the story of an individual survivor from Swarthmore College, whom he suggested didn’t qualify as an actual “victim.” He concluded by mocking efforts to combat the growing epidemic, criticizing the Obama administration for “riding to the rescue of ‘sexual assault’ victims.” [The Washington Post, 6/6/14, via Media Matters]
Will Refused To Back Down. After facing criticism for his remarks, Will told CSPAN he refused to apologize:
C-SPAN: You wouldn’t take back any of the words you used?
WILL: No, no. [CSPAN, 6/20/14, via Media Matters]
Will: “I Think I Take Sexual Assault Much More Seriously” Than U.S. Senators. When four U.S. senators criticized Will’s “coveted status” comments on sexual assault, he responded by claiming he thinks he takes “sexual assault much more seriously” than them, because he believes in a more narrow definition of the crime:
As for what you call my “ancient beliefs,” which you think derive from an ”antiquated” and “counterintuitive” culture, allow me to tell you something really counterintuitive: I think I take sexual assault much more seriously than you do. Which is why I worry about definitions of that category of crime that might, by their breadth, tend to trivialize it. And why I think sexual assault is a felony that should be dealt with by the criminal justice system, and not be adjudicated by improvised campus processes. [Media Matters, 6/12/14; The Washington Post, 6/13/14]
Will Criticizes Government For “Monitoring Sex On Campuses.” Will continued his criticism of efforts to combat the growing sexual assault epidemic on the October 5 edition of Fox News Sunday, where he said that the government shouldn’t be “monitoring sex on campuses.” From ThinkProgress:
Arguing that “government is not competent,” Will complained that it has “a monopoly” and “monopolies are not disciplined by market forces.” “You asked, can we trust the government to do its job? What isn’t its job nowadays?” Will asked on Fox News Sunday.
"It’s fine-tuning the curriculum of our students K through 12. It’s monitoring sex on campuses. It’s deciding how much ethanol we should put in our gas tanks. It has designed our light bulbs and is worried sick over the name of the Washington football team." He added, "this is a government that doesn’t know when to stop." [ThinkProgress, 10/5/14]
Two Decades Ago, Will Mocked The “Victimization Sweepstakes” And “Rape Crisis Feminists” Who Combat Sexual Assault And Harassment
Will In 1993: “Victimization Sweepstakes” Features “Rape Crisis Feminists,” Preoccupied With Consent. In 1993, Will highlighted in his syndicated Washington Post column the work of Katie Roiphe, who he praised for pushing back on “rape crisis feminists” for their “preoccupation … with explicit, verbal, step-by-step consent to everything sexual — anything less supposedly is rape.” Will also criticized what he called the “victimization sweepstakes,” in which “many prizes, including media attention and therapeutic preferences from government, go to those who succeed at being seen as vulnerable and suffering,” specifically for experiencing rape on college campuses, and dismissed Anita Hill’s testimony about her experience of sexual harassment:
In today’s victimization sweepstakes, many prizes, including media attention and therapeutic preferences from government, go to those who succeed at being seen as vulnerable and suffering. So hell hath no fury like that directed against someone like Roiphe, who casts a cool eye on the claims and logic of some women who consider their victimhood compounded by any calm analysis of their claims. This Roiphe provides in The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism on Campus. It is giving some feminists the vapors.
The preoccupation of rape crisis feminists with explicit, verbal, step-by-step consent to everything sexual — anything less supposedly is rape — rests, Roiphe says, on antique assumptions about the way men and women experience sex. Men are supposedly lascivious; women are innocents who, like children, have trouble ascertaining or communicating their desires.
One pamphlet defines rape to include “a woman’s consenting to unwanted sexual activity because of a man’s verbal arguments not including verbal threats of force.” By means of “verbal coercion,” cunning rakes (the language of Victorian melodramas seems natural here) turn the pretty little heads of weak-willed women. No wonder feminists who think like this are so smitten with that quintessential contemporary victim, the woman whose story was so uncannily — or perhaps cannily — congruent with this latest fashion in feminism, the woman who herself said she passively followed her supposed sexual harasser from one job to another: Anita Hill. [The Washington Post syndicated column, 10/24/93]
Will In 1994: “Campus Sexual Assault Study” Is Based On A “Feminist Fiction.” In a 1994 column, Will criticized the Violence Against Women Act, and mocked the government for conducting a campus sexual assault study, which he claimed was based on the “feminist fiction” that women risk “life and limb just walking from dorms to libraries”:
The “Violence Against Women Act” genuflects at every altar in the feminist church. For example, it funds “gender sensitivity” training for judges. And the federal government is going to matriculate: It is off to college to conduct a “campus sexual assault study,” a monument to the feminist fiction that in a world infested with predatory males, women students risk life and limb just walking from dorms to libraries, not to mention the terrors of dating. [The Washington Post syndicated column, 7/14/94]
Will In 1996: Hyped Claims That ”Battered Woman Syndrome” Reinforces Stereotypes Of Women As “Frail Creatures, Easily Unhinged”; “Yes Means Yes” Consent “Patronizes Women.” A 1996 Will column opened by citing a Cato Institute study which dismissed women who said they suffered from Battered Woman Syndrome when charged with their husbands’ murders, implying that the use of the condition reinforced women as “frail creatures, easily unhinged” and had overturned “the traditional rule that deadly force can only be justified by an imminent threat.” Will’s piece went on to claim that feminists were defining sexual harassment too broadly, and to criticize “yes means yes” consent law, citing an unnamed feminist to claim the need for explicit consent “patronizes women”:
Weiss, a law professor associated with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Young, vice president of the Women’s Freedom Network, argue that feminist jurisprudence is portraying women as perpetual victims in need of dispensations that seem to ratify some unflattering stereotypes. These include the neo-Victorian notion that women are frail creatures, easily unhinged, and perhaps having a single sensibility.
[O]bviously hostile environments exist and should be actionable.
But some feminists insist that harassment be defined as any behavior or ”environment” that causes any woman ”discomfort.” Mr. Weiss and Ms. Young compare that to replacing speed limits with a law under which one could be fined for driving through a neighborhood at any speed that made any resident uncomfortable. And is there not something amiss when, as in Minnesota, sexual-harassment law covers children from kindergarten on?
Regarding rape, for too long many courts considered rape complaints inherently less trustworthy than complaints pertaining to other crimes, and rape laws unjustly required proof not only of force but of resistance to force, a standard that required victims to risk additional physical harm. But now, write Weiss and Young, some states’ laws have eliminated physical force as an element of the crime. Others, virtually reversing the burden of proof, require the accused to prove consent as an affirmative defense.
In Canada, sex is rape when the man fails to “take reasonable steps” to ensure consent. Weiss and Young worry that rape law is sliding from “no means no” to “absence of a yes means no” to a strict criminal liability regime in which “all heterosexual sex is like statutory rape unless affirmative, explicit verbal consent given in a clear and sober frame of mind can be demonstrated.” They cite a dissenting feminist who says “the idea that only an explicit yes means yes” patronizes women by implying “that women, like children, have trouble communicating what they want.” [The Washington Post syndicated column, 7/18/96]
Will In 1998: “Hostile Work Environments” Are “Whatever Annoys A Particular Woman On A Particular Day.” A 1998 Will column lamented that a federal judge held “that use of gender-based terms such as ‘foreman’ or ‘draftsman’ could constitute sexual harassment.” Will also mocked the idea of “hostile work environments,” defining them as “whatever annoys a particular woman on a particular day.” [The Washington Post, 6/4/98]
Will In 2013: Government Efforts To Combat Campus Sexual Harassment Are “Censorship Regimes.” A 2013 column criticized the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat campus sexual assaults and harassment by claiming they pushed “censorship regimes” to punish students:
Responding to what it considers the University of Montana’s defective handling of complaints about sexual assaults, OCR, in conjunction with the Justice Department, sent the university a letter intended as a “blueprint” for institutions nationwide when handling sexual harassment, too. The letter, sent on May 9, encourages (see below) adoption of speech codes - actually, censorship regimes - to punish students who:
Make “sexual or dirty jokes” that are “unwelcome.” Or disseminate “sexual rumors” (even if true) that are “unwelcome.” Or make “unwelcome” sexual invitations. Or engage in the “unwelcome” circulation or showing of “e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature.” Or display or distribute “sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials” that are “unwelcome.”
Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, says a single hypersensitive person could declare herself sexually harassed because she considers “unwelcome” a classroom lecture on the novel “Lolita” or a campus performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” Do not even attempt a sex education class.
Wendy Kaminer, a civil liberties lawyer who writes for the Atlantic, traces the pedigree of the OCR-DOJ thinking to the attempt by some feminists in the 1980s to define pornography as a form of sexual assault and hence a civil rights violation. Volokh, too, believes that the government is blurring the distinction between physical assaults and “sexually themed” speech in order to justify censoring and punishing the latter. [The Washington Postsyndicated column, 5/24/13]
Senators, Survivors, Media, And Women’s Rights Groups Have Slammed Will For His Recent Comments
U.S. Senators Criticized Will For “Trivializing” Sexual Assault. Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal, Dianne Feinstein, Tammy Baldwin, and Robert P. Casey, Jr. condemned Will’s “coveted status” comments:
Having an ongoing interest in ways to reduce sexual assaults on college campuses, we read your June 6 column on campus sexual assault with particular dismay. Your thesis and statistics fly in the face of everything we know about this issue. More egregiously, you trivialize the scourge of sexual assault, putting the phrase in scare quotes and treating this crime as a socially acceptable phenomenon. It is in fact a spreading epidemic, and you legitimize the myths that victims and victim advocates have worked tirelessly for decades to combat. [Media Matters, 6/12/14]
UltraViolet Called On Papers To Drop Will’s Column, Asks Post To Fire Him. Women’s rights group UltraViolet started a petition to tell the Post to fire Will, and asked five newspapers to drop his column:
The ads seek the removal of Will’s syndicated column from the Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Orlando Sentinel, The Detroit News, and Richmond Times-Dispatch. The group has been running an online petition urging The Washington Post, Will’s flagship paper, to drop him as well.
"Rape is a crime that keeps women from having equal access to essential services, like education, and addressing that is essential to equality," Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, said in a release. [Media Matters, 7/3/14]
NOW President Terry O’Neill: George Will “Doesn’t Deserve To Be In The Washington Post" After Rape Column. National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill told Media Matters Radio that Will “doesn’t deserve to be in The Washington Post" after his column. She also told Media Matters the Post needs “to dump him”:
"George Will needs to take a break from his column and The Washington Post needs to take a break from his column, they need to dump him,” O’Neill told Media Matters in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “It is actively harmful for the victims of sexual assault when that kind of man writes a piece that says to assault victims, ‘it didn’t happen and if it did happen you deserve it.’ That re-traumatizes victims. I can’t believe that Mr. Will has had this experience if he would put out such a hateful message.”
"We want him to back off and we want The Washington Post to stop carrying his column.”
O’Neill later added, “That is absolutely the kind of further attack on victims that just does such extraordinary harm … The media blaming women for the horrific rape of violence against women and sexual assault it is really shameful.” [Media Matters, 6/14/14; 6/10/14]
Lisa Sendrow, The Sexual Assault Survivor Will Dismissed: “I Absolutely Have Not Received Any Privileges From Sexual Assault.” Lisa Sendrow, the former Swarthmore College student and sexual assault survivor Will wrote about in his June column, blasted his rhetoric in an interview with Media Matters:
Sendrow also vehemently rejected Will’s claim that survivors might have a coveted status. “I absolutely have not received any privileges from sexual assault. [Will] has clearly never experienced the fear of sexual assault,” she said. “He clearly has no idea how hard it is to sleep, to walk around, thinking at any moment this person that you live down the hall from could come out.” [Media Matters, 7/1/14]
Washington Post's Erik Wemple Criticized His Paper For Only Having Men Edit Will's Column. In a June 20 blog post for the Washington Post, Erik Wemple wrote that no female editors reviewed Will’s column before the Post published it, a significant problem given that women are the predominant victims of sexual assault:
Were there any women in the group that reviewed Will’s piece? “On that day, there were three males, if that is important to you,” Shearer told us after a followup inquiry on the editing lineup.
It is indeed important. Women are the predominant victims of rape and sexual assault; therefore, they may have some insight on the editing of a column on sexual assault. A study by the Women’s Media Center showed that women staffers at newspapers are outnumbered. [Washington Post, 6/20/14]
Will Was Dropped From A Newspaper And A College Speaking Gig Over Latest Comments
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Dropped Will’s Column. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dropped Will’s syndicated column after the editor reviewed the response to Will’s rhetoric and his “coveted status remarks”:
The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it. [Media Matters, 6/19/14]
Will Uninvited To Scripps College’s Conservative Speaker Program Over Column. The all-female Scripps College revoked an invitation for Will to speak as part of a program ”designed to promote conservative views on campus.” The college’s president said in a statement that sexual assault was not an ideological topic and that Scripps had chosen not to finalize the speaking agreement with Will after his “coveted status” column “trivialized” these cases:
Sexual assault is not a conservative or liberal issue. And it is too important to be trivialized in a political debate or wrapped into a celebrity controversy. For that reason, after Mr. Will authored a column questioning the validity of a specific sexual assault case that reflects similar experiences reported by Scripps students, we decided not to finalize the speaker agreement. [Media Matters, 10/7/14]
The Chicago Tribune: “The Column Was Misguided And Insensitive.” The Chicago Tribune said they had decided to not run Will’s “coveted status” column because it was “misguided and insensitive”:
"I thought the column was misguided and insensitive," Dold told Media Matters Thursday. “We didn’t publish it. Marcia Lythcott, the Op-Ed editor, made that decision and it was the right call.” [Media Matters, 6/20/14]
Cal Colgan contributed research.
NRA News host Cam Edwards provided a platform for a guest to push a sexist attack against prominent gun safety advocate Shannon Watts in which the guest called Watts a “shrill harridan” and said she “stripped the most basic and threshold abilities of a man” from her husband.
On the October 9 edition of the NRA’s radio show Cam & Company, guest and conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter claimed that Watts, who founded gun safety group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, had stripped her husband “of the most basic and threshold abilities of a man; that is to defend his self, his family and his community, by being married to this shrill harridan.” Schlichter was unfavorably comparing Watts to actress Annette Bening’s American Beauty character Carolyn Burnham, provoking Edwards’ laughter.
KURT SCHLICHTER: Oh my gosh, I got to tell you something. I got to tell you something. I finally figured out who Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action reminds me of.
SCHLICHTER: Annette Bening in American Beauty.
SCHLICHTER: Yeah. Huh? Huh? Yeah.
EDWARDS: Boy, now I am going to have to go back and re-watch — I don’t think I’ve that movie since it came out.
SCHLICHTER: Oh yeah.
EDWARDS: But yeah, okay, okay.
SCHLICHTER: Yeah, yeah, and her husband has got to be named Lester.
EDWARDS: [Laughter] That’s awful.
SCHLICHTER: Stripped of the most basic and threshold abilities of a man; that is to defend his self, his family and his community, by being married to this shrill harridan. She is Annette Bening in American Beauty.
EDWARDS: Talking with Kurt Schlichter, writing at Townhall.
Over the past several years the NRA has made a concerted effort to recruit women into the male-dominated gun organization. However, the NRA’s media arm has frequently undercut those efforts by offering sexist commentary on women.
This idiot has provided more fuel to anti-feminism in the last twenty years than anyone I can think of. Next time your efforts for gaining dignity and respect for women gets you labeled a “feminazi,” you can thank him for coining the hateful term, or at least getting it out in popular culture. He routinely normalizes and justifies the anti-woman beliefs and myths that underpin everything from discrimination to violence against women and rape.
If he was speaking to a padded cell, this wouldn’t be that big an issue. Instead he has the largest audience in radio at 13.5 million listeners per week. (Source)
After his Sandra Fluke “women who want access to birth control are sluts” comments came out, protests and complaints led many sponsors, and ultimately stations, to drop him. Let’s keep the pressure up !
His more recent dose of rape culture in case you missed it: Rush Limbaugh: ‘No Means Yes If You Know How To Spot It’.
What the fuck was wrong with men in the 60’s?
advertising is important as it’s the historian’s best resource for identifying the values of an era. but yeah, these were fucked. the 60s was generally as fucked as the 50s. people forget that.
It literally says ‘men are better than women’ in bold type, what the fuck. I knew this was a thing, but that is a lack of subtlety I couldn’t have written into a spoof…
This is the generation that spawned most of our parents… People our parents’ age run Washington. Starting to make sense?
When you look to the past, the struggles of the present become a great deal more clear.
Bolding that last bit. It’s important.
I am fucking glad my parents were from the 40s. The post war 50s and 60s were so entirely fucked up, socially. The 40s, had some interesting backlash, and a feeling of banding together from the Depression, and for the war, a ‘strange’ empowerment for women. Still racist as fuck all, but, it had some interesting changes.
The people in power had this as their daily marketing ans messages when growing up. It affected them.
It still affects them.
We need to limit their harm till our generation is old enough to oust them and take control. It is that simple. It is that hard.
#ILGov GOP Candidate Rauner Allegedly Threatened CEO Over Lawsuit: 'I Will Bury Her' [TW: Sexism, Misogyny]
Those comments, allegedly made by Rauner to Christine Kirk, were published in a report from The Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday. Rauner’s alleged threats were directed at Christine Kirk, a CEO of a national accounting firm who Rauner and GTCR recruited to help run the business-outsourcing company LeapSource. Rauner was a member of LeapSource’s board.
The threats the Sun-Times reported came from a 2005 deposition that came out of a “corporate divorce” between Kirk and Rauner as a result of the LeapSource project collapsing. The Chicago Sun-Times was able to obtain records of the lawsuit Kirk filed against Rauner and GTCR. In it Kirk alleged that Rauner very directly threatened her.
"If you go legal on us, we’ll hurt you and your family," Rauner allegedly threatened to Kirk in February 2001.
According to Kirk, Rauner also suggested to another board member, Thomas Gilman, that he might go after her.
"I will bury her," Rauner allegedly said to Gilman.
There’s more. Rauner also allegedly told Gilman that he would make Kirk “radioactive.”
"She will never get another job anywhere, ever. I will bankrupt her with legal fees," Rauner said. "I don’t know if she has a family or not, but if she does, she better think twice about this."
Gilman refused to comment to the Sun-Times.
Most of the lawsuit was thrown out by a federal judge, the Chicago newspaper reported, including the part that contained the alleged threats. The judge didn’t specifically weigh in on how credible the allegations of the threats were.
A Rauner spokesman strongly denied that Rauner threatened Kirk.
"It’s no surprise these allegations were dismissed in summary judgement, which means the complaint had no merit in the eyes of the judge," Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said in a statement to the Sun-Times.
In Rauner’s deposition in the case, he described Kirk as determined to keep funding LeapSource no matter what.
"She would say whatever she felt she needed to say to get us to continue to fund the business, that we were very close to a sale, that we were very close to an investor, that…we had a lot of clients signed up or virtually signed up," Rauner said in the deposition. "We were trying to be pretty believing and tried to be pretty patient, and we would keep going. And then we would explore whatever came up, whatever she brought up, and it would end up, in my judgement, being a house of cards."
Kirk was fired from GTCR in 2001. The company cited growing losses from LeapSource. Kirk refused to sit down with the Sun-Times for an interview.
Rauner is running to replace Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D). The TPM Polltracker average gives Quinn a small 1.7 point lead over Rauner.
[NRO’s] Williamson started his response by levying a personal attack at Dunham, calling the actress “distinctly unappealing” and describing her piece as ”a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers,” directed toward Dunham’s “presumably illiterate following.” He claimed that “cultural debasement” is the “only possible explanation” for Dunham’s career.
The NRO columnist echoed a previous infantilizing attack on feminism, casting Dunham’s view of voting as “nothing other than a reiteration of the original infantile demand: “I WANT!” Williamson also took issue with Dunham’s encouraging young women to vote on issues that directly affect them, framing an interest in reproductive rights as an “‘all about me!’ attitude”
More from Kevin Williamson’s column, where he blatantly encourages Dunham’s fans to refrain from voting:
I would like to suggest, as gently as I can, that if you are voting as an act of self-gratification, if you do not understand the role that voting in fact plays in a constitutional republic, and if you need Lena Dunham to tell you why and how you should be voting — you should not vote. If you get your politics from actors and your news from television comedians — you should not vote. There’s no shame in it, your vote is statistically unlikely to affect the outcome of an election, and there are many much more meaningful ways to serve your country and your fellow man: Volunteer at a homeless shelter; join the Marine Corps; become a nun; start a business.
Our answer to Williamson and other conservatives who discourage women from exercising their right to vote, and try to shut down public figures who stand up for women’s choice:
How Fox covers the first female UAE pilot, Major Mariam Al Mansouri, bombing ISIS
Greg Gutfeld: “The problem is, after she bombed it she couldn’t park it.”
Eric Bolling: “Would that be considered ‘boobs on the ground?”
Even worse: these comments happened right after Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle noted how poorly “some Arab countries” treat women.
#FlushRush: Top Democrat Urges Radio Stations To Drop Rush Limbaugh After He Suggested ‘No Means Yes’
A top Democrat is calling on radio stations to stop broadcasting The Rush Limbaugh Show after the conservative radio host made headlines for mocking Ohio State University’s new sexual assault policies, which require students to actively and explicitly agree to sexual activity. On his show on Monday, Limbaugh claimed that requiring affirmative consent is an unreasonable standard because guys know that “no means yes if you know how to spot it.”
In the segment, which was first flagged by Media Matters, Limbaugh claimed that “seduction used to be an art” and college campuses are now making it into something that is considered to be “brutish” and “predatory.” He suggested it’s unrealistic to require students to ask for permission every step of the way during a sexual encounter. “Are these not lawsuits waiting to happen?” the radio host said.
Limbaugh’s critics wasted no time calling for his removal, pointing out that his approach to sexual assault has no place in a society that’s currently grappling with the best way to respond to intimate partner violence and campus rape cases.
“There’s simply no excusing comments of this offensive nature, especially at a time where our country is having a long-overdue conversation about violence against women,” Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) said in a statement released on Tuesday morning. “Plain and simple — Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of sexual assault and should be taken off the air immediately.”
Limbaugh is no stranger to criticism along those lines, especially when it comes to issues of misogyny. In 2012, he infamously called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she advocated for Obamacare’s contraception mandate. He also once said that single mothers are “semen receptacles” and that feminism was created to give ugly women a place in society. Over the past several years, petitions and boycott groups have urged Clear Channel to drop him, to no avail. Limbaugh has also been the subject of an ongoing campaign attempting to convince advertisers to stop supporting his show.
Limbaugh’s critiques of Ohio State’s affirmative consent policy aren’t entirely unusual. After California approved legislation that requires all college campuses to adopt a “yes means yes” standard of consent, critics rushed to argue that it was an over-reaching standard that would essentially “kill the mood” and turn everyone into rapists in the eyes of the law. In reality, affirmative consent simply encourages sexual partners to engage in open and honest communication to ensure they’re both interested in having sex with each other.
BarbWire's Gina Miller: 'Slutty' Women Encourage Sexual Assault [TW: Anti-Feminism, Victim Shaming, Victim Blaming, Slut-Shaming, Sexism, Trivialization of Rape, Rape Culture, Enabling of Rape Culture]
BarbWire content editor and columnist Gina Miller was the guest this weekend on “Mission America,” where she and host Linda Harvey took a break from attacking the LGBT community to discuss campus sexual assaults, for which they blame feminism for launching a “war on white males.”
Miller said feminists, and all liberals, “have this hatred for males, especially white males.”
“There is this palpable hatred for men,” she said. “Actual rape is a terrible thing and no one is saying that these men are not accountable but I at the same time hold women responsible for when they put themselves, present themselves in slutty attire at a drunken frat party and then expect these frat boys to behave like gentlemen. It’s nonsense.”
Harvey, for her part, claimed the “war on women” is a myth, when in reality there is “a war on unborn babies, a war on common sense [and] a war on Christianity.” Miller agreed: “The war on women is a completely fabricated, made-up thing. There is actually a war out there, it’s a war against all humanity led by the Devil himself and people that he inspires. A war on unborn babies, it’s a genocidal, homicidal war. There is a real war on white males in this nation.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Another Mega Church Implodes: The Self-Destruction of A Misogynistic, Sexist Asshole Pastor & How He’s About To Take His “Church” Down With Him [TW: Sexism, Misogyny, Objectification of Women]
Once one of America’s fastest growing churches, Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, announced this week the closing of three locations and warned that another would be closed if donations fail to increase. The church also laid off around 40 of their 100 church staff, including several pastors who had expressed public disagreement with church leaders.
Co-founded by controversial pastor Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill leaders closed two Seattle locations: one in the University of Washington area and the other in downtown Seattle. The members from these locations have been urged to go to the location in Ballard, WA. The fourth campus, Huntington Beach, CA, was informed that an increase in donations by local attenders might prevent the closing of that campus.
Driscoll is one of the best-known figures in the evangelical Christian movement in the United States. He is a long-winded preacher with a hard edge who has been accused by former Mars Hill Church pastors of being domineering and intrusive, including unwelcome comments about the sex lives of pastors and their wives. He is also accused of using the pulpit to further a cult of personality surrounding himself. As the Daily Beast wrote about him back in 2012: “He’s developed a reputation as a testosterone-oozing Calvinist bruiser who shouts down his congregation, swears from the pulpit and sometimes seems to think that if you’re not cut out for the locker room, you’re not cut out for heaven. If you’re a woman, you’d better make sure you keep your husband fed and serviced.”
The closings and layoffs come amid unprecedented opposition from former pastors and church members. On Aug. 3, between 60-70 former and current members held a demonstration outside the church. Jan Carlson attended Mars Hill Church between 2009 and 2012 and left because of problems that became clearer the longer they stayed. She said Mars Hill “engages in heavy-handed discipline through a hierarchical structure.” She added that her experience has taught her that “spiritual abuse exists,” and that one should “know what it is, and keep your eyes and ears open. When you see red flags, be willing to walk away.”
On Aug. 21, twenty-one former Mars Hill Church pastors and twenty-one other anonymous witnesses lodged a broad range of charges against Driscoll. The detailed letter also outlined concerns surrounding a contract with a consulting group to use church funds to rig the sales of Driscoll’s book with his wife, Grace, Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together, in order to secure a spot on The New York Times bestseller list.
The focus of the former pastors was accusations of workplace bullying, and the creation of a culture of fear among church workers and ministers. One former member of the Mars Hill Church governing board, Paul David Tripp, called Mars Hill Church, “the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.”Mars Hill was “the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.”
Tripp delivered that assessment in a meeting with nine Mars Hill Church pastors who were still employed by the church at the time of the meeting. Then on Aug. 22, those pastors delivered a letter to their remaining fellow pastors asking Driscoll step down and enter a process of repentance and restoration. Instead of complying with the direction of his pastors, Driscoll announced to the church on Aug. 24 after his Sunday sermon that he would take “an extended focus break” in order to heal and allow the church to examine the allegations against him.
Since Driscoll announced his leave, several pastors have resigned amid criticism of how the church plans to investigate the charges against Driscoll. According to Mark Dunford, who was dismissed as a volunteer pastor from the Portland, Ore., campus, the executive elders of Mars Hill, which includes Driscoll, chose the committee that will examine the charges against him. Indeed, the committee is composed of pastors who are subordinate to Driscoll and were not elected by their fellow pastors. Dunford wrote:
…the Executive Elders (of which he [Driscoll] is one) added three additional members to the board that would adjudicate his charges and having created/restored the Board of Elders to investigate those charges. I want to be clear that the elders themselves are not involved with selecting who would serve on those boards. Again, it was the EE [Executive Elders] who made those decisions.
In addition to the recent charges involving Driscoll, the church has also been under fire for most of 2014. For instance, church leaders have failed to disclose specifics about how donations designated for church work in Ethiopia and India were spent. Instead of the donations going to international purposes, much of what was donated to the church’s Global Fund ended up being spent on expansion in the United States.
Perhaps the most crippling blow to Driscoll and Mars Hill came on Aug. 8 when the board of Acts 29 Network, an organization designed to promote the development of new churches and co-founded by Driscoll, removed Driscoll and Mars Hill Church from membership. The board asked Driscoll to resign and seek counsel.
Mars Hill Church leaders blamed bad publicity for the precipitous drop in attendance and tithes. According to church representative Justin Dean, attendance is down to between 8,000 and 9,000 from a high of 12,000 to 13,000 people. Some locations have seen attendance plummet over 70%. Donations are off in similar fashion. Due to the financial crisis, leaders of the church resorted to this week’s closings and layoffs, calling the current situation the “most serious budget challenge” in the history of the church.
Many ex-members I spoke with felt like financial matters were off limits from the laity. Former churchgoer Mark Yetman told me that financial information is “hidden” and that “questioning is discouraged and considered divisive.”
Despite the current decline of the Mars Hill, former members of the church see some lessons in the situation. Dave Lester, who attended from 2008-2011, told me, “The big takeaway lesson here is there has to be legitimate accountability for a supremely gifted leader in any organization.”
Lester, who was a community group leader while at the church, added, “The church should never be about the building of a celebrity platform for a person and the subsequent celebrity worship.”
This Republican Takes the Cake for the Worst Reaction to the Ray Rice Video [TW: Sexism, Misogyny, Violence Against Women]
Gross misogyny at its very worst.
Here is the worst response to the Ray Rice domestic violence incident yet:
Ex South Carolina Republican operative, Todd Kincannon took to Twitter on Sept. 9 to post an utterly tone-deaf reaction to the TMZ video showing NFL athlete Ray Rice knocking unconcious his then-fiancee Janay Palmer. While the Tweet has since been taken down, it wasn’t before someone took a screenshot of the tweet in which Kincannon vilifies the victim by saying that the “dumb bitch” got what she deserved for starting the whole mess.
Kincannon’s gross display of misogyny did not stop there. He decided to post more defamatory and chauvinistic statements regarding domestic violence:
In contrast to the national outcry over the Ray Rice scandal that ensued after the video’s emergence, Kincannon chose to take the road less traveled: He made light of a violent encounter.
This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last. If Kincannon’s response to brutal abuse is shocking, then don’t follow him on Twitter. The GOP troll has a history of harassing and smearing people on the social media outlet, constantly posting hateful tweets.
Back in January, Kincannon launched a sexist campaign against Sen. Wendy Davis comparing her to Monica Lewinsky and likening her to a prostitute.
Salon's Elias Isquith noted at the time, “It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, to find that Kincannon, who regards himself as some kind of Twitter provocateur, has caused an outrage on Twitter with his latest barrage of hate-tweets. But instead of focusing his ire on Trayvon Martin, trans* people, or U.S. veterans, Kincannon has set his sights on Wendy Davis, the Texas Democrat who is currently in the midst of running her underdog campaign to become the next governor of the Lone Star State.”
Kincannon’s attacks leave no stone unturned, taking down people for being poor or liberal or for any sort of general flaw he sees in people online – his latest stunt is to take down a woman online for posting a picture that he claims show her with herpes.
The takeaway: Kincannon is full of vitriol and hate. He degraded what is at the heart of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident and has no remorse for it. Domestic violence is a serious issue layered with complexities, all of which has gone right over Kincannon’s head.
Kincannon isn’t the only GOP-member to take a poor stance on the issue. Republicans lined up to oppose the expansion of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, which brought to light the GOP’s apathy of violence against women. Kincannon’s response coupled with the Republican indifference is a prime example of how the left’s rhetoric on the issue needs a serious overhaul.
h/t Addicting Info
Source: Jenna Kagel for News.Mic
Conservative commentators think we’re more interested in pretty shoes than voting. I wonder why they’re having trouble getting women’s support.
Hello? Oh, I’m sorry, I think you’ve stumbled into the wrong place. This is a piece about politics, and you’re on Cosmopolitan.com. Surely you were looking for something about shoes, or maybe information on how to find a boyfriend? If you’re a young woman, scoot along now, little lady, because all this talk about “issues” and “elections” is probably beyond the purview of what you’re looking for from Cosmopolitan.com. (Do you know what “purview” means? Don’t worry your pretty head about it).
Insulted yet? Well, that’s what folks at Fox News and a series of conservative commentators and websites seem to think about you. On Fox’s Outnumbered — a show so dedicated to serious and not-at-all-sexist political analysis that it bills itself as “Featuring an ensemble of four female panelists &#OneLuckyGuy" — panelists took turns complaining about Cosmopolitan.com's decision to endorse pro-choice candidates, claiming (falsely) that Cosmopolitan.com will “probably leave out jobs and a whole bunch of other stuff that we ladies care about.” Putting aside the fact that Fox commentators have not always shown such a commitment to the interests of working women, our endorsement criteria are actually a little more detailed and include issues such as equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and leadership on ending violence against women. In the past month, our political stories have included coverage of a Supreme Court justice’s reflections on Roe v. Wade, multiple threatened executions by ISIS, sexual assault in the armed forces, and the militarization of the police in places like Ferguson, Missouri, just to name a few.
"Is this beyond the purview of what the readership of this magazine actually wants to see?" Fox panelist Guy Benson asked about our #CosmoVotes initiative aimed at getting women to the polls. “Do they want to be preached at about politics when they really just want to check out the latest fashions and these wonderful shoes you guys are all wearing?” With that last line, he gestured to the footwear of his four female co-hosts.
One of the reasons we started #CosmoVotes was because we saw how regularly young female voters are derided, condescended to, and insulted. Women hear so often that we’re dumb and uninformed that even the most politically savvy among us start to believe it: Women are less likely than men to think they’re qualified to run for office; they’re less likely to hear they should run for office; and once they do run, they are less confident and less likely to take risks. With the inescapable "Beyonce voter" heckles from the media peanut gallery, who can blame them?
Women who are assertive and confident are punished for that too, because they’re seen as abrasive, while men are just leaders. And so even though more women vote than men and more women are graduating from college than men, women are still sorely underrepresented in every major political body. Men go through life with a pervasive overconfidence, which benefits them in the workplace and in leadership positions; for women, simply having a female name means you’re perceived as less competent. Women, then, opine less and are less likely to see themselves as experts or adequately informed; as a result of that, and the fact that female voices and opinions are routinely derided, womenplay less of a role in public political debate.
It means we realize that pro-life women use birth control and have abortions too, and we think they should have that right.
We think that’s a damn shame. And we want to give our readers the tools to push back on it by encouraging them to vote (no matter which candidate they vote for) and by throwing our weight behind candidates who stand up for women instead of condescending to us.
Yes, that means we are endorsing candidates who are pro-choice. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about our pro-life readers. It means we realize that pro-life women use birth control and have abortions too, and we think they should have that right. It means we realize that outside of the “pro-choice” and “pro-life” monikers, 7 in 10 Americans say they want abortion to be legal. It means we recognize that nearly every American woman will use contraception at some point in her life, and 1 in 3 will have an abortion before her 45th birthday. We recognize that contraception and abortion are normal parts of women’s reproductive lives, and choosing to determine the number and spacing of your children is an act of love, of responsibility, and, sometimes, of basic self-preservation. It means we know women don’t see contraception as a frivolous allowance, but as a cornerstone of their personal and financial well-being — a tool that allows them to complete an education, pursue a career, pick a partner they love and not one they’re tied to out of shame and obligation, and build a family when they are emotionally, financially, and physically ready. And it means we understand that reproductive health care is basic health care and limiting that care is a public health issue: where contraception and abortion are unavailable, women are killed and injured.
No one has to agree with us or with the candidates we’ve endorsed. We welcome vigorous debate, and as we’ve said before, we hope you do your own research, form your own opinions, and vote for the politicians you believe represent your best interests. But we do object to the suggestion that Cosmopolitan.com shouldn’t be issuing endorsements at all because, apparently, we’re bubbleheads who should “stick with fashion and orgasms.” Newspapers that cover, say, sports — not exactly the height of intellectual acuity — aren’t subjected to the same condescension that comes with writing about sex, fashion, and beauty. They don’t hear the accusation that they’re “dictating" what their apparently mindless readers should do or face the assumption that because light content appears on one page, there’s no place for something more serious.
It’s almost as if the problem isn’t that we, like so many other publications, are writing about politics and endorsing candidates, but that we’re writing about politics and endorsing candidates and we’re a publication focused on women.
We think you’re perfectly capable of reading an article about shoes and still walking yourself to your polling place to cast an informed, thoughtful vote.
This is all especially rich coming from conservative media mouthpieces, in an election year when conservative candidates are having a tough time appealing to female voters (the only women who reliably support Republicans are those who are both married and don’t have a college degree). Many conservative policies — like opposition to abortion access, insurance coverage for contraception, equal pay for equal work, a higher minimum wage, and gun control — do women real harm. Of the 10 worst American states for women, measured by women’s economic security, leadership roles, and health, all 10 are Republican-dominated red states. This isn’t just about a horse race; it’s about women’s day-to-day ability to live up to their full potential and to exist in a healthy, cared-for body.
Conservative rhetoric hurts too. It’s not just the cluelessness about how women’s uteruses supposedly “shut down” “legitimate rape.” It’s also the idea that women are more interested in driving their kids to the dentist than in equal pay, that the pay gap isn’t real, that abortion is never necessary, and now that young women just want to see shoe pictures and are too dumb to realize Cosmopolitan.com's endorsements are our analysis and suggestion, not marching orders.
We think you’re perfectly capable of reading an article about shoes and still walking yourself to your polling place to cast an informed, thoughtful vote. We hope you do vote, no matter who it’s for, because the more women cast their ballots, the more all our political parties will have to respond to our needs and interests. But we also hope you’re paying attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle messages that politicians and political commentators send about women, and that you’re making connections between rhetoric, worldview, and policy.
And we hope that doing that analysis is a reminder that political thought and leadership isn’t just for the TV talking heads and the white-haired men in Congress. Listen to what these guys are saying about you — and then don’t believe it.
We’ll see you at the polls on November 4. And we’ll see you right here on Cosmopolitan.com every day before then, writing about, discussing, and sometimes opining on the abundance of issues that shape your health, your financial future, and the many dimensions of your life.
CBS sportscaster James Brown used his time on air during the pregame for the Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game Thursday night to broadcast a serious message about domestic violence, as outrage over newly-released video depicting former Ravens running back Ray Rice beating his now-wife unconscious continues to ripple through the NFL.
While the league have faced criticism for continually citing Rice’s then-fiancee Janay Palmer’s role in the February incident, Brown’s speech turned the conversation to men’s role in domestic abuse.
“This problem is bigger than football,” Brown says over the din of audience flowing into the stadium. “But wouldn’t it be productive if this collective outrage, as my colleagues have said, could be channeled to truly hear and address the long-suffering cries for help by so many women and, as they said, do something about it?
“Like an ongoing comprehensive education of men of what healthy, respectful manhood is all about, and it starts with how we view women. Our language is important. For instance, when a guy says ‘you throw the ball like a girl,’ or ‘you’re a little sissy,’ it reflects an attitude that devalues women. And attitudes will eventually manifest in some fashion.”
Sexual assault and domestic violence prevention organizers have long advocated for flipping the conversation about abuse to what men can do to prevent it, rather than how women can get out of the way of men who will inevitably abuse. “When we solely focus on whether a survivor stays with or leaves their abusive partner,” Chai Jindasurat, the programs coordinator for the Anti-Violence Project, told ThinkProgress’s Tara Culp-Ressler in a recent interview, “we place all the responsibility on the survivor rather than holding an abusive partner accountable.”
Instead of asking why women have put themselves in a dangerous position or stayed in one, “A better question,” the National Network to End Domestic Violence says on its website, ” is, Why does the abuser choose to abuse?”
But both the NFL and some other outlets have been slow to take this message to heart. When the incident originally came to light, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted that Janay Rice “says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” That tweet was just recently deleted after the video became public knowledge. Similarly, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade argued last week that Palmer sent a “terrible message” by staying with her abuser, and that since Rice hit her in the elevator, “I think the message is, take the stairs.”
The lawsuit says Jones sexually assaulted the woman in 2009 and threatened her to keep her from reporting the incident or making it public.
A 27-year-old Oklahoma woman on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, claiming that he sexually assaulted her in a Dallas hotel in 2009.
Jones “intentionally and knowingly sexually assaulted Plaintiff without her consent,”according to the complaint. The suit includes graphic details, accusing Jones of forcibly penetrating the accuser’s vagina with his fingers, groping her breasts and buttocks, forcing her to touch his penis, and receiving oral sex in front of her, all without her consent.
The suit, which names both Jones and the Cowboys as defendants and seeks at least $1 million in damages, also accuses both parties of “conspir[ing] to cover up the sexual assault” by threatening her to keep her from telling police, “intimidated” her into signing non-disclosure agreements and “bullied” her “into believing that she would somehow be in trouble if she told anyone.”
The alleged assault occurred during events that emerged publicly in bizarre fashion in August, when a man named Frank Hoover penned a long piece about Jones that featured three pictures of the Cowboys owner, including one in which he was groping a woman. The accuser, Jana Weckerly, says she did not appear in any of the pictures but was the person who took them.
According to a statement given to Deadspin after Hoover published his manifesto against Jones, Weckerly arrived at the hotel with two exotic dancers to party with Jones. The Dallas Morning News described Weckerly as a former exotic dancer. Jones called the pictures a “misrepresentation” after their release. His lawyer called the suit a “money grab” and a “shakedown” on Tuesday.
“These allegations are completely false. The legal complaint is unsupported by facts or evidence of any kind,” Jones’ attorney told the Morning News. “This is nothing more than an attempt to embarrass and extort Jerry Jones. This is a money grab by a lawyer who is a solo practitioner just trying to make a name for himself. The alleged incidents would have been more than five years old.
The attorney said Jones will “vigorously fight” the lawsuit. An NFL spokesperson said the league had no comment on the suit, according to the Morning News.
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury civil lawsuits, though there are various legal arguments the plaintiff could possibly use to still make a legal claim. And the lawsuit could draw the attention of the NFL. The league’s Personal Conduct Policy applies not just to players but to owners and executives too, and amid criticism of his handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced a policy for disciplining incidents of sexual assault and domestic violence. Though it’s not yet clear how that policy works (or even if it’s actually new), Jones could conceivably face punishment under it. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, for instance, was suspended under the Conduct Policy in 2010 even though he was not criminally charged with sexual assault. At the time, Roethlisberger was also facing a civil lawsuit that accused him of sexual assault.
Source: Travis Waldron for ThinkProgress
Fox hosts giggle that NFL player’s abused girlfriend should learn to ‘take the stairs’ [TW: Sexism, Misogyny, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Trivialization of Abuse]
The hosts of Fox & Friends on Monday turned video of NFL player Ray Rice punching his then-girlfriend unconscious in an elevator into a joke, saying that in the future she should “take the stairs.”
After TMZ released a leaked surveillance video that showed what happened when Rice knocked out the woman inside the elevator, the Fox News hosts asked viewers if a two-game suspension had been appropriate.
“We should also point out, after that video — and now you know what happened in there — she still married him,” host Steve Doocy explained. “They are currently married.”
“Rihanna went back to Chris Brown right after [he assaulted her],” co-host Brian Kilmeade noted. “A lot of people thought that was a terrible message.”
“I think the message is take the stairs,” he added, as co-host Anna Kooiman giggled.
“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera,” Doocy concluded.
Watch the video below from Fox News’s Fox & Friends, broadcast Sept. 8, 2014.
(h/t: Sports Grid)