There are more important and complicated questions beyond that, both practical and ethical. Telling those teen-agers that there shouldn’t have been consequences might mean another victim, in another town, years in the future. It also affects what sort of men the boys become, and one has to think that Richmond and Mays, too, have an interest in that. Does it destroy a teen-ager’s life to take him off the path of being an adult rapist? Perhaps it is too abstractly (even annoyingly) philosophical to ask what the “better” life is—one in which you have a remote shot at being in the NFL, or one in which you might be a person who treats others decently?

Life After the Steubenville Rape Trial: Are the Defendants’ Lives Really Over? : The New Yorker

Amy Davidson delivers what, to my mind, is the last word on the Steubenville coverage.


In working on my book, I went to Rwanda in 2004 to interview women who had borne children of rape conceived during the genocide. …At the end of my final interview, I asked the woman I was interviewing whether she had any questions. She paused shyly for a moment. “Well,” she said, a little hesitantly. “You work in this field of psychology.” I nodded. She took a deep breath. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she asked. “I want to love her so much, and I try my best, but when I look at her I see what happened to me and it interferes.” A tear rolled down her cheek, but her tone turned almost fierce, challenging. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she repeated.

Perhaps Todd Akin has an answer for her.

“The Legitimate Children of Rape” - Andrew Solomon on the historical relationship between rape and pregnancy: (via newyorker)

Please take a few minutes and go read this. It’s enlightening and devastating.



A Canard That Will Not Die: ‘Legitimate Rape’ Doesn’t Cause Pregnancy

Here we go again. Trotting out the contemporary equivalent of the early American belief that only witches float, Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, told a local Missouri station in an interview that “legitimate rape” does not lead to pregnancy.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin said in an interview with KTVI-TV that caused a furor online Sunday afternoon after being posted on TPM. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” […]

Akin’s comments were hardly some kind never-before-heard gaffe. Arguments like his have cropped up again and again on the right over the past quarter century and the idea that trauma is a form of birth control continues to be promulgated by anti-abortion forces that seek to outlaw all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. The push for a no-exceptions anti-abortion policy has for decades gone hand in hand with efforts to downplay the frequency with which rape- or incest-related pregnancies occur, and even to deny that they happen, at all. In other words, it’s not just Akin singing this tune.

Read more.

This is unbelievably important, as is this separate post on medical indicators of how often rape leads to pregnancy.



Movie Trailer of the Day: A female soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan currently is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The number of assaults in the last decade is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.

This epidemic of rape within the U.S. military is exposed in The Invisible War, an “incendiary” new investigative documentary from Academy Award-nominated director Kirby Dick.

Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance, the film is in theaters June 22.


This is chilling.


Let’s talk about the NYPD and rape.



I’m not sure if you heard, but two NYPD cops were found not guilty of raping a woman they were supposed to give a ride home and a ride home only.  It sounded like a pretty easy case.  And then the verdict came yesterday.  Despite all the evidence over the course of testimony, the jury was not convinced that the victim and one of the cops had sex.  There was a lot of discussion over how drunk the victim was, and how much sex she had prior to the night in question.  None of this is relevant, because the cop was called to assist a woman who was very intoxicated, and then he had sex with her.  This is rape.


  1. Report to her location ASAP
  2. Take her home safely
  3. Assuming she is safe and does not need medical attention, you leave.  If not, you call upon medical staff to assist her.  

Do not, at any point over the course of these actions, have sex with her.  You were told that she was intoxicated and therefore she can not give consent.  

By the way, these aren’t the directions for only a police officer, it’s what you do as a proper human being.  If a woman is intoxicated and calls upon your assistance in taking her home, you take her to her door, and unless she requires further help, you go home.  If she requires further help, you either give her that assistance if you know what you’re doing or you call upon a professional who can do so.  

The two officers called upon to help her failed in their duties.  Let’s talk about that.


  1. Enter and leave her apartment four times over the course of the night and only report one visit properly
  2. Report a false claim about a homeless person in the vestibule in the building to cover your tracks as part of one of your return visits
  3. Stay at the apartment if you believe that she is well enough to walk around and talk
  4. Cuddle with her and kissing her head in bed as she lies pretty much entirely nude
  5. Continue a conversation with her sometime after that night in which you admit to using a condom on her, which means you had sex with her even though you were called to the scene because she was intoxicated

Nothing about the cops’ testimony made any sense whatsoever.  Yet the woman who was violated somehow became the accused, as it pertains to her sexual history and drinking habits.  In a case filled with humiliating moments, one of the lawyers for Officer Moreno compared her vagina to a venus fly trap.  

No word on whether or not any predatory terminology was used as a comparison to Officer Moreno’s dick.  Moreno, a recovering alcoholic and someone who made several terrible decisions that night, was not held to the same scrutiny.  

What does this mean?  It’s another scar on the NYPD’s record.  Even worse?  Women can no longer trust officers to act professionally when they’re asked to take women home safely.  The most basic of requirements of a NYPD officer - to protect - could not be fulfilled, and the victim was shamed and discredited for coming forward.  A friend of mine wrote about not knowing who she could count on to take her home safely if she needs it and that is fucking tragic.  

Of course, it’s not just about the NYPD.  A society that constantly excuses crimes because of what she wore or what she had to drink or how much sex she had in the months prior to the crime brings about a justice system that doesn’t know how to convict a police officer who had all the evidence stacked against him.  We deserve better and we need to support survivors in every way we can.

If you’re in NYC later today and are able to, please go to this rally at the Manhattan Criminal Court building. 

Support RAINN.  




A protest organized in response to today’s court decision to acquit two New York City police officers of rape charges, as reported in the New York Times:


When: Friday May 27, 5-7pm

Where: In front of the Manhattan Criminal Court building at 100 Centre Street.

How: Public Transportation Directions:
Take the No. 4 or 5 train to the Brooklyn Bridge Station; the C, N, R, 6 train to Canal Street; the 1 train to Franklin Street. Take the 1, 6 or 15 bus line.

Why: Because the amount of evidence against the officers in this case was overwhelming. Because raping a drunk women while on patrol is more than “official misconduct”. Because calling 911 should not be an invitation to be raped. Because NO behavior, including being drunk, is an invitation to be raped. Beccause rapists do not deserve the protection of our tax-funded police department and city officials. Because the people of NYC will not accept victim-blaming, cronyism, and a culture of silence that allows rapists to roam free, without consequence.

For more information: Read more about the case here and here. Direct questions about the protest to, or


One crucial piece of prosecution evidence was a secretly recorded conversation days later between the woman and Officer Moreno. In it, Officer Moreno told the woman that he had worn a condom, but only after he had denied numerous times that he had sex with her. His lawyers argued that he lied to her about wearing a condom because she had threatened to make a scene in his precinct station house. Officer Moreno also made other statements during the conversation that suggested he had had sex with the woman. Although the defense never conceded that the two had sex, a central point of argument in the case was whether the woman was too drunk to consent to sex. Under the prosecutors’ theory of rape, they had to prove that the woman was physically unable to consent to sex, meaning that she was either unconscious or unable to speak when she was penetrated.

Two New York City Police Officers Acquitted of Rape -

I’ve been following this case for quite some time now, and I am UTTERLY DISGUSTED with this outcome. Oh, I’m sorry - she was too drunk that night to serve as a reliable witness now, but she wasn’t drunk enough that night to have been unable to consent? No, assholes, it doesn’t go both ways. If she was blackout drunk (as she clearly was, evidenced by her own testimony and by the fact that she needed to be escorted home), she could not have given consent. No fucking way.

I am absolutely, completely, utterly disgusted by the way sex crimes are prosecuted in this country.

It’s just another thing to add to that wonderful ever-growing list of how NOT to get raped: don’t get drunk, don’t dress like a slut, and for God’s sake, don’t trust the fucking NYPD, because they might rape you and then get acquitted.

On Friday, Feb. 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a “60 Minutes” story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy. In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.

CBS News’ Lara Logan Assaulted During Egypt Protests - 60 Minutes - CBS News

This makes me feel ill, but what makes me feel even more ill are the people commenting on Gawker and elsewhere saying “Well, she shouldn’t have been there.” Kindly go fuck yourselves, assholes. As one commenter so succinctly put it, “the onus is on men not to rape, not on women to not get raped.” Why is this even a conversation?



FYI: HR3 is the bill cooked up by a bunch of rich white dudes in the House that takes already overrestrictive Hyde Amendment language and makes it even worse, making it largely impossible to pay for an abortion with Health Savings Account funds, treat it like any other safe and legal medical procedure and write it off come tax time, oh, and they redefine rape in the bill too. The “in case of rape or incest” clause now only considers it rape if there’s force, and is intentionally vague on defining said force. So sign the petition, and call your Congressfolks and say you don’t want the US turning into the Republic of Gilead.

Please, please, please - it’ll take you all of twenty seconds.





“This bill takes us backwards to a time when just saying no wasn’t enough to qualify as rape.”

Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes. 

As for the incest exception, the bill would only allow federally funded abortions if the woman is under 18.

i—i want to burn the world down


jesus christ

God damn it. I wish I could express to you and the whole world how much of my time is spent reading about how dramatically the magnitude of rape is mitigated in our shitty, shitty society, and how I thought it was bad enough that is was just subtle shit that no one paid attention to, but nope, this bill might as well be a huge fucking sign that says, “WOMEN ARE SUBHUMAN, RAPE ONE TODAY (NO CONSEQUENCE REQUIRED!)”

Well, obviously, if she didn’t fight back she was asking for it.




I don’t think a lot of guys here know how much of a colossal asshole Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore have looked like over this case. It’s REALLY bad. Olbermann already has a history of violent language towards women on the other side, so this was bad. It’s more about Moore, honestly, but…

a) I could not have expressed any of this better myself.

b) I think I love you, fatmanatee.