How much responsibility does Patricia Esparza bear for the death of Gonzalo Ramirez? Does her fear and paralysis excuse her, or should she spend years in prison for failing to save the man who raped her?
Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter, speaks out about her experience.
For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.
When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.
In India, a woman is sexually assaulted every three minutes and raped every 20 minutes. However, many Indian women are afraid to speak up, fearing retribution from the very same monsters who abused them, and harsh judgement from an insensitive society.
A recent short film by Pooja Batura that’s making waves around the internet is telling them to do exactly the opposite. The film is simply titled “Bol” and captures the different kinds of sexual abuse an Indian woman suffers from during her lifetime, from child abuse to work place harassment to marital rape. The message is clear and simple, “The more you talk, the less it will happen.”
After the terribly tragic events that took place in Boston, the country has pulled together to mourn our losses and move on. The new immigration bill is still in process of being reviewed and debated on Capitol Hill, but one thing that hasn’t really been discussed is the state of undocumented women, particularly victims of sexual abuse and rape. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of immigration, the truth is that the sooner rape victims receive help; the better they are at handling trauma. The Violence Against Women Act signed by President Obama earlier this year covers undocumented women who are victims of domestic violence. What does this mean for the new immigration bill?
Words, and the way we use them to describe rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and sexual slavery, can evoke sympathy or revulsion toward the perpetrator of a crime or the person who was victimized. Furthermore, both the media and the legal system have tremendous power in eliciting emotions and stirring the pot of public sentiment.
Indeed, the idea of ‘winning the girl’ – of overcoming female objections or resistance through repeated and frequently escalating efforts – is central to most of our modern romantic narratives. (Female persistence, by contrast, is viewed as pathetic.) And the more I think about instances of creepiness, harassment and stalking that culminate in either the threat or actuality of sexual assault, the more I’m convinced that a massive part of the problem is this socially sanctioned idea that men are fundamentally entitled to persist.
When Castro states that the women he kidnapped were not virgins before he raped them, he is implying that their status is somehow lessened because of this. He’s trying to say that because these women had previously engaged in sexual relationships (god forbid!) their value isn’t as important as women who are virgins.
Senator Roy Blunt sat silently for nearly an hour as his colleagues on the Armed Services Committee questioned one military leader after another on Tuesday about what they were doing to address the problem of sexual assault in the military, and then assessed their responses: “Stunningly bad.”
In particular, Mr. Blunt chided Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of naval operations, for displaying scant knowledge of how military allies of the United States had dealt with sexual assault in their ranks, and for thanking Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, for “the tip” that other countries had grappled with the issue.
“Has anybody who works for you been asking this?” Mr. Blunt, Republican of Missouri, asked with clear exasperation.
In a rare appearance together, a majority of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — as well as the commandant of the Coast Guard and other military officials — testified before the committee about how the military should approach the problem as Congress prepares to vote on several measures that would significantly change military policy.
“Discipline is the heart of the military culture, and trust is its soul,” said Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and the chairman of the committee. “The plague of sexual assault erodes both the heart and the soul.”
Senators from both parties pressed the leaders, at times using strong language, about why, decades after the full integration of women into the military, the problem seems to have worsened. Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, recalled meeting with a woman whose daughter was considering entering the military if Mr. McCain, a former naval aviator, could offer his “unqualified support” of the choice. “I could not,” he said. [MORE]
The Lingerie Football League — which recently renamed itself the Legends Football League and made a big production of women getting real, protective uniforms but those new real, protective uniforms look suspiciously exactly like lingerie — has posted a promotional video to its YouTube channel where one of its coaches yells at a player "I'm going to fuck you in the face!" Charming.