Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Go ACLU! Sue Sue!

This story makes my eyeballs burn. I'd bet serious money that this "research" they are using is seriously flawed. It's a myth I have no patience for-- this idea that boys and girls have different brains are therefor learning styles. So girls should sit quietly at desks (non-competitive atmosphere) and boys should run and play in the sunshine (cause sitting in a desk is too hard for them).

It's school-sanctioned sexism and it's bogus. Of course if you interview a young girl or boy they'll think the opposite sex is 'yucky' and want to have their own space. But when you teach children that they are different because of what's between their legs, you set a dangerous precedent.

Girls may be more socialized to sit still and be quiet. Boys may be socialized to be more aggressive. This does NOT prove that our brains are all wired by gender. There are thousands of hardcore female athletes that will tell you this.

My best friend's sister is 14 and has been a competitive athlete since she could walk. I bet she'd rather be outside running and learning too but because she's a girl, she'd be sitting at her desk. Don't tell me girls aren't competitive or aggressive ... she could kick my ass and I'm 24.

More importantly, we need to expect more from our boys. Fifty years ago schools had all students in desks, facing the teacher, listening quietly to lectures. Go even further back when education was something strictly for young men, do you think professors had them outside running relays? NO. They sat quietly in a desk.

Now, I'm not knocking these educational methods that are outside the box. I think it would be great if they took the whole class outside and had them run and play in the sunshine while learning. But acting like we have to do this because they're boys and they can't sit still is insulting!

What are you setting these children up for? In adult society, they may have to:

A) Sit at a desk and work (not always but in a great many jobs)


B) Work with women as equals. Women have PROVEN themselves qualified to work alongside men in every field - whether quiet desk work or physical work like construction.

If we teach children differently, we put them all at a disadvantage and set them up (especially the girls) for sexism.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spotlight on the "republican tub of shit"

I love this guy*

* from now on links will be in this blue color, I have been alerted that readers who follow me on RSS do not like the yellow links. I appreciate the feedback!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rape on the rise in ND

Ohhhhhhhh sometimes the irony is just too much. Just days after ND attorney general Wayne Stenehjem decided that a victim of gang rape deserved no justice, I see a story in today's paper talking about how aggravated assault and rape are up in North Dakota.

Gee, really?

Violent crime in my state went up 12.1 percent in 2007.

FBI stats showed that rapes in North Dakota were up 7.3 percent last year.

AG Stenehjem said this could be due to more people reporting the crime.

“New science is helpful in the area of DNA,” he said. “Victims used to think, ‘It’s just my word against my assailant’s.’”

Yes, you priggish asshole. Victims would worry about "my word against his" after seeing how you treated Nancy Peterson, a high profile victim of gang rape.

You had a complaining witness, photos showing physical evidence of violent assault (which were picked up WEEKS later, when your constituents FELT like finally doing their job)... But when it came to seeking justice for Nancy, you gave her the big middle finger.


Because she's not a pristine victim. She went into a bar looking for sex. She admitted it. She was married. She drank a lot. She went home with someone she knew.

So, it's her fault that three other men decided to take advantage of her, grab her hair, slam her body into the sink, falsely imprison her and force her to perform sex acts.

Stenehjem might as well have stamped "it's her own fault" on the case file. Instead he agreed with county attorney general, Stuart Larson saying it would be too hard to prove rape in this case.

Never mind the documented police incompetence -- leaving a crime scene unvisited for days, not interviewing attackers for near a week, forgetting to pick up evidence at the hospital, not to mention their fabulous interview skills (when dealing with a rape victim Lesson #1 is NEVER ask "why didn't you fight back?")

No, no... Stenehjem just decided to give all those involved a nice big pat on the back for a job well done. You prosecute what you can win and to hell with the future victims, right?

DNA wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference in Nancy's case. It was never a question if sexual contact occurred but rather if it was consensual.

Even though she went to the ER the next day. Even though she said "I was raped." Even though she had bruises, lacerations, and a swollen lip. Even so -- she wasn't pristine. She was unworthy of the EFFORT to do a serious investigation. She was not worth doing their job.

More irony -- the article also states that aggravated assault is up 15 percent from the last year... nearly nearly triple what it was in 1999.

Stenehjem attributes this to alcohol and thinks we should begin giving repeat drunk drivers a twice-daily breathalizer test (if they fail, they go to jail.)

But when it comes to rape rising 7.3 %, Stenehjem offers no solutions. He doesn't want programs or education regarding violence prevention and sexual assault. Nope, he just shrugs and attributes all this to "more ladyfolks coming forward to report."

Yes, I'm sure with your glowing record of competence and empathy, that must be it.

More complaining victims and DNA evidence is fucking meaningless unless we have trained officials who understand the politics of sexual assault, who will at least attempt to put their suspicion about "slutty" woman aside and do their job. Victims need to know that they aren't speaking up for nothing... that someone will listen and investigate and may even show rapists that there are consequences to their actions.

Later in the article, AG Stenehjem said, “North Dakota will maintain its status as one of the safest states in the country.”

And you will maintain your status as an out-of-touch douchebag...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sexism against Palin

This is getting frackin' ridiculous! That poor anchor!

Also -- I was wondering when some version of this story would come along -- Todd Palin: 'first dude' or 'shadow governor?'

Ah yes-- how can it be that a woman in power isn't really puppeted by her husband?

But after reading the story, some red flags are going up:

- Palin copied her husband, Todd on hundreds of state e-mails
- Todd supposeldy "has spoken to numerous government employees" regarding trooper Mike Wooten and Walt Monegan
- Republican state Senate President, Lyda Green said she has a meeting with Gov Palin and was "particularly surprised that Todd was there. I had never seen a spouse stay in the room through the meeting."

So, what do we think? Questions about Todd's involvement... sexist or sound?

Janitor uses hidden camera to spy on women showering.

And miraculously this is NOT considered a sex crime.

The women's basketball team at Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn) found the video camera in their shower room and thought it was a joke. Then they hit “play” and saw images of a school custodian, Steven Sopko setting up the camera.

“My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. My body ached with the thought he had seen us,” one of the players said Thursday at a sentencing hearing for Steven Sopko.

The former janitor pleaded guilty to seven counts of interfering with privacy. He admitted that he secretly placed a camera and at least seven women were captured on video nude.

The player who discovered the camera told Judge Galen Vaa that before the incident, she considered Concordia her home.

Afterward, she said she was no longer as trusting of the faces around her.

“Now, I think twice before going down to the locker room,” said the woman. The Forum chose not to print the names of the women because of the nature of the crime.

Sopke plead guilty to gross misdemeanors and was sentenced to ONLY 350 days in jail, (plus some probation and fines and fees of $1,000). He will NOT have to register as as sex offender.

This creeps me the hell out because when I've applied for jobs, I've been asked about felony convictions, not misdemeanors... does this mean this guy could move out of state and apply to be a janitor again?

Prosecutor Brian Melton suggested that "lawmakers might consider making interfering with privacy a crime that would require offenders to register as sex offenders."


In North Dakota, a similar offense, surreptitious intrusion, can require offender registration.

At Sopko's sentencing, his attorney, Gregory Joseph described him...

...as a good father who worked 80 hours a week to provide for his four children. He is expecting a fifth child soon.

Joseph said Sopko was a community volunteer before the incident and continues to be, having recently completed 800 hours with Habitat for Humanity.

“This is not a monster,” Joseph said. “This is a person who made a very bad decision.”

I don't think building homes for Habitat for Humanity and being able to father children should let this guy off the hook. He may not be a "monster" but what he did was monstrous. He shattered these women's concept of privacy and trust. They all know he saw them. Not only that, a judge had to see it, police had to see it...

One of the players said she cannot go into a locker room or a fitting room without feeling anxiety.

Another woman said her heart stopped when she saw the camera.

“It almost felt as though we had been raped,” she said. “It was unbelievably invasive.”

Let's hope Minnesota gets their laws with the times. This was most definitely a sex crime, and Mr. Sopko deserves to live the rest of his life with that label hanging over his head.

ND victim of gang rape denied justice AGAIN

Back story here

'Nancy Peterson' (an alias) has been fighting a system that ignored and blamed her for being the victim of violent gang rape.

She was improperly questioned by police... photographic evidence of the brutal crime was ignored and not even picked up for review until the state attorney general's office stepped in... The men weren't questioned for a week and the scene of the crime wasn't examined for days.

Despite all this, the North Dakota attorney general’s office has upheld the original decision to not press charges.

“I conclude that your decision not to prosecute falls within the broad discretion afforded state’s attorneys …” reads a letter from Chief Deputy Attorney General Thomas Trenbeath, who reviewed the file along with an assistant attorney general.
The County State’s Attorney Stuart Larson had originally said it was a 'lack of physical evidence, the burden of proving the sex was not consensual and contradictions between the alleged victim’s statements and those of the reported suspects were the main reasons for not filing charges.'

If you need further explanation of why this is crap, please see this.

Nancy's husband complained about the decision not to prosecute and Larson sent the file to the attorney general’s office. Larson also sent a letter asking, “Did I abuse the prosecutorial discretion of a State’s Attorney by reaching my decision not to prosecute the alleged crime?”

When word came back that the decision was upheld, Larson (*cough* smugly *cough*) told press he expected this.

Sadly, Nancy wasn't expecting much in the way of justice either. She told the newspaper, “It’s pretty much my word against theirs.”

The husband said if they were to bring a civil suit against the men allegedly involved, they would have to find a pro bono attorney. He added that if there was a settlement, they would probably donate it to an organization that works to prevent rape and counsel victims.

“We’re not after money here; we’re after justice,” he said.

On the surface, the husband took the news of the decision the hardest.

“I don’t even know what to say. I can’t believe it,” he said. “I don’t get it. Pretty much they’re saying my wife asked for this.”

The couple in their 30s has continually expressed frustration with how the investigation has been handled. They say the apartment should have been searched earlier to better preserve any evidence and the reported suspects should have been interviewed sooner.

The couple has filed written complaints with Mayville’s police commission, hoping local law enforcement will be somehow reprimanded. They said they’re yet to hear from the commission.

The couple, who has four children, moved out of Mayville after the alleged assault. The woman said she is still seeing a counselor and that her family is getting settled in a new home.

When Nancy was asked for a statement from a local newspaper, she texted a heartbreaking response.

I don’t blame ppl 4 not believing me its a tough story 2 swallow. I don’t lie & I hate liars I would never accuse 3 … guys with their whole lives ahead of them of something this serious if it wasn’t true. I did a stupid thing that night 4 going home with someone but I only went home with 1 guy & made it very clear I only wanted 2 b with 1 person because this issue came up a few times. I didn’t ask 2 b raped. … I wake up in cold sweats & have nightmares because of this. This has destroyed me & caused my family 2 uproot their lives & leave a town we liked. … I just want 2 move on with my life.


Teh Portly Dyke often writes at Shakesville, but I too often forget that she has her own awesome blog. Thanks to Random Babble's Thursday blogwhoring piece, I found this, about how our generation owes a lot to the radicals who came before it -- those fighting for feminism and gay rights ... all civil rights. It's wonderfully personal and powerful:

During my first year of High School (1970), mini-skirts were still popular (well, mini-skirts or long hippy dresses -- depended on which social group you belonged to). But in any case -- dresses were not optional for school wear.

Not only did girls have to wear dresses to school, regardless of Kansas blizzards and sub-zero temperatures (Broce spoke recently in a comment thread about an experience I remember well -- wearing pants under my skirt to the bus-stop where we stood in the freezing cold until the bus came, and then having to take them off before I could board the drafty, unheated school-bus), but in my freshman year, the principal decided it was time to crack down on all us slutty girls who were wearing our skirts too short.

This crack-down resulted in a new morning routine at the school entry -- as the boys skimmed past us (the principal giving them only a cursory glance to make sure that their hair wasn't "on the collar"), all the girls in my school lined up on the stairs, the queue inching upward slowly, as, one by one, we knelt in front of His Majesty Assholyness at the top of the stairs, to assure that our hems touched the floor. (Of course, we would roll our skirt-tops up later, but only if Mr. Badass was not prowling the halls.)

At the time, I didn't really understand what I was feeling -- I didn't know that the crumbling, compressed sense of tinyness that I experienced at the beginning of every school-day that year was. . . . . humiliation. Humiliation that I had somehow earned -- because I was female.

I also did not understand that this ritual was meant to enforce that humiliation -- to burn upon my consciousness the fact that I would be obedient and compliant and kneel and face the crotch of my overlord every day as if it were the most usual thing in the world -- because it was a most reasonable request, after all -- because it was done for my own safety, so that my slutty short skirt didn't get me into "trouble".

My intellect didn't understand all of the nasty nooks and crannies of this ritual, but my psyche sensed it.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shameless stealing-- Hollywood Feminist of the day

I am stealing this concept from a WONDERFUL blog that I love, love, LOURVEEEE, Women in Hollywood (go now! RIGHT NOW!) -- it's called "Hollywood Feminist of the Day" and today I award it to Megan Fox.

From her interview with GQ:

...At that time, (Megan) Fox was filming the third season of ABC’s Hope & Faith, a family-friendly sitcom......she was fed up with playing the coquettish yet chaste teen. The show was repressing her, she says, tamping down her sexuality:

“Sex is something that everyone does, so why can’t I talk about it?”

Sexual double standards make Fox angry, and when conversation turns to tabloid-flamed scandals surrounding other teen stars who’ve been photographed in various stages of nudity and semi nudity, she goes off:

“With any of the Miley Cyrus shit, or any of that Vanessa Hudgens shit—I would never issue an apology for my life and for who I am. It’s like, Oh, I’m sorry I took a naked, private picture that someone is an asshole and sold for money. I’m sorry if someone else is a dick. No. You shouldn’t have to apologize. Someone betrayed Vanessa, but no one’s angry at that person. She had to apologize. I hate Disney for making her do that. Fuck Disney.”

Can I get that on the record?

“Yeah. Fuck Disney.”

There goes your career.

“Yeah, that was probably a bad move—they own everything. But it’s not right. They take these little girls, and they put them through entertainment school and teach them to sing and dance, and make them wear belly shirts, but they won’t allow them to be their own people. It makes me sick.”

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best thing I've seen in weeks

I want to be best friends with Poehler and Fey!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Selling sexism to kids

It's no secret that wrestling shows are hugely popular with men. Not just adults, but plenty of young boys watch these shows and idolize their wrestlers. It's also no secret that wrestling's "plotlines" often revolve around racism, homophobia ands staggering displays of sexism.

For a great example of this, see the documentary "Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battering." Now, other than that documentary (made in 2002), I watch zero professional "wrestling" on TV but-- from the looks of this... things haven't changed much.

Who better to talk politics than a roided-out, greased-up wrestler who talks about himself in the third person?

In this clip "Santino" laughs at the idea of a woman being chosen as John McCain's running mate. As if we weren't thisclose, to having a woman President in Hillary Clinton!

He claims McCain will "regret this decision" because of all the scandals coming out about Sarah Palin (good point.) But then he says, " Santino feels like he's watching an episode of desperate housewives." (sexist asshole non-point)

He also has this gem (which we've never heard before)...

Santino does not feel a woman should have a finger on the nuclear button -- what happens when Aunt Flo arrives and she doesn't get enough chocolate? Will this woman throw a tantrum? Santino knows best, ok?.... Women do not belong in the White House, except to clean the tub maybe! So please, Sarah Palin, do the world a favor... grab a dustbuster and just accpet your role okay?

Oh and that wouldn't be complete without the photoshopped photo of Palin in the Oval Office in a skanky maid's uniform.

Note to self: No offspring of mine will watch wrestling. EVER

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Headlines and headaches

Biden's in hot water for saying people who advocate for special needs kids should support stem cell research. McCain camp says Biden "sunk to a new low" because Palin's son has Down syndrome and she opposes stem cell research

Obama delivers a speech where he says McCain camp is not about change: "You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." McCain camp says Obama is attacking Paling and playing "gender card" -- even though when McCain talked about Clinton's health care plan he said, "I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it's still a pig." --- Mellisa McEwan of Shakesville explains why Obama is not being sexist here and why McCain is the real pig for twisting feminism into a "funhouse mirror."

Study shows majority of black teenage girls from urban cities are uniformed of how the morning after pill works or how you get it.

In case you missed this... last month, the American Psychological Association said that women who have a single abortion do not have a higher risk of mental health problems (like depression) than women who have their babies.

Read this blog entry about men invading women's online spaces ....
then check out the reaction her post got.

YOU ARE NEEDED!! Help the Planned Parenthood Action Fund!

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Update on ND gang rape victim

File this whole mess under "expected but still upsetting."

I blogged before about a woman ("Nancy") in Mayville, (ND) who came forward saying a group of men gang raped her. The police interviewed her with asinine questions like, "Why didn't you fight back?" and then waited days to visit the apartment where a potential crime occurred. They also waited nearly a week before questioning the four men -- more than enough time for them to get a story together don't you think?

Let me ask you this... if someone came in the police station saying "I was mugged and beaten and I know the person who did it." Would officials wait days before investigating the scene of the crime? Would they wait nearly a week to speak with the accused?

The ONLY explanation for that behavior (other than police incompetence at epic levels) is that the police never believed a crime took place in the first place. This was never a priority. Never taken seriously. The victim was written off before any of this started.

Because of the lack of judgment displayed by investigators, Nancy's case was damaged and county State’s Attorney, Stuart Larson decided he will not press charges against the four men.

Can you guess why?

If you said, “inadequate evidence," give yourself a cookie.

Larson said, “You have four statements that contradict one statement.”

I guess that means that one woman says she was raped, and four men say they didn't rape her. Okay -- I guess the numbers are too overwhelming... case closed. *snark*

Larson also blamed the victim for showering and brushing her teeth-- losing physical evidence.

“I cried and took a shower and brushed my teeth. I felt so gross, used and violated,” the woman wrote in her statement for police.

Even so, Nancy's rape kit showed signs of forced, non-consensual sex including "lacerations, bruising and bleeding.”

Still, Larson said, "Even if physical evidence had been obtained, there still would be the burden of proving the sex was not consensual. Making such an argument, in this case, is a challenge since the alleged victim went into the situation seeking consensual sex."

Yeah. She sought consensual sex with ONE person. Then when another man jumped on top of her, she said, "STOP, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS"-- then it became non-consensual. I don't understand why that's so hard for Larson to comprehend. Perhaps he needs a class in semantics before he continues to represent victims?

Larson also said the case was damaged because Nancy sent her husband a text message as she was leaving the apartment, “I’m on my way home. I’m fine.”

Which could mean, "Hey, I'm alive, don't worry."

After all, one of the attackers called her husband during the attack to taunt him.

That night, Craig, who was in South Dakota where he was working with a harvesting crew, got a call from someone he thinks was one of the four men. The caller told him his wife was having sex with several men.Craig initially thought it was a prank.“I didn’t know what to believe at first,” he said. “Then, I started to think … ‘What the heck’s going on here?’ because that ain’t something my wife would do.”

Larson was also quoted as saying that the investigation unearthed “all kinds of doubt.”

Doubt that you could perform your job like a competent human being perhaps?

Mr. Larson did such a bang up job that the ND state attorney general is stepping in. This could mean nothing, the attorney general's office could still verify that Larson made the right call or ... they could actually just MAKE THE RIGHT CALL and prosecute.

Regardless of the outcome, it's clear that Larson and officers involved need a reprimand. A victim of a violent crime was interviewed and asked victim-blaming questions. Potential rapists were given days to clean up a crime scene and nearly a week to solidify their story. AND --- biggest shocker of all--- Larson LIED when he said he reviewed all the evidence.

He said he reviewed the results of a sexual assault exam, the police statements from Nancy and the men and reports from the Mayville Police, sheriff’s department and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

He forgot to mention he didn't get the DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS taken of Nancy's injuries -- bruising, bleeding & lacerations including a swollen lip. Copies of those photos weren't picked up from the evidence room of the Fargo Police Department until all of the evidence went to the state attorney general. If it weren't for Nancy's husband asking for justice, these photos would still be sitting there.

Even with this new discovery, Larson claims he made the right call. Apparently there's STILL a lack of evidence, despite ... you know... EVIDENCE. Not to mention a complaining victim.

I could have a shred of sympathy for this man if he admitted failure. Failure of epic proportions to do his job in a way that served the victim and the safety of our community. But he doesn't apologize. He continues to say that it's the victim's fault-- why? For not being perfect enough. If she had gone into the bar in a nun outfit, rather than looking for sex (as adult woman are legally allowed to do). If she had fought back like wonder woman (instead of 'letting it happen to her.") If she hadn't showered off the shame of her brutal attack (and just went and followed the rules like a robot). If she just had a better character... he could do his job and bring these men before a jury. But it's toooo harrdddddddd.

When the Grand Forks Herald called the Mayville Police to ask why the digital photographs we never picked up, their call was not returned.
Yeah. I bet it wasn't

If you would like to write a letter on behalf of "Nancy Peterson" (an alias) and the potential future rape victims of North Dakota....

click to enlarge

Stuart A. Larson
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 847
Hillsboro, ND 58045-0847

PS: Any comments on this story that blame the victim will not be published. Find yourself a rapists-r-us chatroom and get the hell off my blog.

Monday, September 08, 2008

MTV Video Music Awards 2008

Some quick thoughts:

This whole opening montage creeped me out...

This "humor" didn't jive with me when I saw Superbad the first time! It's not that funny to trick a woman into unwanted sexual contact. I get that he's Jonah Hill and he's weird and awkward (and in no way in the same sphere as Britney Spears when it comes to attractiveness) but this just didn't get the yucks for me.

Also, Britney's been playing the role of sex object/fantasy figure since she was a young girl. When she "failed" to live up to that role by getting married, having kids, "gaining weight," public opinon violently turned on her. Then she had a huge mental breakdown. So yeah, where's the funny in demanding she play the willing, happy sex object again?

Sorry. Just my opinion...

Also, Jordin Sparks... the woman needs a lesson in PR. I know that's she anti-choice so it follows logically that she ascribes to other morality that puts women at a disadvantage-- for example that "chastity movement" which traditionally puts pressure on young women to equate total human value with the presence of a hymen.

During the show, host Russell Brand made off-color jokes about the Jonas Brothers having purity rings. When Sparks took the stage later she took the opportunity to rebut, not by saying that "there's nothing wrong with waiting to have sex or placing a high value on sex"... no she took a much less friendly approach.

"I just wanna say, it's not bad to wear a promise ring because not every guy and girl wants to be a slut, OK?"
Way to call half of the kids your age sluts ... and suggesting that anyone NOT following your line of morality deserves the cruel, anti-female slur of "slut."

Not impressed with her. She's not America's Idol -- she's Phyllis Schlafly's.

The VMA's (which I only watched part of, by the way) seemed normal otherwise -- convoluted staging with stilted acceptance speeches mixed in... but everything else aside, PINK made the night worth it.

(I love me some Pink)

Also I finally realized... hmmm, this Parmore band is kinda sweet and it's led by a rocker chick... something to check out!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Haskins on Panthers

Yes. Hooray.

See more Sarah Haskins awesome here

Happy Friday!

Among the many silly Youtube hits out there (think numanuma and chocolate rain guy) there are some gems... And one of my favorites is the story of Christian the Lion.

The story is about two men, John Rendall and Ace Bourke who were living in London in the 60s. They saw a young lion cub in a cramped cage at a department store and decided to rescue it. Well, the rest, I'll let you watch...

In an interview with Meredith Vieira the two men talk about that beautiful moment that was captured on film.

"He ran toward us with such love and excitement in his eyes, and we felt exactly the same way. We were just so excited to see him, looking so big and healthy. The story had just turned out so beautifully, when it could have had a very different ending.”

Rendall referred to the film in describing the reunion. “You can see in that clip his body language,” he said. “When he first starts seeing us, he’s looking, looking. Is it us? Is it us? And then suddenly, he says, ‘Right, this is them.’ And down he comes. And there wasn’t a moment that we ever doubted that it was going to be a wonderful greeting … we never doubted it.”

Now Sony Pictures is trying to secure rights to make a movie based on the book Rendall and Bourke wrote in 1972, "A Lion Called Christian." That is another movie I'm definitely going to see.


Make sure to look at the slide show of lion pictures

nom nom nom

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Jon Stewart hands the GOP it's bum

Sorry that this blog has been so video heavy lately... but I just HAVE TO share this wonderful wisdom.

Pointing out hypocrisy of GOP is my favorite hobby :)

I smell Oscar

I cannot WAIT to see this movie

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sex Education in Mexico kicks our ass

Sex Education that tackles healthy sexual practices and promotes safe relationships? Sign me up.

No surprise that the morality police want to shut the whole thing down. Never mind that studies show sexually transmitted infections are a public health concern and most teenagers are becoming sexually active at 13... best fill their head with lies and ignore them. Or tell them that as homosexuals, they are abnormal and need psychiatric help.

I hope the government and administration responsible for this safe message stays strong on the issue and doesn't back down!

MORE RNC video

Associated Press shows video essay of police/protester interaction in St. Paul, Minnesota during the Republican National Convention. Continue to Feministing to read about the "Terror on Robert Avenue."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

RNC convention arrests

I am trying to follow all this while at work and I'm just getting bits and pieces. Apparently 130 arrested protesters at the RNC convention are going to be charged with felonies. Reports are coming in that police are raiding homes at gunpoint and using projectiles, pepper spray and tear gas to disperse a crowd demonstrating near the convention site. From feministing...

Although videos now online do show blockades proceeding as originally planned, and one assault against an officer intended to intercede on a particularly rough arrest, I have yet to meet an eyewitness able to confirm the window-smashing or tire fires that supposedly brought out the National Guard.

Eyewitness accounts do, however, relay numerous tales of officers intimidating young people, refusing one woman who was suffering from heatstroke water (in fact, pouring a full bottle of it out in front of her face), violently threatening activists, and gleefully exclaiming with joy after impact rounds harm those standing by. Cops at other detainments have outright lied about the potential dangers of their weapons or actions (one told a detainee that tasers aren’t lethal in any circumstances.) Nine detainees are rumored to have been hospitalized this morning after constant calls that they receive the medical attention they require; no confirmation nor locale of hospitalization has yet been reported.

While there were some people who were using violence and vandalism, it seems as though police have stepped out of line as well. Check out feministing's coverage of the arrest of Amy Goodman.

Watch this video-- at about 1:05 you see how the police react to a group of protesters. Is it just me or does this not look like America at all but some war torn country?

The rest of these feature video and discussion of police raid of private homes where protesters were staying.

What do YOU make of this?

ND women gang raped/ignored


I read this in the paper this weekend and felt sick. So be forewarned... this is an article about gang rape and it is graphic and disturbing.

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In the story the victim and her husband are given aliases -- Craig and Nancy Peterson. The alleged attackers are not named. The story states that Craig and Nancy were going through martial troubles and agreed that Nancy could have an affair. She went out to a street dance looking to meet someone.

...Nancy and her friends went to a street dance in town. The group visited three bars. At the Top Hat, Nancy met a guy.

“I ran up against him, and then we just started talking,” she said. “I pretty much told him my husband cheated on me, and I was planning on cheating on him.”

A random guy in earshot expressed interest.

“No. Just one person,” Nancy fired back. “I’m not going to be with more than one person.”

The man Nancy had her sights on wound up getting in a fight. He bolted from the bar with a buddy, and she followed.

“Halfway to the house, (Nancy’s guy) got arrested, so I decided to go home with the other guy.

“… I know it’s all very bad,” Nancy said, acknowledging how others might view the situation.

It shouldn't matter if it "looked bad" but, sadly, it probably does... As the rest of the story shows, it probably made a great deal of difference in the treatment she received from police.

Nancy went home with the man and started to have consensual sex. As this was happening, the man who had been arrested earlier showed up and jumped on top of her.

The two men began assaulting her at the same time, grabbing her hair and forcing her to perform sex acts.

“That’s pretty much how it went most of the night,” she said.

Nancy conceded that she was drunk. (She recalled having at least seven drinks.) But she said she was thinking clearly enough to know this was not what she wanted.

After awhile, Nancy blacked out. She said it was likely a combination of what was happening and the alcohol. When she came to, she discovered a new man assaulting her. Nancy bluntly asked him who he was.

“And then they all started laughing,” she said.

A fourth man was asked if he wanted to get involved; Nancy screamed, “No!” The other men continued to hold her down and assault her in the dark room. None of them wore condoms, she said.

I told them to stop. I didn’t want to do this,” Nancy wrote in her statement for the police. “They all kept switching positions and throwing me around how they wanted me.”

The fourth man stood blocking the doorway, she said.

The men had taken Nancy’s cell phone and kept it from her during the incident. Several friends tried to call her. Someone reportedly answered one of the calls and told her friend, “She’s busy,” and hung up.

That night, Craig, who was in South Dakota where he was working with a harvesting crew, got a call from someone he thinks was one of the four men. The caller told him his wife was having sex with several men.

Craig initially thought it was a prank.

“I didn’t know what to believe at first,” he said. “Then, I started to think … ‘What the heck’s going on here?’ because that ain’t something my wife would do.”

Later, three of the men left, and the third man stayed behind. When Nancy got up to go to the bathroom, he followed her.

“He pushed the bathroom door open, grabbed my hair, slammed me down on the sink and started all over again,” she said.

Eventually, he gave it up and left.

“I was the last person to leave the apartment,” Nancy said.

She then escaped to a friend's house and that morning went in to the emergency room. A nurse called police to report the rape. Nancy gave a statement and her clothing as evidence. Then she had to drive to Fargo where a sexual assault kit could be collected. The Rape & Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo stated that the kit showed signs of forced, non-consensual sex including "lacerations, bruising and bleeding.”

The incident occurred early morning on July 27 but the police did not search the apartment where the attack occurred until July 30

This is an absolute joke. Let me tell you this, Mayville is not an epicenter of crime in North Dakota. You can bet your life, those officers had time to go and preserve crime scene. For whatever reason- laziness or something more sinister- -they chose not to.

The failure of police doesn't end there I'm afraid.

On July 28, Nancy wrote a seven-page statement and was recorded on video describing the incident for the police. She was able to give names of three of the four men, including one she recalled meeting briefly before.

Nancy said the police interviewed her Aug. 1. She said Chief Stan Baker asked questions that riled her.

“He kept saying to me, ‘So, when your husband made that phone call, that’s when you decided that you didn’t want to do it anymore?’ ” Nancy said.

“I had no idea who was on the phone. I didn’t answer the phone,” she said. “I didn’t hear what they were saying, and obviously, I didn’t hear what (Craig) was saying.”

Nancy said the police asked her why she didn’t attempt to get away, why she didn’t fight back against the four men larger than her.

“Sorry, but I’m 5-2, 145. What was I supposed to do?” she asked.

One question made her especially irate.

So, they never really physically restrained you?” Baker asked, according to Nancy.

“And I flipped,” she said.

Nancy said the police told her they had questioned the four men.

“They all admit they were there with me that night,” Nancy said. But beyond that, she said, she doesn’t know what else they told police.

Since the interview, Nancy has not had contact with the authorities. Craig said any information they’ve gotten about the investigation, they’ve had to seek out themselves.

“They haven’t gone out of their way to tell us anything,” he said.

If a family member had been murdered... hell if a store had been robbed... don't you think the police would keep the victim(s) in the loop so they have a sense that SOMETHING is being done. That people care?

Apparently Nancy doesn't warrant that kind of treatment. It is still up in the air if there will be any charges filed at this point.

Navigating this ordeal has been tough, particularly, in a town of roughly 2,000 people where rumors travel at high speed, the couple said.

Nancy said that, for a while, she blamed herself for what happened.

“It was a pretty crazy night … and I did really stupid things by even going out,” she said. “I did a lot wrong, and obviously, I’m learning that doesn’t justify that I was actually raped.”

The fact that Nancy lives in such a small town works to her disadvantage. And sad to say that sometimes with small towns, comes small minds. Take this gem-- from the Grand Forks Herald story:

Nancy said she’s been spending most of her time at home lately.

“I don’t really go anywhere … unless (Craig) is right there with me,” she said.

Nancy said she can’t stand going to the grocery store for fear of, once again, overhearing people talk about the incident. Craig said he and Nancy can hardly bring themselves to drive by the apartment where the alleged assault occurred. Nancy even quit her job as a waitress because some of the men frequent the restaurant where she worked. And, Craig said, they ran into one of the men at the gas station.

“We liked the town before. Quiet town, you know, felt safe,” he said. “We don’t want to be there anymore. This has pretty much driven us out.”

The 30-something couple, along with their four kids, ages 4 months to 14 years old, said they’re planning to leave Mayville, where they’ve lived for three years, and move out of state.

After putting my paper down, I had to take long deep breaths to keep from screaming/sobbing.

We chased a family out of our state because we'd rather blame a victim than launch a REAL investigation.

We'd rather believe that some "slutty women" get what's coming to them than ensure that women in our state aren't vulnerable to gang rape.

We'd rather pretend rape doesn't exist and therefore create a culture where rape is acceptable.

I believe this woman was attacked. I believe the authorities who "interviewed" her blamed her for it, botched their investigation and now are hanging her out to dry so that the worst among us (MR. RETIRED FARMER ASSHOLE) can say she invited this brutal attack on herself.

God damn, I'm pissed at my state.