Ensler’s letter to Martin was not the right place to push an agenda about a campaign to end violence against women, especially without first acknowledging the fear many people are taught to feel about men of color—a fear that is just as present in the women’s movement as it is in each of the United States of America.
In joining with Sen. Kristen Gillibrand to support the Democrat’s bill, the anti-choice Republicans likely hope to convey some compassion for women—with an eye to the 2016 presidential primaries.
Antiquated ideas about women’s sexuality are extremely damaging. But it is even more damaging to act as if sexual assault and rape are the price women pay for independence and sexual freedom.
Adrian Bayley, who raped and murdered Jill Meagher, also had a 20-year history of violence against women. For attacking and raping five sex workers he received a very light eight-year sentence, which sends the wrong message to potential rapists and murderers.
While the majority of sexual assaults committed by members of the military are against men, women are more than five times more likely to be targeted, according to Pentagon statistics.
What will it take to get ordinary, everyday people to accept that sexual assault is a terrible crime? Over and over again, we’re seeing that when someone is sexually assaulted—especially a teenager—communities react by supporting the assailants and castigating the victims.
The Senate Armed Services chair has bowed to the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and spiked Sen. Gillibrand’s measure to take the prosecution of sexual assaults in the military out of the chain of command. This, after a day-long military sexual assault hearing that featured mostly men.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that police officers can collect DNA samples from people who have been arrested for (but not convicted of) a serious crime. Many rape survivors rejoiced. But I was not one of them.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff flatly rejected removal of sex-crimes prosecution from the chain of command; Sen. Gillibrand took them to school. Meanwhile, Saxby Chambliss claimed that “the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.”
A lot of men, it turns out, get off on having power over women’s bodies, and are willing to bully, coerce, and even trick women into pregnancy to get that feeling of power over them. And anti-choicers are helping them maintain control.