Facebook has a big problem. Misogyny.

That word gets thrown around a lot, so I looked it up to make sure I’m using it right. It means hatred of women or girls. A serious accusation. So why do I aim it at Facebook?

They take down photos of breastfeeding because they violate company policy on content containing nudity.

They do not take down pages or profiles with the following
names, despite their policy against content that is threatening, hateful, or
that incites violence:

– [Satire] Kicking a slut in the vagina and losing your foot
inside

– [Humor] Roses are red, violets are blue… I’ve got a knife,
get in the van

– I kill bitches

– Seeing a Pregnant Woman and Wanting to Punch Her In the
Face

Defending that, while refusing to tolerate images of women
using their bodies to love and nurture another, sounds like the very definition
of hatred to me.

To learn more and help make your voice heard, Google
‘Facebook misogyny petition’.

As of this posting, this petition only needs 43 more
e-signatures. I’d love for Vagina News to get it
there. Click and sign.

http://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-ban-misogynistic-pages-even-those-labeled-controversial-humor

“Some girls rape easy” – Wisconsin Rep. Roger Rivard (R)

I’m not going to post every time a politician says something incredibly stupid about rape, abortion, or other vagina-related issues. If I did, I’d have no time for any other posts, or… you know… life activities. It’s really a matter of what strikes me as ‘news’ vs ‘same old shit’.

So why does this strike me as ‘news’? I think it’s the
stunningly cavalier, ignorant spin on a sexist classic.

Dear friends, if there happens to be a politician near you,
please remind him (or her, but probably him) that statutory rape is illegal,
both the day of and the day after, and it’s never the tantalizing minor’s
fault.

Sexual assault of women serving in the military

I could do 4 posts based on this one article and blow your minds with every one.

Some (really horrible) highlights:

– The rate of sexual assault in the military is double that in the general public.

– HuffPo calculates that “… a servicewoman was nearly 180
times more likely to have become a victim of military sexual assault (MSA) in
the past year than to have died while deployed during the last 11 years of
combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

– The Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Office (created in 2006) estimates that there were approximately 52 MSAs per
day between 10/1/10 and 9/31/11.

– Only 14% (or 3,192) of those MSAs were reported, and by
the end of 2011 only 240 were brought to trial. 6% of reported cases resulted
in a court marshal conviction, mostly resulting in reduction in rank,
confinement, a fine, or discharge.

– SAPRO estimates that 90% of MSAs are committed by repeat
offenders.

– Victims have no direct legal recourse. Per the Uniform
Code of Military Justice, MSAs must be reported to the victim’s unit commander,
who decides whether to authorize an investigation and whether the case should
be prosecuted. When deciding how to proceed, commanding officers can consider
factors like how valuable the accused perpetrator is to the unit.

– According to the recently released documentary “The
Invisible War,” about one in four service-member victims don’t report an
assault because the person to whom they must report it is the
perpetrator.

– MSAs are subject to UCMJ policy, not civil law. One victim
was told her case could not be prosecuted because “sodomy was not a crime under
the UCMJ — forcible or otherwise”. If a case is tried, the judge, jury,
prosecutor, and defense are all military.

Sexual assault in the military, Part 2

On Saturday, we talked about the military’s failure to address the staggering issue of sexual assault among service-members. 

Now let’s talk about their failure to respond to military sexual assault once it’s happened.

– As we’ve discussed before, military health insurance (or
TRICARE) does not cover abortion, even in cases of rape. In many military
medical facilities, especially in combat zones, abortion services are
unavailable even to women willing to pay out-of-pocket. The Shaheen Amendment
would fix this, but House Republicans have blocked it. Google “Shaheen
Amendment” or click here to learn more.

– Sexism is baked into the benefits process. PTSD can
qualify a veteran for disability benefits, and the amount of the benefit is
determined by Veterans Affairs Department. Marine Capt. Anu Bhagwati, executive
director of the Service Women’s Action Network, says “Women were more likely
to receive a 10% to 30% rating and men were more likely to receive a 70% to
100% disability rating.” 

From 2008 to 2010, only 32% of PTSD claims stemming from
military sexual assault were approved for benefits by the Department of
Veterans Affairs – that’s compared to 53% of all other PTSD claims. Part of the
problem is that victims are required to prove the attack happened during their
service in order to receive benefits – hard to do if the person you’d have to
report to was your attacker.

Hundreds of Thousands of Rape Kits Remain Untested.

If a woman is raped, and IF the attack leaves physical evidence (ie she’s conscious, no condom, etc.), and IF she reports the crime immediately and submits to a three-hour physical exam, and IF the attacker’s DNA is already in the FBI’s database, there’s a good chance he’ll be prosecuted, right?

Wrong.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy has been using federal grant money to
begin testing Detroit’s backlog of 11,303 rape kits. They were found in a
police warehouse in 2009. No one knows how long they’ve been there, but many
are beyond the statue of limitations for prosecuting rape.

Within the first 153 kits tested, they found 21 serial
rapists (the DNA matched multiple victims), and 38 more matched DNA already in
the FBI’s database. In one instance, five women were raped and murdered by the
same man – a convicted rapist who’d been released. Had the first kit been
tested as soon as it was entered, those women might still be alive.

More than 70% of rapists are repeat offenders. It’s
estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits are currently sitting on
shelves, untested, across the US. Rape kits cost up to $1500 to test, and are
often considered “low priority” by police.

To learn more, read the article below, then Google ‘Debbie
Smith Act’ and ‘SAFER Act’.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/28/rapists-beware-detroit-prosecutor-ids-21-attackers-in-rape-kit-probe.html

The Most Legitimate Rape of All

Oh dear. Todd Akin’s wife has made an unfortunate comparison. 

She says the pressure on her husband from party leaders to drop out is akin (ha) to – wait for it – rape. 

Specifically, it’s like British soldiers raping early American colonists. Anti-American rape. And isn’t that the most legitimate kind?

Didja Know? Rape Babies Edition

We know there are a number of politicians (and, we assume, voters) who believe a woman who gets pregnant as a result of rape should be forced to keep the pregnancy.

Here’s something I didn’t know. Once the child is born, most states do nothing to prevent the rapist from seeking visitation or custody. Often, the rapist uses this to avoid prosecution – he threatens to seek joint custody unless she drops the charges.

Want to know more? Google ‘Shaunna Prewitt’ and ‘rapists seek custody’.