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“There’s a lot of work to be done to dismantle rape culture—but a simple first step is to stop focusing on making the world more comfortable for men, and instead make it safer for women.” Jessica talks rape culture.

A series of Brooklyn billboards is putting racial inequity on display by advising you to “stop being black” to avoid unfair treatment. Colorlines has the scoop.

It’s unfortunately way too easy to get away with shooting three people when those three people are trans.

The New York City medical examiner’s office is undertaking a review of more than 800 rape cases in which critical DNA evidence may have been mishandled or overlooked by a lab technician.

And for those who are emotionally exhausted from hearing horrible news about rape, California lawmakers have introduced a  bill to close a dangerous loophole in rape cases.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted January 13, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    “There’s a lot of work to be done to dismantle rape culture—but a simple first step is to stop focusing on making the world more comfortable for men, and instead make it safer for women.”

    I wonder why that has to be mutually exclusive. In the MRM we try to combat virgin shaming, the societal expectation that a man’s masculinity is tied to the number of women he has sex with. If men didn’t feel pressured to have sex, would men be more likely to respect women’s boundaries? If men weren’t pressured into having sex, would that result in them respecting their own no and ultimately, if we did away with this whole men are sex maniacs trope, would it result in women respecting a man’s no.

    I don’t know if the problem of sexual violence can be solved by looking at just one aspect. That’s what was so irritating about the name Men Can Stop Rape. Sure when the rapist is a man, but when the rapist is a woman, it sounds a lot like victim blaming. We can’t just look at ending slut shaming. We need to end virgin shaming too. Men probably will be more comfortable if we end virgin shaming, but I think it will ultimately make it safer for all.

  2. Posted January 13, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Considering the review of the 800 cases of rape kits undergoing a review of the DNA testing, this is a very scary statement and makes me wonder if the accused is actually getting a fair trial in New York.

    “The errors, Dr. Prinz said in an interview, involved reporting false negatives, not false positives. “We do know that nobody was wrongfully convicted,” she added. ”

    This may be true, but DNA can actually provide exculpatory evidence so a false negative could indeed have resulted in a false conviction.

    ” Supervisors have so far found 26 cases in which the technician failed to detect biological evidence when some actually existed, according to the medical examiner’s office. In seven of those cases, full DNA profiles were developed — in some instances, evidence that sex-crime investigators did not see for years, hampering their ability to develop cases against rape suspects.

    In one of those instances, the newly discovered DNA profile matched a convicted offender’s sample, leading to an indictment a decade after the evidence was collected, according to Dr. Mechthild Prinz, the director of forensic biology at the medical examiner’s office.

    In two other instances, the new DNA profiles were linked to people either already convicted or under suspicion. ”

    So what about the other 23 cases at least 4 of which have a full DNA profile? Was no one charged or are they not being reviewed because there was a conviction and the DNA doesn’t match? It gets even trickier when you read.

    “In the course of reviewing the technician’s work, supervisors discovered another problem. Sixteen pieces of evidence, generally swabs sealed in paper envelopes, were found in the wrong rape kit, commingling DNA evidence from 19 rape investigations, according to a letter from the medical examiner’s office. “

  3. Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    John, are you saying that men rape because of virgin shaming?

    You appear to have quite a low opinion of men. Men choose to rape women because they want to. Yes they may be feel pressure to have sex, but many of us feel pressure everyday to achieve or be a certain kind of person and yet manage to avoid physically harming another person.

    Men choose to rape and can as easily choose not to rape.

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