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“Rape Law” Only Afghanistan’s Problem?

So there are all these articles cropping up all over the news about what’s being referred to as the “Afghanistan ‘rape’ law”. These stories inform us that Afghanistan is so outrageously backward that it permits “a man to have sexual intercourse with his wife even when she says, “No.”” Ohmigod! Husbands can rape their wives and get away with it? Amazing, I know. According to the linked article, President Obama rightly calls this law abhorrent. But wait a minute — are we so smugly confident that our own country is “civilized” enough that marital rape is something shocking and foreign? From about.com (and echoed elsewhere):

Until 1976, marital rape was legal in every state in the United States. Although marital rape is now a crime in all 50 states in the U.S., some states still don’t consider it as serious as other forms of rape. The only states that have laws that make no distinction between marital rape and stranger rape are Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

On a related note, some of you might remember that as recently as 2006, a court in Maryland decided that women cannot say no after intercourse has begun. That ruling has since been overturned (but it was law in Maryland for a couple years, while I personally ...

Teenage Girls Receive Child Porn Charges for Taking Pictures of Themselves

This story is just ridiculous. Three girls (“14 or 15” years old) apparently took nude pictures of themselves on their cellphones and sent them to three teenage boys. “Police said the girls are being charged with manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography while the boys face charges of possession.” While someone, somewhere (parents and friends, maybe?), might legitimately be concerned that there is something inappropriate going on between the teenagers, it seems patently absurd to me that the girls would receive child pornography charges for taking pictures of themselves. From the article, it sounds like they weren’t even engaged in any kind of sex act in the photo — “It was a self portrait taken ...

This story is just ridiculous. Three girls (“14 or 15” years old) apparently took nude pictures of themselves on their cellphones and sent them to three teenage boys. “Police said the girls are being ...

Maddow to interview Obama

I just wanted to make a quick post to let you all know that <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27429817">Rachel Maddow will be interviewing Obama</a> on MSNBC tomorrow at 9PM(ET)!  I am extremely excited about this, and can’t wait to hear what questions she’ll put to him and how he’ll answer.  Anyone else excited?

I just wanted to make a quick post to let you all know that <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27429817">Rachel Maddow will be interviewing Obama</a> on MSNBC tomorrow at 9PM(ET)!  I am extremely excited about this, and can’t wait to hear ...

Women In Philosophy

I am really happy that we have this community feature now, because I’ve wanted to link this article for ages.  Sally Haslanger , a philosophy professor at MIT, wrote this amazing article about women in philosophy in early 2008 called Changing the Ideology and Culture of Philosophy: Not By Reason (Alone).

Many laypeople seem to assume that philosophy, as one of the "humanities," must have at least a respectable amount of women working in it, if not an abundance — but this simply isn’t so.  While much discussion and controversy has surrounded the issue of gender equality (or the lack thereof) in the maths and sciences (see also the now infamous Larry Summers scandal), the stunning amount of ...

I am really happy that we have this community feature now, because I’ve wanted to link this article for ages.  Sally Haslanger , a philosophy professor at MIT, wrote this amazing article about women in philosophy ...