Why does it take three federal investigations for administrators to take one student’s sexual assault claims seriously?
Facebook, in response to the attention drawn to its failure to recognize and censor gender-based hate speech, issued a statement yesterday.
“In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate. In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want. In other cases, content that should be removed has not been or has been evaluated using outdated criteria. We have been working over the past several months to improve our systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We need to do better – and we will.”
There’s still a lot of contention over what should and shouldn’t be censored on Facebook, and we’ll see how the implementation goes, but this seems like a good first step.
Read more here.
A textbook example of how to respond to sexual harassment - if only the rest of us had security staff at our disposal.
…If only no one needed security staff at their disposal.
It’s not a crime that Vito Lopez harassed and molested employees and retaliated against them when they refused his sexual advances.
It’s not a crime that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver covered up Vito’s attacks and made secret payments to the accusers with taxpayer money to shut them up.
It’s not a crime that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman closed his eyes to the hush-money payoff.
It’s not a crime that state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli signed off on the payments without raising a single objection.
Glad that’s cleared up.
Read more here.
Silence Isn’t Useful Against Street Harassment
When I was a freshman in college, I went to Woody’s, a gay bar in center city, with a few friends. At the end of the night, I went outside to get some air while waiting for my friends to meet me. It happened to be the same night of a big Phillies game – I don’t follow sports, so I can’t tell you which team they played against or even if they lost or won – and there were cars lined up on the street in a traffic jam, honking their horns and going wild. I also don’t understand Philly sport fans.
Next thing I knew, I was being pulled into the back of a truck where at least six grown men were screaming names at me, ripping at my dress and punching me to keep me down. I curled up as tight as I could, holding my head and hoping someone would help me.
Luckily, due to the congestion of cars, a stranger on the street was able to pull me out of the truck before they had the chance to drive away. I immediately went to the cops, reporting what happened and also explaining that they had taken my phone, but the cops said there was simply “nothing” they could do since I didn’t have a license plate number or any way to identify them.
I guess this experience kind of shaped my belief that as a woman, I would just have to put up with harassment from men. It made me believe that being catcalled on the street was no big deal. But as we accept it, we start to let bigger things happen. We start to lose a sense of power, and we give into society’s wrongs rather than joining together and letting people know that no, it’s not OK.
Stuff we read about women
Lego makes tiny little harassing construction workers.
Does the media focus only on white sexual assault survivors?
Five awesome women get gender studies onto the Ontario curriculum (it took 8 years).
Congrats, Jason Collins. But why does the media shrug when female athletes come out?
For your weekend: Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu are awesome.
Rape myths often suggest that women ask for rape because of how they dress or behave and contribute to a rape culture that accepts sexual violence and victim-blaming.
Today reflects the silence many in the LGBTQ community are forced into due to bullying and sexual harassment.
Almost half of students grade 7-12 reported experiencing sexual harassment in 2010. Only half of those students spoke about it with parents, teachers or friends. Sexual harassment is prevalent in schools, especially against LGBTQ students, and detrimental to education.
“Why don’t you show us what’s underneath that towel, baby?”
I heard this shouted from a car of four young men, no older than 19, hanging out the window, being obnoxious. I had been walking home alone one summer afternoon after swim practice in my suburban neighborhood and immediately looked around to see if anyone else was walking near me when I realized I was alone, ashamed, and powerless. I’d like to think if I had been older, I would have been less afraid or maybe even shouted something back.
But I was 13, relatively quiet, and awkwardly uncomfortable in most settings, let alone one I had just been harassed in. Back then, I never realized there was a term for what I had experienced (street harassment) nor that there was an impending movement to educate about it and eradicate it.
So I called the teacher and explained the situation. I was calm and collected, until the teacher said, “I wasn’t aware of this; she didn’t tell me, but this boy likes to be affectionate with his friends. He likes to touch friends but he’s harmless.”
It was then that I felt the fire fill my soul.
I responded as my daughter’s advocate. The advocate she wanted and needed, and the advocate all mothers must be for their daughters. To give them the voices they need.
So here’s what I said to the very sweet teacher:
“I don’t care that this boy ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly,’ and likes to touch his friends. It is hurting my daughter because when a person’s experience is invalidated or ignored it teaches them to be victims. I will not allow that to happen.”