Rounding up and over

// 1 July 2008

In the US, most completed rape kits are never sent on to be tested, meaning that women are put through the trauma of a rape exam essentially for no reason, we learn via Feministe. 400,000 kits are sitting untested across the US:

When submitting to a rape kit collection, women are working under the assumption that their kit will go somewhere and will work towards prosecuting their rapist. It’s unrealistic to expect that undergoing rape kit collection will necessarily result in a conviction — but it’s entirely valid to expect that police will do the best they can with the evidence they have. It’s nothing new for police to violate the trust of those they’re most supposed to protect. But it’s still unforgivably wrong.

Un-fucking-believable. I wonder what the stats are in this country?

Michelle Obama Watch notes an article which frames Michelle as a homemaker.

Sinclair at Sugarbutch Chronicles is on a roll – check out this post on reclaiming language, and this reminder that not everyone is who they say they are on the internet, and not everyone speaks from actual experience or knowledge.

The comics blog Girl Wonder has a podcast! Actually, this isn’t news – criminally I’ve managed to miss Four Color Heroines for a whole six months.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore interviewed Terrain Dandridge, recently released member of the New Jersey Four.

pass the roti posts some interesting thoughts on the diversity of her university faculty:

For instance, four of the ethnically-underrepresented faculty are of South Asian descent. One grew up in Delhi and did his early post-graduate work there before coming to the US for a PhD. Another grew up in a feudal fiefdom — as the child of the feudal lord — in Pakistan, and then went to the US for her education. The two others are, as far as I can tell, American-born and -raised desis, with undergraduate and graduate degrees from research universities. None of these four come from less than middle-class backgrounds…

Would any of the four faculty members I mentioned above be particularly sensitive to, say, a second generation Bangladeshi student who came to this university via junior college and whose parents ran a 7-11? Would they have anything in common, apart from the colour of their skin?

Rebecca at Jewess dissects the flap some in the US Jewish community have worked themselves into over a study that apparently shows women are “taking over”. Rebecca points out:

Take the umbrella organization the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, for example. Though it now has a woman at its healm (you go, June Walker), she is one of the few women among the heads of its member organizations. The breakdown is similar in the Forward’s last “Forward Fifty” feature, which included only 17 women (and that’s, given such lists in the past, a decent showing). And even NY Jewish Week’s 2008 list of “36 Under 36,” a measure of the younger generation’s Jewish innovators, includes more men than women (though the numbers are far more equitable than most such lists).

So it’s hard to take the claim of women’s domination that seriously.

ThinkGirl profiles a forthcoming documentary called “What’s your point, honey?” narrated by 9-12 year olds, asking why there’s not yet been a female president:

The directors took the title of their movie – “What’s Your Point, Honey?” – from a cartoon that has two characters: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is pointing to a globe showing all the countries where women are heads of state and a man is asking, “What’s your point, honey?”

Madam Miaow has composed an excellent poem about the experience of being asked to go on a BBC radio show – ostensibly to talk about “China and the Body Beautiful”, with a focus on the Olymics – which got entirely derailed. An extract:

Still Sue Lawley calls the faithful of

The Rational Front

One by one

They lecture us on human rights

When we’re giving up ours without a fight.

What happened to the Body Beautiful, to sport,

What happened to tonight’s topic, in short?

Yikes! What’s happening to the time?

They had their turn now I want mine.

The ticking clock counts down

Time dessicates and runs through my fingers

Only five minutes to go and every contributor lingers.

Everyone speaking sounds white and posh

Braying and wittering and talking tosh.

One Chinese woman sneaks in from the floor

And lands a killer punch on one of the bores.

Good for you, sister.

Oh god, we all look the same.

A producer gesticulates, “Sue, you missed her.

That’s not the one. She’s over here,”

He’s pointing at me.

But Sue doesn’t seem to see.

Muslimah Media Watch and Feminist Philosophers tackle the presentation of female suicide bombers. As stoat says, which it’s necessary to point out that neither men or women have the right to be suicide bombers, this does actually raise numerous issues of how gender is perceived in our cultures. The two posts were kicked off by a feature in Time magazine, which was titled “The mind of a female suicide bomber” – as though the incomprehensible act of wanting to commit mass murder is any more incomprehensible when carried out by a woman.

And, finally, the latest Carnival Against Sexual Violence is up at abyss2hope.

Comments From You

Louise // Posted 2 July 2008 at 8:53 am

I may be wrong but part of the untested kits thing may be that the US has mandated rape kit collection which then are not tested until the victim agrees. Now there are debates on all sides (like is it the best idea to further traumatise someone who’s just been raped by a mandatory collection) but it’s fairly sensible. However I know (but don’t have to hand) that some people argue that victims aren’t told clearly enough about the second stage consent to testing nor does the system take into account that women raped in their own homes often move and they don’t collect alternative contact addresses. Additionally follow-up takes time and, if resourcing is an issue, it’s often victim liaison which falls off the bottom of the priorities list. Tofte doesn’t mention this at all so I suspect she’s talking about kits where permission for testing has already been given.

This two stage process is what was adopted for the new SARCs in the UK – that evidence should be taken and protected but not used without the victims explicit consent.

Comic Book Goddess // Posted 15 July 2008 at 5:32 am

Truly criminal, indeed! Thankfully, we have a backlog, so you won’t miss a minute of the insane goodness!

Thanks for the good word…

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