SF Talking Points: Judge Rules That Women Who Wear High Heels And Tube Tops Are Inviting Rape

Canadian Judge Doesn’t Send Rapist To Jail Because “Sex Was In The Air”: In a case where the woman was wearing (gasp!) a tube top with no bra, high heels, and “plenty of makeup,” it was more OK for the man she was with, Kenneth Rhodes, to force intercourse with her on a dark highway. At least that’s what Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar decided. Poor guy; he was just a “clumsy Don Juan.” He sure was clumsy — he left a permanent scar on the victim’s knee from the the attack. But “Protection of society is not advanced one iota by putting Mr. Rhodes in jail,” Dewar said. That’s where he is oh, so wrong.

While the judge maintained that this case shouldn’t be seen as a precedent, how can it not be? This sounds like a ruling that would result from language like “forcible rape” — well, slow down there, let’s take into account just how forcible it was. She was dressed like she was asking for it? Check. The two involved were drinking? Check. Well, then, any time a woman wears a tube top and makeup and has a few drinks, she better expect to end her night with a bit of rape.

How does Dewer not realize how disgusting the message he’s sending is?

Why Abortion Is Not Just A “Women’s Issue”: Though many male U.S. politicians have recently taken it upon themselves to make some new, ahem, changes to the availability of women’s reproductive health resources, it still remains a “female issue,” and is rarely discussed by men unless they want to wage war against it.  In a recent Salon essay, Aaron Traister refreshingly writes about his abortion and Planned Parenthood experiences via his mother, an ex-girlfriend, and his wife — and how, not only did these experiences indeed affect him, they were some of the most influential on his life. He rightly asserts that while not all males will have experience with abortion in their lifetimes, many will. And whether they’re pro-choice, anti-choice, or don’t identify either way, the issue shouldn’t be taboo for men to talk about. That said, they should also be open to revising their opinions on it because it’s not a black and white issue for women, so it shouldn’t be for men.  Traister writes,

“I’ve quietly watched the debate around reproductive rights and women’s health for most of my adult life and, frankly, most of it seems very foreign to me. It is spoken about in such simplistic ways. I don’t understand how people can throw around the word “murder” and talk about taking lives. By the same token, I don’t understand how some people can be so unconflicted about being pro-choice. Having experienced the second guessing, the what ifs, the sense of failure and the guilt, I don’t find anything simple or unconflicted about it.

But mostly, I don’t understand how these issues are still simply referred to as “women’s issues.” The destinies of men and women are intertwined by sex, and pregnancy, and childbirth. It is time for more men to sack up and start taking responsibility for their end of the conversation.”

We know sometimes guys feel uncomfortable talking about reproductive rights and women’s health out of fear of saying the wrong thing. But most of the issues that fall under that umbrella do not solely concern women. Sexual intercourse requires at least two people. And as of right now, the only group of men speaking up about abortion are the ones who are attacking it.

British Report Promotes More Women Serving On Boards: Following in the same vein as France, Spain, and Norway (minus imposing compulsory quotas), the British government is pushing for at least 25% of the boards of the largest British companies to be comprised of women by 2015. They plan to do this by having companies report on the gender balance in top positions, announce their plans to have more women on their boards to shareholders by September, and regularly keep the government updated on the amount of women in high positions.

“Aspiration rather than legislation is the correct way forward… It is now up to business leaders to respond to the challenge by appointing women both on merit and in recognition of the material added value that gender balance brings to the boardroom,” Roger Carr, chairman of British energy company Centrica, whose board is made up of one-third women, told the NYTimes.

The State Of Afghan Women’s Shelters: The government in Afghanistan is threatening to take over all women’s shelters, which could make the runaways’ lives infinitely worse than they are now — under the pretext that the current shelters are corrupt prostitution centers. There seems to be no doubt that this is a lie — but it’s the word that’s going around the Afghan streets, at least among men, and the women in and running the shelters are furious. Watch this CNN video with reporter Phil Black to see for yourself.


Author: Maura Hehir

Maura Hehir is a writer and student studying creative nonfiction writing at New York University. She volunteer-teaches a creative writing class to kids in Harlem and works in the marketing and design department at a bookstore.


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