‘rape’

The Need For the Sexual “Other”

It seems like most human beings need an “Other” through which they demonize aspects of sexuality they fear, obsess about, or feel guilty about. That Other may be considered slightly less than fully human; more or less out of control; immoral, uncaring about the consequences of his/her/its actions; dangerous, either in its coercive power or (just as often) its seductive power; ultimately, Not Like Us. For much of history that Other has been homosexuality. But at various times, the Sexual Other has been Too-Sexual Woman; Masturbating Child; Adulterer; Perverted Child Molester; Pornographer; Compulsive Rapist (recently updated to Campus Rapist and…

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Norway, Immigrants, and Sex Education

If you asked 1,000 people, “what’s the defining thing about you?” some might say “my sexuality,” but most would not. Norway is holding classes for African and Middle Eastern immigrants whose fundamental values clash with those of Norwegian—that is, Western—culture. And on what aspect of Western culture are classes focusing on? Norway’s values about sexuality. The classes emphasize the equality of women, their autonomy, and their right to say no to sex—even to their own husbands. Attendees learn about local customs—the kinds of things women wear, the fact that they walk around unescorted, and that when they talk or smile…

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James Deen, Sex Workers, & Rape

You may have heard that several porn actresses have accused porn actor James Deen of sexual assault. In response, various production companies have terminated their contracts with him. Yeah, there’s bad people everywhere, even in the porn industry. If he raped anyone I hope he’s locked up for a thousand years. The case reminded me of a symposium I attended at Stanford University Law School a few weeks ago on the possible connection between sex work and trafficking, and America’s legal response to each. Panelists included a prosecutor, a sociologist, an anti-trafficking activist, and Maxine Doogan of ESPLERP (Erotic Service…

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Why Is Common Sense “Blaming the Victim”?

Be smart: * When you park your car, don’t leave valuables on the front seat, and don’t leave your car unlocked. * When you ride the bus or subway, keep your backpack or purse in front of you where you can see it. * When you travel by airplane, wash your hands multiple times and use hand sanitizer. * Don’t walk in a dangerous neighborhood alone at night. * When you drive on the freeway and someone is weaving unpredictably, change lanes to get away from them. * When you walk through an airport, don’t wear a t-shirt with Osama…

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