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'Political operatives in Minnesota and Washington were drawing up lists of candidates to run for Sen. Al Franken’s Senate seat even before his resignation speech last week, searching for prospects with the profile, fundraising prowess and mettle to sprint to next November’s special election — and then do it again in 2020 to hold the seat another six years.

Franken’s decision to step down amid a growing sexual-harassment scandal has scrambled Minnesota’s 2018 election, which was already on track to be the most high-stakes political cycle in the state in years. The looming battle for control of the U.S. House could run through up to five competitive races in Minnesota, and an open governor’s race puts Republicans in a position to take full control of state government for the first time in half a century.

No one has declared for the new Senate race yet, but many big names are in the mix. DFL Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty are among those being discussed, but both parties will consider a half dozen or more possible contenders. Smith, seen as Gov. Mark Dayton’s likeliest choice as Franken’s immediate replacement through the special election, has emerged as a possible candidate for the long term. She was initially viewed as a caretaker appointment who wouldn’t run.

“Anyone who gets in will need to demonstrate an ability to organize quickly, fundraise and create a campaign to go the distance, and the distance is 2018 and then again in 2020. That will be a deterrent,” said Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Spending on contested U.S. Senate races easily reaches into the tens of millions of dollars, and candidates face a level of scrutiny that’s probably second only to presidential contenders.'

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'Tennessee State University warns against “whistling in a suggestive manner” on the grounds that it may constitute sexual harassment, a policy that has helped earn it a “red light” rating from one of the nation’s premier college watchdog groups.

The public university in Nashville currently holds a “red light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for several of its policies that effectively allow officials to punish various forms of free speech as harassment.

Among them, the public university’s discrimination and harassment policy warns employees and students that “whistling in a suggestive manner” could get them sanctioned — including being expelled or fired — if officials deem the tune sexual harassment.

Other examples of possible sexual harassment listed under the policy include “suggestive or insulting sounds,” “suggestive or obscene gestures,” “unnecessary touching or brushing against the body,” jokes about sex inside and outside the classroom and more.'

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'In a monologue at the end of this morning’s broadcast of Smerconish, CNN’s Michael Smerconish wondered aloud what the responsibility of consumers is now in the wake of the #MeToo movement that has led to a multitude of men in entertainment being accused of sexual misconduct and harassment.

“Every day the arts sections are filled with new allegations of bad behavior, of cultural icons from actor Dustin Hoffman allegedly groping a Broadway co-star to the Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine’s alleged relationship with an underaged boy,” the CNN host noted. “If I listen to an old recording of the Met or I rewatch Tootsie, am I complicit?”

He added, “In other words can we as consumers continue to enjoy the fruits of the labor of those who are now under a cloud of suspicion?”

Smerconish went on to state that these questions aren’t new as we’ve dealt with troubling behavior from artistic icons in the past, naming Michael Jackson, Woody Allenand Pablo Picasso. This led to him pointing out that he finds himself “wrestling with so many questions” before naming a list of shows, movies, radio programs and podcasts that featured recently accused men, asking if he could still enjoy them.'

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'Among us, it seems, lives a class of men who call to mind Caligula and Elagabalus not only in their depravity, but in their grotesque sense of impunity. Our debauched emperors, whether enthroned in Hollywood, media front offices, or the halls of Congress, truly imagined their victims had no choice but to shut up, take it, and stay silent forever. Many of these men are so physically disgusting, too—the thought of them forcing themselves on young women fills me with heaving disgust. Enough already.

All true; yet something is troubling me. Recently I saw a friend—a man—pilloried on Facebook for asking if #metoo is going too far. “No,” said his female interlocutors. “Women have endured far too many years of harassment, humiliation, and injustice. We’ll tell you when it’s gone too far.” But I’m part of that “we,” and I say it is going too far. Mass hysteria has set in. It has become a classic moral panic, one that is ultimately as dangerous to women as to men.

If you are reading this, it means I have found an outlet that has not just fired an editor for sexual harassment. This article circulated from publication to publication, like old-fashioned samizdat, and was rejected repeatedly with a sotto voce, “Don’t tell anyone. I agree with you. But no.” Friends have urged me not to publish it under my own name, vividly describing the mob that will tear me from limb to limb and leave the dingoes to pick over my flesh. It says something, doesn’t it, that I’ve been more hesitant to speak about this than I’ve been of getting on the wrong side of the mafia, al-Qaeda, or the Kremlin?

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'The gender gap in engineering and math is old news by now. Despite society's strenuous efforts to close it – including giving girls pink Lego sets to play with – nothing seems to work. The percentage of female engineering students remains around 20 per cent, give or take.

Meanwhile, there's another gender gap that everyone ignores. This one is in the ultra-competitive field of veterinary medicine. Not long ago, all vets were men, and women who aspired to be vets were told to aspire to something else. Scarcely any women were admitted into vet schools before the 1970s. Today the ratio in veterinary school is 80-20 – in favour of women. In 2015, for example, Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College admitted 83 women and only 18 men.

Oddly, nobody is hollering about discrimination in veterinary medicine. No activists or politicians are lobbying for preferential treatment for men, or preaching about systemic discrimination, or complaining because women win all the scholarly awards. No one gives two hoots about the vets (except for the veterinary schools themselves, which are desperate to recruit more males). The reason is that this particular gender imbalance doesn't fit the prevailing narrative, which is that women in historically male fields face systemic discrimination at every turn.
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'Wolf-whistling and making comments perceived as sexist could become hate crimes in London, police have said.

The Metropolitan Police Force revealed they have been consulting with other forces about cracking down on “gender-based hate crime” after similar behaviour was criminalised in other parts of the country.

Last year, Nottinghamshire Police became the first in the UK to record “misogyny” as a hate crime, potentially criminalising complimenting, texting, and catcalling women in certain contexts.
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Hate incidents in the UK only need to be “perceived” by the alleged victim “or any other person”, and the Crown Prosecution Service recently confirmed that “no evidence” is needed for one to be reported and recorded.

Many forces even consider “dislike” and “unfriendliness” as forms of hate crime.'

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'When you read about gender stereotyping children, it's usually about behaviours like girls opting to play with dolls and boys preferring trucks. But what about other differences?

Recent and past research sheds light on gender differences in the brain and its development, and it's these studies we should be looking to when it comes to thinking about the kinds of emotional support we give our children, especially our boys.

In a 2000 study entitled "The Fragile Male," Sebastian Kraemer states that baby boy brains are actually more fragile than baby girls'. Even in the womb, boy brains are more reactive to maternal depression and stress, while at birth, baby boy brains lag behind girls by a full six weeks.

Research has also shown that boys have higher cortisol levels (the stress hormone) after a traumatic birth where they were separated from their mothers, or their caregiver was unresponsive.'

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'Advocates for women say a new pilot project — which allows outside experts in gender-based violence to review sexual assault investigations by police in Ontario and Alberta — will increase the number of charges laid and improve public trust.

Sexual assault investigations in Ottawa, Timmins, Ont., Peterborough, Ont., London, Ont., and Calgary will be reviewed by an outside panel of experts who work with survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Kingston, Ont., and Stratford, Ont., are also part of the pilot and completed their case reviews earlier this fall. 

Experts in violence against women estimate that fewer than one per cent of sexual assaults result in criminal convictions.'

h/t to John Hembling who points out that handing over such Police decisions to an outside, civilian body without ANY oversight is unprecedented and most likely illegal under the Police Act: https://youtu.be/t-mnBiJS3x8

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'I am afraid of the truth about being male, about the flawed consequences of being a creature driven by testosterone even with the capacity for reason, compassion, and ethical awareness.
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And yet as the veneer is being peeled back from men as predatory monsters, average white men themselves are desperately asking what if things are going too far, what if all the men guilty of sexual assault and intimidation are held accountable.

Yes, what if? Reckoning is a frightening thing for the guilty, and each time I read about another man hedging for the accused and punished, I am reminded, with some due gender irony, “The lady protests too much, methinks.”

Today the white male student who wrote the ham-fisted essay about privilege conferenced with me about his essay, and I was struck by how even though he is identified as privileged, he is confronted with a different world than I was. In another first-year class, a black young woman came into class upset about Lauer; she immediately said she was disappointed.'

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'Facebook banned women for one to seven days after they posted things like, “men ain’t shit,” and “all men are ugly” according to The Daily Beast.

“I personally posted men are scum in November and I received a seven day ban. It’s still ongoing. Two days and 23 hours left,” self-proclaimed comedian Alison Klemp told the Beast. “It wasn’t the best protest because it clearly didn’t work.”

Boston comedian Kayla Avery also said she’s been banned countless times after disparaging men by posting “men are trash” on Facebook. Since she was first banned, Avery has created FacebookJailed.com, a website where women can commiserate about internet censorship.

Another comedian, Heather Fink, told the Daily Beast the Facebook censorship “problem” has been spreading to Instagram where she said she was banned for discussing Facebook’s censorship of rash insults against men.

“Social media is how we communicate. Preventing women from expressing themselves like this is an intimidation tactic,” a social-media strategist told the Beast.

Facebook has not released a statement.'

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'The dilemma Should I report sexual harassment I received even though I later had a sexual relationship with the harasser? Years ago I worked as a volunteer for a political party and while showing me some work on a computer, a senior staff member repeatedly touched my knee. He said sorry, and then did it again, about seven times. He finished by saying: “I’ll need to report myself for sexual harassment now.”
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In your case, whether you later had a relationship with this man, or used his reference, doesn’t condone his initial transgression, but it suggests enough ambiguity to make it worth examining your motives in coming forward. If you’d been more confident of your own voice, as with so many of these cases, you would no doubt have removed his hand and ended the matter there and then. Only you know whether the knee touching was the opening gambit in an ill-judged flirtation or an abuse of power – and it sounds like you felt it was the latter. As for “letting women down” it would be an act of sisterhood to now draw attention to his historic behaviour in order to support others who may have suffered at his hands.'

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'Deborah Dunafon knew that a big sign outside her strip club that read “Toxic Masculinity Welcome Here” could land her in trouble. But she thought it needed to be said on behalf of her clientele and men everywhere, who she says have been given a bad rap in the news lately.

“I think it’s horrible to accuse men of being toxic, because they’re not,” said Dunafon, owner of the 35-year-old Shotgun Willie’s strip club, which is also a marijuana dispensary, in Glendale, Colorado. “Our business is men, and men are not toxic.

“How many men are we gonna pick on until finally there’s no men standing? How would you like a society with men meekly running around with little bonnets on their head?”

Shotgun Willie’s is located in Glendale (whose mayor is Dunafon’s husband, Mike), a hamlet surrounded on all sides by Denver – the city where a coffee shop recently found itself in hot water over a sandwich board sign that read: “Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood since 2014.”
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'AN exodus of male teachers from the profession is due in part to a fear of being wrongly painted as a sexual predator, an Estimates hearing has heard.

Education Minister Eva Lawler said the royal commission into child sex abuse had heightened those anxieties.

Male teachers were sometimes wary of being alone in classrooms with children, she said.

Mr Lawler made the remarks in response to a question from independent Member for Blain Terry Mills about the dwindling number of men teaching in the Territory.

Ms Lawler said 22.6 per cent of NT teachers were men, with most working in high schools.

She said teaching also suffered from an image problem.'

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'Britain's most elite special forces unit could allow women to take an easier test to increase their chances of joining, it has been reported.

The SAS, whose selection process is considered among the toughest in the world, could be planning to permit female applicants to carry lighter rucksacks during gruelling marches.

Troops hoping to enter the legendary unit are expected to pass uniquely difficult challenges - some of which are so intense that candidates have died trying to complete them.

But according to sources who spoke to the Sunday Times, women - who can apply for all military roles from 2019 - might be allowed more time to complete tests and be given lighter loads to carry.

The potential watering down of selection criteria will also apply to the SBS (Special Boat Service), the sources add.

It would specifically affect the initial selection phase, during which candidates are pushed to their limits in the Brecon Beacons over a month-long period.'

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'They weren't looking for anyone to support them emotionally - they just wanted men who were sexually compatible.

"They were very practical and methodical in their decision making and then their vetting of who they were going to get involved with," Walker told Business Insider. "And they were very clear it had nothing to do with whether or not he was a nice guy ... So none of the sentimentality that we seem to want to assign women. They talked a lot about how participating in this was sort of this exercise of power and freedom for them."

The women weren't looking for love elsewhere, because all but two of them said they still loved their husbands. They were simply looking to be satisfied in bed.

"The women I spoke to are cheating to stay married," Walker said. "They're not cheating for revenge, or to get out of a marriage, or to get the husband to notice them through bad behaviour. It's none of those things."

Walker explained that they no longer had sex with their husbands at all, or at least their partners weren't bothered about giving them orgasms.
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"By outsourcing the sex, they were able to come home and be more like the wife and mother that they really wanted to be."'

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