'A former Texas middle-school teacher who was impregnated by a 13-year-old student has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Alexandria Vera, 25, was facing up to 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in November. She admitted to police that a relationship that started with Instagram messages between her and the boy blossomed into a romance — one that the boy’s family approved of.
A judge in the 209th District Court in Houston said during Vera’s sentencing hearing on Friday that he does not believe the former English teacher is a danger to children or a classic pedophile, the Houston Chronicle reported. But Judge Michael McSpadden said he wants to send a message to the community by giving Vera some prison time.'
'Dear men of America: If you have been waiting for your engraved invitation to participate in this march, please consider it delivered. Imagine me slipping an envelope under your door late at night, like a bid to an exclusive social club instead of a public protest. There are conditions on this invitation, however. You will not automatically be put in charge, which might be a shock to some of your systems. You are being invited instead to do what women have done for generations: Show up and ask “What can I do?” You will be put to work.
I am truly sorry that our culture has conditioned you to automatically reject anything branded as a “woman thing,” out of fear of violence and/or social rejection. But now is not the time to be a quiet and passive supporter of women. Perhaps after this march you can have your own painful and necessary dialogues about why you waited for women to organize a powerful show of resistance and then, instead of being grateful for the opportunity to participate, some of you pouted about not having a seat at the planning table. Perhaps you can have your own painful and necessary dialogues about being in thrall to superficial branding over substance, because this march and the movement it is galvanizing are about women’s lives, not our lifestyles, and deserve to be treated with accordant gravity.'
'Imagine, if you will, the most oppressive, retrograde fictional male executive you can possibly cook up. Perhaps he looks like Don Draper, but with terrible clothes and an impressive gut. Maybe he’s Alec Baldwin in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” If you’re a more winsome, youthful sort, your favorite imaginary oppressor might be the brawny, clueless Gaston from “Beauty in the Beast.”
Whatever form your chosen theoretical corporate bad guy may take, get ready for some shocking news: Odds are, he wouldn’t get the heaps of glowing coverage recently dished out to a hip circle of New York feminists and their new women-only “work and social space.”
“No Boys Allowed: The New Rule of Co-Working Spaces,” declared the title of a BloombergBusinessweek profile on January 4. Here’s the lead: “It’s 11 a.m. on a recent Friday, and 29-year-old Audrey Gelman—public-relations powerhouse, former Hillary Clinton press aide, longtime friend of Lena Dunham’s—is sitting on a pink couch at the Wing, the co-working space and social club she co-founded this October in New York.”
“Taking up space can be a profound act in a society where men have the power and the prestige,” The Wing’s website says, apparently unaware it is already becoming slightly insufferable. “At The Wing, all the rules are written by women.” One of those rules, in case you’re wondering, is that there are no books written by men, at least not in the club’s library. (You’ll be heartened to learn that Maureen Dowd’s masterpiece “Are Men Necessary?” pluckily makes an appearance.)'
'Dear Betsy: Even students who’ve been accused of sexual assault deserve the chance to defend themselves.
Betsy DeVos is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education. This past week, groups such as End Rape on Campus launched a #DearBetsy social-media campaign urging DeVos to continue the Obama administration’s policies, under which schools across the country have defined sexual assault in expansive terms and scaled back protections for students accused of it.
Meanwhile, the American Association of University Women, among other organizations, has zeroed in on the $10,000 that DeVos gave to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an ACLU-like outfit that, among other things, supports due-process rules.
You might not like DeVos’s financial conflicts or her family’s record on LGBT issues — I don’t — but the #DearBetsy campaign and the controversy over her FIRE donations show how ideological and unmoored the campus rape debate has become.'
'Yesterday Politico reported on the latest attack against Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education. DeVos and her husband donated $10,000 to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonpartisan organization that defends free speech, religious liberty, and due process on college campuses.
Some people, however, don’t much care for due process — especially when young men are accused of serious offenses like rape or sexual assault. FIRE opposes lawless Obama administration guidelines that mandate low burdens of proof for campus sexual-assault tribunals without also mandating proper due-process protections for the accused. In other words, it opposes the amateurish kangaroo courts that pass for “campus justice” in the age of Obama.'
'A man in Oklahoma is hoping to change the law after he has to continue to pay child support for a baby that is not his, according to our affiliate KOTV.
When Thomas’ high school girlfriend got pregnant, he married her. Five months later she had a little boy and he believed he had a son, but their marriage fell apart.
Thomas decided to take a paternity test when the boy was three years old.
“It comes back zero percent. I was in my office and I saw that. I should’ve expected it but I didn’t and it hit me. I’m telling my co-worker how shocked I am that someone could do this to someone,” he said.
The judge ordered Thomas to take another DNA test and he got the same result. The judge first ruled that Thomas was off the hook financially, but then reversed the decision because Oklahoma law says men must question paternity within two years of the child’s birth.
Thomas said that he had no reason to question it before he did, but, because he missed the deadline, the judge ordered him to pay around $500 a month in child support and nearly $15,000 in back support – for a child that is not his.'
'MILO’s event at the University of California, Davis has been cancelled after protesters tore down barricades and engaged in scuffles outside the venue. A camerman for ABC10 was also attacked with hot coffee.
MILO and his co-speaker, entrepeneur Martin Shkreli are both reportedly unharmed. Arrests have reportedly been made.
Shrekli was videoed outside the venue, where he explained his plans to explain third-wave feminism to MILO.'
'A 46-year-old woman was put on probation after pleading guilty to having sex with her daughter's 13-year-old boyfriend.
Elaine B. Goodman of Dover, Del., faced up to 15 years in prison when she pleaded guilty in November in Kent County Superior Court, but Thursday the Honorable Robert B. Young took into account that this was "an aberration" and that Goodman has shown compassion not only in taking care of her elderly parents but also to others in the community.
"This came out of the blue," Young said. "The crime is egregious and affected the victim and his family, which was taken into account. But incarceration is not the answer."'
'She admitted in text messages to performing oral sex on her blacked-out sex partner, but she won’t have to submit to a deposition in that student’s lawsuit against Amherst College for expelling him as a rapist.
In a little-noticed order in the long-running due process and Title IX lawsuit, issued shortly after the November election, a federal judge refused to grant a subpoena on student “Sandra Jones” sought by plaintiff “John Doe.”
Because Jones has since moved to Washington state, the ruling on the subpoena was made in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.'
'A group of UC Berkeley professors have demanded that Breitbart Senior Editor MILO be banned from the campus ahead of his show on February 1st, prompting the college’s chancellor to defend MILO’s constitutional right to speak.
In their letter to UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, the professors falsely accuse MILO of advocating “white supremacy” and claim that though they allegedly support free speech and academic freedom, MILO should be counted as an exception.
“We are writing to implore you to cancel a planned speaking engagement by Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been invited by Berkeley College Republicans for February 1, 2017,” wrote the professors in the letter. “We support both freedom of speech and academic freedom on campus and realize that controversial views must be tolerated in any campus community dedicated to open debate and opposed to censorship. Although we object strenuously to Yiannopoulos’s views – he advocates white supremacy, transphobia, and misogyny – it is rather his harmful conduct to which we call attention in asking for the cancellation of this event.”'
'Think it’s obnoxious when men hold forth? The feminist response is to one-up them by giving them condescending reading assignments, argues Sadie L. Trombetta of the women’s website Bustle.
One way mansplaining manifests itself, Trombetta complains, is “a man proclaiming a woman is misinformed because she disagrees with him.”
Annoyed by this phenomenon, Trombetta has chosen not one but five books “to give the men in your life so you don’t have to keep explaining [mansplaining].” Those book recs, together, constitute more than 1,500 pages of reading.
We’d wager a hefty sum that no man who considers Trombetta misinformed has ever given her five books to remedy her supposed lack of knowledge.
Trombetta unintentionally reveals her double standard, in part by womansplaining mansplaining.
One of Trombetta’s recommendations is Men Explain Things to Me. The title is pretty self-explanatory, but Trombetta womansplains to her presumably female readers that it “sheds light on the phenomenon that is now commonly referred to as ‘mansplaining.’”'
'It’s 11 a.m. on a recent Friday, and 29-year-old Audrey Gelman—public-relations powerhouse, former Hillary Clinton press aide, longtime friend of Lena Dunham’s—is sitting on a pink couch at the Wing, the co-working space and social club she co-founded this October in New York. A man walks through the elevator doors, and Gelman throws him a friendly wave. “That’s our AV guy,” she says. “He’s basically the only man that comes through here.”
That’s because the Wing—so-named because, like the wing of a house, it’s a separate space—is just for women. Co-working is hardly new; industry trade magazine Deskmag estimated there would be 10,000 co-working spots worldwide by the end of 2016. But female-focused spaces have become a niche in the industry as a response to contemporary feminism and a reaction against fratty venues that advertise kegs and pingpong. “Women are craving community, connection, and confidence, and that’s what we’re going to give them,” says Stacy Taubman, 38, founder of Rise Collaborative, which is set to open in St. Louis this month and will offer members networking events, a book club, and a chance to mentor teens. Then there’s SheWorks Collective, also in Manhattan; New Women Space, in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Hera Hub, in Phoenix, Southern California, Washington, D.C., and Stockholm.
'Politico has published an article attempting to make Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, look like she’s against victims of campus sexual assault.
The very first sentence of the article, written by Benjamin Wermund, makes this bias clear: “Education secretary pick Betsy DeVos has given thousands of dollars to an advocacy group that wants to raise the burden of proof for campus sexual assault victims.”
Right off the bat, Wermund is referring to accusers as “victims,” a common tactic for activists who want people to believe that no one would ever lie about sexual assault. Colleges and universities (and lawmakers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand) do this too. By calling accusers “victims,” activists can make it seem like it is already a fact that they have been sexually assaulted, and therefore any attempt to advocate for due process rights or an investigation makes someone anti-victim.'
'Republican megadonor Betsy DeVos has given thousands of dollars to an advocacy group that is seeking to overturn an Obama administration policy that made it easier to discipline college students accused of sexual harassment or assault.
The donations, totaling $10,000, by Donald Trump’s Education secretary pick have prompted criticism from Democrats and women's groups in the run-up to her confirmation hearing next week.
DeVos has not spoken publicly about the Education Department’s aggressive approach to campus sexual assault, but women’s groups and Democrats say her donations to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education send a troubling signal. FIRE has sued the administration to raise the standard of proof for victims of sexual assault in university administrative hearings contending it is unfair to the accused.
The donations are “a red flag,” said Lisa Maatz, the top policy adviser at the American Association of University Women, which advocates for strict enforcement of Title IX, the federal law that governs sex discrimination, harassment and sexual assault on college campuses. “In the absence of an actual record … I think these kinds of donations take on even greater importance, because we have to rely on her contributions to inform us on particular issues.”'
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