'California lawmakers want to take the burden of preventing rape off victims by requiring that college students looking to hook up prove they had agreed to have sex.
The "affirmed consent" standard - already in place at many universities - could be required at all publicly funded California colleges and universities under a proposed state law being considered by the Legislature.
The move comes as women's groups - joined by President Obama - have expressed outrage at the lax way college officials across the country have responded to reports of rape on their campuses.
But some say that requiring each partner to explicitly agree to have sex goes too far into people's bedrooms and unfairly limits due process rights of the accused.
"The only thing this does is decrease the number of men on campus," said Professor Gordon Finley of Florida International University, a critic of affirmative consent policies. "How do you prove affirmative consent? It's inherently impossible to prove. It's so far removed from everyone's sex lives."'
Over the course of a nearly two-hour conversation, Daniel Kopin returns to this point again and again. Ten months after an evening that irrevocably changed two young people’s lives, Kopin, a 21-year-old former Brown University student, still sounds genuinely shaken as he recounts his reaction to an August 8 email that confronted him with a stark accusation: “Dan, you raped me.”
“I was in shock—total disbelief,” Kopin says, growing visibly agitated as he recalls reading the email. “I couldn’t—I mean, I called my mom. Being accused—something must be wrong, something must be off. That was my initial thought. But it became clear, as I looked over my facts, the text messages I had—as I racked my memory—it became clear that this was not true. What she was saying was not true.”
One irony of this particular story is that Kopin and Sclove share a common background of progressive activism—an interest that helped form a bond between them after both transferred to Brown in January 2013 (Kopin from NYU, Sclove from Tufts). Kopin, the younger of two sons of physician parents, attended the Rashi School, a Boston-area Jewish school that has a strong social justice orientation; both at home and at school, he was raised in an environment where “believing the victim” in a sexual assault case is a widely shared principle. Today, he speaks earnestly of his gratitude for the support he has received from friends who are “who are a part of this feminist community that I’d like to consider myself a part of.”
'Duke is one of a few schools with a tough new policy: If a student is found culpable for sexual misconduct, expulsion is the presumptive punishment. Most schools haven’t gone that far. Universities want to support victims, but they don’t want to freeze out the perpetrators. They get blamed both for not taking alleged victims seriously, and for not doing enough to protect the rights of the accused. A finding of culpability with a lenient sanction is one way to split the difference. But it’s an uneasy compromise that causes its own set of problems, as a case that unfolded this spring at Stanford shows.
Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who helped design the ARP as the faculty chair of Stanford’s Board of Judicial Affairs, told me that many more students are making complaints than did so under the old system. That’s true nationally as well since the DoE letter clarifying the standard. Dauber thinks preponderance of the evidence is sufficient. “Reviewers are very careful and want to do the right thing,” she said. “No one thinks, ‘this guy is 51 percent responsible, so let’s throw him out of college.’”
'Peter Yu, Drew Sterrett and Lewis McLeod were headed toward bright futures at prestigious colleges and universities when each got involved in one-night sexual encounters.
All three young men claimed the encounters were consensual — but the women asserted otherwise. In each case, campus officials found the men responsible for sexual assault and expelled or suspended them.
But all three are pushing back, suing the schools on charges that their rights to a fair hearing were violated.
As universities and colleges launch intensified efforts against sexual misconduct, more cases are shifting from campuses to courtrooms.'
'U.S. fertility is not recovering from the financial crisis — and demographers aren’t sure why.
The fertility rate fell to a record low 62.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 2013, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
The total number of births, at 3.96 million, inched up by a mere 4,000 from 2012, the first increase since the financial crisis. But the total fertility rate, or TFR, the average number of children a woman would have during her child-bearing years, fell to just 1.86, the lowest rate in 27 years. TFR is considered the best metric of fertility. A TFR of 2.1 represents a stable population, with children replacing parents as they die off.'
'Let this article be proof of the nature and character of many of the people who oppose progress for Men’s Human Rights. And let this issue be a rallying point for those who truly oppose violence and advocate social justice.
The first First International Conference on Men’s Issues is scheduled to be held on June 26-28 in Detroit, Michigan. It is scheduled to be a great event. Never before has such a diverse a group of people met to engage in an exchange of ideas from a perspective of compassion for men and boys.
This event will unite academics and advocates from diverse backgrounds and across the political spectrum. Included among them is Dr. Warren Farrell, three-time board member of the National Organization for Women-New York, Senator Anne Cools (the first black female senator to be elected to Canada’s upper house), Erin Pizzey (the founder of the first-ever battered women’s shelter), and many more.
Unfortunately, this is apparently too much for those who oppose the idea of a men’s human rights movement. Organization against the conference for a planned protest on June 7 appeared on Facebook, where threats of violence were made by anti-MHRA commenters were allowed to remain but comments by men’s advocates requesting an open dialog were repeatedly deleted. In the characteristic Orwellian nature of those who oppose men’s issues, the administration of the group rationalized this by claiming that they need to “make a safe space.”
Remember those ads on TV years ago: "Read TIME... and un-der-staaaand!". I have a different motto for them these days: "Read TIME and *BLOW CHOW*!!" :) Article here. Excerpt:
'A growing movement driven by misogyny and resentment is pulling in frustrated men struggling with changing definitions of masculinity. A men's fitness columnist on why they should walk away.
Imagine a kid who got a cone with three scoops of ice cream in it. Good flavors, too. Like peanut-butter chocolate, plus a scoop of cookie dough. In a waffle cone. And then this child whines about the lack of chocolate sprinkles on top.
Welcome to the men’s rights movement.
Wait, what? Men’s rights? That’s a thing? Yes, it’s a thing, and while there are certain legitimate aspects to men’s rights activism, or MRA, it’s overwhelmingly a toxic slew of misogyny. This world of resentment and hate speech has been brought to light in recent days as we learned about the vitriolic forum posts and videos left behind by Elliot Rodger, the 22 year-old accused of killing six people in Santa Barbara last week. But it’s hard to comprehend from Roger’s delusional rants how potent the movement’s message can be for ordinary men.
MRAs believe the traditionally oppressed groups have somehow seized control and taken away their white male privilege. They tap into fear and insecurity and turn it into blame and rage. Often the leaders of these groups are men who feel as though they got screwed in a divorce. They quote all sorts of statistics about child custody and unfair alimony payments, because in their minds, the single mother who has to choose between feeding the kids or paying the rent is a myth. They believe passionately in their own victimhood and their creed goes something like this: Women are trying to keep us down, usurp all our power, taking away what it means to be a man.'
'The emotional needs of young women have (quite rightly) been discussed at length by experts, journalists and politicians over the past five years. Yet what those who present low self-esteem and body insecurity as "feminist" issues fail to grasp is that their male counterparts are struggling just as much, they are simply less able to articulate their needs. After all, generations of social conditioning tells us that men don't "do" feelings.
I walk into a classroom of today’s teenage boys and I see a large majority overstimulated by 24 hour internet access, jittery from the sheer pace of their lives, sometimes apathetic towards a society from which they feel utterly disenfranchised, occasionally asserting a kind of laddish, vaguely misogynistic aggression in an attempt to carve some sort of identity for themselves.
Great swathes of their generation have fathers who are absent, either physically or emotionally, and have probably spent their school years being taught by women. In the absence of male role models, many have turned to social media and online pornography to learn about life’s fundamentals. If they have any doubts about their personal and social rejection, they need only refer to our press, which has taken to harping on relentlessly about how men are the enemy in the name of female empowerment.
Indeed it is. What, no one told you? No signs at work? No mass emails from H/R announcing events, research fund-raising Bingo tourneys, etc.? No ribbons to wear? Just like last year! Anyway, here's the site: http://www.menshealthmonth.org/
"Thirty-five years ago today, Lillian White gave birth to her youngest son. Yesterday, she knelt down and kissed his coffin at his graveside.
Darrin White committed suicide two weeks ago in Prince George, B.C., after a judge ordered him to pay his estranged wife twice his take-home pay in child support and alimony each month.
In death he has become a poignant symbol of family courts gone awry, of a divorce system run by people with closed minds, hard hearts and deaf ears.
Across the country last evening, activists held candlelight vigils in memory of men such as Darrin. During his funeral Mass, Father Leo Fernandes of St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church urged Darrin’s friends to continue the struggle to which he succumbed.
Like those who completed Puccini’s last opera after his death, Father Fernandes said people close to Darrin should ask themselves: “What are you going to do about it? Hopefully, there is more. It is up to you, his friends, to accomplish what he was unable to. If his dream was to challenge the scales of justice in our country, then so be it. Do it for his sake.”
Darrin wasn’t a complicated man. He liked taking nature walks and enjoyed cycling. He read books about the outdoors and loved animals. He was a certified locomotive engineer who earned his living driving trains first for Canadian National, then the British Columbia railway.
When his marriage fell apart in January, Darrin found himself in a situation shared by many men. While he had worked long hours doing what society told him a father was supposed to do — bringing home the bacon — his devotion became a strike against him.
'A 30-year old Sioux Falls woman has been charged with rape, sexual contact with a child, and sexual exploitation of a minor after her boyfriend discovered her naked in their apartment Wednesday night with at least three boys between age 7 and 10.
Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens said Anne Elizabeth Doubler's boyfriend returned home with the couple's 4-year-old son and caught her with the boys. The incident took place in their apartment in the 600 block of North Lewis Avenue.
The boyfriend told police that Doubler admitted to having sexual contact with the boys, Clemens said. He then called police as the other boys scattered, he said.
Police later interviewed the boys, who confirmed that they had had sexual contact with Double, Clemens said.
Police are still working to identify all potential victims and find out how long it may have been going on.
"This is something we don't see very often," Clemens said. "When we're talking about multiple victims, especially at one time, that's unusual."
Doubler could spend the rest of her life in prison, if convicted of five counts each of first-degree rape, sexual contact with a child under 16 and sexual exploitation of a minor.'
Femen at it again! Story here. Bat-$hit crazy, but thoroughly entertaining. (Re Viewing-At-Work: Two pics, not exposing the "visually sensitive" parts of the protester's upper body, but she is still topless. So use your discretion.) Excerpt:
'A topless member of the radical protest group Femen used a metal chisel to stab and bash in the face of Putin's statue in a famed Paris wax museum on Thursday.
The activist, who had 'Kill Putin' written on her bare chest, reportedly screamed "Putin is a dictator" while destroying the figure at the Grevin Wax Museum, French daily Le Parisien reported.
Police arrested the activist shortly after the attack, which happened near statues of US President Barack Obama and recently abdicated Spanish King Juan Carlos, both of which escaped without a scratch.'
'On Wednesday, June 4, National Parents Organization founder and Chairman Ned Holstein, MD, MS, participated with other shared parenting luminaries in a panel discussion sponsored by Newswise Live, a program that seeks to educate journalists on the important issues of the day. The panel consisted of Dr. Holstein; Warren Farrell, PhD, longtime supporter of the rights of men, fathers and boys and author of numerous books including Father and Child Reunion; Canadian family lawyer Georgialee Lang; and actor Jason Patric who recently won Round One of his two-year battle to play a real part in the life of his son, Gus.
The takeaway from the presentations of all panel members and the answers to reporters’ questions was that equal parenting and equal parenting supporters are on the right side of history. Dr. Holstein cited a long-term shift in the direction of equal parenting both in courts and legislatures, and in the popular imagination.
'ewish feelings about circumcision—for and against—are complex. The following quotes, all of them by Jewish people and all of them real, demonstrate the diversity of thought when it comes to questioning the ancient ritual. If you are Jewish and would like to add your quote, send Beyond the Bris a note and we'll include your statement in a future posting.
I believe that G-d instituted circumcision as a way of setting His people apart, but given how many other cultures and religions have adopted this practice, it is no longer a means of setting apart. Like many other commandments once practiced by Jews (that have now been set aside) there is now no more compelling religious or cultural reason to do so. I have a now-adult son for whom we had a “brit shalom” (no cutting) when he was eight days old.... This doesn’t make him any less Jewish or any less observant. He is a respected young man at shul, involved in many different areas and loved by all. I do not regret my decision at all to let him make his own choice, and it is my hope that other Jewish parents will also consider a brit shalom as a viable alternative to brit milah.
The importance that people attach to this act [circumcision] is almost laughable. Of all the behaviors we aspire to (charity, grace, forgiveness, kindness, industriousness) the amount of time spent thinking about foreskin just baffles me. We need to be good people and observant Jews. If this involves circumcision, fine. But what is peoples' hang up with this mitzvah? Out of the 613, there are about 612 I’d rate higher in importance.'
'The next National Women’s Studies Association annual meeting will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 13-16, 2014 and is aptly named “Feminist Transgressions.” Indeed, the conference itself is “transgressive” in that it minimizes the cause of women to focus, yet again, on the cause of Palestine, aka the destruction of Israel.
This is only the latest, among many other examples, of the way in which Women’s Studies—an idea which I pioneered so long ago--has been Stalinized and Palestinianized. I wonder whether the forces of evil will try to pass a resolution in favor of boycott, divestment, and sanctions—not against Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, or Russia—but against Israel only.
The Association’s line-up of professorial and celebrity talent is 100% politically correct; the speakers are mainly African-American, African-Hispanic, and African/Asian Caribbean. While I may not agree with some of their views, e.g. the pro-sex “work” agenda which is being presented at this conference, I recognize that these speakers--my old friend bell hooks, Ana-Maurine Lara, Ana Irma Lassen, and Kamala Kempadoo--are all genuinely feminist.
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