These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.” —Laozi (Tao Te Ching)
Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.
For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.” —
Let’s outline, one more time, the reasons why requiring “force” as a part of legally defined rape is a bad idea, hey? Because there are many. And let’s skip right past the part where many rapes would no longer be defined as such (I’m… really not sure how you redefine “incest”) and into the implications of proving that someone forcibly raped you.
For one, you have to prove force. Which sounds reasonable! But let’s talk about what it actually means. Used to be, you couldn’t have your rape legally defined as such until you could prove that (a) force occurred, and (b) you “sufficiently resisted” your attacker. So, for example, if someone attempted to rape you, you’d have to physically fight that person off, and lose the fight, and prove that you had fought and lost. Physically fighting someone off, if they want to hurt you, sure seems like a good idea!
Unless, you know. They have a knife. Or a gun. Or, even if they don’t: You have to get in a fistfight, basically, and you are probably a woman, and he’s probably a man, and this person is (by definition — you have to have lost the fistfight, remember) going to have to beat you soundly enough to subdue you. And this person is already capable of rape; it’s not a bar fight, it’s a fight with someone who already has very little in the way of inhibitions, regarding physical harm, and who could very plausibly kill you or leave you maimed for life.
I don’t think the Republicans are actively advocating the “if she didn’t get beaten up or mutilated, she didn’t get raped” standard, but it is part of what’s going on: “Proving” force probably requires proving that you were physically injured in some way. In rape cases which did involve force, where that was part of the victim’s testimony, people have tried to invalidate that by proving that the force somehow wasn’t enough to constitute rape.
One illustrative example: There was a rape case where a woman was physically thrown onto a mattress by her assailant, and in order to “prove” that physically forcing someone onto a mattress was not force, the defendant had to somehow argue that she wasn’t thrown hard enough. The question was raised of whether she bounced, when she hit the mattress. And in this case, the fact that the woman said “no” had already been admitted by the accused. The “no” wasn’t enough, and the fact that she was thrown onto the mattress wasn’t enough: She had to bounce off the mattress, for this to constitute either “rape” or “force.” The “did she bounce” standard — that is, essentially, what we’re requiring when we require “force” in order to define rape.
That particular rapist walked free. He was initially convicted, but the case was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. On the basis of “did she bounce.” And this happened in 1994.
Probably not all of this is strictly relevant to the matter at hand, which is allowing abortion funding, but it’s something to keep in mind around the idea that “force” must constitute a part of rape; women are silent and compliant so as to survive the encounters, a lot of the time, which is why coercion (or age difference) are valid. If we require “force,” we require women to endanger themselves more, we make rape harder to prosecute, and, yes, as a delightful side effect, we end up ruling out the majority of actual rapes.
For the last three years, the US government secretly provided aid to the leaders behind this week’s social uprising in Egypt aimed to topple the government of President Hosni Mubarak, according to a leaked diplomatic cable.
One of the young Egyptian leaders who attended a summit for activists in New York with the help of the US embassy in Cairo was detained when he returned to Egypt, the memo released by Wikileaks said.
The Daily Telegraph reported Friday that it and the secrets outlet were both hiding the identity of this young Egyptian leader. He was arrested in connection with this week’s demonstrations.
The leaked document indicates that the US government was publicly supporting Mubarak’s government while privately backing opposition groups.” —US secretly backed Egyptian protest leaders (via ryking)
Former Saatchi planning intern Nicole Brooker asked me: “could you give me specific examples of things that you see about NY that others couldn’t?”
I’m having a hard time with this one… what do I see when I look around NYC?
I see passion and drive and millions of people who are intent on manifesting their own destinies - no matter how big their dreams - working tirelessly to build the foundations of their own success;
I see people who are more open minded, more accepting, more aware than most, yet are busy busy busy, so may come off as detached and self absorbed;
I see amazing style that constantly inspires me and pushes me to reinvent myself as often as I my eyes peek open in the morning;
I see humanity at its best: helping to shovel sidewalks and push cars out of the snow, carrying an old lady’s suitcase up the stairs, giving their time to those less fortunate than themselves - and at its worst: closing their eyes to the pregnant woman who needs a seat or barely giving a sympathetic glance to the man bundled up in dirty rags in the corner;
I see more creativity and inspiration than I could ever imagine there possibly being in the world - artists who transcend the status quo - musicians and photographers and artists and performers and dancers that make my heart swell and ache with admiration and longing;
I see anything and everything you could possibly imagine wanting - no more than an arms length away - ripe for the taking, ripe for the abusing, ripe for the savoring;
I see the crème de la crème, the folks who can make it anywhere, yet choose to make this big, beautiful, wonderful city their home, their sanctuary, their playground, their wasteland;
I see the first and only place in the world where I’ve ever felt accepted, ever felt at home;
I see the youth seeping in, adding their fire and their brilliance, their curiosity and their passionate insistence - building the new skyline of New York with electric dreams and steely determination;
I see the place that I am beginning to whisper goodbye to - taking it in my arms, wrapping myself in its embrace and feeling the soft crush of passion and remorse;
I <3 New York.
literally… like in marker:
“When we are doing our life’s work, we feel an uncanny sense of ease and alignment. This doesn’t mean that the work is always easy, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the only work we have to do; it just means that there is a conviction deep inside us that tells us we are in tune with our innermost self… We feel grounded in the world, knowing that we belong here and have something important to offer.”