This Is Rape Culture

Absolutely disgusting -Men cleared as rape woman’s group sex fantasy revealed-(ht2 PennyRed) so if a woman has sexual fantasies that means she can’t be raped, which is what this seems to imply. That male prosecutor and judge think a woman having sexual fantasies destroys her credibility? Well we’re all in trouble then, but women far more than men because well- patriarchy. This is a really dangerous outcome for everyone who has sexual fantasies (erm all of us) and those who engage in anything other than the most vanilla -approved by conservative straight men in the legal profession- sex lives (and that doesn’t wash, ask a sex worker about their legal clientele). And if the argument is this the case would be impossible to win in the current legal system, well duh, there’s a big clue there about the failings and need for change in that legal system. But the quotes from the well paid legal men actually do not bear that out, they mostly boil down to -we don’t believe or respect her because she has fantasies- which is just repulsive and hateful, it seems to rest on a judgement and prescription of women that precludes them having a sexual existence of their own, not one pre-approved by men. This is a really offensive judgement and I hope the survivor has help to deal with it and help if she wishes to push for a proper trial in a court not run by misogynist scumbags.

Viva Mexico

For passing a basic common sense bill with simple equal language-

By a margin of 39 to 20, the Federal District Assembly approved a bill redefining “marriage” as the “free uniting of two PERSONS” earlier today.

Cue conservatives throwing their rattles out of the pram-

Naturally, Felipe Calderón is already looking for some way to challenge the bill in the courts and Armando Martinez, the president of something called the College of Catholic Attorneys is whining about El Grinches stealing Christmas. He is quoted in the New York Times as saying the Federal District Assembly “have given Mexicans the most bitter Christmas.”

We all have our right wing to bear… but I love the wording, no civil partnership bollocks, just saying marriage -if you so choose to do it- is what it should be, two people getting hitched.

The Montreal Massacre

Bina @ News of the Restless remembers the massacre of  women 20 years ago by a misogynist terrorist in a great post. 14 women were killed, 10 women wounded, 4 men wounded. The date has been made into a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. There are several men who have made a hero of the pathetic murderer who executed those women, it will come as little surprise they are right wing, libertarian, some based in the US. They call the mass murderer a Saint, they use the term ‘feminazi’. Clearly it is incumbent upon men to challenge and change such attitudes in others and themselves and not to tolerate those who proudly harbour such hate filled moronity.

As for the particular men who praise this massacre I don’t know what to say to them other than if ever their fever-dreamed of feminist stormtrooper breaks down their door and levels an assault rifle at them, I’ll be carrying her spare ammo, you dig?

Still Killing Mental Patients

Zephaniah Samuels:- Police presence on psychiatric wards is also touched on in this report. The shocking eye witness account of an elderly service users who watched while a squad of 12 heavily equipped police officers with riot armour, CS gas, Taser guns and an Alsatian attack dog went onto a hospital ward to remove just one young African man from a hospital is a practice that is largely unknown to those outside mental health services.

The final report by the now defunct Mental Health Act commission has revealed a catalogue of failings within the service, resulting in patient deaths which could have been prevented and an unecessary increase in the already high numbers of people from African Caribbean communities detained in psychiatric care.

And this is telling-

A section on ‘restraint and safety’ in this document notes that two patients suffocated after being restrained face down with excessive force, this report points out that this may have been avoided if staff ceased prone restraint earlier. Researchers also found some staff restrained patients without proper training.

Recommendations within the David ‘Rocky’ Bennett inquiry report, into the tragic death of an African Caribbean patient, who died after his was forcibly restrained by a team of up to five staff for almost half and hour while in a secure unit in a hospital in Norfolk, led to recommendations that no patient should be restrained in the prone position for longer than three minutes. A decade after Bennett’s death this new report confirms that the Government has neither established national mandatory training or endorsed a time limit on face down restraint recommended in the inquiry report.

Now that ain’t laziness or a mistake, that’s approval. Read more @ Black Mental Health, MHAC report is here pdf).

Posted in Anti-Racism, Health. Tags: , . Comments Off

Back Of The Class

Gender attitudes in schools have not changed since the 1960s and girls are still far more likely to be encouraged to do hairdressing, catering and childcare courses, while boys go on to do mechanics and plumbing, according to the equalities watchdog. The women’s rights movement has encouraged women to compete harder and they are now more likely to go to university, get good degrees and become doctors. But girls from working-class backgrounds have been left behind, according to the research, published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

 Trevor Phillips, the chair of the commission, said attitudes in some schools were stuck in the mid-20th century. The research, based on interviews with 1,000 14- to 18-year-olds, found white working-class girls were four times as likely as white middle-class girls to work in childcare. Phillips said: “The majority of young women who come from working-class backgrounds believe they will fail. They believe the best they can do is to be a hairdresser or work in one of the three Cs: catering, childcare or cleaning. These are proper careers and I don’t want to do them down. The problem is we have a society where young girls who aren’t from well-off professional families can’t see themselves as successful in anything but a limited range of jobs.

 “Within education and careers services, the expectations for these girls are pretty low. Even well-meaning teachers and careers advisers are saying … ‘you could be a very good hairdresser’. They should be saying, ‘why don’t you want to be a doctor or lawyer?’ It’s wrong if girls are told they can only do certain things.” The research found that four times as many boys as girls believed they would go into engineering, with similar percentages of boys over girls choosing building, architecture, trade and IT careers. There were also strong class differentials for boys. White middle-class boys were twice as likely as white working-class boys to become a teacher or police officer.

Criminal Justice System- Institutionally Sexist

The criminal justice system is condemned as an institutionally sexist operation that lets down female victims, fails to help women offenders out of a cycle of crime and prevents professionals reaching the top jobs. A five-year investigation by the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality, found that discrimination against women pervades the system in England and Wales at all levels, from the police forces where women officers are still forced to wear men’s uniforms to the way frontline staff doubt the credibility of victims reporting rape and domestic violence, with a gap seen between equality policy and its implementation.

Self-harm among women in custody, which Fawcett said was a product of the effects of being in a system designed for men, increased by 48% between 2003 and 2007, with women committing around half of all self-harm incidents, despite representing only 5% of the total prison population. At the women-only HMP Styal the number of incidents of self-harm have risen from 376 to 1,324 in the last five years, according to figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Last night justice minister Maria Eagle said: “While we recognise the challenges we face we reject the central tenet of this report. … We have long recognised the specific needs of women in the criminal justice system… But there is still more to be done and the government equality bill contains positive action measures.”

Shock horror, New Labour acts like conservatives. Anyway Fawcett Society report here

Key Statistics:

Female staff

• In 2008, only 12 percent of police officers at Chief Inspector grade and above were women; less than a quarter of prison governors were female and less than one in four prison officers were women. (4)

• Only 15.9 percent of partners in the UK’s ten largest law firms were women in 2008 and there were only 42 female compared to 479 male silks. The number of female applicants for Queen’s Counsel was at its lowest level for ten years. (5)

• In 2008, just over 10 percent of the 109 High Court Judges were women and just 3 out of the 37 Lord Justices of Appeal were women. There is only one female law lord. (6) In contrast, the Supreme Court of Canada is 44 percent female and the High Court of Australia is 43 percent female.

Female victims of crime

• An estimated 3 million women across the UK experience rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment, forced marriage, trafficking, or other forms of violence each year.

• Only 15 percent of serious sexual offences against adults are reported to the police and of the rape offences that are reported only 6.5 percent result in conviction. 

• One in four people still believe that a woman is partially responsible for being raped if she is drunk and one in three think she is partially responsible if she flirted heavily with the man beforehand. (7)

• Over a quarter of local authorities across Britain have no specialised VAW support services. (8)

Female Offenders:

• On 3 April 2009, the female prison population stood at 4,309 compared to a mid-year female prison population of 2,672 in 1997. Population projections released by the Ministry of Justice in January, indicate at best the female prison population may decrease by 200 by 2015, at worst it will increase to 5,100. (9)

• Too many women are being imprisoned for short sentences for non-violent crime, including the non-payment of fines and television licences. In 2007, 63.3 percent of women were sentenced to sentences of six months or less.

• Imprisoning mothers affects children too – almost 18,000 children are separated from their mothers each year. Between April 2005 and July 2008, 283 children were born to women in prison.

• Prison does not address the causes of women’s offending. More than one in three have histories of sexual abuse and over half have been the victims of domestic abuse. 

Posted in Equality, Human Rights. Tags: , , . Comments Off

Heddlu Raise The Flag

North Wales Police, getting better-

North Wales Police came second in a survey published by campaign group Stonewall, which surveyed nearly 7,000 workers across Wales. Employers were ranked according to criteria ranging from implementation of an effective equality policy to demonstrating how they engage with their homosexual staff and customers and service users.

And now the rainbow flag flies over the cop shop for a bit-

A rainbow flag has been hoisted outside a police headquarters to mark a month-long event celebrating gay rights. North Wales Police staff will be attending a series of activities as part of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual history month. The ceremony, held at North Wales Police’s headquarters in Colwyn Bay, was organised by the Gay Police Association (GPA) North Wales. Gay rights organisation Stonewall Cymru are among those supporting the events.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Shannon said: “I hope that this event sends out a clear message as we continue to strive for inclusivity and equality.”

Jenny Porter from Stonewall Cymru said the event was a sign to lesbian, gay and bisexual people in north Wales that the police had changed. “It is encouraging that people have confidence in the police to report homophobic hate crime,” she said. “The flag signifies that we are celebrating the fact that the world is full of people with differing sexual orientations and that everyone should be treated equally and with respect.”

Now if we can just get them to bin the Tasers and chillax on the traffic fines, but keep Brunstrom’s progressive ideas on drugs.

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