“Here’s the thing; if your plan was to stop only when I became unresponsive, then you still do not understand.”

Emily Doe, the victim of Brock Turner, wrote – and then read in court –  an incredibly powerful, clear, and moving letter during the sentencing process. Turner, a former Stanford student-athlete, was convicted by jury of a number of accounts relating to rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced to a mere 6 months in county jail “because a longer sentence would have ‘a severe impact on him’” according to the judge. Turner still denies assaulting her.
There are many quotable passages in the letter, but I recommend reading it in full. It might be tough (obvious trigger warning) but it’s an important read, as she details not only how she was hurt and the lasting impact of the assault, but also how degrading, confusing, and revictimizing the process of justice was/is for her as the survivor.
The letter is a must-read. Especially for fellow men.
Buzzfeed has published the letter in full.

Conor Oberst Rape Accuser Issues Public Apology

i must admit, when I first read the news, I felt some relief (as a longtime Bright Eyes fan) but I remained cautious, weary. Did the accuser make this statement on her own volition? My mind started constructing ways in which she might have been coerced to come forward with this statement. At the beginning of this scandal I unfortunately read so many accounts of problematic sexual behavior (yet also all via third party word-of-mouth in comment treads/personal tumblrs) by Oberst that the accusations could be plausible.

Yet, the accuser did not merely drop charges, she explicitly said she made it up, that the accusation isn’t factual. While “making rape claim to get attention” is far less common than MRAs and other anti-feminsits claim, it is possible. In addition: If I am inclined to believe a woman when she speaks about her abuse, shouldn’t I also be inclined to believe her when she changes that statement?

Conor Oberst Rape Accuser Issues Public Apology

This doesn’t make sense. People who use the phrase “rape culture” do not deny that rape is a matter of individuals making the active choice to rape. “Rape culture” is a very useful way to describe the idea that rapists are given a social license to operate by people who make excuses for sexual predators and blame the victims for their own rapes. Instead of recognizing this, or, at the very least, just not bringing it up at all in its memo, RAINN instead bashes a straw man, arguing that the focus on “rape culture” diverts “the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.”

Feminists who coined and spread the phrase “rape culture” are not denying that rapists need to be held personally responsible for their criminal behavior. They are pointing out all the cultural reasons that this doesn’t happen: the myth that false accusations are common, the myth that rapists are just confused about consent, and the myth that victims share the blame for drinking too much or otherwise making themselves vulnerable. Only by tackling these cultural problems will we be able to see clearly that rapists know exactly what they’re doing and punish them for it. Rape culture doesn’t cause the desire to rape, but it allows rapists to rape with the confidence that comes from knowing you’re very unlikely to be prosecuted for it. Surely they have Google search at the RAINN offices that could have helped clear this up, but if not, an intern could have called one of the many feminists who speak out regularly about this issue to understand it better before dismissing it publicly.

Armanda Marcotte: RAINN attacks the phrase “rape culture” in its recommendations to the White House, obviously doesn’t understand it.

This is one of the really frustrating cases when (roughly speaking) cultural actors with a wide reach, like RAINN, ignorantly or deliberately do not understand slightly more complex concepts that describe cultural phenomena/problems. The term rape culture does not negate the rapist’s personal responsibility/guilt. However, It’s useful to describe all the other problematic aspects in our culture that are terrible in addition to the individual cases of sexual assault, violence.


This teen girl’s response to the DFTBA sexual abuse scandal is out of this world and needs to be watched and thought about and discussed.

This is a 16-year-old girl. Her video gave me CHILLS. 

It’s a great video. Some might find it tough but it’s a must-see. She – Ann/The Geeky Blonde – connects the abuse by adult men in the YouTube community to the decreasing space the women in youtube panel gets at vidcon. She also outlines a number of steps the DFTBA/YouTube/VidCon community needs to take. She is an impressive example of what young girls can do, and why their voices need to be valued more. She explains how Brave New Voices values creative teenage girls more than vidcon..

I’m not really into the DFTBA universe besides the occasional crash course video or tumblr post, so I don’t know a lot about the accused men and the cases. The video has a bunch of links/articles in the description. Anyway, the evident abuse by 5+ content producers is terrible, alarming, and vile. What she has to say is also valuable beyond this specific case(s).

Just one last thought: As the DFTBA/vlogger/nerd community continues to grow, it needs to take active steps to just not mirror the fucked up-ness of society at large. Otherwise, a lot of amazing, revolutionary potential will be wasted.

(Content note: the video is a general discussion of (surviving) sexual abuse.)

Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth. And it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.

Kurt Cobain talking in November 1991 about the background behind the song ‘Polly’  

Rich white man Robert H. Richards IV gets no jail time because he “will not fare well” in prison

(trigger warning: rape, child abuse)

Robert H. Richards IV raped his 3 year old daughter and abused his toddler. A Delaware Superior Court decided he should get treatment and probation because “he will not fare well” in prison.

I thought that’s the point.

Seriously: So many young men and women (not only but especially poor and of color) get thrown in jail for non-violent drug offenses. I’m also against most forms of state-sanctioned violence. But Robert H. Richards IV’s crime is so heinous.. If the warden threw him in a cell with a couple of wise guys and leaked the reason he’s in jail… I wouldn’t complain.

Rich white man Robert H. Richards IV gets no jail time because he “will not fare well” in prison

Another Terry Richardson Victim Comes Forward – The Cut

Because I keep seeing images of Terry Richardson’s underwhelming fashion & celebrity photo shoots on my timelines, here is a reminder what a predatory rapist creep he seems to be. You can easily google numerous other accounts like the model’s linked above, from equally reputable sources like NY Magazine. [CN: description of sexual assault in The Cut article.]

Another Terry Richardson Victim Comes Forward – The Cut

Perhaps to some teaching “rape is wrong” seems silly—don’t we all know this already? The truth is we don’t—as a country, we don’t really even understand what rape is. In Steubenville, a student who had learned that drunk driving was wrong—he took car keys away from an inebriated friend—looked on while an unconscious girl was penetrated because “it wasn’t violent…I thought [rape] was forcing yourself on someone.”

Jessica Valenti: What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape (The Nation)