Women are 'penis homes' according to the pastor of a megachurch

This is wretched.  Back in 2001, Pastor Mark Driscoll (of Washington megachurch Mars Hill) referred to women as ‘penis homes’:

The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may see, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.

While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home.

My first reaction to all of that is “where’s my puke bucket”.  Driscoll isn’t speaking about women as if they’re human beings. He’s talking about them as if they’re nothing more than receptacles for a man’s penis. That’s deeply misogynistic because it denies women their very humanity.  To add to that, Driscoll makes a number of blatant assertions about the deity he believes in (and tells others to believe in and give money to).  He talks about his god as if it exists.  Where’s the evidence?  He talks about his god as if it created humanity. Where’s the evidence? He makes pronouncements about the nature of humanity as if he has any clue, but it’s clear he doesn’t.  Like many believers, he simply asserts his opinions as if they’re truths.  Of course when you’re religious, you don’t need evidence for your beliefs, you just need faith.  Have I mentioned how much I detest faith?  Believing in things for which there is no evidence…no reason to believe, it is utter hogwash.  To also hold faith up as a virtue is to say “reality bends to my whims”, despite the fact that that isn’t how reality works. No matter how much you believe it, the Earth isn’t flat.  No matter how deeply held your belief, the sun does not revolve around the Earth.  Women were not created from the rib on a man made from dirt and dust.  Plants were not created before the stars were.  There is no dome covering the Earth.  There was no global flood.  These things (and many more) are (or were) believed by many people for a very, very long time, despite the lack of evidence to support their beliefs.  With the advance of science, we’ve learned that so many religious beliefs were false.  Flat out wrong.  Not correct. Deeply wrong.  Yet people still cling to some of them.  Yes, God still provides “explanations” for various things we don’t understand, but as we’ve come to understand the world, the number of things we do not understand has diminished.  God is increasingly being forced into smaller and smaller gaps in our understanding of the world around us (hence God of the Gaps). Despite this, many people still use god as the support for their beliefs.  Pastor Driscoll is but the latest person to justify his beliefs by invoking god.  Even though he can’t prove that his god exists, nor that his beliefs about women are justified, he continues to hold them.  This is one of the dangers of faith.  It is resistant to reality.  It resists evidence and scientific inquiry.  All while being held up as virtuous.  Because of that, people can hold vile, anti-human opinions and not be ridiculed and condemned (oh, it happens, but not nearly enough).

The beliefs Driscoll holds, vile though they are, are not that different from the views of many elected officials in the United States. In fact, in this country, being a person of faith, not matter how deplorable your opinions are, is treated as a badge of honor. It’s also viewed as a get out of jail free card. How many politicians cite their “sincerely held religious beliefs” that LGBT people should continue being second class citizens?  They truly think that being religious means they aren’t hateful bigots.  That these people are supposed to represent the American populace, all while holding  beliefs that are irrational at best, and bigoted at worst, beggars belief.  These people should be laughed out of office.  They should be viciously mocked.  They shouldn’t even be able to get into office in the first place (the broken nature of our political system is a post for another time).  Yet here they are, making life hell for millions of Americans, and in many cases, it’s because they want everyone to be bound by their deeply held religious beliefs (beliefs with no empirical evidence as support).

Over at her blog  Love, Joy, feminism, Libby Anne (hat tip to her for this post) discusses Driscolls’ misogyny.  You ought to check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

Women are 'penis homes' according to the pastor of a megachurch
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Women are ‘penis homes’ according to the pastor of a megachurch

This is wretched.  Back in 2001, Pastor Mark Driscoll (of Washington megachurch Mars Hill) referred to women as ‘penis homes’:

The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may see, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.

While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home.

My first reaction to all of that is “where’s my puke bucket”.  Driscoll isn’t speaking about women as if they’re human beings. He’s talking about them as if they’re nothing more than receptacles for a man’s penis. That’s deeply misogynistic because it denies women their very humanity.  To add to that, Driscoll makes a number of blatant assertions about the deity he believes in (and tells others to believe in and give money to).  He talks about his god as if it exists.  Where’s the evidence?  He talks about his god as if it created humanity. Where’s the evidence? He makes pronouncements about the nature of humanity as if he has any clue, but it’s clear he doesn’t.  Like many believers, he simply asserts his opinions as if they’re truths.  Of course when you’re religious, you don’t need evidence for your beliefs, you just need faith.  Have I mentioned how much I detest faith?  Believing in things for which there is no evidence…no reason to believe, it is utter hogwash.  To also hold faith up as a virtue is to say “reality bends to my whims”, despite the fact that that isn’t how reality works. No matter how much you believe it, the Earth isn’t flat.  No matter how deeply held your belief, the sun does not revolve around the Earth.  Women were not created from the rib on a man made from dirt and dust.  Plants were not created before the stars were.  There is no dome covering the Earth.  There was no global flood.  These things (and many more) are (or were) believed by many people for a very, very long time, despite the lack of evidence to support their beliefs.  With the advance of science, we’ve learned that so many religious beliefs were false.  Flat out wrong.  Not correct. Deeply wrong.  Yet people still cling to some of them.  Yes, God still provides “explanations” for various things we don’t understand, but as we’ve come to understand the world, the number of things we do not understand has diminished.  God is increasingly being forced into smaller and smaller gaps in our understanding of the world around us (hence God of the Gaps). Despite this, many people still use god as the support for their beliefs.  Pastor Driscoll is but the latest person to justify his beliefs by invoking god.  Even though he can’t prove that his god exists, nor that his beliefs about women are justified, he continues to hold them.  This is one of the dangers of faith.  It is resistant to reality.  It resists evidence and scientific inquiry.  All while being held up as virtuous.  Because of that, people can hold vile, anti-human opinions and not be ridiculed and condemned (oh, it happens, but not nearly enough).

The beliefs Driscoll holds, vile though they are, are not that different from the views of many elected officials in the United States. In fact, in this country, being a person of faith, not matter how deplorable your opinions are, is treated as a badge of honor. It’s also viewed as a get out of jail free card. How many politicians cite their “sincerely held religious beliefs” that LGBT people should continue being second class citizens?  They truly think that being religious means they aren’t hateful bigots.  That these people are supposed to represent the American populace, all while holding  beliefs that are irrational at best, and bigoted at worst, beggars belief.  These people should be laughed out of office.  They should be viciously mocked.  They shouldn’t even be able to get into office in the first place (the broken nature of our political system is a post for another time).  Yet here they are, making life hell for millions of Americans, and in many cases, it’s because they want everyone to be bound by their deeply held religious beliefs (beliefs with no empirical evidence as support).

Over at her blog  Love, Joy, feminism, Libby Anne (hat tip to her for this post) discusses Driscolls’ misogyny.  You ought to check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

Women are ‘penis homes’ according to the pastor of a megachurch

It gets better…right?

The fight for equality for LGBT individuals has seen tremendous strides within the last decade, specifically in the area of marriage equality.  As of this writing, 19 states have expanded marriage equality to lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals:  CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, and WA – plus Washington, D.C. Fourteen additional states have seen federal judges overturn bans on same-sex marriage, though with a stay on their ruling:  AR, CO, FL, ID, IN, KY, MI, OK, TX, UT, VA and WI.  A record number of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans live in states where they can marry the person they love.  44% of Americans live in  a state that has extended marriage rights to LGB individuals.  The fight continues though, as Hawaii, Idaho, and Nevada are set to have their bans on same-sex marriage ruled on by the 9th Circuit Court.  The tide does appear to be in favor of equality (even with US District Judge Martin Feldman’s ruling that upheld the ban on same-sex marriage in Louisiana), although nothing is certain.  Given the makeup of the Supreme Court of the United States (largely Catholic, and look how they screwed over women in their Hobby Lobby ruling), and the inevitability of them ruling-at some point-on same sex marriage across the country, the issue of marriage equality is hardly settled.  That said, progress has been made.

Unfortunately, while marriage equality has made great advances, the situation for LGBT youth is, in many cases, still dire: LGBT youth are roughly 5% of the overall youth population, but make up 40% of the homeless youth population.  In many cases, children are kicked out of their homes, and cut off from all financial and emotional support by deeply religious families.  That was the case with Jackie:

When Jackie got to college, the “typical gay sorority encounters” she found herself having didn’t seem to qualify as anything more than youthful exploration; she thought all girls drunkenly made out with their best friends. By her sophomore year, she was dating a fraternity brother but was also increasingly turned on by a friend she worked with at the campus women’s center. “I was just playing it off as ‘So maybe I’m just gay for you – I mean, I don’t have to tell my boyfriend’ kind of thing,” she says. “I knew what I wanted, but it was never something I ever envisioned that I could have on a public level.” And yet, as her friendship with this woman turned physical and their relationship grew more serious, Jackie saw her future shrinking before her: a heterosexual marriage, children, church and the knowledge that all of it was based on a lie. “I honestly thought my whole life I was just going to be an undercover gay,” she says, shaking her head in disbelief.

For better or worse, that plan was never to be. Toward the end of her sophomore year, Jackie got a text message from one of her sorority sisters who said she’d been seen kissing another girl, after which certain sisters started making it clear that they were not comfortable around Jackie. (“You’re living in the same house together,” she says, “and, of course, to close-minded people, if somebody’s gay, that means you’re automatically interested in all 80 of them.”) Eventually, she went before her chapter’s executive board and became the first sorority girl at her college to ever come out, at which point she realized that if she didn’t tell her parents, someone else would. “I was convinced somebody was going to blast it on Facebook.”

So while Jackie hoped for the best, she knew the call she was making had the potential to not end well. “You can’t hate me after I say this,” she pleaded when, alarmed to be receiving a call in the middle of the night, her mom picked up the phone.

“Oh, my God, you’re pregnant” was her mom’s first response, before running through a litany of parental fears. “Are you in jail? Did you get expelled? Are you in trouble? What happened? What did you do?” Suddenly her mom’s silence matched Jackie’s own. “Oh, my God,” she murmured in disbelief. “Are you gay?”

“Yeah,” Jackie forced herself to say.

After what felt like an eternity, her mom finally responded. “I don’t know what we could have done for God to have given us a fag as a child,” she said before hanging up.

Reading this fills me with tears of rage. Aside from the fact that belief in a deity is utter B.S., this family rejected their child. They cast her out and shut her out of their lives, and she didn’t do a damn thing wrong. She didn’t kill anyone. She didn’t rape anyone. She didn’t commit arson. She didn’t rob a bank.  She came out of the closet, and for that, her family rejected her.  It’s like a light switch turned off in their heads.

This is what life is like for countless numbers of LGBT youth.  They’re cast out and become homeless.  Unloved and unwanted by their families.

Research done by San Francisco State University’s Family Acceptance Project, which studies and works to prevent health and mental­health risks facing LGBT youth, empirically confirms what common sense would imply to be true: Highly religious parents are significantly more likely than their less-religious counterparts to reject their children for being gay – a finding that social-service workers believe goes a long way toward explaining why LGBT people make up roughly five percent of the youth population overall, but an estimated 40 percent of the homeless-youth population. The Center for American Progress has reported that there are between 320,000 and 400,000 homeless LGBT youths in the United States. Meanwhile, as societal advancements have made being gay less stigmatized and gay people more visible – and as the Internet now allows kids to reach beyond their circumscribed social groups for acceptance and support – the average coming-out age has dropped from post-college age in the 1990s to around 16 today, which means that more and more kids are coming out while they’re still economically reliant on their families. The resulting flood of kids who end up on the street, kicked out by parents whose religious beliefs often make them feel compelled to cast out their own offspring (one study estimates that up to 40 percent of LGBT homeless youth leave home due to family rejection), has been called a “hidden epidemic.” Tragically, every step forward for the gay-rights movement creates a false hope of acceptance for certain youth, and therefore a swelling of the homeless-youth population.

Reading this fills me with despair.  Yes, I’m incredibly thankful that my family didn’t disown me, and continued to love and support me, but it doesn’t change the fact that my heart goes out to all those who’s families reacted so inhumanly.  I know the feeling of dread roiling in the pit of your stomach as you try to find the words to say “I’m gay”.  I know the possibilities that run through your mind before you speak those words to your family. I know the feeling of hope that exists deep down; hope that your family will find some way to keep loving you. I wish no one ever had to experience that feeling. Moreover, I wish that no one had to experience the rejection of their families. It’s heartbreaking and is indeed a hidden crisis.

While same-sex marriage has become more and more accepted in the United States, we can’t become complacent and think that all is good. We can’t ignore the fact that marriage equality is not the only fight for equality faced by LGBT individuals.  There are other struggles.  Ending the epidemic of homeless LGBT youth continues to be a struggle.  I hope to see a significant reduction in the incidence of LGBT homelessness at some point in my life, but stories like Jackie’s fill me with despair and dwindling hope.

 

It gets better…right?

This is Rape Culture

CeeLo Green Tweets That It’s Only Rape If The Person Is Conscious, Then Deletes His Twitter Account

Let me get this out of the way first.

no.

No.

NO.

NO!

Rape is non-consensual sex.  If someone doesn’t consent to a sexual encounter of any kind (not just PIV sex, but oral sex, anal sex, fondling or more) and you continue trying to have sex with them

THAT IS RAPE!

Only YES means YES.  If you think the actions of your partner or partners are ambiguous with regard to consent, make sure you get a clear signal before you proceed.  If alcohol or drugs are involved, and you don’t know for sure if the person’s judgment is impaired- DO NOT CONTINUE.   Don’t be that person-usually a guy-messing around in that grey area.  If it’s a grey area, just back off.  Wait until a time when your partner or partners is of sound mind and body and can make a properly informed decision.  Sexy funtimes should be something all people involved consent to, so that they can *all* enjoy.

That’s what CeeLo doesn’t understand.  He doesn’t understand what rape is and why it is so horrible. It’s a massively intrusive violation of the bodily autonomy of another human being.  It’s an imposition of power from one individual to another.  It’s one person (or more) dominating another, saying “I will do what I want to you and your feelings on the matter are inconsequential”.  That’s not sex.  That’s rape.  

GET CONSENT!

If that means you have to literally ask your partner(s) “Would you like to have sex with me?”, then do that!  Get a clear answer.  No answer? No sex.  

I’m not going to copy/paste any of the bullshit CeeLo said in his Tweets. They’re available at the above link.  Needless to say a Trigger Warning applies.

 


 

 

Perhaps you’re uncertain what the phrase ‘Rape Culture’ means.  If you’re one of those people, this is for you:

In reading through feminist forums and articles online, particularly in articles about rape or sexual assault, I notice that sometimes in the comments section, people make statements about how rape culture is just a phrase that’s made up to make men look bad or to make it seem like rape is something that happens far more often than it actually does.

And, given, after reading these comments, I could have easily dismissed them as just simply fodder written by online trolls and gone on with my day.

But it really got me thinking.

Perhaps some people truly don’t understand what rape culture is.

After all, if you’re hearing the phrase for the first time, it can be really confusing.

We understand the word “culture,” from a sociological or anthropological viewpoint, to be things that people commonly engage in together as a society (ranging from the arts to education to table manners), and we find it difficult to link the word “rape” in with that concept.

We know that at its core, our society is not something that outwardly promotes rape, as the phrase could imply. That is, we don’t, after all, “commonly engage” in sexual violence “together as a society.”

To understand rape culture better, first we need to understand that it’s not necessarily a society or group of people that outwardly promotes rape (although it could be).

When we talk about rape culture, we’re discussing something more implicit than that. We’re talking about cultural practices (that, yes, we commonly engage in together as a society) that excuse or otherwise tolerate sexual violence.

We’re talking about the way that we collectively think about rape.

More often than not, it’s situations in which sexual assault, rape, and general violence are ignored, trivialized, normalized, or made into jokes.

And this happens a lot.

All the time.

Every day.

And it’s dangerous in that it is counterproductive to eliminating sexual violence from society.

So what, exactly, does rape culture look like? How does it present itself?

Well, to see what I’m referring to, take a look at the examples below.

Because if we don’t understand the meaning behind the concept of rape culture, or if we have a skewed interpretation of the meaning in our minds, we may find it easy to deny its existence.

And you may think that some of these examples are isolated, one-off situations. But in reality, they’re part of a larger societal trend.

That is rape culture

Please go read the 25 examples listed.  It’s not meant to be a comprehensive list, but it should give a good idea of what is meant by the phrase ‘Rape Culture’.

 


 

 

Mississippi gay man says Baptist teacher raped him for three years so he’d hate men

Trigger Warning: Homophobia, Religious Bigotry

 

A Gulfport, Mississippi man says that he was repeatedly molested by a teacher at the conservative Christian school he attended in the 1990s, beginning when he was 14 years old and ending when he was 17.

The Washington Blade reported that Jeff White said his teacher at Bethel Baptist School in Wills, Mississippi justified the abuse by calling it “ex-gay therapy,” designed to make White “hate men.”

White told the Blade that he was enrolled at Bethel from 1996 to 1999 and that his appointments with the accused teacher took place every Wednesday.

“He would rape me because I was gay and because it would make me hate men and make me change,” White said in a July interview.

White’s parents sent him to the school when he came out to them at the age of 14. The teacher is now an associate pastor at Bethel Baptist Church, which operates the Christian school. The church is known for its hardline approach to Christian doctrine.

“[Bethel’s pastors] looked at Southern Baptists like they were liberal faggots, like they would say from the pulpit,” White told the Blade.

 

SIGH.

What did I just say above?

Rape is non consensual sex.

Rape is about power. It is not about sex.  It is a violation of the right to bodily autonomy and integrity that all human beings have.  To violate that autonomy by having non-consensual sex is to treat someone else as if they are less than human.  You are robbing another individual of one of their fundamental human rights:  the right to decide what happens to and with their bodies.   If you do that, you are a rapist, and you are treating another human being as subhuman.  As a thing.  As someone beneath you. I can’t express the depth of my disgust with peopl
e who do not recognize the humanity of others.  Yes, that means I’m disgusted by rapists.

That disgust is amplified in this situation because we have a teacher, a person in a position of power and authority misusing their power and authority over a child in multiple acts of rape.  Then to add to that, the teacher raped this teenager as some form of fucked up conversion therapy.  “Hey I’m going to violate your human rights and treat you as a thing, but it’s for your own good.  You won’t be gay any longer.”  In addition to the lack of respect for the rights of another and the abuse of  power, this teacher is also a homophobic bigot who thinks sexuality can be changed (and by rape of all things).  All major psychological and psychiatric organizations in the United States condemn the use of so-called “conversion therapies”.  Homosexuality, contrary to the “teachings” in religious texts, is a natural expression of human sexuality (animal sexuality as well).  As I’ve said repeatedly, there is no moral component to homosexuality (claims to the contrary rest on divine commands…suffice it to say, morality does not consist of being told to do something by an invisible, inaudible, undetectable entity, being, or energy; morality concerns the interactions between human beings and determining what actions are right or wrong, good or bad based on the desired outcome).   The actions of this Baptist teacher are deplorable and I hope he goes to jail for a long, long time (this is example #98490 in ‘religion poisons everything’).

This is Rape Culture

Social Justice Link roundup, plus more on Ferguson

13 per cent of Ferguson cops have faced excessive force lawsuits

Demonstrations were sparked by the August 9 death of black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot six times by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who remains under investigation.

According to the Washington Post, six other Ferguson officers – five current and one former – have been named in civil rights lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force.

That means 13 per cent of the 53-strong department has faced such investigations, compared to a national average of around 0.5 per cent of all police officers, as calculated by the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project.

 

 



 

 

Two white protesters arrived in Ferguson with pro-police signs

One of the two protesters held a sign supporting that shitweasel Darren Wilson.

The article says the police were on hand to rush the woman pictured above to safety, as it looked like the situation was becoming tense.

Curiously, one person tweeted this:

 

 


 

 

White People Educating White People About Racism So PoC Don’t Have To

(excerpt)

Racism 101: Prejudice vs. Power
Any time a white person uses their own personal experience of prejudice (or a fabricated one) to demonstrate how whites suffer from racism, there is an underlying tendency to believe individual experience reflects broader social and structural realities. This is not the case. Just as one white person who was harassed by a person of color does not prove “reverse” racism, one Black president does not prove the end of racism. For the few white folks with hurt pride, there are thousands more with staggering social comfort who make hurt pride an exception to the status quo; for the few POC with class/political privilege, there are thousands more with staggering social oppression who make this privilege an exception to the status quo. How much white privilege does it require to think one painful confrontation is equally damaging as living with the daily reality of racism? And how much white privilege does it require to think one isolated incident, or even several isolated incidents, are equivalent to the constant violence of racism?

 

 

Incidentally, I like the disclaimer:

Disclaimer: white folks do not experience racism, the moderator and future contributors are no exception, and that isn’t what this blog is about. No one is here to discuss the experience of racism–only POC can do that. I am limited to creatively engaging the social reality of whiteness and what white privilege means in personal, political, and institutional terms. I will regularly use personal narrative and analysis to do so, seeing as my stories are the only ones I am entitled to tell.


 

 

14 signs we live in a rape culture

A rape culture is one in which sexual violence is the norm, and everyday practices normalise and even excuse rape. It’s a culture where instead of teaching people not to rape, we teach people not to be raped.

I’m going to list a few of the 14 signs, but please read the whole article.

7. Beliefs that reports are fake might be undermining efforts to prosecute rape

In contrast the CPS say false rape claims are “very rare” but they have warned that a “misplaced belief” such accusations are common may undermine efforts to investigate and prosecute such crimes. Rape crisis Scotland say false allegations are at about 3 per cent – the same for any other crime.

 

8. Richard Dawkins

 

Richard Dawkins caused outrage last month on twitter when he tried to rank which form of rape was worse – “date rape” or “stranger rape” – while making a logical syllogism.

 

12. Judge Mary Jane Mowat

Retired judge Mary Jane Mowat said this week that rape conviction rates will not improve until women “stop getting so drunk”. Rather than the onus to convict criminals being on the police, or the Crown Prosecution Service – or rapists not to rape – Judge Mowat said it was women who need to change: “It is an inevitable fact of it being one person’s word against another, and the burden of proof being that you have to be sure before you convict”, she said.

“I will also say, and I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk. I’m not saying it’s right to rape a drunken woman, I’m not saying for a moment that it’s allowable to take advantage of a drunken woman.”

 


 

 

British woman ‘being held captive so her family can cure her gayness’

Christina Fonthes, 27, a translator and LGBT activist from Manchester, visited Kinshasa with her mother and younger sister on 11 August. But shortly into a stay with her aunt, friends say, her passport was taken by her mother. She was told the family wanted to keep her in Congo so that her sexuality could be “fixed”.

Ms Fonthes’ partner of three years, the BBC sports presenter Jessica Creighton, has been trying to raise awareness of her partner’s plight on Facebook and Twitter. She is now travelling back to the UK from China, where she was covering the Youth Olympics when she heard the news.

 

 

This just frustrates and angers me to no end.  When are we going to be treated like human beings with the right to engage in the relationships we choose without people attempting to force us into cages? That’s what is
happening.  People are trying to drag us into a cage.  The cage of heterosexuality-as if that’s the only possible way humans can express their sexuality.  As if it’s right to attempt to force someone change a fundamental aspect of who they are.  This really makes me want to rage at the world.  That people could work so hard to deny the human rights of others.  I hope this woman manages to escape the clutches of her family as soon as possible.

 


 

This woman’s funny, feminist cartoons are incredible

 


 

 

 

 

On Our Radar – Hatred, Denial, And The ‘Gay But’

 

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Social Justice Link roundup, plus more on Ferguson

I guess all those black women were just lying liars, huh?

Trigger Warning: Rape

 

Daniel Hotlzclaw, an officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department has been accused of rape, forcible oral sodomy, indecent exposure, and sexual battery.  He is said to have stopped women-all of them black-and threatened to arrest them unless they performed favors of a sexual nature for him (exposing themselves, allowing him to fondle them, and even letting him have sex with them).

Before I go any further, let me remind readers that all of the above is

R

A

P

E

Rape is non-consensual sex.  You cannot obtain consent under duress.  This man manipulated and coerced women-under the threat of imprisonment-into performing an array of sexual activities with him, up to and including Penis In Vagina sex.

Let me also state that PIV sex is NOT the only way a person can be raped.  Forced oral sodomy and fondling is also rape.

Daniel Holtzclaw, a three-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department, was arrested Thursday afternoon outside Gold’s Gym on charges of rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, and indecent exposure and jailed on $5 million bond, reportedThe Oklahoman.

Investigators said Holtzclaw stopped women while on patrol and threatened to arrest them unless they exposed themselves, allowed him to fondle them, or had sex with him.

Police Chief Bill Citty said the case angered and disturbed him, and he praised detectives for their work on the case.

“Trust is something that we are constantly having to work on,” Citty said. “When something like this happens, I have to hope that most of the community realizes that our officers, 99.9 percent of them, are trustworthy, and when something like this happens, our officers take this very personally.”

Six women have already given statements to police in the case, and another woman is scheduled to provide a statement.

Citty said all of the victims were black women between the ages of 34 and 58, and all of the assaults took place between February and June during Holtzclaw’s 4 p.m.-to-2 a.m. shift patrolling the northeastern portion of the city.

Investigators believe there are additional victims.

Detectives opened their investigation after a woman complained to police June 18, and Holtzclaw was placed on administrative leave the same day.

Six women.  All black.  Probably more.  This further strengthens my belief that law enforcement attracts people with an authoritarian streak.  People who want and crave power and abuse it when given the chance (no, not all cops are like this. I do know a few police officers who are nothing like this, but I’m talking about all the ones that ARE like this, and there are plenty of them).  This is a disgusting abuse of power.

This situation has taken a twisted turn similar to the events that have occurred in Ferguson, MO.  Recall that Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown (an unarmed 18 year old black man) several times, resulting in the death of Brown.  Yes, people feel that an officer of the law can murder an unarmed man, and be the recipient of money and sympathy (I don’t think I have enough spit left in my mouth).   At last count, supporters for Wilson raised nearly $500,000 (although HuffPo reports that the GoFundMe campaign mysterious vanished over the weekend).  Officer Holtzclaw has supporters as well, and they’ve raised over $7,000 for him.  

Daniel Holtzclaw was arrested in August on charges of rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, and indecent exposure for allegedly sexually assaulting women while on patrol. He is being held on $5 million bond.

Friends and family of the three-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department have created a Facebook page called “Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw.” They insist the criminal allegations against him are false, and have been using the page to try to sell shirts that read, “Free the Claw” and “#JusticeForDanielHoltzclaw.”

More than 500 people have “liked” the Facebook page.

Supporters of Holtzclaw have also launched a crowdfunding campaign on the websiteGoFundMe. The page was created by Holtzclaw’s sister, who hopes to raise $100,000 for her brother, according to MLive.com. The crowdfunding campaign has raised $7,390 so far.

I can understand-to an extent-family members being supportive, but 500 people liking the Facebook page for this fundraiser? Denying that the claims are true, even though they likely don’t know anything about the women who have brought accusations against him?  Really?  Six women (at least) are lying about a host of offenses he committed against them, including rape. It’s easier for people to believe that he’s innocent and these women are lying liars who are making up shit than to believe he’s a rapist.  Let me off this planet.

I guess all those black women were just lying liars, huh?

Write a sci fi story-get a leave of absence!

Have you ever wanted to write? I know I have.  I still occasionally think I ought to try my hand at it, but then I remind myself that I don’t know the first thing about writing.  Many people do write.  Successfully even. Some people write about science fiction.  Some people write about school shootings.  One man wrote a science fiction story about a school shooting set in the year 2902.  He was placed on a leave of absence due to “significant matters of concern brought forth by law enforcement.”

A Dorchester County, Maryland, teacher was taken in for an “emergency medical evaluation,” suspended from his job, and barred from setting foot on another public school. Authorities searched his school, Mace’s Lane Middle School in Cambridge, for weapons. As classes resumed, parents worried that their children were in danger, so police decided to remain on the premises to watch over them.

What happened? The teacher, Patrick McLaw, published a fiction novel. Under a pen name. About a made-up school shooting. Set in the year 2902.

 

If authorities are going to start rounding up people for the “crime” of writing science fiction stories that mirror real world events, they have a LOT of writers to go after.  Of course they started with a black man…

Write a sci fi story-get a leave of absence!

Being black in the United States isn’t a crime…right?

Christopher Lollie, a musician and father who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, was tazed by police in January.  His crime?

Disorderly conduct.

Trespassing.

Obstruction of the legal process.

Those might be legit offenses if they actually happened.  So what did actually happen? The New Civil Rights Movement reports:

When walking to pick up his kids from day care, Lollie sat briefly in a business lounge along St. Paul’s pedestrian skyway where First National Bank building security guards reported him to police for trespassing.

Trespassing at the First National Bank.  Ok, if that’s what happened, I can see why the police got involved.  Thing is…he wasn’t trespassing:

The city of St. Paul owns the skyway network, connecting 47 city blocks of buildings, businesses and merchants. Its spaces operate like an enclosed mall with interconnected plazas, public spaces and lobbies. Police say that First National Bank building security guards told them the lounge Lollie trespassed upon was for employees only. However, The Star Tribune’s Chao Xiong described the lounge as it appeared yesterday:

On Thursday afternoon, there was no signage in the area indicating that it was reserved for employees. Three security guards worked the area, walking about and sitting at a security desk in direct sight of the lounge running the length of a long, busy hall that connects to the U.S. Bank Center.

No signage to indicate the area Lollie was sitting in was for employees only.  So if it was a private area, there was no way for Lollie to know this.  Initially, Lollie interacted with a female police officer who didn’t seem to be giving him any trouble:

Lollie: Like I told [the security guard], I’m going to New Horizons to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock.

Female Officer: Okay.

Lollie: I was sitting there for ten minutes. The [unclear], not before he walked up to me or anything…

FO: Thank you for — thank you for [unclear].

Lollie: He walked up to me a minute after, and got irate with me. So first off, that’s a public area. And if there’s no sign that doesn’t say that’s a private area and you can’t sit here, no one can tell me I can’t sit there. If that’s the case, [then] I can’t sit here!

FO: The problem was–

Lollie: The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem, no it really is. Cause I didn’t do anything wrong…

Unfortunately, “help” was on its way for the clearly beleaguered female officer, in the form of a MAN (I guess she couldn’t handle this incredibly unruly citizen on her own and needed to be rescued from certain doom by a savior, referred to in the following quote as HMO-hulking male officer):

Lollie: Please don’t touch me. Please don’t touch me.

Hulking Male Officer: Well, you’re gonna go to jail then.

Lollie: No, wait. Wait.

HMO: You’re going to go to jail.

Lollie: Hold on. I’m not doing anything wrong, sir …

HMO: I’m not here to argue …

Lollie: C’mon Brother!

HMO: I’m not your brother.

Lollie: I hadn’t done anything wrong.

HMO: Put your hands behind your back, otherwise it’s going to get ugly.

Since when do the police have the right to manhandle citizens who are doing nothing wrong?  Since when do they have the right to take a person to jail when they’ve committed no crime?  Welcome to the United States of Authoritarian Police Forces, where police are always right and no citizen (read: no black person) has any rights.  I’d be willing to bet (if I was a betting man, which I’m not; not after losing $400 years ago in a casino; I’d rather spend $400 on comic books, or a vacation, or groceries, or cool stuff for my pets) if it were a white man in this situation, well, there wouldn’t BE a situation.

Yikes. A tumble of physical motion ensues. Lollie drops his phone on a window ledge. The video goes dark. “Can somebody help me? That’s my kids right there! My kids are right there,” Lollie pleads as his kids cry in the background.

“You’re gonna get tazed,” the male officer threatens. The electric-buzzing of a Taser arcs up, and its frequency changes — it found grounding. Lollie spastically yelps.

“This is racist,” Lollie declares as his voice begins to fade down the skyway. He’s being hauled to jail for sitting in an open lounge. “They stopped me because I’m black … I didn’t do anything … they assaulted me … they tazed me … and everything.”

Lollie was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process. All charges were dropped.

The St. Paul Police Department believes their officers acted appropriately.

I’m motherfuckin’ sick and tired of police officers not only being treated as saints who can do no wrong (and are always in the right), but police departments backing up the offending officers!  The hulking male officer had no right to be forcible with Lollie.  HMO had no right to detain him. No right to tazer him. Nothing.  Yet the St. Paul PD thinks HMO acted correctly.  What the fuck?! I’d like to see their handbook of standards and protocols for this type of situation.  Or maybe not. It probably says “Hassle any black person in public. They’re supposed to be at home cooking, cleaning, or slaving away for their white masters.”

Being black in the United States isn’t a crime…right?

Being black in the United States isn't a crime…right?

Christopher Lollie, a musician and father who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, was tazed by police in January.  His crime?

Disorderly conduct.

Trespassing.

Obstruction of the legal process.

Those might be legit offenses if they actually happened.  So what did actually happen? The New Civil Rights Movement reports:

When walking to pick up his kids from day care, Lollie sat briefly in a business lounge along St. Paul’s pedestrian skyway where First National Bank building security guards reported him to police for trespassing.

Trespassing at the First National Bank.  Ok, if that’s what happened, I can see why the police got involved.  Thing is…he wasn’t trespassing:

The city of St. Paul owns the skyway network, connecting 47 city blocks of buildings, businesses and merchants. Its spaces operate like an enclosed mall with interconnected plazas, public spaces and lobbies. Police say that First National Bank building security guards told them the lounge Lollie trespassed upon was for employees only. However, The Star Tribune’s Chao Xiong described the lounge as it appeared yesterday:

On Thursday afternoon, there was no signage in the area indicating that it was reserved for employees. Three security guards worked the area, walking about and sitting at a security desk in direct sight of the lounge running the length of a long, busy hall that connects to the U.S. Bank Center.

No signage to indicate the area Lollie was sitting in was for employees only.  So if it was a private area, there was no way for Lollie to know this.  Initially, Lollie interacted with a female police officer who didn’t seem to be giving him any trouble:

Lollie: Like I told [the security guard], I’m going to New Horizons to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock.

Female Officer: Okay.

Lollie: I was sitting there for ten minutes. The [unclear], not before he walked up to me or anything…

FO: Thank you for — thank you for [unclear].

Lollie: He walked up to me a minute after, and got irate with me. So first off, that’s a public area. And if there’s no sign that doesn’t say that’s a private area and you can’t sit here, no one can tell me I can’t sit there. If that’s the case, [then] I can’t sit here!

FO: The problem was–

Lollie: The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem, no it really is. Cause I didn’t do anything wrong…

Unfortunately, “help” was on its way for the clearly beleaguered female officer, in the form of a MAN (I guess she couldn’t handle this incredibly unruly citizen on her own and needed to be rescued from certain doom by a savior, referred to in the following quote as HMO-hulking male officer):

Lollie: Please don’t touch me. Please don’t touch me.

Hulking Male Officer: Well, you’re gonna go to jail then.

Lollie: No, wait. Wait.

HMO: You’re going to go to jail.

Lollie: Hold on. I’m not doing anything wrong, sir …

HMO: I’m not here to argue …

Lollie: C’mon Brother!

HMO: I’m not your brother.

Lollie: I hadn’t done anything wrong.

HMO: Put your hands behind your back, otherwise it’s going to get ugly.

Since when do the police have the right to manhandle citizens who are doing nothing wrong?  Since when do they have the right to take a person to jail when they’ve committed no crime?  Welcome to the United States of Authoritarian Police Forces, where police are always right and no citizen (read: no black person) has any rights.  I’d be willing to bet (if I was a betting man, which I’m not; not after losing $400 years ago in a casino; I’d rather spend $400 on comic books, or a vacation, or groceries, or cool stuff for my pets) if it were a white man in this situation, well, there wouldn’t BE a situation.

Yikes. A tumble of physical motion ensues. Lollie drops his phone on a window ledge. The video goes dark. “Can somebody help me? That’s my kids right there! My kids are right there,” Lollie pleads as his kids cry in the background.

“You’re gonna get tazed,” the male officer threatens. The electric-buzzing of a Taser arcs up, and its frequency changes — it found grounding. Lollie spastically yelps.

“This is racist,” Lollie declares as his voice begins to fade down the skyway. He’s being hauled to jail for sitting in an open lounge. “They stopped me because I’m black … I didn’t do anything … they assaulted me … they tazed me … and everything.”

Lollie was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process. All charges were dropped.

The St. Paul Police Department believes their officers acted appropriately.

I’m motherfuckin’ sick and tired of police officers not only being treated as saints who can do no wrong (and are always in the right), but police departments backing up the offending officers!  The hulking male officer had no right to be forcible with Lollie.  HMO had no right to detain him. No right to tazer him. Nothing.  Yet the St. Paul PD thinks HMO acted correctly.  What the fuck?! I’d like to see their handbook of standards and protocols for this type of situation.  Or maybe not. It probably says “Hassle any black person in public. They’re supposed to be at home cooking, cleaning, or slaving away for their white masters.”

Being black in the United States isn't a crime…right?

There is something wrong with this picture

In a story from earlier this year, 41 year old Stacey Conner and her husband gave back their adopted Haitian son because, among other things, she found she just didn’t like him.  Yes, you read that right:  the child was adopted, then given back.  As if he were an unwanted pet.  

Stacey Conner, a 41-year-old mom and former attorney from Spokane, Wash., dreamed of having a large family with biological and adopted kids. “The world is a big place with a lot of children in it; we wanted to bring some of those into our family, to give our love to kids without it,” she says. After she volunteered in an orphanage in poverty-torn Haiti in 2005, Conner and her husband, Matt, a pharmacist, decided to adopt two children. But the process was so slow that by October 2006, when they brought home their (unrelated) 5-year-old Haitian son and 1-year-old Haitian daughter, Conner had given birth to a son, who was 1. “Having an instant multicultural family was magical,” Conner says, “for about two weeks.”

If you’re anything like me, you probably cringed at that last sentence.  I don’t know Conner, so I can’t speak to her or her husband’s motivations in adopting children.  That said, I really don’t think so we can have a multicultural family is a reasonable motivation for adoption.  Why?  This is a child’s life we’re talking about.  Not a new pet.  This child has an existence that is far more valuable than a desire for a “multicultural family”, but that “reason” ignores the needs of the child.  In fact, it ignores the child altogether, in favor of appearance.  From the outside, it looks like the Conner’s wanted a Haitian child to make their family look better, rather than because they wanted to help make the life of a child better. When things got tough though, the Conner’s decided to give back their newly adopted child:

Her older son, whom she calls J here, “engaged every person he met — he literally crawled into the laps of strangers,” says Conner. “But if I said ‘It’s time to go’ or anything that asserted I was in control, he’d rage, bang and scream for hours.” Very quickly, Conner had a sinking feeling she tried to push away. “I was committing the worst maternal sin: I felt like I loved one child less than the others.”

She broke down in front of her husband, who worked all day and hadn’t witnessed the worst of J’s behavior. Matt tried to reassure her that it was just a rough transition and started spending more one-on-one time with J after work. But things didn’t get any better, and by early spring, J had escalated from pinching his siblings to hitting them. Aside from her social worker, Conner met with a therapist specializing in attachment disorder, a broad term used to describe an inability to build meaningful bonds. One form of the disorder can develop when a small child feels repeatedly abandoned or powerless — things it’s not hard to imagine a kid in an orphanage might experience. When Conner got pregnant again, the therapist explained that it was too much to expect a boy who had already been through so much to be a responsible older brother, and that ideally J needed to be either the only child or the youngest in a family. “I felt like the expert was telling me that since I had babies, it would be best to find J another home,” says Conner. But as difficult as the situation was, she shrank from that possibility, saying, “Forget it. He’s my son!”

Instead, she tried an earlier suggestion from the social worker, doing “24-hour eyes-on parenting” — basically, not letting J out of her sight. This went on for two months, until one afternoon when J began throwing a ball at the ceiling. “I said no,” Conner recalls, “but he wouldn’t stop. So I took it away.” J went into a wild, screaming tantrum, unintentionally hitting Conner’s nose with the back of his head: “I was bleeding heavily, sitting on the rug, crying. My two little ones were hiding behind a chair, crying. And it hit me: This is a domestic violence situation; if their dad had done this, I would take our children somewhere safe.

At that instant, Conner faced a hard truth: “Forget love. Right then, I didn’t evenlike J,” she says. “In his short little life, he’d had a ton of loss. But it was clear to me that I was pushing him away to keep the smaller children safe. I couldn’t handle the idea of them being hurt. I could see that always putting the other kids’ safety above meeting J’s needs was creating a barrier between us. It was a painful situation.”

That night, she told Matt she thought they should find a new home for J: “We cried and cried. But he trusted my judgment.”

Conner began working with an adoption agency that did “secondary placements” — relocating kids when adoptions went awry — searching for a home where J would be the only or youngest child. “He had to be the sole focus, to be attended to and soothed,” she says.

 

I find it offensive that she labelled the actions of a child as domestic violence.  As far as I’m aware, domestic violence is a pattern of abuse committed by adults.  Domestic violence is a serious problem, and should not be trivialized.  Treating the lashing out of a 5 year old child who doesn’t understand what they’re doing, nor cause and effect, as an example of domestic violence does just that.  This also brings up another question:  what are the Conner’s going to do if any of their biological children lash out?  It isn’t uncommon for a child to hit-on accident or on purpose-a parent.  If one of their biological children hits one of them, will they also claim that was domestic violence? Will they put that child up for adoption?  Or will they work with the child and continue loving them?  Will they continue to nurture that child and support them?  I’m inclined to think they will.  They might spank the child (though I hope not, as violence doesn’t solve a damned thing, and yes, spanking IS violence).  They might put the child in time out. They might try reasoning with the child. They might do all three, or none of them. They might try something else.  In the end though, they’re likely to try to get their child to not act in ways that bring harm to other family members.  They didn’t treat J like that though. They treated J like an outsider.  They did not treat him as one of the family.  So why did they adopt him again?

 

There is something wrong with this picture