Sunday, November 11, 2007

something tells me i shoulda stood in bed

A Bad News Roundup, because I kind of don't really feel up to addressing any of these any more than that right now, though each deserves its own post(s).

Via Renegade: another (? i seem to recall) case wherein "sleepwalking" is a justification for rape, cause you know, how was the guy supposed to know the difference? if she's like that? in the middle of the road and all? who wouldn't just get on top and ask questions never? p.s. he's HIV positive.

Dexter Ford, 52, is charged with raping the 23-year-old woman early Thursday morning near Interstate 71 in Cincinnati.

Ford's lawyer, Jeff Adams, said prosecutors told him the woman takes prescription medication and has a sleepwalking condition, a fact that will likely be the core part of Ford's defense.

"It goes to consent," he said. "How is he to know she is sleepwalking, if it's a dream 'yes' or a real 'yes?'

...During the past 15 years Ford, who is currently homeless, has served time in the Hamilton County jail and state prisons on charges including aggravated arson, breaking and entering, possession of illegal drug paraphernalia, theft and trespassing, court records showed.

...Sleepwalkers typically look like they are in a daze, and may not respond to outside stimuli, he said.

See? Totally understandable! Any reasonable person would see a mumbled "yes" (you know, assuming that convenient hypothetical actually happened) from a "dazed looking person" and immediately take advantage of the situation! That's not rape! So not his fault. And plus, you know, guy who's already been arrested for "aggravated" arson, theft, trespassing, and other signs of being respectful of boundaries in general, "on top of" a woman "near the Interstate," I mean, I'd -totally- assume that was, like, all about consensual good times. Who wouldn't? C'mon, people, benefit of the doubt!

Like f'r instance in this case. Trinity reminds us of last year's case in Australia that actually may beat out the Glen Ridge case for sheer evil, and the loathsome enabling thereof. iacb (among others) notes the more recent news that once again, the fuckers got off with a slap on the wrist:

EIGHT teenagers have escaped a jail term for their role in the notorious "Werribee DVD" after a judge ruled they should complete a rehabilitation program to prevent them repeating their "callous" crimes.

A Children's Court judge convicted seven of the eight youths yesterday after they pleaded guilty to making a film in Werribee last year, which showed them forcing a 17-year-old girl to perform sex acts with two of the boys while the others spat on her, poked her with sticks and repeatedly set her hair alight.

...The judge said the DVD shocked the community.

"Your behaviour was cowardly, brutal and, above all, a serious breach of the law … it was a sustained attack by a pack of young men upon a vulnerable young woman," he said. If they had not pleaded guilty they would have been at "significant risk" of serving time in youth detention, he said.

The court heard that the victim, a 17-year-old girl who suffers from a mild intellectual delay, was terrified during the attack and continues to fear she will be recognised in public.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the girl said: "I'm shocked that they did this to me … my life has been changed forever."

The court heard the girl's father, who only became aware of the attack two hours before excerpts of the film were shown on a television program in October last year, had suffered significant emotional and financial damage. He could not be contacted last night to comment on the sentence.

The eight teenagers, now aged 16 to 18, pleaded guilty last month to four offences over the attack, including procuring an act of sexual penetration by intimidation, assault and making child pornography.

Three other teens charged over the DVD will contest the charges in December, meaning the victim will have to testify in court

I wonder what it would've taken for "significant risk" to be upgraded to, like, "oh, you're REALLY asking for it now." Actually burning her to death? Oh, well, errant yoot. twinklecoddlepinchcheeks

Maybe (maybe) if they'd been responsible for something like this: via Questioning Transphobia:

A trans woman in Indiana was airlifted to a hospital with two broken shoulders, burns over 40% of her face, in a drug-induced coma. The hospital says that the injuries are consistent with physical assault, being doused in gasoline, and set on fire. The sheriff says that it was an automobile accident.

Information here

More information here: ("Yeah. That. And her purse is missing")

Donation information here.

brownfemipower links to the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence Women Of Color Caucus' statement on the case of Megan Williams, and also notes (via xicanopower)
the continuing saga of the teenage boy who was kidnapped, taken across the Mexican border, and is not being allowed back into the U.S. Instead, his family in Nebraska is being deported as well.

"He's in a bit of a pickle, of course," Mumgaard said. "Anyone who is here in the U.S. without documentation is behind the eight ball almost immediately, even a 13-year-old boy."

You don't say.

Meanwhile, as the world turns, all kinds of lovely stuff on an epic scale. brownfemipower has been monitoring the catastrophic flooding in Tabasco, Mexico

(one MILLION Mexicans displaced by floods, yes that's right; and the U.S. has pledged $300,000 to aid refugees, yes THAT's correct, which i guess is what, about 33 cents per refugee? sweet)

...over a series of posts, including some choice words of her own springing off some comments at feministe*:

And guess what, poor white folks–they already ARE effected by global warming (try googling mountain top removal and Appalachia some time, or asbestos poisoning and mining town, or drug addiction and mining or black lung and mining towns, or…maybe you get the picture). These white folks have been working alongside people of color to invoke radical environmental justice for a long time.

But let’s go to the next point:

Just look at who Bush is killing with our wars. The Americans dying are more poor than anything else.

Actually, Bush is killing brown people. And he is using poor white people and people of color to do it. He is not killing white people. The mission we’ve “accomplished’ is the deaths of over a hundred thousand BROWN people. And that’s just in Iraq. Yes, Bush is willingly putting the lives of poor whites into dangerous positions,, but he is not killing them. The Bush regime has not created whole knew words (Islamofacists) to describe poor white citizens. He has not named an axis of evil consisting of Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee. He has not used these code words to justify the obliteration of poor whites.

He is killing brown people. Period. He is using poor whites and people of color to do it. Period.

...As native environmentalist activists have said, “Once they’re done with us, they’re coming for you, so you better start paying attention”.

That’s what happens when there’s an economic *hierarchy*–eventually, level by level, each group of people will be destroyed, it doesn’t matter what color they are. But the base of that hierarchy is built on the souls and lives of people of color–and that’s not a fucking accident.

Some people were trying to say that the Katrina response was about class, not race, also (it's always an either-or, too, right?) Speaking of, Bint Alshamsa shares this joyous news:

All Public Housing Units in New Orleans Set To Be Destroyed

Information on upcoming protests/civil disobedience, and how to help or join, included in the link.

And there's oh, so much more--I hadn't even gotten to the scary shit in Pakistan, for instance--this is a good starting place, threats/urgings for Pakistani bloggers to go offline before they're -made- to be shut down notwithstanding--but, I gotta stop now.

The next post(s) shall be about something Fluffy.


Lisa Harney said...

On the trans woman with the burns and broken bones: It looks like she was in an accident, and was dragged from her burning car seconds before she would have died.

A teenager got her out of her truck before the fire hit 1000 degrees, and saved her life.

Louisefeminista said...

And they wonder why women don't report sexual assualt/rape? It is obscene. More and more excuses are being made for violent against women.

In the UK the number of women who report rape/sexual assualt is small and even smalled when it comes to conviction (the cops are pretty piss-poor at gathering evidence though they have no problem becoming all trigger happy when it comes to shooting down innocent and unsuspecting members of the public sitting on the tube!)

It is bloody grim when you are low down the pecking order of capitalism and not a slick suited white straight male with loadsa cash in the bank.

Power relationships, patriarchy, oppression and capitalism.

Amber said...

There's another side to the whole public housing thing, but I'm not sure if I have the stomach to post about it here because I have a feeling I'll be verbally decapitated.

a very public sociologist said...

Hold on, this guy claimed he was sleep walking when he raped this woman? What a load of bull. How can one remain insensible when attacking someone and forcing them to do something against their will? It beggars belief. Surely a jury will see right through it.

belledame222 said...

LH: thanks for the update.

avps: no, as I understand it, the claim is that the woman is a sleepwalker, and thus might have appeared to be giving consent (i.e. mumbled "yes") which means it's, like, totally not the guy's fault, because how was he supposed to know?

Lisa Harney said...

Plus, he had the AIDS, which means that him having unprotected sex is like committing murder.

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