I love how you make a big deal over nothing at all.
Brewery owner boots sexist customer, unleashes must-read rant about women in the service industry
By Jen Hayden
Tuesday Apr 05, 2016 · 11:38 AM CST
Black Acre Brewing Company owner Jordan Gleason said he’s had to refuse service to a patron multiple times because of the man’s sexist comments to his Gleason’s employees. Despite a ban from the brewery, the man repeatedly showed up expecting all would be forgiven because “we’re men and they’re females.” But, Gleason said after seeing how women are treated day in and day out, he’d had enough. Not only did he make it abundantly clear to customer that he should never set foot in his brewery again, he took to Facebook to publish a note to men everywhere — it’s time to stand up and quit tolerating the sexist treatment of female service industry employees everywhere. Read his now-viral (17,000+ shares on Facebook and counting) rant:
This is a longer post, so bear with me...
Today I had to explain to a 60 year old man why he was banned from the pub.
In January he made several sexist remarks about the female staff that were working. He told them to their faces that that he liked looking at their tits while they washed dishes, and their asses while they were pouring drinks. He was told to leave and not come back. He came back last month, and was told we wouldn't serve him. He came back yet again today, and when told he wouldn't be served demanded to talk to a manger.
I sat with him for a few minutes as he explained that what he said would have been okay 20 years ago, and that it was just some off colour remarks. He told me he had apologized, and that he guessed my servers were too sensitive. He then told me that if what he said was a problem, then I should tell them not to wear low cut shirts, and that I should face the dish washing sink away from customers. But since he apologized, he should be allowed to drink in my establishment because he lives in the neighborhood and will bring in business.
I told him flatly that wasn't happening, and that what he said to those ladies was incredibly offensive. The simple fact that he couldn't understand that just because they were were working didn't mean they deserve his disrespectful language. That these ladies were part of my family, and were human beings that deserved respect. They aren't objects, and they certainly shouldn't have to wear different clothes because he can't be bothered with showing them any decency or respect. "But we're men and they're females. Is cleavage just not a thing anymore?"
I told him yeah buddy, it's not, and I won't be changing my mind about having him served. He threatened bad publicity, I told him I didn't care, and he left.
I work in the service industry, and we get the sheer joy and pleasure of meeting and talking to so many great people in our city. I've met some of my best friends here behind the bar. I live for it man. Connecting people who haven't met, making sure people can relax from a shitty day, or celebrate a great one, or just to simply enjoy a few beers with friends. I've seen wedding proposals, birthday parties, political discussions, deep philosophical debates, neighborhood organization, the absolute works. The best of humanity coming together and bonding. That's my JAM. It's one of the biggest reasons I get out of bed in the morning to come in to work day after day.
As absolutely insanely fun as that is, the dark side of this business is we run into some pretty horrible goblin people. Folks who think that just because we're serving, we don't deserve any basic decency or respect. I've been snapped at, mocked, threatened, and insulted about not having a real job. Anybody in this line of work gets used to a degree of it and develops a thicker skin. Here's the thing though, women in this field get infinitely more disgustingly treated. The sheer number of times they get groped, or harassed, or treated like objects would blow your mind. The worst of it is how normal their harassers think their behavior is. Every single lady in here handles it with grace and aplomb, and I applaud them for it. I've had their backs as we've bounced people out for that trash, but countless times they just deal with it before it even gets to me.
Sometimes the dudes get so worked up that they demand to see a manager, and I get called in to speak with them. Every single ******* time they attempt to appeal to me solely because I'm a man. They try to weasel in with me about how the women are asking for it. That women shouldn't dress that way if they don't want to be stared at. They attempt to explain it away as just "dudes being dudes." It's expected for men to stare at women's breasts and make jokes about how much they want to **** them. Wink Wink. Of course you'll understand they think, because you also have a dick. What terrifies and enrages me is how every one of them thinks that this is normal behavior, but also that other men will agree with them.
Men, we often don't see the level of filth that our friends, sisters, and mothers go through every day. We hope to surround ourselves with people who would never treat a woman like that. We live in a safe little bubble. But the reality of this thing? It's an insidious disease that's happening every single day, several times a day and it turns my ******* stomach.
So why am I writing this? I want to acknowledge the struggle of every single woman who will read this. You deserve our respect and to be treated with decency. I want to stand up and say, I'm ******* sick of this. To every dude out there, we need to ******* combat this disease like its the god damned plague that it is. If one of your friends says something shitty about a woman, tell him to shut his ******* mouth. Don't just laugh it off or ignore it. We need to listen when our sisters talk about this, and not just blame it on some bad apples. Not just say "not all dudes do that" or "well no one I know would ever do that." Nah man. This is an endemic cultural problem. If we want to start taking our status as gentlemen seriously we need to do more than just avoiding being a sexist prick ourselves. We need to open our eyes and fight it everywhere we see it, because the only way this thing gets better is to start calling it out for what it is.
Edit: Sorry for so many edits. I keep finding typos. Writing in anger isn't so conducive to well typed responses.
The Horrifying Consequences of Our National Rape Kit Backlog
Thousands of sexual assaults are unsolved thanks to policies that leave kits untested, misplaced or destroyed.
By Kali Holloway / AlterNet
April 2, 2016
In 2008, two Berkeley, California, teen girls, ages 15 and 19, were brutally raped and robbed at gunpoint. In the hours following the crime they went to a local medical center, where they informed staff of what happened so that evidence could be collected for rape kits. For six years, those rape kits remained untested in an Alameda County evidence room, and correspondingly, the assailant in the case remained on the street. When the kits were finally processed in 2014, the DNA they contained matched Keith Kenard Asberry Jr., a repeat offender who later sexually assaulted another woman. Asberry now sits in prison, awaiting trail on multiple charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery. The case is an example of how rape kits can help solve cases of sexual assault. It also drives home how rape kit backlogs—Alameda County reportedly has 1,900 additional kits that remain unprocessed—can have tremendous and far-reaching consequences.
"When we don't test these kits, we send this message to survivors that their cases don't matter or that what happened to them doesn't matter,” Ilse Knecht, of survivor advocacy group Joyful Heart Foundation, told the Public News Service. “And when we do test them, we turn that around, and we affirm the survivor's account of what happened, and we take dangerous offenders off the street."
It’s long been known that rape is vastly underreported. Studies both decades old and recent consistently find an estimated 80 percent—a staggering, troubling figure—of sexual assaults are never reported to law enforcement. (Black and other women of color are more likely to be raped and even less likely to report, than their white peers. Male survivors of sexual violence also grossly underreport.) There are myriad personal, cultural, social and societal reasons survivors choose not to disclose sexual assault, including the fear that reporting will lead to yet more trauma and yield nothing, least of all justice. That fear couldn’t be more justified, and our national backlog of rape kits is proof.
Provided they are actually tested for DNA evidence, rape kits can help identify rapists, exonerate the innocent and prevent rapists from assaulting again. Unfortunately, those outcomes are rare for many reasons, including that the overwhelming majority of rape kits are shelved and abandoned in evidence rooms to gather dust, the material within them slowly degrading over time. At last count, the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that there are somewhere around 400,000 (likely a huge underestimation) untested rape kits sitting in evidence lockers around the country. Over the last decade, thousands (here again, numbers remain fuzzy and estimates are likely unreliable) of rape kits have been intentionally destroyed or accidentally misplaced by law enforcement agencies.
The concrete numbers we do have are both shameful and disturbing. In Illinois, officials report a backlog of around 1,600 rape kits, and survivors of sexual assault can expect it to take as long as a year before testing on a kit is concluded. In Salt Lake City, Utah, of the 942 kits collected in the decade between 2004 and 2014, a little over 200 were destroyed. Kentucky last year determined it has more than 3,000 untested kits, an estimate that omits the unknown number of kits destroyed over the years by some state police departments. In 2014, the Memphis police department stumbled across nearly 200 rape kits dating back to the late 1970s, adding to a backlog across Tennessee which then stood—but has since been reduced from—12,000. An Atlanta hospital never turned over to cops some 1,500 rape kits dating back nearly 20 years, even in the 136 cases where patients explicitly requested in writing that they do so.
If each kit is for law enforcement the most bare-bones forensic evidence of a crime, for rape survivors the kits are documents of a devastating physical and psychological experience with potentially life-long impact. Consider the deep consequences when even one of those kits—which require survivors, within 72 hours of sexual violation, to undergo an invasive four- to six-hour exam when swabs and scrapings are taken—is lost, destroyed or left unprocessed on a shelf. The 2013 prosecution of a Colorado rape case was derailed when it was discovered that the survivor’s rape kit, along with 48 others collected in 2009, had been improperly destroyed by authorities. (Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, speaking with the Denver Post about the woman’s reaction to being informed her case could no longer move forward, told the paper she had been "gracious and understanding. More understanding than I would have been in that situation.") A Savannah, Georgia, woman expressed the disillusionment and anger she felt after learning local police had destroyed her rape kit.
"It’s like free rein for rapists,” she told a local CBS affiliate. “They might as well go ahead and legalize [rape]."
The causes of rape kit backlogs around the country are one and the same with the barriers to clearing them. Testing a single rape kit can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,000, and cash-strapped cities, municipalities and police departments report they simply don’t have the money to pay for the cost. The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab announced last year that it lacks the funds to hire enough staff to get through the state’s backlog of 6,000 rape kits while also handling the influx of new cases. The Daily Kos notes that in some cases, the funding problem is inextricably linked to the short shrift given to women’s issues, pointing out that Kentucky gave a $43 million tax break to the Creationist Museum. Those monies, at least in some part, likely came at the cost of clearing away the state’s massive rape kit backlog.
Victim blaming, shaming and disbelief, all of which keep many survivors from reporting in the first place, also contribute to the mounting backlogs and carelessness with which some departments have treated kits. USA Today, in an exhaustive study on sexual assault kits around the country, notes that a 2008 survey commissioned by the Justice Department called out Detroit police for "negative, victim‐blaming beliefs." Michigan State University researchers, in their resulting 551-page report, described the horrifying and stereotypical attitudes among officers that led to the backlog. Remember as you read this the thousands of survivors who encountered these attitudes upon reporting their rapes, which came from the people who were supposed to help them:
Rape survivors were often assumed to be prostitutes and therefore what had happened to them was considered to be their own fault. Adolescents were assumed to be lying, trying to avoid getting into trouble by concocting a false story about being raped. Police said that those who had been assaulted by friends and acquaintances had “got-what-they-got” because they had chosen to associate with the perpetrator. Case after case was labeled “a deal gone bad” or otherwise dismissed as “not really a rape,” and these attitudes directly affected law enforcement personnel’s decisions regarding whether to submit a rape kit for forensic testing.
It’s worth noting that 81 percent of Detroit’s then-untested kits belonged to black women, making the DoJ report a frightening and infuriating look at how the intersecting issues of racism, sexual violence, misogyny and criminal injustice play out in real life.
Differing mandates, state by state and even city by city, are yet another factor affecting rape kit treatment. The Guardian uses as an example Florida, where rape kits are kept anywhere from 30 days to four years, depending on the crisis center’s location. Too often, as USA Today notes, there are no “written guidelines,” leaving decisions to “the discretion of investigating officers.” Under the Violence Against Women Act, “Jane Doe” rape kits—which allow survivors to have evidence collected anonymously, without reporting to police—leave it up to states to decide when kits are tested, as well as where and how long evidence is kept. In states where specific timeframes are given for rape kit retention, survivors can end up having to periodically revisit the emotional trauma of their rapes to ensure evidence isn’t destroyed. Survivor Amanda Nguyen must file for an extension in Massachusetts every six months to keep her kit from being destroyed, despite the state’s 15-year statute of limitations for prosecuting rapes.
“My life is reoriented to the date of the rape,” Nguyen told the Huffington Post. “It’s quite traumatic and it’s totally preventable...Survivors should not have to fight to keep their rape kit from the trash can.”
When rape kits are actually put to the test, it’s impossible to put a price on the returns they yield for survivors and others. In Ohio, tests of 10,000 backlogged kits have led to 445 indictments. Houston, Texas, after clearing its backlog of almost 6,700 kits, discovered “850 matches, 29 prosecutions and 6 convictions,” per USA Today. Last year, the Detroit Free Press reported that an effort to test the city’s 12,000 kits has identified “2,478 suspects—including 456 serial rapists...and 20 convictions have been secured.” Some of those cases have likely been cold for a long time, and without testing, would have remained that way.
As critical as kits are for bringing the guilty to justice, they are also often indispensable for freeing the innocent. Alan Newton served 21 years in prison on rape, robbery and assault charges. Maintaining his innocence since his 1985 conviction, Newton requested a review of DNA evidence in 1994. According to the Innocence Project, “his request was denied because evidence had been presumed to be lost.” Only after the organization became involved with Newton’s case did “an exhaustive search” for the associated rape kit resume. Following its location and testing by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in 2005, Newton was cleared based on DNA evidence and released the next year.
Michael Phillips, an African-American man sent to jail in 1990 for raping a white teenager, was released in 2002, but was reincarcerated because he hadn’t registered as a sex offender. Phillips filed a petition “challenging his sexual assault conviction as well as his conviction for failing to register on grounds of innocence and alleging that DNA testing would exonerate him.” When the petition was denied, Phillips abandoned efforts to clear his name. He was exonerated only because a Texas effort to process untested rape kits happened to uncover DNA evidence proving his innocence. By the time of his release, Phillips had served nearly 25 years behind bars.
Last year, two important efforts to test the nation’s sexual assault backlog brought some of these revelations to light. In March 2015, Vice President Joe Biden announced the White House’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, which distributed $41 million to jurisdictions around the nation to help fund costs associated with handling backlogs. New York City launched a similar effort, announced by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., distributing $38 million—taken from Wall Street rule breakers, no less—to law enforcement departments across 20 states. In addition, on the heels of the USA Today study, 20 states have begun to push legislative reforms that will lead to backlog clearances, standardization of procedures and other critical changes. These include laws mandating the testing of all new sexual assault kits.
This is all good and incredibly overdue news. But the situation, due to its sheer immensity and the lack of quick fixes, still continues to feel dire for many. The rape kit backlog vividly illustrates the way our systems of criminal justice, maintained by fallible humans who have internalized our toxic, culturally held notions about numerous groups—women, rape survivors across gender, people of color as “believable” victims and assumed perpetrators—fail and further marginalize the marginalized, producing disastrous human consequences. We have to do more, for survivors, advocates, the innocent, and ultimately, anyone interested in achieving justice.
Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.
Tennessee lawmaker exiled over 'continuing risk' to women
Source: Associated Press
Tennessee lawmaker exiled over 'continuing risk' to women
Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
Updated 4:50 pm, Thursday, April 7, 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee lawmaker is effectively being quarantined from lawmakers, lobbyists and interns after the state's attorney general determined that he could pose a risk to "unsuspecting women" at the state Capitol complex.
House Speaker Beth Harwell announced Thursday that she is moving Rep. Jeremy Durham's office to the ground floor of a building across the street and that his access to committee rooms and the House chamber will be limited to when meetings are taking place. The move comes amid a state attorney general's investigation into the Franklin Republican's "pattern of conduct" toward women.
Interviews with 34 current and former lawmakers, lobbyists, staffers and interns included allegations that Durham made sexual comments and inappropriate physical contact with women working at Legislative Plaza, according to Attorney General Herbert Slatery's memorandum to Harwell.
. . .
"Representative Durham's alleged behavior may pose a continuing risk to unsuspecting women who are employed by or interact with the Legislature," Slatery said in the memo.
Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Tennessee-lawmaker-exiled-over-continuing-risk-7234874.php
Tennessee lawmaker exiled over 'continuing risk' to women
Source: Associated Press
Robert Heinlein crazy years........
One definition of ‘Crazy Years’ was proposed by writer John C. Wright.
The main sign of when madness has possessed a crowd, or a civilization, is when the people are fearful of imaginary or trivial dangers but nonchalant about real and deep dangers. When that happens, there is gradual deterioration of mores, orientation, and social institutions—the Crazy Years have arrived. — John C. Wright.
Heinlein’s future history has been documented in his novels and short stories. While the fictional time period of the Crazy Years, as viewed by Heinlein’s timeline, was in the past century, if you use Wright’s definition above, the Crazy Years are now.
Senators: More money needed for federal sex assault investigations
It's been 25 months since the federal Office of Civil Rights notified the University of Michigan it would be looking at how U-M handles complaints of sexual assault on its campus. There's no news about when the investigation might come to an end.
It took the OCR more than a year to investigate how Michigan State University handles sexual assault cases.
The length of time in these two cases isn't a surprise. In 2014, it took an average of 1,469 days for a complaint to be resolved, largely because of a shortage of staff, the OCR said.
A group of mostly Democratic senators – including Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters – is hoping to fix that. They recently sent a letter to the chairman of various Congressional committees that control the budget for the OCR, asking for full funding of the office – $137 million – plus money for 11 additional full-time employees for making sure colleges obey the Clery Act, a federal law on reporting crimes on campus.
Read more: www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/04/10/senators-more-money-needed-federal-sex-assault-investigations/82786952/
GOP cosponsor of anti-trans bathroom bill is a danger to ‘unsuspecting women’, probe finds
A Republican state lawmaker in Tennessee who is pushing to strip transgender people of bathroom rights has been found to be a danger to “unsuspecting women.”
Last week, Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell exiled state Rep. Jeremy Durham from his offices at the War Memorial Building and limited his access to other areas after Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued a warning that the lawmaker’s behavior posed “a continuing risk to unsuspecting women who are employed by or interact with the legislature.”
Slatery’s office is leading an investigation into multiple sexual harassment complaints against Durham. Although the investigation is not complete, Slatery said that the warning was necessary because of information learned during interviews with 34 different women.
“With few exceptions, the women who related incidents felt they could not report Representative Durham’s behavior because nothing could be done and they did not want to lose their jobs or be considered ‘untrustworthy’ by employers, clients or legislators,” the letter said.
According to the report, women said that they “avoid or refuse to be alone with Representative Durham, a situation which has affected their ability to perform their jobs.”
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/gop-cosponsor-of-anti-trans-bathroom-bill-is-a-danger-to-unsuspecting-women-probe-finds/
Page files sexual harassment claim against SC lawmaker
A S.C. House page has filed a sexual-harassment complaint against state Rep. Edward Southard, R-Berkeley, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Thursday.
Details of the complaint have not been released. Southard, a former Berkeley County planning commission chairman who won a special election in 2011, told the Charleston paper that he was surprised the complaint had become public.
“You shouldn’t be knowing about it because I was assured that no one would know about it, except me and three other people,” Southard told the paper.
The office of S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, would not confirm the complaint to The State.
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article73185827.html#storylink=cpy
Last year,State Rep. Nelson Hardwick (R-Horry) resigned after complaints of sexual harassment became public. I am going out on a limb here, but I believe women are in more danger working for a republican than they are in a bathroom.
I'm beginning to think you may be doing it to yourself. You're the big IT expert here.
But that was an abysmal post and I think it could have legitimately drawn all those down thumbs.
Students Protest BYU's Treatment of Sexual Assault Victims
A rape victim could be punished under the school's "honor code" system.
By Michael Arria / AlterNet
April 22, 2016
Students protested in front of Brigham Young University on Wednesday, to draw attention to the rape case of a 19-year-old sophomore and BYU's policies regarding sexual assault.
Madi Barney reported to police that she was raped during a date. BYU, a Mormon university, maintains religious bylaws which can be used to discipline sexual assault victims who may have consumed alcohol or brought a member of the opposite sex to their room. According to The Salt Lake City Tribune, Barney received a notification from the school two months after the alleged assault asking her to report to the honor code office for disciplinary hearing. “We have received information that you have been a victim of behavior that is addressed in the university Sexual Misconduct Policy,” read the letter, “We have also received information that you have engaged in behavior that violates the BYU Honor Code. I would like to meet with you and provide you with the information that we have received and give you an opportunity to respond.”
Since Barney made her case public, she has gained thousands of supporters including many Mormons have been victims of sexual assault in the past. Barney created a petition to grant victims of rape immunity from such punishments and it has been signed by over 90,000 people.
Barney has filed a complaint to U.S. Department of Education, citing Title IX, the gender equity rule that requires schools to report rapes. The public pressure prompted BYU to declare that they will investigate the connection between honor code polices and Title IX.
A more comprehensive report on the case, and protests, can be found at the Guardian.
Michael Arria is an associate editor at AlterNet and the author of Medium Blue: The Politics of MSNBC. Follow @MichaelArria on Twitter.
Oklahoma legislators seek change in sodomy law after ruling
Source: Associated Press
Oklahoma legislators seek change in sodomy law after ruling
Sean Murphy, Associated Press
Updated 4:07 pm, Thursday, April 28, 2016
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — After Oklahoma's highest court dismissed a criminal charge against a 17-year-old boy accused of forcing a heavily intoxicated girl to perform oral sex, outraged lawmakers vowed Thursday they'll move quickly to fix an apparent loophole in the state's forcible sodomy law.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals' unanimous ruling, first reported by Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit journalism corporation, said last month that while Oklahoma's rape law addresses unconscious or intoxicated victims, the forcible sodomy law does not. The court said it could not expand the "fair meaning" of the law to justify someone's prosecution.
"The Legislature's inclusion of an intoxication circumstance for the crime of rape ... is not found in the five very specific requirements of forcible sodomy," the court wrote.
The teen suspect was initially charged in 2015 in Tulsa County District Court. A lower court judge had dismissed the case last year, but the state appealed.
Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Oklahoma-legislators-seek-change-in-sodomy-law-7381463.php