I know this isn't STEM-related but I don't want it to be forgotten.
In case you've somehow missed it (or time has moved on), last year a woman was raped while unconscious and the rapist was caught in the act. Because he was a 'good guy', rather than impose even the minimum sentence of 2 years for his crimes, the judge decided to give him 6 months in a county jail with the possibility of early release for good behaviour.
There's been an international outcry over the pathetic sentencing and even more outcry over the complete lack of self-awareness offered by the rapist or his family and friends.
Unsurprisingly there's been a lot written about this and I wanted to share a few of the more interesting article I've seen. I'll start with the victim's statement which is incredibly tough to read but should be read by every single person. The description of the aftermath and what it's done to her and her family is heartbreaking.
Less heartbreaking is the rapist's 'apology' which is full of self-pity. I will admit I haven't read more than a few excerpts because I value my laptop and fear that reading more than that will cause me to throw it through a window in disgust. This article does a nice deconstruction of the problems with it.
In light of the media attention the two passers-by who spotted the crime and stopped it have spoken out about what they saw.
This article puts the case into context, showing how it highlights rape culture and juxtaposing against another case to highlight institutional racism.
Vox have a long but worthwhile article looking at why this case has become so widely discussed.
Finally, this article shares a powerful blogpost from the husband of a rape victim, explaining how the trauma has affected her (it was written at her urging).
It's a heartbreaking, appalling, depressing story all round. But the huge outcry does make me think that perhaps the cultural tide is turning, that people are more willing to stand up and say that rape is abhorrent, and that there is no place in modern society for the privilege extended to Brock.
(Also, moved this to the Cafe, where I think it sit better.)
Good move, thanks
I haven't been able to face reading it yet, but for posterity, here is the full text of the judge's decision.
Another Rapist Escapes Prison Time. Here’s Why His Judge Hasn't Faced a Backlash.
I thought that maybe there were extenuating circumstances that led to the lack of a backlash, but nope. It's just that the laws are different in Colorado and it's harder to get judges removed than it is in California. It shows how systemic the downplaying of rape as a crime is in the US justice system.
Canadian judge faces inquiry over handling of sex assault trial
Mr Camp sparked outrage during the 2014 case, when he asked a 19-year-old woman, "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"
He also said, "pain and sex sometimes go together" and had referred to the complainant as "the accused," court records show.
Oxford University Student Arrested for Rape Gets Described as 'Highly Intelligent'
The title says it all.
Understanding the roots of sexual violence and lad culture on campus
Our research also found that sexual shaming, bullying and objectification in online and offline spaces is common in university settings. But quite often in both schools and in universities, these behaviours are dismissed by staff as “just banter”.