He Has Reached Rock Bottom, And Has Started To Dig*

In case you had any question as to just how skeevy — more, how fundamentally grotesque — was and is Roy Moore, here’s his reasoning on why sodomizing a child does not constitute “forcible rape”:

The Alabama Supreme Court had the opportunity to hear the case of one Eric Lemont Higdon, a man accused and convicted of two sodomy charges due to sexual assault against a four-year-old at Mama’s Place Christian Academy in Clay, Alabama.

 

Higdon had been convicted of both sex with a child under twelve years old, statutory rape, and of “first-degree sodomy by forcible compulsion” which requires that the victim face a threat, overt or implied, of  “serious physical injury.” That second forcible rape charge was overturned on appeal, and the question that Moore and his fellow state supreme court justices faced was whether that appellate decision was correct.  Almost all of the court had no problem working that one out:

Eight of the nine justices on the panel found that the appeals court had erred. Their legal logic was such that a 17-year-old’s sexual assault of a four-year-old was enough to produce in the mind of the four-year-old, an “implied threat of serious physical injury.”  The decision was reversed and remanded and Higdon’s conviction was reinstated.

Who dissented? That godly man Moore, of course:

“Because there was no evidence in this case of an implied threat of serious physical injury…or of an implied threat of death, Higdon cannot be convicted of sodomy in the first degree “by forcible compulsion.”

Four Years Old.

No implication of serious physical injury when a seventeen year old assaults a pre-schooler.  I wanted to put that last more bluntly, but I can’t. My stomach turns itself into a Klein bottle when I try.

What kind of man do you have to be to conceive of the scene between that youth and that little child and see no threat?

Roy Moore is not who we thought he was.  He’s much, much worse — and anyone who rises to his defense shares in his stain.

*From this time-honored list of British military fitness reports.  My favorite has always been “I would not breed from this Officer” — which, according to my uncle, a career man in the Royal Artillery, was known to refer to a fellow from a Guards regiment.  Posh don’t mean smart.

Image:  Diego Velasquez, Las Meninas1656-7.

This picture is not, perhaps, precisely on point with this post, but it knows the chords and is, in any case, a simply magnificent painting.



As the daughter of a father…

It’s good that women are naming and shaming highly placed sexual harassers / predators in the entertainment and media sector. But I don’t think it will change anything.

The reactions make me pessimistic. Several conservative media figures showed how clueless they remain by suggesting the solution is to further constrain the behavior of victims — e.g., “Wish you’d followed the Pence Rule now, huh, libtards?”

Others, like WaPo’s Dana Milbank, are horrified to learn they were oblivious to the hostile environment their female colleagues confront, but they’re still clueless about how their own oafish behavior contributes to it:

I and many other male alumni of the New Republic, feminists all, are shaken by what we’ve learned this week. We weren’t a conspiracy of silence, but we were in a cone of ignorance. My friend Franklin Foer, a former editor, recalls being uncomfortable with Wieseltier’s lewd comments when he first arrived at the magazine. But “they just seemed accepted. I said nothing — and certainly didn’t think hard enough about how those remarks would be suggestive of private behavior or created a hostile environment.”

That would be Dana “Mad Bitch Beer” Milbank. His co-sketcher, Chris Cillizza, seems to bob to the top of the media tank somehow, like a particularly buoyant (and untalented) turd. And his takeaway from the Weinstein scandal was that Hillary Clinton allowed X number of days to pass before speaking about it publicly. Hey, maybe y’all are part of the problem, even if you keep your paws off your coworkers’ boobs?

The disheartening thing is that, for the foreseeable future, we are doomed to live in the world these schmucks built. Rebecca Traister published a powerful piece making that point in New York Magazine. An excerpt of “Our National Narratives Are Still Being Shaped by Lecherous, Powerful Men” follows:

In hearing these individual tales, we’re not only learning about individual trespasses but for the first time getting a view of the matrix in which we’ve all been living: We see that the men who have had the power to abuse women’s bodies and psyches throughout their careers are in many cases also the ones in charge of our political and cultural stories…

And while it may feel cathartic for some women to finally get to say things they’ve been waiting years to say, this does not undo the damage. We can’t go back in time and have the story of Hillary Clinton written by people who have not been accused of pressing their erections into the shoulders of young women who worked for them.

We cannot retroactively resituate the women who left jobs, who left their whole careers because the navigation of the risks, these daily diminutions and abuses, drove them out. Nor can we retroactively see the movies they would have made or the art they would have promoted, or read the news as they might have reported it.

This tsunami of stories doesn’t just reveal the way that men have grabbed and rubbed and punished and shamed women; it shows us that they did it all while building the very world in which we still have to live.

Yeah, what she said. It’s really not surprising Trump could get elected in such a world, when you look at it from that perspective.



File This Under Rape Culture

A NY teenager was arrested and handcuffed by NYPD cops, allegedly raped, the cops claim it was consensual (which is impossible when you are under arrest), and the NY Daily News then writes it up and adds a picture of the raped teen but not a picture of the two NAMED cops.

Awesome work, media. Obligatory “Why don’t women come forward more often…”



Heroes Are Important

There’s a new movie out: “Battle of the Sexes.” Seen it yet? I haven’t, but I plan to.

Martha Crawford, an eloquent psychotherapist, did see the movie and shared her childhood recollections about the event the film depicts on Twitter. It made for an incredibly powerful story.

I’ve rendered Ms. Crawford’s tweets in paragraph form below the fold… Read more



It Gets Worse

These Weinstein revelations are shocking.



To all the ladies who want to control when they have babies

In other healthcare news, President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty. The ACLU is not too concerned about it as it is mostly a photo-op but it is an indicator that the provision of no cost-sharing long acting reversible contraception as a key covered service in the ACA plans is at risk.

IUD’s are reliable. They are long run inexpensive as their break even point compared to hormonal oral contraception is between twenty and thirty months if we neglect unexpected pregnancy costs. If we include incremental unexpected pregnancy costs, their break even point is short.. They empower female autonomy in social, economic and sexual domains. They also prevent abortions.

IUDs currently are a no cost sharing service under the ACA by regulation. This regulation can be re-written through the normal rule making process. That process probably will not effect covered services for 2017 but it probably will have define what has to be covered at no cost sharing in 2018.

If you were thinking about getting an IUD, schedule the appointment.
If your current LARC needs to be replaced soon, schedule the appointment.
If you currently use barrier or oral hormonal methods and don’t want to get pregnant for several years, schedule an appointment.

Protect yourselves as well as you can.



Actions Have Consequences: Lysistrata Edition

I’ll just leave this here for your schadenfreude and viewing pleasure. Albo is quitting the Virginia House of Delegates.