Who Put You in Charge?

With all the discussion happening regarding Universities and Colleges [mis]handlings of on-campus rape cases, many people have never stopped to consider an important question.

Why is that their responsibility?  Why isn’t it taken to the police?

It’s a fair concern.  After all, rape and sexual assault are serious charges.  This article by Politico details not only why, but how it came to be that campus assaults became handled this way.  It’s an incredibly informative piece.

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Underage and Over-Criticized

referenced from alicevega.com

referenced from alicevega.com

I’m sure many of you have seen this story already.  Sasha and Malia, America’s First Daughters, were criticized by a GOP aide for their attire choices.  She resigned shortly after.

Now, I realize that sounds harsh, but allow me to elaborate.  GOP aide Elizabeth Lauten specifically said

“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.  Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.”

That is quite the quote. Even if we ignore the blatant disrespect dished out towards the President and First Lady, it’s still a bit shocking (at least to me).  Sasha and Malia are respectively 13 and 16 years old.  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have been able to show half of the maturity they do every day when I was that age.  So they made some faces.  So they showed their knees.  Elizabeth Lauten is an adult, and the lack of sympathy and harsh judgements she showed these young girls is awe-inspiring.

So why do I care?  Why is this being talked about on Carnal Politics?

It’s just another manifestation of rape culture, in my eyes.  Women in short skirts/shorts are sluts.  Women with low tops are sluts.  Women who spend too much time focusing on their appearance are sluts.  Apparently, now underage girls wearing perfectly sensible holiday-wear are also sluts.  “A spot at the bar?”  THEY AREN’T EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN IN ONE.  Why is it that, especially in politics, women are judged so harshly?  Even the women on the sidelines who aren’t there to be judged or assessed?  They didn’t ask for dad to be one of the most visible men in the world.  They aren’t thinking about whether their outfits ask for the right kinds of attention.  They got dressed for Thanksgiving, had to stand on national TV for a couple hours, and made a few funny faces in the process.  Good for them.  They deserve to be kids.  Why can’t we, for once, remember that’s exactly what they are?

Teach Us Something We Don’t Know

By Mikhaela Reid, referenced from mikhaela.net

By Mikhaela Reid, referenced from mikhaela.net

Salon.com posted an article recently about sex-ed, and it’s definitely worth looking in to if you’re interested (or plainly enraged) by the topic.

Here is a very in-depth look at what exactly is happening (or rather, not happening) in the US school systems in regard to sexual education, and why.  It highlights the use of abstinence-only programs, and why that can be so very damaging to teens, and anyone else exposed to it.

Looks Like We’re Not [bigoted] in Kansas Anymore…

by Justin DeFreitas

by Justin DeFreitas

Well folks, Kansas is finally getting there.  County by county, they’re beginning to issue same-sex marriage licenses.  I am happy to announce that Olathe, Kansas began officially issuing same-sex marriage licenses after several stop-start decisions because of legal holds and petitions.  I was fortunate enough to talk with one of the couples that initially applied for a license on October 9, 2014.  They even had an informal ceremony performed by a minister offering his services to couples on the courthouse stairs.  Soon after, the Kansas Attorney General put a hold on all same-sex marriage licenses, although applications were still being accepted.  Kaci Campbell and Kim Garner filled out an application on October 9th, but by October 10th the Kansas Attorney General had already blocked any licenses from being issued.  Kaci said after the first delay that the attorney general “…thinks that the judge that allowed us to get marriage license is not qualified to make that kind of decision…If not for activist judges, women would have no rights, right? Slavery would not have been abolished, right? Thank you, Judge, for standing up for ALL individuals’ rights.”  Kaci and Kim were finally able to receive an actual license recently, on November 19.  She contacted me the night before and said “They lifted the ban today in Johnson County, so tomorrow I will finally go get license and be married by the end of the day. The news called and interviewed us tonight, on channel 9 tonight…”  She and Kim still plan “to have another ceremony because the last one wasn’t technically legal.”  I’m so excited for them to have the most fun, creative, and LEGAL ceremony they possibly can!  They are both beautiful, unique people, and I wish them all the best.

Now, while this is certainly great news, it’s not the end of the battle (even in Kansas).  The state of Kansas is still appealing the rights to same-sex marriage.  Although this probably won’t amount to any changes, it’s still something to be concerned about.  Until same-sex marriage is at the very least respected by everyone, it won’t be an easy world for any of us to live in.  Why is it so hard for people to just see love instead of gender and sex and all of the other things that should be secondary?

Abortion Evolution

By Joel Pett

By Joel Pett

I think that with a new republican majority, it’s expected that there will be a lot of new legislation reflecting more conservative ideas.  One of the big topics I am concerned about it birth control and abortion.  This article does a good job of explaining what exactly could begin happening.

Assault Expansion

In New Jersey, a new bill has been introduced that would expand the legal meaning of sexual assault.  Essentially, it criminalizes consensual sex after the fact, if misrepresentation or lies were utilized in acquiring said sex.  Now, I can definitely see where this bill came from, as there are plenty of cases where people have used incredibly unsavory tactics to acquire sex, but I don’t know that it is ready to be passed.  To me, at its current state, it appears that just about any coercion could be criminalized.  If a guy tells you that he knows a celebrity, and you sleep with him, is that a crime?  Or are you just being gullible.  Or is it both?  Is it illegal if you admit that you were lying after the act?  It’s an interested concept, and I can see where a need for something like this would occur.  I’m curious to see if it gets edited and resubmitted or is voted down and simply falls apart.  It could be difficult to prove/charge someone with either way.

Bathroom Advancements

referenced from: mikhaela.net

referenced from: mikhaela.net

It’s always good to see schools preemptively adapt to their students.  A school district in Clifton Park, New York has started the process to officially allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.  This is the first case that I’ve seen where a school began putting policies like this up for a vote without any legal pressure or public pressure related to a current student.  They will require the students to have some sort of “documentation” (presumably a doctor’s note or some other medical personnel’s diagnosis with gender identity disorder, or something similar), as well as permission from high-ranking school officials.  I would guess that these restrictions were put into place to help quell some adult concerns about sexual assaults and boys sneaking into the women’s room.  In my opinion, it would be incredibly difficult for a teenage boy to truly, passably, fake being transgender, but apparently not everyone agrees with that.  The school makes a point to specify the “gender identity that the student exclusively and consistently asserts at school,” which is, again, a smart way to clarify that this is meant for students well into their transition.