Fox, The Simpons, Family Guy and Rape: WTF?

Being a fan of Family Guy, I read this piece from Jessica @ feministing back in October:

The most recent episode, I Dream of Jesus, featured this conversation with Peter and a waiter (Peter is trying to get the waiter to give him a jukebox record he likes):

Peter: Can I have that record? I love that song. I’ll let you have sex with my daughter…

Waiter: I don’t know…let’s see what your daughter looks like.

P: She’s…uhh…(pans past Meg to “hot” girl)…right there!

W: Ok, I’ll do her. But can you tell her to cry and beg me to stop?

P: I think that can be arranged.

And this isn’t the first time the show has made light of violence against women. Usually, I’d consider Family Guy one of my (Un)Feminist guilty pleasures, but I think I have to cut the show off completely. Sigh.

More below the fold (warning, possibly triggering):

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Immaculate Rape

Immaculate Rape (noun) – Rape in which there is no rapist, merely a victim who may be found culpable due to one or more of the following: ingestion of alchohol, wearing of revealing clothing, living in a society that permits sex outside of marriage, being near a male in the throes of the evolutionary perogative.

Immaculate Rape as an accusation usually grows out of a right-wing religious cosmology, yet any attempts to link right-wing religious cosmology with mysogyny are met with accusations and derision.

Peter Hitchens makes this argument in an article eviscerated by Jessica and Melissa.  The crux:

Of course she is culpable, just as she would be culpable if she crashed a car and injured someone while drunk, or stepped out into the traffic while drunk and was run over.

Getting drunk is not something that happens to you. It is something you do.

I think Melissa shuts that down very effectively (Trigger Warning) in her post.  Jessica does it in the following line:

Hitchens can’t seem to get his head around the idea that rapists rape women, rather than women magically “getting themselves” raped.

But maybe Hitchens and purveyors of the immaculate rape myth ought to be taken at more than face value.  If alcohol is an invitation to get raped, why aren’t we making it a felony to serve rape juice to women?  Why doesn’t every bottle of rape beer contain a surgeon general’s warning: “may excuse rape”?

One things for certain, I wouldn’t be caught dead drinking with Peter Hitchens.

(image source)

Oklahoma Anti Choicers OK Unlawful Sexual Assault

Via Jill, Feministe:

Anti-choicers in Oklahoma again demonstrate how much they care about women: So much that if women want to terminate a pregnancy, they’ll be forced to undergo an ultrasound, whether they consent or not. Making women undergo an unnecessary medical procedure against their will is bad enough — especially when medical professionals do not recommend unnecessary ultrasounds, and when ultrasounds are expensive and add significant and totally unnecessary costs to the abortion. But the Oklahoma law is even worse:

Under the guise of obtaining informed patient consent, this new law requires doctors to withhold pregnancy termination until an ultrasound is performed. The law states that either an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound, whichever gives the best image of the fetus, must be done. Neither the patient nor the doctor can decide which type of ultrasound to use, and the patient cannot opt out of the ultrasound and still have the procedure. In effect, then, the legislature has mandated that a woman have an instrument placed in her vagina for no medical benefit. The law makes no exception for victims of rape and incest.

Emphasis mine.

Nobody should be forced to undergo a medical procedure against their will. Nobody should have to undergo an invasive, expensive, non-consensual and wholly unnecessary procedure as a prerequisite for another procedure. No right-thinking person should promote a law that requires doctors to penetrate a woman’s vagina with a medical instrument against her will.


It’s disgusting. And I’m trying not to sound hyperbolic here, but it’s awfully close to sexual assault.

Its not close to sexual assault. It is sexual assault. FindLaw:

Specific laws vary by state, but sexual assault generally refers to any crime in which the offender subjects the victim to sexual touching that is unwanted and offensive. These crimes can range from sexual groping or assault/battery, to attempted rape.

Oklahoma’s new law violates that. It may also violate sections of their own state law:

21 O. S. Section 1111.1
Rape by instrumentation is an act within or without the bonds of matrimony in which
any inanimate object or any part of the human body not amounting to sexual intercourse
is used in the carnal knowledge of another person without his or her consent and
penetration of the anus or vagina occurs to that person. Provided, further, that at least
one of the circumstances specified in Section 1111 of this title has been met.

Forcing someone to undergo non medically necessary penetration is unlawful sexual assault.

The Art Thief and Rape

David and Goliath Tees is best known ’round the internet as being petty art thieves.  They decided to jump into the misogynist ring too (Feministing):


Upon just criticism, they pulled the shirt, but replaced it with (Feministing):


Jessica’s response:

You know, if pointing out that trivializing rape is wrong makes me bitchy, so be it. I am a bitch. If bringing attention to the fact that a company shouldn’t be selling pre-teens shirts that say rape is okay if a girl is drunk makes me a bitch, I’m okay with that. I am a big fucking bitch. So David and Goliath, you think the gals at Feministing are bitches. That’s fine. Cause at the end of the day, we’re still the bitches that got you to pull a shirt.

The new shirt is worse than the first.  So now, saying no to rape makes you a bitch.  And if the connection wasn’t clear, go ahead and click on the image for a larger view:


It still shows the image of the pulled shirt.  Classy.

Biblically Justified Rape

Neil has very cleverly titled post, and I was perusing it when a line struck me sideways (emphasis mine):

Aside from the verses below and the fact that the Bible never claims perpetual virginity for her, it would have been a sin for Mary not to have sex with Joseph.

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Sex in marriage is not sinful!  To put such emphasis on the myth of her perpetual virginity is to be make Puritans look downright worldly.

I think Neil is dead on in his interpretation here.  The Christian Bible is clearly stating that once married one must have sex if one partner wants to.  Even if one partner does not want to.  How is that not Rape?

Now imagine the separation of Church and State dissolving, and the Bible becoming a legal text.  Would a theocratic United States amend laws against rape to exclude married couples?

Wrong Side of the Chick Tracts

I saw this over at Pandagon:

Its a music video rendition of a particularly repugnant Jack Chick tract by the outstanding Alice Donut. I also think it is remarkable, but not for the same reasons Amanda does. For me it raises questions of identity and exclusion. The short of the story is this. A 5 year old girl named Lisa lives with her father and mother. Her mother is an alcoholic, and her father a child rapist. Soon their neighbor finds out, and successfully blackmails his way into the father’s crimes. Upon a visit to the doctor, the mother finds out the daughter has contracted stds, and rushes home to confront the father. He then makes a rush for a bridge, is confronted by a fundamentalist who demands “just pray!”. He does, and shortly (15 minutes later) returns to his home to convert his wife. The two of them then promise to “never hurt Lisa again”. (In the video, at least, Lisa responds with skepticism.)

The overall storyline carries an obvious statement: Convert and be saved no matter what your sins. But beneath that more is being said. Presumably Lisa’s father and mother are not Christian, and this plays a role in their lack of morality. Ditto the neighbor. What is interesting is that narratives like this support a moral self identity for fundamentalists, at the exclusion of non believers. This line of reasoning is common among the anti-evolution/science crowd, and often shows up in debates between believers and atheists. They repeatedly ask “where does morality come from without God?”.

The story is always about those who are unfaithful gaining faith (and hence morality). The Chick tract simply reinforces that supposed bond between faith and ethics, suggesting the two are inseparable. While this may not effect how fundamentalist Christians view the law, it profoundly effects how they view their own actions, and how they view non fundamentalist Christians. If faith and ethics are joined, then how can the faithful be unethical? Is it any wonder fundamentalists are blindsided when one of their trusted leaders turns out to be taking criminal advantage of them?

It also explains some of the fear and identity politics involved in pushing towards theocracy, and opposing secular ideals and laws. If you believed lack of faith is by definition unethical, wouldn’t you do everything you could to fight it?

Texas on KBR: Pro Sexual Assault Ruling

A Texas court has sided with Halliburton/KBR in a ruling that effectively allows them to get away with sexual assault (ABC):

A mother of five who says she was sexually harassed and assaulted while working for Halliburton/KBR in Iraq is headed for a secretive arbitration process rather than being able to present her case in open court.

A judge in Texas has ruled that Tracy Barker’s case will be heard in arbitration, according to the terms of her initial employment contract.

Barker says that while in Iraq she was constantly propositioned by her superior, threatened and isolated after she reported an incident of sexual assault.

Sound familiar?  It should.  I think Haliburton could use some updated brand awareness.  Here is their original logo:


Here are a few alternatives I whipped up:




I don’t care what contract these women signed.  No legal document can legitimize rape.  The judge who made the decision makes my blood boil:

District Judge Gray Miller, however, wrote in his order that “whether it is wise to send this type of claim to arbitration is not a question for this court to decide.”

“Sadly,” wrote Judge Miller, “sexual harassment, up to and including sexual assault, is a reality in today’s workplace.”

Why does the status of sexual assault as a “reality in today’s workplace” preclude the victim from proper recourse through criminal court?  This isn’t a case of sexual harrasment.  Its sexual assault.  Gray Miller should be fired immediately.

Halliburton has “divested itself of KBR”.  However the following should tell you everything you need to know about that relationship:

Halliburton and KBR had also sought to have Barker pay for their costs of defending their right to arbitrate. That request was denied.

Both companies now have a brand problem.  They are identified with sexual assault and rape.  I’ve done a quick mock up of an updated careers page for KBR to reflect their new image as a responsible corporate citizen:


Sexual Violence is not a matter for private arbitration.  It is a matter for criminal court.  The Judge and the Halliburton and KBR corporations have failed in their ethical obligations as citizens and as people.