I could write an extended post about victim blaming, and who is being held responsible for women being raped (hint: it’s not the rapist), and who has to change their behaviour in order to reduce the chances of a rape occurring (hint: it’s not the rapist), but you know what, I’ve done that before. Right here: Because the victim is responsible for not being raped.
One day, some police officer somewhere is going to talk about someone who is preying on women who are out jogging or walking, and NOT tell them that they ought to be careful. Instead, she or he will tell the perp that he or she must stop doing this horrible thing.
But alas, that day has not yet come.
Rape culture, ladies and gentlemen. You’re soaking in it.
People that the Vatican thinks should be disciplined and silenced: nuns who work on poverty and social justice issues.
CHICAGO — A prominent U.S. Catholic nuns group said Thursday that it was “stunned” that the Vatican reprimanded it for spending too much time on poverty and social-justice concerns and not enough on condemning abortion and gay marriage.
In a stinging report on Wednesday, the Vatican said the Leadership Conference of Women Religious had been “silent on the right to life” and had failed to make the “Biblical view of family life and human sexuality” a central plank in its agenda.
It also reprimanded American nuns for expressing positions on political issues that differed, at times, from views held by U.S. bishops. Public disagreement with the bishops — “who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals” — is unacceptable, the report said.
People the Vatican promotes and places in positions of authority: priests who actively lie and cover up for other priests who rape children.
The Catholic primate of all-Ireland has said that he will not resign as Church leader despite revelations in the BBC’s This World programme.
It found Cardinal Sean Brady had names and addresses of those being abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.
However, he did not pass on those details to police or parents.
Not only did he not pass on the details to police or children, but he actively coerced the children into staying silent. And he has LIED about the support the children were given.
Sean Brady’s role in the affair became clear in 2010, when it became known that he had been present when the abused boy was questioned.
He claimed, however, that the boy’s father had accompanied him, and described his own role as that of a note-taker.
However, the BBC This World investigation has uncovered the notes Cardinal Brady took while the boy was questioned.
The child’s father was not allowed in the room, and the child was immediately sworn to secrecy.
The story about Sean Brady will make you sick. And he’s still making excuses. He says that he wasn’t the only one who knew. In other words, it was someone else’s responsibility. And he claims that he had no power to do anything in any case.
“The commentary in the programme and much of the coverage of my role in this inquiry gives the impression that I was the only person who knew of the allegations against Brendan Smyth at that time and that because of the office I hold in the Church today I somehow had the power to stop Brendan Smyth in 1975.
“I had absolutely no authority over Brendan Smyth. Even my Bishop had limited authority over him. The only people who had authority within the Church to stop Brendan Smyth from having contact with children were his Abbot in the Monastery in Kilnacrott and his Religious Superiors in the Norbertine Order.
He is completely wrong about that. He always had the ability to go to the police, instead of participating in covering up a crime, and enabling a rapist to carry on raping children.
And he is now a Cardinal in the Catholic church.
So on the one hand, all those wretched women who dare to spend their time and effort working on issues of social justice are dangerously out of line and need to be reprimanded and controlled, and on the other, a man who participated in covering up the rape of children and is still making excuses for his behaviour, is given a position of high authority in the church. He is an “authentic teacher of faith and morals.”
I do not think that phrase means what the Catholic hierarchy church thinks it means.
Previous posts on the Catholic church and its protection of men who rape children:
Out of touch
Can the Pope be impeached?
They could always turn themselves in
Chanting the script from Rome
Sez it all.
Here are two stories, both appearing on the Stuff newspapers website today.
Story number one, about a woman who was assaulted in the early hours of the morning in downtown Wellington. NB: She was able to fight off the man who assaulted her, with assistance from a family member.
Assault on woman in problem spot alley (Trigger warning for assault)
There is a poll accompanying this story.
The poll asks, “How safe do you think the central city is for women after dark?” (Emphasis mine.)
Story number two, about a man who was assaulted in the early hours of the morning in downtown Hamilton, with serious consequences for him.
Arrest in city bashing (Trigger warning for assault)
Here are the differences I see.
1. The first story identifies the gender of the victim in the headline but the second story doesn’t.
2. The first story is accompanied by a poll which makes gender central to the issue of safety but the second story doesn’t.
3. If you click through to the stories, you will see that the first story has comments enabled, but the second hasn’t. Warning: as Tallulah says, under no circumstances read the comments.
Same old story: men are normative, women are a special case, and when a woman is assaulted, it’s because she didn’t take care to keep herself safe.
On the positive side, the text in both stories avoids overt victim blaming, ‘though there is just a hint of it in the police officer in the first story pointing out that, “Historically, it is an alleyway where there has been assaults.” The second story has a police officer saying, “he warned on the day of the attack such behaviour, as happened on the corner of Hood and Alexandra Streets about 3.30am, could and would not be tolerated. “
National Party MP Dr Jackie Blue was in an abusive relationship. She got out, and many years later, she has told her story to a magazine. Other women have read her story, and they have been helped by it.
Since the story was published, a number of women had contacted her to tell their own stories of abuse.
“One woman phoned my PA in Wellington in tears, and explained that she had the history of abuse and had read my story and found it inspirational, and felt that if I could overcome it she could too,” Dr Blue said.
“That was wonderful to hear that it gave that particular woman some hope, and I was very humbled to hear that.”
That’s great. But she had been worried about telling her story, concerned…
…that readers might perceive her as weak for staying in the relationship when she should have known better.
However, she said she hoped the story emphasised that domestic violence did not discriminate, and that being a doctor and a professional did not mean someone was in control of their life.
There may be another benefit to Dr Blue’s openness in telling her story. Her colleagues in the National Party caucus room might just believe her when she says that in cases of domestic violence, it’s not just a matter of leaving. Abusers have all sorts of ways to control their partners, from physical violence to excluding friendships, withholding money, taking the car keys, threatening to harm beloved pets, or horrifyingly, to harm children. Often even if a woman has got the point where she can leave an abusive relationship, she has nowhere to go, and no resources. That’s why we need to fund Women’s Refuges, and other services that help people to leave abusive relationships.
Dr Blue is not tasked with bearing this message to her colleagues all by herself. But she can, within the caucus room, speak from experience. “They should just leave!” is not a possible response when a highly regarded colleague speaks of her own experience of being caught in an abusive relationship.
Thank you, Dr Blue, for telling your story.