category: feminism, category: law, category: media

In Defense of Dr. Luke

Screenshot 2016-02-22 at 6.08.22 PM

By now, if you follow gossip of the entertainment world (and heck, I live on Dlisted.com), you’ve heard about the allegations made by popstar Ke$ha (aka Kesha Rose Sebert) against her producer and renowned hits-maker, Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald).

Kesha alleges that, throughout the years she worked with Dr. Luke (years that made her a world famous star and multi-millionaire) she was subject to abuse by Dr. Luke, both verbal and physical: most notably, that Dr. Luke drugged and raped her.

Kesha claims that, because of this abuse, she cannot bring herself to work with Dr. Luke any longer and thus is asking Sony to let her out of her contract (the label where Dr. Luke produces). Sony, for its part, did the reasonable thing — it offered to have Kesha work with any other of its producers, and thus no contact with Dr. Luke would be necessary. Kesha claims this wouldn’t work, however, as Sony has so much invested in Dr. Luke that it wouldn’t really promote her work if she recorded under the guidance of another producer (hmm, but they’re not invested in Kesha? or in their own other producers? ok).

Countless celebrities have used this as a virtue-signaling moment, eager to earn their bonafide SJW (social justice warrior) stripes, including Lady Gaga, who tweeted a message of support basically implying Dr. Luke is a rapist, and Taylor Swift, who donated $250,000 to Kesha (an utterly self-serving publicity gesture, as Kesha has millions of dollars to her name).

Now, let’s look at the facts here. This “rape” is a matter of ‘he-said/she said’ — so why is the nation, including celebrities with influence, taking it as a given that Kesha was, in fact, raped? “Why would she lie about it,” you ask? Well, gee – perhaps to get out of a contract. It seems that, amongst all the small minds ready to brand a man a heinous rapist, no one has stopped to consider there is a financial motivation here. (Kesha is no fool when it comes to contracts and the industry — she was raised in the industry and her mother is a successful songwriter, as was Kesha herself prior to becoming a singer in her own right). Gee, could it be that Kesha wants out early of her existing Sony contract to be able to enter a NEW contract with another label that would have more favorable terms than the Sony contract she signed years ago? Well, you know how you get out of an iron-clad contract? Claim abuse!

The judge this week was correct in siding against Kesha this first round, noting that there is no clear reason here to rip up a valid contract on the basis of unproven allegations with no corroborating evidence.

Common sense is also on Dr. Luke’s side — if Kesha were truly raped by Dr. Luke, why did she never report this? Why did she continue working with him, closely and on friendly terms, for years subsequent to the alleged sexual abuse? Why does this only now come to light, curiously, when she wants to get out of the Sony contract? Surely there is a possibility her allegations are true and, if so, I sympathize with her — but there is also a possibility they are not.

As Dr. Luke’s lawyer noted last week, following the judge’s findings:

Screenshot 2016-02-22 at 6.05.32 PM.png
As a lawyer, I agree with the judge and raise my eyebrows over the flimsiness of Kesha’s accusations. As a human being, I am horrified by the eagerness with which the entertainment world is throwing its lot in with Kesha, eager to brand themselves as sensitive feminists, and to cast a likely-innocent man as a monster.

Dr. Luke broke his silence on Twitter today, posting a series of tweets, which you can read here.

Here’s to hoping cooler heads prevail. Remember our “innocent until proven guilty” mantra is not thrown out the door simply because the SJW virtue-signaling mob on Twitter, or a few self-serving PC celebrities, scream otherwise. Kesha has rights — so does Dr. Luke.

Standard
category: feminism, category: media, category: politics

VOX touts questionnable rape statistic

In the wake of Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story implosion, liberal journalists and outlets rushed into damage-control mode. Most chose the bizarre route of placing the blame purely on Rolling Stone, accusing the magazine of throwing accuser Jackie under the bus (But didn’t the magazine simply tell the story she provided?), while others decided to remind us of alarming rape statistics, lest rape-culture-advocacy suffer any setback.

VOX quickly published a post entitled: “Show this graphic to anyone who says rape isn’t a real issue in America.” Notice the strawman aspect of the headline — no reasonable person doubts rape occurs and is a serious issue; what many of us doubt is whether it is the widespread epidemic that liberal orthodoxy would have us believe.

VOX’s entire post is based on a single federal government study, conducted in 2011 by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which purportedly found that 1.6% of American women are raped annually. VOX recaps that researchers called 7,758 women randomly (incorrect, actually: the researchers called more but only that amount participated – the survey had a dismal 33% response rate) and “asked if they had ever been raped.”

Rather than simply typing out the resulting number of those who claimed to be have been raped, instead VOX dramatically delays the moment of truth, opting to post a female-figurine mural, visually representing the number, noting each symbol stands for 25 rape victims.

This does nothing apart from making the reader scroll endlessly, during which one is supposed to cry in horror (“Look how much I’m scrolling! Each of these figures represents 25 women! Oh dear, I’m still scrolling!”) but all it does is make you think your computer has a virus and give you bad flashbacks of PAC-MAN.
Finally, upon reaching the end of the tedious graphic, we have our answer. “An estimated 1,929,000 are raped over [the course of] a year in the U.S., including 1,213,000 facilitated by alcohol or drugs.”

Sounds awful. Is it true, though?

Let’s take a look at the CDC survey.
VOX

Looking at the actual tables, yes, 1% of female respondents experienced completed penetration that was “alcohol or drug facilitated.” This 1% is the basis of VOX’s “1,213,000 [rapes] facilitated by alcohol or drugs” mention.

Fair enough. But why does the CDC include penetration that was “alcohol or drug facilitated”… as rape, necessarily? While drugs and alcohol are sometimes used to rape, horribly so, rendering women incapable of consent, why the assumption that penetration under those circumstances is always rape?

Taking a look at the actual survey questions, the veracity of this finding becomes murky, to the say the least. Participants were asked:

When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people have ever
[emphasis mine]

Stop right there. Notice the way the “or passed out and unable to consent” is lumped together with other instances of being drunk or high but able to give consent. As scholar Christina Hoff Sommers noted, this prevents the respondent from being able to differentiate her answer between instances when it was consensual (vs non-consensual sex) under the influence. For instance, if someone had sex that year while drunk, but consensual, the “yes” answer would nonetheless be classified as rape.
Doubt it? Consider the instances noted in the question:

  • had vaginal sex with you? By vaginal sex, we mean that {if female: a man or boy put his penis in your vagina} {if male: a woman or girl made you put your penis in her vagina}.
  • {if male} made you perform anal sex, meaning they made you put your penis into their anus?
  • made you receive anal sex, meaning they put their penis into your anus?
  • put their mouth on your {if male: penis} {if female: vagina}1
  • put their mouth on your anus?
  • made you put your mouth on their vagina or anus?
  • made you put your mouth on their penis?
  • put their fingers or an object in your [if female: vagina or} anus?
    [emphasis mine]

While a few of the sub-questions denote forced circumstances (e.g., “made you”), over half do not (e.g., “had vaginal sex with you”). A ‘yes’ on any of these would result in counting the individual as having been raped.

Other federal findings, meanwhile, dispute the rape-is-common narrative, so the media dismisses those studies. As blogger Yuval Leventhal notes:

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has been administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) since 1972. This survey interviews 49,000 to 77,400 households twice a year. The average response rate is 87%. This survey doesn’t measure the lifetime prevalence but the yearly incidence. The question asked concerning rape and sexual assault is more straightforward, simply asking participants whether they have been raped/sexually assaulted or not.

The accumulated results for the 2011 survey are available online. On page 2, Table 1, for 2011, it was estimated that there were 243,800 total cases of rape and sexual assault combined.

When will the rape-culture media narrative begin to use sound stories or, at least, sound figures?

Standard
category: feminism, category: law, category: politics

an illustration of rape culture lunacy, courtesy of UF and Treon Harris (UPDATED)

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.37.44 PM

Colleges across America, sacrificing basic civil rights to the altar of political correctness, are losing their collective minds on the issue of campus sexual assault. California’s latest lunacy – requiring ‘affirmative consent’ – even has some liberal leaning outlets openly questioning its wisdom. But nothing hammers home the point quite like a real-life example – and we have our latest in the case of Treon Harris, quarterback for the University of Florida, who, earlier this month, was accused of sexual assault.

The incident allegedly took place in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, October 5th, while the parties involved were celebrating the team’s Saturday evening victory. The alleged victim, a freshman, reported the incident roughly 24 hours later, around 1 am on Monday morning.

Fair enough — except that within a day, on October 6th, Harris was immediately suspended from the team and suspended indefinitely, even though an investigation of this nature can easily take weeks to complete.

In other words, Harris was punished without the completion of any investigation and, it seems, without any evidence (since Harris was not arrested, it stands to reason no evidence existed apart from the word of the accuser).

What should be the domain of the police and criminal justice system to sort out, is nowadays instead usurped by ill advised and untrained campus executives who prefer to use the opportunity to boast and brag of their politically-correct credentials (remind you of anyone? the D.A. in the Duke-lacrosse case?), and think little of the possibility that Harris may be innocent. In noting Harris’s suspension, U.F. President Bernie Machen ridiculously stated: “We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus.”

That’s nice… but Mr. Machen neglects to mention U.F. also apparently has no tolerance for due process, nor interest in treating Harris as innocent until he is proven otherwise. It’s almost as if the stories of Brian Banks, the Duke lacrosse players, or the many others falsely accused of rape, were wiped from our collective memories.

Rumors immediately began to leak out that the victim was not telling the whole story. Those who dared posit questions, such as radio host Daniel Gillman, were shamed and forced to retract/apologize. Even Senator Marco Rubio, who’d posted an ill-timed tweet warmly congratulating Treon on his football win prior to the allegations, deleted his tweet.

My gut was telling me there was more to this story (why would the accuser wait a full 24 hours before reporting the sexual assault, if it really was a sexual assault?, for instance. Victims either grapple with speaking up for long periods of time or do so immediately.). Regardless, gut-aside, the fact remained that a young black man was being treated as a criminal, and nationally smeared as one, without the benefit of an investigation, hearing, evidence, or trial.

Then, on October 9th, Harris’s attorney released the following bombshells:

First, we want to dispel the idea that the alleged victim and our client didn’t know each other. Our client and the alleged victim knew each other to the extent that they had each other’s cell phone numbers and had previously spent time together of their own accord for the purpose of socializing together.

We want to dispel the idea and rumors floating around that our client forced his way into the alleged victim’s apartment. Those rumors are patently false. Mr. Harris has never been inside the young lady’s room. We understand that all of the evidence was gathered from our client’s room, which is where the interaction between the two parties took place.

We know that an individual has given testimony to law enforcement that he had sexual relations with the alleged victim less than an hour before the alleged sexual conduct with our client took place. In fact, testimony indicates that the young lady in question was the sexual aggressor in that interaction.

Our investigation has produced no evidence whatsoever that the young lady in question was impaired.

We have provided law enforcement with multiple witnesses that will indicate what the interaction was between the alleged victim and our client before they returned to our client’s room: they were smiling and they were holding hands. They returned to the Springs Residential Complex in a car driven by another female student who was a friend of the alleged victim.

We have provided multiple text messages to the authorities investigating this incident. These texts were exchanged among the alleged victim, Mr. Harris, and the other gentleman mentioned above.

When these text messages are released, they will show that the young woman making these allegations initiated the conduct with Mr. Harris while he was still in the locker room in Knoxville. Shortly after the team plane landed, texting continued between Mr. Harris and the alleged victim.

We believe the evidence will show the alleged victim was in fact in the sexual aggressor with not one, but two young men early last Sunday morning.

So much for the accusation. Still, Harris remained suspended and remained branded a likely rapist. Not only was he still banished from the team, but he was forbidden from even stepping foot on campus.

This evening, I decided to check on the status of the investigation and Googled Treon’s name. Almost no new articles surfaced, indicating there was no update or new material on the issue. I looked through some more hits, though, and finally came across an October 13th Fox Sports article noting Treon Harris was now reinstated to the team. “Odd,” I mused. “Why would that be?” Surprise, surprise! It is because on Friday afternoon, October 10th, the victim withdrew her complaint. Yes, withdrew her complaint. Either she suddenly and inexplicably decided that she does not want her rapist investigated and is, additionally, allowing a rapist to roam free and possibly harm another woman … or she was lying/exaggerating all along.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is more probable.

Notice the Fox Sports article neglected to mention this, as does most of the media. They simply report that Treon is back on the team with no explanation as to how that came about (a girl who may have lied; a university who rushed to punish an innocent man).

As a woman, I can think of few experiences as awful as a sexual assault. One comes close, though: being publicly branded a rapist by a society that has willingly chucked innocent-until-proven guilty into the wastebin.

Get ready, though, America. It’s only going to get worse from here on out. Due process is, according to our ruling class of liberals, an inconvenient relic to be tossed aside in the pursuit of rape-culture’s perverse sense of ‘justice.’

UPDATE: Ezra Klein, head of VOX.com, seems to have no problem with the system breaking a few eggs to make an omelette. A guy like Treon having his life ruined? A small price to pay for advancement. The liberal Klein apparently is not a fan of Blackstone’s formulation, previously part of the liberal Bible but now deemed inconvenient.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.32.11 AM 1

Many are shocked. I am not.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.34.55 AM

Standard
category: feminism, category: football, category: media, category: politics, category: public service announcement

Domestic Violence Has Actually Decreased Under Roger Goodell’s Tenure

You won’t hear this from the media too busy calling for Roger Goodell’s head, but the facts show that, under Goodell’s tenure, the domestic violence rate among NFL players has actually decreased. He should be commended rather than attacked.

A Think Progress article on Thursday claims “57 players [have been] arrested for domestic violence incidents since 2006.”

Why does Think Progress measure since 2006? Presumably because that’s the year Goodell came into the Commissioner role. The inference the reader is supposed to make – that dastardly Goodell!

But I did some digging. Think Progress links to an ABC News article for this ‘fact’ which states: “Since Goodell took over as commissioner in August 2006, USA Today reports that there have been 57 cases of alleged domestic violence incidents.” It, in turn, links to a now non-existent USA Today article. The liberal Think Progress apparently does not bother to confirm an inflammatory, serious statistic such as this – but rather just repeats what it saw online.

Nonetheless, the helpful USA Today compilation of all NFL player arrests, dating back to 2000, is online for any to see.

Were there really 57 NFL players arrested for alleged domestic violence since Goodell took the helm? No.

Goodell came into office September 1, 2006 (not August, as reported above). From September 1, 2006 to present day, there were 47 domestic violence arrests of NFL players (5 of those involved the same two players but let’s discuss arrests, as individual incidents are a better barometer of the problem). Since it’s impossible to change or affect an organization’s culture immediately, let’s judge Goodell after giving him a reasonable four months to settle into the roll and affect change – i.e., let’s take a look at his tenure starting on January 1, 2007. From that date to the present, we have 45 domestic violence arrests under Goodell’s tenure.

Sure, that number still seems concerning. But, let’s look at the average per year. Forty-four domestic violence arrests spread across Goodell’s 8 years (assuming no further arrests the next three months) equals an average of 5.6 arrests per year.

Nonetheless, we need a comparison point. Since Goodell is the problem, we are told by the media, surely NFL statistics on this were superior prior to Goodell….

Wrong! I took a look at the domestic violence arrests from the year 2000 through the year 2006, the pre-Goodell era. For that period, we have 43 domestic violence arrests. Spread out over seven years, that equals an average of 6.1 arrests per year.

Hence, the amount of domestic violence actually decreased under Roger Goodell.

If an average of 5.6 domestic violence arrests per year, out of roughly 2,000 players in a league, nonetheless still seems high to you, take a look at the national averages for men in the age range of NFL players. NFL players’ arrest rates are drastically lower than that of the general public. (Worth noting: many of these arrests are questionable. For instance, one player was arrested for domestic violence because he was accused of breaking a sliding glass door and criminally trespassing in a dispute with his wife. Another arrest was for “getting into a heated argument with his wife, who locked herself in the car to get away from him.” THAT’s violence? You bet, under our ridiculously written laws.)

So while some may be busy calling for Roger Goodell’s head, the same radical hysterics should stop and employ statistical science.

Unlike the Leftist media intent on smearing Goodell as a domestic violence enabler, numbers don’t lie.

Standard
category: feminism, category: politics

‘Check Out My Boobs!’ The lows to which feminism has plummeted

Feminism – at least that which was once defined as feminism – used to be somewhat interesting. Bringing attention the plight of women climbing the corporate ladder, for example, was a noble, if not necessary, endeavor. Films like “Thelma and Louise” and “Working Girl” made us shake our heads and pound our fists into the air in unison with our sisters.

But as American society has rightly eroded much of the inequalities between the sexes, there isn’t much remaining to complain about … and feminists are left scrambling for an issue around which to gather.

As most ardent feminists are white and come from middle class families, the oppression card is hard to play. So they invent discrimination and victimhood of women where there likely is none because, hey, we’ve gotta have an oppressed-group membership card in this world of identity politics.

And while Muslim women are being stoned to death this week, that cannot be their cause because, don’t ‘cha know?, it’s politically incorrect to delve into Islamic culture.

Oh, what to do….?

Fighting for free birth control wasn’t embarrassing enough, so the latest cause du jour is railing against Instagram.

The controversy kicked off this month when a 29-year-old woman, Meghan, who happens to be an attractive girl who is admittedly overweight, posted a photo of her butt, in a boy shorts hiked up like a thong, on her Instagram account. Instagram deleted the photo, citing its policy against nudity.

Meghan then took to YouTube, denouncing Instagram for having fat-shamed her. The story went viral. The company apologized and reinstated her photo.

Meghan claimed that other Instagram users post photos of their butts but their photos aren’t deleted, thus proving the discrimination was due to her weight. But all other photos I could find on Instagram, cited by Meghan’s supporters as evidence of Instagram’s discrimination against the overweight, were not purely a-photo-of-a-butt, as was Meghan’s. Sure, there are countless selfies of women in bikinis highlighting their backsides, or photos of women poolside in photos that do not hide their toned bodies, but none I could fine purely of a butt in a thong.

Then 22-year-old actress Scout Willis got in on the game. Scout is mostly (scratch that, solely) famous for being the spawn of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. To say she has had a privileged life, with opportunities handed to her, is an understatement. But every self-promoting feminist needs something to bitch about and, with advantages like Scout’s, it’s hard out there. This Instagram controversy seemed like a good opportunity. So Scout took to the streets of New York City, walking around topless to protest Instagram’s policies (how on earth is this legal? Apparently NY police are indeed instructed to indulge and look the other way). Nothing says female empowerment like a girl flashing her boobs to the world, something Scout apparently loves to do even when there is no protest angle involved, as shown here). Scout’s gripe? Toplessness is legal in New York but banned on Instagram! This is a problem that apparently keeps Scout up at night. She coupled her advocacy with the inspirational hashtag: #FreeTheNipple.  Of course, Scout made sure the photos were all flattering: her hair blowing in the wind, a slight tan on her skin, a flowing skirt with slits, and walking past a picturesque fruits-and-flowers stand… ‘because I believe in empowering and accepting all forms of beauty but, c’mon (wink, wink), I still want to look sexy.’

Is this the embarrassing depths to which feminist advocacy and activism has reduced itself? Concern over whether Instagram, a private company, allows you to post topless photos?

Close on Scout’s heels, the media is now going berserk over a story of a Utah high school photoshopping girls’ yearbook photos to show less skin. Someone felt this is a ‘story’ and worthy of discussion.

Yet we wonder why America now rolls its eyes at the word ‘feminism.’ Somewhere, there is a woman being married off at age 10, or stoned to death by her community – but I need to fight for the right to show my t*ts on Instagram.

Stop it. Feminist radicals in the 60’s never actually burned their bras, much less their blouses.

Please, cover up — if only for the sake of feminism.

Standard