Friday, January 24, 2020

The Pottery Barn Solution To Rape: You Break It, You Bought It.

Or put in politer language, an age-old solution to rape in many cultures has been to make the rapist marry his victim.  That way the cracks the rape caused in the local cultural networks are healed and both involved families can go on with their lives.  The psychological costs of this are, of course, for the rape victim to bear.  But the solution is a win-win for everybody else.

The reason for my harsh language is that Turkey, again (this was tried in 2016, too), considers the introduction of a marry-your-rapist law* which would allow men who are accused of having sex with a minor to avoid further prosecution by marrying that minor.  Its purpose, in this specific case,  may not be only the furthering of the rights of rapists but also the furthering of child marriage:

United Nations agencies warned the bill would generate a landscape of impunity for child abuse and leave victims vulnerable to experiencing additional mistreatment and distress from their assailants.
Marry-your-rapist” bills have been seen across the world and are pushed in the name of protecting and safeguarding family “honour”.

While the legal age of consent is 18 in Turkey, a 2018 government report on child marriage estimates a total of 482,908 girls were married in the last decade.
Bolds are mine and point to the Pottery Barn analogue.


*   Specifically, the proposed law would:

...give men suspended sentences for child sex offences if the two parties get married and the age difference between them is less than 10 years.

There's a Wikipedia page about all the countries which currently have such laws or have had them in the past.  Many Middle East and Latin American countries have such laws, and certain US states have legal loopholes which allow the same outcome.  For a case study of one woman who was married to  her rapist in this country, see here.

The general worldwide trend has been toward the repeal of marry-your-rapist laws, not toward introducing them.  Turkey's Erdogan has chosen the latter path. Turkey's old marry-your-rapist law was abolished in 2005, only to resurface as a proposal in 2016 and again now.  The proposal was defeated in 2016.  Let's hope it can be defeated in 2020,  too.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

On Sexism In How The Media Used To Covered Social Science Research

 I have been clearing out old archives and stuff, and came across my Book Project: How The Media Popularizes Sexism In Its Coverage Of Social Science Research
I set the project aside in a first-draft stage in 2015. That particular sexism problem in the media seemed to me to be waning by that time (so there was less need for the book), and for all sorts of reasons (some weird Echidne-type ones, some justifiable ones)  completing the manuscript no longer seemed worth the cost and effort. 

But now I think it would be a pity not to let anyone else see the work I have completed, so I here offer you (below the fold) the first chapter of the planned book. 

It's the only chapter which is fairly complete.  I think it can stand alone as a good summary of the basic issues in how the media has tended toward sexism in popularizing research.  If there is interest I can post the other draft chapters, too (there's four or five or six of them), but they don't have the footnotes inserted and have never been rewritten.  So that's the stage in which they would be published here. 

Note that the links in the footnotes may well have died of old age.  Sorry about that.  But I enjoyed the examples I use in that chapter, and I hope you might, too.