Tag Archive: anti-rape

Why Americans Don’t Care About Prison Rape

alcatraz_prison_block_cc_imgFrom The Nation

In June of 2012, the New York Times “Room for Debate” feature considered whether or not convicted youth offenders should be treated differently than adult convicts in the penal system. Those in favor of trying some youth offenders in adult courts included a victims’ advocate, and an attorney from the conservative Heritage Foundation; those against included an inmate at California’s San Quentin prison, and a human rights activist. The victims’ advocate and the attorney from the Heritage Foundation talked about extreme cases of violence and the benefits of stern consequences. The inmate and the human rights activist talked about rape.

“The suicide and sexual abuse rates of younger prisoners are higher than those of the physically mature,” Gary Scott, the inmate, noted: “how can rehabilitation be possible in such a dangerous environment?” Scott was incarcerated at age sixteen.

T.J. Parsell, the human rights advocate, put it like this: “In early 2003, I testified on Capitol Hill with Linda Bruntmyer, a mother from Texas whose 17-year-old son was incarcerated after setting a trash bin on fire. In prison, he was raped repeatedly. He later hanged himself inside his cell. I felt a special bond with Linda, because I too had been raped in prison at 17.”

Taken together, the accounts of the carceral system featured in the Times’s roundtable on youth offenders span the entire American conception of prison itself. On one hand, prisons are understood as the terminus at the end of a long line of injustices adjudicated by a cold bureaucracy. On the other hand, American prisons are infamous for their brutality, especially when it comes to sexual violence. Being sent to prison is, in this sense, not the conclusion of the criminal justice process but the beginning of long-term torture.

That prisons routinely house thousands upon thousands of instances of sexual exploitation and rape is at the very least tolerated, and at most subtly appreciated as part of their punitive purpose. Our collective meh at the bracing reality of prison rape may be partially premised on the fact that the problem seems contained; but like most severe sicknesses, it only appears that way, and not for long. (more…)

INSURRECTO-RIOTOSIS

From Sub Media TV

This week we bring you an exclusive report on the pandemic that’s infecting the globe. Insurrecto-Riotosis. The first wave of the pandemic was reported in the city of Nantes in France following the police murder of 21 year old eco-defender Rémi Fraisse.

This contagion quickly spread to Belgium where 100,000 peeps hit the streets in Brussels to show their anger to a proposed package of austerity cuts.

In Mexico, insurrecto-riotisis is quickly turning into a full-fledged pandemic, as protests demanding the safe return of 43 students kidnapped on September 26th continue to escalate dramatically.

Also, Wal-Mart employees in Los Angeles staged their first-ever sit-down strike against the mammoth retail giant.

And all over Turtles Island, a massive fight-back against sexual violence and rape culture has blown up over social media.

On the music break, a killer mash up of Keny Arkana’s “La Rage” by DAM.

And this week we feature an interview with Andalusia Knoll, a journalist with the autonomous media collective “Subversiones” who breaks down the who, when, what, why, how of the insurrection in Mexico.

Against Carceral Feminism

From Jacobin / By Victoria Law

Relying on state violence to curb domestic violence only ends up harming the most marginalized women.

Cherie Williams, a thirty-five-year-old African-American woman in the Bronx, just wanted to protect herself from her abusive boyfriend. So she called the cops. But although New York requires police to make an arrest when responding to domestic violence calls, the officers did not leave their car. When Williams demanded their badge numbers, the police handcuffed her, drove her to a deserted parking lot, and beat her, breaking her nose, spleen, and jaw. They then left her on the ground.

“They told me if they saw me on the street, that they would kill me,” Williams later testified.

The year was 1999. It was a half-decade after the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which deployed more police and introduced more punitive sentencing in an attempt to reduce domestic violence. Many of the feminists who had lobbied for the passage of VAWA remained silent about Williams and countless other women whose 911 calls resulted in more violence. Often white, well-heeled feminists, their legislative accomplishment did little to stem violence against less affluent, more marginalized women like Williams.

This carceral variant of feminism continues to be the predominant form. While its adherents would likely reject the descriptor, carceral feminism describes an approach that sees increased policing, prosecution, and imprisonment as the primary solution to violence against women.

This stance does not acknowledge that police are often purveyors of violence and that prisons are always sites of violence. Carceral feminism ignores the ways in which race, class, gender identity, and immigration status leave certain women more vulnerable to violence and that greater criminalization often places these same women at risk of state violence. (more…)

Cindy Crabb Reading From New Issue of Doris Zine

dorisThursday, May 29th at 7:00 PM
Internationalist Books and Community Center

Cindy Crabb will be reading from the brand new Doris 31, joined by local zine writers. Check back for updates on what other writers will be joining the event!

Cindy Crabb has been writing the influential, internationally distributed, autobiographical-feminist zine Doris since the early ‘90’s. In it, she explores subjects like consent, feminism, abortion, death, self-image, creativity, shyness, queer identity, addiction, punk and anarchism. Crabb is the editor of the zines Support and Learning Good Consent. She lives in South-East Ohio with her miniature horses, plays in the punk band Snarlas, and is a sexual abuse survivor advocate.

“…zines are a space where third wave feminist theory is emerging, and many scholars don’t recognize this because they don’t read zines. They should read Doris.” -Alison Piepmeier, Author of Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism (more…)