Thursday, June 21, 2007
Here's a nice breakdown on the same subject from Broadsheet:
Judge bans the word "rape" from sexual assault trial.
Nebraska District Judge Jeffre Cheuvront granted a request by the defense team to ban the words "rape," "sexual assault," "victim," "assailant" and "sexual assault kit" from the courtroom, reports Dahlia Lithwick. Oh, and jurors won't even be told about the banned words. "You needn't be a radical legal feminist to cringe at the idea of judges ordering rape complainants to obliterate from their testimony any language that signifies an assault," writes Lithwick. "At worst, that judge is ordering her to lie. At best, he is asking her to play at being a human thesaurus: thinking up coded ways to describe to the jury what she believes to have happened."
Thanks for summing it up well, Broadsheet. Might I add - this is America.
at 5:32 PM
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
BY CLARENCE MABIN / Lincoln Journal Star
Safi“In my mind, what happened to me was rape,” said Bowen, 24. “I want the freedom to be able to point (to Safi) in court and say, ‘That man raped me.’”
Last month, Lancaster County District Judge Jeffre Cheuvront denied a motion by prosecutors that would have prohibited Safi’s attorneys from using words like “sex” and “intercourse” when describing the encounter between Safi and Bowen.
The Lancaster County Attorney’s Office had argued the words would imply Bowen consented to have sex.Cheuvront also has sustained an earlier motion by defense attorneys barring the words “rape” and “sexual assault kit.”
In Bowen’s opinion, Cheuvront’s ruling means she will have to lie on the witness stand.“The word ‘sex’ implies consent,” she said. “I never once would describe (what happened) as sex. He’s making me commit perjury.”
Clarence Mock, one of Safi’s attorneys, said Cheuvront made the rulings to keep the trial fair.
The word “rape,” is not a legal term, he said. “Sexual assault” is, but whether a defendant committed that crime is a question for a jury to answer based on evidence at trial, Mock said.
“Under the rules of evidence, witnesses can’t reach legal conclusions,” he said.
“Trials are competing narratives of what happened,” Mock continued. “They should not turn on politicized hyperbole. They should turn on the facts.
“... Using words like ‘rape’ creates unfair prejudices for defendants and invades the (duties) of the jury.”
Holy shit. I can't believe this is true.
at 10:52 PM
Fox and CBS have refused to air this Trojan ad:
As this New York Times article points out, both networks are perfectly willing to air Trojan commercials focused on preventing STDs. In fact, in a letter to Trojan, Fox admitted that they would not air the ad because it focused on pregnancy prevention.
Yes, let's just ignore the very real problem of unwanted pregnancy. Scaring people with the promise of disease should do the trick. Maybe they'll prevent pregnancy and they won't even know it!
CBS would only say they did not find it appropriate for their audiences (audiences, as SaveRoe.com points out, that watch The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show).
This ad doesn't smell completely rosy. As Broadsheet points out, the depiction of all men as pigs is a little suspect. Though the argument could be made that all men on the prowl without a condom are swine. But the point that really gets me is the assumption that only men should have a condom conscience. Women should carry them, men should carry them, and, yes, pigs should carry them.
It's good to vent. Thanks.
at 10:26 PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Ah, it's about time. When there's actual work to do, it's hard to justify a blog entry. There's tons of shit happening politically right now, but I feel obligated to make this about my nasty reading habit. Yep, I got the monkey on my back and he's making hog's-head popsicle sticks. Did that track? Oh, brain is fried... Yeah, I really just want to get the book off of my desk.
Lord of the Flies...I enjoyed the journey into human instinct at its most basic level. I missed out on the book in high school, so I figured I should see what made my partner go "ooh." Well, I'm not a guy, so I think that cut the "ooh" down to an "oh." Plus, I'm not in high school.
The narrator gave me the most pause. He/she/it brought me out of the world by switching mindset. The narrator would alternate between a boy's intelligence and consciousness and an adult's. There's probably some great reason for this that I missed. I admittedly did not spend much time thinking about the book. If anyone would care to enlighten me, it would be welcome.
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy is next. It will be awhile before I'll post about that. I'll probably be a New Yorker by then. Hopefully, I'll get in a couple posts in the meantime. So much to rant about, so little time!
at 10:32 PM