1-31-19 Warwick Uni rape chat: Victim's disgust over decision to let students back early
"I think it's disgusting. It's rape culture. Allowing people to behave like this is perpetuating society's belief that 'boys will be boys'". Megan is a history and politics student at the University of Warwick. She was also named in a Facebook chat where rape threats were made against specific women at the uni. Two students were originally banned for 10 years over that group chat - but their ban has been reduced after they appealed and they will now be allowed to return later this year. Megan's told Radio 1 Newsbeat she's too anxious to be at the uni this week. "I work on campus so I've not worked any shifts this week - I haven't been to any seminars - it's really difficult for me to be on campus at the moment," Megan said. The 20-year-old says those in charge at the university haven't done enough to protect her or other women there. "For the past 10 months with the investigation ongoing I've been incredibly anxious and upset. I've really suffered with my mental health," she says. "With this week's news I'm angry more than I am upset so that's why I'm speaking out," Megan told Newsbeat. She says the other female students named in the Facebook group have also suffered because of the "time-consuming, tiring and frustrating" process of reporting the incident to Warwick Uni. Megan says she only found out that those involved in the chat had had their ban reduced from a friend at another university, after a letter started circulating on social media. "The people who reported the situation were pushing for the investigation to be revealed to the public and to the people involved but it wasn't actually outed until last week," she says. "I was just so upset I thought I needed to speak out about it because it's not fair that women have to deal with these people again." The trauma of being named in the Facebook group has already had an impact on Megan's studies when it was first revealed in 2018.
1-30-19 India 'witch hunters' kill mother and four children
Police in India are searching for more suspects in connection with the murder of a woman and her four children who were accused of being "witches". Six people in the eastern state of Orissa have already been arrested, but police believe more people were involved in the crime. The bodies of Mangri Munda and her children were found in a well near their home on 26 January. "Witch hunts" targeting women are fairly common in parts of India. Senior police officer Kavita Jalan told the BBC that the main accused, who has been arrested, claimed to be a "witch doctor". He had accused Ms Munda and her children, who lived in a tribal settlement in Sundergarh district, of "casting spells" on another family in the village. On 25 January, a group of men broke into Ms Munda's home late at night when she and her two sons and two daughters - aged one, four, seven and 12 respectively - were asleep. They attacked them with wooden sticks and an axe before dumping their bodies inside a well. Branding women as witches is particularly prevalent among tribal communities in the state. Police say they are looking for others who were involved in the crime and will make more arrests. "It is necessary to raise awareness among people in the village against such superstitious activities," Ms Jalan added. Murders related to "witchcraft" are on the rise in Orissa, despite an act which bans witch hunts. Nine people were given the death penalty last year for murdering three members of a family who were accused of being witches. Women are also frequently targeted in the states of Assam and Jharkhand for similar reasons. Police records state that 99 cases of "witch hunting" were reported in Orissa in 2017, which is an increase from the previous year, when 83 cases were reported. (Webmaster's comment: The most primitive nation on this earth!)
1-29-19 Zimbabwe women urged to report rape by soldiers
Women allegedly raped by the security forces during night raids to suppress recent protests have been urged to report their cases to the police. The information minister said only one attack has been officially reported despite numerous allegations, the state-run Herald newspaper reports. The BBC has spoken to six women who said they were raped by soldiers. Correspondents say there is widespread mistrust of the police, who were also involved in the crackdown on protests. The state-funded Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has accused soldiers of using "systematic torture" in the crackdown on protests that broke out a fortnight ago following a more than doubling in fuel prices. It has strongly criticised the authorities for using troops to quell demonstrations. The BBC spoke to six women who had sought refuge at a safe house about their experiences during the night-time door-to-door raids by the security forces. One of the women said: "They slapped me, then said they want to have sex with me. When I refused, they slapped me again. The first soldier had unprotected sex with me. Then the other one said, 'I want to do the same.'" Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the government did not condone and or tolerate "criminal behaviour by any member of society particularly those in positions of trust". "All women, who were allegedly raped, are encouraged to come forward and report the cases to the Zimbabwe Republic Police Victim Friendly Unit, which can be found at every police station around the country," The Herald quotes her as saying in a statement. "The unit is led by a female commissioner, hence, all affected women will be treated with empathy, compassion, respect and due care. Their safety will be guaranteed," she added.
1-27-19 #JusticeforKhadija: The long road to justice for a student stabbed 23 times
On Wednesday, Khadija Siddiqui, a young Pakistani law student, watched the man who stabbed her 23 times in broad daylight re-convicted for the crime. It was the culmination of a three-year battle for justice that at one point saw the convicted attacker, her ex-boyfriend, acquitted by the High Court and allowed to walk free, sparking outrage and a fierce social media campaign in a country where hundreds of women are murdered in "honour killings" each year. "Today is a day of victory for all women," she told reporters outside the Supreme Court after the ruling, which upheld a five-year sentence from a lower court. "A precedent has been set that if you raise your voice for truth, you will taste victory." Ms Siddiqui, who was 21 when she was brutally attacked and now studies in the UK, comes from a typical urban and educated but conservative Pakistani family. She grew up in an environment that encourages women to be modestly dressed and cover their head, but also allows them to mix with males and have a say in choosing their husbands. During her second year of law school, she started a relationship with Shah Hussain, which soon soured. She has described him as a jilted lover, someone "who had a violent streak, and was given to coercion and blackmail". "He was like one of those men who treat women as they do slippers on their feet; who think they can do what they want and expect no complaints," she told BBC Urdu last year. "When he hacked my social accounts, I ended my relationship with him. He resorted to threatening me, and made several calls to my friends and a cousin asking them to tell me to speak with him or else." Seven months after their break-up, in May 2016, Khadija was attacked by a man wearing a motorcycle helmet after picking up her six-year-old sister from school in central Lahore. She was getting into the backseat of her car at the time when he launched into a stabbing frenzy. She was stabbed 23 times, including in her neck, abdomen and arms. Her little sister, who tried to intervene, was also hurt.
1-25-19 The female price of male pleasure
The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears. The real problem isn't that we — as a culture — don't sufficiently consider men's biological reality. The problem is rather that theirs is literally the only biological reality we ever bother to consider. Research shows that 30 percent of women report pain during vaginal sex, 72 percent report pain during anal sex, and "large proportions" don't tell their partners when sex hurts. Or, since sex is the subject here, what about how our society's scientific community has treated female dyspareunia — the severe physical pain some women experience during sex — vs. erectile dysfunction (which, while lamentable, is not painful)? PubMed has 393 clinical trials studying dyspareunia. Vaginismus? 10. Vulvodynia? 43. Erectile dysfunction? 1,954. That's right: PubMed has almost five times as many clinical trials on male sexual pleasure as it has on female sexual pain. And why? Because we live in a culture that sees female pain as normal and male pleasure as a right. This is especially true where sex is concerned. Faking an orgasm achieves all kinds of things: It can encourage the man to finish, which means the pain (if you're having it) can finally stop. It makes him feel good and spares his feelings. If being a good lover means making the other person feel good, then you've excelled on that front too. Total win. Women have spent decades politely ignoring their own discomfort and pain to give men maximal pleasure. They've gamely pursued love and sexual fulfillment despite tearing and bleeding and other symptoms of "bad sex." They've worked in industries where their objectification and harassment was normalized, and chased love and sexual fulfillment despite painful conditions no one, especially not their doctors, took seriously. (Webmaster's comment: Amazing Article. A must read for all women and men!)
1-23-19 Sabarimala: India woman who defied temple ban 'abandoned' by family
An Indian woman who defied a historic ban to enter a prominent temple in the southern state of Kerala has been abandoned by her family, officials say. Kanakadurga, 39, had been in hospital since 15 January after she was allegedly beaten by her mother-in-law for entering the Sabarimala shrine. The Hindu temple has traditionally been closed to women of "menstruating age" - defined as between 10 and 50. India's top court overturned the ban in September, sparking massive protests. Many women tried to enter the temple after the court ruling, but were stopped by angry mobs of protesters. Ms Kanakadurga entered the shrine along with another woman, Bindu Ammini, on 2 January. Thankachan Vithayatil, a social worker, told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that when Ms Kanakadurga came home on Monday evening from the hospital, she had found the door locked. No-one was home, including her husband and two sons. "She was accompanied by the police and they took her to a government home for women," Mr Vithayatil added. After staying the night there, Ms Kanakadurga went to the police station, where her husband, Krishnan Unni, had been called in for questioning. "He was not willing to take her home, while she kept insisting that she would go wherever he went," superintendent Prateesh Kumar, told BBC Hindi. He added that Mr Unni eventually left without her and she returned to the women's home. Police said the matter will now be decided in court as Ms Kanakadurga had earlier registered a case of domestic violence against her mother-in-law. "She will petition the court for permission to enter her house. She is very upset," Mr Thankachan said. Ms Kanakadurga and Ms Ammini were forced into hiding and had to keep moving locations under police protection as news of their entry sparked violent protests across the state.
1-22-19 How dangerous is Australia for women?
In the past week, Australians have been shocked by the killing of a young woman who had been walking home at night in Melbourne. The death of Israeli Arab student Aya Maasarwe, 21, has sparked an outcry and fresh debate about violence against women in Australia. According to her family, Ms Maasarwe's belief that Australia was "safer" than other places was one reason she had opted for a university exchange there. Her killing follows several high-profile murders in Australia in recent times which have caused similar anger. Almost one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence, and nearly one in five have endured sexual violence, according to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. The rates are even higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Almost one in 10 women have experienced violence from a stranger, the statistics show. Domestic violence is more common. On average, one woman per week is murdered in Australia by a current or former male partner. "Violence against women is at its most extreme in murder, but it is more common that women are injured either physically or emotionally in their own home," said Associate Prof Ruth Phillips, a social work expert from the University of Sydney. "It is a serious problem. Not a crisis, but more of an ongoing gender power problem in Australian culture." (Webmaster's comment: In the United States 1 in 3 women have experienced male sexual violence and over 3 women are murdered everyday by their male partners.)
1-22-19 Chris Brown: US singer arrested in Paris on suspicion of rape
US singer Chris Brown has been arrested in Paris on suspicion of rape, French police say. A 24-year-old woman alleges that the star assaulted her in a hotel suite in the city earlier this month. She reportedly told police that the pair met at a nightclub in central Paris, close to the Champs-Elysées, before they returned to the hotel. The singer, 29, is yet to comment on the allegation. French police are investigating the woman's complaint. Two other men, identified by French media as Brown's bodyguard and a friend, have also been arrested. This isn't the singer's first encounter with the law - he has a number of previous, high-profile convictions for violence. He received five years probation and a community service order for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna, in his car in 2009. In 2016, he was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after a woman told police he had threatened her with a gun. He was later freed, and his lawyer said the accusations against Brown were "demonstrably false".
1-22-19 Sex abuse scandal hits South Korea's elite skating scene
The prized elite world of South Korean speed skating has been mired in scandal following a wave of allegations from female skaters who say that they were sexually abused by their coaches and that it was covered up. For a country that is a world leader in speed skating, having won 24 Olympic gold medals, this is a serious development. Other sporting federations say they are also now investigating claims of inappropriate behaviour. Many see this as South Korea's #MeToo movement finally being taken seriously, even if only through the prism of elite sport. In the latest development, five unnamed female skaters have come forward accusing their coaches of abuse. One skater alleged that a coach forcibly kissed her and then verbally abused her when she rejected his advances. The women, represented by a group called Solidarity for Young Skaters (SYS), made their allegations public in a news conference held at South Korea's parliament on Monday alongside a South Korean lawmaker Sohn Hye-won who has also taken up this cause. The group said the women chose to remain anonymous because they fear retaliation from those who support their coaches and the wider skating community. "They are very much afraid of potential retaliation and possible rejection from the community," Park Ji-hoon, a lawyer for Solidarity for Young Skaters, told the BBC. Ms Sohn and the pressure group also called for an investigation into Jun Myung-kyu, the former national team coach and a hugely influential figure in South Korean speed skating, who they accused of concealing misconduct. Mr Park said Mr Jun's actions had gone undetected for years because he had "influence over the Korean ice skating community... because [the] community and some politicians have protected him."
1-18-19 Solidarity can protect predators
“Black protectionism” has let R. Kelly get away with molesting scores of underage girls, said Jemele Hill. That’s the obvious conclusion of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which provides “vomit-inducing” testimony from multiple survivors on how the R&B star controlled, sexually exploited, and sometimes beat them. These allegations have swirled around Kelly for more than two decades, including when Kelly, then 27, married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah in 1994. But the black community largely rallied to Kelly’s defense, insisting he was being “singled out because he was black and successful.” Kelly used that sentiment as a shield, saying investigations into his behavior with young black women were an “attempted public lynching.” Sadly, when black women have come forward with allegations of abuse against black men, the African-American community has reflexively rallied around the accused, out of a reluctance to see prominent black men portrayed as predators and sent to prison. But “racial solidarity” of this kind is a betrayal of our daughters, sisters, and mothers. “Black lives matter. But does that include black girls and women?”
1-18-19 Sexual abuse in sport
The South Korean sports world has been shaken by a series of rape and abuse accusations by athletes against coaches. It started last week, when speed skater and Olympic gold medalist Shim Suk-hee, 21, said her coach had repeatedly raped her since she was 17. The coach, Cho Jae-beom, 37, was fired ahead of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last year, and in September he was sentenced to 10 months in prison for beating Shim and other skaters. He denies the rape allegations. Shim’s courage prompted former judo competitor Shin Yu-yong, 24, to accuse her former coach of having repeatedly raped her since she was a high school student; a skating group said at least two other athletes were preparing to come forward. (Webmaster's comment: Sexual abuse of women is worldwide. Only GILLETTE has called for men to hold male brutes accountable.)
1-18-19 The North Korean women who had to escape twice
Trafficked into the sex industry after defecting from North Korea, two young women spent years in captivity before finally getting the chance to escape. From the third floor of a residential tower block in the Chinese city of Yanji, two young women hurl their torn up, knotted bedsheets out of a window. When they pull the sheets back up, a proper rope has been tied on. They climb out of the window and begin their descent. "Quick, we don't have much time," urges their rescuer. Safely on the ground, they turn and run to a waiting people carrier. But they are not yet out of danger. Mira and Jiyun are both North Korean defectors and, years apart, both were tricked by traffickers. After crossing the border into China, the same people who helped them to escape North Korea, known as "brokers" in the smuggling trade, handed them over to a sexcam operation. Mira for the past five years, and Jiyun for the past eight, were confined to an apartment and made to work as "sexcam girls", performing often pornographic acts in front of a live webcam. Leaving North Korea without the regime's permission is illegal. And yet many risk their lives to escape. There is safe refuge in South Korea but the strip of land between North and South Korea is heavily militarised and filled with mines - it's nearly impossible to defect directly. Instead, many defectors have to turn north and cross into China. But in China, North Korean defectors are considered "illegal immigrants" and are sent back if caught by the authorities. Once back in their homeland, defectors are subject to torture and imprisonment for their "treason against the Fatherland". Many defectors fled during the mid 1990s when a severe famine known as The Arduous March caused the death of at least one million people.
1-16-19 United Nations: Survey finds third of workers sexually harassed
One in three UN workers has been sexually harassed in the past two years, a UN report has revealed. Just 30,364 staff and contractors completed the survey in November - 17% of the total number eligible to do so. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the report, and the "moderately low" response rate, is a sign that they "still have a long way to go". The report comes amid the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, abuse and assault. Mr Guterres says the relatively low number of participants in the survey could be a sign of an "ongoing sense of mistrust, perceptions of inaction and lack of accountability" in the UN. The survey contained "some sobering statistics", he added, as well as "evidence of what needs to change to make a harassment-free workplace real for all of us". "As an organisation founded on equality, dignity and human rights, we must lead by example and set the standard," he said. ccording to the survey, which was carried out by Deloitte, more than half of those who experienced sexual harassment at the UN say it happened in an office environment, while another 17.1% say it took place at a work-related social event. More than a fifth - 21.7% - say they were told inappropriate sexual stories or jokes. Another 14.2% received offensive comments about their appearance, body or sexual activities, and 13% have had colleagues try to draw them into sexual discussions that have made them feel uncomfortable. And 10.9% were subjected to sexual gestures or use of body language that offended or embarrassed them. Around a tenth - 10.1% - of people who responded were touched inappropriately. Two out of three harassers were male, the report says. Only one in three workers who experienced sexual harassment took action afterwards.
1-16-19 Israel police investigate 'sex-for-judgeships' allegations
Police in Israel have arrested a top lawyer as part of an investigation into claims that judicial appointments were traded for sexual favours. The lawyer has not been named and a gag order covers most details of the case. But police said it concerned the appointment of a female magistrates' court judge and an attempt to promote a male judge to a district court. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has reportedly recused himself because he is a friend of the main suspect. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut, who are members of the Judicial Appointments Committee, are meanwhile expected to be summoned to give testimony. Israeli police said in a statement that the force's Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit had launched an investigation two weeks ago after receiving information about judicial appointments. On Wednesday morning, one male lawyer was arrested as part of the inquiry. Two other suspects - a female magistrates' court judge and a female lawyer - had already been questioned, the police added. Officers have also conducted searches and seized documents. The Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reports that the Jerusalem office of the Israel Bar Association was raided on Wednesday.
1-16-19 'I want to stand up for every woman experiencing abuse'
When nude photos of leading Ugandan model Judith Heard were published without her consent last year she not only found herself under arrest, but also under attack in the media and online. To break this pattern of victim-blaming, she is now urging Ugandan women to talk openly about sexual abuse - and to show solidarity with one another. She told her own story to Sophie Hemery and Alice McCool. She arrives for our interview in a borrowed £50,000 dress. She's a jetsetter and socialite, in London for some modelling engagements and charity events. On the surface, her life differs entirely from that of the average East African. But there is one thing Judith Heard has in common with many women in Uganda. A survey conducted in 2016 found that 50% of Ugandan women aged between 15 and 49 had experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence. Heard, whose pre-marriage name was Kantengwa, has experienced both. (We discussed with Judith which name to use for this story, and decided on Kantengwa, though she uses Heard for professional purposes.) The publication of the nude photographs - downloaded, she believes, from a stolen computer or telephone - is just the latest in a long line of abuses she has suffered at the hands of men, she says. She has been silent about them for many years because she has been "scared to be embarrassed and humiliated". "We are judged for this, so you keep it to yourself and end up getting your mind messed up psychologically," she says. "I've decided to tell my story because I want to be a free woman. I don't want to walk for the rest of my life with this heavy stone." Some of Kantengwa's earliest memories are of her father beating her mother, who eventually left home in fear of her life.
1-15-19 Gillette faces backlash and boycott over '#MeToo advert'
A Gillette advert which references bullying, the #MeToo movement and toxic masculinity has split opinion online. The razor company's short film, called Believe, plays on their famous slogan "The best a man can get", replacing it with "The best men can be". The company says it wants men to hold each other "accountable". Some have praised the message of the advert, which aims to update the company's 30-year-old tagline, but others say Gillette is "dead" to them. The ad has been watched more than 2 million times on YouTube in 48 hours. It currently has 23,000 likes and 214,000 dislikes, at time of writing - and that's increasing all the time. In it, the company asks "Is this the best a man can get?" before showing images of bullying, sexual harassment, sexist behaviour and aggressive male behaviour. It then shows examples of more positive behaviour - such as stepping into prevent these behaviours when they happen in public. Comments on the video are largely negative, with viewers saying they will never buy Gillette products again or that the advert was "feminist propaganda". (Webmaster's comment: All the brute males rally around their favorite things; bullying and beating women!) "In less than two minutes you managed to alienate your biggest sales group for your products. Well done?," wrote one angry viewer. Twitter users are also sharing their disappointment with Gillette's new campaign. There have also been calls for Gillette, which is owned by Procter & Gamble, to post an apology video. But the brand believes the new advert aligns with its slogan and says it believes in "the best in men." "By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behaviour, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal 'best,' we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come," says its president, Gary Coombe. (Webmaster's comment: It's about time all good men stood up against all the brute males! Shun them!)
1-15-19 Rahaf Mohammed: Saudi teen says women 'treated like slaves'
A Saudi teenager given asylum in Canada after fleeing her family has said the journey was "worth the risk" so she could live a more independent life. Rahaf Mohammed, 18, made headlines when she flew to Thailand and barricaded herself in a hotel while appealing on Twitter for help to avoid deportation. She said she feared being killed if she was sent back to her family. "It's something that is worth the risk I took," she told the Toronto Star and CBC News. "I had nothing to lose." "We are treated as an object, like a slave," she said. "I wanted to tell people my story and about what happens to Saudi women." Under Saudi Arabia's guardianship system, women must obtain permission from a male relative to travel outside the country, study abroad on a government scholarship, get married or even leave prison. Ms Mohammed - who has dropped her surname, al-Qunun - alleged that her family had subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. "In the beginning they locked me up for six months after I cut my hair... because it is forbidden in Islam for a woman to dress like a man," she told reporters at the office of an immigrant settlement agency in Toronto. "But I was mostly exposed to violence by my mother and my brother," she added. "They were beating me and there was corporal violence." While she was in Thailand, Ms Mohammed also told the BBC that she had renounced Islam - a crime that is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. She had been on a trip to Kuwait with her family when she fled on a flight to Bangkok on 5 January, saying she intended to take a connecting flight to Australia and had an Australian visa. But she says her passport was seized by a Saudi diplomat when he met her coming off the flight, leaving her stranded. (Webmaster's comment: And we want to be friends with the Saudi Arabia government? It's a brute male dictatorship nation that will harm or kill women for almost any reason.)
1-14-19 Bollywood's Rajkumar Hirani denies sex assault allegations
Bollywood director Rajkumar Hirani has denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a colleague over a period of six months. He is the most high-profile Bollywood figure to be named so far in India's #Metoo movement. Prominent comedians, journalists, authors, actors, filmmakers and artists have been accused in recent months. The woman, who remains anonymous, said she had worked as an assistant on Mr Hirani's last film, Sanju. Her allegations against Hirani were published by HuffPost India on 13 January. She told the news website that he first assaulted her at his home on 9 April and on a number of other occasions during the post-production work for Sanju, between then and September 2018. Mr Hirani has denied the allegations in a statement released by his lawyer. "I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months ago. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false, malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation," his lawyer told Huff Post India. In a November 2018 email quoted by HuffPost India, the accuser wrote in reference to the alleged April 9 assault: "My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months." She sent the email to Hirani's business partner and Bollywood producer, Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Mr Chopra's wife, Anupama, a film critic, and the scriptwriter for Sanju, Abhijat Joshi, were also reportedly copied in the email. The woman said she did not take any immediate action against Mr Hirani as she feared losing her job. Her father was terminally ill at the time, she said, so she could not afford to quit.
1-13-19 What America's science agencies are doing about harassment
Activists are putting the pressure on the federal government to leverage its money against alleged sexual harassers in academia. Speaking late last year before an audience of hundreds of scientists and university staff — seemingly a majority of them women — officials from three major federal science agencies laid out what they are doing to prevent sexual harassment at universities and other research institutions. Most of the announcements didn't offer much new information, but they provided an overview of what agencies have been doing over the past several months, as they've faced increased pressure to respond to claims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination in universities. Like many other industries, science has undergone its own #MeToo movement over the past few years, with numerous high-profile people being accused of harassment and some of them resigning over the allegations. But science has its own twist: University researchers, including accused harassers, often get thousands or even millions of dollars in federal money to perform research. In response, activists have demanded that the science agencies leverage the money to get scientists and their employers to behave better. "The only thing that's going to change the way that we treat the most vulnerable people in our scientific and other societies is law and money," BethAnn McLaughlin, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, said in August. "Our funding agencies have the money," she said. "When they start pulling money away from institutions that are harboring harassers, then the universities will start taking them seriously." And so, on a cold and rainy Friday morning, leaders from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation spoke at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C., about their institutions' harassment policies. Together, these agencies gave out more than $30 billion in grants in 2017. A representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wasn't there because she was sick, said Tom Rudin, a staffer at the National Academies, a non-profit group that advises Congress on science and has been studying harassment. A representative from the Department of Education declined to join the panel when she heard journalists would be there, Rudin said. (Webmaster's comment: We don't care about the money. Arrest the bastards, lock them up, and throw away the Key!)
1-13-19 Women's rights in Saudi Arabia: 'I escaped to seek a better life'
It's a dramatic story that has brought the restrictions faced by women in Saudi Arabia back into the spotlight. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, garnered global attention last week after she locked herself into her hotel room and refused to fly back home. She was fleeing her family in Saudi Arabia and, after instigating a high-profile Twitter campaign, was granted asylum in Canada. As the debate about women's rights in the country continues, another young woman who fled Saudi Arabia for Canada has told her story to the BBC. Salwa, 24, ran away with her 19-year-old sister eight months ago and now lives in Montreal. This, in her own words, is her story. We had been planning to leave for roughly six years, but we needed a passport and a national ID card to do so. I needed the consent of my guardian to get these documents. (Women in Saudi Arabia are required to obtain a male relative's approval for many things). Fortunately, I had a national ID card already because my family agreed to give me one while I was studying at university. I also had a passport because I needed one to sit an English language exam two years ago. But my family took it away from me. Somehow, I needed to get it back. I stole the keys to my brother's house and then went to the store to get a copy of them cut. I couldn't leave the house without their consent, but I sneaked out while they were sleeping. It was very risky because if I had been caught then they would have hurt me. Once I had the keys I managed to get hold of my passport, my sister's passport, and I also took my father's phone while he was sleeping. Using this, I logged into his account on the interior ministry's website and changed his registered phone number to my number. I also used his account to give us both consent to leave the country. (Webmaster's comment: But Saudi Arabia has a lot of oil and buys billions in weapons from the United States. So their killing of those that leave Islam is to be ignored!)
1-12-19 The struggle of Native American women
Crimes against Native women go unpunished every day. And it takes a toll on the survivors. Equal protection under the law remains a broken promise to Native women. In September of last year, the Alaska Star reported that a 34-year-old Alaskan man, Justin Scott Schneider, had pled guilty to one count of second-degree assault and reached a plea deal where he will serve no time in prison. His crime was strangling a 25-year-old Native woman until she passed out, and then sexually assaulting her. Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannick said that he'd made the deal with Schneider because he doesn't expect Schneider to offend again, adding, "But I would like the gentleman to be on notice that is his one pass — it's not really a pass — but given the conduct, one might consider it is." Justice has failed Schneider's victim, the young Native woman who told police, "You don't forget the face of the man who almost killed you." With stories such as this one and the many others like it, it's hard to be hopeful about improving the harrowing conditions that indigenous women face across the United States and Canada. Federal figures show that more than half of indigenous women in the U.S. have experienced sexual or domestic violence at some point in their lives, and the Seattle Times reports that 94 percent of Native American women in Seattle have been raped or coerced into sex, according to a survey from the Urban Indian Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a Native woman, I know that our suffering cannot be quantified by statistics, especially statistics formulated by governments that have actively tried to erase us. What's realer to me, though, is the people who must live with these tragedies and injustices each day.
1-11-19 Louis C.K.: A vengeful comeback
After admitting to sexual misconduct more than a year ago, comedian Louis C.K. pledged to “step back and take a long time to listen,” said Anna Silman in TheCut.com. He’s been listening, all right. Not to the women he hurt, but to “that furious, tiny masturbator on his shoulder, whispering in his ear: ‘Aren’t you, Louis C.K., really the biggest victim in all of this?’” A leaked recording of the disgraced performer workshopping a new set at a Long Island comedy club shows that he’s bitter and angry, seemingly blaming his downfall on today’s “woke” youth and PC culture. C.K. rants about gender-neutral pronouns, derides Asian men’s masculinity, and mocks the Parkland student activists as unqualfied to speak on public policy. “You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot,” C.K. says. I always hoped that C.K.—whose comedy was originally based on examining his own bad behavior—“would find some way to redeem himself.” Instead, he’s leaning into being a “reactionary a--hole.”
1-11-19 Rahaf al-Qunun flying to Canada in asylum bid
A Saudi woman who fled her family and refused to leave a Bangkok hotel is now flying to Canada where she is seeking asylum, Thai officials say. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, refused to board a flight from Bangkok to Kuwait on Monday and barricaded herself into her airport hotel room. She said she had renounced Islam, which is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. The UN's refugee agency has said it considers her to be a legitimate refugee. Thai immigration officials had initially said she should return to Kuwait, where her family were waiting. She then started a social media campaign, live-tweeting her case and attracting international attention. (Webmaster's comment: It would wise of her not to come to the United States. The male brutes in charge of this country would send her back to Saudia Arabia to be killed!)
1-11-19 Craig McLachlan: Actor charged with assault and sex offences
Australian actor Craig McLachlan has been charged with one count of common assault and eight counts of indecent assault by police. The former Neighbours star, 53, was charged by a police sex crime unit in Melbourne. A spokesman for Mr McLachlan told local media: "Craig is innocent of these charges which will be vigorously defended." He is due to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 8 February. Police did not elaborate on the nature of the allegations. McLachlan is a veteran of the Australian entertainment industry, having won Australia's top television award - the Gold Logie - and starred in programmes including Home and Away and the Doctor Blake Mysteries.
1-11-19 Croatian women challenge brutal pregnancy 'care'
Croatia has been experiencing its own #MeToo moment, as women protest at being put through avoidable suffering and abuse during pregnancy and childbirth. Campaigners call it "obstetric violence" and complain it has been going on for decades. ut it was not until one opposition MP spoke out in parliament about her own ordeal that a national debate started on social media - under the hashtag #BreakTheSilence. Ivana Nincevic-Lesandric described the "medieval treatment" she had experienced at the hands of medical staff after a miscarriage. "They tied up my arms and legs and started the procedure of curettage without anaesthesia. That means scraping the cervix, the internal organ, without anaesthesia. Those were the most painful 30 minutes of my life," she told shocked MPs. Health Minister Milan Kujundzic suggested the story was a figment of her imagination: "This is not how it's done in Croatian hospitals. You can give me your medical records if you want and I'll take a look." But many Croatians leapt to her defence, especially women, calling her statement bold and unprecedented. Croatia is a predominantly Catholic country, and many are reticent about talking openly about female reproductive health in what is still a largely patriarchal society. Pressure group Parents in Action (Roda), which for years has tried to highlight the issue, followed up the MP's testimony with a #BreakTheSilence campaign. In one weekend alone they received testimonies from 400 women, says spokeswoman Daniela Drandic. They duly handed them to the health ministry. "We have reports of biopsies being done without anaesthetic, of medically-assisted fertility procedures without anaesthetic, sewing to repair tears after vaginal childbirth, episiotomy being done without anaesthetic," she says. Among the accounts were examples of abuse and women being talked to in a demeaning way during childbirth. "Things like: 'If you could have sex you should now be able to take it,' or 'it was nice before and now the pain comes later' - telling women that they are being sewn to make their husbands happy." One of the 400 women is Jasmina Furlanovic, who still gets tearful when she recalls the humiliation and pain she endured when she had to have her placenta removed a few years ago. "They started the procedure without any explanation. The nurse was restraining me," she said.
1-10-19 Sanders apologises for 2016 campaign 'harassment' allegations
Senator Bernie Sanders has apologised to female staff members on his 2016 US presidential campaign who allege they were mistreated by male aides. "To women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated, I apologise," the Vermont independent wrote in a statement on Twitter on Thursday. (Webmaster's comment: Apologies don't cut it. But long prison sentences might help!) His apology comes as he contemplates another White House bid under the Democratic banner in 2020. Several aides have complained of a "predatory culture" in his campaign. The New York Times reported on allegations by female Sanders aides of mistreatment by male senior staff. On Wednesday, Politico reported that the deputy national field director for Mr Sanders' campaign had forcibly kissed a younger subordinate in 2016. "Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organisations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government," said the woman, naming the aide. The unnamed accuser said she never reported the alleged incident because it came on the same day that Mr Sanders' campaign ended after he failed to snatch the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton. She said she felt compelled to speak out after Mr Becker travelled to South Carolina in December on a trip to recruit future campaign workers for Mr Sanders. Mr Becker denies any harassment, and no criminal charges have been filed. The allegation comes as dozens of former Sanders campaign workers have signed a letter requesting a meeting with him "to discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign".
1-10-19 Ashley Judd's sexual harassment claim against Harvey Weinstein dismissed
A sexual harassment claim brought by actress Ashley Judd against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been dismissed by a court in California. But the judge said she could still pursue a defamation claim that Mr Weinstein sabotaged her career. Mr Weinstein has been accused by more than 75 women of varying degrees of sexual misconduct going back decades - allegations he denies. He has been charged with five counts of sexual abuse, including rape. The disgraced producer - who denies the charges, which were brought by two women - will stand trial in New York later this year. Ashley Judd was one of Mr Weinstein's original accusers. Her sexual harassment lawsuit was re-filed following a change in California state law after her initial claim was rejected by Judge Gutierrez in a Los Angeles federal court last September. She alleges she rejected unwanted advances from him and he then tried to wreck her career. But in a statement late on Wednesday, Judge Gutierrez said the law that deals with sexual misconduct claims in professional relationships, which was revised to include directors and producers, could not be applied retrospectively to Ms Judd's case. However, Ms Judd's claim that the Oscar-winning producer "blackballed" her after she refused his advances would still be heard, Judge Gutierrez said. That part of her lawsuit states that "Weinstein used his power in the entertainment industry to damage Ms Judd's reputation and limit her ability to find work". In 2017, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson said he had been considering Ms Judd for a role in the 2002 film but that she was "blacklisted" following conversations with the Weinstein Company. (Webmaster's comment: Male brutes will find any excuse to protect other male brutes!)
1-10-19 The insidious sexism of 'resting bitch face'
Can we please retire this made-up affliction? f you're a woman and you have a face, chances are good that at some point, you've been accused of having "resting bitch face." Resting bitch face — also known as RBF or "bitchy resting face" — is a relatively new term in our lexicon. It's used to describe a supposed condition that causes a person to appear angry or annoyed when they're actually at ease or feeling neutral. Resting bitch face is a completely made-up affliction, and it is slung primarily at women for doing little more than having a face and not always having it arranged in a smile. The audacity. Can 2019 please be the year we put this ridiculous insult behind us? The concept of resting bitch face was first popularized in a 2013 viral video as a joke and picked up speed as celebrities like Anna Kendrick bemoaned the dreaded affliction. In 2015, the New York Times wrote a trend piece called "I'm Not Mad. That's Just My RBF." And it's still very much a thing today. Hundreds of products on Amazon tout resting bitch face. In the past year, new articles discussed the "science" behind it. On Instagram, the hashtag #restingbitchface has nearly 950,000 posts to date. Obviously RBF is supposed to be a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek concept, but it's actually insidious and sexist. First of all, it's disproportionately used to describe women. If a man's neutral expression seems unpleasant or annoyed, that's just him getting to be a person. As country singer Kasey Musgraves once said, a more accurate name for RBF would be Resting "This Wouldn't Bother You If I Was a Guy" Face. And then, of course, there's the fact that "bitch" is an inherently gendered word. Just like "resting tech bro face" or "resting mansplainer face" would be criticisms of men, "resting bitch face" clearly and specifically targets women. (Webmaster's comment: Another attack on women by male brutes. Being cowards they'll attack anything female because the women are seen as physically weaker.)
1-10-19 Nepal woman and children die in banned 'menstruation hut'
A Nepali mother and her two children have been found dead after the woman was banished to a "menstruation hut". The woman had lit a fire to keep her and her two young sons warm in bitter winter temperatures. All three are suspected to have died in their sleep due to smoke inhalation, officials told BBC Nepali. The traditional practice of exiling menstruating women from the family home is banned in Nepal but it is still widely practised in rural areas. This case is not the first tragedy to have occurred when women have been sent to sleep in the huts - a practice, known as chhaupadi, that was criminalised in 2017. There have been several cases of suffocation and at least one teenage girl has died after being bitten by a snake. Under the ancient practice, linked to Hinduism, women who have their periods or who have just given birth are seen as impure or as bringers of bad luck, and can be forced to sleep in huts or cattle sheds. They are banned from touching cattle and men, denied access to some foods and can be barred from toilet and washing facilities in the house, forcing them to walk long distances from their villages. They can also be exposed to extreme cold in the winter and criminal attacks, and young women cannot go to school. The latest tragedy occurred in far-western Nepal's Bajura district.
1-9-19 The brutal secret of school sport initiations
Hazing rituals have long been a brutal secret among high school and college sport teams. But in the #MeToo era, can teenage victims shatter the code of silence? When Allison Brookman arrived at Reed Custer High School to pick up her 14-year-old son Anthony from American football camp, she knew something was wrong. "You can kind of tell when your kid is hurt or sad," she told the BBC. "When I pulled up, I saw that same look in his face, that he was hurt." After some needling from his mother, he admitted he had just been "jumped" by four senior football players. But it wasn't until she took him to hospital to have his injuries examined that she heard what had really happened - that Anthony had been beaten up and sexually assaulted by members of the team as part of a violent hazing ritual. "The first guy who slapped me twice and knocked me down, he kicked me in my right side on my ribs," Anthony told CBS in an interview. "While the fourth one took my shorts off and they pulled my legs up so that he could get his finger to my, you know, body part." Allison says when they heard this in the hospital examining room, she and her husband were stricken with horror. "They didn't just beat you up, they tried fondling you?" she recalls asking. "At that point my son looked at us and said 'don't worry mom, don't worry dad, they didn't get in me.'" "That was probably the breaking point for both of us." Now the family is suing the Reed-Custer Community Unit School District 255 in Braidwood, Illinois, claiming it failed to prevent the sexual assault and for allegedly not properly responding to the incident once they became aware. Superintendent Mark Mitchell defends the schools actions and says the players were punished "according to the terms of the School District's Athletic Code of Conduct." The school is defending the legal action. Three of the alleged attackers have also been charged as juveniles with aggravated battery. They are not named as they were minors at the time of the incident. As their case winds through the courts, other eerily-similar incidents have also come to light. In Maryland, four 15-year-old members of the Damascus High School junior varsity football team are accused of raping a younger teammate with a broomstick as part of a hazing ritual, and trying to rape others. Prosecutors have told in chilling detail how the alleged attackers cornered four freshmen teammates in the locker room. "It's time," one of them said before they ganged up on the first victim, holding him down and sodomising him with the broom handle.
1-8-19 US nursing home chief resigns after vegetative patient gives birth
The chief executive of the corporation in charge of an Arizona nursing home where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth has resigned. Bill Timmons's resignation was unanimously accepted by directors, the company said in a statement. The woman had been a patient in a clinic run by Hacienda HealthCare near Phoenix for over a decade and required round-the-clock care. Police have launched a sexual assault investigation into the incident. The woman, who has not been identified, is thought to have given birth on 29 December. "From what I've been told she was moaning and they didn't know what was wrong with her," an unidentified source told CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV. "None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth." Gary Orman, the executive vice president of the company's board, said it would "accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation". "And we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees." The New York Times reports that fresh allegations of abuse have emerged, including inadequate privacy for patients while they were naked or being showered. (Webmaster's comment: The rape and sexual abuse of the elderly, the mentally ill, and the handicapped runs rampant in this country. More prey for the male brutes!)
1-8-19 Japanese magazine apologises over university 'sex listing'
A Japanese men's magazine has had to issue an apology after publishing a list ranking universities on how easy it is to convince female students to have sex at drinking parties. The list in the issue of the weekly magazine Spa! prompted outrage. One woman launched a campaign calling for an apology and for the article to be removed. It referred to the practice of gyaranomi - drinking parties where men pay women to attend. The article in the 25 December issue said the parties were popular among female college students and included an interview with the developer of an app intended to help men and women find potential attendees. "We would like to apologise for using sensational language to appeal to readers about how they can become intimate with women and for creating a ranking... with real university names... that resulted in a feature that may have offended readers," the magazine said in a statement. "On issues that involve sex, we will do what we can as a magazine to listen to various opinions," the statement added. The article mentioned five colleges where students were "easily available" at drinking parties, and described how to "coax" women and judge whether a woman was sexually available based on her clothing and appearance, reports say. The petition started by Kazuna Yamamoto on change.org had been supported by more than 33,000 people on Tuesday. "Japan will be having the first G20 summit this year, 2019, and it is ridiculous for an article such as this to be published. It's not funny at all," she wrote on the petition page. "I would like to fight so that, especially on public articles such as this one, sexualising, objectifying and disrespecting women would stop. We demand Shuukan Spa take this article back and apologise, and promise to not use objectifying words to talk about women." (Webmaster's comment: Women are considered as prey by many, if not most, men worldwide. Men want to know where the best hunting grounds for their prey are are!)
1-7-19 Rahaf al-Qunun: Thailand vows not to deport Saudi woman
Thailand's immigration police chief says a Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend will be given temporary entry to the country. Thai immigration officials had tried to return Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, to Kuwait, where her family is. She refused to board a flight to Kuwait City on Monday, and barricaded herself into her hotel room at Bangkok airport. The teenager said she believed her family would kill her if she went back because she had renounced Islam. The Thai authorities said her status would be assessed by the UN refugee agency. "My brothers and family and the Saudi embassy will be waiting for me in Kuwait," she told Reuters. "My life is in danger. My family threatens to kill me for the most trivial things." Rights groups including Human Rights Watch have expressed grave concerns for Ms Mohammed al-Qunun, who arrived at Bangkok's international airport on a flight from Kuwait. She had travelled to Thailand for a connecting flight to Australia, where she hoped to seek asylum. Thailand's chief of immigration police Surachate Hakparn said on Monday afternoon local time that the country would "protect her as best we can". "She is now under the sovereignty of Thailand, no-one and no embassy can force her to go anywhere," he said. "We will talk to her and do whatever she requests. "Since she escaped trouble to seek our help... we will not send anyone to their death."
1-6-19 Bangladesh election: 'Gang rape' suspects detained
A court in Bangladesh has remanded seven men in custody, including a local leader of the governing Awami League party, over a suspected gang rape. The mother of four alleges she was raped by a group of men because she voted for the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in last week's poll. The election night attack has triggered protests and anger on social media. The men have denied the accusations, and the Awami League leader has been expelled from the party. The Awami League won a landslide victory in last Sunday's election, which was marred by violence, intimidation and vote rigging claims. At least 17 people died in clashes between ruling party and opposition supporters. On Friday, the UN expressed concern over what it described as reprisals against the political opposition by ruling party activists after the elections. The woman's husband lodged a complaint last week saying that a group of men forced their way into the family home in Noakhali district, tied him and their four children up, and sexually assaulted her in the middle of the night. Neighbours helped the family after the attackers left, and the woman, 35, was taken to hospital. According to reports, she was allegedly warned by the men earlier that day, while at a polling centre, not to vote for the opposition candidate. She told local media she particularly angered Ruhul Amin, the Awami League's former local leader, and he later sent his accomplices to attack her. Opposition groups have held protests in the capital Dhaka and in Noakhali since news of the gang rape broke. They are now calling on the ruling party to apologise on behalf of its men. "Countless leaders and activists were injured in attacks before and after the poll, and even a mother of four children was not spared the brutality of gang-raping," Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party told journalists after meeting the woman on Saturday. Local Awami League leaders had denied the allegations against them and their supporters, but decided on Friday to expel Mr Amin after his arrest. (Webmaster's comment: A women can be raped at any time for any reason in India. Just like in America! America has 9 times the rape rate of India!)
1-5-19 Arizona police investigate after 'vegetative patient gives birth'
Police in the US state of Arizona have launched a sexual assault investigation amid reports a patient in a vegetative state for a decade gave birth. The woman is a patient in a clinic run by Hacienda HealthCare near Phoenix. Hacienda HealthCare gave no details but said it was aware of a "deeply disturbing incident". A local CBS station said the baby was healthy and quoted a source as saying that staff had been unaware the woman was pregnant. The woman has not been identified. A Phoenix police spokesman said that "the matter is currently under investigation" but declined to say when the inquiry had started or to give any details of the case. The CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV said the woman had given birth on 29 December. It quoted a source as saying: "None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth." The source said the woman required round-the-clock care and many people had access to her room. Protocol had changed, the source said, and now men have to be accompanied by a woman on entering the room of a female patient. (Webmaster's comment: Even being brain dead is no protection from being raped by a male brute!)
1-4-19 Sabarimala: Women who defied temple mobs 'have no fear'
Two women who defied protesters to enter one of Hinduism's holiest temples say they have no fear of mobs enraged by their actions. Kanaka Durga, 39, and Bindu Ammini, 40, made history by entering Sabarimala shrine in India's Kerala state on Wednesday, sparking protests. The women told the BBC they felt it necessary to uphold women's rights. In September the Indian Supreme Court said the temple's ban against women of menstruating age was discriminatory. Hinduism regards menstruating women as unclean and bars them from participating in religious rituals - but most temples allow women to enter as long as they are not menstruating at the time. Some protesters argue that the court ruling goes against the wishes of the temple's deity, Lord Ayappa, and reacted angrily. Since then women have had their entry blocked in defiance to the ruling, and even been subjected to violence. After prolonged resistance, Ms Ammini and Ms Durga successfully entered under nightfall alongside plain-clothed police officers on Wednesday. After they entered, thousands protesting put Kerala state into virtual lockdown. Right-wing groups, supported by India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanded a state-wide shutdown, and businesses and transportation became paralysed. Across the state hundreds were arrested, and at least one person was killed in clashes. Speaking to BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi from a secret location on Friday, Ms Ammini, a law teacher, said she felt it was important for her to visit the shrine in order to uphold "constitutional principles" and "constitutional morality" within India. "Gender justice is a big issue facing our society, and the implementation of this judgement helps to implement gender justice," she said of their visit. "I may be killed by the people," she said, of the protest response. But Ms Ammini maintained she "had no fear" of the angry mobs. The sentiment was shared by Ms Durga. "I am not afraid. But every time women make any progress, society has always made a lot of noise," she told the BBC. A religious devotee, she wanted to visit Sabarimala and pray to the deity, Ms Durga said.
1-4-19 Louis C.K. a Comedian?
As he tries to revive a career derailed by his sexual misconduct, comedian Louis C.K. has grown even angrier and bitterer, using a recent stand-up routine to mock the teen survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shootings. In a recording released this week of a show C.K. performed last month on Long Island, N.Y., the 51-year-old said he was bored by the activist students from Parkland, where 17 people were shot dead in February. “Why does that mean I have to listen to you?” C.K. asked. “You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way.” In another bit, he complained about transgender and non-binary people, saying they act “like royalty” because “they tell you what to call them.” To laughs, C.K. added that he wants to be addressed as “there” because “I identify as a location.” C.K. described feeling numb to outrage. “My life is over,” he said. “I don’t give a s---.” In 2017, C.K. admitted that he had exposed himself and masturbated in front of multiple women, including female comedians.
1-4-19 Kevin Spacey ignores evidence
Kevin Spacey said he will plead not guilty to groping a then-18-year-old man at a bar in Nantucket, Mass., despite police claiming to have video of the alleged 2016 assault. The actor, 59, is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 7 on a felony count of assault and battery; his lawyer will apparently contend that his groping of the teen was consensual. The day the charge was revealed, Spacey published a bizarre, three-minute monologue on YouTube, where it’s been viewed more than 9 million times. Adopting the sneering Southern accent of his character on Netflix’s House of Cards, from which he was fired in 2017, Spacey said, “Despite all the poppycock, the animosity, the headlines, the impeachment without a trial—despite even my own death, I feel surprisingly good.”