Fire the lawyers — we’re under hashtag law now

Notice to all lawyers and judges: Clear out your desks, gather up your stuff. You’re all fired. Your services are no longer needed. Take your place in history next to trebuchet builders and town criers — your skills are obsolete.

There’s a new legal system in town and it’s called “viral hashtag.” Yes, #MeToo is the new justice system, and was even declared “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine. Personhood. Wow. That’s a pretty lofty accomplishment for a… thing? Idea? This really muddies the waters for those of us who are still grumbling over corporations being deemed “persons.”

And poor laws. They’ve been the foundations of American government for 241 years, and they get no respect, no personhood at all. The Rule of Law… still just Pinocchio.

Before we proceed, let me make it absolutely clear: Sexual harassment is real. Inequality is real. Sexism is real. That’s why the #MeToo movement was so powerful — women have had it with being treated like “less than” objects and sexual toys. I am one thousand percent on board with this. I’ve been a feminist since hashtags just indicated numbers, and not a hair-trigger to re-tweet. But lately, the feminism wagon has veered off the trail and is crashing through the weeds, pulled by a runaway hashtag horse.

The evidence is the unfortunate announcement from Senator Al Franken that he will resign over allegations of sexual misconduct, for which he never had the opportunity to stand in a courtroom in front of a jury and receive either a conviction or an acquittal.

People! This is amongst our most sacred Constitutional rights! The Sixth Amendment separates us from those who would separate us from our heads simply because of, yes — an accusation!

In Franken’s case, the accusations occurred when he was still a comedian (and, of course, comedians never do or say anything raunchy or wacky or marginally socially acceptable). Nevermind that Franken acknowledged that the photo of him “grabbing” a woman’s breasts was inappropriate, apologized profusely and agreed to cooperate completely with an ethics investigation, nevermind that at least one of the accusers was anonymous… Franken was guilty as (un)charged.

Amongst Franken’s incidences of “sexual misconduct” was an attempt to kiss someone.

Whaaaaaaat?

Pump.

The.

Brakes!

Since the beginning of human existence, an attempted kiss has been an acceptable way to show romantic attraction. Now it’s “sexual misconduct”? Franken wasn’t this woman’s boss. He had no power over her. At very worst, he was horny. But, horniness isn’t illegal.

Yet.

Some clarity — and sanity — please! An attempted kiss from your boss is definitely sexual harassment. Some poor cluck with the hots for you, and clumsily attempting to show it, even if you think he’s gross, isn’t. It isn’t even “sexual misconduct,” let alone assault.

Isn’t, isn’t, ISN’T!!!

You know when it is? If you attempt to kiss someone, s/he says no and maybe gags a little in disgust, and you try again. “No” is the clue, guys. “No” means “Stop.” Dogs easily learn what “No” means, guys, and you can too.

That said, we’ve tumbled into Puritanical hell. We’ve become completely sex-phobic. Any expression of sexual attraction is now a condemnable offense, deserving of one’s career and reputation being immediately destroyed. What’s next in these murky “sexual misconduct” waters? There’s no definition — actual, legal, or otherwise — of “sexual misconduct” to distinguish it from “sexual harassment.”

“Sexual harassment” has specific parameters: it occurs in the workplace, particularly when the instigator holds power over the victim’s career or advancement; it is chronic and ongoing (yes, the law clearly separates a single incident of crude behavior from that which occurs repeatedly); and it continues after the victim has made it clear that this attention is unwanted.

However, our current working definition of “sexual misconduct” is “anything a man says or does that makes a woman uncomfortable.” What’s next? Winking? Smiling? Tipping a chin? Looking at a women for longer than three seconds? How are men supposed to express attraction to women these days? By formal legal contract? Pity we fired all the lawyers. Until we draw some lines, we’re stuck with the current “sexual misconduct” definition, which is anything a woman says it is, and the penalty is immediate social and professional excoriation.

Could we give men a tiny break? Unlike women, who hormonally fizzle out mid-life or so, men are hard-wired to be sexually active creatures from puberty to the grave. It’s how the species survives. Even when they aren’t consciously thinking about sex, their biology is quietly monitoring the scene for potential places to plant their seed.

Thankfully, the vast majority of men learn to control those urges, and those who indulge them even when the attraction isn’t mutual end up in the unemployment line or jail, and rightly so. Most men, when their attempt to get close to a woman is met with a firm “Not interested, pal,” will retreat in humiliation and look elsewhere. Don’t feel too sorry for them, however — that’s only about a 15-second time lapse, because they’re hard-wired to keep trying. Their biological clocks tick too, and much faster, for their entire lives.

So, given the curse of male biology, combined with our current society where all women are potential victims and all men potential harassers, abusers or rapists, and every glance, comment or touch sounds the alarm of sexual misconduct or worse, I’ve landed upon a solution: The Reverse Burqa.

Henceforth, when in the presence of women to whom they’re not married, all men shall be required to be covered from head to toe, beginning at puberty. Unlike the traditional female burqa, the male burqa will not have arms, thereby protecting women from any potential groping. In other words, a full-body condom. And, because they’re men, and they’re enclosed in a sheet any time they’re near women, we already know what they’ll be doing under there. Because… they’re men.

This will suffice until we develop “Minority Report” level prescient technology that identifies any sexual thought a man might have before he can act upon it, seizes him and transports him forthwith to the nearest government castration center.

Or, we could just go back to following laws rather than hashtag hysteria.

 

Advertisements

‘No’ also doesn’t mean ‘No’ if your IQ isn’t high enough

And so it continues. We discover that “No,” in fact, does not always mean “No.” In the case of a recent assault in Davis, in which the accused attacker was acquitted because his lawyer made the case that he was too drunk to understand what “no” means while he was in the midst of having sex with a crying, kicking, intoxicated young woman, now the case has been made that some people just aren’t smart enough to understand “No.”

Today, the altnernet.org website posted a story about a 15 year old girl in New York who was sexually assaulted by three boys. The boys walked free because all of them are “mentally handicapped.”

The story explains that last May, “three boys attacked a 15-year-old mentally challenged student at Martin De Porres Academy, a school for students with special needs in Long Island. According to the police report, one of the boys repeatedly banged her head against the table while the other two forced her to give them oral sex and then tried to have forcible anal sex with her. In interviews with the police, the girl explained how she repeatedly said ‘no’ and ‘stop’ but that the boys continued to assault her.”

This echoes the story of the kicking, crying young woman that Thaddeus Jay Sonne of Davis was caught having sex with by police officers. He admitted that he heard her saying “No” but said, ON TAPE, that sometimes no is really just a dare. And, besides, he said, she could have gotten free if she really wanted to. Seems that alcohol really wasn’t such a huge factor in what happened, despite what his attorney said. Sonne never really understood what “No” means in the first place. Neither did the boys who assaulted the New York teenager:

“When she came home from school that day, her mother noticed that she had blood on her underwear. But the Nassau County Police Department recently decided to drop the case after learning that the boys also had learning disabilities and mental handicaps, which apparently made the situation far too complicated for the police department.”

Did you catch that? “Far too complicated.” What’s complicated about a girl having her head smashed against a desk while being anally raped by a group of boys? How much more clear-cut must it be? If this isn’t a black and white case of rape, for the love of God, what is?

“The department’s spokesperson told the New York Daily News,’It was more of a consensual situation with their mental capabilities.'”

This is consensual? What the hell part of having your skull smacking against a desk and screaming “No, stop!” while being gang-raped is consensual? It has a whiff of the Sonne case, no? That girl was too intoxicated to fight him off or give a clear explanation of what happened implied consent. Like the boys in the New York classroom, Sonne said he believed the sex was consensual. The jury believed him. Sadly for the New York teenager, she never had her day in court, or a chance for justice. She just ended up with a battered skull, blood on her panties, and a lifetime of psychological trauma. And the boys? Well, they’re not smart enough to understand “no,” so they’re excused.

Excused? Excuse ME! Do you think these boys are smarter than dogs? An average dog understands “No” just fine. A dog knows that “No” means “Stop” and if he continues doing what he’s doing, he’ll be in big trouble. A DOG understands this. And so did those boys. They just chose to ignore it.

The story goes on to note, “Of course, head-banging, blood and repeated pleas to ‘stop; are never consensual situations — regardless of the IQ level of the attackers. But, in this case, the police department is even further off target. As the family’s lawyer explained, the girl has an IQ of about 50 points, which puts her below the cognitive functioning level to consent to sex at all.

“The school meanwhile, has played its own part in attempting to cover up the case. Only weeks after the assault occurred, the school sent a letter to the police department, that read: ‘The school administration request (sic) no further police action and will handle additional behavioral and social issues with traning (sic) and additional counseling.’ The school did fire the teacher who was present in the classroom during the attack.”

So, the police department AND the school system covered this up and not only did not pursue justice for the girl, but endorsed the behavior of the boys. WHERE are the prosecutors? Not just for the boys, but for the police department and the school administration for aiding and abetting the group rape of a minor. And one more note: Any school administrator that can’t write a coherent statement without spelling multiple spelling errors probably should be demoted to janitor.

One more note from the alternet.org story: “Women and girls with mental disabilities are frequently the targets for sexual assaults — and few of their aggressors are ever prosecuted. According to one study, a staggering 80 percent of women with these disabilities are the targets of rape or sexual assault in their lifetimes.”

So, if the victim is developmentally disabled, or intoxicated, she’s unlikely to receive any protection from the law. As for the boys? They’ve learned that there’s a way, legally, to rape a woman and get away with it.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/15-year-old-girl-raped-police-dismiss-case-because-victim-and-attackers-have-low