Links of Great Interest: Happy Friday, Folks!

The story of a the gelatin girl…. from back when Seventeen published SF/F.

11 year old rape survivor a “spider.”

A review of Ekaterina Sedia’s Moscow But Dreaming.

IN YOUR FACE.

A heroine for the 21st century.

Some reflections on writing while brown. You know, I’ve had something similar to me as a AfroLatina SF/F writer? That’s one of the reasons I’m so happy my last creative writing/poetry professors were Tayari Jones, Henri Cole, and Dean Albarelli. Talk about writers who teach their students to fly!

In defense of Twilight

On writing romance and being smart.

Holy shit, Bitch, you are amazing.

A report: Defining rape. This time, it’s public.

House committee chairs all men.

Fake hymens: possibly a life saving yet icky device?

Comments

  1. says

    I found the Twilight articles very interesting (if a bit creepy), and they’ve given me a new view of the books.

    The post about defining rape was…well, wonderful is not the word. But it certainly had a powerful affect on me, and I hope it did on others as well.

    The story about the 11 year old is infuriating (though at least the rapists were found guilty, for once). But I have to object to this line:

    “It’s hard to read about anyone painting a picture of a raped pre-teen as a femme fatale, but I caution against making the defense attorneys the focus of rage in this case.”

    Why? The article tries to say that they’re just doing what society (and their job) says they should do, and that if society didn’t let it work it wouldn’t. But I think that’s bullshit. First off, these lawyers are a part of society, and their continued use of this strategy–even when they must know it is horrible and wrong–is part of the pattern that lets it keep working. Secondly…it’s despicable. Even if something “works”, that does not mean you should do it. Doing things because they are expedient and good for you, even though they are horrible, is not excusable by the argument of “well, everybody does it, we need to get society to stop accepting it”.

    Absolutely we need to get society to stop accepting it. But vilifying lawyers who do it is perfectly okay, and may even help reach that goal.

  2. says

    Spartakos, if by “focus of rage” they mean “focus all your rage on them alone”, then I’m okay with it. But I agree with you that they are not blameless because they have some leeway in bringing the best defense possible for their clients. They tend to shy away from arguments they haven’t seen work, no matter how valid, because it might professionally embarrass them to gamble on a new argument. They instead opt for arguments they’ve seen work in court before. This way of going about things does not work well for women or minorities, who have been unfairly assigned blame for white men’s misdeeds for a long, long time before anyone thought to base court decisions on data and information instead of emotion-based biases.

    I’m curious why the prosecutor didn’t (as far as I can tell) object on the basis that she was too young to consent to sex even if she thought she could consent. I don’t know of a state where 11 isn’t under the age of consent, so why shouldn’t that apply? So my “focus of rage” is pretty diffuse on this issue. The defense, the prosecution, the judge, the lawmakers, etc.

  3. says

    I will grant that if they meant “be sure to share the rage around, there’s plenty for everyone”, I could go with that. Perhaps my reading was incorrect or narrow, but the “cautionary” tone caused me to interpret it as “don’t blame these guys too much”. But I do. I blame them a lot, and they deserve it.

  4. says

    Spartakos, it is pretty unclear what they meant. Given many people do feel defense attorneys have to take advantage of any prejudice that might help their client, they should have stressed that this is still a professional choice for which they must take responsibility.

  5. Ara says

    I think that’s one of those things where culture will have to be fixed so it doesn’t work before it stops being in use. I was considering being a lawyer for a while, so I studied it and interned with some, and no matter what the lawyer thinks, the lawyer has a legal duty to do everything legal that they think will help their case no matter how terrible it is, especially in a case like that where the evidence was so overwhelming there wasn’t really a whole lot else he could do. There are plenty of things that are inadmissible in court, and the answer to stopping this kind of thing from happening is going to have to be stopping it from being admissible, or changing culture so it doesn’t do anything but get the juries mad and the lawyers will have to stop doing it.

  6. says

    “no matter what the lawyer thinks, the lawyer has a legal duty to do everything legal that they think will help their case no matter how terrible it is”

    This attitude is, IMO, arguably a bigger problem with our legal system than all the terrible shit lawyers are allowed to do. It creates an environment where the entire purpose of a trial is subverted.

    Ideally, the purpose of a trial is that justice be done. That the truth of the matter is discovered, the guilty are punished, and the innocent vindicated. This means that if the system is fair and working properly, guilty people go to prison. And it should be the role and duty of all court officials (including lawyers) to see to it that this happens.

    The purpose of defense counsel should NOT be to get their client off, guilty or innocent. It should be to prevent anyone from wrongfully or unfairly convicting their client. But when their client is guilty, trying to game the system and get them found “not guilty” because people (including those on juries) are horrible and willing to let rapists go free should not be a lawyer’s “legal duty”.

    When lawyers feel that clouding, confusing, and misportraying the events in question are the goal, because that is in their clients’ best interest, the legal system is a farce. It is not about justice or truth, it is a war between con artists. This is not in any way a desirable thing.

    (I apologize, as I realize this is a derail.)

  7. says

    Spartakos, but the real problem underlying all the other problems is that we don’t all walk into the courtroom free of presumptions. Lawyers, judges and juries all have preconceived notions, especially about women and minorities and how prone we may be to lying or criminal behavior. Consider that somehow, despite defense lawyers being required to do whatever it takes to get clients off, we have convicted a helluva lot of minority men of rapes they didn’t commit. Either the defense wasn’t up to the challenge, of they figured their client was guilty because of preconceived notions and didn’t try hard enough.

    I think our first reforms need to deal with human prejudice, and then we’ll see how the rest of it functions. And yes, I have a plan for that:

    (1) Professional jurors. Trained in law. Paid well, and NOT dragged away from family, friends or jobs to decide the fate of someone they don’t know and maybe hate on sight due to prejudice.
    (2) The jurors, lawyers and judges must all receive training on whatever we call what Nate Silver did when he called the election. Silver has brilliant, proven ideas about (a) evaluating the quality of your data and assigning it commensurate weight and (b) getting your own bias out of the way so your results are accurate.

    These two changes would leave us with nothing but professionals in the courtroom, trained in both law and the analysis and synthesis of relevant data and factors.

  8. says

    …and I just got around to the fake hymen article. She makes it very funny, but the whole idea is so disturbing on so many levels… not the least of which is, it melts inside the body and we don’t really know what the fuck it’s made of?

    SunlessNick,

    It certainly is. She was amazing, and I feel especially bad for her because my country comprises most of the market that makes this drug trade so profitable.

    There’s been some chatter on talk radio recently, saying that if it’s determined that businesses in WA and CO can just start producing pot for sale without anymore legal issues than a pretzel factory, it would be much cheaper than Mexico can produce because they wouldn’t have to pay smugglers enough to risk incarceration moving the product. If the US had its own legal pot supply, that would make drug production slightly less profitable for Mexico than it is now. Not a cure, but a step in the right direction. The law enforcement personnel I’ve heard from are all for it too – no cop should die over pot, which is by and large less dangerous than alcohol.

  9. Cloudtigress says

    Interesting that someone interpreted the Geletain Girl as ‘just’ a story about eating disorders (though there’s certainly some of that going on in it). I was reading it more as a story of an overprotective mom going to extremes trying to keep her beautifully perfect daughter safe from the world, with a ‘Snow White’ vibe tossed in for good measure. (The mother’s actions weren’t all altrulistic forcing/tricking her older daughter into that state, after all.)

    That fake hymen thing – while I understand the idea of getting one to use as a kink, the one under discussion needs to go back to the drawing board. It sounds like it dissolves waaaay too quickly after it’s ‘installed’, and makes waaaay too much of a mess to be of practical use to either a kinkster or someone who needs a new hymen to save her life. Reconstructive surgery sounds like the better option for someone who needs/wants it, even with the added expense and bother it would entail.

  10. Cloudtigress says

    Oh, and a PS- is it safe to send in links for LOGT now, or is Maria still snowed under with her grad work? Got some that might be interesting, but didn’t want to overload her while she was busy with RL stuff.

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