October is Domestic Violence Awareness–even in Kansas. But someone needs to tell the city of Topeka that unlike, say, Black History Month, October isn’t supposed to be a celebration of domestic violence. If you wanted to observe it by, say, making domestic battery not illegal anymore, you’d probably be missing the point.
In my last post about the Topeka imbroglio, I wondered how vigorously the County DA would prosecute misdemeanor domestic battery cases after the city of Topeka dicriminalized misdemeanor domestic battery and forced the County DA’s hand (by his own admission). My conclusion: Not very. My assumption was that in cases in which charges are actually brought, defendants were likely to be offered fairly favorable plea bargains.
As I wrote last week, Topeka, Kansas has been weighing the idea of decriminalizing domestic violence to avoid footing the bill for prosecuting the cases. And last night, despite the protests from advocates and incredulous national headlines, the City Council voted to do just that.
The case surrounding the horrific murder of Meredith Kercher and subsequent reporting on the convicted (now acquitted) killers is well-troddenground in terms of feminist critique. I've tended to avoid comment or speculation myself on the basis that I have personally found it very difficult to judge the complexdetails of the case itself when it has always been apparent that -guilty or not- Amanda Knox has been subject to an uncomfortably sexualised and irrelevant scrutiny by the media. It has often seemed as if some people would have had her thrown in jail for apparent crimes against female modesty.
I came across Rebecca Watson’s SkepChick blog post, first of all of this hate is alarming. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. These blogs were made to make fun of her. That seems ridiculous to me, but then again, sexism and misogyny are pretty ridiculous. E-stalking aside, this can get serious. It looks like that Grey Lining blog has been up for a while. Not only that but there was a Dysfunctional Watson and Dawkins blog in its entirety was stupid. Using photos of abused children to prove that Watson and Dawkins are the equivalent of fighting, dysfunctional atheist parents.
I'm going to repeat it again until you're tired of hearing me say it. I've already said it here, here, and here. Evolutionary Psychology tries to make connections between evolution and human behaviour. As a past neuroscientist and a past psychology student, evolutionary psychology does not uphold to scientific rigor. In the mean time, they make grand sweeping statements like "Domestic violence gets evolutionary explanation" at the New Scientist.
The Nobel Peace Prize nominees for 2011 were recently announced, and there were a few surprises in the bunch. 241 candidates, have been nominated for this year’s award, which, in addition to Arab Spring superstars such as Wael Ghonim, Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni, and Egyptian Israa Abdel Fattah, includes Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. You’ll also remember him as having been extradited to Sweden for sexual assault allegations.