Monday, July 23, 2012

After Penn State, what next for America?

by Gregory Allen

Penn State's sex abuse scandal takes a step toward concluding and disappearing from the media spotlight with the NCAA's decision to levy substantial penalties against the university. According to the Associated Press and The Huffington Post, the punishment includes a $60 million dollar fine (representing one year of football revenues), and that "These funds will go to child sex abuse awareness programs."

The punishment also includes "a postseason ban, and loss of scholarships and previous wins" as well as placing Penn State on a five-year probationary period "with the NCAA reserving the right to implement further punishments." The sex scandal and the punishment has garnered Penn State significant media coverage, not unlikely connected to the case's proximity with the popular football program.

Penn State can now begin taking steps forward to correcting problems of sexual abuse on campus, but what steps will other American universities take going forward? Penn State University is not the only American campus dealing with significant sexual abuse, as Crisis Connection reports a rape is committed on an American college campus every 21 hours.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Boy Scouts of America earns merit badge for intolerance

by Gregory Allen

After two years of (hopefully) considerate and serious thinking, the Boy Scouts of America have decided to preserve intolerant policies that discriminate against children and LGBT Americans.

The Boy Scouts of America claims, "The committee included a diversity of perspectives and opinions." The statement contains further statements which contradict the actual policies historically held and currently in place.

The decision and its explanation, as provided by the Scouts website, evades the use of language that would accurately describe the behavior and ideology they are preaching; behavior that is unacceptable in civilized communities.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Victim Blaming pairs well with Celebrity Pardoning (UPDATED)

by Gregory Allen

Several blatant and public statements have been made in the fashion of victim-blaming in regards to victims of sexual assault. One case, regarding recent Stanley Cup winning defenseman Drew Doughty, has drawn attention, as well as Comedy Central's Daniel Tosh's remarks on rape. Both cases also bring attention to the deliberate attempt to pardon members of popular culture who have considerable celebrity.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is under investigation for an accused sexual assault. The woman accusing Doughty or rape filed her claim on March 1, 2012 (the same day of supposed incident). Supporters and fans of Doughty have spoken publicly on MSNBC's website and through other sources claiming the accusation was made to garner attention as Doughty recently won the league's championship. The Kings, however did not win the Stanley Cup until June 11, 2012.

The response is a definitive style of victim-blaming, and makes little sense logically or sympathetically. The opponents of Doughty's accuser have made comments on discussion posts and through online sources, many times accompanied by similar supporters. Their identity remains anonymous, and presents the "pack-mentality" that often enables victim-blaming. Face-to-face with a victim, and without peer support, the claims likely remain unspoken.

Monday, July 2, 2012

If you disagree with a law...go around it! (UPDATED)

by Gregory Allen

A new state law in Mississippi has created more obstacles for women seeking constitutionally promised health rights. Women seeking abortions may now be forced to drive to another state to obtain the health procedure, or as opponents desire, deliver the unwanted pregnancy for lack of medical access.

Not surprisingly, according to NYDailyNews.com, Mississipi has the highest teen birth rates. Amanda Peterson Beadle explains for Thinkprogress.org, that Mississippi does not require sex-education in school, "Mississippi does not require sex education in schools, but when it is taught, abstinence-only education is the state standard."

Mississippi may not have an objective or well-informed perspective on sex-education or reproductive rights, but this does not give its citizens claim to deny the rights of others, simply because they disagree with the premise or procedure. As a means of circumnavigating Roe V. Wade, conservative states are seeking obstacles to make access to abortion more difficult for women.