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Virginia Wesleyan College demands list of sex partners from alleged rape victim

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Tyler Kingkade at the Huffington Post reports that Virginia Wesleyan College, in an effort to fight a lawsuit from a woman claiming the school’s negligence was a contributing factor in her sexual assault, is asking for the woman to list her sexual partners before and after the assault.

The private liberal arts school in Norfolk, Virginia, specifically wants to speak with the first sexual partner Doe had following her alleged assault, court filings say. This individual, the college insists, could provide “details of the sexual encounter” and help determine Doe’s credibility about trauma she claimed to have endured after being raped.

The college also wants to know the names of her partners to verify whether she told the truth when she said she was a virgin at the time of the assault.

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The excuse that they are whipping out for this is that it’s relevant to the issue of damages.

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On one hand, it’s pretty common in lawsuits like this for defendants to try to minimize the claim of damages any way they can. On the other hand, the fact that a woman has performed sexual intercourse doesn’t actually mean that she enjoyed it. She might have been giving it the old college try.

Which isn’t to say that pushing yourself to have sex you might not feel all that excited about is the same thing as being raped. Absolutely not. On the contrary, I think that it still counts as consent if you want to feel horny and hope that by going through the motions, you’ll get there. It’s okay to go into sex with good intentions only to find that it isn’t working for you. But someone who has sex and finds the process unpleasant is, to my mind, just as disinterested in sex as someone who didn’t try in the first place. If you reduce the issue to whether a man successfully touched a vagina without considering how the woman felt about the whole thing, you aren’t do a great job of understanding that sex is supposed to be a mutual thing.

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Worse is that moves like this only serve to push the myth that women who have sex cannot be raped. The reason that “rape shield laws” were created in various states was that defense attorneys would often drag out a woman’s sexual history in order to discredit her rape accusations, playing off this false belief that a woman who says yes under some circumstances can’t say no in others. Since these laws went into place, defense attorneys have often tried to get creative in their efforts to shame victims about their consensual sexual history. A lot of this is about raising the price of speaking out so high—how many of us would really be able to sit around listening to lawyers grill our prior sex partners about how loud we are during orgasm, for instance?—that victims give up rather than push their case. Which is why both eyebrows should be raised sky high to see this tactic, whatever the excuse for it is, being employed yet again.


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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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