Texas

11,800 Days

This isn’t strictly feminist news, but it’s a bit of a slow day, and I feel this story of a black man held without a court-ordered retrial for 32 years is intersectional with feminism.

It has now been more than six years since Hartfield first began to try to unravel the series of errors and omissions which resulted in his wrongful imprisonment. And it could be years more before the courts finally grant him relief. It’s hard to know which period is more infuriating: the 23 years during which Hartfield’s rights were left unprotected by the justice system; the half-decade or so years since, when state officials, including judges, have refused to help him; or the years more of legal briefings and oral argument that the man will likely have to endure before he gets some relief.

A society that wants to remain free should be wary, even afraid, of letting habeas corpus rights erode. But that is what we are doing, in more ways than one.

Child Abuser Continues as Judge

Giant Trigger Warning for Child Abuse/Domestic Violence

You might not want to watch this video of Texas Judge William Adams beating his 16-year-old daughter with a belt for downloading music and video games he didn’t approve. Just know that doing the above apparently does not disqualify him from public office:

On Sept. 4, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public warning against Adams. It questioned Adams’ suitability for his elected post but stopped short of recommending his removal.

After he waived his right to appeal the warning, his reinstatement was considered a formality.

Adams was not prosecuted for child abuse because the crime was seven years old when reported, meaning that the statute of limitations had run out. Why is the statute of limitations on child abuse so short in Texas?

Texas High School Now OK with Men Spanking Teenage Girls

Springtown High School changed their rules last night. Previously, any spankings (Texas allows corporal punishment in schools) had to be administered by members of the same gender as the offending student.

If the rule change is their response to this spanking by a male vice principal that left bruises on the buttocks of a female student, I think they went the wrong direction on the issue.

Unfriendly to Women?

Kay Bailey Hutchison, a soon-to-be-retired Senator from Texas, defends the GOP against accusations of misogyny. She hasn’t persuaded me that her track record of championing the cause of women extends to her entire party, but she’s right about this:

Women make up half of the most diverse country in the world. We are represented ethnically, socially, racially, economically, religiously and ideologically across the spectrum. To say that there is a set of concerns that can be labeled “women’s issues” is absolutely true. To assume that we all feel the same way about them—or that we must feel the same way about them to represent our gender legitimately—is inherently sexist.

There’s more than one way to be a feminist.