Girl in Maldives Faces Flogging For Premarital Sex

A court in the tiny island of Feydhoo last week sentenced the 15-year-old to 100 lashes after she admitted to having consensual sex, a court official said on condition of anonymity because he had no formal approval to speak to the media.

The official said details of the consensual sex emerged when police investigated her complaint against her stepfather and another man of sexually abusing her.

No mention of a flogging sentence for the two men, which tells me just about everything I want to know about this country for the time being.

Via The Frisky.

John Piper, Spousal Abuse, and Empowerment

Dianna E. Anderson deconstructs a recent clarification John Piper made on his blog to a response he gave during a Q&A a little over two years ago in response to a question about how women should respond to spousal abuse. This was Piper’s original statement:

Part of that answer’s clearly going to depend on what kind of abuse we’re dealing with here … .

If this man, for example, is calling her to engage in abusive acts willingly—group sex, or something really weird, bizarre, harmful, that clearly would be sin. Then the way she submits—and I really think this is possible, it’s kind of paradoxical [sic]. She’s not going to go there. I’m saying no, she’s not going to do what Jesus would disapprove [sic], even though the husband is asking her to do it.

She’s going to say, however, something like, “Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. I think God calls me to do that, and I would love to do that. It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership.” And so—then she would say—“But if you would ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can’t—I can’t go there.”

Now that’s one kind of situation. Just a word on the other kind. If it’s not requiring her to sin, but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church.

First of all, I think it’s kind of telling that Piper spends nearly his entire response on a situation that, of the two he mentions, is the one far less likely to actually occur, and I further think that choosing “group sex” as his example is weird to say the least. Secondly, while John Piper refers to his beliefs about marriage as “complementarian”, this statement sounds like straight-up patriarchy to me. The husband is the boss, and the wife is to do whatever he says unless Jesus pulls rank on him.

But we’re really here to talk about his clarification. I recommend reading it, then jumping into Dianna’s thorough analysis and response. My only comment is that I can’t believe we have to have this long a conversation about whether a woman is allowed to take action against an abuser.

Radical Woman of the Day: Simone de Beauvoir

On this day in 1908 was born Simone de Beauvoir, author of the seminal second-wave feminist book The Second Sex.

Born and educated in France, she studied mathematics and philosophy, eventually ranking second in a national post-graduate examination on philosophy, being narrowly judged runner-up to the well-known existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who became her lifelong lover and literary partner. They read each other’s works before publication and co-edited Les Temps Modernes, a political journal Sartre co-founded.

An open bisexual, Beauvoir had a number of younger female lovers, some of whom she shared with Sartre. At least two of these relationships began when the women in question were her students, leading to accusations of exploitation that eventually resulted in the loss of Beauvoir’s license to teach in France.

Despite her moral failings, in 1949 Beauvoir made a significant contribution to the feminist movement when she published the first chapters of what would become The Second Sex. In the book, she argues that men have historically “othered” women, imbuing them with an aura of “mystery” used to stereotype them and place them lower in a societal hierarchy. In this she pre-dated similar concepts found in Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.

Beauvoir died in 1986 at the age of 78 and was buried next to Sartre.

Via the Radical Women’s History Project.

Hasidic Rabbi Stands Trial for Sexual Assault

An unnamed minor has accused Nechemya Weberman of sexually abusing her repeatedly over the course of three years while he counseled her in private at his home. Allison Yarrow at The Daily Beast provides a thorough summary of the case:

The teen—as an alleged victim of sexual assault, she has not been publicly identified—accuses Weberman of sexually abusing her in a spare room with a triple-locked door, one lock only accessible from the inside. He kissed and groped her body, she says on the stand, forced her to perform oral sex on him, showed her pornographic films, and made her copy the acts. Sometimes, she says, his children played on the other side of the door, or Weberman’s wife might call before entering to use the very computer on which she said the community pillar forced her to watch and mimic sex. She recounts skipping sessions after Passover in 2009, but said Weberman visited her family home and entered her room while she was in bed and abused her there.

The strict Orthodox Jewish sects have frequently been able to handle accusations like this internally, without involving the police, so this case is a huge step forward.

Should I Pray For My Abuser?

A feminist raised to think of anger and aggression as relational tools tries to humanize her oppressor through prayer:

My marriage to violence had deceived me into believing that peace required payment. I spent twenty years trying to scream my abuser into submission, demanding reparations for my pain. I was a fraud, not a feminist: my actions only served to deepen the divide between war and peace.

In addition to the thoughtful, spiritual message, I also enjoyed the alliterative streak that runs through the entire narrative.

Everything You Need To Know About Domestic Violence — From A Prosecutor

Experienced, practical advice on how to respond if you witness domestic violence. I particularly appreciated this reason that giving a statement to the police can prove vital:

Please call law enforcement. Give a statement. It will take time, and you may be annoyed, and some prosecutors, like me, may subpoena you to testify, but it is worth it. If that case is prosecuted, a statement from a third party witness is valuable evidence. It often makes the difference between a trial and the defendant taking responsibility. If the case does go to trial, that statement helps juries and judges understand that what the victim told the police the day the abuse took place is really the truth, and the recantation she is trying to tell nine months later, is not. Abusers know their victims are hesitant to testify, and they rely upon it.

Woman Forced to Remarry Husband Who Blinded Her With Acid

First he cheated on her, so she divorced him.

Then he threw acid in her face, permanently blinding and disfiguring her.

Then he went on the run but was eventually caught and jailed.

Then her mother-in-law forced her to sign an affadavit for his release, and her sons pressured her into remarrying him.

Need I comment?

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?

Photodocumenting Child Marriage

Photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair has spent over eight years in Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Ethiopia and Yemen, documenting the problem of child marriage.

More images are available at the National Geographic website.

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.