Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Minimization of sexual harassment and assault; descriptions of harassment and assault.]

So now we're in the part of the backlash where the rape apologia in the form of abuse ranking comes fast and furious.

On Sunday, Senator Bernie Sanders argued on Meet the Press that "There needs to be a differentiation between somebody who pats somebody on the backside and somebody who commits terrible acts against women," and, on Monday, I explained why that comment is hot garbage.

Yesterday, Matt Damon, who has been a massive disappointment during this moment, continued to disappoint, by saying about a dozen shitty things, including virtually the same argument Sanders made: "All of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there is a continuum. And on this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that's prison. Right? And that's what needs to happen. Okay? And then we can talk about rehabilitation and everything else. That's criminal behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross."


Meanwhile, at Vanity Fair, Joe Pompeo reports that the New York Times is definitely trying to figure its way through the "gray areas" of Glenn Thrush being an abusive dirtbag, but, as one "young female reporter in the [Washington] bureau" told him: "The Times has reported out a lot of stories like this, and by now, we know the difference between a Glenn and a Matt Lauer."


In other news, there are new, additional allegations against Dustin Hoffman, Russell Simmons, and Matt Dababneh, the former chief of staff to California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman:

Daniel Holloway at Variety: Dustin Hoffman Accused of Exposing Himself to a Minor, Assaulting Two Women.

Ben Beaumont-Thomas at the Guardian: Russell Simmons Accused by Kelly Cutrone of Attempted Rape.

Eric Garcia at Roll Call: More Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Former Sherman Aide.


Maggie Severns and Marianne Levine at Politico: House Office Silently Helps Members Resolve Harassment Claims. "Members of Congress and government watchdogs are questioning why a little-known House agency used taxpayer funds to investigate a sexual harassment complaint involving Rep. Blake Farenthold's office last year, and then failed to make the results public."

Amanda Taub at the New York Times: How One Harasser Can Rob a Generation of Women. "One of the consequences of Judge Kozinski's behavior toward women was that women had less access to those incredible opportunities."

Katie Van Syckle at the Cut: Hollywood Actresses Will Wear All Black to the Golden Globes in Protest. "According to sources, a small group of women coordinated to wear black gowns, but the word soon got out and now more than 30 female performers, presenters, and attendees are planning to participate."

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